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What other countries start with M and why are they all in the same place? - Tactical Ninja

Mar. 25th, 2014

10:07 am - What other countries start with M and why are they all in the same place?

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We have discovered a new* way of getting rid of large quantities of tomatoes - tomato paste! 2kg of tomatoes rendered down to a wee jar in the fridge, and pizza for dinner on Wednesday. Win!

And now we're back down to one lot of tomato plants, it should start to slow down a bit, yes? Meanwhile, broccoli and spring onions and courgettes, oh my! And my solitary capsicum now has a tiny friend. And chillies! And I just planted carrots and onions and winter spinach.

I'm also spending time daily picking caterpillars off my brassicas and hurling them into the bushes. Stupid caterpillars, turning up so late in the season and making the cabbages look tatty. *tut tut*

* OK, new to us. We're trying to find ways of preserving tomatoes without having to buy a bunch of expensive and hard-to-store canning stuff.


Last night I named my boat:



It strikes me as .. well, typical actually, that to buy vinyl decals suitable for marine purposes in NZ or Australia was going to cost me over $100, but that I got them for $30 (including shipping) from the US. The problem is partly that it seems sticker-makers are a bit like builders in that they tend to be small, family-run businesses that don't really have a web presence. Their sites are all 'call us to discuss requirements' and that's hard when you're talking about graphics. I wanted a site where I could design and order my lettering online.

There are 2 NZ ones and they are extortionately priced. The Aussie one was extortionately priced with the crazy Australian shipping on top. So I say, yay for signspecialist.com, who provided online services at a reasonable price and were willing to send the small parcel through normal mail instead of insisting on expedited FedEx (which is usually a minimum of $30). Why so many organisations do that, I don't know. It's actually offputting for those of us who live in far-flung places, to be forced to pay more for shipping than the value of an item, just in case it might take a bit longer to arrive. And it's not like tracking is a justification to double the cost of postage.

But anyway, mah boat! It has a name! And I've no doubt people will point and laugh, that's kind of the idea. I almost stuck it on upside down, just for a giggle - but then I thought better of it.


Meanwhile, this morning my cards decided to up the ante by presenting me with Moldova, Macedonia, and Montenegro. These are all in the same part of the world more or less, and the alliteration is literally messing my mind.

Also, there has been no Transylvania yet. I AM DISAPPOINT.

And and and, yesterday I translated a word from Cyrillic to English! One. It took about 5 minutes. It was from one of karl_ukral's* cartoons, and the revealed word was 'success'! I felt pretty awesome. It doesn't take much to make me feel awesome, clearly.

Oh, and in other news, you remember my mate Evan who was recently diagnosed with heart disease that will likely kill him soon? He's a tough old coot, and when that happened he made a bucket list. On it was 'catch a broadbill swordfish':



Yesterday, he caught one. It weighed 237kg - down here in the untropics we only get adults, and they are PHUGE. I don't know if he kept it or tag-and-released it, but if he did, that's one hell of a lot of smoked fish.

* He's the only person I read who regularly writes in Cyrillic.

Comments:

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From:majesticarky
Date:March 24th, 2014 09:16 pm (UTC)
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Hm... Macedonia, Montenegro, Mongolia, Mozambique, Madagascar, Morocco, Monaco, Mexico. That took about 5 mins and it's all I got! Seems pretty dispersed to me : ).

I'm Russian and while I'm a "native speaker", I'm mostly illiterate and taught myself how to read Cyrillic when I was in 5th grade. It's fairly phonetic, so I'd say it's easier than English to read and pronounce. There are a ton of Russians on lj, as I'm sure you know. Find some more to friend! lol
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From:tatjna
Date:March 24th, 2014 09:21 pm (UTC)
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Malta!

