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Educated Stupid
"I was on the cutting edge of sexy dork a while ago. Now I'm years behind."
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3rd-Jun-2006 08:30 pm - Request
Specifically to calibros who is simply the man when it comes to campfire cooking (mmmmm...Cephy food)
but also to anybody else who knows their shiznit.

do you have any good recipies/advice for campfire cooking? couldjah post one or two? purty please?

(especially drunken fool proof recipies, although on a good day even us stanky river guides might find the energy to make something a lil more complex)
despite a rather bumpy landing, I made it back home
to the edge of a pretty unassuming (boring) state park in backwoods PA - and by boring I mean we've got nothing better to do that research the physics of cow-tipping.

Boring can be nice, sometimes. As in, right now.
as for being home, there's just this one little problem:
Nobody Understands.
("so how was Russia?" they ask.)

hell, some people seemed easier to reach when I was and ocean and countless time zones away.

but still, it's really good to be home. i'm not complaining, not really.
and in a minute, I won't even have time to think about this sort of thing.

I'll be off to a hippie kayaker commune - where i will be a WhiteWater guide this summer, based in the Harper's Ferry region.

Provided this job works out, you should all stop by - ride the river with me!

if you have any relevant information concerning the feasibily of this cow-tipping thing, please, drop a comment. Has anyone actually seen it done? Wiki says it's impossible, but we have contacts who have allegedly seen it happen.
10th-Apr-2006 03:05 pm(no subject)
...and somebody lifted my cell phone.
that's what i get for speaking english on the street here. right?
Mizzzpelling...mistransliteration...whatever you want to call it.
jibbs needs to stop writing when so exhausted.

edit all from Kievograd/Kyivograd? to Kirovograd.

(will change it all formally when i have some time. but at this time tommorrow I will be...somewhere over the Alantic Ocean...

I still swear I saw the former when i was buying the bus tickets though.
3rd-Apr-2006 02:40 pm - *snork*
yoinked from Veronica Khokhlova's Global Voices post featuring translated political jokes.
on Belarus:

A joke about the election results, from LJ user macsim_by:

[Head of the central election commission] Yermoshina enters Lukashenko’s study and says:

- Aleksandr Grigorievich, I’ve got two pieces of news for you, good and bad. Which one should I begin with?
- The good one.
- You’ve been elected president.
- Okay, and what’s the bad one?
- No one has voted for you.
on Saturday evening, we were warned that one of the local mayorial canidates had been scheming to buy votes with the aid of modern technology. That's right! The bad guys have figured out how to work cameraphones!

They would loan the phones to voters, who would in turn take a photograph of their vote, and send it back to the buyer. Upon leaving the polling station they would return the phone and make some quick cash.
(Don't really understand the logistics of this myself, given the minimal about of money people were being paid, wouldn't they just keep the phone and sell that? But then, it doesn't sound like these guys would have any moral issues with giving you a nice beating for that sort of thing.)

Right. So try proving that these people are photographing/selling their votes when they're the only ones in the polling station bothering to use the damned voting booths.

Still, we were pretty positive it was happening. Of course, the militsia detained a couple people for it, but there was actually an incident where one astute citizen aproached the driver of my fellow team members...thinking he was the uhhh...vote dealer. She then attempted to perform the aforementioned exchange. Oppsie!
(wish I had seen that. she must've been pretty upset when he wouldn't hand over the cash.)

Also! Was recently featured on Slate! Kinda flattered.
Spent the weekend officially observing the elections in infamous 100th district of Kirovograd home to some of the most intense fraud during last year's presidential elections. It would be unfair to say that things haven't changed there - because they have. And although we were personally:
lied to by phoney press agents,
stalked (by a green striped minibus),
and even though in Kirovograd somewhere between 11 and 17 individuals were detained for:
buying/selling votes,
attempting to steal blank ballots,
blah blah blah
(that was by 3PM when we heard about it)

Originally uploaded by Jibbsey.
the electoral commissions were eager to help, doing their damnedest to assure that the vote was free and fair, and mostly happy to see us. In fact, some members of the commissions were so horrified that a pretty 22 year old girl could be unmarried that they took time out of their busy schedules to try and fatten me up and procure me a good Ukrainian husband.

