Late-October Bird-Watching in Philadelphia Along the Delaware River

Shots from Pennypack Park on the Delaware River in Philadelphia of the resident bald eagles; an American kestrel, fighting off a band of blue jays; some northern flickers, an owl's nest box with an occupant, and scintillating autumn scenery from the park, Delaware River and Pennypack Creek. Various classical and rock music serves as accompaniment to the visuals. Photography by yours truly. Thanks for watching.

Today's Tirade: Do you want some cheese with your whine?

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What happened? Where did everyone go? Was it something I said, conveyed while being improperly misconstrued during my leave of absence? Having a tendency of sticking me foot in my mouth on occasion, speaking, tweeting or Face-booking impulsively, leads me to thanking my lucky stars quite often for the delete feature in social-media platforms. I've caught myself many times sending out something extremely lame on the Net-ways: an arrogant thought or errant, egotistical emotion; and my irrational reaction to something mundane or picayune. Not meaning to hurt someone, I suppose an Internet friend might feel slighted if my slanted communication was caught before I removed it from sight upon realizing what an utter arsehole I had been. My open apologies to anyone for any offenses taken.

Imagine if we could utilize a delete button in real life. Would any of us be left on earth? "You sure you want to delete your mother-in-law?" would pop up probably often; or read, "Do you really want to send your boss to the recycling bin?" Think of the implications to this. Someone cuts you off in traffic: ploink, delete and off to the abyss. A bill collector at your door: not a problem, plunk, delete and off to the recycling bin with him, or [shift] and delete to remove the bloke permanently; but you know they'll just send another one knocking. Your neighbor downstairs keeps pushing that fooking whistling, keyless-entry button for his car: ping, delete, and send the auto off to oblivion. No fuss, no muss, just press "delete" and watch your troubles disappear into life's null-and-void. The Tower of London wouldn't have had anything over this metaphorical holding tank, where one can stay indefinitely as if in Limbo, restored maybe back to its original spot after an extended stay; or expunged forever, sent back to the universal hard drive to be transformed into another assortment of bytes and purposes. We'd all be in big trouble is this were the case.

Further observations regarding issues brought up in previous tirades:

    A. Manufacturers of items in the supermarket are attempting to pull the wool over our eyes by tricking us with lessening the value of their products while still maintaining the present price or higher.

      1. Hating to wash the dishes—even in the dishwasher—I buy paper plates by the bundle and throw them out when finished eating. You don't have to tell me this isn't a very green thing to do, how many trees are cut down because of my laziness; but at least they're not Styrofoam. This week the usual brand offered ninety-four plates as opposed to the prior-packaged one hundred pieces. Those six plates per pack, saved over the span of a production run, will reap for the company a considerable amount of cash over time, while the normal consumer won't even notice the difference.

      2. I've always used just two slices of bread for my sandwiches and toasted two slices at a clip for breakfast, which never allowed an odd slice at the end of the loaf. Lately, I've been left with just one, usually the heel, which makes me wonder if the loafs are being made smaller. Just now making a note that the loaf weighs one pound, eight ounces, I'll have to keep an eye on the bakers.

      3. Packages of my favorite brand of bacon have been modified by the manufacturer with their omission of a slice for the past two times bought. Having always fried four slices for breakfast, I ended up usually right on the money with none left in the package after the final serving of four. Now I've been finding just three slices are last. Again making note of the pack's weighing twelve ounces, I'll be keeping an eye on the butchers too. Do I have to watch out for the candlestick makers' cutting back on their products but charging the same price too? What's next after that, ten eggs in a carton while paying for a twelve? I suppose you could call that a banker's dozen instead.

    B. Top two overused words and one phrase in the present-day English language that drive me battier than I am already:

      1: Awesome - delete it from the blasted vocabulary and use another adjective to express overwhelming brilliance and audacity.
      2: Amazing - see number one.
      3: Check out - especially when used by authors, who as writers are supposed to be craftsmen (or craftswomen) of words. Please figure out another phrase for peddling whatever you're selling. This goes for whomever else is guilty of this verbal over-abuse.

