Sunday, February 24, 2013

Blog Entry for February 18 to February 24, 2012

Gratitude: Reading the history of Mao's Famine & the history of the Conquest of Peru, I realize that I should be very thankful for the circumstances I have had in my life. I haven't been the victim of bestial cruelty and greed and famine. I was born in a civilized country.

Acknowledgment: I haven't made the best of the circumstances that I have been so fortunate to have. Still, to quote Doctor Johnson, it is rather to be wondered at that I have so much.

Request: If you are interested at all in Wuxi history, you will have the China History Podcast #111 very interesting. So I request you listen to it.

The AKIC Week in Brief: It was a slow news week, apparently. It was also a slow week in my life. I went back to work and not much of note happened. There was a heavy snow on Tuesday, but it quickly melted away by Thursday.

What AKIC Is Reading this Week

  • Don Colacho's Aphorisms: there are 2,988 of them in this book that I compiled myself. I read ten aphorisms at a time. I cut and paste the better ones � they are all profound actually � and I put them in my weekly blog entry.

  • The Life of Johnson by Boswell. This is the third time I am reading the biography. Why? I remember a used bookshop seller asking me when I bought the book. It was like the time someone asked me how old I was when I told him I was a Sinatra fan. Some people just don't understand. It is good to be different � way different � from the people around you and the time in which they are living.

  • Ulysses by James Joyce I am following along with Frank Delaney as he slowly goes through Joyce's modernist novel. Delaney is making the novel more understandable and enjoyable. Delaney figures he will do his last ReJoyce Podcast in 22 years. Now that I have caught up to Delaney's podcast, I am getting ahead him as far as reading the book. I will be finished it, I figure, in the year.

  • The Holy Bible King James Version. The Gospel According to Saint Matthew. I have been reading the book, all the while � the KJV that is.

  • The White Company by Arthur Conan Doyle. I was reading this adventure set in the Middle Ages till My Ipad decided to lose all my book collection. (see Sunday the 17th) I realized on Saturday, that I hadn't been reading it. That's what's happen when you try to read eight books on the trot.)

  • History of the Conquest of Peru; with a preliminary view of the civilization of the Incas by William Hickling Prescott. I am really enjoying reading this history. How could a rag-tag bunch of Spaniards conquer an empire? It boggles the mind as one reads.

  • Liberal Fascism by Jonah Goldberg. I finally got my hands on a copy of the e-book! Except for the fact that they don't want to kill Jews and eschew violence, the modern Liberal agrees with pretty much everything that the Fascists and Nazis of the 1930s stood for. I find reading the book boring however. The story of how modern Liberalism became so annoying and anti-truth is depressing reading.

  • Mao's Great Famine by Frank Dikotter: I am in China so I should be reading something about China. What a bastard was what's-his-nuts!

This Week's Don Colacho Quotes

  • 1137 Social problems are the favorite refuge of those fleeing their own problems.

  • 1140 The only man who thanks life for what it gives him is the man who does not expect everything from life.

  • 1196 Boredom is the antonym of solitude.

Quotes from Doctor Johnson

  • There is nothing more likely to betray a man into absurdity than CONDESCENSION; when he seems to suppose his understanding too powerful for his company.

  • It is rather to be wondered at that I have so much. Johnson said this when asked if he felt that he shouldn't had more than he did considering the eminence he had achieved in his life. I can say this about my life but for the opposite reasons.

Monday (the 18th)

  • I didn't work today.

  • It was raining and very cold and very damp so I just stayed in Casa Kaulins all day.

  • The only productive thing I did do was finish last week's blog entry.

  • Beside that, I had another day of reading e-books.

  • Beside that, my son Tony had me set up his train set.

  • Bust my buttons! Tony can eat using chopsticks.

Tuesday (the 19th)

  • It snowed last night. A big dump of it. My wife told me that the snow was accompanied by thunder which would have been very strange.

  • The snow is melting quickly however. I will be teaching the students the meaning of the word slush.

  • The slush for me meant I had to make a decision about footwear. I choose to wear my pair of crappy shoes � one of which had a hole in the sole and wreck them further in the slush than risk ruining my nice new shoes.

  • I work 1300-2100 today.

  • I am not in the swing of things. The snow so put me off my routine that I didn't read my Chinese textbook on the bus.

Wednesday (the 20th)

  • I work 1300 to 2100 today.

  • Last night, I taught a VIP student from Malaysia. Very interesting guy I thought. He told me he grew up in what started as a Maoist-style commune in Malaysia. His parents told him that they hated living in a commune. For meals, one had to go to a canteen and get a bowl of rice or porridge, and there was no freedom....

  • I spent about an hour this morning uploading and installing IOS updates to my Ipad and Ipod.

  • Yesterday, as I was saying, was the Great Wuxi, China Dump of 2013. I took a lot of photos and videos using my Ipod, Ipad, and Nikon Coolpix. Here are the links to the photos I took with the Ipad: one, two. Here are the links to the photos I took with the Ipod: one, two. Here are the links to the photos I took with the Nikon: one, two, three.

  • Most of the Great Dump's snow has melted.

  • I can say that I am slowly getting back into the swing of things. I read my Chinese textbook on the bus (using my Ipad I might add!). I am studying Chinese at work using Yellowbridge flashcards.

Thursday (the 21st)

  • I work 1000-2100 today.

  • I listened to the China History Podcast #111 last evening on my bus ride back home. (I should note that I was particularly aggressive getting on the #635. I don't mean I shoved someone but I made sure that I got myself at the front of the line getting on the bus � this was more a question of getting in the right spot before others.)

Friday (the 22nd)

  • I work 1100-2100 today.

  • Yesterday, I spend a lot of time in the office studying Chinese. One of the other trainers commented that he hadn't seen me all day. I have a lot of days like that.

  • 我很喜欢学中文的词!

  • Yesterday evening, I had a class with my student from Malaysia. I asked him what he knew about Canada. He told me he knew Canada was a commonwealth country. He thought its favorite sport was skiing. He didn't know any famous Canadians. My knowledge of Malaysia was just as bad. I can't think of any famous Malays.

  • The fact that the students don't know much about Canada amuses me. I hate Canadian nationalism. It makes a conscious effort to be like America while at the same time despising America. It wants to be Canada to as proud of itself as America is. I suppose it also wants to be as well-known. Well, the world doesn't give a damn about Canada.

  • Yesterday in Tournament #9, I completed play in group 2B. What is tournament #9? It is a competition I have created with imaginary teams. The results of the matches between these teams are based on the results of coin tosses. I have been playing this thing since I was an adolescent.

  • I also took three photos, using my Ipad Mini, from school. Here they are: one, two, three. If you look, you will see that two skyscrapers are being added to the Wuxi skyline.

Saturday (the 23rd)

  • I work 1000-1800 today.

