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November 2008

October 2008

year end wrap up

just a quick post to say this week brought many surprises and satisfying results.  

  • "if you stay we'll give you cake" 
    • - one year completed in vladivostok, no complaints and two more to go. 
  • "like taking candy from a baby" 
    • - not literally but since i completed a year already, i received a nice bonus check for serving at a "hardship?" post.  ok, it's not exactly sydney but i can imagine more dire conditions than the lousy driving and cold weather i see here. 
  • "another fiber that's good for you" 
    • - after arriving and seeing the horrendous internet access we had at work, i sloughed ahead with months of researching, testing and getting a new fiber optic connection setup for work.  today was the first unveiling of the faster internet speed.  i was beginning to think there was actually a site called "Failed DNS Lookup" when our old service timeout trying to find a web page. 
  • "VoIP! 
    • - the vacuum sound of telephone companies losing customers to skype, vonage and other internet phone providers" - i completed a VoIP install for work and now Americans can once again reach out and explain where vladivostok is to their relatives. 
  • "the following program has been canceled so we may bring you this special presentation" 
    • - my russian class was cancelled today due to my teacher feeling under the weather.  not that i don't like my russian class, it's just today i knew i was backed up at work, but i didn't want to wuss out and call to cancel it.   

i could go on but you get the point.

did you know puppies lose their puppy teeth around 5-6 months of age? i didn't. someone asked me about it and i thought they were joking.  right after that i found lucia's first tooth in the carpet and a second one tonight when we were playing her favorite game of fetch.  it's more like bounce because she loves to catch the ball after a bounce.  it looks awesome and i think i get more of a bang out of it than she does. she's doing great and loving the walks.  we even met a few other dogs that she was able to play with while i tried to relax yet remain watchful that it didn't get out of hand.

qaaq222222222`````````a (lucia's addition to the post, as she tried stealing the keyboard from me)


taking a break

Heavy lifting
 

i decided to take a break from blogging and pursue other activities.  now that the cold weather is starting to return, i'm back to the blog.  everything is going well in vladivostok.  it'll be one year ago on the 19th that i first arrived here.  we lost another american at work so now i'm slowly becoming the old timer as new americans arrive.  some are here for only a short time while others have opted like me to stay for a few years.

Receiver
 

my plans to setup a home theater were almost ruined.  i received a shipment of stereo equipment a few weeks ago.  my first concern was the long delay in receiving it.  i shipped everything during home leave last june and they arrived 3 months later.  the battle scarred unit above is the lynch pin of the setup, a harmon kardon avr-347 receiver.  i figured it was ruined and checked it out only to discover it still worked.  but for how long remains to be seen.  the projection screen i order is too demolished to describe.  after a few weeks of wiring and mounting speakers, along with a creative use for one of the huge walls in my living room, i have to say it turned out better than i'd expected.  i still filed claims to replace the damage equipment and the shipping company was great about covering the full cost.  i'm really worried about the receiver since it looks like the 50lb sub woofer sitting next to it was less than friendly as its neighbor during shipping.  the moral of the story for all those fso out there worried about their packouts, is never let packers remove the original packing material.  1. packers do not know more than the original manufacturer about how to pack it.  otherwise you'd never see electronics make it to the shelf in its original box.  2. shippers tell them to remove the original packing in order to cut out any unused space.  unused space=expensive cargo space.  unfortunately unused space=protection zone against unwanted impact. 

Stairs
 

who needs a treadmill?