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Windows to Russia

 

I know you haven’t seen a Libya article in a long time. So today with that morning cup of coffee I decided to write a little article talking about Libya. So after that coffee and some thinking’s it was just too tempting when the you see the great Western countries stuttering about like a bunch of old hens in a chicken yard. Here is that article…

My how the West has failed in the utter destruction of Gaddafi. The USA is in talks with Libya and now France is talking at the same time. The West is looking how to get out of Libya and save a little face at the same time. We barged into Libya for all the wrong reasons and made up lies and when you do things for the wrong reasons and make up lies (Well you know what happens!). So now after missile after missile has failed to work. France is willing to allow Gaddafi to stay in Libya but he has to be a good boy and follow their rules. I understand from the grapevine that France can not keep up the pace of destroying Libya. Their equipment is wearing out (Their aircraft carrier is shown signs of strain!) and them damn missiles are just too expensive… :)

France says Muammar Gaddafi can remain in Libya if he surrenders power and follows a Paris-backed ceasefire deal to end the conflict in his country, the French foreign minister said.

“One of the scenarios effectively envisaged is that he stays in Libya on one condition which I repeat – that he very clearly steps aside from Libyan political life,” Alain Juppe said.

The comments were in answer to a question during an interview on LCI television whether countries involved in the Libyan crisis could consider letting Gaddafi remain as part of a way out of the crisis.

http://english.aljazeera.net/news/africa/2011/07/201172082559895902.html

I understand that the USA is in talks with Libya also and the USA is saying basically the same things that France is saying. Gaddafi has to go but maybe he can stay if…

So this is a tale of a Western world that stepped over the Rubicon river and realized that they had gotten in over their heads. But they are a proud group of idiots (Or they forgot how to cross back over the river!) and decided that they could simply bomb Gaddafi into submission in a few days. Well those few days have become 4 months and it is starting to look like NATO is tired,  America is flat stinking broke, France is crying mama and Britain has a huge problem back home that Murdock is in the center of…

What is really behind the France/U.S. reversal on Libya? After almost 4 months of air strikes that have cost billions and billions of dollars With the conflict stalemated, cracks are emerging inside the NATO alliance. Some member states are balking at the burden on their recession-hit finances, and many are frustrated there has been no decisive breakthrough. After all this was just suppose to be a few days and that evil Gaddafi is history…

NATO has only two choices at this point. Ground war or look for a way out of this mess. Even if Gaddafi gets killed. At this point the damage is done and the best that the West can hope for is that Gaddafi steps down. Gaddafi has been elevated to pedestal status just like Osama bin Laden had been. So anything we do at this point is going to harden the situation in Gaddafi’s favor. Dead or alive that he may be at the outcome. Best to keep Gaddafi alive and keep him at human status as long as possible…

Gaddafi has won – the West has lost…

Windows to Russia!

PS: Kinda reminisce of the fact that the USA is in talks with the Taliban in Afghanistan. Hummm…

Sveta like most Russians love fresh fruit. In Russia canned fruit is very rare and hard to find but fresh fruit is sold on just about ever corner, metro station and or bus stop. So as I was sipping that morning cup of coffee. I started laughing when I thought about Sveta and the cherry tree at our village home…

This poor cherry tree met its match with Sveta. Once Sveta realized that our cherry tree was loaded with cherries and these cherries were perfect for eating and picking. All I had to do was go find the cherry tree and I would find Sveta… :)

I ate a few and they were delicious but decided that it would be better to let Sveta have all the cherries because she might get grumpy if I tried to eat too many cherries. Now on this tree was thousands of cherries and of course I asked are we taking some home with us. I got this look like: What are you talking about? As cherry pits were spit out into the grass. I realized that the cherry tree was going to be consumed in the few short days we were at the village…

I remember several large pans full of washed cherries and in less than an hour they were all gone. I ate three or four cherries and to find the rest all you had to do was look at Sveta’s red cherry stained lips…

As the days passed I was amazed at the amount of cherries that were being consumed and I started to tease Sveta about that fact. She just smiled and kept eating cherries. Oh once in a awhile she would offer me some cherries and she would hold out two cherries as an offering. But never the whole pan of cherries was offered…

So to close this story out. As we left the village to come home to Moscow. Sveta had one last trip to the cherry tree. She had a big plastic bag and was searching the cherry tree as high as she could reach to get cherries to fill the bag. I stayed away because I figured what cherries she could not reach the poor birds could eat. It looks like she left about 5 whole cherries for the birds…

As we drove about 9 hours to get home. Every time I looked over at Sveta she was spitting cherry pits out the open window of the car. She ate cherries all the way home…

I thought about how proud that cherry tree felt, knowing that someone loved her cherries that much…

Kyle and Sveta
Windows to Russia!

