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.


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.


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.


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


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.

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