Friday, October 19, 2012

I Fought the Law

And the law won… 

The other night when I got out of the car to open the gate I noticed my right headlight was out. Darn. I planned to get it fixed but I figured I was fairly safe for a while being that every third car (it seems) has a headlight out. It worked on high beam and there were a couple of times I just left it on high. Nobody blinked their lights at me so I supposed it wasn’t too obnoxious.
One headlight...Cockeye!

When we were kids, my sister, brother and I played a game with cars only having one headlight. If such a car was spotted we called out “Cock-eye!” If there were three of these, you got a wish. (It was a lot safer than the slug-bug game!) I think this was something my mom and dad played because mom was the one who told us. I believe we may have added the three for a wish option but the original saying was hers.

Running errands after work made it dark when I finally headed home. All was well until I was a couple miles out of town. A car whizzed by as I set my cruise control. Suddenly the dreaded red lights came from the shoulder of the road. I just knew the car who whooshed by me was in for a ticket. I pulled over, because that’s what you are supposed to do when you see flashing lights on an emergency vehicle and darned if he didn’t pull in behind me. I knew he’d probably made a mistake because I wasn’t speeding. I didn’t even think about that blasted headlight.

Just the other day I’d heard some people talking about what was expected when you were pulled over by the police. I put my hands on the top of the steering wheel so he could plainly see them. I didn’t turn the dome light on; are you even supposed to? But he had the spotlight going and could see clearly where my hands were.

He got out of his car and headed to my driver’s side, all the while shining a bright flashlight in the windows. He didn’t approach the door but stayed behind shining his light in the backseat and all around. He finally came up to the passenger side and I lowered the window to speak with him.

This state trooper was a kindergarten cop! He was so young I wondered if he shaved. It gives me an odd feeling in the pit of my stomach to think how young these men (and women) are, defending us and taking chances every day for our safety. It’s humbling in a way.
Age requirements to become a state trooper in Texas

He explained he’d pulled me over for the headlight. I told him I knew it was out and was planning to get it fixed. He asked a lot more questions; where was I going, where had I been, where did I work, and what did I do and so on. I guess that’s routine but I really don’t know. He asked for my license and current insurance card. I had the license but the insurance card was another thing entirely. My oldest son is the insurance card police at our house and he hasn’t been there to make sure I’m legal. It had expired in January. The trooper was nice though, and said he could look it up. He kept inspecting the inside of my car.

Let me tell you a little about that. It’s a mess. When you live in it for two or three hours a day you sometimes become lax. I keep what I need in the passenger seat, Kleenex, candy, water, my purse and whatever else I think is useful. If someone wishes to ride with me all of that goes in the backseat. And it doesn’t always come back out. So there are piles of miscellaneous junk. I guess it was a lot to look at.
How they used to do it. Picture from

He took my information and walked back to his car while I patiently waited. He finally came back with the dreaded ticket book in his hand. Actually I think it was some kind of computerized thing but I didn’t see for sure. He was still looking around the car. I had a glass of tea from work and the ice had melted so it was a nice whiskey color. I wondered if that was what he was checking out so I told him what it was and offered to let him smell it if he wanted. He laughed. He then wrote me a warning which I graciously accepted. I told him thank you for what he does and he looked at me strangely and said you’re welcome. Then it was finished.
I thought about the polite young man who actually had the power and authority to do whatever he felt was needed when he stopped me. And I thought about how he was someone’s little boy and how proud and worried they must be for him. And I got the headlight fixed because I doubted I’d be that lucky if stopped a second time.

Guess my race is run, 
I fought the law… 

Not much knitting going on. I have a couple of finished items except for working in the ends. I'll post pictures when that's done. But now I’m doing a scarf for someone who took knitting lessons and didn’t get a feel for it. I tried to salvage her work so it would be a part of the item but it didn’t work. I’m just about finished.
Drop stitch scarf for a friend.
The yarn is really more brown than this picture. Pretty though.

I’m reminded of a silly knitting joke involving a policeman. It goes something like this: A policeman spots a woman driving and knitting at the same time. Moving up beside her, he shouts out the window......"Pull over"!! "No," she shouts back, "Cardigan!"

