On Baltic Germany

Although it seems so long ago, our cruise ship left Amsterdam and headed north. After a full day at sea, our first stop was Warnemunde – a quaint, beach resort town on Germany’s northern coast.

We were in port for more than 14 hours. Whereas many passengers went to Berlin, we didn’t want to spend half the day on the train to and from that famous city. Therefore, I did my research to determine what we could do with less travel. Given Germany’s rail system, we were able to get a one-day regional pass for about $10 each – a great deal! On this day, we boarded a train from Warnemunde for a trip to the town of Schwerin.

Given this region was part of Soviet-dominated East Germany, English (as a whole) was not spoken well.

In Schwerin, we walked from the train station toward town central – and we discovered that not many towns have a quaint lake within its core

Schwerin’s lovely town square

We exited the square, turned the corner, and then a wow moment – the prime reason for our journey.

We toured the wonderful  Schwerin Castle that housed the rulers of Mecklenberg

The castle grounds provide an excellent park-like setting.

On our walk back to the train station, we got a pleasant surprise – a boat racing festival – so we enjoyed watching several heats of 20-person dragon boats competing in sprint races.

Because we experienced some rain, we returned to Warnemunde, thus passing on our planned walk in Rostock (a city for which Warnemunde is a suburb). After dinner on the ship, it walked the resort community with an eventual stop for some German beer.

The day was a good one for us. The next day was a cruise day as we were bound for Tallinn, Estonia. Click here to join us in Tallinn.

On Satire Bits: Vol. 34 (Halloween)

Hurricane Sandy has inflicted its share of horror upon many. Keep them in your thoughts and prayers. I encourage readers to donate to the American Red Cross or the charity of their choice to help with relief efforts.

Even with all the troubles, its Halloween and a mid-week dose of satire is good for all. In the spirit of this ghoulish celebration, I searched The Onion’s archives for fitting headlines. Enjoy – which is your favorite?

House Haunted by Tortured Souls of Current Residents

Blood Thirsty, Uneasy Ghoul Advocates Chocolate Cereal Consumption

Sexy Nurse having Trouble Finding Halloween Costume

Study Reveals Pittsburgh Unprepared for Full-Scale Zombie Attack

Unemployed Dad Channels All His Energy into Creating Running, Haunted House

Nobody Dresses as Rutherford B. Hayes Any More

Genetic Candy Corn Linked to AIDS

Tip: Be sure child closes eyes before drilling eyeholes in mask

Zombie Corpse of Scatman Crothers Speaks Out Against Telemarketing Scheme

Best Selling Costume: Sexy Mother Teresa

Jack-o-Lantern Debuted as Pumpkin Marketing Scheme

Capitol Hill Haunted by Killed Legislation

On Tango

Time to learn something about tango. After all, it takes two. Besides the info, see the artistry in the slideshow and the videos. Any favorites? By the way, in the video, the basic rhythm of the steps goes T-A-NGO.

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“The Tango is the easiest dance. If you make a mistake and get tangled up, you just Tango on.” (Al Pacino in The Scent of a Woman.)

Tango’s origination is debatable, including to African slaves in Argentina

I associate tango as the dance of the smelly gaucho with the local lady who turns away from him because of his odor

At times in history, those condemning tango included the upper class, many Christian churches (including Roman Catholics)

Popularized from South America through Europe (especially Paris and London) and eventually to North America in the early 1900s

Tango music is phrased in multiples of 8 (as 16 and 32)

There are different types of tango: Argentine, Ballroom, Camacupense, Canyengue, Finnish, Liso, Milonguero, Nuevo, Orillero, Salon, Show, and Uruguayan. (Some of these are earlier forms that may not be danced today)

Ballroom tango has different styles as International, European, and American (the last being the more social version)

The head snaps by dancers are most associated with American Ballroom style

Movies that featured Tango dancing include (but not limited to) The Scent of a Woman, Evita, Moulin Rouge, True Lies, and Shall We Dance.

Many consider Carlos Gardel to be the first great champion of the Argentine Tango.

In 2009, UNESCO declared Tango as part of the world’s “intangible cultural heritage”

Today, a variety of music is acceptable tango music – thus tango’s revival continues

Tango can be hot!


Which was your favorite video and favorite piece of art?

On Strips for Monday

More important than the current election cycle winding down, much of this weekend’s news focuses on our friends along the U.S. east coast. Take care of yourselves!

I had fun Friday afternoon wondering if I could identify the 100,ooo visitor here. My guess is it was Viveka from Sweden, but I’m not absolutely sure.

How was your weekend? We had an evening with costume on the ballroom floor and an evening of tasting Italian wines with our fun and fellowship church wine group. In between, we even had a trip to Costco! Meanwhile, I see a busy week ahead.

There is one word to best describe this Monday Morning Entertainment – BACON! With so many people enjoying this piggly treasure, here’s a bacon minute. Enjoy – and have a good week!

On Astro Boy

Time for you to sing along with the video. And for those (like me) who don’t know the words, here’s your cue card.

There you go, Astro Boy! On your flight into space!
Rocket high, through the sky, for adventures soon you will face!
Astro Boy, bombs away, on your mission today!
Here’s the countdown, and the blastoff! Everything is go, Astro Boy!
Crowds will cheer you, you’re a hero, as you go, go, go Astro Boy!

This post is for my wife who enjoyed Astro Boy. Meanwhile, I confess not only never watching one episode, heck, I never heard of him until she mentioned him to me years ago.

Astro Boy was a robot in a world co-existing with humans

He found crime, evil, and injustice of robot-hating humans, rogue robots, and aliens

The head of the Ministry of Science created Astro Boy; Dr. Astor Boyton II (English version) or Doctor Tenma (Japanese version)

Professor Ochanomizu noticed Astro Boy performing in a circus

Astro Boy features included

  • Powerful search light eyes
  • Magnified hearing
  • Finger lasers
  • Ability to transform arms and legs into rockets
  • Machine gun hips

First appeared in Japan as a comic book published in 1952, then broadcast in Japan on January 1, 1963

Osamu Tezuka, influenced by American animators as Walt Disney and Max Fleischer, created the series and characters

104 of the original 193 episodes translated in English, which NBC broadcasted from September 1963 to August 1965

Cartoon Network broadcasted the first 52 episodes in 2007 and 2008

Here’s a 3+ minute video history of the Astro Boy franchise


That’s about it for Astro Boy from me. Enjoy the trailer and the words for your sing-a-long – which also includes a second verse

There you go, Astro Boy! On your flight into space!
Rocket high, through the sky, for adventures soon you will face!
Astro Boy, bombs away, on your mission today!
Here’s the countdown, and the blastoff! Everything is go, Astro Boy!
Crowds will cheer you, you’re a hero, as you go, go, go Astro Boy!

Astro Boy as you fly, strange new worlds you will spy!
Atom-celled, jet propelled, fighting monsters high in the sky!
Astro Boy, there you go; will you find friend or foe?
Cosmic ranger, laugh at danger! Everything is go, Astro Boy!
Crowds will cheer you, you’re a hero, as you go, go, go Astro Boy!