    C. Here's just a quickie about finding out the expiration dates on items left on the shelves of merchants don't always outlive the need for the product; so buyers beware. My current experience was with Ibuprofen, of which I don't have to take too often; but today I threw my back out, slipping in the snow on my terrace while taking pictures of the white stuff, reaching for the bottle and finding my current batch had expired eight months ago. I took two anyway and my back feels better already.

The holidays are upon us again. I hope yours are happy and filled with friends, family and good cheer. Happy ranting, reeling, raving and misbehaving.

Life Goes On

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There's always a way out, unless incarcerated by the law or lawless, detained at Her Majesty's pleasure, kidnapped and held by some unscrupulous miscreant with intent of doing unspeakable things to one's person; besieged by a fire, trapped in a building collapse, handcuffed to the bed by a scorned lover, pinned in a car wreck, engulfed by an earthquake, submerged in a flood or typhoon, perhaps lucky to be standing on the roof until the water recedes. Otherwise. there's the front or rear door from whence you entered. Walk back the way you came. Don't forget to take your hat and watch the door don't smack you in the ass.

My laptop finally died, leaving me with using inferior machines long retired and sent to the storage closet amongst all the other fossils of the personal-computing age. With the stuff found inside, I can open a PC museum, featuring old critters like the Radio Shack TRS 80, 64-K color computer; various semi-smartphones, predating the present Android and iPhone models—some looked similar to the Blackberry—an Apple IIe desktop, a 33-Mhz Intel processor with a whopping 1-gigabyte hard drive. How about laptops running Windows 95, XP, and Vista respectively? The latter was the one that died, leaving me with XP to manage my work temporarily, but not with enough oomph to power all my devices.

I fired up the one using 95 for the hell of it, a marvel in its day, but a dinosaur in 2013; for which I've just bought, extremely impulsively, a brand-new notebook with a 2.5-Ghz, Intel-Core i5 microprocessor with an 8-GB ROM; and an 800-GB hard drive, combined with an external drive, boosting the total memory to over 1 TB.

Impressed with the initial findings with regards to computer specifications verses cost, I figured this device had enough balls to drive my resource-eating programs and not crash repeatedly like the prior one did before meeting its demise. had the best price anywhere. After my ordering it, they sent it out that night. This mysterious-looking drone delivered it a day and a half later, placing it onto the roof of my flat. Fortunately I saw it landing up there while I took out the trash.

In the early twenty-first century, CD-ROM drives replaced floppy discs completely, remember them? My 33- 75-, 133-Mhz 'puters, and the 95 laptop all had floppy-disc drives. So did the TRS 80 and Apple IIe, but they used the 5.25 floppies as opposed to the 3.5s like the Window's machines. All my present graphic and video software, utility programs and such have their installation files on CD-ROMS, which is great until finding out the new notebook came equipped without one. No serial VGA receptacle either was available, into which my secondary monitor needs to be plugged to operate. Here I sat with a fast computer with no software to run, sort of like being all dressed up with nowhere to go. I suppose the wave of the future knocked out the CDROM drive as well. Next time around I'll have to remember to put in a little more research as to what I'm impulsively buying.

There's always a way out, thank goodness, although a bit labor-intensive. I copied all my software discs onto a USB flash drive to install all the miscellaneous programs onto the new laptop. When USB ports become obsolete, as seems to have happened already with the tablets now manufactured, I'll have to figure out a way to compensate for that scenario. As far as the secondary monitor, I found an adapter that fits the VGA plug from the screen and converts it to an HDMI plug, which fits nicely into a port provided in the notebook for new-style monitoring, thus setting up the machine perfectly, except for having Windows 8 loaded on it.

