Open Thread - 11-10-23 - Russia, Russia, Russia!

Once upon a time, when I was a teen, some school teachers and rich students went to the USSR. My parents could not afford for me to go. I heard how the KGB followed them closely. The food was hideous. If you flushed a commode in room 231 in a 10 story hotel, every floor room of that 31 number, 431,531, 631, etc...flushed as well. So, nobody could sleep because of the flushing commode noise.

And about 6 years ago, I made that trip to Russia I had always, since a teen, wanted to make.

Let me start with my general impressions.

American tourists were treated like we were precious. I made forever friends with the guides.

An elderly guide taking us through a WWII military installation, a converted church to house soldiers, said this:" With our history, what we know is that we will accept reality and deal with it. What we hate is sudden change. We love consistency, even if it is very difficult."

I learned public drunkenness, the caricature Russian wobbling down the street full of vodka, is loathed. I actually saw one. Vodka is their pride, but for them, it is expensive, penalties for over doing it is great.

Religion was verboten, but now, Russians are militantly Christian, and tolerant of other faiths, because they finally got to practice theirs, let others know that freedom.

Moscow is nationalistic. St. Petersburg is European. Totally different atmospheres.

USSR is gone, Russia is capitalistic, no trace anywhere of communism. Part of Red Square that was under construction was that part where they took Stalin's tomb away, had to repair the floor.

Beets are easily pickled, as at example. Any food pickled will get people through the ferocious Russian winters. That elderly guide at the military facility stressed, "The real Soviet General that defeated the Germans in WWII is never mentioned. His name is General February."

We were a gang of 4, and we joined a tour group to travel from Moscow, down the Volga, ending the tour at St. Petersburg.

I am a strictly amateur photographer, and these were taken to trigger my memory.

Here we go down memory lane...

A nice picture from Red Square:

Mexico and Dubai and Russia1 196.jpg

And another:

Mexico and Dubai and Russia 209.JPG

These next two are really interesting. They are the cannons left behind when Napoleon got his ass handed to him at Waterloo.

Musical homage will appear at the end of the tour.

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Mexico and Dubai and Russia 217_1.JPG

Red Square at night:

Mexico and Dubai and Russia 236.JPG
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A palace in St. Petersburg, blurry picture, so sorry. The tour group was treated to a concert. At the end, we were invited to waltz as though we were royalty. I had no partner, so I just went out, did a ballet routine, complete with pirouttes, etache's, arabesques, and so on. The musicians gave me a standing ovation, the tour guide ran to the floor to hug me. Awe, shucks! The irony is that my ballet teacher who gave me private ballet lessons had escaped the USSR. She was a prima ballerina with the Bolshoi Ballet. Best of the best. The Russians loved that story!

Mexico and Dubai and Russia 263.JPG

I cannot remember which fabulous Russian dude is on this horse, but I do remember this: This is the only horse statue in the damn world where the horse bears all weight on his hind legs. These statues are huge and heavy. All over the world, at least one front leg is on the ground. I was absolutely fascinated by that.

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A couple of more pictures from gorgeous St. Petersburg:

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Mexico and Dubai and Russia 393.JPG

A musical connection forever linking us to Russia:

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Now, people, this is an open thread. It is not a site sin for you to comment about politics, weather, that persistent itch in your ear, your dawgs, or whatever. I know of no rule for you to mention or discuss Russia Russia Russia. But, if you admit some of the pictures, places, music are pretty damn cool, I would like that a whole lot.

Go for it!

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TGIF!
What's happening in your neck of the woods?

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"We'll know our disinformation program is complete when everything the American public believes is false." ---- William Casey, CIA Director, 1981

Thanks for the travelogue on Russia. The closest I got is learning to say hello
to the clerk at the post office. Priveit. (sp?)

Had a good gathering last night at the cook book club. It was New England based
so I made Boston baked beans (with bratwurst) and molasses shortcake crumble
topped with a local walnut ice cream. There were all sorts of goodies there:
double chocolate ring cake made with beets, beef/pork meatloaf, chicken wings,
even a pasta/beef dish. Cupcakes and lots of wine.

Hope your day is good and thanks for the OT!

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@QMS good books, good friends, and good food.
It sounds so wonderful!
hey, hope you are feeling back to normal, friend.
I am running late, need to get some documents prepared and sent out today. It is a federal holiday I forgot to mark on my calendar, so I made some appointments, and will carry on with the attitude that holidays are for the little people, or something like that.

