Sunday, May 31, 2009
Saturday, May 30, 2009
Friday, May 29, 2009
Thursday, May 28, 2009
Wuxi Tony Update #341: Starring the Great Wall of America, and the Cultural Revolution Redux Singers.
You can watch it here:
Wednesday, May 27, 2009
Tony was mobbed by a table of girls at the CRR. The hottest girl at the table was chasing him. He wasn't at all interested. He will feel like such a fool later in life when he is told about this.
Tuesday, May 26, 2009
- The third floor at the Nanchang Book Market reopened. So I was able to buy three more old movies on DVD for just 10 rmb. I bought Meet Me in St. Louis with Judy Garland, Naked City, and Paths of Glory directed by John Ford.
- I just finished watching Meet Me in St. Louis. It is still a revelation to me that old movies are just so freaking great. The music and the MGM color was something to behold. They can't make movies like that anymore. And even if they wanted to, they couldn't. The wife found it interesting because Judy Garland was not too far removed then from having starred in the Wizard of Oz. So much about this movie blew my mind but what really surprised me was the scene where a date cancels on Judy Garland because he can't get his tuxedo from the tailor's. To wear the suit and tie that he had simply would not have done. And to think now that wearing a suit and tie is dressing up.
- I am a mass mur-der-did-ler. I must have killed twenty mosquitoes with the trusty electric racket tonight. The wife didn't close the screen on a kitchen window for a few minutes.
- This afternoon, I went to a 12 floor high middle school to judge a English Speaking Contest. A local High School teacher and I watched about 100 students make 90 second speeches about dream and reality. Most of the students spoke quite well. The biggest problem was nervousness. Some of the students lost the plot and couldn't finish their speeches, and walked away. Three or four students stood out because their confidence. Each time the other judge and I saw ones we thought exceptional we looked at each other and nodded. It was not so much the English and the student's poise that earned high marks from me.
- I was quite taken with the fact that I was in a 12 floor school. I have passed Big Bridge school many times when I lived in the old apartment on Wu Ai Road. Anytime I have meet students from this school, I have always asked about what it is like to be in a school that was so tall. It was the first time, I had been in the school. I kicked myself for not bring my camera.
- Chinese students come in so many shapes and size. There were two students whose gender I was unsure. I felt sorry for the ones who had bad acne problems. Thank God, I am a teenager no longer. I rue thinking of what Tony will be like when he gets that age.
Monday, May 25, 2009
Sunday, May 24, 2009
The wife holds the camera for this episode of the Wuxi Tony Update series, the greatest Internet Baby Update Series ever. Watch Tony repeatedly attack his father.
This blogger seems to be impressed by what Wuxi is doing. He classifies Wuxi as a second-tier Chinese city. I bet he is an Obama voter.
Saturday, May 23, 2009
Friday, May 22, 2009
We enjoy the honeymoon stage and
no plan to have kids for a little while.
Due to work arrangement, we moved
in this city and bought this apartment.
Although it is a small place, we devote
so much in it, and it totally loving this
warm and comfortable home everyday.
Thursday, May 21, 2009
Wednesday, May 20, 2009
Ride with Tony and family on the streets of Nanjing.
Tony and Jenny go on a ride at the Nanjing, China zoo.
At the Nanjing, China Zoo it was:
Lions and Tigers and Tony! Oh my!
Lions and Tigers and Tony! Oh my!
Pandas make history by appearing in a Wuxi Tony Update for the first time. Tony sees the Pandas at the Zoo in Nanjing, China.
Something tells me this WTU is happening at the Nanjing, China Zoo.
Tony and the Mah Jong Table that can sort itself.
Watch Tony at the play area at the Ikea in Nanjing, China.
Anyway, tomorrow I am back to work. Look to my other site for photo and video from my vacation.
Tony bit me two days ago because he did not get his way. Is this unusual for a 20 month old child to do? I know, I should do my research. But if any rare reader knows, I would appreciate their advice.
