Friday, November 30, 2007

Saturday Jottings

  • Evel Kenevel is dead.  I think of him as a seventies pop icon famous for jumping over barrels and buses with his motorcycle.  His feats inspired the famous episode of Happy Days where the Fonz  jumped over barrels in front of Arnold's.  I wish instead I could be talking about the deaths of Evil Castro and Evil Chavez and Evil Ben Laden.  And while I am at it, I would love to Michael Moore tried to jump over a wall of matchboxes stacked one high.  I bet he couldn't do it.
  • Video #239 on Youtube.  See if you can tell me what Tony says.
  • I like Americans for the most part.  I would add that if you don't like Americans, you hate humanity completely.  But the Conservative in me is well aware of human limitations and the inability to achieve utopias on Earth.  I can't unabashedly love anyone except the Toner and the Wife but I know they are going to test me.  The three Americans I met last night at the Blue were alright.  Myron bought me a beer when I told him about it being Tony's 100th day.  Brent, the Reds fan, was like a Southern gentleman.
  • Video #237 on Youtube.  More of Tony B Smooth.
  • I heard that MI5 says that the Chinese are engaged in Industrial espionage on the Internet.
  • This explains everything. Maybe.  The picture of the mandala is nice.  I don't know enough to comment on the physics.
  • Will China's environment ever improve?  This article skirts the true causes of China's environmental trouble.
  • My father's doctor in Canada is from Ethiopia.   Great medical system we have taking doctors from the third world where they are in short demand.
  • Patterson (who works at English First) is looking good.  I can't get over how handsome he is.  I saw him Friday night at the Blue.  He was saying that EF's new location is not close to a good restaurant.
  • Luke Wells says The Wire is a good show.
  • Chicken Littleism?  The issue of world population is interesting being in a country that has a one child policy.  Despite the huge population, China has a generation of children growing up lonely because they don't have siblings just a lot of adults to live with.
  • The Chinese, I have been told, play pickup basketball like they drive.  Whereas on the road, they will cut you off and do all sorts of "not cricket" maneuvers; on the court, they will foul hard until you ask them "w.t.f.?".  Then it is "oh, sorry, sorry, sorry!"
  • In my apartment building, the Chinese often bring their bicycles and scooters on the elevator.
  • I am not the only one to notice long fuel lineups in the Wuxi area.  Others, at the Blue Bar, tell me they have seen them too.  That is what happens when the government subsidizes fuel prices.
  • China's Doomed.
  • Thursday night, Tony turned towards me and gave me a big smile.  Great feeling.
  • Trying to teach how to tell time to a primary school class yesterday was like trying to teach the dead.  How can 7:05 look like 45?  I don't get it.  It must be the teacher.
  • Ape_Unit is going to show the students a Woody Allen film in Saturday's afternoon movie salon.  The film be Annie Hall.  I wonder what they will think of it.
  • Yi Jianlian is China's second NBA star.  It is a good thing for an ESL teacher.  One can get sick of talking about solely Yao Ming.
  • Bradley got a shave and a haircut.  Looking clean!
  • Half the windows in the apartment are left open.  I am freezing in the morning.  But that is what the Chinese do.
  • Chinese women wear thick leggings that look like Soviet pantyhose.  This is if the Soviets ever were able to produce pantyhose.  It seems odd to see otherwise elegant looking women were Granny clothes.

Thursday, November 29, 2007

Tony speaks on his 100th Day.

See what I have to say at
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Things I have to get off my chest.

  • The Chinese are asshole drivers.
  • Mainland China is a cesspool of corruption.  And the proof is in their driving.  No one seems to think the rules apply to them.

99 days of Tony.

Counting the number of days, Tony is almost a century old. 100 days is considered a big milestone here in China so the day will be marked will a special party. However, I won't celebrate it till December 9 or day 109. Oh well. Above, Jenny pushes Tony in a pram.
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Tuesday, November 27, 2007

Lights Bulbs made in China.

Information about efficient light bulbs being made in China makes for an interesting blog posting with comments from Small Dead Animals.  I found this comment very funny:


Something made in China? Dog pees on fire hydrant. Try finding somehthing not made in China and then report back.

View From My Apartment

This is what I see when I look out the main window of my 21st floor apartment here in Wuxi, China and turn right. Here is what I saw the morning of November 28, 2007.
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Tony wants to tell you...

The Toner:

My 100th day party will be held Sunday, December 9 after 1800 somewhere.  My father forgot about the big WuxiLife affair that will be taking place December at the Kempenski.  Ah!  Fathers!  In life, you don't get to choose them.  Back to you Dad!

Wuxi Andis:

  • Ah.  Thanks son...  I guess.
  • Workers here sign ridiculous contracts with companies.  I heard about a girl who signed a five year contract with a company that stipulated she could not have a boyfriend, get married, and that she had to give three months notice before leaving otherwise she had to pay a 18,000 rmb fine.
  • Thing that surprised me most about China.  They blatantly ignore rules especially in traffic.
  • Tonight is my Friday night.  I am staying home.  And I don't mind.

Sunday, November 25, 2007

Suicide Bomber in Wuxi?

From Status of Chinese People, comes this entry:

By Yizhen Jiangu, The Epoch Times, Nov 16, 2007-

On October 22, an explosion occurred in Wuxi city, Jiangsu province. However, there were two totally different reports about the incident: one published on an official communist party website and one posted on a BBS.

The two reports clearly show the level of media censorship in mainland China.

The communist party version:

Taihu Mingzhu net reported—At 10:15 a.m., October 22, a homemade bomb exploded and wounded people in Wuxi. According to the investigation, Xu Guoxin, a resident in room 102, No. 38 Helie Street, Wuxi, had a dispute with neighborhood office staff regarding the termination of electricity to his home on October 21. The local Police Station quickly sent officers to handle the incident. During the dispute, the bomb that Xu was carrying exploded, seriously wounding police officer Wang and injuring Xu’s right arm. They were sent to The No. 4 Wuxi Municipal People’s Hospital for emergency treatment.

The BBS version submitted by Nu Hai:

At about 10:00 a.m. October 22, 2007, a suicide bombing occurred in the demolition project office of Wanda Commercial Plaza in Wuxi. A police officer died and the bomber’s right arm was blown off.

Sources revealed that the bomber, Xu Guoxin, 48, and a resident at room 102, No 38 Helie Street had tried several times to prevent the pending demolition of his home by a demolition company located in Helie of the City government. The company was not willing to negotiate with Xu and even hired thugs to beat him up, which caused Xu to suffer physically and mentally. However, the Helie police station refused to investigate the beating when Xu reported it.

On the morning of October 22, Xu reported to the power company electrical power to his home had been terminated. When an electrician investigated, he concluded that the electrical line had been purposefully damaged. Xu went to the demolition company, but once again he was beaten by a group of people and locked up in the company’s office.

Xu eventually escaped and reported what had occurred to the Helie Police Station; but again, the police refused to register the case. In his indignation, Xu returned to the demolition company office, this time carrying a homemade bomb at around 9:30 a.m. The group beat him again. Meanwhile, the company called the police. Police officer Wang Jianfeng and another civilian police officer arrived within a few minutes. When officer Wang reached for the bomb on Xu, it went off.

