Monday, February 6, 2012

Bits and Pieces

Usually when one has nothing to say, the advice is not to open your mouth and prove it.  However...

Saturday it was warm enough we went into town for groceries and went through a whack of money in a hurry.

Tanya needed new jeans so we went to Kansas Jeans which is the only store in town with a wide selection.  Now women may be accused of accumulating unlimited numbers of shoes and handbags but my weakness is shirts.  Kansas carries Wrangler cowboy shirts in my size.  So Tanya got three pairs of jeans and I got a new western shirt.  Very nice but not LOUD enough for my tastes. My shirt would be $50 to $75 in Canada at a western wear store but it was $25 here.  They make up for it with the jeans.

Clothes $200
Groceries $200 (our pantry was bare.  they love us at "Big Spoon" supermarket)
Gasoline $40 (2/3 full only)
Internet $70 (we are both serious users and each have a wireless modem)
Haircuts $20 ($5 for haircut and $5 for a tip for both of us.  Yulia was upset because I put my Russian fur hat on my beautiful hair cut and messed it all up. Tanya told her that it was "normal" for me.)

Tomorrow we will go and pay our utility bills.  Low in comparison to Canada but with this cold it will be another $200 gas electricity and water.  Our house is so poorly insulated it grieves me all the heat we waste.  I'd love to put a new roof on it with thick fibre glass insulation under it.  And styrofoam on the exterior walls and then siding.  Hah.  Won't happen.  Cost would buy a lot of heat.

During the cold snap my shower froze up - the pipes run in the outside wall and the cold line froze.  It did that in the cold spell two years ago.  I had been running the water in the shower every few hours but not enough I guess.  Anyhow today it warmed up enough outside -5C that heat from inside was enough to thaw the line.

Must be spring coming.  Kuchma yowls to come in the house, stays 10 minutes and yowls to go out again.  This for three days now.  Volk disappeared three days ago and has not been seen since.  Bobik came home like a good boy but cries because he is lonely.  I am keeping him home as if Volk has a girlfriend, I don't need them battling to the death again like last fall. This video shows a crow trying to break up a fight between two tom cats.  Pretty funny and totally fruitless.

Watched a presidential contenders debate tonight.  Russian not Republican. I may be crazy but I am not stupid. Leader of the Communist Party vs an Oligarch whose name escapes me.  Putin will not lower himself to debate the little people since he is going to win anyhow.  He was too busy and such trivial things would interfere  with his important duties as Prime Minister.  When he said that, he was busy chairing the National Anglers Association meeting

Not sure how many are running against Putin.  Khodorkovsky in in jail for the foreseeable future.  Two wannabee guys didn't make the cut - they were disqualified by the Electoral Commission.  One was the Governor of Yakutsk who was a good guy.  The other one apparently was not.  They have strange rules for running elections in Russia.  Transparent is not a word I would use.  Kind of like the Florida Supreme Court and the electronic voting machines in Ohio except much more crude of course. 


  1. Delightful bits of every-day life in Dnipropetrovs'k Oblast. Exactly the relaxed information one needs mid-winter.

    That crow was surely playful. It's a wonder that he lived to tell the tail, or is it tale?

    1. I doubt any cat has successfully tackled a Russian crow. They are more like our ravens than our crows which are smaller. The black ones are quite big, have very powerful beaks. The grey and black, as in this video are somewhat smaller. They are VERY clever. Did you see the video of the crow using the jar lid as a toboggan?

  2. You must be in an area less severely affected by the cold. A newspaper story here today included a lot of grim news about frigid weather and deep snow causing deaths and hardship across Europe, especially eastern Europe and Ukraine. Mentioned quite a few fatalities, whole villages isolated, helicopter evacuations of the elderly and ailing, etc. I hope the cold passes quickly and that there are no more deaths and people stranded.

    Making your place more energy efficient should pay off in the long run. As many countries become more affluent, their people bid up the price of oil, gas and so on. If your utilities are cheap now, enjoy it while you can.

    Predictions in the U.S. are for gasoline to cost more than $4 a gallon by May. I suspect if we could get a vigilante mob to root out and mercilessly "counsel" some speculators, it would be more like $3.50 by May, but that's just a guess. The spring boost in gasoline prices is an annual event any more. Even happens in the face of the lowest level of demand in years. How can that be? Partly because some refineries closed down and others shut down temporarily for spring housecleaning. But I'm convinced a lot of it is the dirty work of speculators. If I could have my way, they would be speculating about what's for supper in a prison dining hall.

    1. Your paper is just catching up. this has ben ongoing for the past couple of weeks or more. I will post about it as many are asking.


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