Monthly Archives: May 2008

interwebs

Off to Marbella

I don’t particularly like “lazy” holidays. You know, the kind of vacations where all you do is lie on a beach or by the pool and limit your intellectual stimulation to reading a mass market paperback yarn that caught your eye at the airport bookshop. Yes, I am all for a swim in azure waters,

Read More

expat

Nice and efficient Brits

Sometimes, a small and fairly inconsequential thing happens, which makes me think: “Hey, I can’t imagine this being handled so efficiently and positively for me in America”. Natasha received a parking violation ticket a couple of weeks ago. That was before our recent discovery of mobile-phone-enabled payments, but it occurred on a trip to the

Read More

notes2

YouTube’d memories: You’re a Woman

Maybe not as popular as Modern Talking, German-based multinational pop trio Bad Boys Blue was a staple of our DJ playlists in mid-80’s. The two contemporary outfits are curiously forever linked in my mind. My very first own cassette tape was meant to contain The First Album by MT in its entirety, but instead had

Read More

Working on alternative careers

The last couple of weeks both Natasha and I have been heavily occupied with our Home PC-related careers. Natasha’s is all about travel. Having successfully seen through my parents’ visit to Paris and London, she had to turn her attention to the upcoming visits of other relatives. Let’s just say that none of our relations

Read More

bookMerdeHap

Jabbing at America

I have just finished reading Merde Happens, which is the third installment in Stephen Clarke’s series about a young Englishman’s experiences with foreign cultures. Unlike the first two installments, A Year in the Merde and Merde Actually (I skipped over the latter by pure coincidence of it not being sold at the Eurostar terminal bookshop

Read More

expat

Cell phones can be useful

Contrary to my recent rant about cell phones, they do come in handy in more than obvious ways. For instance, more and more parking lots around England allow you to pay your parking fee by calling an automated processing service, so you no longer find yourself in a pickle when you do not have enough

Read More

To the nearest gastro-pub

The old dilapidated pub on one of the corners of the big intersection near our house has recently re-opened after a renovation. It dropped the word “tavern” from its name, remaining simply “The Royal”, and now markets itself as a gastro-pub. Even in our Brooklyn years, we have never lived this close to an eating

Read More

[#Beginning of Shooting Data Section]
Nikon COOLPIX5700
Focal Length: 8.9mm
White Balance: Direct sunlight
Digital Zoom Ratio: 1.00
2003/09/22 14:13:44
Exposure Mode: Programmed Auto
AF Mode: AF-S
Saturation comp: 0
JPEG (8-bit) Fine
Metering Mode: Multi-Pattern
Tone Comp: Auto
Sharpening: Auto
Image Size:  2560 x 1920
1/7 sec - f/2.8
Flash Sync Mode: Not Attached
Noise Reduction: OFF
[#End of Shooting Data Section]

Booklist meme

By the simplest gauge, I have already had a handful of posts devoted to the tried subject of British weather, so I can hardly expound on it any more without truly approximating a broken gramophone record. Yet, that particular topic remains – as it would be in any civilized discourse – the only one that

Read More

blogging

Becky has a blog!

I am happy to announce that my elder child now has a soapbox of her own within confines of this website. The link is now prominently featured on the navigation bar. Warning by the newly-minted authoress: You are not really advised to visit if you were born before the 90’s. (P.S. There is only one

Read More

interwebs

Anyone for extreme hiking?

Came across this via Exler. Stupendous video, and vertigo-inducing, no matter how comfy is the armchair that you currently occupy. As comments on Alex’s site say: By night, in a drunken stupor, traversing this path is quite easy… but in the middle of the day, entirely sober – and with a camcorder?!…    

notes2

YouTube’d memories: Brother Louie

I’ve already offered a glimpse of Modern Talking in the retrospection of my musical affinities (and also posted this clip in other people’s blogs). But it is high time that I paid my respects to the German duo directly. For some period of time in high school, I was a DJ. Not because I was

Read More

interwebs

Translate this page

I come across people translating their websites into other languages quite often. They do it via free translation services such as Babel Fish. Every time I read something translated into Russian that way, it makes me cringe. Yes, you can probably relay the gist of it via such translation, but at the expense of all

Read More

customerography

Protecting the seller

Say, you browse a store, any store, and come across an attractive item that is on sale. You’d be lukewarm to the idea of obtaining said item at its original listed price, but an ability to buy it at a discount closes the deal for you. Now, suppose, as you reach the checkout and a

Read More

OrdenKrZvezdy

Victory Day

If there is one day when I am wholly proud to have been born and raised in the former USSR, it is today. Anyone who shares my background has at least one person in their extended family tree who either gave their lives in the Great Patriotic War or marched to the victory with the

Read More

blogging

First verbal sparring on burlaki.com

The excellent spring weather – what actually qualifies as summer in London; the next stop is dreary autumn – has seemingly spread across the Channel, and we are finally wearing short sleeves, having dinners on the deck in the garden, and deceiving ourselves with “British climate is not so bad” sentiment. I am actually spending

Read More

interwebs

It does not take an Einstein…

Unlike previous tests, this one is fairly academic. Still, was there any doubt?   StupidTester.com says I’m 2% Stupid! How stupid are you? Click Here!   I could not figure out how to swivel my computer screen to get a good look at a stretched picture, and that’s probably the wrong answer that cost me

Read More

JardinLuxembourg

Back from Paris

Ahh, Paris… There is nothing like it in the whole wide world. Not for us, at least. I don’t know what it is, honestly, but we always feel entirely at home in this most romantic of cities. This time around, we benefited from exceptionally bright skies and warm weather, which was a great and welcome

Read More

passport

Mind your passport

It is the most basic and universal of any advice that an international traveller can get: Never forget when your passport expires. My parents, who leave the shores of the U.S. of A. about once a year on average, were going for a tour of Paris, followed by a stay with us in London. Our

Read More