Archive for March 27th, 2009

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The Workings of Government – Ukraine

March 27, 2009

A New Element discovered!

Lawrence Livermore Laboratories has discovered the heaviest element yet known to science. The new element, Governmentium (Gv), has one neutron, 25 assistant neutrons, 88 deputy neutrons, and 198 assistant deputy neutrons, giving it an atomic mass of 312. These 312 particles are held together by forces called morons, which are surrounded by vast quantities of lepton-like particles called peons.

Since Governmentium has no electrons, it is inert; however, it can be detected, because it impedes every reaction with which it comes into contact. A tiny amount of Governmentium can cause a reaction that would normally take less than a second, to take from four days to four years to complete. Governmentium has a normal half-life of 2- 6 years; it does not decay, but instead undergoes a reorganization in which a portion of the assistant neutrons and deputy neutrons exchange places. In fact, Governmentium’s mass will actually increase over time, since each reorganization will cause more morons to become neutrons, forming isodopes. This characteristic of moron promotion leads some scientists to believe that Governmentium is formed whenever morons reach a critical concentration.

This hypothetical quantity is referred to as critical morass. When catalyzed with money, Governmentium becomes Administratium , an element that radiates just as much energy as Governmentium since it has half as many peons but twice as many morons. This growing mass is projected to become a black hole that will suck us all in.

 

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Not my words unfortunately……but, oh so true!!!  This was posted on a Linked-In group discussion by Rey San Pasqual…….yes, I’m on Linked-In….and Ecadamy…..and My Space…..and Twitter….and Facebook and……errr, no….wait……I think that’s it.  But I am only really active on Linked-In……well I am a “professional” don’t ya’ know……even if I do write like a Grade 1 pillock!!!!

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Ukrainian Holidays – How Does Anything Ever Get Done?

March 27, 2009

Well, sitting here bored and flicking through the holiday brochures……..and listening to the good wife saying “Ah…..it’s nice” or “Oh, It’s pretty” and “I want to go there………and there……..and there”, I got to thinking about Ukrainian holidays.

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The official holidays of Ukraine are (for 2009):

1st January – New Years Day

7th January – Orthodox Christmas Day

8th March – International Woman’s Day

17th – 20th April (this year) – Orthodox Easter

1st & 2nd May – Labour Days

9th May – Victory Day

8 June – Orthodox Pentecost

28 June – Constitution Day

24 August – Ukrainian Independence Day

This makes a total of 13 official holidays…..or so you would think.  If the holiday falls on a Thursday, invariably the Friday and Saturday following is also a holiday.  If it falls on a Saturday or Sunday, then the Monday is considered a holiday.

Therefore, this year the number of holidays is boosted to 19.  To this we must add to Orthodox Church holidays which are not included above, a day for the beginning of Lent and another day for Ascension.  We are now at 21 days.

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This led my tired old brain to thinking, well…..of the 365 days in a year, we can also remove 104 to count the two days off in a week most people get.

In effect, we start with 261 working days…..from which we must now subtract the 21 official and church holidays, leaving 240 days.  From this, we must subtract the annual month entitlement of holidays, taking us down to 209 working days for the average person……without being sick.

The European average sickness meaning time off work is 10 days……so now we are at 199 working days.

199 working days isn’t so bad, of course Ukraine can get things done in that time…..I know that’s what you’re thinking…….but Ukraine has some former Soviet Union hangovers it is yet to rid itself of…..like only one person can do a specific job and in their absence for whatever reason…..that job just won’t get done as nobody else is authorised to do it…..so….

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From the 199 working days, we can subtract your 10 sick days, leaving 189.  We can further subtract your month of holiday, leaving 158 working days.  Of those 158 working days remaining, we can also deduct another 7 days for lunch breaks…..leaving us with 151 working days.

Obviously, the working day is not a 24 hour day……so 151 divided by the 8 hour working day leaves you with 19 working days in which to get things done.

As nothing here runs on time, even by appointment, we can deduct another 3 working days for sitting around waiting to speak to who you need to speak too.

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This now leaves you with 16 working days…….sticking to the law of averages.

What we have not yet placed into the equation however, is that because of the Soviet hangover of “I’m not authorised to do that…..you’ll have to wait until they return from holiday”………is that it also takes a minimum of 3 people to produce even the simplest of documents….as each has a roll to play in it’s production.  As none are authorised to do each others job…..even though they can do each others job…..we have to multiply in the fact that they too will also only have 16 working days actually working…..BUT….they cannot be on holiday at the same time as the others they work with……obviously…….so now we are at minus 32 days if it only takes 3 people to generate a document.

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We can then add on another 20 days for sickness involving the 2 other people required to generate the document….putting us at an average of minus 52 days to get anything done…….or a 14 month year!!!!

Ok, it is not quite that bad………but it can take up to 4 months to get a simple document from the City Administration, requiring only 3 signatures and an official stamp…….and that is after you have paid the “administration fee” for a speedier service.

Still, this is Ukraine………there is no rush after all.

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Chernomoretz (Odessa FC) New Stadium & UEFA 2012

March 27, 2009

Well, just when you think a country as schizophrenic as Ukraine can’t surprise you any more……..it goes and does it again!!!

Normally here, an idea….even backed by money….can take up to 4 years to get “off the drawing board” due to the “administrative fees” required to get anything done…..as I have commented upon in the “Business” category already.

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Now, Odessa is in a dog fight with Lviv to host part of the UEFA 2012 tournament…..as one of the hosting cities.

