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Well hello there,

The usual disclaimers apply. This is a community open thread diary. It's being posted to the Street Prophets group but we've no membership requirements in the comments. All are welcome to join in, relax, have a cookie. You don't have to react to my blithering; it's an open thread. You can decorate the comments in your own style.
Just a quick update on the Czech political situation above and a peek at my latest artistic efforts below.

A few weeks ago the Czech Republic held some interesting parliamentary elections but as of this morning at least no definitive coalition government has been negotiated. The winning and losing parties continue to gnaw at themselves with a few entertaining news items being reported.

Well, Hašek and Tejc resigned their positions in the party leadership of ČSSD-- while maintaining that they see nothing bad in their covert meeting with President Zeman. But it seems that, for now, the ambitious pair are claiming that they'll support party leader Sobotka and work to maintain party unity.

Zeman himself is getting around in a wheelchair after he injured his knee in a fall. He made a statement that roused a lot of anger among people with physical disabilities. He said that he hopes to postpone any official naming of the members of parliament who will make up the new government until after he is out of the wheelchair and the ceremony can be handled "in a dignified manner"-- yeah, he continues to act like a real twit.

In related news, the founder of the break-away political party SPOZ that was formed to support Zeman has gone beyond his denouncement of the mismanagement of the party during the recent election which garnered them a laughable 1.5% of the vote. After turning off the SPOZ website (claiming that his reason for doing so was that hackers had filled it with porn) he has called for an audit of the campaign and is threatening to form yet another political party.

The main figure in ANO 2011, Andrej Babiš is under a lot of pressure to get the matter of his alleged ties to the secret police under communism investigated and resolved. As ČSSD, ANO and KDU-ČSL  and other possible players enter into negotiations to form a coalition government there are still a few of these inner-party wranglings going on. Sobotka has said that he hopes to have the new government sworn in by New Year's Eve.

And my favorite, and his own favorite I'm sure, David Rath is out of prison and bookmakers are placing very long odds on him scampering over the border before the end of the year. I think the latest is 500:1 against on him vanishing. This as the trials continue and one of the largest construction firms in the country is accused of involvement in the corruption and bribery scandal. In a recent interview Rath admits to knowing about the illegal financing of campaigns and one particularly sneaky little scheme--

... where a company makes an agreement with the agency that provided the party with billboards or rallies. The sponsor gives money to the agency which then provides services for the party at a reduced price of perhaps, 20%. "So on the invoice it appears that the party got everything cheaply while the real costs were largely covered by dirty money."    
Sounds to me like the sort of thing that must be happening all the time in the USA.

Sorry I didn't scrounge up anything about Hungary this week. Nothing jumped out at me from the news sources I browse either in paper or pixels.

A bit of blithering about my week and a picture I'm working on lie beyond the ginger hairball.

Too many bright days meant I accomplished zero work on my oil painting. But I did get some work done on an ink drawing that I plan to finish with lots of delicately detailed crosshatching. I scanned it before I added too much detail and began digitally adding some grey tones to my scanned image. Here's a look at the work in progress:

The black line work there is done with a brush, which happens to be my favorite tool for applying ink. The original is just over 11" x 16". I suppose this character will find her way into a collection of fantasy genre short stories I hope to write and illustrate over the next month or so.

On Wednesday I managed to finally get a contract signed and arrange payment for my graphic design work on a book written and illustrated by other people. I've been doing large and small changes to the book since the early Spring. The last phase of my involvement with this project should be next week when hopefully we'll be taking it to the printers.

I suppose all this work on other people's books has made me think more about publishing my own books. There have been some very informative diaries around Daily Kos on the subject of self-publishing (like this one, and that one) that make me feel as if I may have finally found something to replace my income from drawing storyboards.

And I continue to pick away at a website design for a friend. I think we've finally got all the images together-- now I just need to make all the buttons work.

