Tuesday, July 29, 2008


Snake Oil Salesmen

Film of Karadzic was shown on FTV this morning, attending a garden party. Apparently he copied another guy in the Snake Oil business. Sorry, I don't believe in miracle cures! I believe in plants and pills and prayer,and if needed surgery, but going to guys that look like Baba ReBop unless they have actual degrees from actual institutions just isn't my bag...
That may be a bias but so be it.

The guy Karadzic copy-catted as to looks and even specialties was on the news. He wasn't too amused or flattered by the imitation.

Karadzic's lawyer is indulging in stalling tactics. My hope is that he doesn't get away with it too long... He was supposed to go to The Hague over the weekend. But he is still in whatever jail in Belgrade..

Sunday, July 27, 2008


Coverage of the Karadžić arrest locally

First a Housekeeping Moment: Flames will not make it in. Actual information will. Believe me, I am making everyone look BETTER this way!

Now down to business,

There has been a lot of local coverage about Karadžić, but at this point, it is confined to news broadcasts, and regular programming is pretty much back. A few people I know do consider Karadžić was only arrested so Serbia could get into the E.U. It isn't just Serbs who think so... I know a few Muslims who think so and who feel his arrest makes no real difference because 1, there is no justice adequate to what he did, and 2, it took so damned long. When justice is not percieved to be carried out, it harms the law.3, As well in my NTBHO, to delay justice is bad for the perpetrator!

Mostly people are back to normal daily lives at this point. Which is about what one would expect. Euronews didn't do any massive coverage until today! They only cover negative and sad stuff from here, never the things like the women who won the prize for 'Snijeg' at Cannes! There may not be a LOT of good news from here but there is SOME!

Thursday, July 24, 2008


Odd trivija about the arrest of Karadžić

Karadžić had a fake I.D. Dragan David Dabić, he had a 'fake wife' too, not bad looking either, who went places with him.
How he got the job at the alternative medicine clinic was fishy, he said that his diplomas and stuff were at his ex-wife's place and the boss bought it! That probably would not happen here in Sarajevo!

The rumors that he was arrested on a city bus were quite true, the #45, they showed the very bus on BHT1 and FTV.

In his thin disguise, he went out to kafanas alone, and the owner of at least one kafana was not fooled by the disguise. He knew VERY damned well it was Karadžić in his latter day hippy guise!

Local news reported that both British and American intelligence services helped the Serbian secret services in this case.

As well, it is reported he spent time in Russia last year, and one of the Mothers of Srebenica reported that Karadžić had been spotted in Vlasnica last year.

No word on the disguise....
It was reported that since his arrest, Karadžić was refusing food, and also that he had shaved off the ridiculous beard and gotten a haircut. One must be careful of one's appearance in court!

I found his disguise just kind of thin, the glasses, the funny hat, (white, with a black band!) and the over-sized walrus mustache and the icky black knots of hair in the gray to be really unattractive, I don't know how he got another woman looking like that!
Really a stupid look and it can't have really fooled anyone for long. He also broke one of the really elementary security rules, by being on T.V., and not just once!
You can't do that in this day and age, and having a web presence that even includes things like mobile phone and house numbers, stupid stupid stupid. So I was wrong, my theory was he was hiding in the woods living off snails or something! Noooo he had become too much of a city slicker for that! I probably could not hack that lifestyle either, I am not blaming him for not doing it.

I learned something else of interest about Karadžić, something far more relevant to discussions of the man than his unfortunate sartorial decisions!
There was a documentary by an Irish woman journalist, who went all over BiH, Serbia, Crna Gora, to research Karadžić a bit, I missed the title of the show, at some point I went to grab a coffee in the kitchen so I can't even say who she is for sure. Anyway she went to Karadžić's native village, a village settled only by his family sometime in the 1600s. The family all look alike, right there that is creepy, (I noticed that about the Princip bunch in a documentary about them in June)

The house he was born in looks like a famine cottage in Ireland, barely one stone is on top of the next, the roof is gone, in short totally deserted. The villager showed the Irish woman journalist the graves of Karadžić's mother, and others. I learned that his father, in his youth raped and killed a cousin! So I guess the apple doesn't fall far from the tree in this case. A relative told the journalist this, I speak well enough to know that she wasn't making this up!

