Thursday, September 30, 2010

Wuxi People's Expat Baby #1 asks a question.

Golden Week Blogging

Mad Man One I heard references to Mad Man on an ESPN podcast but I still don't quite get the appeal of the show. I feel I am watching the show because I made a commitment. But the show is far too much of a soap opera -- the being in the sixties doesn't seem to be there as much as I hoped.

Phew! I lost my wallet but someone found it for me.

Google Reader In the Google Reader, you can mark the articles you like so that other Google Reader readers can see your approval. Krugman entries seem to have lots of likers -- Fools I would say, and I wish there was a way that I could register my disapproval -- it seems this is not allowed. So, I am reduced to marking every article written by John Derbyshire, David Warren and the writer of the Krugman in Wonderland blog as liked by me. (Not that this is a bad thing -- these writers deserve wide approval).

Precautions I have to have my parent pass swiped every time I go to Tony's school. Should I moan about the bureaucraticness of this or think of if as a reasonable safety precaution?

Cool Hand Luke A prison movie starring Paul Newman. At one point Newman's character, Cool Hand Luke, eats fifty eggs in an hour. The movie is the kind of movie that wants to win an Academy award. Done in the early seventies, Luke acts cool (like Steve McQueen). The film tries to shock us in ways that are now dated.

Australian Rules Football Grand Final I have sent an email of concern to my favorite Australian about the "Super Bowl" of Australia having had a draw result. After hearing about Australia's vodoo-determined election results, I wonder if some proportional representation rules were used in awarding points to each of the finalist. Perhaps, they should have done a recount -- sixty eight is a big number to count to.

The Grey Cup Is Canada's version of the Grand Final. The Grey Cup goes to the Canadian World Champions of Canadian Rules Football.

Mad Men Two Don Draper had at least three affairs and his wife knows of one of them. Yet, he denies. But now his wife doesn't want him to come home. What's he going to do?

Lobsters and Laptops From trainer Dennis. A student mixed up lobster and laptop -- said he had a lobster in his briefcase. Another student had an accident -- he said he hit a big frog (he meant fog).

Silly and not so Silly Tweets: Edition 2

  • You should look in the light cracks made by curtains because you might see a man peeking out the crack as he puts on his underwear.
  • Still looking for my socks.
  • AKIC is wonderful.  He sucks not.
  • Co is my God-pilot.
  • Casdel Fitro is a mil evan.
  • I wear not Gu Cheverra shirts that t.
  • Htop the State
  • Choke for Change
  • Pea tarts are delicious. Pee tarts are for donkeys.
  • Lions and Eagles don't want to be lead by donkeys.
  • donkey Boy is an empty suit.
  • Santa Claus -a donkey fiction.
  • donkeys want to eat cheese and surrender like monkeys.
  • In the dead run, we are all gone.
  • Potato of Gradin served with Parmesinian Noodles.
  • Ask what your country can do for you, not; ask what it is for your country that you can do if you can.
  • Trudeau wanted a just society.  Instead he left us with a society, just barely.
  • It is better to be nude or naked?

What AKIC is reading

A Whodoneher by Agatha Christie

An AKIC Blog has migrated

The blog that was once at has migrated to  Microsoft and Wordpress have gotten together for whatever reason, and so I have chosen to move the original AKIC blog to Wordpress.  I just hope that this blog can still be accessed in China.

Wednesday, September 29, 2010

Golden Week Holidays Plans

AKIC will have five days off  (October 1 to October 5) because of the Golden Week slash National Day Holiday in China.  AKIC has no plans other than playing with TKIC and whatever plans that JKIC has.

Wuxi China #25 Bus

Awesome Tony Video!!

Watch it here.

FMLB24 Season Eight American League Championship Series

The FMLB24 ALCS was a wild affair. The 99-63 Twins tooks a four games to nothing lead only to have the 92-70 Red Sox win the next four to tie the series at four. In the ninth game, the Twins managed to stave off the humiliating prospect of blowing a four-nothing lead by defeating the Red Sox nine to six.

The Twins will meet the winner of the Reds-Cardinals NLCS in the FMLB24 World Series.

Tuesday, September 28, 2010

Wuxi, China Subway Construction Photos

The photos below are of the construction of the portion of the subway line that will go over a canal.

Wuxi Tony near the Hui Shan Convention Center

Monday, September 27, 2010

The Hui Shan Central Park playground

My son three year old Tony was able to climb all these things very easily. Here is the proof.

The Hui Shan Convention Center

My son Tony accompanied me to these places. Here and here are the photos.