  • I downloaded and then listened to the latest John Derbyshire Podcast. He was saying he didn't have much to talk about this week. I know what he means. I haven't had much to blog about.

  • Lucky me. I suppose. My VIP student didn't come in. He had booked two morning classes and so I have two free hours, more or less. I have chosen to spend the time on Chinese typing practice. For you, my rare and far and in-between readers, I will provide you a sample of my work: 中国的首都是北京。Here is the pinyinzhongguode shoudu shi beijingThe English: China's capital is Bejing. Typing Chinese characters is easy. The programs to do this are quite helpful and are predictive. If you can't be bothered to learn to write Chinese, I would recommend learning to type it. It does aid your pinyin and Chinese character knowledge since typing them out is like writing them and is an aid to memory.

  • I had a class with students named Alex and Sally. "When Alex meet Sally!" I joked.

  • I had a student who worked in the HR department of an American company that makes cranes � the kind of cranes I can see everywhere in Wuxi on top of buildings under construction. (The cranes with tracks are called crawling cranes the student told me) I had to ask her how the heck they get the cranes on tops of the buildings. She told me that they drill a hole in the ground to begin with, and as the building increases in height, hydraulics push the crane upwards.

  • On Friday night, Tony played with the Microsoft Train Simulator.

  • I took some photos, of bike stalls and the downtown Wuxi skyline, on my way home from work today.

  • Spent the evening at home.

Sunday (the 24th)

Sunday, February 17, 2013

Blog Entry for February 11 to February 17, 2013

Gratitude: I cannot think of anything specific that I should be thankful for. I suppose I should be thankful for the usual things: life, my wife, and my son.

Acknowledgment: I am turning into a boring person. Perhaps, I have always been a boring person and I shouldn't say I am turning into one. I only admit this because it has really struck me so this week.

Request: I have nothing to ask for this week. I have demands for myself, and I can't ask anyone else to do anything these for me.

The AKIC Week in Brief: Not much to say for myself during the week of the Spring Festival holiday and the historic resignation of a Pope. I stayed in Wuxi. I didn't go to my wife's home village. I read a lot of books on my Ipad when Tony would let me. I didn't do much writing. In fact, I had a very lazy week. I didn't get out of the apartment much and I found on many nights, while I was on one of my electronic devices, that I would be startled by noticing how late it was. Last night, for instance, I was reading until two a.m.

What AKIC Is Reading this Week

  • Don Colacho's Aphorisms: there are 2,988 of them in this book that I compiled myself. I read ten aphorisms at a time. I cut and paste the better ones – they are all profound actually – and I put them in my weekly blog entry.

  • The Life of Johnson by Boswell. I love to read about Johnson spouting his opinions and thoughts – many of which are memorable like the following: If (said he,) I had no duties, and no reference to futurity, I would spend my life in driving briskly in a post-chaise with a pretty woman; but she should be one who could understand me, and would add something to the conversation. I have cut-and-pasted a few more passages from the biography below.

  • Ulysses by James Joyce I am following along with Frank Delaney as he slowly goes through Joyce's modernist novel. Delaney is making the novel more understandable and enjoyable. Delaney figures he will do his last ReJoyce Podcast in 22 years. It has been serving as a counterweight to the Catholic works I have been reading.

  • The White Company by Arthur Conan Doyle. An adventure set in Medieval Europe. A young monk, a rebellious monastery reject, and a soldier-of-adventure team up and join the White Company. There is more to Arthur Conan Doyle than Sherlock Holmes.

  • History of the Conquest of Peru; with a preliminary view of the civilization of the Incas by William Hickling Prescott. I am really enjoying reading this history. How could a rag-tag bunch of Spaniards conquer an empire? It boggles the mind as one reads.

  • Liberal Fascism by Jonah Goldberg. I finally got my hands on a copy of the e-book! Except for the fact that they don't want to kill Jews and eschew violence, the modern Liberal agrees with pretty much everything that the Fascists and Nazis of the 1930s stood for.

  • Ancient Rome : from the earliest times down to 476 A. D. by Robert F. Pennell: Finished. A nice concise overview of Roman History. If the author was alive today, I am sure Cole's Notes would have employed him. At the end of this book, there are sample exam questions which I find very intimidating. Maybe there should be exam questions at the end of all books. It would encourage readers to read more attentively, and maybe even encourage them to read the book again.

  • Mao's Great Famine by Frank Dikotter: From 1958 to 1962, China was a Hell because of insane economic policies. The period isn't talked about much (here) and reading this book, I think of all I have seen in Wuxi in a different light. Why is it that I don't seem to live in a place that is supposed to have thousands of years of history? How is it that anything built here can be so easily flattened and replaced by something new? Why is it that the ancient town near Xihui Park seemed so phony? Simply put, so much of China's past was destroyed in a revolutionary zeal during my lifetime, and this zeal to change carries on.

This Week's Don Colacho Quotes

I will say it again. He is turning me into a reactionary!

  • 998 Certain things are interesting only when lived, others only when imagined.

  • 1035 The imagination is the only place in the world where one can dwell.

  • 1051 A life that has been lived to the fullest is one which delivers to the grave, after long years, an adolescent whom life did not corrupt. My adolescence was my undoing in my life. I have spent my adult life trying to forget what I was like when I was an adolescent. And yet everything that I was when I was an adolescent, I am still now. And I as think about how I am becoming old, I am becoming more comfortable with being that adolescent.

  • 1054 Observing life is too interesting to waste time living it.

  • 1055 The cultivated man is not someone who walks around loaded with answers, but who is capable of asking questions. My way to lesson plan is to make lists and lists of questions. So, there is something that I can say for myself.

  • 1076 To search for the "truth outside of time" is the way to find the "truth of our time."
    Whoever searches for the "truth of his time" finds the clichés of the day.
    This is why I label myself conservative or reactionary. This is why I like the Pope. This is why I hate the Obamas of the world.

  • 1079 The appearance of nationalism in any nation indicates that its originality is in its death throes. I think that I have cut-and-pasted this quote before. It applies to Canada where we no longer celebrate Dominion Day but Canada Day.

Interesting Quotes

  • Nicholas Farrell: Think about it: Who better to tell white liberal lefties to fuck off than a black pope? I hope that the next Pope is Catholic and not Protestant as many Lefties are demanding.

  • Doctor Johnson & Boswell: JOHNSON: He, who would bring home the wealth of the Indies, must carry the wealth of the Indies with him." So it is in travelling; a man must carry knowledge with him, if he would bring home knowledge.' BOSWELL. 'The proverb, I suppose, Sir, means, he must carry a large stock with him to trade with.' JOHNSON. 'Yes, Sir.' On this score, I came to China poor. Not as poor as others I will add, but certainly poorer than someone like Doctor Johnson

  • Doctor Johnson & Joshua Reynolds: JOHNSON. 'Sir, this is only saying the same thing over again.' SIR JOSHUA. 'No, this is new.' JOHNSON. 'You put it in new words, but it is an old thought. This is one of the disadvantages of wine. It makes a man mistake words for thoughts.'

