Friday, February 29, 2008
Saturday is a good day at school. I work Ten to Six. I can have breakfast at McDonalds. I have my full load of classes (four or five one-hour classes) and the day goes so fast.
Tony went swimming for the first time at a kiddie's pool, yesterday. My wife said he cried and cried and cried when he was in the water. He had been happy to be naked because he likes the freedom of not being dressed in four layers of clothes and looking like the Michelin Man.
I am spending some time uploading my photos to the Internet so I can get them off my hard drive.
Thursday, February 28, 2008
If you are a native English speaker from the anglosphere who is interested in teaching in China, you can send me an email at firstname.lastname@example.org.
Tony. I love the little guy, but sometimes he can be a chore (though admittedly more for my wife than me). Last night, he was up three times during the night. He needed his mother to feed him. I could only watch and feel guilty. I had a hard time getting up this morning and the Toner had the chutzpah to give me a warm, friendly smile. The smile makes it all worth it.
Two months before I said I was going to go to Canada and I am not anywhere near being ready!
What fresh horrors awaited me at work? There will be a general staff meeting at 830 AM. Not so bad if we worked 9 to 5 but we usually work 1 to 9.
Wednesday, February 27, 2008
Tuesday, February 26, 2008
Or should I say Saturday or AKIC Saturday?
I will go with the wife to see our new apartment this afternoon. I will take photos and videos (Wuxi Jenny Apartment Update 3 or 4) along the way.
Last evening after work, the trainers were able to get together as we bid farewell to Bradley, aka Jimbo, from Austrailia. We had pizza and beer at Romanos. We told many an interesting story. None of which I can print in this family blog.
Yesterday, some students told me that the matchmaker who can take credit for introducing a couple that got married gets 18 pig's legs at the wedding ceremony. I asked the other trainers at the school if they had heard of this. They told me they didn't. I will have to investigate the existence and discover the origin of this custom.
Monday, February 25, 2008
As a regular AKIC reader may know, my days off from work are Wednesday and Thursday and I like to go on and on on about how the days of the week should be adjusted to suit my schedule. Anyway, I can say it is AKIC TGIF. Or should I say TGITu! (Thank God it's Tuesday!)?
Tuesday or Friday, it is cold and wet today. I have put the long johns back on.
My poor wife has to go to the new apartment this afternoon.
I have a long day today. I won't see Tony till late tonight.
Someone in Canada looking at the photos I published yesterday of Tony in a high chair and a stroller, asked if we had heat in the house. In response, I can say we don't have central heating and the heat sources we do have aren't enough to heat certain parts of the house. And this Canadian is right to say that Tony has a hard time doing anything wearing all that puffy clothing. It drives me crazy that Tony has to wear all that stuff. He seems happy to get out of the clothes. However, my wife, being Chinese, insists on him wearing all the layers because she doesn't want him to be cold. So many Chinese babies look like squat Michelin men. Boy, they look ugly when dressed so.
I have some cousins coming to visit in April. One of them just informed me that because of the Olympics, they are upping security in Beijing. So because she will spend some time in Beijing, the consulate in Canada asked why hotels she would be staying at.
Sunday, February 24, 2008
If you are interested, email me at email@example.com for more details.
I like it here. I am on my fourth contract.
It warmed up for one day in Wuxi, but it has now returned to late winter coolness. Today, it is raining.
The King of Wuxi lent us a highchair. Now or eventually, Tony will be able to sit with us as we have supper.
Tony is using a stroller and is making his first attempts at crawling. In both activities, for now, he goes backwards. When he crawls, he pushes his face against the surface of the bed.
I went with the King to the Austrailian pub last evening. There was a good crowd there last night. Asking the King why he seems to prefer Ronnie's, he told me he likes the fact that it is open in the afternoons.
This backward flying birds of Austrailia's Lord Howe Island do so during mating rituals or so my quick look-up on the Internet tells me.
I already have told you of the King of Wuxi's cynical, from my point of view, endorsement of Barack Obama for U.S. president. But now I meet another serious political observer of U.S. politics predicting and endorsing a Barack Obama victory this fall.
Barack, to paraphrase this man who comes from California U.S.A., will be able to unite people to rise above partisanship to solve all of America's problems. This mantra of unity and bi-partisanship is as false a political prayer or slogan as I have heard in a long time. On what basis, will Barack unite Americans? Will he make them all Christians? Will he make them all Atheists? Will he make them all believers in government's power to solve all human's problems? Will he turn libertarians into big government liberal democrats? Will he find a way to make all opposition shut up like only a good dictator can? Will he find the true third way that hasn't been tried yet? Will he stop all Americans from taking drugs or getting drunk? I don't think so.
He might do better to get Americans to appreciate what they have and to get the many, who don't seem to, to understand that democracy is about compromises and debates. To have no debates, no partisanship, no heated discussions about governing is to invite dictatorship. To never make voters aware of the trade-offs each policy proposal he makes is to promise them the earth and the air. To always tell them that their circumstances make them victims and that he can make their lives better is to create a population of forever victims.
Barack is a lot of hot air. Anything specific he says about policy has already been tried and resulted in the cynicism that everyone has about the political process.
This columnist thinks Barack will turn America into Canada. America taking up curling, three down football and having to listen to Gordon Lightfoot all the time? I don't think so. I really hope Barack does not win.
Ten poems to memorize in school. I always read Kipling's If to the Toner.
Saturday, February 23, 2008
Last Thursday, I was testing the English levels of some new students coming to our school and learned about a change of government policy that took place 11 years ago. What I do to test is usually have a simple introductory conversation with the student. I can usually learn a student's level of English very easily from these conversations.
I always ask the students about their home town. Sometimes, I ask the students, if they are not from Wuxi, why they came to Wuxi.
I happened to talk to a female student who came to Wuxi 12 years ago and I learned that she was forced to come here after she graduated from school. She had no choice then. Her teachers told her she had to come to Wuxi from Xian.
Today, I happened to talk to a male student who graduated 11 years ago. Having just talked to the female student who graduated 12 years ago, I asked him if he was forced to come to Wuxi after he graduated. He told me he wasn't because the government changed the policy of forcing graduates to go to certain locations the year he graduated.
I have had older students tell me that they were separated from their spouses because the government forced married couples to go to different locations. One man told me he was only able to see his wife once a year.
Yesterday, I was driven to a factory on the outskirts of Wuxi to do some testing of company students. I was provided with a Chinese assistant. She surprised me by telling me she was hoping that she wouldn't experience car sickness. Growing up, she never had an opportunity to be in a car.
Almost on cue, spring weather came to Wuxi after the Spring Festival. Yesterday, the temperature soared to 17 degrees C. I walked to work and had to shed my long johns in the bathroom.
I see workers use an old fashion pulley system to hoist bricks to the third floor of our building.
We put Tony in the Stroller last night. He moved about one foot. A sensational start if you ask me.
I get about 3,000 views a week on my Youtube Channel.
My school is looking for a teacher to start in April. Send me an email for details if you are interested.
