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LPR Super Party


Playout date: 24 October 2006
Camera: WM Capture/Recorder/Converter
Post Production: Windows Movie Maker – slight use
Location: Nowy Swiat, Warsaw
Other people featured: Not known
Genre: Nicked for subtitling
Music used: None
Languages used: Polish
Animals featured: None

This is probably the first example I can think of of when I have simply taken a film from another source and added subtitles in translation.  As a rule I don’t do much third-party stuff on my channel, but there are three cases where I do. The one case was the radio stuff which Stuart Heron captured the video for and I added to my channel with the agreement of play radio. Another case is Soviet films which actually belong to everybody and which have not always been shown in full on YouTube.  In these cases I have put them on if I had them.  The third case is where I have taken something which is vailable and popular but not yet in English and I’ve taken it in order to produce the English version with a translation given as subtitles.  This is an example of this case.
It has become one of my most popular videos, and to a degree I think I foresaw that it would be. I uploaded this from the office while working with another colleague, and that colleague and I were checking back every so often looking at the views which hit a hundred on the first day. I wasn’t used to that back then and I’m still not really used to it although it happened one or two times since.  One thing is sure Polish people are heavy users of the Internet especially you Tube and they do like their politics.

Gay Rights March Warsaw 2010 – surprise surprise!


I had to go into work at the weekend and one of the things that that old office had about it is that whenever you were there on a Saturday there’d be something going on. Recently I filmed the Bikers’ Critical Mass from the same window on a VAT quarter when I had to be there on a Saturday.

Anyway, I put this video together both in the commentary and in the labelling on YouTube claiming that tyhis was the Gay Rights March in Warsaw.  Well it’s been up for months and nobody has said anything, although of course it may be that someone has twigged and just kept stum about it.

Does this look or sound like the Gay March? What it was in fact was the anti-gay march. They were coming out of the forest there and congregating and getting ready to confront the main march – which indeed they did as you can see from news reports the same day.

Interesting is what they are shouting “Polska dla Polakow” – Poland for the Poles. I think these people need to focus on one thing at a time: either they should be making a protest march protesting at the fact that some people are gay, or they should be making a protest march that 1 million of their compatriots don’t live in Poland but somewhere else in the EU, and urging society to make jobs so that these people can come back. I think mixing the two “wateks” just shows a certain confusion of thinking on their part.

So here we have it – stay subbed to Huliganov TV! Here’s where you get the real back story to the videos that go up on Usenetposts channel on YouTube!

Concert for Polish Grandparents


One of my Polish viewers who now lives in the UK didn’t believe that concerts on Grandma and Granda‘s day (near the end of January) are marked with concerts all over Poland, as she didn’t remember any from her school days.

The fact is that this piece of Polish charm was actually imported from the United States during the 1980s! It seems like the typical piece of socialism hangover, but the funny thing about Poland in the eyes of an Englishman is that a lot of things which we are tempted at first glance to write off to the Communist era actually has a completely different explanation.

That’s why you still see May holidays, Red plaques by buildings, military parades all over the place, grandparents’ day concerts and the habit of putting the water in the cup in restaurants without the bag – which I always assumed to be an East Europeanism until I got precisely the same in the States. Some of these things which the British would wave off as Sovietisms actually come from a totally different direction.

Frédéric Chopin

If Freddy Chopper had really liked Warsaw, nobody was stopping him staying! As it was he left even despite the fact that Konstancja was there. That's how desparate he was to go...

ANYWAY, this was Sophie’s first ever piano recital in front of a hall full of people. We thought she was going to be given a proper piano and not this joke of an instrument. Notice also how the music teacher doesn’t give any credit for the talents of the piano playing kids to their teachers (Sophie’s teacher is sitting with Irina and me in the audience cringing with the amateurishness of it all) as naturally there is nothing of the sort available in the State curriculum. The appalling song at the end about Warsaw being Chopin‘s city (which he dreamed of nothing but escaping, despite his liking for one girl there) which has been shoved out at kids in all the Warsaw schools just as a recorded karoke piece – although the sheet music is available on the internet just in case any Warsaw school music teacher can actually read musical notation.  Some pieces were played by the music teacher not on the tape recorder, that fine baroque instrument, but on a guitar of which 1 of the 6 strings was absent and I think she knew a good 4 or 5 different chords.

