Sunday, January 27, 2013

Blog Entry for January 21 to January 27, 2013

Gratitude: I am thankful for having a wife and son.
Acknowledgment: What do I have to acknowledge this week? Actually, it would be easier to not acknowledge anything. That is, what is a good thing I have done? I held the door open and let the woman go first -- a very reactionary thing to do in this day and age... But what I have really done wrong? Oh! Where to start? Where to start? Where to start? I got cavities. I don't floss....
Request: Pick a team to cheer for in Tournament #9. On Monday the 28th, it will be eight months since my father died. Please visit the page I have dedicated to him. I would like to make it the most visited page on my site.

Highlights of the week: I have discovered that people read my blog. I started to play Tournament #9. The school had its annual Chinese New Year dinner. I wore a cardigan my parents sent me a few years ago and wondered why I hadn't worn it more often. I was also adjusting to life with the Ipad Mini. The week ends with the mouse on my laptop going to shit.

What AKIC Is Reading this Week

Quotes AKIC likes
  • Thomas à Kempis: No man safely goeth abroad who loveth not to rest at home. No man safely talketh but he who loveth to hold his peace. No man safely ruleth but he who loveth to be subject. No man safely commandeth but he who loveth to obey.
  • Samuel Johnson (to the actor David Garrick): I'll come no more behind your scenes, David, for the silk stockings and white bosoms of your actresses excite my amourous propensities.

Don Colacho Quotes that AKIC likes this week
  • 635: A man is wise if he has no ambitions for anything but lives as if he had an ambition for everything.
  • 640: As poor and needy as it may be, every life has moments worthy of eternity.
  • 663: A Man is intelligent only if he is not afraid to agree with fools.
  • 665: Everybody feels superior to what he does, because he believes he is superior to what he is. Nobody believes he is the little that he really is.
  • 707:The struggle against disorder is nobler than order itself. The man who is master of himself is not as magnanimous as the man who suppresses the insurrection of his soul. The deepest silence is that of a terrified crowd.

Monday (the 21th)
  • It was painful for me to edit last week's blog entry yesterday evening. I couldn't go through the entire 10 pages of text without having to change or correct something. After five re-reads, I said "f*** it!" and published it. I will have to do more editing on a daily basis.
  • I didn't work today.
  • The water shortage didn't happen. So, I filled the tubs with water for no reason.
  • It rained so the K family stayed in the house.
  • I added some apps to my new Ipad Mini including a handwriting app, a mah jong app, a piano app, a spreadsheet app, a Yatzy app, and a NFL football app. I will quickly delete the mah jong app -- I am looking to play against three other computer players, not solve puzzles. I will also delete the NFL app -- I want to have two teams play a game, not do cumbersome drills.
  • The handwriting app makes me want to get a stylus. Jenny says there are some in the house but I doubt I will find them. Perhaps, the Apple store sells them.
  • My father loved playing Yatzhee.
  • I made a spreadsheet to calculate and make standings for Tournament #9. I have the spreadsheet set up so that I can enter games scores and get total wins, losses, ties, points for, points against, and standing points for each team. However, I don't know how to get the spreadsheet to sort the teams, by standing points, automatically. Once I get the game results, I have to cut, paste, and sort the numbers manually.
  • Farting around some more with the spreadsheets, I have discovered that I will be able to post the standings at AKIC wordpress, though not as date files but as picture files.

Tuesday (the 22nd)
  • I work 1300 to 2100.
  • Before work, I looked for a stylus for my Ipad. No luck. There was nothing at the Apple vendor. The stylus for the Samsung won't work on the Ipad. I then researched on the Internet and learned that if I want a stylus for handwriting on the Ipad, I am SOL. Apparently, none of the styluses designed for the Ipad are any good for writing.
  • At 100 PM, I will have a class with a girl named Cassie. When I hear the name Cassie, I imagine a perky twenty year old girl, with long hair, who is wearing jeans and a patterned shirt.
  • 200 PM: The girl looked like a Cassie. She was a first student at Shanghai University -- currently on her Spring Festival break.
  • 500 PM: Workers came into my office to replace that wallpaper that had been slowly peeling off the wall. It took them an hour and so my routine was buggered.
  • I don't have much to say other then my 300 PM class went well. The topic was multiculturalism and the students were very opinionated. One student Wang was vocally dismissive of Chairman Mao and the Chinese government. His opinions shocked and amused the other students. I have to say that the way he expressed his opinions, he did come across as a crank -- even if I agreed with him.
  • The class was also notable because I had two students named Paris and Helen. When taking attendance, the two students names came up consecutively. That is, I first noted Helen's presence and then Paris's. I asked Paris if she had seen the movie Troy. It turned out that she was familiar with the story and told me that she had a classmate who gave himself the English name of Achilles.
  • 1043 PM: I took out my back yesterday when I lifted Tony. I didn't feel the effects until today. It is hard for me to bend over -- I'd be of no use to anyone in prison.
  • There is one thing that can be said for the locals way of getting on buses -- the way is to jostle and elbow your way onto the bus before others so one can get a seat: If there is a pretty girl getting on the bus at the same time you can crowd into her.... But, I am married, so I am just putting that forth as a proposition to others, not a proposal to myself.

