Sunday, October 27, 2013

The Andis Kaulins in China Weekly for October 21 to October 27, 2013

Gratitude:  It was my 7th Wedding Anniversary on Sunday and so I have seven years of marriage to a strong willed woman for which to be thankful.

Acknowledgement: I thought I would be a better husband than I turned out to be. No! I am not an adulterer. That isn't the problem. I thought I would be a more take charge and attentive husband. I have instead be passive and a witness to the marriage than a fully pledged participant.

Requests: I will make this request to God. GAR is supposed to be a prayer anyway. I pray that I will have the rest of my life will see me have more opportunities to be a better husband.

The AKIC Week in Brief: It was Jenny and Andis's 7th anniversary this week. That is, the 7th anniversary of getting their wedding license. Andis spent the week looking forward to it. Other than doing this, Andis suffered through long bouts of boredom and ennui.

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

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

AKIC Weekly Features:

I in in China!  一个星期,我学的中文五六小时。我和jenny结婚了七个年。

I am Canadian! I hadn't heard, till this week, that the lead singer of the Bare Naked Ladies, the seemingly cute huggable Canadian pop band, was arrested in 2011 for possession of cocaine. To try to redeem himself, this singer has become something of a socialist activist. Every time I contemplate going back to Canada, I hear stuff like this. Canada is half free, half moronic.

A chubby reporter turned Senator, Mike Duffy made a big speech in the Canadian Senate. Who knew anything interesting happened in the Canadian senate.

I am Latvian (sort of)! I am reading Anne Applebaum's Iron Curtain. I am one of the sort who was forced by circumstances to dump his ethnicity. But I have never fell tempted, even with my many failures in life, to fall back on it.

Wuxi Peach Maoists Update: Visit here to find out how if your Peach Maoists have finally won a match-up.

Politically I am Conservative/Reactionary! I might as well do a rant about Obama this week. He is a symptom of the modern disease.

I teach English! First, it seems to me, the students have trouble with their fluency. That is, their speed is not up to snuff. If they get over this, they exhibit vocabulary problems and cannot think of the words they need to use. If they then acquire a sufficient vocabulary, their grammar mistakes stand out more to the native English speaker. This is how I reason when it comes to grading students. At our school, we give excellent grades, sometimes, or we tell the students that they passed but they must work on vocabulary or their grammar or their fluency. If they are awful, we may tell them to repeat the class. Seems easy enough in theory but some students don't fit these molds and they have English weaknesses that defy our classification system. I wish I could grade them from A to D. With A being good and D being a bare pass.
I am not a freak! I sometimes wish I was. As it is, I just another plug living a life of quiet desperation.
I think my despondence is that of the one lone lunatic in the asylum who knows he is a lunatic stuck with other lunatics.
And then there is this quote: Only a complete lunatic or a Democrat could believe otherwise. Is there a need to provide context for this quote? Lunatics and Democrats believe in stupid things. I like to insinuate in the blog that I would never stoop to being a Democrat. And yet I have just said I am a lunatic. Am I contradicting myself? (I would love to contradistinction myself actually.) Well, a Democrat is a person blind to his lunacy. I am a loonie stuck among self-described middle-of-the-roaders.

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 try to read at least one aphorism a day.  I cut and paste the better ones -- they are all profound actually -- and I put them in my weekly blog entry. (See below)
The Niomachean Ethics of Aristotle. Now that I have finished the Catechism, I will read this and then begin to read the Summa.

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 #177 this week and is working his way through the chapter that introduces Leopold Bloom. I am getting ahead of 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 have finished The General Epistle of Jude and am now reading the Book of Revelations.

Mao Zedong: Man, Not God by Quan Yanchi. A Hagiography given to me by a local.

Quo Vadis by Henrik Sienkiewicz. One of the first Catholic novels if my source on the Internet is to be believed. I put the book on my Ipod, thinking I would read it when I didn't have access to my Ipad, but now I am reading it on my Ipad.

Civilization: The West and the Rest by Niall Ferguson. I found this book on the Internet after I had read Ferguson's nice little scribe against Paul Krugman. In this book, Ferguson compares developments in the West since 1500 with the rest of the world.

Iron Curtain by Anne Applebaum. How did the Iron Curtain come to be? Applebaum discusses this in this history. Suffice to say, anti-communism was no vice.

I like to take photos
I publish them in the following blogs:  AKIC wordpress , TKIC blogspot, TKIC wordpress, Views of China from Casa Kaulins Blogspot and Views of China from Casa Kaulins Wordpress. It is my habit to take a least one photo of Tony a day and publish it in TKIC wordpress. I also try to capture interesting things that pass by the Casa Kaulins apartment, either on video on still image, and publish them in Views of China from Casa Kaulins.

I like to make videos

I like to cut, paste, and sometimes give my take on quotations:

David Warren:
Ms Palin is herself a mass-market politician, & neither genius nor sage. Yet I admired her for common sense, & a refreshing detachment from the cynicism that plagues our political life. She was reasonably honest & straightforward, unlike her rivals. On this ground alone, I thought her worth defending. Had she not been attacked so unworthily, I might myself have dismissed her as a lightweight. But in the context of the U.S. presidential election of 2008, it was worth noting that she had more native smarts, saner attitudes, more impressive personal accomplishments, & rather more executive experience than, say, Barack Obama. The one thing she lacked was the “cool” factor. She was too “authentic,” too salt-of-the-earth, had too much starch & integrity, to survive long in democratic politics. [A honest person will always choose salt-of-the-earth over cool. Anti-Palinism like anti-Semitism like anti-Americanism is a mental and intellectual disorder.]

Nicolas Gomez Davillia:
361 No being deserves our interest for more than an instant, or for less than a lifetime.

