Monday, April 14, 2014

Diary: April 8 to April 14, 2014

  • Another week of coasting.
  • This week's question to ask myself: What do you believe?
  • Also I will continue answering this question: How can you improve yourself?

Tuesday [April 8]
[Home Laptop]
  • I didn't sleep well last night. But then neither did Tony & Jenny. Lying awake, I got to thinking about my future. I am going to have to dedicate my remaining years of life to Tony & Jenny, I thought. I shuddered when I wondered about what I would be leaving them.
  • My shift today: 13:00 to 21:00.
  • The weather: it rained last night. I will wear a long sleeved shirt and a sweat jacket when I go to work.
  • What do you believe? John Derbyshire asked himself this question recently and so I will ask myself as well. The next question that is raised from this question is do you believe in God? I answer yes. Why? It is a feeling, I know. But I believe in the spirit. Poetry and music can be explained by biology and neurology I would suppose, but there are things that are sacred, there just are. [A lame answer I know.]
  • How can you improve yourself? David Warren's latest blog entry entitled Passiontide provided an answer. We must look on our fellows and do some Good. This might begin with looking into their faces, and acknowledging when they look into ours. It does not matter in the least if they are Christian, they are on the same road. We have been solemnly instructed to avoid harming our neighbour, whatever the temptation might be. We should take that instruction at face value. But we have also been solemnly instructed to love, and we must learn to love. Or we will arrive — knee, waist, shoulder, head — covered with the sins of omission.

Wednesday [April 9]
[Home Laptop]
  • I didn't make an entry to this journal while I was at work yesterday. I just never got around to it.
  • What do you believe? Socialism is bad. It makes the problems it attempts to solve worse.
  • Yesterday was a day of Trappist silence for me. Not in class, mind you. That is when the students go Trappist.
  • My shift today: 13:00 to 21:00.
  • Tony goes to the Wuxi Zoo today on a school field trip.
  • No internet at home this morning. The signal stopped last night about 11:00. No idea why. [Jenny had to call in Techs to fix the problem. A broken wire somewhere away from the apartment caused our Wifi to stop.]
[School Laptop]
  • I took the 25 bus to work. I saw the Metro train on the Hui Shan Metro Bridge but I wasn't at the right vantage point to take a photo. The bus was still riding towards the Hui Shan traffic bridge when the Metro was on its bridge.
  • What do you believe? Men and Women are different and can never be equal in the manner that Feminism wants them to be. When women try to be like men, it is an ugly sight.
  • What do you believe? Oswald acting alone shot JFK.
  • What do you believe? The less the centralized state gets involved in the lives of its citizens, the better. I believe in the Catholic idea of Subsidiary.
  • I got a new citizen card yesterday. The old card worked on the Wuxi bus. The new card will work on the Wuxi buses, the Suzhou subway, and the Shanghai subway.
  • Unfortunately, it can't be used for the public bicycles. Jenny was told that the social insurance card has to be used for that. I can see the logic of that. There is a better chance of knowing who is using the bike or who had the bike if it got lost.
  • The Burger King in Parkson's appears to have been shut down. I have just wasted ten minutes of my life walking there to find this out.

Thursday [April 10]
[School Laptop]
  • Today's shift: 10:00 to 21:00.
  • There were a lot of people on the 602bus this morning when it pulled into the jiazhouyangfang bus stop, that is the stop near Casa K. It was the first time taking that bus that there was a chance that I would board the bus and not get a seat.
  • I did get a seat but it wasn't at the very back corner of the bus – my chosen place on Chinese public transportation.
  • I wear a short sleeve shirt to work for the first time this year.
  • What do you believe? Liberals aren't lacking in cleverness but they are fools who use their cleverness to rationalize their foolishness. The foolishness of Liberals is a foolishness of will.
  • One of my students that I had in class just now was pregnant. The baby is due in a month!

