Sunday, August 31, 2014

Tony is Back to School!

Monday morning I took him to be picked up by the car that takes him to school. He is in grade two now and he is attending a local elementary school

This means my four week hiatus from blogging has ended.

During my hiatus, I was going to think of ways to change how I would write my blog entries. I had been publishing a diary more or less on a weekly basis, but I began to find the format stale.   I would spend the month figuring out a new way of AKIC blogging I imagined.

But I frittered the month away. Right now,  I have not the vaguest idea of how I will now do my blog entries. I have thought to abandon the diary format entirely, and write shorter entries which would be essays or even briefer eyewitness accounts of things that strike me as odd as I putter around Wuxi.


It looks like I am going to be writing shorter entries.

P.S. Turning the calendar page to September means that I have spend ten full years in Wuxi. I should write an essay about that....

Saturday, August 30, 2014

Sunday, August 3, 2014

Diary: July 29 to August 4, 2014

  • The Casa Kaulins washing machine breaks down.
  • Andis does some video dictation.
  • Sunday, Andis has a cavalcade of things go wrong.
  • Andis lists some of his favorite conservative and reactionary people.
  • Andis sees a mouse on the street.
  • Some big changes are contemplated for Andis's family in Canada.
  • Andis hears that there is a forecast for typhoon like weather in Wuxi.
  • Andis has an announcement to make.

Tuesday [July 29]
[School Laptop]
  • Today's shift: 13:00 to 21:00. No overtime. Alas.
  • This morning was ruined by a malfunction of the K family washing machine. I couldn't get it to spin and drain the water – at a certain point in its cycle, it would just make a funny grinding noise. Jenny was out when this happened and I had to go to work right away, so I had no choice but to turn the machine off with the water and laundry still inside.
  • Weather outside? Hot.
  • What question am I going to answer this week? I will have to think about it.

Wednesday [July 30]
[School Laptop]
  • Today's shift: 13:00 to 21:00. Just five classes. No overtime.
  • I am typing this entry at 16:29 – later than normal. Usually, I have finished my school blogging by 14:00. I am doing this entry late because I am typing out dictation for a video.
  • After two days of typing out the video dialogue, I am 12:30 into a 37:39 video. I am trying to get six minutes of the video dialogue typed out per day.
  • The weather outside is hot and sunny.
  • I took Tony for a walk in the morning and Jenny had me have him carry an umbrella.
  • We moved the malfunctioning washing machine into the bathroom. It had given us an OE code which indicates a drainage problem. The moving was Jenny's idea. She thought that perhaps the drain in the bathroom would be not clogged. If she had thought about it, she would have realized that the problem was in the washing machine. Because if the problem was with the kitchen drain, we would have had a flooded kitchen. Anyway, she was in a bad mood because of having to hand-wash clothes and so I was ambushed when I got home last night having no time to think straight. I helped moved the washer into the bathroom.
  • The washer, as I thought, wouldn't drain water in its new location. Jenny, able to read the Chinese manual, was able to drain it without opening the front door [We have a LG Tromm front-end loading washer].
  • Moving the washer into the bathroom is great idea, but not because Jenny thought it would solve the problem. The washer just seems to work better and look better in the bathroom. I hope we keep it there after it is repaired. And speaking of repairing, moving the washer into the bathroom will make it easier for a repairman to work on it. In the kitchen, the machine was under a counter in a tight space..
  • What is wrong with the washer? Either the the drain filter is clogged or there is something wrong with the drainage pump. The drainage pump could be clogged as well or perhaps it has a broken moving part that needs to be replaced. If I was a betting man, I would say the pump has a broken part. At the draining parts of the wash cycle, the machine was making a grinding noise.
  • Question that I will answer this week? What are my seven favorite conservatives or reactionary types. Number one has to be David Warren, a Canadian who was a journalist and now blogs sometimes at Essays in Idleness. He looks at the world from a Catholic point of view and so he isn't a down-the-line Republican party supporters though he will support the ones who have some street cred. Number two (I will list two because I didn't mention one yesterday) is William F. Buckley, the founder of National Review. [I haven't determined who my next five will be. I am making this list on the fly.]