Sunday, September 26, 2010

Late September Blogging

Black Mischief  I finished the Evelyn Waugh Novel in three days.  Reading TLOR has made me a super fast reader of shorter novels.  Black Mischief was hilarious.  Vintage Waugh!

No American League Pennant Race  There would have been dramatic pennant races in the American League this year if it wasn't for the wild card.  Instead of there being building drama and tension, all four teams have clinched playoff spots and can spend the rest of the regular season adjusting their pitching staffs.  I can't help but think that the wild card was adopted by  MLB to attract the increasing proportion of the population with A.D.D.

Prey  I am reading some brain candy by Michael Crichton.

It's Fall  The weather, I said to the students, must have read the calendar.  On September 21st, it was hot in Wuxi.  In fact, it was very hot in the mid thirties.  The next day, September 22nd, the weather quickly took on a Autumn-like coolness.

Accident  I saw a the end result of a horrible accident at an intersection near my apartment.  A car had a squashed front end and an electric bike lay on the ground, with all sorts of debris around it.  I thought of my wife always taking Tony to school on the bike.

Fireworks  The neighbors below us decided to blow off some firecrackers just below one of our apartment windows (we are on the third floor).  The burst surprised us and caused Tony to cry and clutch onto his parents for a hour.  My wife screamed and swore out the window at those people below.

What's wrong with the American Economy?  Listen to this podcast to find out.  It is the best summary of the trouble that I have heard to date.

What I did on Saturday the 26th  I:  taught classes, did paperwork, downloaded podcasts, listened to podcasts about soccer, listened to podcasts about politics, listened to podcasts about religion, blogged, read Aquinas, read an Elizabeth Bishop poem, read Teresa of Avila, read Catechism, read Crichton, read Flannery O'Connor, read Peter Kreeft, studied Chinese, studied Latvian, rode the bus for two hours, and wrestled with my son.

A Shellacking in November?  Please!

Andis is a girl's name?  B.S.  Looking for the origins or possible meanings of my name has only yielded dead ends.  This wikipedia entry is no help either.  Here, it says Andis means "strong desire".
Guards and Workers arguing  At the entrance of my apartment complex, an electric bike with building material laid on its side.  Nearby, the security guards and the apartment decoration workers were screaming at each other.  It wasn't the first time to witness a shouting match.
Marching  I passed two groups of men wearing black security uniforms and black berets as I returned from having dropped off Tony at his school.  Each group, of four, was marching in single file on the sidewalk on the road that runs by our apartment.
Cumminsunists  Two students we have from Cummins company, told me they were members of the Communist Party.  This information had come up when I had them make sentences with the word "still".  Asking them a little more about their participation, they told me they attended party meetings, once a week, which were held at the company.
School's out and so was I  I couldn't say, with certainty, that I had ever actually left work at the same time as the public school kiddies left school, till last Sunday.    Because of the two holidays (the September 22nd and the October 1st to 3rd), students went  to school on Saturday and Sunday to make up for those holidays of not attending school.  This strange scheduling and my having left work a little earlier than normal lead to my being at a bus stop with hundreds of uniformed school kiddies.  I supposed that this happened all the time but I hadn't been aware of it till then.  Seeing so many at the bus stop made my heart sink at the thought of not having a seat on my long bus ride home.  But then, I saw that this big onrush on students was anticipated by the bus authorities -- I saw at least six #313 buses arrive at the same time to pick up all the students.  And I was able to get a seat on my bus.

More Silly Conversations

Chinese man and wife

"I saw a foreigner today!"

"Really!  Man or Woman?"

"Man.  His hair was brown.  His eyes were blue.  His skin was white.  He had the biggest stomach I have ever seen.  And a bosom a Chinese Woman could only dream of."

"Did you talk to him?"

"I said "Hello!", but he didn't turn around to talk to me."

Husband and Wife

"Right now, Tesco is like Frankenstein to me.  And I am like a villager with justifiable righteous indignation.  Tesco must burn!.  It must burn to the gournd!"


"They don't have Heinz Beans!"

"Those beans!  They are like poo!"

"That's right.  They're good shit!"

Saturday, September 25, 2010

Poor Kitty

Waiting for the bus Sunday morning, I saw a kitten trying to shelter itself from the rain.

Wuxi Kaulins Family Update: September 25, 2010

FMLB24 Season Eight Standings

In the National League, the 81-81 Cardinals, aka "the Red Birds" will meet the Reds, aka "the Big Red Machine" in the NLCS.

In the American League, the Red Sox and the Twins, each having won their first ever respective FMLB24 division title, will play for a spot in the FMLB24 World Series.

