Tuesday, May 31, 2005

The summer months are here but we are still blessed with some cooler spring-like weather. No matter for me though. My clothes feel like tissue on a wet sucker all day long. I find that I become more hirsute, faster, during Taiwan's summers and am stuck with deciding between the itchy neck beard or the dull plucking of whiskers by my cold-month-working-only razor.

Vacations are coming as are the rotating-out of some of our buddies. Frenchie will leave for his year-long sabbatical somewhere in S.E. Asia. Bread will return to Montana to learn how to hug trees and love fat chicks again. PJ will be gone for two months learning how many hamsters running around in metal wheels it will take to keep a beer cold on Koh Tao. If that is accomplished too soon he'll have plenty of time to keep himself company. You see, Frenchie threw out some bar-talk hypotheticals the other day and I can only remember one reply - PJ's.

Question: If you could spend one night having a drink with anyone, living or dead, who would it be?

PJ: Myself. You know when your telling a good story and people are listening and really enjoying it but it's not the same for you because you are there and they are on the outside listening? Well, I want to be able to listen to myself tell stories. And, it would also help me to remember them.

But PJ? What if you got in a fight with yourself?

I'd know better than to mess with myself.

Good things: D-Wayne had a baby girl on Sunday. Football was out for him that day but he did assure us that he would be playing in 2 weeks when we take on the Disk Suckers. Priorities.

Jess and Dan, musicians who lived in Taichung and now live in India have started a school for indigent children. They hope to be able to add a hostel for these children and others who are currently living on the streets or in a box shelter. So, this June 26 there will be a big benefit for their school. PJ, PJ's li zhang, Amcham Jack and many others are helping out in a big way. You can help out by going by and dropping some cash. Cirrhosis in The Park will be in the park across from PJ's. There will be lots of food and lots of music.

Lastly, it was reported today that Taiwan's largest endemic mammal, the Taiwan black bear, has an official name. Taken from the aboriginal Bunan tribe, they have chosen Dumaz. I, personally, am pulling for the short U pronunciation.

I have noticed

Posts about Darfur get as little attention as President Bush at a Mensa meeting. So let's go beyond that a notch and talk about true destruction. Karl has invited a girl to his house on Saturday for Axis & Allies, proving again that he fears the combined mental powers of John and myself. I would be offended, but then I don't bet seventy every time I am high man on the table, even with nothing down. Turns out that Jaurei is the girl, and I predict her unleashing total destruction on the other four females at the table. But in true feminine fashion, Karl will find a way to ally himself with her, and thus be spared humiliation. He will be able to celebrate merrily and gloat of his superior intellect, but everybody knows the truth, he values pawns because he is one in Jaurei's master plan.

Monday, May 30, 2005

***Cracksplitting News***

I'm back from China and Kofi Annan still hasn't resolved the Darfur crisis? WTF?

It's like a media blackout in China - okay a brownout since you still see KMT and PFP people grovelling on TV and actually the Armed Forces News anchor chick looked kinda hot.

Saturday, May 28, 2005

******BREAKING NEWS*********

This just in from Sudan, Kofi Annan is there to have a meeting with the refugees and aid workers. Many motions will be presented and seconded I am sure. Updates to follow.

Friday, May 27, 2005

Life imitating art?

Following the recent 'news' from Darfur, I am reminded of a scene from Life of Brian. Brian has just been captured by the Romans and the female member of the anti-Roman coalition (whose name escapes me now) storms into the meeting demanding immediate action. The John Cleese led committee passes a series of motions and resolutions and more motions and more resolutions until, alas, poor Brian is crucified. Kofi Anaan has now called for immediate action in the Darfur region of Sudan. Great idea, let's have a meeting.

Tuesday, May 24, 2005

For interested parties that never get invited to my house and relatives, here are a few pics of the final home improvements.

3 Heads: Booze, Butt and Dope

Food Festival? Hah! D-Wayne, did you have any food? PJ? I thought not. What we did have was a baker's buttload of margaritas and just the standard buttload of beer. PJ started the morning with coffee and Kaluha and Bailey's and vodka - in one cup. Can I get a Yeah Baby!? I think that we are all now ready for the Cement Tiger City cook-off. Too bad I won't be there, though. I'll be back home vacationing. Anyway, on the way home between Sogo and the Art Museum I managed to lose an 8-quart stock pot but acquire a bag of Salt & Vinegar chips and a can of Dr. Pepper. PJ's chili should just about be ready by then.


Please help this man. Among other things, he would like a porn name and then some talent to practice with. Co-bloggers, please post something quickly. This is difficult to look at.

Sunday, May 22, 2005

Sogo Food Fest Today

Baked Beans is playing at noon so if you're up and around get on out to catch 'em. I heard .22 is playing at 3. Boogie Chillin' and others will be playing too. Enjoy!

John, PJ and D-Wayne are all cooking up some chili for your tasting pleasure. Have a margie with the boys. See yall up there.