I didn’t write all of this in the YT description and discussion, I’ve saved it for here as I like to give you a separate perspective on here, or why would you come? The videos are all on YT and some of you have already watched them once.

Please add your thoughts on musical education in schools, including answering the poll on what the government policy should be.

Review of Hotel Centralny, Kedzierzyn-Kozle, for Google.


Kedzierzyn-Kozle - aleje JPII

Kedzierzyn-Kozle on a good day.

(Published to Google Hotpot earlier this evening, and it also gives me my post for the day here. I think that’s fair.)

I’m sitting here writing this actually in the hotel room having found it on the road in Google on my Android phone when I discovered that the place I was really supposed to be going was unexpectedly booked up.

I had a bit of a nightmare getting here from where the GPS said it would be only 9 km. The main bridge in Kedzierzyn-Kozle was shut, the next bridge up on the Oder per the GPS turned out to be some seasonal ferry that wasn’t there, and when I finally found the new road that wasn’t on even google maps and still isn’t, it turned out that there had been a nasty accident so I got caught in the road over the middle of the Odra waiting for the emergency services to do their bit. Read the rest of this entry

ICMTSU – #4 Pyramid Selling


Retouched versions of this picture from the ge...

If you want pyramids this year, try South America.

Despite the latest travel “advisories”, whatever that horrible concocted word means, warning people to watch their asses in the land of the Pharoahs, a typical one being on the Foreign and Commonwealth Office website of HM Government:

This advice has been reviewed and reissued with an amendment to the Travel Summary and Safety and Security section. We advise against all but essential travel to Cairo (all four governorates, including Giza), Alexandria, Luxor and Suez.  The nationwide curfew has been extended from 1500-0800 local time. We recommend that British nationals without a pressing need to be in Cairo, Alexandria or Suez leave by commercial means where it is safe to do so.  British nationals in other areas of Egypt where there are demonstrations should follow the advice below and stay indoors wherever possible.

and all the scenes in the news of upheaval and revolution going on over there, the selling of “dream holidays” in Egypt by travel agents in the Czech Republic, Poland and other places continues unabated.

Yesterday’s “Hospodarske Noviny” reported that as other countries are doing their best to evacuate their nationals, Czech travel companies are still chartering tourist flights into these destinations. Polish TV news a few days ago reported how some tourists are intentionally trying to get into the areas which have the hottest riots, just as thrill seeking, and advised against people doing so. Maybe they are seeking some practical experience in civil unrest so as to be one jump ahead when it all kicks off over here?

Maybe learning how to turn up the front nozzle of a water cannon so that it only shoots into the air is a valuable survival skill in the decade we have just embarked on. Maybe it’s a handy thing to learn how to dance in front of a tank and get out of the way at the last second if you can’t manage to face it down? With additional activities like flag-burning, molotov-cocktail throwing (alcohol-free ones for the kids) food-hoarding and embassy wall scaling, as well as optional extras like looting and pillaging and dropping bricks from bridges, a holiday in Egypt right now could be the ultimate adventure holiday. Great for corporate teambuilding, I should say.

Or is the new football hooliganism? Will coaches adorned with scarves containing scores of chanting skinheads start turning up at revolutionary hotspots in North Africa? Will motorway service stations turn them away? Will these unrests become like a syndicated event with huge sponsorships and advertising revenues? Will Putin try and snatch “Revolution 2024” from under London’s nose so that he can catch the spend that will become associated with it? Will protestors be asked to show a particular brand of bottled water on their shirts?

In any event, it seems that now more than ever these so-called “last minute” holidays may indeed live up to their inherent promise, in the case of some holidaymakers.

DND – End of January


Shōgun (novel)

Image via Wikipedia

OK, I got to the end of January making a post each day so at least one month of the resolution has been achieved.

However, instead of driving views, the regular postings seem to be actually diminishing the daily views, and my stats have actually shown less in January than they did in December, in the time before daily posts.

Is the readership telling me that less is more? By all means let’s have your comments on whether you welcome the Postaday challenge being followed by this vlog, whether you’d prefer less width but more quality, or whether you don’t care either way.