Thursday [July 31]
[School Laptop]
  • It's time like this that I need to have faith.
  • Today's shift: 10:00 to 21:00. I will get off at 20:00 though.
  • Washing machine update: Jenny phoned the LG company and they told her to do something with the machine which didn't solve the problem. So, she will have to phone them again today. Why can't she phone a repairman?
  • Yesterday, I asked a student how his week-long trip to Japan had been. He told me that he wanted to stay in Japan because it was more interesting than China. [It may will be true. Communism has and Communists have a way of making a country dull.]
  • My sister, who lives in Chilliwack BC, is in Brandon, till August 10th or so, to visit our mother. My sister told me that the old house in Brandon is in a ruinous state and may be more than my mother, who is in her seventies, can handle. My sister wants my mother to sell the old house and to get her to move to British Columbia. As well, she would like my brother, who lives in Winnipeg, to move to BC as well. He, being a tradesman, could at least get a job easily enough if he decided to move. My mother had been thinking to keep the house for Jenny, Tony & I.
  • So my sister wanted to know what my plans are. All I can tell her is that things are up in the air. Hearing stories about the bad weather in Manitoba really dampened my enthusiasm for going back there. The family all being in BC would have some advantages like good weather.

Friday [August 1]
[School Laptop]
  • I have a 11:00 to 21:00 shift today.
  • This weekend will be a typhoon weekend. A student told me that she couldn't buy train tickets for this weekend because the trains had been canceled in anticipation of heavy rains and high winds.
  • I have to go to Cummins this afternoon to do a business presentation class.
  • Maybe, the washing machine will be repaired today.
  • I had a student who has seen the Hui Shan train station. I have been meaning to do this but I don't know where the station, which in is our area, is. Living in Qianzhou, which is close to Yanqiao, the student is not far from this station and can catch trains to Shanghai there. She gave me more information about it than I have been able to gleam from others who live in the area.
  • Seeing how I neglected to mention one yesterday, I have to mention two conservative/reactionary types I like today. I like Nicholas Gomez Davilla whose aphorisms I find quite illuminating and Evelyn Waugh, the great Catholic novelist whose books I can read over and over again.

Saturday [August 2]
[School Laptop]
  • Today's shift: 10:00 to 17:00.
  • The typhoon has been canceled, or rather its visit to Wuxi has been canceled. I have just been told that the typhoon is now headed to Japan which should make the locals happy.
  • We talked, that be Jenny & I, of my bringing Tony to school today. I was sort of for it till I got up in the morning and thought about how having Tony around would interfere with some things I need to do on the computer. Still, I went through the motions of trying to wake up Tony but he didn't budge.
  • I saw one of our flight attendant girls. That is, a student who is going to flight attendants school in Wuxi. I told her “Long time, no see!” She said this was because she had been interning. I asked if she was interning on a plane. She said she wasn't, she was interning in a restaurant.
  • Two more conservative reactionary types I admire: Rush Limbaugh and Andrew Briebart (R.I.P.). Both of them are/were happy warriors in the good fight.
  • The washing machine is repaired. Jenny finally got a repairman to come last night. He had it repaired in twenty minutes

