Monday, August 31, 2009

Staying Over Night.

Beixing Travel Plans
I will be staying over night in Beixing on Tuesday.  My wife says I can relax.  I don't know about that, but I will bring some books to pass the time.  If it don't rain, Tony and I will go for some walks and I will record some WTUs.  So no blogging for 36 hours. 

Tony can ride a Tricycle
Jenny informs me that Tony can ride a tricycle of the pedaled variety.  She says he is very good at it.  The wife had borrowed a tricycle from a neighbor and Tony took to it in a big way.  He cried when they tried to return.  And so the wife bought him one of his own.
 
Under her Thumb
A prominent Wuxi Expat has admitted that his Chinese girlfriend has him under her thumb.  Sounds like he is almost married.

Swing Time 1936
I have found another Astaire-Rodgers Flick on Youku.com

Works in Progress
I am working on my Taking the Bus Work stream of though prose piece.  Stay tuned to this AKIC channel.  It will one day be posted.
 
Brawling
Your reporter was regaled with another tale of citizens fighting security guard.  At our apartment complex, cars, not of the complex, can be charged hourly for parking.  One motorist not happy with this decided to beat up one of the security guards.  This reporter sympathizes with the security guard - he was just doing what he was told.  The driver would have been better advised to beat up management.  Or I should say, take it up with management.
 
Savages with Cars
Our apartment complex has paths (roads) for cars and pathways for pedestrians (sidewalks).  As well, it has plenty of underground parking.  I have been told that some people in our complex have driven their cars on the sidewalks in order to park their cars in front of their apartments.  To get around the barriers that have placed in front of the sidewalks, the drivers drove on grass.
 
Jenny wants to get her driver's license
Jenny wants to get her driver's license in Beixing.  The price of a course there is about the quarter of the price in Wuxi.  If Jenny does decide to do this, she and Tony would be in the countryside for a month.

What do I know?
  • Family beats being at the house alone.
  • I love my wife's cooking.  I love the little pleasures it brings every now and then.
  • The Earth isn't flat.
  • The Montreal Canadiens won the Stanley Cup in 1971.
  • There is one thing worse than not getting what you want, and that is getting it handed to you, gratis, on a silver platter.
  • Actions have consequences.  And so does inaction.
  • The KoW can be a nice fellow sometimes.
  • Stewart still works at the Blue Bar.
  • Some other prominent Wuxi Expat has has the clap making this person the fifth one that I know of.
  • The grass is always greener and conversely, browner everywhere else.


Sunday, August 30, 2009

My weekend is coming! Ha Ha! It maybe be a lost one. Hmmmm.

Rain
Rain this morning which means I am taking the bus to work.

I'm A'Going to Beixing, not Beijing
I will pick up Jenny and Tony, my family, tomorrow in Beixing.  I am not sure if I am expected to stay there overnight.  But I hope not.  I have to bring extra clothes out because of the rapid drop in temperature.  I also got to buy a honey melon for my father in-law. 

Correction
In a previous entry, I said James Cagney was the star of "Paths of Glory".  A reader at AKIC blogspot pointed out my mistake.  I meant to refer to the film "What Price Glory?".  Kirk Douglas was the star of "Paths of Glory", a movie I haven't seen.  (Which reminds me, when I use "stare" in the continuous tense, do I spell it staring or starring?)

Long Johns
I have made a decision that may see me further barred from the company of genteel Expats.  I am wearing Long Johns.  I don't know where my sweat pants are and if I ask my wife, she would  tell me that I should know because I put them away but since I don't know and I don't want to tell apart the house finding them, I will wear this thin pair of long underwear that I found at the top of my underwear drawer.  If you want to see me wear these things, you are welcome to come down to my neighborhood.  Hang out on the street in front of my apartment and you will see me walk on the balcony.

Almost Five Years.....

Strange Exchange on the Bus
Sunday Morning, I took the bus to work.  It was crowded so I had to stand the whole way (forty minutes).  I occupied my time looking out the window and mulling over things.  I don't dwell too much on my being the only foreigner on the bus.  And generally my presence does seem to create too much of a stir.  

This morning, however, I found this girl starring hard at me.  It was very disconcerting and annoying.  So, I stared hard back at her.  She blinked, turned her head, and then starred hard at me some more.  I continued my glare back.  She then pulled her earphones out and said in good English:  "Do you know where you are going?"  I said "Yes.  I am going to work.  The same place I have been going for the last five years!"  She was taken aback - that was all the reaction I was able to see - and then she got off at what I assumed was her stop.

The incident happened so fast that I quickly wondered if I had done the right thing.  Certainly, part of my reaction came from her assumption that I was a lost foreigner. I felt insulted; my pride was bruised.  And her starring at me as she did was certainly rude from my perspective.  But she did have good English.  The Chinese do like to use their English to talk to foreigners - nothing at all wrong with that.  She probably wanted so much to be able to talk to me.  

So thinking about it now, I shouldn't have been more understanding and friendly.  I did wrong.  I should know by now that the girl meant well, and it was my being in a peevish mood that I took offence when none was intended.  If I see that girl again, I should apologize to her.
 
Addendum:  Reflecting on the exchange a little more, something else dawned on me.  When I said the girl got off at a stop almost immediately after our little exchange, I recall now that the stop was at the train station. Perhaps she thought I was going to the train station.  I was wearing a large backpack (overpacking runs in my family) and carrying another bag.  So, further reflection reveals the incident was a big understanding where I, if I could, should apologize profusely.

Bring out your Jackets
Jenny told me that she had to buy a long sleeve shirt for Tony in Taixing because she had not brought any along.  This morning, I looked out my window to see cyclists wearing jackets.  How quickly the weather has cooled since I took the bus to and from Taixing. Wednesday, the heat was unbearable.  Now,  I will have to be bringing out my jackets.
 
Addendum:  On the phone late Sunday  night with my wife, I received orders to bring long sleeved clothes to her when I pick her and my son up this Tuesday.  The temperature changed very quickly catching us quite unprepared.

Drug Addicts in Wuxi
I haven't seen them but I have been told there are drug addicts in Wuxi.  You can see them, I have been told, if you do the bar circuit, which thankfully I don't do anymore.

Students' English Names
The students can give themselves English names.  Here are some they have chosen for themselves this summer:  Silence, Alien, Gigi, Cici, Rye, Cyndi, Youna, Boey, Shine, Kobe, Seraphy, and Computer.

Names I would like to give some Students
Here are some names that would be good for some students:  Farrah, Zeus, Egbert, Daphne, Andis, Benita, Arnis, Aina, Wilma, Sneezy, Dopey, Meat Head, Plastic, Space, Waste of Space, Einstein, Jesus, Mohamed, Meryl, Yakum, Oswald, Shirhan, Madame Bovary, Stone Cold, Wilt, Frederick, Randolph, Eggy, Corky, Porky, Bashful, Shy, Menachim, Barney, Pee Wee, Goldilocks, Bruce Lee, Simbad, Captain, Major, and Farquin Tin Win Bin Fergus Tin Bin Ole Ole Biscuit Barrel Z-bang Z-bong aluminum Obama sucks Ted Kennedy sucked I worship Andis the King of Wuxi is a heretic Deity who deserves to be fired disco inferno baby rap my soul man Smith.
 
Pegasus and Ned's
I went out Sunday evening, a rare thing for this reporter.  I first went to the Pegasus pub in the Nanchang Market where I joined Maralin and Joe, and a whole lot of Germans, including Ziggy. Wuxi's most famous German Expat.  The beer was great and the pub is in a nice location, and if you are bored you can walk to Ronnie's.  The three of us, in fact did just that.  Although we went to Ned's Kitchen which is above Ronnie's pub.  The food was alright and I won't be craving western food for a while.
 
