Sunday, January 19, 2020

7 Easy Tips How to Improve Your Writing

When you are reading your writing, all you need to do is to watch out for seven typical weak points. "If you can find them and fix them, you will be well on your way to improving your writing skills" advises Derek Haines. You can learn how to become a better writer by noticing common weaknesses:

The Passive Is To Be Eradicated

Well, I should say that you need to eradicate the passive. It is the first piece of advice great writers learn.
The active voice is always more descriptive and gives much more information. The passive voice is quick and easy, and because of this, it very often simply slips out of a writer’s fingers in a first draft. But it is uninformative.
As soon as you see the verb to be followed by a past participle, change it as in the following examples.
was instructed to go on a diet. My doctor instructed me to go on a diet.
We have been told that our flight has been delayed.
The airline told us that there was a delay in our flight.

This, That and The Other

This might come as a surprise. Um, what will?  Starting a sentence with this or that is usually a bad idea because it is often an unclear pronoun.
I didn’t finish high school. That was because I had to work.
I didn’t finish high school because I had to work.
The government is out of control. This is why I won’t vote for them.
I won’t vote for the government because it is out of control.

Read all of Derek Haines' fantastic advice on how to become a better writer:


Advice on how to market your books can be found here:

111 Tips on How to Market Your Book for Free:
Detailed Plans and Smart Strategies for Your Book’s Success 

Book Marketing on a Shoestring:
How Authors Can Promote their Books 

Without Spending a Lot of Money 

Tuesday, January 14, 2020

Do Micro Wave Ovens Kill Nutritions?

Lightly microwaving vegetables may actually help retain more nutrients than stove-top methods such as boiling. The advantage of cooking in the microwave is you often don’t need to add a lot of water than if you were boiling vegetables. Just don’t over-microwave vegetables to death.

Any form of cooking affects the nutrients in some way, as some nutrients can be heat sensitive.  The less we cook it in water, the more nutrients are going to be kept.  Likewise, the more water you cook them in, the more they can leach out.

Are Microwave Ovens Safe?
When used according to manufacturers' instructions, microwave ovens are safe and convenient for heating and cooking a variety of foods.  However, several precautions need to be taken, specifically in regards to potential exposure to microwaves, thermal burns, and food handling.

Because of the potential for uneven distribution of cooking, food heated in a microwave oven should rest for several minutes after cooking is completed to allow the heat to distribute throughout the food.  Food cooked in a microwave oven is as safe, and has the same nutrient value, as food cooked in a conventional oven.

Antioxidants are substances that theoretically protect against cell-damaging free radicals in the body, and they abound in FRESH fruits, vegetables, grains, and nuts.

Scientists found that baking, griddle-cooking and, yes, microwaving produced the lowest losses, while boiling and pressure-cooking were the hardest on antioxidants. Frying was somewhere in between.

The real culprit for lost nutrition isn't how you heat up your veggies, but how much water you use, the researchers found.  Boiling and pressure-cooking cause nutrients to leach out of veggies and into the cooking water.  When it comes to preparing vegetables, the authors concluded, "water is not the cook's best friend."

Scientistic Research
Micro-waving vs Cooking, Steaming, Blanching: The Effect of Domestic Cooking Methods on Antioxidant Capacity of Fresh and Frozen Kale

Cooking Tips:

Use microwave-safe dishes.
I think it’s always best to stick to containers which are microwave safe, and glass is also a good option to use.

Stir frequently.
To avoid any food contamination, make sure you stir your meal every so often while microwaving, especially when reheating rice.

Only add a bit of water.
For vegetables, you don’t have to use a lot of water. Just a few spoonfuls of water is fine.

Cook vegetables until just firm.
To avoid potential nutrient loss, microwave vegetables for a shorter time.

Understand your microwave.
To avoid over or under-cooking, get to know how strong your microwave is.



