Sunday, October 31, 2010

Expos go to the World Series!!

The Expos advanced to the FMLB Season One World Series by defeating the Reds four games to two in the National League Championship Series. The Reds took a two games to nothing lead only to have the Expos win the last four games of the series. For the Expos it was the second consecutive series where they made such a comeback. (The National League playoffs have seen these 2-0 comeback happen three times.)
The Expos will meet the American League Champion ABC's in the World Series. The ABC's have swept the ALCS and ALDS series to qualify for the World Series.

I am so sad I didn't go to the Shanghai Expo........ not!

My wife informed me that the Shanghai Expo is officially over.  We never did go to it, even though we had been given tickets. 

My wife wasn't interested because of the logistics of getting there.  Even though, we aren't that far from Shanghai, a day trip to the Expo just wasn't possible.  We would have to have stayed overnight and the expense just didn't seem to be worth it.  As well, there was no way that we were going to stand for two hours waiting in the Shanghai Summer heat.  

I was conflicted sort of.  I was thinking that since I was in the area of the Expo, it would be a crime of sorts if I didn't go.  But since I stopped going to Wuxi Expat bars, I didn't see the need to go just for the sake of having something to talk about. (What was your favorite pavilion?)  And all the reports I got from the students who went to  Expo indicated to me that it was just too crowded to really be enjoyed. 

But most importantly, there was also a philosophical reason not to go -- this was an exposition of international statism.  These world fairs are a remnant of a time before Reagan and Thatcher when governments really thought they could show off to the world -- now they are just show for the urban bureaucratic elite.  These World Expos are soulless and seek to glorify the triumph of experts over free individuals.

Glad, I didn't go!

Small thoughts and observations

  • I saw a woman with three children on an electric bike.  Not such a bad thing but they wore no helmets.
  • Mad Man Disc 3 -- season 2 or 3.  I know that guy was gay but did they have to show it?  Uggh!!  And the Brits and Yanks together in the same agency!  I wonder how that works out.
  • Bathrooms are haunted in China.  That is what some students have told me during Halloween week.
  • Tony has a genius for chaos?
  • Said a student:  I am afraid of two types of animals: birds and chickens.  He was scared of chickens, he said, because eating them made him fat.  He should have said: I am afraid of birds, especially chickens.
  • I saw three men on a motorcycle.  None of them wore helmets.  From a distance, I saw that the man in the rear was pressing a cloth against the top of the middle man's head.  I saw a grimaced look on the middle man's face.  And as the motorbike passed me, I saw blood trickling down the middle man's face.
  • Another student told me that cooking was trivial knowledge -- I disagreed with her.
  • I was a straggler along with Tony on the school trip.  That is, Tony and I were the last to arrive at the bus that was to take us back to Wuxi from Suzhou.  It is not in my nature to be a straggler -- this was a first.
  • I almost lost my voice with the current cold I have.  Embarrassingly, my voice has cracked on a few occasions..

Some Monday Morning Photos.


Saturday, October 30, 2010

FMLB32 Season One American League Championship Series

The ABCs advance to the FMLB32 Season One World Series by sweeping the Senators in four games. The ABCs will meet the winner of the Expos-Reds NLCS.

Wuxi Tony hangs out near HyLite Language School

Wuxi Tony on a bus to Suzhou, China

The School Trip to Suzhou

The trip was underwhelming.  For a Halloween themed excursion it wasn't very Halloweenish.  We went to an amusement park and we wandered aimlessly for  three hours -- we were ready to go home after two.

The company that was to take us to the school -- got its bus there 90 minutes late.  What was is so hard about having a bus arrive at a place at 230 instead of 400?  Did this cheap tour company provide only same day service?  Or did it decide to provide scary service because it was Halloween?

Anyway, once the bus arrived, we got to Suzhou in practically no time at all. (Suzhou is not that far from Wuxi and I wonder why I don't go there more often.  The last time I went to Suzhou was to accompany my wife as she hired a truck to pick up some furniture for Casa K -- before Tony was born)

At the park, they set us loose and told us to make it back to the bus by 900 or 930.  I spend all my time with Tony.  We went to two "rides", all the while having our photo taken (foreigner carrying foreign baby quite the sight) by the Chinese visitors.

Tony at the Suzhou Amusement Park: Photo blog

See it here at TKIC wordpress.

A Sunday Morning Photo Blog

On AKIC wordpress.

Tony goes to Suzhou.

He came; he saw; he conquered.

Well, not exactly.  But Tony did accompany his father on the school field trip to Suzhou.

More details about this, anon.

Friday, October 29, 2010

FMLB32 Season One National League Division Series

In the FMLB32 Season One National League Division Series, The #4 seed Expos (89-73) beat the #1 Seeded West Division Champion Astros (109-53) four games to two. The Astros looked to be on the way to a sweep when they won the first two games, but the Expos shocked them and the FMLB world by winning four consecutive games to win the series and advance to the National League Championship Series. There, the Expos will meet the #2 seed Central Division Champions The Reds (105-57) who dispatched the Eastern Division Champion Clowns (100-62)in six games. Like the Astros in their respective division series, the Clowns took a 2-0 series lead, only to have their series opponent, the Reds dominate them. In the last four games, the Clowns were outscored by the Reds 30-4.


This is the extent of my blogging today.  I have a cold, and I will be going to Suzhou for a Halloween activity.

Thursday, October 28, 2010

My next lunar birthday is December 26!

I gleamed the following information about my birthday from this site:

Gregorian Date of AKIC's Gregorian Birthday:
Thursday, December 24, 1964
Chinese Date of AKIC's Gregorian Birthday Anniversary this year
cycle 78, Chinese Year Geng-Yin (27), year 2010, month 11, day 19 (2010-11-19)

Chinese Date of your birthday
cycle 77, Chinese Year Jia-Chen (41), year 1964, month 11, day 21 (1964-11-21)

Gregorian Date of your Chinese Birthday Anniversary this year
               Sunday, December 26, 2010

What this means is that in 2010, I can celebrate, My birthday, Christmas, and then another lunar birthday on three consecutive days.

Far out!

So, my solar birthday is 12/24; my lunar birthday is 11/21.

FMLB32 Season One American League Divison Series

The #3 and #4 seeds advanced to the FMLB Season One American League Championsip Series as the Senators (88-74) from the East upset the Central Champion Monarchs (108-54) four games to two, and the ABC's (93-69) from the West swept the Eastern Division Champion Red Sox (101-61) in their respective American League Division Series.