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"We'll know our disinformation program is complete when everything the American public believes is false." ---- William Casey, CIA Director, 1981

First hand accounts from unpaid observers are the least unreliable reports you can find in this depraved century. That applies with maximum significance to the Designated Enemies of Amerca, The Empire -- like Russia. Your report on your visit contrasting with a prior generation's visit got me to recall some "reporting" by Norman Mailer in the 60s. He was in The old Soviet union for a short visit and he described a society where nothing worked. Kind of like West Hollywood now. To say that absolutely nothing works is an exaggeration -- but it is getting less of an exaggeration on a daily basis. The IRS sent me a request for some documentation on my 2022 return that advised me NOT to respond via US Mail. I already knew that and I sent the docs by Fax. Russia then and America now demonstrate the consequences of trying tp be an empire on our unruly planet.

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I cried when I wrote this song. Sue me if I play too long.

@fire with fire we are indoctrinating our people, particularly our young, to think Russians are commie monsters. We have taken Russians' humanity, which makes it easier to drop a nuke on those vermin.
We tourists danced, sang, sampled vodka, shopped, mingled, and gained much understanding of their history and culture.
We were given the choice of hearing a lecture about the siege of Stalingrad or not. My friends skipped it, but I sat on the front row, absorbing the described horrors. Today, I compare it to Gaza.
It will never be forgotten, nor will the siege of Gaza.
Enjoy your day, hope the world will change directions.

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"We'll know our disinformation program is complete when everything the American public believes is false." ---- William Casey, CIA Director, 1981

@on the cusp and took off after the war. I think some of the essays we've seen regarding the patriation of nazis, the space race, etc, show when the wurlitzer had the turbo added.

Tomorrow we celebrate "Veterans Day", the holiday established in 1954 to replace Armistice Day. That was also the decade when our motto changed from "E Pluribus Unum" to whatever the f' it is today. That's when money had "In God We Trust" added to it. Wait... is that our "official" motto? That's also when "under god" was added to the pledge of allegiance.

Waiting for the movers to come to pick up our last pieces of 1970s era furniture. It's heading off to Habitat in hopes that pay it forward might help someone else. I'm working on a journal entry about how repurpose of one of the pieces kept it (and my mind) alive.

I'll stop by and lurk a bit more later. Please keep up the good work.

Addendum: Dust has settled (lord, where did all the dust come from?) and we've rearranged a bit. I believe the downsize worked out. Ms Indy doesn't outwardly see as much benefit in watching her dreams exiting the premises but I can tell that the space has improved. Not nearly as much clutter. At this point we're done with the efforts to downsize. The next one will be handled by my sons. It'll serve the little brats right.

Re the journal: quite a few years ago I had a web site that I used to convey my experiences in projects, both home and tech. The intent was to indirectly help anyone who might be contemplating a change to have the courage to give it a try. Study the problem, look at alternatives, discard some, test some... the big thing would be to determine requirements first, then do some preliminary design, etc. You know, the way computer systems are created. Or a home. Or a transportation. My slavic ethnicity closely matches the russian attitude in this regard... someone once suggested that a russian makes a plan before he heads for the crapper.

Anyway, that web site has fallen by the wayside. Left when my provider was bought out and comcast killed it. Which brings up another related point... Cory Doctorow is doing us a great service in looking at the tech situation in his enshittification series. (https://pluralistic.net/).

In any case here's a little piece of the beginning of my memoir this time:

About 8 years ago my wife and I moved into a new community, at least a new one for us. This community might be described as an over-55 age demographic with a strong foundation in the professional classes. For us it was a bit of a stretch to be a part that class because ours was one based more in the guild class. Using our abilities we developed talents that gave us a secure lifestyle in terms of economic means. Though we could never be a part of that professional class society in terms of pedigree, we could enjoy some of the life style benefits. But that's a different (boring) story.

Our home was like others in the community, around 3200 sq ft in size with a master suite separated from the other sleeping rooms by the common spaces, ie, kitchen, living room, dining room and entry. There was a partial upper floor that had a large multi-purpose room and another room that could serve as a 4th bedroom. Yay! Room for more stuff!!! Oops... please skip the snark. It was a home designed for hosting a large family gathering which we did on a number of holidays.

Oh well, back to lurking....

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@exindy when we pivoted towards God and forever hatred of Soviets? No irony there, at all.
Thanks for meandering by. Let us know if you run across anything truthful and helpful in your internet wanderings.
Take good care, friend.

