Sunday, August 31, 2008

Wuxi Tony Update #178

There is not much to see in the above video. Really, it is for my parents in Canada to watch. It shows Tony at the playground in our apartment complex.

People intersted in what China is like, should watch WTU 177 (see previous entry).

Wuxi Tony Update #177

I took Tony for a walk this morning. I stopped at a corner and took the above video of local traffic and of course, Tony.

Saturday, August 30, 2008

Wuxi Tony Update #176

With the dolcite tones of Walter Cronkite.

A Sunday of sorts

This morning has the lazy morning feel to it. But I have to teach this afternoon. And maybe I should be going to church or something.

This presidential campaign is still the Dumb and Dumber campaign with the worse choice of candidates since 1972. But it is certainly dramatic and maybe as dramatic as 1968.

Wuxi Tony Update 176 is coming soon! I made it in a distracted state but it has some interesting things in it all the same.

I was reading Zane Grey's West of the Pecos on the bus yesterday. A couple girls sat behind me, and I could pick up enough of what they said to know that they were curious about me and what I was reading. Finally, one of them asked me what I was reading. After my telling them it was a western, they then asked why I was reading an old yellowing book. I like old books I said.

Many Chinese seem to have an aversion to old things. They prefer the new to the old even if the new is boring and there is something to be said for the old. Mind you, anything that is old now is from the bad times before the 1980s.

Palin for VP?

The first two reactions I encountered to McCain's choice of the Alaskan Female Government Palin as his VP were diametrically opposed. In the Seablogger posting, there was jubilation and sober observation about the riskiness of the choice. I then had someone tell me that the choice was terrible because she had no experience and so many Republicans were mad. The latter observation does not seem to be true from what from I have seen on the Internet. I have read talk that the choice has made many lukewarm McCain supporters enthusiastic.

I say that even with this lack of experience she has, which the 0bamamites strangely and gleefully pointed out, she would still seem better presidential material than anybody on the Democratic Side. She has more experience of life and being an executive than 0 has. She is also an conservative.

I hope this move works.

Friday, August 29, 2008

Tony's Citizenship.

I thought I would be getting Tony's citizenship card in the next two weeks. Back in October 2007, we applied for the thing at the Shanghai Canadian Consulate. I was told the card would be ready in ten months.

So ten months to the day, I sent an email to the Consulate asking if it was ready. They told me I have to wait another four months because of a backlog.

Good and Evil

Call me simple-minded, but I believe in this good and evil stuff. As does David Warren.

Thursday, August 28, 2008

Star War Toys at McDonalds in China!

You can buy Star Wars Toys at the Wuxi, China McDonalds.

Who would have thought?

Not a good time for China to invade Taiwan.

Wuxi Tony Update #175: addendum

Tony walks.

Wuxi Tony Update #175

The latest of the greatest Baby update series on the web.

Wuxi, China has a Ferris Wheel Fetish.

Two huge Ferris wheels will be opening in Wuxi, China. One is located near Tai Hu. The other I have seen is near Hui Shan New City. The first Ferris Wheel will open September 10 or so my sources tell me. You can see a photo of it above. If it falls apart, you will drown

Wednesday, August 27, 2008

Tony can walk but I am still in the doghouse.

My wife sent me a message telling me that my son Tony can now walk. I don't exactly know what she means by this. But because I am still in the doghouse for something, my attempt to talk to her was meet by her angrily telling me that I got the message because I am father and that she was still mad at me and so she wouldn't tell me more.

Bittersweet. Good news followed by a bitter reproach. Am I really a bad person?

500 a.m. Fireworks.

At our complex, people are moving in all the time into their new apartments. And it is the tradition to set off fireworks when you move in to presumably to scare the evil spirits out.

This morning, someone was setting off fireworks right below our apartment at about 520 a.m. Tony was woken and started crying. I had to make him some formula to soothe him and put him back to sleep.

Whoever those people were, they were bastards!

More thoughts on Heaven and Hell.

Doing the Speakers' Corner on Heaven and Hell got me to thinking. It didn't get the students to thinking unfortunately, but it did me as I was doing the Corner. I thought things that the students could not have understood. If there is a heaven, it would have to a place of the spirit. Heaven would be a place that was free of material concerns. Therefore it would have to be a place where we don't have bodies.

An anecdote that is sad but true: I was doing an English Corner this afternoon when these two students came late and sat at the side. I recognized but I couldn't place them. After the class was over the two students came asking me to sign these cards they need to prove to their company that they had been attending extra activities at our school. I didn't sign their cards. I later realized they were from my Legris company class which I do on Thursday night.

It turned out that the assassination plot to kill 0bama was nothing of the sort. It was a couple of drug addicts taking nonsense. Drug addicts are a Democratic Party constituency if there ever was one. The assassinations of the Kennedys were done by leftists. In the first case, it was a man admiring Castro; in the second case, it was a Palestinian nationalist. Partisans of the latter cause can now find sympathy with the Democrats.

Wuxi Tony Update #174

This video was taken on.....

Saturday was the 23rd.
Sunday the 24th.
Monday the 25th.
Tuesday the 26th.
so it was taken on August 27th.

Tuesday, August 26, 2008

Heaven and Hell, Dumb and Dumber.

  • I knew it. If you ask the Chinese students a straight categorical yes-no question they will still try to make the answer in between. When I asked the students if they wished there was a heaven and hell, I told them they could not say they wanted a heaven and no hell, but typically one student tried to give me that answer.
  • Chinese teachers make the worse students. I say this from my experience of trying to teach a group of teachers at an Elementary School and from the Chinese teachers I have had attend classes in my school. The teachers repeatedly ignore my advice to try to minimize the Chinese spoken in class by trying to first make the effort to understand something using English. Recently, a teacher I had from Tian Yi Middle School was so disruptive that it still depresses me to think about it. Chinese teachers show an immaturity that is worse than their students. It is just so bizarre.
  • I have labelled this U.S. Presidential election as a contest between Dumb and Dumber. To John Derbyshire, the candidates are two gibbering numbskulls.

In the Doghouse. Again.

I never thought before I was married that I would be in the doghouse so much. But tonight I am again. No point in telling for what particular reason, I am in the doghouse, but I think I would be in the doghouse regardless.

I still don't regard myself as bad as the husbands I saw in Canada who secretly surfed Internet porn while their wives were around, and the many who got divorced.

The best example of a wife leaving her husband had to be the man who continued to have Sega Hockey tournaments with his buddies after he got married. All I do is blog......

Monday, August 25, 2008

Summer winding down.

