Sunday, January 30, 2011

The last Monday of the old Chinese Year

Saturday, January 29, 2011

The last Sunday of the Old Chinese Year

  • Chen Weiwei is a Wuxi Expat Hero.
  • The Kaulins family went to Carrefour Baoli on Saturday evening.  Needless to say it was a madhouse because of the approaching Lunar New Year celebrations.  The supermarket's floor was so dirty because no cleaner had a chance to clean it.
  • What was Tony doing on Saturday Evening?
  • A thoughtful student left a card for me under my door Saturday evening.  Not leaving a name, I can only guess who it was that left it, but I have a pretty good idea who was so nice.  The card wished me and my family, including Bad Boy Tony, a happy new year.
  • The Kaulins Family will go to Beixing on Tuesday morning.
  • Sunday is my last day of work in the Year of the Tiger.
  • Two Dragons in my English Corner yesterday.  The topic of my English corner was Gods and Deities.  I also discovered there were eight atheists, two monotheists, two polytheists, and an agnostic in the class.  I counted myself as among the polytheists.
  • Visit my Youtube Channel.

Friday, January 28, 2011

Wuxi Andis Chinese New Year's Eve 2007 Video

The last Saturday of the Old Chinese New Year

  • Jenny's birthday is February 1.  She celebrates her lunar calendar birthday which is on Chinese New Year's Eve.  (AKIC's birthday is on Christmas Eve.  How apt this is for the both of them.)
  • Cows are happier in Wuxi, China.
  • Friday afternoon, there was no electricity for about an hour or so at the school.  This meant no Internet.  I later realized it also meant no light.  And then I thought how hard life must have been hundreds of years ago.  Though, I suppose, people got by.
  • AKIC TKIC wrestling.
  • I did an English Corner about Gratitude.  I asked the students to make a list of things they were thankful for.  One of them said that he was thankful for his mirror -- I didn't know what to make of that. As I am wont to do, I flipped my topic over and got the students to talk about ingratitude.  Asking the students for examples of ingratitude, I had a  student say that people were ungrateful when it came to the topic of Chairman Mao.
  • A photo of two Tonys.
  • Lang Lang is a national hero the students told me because of what happened at the White House.  Here is John Derbyshire's take on Lang Lang at the White House (scroll to section 06).  You can see a full take of Derb's on Lang Lang here.  Lang Lang at least loves his country; you have to wonder about Obama and his cronies.
  • What am I doing?  What should I be doing?
  • I do spend a lot of time glossing over things.
  • Tony watches too much television.
  • I spend too much time thinking about politics, and not even my nation's politics, or the politics of the place I am at.  I really need to spend more time thinking about my wife, my son, my parents, poetry, philosophy, teaching, learning languages, and trying to help others.
  • There, they say SOTUS; here, we say SOTES.  Should I bother?  
  • Pundits talk about how politicians position themselves for the superficial and the uninformed.  Are our politics decided by stupid people?
  • One, two, three, times I tell this student to work on the lesson vocabulary.  Third lesson I teach her, she makes this sentence "Skyscrapers are near the coast." I ask her what a skyscraper is.  I then ask her what a coast is.  She doesn't know.
  • No one, I have talked to, has interesting CNY plans.
  • Denmark attacks Winnipeg.
  • Getting off the bus,  I walk down empty streets to get to the apartment.  I am in one of these newly developed big cities that the Chinese are building all over the country.  These cities are being dubbed ghost towns even though no one has actually lived in these places in the first place.  "How empty are these streets?" you ask.  I see one car during my ten minute walk -- you would think I was walking on a country road in Brandon, Manitoba, Canada.
  • Politics seem easier to follow from a distance than sports.  You don't need video to follow politics.  In fact, not having it, enhances the experience.  With sports, it helps to see a game every now and then.
  • What books will I take to Beixing for the CNY?  The Bible, L'Amour, Chinese text books, Ezra Pound.
  • "China goes crazy every 150 years," said a podcaster, "and it is due to do so soon."  Is it?  What about the cultural revolution?  That ended 35 years ago.  So, perhaps some craziness isn't due yet.  Perhaps, it already is in the midst of insanity.
  • The Central Government is complaining about Carrefour and pricing.  I don't know the full details but I wonder it is a way of dealing with inflation that they don't know how to stop?
  • New rules put out by the education authorities here say that foreign teachers in China must have at least two years teaching experience.  Teachers who switch schools in China also need to get notarized letters of reference from their former schools; otherwise they can't be hired by other schools.  This will be a problem for teachers who have changed their schools almost as often as their underwear. (It is a smart move by the authorities.  Many teachers who change schools aren't very good anyway.)
  • I pray.

Thursday, January 27, 2011

Fryday and it is snowing, again, in Wuxi

  • Rare readers of this blog may have noticed some dead links in the previous entries.  I changed the URL address of the Wuxi Expatdom Blog Thursday evening.  From on, you won't be lead astray in the wonderful universe of Gorzo the Mighty, Gambay's Pub, Hans Zimmerman, Fred Minklemen and all your other favorite Wuxi Expatdom characters.
  • What's Tony Kaulins up to?  Find out here.
  • It began to snow Thursday evening.  Friday morning, I awoke, looked out the window, and saw the snow had stayed.  It is a thin sprinkling, like icing sugar dabbed on chocolate cake.
  • Singing in the Reign
  • Today I will wear the gray underwear that my mother-in-law had made for me.
  • I did a SPC about fame Thursday evening.  The most famous person in China, the students agreed, was Yao Ming.  Someone also mentioned the pianist Lang Lang who played the Korean War Song at the White House.  The students hadn't shown much interest in the Hu visit to the U.S., yet they all seemed to know about the pianist playing a Chicom patriotic song under American noses.
  • Free coffee and donuts!
  • Rabbits in Downtown Wuxi!
  • I took this video on the way to work Friday morning.
  • A Wuxi Expat who likes Chicken's Feet.  Unbelievable!