Friday, September 24, 2010

FMLB20 Season Nine World Series

The National League Champion Reds, defending FMLB20 Champions meet the 130 win American League Champions in the Ninth FMLB20 World Series.

The Orioles took a three to one games lead. But the Reds came back, valiantly, to tie the series at three, but the powerful Orioles were not going to lose in this season of seasons.

A Cool Person in the AKIC Universe: George Orwell

I think David Warren best summed up Orwell. He was a poet. Orwell's politics, despite his clear visions of the scene of his time, were nothing special. But he added to the English language.

Hitchens, of all people, praised Orwell's ascetism. Orwell had no need for a car.

Silly Conversations

An Expat man and his wife in China 

"Honey!  I lost my shoes!"


"At the supermarket!"

"The Supermarket?"

'In the meat section."

"I thought you would have forgotten them in in frozen foods."

"Well.  You know.  Fancies change."

" I suppose.  But what local in his right mind would have stolen them?  You are a size forty six."

"Maybe the local wanted them to put on the wall of his room or den.  You know, right besides his wedding portrait."

"Now, why would he do that?"

"Novelty and for status.  I could just see him saying "Look at these shoes I found."."

"That probably explains why you see shoes abandoned on the street.  These shoes confer no status on the possessor."

"You got her baby!  Yeah!"
A son finally meets his Father after spending ten years in University.

"Hey son!  Nice to see you after ten years!  I hoped you learned something useful in university."
"Oh Yeah!  And I am one credit short of getting me bachelor's."
"Wonderful.  Wonderful!"
"I have some big news to tell you."
"Oh really!  Go ahead! Tell me.  Keen I am to know whatever it is you got to say!"
"I am getting married!"
"Oooh!  What is the name of the lucky soon-to-be bride?  Will she supply us with a good dowry.  I ain't giving you up cheap you know!"
"Well. Actually.  I will marry Bob!"
"Bob?  Like Bobetta?  Who names their daughter Bobetta? -- sounds like the name of a fat girl.  But she is probably well-fed and her family are persons of property and can supply Me and your mom with a good dowry."
"Bob is a man."
"A man.  Wow!"
"What do you mean by "Wow!"?  Does that indicate approval or disapproval?"
"Well.  Me and your mother had a bet.  She bet a hundred dollars you were gay!  And now I owe her.  I should have taken the fact that you were a fan of the Ottawa Senators as a clue.  I hope this Bob can help me pay her off.  I don't want that debt hanging over me."
"I will take that as an approval of sorts.  Although it seems that all you care about is money and you couldn't care less if I married a goat or a sixty year old Australian Man as long as he gave you filthy lucre....   But, I will live with the acceptance of sorts.  I really thought you were going to say stern words to me and make me cry, and then chase me with your nerf pitchfork and assault rifle that can fire balls at a rate of ten a minute."
"You know, son, I was reading somewhere that gay people have a higher average income than straight people.  What does Bob do?"
"He is going to get a Master in Sociology and Gender Studies!"
"Really!  Will he get a professorship and earn tenure?  If he gets at a government sinecure, he'd be rolling in the green stuff.  Yippee Skippee!  I will make love to him myself!"
"Don't count your eggs before they hatch Dad!"

Thursday, September 23, 2010

Wednesday, September 22, 2010

FMLB20 Season Nine American League Standings

The Orioles won their first ever FMLB20 American League Pennant (their third FMLB pennant ever) and set the FMLB record for most wins in a season (130).

The View from Casa Kaulins

Taken on Thursday Morning about 740 a.m.

Tony and Cushions

Guess who is 37!

Thirty seven months that is!

Anthony Arnis Peng Kaulins!

Congratulations to his mother Jenny!

Tuesday, September 21, 2010

Mid Autumn Bloggings

O'Donnell  It takes courage to go on MTV and make a stand against masturbation.  Perhaps, this person will have the courage to make government smaller as she said she would to win the primary.
Tweet  Any food that makes you shit good is good shit.
David Bowie  I watched a film, on DVD, of a Ziggy Stardust concert.  I wish I could have some of Bowie's wardrobe -- it would be a great teaching tool.
Cut Off  Taking Tony home Tuesday Evening by electric bike, I was cut-off by a turning van.  I gave the driver the middle-finger.  I should have rung his neck. 
Don't get me wrong!  I love Australians.  Mel Torme, Bruce Lee, F.A. Hayek, Yul Brynner, and Jospeh Haydn are Australians I truly admire.
The Childless  This lot of people who chose not to have children are becoming very militant according to this article.  To me this militancy is unfathomable in its selfishness.  Some of these childless people feel they are truly and cruelly discriminated against.  Of course they  are and must be discriminated against, but this is a positive sort of discrimination that benefits society as a whole.  We benefit from discrimination that allows the mostly competent to become doctors, for instance.  And society needs people to have children.  These childless people are essentially asking the society from which they benefit to kill itself.  If they don't like children, they don't like people, and perhaps they should look at the mirrow.

