Sunday, October 14, 2012

October 8 to October 14 Blog Entry

Gratitude  Thank God my wife criticizes me.  Lord knows, I deserve it sometimes.
Acknowledgement  Far too often, for me, teaching is running out the clock
Request  I wish to be able to enjoy every second of my life instead of feeling like time is usually something that I have to endure and to rush through in order to get to a situation that I somehow hope will be better.

Canada Ain't Cool  Typical Canadians don't dress coolly.  They mostly wear baseball caps and jeans.  But, God love 'em, they are people of substance who don't put up with b.s.!    Or so I would like to think.

Links of the Week

The Wuxi Corrupt Officials
The official NFL Fantasy Football Team of True Blue Wuxi Expats is now 4-0!

Quote of the Week 
From David Warren:  Should the Scots be granted  independence? Perhaps they should. But if someone can think of a better way to punish them, let us know.

I am reading Dostoevsky's The Devils (Or The Possessed) on my Ipod.  I am enjoying the novel but I am having a hard time keeping the characters straight because their names are so long and some of them have two names.

Tournament Eight
I will blog about some of the results in the daily journal entries below.  I am working through the first round group stage in which eight groups, of four teams, play a single round robin.

  • Tony goes back to school.  His holiday is over.
  • I am able to upload one video to YouTube, but not the other.  Thanks to the Great Firewall, I have to spend a lot of time uploading.  Frequently, the uploads die or they take too long.
  • I get off a bus.  I see a girl, who was looking at me, use her elbow to nudge another girl.  "Look there is a foreigner!" she seemed to be saying.   Or was she telling her friend that there was the strange looking person they had seen in the commercial?
  • On a side-street near the Nanchang Market, there is a restaurant I always go to to have their beef fried rice.  I should have taken photos and video!!
  • I went to Toy-R-Us to see if I could find a "plane-toy" for Tony, but it was closed, permanently. I have no idea if it is going to relocate somewhere else in Wuxi.  The Ba Bai Ban location didn't work for them.  Which was too bad because it worked for me.
  • Tony was in a fighting mood last night.  I have taken a video depicting this desire -- SFMLIWC #30.
  • All of the K family overslept and so Tony was late for school.  He missed the pick-up van, so his Mom took him to school via e-bike.
  • I read that Romney's debate performance made no difference to his poll standings and then I read that it did.  So who knows what is actually going on in the election.  Most political coverage is ephemeral and gaseous.
  • In a salon class about bucket lists, a student said that he would like to fight the Japanese before he died.
  • Today, I got up in time to get Tony on the van that would take him to kindergarten.  Still, I felt very tired.  Last month, I was awake at six a.m. easily.  Since the holiday, I have gotten lazy.
  • In tournament eight, Team F and Team G had a classic game in their Group 2 match-up   Team G won a back and forth game 7-6 to take first place in the group.  Team G is well-placed to win its third Group 2 title.
  • Selfish me:  My wife had set up some cups with hot water and tea bags.  I made myself a cup a tea but didn't make my wife's.  She was justifiably displeased with me.
  • We have this trainer who has missed two days of classes.  He tells us he is stuck in some other Chinese province because the highway traffic there isn't moving.  Students have told me stories about traffic being bad.  One student told me that on National Day, it took her seven hours to get to Nantong from Wuxi -- it is normally a two hour trip.
  • The students told me that the government decided to waive toll fees during the National Week Holiday.  The result -- massive traffic jams -- was predictable.  Of course, it probably would have been politically impossible to raise toll fees which would have been the economically right thing to do.  Politics and Economics don't mix.  In America, gas prices are going through the roof and the politicians are looking for scapegoats.  Of course, the politicians are the ones who are responsible, but that won't stop them from blaming speculators.
  • Absent teacher means I have to go to this company CMV.  There will be about 20 students they tell me.  I will try to get them to talk about their bodies.
  • Whenever I get on a bus, I try to get a seat as far towards the back as possible.  I do so because I figure there is less chance of my having to yield my seat to seniors or women with babies.
  • I have so many podcasts and e-books to read that my head is spinning.  Let's see.  There are 40 podcasts I am keen to listen to, and I have downloaded 150 e-books from Project Gutenberg.
