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

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