Tuesday, May 19, 2009
Sunday, May 17, 2009
Saturday, May 16, 2009
- The first floor showed photos from the Japanese attack on Jiangsu province in 1937. This Wuxiren was interested to learn that approx 2,000 people were killed when the Japanese captured Wuxi. A photo at the museum showed Japanese soldiers marching through an opening in the Wuxi city wall.
- The new museum had some interesting dioramas.
- It was startling to see a photo of an safe zone in the Nanjing city with Danish and Nazi flags.
- The second floor of the museum was the Victory 1945 section to commemorate the first Chinese victory over Imperial powers in over a 100 years. The Boxer rebellion was referenced. Photos showing the Japanese surrender to the Chinese (7 days after the famous ceremony on the USS Missouri) were shown. (Who knew?)
- Chinese and Japanese reconciliation was emphasized as photos showing Japanese leaders meeting Chicom leaders were displayed (Japanese and Chinese relations were normalized in 1972 - photo showing Mao meeting Japanese PM was displayed). The museum said the Chinese were magnanimous with defeated Japanese soldiers.
- In the gift shop, a video taken during the Cultural Revolution was shown. Chairman Mao was shown sitting and smoking as he watched a huge display of fireworks at Tianamen Square. There was also images of enthusiastic crowds waving little red books.
Friday, May 15, 2009
Wednesday, May 13, 2009
Tony also tried to play peek-a-boo with the lady, and as well as tried to goose her. He may have learned the latter action from watching me late in the evening with Jenny.
You can follow vacation 2009 on Twitter.
This may be the last Wuxi Tony Update you will see for five days or so. Our train to Nanjing leaves this afternoon. The place I am staying has computer access. But it remains to be seen if I will have time to use it.
This video was taken on a Tuesday which means it was taken in AKICistan or Akicistan (proper naming still indeterminate). Watch Tony relax in the living room by watching Pee Wee's Playhouse. Listen to his father put the video in historical context.
The benefits of our having short hair are innumerable. For Jenny it is a bonus because when she gives the Kaulins Boys a sponge bath, she will not have to lather up the shampoo to clean our heads. She can use the soft sponge she applies to our backs. The short haircut will also reduce the chances of getting ticks and fleas.
Earlier in the day, Tony and I went to the countryside near Jia Zhou Yang Fang for a walk.
Tony did a Princess Di and ran away when he realized his photo was taken.
Tuesday, May 12, 2009
I know who Wanda Sykes is. She played this black woman, on Curb Your Enthusiasm, who was a paragon of Political Correctness always accusing Larry David of being racist after Larry unintentionally offended some other person with P.C. sensibilities. Maybe like Larry David, she was playing herself on the T.V. series.
WTU 330 is being uploaded to Vimeo.
This afternoon, the wife goes to purchase train tickets for our trip to Nanjing. We leave tomorrow. I don't know if I will be able to blog while in the Nanj. But I promise you I will meet you in the Promised Land. Where ever that is.
This will be the first vacation I have ever spent as a father. And it is more than likely that the theme of K Family vacation 2009 will be how mischievous, troublesome, incorrigible, and menacing is one Anthony Arnis Peng Kaulins.
Trying to follow the NHL playoffs can be a pain. It is hard to access the game highlights as it seems to take for ever for the them to buffer. Shame about the Canucks losing out. They join the Maple Leafs as a loser team.
Two days of Vacation 2009 will be spent in AKICistand or Akicistan, the land of good sense and taste. Another five days will be spent in Nanjing. The other two days will be spent in some new land that I haven't invented yet.
I was watching some Seinfeld DVDs this aft. It is hard to believe that the "Not that there is anything wrong with" episode is over ten years old. I watched that episode today and I have to say that the line lost its humorous impact for me. I got a kick out of the line in another episode where George, continually asking if there was Dill in the sandwich, was eventually told by Jerry that it was in fact taragon.
