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Tuesday, June 23, 2009

Strawberry season!

"Doubtless God could have made a better berry, but doubtless God never did"
Izaak Walton (1593-1683)

Monday, June 22, 2009

The Settlers of Catan: Caravan in Catan!

The caravan in Catan is a quite small scenario. You can buy it in a box with several other new scenarios.
Instead of the desert there is an oasis placed in the middle of the island. From here will be the caravans starting. You can continue their route with paying a card of hay and wool. The camels take influence on the points a road or village count. These are the camels of the new version waiting for being placed on the game.

And this is the scenario of the old edition. (Unplayed yet)

Sunday, June 21, 2009

Working Holiday Visa

My immigration plans to Australia are a little bit complicated. Well, first things first. I will go this part of my life step by step and at each point I need to check if I can go on to the next point.

First step:

Entering Australia with the Working Holiday Visa (subclass 417).
  • This visa allows me to be in Oz for one year and to work for a maximum of six months for the same employer.
  • It is for people between 18 and 30 years. For the application you shouldn't have held your 31. birthday.
  • After applying you have 12 months to enter Oz. So officially it is possible to enter Oz for one year on the day before your 32. birthday.
  • You must apply for this visa from outside Oz.
  • There are no dependent children to travel with you.
  • You need sufficient funds of money. Approximately 5,000AUD (ca. 2.900 EUR)
  • You need a return flight or additional money to be able to pay it.
For further information check the official immigration site: >klick<

Second step:

Apply for the second Working Holiday Visa.
  • To be eligable to do so I must complete three months of specified work in regional Australia.
  • For applications there are the same age rules as for the first visa. So you should have done those three months before your 31. birthday.
  • If applying from outside Oz you must be outside Oz when getting the visa granted.
  • If you apply from within Oz you must be within Oz when getting the visa granted. Easy, eh?
For further information: >klick<

This is planning for the next two years. Enough to think about for the moment. As I always have to have the requirements for the second year in my mind I think that will keep me busy.

Learning to play the Settlers of Catan

Thanks to my curious koala I found a great help for learning how to play the Settlers of Catan! :-)

Here is Prof. Easy giving a lifelike tutorial:

The Settlers of Catan

Hope you enjoy it!

Saturday, June 20, 2009

Hide & Seek

My russian hamster Michiko surely is a "bigger=better"-hamster. As I can't provide her enough space in her aquarium I thought long about this topic. Letting her run in the living room under supervision was nearly impossible because she woke up when I went to bed. And trust me, I don't go to bed early!

So there was only one way: Letting her run around in the living room on her own. Making sure that there are no cables lying around and no place where she can hurt herself I started trying it.

It's working good for several weeks now. She collects the sunflower seeds I hide for her anywhere and is back in her aquarium in the mornings. I wasn't always sure for that but after hearing a little scratch I was satisfied. I had to close the aquarium over days because of the birds and when I'm at home I leave doors open...

Well, one day I discovered that she made herself a little nest in my shelf. Hidden behind my board games...
A small larder.
And her bed. (Don't notice the torn down wallpaper...)

I had already laid newspaper in this place because she had always liked hiding in there. For long time nothing had changed and suddenly there was all this bedding in there! She carried her toilet paper across the whole living room!

Thursday, June 18, 2009

The Game of Life

The Game of Life is a huge board game full of stations in your life. You start moving as a single person in a car, you can choose to go to university, you get a job, an income and you marry. If you get children is luck and if you win or loose money is also a good part luck. Buying life insurances is a very good idea because after you retire you usually have to pay a lot of things.
Instead of dices this game is played with a colourful wheel. Sometimes there are moments in your life where you have to stop. And sometimes you have to decide to go the right way.

This is my car on its way through life. I married a woman and we adopted twins, a girl and a boy.

The game has a lot of charme, maybe because I played it a lot when I was young (I used to marry men, so it really is ages away!).

I give it 8 out of 10 points.


Yes, I confess. I love tonic water. Pure. No gin. Just plain tonic water! And as I'm a curious girl I wanted to try more from my favourite tonic water brand.

My favourites are Indian Tonic Water, Bitter Orange and Ginger Ale. Californian Citrus Summer I discovered new. It's sweet soda and quite ok. I still prefer the bitter taste.

These are some bottles I bought in France. Peach and Coconut are Schweppes© flavours you can't buy in Germany. For whatever reason. They are sweet but I still like them! The yellow tonic bottles are another brand, I haven't tried them yet. But I'm always curious to test drinks.