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"We'll know our disinformation program is complete when everything the American public believes is false." ---- William Casey, CIA Director, 1981

The Liberal Moonbat's picture

MOSCOW. Think about it.

One of the most storied, feared and respected military-fiscal brain-centers in the history of the world...and every picture of the place looks like Mr. Rogers' Neighborhood of Make-Believe.

Hello everybody - I'm back from 2 weeks in Japan!!!

I'm a little out of the loop:

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In the Land of the Blind, the One-Eyed Man is declared mentally ill for describing colors.

Yes Virginia, there is a Global Banking Conspiracy!

@The Liberal Moonbat is an absolute marvel. While Stalin was busy getting his people in cracker box apartments with no kitchens, he was constructing this station, full of art, with architecture that would make Louis XIV jealous. I can't locate my pictures of it, but it is at least in my mind, which is continuing to function at a minimum level.
Japan? Crossing the International Date Line jet lag for the next 3 weeks?
it is simply badass that you can stay awake to read, much less type!
Let us know how your trip went. Japan was on my list of countries to visit. Maybe one day...

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"We'll know our disinformation program is complete when everything the American public believes is false." ---- William Casey, CIA Director, 1981

@on the cusp I believe Alex Christoforou (https://www.youtube.com/c/AlexChristoforou/videos) hosted a podcast from that train station. As you say, it was awesome.

One thing I found so impressive about it and so many other iron curtain cities was the infrastructure. Buildings and bridges that were born before the fall of the ussr and still standing strongly while there is hardly any new construction that's worth a dam.

Kinda like here. Dr. D had a good description in his comment on the recent https://www.theautomaticearth.com/the-automatic-earth/

“Ukraine. Israel. China.”

Actually we can’t win ANY of those wars. Not singularly and not combined, and certainly not China which has this new magic called “A steel mill.” We should industrial espionage and find out what those are. After we figure out what is a “Shipyard.”

I remember my frat bros working the steel mill during the summer and making enough to cover the next semester's tuition. I was working as a construction laborer. Good times.

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@exindy all of the furniture we have, and it ain't for looks, as every single piece of furniture is used. I really have thought about adding a room to my home.
our government is nuts thinking our military might can overcome these adversaries at all, much less at the same time! We re-configured existing factories to make weapons in WWII. Hell, we have no factories to reconfigure, for Christ's sake. (Thinking that through, Christ is sort of behind the push to war, a war for Christ's sake.)
I hope your Ms. will forget about "things", enjoy free space, and yeah, those bratty sons can take over the next round.
I enjoyed your memoir's beginning. Great description how you fit in, how you searched for the right place.
Very planned, in Slavic tradition, amirite?
I have traveled to at least 10 former Soviet countries. Each had a certain vibe, a way of putting their Soviet experience into their own perspective. I might yet get back to visit them again.
Enjoy your weekend dancing around in all that free space!

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"We'll know our disinformation program is complete when everything the American public believes is false." ---- William Casey, CIA Director, 1981

The Liberal Moonbat's picture

@on the cusp ...I took a new laptop on the trip, and (because there's no longer much choice), it runs Windows 10, which is really really eager to throw What's Trending Online at you whether you asked or not; anyway, because of that, I couldn't help but notice that "Vladimir Putin's health" was a top search for at least a couple days; what was the story there?

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In the Land of the Blind, the One-Eyed Man is declared mentally ill for describing colors.

Yes Virginia, there is a Global Banking Conspiracy!

lotlizard's picture

@The Liberal Moonbat  
All my life up until the Berlin Wall fell and the Cold War ended, the American pop-culture imagination thought of the region as deepest Mordor — as in the satirical movie Top Secret:

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to post this photo this morning but she was too modest, so I'll do it for her.

Ballerina.jpg

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@JtC

holding the posse at guard

thanks for sharing!

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@JtC to scare small children?

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"We'll know our disinformation program is complete when everything the American public believes is false." ---- William Casey, CIA Director, 1981

@on the cusp
being modest again.

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snoopydawg's picture

.

Boy did this cause my heart rate to go sky high. I felt so sorry for the girl riding shotgun. After my accident I could never ride behind someone because I wasn’t in control. I added the 2nd tweet just to show that it really happened and wasn’t some video thingy. But that’s some incredible riding skills from both people.

