Thursday, August 30, 2012

Scenes from My Life in Wuxi, China XX

Sunday, August 26, 2012

August 20 to 26 Blog Entry

The Summer busy time winds down at my school as most of our summer students go away.

But much more importantly, the weather has cooled.  Even though it is overcast, the coolness has put everyone in a good mood.

This entry will be longer than last week's because I have realized that I can use my Ipod Touch to help me with my blogging.  I can make notes in the Ipod anywhere and have them emailed to my gmail account.   When I get in the range of WiFi, the note is magically sent to my gmail where I do my blog-composing


Gratitude   It has been wonderful to watch Tony grow up these past five years.

Acknowledgement  If I hadn't married, I wouldn't still be in Wuxi.

Request  Make comments on my blogs.  And make them nasty if you are so inclined.  I really am curious what you think.  Indifference is the worst thing,


Canada ain't Cool (Which is a very good thing!)
One of my favorite Canadians is Preston Manning.  Despite his nerdy-looking glasses and his evangelical protestant ways, Manning was able to create a new political party that would eventually win enough seats to become the official opposition.  The Leftists said he was a racist hayseed.  Nothing was further from the truth of course, but that is the way the cool (who are all leftists) people in Canada think.


Sleepy Bao Bao  
Tony goes back to school which means that he and Dad do a short session of sleepy-bao-bao.  That is, he and Dad snooze together on the couch before it is time for them to go to the van that picks them up.


Wuxi Metro Subway has no money?  
That is what some students have told me.  The implications of this are scary.  The construction could just stop which would be a disaster.  Or the cash-strapped subway ruins transit in Wuxi as it sucks money away from buses.

I live fairly close to a subway stop but not close enough for it to be convenient for me.  I will have to walk twenty minutes to get to the stop or pay a taxi to get me to it.

I also observe that the subway line near Casa K runs near nothing but empty fields full of rubble.


7/7
Chinese Lovers Day came on August 23rd this year.  I was able to leave work at 8pm an so saw streets more crowded than usual, and street hawkers selling roses.  I didn't buy any of course -- cheap bastard that I am.

Student w/ IPod Touch
He tells me he uses his to watch movies.  He didn't know what Podcasts were.

Tony's Fifth Birthday on August 23
He wanted KFC chicken.  He was happy with his presents.


Wall Street is coming!
I have heard that the chain of English Schools would be coming to Wuxi for two years now.  And finally it will be starting up in Wuxi in the Fall.  What will it mean for the Wuxi English School Market?  Who can say.  I hear reports of the Chinese economy tanking.  If this is the case, then the English School Market in Wuxi could be over-saturated.

Another problem in the Wuxi English School Market I have heard about is the difficulty of getting teachers.  When I came, all you needed was a degree and a TEFL or TOEFL certificate.   No experience was necessary!  Now, English teachers have to have two years of teaching experience before they come here.  I have heard of one case of a teacher, who had taught here for four years without degree, having acquired a degree, only to be told his previous experience didn't count and so he couldn't come to China.

The practice of teaching on a tourist visa has also been stopped by the Chinese government.  If you want to get a Chinese tourist visa, you have to prove you are going to be a tourist.

It is all good for me I would suppose!  A decline in supply could mean higher wages!  Or so I hope!

Taiwan
Student came back from Taiwan   Said it was beautiful.


Is This Art?
I did an English Corner about Art.  I found twenty photos of art or so-called art on the Internet.  I showed the photos of tattoos, conceptual art, advertising, propaganda, cartoons, famous guys named Art, classic art, and Modern Art to see what the students thought was art and what wasn't.  Their opinions varied with some students taking a consevative view of what was art, and some saying everything, including tattoos, was art.  I complimented on the students on seeming to have a good understanding of what art was as native English speakers.

The students didn't think much of my showing pictures Art Linkletter and Art Garfunkel, and asking if they were art.  Or rather, they didn't seem to get the joke.

I don't think there are any persons named "Art" who are famous in China.

I showed the students a CR poster showing a tractor driver holding a little red book.  They told me that it wasn't art and that it wasn't popular anymore


My Nightly Routine, Lately
I read a chapter of the Lord of the Rings (an actual book) and Our Mutual Friend (e-book) every night.  I am chomping at the bit to start reading some Dostoevsky which I have on Ipod.  So many books to read!  So little time!