  • It is the end of Summer and the busy time for us here at HyLite International Language School in Wuxi, Jiangsu, China. The Summer School students, who are mostly middle school, high school and university students go back to their normal schools. We will teach mostly adults and company classes for the next ten months.
  • When Fall comes, I will be taking my Electric bike to work four times a week.
  • Tony likes my mobile phone which I am reluctant to let him play with because he has already broken my wife's.
  • The Expats will be arguing about the effects of the Olympics on China's future for the next little while.
  • Topic for my Speakers' Corner this afternoon: Do you wish there is a heaven and hell?
  • It will be another couple months before Ronnie's Australian Pub re-opens or so I have been told.
  • The Duke of Wuxi heads off to London for two weeks. Just as we happen to have a VIP student who will go to London to study piano.
  • Tony watching the Teletubbies, suddenly started giggling. What makes him laugh is a mystery. Sometimes you do something silly and he laughs while other times he does nothing. The fact that children start laughing when they are very young makes me wonder what humour is and why is it that humans laugh. I remember reading a novel about a character from another planet mystified by human laughter suddenly having a revelation that we laughed because life was not perfect, that if we didn't laugh, we would cry. But is that why Children laugh? Tony cries when he doesn't get his way. It seems he has the childish expectation that everything will be as he wants it, that life will be perfect as it will. So why does he laugh? What is his reason? Is it because he is happier than other times? Is it because he has an expectation of how things should be and if they don't affect him personally they are funny?

Cake, Pizza and other things.

  • I have been asking students what they thought of the Olympics. Most have said they were an overwhelming success. I have heard that some students have said that the Olympics hail the end of the American era and the start of the Chinese. I be skeptical of that. China is looking more like America. I can't say vice versa. No one in America is pining for the Chinese form of government that I know of. Not even 0bama.
  • I come to pizza and cake. The wife was using our gas-powered oven. The cake she made was great. The pizza was doughy. The wife told me that she had trouble getting the pizza dough to rise.
  • Kedi is the local Wuxi convenience store, Wuxi's 7-11, as it were. I have had teachers tell me that the one nearest our school has been ripping them off by scanning things two or three. I go to the particular store all the time but have never been ripped off like that because I usually go in to buy a Coke. What the clerks have been doing to scanning products twice or even three times when the foreigner makes big purchases.
  • Thankfully, I live in part of China that does not have water problems.
  • Reaction to the Olympics? Here is one. Here is another. Here is yet another with an 0bama angle.

Sunday, August 24, 2008

Wuxi Tony Update #173

In this video, you will see that Tony does not like to sit in his high chair. I also wish my parents a happy 46th anniversary.

I watched the Marx Brothers at the Circus this morning. Or at least, I watched most of it (it is hard to sit down two hours straight for anything these days). It was great. I even enjoyed the music.

Tony's First Birthday. Olympics End. Parent's anniversary.

  • Tony was well-behaved at his birthday party yesterday night. He was excited but didn't overly concern himself with picking up the plates and glasses on the restaurant table as I expected.
  • Tony later went to the Blue Bar. I had to drop in to make an appearance as it were. Tony really liked the cue ball on the pool table and cried when I had to take it away from him. Tony's crying was a big issue today.
  • Not going to the pub much these days, I look at the crowd that was there last night and was disappointed. They were mostly a non-descript, boring looking bunch of strangers. I wonder now how I ever thought the Expat life was any different from the life in any of the places I had happen to be before. But, I am here and the life does have its advantages along with its many deprivations.
  • Meeting other Expats isn't one of the advantages of being in China. You just can't escape humanity.
  • Who is Joe Biden? He is now Obama's running mate. I had heard the name before and read it with a (D) beside. I assume the D stood for dumb... Biden is an old Washington hand which makes you wonder why Obama who wants to change politics in Washington would have chosen him.
  • The wife and I took Tony to a studio to shot photos to celebrate Tony's first birthday. Tony was at his whiny best. He didn't cooperate at all with the photographer. Efforts to put a hat on him resulted in Tony taking the hat off quickly. (Why is it that babies don't like wearing hats?) Tony cried non-stop for the last half-hour of the session and did not stop crying till we had left the studio. And I thought I was whiny when having to pose for wedding portraits two years ago.
  • The wife has a terrible time trying to feed Tony in his high chair because he won't sit still and would rather stand or make efforts to escape his feeding.
  • I went to Nanchang market and found a stall that sold old movies on DVD. I bought The Marx Brothers go to the Circus, The Robe, Dam busters, The Flying Tigers with John Wayne, Alfred Hitchcock's Under Capricorn and Elia Kazan's Panic in the streets. The six DVDs cost me 20 rmb.
  • There is one book stall in Wuxi, China's Nanchang market that sells some old English Books. The proprietor of the stall knows me and has been letting me take some of the volumes away for free. "Lao Pengyou", "Old Friend" he calls me. He saw Tony and was impressed but Tony is most impressive when he is sleeping. Today, I walked away with a thirty year old copy of Analog Sci Fi Mag which I may give to the King of Wuxi once I have finished reading it.
  • My parents, who live in Brandon, Manitoba, Canada will celebrate their 46th wedding anniversary on Monday. If Jenny and I celebrate that milestone, I will be in my late eighties.
  • The Olympics are over. I caught parts of the closing ceremony. It was interesting to see Beckham and what looked like Jimmy Page performing a Led Zeppelin song.
  • I didn't watch much of the Olympics as I should have. I was too busy with other things. I did see the Men's basketball final. America beat Spain in a very competitive game.

Saturday, August 23, 2008

Wuxi Tony Update #171

Tony is a happy boy on his first birthday.

Friday, August 22, 2008

Tony is One year old!

  • It is August 23 which means it is my son Anthony Arnis Peng Kaulins's birthday. We will be celebrating at a Japanese Restaurant in downtown Wuxi, China.
  • As I said in my other blog, Tony's birthday is really a celebration of the fact that my wife Jenny has survived the first year with Tony. My wife has had a tough year having gone through child birth, looking after Tony mostly by herself with just a little help from me and supervising the decoration of our new apartment single-handed. She also had to deal with a serious illness.
  • Over a year ago, my cousin Gundega died. It was very sad for me because only months before she had died, she had taken a keen interest in Jenny and her pregnancy offering us all sorts of advice. Gundega died before her time. As Jenny was nearing the end of her pregnancy, Gundega's death was heavy in my heart.
  • On a lighter note, my in-laws are in town for Tony's birthday. Last night, they were watching the Olympics on TV. When the national medal standings were shown, MaMa got a big kick out of seeing Canada was 17th.