Monday (the 11th)

  • I don't work today. It is the third day of my seven day CNY holiday.

  • It was a do-nothing day. I stayed in bed and read for two hours in the morning. Normally, I would have gotten up but I realized if I had done so, I would have earned my wife's wrath because I wasn't planning on doing any housework. So, I stayed in bed and didn't get into any trouble.

  • When we did get up, Tony was wanting cheese cake and I was wanting to get out of the house. The wife suggested that we go downtown to buy cheese cake at the 85 degree bakery. We did and I took this photo from the bus. I showed the photo to my wife and she told me that they were in fact selling boiled pears.

  • In tournament #9, I finished play in Group 1D. So, I am halfway through the group stage of the tournament. With all four groups (five teams in each group) of League 1 finished play, I will now play through the four groups of League 2. Then, I will play the two league championship playoffs. Once they are completed, I will play the 16-team Tournament Championship.

  • I should have taken a photo. I saw a local fellow with one of these mohawk-like haircuts on the bus. I say mohawk-like because really the fellow's hair was long except around the temples which were shaved. This wouldn't have been so bad to my sensibilities if he hadn't worn, what I thought was, a preposterous all-white outfit which included white jeans and a white fur coat that looked like it was meant to be worn by females. The coat was fur-covered except for the sleeves and had a fur-lined hood.

Tuesday (the 12th)

  • How did I learn the Pope resigned? From National Review's Morning Jolt. Of course, I was surprised and immediately started surfing the Internet for reaction. I was most eager to hear what David Warren had to say. And he gave the best line: "Lord, do not send us the Pope we deserve."

  • I liked this Pope. I am sorry to see him go. I liked Benedict as soon as I heard the usual Catholic haters moan his election. The same ones wanted make hay of his having been in the Hitler youth. Like, he was still a Nazi or something! How the experience shaped his faith seemed to be completely beyond their understanding. Anyway, he was a stick-in-the-mud, staunchly conservative, and a reformer. He willing to adapt to what was good about modernity while at the same pointing out what was terribly wrong about it. I pray that the next Pope is of the same mold.

  • We stuck around the apartment for the fourth day in the row. I read a lot. Tony watched Youtube videos on my laptop.

  • In Tournament #9, I started play in Group A (or Group 2A).

  • I looked out the window towards the other apartments in the complex. They were so dark, I thought that there surely must have been a power failure. Jenny assured me that all the people weren't home and had left the California Villa complex for the holiday.

Wednesday (the 13th)

  • The holiday continues.

  • We will get out of the house today. We will meet a couple, a Brit and a Wuxi girl, downtown at the Grandma's restaurant in Ba Bai Ban, for lunch. Paul, as I like to say, is the eleventh greatest Englishman of all time behind such great ones as Shakespeare, Dickens, Thatcher, Waugh, and Churchill.

  • I have got Cormac McCarthy on my e-book reader! So many e-books! So little time!

  • I now classify myself as a teleologicalist and a reactionary.

Thursday (the 14th)

  • The holiday goes on....

  • I may get out of the house again.

  • Wednesday was the busiest day of the holiday for us. We met Paul & Lilly at the Ba Bai Ban Grandma's where we had a wonderful repast. We then proceeded to a teahouse that was near and across the street from the street where Gigi's was once located. The teahouse, which was well-appointed, was also down the street from the former locations of Ronnie's Pub & the old Homemart. We got a tiny private room, and drank tea and ate all sorts of delicious snacks all afternoon. Paul put a VPN on my Ipad and Jenny's Ipad; and straightened out my Apple ID problem – I should have just gotten my own Apple ID to begin with. Paul is a repository of Tech knowledge, the 11th greatest Englishman of all-time, and a drinker of Crown Royal. An enjoyable time was had by all.

  • About six pm Wednesday, the K family returned to Hui Shan. Tony had a hankering for some KFC, and so I took him. Afterward, we walked through the Hui Shan People's Square and took photos in front of the Year of the Snake display that was there.

  • Thursday, the K family slept in. I was up early because I had coffee with Hui Shan Michael – a businessman who lives near the Hui Shan Times Century Plaza. He gave me a good low down on Wuxi history. Wuxi's importance comes from it being near the Grand Canal and Lake Taihu. Consequently, Wuxi, said M, was a shipping & receiving point for a great deal of important commodities because of its location. M had many interesting things to tell me about current affairs as well. His feeling about the economy is that it will improve next year – he tells me he has been getting more orders recently. He told me about a businessman living in Phoenix, Arizona who had his sick 85 year old mother airlifted to the USA for medical treatment. The businessman, who moved from Canada because of high taxes, didn't want to deal with the Canadian medical system which was just another NHS.

  • I talked for M for two hours. I then had to do some shopping at Tesco – we had had coffee at a nearby "western" restaurant. At the Tesco, I had an experience which I swear had never before had happen to me while in a supermarket in China – I saw a cashier not serving customers. I was looking for the shortest line to pay for my groceries when I saw a clerk sitting behind a cash register. That I even noticed her was something of a miracle for, as I said, I had been looking for the shortest line – a cashier not serving any customers was beyond my wildest imaginings. When I saw the clerk, I looked to see if a barrier, used to tell customers the register was out of service, was up. It wasn't. And it was still with trepidation, bordering on slap-myself-in-the-side-of-the-head disbelief that I approached the cashier, and got served. It was so remarkable, I thought, that I told my wife about it, as well as YOU my far-and-in-between readers.

  • If you don't mind, I have made myself a Crown Royal & Coke. I have been accused of reveling in drunken behavior because I like to make entries like this. I have one beer on a day I don't work.

  • I am trying to get Tony to do some homework. He is incapable of sitting down and copying out some numbers. He writes one number out, stands up and runs around for ten minutes while asking Mom & Dad all sorts of stupid and repetitive questions, before he is finally coaxed to sit down and can write out one or two numbers and demonstrate yet again that he is incapable of sitting down and concentrating on something other than a computer video.

Friday (the 15th)

  • Last day of my holiday.

  • I slept in.

  • I tried to get some video files to play on my television with no luck. I think I know what I can do now that I have talked to my Shanghai tech source.

  • In the afternoon, Tony and I took the bus to the new "ancient" town near Xi Hui Park. I took a lot of photos which you can see here.

  • Tony's behavior was annoying. He only wanted to play the Ipad or with the Ipod. He wasn't the least bit interested in looking at the sights, until we actually got to one. Then, he was kept asking me to buy him a toy which I didn't do because HE HAD ENOUGH TOYS ALREADY! His most appalling act was his wanting to play with the Ipad while we were in the front seat of the #81 Double Decker bus.