Wang sustained severe injuries to his abdomen and Xu had lost an arm. An ambulance took 25 minutes to arrive, and transported the two injured people to the 4th Wuxi Municipal People’s Hospital. The 32-year-old Wang Jianfeng died on the way to the hospital, leaving behind a 5-year-old son.

According to local residents, Xu had been unstable after his girlfriend broke up with him because he was unable to get an apartment from his work unit.

On the night of October 22, the official report concealed that the incident was caused by a pending demolition of Xu’s home, and changed the “City government demolition company” to an unspecified “neighborhood-related department.”

Saturday, November 24, 2007

Sunday Observations and Thoughts.

  • Any thoughts expressed today will probably be short on insight.
  • Big news:  John Howard was defeated in the Oz election.  I don't know who won.  That Howard lost is all I think about.  Being around for as long as he was, he must have worn out his welcome.
  • Walking to work I saw a van with UNICEF signage on it.  Interesting.
  • We will employ a babysitter for the first time to look after Tony.  I am working.  The wife has an event to go to.
  • The big weakness of our students: their listening.
  • The King of Wuxi was still ill last night.  He didn't join me and the wives on a trip to B & Q.  I am thinking of starting a charity.
  • The Italian Sports network, I can access on the TVU player, shows soft porn.  The Fox Soccer Channel is showing a replay of the Croatia - England match.  I was curious to see it the first time like someone would want to watch video of a car accident.
  • I have been watching the DVD copy I have of Seasons 1-4 of the Wire.  It is an excellent show.
  • Tony seemed to be interested in watching television.  As I have been saying, his awareness of his surroundings is increasing quickly.
  • This is not good.  I  can't access the contacts on my phone.  So, I can't phone anyone because I don't know their numbers.

Saturday Bloggings

  • Or should that be Blogings?  Nah!  Bloggings looks right.
  • One of my students has a mother-in-law who works at a bank in Wuxi.  The bank informed the woman that if she did not sell or sign-up 12 customers for credit cards,  her salary would be cut.
  • I am able to watch wrestling with the TVU player.
  • I can easily access blocked sites using a program called Hotspot Shield.  You can download it here.
  • Now, I am watching C-SPAN on the TVU player.  Cool.
  • I am strong to the finish 'cause I eat my spinach!  I'm Popeye the Sailor Man!
  • I will teach classes about cultural differences and pre-nuptial agreements.
  • B & Q gave us our credit cards.  Our wives will go shopping for apartment decorations.
  • Check out weird asia news.
  • Can I have a thought that can be three lines long?  Not yet.  Unless of course I change the font size.
  • I hope my American friends had a Happy Thanksgiving!
  • I asked students why Wuxi was better than Suzhou.  To be honest, they had more reasons to give why Suzhou was better than vice versa.  The best they could say for Wuxi was that it was more dynamic.

Friday, November 23, 2007

Wuxi Skyline Early Morning

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No Need to Panic Wuxi Expats!

  • The King of Wuxi is under the weather due to a flu.  But, there is no need for his subjects to panic.   Everything is under control! he tells AKIC.
  • I can't access my tumblr blog this morning.  So this is the only blog my rare Chinese readers can read.
  • David Warren has some interesting things to say about the accumulation of skyscrapers in Shanghai among other things. 
  • I was playing with the Toner last night.  I was helping him practice to grasp at things with his hands.  Being a parent has its priveleges and its joys.  The play will become more fun and sophisticated.  I can hardly wait.
  • England blew it against Croatia.

Thursday, November 22, 2007

Tony is 3 months old today!

It is hard to believe that he has only been with us with for three months. Way to go Toner! Thank you to my wife for all the hard work she has put in raising him. I have only been a bystander.
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AKIC Radio #2

No blogging today or tonight.  I am feeling under the weather.  But I was able to put this together.  Enjoy!!


Wednesday, November 21, 2007

I hate this interface its all in Chinese

You kown I wish google would get its act straight. I sign in in english but get Blogger in Chinese. Makes posting kinda hard

Wednesday Night Wuxi Impromptus

  • Most of this has been posted at my other site.  But scroll through, you may find some exclusive content.
  • Calling this bulleted list of blog entries, Impromptus is a rip off of Jay Nordlinger's columns on National Review Online.  Oh well.  I won't call it that every time.  It is just something to do today.
  • Toner Development Update.  He is becoming more and more aware of his surroundings.  He is grasping his hands together and is making attempts to grasp at things placed in front of his face.  I can get a smile out of him by saying A Goo!  And not only will he smile, he will say Ah Goo! back.    
  • I acted in a commercial this afternoon.  I pretended to be a cabinet designer for a Jiangying kitchen furniture company.  I was filmed considering, designing and questioning in an office atmosphere.  My name was Number 1.  I was also filmed referring to drawings and manuals before making etchings on a wall plan.  All very exciting.  The camera crew went out to the factory floor and I saw a CNC machine in action craving designs on pieces of wood.  I felt sorry for the workers there because they were breathing in sawdust and chemical vapors.  Thank you  Fred!
  • Here is another interesting looking site I have found on the Internet:  The People's Cube.  It bills itself as the Stalinist version of the Onion.
  • The wife left the bank card in the bank machine two days ago.  She panicked about it till I told her I had done it once before myself and that all one had to do was go to the bank the next day with I.D. and pick the card up.
  • A sight I love to see:  a little boy at a crowded Rush Hour Bus Stop wearing his pants around his ankles taking a piss.  I couldn't believe it.
  • Across the street from the bus stop and down the street from Ronnie's Australian Bar, I saw a bonfire on a street corner.  I have seen fireworks before but a bonfire?  I have no idea what the occasion was.  I will ask my wife.... 
  • The Wife tells me that a ceremony was being conducted for a rich person who died a long, long time ago.
  • I have to write a metaphor for what a teacher is.  My first notion was to say a teacher is like a character in a Hitchcock movie going after a McGuffin.  The idea of this metaphor being that there is a goal we have to keep in mind as we go through the plot or a class.  But the metaphor I really believe in is a teacher is like General Patton.  I think of two quotes attributed to Patton.  He may have said: "I don't want my soldiers to love me, I want them to fight for me!" and "Don't tell your followers how to do something.  Tell them what to do and they will surprise you with their initiative."  Now, I think both positive and negative things about human nature and so  I believe in both quotes.  Also, I believe teaching has to involve carrots and sticks.  And of course Patton was a great guy.
  • You should listen to AKIC radio.  The King of Wuxi is.
  • China is storing water from the Yellow River for use in next year's Olympic games.
  • I am always proud to show my wife's video work.  Here, she has taken video of a UFO that was hovering outside our building.
  • Every once in a while, rude comments are made on my Youtube videos site.  The modus operandi, of the people or person doing this, is to one day (probably after having drunk a few or smoked a few) look at my videos and enter the vilest of comments on many of them as possible.  They are often of a racist nature directed toward my wife.  I have had to block the user and remove the comments.  This morning I was thankfully able to block the user as he started to make vile comments.  So I only had to delete three comments...  But this person will be back a month or so and I will have to do it again.  And my name on the Internet is Andis, not Anonymous.
  • This passage will be an AKIC blogspot exclusive!  The King is losing weight.  The Duchess of Wuxi bought a sterilizer for baby bottles after she saw that my wife had one. 

