Thursday, May 26, 2011

Happy Name Day, Filip! Všechno nejlepší k svátku!

Today we honor Filip.  Happy name Day, Filip!
The name Filip is the Czech form of Philip, which is of Greek origin and means "horse lover". 

Wednesday, May 25, 2011

Happy Name Day, Viola! Všechno nejlepší k svátku!

Today we honor Viola.  Happy Name Day, Viola!
The name Viola is of Latin origin, and its meaning is "violet".  Viola was the heroine in Shakespeare's play "Twelfth Night".  She's the twin sister to Sebastian. When disguised as a man, she is known as Cesario. 

Viola (in orange, left) as Cesario; Olivia (in yellow, right). William Hamilton c. 1797

Tuesday, May 24, 2011

Happy Name Day, Jana! Všechno nejlepší k svátku!

Today we honor Jana.  Happy Name Day, Jana!
The name Jana is the Slavic variant of Jane.  It's of Hebrew origin, meaning "God's grace".

Monday, May 23, 2011

Happy Name Day, Vladimír! Všechno nejlepší k svátku!

Today we honor Vladimir.  Happy Name Day, Vladimir!
The name Vladimir is of Slavic origin, and its meaning is "renowned prince". 

Sunday, May 22, 2011

10 Reasons to Give Czech Men a Chance

I'm not making this up.  
This is from an article I stumbled across on and figured I'd share it for all the single ladies out there!

It’s been said that the European male is the final frontier of the ethnic stereotype, a fact confirmed by a recent spate of American commercials.  But for every over-blinged Russian oligarch and Speedo-wearing Italian, Europeans play into our fantasies for their more agreeable traits, too. Mediterranean men are typecast for swarthiness, Frenchmen get points for savoir faire, and all Swedes are certainly sculpted blonde vampires.

But try imagining a scenario with Czech men in the desired role and things get a little blurry. In a country with an historically shaky national identity, where Western ideals of masculinity, bound to conquering and colonizing, don’t figure in, and the heroes of literature and film are exemplars of beer-soaked mediocrity (think Hašek’s Švejk or any of the dozens of roles played by actor Pavel Liška), it’s no wonder that the international view of the Czech man is ambiguous at best or, at worst, outright negative.

Foreign women living in the Czech Republic have heard the negatives. Czech men are unkempt. Coddled to perpetual immaturity by mom. Their puny egos are no match for brassy, self-supporting you. What’s more, they aren’t nearly as fun-loving and flirty as their Western counterparts.

But if the modern American man can be defined by the schlubby, stoned toddlers of recent Judd Apatow movies and their cinematic ilk (the Zach Galifianakising of American manhood if you will), then the twenty-first century Czech male is certainly no worse, and in fact may even prove a better, mate. For those weighing the pros and cons of a cross-cultural affair, some points in favor of Czech men:

10. Czech men will always tell you how you look.
A quality that I truly admire in Czechs (both men and women) is their startling bluntness. The American capacity for frilly, over-polite distortions of obvious truth, isn’t something I really miss. While your significant other denying the muffin top peeking out of your jeans may spare your feelings it’s still dishonest.

9. Czech men don’t over analyze.
Czech men aren’t exactly hand-wringing Woody Allen types. Perhaps it’s due to the language barrier, but lengthy discussions of the “what-exactly-are-we” nature don’t seem to occur with them. You’ll never hear a Czech guy label your “situation” as that of “amazing friends with this intense physical connection who just aren’t totally ready to hang it all out there emotionally.” 

8. Czech men are not afraid of P.D.A.
Is there something about public transportation that brings out the latent octopus in all Czech men? As a blushing Midwesterner first come to this land, I immediately took note of the extended Metro make-out as a marquee cultural difference. Women previously beleaguered by shy guys will find Czech men refreshingly on board for cuddling of the highly visible sort.

7. Czech men don’t play games.
I can’t count the number of times I’ve studied a text message from a would-be Czech suitor, reading between the lines of the phrase “I have very busy program tomorrow,” searching for some subtle suggestion of blow off, then firing back a sassy retort only to be met with his complete bewilderment. If a Czech man says he’s really busy then he probably is (see #10).

6. Czech men rank among the EU’s most well endowed.
In a 2011 survey tallying World Penis Size and compiled by, a Web site providing “statistical information offered by trusted research centers and reports worldwide” Czechs placed third in Europe, surpassed only by Frenchmen (#2) and Hungarians (#1).

5. Czech men don’t wear baseball caps.

A recent International Business Times article decried the global proliferation of baseball caps as a “symptom of society’s seemingly permanent deterioration”.  Czech men and fashion still have a long way to go, but this is one dowdy look they haven’t latched onto. (And that’s because their mothers warned them they’d go bald if they did).

4. Czech men will shower you with pet names.
The Czech language is so awash with diminutives that it’s often referred to by our neighbors to the north as “baby Polish”. In Czech a single, loving endearment can be stretched into a variety of sweet nothings. Phrases like zlatozlatka, and zlatíčko (honey, little honey, and really little honey) don’t register the same romantic kick in English.

3. Czech men are thrifty—and that’s a good thing. 
That Czech men can be frighteningly cheap—pulling out Sodexho coupons on dates, traveling with their own řízky—goes without saying. But living with one has put my own spending habits into perspective, making me a more selective and discerning consumer, able to better recognize the difference between need and want in a society where the latter isn’t such ancient history.

