Previous Newsletter | Next Newsletter | Complete Archives

Greetings from Vienna, #45

October 26th, 2004


In this issue:


Old Business

Stormy Weather
In the last issue (#44), I used the phrase "under the weather" to describe Karin's condition, but I didn't footnote it. Since Karin didn't know that she'd been "under the weather", I thought I tell any puzzled readers out there that the phrase means "to be ill" or "to be generally unwell without a specific disease or condition being given".

The Day the Newsletter Stood Still
Here are some more un-footnoted references from last issue's Tobias section. I don't know if giving you a little bit more information would clarify these references or just add more confusion, but I am including links if you really want to know more. First, the words I want to teach Tobias to say. "Spoon!" is the battle cry of the superhero "The Tick", which began as a comic book, then a children's cartoon, and finally a very short-lived television series. Check out these two links for more information.

"Klaatu Barada Nicto!" (or "Nikto") is from the 1951 science fiction movie "The Day the Earth Stood Still", about the public arrival of an alien on Earth and the effect it/he has. My brother-in-law correctly remembers that this phrase was also used in the 1993 movie "Army of Darkness" also known as "Evil Dead 3". Check out for more info:
"The Day the Earth Stood Still"
"Army of Darkness"

I should add here that while I'm trying get Tobias to say either of these phrase/word, Karin will be trying to teach to say "Oachkatzlschwoaf" ("Eichkätzchenschweif" in High German), which is dialect for "tail of a squirrel".

"And now for something completely not so different" is a play on an episode of Monty Python. While not at all guaranteed to enlighten the uninitiated into the world Monty Python, you can check out their official site get a sense of what they are (were) about:

"My Only Joy is My Boy"
In case any of you wondered what was written on the postcard of the little boy getting a spanking, Karin has provided a transcription and a translation:

Lieber Karl!
So ergeht es Dir am Sonntag, wenn Du nicht brav bist und gut schreibst.

Dear Karl!
This will happen to you on Sunday, if you are not a good boy and don't write well.


Greetings from Vienna (New City)
Part the Forty-Fifth: Off to the Studio

We're spending the next two days (Wednesday and Thursday) in a recording studio to record the next Liechtenthaler Quartett album. In the mean time, I am making spaghetti sauce for Wednesday lunch, so this newsletter will be short.

Brennofenmusi and the Pumpkin Festival
Not content with preparing for a recording session, Karin played with the Brennofenmusi on Saturday in the town of Retz, near the Czech border. After playing with them for over ten years, she's still having lots of fun:
IMG_5598_karinLN IMG_5616_karinLN
Of course, it always seems like bandleader and accordionist Armin is often having even more fun:
but his enthusiasm is infectious, even into the last set of the evening:
IMG_5638_karinLN IMG_5639_karinLN

The Pumpkin Festival took place in the town's "cellar" street, where the area's wineries have their cellars. So aside from pumpkin/pumpkin seed in almost every dish, there was also much wine, including the new white wine called "Staubiger". The word is related to "staubig" or "dusty", and the wine *is* very cloudy, looking like unfiltered grape juice and tasting somewhat like wine-coolers. It's actually fermented grape juice, which is not really drinkable any earlier or later in the fermentation process.

For more information and pictures from this year, check out the Pumpkin Festival's website (available in German or English):

"Camarón que duerme se lo lleva la marea"
When my friend Jade had to translate this Spanish proverb in an Argentine Tango class, she wasn't able to immediately come up with the English equivalent and so directly translated it as "sleeping shrimp get carried away by the tide," which seems very much like kinds of experience I have in learning German. She recently sent me an article from US Air's in-flight magazine on the subject of proverbs in different languages, and I thought I'd pass it along. Here is the first paragraph, follow by the links:

Counting Chickens, Milking Cats
by Fred Baldwin

WHENEVER I FIND MYSELF banking on future good fortune, I’m apt to think, “Don’t count your chickens before they hatch.” Germans express the same idea like this: “You have to catch the hare before you can roast him.” The French say: “You can’t sell the bear’s skin until you’ve caught him.” A Japanese version is almost identical, except that the animal to be caught is a tanuki, which resembles a raccoon.

The original article is at:
and a Google translation can be seen at:
It looks like the magazine's website only puts up the current issue, so you might want to check out these links before the end of the month.

Tobias and Grandpa
This is not so much a Tobias update as it is an update on how my father-in-law deals with Tobias. While he was definitely "hands off" for the first month or so, this has progressed quite a bit in the last weeks. And while he hasn't taken a proactive role ("proactive" in this case meaning "volunteered to do so without prompting by my mother-in-law"), he no longer turns down offers to hold Tobias:

Tobias has yet to immediately react negatively to a new person holding him, but a grumpy Tobias is a grumpy Tobias:
IMG_5311_tobiasXSL_rudolfR IMG_5316_tobiasXSL_rudolfR

More pictures of Tobias and Grandpa Rudi can be found at:

That's all for today. I'll have pictures from the recording session in the next issue. Time to make some sauce.

Bis Bald



Except where otherwise noted, all contents © 2004, Paul T.S. Lee.
Creative Commons License See my copyright page for specific permissions granted under the Creative Commons License.
"†" Image(s) © Andreas Reißner, 2004.