N & P: Jan. 31 edition

Monday, January 31, 2011

It was a quiet weekend at the Borderlands Lodge East, spent mostly acquiring new stuff for the apartment but also some new clothes. Time is tight in the imperial metropole, so dig into your N & P while it's still warm.

Attention would-be profilers: The Telegraph is reporting that the man suspected of carrying out last week's bombing at Moscow's Domodedovo airport is an ethnic Russian convert to Islam.

The evidence suggests they were right - but a photograph of the man suspected of masterminding the deadliest attack on an airport anywhere in the world has nonetheless shocked the nation.
Staring out from the front pages of their newspapers this weekend is not the usual dark-skinned, heavily-bearded Islamist terrorist they have come to expect and fear but an ethnic Russian who looks like millions of Russians' brothers, sons or husbands.

News & Propaganda: Jan. 27 edition

Wednesday, January 27, 2011

Snowy days, people, and busy times here in the imperial metropole. I'm getting increasingly settled, and the Borderlands Lodge in Exile is finally starting to run on its own power. And that's an especially good thing in this wet, cold weather. 

Erdogan's Newsweek editorial & Turkish diplomacy

Thursday, January 20, 2011

It's a busy week for Turkish diplomats, whose activities in various directions throughout Turkey's Eurasian-Middle Eastern-Mediterranean neighborhood underscore the Erdogan government's ambitious plans for improving relations with (most of) its neighbors.

Here are a few of the things going on:

Washington DC N & P

Wednesday, January 19, 2011

Yesterday was my first day as a "guest scholar" at the Woodrow Wilson International Center for Scholars. I think it's going to be a nice seven months.

The Woodrow Wilson Center has awesome facilities. I've got good office space, and there are loads of interesting people here--there appear to be about 90 scholars researching at the WWC's various institutes (of which Kennan is the biggest, but not the only one). Every day there are talks, seminars, meetings, and other forms of scholarly extravaganza taking place. I get a research assistant, and even a Woodrow Wilson Center coffee mug with my name written on it.

All in all, it's a pretty sweet deal. I'm very grateful to have the chance to do this--I hope my output lives up to my research facilities.  

Bozeman-DC Trek III

Wednesday, January 5, 2011

I made it to Ann Arbor today, and in record time! It took me just three days total, two days less than it took me to drive out to Bozeman from Ann Arbor two years ago (of course, MSU was covering the expenses back then).

The scenery today, from Davenport, Iowa to Ann Arbor, was not nearly as spectacular as that from the first two days of travel. 

Bozeman-DC Trek II

Tuesday, January 4, 2011

It's been a busy day today. I started in Rapid City, SD, hitting the road around 8:30. I felt bad about starting later than I'd wanted, but I'd slept so soundly Monday night and really felt like going at a comfortable pace in the morning. Either way, I knew it would be a really long day.

I made it across South Dakota fairly easily. There was very little traffic and, just like yesterday, the weather was gorgeous--bluebird skies and very sunny. This part of the trip passed quickly.

At Sioux Falls, SD (on the border with Iowa) I went south, switching from US 90--which I'd taken all the way from Bozeman--to 26 South. This took me down to US 80, which will get me to Chicago. From there, I'm taking 94 back to Ann Arbor.

Bozeman-DC Trek

Monday, January 3, 2011

I began my drive out to DC today. For now, I'm heading to Ann Arbor, where I'll spend a late Christmas with some parts of my family. After a few days, I'll head to DC.

I move a lot (until this year, I hadn't spent two consecutive years in the same abode since 98-99, and even now I'm traveling mid-year), but I always fret and sweat the details when I move. As crazy as this might sound, I've really become attached to my apartment in Bozeman. I love it--it's filled with light all day, I have a great view of the Bridgers, a concrete porch with a grill on it, and my own bar. What's not to like?

Nevertheless, I'm excited about the change of pace DC should offer. But that doesn't mean moving still isn't stressful.

I decided to drive to DC rather than fly for a number of reasons. For one thing, the work that I do requires a shelf-ful of dictionaries--one suitcase of mine is devoted only to books. But also I'll be in DC from winter through summer, so I'll need a change of clothes. And records (only 50 or so, but I suspect there are some record stores in DC), and a record player.