  • Later.  CMV is located in some part of Wuxi I had never been to before.   There were 20 students in the class:  19 men and one woman.  The topic of the class:  the Body.  None of the students looked fat in the Western sense so I had to tell those who thought they were fat, that they weren't.  None of the students said anything against Japan, which was a change.
  • I had a hard time explaining to the students why it was that their regular teacher was absent.  I told them that he was stuck in Hunan province because of traffic, but I found it hard to believe.
  • Oh why is it that I am not so lucky as to get food-poisoning, to break my arm, to break my collar-bone, to be stuck in an elevator or to get stuck in traffic jams like other people?  I never miss work.
  • I read about 200 Ipod-sized pages of my Dostoevsky novel today.
  • There is confident talk coming from conservative circles that Romney can win the election.  God!  I hope they are right.
  • On my Ipod Touch, I was able to watch a half-hour recap of the 1970 NFC Championship Game between the Cowboys and 49ers..  Magnificent!!
  • I have listened to the China History Podcast Episodes #98, #99, #100 on the bus.  Congrats to Laslzo on making it to one hundred episodes   I can say his podcasts have accompanied me on many a bus ride in Wuxi as well as on many walks in the Chinese countryside.  Like me, Laslzo has his Internet project.  Unlike me, Laslzo has developed quite the following.  I am forced mostly to talk about me because I don't have the resources and the money to do anything with a broader interest.  Not that that is a bad thing, but I have to do a much better job.
  • Sad:  I was eating breakfast at McDonald's and listening to my Ipod.  This woman sat right beside me and started to speak to me.  I had to turn off the Ipod which is not a quick operation.  When I was finally able to, the woman, in broken English mixed with Chinese, asked me the following question:  What do you want from me?  I realized immediately that she had spoken incorrectly.  I then saw that she was talking to herself and having a very animated discussion.  She was a candidate for People's Hospital #7 which is the local Mental Hospital.  I didn't think that at the time -- my first reaction was to feel pity.  She looked like a lonely thing who had had no one to talk too and went mad as a result.  I didn't know how to talk to her but I said bye to her when I left.
  • My son Tony knows the Chinese for mirror.  Last night, I was helping him in the bathroom.  He had finished taking a bath, was wrapped in a towel and was standing on a stool, when he pointed at the bathroom mirror and said the Chinese, which my wife told me was, for mirror.  Knowing this only added to the mystery because he said mirror in an imploring manner.  I had to ask my wife why it was that he wanted the mirror.  She didn't know either until she figured out that Tony wanted to stand in front of the mirror and look at himself.  The vain little bugger!  And I am jealous of his Chinese ability.
  • The missing teacher has returned.  I don't want to hear him spin his tale!  I will stay in my office and hide behind my desk.
  • A student had something nice to say about the Japanese.  She said when she went to Tokyo, she was very impressed with their manners.  But then she told me that their school children are taught that China is for the Japanese to take.
  • This same student wasn't very impressed with Paris.  Paris, she said, was a very dirty city -- men and women were throwing their cigarette butts everywhere.
  • In Tournament Eight, Defending Champion Team Y lost their second group round-robin game 3-0.  Having tied their first game, Team Y won't repeat as group champions and could very likely finish in last place in their group and thus be eliminated from any playoff competition.
  • No sign of the woman who I saw at McDonald's the day before.  
  • I took the Implicit Association test.  This is the conclusion it gave me:  Your data suggest a slight implicit preference for famous White people compared to famous Black people.
  • I saw a female co-worker at the bus stop.  She was in a hurry to get the next bus because she had to be at work at 9:00.  It was 8:45.  I didn't have to be at work till 11:00.  Why she asked me was I going to work so early.  I told her that I had sent Tony off to school and so I figured that it was better to head to work than to head back home.  But I think about this now and it does seem I am anal that I get to work so early.
  • I will be eagerly awaiting reportage of the Ryan -- Biden debate.
  • Something I should have said at my Father's funeral:  He was a Leafs fan; I was a Habs fan.  
  • I then took a Big Five Personality Test and got the following results:
Extraversion |||| 22% (11 percentile)
Conscientiousness|||||||||| 52% (33 percentile)
Neuroticism ||||||| 35% (25 percentile)
Agreeableness ||||||||||| 57% (19 percentile)
Openness |||||||||||||||| 82% (59 percentile)