Wednesday, January 8, 2020

USA: Germans Refugees as Successful Entrepreneurs

"The Americans are very inclined to put the Germans a little behind. They only keep the immigrants good for work and cheat them where they can" - these lines were written by a German immigrant, a law student without an exam from the Weser estuary, in 1863, returning home from the USA.  Another let the relatives in Germany know: "... the Americans have a great dislike for all Germans and set them back everywhere...".
Around 52 million Europeans left the continent in the 19th century, a large proportion of them moving to the USA. Germans, in particular, migrated to the land of "unlimited opportunities".  This is about a time when the Germans were the refugees - and they founded companies in their new homeland that are still famous today.
Germans who left their homeland and disembarked in New York were not welcomed with open arms -  probably also due to the large number.  In the years from 1880 to 1885 alone, around 850,000 Germans are said to have left their homeland and made a pilgrimage overseas. It was a strenuous journey - and yet some six million! Germans set off on their journey between 1820 and 1930.

"Nowhere else does the legal, wise and active man live so well, so freely, so happily as in America, the poorest better than the one in Europe two steps higher," wrote H. W. E. Eggerling in "Short Description of the United States of North America" in 1832.

The USA became a place of longing.  At the beginning of the 19th century, few Germans left their homeland.  Religious reasons - once an important reason for flight - faded into the background.  However, failed harvests and the resulting price explosion, famine and the arrogance of the craft guilds made emigration more attractive - despite the strains of the crossing.

Hardly Controlled Migration
The migrants were on the move for up to six months: by ship and barges, horse-drawn carts and on foot.  "The period between the end of the Napoleonic Wars and the beginning of the First World War was a phase of unbound 'proletarian mass migration'," writes historian and migration researcher Jochen Oltmer.
This phase was "characterized by 'free' cross-border migration, which was hardly hindered and only rarely controlled by the state or the administration.  This phase, which spanned the entire so-called 'long' 19th century, led over 50 million Europeans overseas. Apart from various continental immigration and emigration movements, with around 40 million, mostly to the United States.
Hamburg, Bremen, and Bremerhaven were developing into major emigrant ports. This poses logistical challenges for the cities because those willing to travel want to be accommodated until the ships leave.  Emigrant houses were being built.  And the US ports were also increasingly gearing up for the wave of migrants.  Ellis Island, an island at the mouth of the Hudson River, had been developed into an immigration station.
Ellis Island                                                                         
"The decision to make Ellis Island an immigration collection point in New York was made by the US government.  Since 1890, it has regulated nationwide immigration," Barry Moreno, explained a historian at the Ellis Island Immigration Museum in New York.  "The government wanted to enforce stricter rules to limit the number of immigrants.  Since immigrants were blamed by the population for the rising crime rate, authorities preferred an isolated location."

Germans and the Problem of Integration
About 40 percent of all Americans have ancestors who came into the country via Ellis Island.  From 1892 on, inspectors controlled the immigrants:  What is the profession of the newcomers?  How much money do they have with them?  Do they have diseases?  And: Do they speak enough English?
The German immigrants were particularly lacking in language - this also contributed to their bad reputation.  And it made their integration more difficult.  However, they worked hard and were considered to be resourceful.
Some Germans Refugees Became Successful Entrepreneurs:
At the end of the 19th century, German workers, especially from southern Germany, were recruited - among other things for the construction of the railway lines.  Many Companies founded by these immigrants from Germany have survived to this day.
One of them was Marcus Goldman from Trappstadt in Lower Franconia, who left his homeland in 1848 and went to the USA.  After the turmoil of the Civil War (1861 to 1865), he opened a one-room office in New York, where he bought promissory notes from tobacco and diamond dealers and sold the bills of exchange to bankers.  In 1882, his son-in-law, Samuel Sachs, joined the company.  Goldman's son Henry and Samuel Sachs are considered the founders of the world-famous bank Goldman Sachs.  In 2017, the financial house generated approximately 916 million US dollars.