I had my photo published in the Wuxi Daily. Am I becoming a stooge of the regime? Partly.
John Derbyshire says Obama is a radical; the King of Wuxi thinks Obama is not at all radical. Who is right? I think Derbyshire. As I said before, the King of Wuxi was a party operative, and so he does not think of principles but in terms of electability. So, reasons the King, if it can get you elected, it can't be bad.
The King of Wuxi thinks that the Marc Steyn controversy with the Human Rights Commission in Canada is really good for Steyn. Says the King: "He is probably selling more books." Truth of the matter is, Steyn already had an extensive following. He didn't need the publicity boost. The issue or controversy was on a point of principle. Working for the Liberal Party of Canada as long as he did, the King must think people don't do anything on principle.
Friday, February 22, 2008
Thursday, February 21, 2008
The King of Wuxi, as some AKIC readers may know, had endorsed Mitt Romney for President in the current U.S. election race; now he is endorsing Barack Obama. Why? He says because he thinks Obama is young and not at all radical in any way. I think his thought patterns are poisoned by his Liberal Party of Canada (LPoC) amorality.
Working for LpoC, the King was always trying to win elections. LPoC, like the PRI in Mexico and the Chicoms, think it is its' right to rule their respective countries. So they abandon principles, cater to the masses as much as they can and use dirty tactics to win elections. They are also notorious band wagon jumpers and as long as an idea seems popular, there is nothing wrong with it.
Obama's vapid gaseous speeches, said the King, are just election time rhetoric. Everybody does it.
When I mentioned the Cuban flag with Che's image on it being seen in an Obama campaign office, the King saw nothing wrong with it. "Come on", he said, "Che merely represents the revolutionary urge of the young. He was no Hitler."
When I mentioned Obama's proposal to give every student in the country a 4000 dollar tuition credit toward college the King thought it was a good idea. Maybe, the King thought it was a good way to win an election. But, he wasn't interested in hearing me tell him the economic fatuousness of such a proposal.
Principles must only be for those who don't occupy the political middle ground. But if you don't occupy the middle ground you are an ideologue. That is what I get out of the King's endorsement of Obama.
Wednesday, February 20, 2008
Thursday is the last day of the Spring Festival and so today is the Lantern Festival. Go to Xihui Park or Nanchang Market to enjoy the Lantern displays. I look forward to being able to show the displays to the Toner.
Our new teacher will arrive in Wuxi tonight.
We will see the King of Wuxi and his family tonight.
I will take lots of photos.
Wednesday is Saturday in AKIC land. I had an okay day that provided me with some material for this blog entry.
I had an argument with a neighbor in the apartment building. Actually, it would be better to call it a shouting match. Everything in the 21st floor apartment we are staying in, till our new apartment is ready, is cheap. The first day we moved in, about five months ago, we discovered that the washing machine caused water to leak into the apartment right below us. That was quickly fixed. Anyway, the problem cropped up again this morning. The women from the apartment knocked on our door to tell us about it. But then she and my wife started screaming at each other. I really didn't know who was in the wrong in the situation but I felt compelled to take my wife's side of the argument. So, I call the woman all sorts of names, and repeatedly used the F word which my wife tells me many Chinese know. I even shook my fist at her when she wouldn't let me close the door, or rather slam the door in her face. When I eventually did get to slam the door, she then took revenge on us by going to a switch box and turning off the electricity in our apartment. My wife wanted to do the same to her but I thought it was best to not get in a war. Any more acts on that woman's part will be taken as a declaration of war.
We had to take Tony to a medical office to get a shot for the flu or something. The office we went to was so small and crowded that I had to stand outside the building and wait for my wife to phone me to come in with Tony.
When the Chinese decide to demolish a city block, it can be very disgusting. The block turns into a temporary garbage dump. Now there are a few block in the downtown Wuxi area where this is happening. When I am with Tony, I have to avoid these blocks because they must be a source of disease like typhus. I have seen people still living in these blocks and running shops, next to vast piles of garbage, seemingly ignorant of the risks to their health.
The Chinese must hand out driver's licenses in those red envelopes they give to each other at Spring Festival and other special occaisions. I saw a man drive his car into a wall as he tried to park against the side of a building. It was a situation where you saw it coming and you think to yourself "the guy couldn't possibly be that stupid. This man trying to turn against a wall hit the corner of the building because he had no idea of the turning radius of his car. It was so laughable.
John Derbyshire, expert on China and an excellent curmudgeon, predicts that the next president of the U.S. will be....... click here to find out. Considering the lameness of their two candidates, the Democrats have no choice.
John Derbyshire predicts the 2008 Olympics will end in tears for China because athletes aren't going to want to compete in the pollution; I have a theory that anytime a dictatorship is rewarded the Olympics, the dictatorship will soon come to ruin. In 1936, the Nazis got the Olympics and within ten years their regime was in ruins. In 1968, Mexico got the Olympics and continued to be Mexico. In 1976, Canada got the Olympics and we know what Canada has turned into since. In 1980, the Soviet Union got the Oympics and soon thereafer entered the dustbin of history. In 1984, Yugoslavia entered the road to extinction by hosting the Winter Olympics. And now in 2008, Communist/Fascist China is hosting the Olympics. If the trend continues of Olympics leading to national destruction, the Mao dynasty is sure to fall by 2020.
Tuesday, February 19, 2008
If you have seen some of my rooftop photos, from my apartment, the past few weeks you will know that the big Wuxi snow of '08 is melting away. However, on the streets of Wuxi, there are piles of unmelted snow. Today, I saw workers in the downtown clear these piles by taking shovels and throwing the snow onto the street so the cars and the sun could clear it away.
I did an Olympic English event on the tenth floor of a non-descript office building near the corner of Renmin and Jia Feng Roads. Twenty students along with fifteen or so adults watched as I showed flashcards and acted out some Olympic events. Photographers were there also so Lord knows where my picture will show up.
I fucking hate the Olympics. I think they are a propaganda exercise for big government whether in a democracy or a fascist dictatorship like Communist China. They have no proven economic benefits. The Olympics movement has been morally bankrupt for a long time now. I don't think the Olympics ever recovered from the debacle of 1936 when the then dictatorship of the moment used the games as a propaganda exercise. The Olympics of my youth were all disasters. In '72, terrorists used the games for their own nefarious ends. In '76, Montreal showed the world the competence of Canadian governance (really, has it all changed that much for Canada?). In '80, the Americans at least had the decency to not attend. But why would the IOC give the games to the Commies in the first place?
When I do these Olympic events, I put on a fake face and go along with it. But, really, I wonder if I am selling my soul.
I see I should read J.G. Ballard's Empire of the Sun.
I have a new video on Youtube:
Nicknames I have seen given to Hilary Clinton: Hilarious, Hitlerary, Bilary, and Bitchary.