I can also report that after three tall mugs of draft, I am three sheets to the wind.
 
The World don't need no more Sinologists.
Whatever this blog is, it isn't the blog of a would-be Sinologist.  The world doesn't need any more Sinologists, and frankly I don't want to be one.  China is just too big for anyone, especially a foreigner, to understand it.  I respect only those opinions about China that don't try to make predictions.  Anyone who has lived in China, is familiar with it, and knows its' history should temper everything they say with "I just don't know where it is going, and I don't know enough."
 
This blog is what the title says it is: about me in China.  What I am in China, is a guy who has found another place on this globe to live.  I like China but I don't feel guilty for not completely immersing myself in it.  I follow Western things that interest me but revel in the fact that I am here because I don't have to be exposed to the bad Western things.  And China always gives me a show.

Saturday, August 29, 2009

Saturday Night AKIC-CTV-FOX-AL-GEZEERA Headlines

Fight!
No!  It wasn't me.  I wasn't fighting strangers or people I know.  I witnessed an altercation on my bike ride home from work, ending a spell of three consecutive bike rides where I didn't see anything worth writing about.  At the corner of Xueqian and Jiankeng roads in Downtown Wuxi,some black-car VIPs were getting extra special treatment from the traffic police who were stopping all other traffic to let their motorcade through.  I saw one of the traffic cops actually tackle a man who was trying to sneak through on his electric bike.  I looked away for about fifteen seconds before looking back to see the man, who was on the electric bicycle, try to throw some hay makers at his tackler.  The tackling cop was retreating, and his associate were blocking the enraged cyclist who had left his bike lying on its' side on the pavement. 
 
The Gay Divorcee
Gay Marriage does meant that there will be gay divorcees who may or may not be "gay" in the original way the word was supposed to be used.  Anyway, I have found the movie "The Gay Divorcee" starring Astaire and Rogers on www.youku.com.  So far, it doesn't appear to have any lesbians in it.  Not that there is anything wrong with.  Not seeing Lesbians in a movie, that is.
 
Tony's Luck Streak Continues
I reported yesterday about my son Tony having luck at some slot machine in the countryside where he is staying with his mother, my wife.  Yesterday, he won 16.5 rmb which was all spent on these 1 rmb car rides.  Today, he won 14 rmb and same scenario occurred afterwards.
 
Tony's Toilet Training: a Progress Report.
Your impetuous, ever-genial, never-pedestrian, always-civilized, truth-defending, paradigm-breaking, reporter has learned of the progress Tony's countryside toilet training regimen from a source close to the circle of Wuxi's most important baby.  The source reported that Tony didn't pee or poo himself Saturday and that if he needs to use the bathroom, he will pull the source to the bathroom to help him.  He can now just wear diapers at night and on extended trips.
 
Cagney or Gable?
I'm gonna watch one DVD this evening at Casa K.  Here are my choices:  Angels with Dirty Faces starring James Cagney, or It Happened One Night starring Clark Gable.  I am leaning towards Cagney who has impressed with his performances in Yankee Doodle Dandy, and Paths of Glory.  Look! Seee!

Friday, August 28, 2009

Headlines for Friday, August 28.

Mild Traffic Troubles
I want to tell you about two mishaps I saw Friday morning, if you don't mind.  If you do, you can scan down to the next headline.  But if you are interested, I thank you for carrying on with this particular story.  You are a gentleman and a scholar, or the nearest possible honorary female equivalent there is, if you happen to be female that is. (Pardon the long windiness of this story but that is how it is.  I mean that is how I write.  The what of the how being long windedness which is the what is).

These two mishaps happened on my scooter ride to work.  I first saw a motorcycle just as it had fallen on its' side.  Why it had done so was a mystery to me.  I saw the rider pull himself up and then a women with helmet pull herself up (I see a lot of people pulling themselves up in traffic - rarely see them get knocked down.).  I couldn't determine if she was a passenger on the motorcycle or was riding a bike of her own.  For the light turned green and I didn't want to be a Lookie-Lou  or a Kan-Kan-Kong.  I had to move on.  Be careful, I said to myself, you don't want to be a similar situation pulling yourself and the bike up from the pavement.  Beware!  Be Vigilant!  .  And then I came to this this T-shaped intersection which is rather strange to navigate through.   The top line of the "T" has two paths - one for the cars and one for the bikes.  That is the line I was proceeding along this morning.  There are lights at the intersection.  But a green light for bikes doesn't ensure you will get safe passage through the intersection because vehicles will keep coming through the intersection to make left and right turns.  So, you have to wait for a break in the line of turning vehicles before you can get through.  This morning, I was in a you-are-going-to-stop-for-me mood, and so I drifted too far in the path of the turning vehicles.  I was stranded for 30 seconds as the vehicles kept on moving around me, not one of them yielding.  I saw a break but I started off a bit too early and so hit the back of a motorcycle taxi.  The thud of the collision appeared to be nothing but a thud, and so I carried on.

A Book about Ted
My school's library has a book about Ted Kennedy.  It is not a full biography.  It is the memoirs of a man who worked before Ted Kennedy for ten years.  In the jacket, this is said:  {The author} dies not shrink from confronting his own faults and he agrees...it is time for (Kennedy) to confront his.  Could be an interesting read.

Random Streaming Thoughts of Wuxi Sexpat
Wuxi Sexpat walking the street.  Oooh Baby!!!  You know what I like!  Do you want to see the Big Whopper!  Yozza!  Yozza!  Hello Beautiful!  Ni Hen Piaoleng!  Wo ai ni!  Wo xiang ni ai wo!  Kissy Kissy.  Look at that woman!  I don't like her gait.  Must be a countryside gait.  Stiff, lacking in sensuousness.  she will do if all else fails.  Must remember not to go through the front door of the Pink Light places.  Look at that one!  Her shorts are being eaten.  I wonder if she shaves.  I wish they did.  If I said you had a beautiful body would you hold it against me?  How to get a Visa?  I want to stay here forever.  No love at home.  Not like here that is for sure.  Look at the drug sore.  Oh my God!  Viagra is on special!  I hope it isn't fake.  There is a new girl working at the bar!  I like the way she wears her hair.  I wonder how old she is.  I gots to get her drunk...  A little of Monica in my hair!  A little of Jia Wai in my whey!  And then there is Rita!  Bop!  Bop!

Back to School
Next Monday, the students return to school.  One student has told me she has tests on her first day back.  Her school wants to see that she and her classmates have done  their summer homework.  Most of the students  have told me that their summer vacation was ruined by too much homework. (Of course, for many of students this meant less time to play video games - so this moaning should be taken with a grain of salt.)

Tony rises Early and has Beginner's Luck
My son Tony, who is currently in Beixing with Jenny, was up at 530 this morning.  What could my wife do?  She took him for a walk - a good time to go.  She took him to the neighbour's house where there are pool tables and a slot machine.  Tony put a rmb coin in the machine and won 16.5 rmb.  The money was spent on those little rides that kids like - Tony was able to be on the machine all day.
 
Uneventable Ride Home
My scooter ride home tonight was uneventable.  I didn't even pass an event.  I didn't see people sleeping on roads or roofs.  I didn't see any accident aftermaths.
 
It probably means there will be a lot tomorrow. 
 
I will take the electric bike to work tomorrow.  Since Jenny won't be using it, I can.  And I don't feel like taking the bus - too crowded on the weekends it is.
 
Bad Sign:  there were parking spots in the place I park and recharge my bike.  I had to pull out the extension cord to plug the bike in.

Thursday, August 27, 2009

Wuxi Tony Update #392: Tony in Beixing, not Beijing.

This is the last WTU you will see till next week.