Wonderful Photo of Tony Kaulins

Published on another site.

Ants in Wuxi, China

Lemon Tea flavoured Potato Chips


Ants in Wuxi, China

The brown things are all ants. They were mustering near a playground that my son was playing at.
I have taken a video which I will embed here soon.

Monday, September 20, 2010

Mid Autumn Festival means Moon Cake

The Mid-Autumn Festival, an important Chinese holiday, is on September 22 this year -- tomorrow by the reckoning of this blogger as he prepares this entry for publication.

This festival means moon cake. And so every year that I have been in Wuxi, my school has given me some moon cake. I have also been occasionally given moon cake by the students.

Here is a package of moon cake given to me by student LJ. The package resembles some building at the Shanghai Expo.

The school gave me the moon cake below.

Sunday, September 19, 2010

Subway and Apartment Construction in Wuxi, China.

Wuxi, China developers hope that the subway (being constructed in the foreground) will get people to buy apartments (being constructed in the background).

Mid September Blogging

My Latvian Study I have decided to study Latvian again -- an example of hope triumphing over experience. I have found a good web site with MP3s that I can download to my mobile phone for listening. The listening to Latvian speakers is great because even if I can't understand what they say, the sound of Latvian speakings brings back pleasant memories of family and youth.

Re-Reading of the Lord of the Rings I can say I have read TLOR from start to finish twice. I remember the first time reading it that I felt the novel had 100 pages of anti-climax after the Ring was returned to its source. However, this time, I found the last 100 pages to be very rewarding. The ending celebrated the importance of the local over the grand. While the Hobbits were on their grand quest, the Shire went to pot, and so they had to go to the trouble of repairing it. There is a moral in this: we should all live in the particular and not so much concern ourselves with the grandiose unless called to. I also liked what Frodo said to Sam at the end: ...when things are in danger: some one had to give them up, lose them, so that others may keep them. TLOR is about the importance of duty and sacrifice, and so it is hard to think of it as a modern book.

Now Reading Evelyn Waugh's Black Mischief. Wuxi = Azania?

Ice Moon Cakes Say what you like about the ordinary Moon Cake, but Ice Moon Cakes, perhaps Ice Cream Moon Cakes are wonderful! They are a Chinese version of a Ice Cream Sandwich. The students love these ice cakes but they all say they are very expensive. I had a student give me a couple of these ice moon cakes last week and so have developed a craving to eat and praise them.

FMLB16 Season 15 World Series Games Seven to .....

The Series between the Cubs and the Senators is tied at three.  The Senators won games one to three; the Cubs then won games four to six.  So it is now a best-of-three.

Game Seven.

The Cubs win nine to six to take a four-three series lead.

Game Eight's final score is six to three for the.....








Cubs win!  Cubs win!  Cubs win their first ever FMLB World Series title, coming  back from a three-zero deficit to defeat the Senators five games to three.

What AKIC is reading now

Evelyn Waugh's Black Mischief.
Posted by Picasa

Wuxi Andis tries to speak Chinese to Wuxi Tony

Wuxi Andis reads Poetry: Wuxi Tony talks.

Silly Tweets

  • Thinking stinky.  Feeling Good.
  • Rinky Dinky Doo!
  • Thinking Splunky. Feeling Funky.
  • Shepards really get my goat.
  • Thinking of holding a Naturist informational meeting at the Sheraton.
  • Get the Funk out of my classroom.
  • Eating vegtables. Thinking of Meat. 
  • Aardvark Ski Doo!
  • Amscray!
  • Anything you can do, I can do naked. 
  • I can do naked things better than you.
  • Thinking nonsense; being ultra-sensible.
  • Short but accessible.
  • Favorite Philosophers?  Shopping Hauer  and Nit Ski.
  • I got a hole in my sock.  What would Shopping Hauer do?
  • Being Spunky is better than Funky!
  • Guns, Freedom, Jesus!  Palin!  Yeah!
  • Favorite Beatles Song?  Holding your hand is what I wanna do!
  • Another Good Beatles Song?  Love is all you need.
  • Good Orwell Books?  Farm Animal and A Daughter's Clergyman.
  • Everyone of you is going to die.  How do you like those apples?
  • Boy!  Do you have a lot of nervousness!
  • Has anyone seen my other green sock?
  • Lost my shoes at the Supermarket in the meat section.
  • Forgot to wear underwear and bring my phone!
  • Lost my shirt while teaching.  I don't know how it went missing.
  • I was only five minutes late!  (I would never say that!)

