Archives for category: tips
Das Kloster Mariense

Urlaub im Kloster liegt im Trend in Deutschland. Ein Ort ohne TV, ohne Fernsehen, ohne Internet, ohne Handy, und dann noch früh aufstehen. Für einige Menschen schon. Sie tauchen ein in die ruhige Welt der Klöster, um neue Kraft zu schöpfen. Es fällt dort leichter als in anderen Orten, den Lärm und die Hektik des Alltags hinter sich zu lassen.

Das Kloster Mariensee wurde in 1207 gegründet und liegt in nordwestlich von Hannover. Es bietet zahlreiche Möglichkeiten für Menschen, die eine Auszeit nehmen wollen: Tage der Stille, Seminare, und Kurse in alter Schrift. Die Preise dafür sind günstig. Eine Übernachtung mit Verpflegung kostet nur 50 Euro! 

Vacationing in a medieval cloister is the newest trend in Germany. A place without TV, without internet, without cell phones, and an early rising. For some people it’s a place to find peace and a place to recharge. 

The Mariensee Cloister was founded in 1207 and is open to the public for overnight stays. It’s northwest of Hannover and is an easy drive from Berlin. There’s something for everyone including seminars and courses. Of course, you can do nothing at all. The cost is right too: only 50 Euros per night, including meals!

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Das Kloster Mariense

Urlaub im Kloster liegt im Trend in Deutschland. Ein Ort ohne TV, ohne Fernsehen, ohne Internet, ohne Handy, und dann noch früh aufstehen. Für einige Menschen schon. Sie tauchen ein in die ruhige Welt der Klöster, um neue Kraft zu schöpfen. Es fällt dort leichter als in anderen Orten, den Lärm und die Hektik des Alltags hinter sich zu lassen.

Das Kloster Mariensee wurde in 1207 gegründet und liegt in nordwestlich von Hannover. Es bietet zahlreiche Möglichkeiten für Menschen, die eine Auszeit nehmen wollen: Tage der Stille, Seminare, und Kurse in alter Schrift. Die Preise dafür sind günstig. Eine Übernachtung mit Verpflegung kostet nur 50 Euro! 

Vacationing in a medieval cloister is the newest trend in Germany. A place without TV, without internet, without cell phones, and an early rising. For some people it’s a place to find peace and a place to recharge. 

The Mariensee Cloister was founded in 1207 and is open to the public for overnight stays. It’s northwest of Hannover and is an easy drive from Berlin. There’s something for everyone including seminars and courses. Of course, you can do nothing at all. The cost is right too: only 50 Euros per night, including meals!


The detritus of love gone wrong: an unworn garter belt, a love letter, a mountain of shattered glass. This is Zagreb’s newest museum, the Museum of Broken RelationshipsLocated in an 18th century palace, the setting of so many 18th and 19th century Gothic and romantic novels, the museum was an instant success when it opened in 2010.

The museum contains a collection of objects donated by people who have broken up. Each item has an accompanying story. Some are amusing, others sarcastic, and a few are just heartbreaking.

One room contains exhibits about casual or long-distance relationships that didn’t work out, and another is dedicated to relationships where one partner died. There’s even a rage and fury room containing items that are mostly torn and broken. For example, there’s a car mirror on display. A woman broke it off her boyfriend’s car when she saw it parked in front of another woman’s house. More extreme, hanging on a wall is an ax and next to it is a sign explaining its relevance (a jilted lover used it to chop her ex’s furniture into bits). And while the premise of the museum is ironic and even morbid, I think it reveals insight into something everyone experiences at some point in their life.  

T-Mobile, the US cell phone provider, has announced that it will reduce the cost of its foreign cell phone service. That’s great news for me. Up until now, I’ve had to use three different cell phones when traveling abroad, one for the USA, Germany, and Australia.

For years, the cell phone industry has been bilking customers with outrageous foreign service rates, and this announcement will certainly shake things up. T-Mobile’s decision follows last year’s announcement to eliminate its service contracts. T-Mobile is taking an aggressive marketing strategy in the cell phone wars, and I hope it pays off. 

T-Mobile doesn’t have a ticker symbol by itself. They are a subsidiary of Deutsche Telekon, which trades on the NYSE under the symbol DTIt also trades under the symbol DTE on many European exchanges. This is one stock to follow. 

Update:
As of October 20, 2013, eligible T-Mobile plans will include international roaming at no charge, unlimited web and messaging, and voice calls at a flat rate of $0.20/minute. For more information visit: international services.

T-Mobile, the US cell phone provider, has announced that it will reduce the cost of its foreign cell phone service. That’s great news for me. Up until now, I’ve had to use three different cell phones when traveling abroad, one for the USA, Germany, and Australia.

