February 16, 2009

Dog DNA

Posted in Journal tagged , , , , , , at 5:24 pm by Jenn

Today I was doing some online shopping for lint rollers, dryer sheets, dog food, nephew’s birthday present, etc. and I came across a product that I immediately had to learn more about. It’s a Dog DNA test, called the Canine Heritage Breed Test.

I know, I know, but really when you think about it, it’s a pretty cool concept and it’s one that can be of some benefit in trying to understand your dog. Knowing what types of breeds your dog is made of can help you to understand a LOT about his/her personality and can be beneficial for healthcare.

Max is definitely a mutt and we’ve had lots of guesses about what type of dog he is. A majority of people say definitely Spaniel, including our Spaniel loving friends Marci and Brian…but what kind?  One woman insisted he has some Gordon Setter – she raised Gordon Setters so I guess maybe she’d know. I’m curious and with this Dog DNA test I’m fairly certain that I’ll find out at last.

This company has DNA information for over 100 breeds of dogs…all of the breeds we suspect Max is are listed….Cocker Spaniel, Field Spaniel, Gordon Setter. It’s simple enough to obtain the DNA sample, all you have to do is take a swab (non-invasive) from the dog’s cheek, mail it off and wait….you can even send a picture and when they send you the results your dog’s picture will be there on his very own personal pedigree!

Yes, I’m crazy, but this is a great idea and I’m doing it. Stay tuned for the results!  In the meantime, here’s a couple of pictures (taken by our friend Kay Burn Lim on Christmas Eve 2008) of the guy….care to make a guess at what the results will show?

  

I’m guessing Field Spaniel/Gordon Setter.

February 15, 2009

Cheesy

Posted in Journal tagged at 10:16 pm by Jenn

This has been a fun filled cheesey weekend for me. It started off on Friday with a great gift from Jessica…

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I LOVE IT! I’m serious. I cannot tell you how thrilled I am to have this cheese.

February 12, 2009

The Dead Guy

Posted in Journal tagged , , at 5:04 pm by Jenn

WOW!  I can’t believe I didn’t blog about this, but apparently I didn’t.  Yesterday I mentioned that a man was murdered near my apartment.  I also mentioned that this was the second murder in my neighborhood and thankfully I hadn’t seen this dead guy.  Yes, I did see the first dead guy, laid out, dead in the middle of the road.  Here’s the story.

I was taking a friend to pick up her new puppy – a pure bred white miniature poodle (there are three sizes – this is the middle sized one).  We were in the car leaving my apartment building and noticed that children and adults were running down the road in the direction that we were driving.  We wondered what was going on.  As we got further down the street we noticed an ambulance parked on one side of the road, people were gathered on the other side of the road, one woman was screaming and there kind of in the middle of the road was a man, laying there, blood all around him, kind of grey looking….obviously dead. 

I looked over at the ambulance and there were two guys sitting in the ambulance.  They were eating seeds.  I kid you not.  Eating seeds and spitting the shells out the window.  I was appalled.  The following conversation transpired between me and my driver.

Me:  Why aren't those guys (ambulance guys) doing anything?
Driver:  He's dead.
Me:  They could put a sheet over him so the kids don't see.  To show him some respect.
Driver:  They probably don't know him.

Umm, yeah.  So all the neighborhood kids were looking at the dead guy laying in the near middle of the road, the woman, who I'm assuming was his spouse was screaming and many other people were just standing there looking.  No one was kneeling by the man, trying to help him, no one made any attempt to cover him, the ambulance guys were eating their seeds like they were watching a movie.  I couldn't believe it.  Now since I've lived here for a while this doesn't surprise me.  It's a shame that people here don't have more respect for each other.

We continued on our way, picked up the puppy which is now 7 months old and named Gromm and came back to the apartment this took all of about 10-15 minutes at the most.  In that time, the police had come, the man was moved to the side of the road, and the crowd had dispersed.

I learned a few days later that apparently this was some sort of domestic issue gone bad.  I'm not sure about the specific details. 

As for yesterday's incident there has been no real "new" news related to that. 

February 11, 2009

Rainy Days and Murder Always Get Me Down

Posted in Journal tagged , , at 9:45 pm by Jenn

It’s been raining for two days now.  Two soggy, dreary, windy Baku days. 

This morning I was enjoying General Hospital, watching a tender moment between Jason and Monica (and we all know those are rare) when the phone rang.  It was Scott telling me that the Crime Police were at the building just down the street and had the road blocked off doing some sort of investigation so that I should be careful when I went to the market today.  Umm, nothing I need from the market is so important that I’m walking through any Baku Crime Police scene.

Anyway, I looked out the window after General Hospital went off but I didn’t see any Crime Police.  I didn’t think anything of it until later in the day when Scott called back to say that the head of the Azerbaijan Air Force had been murdered just outside his home.  Apparently he lived pretty close to us, so what Scott saw  on his way to work this morning was the investigation in progress.  The murder occurred around 8:00 am this morning.  Lt. Gen. Rail Rzayev’s burial took place this afternoon.  It’s too bad it’s such a rainy day.  I hope whatever evidence was left behind at the crime scene isn’t washed away in all this rain.