Karl Pfizer from Ludwigsburg also wanted to make his fortune in the USA.  His emigration was not entirely voluntary: he is one of the "forty-eighters" who left Europe in the wake of the failed European Revolution of 1848/49.  Pfizer, the fifth child of a master confectioner and himself a pharmacist's apprentice, joined forces with his cousin Charles after his arrival in New York.  They borrowed 2500 dollars and opened a pharmaceutical shop in Brooklyn.  There they sold Santonin, a chemical used to combat parasitic worms. These white crystals were to become the first commercial success of the pharmaceutical company Pfizer.
Airplanes Instead of Lumber
Wilhelm Eduard Böing lost his father whom he admired very much, at the age of nine due to influenza.  Wilhelm Böing Senior had migrated from Limburg/Sauerland in the USA in 1868 and had made a considerable fortune with a timber trade in Detroit.  His mother sent him to a boarding school in Switzerland.  When he returned to the USA, he changed his clearly German name to the more English variant William Edward Boeing.  Although he worked in his father's timber business, his love for airplanes made him one of the most important producers of airplanes.
Friedrich Trump, the young man from Kallstadt, Rheinland Pfalz, had already completed a hairdresser's training and had migrated to the USA at the age of just 16.  Trump was not satisfied.  Now, in his early 20s, he wanted to become rich.  He borrowed money to take over a small restaurant in a filthy Seattle district.  Until then, he was living with his sister in New York.  A very German life: He spoke German, dressed like he did at home, and ate German food.  In Seattle this period was over, he became an American.  But it wasn't until real estate deals in Queens that he became really rich.  The empire was inherited by his son and then Donald Trump, his grandson.



Wednesday, January 1, 2020

Roasted Chestnuts: My Favored Winter Treats

Chestnuts are a quintessential flavor of the holiday season. Roasting them on an open fire means one thing: Christmas. It's the first line of the "The Christmas Song," - but the holiday staple deserves a spot in more than just carols and the turkey stuffing.  

One of the most delicious winter food treats I am missing most in North America is roasted chestnuts.  Walking in cold weather over the Christmas markets, warming my hands on a bag of chestnuts, just taken out of the oven, is one of my beloved winter memories. 

In Switzerland and Italy, you can find the chestnut paste, pressed through a sieve, looking like spaghetti and topped with a generous load of whipped cream, in every coffee shop or gelateria.

In Germany, Austria, Switzerland, Slowakia, Tschechien, and many other countries, the chestnut paste is offered in every grocery store. There you can find it in the frozen foods department, usually in the ice cream section.

Chestnuts taste buttery and slightly sweet and are a great snack on their own.  They also can be used in a myriad of recipes ranging from stuffings to desserts.  According to The Local, Swiss people eat nearly 2,000 tons of chestnuts a year.  The chestnuts are usually eaten in sweet desserts or just roasted and eaten out of paper cones on the street.

"Chestnuts are an excellent source of manganese, molybdenum, and copper and a good source of magnesium.  In addition, they are a good source of vitamin C as well as vitamins B1, B2, and B6 and folic acid.  The health benefits of chestnuts center on their nutritional content.  However, unlike other nuts, chestnuts are a low-fat variety and do not provide the benefits of a high level of monounsaturated fat."
Michael T. Murray, ND
Naturopathic Medicine

"Chestnuts are the only low-fat nuts, containing just 1 gram of fat and a little less than 70 calories per ounce of dried or roasted nuts.  Additionally, chestnuts are the only nuts that contain vitamin C.  In fact, just 3 ounces of chestnuts supply about 45% of the recommended daily amount of this vital antioxidant nutrient.  And they’re a great source of dietary fiber, which helps lower blood cholesterol levels. When chestnuts are in season, you can roast them in the oven.  If you’re pressed for time, you can buy them prepackaged and ready to eat any time of year.  You should eat up to three ounces of chestnuts a day to maximize their benefits."
This content originally appeared on

The Chestnut Trail in South Tyrolia
The chestnut trail in the Valle Iscarco, in German called “Keschtnweg”, connects the 60 km long sunny slopes between Bolzano and Bressanone and from Bolzano and Merano.
Particularly in autumn, the chestnut trail is definitely one of the hiking highlights in South Tyrol.

