This is not a good time to visit Paris. Security is not the problem: all hotels are full of men and women with big egos and their accompanying entourages. Imagine working at a hotel and having to serve these people.
Men and women used to telling lies for a living are pretending to seek an agreement on a ways to prevent the human race from destroying the planet. Of course, some of these folks can agree to something in Paris, which they cannot get past their national congresses. The biggest culprit is trying to lead the pack, but there is no chance of Republicans agreeing to anything that will hurt profits of their paymasters.
The planet has no chance…
The key to great French toast—in case you do not know!—is the bread. There is little difference to be found in eggs, milk, or cinnamon.
I have been eating French toast for as long as I can remember. As a child, I was served the variety using store-bought bread that had been filled with chemicals, made in a factory, and packed in plastic. The same version was served at restaurants. Not knowing any better, I enjoyed this whenever I could have it.
After leaving college and beginning to widen my experience, I discovered how much I had missed and had suffered. The epiphany happened in a restaurant in Aspen, Colorado. I was served a thick slice of bread, unusual because every piece of French toast I had eaten for years had been exactly the same thickness. The bread had been made locally, so enhanced the taste in combination with egg and cinnamon. In those days, no one was foolish enough to add fruit or sprinkle the toast with powder sugar. All you needed was butter and maple syrup: the real stuff, not the kind made with corn syrup and artificial maple flavoring.
As mentioned often in the past, an appealing feature of life in Germany is bakeries. Quality varies, depending upon the ingredients, skill, and practices of the baker, but all white bread is significantly better than any found in the land of my birth. The English have a saying about comparisons: as different as chalk and cheese.
Today, I enjoyed what ranks up there with the best ever. The bread comes from a small bakery in a rural village; the baker drives his truck twice a week to the farmers’ market in the neighbouring town. This is the only market stand where there is invariably a line, although bakers abound in all towns. In the small town in which I live, there are eight. I have found one that makes white bread I like, but it does not match that from the market baker.
So, class, what did we learn today? If you want great French toast, you must find great white bread. And, forget about powdered sugar and fruit.
Fortunately, no Republican idiot tried to change the name to Freedom Toast, and now the French our friends again.
Advent in Germany means one thing: Christmas markets, which means one other thing: Glühwein (mulled wine or hot wine punch). Christmas markets are very popular, in spite of the usual miserable weather. This explains—partly—the fondness for hot wine. The main ingredient is usually the cheapest wine available (profit drives people willing to stand for hours in the cold and rain/snow), but this is masked by spices and sweeteners. Additional favourites at Christmas markets are tree decorations, grilled sausages, potato pancakes, and local musical groups, who can perform in front of a captive audience--Glühwein fanatics.
I have difficulty understanding the appeal of either the hot wine or the Christmas market, so tend to avoid both.
English news reports on British politics can be entertaining. Currently, heated debates are raging in parliament about what to do in Syria. The RAF is permitted to bomb Iraq, but not Syria. The party in power wants to extend the bombing campaign into Syria “to make the nation safe”.
In reality, the RAF has 6 (six) aircraft capable of dropping a bomb. Increasing their mission will limit the amount they can achieve in either country.
The stated target is ISIS, which is surely quaking in their sandals about the threat of the British juggernaut. Mutual hate is a given, although folks on the ground have more reason, given the history of the region.
Listening to the British prime minister, one has the impression that he is either posturing to voters or is deluded. The media bosses support him, whichever the case might be, and attack opposing politicians that question the wisdom of dropping a few scattered bombs to protect the Gilded Isles. The opposition leader is being trashed for his common sense and restraint.
Not all have forgotten that the Empire has collapsed, and most have forgotten—or never knew—of the damage over the centuries caused by foolish politicians and military leaders sitting comfortably in London.
The prime minister and his advisors have, obviously, never heard of the game Whack-a-mole.
Disturbed Man Tries to Get Into White House
BY ANDY BOROWIT
WASHINGTON (The Borowitz Report) – A disturbed Canadian man wants to try to get into the White House, according to reports.
