Sunday, March 17, 2013

AKIC Blog Entry for March 11 to March 17, 2013

Gratitude: I am thankful for the good health I have had. I am thankful I have a wife who tells like it is about me, but loves me just the same.

Acknowledgment: As my wife says, Tony & I are big wimps. (Read what happened on Sunday, the 17th)

Request: Pray for my friend Harry Moore, my occasional partner in crime at the WCE Blog. (He writes the funny bits in the blog – contrasting with my lame attempts at satire.) He suffered a stroke last week. You can email him with your best wishes at

The AKIC Week in Brief: The world has a new Pope who is Catholic and intends to keep his church Catholic. Google Reader, a daily part of my life for the past few years, is being retired. My friend HM had a stroke. Another week of my life spent as a homebody in China was dull but still well-worth living even if it didn't give me much to blog about.

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. (See below)

  • Ulysses by James Joyce: I am following along with Frank Delaney as he slowly goes through Joyce's hard-to-read 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 Gospels According to Saint Mark. I have been reading the book, all the while – the KJV that is.

  • The White Company by Arthur Conan Doyle. Finished. An adventure set in the Middle Ages. There is more to Doyle than Sherlock Holmes. This Doyle novel is another thrilling page-turner.

  • The Consolation of Philosophy by Boethius. Finished. A weighty book that was a translation. I got a little wisdom out of it. Or should I say I got little wisdom out of it?

  • Penrod by Booth Tarkington. Finished. This book, which must have been a inspiration for the Little Rascals or Our Gang serials, has some really funny and politically-incorrect bits. But it is so well-written and full of wisdom, that it must be read. It shows childhood at its roughest and most tumble-some. I don't think kids are allowed to live as children did a hundred years ago which is about when this book was written. Here are a few of the many passages I that I found to be laugh-out-loud-funny:

    {Penrod's Aunt} When Penrod grows up he'll be just the same as he is now, except that whenever he does what he wants to do he'll tell himself and other people a little story about it to make his reason for doing it seem nice and pretty and noble."
    "No, I won't!" said Penrod suddenly."

    Also: He tried to climb higher, but began to slip downward, his exertions causing damage to his apparel. A button flew into the air, and his knickerbockers and his waistband severed relations.

    And also: Certumly, people gotta marry. Everybody. You don't know anybody over twenty years old that isn't married—except maybe teachers.

  • The Waning of the Middle Ages by Johan Huzinga. The past is another place as this book clearly shows.

  • The Tragedy of Richard III by William Shakespeare. Father Schall writes somewhere on his site, that he knew a man who a point of reading the entire works of Shakespeare every year. I wish I could do that, but it will suffice for me to read the Great Bard every fourth or fifth book I do read.

  • Flashman and the Dragon by George MacDonald Fraser. I have read both Peter Hitchens & John Derbyshire praise this series of novels. The novel am reading now, is apparently the 8th of the series. It is set in China at the time of the Taiping Rebellion. So far, the novel is a fun way to learn some history. Like James Bond, Flashy meets many beautiful women and has adventures.

This Week's Don Colacho Quotes

  • 1435 Nothing is more unforgivable than voluntarily imprisoning ourselves in another's convictions, when we should be trying to break through even the bars in the dungeon of our own intelligence.

  • 1437 Cynicism is not a measure of astuteness but of impotence.

  • 1448 Propose solutions? As if the world were not drowning in solutions! I was thinking of a middle-of-roader type who thought it was a stroke of rhetorical brilliance to claim that people who call themselves middle-of-the-road are equipping themselves with more tools to solve the world's problems.

  • 1471 Authentic intellectual seriousness does not frown, but rather smiles.

  • 1512 A woman has the intellectual temperature of the medium in which she lives: vehement revolutionary or dauntless conservative, according to the circumstances.

  • 1526 Our soul has a future. Humanity has none.