Speaking Contest

It was my privilege to be a judge at a Wuxi Middle School Speaking Contest. Apparently, this contest was the final for all the Middle Schools in the Wuxi, China area. I watched and judged sixty three students make 90 second speeches about their favorite hobbies or hobby. So much did I see and so tired do I feel that I can only leave you with a list of observations:

  • I was very impressed with all the students. I could see that all the students had practiced a great deal. Most exhibited great poise. Only a few times did I see any students show any signs of nervousness.
  • I gave the best marks to student #1. I wonder now if she really was the best, because having judged these contests before, I had low expectations and I was blown away by the quality. She had tremendous poise and sounded like the better English-speaking Chinese personalities I would see on CCTV 9. I would have given her perfect marks in any other competition but she was the first and I had no idea if she was ahead of the pack or just average. But I don't think anyone topped her.
  • One student said that the great Chairman Mao said that if you wanted to learn English, you should read the Bible. The Chinese judges (I was the only Foreign judge) stirred, looked at each other and asked if Chairman Mao had ever said such a thing.
  • Another student talked about her friend the Calligraphy brush.
  • The basketball players in the NBA were said to try hard with their team mates to win games. The student making this speech brought to mind the Basketball Jones song by Cheech and Chong. This girl had never heard of the notorious Portland Trail Blazer team that was said to be full of criminals.
  • A student told the audience that watching TV was her hobby. TV, she said, was a source of Knowledge and news about the world. She found out about the Wenchuan Earthquake because she was watching TV.
  • The Wenchuan Earthquake made it into several speeches which were supposed to be about hobbies. A boy who said he love to draw wished aloud that he could make drawings for the Earthquake victims so they would never give up.
  • Many speeches asked the question "Can You guess what my hobby is?". Because there was a time limit, none of the students could make a dramatic pause. So the question was answered too quickly.
  • Some of the speeches were very Nationalisitic. One student talked of China become the greatest power in the world.
  • A parent or official from Tian Yi Middle School came to me before the contest used my name and told me he remembered me from my visit to his school. I asked him how many of his students were in the competition. He told me two, including his son "number thirty six."
  • So many students ended their speech by either saying "That's all" or "Thank you for your listening!" Another common mistake was with verb-subject agreement.
  • Chinese school officials place a great premium on English pronunciation than we do. But that is because their language is unforgiving when it comes to pronunciation.
  • Other hobbies mentioned in the contest included playing the violin, travel, reading, surfing the Internet and Art appreciating.
  • Martin Luther King's "I have a dream" speech was only referred to once today. I have been to contests where at least three or four students would try to read the entire speech.
  • I suspect that many of students were coached by their parents to make these exaggerated gestures of either emphasizing the number one or using two arms to make a big circle.

Thursday, August 21, 2008

Wuxi Tony Update #170

This is the final countdown video. I made the one-day-to-to video after all!

Wuxi Tony Update #169

A late evening countdown to Tony's first birthday.

Company Classes and Speaking Contests.

  • I had a company class tonight. The company: Legris, a French fastener company. The topic: Space and a Grammar lesson. Time Limit: 90 minutes. It wasn't enough time even for a subject that is hard to generate conversation for like Space.
  • The Chinese are telling me that they are merely disappointed about Liu Xiang not running.
  • There is a new user on Youtube called wuxiandls. I suspect that this a plot by the f***ing Russkies to get back at me for comments I made about them in an earlier entry.
  • The school will become deserted over the next few weeks as the Summer School students leave and the part-timers go back to fall activities.
  • My best ever hire, Courtland West, is teaching his last class tomorrow. I hope he can work for us in the future. He will be going back to his native South Carolina to marry his Chinese sweetheart. Good luck to them both!

Wednesday, August 20, 2008

Wuxi Tony Update #168

Another early morning video as the countdown to Tony's first birthday continues.

Latvia wins medal!

I just got an email from my brother informing me that Latvia won a bronze medal in weightlifting. Latvia will need all the strong people it can get when the fucking Russians try to invade it again.

Wuxi Tony Update #167

An early morning WTU.

Tuesday, August 19, 2008

Don't be late.

  • At the place I park my electric bike for recharging all the spots were taken. However, a few of the bikes weren't being recharged. So I lifted one of the smallest of the unrecharging bikes and put my bike in its place. I need the bike tomorrow to get to work so I had no choice. I have been told that taking out the batteries from the bike and taking them to the apartment to recharge is not a good idea because they are very heavy - they make up most of a bike's weight.
  • Tony has been asleep since 540 PM. It is now 1040 PM. We, that being the wife and me, are going to be woken very early tomorrow morning.
  • From Seablogger, a posting about what he sees are the four powers whose interactions make up the world today: Liberal Democracies, China, Russia and Islam. It is a variation on the three powers interacting in Orwell's 1984. Clearly, One World, One Dream is a pipe dream. Whether in the interactions of humans or nations, I see no evidence that we can ever be one. But in spite of being human, as Seablogger says, we have accomplished much. I can't see China returning to the stupidity of the Mao years.
  • Tuesday was a day where I had a lot to do and did get most of it done, even though I did keep myself busy. Still too many issues on the back burner to be dealt with.
  • No medals, yet, for Latvia at the Olympics. I hope my father has the satisfaction of seeing them win one medal in the Olympics.
  • The feedback about Liu Xiang has been one of disappointment at what happened mixed in with some his name is now mud.

Monday, August 18, 2008

No Show so I can blog.