Why racists should vote Democrat. (and other political thoughts)

Don't care for my politics?  Here is a Wuxi Tony Update.

I haven't been so excited by the U.S. Mid Term elections since '94 --  I will never forget Rush Limbaugh whooping it up after the Republican victory on his t.v. show.

And so in anticipation of the 2010 Mid Term election results, I made a blog entry featuring a collection of some of my political thoughts:

I wonder why I even bother with politics.  There is no percentage in it.  But I can't help myself.  Here are some thoughts I have about the current scene.
Obama versus Bush
I read somewhere on the Internet there a poll conducted recently revealed that Americans think, by 47 to 45 percent, that Obama is a better president than Bush.  A year ago, Obama would have won this poll by a wide margin.  Still, the fact remains that there is still a considerable portion of Americans who support Obama.  They do this despite considerable evidence of his incompetence.

Why racists should vote Democrat
Why should an honest-to-god racist do these days? (Do real racists exist? I wonder).  It sucks to be a black-hating racist in America these days because there aren't any mainstream parties or candidates espousing a policy of keeping the black man down.  Speak openly about your racism, and you will be marginalized faster than you can say "Jackie Robinson".  Watch sporting events and you will see black people enjoying success. 
So what is a racist to do?  How can he keep the black man down  when he goes to the polling booth?  I, if I ever felt inclined to help him, would advise him to vote Democrat.  The Democrats, perhaps unwittingly or perhaps by cynical design, have ruined the life of many a black person and family through their policies which have made them wards and dependents of the state.  They have brainwashed the black man into thinking that the world is so against him that he shouldn't bother trying to make something of himself.  I would encourage the racist to vote for candidates who advocate all the "Great Society" programs that created slums for black people.  I would encourage the racist to support affirmative action policies that judge people on the basis of their skin colour.  And I would encourage the racist to revel in the the election of Barack Obama to the presidency.  The people who voted for Obama, proved a big point of the racist -- race does matter.  MLK's dream that it wouldn't hasn't come to pass -- thanks to the Dems!

When you label yourself as a middle-of-the-roader or a moderate, you are telling the world you can't think and aren't willing to entertain original thoughts.  You sit on the fence and define yourself in terms of what others think.  One party says red; one party says beige, and you say pink, never for once entertaining the thought that the people who say orange may have a point to make.
Do you love your parents moderately?
Austerity a bad idea?
A current talking point for the Left is that Conservative and Free Marketers are trying to push the awful idea of austerity.  Apparently, the Left believes that government has to spend lots of money in economic downturns otherwise people will fall into poverty and despair.  They believe this despite plenty of evidence that the kind of spending they advocate is what really keeps people in poverty and despair.  They also believe that austerity is bad despite again there being plenty of evidence living within your means is the sure way to get long-term prosperity.
Seeing how the Left is using its "clever" muscles on this pernicious line of reasoning, I can't help but be further convinced of the Left's utter inconsistency.  Apparently, expending resources is good if the government does it but is bad for the environment if the middle class and private industry do it.
Really, the economic problem is about how to best allocate resources.  The economy needs to reallocate its resources which have been shown to have been misallocated.  This adjustment while painful, is necessary; and to try to prevent it from happening would only bring on more pain, poverty, and despair.
The Tea Party and the China-Japan Spat
Being in China, I should be following the current China-Japan dispute, but I can't be bothered.  No local would have any thing intelligent to say about it and I also have one anecdote that shows as well why I don't bother it.
I was teaching a company class, the discussion topic was fame and celebrity.  I asked the students to tell me celebrities they really didn't like (I tell them about my despising Leonardo DiCaprio).  One female student told me she hated the Japanese Prime Minister.  Rolling my eyes, I asked the student to instead name a celebrity, they didn't like, who wasn't a political leader.  The female student, after a moment, told me the name of some Japanese movie star.  She obviously was stoked to hate the Japanese.
So with people here talking this way, I prefer following the American political scene and especially the Tea Party movement.  The Tea Partiers give me hope.  They prove that America is still an exceptional and most interesting country, unlike most of the rest of the world with its squabbles or squishy safety.

Conservative interviews a Liberal Lawyer
Conservative:  Has your client been exposed as an illegal alien just so you can score cheap political points.
Liberal Lawyer:  You know.  I don't like that word "illegal alien".  My client is a human being and not from another planet.  She is an undocumented worker.
Accusing the conservative of bigotry, the lawyer tries to avoid answering the accusation that she has exposed her client to possible criminal charges and deportation.  She also shows how the Left tries to control language, create a Newspeak, as it were.  Does this lawyer really think that she is going to change hearts and minds with a petty insult, a playing of the bigotry card, and an obvious evasion.  (*This lawyer was using dirty tricks to discredit a conservative candidate by revealing that she had an illegal alien working for her -- this alien had supplied false documentation to a hiring agency.*)

When I saw the Light politically
I was a Leftie/ NDP type till about my mid-twenties.  Three things I remember helped me to see the light:

  1. Listening to Rush Limbaugh.  I remember hearing what a scary person he supposedly was.  But I found myself being  impressed by his arguments which were reasonably and entirely fair to most Leftist people.
  2. Reading an article by P.J. O'Rourke on the Nicaraguan Election.  I was disappointed by the results at the time because they were in fact a victory for Ronald Reagan.  And I then had to admit the Ronald Reagan did deserve a lot of credit for the collapse of the Soviet union.  O'Rourke's article also pointed out to me the silliness of the Left.
  3. Playing Devil's Advocate with an NDP type at Union Centre in Winnipeg, Manitoba, Canada.  Taking America's side in this man's tirade against America, it suddenly dawned on me that the real prejudices and bigotries were on the Left, not the right.  And as time has gone, this has only become more and more so.  Think of  Bill Maher and that jerk from MSNBC: Keith Olbermann. I couldn't be part of a movement that has those people in it.  And even the not-so-bad Lefties, on this count, are few and far between and would have to take lessons from Ann Coulter in civility.
Overheard on a Slate Podcast
I do listen to what the other side says when I can.  So, I not only listen to right-wing podcasts -- I listen to the Slate Political Gabfest.  I find myself, of course, disagreeing with all they say on this show.  And I am always disappointed when they seem to ignore the talking points of the right.  For instance, the Slate people have decided to talk about the crazy money in the election, like that is the reason that the Democrats will get their asses kicked on November 2.  (How often, do I hear Republican candidates talk of union money backing the rival Democrat candidate.)  They don't seem to want to talk about how incompetent Obama is.  They don't want to talk about the unpopularity of all their legislation.  They don't understand the Tea Party and prefer to think of it as being crazy or racist.  They, of course, show their bigotry in hushed condescending tones -- I prefer it when Mark Levine calls his opponents "jerks".  

