Wednesday, November 26, 2008

Wow Chris Baty founder of NaNoWrimo sent me a congrats on hitting 50k!
I sent him one for starting NaNo in the first place. That's cool
Another Oakland thing is going away, Mother's Cookies! I used to get those for the kids and Yoshi brought some to our last 'write in'!
Zivi Oakland! Home of the great! Home of the terrified! the Flint Michigan of the West Coast


Thanksgiving is tomorrow

So here is my big list of stuff I'm tankful for, family (obviously! :) friends (obviously!) a new president! YEAH! that one is a big one!
sidewalks! Sidewalks that are big enough to walk on were in short supply in Sarajevo, literally 'thin on the ground'!
I am very thankful to have exceeded 50,000 words in my NaNo! Now all I need to do is write the end of the thing and go to the Thank God it's OVER party here in the Yakima Gulag. I'm probably the only one here that finished.

It's frosty out today, and I still have the flu or something. I feel tired, but not all that bad.

Tuesday, November 25, 2008


At some point

Someone is going to have to realize that privacy screens are NOT repeat NOT adaptive technology.

I also really can't stand how the U.S.B. pors work on the keyboards, actually the word is DON'T work on the screens.
I am sick to death of it. I can't make things work here. I really miss internet cafes at this point. This library would never think about hireing me for example to help with that stuff, or SOMEONE, anyone who knows how to make stuff work. No not because the library is bad, but because this city is CHEAP with some vital services. Still there is a culture at the library that isn't all that computer helpful. Good equipment for example doesn't cost more, it might be LESS!Having U.S.B. ports down on the side of the keyboard... NOT a plan people, having the only other USB thing be the mouse thing, and not having other USB ports taht work is crazy making. I want to verify my better than 50 words for NaNo and I cant because of this stupid bad equipment

Monday, November 24, 2008


45000 words + as of noon this morning...

I have had kind of a nasty little cold. The bad news is I can't go to the home of the nice people who offered me the use of their computer in this condition. My housemate got it first, probably from her daughter who got it at school.
So I have had headaches, and a sore throat and an attitude problem. Still I have gotten a lot of writing done in the morning. I have to go back. I mean others are finished altogether. That's o.k. but I wanted to be finished yesterday! I don't know how many thousands of words I typed yesterday. A lot though. This was before the drama hit. There was a problem which resulted in water everywhere in the bathroom and downstairs. An emergency plumber had to be sent for. The whole thing was an accident and no one's fault. But it was a bit scary and it was not fun. Today I'm washing all the dirty clothes that probably saved us from worse problems. S. is far too tired for t hat. It was one of those times neatness would have been a BAD thing! The dirty clothes kept the water that leaked out of the rug. The problem was detected rapidly, so t hat helped. In short it all could have been so much worse. I for one am thankful it wasn't! :)

Sunday, November 23, 2008


Hat tip to the BBC

Eurovisja song contest link

the house mate and I went out in her little car to go get burgers after a distressing morning of plumbing difficulties. She has this hat that looks Russian so these kids were like waving at us, pointing etc. it was fun and cute.

Made up for a rotten morning

40 thousand plus words on NaNo!

Friday, November 21, 2008


So far this year's NaNo, I am way ahead...

It may not be The Great American Novel, but my NaNo is going well. The housemate and I also decided to try and get some bean plants going just for the Hell of it. We tried getting soem Great Northern Whites going. No luck, but a little baby Black Lentil is making nice progress! :) We are happier for it, Lentils get pretty flowers, and if they last long enough, the beans are nice too!

I have been mostly working on my NaNo.

Wednesday, November 19, 2008


Osama V.S. Obama

One of the fears I had for President Obama has materialized. I knew there'd be a problem with people of the extremist persuasion among Muslims. In fact it was one of the reasons I took so long to get on board.

For the LAST TIME, Obama wasn't RAISED as a Muslim! He had a father who was Muslim In Name ONLY! He had a step-father who was Muslim In Name Only! He lived in places where Islam is the predominant religion so he understands better than the average non-Muslim American about the culture.

