Monday, March 7, 2022

Recent Stuff and Ukraine

Greetings!  Long time, no write.  We've been overwhelmed with grief for the Ukranian people.  Knowing what is going on there tends to make life here seem somewhat frivolous.  We've been doing stuff, but writing about it seems superficial.  Note, I'm not saying anyone who is posting is frivolous, I'm saying that I feel that way.  Anyway, in no particular order I have a few photos of recent events.

This is something of which we were not aware.  It's a laser distance measure.  It's really good for measuring windows for blinds or shades, so much easier than bending the tape measure in the corner and trying to decide how many 16ths there are.

We once again bought craft paper and non-slip shelving stuff to make drawer liners.  I hate it when stuff slides back and forth when you open and close a drawer.  I can not tell you how much easier this was to do with the laser measuring device.

The new counter for the dining room storage area came and was installed.  The previous piece of granite, which was a remnant they just put in there, was not attached.  The de-install went very quickly.

Now the laptops and the phones have a lovely place to charge their batteries.

Are these not cool looking clouds?

Tonight there was a decent sunset.  Sunset has moved north so now it's easier to see it out of the kitchen window.

Ok, so that was my recounting of some of our days.  Now I'm launching into stuff about Ukraine I want to remember.

A few days ago I said "Ukraine" sounded odd to my ear, that it should be "the Ukraine" and I wondered why that was.  It's because I grew up hearing the area referred to as "the Ukraine", because it was a region of Russia.  So, like we say "the Palouse" we said "the Ukraine."  Now they are their own country and they asked the rest of the world very nicely to drop the "the."

Why are we now calling Kiev, Kyiv?  We in the west, with our limited ear are still saying it wrong.  From Duolingo we learn the following. "The Russian name for Ukraine's capital is Киев (Kiev), which, as you would expect, uses Russian sounds. (Just like English speakers use English sounds to say Madrid, Istanbul, and Reykjavik!) But the Ukrainian name of Ukraine's capital is Київ (Kyiv), which, naturally, uses the native Ukrainian sounds to say its own capital's name. The letter и is like the English "i" in "kit," and the letter ї is pronounced "yee": put it together, and you have "ki-yeev" and spell it "Kyiv" in English."  In the US the best we can do is Keev.

 I have a lot of hate in my heart for the people that won't provide Ukraine with more airplanes.  I understand that a no-fly zone can only be put in place if there is no adversary with whom you will be fighting, but I still do not agree with the decision not to provide planes to them.  How is a plane different than the Javelins and Stingers?  Now the pointy heads are talking about how Russia will completely collapse maybe in 30 days, or by summer.  The Ukrainians will all be dead by then.  Like I have said before, we're not a good ally.  

Sabine wrote a post in which she took issue with the media that keep saying this is the first European land war since WWII.  There seems to be no memory of the break up of Yugoslavia, and the terrible fighting and shelling that occurred.  I guess they are not sufficiently European to be considered.  It just pisses me off.  The amount of denigration that Eastern Europeans get from the Western cohort is disgraceful.  I wonder if that's why they're not getting the jets.

The evacuation route Russia agreed to for Mariupol was mined.  The other Putin approved evacuation routes from Ukraine go into Belarus and Russia.  He's bombing cities from Russian territory with dumb bombs as well as cluster bombs. This photo is from the front page of the New York Times, they're not even trying to hide what they are doing.  Putin really is a monster.

Who can find Chechnya on a map?  I had to look it up.  After Russia finally quelled armed dissent in Chechnya after many years, Ramzan Kadyrov was placed in charge.  They're an Islamic country, men have multiple wives, women have no rights and are frequently married off to men several times their age.  Honor killings are done without consequence for the murderers.  Kadyrov maintains a fighting force to control his domain and has shipped some of them to Ukraine.  The leader of the group of fighters that was sent was killed the first day.   I think the installation of Kadyrov says a lot about Putin, none of it good.

The 40 mile long convoy remains stalled.  Here is a possible cause.  They are not doing maintenance in Russia and the tires are shot.  The big trucks need to be moved at least once a month to activate the system that puts air in the tires.  Trucks need to be parked close together to keep some of the sun off the sidewalls.  Things need to be lubed, and cared for.  Since their tires are in such bad shape, they must stay on the road.  There is a good twitter thread on the subject here.  It's also quite likely that they are out of fuel.

This is nice, but sad.  

That's it!  That's all I've got.


  1. wow, thanks for the info. You have been paying attention! I can always count on you.

  2. It is difficult to inhale when looking at some of the photos coming out of Ukraine. I am heart-sick. I hadn't seen the one of the strollers. Impossible to see how this will all end. Excellent point on the former Yugoslavia.

    The "Keev" grates on my nerves as much as it does to hear the Westerners pronounce Qatar. The newscasters can't seem to put the accent on the first syllable without muddling it into "cutter."

  3. You're right -- Putin IS a monster. That photo of the newly-dead family is the one I saw in the NYT the other day that really brought home (for me) the horror of this war.

    Daily life here (and where you are) may seem trivial by comparison, but we all also continue to live our lives and I don't think it's unreasonable for our blogs to reflect that.

  4. I think when things are as serious and frightening as they are in Ukraine, we need the trivial or frivolous to keep us sane.

    What is happening in Ukraine is beyond awful. I can only hope that the people of Russia will see him for the autocrat he is and rebel. I've heard numbers in the thousands of dissenters being jailed for protesting the war. Meanwhile NATO must stand up to this bully. Thirty days is far too long.

  5. The counter turned out very nice. And the lazer device is pretty neat. The inspectors from FEMA used them to determine the square footage of the house after the flood.

    I read that Putin has committed all his troops, that he has no more to send. I also read that much of the money to rebuild and maintain Russia's military was siphoned off by greed and corruption and because no one wants to tell Putin bad news they just reported that the work was being done when it wasn't. Also read one report that Putin himself used the military budget to build his enormous mansion but don't know how true that is. And China which has been on Putin's side is reportedly backing off a bit because global disruption is bad for them. In the meantime Ukraine is being bombed into rubble and the Ukrainians are dying and suffering while republicans here at home complain about high gas prices and Fox pundits continue to bolster Putin to the point that Russian news is running American videos to show support for their war.

  6. What is happening in Ukraine is sickening and many people's attitudes and opinions as well. I am appalled that we're not doing more. Not surprising though given what we watched Hitler do with no intervention until Pearl Harbor.

  7. I'm having a hard time writing because really, my life is quite peaceful and plentiful in comparison to Ukraine. And my heart is breaking.

  8. I too find my First World Problems and Life frivolous compared to what the Heroic Ukrainian people are enduring and really have the World watching and yet fearful to get too involved. At some point NATO Countries will have to Deal with Putin, he is only emboldened by the World sitting on the sidelines, tho' of coarse not a single Country wants to go to War with a Homicidal Psychopathic Leader whose shown how unconcerned he is about Human carnage and committing blatant War Crimes that he is actually getting away with. He will not stop with Ukraine... he is so Mentally unstable that he is capable of anything.

  9. Great blog.... ohh God please help Ukraine.

  10. It is hard to focus on the smallness of my life given the epic fight being waged by the people of Ukraine. And yet we must appreciate that in this moment we are ok, even as we are heartbroken for other people. I try to be grateful every moment that in the midst of such insanity, we in our small corner are mostly ok. Doesn't seem quite fair.

  11. P.S. the counter turned out great!