Gratitude 谢谢 中国！你 给 我 我的 太太！
Acknowledgement 我 每天 是 不好的 人。在 公共汽车，我 不 给 老人 坐位。
Request 我 想 你们 给 我 很多 钱！
(Like General Patraeus, I am a voracious reader.)
The Everlasting Man by Chesterton
Economic Sophisms by Federic Bastiat
The Exploits of Brigadier Gerard by Sir Arthur Conan Doyle. (Finished. Great read!)
Spiritual Provocations by Soren Kierkeergard
The Peloponnesian War by Thucycides
Canada ain't Cool
One of Canada's greatest writers was Stephen Leacock. He wrote an essay about the woman question that wouldn't be considered cool today.
Canada was a great place before it became cool, alas.
Try as I might to convince myself otherwise, I think Canada is a cool.
Links of the Week
Quo Vadis - O Bishops? This link is the source of my first two quotes of the week.
Quotes of the Week
"To start with, forget about being nice. It doesn’t work. Be gentlemen. Be kind."
"Be prepared to suffer for the Faith."
The rest of this week's quotes are from Don Colacho:
"Intelligence isolates. Stupidity brings together." (How this sentence so justifies my staying in the office or house, and only going out when necessity requires.)
"In solitude man recovers strength to live."
"The common man lives among phantasms; only the recluse moves among realities."
"Solitude teaches us to be more intellectually honest, but it induces us to be less intellectually courteous."
The Wuxi Corrupt Officials
The Corrupts, as they are affectionately known, are the official NFL fantasy football team of true-blue Wuxi Expats.
If you are a true-blue Wuxi Expat and not a carpetbagger who abandons Wuxi in the summer, you are welcome in to share in the joy of the results of the Corrupts week 9 performance. The Corrupts ended their three game losing streak with a smashing 138-73 victory. They improved their record to 6-3, good for first place in their division and the best record in their league. By another metric, the Corrupts are also the best team in their league having scored the most points in nine week.
Monday (the 12th)
- I don't work.
- I have a million ideas for my WCE Blog. So guess what I spent the morning doing! Here are is some of my work: Kiddie Porn, Chinese Obama Election Celebration, Breakfast Hot Dog, Choking on Condoms, Panegyrics for a Double Bacon Burger, and Who Goes With Fergus?
- Tournament Eight is down to its last eight teams. As I type this, I am playing games in the Final Tournament's second group stage. That is, there are two four team groups playing single round robins. The top teams in each group will earn a berth in the tournament championship semifinal. The second and third placed teams will play off for the other two semifinal berths. The winners of the semifinals will play in the tournament championship game on November 17. Currently, the sensation of the tournament is team W, which after losing its first game has gone on a ten unbeaten streak during which they have won a league championship, a wildcard berth in the championship tournament, and its first three match-ups of the championship tournament.
- I walked to the local Tesco grocery store to buy some pineapple beer, bread, and ham. On the way, I see three locals on the grass of the local people's square. One was sleeping, one was contemplating the passing scene, and another was squatting.
- A: What did you do this afternoon? B: Oh! I had a nap on the lawn of the people's square.
- I then took the family e-bike and rode around the area. I took video for a future Scenes from My Life in Wuxi, China as well as photos that you can see here, here, here, here, here and here.
- There is a lot of construction going on in Yanqiao. The road to Yanqiao from my apartment is having several tall buildings erected by it.
- There are some temples, near Jia Zhou Yang Fang, that are built on a hill. The hill has a steep rock face on one side. The rock face, about two years ago, overlooked a pit in which there was a grove of trees near which ran a stream -- it was a pretty scene -- as pretty as you can find in the modern overbuilding China. Now, the trees have been torn down. The grove is now a field for subsistence farming. The stream no longer runs between the rock face and the grove. because of earth-moving, has become a big pile of dirt that now overlooks the pit from the other side. What a shame!
Tuesday (the 13th)
- I don't work.