362 Progressivist hope does not swell up except in speeches. [This explains why Obama won't ever shut up.]

367 To the masses what matters is not whether they are free, but whether they believe they are free.

Whatever cripples their freedom does not alarm them, unless they are told it should.

368 To appreciate the ancient or the modern is easy; but to appreciate the obsolete is the triumph of authentic taste. [I came to China to see obsolete things.]

383 To reform society through laws is the dream of the incautious citizen and the discrete preamble to every tyranny.

Law is the juridical form of custom or the trampling of liberty.
[The ACA law in the USA.]

388 Modern architecture knows how to erect industrial shacks, but it does not succeed in building either a palace or a temple. [Temples to consumerism are being built in Wuxi.]

This century will leave behind only the tire-tracks of the transports it employed in the service of our most sordid greed.
[In Wuxi, they are building churches, temples, and palaces among all the industrial shacks that are being built. However these buildings are thoroughly modern and can't be said to be successes.]

395 Only the trivial protects us from boredom. [Paradoxical it seems at first glance. And it then quickly strikes one as being true. But read it again and you realize that the trivial and the boring are not the same things as all.]

405 Progress is the scourge God has chosen for us. [And to think that there are people who are proud to label themselves progressives.]

413 The unforeseeable grace of an intelligent smile is enough to blast away the layers of tedium which the days deposit. [I do need to smile more. However, I wonder if I am capable of intelligent smiles.]

420 In today’s political spectrum no party is closer than any other to the truth. There are simply some that are farther away. [Do any politicians have any truth in their sights?]

421 Sad like a biography. [Sad like my blog. Ha.]

The AKIC List of the Week: AKIC's Favourite Podcasts

I have three lists of podcasts for you.

The following are podcasts I listen to religiously:
  • Coffee and Markets. A Conservative podcast full of wise economic and cultural insights.
  • The Three Martini Podcast. Everyday, the hosts for NRO present the listener with three martinis: One good, one bad, and one crazy.
  • Econtalk. A great podcast for those people who like me are Econ majors and are libertarians economically.
  • The China History Podcast. Host Laslzo Montgomery will never ever run out of topics in this highly informative podcast about China.
  • Radio Derb. Despite his defenestration, I listen to this conservative commentator who has a connection with China. Like me, China is his in-law and he can boost to having been an extra in a Bruce Lee movie.
  • Rex Murphy. This is a CBC podcast. Murphy speaks with a Newfoundland accent. But don't let that throw you off. He has intelligent things to say.
  • Frank Delaney's ReJoyce. This podcast is why podcasts were invented. Delaney goes line by line through James Joyce's Ulysses. Pick up the novel and you can follow along at your leisure. An acquired taste that no radio station could ever provide.
  • – Dennis Prager. Prager is another great Conservative commentator fighting the fight against Leftism.

The following are podcast I listen to repeatedly:
  • Saint Anthony Zaccaria's letters
  • Heretics by GK Chesterton
These two podcasts are really inspiring audio books.

The following podcasts I listen to often:
  • Vatican Radio [from Rome]
  • EWTN [from Alabama]
  • Charles Adler [from Winnipeg]
  • Counterpoint [from Australia]
  • Russian Rulers Podcast
  • American Conservative University
  • Dan Carlin's Hardcore History
  • Grammar Girl
  • Uncommon Knowledge
  • The Official Marc Levin Show Replay
  • Great Lives [from the BCC]
  • Popup Chinese [from Beijing]

All of these podcasts are available on Itunes.

I fashion myself to be a 21st Century Pepys

The Andis Kaulins in China Diary: October 21 to October 27, 2013

Monday [October 21]
[Home Laptop]
Don't work today. I will be a homebody instead of a office-chair body.

I got Tony off to school at 7:00 AM. He roused me out of this morning, which I think was a first. Usually, I rouse him out of his slumber.

I spend the morning on the computer, taking videos, editing videos and reading in bed. I produce Views of China from Casa Kaulins #32 and #33, and Scenes from My Life in Wuxi, China #48.

Yesterday, I parked my e-bike at the Wanda Plaza and then later found it was blocked off by e-bikes that choose to park all around it. I had to physically grab these other e-bikes and clear a path for myself to get out. It so happened that one of the drivers of the e-bike came upon me moving his bike. I swore at him; he smiled at me. I think it was one of those weaselly smiles that Chinese make when they have been caught red-handed.

I made mention of Paul Krugman in the October 14 to 20 issue of the AKIC Weekly. Just now, about 16:10, I got a Google News Alert email for Andis Kaulins which turned out to be a link to some other Andis Kaulins saying something favorable about Paul Krugman. How annoying! This Andis Kaulins is going to have to change his name. I have some suggestions. He can call himself Andrew Krugman, Adolf Krugman, Wiemar Republic Krugman, Ponzi Krugman, Barrack Obama Krugman, Zimbabwe Greece Spain Italy North Korea Soviet Union Krugman, Barabbas Krugman, Vladimir Barabbas Kim Il Sung Un Jung Pelosi Biden Rockefeller Krugman, or Juan Peron the Second. How dare that person whose name I wouldn't mention if it wasn't my name defame and besmirch my fine name and his fine name by agreeing with a drug taking charlatan. Andis Kaulins, who doesn't live in Wuxi, change your name!

A little knock on the door at 16:15. Who is it? Tony!!!

What did you do on your days off? Thankfully, no one asks me that question anymore.

Tuesday [October 22]
[Home Laptop]
I will work 13:00 to 21:00 today.

I have sent Tony off to school.

I am trying to get Tony to say that Daddy is right and Tony is wrong. To his credit, Tony understands what I am saying but he won't say it when I ask him to. He say that I am wrong.

Last evening, I took Tony to the Hui Shan Wanda Plaza.