Tuesday, November 20, 2007

AKIC Radio

AKIC radio is on tumblr now but I have to use Youtube so you can hear it.

Monday, November 19, 2007

Tuesday Random Thoughts

  • It is still interesting to walk to work everyday.  I see things I would never see in Canada and I slap myself sometimes as I walk through the crowds of Chinese saying to myself "how the hell did you end up here."
  • I love playing with the Toner.  He is now trying to grasp at things that I put in front of his face.
  • A site that I must visit everyday now is called Small Dead Animals.  It has to be the best Canadian blog.  Two recent postings about the late Prime Minister Trudeau and the RCMP generated a lot of comments that I found worthwhile scrolling through.
  • The better the students and  the more enthusiastic they are, the better it is to teach.
  • We will be having a 100 Days of the Toner party at the end of this month.  I am shirking the decisions of who to invite.
  • In the new apartment, The wife wants to put wallpaper, behind the sofa in the living room, that will have a large wedding portrait on it.  Apparently, this is now the thing to do for couples in China when decorating their new apartments.  I am horrified at the idea, but I am having a hard time talking the wife out of it.  She assures me that the wallpaper can be taken off when we move out of it.  I am not planning to spend the rest of my life in that apartment.  It is against my Gypsy, Latvian Diaspora nature.
  • How to describe Tofu?  It is like cardboard pulled from a lake but without the flavor.
  • The lunatic who hangs around the School as well as the next door Church has been singing hymns.  As I type, I can hear him doing his usual "whoop whoop" scream.  I sometimes envy the fact that the crazy can ignore the laws of decorum without remorse.
  • All the good restaurants in Wuxi have been going downhill lately or so the talk I have heard seems to indicate.  Among the restaurants cited, I have heard all the buffet places, all the Muslim restaurants and the Sichuan Girls restaurant have gone to pot. 
  • The Wuxi bureau of Foreign Trade puts out a bilingual magazine called Map that is sleek and glossy, and a must-read for all Wuxi Expats.  Visit for details.  The Wuxi editions of Map magazine are in second printings.
  • I am trying to think of things to do and talk about in my next two English Corners.
  • Luis ( has become an uncle.  Congratulations to his brother Marcos, and his wife Pamela on the birth of Sofia.
  • America is celebrating its Thanksgiving this week.  So happy Thanksgiving to all my American friends.  Marc Steyn tells Americans why they should be thankful and non-Americans should be thankful too.
  • For lunch, left-over pizza from Romanos (which has not gone down hill) and a egg and ham sandwich from Careme. 
  • Now that I have my Saskatchewan Winnipeg Grey Cup, who do I want to win?  I don't know.  This is one of those games where I hope the better team wins, as opposed to the team I am cheering for which, may or may not be the better team.
  • The egg and ham sandwich is making my stomach feel funny.  Oh Oh!
  • This is complete bullshit.  Everything in this article is wrong, wrong, wrong.  Governments ordering industries to do anything (for example,  directing Detroit to double all vehicle fuel efficiency) makes about as much economic sense as governments ordering prices for everything to be reduced 50 percent.  This columnist has forgotten the biggest lesson of the 20th century: "Command economies, that seek to rid the world of the profit motive, don't work.  They create poverty, environmental degradation and perverse results that are the exact opposite of what was intended."  There is a motive for creating affordable fuel-efficient cars.  That there are none on the market is because the technology is very hard to develop and government orders aren't going to change that fact.  Come on!  It is time to put central planning into the trash heap of history.
  • Chavez and the King.  The King of Spain saying to  Hugo Chavez "Why don't you shut up!" was an interesting incident.  The Left would say the  unelected monarch was being out-of-line by telling an elected leader of another country what to do.  But the right would say that this monarch is of a democratic pedigree citing his role in the transition of Spain from a Franco dictatorship to a full-fledged democracy.  The right would also say that Chavez is being a democrat in the manner of a Hitler who was able transform a fledging German democracy into a dictatorship. 
  • There are many unsightly piles of garbage in Wuxi which it seems are no one's responsibility to clean  up.  On my way to school this morning, I saw a pile of rubble removed from a shut down store front.  In the store front next to the pile of rubble, I saw a cigarette vendor and wondered how he could put up with having the pile so close to his business.

Against the verticality of the needle.

I have asked the students if they know about the Olympics that were held in 1976 in Montreal.  They've always respond that they don't.  It seems that the organizers of the 2008 Beijing Olympic games haven't heard either. 

Seablogger makes this comment about this article about a building in Beijing being constructed for CCTV to coincide with the 2008 Olympics.  This project that seeks to be "against the verticality of the needle ... and the principle of hierarchy" is meant to be a radical social statement. "  The building is to be

a "loop folded in space" -- two towers sloped together and joined by a gravity-defying canopy equivalent to 80 storeys in height.

Talk of canopy and towers reminds me of the retractable canopy roof on Montreal's Olympic Stadium that never worked as planned. 

Saturday, November 17, 2007

Sunday Blogging.

The wife and the Toner were still asleep when I left to go to work this morning.  So I had no chance to pick the Toner's brains.  I need some ideas for things to write about in this blog.


On my tumblr site, I am trying to post MP3 recordings.  Maybe, a future Wuxi Radio station will be able to use them.


It is cold everywhere in Wuxi today.


I am letting the Wife make most of the design decisions for the new apartment because she is more excited by having a house than I am.  If I had it my way, we would just rent from year to year and avoid the aggravations of apartment ownership.  But I compromised myself on this by agreeing to go along with this "you have to own a house" mentality. 

I have lived in thirty places or so in my life and yet I have never been able to find an ideal configuration for my living space.  I have always had to adapt and make the best of it.  A room with a book shelf and now a room with an Internet connection is all I really desire.  The world is too small to restrict yourself to a back yard with a swing set. 

If you ask me, this "having to own a house" morality is the biggest swindle ever perpetuated on the middle classes and now (thanks to the sub-prime fiasco) the lower classes.   The amount of crime that people get into in order to make mortgage payments and property tax payments must be astronomical.  For instance, the number of people in so-called respectable positions who have drug growing operations in British Columbia, Canada is saddening because there are so many.  Governments by "helping" people get homes are encouraging lawlessness by having them think having a house is a right and you are a victim if you rent.

Another reason I can't get all excited about apartment decorating is I have a better grasp of what is bad than what is good.  Wandering the aisles of the local B & Q, I found many bad designs and many good or okay designs.  Having to choose among the many okay designs, I might as well pull one out of the hat.  None of them say "this is You!" or "This says everything that can be said about the themes of your existence!".  The Wife seems to have stronger opinions on these design matters than I do anyway, so I will let her decide.  Being disagreeable for the sake of appearing to be disagreeable so as to not look like you are being dictated to is something I don't have energy for.

But if I don't have Internet, I will put my foot down and in a jackbootish manner too so don't no one say Andis is being bulldozed by the Wife again.


