Yet another move…

You can read this rather drab post, or just click here.

Contrary to appearances, I am not trying to shake off my modest but loyal readership with vagabond-blogger tendencies. Every since I left Blogger for WordPress I have had crazy things happening; such as disappearing posts and duplicating posts. Twice the blog went away completely, only to return as a prodigal, missing the links and other goodies that I added before its departure. Who has time for a mischievous blog? So, I took a break from posting while I registered a domain and uploaded The Siberian Grinder (still powered by the snazzy WP software) to its new home.

This is the last time that I will ask you to tinker with your bookmarks :-).

I am thankful that traffic to the Grinder continues to increase, now averaging about 50 visitors a day. I hope that most will enjoy the new blog, and that is why I keep linking to it :-).

Without further ado, I invite you to click on over to the new site and… well, read it.


Five Years in Russia!

Yesterday, Maya and I celebrated my five-year mark in Russia. It is hard to believe that I have been here that long. Everything has changed for me/us during those five years. Among those changes are:

  • Maya and I wed on September 15th, 2001


  • David was born on September 2nd, 2002


  • Hannah came along on March 21st, 2005


  • I learned to speak Russian, and then to teach/prch in it.
  • We moved to a new city in September, 2005.

And that is probably enough sentimentalism for one post.

Christ, the Lord, is Risen!

The day of resurrection! Earth, tell it out abroad—the Passover of gladness, the Passover of God! From death to life eternal, from this world to the sky, our Christ hath brought us over with hymns of victory!

Our hearts be pure from evil, that we may see aright the Lord in rays eternal of resurrection light; and, list’ning to His accents, may hear, so calm and plain, His own “All hail!” and, hearing, may raise the victor strain.

Now let the heav’ns be joyful, let earth her song begin, let the round world keep triumph and all that is therein; let all things seen and unseen their notes in gladness blend, for Christ the Lord hath risen, our joy that hath no end!

Hymn written by John of Damascus, 8th century, and translated by John M. Neale.

Disappearing Posts

Strangely, two posts and some links that I added on Saturday were hosed by WP for some reason. Granted, they were not really great posts, but to just ditch them like that… Some glitch, I guess. Anyway, no harm done. I reloaded the Gogol blurb, but the one about Hannah's slow-growing hair is gone forever. Maybe next month.

The Nose


One of the strangest, perhaps, of the Russian classical writers was Nikolai Gogol (image above [borrowed from Wikipedia]). For my Russian study this week, I read a short story of his called The Nose. The story is as nonsensical as it gets. At the same time, The Nose is a curiously interesting read. The main character, Major Kovalyov, somehow looses his nose (yes, the real one on his face), and meanwhile the nose takes on a life of its own, and even masquerades as a civil servant. But why give away the rest of the plot here? You can order it (or find the text online) in English and read the story for yourself. It is better in Russian, though, complete with obsolete words and archaic spellings (e.g., середа for среда). For the Russian-language enthusiast, I recommend this excellent dual-language book found here, which has this story and many others, and lots of language helps to boot.

Blogger’s Fuel

I saw this first on a post at Coffee Swirls and decided to pass it on. All who blog and who are followers of the bean (i.e., coffee lovers) should click here. The first 500 people who register will get to review some free coffee, they only have to agree to post about it. Check it out!


Now I see… God wants me to listen

Tonight’s B. Study went as well as any so far. The lesson was about God’s mercy. Six people came (the two single women who usually attend had other engagements). Three things happened that made the evening extra special.

The first was that all afternoon our hot and cold water and our heat services were cut off. That by itself is unsurprising, but still inconvenient for hosting a group of people. No water would mean no washroom or facilities (and the meeting usually goes for three hours!). Also, and maybe more important, we usually serve tea before the lesson (a cultural norm). Without water, this would be impossible. I prayed that the water would be restored before the lesson. Five minutes before the first guests arrived everything was turned back on.

The second item also relates to the utilities. We were reading Psalms 139:11-12. As soon as we read: If I say,“Surely the darkness shall cover me, and the light about me be night,” the electricity went off, leaving the room dim (it was dusk outside). We laughed at the coincidence and, after a moment, we strained our eyes and continued reading… even the darkness is not dark to you; the night is bright as the day, for darkness is as light with you. And just then the lights came back on. We could not have thought of a better illustration to drive the point of the verse home.

The final thing was something Erzher shared at the end of the meeting. He recounted how he hurt his leg earlier in the day while kicking a soccer ball around in the snow. Before the lesson, while we were singing, he was in agony, and could only think of his leg. As soon as the lesson began, the pain left him and he even forgot about it. The moment the lesson concluded, the pain returned. He said, “Now I see that God wanted me to listen closely to the lesson.”

We are blown away.