Friday [April 11]
[School Laptop]
  • Today's shift: 11:00 to 21:00. I go to the City Hall to a lunch time English corner.
  • I finished watching the first episode of the documentary series the Search for the Trojan War. I watched the eighth episode of Kenneth Clark's Civilisation series which was entitled the Light of Experience. I watched most of the second episode of the new Cosmos series. I will probably finished watching it later today. I have been listening to a podcast of audio from Ben Stein's ID movie.
  • In the Civilisation episode I watched, Clark discussed the relationship between science and poetry, raising the question of whether the scientific worldview made for worse poetry. Clark made his observations before the introduction of the personal computer. Living in the age of high tech, I will have say that it is an age that hasn't produced little if any good poetry. If there has been good poetry written, it certainly has played a major role in the culture. So, it can be said with certainty that we do live in an unpoetical age.
  • The second episode of Cosmos is all about evolution and Darwinism. Cosmos e2 does make a strong case for natural selection and artificial selection. You would feel like a simpleton if you weren't convinced of evolution and these two types of selection playing a part in how we are today. But Cosmos e2 does nothing to explain the why of existence. “This is the way it happened and it was random!” is a depressing thought for those who are religious and believe in a creator. It is also a thought that doesn't ultimate explain existence. The host of the series dealt with these objections by stating that it was an idea that was elevating for the spirit nonetheless, after seeming to imply that there wasn't a spirit having a hand in our existence.
  • It is unfortunate that Darwinists are such fanatical atheists. Listening to some of them on Stein's documentary, they sound like displaced anti-Semites, circa 1930s in Germany.
  • What do you believe? I don't believe that there is a conflict between religion and science. I take it on faith that evolution is true, as are the descriptions I have heard from scientists about the size of our universe and the history of Earth. American Liberals and Progressives are delusional when they say that they are on the side of science while conservatives are not – there are places that science goes that that Liberals don't want to go, particularly with regards to differences between the sexes, the life of a fetus in a woman's womb, the detrimental effects of abortion on woman's health, and the abilities of different races.
  • The big breakfast at McDonalds is not 24.5 rmb. In a year, it could well go up to 30. I can remember when it was 18 rmb.
  • [Later] I have gone to the City Hall. The government handler who accompanied me on my ride to the city hall told me that he had been working for the government for two days. He had been working for a company run by the government, when he was told that he was now working for a department in the government. He hadn't been asked if he had wanted to do this.

Saturday [April 12]
[School Laptop]
  • Today's shift: 10:00 to 18:00.
  • It rained last night, and it seems it rained heavily because while I was taking the bus to school this morning, I saw deep, deep puddles, the kind that are a result of drainage systems being overwhelmed.
  • I listened to the latest John Derbyshire podcast this morning as I normally do on a Saturday morning when and if I can get the file downloaded. He mentioned this 89 year old English woman, healthy for her age, who went to Switzerland to be euthanized. She chose to be so not because she was in great physical pain or was handicapped. She chose to be so because she hated the world of e-mail and people staring at screens. She couldn't have conversations anymore she complained and the world was becoming inhuman.
  • There is something to be said for her complaints. The world isn't a place for old people anymore. The world isn't a place for people to talk.
  • At McDonald's, I sat next to a particularly egregious example of a person staring at a screen. A chubby male teenage was hunched over his mobile device, which was on the table, so that it was six inches from his face, and he was sucking on a straw which was bent, it seemed, so that he could be as close to the screen as possible. It would have made for a very telling photo. If I was his parent or if that was Tony, I would have kicked his ass. The sight made me think of that 89 year old English woman. I suppose it would be better in the cosmic scale of justice, if that young man was euthanized and the old woman could have kept on living.
  • I make the above points while acknowledging what Chesterton had to say about suicide. (He said it was a great evil. A not killing of one person, but a killing of the world.) The old woman did have the honesty to say she was killing the world. If only someone her complaints, which I think were legitimate, could have been heeded without her having to resort to such drastic means.

[Home Laptop]
  • Jenny & Tony meet me at school at the end of my shift. We decided to go to Pizza Hut for dinner. While there, I saw a chubby little kid, shorter than Tony and yet more mature in his movements. This chubby kid looked like a little emperor or a fat Chinese warlord. He sat, his legs crossed with his shoes off, like he was sitting on a plush carpet in his palace, haughtily holding court.
  • What do you believe? I believe in one God,the Father, the Almighty, Maker of all that is, seen and unseen. I believe in one Lord, Jesus Christ,the only Son of God,eternally begotten of the Father,God from God, Light from Light,true God from true God,begotten, not made, consubstantial of one Being with the Father. Through him all things were made for us and for our salvation he came down from heaven: and by the Holy Spirit was incarnate he became incarnate from the Virgin Mary,and was made man. For our sake he was crucified under Pontius Pilate;he suffered death and was buried. On the third day he rose again in accordance with the Scriptures;he ascended into heaven and is seated at the right hand of the Father. He will come again in glory to judge the living and the dead,and his kingdom will have no end. I believe in the Holy Spirit, the Lord, the giver of life,who proceeds from the Father and the Son. With the Father and the Son he is worshipped and glorified. He has spoken through the Prophets. I believe in one holy catholic and apostolic Church. I acknowledge one baptism for the forgiveness of sins. I look for the resurrection of the dead,and the life of the world to come.
  • What can you do to improve yourself? Act like I really believe what I say I believe.
  • What do you believe? In forgiveness and not vendettas. In loving enemies but not in not having them. Cars like mobile devices make the world inhuman.
  • Pizza Hut serves breakfast and the prices are comparable to McDonald's. I will have to check it out next week.