Cigarette in Mouth
Worker with cigarette in mouth as he stands in a shallow gondola.  He waits for a crane to lift him to a side of building where he can perform an elevated task.


Overload
So overloaded was the e-bike that it was swerving big-time.  I have this overloaded e-bike on video but not the swerving.


Armstrongs
Lance Armstrong isn't a hero anymore

I had written a satirical article using Niel Armstrong as a foil.  I first checked to see if he was alive.  He was before I started the article, though he was either dead or about to die when I published the article on Saturday evening.  Sunday morning, I read he had died.


I don't understand!**
When people preface a sentence with this in debate,  it is really meant to put the other person down.  There is also an assumption, on the part of the person who prefaces the sentence, that he or she possesses a superior intelligence or has more common sense.

When you assume, you make an ass out of you and me, the saying goes.  In the case where people use I don't understand as a debate tactic, they really showing they are asses with no understanding.

Wouldn't it better to show you understand why the person believes or says what he says, and show him why he is wrong?  Rush Limbaugh, I remember was a master of doing this.  Too many on the Left scoff.

** Examples of this that prompted this entry:  I don't understand why people go to church!  I don't understand why anyone would be Catholic!


Saturday Morning
Grass cutters at work just outside our apartment at six a.m.

Then, on the way to bus stop, I saw a 610 bus and a van racing.  The van, which was on the left-hand side of the bus, was trying to get ahead of the bus so it could return to its normal lane, but the bus wouldn't let it.  Perhaps, the van driver had angered the bus driver who has getting his revenge.  I have seen bus drivers exhibit road rage on many occasions here in China.  I will never forget the time that a driver swerved his bus on purpose at the cab of a truck that had cut him off.  For a instance, I was sitting about a foot from the cab of the truck!


Saturday Bus Ride to Work
1) I listen to a podcast of Andrew Briebart talking to Dennis Prager.  I love the story Briebart tells about how a rock station, he was listening to, began to play Nirvana and Pearl Jam, instead of the the music of Depeche Mode and New Order that he liked.  He ended up listening to talk radio and Rush Limbaugh, and converted to conservatism

I remember hating Nirvana and Pearl Jam.  They just weren't as good as the Clash and Husker Du and the Replacements and the Smiths and New Order, all of who had been around years before.  It annoyed me that these grunge bands, who were really a vulgarization of punk and alternative music,  became popular.  

I didn't listen to Rush Limbaugh because of them, however I remember listening to him out of curiosity and then becoming a convert.  The people who hate him probably don't listen to him or have closed minds.

Briebart also talked about how the leftists attack the messenger savagely.  Case in point:  Niall Ferguson who wrote a damning article in Newsweek about Barack Obama saying he shouldn't be re-elected president.  My RSS Feed of Leftist sites was full of articles calling Ferguson a liar and and a charlatan.



2) I began the practice of blogging while standing on the bus.

3) Parts of the Wuxi that I see from the bus make me think of Isengard in the Lord of the Rings:  Lots of waste and rubble.

4)  I see students dressed in camouflage uniforms boarding buses.  In fact, I see a lot of students and a lot of buses.  I was able to take this photo with my Ipod:




First year university students often have to do a month or so of military training.


Sunday podcast routine
I listen to EWTN for the whole day.  Sunday is the Lord's Day after all.

Mother Angelica to a person taking a crying baby out of the studio, said: "Don't take the child away.  He is just being a little boy.  Don't bother me none!"     I say:  "God bless her!"


Another Foreigner in the Hui Shan District of Wuxi, China.
I saw a foreigner riding an Ebike near Casa Kaulins.  I got a brief nod of acknowledgement.  

There goes the neighborhood!


I see a foreign child at the Hui Shan People's Square
Sunday evening, I was watching Tony play in a sandbox at the Hui Shan People's Square:  the People's Square local to Casa Kaulins.

This sandbox is, in fact, a plastic kids wading pool with pebbles thrown in it instead of water.  In the sandbox, there ware plastic toy shovels, diggers, and dump trucks for the kids to play with.  Tony loves playing in this sandbox, and would play in it every evening if he could, as do lots of other kids.

