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06/09/2007

14th Annual Wiener Dog Nationals

medium_WienerRace.JPGIt's Germanfest in Fort Wayne again, and this time I even made it to the Wiener Dog Race.

The weather was perfect - sunny, dry, not too hot. Headwaters Park was crowded with hundreds of cute little dachshunds.

96 of them participated in the races, and the winner was Noodle

15:45 Posted in 06, Having Fun | Permalink | Comments (0)

05/28/2007

get away on Memorial Day

A 4-day weekend due to the holiday was our chance to grab Armani and head out North. The Comfort Inn in Portage, close to the Indiana Dunes State Park, is a pet-friendly hotel. I drove us there, Tom sat in the back with Armani. The dog doesn't like to sit by himself in the car, probably due to that accident he was involved in, when he was little.

Our day on the beach was absolutely gorgeous! Perfect sunshine, but not too hot. The sand was still wet from heavy rainfall all thru the previous night. Lake Michigan was pretty cold, most people didn't dare to swim. And those who did, felt an urge to scream and shout - not me though, I enjoy cold water.

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Armani had fun digging holes and rolling in the sand. After some hesitation he even swam a little bit. We had to trick him into doing that, by throwing a stick in the water, just barely beyond his reach. 

Later in the afternoon we went for a walk along Cowles Bog trail, and we had a very filling supper at a Mexican restaurant. Tom didn't trust the beer garden at the Junkyard Bar & Grill - I thought the joint looked a bit wild, but would have been OK for something different to try.  

15:10 Posted in 06, Having Fun | Permalink | Comments (0)

05/23/2007

learn to make German bread

Not that it is a vital neccessity, but sometimes I really enjoy having good, healthy, natural bread. The kind that you can't really find in the USA. With a hearty, crispy crust, juicy but not too soft body, and no weird ingredients, like corn starch or soy protein.

So, after I successfully mastered the art of making real German pretzels - where the hardest part was finding a supplier for sodium hydroxide, I decided to learn how to make real sourdough. From nothing but rye flour and water. After doing some extensive research on the internet, I started my project four days ago.

To grow sourdough, you have to be able to provide an environment favourable to the right kind of wild yeast. If it's too cold, you'll just produce some kind of rotten, acid flour-water mix. If it's too hot, you'll kill whatever yeast might have been growing, before you even start to bake bread. I used a food warmer to keep my sourdough culture at around 90°F. Every 12 hours you stir it vigorously, and every 24 hours you add another cup of rye flower and luke warm water.medium_bread.2.jpg Last night my sourdough looked and smelled just right for the next step.  

I had picked one of the simpler recipes for rye bread from the dozens that I found on the internet. 70% rye flour, 30% wheat flour, some chopped up sunflower seeds, my sourdough and salt. Mix, kneed, let sit for 2 hours to rise and double in size - bake for an hour, then let it cool down over night.

Today I'm enjoying my first home made rye sourdough bread for lunch. It turned out totally perfect, tastes like nothing you can buy in any store here.  

18:20 Posted in 06, Having Fun | Permalink | Comments (2)

01/27/2007

Circus at the Coliseum

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The Memorial Coliseum hosted a circus for four days. We had tickets for the Saturday afternoon show and enjoyed about two hours of spectacular performances by people and animals.
Acrobats flying high in the air, bears riding bycicles, tigers balancing across steel ropes.
 
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A few animal rights activists were walking around the building, close to the entrance, carrying cardboard signs with messages about the *cruelty* of training wild animals. They didn't get very much attention - probably because it was freezing cold outside. Barely 9°F with the wind chill. 

19:55 Posted in 06, Having Fun | Permalink | Comments (0)

01/26/2007

Snickerz Comedy Club

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Tom had won 10 free tickets for the Snickerz Comedy Club, to be the audience in a TV show called 'Night Shift'. So we took Dan and Sarah, Terry and Artemis, Beth, Josh, Penny and Becky along for a few hours of clean, simple fun. It's going to be aired on Sunday, on channel 33 at midnight.

Stand-up comedy is one of the few occasions I truely feel *alien*. I'd say 70% of the jokes are beyond me, I just don't get it. Wether it's politics, sports, TV shows, celebrities - I just notice a severe lack of general knowledge in these areas of every-day life.

Nevertheless I found it very entertaining, educating, relaxing - we don't go out with a bunch of people that often.

06:23 Posted in 06, Having Fun | Permalink | Comments (0)