  • I have a no-show student for my 800 PM class so I have some time to do some blogging since my ride doesn't leave till 900.
  • I spent the day with Tony and the wife. In the morning, I took Tony to a park nearby our apartment for the first time. The park was very good. It was built on hill and filled with all sorts of stairways, paths, traditional Chinese style buildings and overgrown but manicured brush. It had a statue of a rhino in one corner which I thought was cool. You can see the statue in WTU 166 (see previous entry) and in my other blog. I don't know what Tony thought of it. He was along for the ride as the expression goes. I had to carry him and the pram to get up the stairs. Back at home, Tony showed a reluctance to sit still in his high-chair. He often stands on his seat. Jenny told me that he has even tried to sit on the high-chair's table area. Later in the afternoon, we took a bus downtown so we could let Tony have fun at a McDonald's play area. He had a fit however because some other little girl scared him.
  • All of China is disappointed because Liu Xiang had to pull out of the 110m hurdles at the Olympics. I saw his coach cry at a TV press conference. When I went to work, and asked another foreigner about it, he said the injury was alleged. Liu Xiang, the defending Olympic champion was not the favourite at these Olympics so there is speculation that he was not wanted to be seen not winning the event for which there has been so much hype these past four years.
  • I have read on the Internet that McCain bested Obama in a debate held by a prominent Evangelical spokesman. I give Obama credit for trying to get the Evangelical vote but it is hard for most of them to believe that they have a place in the Democratic party which is notorious for sneering at them.
  • I used to always pay attention to my total Youtube view numbers (which is about 257,000 as I make this entry). Lately, I have been more interested in seeing how my latest uploads, especially my Wuxi Tony Updates (WTUs) are doing. Here is the page I go to see how my latest videos are doing. If a WTU can get at least 50 views, I am happy. The numbers are nothing to crow about compared to others but I have enough regular WTU watchers to make it all worthwhile. I have changed the focus of the WTUs slightly away from just Tony to being in Wuxi with Tony. Not only do you see Tony in WTUs, you see parts of Wuxi that don't get into the guides to Wuxi.
  • I bought an XL Hilfiger shirt good or Fall and Winter for 140 rmb at a small hole-in-the-wall import shop near Ba Bai Ban. The shirt is amazingly good quality. The material is thick and not at all ready to fall apart after one washing, as many clothes you can buy in China often do.
  • I think McCain can beat Obama, but I wouldn't bet the shop on it. Obama is showing himself to be an ordinary politician with gimmicks that are wearing thin.
  • You can get cynical but you have to pay attention to form, sometimes. I receive emails from people wanting jobs that don't dignify responses. Application emails should be written in a formal manner to begin with.
  • My Tony loves milk shakes. I gave him a taste of one in McDonalds and he grabbed at my cup wanting more. It is funny to see him suck the shake in and then shrug suddenly at the coolness of it.
  • I haven't been on Facebook in weeks. It suddenly ceased to be a habit for whatever reason.
  • But I still read Seablogger everyday. It is a good combination of the personal and political written by a good writer whose talent I can only envy.

Sunday, August 17, 2008

Wuxi Tony Update #166

Tony and I go to a park near our new apartment. You must see the statue we saw.

Wuxi Tony Update #165

Tony and I go for another wander. Check out the garbage.

Wuxi Tony Update #164

Tony gets his first hair cut in the shop. He don't like it one bit.

Canada in 18th place at the Olympics

The dream of a no-medal Olympics for Canada has been shattered. The country I come from is now 18th place in the overall country medals count - a quick turn-around from a two days ago when they had not won any. If they can maintain the pace of these last two days, they could end up in the top ten - but, I doubt that happening.

I bought a Dr. Seuss book for Tony at Xinhua book store in downtown Wuxi, China. The edition is Chinese but the English text is included. In fact, the English is more prominent than the Chinese. I got such a kick out of reading one of the books to Tony that I decided to buy it and risk my wife's wrath. Tony is too young to understand Dr. Seuss but I can tell that he enjoys listening to me talking in rhythm.

When you make a purchase at a Department Store in Wuxi, you first have a sales clerk write out a receipt that you must take to a cashier somewhere else in store. Once you pay the cashier, you can take the receipt back to the department and pick up your goods. When I first had to do this, I thought it was crazy and bureaucratic but I got used to it.

But I was thrown for a loop, as the expression goes, when this happened to me at the Dairy Queen in downtown Wuxi. I ordered a large blizzard and brought out cash to pay like I would do in McDonalds and KFC when they surprised me with the department store procedure.

I took Tony over to the King of Wuxi's house tonight. Tony likes to go to the King's son Tommy's room because he knows it is full of toys. Tonight, we laughed because Tony went into Tommy's room, opened a clothes drawer and started to throw Tommy's clothes on the floor one-by-one.

The three of us, that be the Kaulins family, went to Carrefour tonight. My wifep icked up some vegtables and joined a 20 person long queue waiting to have their veggies weighed and tagged. While my wife did this, I went over to the dairy section to get some cheese and margarine. I suddenly looked over to the lineup my wife was in, and I saw her in a shouting and shoving match with another woman. I ran over with Tony to break it up. The woman's husband was there and I took the tact that we had to stop our wives from fighting. I had no idea what the dispute was about but I figured it wasn't worth the hassle. My wife told me that the women called her bitch and I told her to forget about it. A silent calm ensued as my wife weighed and tagged her vegtables. As we left, the man, who I assumed was the women's husband, said sorry to me. My wife later told me that the woman had tried to queue-jump. My wife then proceeded to kick the woman who swore and hit back at my wife.

Queue-jumping is one of the distressing aspects of living in China. It is done so brazenly and often. Some people who do it just seem to be so unaware as they do it. I blame it on the huge population and the legacy of Chairman Mao shortages. It is good to see my wife fighting back against it.

The King of Wuxi who owns a car tells me that queue-jumping happens at gas stations.

I am having a difficult time get teachers to respond to the ads I have put on the Internet for English Teachers at our school. If you are interested in teaching English in China, you can contact me at You can find more information about the position available at my school in Wuxi, China but looking at a previous entry.

A Russian is not to be trusted. Russia has never acknowledged the criminal nature of the Soviet Union. To say a country like that is a fully responsible member of the world community and has peacekeepers in Georgia is painting it on a bit thick if you ask me. It was telling that the countries of Estonia, Latvia, Lithuania, Ukraine and Poland came to support the leader of Georgia. This countries can't afford to have the illusions of Western pacifists who hate their side so much that they would make excuses for real war-mongers.

Wuxi Tony Update #163

This update was a joy to do.

Wuxi Tony Update #162

I took Tony for an early Sunday morning walk. You are welcome to join us.

Wuxi Tony Update #161

Remember Mutual of Omaha's Wild Kingdom?

Saturday, August 16, 2008

Wuxi Tony Update #160

I put some annotations in this video which you should check out.

Wuxi Tony Update #159

Sadly, Canada wins medal at Olympics.

I was hoping that Canada would not win any medals at these Beijing Olympics. Something about having a large contingent at the games and not winning medals had a poetic touch to it.

Now, I have nothing to cheer for except the Chinese basketball team. I was happy to see them beat Germany. Too bad, all their fans in the stands looked like dead stiffs.

Friday, August 15, 2008

One Trainer hired. A few more to go. No medals for Canada! Please! No birthday present for Tony!

I have hired one trainer for the fall. But we are still looking for more. HyLite Language School in Wuxi, China is proud to have Michael Garton, from Australia aboard. He is married to a Chinese girl, Lin, who is highly recommended because she is a rare AKIC reader and a Tony Fan.

Decent people all over the world can only pray that Canada does not win any Olympic medals. Looking at the overall medal standings now, I see that 53 countries have already won medals while Canada's count is still zero. The lack of medals, I understand, is a time of soul-searching in Canada. Trying to make the best of it by saying a Canadian athlete achieved a personal best isn't going over well. I want Canada's final medal count to stay at zero for the mere fact that it would mean we haven't gone socialist a la a East Germany. It would mean that was some hope for Canada. Alas, I fear that a zero medal count will find us trying to imitate the Australians. I prefer we do something decent and honourable that gets most of the world community mad at us and we become permanently banned from the Olympics, like withdraw from the United Nations.