Why do they have to always change stuff that worked perfectly well ahead of rolling out a new OS version? Simple things like logging off and shutting down the system were hidden in a well isolated spot, deep within the bowels of the settings menu. Buying Malwarebytes for protection and running a scan, I found thirty-one instances of "PUP" viruses and three "Trojans" lurking about, making me wonder if they were preloaded with the manufacturer's software. Wanting to perform the scan again and remove the malicious bugs while in safe mode, I went nuts attempting to find out how to get there. No more mashing "F8" at start-up. It's like Microsoft doesn't want you in safe mode anymore; but due to the brilliance of the Net, I Googled the method finally and purged the nasty varmints out. Never did I have so much trouble with setting up a new computer before. Progress should make things easier, not the reversal.

Lastly, I must apologize for neglecting my social-media compatriots during all of this fiasco, having been away from Twitter and Facebook for a few weeks, overlooking my contributions in this journal as well, a writer's misdemeanor. However, I've finished my third novel during the dry spell; and now with a new computer, I'm ready to rock and roll again. Thanks, as always, for your continued support.
Summer, 2012

Mother's Little Helper

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As an update to the last tirade, my neighbor seems to have settled down considerably with regards to his whistling key-less-entry device for his car. I seldom hear it anymore, which is a delightful change for the better. Perhaps he stumbled upon my journal and said, "Hey, that sounds like me," after having read the prior entry here and is making a concerted effort now to cease and desist his compulsive, annoying ways. Right, keep dreaming, Mike; and your next lottery ticket is going to hit the big one, for which I hope tonight's drawing at 23:00 EST will be my ticket to paradise. A friend wished me good luck when I was attempting to salvage a deleted dynamic-link-library file on my computer after many tries; and eureka, I fixed the problem, asking her afterward to wish me good luck on winning the lottery. She did and we'll see later how that worked out.

My laptop is going on seven years old and has been crashing a lot lately, especially when I watch videos on YouTube or other venues. The driver for the graphics card is up-to-date. Adobe Flash is the latest version as well as my browser. I need more memory, perhaps: a surefire sign of old age, which leads me to thinking about replacing it with something that contains more RAM, ROM, a faster processor and a hefty hard drive with scads of storage space. "Hello, Bestbuy? Yes, I'd like to buy the Pentium 2000 laptop with a 100-ghz processor, a one-terabyte RAM and a 50-pebibyte hard drive, expandable to one exbibyte, complete with surround sound and 22"-diagonal 3-D screen." After holding on for a bit, they told me it needed an upright defrost-free refrigerator for cooing off the processor, which would be an additional $400.00 to the already low price of $2,500. "Never mind," I said. "I think I'll just buy a Dell."

With the way computer technology is advancing, such a device as mentioned is likely to be seen in a relatively short period of time, I bet. In the meanwhile, I might as well bite the bullet and buy a good one, as I rely so heavily upon it for my photography and writing, and should consider it as an investment in my future. The screen on the present 'puter is beginning to fail with a vertical slew of multicolored lines that look like tiny rainbows, stretching across the entire viewing plane. A couple of keystrokes don't work from my spilling wine in between the keys. I have an auxiliary keyboard attached for typing my dissertations, and another screen is attached in tandem to the laptop for precision graphical work. It's a shame how these things either wear out or become outdated, needing replacement in short periods of time, every-so-many years in a row.

Thank goodness our bodies don't wear out as quickly as electronics, although a time comes in everyone's lives when such uncertainty hits them like slamming full speed into a brick wall at the end of a one-way street. The lights go out and suddenly everyday forward, something different occurs to nag us thoroughly, whether it's a pain in the foot, our backs, an ache in a muscle, an accumulation of unwanted weight, sagging extremities; loss of vision, hair or hearing; wrinkles, laugh lines, tooth loss, hemorrhoids; and the list goes on. Memory becomes ultimately unreliable, for which too bad one couldn't just replace a circuit board in the head, like when memory needs expansion or replacement in a computer; or maybe even install a new motherboard when motor functions in our bodies begin to fail.

