Wednesday, 31 December 2008

We hear you

All of your comments regarding wild boar carcasses have been seen and noted. We're quite busy lounging around the flat in our pajamas at the moment, but will post photos of our recent meat adventures soonish (which could mean february of course). In the meantime, here's one of us at christmas, which was potentially snapped after we spent the previous 6 hours sipping homemade coffee vodka and engaging in ritual turkey consumption.

have a great new years!

Saturday, 20 December 2008

Photo Dump!

UPDATE: yes, i realize that the layout of the pictures is all manky. But I can't be assed to fix them now. sorry.

We've been getting a bunch of photos together for holiday purposes (we can't say more - top secret plans are in motion), and found a bunch of treasures that needed to be shared here on the blog.

For example, these photos illustrate the awesome power of beer. Observe how it buoys the spirits of two young men who were frankly a little bored at a hum-drum soccer/football match between Liverpool and Berlin.

Speaking of "buoyed spirits," here is Kate and our mate Theo all hopped up on Auslaendertag (Foreigner Day) love:
Here's Kate showing off her meat carving skills on our wild boar roast during MeatFest 2008 - take notice of the hungry mob surrounding her. Out of respect for our vegetarian readers I won't show what the carcass looked like afterward. And yes, we do have pictures.

Jeff's first exposure to Christmas crackers provokes a rare Grinchesque moment. Or maybe he's just working the pudding through.

That's it for now. What's everyone doing for the holidays? We'll be stone-cold chilling here in Berlin, surrounded by gloomy weather and good friends. We hope that everyone has a great time, eats too much food, and stays away from yellow snow.

Monday, 8 December 2008


Kate went to the dentist today, and we're happy to report that after 2+ weeks of wisdom tooth hell, she is finally on the mend. No more bacteria, no more pus tsunamis, and significantly less pain. Huzzah!

This has been a truly hellish experience, and I want to commemorate its conclusion with a photo. If things hadn't gone as pear-shaped as they did, I was planning on snapping some shots of a chipmunk-cheeked Kate on the couch, wrapped up in her fuzzy bathrobe and ringing a bell to signal that she wanted more ice cream. However, she was so miserable that pictures were not an option.

Instead, here is one of when when I got my wisdom teeth out - back in the old country, where they use general anesthesia and give you proper (ie, chock full of big-time opiate fun) pain pills afterwards. Of course, being young and somewhat stupid, I supplemented my pain medication with hefty doses of high-quality vodka. Which perhaps explains why I'm clutching a metallic pink dolphin to my chest.

Wednesday, 3 December 2008

Take this!

UPDATED: (for those nagging grammar and diction problems)
If certain people on the internet tubes would like more pictures, then I am happy to provide them. You're just lucky that I'm an insomniac and have nothing better to do at 2:00 am on a Tuesday night.

Hey look! It's Jeff drinking beer on the 4th of July! Imagine that!

Don't let the German flag in the background worry you - it was wrapped around the 1 kg Toblerone that we brought to Denver as a house-warming gift and was pure coincidence that it showed up on the holiday. I'm chanting "U.S.A! U.S.A!" on the inside. Trust me. And that look of surprise is the lingering shock from finding Cooper's Pale Ale (local brewery of Adelaide, South Australia) in Denver.

This one is entitled "Paleontologists taking the piss."

We're at a real, honest-to-goodness dinosaur dig site - as proven by the little tags and such - with actual fossils jutting out of the ground, and these wacky scientists have scattered an army of plastic dinosaurs everywhere. I suppose it's possible that they are trying to act out what happened 100 million ago, in a very rigorous and thoughtful fashion, using these little guys as models. However, I think it's much more likely that they just get drunk and chase each around holding pint-size T-rexes and making growling noises.

This picture really isn't funny at all. Unless you say "Clark Fork" with a wicked strong Aussie accent. And then see this identical sign about 20 times as you're driving along the highway.

And finally, here's Kate being all photogenic on a ferry out to Poulsbo. She's just happy that she finally got to see the Space Needle.

So there you have it. I hope we've satisfied our three dedicated readers. I'm going to try and go to bed again.

Oh, but there is one bit of good news. The German government has seen fit to finance my crazy scientific goals for three whole years! I'll be my own boss! I'll have something resembling my own lab! And best of all, it's only a 10 minute bikeride from my house. I'm making light of this event because it's late and I'm a little loopy. But it really is a huge relief to have found a good position here in Berlin. As I mentioned in previous posts, I've been stressing about work something for the last several months, and now it is all sorted out. Woo hoo!

Now if I can just remember how to turn the light above the oven off. Dougie, can you help me with that?

Wednesday, 5 November 2008

Well this sucks...

