Nov 19 2010

Tory HQ (Or Not?)

Category: In The Media,VideosChrisM @ 1:08 am

I finally watched some footage of the protests that occurred in Central London, after a friend linked to them on FaceBook. Not surprisingly, there were a few incidents not covered by the articles I read and the few broadcasts I managed to catch at the time. One thing, there seems to be some confusion as to whether this was actually the Conservative Party’s HeadQuarters, or “just” their campaign HQ?

At approx 8m15s – OK, obviously not mature, but the Star Wars (Death Star?) theme tune humming through a megaphone raised a smile.
13m50s – of the little video footage in TV news broadcasts of the protest I saw, I don’t remember hearing the crowd’s reaction (boo) to when an idiot dropped a fire extinguisher from the roof.

Part 2

1m43s It is NOT a government building, not sure why he said that.
8m25s Mob mentality – we’ve got a stick!!!
9m30s Perhaps it was not fair to hold so many people, but very much standard practice I believe, often just to keep a demo on it’s allotted route/out of “no-go” areas. Here they are apparently being held to find the ring leaders.
10m08s good tune, however the image of a CCTV camera in a suit raises one question in my mind – how many policemen will be watching this YouTube upload to identify “criminals” that they didn’t manage to catch with police surveillance cameras?

In general, from these clips, the police seemed very restrained, I was expecting more thuggish behaviour. I could be wrong, but I think they all kept their ID numbers on their shoulders as well. Perhaps since digital video capturing equipment is so prevalent now, they are more careful. Or it could just be that the protesters were (in the main) tame?

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Sep 16 2010

Ony Vsur Derjit Kazakhstan Bezopasnom

Category: In The Media,Kazakhstan,VideosChrisM @ 2:11 am

I’ve attempted to spell out this post’s title in Latin characters, as the following Cyrillic characters will probably just appear as question marks still. ??? ??? ?????? ????????? ??????????.

First we have what appears to be a promotional video for the Kazakh navy, though it doesn’t actually exist yet. Hat tip to EurasiaNet for the video below and also this related article regarding orders for patrol boats and corvettes. I’ll just pretend I know what a corvette is for now 🙂 The Kazakh coast guard already exists on the Caspian sea, however a fully fledged navy would be able to sail further out, and obviously also be a visible deterrent to any ne’er do wells interested in Kazakh properties and installations.

I decided to check out the YouTube account that had uploaded this video, and found an interesting selection there.

Kazakh Special Forces – interesting that you only seem to see Kazakh faces there, I didn’t notice any Russians under the camo paint.

Here we have the Kazakh Presidential Guard, though the footage must be a little dated, as I believe that is Pope John Paul II being greeted around a minute into the clip, and our dearly beloved Glorious Leader President Nazarbayev looks a little younger at around the 3:45 mark. I’m not going to point out the ceremonies involved, especially as Britain has a similar set up with changing of the guard etc. in London. That said, I can’t help notice the Soviet style marching each time I watch this. I think this is from CCCP/USSR days, or do many other countries copy this style? There is a small section of non-ceremonial action at around 5:10.

If you have any military, specifically Air Force knowledge, I’d appreciate you taking a look at the follow clip. It is entitled “Kazakh Air Force strike the Manas Base”, but some of the footage (especially of the bombers taken from lower in the sky) seem to have been collected from other operations. Not as bad as one of the other videos on the channel that definitely had hollywood movie footage cut in to it. Anyway, feel free to leave an anonymous comment if you could clear up this query.

Finally, after all the military themed clips, we have a little b-boy action…

OK, I lied, I couldn’t leave you without this brilliant tribute to our most esteemed leader. I will not be writing anything negative about him here, nor publishing comments that contain insults, because of legal constraints in this country, and also due to the fact that there is nothing negative to write about him, his political party and the policies currently in force here. Obviously.
I should point out the use of the “Eye of the Tiger” could be misleading.
Face to face, out in the heat. Hangin’ tough, stayin’ hungry. They stack the odds ’til we take to the street….
You see you can not hold a protest on the street without applying for, and receiving the relevant permits. Perhaps we should alter the lyrics to ensure no Kazakh citizens are led astray?

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Sep 15 2010

A Real Manager

Category: PersonalChrisM @ 8:19 pm

I was playing with PockeTwit yesterday, checking if all the features still worked OK, when I ran my saved search for tweets that mention Cheltenham. (For those that have only come to know me and this site since moving to Kazakhstan, I a lot of my childhood years in Cheltenham, after moving from Yeovil before secondary school.) Ignoring the tweets that were obviously for a Cheltenham in America (which apparently has a shopping mall that teenagers love to write about, and the residents there seem to think a local town is far inferior to their version of a Cheltenham), I came across some vacancies for customer service jobs, more specifically technical support manager. I favourited the tweet (I check twitter on my phone whilst having a smoke, and look up any interesting links on a PC later) just to see what the details were. It turned out the agency was based in Cheltenham, but the job was in London. The salary wasn’t too bad, and to my surprise I only lacked one essential skill, and ticked quite a few of the desired ones. I’m not sure right now if I’d want to be in a management role when we return to Britain (or if I’d be selected), but it was reassuring that there are jobs that pay a living wage or more that I could at least feasibly get an interview for!
This post’s title refers to a point that was raised during the last English club I ran where locals reminded me that the title manager does not infer the same job responsibilities over here at all. You will most likely not be in charge of anyone, and can be quite junior within an organization and still be a “manager” in Russian.