  • I believe that the results mean  I am very introverted, not so conscientious, slightly neurotic, not very agreeable and yet fairly open.  A mass of contradictions.  Or have I interpreted these results incorrectly?
  • The room quietens down when I walk in.  He he!
  • Tony & Jenny are going to Beixin, Jenny's hometown, for the weekend.  For me, it means I will be alone when I go home Saturday night.  The one liberty I will allow myself, if I feel up to it, is to have a sandwich at Subway.
  • After Subway, and after having taken the bus home, I will spend time on the computer.  There is a video that I will try to upload to Youtube, VPN permitting.  I shot another commercial where I am shown walking into an office and being received by a receptionist.
  • Tony argues with his mother saying that the jacket, she wants him to wear, is not needed because it isn't cold not.  He said this in Chinese and I could make it out.  This indicated both the K Boys are making progress in their language acquisition.
  • Should I watch a replay of the Vice-Presidential debate?  From what I have read,  Biden was on the offensive.  The right says he was offensive in doing so and that he came across as a preening jerk, never letting his opponent finish a sentence.  The Left said Biden being on the offensive revived Obama's campaign -- a much-needed boost.
  • St. Louis defeats the Washington Nationals 9-7 in the fifth and deciding game of their Major League Baseball playoff series.  The Cardinals scored four runs with two outs in the top of the ninth to win the game.  A heart-breaking loss for the Nationals who had the best record in the National League.  The Nationals showed their Montreal Expo pedigree in the loss.
  • I don't recommend the double fish burger from McDonald's.
  • Saturday after work, I wandered around the downtown looking for a toy store so I could buy a "plane toy" for Tony.  I found a store, across Zhongshan Road from Chongnan Market on the sixth floor of a department store, that sold planes made by the famous toy-car maker Matchbox.
  • Before finding the toy plane, I had bought a sandwich at Subway.  I didn't think to ask to have a drink with cookie when I made my order.  I realized this as they handed me the invoice  which I had to take to a cashier -- why I couldn't pay the clerk was strange, but this is what they do in China.  I couldn't be bothered to correct my oversight.  The clerks should have been trained to ask if I wanted a drink with my sandwich.  They instead asked me if that was everything -- I had thought they were asking me if that was all the toppings I wanted on my sandwich.
  • I was able to upload Scenes from My Life in Wuxi, China #29 to YouTube.  In SFMLIWC #29, I act in a commercial.
  • I also edited SFMLIWC #30 -- a fight video with Tony.
  • Sunday Morning, I had good timing when taking the bus to work.  The first bus came to my stop at the same time I did.  The second bus came to the stop just as I de-boarded the first bus.  I waited all of two seconds.  If it could be that way always!
  • I send a tweet from a restaurant.  It was the first time for me to send one while not at home.
  • In Tournament Eight, Teams "A" and "ZZ" have won their groups thus earning themselves spots in the League and Tournament Championships.
  • My wife Jenny tells me that her bus to Wuxi was stuck in a traffic jam for one hour.  Too many cars, not enough roads?
  • I put Tony's plane toy, which was in a red bag,  in the bedroom.  I then phoned him and told him to go into the bedroom and look for a red bag which contained the plane toy.  Jenny tells me he was able to find the toy without her help.  She, in fact, had no idea where it was.  Tony passes a comprehension test!

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