  • I took photos of Tony at some bus stops.

  • In the evening, we had a Facetime conversation with my Tech Source, the eleventh greatest Englishman of all-time, who was in Shanghai.

Saturday (the 16th)

  • I work today 1000 to 1800.

  • It was a miracle that I got up in time to get to work. I was lingering in bed in the morning when all-of-a-sudden I realized I had to go to work. After exclaiming shit! I checked my watch to see I had overslept but that if I quickly got ready, I would at work on time with plenty of time to prep for classes.

  • I got an email from Laslzo Montgomery, host of the China History Podcast. He tells me he will be doing a podcast about the Wu Kingdom. He will make mention of Wuxi he tells me.

  • Jacko, a student, went to Hong Kong for the Spring Festival so he could buy his fiancee a diamond ring. The students who are nurses were working during the holiday.

  • Most of the students, like me, were lazy and played with their electronic devices.

  • On the way home from school, I saw about four foreigners in quick succession. They weren't together. They were just by themselves, but I saw them in a space of four minutes – very unusual in Wuxi.

  • Tournament #9: I finished play in Group 2A.

Sunday (the 17th)

  • No work today. I think it is going to be a lazy day.

  • I look out the window and don't like what I see.

  • Last night, Tony & I watched the Wizard of Oz on the Ipad.

  • These torrents are taking up too much of my time. I have no time to read all the books I have downloaded.

  • The books on my Ipad all disappeared! There I was, minding my own business, when the pages in the e-book, I was reading, started breaking up – it is the best way I can describe it. I shut the book I was reading at the time and opened another, and the same thing happened. So, clearly there was a software problem and not a corrupt book file to blame. I rebooted the Ipad, and the problem didn't go away. I then noticed that all the books in my collections had disappeared! I had to sync the Ipad with the Itunes program on my laptop to get the books back. It could well be that I have too many books on the Ipad, and I should delete some. But searching on the Internet, I discovered the problem has happened to many another Ibook user. Perhaps, I should use another e-reader app. Perhaps, I should stop playing around with torrents.

  • I also wasted time because I had inadvertently downloaded some browser-kidnapping software. I had to spend an hour looking through browser preferences and program files to stop the bad effects that the program was having on my browser. And yet the .exe file for the software can't be deleted!

  • There will be a van to take Tony to school again! Jenny says the school probably had to give hongbao (a red bag full of money) to the government.

Sunday, February 10, 2013

Blog Entry for February 4 to February 10, 2013

Gratitude: I am thankful, this week, to be living in China during the Spring Festival and thus having a week off. I am also thankful for discovering torrents.
Acknowledgment: The holiday will see me far too idle and far too indulgent of my son Tony who goes to bed too late and sleeps in till midnight.
Request: Please watch this video. It took me thirty hours to upload it. It will take you but five minutes to watch it.

The Week in Brief
Jenny tells me that we won't be able to do much during the Spring Festival holiday because we don't have any money. So when I haven't been on the way to work or at work, I have been staying in Casa K playing on the computer where there is more than enough things to keep me occupied.

What AKIC Is Reading this Week
  • Don Colacho's Aphorisms: there are 2,988 of them. I read ten of them at a time.
  • The Life of Johnson by Boswell. I love to read about Johnson spouting his opinions and thoughts – many of which are memorable like the following: If (said he,) I had no duties, and no reference to futurity, I would spend my life in driving briskly in a post-chaise with a pretty woman; but she should be one who could understand me, and would add something to the conversation.
  • Ulysses by James Joyce I am following along with Frank Delaney as he slowly goes through the novel. Delaney figures he will do his last ReJoyce Podcast in 22 years. It has been serving as a counterweight to the Catholic works I have been reading.
  • My Discovery of England by Stephen Leacock. Finished. ThE-Book is politically incorrect and thus economically wise. One chapter in thE-Book, Business in England. Wanted – More Profiteers, which was written in the 1920s could easily apply to today – it contains a plea for capitalism and an effective mockery of the economics of Obama and Mitt Romney. Check out this passage: The underlying cause (of the early 1920s economic distress) is plain enough. The economic distress that the world suffers now is the inevitable consequence of the war. Everybody knows that. But where the people differ is in regard to what is going to happen next, and what we must do about it. Here opinion takes a variety of forms. Some people blame it on the German mark: by permitting their mark to fall, the Germans, it is claimed, are taking away all the business from England; the fall of the mark, by allowing the Germans to work harder and eat less than the English, is threatening to drive the English out of house and home: if the mark goes on falling still further the Germans will thereby outdo us also in music, literature and in religion. What has got be done, therefore, is to force the Germans to lift the mark up again... This has been said about the Chinese.
  • The White Company by Arthur Conan Doyle. An adventure set in Medieval Europe.
  • Liberal Fascism by Jonah Goldberg. I finally got my hands on a copy of thE-Book! From what I have read, I see that Stephen Leacock was out-of-step with the times in which he made his observations about England – this is a good thing in my books.

Don Colacho Aphorisms that Strike Andis as Wise
  • 903 Reading the newspaper degrades whomever it does not make into a brute. I have also heard it said the reading the newspaper everyday make one stupid. The reason being that the view of the newspaper is temporal, ephemeral, and thus limited.
  • 908 The punishment of the man who searches for himself is that he finds himself.
  • 914 Though he knows he cannot win, the reactionary has no desire to lie.
  • 931 Let us try, as we grow older, to assume attitudes which our adolescence would have approved and to have ideas which it would not have understood.
  • 951 To be authentically modern is, in any century, a sign of mediocrity.
  • 954 “Solutions” are the ideologies of stupidity.
  • 979 Tolerance consists of a firm decision to allow them to insult everything we seek to love and respect, as long as they do not threaten our material comforts. Tolerance, as I understand those who talk of being tolerant like it is a virtue, is really cowardice. I will never forget a man who bragged of his tolerance when he said he didn't have any problems with his daughter dating a boy dressed like a gang member.

A Quote from James Schall on Loneliness
Who is James Schall? You can find out here.
Here is one quote of his that I like a lot:  Loneliness is an intrinsic aspect of healthy personality.  There is and must be in all of us somewhere an interior, deep loneliness.  We cannot escape this.  Small groups, deep loves, comradeship, companionship, activity, all of these good and necessary though they be, will never erase the basic loneliness that is also about us.  Loneliness, then, is the sign that we are never satisfied with any earthly love or work, a sign of the dignity of our creation.  This too is why we must be somewhat skeptical about all enthusiasms and friendships that are conceived in terms of removing this fundamental loneliness.  Should they succeed, they can only end up by making our lives more shallow.  We are made for something else, yet this too. 