Tuesday, June 16, 2009


This t-shirt was made under bad omens.

Something happened that has never happened before when fixing the color to the fabric. As I painted the front and back side I placed the shirt in a rather adventurous way in my oven and I think I decided to use the wrong heating style.
Well, I burned it.
It had a brown scar on the backside and when I tried to rub it off I suddenly had a hole in the fabric!

Ok, two possibilities: paint it new or recycle.

I chose to recycle it. To get more traveller style. I cut out the painted fabric parts that luckily were unscared. Then I glued it onto a new shirt to keep it in place while sewing it on.

Some days later I noticed that on the front there were glue spots visible! Ok, I thought about it and searched for some iron patches to hide the spots.

Iron ready, patches placed. A cloth over the first patch, ironing for 3-4 minutes. Turned it over!
I ironed the patch onto the cloth!
Now I got really mad!
I teared a hole into the cloth with trying to get the butterfly off again. Then I glued the first butterfly and the second was perfectly ironed.

Thanks for reading. The story behind the t-shirt is self-explaining. In English it means: "And I'm gone then..."



I just hope my adventure is not such a failure as this shirt!

The Settlers of Catan II and III

I already introduced my all-time-favorite board game: The Settlers of Catan.
The first two expansions showed up soon afterwards.

The Seafarers:
With the settlers setting off to sea there came the era of the seafarers. Finally they could go further than the borders of their island and set off in little ships towards unknown islands and wicked seas. Even the robber became a companion in form of a black pirate ship.
New was also an island hexagon called the gold plate. There is no gold in the game but when you built a village next to it you can choose whatever raw material you like.
For being able to set up ships there had to be a village at the coast. A street can't simply change into ships. I think the settlers are in need of a harbor to arrange their journey in the open seas. A ship costs wood and sheepskin. Well I could imagine something more effective for the sails but they have to use whatever they got.

I love playing freestyle most. This is in simply laying the home island and then building up sea and islands just as you like. The "board" can sometimes reach funny formes.

Here are the ships of the wooden version and the new version:

Cities and Knights:
The next expansion was a sort of conquest. Story is that the vikings are arriving in Catan. There is a small countdown for them (here in the up left corner), and everytime one of the additional dices lands on the black ship it comes closer.
When they arrive Catan you have to check how many cities there are and how many knights to defend them.
Through the game you can activate your knights as protection. There have to be more knights than cities for the Catanians to win. If so the player with the most knights gets a winner point.
If the Catanians are too weaks the vikings win with downgrading a city of the weakest player to a village.
Also there are additional materials you can get earn and trade. They are for building universities, kathedrals and convents. With each upgrade of these three buildings you get bonus features.

Here the red city has achieved the highest upgrade for convents and so is marked as a metropolos. Also the player has set up a city wall, resembled by the plate underneath. This allowes him to have two more raw materials on the hand when the robber comes with dicing the 7.


The Seafarers are easy to learn and nearly compatible with every other expansion of the settlers. It is very nice to not have to stick to your island.
I give them 10 of 10 points!

The Cities and Knights needs more concentration. It is better for being played seperatly. Playing with 4 dices and having to check knights, special features and the vikings is enough for a game!
I give them 8 out of 10!

Friday, June 12, 2009

Horse in Photoshop©

My goal with this picture was to learn more about Adobe Photoshop©.

First step was to scan an old picture I had drawn years ago. 14 years to be precise! It was a time of many horse-pictures.

Second step was to overpaint the body with a color and mark the white areas as I wanted this to become a pony in pinto-style. For better view I put the background into color too.

Here with the original background and the painting underneath. Already more details in face and body parts.

Here the final result. Mane and tail still in a bit odd color, but all-in-all it helped me a lot to get used to Photoshop©.

Wednesday, June 10, 2009

Lady Amalthea

Finally finished is Lady Amalthea from the same novel as The Last Unicorn. In facts she is the unicorn. So looking on the logic side those two can never meet.
The book itself from Peter S. Beagle is a world to dream in. I think I already said so before.
Here is a quote from the mouth of the unicorn (sorry, can't say if from the movie or the book):
I am a little afraid to go home. I have been mortal, and some part of me is mortal yet. I'm no longer like the others, for no unicorn was ever born who could regret, and now, I do. I...regret.

Calvin and Hobbes!

It was time for a new shirt! I wanted to make one with Calvin and Hobbes for a long time and now I thought this is it!

I just love this comic and I'm a big fan of Bill Watterson!

I'm looking forward to wear this one!