Saturday, June 25, 2005

I guess you could call this an update Blog.

I had thought that I wanted to base a blog on how little I liked the last blog I wrote, the one about gambling with Egor. After I wrote it I regretted writing it almost completely. One of the reasons was that I thought I was writing about myself much more than I was about Egor or bout chess or even about theories of learning of development. In fact, I thought my own egotism wa kind of sickening and I sort of did something my mother used to do when I was small that I really hated. I am speaking of putting yourself as the hero in a story that was really about someone else. Poor journalism and a poor excuse for a blog if you ask me. I mean, I might have gotten egor fired up for the win, but he still played the game and had accounted for all of the previous 51/2 points without any self professed brilliance. But then I thought that writing a blog abut recanting an earlier blog was not at all as easy as simply removing the blog. But, as I didn’t want to do that either. Why waist the material? So I thought I would just play a little catch-up today.

Back when I first started writing this blog several years ago, I used to from time to time make simply an update on all of the things that are going on. Of course back then, there was all of the court stuff to be writing about so there was appoint to it. The court stuff now though doesn’t even seem to exist any more, so as fr as that goes there is really nothing to speak about. But there are some things I have spoken about over the last while and I know that there are some of you who have been curious about some things that I have mentioned but then the subject just kind of goes away. Sorry about that. I wish things were more well put together, but they are not. I am just fighting for energy and time these days just lake everybody else. Only with less money.

Or maybe today is just a good day for an update because I have too many little things going on and nothing particularly big to base a theme on. How about that? Anyway, here is a brief list of all that is going on:

1. Planting is finally done at the dacha. That; right. And it’s about damned time too. I wish I had been as professional about things as I thought I was but I wasn’t. There are a lot of excuses for this, the biggest among them I simply not being an expert to start with. But basically, we dragged out the planting for a long time because several of the gardens we had planted required an extended planting schedule. I am speaking of the pickles and the melons specifically. Now both of these are best started in a green house, but because I had some success in transplanting pickles last year, I set up the nursery for them in a different place than where they would b growing. Now most people when they plant pickles plant them either in cups or I the place where they will eventually grow. And both of these methods work just fine. But what I did was plant the seeds into the ground in a separate place and then simply pulled them up with a handful of wet earth and stuck them in the ground in their eventual place. Now, this does work, but there are a percentage of plants that you will lose because the roots become exposed and s you have to do the planting and then redo the bad spots and then do it again. And the same thing happened with the melons this year. So, instead of being able to rest in the evenings while I am at the farm, I have been spending several hours each night tending gardens that should have long ago been finished. Well, there is always next year.

But on a positive note, one thing that did come in this year, and in abundance was our strawberries. This last week has been strawberry time and the first two pickings produced some forty liters of rather delicious fruit. The first bucket was rather ravenously consumed by Egor, Tanya and I within a day or so. Tanya did another picking which resulted in three buckets. We sold two of these on the market for $5 each (That’s right folks, a 10 liter bucket of fresh strawberries costs $5 here, and less sometimes). We were lucky both because Tatyana held our price and because she found a buyer within 10 minutes. I brought in another yesterday afternoon (Though no one really cared any more) and tomorrow or Sunday, we will pick again. Ever had popcorn and strawberries? Oh yea, baby!

2. The big document I need to acquire is stalled over the only American based documen. Yea, we would be at the finish line but for one document. The passport agency told us that the US embassy would be able to get this for me, but when I called them my old friend Chris Reynolds told me that this was simply not the case. Damn and blast. Contacted everybody I knew back in the states who might even have a chance of being able to acquire the document but so far no one has come through. And really, I am kind of scared about this because if the whole deal falls through because of this one document, I am really screwed here. And it is a big deal. I am not through yet, but at the moment, I am really stalled.

3. And this goes along with the last item somewhat: For some reason, I have lost contact with my dad. He had just made a move from one house to another but his phone doesn’t work and he is not on the net. I have been trying to call him for several days but his phone seems to be busy all of the time. So, if any of you out there have any news, please let me know.