This morning, I read an article about Gypsies in Taki's Magazine. In one passage of the article Gypsies were said to be Jews without accomplishments. However, the article in saying this left one thinking that the article's author also thought Jews were parasitical.

At the entrance to my school is a poster of me where I called myself a Gypsy. I didn't think that I was labeling myself a parasite, but just a person with no firm roots anywhere because I had moved a lot in my life.

Gypsies and Jews, in the article, were said to tend to stay aloof from the rest of the population. I am that way. However, my aloofness came from an inherited shyness which has evolved into a kind of passive aggressive resentment.

[School Laptop]
I took the 25 bus to work.

Wednesday [October 23]
[School Laptop]
I work 13:00 to 21:00 today.

I didn't have much to say yesterday. I don't have much to say today but I will try.

It's our 7th Wedding Anniversary this Sunday. Yes.

On Friday, October 27, 2006, Jenny & I took the train to Nanjing to get our wedding license. We were supposed to have gotten it on the 23rd. We had made a trip of it to Nanjing on that date and stayed overnight at a nice hotel, making love and all that, only to learn the next day that Jenny's paperwork was wrong and so she had to go back to her hometown to get some forms corrected. Jenny was very upset at the time. I shrugged my shoulders, but I think how I flattered I am now in retrospect that someone would be upset that they couldn't marry me right away. We returned on the 27th on Jenny's insistence. I had to switch shifts to get it done. There was no night of passion spent at a hotel as I had to go back to work the next day.

I think I will consider October 27 to be our wedding anniversary instead of December 3 when we had our wedding party. I didn't particularly enjoy December 3, 2006. I think of the relationships that have been broken since then and all the people I invited to the party that I wish I hadn't in retrospect, particularly one Scottish piece of English Teacher scum. But at least the music at the party was all Sinatra – so there was one touch of class.

October 27, 2006 and August 23, 2007 are the best days I have ever spent in China. For it was on those days that Jenny became my wife and my son Tony was born.

Whose faults were these relationship breakups? They were my decisions for the most part. But if they hadn't been my decisions, they would have happened anyway. They were becoming intolerable.

I hoping to create a Toss Tossing Game GUI with Python.

Thursday [October 24]
[School Laptop]
I work 10:00 to 21:00. It's my longest workday of the week.

I succeeded yesterday in creating a crude coin tossing game with a Graphical User Interface. I know how to refresh the various elements of the GUI when the coin is tossed and results are produced. I of course need to refine it. I have to figure out like how to position the various elements of my program on the GUI canvas.

[LECTOR: Why? ANDIS: Because I don't want to lose my sanity. LECTOR: You think you are sane and everybody else isn't? ANDIS: Of course I don't think that. I know that I am insane or am at least willing to admit the possibility. I don't want to come in contact with people who really think they are sane or act on the pretense of being pseudo-cool crazy. LECTOR: What do you mean by pseudo-cool crazy? ANDIS: The people who bragging of the insane and crazy things they do.]

I took the 602and the 81 buses to get to work.

A very happy student, who has graduated from university, tells me she is happy because she can sleep in every day. I remember being filled with anxiety about what I was going to do when I graduated with my second bachelor's degree. And of course the anxiety was well-founded.

Another student, who works in HR, tells me she prefers to hire non-Wuxi people. Wuxi people she says are rich already and not very ambitious when it comes to working, preferring to take it easy.

Funny how her idea of natives being lazy was not so different from a Canadian's idea of natives being lazy.

We, that be the Kaulins Family China, may be posing for portrait style photographs on our anniversary day.

For the economic historians who may read my blog, I will mention that the big breakfast I had at McDonald's this morning was 22 rmb.

Friday [October 25]
[School Laptop]
I work 11:00 to 21:00 today.

Last night, I had Wifi while I was waiting for the 635 bus. A rather pleasant occurrence. When I am getting a Wifi signal, My Ipod will make train whistling noises to tell me I am receiving email updates. Imagine my surprise when listening a podcast of Ben Shapiro speaking and staring at the Moresky360 building to hear a train coming in.

This morning, I stood on the same spot and didn't get Wifi.

I didn't have breakfast at McDonald's this morning. I figured that two pieces of toast and a large mug of tea at Casa Kaulins would suffice.

It is Anniversary Seven Day minus two.

I made substantial progress toward designing my coin toss GUI program yesterday afternoon. I have a toss button which when pressed will show the score and line-score progress of my coin tossing matches. I just need now to pretty the GUI up. My next project will be to create a GUI for a round robin tournament.

It's Friday. Time for some interior monologue mixed with third person narration. I almost forgot about that. I'll do this now; and at lunch, I will prep my classes. My first one is at three. Two students. Talk about family. Andis reclined in his chair and looked at his desk. He saw a pair of scissors. Put those back! He surveyed the desktop again. What a mess! Papers. Pens. Stapler! Put that back! Andis then yawned for a good five seconds. What I am so sleepy considering I am not so busy? Call this a job! It is more a case of keep myself occupied. Now. What to think? My mind is blank. What do I hear? Andis heard the voices of some teachers who were in nearby classes. BEICs. I wonder if they stick with it. Andis saw a carton containing a piece of cake from 85 bakery. It was on my desk on Tuesday. I will keep there as a sort of social-chemical experiment. Will it become stinky? Will someone take it away?

The Wuxi Peach Maoists. Oh six and one. Will they ever win a match-up this year? Never give up. A win now is a way to really stick it to the other team. They slap themselves for losing a game they thought was in the bag – the joys of being a spoiler.

Andis saw a short girl round a corner to get to her office. Marketing. They have awful jobs. Worse than having to talk to students who have nothing to say. If I didn't say inanities I would have nothing to say. Better to be quiet than to risk saying something inane.