One of the hosts talks about some Democrat or Obama making an intellectually solid case in their speech.  He doesn't bother to tell us what the case is.  These people assume they are smarter and more nuanced that their opponents.

Another host talked of reading a comic book or novel where the hero stops a plot by Wall Street to destroy America.  Really?

The book review slash article linked above (in the headline) was a treasure trove of dim-witted progressive political thought.  I have cut and past some of the choice quotes with comments:

"Simple ideology routinely trounces nuanced pragmatism, just as emotion so often beats reason and the varsity fullback will most likely deck the captain of the debate team in a fistfight."  This statement could only possibly make any sense if you agree with all its assumptions and know exactly what the writer means by "ideology" and  "nuanced pragmatism".  I think the author uses those words to hide the fact that he has no ideas. I assume that an ideology is a strong belief in something.  Isn't the idea that corporations are bad and greedy -- a simple ideology of sorts held by progressives?  The last two clauses of the sentence, while probably true, don't necessarily support the obscure big-word sounding formulation of the first clause.  Nuanced pragmatism, which I assume to mean that we can rationalize anything we do because "it works", is best practiced by people who have principles and have the courage to stick to them.  In the progressive mind-set, principled people are always ideologues.

Liberals are also at a disadvantage because politics, at its essence, is about self-interest, an idea that at first glance seems more closely aligned with conservatism. To make their more complex case, liberals must convince a nation of individualists that enlightened self-interest requires mutual interest, and that the liberal project is better constructed for the demands of an increasingly interdependent world.  Conservatives always complain that elections are often stacked against them because voters want the goodies the Democrats promise them.  So this first sentence is simply not true.  Conservatism is about self-reliance.  The second sentence seems to suggest that Progressives are smart  and care for everyone, while Conservatives are dumb and greedy -- talk about sophistication and nuance!  To be nuanced it seems is to obscure the simplest of meanings behind feel-good goobly-gook.  The second half of the second sentence is meaningless.  What is the liberal project?  What do they mean by an increasingly interdependent world?  Fine sounding words for sure, but what in concrete does this mean -- more centralized government?

 Senator Al Franken says of the Republicans: "Their bumper sticker . . . it's one word: 'No.' . . . Our bumper sticker has — it's just way too many words. And it says, 'Continued on next bumper sticker.' "  Notice how he seems to make a point of saying that Al Franken, an unfunny and rude former comedian, is now a Senator.  As for what Franken says about the Republicans using one word slogans, doesn't he recall Obama's campaign slogans "Hope", "Change", and "Yes we can!".  And making the case for Republican positions is not as simple as Franken assumes.  The arguments against many Democrat ideas requires a knowledge of Economics and other fields, and they often comes up with ideas that are at first glance counter-intuitive -- giving people money, without making them earn it, can make them much, much poorer in the long run.  Does that fit on a bumper sticker?

In his Inaugural Address, Obama ... said, "The question we ask today is not whether our government is too big or too small, but whether it works." This is a sensible definition of modern liberalism...  The answer of course is that government doesn't work.  And notice how this definition is all about government and what it does, and not at all about what the people can and should do, as well as what other non-government institutions can do.

Wednesday, October 27, 2010

Cold! Tony hurts himself.

It became cold, all of a sudden, in Wuxi.  Today, I am wearing four layers of clothing.

Meanwhile, Tony hurt himself at the Zoo

FMLB32 Season One Final Standings

Just in time for the real World Series, I have set up my 32 team Fantasy Major League. I will update the league through the World Series. It will be my last FMLB till next baseball season.

Here are the American League Final Standings:

In the first round of the AL playoffs, the Senators will play the Monarchs, and the ABC's will play the Red Sox.

Here are the National League final standings:

In the first round of the NL playoffs, the Expos will play the Astros, and the Clowns will play the Reds.

Tuesday, October 26, 2010

Factory Tour

I took Tony to school by taxi yesterday (October 26, Tuesday).  The bike battery was dead and the weather was cool, very cool.
I took Tony to his classroom and then talked to the foreign teacher Kyle who now works at his school now.  Kyle has parents who are English teachers in Nanjing.  I am the first foreigner he has seen since he arrived here nearly two weeks ago.  He is having to deal with the problem of getting a proper visa.
After having dropped Tony off at school and talked to Kyle, I walked to the nearest bus stop that I knew of. I say this because I had always taken the bike to school till yesterday
At the bus stop, a former student from my school spotted me.  Lisa stopped her car  and picked me up.  She told me she was going to her factory in the Hui Shan area, and she was glad to see me.  After doing the update procedure, she asked me if I would to take a tour of her factory.  I said sure and why not.

I was taken into the heart of the industrial area of Hui Shan and Yanqiao.  Lisa's factory supplies Timken, the big bearing company which supplies my school with English students.  The factory was huge comprising at least four buildings.  I was taken through the production area  and some workshops.  I saw lathes, grinders, expensive CNC machines, and piles of shiny silver casters, rings, and whatnot that had been produced for Timken.  I amazed at all I saw, as well as humbled.  I didn't have the first clue what all these machines did and what their production was needed for.  I saw people do things with their hands which I had chosen to avoid in my life.  Lisa was wondering if I could help her business in some way and I didn't know how.

Monday, October 25, 2010

Top ten activities that, I think, are best done naked

In honour of my good friend Harry Moore, who phoned me all the way from Australia yesterday, I offer this  link from my other site.

Wuxi China Sky

It is not always so nice and funny as this. (Photo taken on the morning of October 26, 2010).

Two person Conversations (Real and Imaginary) and TYFPTIP!

English Teacher and Chinese Student

"Do you like chicken?"

"A little!"

English Teacher and Chinese Student

"What is you favorite food!:

"I don't know!"

"Why don't you know?"

"I can't remember."

Thank You for putting things in perspective!

"Oh no!  Chuck Norris has impregnated all my sisters!"