Jenny eventually urged me to play a DVD that Tony would enjoy so, I put in Pee Wee's Playhouse for him. This series was made before the actor playing Pee Wee was caught doing whatever it was that he was caught doing. Whatever it was that he was caught doing caused many people to not want to have anything to do with his work. I always took Pee Wee Herman's work as being clever childish silliness mixed with a bit of adult whimsy. Boycotting Pew Wee was kind of like saying I should sing any Cole Porter songs because he was gay. Who cares?!? Sadly, Pee Wee Herman's work came to halt because of his indiscretion. Anyway, Tony sat and watched Pee Wee's Playhouse attentively. Jenny thought Pee Wee was behaving silly. But she did appreciate the puppetry and animation of the show.
The Bus Drivers in Wuxi are horrible. They possess the same vices as all other drivers here - a lack of consideration for others and an inability or unwillingness to follow the rules. Having a bus full of people, the Bus Drivers drive like they are on an F-1 course. People on a joy ride in Canada hit less bumps and do less swerving than a Wuxi Bus Driver. (*Of course, it doesn't help that Wuxi drivers make turns without bothering to look. It is an act of faith to them that if a dump truck, barrelling down on them as they make a turn, will be able to slow down.)
The latest issue of the China Leadership Monitor is out. It includes articles on Social Order in the wake of the Economic Crisis and Shanghai reclaiming the head of the Dragon.
I am making it through the novel A Soldier's Duty by Thomas Ricks. I mentioned before that I found the book at the school library. I am enjoying this novel about the politics and the American Military. But I don't think "Schick" is a good name for a U.S. president, even a fictional one.
Monday, May 11, 2009
I may well just have to let the theme develop organically.
The 2009 K family vacation won't be full of hunting safaris and trips to skid row pubs. It will be of a different sort of adventure altogether. Four days will be spent in Wuxi, five days in Nanjing. In Nanjing, I hope to be able to pig out on hot dogs at the Ikea. Other than that, I will be doing fatherly things whatever they may be. It will be a Tony and Andis Odyssey (maybe I should call it the Akicyssey).
Sunday, May 10, 2009
It is Monday morning at the Kaulins household in Wuxi, China. Tony is sitting on the bar stool in the kitchen, looking so darn cute that video must be taken. You will see this and hear Andis put the video in historical context. Andis will also pontificate if only slightly on some matters he has heard discussion about on the Internet.
It is the one great weakness of journalism as a picture of our modern existence, that it must be a picture made up entirely of exceptions. We announce on flaring posters that a man has fallen off a scaffolding. We do not announce on flaring posters that a man has not fallen off a scaffolding. Yet this latter fact is fundamentally more exciting, as indicating that that moving tower of terror and mystery, a man, is still abroad upon the earth. That the man has not fallen off a scaffolding is really more sensational; and it is also some thousand times more common. But journalism cannot reasonably be expected thus to insist upon the permanent miracles. Busy editors cannot be expected to put on their posters, "Mr. Wilkinson Still Safe," or "Mr. Jones, of Worthing, Not Dead Yet." They cannot announce the happiness of mankind at all. They cannot describe all the forks that are not stolen, or all the marriages that are not judiciously dissolved. Hence the complex picture they give of life is of necessity fallacious; they can only represent what is unusual. However democratic they may be, they are only concerned with the minority.
A thought has always lingered in the back of my mind that the stuff that happens for the newspapers has nothing to do with my life or most people's lives. This blog about nothing that I write does have the virtue of actually talking about ordinary things. Whether or not my socks are inside-out is a nice problem to have. And nice problems are to be celebrated. Sure, you can float in the clouds, but you do have to wash your feet. And sitting on the couch is a nice way to rest your legs.
This evening I would describe as steamy. The first of the year. Taking the bus home, I saw some of the local men had taken off their shirts, draping them over their shoulders. I saw another man rolling his shirt up to reveal his belly. Yet another rolled up the legs of his pants to his knees. These practices would smack of a lack of class in Western countries, but it is acceptable here. I am thinking to take off my pants if it gets hot enough and wear nothing buy my B.V.D's.
I told Jenny about the hit-and-run I saw this morning (see previous entry). She told me that cyclist that fled was a bastard. I was under the impression that this action was though of as a necessary evil.
Students told me a ponzi scheme in Wuxi a few years back that fleeced locals of four billion yuan. It was run by a 50 year old woman promising 20 percent returns.
