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Uzbekistan Gallery Uploaded

Wednesday, May 21st, 2008

Well, it only took 6 weeks this time, but the 2008 03 Uzbekistan Gallery has been uploaded.

We flew into Tashkent and took the train down to Karshi the next day to hang out with family.

The next day we ambled up to Navoi to see Malika’s (Guli’s youngest sister) family and their place.

What IS An Expat, Anyway?

Sunday, December 17th, 2006

You know, it occurs to me that I’ve probably never answered this question. Not in a “gee, aren’t I mysterious” sort of fashion so much as an “I sure never do get around to doing a lot of things” fashion. Expat is short for expatriate. What does that mean? says the following: ex·pa·tri·ate [v. eks-pey-tree-eyt or, especially Brit., pa-tree-; adj., n. eks-pey-tree-it, -eyt or, especially Brit., pa-tree-] Pronunciation KeyShow IPA Pronunciation verb, -at·ed, -at·ing, adjective, noun verb (used with object)

1. to banish (a person) from his or her native country.
2. to withdraw (oneself) from residence in one’s native country.
3. to withdraw (oneself) from allegiance to one’s country.

verb (used without object)

4. to become an expatriate: He expatriated from his homeland.


5. expatriated; exiled.


6. an expatriated person: Many American writers were living as expatriates in Paris.

[Origin: 1760-70; < ML expatri tus (ptp. of expatri re to banish), equiv. to ex- ex-1 + patri(a) native land + – tus -ate1] Ok, so it’s actually got an array of meanings. I was actually surprised to think of some of those, but I guess it makes sense, and in a general sense it’s merely “someone living outside their country”. I think I first heard the word back in high school somewhere, but never looked it up at the time. I gathered it to mean #6 there, specifically in reference to Hemingway. It seemed like disaffected people living abroad spending time down in the dumps in a bar or something. Fast-forward to December 2002: I end up going off to work on foreign bases in support of the US Military. This is where I run into a new meaning and sense of the word expat. I meet lots of people who’ve been doing that for years even. My plan was to do a year and get out of debt. I shortly expanded this idea to 3 years, being debt-free and buying a house. Well, it didn’t exactly work out that way. Somewhere after 2 years I took a break, got married, spent 4 months in Uzbekistan, Thailand, and a smidgen in Cambodia, and decided to get a job again. As of this writing (Dec 2006) I am at 4 years and a few weeks or so. Actually, I think I’m 4 years to the day that I got off a plane in Karshi, Uzbekistan and looked around at my new home. I think about going back to the states but I don’t really know when. We’ve got a pretty good deal here with time off and are reasonably central to Europe, Africa, and Asia. I think of going back home to a job with 2 weeks of vacation a year and it feels like dying. Some day, but not yet. Still places to go. And there you have it. 😉

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2006 11 Uzbekistan Trip Pics Uploaded

Tuesday, December 12th, 2006

The Gallery has been updated with 80 some odd pictures from our recent trip to Uzbekistan. Primarily we just visited family in Tashkent and Karshi (this implies lots of eating), though we did mount expeditions to Shahrisabz to see some things, in addition to visiting still more family, and also a short trip about Karshi to look at some things.

Check out the 2006 11 Uzbekistan gallery pictures. Trip Report to follow before too awful long.

Wow…has it really been 4 years since I got there the first time?:!:

Some of you may be a bit surprised to receive an email notification on this, as I subscribed you without asking, but only because you’re family. It was a lot quicker that way. Let me know if I missed anyone or if you want out (no hard feelings) and also you can unsubscribe / resubscribe here at the site if you like.

Back Home from Uzbekistan

Sunday, December 3rd, 2006

Well, we had a nice little vacation where we didn’t do a whole lot. I didn’t take all that many pictures (619 total) and many of those are redundant so the number will shrink quickly and the editing time oughtn’t be too long. Aside from Tashkent and Karshi, where the millions of relatives reside, we only went to Shahrisabz, birthplace of our friend and yours, Amir Timur. Luckily we were able to use my recent surgery to good effect explaining why I couldn’t eat or drink so much, as otherwise they would be sure I was about to die of starvation. You couldn’t ask for a nicer family though, they’re great.

You will see pictures up in the Gallery soon and I might even whip up a trip report on it! :mrgreen: Incidentally, while I had stopped doing those, this format combined with the Gallery might make it much easier to do and get caught back up on. I’ve still been taking notes on all the trips so I’ll be able to use those.

Part VIII: Trainbound to Tralee

Sunday, November 5th, 2006

Train Bound to Tralee:

The time has come to wander down to Dingle, a town which turns out to be much nicer than it’s name might imply. So now I get to add train-riding to my public transportation resume. Cab down to the train station, don’t feel like walking down there. It’s close to the Guinness brewery, which was a good long walk without toting all my stuff as well.

Dublin train station reminds me of Uzbekistan — no heat in the building. Smile Was only a bit chilly, which is of course fine with me.