  • 1533 "Social" is the adjective that serves as a pretext for all swindles. I have also heard it said that when the word "social" is used a modifier, it negates the meaning of the word it modifies. Examples: Social Justice and Social Policy become non-justice and non-policy.

Quotes from Others

  • Steve Sailer: The central paradox of American political life is that blacks and Latinos tend to do better in Republican states while affluent whites do best in Democratic states. I say it is a lie that Conservatives and Libertarians are racist. It is the Liberals and Socialists who are no longer interested in a color-blind society. It is the Liberals and Socialists who keep the black man down with their welfare state policies designed, it seems, to stoke resentments.

Interesting Links about China

  • How Social Darwinism Made Modern China: A thousand years of meritocracy shaped the Middle Kingdom. I came upon this long piece in the American Conservative. I can't say I agree with it completely. The article does say that there are many things that Chinese culture does right. However, the recent economic success of China is a catching-up and a result of their having a large population.

  • Here is John Derbyshire's reaction to the article.

Daily Entries (A Week in the Life of a Canadian living in Wuxi, China)

Monday (the 11th)

  • I tried to make my Monday entry by dictating into my Ipad Mini. Below you will see the result followed by a translation and explanation of what I was trying to say and trying to do:

Monday, March 11, 2013 (That was fine.)

I didn't work today.
(That is what I meant to say.)

I did manage to get out of the house.  I went to Tesco to do a little bit of shopping.  I also bought a bucket at the KFC so we can have lunch.  However, call me through dinnerplate of the chicken pieces I had set out for him.  That is, he vomited. (
This is what I meant to say: I did manage to get out of the house. I went to Tesco to do a bit of shopping. I also bought a bucket at the KFC so we could have lunch. However, Tony got sick on the plate of chicken plates I had set out for him. That is he vomited.)

By then decided to get hold me out of the house.  Again, I'll say it again, I got Tony and I to get out of the house.  We went to a nearby park.  That is, Tony decided to go to a nearby park. He first said he wanted to go for a bus ride. He changed his mind.   Glenn Locke was nice. We walked Boneriso canals and we walked by a whole slew of local businesses And including many small food shops I Kopple hair salons and a few industrial supply shops. (
Then I decided to get us out of the house. Again. I will say it again. I got Tony and I out of the house. We went to a nearby park. That is, Tony decided to go to a nearby park – he first said he wanted to go for a bus ride. The walk was nice. We walked by some canals and we walked by a whole slow of local businesses including some small food shops, a couple hair salons, and a few industrial supply shops.)

We only spent about 15 minutes at the park. It was probably the first time that we were at the park nevermind.  Also it again. It was a first because Holani wanted to leave the park before I did. (
We spent only about 15 minutes at the park. It was the first time, Tony wanted to leave the park before I did.)

After I dropped Octonia at home, I went to the Tesco again. This time, I bought some yogurt for Tony, he had vomited at least three times in the past 24 hours.
(After, I dropped Tony off a home, I went to the Tesco again. This time, I bought some yogurt for Tony. He had vomited at least times in the past 24 hours.)

Monday, March 11 is the day that I uploaded the greatest comeback in toy train history video to the Internet.
(That is what I meant to say!)

I then tried to get Tony to answer "Do you love Daddy?" with a "Yes, I do!" I heard him answer properly, but as you will see below, the Ipad didn't:

Do you Rulau daddy? Love yeah

Do you love daddy? Yeah hi there

Yeah I you

I cannot hope you did do you love daddy? Yeah bye yeah

Yeah I you

Hey have been trying to get told me to say yes I do.  I'll say it again. What I have been trying to do is get Tony to say yes I do.  E quotation mark yes I do quotation mark

Tuesday (the 12th)

  • I work 1300-2100 today.

  • A warm day in Wuxi: I wear pants, dress shirt, and a fleece jacket.

Wednesday (the 13th)

  • I work 1300-2100 today.

  • A cool day in Wuxi: I wore what I wore yesterday and put on a windbreaker.