This is a good thing. It is better than having a president who thinks that the mythical UNBIBLICAL Rapture is right around the corner!

Healthier for the entire world.

If you think the world will end any moment, you don't try to solve your problems.

I believe an over-emphisis on End Times Theology is morally dangerous.

It looks like the majority of the American people may have FINALLY gotten it!



I don't know who is the BiH entry for Eurovision, but I do know that the Seva composition I posted yesterday is the entry for Croatia this year. I meant to mention that when I last posted. Internet was down at both the public library and the college library yesterday. Today only one computer is functional.

I don't want to complain, I am grateful to have easy access even for half an hour at the college, but a couple things about the public access computers are not good for me.

1. You have to stand.

2. I can't move the screen any closer to me which accounts for some of the typing glitches. Things meant for the public must be handicapped accesible in the States now, and I am wondering if this situation is even quite legal.

The other thing is that before Raymond Hall got rebuilt the public access computers were more numerous and you could sit and you got the same amount of time as in the public library. So this is a bit less than the past. I know because I used them in the past before the changes.

The good news is the librarians here at Raymond Hall ARE more computer literate than the downtown librarians, and very helpful.

I had too many errends yesterday to post here.

The leaves are falling here, but the weather has been crisp and nice. Things are over all going a bit better at the house. The housemate who HAS to quit drinking has cheered up a bit. Probably knowing we all decided to quit too was good for him.

So there is slightly less drama coming from him. This is good and appreciated. The guy has had a real problem for a long time. It is brave of him to even begin dealing with it, and we all pray it works out.

Monday, November 17, 2008


Just listen if you can't take self exploitation! :)

Farewell to Summer! Some days here have been so crisp and cool, some have even been outright hot, but we all know when the leafies turn all those pretty colors that the snijeg is on it's inexorable way!

So fond memories of a summer spent in Sarajevo are brought back by this song, admittedly on the trashy side but oh well! That is what some of you come here for no?

This was the big summer hit, audible at all sorts of times. Like I said, if you can't take self exploitation, don't look. samo izvolite, samo slusaj. Just enjoy, just listen.

Sunday, November 16, 2008


Spoon saga continues

I was thrilled yesterday, Goodwill had some spoons of an acceptable size! 25 cents each, stainless stee.
I am looking for something decent in the way of dishes to use for a home made WiFi booster too. Have several possible and Ivan The Terrible Minister of Technology has been advising me. Thanks Ivan!

Saturday, November 15, 2008


Today's projects

@ Owen, I did try save as. It's some sort of glitch. I will be getting Open Office on a new disk soon, that should solve the problem. The other one is at home internet access. There are some unsecured WiFi networks close by. I resent that my house mate can get on and I never can for longer than it takes to do a blip-vert! So I am researching alternatives suitable for a person with a lap top. It needs to be CHEAP and it would be nice if it didn't involve playing with fire! There is a skilled welder in the commune, but how long he may be there is anyone's guess. Assume someone who can put things together but who is afraid of playing with fire or tearing apart circuit boards.

Friday, November 14, 2008


Wait there's more!

Do you know something weird? I decided the spoons sitution where I live isn't cool at all. I decided to get some spoons that fit my mouth. The only small spoons are GRAPEFRUIT spoons, and that's bad. So I went to my favorite thrift stores in search, nemao nijedan at the Salvation Army, forks,knives a couple bottle openers but NO spoons! I felt like staning in the aisle and screaming SPOON!!! at the top of my lungs. There were none! So I crossed the street to the Discovery shop and found ONE for 10 cents, allegedly stainless steel. That's just one spoon, so I went to the antique shop and got five spoons there. I have one to pack with me, and there's four nice spoons for the table now, Thanks to L.Q. who gave me a cute baby spoon belonging formerly to one of her sons, the one that looks a bit like Wierd Al. He knows who he is. It's great because I can carry an emergency spoon. Some places just don't have spoons.... At least not spoons that are small....


Stuff that I wanted to blog but haven't had time for:

Mostly mind-numbing trivija but oh what the Hell!

