April 2, 2009

Coffee Break Spanish

Posted in Journal tagged , , , , , , , at 5:18 pm by Jenn

I have been surfing and browsing the internet most of the day, reading expat blogs on Chile, searching for potential job leads, posting to message boards etc.  Overall it’s been really amusing and the best part is that I found this great site that will be a refresher for my Spanish.  It’s a weekly podcast called Coffee Break Spanish, and IT IS A RIOT!  I’m on lesson one and I’m cracking up.  Not because it’s pathetic, but because it is entertaining.  I’m almost positive the instructors Mark and Kara are Irish as I detect a strong brogue, which comes across when they speak and it’s cracking me up!  LOVE IT!  This is going to be perfect.  Free Spanish lessons, and entertainment, and all in the privacy of my own home, while I knit!

Yesterday, I was too distracted by the post news and other things to write anymore, but I NEED to document this before I forget. 

I was walking around the Old City yesterday when my cell phone rang…it was Vangie – my neighbor.  She asked in a voice that sounded very disturbed, “Jenn, are you at home?”  I said, “No, why, what’s wrong”.  She said, “You are missing a great photo op at the Wellington”.   Vangie knows that I carry my camera everywhere with me to document the bizarre and strange happenings in and around this town.  Judging by the tone of her voice I knew it couldn’t be good.  The last time I heard her voice like this was the day Baku Animal Control was in the neighborhood.  I’ll spare you the details, but I will tell you that I did hear the gunshots.

Anyway, I asked what was going on and she proceeded to tell me that there were two sheep in our parking lot with their feet tied and they were about to be slaughtered.  I couldn’t believe it.  We live in a high rise apartment building.  Perhaps if we lived in Badamdar about 5 minutes away it wouldn’t bother me so much (fenced yards and less populated), but this is the city, we should not be seeing this in our parking lot.  She then went on to tell me that the gentleman who has several parking spaces reserved in the lot for himself (and his friends I suppose) had these two sheep in his “area” (not marked I might add, you are just supposed to know not to park there) with a meat hook and a wash basin and it looked like they were getting ready to kill the sheep.  She said she didn’t stick around long enough because she didn’t want to see and suggested that if I didn’t want to see that I not come home for a while.  I thought that was a GOOD idea.  So I waited several hours.

When I returned home one of the maintenance guys was up in the parking lot hosing off the area so I’m guessing that the mission had been accomplished even though there was no evidence that I could see.  I called Vangie to tell her that it had been done and she said that she knew…apparently her husband came home and witness the hanging, skinned, sheep…he also noticed that 10 feet away in the playground for our building were many kids, PLAYING! 

These are the same kids whose parents have a fit because the dogs run around and use the bathroom on the grass around the apartment.  I wonder what they’ll say when their kids wake up screaming in the night from the nightmares they are sure to have from these sheep.  I know that I had a sinking feeling in the bottom of my stomach just hearing about it and I’m sure many of you have that same feeling right now reading about it. 

I wonder why they did this, and why they chose to do it in the parking lot?  Certainly in Baku there are facilities where this can be done and if this man has enough “manat” to have 5 parking spaces all to himself, I’m sure he could have hired someone to take care of this somewhere a little less public.

Please, please, please someone – say something to me about my dog today.


January 3, 2009

My Latest Addiction

Posted in Journal tagged , , , , , , at 9:29 pm by Jenn

Trap Setup


It’s happened again.  I’ve fallen victim to the online game demons.  I’m hopelessly addicted to a game called Mousehunt.   One of my friends (Nancy) on Facebook was participating in an event and I wanted to know more about it so I clicked…BIG MISTAKE.

I started playing on December 29th and now I won’t be able to stop until I’ve reached the highest level I can reach (Hero).  I’m sure that will be a while.  I’m still only on the first level, Novice at 85%.  With the hours I’ve been logging I am hoping to reach the second level, Apprentice by the end of the weekend…maybe by the end of the day but that’s a tall order.

With Mousehunt you are hunter and your goal is to set up a trap to catch mice.  You build your trap, choose your cheese, hunting area and wait.  Every fifteen minutes you can sound the “Hunter’s Horn”.  At this time you “go hunting” then return to camp and check your hunter’s journal to see if you caught anything.  You are awarded gold and points for mice that you catch.

You have to buy cheese to bait your trap and you can buy more powerful traps with more gold and points as the game progresses through the seven skill levels from Novice to Hero.  Each level offers new challenges, new hunting areas and new mice to catch.

It’s a passive game and you can spend as little as a few minutes a day or as many hours as you can stay awake playing. 

The best part about the game (and the original reason I signed up) is that they give away actual prizes…including CASH!  They had a New Year’s Eve giveaway and since Scott was sick and we were staying in I figured I’d might as well try to win some cash…that was HOURS ago.  I only saw one prize mouse visit my trap.  He visited my trap, stole my bait, but didn’t drop the $200 he was carrying!  That dirty rat!  He was a Leprachaun Mouse and I’ll be waiting and ready for him next time!  There were about 200 prizes given away during the event over the course of two days.  Around 20,000 people were online consistently playing during those two days.

You can also recruit friends to join your Hunting Group.  I have 43 people in my group so far and I actually personally know 9 of them.  The first one in my group was Nancy.  I love Nancy.  She and I were friends in High School.  She gave me 20,000 gold to get started and introduced me to her Hunting Group and some of them gave me gold and off I went! 

It’s good to have higher ranking players in your Hunting Group so that you can ask questions and so that they can give advice. 

So, I’ll keep you posted about my status and leveling.  As I’m ending this I’m now at 87%, I just sounded the Hunter’s Horn, caught a Dwarf Mouse worth 221 points and 455 gold in the Town of Gwania.  FUN!  I caught this guy using the trap pictured above, The Trebuchet and wooden base with target using Marble cheese.

Ok, now Scott and I have an in person date in the living room to play board games!  I’m sure we’ll both be taking breaks every 15 minutes to check our traps!  : )

November 21, 2008

Geek Patrol

Posted in Journal tagged , , , , , at 2:22 pm by Jenn

I’m a total geek.  I’ve just spent the last 2 hours online playing these games.  The Level 1 Periodic Table game is GREAT!  LOL.  Pathetic I know, but I do wish that this was around when I was taking Chemistry back in High School.  I probably would have done much better. 

As if that isn’t pathetic enough last night I found Geo Challenge.  This is a great game too.  You have to identify flags of nations and also be able to identify various countries by their shape and be able to click on their location on a map.  Let’s just say a year ago I wouldn’t have been so great at this game.  Now I’m a “Hotel Receptionist” (if you play the game you’ll understand).

Kids these days have it MADE!

February 2, 2008

Flight of the Hamsters

Posted in Journal tagged , at 8:26 pm by Jenn

Because I needed a reason to spend even more time online, here is my latest addiction:

Flight of the Hamsters.  My high score so far is only 62 feet, but I’m still trying to figure it out.  By the end of the weekend I’ll have it mastered!  I think I still prefer Monkey Kick Off.

Who thinks of this stuff, and why do I allow myself to be sucked in? 

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