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Which AIPAC/MIC/pharma/bank bought politician are you going to vote for? Don’t be surprised when nothing changes.

enhydra lutris's picture

@snoopydawg

that in any town that size in California, it would be suicide.

be well and have a good one

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That, in its essence, is fascism--ownership of government by an individual, by a group, or by any other controlling private power. -- Franklin D. Roosevelt --

@enhydra lutris was driving through! That sob knew his way around the slum, like he had done that before at least once!

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"We'll know our disinformation program is complete when everything the American public believes is false." ---- William Casey, CIA Director, 1981

Cassiodorus's picture

-- will be the stage of "multipolar capitalism," which will be driven by various enterprises within the larger BRICS communities. Eventually there will be a BRICS currency which will displace the US Dollar. This will include Russia. Already one can see declines in Europe as Europe slowly adopts the US variant of capitalism in which all of the big enterprises are owned by tiny cadres of the super-rich while social services devolve unto a two-tier economy. (The thing being, of course, that Europe would otherwise get its natural gas from Russia, and that Europe has no State of Nevada supplying it with lithium for EV batteries.)

The catch, of course, is that even multipolar capitalism will not last forever. The last online conference I attended had an engaging presenter who discussed her ethnographic studies in Laos where -- interestingly enough -- the Laotians were doing this input-intensive "conventional" agriculture made possible because the Chinese were flooding (and expanding) the market with cheap pesticides and herbicides. I don't remember if fertilizers were in there too.

The reason that multipolar capitalism will not last forever, of course, is that multipolar capitalism will have an ecological reckoning, just as Laotian agriculture can't last forever on cheap Chinese inputs. After that it's easy to conceive of the multipolar world fracturing into different responses to what happens. You'll note that I don't really use the word "socialism" to describe the forthcoming post-capitalist order, and that I leave it up to my audience to put the pieces together with utopian dreams of their own. I also, of course, do not think "environmentalism" will save us from capitalism's ecological reckoning.

What matters is the shape of society. I am not sure that the word "socialism" does anything for my American audiences besides imposing a mental block. "Wait, that's the Communist enemy!" Or maybe "socialism" was what Bernie Sanders once promoted, that "socialism" was social democracy, before Sanders became just another VBNMW politician. I am not advocating bringing back what Karl Marx called "primitive communism," nor am I advocating "mother nature" which sufficed the masses of Europe to bear feudal exploitation and the rising classes of the 16th century for the exploitation/ extermination of the native peoples of the so-called New World. I am suggesting something different.

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"The war on Gaza, backed by the West, is a demonstration that the West is willing to cross all lines. That it will discard any nuance of humanity. That it is willing to commit genocide" -- Moon of Alabama

@Cassiodorus as nothing has worked fairly so far in world history.

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"We'll know our disinformation program is complete when everything the American public believes is false." ---- William Casey, CIA Director, 1981

Cassiodorus's picture

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"The war on Gaza, backed by the West, is a demonstration that the West is willing to cross all lines. That it will discard any nuance of humanity. That it is willing to commit genocide" -- Moon of Alabama

@Cassiodorus he will pick up 3 supporters coming in illegally. They now shout "Biden! Biden!" as they pour in.

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"We'll know our disinformation program is complete when everything the American public believes is false." ---- William Casey, CIA Director, 1981

in the MSM.

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@humphrey We could use more of that opinion in this country and in our government.

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"We'll know our disinformation program is complete when everything the American public believes is false." ---- William Casey, CIA Director, 1981

enhydra lutris's picture

They say we're in for an atmospheric river next week, so got to do what yard work we can muy rapido.

Back when I was taking my deep dives into the history of Palestine, there was one thing I never learned. It seems that the British sent some hellishly sadistic racist terorrist thugs to be their mandatory police during the British Mandate; the Black and Tans.

When the Black & Tans left Ireland for Palestine

https://boingboing.net/2023/11/08/when-the-black-tans-left-ireland-for-p...

A very good short read.

Sample:

Ronald Storrs, who was the British Military Governor of Jerusalem when the Black & Tans arrived, was quite excited by the prospect of "forming for England a little loyal Jewish Ulster in a sea of potentially hostile Arabism."

Have a great weekend, be well, and have a good one

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That, in its essence, is fascism--ownership of government by an individual, by a group, or by any other controlling private power. -- Franklin D. Roosevelt --

@enhydra lutris Black and Tans, but couldn't place them in a country. Thanks for bringing them up. I will do some reading.
Today is Day 1 of a 5 days of rain forecast. We hustled to do the outside work before it came.
Hope the heat pump is kicking it!
Enjoy your weekend, friend!

