Wednesday, February 18, 2004

Lots of upheaval here, made worse by an ongoing battle to make the electronic gadgets in my life work. I've succeeded in resolving problems with my phone and now the long saga of my string of computer problems seem like they will (hopefully) come to a close soon. (We'll see if the repair person comes when they said they would)

In the meantime, here's something bizarre that caught my eye:
(from RFE/RL NEWSLINE Vol. 8, No. 30, Part I, 17 February 2004)

PUTIN ENCROACHING ON SANTA'S SPHERE OF INFLUENCE. A boy living in Ufa who sent Russian President Putin a letter saying he "does not believe in God but believes only in the president" has been given a computer, an RFE/RL Ufa correspondent reported on 12 February. The gift was reportedly paid for by local authorities. Another child from Bashkortostan reportedly wrote to Putin asking for a puppy. The 8-year-old girl from Ufa received a reply saying her request was forwarded to the Bashkortostan authorities. Ufa's Sovietskii Raion administration, which was tasked with dealing with the issue, determined that the girl's family is too impoverished to support the puppy. However, raion officials said that they cannot avoid giving the child a puppy because it was an order by the Kremlin. JAC