Canada is like the nerdy loser who just wants to be involved in all the international parties.

I see no need to buy Tony any presents for his first birthday. The reason being he is too young to understand the concept of presents and his tastes are for the simple things in life anyway. But Tony a fancy toy car and then wrap, and he will be more interested in the wrapping paper or the box. Tony, at Toys R Us, likes to rip the price tags off the shelves - he couldn't care less about the toys.

I was talking with a Frenchmen tonight. I was surprised to hear that the French government dictates the prices that can be charged for food in French supermarkets. The government also passes regulations saying only a certain amount of competitors, in whatever business, can be in a certain area. The Frenchmen also mentioned the two million unemployed in his country and predicted that his country's economy will go into the tubes in a few years. The French have come to China to take advantage of its' comparative advantage in labour costs.

Thursday, August 14, 2008

Electric Bike Blues.

  • I took the Electric bike to work and back today, and each trip was annoying.
  • In the morning, the wife had me take a pram to downtown Wuxi. While the pram is foldable, it is still long in its folded form. The only way I can carry the pram while scootering is to lay it down in the space between the bike's steering column and seat. Doing this increases the width of the bike making it more difficult in maneuver in heavy traffic. I also had trouble stopping because I had to put my feet back from their normal and comfortable position and so stopping was awkward. So, I had two mishaps. One caused by a pothole which made me scrape against the curve. Another caused by a woman making a Chinese left turn into traffic (a Chinese turn into traffic involves doing so blindly without looking).
  • In the evening, I rode the scooter in the rain for the first time. I wore the raincoat, that was supplied when I bought the scooter and designed to be worn when scootering in the rain. The raincoat has a transparent part that is placed over the dash and allows you to see the gauges. It was an unenjoyable experience to wear the raincoat because the hood was threatening to slip over my face the whole of my journey back and water was pooling above my lap.
  • I rode about a mile in darkness as a power failure resulted in a block's street lamps not working. You can rarely find complete darkness in China.
  • David Warren on the Georgia Russia War. Latvia and Lithuania and Estonia and the Ukraine should be very scared. South Ossetia was a pretext for the fact that the Russians wanted to teach Georgia a lesson for wanting to be part of NATO. Why do some people think the Russians have the right to teach their neighbors anything? Pacifists: the best friends a tyrant ever had; not so good for democracies.
  • I haven't watched the Olympics in three days. Maybe, I will on the weekend.
  • In the previous entry, I placed an ad for a teacher. We will hire the suitable candidate right away. In September, we will have just six trainers, one below the normal group of seven. The ad I place in Dave's ESL Cafe has garnered three responses.
  • I went to Legris company tonight. A former employee of our school who now works at that company, Shadow, was talking about some controversy about the Olympic Opening Ceremony. Shadow told that me that a part of the ceremony, which I didn't see, was said by the Americans to have been faked. Apparently, the effect of 29 steps was created by fireworks. Shadow said the fireworks that created the effect were real and that the Americans were doubting their authenticity because they were jealous of the quality of the Opening Ceremony. I will have to see some video of that and judge for myself. The 29 steps took place before the big drum show which was happening when I arrived home from work that Friday evening.
  • I asked students if they ever visit the foreign news site that are not blocked on the Internet and that supply alternative views about China. They said they didn't.
  • I asked a high school student how his parents first meet. He told me that they meet at work. The next student, also a high school student, then said "me too!". Jumping all over that student for his inarticulate and short answer, I exclaimed "you meet your wife at work!" to the giggles of all the other students. There is nothing I like better than to trick the students who give short answers. A favorite of mine is to ask the female students if they have one boyfriend and when they respond with the one-word answer "No!", I immediately ask them how many boyfriends they do have.
  • I always insist on the students answering my questions fully giving as much information as they heard in the question in their answer. Too often, the students like to say the shortest answer as possible leaving me to doubt whether they understood the question or not.
  • Say what you like about Dennis Prager, an American conservative talk-show host, but he does provide me with interesting topics for Speaker's Corner. Soon, I will ask the students if they want there to be a heaven and a hell.
  • Children everywhere. I thought there was a one-child policy here.
  • Tony draws crowds of students whenever he comes to school.
  • A double bed is not big enough for my son Tony. He needs a quadruple bed, for safety, as the amount of rolling and squirming he does makes the double bed unsafe. In the last week, he has rolled off the bed twice.

English Trainers needed at HyLite School in Wuxi, Jiangsu China starting September 2008. 8500 RMB / Month.

*Native speakers from Australia, Britain, Canada, New Zealand and USA.
*Age: 25 – 60
*2-3 years’ teaching experience
*Bachelors degree or higher
*Teaching qualification(TESOL or TEFL), preferably to diploma or Masters level
*Sound understanding of SLA theory and modern language teaching methodology
*Excellent communication and organizational skills
*A high degree of professionalism
*A high degree of enthusiasm for quality education
*Two weeks paid vacation and national holidays.
* Monthly salary 7500RMB plus 1000RMB living allowance.
* Return airfare at the end of the contract.
* All Visa costs will be reimbursed with receipts upon your arrival. Residency permits and working permits will be arranged by the school.
*Airport pick up
* Accommodation provided in an excellent hotel while you are assisted in finding a suitable living location.

The job is 5 days per week comprising 25 fifty-five minute classes and 15 hours prep. time with optional overtime classes. The trainer has 2 consecutive days off each week. The teaching materials are all supplied to which trainers add their own ideas to enhance the learning experience of both students and themselves.

At Hylite, you will teach a wide variety of class sizes from 1 to 50. The majority of classes you teach will be private classes (max. 4) and salon classes (max 8). We are teaching more and more corporate classes so those teachers with business experience are especially needed. As well, you will have the opportunity to teach an occasional primary and middle school class.

HyLite School is located in downtown Wuxi close to McDonalds, KFC , Starbucks and major shopping areas. The school has modern classrooms, a library full of foreign books, a mini-golf course, a table-tennis table and a snack bar selling drinks and snacks.

The foreign trainers come from a variety of backgrounds and experiences, but they are qualified, experienced and dedicated to teaching. You will never feel like you are alone in a foreign country. Currently, we have 9 trainers from Australia, Canada, Ireland and England. The students are motivated adults (the youngest students are 15) and they will surprise you with their tenacity and eagerness to learn. Trainers are also expected to join in the fun of such off-campus events like, Hawaiian Beach Parties, Halloween extravaganza, day trips to visit local sights(Lake Taihu, The Ling Shan Bhudda-88 meters high!) and all kinds of parks and festivals that happen year round.

