Monthly Archives: July 2013

2013 Musings from Togliatti, Russia: Restaurants & Eating Out.

Eating Out in Togliatti. 

When you visit a place, you don’t really want to start cooking do you? So restaurants are going to feature. However, in my experience, this is something Russia hasn’t quite got to grips with yet.

We went in two places that had been previously OK that now have insect issues. One had beetle type things creeping around the corners, and the other some insect ran out of the menu at me as I opened it. The staff apologised and explained that the place next door had just been fumigated and all the insects had ran away into their restaurant. … Click here to continue reading this article

2013 Musings from Togliatti: Taxis and getting around in Russia.

The general theme of this small series of articles is to show how a provincial town in central Russia is slowly modernising over the years. I first went there in 2005, which gives me a good point of comparison when visiting in 2013 to observe changes.

Today I am going to discuss taxis and getting around.

Getting around. 

When I first went to Togliatti, when you wanted a taxi, you just stood by the road with your hand out and someone would stop. Negotiate a price before you get in and job done.… Click here to continue reading this article

2013 Musings from Togliatti: Russia is Changing.

I have just returned from a visit to Togliatti, so I thought I would make a few notes about the changes I see in this lesser visited part of Russia as an occasional visitor.

Readers may wish to comment, disagree, discuss, ask questions or whatever.

First impressions after a three year absence. 

Usually when you get on the road, you get the gargling paraffin taste in your throat that is the pollution. It is normally so bad that I need some antibiotics after a few days to quell my swollen throat.… Click here to continue reading this article

Samara KUF Russia Passport Control Problems

Samara Passport Control

I always found Moscow a bit of a pain to connect internally through (although I gather it has improved since I last went through there), and the flight is shorter from the UK to Frankfurt and from there to Samara. Plus the FRA-KUF route is served by Lufthansa and not Yuri Air so is usually on time and half decent. And being a German airline, the luggage usually arrives at the same time as me. Added to which, the UK to Frankfurt and then Samara is almost a straight line on the map.… Click here to continue reading this article

Choosing a Digital Camera

I have used the iphone camera too for almost everything since I had one. Cracking camera. But my wife wants one that makes that continual paparazzi shutter sound so she has about 200 of everything to choose from. Also, while the iphone camera is good; it has its limitations.

With the iphone camera, the pictures are pretty good, but the night shots are poor. Better than some digital cameras; but not that good. I find I have to switch off the flash and use it without flash to try and get a better picture.… Click here to continue reading this article

Thinking of Hostgator? Read this First!

I have been a very happy customer, and an enthusiastic exponent of Hostgator for some time. I think that is about to change.

I host maybe 20ish websites with them over 2 VPS’s. One VPS has one big forum on, the other one has a mixed bag of sites on – two are forums, an eshop or two and a few blogs and such.

In recent months, our server started going down for maybe 10 minutes at a time – now and again. I know this because I get the “nameserver failed” emails.… Click here to continue reading this article

Has Deletion Replaced Debate at TAZ?

The Admin Zone (located at and known as TAZ) is a discussion forum where people who run forums congregate to discuss running forums.

Run by an amiable fellow called Howard – aka The Sandman – it has been for many years a pretty well run forum that I am (was) a Premium supporting member of.

As can sometimes happen with forums, too many chefs spoil the broth, and the constant rotating stream of moderators and administrators allow some people the opportunity to be what they are not in real life: someone with influence.Click here to continue reading this article