Friday, November 30, 2012

Snow!

In Estonia there is no escaping winter, this year it came a bit later than normal but it came!  I really enjoyed the month of November, it was unusually warm and only a little rainy.  A day or two ago it started snowing, and it it doesn't look like it will stop.  This is a picture of the building across the street from us.  This is the view we have from our kitchen window. 


UPDATE:  It is still really pretty outside, it was very humid yesterday so now all the trees are frosted with ice and snow.  This is a view from the bedroom on the other side of the building.

Sunday, November 25, 2012

Thanksgiving



I hope everyone had a happy Thanksgiving this year!  Ours was pretty laid back.  It is always a little hard to be away from home during holidays, but especially the holidays they don't celebrate.  We were lucky to both have a free day so we made a nice Thanksgiving lunch.  Turkey went on sale Thanksgiving day morning, so it worked out pretty well.  We also had Idaho mashed potatoes! (from the mix, not the actual potatoes).  This has been a great year for us, we are doing well in work and we love our new apartment and life in Keila!

Saturday, November 17, 2012

6 more months!

 

Six months from today the new Star Trek movie comes out!!  Star Trek into darkness is going to be great, and rumor has it, it will be even better than the last one.  The first trailer comes out in a month, very exciting!  It has been a long wait (4 years in between movies is way too long for me).  The 2009 reboot movie really got me interested in Star Trek again, I had totally forgotten how awesome it is.  Since May we have been enjoying Deep Space Nine, we are almost done with season 4.  This is one of the main advantages Star Trek has over Star Wars, with Star Wars you have a few movies and that is it, with Star Trek you have 28 seasons of high quality TV shows (not counting the animated series) and counting the upcoming movie, 12 full motion pictures!  Of course the biggest reason why Star Trek tops Star Wars is content.  I think JJ Abrams put it best, Star Wars is like rock and roll and Star Trek is like fine classical music. Sometimes I wonder if Star Trek was the reason why International Relations was so interesting to me.  Of course the mission was the biggest impact, but watching Deep Space Nine I see all the main concepts of International Relations.  The role of values, international organizations, democracy, sovereignty, minority issues, balance of power and the list goes on.  I was soaking all this up as a little kid and I had no idea.  We're not sure what we will do after Deep Space Nine is over, but luckily for us we have plenty of options. 

Thursday, November 15, 2012

End of an era

 

Ron Paul will be stepping down soon, this is his final speech.  It is long (48 min), but good!  While the main stream media (especially Fox News and the Neocons) have tried to treat him and his ideas as crazy, the endless wars, recession and debt problems of our nation have only confirmed his ideas to be true.  Liberty is an answer for our society, fiscal restraint not printing money will result on more wealth in the long run, and a foreign policy of non-intervention will make us more safe by reducing the amount of hatred towards our country.

You can watch the speech below!




Thursday, November 8, 2012

Thoughts on the new and old apartments

We moved last week and we love our new apartment!  It is just amazing, a big step up from our last one.  We also love living in Keila, it is a really nice little town.  I thought I would give you the three things I liked and didn't like about our old apartment and about our new apartment.

Old apartment likes:
 1. The view.  It was on the 6th floor looking out at old town, it was just beautiful.  An added bonus was the fact that there was a little dirt road where cars would get stuck in the winter time.  When there was a lot of snow it would happen every night and all in the same spot in the road.  It is pretty entertaining watching the cars try to get unstuck. 
2. Close to work.  I could just walk 15-20 min and I would be at work, that made things pretty nice and easy for me.
3. Close to the central market!  You can see my previous posts on the market and the cheap meat prices, it is just an awesome place.  

Old apartment dislikes:
1. Too soviet.  The building was not remodeled, old shaky elevator, small creepy balcony (there was recently a Soviet era balcony that just fell off the building in Tallinn). Old Soviet furniture too. 
2.Small fridge.  It was really small.  Too small.
3. Homeless hangout.  This might be connected to the fact that we live close to the central market, but there are a lot of homeless people who live right by our apartment.  I have nothing against homeless people, but it is kind of weird watching them drink, start fires, pee in the bushes, leave their trash everywhere and so on. 

New apartment likes:
1. Nice everything inside.  Floors, cabinets, fridge (we can now fit our water filter in the fridge, meaning we can drink cold water!).
2. Sauna.  I hope Larry is reading this, he can appreciate it.  We have a Finnish style sauna in our apartment.  It is electric, not a wood burning sauna but I like that better.  It is really awesome. 
3. storage room!  There is a storage room in the basement of the apartment building, so we can put our suitcases, boxes, Christmas decorations and all the other stuff we don't often use.  

Life is great!  No negatives about the apartment yet!

Sunday, November 4, 2012

A great week in Salt Lake City

 Recently I got to go to a conference in Salt Lake City for work.  It was at the University of Utah and co-sponsored by BYU.  I had never really been to the U before (just once a long time ago for a gymnastics event).  The campus was beautiful!  The conference took place in a new building for the humanities, it was awesome.  The conference was very small and the presentations were on a wide variety of stuff.  All in all it was a good conference, my presentation went well and now I am hoping to publish my paper in a journal they produce from the conference, we'll have to wait and see how that goes.

 
 When I got to Salt Lake it was really cold, and then it snowed!  The same day it also snowed in Estonia, but in Salt Lake it melted within 2 days.  It took Estonia about 2 weeks before it melted.  Now it is a little warmer, no snow but rainy. 
 The best part of the week was seeing family!  My parents came down and met me at the airport. My brother Jeff and sister Lynne also came up for it.  My uncle David happened to be in Salt Lake for business, so we got to go out to eat at the Cheesecake factory, a great place for Cheesecake! We went out to eat with my uncle Brian as well at the Macaroni Grill. 



 


 We also met up with a lot of relatives at Madox's steak house, classic!
 I met up with my Buddy Bryant and his wife Rachelle, we ate at the Old Spaghetti Factory.  You'll notice a pattern, lots of eating out!  It was a great week.
 
 We went to BYU and I saw an old buddy Collin and my sister Lynne.



In Utah they have a drink called Apple Beer, it isn't really beer, it is just an apple flavored pop!  It is great.  
 
 
 Another awesome part of the trip was getting to experience Halloween!  I forgot how much people celebrate it in the US.  This is a table my mom set up in our hotel room!


 They had some killer pumpkins too!


 Salt Lake is always an awesome city to be in, this is a mural on the side of one of the buildings there.


 This was an old church building where I went to Church last Sunday, it was pretty cool.

 
 We even had time to fit a Jazz game in!  I love the Jazz.  This was their last preseason game and they won.  This is one of my favorite Jazz games in recent memory!