"Look on the bright side.  You will be the uncle of the next undefeated team in professional football."


Sentry doing a password check with a maybe intruder

"Itchy itchy woo!"

"Rinky Dinky doo!"

"Brownie Brownie Poo!"

"Aardvark Ski Doo!"

"Pee pee gree!"

"Greene Joe Mean!"

Sentry shoots the man dead and speaks:

"Mean Joe Greene!  You Nomad!"

I got a hole in my sock!

"I got a hole in my sock!"

"Could be worse!"


Canadian Sentry doing password check with a could-be intruder

"Maurice Richard!"

"Henri Richard!"

"Ken Dryden!"

"Dave Dryden!"

"Phil Esposito!"

"Tony Esposito!"

"Frank Mahovolich!"

"Peter Mahovolich!"

"Pierre Trudeau!"

"Gary Trudeau?!?"

Sentry shoots!  Sentry scores!

Sunday, October 24, 2010

Monday Morning AKIC Jottings

Gordon  The big Canadian news lately has been about the trial of some high-ranking military officer who went from participating in pantie raids, to committing acts of rape, and then to murdering and torturing women.  There isn't much I can add to the disgust everyone feels about the story except this:  Interesting it was that someone from Australia was asking me about the gruesome story.  And I have seen people trying to make political points about it.  Someone on the Internet had to say that 99.99 percent of Canadian military people were not like this Gordon -- I wonder why that had to even been said.  All this sad episode tells us is that we are fallen creatures and some of us are capable of great evil -- there is no political creed, institution - no matter how noble,  or  political party that can change this.  The Gordon story has nothing new to tell us about human nature.  All we can do is pray for the victims and families.

Chinese Teacher  For the second time ever, I had someone on the bus help me with my Chinese study.  I was reading over Chinese characters in my Elementary Chinese Reader (volume 2) when the passenger next to me spoke to me.  I was listening to a podcast and so I had to quickly turn off my MP3 player -- only problem was, I couldn't remember where I put it on my person -- it took me much longer than it should have to find it.  The girl, maybe because she saw I was reading Chinese writing, though I could speak good Chinese, and so she spoke to me very fast.  I had to quickly say "ting-bu-dong!"  I understood was she was trying to ask me but damn, I couldn't find the words I needed to say.  Eventually after awkward moments of misunderstandings, she helped me read the Chinese characters.  I realized how really, really, really awful my pronunciation was and vowed to stick to learning the writing.  I also reflected that I should also learn how to be nice to strangers who are nice to me.

My Viewer Stats  Ever since I had an all-time high one month, my blog viewer numbers have been declining.  Was it something I said?  Or is it the case that I am not out there in the Wuxi Expat community anymore?  Probably a bit of both.

Everyone!  All the students in my conversation class told me that they were bloggers.

Red Guards are winning!  After Sunday's NFL games, the Wuxi Red Guards, Wuxi Expatdom's official NFL fantasy football team, are winning their match up.  If everything goes well in the Monday Night Match up, the Red Guards record will be 4-3.

More Monday Photos

Monday Morning Photos

I took these photos while in the apartment.

I look down the street and this is what I see.

Tony wears his school uniform because it is Monday.

Tony always wear a uniform on Monday. You can see more photos of Tony here.

These uniformed security guards, who rode past my apartment building, look to be right out of the sixties.

Saturday, October 23, 2010

FMLB24 Season 10 World Series

Is it the Expos and the Yankees in the FMLB24 Season Ten World Series. The Expos and the Yankees are meeting for the second time in a FMLB24 World Series (They meet in the FMLB24 Season Two World Series) They are the only the third pair of teams to have had a World Series rematch (the other teams are the Cardinals and the Indians; and the Braves and the White Sox) in the 36 FMLB World Series that have been held.

The Expos are in their second consecutive FMLB World Series. In Season Nine, they played the A's. They hope to win their second ever FMLB World Series. The Yankees are trying to win their fourth...

And so, the Yankees took a four games to one lead. The Expos hoped to pull off a comeback similar to the NLCS where they came from a 3-0 deficit to beat the Braves. The Expos won two games to make the series 4-3. However, the Yankees ended Expos hopes with a decisive game eight victory.

The Yankees won their fourth ever World Series. The only other team to have done this is the Braves.

Baseball is the Yankees, and the Yankees are baseball, even against my Expos.

Miserable Weather. Miserable AKIC.

The weather in Wuxi this weekend (October 23 t0 24, 2010) is wet and dreary. The rain is of the non-stop variety that pemeates one with moisture and dreay lethargy -- you want someone to cancel the world for a day so you can hide under the sheets.

It doesn't help that I have a cold.

So, I am not much into anything other than getting through the day, so I leave you with these photos of Tony taken last night on his 38th month birthday.

You can see more of my son here.

Friday, October 22, 2010

FMLB24 Season 10 NLCS

The Expos won their third National League pennant and will meet the Yankees for the second time in an FMLB World Series. The Expos came back from a 3-0 deficit to beat the Braves in five straight close games.

More Thinkings from AKIC

On the Waterfront 2010  Terry Malloy's new lament:  You don't understand. I coulda been a victim. I coulda had a government job.  I coulda been looked after for the rest of my life, instead of a working person in the private sector, which is what I am...

Google Update  I receive Google Update emails daily about "wuxi expat".  Today, I got an update about some piece I had written in my blog nearly a year ago -- the entry was about an abdication or something.

To Do List  Having lots of down time at school, I have a to do list of things to keep me occupied.  I remind myself to visit certain sites; to do my Latvian and Chinese study; to read Aquinas, Teresa, and Bishop; to make blog entries; to keep in contact with certain people, download podcasts; and to review my blog and article writings.  (Now, I can scratch off or mark "blog ideas" on the list.)  The to do list keeps my head spinning like I having a real busy day with real responsibility.

My Compaq Presario laptop still works well after seven years.

