Sunday, August 11, 2013

The Andis Kaulins in China Weekly: August 6 to August 11, 2013

Gratitude:  I am thankful to be alive.

Acknowledgment: This issue of the AKIC weekly will only have six days of journalizing, though I will write the story of my Jiangyin Sunday (August 4th). [This could serve as a confession, but it doesn't seem all that damning. But if you do read the Jiangyin Sunday story, you will read some damning stuff.]

Requests: Please visit Views of China from Casa Kaulins! Lots of interesting things to be seen if you spend a little time exploring it.

The AKIC Week in Brief: I spent the week, or rather six days, recovering from a two day trip to Jiangyin and hoping for Wuxi's Summer temperatures to lower. So the week was uneventful with the interesting things happening in my mind and in my reading.

About AKIC: If you want to learn what Andis & AKIC are all about, you can visit here.

If there are things you don't know about, like places and people I mention, you can go here to find out what they are all about.

AKIC Weekly Features:

I in in China!  我很喜欢新疆菜. 我不喜欢豆腐和猪脚。这个星期,无锡太热了!

I am Canadian! I am a loyal subject of Her Majesty Queen Elizabeth the Second.

I am Latvian (sort of)! My parents fled Latvia to 1945 to get away from the Soviet Russian Communists.

Politically I am Conservative/Reactionary! My family fled from the Communists only to end up in a land, Canada, that has sought to shed its virtues at a slower pace.

I teach English! I will be entering my tenth year of it in September.
I am not a freak! I am part of a small minority of people who are reactionaries and aren't freaky.

I like to Read! Here is what I had been working my way through the past week:
Don Colacho's Aphorisms.  There are 2,988 of them in this book that I compiled for 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 guides podcast listeners through Joyce's hard-to-read novel.  Delaney figures he will have the whole novel covered in about 22 years.  Delaney completed episode #164 this week and is working his way through the chapter that introduces Leopold Bloom. I am getting ahead Delaney as far as reading the book.  I will be finished my reading of it, I figure, in a year. I read the novel despite its many blasphemies. It is best to be aware of this stuff because the world is full of it, and the world will always find a way of slapping you in the face with it

The Holy Bible King James Version.   I am reading a chapter a day of the greatest book of all-time. I have finished the Epistle of Paul to the Ephesians and the Epistle of Paul to the Philippians; and am now reading the Epistle of Paul the Apostle to the Colossians.

Columns by Father Schall. I have been able to take all his archived writings and place them on the Dotdotdot app.

The Catechism of the Catholic Church. Like Father Schall's writings, I have been able to place them on the Dotdotdot app.

Wanderings in South America by Charles Waterton. Finished. An excellent little book that is more a collection of observations that a strict narrative. Be that as it may, this collection of naturalist vignettes is a real page-turner. I shudder to think how the book would have read if it was written by a modern scientist.

Four Men by Hilaire Belloc. Grizzlebeard, the Sailor, the Poet, and Myself are the four men. They travel and talk. It gives me an idea for a book and a blog.

I like to take photos

I like to make videos

I like to cut and paste quotations:
Below is my weekly haul of Don Colacho. I agree with every one of these aphorisms wholeheartedly.
2893: Man's full depravity does not become clear except in great urban agglomerations.
2900: Monarchs, in almost every dynasty, have been so mediocre that they look like presidents.
2901: Only the years teach us to deal with our ignorance tactfully.
2902: Perfect prose is prose which the ingenuous reader does not notice is well written.
2904: Modern man lost his soul and is no long anything but the sum total of his behaviors.
2907: In addition to civilized societies and semi-civilized societies, there are pseudo-civilized societies.
2909: Nothing is more irritating than the certainty with which a man who has success in one thing gives his opinion on everything.
2915: The fragments of the past that survive embarrass the modern landscape in which they stand out.
2916: Faith is part intuition and part wager.
2917: The golden rule of politics is to make only minimal changes and to make them as slowly as possible.
2918: The people is sometimes right when it is frightened; but always wrong when it becomes enthusiastic. [Obama mania]
2919: Why deceive ourselves? Science has not answered a single important question. [Why are we here? Evolution is not a satisfactory answer.]
2920: Unjustly inequality is not remedied by equality, but by just inequality.
2921: In a healthy society, the state is the organ of the ruling class; in a hunchbacked society, the state is the instrument of a bureaucratic class.
2922: The fool, seeing that customs change, says that morality varies.
2924: The majority of properly modern customs would be crimes in an authentically civilized society.
2928: Envy is the key to more stories than sex.
2929: “To have faith in man” does not reach the level of blasphemy; it is just one more bit of stupidity. [To be intelligent, is to place your faith in God I feel. I have lost my faith in man in China, and I don't know where else to turn.]
2937: An individual is defined less by his contradictions than by the way he comes to terms with them.
2939: Everything in the world rests on its own final “just because.”
2940: No thesis is expounded with clarity except when it manages to be expounded by an intelligent man who does not share it.
2941: Except in a few countries trying to “promote culture” while recommending the reading of “national authors” is a contradictory endeavor. [Canada had its Can Lit which makes it hard for me to respect many Canadian authors except the reactionary Mordecai Richler and Stephen Leacock.]

