Thursday, 28 May 2009

The Family and Family Month

A couple of weeks ago, my wife and son walked into the Maxima (supermarket chain) near our house and were greeted by some people filming television ads. Vaiva wanted to quickly walk away (as I would have), but Adam saw that anyone who took part could get a cake as a present and he was all for it. So, Vaiva reluctantly agreed. It's family month and as part of that Maxima was filming question and answer sessions with families. The clips air every evening after the news on LNK. We missed their appearance on TV (although many friends and family members caught it), but the clips are also stored on YouTube.

Anyway here's the clip:

Here's a translation of the dialogue:
Adam: Are you happy having two kids like us?
Vaiva: Kids like you are the best in the world. I wouldn't trade you for 100 million other kids. [No, two are sometimes really more than enough.]
Adam: And I wouldn't trade you for anybody or anything else--for a million thousand dollars. Can you imagine life without us?
Vaiva: No, I really can't imagine that. Life would be empty and quiet [or maybe peaceful?] and very sad.
Adam: How do you imagine people without families live?
Vaiva: I suppose they have friends who take the place of family. Having friends, just as having a family, makes life more enjoyable.

Wednesday, 27 May 2009


At the request of Eugenia, I'll translate "Ramuma" by Alina Orlova. I found the lyrics here: Ramuma. If anyone sees that I've messed up, please correct me.


Between the train tracks and among the blooms of poppies,
I'll dedicate songs to blind train drivers.
I'll sing, I'll sing...
Even though they won't understand anything.

Between the train tracks and among the blooms of poppies,
In calm I'll protect beaten cats.
I'll rock (back and forth), I'll rock...
Until autumn cracks and cries in puddles

When my death comes,
Peacefulness, etc.

Rough, but I'm no poet, so it will have to do.

Here's a video of the song from YouTube:

Sunday, 17 May 2009

New president in Lithuania

Three articles about Lithuania's new president-elect: Dalia Grybauskaite, who will be the first female president of Lithuania:

Lithuania elects first female president

EU budget chief wins Lithuanian presidential election

EU commissioner wins Lithuania vote

I'm happy to see a woman in this position, and I think that Grybauskaite was the most promising candidate. By that I mean that she seems to have strong (and apparently reasonable) convictions and not be afraid to state her mind. Whether she'll be able to take on the clan of halfwits that runs the country and make some real changes remains to be seen. Because the president of Lithuania doesn't act as the head of the government, she won't have anything to do with the actual day-to-day running of the country. The current president often referred to himself as a sort of moral compass directing the country. I respect the job that President Valdas Adamkus did, but it is time for a younger, more energetic leader. I will have all the respect in the world for her if she makes it clear that the people in the cabinet of ministers, parliament, and bureaucracy will be held accountable for their actions (or lack thereof). My advice to Her Excellency: start by cleaning the deadwood out of the bureaucracy. Make it easier to get rid of bureaucrats that aren't doing their jobs. Lithuania would be a much nicer place if that happened. I could name several people right now (Varnaite, for one) who are on the state payroll, but doing absolutely nothing good for the country. Contact me.