This is the second murder near my home since we’ve lived here in Baku.  Do you remember me telling you about the guy that got stabbed just down the street?  I saw that guy, he’d been stabbed…thankfully I didn’t see this one.  It was a gun shot wound to the head.

Not a whole lot of information is available about the murder, but it did make the news on CNN.  Click here for the story.

February 10, 2009

Art Gallery Day

Posted in Journal at 7:44 pm by Jenn

 

Today I spent the early part of the day visiting a local artist and an art gallery.  This was arranged by the CLO office at the Embassy.

Our first stop was to the studio of the local artist Yusif Mirza.  Mr. Mirza is a very talented artist.  He was born in the Lachin district of Azerbaijan.  He works with various materials including, pastel, ink, water color and oils.  I was most impressed with his work in pastel.  There were several pieces, unframed that I would love to have, but they were a little out of my price range.  Me, being me had the brilliant idea to ask if he would do a couple of smaller pastels for me.  He agreed, so soon I will be the proud owner of two Yusif Mirza originals one 14cm square and the other 15cm x 8cm.  I left a deposit and my phone number and I can’t wait to hear from him.  I can’t wait to see them and hopefully I’ll be able to have them framed here in Baku before I leave….framing is SO MUCH CHEAPER here than in the States.

Click here to sample his work.  Unfortunately, none of these represent the style that he is doing for me.  I’ll be sure to post pictures when I pick them up.

The second stop was at the Virtu-Art Gallery.  This was probably some of the most creative art I’ve ever seen.  It was done in crude oil. Yep, crude oil, the artist is Sabir Chopuroghlu.   Make sure to click the link above to take you to the gallery so that you can see for yourself.  I loved so many of the pieces it was hard for me to choose (I’m leaning toward the one at the top of this post).  I want to take Scott back with me so that we can choose a piece together.  I’ve also inquired about the possibility of having a crude oil done in a smaller version.  For some reason I like smaller paintings.  I like to group them together, but I just think you get more bang for your buck with the smaller pieces, and you have more of a story to tell that way.

My friend Mary Kay has this piece and I love, love, love it.  The price is a little too rich for my blood, but I think the one I’ve chosen is similar enough, and at the same time very different…does that make sense?

 

So, it was a good day of art seeing.  Not too much money left my hands, but I know that won’t be the case for long.  How can I leave Baku, where all this oil is produced and not have a painting done in oil?  Duh!

February 8, 2009

Another ballet and randomness

Posted in Journal tagged , , , , , , at 2:21 pm by Jenn

I have been a bad blogger lately, in part because I’ve really been trying to get this school work done (which I did today) and in part because I’ve been busy with nothing really…more randomness.

I intended to blog on Thursday evening when I got home from the ballet.  I saw Seven Beauties.  I was by far the best ballet I’ve seen here in Baku.  I’m sure I’ve been to other ballets in my lifetime, but I can’t remember any of them so I’m just going to put this out there and say that Seven Beauties is the best ballet I’ve ever seen.  I really think this is where a lot of the money from the Ballet and Opera theater goes…to this production.  The program is full color and bilingual (Azeri and English).  The costumes are magnificent, the music beautiful and the dancers are well rehearsed.  I’m hoping that I can find a video taped version of this ballet to share with my friends and family.  I know I’ll be able to find the music on CD no problem.

I wish I could find a great picture of the performance.  The pictures I took don’t do it justice.  Here’s a picture of the program cover

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this doesn’t do it justice either, but you get an idea of how colorful the costumes were. 

Friday I intended to post about my walk and the “loaded lada” that I finally took a picture of.  I got sidetracked and then we went out for the evening and so much for that.  Here’s a picture of the car, loaded down with apples.  This is a typical sighting all around Baku.  You see cars filled with various food stuffs parked in the alley, off to the side of the road, etc.  If you want what they are selling you buy it.  This guy has a regular little produce stand.  His good actually look pretty decent.  I may have to visit him for some fruits and veggies every now and then…especially since he didn’t charge me to take his picture.

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Yesterday I didn’t blog because I was playing Mousehunt and still trying to figure out this sweater snafoo!  I still don’t get it.  It seems that there is an error in the pattern in the number of stitches/placement of the second marker for the two smaller sizes.  I’ve posted to Ravelry, I’ve put a call out to my mom and sister, my friend here in Baku is helping me and still I am stumped.  I think I’m going to frog it and start over with the number of stitches that I think it should have and go from there….but before I do that I’ll be scouring cyberspace looking for any information I can on how the heck to do the 5×1 rib with increases on the Welt and Rib Raglan.  Certainly I’m not the only one who knits, blogs and is making the sweater in this size.

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