David Warren: In the humanities, I have found, almost invariably, that the presence of academic & theoretical jargon is an indication of a dishonest writer; or to put it more plainly, a “bullshit artist.” All the former humanities faculties appear now to be dominated by these people, trying to fool outsiders but also fooling each other, & themselves. They are like monkeys who imitate superficial gestures, with little or no understanding of the subjects to which they refer. But they are not nice monkeys.

Crisis Magazine: Progressive modernity aims to abolish the transcendent and create a perfectly rational and self-contained system, a project that is the essence of totalitarianism. As it proceeds and destroys alternative authorities it comes to pervade the whole of thought and becomes harder and harder to criticize by any standard outside itself—that is, on any grounds other than insufficient purity.
Charles Waterton on how to behave in foreign lands: Thus to be kind and affable to those we meet, to mix in their amusements, to pay a compliment or two to their manners and customs, to respect their elders, to give a little to their distressed and needy, and to feel, as it were, at home amongst them, is the sure way to enable you to pass merrily on, and to find other comforts as sweet and palatable as those which you were accustomed to partake of amongst your friends and acquaintance in your own native land.

American Fez offers some philosophical advice on how to deal with the heat:
It seems no great philosopher offers profound counsel about beating the heat: the Stoics, for example, are absolutely worthless; Rene Descartes remains silent on the subject; the only advice Wittgenstein can give is abstract at the best of times; and Albert Camus, unhelpfully, can only suggest shooting someone.

So in desperation I turn to doctors of physic and the wisdom of the leechers: stay in the shade, refrain from rigorous activity and drink lots of water. It's not the sort of controversial thinking you can annotate or discuss in city coffee shops, but I suppose it'll have to do for now.

Special Feature: My Jiangyin Sunday Story:
Sunday, August 4th, a.k.a. Jiangyin Sunday, started out well. I woke up in the apartment of Jenny's friend and looked out the window to see Yangtze River Boat traffic. From the 16th floor, I was also afforded a panoramic view which spanned from a long suspension bridge on my extreme left to a ship loading dock on my much closer right. Below me and my temporary perch, was a metal yard and some empty fields, the latter of which were being cultivated till developers were to take them over and make them into a park.

We went out in the afternoon. First, to a Xinjiang Restaurant which was located in a shopping mall not far from the aforementioned suspension bridge. After a good meal, consisting of meat gravy and other delicious food from East Turkmenistan, we then made out way to a cultural center which was located across from the mall where we had eaten. From the cultural center we then went to the very scenic Ebizhi park which is by the Yangtze River. From the park we went to another restaurant for another feast. Now, from this bare outline, you would think we had a perfect day; but there was trouble in the afternoon which I will relate as I go into the details of the day that was and will be forever known as Jiangyin Sunday.