Sunday [August 3]
[Home Laptop]
  • No shifts today.
  • After work yesterday I went home where I have been ever since.
  • What have I done? Watched some Seinfeld episodes and downloaded Steve McQueen movies.
  • Watching Seinfeld, I saw two great scenes. 1) After having accidentally seen Elaine naked, Kramer tries to make it up to her by taking off his clothes for her so that she has seen him naked too. 2) Kramer dances to jungle sounds in Elaine's apartment wearing only a pink bath towel.
  • I thought of six conservatives so far for my list. I can think of a seventh and a whole lot more. My seventh is the economist Thomas Sowell. Here are other conservatives I admire: Marc Steyn, Marc Levin, Peter Robinson, James Delingpole, Charles C. Cooke, Kathy Shaidle, Florence King, Kevin B Williamson, Victor Hanson, Charles Schall, Anthony Esolen, to name but a few.
  • [Later] A veritable cavalcade of errors has this day been for me. It started when I went to pick up Tony from his drawing class. I didn't know that Jenny had changed the location of his art class, which was in a music store near Wanda, going to another music store that was closer to Casa Kaulins.
  • I went to the music store by Wanda and looked like a fool as I walked into the store and the personnel had no idea what was I doing there.
  • To compound matters, Jenny didn't answer right away when I phoned to ask her where Tony's drawing class was.
  • Later, I was trying to move my e-bike in the Wanda Plaza. It had been blocked off by two bikes which parked behind it. As I backed it out, a mirror of one of the other e-bikes was blocking my way. Trying to bend the mirror out of the way, I tore it off. A bunch of people saw me do this including security guards and they told me to just drive away. I felt sheepish for the next hour. It serves them right for blocking me, I rationalized.

Monday [August 4]
[School Laptop]

  • No shift today.
  • Yesterday, I didn't feel a hundred percent. My stomach was upset and I was splattering when doing my business. Still, I was able to go about and do some things like go to a restaurant, go grocery shopping with Jenny, and then visit someone's apartment in the downtown yesterday for dinner. But when I wasn't doing something, I was lying down, trying to fee my stomach warm thoughts.
  • My list of conservatives I like is not complete. Here are yet some more conservatives I admire: Anne Coulter, Rob Long, Taki, Charles Krauthammer, Mona Charen and Jay Nordlinger.
  • Call me a bigot if you must.
  • Today, I don't want to do anything. My stomach is still not where I would like it to be. So I will stay about the house.
  • Trouble comes in threes they say. So, the stomach was the third thing to go wrong yesterday.
  • For the first time months, Tony set up his Plarail train set. Friday when I came home, I saw a very elaborate setup in the living room. Bridges, tunnels, and track side stations on two symmetrically and intricately overlapping routes had been assembled. I had to wonder if perhaps Jenny had helped Tony. When I asked her, the following funny exchange resulted. Andis: Honey! Did you help set up the train set? Jenny: No, I didn't. Andis: So, you didn't touch it? Jenny: No! I didn't touch it. Tony: I touched it.
  • I have finished the video dictation. I will go through it at normal speed to see if I made any mistakes.
  • Yesterday, K family was making its way to an apartment in downtown where we were invited for supper. We walking down behind the Hongdou Building on a side street in front of a row of small restaurants. In front of the restaurants are drains and reservoirs where grease and dirty water is thrown out. It is rather a disgusting sight actually, but it is all too common in China. As I dodged a puddle of grease, I saw a very forlorn looking mouse. It was soaked in grease so that it looked very slim and slimy with mickey mouse shaped ears and a long tail. I quickened my pace to walk away from this restaurant row.
  • An announcement: From John Derbyshire, who won't be doing any Radio Derb in August, and from David Warren, who won't be blogging at Essays in Idleness till September, I have gotten the idea to not make a diary entries for August. I need a rest from it. August in Wuxi is a not a time to be active. The summer humidity zaps any initiative out of a person. It makes one go through the motions. And It does lend itself to exciting diary entries. So I give myself one less thing to do for a month.
  • The month will also give me time to think what I want to do with my blog. Not having many readers, that I know of, I am going to have to try something different. I may try writing essays on various topics that interest me and may interest others, and hopefully totally offend leftists. I may make observational blog entries. Observations that I have like the previous one about the slimy mouse may be separate blog entries in the future.
  • I won't be absent completely from the Internet world. I will publish photos in my AKIC and TKIC blogs. And I may make some attempts at satire and whimsy at the Wuxi China Expatdom blog. It is the year of the firearm in the Wuxi Expatdom! There will be squabbles between the Dangle and Ding Dong factions of Wuxi Expatdom!