Now that Israel has beaten Russia in a crucial Euro 2010 qualifying match, English fans can under no circumstances blame George Bush if England does not qualify.  As a matter of fact, if they believe the crackpot theories about the Israeli Zionist Neocon cabal controlling George Bush's every thought and move, they should be thanking the Neo Cons and buying subscriptions to Commentary magazine.  As a person of Latvian origins, I am glad to see the plucky little democracy stick it to the wannabe Imperialist power.  From one plucky democracy to another:  Bravo!

Friday, November 16, 2007

British Columbia against Saskatchewan.

Okay sports fans and punters, here is my coin toss divination of the 2007 British Columbia - Saskatchewan Western Final that will be played Sunday in Vancouver, Canada.  The winner will meet, if the first results of my dissimilation are correct, Toronto in the Grey Cup.  The rules:  Each team get nine turns.  On each turn, you score points by tossing heads but if you get a tail your turn is over.  Most points wins. 

Saskatchewan will toss first.  I am using the flipper at

Saskatchewan gets four heads.  Score: Saskatchewan 4, B.C. coming to toss.

B.C. gets one head.  Score: Sask 4,  B.C. 1 after one turn.

Second turn: Sask gets one head.   B.C. tosses a tail.  Sask 5, BC 1.

Third turn:  Sask tosses a tail. BC tosses a head.  Sask 5, BC 2.

Fourth turn:  Sask tosses 2 heads.  BC tosses a tail.  Sask 7, BC 2.

Fifth turn: Sask tosses 4 heads.  BC tosses a tail.  Sask 11, BC 2.

Is it turning into a rout?

Sixth turn: Sask tosses a tail.  BC tosses 5 heads.  Sask 11, BC 7.

Seventh turn:  Sask tosses 2 heads.  BC tosses 1 head.  Sask 13, BC 8.

Eighth turn:  Sask tosses 1 head.  BC tosses a tail.  Sask 14, BC 8.

Saskatchewan's ninth turn:   they toss a head.  So the score: Sask 15, BC 8.

So BC has to get 7 heads on its last turn.  Can they do it?

BC tosses a tail.  Game over!  Saskatchewan goes to the Grey Cup with a 15 to 8 victory.

Here is the final line score.


Sask  4 1 0  2 4 0  2 1 1   15

B.C.  1 0 1  0 0 5  1 0 0    8

So the coins say Saskatchewan will play Toronto in the 2007 Grey Cup.

Toronto Winnipeg match continued.

So Folks!  After six turns, the score is Toronto 6, Winnipeg 3.  There are three turns to go, let us see how the match ends...

Again, I am using as the coin flipper.  The rules in short: Heads get a point and another toss, a Tail means end of turn.

Winnipeg gets a tail on its seventh turn.  The score: Toronto 6, Winnipeg 3.

Toronto gets four heads on its seventh turn.  The score: Toronto 10, Winnipeg 3.

Winnipeg gets two heads on its eighth turn.  The score: Toronto 10, Winnipeg 5.

Toronto gets two heads on its eighth turn.  The Score: Toronto 12, Winnipeg 5.  It is turning into a rout.  Winnipeg needs to get seven heads on its last turn or the game is over...

Winnipeg's first toss on its ninth turn is a .....

TAIL!  The game is over!  Toronto wins 12 to 5.



Here is the linescore:


Winnipeg    2 0 0  0 1 0  0 2 0  5

Toronto      2 0 0  2 0 2  4 2  x  12

In the next match up, Saskatchewan plays British Columbia (B.C.).

An ongoing Saturday Journal

It is 940 AM.  I am at work.  Luis sits at a desk near me. 

The weather: gray, dismal and a little cold.

For breakfast: a sausage egg burger and coffee from McDonalds.

Go to to see the end result of the Toronto- Winnipeg match I started yesterday.

The wife and Toner are at or on the way to the new apartment is take measurements for the company that will be decorating our apartment.

The Toner was in a happy babbly and gurgly mood.  He is becoming more responsive which I live to see except when it causes him to cry.

My first class at 1000 AM is a business plus private class.  Business plus is the first part of the old business plus plus.  Understand?  Probably not, but I don't care at this point.

Off I go to the class!.......

I was thinking about how my shower has only two water temperatures: too hot and cold.  Warm water only comes in short durations.  And I mean very short durations.

A common mistake many foreigners make when they first come to China is to think that cars will stop at  crosswalks...   They don't.

Popular cigarette brand for foreigners in China:  555, Zhong Nan Hai, and Honghe.

Oh yes.  I completed my class.  I told the student that sometimes we can use the simple past tense and the simple present prefect interchangeably.  For example, we can say "I went to the store." or "I have gone to the store.".  However, we must be careful.  Saying "I have been to Sony." or "I was at Sony." mean very different things.  The first is a very general statement about your past.  The second is about a specific time in the past.

Luis is watching the polemic Sicko on his computer.  He says the visit to Cuba was complete bullshit.

In AKIC blogspot, I have been trying to divine the results of Sunday's Eastern and Western Division finals, that will determine the teams playing in the 2007 Grey Cup game, by tossing coins.  Now if you have been following this blog closely, rare reader of mine, you will know that I have been praying for a Saskatchewan - Winnipeg Grey Cup...

Oh Lord, I beseech thee.  Let the Roughriders and Blue Bombers play in the 2007 Grey Cup game!  I will make a sacrifice tonight!!  I forgot to mention in earlier plays that I wanted God to have Saskatchewan and Winnipeg play in the 2007 Grey Cup.

What is going on with AKIC? you ask.  Is he abandoning reason with his praying and divinations?  No!  He is having fun making blog entries.

Speaking of Saskatchewan, here is an excellent blog from the Canadian province.

I am working through the abridged World War II memoirs of Winston Churchill.  I laughed at a couple bits where first WC told FDR that if he didn't win the 1940 presidential election, he would nominate FDR to be the archbishop of Canterbury; and then at a passage where Churchill said there was nothing wrong with being polite to someone before you were about to kill them after he was criticized for being too polite in a note he sent to the Japanese informing them that a state of war existed.

Tune into the latest edition of Radio Derb.  It is hosted by John Derbyshire, a Brit turned Yank, who is something of an expert on China, and like me has a Chinese wife.

President Vaclav Klaus of the Czech Republic: "What is at risk is not the climate but freedom…I see the biggest threat to freedom, democracy, the market economy and prosperity now in ambitious environmentalism, not in communism. This ideology wants to replace the free and spontaneous evolution of mankind by a sort of central (now global) planning"…

CS Lewis: "Of all tyrannies, a tyranny exercised for the good of its victims may be the most oppressive. It may be better to live under robber barons than under omnipotent moral busybodies. The robber baron’s cruelty may sometimes sleep, his cupidity may at some point be satiated; but those who torment us for our own good will torment us without end, for they do so with the approval of their own conscience.”

What a joy, it is to read Letters to Marc Steyn.

For lunch, instant noodles.  Yucky Poo!!

I forgot my umbrella!  God Damn!!

The moral case against the Kyoto and Global Warming bunch.

David Warren, in this column, makes the moral case against the Kyoto protocol and the Climate Change crowd who want to impose a regulatory regime on the world that seeks to "guide us to a less carbon-choking future."   It makes no sense, says Warren that " "market forces" must be resisted ... to achieve a moral end."  "What all regulatory regimes end up doing", says Warren, "is punishing virtue and rewarding vice."