For years, the cell phone industry has been bilking customers with outrageous foreign service rates, and this announcement will certainly shake things up. T-Mobile’s decision follows last year’s announcement to eliminate its service contracts. T-Mobile is taking an aggressive marketing strategy in the cell phone wars, and I hope it pays off. 

T-Mobile doesn’t have a ticker symbol by itself. They are a subsidiary of Deutsche Telekon, which trades on the NYSE under the symbol DTIt also trades under the symbol DTE on many European exchanges. This is one stock to follow. 

Update:
As of October 20, 2013, eligible T-Mobile plans will include international roaming at no charge, unlimited web and messaging, and voice calls at a flat rate of $0.20/minute. For more information visit: international services.

The Small Suncat

One way to see Berlin is by solar powered boat. SolarWaterWorld rents boats and let’s you enjoy Berlin from another vantage point. It’s fun, environmentally friendly, and unique. Rates start at €55 per day for the small SunCat to €250 per day for the Suncat 23. Enjoy!


Here’s a beautiful and very original video from the folks at Chipolte. The video makes its point very effectively, and may suggest the future of what restaurants offer. The video definitely oversells the vision of what Chipolte is, but even so, Chipolte’s aspirations of what they would like to be suggests a trend toward more vegan and vegetarian options on restaurant menus. As more people become aware of the cruelty and abuses involved in factory farming, restaurants like Chipolte will have the edge in meeting customer demand. BTW: Chipolte (CMG) is traded on the NYSE and looks like a good buy.

The ABC Movie of the Week (1969-1976) was a weekly television series featuring made-for-TV movies. The show began with dazzling graphics (1969 style) and with this hard to forget introduction:

The Move of the Week. Presenting the world premier of an original motion picture produced especially for ABC. Tonight, on The Movie of the Week

I remember watching these movies with my mom. They were on a little past my bedtime (8:30 PM), but my mother would make an exception and let me stay up to watch. This television anthology series featured a lot of B movies, but there was some remarkably good stuff too, including Tribes with Jan-Michael Vincent, Go Ask Alice with William Shatner (yes, that William Shatner), How Awful About Allan with Anthony Perkins, and That Certain Summer with Martin Sheen and Hal Holbrook, the first TV movie to deal sympathetically with homosexuality. 

Sadly, few of these movies have been re-broadcast. Now, ABC has done something cool! They’ve put dozens of these movies on Youtube, in full and without commercials. They bring back a lot of memories. The last few days, we’ve been watching a few of them, including Along Came a Spider with Suzanne Pleshette, and Home for the Holidays with Sally Field, Jessica Walter, Eleanor Parker and Walter Brennan. Even though some of these movies are disappointing, quite a few are still entertaining. 

We forget that in the days of pre-cable television and the internet era, people had few entertainment options. The Movie of the Week was a gem; and although, these movies were low budget and never demanding, the acting was generally first rate and the scripts innovative and tightly written. 

I’ve used TurboTax to file my federal and state taxes for years without any problem. It has been fast, efficient, and moderately inexpensive. This year my TurboTax experience has been frustrating. A small glitch in the software program almost prevented me from filing my state taxes electronically.

Because I was unable to remove a “0” from the Schedule 1, line 3, the tax return could not be filed. It didn’t matter that the “0” was in the spouse column (I’m single), and that the “0” did not affect the tax, the program would not let me file.

The TurboTax (Intuit) help desk was useless, and the override function on the program ineffective. I was only able to remedy the problem after a time consuming Internet search. I will definitely think twice before using TurboTax again. 

To fix the problem:

  • click the override function (right mouse click) while hovering on line 3, spouse column;
  • enter a random number in line 3;
  • close the TurboTax program;
  • re-start the TurboTax program;
  • start the tax filing process again;
  • when prompted, delete the random number;
  • click transmit.
Now, your taxes will be transmitted and filed.
I’ve used TurboTax to file my federal and state taxes for years without any problem. It has been fast, efficient, and moderately inexpensive. This year my TurboTax experience has been frustrating. A small glitch in the software program almost prevented me from filing my state taxes electronically.

Because I was unable to remove a “0” from the Schedule 1, line 3, the tax return could not be filed. It didn’t matter that the “0” was in the spouse column (I’m single), and that the “0” did not affect the tax, the program would not let me file.

The TurboTax (Intuit) help desk was useless, and the override function on the program ineffective. I was only able to remedy the problem after a time consuming Internet search. I will definitely think twice before using TurboTax again. 

To fix the problem:

  • click the override function (right mouse click) while hovering on line 3, spouse column;
  • enter a random number in line 3;
  • close the TurboTax program;
  • re-start the TurboTax program;
  • start the tax filing process again;
  • when prompted, delete the random number;
  • click transmit.
Now, your taxes will be transmitted and filed.