I spent part of the dayx before yesterday with a friend who survived the siege of Sarajevo, she had to go a good 3 miles daily to get water. She lives of course on a hill, and has the same house she and her husband had before the war. She described this daily routine just to get water.

I Know what it is to get around this city on foot carrying stuff, those water jugs were very heavy when full, and no one carried just one, it was more likely to be 3 or 4. Five gallons each, and at a run...under sniper fire...

Dear readers, there are Olympic athletes who would break under a daily regimine like that!

Not surprisingly my friend isn't fond of Karadžić! I said at one point that it was too bad they wouldn't hang the bastard. She said 'I wish that he could be cut up in very small pieces...'

I can't blame her for feeling that way. Even her more creative idea of a punishment is not enough for what destruction he helped unleash on this beautiful country and it's mostly very decent people.

Today both of us wondered how an apparently bright, reasonably good looking young woman could have shared his life in Belgrade, very probably KNOWING what he had done.

I sort of wonder what Karadžić's wife thinks of this part of the story?

Tuesday, July 22, 2008



Last night at about 23.56 I heard a short burst of some light semi-automatic fire, and made a note of it in my mobile phone's calendar. I was not inclined to turn on the T.V. It was a dark and stormy night here, well not always so dark, the lightening sometimes had pretty interesting colors, pink for example...
So I thought, 'Something is going on out there...' but other than noting the firing of some sort of weapon and distant shouts, and a Hell of a lot of rain and thunder, I had no clue...
So this morning, I get up a bit early, thinking, I'll turn on the T.V. to wait for Euronews, and make my coffee and a few corncakes to eat. . .
Except for one thing, both FTV and BHT1 had some sort of documentaries on Karadžić! So I thought to myself, 'Well either the son of a bitch has been arrested or has died...', and waited. I did not put on hot water, I thought about how the preceding evening, due to some personal stuff, I had been praying to God and saying as often I do at such moments...'Why dear Lord are you even BOTHERING about me when Karadžić is still out there, and got away with murder?'
I have often asked the Lord that question. I suspect I might not be alone in asking it.
The documentaries went on, then at the time Euronews would ordinarily air, FTV announced the arrest. It happened last night. What I heard was probably 'celebratory fire', as Americans in Baghdad would call it.
Anyway, I indulged in a more peaceful celebratory shot, I poured a small glass of my small amount of Irish Mist and before drinking it thanked God that Karadžić has not yet, after all cheated justic. I went out, Oslobođenje was sold out at the corner news stand, the rain was very heavy, even crossing the road to the bus stop was like crossing a small river, the rain carried small bits of concrete and rock from construction further up. I was ankle deep in water. Got the bus, and here I am.

Monday, July 21, 2008


Hot and muggy again...

I am not in a mood for anything too weighty, but since cevapi came up in comments, I thought I should explain about Banja Lucki Cevapi. I don't know what the meat in them is, it ground meat in squares, and aside from that, is served on somun, with chopped onions and a couple feferoni. Feferoni are a lot like serranos back home. A serrano is a really hot small jalapeno. I used to eat them like other kids eat candy! I would steal them from the fridge at night, cold refritos and serranos, with a bit of cheese, I'd go right in the kitchen in the middle of the night, at five years old and just help myself!

Sometimes I grabbed a beer while I was at it! One time, I thought, I'd get some milk, it was a hot night, the milk wasn't right, it was sticky and tasted awful and afterwards I was very dizzy! That is because in the innocent looking milk bottle, there was pulque! so I was very drunk for such a little kid! Lots more so than having a beer with my frijoles and serranos and queso would have made me!

If my sister was awake, we'd both get stuff, she had a sweet tooth, so she'd get any chocolate, or cake or dulces that were in the way! :).

I slept really late after the accidental ingestion of pulque! I did not feel so good when I got up and my mother and father questioned me, I asked 'Why didn't someone throw out the bad milk!?'
They explained that it was pulque, and the really little milk bottle looking things were NOT for midnight snacks!

I walked into town and back up the hill. It has been humid, there might even be rain later.

Sunday, July 20, 2008


Steps, Velika Park

Steps, Velika Park
Originally uploaded by Yakima_gulag
Thought you'd like to see this.