Sunday evening, I noticed that one of the other kids, a little girl of about three years of age, had brown hair.  Looking at her more closely, I saw that the girl was definitely not completely Chinese.  I looked around the sandbox for a foreigner but didn't see any.  I saw that the adults accompanying her must have been her Chinese grandparents.  

The grandfather noticed me and asked, in Chinese, if I was Tony's parent.  He pointed out his granddaughter to me and said her father was Canadian.  I told him I was Canadian as well.  He told me the girl's father worked in Shanghai.  I gave him the card for my school when I could tell him, in Chinese, where I worked.

It was a rare opportunity for me to speak Chinese.


Sunday 6 a.m.
Lawnmower engine blaring outside our apartment at 600 am on Sunday!


My Sunday Morning Bus Ride to Work
I had to stand.  I was too smart for my own good and my efforts to get a seat ended up wasting about twenty minutes of time standing at the bus stop.

The Bus Driver blares shrill horn  long and loudly at an Ebiker who has wandered into intersection.

Inside the bus, an older woman holds umbrella over a young girl to shield her from the morning sun.  The young girl is engrossed in a mobile phone game. Like an noble sitting in a sedan chair, she seemed oblivious to the favour being done, taking it to be her natural right.

In the right turn lane, cars and bikes and pedestrians begin to make a turn as they now have the green light.


Jin Jiang Grand Hotel Buffet Memory
Saturday evening, I went to the buffet on the twenty-something floor of the Jin Jiang Grand Hotel on Zhongshan Road with Tony and Jenny.  It wasn't a great buffet, but the view from this revolving restaurant was nice.

The previous time I ate at the Jim Jiang Grand Hotel Buffet was probably six years ago.  I went with AD and PN, both plump gentlemen.  I wrote in my blog entry, the next day, that to be with them at a buffet was to be like a fly on the wall when Napoleon and Clausewitz discussed military strategy.

Friday, August 24, 2012

Happy 50th Anniversary Mom and Dad! Part Three!

It was fifty years ago today (August 25, 1962) that my father Arnis and my mother Aina got married.  Rare regular readers know that my father passed away in May, but, as I have said, this is no reason to not celebrate the day.  We live in an age where to actually be together "till death do us part" is an accomplishment.

Thank you so much Mom and Dad for staying together!











The last photo is the best one, I feel.   Nothing is finer than a couple who stuck it out for the long run.

Thursday, August 23, 2012

Happy Anniversary Arnis and Aina Kaulins! Part 2

Aina and Arnis Kaulins were married on August 25, 1962 in Winnipeg, Canada.  Arnis, sadly, passed away in May of this year but that is no reason to not celebrate their 50 the wedding anniversary.

Here are some photos of them in the 1970s:






Wednesday, August 22, 2012

Five Years of Photos of Tony Kaulins (2007 - 2012)

Tony celebrates birthday number five on Thursday, August 23.

Dad has taken so many photos of his son Tony that is damn near impossible to determine his five favorite.

So, what he will show you below is six photos from the six calendar years of Tony's life.

2007



2008



2009



2010



2011



2012


Tuesday, August 21, 2012

Happy 50th Anniversary Mom & Dad! Part 1

Aina and Arnis Kaulins were married on August 25, 1962 in Winnipeg, Canada.

Arnis unfortunately passed away in May of this year before their 50th anniversary.

But he and Aina stayed together till death did they part, and so their 50th anniversary is time to celebrate.

Over the next few days, I will publish some photos of their life together.








Scenes from My Life in Wuxi, China XVIII

Monday, August 20, 2012

August 13 - 19 2012 Blog Entry

Not much happened this week to AKIC.

Gratitude

I am  thankful for a healthy Tony who will celebrate his fifth birthday on August 23.  

I am also very thankful to my parents for having lived together for 49 years.  I feel sorry for those who haven't had their parents stick together.  Arnis and Aina would have celebrated their 50th anniversary on August 25th.  As it is, I will celebrate the 50th anniversary on this site.

Acknowledgement

It hasn't been easy raising Tony and yet I take it too easy sometimes with Tony.  I am often far too indulgent of him.   I also don't think I am going to live enough to celebrate my 50th anniversary.