  • The Passport renewal process seems too good to be true. I don't need to find a guarantor. I don't need to supply a whole bunch of accompanying documents. I just need to provide my old passport and some new information.

  • We have run out of Tylenol in the house. I got to get some more.

Thursday (the 14th)

  • I didn't have much to say yesterday. I hope I have more to say today. My lack of blogging has been distressing me.

  • I work 1000-2100 today.

  • My first class is about space exploration – a topic that usually doesn't go over well with the students.

  • On my Ipod Touch, I learned about the election of a the new pope. He is from South America and has chosen the name of Francis. I hope he is Catholic.

  • On my ring finger, there are two rings: my wedding ring and my father's wedding ring. I looked at my father's ring and I thought about him. I recall how he like Jenny. "She has more sense than all of us!" he said. In the commercial I recently recorded for the school, you will see me wearing two wedding rings, mine and my father's, on my finger.

  • I showed my father's wedding ring to Tony. This is grandpa I told him.

  • A student I had last night knew about Nicolae Ceausescu, the Romanian leader who was ousted and executed by firing squad just days after he had been making a speech to a large rally.

  • Yesterday, there was a couple in my last evening class. It had happened before, a couple in a class, but last night was strange because of intimations I had of this in a previous class. I wasn't aware there was a couple till that man of the couple told me. The girl of the couple in question had actually come into my mind, the previous class where I had had a male student who reminded me of her. This male student wore the same kind of glasses as she did – they were too wide for a narrow face and the lenses were big; and he also spoke English in the manner of the girl. Recalling the girl, I asked him if he came from Wuxi. He said he came from Guilin – the girl I was thinking of came from Inner Mongolia. I knew the girl had a fiancee and I wondered if that male student was the fiance.... Well, lo and behold, the girl from Inner Mongolia was in my next class. The man she was sitting beside was her fiancee – he wasn't the student from the previous class. The topic of my last class was shopping. Thirty minutes into the class, I asked the students who they went shopping with and who they would have liked to have gone shopping with. The fiancee of the girl from Inner Mongolia told me that he liked shopping with his fiancee. I was surprised at this because I thought, as I had told the students, that most husbands or boyfriends didn't like shopping with their partners because it was boring. Seeing my surprise, the man told me that he had to say this because his fiancee was sitting next to him. This is when I learned that he and the girl from Inner Mongolia were engaged. He then asked me if I thought they were a good couple – made for each other as it were. I, of course, said they were – not telling them about the male student from the previous class. He and the student from the other class seemed very opposite in demeanour.

  • Time seems to drag in class when you know that you are going to have use the bathroom as soon as the class is done.

  • Damn it! Grammar mistake in my latest Youtube video!!!! In the opening titles, I inserted
    the Great Comeback in Toy Train History – I forgot an "est." I was able to correct the mistake in the Youtube video, thanks to their annotations feature. However, I won't bother correcting the mistake on the Youku video – the Chinese who watch the video won't notice anyway. So far, three hundred have viewed the Youku version.

Friday (the 15th)

  • It was Pi (3.14) day yesterday. I forgot all about it. One of my most-viewed blog entries was the Pi Day entry I made in 2009.

  • I work 1100 to 2100 today. I was actually at work at 0900. I must love my job.

  • I learned last night when logging onto Google Reader that it was going to be retired on July 1st. I was surprised and saddened – it was a product that I had been using everyday for years. Seeing the announcement pop up when I logged onto the Reader, I felt like I had been handed an eviction notice or divorce papers. It was only a few weeks ago that I had recommended it to a student. Learning of the scrapping, I quickly sought out reaction to the news of it on the Internet – I was glad to see that others were disappointed. I was also glad to know that there are many other alternatives on the Internet. I immediately found one this morning: Bye Bye Google Reader. R.I.P.

  • I use RSS but not many others do. I don't know why. It seems a thing for techies but I am no techie, and the reader is not that hard to use.

  • BTW, I have never been handed divorce or eviction papers. But I can imagine what it would feel like if it happened to me.