David Warren also says:

the planet is being poisoned, on an unprecedented scale, by the kind of crude and irresponsible industrialization that is encouraged by authoritarian, centralized regimes. (Mainland China comes to mind.)

Exactly the point I made a few weeks ago in response to a comment made about my "What will Al Gore do about the Chicoms."  Apparently, Al Gore was only chiding the Americans.  China had a grip on fixing its environmental problems....

Thursday, November 15, 2007

Coin Toss game: The First Six Innings.

This is a game I play to pass the time and it is very easy to play.  Each team alternates tossing a coin.  If coin toss result is a head, you get a point and another toss.  If the coin toss is a tail, the turn is over.  Each team gets nine tosses.  The team with the most points win the game.  If the teams are tied after nine tosses, each team gets a turn till the tie is broken.  In the match I will be serializing, Winnipeg is playing Toronto.  Winnipeg is playing Toronto this Sunday for a berth in the Grey Cup.  I play this coin-tossing game hoping to replicate the excitement of this Sunday's football final.

I will be using the coin flipper at

Winnipeg on its first turn gets two heads before getting a tail, so the score is Winnipeg 2, Toronto 0.

Toronto on its first turn gets two heads.  So the score after one turn is Winnipeg 2, Toronto 2.

On their second turns, both Winnipeg and Toronto toss tails.  So the score after two turns is still Winnipeg 2, Toronto 2.

On their third turns, Winnipeg and Toronto again toss tails.  So the score after three turns is still Winnipeg 2, Toronto 2.

On its fourth turn, Winnipeg tosses it fourth straight tail.  Score still Winnipeg 2, Toronto 2.

On its fourth turn, Toronto gets two heads.  Score after four turns is Toronto 4, Winnipeg 2.

On its fifth turn, Winnipeg gets one head.  Score is now Toronto 4, Winnipeg 3.

On its fifth turn,  Toronto tosses a tail.  Score after five turns is Toronto 4, Winnipeg 3.

On its sixth turn, Winnipeg tosses a tail.  Score still Toronto 4, Winnipeg 3.

On its sixth turn, Toronto gets two heads.  Score after six turns is Toronto 6, Winnipeg 3.

I will complete the game in a future blog entry.  Stay tuned.

Opinions to give to the students.

I am doing a Speaker's Corner Friday afternoon at 1600.  I will ask the students to offer opinions on these statements:

Cats make better pets than dogs
They score too much in basketball.
Suzhou is better than Wuxi.
McDonald’s is better than KFC.
Yao Ming should be the next president of China.
All men should have long hair.
We should have eyes on the back of our heads.
They should not sell toy guns in department stores.
Wuxi needs more trees.
Talking to women is like talking to a wall.
Families should take baths together.
The Great Wall should be longer.

I hope they have  imaginative answers.


Meanwhile, a top Chinese official says there will be minimal environmental damage from the Three Gorges Dam.

Roger L. Simon thinks Barak Obama really does not want to be president.

He loves, he hates me: that is the way it is with my son The Toner.  When he is friendly to me, he gives me the biggest of smiles.  When he wants his mom, he wails like a banshee.

I will be doing an email newsletter with the King of Wuxi.

I may be acting in a commercial next week.

This morning, the Toner kicked off his sheets.  He was so full of energy.

We will be borrowing money from the B and Q in Wuxi for apartment decorations.

Here is an entry in the Shanghai Daily about collective renting.  I find  Huang Yuhong's response to the question unintentionally funny.

Losing Weight?

Am I losing weight or I just look like I have lost weight because I am skinny?  You can look at the photo albums at and decide for yourself.  I have been told for the last twenty years that I look like I have been losing weight.  You would think that at one time I weighed 250 pounds: so much weight I have been losing through the years.  But I weigh about 170 pounds (I am 6'2") and have done so for as long as I remember.  I also work my ass off so I have that overworked look...

This entry is being written on account of the maid of the King of Wuxi telling me that I looked as though I had lost weight.  I immediately thought that work, marriage and the Toner were getting me.  But life is as good as it has ever been for me.  Life is just Life.  I know I can't let it get to me.

I did weigh 200 lbs for about a month back in 1983 or 1984.  What I did to gain weight was to force myself to eat more than I could normally handle for about a period of two months.  I found a good tactic to swallow the food was by drinking a glass of water to get the food down my throat.  I did this three or four times at some meals.  Six weeks of doing this and I gained about 20 pounds.  But then a hot Manitoba summer caused me to sweat if all off.  My time as a fat pig did not last long.

It may also be that living in China for three years, I just have eaten less.  There is good food here.  But most days, I only have time to go to McDonald's.  The good Chinese food I have maybe once or twice a week.  Around school, there isn't a Chinese restaurant that satisfies my need for convenience, tasty food and cleanliness.

The only exercise I get is walking to and from work, and walking four flights of stairs to get to the classrooms and other offices at the school.  One person at work has suggested that my office being four floors from a printer has caused me to lost weight.

Can I blame the wife's cooking?  Maybe.  But her monopolizing the kitchen and my inability to understand her strange cleanliness standards (for anyone Chinese to have cleanliness standards is shocking and if they do they are strange) has seen me cook rarely.    The fact of the matter is, I am the best cook, next to my mom, who has ever cooked for me.  My wife's cooking is fine but I have to teach her how I like to cook. 

That is why I insist that our kitchen in the new apartment have a western style oven in it.  (Most of the details of the decorating the new apartment I will leave to the wife.  I only insist on there being a stove and book shelves.)

Wednesday, November 14, 2007

Fuel Line Ups in Wuxi

I was being driven about Wuxi yesterday when I came upon two very long lineups of Trucks waiting for fuel.  I have taken a video which you can see below.


Tuesday, November 13, 2007

Brazil versus China.

I have a student, living in Wuxi, who comes from Brazil.  I asked her to compare Brazil to China.  She told me that China is richer than Brazil, and that Shanghai and Wuxi are safer cities than her native Sao Paulo.  Crime, she tells me, in Sao Paulo, Brazil is terrible.  It isn't safe to walk the streets at night.  She had a necklace torn from her neck once.  Her husband's grandparents were kidnapped by bandits who took their car so they could steal a stereo.  Corruption by the Brazilian police is rampant....

The Toner don't much care for his father these days.  I have no idea why.  Maybe, I am not as soft as his mother.  Maybe, he don't like my stubble.  Maybe, I hold him too tight.  Maybe, he does not like being the subject of my Youtube videos like this and this.


Think Saskatchewan Winnipeg Grey Cup. 

Monday, November 12, 2007

Dare to Dream! A Saskatchewan - Winnipeg Grey Cup!

The Canadian Football League is not as good as the National Football League, the World's best sports league.  The NFL is the first and last word in manliness and machismo and mano-a-mano.