Things I can't get upset about
I made this list a few weeks ago and didn't publish it, thinking I would have more to add to it. But I didn't. There are many things that don't upset me, and far more things that make me feel elated. The items in the list below are things that I have seen others get upset about that don't matter to me either way:
  • Chinese beer.
  • The high prices at Expat pubs. It give me a reason not to go.
  • People not wearing helmets on bikes.
  • Canada losing to the USA in ice hockey. (I hate it when Canada loses to Russia or Sweden however. When someone tells me they cheer for Russia against the USA – that gets me angry. But, hockey-wise, Americans are our brothers – I can't think of the Yanks as rivals.)
  • Girls who are good looking and know it. Thanks for the free show. That is all I can ask for.
  • The influence that Chinese parents have on their children. There are idiot parents all over the world but children should heed their parents.
  • The process of making hot dogs.
  • PSY.
  • McDonald’s or KFC or Pizza Hut in China. It's all good.

Monday (the 4th)
  • I don't work today.
  • I caught the end of the Super Bowl. That is, I saw the 49ers, trailing by five points with less than two minutes in the game, have a first and goal on the Ravens five yard line and not score. I had tried to watch the game on television but I couldn't find it – the only sports being shown on the television was a Chinese Basketball Association game. I gave up hope of watching the Super Bowl live but when I looked for a game update at, I clicked and got a live feed of the game on
  • In the afternoon, the K family went to the local Tesco to stock up for Chinese New Year. We ate at a Hunan Restaurant first, and then went into the store which was stocked for the holiday with all sorts of CNY decorations, including toy snakes. To get home, we took a motorcycle taxi, once we were able to catch one – we had to wait for ten minutes before one passed near us. The taxi's driver and the security guards at our complex had an argument because the driver choose not to drive his cab through the pedestrian entrance, but insisted on having the guards open the car gate for him.
  • I watch the Super Bowl highlights.  I hadn't known that there had been a power failure.
  • Mistake:  I let Tony play Microsoft Train Simulator.  It seems to make him miserable .
  • If I stay indoors through the entire CNY, I will go mad.
  • Red train incident:  Tony wanted me to find a particular red train on Microsoft Train Simulator.  I couldn't find the red train he wanted after cursoring through the menu of trains twice -- we have 80 or so trains to choose from on the program.  Every red train I had shown him was not the train he wanted.  Annoyed that Tony had pulled me away from my reading for the umpteenth time, I gave up and told him to find it himself, upsetting him to no end.  He cried but then he tried to find it himself.  Five minutes later, he pulled me away from my reading to show me the red train for which he had been looking.  He found the train he wanted in the tutorial section of MSTS, and Dad was now able to find the train in the drive-a-train section. Look Daddy, there is the red train!  He had never done that before – that is look for something in order to point it out to me and as aid in helping me find something for him.
  • Here I was typing out the red train incident, when all I had to do was dictate into my iPad mini! I just discovered the dictate function on it!
  • I listen to the ReJoyce podcast episodes #135 and 136.  Listening to the the most recent John Derbyshire podcast, I learned that Finnigan's Wake has been translated into Chinese and it's a bestseller in China.
  • I have put together the Scenes from My Life in Wuxi China Video #38. Now, if I can only get the thing uploaded to YouTube! I haven't had any luck so far.
    Tuesday (the 5th)
  • I work 1300 to 2100.
  • It's wet and miserable outside.
  • I decide to not go to Subway because I wasn't interested in walking downtown Wuxi in the rain. (I learn later in the week that it was just as well that I didn't go to Subway.)
  • There are two kinds of socks at my home..” said the student as I started to giggle, keen to know what he was going to tell me, “my mother's socks which are.... and my father's and my socks which are....” The closest thing to interesting that happened in that class.
  • I see this pair of fellows holding yellow flags standing at a corner. These people, who carry yellow flags and stand at corners, are usually performing some sort of community-service punishment. I felt sorry for them because they were having to stand under an umbrella and bear the cold damp weather. I was walking to the McDonald's when I saw them again. Waiting in line at McDonald's, these same two guys then cut in front of me while I was waiting to order. I was annoyed at them and, in my mind, I withdrew the sympathy I had for them, but I didn't make an issue of it beyond that.
  • The following four entries (in italics) were dictated into my Ipad mini:
  • Darn the dictate function of the iPad mini doesn't work if you're not with him I say you're not within Wi-Fi range.
  • I forgot to mention that my wife made bread yesterday with her new bread-maker.  She started making bread about midnight in about 2 o'clock in the morning she scared the crap out of me when she woke me up asked me if I wanted to try the bread that she had just made.  I actually did get up and try the bread. However I was almost not going to but then I realized that's Brad I better try it so I got up and get it.
  • I'm about to get Tony to make his first ever entry into the AKIC Block just wait for it.  Here it is:  Hello my name is Tony!
  • The school gave all the staff a box each of vacuum packed meat.

Wednesday (the 6th)
  • Damn! They closed down the Parkson's Subway. I find out the hard way as I go to get my lunch and dinner for the day. It has been closed down for a few days I learn at the office. I can only add that the sign for the restaurant replacing it has already been put up.
  • I work 1300 to 2100 today. I will be talking about elevators in my English Corner and Pets in a Salon class. Interesting, names: Miki, Cherry, Sissy, Violet, Albert, Molly, and Carrie. One of these students (I won't be so bold as to mention the exact one) is a piece of work. I have been told he plays on an Ipad till the last possible minute and shows up for class fashionably late – he thinks he is going to Harvard.
  • I just took the latest Pew News Quiz. I got thirteen out of thirteen questions right along with 8 percent of the population.
  • I have just listened to episode #138 of the ReJoyce Podcast. I have caught up!!
  • In the English Corner, there was a student who could recall the first time he was in an elevator. He entered the elevator and said he couldn't understand why it wouldn't move so he stood inside until someone else came in and pressed a button. Later, when he had to leave the building, he told me he was too intimidated to use the elevator and so took the stairs.