Freedom is Responsibility

Keeping Order
Not having the wife at home means I am wandering around like a chicken with its' head cut off.  I have to cook, clean, and do laundry.  If I did relax, none of these things would get done.
 
Listening to Podcasts
I have always loved listening to Talk Radio as I get through my day.  I like all kinds, but as a matter of principle I won't listen to CBC, the disgraced, in my eyes, Canadian government channel.  (The last time I listened to CBC was in September 2001)  With Jenny and Tony not around, I can put a USB flash drive full of pod casts into my large screen television.  So I have been listening to Hugh Hewitt, Marc Steyn, Victor David Hanson, Christopher Hitchens (talking about George Orwell), and G. Gordon Liddy. 
 
What have I learned?  I have learned that LBJ was hung like a horse and practiced naturism on Air Force One.  People who would oppose my political views, in some instances, consider me to be mentally diseased.  Orwell was a linguist, able to speak French and some local languages in Burma.  Orwell didn't like comic books, thinking they were a bad influence on youth.

Thursday Evening Headlines.


Spengler Says Obama Worries China
Obama gets it wrong, again.  Here is what Spengler has to say.

Summer Winding Down
Most of the summer students are gone.  The high school students are preparing for classes which start on August 31 or September 1.  This week, they are getting their books.

Chinese Lover's Day
I was told last week about this holiday (it falls on the seventh day of the seventh month of the traditional Lunar calendar so it sometimes hits the Chinese as a surprise), and then I forgot it.  The holiday was yesterday (Wednesday) which I spend most of riding the buses.  Jenny, when she planned to go to Beixing, must not have been aware of it.  I didn't detect any more annoyance with me than normal yesterday morning.

Ted Kennedy Dies
Ted Kennedy's death is reason enough to avoid political news for the next few days.  I have read some articles and their comment strings.  Boy!  Are some of them long and fractious!  No unity in the American Realm.  I thought Obama was supposed to fix that.

I will ask the students at my English corner tonight, if they have heard of Ted Kennedy, or any of his brothers. (*When I said Ted Kennedy died, one student asked if he was the President.  Otherwise, no one knew who he was*)

Change in Procedure
The procedure to get a teaching job in China has changed since I came here  in 2004.  Then, I just had to get a tourist visa and everything was sorted out once I arrived here.  It was then required that your school send you a formal letter of invitation which you would take to your local Chinese consulate to get a proper Visa.  But, schools were sending out these letters of invite willy-nilly.  And so the procedure was changed yet again.  Now, the department or bureau of education, the government, has to approve a letter of invite before it can be sent out.  That adds at a least a month to the process.
 
Haircut in a Tunnel
On the bike ride home Thursday night, I went through a tunnel that goes below railway tracks.  This tunnel has a bike path and a sidewalk for pedestrians.  On the sidewalk, I saw a man getting a haircut - there was that business and a hawker selling sunglasses and other items.  That is capitalism.
 
Dealing with the Heat
It must be very hot in Wuxi.  On the bike ride home, I saw about five people sleeping on the street.  Four were sleeping on mats placed on bridge sidewalk.  Another laid a cot with legs on a bicycle path.
 
What did they do before there was A/C?
This question came to me when I contemplated the heat in Taixing.  I noticed there was a man swimming in a canal and I thought to myself that there should have been more.  It would be the logical thing to do in the intense heat.  But alas the water is dirty and polluted. 
 
I asked the students in my English corner this question.  One student talked of bamboo chairs and mats, bamboo being a good way to avoid hot surfaces.  Others talked of water being put on floors, sleeping on boats, and standing in pails of water.  Some richer people in the past could afford to have water pumped via ox onto the roofs of their homes.  A lot of people in the past could do nothing but fan themselves constantly.  Clever ones in the past could make a fan full of feathers which could be cranked round and round like the modern electric fans.
Jenny and Tony Update
I am in constant contact with Jenny by phone.  She and Tony are surviving the heat in Taixing and getting to bed very early.


Wednesday, August 26, 2009

Last images of my wife Jenny and my son Tony

My wife and son are in Beixing till September 1. Beixing is my wife's home town. I have to be in Wuxi for work. But, I did accompany them out to Beixing yesterday. I took these last photos of them before I took the bus back to Wuxi.


There is Jenny with a niece of hers. This little girl and Tony will be playmates for the next few days.
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PLA Tony?

Is my son Tony going to join the Chinese People's Liberation Army? Not bloodly likely. Above, he wears the military dress hat of his Chinese grandfather who was in the PLA.
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Wuxi Tony Update #391: Tony and some more Fish.

Late Wednesday Headlines from AKIC FOX News

The Family is away.  What will AKIC do?
I am going to wander round the apartment in my underwear, drink pineapple beer, and listen to right wing talk radio on the big screen t.v. (into which I can stick my USB drive full of podcasts).  I will also catch up on my reading - I hope to finish Ulysses by James Joyce, the four books of Moses, and the Iliad.
 
My brief trip to Beixing (not Beijing)
I spent about seven hours on the bus today so I could be in Beixing for about an hour.  I had to accompany my wife and the child on the trip so I could carry their luggage. 
 
The first stage of the trip saw us spend forty minutes on the local transit to get to the bus station that is close to Baoli (not the bus station near the train station). 
 
At this secondary bus station, we waited fifteen minutes in the sweltering heat of the non a/c-ed waiting hall.  When our bus finally came, we couldn't get on because it was broken down.  All passengers were loaded on a bus that was going to Taixing, near Beixing.  There wasn't a spare bus.  Arguments ensued over seats between the passengers going to Taixing and the passengers going to Beixing.  Near Taixing, we had to change buses.  Earlier, we witnessed an exchange of words between the driver and other passengers forced to get off because of the earlier break down. 
 
We were about an hour late getting to Beixing which was fine because it meant a hour I didn't have to stay there.  I had feared the we would arrive so late to Beixing that I would miss the only afternoon bus going from there to Wuxi.
 
Beixing, at high noon, was hot like you wouldn't believe.  The concrete and the sun, being directly overhead, made poor Tony wet like he had been swimming.  My wife told me tonight that he spent the afternoon playing with water.  Smart Boy.
 
Four hours later I was back home.  On the bus, I read an issue of National Review cover-to-cover.  Thanks Maralin...
 
Things I saw from the bus:  There is a new stadium in Jiangyin.  You see it as you approach the big suspension bridge.  I also saw the aftermath of a bike colliding with a motorized tricycle.  I could see a man sitting beside the bike, clutching a bleeding ankle.
 
 
Dinner with Maralin and Joe
I have these vague memories of going to TGIF on Tuesday evening with Jenny and Tony to meet Maralin and Joe Fritz.  What I do remember is taking long walks with Tony who didn't care to sit in the restaurant which I though had a nice comfortable decor (There is a poster of the album by the Clash, London Calling for example.).  Tony is just in that stage where one of his parents can't eat when we go to a restaurant.  The food, when I could sit down, was standard high-end hamburger restaurant fare.  Not bad if you don't have it so often, and  my cravings for Western food are satisfied for now.  Maralin, being much too kind, brought some Wheaties and an issue of National Review for me, some clothes and books for Tony, and some early-reader books which I hope I can give to some of the young summer students at my school.  My wife gave Maralin a pearl bracelet.  I gave Maralin a copy of a pamphlet published in 1972 about women in the New China, chocked full of quotes from Chairman Mao.
 
After TGIF, we went to a Chongnan Market fish pond where you can feed the fish with a baby bottle.  The privelege to do this will set you back 10 rmb.  But it is worth it to feel the sucking power of the fish on the bottle (which is attached to the end of a stick).  We let Tony try to feed the fish, but he preferred to beat the fish and water with the stick.  He seemed to feel the fish were trying to steal his stick.
 