Internet usage in China rose to 485 million by the end of June this year, announced the China Internet Network Information Center (CNNIC) on Tuesday. Read More >>>

The USA and Russia do not even have a total population together to equal the Internet users in China. I wondered how many Internet users that India has? After looking around it seems India has around 50 million Internet users…

But as far as percent of population Russia and the USA have a much higher percent of the population than China using the Internet. But the Northern part of the world seems to be the Internet per population kings…

It is just an Internet world…

Windows to Russia!

Putin has expressed several times in the last few years that joining WTO (World Trade Organization) is not worth hurting Russia over. I personally see what it has done to America and other countries. All you have to do is open your eyes and look. Putin is correct. WTO should be helpful not hurtful…

Drawing a line in the sand: that’s essentially what Prime Minister Vladimir Putin did the other day speaking at the opening of a major new steel plant. At Magnitigorsk’s new steel mill Mr Putin said that the country would not abandon its commitments to the country’s auto manufacturers just for the sake of WTO membership. Currently Moscow is in tough negotiations with the World Trade Organization about Russia’s hopefully impending accession to the global trading body. Russia remains by far the largest economy outside of the WTO, with talks having gone on for nearly two decades now. It was thought that coming into 2011 that Russia was on the verge of joining the organization, but so far this year little new progress has been made. Certain government programs to stimulate domestic production have concerned some nations already in the WTO. Crucially, an agreement to significantly cut import duties on car components in exchange for foreign makers agreeing to localize production has worried some in the EU and US. Specifically, manufacturers got the discount if they agreed to churn out some 300,000 cars a year, and promised that 60 percent of the production would take place in Russia. EU and American officials are pushing for Russia to drop the localization requirement, arguing that it limits truly free trade. However Mr Putin has said that it won’t sacrifice certain goals simply for the sake of joining the WTO. The PM said, and I quote, “…our position here is unwavering. This is the red line that we will not cross because we cannot give up the interests of our producers.”

Russia needs to stay on her two feet and not try to mimic the collapsing Western financial world. The WTO is just another ball and chain around the worlds neck. Part of the issues with the Western world collapse is the WTO…

I have watched Putin allow Medvedev to try  to progress with the WTO application but as always the pressure against Russia is vast and really Russia needs to forget the WTO. The West really does not want Russia in it, as if it is some fancy club or something and only the elite get in. After 20 years of trying…

Russia has now started to look seriously at the repercussions if America financially collapses. The writing is on the wall and Russia is and has been trying to figure out how to survive the Western world financial collapse that seems to be looming on the horizon…

Putin is one that sees what is coming and knows that you must protect Russia’s producers…

Windows to Russia!

The village trip is always a good trip for checking gas and Benzine prices. This article was triggered by an article that I just saw called: AAA’s Daily Fuel Gauge Report. I see something just short of $4 a gallon when I look at the chart right now for America. I found a propane price of around $3 per gallon for propane…

Well Russians (like Americans) are having a fit about the price of fuel in Russia. It seems that they feel that they are paying a price too high for Liquid Gold. Lets see what I found on this trip that Sveta and I just took. We easily covered over a 1200 km and found fuel stations back in the isolation of society and fuel stations in busy Moscow. The farther away from Moscow we got the cheaper the fuel got. Here is what we found…

Moscow cheapest price:
Gasoline (Benzine): 23.5 rubles per liter = 88.95 rubles per gallon = $3.18 a gallon…
Propane (Gaz or Gas): 14 rubles per liter = 53 rubles per gallon = $1.89 a gallon…

400+ km from Moscow cheapest price:
Gasoline (Benzine): 21 rubles per liter = 79.5 rubles per gallon = $2.84 a gallon…
Propane (Gaz or Gas): 13.5 rubles = 51.10 rubles per gallon = $1.83 a gallon…

(1 US gallon = 3.785 liters, $1 = 28 rubles)

Now I will not say that you won’t pay a higher price and if you do then the term fool was invented for people like that. The highest priced station in Russia seems to be the BP (British Petroleum) stations. You will find fuel as high as 32 rubles a liter at these stations and anyone who caters to a BP station needs to have their head checked. But like in America, BP stations are a world of “everything under one roof” and you can stop, get fuel, food and fun under one roof… :)

Now once again this is regular unleaded fuel for the benzine comparison. I don’t and won’t use that high dollar stuff because it is a rip off. We have stations with two levels of 98 octane, 5 levels of 95 octane, 3 levels of 92 octane and always just one type of 80 octane. (My dreams come true when we find leaded 76 octane for the old farm trucks. The old Volga just purrs when we get to use that fuel, just like it does on propane) We found several times 92 for 23.5 rubles so your car can run on 92 just fine. All those choices are suppose to make your car run faster and clean that engine. We use 80 octane benzine and 100+ octane propane and tool down the road just fine – thank you!