Forget a word, a face, a place to where you have been? No problem . . . , tuneup your CPU by replacing chips where needed, and plugging in a USB interface into one's ear slot, syncing with an exterior hard drive compiled for restoration of such important data, loaded onto the latter periodically throughout life as a safeguard against corrupted files in an aged database. Such a perpetual-functioning backup system could be the cure-all for neurological diseases like Alzheimer's, ALS and Parkinson's; however, with every benefit from such a pipe dream, the chance for wretched abuse by a maniacal monster hell-bent on programming captives for no good awaits in the shadows to strike unsuspecting victims.

Bionic technology has advanced to the point of being able to replace limbs and vital organs, but rewiring neurons with plugin harnesses from the electro-mechanical prostheses to the newly implanted circuit boards within one's head is where this process is in need of extensive development. As so aptly put by Mick Jagger and Keith Richards, "What a drag it is getting old."

Today's Tirade: Nothing in General

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I've just read an article about the brain's needing sleep to purge neurotoxins manufactured during waking hours doing all the things it does to regulate and motivate the body. When a person sleeps, the brain shuts down in parts which open canals to flush out these impurities. Upon one's arising, the canals become buried in the gray matter now swelling with activity and stopping the flow of toxin removers. These waste products if not removed accumulate and attach to brain cells, destroying them slowly, which causes dementia-like diseases such as Alzheimer's.

Makes sense to me, just like in Myrtle Beach, South Carolina, during Bike Week. The bars close for two hours daily for sanitary cleanup. Imagine drinking in a bar for more than twenty-two hours straight? I don't think it can be done without becoming totally inebriated. The bar needs to be cleaned out for two hours or else they'll lose their license, like the brain would lose it lease on life without sleep for very long, nor in regular portions.

The preceding really has nothing to do with my forthcoming diatribe, only for the fact venting and having a blessed tirade once in a while is necessary for a healthy psyche, especially mine, or else I become extremely cynical, which is most of the time anyway. Bless me, Father, for I have sinned. It's been well over a month since my last tirade. For my penance I must bitch about something which leads into this rant and rave.

Things that get my goat:

    #1 My neighbor has a key-less-entry device for his car that whistles twice every time it's activated. He's a bit anal for checking to see if the doors are locked at least three times before entering his flat on the floor below me and slamming his apartment's door. Then as he walks to his car, he has to open it at least three times before getting in, sometimes talking on his fooking cell phone on the outside of his vehicle while pushing the key-less entry a few more times. All this frigging whistling is driving me nuts. I'll probably never mention it to him. He's a soldier stationed nearby and I wouldn't want to get him riled.

    #2 I've been pushing off doing the dreaded food-shopping as usual. There aren't very many things I hate worse, except for that occasional colonscopy, not to mention the prep on the night before. Not for just the inconsiderate people who block the aisle with their shopping carts, standing along side it with that deer-in-the-headlight appearance while trying to decide which prune juice to buy, but also for the irregularities and pricing of the supermarket's products. Have you noticed the cost of prune juice lately? Not that I buy it, of course. I suppose a sub-order is necessary here:

      A. Why aren't toothbrushes made to fit in the bathroom's cup-holder slot anymore? They've expanded the girth for whatever reason is beyond me.

      B. Ever notice that your regular-size rolls of paper towels are sometimes marked with the claim they've increased the amount of sheets per roll? OK, I'll give that to them, but the size of each sheet had been shortened by half, and the rolls look smaller than they used to.

      C. The same goes for most products. Notice their containers are smaller by an ounce or two for the same price or even higher than their full-sized predecessors.

    #3 This is really insignificant, but why do social-media typist and texters leave a space between the last letter of the last word in a sentence and an exclamation point? I've even seen it done with question marks !

