December 2014

Jūlijs Straume: Caucasus on my mind; exhibition at Tbilisi State Museum of Folk and Applied Arts of Georgia

Published: 31 December, 2014 seen 1,221 Events

Jūlijs Straume - as I would call him, probably is the most popular Latvian in Georgia and the king of carpets. Well it has been a while since Jūlijs Straume has left our world, but thank's to active work of Latvian Diaspora in Georgia he is not forgotten and his works are being honoured. So it was an honour for me to visit an exhibition at State Museum of Folk and Applied Arts of Georgia to finally meet with works of Jūlijs Straume. State Museum of Folk and Applied Arts of Georgia Book published by Jūlijs Straume Though Jūlijs Straume is known for his work of research of Caucasus carpet…

White Christmas in Bakuriani

Published: 30 December, 2014 seen 3,521 Living in Georgia

Second year in a row we decided to greet Christmas in Bakuriani (here is an article covering last year in Bakuriani) - remote mountain resort city in Georgia. Some would choose Bakuriani as a skiing destination, we instead choose it as a white Christmas location.  At start we planned to take a minibus, but we allowed a taxi driver to persuade us to take a trip to Bakuriani with him for 70 GEL (I made a nice bargain down from 100 GEL).  So here are a few shots from Bakuriani I managed to take with my Sony camera. Bakuriani sign - for me it looks like it have kept from Soviet times, but I…

TOP 24 Year End Laptop Deals and Sales After Christmas

Published: 29 December, 2014 seen 1,632 Online Shopping

Missed a chance to buy a discount laptop on Christmas sale? Don't worry deals are still on - in this article you will find  24 laptops with value deal on Amazon.Would you prefer HP over Lenovo, or perhaps Toshiba instead of Samsung? How about a super cool gaming laptop from Asus?All of these brands are listed here. Depending on your needs - to simple edit documents (Chromebook), Business class or powerful gaming laptop - consider one of these 24 laptops for year of 2015.Please note those items are available for sale on Amazon, by clicking on links on this page and by making a…

Tablet Deals - Save up to $164.71 on Lenovo Miix 2

Published: 29 December, 2014 seen 849 Online Shopping

Didn't get as Christmas present Tablet you wished for? Looking to replace your existing one? Searching for alternatives for Apple Ipad or Samsung tablets?Take a look at these 5 tablets available for sale on Amazon with great deals.My favourite one - Lenovo Miix 2 now comes with discount of $164.71Please note those items are available for sale on Amazon, by clicking on links on this page and by making a purchase on Amazon site, I will earn an affiliate income from that.Toshiba Encore 2 WT8-B32CN 8.0-Inch 32 GB Tablet (Save $80.00)8.0-Inch DisplayIntel Atom Z3735G 1.4 GHz…

Minimum Wages in Baltic States 2015

Published: 28 December, 2014 seen 6,005 Investments

A year ago I wrote an article covering minimum wages in the Baltic States. In that article, I found that minimum wages for 2013/2014 were at EUR 330 in Estonia, EUR 320 in Latvia and EUR 290 in Lithuania. Now - 2015 will be a special year - starting 2015 all three Baltic countries will have Euro as currency, Lithuania will adopt Euro starting January 1st. Update: Minimum Wage Set to Rise in the Baltic States in 2018 There is other good news as well - the minimum wages are to be increased in all three Baltic States in 2015: in Latvia – from EUR 320 to EUR 360, in Lithuania – from EUR 290 to…

Dallas-Houston first high-speed rail in United States by 2021

Published: 27 December, 2014 seen 1,312 Railway / Bus / Ferry

Back in 2013 we made an Epic journey though United States, it all started at JFK Airport (NYC) and ended in Houston, TX, though we had plans to cross the continent and reach the West Coast, it didn't happened - for two simple reasons: 1) We travelled cheap using Megabus company 2) We were sick and tired of such travels after one month. Let me explain - Megabus is a great alternative for budget travellers - we spent about $200 to reach Houston (we had a nice stops at D.C; Knoxville, TN;  Atlanta, GA; New Orleans, LA) from Philadelphia. At that time there were no other options to…

Another mobile post

Published: 27 December, 2014 seen 748 Blogging

On another day when it's hard to blog. Sorry for that.