Request:  

Please visit the web page I have dedicated to my father.  Scroll to the botton and you will see his headstone.

I also pray to God that I never get divorced.  


Woohhhhh!   

 I was riding the bus to work on Tuesday morning.  I was not so fortunate as to get a seat, but I was more fortunate than some cyclist.  Standing near the back of the bus and looking out the driver side window, I was startled by a scream, that seemed almost comedic**,  coming from behind me.  I quickly turned and saw other passengers looking out of the bus window at something behind.  The bus just kept on its way.  I thought I could detect some sheepishness in the driver's manner, but after five minutes, it seemed the incident was forgotten.

** I was reminded of a scene from one of the Naked Gun movies where Leslie Nielson parked his car and knocked over people work on scaffolding.


Incongruity

I see an old man carrying, piggy back style, a young boy who was about Tony's size.  It look as incongruous as say I would look if I was carrying a fourteen year Tony on my back.


Students Say the Darnedest Things

I opened a conversation class about men with the following question:  do you like women?   Two middle school boys then told me they weren't sure and I had a good laugh.

Carrying on with the class, I tried to convey to the students the idea of "real manhood."  Can men wear dresses? I asked.  One of the two middle school boys, who said he wasn't sure if he liked women,answered yes!   After saying what! to him in an incredulous manner, he defended his answer, saying "They do in Scotland."  And well sometimes they can at costume parties!"  I had something to put in my blog, so I was thankful for his answer.

Later in the class, I asked if certain famous males were real men.  What I asked if  Hu Jiantao a real man, some of the students said no.  (Can I be honest? said one)  But one girl said Hu was a man because the Beijing Olympics were better than the London Olympics.  (I won't bring up that question of Beijing versus London during any class since I haven't watched any of the London Olympics.)

In another class I had this exchange.  Me: Tell me something you have done yet that you want to do?  Student:  Have supper.


Canada Ain't Cool

Another new weekly feature for this blog.  In Canada Ain't Cool, I will display love for and interest in my country.  The title is meant to be provocative and throw off a certain kind of Canadian who likes Pierre Trudeau, hates the Monarchy, hates the USA,  is a pacifist, and thinks socialized medicine is something to be proud of.  

I define cool as the triumph of style over substance.  It is my contention that Canada, at its true essence isn't cool, it is something much more substantive, and despite Leftist assaults on this substance, Canada thankfully still isn't cool.

Listening to Rex Murphy broadcasts, I feel an urge to go back to Canada.  Rex Murphy isn't cool.  He is actually slightly reactionary and says things that aren't the fashion.  

Some Canadians I like:  David Warren, Mordecai Richler, Preston Manning, Marc Steyn, and Conrad Black.  I will get into more details about why in a future Canada Ain't Cool.


Siku catalogue

I have bought toys, made by the German toy maker Siku, for Tony's birthday.  

I was able get a Siku catalogue at a downtown department store and give it to Tony.  Tony loves browsing through toy catalogues.  Looking through the Siku catalouge, he showed me some toys he wanted.  He'll be getting them for his birthday.

I also went to the Siku website and ordered their catalogue.  I had forgotten I had done this and so it was a mystery what an envelope from Germany, addressed to Tony care of my school's address, contained.  When I saw it was the 2012 Siku catalogue, I was pleasantly surprised.


Roller skating video

On Saturday, Tony donned skates for the first time, and there is video of it.  With a nervous posture, I accompanied Tony as he tried to keep his balance and move at the same time.  He was trying to walk with the skates instead of glide.  He fell a bunch of times but didn't seem the worse for wear.  

The video will be on Youtube anon.


Ideas for a one-student desert island class

Ask the student what ten books he would take to the island with him.

Ask the student what forty five luxuries he would take with him to a desert island.

Ask the student what twenty songs he would take with him to a desert island.

Friday, August 17, 2012

The Grave Stone of Arnis Kaulins




It is located in the Veteran's Cemetery in Brandon, Manitoba, Canada.

Thursday, August 16, 2012

HyLite Language School (Wuxi, China) Looking for Trainers to Start Immediately 10,000 RMB per Month

Email me at akaulins@gmail.com for more details.