Wuxi China Drivers

Wuxi, China Snow: January 28, 2011

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Wednesday, January 26, 2011

Thursday Linky Dinky Rinky Doings and Thinkings

  • I took a lot of photos on Tuesday Evening. You have seen some of them already, perhaps. The new few bullets will list some more.
  • Tony sings Hey Jude!
  • The K family never rests.
  • Tony close up.
  • So much is happening in Wuxi Expatdom, it has its own news channel.
  • Some Wuxi Expats will marry their underwear, undergarments, and basketball.
  • I saw a three-wheel taxi, going the wrong way, make a quick left turn into a right turn lane just as the van was making a right turn into the same lane. The result was a near collision in which the taxi driver would have been at fault.
  • The latest column by David Warren in which he writes about the terrorist attack at the Moscow Airport. He observes that standard security arrangements at airports creates huge pools of delayed travellers, who make the perfect soft target. The suicide bomber simply blows himself up on the near side of the security barrier. He doesn't even try to pass through. This thought occurred to me the one time I happened to be in Shanghai during the Expo -- long lineups were created by people having to pass through X-ray machines before entering the subway -- bombers, I noted, could simply detonate a bomb there and kill many people thus thwarting the security arrangements. And Warren also made another observation that applies to government thought, as well as much Progressive-Left-Wing thinking. The state itself must consider people as individuals, not as units of a mass. And it is only when this is done that we have any chance of defending ourselves against evils that are not "random irruptions of nature," but instead the morally significant acts of human souls. This quote makes my brain boil over with thoughts: Jarod Loughner was evil. He would have found a way to kill if he didn't have a gun or couldn't build one. Progressives pander to the masses. Obama talks about "folks". Conservatives don't like Obama because of his ideas. Progressives don't like Conservatives because they see them as a group of white people and Christians. Till Progressives actually see voters as individuals instead of groups to pander to, they will never "get it." Till economists like Krugman stop seeing people as aggregates of demand, they will never understand the stupidity of what they advocate, and how bad economic decisions aggregations are what Economists should be thinking about....
  • The Vancouver Canucks are in top spot in the NHL's Western Conference. It is making my prediction that they won't win the Stanley Cup in 2011 look doubtful. If that prediction does turn out to be wrong, I will be happy, and happy to say I was wrong. I am hoping I am wrong. I have been wrong so often before that I am not traumatized by it.
  • Tony Kaulins sits on the sofa while Tony K talks.
  • A Video of Tony before CNY 2011
  • Let's talk about the Moon!

Tuesday, January 25, 2011

Tony Kaulins sits on sofa in China while Tony K talks

Back to Work and then....

  • There are lots of things happening in the Expatdom of Wuxi, China.
  • I watched The Road  on DVD Tuesday afternoon.  The movie, based on a Cormac McCarthy novel, stars Virgo Mortenson.  I liked it.  It was the story of a father and son trying to survive in a post-apoplyptic world where cannibalism is the biggest worry.  The father and son aspect of the movie touched me.  However, the film did seem to be a Zombie movie trying to be profound.  I must read the novel.
  • I like leg warmers.  I had never worn them before till last week.  Now I can't live without them.
  • Is China about to go off the cliff?  John Derbyshire responds to another article predicting China's impending collapse.  Do I think China is going to go off the cliff?  It probably already has at least five or six times in the last century.  I think China will be like Mexico, all screwed-up and yet somehow carrying on.  But on the bus last week, I saw these patriotic commercials telling riders that China was moving forward.  That could be a sign that things are going backward.
  • Tony goes to school reluctantly.
  • People can have nasty falls off cliffs if they somehow think they can defy the laws of gravity.  I doubt if this has ever happened.  Yet societies do seem to think they can defy the laws of supply and demand, and have run themselves off a cliff many a time.
  • Tony makes a face.
  • I go back to work today (Wednesday).  Five days later, it will the start of the AKIC CNY.
  • The latest photo of TKIC and AKIC together.
  • There is still a chill in the Wuxi air.  I wear my LJs and Toque indoors.
  • The latest photo of TKIC and JKIC together.
  • Chinese students look forward to getting a red packet full of money during the Chinese New Year.  Tony will be getting some of these when he goes to the countryside next week.
  • The K family has purchased its bus tickets to Beixing.  We will be leaving on January 31 and returning on February 6.

Monday, January 24, 2011

AKIC Tuesday Links and Thinks


Renmin Road on January 24, 2011

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Sunday, January 23, 2011

Monday Quickies.

  • Happy Dance!
  • Keith Olbermann has a new job in Wuxi, China.
  • The Eternal Shrug.  I am getting to that attitude when I look at the world, but this is probably because I am getting old and resigned to some things.  I also shrug because here I am in China watching what is happening from an outsider's vantage point.  China, being my in-law, I do have skin in the game, but still I will have to shrug if the dynastic change that eventually will happen, does happen to happen and I witness it.
  • I avoid online chats as much as I can.  It just seems to be a waste of time.  If I chatted with every Chinese person who wanted to chat with me, I would never get anything done.  And the rare person who does wish to chat with me always seems to interrupt some train of thought I am on.  Still, I have to be polite, even to the jerks.  Thankfully most of the people I know aren't jerks, and I always feel ashamed of myself for not giving these fine people my full attention when they do chat with me.  And to be honest, my ways do cause me to be often lacking for company -- I don't have a socializing faucet that I can turn on and off when I desire -- I have to take the trickles when I can. 
  • All that said, I did have an online conversation with a jerk yesterday.  As a rule, one should be wary of most English teachers in China -- they are here to screw the women, physically and mentally, and are avoiding something in their home countries - looking after children and responsibility and jail and debt.   In my case, I came to try something new.  I was avoiding a dull provincial life.  What I have ended up with is a wife and child -- a life that has turned out to be more provincial and routine that I bargained for.  But it keeps me moored.  I have no need for bucket lists.  I like being able to shrug.
  • More about TKIC.
  • Waking up.
  • The pickers in my NFL playoff competition were 1-7 on the Packers-Bears game.  Only my brain predicted a Packers victory.

Saturday, January 22, 2011

Sunday Ruminiminations

  • Where is Tony's head?
  • Evil Keith Olbermann aka Keith Overbite host of Countdown to No Ratings has finished his run at MSNBC.  Who knows why it ended? Anyway,  I watched his signoff. -- I found it interesting to see him talk about his father.  I find it hard to believe  that this guy had a father.  But there he was pretending that he had the basic humanity that he accused all his political opponents of lacking -- that is something that the Left does all the time.  What moment for me defined Olbermann and spoke of his character?  George Bush decided to not play golf when he was president -- he thought it was untoward while he was Commander-In-Chief to be doing this.  Bush never made this fact public -- he was no moral showboat.  But it came to light when he was asked about it.  Olbermann saw this and decided to dump on Bush -- accuse W of being a moral showboat.  The Left at its' classiest.  Damn a guy coming and going.  Did Olbermann ever apologize?
  • Tony is 41.
  • The snow is melting in Wuxi.  It should be all gone by Monday.
  • As the bus passes the train station, I see a man walking.  He carries a stick on his shoulders. On both of ends of stick hang two bags full of, maybe, all his stuff.  Is that 19th century technology?