- I will go downtown and get a haircut if my wife ever gets up. She told me she would get up at 900. It is 947!
- She got up at 1030.
- So we did go downtown by bus, but by a bus route that I hadn't taken before but will take again if the opportunity arrives. This bus takes me past what is known as European street.
- I went downtown to get a haircut and buy underwear. I am feeling almost civilized. Here is the before and the after of my trip to the salon!
- I have my Chinese underwear and my Western underwear. My Chinese underwear is brief and tight. My western underwear is larger and warmer, but very holy and sagging.
- I let Tony play Microsoft Train Simulator on the computer. Big mistake. Tony became whiny because the program was crashing and wasn't doing the things he wanted it to do. He left me with no choice but to turn off the computer. I did this about 730 p.m. Tony complained about this the rest of the evening till he went to sleep at eleven. I chided him for his ingratitude but I don't know if he understood me or not.
- To try to placate Tony, I engage in a bout of play fighting or, your could call it, play wrestling with him. I felt sore and late middle-aged when we were done.
Wednesday (the 14th)
- I work 1300-2100. The question, as I go to work, is whether I will teach at Sempelkamp this evening. They keep cancelling on me. (I don't!)
- I am still sore from my wrestling bout with Tony. I shouldn't have let him kick me ten times in a row.
- Tournament Eight. The Championship Tournament playoff match-ups have been determined. Team K will play Team E; Team ZZ will play Team T. The winner of the first match will play Team W in a one semifinal; the winner of the second match will play Team G in the other. Of the six teams left in tournament Eight, three have previously won tournament championships (E,G,K) and one has made it to the championship game (T which has three previous tournament championship final four appearances)
- I listened a podcast called the Fifth Column. People from foreign cultures in England, said the podcast, have it right when dealing with elderly relatives -- they don't put them in Care Homes like selfish Westerners do. This podcast struck home with me because of the death of my father this year, who spent the last month of his life in a Care Home. I will never get over the guilt I feel because I was in China during his dying days. I was hoping that marrying Jenny and having Tony would grant me some redemption for this shame of mine.
- With the company class cancelled, I instead teach a student named Glinda. I lasted but twenty minutes before bringing up the Wizard of Oz movie. I then had a student named Song. I tried to explain to him the difference between Parliamentary systems like Canada's and America's Republican System.
- The 18th National Congress is finished I learned. Xi Jing Ping is the President. Li Ke Shang or something is the Premier.
- 我 是 加拿大人。 我 太太 是 中国人。 我们的 孩子 是 五 岁。 他的 名字 是 Tony. I can make some simple Chinese sentences.
- 我 很 喜欢 和 啤酒。
Thursday (the 15th)
- I work 1000-2100. 我 有 五 个 课。
- 1000 class. I have an indifferent student, more interested in going to the gym than going to class. This is the kind of student you can only entertain while despising all the while.
- On the bus trip to work, I stand and so I listen to a learn Chinese podcast. I understand a few words here and there, but there were stages where I understood nothing. All the work I have done and I still can't understand any conversations.
- Weather: Sunny. Mood: Ah! (I take a deep breath!) I would say it is prideful. That is, I feel some adrenalin and in my mind I am going to something big....
- I have a lot of free time. I will spend a hour studying Chinese flashcards.
- Lunchtime, I went for a walk around Nanchang Temple. I need some exercise I told myself. I looked around for books about Ultraman or trains for my son Tony. I didn't find anything satisfying. I did buy a truck driver simulator game on DVD for him. All the while as I wandered, I listened to a podcast about Glen Gould -- his was interesting for his eccentricity -- to bad he had to become hooked on drugs by the end of his life. A great Canadian nonetheless.
- Tournament Eight. Team K defeats Team E 7-4. Team K will play Team W in a Championship semifinal game. It is Team K's second final four appearance. Team K won the Tournament Six championship.
- Tournament Eight. Team ZZ defeats Team T 10-2. Team ZZ will play Team G in a Championship semifinal game. It is Team ZZ's first ever trip to the final four.