Friday, July 18, 2008


DSC_0563 Somewhere in America's Northwest

Originally uploaded by Куртис Перри
I was just going through friend's pix in Flikr, and thought this was a good shot.

Thursday, July 17, 2008


The Obama Cover of the New Yorker


There has been such fustar about this I thought it would be interesting to link to the ACTUAL COVER!

1. I am an Obama supporter, for those of you who did not know this,
2. Obama isn't actually Muslim, just has an Arabic name. Neither his father nor step-father indoctrinated him.
3. The cover is a SATIRE, last time I checked, in the United States of America there was a First Amendment, could that have changed in my absence?

Anyway, Obama himself isn't commenting. Some people are offended, I am like 'meh!'

I kind of liked this one though, but I can see where the people in it might have been offended....


You might want to copy and paste these because I could not get to the links checking my work, don't have further time to screw around with it. Sorry for the inconvenience!


Cooling Trend Over

I really enjoyed the cool weather, it was a nice break for me, now it is heating up again. My landlady is here for another couple days, her brother is supposed to finish reading my book. He claims it could be published here, he has been very busy himself though, not just with work and his doctorate, but family stuff.

It was so cool last night that the heat kicked on! I was not thrilled that it did, because I thought I had set it up NOT to kick on. Maybe my landlady got chilly and turned it on downstairs, if either of us turns the heat on, it affects the other flat. That would be my one complaint about the place actually. I don't like to be all that warm, it's just not comfortable.

I got some cool pix today, and discovered another thing, I would far rather walk in nice weather than take the bus, it gets WAY too hot on buses here, and I end up a lot less sweaty if I walk, nothing is that far, I just take the GOOD street down.

Joan Baez did a concert last night as part of Baščaršija noće. I did not attend as it was going to be dark, and I don't go out in the dark by myself here. I stayed home and watched 'Memories of a Geisha', which I liked, very nicely filmed, and worked over year before last's NaNo on my laptop. I put a copy on my thumb, and did some minor editing. It needs work actually, lots of work. I put my first NaNo on my thumb too, with all related research materials. Some of that stuff is hard to find on the Net now!

I am glad I hung onto it. I have to say, computers are WONDERFUL for writers, no huge BOXES and PILES and TRUNKS full of dead tree products!

I hope everyone is well!


Full color conjoined twins no less!

Full color conjoined twins no less!
Originally uploaded by Yakima_gulag
Sometimes the papers here are a bit graphic, but this one wasn't so scary.


Sarajevo Segway riders on Ferhadia

Sarajevo Segway riders on Ferhadia
Originally uploaded by Yakima_gulag
yes, the proof! The one in the middle has leadfooted it up the hilly street near my bus stop at least once. I wasn't the only one taking pictures.



Originally uploaded by Yakima_gulag
Just the most UNFORTUNATE acronym!

Wednesday, July 16, 2008


Several rainy days with thunder

O.K. I now understand what the problem was with the 1024 card, it took them DAYS to debug that, but at least they did something!

Now I can't call much of anyone because of thunderstorms. So it goes.

The sinks had to be fixed, that was entertaining, and it was wonderful to hear the water flow down the drain without obstruction!

My landlady has been in town from Austria some days now, to do gardening, she brought her son along. It was hot when she got here, but now it is cold. I almost turned the heat on, then I thought about paying for gas when probably it is going to be hot again soon.

Disgusting thing in the news yesterday, the Special police in R.S. prevented the Mothers of Srebenica and others from going to commemorate the massacre of their loved ones near Kravica. It was on the news locally, in all t he news papers and on Euronews.

Monday, July 14, 2008


Poaching, Stepping on some toes here....

O.K. Mikalj, of TGOC!, if this annoys you, sorry, but I am worried you got blown away in a big wind, there was terrible bad weather in Slovenia, and footage that reminded me of the U.S.'s notorious Tornado and Hurricane Seasons was shown on F.T.V. last night. I hope Majkle and his people are o.k.!