Thursday (the 6th)
  • The temperature will dip around zero today so I am wearing my thermals or long johns or long underwear – whatever you choose to call 'em.
  • I didn't sleep well last night. Tony lay beside me as I tried to fall asleep, and he was being no help as he kept tossing and turning, singing Ultraman theme songs, and kicking me. At five a.m., I was looking at my Ipad.
  • I see some snow falling as I make my way to work. It won't stay on the ground though.
  • I work 1000-2100. At 1000, I have a four person private class which is not something I do so early in the morning on a Thursday but then the students, who are full-time students, have twenty day off for the Spring Festival. At 1300, I have an Advanced level private class with a good student and a student who isn't really advanced – I may have to repeat the latter student. My hope had been to push him through so we could have him go to a lower level. With another student present in class, I will have to keep up the standards. I will do a salon class in the evening on Physical Fitness – I should change the topic to mental fitness. At 2000, I have a private class, topic: the Fitting Room, with the girl who told me last week that she was going to go shopping for underwear.... That underwear-shopping conversation had me thinking of Homer Simpson. I imagined or recalled him doing a short gasp of fright which was followed by sounds of heavy footsteps, a door slamming, a car door opening, and finally tires squealing.
  • At lunch hour, I went to the toy section of Ba Bai Ban to see if I could buy something for Tony but I had no luck, which is probably just as well since Tony HAS ENOUGH TOYS! I was hoping to get him a Ultraman action figure but I didn't see any. I did see another piece of track I could buy for his train set but I wondered if it could fit with the track he already had.
  • Researching on the Internet I have found that I can use the u-turn piece with the Plarial track I do have. So! I am gonna to buy it!
  • It is snowing in Wuxi. (Two people liked the link on facebook.)

Friday (the 8th)
  • I work 1000 to 1700 today. We finish early and the Spring Festival holiday begins!!
  • It is below zero.
  • I listened to the Russian Rulers Podcast episode about the end of the Soviet Union. It puts me in a even better mood.
  • Last evening, interesting class about superstitions as the students asked me some interesting questions about religion and Socialism. Responding to questions, I told them that students weren't taught socialism the schools I attended but mostly were naturally socialists anyway, and then hopefully they smartened up, though more and more don't seem to be if the election results in the USA are any guide. I then found myself defending the Christian and Buddhist religions. “Religion answers a human need,” I told them, “and if we don't worship a god, we will worship something else like celebrities or national leaders!” Then, I had two lame classes. Most of the students weren't talking. One student however did talk – her performance was quite admirable though her English was all over the place.
  • I say to the students: 新年快乐!
  • The last dinner of the Year of Dragon was eaten at Pizza Hut.

Saturday (the 9th)
  • I don't work today. It is the first day of my seven day Spring Festival (Chinese New Year) holiday.
  • It is the last day of the Year of the Dragon.
  • It is my wife Jenny's birthday. She was born on CNY eve.
  • Last night, I started playing with torrents. They are wonderful things. I now have the short stories of Evelyn Waugh, Clock Orange, the Lord of the Rings, the Chronicles of Narnia, and Free to Choose by Milton & Rose Friedman on my Ipad Mini E-Book reader.
  • Torrents seem to work like Napster and the peer-to-peer software from nearly ten years ago. Like then, I have spent a lot of time looking a the download screen hoping for something to happen.
  • Jenny spent the day cleaning the house. I helped her as much as I could cleaning the bathroom, the toilet, and the bedroom.
  • We had a big CNY eve dinner: just the three of us.
  • Like last CNY, Tony is very scared of fireworks. He will plug his ears and cry whenever he hears some. And he has heard a lot, and will hear a lot.
  • I bought the Takara TOMY Plarail track piece R10. It didn't quite work out as I had hoped, and to compound my error, I bought two of the pieces thinking it would solve a problem – it didn't.

Sunday (the 10th)
  • It is Chinese New Year!
  • I don't work today.
  • I was up till 300 AM last night. I finally finished uploading Scenes from My Life in Wuxi, China #38 to Youtube. The upload started on Friday at 1100 PM.
  • Looks like the K family going to stay in the house for a second day in a row. I asked Tony if he wanted to go out and he refused.
  • I am in the dog house so I walk around the house with a guilty feeling. Even trying to help the wife doesn't allay the guilt I feel because I can't escape the feeling I am putting on a show to try to assuage the guilt which makes me feel like I am irredeemable anyway. If I try to read, which is all I want to do, I can't enjoy it because I know I will be given heck for reading a book and not doing something else.
  • What did I do wrong? I don't know.
  • I have am having great fun with torrents. I have downloaded some fantastic e-books by some of my favorite authors.
  • I end the week waiting for the episode #139 of the ReJoyce Podcast.

Sunday, February 3, 2013

Blog Entry for January 28 to February 3, 2013

Gratitude I have so many things to be thankful for that I don't know what specifically I should be thankful for this week. I suppose I should be thankful for those times when I see I am wise and more so for those pangs of insight during whereI realize I am flawed beyond belief.

Acknowledgment Thanks to those "pangs of insight" I realize I have so many things I have to acknowledge that I don't know where to begin. I suppose, and I got this supposition from a Don Colacho Aphorism, that I hate individuals too much and should direct my righteous indignation solely towards the age and man. These people can't help themselves, I tell myself, just like I can't help myself either. And if we have no free will, what can be done?

Request If there is someone receiving this message in a bloggle, please make comments whether favorable or critical, or don't hold back the criticism.

A Quick Summary of the Week It was all about getting through the workdays before the week-long Spring Festival holiday. I was humming See See Ryder as I walked about the town. Life with an Ipad and Ipod quickly descended into my using the former for reading books and the latter for listening to music. Don Colacho was a joy and a slap in the face for me. So really, nothing much happened.

What AKIC Is Reading this Week

Don Colacho Aphorisms that AKIC Likes This Week

  • 760: With good humour and pessimism it is not possible to be either wrong or bored.

  • 764: In societies where everybody believes they are equal, the inevitable superiority of a few makes the rest feel like failures. Inversely, in societies where inequality is the norm, each person settles into his own distinct place, without feeling the urge, nor even conceiving the possibility, of comparing himself to others. Only a hierarchical structure is compassionate towards the mediocre and the meek. (Happiness, I always say, can only come from between one's ears.)

  • 784: The tragedy of the left? To diagnose the disease correctly, but to aggravate it with its therapy.

  • 790: Nothing endures for certain and only instances count, but the instant reserves its splendor for someone who imagines it to be eternal. The only thing that has value is the ephemeral which appears immortal.

  • 831: … The reactionary disdains man, without meeting an individual he scorns. (That is so hard to do.)

  • 841: With someone who is ignorant of certain books no discussion is possible. (And I wonder what that certain book is...)

  • 856: Dialogue perverts its participants. Either they are obstinate out of a desire to fight, or they give in out of laziness.

Other quotes AKIC thought worthwhile to cut & paste

  • Kathy Shaidle: Less cute is the notion that someone, anyone, with some unbroken-chain-of-custody connection to Pierre Elliot Trudeau's penis is somehow automatically qualified to run the man's party and perhaps even the nation. PET's mistress as well as his son are running for the leadership of the Liberal Party of Canada – this is the party that trades on sneering at American political affairs.

  • Ukridge (a PG Wodehouse Character): Why, go in like a mighty, rushing wind! Bustle 'em! Don't give 'em a moment's rest or time to think or anything.