Most trainers now live less than a 5 minute walk from the school.

The city of Wuxi is s mall bustling city of 4.5 million people located in Jiangsu province about 70 minutes by train from Shanghai. There is excellent public transportation, the city is clean and on the whole it is a friendly and well-off community with many things to see and do. There are several large Western-owned super markets so if you like to cook you will find all the "home cookin" foodstuffs you need. There are Western restaurants and all kinds of different styles of Chinese restaurants such as Cantonese, Sechuan, Peking etc. A plate full of noodles with vegetables, very tasty, is about 7rmb.There are local Gyms to keep fit and other sports centers to play basketball, volleyball, table tennis and even a summer softball league.

We are looking for teachers who want to begin their ESL career as well as those who are enjoying the beginning of a 2nd career. Age isn't a factor, however, attitude certainly is. If you work and play well with others, enjoy the team approach to work, enjoy laughing and learning then this may be the place for you. We are a diverse group by age and nationality and welcome your interest in joining our school.

We hope to hear from you soon.

All applications should be submitted in MS Word, and the must contain COPIES OF: 1.a valid passport with photo 2.a TESOL, CELTA ETC. diploma 3.a minimum college diploma 4.a MAXIMUM 2 page resume 5.a letter of reference with e-mail contact 6.a phone number where you can be reached Mail all applications to attention: Andis Kaulins

Wednesday, August 13, 2008

Wuxi Tony Update #158

See how Tony is these days and what I have been reading lately.

Bus Stop and other things.

Here is a collection of random observations from my day:

  • My interest in the Olympics has fizzled. I am just too busy with work and Tony to watch them. I heard I missed a good basketball game yesterday.
  • Two things I saw at the bus stop this morning. First, I saw a poor grizzled poor old man with canvas shorts held up with string, no shirt and cheap sandals. A sight I would never see in Canada. Then, I had a man stop his car at the bus stop and offer me a ride to downtown Wuxi for 35 rmb. I admire the man's capitalistic instincts but he was asking too much. Five rmb and he would have had a deal.
  • I asked a student to make a sentence with "look like". She made the sentence: "I look like myself". I asked her to make a better sentence but the old standby question "Do you look like your mother or your father?" didn't help because she insisted she didn't look like either. So say "I don't look like....."
  • They have put up a poster in the school with the following words in bold letters: "How to learn English more efficiency." We were not consulted about the wording of the poster which was advertising a lecture by a man who was formerly an education head in Wuxi.
  • Peter Malik from Timken is the profiled expat in the latest issue of Wuxi Life magazine. Peter could easily be the King of Wuxi, but he is more the Governor-General type.
  • I had a few reports of people seeing my blog and watching my videos. Courtland told me that a man named Brad knows me from my blog but has never met me. I also had a British fellow telling me that he watched my Apartment Update videos. He is married to a Chinese girl and has a house near Venice Garden, a compound for Expats near Lake Taihu and far from the downtown.
  • I asked another student to make a sentence with "another". She said: "I want another coffee. This one is too hot!!". Wait, then.

Tuesday, August 12, 2008

Olympic fatigue.

  • I am sick of the Olympics already. I think we are only three or four days into them. I am in a profession where I have to make conversation about them all the time. Everyone gives me the same responses. And now that the event is here after four years of talking about it, the anticipatory effect has quickly worn off. Most Chinese still go about their daily routine and maybe get a chance in the evening to catch an hour or so of coverage before they go to bed.
  • I was stopped at a light while on my electric bike or scooter. A very small van full of five people pulled up beside me. I saw a passenger look at me and then not so subtlety nudge his neighbor to look at the laowei too. A not uncommon occurrence but yet an annoying one nonetheless.
  • I was too busy today. I didn't complete tick off all entries on my to do list.
  • I don't have a spot to recharge my bike this evening. I will have to get up earlier so I can hopefully move the bike to a spot where I can recharge tomorrow.
  • Pigs have moved into our building. They like to leave their garbage on the second half floor. That is, between the first and second floors, there is a level where you can turn from on set of stairs to another. As I get down to that level, I am daily greeted by the sight of two garbage bags. Neighbors have complained and they have been warned by security but they persist. My wife tells me that eventually the security will turn off their electricity.
  • Our runner, --- ------, human garbage as it were, missed out on the bonus the school gave us for having the best selling month ever.

Sunday, August 10, 2008

Georgia on my mind!

The Russian Invasion of Georgia is an ill omen to me because of my Latvian heritage. I am always been happy to see that Latvia is an independent country and out of the Russian sphere. But the invasion of a former part of its empire by the Russians recently, worries all small former vassals, now independent parts, of the Old Soviet Empire. The Russians, they suspect, are bent on restoring their Soviet empire and putting those small countries back under their subjugation.

Latvia and othe Baltic States have issued a statement condemning Russia's invasion of Georgia.

What can the Americans do? In the current political atmosphere, there isn't much that can be done. Bush, doesn't have the support of the do-nothing-but-talk Democratic Congress. Obama seems to believe that the U.N. can help. The United States doesn't have the will and that may spell tragedy for small nations like Latvia wanting to forge their own independent existence. The Russians will get away with it.

I watched the first half of the USA - China basketball game last night. The Americans were too big and strong inside for the Chinese. If only the Americans could have been able to sink three point shots, they would have had a perfectly dominant performance.

Tony was up at six AM. He wouldn't let us sleep. He grabbed onto my ears and hairs to get me to pick him up.

Because of the Runner I had last week at school, I will be doing four classes this evening. I rather have the time off, but the extra money will be nice at the end of the month.

I will have 250,000 views on my Youtube channel.

Wuxi Tony Update #157

I took Tony for a walk this morning and I made this video:

Saturday, August 9, 2008

Wuxi Tony Update #156

AKIC Blogspot Tidbits.