Canada grants England Full Independence.

Canadian Prime Minister Steven Harper, in a surprise announcement, granted England permanent independence from Canada.  

Said Harper:  "The only reason the British Empire was ever called the British Empire, and not the Canadian, was Canadians, being nice and not wanting to hurt British sensitivities, didn't have the heart to tell them that Ottawa, and not London, was the seat of the great empire.  Could you have imagined the whining?  So we kept them in the dark.  We are granting them independence now because they have become really intolerable whiners and there is no hope for their football team."

Asked if Canada would also grant Australia its independence, Harper said:  "The recent elections in Australia show that they still practice voodoo there.  Being a primitive people, they are not ready to administer their own state.  So we have shelved that idea for another fifty years, at least.  Furthermore, a Canadian Expat, who lives in Wuxi, China, and goes by the initials AKIC has told me that all the Australians he has seen there, except HM, are sad pathetic stuff and should not be allowed to graduate from pre-school.

Saturday, September 18, 2010

Aija Zuzu

FMLB16 Season 15 World Series Games Four to Six

The  Senators had a three games to nothing lead in the best on nine series...

 4      Cubs 4 Senators 2
 5      Cubs 8 Senators 6
 6      Cubs 4 Senators 0

But the Cubs won the next three games to tie the series at three games apiece.

Just my luck to have a regular and rare reader from Tampa Bay who has told me of the virtues of the Rays, and I will agree that they are honorable.  But, I have to confess that I prefer the Yankees.  To me it seems that if the Yankees are winning then all is right with the world.  Also, Tampa plays in that ugly stadium

Imagined bits of conversation

A:  I say we nuke them!
B:  Now, now good chap!  That's not cricket.  Let's be reasonable.  We will throw rocks at them, but only after sending them a letter written in the sternest of language.
A:  I think the marginal tax rates are too high.
B:  Racist!
A:  Let insurance companies compete across state lines!
B:  Hater!
A:  Why did you get the divorce?!?
B:  I wanted to do something with my life.
A:  Listen hear ******!  I am gonna take your &&&*&*&&*& and stuff it so far up your @@@**^^^ you are going to have to call the department of &!@#$$%^& to extract it!  Don't you ever ever say anything against my fill-in-the-blank favorite sports team franchise or the #$%^#$ I happen to be with on this particular occaision.  Kapeche?  Comprehendez?  Understand?  明白吗?
B:  Velveeta!
A:  Velveeta?!?
B:  Sorry, I have a cold.
A: 没关洗  I thank you for doing something that I can get so self-righteous about that I can say the stick the whatever in the whose-it speech!
B: No problemo.
A:  我爱你
B:  好的
A:  I think we really should heed MLK's message and judge each other by the contents of our characters and not the colour of our skins.
B:  So you want to get rid of affirmative action and bring back  slavery, eh?


Student names and naming students

Here are some names the students have given themselves:
  • Aaron (I tell the student that that is the middle name of my nephew).
  • Austin (I tell the student about Stone Cold Steve Austin even though it means nothing to him).
  • Boris (This student is nothing like Boris Yeltsin).
  • Eugene ( a great name.  I call him Eugene, Eugene, the dancing machine.  Of course, he doesn't know of what I speak.)
  • LJ (This student took the initials of his Chinese name to make his English name.  A good idea which I will try whenever I give students English names).
  • LZ (ditto with LJ).
  • Queen (Like students whose Chinese name Wang means King, this girl called herself Queen because that is what her Chinese name is).
  • Poplary (His Chinese name means Poplar in English.  I told him to drop the "y").
I have been tempted to name students with obscure names from the Bible.

Friday, September 17, 2010

FMLB16 Season 15 World Series: games one to three

Here are the results of the first three games of the best of nine series:

1 Cubs         4 Senators  5
2 Cubs   1 Senators  5
3 Cubs  2 Senators  6

The Senators take a three game to nothing lead.

Inspiring Photos

A rare reader said this to me:

Did you know that I keep a photo of you here on my laptop PC desktop? Yes, so I see your visage every day. It inspires me.

This inspires him? Hmmm.

This inspires me. It is currently the wallpaper on my mobile phone.