Excerpt from a proposed article:  Does Living in Wuxi change an Expat in ways that say living in Shanghai, Shanxi, or Shaanxi wouldn't?  Writing in a Wuxi Expat magazine, I would like to think so.  And I have lived in Wuxi for six years so I think I am entitled to have a say of sorts, though I fully acknowledge that I haven't spent all that much time in Shanghai, Shanxi, or Shaanxi to know what those places can do to an Expat. Still,  Six years in a place and it will grow on you; and you even start to think to you have a feel for its people and have become like them in some way.  But then again, six years being a long time in a person's life,  it is natural that one does change and one has the hope or presumption that one has picked up some wisdom in that stretch of time.  And when one does contemplate life's changes and tries to ascertain where and how the changes came about, one has to separate the changes that can be attributed to time and the changes that can be attributed to the place or circumstances one is in (as well as to one's own personal  idiosyncrasies). Also, once one has identified the changes that can be attributable to a place, one must separate them into physical and  metaphysical changes....

John Edgar Wideman when he found a seat on a commuter train thought the very pleasing moment of anticipation cast(ed) a shadow, because (he couldn't) accept the bounty of an extra seat without remembering why (it was) empty …   Wideman is black so he figures the extra seat is there because people don't want to sit next to him, a black man. 

 I choose a seat on the bus, in Wuxi, where I hope there is little chance of an old person, or a woman with child shaming me into yielding their seat to them, and so I sit at the back of the bus.  I have noticed that my appearance on the bus causes stirs among other passengers because they don't often see foreigners on the bus, but I am too focused on my reading and podcast-listening to care.  I have seen some passengers choose not to sit next to me because I am either a foreigner, or the prospect of getting around my long legs is not so tantalizing.  But if the bus becomes very crowded, someone does sit beside me.  Either way, I am happy to have a seat and love being allowed to listen to my podcast or read my book in peace.  In a crowded country in China, one is thankful for the space or seat however one happens to get it.

Russia  The students know next-to-nothing about Russia I found out in a recent English Corner.  Still I was impressed to know that one student had read the Chinese translation of War and Peace.  And the Chinese pronunciations of Russian names (like Yakushev and Kunetski) must be something to behear!

No knockhead:  I saw a sign, worded this way, placed over a low opening in a restaurant in Hui Shan.

Beware of landslide:  In the same restaurant, I saw another sign, worded this way, at the bottom of a set of steep stairs.  The proprietors of the restaurant choose this sign  and its particular wording, because it had a picture of a falling person.

Paris Review Interviews  This site full of interviews with such literary luminaries as Evelyn Waugh, Ezra Pound, Elizabeth Bishop, and TS Eliot keeps me occupied -- it is an important option on my to do list.

Thursday, October 21, 2010

FMLB24 Season Ten ALCS

The Twins won the first game, but the Yankees dominated the rest of the series to win the FMLB24 Season Ten ALCS five games to three. The Yankees will meet the winner of the Expos-Braves NLCS in the FMLB24 Season Ten World Series.

Waking Tony Up

It is a art to wake up Tony in a no-fuss and humane way.  And I don't claim to have perfected the art, but I feel I have been effective the last couple days.  What I have done is that I gently prod him, singing him gentle songs, tickling him,  and getting him into a mischievous instead of bothered mood -- this morning, I had him smiling as he pushed me around so that when his mother came to dress him, he was ready to go.

Fading into October's Home Stretch: Bloggings of the October twenties or so

The Notorious "Family on a Scooter" Video:  At the back of my mind, I was expecting someone to make a harsh comment about  the Scooter Ride Video (see here on Youku and here on Youtube), and my premonitions proved correct as I finally got scolded (see here)  There was the Kaulins Family, three on a scooter, no one wearing helmets, on the way to market.  We violated all sorts of Western taboos.  Of course, in China, what we did, violated no cultural norms that I know of.  Still, I appreciate the harsh comments, taking them as genuine concern for our safety: and I appreciate the fact that someone reads this blog.  (I suppose that the next time I am in the Chinese countryside, I will tell a family of four, going to the market for their weekly shopping, that three of them will have to walk unless they wear helmets.)

Fall  Typing this entry, I observe that today has been  perfect fall day outdoors -- cool, sunny, and a gentle breeze.  It is the perfect time to do an English Corner about fall/autumn memories.  But doing the corner, I discovered the students had few autumn memories other than constantly going to school.  They couldn't match my melancholy memory of being at a lake in the fall, and thus the off-season, all the while thinking that I had to go to school the next day.  (The other memory I have of Canadian Autumns is of it being a cool, windy day about 4 p.m. and my sensing that the end of something was near -- a lonely, and again I say, melancholy feeling.)

Security Guards  Four of them were wearing gray uniforms, police style hats, and yellow arm bands.  They looked like a bunch of thugs though some of them were of a slight build.  They seemed a remnant of the 1960s and 1970s.  I don't think you would see four security guards together on a Canadian street.
Sporting Concerns  Is following sports a fetish?  Is it soap opera for guys?  Who can say?   I need something to blog about so I make this entry.  I do follow sports here in China even though I can't watch them on television.  I make a point of daily checking out the results and standings of many leagues.  I am following the major league baseball playoffs where it looks, right now, as if there will be a Giants -- Rangers World Series.  I see this as a match up between a conservative Texas state and a goofy-political-progressive-leftist San Francisco city.  Of course, I will go for the Rangers.  The National Hockey League season has started, though it is far too early for me to care.  I just want my team to be in a playoff position.  I don't get uppity about the winning of division titles and what not.  In the National Football League, my Jets are 5-1, and my Seahawks and my Vikings have mediocre records.  In soccer, the Tottenham Hotspurs are 1-1-1 in the Champions League.  The NBA season starts -- yawn!!  And finally I have developed a fetish desire to see the Winnipeg Blue Bombers of the Canadian Football League make the playoffs.  Right, the Bombers are 4-10 and have the worst record in the league.  But, they still have a chance to make the playoffs in a league where six of the eight teams can qualify.  There are two teams currently with a 5-9 record that the Big Blue could overtake.

Wednesday, October 20, 2010

FMLB24 Season Ten AL Standings

The Yankees win their third ever American League East Division title. They will meet the Twins, winner of their second West Division title, in the American League Championship Series.

FMLB24 Season Ten NL Standings

The Expos won their fifth ever NL East division title. They will meet the Braves, who have won their second division title, in the National League Championship Series

Drumming Up Business

A new restaurant has opened near our school.  Its first day of business was Wednesday.  I came to school, that morning, and saw ten women, at the restaurant entrance, banging some big drums and clanging some metal cymbals to tell the area the new business was opening.  It seems to be a Wuxi tradition which I don't mind as long as the drums aren't near my place of work!