Andis again leaned back in his chair. He took off his glasses. He wiped tears from his eyes. Tears of boredom? Tears of tiredness. Insane to get up so early and then don't do any real work till the evening.

Andis wondered what to think then. What to have for lunch? Already decided that. I won't. I will wait for supper. I have a package of M&Ms in the backpack if need be.

In someone came. Silence. I will be glad when I have this office again to myself.

Andis looked at the photo of him, his wife, and his son. Don't look at the hair so closely. A big patch of hair at front top of my head doesn't block the view of my bald spot. I can't see the hint of it clearly. Still, Tony and Jenny look cool. Yes!!!

I have a coin toss game GUI that works. It will let me toss a coin, keep a current line-score scoreboard of the toss results, and will even finish correctly in the last “inning” of the game.

Saturday [October 26]
[School Laptop]
I work 10:00 to 18:00 today.

It is Anniversary Seven minus one. We will be going to the Jin Ling Hotel tomorrow for a deluxe buffet dinner.

This afternoon, the school will have a Halloween Party. I am not sure what is going to happen. I won't wear a costume.

The wife wanted me to wear a costume, of sorts, tonight for a family portrait shot. Fortunately she changed her plan and we will be doing the photo session on Monday after Tony's school is finished. I wasn't keen on having to rush to a photo studio after having finished work, and then having to put on a suit.

I have nothing against wearing suits but I am afraid that I have adopted the modern habit of dressing casually all the time so that the suit I do have is ill-fitting and ill-maintained and cheap-looking. So if I do wear a suit, even half-ass well, I am better off dressing casually.... Either way I look bad but with a suit I look ridiculous.

A young student tells me that in grade two, students are able to go to school by themselves. I recall, but I will admit that my memory is fuzzy, going to school by myself in grade one.

[Home Laptop]
At the Halloween party, I snagged an Iron Man mask for Tony. You can see him wearing it at Tony Kaulins in China Wordpress.

It was bloody awkward having to not seem bored at the party. They carved pumpkins and wore unimaginative contests.

The only thing that kept me interested was the pretty young M.C.

Jenny told me that she was going to go downtown with Tony. They were first going to eat at a restaurant near Casa Kaulins and then take a bus downtown. This meant that I would have to eat dinner by myself downtown. I had no idea what to eat so I decided to check out the Hen Long Plaza, the second big shopping mall to open in Wuxi last month. The Plaza was cavernous, with seven floors, and was full of many expensive clothing stores. I was surprised to see a store for Major League Baseball on the 7th floor. However, it sold mostly New York Yankee memorabilia.

While on the subject of MLB, I know the World Series is taking place now. It doesn't seem to be a big deal. The only sports talk I have heard of on my podcasts is about the NFL. The match-up in this year's World Series is classic: Cardinals and Red Sox. Still. No buzz.

I have to admit that I don't care for the way the MLB is being marketed on its website. What's with this new expressions like walk-off? Is MLB trying to imitate the NFL and at the same time try to create some new hipness? What's with the fashion of players wearing barbarian viking beards? And why don't they wear stirrup pants anymore? My image of MLB is from the seventies and eighties and nineties. I look at the video of MLB as it is now on the Internet, and feel that it isn't the same game.

Anyway, I won't be spending much time at the Hen Long Plaza. There isn't anything there that isn't already available at the Hui Shan Wanda. It just seems so unnecessary to build two shopping centers, both with seven floors, within two blocks of each other in the downtown.

Sunday [October 27]
[Home Laptop]
Happy Anniversary! Happy Anniversary! Happy Anniversary!

Happy Anniversary!

I have marked this special day by publishing photos and videos, from that day seven years ago, on my two Andis Kaulins in China blogs.

I uploaded three videos to Youtube over night: Scenes from My Life in Wuxi, China #48 and Views of China from Casa Kaulins #33 & #34.

What are my plans for the day? This afternoon, we will be going to the downtown to get haircuts and to have a deluxe buffet dinner at the Jin Ling Hotel.

Jenny was complaining that it was cold outside yesterday. I thought it was comfortable.

I am up early and I don't know what to do with myself.

I spent some time looking for pdf and epub copies of books recommended by David Warren.

I spent my time, as I do everyday, licking psychic wounds. Being with Tony helps me to forget all.

I read a story about Sarah Palin refusing an invitation to appear on the Piers Morgan Show. Palin has very good reasons not to. Morgan should be offering Palin a grovelling apology for comments he made about her. He was helping to circulate a satirical story about Palin as if it was true. In fact, any Leftist journalist requesting an interview with Palin should offer a grovelling apology for spreading lies about her.

Tony watches violent Lego City video on Youku.

22:52 The K family went downtown and then returned to Casa Kaulins by 10:00 PM. They went to a small salon, a two seater, for two haircuts and a hair-wash. The salon had been opened by a stylist who had worked at the salon that the K family had been going to. Jenny said the stylist was good and so the K family took two buses to the salon which was located at the end of a row of businesses on Jiankang Road near the Hubin Street Bridge.

As foretold in this blog, the K family then went to the Jinling Hotel for dinner. Andis and Jenny had their fill. Tony ate all the chicken nuggets on offer and played with a girl from another table.

The K family then did a Downtown Wuxi Mall Crawl. They walked through the Baoli Shopping Center on the way to the Suning Plaza where they went to the grocery store. And then from the Suning they made their way to the Hen Long Plaza.

At the Suning Plaza grocery store, Andis saw a Tomica plastic cup that cost 43 rmb – a completely ridiculous price, even with a Tomica premium. The cup was a small child's size and its Tomica images could have easily been peeled off.

The Kaulins family had two items of celebration at this evening's deluxe buffet dinner.
  1. It was Jenny & Andis's seventh anniversary.
  2. They had paid off the mortgage on their apartment.

So Tony was prodded into giving his parents a congratulatory toast.