No matter if you prefer to do a tour of several days or just one or two single stages, hiking on the chestnut trail is always a great opportunity to connect hiking and enjoying tasty local dishes and drinks, particularly during the “Törggelen“ time between September and November.

Tips for Roasting Chestnuts
Oven-roasted chestnuts are easy to make and give you a buttery and slightly sweet snack that is good on its own or in recipes. The shell must be cut before roasting.  If the shell isn’t cut, it will cause the chestnuts to explode from the trapped steam.  Plus, this makes them easier to peel.

Steam makes peeling easier.  Soaking the scored chestnuts helps them absorb water between the shell and the nut.  This creates extra steam between the nut and outer shell and separates the two for easier peeling.  Bonus, it also helps keep the nuts moist.

There are two layers of shell.  There is the hard outer shell, as well as a fuzzy, thin inner shell.  This inner shell can grow into the ridges of the chestnut and be difficult to remove, especially if the chestnut is dry or old.  Use the tip of a sharp knife to help remove the difficult spot.

Adding them to your diet will benefit your weight loss journey. According to various studies, eating plenty of fiber may help promote bowel movements, reduce blood cholesterol levels, regulate blood sugar levels and keep your gut healthy.



Sunday, December 29, 2019

How People Read Web Content - Might Surprise You...

How People Read Online Content? 
They don’t read at all - they only scan…

6 Facts About Reading Online:

  • Web-users focus 80% of their time ABOVE the page fold - barely any scrolling…
  • Most web visitors look at 100% of the visuals (photos, slides, graphics)
  • While the average adult reads about 250 words per minute (one page) - the average person will read less than 62 words on a web page
  • Use high-quality, large images on your website - and place the most important content ABOVE the fold
  • On your website use bold, italics or pops of color to highlight important content.
  • Use numbered and bulleted lists on your website to structure your content

See the complete Infographic here:



Books by Doris-Maria Heilmann:

Audiobooks for Success
Valuable guide book for authors, audiobook publishers, narrators, voice-over artists, and audiobook listeners. Learn how to create, produce, publish, and market your audiobooks.

111 Tips to Create Impressive Videos:
How to Plan, Create, Upload and Market Videos

111 Tips To Make (More) Money With Writing
The Art of Making a Living Full-time Writing -
An Essential Guide for More Income as Freelancer

111 Tips on How to Market Your Book for Free:
Detailed Plans and Smart Strategies for Your Book’s Success

111 Tips to Get Free Book Reviews:
Best Strategies for Getting Lots of Great Reviews
plus 1,200+ reviewer contact links

111 Tips to Create Your Book Trailer
How to Create, Where to Upload and How to Market Your Videos

Book Marketing on a Shoestring:
How Authors Can Promote their Books 
Without Spending a Lot of Money

Hello Friends, visit my Author Page here:

Thursday, December 19, 2019

Facts About Google / Alphabet

The original name of Google was Backrub. They called it that because the algorithm ranked pages based on how many "backlinks" a page had.

The genealogy of the Google patent is interesting.  It refers to another patent owned by Dow Jones that was very similar to the Google patent and was developed by a guy named Robin Li when he worked for a company owned by Dow Jones.  Both patents used similar ideas of ranking a page not necessarily by using the text on the page but also by counting how many links referenced the page.  Dow Jones wasn't really sure what to do with the patent (called RankDex) so Robin Li left the company and went to China. While there he licensed the patent from Dow Jones for almost nothing and started (and is still CEO of) a little company called Baidu.  It's interesting that the same basic idea inspired both Google and Baidu.