Friday, January 21, 2011

Wuxi Andis wearing brown leg warmers

  • I am wearing the things because my wife told me to.  I complained about my a buckling feeling in my left knee as I climbed stairs, and that was the result.
  • The topic for my Friday evening English Corner was Top Ten Lists.  I asked the students to help me make a list of top ten student complaints.  Most of the complaints were the standard ones about too much homework and sadistic teachers.  However, one student made a complaint that was new to me:  bald teachers.  He hated bald teachers, but he couldn't explain why.
  • Free taxi service commences in Wuxi.
  • Most of the students had nothing to say about Chairman Hu's visit to the USA.  I made the joke about Who went to China? but it took a while for the joke to register.  The few students who had followed the coverage said that Hu looked short beside Obama, and that Obama seemed funny-looking.
  • What is Tony doing on Saturday?
  • I also did a class about Grandparents on Friday evening.  I was able to elicit some anecdotes from the students told to them by their grandparents.  One  student's grandparents aren't happy because  property developers are seeking to force them out of their old home.  Another student told me that their grandparents are satisfied at seeing the economic development of Wuxi.  The most interesting story passed on to me was from a student who told me that his grandparents witnessed the Japanese occupation but felt no fear -- being cut off from the outside world, they thought the Japanese soldiers were just from another part of China.  Meanwhile, another student has his grandparents tell stories of having to hide their children from the Japanese troops.
  • Wuxi Tony Update #12
  • Here is a top ten list, I used as an example for my students in the Top Ten List English Corner:
Top Ten excuses for not handing in your homework
  1.  My grandmother died
  2.  My grandfather died
  3.  The dog ate my homework
  4.   My parents died
  5.   Thieves stole my homework
  6.   My house caught on fire and so my homework was burnt.
  7.   I caught a bad case of cancer and so I couldn't do my homework
  8.   I was drunk
  9.   I got married
  10.   The boy I paid to do my homework was sick.
The students laughed and laughed and laughed, and I was thinking I would make a great comedian.

Meanwhile a dialogue

A:  When's Hu coming?

B:  Wen Jia Bao?

A:  No!  When's Hu coming?

B:  I don't know what you say.

A:  Who's Watusay?

B:  Oh!  Don't you mean Hu Jian Tao?

A:  Yes!  When's he coming?

B:  Oh!  Don't you mean Wen Jia Bao?

A:  No!  I mean who!

B:  What?

A:  Who's what?

B:  I don't know!

A: I assume Hu's coming with I don't know.

B starts to cry uncontrollably.

Thursday, January 20, 2011

Friday, Fry my brain day, not.

  • I won't fry my brain on Friday.  For one thing, it is actually Wednesday for me; for another, I don't fry my brain anymore.  Not that I ever did that much....
  • So many podcasts; so little time to listen to them all.  There is Adler, Ricochet, Levin, Econtalk, Slate, Surprisingly Free, Lino at Large, Personally Speaking, the Balcony, and Uncommon Knowledge to name a few.
  • The way the Left treats Sarah Palin is all the reason I need to never be a Leftist.  Ronald Reagan at one time said that these people were well-meaning but wrong.  I don't think that can be said anymore, except for very rare people of good will.
  • The NFL will hold its conference championship games on AKIC Friday.  Here are some predictions from the staff at HyLite English School.
  • Coincidences.  Two people, out of a group of nine, that I spoke to yesterday had the same birthday:  August 20th.  Another two students discovered that they had both been to Venice, Italy.
  • A student told me she first meet the man who was to be her husband on the train.
  • Another student told me she meet her eventual husband on the Internet.
  • Thursday, I saw students perform a play where two of the characters were gay.
  • I hope to find out what the students thoughts are about Hu's visit to the USA.  I saw video of the ceremonies on the White House lawn yesterday as I rode the bus home.  I was all agog (is that the right word?) at the ostentatiousness.
  • The Wuxi Red Guards will play in the first ever Super-Duper Bowl.
  • I notice I can't eat at normal meal times.  Friday lunch time, I am making this blog entry.  I am this way because I like to stay busy and I always feel an urgent need to make a blog entry.  I also don't like to eat at the same time as the Chinese because there are so many of them -- eating at off-times, I can find a seat and some quiet.
  • What is happening at TKIC?  Find out here.
  • How to stop me from eating all the chocolate in the house?  I tell my wife to hide it.  Leave it out in the open and it is gone, gone, gone baby gone!
  • Wuxi, China will host the Olympic Games.

Young Idler; Old Beggar. Snow! Snow! Snow!

  • I saw these words, in this blog entry's title, posted on an electronic sign that can be seen at the entrance to a primary school.
  • Because of the snow, my forty-five minute bus ride to work took seventy-five minutes.  Yet, I wasn't late for work.  I have encountered many an ESL teacher who would have used it as a pretext for not showing up to work.
  • On the ride in, I saw only two accidents.  The first one, I saw a motorcycle, with two passengers, just after it slipped on the pavement.  The second accident, I saw first the aftermath of a fender-bender where as I rode past, I saw a car, another car, and finally an electric bike on its side.
  • My ten o'clock class was a no-show.  I wonder if perhaps the ceremony I am supposed to attend this afternoon will be cancelled. The snow has made it impossible to catch a taxi. (It wasn't)
  • Many people are walking on the roads because they are not snow or slush covered.
  • Others have witnessed drivers blaring their horns at old people who are struggling to cross the road.  I would like to slap those horn-blowers with the back of my hand.
  • I saw a man on a bicycle going against the flow of traffic.  It seemed foolhardy to me but the man had a dry path and no one was honking a horn at him.
  • This snow is not as bad as 2008, yet.
  • What is Tony doing today?  
  • What is Tony wearing?
  • So much for asking students for their reactions to Hu's visit to America.

Wednesday, January 19, 2011

Tuesday, January 18, 2011

More of Wuxi, China Snow in 2008

Wuxi, China Snow in 2008

Jenny picks up the wallet that had been stolen.

Whoever stole Jenny's wallet yesterday, ran down a side road that passes Baoli and then leads to an alleyway.  They took the money out of the wallet and then threw the wallet on the ground.  Someone picked it up and gave it to the police.

Jenny as she was boarding the bus, had Tony in her arms, and so the thief took advantage.

Wuxi, China Snow on January 19, 2011

Photos of Snow in Wuxi, China: January 18, 2011

Snow and Thievery

  • It is snowing in Wuxi, Tuesday Afternoon。
  • Jenny had her wallet stolen from her purse.  She believes the theft happened as she was boarding a bus by Baoli.  Police have phoned her to say they have recovered the wallet -- an undisclosed amount of money went missing.

Monday, January 17, 2011

"AKIC Sunday" Bloggings.

  • Great Tonys #5.
  • Thanks to the miracle of the Internet, I have learned of the passing of a local Brandon, Manitoba celebrity Ron Thompson.  Anyone who spent any time in Brandon, Manitoba in the 1970s and 1980s, will remember him appearing on local CKX broadcasts.  Being the local celebrity in a small town can make one a source of small-minded ridicule, and yet he had a good gig that most people would die for.  For me, he stands out in my memory of a time where I was downright foolish (whether that has changed over the last thirty year -- the amount of my foolishness -- is questionable).  He represents a time I wish I could go back to, just so I could kick my younger self in the ass.  He represents the virtue of small town urban living that people in China now so much desire to have.  I heard that Mr. Thompson's fight against cancer was courageous.  R.I.P.
  • Tony won't go to school on Tuesday.
  • The teams and matchups in the NFL Championship have a pleasing, to me anyway, aesthetics about them.  The Packers and Bears matchup is a classic as two long-time NFL franchises battle it out in a championship game.  It is the team of Lombardi against the the team of George Halas and Bronko Nagurski.  The Jets and Steelers matchup pits the classic black-and-gold colours of Pittsburgh made famous by such greats as Joe Greene and Terry Bradshaw against the Green Footballed Gun Slinging designs of the New Jets made famous by Joe Namath, the classic name of American quarterbacking.
  • What would the Chinese make of a Super Bowl featuring say the Jets and Packers.  They would see a lot of people wearing green hats.  In China, a green hat represents cuckoldry.
  • Dora!
  • I haven't been doing the Wuxi Experience so far on my days off.  The cold weather and my sore back are keeping indoors.  I will only go out because I have to.
  • I kicked myself for not having been able to make a video of the middle school student performing a wonderful rendering of MLK's "I have a dream" speech.  Whether or not, China and America are enemies, there is an admiration among the Chinese for George Washington, Abraham Lincoln, Thomas Edison, and MLK. I'm sure that they would give a right nut to have the American Constitution 。

It doesn't feel like Saturday, but I could make an argument that it is.