Thursday, September 16, 2010

FMLB16 Season 15 American League Pennant Playoff

The Tigers and the Senators finished tied at 93-61 at the end of the FMLB16 Season 15 regular season and so have to play a best of three tie-breaking pennant playoff series.

The score in game #1:  Senators 10, Tigers 8.  The Senators need to win one more game to make it to the World Series.

The score in game #2:  Senators 7 Tigers 4.  The Senators win the series and the pennant two games to nothing.  They advance to the World Series where they will meet the Cubs.

Wuxi China Traffic at night

Flotsam and Jetsam: Why not?

What to do?  Should I read Flannery O'Connor, read Tolkien, read the Bible, study Chinese Characters, study Chinese grammar, study Latvian, study Greek, practice reading Chinese text, listen to Chinese recordings, read Ezra Pound, read email, check up the Google Reader, listen to music, listen to Sinatra, listen to Tom  Waits, write in my blog, add to my great expatriate novel, make a video of Tony, play with Tony, read up on parenthood, think of ways to make my wife happy, write in my notebook, pray, write an email, watch Mad Men on DVD, find the Wire DVDs I have, clean the house, make a cup of tea, phone someone, find a snack, go outside, kiss my wife, make love, watch one of a thousand DVDs I have, clean up Tony's toys, buy Tony some more toys, speak in Chinese to my wife, take a shower, comb my hair, shave, or vegetate?

Quote:  "Happiness is often the result of being too busy to be miserable."

O'Connor QuoteOne old lady said, "That was a play that really made me think!"  I didn't ask her what.
The many halves of Tony:  Unlike other people whose children have only two halves, I can say Tony has more.  He is half-Canadian, half-Chinese, half-Latvian, and two halves Boy.
Mad Man  I am one quarter of the way through the four DVD collection I have of Madman episodes.  So, Draper took the identity of a man who was killed in Korea, abandoning his original family?  Too Soap Opera-ish and not enough hats, but I will carry on with DVD #2.
China a Christian Country?  Somewhere on the Net, someone said that China could have the world's biggest Christian population.  You wouldn't even begin to think that when you board a Chinese bus -- manners go out the window, as the expression goes.  Sunday night, I was carrying Tony, and some fellow tried to cut in front of me as I was boarding the bus.  Being annoyed at the fact that everyone was doing this, I shoved this particular man against the side of the bus entrance.  Jenny stopped me from making more of it, so I gave him the evil eye as we took the bus home.
300  I re-watched the movie on Monday afternoon.  Comic book history that is fun, but still comic book, so the pacing and stylings were so unrealistic and ultimately unappealing.  One longs for grace and light.
From the third floor  When I took Tony to Kindergarten by taxi on Tuesday morning, Jenny actually hailed the taxi we took from the third floor of our apartment.
Guilt  All those years ago!  I was wasting time -- going for a second round of university studies.  I befriended someone.  He found me a job but it wasn't cool - it required that I work and "lower myself".  So, I quit.  Made the guy who recommended me for the job look bad.  Shame on me!  What ingratitude!...    (That memory popped into head like it was kicked in there by my conscience.)
Red Eyes Jimmy, a local, who works at the school in our marketing department, walked into my office and told me to beware of the "Red Eyes".
"The Red Eyes?" I asked.
He replied: "The Red Eyes from the countryside!"
Martians  It is said that a Martian observing Italians would conclude that they talk with their arms.  I say that a Martian observing Democrats in America would conclude that they talk out of their asses.
Leading Their Witnesses  English Teachers, if they were lawyers, would out be out of order in court for leading their witnesses (students).
Teacher:  Make a sentence with "forbid"!
Student:  My wife forbids me to copulate with other women.
Teacher:  Who taught you that word!?!   ______ (another teacher)?
Student:  No!
Teacher: Well.  You have given me an anecdote.
Another Student:  What is "copulate"?


Tony sings a Latvian Lullaby: Aija Zuzu

From the Internet, Tony's father downloaded a recording of a Latvian lullaby.  He did so for two reasons:  to improve his Latvian speaking abilities (currently none), and to get Tony to fall asleep earlier. 
Andis instead found a third benefit which he hadn't foreseen:  Tony was singing "Aija Zuzu". 
Hopefully, Andis will be able to make a recording of this.

Wuxi China Traffic

This video was taken from the 610 bus as I went to work on Wednesday morning.

Wednesday, September 15, 2010

Wuxi, China Snail

Taken at a sidewalk near my apartment.