Russia will provide $270 mln Credit to Armenia to Finance Nuclear Power Plant

Published: 26 December, 2014 seen 844 Caucasus overview

I have been watching more or less closely energy consumption in Former Soviet Union for last 6 months, today I found interesting article on News.az - Russia to provide Armenia with $ 270 mln to extend term of NPP. Here is the newsreport:The Russian government has approved the granting of credit to Armenia $ 270 mln to finance the extension of nuclear power plant operation, the Cabinet said on Friday.Russia and Armenia signed earlier an intergovernmental agreement on cooperation of extending the life of the second unit of the Armenian NPP.The parties agreed that funding for the work will…

Armenia to Join Eurasian Union 2015

Published: 25 December, 2014 seen 1,146 Geopolitics

Yesterday I posted about Kyrgyzstan joining Eurasian Union, but forget to write about Armenia - so here is the deal (Original on RT)Russian President Vladimir Putin has put his signature to a law that makes Armenia a full member of the Eurasian Economic Union (EEU) from January 2, 2015.The document signed Tuesday will add the 3 million people in Armenia to the 170 million consumers in Russia, Belarus and Kazakhstan.The agreement stipulates that Armenia joins the Treaty of the EEU, as well as other international agreements signed under the framework of the Customs Union. It means Armenia…

Kyrgyzstan to join Eurasian Union

Published: 24 December, 2014 seen 980 Geopolitics

I have been watching closely developments of Eurasian Union since 2010. Yesterday at hotels room in Bakuriani, I had a chance to watch Russian TV (I watch TV rarely and only in hotels)Russian news were reporting some interesting (I would say funny) news - and one of them was about that Kyrgyzstan to join Eurasian Union:After three years of negotiations, Kyrgyzstan has signed up to join the Moscow-led Eurasian Union, a protectionist post-Soviet economic club that some fear will allow the Kremlin to reassert political influence in its former backyard. But in what has become a tradition,…

Istanbul - Konya - New High Speed Train in Turkey

Published: 23 December, 2014 seen 2,180 Railway / Bus / Ferry

I have travelled by train in Turkey just once back in 2011 from Ankara to Izmir. That route went some 15-17 hours... It's damned boring thing. Well I'm glad I took that ride of course, but I'm more glad to learn that Turkey is investing much in it's train infrastructure. And I'm sure I will use Istanbul - Konya high speed line in future.Recently (on December 17, 2014) a new high speed line Istanbul - Konya has been launched and here is the real gain:The Istanbul-Konya journey time on the high speed line is four hours 15 minutes, compared to 13 hours on the old trainsPresident (Turkish) Recep…

Canon Digital SLR Cameras - Save up to $200

Published: 22 December, 2014 seen 898 Online Shopping

Start a New Year with a new Digital camera. In this article you will find 9 Canon DSLR cameras with savings up to $200.00 availiable on Amazon.  Update: I have created article on Best digital SLR cameras of 2016 for beginners  Please note those items are available for sale on Amazon, by clicking on links on this page and by making a purchase on Amazon site, I will earn an affiliate income from that. Canon EOS Rebel T5 EF-S 18-55mm IS II Digital SLR Kit (Savings $100.00) Camera description: Perfect for families, budding photo enthusiasts and first-time SLR users alike, the EOS Rebel T5 makes…

Nginx redirect domain name to another domain

Published: 21 December, 2014 seen 18,798 Servers

Redirecting website visitors to a different domain name using Nginx is simple. Add the following code to your server config:  server { server_name .domain.com; return 302 $scheme://forwarded-domain.com; }Restart Nginx sudo /etc/init.d/nginx restart

Food Blogger: Gingerbread Dough Recipe

Published: 21 December, 2014 seen 988 Food blogger

In this article I'm going to show how one (perhaps you) can prepare a gingerbread dough at home. Ingredients:You will need: butter, flour, eggs, salt&sugar, malt, spicesIt all starts with butterButter Since I'm living in Georgia - most of the ingredients used in this recipe are local GeorgianFlourEggsSugarIt's better if you have a brown sugar. We didn't find any brown sugar so we used a regular white sugar.MaltWe bought this Malt about a year ago at local Carrefour store, as we knew - this day will comeSpicesCinnamon, cardamom, allspice, nutmegTools:You will need: coffee mills,…