  • Actually, it feels cold.  If I didn't have to get up early to get Tony onto the kindergarten van, I could still have that warm Saturday Morning feeling which comes from being in bed.
  • Getting Tony to school.
  • The standings in my NFL playoff pool.
  • Jenny always clean the apartment on my "Saturday" morning.  Being Chinese, she opens all the windows before she does so.  It may be a sensible thing to do in Spring or Summer, but in Winter, I think it is too much.  And when she cleans, she applies herself with a sternness that I find intimidating.  I can only be a bystander when she gets this way.  I have to stand because there is nowhere to sit and I would feel guilty if I did; I stand "by" because I don't know how I can help her -- I can't ask her what to do, because I am supposed to know; and taking initiative, I have come to realize, is more often than not, a losing proposition -- what seems sensible to me makes no sense to the Chinese mind.  I have never vacuumed a bathroom in my time but Jenny insists that I should have before I tried to clean it this morning.  A hour of effort down the toilet!
  • I have a DVD set that has all the movies of Bruce Lee.  The set also contains documentaries and so I have been able to watch footage of his funeral many times over.   I play the fighting scenes for Tony and he finds them so funny that he giggles.
  • Three hours of watching SOA this Monday or Saturday.  What is SOA?  A televison series I have on DVD about a fictional motorcycle gang called the Sons of Anarchy.  The series is okay and I feel no urge to give up on it.
  • Speaking of giving up, I feel like giving up on some left-of-center podcasts I have been listening to.  They have said things in the past week about Sarah Palin that could only be the product of visceral hatred.  To question her intelligence about her use of the words "blood libel" when she used it in a proper fashion would be laughable if these people weren't so serious and had gotten to the pose of being offended.  Any one who would question her on that is certainly is not a person of good will.  What are they thinking?  That she believes Jews use the blood of Christian Babys?  That she thinks Progressives are actively planning to  perpetuate a genocide on Tea Party people?  That she is being anti-Semitic?  That just because she, being  that Sarah Palin woman, has been wronged and been accused of encouraging the shedding of innocent blood, she has no right to defend herself?  Sarah Palin for President!

Saturday, January 15, 2011

2011 HyLite English Chinese New Year Dinner Video

Too much beer and wine on an AKIC Thursday Night makes Sunday (in conventional time) difficult.

  • How did Tony behave on Saturday Evening at his father's school dinner?  Find out here.
  • Here is a photo of Tony at the CNY Dinner.
  • Here is another photo of Tony at the CNY Dinner.
  • How  did AKIC behave?  He was loud and played if for all it was worth -- that is, he had a good time since being mostly domestic now, he has rare chances to drink and socialize.  This morning, he is happy he doesn't do it too often anymore.  The downside of a hangover beats any moment of ephemeral joy that was had.  Here is a photo of AKIC at the Dinner.
  • The Steelers beat the Ravens.  My brain's record at picking games is now 1-4.
  • The Foreign Trainer's peformance was terrible.  Here are some photos of the other performances.
  • A youngster did a rendition of MLK's I have a dream speech that was remarkibly good.  The Chinese seem to love that speech, and when I first realized that the child was going to make that speech, I thought that corniness was to ensue.  But the child did a good job of it.  He had clearly practiced and practiced it, and he said it with the right emphasis. 
  • The Packers beat the Falcons.  My brain's record at picking games is now 1-5.
  • Three beautiful HyLite Trainers.

Andis and Jimmy at the 2011 CNY Dinner

Jimmy is a great guy. He reminds AKIC of the U-Boat Commander in Gilligan's Island as well as Benny Hill pretending to be Chinese.

Friday, January 14, 2011

Tonight's HyLite Chinese New Year or Spring Festival Dinner held in Wuxi, China should be historic!

  • Tony was good Friday Night.
  • None of the students, I talked to, knew much about the shootings in Arizona.  They didn't even have an opinion like "America is so gun-crazy!" that I would have expected.
  • Some NFL playoff predictions.
  • Here are some more opinions about the Arizona Shooting and the aftermath.  The best thing said by anyone was said by the father of the nine year old girl who was murdered in the incident.  "People," he said, "are mostly good."  It was a shame that his words were not heeded by the Blood-Libelers of the Left.  Palin's speech shouldn't have been made, but she had no choice -- she had to defend herself.  And compared to Obama's speech, her speech was the speech of an adult.  She vigorously defended free speech and the country she loves.  The criticism she has received for using the words "blood libel" is idiotic and bizarre.  It was right and proper for her to use that choice of words.  Obama's speech on the other hand was calculated and also illogical if you think about it.  He said incivility had nothing to do with the shootings, and left it at that -- he instead stuck his left-wing thoughts into what should have been a memorial speech.  Obama could have told his followers to cool their libelous talk  instead of taking "we all have to be more civil" pose he did in his speech.  He could have even said that he was guilty of incivility in his public statements. And the cheering at the memorial speech doesn't say anything good about university culture. 
  • Some more NFL playoff predictions.
  • What is the Left's position on victim hood?  If you aren't a victim who votes for them, you are to be demonized and ridiculed.  No one has been treated as unfairly as Sarah Palin the past week, and yet the Left can't help but be cruel.
  • Tony at HyLite in January 2009.
  • We have a teacher from Chicago who thinks the Bears are going to choke.  I told them they have a perfect opportunity this weekend as they play the 8-9 Seahawks.
  • George W. Bush was a great example of a leader acting civilly.  And yet he was ridiculed and demonized by the Left who say they want to restore civility.
  • Yet more NFL playoff predictions.
  • The past week has shown just how evil the Left is.  Once you realize they aren't the good people they say they are, you know their whole political program is a fraud.  The past week will see a more fractious politic.  The right isn't going to put up with Leftist crap, and has realized it has to push back.
  • Amy Chua is not at all a typical Chinese mother, I gather from the talks I have had with the students about the Chinese Mothers are Superior article.
  • Saturday Night is the 2011 HyLite Chinese New Year Dinner.  The foreign trainers will be performing a scene from a Scrooge musical.  
  • Here is the official 2009 HyLite CNY Dinner Video.
  • I now have a QQ number.  It is 1436180094.