For me, learning to read Russian/Cyrillic is going to be a two-step process - first, turning the Cyrillic alphabet into the English one, and then working out what the word means. The bits I'm finding most confusing right now are the letters that look like English ones but translate to other English ones, like H and N, and X and H. *brin explodes*

And yeah, friending more people would probably help, eh? Although at 5 minutes per word, I might just have to stick to one person for a while...
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From:majesticarky
Date:March 24th, 2014 09:29 pm (UTC)
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Yeah, that's probably the hardest thing to get used to. The backwards N and R aren't too bad since they look bizarre. The Cyrillic H and P throw me for a loop sometimes too. Once you get used to it, though, it is easier than English because the sounds are a LOT more phonetic. As a matter of fact, the only Cyrillic character that isn't always phonetic is the "Г" which is USUALLY pronounced as the English "g", but sometimes pronounced as "h", especially when at the start of the word. I can't think of anything else that is irregular.
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From:tatjna
Date:March 24th, 2014 09:38 pm (UTC)
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I'm told that pretty much every language is simpler than English because there are so many irregularities. Russian sounds eminently sensible by comparison!
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From:richdrich
Date:March 24th, 2014 09:17 pm (UTC)
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Shipping: have you tried YouShop?

Worked flawlessly when I ordered some custom sneakers from the US.
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From:tatjna
Date:March 24th, 2014 09:22 pm (UTC)
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I have tried YouShop, however they do not reduce the cost of sending things. In fact, last time I used them, they insisted on expedited shipping without the option of snail mail, and it cost me over $100. That was offputting.
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From:pombagira
Date:March 24th, 2014 09:33 pm (UTC)
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mean while, i went to attend jury service, they didn't need me so i popped in and paid for most of my tickets to CANADA!!!!

*skips about*
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From:bekitty
Date:March 24th, 2014 11:50 pm (UTC)
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Malaysia? :)
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From:fbhjr
Date:March 24th, 2014 11:57 pm (UTC)
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Good on your friend for the fish! 237kg is huge!

I think it is a fine name for your boat too!
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From:laughingmagpie
Date:March 25th, 2014 03:55 am (UTC)
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Little Turtle looks perfect!

I hear you SO MUCH on shipping. In fact, it's often a lot cheaper for me to have things shipped from the US than from other Canadian destinations. And yeah - "courier" shipping/duty/fees etc are insane. Plain mail is the way to go.
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From:tatjna
Date:March 25th, 2014 08:06 pm (UTC)
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Whoever invented volumetric courier charges should be taken out the back and given a stern talking-to. It's basically made it so you're screwed regardless of the size:weight ratio of your package. Add into that that we're about as far away from the centres of trade as you can get, and it's just a recipe for extortion.

/rant
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From:jaelle_n_gilla
Date:March 25th, 2014 11:24 am (UTC)
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Self made tomato sauce makes my mouth water. I need a vegetable patch somewhere. But first, the rest of the garden...

Also - huge fish! Probably great smoked although it seems such a... I dunno... waste to kill such a big and old fish for eating....

Yeah, I know, we live from other creatures, and I'm not vegetarian, but what a capital fish!
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From:tatjna
Date:March 25th, 2014 08:04 pm (UTC)
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I'm ok with taking the occasional very large fish, because chances are that fish has already bred quite a lot in its life, and proven its genes to be evolutionarily sound. But I wouldn't want to see them being taken in large numbers.

Luckily there's a moratorium on billfish sale in NZ - the only way you can get their flesh is to catch one yourself, and it's illegal to kill them commercially.
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From:spotsofcolour
Date:March 25th, 2014 03:00 pm (UTC)
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Turtle is a cute name for your kayak!

Basically everything seems to be cheaper in the US. I console myself with the fact that it's free for me to see the doctor.
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From:tatjna
Date:March 25th, 2014 08:02 pm (UTC)
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For us at least there's a sort of reason - the things that are required to manufacture stuff tend to be more readily available in larger countries. NZ has to import either made products or the ingredients for said products - so even before we start there's a premium on accessing the materials. ;-/
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From:goddessofchaos
Date:March 25th, 2014 07:08 pm (UTC)
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Learning about different countries is so interesting! I was kind of obsessed with that when I was younger. I used to have an almost encyclopaedic knowledge of capital cities, although I've probably forgotten a lot of them now.

Well, Transylvania is part of Romania, so you sort of have done it (I think you had the Romanian flag the other day, right?)
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From:tatjna
Date:March 25th, 2014 08:01 pm (UTC)
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Yep, Romanian flag. I don't think this app breaks it down into districts so I may not get Transylvania. Shame. ;-)

And I totally get being obsessed with learning about other countries. Not that it's happening to me, noooooo...
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