Stentorian:  Does that word describe my voice?  An online dictionary defines the word as follows:  

stentorian [stɛnˈtɔːrɪən]
(of the voice, etc.) uncommonly loud

What is Tony up to?  Visit here or here to find out.  The video I took of him watching his train set is now the second most viewed of all my videos on

1773  The Boston Tea Party took place in 1773.

Separation of Church and State  I was misinformed.  I always assumed that the U.S. Constitution contained a "separation of Church and State" clause.  In fact, it didn't.  It contained a clause about not establishing a state church.  The words "Separation of Church and State" came from a 1947 Supreme Court decision written by a rabid anti-Catholic judge appointed by FDR.  I had been thinking that separation of church and state didn't mean separation of state and religion. But it seems that the separation of church and state was meant to separate state and religion -- a separation I don't agree with. I believe that if someone wants to put religious symbols in the public square, it should be up to the community and its representatives to decide this -- not some overarching bureaucratic entity.  And the fact that the mayor may decide to allow a manger scene in the public square does not mean there is a danger of a state church being established.

Monday, October 18, 2010

October 19, 2010

Metaphors:  After presenting ten examples of similes and then metaphors, I get a question:  "What is a metaphor?"  Patience is a virtue -- I should have told myself.
Dump Trucks making left turns onto busy major four land roads are a hazard, I noticed when I took the bus downtown.
The seamless bus transfer:  Nothing like being able to board on the connecting bus within seconds of deboarding the first bus.
1224er:  Monday evening, I had a student with the same birth date as me - a fellow 1224er as it were.  Which gets me to thinking.  I should form a club.  It is the only victim group that I can legitimately say I am a part of, and I need all the current currency I can get.

My 32 team FMLB final alignment.

Rare Readers who follow my FMLB entries, may remember my proposal for a 32 team FMLB.

Here are the details in that previous post.

Here was my first proposed 32 team setup:

Here is what will be the final setup.

I have added a few names of Negro league teams.

Sunday, October 17, 2010

An AKIC Cool Person: GK Chesterton

Quotes from this writer are like gold. Here is one:

"Fallacies do not cease to be fallacies because they become fashions."

It is Ma Ma Monday and AKIC has got's to go to work.

  • Taking Tony to School: an Essay.
  • Andis has to work this Monday or there wouldn't be any trainers at the school during the day.
  • Ma Ma, Ma Ma Monday!  Ma Ma, Ma Ma Monday!
  • Sam Katz for mayor of Winnipeg!  His last name starts with "K".
  • There it is!  I said it!  What do you think of that!
  • I have been listening to Mark Levine Podcasts.  I love the way he calls all his opponents jerks!  I would normally have thought this to be rude.  But then all his opponents are Leftists and Democrats and Progressives and RINOs.
  • The Western restaurant in Hui Shan made an outstanding tuna sandwich.
  • Sunday evening, Tony headbutt his father causing a lens to pop out of his father's reading glasses.  Tony's mother was able to put the lens back in.


FMLB24 Season Nine World Series

The A's won their first ever FMLB World Series by defeating the Expos in the FMLB24 Season Nine World Series five games to three.

Blogging on over. Blogging on over. Move over other Bloggers, AKIC keeps moving on!

Shortage of Latvian Men for Lativan Women.

Reducing Labour Costs  A company student was telling me that his company was looking at ways to reduce labor costs and that he was in charge of the project.  I then asked him how this could be a problem in China where labor was cheap, and he told me that this is no longer the case.  The cost of living is going up in China, he said, and workers are demanding higher wages to keep up.

Unread items  I find it is too much sometimes to keep up with all the unread items I have on Gmail and Google Reader.  I subscribe to far too many things.

Light-headed  I felt this way at my first English Corner of last week.  I must have been slacking it too much on my days off.

Something I learned about Chinese and Gold Fish  Why is it that so many public and business places have gold fish in China?  I had never thought to ask the question.  But I learned that the Chinese word for fish (鱼yu) sounds like another "yu" (愈) which means "more" from a student

A Little Boy's Obsession: Toy Train

Saturday, October 16, 2010

Mid October 2010 and everything is what it is.

Butt Ends  I really love to see cigarette butt ends on the stairs of my school, and of my apartment building.  It gives me opportunity to ponder the wonder of others' mindsets.

Pizza Delivery in Hui Shan City  There is now a restaurant that can deliver pizza to Casa K.  The pizza is nothing to blog about, but it will do.

Not as interesting as they could be  Why are the Chinese like this?  No democracy.  Even Canada's Trudeaufied democracy is an improvement on this society.

Bags  On the bus, I see a deboarding man with a long stick for carrying bags.  In one of the two bags with handles that he will tote, I see a clear plastic bag filled with peanuts.

One Child Policy Question:  "Do you have your child, yet?"

A simple question.  I can't ask the students what their favorite restaurant is because they will take the question too literally and really think hard about what their favorite restaurant is -- I only ask the question to get them to talk.  I have often had a student tell me, after their pondering, that it hard for them to say what their favorite restaurant is.  So, I ask the students to just tell me a restaurant they like -- but even then, they find the question hard to answer without thinking a lot about it.

U.S. Mid Term Elections  I am following that election campaign avidly via podcast, hoping for a Republican landslide.  Here are a few observations I can make about it:
  • I listened to a progressive podcast from Slate.  Their talking point was to lament all the money being spent on campaign advertising.  (I also heard Obama talk about this, which raises the question of who originally came up with the talking point -- the White House or their minions in the media.)  The progressives didn't want to even broach the subject of the fact that the ass-kicking they are about to receive is the result of the fact that the Obama agenda is a fraud and is not at all what Americans want.
  • I heard a RINO squish say that the quality of candidates matters (he was referring to the O'Donnell candidacy in Delaware).  I immediately thought that if that was so, how did Obama get elected president?
  • I don't bother telling the students about the U.S.elections -- but, I should.  I do find them exciting to follow.  Even if the two sides in the election talk around each other, an observer can gleam some facts from what is being said. (Unlike China where they get fed only line).
10/10/10  A student told me that he got his wedding license on that date because the number pattern was considered by the Chinese to be a source of good fortune.  So when he went it the wedding license bureau that day, the place was very crowded.  I think 10/20/2010 is also a good date because of the symmetry of the tens and twenties.