Be that as it may, I still follow the Canadian Football League.  Next weekend, the league holds it division finals with the winners of these games earning berths in the Grey Cup game (Canada's Super Bowl or Grand Final or F.A. Cup final) to be held the weekend after.  In the East final, Winnipeg will play Toronto.  Any person who believes in fundamental human decency must cheer for Winnipeg.  If you still like Stalin after all these years and are in denial about his crimes, you can cheer for Toronto.  In the West final, Saskatchewan will play British Columbia.  I have no reason to justly condemn either of these Western Canadian cities, but I will cheer for Saskatchewan because their are the CFL's perennial underdog team. 

Saskatchewan and Winnipeg victories in the finals would set up an unprecedented Saskatchewan - Winnipeg Grey Cup, a Prairie Grey Cup as it were.  But for this to happen each team must win on the road against heavily-favored big city rivals.  That is why I say:  Dare to Dream!  Go Bombers!  Go Roughriders! 

Sunday, November 11, 2007

The King did not tell anyone to shut up!

The king did not tell Andiso Khavez to shut up!  But he had no reason to.

Norman Mailer died.  So I am spending the next few days reading the opinions about him.  Here is an unfavorable opinion about him.  I can't say to have read him.  I guess the literary world I have been reading in has never caused me to pick up one of his books.  I can remember seeing him on television.  I can remember watching a replay of this CBC panel show where he and Malcolm Muggeridge were having a discussion.  Mailer had to leave the program to catch a flight.  It was the only time I had ever seen a guest on a show do that.  It was bizarre.  He had told Muggeridge that they differed about where to draw the line on morality.  From what I have heard about Mailer's life, the line may not have ever been drawn.  But, Mailer was a talker with a strong personality.  He had a literary appearance made for T.V.

Coffee with the King

I had coffee with the King last night as I helped him to edit something he is doing for his wife's website.  We went to the Coffee Bank in the New District.  Its exact location, if I recall correctly, is in the plaza that is across the street from the baseball stadium.  I would recommend going there if you are in the area.  Coffee Bank is spacious, comfortable and clean.  It is the fourth Australian establishment, after Ronnie's, Bolters and the Blue Bar operating in Wuxi.  The Coffee Bank's menu features typical Australian fare like burgers.  For those of us who live in the downtown of Wuxi, its location is its one drawback.  But the King informs me that the place does good lunch time business.

Coffee with the King of Wuxi.

I am going to have coffee Sunday night with his majesty, the liberator of Hans Island, the King of Wuxi.  I will ask his majesty if he can top what his fellow royal King Juan Carlos of Spain did to Hugo Chavez.  Who in Wuxi can the King tell to shut up?

Saturday, November 10, 2007

Remembrance Day in China.

I was hoping I would be able to wear a poppy today.  My parents had sent me a couple of the plastic lapel ones but I can't find them in the piles of junk we have in our currently small apartment. 

Yesterday, I told some students in one of my classes about Remembrance Day.  I told the students that on this day we honor the soldiers who lost lives fighting for Canada.  I then assumed and so said that June 1 (Army Day in China) was a similar day. 

The students then told me that June 1 was not a day for remembering the soldiers who died for China.  It only marked the establishment of the Chinese Communist Army.  Soldiers who for example fought for the KMT against Japan were not  to be honored.  The Chicoms want their people to only think about the party and its army because of the Civil war.

I was surprised that the students would inform me of this and of my naivety about the situation.

The Kaulins Family has Dinner with the Royal Couple of Wuxi Expatdom.

The place: the Xinjiang Restaurant on Jiankang Road.  The event: dinner with Mister and Misses King of Wuxi.  It was a great honor for us Kaulins's, mere mortals that we are, to be in the presence of such august people. 

The King of Wuxi is a fabulous raconteur and teller of funny anecdotes.  It has been said that four persons have choked to death while eating and listening to the King tell his knee slapping belly chortling tales of amusement.  The King has the ability to make the banal seem sublimely humorous.  I, at the dinner, choked three times as he told me about some bread he ate but it was worth it.  The King's humor is unprintable, not because it uses foul language, but because it uses superb techniques of physicality combined with a drollness that written prose will not be able to replicate until another Shakespeare or PD Wodehouse comes along.

Misses King of Wuxi is of course a beauty along the lines of Jackie Kennedy and Audrey Hepburn.  Misses Royal K has the ability to appear graceful no matter how many drop dead from her husband's jokes.

The King of Wuxi, by the way, is on a diet.  He has lost 13 or 30 kilos.  I can now put my arms around him when I hug him.  The Coca Cola company, unfortunately, will have to lay off workers.


My spies tell me that the crowds at the Blue Bar and Ronnie's were about the same Friday night.

A Student named Haven

I asked a student named He Cheng if he had a English name.

He replied "haven."

"What do you mean?" I replied.  "Do you have a English name or don't you?"

"I do have an English name!" he replied.

"Well, what is it?" I asked.

"Haven" he replied.

"So DO You or Don't you have an English name?!?" I asked again.

He replied "Yes, Haven!"

After several rounds of this "Who's on first" routine, I figured out that the student's name was Haven pronounced Haven't without the "t".

Friday, November 9, 2007

A quote

Never tell people how to do things.
Tell them what to do and they will surprise you with their ingenuity. 
 - General George Patton Jr

Those thieves never give up.

In an earlier entry, I had told you about these thieves who run after cyclists from behind trying to pickpocket them.  I have seen them twice at a location near our apartment building.  My wife has seen them three times now including yesterday.  These thieves never give up.  I may well be able to take a video of them in action.  I will just have to ascertain their schedule.

So if you are on a bicycle and you see a couple of dirty swarthy looking types eyeing you.  Watch your back pocket.

It is cold in the mornings now in Wuxi.  For the first time this fall, I can say I was shivering as I stood outside.

Nothing could be finer than playing with the Toner while having a Sinatra TV Special playing in the background.   And I was watching the special Frank did with Ella and Antonio Carlos Jobim (Antonio could be another name for me to call the Toner).  As Sammy Davis Junior, would say "it was heaven baby!".  I sung to the Toner.  I couldn't tell if he cared either way if I sung.  But I hope he appreciated the good vibes I felt...

But then the wife said the special was noisy!  Oh!  Apostasy on Sinatra cannot be tolerated.  To deny Sinatra's greatness is to deny the laws of gravity.

A student tells me he will go shopping tonight (Saturday) at Carrefour.   I told him I could not stand to go there at that time of the week because it is always too crowded (one cannot move easily among the aisles let alone find a short lineup at the checkout).  But as he said, "This is China.  It is crowded everywhere!".

Antonio Carlos Jobim Kaulins.  That would have been a good name for my son.   Oh well.  Maybe in a next life.

Tomorrow is Remembrance Day.  Lest we forget!

I see groups of foreigners on their way to Nanchang temple.  I saw Americans with UNC caps talking in southern drawl.

For lunch today, I am eating an egg salad sandwich from Careme.

If you have read this far into my blog, I will tell you  I love you deeply and passionately my rare reader.

If Al Gore had won the election in 2000, his vice president would have been Joe Lieberman who supports the war in Iraq.  Now, Lieberman is persona non grata in the Democrat Party because of his stand.  Meanwhile, John Derbyshire, who does not support the Iraq war still gets to write columns for the conservative National Review.  I abandoned the left wing because of its intolerance and when I learned that 95 percent of all conservatives are not the bigots that the left wing accuses them of being.  Rush Limbaugh's characterization of most lefties and liberals as being people with good hearts but bad ideas is a more generous view of his opponents than his opponents are willing to give him.  Rush to me is an agent of tolerance.