  • Stephen Leacock (My Discovery of England). In this passage, Leacock is trying to get a rise from an English customs official: Leacock: "Let me tell you, then," I said, "that I am an anarchistic polygamist, that I am opposed to all forms of government, that I object to any kind of revealed religion, that I regard the state and property and marriage as the mere tyranny of the bourgeoisie, and that I want to see class hatred carried to the point where it forces every one into brotherly love. Now, do I get in?" The official looked puzzled for a minute. "You are not Irish, are you, sir?" he said. Leacock: "No." Official: "Then I think you can come in all right." (This made me laugh out loud the first time I read it.)

  • Gavin McInnes: When people talk about "Two Americas," they usually assume New York City is part of the "elitist jerkoff" half and write us (New Yorkers) off. But there are two distinct New Yorks—an exaggerated version of the Two Americas—and nothing summarizes this polarization like the differences between the New York Post and The New York Times. The Post distributes about a half a million copies daily, virtually all of them read by New Yorkers. The Times has three times that circulation, and its readers are virtually all assholes. Not all but virtually all... He he he.

Monday (the 28th)

  • I don't work today.

  • The laptop mouse seem to be working better this morning than it did the night before. (See the end of last week's blog entry).

  • My father died eight months ago today.

  • 1982: The BMT recruits picked on one guy. Turned out the ringleader was a son of a Colonel. In walked the MP – military police. "What is going on here?" "Nothing!" said everyone. The guy's crime in the eyes of the other recruits? He wasn't a bad person. He was simply severely Gomer Pylish.

  • What should have been a five minute trip to the bank turned into a two hour ordeal. I entered the wrong PIN code three times when attempting to use the ATM – Jenny had told me the wrong number, and the key pad was hidden from view so that I thought that surely I had entered the wrong numbers – not that I had been given a wrong code. The fourth attempt at withdrawing money at the ATM, which gave me the three strikes message, resulted in my deciding to go to a nearby human teller. I took a number and waited thirty minutes only to be told that I should have brought my passport. I didn't, so I returned home to get it. Back at the bank, I took another number, and waited forty-five minutes, the flame of impatience slowly swelling, before I was served and finally got the money which I gave all to the wife anyway.

  • As I was walking to the bank, the first time, I fast-paced it through the local People's Square. Closing my eyes, I would have thought it a pleasant place – it was relatively quiet and the sunshine was warm. But then I took a purposeful look around and noticed the air was a dun colour – the place was full of dust and the sky obscured.

  • Although Tony isn't attending classes at the kindergarten these days because of a stupid government edict that canceled the pick-up van service, Jenny had to go to it to get Tony's book and assigned homework. She learned that one of Tony's classmates had died of unknown causes. The child, who was a little overweight, had not been feeling very well. After being sick for two days, he was taken to the hospital (the one near Casa K which has a bad reputation.), examined by the doctor who said he was okay, and so taken home where he died overnight. Jenny knew the boy and I had probably seen him a lot too. I wouldn't want to be in that family's shoes at this moment. Hearing stories of children dying cuts me to the quick – tears roll down my eyes. Losing one's child is the worst thing that can happen to any parent. And so close to the Spring Festival! Like Christmas trees with presents that will never be opened by recently deceased children, there will be a lot of red envelopes not given in that child's family.

  • Makes me realize, as if I didn't already know, that time spent with Tony is precious.

  • Jenny also learned that the foreign teacher at Tony kindergarten was told not to go to work. The Wuxi government is cracking down on un-documented English teachers – that is, teachers working who don't have a Foreign Expert's Certificate issued from their school of employment. This means, part-timers and teachers here on tourist visas.

  • Tony is becoming something of a photographer. Here is a sample of his work.

Tuesday (the 29th)

  • I work 1300 to 2100 today.

  • Before work, I decided to adopt a routine where I go to the Parkson's Subway to pick up a foot-long sandwich to be my lunch & supper for the day.

  • I have a class right away at 1300. The student is Elaine who I have repeatedly told about the final scene of the Graduate.

  • A dog returns to its vomit! This is unrelated to anything mentioned here.

  • Two children died, I remember, during my elementary school days. One girl was in my class – it might have been grade two or three. I don't know how she died. I believed the first story I heard. Now, I know it was complete nonsense. Someone said her blood all went hard. One boyhe was a grade or so higher than me, but he rode the same bus I did to school. One weekend, he was walking along the highway after having celebrated his birthday. "Happy birthday to me," they said, he was singing when the vehicle hit him. My last memory of him was on the Friday – I was sick. I remembered him asking, about me, what is wrong with that guy? Both these deaths occurred when I was living in Quebec from 1971 to 1976.

  • Last night, I listened to episode #130 of the ReJoyce Podcast. I believe host Frank Delaney is working on or has just completed episode #138.

Wednesday (the 30th)

  • I work 1300-2100.

  • It is warm but smoggy. I am not wearing long johns. On my head, I am not wearing a knit cap but a baseball cap with an old Winnipeg Jets logo. Walking in front of Ba Bai Ban, I looked toward our school building, which was than a block away, and saw that it was obscured by smog or dust.

  • On the bus ride home, I listened to episodes #131 & #132 of the ReJoyce Podcast.

  • Also while on the #635 bus, which so crowded that it was a rum close thing that I was able to get a seat, I heard a loud thud and looked up, from my Ipad mini, to see a man rush out from the front door of the bus, and grab hold of the first available tree so he could vomit. I saw a brown jet burst from his mouth, and I shuddered to think what would have happened if he had vomited while on the bus which, as I said, was very crowded.

  • I saw a toad in the central park of Wuxi – near the Chongan Market area. The toad was trying to cross a busy pathway. It lived in one of the park's many ponds. Hopefully, nobody stepped on the little fella.

  • Could Justin Trudeau become Prime Minister of Canada? You would think it was a silly prospect – people wouldn't be that stupid. Well. In the USA, Barack Obama got re-elected and a woman, who was the wife of a philandering President, was the American Secretary of State and would have been President if it wasn't for Obama. So, anything is possible. I would be more surprised, and pleasantly surprised at that, if it didn't happen. But, one must be full of pessimism and have a sense of humour when following politics.

  • Best sentence made by a student last week: "It would be boring to live with sheep!" I had asked the student why she didn't wish to be a shepherd.

  • I watched the first half of Elvis's 1973 Hawaii T.V. Special. AKIC's verdict? 猫王 rocks! I have found an MP3 of special's opening song and put it on my Ipod Touch. I have mumbling "I see See See Rider!" to myself all week.

  • Today's English Corner Topic: Dancing.

  • During the speaker's corner, I asked the students if they were looking forward to the Spring Festival holiday. Most said they were, but I had the doctor in the group give me a strange answer. She said she wasn't looking forward to the holiday because there would lots of good food to eat, nice clothing to wear, and people to talk to. I thought she had misspoken so I asked her to repeat what she said. She repeated what she had said word-for-word and so I said that she had given reasons which would have indicated she was actually looking forward to the holiday. She replied that for her, everyday was like a Spring Festival holiday . I got her point then- subtle and hard to express in a second language. I then told her that she was a doctor and not a lawyer – lawyers, I said, don't like to see all people having a good time – it is bad for their business.