If you ever visited the apartment – fat chance of that happening – you'd laugh. But hey! It's paid for!

Thus ends the diary for a dull week.

Sunday, October 20, 2013

The Andis Kaulins in China Weekly: October 14 to October 20, 2013

Gratitude:  I have many things to be thankful for. Unfortunately for the sake of originality, they are the always the same things every week. But that is a reason to be thankful. The things that I can be thankful for are the permanent things, not the things that fly by for a night or so.

Acknowledgement: When I do these little headlines in the AKIC Weekly, I am often baffled as to what to put in them that might be original. So I acknowledge that I rarely have anything original to say. [ Gómez Dávila warns against making a purpose of it to think originally. More important, he says, just to think.] I also admit that I can be a despicable shit.

Requests: Email at if you are a fan, or not a fan of my reactionary views. I only had one response to my request last week.

The AKIC Week in Brief: I was in a defiant, giddy, and depressed moods the whole week. Other than that, it was just another week of taking the bus to work and then taking the bus home. I had one original thought which I may publish one day in my anti-blog – something about Leftists and middle-of-the-roaders being more concerned with preserving the means than with ends. I also had an idea for the AKIC Weekly – Look below!

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

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

AKIC Weekly Features:

I in in China!  这个星期,我读了三本书。我和我的同事没谈。你问为什么?他们是不好人。

I am Canadian! One thing that I like about China is the fact that they don't have government liquor stores. Canada in theory is not Communist so why is it that in Communist China, you can buy beer at the corner store, but not in Canada?

I am Latvian (sort of)! I got a Latvian name. I gave my son Tony a Latvian middle name.

Wuxi Peach Maoists Update: Visit here to find out how if your Peach Maoists have finally won a match-up.

Politically I am Conservative/Reactionary! A victory for Obama is not a loss for Conservatives. It is a loss for civilized values. Although, I am optimistic that Obama's seeming victory in the latest debt ceiling showdown will turn out to a Pyrrhic. Obamacare is turning out to be an epic failure much faster than I expected.

I teach English! In my last class of the week, I had a student say “I have ever.” Why do they do that?
I am not a freak! Sure, I knowingly put myself in a situation that is freakish, but I am just living with the consequences of it.
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 try to read at least one aphorism a day.  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 #175 this week and is working his way through the chapter that introduces Leopold Bloom. I am getting ahead of 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 have finished The General Epistle of Jude and am now reading the Book of Revelations.

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. Finished reading it on Oct. 16th. Like Father Schall's writings, I had been able to place its contents on the Dotdotdot app. It is a great read. Very informative. Well written. Inspiring.

Mao Zedong: Man, Not God by Quan Yanchi. A Hagiography given to me by a local.

Quo Vadis by Henrik Sienkiewicz. One of the first Catholic novels if my source on the Internet is to be believed. I put the book on my Ipod, thinking I would read it when I didn't have access to my Ipad, but now I am reading it on my Ipad.

Memoirs of Life and Literature by WH Mallock. Finished reading it on October 15th. Another great book. I can't believe I hadn't heard of this writer till this year. He ends the book with some great advice about writing. I see that I will have to completely renounce any writing ambitions I have. I am not in this author's league when it comes to writing or thinking.

Royal Beatings by Alice Munro. I read this story just to see what the Nobel winning writer was all about. This story was rather grim.

The Columbia Anthology of Modern Chinese Literature edited by Joseph S.M. Lau & Howard Goldblatt. I am reading stories at random from this book. There is a story called Hands that I am quite taken with. I don't know why I didn't “pick up” this book sooner. Reading the few stories I have has told me more about China than reading a history ever could.

The Niomachean Ethics of Aristotle. Now that I have finished the Catechism, I will read this and then begin to read the Summa.

Why Paul Krugman should never be taken seriously again by Niall Ferguson. It is not a book but it is such a long piece that it might as well be one. A Nobel Prize winner was giving himself a super hero name. Krugnatron or something. For me, proof positive that Krugman was nothing but a Democrat Party hack occurred when he blood-libelled Sarah Palin after the Arizona shooting incident. In this piece, Ferguson gives many additional reasons why Krugman is a menace.

I like to take photos

I like to make videos

I like to cut, paste, and sometimes give my take on quotations:

Anthony Esolen: Racism: The contemptible belief that we should judge a man by the content of his character, rather than by the color of his skin. [LECTOR: Isn't this backwards? ANDIS: Yes but this is the updated modern definition.]

The wisest thing  Pat Buchanan ever said is, “Compromise is the surrender of fundamentals.” [I really enjoyed Pat's column about the conflict between Goldwater and Rockefeller Republicans. The Goldwater Republicans who stuck to their guns and principles won out in the end said Pat who sees the Tea Partiers as the people who will benefit when Obamacare goes to pot.]

W. H. Mallock
, I have always felt that no man is fit to encounter an adversary's case successfully unless he can make it for the moment his own, unless he can put it more forcibly than the adversary could put it for himself, and takes account, not only of what the adversary says, but also of the best that he might say, if only he had chanced to think of it. [Sound advice.]

Mr. Kidd had a semi-Socialist audience ready for him, who lived mainly by sentiment, whose sentimentalities had anticipated his own, and who were only waiting for some one from whom they might learn to sing them to some definite intellectual tune. [This is true of many political writers today.]

Goodness is simple, ill takes any shape.”