I got a phone card that is very good, or at least was last time I used it. 1024, which is available in post offices here, 24KM will get you 100 minutes to the U.S. Unfortunately, I ran into problems with it last night, and was given some slightly confusing directions on how to solve the problem. I also wanted to call my bank's 800 number and could not make that work. Given that I'd sit on hold probably I wanted to use the card, and it didn't work, then I tried to call my daughter, and usually that DOES work, but it didn't last night, and I am gizzard ripping mad. Apparently some phones here won't handle 13 numbers and it takes that many to call the U.S. altogether. Calls WITHOUT phone cards are fantastically expensive if you call overseas ever. So needless to say, I am frustrated, I was told by the guy that there are phones that won't handle 13 numbers, just won't. This wasn't welcome news, apparently the house line is one of those damned phones that won't.

I was told to press the green button first, well my house line hasn't GOT a green button. Apparently picking up the handset and waiting for a double beep does the same thing, according to the guy at 1024. NO it doesn't or I would not HAVE this problem. Anyway, it looks like I need to make a few calls the hard way and I am Most Annoyed.

O.K. that out of the way, stuff I meant to mention yesterday, but got distracted.

Near to Maglaj, two professional de-miners got killed on the job. This is awful of course, not only because these are men doing a much needed, and unselfish form of work, but for the families as well. I have no words to describe how I hate land-mines. They are up there with nukes on my hate list.


Dodik has gotten his foot tangled with his mouth again. I really think it is disgusting that people in State pay bite the hand that feeds them. In the U.S. probably the mandatory mob with torches, pitchforks, scythes, and a pot of tar and another pot of feathers and a long rail would have been along by now if the government didn't do something. I feel angry that it is o.k. to riot about football, but no one is protesting this man, not even the people he insults.

The other thing I meant to mention is the show about birds. I love birds, the world would be a poorer place without them. The latest one was some buzzards, they have feet bigger than a large man's hands, they are huge and close to extinct in both Bosnia Hercegovina and Croatia now. Part of the problem was they were hunted a lot before, in the Austro-Hungarian era, and then again more recently. The other problem is the decline in stock-raising, the numbers of sheep, goats, cattle and horses are way down in BiH and the buzzards live off animals that die of themselves, which happens. Muslims at least, are forbidden from eating an animal that dies of itself. Most Christians probably wouldn't eat such an animal either, it's kind of up there with road-kill.

With fewer animals, their keepers watch them more, the animals don't go up in the hills and get into trouble, and the buzzards don't get to eat.

I was telling my landlady's brother that I'd also heard that the buzzards fared badly in the war, and probably this was the first time I ever heard of a war being BAD for buzzards. Then made a remark that if Karadzic got eaten by the buzzards it might be the first useful thing he did with his life! This made him go red and start to laugh. It was one of those 'I don't want to laugh, but I can't help it!' laughs.

Filed under 'Stuff you would probably NOT see on T.V. back in the States':

They showed a place where people had donated the carcasses of animals that died by themselves, cows, horses, sheep, etc, and the exposed ribs and flies were clearly visible, as were the great numbers of flies. The group which looks out for buzzards had placed these carcasses up out of the way of people, bodies of water, and anyone who could be disturbed by the smell, but in a handy place for the buzzards. This probably would not have been shown even on the more graphic nature shows back in the States.

You just can't have a really clean eco-system without buzzards. Spain has been helping by sending some from Mallorca. Spain has done a lot of helpful things for BiH, and frankly having these magnificent birds back on the job would be good all around. Not just for eco-systems, but even for tourism. People do go specifically to see buzzards.

Sunday, July 13, 2008


Hot today, and probably hotter yet tomorrow...

Today is very hot, I went to see my friends down in Bascarsija and my landlady's brother was there, he has been recently in America. So we discussed the upcoming elections. I told him again why I am a Democrat, and will vote for Obama.

Given the world economic situation the United States cannot afford the luxury of another Republican in the White House! I told him that the last time the Market really fell, it was Roosevelt who saved us in America from either a fascist or a communist form of government and that his balance of help to people and incentives to business had been over all good for us, and the Republicans who ideologically opposed it were among the greatest beneficiaries. As well as people like myself who have physical challenges, if there had been no Roosevelt, I am not sure I would have survived to adulthood. Let alone had a situation where I could have done the things in life that I have had a chance to do.

Anyway, yesterday, in e-mail, I got my stuff to arrange for voting abroad. Democrats Abroad sent it, and I had it printed out, and the stuff I need to mail is going out in the mail tomorrow. I have to mail something so that I can use the ballot, I can vote actually by either mail or fax, or both if it is a question of meeting the deadline. Given how slow the mail becomes in the Fall and Winter months, I am delighted to have that option. Believe me, I am actually glad that in fax form my ballot is no longer secret! It leaves a paper trail that way! NOBODY be stealin' this ol' girl's vote! nema sansa!