The cultural center, we went to after lunch, had a library, a museum, and an art gallery among other things. We, that be Jenny, Tony, I, Jenny's friend, and Jenny's friend's daughter wandered the grounds of the center before looking at what the center had to offer. The library was big – four floors, and was filled with all sorts of the latest biblio-technology like touch screen terminals. This however bored Tony after half an hour or so, and so we to the museum and art gallery. As we walked over to it, Jenny told me that there was a exhibition of Russian painting. It was something to see, I thought, so I went into the gallery and museum somewhat interested. Unfortunately, Tony wasn't. Some workers were using power tools, preparing for another exhibition presumably, and the noise they made was loud enough to scare Tony who has a phobia about loud noises. Tony plugged his hears, started crying, and screamed that he wanted to leave the museum immediately. This was the beginning of two hours of annoyance that would turn into despair and anger. But for the moment, Jenny told me to continue looking at the exhibits while she took Tony outside. The exhibition of Russian paintings was small and not so impressive. It looked like one artist, trying to be like Van Gogh, had painted all the pictures and the only ones I found interesting were two with Communist imagery. One of them depicted a smiling cosmonaut and the other depicted a fishing boat in which Vladimir Lenin, wearing a shirt and tie, sat with a man, also wearing a tie, who I initially thought was Stalin. I took photos of these two paintings and left having stared at all the paintings for all of ten minutes. It turned out there wasn't much else to look at in the building and so I exited. I saw Jenny standing by the entrance with her friends but with Tony nowhere in sight. Asking where Tony was, I was told gravely by Jenny that he was hiding behind a column that was fifty feet from the entrance. I walked over to him and saw that he was not in a good mood. His lips quivered and his hands were made into fists as they hung on his sides. He and Jenny had obviously had a disagreement and he had been disciplined and so he ran away in a fit of pique. I had to pick up and take him to the car of Jenny's friend.

At the car, Tony insisted that he be allowed in sit in the front passenger seat, but Jenny would have none of this, since she was annoyed at him for his not wanting to look at the museum and art gallery. Tony was insistent on sitting in the front, and I had to pull him out. There was then an agonizing ten minute stand-off where Tony ran about 15 meters from the car and stood crying, while we pretended to drive the car away in hopes that he would chase after us and sit himself in the back seat. I wanted so much to just let him have his way, but I knew that we had to take a stand, and so there was nothing I could do and I was as well told by Jenny to not bother trying to plead with him. For ten minutes, he stood his ground, and when we pretended to drive away, we lost sight of him which was something we really didn't want to do. It was finally Jenny getting out of the car and scolding him that finally got him into the car's back seat.

As we then drove to Ebizhi Park, Tony and Jenny continued their dispute. Tony, not at all a happy camper, said he hated Jenny and that he wanted to go home. Tony used all the energy he had a six year old to chant that he wanted to go home.

Ebizhi Park is my favorite park in Wuxi, and one of the best ones I have been to in China. I can return to it many a time, and not lose the novel feeling of being near the Yangtze River. There is a paved path right by the river which affords one a great view of the big Jiangyin Suspension Bridge and the all the boat traffic. There are spots along the river where you can dip your feet in the Yangtze as well as throw rocks into it. The park also features a 200 meter long tunnel, a military museum, and a revolving tower that gives one a great view of the whole Jiangyin area. What could be better? Actually.... A well-behaved Tony who does what you want him to do!

We had a time of it trying to park the car outside the park. Spaces were at a premium and the one we did come across required some driving skill, which Jenny's friend didn't have, to park in. While Jenny's friend struggled to park the car, Tony kept moaning over and over and over again that he wanted to go home. We did finally park the car but Tony was still shrilly insisting that he didn't want to go to the park.

We bought our tickets and entered the park. Near the entrance is artificial pool and waterfall. Having been to the park many times, I knew to take the path under the waterfall and enter the tunnel which would take us to the walkway beside the Yangtze River.

Because the tunnel has an echo, I screamed at Tony who immediately protested that the echo was scaring him. It was Tony's second trip time in the tunnel, and I was taunting him on account of his having been scared to go in the tunnel one or two years before.

Two years before, I had to carry Tony through the tunnel. This time, he did actually walk himself through the tunnel, but as soon as we got to the end of the tunnel, and had a grand first view of the Yangtze River, Tony did the inexplicable and insisted on returning to the tunnel and back to the car and presumably back to home or where ever it was that he wanted to go. Jenny told me to just keep on walking and let Tony stand by the tunnel entrance. But it was at this point that I lost my patience with Tony, as Jenny had done, and spanked him which did cause him to walk with us.

We walked to a spot where there was a beach with stones that was four feet below the riverside walk. Having given Tony a liking for throwing stones into water, I thought to pull Tony down from the pathway to the beach and hand him some stones, but he threw them into the water perfunctionally and climbed by himself back up to the pathway and asked to go home. I spanked him on the bum while he did so. He was utterly ruining the visit to the park.

Since he didn't want to continue down the pathway, I carried him in my arms. At another beach with stones, Tony again showed little interest in throwing stones in the water and more interest in whining which resulted in my spanking him again.

