PapaScott I like big blogs and I cannot lie! 🐘

The Mystery of the Missing License Plate

Our son got his drivers license in February, and it’s been a life-changer… for him and for us! No more getting up at 6 in the morning to get him to the bus stop (we live in the country so we have to drive to the bus stop, at least the one to get him to his school). No more driving back and forth to the airfield on weekends so he can partake in his chosen hobby. Our side-job as taxi drivers was over.

Coincidentally (or not) in February I also got a car of my own, so (counting the E-Up as half a car) we have 2-1/2 cars available for 3 drivers. That works out fine. In kind of reverse pecking order, our son usually takes our biggest car (Renault Kadjar, a compact SUV which just barely makes the grade compared to other parents’ vehicles when picking up kids from private school) since he’s usually pulling a trailer with a glider (which he organized for a few months as kind of a time-share). That’s fine, we just have to plan our trips to Ikea for days when the big car is actually here.

His Abitur exams started in April, so between and after exams he’s been driving off to gliding competitions throughout Lower Saxony for days at a time. They camp out on the airfield, and when a glider has to make a field landing someone has drive out in the field with a trailer to pick them up, so the car gets pretty dirty both inside and out. But after one particular trip the car was not only dirty, but was missing the front license plate.

Of course our son had no idea what happened. His first thought was cool, we can drive through photo radar traps without being caught! The plate was in a clip-frame, which I noticed was broken in one corner, and not knowing what kind of roads (or non-roads) he was driving I figured the plate had simply shaken loose and fallen off.

Driving a car with a missing license plate is illegal, of course, so first we had to report the missing plate to the police. The officer was quite nice, and didn’t bat an eye when I said it could have fallen off anywhere between Lüchow, Helmstedt and Porta Westfalica. We would have to apply for new plates, and a new number, since our lovingly chosen number would now be invalid for 5 years. We had a copy of the police report in the glove compartment in case we got pulled over. I even made a fake plate with Magic Marker on cardboard and taped it to the front bumper.

The car is leased, so we don’t have the original papers. They have to be sent to the DMV by the leasing company which should take 2 or 3 days but actually took 2 weeks. (After one failed trip to the DMV we found out you can call to check if the papers are in without standing in line.) But finally this week after 100€ in costs and a new frame we have a new lovingly chosen number for our Kadjar.

Meanwhile our son is busy with a 4-week internship at a local metal shop (required for his chosen college major, aerospace engineering), so we have the Kadjar for ourselves. But just the other day, my wife came home with the admission that she had dented the new license plate! But is the frame OK, I asked, since that’s how we lost the old plate! To which our son replied, I know, I broke the frame on the Kadjar back in March, but the frame did hold up for two months after that, didn’t it?

Which solved the Mystery of the Missing License Plate.


I didn’t mention it when I moved from GitHub Pages, but for the past couple of months this blog has been hosted at Netlify, a platform for building and hosting static websites.

It works very well with jekyll, the software that generates this blog, and means I no longer need to build the site on my own machine to publish it. I just push my changes to my repository at GitHub, which Netlify continuously monitors for changes, and the blog it automatically updated, usually within a minute.

It also offers free one-click managed SSL, a global CDN, and is free for unlimited single-user sites, whether commercial or personal.

And combined with Netlify CMS, I can edit and post directly from GitHub and don’t need a local jekyll installation at all. But that’s a subject for another post…

Block E

I’ve been asked about my profile photo. Wikipedia has this to say about Block E.

After 1950… lower Hennepin Avenue became known as a place for drunks, crime, and prostitution. Block E was the center of the squalor. The 620 Club in 1971 gave way to Moby Dick’s, and became known as one of the city’s most seedy bars. Unsavory establishments, including rough bars, flophouses, and an adult movie theater settled in on Block E in the 1970s and 1980s…

By the 1980s, the block was one of the choice places in Minneapolis for punks to hang out and it became a creative breeding ground for the local punk music scene. Block E was also known for its cheap rent, drawing such establishments as Rifle Sport Gallery. From the mid-1980s forward, the Minneapolis police had a constant presence in the area; it was normal to see squad cars or a police van parked between the northbound traffic lanes and contraflow bus lane.

Block E looked pretty much like this when I started college in Minneapolis in 1980. The owner-operator of the McDonald’s was my wife’s first boss, she worked at the City Center location across the street.

Block E was demolished in 1988 and became a parking lot.

Hard to Get

You’d think in the current German coalition talks that the SPD could at least play hard to get.

Now I know German politics is a strange beast, but I would think that the SPD side more has more pull here. The Union is the side that needs desperately to form a coalition with Merkel in charge. The SPD never wanted a new grand coalition (so they claim), you’d think they could take or leave it, and demand a high price to take it.

Then again, what do I know?

Winter Workshop

How our son spent his Christmas vacation (at least when he wasn’t studying for his preliminary “Vorabi” exams):

Winterarbeit Diesen Winter bin ich der Flugzeugbetreuer unseres Astir CS Jeans in Wenzendorf und so hab ich die Gelegenheit genutzt, meine neuerworbenen Fähigkeiten und Kenntnisse als Zellenwart in FVK-Bauweise anzuwenden, indem ich ein neues Lüftungsgitter einlaminiert habe. Es heißt ja "Asche zu Asche, Harz zu Harz" oder so ähnlich 🤔😄 Mit dem Gesamtergebnis bin ich sehr zufrieden und wertet den Harzklumpen mit dem neulackierten I-Brett optisch zu mindestens ein bissel auf :D (Auf dem letzten Bild sieht man das I-Brett in der alten Lacke - so hässlich sah der Rest auch etwa aus) #winter #winterarbeit #flugpause #astir #grob #flugzeugwart #zellenwart #laminieren #harzen #gfk #harz #ichundmeinharz #glasfaser #köpergewebe #segelfliegen #gliding #soaring #segelflugzeug #glider #sailplane #wenzendorf #hfbfluggemeinschaft #lxnav #s80

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