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"We'll know our disinformation program is complete when everything the American public believes is false." ---- William Casey, CIA Director, 1981

enhydra lutris's picture

@on the cusp

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That, in its essence, is fascism--ownership of government by an individual, by a group, or by any other controlling private power. -- Franklin D. Roosevelt --

@enhydra lutris I must have heard mention of them on my trip to Ireland. interesting that they have ties to Palestine.

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"We'll know our disinformation program is complete when everything the American public believes is false." ---- William Casey, CIA Director, 1981

their justification for this.

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@humphrey @humphrey got the Gazans 4 hrs of war every day. The Gazans need to watch the time. 4 hrs plus 1 second is time to dodge bullets and bombs again. Very humane, isn't it?
edit: Bibi wouldn't do the 4 hr pause thing after all. Just read that in the ebs.

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"We'll know our disinformation program is complete when everything the American public believes is false." ---- William Casey, CIA Director, 1981

@lotlizard I love the stuff you bring here from X!

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"We'll know our disinformation program is complete when everything the American public believes is false." ---- William Casey, CIA Director, 1981

I’ll try to recall some 50-year-old memories of the USSR, dusty and mundane as they are. In more cooperative days there existed a U.S.-USSR Environmental Agreement: https://www.epa.gov/archive/epa/aboutepa/us-and-ussr-sign-environmental-...

Meetings were held alternating years in Moscow and Washington. As secretary to a man coordinating arrangements, I got to travel with the U.S. delegation to the conference in Moscow in 1972 or 1973. Shirley Temple Black was among our delegates. She gave a talk on whales if I recall correctly.

While in Moscow, we stayed at their largest hotel, located on or near Red Square. We were required to state what our checkout time would be. When we left the room at that appointed time, there was a stern-looking woman standing in the hallway. She immediately entered the room, apparently to be sure we hadn’t stolen anything. This struck us as quite amusing since the room contained nothing to steal. It was very drab.

Another secretary and I did some sightseeing together, though never with the usual Intourist group required of foreigners. There was a limit to how far we were allowed to travel from Moscow without official permission. We were given free tickets to the Bolshoi (Swan Lake) one night and a circus another night. She and I decided to take an overnight train to Leningrad (now St. Petersburg). Our tickets and paperwork must’ve been hastily arranged. We picked them up after seeing the circus, then went directly to the train station. We assumed everything was in proper order. We couldn’t check into a hotel without prior official approval. Since the name of the hotel wasn’t in our paper, I hoped someone from the Consulate would greet us to give directions. But no one met us when we arrived the next morning. The Stalingrad train station was enormous. We wandered around at least an hour. I spoke a little German but that didn’t help. We could find no person or office that could advise us and were feeling lost and isolated. Eventually we discovered a room with a bank of telephones on one side and telephone operators dialing away on the other side of the room. We didn’t know what the procedures were but found the Embassy phone number among our papers. I wrote that on a piece of paper, remembered how to say “Moscow” or “U.S. Embassy” in Russian while handing the paper to the operator. To our relief, she started dialing away and then pointed to a phone across the way. When I picked up the phone, there was a voice from the Embassy. We learned that our hotel was right across the street from the train station. What I mainly remember about that visit was the impressive Hermitage museum, formerly the Czar’s Winter Palace. Unfortunately I know nothing about art so could not properly appreciate the priceless paintings and artifacts. The beautiful dark-green malachite walls in some rooms left a lasting impression. Although, if I’d seen a ballerina dancing, that would’ve been the most impressive sight.

Occasionally I think about something my then-boss said. He spoke fluent Russian. In a conversation with a Soviet diplomat in Washington, the diplomat offered the opinion that their country was becoming more like ours and ours more like theirs. Seems ever more like that today.

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Anya

@Anya That diplomat got it right, IMHO.
I think the visas and paperwork involving travel inside Russia is still pretty complicated.
I was on a boat, did not spend any nights in hotels there. Our cabin was pretty nice, actually.
I do not remember any great or awful meals. All just average and edible. There were no officials watching our movements. We were free to wander where we wished, and were very safe.
Everywhere we went, the locals spoke good English.
Just a wonderful trip.
Glad to "see you', chica!

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"We'll know our disinformation program is complete when everything the American public believes is false." ---- William Casey, CIA Director, 1981

dystopian's picture

Hi all, Hey OtC! Hope it's good all over the place!