Nicolás Gómez Dávila:
345 The modern sensibility, instead of demanding the repression of envy, demands that we suppress the object which arouses it.
346 The prejudice of not having prejudices is the most common one of all. [To my way of thinking, this ties in very well with my hatred of the term middle-of-the-road. People who use this term are trying to say their are unbiased and reasonable. In reality, the usage of this term betrays a lack of thought. For one thing, the middle of the road is not the place to be – you will get in the way of people travelling in either direction and impede them to no good end. For another, middle-of-the-road is used by left-wingers since their left-wing stance was thoroughly put into disrepute by the presidency of Ronald Reagan and the fall of the Berlin Wall. Furthermore, middle-of-the -roaders are declaring that they define themselves by what others think. They should really call themselves fence-sitters, and given their predisposition to justifying any kind of sexual depravity, they should be fence-post sitters with the fence-post being stuck in their you-know-whats.]
348 The soul that climbs to perfection often abandons the lands conquered down below, where subordinate demons install themselves, ridiculing and dirtying that soul. [My soul is far from perfect. To say this seems a truism, I know, but I need to say this lest any rare reader may think that I somehow think that I think that I have somehow ascended to perfection. I am in the process of ditching things, not because I have conquered them. Lord knows, I haven't conquered them and been repelled by them in my feeble and meek efforts to conquer them. I am the state of ditching the desire for them. It is a surgical operation involving complete amputations of demons.]
351 Resignation to error is the beginning of wisdom. [So true. I have been wrong on so many things. And plus, the age of prophets has passed.]
352 Questions only fall silent when faced with love. “Why love?” is the only impossible question. [This depicts my current existential crisis in a nutshell. I am stuck in a loveless age, a loveless culture, a loveless milieu. And I am fighting it with passive aggression.]
355 Modern individualism is nothing but claiming as one’s own the opinions everyone shares. [I notice this tendency a lot among Leftists. How often do they say that their opponents are unable to think for themselves. It is a common refrain among them.]

New Feature! The AKIC List of the Week: AKIC's Ten Most Frequently Visited Websites
  1. Essays in Idleness David Warren is a Catholic Reactionary of the worst kind. He is my favourite anti-blogger
  2. Duff and Nonsense My favourite blogger is English and no fan of the Barabbas Obama.
  3. Taki's Magazine Its writers are very un-p.c.
  4. The Catholic Thing A column a day of wisdom from the most inspirational site on the Internet.
  5. The Drudge Report I am never one to visit news site but I can't help but visiting this site when I am bored.
  6. Sullivan's Travellers My favourite blogger Alan Sullivan died a few years ago. He was an interesting fellow: an admitted homosexual who converted to Roman Catholicism late in his life after reading a column by David Warren. He mentioned my blog a few times and offered me best wished on my spiritual journey. Sullivan's Travellers is blog run by his rare readers. Sullivan did have as few rare readers as he pretended. I can rightly say I have rare readers.
  7. Crisis Magazine Another great Catholic site that I visit daily.
  8. The Peter Hitchens Blog The less-famous brother of the late Christopher Hitchens seems to me to be the most interesting writer of the pair.
  9. Arts and Letters Daily This is probably site that I have been visited for the longest time.
  10. The one site I visit about China. I have spent hours using its character flashcards.

To be honest, I don't spend much time visiting China sites. There are just too many know-it-alls who have a superficial knowledge of China.

Earlier my Chinese blogging career, I realized that there was no way that I was going to be able to compete with these other China bloggers and sites. For one thing, there was no way that I was going to be able to garner the resources and the contacts to become a China expert or Sinologist. For another, I came to China on a whim in my middle-age. I never had romantic notions about China. So, I decided that it was best if I talked about just Andis Kaulins in China. I say the blog is a Wuxi blog but I should drop that label as well. I have negligently and sometimes deliberately not made that many contacts in Wuxi. My concerns in my blog, are my family, my reactionary political interests, my recreational interests and my spiritual journey. If it wasn't for the Internet, China would play a greater part in my thinking.

I prefer to read about China in books – especially the old books at Project Gutenberg.

I fashion myself to be a 21st Century Pepys

Views of China from Casa Kaulins #32

The AKIC Diary for October 14 to October 20, 2013

Monday [October 14]
[Home Laptop]
No work today.

I still had to be up early because I had to get Tony off to school.

I woke up feeling stuffy.

I published the October 7 to October 13 diary last night. I will publish the AKIC Weekly as soon as the video Views of China from Casa Kaulins #31 has been uploaded. The VPN connection is slow however.

While waiting for the upload to finish, I have taken photos for my Views of China from Casa Kaulins blog. I took a good photo of a bamboo load that you just have to see!

I so much liked the results of my fit of Joycean interior monologue writing that I did last week, that I will make a point of doing it at least once a week in my diary from now on.

Jenny and I went to the Hui Shan Wanda Plaza for lunch and some shopping, and ate at the same restaurant we had had supper at last night. Jenny ordered peanuts, broccoli, tofu, beans in sweet sauce, fried rice, and crispy rolls with some sort of vegetable filling. All that food with a bottle of beer made me happy. We then went on Jenny's instigation to H&M. She had read on some social group of a woman buying a pair of kids doc marten style boots for 30 rmb. She didn't find the boots but we did buy a XL sized shirt for me from clearance rack for just 50 rmb!

The last two days, I have noticed that there has been a plague of foreigners hanging out at the Wanda Plaza or walking between the Wanda and the nearby Ramada Hotel. They have been young adults mostly, who I assume are competing in some sort of international sports competition in the area. They have been wearing clothing bearing the names of their native countries including Mexico and Denmark. Some of the more swarthy-looking among them I suspect are from the middle east.

I rode the e-bike to pick up Tony from school. We then went of a tour of the area straddling the border between the Hui Shan District and Jiangyin. We saw six high-speed trains, crossed at least six major bridges, were chased by one dog, stopped to watch one digger in action, bought one radish for Jenny, had one nice moment of contemplation on one of the bridges, and had our photo taken by Jenny as we drove by the apartment.

