Why I Wrote the Adventures on the Amur

While living in Blagoveshchensk, Russia, I ran into a number of things that were amusing. Some I didn’t understand; some were just interesting. The two books in the Adventures on the Amur series (affiliate link) were explanations for me to understand the history of the area in the first, and a cultural moor in the second.

Every time I’ve visited a new country, I’ve had to adapt to the local culture. Sometimes, I’ve just had to accept the way things are. After all, I wasn’t going to change a whole culture overnight, or even in a couple of years. Others, I’ve had to fight against, like boofing in Africa during my stint in the Peace Corps (affiliate link to “My Life in the Peace Corps”).

The Treasure of Nikolai Nikolaevich

The first thing that piqued my curiosity was the fact that China gave Russia access to the Amur River, which allowed its river towns and shipping to reach Vladivostock. This important concession made it much easier for Russia to move supplies from inland to the coast and vice versa. When I did some research, I found out that the treaty was negotiated by Nikolai Nikolaevich Muraviov-Amursky, a man who many Russian bureaucrats at the time thought was too young to be governor over such a large mass of land.

How did he negotiate the treaty? What did he say to the Chinese to give their largest rival in the area access to the Amur River? The people I asked didn’t have an answer, and the only book that I saw, which could contain the answer was about six inches thick, written in old-style Russian, and in the local museum. So, I came up with my own story: The Treasure of Nikolai Nikolaevich.

The Curse of the Golden Kopeck

Growing up, I was always told, “See a penny pick it up and all the day, you’ll have good luck.” I would pick up coins all the time, and I was good at spotting them. When I went to Russia and found a 50-kopeck piece on the ground, my wife was appalled that I picked it up. She told me to throw it down and not to pick up coins. I didn’t understand why until someone told me about the magic that can be used with coins. The second in the Adventures on the Amur is loosely based on the Russian superstition of coins on the ground.

I wrote the Adventures on the Amur in the style of the Hardy Boys/Nancy Drew mysteries with a little touch of Indiana Jones. Come to Lincoln City Archery, and I will be happy to sign them. Or order them online at Amazon (affiliate link).

Lincoln City Archery and Books

At Lincoln City Archery, we have a wide variety of books written by self-published writers, including my own. These are books that you generally wont’ find in larger bookstores that rely on publishing house distributors. Many of our books are written or edited by local authors (including the range leader at our location).

At Lincoln City Archery, we provide archers the opportunity to increase their knowledge of traditional archery and practice their skills at our indoor archery range in Lincoln City, Oregon. Like traditional archery, reading books takes focus and concentration. Turning off your electronics and reading a book for an hour will improve your focus and concentration. If the story is good enough, it won’t even seem like practicing. Plus, it’s a great way to pass the time when you can’t make it to the range. Happy shooting, happy reading, and let’s get on target.

Affiliate links used in this article allow us to earn a small commission on your book purchase while costing you nothing. Thank you. If you would prefer to order your books directly from us, we will be happy to ship them directly to your home for $3 plus shipping if they are available.

Russian Wisdom: The Greedy Man Pays Twice, Especially for Razors

I’m not sure that this is the correct translation, but “the greedy man pays twice” or maybe “the cheap man pays twice” is something I’ve heard a couple of times while in Russia. My wife says it to me because I am always looking for the best price per unit. I know there’s something to be said for quality, but most of the time, the quality of an item isn’t worth the price increase.

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Could a Clever Cup of Tea Fix the World? How about 40 of Them?

Tea is huge in Russia. It’s a whole cultural thing. People drink tea at least three times a day – once between breakfast and lunch, again between lunch and dinner, and after dinner with a dessert. It’s not just tea, there’s always something, usually sweet, to eat with it. It might be a cake, cookies, a chocolate bar, or just jam or honey — bring your own spoon and dig in. The problem is I don’t really like tea.

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Cinco de Mayo in Far East Russia 2020

As far as I can tell, no one celebrates Cinco de Mayo in Russia where I live, which makes sense considering it’s between May Day and Victory Day. I have seen three “Mexican” restaurants in town. The drive-up never appears to be open. The one on a side road closed down and became something else, and the one at the mall actually serves pretty good Tex-Mex style food. The tortillas are all flour and more like wraps, but the salsa is often a fresh Pico de Gallo. If it weren’t for COVID-19 and the flood near the mall, we might’ve gone there today.

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March of the Immortal Army: Russian Victory Day, May 9

On May 9 every year, Russia celebrates its victory against the Nazis and Germany in World War II. The army parades down main streets in ever city. There are marching bands, tanks, and patriotism on display. People line-up on the curbs and cheering as the different groups march by. It’s a lot like America’s Fourth of July celebrations. However, there is one difference. After the parade is over, another parade starts: The March of the Immortal Army.

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Arbat in Moscow Photos: Check them out

While visiting the U.S. Embassy, we had a lot of time to walk around Arbat in Moscow. We went to the Patriarch Pond and to Bulgakov’s House, where he wrote “The Master and Margarita” (affiliate link).

Leaving Khabarovsk for New Zealand

We got up for our flight from Khabarovsk early. From the window, it looked like the skies were clear. We showered and made sure everything was packed. Our first taxi couldn’t make it t the hotel, but a second taxi was quickly dispatched and arrived. The roads were slick and ice covered. There were the fewest number of cars on them that I had ever seen in Khabarovsk. It was 6:30 am on a Tuesday; surely there should be more traffic.

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Black Star Burger in Blagoveshchensk before We Head to New Zealand

I thought we should start our vacation a little early this evening by going out to Black Star Burger in Blagoveshchensk. Black Star Burger has some of the least expensive food in town, but it doesn’t sacrifice any of the flavor. Burgers used to run about 75 cents each for the most basic; a recent price increase has seen them become about $1. They high-end burger runs about $12.