I wanted to say just a couple more things to you today as we come to the end of January. Firstly, this is the month in which I have piloted a couple of new ideas, mainly ones that I planned to do, some that came along unplanned and I will just re-write my plan to include them as I would have done if I had known about them earlier.

One planned thing I piloted was to listen to the Michel Thomas Method Greek Course, which I have nearly completed 6 CDs of.  It is very good, as have been all of the new courses made by MT acolytes.

One unplanned thing was that I discovered the website http://www.readthekanji.com – it is a very well constructed staged repetition system including all the cards and materials and all the research done, really the ultimate resource for learning Japanese and once you get the hang of it very addictive. I am seeing how far you can go with the free sample – it’s given me a good twenty hours’ worth of drilling so far, and I don’t think I’m even a half way through what you can get on the free trial so that seems very fair – I already made up my mind to buy a proper annual sub as they really do deserve it, but in the mean time I just wanted to see what happens if you just keep going until the JLPT 4 vocab is all at 100%.

It seems to be fairly close to Ebbinghaus compliant as far as the repetition algorithm is concerned. I’m not sure if there is a bit of supermemo style code in there or not.

So I am quite happy to admit that it is a good alternative to the gold list method for Japanese. The only advantage that the Goldlist might have here is that you don’t get your hand in, you type Romaji and the Java interface magically turns all the answers into Hiragana. Sometimes you have to watch out to make a double n for “n”, and care needs to be taken over some of the bya, cha, etc characters (the ones with the small soft vowel following) as the way I was expecting to write them different from the way the programme accepts them, but you can always see the right answer if you get it wrong the once.

So January seems to be a good month for piloting. Now is the last day and after three months of not using my car I also got it back today and paid a huge amount for the repair. But I will need to drive it tomorrow, and I needed to get it working.

So I’ll pilot my own car, as well.

I also started reading Shogun this month, which tells the story of a pilot they called Pilot, or anjin-san, as they could not pronounce “Blackthorne“.

And “Lost” final series started to show on Polish TV – all in all a month full of pilots.

So it reminds me of the song by the group Pilot about January, from way back in 1975:

When I was 11 years of age, I thought that the lyrics “January, sick and tired, you’ve been hanging on me” was all about how this dingiest month of the year seemed to go on forever.

Now that I am old I assume that the lyrics refer to a woman, but I still don’t fully understand whet the poet is getting at.

I think I’ll stick with my initial interpretation.

January is now nearly over, and a good thing too.  The days will be getting longer day by day and there are only four weeks of February to go until it’s March.

February and March are both quite capable of delivering challenging conditions in Poland, but we will have to see how we fare. November gave us one of the earliest starts to a really tough winter, so we are now I’d say just over half way there. We have to just grit our teeth and work hard and not notice, and soon Spring will be here. I’ll be able to go and use my terrace again and the pleasant days will be here again.

And I have to use every opportunity to walk and lose weight, which was the idea of not repairing the car in the first place, but now I have places to go that aren’t well served by trains.

Let’s see how it develops. Please give me feedback on whether to keep up with the daily postings.

Something I’ve never talked about…


Non-citizen, diplomatic, travel document, and ...

Pieces of paper or emblems of state?

Yesterday I looked at the Postaday2011 blog – the ones who set the challenge to WordPress bloggers to post at least once every day in this year, to see what sort of topics they have been suggesting to help unblock bloggers’ writers block (something I don’t tend to suffer from, but then I don’t really ‘suffer from’ that much quality either, so maybe it comes as no surprise to you that this nonsense of mine flows fairly freely) and the topic for the day, or challenge for the day yesterday (and you don’t have to follow all the challenges, they are there to help get the creative juices flowing only – you can also give suggestions via the comments there or by mailing them to the blogging community – or at least those who took up the postaday2011 challenge) was to talk about something you’ve never talked about before.

Well, I still can’t think of anything that I’ve never told a living soul, but there are a couple of topics that I haven’t written or broadcast on youtube or spoken about on radio shows until now. So I’ll make those two things the topic of today.

