Sunday, July 29, 2012

My Blog Entry for July 23 to July 29

Gratitude  Acknowledgement  Request

If I make but weekly blog entries from now on, I should include this feature.  I got the idea from the man who writes the Jewish World Review Website.  It was his formula for making prayers where one thanks the Almighty, acknowledges one's faults and then makes requests.  

I used the simple formula for making the eulogy at my father's funeral.


I am thankful for being alive.  I am thankful for having Jenny & Tony.  I am thankful for all my father did for me in my life.  I am thankful for the local who offered his seat to me on the bus on Thursday morning.  


I first quickly declined the offer, made by a local, of an empty seat on the bus Thursday morning.  (For some reason, the locals treat foreigners on the bus like they are seniors or pregnant woman.) I was feeling in a rare generous mood and thought it was best that some other person take the seat since I usually have good luck getting seats on the bus.  I also had already put myself into resignation mode and wasn't expecting to sit anyway.  I was stoked to stand on the bus for forty five minutes and listen to some right wing talk radio podcasts.   But I then became tempted to take the seat as no one else made a move toward it.  However, just as I gave into temptation, a woman who was pregnant went to take the seat, giving me an opportunity for some gallantry which I readily acknowledge I don't do enough of.


You are not wearing a hat!

That is what I understood  a local say to me on Monday which was a hot and glaring day in Wuxi.  The temperature is 33 Celsius buts felt like 46.

In fact, the weather was hot and sunny for the entire week of the 23rd to the 29th.

What can I do on my day off?

Not much.  Doing anything requires sweating profusely.

My day off is Monday over the Summer.

Against Gun Control, I am.

Why?  A lot of reasons.  

But it goes back to what a Chinese person told me about the medical system in China.  He didn't want the government running it he said because when the Communist government ran restaurants, there were no restaurants.  And if you let the government be in charge of defending people, they will similarly do a crappy job of it.

They have gun control in the PRC.  The party in China doesn't want their citizens to have guns.  Not because they wish to protect their citizens -- some inconvenient ones will have to die in order to keep order (party control) -- they want to minimize the chances of insurrections.

People who want gun control have a totalitarian impulse.  "Why should people have guns!" they ask.  They can want what the fuck they want, I say, if it doesn't affect me.

If you ban guns, only the bad guys will have them.

If you ban guns, because of what happened at Aurora, you should also  ban comic books.  The guy was influenced by them, of that there could be no doubt.  But then someone would rightly say, that was just one nutcase, and most comic book readers don't act out what happens in them.  Similarly, most people don't use their guns to kill others.  Comic books, if use as intended, will stimulate people's imaginations.

Far more people are killed because of abortion than because of guns.  And yet the people who want gun control, also seem to want abortion.

A well armed society is a polite society.

People have a right to defend themselves.

Good people should have the right to choose if they want to own a gun or not.

Guns are a deterrence.  I have heard people drone on about how guns if used what they are intended for kill people.

Evil will always find a way.  Two of America's greatest mass civilian murder incidents didn't involve guns:  Oklahoma City and 9/11.

If enough people don't decide to follow the social contract.  For example, they decide to drive into you from the opposing lane of traffic, there is not much the government can do.  Gun violence seems more a cultural thing than simple an issue of the availability of guns.

TLOTR and Our Mutual Friend.

I am trying to read these two books now.   I read some of Our Mutual Friend standing on the Bus on Thursday thanks to the Ipod.

I like one story in OMF where a man walks up to another and tries to talk him into giving him a job.  The man wanted to be the other's secretary and butler.  Now, that is something I would like to do.  Tell an employer of a job I could do for them that they hadn't even thought of like butler or secretary.

I read a chapter of Tolkien's classic before I go to sleep.

Earthquake in Yangzhou?

I heard that there was an earthquake in Yangzhou which is about 200 km from Wuxi and close to my in-laws home.  Asking the students about it, they treated the whole story as a joke.  The earthquake wasn't felt in Wuxi or at my in-laws village.  I wonder if there was some other explanation for the Earthquake.

Great Great Grandmother

One of the students told me and after a few minutes of confirmation, I believe, that she has a great great grandmother.  She is now a hundred years old.  

I wondered about her birth certificate and who issued it to her if she had one.

Rich Girl

I did a one-on-one V.I.P. salon class with a student.  Normally, a salon class is meant for eight students, so I had to think of a lot more questions to ask the girl.  Looking at my class plan, I had an exercise where I asked the students where they had bought something that they had brought with them.  I asked the girls where she bought her shoes and she told me that they were Ferragamos that she had bought at the nearby Ba Bai Ban.  I asked where she bought her watch and ring, and she told me that she had bought them at the Cartier Store, also in Ba Bai Ban.


I recall that before Game Three, played in Winnipeg, of the epic 1972 Canada Russia Hockey Series, that there was a moment for of silence for the Israeli Olympic Athletes who had been so recently massacred at the Munich Olympics.

Obviously something should be done to mark the 40th anniversary of the massacre at the opening ceremonies of the 2012 Olympics in London, but efforts to have this happen have been strongly rejected by the IOC and their president Jacques Rogge.  WTF are they thinking?  Shame on them and the whole Olympic movement.  If the Arab countries don't like it, screw them.  Maybe they can rejoin the Olympic movement when they become civilized countries.

Air Conditioning

It has been hot and sunny all week.  Thank God, I have an air-conditioned office to sit in.

My Cough: The Second Week.

My deep phlegmy copy has been with me for a second week.  I have gone through about ten packages of Halls.

I caught it from my son Tony.

2,000,000 Views of My Videos

There have been two million views of my videos on both Youtube and Youku.

My Chinese Social Insurance Card

I got my Chinese Social Insurance Card Friday.  I am not sure what I can do with it.  My wife says I can use it at the hospital.  

All the foreign trainers at my school have gotten the cards because they have now pay a social welfare tax of some sort.

Showing the card to my wife, she sighed and said that I had to to pay the tax like she had been doing.

Getting a Chinese Tourist Visa

The first two times I came to China, in 2003 and 2004, it was easy to get a tourist visa.  I paid my money at the Chinese Consulate and got it lickety-split. 

I have learned, from the experience of someone who similarly came in China in 2004 on a tourist visa, that it is not so easy now to do this.  The paperwork required for a Chinese tourist visa seems to have become as onerous as it is for the Chinese who apply to get a tourist visa to Canada or the United States.

People who think they can come to China to teach on a tourist visa are going to have a much harder time to do so. 

Watching the Olympics live in China

Forget about it!   Unless, you are willing to get up at an ungodly hour to do so.

Daddy's Ipod!

My son Tony said this on Saturday night.  I find it worth mentioning in this blog because Tony has always said it was his Ipod.

He said the Ipod was his Daddy's because he must have somehow understood a conversation I was having with a wife.  With my current mobile phone, a Nokia, having suffered the black screen of death, we talked about the possibility of getting an I-phone. To get the I-phone, it turned out that I would have to sell my soul to the devil.  I could get the I-phone, says my wife, I do something I don't really don't want to do.  I was tempted nonetheless, but then thinking about my Ipod, I asked my wife what would be done with it.  She said to give the Ipod to Tony who can use it to play games.

Tony hearing this said "No!  It is Daddy's Ipod! and I fell out of my seat in surprise.  After many attempts to get Tony to admit the Ipod was Daddy's, Tony did so, but only because he didn't like the idea of it being handed down to him because Daddy had something cooler.

Anyway, it is probably not a good idea for me to get an I-phone.  A cheap phone that can make phonecalls and send text messages is all I need.

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