More KoW Stream-of-Thought Prose
Back by popular demand, the feature that lets the reader live in the mind of the King of Wuxi, the lame duck God .  You will also get to read stream-of-thought prose featuring Wuxi Tony, Yours truly, Wuxi Sexpat, and others.  Today, you can see what the King of Wuxi is thinking as he takes his dog Blackburn for a morning walk:
 
Hot Dog!  Hot Dog!  Hot Diggedy Dog!  Hot Dog! Hot Dog!  Hot Diggedy Dog!  Hot Dog!  Hot Dog!  Hot Blackburn Dog!  You will be delicious for breakfast this morning!  No! No!  Can't say!  Bad Dog King of Wuxi!  No. I mean:  Bad King of Wuxi. No eating dogs.  Don't think of it.  Think of something else.  Sing another food song!  Alligator Pie, Crocodile Cake, If I don't get some, I think I will escape.  I'll die, I'll die, if I don't get some alligator pie.  That won't do.  That is Andis's favorite food song.  What about this?  When the moon's in the sky like a big pizza pie....  No!   That is so such a cliche now.  Can't say that.  Oh yes!  Here is one I like.  Bacon, Ham, Cheese, and Soup!  Eat them together, you'll have a good poop!  If you can't eat it all, that's okay!  'Cause I can eat the rest later today!  Oh Yeah! Yeah! Yeah! Yeah! Yeah!  Got to stop dancing when you think that.  The workers are looking at you funny!  But I will give them a big hug.  That always throws them off.  Then I pat them all over.  Some to seem to like it.  This guy doesn't...  Andis fires me as God!  The nerve!  How to get him back?  Hmmmmmmmmmmmmmmmmmmmmmmmmmmmm whattodowhattodowhattodo?  I know.  I will ask him this question:  Some like to say that there are no atheists in foxholes.  How come they never say there are no foxholes in atheists?  hmmm?  That question would stop Aquinas and C.S. Lewis in their tracks. I am sure of it.  Peace, Order, and Good Government:  Canadian motto. My motto?  Pizza, oerderves, and baloney sandwiches.  Oh Yeah!  That "Oh Yeah" is pregnant with thought and significance.  Great minds can think so much with so little.  So little words!  You got to add that.  Oh Oh!  I am wet!  What content to put my site?  Limericks, religious essays, pornography?  How could he make Kaviar the new King of Wuxi!  NOOOOOO!!!  What doesn't he join Kowlism.  There is only one god and the King of Wuxi is his prophet.  A simple doctrine for the simple people.  I should have used that in my politico days.  I should say I am for gay marriage.  Only problem is Andis will say that when we were going out together, I wasn't for gay marriage.  I should just not say anything....

Tuesday, August 25, 2009

Early Wednesday A.M. Headlines.

Tony obeys an Order from Dad.
Tony made himself very useful to his father Tuesday afternoon.  Realizing that he had neglected to bring a towel to dry himself with after his shower, Tony's father asked his son to bring  a towel from the bedroom closet.  The son of Andis made his father's day by going to the closet and coming back with a towel. 
 
Andis plans next to ask Tony to go to the small store and buy his some beer and smokes.
 
Beixing for lunch
I will be going for Beixing, not Beijing, for lunch Wednesday.  It will mean six hours on the bus, as I accompany Jenny and Tony to Beixing.  I am needed to carry some things.  The trip of my wife and son to Beixing will then mean six days by myself in Wuxi as my wife plans to toilet-train Tony in a countryside setting.

An incident on the other side of our apartment.

Rare readers or glancers, who may have been reading my blog lately, may just recall, if they were paying attention, to my reporting of the standoff at a government building that can be seen from my apartment which I often refer to as Casa Kaulins.  If you don't recall this, I suggest that you look at the archives of this blog for details.  During this incident, extra security and the police had to be called in to deal with two angry women.
 
Another incident involving an angry woman, security, and the police occurred Tuesday afternoon, this time on the other side of my third floor apartment, also know as Casa K,  which overlooks a lane containing entrances to apartment buildings.  I first heard the screams of a man and woman.  Looking out the window, I saw a man standing on the back of a flat deck truck, screaming upwards at a woman on a upper floor of the building next to ours.  The truck contain floor tiling.  The man was a worker.  Not seeing the woman screaming, I wondered if it was a certain woman, I had seen in the process of decorating an apartment, who looked like a complete battle axe, pardon my french.  A few minutes later, I saw that the very woman I suspected had descended to scream at the workers some more.  "I hope Battle axe doesn't try to beat those poor workers!" I said to myself and my wife whose attention I brought to the ongoing incident.  "Don't you think that woman is nuts" I asked my wife.  She demurred.  And then I thought of the struggles and yelling my wife had to do when decorating Casa K.  The woman then began to cry.  And my image of her as the ideal battle axe was punctured.  I got my wife to watch, and she picked up that the woman was calling the police and expressing hatred of the workers.  That woman is nuts and not such a sorry figure, I then thought.  Three security guards from our apartment complex and then two policeman arrived on the scene.  My wife watching and listening, told me that the women was upset after having lost money that was to be paid to the workers for the tiling.  The money had been left in the apartment.  And so the incident all made sense to me.  The women having lost her money, suspected the workers, and so could not pay them for the tiles.  The workers, I saw, were carrying them all back to the truck.  What happened was tragic, I realized.  Could you imagine losing the capital you need to build your home halfway through the process?  You could be faced with the possibility of having to live in an uncompleted home.
 
I later learned that the amount of money in question was 200 rmb.  I thought it was a mere pittance to be calling the police about.  But then my wife put me in my place but pointing out that 200 rmb is a lot of money to many people in China.  So, I was the one who was reacting out or proportion.

Monday, August 24, 2009

Happy Anniversary!

Mom, Dad,
 
Happy Anniversary!  How long have you been married now?  If Jenny and I can be married as long as you, I am going to have to live a long, long time.  I thank you both so much for staying together and so being a pillar in my life.
 
God willing we will see you next year, and you will be finally able to meet your grandson in person.
 
Jenny, Tony, and Andis

Friday Night for Me!

A Walk with my Son
I took Tony for a walk as soon as I arrived home from work tonight.  We walked around the complex, stopping a few times to let Tony throw stones - an activity I am wishing I never introduced to him because he finds it so interesting that I have to fight him when I want him to stop.  I am feeling guilty about letting him throw stones in the ponds in the apartment complex because we are picking up decorative stones on the grounds.  Pretty soon, there will be no stones left. 
 
Tony briefly ran into the lobby of the nearby Ramada Hotel - a swank place that I should hang out at more often. 
 
It was after the Ramada that we went to a public bridge that seemed the perfect spot to let Tony throw stones.  The place had few stones and I didn't feel guilty about Tony desecrating apartment common ground.  I actually got into the stone throwing myself as I noticed a frog sitting on an embankment.  I wasn't at first certain that the lump was in fact a frog.  I threw and threw stones before the hitting the frog, and I then had to hit the frog a few times before it moved and I was confident the lump was alive.
 
To get Tony to stop throwing stones I had to walk away and wait for him to notice I wasn't beside him.  After some wailing, he reluctantly ran to rejoin me.
 
A Theological Dispute
Some of my best writing can be found here as I argue with KoW about my excommunicating him from the religion of which I had made him a deity.  Being the deity got to the KoW's head and so I had no choice but to declare him a heretic.  I should mention that I am the first Pope of this religion.  My move is of course fully supported by prophecy, doctrine, and reason.  Unfortunately, the KoW has engaged in ad hominem attacks against me.  His one attempt to argue with me on theological and doctrinal grounds was easily rebuffed as he made a stupid attempt to equate the doctrine of KoWistic Dualism with Cartesian Dualism.  So he has returned to using ad hominem attacks and Zeus-wannabe-like bluster against me.  I would much appreciate it if you rare reader could register at www.wuxiguide.net, and offer your support for me and truth and reason and basic decency.
 