I took a couple nice pictures on the way home only to discover I had not carried the little cable so I can transfer the pictures. grrrr!

Last night, I watched 'The Blues Brothers 2000' with Dan Ackroyd. I love his annonymous and deadly serious look in that film, it was what I liked before, about the earlier films with him and Jim Belushi, that fine Albanian-American star of stage and screen...
The music was excellent, I had fun trying to recognize everyone, and did not always succeed! But that is part of the fun. I loved the kid, he is going on to greater things I hope.

Saturday, July 12, 2008


Stories From the Factory

This is a cool soap, I gave it a miss when it first was on, but it comes on again Saturdays! There's five episodes, and it is women who work in a factory. I really like it, because the women are very real, I have met people just like them, and I found it interesting all around.


neat stuff


Why someone needs to hire me to do layout and or proofing down at Oslobodenje!

Why someone needs to hire me to do layout and or proofing down at Oslobodenje!
Originally uploaded by Yakima_gulag
I think the picture says it all, if any of us at 'The Galaxy' had pulled such a messed up boner, our instructors would have been on us with BOTH feet! And we weren't getting paid!

I am really very good at layout and proofing too, so this makes me sad....
Yeah I know it's only the T.V. pages, but seriously, T.V. is part of my effort to learn the language here, and messed up schedules can mess with my getting it done....grumble grumble...


Notes and additions...


Yesterday, I was in Bascarsija for a good bit of the day, but I still did get to see the ceremonies at Potocari. I did not know that not only did Ambassador English participate in the Mars Mir, his wife did so as well. It was only a portion, but he made a point of speaking with people along the way, and made a very good speech before the funeral. The speakers from other countries spoke before the Juma namaz and the funeral prayers. 308 people were buried. Each coffin had a number on it, and they were calmly passed from hand to hand to their place. Thousands of people showed up for the funeral. It was covered on BHT1, FTV and Hayat.

It was interesting watching this in a semi-public setting, namely Easynet. People did come in from time to time to use the computers, but in general it was pretty quiet. I have come to like the people who run that place, especially one of the women, who appears to be around my age. She was moved to tears. I guess I am having a hard time crying, the whole business with Srebenica still makes me angry to tell the truth. I feel horrible every time I see someone who survived this genocide, I want to avenge them if the truth be told. I am not at all known for being forgiving. But the only power I have in the matter aside from lobbying, which I have done, in the past, is to pray for the rest of the souls of the dead, and for the living, maybe the living need our prayers more. The dead by anyone's measure are assured of Paradise, the living however are still going through Hell.

Friday, July 11, 2008


'Do Never Forget Srebenica'

This was a large grafitti I spotted on the Glavni Pošt this morning coming into town today.

Despite the poor grammar the message was clear! We must not forget Srebenica. Hasan Nuhanović was on T.V. several times. As was a neighbor of mine she lives close enough to ride the same bus regularly. She lost a son and a husband in the massacre, her son's name was Nermin. I knew the lady's face was familiar. She was shown in 'Cry from the Grave' as well as another documentary shown last night.

Today is an official Day of Mourning for the victims of the massacre.

My Baščaršija friends are back from Turkey. They stayed in a hotel uncomfortably close to the American Consulate and heard the attack. I suggested they not stay so close to anything American if they went there again. A lot of their stock comes from India, but by way of Turkey. So trips to Istanbul are a regular feature of their lives.

I thought of them when I heard the news and sent up an immediate prayer for their safety. Apparently, the first information that it had to do with Al Qaida was inaccurate. None of the guys had ever been out of Turkey. One guy had a father that had some Hezbolla contacts though. In any case, very un-nerving and it was front page news here in BiH.

Charles English the American ambassador here went on part of the Marš Mir! He was on the news, he walked some distance with the marchers. I felt a moment of pride seeing him there.

It is hot today, but not as miserably hot as other days.

Thursday, July 10, 2008


fermentation process....

Thought you'd like seeing how that goes...