First dusting of seasonal snow in Prague this morning. As a romper in snowdrifts I'm already looking forward to more. We had the winter tires on the car a couple weeks ago. The snow was pretty much gone by 9:00 when I walked over to the post office to buy some stamps so we could send out our Thanksgiving invitations. Should be a good crowd again this year. Last year my Favorite Female was at a conference in London during Thanksgiving Thursday so we moved our annual family gathering to the weekend. I've decided to make it a tradition and we'll be feasting on Saturday this year. And looking back on how things ended up between the pilgrims and the natives I'm pretty happy with not keeping the date.

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Comment Preferences

  •  Cookie Jar (11+ / 0-)

    As usual, I don't know if I'll be around to slink around in the comments for people who require instant attention. For the patient-- I'll hope to show up eventually and hand out cookies personally. And as I always say, there's no such thing as a late comment in a Marko the Werelynx diary. As long at the site mechanics allow posting I plan on being back to check on things.

    I'm hoping to get out this weekend and do some more pruning of trees and bushes.

    Got any plans for the weekend? What's going on in your neighborhood? And as we say around the Street, "what's for dinner?"

    This is an open thread.

  •  The video that accompanies (5+ / 0-)

    this article over at Upworthy was one of the most difficult to watch experiences with the most profound conclusion that I've experienced in a long time.

    That's the video that was shared on Upworthy but you may find it helpful to find the first part on YouTube to put that cold, difficult start in context.

    Jane Elliot has been giving her "Blue Eyes / Brown Eyes" presentation for decades and I just learned about it on Wednesday. I feel like I've lived in a gopher hole.

  •  dobrý večer! (4+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:
    Ooooh, Marko the Werelynx, Ojibwa, Moravan

    Thanks for the update on the elections. I will pull something out about Hungary. As you you know, that part of the world is my Heimat.

    Thanks for putting this out here, Marko.

    •  And here I am (5+ / 0-)
      Recommended by:
      commonmass, Ojibwa, Ooooh, marsanges, Moravan

      on my machine without diacritical marks or spellcheck to save my hide. Just rolled in and it's already past my bedtime. But I'll be back in a few short hours to check on things and play with the stateside insomniacs while I sip my morning coffee.

      Glad you stopped by again, Bill. Seems there are a few folks interested in what's happening in the Old Country. I left my scrounging for Hungary news a bit late this week. Perhaps between the two of us we can discover something over the course of the weekend.

      Any luck discovering the source of "Nagga"?

      •  You know, I have investigated it. (4+ / 0-)
        Recommended by:
        Marko the Werelynx, Ojibwa, Ooooh, Moravan

        So far, it's my mispronunciation of "Baba".

        The "old Country": in the train with her, in the 80's when I lived over there, she wept coming into what was then Czechoslovakia.

      •  The "Old Country": (4+ / 0-)
        Recommended by:
        Marko the Werelynx, Ojibwa, Ooooh, Moravan

        That's what she called it, and to see her tears upon entering it in the train, saying--in Czech--"Finally, I am in my mother's country" and she wept. And she was a Slovak.

        •  A Slovak with a Russian father. n/t (4+ / 0-)
          Recommended by:
          Marko the Werelynx, Ojibwa, Ooooh, Moravan
          •  One last before sleepy-bye (4+ / 0-)
            Recommended by:
            commonmass, Ojibwa, Ooooh, Moravan

            On Wednesday I attended a parent teacher conference and on the wall of #2 Son's classroom was hung a piece of paper cut to resemble the border of "Czechoslovakia" between 1918 and 1938-- when the country shape I remember as being Czechoslovakia had a long Ukrainian tail. I'd never known about that 20 year tail.

            •  my late grandmother (1920-2008) (4+ / 0-)
              Recommended by:
              Ojibwa, Ooooh, Moravan, Marko the Werelynx

              could have explained it.

            •  Ah, Subcarpathian Rus! (1+ / 0-)
              Recommended by:
              Marko the Werelynx

              I mentioned it in passing in an earlier comment, referring to it in shorthand as "Ruthenia". The rusyns or ruthenians are/were one of those many tough-to-distinguish central Slavic tribes. As far as their place in Czechoslovak history, well...they were, not unlike the whole of Slovakia, another useful land full of Slavs that Masaryk and co. used to counterbalance the unfavorable number of ethnic Germans living within Bohemia and Moravia. In other words, that little tail has virtually no connection to the body. Just a modern - and now erstwhile - artifact.

