Jul 03 2010

DEU vs ARG in Bochonok

Category: Sport,Tweets,VideosChrisM @ 8:28 pm

Germany vs Argentina, watching in Bochonok bar, Astana, Kazakhstan http://qik.ly/Bmcdm

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Jul 03 2010

Superb early goal by almost yo…

Category: Sport,TweetsChrisM @ 8:07 pm

Superb early goal by almost yoghurt themed Mueller. 1-0 to Germany. LARGE German crowd in attendance here.Maradonna looks crest fallen.Good.

Turns out his name is Müller (with an umlaut), but the TV station’s graphics couldn’t handle that, so substituted it for ue instead.

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May 15 2010

Beer, Brilliant Buddy Bears And Babies

Category: FriendsChrisM @ 2:05 am

DanC is back in town for a few days, so we are hoping to meet up on Saturday and see how his family is doing. The other Dan (DanD) will be joining us after his daughters finish their afternoon nap, by which time I hope to have had a few relaxing beers (one advantage of not driving over here), some barbecued beef, and then we’ll all move on to Bayterek to have a look at some brilliant buddy bears. Hopefully the walk will be healthy, as beer and shashlik aren’t known for their fat/calorie free content 🙂 Why all the letter B’s in this post? No idea TBH, but the buddy bears started this whole alliteration theme…

In case I forget to blog on them, or we end up not going there for some reason, here is a quick summary –

Buddy Bears Almost In Astana (Mock-Up)

The Buddy bears have arrived in Astana! There are 125 brightly painted bears standing in between Baiterek and Keyruen shopping centre. They stand at over 2 meters high painted by famous artists from all over the world, each one representing a country. They are an event of the ‘Germany in Kazakhstan’ programme and will be displayed until July.

(suggested meeting date and time information cut from original e-mail, my thanks to the Astana International Women’s Club for sending Irina this information)

Take a look at the website http://www.buddy-baer.com/united-buddy-bears/world-tour/astana-2010.html for more info and some great pictures.

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Jun 03 2009

Lost And Found

Category: Personal,Windows MobileChrisM @ 5:11 pm

I had thought that the cracked screen on my main phone would mean at least the loss of access to the data on there, as well as the more obvious inconvenience of losing the use of the phone for audio communications, internet access on the move, the GPS and the camera for tweets etc.
The main reason for my thinking this was that I was unable to enter the PIN when turning the phone on, and didn’t want to stab at the screen randomly, in case I ended up locking myself out completely. See below for a shot of how my phone normally looks, and then how it now looks. See the ‘Should Have Dug‘ post for info on how the screen was smashed.

How It Should Look

How It Should Look

What It Actually Looks Like

What It Actually Looks Like

However, I finally remembered I had a keyboard built into the phone D'oh
Using this method of input, I was able to get the phone to the point where I could happily remote in and use a window on the PC as the phone’s visual output. I’ve also backed up and synced all the updated contacts and calendar events, so should I not be able to replace the screen sometime, I’ve not lost all the data. Apart from a few open files, all the data from the phone’s memory is also now residing on one of the hard drives here.

So… that is one lost and found (phone data), onto the next – Anna’s photos. Whilst waiting for some downloads last night, I searched through Ira’s laptop and found quite a few photos from our camera that I had not also backed up on my hard drives. This means that over the coming weeks there will be fresh photos of Anna for family and friends back in Britain (and Israel, Australia, America, over here in Kazakhstan), and Germany can see how Anna has been growing since the last batch of photos.

Finally, I need to check why the Xbox posts are not appearing in a timely manner, and when they do arrive, sometimes out of order. For now, I’m just manually adjusting the time stamps accordingly.
xbox not picking up posts

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Oct 16 2008

Congratulations To Wales

Category: In The Media,SportChrisM @ 3:45 am

OK, so a score line of 1-0 with the football team you are congratulating being on the losing side wouldn’t normally give rise to a post like this, but when you are playing Germany, 1-0 is quite a respectable result IMO. If you compare the track record of both sides, you can see that managing to not only keep the goal difference down to one, but also only allowing a single goal to be scored in the first place is certainly an achievement. If you are interested in a proper football pundit’s run down on the match, click here.

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Apr 24 2008

That Really Happened?

Category: Aware Or Conspiracy Nut...ChrisM @ 4:53 pm

This sort of post is perfect for the Aware or Conspiracy Nut category here at ChrisMerriman.com. Each of the following actually occurred, and are well documented. However, if your friend just bought up the topic without any sort of background info, you’d probably write them off as another internet conspiracy nutter. My thanks to Cracked.com for the original post this information is taken from.

Military coup followed by a fascist dictator installed as a president… in America! OK, so this didn’t actually take place, but back in 1933, the big bosses at General Motors, DuPont, Chase Bank and a certain Senator Prescott Bush (now whatever happened to that lineage 😉 ) allegedly were involved in planning this plot, though all those named denied it at the time. They weren’t averse to maintaining links with the Nazi powers in Germany even after America entered Word War II…

State sponsored scheme to keep citizens ignorant of their medical situation, for research purposes. Again, something like this is easily written off as just another flight of fancy from tin-foil hat wearers, but this one occurred in America. The government decided that action need to be taken to combat the spread of Syphilis, and so took unwitting volunteers, mostly illiterate black men, and carried out experiments. Those that already had syphilis were used in further experiments, not informed of their condition, and often put through unnecessary and painful procedures. For a further forty years, the patients were denied access to what had, by that time, become standard treatment regimes.