We had fabulous plans to go drink beer with mates and watch the election results roll in.

But then I got a nasty cold. All I can do now is rotate between the couch and the comfy chair, with quick jaunts off to the kitchen for more herbal tea.

Blech. It's 1am, I'm tired but too worked up to go to sleep. And the prospect off watching CNN/internet coverage for the next three hours without any tasty beverages is somewhat daunting.

Maybe I'll start live-blogging right from the lounge room if I find the motivation...


Monday, 20 October 2008

No news here mate

Actually, there's pretty much always news of some sort or another.

Crazy times here in Berlin - so crazy in fact that we didn't the time or the energy to comment on the vagaries of the baseball playoffs. For example, we held our first (and potentially last, depending on our cholesterol levels) MeatFest, which involved about 4 lbs of wild boar, 1.5 rabbits, 6 lbs of lamb, pork, beef, and half a jar of bacon jam. Details will follow.

After a week of madcap packing (it seriously did approach something resembling a very crap tragi-comedy), my lab officially moved to Darmstadt (directly translatable to "intestine town") - I didn't go obviously, which means that I've entered a state of odd scientific limbo where I'm getting paid to sit at home and type meaningful things into the computer. We'll see how that works out.

There is also a sadder note. Maren, a close friend of mine from Seattle, passed away last week. This is not the place to go into the details, but I did want to mention it since I suspect that some of you dear readers would want to know.

Finally, here are some fun pictures:

This was the only way that Pierre would consent to have his picture posted on our blog. He's the suave looking fellow reflected in my left eye.

And here's Kate engaging in a little pre-MeatFest training. Teh germans do like their pork steaks.

Go Phillies!

Thursday, 2 October 2008

Me? Bait a Cubs fan? Never!

Gee whiz,
Now I'd
Die for

Laugenbreze with
A lot of

And CC hasn't even pitched yet.

Monday, 22 September 2008

This is relevant to at least one of our readers...

congratulations to the Chicago Cubs for winning the NL Central over the weekend!

Cue inevitable collapse and another off-season spent nurturing hope and expectations.

It's almost like being English.

Wednesday, 10 September 2008

The American Way

What do we want??


When do we want it??

Right after this massive traffic jam.

This is my poorly constructed analogy for the current state of American politics.

Tuesday, 2 September 2008

a wise man once said

"There is nothing that would not be improved by the addition of a dinosaur."

the town of Thermopolis, Wyoming concurs

i present the following as evidence:

that is all

a book report, by dougie

the stools would like to present dougie's book report on the red planet, by robert a. heinlein

RED PLANET by Robert A. Heinlein.

RED PLANET by Robert A. Heinlein is the story of a boy, Jim, and his friend, Frank, and also Jim's pet, a native animal of Mars, which is where they live, because RED PLANET by Robert A. Heinlein is set in the future, when Mars has become a colony of Earth administered by a company called the Company. Jim's pet is called Willis, and is basically a furry tape recorder that can record all amounts of sounds, and play them back. He is also, when it is convenient to the plot, a furry Swiss Army Knife. Jim and Frank are shipped off to boarding school at the beginning of the novel, although it takes a long time for this to happen. On the way to the school they end up meeting some Martians, who are basically very tall, three-legged, blue hippy plot devices. Jim and Frank do some transcendental meditation with the Martians, and this makes them something like blood brothers with the Martians. When they get to the school, the doddering old and loveable headmaster, who I guess is more or less Mr. Chips or something, has been sent away by the Company, and a new, dickhead headmaster is put in charge the next day. It quickly turns out that he's a Company agent, sent to help change the rules about the annual migration, which is important to Earthlings on Mars for some sort of climatic reason. And, if the plot weren't so full of holes, some sort of climactic reason, but I digress with my bad puns. Why the school should be of such strategic migratory importance is only sort of satisfactorily explained. Anyway, Frank and Jim run away from school, and the Martians turn up to help them (after they spend the night in a giant cabbage), and they get the news about the migration back to their parents, but only after learning that they've become outlaws. Somewhere in there they eat some food that is basically Quorn, which I thought was pretty impressive. But anyway, Jim's dad organizes a militia and they migrate despite the Company's policy or intention or rules or something, but then at this point the plot turns into a replay of the American Revolution (they stop just short of chanting, "No Taxation Without Annual Migration!", but Heinlein does somewhat self-consciously namecheck the Declaration of Independence). Some stuff happens and then the Martians demand the Earthlings all leave because they've violated the Martians' sacred trust. The only reason they didn't just kill all the Earthlings is because of that meditation brothers thing with Jim and Frank, which is pretty lucky. The prose is generally wooden, and the dialogue woodener. It's mellow, but not smooth. And kind of shitty. I liked it.