              •  It was yet another gaping hole (1+ / 0-)
                Recommended by:

                in my knowledge of the history of this country I now call home.

                I wonder if Ruthenians grumble about independence.

                •  I imagine they ally with other western Ukranian (1+ / 0-)
                  Recommended by:
                  Marko the Werelynx

                  oblasts trying to gain more autonomy from Kiev and its Eastern masters, at the moment.

                  Off to bed! I cannot...believe...the typo/misspelling...I my later comment below. It's the kind if typo that's tough to dismiss as such because, preposterously, I see it often made as a forced grammatical error.

                  •  I like how the word "oblasts" (1+ / 0-)
                    Recommended by:

                    snuck in there. Czech word with an English 's' on the end.

                    [That'd be "... western Ukranian regions ..." for anyone trying to follow along.]

                    You're almost as liguistically confused as I am! I hadn't even noticed "oblasts" when I first read your comment a few hours ago. I do that sort of mistake all the time. The way I form sentences from two languages drives my #2 Son crazy.

                    Although, I take it as an improvement. Once, during my first year or so of living here, I managed to form a single sentence using English, Czech, Spanish and Japanese. I never had more than a dozen phrases of Japanese memorized and a couple years of high school Spanish that barely got dusted off a few years earlier in Barcelona but somehow my brain managed to mush it all together. The first few years of learning Czech had my brain tied in knots.

                    •  Ha, no, I misled you (1+ / 0-)
                      Recommended by:
                      Marko the Werelynx

                      Heck no, I think language blending is fair game. Pigeon languages can be very useful. And this case in particular, 'oblasts'...I am constantly pluralizing or conjugating foreign words with English endings. 'Pivos' is the best example.

                      No, I was referring, ever so vaguely, to my "turkey's" in a comment far below (scrollujes na dole! - I actually heard this once). And the oft-made grammatical error I was referring to was the puzzling trend I've seen to use the possessive ['s] in place of plural [s/es].

                      I found a good wiki page for Subcarpathian Rus here. From this link, go down to "History," and click "See also: Carpathian Ruthenia". I missed this important click when I was digging last night, as the main page is pretty thin on the history.

                      Changing subject.

                      From the wiki article, I spotted something that I thought was a handy little illustration of something we had been discussing a few weeks back. To quote from the wiki, "In 1919, [Subcarpathian Rus] was annexed to Czechoslovakia with a supposedly equal level of autonomy as Slovakia and Bohemia-Moravia-Czech Silesia (Czech lands)."

                      See how it's "Czech"-Silesia? That's to distinguish it from, say "Polish Silesia" or even "German Silesia" (redundant before WWI). But 'Czech'-Silesia is the small sliver of the much larger region of Silesia that the Czech nation claimed for its own, because a) its peoples lived there, and b) it was a historical part of the Czech Kingdom. Additionally, all three regions are called the 'Czech lands' or 'ceske zeme,' which is based primarily on this historical 'ceske kralovstvi' and the work of the national awakeners to reclaim this lost kingdom.

                      In both cases, the "Czech" here is the umbrella term, referring variously 'ceska narodnost' or 'cesky kralovstvi', or 'cesky zeme,' or indeed the 'ceska republika.'

                      That's why I maintain that, especially in English given its limitations, it's important to draw a distinction between Czech and Bohemia. It's not simply a translator's preference. There are very different meanings that are deeply embedded in the word 'Cechy' and its vagaries. In the Czech language, those meanings are generally understood, especially given some context. But when we translate, things start to get muddled.

                      Now I'm pushing my luck...let me try this, see what you think:

                      Here's another way I've tried to illustrate the distinction between the two primary meanings of 'Czech'. Look at the Czech national emblem. You've got the Cesky lev (2x), the Moravske orel, and the Slezko orel. Why does Bohemia get double the representation? Well, it doesn't. One of those Cesky levs symbolizes Bohemia, and the other symbolizes the Czech Kingdom (again, 'ceska narodnost' or 'zeme').