FMLB16 Season 15 Nationl League Standings

Cubs win! Cubs win! The Cubs end 14 seasons of FMLB16 futility and win their first ever National League Pennant. They also qualify for their first ever FMLB World Series, in 29 seasons, in which they will meet the winner of the Tigers-Senators tie-breaking playoff.

Tuesday, September 14, 2010

FMLB16 Season 15 American League Standings

The Senators and the Tigers will have a best of three game playoff for the AL Pennant.
The Tigers are hoping to win their third pennant in the eight team American League -- the Senators are trying for their first.


You can see more video of Tony here.


Tuesday Morning was gray and it was raining heavily so I took Tony to school by taxi.  We both sat in the back seat for the trip.  I had to give the driver directions to get to the school so I did a lot of you (右) and zuo (左) gai, once I remembered that "wang" did not mean "left" but "turn". 
When we arrived at school, it was raining particularly heavy so I had the awkward task of taking Tony and the umbrella from out of the Taxi to the school entrance.  After having made sure that the driver would wait for us, I took Tony in my arms, and got out of the taxi.  I saw that I couldn't easily open the umbrella.  So, I kept Tony in my arms, letting him hold onto to the unopened umbrella, and I ran to the school entrance where I quickly deposited him in the arms of the school greeting staff -- we didn't get that wet thankfully, Tony and I.
I returned to the Taxi, immediately, not saying anything to the workers at the gate.  Back at the Taxi, I took the front seat, and the driver said something about the back ("hou mian" (后面)).  I turned around and saw that I had left the backdoor ajar and that the rain had made the whole door wet.

Father and Son

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Monday, September 13, 2010

What AKIC is reading

I am reading the Selected Poems of Ezra Pound as edited and chosen by TS Eliot.

Here are some lines I was reading at the time the photo was taken:

I am homesick after mine own kind,

Oh I know that there are folk about me, friendly faces,

But I am homesick after mine own kind.

I could say that this poem speaks to me as I have been in China for six years now. But there is one aspect of the poem that is absolutely not true for me. I don't know who my own kind are.

Dad takes Tony to preschool by taxi

Tony's school is close to Casa Kaulins but it still isn't close enough when it rains, as heavily, as it is this morning.
Dad took him -- roundtrip fare was 20 rmb.

Sunday, September 12, 2010

Caterwallings? Kaulinswailings? Some Monday blogging.

Havana Pub  Friday evening, I went to a pub -- something I hadn't done in months.  I went to pick up money so it wasn't like I didn't have a reason to go; but go I did, and much more educated and aware am I for the experience.  I went to the Havana Pub near Baoli.  It is a small place but Friday night, was place was really shaking -- packed to the rafters it was, so they are doing something right.  
Unfortunately AKIC has turned into a dead stiff when it comes to bar-going (what he was he before is another question -- raconteur extraordinaire he wasn't).  He came, He saw, He drank two beers, and He went to catch a bus home.  He will have to go there on another night to check out Havana's lending library.

Colts T-shirt.  Frequently, the Chinese wear t-shirts that are cooler than they know.  Thursday evening, a student was wearing a Super Bowl t-shirt of the Colt's recent championship, but he didn't know what the Colts were or the Super Bowl was.  So my stammering on about it to him was pointless. 
I have also seen the students wear Beatles, James Dean, Che, and The Who t-shirts not knowing how iconic they were. (*By the way, I think people who wear Che t-shirts should read about what he was really like - a Hitler-like figure who happened to look good in one photo.*)

Flannery O'Connor Quote  Some rare reader may happen to know that I am reading her collected writings.  Here is what she said in a letter that I found illuminating:

....sickness is a place, more instructive than a long trip to Europe, and it's always a place where there's no company, where nobody can follow.  Sickness before death is a very appropriate thing and I think those who don't have it miss one of God's mercies.  Success is almost as isolating and nothing points vanity as well.
O'Connor achieved success in her life but was afflicted with Lupus and so died young.

The Northern End of the First Subway line in Wuxi, China

The Northern end of Wuxi's first subway line.

It is not too far (ten minutes by electric bike) from my apartment.

FMLB24 Season 7

The Orioles won the championship of the 24 team FMLB. Nothing wrong with that scenario. It is something that happened in the real MLB in the seventies.

Meanwhile, my Expos won their third National League East Division title only to lose their second NLCS in a row.

FMLB20 Season Eight

The Reds won their first every FMLB World Series title.