    #4 Lastly, related to #2, faulty cardboard-zip tabs on boxes supposedly easy to open, tend to shear in half, leaving the box sealed and having to have my trusty pair of surgical scissors slice it open. Then there's the zip-lock bags containing lunch meat and such that tear open below the zipper, causing extraction of the contents and transplanting to another cellophane containment, all unnecessary wastes of time, energy and annoyance.

My job is done now. I've fully vented and paid my penance for another month or so. What's beneficial about having a tirade from time to time is seeing that one's life ain't so bad after all and things could definitely be a lot worse, indeed. Until the next time, happy trails to you.

Amsterdam High Jinks: Glossary of Expressions and Terms

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Putting together the final touches on my forthcoming novel, Thirty Dirty Days Across the Big Pond: Amsterdam High Jinks, I decided to put together a glossary of the Dutch-French-English-Spanish terms and expressions included throughout the story. They read as follows:

    Absoluut - Dutch: absolutely;
    Alsjeblieft - Dutch: please;
    Adieu - French: farewell;
    Adios - Spanish: good-bye;
    Amie - French: friend;
    Anne Frankhuis - Dutch: Anne Frank House;
    Aretha Franklin - American: great singer and musician;
    Arrêter maintenant - French: stop right away;
    Arriba, abajo, al centro, para adentro - Spanish: drinking toast, meaning high, low, center, and inside;
    Attendez vous une minute - French: wait a minute;
    Au revoir - French: good-bye;
    Bebáis Rápidamente - Spanish: drink fast;
    Bedankt - Dutch: thanks;
    Berks - British: fools;
    Bewaker - Dutch: guard;
    Blimey - British: interjection used to express surprise; from God blind me;
    blinkered - British: narrow-minded;
    Bloke - British: fellow;
    Bloody - British: curse word of unknown origin; some believe it's a contraction of by our lady, meaning Mary, mother of God;
    Blooming - British: nice way of saying bloody;
    Bon appétit - French: enjoy your meal;
    Bonk - British: to have sex;
    Bonne nuit, ma belle - French: good night, my beautiful one;
    Bon Sang - French: damned; a light swear word;
    Bon Voyage - French: good journey;
    Buffets Automatique - French: self-serve restaurants;
    Ça alors - French: good grief;
    Certainement - French: certainly;
    Ces bâtards - French: those bastards;
    C'est bien - French: That's good;
    C'est correct - French: that's correct;
    C'est très bonne - French: That's very good;
    C'est tres magnifique - French: that's most magnificent;
    Chap - British: see bloke;
    Chivvy Along - British: hurry up;
    Club Rookey - Nightclub in Rembrandtplein;
    Codswallop - British: nonsense;
    Coffeeshop - Dutch: coffee shop;
    Cracking - British: the best;
    Cranking - British: potent;
    Crikey - British: euphemism for Christ;
    Dames - French and Dutch: ladies;
    Dank U Wel - Dutch: thank you, very much;
    De rien - French: it's nothing; you're welcome;
    Derrière - French: butt;
    Dope - British: cool; fabulous; good deal;
    Eet smakelijk - Dutch: enjoy your meal;
    Eikel - Dutch: dickhead;
    Elephant - Blend of pot found in the coffee shops;
    Enchanté - French: enchanted;
    Escanciador - Spanish: one who pours cider;
    Excusez-moi - French: excuse me;
    Fantastique - French: fantastic;
    Fantastisch - Dutch: fantastic;
    Fen jiu - Chinese: white spirit, very potent alcohol; considered as China's first white wine;
    Fooking - British: euphemism for fucking (less vulgar);
    Full Monty - British: the whole thing;
    Geen probleem - Dutch: no problem;
    Gefeliciteerd - Dutch: congratulations;
    Gezelligheid - Dutch: cozy;