I can't have cold drink now with out Tony whining to have me give it to him.
The Canucks, I am sad to say, lost a big game to the Black Hawks this morning.
The poet laureates of America and England are 50 year lesbians. Whether they are really poets is another question. It leads me to wonder if Canada has a poet laureate and if so is this person a lesbian also. Right now, it seems we have a man in the role. I can find no mention of his sexual orientation. I suppose the parliament of Canada felt it safe to have a male since it already has had a female poet laureate. (Aren't they supposed to mention if the poet is married or not in the biography. I see no mention of her dividing her time between being a poet and a wife). This female was also a francophone - a double whammy for the Canadian Parliament. So, I suppose Canada will have to wait a while before it has its' own lesbian poet laureate.
John Derbyshire on the Arts/Sciences divide. That is, in Western Culture there came a point in the early 19th century where it could be said that Literary Intellectuals knew nothing about science and Scientists knew nothing about literature. I know this divide well. I was hoodwinked into going on the Arts side of the divide. In high school, I had done well in math and sciences. But somehow I missed out on the wonder of these fields, thinking it was all so nerdy and that poets and writers did cool things. What a dolt I was! Now in Wuxi, I see the engineers are the ones making the money. The literary types, if there are actually any, have become poor English teachers. Others may be refugees from sub-intellectual flim-flam pseudo-disciplines (Derb says this in the article). Anyway, this arts/sciences divide says Derbyshire is becoming a thing of the past as Science has routed Art. (Stuck in the boondocks, the divide was already stale when I became aware of and straddled it) The developments I have seen in my life time have been in science. In Art, there has been nothing new under the sun. To me an artist is the man I saw in Winnipeg who defended his vulgar behavior during a movie viewing by inisisting that he was "an artist". Furthermore, says Derb, there has been a shift of cultural and scientific hegemony from Europe to Asia. Europeans don't seem interested in having children and want nothing more than to work 30 hours a week and indulge themselves lazily on four day weekends. The Asians are taking up the strenuous intellectual activity....
Saturday, May 9, 2009
It happened while I was taking the bus to work. The bus was stopped at an intersection. An electric bike carrying an office desk ran through the intersection going in the opposite direction the bus was facing. Meanwhile, another electric bike started to make a left turn in front of the bus. Both cyclists were in the wrong. The bike carrying the desk ran a red light. The bike making the left turn was going the wrong way. The bikes didn't see each other till it was too late. They both made efforts to avoid the collision. The cyclist making the left turn had the worse of the collision. He was knocked down and I clearly remember seeing the side of his head striking the pavement though, not too hard. The cyclist moving the desk wasn't knocked down. However, one of the drawers of the desk fell on the ground. The cyclist, knocked down, quickly got up. But he had to have been hurt and he wasn't wearing an helmet. The cyclist with the desk carried on. He didn't bother to look back. He didn't bother to pick up the drawer. He could be seen slowly riding away from the scene.
I have been told that the hit and run cyclist's behavior is common here and that it is almost the suggested action. The other cyclist would demand money and compensation.
Student speech topic: circumcision.
Last evening, on DVD, I watched Panic in the Streets with Richard Widmark and Jack Palance. A find motion picture with hammy acting but with good editing and a swift-moving story.
Here is a before photo of the premier Wuxi Expat baby.
Here are several afters. They are more for the benefit of my parents than other rare readers.
Friday, May 8, 2009
Here is my Mom with my father and my kid brother.
The high temperature today is supposed to be 33 celsius!
Here is an editorial from Bill Maher. If this represents how the Left "thinks" and the Left is in the ascendant then God help us. Maher's definition of Patriotism seems to be sacrificing for the state. Patriotism as I understand does involve having gratitude. In America, there is this love country borne from being able to escape the compulsory sacrifices imposed by states in other parts of the world. American patriotism is borne of gratitude. However, it is hard to think of the likes of Bill Maher having gratitude for anything. All I see is a sneerer and a scoffer.
