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Euro 2000 update Group A: Germany 1 Romania 1. An unsatisfying but fair result. After a total disaster in the first 20 minutes, the Germans were able to equilize and then controlled (without scoring) the final 30 minutes. But Germany did not look like a defending champion. What the draw means for the tournament will, of course, only be clear after Portugal and England play this evening.

Via Dave's Picks Things my girlfriend and I have argued about "Nothing keeps a relationship on its toes so much as lively debate. Fortunate, then, that my girlfriend and I agree on absolutely nothing. At all." He's English, she's German.

Pentecost holiday weekend, and we have Monday off. Here in Lüllau, there is a tradition of 'Pentecost Singers'. On Saturday evening, the young men bring birch trees to each house, and on Sunday morning the boys and girls (in separate groups) sing from house to house. All three groups then expect a gift of schnaps (for the men) or candy (for the kids).

Andrea says "In Hetzwege, the village in which I grew up, the young men also bring Pfingstbäume (Pentecost trees) to each house, getting schnaps in return. However, nobody is singing there - unless as a result of being drunk... "

In Hamburg, Pentecost was celebrated not so traditionally with the Generation Move, a techno parade and party similar to Berlin's Love Parade.

Mama's Birthday was yesterday. We had the whole Petersen clan over for a glass of Freixenet, afternoon cake & coffee and evening BBQ. The weather was great, so we were able to spend most of time outside.

Euro 2000 in Belgium and Holland has begun, so for the next three weeks we have soccer on the brain. The first two days were entertaining but there were no upsets.

Group B
Belgium 2 Sweden 1 : Italy 2 Turkey 1
The opening match was unexpectedly good, with Belgium taking advantage of lapses in the usually solid Swedish defense. The Turks were robbed. The game winner for Italy came on a penalty that was no foul at all.

Group D
France 3 Denmark 0 : Netherlands 1 Czech Rep. 0
The Dutch were very disappointing and deserved to lose, but the Czechs despite many chances couldn't put the ball in the net, and then gave up a stupid penalty in the 89th minute. Christopher and I watched parts of the replay of France-Denmark this afternoon. The score is an overstatement, but France looked strong nonetheless.

Group A, which includes Germany and England, opens play this evening.

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