GREAT wonderful stories OtC! Sounds, and looks awesome. I'm sure I have said it here before, but... My Aunt lived in Moscow a couple or few years, maybe in the 1980's, way back. She was fluent, and an editor for a publication which I can't recall if it was archaeological or anthropological at the moment. Something brainiac, it was Aunt Terry. She spoke of the Russian people in the highest most glowing terms. She loved it there, and loved the people. Can you imagine, it was not ANYTHING like what our gov said it was? Whooda thunk?

What a great pic JtC posted of OtC made me think of this song I always really liked... and this is a cool vid of it, with of all things, per the info, animation from a Russian film... Thanks to the tC's!

Have good ones all!

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We cannot solve our problems with the same thinking we used when we created them.
Look deep into nature, and then you will understand everything better.
both - Albert Einstein

@dystopian While that song was popular, I was taking private ballet lessons from the Russian emigre'. Very cool amimation.
I am glad to hear you got to hear the other side about Soviets/Russians. That is fascinating! We have been groomed to hate them since I was born. And now, Chinese.
have a great weekend, dysto!

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"We'll know our disinformation program is complete when everything the American public believes is false." ---- William Casey, CIA Director, 1981

earthling1's picture

I soooo want to go to Moscow and St. P.
Not the right weather right now and not sure it's even legal today.
Earthling2 wants to go lay on a beach and gaze out over the South Pacific. Bah! Humbug!
Boooring!
Working on a compromise of Thailand. She can wait on the beach while I scuba the reefs.
Thanks for the info on Russia.

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Neither Russia nor China is our enemy.
Neither Iran nor Venezuela are threatening America.
Cuba is a dead horse, stop beating it.

@earthling1 but this is not the right time of year, fer shure!
I loved Thailand. Rode an elephant, had a baby elephant give me a kiss on my left cheek, (face cheek, just to be clear) and I loved the hotels, the remote resorts, the cooking class, and on and on.
Learned a lot about Buddhism, a lot of history. To this day, I still wear my "elephant pants", pants that have elephants in the fabric print, topped with the traditional long sleeved white cotton shirt. I bought them from a street vendor there.
I would not fly to go to a beach getaway, but will drive to one. Not a fan of anywhere, such as Hawaii, where a McDonald's burger and fries will cost $60.
So glad you enjoyed the little travelogue.
Go, do, return, write yours for us! Ok?

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"We'll know our disinformation program is complete when everything the American public believes is false." ---- William Casey, CIA Director, 1981

Lookout's picture

Hudson was describing Russia as having a hybrid economy today, a new system. I'm featuring the clip in the WW Sunday.

His take that the US created this conflict not to weaken Russia but to destroy and enslave the EU countries rang true as well. About 1.25 hours.

Thanks for the pics and trip down memory lane!

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“Until justice rolls down like water and righteousness like a mighty stream.”

@Lookout speaks of economics in terms even I, with zero education in the subject beyond balancing a checking account, can understand.
It will be very interesting to hear his opinion of the US relations with the EU. I still marvel at how Europe let us get away with exploding the Nordstream II pipeline. It gets damn cold there in winter. The quality of life for those dependent upon that natural gas has dropped ever since.
How is the mulching and road work going? Ready for winter?
We just do not have to do much winterizing, maybe wrap a pipe.
I thank you for stopping in and dropping the video, friend. Make some music this weekend!

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"We'll know our disinformation program is complete when everything the American public believes is false." ---- William Casey, CIA Director, 1981

Lookout's picture

@on the cusp

perhaps always have road work on Sisyphus way?...gravel washes downhill, tractor pulls it up hill.

Mulching is much the same. Something we do on the regular....but in spurts.

I've not totally winterized cause we've only had a couple of light freezes. Cabbage, broccoli and such cruised through.

Got together with my buddy at his shed where we've played for almost 40 years. It was just the two of us, and it felt like a session surrounded by ghosts of music past. So many have passed on. None the less, we had a good session.

Hope all is well!

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“Until justice rolls down like water and righteousness like a mighty stream.”

@Lookout and everybody is rockin' it here.
I know what you mean about friends passing. Seems I hear of friends dying every week that goes by.
Even the Russia pictures were a bit sad for me. One of our gang of 4 died last year. Our travel kick off ceremony was always to head to the bar, order a white Russian, toast The Big Lebowski. Never again, unfortunately.
Our rain is such a fine mist, you can't see it, but you can feel it.
By now, you are an expert at moving dirt. And keeping your tractor well maintained.
Friend, it's always something...

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"We'll know our disinformation program is complete when everything the American public believes is false." ---- William Casey, CIA Director, 1981