Post #500

On 799th day from this blog’s inauguration, I finally reached my 500th post, at the rate of only .63 posts a day. Not very prolific, I know, but I wasn’t really aiming to be such. In fact, in the first 466 days of this endeavor, I only posted once every several days and produced only[…]


An unexpected honor

I learned today that my friend Jason conferred the “I Love This Blog” award upon my humble soapbox.

I sincerely appreciate your kindness, Jason. It is a bit embarrassing to me that you emphasize “a fascinating outsider’s perspective on American and British life”, which is something that appears less and less on my blog, but I’ll take any praise that I can get from a friend.

The prize comes with certain obligations:

  1. Post the award on my blog.
  2. Link to the person who gave me the award.
  3. Nominate at least 4 others.
  4. Leave a comment on their blogs so they can pass it on.

The first two requirements are completed at the top of the post. The last, I suppose, I can entrust to the wonderful statistics of “incoming links” on each of the recipients’ blogs. The thing that is left are the nominations.


How about some motivation!

One of my favorite “fun in pictures” sites on the web, The Village of Joy, has got a hilarious collection of motivational posters. They vary in the strength of message, but they all are pretty funny. See for yourself: 25 Motivational Posters. Nerd that I am, I especially liked the one about simplicity. Although, I[…]


Happy birthday, Natasha!

My lovely wife is 18 again today, prompting mass celebrations in all corners of the world. The outpouring of congratulatory notes and phone calls has been overwhelming, so a new channel in the form of the comments thread to this post had to be authorized. The birthday girl herself plans to celebrate in style, by[…]


Movie review: Quantum of Solace

A new installment in the James Bond franchise has an irresistible pull on me. While I have few opportunities to go to the movies and tend to barely tolerate the distractions that accompany the procedure of sharing the viewing experience with a bunch of strangers, certain movie releases to me constitute “events” that I find hard to put off until their future availability on cable.

So, on Saturday, Natasha and I left the children to entertain themselves in front of TV and computers, and went for a matinee showing of Quantum of Solace.



I’ll give this movie purely on entertainment value, but I am ambivalent about it. On one hand, it has striking locales, fast-paced action, daring escapes, fanciful technology, great stunts, chases and explosions – all that I enjoy the most about Bond movies. On the other hand, I also expect a coherent storyline, and the sequence of events in this movie appears a bit too haphazard and disjointed to me.

There are a few spoilers below, proceed with caution.


It’s been too long

I had a horrible sudden realization the other day: We have entered a terra incognita as far as the duration of our stay-at-home intervals since we arrived in England. We are nearing our 20th trip (counting only those that included at least one night away from home), but it’s been two and a half months[…]


Natasha, the real-life Pretender

Natasha’s brother and sister-in-law sent us a package with a friend of theirs who was coming to London. We used to jump at the opportunity to send something with an occasional messenger across Russian borders in the early 90’s, when the Russian postal service was reliable in only one aspect – pilfering the contents of[…]


Alphabet Movie Meme

I am suddenly quite busy at work, with little time to come up with a worthwhile narrative for a post. Seeing how I’ve used one of my regular cop-outs just yesterday, I impulsively decided that I needed to pick up a little meme that Jason had tagged me with. I am not going to recount[…]


Social life update, 11/09/08

The fireworks at Blackheath is an annual event for us. As I mentioned in this post two years ago, the November fireworks period of festivities in England is related to the early-17th-century plot by Guy Fawkes and his companions to blow up the Parliament. While it does not cease to amaze me that this particular[…]


Frauds and snitches

In England, just as I remember in latter years in America with ads against insurance fraud, TV campaigns against benefit fraud do a pretty good job in sending the appropriate message. A benefit thief may not mend his ways outright upon seeing an ad like the one below, but seeing many of them is likely[…]


A fountain that paints

This is amazing! The fountain in the video below makes pictures and words with falling water. The principle is akin to that of an ink-jet printer. Hundreds of nozzles create precise streams of water, timed in a way to create images. The attraction welcomes people to Canal City Hakata, a Japanese shopping complex. I’m unlikely[…]