Be nice to the state troopers and they’ll be nice to you. And be thankful for what they do.

I fought the law and the law won…

Sunday, October 7, 2012

It’s a Small World

It's a small world after all…

Oh my goodness! That’s about the only thing I can think to say about Miniatur Wunderland in Hamburg, Germany. Well, I can also say awesome, amazing, astounding as well! This truly was an incredible place!

Because we were on a limited time schedule, we decided to let Bryce be our tour guide on the recent trip overseas. We could have used valuable time standing in ‘queues’, waiting to see the standard museums and attractions but decided that could be for another trip when we were able to stay longer. So he put on his thinking cap and came up with some great things to see and do while we were there. So we were off to the warehouse district to look at miniature trains.

Yes, that’s what he said. I was skeptical at first, but remembered looking at train exhibits at the State Fair in New Mexico, growing up, and enjoying the intricacy of the landscapes. And I’ve always liked ‘mini’ things, so it sounded like it might be a good idea! And I am glad! It was one of my favorite things on the trip.

Minitatur Wunderland came about as a project between twin brothers, Frederik and Gerrit Braun. While wandering around one day Frederik happened upon a model railway shop. It brought back many childhood memories and he immediately called Gerrit and told him, “We are going to build the largest model railway in the world!” And they did!

HHLA home of Miniatur Wunderland
The twins are from Hamburg and have a deep love and loyalty to their city. They agreed the only place to build was Hamburg. They searched out a spot that would be easy for tourists to find and also which had adequate floor space to allow for future expansion. With help from the Chamber of Commerce an agreement was reached with Hamburger Hafen und Logistik (HHLA) and Miniatur Wunderland found a home.
Command Central with about 55 computers controlling the automation.
There are three floors to explore and we looked at it all. There are currently 8 completely constructed regions and plans for at least 4 more are in the works. While the areas aren’t exact replicas, the various sections are easily recognized, if you know your geography! It’s estimated approximately 580,000 work hours have been delivered by 250 creative employees to add around 1,000 trains, 375,000 lights and 250,000 figurines.

There's a little bit of everything and something for everyone!

Airports and parking...
Knuffingen Airport...Planes taking off, landing and all the action required between times included.
Parking garage at Knuffingen Airport...luggage, people, lights and vehicles.

Boats and docks...
Boats under repair.
Along the pier.
Even a raft. Complete with skinny dippers!
 Brideges and dams...
A suspension bridge. Look at the detail.
Traffic on a bridge.
Nighttime traffic.
A dam. I'm not sure what country this is. Switzerland maybe?
A view from the top.
While we were touring I was able to read the signs to know which geographical area I was viewing. But after I got home and looked at the many pictures I found I had forgotten. But I still got some great photos!

A little bit of America...
Mount Rushmore. It would have been funny to put the twins pictures there. Who knows? Maybe they did!
Las and night! The time cycles so all scenes are shown daylight, dusk, dark and sunrise.
Cadillac Ranch in Amarillo. Funny what we're known for, huh!
Southwest...Arizona/New Mexico Indian Pueblo
Roswell, New Mexico...Aliens!!!
Kentucky Fried Chicken. American favorite? :)
A castle. Austria maybe?
A mossy cottage. Switzerland? I'm not sure but I like it!
The seasons...
A winter wonderland.
Snow celebration.
A summer celebration. Concert?
Flower power!
A soccer game.
Country fair.
Fall on the mountain.
Fire! Emergency!
Weddings and funerals...
A wedding.
A cemetery.
No bull about it!
Dinosaurs! Caleb would know their names.
And, well...throughout the exhibit little people doing the 'dirty' are hidden. It was kind of fun to find them!
Don't wait too long at the porta potty! You'll get TP'd!
A hotel where you could peek in the windows at night. There were lots of interesting things going on in there!
The stork arrived at the airport parking lot!
Car trouble...and no help from the monks!
Something missing...
I didn't see any yarn or knitting or spinning...but there were sheep!
If you are ever in Hamburg, this place is a must see. It’s awesome. It’s amazing. It’s astounding. It is truly an incredible place!

It's just a small world after all.