Thursday, January 13, 2011

Wednesday for me is Friday for the rest of you lot.

  • Video of Tony at the 2010 HyLite Spring Festival Dinner.
  • What is wrong with some people?  It was right and appropriate for Sarah Palin to use the words "blood libel."  The only possible reason anyone could object to her using those words is that they have a visceral and irrational hate for her.  They are thinking "How dare she!  How dare she take the mantle of a victim-hood!    She is simply not allowed to do that!  She is a conservative, after all!"  I wouldn't have believed it, but I have heard some say that her using of those words was anti-Semitic.  I recall myself having encountered this mindset.  This happened to me once on a forum when I used the words antisemitism during a heated debate.  It was known, to the person I was debating, what side of the political fence I was on, and to make a long story short, the person I was debating with assumed that my mere using of the words was anti-Semitic.
  • Tony sits in a box.
  • Meanwhile Obama has also made a good speech.  Though it should be noted that if he is the bi-partisan transcendent figure that he has claimed to be, he would have told his followers, who have used the blood-libels against Sarah, the Tea Party, and Talk Radio, in no uncertain terms to stop their foolishness.  He hasn't.
  • Tony makes a face in the bathroom mirror. (Hilarious!)
  • While I was on the bus Friday Morning, another bus pulled alongside as my buy was stopped for a red light.  I was sitting, and I looked up from my Chinese textbook to see all the people in the other bus were staring at me.  I was a laowai among the locals, and quite the sight for them.  Having had this happen for years, I feel detached when I notice it.
  • Students, I have talked to about the Arizona Shootings, have little knowledge or opinions of it.  Darn!  I can also say that I don't bother talking to the foreigners either because their opinions are predictable.
  • I also mentioned the Why Chinese Mothers are Superior article to the students, and read some passages of it to them in hopes of eliciting comments.  I also hoped to see if what the article writer, Amy Chua, said was true for all Chinese Mothers.  While parts of what Amy Chua said did ring true with the students; overall, I found that they would have thought that Amy Chua was an extremely strict and not at all typical of Chinese Mothers.
  • This Paul Krugman is getting a lot of deserved criticism for his blood libel reactions to the Arizona shootings.  Is there anything he can do to redeem himself?  He could apologize to Sarah Palin, the Tea Party, the Republican Party, and talk show hosts like Rush Limbaugh.  Doing this, he could show that he truly desires to have civil discussions about government policy.  He has to also realize that the people he disagrees with are, with rare exceptions, people of good will who want to make the world a better place.  Unfortunately, he seems too invested in the view that his policy opponents are evil, to want to do the honorable thing.  But think what would happen if he did apologize?  Conservatives would warm up to him.  They would go out of their way to give him credit.  Of course, the zealots on his current side would feel betrayed, but doing the right thing does have it costs.  That is why the symbol of Western Civilization is the cross.

Wuxi Tony Update #521: 2010 HyLite Chinese New Year Dinner.

Tony will attend the 2011 HyLite CNY Dinner on Saturday.

Wednesday, January 12, 2011

Thursday is Tuesday in the world of AKIC.

  • Why is it that the people who are not trying to take sides in the debates over the Arizona Shootings, still seem to accept the premise that political debate has achieved some level of unprecedented incivility?  It hasn't.  Political Debate is as it has always been.  Don't they recall the words tossed around during the Vietnam War, Pierre Trudeau's time as Prime Minister, Nixon's presidency, Reagan's presidency, Clinton's presidency, and the presidency of George Bush?
  • Tony shakes and shakes and shakes.
  • Tony shakes like you have never seen him before.
  • Tony attacks Andis.
  • AKIC is the blog that stands athwart history and asks What time is it? and Where did I put my socks?
  • You can tell the Chinese New Year holiday is coming because there are even very long weekday lineups at Carrefour.
  • AKIC wore his toque all day Tuesday.
  • AKIC watched Inception.  He thought it was another Matrix.  (He didn't care for the Matrix)
  • The most annoying Simpsons character?  Lisa.
  • Police incident at an intersection near Casa Kaulins.  This particular intersection is big; it is possibly the biggest and/or widest intersection in Wuxi.  AKIC sees a group of 14 seniors surrounding a policeman -- it was a quite a stark sight as there was no need to for the oldsters to crowd so close to the cop.

Tuesday, January 11, 2011

Tony attacks Andis

AKIC Monday Blogtings

  • Tony off to kindergarten, I am off to work eventually....
  • What are you doing Daddy?
  • Tony Kaulins watches Bruce Lee.
  • Who is the greatest Australian of all time?  None other than the great economist FA Hayek, who was the intellectual dynamo behind the Thatcher and Reagan Revolutions!  He he he.  Here is a stupendously, wonderful podcast about him from Econotalk -- the best weekly podcast on the Internet.
  • It seems that the Leftists are retreating into gun-control rhetoric as the facts about the Arizona shooter become known.  It turns out he was a political independent -- a no-labelist, as it were.
  • Actually, who is the greatest Australian of all-time?  Being a Canadian, that is hard question to answer.  I know many a famous Australian.  And I think Australia is a great country that has accomplished a lot of which it can be proud, and it is one of those rare countries that hasn't been become famous for having a leader committed to doing gross stupidities.   But to this Canadian, Australia is a place where men in tight shorts play a strange game on a cricket field, and otherwise doesn't enter my day-to-day consciousness.  When it comes to naming the one great Australian, I am stumped.
  • But I am also stumped when it comes to naming the greatest Canadian.  Sometime ago, a poll was conducted and a man named Tommy Douglas was named the greatest Canadian of all-time.  Tommy who? you ask. 
  • It is good to see that Krugman is getting lots of flak for his  over-the-top comments about the Arizona shooting. 

Tony Kaulins watches Bruce Lee

I put the old Bruce Lee DVD into the DVD machine, and what was the result? 
Tony laughed and got into a fighting mood.

China Underwear Report.

Monday, January 10, 2011

Blogimachinations on the second AKIC Sunday of 2011

  • For logistical reasons, We -- that is Jenny and I -- didn't go to Carrefour yesterday.  We may go today.
  • Yesterday, I did go to the nearby Tesco and buy Tony a red 67 Pontiac Firebird.  I bought myself microwave popcorn and crackers, yum, yum.
  • Tony likes to take off his socks and slippers while watching television.  Which is too bad because he has nice slippers.
  • I can just imagine what Canadian reaction to the Arizona shooting has been like.  I caught a Globe and Mail headline along the lines of America Examines its Soul after the Gifford Shooting.  A lot of Canadians have probably uncritically swallowed the Sarah Palin and the Tea Party are to blame narrative.
  • I wonder if the Arizona shooting will be seen as noteworthy by my students.  I saw that news reports of the shooting could be watched on,the Chinese Youtube.  Sarah Palin is not well-known among Chinese, so I am curious if she suddenly has become so, because again, I can see the media here presenting the same Sarah Plain is to blame narrative.
  • That Palin is an issue in this tragic incident, shows how the Left operates by forcing everyone to waste their time dealing with stupid arguments.  The real issue in America should be the attempts by the 1112th congress to fix America's problems.
  • Jenny has bought bus tickets for us to go to Beixing on January 31.  The Spring Festival commences February 2 this year.