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Movie Buffs Rejoice! Russian Lobby Cards Coming to Lilac City Comicon 2019

If you love movies and movie memorabilia or you love a certain movie from the last couple of years, we’ll have something for you at the Penguinate table (A1). Our Russian lobby cards are double-sided advertisements for films given away at the Russian cinemas.

Lobby cards used to be a staple of the American cinema, but now, they are collectible and rarely seen at movie theaters in the United States. However, in Russia, movie cards are put out every week, and they are an exact replica of the Russian movie poster. We have brought a limited number of these cards from Russia to the U.S. for you to enjoy. These cards range in size from approximately 3×5 to 4×6 with some being more unique than others.

We have done our best to get the lobby cards from every film in the last year, and many of the cards are from foreign films. We have Marvel, Disney and DC lobby cards, as well as other top-rated films, including Godzilla 2.

Here is a complete list of the lobby cards we will be bringing to our table (A1) at Lilac City Comicon 2019. Come by and find your favorite movie (while supplies last).

24 Hours to Live
A Dog’s Way Home
A Quiet Place
A Star Is Born
Alita Battle Angel
American Assassin
American Made
Animation Film Ad
Aritmia (Russia)
Asterix and the Secret Mission
Atterados (Argentina)
Baby Driver
Bad Mamas 2
Bad Samaritan
Bad Times at the El Royale
Bahubali: Birth of a Legend
Big Road (Russia)
Blade Runner 2049
Bohemian Rhapsody
Brothers (Russian)
Byez Mnya
Chudo-Yudo (Russia)
Cold Pursuit
Cold Skin (Atlantida; Spain)
Cold War
Corridor of Immortality (Russia)
Crimea (Russia)
Daddy’s Home 2
Dark Mirror (Russia)
Darkest Minds
Day of the Dead: Bloodline
Death Wish
Dessert Ad
Disney Aladdin
Disney Christopher Robin
Disney Dumbo
Disney Incredibles 2
Disney Mary Poppins Returns
Disney Ralph Breaks the Internet
Disney The Jungle Book
Disney The Last Warrior
Disney The Nutcracker and the Four Realms
Disney Wrinkle in Time
Disney Zoopolis
Disney: Beauty and the Beast
Dva Khvosta
Early Man
Equalizer 2
Escape Plan 2
Fantastic Beasts The Crimes of Grindewald
First Man
Fixiki: The Big Secret
Foto na pamyat
Future World
Gangsterdam (France)
Giant Pear
Godzilla 2
Gogol Beginning (Russia)
Gogol Vii (Russia)
Gogol: Scary Place
Going Vertical (Russia)
Goosebumps 2
Green Book
Happiness! Health!
Happy Death Day
Hard Times (Russia)
Holmes and Watson
Hotel Transylvania 3
How to Train Your Dragon 3
I Feel Pretty
Island of Dogs
Jim Pykovka and Machinist Lucas
John Wick 3
Jurassic World 2
Just Getting Started
Just not them (Russia)
Klubara (Russia)
Kong: Skull Island
Ladybug 2
Lego Film 2
Lego Ninjago
London Fields
Lucky Logan
Magnificent 7
Marrowbone (Spain)
Marvel Ant-Man and Wasp
Marvel Avengers: Endgame
Marvel Captain Marvel
Marvel Kingsman: Golden Circle
Marvel Thor: Ragnorok
Marvel Venom
Marvel/ DC: Defenders (Russia)
Marvel/DC Hellboy
Marvel/DC Shazam
Marvel/DC: Justice League
Marvel/DC: Suicide Squad
Marvel: Avengers: Infinity War
Marvel: Black Panther
Marvel: Captain America: Civil War
Marvel: Deadpool 2
Marvel: Once Upon a Deadpool
Mary and the Witch’s Flower
Mary Queen of Scots
Mathilda (Russia)
May Bee
Maze Runner: The Death Cure
Midnight Sun
Millions (Russia)
Mission Impossible Fallout
Monster Family
Monster Island
Mortal Engines
Mowgli Decoy Planets
Murder on the Orient Express
My Favorite Dinosaur
My Little Pony
Night Games
Niproshchenyi (Russian)
Niscrushimi (Russian)
Ocean’s 8
Pacific Rim 2
Paddington 2
Pet Semetary
Piligrim (Russia)
Play or Die
Power Rangers
Prishelits (Russia)
Proza Brodyach Psob Anime
Ready Player 1
Red Sparrow
Robin Hood 2018
Robot Park Ad
Rossvet (Russia)
Santa and Company (France)
Saw 8
Second Act
Selfie from Hell
Serenity 2019
Shape of Water
Sicario 2
Skyline 2
Smurfs: The Lost Village
Snow Queen
Spascti Leningrad
Star Wars: Solo
Star Wars: The Last Jedi
Super Bobrovyi (Russia)
Tad and the Secret of King Midas
Tanks (Russia)
The Boy and the Beast
The Cured
The Curse of Llorna
The Dark Tower
The Foreigner
The Girl in the Spider’s Web
The Greatest Showman
The Hitman’s Bodyguard
The Hustle
The Kid Who Would Be King
The Legend of Kolovrat (Russia)
The Little Vampire
The Mercy
The Mountains Between Us
The New Year (Russia)
The Nun
The Predator 2018
The Professor and the Madman
The School (2018)
The Upside
Three Warriors and the nasledushi prestola
Three Warriors and the Princess of Egypt
Time of Monsters
Tobol (Russia)
Tomb Raider
Truth or Dare
What Happened to Monday
Who Is Who
Winchester: The house that Ghosts Built
Wish Upon
Wolf Obtsi
Wonder Park
You Were Never Really Here
Your Name
Zapovednik (Russia)