Someone stole a small plane and had a hard landing on the closed part of the Yakama Rez

They moved a really cute wooden silo in Union Gap to the Agricultural Museum.

I am at 26222 words on my this year's NaNo. I still can't figure out how to do layout for the freebie at Amazon, how to put the pages the way they want them or how to put in cover art for last year's book. I have no clue.

I have another like four months to figure it out. It's not something taht got covered in my handy-dandy Microsoft certification class at the People's Institute for Higher Re-Edjumacation. So it goes. I mean it requires me to put the text two pages at a time sideways and allow for some gutter, and for margins and all that govno, nema pojma kako da radi! Plus I while I did find my Open Office, I can't save in Open Office, but at least it's wonderful for Word Counts! :)

I am thinking my housemates may take a weekend out of town. I hope they do it. They have stuff to resolve.

I am of the firm belief that people with each their own kids ought nto try the Brady Bunch action. It barely worked on T.V. and it really doesn't work in Real Life without massive counseling for all involved. Just the day to day stuff messes people up!

Throw in any 'issues' and it can get miserable.

Yakima County has a higher than usual murder rate this year. 18 so far. And people wonder why I felt safer in Sarajevo...?

Actually I feel reasonably safe where I live, it's nice, I can close the door. Those are the things that matter.

The NaNo Group here are nice. one of them types on a REAL typewriter,a damn near antique Royal with little round buttons! I approve the nostalgic sound, and it's cool. She carries it in no muss no fuss I can sit anyplace. Meanwhile I can't count words on stupid word pad. oh well! :)

Wednesday, November 12, 2008


Vetran's Day a day late

I want to wish all Vetrans agood week. I went to the parade with one of my house-mates and her little girl. The parade was a little smaller but still very enthusiastic. People here have relatives in the war in Iraq, in Afghanistan and other not nice places.

Obama carried th is county,and a lot of people are not crazy about the war, BUT they want to be supportive of people who have gone.
So in the cold, and rain there were people to clap and cheer and be encouraging to the young R.O.T.C. people, in the parade.

I feel like it is important to be decent to the people who go to war, even if we have a big fat problem with the war.

Monday, November 10, 2008


Lovely things will follow you

Lovely things will follow you
Originally uploaded by Yakima_gulag
Just thought you'd all like to see a nice cup of coffee to warm up your morning...


I guess Mladic is still out there, and some other regional news

News for today, I told you all I'd start at least putting in some Balkans news links on days when I have decent computer access.

so from today's Oslobodenje, get it while it's hot!

Rough translation, Tihic and Silajdzic have given Dodik an ultimatum. I guess they want more national unity.

another link on this story in English thanks to Mario's Cyberspace Station:

and then somebody put up a bunch of neo-NAZI graffiti in Zenica. It was aimed at Roma and Jews. The graffiti was near the main offices for Mittal in Zenica.

Also the killing of a Croatian journalist is possibly going to de-rail Croatia's entry into the E.U.

more on the same story.


And not to leave out a fixture of these pages for a long time....

No one seems to be able to find that obnoxious fellow...

Sunday, November 09, 2008


Things are a little crazy for now

I think Hunter S. Thompson said it well, when the going gets weird, the weird get weirder..' Well one of my housemates had to rescue a relative from a bad scene. This took up a bit of the evening and gave her PTSD, and I had to talk her down. Fortunately, I know how to do this.

Things are fine today. Nice weather in the gulag, nice new president in the nation, and I was tidying up my room. I have half a closet, one door opens into the living room and the other opens into my room. My half is now clean enough so I can close the door. Meaning if I feel like lighting incense, it's nto going into the part of the close that isn't mine, because it's not going in the closet! :).

Always a plus!
Worked over my NaNo and my guide book. I had back-story issues with last year's NaNo so I was fixing it, like how the MMC's family got killed off and how h e escaped differed, names of kids differed, name of wife differed, and family name differed so it was a big search and destroy .... stupid "WordPad! d'oh!

