Happy 3rd Birthday, Kraznoy!

After many false starts (notably the “Best Of Omaha” blog), Kraznoy.com was born three years ago today. Then, and now, it’s pretty much been a repository of the junk I pick up online, and the occasional weekly rant about life, cars, and whatnot.

In the three years I’ve been posting on here, I’ve gotten married, nearly completed my post-military committment, wrecked a car, and moved from Omaha, Nebraska to Leesburg, Virginia, and bought my first house in the process (just before the housing bubble burst). It’s been a fun, crazy few years, but hopefully it will calm down a little in the next three.

Going back to Kraznoy, I once explained (in a rather meandering fashion) why I named this blog “Kraznoy”. The original post is Here, but I thought it might be nice to tell you, in a more concise and cogent fashion, why this is Kraznoy, and not something else like DakotaSouth.com.

This blog was born under the name “Best of Omaha”. It was meant to be a weak slam against the city of Omaha, Nebraska, where I had lived for a few years. I figured my blog kind of sucked (which, at the time, it really, really did, as opposed to being “okay” now…), and no matter how bad my blog sucked, it was still better than Omaha.

I never really ‘got’ Omaha. It’s a nice city, with a relatively low crime rate in most areas, with an adequate arts and theatre scene, one of the best zoos in the country, and a brand new sports & concert venue, the Qwest Center. From the start though, I didn’t really want to be there. I was stationed at Offutt Air Force Base in next-door-to-Omaha Bellevue, Nebraska.

When I was in the Air Force Technical School near Biloxi, Mississippi, I was given the opportunity of making a wish list of bases in which I was to live and work from the get-go. I made my list, with only a couple overseas choices…and Offutt was not even on my list. Since one of the reasons why I joined the Air Force was to see another place, getting stationed somewhere less than 200 miles from where I was once living (the closest possible base to my hometown, no less) was not my cup of tea. However, the Air Force, in its infinte wisdom, decided otherwise. Long-story-long, in some kind of limp-retaliation against my situation, I started dumping on Omaha.

In the course of my stay in eastern Nebraska, my future wife Sarah moved down from Sioux Falls in order to hopefully advance in her retail career faster, and to be closer to me. My being in Omaha was a blessing in this case. However, I believe, deep down, that if we were really meant to be it wouldn’t have mattered where I was living.

In 2006, I left the Air Force, but stayed in the Omaha area by choice. I had a decent job, as did my wife, and we just didn’t want to move right away. Since I was now in Omaha by choice, I figured it was time to quit dumping on the city, and to change the name of my blog.

The problem was, what to change it to? I had various ideas over the course of a few months, and during this time I chose the temporary name of Kraznoy.

Kraznoy comes from Krasnoyarsk, the third largest city in Russian Siberia, with nearly one million residents. The city also appears in one of my favorite games (and time vampires), Civilization. In the game (the original MS-DOS version still being my favorite) you play one of the great civilizations in history, from the Babylonians to the Americans. In a sort of blend between Risk and Sim City, you build cities and armies out from a central point, and at times, skirmish with your neighbors.

I would normally play a nice-guy version of the game, trying to build where other nations had not, instead of simply conquering cities in blind conquest. However, the Russians were big bullies. No matter how nice I was, or how much larger my civilization was than theirs, the Russians would always attack at my weak points, forcing a confrontation and a total war, eliminating either them or me.

Because I didn’t normally like to play the game for the purpose of complete elimination of my enemies, I would normally play as the Russians. That way I could grow peacefully among my largely benign neighbors.

In the course of the game, you start off with recognizable city names like Moscow, Leningrad (or St. Petersburg), but eventually you’d get less familiar names, like Krasnoyarsk. I loved the hard “K” sound from the start and the end. It was just fun to say (and probably butcher in the pronunciation). Eventually I would use the city’s name in place of swearing. In fact, when I broke my toe, I yelled out “Kraz-noy-ARSK!!!!” instead of sending a torrent of bad words into the atmosphere like a dark cloud.

When it came to naming this blog, I figured my fake swear would be as good a placeholder as anything, until I could find a more suitable name for this blog. After several months of contemplating (and since “DakotaSouth.com” was already taken and turned into an adult website), I decided to simply keep the name, registering Kraznoy.com. I also changed the “S” to a “Z” to ensure the pronunciation remained correct.

So, that’s it, the history of Kraznoy! I’m glad you visited, and hope to see you again sometime. I’ll probably give you another nugget in another year. Until then, happy trails.

– Aaron Burman

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Filed under Anniversaries, Birthdays, Deaths, Blog

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