Conclusion is that Russians have it made compared to the rest of the world. Russians need to plan ahead for their fuel stops and not allow the price gouging stations to catch them. There are several brands of fuel in Russia that have very good quality fuel. I keep two or three extra fuel filters in the tool box and some water remover (fuel deicer) for when we get a poor tank of fuel. I was very surprised by the price of propane in America. That is not a bargain at $3 dollars a gallon. Now you see why I am burning propane here in Russia…

Kyle and Sveta
Windows to Russia!

PS: These prices are sad for a person that filled his first tank of gas up on his first car for 18 cents a gallon. (Called a gas war back then!) I remember filling up at a Sinclair station near Grain Vally, Missouri USA. It was a green 1969 Volkswagen Beetle and I got a green dinosaur for filling up. Now that is just right…

I removed the pictures from the big camera today and I re-sized this one to fit the blog so that you do not have to click to see more. It was 5 times this big and way too big to work as a blog picture. By the way this picture was taken at 10:00 pm at night. The sun is setting behind me as I take the picture…

This is our village that we go to. It is now called Kommuna by the locals and Sunrise to Freedom by the ones who remember from the old days. This is the front half of the village in the picture. It extends way back after you crest the hill. I still have never seen a village that is more beautiful and serene in existence…

It use to be a female monastery in the old days and then was a school for handicapped children. The bell tower belies the fact of a monastery. Now it is just a simple village that is slowly dying away with time…

If I could buy it and restore it I would. This village has all that life would need. It has a wonderful small river loaded with fish. It has a huge lake as its forefront. It has a real source of water with no well needed to survive. It has rich soil to grow crops in and it has huge pine forests nearby for endless wood and food (hunting) supply…

I like the name Sunrise to Freedom it is a good name for a village…

Post by Kyle Keeton
Windows to Russia…

Sipping that cup of coffee this morning and doing some thinking’s. Sveta and I have to wander home now. It seems that time just flies when you have fun and in this case it seemed to accelerate just way to fast…

So it is time to hit the road today and spend about 8+ hours traveling back to Moscow and our home sweet home. We have lots of things to get caught up on and I have to prepare for a visa run to Ukraine. That always promises to be an experience all in itself… :)

I am going to start packing the car and checking all her fluids. We have some rough roads to crawl back to civilization on and our Volga needs to be checked over first…

When I get back from Ukraine this visa trip. I am contemplating coming to the village for a month or two and living here. We have a lot of work to do on the village home and it is time to fix everything that needs fixing. Now that we have the issue of Internet fixed here in the village. I can do my business from the village just as easily as from Moscow. That gives me some thinking’s to do…

The main issue would be power going out all the time like it does, but I have that solved and can bring the answer back down next time we come. All we need to do is get a small generator for electricity. For less than 3000 rubles we can purchase a generator and when the power goes off, I can easily keep the refrigerator and laptop going. The laptop has no issues with power fluctuations and since we have two laptops I will not have any problems…

So that is some more thinking’s over the next days cup of coffee’s. Sveta has several more weeks of vacation and maybe she will use them to keep Boza and I company. Boza just loves the village and his favorite spot is under our bed in the village house. The word house is strange because in Russia you get use to living in flats. So one thing that is great about the village is that you live in a free standing home. That is just a treat of the village…

Next time I post I will be at home near Moscow…

Kyle and Sveta
Windows to Russia!

