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Monthly Archives: December 2005

amazing people the russians II

I couldn't help laughing when I read the mini war going on between Kiev (Ukraine capital) and Moscow (do I need to remind anyone which country it is the capital of?) over an increase of the price of gas.

Maybe I shouldn't, this place is heated with gas…

In a nutshell Gazprom first demanded an increase from $50 to $160 per 1000 m3. Kiev accepted the revision but over a 5 years period so as to not put its economy in any worse shape than it apparently is already. Gazprom took it bad and is now demanding $220-230, like we, in western Europe already pay.

One has to admit that russians certainly don't beat about the bush.

No pun intended ^_^

Not that I don't feel for what is happening in Ukraine but… at this point matters are so dramatic there, catastrophic and way beyond control that one might wonder: what may possibly happen next that would make this situation almost bearable?


I have a train to catch in a couple of hours… This concludes 2005.

Migliori auguri per un Nuovo Anno felice
Zalig kerstmis en gelukkig nieuwjaar
Prospero Ano Nuevo
Best Wishes for a Happy New Year
Gott Nytt Ar
Onnellista Uutta Vuotta
Stastny Novy Rok
Beste Grüsse für ein glückliches Neues Jahr
Szesliwego Nowego Roku
Votos de Feliz Ano Novo
Bonne et heureuse année à tous.

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Posted by on December 31, 2005 in Uncategorized

 

addiction

I don't know about others but whenever my connection gives me trouble or, worse, when LJ acts kind of silly like it seems to today it really puts a damp on my day.

I guess I'm addicted.

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Posted by on December 31, 2005 in Uncategorized

 

New year's eve

I'm due to ride the train down to Lyon tomorrow and spend new year's eve along with I&M in their new home…

Weather has been … difficult lately and surprisingly cold (-8C/18F) with snow and bits of storm. I really have to mentally prepare myself anytime I have to step outside.

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Posted by on December 30, 2005 in Uncategorized

 

Starkbucks cafe

Browsing through my e-mails, I came across one I never replied to:

Fantastic! Although I'll miss having you to set up bike racks and give me a hard time. I hope your training goes well – keep us posted! I hope all is well with you. I'm having a good autumn so far and am doing a bit
more traveling than I had expected. I spent two weeks in Europe for holiday, which was really nice, and have plans to go to the East Coast to see a friend next weekend. For the last couple of years my time away from work has only been for the Ride, and it's nice to add other trips that don't involve getting up at 4:30am.

Take care!
Christine

Christine Shaff
Communications Manager
UC Berkeley Facilities Services
1936 University Avenue 2nd floor
Berkeley, CA 94720-1380

This followed an e-mail I had sent out to all ALC participants I knew (from this year and last) shortly after I had received my participant package.
The “hard time” she refers to is a bout she and I had while riding the bus to the next campsite. We were all rather tired, sleep deprivation was taking its toll on everybody so I guess we were all a bit edgy. Plus I had cumulated frustration over the way she was managing the team. There were periods during the day when everybody was needed, when setting up bike racks and putting them down, other than that only a fraction of the team was useful so it was rather obvious Christine should have thought of splitting the team into shifts allowing a maximum to rest and profit from life in the campsite.

I had felt that newbies in particular were rather discontent so took the opportunity to voice a suggestion so as to give everybody a break.

– Why don't we just pause for a quarter in a starbuck café?
– We can't. They're waiting for us at the campsite and we need to set up bike racks very fast today.
– Today is like yesterday and the day before. C'mon, there's no way we can make it faster than the 10, 20 fastest riders so why not just take a break? It'll do everybody good.

I don't remember exactly what else I said but I do vividly the answer:
– Are you a fucking communist?

Although I'm not sure now if she really said 'fucking'.

Still, we did have a break in a Starbuck Café that very day …

I don't remember having another bout with Christine, honestly. I think she felt bad afterward (why is that?) and have been worked up a bit. This is probably the reason why she mentionned the 'hard time', over 3 months later.

I'm ready to reply. I'll suggest shifts, and, maybe, a better way to keep track of all incoming cyclists… ^_^

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Posted by on December 30, 2005 in Uncategorized

 

online radio

I can only be thankful for yet another neat feature the internet provides: online radio.

It may sound a bit of a luxury dedicating a laptop just for it (though I also use it as a DVD and CD player) but… a 2-3 years old machine I bought 600€ then that allows access to radio from anywhere in the world in addition to playing DVDs' and CDs', I reckon it's a pretty good bargain.

Thank you ever so

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Posted by on December 30, 2005 in Uncategorized

 

395575

The end of the year is getting near and maybe this is the time to write a few words to wrap things up in a way. 's recent passing, last summer and what my LJ friend Tom is currently living through kind of bring my mind to consider the death matter.

This could definitely not sum up what this year has been for me. One might also think I'm barging into other people's genuine grief and sorrow, such is not the case.

No particular reason to talk about it except this sad coincidental event and a movie I recently re-watched. At one point the main character says he can't believe he's going to die (executed by the Gestapo) even though there is no possibility for him to escape.

The question it brings up is not “do we continue to live if we persistently believe so”, that would be too … easy in a way, the question would rather be “do we cease to live only when our mind looses faith hope and decides to … let go”?

I think so.

I don't believe having faith or not weighs all that much at that particular moment.

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Posted by on December 29, 2005 in Uncategorized

 

birthday

Happy birthday Lug aka !!

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Posted by on December 29, 2005 in Uncategorized