As I sit here on the train traveling down to Tralee, I get some thinking in. I have so few actual needs. TV? Don’t really give a shit about it. That isn’t to say that I advocate throwing your TV out the window (you could hurt someone that way!) or that I might not watch it were it on. I don’t think all TV is crap, because there is some stuff out there that is quite good, be it funny, informative, or thought-provoking. For that matter, I finally saw some bit of ‘Sex and the City’ finally. My first (and still current) reaction was that I sincerely hoped never to encounter people like that with their lies and games. However on second thought there were a few nuggets of wisdom there that I saw reflected in my life, things about me that I wouldn’t notice on my own, without that added perspective. Certainly I’m not going to rush out and buy the DVDs, but wisdom comes from all places if you pay attention.

Where was I? Oh yeah, train bound to Tralee. AR! Anyways, if I never watched TV again I wouldn’t burst into tears. Internet? Useful to be sure, but I don’t want it like I used to. Would be nice to have some access every so often, but with the proliferation of internet cafes that shouldn’t be a problem — hell, even Karshi has them. Probably gonna get better there, not worse. Most of the rest I could not care less about. Style, fashion, glamour…have you ever seen me? I don’t even really miss my car. Music? We’ve seen just how portable that has become. I think the point I may be getting to here is that I don’t feel like I am suffering being in some far off land. It’s right here, to me. So when I think of being a father or grandfather with little ones on my knee, I haven’t any idea where that is. Obviously it’s still too early to make any judgments or rash decisions.

And I think I want to be a writer.

Now, I haven’t any idea why anyone would care what I think, nor for that matter why anyone would go to the effort to decipher my ramblings, but I think nonetheless I want to do it. And no, this has nothing really to do with Ireland other than it happened to be where I came to the conclusion.

I don’t know how much longer I will want to keep doing computer stuff. I may be losing interest. At some point in the computer business, you have to transition into management, or just hit your ceiling. I’ve led, and done lower level management stuff, but I don’t see myself suited and tied. Or even just tied for that matter, though I have done it before. I’m too informal and irreverent. I make a poor yes-man. Not that it’s a requirement per se, but that and toeing the company line seem to be “helpful.” Company loyalty – now there’s a concept. Unfortunately, it’s a one-way street. You should be loyal to the company, but the company will survive at the expense of the nameless replaceable widgets that comprise it. In some ways that’s similar to the Army…but most people join up there knowing sacrifice is involved. It’s about serving, not just some business that does something not terribly important in the grand scheme of things.

It would tie in well with some of the other projects I’ve started (umm…and typically dropped) but I think I would want to write one good #1 bestseller and become independent the rest of my life. One would be okay, but any more than that and folk might notice my complete and utter lack of talent. Smile

I’m thinking of a title now — maybe ..hmm. Let’s back up just a bit. Maybe not a title but a subtitle. Let’s not reach too far just yet. “The Autobiography of No One In Particular.” There, that lets me indulge my self-deprecating streak. I claim to be modest, and of course then refuse to act that way. It’s all that though, just an act.* Can you see the real me doctor, doctor? No matter, I think it is a much better title than the one I came up with so many years ago at the silly and pretentious age of 16 or 17. That was a full blooded title though, something like “Mad Ravings of a Lunatic: Diary of the Emperor Blake.” I guess this writer thing is starting to stretch back further than I first recalled. Oops! If you think this is bad, consider yourself lucky you aren’t reading that tripe! Hell, I consider myself lucky you aren’t reading that! Never give an angsty teenager with delusions of grandeur a pen. It won’t be pretty, I can guarantee you that. Still though, even way back then my sense of humor was unavoidable. Anyways, we’ll stick with just a subtitle for now, because the only thing coming to me for a main title is something like “My Story: Subtitle” and that rates waaay too high on the scale of self important bullshit for my pride to handle. And it just plain sounds crap.

I am amused at the Irish kids wandering back and forth between the cars. They just can’t seem to remember to shut the door behind themselves. Back in the states, or at least in the Southern US, we’d ask if they were born in a barn. Looking out the window at the cattle, sheep, and all the little farmhouses, that doesn’t seem nearly so witty nor surprising. Perspective is a wonderful thing. Kids however, are the same all over the world. Ordinarily I think I would be kind and shut the door after them, but I might get tired after the several times it’s happened so far. Breaking news! The grandmother across the way has just scolded the kids to close the door. I didn’t hear it too well since I am listening to music right now, but they looked appropriately chastised. Oh yeah, that seemed to work. Another bunch just came through, and the last in line (can I get a Dio “Look Out!” here?) took a step in, thought better of it, and showed she has graduated to having been born in the city. Smile

Whoever wrote that song about the green green grass of home was definitely an Irishman. Or you know, Irishperson, insert your politically correct term here, I won’t do it for you. In any case, Ireland is very green. It’s a beautiful country, no doubt about it.

Lots of time to sit and think on this train ride, and from reading this, maybe too much. I sit and think, think and sit. I think about the phrase “endeavor to persevere.” I thought about it a long time, endeavor to persevere. And when I had thought about it long enough, I declared war.

Sorry, wrong movie! Free beer to the first to get that, but not for a while. Wink

* I’ve noticed a lot of changes lately, and am no longer sure which really is the act anymore, for what it’s worth.

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