The man, who was born in Calgary before drifting to Texas, has been spotted in Washington, D.C. in recent years exhibiting erratic behavior, sources said.
In 2013, he gained entry to the United States Senate and was heard quoting incoherently from a children’s book before he was finally subdued.
More recently, he was heard ranting about a plan to dismantle large components of the federal government, such as the Internal Revenue Service and the nation’s health-care program.
Despite a record of such bizarre episodes and unhinged utterances, observers expressed little concern about his plans to get into the White House, calling them “delusional.”
I noticed that some parts of the world are celebrating the theft of land from Native Americans and myths propagated by white men and women. In the spirit of things, I wish all a Happy Thanksgiving, tolerance for the indignities of air travel to reach the feast, limited arguments about politics, and no suffering from indigestion.
For my part, I have enjoyed left-over turkey for the fifth day. I enjoy a turkey sandwich on good (available in Germany) white bread with butter and salt. I think that I have enough meat left for two more days. That will keep me satisfied until next year!
I spotted a nativity scene in the window of a gift shop selling Christmas decorations. One aspect caught my attention and made me think. Germany, being more tolerant than the United States, does not forbid nativity scenes. Most displays have the traditional items: kid in a manger, proud parents, a cow, a donkey, and “wise men” from the East. That last figures caused me to wonder if they are still part of a nativity scene—where they are still permitted—in the United States. After all, these figures wear the traditional garb of the Middle East and, therefore, look like—what else?—Muslim terrorists.
The good folks at Fox News are surely faced with an insurmountable dilemma: How can they balance ranting about a phoney “War on Christmas” and their Islamophobia with praising a need for public displays of the nativity peopled with terrorists?
Talking heads are doing a whole bunch of talkin’…
Listening to the rhetoric, I am certain that many men (and women), all of whom would suffer no harm or consequences, would love to see a “real” war. That makes the news of a Russian fighter being shot down by the Turkish air force less than heartening.
Simple minds do not understand why two nations, which are supposed to be fight the same enemy, would shot down each other’s aircraft. Less-informed minds—Fox News viewers, for example—would not understand why Turkey is opposed to Russia bombing Syria. Most think that daily events in the Middle East are all about ISIS and nothing else.
Turkey has been feeling its oats lately. Or, more precisely, the “president” is feeling his oats and fulfilling his dreams of megalomania. He’s not happy about western nations (read: United States) supply arms to the Kurds, who hate the Turks and want their own country. He wants President Assad toppled from power. His nation supports rebels that are attacking the Assad regime. Russia is supportive of Assad, so are bombing rebels attempting to topple Assad. Most people think that Russia is bombing ISIS, but they are not. US and France are bombing ISIS and not rebels attempting to topple Assad. Clear? It’s not that simple, but it explains why Turkey shot at Russia.
News crawlers are particularly entertaining today. Earlier, I read that Turkey warned the Russian pilots “ten times”, before firing missiles. Later, a report suggests that the Russian aircraft were in Turkish airspace of “17 seconds”. My question: what language was used to warn the Russians? And, how rapidly must one speak to get 10 warnings out in 17 seconds? If one studies the flight path of the Russian planes, it is easy to surmise that Turkey wanted to shoot down a plane and some pilot was not acting recklessly, but with orders from above. Turkey’s self-appointed emperor feels untouchable…
People being murdered by gunmen (and gunwomen) frequently fill the media around the world (sadly, more frequently in one country!). But, there seems to be differences. In Europe, terrorists threaten peace and stability; in the Middle East, religious fanatics kill those of a different faith; and, in the United States, people that can easily obtain guns kill other Americans for a number of reasons.
What’s my point? People don’t kill people; guns kill people.
Prior to writing novels, the author enjoyed a multifaceted career: from decorated combat aviator to advertising professional to global communications director of a major consumer brand. He has traveled the world and met sports, film and television stars, political leaders, and royalty. He graduated from Middlebury College, is married, lives in Germany, and has two grown children.