Category Archives: Miscellany

In Madrid to see a soccer game

Fun trips are coming thick and fast in the second half of this year for me. I am still several photo-essays away from completing the story of our summer trip to Catalonia, I just returned from a jaunt around California wine country, and there I am in Madrid for a somewhat uncommon reason. Although this

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A decade of blogging

We interrupt the current stream of travel vignettes in order to celebrate a truly momentous occasion: the 10th birthday of my online journal. It is no testament to either perseverance or superior writing that the blog, started as the written record of our expatriate experiences, has survived our subsequent repatriation, periods of little to no

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Ctrl + Alt + Del

If you clicked to the website in the last couple of days, you probably noticed that things have changed a bit. Ok, not a bit – a lot! Part of the reason for this was that the last time I re-decorated had been over 7 years ago – an updated look and feel was somewhat

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10 Movies for vicarious travel

My blogging angle has clearly become almost exclusively travel-oriented, and any self-respecting travel blogger has to have a list of his favorite travel movies. So here is my attempt to establish bona fides. I set out with the goal of picking not just the movies filmed in gorgeous locations but those that allowed me to

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One [thousand] and done

So I made it to my vanity goal – this is my 1000th post. It took me six and a half years, a pace of roughly 3 posts every week. Surprisingly, this is very close to the pace I initially established at the beginning of this endeavor, but obviously well below my peak from late

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How to get to Mars

This is not a new clip, it’s been around for nearly two years. In fact, I am pretty sure that most of my audience have seen it in the past. But it’s wa-a-a-y cool. And absent any original thought at this here blog, it certainly serves as a an upgrade in terms of entertainment. Enjoy!

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September 11

I am ashamed to admit that I completely forgot today’s date and its significance up until the point that the public address system came on at 9:25am to say that “the firm would like to observe a minute of silence in honor of the events of September 11, 2001”. On the other hand, could it

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Grounds for Sculpture

On one of the rare nowadays intraday weekend excursions, we went for the first time to New Jersey’s Grounds for Sculpture, in Hamilton Township, about 45 minutes drive away from our house. It is a sizable park that contains open-air exhibition of several hundred post-modern works of art (plus a couple of indoor galleries, a

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Watching Olympics, sort of

A recent article in Salon reminded me of something I briefly mentioned during the Beijing Games four years ago and then expounded upon during the Vancouver Winter Games two years ago. In one recent two-hour stretch of primetime viewing, I managed to see several final serves of a volleyball match, five or six swimming semifinals

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Память о подвиге

With apologies to my non-Russian-speaking readers, the content of this post has little meaning to those who do not have ancestors or relatives who fought in the World War II in the Red Army. Because of that, I decided to write in Russian for once. С подачи Наташиного брата Лёши, мы провели вчера несколько часов,

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Vacation pictures

Several dozen Cancun and Chichen Itza photos from the recent vacation have been added to our gallery. Use the Gallery link on the right or click here.

Drive-by movie review: Moneyball

Going through recent Oscar contenders, I find another movie that I like well enough but do not hold worthy of an Oscar consideration. It gave me a glimpse into inner workings of a baseball franchise, which I always find fascinating (although I have little doubt that the eponymous book on which the movie is based

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Hooked on Beatles

Last weekend we went for a movie screening of the Beatles’ Yellow Submarine, shown as part of New York International Children’s Film Festival. Lifelong Beatles fan that I am, I have never actually seen the movie in its entirety before, so it was a treat (followed up by a nice dinner with friends at an

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Drive-by movie review: Hugo

It is brilliantly made. It deserves all of those non-acting Oscars that it received and probably a couple more (I loved the score and the overall editing was superb, but those two awards went elsewhere). And it directly speaks to our love of cinematography as a magical art form – the sentiment I share with

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Drive-by movie review: Midnight in Paris

This year, my movie viewing habits prevented me from seeing any of the Oscar-nominated films ahead of the awards ceremony. Even those of the nominees that were already out on DVD did not find its way to the top of my Netflix queue until now. So the very first nominated movie arrived in my mailbox

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