29 July 2007

The Racoon

One night when we came home kind of late we heard something rustling in the trash area next to the bicycle rack. It turned out to be the nightly sani-
tation techni-
cian busily in-
specting the container. It didn't appear particularly interested in our interfering, but we kept our distance seeing as rabies suppossedly isn't all that rare amongst the many racoons in this area. We took out the camera and fired away which made it climb the wall next to the container. Apparently it was too exhausted to move any further after this - it was still there when we went to bed.

27 July 2007

Cookies, Cold-Bowl and Caring

Now that Santa Barbara has finally entered summer in that realiable fashion - i.e. with the sun shining both morning and evening so that one can count on biking both to and from uni in short sleaves (and only bring a shirt to wear it in doors (!)) - we felt like "Cold-bowl".

This might be the easy dessert solution in Denmark, but here the project involved purchase of a baking sheet, baking of the appropriate cookies and not least whipping the actual Cold-Bowl. Even though salmonella doesn't appear to be a problem - we don't really notice any significant warnings about it, anyway - we decided to go for the safer option of choosing a recipe not including eggs. It turned out pretty good - despite the fact that we'd forgotten to buy a lemon and had to use grape juice in stead.

The baking of the specific cookies (Kammerjunkere) needed turned out be a somewhat more involved project; as already mentioned we had to start by going out and purchasing a baking sheet - something that doesn't come with ovens as standard equipment over here. Moreover the entire project was made a bit more troublesome by the fact that the recipe we had[1] didn't specify a baking temperature. On the other hand that actually suits our oven quite well (see illustration on the right) so apart from slight charring on one side the cookie proejct turned out well enough for us to condider repeating it.

Monday we had Malati and her husband Rajesh over for dinner and since we subjected them to the Cold-Bowl (they liked it) any further Cold-Bowl happenings are challenged by the fact that we're now all out of vanilla sugar. Oh well, no one promised us it would be easy...

[1] famous Danish cook book series Karoline's Kitchen.

15 July 2007

The Sturdy Mailbox

Here's a mailbox design with a reason - sturdy!

Perhaps a tad stodgy. It might require more than one of your avarage firecracker to destroy this mailbox. But one of course can't know for sure what kind of ominous al-qaeda types are lurking about behind the palm trees waiting for the right moment to terrorize a mailbox.

Notice also that it's the street number you can read on the curb below. Mulholland Drive is a very long street... but for our non-American readers we must point out that the numbering system doesn't reflect the actual number of houses on the street. Rather, it's an ingenious system that tells you how far you are from the city centre. This, suppossedly, facilitates orientation, but for Danes used to the street numbering system at home it's often more confusing than actually useful.

13 July 2007

Andy made fame famous

As the blog illustration here is hinting at we went to an Andy Warhol event at the university last night. As a prelude to the opening Warhol exhibition at the university art museum there was a double feature in the shape of 'Superstar' and 'I shot Andy Warhol'. Watching two movies about Warhol - even if one is a documentary while the other is a dramatization - right after one another is a bit much. We're certainly well aware now of the fact that his 'Factory' was frequented by beautiful people and that a lot of them were on drugs!
We'll probably wait a few weeks before getting 'Factory Girl' from Netflix...

House update

As we write this post we're waiting for Malati to bring over a rug. But apart from that we're pretty much settled into our apartment now that Lisbeth has decided to accept the couch we brought in when some neighbours moving out left it right outside our door.

A very simple and also very non-expensive solution to the couch problem!

Tue's project with the dining table came to a happy ending when he gave up on getting spare parts from www.ikeafans.com (yes, they exist - check it out for yourself!) and instead came up with an alternative solution using STANDARD screws - resulting in the table now standing nicely and non-wobbly in our living room.

Finally we have - obviously on Lisbeth's initiative - bought a map of the US to decorate the wall. This means that we should eventually be able to nail the exact locations of all 50 states and to name all their capitols! Tue has grown to be at least as fond of the purchase as Lisbeth - but as Troels says: there's probably a bit of geography in chemistry as well...

08 July 2007

On the beach

Living now just a little bit closer to the beach we've decided to make an effort to go there more oftenly - to try to use the beach more. Yesterday we went down there to paddle in the day's last hour of sunlight. Since we didn't bring the camera you'll have to settle for pictures in a lower resolution - the way Tue's phone can deliver them. Notice on the picture in the middle of the collage how a local had secured his/her sandals together with his/her bicycle.
We never made any further out than to wet our knees, but there was some 20 surfers in the water on this part of the beach. When we came we home we realized that we had gotten a little oil on our feet, but such will be worn off eventually.