It may well be that Maher is on the Left because of good intentions. But his manner, I think, makes me wonder. And his manner does, ironically, make Rush Limbaugh appear wrong on one point. Rush has always said that many people on the Left have good intentions and are well meaning but have bad solutions to the problems of the world. When I look at the likes of Maher, I wonder if the left is well-meaning.
He is a friend of mine from Facebook.
He also happens to be my sister's son. For those of you who live in Ontario, that means he is my nephew. He lives in Chilliwack, British Columbia.
The last thing I can remember about him was his love for BMW cars. He became quite good at the Need for Speed computer game.
Kyle Aaron Reid. It only seems like yesterday that Tony's British Columbian cousin was born.
Thursday, May 7, 2009
Obama to lose in 2012 or Obama to win in 2012? Already the speculation begins. Four years ago, no one was talking about Obama winning the 2008 election. Which just goes to show that it is too early to tell. Rare readers know what I hope will happen. Right now, I am just pessimistic. No reason behind this feeling. It is just a feeling I have.
Spengler confesses. I just found this writer a month ago. I think he is incredible. I don't understand why I was so late into discovering him.
It is nice to let a class go off on a tangent. Last night, I had a student tell me about his hometown flooding to the second floor. It happened in his childhood. He could remember seeing people using doors as flotation devices and bodies of rats everywhere....
In the first photo, you sees mounds of dirt in front on the infamous Hui Shan White House. Here, another Software Park and the first station of the Wuxi Metro are being constructed.
I panned left from the White house to take this photo. Funny, how one can stumble upon a huge construction site.
The photos below were taken a park north of the Olympic Village Apartment Complex (not yet completed).
We won't be going anywhere spectacular on the vacation. I was hoping to hold out on vacation time till the trip to Canada, but not having had a break in twenty months, I figured I should take one now. We will be going to Nanjing to visit some of Jenny's friends. I hope I can talk Jenny into going to Zhongshan Park.
On Twitter, I have as many followers and following. It means I have some of sort of status. You are welcome to be a follower.
Tonight, the ride home on the Electric Bike was nice. Wuxi had a high of thirty Celsius today so the evenings are pleasant.
Only problem, the mosquitoes are out!
Wednesday, May 6, 2009
Taken on May 6, 2009. Watch Tony's father field questions from some construction workers about Tony. Taken near the site of the first stop of Wuxi's subway line.
Tuesday, May 5, 2009
How to pronounce AKICistan? Should I pronounce it A-K-I-C-istan, calling out the four letters, or should I say Akicistan, calling out "kick"? I am leaning toward the latter pronunciation. Pronunciations can evolve, you know. Any opinions rare readers?
Good advice for raising children:
Let them enjoy:
The peace, before the dreadful daylight starts,
Of unkept promises and broken hearts.
This gem of wisdom comes from John Derbyshire's April Diary. Derb was referring to the time we peak in life. A writer who said he had peaked too early at age eleven, in fact peaked normal said Derb. For as the above lines remind us, there is a time when a dreadful reality of life hits us. The world is not an ideal place and never can be. Till then, the world is a wonder and you think it will always be wonderful.
Thinking back on my life, I would have to say that my life peaked at the same time. I was living in Shilo, Manitoba, having just moved there from Quebec. I had a good season playing hockey and it was the first time we could see our Winnipeg relatives on a regular basis. Christmas in Winnipeg with all the relatives was probably the best I ever had. I was in grade seven which made me about 12 years old. Life in Quebec had been grand. We lived in a new subdivision with plenty of places to wander like the stock car track, a creek, and all sorts of woods. I was happy at the time we moved because that was what I had been used to. And plus the kids at school were not likable anymore. We spent a year in Shilo, 1976-77, before moving on to New Brunswick for a second time (We had lived in Oromocto for my kindergarten and grade one years). The second time in New Brunswick was not as good as the first. It was then that my life went to seed. More and more, I saw that people weren't nice, and that I was weak....
