Businessman, author, climber, farmer, actor, speaker, consultant, and entrepreneur.

Back in the (former) USSR!

Lenin Statue

Lenin Statue

If you follow my blog, (OK, with the economic crisis some of you haven’t got all that much to do so why not follow John’s blog!) you will recall that last year as part of my sabbatical my family and I lived in Klaipeda, Lithuania while I taught at LCC International University as a visiting Professor.

The University offered to double my wages if I came back again and taught a class this fall. (Two times zero is still zero:), pay your own expenses, heck of a deal, it’s a mission right!)

I returned September 1st for 3 weeks to teach the Glo-Bus online business simulation class I taught last year. Sixty-seven students from the school are participating in the online business competition as part of 16 teams. Check it out at

The class will continue online with me coaching the teams online via Skype and Go to Meeting until the second week of December. Last year we had two teams in the top 50 in the world out of about 2500 teams competing. It is an exciting and dynamic program.

I did find some time for travel while I was in Klaipeda. I spent a long weekend in Tallinn, the capital of Estonia. It is a port city about 60 kilometers South of Helsinki, Finland. I hooked up with an Aussie tour guide, Andrew. ( He offered what he called Soviet Experience tours. I took three of his tours.

Lenin Statue

Lenin Statue #2

The first was a walking tour of Tallinn that highlighted soviet architecture and sights. One of the most interesting was a vacant field in the back of the Estonian National Museum. We ignored the entrance to the museum and went around the back to find a boneyard of Soviet statues, Lenin, workers, etc.

It was quite the scene. Apparently, the Estonians do not quite know what to do with this stuff. Twenty-five percent of the population is Russian and is offended if relics like this are destroyed… There is talk of plans for some kind of sculpture park but nobody is in a rush to do anything.

Speaking of rush…not Limbaugh, the next Soviet experience tour took me to Paldiski, the former Red navy base. When the Soviets decided to build the navy base at Paldiski and house nuclear submarines there, they were in a rush to hide that fact from the western world. Someone in the Kremlin came up with the brilliant idea of removing Paldiski from the maps. This would render this town of 16,000 that sits right on the Baltic Sea south of Helsinki with nuclear subs cruising in and out of it all day non-existent, right?

Sounds like the propaganda machine was smoking something weird that day! I am sure the CIA was trying to figure out what was wrong with their spy satellite that kept showing this port city in photos when it was no longer on the maps.

Paldiski fuel tank (I don't see anything either!)

Paldiski fuel tank (I don't see anything either!)

So why is an Aussie history buff the one offering Soviet tours in Estonia? He says the Estonians don’t think the Soviet history is at all interesting. They cannot imagine why a tourist would pay to see this stuff. To me, a child of the Cold War era it is fascinating to see what was going on behind the iron curtain. To each his own, I guess…

I’m back in the USSR

You don’t know how lucky you are, boy

Back in the US

Back in the US

Back in the USSR

To be continued….