Friday, October 15, 2004

Today was my future grandmother-in-laws birthday (the mayor’s mom). She asked that we do nothing special and told me that there was no need to give her a gift, though if I had not given her something, I would have felt bad, since she always give me something for my birthday. I got her this really nice antique looking fruit bowl, with 24k gold trim from a store here in Martuni. I was really impressed that such things were available here and for only $16.

We had a sit down dinner, which was very simple. Though we wanted to barbeque some pork, she told us there as no need, and the beef stew her daughter-in-law made was all that she wanted. We also had fresh bread with village butter and honey.

The weather here I’m not going to say has changed and winter is here, but we had snow in the nearby villages and tonight my reinstalled my wood stove. My house when I got home was 13.4c (which is a little bit too cold for me) and now that I got the stove lit is rising and already neared 17. Though natural gas would be great to have right now, there is something different and more appealing to the heat from wood.

I got a call from Vahe (the president of the Monte Melkonian Fund, USA), who was calling me on a cell phone from Lachin to let me know he should be arriving in Martuni around noon. I guess Karabagh Telecom has the cell service working in Lachin and just learned a few minutes ago, it is also working on Jardar (the largest village in the Martuni region). Very convenient.

With fuel prices on the rise, I’m looking into possibly building an electric car to use inside the Martuni region. I’m thinking to convert a Zap, automobile, which is the smallest car they made in the Soviet Union, and is very convenient, as most everything on it is non-powered, meaning I wont need an electric vacuum-pump to power the brakes, or hydraulic pump for steering and so on. It also has a heater which works off of gasoline and though this is suppose to be an electric car, it will use gasoline to heat it when need be, which will save the battery to give it greater range. Anyway, let’s see if I build it or not. Planning is fun to do, but doing something here is sometimes more a challenge than it would be in America where everything is available at your fingertips. My biggest plus in making an electric car is not that it will cost me only 20% to fuel it as it cost a gas car, but due to bad fuel, bad engine oil, as inferior replacement parts, an electric car should be easier to maintain and more reliable, which should save me money, time and nerves. The only drawback is that the range will be limited, which for me is not a big deal since I don’t intend to drive it to Yerevan, though having one there too would be great, which I guess if the first one works out as I want, a second one to build would be worth it, though taxis are so cheep that who really needs a car in Yerevan?

I’m now on a new diet. Over the summer, when I usually loose weight from running around, I gained weight. I know exactly how I did it and that was by not wasting food that my fiancé would leave uneaten in her plate when we would eat out. She would order more than she could eat and since I was brought up to never leave anything on your plate, as there are hungry people out there who do have, I would force myself to eat what she refused to eat. Six kilos later, my pants are not fitting like they should, so now I’ve gone to eat as I usually do in the summer which is one meal a day and I stop before I am full. I also ignore the stomach when it tells me I am hungry. I’m also taking high potency multiple vitamins that my brother brought for me when he came to visit, which will assure I’m getting the minimal vitamins.

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