Sunday, January 9, 2011

Wuxi, China: January 10, 2011

Just another AKIC Saturday. Oh! Woe! Woe!

  • My heart beat my brain in NFL playoff predicting.  But I am happy to see the Jets and Seahawks in the NFL playoff final eight.
  • I am reading lots of reaction to the shooting in Arizona.  The insane actions of a fringe person acting out his private hell in public is something that has happened in the past, has just happened recently, and will continue to happen in the future.  Nothing can be done about this except for all of us to know that our time here is short, and could end suddenly without reason.  But the insanity of this one man has brought on a wave of more insanity.  Blaming Sarah for this?  This is something the Nazi and Stalinists and Maoists did --  scapegoating for political advantage.  Progressives can no longer be said to be well-meaning.  They are mean-spirited bastards.
  • Tony was put in the kindergarten van with no fuss.  But I wish he was with me now. 
  • Drinking at the hotel on Saturday, I couldn't help but pull out my mobile phone, and look at the photo of Tony I have on it.
  • I finished my exercise of reading Elizabeth Bishop poems at work -- I had been reading one a day.  Now, I am doing the same for Tennyson poems.
  • I have mentioned that Tony has the advantage of having a Chinese Mother.  Is he disadvantaged by having a Western Father?   Conservative as I claim to be, I find myself being the "good cop" to my Chinese wife's "tough cop" routine.  Sometimes, when Jenny tries to correct a bad action by Tony, he will come to me to "save him."  I am, when push comes to shove, "the oh!-don't-be-hard-on-the-boy!" parent.  So Tony is more scared of his mother than me, but he also seems to love his mother more than me. (Which is fine by me.  There would be something wrong with Tony if he didn't)  This just goes to show you that there is something about the disciplinarian style of parenting that makes for better performing and more loving-of-their-parents children.
  • The wife says we are going to Carrefour this afternoon.  In the interim, I will watch Sons of Anarchy.

AKIC Command Module Two

Tony Kaulins has a Chinese mother and why it is a good thing for him.

Because Chinese mothers are superior.

Paul Krugman shames himself further.

Ronald Reagan, in his famous speech on the eve of the 1964 election, said the typical Liberal-Progressive-Democrat was well-meaning but wrong.  First listening to  Limbaugh, my first step to conversion to Conservatism came about by Rush's repeating the same idea. 
But through the years, I have wondered if Liberal-Progressives are well-meaning.  All that I have meet  them are convinced that they are unquestionably good; and their opponents are evil, or are deformed in some way.  During Obama's election to the Presidency, I witnessed the vilest prejudices voiced from them about Sarah Palin, and a certain kind of so-called, gun-clinging, religious American. 
Liberal-Progressives, as soon as Obama was elected, voiced their fantasies of Obama being assassinated.  I say fantasies, because an assassination of Obama would only benefit Progressives -- that hasn't happened, but the tragic shooting of the Representative in Arizona has turned out to be a more wonderful opportunity for them.  Progressives have fantasies of being able to be self-righteous and finger-pointing, and won't miss an opportunity to do so -- it is more important to them, than to see to it that society is improved.
The leading lights of Progressivism have quickly used the shooting to hurl abuse at Sarah Palin and the dreaded Tea Party.  Paul Krugman, a supposed man of prestige, has shown himself to be a politcal hack of the most vile kind by doing this  If that is the way Krugman engages in political rhetoric, it certainly says a lot about his Economic reasoning -- it must verge on hysteria.

Saturday, January 8, 2011

Sunday Hangover Entries.

  • AKIC went out last night.  He won't be doing that again for a while.  Ouch!  He didn't talk to Tony all day yesterday.  He came home with very smoky clothing.  It will take one year of sold domestic evenings spent at home to make up for it.  He was at the top floor of some hotel south of Nanchang Temple Market (not the Nikko!)
  • He then went to Ronnies where across the canal they are building a tall building of some sort.
  • Doing a radio procedure English Corner, AKIC had many students say "out" so they could get out of making conversation.  Best call sign was Romeo Mike Bravo.
  • Seahawks win!  That is one for AKIC's heart!  AKIC's head didn't think they could do it.
  • Jets win! Ditto!  Heat two, Head nothing.
  • AKIC reckons there are at least a hundred buildings, of twenty or more stories, being constructed right now in Wuxi.  And he is hearing stories of Wuxi People owning two, three, or more apartments.
  • The MoreSky360 has sunk one meter on one side, AKIC had heard.  That is enough to make it a leaner.
  • Damn!  There was a thought AKIC meant to put into this entry but he has forgotten it.  AKIC will rack his brain and hope the thought comes to him before he clicks on the publish button.
  • Some people in Wuxi live very decadently.  Not AKIC.
  • The woman said "A dishwasher was an appliance!".   The man responded "How can you dehumanize  your entire sex?"
  • The Chinese don't know how to party.  True, and I say good on them.
  • What is Tony Kaulins up to?  Visit here to find out.
  • I saw construction workers hard at 1100 pm on a Saturday night.  No union mentality here.  Unfortunately, many Westerners bring the union mindset to English teaching.

One year ago: Wuxi Tony Update #513: The corridor of a White Elephant

Friday, January 7, 2011

The second weekend of 2011 and/or of the new decade? A content-filling question

  • 没有点了-mei-you-dian-le
  • My latest video on youku.
  • Did a new decade start just last week?  (Something I will ask just because I need to fill this blog with content.)
  • There is a festival of Dumplings to be held at my school on Saturday morning.  First, I will have to do a demo class.
  • I have done the demo class.  I had a good mob of 35 attend.  One student's English name was "Cloudy" which was noteworthy.  I have had students named Sunny, Snowie, Rainy, Rain, Summer, Winter, Sunny, Spring, and Wendy.  As yet, there hasn't been a student to have an English name like "blustery", "stormy", or "Autumn".
  • Making dumplings is like making mini-Strombolis.
  • My 8th most popular video on youku.

Please send Doris a postcard!

AKIC readers the world over!   

Please send Doris a postcard!  Doris, who is a student of my school, likes to collect postcards sent to her from all over the world.

Here is her address:


Now, you are probably saying to yourself that this in all in Chinese.  How do I write this on a postcard?  Well, You should do the following:

Print out the following and tape it to a postcard:

Wuxi, Jiangsu, China

And don't forget to tell her that Andis told you to send her a postcard.