Back at home, Tony and I had a good wrestling match. I wanted Tony to watch television instead of wrestle with his buddy Kramer. I call his buddy Kramer because this little boy will come to our apartment unannounced to hang out. Jenny says that Kramer is the only kid that she knows of who Tony can be aggressive with. Usually, Tony gets picked on by all the kids. Our wrestling match started because Tony was picking on Kramer and annoying me. I tried to turn on the television and get him to watch that but Tony didn't want me to and I had to physically restrain him from trying to turn the television off. Tony was very determined to turn off the television and so we wrestled for a long five minutes. I am still much stronger than Tony and so there was no danger of him overpowering me and getting to the television; but Tony's stamina was something. His squirming and kicking required me to be constantly vigilant. I had to relent because he wasn't going to give up.

And then a minute after our wrestling match, Tony turned on the television to watch some cartoon. So we had fought for nothing. Tony it seems didn't want me telling him what to do.

Tuesday [October 15]
[Home Laptop]
It was blustery this morning. The first breaths of Winter.

I work 13:00 to 21:00 today.

Hanging laundry, I saw four or five good photo opportunities for my Views of China blog pass by. I didn't have my camera with me, alas.

[School Laptop]
I took the 25 bus to school.

It sure was windy outside, and I was thinking that my polo shirt and hoodie were insufficient to deal with it.

Wednesday [October 16]
[School Laptop]
I work 13:00 to 21:00.

I arrive at school at 11:00.

Yesterday's diary entry was pretty short. I gots to thinks of ways to make its longer. So, here is what thoughts and observations came to me as I rode the 25 bus to downtown:

  • The subject of an EWTN podcast I was listening to: Gratitude. This lead me to have an anti-blog thought: Gratitude! Gratitude! You must thank Me very much!
  • Team nicknames evolve. Dodgers mean a baseball team in Los Angeles, not the fans of a baseball team in Brooklyn who had to dodge trains to get to their teams' baseball stadium. Lakers means a basketball team in Los Angeles, not a basketball team in a city in a state full of lakes. Team nicknames can have many takes. The Reds are a baseball team in Cincinnati – there was no fuss to change their name during the cold war. Redskins are a professional football team in Washington D.C.
  • When I take the 25 bus, I often see bags and luggage lying on the floor. This is because the bus stops by the train and bus stations, and it is much cheaper to take the bus than the taxi.
  • When Wuxi People are on the phone, they squawk loudly.

Tony will have a car take him home after school. They took pity on Jenny & Tony yesterday when they were seen riding on an e-bike in the gusty and cool autumn winds.

Thursday [October 17]
[School Laptop]
I work 10:00 to 21:00. It's my long day at school

I was up at 5:45 this morning so I could shower, shave, and have Tony off to school by 7:00 and then just be able to go to school myself.

I took the 25 bus downtown. I had plenty of time to get off at the bus stop, near Nanchang Temple on Jiefang Road, and walk to the McDonalds, on the corner of Xueqian and Zhongshan Road, to have breakfast.

They are letting one of the foreign teachers, at our school, go.

Funny thing. I had to type today's entry (at least what I typed so far) twice. The computer froze and wouldn't even respond to CTRL-ALT-DEL. This also happened yesterday. It seems that ten minutes or so after I turn on the computer, it will freeze solid leaving me with no option but to turn it off. But it only happened once yesterday. Hopefully, it doesn't happen again today.

Maybe, I will go Joycean today; maybe, I won't.

An Xinjiang Restaurant will open across from the school! An Xinjiang Restaurant will open across from the school!

Friday [October 18]
[School Laptop]
I work 11:00 to 21:00 today.

Yesterday, I didn't do the Joycean thing. I will have to do it today.

So, without further ado, here is my weekly attempt at interior monologue style writing mixed with in third person narration:

I should say weakly attempt. Finished breakfast. Wait. Not exactly. I got to drink my coffee. My mind is blank. Andis's mind went blank. He didn't know what to type. I don't know what to type. Isn't this mixing of interior monologue and third person narration awesome!?! Only thing though. Should the third person narration be in the present tense or past tense? Andis wondered. Andis wonders. I think the past tense seems better. Most narration is done in the past tense. Andis thought that most narration was done in the past tense. At school, Andis goes straight into his office. I wait till the other office clears and I will do prep. (what little prep I do have...) Is it okay to be parenthetical in an interior monologue. Did Joyce use parenthesis in Ulysses? I can't recall.

In the office next to his, the tech guy summons the girl who sits in the office across the hall. (Not the stocking girl from last week.) Don't want to be thought of as a man who stalks girls in stockings. Andis stared at the breakfast sandwich wrapper. Waxy gloss. Crumpling reveals lack of symmetrical wrapping skill on part of kitchen worker. Two globs of dried and congealed cheese on the bottom left corner of the wrapper. Grab it. Roll it up. Throw in in the waste basket. Missed. Stand up. Grab the rebound off the floor. Andis bent over. Maybe I should have bent on my knees...

What's my first class. 13:00. Anna. Who get's the job? I wrote up a script for that a long time ago. Just have to run out the clock with conversation. 18:00 to 20:00. Leo Cao. Leo Cow. Leo Ciao. Crewcutted Chinese mail with a mustache. I wonder if he shaves. The lesson plan for his class is shit. I did come up with a way to string the conversation along based on the material. Materiale. I can't expect him to make a presentation. I don't know what to teach him. Four people at 20:00. Three woman and Zhou. Zhou could be a boy or girl, man or woman.

Andis looked at 141 Chinese flashcards on his computer.

What was it that I was thinking earlier? Colacho talked about the old woman praying in the corner of the church. Or in the back of pew or the seats. Colacho said he was like her. No. He said he was her. That is why I follow him. Is Bill Clinton like the old woman praying by herself in the church. No, he is thinking what is under the skirts of the young woman. Scum. I have to fight those tendencies all the time. That there was the British politician in the Tofumo(?) scandal. He resigned and spent the rest of his life working in soup kitchens, serving the lowest of the low. Clinton? He went around getting acclaim and lots of money making speeches. I can't stand to be with people who tolerate that. I can't.