Grocery Store Wars

Meet Cuke, Ham, ChewBroccoli and the rest.

Friday, May 20, 2005

Kosovo - Norwegian soldiers re-do the Beach Boys song.

Thursday, May 19, 2005

Long Live The 70's

This kid's turning 40 this weekend. Any guesses as to who he might be?

Hint: He lives in The Hua on top of this blog's favorite Shan.

Why do they hate us?

Apparently because they think 85% of Americans are Jews.

Bread? Jew!

J-hole? Jew!

Karl? Jew!

Red-A? Jewwwwwwwwwwwwwwwwwwwwwww!
(pronounced Latin American soccer announcer style)

PJ? Irish, but that's just a green Jew, really.

This reminds of the nice young man in white flowing robes and skull cap I met in Indonesia. He was from Aceh, the most zealously Islamic province of Indonesia. At first I was worried he'd ask about American girls offering "free sex" but instead he only wanted confirmation that "Chinese are the Jews of Asia."

Foreign Talents Working & Living in Taiwan

This survey came in the mail from Chung-Hua Institution for Economic Research. First of all, thank you for considering me a "talent." Mom will feel vindicated at last. The survey is a laundry list of issues, like "Efficiency of related agencies and authorities" or "Residential Safety" and for each issue you have ratings from Highly Dissatisfied to Very Dissatisfied with Average in the middle. Interestingly the survey comes with a print-out of the 2004 results.

Low points are:
Cross-Straight policy with China: 2.43 (21 respondents were highly dissatisfied.)
Provide a Living Environment in English: 2.54 (13 respondents were highly dissatisfied. I suspect the bi-annual changing of PinYin romanization could be a major cause.)

High points are:
Internet Access: 3.96 (only one person was highly dissatisfied - I guess they want free wi-fi.)
Convenience of Living: 3.70 (no one was highly dissatisfied. advantage: 7-11.)
Residential Safety: 3.48

Opinions about some issues included:
Taiwan should be provided with more language instruction: 25.78% YES 59.38% NO
Teachers, the foreign talents have spoken - ENOUGH IS ENOUGH!

They also have fill in the blank questions:

1. In what areas do you think Taiwan needs to try harder or make improvements.
2. Which aspect of the working environment do you feel causes the most problems or displays the most need for improvement.
3. Which aspect of the living environment do you feel causes the most problems or displays the most need for improvement. (Sound trucks comes immediately to mind.)
4. What should be enhanced or improved for Taiwan to attract foreign talents to work or provide service in Taiwan.

Please let me know in Comments if there is anything our reader(s) think should be included.

Wednesday, May 18, 2005

Taiwan's PR Campaign for WHO Membership

The Economist-W.H.O.
Originally uploaded by haruntaichung.
Here's the ad in The Economist that Taiwan's government ran supporting the R.O.C. entry in W.H.O. (actually I think they only were trying for W.H.A., which is the observer group.) W.H.A. members include such places as Tokelau, pop. 1,750.

Alas, Taiwan with 23 million people still isn't allowed membership. The ad itself seems okay - the little girl is really cute - but could have been punchier and used bigger text.

Bonus quiz: what country ignored international law and unilaterally sent assistance to Taiwan during SARS?

a. European Union
b. Canada
c. France
d. United States


Attention Taichung Homeless: Local entrepreneur and new philanthropist, PJ, has good news. On nights when he attempts to become a 5'10" margarita-filled skin sack, PJ raises the metal gate, opens the doors and turns on the lights and AC for the less fortunate and the very thirsty. Walking-around money and frosty, adult beverages are behind the bar. Unsure? A little bit wary? No need. PJ will be close by in his hammock keeping an eye on his unconsciousness and an arm securely locked around a case of Guinness. Warm Guinness! Not at my bar! There are plenty of cold ones in the fridge, my man!

The International Food Fair, or something like that, will be Sunday, May 22 at Sogo. Bands - blah, blah, blah, food - Ho hum, and CHILI - YIPPIE! will be available. That's right. Stop by PJ's stand and you can choose from 3 types of chili: mine; Mama PJ's Traditional New Jersey Chili and Duane's Canadian Chili Surprise, Eh? Along with this most excellent fare, PJ will be serving margaritas (YooHoo! Homeless!).

This is but a warm-up for bigger things. According to Publisher-for-Life, Amcham Jack, there's going to be a big ol', good ol', genuine chili cook-off. The annual 4th-on-the-2nd, Monday-on-a-Saturday, Park-in-the-Mall Generic Day Celebration will provide a forum for all chiliheads to show-off or just mouth-off.
Organizer: Amcham
Coordinator: Amcham Jack
Last Thing I Heard Amcham Jack Say: I will win this. I will win this...
All interested parties wishing to compete for 2nd and 3rd place, as usual, please bug Amcham Jack for more details.