Thursday, January 6, 2011

AKIC Command Module One

Spring Festival plans falling into place

  • Wuxi Tony Update.
  • This weekend, the foreign trainers will rehearse for their School's Chinese New Dinner performance.  Various groups from the school will perform.  This year, the trainers don't want to make complete asses of themselves like they did at the last CNY Dinner.  The other groups spend a lot of time practicing so the laowai feel compelled to take the performance seriously.  The Spring Festival slash Chinese Lunar New Year's Dinner will take place on January 15.
  • The K family will have nine consecutive days off for the CNY.  They will spend half of it in Beixing/Taixing and half of it in Wuxi.
  • Most Taiwanese have air-conditioners in their homes but no heaters -- something that visiting mainland Chinese find curious.  Taiwan's climate is such that heaters aren't needed but air conditioners are.  I learned this from a Taiwanese student we have who finds Wuxi very cold now.
  • The temperature is hovering around zero these days.  Those not wearing long-johns are feeling it.
  • China is guaranteed to have a economic crash because it is building a monster-tall skyscraper.  Read this article that chronicles the relationship between skyscraper building and economic crashes.

Wednesday, January 5, 2011

Why wasn't Pope Benedict XVI named Wuxi Expat of 2010? and other thoughts.

  • Notes about Tony.
  • A man who sits on a throne is a king.  A man who sits on a horse is cowboy.  A man who sits on a dog should be working.  A man who sits on a camel is a Lawrence of Arabia wannabe.  A man who sits on another man's lap is a Queen.
  • It has been suggested that fat foreigners could help with the Moresky360 sinking problem.  Now!  Come on!
  • Why wasn't Pope Benedict XVI named the Wuxi Expat of 2010?  Well, it would have besmirched him.  For in 2009, AKIC decided to make Obama the Wuxi Expat of the year -- AKIC had gotten into the fad of giving Obama undeserved awards and accolades that was occurring at the time.  AKIC now realizes that that decision besmirched the Wuxi Expat of the Year Award; and it will take years or proper rewarding to build up a reputation for prestigiousness for the award.  Now this of course raises the question: does giving the award to Tony Kaulins besmirch him?  Well, he was a sentimental choice, and those kind of awardings are a bridge for an award to achieve future prestigiousness.
  • I wish I could find my Seattle Seahawks Knit Cap to wear this week.  Just think, if the Hawks win the Super Bowl, they will have an overall record of eleven wins and nine losses.
  • I watched How to Train Your Dragon.  Good movie!  Thought it didn't pique Tony's interest just yet -- he warms up to movies on his own schedule.

Tuesday, January 4, 2011

Tony will never be a great ping-pong player

Read here.

Four great photos of Tony.

View them here.

Early "I have just taken Tony to the kindergarten van pick-up spot" thoughts

  • It didn't seem so cold out.  Perhaps, I will wear a lighter jacket today.
  • I saw a VW Sagitar car parked near my apartment building.  Maybe because of the word's positioning on the back of the car (the top right of the rear end), I can't help but think of it as the "Ratigas".  I even have to stop myself from thinking of the car as the "Ratigas" in conversation.

Wuxi's Sinking Square

This sign can be seen at Changan Temple Market in Downtown Wuxi, China.

Changan Market is near the said-to-be sinking Moresky360 building.

So, in the shadows of the Wuxi's Moresky360 building, is a sinking square.

Monday, January 3, 2011

Tony on Tuesday Morning

Train Spotting in China


  • The 7-9 Seahawks win their division, and will host the defending Super Bowl Champions in a playoff game.
  • The neighbors on the second floor -- newlyweds -- dropped off some candy from their wedding party. (we live on the third floor) 

Train Spotting without the Dope

Sunday, January 2, 2011

Catching the the 610 Bus in Wuxi, China.

Interesting Links from City Journal

This link: The Bus Market Booms bemoans the fact that entrepreneurs can create affordable transportation for people but are thwarted by government meddling in transportation.  In America, it is Amtrak, the White Elephant of a transport company being subsidized by the private bus entrepreneurs who are actually responding to the needs of real people.  In China, governments are building unnecessary trains and subways.  Sure, trains are sexy, but it is the bus that is a better and more economical way to transport people about.  I can also recall from my time in the area of Vancouver how the car was a necessity for travel anywhere because of the government controlling the bus and taxi industry.  I have witnessed the a private transportation system pop here in Wuxi that the authorities have gotten to yet.
This link: Asian Megacities, Free and Unfree describes the urban development of Shanghai, Beijing, and Seoul.  Shanghai and Beijing don't get any praise.  The word "facade" pops immediately when Shanghai and Beijing are examined. 


AKIC Blogagigabloganatings...

....whatever that is.  I have coined a word, again.  It just needs to get into circulation, again.
Here are some blogagigabloganatings that I have produced, just today, or even just right now:
  • In the year 2011, we have a girl working at our school whose English name is Eleven.  I will taunt her continuously about this.  Another trainer has suggested that she will get married on November Eleventh this year (11/11/11 -- get it?).  I suggest that her husband adopt the English name Two Thousand, so we can call them Two Thousand and Eleven, who were married in Two Thousand and Eleven.  Either that, or she can call her husband Ocean -- Ocean's Eleven, get it?  Ha ha!
  • Some foreigner tells me that he got nailed by four guys as he was leaving a pub in the 1912 district recently.  Were these four guys Chinese?  He couldn't say, he told me....
  • I liked this episode of Econtalk so much, I listened to it twice.  The subject of the podcast?  Ludwig Von Mises.  Not only do Von Mises show that Socialism couldn't work because it couldn't change men's selfish nature, he also showed that if it a Socialist-thinking population could be produced, the problem of economic calculation without Capitalistic situations would doom the enterprise.  In other words, Socialism is in conflict with the reality of human nature, and Socialism, even under the best conditions, cannot solve the problem of economic problems of distributing or producing wealth.  Socialism is impoverishing.
  • Man of the Year in 2010?  One of the students said some fellow named Li Gong.  Apparently, his son got in an accident and bragged that he would get out of responsibility for it because his father was Li Gong.  This boast was caught and video, and then circulated on the Internet.  Li Gong was fired.  Many Chinese people were happy.
  • 2011 predictions from the students?  None worth mentioning.  Again, the most brilliant predictions were mine. (Hilary Clinton will finally divorce Bill).
  • Students tell me that they are going to Shandong, and Hubei on business trips.
  • None of the students, I talked to, did anything on New Year's Eve.  Some may have been playing computer games at midnight.
  • I have to physically restrain Tony from taking my DVD out of the player.
  • If Obama, slick political operator, in the manner of the excretish Pierre Eliot Trudeau?  Charles Krauthammer and David Warren seem to think so -- I hope they are both wrong, dead wrong, about  this because of their both being Conservative in temperament and so natural  pessimists about politics.  But the parallels between Obama and Trudeau are eerie.  Obama, like Trudeau, is a man devoid of original ideas, but able to personify for progressive-types the progressive pipe-dream.  Obama, like Trudeau wrote enough before he was elected leader to convince enough people he was an intellectual.  Obama, like Trudeau, looks good on television.  Obama, like Trudeau, can pretend to be something he is not.  Obama, like Trudeau, can get away with shit, that would sink a less charismatic politician.  Obama, like Trudeau, is a lucky son-of-a-bitch.  Obama has had opponents like John McCain; Trudeau had opponents like Joe Clark and Bob Stanfield.  Stanfield, by all accounts, would have been a more competent Prime Minister than Trudeau ever was, but he was unelectable (a fate that may well happen to Obama's similarly more competent executive opponents Sarah Palin or Mitt Romney or Mitch Daniels). 