Saturday, September 11, 2010

Friday, September 10, 2010

Never Forget

Nine years on September 11, 2001, I was going to work from Aldergrove, British Columbia, Canada where I lived, to Abbotsford, BC where I worked. When I got into my car in the driveway of the Aldergrove house I was at, I heard news on the radio of planes crashing into each of the twin towers. I told the first person I meet at work about the news. He told me he had only heard about one plane hitting one tower.

For the next few months, things were eerie. But I took solace in the fact that the U.S. had the sympathy of most of the world. I reveled in the waving and bearing of the American flag.

But the world went back to its old ways, unfortunately. And now we have the pathetic O in the White House. And the lessons have seemed to have been forgotten.

But I can take solace in the decent people of the Tea Party movement. America always seems to find a way to rejuvenate itself.

FMLB16 Season 14

In season 14 of the sixteen team FMLB, the White Sox and Phillies dominated their respective leagues to qualify for the World Series. Between them, they won 254 games -- the most ever for two teams qualifying for a World Series. However, the White Sox stunned the 129 win Philliies Squad by easily defeating them in six games for the World Series title. It was the White Sox's first ever World Series Championship in FMLB competition.

Thursday, September 9, 2010

A few AKIContemplations.

Dam-busters  Inspired by an episode of the Ricochet Podcast, I re-watched this classic 1950s British movie about the RAF's efforts to disable German WWII industrial capacity by blowing up  dams in the Ruhr Valley.  

Compared to modern dam-busters who have become eco-freaks, the WWII dam-busters portrayed in the movie are calm, plucky, rational, determined, and well-educated Brits -- they possess the character traits that the world has come to admire and respect. 

 I now wonder if the Brits still have these traits.
New Ironing Board  Five years, eleven months, and two weeks since I bought the last one; and eighteen months after a maid thought it was a great idea to stand on that ironing board to reach a high dirty spot; I bought a new ironing board.  You would think I would have waited another four years, but I think I can justify the 45 rmb.
Six Years  Now that Labour day has passed, I have been in Wuxi officially for six years.  In was in September 2004 that I came to teach English at Canilx on Zhongshan Road.  It has been an eventful six years that has blessed me with a wife and a son, but it hasn't done much for my faith in human nature.  Alas, we are all fallen creatures
Steve Francis and the Vancouver Grizzlies  I am not really a basketball fan but I will never forget the petulant performance of Francis who displayed obvious disappointment at being drafted by a Canadian NBA team.  It was a disgraceful performance that the man has never been fully called to account for.  Anyway, I was thinking perhaps the reason he didn't come to Canada because the then Grizzlies GM Stu Jackson never thought to inform Francis that Canada had Medicare, the Canada Wheat Board, Bilingualism, and the CRTC and its Canadian content requirements.

Family Books and Ancestors of the Wrong Class  It is interesting to talk about Family with the Chinese, and the Chinese seem interested to talk about it.  Last night, I had a student tell me about a grandfather who was 96 years old and could still do housework.  Another student had a grandmother who was married to a polygamist -- she was wife number two -- this anecdote will stick in my memory like the student who had a grandmother who had to have her feet bonded.  

Asking the students about their grandparents, I have been told some startling stories of what it was like for many of them in the early days of the People's Republic and during the sixties.  Many of them lost all their property and were stigmatized because of they were from the "wrong" class.  Another tragic aspect of asking the students about their ancestry is to learn that many of their "family books" were destroyed during the cultural revolution.  Those who managed to preserve their family books can trace their lineage back 31 generations.

Some Independence  You can conveniently  "top off" your mobile phone account (put money on the phone) by using a self-serve machine at many China Mobile outlets.  Conveniently, that is, if you can read Chinese or know the sequence of keys you have to press.  After a year, I can say that I can now use the machine myself.  For some reason, the machine I went to, on Thursday morning, had a line, so I watched the five people in front use the machine and so memorized what I had to do.

The View from the Six Zero Two

The View from the Six oh Two

Wednesday, September 8, 2010

FMLB24 Season Six Results

My Expos won a division title. The Giants did as well in what was an amazing NL West race.

But, alas, the Giants swept the Expos in the NLCS and went on to win the World Series. For the Giants the sweep of the Expos was revenge for the Expos's upsetting the Giant's 109 win squad in the FMLB24 Season 2 NLCS (The year the Expos won it all).

Annoying, Friendly, and Bilingual Tony

  • Tony, just now, said "Watch t.v." and "看点视" (Kan Dianshi -- Chinese for watch t.v.). 
  • Last night, Tony did not go to bed till past midnight.  He was jumping all over the bed like a little monkey.
  • This morning, I said "Good Morning Buddy!" to him as I woke him up.  He said "Good Morning Buddy!" back.