Tony's Fifth Birthday falls on Chinese Lover's Day: August 23, 2012

Chinese Lover's day, 7/7 on the Lunar Calendar, is August 23rd this year.  Normally, I don't celebrate the day because I only learn of it the day of,  when it is too late.

This year, I know well in advance when 7/7 is coming but I don't think my wife does.  We are more focused on Tony's fifth birthday.
 

Sunday, August 12, 2012

August 6 to 12 Blog Entry

In the past week, a typhoon came to Wuxi, Tony took poos on his own, and Mitt Romney choose his VP running mate.  The average temperature was about 35 degrees.


Gratitude

I will thank two people this week:  Harry Moore and Sharon McDonough

Harry Moore, my co-conspirator on my WCE Blog, took personally some criticism that was directed at me.  I was gratified that he felt as he did, however I did have to tell him..... (see the acknowledgement section).

Sharon McDonough, a Major and Chaplain in the Prairie Division of the Salvation Army in Brandon, Manitoba, Canada, provided my family wonderful support for my family when our father died.  

Though she spent but a month with my father at the Dinsdale Care Home**, she had a profound impact on him in his final days.  (She responded to a thank you email I had sent her, and I was reminded of the role she played.  I am glad she gave my father's funeral a Christian touch.)

**Sadly, my father spend most of his time in the hospital during his last year.  He spent so much time there because there were no rooms available at the Dinsdale Care Home.  When he finally was able to stay at the Dinsdale, he was there but a month.  It was heartbreaking to see that the work, that my sister and mother had done to set up his room there, had to be quickly taken apart and put into cardboard boxes.


Acknowledgement

I push the envelope, as it were, with my WCE Blog, and some of my envelope-pushing is done out of pure malice.  So the criticism I got was much smaller than I had been asking for and was much smaller than I deserved.  

Still, I take back nothing of what I have said.  There are elements of truth in what I have written.


Request

Support the Salvation Army whenever you have the opportunity.  They do wonderful work.  Apparently, they even operate in China.




Ikea

I went to the Wuxi Ikea for the first time on Monday, August 6.  It was my wife and son's fourth time to go there.  

We went there via the special Ikea bus.  I thought this was a wonderful thing till I saw that the bus stopped about 500m from the Ikea entrance.  You would think that the bus would take you right to the front!  But no!

The Ikea was like all the other Ikeas I have been to in China.  Which is not to say it is a bad thing; for I like Ikea and the hot dogs.

The only blog-mentionable thing I saw was in the cafeteria.  On one of the video machines, they showed Swedish people  gathered together eating Swedish food and frolicking in woods and meadows.  In the family house, they showed a young man wearing what looked like a black Metallica t-shirt looking for all the world like a stoner as he dejectedly leaned against a wall in the kitchen watching his breakfast being cooked.



Here's the thing!

Everyone says this, including Marc Levin, my favorite right-winger podcaster, and my Chinese wife.

What did we say before here's the thing! became all the rage.



Tuesday Sights (a few of which I wish I could have taken a photo)

Van collided head on into middle barrier fencing on Xicheng Road.

Man sleeping on bus bench on Xicheng Road.

Old Man appearing to not be wearing pants near the train station.   On closer inspection, I saw that he was wearing briefs.


While Wife & Son were away, I didn't play

Tony & Jenny were in Beixin, her home town, Tuesday to Friday.

On my one evening where I was free of my wife and son (I was working all the other eveniings), I was on the computer posting photos and scurrilous entries to my blogs.  However, I did treat myself to a Subway sandwich beforehand.


Liu Xiang

I was on the 635 bus when I saw what happened to the 110 meter hurdler Liu Xiang in an Olympic heat.  The first time I saw his heat, the video, of the race, broke up.  When the end of the race then came into view I didn't see Liu Xiang at the finish line.  I had to watch the replay to see what happened:  He hit the second or third hurdle and fell to the ground hurting himself and ending his hope of winning a second gold medal.  He had no one to blame but himself.  

I then looked around the bus to see the reactions.  One passenger beside me seemed to show some dismay.