Saturday, January 1, 2011

Gifted Baby Fairyland

"I fart in your general direction" sweatpants

I saw these when I was shopping in Yanqiao on New Year's Day.

What kind of old person do I want to be?

I am getting old.  There is getting around it!  So I have to decide what kind of old person I want to be.

The way I see there are only two ways an old person can be.  One way is to be the kind of old persons who dances on tables to impress the younger folks; another is to be the kind that uses shotguns and sardonic humor and wit to terrorize the younger generation.  I hope I can be the latter kind -- it should go without saying.

Zhongshan Road is open!!

Taking the bus to work this morning (Sunday), I was happy to see that the intersection of Zhongshan Road and Renmin Road was open again for traffic.

Popular Song Titles and Lyrics in the Passive Voice

  • When Cheek-to-Cheek Dancing is Being Done by Us.
  • Satisfaction Can't be Gotten by Me
  • I Was Shaken by You All Night Long
  • It is only Rock and Roll is known by me
  • I was given birth to in the U.S.A.
  • Business is being taken care of
  • Nothing ain't been seen yet
  • A Son of a Bitch is being messed with by you now
  • The Law was fought by me
  • Under My Skin is where you are gotten by me
  • The Queen be saved by God

My first beer of 2011

Yanqiao Market on January 1.

Tony plays with farm implements in a Wuxi, China Culture Centre

An AKIC&TKIC January 1 narrative.

As I write this, I wear a toque and a housecoat.
  • New Year's Eve, the family K was in bed by 1130 pm.  Midnight passed without incident.  AKIC had done his New Year's countdown and rendition of "Auld Lang Syne" at about 745 pm with students at an English Corner -- he worked till nine pm.   Before lights out, Andis read some David Warren columns -- a divine way to end the year.
  • Andis told the English Corner that the highlight of 2010 was watching Tony grow and develop.  He also told them of the sadness he felt on the death of is Aunt Ritma and a man named Barry Botteril -- both unflappable characters.
  • The K family slept in on January 1.  AKIC had no hangover.  His first conscious moments of 2011 saw him wrestle with Tony who entered 2011 in a combative mood.  TKIC probably didn't like being kissed by his father who had a day's growth.  Later AKIC and TKIC sang while in bed.  TKIC can sing "If you're happy and you know it!".
  • JKIC decided it was a good day to move furniture.  It nearly resulted in a divorce.  AKIC found JKIC's directives confusing which roused J's ire.
  • All the while, Andis was able to do some surfing on the Internet.  He was able to download the latest Radio Derb podcast.
  • Tony said something about wanting to go outside.  Jenny told him that he would have to wait till after lunch (noodles it was).  Funny how after lunch, Tony changed his mind about going out.  But J wanted the K boys out.  She told AKIC to get some pineapple beer.  AKIC agreed even though he was happy with the cache of Tsingtao beer that was already in Casa K.
  • Exiting Casa K, AKIC formulated a plan to take the 610 bus to Qianzhou, buy a cola for Tony, and return to Yanqiao on the first available 610 bus.  However, the wait for the 610 was long and when it did arrive, it was crowded.  AKIC got on the bus but quickly decided to get off after one stop, mystifying the locals.  AKIC reasoned that once a plan was determined to be bad, the best thing to do is to abandon the plan quickly as possible -- damn the gracelessness of doing so.
  • The K boys got off at a stop near the Wu Culture Park which they decided to visit.  They saw what had become the same old what-not:  statues and supposed peasant farm implements.    AKIC took three videos -- the first of the 2011 video-making year.  Tony said the exact words "Happy New Year" during the videos.  Andis said "Xin Nian Kuai Le" and "Shin Ninny Cole Slaw".
  • The K boys then walked to downtown Yanqiao which was thankfully not so far away.  (It should be said that Andis carried Tony to downtown Yanqiao).  Along the way, they were cut-off by an ignorant driver make a quick turn with his SUV while not giving a damn for pedestrians.  Andis pointed a middle-finger in the general direction of the SUV.  So much for any thought of Christian forbearance in the face of rude behavior.  Also, AKIC could only frown as a trio of locals said "hello" to the K boys.  The trio followed the custom of saying "hello" to "laowai" in false stiletto "hello your foreign monkey" voices -- so much for AKIC's resolution of not thinking hostile thoughts and forgiving them because "they know not what they do!".
  • To a supermarket, that JKIC regularly goes to, AKIC and TKIC went.  The rationale for the trip there was for Andis to buy pineapple beer, and the plan was to then take a three-wheeled taxi back home.  First, Andis and Tony played some games.  Tony played some one-rmb toddler games and rode some one-rmb toddler rides; Andis shot baskets on another one-rmb machine -- Andis managed to get to the second level of the basketball game.  Andis wondered if he would do better if he wasn't  always was trying to make baskets with high-arced shots.  Finished playing, the K boys found no pineapple beer.
  • Adopt, Adapt, Improve.  AKIC, finding no beer at the supermarket, decided to go to downtown Yanqiao's other supermarket to see if any could be acquired.  Before going there, the K boys walked through the downtown where it was busy.  Andis couldn't determine if this was because it was Saturday or because it was January 1.  The goods to be acquired in the downtown, Andis noticed, were quite cheap and tawdry looking -- stuff for "country jakes", and would never be found in a "progressive's" neighborhood.  AKIC, while carrying TKIC, was able to take some photos and video of the crowded Yanqiao open air market.  He was stared at by a "country jake".  He bought TKIC some cheap "Thomas" train toys.  He saw and took photos of some "I fart in your general direction" sweat pants -- kids sized.
  • At the second supermarket, AKIC found four cans of pineapple beer.  However, Tony got into a snit because Andis wouldn't let him go to the the playground in the store.  Andis and Tony fought over a bag of potato chips which Tony wanted to throw on the ground because of his snitfulness.  Andis found that pretending to throw Tony to the ground was a good behavior modifier.
  • Andis then was cheated when he bought some cooked sweet and sour chicken, and shrimp for supper back at Casa K.  While this purchase was being made, Tony decided he had to pee.  He dropped his pants near the counter, and peed with a long arch that blocked the path in front of the counter.  All sorts of people then stepped in the resulting puddle of piss.
  • Andis recalled how the morning of December 31st, on the way to school, one of the passengers was so sick that she vomited into the bus bucket for five minutes.
  • After the being overcharged (while Tony peed a shaft of golden green) for food, Andis could at least rest assured that the three-wheeled taxi cab ride back to Casa K wasn't a scam -- five rmb and Andis had the pleasure of Tony falling asleep on his lap.  Arriving at the entrance to building 52, Tony said he wanted to go to sleep -- an amazing admission from a guy whose first sentence was "bu yao qi chuang le".
There you go!  Blogging or Typing?  What do you think?