One of them is very apposite, as it is 12th January, this being the birthday of my great grandma. I will not say her name as she was from a generation (Victorians) who did not bandy first names about much, but she was my mother’s mother’s mother. However, owing to a certain accident it was really her and great grandad who brought up my mother. But my mother and I used to call her “Grandma”.

She was like a second mother to me all through my childhood. She was always kind and faithful to Jesus, the epitome of a Christian, I can remember nothing bad about her. She died while I was still at school, but just going into the final year, so I was 17 years of age, and she lived in the granny annexe behind our house. It took me a long time to get over it, for my mother also, and I don’t think we will really be over it until we see her again in the next world.

I always think about her on the 12th of January as it was her birthday. She was 92 when she died, so if she were alive today she would be 122 today. She lives on in our hearts, and more importantly at the feet of her Saviour.

This is a private topic, and so I don’t refer to it much, but today I would like to do so.

A less wholesome memory, one that I haven’t spoken about or written about before but which also came into my mind since yesterday when I wrote that and I thought I would also write about it is that one of my already out-of-date passports (they cut the corners off and give them back when you get the next one as a keepsake of your travels) is very dirty. It has encrusted mud in it, most but not all of which I was able to clean out of it.

These days I only show my passport at hotels and airports as a means of identity proof but it is strictly speaking not needed and a number of other documents could serve, but in the days before Schengen you used to have to show your passport almost at every border crossing. And sometimes at border crossings you have to get out, and a passport of mine has been dropped accidently on the Latvian/Lithuanian border onto wet ground and got a bit muddy, but that is not the incident I am referring to.

In the incident I am referring to I was stopped in the mid 1990s for driving above the speed limit in a Polish town called Klodawa (it is known for its salt mine). I got into the usual discussion with the police person but this chap was unusually aggressive, and started to insult the British for our failure, in his eyes, to prevent Poland from being taken over by the Soviet Union. I have to admit that it was a personal failure on my part to fail to get Rooseveldt to listen to Churchill and to cajole Churchill into not capitulating too readily to Rooseveldt’s eagerness to withdraw American troops from any further hostile European engagement.  I shall have to try harder next time I’m there, and while I’m about it I shall try to get the Americans into the war before 1941, and maybe I’ll have a crack at showing Hitler the error of his ways so that war doesn’t start at all. That probably would involve me in going back to the Versailles Treaty Room and getting them to allow Germany more lenient terms, but then if I had done that then that Klodawa policeman would only have gone and blamed the British for the loss of Gdansk/Danzig.

Either way, he showed his rage against our Queen and country by pretending to spit on my passport, tear it and throw it in the mud. Now I couldn’t find any of his spittle or other saliva/mucus-based products in the passport afterwards, nor any actual tears, but it certainly had a lot of mud on it from where he flung it into the mud puddle.

I have a theory that he was intending to only pretend to throw it just like he pretended to spit and tear it, but got a bit carried away and it actually left his hand without him really intending it to.

If he was astonished he didn’t show it, although I might have missed that as I ducked down to retrieve my document. But he simply walked off after that and there was no fine, so I assume he was cutting his losses.

I didn’t think to complain at the time, but people who I have told about it since have said that it could have raised a lot of a media stink and even a diplomatic incident, that it’s actually a serious matter what he did to my passport, an insult and offense against the state.

But I thought then as I think now, that far too much is made of these silly pieces of paper anyway, and that the real insult and offense is that depending on where you are born various states can limit your freedom to travel through this world that you were born into, and which belongs to the One who made you. And so I was just happy to have avoided the fine.

And that’s probably also the main reason why I haven’t really spoken about it.

 

 

Snowscape in Kashubia viewed from train


I took about ten in short succession as the train was moving. This is my favorite because of the depth. Blow it up big and picture yourself trudging through that snowy copse!

Such were the views from the restaurant car on the way back to Warsaw from Tczew today.

Going Home from the Plane (CUV)


As promised, starting from the beginning of 2011 I’m posting here the new YT uploads as they happen over there, as well as carrying on doing the ones that are 4 years old in chronological order. This is one of the newly uploaded ones, although I actually did it in the summer. I still have a similar routine, with the slight difference that I plane to fly out and back once every two weeks this year, rather than every week as it has been for the last year and a half.