                      What's happened is that, over time and yes due to undue influence of Bohemia, the 'lev' came to symbolize both the entire kingdom and its most powerful component, Bohemia. (its a chicken-and-egg type deal when asking what the lev symbolized first...there's even evidence that the lion was imported from Moravia)

                      So to the naked eye, the Bohemian and Czech lion are indistinguishable, much like the vagaries of the word 'Cechy' itself, and its translations. One lion, two meanings. Same goes for 'Czech'.

                      I'm sort of riffing now and I'm wondering if I'm even making sense. Gotta run anyway. Wonderful weather here for mid-November, going to take a stroll with my little rodina and then have a BBQ.


                      •  I'd noticed the 'turkey's' (1+ / 0-)
                        Recommended by:

                        but being the sort that occasionally mixes his "it's" and "its" I don't worry my head about a few apostophes lost in the wilderness.

                        Heh, so your linguistic confusion is self-imposed?

                        I've also heard the verb "skrolovat" and don't forget to "lajk" my posts on "Fajsbuk" staci jen kliknout.

                        Thanks for digging up that link for me.

                        I'll have to ponder the Czech-Bohemia question and get back to you on it. It has me muddled at this point. You seem to be making more of a case for the interchangability of the terms and less a case for the need to distinguish them. In my defense, it is getting late and my brain is sluggish. The bit about the two lions is intruiging me though. Never heard it explained and I've often wondered about it.

                        How do you deal with the name of a city like "Ceske Budejovice" with a city like "Moravske Budejovice" also on the map? Usually the "Ceske" is dropped when translating but the Czechs themselves seem to always use it when talking about the city. Nobody ever calls it "Bohemian Budweis", do they?

                        I guess my feeling on this will probably always be that "Bohemia" is a foreign word used when translating things for German and English speakers and I may have to adopt it even though it sticks in my throat like a fishbone. It tastes like a remnant of the days when German was the official language and Czech was considered low and gutteral peasant talk. And still Czech words for Czech things aren't good enough.

                        Oh well, I'll sleep on it and perhaps ask a few of the natives what they think in the coming week. I really have no deep personal reason to consider this an emotional issue at this point.

                        •  Very quick one... (1+ / 0-)
                          Recommended by:
                          Marko the Werelynx

                          it's "family time," my zena just reminded me.

                          I call it plain old 'Budejovice'

                          The Germans are the giant elephant in the room that I haven't addressed in all this. I actually did write up a big comment but didn't post it.

                          I think you're using too sharp a lens. A lot of this language and terminology was decided long before the militant, violent nationalism of the 20th century.

                          It's true, "Bohmisch" got more play from the German influence. The word is Latinate and stems from the Celtric tribes that lived in the area, actually (the 'Boms' or something or other.

                          But so-called 'Czechs' of the nineteenth century actually used German as naturally as the air they breathed. In fact, the word 'Bohmisch' was extremely advantageous for their purposes, and here's why:

                          When Frank Palacky and (insert nineteenth century German-Bohemian here) discussed these matters in the, they were talking in German. In German, Frank was "bohmisch" while Hans was "deutsch" or "deutschbohmisch" if Frank was charitable that day. They both lived in "Bohmen". So who had rightful claim to the land? The "bohmisch" of course! Ie, Frank the father of Czech history. Eventually, what the nationally-minded Germans living in Bohemia did was created new words, to strip Frank the Czech from his claim. They started using "tschechen" and even "Cechen" with the diacritical mark, foreign in German (and my keyboard). So think about it...the latinate word "bohmisch" actually worked to the 'Czechs' benefits in these disputes.

                          Again, I think you're looking at it too severely. These terms were discussed and debated, and eventually established at least among the educated class, looong before anyone could even ponder the horrible destruction wreaked by violent nationalism and ethnic cleansing in the 20th century.

                          damn, im in trouble with her now, gotta run...doubrou noc!

                          •  of course, only the terms were settled (1+ / 0-)
                            Recommended by:
                            Marko the Werelynx

                            to say nothing of how people on that plot of earth defined themselves.