Tony's whining and my anger, my foreigner anger, was a sight for others along the riverside path. I went completely off my head when someone say laowei. I made a rude series of gestures at this Chinese man, as well as yelled a series of expletives at him, in the manner of “What are you looking at Jerk” before Jenny shooed me away.

Further along the path, we came to a stop, and the particular Chinese gentleman who was the object of my annoyance came upon us. I pointed at him, and screamed more expletives. It turned out that he could speak a broken English and he unintentionally said something which in retrospect was hilarious: “You can fuck me? Well I can fuck you too!” I knew what he said wasn't meant as a joke, so I told him how rude and racist it was to say laowai so that a foreigner could hear him, especially when the foreigner was a bad mood. Things were really beginning to escalate and my wife joined in the argument.

Suddenly, the word pride came into my mind. You are acting this way because your pride had been bruised, said a voice that was my conscience. I choose then and there to snap out of my anger. I walked up to the man and apologized to him, and his wife. I told him it was my fault. Thinking he may not have understood, I shook his hand and made pleading gestures to his wife. I also apologized to Jenny's friends.

Unfortunately, Jenny continued on with the argument, and was annoyed at me for my sudden about face. The squawking between her and the man continued for a few minutes after I apologized, and when it did, she had a go at me. She first asked me how it was that after living in China for nine years, I could still get annoyed at overhearing Chinese say laowai. She then told me how she annoyed she was that I backed down while she was taking my side in the dispute that had been going on.

My defense, mixed with a strong mea culpa, was as follows: Foreigners don't like be stared at by strangers when they are having troubles. In Canada, if I stared at a couple having an argument, one or both of them would give me a “mind your business” look mixed with oral expletives. Now in China, a foreigner must accept the fact that he is a sight and a source of conversation when he is in public, but the being stared at when he is having problems is an annoyance that is more difficult to bear. Not that this is a defense for my actions just described, but a foreigner would wish that Chinese realized that staring at a person in trouble is considered a rude action and a very grave offense if done in a Western country. I will never forget the time when attending a funeral in China that a fight almost resulted during the funeral because of Chinese staring. The deceased was a foreigner who had been killed in a car accident, and his brother, who hadn't spent much time in China before and of course was in a grave emotional estate, became absolutely livid at a Chinese person's staring at him. The deceased's brother gave the staring Chinese a “what are you looking at?” reaction and threatened to punch him out right in the middle of the funeral ceremony. The Chinese person was stunned by the foreigner's reaction and probably didn't realize that he had done something very offensive in the eyes of a foreigner – the local had to taken away from the funeral – he might have been an employee of the funeral home. Besides Jiangyin Sunday, I have experienced on a few other instances in China, an emotion as strong as of the deceased's brother, and nearly so gotten into a few altercations with a staring Chinese person at some public hospitals and at shopping centers. Still Jenny had a point and so the only defense I can say for my behavior on Jiangyin Sunday is that given my obnoxious behavior, given that I had fucked up and couldn't correct what I had done, and given that I couldn't go back in time; I did the right thing by having a quick change of heart, swallowing my pride, and doing my best to make amends.

But this clashed with the Chinese need to save face, and so Jenny had me feeling like an absolute toad for the rest of the time we spent in the park. I also noticed that I was being monitored by a blue-shirted security guard after the incident.

Tony did mollify his whiny behavior after the incident. He began to enjoy throwing stones into the Yangtze, and as we stood near the entrance of the park waiting for the husband of Jenny's friend to arrive, Tony happily ran through the tunnel, that he had earlier feared to tread in, from one end to the other and back. Tony's trip through the tunnel after all the trouble he had given us only an hour earlier caused me to want to use the word “ironic” although really I could have used the word “teachable.”

From the park we went to a hotel and had a feast with relatives of Jenny's friends. Despite feeling sheepish, I drank some wine.

Jenny's friend did take my side of the dispute with Jenny on one point. They said my apologizing was the right thing to do.

It would have been better if I had never put myself in the position of having to apologize and cause my wife to lose face in the first place.

A true Pepys person, I keep a journal of my daily activities and of any worthy thoughts that occur to me.

Tuesday (August 6)
I work 13:00 to 21:00 today. I get to school at 11:00 a.m.

Auntie Dzidra R.I.P.
I learned via a facebook email that my Aunt Dzidra, the oldest of my mother's four siblings, passed away on Sunday in Winnipeg, Manitoba, Canada. I knew the sad news was coming, but now that she is no longer with us, the memories I have of her are all coming into my mind.