  • An editorial from National Review on China and the Olympics: well-balanced and realistic I would say.
  • As I type, Canada and China are tied one-one in an Olympic Woman's Football match.
  • David Warren on Solzhenitsyn: Prophetic writers are a holy nuisance to everyone, but especially to themselves.
  • The students thought that the Opening Ceremony last night was fantastic. The lighting of the flame, said one student, was like Peter Pan.
  • We had a runner yesterday at school. A runner is a term for a foreign teacher who up and flees a school in China without giving any notice. A Canadian we had working for us, --- ------, did not show up for work yesterday and conveniently had his phone out-of-service so I could not contact him. He later sent me a text message telling me he was going to Shanghai to catch a flight back to Canada. Why did he leave? There has been much speculation. He left and lost a lot of money doing so, at least 8000 rmb. So, he didn't leave because he wasn't getting paid. There is speculation he used the school for some nefarious scheme he had. That I can believe. He did seem to be an operator. Many others agree with that assessment. Some people use English teaching as an excuse to travel, others come here for less worthy reasons: I have seen a few persons like that in my four years.
  • I wonder if it is proper that I mention the name of the teacher who fled our school. I never have criticized anyone by name in any of my blogs before. I have commented, in general, on some stupid things I have heard said and seen done and that has been enough to have people accuse me of writing against someone personally. Make no mistake, I am now criticizing someone personally and specifically. In the case of the teacher I named above, I feel it necessary that I publish his name so that hopefully others beware. His behavior was such in the time that he worked at the school that his name be besmirched publicly. Every word he said to anyone in his time in Wuxi, China was a lie it would appear. Hopefully, he never comes to Wuxi again, and the bad reputation he has now earned himself in Wuxi follows him everywhere he goes. Give a guy a second chance and if he is too stupid to take advantage of it or doesn't care, he should be damned.
  • Pardon, me blowing up steam.
  • I saw three crazy traffic maneuvers today worth mentioning in my blog. Two of them occurred near my new apartment where traffic is light. First in the morning, I saw this van pass a bus on the right. The bus had on its right turn signal because it was about to stop at a bus stop. The van driver, not wanting to slow down, passed the bus, oblivious of the fact that the bus was turning right to change lanes. So I saw the strange sight of a van nearly getting itself cut off when, if the driver had waited, no near-collision would have happened. And there was no other traffic on the road. Then in the evening, I saw this motorcycle with two passengers run a red light at 50 km/h, just narrowly missing two dump trucks which were racing through a green. You would never see that sort of thing happen in Canada. The third incident occurred in downtown Wuxi, China. The bus I was in nearly had a head-on collision with a left-turning taxi at an intersection. The taxi driver was in a hurry and was cutting it too close. Again, much closer than you would see in Canada.
  • I remember seeing Georgia in the parade of nations at the Olympics. Now, I read they are at war with Russia.
  • Wuxi Tony Update #155. This makes the blog entry all worth it.

Friday, August 8, 2008

Opening Ceremony.

The Ceremony was four hours long! The parade of nations was never ending. I didn't realize there were so many countries in the world.

I thought the way the torch was lit was cheesy. They had a man suspended by wire run around the top of the stadium with the torch before he lit the big flame.

The women who dressed like Budweiser Girls with their tall white boots were cute. They were part of the human fencing used to corral the athletes in the infield of stadium after they finished their circuit in the Parade of Nations. As each of the 205 nations entered the stadium, you could not help but notice the girls as they swayed back and forth kicking those white boots in the air.

During the parade of nations, the King of Wuxi and I started a game of finding the worse thing we could say about any country. When we saw Denmark, we wondered if they would go in the right direction around the stadium. At least five countries were notable only because of massacres or genocides that occured there. When we saw the Palestinians, we yelled keep them separate from the Jews!

Less than three hours to go...

I sit at school, waiting for my six o'clock class. As soon as it is done, I will scoot home and then go to the King of Wuxi's house to catch the Opening Ceremonies of the Olympic Games. I will watch them to see what show the Chinese Government wants to put on for the world. Hopefully, it will emphasize the great culture of China.

The school is pretty dead at the moment. It is the deadest it has been all summer.

"That's tomorrow's problem!". It is my new motto of management. Plan as you might, problems crop up at the last minute that require improvisation. I just have to expect it and do my best.

Thursday, August 7, 2008

Wuxi Tony Update #153

Less than 24 to go till you-know-what...

One good thing about the Olympics for me (there really aren't that many actually whether they be held in this country or any other country in the world) is that I can get off early from work tomorrow night. Instead of finishing at 2100 as we would usually do on a Friday night, we will finish at 1900 so we can all watch the Olympic Opening Ceremonies which start at 2008.

I have been talking with the students all week about the ceremony. Some are excited but most are blase about the whole spectacle and a few have criticisms. One student wondered how the government could encourage people to not be superstitious and yet at the same time decide to follow the old Chinese superstitions about the number eight when scheduling the opening ceremonies. Another student said, according to another teacher, that China should host the Olympics four years later because they aren't ready for them now.

I asked many of the students what they were going to do Friday night, being extra cautious and using the exact words Friday night to see what answers I would get. An amazing number of them did not know Friday night would be when the Opening ceremonies would be so they told me that would be watching sports on television or watching a television story show. The students who knew what was happening Friday night sniggered at those who made such answers.

I was asked questions by a local newspaper about what I would be doing during the Olympics. I was asked about sports I cared about and was attracted to: two questions that sounded alike. Nobody, not even my wife, could tell me what the difference between the two questions, which were obviously different in Chinese, was. So I answered them the same. I would watch Football, Basketball and Track and Field. I told them I would watch the opening ceremonies with the King of Wuxi. I wanted to tell them that the Olympics would not change my schedule, it being determined by Tony, but my wife said that was like saying I didn't care for the Olympics so I finally said that I would watch more television.

Wednesday, August 6, 2008


I had to get up very early to teach a class of middle school students this morning. This particular class is part of a Summer School program we have to do. Of the two classes in the program, the class I did this morning is considered to be the better behaved bunch. I even thought they weren't bad from having taught them before.

But the group this morning was misbehaving and out of control. I had enough of it and made the students stand silently for the last portion of the class. If they didn't want to learn English, I didn't want to teach them.

But I have to teach them tomorrow. So I told them they would do the same tomorrow if they didn't shape up. I hope the threat works.

I have heard stories of teachers becoming Sadistic to children. I can understand the urge but I can't condone it. So, I hope what I did this morning was a necessary lesson for them and that I don't have to do it again. I can't say as I enjoyed it but what else could I do? They were not to be reasoned with. I got up too early to be there with them.

Another Misunderstanding.

Misunderstandings are a common occurrence in China. I had a brief one tonight that I thought was worth mentioning in my blog. It happened when I asked the students in my company class about the opening ceremony of the Olympics which will take place Friday evening, local time, here in China.

I thought one of the students said the ceremony would be about Lhasa.

Lhasa? I asked. You mean Tibet?

They said. The ceremonies will be full of lasers!

I said, with great relief.

Tuesday, August 5, 2008

Tony can...

Tony, my nearly one year son, can:
  • hit the drum with the palm of his hand. A seemingly small thing. But it is something he never did before.
  • can beat us up, literally and figuratively. He was awake at 500 AM this morning, and so was climbing and kicking and prodding his parents.
  • crawl at 15 km/h.
  • watch television.
  • scream when he doesn't get his way.
  • stand but he can't walk.
  • get to most of the places his fancy takes him.

He will be a year old on August 23. My wife just told me the bad news that we should have a party for him. I prefer to celebrate it on the Internet and so, in privacy. But do something we shall.