    Goedemorgen - Dutch: good morning;
    Goedenavond - Dutch: good evening;
    Goedenacht - Dutch: good night;
    Goede Reis - Dutch: good trip;
    Goed Zo -Dutch: good going;
    Graag Gedaan - Dutch: you're welcome;
    Gracias, Señorita - Spanish: Thank you, Miss;
    Hallo - Dutch: hello;
    Hardstyle - European: genre of bizarre, abrasive, electronic dance music, popular with the youths;
    Heb je lekker gegeten? - Dutch: Did you enjoy your meal?
    Held at Her Majesty's Pleasure - British: locked up indefinitely;
    Herengracht - Canal north of Keizersgracht in the ring around the city; named after the heren regeeders, city governors during the 16th and 17th centuries;
    Het Achterhuis - Dutch: name of the first edition of Anne Frank's Diary; literally, the back house;
    Ik heb een reservering voor twee personen in twintig honderd uur - Dutch: I have a reservation for two persons at twenty hundred hours;
    It's Potty - British: it's strange; wild; crazy;
    Ja - Dutch: yes;
    Jack Herer - Blend of pot found in the coffee shops;
    Jamaican - Blend of pot found in the coffee shops;
    Je comprends ça, - French: I understant that;
    Je ne veux pas me lever pour l'école d'aujourd'hui. Dix minutes de plus, Mama, s'il vous plait. - French: I don't want to get up for school today. Ten more minutes, Mama;
    Je t'aime beaucoup - French: I love you very much;
    Juffrouw - Dutch: Miss;
    Juicy Fruit - Blend of pot found in the coffee shops;
    Ka - Blend of pot found in the coffee shops;
    Kalverstraat - Exclusive shopping street near the Royal Palace and Munttoren;
    Keizersgracht - Dutch: Emperor's Canal; canal north of Prinsegracht in the ring around the capitol;
    Kerstmis - Dutch: Christmas;
    Kleine moeite - Dutch: no problem;
    Klootzak - Dutch: ball sack;
    Knackered - British: exhausted;
    Knickers - British: underwear;
    Knock Up - British: wake up;
    La truffe noire du Périgord - French: black truffle from Périgord;
    Liedsedwarsstraat - Street on which Skylar's Smoke Emporium resided;
    Ma chére - French: my dear;
    Mademoiselles - French: young women;
    Magic Mushrooms - Psilocybin mushrooms
    Magnifique - French: magnificent;
    Mais Oui - French: why, yes;
    Maudit - French: damn it;
    ménage à trois - French: sexual threesome;
    Meneer, - Dutch: mister;
    Menus in het Engels alstublieft - Dutch: menus in English, please;
    Merci Beaucoup - French: thanks, very much;
    Merde - French: crap; shit (vulgar);
    Mes plus belles filles - French: my very beautiful girls;
    Mevrouw - Dutch: madam or Mrs.
    Mijnheer - Dutch: mister;
    mijn lieve - Dutch: my dear;
    Mijn naam is Mike - Dutch: My name is Mike;
    Misty - Blend of pot found in the coffee shops;
    Moctezuma II (aka Montezuma) - Early-sixteenth century Aztecan chieftain;
    Moi aussi - French: me too;
    Mon Dieu, - French: my God;
    Monsieur - French: mister;
    Muntplein - Plaza at Munttoren;
    Munttoren - Clock tower and existing section of Amsterdam's medieval wall.
    Museumplein - Common area or plaza between the various museums in the Museum District;
    Natuurlijk - Dutch: naturally;
    Nieuwe Spiegelgracht - Street heading northeast between Prinsengracht and Herengracht.
    Noël - French: Christmas;
    Noorderstraat - Street on which Peter's Steakhouse was found;
    Northern Light - Blend of marijuana found in coffeeshops; analogous with Aurora Borealis;
    Nosotros traen tres - Spanish: we'll take three;
    Olympisch Stadium - Built for the 1928 Summer Olympics; former home of Amsterdam's football team;
    Orange Bud - Blend of pot found in the coffee shops;
    Oudekerk - Oldest church in Amsterdam; built in the thirteenth century;