I see have no choice but to wish that John McCain wins the U.S. presidential election in 2008. Even though McCain was not my first, second or even third choice of the 2007-08 Republican field to take the nomination, he is a far, far better choice than those two Democrats. Hitlery and Obamanation are beyond the pale. I would label them Ted Kennedy, Michael Dukakis, Walter Mondale and George McGovern in skirts or with a tan. The present Democratic candidates are not all that different in policy and idea formulations from those four losers. The only real intellectual question that could rise out of this election is a hypothetical one: Who would you choose: the present President Bush or the '08 McCain? For me, it is a coin toss to decide.
When I spell check my blog entry before publishing, I find it amusing that every time the spell-checker comes to "McGovern", it suggests the correct spelling should be "Misgovern".
And speaking of Misgoverning, I see Fidel Castro has resigned the presidency of Cuba. I suppose you could say better late than never. But really you cannot. If only the Bay of Pigs invasion had succeeded for as John F. Kennedy (of whom Obama is supposedly the heir) said in December 1962: "The Cuban people were promised by the revolution political liberty, social justice, intellectual freedom, land for the campesinos, and an end to economic exploitation," he said. "They have received a police state, the elimination of the dignity of land ownership, the destruction of free speech and a free press, and the complete subjugation of individual human welfare." I don't think JFK could have earned the present day Democratic Party nomination saying things like that.
Monday, February 18, 2008
Last night, a student told me stories about the one child policy. This student came from a village in Fujian province. He made me aware of the lengths the authorities have to go enforce the policy and the things that the citizens will do to get around the policy.
To enforce the policy, the government has to use draconian methods. Officials from all levels have to intrude into lives of women and families. The head official in a jurisdiction gets the sack if his birth stats are too high. Part of a teacher's job is to monitor the female student's health. Women with second pregnancies are forced to get abortions. Women can also forcibly be sterilized. My student, last night , told me of a mandatory six month check-up is done on all women of child-bearing age. Many of these women will leave school after the ninth grade to support their families. Many of these women leave their village to find work. But they are required to come back to their village for this check-up. If they don't come back for the check-up, a lot of pressure will be put on the woman's family. Also, huge fines can also be administered in some circumstances.
My student also told me about how the one-child policy has been eased somewhat in the countryside. Because, there is a prejudice for boys in the countryside resulting in abortion and female infant abandonment, the government allows families with a female child to have a second child in hopes of the child being a boy.
This second baby policy has brought on some strange effects. If the second baby is a female, a family will try to give the girl to another family. The family will then try to get a boy by buying or stealing a boy from another family. Who sells their son? Someone who is quite poor. Who wants to have a boy that is not of one's bloodline? The tradition in the countryside is for the man to look after his parents. A woman getting married will often not look after her parents. So, the economic incentive is such that you are better off having an adopted son than keeping a girl of your own blood line.
The student tells me that this child trading is being ameliorated by two factors: people are changing their thinking somewhat about this, and people can have pregnant woman scanned to abort unwanted female pregnancies.
The Chinese word for younger brother is "didi"; the Chinese word for younger sister is "meimei". These words will soon no longer be used in modern China. And I feel sorry that this is so. Having a "didi" and a "meimei" myself, I couldn't imagine a life without them.
Sunday, February 17, 2008
Sunday afternoon, I had a bigger group of students to poll about the U.S. Presidential election. I gave the students more or less the same choices I gave another group for an earlier poll. I asked them if they preferred to vote for 1) Hope and Change, 2) Free Medical care, or 3) lower taxes.
The students split on the first two options, which I would classify as Democratic Party postions; but I did get some votes for the third choice which I classify as the Republican party option. The final results of the poll were Democrats 21, Republicans 6.
That the Republicans got as many votes as they did suprised me. The Chinese are always fed the anti-Bush line by their government. One female student did say she would vote for McCain because he was a military hero.
Another one of the students did say that the hope and change option was meaningless. Other students, disagreed with her, and then talked about what they thought hope and change meant. One student said "hope" meant free medical care. Another student took "change" as meaning America being nicer to the world. The students only proved that these words "hope" and "change" can be made to mean what people want them to mean, but nothing specific.
Saturday, February 16, 2008
As my regular readers, if I have any, may know I am pretty consistent when it comes to making blog entries. I can't remember the last day, I didn't make a blog entry. Today would have been the first day in a while, if I didn't just remember. There I was sitting in the office, thinking "what to do?" and I had a "holy shit!" moment. I saved myself.
Why did I almost forget? I was busy today. I had an abundance of emails to answer, some classes to teach, an interview and supervisory duties.
Last night, I went to Romanos with Jenny, the Toner, her cousin Jill and Jill's 2 year old daughter who is in the terrible two phase. The food was good as always. Jill's daughter was mischievous but she can speak a few words of English.
The King of Wuxi then invited me to the Australian Bar for a beer. There was a small crowd there. The King and I talked of our dreams and aspirations, or something like that.
I just had a letter from a visitor to my blog asking what languages an eight year-old Wuxi boy would be able to speak. He should be able to speak to Mandarin and the local Wuxi language (assuming he has lived in Wuxi). School Instruction is done in Mandarin Chinese. Wuxi local language would be learnt at home from relatives. Now, if the boy came from another part of China or Jiangsu, he may speak another local dialect entirely. So for example, Jiangsu natives (not from Suzhou or Shanghai) may be able to recognize when Shanghai or Suzhou dialect is spoken but they may not be able to speak it or understand it. Cantonese is actually a Hong Kong dialect and would be spoken, with variations, in Southern China. Mandarin is often referred to as a Beijing dialect.
Friday, February 15, 2008
I have been following the U.S. Presidential election very closely while here in China. It is something I would love to talk about with the students but most don't have an opinion about it. So, I tried to encourage election discussion by other means.
On some issues, Chinese students won't offer you opinions, so what I often do is give the students multiple choices of positions or opinions on an issue. For example, I gave the students four options for what they should do about North Korea from Invading it to doing nothing.
For the American election, I asked the students the following multiple choice question:
Who would you vote for?
- The person who says "I promise hope and change!"
- The person who says "I promise free medical service!"
- The person who says "I promise you a strong army and free markets!"
You could say I am stating the positions of the three candidates left in the race. The first two questions could be combined together to state the position of either Obama or Hilary, though clearly question #1 states Obama's campaign theme. I am not sure if #3 states McCain's positions. There is a controversy in the Republican party about whether he really supports free markets. But, if I substituted free markets for control on government spending in the third statement it wouldn't have changed the results of the poll.
The Chinese students split their votes between the first two questions. I was disappointed that none of the students saw statement #1 as being meaningless. I wasn't surprised that none of the students choose the third statement which was my choice.
Thursday, February 14, 2008
It is Monday in AKIC land after a long holiday. What horrors await at work? What have I been away from?
Ah. It's all good.
Last evening, Tony, my wife and her family went to a public bathhouse. I stayed home and read my Alex the Great bio.
I didn't do much for Valentine's. Everywhere was busy. My wife tried to book a hotel room for her parents for last night but she learned that couples had been booking all the rooms for Valentine's night. As well, the price of everything was jacked up.
I have a what-to-wear quandary today. Temperatures are getting warmer in Wuxi. Should I or shouldn't I wear my long johns? That is the question for this morning.
Tony's use of his hands is improving rapidly. He can now take a key-ring toy and hold onto the individual pieces of the ring with great dexterity. One of the key-ring toys he has, has three keys on it. Last night, he was transferring the key-ring from one hand to other by holding onto a different key each time. Witnessing these signs of your child's development is a wonderful thing.
Wednesday, February 13, 2008
In the English teaching business in China, a runner is when a teacher runs away from an intolerable school usually in the middle of the night.
I have just heard a story of some Chinese who pulled a runner over the Spring Festival holiday. What apparently happened was that the owners of a restaurant, that wasn't doing well, raised a lot of cash over the holiday by getting a lot of food on credit, had the usual lucrative CNY dinner business, and then ran away. They took the cash and left their suppliers in the lurch.
Where did these people go? Apparently, they can go to another part of China and not have to worry much about being tracked down.
So there is an ex-pat pub owner in Wuxi who does not have a landlord to whom he can pay rent.
Tuesday, February 12, 2008
Spring Festival is over and it is back to work for most of us. I actually don't have to be at work for another two days but I will drop in today (maybe with Tony) and see what is happening (if anything).
For those who haven't be keeping up with AKIC, I posted to the blog regularly throughout the holiday and I uploaded a lot of videos to Youtube. If you are curious or care, you can watch all the CNY videos I made in the player below. You will see fireworks and the Toner:
The in-laws came yesterday. It will be my father-in-law who will be looking after the Toner once work restarts on our new apartment. Apparently, he is better at taking care of children than the mother-in-law.
I spent yesterday in a very crowded and cramped apartment. I got out in the afternoon to have coffee with the King. I brought the Toner with me and so he took up all my time. I didn't talk much to the King at all as I had to fed my son, change my son's diapers and try to placate my son who couldn't stop crying.
I hear that Obama won the three Potomac primaries. It was expected but some are saying that it is the end for Hilary.
Monday, February 11, 2008
The in-laws arrived this morning. My times of leisure are ended. Although, they will help with babysitting duties so I can't complain all that much.
While our days of leisure are almost coming to an end, as the Spring Festival winds down, Wuxi Expats can at least take solace in the fact that the King of Wuxi Expatdom in back in Wuxi after spending five days with his in-laws in Huai An. He told me, his most humblest of subjects, that he had a good time. He watched two movies and only drank bijoe one evening.
The King's spin on his incorrect Mitt Romney prediction is that Mitt will return and get the Republican nomination 4 or 8 years down the line. Mitt, says the King, is still young and his 2008 candidacy only established his presence for a winning run in the future. The King, being an amoral Liberal Party of Canada member (putting amoral and Liberal Party of Canada together seems be to a unnecessary double emphasis), is falling back on the adage that the electorate have short memories and is so counting on me forgetting that he made this prediction. I promise I will dog the King every day for the next eight years about it.
The King and I went for a beer last night to the Australian Pub where I had the pleasure of meeting an American who was eager to discuss the U.S. presidential race and an Australian who was skeptical about the global warming cause.
Steve Lawrence, who I will quote to the best of my memory, talked of a possible explosive Democratic Convention if the delegate count between Obama and Hilary remained close. Democrats, in their primary system, have Super-Delegates who can vote for any candidate they please unlike the normal delegates who must vote for an assigned candidate. Super Delegates make up about 20 percent of the total delegates. So they come into play if there is a tight race for the nomination. These Super Delegates are chosen from the party establishment and include state governors and prominent federal level Democrats. It had been assumed that Hilary held the sway of these Super Delegates. But because she ran in the Michigan and Florida primaries against the wishes of the Democratic National Committee, she may have rankled enough Super Delegates into switching allegiances to Obama. This means that the exact delegate count for each candidate is not known exactly and that the delegate counts on the Internet are estimates. And so if the Obama and Hilary continue to have a close contest for delegates, it may go down to a brokered convention with plenty of fireworks because the Super-Delegates will have great pressure put on them for various reasons and from various camps. This is provided the Obama wave that seems to be rising does not topple the house of Clinton first.
The Australian I talked to last night about who was skeptical about Global Warming seemed to believe that the crusade accompanying the theory was almost an American plot. The discussion about Global Warming, he said, has been presented in a strange way such that dissenters have been shut out. Recent Climate temperature increases could well be a part of long climate cycle over which mankind has little effect but not too many get to hear of this theory. This shutting out of dissent he blamed the Americans for (I have to remind myself that Al Gore is American). The Australian sceptic also voiced the opinion that Ethanol is an idiotic idea. It will disturb food markets resulting in shortages. As well, making ethanol requires a lot of energy in itself making it an inefficient energy alternative.
An American asks why do the Brits hate free speech? He asks this after reports saying the British Olympic Comittee has tried to muzzle possible criticism by its athletes of China.
Here is Wuxi Tony Update #34. You can see what Tony is like when he gets up in the morning. He wakes up looking like a rose, actually.
Sunday, February 10, 2008
Doris Lessing predicts Obama will be assassinated if he wins the U.S. presidency.
I am trying to wrap my mind around the mindset that is supporting Obama.
I know that part of his support stems from the fact that he is black. Many people feel that America has to elect a black president as it is a needed stage in human progress and also America can prove to the world it is not racist, or something to that effect. It is the same logic that thinks Affirmative Action programs are a great idea.
Obama has charisma and so people can delude themselves into thinking he is whatever they want them to be. His content-free campaign so far has people believing in change. What specific kind of change he wants to bring is a mystery though it assuredly won't be the change that a libertarian like Ron Paul would want to bring. But Ron Paul is specific and he is an idea guy. Obama comes across as articulate. He orates like MLK. He can pack arenas like a rock star. He appeals to the mob and fashion. But mobs and fashion aren't permanent. They are subject to whim.
The Conservatives are disappointed with their nominee because he is not ideologically pure; many Democrats are pleased with Obama because he represents a idealistic purity that was lost with McGovern and Bill Clinton. Obama is an old idea in new packaging. Obama seems to be the last chance the Democrats have to salvage something of the discredited idealism of the sixties.
I look at Obama and this is what I see.
I am looking at his speeches and some of what his supporters have to say and I can't see what I am missing. For example, this article, Obama vs. the Phobocracy written by a Obama supporter is remarkably free of any content or specific policy proposals. It says that George Bush is bad while trying to distant itself from the statement. It says Obama is a great guy. He is made to sound like a messiah. It talks about fighting fear.
The fear in this article is about people being scared, of presumably, electing a black president, but the idea of fear can be turned around: Let's be courageous! We don't need the government to protect us from the vicissitudes of life! Let us find the power within ourselves and our families! Let us stop government programs from preventing us from having the courage to look after ourselves! Yes you can!
No where does Obama seem to chide people for their dependence. He talks like a full-on Left Winger.
I understand the Obama liking mindset to be a leftist mindset which I grew out of when I was 25.
As I was saying, the wife and I went to Jiangyin, a small city 30 km from Wuxi. Friends of my wife invited us there for the day. The husband drove to Wuxi in his new Honda Civic to pick us up. In Jiangyin, we went briefly to my wife's friend's house before going to a hotel for lunch and a walk in a downtown park.
The dinner did me in. They fed us too much food. I also drank enough Chinese wine (not much, two glasses) to get a severe headache. I as well smoked about half a pack of cigarettes that was handed to me by the wife's friend's husband through the day. By three PM, I was yawning and needing a nap to nurse my headache.
It is my understanding that this if what the Chinese do every day or at least most days of the Spring Festival (of Chinese New Year) holiday. Thank God! We only did once this whole week.
You can go to my other blog to see photos of the hotel and park we went to, if you are interested.
Saturday, February 9, 2008
The weather changes that have happened in Wuxi the last twenty years are due to the fact that Wuxi's industry produces more heat. The resulting increase in wealth also means Wuxi is a warmer place.
Does that mean that Wuxi has nothing wrong with its environment? Of course not. It has plenty wrong. But Al Gore and his minions aren't doing anything that will help Wuxi improve its environment. Wuxi's environmental problems are in part political and cultural: things that global warming treaties won't change.
Friday, February 8, 2008
It is hard to keep track of the days this CNY 2008. I had to look for my digital watch this morning to find out what day it is. I was thinking it was Tuesday for some reason. It does not feel like a Saturday, which I discovered it is, even though I have had four of them in a row.
My wife took this video of Tony. He is getting good at giggling and making high-pitched screams. In the video you will see more of the former.
Tonight, the plan is to have supper with the Duke of Wuxi, his wife Nicole and his daughter Amy.
I finished reading How Ronald Reagan Changed My Life by Peter Robinson. Robinson was a speech writer for Reagan and his book is a tribute to the president in the form of a self-help book. Robinson started off as an aimless bachelor who got his speech-writing job as a fluke. But through watching Reagan he learned many valuable life lessons. Robinson so gives up his bachelor ways, get marries and has five children. If you liked Reagan, you would enjoy the book. If you didn't, you probably wouldn't make it past the first page.
I found it inspirational.
The iconic Reagan, that John McCain tries to compare himself to, was a man who came to the White House with clearly thought out principles who stuck to them even though Democrats and moderate Republicans tried to foil him all the way. The conservatives who have this Reagan in mind are going to be skeptical about McCain. McCain has, on too many occasions, been seen as being with the moderates and the Democrats.
I have been told Rush Limbaugh is an idiot. The person who said that must have never listened to his radio show.
I am reading a biography of Alexander the Great that has a blurb on the cover saying that Oliver Stone used it as a primary source when making his Alexander the Great movie. I never saw the movie, but knowing what I know about Oliver Stone I hope this book I am now reading is not a fantasy novel.
One thing I have learned, reading the ATG bio so far, is that Alexander the Great was a very short man. According to the book, one ancient source said he stood 4 foot, six inches tall. That puts him in the same class of great short men as Napoleon, Tom Cruise, Al Pacino, and Pierre Trudeau. I say the last three names in jest. Pierre Trudeau, especially, was a truly awful man, who was our Prime Minister from the late sixties to early eighties. The stupid things that happen in Canada, like the CBC and Human Rights Commisions, you blame him for. Despite his being short, Trudeau came across as a strong leader. Meanwhile, another Canadian leader, Joe Clark, who looked as bumbling and fumbling as any politician I have ever seen, was over six feet tall, but you never would have known it. This information I got from my late great cousin Gundega who had seen both Clark and Trudeau in person.
I took an early shower this morning to placate the wife because we had a brief quarrel yesterday. Stick with anyone for 24/7/365, you are bound to have a quarrel or two. There was tension about the apartment till my wife cracked a fart. My wife is a divine creature, of course, but she will do something bodily now and then like crack a fart. When she cracked her fart yesterday, I just happened to be able to respond with a long rip-roaring fart that got her to laugh. At least, one that argument with her. No way she could cave-in on that discussion.
Thursday, February 7, 2008
I hear Mitt Romney has withdrawn from the presidential race. He was never my first, second or third choice. But he turned into Obi Wan-Kenobi (my only hope) after my other guys withdrew. Now, that he is gone, what will the conservatives do? Will Huckabee join McCain's ticket as the V.P.?
It is all so disappointing. Republicans need to rally together because the Democrats are running left wingers who foolishly believe in the power of government to fix the world. But they chosen the lamest candidates possible in which to rally behind. These particular candidates have shown themselves to be all too willing to throw out Republican principles and deal with the Democrats.
I can't see McCain beating Obama; and against Hilary, McCain can hope that maybe animus against that particular woman will give him a victory, but I doubt it. The latter match-up will be a repeat of Dole-Clinton '96. An old military veteran Senator against a Clinton.
I feel sad for the King of Wuxi also because his endorsement of Mitt has been unheeded. I play the King's Romney Youtube endorsements for the last time.
The above player is a play list showing the four videos I made of the King's Mitt Romney endorsements. The Romanos pizza video will show that he suffered from a Mitt Romney fixation, so sit through it, please.
What do the Chinese do at Spring Festival time? They watch a lot of T.V.
I normally don't watch much T.V. but the last two days I have been. I joined My wife as she watched the CNY eve gala broadcast from Beijing. A lot of that show was blatant propaganda for the Chicoms. I saw a singer sing an inspirational-sounding tune accompanied by images of Chairman Mao, Deng Xiao Peng, Wen Jiabao and Hu Jintiao. I saw dancers dressed like soldiers - could you imagine the U.S. Marines dancing like chorus-line girls or doing the splits like ballet dancers? That best describes what I saw these men dressed up as soldiers doing. All viewers were made to know that 56 nationalities lived in China. At one point, I saw people in all sorts of ethnic costumes swaying back and forth behind some singers dressed in military uniforms.
Last night, I saw Charlton Heston and Chinese military propaganda played back-to-back on Chinese T.V. How do you ask could a noted anti-Communist like Heston be on Chinese T.V.? There is a military channel in the new multi-channel Chinese T.V. universe. It showed a documentary about female military spies that Heston happened to be narrating. And for filler, of course the channel showed propaganda video of the Chinese military. What strange juxtapositions the need for content can bring.
Not much happening that I can write about. It is a holiday. There are a lot of fireworks. We walked in downtown Wuxi and it was crowded. We went to Pizza Hut. I have been reading the Ronald Reagan book all day. The author, Peter Robinson, wrote it like a self-help book with of course the Gipper providing lessons about life.
You can go my other blog to see photos of fireworks and my little son. I take a whole slew of fireworks videos yesterday evening.
Some random thoughts:
Obama is the youngest man in the presidential race but he appears to have the oldest ideas.
Thanks to the Climate Change crowd, talking about the weather is now a political act. Anyway, it is sad to be a conservative these days. Even in China, where the argument about markets has been won.
Wednesday, February 6, 2008
I spent the last day of the year of the Golden Pig the way I wanted: simply and I did not have to see the in-laws. I watched the returns from the Super Tuesday U.S. presidential primaries in the morning. In the afternoon, we went for pizza. (We being my family.) From my 21st floor apartment, where I spent the evening, I was able to watch an all-night fireworks show. (Stay tuned for photos and videos of which I have a lot). This being the only time I would witness CNY from a 21st floor, I took in as much as I could. Some of the fireworks burst very close to my window. One time, I thought I was hit by a burst. I also finished reading my Tom Clancy novel Without Remorse and started reading Peter Robinson's How Ronald Reagan Changed My Life. Amazingly, our school has a copy of the Reagan book. The left-wingers on staff thought I was nuts.
Tuesday, February 5, 2008
Nine days off, starting today. But it feels like I have been on holiday for a week or since the snow came down. The school has been very, very slow. The snow first stopped them from coming and then many stayed away because of the upcoming CNY holiday.
What will I do on my days off? I will do this: blog. I will look after the Toner. I will do some reading (I am almost finished that Tom Clancy novel I started a month ago).
We didn't get any bonus or hongbao from the school. A teacher from another school, now working with us, said that it was the first time, in the five years he had been in China, that he had never gotten any cash bonus. It being my fourth CNY, the most our school ever gave us was 300 rmb. I wasn't expecting much or anything but this teacher from another school said that to not get any bonus or hongbao was considered to be a great insult by the Chinese. But we are not Chinese. There are rumors that the Chinese staff got a bonus but were told not to tell the Foreign staff. It would have been better for my state-of-mind if I had never heard of this bonus issue.
I am up early to watch the results of the Super Tuesday Presidential Primary on Fox News. It looks good for McCain and Clinton so far. It is also looking good for Huckabee.
What is the mindset of people who support Huckabee? On my journeys on the 'net, I haven't found anyone who supports him. Shame on me for not bothering to look.
I have seen on the 'net that China is experiencing its' coldest winter in 100 years. Global Warming? Ha! Ha Ha!
Bored, I checked the National Hockey League standings last night. The Vancouver Canucks have fallen to 10th position in their conference and therefore out of playoff position. The last time I checked, they were in the third seed position in their conference.
Monday, February 4, 2008
Sunday, February 3, 2008
Trainer Terry tells me that the Chinese government passed a law today allowing them to block all Internet sites that allow users to upload videos. With the Olympics coming, the Chicoms do not want anything shown that can be embarrassing to them. They had blocked Youtube before when there was an important conference of political leaders meeting.
As Terry said, Will they ever learn?
My wife told me about a tragedy in Taixing where her mother lives. Someone, who had a two month old baby, decided to dry a pee cloth (they can't or don't use Pampers) by draping it over a heater which was near the infant. They left the infant in the room unattended. When they came back to see how the baby was doing, they found the child had been burnt to death.
An absolutely horrible story. My wife thought about the little child's screams being unheeded. I could only imagine how the parent felt. We all do stupid things but thankfully we can forget about them. There is a parent who forever be damaged.
718 AM: I am watching a FOX station on the TVU player. I may be able to watch the game in English. But the feed is slow.
721 AM: I haven't seen this in a while. They are playing the American national anthem. I am serious when I say this. I have lived in China for over 3 years. The singer won American Idol? Big deal.
723 AM: I should be watching the game on TV but my Chinese wife wants to sleep. There no way I can convince of the importance of what I am doing.
726 AM: I am watching the coin toss. But the feed stops. Annoying. I will also track the game on the NFL site which I can get today.
732 AM: Kickoff!
739 AM: I have lost the feed! I am trying other options. Maybe TVANTS will work.
744 AM: Nice opening drive for the Giants. They have converted on three third downs.
747 AM: But the Giants stall in the red zone. The Field Goal is good. Giants 3, Patriots 0.
750 AM: I have that score in the squares pool we are doing at the school.
752 AM: I can watch the American Super Bowl commercials for the first time ever. Yes! In Canada, we had to watch second rate Canadian commercials. What a joke that was.
758 AM: My feed is not quite live. I can get the results of the plays faster on NFL.com. 118,936 Views of my videos on Youtube. (That is another obsession of mine). The wife and Tony are asleep.
801 AM: The Patriots are in the Red Zone as they break to a commercial.
805 AM: Touchdown New England!
812 AM: I get mention in Seablogger.
816 AM: Back to the game. Interception by the Patriots. I have won the squares competition for the first quarter.
825 AM: Giants almost fumble!
828 AM: Models and Lizards dancing in a commercial.
832 AM: I am watching the game in 10 degree heat. Or should I say 10 degree cold? That is the way of Wuxi apartments.
835 AM: I am in danger of winning the squares pool for the second quarter as well. I need the Giants to get a field goal! I don't want to take all the money from this competition. I need some Chinese to win.
844 AM: 119,001 views on Youtube. Meanwhile, the game nears the end of the second half. The Giants are close but they have screwed up some scoring op:opportunities.
855 AM: Halftime! Score 7-3 for the Patriots. I win the second quarter of the squares competition. The low score in the game is a surprise. The 2007 Patriots aren't playing legendary like. They are sputtering to a 19-0 record. I have to go to work in 3 hours. It is time for me to shave and shower and iron clothes. Outside the apartment, I can see the rush hour.
908 AM: Halftime show. Tom Petty. He is alright. But I find Super Bowl half time shows to be lacking in intimacy. There is the big stage and the small show and the crowd below the stage that is being told to act excited.
934 AM: The game resumes. The Giants stop the Patriots on New England's first drive. I have just seen a commercial with Pandas. I am ironing my clothes for work.
940 AM: Too many commercials. The New England coach challenged a play call and gets the ball back on a technicality. That is just not cricket, as the English would say.
950 AM: But they don't score so, it does not matter. With 5 minutes to go in the third quarter, it looks like I could win the third quarter of the squares competition as well.
958 AM: The Patriots are deep in their own end zone.
1001 AM: Now, they are not. They are starting to move the ball.
1004 AM: End of third quarter: Patriots 7, Giants 3. I win the third quarter squares competition. Worse case scenario. I need a Chinese person to win the final score.
1006 AM: 119,382 Youtube video views. What can I say!?! There are lots of commercials. It is also my obsession.
1010 AM: LL Cool J is at the game!
1011 AM: Big pass completion by the Giants. The game has just gotten interesting.
1012 AM: The game is now very interesting. Giants 10, Patriots 7.
1017 AM: Go Patriots go!
1020 AM: They don't. They punt. The Giants have the ball.
1025 AM: My feed is two minutes behind real time. I can't wait for the results to happen. Now, the Patriots have the ball again.
