Sunday, March 6, 2022

Visa has picked the wrong way to "support" Ukraine

Visa (and Mastercard) are suspending operations in Russia. Specifically, as regards Visa, cards issued inside Russia will not work outside of Russia, and cards issued outside Russia will not work inside Russia. Who does this hurt? Not the Russian government, which is responsible for the invasion into Ukraine. It hurts Russian citizens traveling outside Russia and non-Russian citizens traveling inside Russia (generalizing here to citizens having his Visa cards issued from their country of citizenship). Say you're doing business, vacation, mission work, or other general travel, and suddenly you are unable to pay for your hotel, buy food, or pay for travel, you're stuck in a foreign land with your payment means unavailable (assuming you didn't convert a bunch of cash to local currency upon arrival). Not sure that move by Visa (and Mastercard) is in the best interest of their customers, or that it will have much impact on pressuring the Russian government to end its invasion. (Not saying we shouldn't be doing things, just that we shouldn't be doing the wrong things and instead we should be doing the right things. Maybe Visa and Mastercard could, instead of stranding their customers, donate the profits from the fees on the use of their cards, Russian outside Russia and non-Russian inside Russia, to defense or humanitarian relief in Ukraine.)

Saturday, January 1, 2022

Welcome to 2022!

Happy new year! I left off my blog posts mid-May of 21, and there's no guarantee that 22 will be any more regular than 21, but we'll see. At least 21 ended much less eventfully (and less expensively) than 2020. Since the last post in May, my wife has taken the position of preschool director at our church's preschool, and what a first half year it's been for her! She's often at work well before 7 am and not home till after 6 pm, and I've taken up a lot of cooking (I do like to eat, so it was of necessity, at least at first). I've found I actually enjoy it much of the time, and many (but not all) of the meals have been pretty good. Maybe I'll share some recipes with you sometime (the oddest things I've cooked so far: squid bodies in a Brazilian black rice recipe and Szechuan peppercorns in Mapo Tofu). And maybe I'll get back to blogging. And maybe the next post will be more entertaining. Until then, though, happy new year, and a topato! Oh, and here's a picture of some turkeys: