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What do you want to do in life?

It’s been a couple weeks since I am back home from my trip and I should tell you it is a great feeling! I finally got to read the news, browse online forums and listen to pod-casts - things I was for the most part deprived off while traveling.

I have been lately thinking a lot about what I want to do in life and I gradually come to a conclusion that working for an employer is not mine. There are really several reasons. One is that I am a very opinionated person and if I feel something is right or wrong it takes a good effort for anyone to convince me otherwise. I have been known for starting arguments in email groups and keeping the flame up long after everyone has lost interest. This makes it hard to survive in a team with another strong personality - my boss. Secondly, I feel that working as an employee I give the best of me to the company and what I get in return is the paycheck, a temporary monetary reward which (after the basic needs are satisfied) is very easy to waste on stuff I don’t really need. It takes huge self discipline to put aside some of it for retirement but the main problem is, there are really not many options as far as choosing where to invest.
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Schoolmates reunion in Moscow

LeninMavzoley-225x169I just came back from a two day trip to Moscow where I was meeting some of my old friends by high school. I say “some” because most of my friends didn’t make it even though many were going to. At the time I went to the school I lived with my parents in Chukotka, Russia. It is a region in far east Russia, very close to Alaska. Sara Palin could probably see my town from her backyard :)

We met during the first day and then I went to my friend’s house for the night. He lives with his wife and a 2 y.o. son in a 2-bedroom apartment on the 9th floor of a high rise building in the northern Moscow suburbs. My friend is currently unemployed but soon after he got laid off he started a small motor oil distribution business which fairly quickly picked up and currently pays his bills. My friend’s wife doesn’t work.
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A week in Crimea, Ukraine – Part 2

Vorontsovsky-Palance-225x169Today is our last day in Crimea. Overall we spent more than a week and went to several places around Alupka, the town we stay at. The place we went the most times to is Vorontsovsky Palace and park around it which is just 10 minutes by foot from our house. We would usually stroll around the park enjoying the views. On one of the days we took a tour of the palace (40 grivnas per person) but it turned out a complete waste of time and money. It took the guide about 30 minutes to walk us through all the rooms and spit out enormous amount of dry facts about the place none of which we remembered by the time the tour was over.

The one fact about the palace that I did memorize is that it literally has two faces. The Northern side is built in western style while the Southern side (pictured above) carries distinct Eastern elements like “There is no Conqueror, except Allah.” engraved above the entrance. This fact symbolizes multicultural nature of Russian Empire of 19th century.
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Taking a week off in… Crimea, Ukraine

mountain-221x170I am taking time off my daily routine and the place is nothing else but my home country, Ukraine. We left on July 7 and after arriving in Kharkiv spent there one week at my in-laws home. The city hasn’t changed much since my last trip 3 years ago so I will skip that part of our trip. I am in Alupka, Crimea right now. The city is located on the south end of the peninsula and is surrounded by mountains on one side and the Black Sea on the other.

The climate is sub-tropical. During the 6 days we have stayed so far we had sunny weather with around 30’C temperature and just an occasional short rain in the morning or afternoon. The sea warms up to 26’C during the day. The heavenly climate and gorgeous landscape has been the reason why Crimea attracts crowds of tourists from Russian and Ukraine and was the place for summer homes of some high ranking Soviet officials before the regime collapsed.
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15 Free Android Apps I Can’t Live Without

Ever since I got my G1 Android phone, it has been a love and hate relationship. I still hate the fact that the phone is lacking the standard audio jack but A2PD support pretty much replaces it since I can use a blutooth headset instead. The battery life is as bad as it was, but a couple of spares help me get through the day.

One thing that is gradually getting better over time is Android Marketplace. It’s been constantly adding apps and over the past year I have installed quite a few of them, all free so far. The introduction of GPS Navigate functionality to Google Maps has been the killer event (and was highly publicized). Below is the list of 15 lesser known apps that I love and use daily.

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