Dzidra was born in the same year as the Queen of Canada. She lived in the same house for all the years I can remember. I will remember most of that voice of hers. She spoke her English with a Latvian accent. Her generation having come over from Latvia could never sound Canadian like the next generations have. I took those accents for granted but now as the first generation of my relatives that moved to Canada passes away, that accent will go with them. It is the accent of family and a time in my youth, where the world was like a fairy tale and the laws of supply and demand didn't exist.

I can't remember Dzidra ever having gotten angry, and she made a decent Caesar salad.

I am certain she has gone to a better place.

Wednesday [August 7]
[School Laptop]
It is hot yet again today as it was yesterday.

I work 13:00 to 21:00. I get to the school at 11:00.

I had to put money on my bus card today and so I went to an office downtown to do so. Thankfully there was no lineup going out the door into the blazing sun as there had been on a previous occasion. There were only three people lined up at each window which was the first time I had ever seen lineups so short at this bus card refilling office which is near Nanchang Market. Maybe the thought of having to stand in a lineup in the hot sun stopped many people from going which was fine by me.

Last night, Tony phoned me to tell me he had seen an ambulance.

Thursday [August 8]
[School Laptop]
The heat wave continues. Temperatures up to forty degrees Celsius. I sit under an air-conditioner at work all day so there is no need to feel sympathy for me, though don't feel you need to suppress any urges to send me money. My email address is

I work 10:00 to 21:00. I get to school at 8:40, which for me is late.

Which of the three things should I do? 1)listen to a podcast, 2)listen to a podcast and read, or 3)read? That is the BIG question in my life as I spend two hours a day on the bus. With so many good podcasts to listen to, I have to make hard choices when choosing one to listen to on the bus. But I also want to study Chinese on the bus, having made the commitment; and also I want to read E-books since reading good old books from the project Gutenberg is a virtue, or so I feel it is. Now I can't read a narrative and listen to a podcast at the same time. I try to study Chinese and listen to a podcast a lot in the morning, but that doesn't do anything to improve my Chinese as podcasts make it so easy to not focus on anything else. I find that when I do read an book sans something on my Ipod, I really enjoy reading... I just don't have enough time!

I should talk about what happens at school but there isn't much really to discuss. It is the same old, same old, and I stay in my office and do not associate with the other foreigners in order to keep my spirits up. I wish sometimes I can break out of my stilted way of speaking to students, but to break out and just say what I feel in my oh so idiomatic way would result in looks of incomprehension from the students, who would then reply in an even more stilted manner.

I do have one thing to mention. There is a girl named Stella who is utterly mystified by my yelling her name at her like I was Marlon Brando.

I am no leader. My preference is to not have to work with anyone. If I was ever put in a position of responsibility, I would want to be like a Communist leader – liquidating all in hopes that a somehow better batch of workers would come from somewhere.

I take solace in the fact that the world is going to hell, and many will get their comeuppance. Hopefully, I reform myself in time or I will be one of the many as well.

Friday [August 9th]
[School Laptop]
I work 11:00 to 21:00 today. I arrive at school to 9:20.

I just had Breakfast at McDonald’s where they are giving away Hand Sanitizer again.

Was the siege of Troy nine years long? Looking on the Internet, I see that it was. Now I will have been in Wuxi for nine years when September comes around so I want to somehow make a connection between the Iliad and my time in Wuxi. After nine years of siege in Troy, things got interesting and this poet Homer composed the Iliad about what then happened. Now, what can I do to make my tenth year of my siege of Wuxi so interesting that someone will write a long poem about it? What character in the Iliad can I find parallels with? Answering the second question, I would say Achilles, but of course that is a conceit on my part. Sure, I have retired to my “tent,” but there isn't anything heroic about. So, I am going to have to find some bold ways to make my tenth year in Wuxi dramatic, maybe turn it into an Odyssey.

Two weeks till Tony's birthday. The little guy was up late last night. The heat has made him nocturnal.

The heat just permeates the school building. If you are not in a room with the air-con on, you feel sweat slowly seeping out of the pores. I don't mind so much this feeling when teaching however because I am always feel I am at a higher energy level than the students who become passive because of the heat. I love my students to be passive!

I have a new mobile phone. It is a hand-me-down but it cost me nothing and is better than the five year old hand-me-down of my wife's that I had been using.