Wednesday (the 23rd)
  • I work 1300-2100 today.
  • I am still stiff. I stand up for twenty minutes morning and I will ache on my right side. Taking a shower, I had a hard time standing up straight.
  • I have got a proper VPN on my laptop again! Thanks to Mister Rudkin who is the eleventh greatest Englishman of all-time.
  • On the bus to work, I saw a young man wearing a jacket with a wide fur collar -- it didn't look right to me. He was surely wearing a female's jacket. He looked like a Shirley wearing a female's jacket.
  • While on the bus, I was so absorbed in my Chinese textbook that I missed my stop. So, forced to get off later than planned, I decided to walk through the downtown to get to my school, stopping off at a the Subway in the basement of Parkson's. Passing through Chongan Market, I wanted to get some photos to convey the looming quality of the skyscrapers being constructed in the area -- however, I was walking towards the sun.
  • Paying for a sandwich at Subway is annoying. What they do is give you an invoice for the sandwich which you have to take to a cashier's desk to pay. Today, the cashier's desk had a long lineup, and it being Wuxi, I couldn't determine where the lineup began and where ended. Meanwhile, there had been no lineup at the Subway to have my sandwich made.
  • English Schools in Wuxi are not allowed to employ part-time foreign teachers, but they do. I have heard that the government is cracking down on the practice. Inspectors will be visiting schools to make sure no part-timers are on the premises.
  • 507 PM: The first toss of Tournament #9, which was taken by Team Al of Group 1A, was a tail. Team A1 won the match defeating Team D 2-0.
  • In the day's second match, also in Group 1A, Team B defeated Team C 4-2.

Thursday (the 24th)
  • I work 1000 to 2100 today.
  • Last night, the bus, I was taking home, got caught in a traffic jam -- a strange thing at 920 PM, even for Wuxi. The reason? Roadwork. In Wuxi, they will work around the clock.
  • While on the bus, I listened to ReJoyce Podcast episodes #125 and #126. It looks like my prediction that I would be caught up to Frank Delaney who recently recorded episode #136 will come true.
  • This morning, the double decker bus was crowded. I went upstairs to see that all the seats were occupied. However, an old man saw me and he shuffled to the window seat so I could sit down beside him. Don't let them tell you that the locals are ill-mannered bores when on buses.
  • Last night, the wife ordered some styluses for Ipads and Iphones on taobao -- the big online shopping site in China. I have made taobao into a verb for the students -- Do you taobao? I ask them.
  • Here is a message for my top-secret CIA operatives working in China. Stund! Stund! Abort! The Chinese watch shipment won't be ready till midnight on Saturday at the usual secret meeting place.
  • I solved my Tournament #9 standings sorting problem! The solution was to create a macro which was very easy to do.
  • 230 PM: I have just listened to ReJoyce Podcast Episode #127. Blue is the color of depression.

Friday (the 25th)
  • I work 1100-2100.
  • Satisfying moment: This morning, I was crossing the street at an intersection. The pedestrian signal was in my favour. But in front of me, two cars were about to make right turns and thus cross my path. The first car, without coming to a stop and instead probably accelerating, was able to turn in front of me, cutting it a little too close so that I felt a spasm of anger. The second car, then tried to do what the first car did, but I didn't yield any ground and so I made the second driver come to a full stop. I tried to look the driver in the eye -- I noticed he had an annoyed look. Priceless!
  • I learned that the assassin of Leon Trotsky was in Mexico City on a Canadian passport. An interesting fact to me. No humane person could shed tears for Trotsky -- he was a Bolshevik murdering son-of-a-bitch. It is too bad that the murder was Stalin's responsibility. Of course, if there was somehow a way that Canada that took take credit, it really wouldn't have made much difference -- Trotsky was a loser at the time of his death. Still, it is good to see Canada played in killing one Bolshevik.
  • Friday morning traffic, on the bridge crossing a big canal near Casa Kaulins, was at a standstill.
  • An idea for my Chinese study. Since I am not going to bother to learn to write Chinese characters, I am thinking I should practice typing them so I can memorize them better than I have been.
  • Photocopy a page from the textbook, and then practice typing it on the computer.
  • Here is some Chinese typing for you: 我的 学校 是 坏亚国际英语。
  • I listened to episode #128 of the ReJoyce Podcast.
  • Dinner at Subway: the Healthy Option?

Saturday (the 26th)
  • Funny how Tony is happy to see me when Mom is making him do his homework.
  • I work 1000-1700 today. Our Chinese New Year slash Spring Festival dinner will start at 1730. It is in the building near the fountain which is on Zhongshan Road near Houxixi Street.
  • As I was approaching the bus stop, I saw a woman doing high leg kicks. She could raise her foot over her shoulders. I wanted to get closer to see what the woman looked like. Perhaps, she was very pretty. But getting to the bus stop, I saw a dour & sour middle-aged face.
  • Fifteen minutes into class, I had this need to phone Tony and make sure he was alright. This premonition I had filled me with anguish.
  • I phoned home as soon as the class was over and he was alright.

Sunday (the 27th)
  • Dammit! I went over thirty hours without doing any work on my weekly blog entry.
  • Oh yeah! I don't work today.
  • 820 PM: Why have I been away from this blog entry for thirty hours? Last night, I went to the school's annual Chinese New Year dinner. That took up the evening and then I felt like crap when I got home and I felt crappy in the morning as well. And then we had visitors in the afternoon. This friends of Jenny's had two kids including a two year-old boy who had to get into everything... And he peed on Tony's Tomy Plarail track! Uggh.
  • It was my 8th or 9th CNY dinner. Tony had a good time -- he ran around and took some photos of the performances which included two children playing musical instruments and Gangnum Style dancing.
  • The only good thing about today's visitation was that I got to eat potatoes and sweet potato balls at one of my favorite in-the-area restaurants.
  • I spend my Sunday evening having trouble with the mouse on my laptop. It ruined my trying to recreate the sorting macro for my Tournament #9.
  • I have finished play in the first group of Tournament #9. Here are the results.

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