Camera.....

..... The Powers That Be assigned me with two tasks today, and I am happy to report that BOTH tasks are 50% completed..... 50% of the weeds have been surgically removed from the front, side, and back flower beds..... and 50% of the photographs from last September's visit to France have been downloaded from the camera.....

.... and since I'm not about to bring a handful of weeds inside to write about, I figure that it's better if I just share some photos from in and around the village of Riquewihr, France circa Autumn 2008......

..... here's what I usually had for breakfast during most of the trip....

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.... here's an Alsatian duck hanging out in the moat that bordered some of Riquewihr..... notice the thieving Alsatian rat stealing his breakfast?..... wasn't the least bit camera-shy either.....

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.... here's where I had lunch most days...... nice little cafe.... the waiter didn't speak very good English - and I, no French.... but luckily I am fluent in pointing at menu items in most European languages...... so I remained consistently well-fed....

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..... Quiche Lorraine, folks..... The Real Deal......

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.... whew..... that's enough for now, I reckon....... but rest assured, there are plenty more where those came from.....

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Religion.....

..... today has been one gloomy sumbitch, weather-wise..... the morning was beautiful, but the afternoon tailed off into a complete funk..... as such, I've been spent a large part of today cleaning out old photographs from the computer and filing them away in their proper locations.... I managed to dig up quite a few from my recent trip (three months ago) to France.......

.... here's one taken on a daytrip out to the village of Equisheim......

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.... that discarded wine bottle adds an interesting touch to the statue of the crucified Jesus, non?...... especially since Pope Leo IX was born just around the corner from there.....

... I tell you, it truly is amazing what you can see whilst on holiday..... I mean, I can just imagine some poor sod standing there.... gazing intently at poor Jesus and swigging steadily - deep in contemplation - from his bottle of vino.....

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Subite.....

.... if you ever find yourself casually wandering around the Chateau du Haut-Koenigsbourg - and you make your way to the highest point of the keep - you will be greeted with this amazing view......

.... of course, most people do a one-eighty and gaze wistfully at the Alsatian plain and the valley of the Rhine..... but not me, oh no!....

..... hey, valleys are all good and fine..... but I'd prefer the mist-covered mountains instead..... them's where the mystery hides, non?...... indeed..... hey, I've seen Pathfinder.... twice..... so, here you go.....

.... my goodness.... can't you just imagine a horde of seething, bloodthirsty, pissed-off Swedes lurking out there in between those peaks? .... cloaked in the cloudy, pre-Autumnal mists just waiting to lay siege, pillage, and plunder your pencil-thin mustached Hapsburgian ass?.... good god, I certainly could.....

.... so I made my way quickly back to ground level and ordered up a big plate of beef stroganoff and a tall glass of Mort Subite to calm my red-headed proto-Viking nerves.....

..... what?..... hey, never underestimate the restorative properties of properly stroganoff'd beef & an ice cold beer, gentle reader...... especially after having just daydreamed about marauding Nords storming your castle......

.... you guys will just have to trust me on that.....

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Windows....

...... well, the bags are unpacked.... the kitties are back from their Spa & Relaxation Therapy courtesy of the local veterinarian..... and I am knee-deep in dirty laundry..... I suppose that I should make a mental note to take more than six pairs of socks the next time I set off for an eleven day adventure.....

..... ahhhh, no rest for the wicked though, or so the saying goes..... I mean, one day it's a fine meal at a gourmet restaurant and it's nothing but chew, chew, chew.... the next day?.... sorting whites from jeans and it's wash, wash, wash...... see, folks?.... work is work no matter where you find it...... still, though, it is nice to be safely ensconced back in The Compound..... it was time to come home...... besides, the weather in Alsace had turned coolish and my bones were hankering for the gentle breezes of September-time Tennessee....

.... all in all, it was an interesting trip...... two days in Belgium, one day in Holland, and the rest of the time in the village of Riquewihr, France..... with daytrips out to Basel, Switzerland and a few of the surrounding cities.... The Hotel Le Schoenenbourg (just outside the medieval walls of Riquewihr) was our base camp during our time in France..... not a bad place, really...... quite comfortable..... excellent restaurant...... oh, and here's a shot looking out of the room that I stayed in.....

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.... evidently they grow a lot of grapes in Alsace....... like, a lot...

.... anyway, more later once I finish washing all of these damned dirty socks........

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