The Google algorithm is called PageRank.  You would think it was named after its ability to rank pages but Google claims it is named after Larry Page.  But that's not the interesting thing.  The interesting thing is that Stanford holds the patent.  They were given 1.8mm shares which they sold in 2005 for $336 million.  Basically, colleges should encourage the actual developers of their patents to start companies.  It pays off.

The PageRank algorithm can not only rank pages for search engines but the exact same algorithm can be used to determine which species are about to go extinct.  This paper describes it in detail.  But basically, a "backlink" is similar to species that another species can eat to survive.  The more "backlinks" in this sense that a species has, the more likely it is to NOT go extinct. Interesting.

Larry Page and Sergey Brin are the two richest guys in the country to not make any political contributions.  The twenty or so billionaires richer than them all make political contributions. They don't want to get anyone upset. However, Google spent more on lobbying last year than Yahoo, Facebook, and Apple combined.

Larry Page and Sergey Brin originally wanted to be academics.  They didn't want to build a business.  They developed their initial search engine and then tried to shop it around. They were actually willing to sell it for $1 million in 1997.  They went all over Silicon Valley to try and sell their search engine.  They went to Yahoo, who turned them down.  Later, in 2002, Yahoo tried to buy them for $3 billion but at that point, Google turned them down. Now Google is worth $150 billion.

The "I am Feeling Lucky" button probably costs Google about $110 million a year.  When you click on that button it just takes you to the top search result.  In other words, you skip all the ads that Google makes money on.  So why don't they just take that button off? Focus groups apparently show that people feel more comfortable with the button on there.



Friday, December 6, 2019

Review of: TO LIVE IS TO FLY

TO LIVE IS TO FLY: Memoirs of an Executive Pilot by Doris Daily is a swift peek inside the lifestyle of an executive corporate pilot. Early on, Doris had no great ambitions to be a pilot. A pilot needed to be good at mathematics and physics and that simply wasn’t Doris’s thing.

She was more interested in the arts and so, when a friend suggested she take a radio communication course, it ignited a passion inside her to learn to fly and to ultimately become a commercial pilot during a period when female commercial pilots were still a real rarity.

Living in Europe meant that her professional career was always going to offer unusual and exciting destinations with lots of variations. In this story, she documents the journey she took in a “man’s world” and how flying became as critical to her life as breathing.

Along the way she gives advice on how to avoid some of the pitfalls she encountered, especially as she makes a comparison of the pros and cons between commercial piloting for an airline and the corporate executive flying, which she preferred.

This is a book about a life that no doubt had its fair share of adventure. TO LIVE IS TO FLY: Memoirs of an Executive Pilot really is the story of one woman’s passion and love of aviation. 

Her sheer pleasure in her job shone through on every page. Author Doris Daily’s writing style is simple and uncomplicated and I found the anecdotes both funny and interesting.

Of special interest were her dealings with airport officials in Soviet Bloc countries both before and after the collapse of the Soviet Union. It was fascinating to view the differences between the two Germanys that still clearly existed even after reunification.

As someone who has a deep fascination with air travel and has never pursued it, Doris Daily’s story allowed me to vicariously live the life of a pilot and understand that it is not always about glamour and glitz - it is the love of flying that commands pilots to stick at it.

I thought her comparisons between the life of an airline pilot and that of an executive corporate pilot were very telling and it was clear she felt she had made the right choice of a career path in aviation. This is a fascinating read and I can definitely recommend this book.

Reviewed By Grant Leishman


TO LIVE IS TO FLY: Memoirs of an Executive Pilot
(English language)

Friday, November 29, 2019

In a Fraction of a Second...

On the last day before Christmas, I hurried to go to the supermarket to buy the gifts I didn't manage to buy earlier. When I saw all the people there, I started to complain to myself: 'It is going to take forever here and I still have so many other places to go... ''Christmas really is getting more and more annoying every year. How I wish I could just lie down, go to sleep and only wake up after the holidays."