1027 AM: I hope the game doesn't go into overtime.
1028 AM: I put off taking a shower till 1100 AM.
1030 AM: I like the Bud Light commercial I just seen where an out of shape man in shorts keeps saying the wrong thing.
1033 AM: The Patriots are moving the ball!
1034 AM: They are in the red zone!
1040 AM: Touchdown Patriots! Patriots 14, Giants 10. There is less than three minutes in the game. Rain, a student, can win the big prize in the squares competition. Anybody but me! I say.
1046 AM: Dream scenario for Eli Manning, the Giants QB.
1048 AM: A Victoria Secret's commercial at the two minute warning. A dream scenario.
1052 AM: Giants have the ball deep in Patriots territory.
1055 AM: I just saw the play. Wow! Eli looked to be sacked.
1056 AM: The Giants are in the red zone!
1057 AM: Touchdown Giants! Daisy can win the squares competition.
1104 AM: Game over! Brothers win back-to-back Super Bowls. Time for me to take a shower.
I will do live blogging of my day at work:
950 Am: It is slow at school today. This morning, none of the trainers have classes. I guess the students are deciding that it is hard to catch a bus here in the morning. Maybe, they are all going to church.... Not! I have three classes this afternoon. At 1300, I have a salon class about the holidays. Guess what holiday is coming! At 1500, I have an Intermediate Private Class. At 1700, I have an Advance Private Class. Each of the private classes, I will have just one student. I just went out to have a smoke with Leo. Monday morning will be the big game, the Super Bowl that is. We have to determine what bet we will make about the game. We will do an unusual bet like about the number of turnovers or incompleteness or something. I also have to try to fill our Super Bowl Squares pool. I have filled 80 out of 100 so far. I will also try to do some managerial things.
1010 AM: I am wondering about the school talking to the staff. Carol the marketing girl had a pile of HyLite School discount cards. She tells me that they will be used to get discounts of HyLite English classes. I hope that they can be used at other places to get discounts as well. I now have 88 squares filled in the pool table. Simon (the Duke of Wuxi) and I have purchased squares for our wives and children. There aren't too many students in the computer lab. I learned that Simon and Leo split on their bets on last night's Man City - Arsenal match. I think I will listen to some conservative talk radio on townhall.com.
1017 AM: I have just published an entry to my MSN spaces site. It is entitled Wuxi Ice and High Chair Tony. I have 118,311 video views on my Youtube channel. I mentioned that I am obsessed with this number.
1022 AM: Carol, the marketing girl, speculates that the students are shopping in the morning for CNY because it hopefully won't be so busy and attending classes in the afternoon during the certain CNY shopping afternoon rush.
1100 AM: I write a response to a comment on my other blog. It is nice to see people reading it. Time to stop dilly-dallying! I must prepare for my classes this afternoon. I notice that all the admin staff are working on the weekend to make up for the days off they get for the CNY holiday. Only in China.
1104 AM: 44,148 views of my MSN Spaces blog. Back to work!
1121 AM: I am listening to Hugh Hewitt on townhall talk radio. He is talking down John McCain. I hear that Anne Coulter has said she is going to campaign for Hilary Clinton if McCain gets the nomination.
1133 AM: I find a business writing book. Will it help me with the company classes we are having in March?
1142 AM: There must be four or five students in the computer lab. Lunch time is coming. I suppose Simon is going to go to McDonalds. I will eat some microwave popcorn. I just finished a half loaf of bread that my wife bought at a place called Bread Talk. At lunchtime, I will try to flog the remaining 12 squares of my Super Bowl pool. I am listening to Super Bowl talk now.
1146 AM: Am I sharp for the classes this afternoon? I don't know. I am still distracted. I hear talk that the Giants can win the Super Bowl. They have been talking that Romney can win on Super Tuesday. I found a business writing book that I can use for free on the Internet. I am an ESL English teacher. I am saying that so the search engines can pick up on this energy.
1156 AM: 118, 434 views of my Youtube videos. Lunchtime!
1210 PM: I have finished eating my popcorn. I am listening to Denis Prager. I tried to flog the Super Bowl pool squares at the lunch room. I saw three women. I didn't bother. I will look for some men in the computer lab. I will make a plug here for my latest Wuxi Tony video.
1216 PM: The wife phones telling me that I didn't bring any food for lunch. I told her I bought some snack food. I ask about Tony, and she tells me that he just got up. He had a busy night last night.
1218 PM: Leo and I will bet on the over/under for tomorrow morning's Super Bowl. I will find the line now.
1226 PM: It is 55. I will take the over.
1237 PM: Regina and Ashley join the pool. nine square to go!
1248 PM: Three squares to go! I have to go to class. Later Dudes!
201 PM: Two squares to go! the Beginner class was too good. It was dull for them and me to talk about holidays. I had them tell me what the other students said as a way to improve their listening skills but they were too good for that too. My jokes got some laughs but not enough to eliminate the feeling of ennui! 118,477 video views on Youtube.
220 PM: One more square to go! I have to sweat it out to get the squares by the Chinese because they don't understand the concept of the football pool. Many don't know what the Super Bowl is.
222 PM: I should prepare for Tomorrow's 1400 SPC. What to talk about? CNY? The Super Bowl? Maybe explain American football? Are you ready for CNY?
227 PM: Obama: The youngest candidate with the oldest ideas. I like that line.
235 PM: There are only four trainers working today. Three are working now. Dennis and Simon, from Great Britain, are teaching private classes. Leo, from Vancouver, Canada, is teaching a salon class. I sit in my office and supervise.
240 PM: I buy the last square for the Toner. I have three students, not one in my 1500 class.
246 PM: The snow is melting. One has to be wary if they walk near the edge of buildings.
250 PM: I just read an email from my Mom. Dad is not doing so well. He is getting old. It makes it urgent for us to go to Canada this year. My brother has put a down payment on a Ford Ranger truck. One of my Dad's friends is moving to Ottawa from Brandon which means my father will be lonelier and lonelier. Time to have a smoke and go to class!
411 PM: 118,500 views on Youtube. I had two students show up for my 1500 class. They were both young females. Their English was passable but it was hard to decide how to grade them. They did not have a glaring weakness. One girl I gave an "A" but told her her weakness was her fluency. She actually should have been a "D" but it was her last class anyway. The other girl was more talkative than the "A" student but she did not seem as prepared for the class. I gave this girl a "B" because her grammar points seemed noticeable to me.
426 PM: I have photocopied and posted copies of the Super Bowl pool around the school. No one came for Trainer Dennis's Speakers Corner. It is so dead at the school. It worries me. Will I have to be looking for another school to work? Perish the thought.
433 PM: I am hoping I can get up at seven AM tomorrow morning for the big game. I have told my wife. She acknowledged but I don't think she understood that this means I will have the TV on while she tries to sleep. I have to ask Leo how much our side bet on the game tomorrow is for? 1 rmb? 2 rmb? 5 rmb?
436 PM: For the next ten or fifteen minutes I will listen to this Hugh Hewitt talk radio show. (I hope the link works). It isn't political talk that I am listening to. Hewitt devotes an hour of his show, once a week, to movie talk.