Don't ever mess with my wife.

The people who did the curtains at our apartment made a big mistake when they tried asking my wife for more money. Two months after they had put the curtains in and after we thought had fully paid the bill, they came back asking for more money. They made a mistake they said. My wife wouldn't have nothing to do with it. She argued with the company, told them off and then, received harassing phone calls from them. She told the security at our complex to not let them in.

It turned out that a whole lot of people living in our complex were not impressed with the curtain company. Numerous complaints resulted in the company being banned.

Then yesterday, the company tried to enter the complex. An argument took place with the security guards. My wife Jenny happened to walk by and stopped to watch the proceedings. She had Tony, our 11 month old son, in her arms. A girl from the curtain company noticed my wife, and she proceeded to swear at her. She went too far when she said bad things about Tony. My wife handed Tony to the security guards who willing held him so Jenny could slap the curtain girl.

It was with great pride that my wife told me this story.

Monday, August 4, 2008

Interesting Times Indeed.

Solzhenitsyn has died. Yesterday, I printed off the text of the controversial speech he made at Harvard in the 1980s and read it twice through.

Terrorist Attacks in Xinjiang.

I took the electric bike to Yanqiao to buy some juice. I was a curious sight for the locals who probably never saw a foreigner out there before. Laowei! Laowei! Laowei!

Post #1000: Wuxi Tony Update #152

Some Kind of Humid. Full-time positions opening up at our school.

I, personally, have never before felt the humidity I did this afternoon. I just happened to be in an old bus without air conditioning a few minutes before an afternoon thunder shower hit Wuxi, China. Every pore in my body seemed to tingle vigorously with sweat. And then I saw the sort of rain that I have imagined hitting the jungles of Asia: it was monsoon like in its heaviness of downpour.

HyLite Language School in Wuxi, China (one hour by train from Shanghai) will have three or four full-time positions opening up in the next two months. We are looking for teachers, experienced and new to the profession, to teach a wide variety of classes and class-sizes. We need teachers, with a professional attitude, who can teach English to business people and corporate groups. You can email me at for more details. I have been teaching in Wuxi, China for four years and am loving it. You just may too!

Sunday, August 3, 2008

Wuxi Tony Updates 150 and 151

These Updates were taken at a birthday party for the King of Wuxi's son Tommy.

Saturday, August 2, 2008

Saturday Night.

  • I will just make a list of random observations and thought tonight.
  • We have our large screen television back home (see WTU #149), just in time for the Olympics. I am excited. While I probably won't be able to watch much television because the wife will hog it. I will be able to spend more time blogging because she won't hog the computer as much.
  • Tony is interested in my friend's cat.
  • Tony likes kissing the Bart Simpson doll of my friend's son.
  • My friend, the King of Wuxi, China expdatdom will have a BBQ to celebrate his son's third birthday. Many prominent Wuxi Expats will attend.
  • This morning I took the bus to work. I saw an old man, on a bike, who wore a t-shirt saying I am happy I am single. I don't think he knew what his t-shirt was saying.
  • My company class readily admitted that Mah Jong is not a spectator sport.
  • To talk or not talk about the Olympics? This is the question. My friend, the King of Wuxi Expatdom (Kow) says I should because I will get more hits. I can't imagine anyone coming to my blog to read anything about the Olympics. Even though, I am in China, the Olympics are far-removed from my little provincial city two hours from Shanghai. The locals will watch the Olympics on t.v. Other than that, there really isn't much else to be said about the Olympics in Wuxi. I will get my news about them the same way the rest of the world will from the Internet and television. Other than the fact that the Chicoms are hosting the Olympics, there really isn't anything interesting about them. The romance and allure that the Olympics had for me when I was a child is gone. I see the event is just a big bureaucratic affair like the U.N. To see the leader of the IOC talk about his over hyped event is to puke.
  • One of my must-visit site:
  • I was getting an Operation Aborted message when I tried to look at this blog. At Little Green Footballs, it is said that having sitemeter on the site has something to do with it. Seablogger has also mentioned problems resulting from having sitemeter on one's site. However, I got away from the problem by using Firefox.
  • Tony was a good boy today, says the wife. He apparently sat in place and didn't get into anything. If you watch WTU 149 (a blatant plug, I know), you will see him mesmerized and hypnotized by the Teletubbies.
  • National Review Online is celebrating twenty years of Rush Limbaugh this weekend. Long live Ma-Ha-Rushee!!! Sample Excellence With Rush and The Rush Haters.
  • John Derbyshire, who I got an email from once, has a column in NRO as well as a radio show this weekend.

Wuxi Tony Update #149

Featuring the King of Wuxi and Beijing Olympic Talk:

Friday, August 1, 2008

8 Hours in the classroom and other crap I have to put up with.

I set a personal record for hours teaching in a classroom in one day: eight. I spent all my shift time in the classroom, not doing even a pinch or preparation. I never want to have to do that again. My preparation plans for a company class I do Saturday afternoon were completely shot.

The Republicans have never been racist in my memory. Yet, the Democrats continue to assume they are without any proof. At best the Dems can make wild surmises of racism like the city councillor in Houston, Texas who thought the use of the astronomical term Black Hole was Racist.

As far as I am concerned, it is the Democrats that are perpetuating racist and bigoted attitudes. White people and Christians are simply evil, thinks many a Democrat, and should be segregated and put in the back of the bus of public discourse. As well, Blacks can't fend for themselves so they need government programs and affirmative action: a racist attitude if there ever was one and yet it is the so called tolerant Democrats think this.

Obama, who is must surely seem to be more and more another politician and less a messiah above politics, is using this bigotry in his attempt to become U.S. President:

Yesterday in Missouri, Obama predicted McCain and the GOP would use
racially tinged attacks against him."What they're going to try to do is make you
scared of me," Obama said. "You know, he doesn't look like all those other
presidents on the dollar bills."

Visit here to see the whole article.

A poignant entry from my favourite blog. I think I abandoned my childhood dreams without any regrets. One dream I can remember having was being the head statistician of the National Hockey League. A stupid dream to have if there ever was one. But then, I was a left-winger at that age so my brain was flooded with stupid notions. I did also have this dream to be a writer, which the age of blogging has fulfilled for me but, I can't say I have done any writing that I can be reasonably proud of. I have experienced the momemtary thrill of having someone telling me about having read my blog and getting a compliment. I can't ask for more than that.

Having Tony is bonus. But the thought of becoming a father was not something that I thought would happen to me. But now that I am a father, I must declare that having Tony and Tina and so on was the dream I should have had all those years ago.

I luckily did achieve any childhood dreams but through, dumb luck, stumbled into something better.