News from Canada

A Globe & Mail said that the Federal government allowing private property on Native Reservations was sparking debate and controversy.  The Globe & Mail being a leftie rag, would have such a headline. 

But come on!   Really?!  What kind of morons would be against such a thing?   Leftists!!!


Typhoon Wednesday

I wore a t-shirt and shorts to work on Wednesday and carried my work clothes in my bag.  Standing outside for ten seconds was all it took to get soaked.

I saw meter-square  wide pieces of metal fly off buildings onto the street near our school.  One of the pieces landed near a bus.  Another landed near nearly hit a man on his e-bike.  As it was, the bike and man were knocked over.

I saw a man chuck his umbrella.  The strong wind wrecked many a umbrella, but to see the actual moment of umbrella abandonment was quite funny.  The man just didn't drop the umbrella by his side and walk away, the umbrella was still above his head when he decided to thrust it upward into the air.

I hated the students who managed to come to the school in the evening of the typhoon.  Most of the students, who had booked classes, sensibly stayed home but a small minority had to come and thwart my hopes of being able to get home early.  (Some of the ones who did come were forced to by their parents.)

I warped my umbrella as I did in the last big typhoon that came to Wuxi in 2005.


Thursday:  Surveying Damage from Typhoon Wednesday

On my 45 minute bus ride to work, I saw uprooted trees, blown-down signage, ripped signage, dangling shreds of banner nylon, and a flooded underpass.


Cool ain't Cool

A paradoxical thing to say, and yet it is true.  Cool is the triumph of style over substance.  There are better and more substantial words to describe, what today would be called coolness.  For example,  the manner of Fred Astaire these words come to mind:  grace, aristocratic, gentlemanly, practiced and polished seeming ease of manner.  Just don't say he was cool!  He was much more than that!


109 Year Old Great Grandfather

A student told me that she had a 109 year old great grandparent, and so I had many questions and thoughts.

I first asked about his personal habits.  He drank white wine everyday but didn't smoke (the bastard I thought when I was told the second fact.)

I then asked if his birthday was always being reported in the local media.  The student told me that it was.

I didn't ask if she had proof that the great grandparent was that old.  Every time I have had asked about grandparents birth certificates, the students never seem to understand my question.  Her grandparent would have had to have his birth certificate issued by the Qing Dynasty.

I then thought about how if I was 109 years old, I would adopt strange habits to fuck people up, as it were.  I would start smoking four packs of cigarettes a day, take up firearms, eat strange foods, use cocaine  and LSD,  and I would employ Adam Carolla language and start talk explicitly about having strange sexual habits that I practiced on a daily basis for over a hundred years.


Jenny & Tony

I taught a class where I had students sit beside each other named Jenny & Tony.  Of course, I went corny and cheesy on them with the jokes.  "You are not my wife and you are not my son!  Ha Ha Ha!"

I then had a near string of three coincidences when I asked the students about when their birthdays were.  Jenny and Tony didn't have birthday dates of any interest to me, but then the third student, Jack Wang, told me his birthday.  Jack, having fluency problems, said his birth date slowly.  He said he was born in December, and then said December a few more times, before he could blurt out the twentieth, after which he repeated the twentieth again thereby holding me in suspense as I wondered if he was going to tell me he was born on the 24th of December like I had been.  But finally, he said he was born on December the twenty.................third!  A day before me and so darn close to my having had a trifecta of coincidences.


Old Navy 2010 T-Shirt.

A student came to class wearing a 2010 Old Navy Shirt bearing an American Flag.  After telling her I had a 2003 Old Navy Shirt bearing an American Flag, I learned that her t-shirt was a gift from a friend studying in the U.S.

I also have Old Navy Shirts bearing the Canadian Flag from 2003 and 2012.  In fact, the 2012 shirt has become a K family uniform.

I hope to keep my 2003 American Flag Old Navy Shirt for a while longer.  Wearing it in Wuxi in 2004, I was told not to wear it in a Wuxi Expat Pub -- Wuxi was teeming with Anti-American Expats apparently.  I kept wearing it anyway.   To me it was the moral equivalent of wearing an 1937 Old Navy Star of David t-shirt  in Nazi Germany, or even a 2012 Old Navy t-shirt bearing the Israeli flag anywhere in the world today.