4. Egor got hit by a straff. Yes, I hate to say this but it is true. For those of you who had not read the blog about our disciplinary methods, we absolutely are against hitting children in any way. There is just no reason for it. But occasionally these comes a need to discipline a boy, and Egor went ahead and found himself such a need. The general reason was lack of discipline itself and it had expressed itself as a really poor remark from his chess teacher, and was followed but absolute indifference about the subject. And then, when the kid wouldn’t simply do the original penalty work, writing pages in a notebook, he earned himself a full dose of the purple finger hand cramp. Guess that second reserat didn’t exempt him from life after all.

5. and me? I am doing too much reading these days over this proposed article about the local Karlin Hasidic group here. Not only was I thrown into the Talmud and a reread of the bible, I also have been reading up on Hasidic history from the time of the BeSHT and the great Maggid, the problems with the Vilna Daon and the mitnagdim and dealing with issues over whether or not pantheism is a natural part of Judaism or if it is in fact heretical.

However, during the course of the study, I have also found some really cool stuff out about Belarus and the territory’s political and ethnic history including the fact that apparently, there is a separate government for Belarus which is living currently in exile. That’s right, there is. They are known as the Belarusian National Republic (BNR) and apparently these guys have been in the business of being the Belarusian government since 1918!

First Government of the Belarusian Democratic Republic
(just click the photo to check out their website. Cool stuff.)

The BNR didn't have a chance to become a real state: it didn't have a constitution, armed forces, definite territoriality, etc. When the Red Army entered Minsk on January 5, 1919, the Rada (Council) of the BNR went into exile. The exiled government still exists. Ivonka Survilla is the current chairperson of the Rada. Unlike similar governments-in-exile of the neighboring countries (Lithuania, Poland and others who did it in the 90's) BNR council have not handed back their "authority" to the government in Belarus, because BNR council views Lukashenka's government as an anti-Belarusian, anti-independence, anti-democratic power.

You gotta like that!

6. Oh, and I am not sure that I want to talk about this really, for a couple of reasons, but there is a good chance that both Egor and I will have a chance to platy a game of chess with Boris Spasky, former world champion and the guy who lost to Bobby Fisher in 1972. That is exactly right. Mr. Spasky will be in town on the 9th of July and there will be a concert for him. After, and again, I am not sure abot this, but I think he is going to play a group game against the local chess players young and old. For some reason, Egor came up with two invitations and at least from what I have heard so far, both of those invitation might allow a place at a table o play against Spasky. Lost of stuff can still go wrong with this including a rift between Boris Vasilovich, Egor’s old teacher and Egor and I stemming from an incident during a tournament last year. I am debating making that story public- I shared it with friend but not here. Anyway, I am going to leave a lot more of this und\said at the moment, but I will keep you up to date if this does turn out cool. And if I do get to sit down and play, you have got t know that I m going to be copying Fisher from ’72. I know I ill not be the only guy ever to do this with Spasky; I just hope he finds the humor in it as he is kicking my ass.

Spassky (W) v Fischer (B)
Game 21 (final game) of the 1972 world Championships in Reykjavik, Iceland.
1.e4 c5
2.Nf3 cg
3.d4 dxd4
4.Nxd4 a6
5.Nc3 Nc6
6.Be3 Nf6
7.Bd3 d5
8.exd5 exd5
9.0-0 Bd6
10.Nxc6 Bxc6
11.Bd4 0-0
12.Qf3 Be6
13.Rfe1 c5
14.Bxf6 Qxf6
15.Qxf6 gxf6
16.Rad1 Rfd8
17.Be2 Rab8
18.b3 c4
19.Nxd5 Bxd5
20.Rxd5 Bxh2+
21.Kxh2 Rxd5
22.Bxc4 Rd2
23.Bxa6 Rxc2
24.Re2 Rxe2
25.Bxe2 Rd8
26.a4 Rd2
27.Bc4 Ra2
28.Kg3 Kf8
29.Kf3 Ke7
30.g4 f5
31.gxf5 g6
32.Bg8 h6
33.Kg3 Kd6
34.Kf3 Ra1
35.Kg2 Ke5
36.Be6 Kf4
37.Bd7 Rb1
38.Be6 Rb2
39.Bc4 Ra2
40.Be6 h5
41.Bd7 Black Resigns.

So other than this, I am on the farm for the next two days. I guess I will be writing more when I get back.

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