Ron in Kuwait

I was just checking out Radio Free Europe’s website, and saw that my friend Ron Synovitz is one of the 400 “embedded” reporters on the Iraq-Kuwait border. He’s with the 3rd Infantry, and if you check out the RFE/RL website ( you’ll see his articles. (

This is all getting pretty weird.

The other thing that’s amazing about Ron is his absolutely _encyclopedic_ knowledge of the Beatles. For example, he once gave me the “Peter Sellers Tape” of the White Album – named because it was an early mix given to Peter Sellers by George Harrison.

My thoughts are with Ron tonight.

Last night’s DJing

Had a pretty good night last night DJing at Palac Akropolis. Played a six-hour set that ranged from Brasilian techno to nujazz for a small but appreciative crowd. What’s great about the Akropolis – besides being a great crowd – is the space; because it’s got wood walls, the acoustics are wonderful.

I DJ using my laptop, with the PCDJ Red software system. The reactions I get tend to be two-fold. A lot of the vinyl fetishists believe that DJing can only be done on vinyl, and completely deride anyone who doesn’t use turntables. And the other reaction comes from the gearheads, who will frequently come up and ask where they can get a cracked version of the software. I tell them that while there are cracked versions out there, the crack doesn’t work correctly. But PCDJ – with the DMC-1 controller – works great for me. It means that I have a record case of more than 2000 singles, and the ability to do lots of DJ tricks – stuff like loops, samples and beatmixing.

If you’re interested in trading mix CDs or tapes, let me know.

The Final Word

Much respect is due to Erik Best and his team at the Fleet Sheet, for putting out the Final Word, a daily e-mailed commentary on a single Czech news item. I look forward to its insight every morning, and you should too. Best – along with Sabrina Slonkova and Hana Lesenarova at MF Dnes – has been one of the few writers in Prague willing to make powerful enemies, and it’s safe to say that his line on Czech politics is very close to that of “the business community” (read as: “the expat business community”).

While the Fleet Sheet is a faxed news summary in English (and kinda pricey), Best sends the Final Word out for free (registration is required). How’s that for an endorsement?

Review of the day

I don’t know about you, but there are certain phrases or words that just crack me up whenever I hear ’em. In Missy Elliot’s “Work It”, for example, the phrase that always cracks me up is “gadong-a-dong-dong”.

In today’s The Mirror, they have one of those phrases:
In an effort to appear alluring, the busty one bats her eyelashes a dozen times so rapidly that viewers may think she is having a stroke.

Vote of No Confidence

Tomorrow afternoon (1400 CET/1300 GMT) the Czech parliament will vote on a no-confidence measure proposed by Prime Minister Vladimir Spidla. The vote should be close, with both the Civic Democrats and Communists openly saying they will vote against the somewhat shaky coalition. Considering that Klaus won by a pretty slim majority last week, party unity within the Social Democrats is at a new low, which could lead to some drama tomorrow afternoon.

Don’t Hate Me Because I’m Rich

Vaclav Klaus gave his first televised address to the Czechs as their president tonight, and while he didn’t say much in his 10 minutes, one point was interesting: he said that people shouldn’t be angry at their fellow citizens who have become wealthy since the revolution. But corruption is still rampant, and when people become wealthy without any good reason, it’s easy to see why people would hate the rich.