Lviv is indeed a beautiful city and has a few things going in favour of it getting the “nod” over Odessa.  Firstly, it is in west Ukraine and therefore closer to Poland, the other co-hosting country of the tournament.  Secondly…..and much more importantly, the Mayor and Regional Governor are good friends and political allies with the current Ukrainian President…..what difference does this make?…….Take a look in the Politics category and work it out for yourself!!

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…….errrrm…..Yes, that is a picture from within the Ukrainian parliament.

Odessa, on the other hand, is a very “tourist friendly” city hosting over a million tourists every summer each year…..meaning it is better equipped to deal with the football fans by way of existing accommodation and things to do when you are not watching your national, overpaid ballerina’s, chasing a piece of inflated pigs bladder around a patch of grass under the guise of sport and national pride.

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Unlike Lviv, Odessa also has beaches…..a lot of beaches……good beaches at that too, an international airport……even if in name and not in facilities……sea port, and good road and rail links.  Ideal for an international tournament you’d think.  Unfortunately though, the Mayor is not of the President’s political party and local population are traditionally voters for the current “official” opposition party……now you understand, having quickly read my blog on Ukrainian politics!!

The upside for those in Odessa, is that the decision as to which cities will actually hold the tournament is down to those in UEFA……and out of the hands of the politicians from any side.

Well, what’s this got to do with Ukrainians always doing things slowly and Chernomoretz?, I hear you ask.

Unbelievably, having done nothing for two years out of the four years they have had to get preparations underway, Ukraine is starting to get it’s act together regarding this tournament by way of stadiums and infrastructure.

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Even more unbelievably, despite the fact that the remaining host cities, (outside of Kyiv and Donesk who have already been officially given the “nod”…..because they have already got good stadiums), will not be announced until mid-May….the construction of the new Chernomoretz Stadium has begun in readiness to host the tournament…..which obviously it may not!!!

I am more surprised than the man who gets Tango’d by the big fat naked orange man in the very first Tango add!!!

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=YV8zGNe7Ebg

Yeh, but that’s good isn’t it……preparation and all that?

Well, the existing ground is near Shevchenko Park and holds…….in theory about 36,000 people.  In actual fact, of course, I have had more people at one of my BBQs than they attract as an average home attendance.  This new stadium……whilst it will indeed be impressive…..will make any fan feel microscopic and will generate an atmosphere about as welcome as a fart in a spacesuit.

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Ok…..but it is a new facility so surely more fans will come.  Maybe…..maybe not.  The new ground, the foundations of which have started to be excavated, is nowhere near the City Centre, but has been located at a place called Sovenon way out of the city on the Chernomorka road.

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I nearly bought land at Sovenon when I first came from Moscow on which to build my house…..as it is the place where the multi-millionaires, pop stars, elites and nouveau-rich now live….but I bought about 5 kilometers away in a place which is actually much nicer and will now become the place where the multi-millionaires, pop stars, elites and nouveau-rich will want to live. 

Why will they want to move next to me….apart from my obvious good looks, wit, charm and personality?

Well aside from several thousand noisey fans every other week, shouting and screaming for a few hours, dropping empty beer bottles and litter around their rather nice “pads” and wolf-whistling at their very pretty wives and daughters when they are sunbathing in the garden…..the proposed stadium is not small and will block out the sunlight at certain times during the day to those “pads” nearest to it.

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What? – Why didn’t I buy there?……Because when you buy land here, there is no limit to the monstrosity (by way of appearance) you can build on it and Sovenon now looks like the Disneyland Castle on PCP….as you would expect with so many rich Deva’s trying to out-do their neighbours.  “She’s got a turret, I want two”……you know the way it goes.

Of course, I am reasonably happy with the whole thing…..the new stadium is just as close to me as it ever was, the value of my house will increase as the “snobs” move in around me and the current global financial problems eventually subside and more importantly, my local team will have a stadium equal to the vast majority of top flight teams in Europe.

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The downside?…..Well yes, there is one…..of course, if Odessa does get to host part of the tournament, all those family members and friends you pray you will only hear from at Christmas…..and then only by way of the obligatory Christmas Card……will be wanting to stay with me!!

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It’s Cruise Liner Season Again – Odessa

March 27, 2009

Well, the first cruise liner of the summer season has arrived carrying 600 Germans.

Yes I know……”summer season”…….27th March????

Well, if you have ever been to a resort shared with the Germans…..you will know they like to get their beach towels out nice and early to reserve the best sun loungers and in 6 weeks or so Odessa will start to become “tourist central” once again……so, as normal, they are just reserving the best loungers early!

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What?……..No, I like the Germans and Germany…….I lived in Lippstadt for 14 months and it was great……although there is no beach in Lippstadt to put your beach towel out on!!

Anyway, this now means I can look forward to Ukrainian Pied Pipers holding small plastic flags of various nationalities above their heads, walking down Deribasovskaya, with lines of tourists following behind like lemmings, struggling to keep up with the tour guide.

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You can spot the stragglers though, as the cruise tourists are forced to wear a little sticky badge with the name of the cruise liner on it and their tour number……..”Come on number 6, keep up!!!………”Oh, you’re here number 6……number 9, are you in trouble there?”

So, soon enough, there will be competing tour groups forming Odessa’s biggest ever “conga line” through the City centre streets and other tourist attractions……which is fantastic for the local economy of course…….but a pain in the a*se when you are trying to get from A to B and have to try and force your way through the tightly knitted lines……or wait 2 minutes for it to clear the way.

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Oh, what joys there will be if Odessa is to host part of the UEFA 2012 tournament…….Locals, tourists, cruise liner guests and football fans of many nationalities all mingling about!

Anyway, the season has started, which is good news…………because it means summer will soon be here!!!

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