New Buses in Baku, Azerbaijan

Published: 20 December, 2014 seen 1,346 Caucasus overview

Lately I have found transport systems as a interesting topics just to satisfy my curiosity. So we days ago I wrote an article about first high-speed trains in Poland and compiled a photo posts of Tram's and Trolleys in Georgia.Today I learned that Baku is launching new bus routes with new buses.Now passengers will not have to hang off the bus doors.The routes of the new buses brought to the country have been made public.According to Oxu.Az, the information was provided to AzerTag by the spokesman Fizuli Sadigov of  "Xaliq Faiqoğlu" LLC which is engaged in passenger transportation in the…

European Parliament ratifies Association Agreement with Georgia

Published: 19 December, 2014 seen 903 Caucasus overview

Previously, this year I mentioned an event what might change future of South Caucasus region - Georgia has signed Association Agreement with European Union.Now was turn to European Parliament ratify it as well, and it did happened on December 18th.The European Parliament gave its green light to the EU-Georgia Association Agreement on Thursday. The deal will establish deep political association and economic integration between the EU and Georgia, including the progressive opening up of their respective markets.Georgia's President Giorgi Margvelashvili, EP Vice-President Ryszard Czarnecki…

History of Tram and Trolleybus systems in Tbilisi and Georgia

Published: 18 December, 2014 seen 4,837 Living in Georgia

Currently (2022) there are no tram or trolley lines in Tbilisi, but not so long ago in history, there were plenty of tram and trolleybus lines not only in Tbilisi but also in Batumi, Kutaisi, Gori, Zugdidi, Ozurgeti, Poti, Rustavi, and even Chiatura.  What has happened to once pretty impressive routes of trams and trolleys in Georgia?  I guess the harsh history happened. After the Collapse of the Soviet Union - Georgia got troubled with civil wars, and economic hardships so neither trams nor trolleys were a priority. While you are exploring bits of Georgian history, consider Batumi Real…

First High Speed Railway Launched in Poland

Published: 17 December, 2014 seen 6,423 Railway / Bus / Ferry

On this lovely 17th December afternoon I decided to add a new blog category to my blog - Railway.Railway is a transport system I have been interested ever since I can remember my self. Railways (as I like to think) is a back-bone of country's economy. Railway system is a mirror which reflects economical growth and stability. On the other hand Railway has lost it's importance it had in 19th century. Railway symbolizes industrialization (again, at least for me).Though we are living in times when importance of Railway is decreasing there are still many regions in World where Railway is just…

About Georgia: Newspappers and Internet Sites in English Language

Published: 17 December, 2014 seen 1,313 Living in Georgia

The other day I was contacted by one of the local Georgian English-language newspaper offering me to write some articles for them.I don't know did this offer included some payment as well (actually I have no idea how journalists receives salary - either they have some contract salary, maybe they receive per written words or it's all about sponsored stories - if you are a journalist - please leave me a comment regarding this)Though this offer might sound tempting - I doubt I have any journalist talent, and instead of building traffic and awareness for others I prefer build traffic and…

Zakhar Zakharich - Tbilisi Restaurant Review

Published: 16 December, 2014 seen 2,969 Restaurant reviews

Welcome to another review of another great Tbilisi Restaurant. Today I'll share my thoughts of one of the hidden treasures I discovered just yesterday - Zakhar Zakharich restaurant. For a prelude: I'm an expat living in Georgia (Tbilisi). You can find some articles covering topic Living in Georgia. I'm huge lover of restaurants and coffee shops, and Living in Georgia I have came even a bigger fan of eating outside the home.  Since I'm eating out pretty regular - there are my favourite places, then there are places, that once was my favourite places, and then there are places better to avoid…

Which Laptop to buy in 2015? Hot New Releases

Published: 15 December, 2014 seen 5,567 Online Shopping

What laptops will be popular in 2015? Will Chromebooks will become most popular choice of new buyers? Will smaller screen sizes will took over larger?  Those are the questions concerning me now, at the end of 2014.I'm not very inspired of Chromebooks as they are now, but probably following others pattern I will start using it one day. I'm against trend of smaller screens - but I see they are becoming more popular in our days - I mean how one can work on a screen with size 11 inches? It's probably a laptop for kids but not for some normal work (if I'm wrong - please leave me a…