Why is it Friday Night?
A good question.  I thank you for asking.  It is Friday Night, this Monday, because Tuesday and Wednesday are my days off.
 
A Limerick
There once was an expat in Suzhou
Who liked to do lots of you know
But then the Police did some raids
As they looked for people with Aids
And this man was on the first plane back to his home country.
 
KoW Stream of Thought
Reading James Joyce's Ulysses inspired me to write this Stream of Thought passage about KoW:
 
He awoke.  Cheeseburger.  Cheeseburger.  Take Blackburn for walk.  Bacon. Bacon. Pork. Pork.  Mmmmmmm.  Yum Yum.  I like pie.  Is there any in the fridge?  I wish I had Star Trek technology so I so transport it straight to my bed.  Bat Boy. Bat Boy.  Yah. Yah.  Coffee.  Coffee. Toast.  Toast.  What to have for supper.  Pork Chops and Apple Pie.  Apple Sauce.  I will bake a cake shaped like the Star Trek Enterprise.  Winnipeg.  Hmmmmm.  I wonder if that Bill Murray guy is still mayor.  Is that his name?  No.  It couldn't be.  I must be looking swelter.  Is that the word?  Born Free!  As free as a free thing can be!  As free as a Lion on the range!  Hallewhatyoucallit!  It is raining men.  Rutabaga.  Rutabaga.  Yummy.  Yummy.  Good.  I hope the wife made me sandwiches with extra cheese and pickles.  I think I go to Ronnie's tonight.  I must avenge Kaviar beating me in pool.  I am God.  I am not a heretic God.  No respect.  Andis must think I am a combination of Napoleon, Clausewitz, and Bobby Bittman.  How are ya!  He he he.  I think I will have five cheeseburgers for lunch.  Three shakes.  I wish you could get poutine here.  Maybe I will have to make it.  MMMMM.  Donuts.  Yozza Yozza.  Evidently, the dog ate himself.  Chinese Dog it had to be.  Ho Ha Ha.  What does dualism mean?   That is okay.  If worse comes to worse, I can belch or scoff.  Puts people who think about their arguments in their place.  Blasphemy.  Gasphemy.  My bum makes a symphony.  I love the sounds of those words. 
 

Wuxi Tony Update #390: Tony and some Fish.

Wuxi Tony Update #389: Tony's Birthday Dinner at Yu Pai Fu Hao in Wuxi, China

Sunday, August 23, 2009

My sister sees Pandas.....in San Diego

California Panda
I received an email from my sister.  She saw Pandas in action in San Diego.  Five years in the country and what I have seen Pandas do?  Diddly Squat.

The Middle Kingdom is less self-centered than the U.S.A.?
I read this gaseous prose in the August issue of Map magazine:  Compared to the American Dream, the Chinese Dream is less self-centered.  The American people are like millions of trees in a forest.  Although, they make up a huge forest, they grow up individually.  However, the Chinese people are the sea.  Every Chinese person is a small drop of water in the sea.  So the dreams of Chinese people are more concerned about the nation.  Every Chinese person believes they are responsible for the future of China. It was written in the issue, Rare Generation, the values of Chinese teenagers.  It sounds like the crap I heard extolling the virtues of Multi-Culturalism when I was last in my home country Canada.

Tony Birthday Activities
  • I started the day by singing Happy Birthday! to Tony.  He seemed to appreciate it.  I think my wife would have appreciated my not singing it in Chinese to him.
  • I had to go to work.  So, I didn't actually get up with Tony.  At work, it was nose to the grindstone.
  • After work, we went to the Sichuan Restaurant across Zhongshan Road from school.  Yu Pai Fu Hao it is called.  I enjoyed the food when I had the chance to sit down and nibble at it.  Tony, as rare readers may know, doesn't like to sit in restaurants, so during supper, I took Tony around the block three times.  We also made about three trips up and down the elevator (we were on the third floor)
  • I made WTUs 389 and 390 at Yu Pai Fu Hao.
  • There wasn't a Nuremberg Rally-Woostock Music Festival sized crowd at Tony's birthday dinner.  Those attending were Ling Ling (Jenny's best friend in Wuxi), Connie (a student of mine), Connie's husband, Connie's son, and Neighbors (three people who have a car).
New Mobile Phone A'Coming!
It was the end of the line yesterday for my two-year-old black Nokia clam shell mobile phone.  The screen displayed nothing but black.  Today, I use my wife's discarded pink Nokia which has to be recharged twice a day.  Next payday, I will be getting a new phone.  I require my phone to have an MP3 player so I can listen to pod casts on my long bus rides hither and dither from work.

Derb on This and That
John Derbyshire, the affable and genial host of Radio Derb, has added a few articles to his archive since I last went to his site.  This article won't be popular in some quarters.  This article talks of the AAMs.  This article talks about Summertime Blues:  what juveniles do with their free time in the Summertime holidays.  Derb makes this observation about what boys and girls do with this free time:

William Faulkner, according to Gore Vidal, said that when he first heard the word "coevals" he thought it meant people who were evil together. This always comes to mind when I see my son in company with other 14-year-old males. Groups of midteen boys, even well-raised middle-class ones like ours, seem to radiate mischievous intent, especially in the long summer sloth. If Old Scratch is looking to make some work, here are the idle hands.

The confederates eye me warily as I approach. I doubt they have been up to anything worse than trading dirty jokes, but probably the other two have also been sent out for computer-time violations or other small misdemeanors, and the air is thick with anti-adult attitude. I dispel it with a flash of my magic amulet. "Mom can't cook. I'm going for fast food. Place your orders, please." (It's a neighborly street: We feed one another's kids pretty regularly.) Now I see enthusiasm!

Girls are, as everyone says, easier. My 16-year-old daughter is a bookworm, currently reading her way through my fiction shelves. On a single weekend recently she polished off The Hunchback of Notre Dame and Flann O'Brien's The Poor Mouth. Her sole computer interest is in a game called Sims, which lets you construct people with personalities and style choices, and have them interact with one another. The thing has deep appeal to the young-female soul. (I hope the diversity cops are dozing in their patrol cars here.) Girls seem less susceptible to computer addiction than boys, though. Mine tires of her creations after an hour or so and reaches for a book.

From my experience teaching summer students at my school, I agree that girls are easier.  They are of course easier on the eyes (my concession to sexpats) and they are much easier to teach.  The cleverest summer students are almost always girls. The boys are always hogging the school computers to play games, and are almost always the most vacuous, and the densest students in class.  They do have a air of mischievous to them.  (Thankfully, in my childhood, I was a loner.  So I was never part of this phenomenon).  I would have them shot if I could - the boys that is.
 
Tony can say "DVD"!
Tony said "DVD" Sunday night.  It is something I have been trying to teach him.  And so I see he will learn words he thinks are useful.  I have to say the kid is showing signs of being much more intelligent than me.  I couldn't say "DVD" when I was two.
 
Jenny doesn't want second child now!
Jenny tells me that she doesn't want Tony to have a sibling.  The reason is I am too old.  I have to change her mind about this soon.
 
Hitchens on Orwell on an Econ Talk Podcast
George Orwell will always be on the short list of my favorite writers.  Even though he declared himself a Socialist, he was always apart from the Socialist main stream and was always quick to point out where it was going wrong like when it was solidly behind Stalin.  He also possessed a heroic quality which the current pacifist Left has lost.
 