                            Nationally indifferent people in Bohemia and Moravia alternatively strove to define themselves as either 'Czech' or 'German' all the way through and after WWII, depending on the ways the winds were blowing. A lot of great recent research has been done on these 'amphibious' Bohemians and Moravians.

                          •  I'm digging into this further (0+ / 0-)

                            and the more I discover about the history of Bohemia the more I think the terminology is woefully ambiguous.

                            The borders of the Kingdom of Bohemia were all over the place and more often than not the old maps at that wikilink included Moravia-- and some of Poland and Germany and Austria and Hungary and ...

                            So making a historical claim that Čechy (nice to be back on my beast with the diacritical marks again) and only Čechy should be called "Bohemia" is absurd if you drag old Ottokar I. into the mess. And going back further it just gets worse with the Duchy of Bohemia and its Moravian style eagle...

                            Yeah, I'm just getting more confused.

                            I'll blame the Přemysl dynasty.


                            I'll call up a friend of mine at the National Museum one of these days (he happens to do some translating and even interpreting) -- his areas of expertise are the Baroque era and numismatics which aren't exactly a perfect fit but I'm curious to know what he thinks about my muddled mangling of Czech and Bohemian.

                            In the meantime I'll dredge up some Palacky to read. My knowledge of the České národní obrození is pretty pathetic.

                            Here's what I dug up on the heraldry of the state symbol as it was written into law in 1992-- link:

                            Při spojení dvou erbů v jediném štítu se každý z nich dvakrát opakuje. Mají-li být takto spojeny symboly tří celků, je symbol hlavní z nich v poli prvním a čtvrtém, druhé a třetí pole dostávají další země. Velký znak České republiky tedy zcela odpovídá heraldickým pravidlům platným v Evropě.
                            It's true that you can find the second lion described on official websites as representing the Republic as a whole but not only does that not reflect the initial thought behind the design*, it could actually be used as further evidence that my translation was perfect. But you've made me realize that I've still got a lot to learn about the history of this mess.

                            I may be looking at this all too severely but at the same time I'm finding it immensely entertaining and educational.

                            * Heraldic convention would have demanded that the most important symbol be placed in the first quadrant anyway-- so placing the Republic last would be nonsense, wouldn't it? "The Republic? Meh." It's also the reason why the checkered Moravian eagle is on top while the Czech Silesian eagle is below.

                          •  "the terminology is woefully ambiguous" (1+ / 0-)
                            Recommended by:
                            Marko the Werelynx

                            presne tak.

                            It's also why every academic history of the Czechs in the English literature devotes at least a page in the introduction defining terms like 'Czech', German, slav, Slovak, etc. Alexander Maxwell's Choosing Slovakia is the most entertaining example of this phenomenon. I just looked up his book on Amazon to see if his discussion on terminology was included in the free 'look inside!' segment. Unfortunately, the free portion cuts off his introduction too soon. But having read through this fantastic intro essay again, I thought I'd pass along.

                            The Kingdom of Bohemia - this is indeed where the trouble begins. More precisely, the mythology and symbolism of this 'Golden era' are the primary culprits. (btw, full disclosure here, I've done archival research in the Moravian regional and Czech national archives. One day I hope to'll be the first to know. So I could be totally wrong, but I want to say that I'm not pulling it out of my butt).

                            My interpretation: the 'ceske kralovstvi' (Kingdom of Bohemia), alternatively called the zeme ceske korunni, or ceske zeme, became, over the long duree, embraced by Slavs immediately beyond the recognized borders of 'Cech' (Bohemia), to the point that Slav Moravia could rightly call itself part of the 'ceske zeme'. So, in the modern era (post 1800, when this sort of pedantry became especially fashionable) when describing a cultural or ethnical marker like language or narodnost (proto-nationality), Moravians said they were 'Slav' or 'Czechslav'. And Moravian Slav leaders fought tooth and nail for its region to be considered an integral part of the 'ceske kralovstvi', on equal footing with Bohemia. This led to all sorts of maddening disputes with Bohemian Slavs in the nineteenth century, which is what my research focused on.