Sunday Speaker's Corner

I showed a photo of a seven year old Andis (that be me) to the class.  One of the students said he was Justin Bieber; another said the person was my son Tony.

A student also told me that Pandas, in captivity, have been shown blue movies of other Pandas, in hopes of giving them the ability.



Hairy Ape-Like Foreigner

That be me!  

I was standing at the street corner by Ba Bai Ban on Sunday evening when I noticed this woman was looking at me and saying something about me.  

She keep muttering "foreigner, blah, blah, blah, blah!"  I asked my wife who was standing beside me what the woman was saying.   

"She says you are very hairy!  The stupid bitch!" said my wife.

"Hmmm!" I said.


Bored in Wuxi?

I am not.  Those who are, suffer from a lack of imagination and appreciation of the sights on offer.



How My Wife is Much More Thoughtful than Me

Case #1:  I took a photo of a beggar.  My wife had Tony give the beggar some money.

Case #2:  The three members of the K family:  Mother, Son, and Father, were sitting on the bus and each had a seat of their own on which to sit.  Another mother with a little daughter boarded the bus.  Mother of the K family yielded her seat to the other mother while the father of the K family did nothing.


Romney - Ryan 2012

Let's hope they can win!  They are our only hope!

Here is an article that says Romney is going to win in a landslide over Obama in November.   

For one thing, Obama, to paraphrase the article, has no where to go but down because he has done nothing to convince any of the people who voted against him in 2008 to change their minds.  That is,  no one who voted for McCain in 2008 would possibly vote for Obama in 2012.  This is true, but I am sure they can always find a weirdo some where who says he has his heart changed by Obama's performance in office.  McCain was no great shakes either in that election!

Secondly, the article says that Obama will have a hard time getting more votes from the constituencies that voted for him in big portions in 2008.  If anything, five to ten percent of them have lost their enthusiasm for the big Owe and won't vote or  better yet, may have seen the light.

The arguments against the landslide prediction would have to be demographic.  Some McCain Voters are dead now.  Obama's voters are younger and a few may add their vote to the Big Owe's tally because they are now eligible to vote.  As well, the Obama administration is making a serious effort to allow people to vote even if they don't bring i.d. with them to the polling booth.  They are shrilly calling anyone racist who thinks this is absurd.  Obama has to rely on the stupid vote to stay in power; and the demographics and vote-rigging may help him squeak out a victory.

Nine Year Old T-Shirt

Tony and a Water Gun


Maybe, I should let Tony run around airplanes and restaurants with this.  He he he.

As it was, he was wandering around the local people's square.


Zhongshan Road Beggar

Tony Holds a Photo

Friday, August 10, 2012

Thursday, August 9, 2012

A Shout-out for the Wuxiandis Youtube channel



Youtuber Angelwriterspeakers does a video of shout-outs for some Youtube channels she likes.

She talks about my channel from 4:50 to 5:35.  I recommend, however, that you watch the whole thing.  She is very articulate.

Her niceness has given me an idea.  I have do a video of shout-outs and gratitude myself.

Wednesday, August 8, 2012

Sunday, August 5, 2012

Blog Entry for July 30 to August 5

Gratitude

Thank God for Project Gutenberg and Podcasts.  They keep me occupied with plenty of free things to read and listen to and ponder about.


Acknowledgement

I don't do enough for Tony and Jenny.  Don't ask me to get into specifics because I don't want to and it is just a feeling I have in my gut.  (*I also have run out of ideas for this G-A-R feature after two weeks!)


Request

Visit this page of my baby and youth pictures and make lots and lots of critical comments.  Fire away!



Naked Boy by a downtown fountain

On Zhongshan Road there is a fountain on a street corner.  Zhongshan Road, to use Canadian English, is the main drag of Wuxi.

One evening while riding the bus, I saw a naked boy standing by the fountain.  Was he taking a bath or a swim in the fountain?

With the temperatures so high, nothing would surprise me!



Tony likes to look at diggers

On a Sunday evening, I took Tony to a nearby industrial park so he could look at Diggers or back-hoes or excavators.  You will soon photos of Tony and the diggers at one of his two websites soon.