Christopher Hitchens has become a the unofficial trumpeter, spokesman as it were, for proclaiming the virtues of Orwell.  Hitchens' main point about Orwell is that Orwell still matters even in this post-Cold-War. post British Empire world.
 
So it is a pleasure to listen Hitchens wax poetically about Orwell on this Econo Talk Podcast.  At first it seems incongruous that Hitchens would appear on a Economics show, that is essentially Libertarian and Hayekian in its bent, to talk about an avowed Socialist.  But when you think of Economics as really a study of moral philosophy, and get away from its overuse of math to make predictions about Finance, talking about Orwell is the right and proper thing for Econo Talk to do.  Orwell read The Road to Serfdom and reviewed it, recognizing its significance.  The Road to Serfdom, as Hitches pointed out, was written despite the fact that the political trends at the time it was written were all against it.  But Orwell has the far-sightedness to see its relevance.
 
A few other things stand out in mind after listening to the podcast.  Orwell, said Hitchens, was not afraid to face unpleasant facts.  Orwell, Hitchens also said, was austere to the highest degree.  His tragic early death could have been stopped if he was willing to take a trip to America.  He instead chose to live on an isolated island.  Orwell didn't seem to be tempted by things like cars, big houses. (An austerity which came up when I read of a saint who boasted he was born in poverty, lived in poverty, and died in poverty.  Malcom Muggeridge, a Catholic convert, who knew Orwell noted this austere quality in him as well, comparing him to the French mystic writer Simone Wiel).

Saturday, August 22, 2009

TYOT: Wuxi Jenny Pregnancy Update: Postscript #1

This video was taken on August 23, 2007. Really, it is the first WTU ever.

TYOT: Wuxi Tony Update #388: Tony's Toys

TYOT: Happy Birthday to Tony from Lisa, Josie, Ida, and Nancy!

TYOT: Today (Sunday) is the day!

My son Tony's second Birthday.  I will post a few things to the blog while at work.  But you can count on me to not overdo to in my depiction of this day.
 
Happy Birthday!  Tony!  Your Mom and Dad love you!

Friday, August 21, 2009

TYOT: Happy Birthday to Tony from Chinese Students!

I get another English Corner class to sing Happy Birthday to Tony!

TYOT: Wuxi Tony Update #387: Tony Awakes!

I get called a bitch.

Some days, you just go mad.  This morning, I had a woman butt in front of me as I was waiting to order breakfast at McDonald's.  She was served.  She even ran into my elbow as she did this.  Annoyed, I called her bitch several times and a Wuxi Local word meaning "countrysider" which I have been told is a very rich insult.  She didn't seem to respond to my Chinese, so I screamed "bitch!" at her till she looked back at me.  Saying the word again and giving her the evil eye left no doubt that I wasn't happy with her.  And when she picked up her food, I gave her one more evil eye accompanied by another "bitch"!  Her eyes tightened in animosity and she said "bitch!" back at me.

Bad form, I know.  But, my wife does this all the time when it is done to her.

Friday Night Headlines from AKICNN

More Pizza!
The wife had hot pizza ready for me when I came home from work tonight!  It was very good!
 
Bottle in the Back Pocket.
On my way home, I saw this dude walking, sans t-shirt with a water bottle in the back pocket of his jeans.  I have never seen anyone do that before.  Not that there is anything wrong with it.  But I had to mention in the blog.
 
Sitting on the Corner
Sitting on the Corner, watching all the girls go by!  That is how the song goes.  The humid weather has the locals sleeping on the streets, hanging out on bridges, and sitting on grass near street corners.  Tonight, I saw four men, dressed just in their shorts, spending their Friday night on a patch of grass near a street corner.  They would be called vagrants in my country - I make this observation to deride my country.  We too sophisticated in our country to enjoy the simple company of others.  Stick westerners on a street corner and they be whining in no time.
 
Using a Bike to move Furniture
Bicycle overloads are a staple on the Internet for people who want to show China as being quirky.  It is no big deal to see the locals use bicycles to move all manner of things.  But tonight, I do wish to report a variation that I had never seen before.  I saw an electric bike being used to carry a desk.  The desk was placed on the driver's seat.  Three people were pushing the electric bike.  Different.
 
Cars and Toy Story II
I bought Tony some DVDs for his birthday.  He has already started to watch them.  The animation of these movies amuses him.
 
 
 

TYOT: Wuxi Tony Update #386: Tony Asleep.

Tony is asleep! Yes Indeed!

Thursday, August 20, 2009

Friday (Tuesday) quick brief headlines

Grapes
The School has given each of its employees a box of grapes.  I have eaten some.  Delicious!

Wait them out
What do you do if a student don't answer a question.  Wait till they do.  And if it means, you have to wait and wait and wait.  So be it.  You can't be afraid of silence.

High Humidity means Thunder Shower  A'Coming!
The heat this morning was energy-zapping.  No wonder, it was followed by a brief but intense thundershower.  

Tony provides further evidence of the soul-breaking lethargy that the humidity brings.  When, Tony awakes, it is his habit to get up immediately.  This morning, he was awake but he lingered in bed for twenty minutes.  When he did go to the living room, he sat in his chair dutifully and watched a DVD, not playing with his toys.

Where is the Jello?
His majesty, the heretic deity, the liberator of Hans Island from the Danes, phoned to ask me where the Jello was.  It turned out he was at the wrong supermarket.  He was at Auchan when he should have gone to Carrefour Baoli's import section.

Environment
Kill all humans.  That is the implication if you find yourself accepting all the assumptions of the Environmental movement.  This thought comes to me any time I have to try to do a conversation class about the topic.

VPN Programs
I have two VPN programs with which to combat the Great Firewall:  Hot Spot Shield, and this Chinese program (U95) which you can download at www.wuxiguide.net (in the download section).


TYOT: Tony on a Trike

I see now that sending photos to my blog via gmail doesn't work. So, I am using Picassa.
Posted by Picasa

TYOT: Wuxi Tony Update #385: Tony on a trike.

TYOT: Baby on a Bed.

The wife took this video. I won't classify it as a WTU.

Friday (Tuesday) Morning

It is hot out there!
It is the kind of heat that takes away your zip.  Whatever the opposite of drag-racing is, I will be doing it today.
 
Another Year at School
If they want me, I will sign on for another year at my school.  It has been the best gig I have ever had.  The students are generally wonderful people, and the experiences I have had, I could never have had in Canada.
 
Shower!  Shower!
I will take my shower now.  Two, I take in a day.  One in the evening before beddie-bye.  Another in the morning before I start to sweat.
 
Shame
Tony can be scolded.  And he will stand in place after being scolded with a look of shame on his face.  He is always taking on new facial expressions and emotions all the time - a never ending source of wonder for his parents.
 
KoWistic Dualism, Dual KoWist
There is a doctrinal controversy about the essences of the King of Wuxi which can be viewed at www.wuxiguide.net in the discussion boards.  The King of Wuxi has taken offence at being excommunicated from the religion of which he is a deity.  I did the excommunicating and have created the doctrine of KoWistic Dualism - the idea that the essence of the King of Wuxi can be both divine and heretical.  I think it is a doctrine that can save the world.  The King of Wuxi, not caring for this, worries only for his reputation.

Thursday Night Headlines

 
 
Fresh Pizza for Breakfast!
I had fresh pizza for breakfast this morning.   Jenny raised some dough overnight and then rose early to make me pizza before I had to leave for work.  After trying one slice of the pizza, I couldn't help myself and so ate four more.  It was meant to be my lunch.
 
Love by the railings?
I have seen all sorts of things on the mile long bridge I have to take to get home.  I have seen people sleeping on the walkway overnight on some hot summer nights.  Tonight, I saw a youngish couple sitting on the railing, having a romantic moment.
 