The Church of Scientology & MK Ultra. You could (and people have) dedicate entire web sites to this group’s beliefs and the (entirely separate) US experiments. Go and google if you’d like to discover what are hiding in volcanoes, and just why some people do wear tin-foil hats.

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Apr 15 2008

Here Comes Spring?

Category: Kazakhstan,WeatherChrisM @ 6:49 pm

OK, so it is 15th April, and quite a few weeks ago, all the snow and ice had already melted in this town. By last week, temperatures had recently just hit the low 20s (centigrade). Then today the weather turned on us – it is currently snowing quite heavily again, enough to settle on the ground.
Hopefully the weather will improve by Saturday afternoon, as I don’t want our flights out of the country to be delayed at all, in case we miss our connecting flights from Germany…


Aug 27 2007

Random Reunion

Category: Friends,Kazakhstan,Personal,WeatherChrisM @ 1:57 am

As per normal, Ira and I went over to her parent’s house on Sunday, where we catch up on the week’s news, have some lunch, potter around the garden. OK, honesty time, I tend to skip the gardening section. Don’t get me wrong, if there is heavy lifting to do, or something that involves manual labour, I’ll not complain too much, but plants have never liked me; I can try and look after them, but they normally end up in a mess, and wilting; combine my hay fever in, and you can (hopefully) see why I tend to avoid the garden, at least in the hot summer months. Later on, they have a sauna, whilst I appreciate being in a room with normal humidity, and can breathe easily. However, before they got to the sauna stage, Lorsha and his Mum & Dad popped over. The two males had just arrived back from Germany, and wanted to pop in and say hello to the family. It was good to see them again, and then a little while later, Dr. Natalya, Sasha, Balzhan and their respective offsprings popped over, as they had been to the Duman (the big fish place and entertainment centre) for the first time. Yep, they live in Astana, but had never been to the aquarium. I guess it may be a little like the London Eye, or Empire State Building over in NYC – if you live in the city, and don’t have any visiting friends to take to the attractions, you never get round to it. Anyway, as they were in the area, they popped over, as did Asen’s mum, who dropped off a plant for Ira’s mum. It was good to see everyone, though it appears the vodka shots effected me, as I dozed off for a while.

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Jun 21 2007

Vodka Not Equal To Champagne

Category: Kazakhstan,PersonalChrisM @ 7:59 pm

At least in terms of exclusiveness, according to MEPs (Members of the European Parliament to my American readers). They have judged that spirits made from different ingredients can still be called vodka.
Why the champagne reference? Well here in Kazakhstan, the situation is the same as it was a while ago in Europe – pretty much any fizzy wine can call itself Champagne. However, in Europe at least, the grapes have to come from a certain region, and strict rules apply to the production process before a wine is allowed the pretige of having champagne on the label.

MEPs from the Nordic and Baltic states had asked for the legal definition of vodka to be tightened even further than originally proposed, to only include spirits made from potatoes or grain. The manufacturers will need to note on the label what the drink is made from, if not spuds or wheat, but there will be no minimum font height/percentage.
Vodka producers in Western Europe (Britain, Germany and France mainly) will be very happy that spirits made from grapes, citrus fruits and sugar beets can still be called vodka.

Russia is of course the world’s largest producer of vodka, but if the Nordic definition had been applied, Britain would have been kicked out of second place.

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Aug 18 2006

A Little Later Than Intended

Category: Kazakh Driving,Kazakhstan,Personal,PicturesChrisM @ 3:12 am

OK, as promised, here is some more info, from Mum & John’s perspective.

This is basically a cut’n’paste job from an e-mail they sent to family and friends (with permission I hasten to add ;>)

“”For those of you ancient enough to Radio 4 be familiar with Alistair Cooke’s “Letter from America” this is likely to seem a pale comparison. Certainly less erudite and not as well crafted – but hopefully it will inform and maybe even amuse, though the political comment will be markedly absent!

This is Carol’s second visit to this amazing country and my first. As we flew in at night the lack of any settlements for hundreds of miles prior to landing in Astana was perplexing. It was hard to comprehend such vast tracts of land without population. Then Astana appears on the Kazakh Steppes resembling a modern Emirate city. Disney could not have bettered it! When Carol was here last she arrived through the back door, via the old capital of Almaty, then a twenty three hour train journey across a hot and dusty terrain. She made the trip for her son (Chris) & daughter in law’s (Irina) marriage. Jokingly she had said as she left to Irina’s father that he was to have a new airport built on her return. He did – and a pretty impressive airport to boot! It is so refreshing to see architecture which is not afraid to be adventurous, particularly in the teeth of such extreme weather conditions. Thankfully on this trip it has been kind to Carol & me, between 21°C & 30°C. The temperature can famously vary between -30°C in the winter to +40°C during the short summer months.
Continue reading “A Little Later Than Intended”

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