Friday (the 16th)
- I work 1100-2100
- It is an overcast day.
- Change in my podcast listening habits. I don't listen so much to political podcasts. I am a stranger in strange land both in China and the West.
- Tournament Eight Championship Semifinals: Team ZZ defeats Team G 4-1; Team W defeats Team K 3-2. They will meet in Saturday's Tournament Championship Game. I had been hoping for Team G and Team K to win. Oh well.
- It cold & damp outside. I am staying in my office.
- I didn't get home till 2300! Normally, I am home at 1015 when I work on a weeknight. On Wednesday & Thursday, I had just been getting to a stop on time to catch a #635 that would take me home - to get to this #635 stop, I have to catch another bus near my school. Tonight (Friday), the timing was all wrong. At the first stop, I had to wait a longer-than-usual amount of time for my first bus. I knew I then that I was not going to catch the early #635 -- when I got to the #635 stop, I waited for about forty minutes. So there I was at ten o'clock, still downtown. The #635 I was hoping to catch was already near my Casa Kaulins..
Saturday (the 17th)
- I work 1000-1800.
- The weather: sunny & cool.
- My mood: I had an adrenalin high in the morning and I was determined to find my depressive urges.
- Tournament Eight. Team W beat Team ZZ 4-2 to win the Tournament Eight Championship. Team W took a 3-0 lead before Team ZZ cut it to one point. But an insurance point and no more scoring by Team ZZ saw Team W put the crowning touch on a remarkable tournament performance -- Team W finished with a record of 12-1-1 and also won its league's championship -- the first team to accomplish this tournament feat since team G won its league and then the tourney championship in Tournament Two. Team ZZ, made it to the tournament championship game despite having a 5-4-1 record.
- We were having a nice dinner at a restaurant in the Hui Shan Century Times Plaza until Tony hurt himself and got a black eye. He and another boy were playing Ultraman. Tony foolishly decided to do a kung fu kick in the direction of the boy. Jenny & I scolded him for doing this, but he then retreated and tripped so that his face went smack dab into a chair's corner edge. We went to the hospital. despite my and Tony's insistence that it wasn't necessary. The doctor told Jenny to put ice on the bruise --something I had told her do when we were back the restaurant.
- The whole incident served me right. I was going to make a point of how the Chinese tolerate children in restaurant. Under the circumstances, that plan had to be abandoned. Which was just as well as I was not so much trying to show the Chinese in a good light, as to score a point in a personal argument I am having.
- Be that as it may, after Tony's accident, the other patrons were all quite concerned, and several came to our assistance. The little boy, who had been play-fighting with Tony, made a nice little gesture of coming over to Tony and expressing his concern. Thinking he might have been apologizing, I told him there was nothing for him to worry about -- it wasn't his fault. This seemed to please the nearby patrons as well.
- One thing was annoying however. The restaurant had no ice.
Sunday (the 18th)
- I work 1000-1800.
- It is bring Tony to work day -- Jenny has come to the school to attend a lecture. This imposes on my routine and makes it hard for me to concentrate.
- A lot of people asked me about how Tony got his black eye. He looked like Sylvester Stallone at the end of the first Rocky movie.
- The students are not at all excited by their country's change of leadership.
- Why is it that the same day, I tell myself to not lose my temper, I lost my temper. All I can say is that I never tell myself to not lose my temper with Tony and so I don't lose my temper with Tony except when it is that I do. Capeche?
- Tournament Eight fallout: Who had the greater tournament performance? Team W in tourney eight with its 12-1-1 record or Team G in tourney two with its 10-0-1 record? Team G won its group, its league and the tournament championship, and didn't lose a game. Team W lost a game and didn't win its group; but it went on a 13 game unbeaten streak after losing its first game, and had an 11 game winning streak after having had a draw in its third game.
- Tony got a haircut in the evening. I didn't like it, not even one bit. I think it was uglier than his black eye.
- I can't get my VPN to work on either of my laptops. Damn the Chicoms!