Range Anxiety  I heard this term used for the first time on a podcast about electric cars.  What this refers to is the fear that the electric vehicle one is driving will run out of charge and leave one stranded far from home or an electrical outlet.  I have been experiencing range anxiety with my electric scooter.  The battery is getting old and so the range of the scooter has been diminished -- when once I could go downtown and back twice, I now don't think I could make it to the downtown.

FMLB24 Season Nine NLCS

The Expos advance to their second ever FMLB World Series by defeating the Reds five games to two. The Reds fail to win the FMLB World Series for the second year in a row after having had a very good regular season.

The Expos will play the A's in the World Series.

Posing for Wedding Photos.

Taken at the park near my school

Downtown Wuxi on a Saturday Afternoon

Chinese Sleeping

Friday, October 15, 2010

Tony and the Train Set

FMLB24 Season Nine ALCS

The A's win make their third trip to a FMLB World Series after having defeated the Red Sox five games to three in the FMLB24 Season 9 ALCS.

The A's will meet play either the Expos or the Reds in the the FMLB24 Season Nine World Series. The A's have yet to win an FMLB World Series despite having made six previous trips to the post-season.

The Rescue of the 33

  • I can see there being a movie about the Chilean rescue.  Perhaps, they will call it "33".
  • I heard that the coverage of the rescue was wall-to-wall.  I am glad I wasn't able to see it.  From what I heard on my podcasts, the reporters were gushing annoyingly.
  • I haven't thought to get the students' reaction to the rescue.  In China, there always seen to be trapped or dead miners, so they might have some extra insight to provide me.

As I understand from a Chinese friend, Xiaobo's great value within China is as a voice expounding, often quite subtly, the relation between "Aesthetics and Human Freedom" (the translated title of one of his most famous essays). He confronts directly what other critics of Chinese totalitarianism avoid: the apparent "economic miracle" -- the outward gleaming success expressed in skyscrapers and multiplying consumer goods. 

He identifies this with the life of pigs. He finds the evil of the regime not only in direct acts of political repression, but also in the vileness of this consumer spectacle. In doing so, he addresses himself not only to the Politburo that cannot feel safe while men like Xiaobo are free to walk the streets. He also addresses his countrymen, who agree to accept a pig's rewards. 

  • There is something horribly materialistic about this country. 

How is Wuxi Tony doing?

Visit here to find out!

Thursday, October 14, 2010

October 15

  • At first I thought that Tony was too sick to go to school.  He was very lethargic in the morning, not having the strength to protest being woken up as he usually did.  But then just as the decision was made to keep him home and we phoned school in inform them,  Tony came alive and so he went to school late. 
  • It sunny in Wuxi this Friday.
  • Video of the Chilean miner rescue could be seen on the bus video screens.
  • I have this theory, now, that maybe young children should start school later in the day than they usually do -- the problem with my idea is that this would inconvenience parents who have to go to work early.
  • Some of the older students told me that when they graduated from school, they were sent to a company to work.  They had no choice in the matter.
  • Not too many of my students were aware the NPP being awarded to a Chinese person.


FMLB24 Season Nine Final Standings

The Red Sox won their second consecutive division title. They will meet the A's, who won their fifth ever division title in the ALCS.

The Expos won their fourth ever division title. They will meet the Reds, who won their second consecutive and third overall division title, in the NLCS

Wednesday, October 13, 2010

October 14, 2010

  • Not much to say today.  I am just following routine, though I did add one thing to it -- I dress Tony in the morning in preparation for school.  I am sure this helps Jenny but I put Tony's underwear on backwards one time.
  • It is cloudy and cool in the Wux.  I have been wearing a jacket the last few days.
  • Not many Chinese seem to know about the Nobel Peace Prize awarding.
  • The Devil Rays lost to the Rangers in their playoff series making their division title victory over the Yankees extremely Pyrrhic  I am not sure if a Rangers Yankees series will be compelling.  I could see the Yankees blowing the Texas team away.
  • Canada didn't make it past the first round of voting for temporary U.N. Security Council Seats.  Not that it matters, but I think Canada should withdraw permanently from the U.N.  Why we attach such importance to playing a big role in the organization is beyond me.
  • One of eight students I had in my class had a sibling.

Tweets for October 2010

  • Nudity in the defense of Naturism is no vice.
  • No respect.  The man is in jail and he gets a crack jack prize for his troubles.
  • KoW's legacy:  a nudist club and a few bankrupt restaurants.
  • Iggy Poop is the leader of the Canadian Federal Liberal Party.  P. Turd was a predecessor.
  • The Double Chocolate Bar:  The Chocolate Bar with another Chocolate Bar hidden inside.
  • O is Orwellian swellian.

Tuesday, October 12, 2010

Silly Conversations

Two People
"Can I go use the W.C.?"
"That will be Five Dollars!"
"Jeez. I only have two!"
"You can owe me."
"Okay, I'll write you out an I.O.U."
"Do it now!"
"Do you have a pen and paper."
"I'll get Manuel to get you some."
Five minutes later, Manuel comes with required objects.
"Here you go.  Write away!"
"Too Late! I peed myself!"
"Okay.  10 dollars, I can clean your pants for you."

An older man talks to a group of students
"Who said you could take off your clothes?"
"We are naked for a reason, you know!"
"Yes. we have a point to make."
"In a debate about the U.S. medical system?"
"What point could you possibly be making?"
"We want to show how the evil conservatives would reduce coverage!"
"You people are like emperors!"

A Teacher and one Student
"Ask me a question using the word "what".
"To you?"
"No.  To the imaginary 7,000 pound gorilla that is sitting on your head.  And I mean the gorilla that is wearing the pink dress and green hat and is eating bananas and KFC chicken.  Not the one that is reading Marcel Proust."

Two People

"Wow.  It is his 70th birthday!  He doesn't look a day over 40 if you ask me."

"Well, if your definition of year means the Earth goes around the Sun twice then you would be correct."

"Who was talking about age?"

"Well. What do you mean by "40"?"

Two more People

"You're Racist."

"You're prejudicial."

"You're a Bigot."

"You're being presumptuous."

"Oh.  Am I?"


"Well. Na Na Na Nah!"


Interviewer and Athlete

"What were you thinking when you fumbled the ball?"

"I can see the goal line."

Two More People

"What are you doing?"

"Minding my business!   And I have a suggestion for you."

"Oh!  What?"

"Mind yours!"