  • I saw myself on the video screen on the bus ride to work. I was acting in the latest commercial I did for the school. (here is the link to the video on Youtube) It was well-edited. There is a shot of my father's wedding ring which I am happy to see – it may confuse others to see I have two rings.

Saturday (the 16th)

  • I work 1000-1800 today.

  • Last night, I received an email from my Aussie buddy Harry Moore. He had a stroke, a few days ago. He had to go to the hospital but he was able to compose an email, so I pray it wasn't serious.

  • Here is an idea whose time has come: Caffeine Suppositories.

  • I have to be going to Shanghai soon to get my passport renewed. Probably, April 1st.

  • Sunny outside.

  • I had to stand on the bus ride home last night. This meant listening to the Ipod and not reading the Ipad. Oh! What a tortured existence I lead! Woe is me!

  • I see a pink BMW – a sporty model – trying to race through traffic.

  • A white Mazda drives down the sidewalk and forces a crowd of people standing at a bus stop to get out of its way. It offends my sensibilities so to see people doing this.

  • The new Pope seems to be alright. He is old and not one to give in to the ways of the modern world.

  • I listened to episode 113 of the China History Podcast on the bus ride home tonight. Host Laslzo Montgomery, who I am proud to say gave me a heads-up on the chosen topic, presented the story of the famous Canadian in China: Norman Bethune. Bethune, though being a fervent Communist, made great humanitarian contributions to medicine. Having died in 1939 at the age of 49, one can defend him by saying if he had not died prematurely, he would have lived long enough to disavow his support for Communism.

Sunday (the 17th)

  • I don't work today.

  • It rains. And so it sucks outside. It is really, really dismal. Whatever...

  • Yesterday, I had a teacher tell me her mother was slim and also plump. Questioning her, I found out she meant her mother was buxom. I had a good giggle about it and of course, told all the other teachers.

  • The K family went downtown this morning for Tony's drawing class.

  • We then went to to Tesco which is near Casa Kaulins. (Casa Kaulins, BTW, is not downtown.) I wanted to see the English school that my wife had told me was now in the plaza. After looking for it for ten minutes and not finding it, my wife then told me that it was being built.

  • The new English school will be near a Tesco Plaza playground which Tony frequents. Tony begged us to let him play at the playground today, and we relented. After finally finding where the new English school was to be, I sat by the playground and saw that all the other children were picking on Tony. Tony has the upper-hand in some of the confrontations, but he seemed to be a little bit too good-natured about what the other kids were doing to him. There was one boy who was continually throwing balls at Tony as well as swinging a rubber ball with handle at my son -- I was hoping Tony would have slugged that little bastard, but my boy just laughed it off. In another instance, the boy and three little girls tried to gang up on Tony by blocking him in a roomed area of the playground. The walls of the room were transparent, so I was able to see Tony force his way out like a football running back run through the line. I wonder if the kids, all Chinese, were picking on Tony because he was different being a mixed-blood kid. Or were they picking on him because he was weak-willed like his father?

  • I took lots of photos in the downtown at the Tesco Plaza. Here are the links: Give me!, Mom!, Me, Toy Car, Old Man Waiting for the Bus, Tony enters the 85 Bakery, Chicken!, the Wuxi Skyline, and Future Driver.

  • For supper, I ate six hot dogs. (I say this because I am trying to pad this entry out. I am really having trouble finding things to blog about.)

  • In tournament #9, the two league champions have been determined.

  • 532 million abortions and sterilizations in China since the implementation of the one-child policy.

  • On the bus, Jenny finally saw me in the commercial that I recently recorded for the school. The commercial is now on Youtube.

  • Malware has attached itself to my computer. My browser has been hijacked, and so when I try to go to a site, I am taken back to the Google search page with a flashing logo. As well, the mouse pointer flashes as well. It was some malware called default tab that I downloaded, and can't get rid. I have had to go to the registry to try to get rid of it. A simple uninstall doesn't work.

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