Thursday, November 8, 2007

Language School collapses in Japan

News for all ESL teachers to consider.  Nova, the leading English school in Japan has gone bankrupt.  3,000 teachers are without work.

Is this something to worry for those of us in the ESL industry in China?  It would be if Nova's management techniques are followed.  Apparently, Nova had been in trouble with regulators for false advertising.  It may also be that the demographics of Japan have played a part in the decline of demand for English instruction.  Nova did over expand.  Japan's population is getting older and being well-off, they don't see the need to learn English.  In China, English is needed to succeed in business so the demand will  be high for the foreseeable future.  However, we can never be complacent.  Schools like the one I work for have to ensure that the students get value for their money and that they do improve their English.  We would be remiss if we didn't learn all we could from the Nova debacle.

Wednesday, November 7, 2007

Mother-In-Law sees me on television.

Sometime last year, I had the chance to be an extra in a made-for-tv movie called Beiping Xiaojie.  That movie has just recently aired on CCTV8.  My wife tells me that her mother spotted me three times in the background of the movie.

Sesame Bread Pigout with Cheese.

Every time I go to Carrefour, the French supermarket chain in Wuxi, I try to buy two loaves of sliced sesame street bread.  As soon as I arrive at the apartment and have put away the groceries, I will have pig out on the sesame seed bread.  That is, I eat so ravenously and quickly that the bread is gone in three minutes.  And I am talking both loaves...

This afternoon, I got some cheese slices.  So I will have Cheese Sandwich Festival.  As John Derbyshire says, two weeks of Chinese food and you find yourself craving the simplest things like a cheese sandwich.

I made the wife an sandwich, but she wants me to put a chocolate cheese slice in.  Chocolate Cheese!  I had never heard of such a thing.  Speaking of which, the wife showed me a package of almond juice powder she had bought and asked me if I would like it....

Shears instead of Scissors.

I got my haircut yesterday.  I told the wife to take me to a place where they would cut my hair short using electric shears instead of scissors, like they did  the last two times I had my hair cut.  Those times watching the stylists cut with scissors was an annoying experience.  They kept plucking and plucking away when electric shears could have done the job in 3 seconds.

Thankfully, yesterday, the wife took me to a place that had shears and so my haircut seems cleaner if still somewhat uneven and hacked.

Incidentally, going into these salons, you will see a lot of effeminate looking men.  Companionship among the Chinese involves a lot more touching and closeness than people in North America are used to so it can seem strange.  But China is a country where space is at a premium.

Tuesday, November 6, 2007

Morning with the Family. I see Fred's brother.

This morning, I am happy blogging and holding onto the Toner.  I used the Snuggler (a kangaroo pouch like device) to hold onto Tony this morning and he fell asleep in my arms without slipping downwards.  Having to lift him and readjust his position and clothing is the annoying part of holding him.

The King says I look like Clint Eastwood.  My hair which had been short has taken to standing up like spikes.  This upward hair stance seems to highlight my glaring features as well as make me resemble Dirty Harry.  I would prefer to look like Voltaire.  But to have a awesome cold glare at times would complement the Smile of Reason I try to cultivate.

Haircut this afternoon.  I am very indecisive about what to do.  Should I let my hair grow back?  Should I shave my head to look like the Dalai Lama?  Should I do what I have been doing the last three months and go for a half-inch of shortness?  One thing is for sure, I won't do any before and after photos.  (not in this blog anyway).

The King of Wuxi is thinking to start another website for Ex-Pats as a way to garner publicity for his wife's real estate business.  I will help him with it, writing articles, and looking for good RSS feeds.  He is thinking of putting an audio channel (Wuxi Radio) on this site.  And maybe even a webcam.

I went to the Blue Bar Wednesday Night.  The place looks to be thriving.  It was busy last night as I saw a whole bunch of foreigners whom I had never seen before.  I also saw another of Fred's brothers.

I heard that five houses at Venice Garden, a popular compound for Expatriates, were broken into.

Crime happens in China like it happens everywhere else in the world.  No political system can change that aspect of human nature.

Speaking of which, I had a student tell me that he had been pickpocketed on Zhongshan Road, Wuxi's main street.  This student opined that Shanghai was in fact safer.

I have over 79,000 video views on Youtube.  You can visit here to see what my most viewed videos are.  You will see I didn't have to make 79,000 videos to get the view numbers.  My most popular videos are of Jenny carrying Tony and of the day Tony was born.

I always look forward to reading the latest Thomas Sowell Column.

This is to me, offensive on every level.  I will always wear a red poppy.  How many people have died on account of pacifists?  Far more than the U.S. Military has every killed.  Who has done more for world peace?  The U.S. Military or Pacifists?  I vote for the U.S. military.

From Jay Nordlinger's Impromptu's, I came across this story:


At a U2 concert in Ireland, the lead singer Bono asks the audience for some quiet. Then he starts to slowly clap his hands. Holding the audience in total silence, he says into the microphone, “I want you to think about something. Every time I clap my hands, a child in Africa dies.”
A voice from the audience yells out, “Then stop clapping, you a**h***!”

Funny.  But is it true?

Using EI Office 2007 has regenerated me!

The King of Wuxi has granted me a rare honor: a chance to use EI Office 2007 (EIO). 

Using EIO offers an individual more benefits than the use of the world's first fully integrated office suite, it can regenerate a person.  I, for instance, have noticed: regrown  hair in my bald spots, more comfortable bowel movements,  that my gums have stopped bleeding, body parts have become less wrinkly and more smooth, more va-da-da-da boom which my wife appreciates (wink wink), and a five point increase in my intelligence quotient.

So as you can see, I highly recommend you use EIO.

Thank you, your majesty! 

The King thinks this banner is better than what I have done.

What do you think? I prefer mine. The chopstick slash knife fork spoon combo is powerful symbolism.
Posted by Picasa

Monday, November 5, 2007

Haven't seen much lately.

I haven't seen much since reporting about the thieves on the Renmin Road bridge trying to pickpocket cyclists.  Students have told them the usual modus operandi is for the thieves in pairs to hide in dark underpasses.  These robbers weren't too sophisticated.  They  not have figured out how to steal cars.

Last night, I had a student from Inner Mongolia.  An area of grasslands and horses.  This student had ridden a horse which earned awes from the local students in the class.

The neighbors with the yappy dog have complained about the noise we make.   Ah.  The nerve!  But we have a baby so what can we do?

When Tony cries and then falls asleep, his modus operandi is to wake up twenty minutes later crying.  It happens sure as clockwork but I have a hard time convincing the wife that I didn't wake the Toner up.  This crying nap is the eye of the storm in which I play the role of the hapless villain.

I am not impressed with the changes done to  I had used my site there ( to show rss feeds of  But tumblr will only show the start of the blogspot feed leaving the reader to link the rest.  No good if you can't access blogspot in China.

In the NFL, the Patriots are nine and oh.  My New York Jets are one and eight.  My Seahawks are in first place with a four and four record. 