Pre Wolf Hunting Dance

Pre Wolf Hunting Dance
Originally uploaded by Yakima_gulag
Sometimes when I don't go anywhere, I watch really old documentaries, (this one isn't as old as it looks b.t.w. It is from 1983) This documentary is about guys who go to hunt wolves, a lot of rakija seems to be involved, they carry the old type wooden bottles for it. Before they leave they go door to door in the village, probably for random supplies, such as suho meso, rakija, etc, then they leave singing, in a manner sure to scare off any wolves stupid enough to stick around. Then they find their quarry, a HUGE wolf, and they shoot him. They carry the skin back to the village, get to dance with the hot chicks, and are paid off in kind, a lamb, some other food items, rakija. Looked like a lot of fun if you like trudging around ankle breaking mountains. Obviously these guys never read any of Farley Mowatt's books!


Stuff that is different here...Trivia....

Lots of stuff is different here of course, that would be the point of having another country right? So things could be different....

1. I note more scooters all the time, they are real daredevils, and they seldom wear helmets. I have noted ONE female scooterist.

2. The proliferation of little stores, none of which have anything resembling inventory control. So if you go to one D.P. hoping to find a given item, do not repeat Do Not expect it to available in the D.P. two blocks away... Same goes for other stores....

3. Newspapers here have funeral notices, and a section devoted to crime. The crime section is usually called 'Crna Hronika' it might have pictures of the crime scene, beware, these pictures will be graphic in many instances. Accidents are there too.

4. Back to newspapers, in the U.S. newspapers have a section devoted to weddings, engagements and anniversaries, not so here! No such section. American newspapers have a section for wedding licenses and divorces as well, again, not the case here. Death however is in splendid prominence.

5. The T.V. section in Sarajevo is two pages, and has helpful station logos along the side, I like that, because it is a long time between ads, which

6. tend to occur in seemingly endless blocks, but once over, you have uninterrupted programming.

7. Household cleaners may come from places like Germany, or Bulgaria, instructions may not be available in any language you actually personally speak or could fake it with. For me those languages are Bosnian, Croatian, Serbian, (I don't really speak Serbian but close enough for Government Work!) Spanish,

I can fake my way through with Italian, it is close to Spanish just enough to frustrate me. I got some drain cleaner labeled ONLY in Italian, it was good, but the store switched, to a cheaper Bosnian brand. I found the Mr. Muscle worked better, but I can't get it without going all the way down to Ferhadia now.

So I gave the cheaper Bosnian stuff a try. It had no instruction saying it was safe to use over-night. The chemicals used for these things differ from the States. So I feel twitchy if a brand change is forced by the lack of inventory control in stores here. I don't want to try to clear the drain only to cause some sort of problem.....

7. Trash containers... In the States, each household has it's own separate trash bin, or an apartment complex may have communal dumpsters, here the whole street has communal trash bins. There is an etiquette of disposal here. Anything slightly old but still edible by man or beast is often hung in a plastic shopping bag on the handles, so old bread, will hang that way, clothing that is still wearable is hung on the sides, out of the way of the smellier contents. There are people who depend on what is thrown out. Pensioners and Roma mostly.
Otherwise no effort is made to separate trash. Trash is collected here more than once a week. Back in the States, trash was collected weekly, even in HUGE cities.

And under stuff I meant to mention earlier but didn't for some stupid reason or other, I saw my first Segway here, downtown being used by someone employed by 'Bolje Posao' later that same week, I noted the Segway being used to negotiate the dicey run up the hill past the bus stop in my neighborhood! Probably it is the only practical vehicle of modern invention for the streets here! She was having a blast, blond hair flying behind her.

Wednesday, July 09, 2008


Hot hot hot

There has been heat combined with thunderstorms for some time. I can't take much more of it to be honest, but then I could not take much more of Winter either! I suppose it is going to get worse before it gets better. I feel like I am sitting in a Turkish bath, except instead of getting cleaned I am getting dirtied.

Then too the internet is acting up here, not letting me go places I normally go, stuff like that. It isn't especially busy in here, in Easynet, yes I am down in Baščaršija, but not for the Festival, just for a change of pace.