I read the Derbyshire piece after coming home from a walk with Tony. We wandered near the Square and Government buildings. At one end of the square, stairs take you to the edge of a canal. Walking there with Tony, I found a six foot long stick. I picked it up and stuck it in the canal water. Tony saw me do this, asked for the stick, and imitated my actions. For ten minutes, he was happy as all can be whacking the canal surface with the stick. He then let go of the stick and it fell in the water and out of his grasp. There was no way I was going to retrieve it. So, I continued walking with Tony looking for another stick to placate the boy who was distraught about losing the other one. When I did, sticks or twigs being hard to find in China I would assume, I took Tony to a fountain pool near the canal. I let Tony have his play this one foot stick continually sticking and splashing it the pool. Unlike the spot where Tony had the first stick, there was no barrier between Tony and the water. So, I had to shadow Tony who was stumbling and running along the edge of the pool. The water was only a foot deep however so in my mind, I knew the worst scenario wouldn't be drowning. Still, I didn't need the aggravation of Tony getting wet. But, stumble in, he did. I did manage to catch him before he was complete submerged in water, and so he only soaked his pants and socks. Still, I had to rush him home immediately. The walk home being about five minutes, I had time to fortify myself mentally about the fact that Jenny would not be impressed. Thankfully, she wasn't as mad as I thought she would be. Only once did she want to strike me.
But this story I thinks amplifies the point that Derbyshire was making in his Diary entry. You got to let your children have their tumbles. You also have to appreciate that what is boring to us is a wonder to a child. I had someone ask me if it was boring to live out in this countryside Wuxi suburb, a long commute from the downtown. I told this person that China has so much to see in it that even the smallest area has too much to see in one trip. I keep finding new things anytime I take Tony for a walk. I should also have told this person that having a child, I have the added advantage of reliving the wonder I had when I was a child. If Tony is excited, then I am excited. When was the last time, I needed a simple stick for the sake of having fun?
The students tell me that the motto of Wuxi is "Wuxi is a good city". The students tell me that the motto sounds just as lame in Chinese. I initially agreed with them, but I should have told them that in English, we have many ways to say good. Maybe, the motto can be translated to "Wuxi is Wonderful." or something considerably more clever. Not that this sloganeering would do any good. New York and Paris are New York and Paris. Their slogan could be "Go to hell!" and people would still want to visit. Paris's slogan probably is "go to hell!". (The joke is not mine. I read it in the comment thread of the Steve Sailer blog entry I mentioned in a previous post about Korea branding.)
May 4 was Star Wars Day. May the Fourth be with you.
May 5 is a celebration of mayonnaise in Mexcio. It is Cinqo de Mayo day in the swine flu ridden country that no one wants to live in if they can help it. I have never tried Cinqo De mayonnaise. I always used Hellman's when I was in Canada. Here, I learn to do without.
Tony likes to rough house with his father in the manner of professional WWF wrestling. He backhanded Dad a couple times. His father backhanding him back only made Tony laugh.
Monday, May 4, 2009
Is China's fertility rate (basically babies per woman) 1.79? John Derbyshire is not sure. Asking students about this in an English Corner, I was told that the number should be higher. The students said that the Countrysiders have more than two. As for young women not wanting any children, the students said this was a Shanghai/Beijing/Hong Kong phenomenon.
Sunday, May 3, 2009
Tony is in the People's Republic of China for May Day.
Saturday, May 2, 2009
This taste for podcasts is a continuance of his habit of listening to radio. Before the Internet, he would stay up late listening to A.M. stations from America which could only be picked up at night. In New Brunswick, he could listen to the great stations from New York, Philadelphia, and Boston. He first, while in Winnipeg, encountered Rush Limbaugh on a Minneapolis station which replayed the great one's show late at night. Moving to British Columbia, he could pick up Washington State stations in the day. Working as a courier, talk radio was his best friend. He even went to meet Rafe Maher of CKNW fame.
He refuses to listen to CBC radio, having never been able to forgive them for their coverage of 9/11. He still rankles at the suggestion heard on that national station that anti-abortion activists stages the attacks.
