Thursday, March 26, 2009

Russian Beer on the Road to Tehran

I originally wrote this entry on August 30, 2004, and published it on

I've noticed people posting stories of beer drinking or photos of beer cans on their weblogs. Often one has a feeling that without a beer can in the background (or a wine glass in the foreground), questions may be raised about one's manhood. Well, here's mine, accompanied with the story behind it.

Earlier, I'd written about a trip to Isfahan, this past July.

On the road back to Tehran, the children were quite thirsty and I was, too. I stopped in Saveh, the city of pomegranates, and we started looking for a store. It was Friday, when most shops are closed, but luckily a couple of grocery stores were still open.

After some meandering through the maze of separated lanes, we were able to get into a lane that led to some stops. My wife, a true-blooded American (whatever that means), got off the car and went into one of the stores and used her very good Persian (of which I should be much prouder than I am) to purchase some drinks and snaks for us. The kids got a couple of different types of juices.

My reward was a frosty Russian beer, of the non-alcoholic sort, but in a tall can. It must have been past 40 degrees (Centigrade) outside and the old BMW I was driving had a broken air-conditioning. Just holding that beer can made me feel better. I opened it and took a sip. It was one of the best non-alcoholic beers I'd ever drunk.

How often do you read any praise of non-alcoholic beer in English? How often do you read any praise of it, in any language at all? In any case, I had to post a photo of the empty can, and kudos to the producers.

I'd heard about Russian (non-alcoholic) beer exports to Iran in a BBC television report. (No trace of the report can be found on the BBC web site.) Now, with a bit of web searching, I also found the news item on Baltika's web site. In any case, it was a great beer, and if I had a chance, I'd buy it again, in America, too!

Why we cooperate and adopt group purposes?

I originally wrote this entry on August 10, 2004, and published it on

Chester Barnard provides the following summary answer to this question:

Among the most important limiting factors in the situation of each individual are his own biological limitations. The most effective method of overcoming these limitations has been that of cooperation. This requires the adoption of a group, or non-personal, purpose. The situation with reference to such a purpose is composed of innumerable factors, which must be discriminated as limiting and non-limiting factors. The Functions of the Executive