  • I am in a good mood today. I am full of Wodehousian pomp & vinegar, and can dance, jauntily like a pin on a cloud up in the blue sky. As a result, I have to tell myself to suppress the springiness of my gait lest others interpret it as my having won the lottery.

  • I have heard, through the grapevine, that the Blue Bar, an expat pub, has been sold to a Chinese person. However, the former owner of the Blue Bar, an Australian, still runs the Red Lion. I guess it is the end of an era. Funny, how the big pubs when I got here: Ronnie's and the Blue seem to have bit the dust.

  • What's the difference between a whale and a Whalen? A whale is full of blubber; Whalen (Cheryl I think it was) is full of blabber. I made this joke up in grade six. I got hell from the teacher for it. I was betrayed by the person I told the joke to....

Thursday (the 31st)

  • I work 1000-2100 today. My long day of sitting 'round the school.

  • On the bus, I espy a old man wearing a beret and a silk scarf around his neck. Is he an artist? I wonder. How does he stand on issues politically?

  • I had a male student, high-school age, come to class late. There was something unsettling about him – he answered one of my questions with a weird smile that might as well have been a leer -- and I was immediately wishing he hadn't come to class at all. I later asked him what was wrong and he told me his grandmother had died a few days ago. I immediately asked him why he bothered coming to class and told him that he should be in mourning. I then wondered if he was telling me the truth because of his strange smiling – but people do act strangely, and often not as one would expect, when in mourning.

  • It is raining today.

  • I found a pdf copy of the Elementary Chinese Textbook that I always study on the bus. Sometime today, probably tonight, I will download the file onto my Ipad. I am hoping that I will no longer need to cart the two textbooks with me.

  • An advanced student, with really advanced English no less, told me that he wanted to talk to President Obama. He would ask Obama, he said, why the USA was surrounding China. The thought that Obama was being aggressive towards China seemed odd to me. I asked the student if Obama was being more aggressive towards China than George W. Bush had been, and the student responded in the affirmative. I told the student that I found what he said to be hard to believe and that if anything, Obama was carrying on the policy of containing China implemented by previous presidents. I was forced to defend Obama! Imagine that! I didn't tell him that the Chinese government had some secret reason to be currently play up this containment like they had been making hay about the Fishing Islands. "America is out to get us!" and "those evil Japanese!" are refrains for the Chicom government to get its citizens to ignore domestic troubles.

  • A one-student conversation class about global warming. Boring!!!

  • Do you need a guarantor to renew your Canadian passport? Checking out the Shanghai consulate site, I found a simplified passport renewal form which doesn't mention needing a guarantor. Seems too good to be true so I sent the consulate an email to confirm this. As I type this at 355 PM, I haven't heard back from them.

  • I finished two books today. I will finish one more of the four I am currently reading before I choose another two books to devour.

  • And speaking of devouring, I had the beef rice (牛肉饭)。

Friday (the 1st)

  • I work 1100-2100, though I arrive at school at 930 for no discernible reason other then I can work at the computer undisturbed.

  • It is raining for the second day in a row.

  • Jenny tells me that yesterday, Tony was taken to the cinema to see a cartoon movie and behaved quite well.

  • A student told me about the gay app that can be put on one's phone. Her gay friend, she told me, when going to Beijing can use the app to locate other gays for hook-ups.

  • Another student more or less told me that the Chinese are sneaky. She had said something along the line of that if there was a hole in a rule, the Chinese would run through it.

  • On the bus this morning, yet another old man tried to yield an empty seat to me, and I yet again declined. This being yielded an seat by an old man phenomenon which I have experienced on numerous occasions has lead me to wonder if I am getting old or the old locals like to show deference to foreigners or old foreigners.

  • Supper: McDonald's. I shouldn't have bought the ice cream.

  • Tournament #9: Team H wins Group 1B.

Sunday (the 2nd)

  • What happened on Saturday (the 1st)? I made entries as I normally did but it seems, to me, that Evernote, the program I use to transfer files between home & office, let me down. The typing I did on Saturday is on my school computer, and I damn sure that I synced the latest copy of the January 28 to February 3 file to my Evernote account. But it ain't here – I am at home now.

  • I didn't type much yesterday anyway, but it is still annoying to not be able to publish it. I didn't want to deceive anyone who has made this far into this entry so I will try to recall what I did type yesterday: I worked 1000 to 1800, but I did my classes quickly and was able to leave at 1700. The only memorable incidents were supplied to me by one student. A pretty girl actually, she told me about a time she decided to go for a wander in a strange area and got lost in the dark. She thought she had been rescued by a man on a motorcycle. As the student was at this point in her story, I was thinking that the man must have felt he was so lucky to meet such a pretty girl in the dark. The man turned out to be drunk, having drunk too much wine, and grabbed her leg. She had to flee. Later, I happened to run into the girl outside the school restrooms. Making conversation, I asked the girl what she was up to. She was told me she was going shopping. What were you shopping for? I stupidly asked. She thought about it for a second and said underwear. Embarrassed, I said that was interesting, and I had to flee. After school, we had hot pot with Jenny's friend Ling Ling and LL's husband, LL's son, LL's younger brother (didi), and LL's didi's wife. We took the #81 bus to the restaurant located near a bridge and up the street from the Wuxi Flower Market. The restaurant was incredibly long and crowded. To get to our table we had to follow a serpentine path where it would have been easy to get lost along the way. These men walked through the table spinning dough in a very elaborate fashion – I took video. After hot pot, we took the #635 bus home. At Casa K, I played with my laptop and apple products. With the help of my wife, I was able to create an Apple ID of my own – if you want to Facebook me: Thanks to the 11th greatest Englishman of all-time, Paul Rudkin, I was able to download a properly oriented pdf copy of the Elementary Chinese Reader textbook that I have lugging around in my backpack for the last two years. The K family didn't get to bed till 300 AM.

  • Today: I don't work. I will try to edit this entry by this evening so I will be able to watch the Super Bowl undisturbed. I hope the 49ers beat the Ravens. The Ray Lewis is really a piece of work, and the hagiography surrounding him because his 17 year career is coming to an end is disturbing to me on so many levels.

  • They have put up lanterns on the lamp posts on the street that runs by Casa K for Chinese New Year.

  • It is going to be the Year of the Snake.

  • I watch the entire Elvis 73 special.

  • Breakfast: French Toast, Bacon, and Beans.

  • In the afternoon, I walk to the Hui Shan Tesco. I see a big CNY sign on a corner near Casa K – I take a photo.