Sunday [April 13]
[Home Laptop]
  • No shifts today.
  • This morning, I went for a walk through two nearby places, the public square and then the adjacent Times Century Plaza, where the surroundings gave me a feeling of forlornness. I couldn't help but notice the shoddiness of the construction. In the square, tiles were bulging and bent up from the original flatness of the surface upon which they had been laid. In the Time Century Plaza, store fronts were closed or seemed on the verge of closing. The opening of the nearby Wanda Plaza had obviously taken business away. And yet, amidst the ghost town feeling of the shopping area, there was more construction taking place.
  • I took Tony and a buddy of his for a walk. I took some good photos of them which have been published in TKIC blogspot and TKIC Wordpress.
  • I thought today was Easter. On Thursday, I had received a subscription email with a nice photo of Christ crucified which caused me to assume that Easter was today. It was an assumption which caused me to misread the calendar which I was checking to see if my assumption was correct! So I didn't realize my error until after I had posted the photo to We Chat!
  • What do you believe? I believe I am very insignificant. I believe the world is going to pot. I believe that men are fallen creatures. I believe that Feminism is nonsense. I believe that abortion is murder. I believe that the wildcard in Major League Baseball was an unpardonable mistake. I believe that the best place to be is here. I believe that scientists are men. I believe that the world needs poetry. I believe that the world needs beauty. I believe that time spent listening to modern pop music is time wasted. I believe that we can't help but waste time. I believe that the only way to not make enemies is to not have been born. I believe that children should be seen and not heard. I believe that we stand on the shoulders on giants.

Monday [April 14]
[Home Laptop]
  • No shifts today.
  • Up early this morning, I went to the Hui Shan Central Park which is near the Hui Shan White House and the end (or the beginning) of Wuxi Metro Line #1. In the park, I was treated to the sight of women walking backwards down the park's central walkway. There were two parties of women. The one nearest to me was walking backwards toward me; the other party, which was farthest from me, was facing me but walking away from me. It was a sight of which I should have taken a video, but alas the camera on my Ipod wouldn't have shown the woman in the distance.
  • When the locals do exercise, their movements, like this walking backwards, seem strange, gangly, and anti-graceful to this laowei's eyes.
  • I had lunch at the Hui Shan Wanda Starbucks. I had a Venti Cafe Americano and a Chicken Sandwich while reading a chapter and then some of Mary H. Kingsley's Travel in West Africa. I had opportunity to notice the customers who came in, and I can say that if you like to look at Chinese women, you can't go wrong sitting in a Starbucks in a Wanda shopping mall.
  • Jenny took Tony to government offices downtown to get his Visa renewed, but was told that the government had changed its policy, again, on children of Tony's status and so Tony is considered to be Chinese even though he has a Canadian passport. So, he doesn't need a Visa but instead will be given a Chinese identification card. If he spends a year and a half in Canada, he will not be considered Chinese anymore. If he leaves China, he needs an exit Visa like he did the first time we went to Canada. While this doesn't cost Jenny any money now, it does raise the question of how Tony would get back into China if he went away. Does he have to get a visa to get back in China?
  • I finished reading the Outer Limits of Reason by Noson S Yafonsky yesterday. A very mathematical book that has put me up to date on the latest developments in physics and math. I won't say that I understood the book completely. I did understand the conclusions that the author presented, but not so much the proofs.
  • As soon as I finish Travels in West Africa, I will start to read a biography of Johnny Carson and another book. I have so many choices, I can't even list them though the amount of choices isn't infinite, whether that be countable infinite or uncountable infinite.
  • Last night, I started watching the War Wagon, a western starring Kirk Douglas and John Wayne.
  • What do you believe? I believe that while the world is going to pot, it always has been and it always will be going to pot. I believe that I have a one in one hundred shot at redeeming myself for the life I have lead so far.

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