Saturday [September 10]
[School Laptop]
Bad news when I got home last night. Tony's modeling gig fell through. Via QQ, the company, that had offered Tony the gig, informed Jenny that the photo shot had already taken place in Hangzhou. My wife told them to screw themselves. I suppose there must be lots of parents wanting their children to be models so the companies can act accordingly with people.

I also learned that I had mistakenly deleted all the photos from the hand-me-down mobile phone that I had been given. I had misunderstood my wife when she told me to take them off. I figured when I deleted the photos that the previous owner of the phone didn't want me to look at them which, now that I think of it, was pretty stupid assuming on my part. The previous owner wanted me to take the photos out of the phone and give them to her. This gaffe garnered me sullen silence from Jenny.

I work 10:00 to 18:00 today. It is my Friday.

It is another hot day out there.

I have changed my approach to how I spend my time on the bus. No more will I listen to a podcast and try to study a Chinese textbook. I will instead spend half of my time reading a textbook and other books; and the other half listening to a podcast and looking out the window. Doing this this morning, it seemed I read better and got more out of the podcast I did listen to.

Another AKIC Motto? Check this out:
In this did Cato with the gods divide,
They chose the conquering, he the conquer'd side.
It could work for me, but truth be told, I don't have what it takes to be a conqueror. It would be silly to compare myself with Cato.

Sunday [August 11]
[Home Laptop]
After work yesterday, I meet Jenny and Tony at the Hui Shan Wanda Plaza. We tried another restaurant there which was in some boring Chinese style I thought. We took Tony to a curio shop where we bought him a camouflaged dump truck and me a spinning top that was just a little larger than a coke plastic bottle cap. I will take the top to work to spin on my desk. Like the godfather having a cat to caress, I will have a top to spin. Tony then insisted that I take him to the nearby beach so he could play with his plastic shovel. I did and I borrowed the shovel to write expletives in the sand. Back at home, I worked on this blog entry and loaded some movies onto my Ipad.

I feel hung over this morning but I only had two beers last night.

Oh yes! I should mention! I don't work today.

I don't think we will be getting out of the apartment today. It is too hot. We had actually talked of taking a trip to neighboring Zhejiang province but the hot weather squelched that idea.

It is afternoon. We sit at home. I am editing this blog entry while Tony plays on my Ipad which he hadn't asked me for permission to use. I have found an essay that I was working on a month ago, and had shelved on the question of judging and not judging. I have put the final touches on it, I think, but I will set it down for a few days and read it one more time before I do publish it.

I have created a new blog: The Andis Kaulins Anti-Blog. It will be a simple collections of any thoughts and observations that strike me. It will contain no links and will not allow comments. Those who want to contact me can via email. I am fashioning it after David Warren's blog and a few of the anti-blogs that he admires.

Tony & I went out about at 16:00. Via the K family e-bike, we headed to the Wuxi-Jiangyin Bridge to do some trainspotting and as well, to look at the livestock inhabiting area beneath and in the vicinity of the bridge. We saw about ten trains pass including a pair passing by each other. It was just my luck to have had a premonition of seeing two trains pass each other, and then not being in a position to take a photo of them when they in fact passed each other. I can recall only one other time when I have been able to see trains passing on the section of track running over the bridge. It would have been a money shot if I could have taken it. Tony & I were more interested in the animals anyway. We saw a slew of chickens, geese, and goats. Tony seemed very interested in the livestock and I imagined myself to be Charles Waterton.

I watched A Bad Day at Black Rock on my Ipad Mini. I had downloaded the 1955 movie staring Spencer Tracy, Robert Ryan, Ernest Borgnine, and Lee Marvin via torrent. Filmed in cinema-scope, the movie opened with a credit sequence which featured footage, which I had to show to Tony, of a train running in a desert. The train stops at a small town called Black Rock and out comes Spencer Tracy who is to spend 24 hours in the town full of suspicious locals. The film was watchable but the story seemed slightly implausible. At one point in the film, there is a meeting of the locals who are annoyed at a girl for having rented a jeep to the Tracy character who is to drive it to the site of a burnt down homestead. One of the locals at the meeting somehow manages to get to the site before Tracy who was already heading to the site when the meeting was taking place.

One last thing before I close this entry off. I returned to the scene of my crime. That is, from our trainspotting site, Tony & I rode to the beach where I had written the expletives in the sand. One of them which said that someone I know liked male sexual organs had not been erased.

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