Nonetheless, I made my way to the toy section, and there I started to curse the prices, wondering if kids really play with such expensive toys. While looking in the toy section, I noticed a small boy about 5 years old, pressing a doll against his chest. He kept on touching the hair of the doll and looked so sad. I wondered who this doll was for.

Then the little boy turned to the old woman next to him: "Granny, are you sure I don't have enough money?' The old lady replied: 'You know that you don't have enough money to buy this doll, my dear.'

Then she asked him to stay here for 5 minutes while she went to look around. She left quickly. The little boy was still holding the doll in his hand.

Finally, I started to walk towards him and asked who he wanted to give this doll to. "It is the doll that my sister loved most and wanted so much for this Christmas. She was so sure that Santa Claus would bring it to her.'

 I replied to him that maybe Santa Claus will bring it to her after all, and not to worry. But he replied to me sadly, "No, Santa Claus cannot bring it to her where she is now. I have to give the doll to my mother so that she can give it to her when she goes there.'" His eyes were so sad while saying this, "My sister has gone to be with God. Daddy says that Mommy will also go to see God very soon, so I thought that she could bring the doll with her to give it to my sister'.

My heart nearly stopped. The little boy looked up at me and said, "I told daddy to tell mommy not to go yet. I asked him to wait until I come back from the supermarket." Then he showed me a very nice photo of him where he was laughing. He then told me, "I also want mommy to take this photo with her so that she will not forget me. I love my mommy and I wish she didn't have to leave me but daddy says that she has to go to be with my little sister."

Then he looked again at the doll with sad eyes, very quietly. I quickly reached for my wallet and took a few bills and said to the boy. "What if we checked again, just in case if you have enough money?'

"Ok"' he said, "I hope that I have enough," I added some of my money to his without him seeing and we started to count it. There was enough for the doll, and even some spare money. The little boy said, "'Thank you God for giving me enough money".

Then he looked at me and added, "I asked yesterday before I slept for God to make sure I have enough money to buy this doll so that mommy can give it to my sister. He heard me. I also wanted to have enough money to buy a white rose for my mommy, but I didn't dare to ask God too much. But He gave me enough to buy the doll and the white rose. You know, my mommy loves white roses."

A few minutes later, the old lady came again and I left with my shopping cart. I finished my shopping in a totally different state from when I started. I couldn't get the little boy out of my mind.

Then I remembered a local newspaper article 2 days ago, which mentioned a drunk man in a truck who hit a car where there were one young lady and a little girl. The little girl died right away, and the mother was left in a critical state. The family had to decide whether to pull the plug on the life-support machine because the young lady would not be able to get out of the coma. Was this the family of the little boy?

Two days after this encounter with the little boy, I read in the newspaper that the young lady had passed away. I couldn't stop myself and went to buy a bunch of white roses and I went to the funeral home where the body of the young woman was lying in state for people to see and make a last wish before burial.

She was there, in her coffin, holding a beautiful white rose in her hand with the photo of the little boy and the doll placed over her chest. I left the place crying, feeling that my life had been changed forever.

The love that this little boy had for his mother and his sister is still, to this day, hard to imagine. And in a fraction of a second, a drunk man had taken all this away from him.

Now you have two choices:
  1) Send this message to everybody that you know.
  2) Or delete it and do as if it never touched your heart.

If you send this message, maybe you will help prevent someone from drunk driving.

Thursday, November 21, 2019

Snow in Canada

 - or 30 days to a nervous breakdown...

It started snowing. The first snow this year. My wife and I took our cocktails and sat at the window for hours watching huge wise flakes float down from the sky. It looked like a fairy tale. So romantic - we felt like newlyweds. I love the snow.

December 9 
When we woke up again, a huge, beautiful blanket of white snow had covered every inch of the landscape. What a fantastic sight! Can there be a better place in the world? Moving here was the best idea I ever had in my life. I shoveled snow for the first time in years and felt like a little boy again. I shoveled the driveway and the sidewalk. This afternoon the snowplow passed by and pushed everything back in, so I took the shovel out again. What a great life.

