This is a Volkswagen Type 2, 1st generation, a pickup no less, that we saw in San Jose today. Reminds me of the Bug I saw a while ago, but unlike that one, these light trucks were apparently not manufactured after 1967 anymore, so are increasingly rare. Very cool car!
I saw this today at the gas station: The US mineral oil tax rates. For your entertainment, let's compare those with the equivalent back in Germany (Note that I am intentionally not considering sales tax).
State and federal taxes added together, one pays 53.7 US cents per gallon in fuel taxes per gallon of gasoline. At a price of 4.35 per gallon (for premium fuel, in this case), that's about 12 percent.
In Germany, the fuel tax is 65.45 EUR cents per liter, or 3.50 US dollars per gallon. Premium fuel is currently about 1.65 EUR/l (or 8.83 USD/gal), so the fuel tax amounts to about 39.6 percent, or more than three times the percentage in the US.
You are welcome to draw numerous conclusions from this (and are encouraged to leave those in the comments), I will only add one for now: As you can see, the tax rates differ significantly, but even if you remove the fuel (and, not shown here, the sales tax) from this mix, the prices still don't even out -- indicating that fuel is not only taxed differently on either side of the pond, but is also behaves significantly different as a product. Sounds like an interesting economic research topic to me.
Today, no less than a quarter cow made its way into our house and found a new home in our freezer. I promise we'll treat it well.
I like Orange soda, like the French-origin Orangina. It actually tastes quite close to (German) Fanta, which is yellow and might even have some orange in it (something I can't say about the American kind). Both of them are second on my list only to San Pellegrino Aranciata, the contender of Italian origin.
You'll notice I said "origin" twice which is because both of the "old-world" sodas have meanwhile been acquired by ginormous companies and are now marketed by those as part of their brand portfolio, and with little to nothing to do with where they originally came from. Which is also how they end up in American grocery stores. But unlike Fanta, which apart from its name shares not even a close resemblance between countries, at least these two taste the same as in Europe, as far as I can tell.
I saw this banner on a (well, a dozen) lamp post this week. In general, nothing exceptional, but such things always make me smirk when I imagine just how strange it would be to see something comparable in a German city: A huge German flag, with the words "Hintertupfingen -- eine tolle deutsche Stadt!"
Tarte flambée, or Flammekueche, is a delicious dish from Alsace, consisting of thinly rolled out bread dough, which is covered with fromage blanc, onions and bacon.
It's one of those things that I thought I couldn't find all the way over here, but turns out, Trader Joe's had mercy!
This week, my new business cards arrived. Finally, I don't need to work on them with a pen anymore before handing them off (highly professional, I know ;)). For a more legitimate use case of drawing on these: At conferences, I've struck out the address before and wrote "anywhere" for people interested in working remotely.
Looks like I need to clean up my stash of magazines...
When coming home from vacation, this tin sign had jumped off
a cliff and bent a corner in the process. Apparently, those poster sticky thingies are not made for tin signs, even the paper thin variant? Seems like I need to engineer a slightly cleverer way of hanging this up.