Also! As was reported by many other observers across the country - the fraud wasn't nearly so widespread - as it certainly didn't seem to be sponsored by the national government this time around. (and while maybe the Yushchenko govt hasn't done squat for the past year, you have to thank them for that.)
Most of the corruption in Kirovograd seemed to be stemming from the local canidates for governor, one of which served a prison term because he was convicted for rigging last year's elections.

Apparently a number of the political parties that were expecting to recieve a less than desirable Parliamentary presence were trying to influence politics on a local level, and stonewall the Parliament from there.

me too kid, me too.
Originally uploaded by Jibbsey.
Mostly we just encountered CHAOS.
As would be expected when you give the voters 5 ballots (sometimes more outside the cities) with between 20-45 candidates/political parties.

People would fill out their ballots while chatting with their buddies outside the ballot boxes, or turn away when they saw the obscenely long lines. There simply wasn't enough TIME. And fortunately, these were the only real problems that many of the international observers enountered.

For the record: vote count at the dirty old shoe factory where we ended up started at 7:19AM Monday morning (they were locked in there, arguing, sorting, and carefully cutting off the corners of the tens of thousands of extra ballots until then) and didn't finish until aprox 2:40PM. Anticipated voter turnout at that station was aprox 3000, actual turnout was 1599. God knows what they would have done...

It's time for a little more sleep. Check out my flickr account, lots more of the story noted on the photos there.
22nd-Mar-2006 12:16 pm - umbrella I want

umbrella I want
Originally uploaded by Jibbsey.
love the boots, too.
19th-Mar-2006 01:50 pm - Talkin' bout a revolution.
After months of being bombarded by a slew of gas scandals, and tape scandals, and countless rumors of other foul govt machinations (nobody can prove anything, anyway cause the judicial system here is a sad, sad joke)

my thoughts on the upcoming Ukrainian elections have been reduced to:
"I want a green Lytvyn umbrella too!"
(don't get me wrong, i certainly don't support his blok, but you have to agree his ad campaign has been pretty slick.)

In stark contrast, V. (the best friend of my roommate and a fervent supporter of "Professor" Yanukovych...yeh, Putin's man, the one who sorta rigged the last election.) has all but moved in to our cramped little dorm room. She lies around on my roomie's bed, constuctively showing politcal fervor by angrily protesting the color of the sheets.
(Orange, not because my roomie supports Yushchenko or the Orange revolutionaries, but because they make the room warmer.)

Lately, V. has been dropping in with several copies of the newspapers that Professor Yanukovych's party publishes about themselves, reciting the party line and giggling about the clever Professor's remarks.
(for the outsider Clever:Yanukovych::Intelligent:Bush.
Random note: Prof. Yanukovych is credited with a degree that he purchased from a prestigious California Univerisity that doesn't actually exist).

What an asshat.

As an outsider, it seems like the teeming masses are just BEGGING to be propagandized by this garbage.

You don't just see this coming from Prof. Yanukovych's people either.
Yulia Tymoshenko (one v. hot firebrand politician, pretty rich, pretty intelligent, pretty bad economic policies, sworn enemy of Yanukovych, and you can purchase a popular Russian porno featuring her likeness!)
anyway. Her people are out on the streets now, selling fictional paperback thrillers entitled "To Kill Yulia"
it has become a national bestseller.

Who wants legit news coverage? Who needs it, when we have the internet to back whatever mad theses we can dream up?
(and who am I to complain? The only news I watch is the Daily Show. and my dad gets all his news from right wing radio.)

so the exchange of information continues to get quicker, faster, better, in a technical sense.
...and so it gets that much easier to drown yourself in media that adheres to the bias of your choosing.

I guess this is just a basic social function. In my last phone call home, Gypsymomma and I had a nice talk about whether I could ever see myself marrying, or even dating a Republican male. My answer was a resounding "Hell no!" No, I don't want to associate with people that sport different views than i do, are you crazy?
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