FMLB20 Season Ten World Series

The Braves won the FMLB20 Season 10 World Series defeating the White Sox five games to three. The teams exchanged victories in the first six games. But then the Braves took control winning the last two games and their ever second ever FMLB20 World Series and their fourth FMLB World Series overall.

The view from the kitchen on the morning of October 13

Monday, October 11, 2010

Bad Memories, Confessions, and Other Bliggin Bloggons

Newbies  There are lots of New Expats in Wuxi, I have been told by someone who might know about these things.  I wouldn't know myself.  I don't even know how many old Expats there are in Wuxi.  The only foreigners I see are at school and outside of the church that the school over looks.
Your Pants are calling me!  Because my name starts with "A", I will get a lot of inadvertent phone calls and text messages from people who forgot to lock their mobile phone keypad, or because a gremlin in their pants unlocked for them.  I have often answered my phone only to hear the muffled sound of someone trudging along, or the distant sound of them talking to someone else. 
Monday evening, I got 22 blank text messages from a student.
Other things Pant Gremlins can do  I have put things like mini flashlight key chains, nail clippers, and pens in my pocket pants only to discover later that they have become completely disassembled.
Extended Adolescence.  Recollecting my past, I shudder to think of the many things I have done that I am either ashamed or embarrassed about because of their implications for my character and my so-called manhood.  I suppose I could, if I could stand it, write hundreds of pages in a search for what was my biggest embarrassment.   But what comes to mind first is my extended time I was in university -- I got out when I was 25.
Further proof that Nudism is evil.  Rare readers may know that I make a distinction between Naturism and Nudism.  Naturism has come to be a fancier way of saying Nudism, but I believe they should be distinct.  Nudism, as far as I am concerned, is the basic desire to free oneself from what one mistakenly thinks are the restraints of having a divine reverence for the universe.  Naturism is the respect for the divine attributes that one has.  Nudism is secular and ultimately earthly disgusting. Naturism is a proud, brave, responsible creed.
I bring this up as I heard on a podcast about these stupid students who thought they were doing a profound thing by taking off their clothes for Obamacare.  The Evil Republicans they say are seeking to reduce their coverage -- funny, as far as that goes, but this Colbertian smart-alecky humour is a not a substitute for serious argumentation.  No Naturist would be so stupid as to support anything so stupid as Obamacare.  Naturists believe in, and cherish the divine freedom they have.  They wouldn't lower themselves to sully the divine freedom they have to be responsible, sober, and serious human beings.  Those students had to be Nudists.
Mad Man watching  I am almost finished the second of four DVDs I have of the Mad Man series.  I was reminded harshly of my military career when that grey headed letch character said to another man that he thought it was cowardly for that man to have been in the signal corps as a clerk.  I recalled that I had been a financial clerk for a while.
The Libertine Lifestyle   This could never be source of pride for me.  Where I was younger this was so because it just wasn't meant to be -- I had a talent for not making it with people.  Now, in middle age, I feel I lack something else -- whatever that is.
Porsche Boxstar  A man in our apartment complex has a red Porsche Boxstar.  I can't help but notice it.
Picking up my son in the rain  Doing this with an electric bike can be real annoying.  You have to put the boy under the special rain suit that electric bikers wear.
Mopping a fence.  The Subway construction areas have blue aluminum sheets erected all around them that hide the view of what goes on inside.  I saw some workers using mops to clean the outside of them...   You know, of all the things that need cleaning around these parts, they have to mop a fence!
Shovel and Bike  I saw a man trying to carry a shovel in his hand as he rode a bicycle -- he couldn't do it so he had to push his bike. 
Fuck Bush Three   The Nobel Peace Prize has been tarnished recently by its being awarded to the undeserving Al Gore and Barack Obama.  Looking at these awards objectively, one could not help but think the real reason these awards were given was to say "Fuck George W. Bush -- that evil man and his stupid missionary's desire to bring democracy to some countries!".   This year's prize was given to someone wanting democracy for a country which seems contradictory to the spirit in which the two previous awards had been handed out.  But I now realize the award was a third attempt to shaft George W. Bush.  "We will give it someone who wants democracy but isn't George W. Bush!"

The Chinese version of the Kiss.

I saw this on a Chinese website.

And I was reminded of this:

Apparently, no photos were taken on Nanjing Road in Shanghai when the Japanese surrendered to the Chinese in 1945.

FMLB20 Season Ten National League Tie Breaker Series

The winner of the FMLB20 Season 10 National League Pennant is:

The Braves win their second ever FMLB20 pennant and make their sixth ever trip to a FMLB World Series.

My proposed 32 team Fantasy Major League Alignment

I will create FMLB32. It will consist of two sixteen team leagues each with four four-team divisions. There will be a 162 game schedule with each team playing its division rivals thirty times in one season (ninety games) and all other teams six times (six times twelve makes seventy-two). The eight division winners will qualify for the playoffs -- no wildcards! I am thinking of maybe changing the playoffs to best of seven, but then I may not.

I have created two new teams, the Brooklyns and the Polos, to play in the National League. They will represent the old New York National League teams that moved to California.

I have revived the Browns, Senators, Pilots, and Expos. I don't want my leagues to have Marlins or Rays -- sorry, but I don't like their aesthetic.

The Royals have been renamed the Monarchs. I am thinking to honour the old major negro-league teams.

So, without further ado, here is my proposed thirty two team FMLB alignment:

National League
East Division
North Division
Central Division
West Division
American League
East Division
North Division
Blue Jays
Red Sox
Central Division
White Sox
West Division
I am contemplating a few more changes. I want to add more Negro League team names and dump some of the unattractive current Major League team names.
I would welcome your suggestions.

Sunday, October 10, 2010

Motorboat Ride on the Yangtze River

This video really deserves more views. I will embed it again in this site.

Watch it all the way through!

FMLB20 Regular Season Ten Final Standings

FMLB20 is the twenty team version of my three Fantasy Major Baseball Leagues (the others are FMLB16 and FMLB24).

Below you can see the final standings at the end of the tenth season of FMLB20.

The White Sox won their second ever AL pennant in FMLB20. They will make their fifth trip to a FMLB World Series (so far, they are 2-2 in the WS).

The White Sox will meet the winner of the Braves-Giants National League pennant tie breaker in the FMLB20 World Series. The Braves-Giants series will be the fourth tie breaking playoff ever needed to break a tie for a FMLB League or Division title. This will be the third time, the Braves will be in a tie breaker (they lost and won one previous tie-breaker).