Wednesday, October 07, 2009

Thursday, September 17, 2009


Last month a world-wide survey was conducted by the UN.
The only question was:

"Would you please give your honest opinion about solutions to the food shortage in the rest of the world?"

The survey was a huge failure because:

In Eastern Europe they didn't know what "honest" meant.

In Western Europe they didn't know what "shortage" meant.

In Africa they didn't know what "food" meant.

In China they didn't know what "opinion" meant.

In the Middle East they didn't know what "solution" meant.

In South America they didn't know what "please" meant.

In the US they didn't know what "the rest of the world" meant.

And finally..... In Australia they hung up because they can't understand an Indian accent.

Wednesday, September 02, 2009


Friday, August 28, 2009

Thursday, July 09, 2009

Financial Crisis Explained

Heidi is the proprietor of a bar in Berlin. In order to increase sales, she decides to allow her loyal customers - most of whom are unemployed alcoholics - to drink now but pay later. She keeps track of the drinks consumed on a ledger (thereby granting the customers loans).

Word gets around and as a result increasing numbers of customers flood Into Heidi's bar.

Taking advantage of her customers' freedom from immediate payment constraints, Heidi increases her prices for wine and beer, the most-consumed beverages. Her sales volume increases massively.

A young and dynamic customer service consultant at the local bank recognizes these customer debts as valuable future assets and increases Heidi's borrowing limit...

He sees no reason for undue concern since he has the debts of the alcoholics as collateral.

At the bank's corporate headquarters, expert bankers transform these customer assets into DRINKBONDS, ALKBONDS and PUKEBONDS. These securities are then traded on markets worldwide. No one really understands what these abbreviations mean and how the securities are guaranteed.

Nevertheless, as their prices continuously climb, the securities become top-selling items...

One day, although the prices are still climbing, a risk manager
(Subsequently of course fired due to his negativity) of the bank decides that slowly the time has come to demand payment of the debts incurred by the drinkers at Heidi’s bar.

However they cannot pay back the debts! Heidi cannot fulfill her loan obligations and claims bankruptcy.

DRINKBOND and ALKBOND drop in price by 95 %. PUKEBOND performs better, stabilizing in price after dropping by 80 %.

The suppliers of Heidi's bar, having granted her generous payment due dates and having invested in the securities are faced with a new situation.

Her wine supplier claims bankruptcy, her beer supplier is taken over by a competitor.

The bank is saved by the Government following dramatic round-the-clock consultations by leaders from the governing political parties.

The funds required for this purpose are obtained by a tax levied against the non-drinkers.

Finally an explanation I understand. .. .....

Thursday, April 16, 2009

History :)

I was looking at it for 5 min and still could not see what is wrong with this "historical" photo:

Tuesday, April 14, 2009

Remote control: Big Brother edition

This is a TV remote control from one of the Russian design ateliers:

Powered by 2 AAA batteries, which are loaded into it in the same way as rounds into a double-barrel hunters' shotgun.

The goal was to design a remote control with a more intuitive TV channel selection.

I am looking forward to release of the US version of their remote control, which will have to support up to 850 channels.

Wednesday, April 08, 2009

Tuesday, March 31, 2009

SCHOOL 1957 vs. 2007

I put this here because it's true:
SCHOOL -1957 vs. 2007

Scenario: Jack goes quail hunting before school, pulls into school parking lot with shotgun in gun rack.
1957 - Vice Principal comes over, looks at Jack's shotgun, goes to his car and gets his shotgun to show Jack.
2007 - School goes into lock down, FBI called, Jack hauled off to jail and never sees his truck or gun again. Counselors called in for traumatized students and teachers.

Scenario: Johnny and Mark get into a fistfight after school.
1957 - Crowd gathers. Mark wins. Johnny and Mark shake hands and end up buddies.
2007 - Police called, SWAT team arrives, arrests Johnny and Mark. Charge them with assault, both expelled even though Johnny started it.

Scenario: Jeffrey won't be still in class, disrupts other students.
1957 - Jeffrey sent to office and given a good paddling by the Principal. Returns to class, sits still and does not disrupt class again.
2007 - Jeffrey given huge doses of Ritalin. Becomes a zombie. Tested for ADD. School gets extra money from state because Jeffrey has a disability.

Scenario: Billy breaks a window in his neighbor's car and his Dad gives him a whipping with his belt.
1957 - Billy is more careful next time, grows up normal, goes to college, and becomes a successful businessman.
2007 - Billy's dad is arrested for child abuse. Billy removed to foster care and joins a gang. State psychologist tells Billy's sister that she remembers being abused herself and their dad goes to prison. Billy's mom has affair with psychologist.

