Chimney Sweeps in Germany 2

I’ve touched upon the German chimney sweeps before. Mausi has explained in even more detail about them. Today, the New York Times has an article about how the EU is busting up the monopoly enjoyed by German chimney sweeps.

Few trades are as encrusted with tradition as that of schornsteinfeger, or chimney sweep. Revered as a source of good luck, with their black hats and sooty faces delighting children, chimney sweeps are a link to a vanishing past. They are also, critics say, old-fashioned monopolists.

Europe has been trying to break open the monopoly since 2003, contending that it violates laws that permit any qualified citizen of a European Union member to set up shop in any other member state. With Germany dragging its heels, the commission recently sent it a legal opinion ? a prelude to taking it to the European Court of Justice.

Is nothing sacred?

Cardinals Win World Series!

That’s right! I wish I was partying in St. Louis right now. I remember when they won in 1982 and how exciting it was for a little kid to be in the middle of all that enthusiasm and “Cardinal Fever”. At the time the theme song for the series was “Celebration” by Cool & the Gang. Actually, I’m not even sure if it was officially linked to the Cardinals in any way, it’s just that the song was played constantly everywhere whenever the game was on or when they ran highlights on TV or radio. It just sort of permeated my memories of that time and I always associate it with the 1982 World Series.

A brief hello

Things are calming down. We are all moved in and almost everything is put in its place. Last weekend M. ran in the Cologne Marathon and crossed the finish line at a respectable 5:11:34. Musically, I’ve been helping a local band, Tussika, record a demo DVD. That has been fun. I’ll write more just as soon as I can clear my head.