Stuff that's been on the news or in the papers, I read about the ONLY female de-miner, she is 38 years old, has SIX kids and is definitely the only female de-miner in BiH, and perhaps in Europe. She is very dedicated to her work, and is a mother raising her kids alone, a widow. She said she had training working on computers and for office work, but she hates offices,(probably hates spending hard earned money on stupid stuff like pantyhose, office attire, and Chapstick!) she likes the outdoors and likes the challenge, and the pay isn't bad either. She sounds like a cool person!

The column of about 2,000 people who are makeing the now annual march for peace in commemoration of the men who walked through the woods, not always succesfully, from Srebenica is underway. Not only do veterans of this experience take part, from all over the world, but children born since the war are along. It is a very moving thing to see on T.V.

I found out Sarajevo only has FIVE health inspeactors to check out restaraunts! 5 Cinco Cuig Pet! Count them! in a city of this size there need to be more, and the numbers right now are depleted due to vacations. I tend to eat in places I am sure have sinks, I try for places that have bathrooms but around here, if you get a place with a visible sink someplace that is good! I don't eat out all that much but now it will be less.

Another big thing on the news, was that some European cheese companies despite the E.U. and all it's hordes of inspectors running around, were 'recycleling' cheese! Cheese that was well past it's pull date, full of mouse droppings, and just plain icky was being ground up, mixed with marginally fresher cheese and foisted upon the unsuspecting public, Gorgonzala, an already smelly cheese, and Mozarella were the commonest cheeses that underwent this treatment. EWWWW! I hope someone gets sent to a small wire room for that! Seriiously! Car bombs get all the attention, slow death from food poisoning is also death and a nasty form of it!

Also in France, a nuclear power plant accidentally discharged some nuclear waste into two rivers, so no one can fish, bathe or drink the water. Can't wait to meet Blinky the Fish! How do you say 'Blinky the Fish' in French?

There was egg sized hail the day before yesterday, not all that far from Sarajevo. The mornings have been hot, and the afternoons have been stormy.

I am too hot to be out and about for long, especially in this internet cafe, which has very noisy and rather ineffective air conditioning.

Americans coming here mustn't take offence, people do bathe, but with no air conditioning and so forth....

Monday, July 07, 2008


Raspberry Mead

Raspberry Mead
Originally uploaded by Yakima_gulag
this is what raspberry mead looks like when it is fermenting. This stage is delicate.

Saturday, July 05, 2008


Brew Free or Die!

I am really glad I did not yet delete my film clips from my camera, I saved them because sometimes they don't process on the first try on Flikr. I wish that weren't so, but it is.

@Shaina, raspberry mead is mead that is done with raspberries, it was traditional in Poland long ago.

I did not know this when I began making mead, or wine for that matter. ...

I started off making raspberry wine very accidentally. I lived with my then teen-aged son and daughter in an old orchard shack in the Yakima Gulag, the back yard had raspberry bushes which were very productive. After eating a lot of raspberries one day, the seeds got to me.... quite badly, so I decided to juice the berries. I put the juice in the fridge, and the juice fermented on it's own. My son got some of the juice out and it was fizzing when he opened it. I investigated this and discovered to my delight, it had turned into pretty decent wine. So I began making the raspberries into wine on purpose, but the bread had to be kept someplace else, because if it were kept near the bottles of fermenting raspberry juice, the bread began to taste like nail polish remover. Later, I got hold of my first recipe for mead, and then a recipe book that mentioned Polish raspberry mead, and the rest, as they say is history.


4th of July, Sarajevo, BiH

4th of July, Sarajevo, BiH
Originally uploaded by Yakima_gulag
So it is a good thing I know how to make good chili and that the beer here is so excellent. This event was strictly A-list, and I am not really even B-list, anyway the weather was kind of inclement later in the day, there was a big storm, and yesterday, another big storm, that lasted HOURS, so I stayed home and ate chili and drank beer and slept an inordinately long time, and watched 'Rebel Heart' which seemed to based loosely on the story of Ernie O'Malley, author of 'Army Without Banners'. It wasn't a bad film. I liked the clumsy drill conducted in Irish best, could have lived without the love scenes, as usual, badly done, loved the costuming, and the flat ! There was some of this filmed not too far from the flat of a friend of mine in Dublin, wonderfully slummy hallway....

Friday, July 04, 2008


Oric Freed

That would be the big news, Oric was let go.


