Friday, January 20, 2012

Happy Spring Festival! Happy Chinese New Year! Happy Lunar New Year! 新年快乐!

  • This will be my last entry before I leave civilization for four days.  When I say leave civilization, I mean that I am going to my wife's countryside home where I don't think I will be able to get Wi-Fi.  And when I say four days, I mean hopefully four days.  I'll never forget the time that I thought we were leaving the countryside; and I was all packed and ready to go, only to learn that they couldn't get a bus ticket out of town until the next day.  It was five minutes of extreme cursing till I had to resign myself to the fact that I was stuck out there for another 24 hours.
  • I have plenty of things on my electronic gadget to tide me over for those four or five days.  I have about eighty e-books uploaded on my Ipod to read, and fifty podcast episodes of Chinese and Roman History to listen to.  This article by the esteemed Victor David Hansen lead me to download nine more titles from Project Gutenberg.  I have fifty episodes of the Chinese History Podcast!
  • When teaching classes about family, I always ask the only children in the class, of which they are many, if they wished they had more siblings.  The girls often say they wish they had an older brother to protect them -- older brothers are prohibited with the one child policy.  Last night, one young male student gave a very cheeky answer, telling me that he wished he had a twin brother.  The answer garnered sniggers from the rest of the class.  I had to ask the boy why he wanted a twin brother, and he said that they would be able to copy each other's homework.
  • I turn on my VPN and then use Itunes to download my podcasts now.  I was surprised to find one podcast, Outloud Opinion, requires payment, but was free if you accessed it via an RSS Reader.
  • I don't know who I would abslutely like to win the Republican Party Nomination for the 2012 U.S. Presidential Election.  Newt is inconsistent, and I am starting to come around to the point of view that he is a windbag.  He will say something seemingly brilliant only to contradict himself and say something really stupid.  And the brilliant things, on scrutiny, aren't so brilliant after all.  It isn't the President's job to make children do janitorial work in school.  Newt should stick to talking about what Presidents can do.  Newt would still be a better president than Obama, but that's not saying much.   Mitt Romney does a poor job of defending himself on things that should be a slam-dunk to defend if he really had a core of conservative principles.  Rick Santorum doesn't look or sound presidential -- despite his many good qualities, he has the misfortune of living in a superficial time.  He is the guy I  favour now, but I don't want to jinx him.  My previous stated favorites dropped out as soon as I declared my hopes for them.  Ron Paul is the candidate of the druggies, with foreign policy ideas that could only be formulated by someone with a serious drug problem.
  • A bad cold is going around work.  Its' symptoms are an annoying cough and an overly-sore throat.  Last night, about one in the morning, I had a bout of coughing that lasted about twenty minutes and Jenny was telling me I should take the day off from school.  I haven't, but I fear my Chinese New Year in the Countryside is going to be more unenjoyable than I was expecting.
  • One more thing.  I was born in the year of the dragon!

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