Dr. Douglas Cowie

Saturday, 23 August 2008


We just watched a very lean German woman with improbably high knee socks knock off the bar in the high jump competion.

Moving along, here are some pictures of tacos:

The scene of the crime - taqueria #3 in Ellensburg, WA

They serve a lot of crazy stuff here - tongue, brain, tripe - but thinking ahead, and wishing to avoid food poisoning (which plagued my last trip to Seattle) I went for the spicy pork. Because people never get sick from eating that.

I'm not throwing up. Yet.

And to show off the magnificent macro capabilities of our new camera, check out the close-up. You can almost see the salmonella waving at you.

Look at the size of that radish!

Seriously though, the food was delicious and there were no stomach problems at all. We saved that for the huevos rancheros. Which is a story for another day...

Thursday, 21 August 2008

Dum Dee Dum II

We've been working very hard at being the laziest bloggers ever. In fact, if there was
some sort of Olympic category for that we would be standing on top of the podium, biting that
gold medal with tears streaming down our cheeks.

Oh well. The Olympics are almost over (go Great Britain??) so it's time to get on with it all.

Here are things that have been happening in no particular order:
- Fantasy Film Fest in Berlin: awesome assortment of sci-fi, horror, and thriller movies, all in
English (or subtitled in English) accompanied by buckets of popcorn. We saw Afro Samurai (Sammy Jackson, not surprisingly, makes a bad-ass samurai), Mad Detective (and you thought cops were crazy in the US), and Outlander (Who doesn't like a sci-fi Viking epic?)

- We got a cleaning lady. The upshot of which is that I can sit on my couch and post on the blog while our bathroom magically cleans itself. This situation has leapt into contention for one of the best things of all time.

- We just bought 4 lbs of wild board meat yesterday. So if anyone happens to be traipsing through Berlin, let us know and maybe we can organize a good old-fashioned pig roast. Yeeha!

- And we went on a massive trip through the US of A. There were many highlights, including introducing ourselves to our newest nephew (Jack-Attack!), eating tacos from a taqueria, and visiting a dinosaur dig site. However, one of the best bits was driving in a remarkably fuel-efficient car from Denver to Seattle. We saw a lot of this:

Broken up with stuff like this:

Lord love a road trip.

I'm off to try and find a job in Berlin. Maybe I'll post more while our floor is vacuuming itself.

Tuesday, 24 June 2008

Dum Dee Dum

At least we have very good reasons for not posting on our blog.

First off there was the whole allergy season thing, which caused about 6 weeks of non-stop sneezing, massive tissue consumption, and the generation of approx. 6 liters of gross bodily fluids. Jeff has crossed the finish line into 95% allergy-free living, while Kate is still suffering a bit more.

Then there's the whole work situation. Jeff has spent the last two months putting together his first ever DFG (which equals Deutsche Forschungs Gemeinschaft, which equals money) grant, to try and obtain a job in Berlin for the next three years. And Kate has been working very hard poking mouse neurons with glass needles, staring into microscopes, and proof-reading Jeff's grant.

But just to show that it's not all snot and stress, here's a photo from Jeff and Gary's recent bike-trip through the Sachsen countryside. Talk about poo-gefahr.

Oh, and Italy got bounced out of the Eurocup tournament, which should make everyone happy.

We're leaving next week for holidays in the States, and if we aren't too busy stuffing ourselves with tacos and beer we'll post up fun vacation pictures.


Thursday, 22 May 2008

The Tribe in Berlin

Our last post didn't seem to spark much interest - was it the cackling? The Enland bashing?
Or just the stupid video?

Anyhoo, here's a little discovery I made while exiting our former neighborhood hippy food store.

It would seem that there's at least one other Cleveland Indian (aka the baseball team from my home town) fan in Berlin. I wonder if they're as disappointed as I am that they have lost their last FIVE games - including three to the Cincinnati Reds, their supposed in-state rivals.


Thursday, 15 May 2008

Ausländer + Too Much Beer = Late Night Indoor Cricket

Behold one of the sillier moments from Ausländertag:

The cackling batsmen is yours truly.

And yes, the English do seem to perform better at this form of cricket than they do at the outdoor, sober, international level.

Thursday, 8 May 2008


Hi everyone. We're back. For now at least.

I don't really know where to start.