I did see a pair of shoes left beside a courtyard bench last night.  The owner was no where to be seen.  I took a photo which I will publish eventually.  Now I have the  USB at another location.  It is another item for the pondering of the eternal question of how a shoe got into the intersection.

Busy like a Bee.

Busy like a bee today.  We had a good training session in the morning.  I had some things to get done in the afternoon.  So I had no time to blog.

I spend a day trying to get used to EI Office 2007 which the King of Wuxi was nice enough to give me a copy of.  I had to change some defaults and I had problems with file associations.  But I figured it out.  I will quite enjoy the software (which is in English!).

It didn't help that the Toner was awake till damn near 200 AM this morning.

The King of Wuxi is going to start a Wuxi Radio station.

Sunday, November 4, 2007

Thieves on Renmin Road. Seablogger mention.

Seablogger mentioned me in a recent posting.

Funny how right after talking about Chutzpah, a word that you have to think hard about when trying to explain it to Chinese students, I saw an good example on the small Renmin Road bridge near the Wu Ai Jia Yuan Apartments where I live.  About eight PM Sunday, I saw two young men, who I had actually seen a week before in the same spot, trying to steal things from passing cyclists.  It was immediately obvious what they were trying to do and so it seemed so unbelievable.  One of the men tried to run down a cyclist from behind and steal something.  The other man had a belt in his hand, which my wife told me, would have been used to whip anyone who tried to fight back.  The other time, I had seen them I saw the man try to catch a cyclist two or three times with no success. I was thinking that the man was trying to pickpocket but because he was so open above, it just didn't seem right.  Meanwhile, other pedestrians were walking past the men like nothing was out of the ordinary which made it seem all the more audacious. 

This morning, I saw a motorist accelerate so he could avoid pedestrians crossing at a designated pedestrian crossing.  The motorist honked the horn all the while which in China is their way of putting themselves in the right.  He was going so fast that he swerved into the oncoming lane to finally avoid the pedestrians.

That is what I love about China.  I have been here three years and I still see things that shock me.

Saturday, November 3, 2007


Another site I like to go to is  I found it through  Eternity Road is very well written.  The writer comes from a Christian and conservative viewpoint that may instantly turn many people off, but be that as it may, his blog is well-written.  I wish I could write entries like this one he wrote on friendship. 

For me the entry is a slap in the back of the head combined with a pat on the back.

Wife could have thrown Tony out the window.

The wife loves Tony more than I ever could.  She is with him 24/7.  And Tony can be a demanding little creature, self-centered and greedy.  Yesterday afternoon, the wife was feeling sick and Tony wanted to be held, protesting with vigor if he wasn't.  He drove my poor wife mad.  But he is still with us.

When he babbles and smiles, it is all worth it.

They are not using the sledgehammer at the nearby construction site this morning.  Either that, or they are only using one.  Peace and Quiet (relatively speaking) for Wuxi!

I have just been informed that there are places in China where you can't access  This shows that maybe the Internet blocking that occurs here is capricious and sometimes localized.

URL for the Hotspot Shield Program

Here is the url to download that program I had mentioned in an earlier entry:

It helps you get to blocked sites. 

If for whatever reason, you can't get the url, google to find an alternate site.

Canada gets China mad.

Here is something I like to listening to.

The Canadian Ambassador is being called to the carpet by the Chinese.

The wife is sick tonight.  I am staying home.

For the first time ever, I have run out of money on my mobile phone.  Tomorrow, I have to go China mobile to reload.

A passage from a posting on Right Wing News.  This describes almost exactly many Canadian's attitude to America:

You see, Canadians (except for me) hate America -- except when America notices us. Then we blush and get all girly.

I will join the writer in the brackets.  She (as it turned out) isn't alone.  Anyway, the whole article is about an abysmal bit of social engineering taking place in Vancouver Canada's Downtown Eastside.  And Dan Rather is good for something.  He is going to expose it.

I am going to download EI office 2007 onto my home computer.  Thanks to his majesty, the King of Wuxi, and the Liberator of Hans Island.

Walking home, I saw a hobo.  A man apart from the rest of the world.  He was there and yet he wasn't.  How does one become a hobo in a Communist paradise?

Anyway, the Chinese can be sweet people in that naive sort of way that is too golly-jesus like for most smug westerner's tastes.  But these sorts are the perfect antidote to Chinese Drivers.

Facebook seems pointless after a while.  The only reason I go to it is to see people's updates but many people don't use what is Facebook's only redeeming feature.  (Not true, there are some useful groups to vote for by becoming a member and never again participating.  E.G. Bush Rocks!)

Bush Haters like to tell you right away that they are.  I don't how many times, I have had to politely listen and wish I could squirm away.  No point in telling them what you think.  You don't need the aggravation.  There are many non-confrontational Bushies subject to these harangues I have learned surfing the Internet so I don't feel so bad for not bothering to fight it out.

Should I give the buskers playing traditional Chinese music money?  Yes.

I got to get the Toner to listen to the Chairman of the Board.

I also like listening to this.

Another site I like to go to is 2 blowhards.

Is America winning in Iraq?  Damm, I hope so.

Friday, November 2, 2007

Places I like to go on the Internet.

Here is a list of some of my favorite Internet sites.  There is something in all these sites to offend everybody.  But it gives you an idea of where I am at: (of course)

But, I make no apologies for going to these sites.

No Wuxi Andis in latest issue of Wuxi Life.

That would be my fault.  I can't be bothered to go to restaurants anymore.  I don't have much to add to the magazine anyway seeing how my life is becoming more about having a family and less about Wuxi.  Also, no restaurants worthy of review in my very localized travels.

Thursday, November 1, 2007

Wuxi has World's 76th best Skyline.

Thanks to his majesty, the King of Wuxi, the liberator of Hans Island, for this information.  Wuxi is ranked as 76th in the world for skylines.  Here is the list.

Here is a video I took of Wuxi's world-class skyline yesterday afternoon.


Friday is Monday at AKIC. Wuxi has world's 76th best skyline?

It is getting colder in Wuxi.  And today is my Monday even if it is Friday for everyone else.  When Monday people meet Friday people, it is a clash of short-term, for-the-moment mindsets.

What hats does a father wear?  He is a child-entertainer, gynecologist, poet, teacher, maternal-assistant, joe boy, coolie and villian.  Yes, I said villian.  You get blamed for things you didn't do or for just being there when the baby wakes up...  Better add scapegoat to the list.

I have put Tony in the snuggler, a canvas pouch with straps that helps you carry around a baby like a knap sack.  He seems to have taken to it.  Yesterday morning, he fell asleep in it.

There is a chill in the air.  I have put the heater on at AKIC mission control.

The King of Wuxi was telling me that Wuxi had made the top 100 list of world cities for their visual impact of skyline.  I have found the list.  The King must be mistaken. 

But here is  another list.  Wuxi is number 76.  Apologies to his majesty.

Here is the link to a Wuxi skyline video I have done.

This afternoon, I go to Seagate to make a five minute speech welcoming students to our school.

Yesterday, I went to Xin An primary school on the outskirts of Wuxi.  New roads and friendly, enthusiastic children.  I had an enjoyable time.