Money as a Gift?
It is not considered, in the West, to be in good taste to come to some one's house for dinner and give cash as a gift.  It would be better to give Wine.  In China, you can give cash provided it comes in a Red Envelope; otherwise it is gauche to give it openly.
 
Keep Your Enemies Closer?
Someone, in the West, said "Keep your friends close and your enemies closer".  In China, they say "Enemies and friends change; benefits stay the same."  You can make a connection between the two statements.
 
Does Knowledge come from Theory or Practice?
During the Cultural Revolution in China, knowledge came from the wisdom (hence theory) of Chairman Mao.  Chairman Deng changed this saying that knowledge should come from practice.  This is what I was told tonight by students.
 
A TYOT Photo Somewhere
I am making this blog entry in my gmail account which I will then send to my two blogs.  I have inserted the most current photo of Tony in this email.  I will put it at the bottom of this email.  But where the photo ends up when published, is a mystery at the time of typing.
 
 

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TYOT: Chinese students sing Happy Birthday! in English and Chinese.

I shot this video at an English Corner.

TYOT: Wuxi Tony Update #384: Tony walks

Talk about your miracle of miracles. I was able to upload this video to Youtube before my VPN conked out.

Wednesday, August 19, 2009

Wednesday Night Headlines.

No Class
The K family went to Baoli Wednesday Evening.  Andis witnessed a pair of males walk into the mall with no shirts on.
 
Vomit
On the cobbled surface of the lane near Casa K, Andis saw two leavings of vomit.  Did two individuals get sick on account of food they must have eaten somewhere, or did one person get sick two times?  The Vomit was mostly cleared away in two days, however a permanent stain seems to have been left on the cobbled surface which Andis is sure to superstitiously avoid for the rest of his days.
 
Urine
The playgrounds they have at KFC and McDonald's are very popular.  Tony likes to play at them.  However, Andis can help but think how many times some undiapered child has urinated in them.  He prefers Tony continue to play on....
 
Escalators
At Baoli, they have these escalators designed to carry shopping carts.  Tony loves to run up and down these escalators' flat surfaces.  Wednesday night, he overcame any fear he had of getting on or off them without Daddy's health.  And he made about fifteen trips up and down them.  Two times, Daddy played a trick on Tony by letting him get on himself, and then waving bye-bye to him.  Tony, unsure of what to do, would try to run down the upward moving escalator.  One time, Tony was all the way to the top, but seeing Dad was still at the bottom, he decided to run all the way down. almost making it before he ran out of momentum.
 
Car hits Electric Bike
If someone in the K family had looked left sooner, they would have seen a car hit an electric bike.  As it was, they were able to see the cyclist still straddling the flipped-over bike.  What apparently happened was that the car driver was trying to get through a yellow light.
 
Hot on the Bus
It was hot on the One RMB non-air-conditioned bus this evening.  I sweated, pardon the cliche, like a pig.
 
Shui Shui Bing Bing
Wode Fayin Bu Hao!  Some staff member at Carrefour didn't understand what I meant when I tried to ask her where the ice lollie thingees were.
 
Elsi and Mister Elsi
I saw Elsi and her husband Doctor Mister Elsi when I was at Baoli Wednesday Evening.  They were on the third floor by HOLA.  It looked like the couple was accompanied by  Mister Elsi's parents.  Mister Elsi sure looked to be a dead ringer for the older guy.
 
TYOT an Astounding Success!
Wuxiandis claims the Two Years of Tony Festival slash Gala has been an astounding success of historical proportions.  Asked what proof he had of this, wuxiandis told the questioner to K.H.A. and then proceeded to punch, kick, and slap the individual before finally doing him in by serving him a cup of Tai Lake Water.  "Listen you bastards!  What is wrong with you?  What part of historical proportions don't you understand?  Other galas are planned and there is always the unfulfilled hope that they will relive the glory of the previous galas.  But the TYOT is a one-off that was not predicted by any of the so-called experts who were using  all the latest sophisticated statistical and risk models.  Stop being such dimwits!" said wuxiandis.

Tuesday, August 18, 2009

Why believe in God?

You can't believe in man.  Despite all our technological advances, men are still slaves to the fact of their existence.

Wednesday is AKIC Sunday

Decoration Above
Workers are decorating an apartment above us and they are making a lot of noise doing so.  It is a common occurrence in China.  It doesn't seem to breed love for one's neighbours.
 
Is it just me, or is she nuts?
In a building next to ours, a woman who I think is crazy, is having her apartment decorated.  I say she is crazy because she is very intent about the process.  She can been seen walking back and forth in the lane in front of our buildings.  She paces in front for hours on end.  She has a countryside woman's gait - very unfeminine, she looks like a sergeant major inspecting barracks.  When she talks on her mobile, she is louder than the workers above us.  I first think someone is having a quarrel when she is on the mobile. Locating the quarrel, I see her barking into the phone like an angry general asking why his orders weren't obeyed.  I have tried to get my wife to look at this woman.  "Honey!  Look at this woman!  Is she nuts or what!"  My wife doesn't seem interested, poo-poohing my observations.
 
Dylan Documentary
Funny how one thing can lead to another in seemingly unrelated ways.  I was listing to an Econ Talk podcast in which the host of the show mentioned a Dylan Documentary he had watched.  The film, directed by Martin Scorsese, showed a Dylan who wasn't so much a protest singer with deep meaning, as a man who just wanted to make songs and be famous.  The Econ Talk host said that to learn this about Dylan shocked many people - it was a problem for them.  But it wasn't for the Econo Talk man who was an Economist.  Everyone has those sort of motives.  So, I went on youku.com,  found the documentary, and watched it all last night.  I quite enjoyed it.  I am not a Dylan fan.  He doesn't electrify me as Sinatra does.  Dylan often seems to mumble.  And the seriousness of the participants in the sixties is a turn-off for me.  Dylan's ambivalence about the protest scene is admirable.  He didn't bother going to all the sit-ins about Vietnam and so-on.  There is footage in the movie of Dylan fielding gaseous questions where I couldn't help but admire his rudeness.  (Obama, I have heard, plants these sort of questioners at press conferences, and instead tries to take on a magnanimous air).  I also read this story about Dylan in a right-wing side.
 
He is Up and At 'Em!
He is awake!  Tony got up about thirty minutes after I did.  After having his bottle, he went into the living room, took his pail of blocks and dumped it on his t.v. chair.  He then pulled me away from the computer to turn on the DVD player for him.  I hope he doesn't require me to take him out four times like he did yesterday.  All that sun killed me!  And I didn't do the things around the house that I said to wife I would do, thus losing even more credibility with her.
 
Underneath, Mirror, and Frame
I want to clean underneath all the furniture.  A lost of dust has accumulated there.  I have to put up this mirror, four frames of which I have already erected.  And there is this family portrait that will go on the wall near the dining room table once I find the hammer and hooks.
 
A Classic Look
I have been seeing a lot of this old local men, heads shaved, no shirts, wearing just shorts and sandals, their skin sunbeaten, their bodies thin but strong, looking for all the world like the coolies of days gone past.
 
Addendum
I forgot to mention that when I took Tony on a bike ride yesterday, we rode through some neighborhoods of Yanqiao.  Deserted these neighborhoods were in the hot afternoon sun.  I couldn't help but wonder what it was like to live in these places all made of concrete.
 
1,000 Views in 24 Hours
This video has been seen 1,000 times on youku.com
 
To Go or Not to Go?
I have been invited to a BBQ in the area.  Will I go?  The wife won't.  Blood done gone bad.  I wonder if I should go.  But. Never say never.  Maybe means No in China.
 