He has tried to download other types of podcasts but has so far been very disappointed. One entitled "Stuff they didn't teach you in History Class" drove him nuts because of the boorishness of the two female hosts. A guy who will watch Kenneth Clark's Civilisation over and over again can't stand low-class accents accompanied by bad diction and vocabulary. He just tried a Military History podcast and again finds himself driven to the edge of insanity by a host who doesn't have a radio voice.
AKIC listening to one of these Military podcasts heard a comment that inspires the title of this blog entry. The podcast episode recounted the story of Joan of Arc, the girl who saw visions that inspired her to approach the King of France and to ask for, and be granted military command in a war against England. That a 17 year old girl would be given command seems inexplicable. But the King of France had tried everything else and this strong-willed girl seemed a source of hope. It was at this point in the podcast that a parrallel was made with Obama's election. The podcast host readily admitted that Obama lacked the executive experience to be President, but was being elected anyway because he was seen as a source of hope. AKIC had thought that the right's accusing the left of cannonize Obama was a trite overdoing it. But apparently it is not.
I took off my clothes for my wife as she feeding Tony. I then did a dance for her. After a few minutes, she said that no one was watching me. On the ball, I responded that if she wasn't watching me, she wouldn't be saying that she wasn't watching me. Aha!!!
The School Library has a novel "A Soldier's Duty" by Thomas E. Ricks which I have borrowed. I am thinking of bailing on the Robertson Davies' novel. Four pages of the Ricks' novel and I am hooked, just like the reviewer from National Review whose blurb praises the novel.
More reports from the students I do see about the Chinese economy going down. A potential student told me her import-export business has been bad since December. Another has been working only eight hour days when he used to be working twelve.
Another great blog I have found. Steve Sailer dares to talk about things that others dare not, using common sense all the while. Here is a passage (though he didn't write it) that I found in his blog that stands out to me: The accuracy of person perception tends to improve with age, as we learn, gradually and painfully, which behavioral cues are the most reliable indicators of personality, intelligence, and moral virtues. We learn which situations reveal the most diagnostic information about someone’s true character. We learn how to see through first impressions.....Teenagers are overly influenced by the traits that are easiest to assess (physical attractiveness and status among peers). By contrast, parents have decades more experience in assessing the harder-to-discern traits, such as conscientiousness, agreeableness, emotional stability, and intelligence, and in appreciating the longer-term benefits that these traits convey in any human relationship. This ability to judge character was considered a major part of wisdom, and a cardinal virtue, before consumerist capitalism made concepts like character, wisdom, and virtue sound unfashionable. I have noticed that many Expats mock the Chinese for actually listening to and heeding their parents. I assume that it is progress if you don't listen to people who have been around longer than you. From this passage I can also see how foolish I have been in assessing people. But I am learning gradually and painfully. On the latter score, I can only say live-and-learn. On the former, I am out-of-tune with many, but so be it.
Lots and lots of Chinese wear eyeglasses. I will soon be joining them. The signs, little though they are now, are still unmistakable. I am finding myself straining to read some small print. In certain light, text seems blurry. It never had before. On Thursday, I took to asking one student about his glasses. I was asking him simple, but hitherto unconsidered, questions like how long he had been wearing his particular pair of glasses for. I was surprised to learn that he wore the same pair of glasses all the time. He had a back up pair, but told me that alternating his two pairs would be hard on his eyes, because no two pairs of glasses are ever exactly the same.
So, Oprah has been U.S. President for over 100 days. So far, it seems the world has survived. But it will take time before Oprah truly wreaks havoc. His bad and unoriginal ideas have just started to be implemented. And his worst ideas are still to come.
Oprah has never impressed me, has done nothing to change my mind about this, and I can hardly wait till he goes away. Reading the text of one of his speeches, I immediately was struck by how free it was of any actual content. He is a slick politician who benefits from having an ebony veneer and an ability to speechify and seem thoughtful to people who aren't interested much in what people have to say. I can only marvel at how people are so willfully blind about him. I hope for America's sake and the world's, that future presidents will truly be judged by what they say and the content of their character. Now, that America has had a black president, the insane desire for some sort of racial redemption at all costs that elected Obama should hopefully be a one-off in American history. Or will there be a second act to this bad show?