440 PM: I am trying to bone up on infinitive clauses for my advanced private class (the student may will not show up but I haven't had a no show since last week) but there is more information that I can digest in ten minutes and the student wouldn't understand it. Neither can I at this point.
444 PM: I am getting lots of resumes from non native English speaking teachers.
446 PM: I must remember to take our CNY presents home. The school gave us boxes of meat and nuts. Last year, they gave us meat and coffee. Nuts are an improvement over coffee. But I would rather get hongbao (a money bonus in a red envelope).
448 PM: As you can see, I am stagnating here and I have lots of time to blog. This could be my last live blogging entry today if my student shows up. I will publish this as soon as the class is done or I will continue to blog if the student does not show up. I will click the publish button in a hour if this is the last entry. I won't comment on the class and student because I will be going home. Thanks for reading this all the way through........
Saturday, February 2, 2008
It is slow at work or I should say the school; and with the Chinese New Year coming in less than a week, there is a holiday atmosphere about so it is hard to stay sharp for the classes I do have to teach. I also have this sense of lack of accomplishment. I should be doing more than I am. But I am addicted to blogging and looking at my traffic numbers.
The snow has increased traffic on my blogs. I have had Wuxi people from California and Florida tell me that they have discovered AKIC while looking for news about Wuxi snow. I see that my blogs come up first when I Google "Wuxi" and "snow".
Still, I was hoping more would look at my Wuxi Snow videos on Youtube. My first snow video has had nearly a thousand views. Others in the series have had four views. I have thirteen videos in the series now.
At work, I have to find another trainer to start in March, I have scheduling headaches for after the CNY when we start teaching all the company classes. I also have to think about the curriculum for these classes although there isn't much that can be done until I get specifics about class times and what the companies want us to each their workers.
Last night, I had Hot Pot at the Little Sheep Restaurant that is not far from the school on Zhongshan Road. Hot Pot is a way of eating food where a pot of boiling spices is placed in the middle of a large table so that everyone can dip and cook their raw food in it. You can choose from a wide variety of meat, vegetables and so on to dip and cook in the hot pot. It is a communal way to eat. It can fill you up quickly with you being seemingly unaware because you are only eating mouthfuls at a time without seeing a plate of food and the totality of the food you will eat in front of you.
We went to the restaurant to celebrate the return from Germany of a local Wuxi woman who is married to a German expat working in Wuxi, and is a good friend of my wife and my wife's friend.
After eating we went to an Expat pub. I was proud to show off my son but the conversation I had with the people I knew at the Pub seemed obligatory. I really did not have much to say to these people. I was interested to know the citizenship paper problems of a Mexican man, who had a child with a local Wuxi woman, was having. He was in the process of becoming an American citizen and so had two consulates to go to get his daughter citizenship in America. He agreed that the Chinese birth certificates were a pain in the ass.
Friday, February 1, 2008
It didn't snow as much as expected in Wuxi last night but the cleanup effort this morning was huge. You can go to my other blog to see photos of the cleanup. I have finally been able to get photos of the snow clearing brigades I wrote of earlier. These be the brigades there were marching about military formation with the lead man carrying a large red flag.
My student this morning told me that are lots of soldiers around the city doing clean up duties. I imagine they are also around to quell possible social unrest.
I am uploading seven videos to Youtube using its multi video upload feature which I find very handy. My Wuxi snow videos are getting a lot of hits. As you may know, I live for video view numbers on my Youtube channel.
When I do the disasters Salon class (salon classes are basically group discussions), I ask the students to tell me their stories about the SARS crisis. Last night, I had a student who was in Guangdong during the crisis. He told me he spent his time working round the clock making monitoring machines. He now works for the monitoring machine division of General Electric here in Wuxi.
I came across this argument in Seablogger:
It’s time America recognized, as Germany, Britain, Sweden, Ireland, India and Pakistan has before it, being a woman is not a hindrance to competence and should not be a hindrance to ambition.
The person who wrote the above was a Hilary Liker, so I find it ironic that the this man would use Margaret Thatcher as an example to support Hilary Clinton's election. Maggie was her own woman. She was also a conservative in the tradition of Ronald Reagan who Hilary so recently chastised Obama for liking. Also, the issue that this man brought up is a non-issue. Americans will elect a woman or a black man or a Catholic whose stances and ideas they find acceptable. Most Americans that is, except many who inhabit the Democratic Party. In making the statement above, the Hilary supporter is trying to deny while at the same time affirming that America must elect Hilary because she is a woman. He is probably also stating that if Hilary or Obama don't win the election it will be because America is racist or misogynist, not because these two are inexperienced or dangerous leftists. Maggie became PM on merit. Republicans and most conservatives accept people as individuals; they don't pander to groups the way the Democrats do.
Here are the videos:
I was talking to a student today about disasters. I asked him about a recent elevator accident in Wuxi that killed 24 people. He told me he heard nothing about it. But then it didn't suprise him. He said a downtown building fire was not reported in the local news either. He heard about it only because a friend of his had seen it.
It is 600 PM, Friday night in Wuxi. I would normally be teaching a class now; not blogging. But the students aren't coming to our downtown location for classes. I have just a seven PM class and a eight PM class. Both have but one student. I have a feeling that the eight PM student won't show. So I may be able to sneak home at eight PM and see my wife and child.
The wife just phoned me asking if perhaps they decided to cancel classes at school. I told her they haven't. She tells me it is a big snow out by the apartment and that we also forgot to buy eggs yesterday.
One of the Trainers who was outside tells me that it is very slippery outside.
One of the Trainers thinks that if McCain gets the Republican nomination, he will make Huckabee his running mate. He reasons that the Republicans need the right-wing Christian vote because otherwise most Republicans won't go out and vote if they don't like their candidate. But Huckabee is a left-wing Christian I told him and most of the Republican party is already mad at McCain for his dumb leftward leaning decisions and rhetoric. My colleague, being a left-winger, insisted that Huckabee was a member of the Christian right. That was the first I heard of such a suggestion and I attributed to the Left Wing's obsession with the Republicans being the party of evangelicals. If McCain ever made Huckabee his running mate, he would lose half the Republican party. McCain needs to appeal to the small government conservatives of his party first.
I saw the police carrying some long poles. They are using them to remove snow from trees to prevent the mass breaking of branches that occurred when Wuxi experienced its first big dump of snow.
This dump is supposed to be the big one, El Snow Grande.
Where is the global warming? I ask.
The most snow in Wuxi in 20 years.
Still more Africans sending me CV's.
Wuxi TV news says the government is doing a great job of dealing with the snow. The snow has pre-empted my Olympic TV spot.
I don't have boots for this weather. I am wearing a five year old pair of airwalks because they are the most water proof footwear I have.
I have 80 squares bought on my 10 by 10 Super Bowl Pool sheet.
I thought to ask the students "do you treat those imposters triumph and disaster the same?". But then I thought not to. They didn't look like the smartest fish in the sea.
I don't think Wuxi has any Snow Plows. I haven't seen any downtown.