I Like This
I like this headlining I have been doing in my blog entries.  I like the look and I am sure the readers may find it attention-grabbing.
 
Sex
Rare readers and glancers know that I would never try to use cheap titillating sensationalism or exaggeration as a means of getting readers and visits.
 
Diarrhea
Someone has it.  No me.  I have been lucky so far this summer.  A few times, I have had the runs.

TYOT: Akicistan Tony insists on going outside in the awful heat.

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Three Trips Outside

No one in his right mind would have gone out this afternoon by choice.  They would have gone out only if it was mandatory.   It was too bloody hot.  A good activity would have been to sit in A/C and read. 

I went out three times, Tuesday afternoon, because Tony wanted to.  He currently finds walking outside, and looking for stones very interesting.  He wants the stones so he can throw them in the water.  There being lots of canals and ponds in the neighborhood, this throwing stones is a grand and convenient obsession to have.  Especially, if you have a sucker like me for a father. 

I thought the first trip into the blaring sun would cure him of a desire to go out.  But after twenty minutes, at which time I returned home for lunch, Tony protested passionately against going inside.  The fact that it was lunchtime didn't do much to change his thoughts (sometimes his attention can be quickly diverted by new sensations).  He had a bit of a drink and then took his shoes to me - his way of telling me that he wants to go out. 

So out I took him out again, this time going into the dungeonous tunnels of the apartment complex where the dankness was made tolerable by the coolness.   I found the one elevator that could take us to the lofty heights of the complex's tallest buildings.  Tony was not so much interested in the view.  He wanted to ride the elevators; another obsession of his because he like to press buttons whether on phones, keyboards, et cetera.   We went down to the canal.  A few times he actually threw the stones into the water in a manly way so I let him continue.  That is, he used his arm and threw for distance instead of just dropping the stones.  Now anytime he sees stones, he makes me stop so he can pick them up.  Sometimes, he doesn't pick up stones at all...  I took him back home after an hour of this.  I had passed the time by listening to Nassim Taleb talk about the financial crisis on a Econ Talk podcast which I had put on my mobile phone.  Taleb says he is going to write a book on how Universities have not added to the sum of human knowledge.

When I got home, a painter was there.  So I had to go out yet again.  This time, I took the electric bike and Tony to the Wu Culture Park.  An interesting place I would recommend you go if you are in Akicistan, also known as Hui Shan New City.  I took Tony to two rooms that were filled with painted figurines of Chinese people in older times.  I will have to take a video one day of the place to show you the delights it contains.  Unfortunately, Tony was not so much interested in the room because the displays were above his line of sight and there was nothing for him to grab onto.  So I took him to another part of the park which contained museums, walkways, pedestrian bridges going over streams, and ponds.  Tony immediately became interested in the ponds and streams, and he started looking for rocks and things to throw into the water.  After about twenty minutes, I took Tony for a ride which I hoped would put him to sleep.  It did, I am glad to say and so now I make this blog entry.



Monday, August 17, 2009

The TYOT Festival comes to Akicistan

If it it Tuesday...
You are in Akicistan, which this week is proud to join in the celebration of TYOT and wishes Tony a happy second birthday.  As well, Akicistan congratulates Jenny on her efforts as a parent.  Andis deserves to be ambushed by Akicistan Mujaheddin.
 
Sleep In?
Andis looked at the clock on the dresser in the corner.  At first it was blurry.  Someone told me that your eyes start to go around 45.  Hold off buying glasses don't want to have lazy eyes.  Focus. Focus. Focus!  It is eight o'clock.  Get in some blogging before Tony arises.  Tony sleeps besides Andis.  I think I must stop him from rolling on the bed.  Tony is starting the practice of hitting those who he feels has done him wrong - usually me, but sometimes Mommy.
 
Maralin is back
I got an email from Maralin.  She is back from Arizona.  I look forward to the copy of the National Review.  I read it on the bus and at work, prominently.
 
Viral Video on Youku
The first video I took of Tony and Jenny together is going viral on Youku, the Chinese Youtube..  It has been viewed about 600 times in the last 24 hours.  And it can be attributed to Jenny putting Chinese writing in the titles.  I will embed the video on Sunday to mark Tony's second birthday.
 
AKIC Weekend
What to do?  What to do?  What to do?  The outlook was decidedly blue, till I looked up and saw you!  The outlook ain't blue as long as Tony is around; it is terrifying and exciting.  What will the family K do?  Husband and Wife have agreed that it will be too hot to do much.  We will spend time at home.  Projects:  cleaning under everything, organizing my socks, and the TYOT.
 
Obama's popularity slipping?
For the sake of the human race, it is important that it does.  Obama is as wrong-headed as wrong-headed can be.  Hope that maybe actually being in a position of responsibility would moderate his views have proved unfounded.  It was sad to see that Nassim Taleb, who wrote the brilliant book The Black Swan, had high hopes for Obama.  What was he thinking?  The presidential election of 2008 offered the worst choice of candidates since 1988 and 1972.  How anyone could have had high hopes last year was a fool. 
 
I do wonder how a McCain presidency would have worked out.  It may well have been the last few months of the Bush presidency which now in retrospect looks prudent because of what Obama is doing.  No, the McCain presidency would have been an unhappy time as well, but only because we wouldn't have known how bad Obama would have turned out to be.
 
Go Sarah Go!
Who on the Republican side is benefiting from Obama's woes?  No one really.  The Republican disorganisation is the only reason the Democrats have a chance in 2010.  I do hope Sarah Palin can become the face and voice of the opposition.  The extreme hatred of her reminds me of the hatred of Reagan on the part of the Left (I can remember how viral it was because I was young, foolish, and left at the time).  The whining of the Left against Reagan was loud but didn'' stop Reagan from winning two elections.  Go Sarah!  She has more common sense and experience than the current person at the helm.
 
Heat
It has to be in the thirties today.  Thirty Celsius that is.  In the nineties in Fahrenheit?  I wear blue underwear.  I feel sweat on my back.  It doesn't lend itself to a feeling of going through the day efficiently.  Sweat seeping into electronics causing shorts - a nightmare for techies.  Does the sweat evaporate and end up on the ceiling?  Sweat. Sweet. Proverbs.  The meat of the knee roasting.
 

TYOT: Photos by Jenny and a Student.

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Venus and a Crescent Moon.

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I went on a late night fridge raid that was unsuccessful in getting something cool to drink, but did yield an opportunity for me to take this photo.  Thanks to Seablogger for explaining what I saw.  Looking at this, I was saying to myself, Seablogger said something about this.

Slow Internet ruining my TYOT plans.

  • Slow Internet at home and school today has ruined my ambitious plans for TYOT.  I had planned to do a lot of uploading to both my blog sites, but unable to get a VPN all evening, I have done little to nothing.  I have uploaded another WTU which you can find here:  http://www.youtube.com/user/wuxiandis.  I would embed it in this site but I can't get to Youtube.
  • Hot in Wuxi.  I have seen a lot of men rolling up their shirts to reveal their navels - not very attractive.  On my bike ride home this evening I saw a man set his cot on the bicycle path.  Not safe, I would presume, but the spot must be cool which is why the man did what he did.  And he was fast asleep as I rode by.
  • Riding to work at High Noon this afternoon, I felt as if I was riding in a car with no a/c getting a breeze from a open window.  It was nasty.
  • This video I took two years ago has gone semi-viral on youku.com now that I had the wife write the description in Chinese.
  • Anti-Americanism is an mental disorder, I swear.  I have meet at least three people in China who can take a statement and find a way to make it anti-American.  This afternoon, after asking if Germany still required its citizens to do two years military service, I had someone talk about something Americans had done on a NATO exercise.