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2009-01-02 17:09

In which the loose change in our pockets would be legal tender in Bratislava too, if we ever actually had loose change in our pockets

A hearty welcome to the Slovakie:

La Slovaquie a abandonn la couronne pour la devise europenne, mercredi soir au douzime coup de minuit, devenant ainsi le 16me pays membre du club de leuro.

On the twelfth stroke of midnight on Wednesday evening the Slovakie has abandoned or relinquished its crown for the european currency, becoming thus the sixteenth member of the Euro club.

The Slovakie is, of course, to be confused with the Slovenie, which it is now reassuringly also not to be distinguished from by currency.

2008-12-30 12:46

Niedergrossen! (and other things that aren't actually Cherman for downsizing)

It is the University of Southern California, which in practice means LA, and it is in particular its Cherman department, which it is closing:

Barclay said he saw USCs action as part of a broader, disturbing trend in American higher education. We have an unfortunate propensity in the way we organize international education, to be crisis driven.... So we have a crisis and realize we dont have anyone who speaks Arabic, so we frantically throw money at programs to teach Arabic, or the Cold War ends and we say lets cut money for Russian, he said. Just because the European Union is not an institution that is scintillating with intrinsic excitement, its still darn important.

We actually don't really mind one way or another. Our paternal grandfather allegedly used to joke in the 1970s that optimists were learning Japanese and pessimists were learning Russian. (Curiously, we have a sister who does indeed speak Japanese and another sister who does indeed speak Russian, although their temperments do not so far as we know really explain how it came about.)

Meanwhile we're still learning Cherman, and our plans not to do so in Los Angeles are unchanged at the time of writing.

2008-12-29 23:56

Why we are up so very late

That would be on account of little Boris, who has lately been combining an ear infection that doesn't seem to be very impressed by antibiotics with a rash of molars. He's not very happy, or very sleepy, and we are currently on call for the night shift.

During which we are typing this on our exhiliratingly tiny new toy: an Asus nanoputer, which Santa brought us for Twinkletree. (We have incriminating pictures of him and the reindeers, which explains that.)

We smuggled it in to the Benelux, since we insisted on the Linux version and that is unavailable here. And we're glad we did, because there's nothing quite like opening a shell and running vi(2) on a teensy clamshell fashion-accessory. (We haven't installed Emacs yet but we will, don't worry.)

For the rest the Twinkletree season has been celebrated in a satisfactory manner, and the Dowager Countess is in attendance to see her grandson and the skihoppning, very much in that order, and it is even gratifyingly cool outside.

If we could all just get some zliep, it'd be all but perfect.

2008-12-22 15:11

Time for Twinkletrees!

Boris is zleeping, at last: an ear infection has caused some sleepless nights for all concerned.

And good old Belgium is back in crisis: King Albert has allegedly gone so far as to postpone the recording of his Twinklespeech (which he does in competent but glacially-slow Dutch) until he's decided whether to accept Guy "Quitter" Leterme's fourth attempt to resign.

And our mother is on her way to the Netherlands to festivise Twinkletree the Dutch way - which is pretty much like the Engleesh way only with less presents. Our mission, which we have chosen to accept, is to have showered and shaved before she turns up.

And Eng-ger-lnd are losing a cricket match, but that has more or less gone back to going without saying these days.

And we certainly wish our Varied Reader the Twinkliest of Trees, and we look forward to live-blogging more of the skihoppning once our new little laptop arrives. (What 'bladets or krants do Chermanophone skihoppning fans turn to for their many updates, we meanwhile muse or ponder. We tried the Munich Suedeutsche first, but they were having none of it.)

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