December 12
The sun has melted all our beautiful snow. What a disappointment. But my neighbor says that I shouldn't worry, we will have a white Christmas. No snow at Christmas would be terrible. Bob says that we will have so much snow by the end of the year that I never want to see snow again. I don't think anything like that is possible. Bob is very nice - I am glad that he is our neighbor.

December 14 
Snow, wonderful snow! 30 cm last night. The temperature has dropped to - 20 degrees. This cold makes everyone sparkle. The wind takes your breath away, but I warmed up while shoveling. This is life. By the way, the snowplow came back this afternoon and pushed everything back in. I don't know if I have to shovel that much anymore, but it will get me back into shape. I wished, however, that I would not have to gasp and puff so much.

December 15 
60 cm snowfall forecast. I sold my station wagon and bought a jeep. At the same time a set of winter tires for my wife's car and two extra shovels. I filled the fridge. My wife wants a wood stove in case the electricity fails. I find that ridiculous - after all, we are not in Alaska here.

December 16 
Ice storm this morning. I fell on my ass trying to sprinkle salt in the driveway. Hellish hurting. My wife laughed for an hour. I find that quite cruel.

December 17 
The temperature is still far below zero. The roads are too icy to go anywhere. The power went out for five hours. I had to wrap myself in blankets in order not to freeze to death No TV. Nothing happens but to stare at my wife and try to irritate her. Now I think we should have bought a wood stove, but I would never admit that.

December 20 
The power's back on. But also 40 cm of this damn white stuff last night! That means for me even more shoveling. It took the whole day. The fucking snowplow came by twice today. I tried to persuade the neighbor children to shovel snow. But they say they don't have time because they have to play hockey. I think they are lying!

December 21
I wanted to buy a snow cutter. But they didn't have anymore. We won't get any back until March. But I think they are lying as well. Bob tells me that I urgently need to shovel snow, or the city will do it and send me a bill.

December 22
Bob was right about the white Christmas. Tonight we had another 30 cm of the white stuff. It is so cold that the snow will probably not melt until August. Today it took me 45 minutes to get dressed for shoveling. But then I had to pee. When I finally undressed, peed and dressed again, I was too tired to shovel. I tried to hire my neighbor Bob to push snow for the rest of the winter. He's got a snow-blower on his truck, but he says he's got too much to do. But I think the motherfucker is lying.

December 23 
Only 10 cm of fresh snow today. It has warmed up to 0 degrees. My wife wanted me to decorate the house today. Maybe she is crazy. I have no time for it. At least I have to shovel snow. Why didn't she tell me about decorating a month ago? She says she did. But I think she is lying.

December 24 
20 cm of fresh snow. The snow is so firmly pushed together by the snowplow that I have broken off the shovel. I thought I was having a heart attack. If I ever get this ass driving the snowplow, I will punch him!

December 25 
Merry Christmas. Again 60 cm from the white sh....  The thought of snow shovels makes my blood boil. God how I hate snow. Then the driver of the snowplow passed by. He asked politely for a donation. I pulled the shovel over his head. My wife says that I have no manners.  But I think she is an idiot.  If I have to listen to her Wolfgang Petry's CD again, I will kill her.

December 26 
We're still snowed in. Why on earth did we move here? It was all YOUR idea. She gets on my nerves so much.

December 27 
Temperature's dropped to -30 degrees. The water pipes are frozen. And broke...

December 28 
It warmed up to - 5 degrees. We are still snowed in.

December 29 
Another 30 cm of snow. Bob says to clear the roof or it will collapse. That's the craziest thing I've ever heard. How stupid everybody thinks I am.

December 30
The roof collapsed. The snowplow driver will sue me for DM 50,000 in damages. My wife went to her mother. They predicted another 25 cm of snow.

December 31
I ignited the rest of the house. Never will shovel snow again.

January 8 
I'm all right. I'm all right. I like the little pills they give me all the time. Why am I tied to the bed?