By the way the currently uploaded (on or after 1/1/11) video will have the abbreviation (CUV) on and so you will be able to tell which which video posts are the ones uploaded now from the ones which I did 4 years or so ago. Another aim of mine is to try and keep within 5 years if I can. That may well be over ambitious on my part. By the time I get the last of those 2010 uploads up in chronological order they may well be seven years old. At this rate it could seriously take seven years to get this all the way I want it!  But then … wot larks! I just hope YT is still around in 2017 in order to get there. And all of us, including me with my flabby health risks, for that matter.

Read the rest of this entry

Huliganov’s Winter Tips for the British


Windbeeches on the Schauinsland in Germany (Bl...

Bowed under by too much snow?

I see on the news that the UK is in for another bout of what they are calling “extreme weather conditions“, by which they mean the sort of weather which is absolutely normal anywhere from about Berlin eastwards. Since that’s where I live, I thought it would be a good service to the British people to give you at this time my observations on how Poles, Russians and others in a climate that seems to be causing a lot of ructions as it moves across the Britain. It seems that these colder winters are not going to go away as far as the UK is concerned and so you may as well get used to them. I have about 20 East European winters on my climatic CV, so my experience is something which may be of use to you.

Dress

  • The first item is dress. There’s a Russian saying “Нет плохой погоды, есть только плохая одежда” – that means “There’s no such thing as bad weather, there is only bad dress”. And the thing to go for is many layers of clothing rather than a few layers of what appear to be warm clothing. If you’re going to work in an office which may be well heated, you do not want to be sweaty all day long so you don’t need to have anything more money that you can’t take off when you get there. That’s the disadvantage of thermal vests.  A jumper on the other hand can be taken off quite easily.  The scarf is very important because that protects the throat which can be an Achilles heel. It is better than a beard as the beard will make a person feel too warm in a heated location. A decent hat is critical as 30% of heat loss goes from the head. A hat with flaps that can be brought down to cover the ears is particularly useful as you will not want to walk around with your ears uncovered once the temperature goes below about -6°C.  Really big headphones can also be helpful to keep the ears warm, but in extremes of cold you can also damage the headphones, although I will say that I haven’t yet. On that note digital cameras need to be used sparingly when its cold, as I have ruined one that way, on stocktakes. Read the rest of this entry

Scenes from the Polish Countryside


Production date: 10 June 2006
Playout date: 16/6/2006
Camera: Fuji Finepix
Post Production: Windows Movie Maker with various effects
Location: West Poland

This was on the way back from Copenhagen, I was about to go on to Gorzow Wielkopolski and meet one client there – someone who later became a firm friend and still is – and just kept on with the experimental filming and photography here and there, but it’s still small because of the tiny memory card. Looking back I really regret not getting a bigger one sooner and not starting filming sooner. Thanks to this hobby my memories of the last four years will always be crisper and newer than those of the previous time.

I would liken having film with the motion and the sound included in comparison with pure stills photography as something akin to the comparison of having a still camera and not having a camera at all. Video with sound adds more than you might think.

However, it also enables you to add your own sound, and what this may well be my first ever attempt at is adding own recorded sound (this one was a recording taken with a sony dictaphone in Church) on an “environmental” vid (that is a video taken outside where you would be going anyway – your natural environment. It’s not about environmentalism) or “travlog”. I had already added bits of mp3s not recorded by myself to films, but I think this is the first to do this. It was a nice match between the Church choir singing a song – not very technically excellently, but with a fine spirit – the Church is http://www.kosciolbozy.org – and the scenes of a girl feeding her goat which I was lucky enough to spot, and the poppies growing by the roadside and the stork footage (the latter gets repeated in its own film). There is something of Poland in the film.

The sepia effect you’ll see on this film, by the way, is a technique which I only ever used the once, although in theory it wouldn’t necessarily hurt to use again – this is in fact the holding of polarising sunglass over the camera lense. No sepia after-effect was actually used here. This could be useful in situations where there really is too much glare of the sun.

Katastrofa Niewyobrażalna


O tym nie można mówić słowami – o tym się mówi tylko łzami.

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