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Jul 21 2010

Skynet Has Your Car…

Category: VideosChrisM @ 12:37 am

Try as I might, I could get some flash videos/slideshows to embed properly on this site. Mainly because I was being naughty and just viewing the source code of the site they are hosted on, rather than simply pointing you in their direction

Ok, scratch the above paragraph. Someone has kindly uploaded the video to YouTube, though if you want to read more about it, or possibly see the video with higher quality, head on over to here.

Some people were complaining about the cost of maintenance for this setup, however in cities where space is at a premium, and too many buildings are landmarks/protected by law, I can see where this could be very useful. I doubt the charges are going to be any worse than Central London short stay car parks, anyway 🙂

Oh, and thanks to Stephen Fry for the original heads up on this system.

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May 15 2009

Avoid BMI, Fly Air Astana!

Category: Anna's Photos,PersonalChrisM @ 1:48 pm

As you may remember from posts around mid-May, BMI lied through their teeth multiple times in order to obtain, and then not lose, two expensive business class ticket sales. Combined with poor customer service in Heathrow, the lack of the promised bassinet made our journey a little more stressful. Anyway, onto the reason for this post – Air Astana actually managed to reverse BMI’s position, by saying there would sadly not be any bassinets on the flight from Almaty to Astana, but upon arrival, we found there were some 🙂
So, here we have Anna, 15th May 2009, in a bassinette on the flight, meaning we didn’t have to hold her in our arms the whole time. Whilst the flights was only a little more than an hour, rather than the seven or so from London to Almaty the day before, it was a relief.

Anna Air Astana Flight Almaty Astana Bassinet Bassinette

Anna Air Astana Flight Almaty Astana Bassinet Bassinette

Oh, and to be fair, BMI did eventually offer a partial refund on our tickets. Very partial – around 5% !

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Apr 19 2009

Driving Home For Gold

Category: PersonalChrisM @ 8:43 pm

I watched the highlights from today’s F1 race earlier on (closely followed by having an unexpected ‘nap’ on the sofa… thirty years old tomorrow, and already acting like a grandad 🙂 ), and was most impressed with the drivers’ skill in negotiating high speed corners in incredibly wet conditions. When we drove back from London last week, I actually pulled off the motorway and hid from the rain in a service station, the visibility was so bad! The thought of driving at three times the speed, with other people trying to beat me in a race is a little too much. Am I completely out of touch with F1 these days, as it looks as though Ferrari doesn’t see podium finishes way too often now. Is this just since the much-publicised rule changes, or just a general down turn in their fortunes? I’m sure that if SheilaB from my old work is reading this, she will be able to give me the full run down…

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Apr 15 2009

At Kazakh Embassy,sorting pape…

Category: Pictures,TweetsChrisM @ 8:50 am

At Kazakh Embassy,sorting paperwork. They seem a lot more efficient & friendly compared to 8 years ago.

Kazakh Embassy London Flag Kazakhstan

Kazakh Embassy London Flag Kazakhstan

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Apr 14 2009

german man or woman of good st…

Category: Pictures,TweetsChrisM @ 9:54 pm

german man or woman of good standing?

London Hotel German Car Number Plate

London Hotel German Car Number Plate

View Larger Map

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Apr 14 2009

Off to London we go… appt at…

Category: TweetsChrisM @ 3:17 pm

Off to London we go… appt at the Kazakh Embassy tomorrow morning. Wish us luck 🙂

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Jun 19 2008

Charlie Chav

Category: In The Media,SportChrisM @ 3:14 am

Charlie Chav London Olympics 2012 Mascot

The above is NOT the official 2012 London Olympics mascot. It is just suggestion #7 from BBC News site readers. The Burberry cap, graffiti can and untied shoe laces certainly invoke a stereotypical of young Britons, especially the type with a £250 Vauxhall Nova pumping out bass from their £1500 ICE (In Car Entertainment) system. (Any friends that draw parallels between this cartoon character, its implied anti-socialness and my own lack of knots in my trainers will be swiftly dealt with 😉 ).
I originally thought that Charlie spelt that way was a girl’s name, but apparently it is unisex. So, has anyone thought that they would actually like as a mascot? I’m just hoping it isn’t too clichéd, or obscure (lions and bulldogs spring to mind) …

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