Scenario: Mark gets a headache and takes some aspirin to school.
1957 - Mark shares aspirin with Principal out on the smoking dock.
2007 - Police called, Mark expelled from school for drug violations. Car searched for drugs and weapons.

Scenario: Pedro fails high school English.
1957 - Pedro goes to summer school, passes English, goes to college.
2007 - Pedro's cause is taken up by state. Newspaper articles appear nationally explaining that teaching English as a requirement for graduation is racist. ACLU files class action lawsuit against state school system and Pedro's English teacher. English banned from core curriculum. Pedro given diploma anyway but ends up mowing lawns for a living because he cannot speak English.

Scenario: Johnny takes apart leftover firecrackers from 4th of July, puts them in a model airplane paint bottle, blows up a red ant bed.
1957 - Ants die.
2007 - BATF, Homeland Security, FBI called. Johnny charged with domestic terrorism, FBI investigates parents, siblings removed from home, computers confiscated, Johnny's Dad goes on a terror watch list and is never allowed to fly again.

Scenario: Johnny falls while running during recess and scrapes his knee. He is found crying by his teacher, Mary. Mary hugs him to comfort him.
1957 - In a short time, Johnny feels better and goes on playing.
2007 - Mary is accused of being a sexual predator and loses her job. She faces 3 years in State Prison. Johnny undergoes 5 years of therapy.


Friday, March 06, 2009

Where the heck is Dmitri?

A couple of my running buddies posed this question to me recently. And they have a reason: after all I explained to just a couple of people why I slowed down my blogging and postponed my racing. After an email exchange with one of our most devoted running comrades - Kirk Fortini - he published a quick summary on SoCal Trail Headz club website. I would not be able to put it all better than he did so I won't even try. Here is what he wrote:

"Confirmed Dmitri Sighting"

Relax, guys, this one isn't a Spotlight. I must admit, however, that I did send a few little questions to our long-missing trail comrade and I thought it might be fun to feature the guy. Mr. Chechuy has been too long departed from our fellowship, after all.

Recently, I was indeed very fortunate to get a reply, though not on the order of a response to Spotlight questions. Nevertheless, he of the innovative water-crossing technique was a delight to hear from. Ever the modest man, he informed me straight away, "I am by all means less remarkable than you might think."

For those of you unfamiliar with he of whom I speak (write? type?), Dmitri of the vowel-deficient first name was last seen pacing some loser who failed at SD100 last year. There was, at first, some speculation that he was victimized by his runner for caffeinated gels, but that was just gossip that had to make the rounds. In reality, he still counts the time "running through the night at SD100" as "one of the most vivid and enjoyable experiences of my entire running career." It must have been the picture of his runner starting to melt down with closing airways and shaking with hypothermia. I could be wrong, it might have been the swearing.

But, since then, there has been no more racing for our intrepid friend of Russian extraction. There are 2 reasons:

1. Work - Though he tends to be a little elusive about his actual paid endeavor (OK, he just doesn't say what the hell it is), he admits that his employer is not directly affected by crisis (sounds like Russian Special Forces, if you ask me). Some open positions have been frozen, unfortunately, and he has had to log a lot of extra hours to get the work done. (See what I mean? SpecOps all the way.) He even says, very clandestinely I might add, that "pressure built up tremendously from about April 2008." (God, people, how much more obvious can it be?)

2. Martial Arts - Although he dropped out as a karate student some time ago, it was a decision he has regretted ever since he made it. (Hmm, maybe he's not SpecOps, after all. Maybe Bolshoi Ballet?) So after spending time with that oxygen thief at SD100, he reapplied himself to training in the martial arts last June. The end result is that he's been engaged in that, and it has eaten up what little free time he used to spend running.

The decision has its bitter/ sweet components. It was sweet because, "it was one of my almost-lifelong aspirations." Bitter, or sour, because "I miss trails, races, and all the running friends."

We miss you, Dmitri. But, I'm sure that I spoke for all those who have had the privilege of meeting you, we wish you well in whatever path you follow.

Now, when can I come over for some of that cabbage soup that you were telling me about?

From Los Pinos: into the clouds

Thursday, February 05, 2009

Another type of an Ultrarunning event:)

Just learned about another type of an ultrarunning event. Some might refer to it as North American Wife Carrying Championship. Others just call it marriage. The course profile is unknown, but rocky sections are guranteed, the distance is unlimited, aid-stations are scarce, and DNFs are too expensive and painful to even consider. Still a lot more fun than any other race for some reason :)))

One more video that is even better:

Friday, January 09, 2009

Blogging :)