2. Czech men won’t think less of you after casual sex.
Western society’s (read men’s) deeply held notions of how we women should conduct ourselves often sullies sexual pleasure with the fear of post-coital fall-out (Will he think I’m easy? Is he using me?). Czech men don’t read into casual sex; rather than something loaded with innuendoes it’s more of a national pastime.

1. Czech men aren’t afraid of commitment.
Pragmatism may supersede romance for Czech men (living together means splitting the rent, after all) but they’re typically direct and serious—see #7—which equates to someone who’s less likely to waffle on questions of long-term commitment.

Happy Name Day, Emil! Všechno nejlepší k svátku!

 Today we honor Emil.  Happy Name Day, Emil! 
The name Emil is of Latin origin, and its meaning is "eager".

Friday, May 20, 2011

How Sweet It Is!

 As you can guess by now, I'm a huge fan of Sweet Life Bakery!  Here are some of their newest delicious creations...



Cupcakes, too...


And for the beer lover, what better way to say Všechno nejlepší k narozeninám (Happy Birthday) than with this cake...
  Now that's what I call genius!

Contact info  
tel.: +420 731 563 956  
tel.: +420 604 484 058  

Lightning Strikes

Lightning strikes the observation tower on Petřín Hll in Prague early Friday, May 20, 2011. Thankfully, no damage was reported.

The Observation Tower on Petřín Hill is 60 meters high (that's 196.85 feet), which makes it five times smaller than the Eiffel Tower.  Although it's much shorter than the Eiffel Tower, it stands atop a sizable hill, thus the top is actually at a higher altitude than that of the Eiffel Tower.  The tower was built in 1891 and was used as an observation tower as well as a transmission tower.  

Happy Name Day, Zbyšek! Všechno nejlepší k svátku!

Today we honor Zbyšek.  Happy Name Day, Zbyšek!
The name Zbyšek is of Slavonic origin and its meaning is "to dispel anger".

Wednesday, May 4, 2011

When someone you love becomes a memory, the memory becomes a treasure. ~Author Unknown

Mommy & Iva (1998)

This morning one of the kindest and most loving woman I know passed on.  Iva was my mom's best friend, a wonderful mother and grandmother, and someone who touched my life and heart.  The sadness of her being gone is unbearable, but we find peace knowing that her memory and spirit will live on with us forever.
We love you, Iva, and always will.

Mommy, Iva and I...1998.  Praha.

We can shed tears that she is gone
Or we can smile because she has lived.
We can close our eyes and pray that she will come back
Or we can open our eyes and see all that she has left.
Our hearts can be empty because we can't see her
Or we can be full of the love that we shared.
We can turn our backs on tomorrow and live yesterday
Or we can be happy for tomorrow because of yesterday.
We can remember her and only that she is gone
Or we can cherish her memory and let it live on.
We can cry and close our mind, be empty and turn our backs, 
Or we can do what she would want us to:
Smile, open our eyes, 
Love, and go on.

Happy Name Day, Květoslav! Všechno nejlepší k svátku!

Today we honor Květoslav.  Happy Name Day, Květoslav!
The name Květoslav is of Slavic origin and is derived from kvet "flower" and slav "glory".

Tuesday, May 3, 2011

Trains, Planes & Automobiles

I wouldn't normally think to visit a "technical" museum, let alone be excited to do so.  I mean, that's boy stuff!  So how did I end up spending an entire afternoon there?  Let me count the ways...
1.  I was excited to spend a day with my brother and father
2.  I do like cars
3.  I LOVE airplanes
4.  The museum's website showed a picture of this:

Which reminds me of this:

Thus off to the National Technical Museum we go...


The National Technical Museum was founded in 1908 and is the biggest Czech institution specializing in technical museum exhibits.  


Half-tender steam locomotive KLADNO was manufactured by the engineering works of Vienna-Raab railway in 1855.  The locomotive was mainly used for the transport of coal from Kladno to Kralupy nad Vltavou.  Three similar half-tender locomotives have been preserved all around the world, KLADNO being the oldest of them.


Train interiors should still look like this...



The collection of automobiles is incredible!  The exhibit includes lots of cars produced prior to WWII.

Tatra is the third oldest car maker in the world after Daimler Mercedes-Benz and Peugeot.  During WWII, Tatra was instrumental in the production of trucks and tank engines for the German war effort.  production of Tatra ceased in 1999, but the company still produces a range of primarily all-wheel-drive trucks.

Being that I motor around in one myself, I have a soft spots for Audi's...especially green ones.  This particular Audi is the oldest in the world and was owned by Dr. Paul Pallme-König.  He dismantled it at the beginning of WWI out of fear of it being taken away, and stored it in his attic, where it remained for more than 40 years.  It was reassembled after his death when it became part of the museum collection.
Top speed...70 km/hr (that's a speedy 43.5 mph!)

Yeah that last pic has nothing to do with the museum...I got carried away after seeing the carriages.

Now where were we? Ah yes, cars...


Škoda Works was established as an arms manufacturer in 1859.  Škoda is an automobile manufacturer based in the Czech Republic. Škoda became a wholly owned subsidiary of the Volkswagen Group in 2000.





For more information about the National Technical Museum in Prague, please visit 

Národní Technické Muzeum