For our friends birthday several weeks ago, we went to a Russian supermarket and sat in a funny tent in front of the store. There was a very large woman there, wearing a fur vest who served us a lot of pork. Periodically, someone would get up, go into the store, and return carrying many bottles of russian beer. The flavor was nothing extraordinary, but the labels were cool. For example:

I've been "hanging out" in Dresden a lot recently. Which basically involves moonlighting at my former job at the MPI in pursuit of scientific greatness. Elusive thing, that. One of the many changes in Dresden has been the grand opening of a pretty cool restaurant called "Hell's Kitchen" (so they're not very original). They serve a mean burger (veggie and otherwise), fantastic tofu and something that is called the CRISPY CHICKEN TOWER. I've eaten about four of these bad boys in the last two months, and kept trying to snap a photo of one. Unfortunately, the flash on my phone was broken and the pictures always looked crappy. But no longer!! Behold...

That's right. Two breaded chicken patties. Two Kartoffelrösti. Cheese. Assorted veggies. And a fried egg. Needless to say, the bun melts about 30 seconds after it arrives at the table, leaving one with a big frickin' mess. But it tastes sooooo good.

Next post: Ausländertag!!

UPDATE: Oh, but I almost forgot. The genome of the platypus, (AKA Schnabeltier) has been sequenced! This article only reaffirms my long-held belief that platypi are the coolest animals evar. 10 sex chromosomes? Heck yeh! And by extension, my platypus tattoo is now even more awesomer than it was before.

Wednesday, 26 March 2008

Science = Purty

The wonderful world of science has been a tad stressful recently.

One could even say that I've been having a hard time finding the fun in it all.

But then you collect images like this and everything seems a little bit better.

Now if only it would stop snowing.

Super duper award points (ie, beer) for anyone who can provide a reasonable guess at what this is. And don't look at the file name - it's not "laminin"

Monday, 10 March 2008

The Elder Statespeople of Cool

We've been spending a lot of time reading this website lately:

I particularly enjoyed these two posts:

#80 - the idea of soccer
#84 - t-shirts

And here's a picture of the banjo that Kate got me for Christmas. Next to our giant inflatable dinosaur.

Thursday, 6 March 2008


So there's this really fun strike going on in Berlin right now. No subway, buses, or trams are
running until further notice. What makes it funny is that the first day of this strike was yesterday. Which just happened to coincide with the first real snow of the year. Coincidence?

This situation will become even more interesting on Monday, when the German train system plans to begin a strike of their own. Which means that there won't even be any commuter rail service (which both Kate and I require to get to work). We'll be living in a city of 3 million people with absolutely no public transportation. And both of these strikes are open-ended, so no one has any clue when this will end.

(Oh - in the interests of full disclosure, this photo was not taken from either of us, but ripped from the Spiegel site. However, I do bike past this stop every day, so I felt justified in putting it up.)

Tuesday, 12 February 2008

Friday, 1 February 2008


In keeping with our well established tradition of only posting photos of stuff months after the fact, I give you fishing in Tasmania:
Obviously this is Jeff looking dashing in sun gear and a life jacket, but behind him is Bob Mackinley- fishing guide extraordinaire, and a man inclined to call the french "frogs"

Speaking of which where did the french guy go? haven't heard from him in a while

Jeff hooked the first fish- a monster big Brown trout that managed to break the line and get away- about 5 seconds after this photo was taken

Kate's rainbow trout- look at that beauty

This is the "after" shot of the rainbow trout- I must say I was a little disappointed at how he tasted- could have been better

Oh yeah- that's fish number 2 - this time a brown

that i kindly let jeff clean for me- we couldn't eat it so Bob Mackinley promised to give it to his next door neighbour, who happens to be David Boon- which will make absolutely no sense to anyone not from a cricketing nation. A man known, not only for cricketing prowess, but also his amazing capacity to drink beer

Tuesday, 29 January 2008

Maybe these guys aren't so bad...


In America these guys are called yellowjackets. They swarm around your picnic, sting you , and are a general nuisance. Australians refer to them as "Europeans Wasps" and tend to become a little panicky when one is around. Not quite high-pitched squeal, but getting there. Which is surprising, because there are way more poisonous critters in Australia than there are in the States.

At any rate, everyone can agree that this wasp is nothing compared to the absolutely terrifying insects described on this page...

Scary Bugs!

Thursday, 17 January 2008

Taking care of business

We've finally gotten around to posting a bunch of photos from the World Beard and Moustache Championship. Which took place on Sept. 1st. So we're only 4 months late.


Sunday, 13 January 2008

Birthday Present from Cell

In reference to this little gem by alex:

The pictures posted there are great, but I think this one captures the spirit of my collaboration with Gary a little better...

After a long day of collecting high quality TIRF data, Gary just happened to pass out on my couch.

In other news, we're back from australia and will be updating the blog soon. Tons of cool photos of animals, food, and people. Plus the usual supply of not-so-witty comments.