Fireworks, Yakima

Fireworks, Yakima
Originally uploaded by Yakima_gulag
This is a picture of fireworks back in Yakima, last year. I did some film of them too, not sure if that is up on YouTube or not.

The reflexes needed to do decent pictures of fireworks are unbelievable! It all happens so fast!

These were taken at the Fairgrounds. I staked out a place for us all, and my daughter and some of my friends showed up to sit under the tree I usually got. That year, I was sick of carrying stuff, I took money and bought food and drinks there, and just flaked out all day until time for the Big Show.

I hope everyone back home is having a good Fourth of July, and keeping safe.

Thursday, July 03, 2008


Merrill Lynch Plaza

Merrill Lynch Plaza
Originally uploaded by Kvatch
I'd almost forgotten about the Komandos Project! Sooo cooool!


Clipping about a friend of mine

Clipping about a friend of mine
Originally uploaded by Yakima_gulag
Thought y'all would like to see this...


I have no idea how hot it is

But it is far too hot for me! I am wringing wet... When I get home I am going to need to take off everything and wash it all, and have another shower.

Today I learned a little bit about the techniques Roma from Kosovo use here when they go around and ask for money. Most can't write, they go to a shop-keeper and ask if the shop-keeper has a pen and paper and then ask the shop-keeper to write t hem a note as to why they are asking for money. I avoid all people carrying pieces of paper, I already knew these were people begging.

Still not as bad as Dublin thank God!

Speaking of Dublin, I had no idea that Dublin is now the 3rd most expensive city in the world! No wonder the Plain People of Ireland voted down the E.U.! I knew things cost way too much there, but DAMN!¨

So tomorrow is the 4th of July. My big plans for the day are to consume lots of chili, New Mexico style, and lots of Sarajevsko pivo, to watch 'Rebel Heart' and to basically take it easy.

I am perturbed that President Bush seems Hell bent on starting a war to saddle the next Administration with! Nothing like a good lame duck war!

I noted huge numbers of children in front of the Swedish Embassy as I headed into Baščaršija today, groups of 8 or 10 with an adult riding herd on them. Headed off for brainwashing by the Swedish Menace?......OOOOPS! I mean..... Summer Camp in Sweden?

Anyway the other mission I am on today is to purchase raspberries and honey. I am going to make some raspberry mead. It isn't so important what sort of yeast you use for that type of mead... and it tastes good, and it will come in handy later.

Tuesday, July 01, 2008


The Grasshopper Has Taken Off...

Well, my time as a keeper of a house-pet of the six-legged variety is over. I have been leaving windows open a crack early in the day. I did get some grass for the beastie to nibble on from the garden, but when I got in, he, she or it was gone. Which is fine, life is a lot better in the great out doors for a grasshopper. I am assuming it was female due to it's silence, it was my understanding only males sing.

Well that doesn't matter since it has gone on to lead a more normal life. Probably the house plant I have wasn't something it likes to eat, just as well, wouldn't want the land-lady perturbed! :), or the plant for that matter.

Today I had an interesting experience. There is a Roma lady who is friends with my two Baščaršija friends. She did a reading of coffee grounds for one of my friends. I have never seen that done as it is done here. A good reading takes awhile. She is a very thin woman, but is the mother of six children! I could not believe it, because she is so small and thin.

Saw a couple of niqabis today, and one yesterday, in the neighborhood. Rather a high count in the last couple days.

Night before last they had news of another land-mine casualty.

The silence of the flat without the tapping of the grasshopper hopping here and there was strange.

I watched 'Pretty Baby' last night. That was a well made film but I can see why it was controversial! It was a film I didn't see when it came out for a number of reasons. The costuming was accurate, the music was good, but it was about a creepy subject, child prostitution. So I was surprised it even got shown here, and it has been a couple times on different channels since I got here, always it has been shown very late at night, with a parental warning.

I had to laugh when I heard that in the Netherlands, smoking tobacco in bars and cafes is going to be illegal, but in the designated coffee houses, marijuana is going to remain legal! Here in Sarajevo the people think that is bloody ridiculous! One internet cafe I regularly goes to permits smoking, most sidewalk cafes permit it, and even some indoor places do. A staggering number of Bosnians smoke.

It started off a little chilly today, I carried my wind-breaker, in case of rain, but then it heated up. I shall need a shower when I get back home.

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