ProCredit Bank Georgia will use Toyota Hybrid cars

Published: 14 December, 2014 seen 1,348 Living in Georgia

Checking my internet bank for savings report I found an article informing that ProCredit bank Georgia has bought 10 hybrid Toyota cars and starting now they will be used in Tbilisi, Kutaisi and Batumi.I guess it won't impact much my savings but it's good know, that bank which services I'm using is concerned of sustainable energy. So it's my pleasure to promote them on my blog.Toyota Hybrid carsProCredit Bank stands for environmental leadership in its operations. In line with this commitment, the bank upgraded its vehicle fleet by purchasing new 10 hybrid Toyota cars.Hybrid cars have…

Does Turkey is seeking closer ties with Russia and coming Eurasian Union?

Published: 14 December, 2014 seen 1,281 Geopolitics

More than year a ago I published article Turkey could join Eurasian Union were I tried to compare economy of Turkey by using GDP and GDP per capita for time period 2000-2012.I found that Turkey might reach $1 trillion of GDP by the end of 2016, so did I found that Economy of Turkey has increased for about 3 times (2000-2012)I did used following words a year ago:That said makes me think, that Turkey has no serious plans to join Eurasian Union. IMHO Turkey is teasing European Union. And why shouldn't? Turkey has long, long history on it's attempts to join European Union, but there…

Shopping in Georgia: Tbilisi Mall

Published: 14 December, 2014 seen 15,629 Shopping Venues

Though I have been living in Georgia for 3 and a half years, I have never talked much about shopping in Georgia or Tbilisi. Starting today I decided to change that. My first recommendation for those who are looking for shopping fun in Tbilisi will be Tbilisi Mall. If I remember correctly - it was first opened at the end of 2012 and soon find its way to the hearts of customers. One of the anchor tenants here is the Carrefour store, according to my observations it makes the most use of Tbilisi Mall. Though you will find here many other shops (non-food-related), like Prada, LC Waikiki, Marks…

Azerbaijan Airlines - Direct Flights Baku - New York City

Published: 13 December, 2014 seen 2,531 Caucasus overview

Today I red an interesting article on News.az - it turns out Azerbaijan avio carrier Azerbaijan Airlines has increased its flights from Baku to New York city.At a start I was surprised to learn that there is an offer of direct flights at all, but having increased number of flights might mean just one - Economy of Azerbaijan is soaring, and those located in Caucasus (for example, me) now have an alternative for Istanbul flights.Here is the news report:AzerTag reported earlier that on 24 September JSC "Azerbaijan Airlines" began to operate direct flights between Baku and New York.For two months…

European Union Will assist Georgia with €46 million in grants and loans in 2015

Published: 13 December, 2014 seen 916 Caucasus overview

Georgia can count on continuing support from the European Union. Pierre Moscovici, the European Commissioner for Economic and Financial Affairs, Taxation and Customs, signed the Memorandum of Understanding for a €46 million Macro-Financial Assistance (MFA) programme to Georgia.The assistance will be distributed evenly between grants and loans and will be disbursed in two equal tranches in 2015.The MFA programme is intended to strengthen Georgia's balance of payments and budgetary position and to support reforms aimed at reinforcing economic governance, increasing social inclusiveness and…

Fire Wok Tbilisi

Published: 13 December, 2014 seen 3,114 Restaurant reviews

Fire wok Tbilisi is a small, I would call it a boutique Wok place located on Shalva Dadiani street (close to Liberty square). Here you can have noodles or rice woks for a really democratic prices. Fire Wok Tbilisi There is not much place inside - so if you are planing to take you loved ones to Fire Wok  - it won't be best place to sit around a table and talk about your impressions of Tbilisi. Instead you can order food for takeaway and have it at your hotel/hostel. Menu at Fire Wok Tbilisi Menu offer a Fire Wok is simple - you can have either noodle or rice based dishes. Chicken, Beef and…

Which Laptop Should I Buy 2014: US & Canada

Published: 12 December, 2014 seen 1,566 Online Shopping

I have been a proud member of Amazon Associate program starting this summer. The reason I joined this program is simple - I was using Amazon to order goods for myself. I was into looking to buy a new HP laptop for myself - and decided to compare best selling HP laptops on Amazon.. And then it started - I found a laptop market damn interesting,so I started to review best selling, popular and useful laptops. It has been around 5 month since I started, and dooring this time - laptop sales from my blog has sky-rocketed, in total I have helped to sell more than 300 items during these months.…