                            I was very surprised, actually, to learn that at no point in the modern era did Moravians self-identify cultural or ethnical markers as 'Moravian'. 'Moravia' had only a territorial meaning. The people living there were, culturally and ethnically, Czech/-slav. If they wanted to get really specific, on a very regional and tribal level, Moravians classified themselves as 'Horak', 'Hanak', 'Slovaci', (a couple others), which were on the same horizontal position of the family tree with 'Cesi'. (Czechslav being one rung up, with Westslav above that, and Slav above that). Btw, 'Moravian nationality', while appealing to some, is completely modern and something of a political artefact.

                            But the long and short of it is thus: 'ceske kralovstvi' - the 'ceske' here is the same 'Czech' that's found in 'ceske zeme', 'ceske narod', and 'ceska republika'. This 'ceske', while no doubt originating with Father Cech and the Cechy for Bohemia, has taken on a new meaning, totally separate from the 'ceske' in 'Ceske Budejovice'. So, going back to something you mentioned earlier. I'm not arguing that 'ceske' is interchangeable for Bohemia and Czech. Well, maybe superficially. But the meanings are not interchangeable. In a nutshell, they are homonyms.

                            Damnit, I'm tailing off again. I see you posted something else as well, maybe it'll kick start my brain, but I'll probably just leave my ramble and hit the sack.

                            Oh, I wanted to say a couple things...

                            My discussion of the Czech national emblem....completely unverified. I use it with extreme liberty to illustrate the important difference between the identical lions, as analogous to the 'ceske' homonyms. I should've set up my illustration and analogy better...but I think you get it now, right? The lion, like the 'ceske' homonym, means different things in different contexts, and while it is superficially interchangeable, the lion seen here is the Czech lion, not the Bohemian lion. Here's another explanation of the small state znak, slightly more descriptive.  

                            Finally, I could probably sum up all my babbling with something I should've answered better earlier: I call it Budejovice, but if I had to get specific, yes, I'd called it Bohemian Budejovice. 'Czech Budejovice' is actually the absurdity here, because Moravian Budejovice is also Czech. And that's what it boils down English, Czech is the umbrella term. It's the 'ceske' in Ceska republika/kralovstvi/zeme/narod. cf., the 'ceske' in 'Ceske Budejovice'.

                          •  Thanks, it's all coming together finally. (0+ / 0-)

                            As far as this discussion goes, I can pretty much ignore the translation of "the Kingdom of Bohemia" as "České královstvi" because those old Přemysls didn't use Czech anyway. And heck, the Duchy of Bohemia was older than the Czech written language itself. But at the same time it more or less entirely proves your case for using "Bohemia" precisely because the region was never known to anyone but the Slavic folk as "Čechy" and if I'm going to bother to translate at all I had better use the language I'm translating something into and not pretend to be cleverer than over a dozen centuries of precedent.

                            Bad translations are something of a pet peeve of mine-- I should really stop making them.

                            As a bit of educational brain teasing though, it has been great fun for me to delve into all this even though I started out dead wrong.

                            I'm kind of jealous of your time in the archives.

                            As for the emblem-- there is no difference between two identical lions. Anyone, even whoever wrote that official site for Prague Castle that I had linked, is spouting wishful nonsense (a.k.a. "pulling something out of their butt"). It didn't make sense to someone (like it didn't make sense to me until I read the exact wording in the law) and they invented a nice story to explain why there were two lions. If the capital of the Czech Republic was in Brno we'd have checkered eagles in the first and fourth quadrants. I don't know where the story actually came from, it's not repeated at that site you linked. They'd also think I was crazy for using "Czech" for "Bohemia".

                            I found an interesting morsel on that site though to add to our discussion about the Moravian identity. And yes, I'd agree with what you wrote-- I've certainly met more Hanáks than Moraváks.

                            Now for the big question-- where do you stand on the controversy surrounding the Valašské království?

                          •  One other thought before bed (0+ / 0-)

                            And before I get into trouble too.