Swin with Phyn!

One of the most remarkable things about this mailbox is the utter lack of hints at the fact that the owner in her backyard runs the baby swimming lesson business Swim With Phyn. This could of course be a result fo the mailbox being designed by previous owners. Before Phyn showed up we notice that the house was for sale on ebay (!) - they asked a mere $1,000,000, but the house did come with some lovely marble bathrooms.

Apart from that it's impressive to have an entirely wooden mailbox which can't be closed.

As we will come back to later this isn't the only mailbox around here which most of all resembles a barn.

Shortage of new ideas in Hollywood?

The last few years must have been tough for the script writers in Hollywood. Recently, there was a week when our local cinema only had sequels to sequels on the program: Pirates of the Caribbean 3, Oceans 13, Spiderman 3 og Shrek 3. But there is some variation, in the form of sequels to sequels to sequels: Die Hard (with the humble title: Live free or DIE HARD) and of course TMNT IV.
And guess what's opening this coming Wednesday: Harry Potter 5!

06 July 2007

Pyrotechnic event

Yesterday it was the 4th of July - the American independence day.

We were notified of the day already last week by this public notice which warns us that there'll be fireworks from 9 pm till 9:23 (!) in the nearest park. Apparently it's part of the fireworks section of the ordinance that the neighbors have to be warned when somebody orders fireworks - such things are not for mere mortals around these parts. We actually live quite a way from this park, so there wouldn't be a high risk of having a rocket go through the roof of our house, but now at least we can't sue them for forgetting to warn us...

We did celebrate the day by going to Santa Barbara - as there was also warnings about inflatable jumpers, face paintings and flamenco dancing in the park! We started the evening by eating crepes at Pacific Crepes, where we got an excellent opportunity to test our proficiency in French as the waitress opened up the conversation in French! Tue managed to order both cider, onion soup, and two nice crepes (one with goat cheese, walnuts, and prosciutto, the other with salmon, spinach, and portobello mushrooms) for us. Since they had both creme brulée and profiteroles on the menu we kinda had to test them too. Rather an unamerican gesture to be eating an completely French meal on their national holiday, but at least the restaurant closed early so the people working there could also go to the beach and watch the fireworks.

We were surprised to learn just HOW much space the Santa Barbarians take up when they're all on the beach, and particularly afterwards when all of them wanted to walk under the highway at the at the same time! The firework was - of course - primarily blue, red, and white, but apart from that it wasn't that memorable in and of itself. But it was nice to stand on the wharf and look inland at the mountains while the sun was setting - and since we just made it on the bus home we actually consider it a pretty good evening.

03 July 2007


When we woke up Thursday morning last week we realized that during the night there had been constructed a highway in our bathroom. More specifically an ant highway going from the outer wall, past the toilet, around the bath mat and straight to the trash bin.

Such occurences are of course reported to the office (including a signature that they've been allowed to enter the appartment to take a look at the problem), and then one hopes for the best. When we came home Thursday afternoon we found the trash bin outside the apartment, a note regarding pest control and a lot of dead ants on our bathroom floor. However, we didn't see any signs that they tried to do anything about the slit that the ants came in through, so now we're wondering if the ants will return...

01 July 2007

Netfreaks - Netfilms - Netflix

In our new apartment we don't have a tv and since we don't plan on getting one either, we have joined the great invention of Netflix.

It can be compared to our childhoods' bubblegum chain letters, however with a few modifications: 1) the actual reception of the promised items (here: dvd's), 2) you get to decide on flavour (read: titles) yourself, and 3) you receive emails telling you when you can expect to find something in the mail box. Of course we also have to pay 14 dollars for the favour then, but we love the concept!

In more practical terms the procedure is that when we have seen a movie, we return it in the enclosed prepaid envelope, and two days later we receive the next movie from our internet-list that we can keep updated and change the order of ourselves. The result is: no rented out movies, no pick-up or delievery, and thus also no fines. In addition to the mailed movies we can also watch 14 hours of online movies - although from a more limited selection - so you have no risk of being without entertainment if you haven't managed your two dvd's in order to always have an unseen movie at home. We haven't tried out this part of the agreement yet, though.

Snazzy! - and besides movies you can also get whole seasons of tv-series. Lisbeth is for instance looking forward to watch a more coherent course of 'Six Feet Under', since this wonderful serie was only shown very late at night on Danish TV.