Friday, November 07, 2008


For those of you who had problems following the 6/Nov/08 link:

Precizna slika

Napokon, ovako uvjerljiva Obamina pobjeda je precizna slika onog što Amerikanci misle o Bushu, a u njihovom odbacivanju njegove politike velika je utjeha. Sjećam se, kad je George W. Bush objesio Sadama Huesina, imao sam samo jedan paradoks na umu: Sadam je bio pasionirani čitalac američke književnosti, a omiljeni mu je pisac bio Ernest Hemingway. Busha da pitaju danas - ko je Hemingway?, on ne bi znao, ili bi rekao da je neki američki fudbaler ili igrač baseballa. Pa mislim da ima neke pravde u tome da, nakon Busha, predsjednik Amerike bude jedan Husein.

Rough translation of bolded area, 'Sadam Husein was a passionate reader of American literature and his favorite writer was Ernest Hemingway, Bush asked today, 'Who is Hemingway?' He thought Hemingway was either an American football player or a baseball player'

Thursday, November 06, 2008


Rainy in the gulag

It's been rainy, I haven't felt wonderful, stomach problems.

I can just imagine w hat reaction to our election was in Sarajevo! That night I did briefly call one of my friends with the news, and she was excited, 1. because she likes Obama and 2. because she liked getting a call.

I have been doing a lot of gloating...

I also have been doing a lot of praying.

***P.S. here is a link from today's 'Oslobodenje'

copy and paste is all I can do, izvini! izvolite!

Wednesday, November 05, 2008


Pobjed za Obama!

I was at the party for Yakima gulag Democrats and there were so many new faces in the room of all ages. Many of my friends that were once young no longer drive, so there were a number of people benefiting from their good karma in having helped me get to meetings and rallies over the years.

There were four huge big screen T.V.s around the room and a huge local media presence.

Cheers erupted early on when the election was called for Obama. While the popular vote cannot be called decisive, it was a clear win. The Electoral Vote, that peculiar American institution, was not just a clear win, Obama mopped the floor with the McCain-Palin ticket.

Obama was very impressive in victory and McCain showed his class in defeat. I mean seriously showed real class.

I must say it was a good day to be back in America! Many of my friends were not aware I have returned, so many were welcoming me back, and many while they knew I was back, we haven't seen each other for assorted reasons, so that was cool. I was anyway you cut it delighted with the whole evening.

The food was good, they had free beer which ran out early! :) I had one beer.

I would have liked to have two. I brought a friend who is in the insurance business, she has never been to a function like this, and was enjoying it very much. She I guess realized why politics isn't just a big fat bore this evening.

Something big has happened in America, a man who is not pure white, an African-American in fact, a man not raised entirely in the United States, has been elected to the highest office in the land. My late mother would have been delighted.

One friend of mine was a very early Obama supporter, and he was nearly in tears with joy.

The atmosphere was electric. It was a real privelege and pleasure to be there.

I hope that President Elect Obama can turn our country around! A new day indeed has dawned in America!

Tuesday, November 04, 2008


Finally Got into the Temple of Doom...Ooops I meant NaNo!

It's taken me a couple weeks to even get into NaNo, the site runs pretty slow, and from the college library it's pretty undoable actually. The public library gives you more time, but there's no USB hubs so it's a pain to upload to verify word counts. I hope I can do ok with it this year, there has been so much chaos generally for me.

Monday, November 03, 2008


Off to do some work for Obama

I got a call from a dear friend, an older zek in the gulag who told me there was a phone bank down at Democratic HQ. I am going.

I am really pissed about pre-paid mobile service in the U.S. fixed line service here is generally better than in BiH or Croatia, but MOBILE service, especially pre-paid is a stinking damned rip-off. I get charged for incoming as well as outgoing calls. I do not approve of this. HTEronet, the service I had in BiH, BH Telecom Mobil and Mtel ALL have far better and cheaper pre-paid plans than anyone in the U.S. is offering. My Fellow Americans you are Being Ripped Off!

o.k. so off I go

The party here for zeks for Obama is going to be at Howard Johnsons at 9th and Yakima Ave, starting 7pm Election night. I plan to be there, so will the rest of the house mates.

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