Friday, September 26, 2008

Srebrenica

Last Sunday, Elesa and I went on a tour to the "Srebrenica-Potočari Memorial and Cemetery to Genocide Victims" with a number of other Americans. It was a gloomy damp day (a lot of those the past few weeks) that fit the mood of the place.

Grave Markers for the Identified Victims Remains
Srebrenica-Potočari Memorial and Cemetery to Genocide Victims




Names of the Victims
Srebrenica-Potočari Memorial and Cemetery to Genocide Victims


Monday, September 22, 2008

Are You Smarter Than a...

Wall Street CEO?

My bet is that you are. Everyone I know certainly is.

Here is my argument. Would you pay two times the sticker price of something at the store?...say eggs, just because you are friends with the salesman and have known him a long time and because eggs used to be a lot more expensive? Would you pay two times the sticker price on Sunday afternoon when you knew the eggs would be going on sale for 1/2 price on Monday morning? (effectively paying 4 times the price?).

Well that is EXACTLY what Bank of America did a week ago Sunday. BoA agreed to buy Merrill Lynch for twice the price you, I or anyone else (if we had the money) could have bought it for the prior Friday afternoon. The price BoA agreed to buy Merrill Lynch for was likely 4 times or more what anyone with a pulse could have bought it for the following Monday morning (if BoA hadn't announced the plans to buy on Sunday).

That is the level of stupidity that Congress (both Democrat and Republican) and the Executive Branch (primarily Hank Paulson, Secretary of Treasury and President Bush) want to support and encourage with their latest "bailout" plan. The math, the concepts etc. really aren't as complicated as Hank Paulson, Ben Bernanke, Barney Frank and others are trying to lead people to believe. Anyone who earns more than they spend, maybe has a loan that they make payments on, can easily grasp where these guys went awry.

I could rant about the bailouts for hours on end. Instead, I called my Representative in Congress as well as the two Senators from my state to lodge my complaint. Unless you feel that you need to be saddled with another $40,000 or so of debt, and that these idiots deserve to continue to make $50 million dollars at year at your expense, I suggest you do the same....pst "pass it on".

Members of the House of Reprehensibles (BTW...all are up for reelection in November) can be found HERE

Your State's two Seniletors can be found HERE

too bad I don't have 100,000+ hits a day like Barry does...

-end rant

Sunday, September 21, 2008

Who Would You Vote For?

Like the U.S.A., Bosnia is also in the midst of an election cycle. They definitely have a different idea of what makes someone electable though. From looking at the numerous posters around town, the focus seems to be on serious, mean and ugly...do NOT smile.

Vote Jeff !!! - Sarajevo


Saturday, September 13, 2008

Boulevard of Broken Things

Along Evlogi Georgiev (Евлоги Георгиев) Boulevard is a collection of what I can only describe as "deconstruction art". Sculptures constructed of what appear to me to be pieces of old buildings, walls, staircases etc. Most of it seemed pretty bland, but the idea struck me as interesting. I wasn't very creative with my photography of if either though...in retrospect, my photos are also a little bland.

"Deconstruction" Art - Sofia, Bulgaria





Shells - Sofia






Stairway to Nowhere - Sofia






Man in the Room - Sofia





More "Deconstruction Art" - Sofia


Saturday, September 06, 2008

Samokov Monastery

Metoh - Maiden's Monastery or Convent...shroud or veil, it gets pretty confusing and what it is called will depend on the translation. The Bulgarian Monastery web site's page for Samokov is HERE. where they call it “The Shroud of God’s Mother” but it you search on Samokov, you will find other names. Whatever it is called, there was this cute little old orthodox nun that just talked up a storm with some of the people I was with.

This first photo was taken through a sheer curtain, the little room and her little garden were too small to hold us all.

Orthodox Nun - Samokov Monastery, Bulgaria




She was very proud of her garden (and rightfully so)

Orthodox Nun - Samokov Monastery




Their grounds were beautiful, flowers, vegetable gardens, grapes, benches, just a peaceful place. The church was pretty neat too.


Flowers - Samokov Monastery





Flowers - Samokov Monastery


Sofia Texture

The first couple are obvious....bark has texture..

Bark - Vitosha, Bulgaria




Birch - Samokov (Самоков), Bulgaria




But the lady in the breakfast room at the hotel thought I was a little strange when shortly after finishing my coffee and breakfast, I came hustling back. I was lugging my big white 70-200 2.8L lens to take this photo before the sun moved.

Back Lit Curtain





Supposedly the oldest building in Sofia, St George Rotunda hides in what is primarily a service courtyard at the Sheraton hotel.

St George Rotunda (Ротонда Свети Георги / Rotonda Sveti Georgi) - Sofia




Not far away from the St George Rotunda is the Church of St Petka of the Saddlemakers (Tsurkva Sveta Petka Samardjiiska). It hides in the below grade median of the multi-lane highway the runs past the side of the Sheraton.

St Petka of the Saddlemakers - Sofia





Also not far from the Sheraton, but right out in front of everything...the road has to curve around it, is the Holy Sunday Church. The stones look like petrified sponge or something.

Holy Sunday Church (Tsurkva Sveta Nedelya)


Wednesday, September 03, 2008

No Photoshop Required

This is stuff you can't make up...
From our automobile insurance policy (for the car overseas) under section VIII. "Exclusions"
We will not pay for
3. Loss due to or as a consequence of:
b. discharge of any nuclear weapon
(even if accidental);

dang! I thought I would have been covered!