                            With a small sampling of natives queried about this they've all looked at me like I was crazy and said that of course they'd use "Bohemia" if some English speaker inexplicably had to know which broad region of the Czech Republic they were from. The point of my hypothetical question that was most bewildering to them was why someone would want to know that when the name of someone's kraj is much more commonly used to describe them and is also more specific. Not to mention how specific giving the name of your actual town is ...

                            I just confused them with my nuttering about "Čechy" and Czech. I'll experiment on a few more people though; it was fun.

                            But consider me convinced. I'll use "Bohemia" for "Čechy" when translating. It was what I was doing before I learned Czech anyway. I'm just about the cleverest idiot I know.

                            I'll just have to accept it as just one of those linguistic artifacts from all those years when the heart of the Kingdom of Bohemia was German speaking Prague.

                            Now, about Great Moravia ...

                          •  All of this makes a lot more sense (1+ / 0-)
                            Recommended by:
                            Marko the Werelynx

                            in the Czech language, and given context.

                            Oh no, not the kraj! They slice and dice the traditional borders! Want to hear a real nonsensical term? 'Moravsko-slezko'. Bah!

                            I'd be curious to hear more results of your survey.

                            Great Moravia is a weird thing. It has virtually no use to the Czech national awakeners. Even Moravians preferred to harken back to the golden age of Karel and the premyslids.

                            Btw, Otakar II....way cooler. You know Kaliningrad? Erstwhile Koniggrad? Know what 'king' it's name after? Yeah...Otto got around.

                          •  Correction. Konigsburg. (I think). N/t (1+ / 0-)
                            Recommended by:
                            Marko the Werelynx
                          •  The problem with most traditional borders (0+ / 0-)

                            is that they replaced other traditional borders. And the wiggly lines keep on wiggling. I read Mark Twain's "Life on the Mississippi" a couple months ago and his descriptions of some of the more controversial territorial grabs made by the river are amazing.

                            The kraj borders are indeed curious things. Like gerrymandered districts they seem to lack a connection to actual geography.

                            Otakar II. was a bit too much of a rabid crusader and expansionist for my tastes-- my favorite Otakar was always IV. Heh. I suppose everybody was expanding and crusading back in Otakar II.'s day and he was more successful than most. I'm no fan of the Habsburgs either-- and Otto 2 did found České budějovice. Hmm, yeah-- over all, way cooler.

  •  Well, hello there, right back at you. (3+ / 0-)

    That's it, 's all I got. :-)

    There are more things in heaven and earth, Horatio, Than are dreamt of in your philosophy.--Shakespeare's Hamlet, Act I, scene 5

    by Ooooh on Fri Nov 15, 2013 at 01:17:48 PM PST

  •  By the way, my Russo- Austro-Hungarian (3+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:
    Marko the Werelynx, Ojibwa, Ooooh

    Baba would recognize those root vegetables. LOL.

  •  Waiting (4+ / 0-)

    I've got the new hard drives in the computer and everything reinstalled. Unfortunately DAZ isn't working and they haven't gotten back to me on how to fix it. It is making new art difficult.

    "A dreamer is one who can only find his way by moonlight, and his punishment is that he sees the dawn before the rest of the world." Oscar Wilde

    by michelewln on Fri Nov 15, 2013 at 01:47:30 PM PST

  •  Not Good (4+ / 0-)

    My current temp assignment let me go today, so once again
    I am a Gentleman of Leisure.

    At the moment I'm on hold with Unemployment trying to get my account reactivated

    Read my webcomic, "Hannibal Tesla Adventure Magazine" at

    by quarkstomper on Fri Nov 15, 2013 at 01:54:22 PM PST

  •  Loving these diaries, Marko (2+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:
    Ooooh, Marko the Werelynx

    Such drama, and so informative. I'm learning while being entertained! The best kind of trainwreck. But what are the implications on people's everyday lives? US politics is very much the clusterfuck, but it's tough to be entertained when people's healthcare and finances hang in the balance.

    I put on a few turkey dinners while living in Prague. My oven was tiny, though...couldn't cook more than a 12-15lb turkey. As the party expanded over the years, I eventually had to buy a chicken or two to supplement - those turkey's ain't cheap over there! Especially at the British butcher, whose name I forget at the moment. Where do you get your bird?