Milton Friedman's 100th Birthday

Friedman was a happy warrior in the war of Economic ideas, unlike say a Paul Krugman who is probably the world's current most famous economist.

Reading Friedman's Free to Choose changed my view on so many economic and political issues.  (That and listening to Rush Limbaugh)  

If only I could be a happy warrior too!  But meeting nothing but leftists is such a drag!


Adam Carolla Podcast

Listening to his podcast, even though it is chalk full of crude language, gives me ideas for things to talk about during my English Corner.  For instance, I got the students to opine on whether it was okay to eat left over pizza from other tables in a pizza restaurant.  All of them said it was inappropriate even when I told them that it couldn't be thought of stealing and the pizza was essentially unwanted.

Next SPC, I will ask the students WTF is up with people coughing during moments of silence.

Later:  Whatever life philosophy, Adam Carolla is espousing, it is apparently being influenced by Dennis Prager, of all people.  Carolla and Prager are doing some sort of Chesterton - Bernard Shaw shtick together.  Knowing this, Carolla seems to me to be a Libertine turning Libertarian.  It is an improvement of sorts.  But, he has got to clean up his act and language, and talk about things that don't seem so navel-gazing in nature.

Still, he has a nice well-paid  gig.  He can talk about whatever he wants to talk about whether it is spiders on his ceiling or gun control.


Love Letters

The students really got off on adding sentences to a love letter:  "I have been away from you a long time: one second.  One second away from you seems a century!  I miss you very much.  I am burning.  You are my air.  I eat you when I eat a bowl of rice.  Let's go to a hotel......."



Who is Mitt Romney?

In a class of twenty five, three students told me they knew who Mitt Romney was.  I told them all that Romney might be the next president and they should remember I told them about him and that I also told them he had nice hair.



Real Men?

Michael Jackson and Bill Gates?  I obviously wasn't explaining well my idea of manhood and manliness to the students if one of them told me her idea of  who real men were Bill Gates and Michael Jackson.



What is that lump on the side walk I saw as I walked home one evening?

A man sleeping.



bù dǎ pì gǔ!   不 打 屁 股!

Thursday evening, Dad was walking around the house naked and so Mom decided to spank him with a plastic coat hanger.

Dad then said to son Tony:  help!

Tony ran up to Mom, grabbed the hanger away from her, and then sternly pointed at his mother and said:  bù dǎ pì gǔ!   不 打 屁 股! (translation: don't hit bum!)


Processes

I was asked by a student, what processes I liked.  (I was doing a class about processes)  I told her that I liked the writing process [sic].  It was an off-the-top-of-my-head answer.  I then realized what process I truly enjoyed:  watching my son Tony grow up.


Olympics

A lot of the students are, in fact, watching the Olympics.  I have been getting my updates from them.


Chow Mian Pian on Saturday Night

Due to Tony's whims**, it ended up that on Saturday night I was at Casa K while Jenny & Tony were downtown, putting us an hour apart by bus.  They were eating when I phoned them and learned of our separation, and so I was on my own for supper.

I decided to go to the Muslim Restaurant in our apartment complex and have chow mian pian -- a dish consisting of broad-cut noodles fried with veggies and some meat in a savory sauce.  I hadn't had it a while and so I quite enjoyed it.  It was made fresh and piping hot for me.  I then recalled why it was I had come to China in the first place.


Coincidence?

In my previous weekly entry, I mentioned that I was reading Our Mutual Friend by Charles Dickens (on my Ipod Touch) and that I was quite taken with  a character Rokesmith who talks the Boffins into giving him a job and thereby created a position for himself that the Boffins had never knew they needed.  I then wished I could have the cheek to do something like that.

About two days after publishing the entry, I received this spam-like email asking me if I wanted to be someone's personal secretary for 500 USD a week.  I didn't reply because it didn't mention my having said I wanted that short of job in my blog.

Was that email sent me on account of some spam bot?






**Tony and Jenny were riding the #81 bus, Wuxi's double-deckered bus route.  Tony was very adamant that he and his mom get off at a stop far, far away from Casa K.






Hui Shan White House

Wednesday, August 1, 2012

This Woman Smiled at Me




Waiting for the bus, the woman in the picture above rode by and smiled at me.

Nice.

Street Worker