Time to do some reading. Andis was to start his shift in 35 minutes. I will prep my lessons starting at 11:00. Turn on the Ipad. Wait for it to fully load. Select the KJV. Now in Revelations. Chapter 8. Wormwood. A ominous sounding word that I don't know the meaning of. Revelations is fun to read. Press library. Oops. Put four besides KJV on the to-do list. Choose Colacho.

351 Resignation to error is the beginning of wisdom.

What to add to that? It is so true. What is the difference between true and so true? There shouldn't be any difference in the degree of truth. Either it is true or it isn't true. What about the heresies that are 95 percent true? Mixing error with truth is how to entrap fools.

Damn. Time to take a shit. Bring along the Ipod? No. Think.

Andis walked into the bathroom. The door to the western WC stall was closed and the handle had a red color. Damn! Someone is in there! Andis walked to a urinal. Instead of staring at the wall, he looked to his left towards the stall. Is there someone in there? Andis didn't see any feet. I will have to check it. It seems to be very silent in here. I can't feel the presence of anyone else. Pull on the handle and see what happens. It opened. The stall had been empty.

Andis sat. Andis shat. We are always committing some small heresy. The devil never rests. There is always something we could have been doing with our time that was better than what we had been doing. Even to eat is to deprive others of food. Eat we must. Sin we must deal with.

Back to the office. Time to read some Aristotle. We acquire virtue by acting. How about by avoiding? Is there any virtue to acquire by sitting at my desk and not dealing with the demons in the next room? Perhaps you are if you are always battling temptation to go to that room. Does having the habit of virtue cease to be virtuous if it becomes easy and second nature?

Taste of breakfast still in my mouth. Time to eat some gum. Andis went to his backpack, pulling a package with three strips of gum from a front pocket. Andis unwrapped two strips and put them in his mouth. He took the packages and rolled them in a ball. He rolled his wheeled chair to his right. The waste paper basket was in sight. He put his right forearm parallel to the ground making a right angle with his armpit. The upper arm he bent back so that it was nearly over his shoulder. He took a deep breath and then thrust the upper arm forward. He released the paper ball so that it went upwards in a high arch. The paper ball landed in the waste basket. Basket!!!!

Back to Aristotle. It may not be virtuous to do the right thing but in the wrong spirit.

Fireworks crackle loudly neat the school. It is the new restaurant opening across the street from the school. Xinjiang food. Chow Mian Pian. I suppose I should wait a few days before I try the restaurant's food. It will be crowded today. Still. A good thing.

Like Joyce. I will end my composition with a Yes. Yes. Yes!

Saturday [October 19]
[School Laptop]
Andis works 10:00 to 18:00 today.

Andis got to work at 8:40. He had to wait a few minutes before the girl came to open the school's main entrance.

On the bus ride to home the previous evening, Andis got on and rushed to a seat in the back corner of the bus. His sometimes bus companion told him she preferred to sit at the front. Andis tried to sit at a front on a few instances and found he couldn't abide it.

When he got home, he saw that his son Tony had a black eye. Jenny wasn't sure what had happened. The teacher told him that he had been running around... That put Andis out of the good mood that he had been in brought on by listening to Sinatra on the Ipod and having read Aristotle on his Ipad.

Andis finished watching the Hustler starring Paul Newman, George C. Scott, and Jackie Gleason. Newman was cool at times in the movie but it was hard to find his being a loser believable. His coolness contrasted in a Jekyll and Hydish way with his loserness.

[Home Laptop]
On the bus ride home, I started watching the movie Criss Cross starring Burt Lancaster. Watching it with my headphones on, I didn't hear my phone ringing about ten times as my wife was trying to get a hold of me. When I finally answered the phone, my wife was pissed.

Sunday [October 20]
I don't work today.

Other than publishing my blog entries tonight or tomorrow, I don't know what I am going to do the next two days. This isn't a good thing for this diary.

We went last night to Wanda for dinner. We will go to Wanda for lunch today.

I have spent an considerable amount of time on the AKIC Weekly. I just made a top ten list for it.

Tony's right eye is still black.

I have to make another toy for Tony was this fold-and-glue book that Jenny bought him yesterday. Unlike the book I had bought for Tony, the book Jenny bought doesn't have perforated folds.

I had a bad experience at the Hui Shan Wanda Plaza Pizza Hut. We got stuck in a corner table and they seemingly forgot about us. Our food was coming out slowly. They then gave us a free pizza because they had screwed up the pizza we had ordered. When we finally got the pizza we had ordered, I could see that it had been hastily made. The sauce and toppings were not spread properly over the pizza so that the space between the sauce edge and the crust edge was as much as two and a half inches long.

I went on the Internet seeing what mischief Paul Krugman had been up to lately. Niall Ferguson has written a devastating critique of him. No one needs to take Krugman seriously anymore.

I took Tony out for a walk in the late afternoon. He brought along his push-bike. He wanted to go to the Jia Zhou Yang Fang basketball court because it is a good place to ride his push-bike. However when he got there he joined up with three other boys of assorted age. They ran around playing high-and-seek but they got rowdy at times. Somewhere, they found some bricks and were throwing them down a stairwell.

I know enough Chinese characters to be able to read a sign and not have a clue what it means. As Tony played, I saw a sign with familiar characters. I brought out my Ipod, put on the notebook app, and changed the keyboard so I could do pinyin entry. I was able to enter the pinyin so that I could match the characters on the sign. I was able to read the words on the sign aloud, more or less, but I had no idea what they meant.