15 places and things to do in Georgia I have discovered in 2014

Published: 11 December, 2014 seen 3,119 Travel guides

No, you won't find here visit to Narikala fortress or Sameba church, you will learn that I have discovered Tbilisi Botanical garden instead. Drinking wine? Well - not this year! 36 Reasons to Visit Georgia and Tbilisi What about rafting with a crazy instructor from Ukraine? Or a ride to Tbilisi sea at +40° . Something romantic? - how about a ride on an aerial tram in Batumi to watch the sunset in the Black Sea? Something tasty? Italian ice cream at Luca Polare. Something unusual? - A dairy farm in Tbilisi suburbs.  I have been living in Georgia for already 4 years - and this country never…

My Spain + Andorra Travel Guide

Published: 10 December, 2014 seen 1,871 Travel guides

This is a round-up post of our travel discoveries in Spain at the end of October 2014, particularly in the region of Catalonia. I hope it can inspire you if you are planning your trip to Catalonia.  Our trip started at Tbilisi, went through Istanbul, and landed at Barcelona El Prat Airport (by Pegasus) We booked a car from the Firefly office at El Prat Airport and our one-week-long adventures started.  This trip took us from Barcelona to Girona, then to Roses and Cadaques, and then back to Figueras to visit World famous Salvador's Dali museum, then again back to Costa Brava. Superb hotels and…

Amazon CPM ads review

Published: 9 December, 2014 seen 6,834 Affiliate Marketing Tips

I have been a proud Amazon Associate since this summer and during this time I have made some (as I think) pretty solid income from Amazon Associates program.Nowadays for me it's hard to remember what impulse got me to switch to Amazon, because for more than 5 years I have been using Google Adsense only to try to monetize my internet assets. But I'm glad that such impulse happened.Well - why I'm mentioning Google Adsense here? Simple - Amazon CPM ads (I will talk about them latter on this article) might be the real alternative for Google Adsense. I'm liking to look to both of Google Adsense…

Top 10 Computer Monitors

Published: 8 December, 2014 seen 4,991 Online Shopping

Update: For best selling computer monitor list, please visit Amazon. Recently I created a list with best selling desktop computers, obliviously desktop without a monitor is ain't fun. In this article I have listed top selling monitors on Amazon.  Brands will vary, starting from best selled - Dell, including Asus and ending with BenQ and even Acer monitor. Please note those items are available for sale on Amazon, by clicking on links on this page and by making a purchase on Amazon site, I will earn an affiliate income from that. Dell Computer E2414Hx 24.0-Inch Screen LED-Lit Monitor Designed…

World Tourism Highlights for 2013, UNWTO 2014 Edition

Published: 7 December, 2014 seen 2,596 Economic notes

Did you now that 9% of Worlds GDP in 2013 was made thanks to tourism and related services?It turns out that every 1 of 11 employees is employed in tourism sector. Tourism industry in 2013 generated $1.4 trillions in export, what is about 6% of Worlds export and pretty serious 29% of services export.World Tourism Organization (Image source: unwto.org)I didn't. But thanks to The United Nations World Tourism Organization (UNWTO) I learned that.International tourism in 2013 - key trends and outlookInternational tourist arrivals (overnight visitors) grew by 5% worldwide 2013,…

"Piena Ceļš Georgia" - Visit of Dairy Farm

Published: 6 December, 2014 seen 1,800 Farms

In my childhood there was a time I lived in countryside next to a cattle farm. They had around 100 cows and as for a child in a village were nothing else interesting is happening I spent pretty much time with cows though I never have milked a one. Some time ago in Tbilisi happened Georgian - Latvian business forum were a guy from Latvia (Jānis Bērtulsons) made a presentation of his company in Georgia - a dairy farm - "Piena Ceļš Georgia".  In Georgia there is a deficit for a milk, for a qualitative milk I mean. As far my understanding reaches it's made from milk powder. Just naturally that I…