    Oudezijds Voorburgwal - Canal forming the western boundary of the Red Light District;
    Oudezijds Achterburgwal - Canal forming the eastern boundary of the Red Light District;
    Ouf - French: phew;
    Oui - French: yes;
    Oui, c'est ça - French: yes, that's it;
    Par avion - French: by plane;
    Par bleu - French: mild oath; for blue literally, most likely in reference to the Mother of God;
    Par la carte de crédit - French: by credit card;
    P.C. Hooftstraat - Exclusive shopping street in the Museum District;
    Peacemaker - Blend of pot found in the coffee shops;
    Peniskop - Dutch: dickhead;
    Peuh - French: pooh; no very good;
    Philosopher's Stones - Psilocybin truffles;
    Politie - Dutch: police;
    Prima - Dutch: fine;
    Prinsengracht - The Prince's Canal; one of the major waterways in the ring around the city;
    Purple Power - Blend of pot found in the coffee shops;
    Rembrandtplein - Plaza in which Club Rookey stood;
    Rijkamuseum - Dutch National Museum in Amsterdam;
    Rolling Stones - English: the best rock-'n'-roll band in the world;
    Rosse Buurt - Dutch: Red Light District;
    Salud - Spanish: salute;
    Sensationele - Dutch: sensational;
    Shiva - Blend of pot found in the coffee shops;
    S'il vous plait - French: if you please;
    Si, por favor - Spanish: yes, please;
    Singel - Innermost canal within the ring around the city; originally was a mote that surrounded Medieval Amsterdam in the 15th and 16th centuries;
    Singelgracht - Canal directly across the street from the Museum District Hotel;
    Sint Anthonisbreestraat - Original Name of the street on which Rembrandt House Museum sits, now known as Jodenbreestraat;
    Skunk Queen - Blend of pot found in the coffee shops;
    Slap and Tickle - British: old expression meaning hanky-panky; doing the wild thing;
    Space Cake - Pot Brownies
    Spiegelstraat - Street south of Nieuwe Spiegelgracht, north of Weteringschans;
    Stadhouderskade - The boulevard that runs parallel to Singelgracht in the Museum District;
    Stadionplein - Plaza surrounding Olympisch Stadium;
    Stone the Crows - British: same as using blimey;
    Super Weed - Blend of pot found in the coffee shops;
    Swazi - Blend of pot found in the coffee shops;
    Thai - Blend of pot found in the coffee shops;
    THC - The active hallucinogenic ingredient contained in pot, responsible for the buzz;
    Tickety-boo - British: going well with no problems;
    Todo era muy bueno - Spanish: everything was very good;
    Tomatensoep - Dutch: tomato soup;
    Took the Biscuit - British: the epitome of something;
    Tot Ziens - Dutch: see you;
    Tout est fini - French: all is finished;
    Très bien - French: very good;
    une putain - French: a whore;
    Vijzelgracht - Street south of Vijzelstraat;
    Vijzelstraat - Street North of Vijzelgracht; runs north to Muntplein;
    Wacky Backy - British: marijuana;
    Wouah, regardez tous les magasins - French: wow, look at all the stores;
    Wasserette - Dutch: laundromat;
    Waterlooplein - Plaza surrounding City Hall; near Rembrandt House Museum;
    Wat is de soep van de dag? - Dutch: what is the soup of the day?
    Wat wil je eten? - Dutch: what do you want to eat?
    Welterusten - Dutch: good night;
    Westerkerk - Church near the Anne Frank House;
    White Widow - Blend of pot found in the coffee shops;
    Wunderbar - German: wonderful;
    Zeer goed, volg mij - Dutch: Very good, follow me;
    Zeker - Dutch: sure;
    Zoete dromen - Dutch: sweet dreams;
    Zut - French: damn it;

Now I need to include this into the manuscript for the final edit. This pretty much sums up all the foreign expressions and pertinent terms. This list can be used as a crash course for a European traveler's vocabulary. What do you think: seem interesting?