Being a country boy from the Midwest of America. Roads to towns or villages as Russians call them, were gravel many times. It seemed that you either had river gravel or limestone gravel as the main roads. But always the base was kept up as a crushed rock of some form…

In our travels around Russia. We find that gravel is not high on the list of importance. The soil has lots of sand in it and no one contemplates using gravel as a road surface. The truth is that these sandy roads do a good job of getting you from village to village. It just looks like you are on a goat trail…

This is main street above in a village of about 100 people. It is much larger than our village. This is a thriving village. We left this village to try to find an even more remote village. The next picture is the main highway to a smaller village. Yes this road is on the maps. This is a real highway and takes you to a real place that lots of people live in… :)

We found the village we were looking for hidden way deep into the countryside (it is top left of picture – Sveta is top right of picture) but our road gave out. We had to walk the rest of the way. I was not in the mood to walk so we took some pictures of the river and the new walkway bridge that was recently built. We knew that several years ago that this was a auto bridge but it looks as though cars do not make it to the village anymore…

Village after village is connected by these roads. The only thing that is done to the roads is bridges and even those most of the time are done by local government and local people. A bridge like the walkway over the river would be a project done by the village, otherwise no one could leave the village to get supplies…

Sveta and I love to travel these roads and every village is a new experience. This last picture is what you have to do when you have to work on your car…

We are in the middle of the highway and if anyone would come they just drive around. One of the reasons to own a Volga is that parts are available anywhere and they can be fixed very easily. Every village will have an old Volga or two sitting around and they are prime  for spare parts. It does not matter what year the Volga is, most likely the part will fit…

The roads are well used and you can tell the main roads because they are not overgrown with grass. Sometimes you find 5 roads going into 5 different directions and all you have to do is follow the path that is worn the most. It will lead you to civilization… :)

So as you see we made it back to our village and drinking that coffee and tea getting ready for another day of fun…

Kyle and Sveta
Windows to Russia

Sipping that cup of coffee this morning is always extra special in the village. You can hear the birds singing and one that stands out is the cuckoo bird. Sounds just like a cuckoo clock. We have lots of cuckoo birds around the village…

It is going to be a scorcher today. It is already 25 c. and it is just 8 am. That means hot and several thunderstorms this afternoon. The village is a magnet for high winds and lots of rain. That is good because everything you plant grows good. You just have to weed a lot to keep the weeds down…

When it gets this hot you have to do what the villagers do. They take siestas in the afternoon. Sveta and I will do the same. It just is too hot to try to get anything done and with daylight until almost midnight, you have lots of time to get things done. I watched last night and at 11:30 pm I could read a book outside still. The red of the sun was still dancing on the clouds. Then at 4:30 am it was light enough to read outside again. The variances of seasons and daylight here is amazing. In the Winter the night rules and in Summer daylight rules…

I have a fan that I bought years ago and it is a life saver for me in the village. I remember when I first brought it to the village the look that Sveta gave me about a fan in the village. But I think that she has grown fond of it and realizes that it is a life saver in heat like today…

An interesting things happen when ever we have a thunderstorm. They always turn the power off to the whole village. It happens every time and you get use to it after awhile. It was explained to me that it is safer to just kill the power and wait out storms and then check to see if everything is OK and back on with the power… :)

I am not sure if this is common all over Russian villages but it is the way it is in our village…

So I am going to have another cup of coffee and listen to the cuckoo birds. We have one sitting right outside on the power-line by the house. He has a little sparrow trying to shoo him away. But the cuckoo is a big bird and the sparrow is not winning… :)

Kyle And Sveta
Windows to Russia!

It seems that we finally found what works very good in the village for Internet. It is running at broadband speeds and we can even go faster if we so desire. All through a little usb modem that looks like a flash drive. It is amazing to sit in a place with no running water and lucky to have electricity half the time and have a laptop working with no Internet issues…

Internet is unlimited and cost about 299 rubles a month. The modem cost 750 rubles and came with one month unlimited Internet free. We just pay for a month at a time as we need it. Sort like prepay cell phone. Except in Russia that is the way you do almost all cell phone and Internet. You pay ahead and that is that… :)

So I sit here inside our village home and type out this article just like if I was in Moscow. It is really neat and we now can have Internet anywhere that we can get cell phone connection…

I will post an article later today or tomorrow morning. I have lots to do and I am not going to spend it on the computer. I have already changed the oil in the car and installed a fan to help cool the inside of the car. It is one of those old time oscillating metal fans made for a car and mounts on the dash. It works really good…

Sveta wants to go swimming and Boza of course wants to walk a hundred times a day. I have work to do to the village house and of course I have lots of pictures to take… :)

Maybe I will post some pictures later. The Village is beautiful this time of the year…

The lakes are all filled and it looks to be a bumper crop year for farm raised fish. They say even in the main news that farm raised Russian fish is going to be plentiful and cheap this year…

Yummy…

Kyle and Sveta
Windows to Russia!


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