Best Selling Desktop Computers in 2014

Published: 5 December, 2014 seen 5,615 Online Shopping

The year of 2014 rapidly is coming to the end - thus I decided it's last time to make an article covering Best Selling Desktop computers in 2014 - who knows, maybe computers listed here, will help you make a decision before buying a new or used Tower. Update: Top 20 Best Selling Desktop Computers 2017 (Office & Gaming) If honest - the last tower I owned was more than 10 years ago, when my mother bought as a gift some Intel Celeron PC with XP Home Edition it had some 32GB HDD and 128 MB RAM. Well, I'm glad full to my mom for such a great gift - because of it - it was my first real computer…

Drupal module: Hierarchical Select

Published: 4 December, 2014 seen 2,876 Drupal Development

Drupal module Hierarchical Select is a handy "must-have" module for sites that are heavily based on category terms and their childes. I have been using this module for some previous projects in combination with another, yet more simple module - Simple hierarchical select.Though there are times second module suits more than first - I still prefer first over second.About Hierarchical SelectThis module defines the "hierarchical_select" form element, which is a greatly enhanced way for letting the user select items in a hierarchy.Hierarchical Select has the ability to save the entire…

My Online Income Report - November 2014

Published: 3 December, 2014 seen 1,175 Online Income Reports

This is already my 11 online income report. I'm making an income report each month covering earnings I have made solely in internet and in general with my blog.Those reports keeps me track were I'm, were I was and were I'm heading to. I hope they can inspire some as well.About online income November 2014In total I earned $704.00 , what is a 392.96% increase if compared to previous month ($142.81)$704.00 makes average $23.46 in a dayIn brief - this November was a goldmine, it beat all previous best results and totalled in pretty serious $704.00. Well for some it might not sound a very serious…

Blog Traffic Report - November 2014

Published: 2 December, 2014 seen 998 Blog statistics

This is already 14 blog traffic report, this time covering November 2014.In short - November was a month of gainer, it beat all of my expectations.Blog Traffic November 2014 (Data Source: Google Analytics)My blog got 9,096 unique visitors what is a 90.09% growth if compared to previous monthIt's 4,311 unique visitor gain if compared to previous month9,096 unique visitors in a month makes average 303.2 unique visitors in a day. It's up from 154.3 in previous month.Though these number might look modest for some, for me it's a great achievement, I not only cracked 5,000 goal I set previous…

Average Salary in European Union 2014

Published: 2 December, 2014 seen 108,553 Investments

A time ago I measured what is the minimum government set wage in European Union (EU). It turned out - the most minimum wage is received in Luxembourg while the least in Romania. In today's article - average salary in EU for the year of 2014. Update: Average Salary in European Union 2018 Average salary in European Union 2014 Rank Country USD NET EUR NET Year 1 Luxembourg 3986.25 3189 2010 2 Denmark 3902.5 3122 2012 3 Sweden 3362.5 2690 2014 4 United Kingdom 3246.25 2597 2013 5 Finland 2912.5 2330 2014 6 Ireland 2700 2160 2013 7 Netherlands 2670 2136 2012 8 France 2660 2128 2011 9 Austria 2642.…

Best Selling Flat Screen TV's 2014 with Discounts up to 60%

Published: 1 December, 2014 seen 1,902 Online Shopping

Are you looking to upgrade your existing TV set with brand new Flat Screen TV? You have come to the right place - in this article I have listed 20 Best selling Flat Screen TV's on Amazon.You will find that on TV market dominates Samsung brand, followed by LG and less know brand of Seiki.Depending on you budget and needs you will find that best selling Flat Screen TV dimensions ranges from 32 inches up to 65 inches, while the majority of those best sellers are 40 inches wide.If honest, I'm into research mode for a Flat Screen TV on my own, and best-seller #1 on Amazon Samsung UN40H5203 40…

Tbilisi Film Festival 2014

Published: 1 December, 2014 seen 750 Events

Tbilisi film festival will be held in capital of Georgia, from December 1st - 7. Turns out this will be already 15th festival (haven't heard of it before though). After familiarizing  with program of this festival and presented movies on the list - I have decided to visit some movie seance (I'm not sure yet, how to obtain a ticket). You can find out more about festival programm here (it's PDF) or by visitig their official website: http://www.tbilisifilmfestival.ge/index.php?lang=2 About Tbilisi Film Festival Tbilisi International Film Festival was first held in 2000 within a larger art…