    Snow tires went on the car this week as well. Is it mandated in the CZ, as it is in QC?

    Shameless plug (is this sort of thing allowed?). An acquaintance had his book published in English not too long ago. It's on amazon. James Krapfl, "Revolution with a Human Face: Politics, Culture, and Community in Czechoslovakia, 1989-1992"

    •  Thanks, it's great to have your comments (0+ / 0-)

      in the mix. I'm learning from you too.

      I saw some numbers somewhere gathered by something official-- all very vague in my brain at this point but the short of the long of it is that when asked about their trust in government Czechs ranked currently 147th out of 149 countries in the survey. But we're probably looking at a period of some sweeping reforms. It seems the tax structure will be overhauled yet again-- to a more progressive model. The nominal charges for visiting a doctor ($1.50 per visit) will probably be dropped. Good news for the poorest of us but how things will actually resolve with the cast of characters in charge is anybody's guess.

      As for turkey, I used to visit a butcher downtown just off Narodni until he retired. He was the husband of a friend of my mother-in-law who coincidentally is sitting right behind me and is talking to her daughter (my Favorite Female) about how that very friend used to leave her crossword puzzles incomplete.

      These days I go to Prominent and their farm across town from where I live. They're real close to where my sister-in-law lives and her MIL was the one who told me about this company. Used to be that she'd stop by their store/farm on her way somewhere and order a bird for me that her daughter would then drop off at our apartment on her way to work in the big hospital in our area of Prague. But these days we handle the transaction by ourselves. So I'll be driving out there the Friday after Turkey-day to pick up our bird. Should cost less than $5.00 per kilo for a fresh 8ish kilo bird. Hens cost about 50 cents less per kilo but we rarely specify a preference. At any rate it's considerably less than beef or pork.

      Yup, snow tires are mandated here.

      And that shameless plug has no reason to be ashamed. I link to my own stuff all the time.

      Open threads are an accepted forum for self promotion. Posting about stuff your friends have done is another step removed from personal plugging isn't it? Worst I could accuse you of is name-dropping. Heh.

      •  I remember when they instituted that co-pay (1+ / 0-)
        Recommended by:
        Marko the Werelynx

        30 crowns, correct? Lot of people I talked to thought it was a good idea.

        I'm curious what the feeling is this year on Students Day, with trust in government so low and the current situation such a mess? Does your family have any traditions on Nov 17?

        •  Dobre rano. (0+ / 0-)

          I thought I'd posted a reply to this comment last night-- sigh, I really was sleepy.

          Still am, it's entirely too early to be up.

          The 30 CZK fee: I can't even remember the arguments for it but I always thought it was sort of a stupid idea. What was it supposed to do again? Some doctors seem more embarrassed by it than anything. Maybe it was supposed to discourage people who were using their doctor's office like a social club? I guess that makes sense-- especially as how the people who may have been abusing the system would mostly have been lonely, old retired people on a fixed income who couldn't afford to-- yeah, who maybe would have to choose between buying a loaf of bread or visiting their doctor that week. Still, it's not really such a big expense...

          I've known an occasional doctor-nurse team to forget to collect it or even refuse to take it.  

          I should ask my sister-in-law, the doctor, what she thinks about the fee.

          Yeah, I don't know what it was supposed to accomplish. I think it managed to shift a few more voters toward ČSSD and KSČM. They've always argued against it. There have been exceptions added to the law anyway, like for children; they don't pay the fee.

          Here's a link to an article and accompanying video about what went on in downtown Prague last night. 200 marching neo-nazi twits and their 500+ anarchist counter-protestors and a huge herd of police officers to keep them apart. Not the sort of thing you take the kids to. Although I guess it was relatively peaceful. I've never gone downtown with my '89 college student on the 17th. She was there with her younger cousins during the protest and lead them to safety when things got ugly. There may be more in the news today about the folks who were down on Narodni lighting candles-- usually a few politicians make a show of laying some flowers at the memorial. So no, we don't do anything special except maybe allow ourselves to talk more about politics at meal times than usual.

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