.22 to play free show tonight

I got a text from DJ Steve saying that today is Pete's brother Marty's birthday and in celebration they will be playing a free show tonight at 89K along with other guests. Kind of a hump day birthday party. If you haven't seen these guys play go check them out. Should be a great show.

Country music fans! I haven't seen them play yet but there's now a country band in town called BAKED BEANS. Both Steve and Pete are in the lineup along with Nick, formerly of the Black Lung Inner City Choir, and Sean who plays a mean banjo and guitar. I'm told there's also a violinist or fiddler of some kind but I don't know who it is. If anyone knows post a comment. I'm speculating a possible appearance tonight with 2/5ths of the band already there. Word of mouth only so tell your live music fan friends...

Monday, May 16, 2005

North Korea to hold Cannonball Run

It is one of the most secretive regimes in the world, part of George Bush's "axis of evil" and is believed to be close to building a nuclear arsenal. Next year, however, North Korea will open its borders to an eclectic mix of models, showbusiness personalities and captains of industry taking part in the real-life version of Hollywood's Cannonball Run.

The Gumball Rally, a 3,000-mile high-speed dash by more than 100 millionaires driving an assortment of Porsches, Ferraris and Aston Martins, has gained unprecedented permission to travel through the Communist country.

This year's race in Europe attracted "the models Caprice and Jodie Kidd, and Darryl Hannah, the actress, who is driving a pink Range Rover."

I wonder if Kim Jong-Il has seen the movie (he's supposed to be a big movie fan.) Maybe he can convince Burt Reynolds to drive a truck of Coors all the way from HeiLongJiang into Pyongyang for the race finale? I'm sure Burt would enjoy outwitting local police and border guards armed with AK-47s.

SPOILER: Kim Jong-Il will participate in the race and will undoubtedly come in first place. Evidence here, and here. I think it's more than just genes, but his diet.

Sunday, May 15, 2005

"What do I do about this ear hair?"

"What do I do about this ear hair?"

I'm not to sure what's going on here but I seem to remember John filing a restraining order shortly thereafter.

***Breaking News***

We just had some kind of election in Taiwan, according to Yahoo News.

I wonder if they're lying, since I didn't hear any sound trucks last week. (keep scrolling for a whole list of Taiwan noises and when they occur - warning: the actual sound files suck.)

I also missed the bottle rocket barrages, loudspeaker shouts of "bai tuo bai tuo", and the obligatory fliers thrown willy nilly on my car.

Apparently this was kind of an important election, but I like the toned down campaigns...How can me make sure all elections are this under-publicized, under-advertised, and boring?

P.s. the whole MondoTaiwan website is pretty funny.

Friday, May 13, 2005

Yogi says it best

A page of Yogi. You gotta love that guy.

***Breaking News***

From the Washington Post, apparently China has changed it's One China policy as follows:

In a joint communique issued after a two-hour meeting in the cavernous Great Hall of the People, Hu and James Soong, a Taiwanese opposition leader, endorsed a new formulation of the mainland government's long-standing position that cross-strait talks can begin only after Taiwan acknowledges it is part of "one China." Under the new language, Hu effectively agreed to open talks if Taiwan accepted the principle of "two shores, one China" while acknowledging that the two sides might differ on precisely what that term meant.
Now, I think it's critical Taiwan move fast to define which shore we prefer:

This one?

or this one?

Side note: Should this sway our thinking? I'm sure Karl and Cynthia would be swayed.

All I know is that I really, really want to be able to fly direct to China. HURRY MR. CHEN!

Thursday, May 12, 2005

Are you fragile, vulnerable and lonely?

In an article entitled Animals to get official status in French civil code a Monsieur Perben (assumed to be a homo sapiens) claims that pets

accompany man throughout his life, especially those men and women who are the most fragile, vulnerable and lonely,
Isn't that sort of a backhand way of saying those who own pets are "the most fragile, vulnerable, and lonely?"

J-Hole, Kevlar, and Stoney must have been trying to tell us something for a long time, but I never understood until the French government official enlightened me. Hey, guys, you can cry on my shoulder anytime, no need for the animal as emotional crutch. Lose the pet and become a strong, stable, and popular guy!

Bald Titty descendend from Royalty

Is it just me, or is there a resemblance to Bald Titty?

Wednesday, May 11, 2005

Quiz on Abu Ghraib

This is mainly for Bread. The quiz.

and the NY Times latest on the incident.

If you read the NY Times article you might still be mad at Rummy - he must have ordered Graner to marry Ambuhl rather than England...I mean, it's all ordered from the top, right?

Tuesday, May 10, 2005

Sweat and Pee: Sexy or Stinky?

It depends on who you are. Article in NY Times.

(Karl, if you find yourself suddenly joining a gym or sniffing armpits, I think you can stop with the internet quizzes.)

Saturday, May 07, 2005


Originally uploaded by kevlar1.
yummy food
Lunch was good

Before and After

phone pics cat 026
Originally uploaded by kevlar1.
phone pics cat 021

Attempt to post wonderful after pictures.

Excerpts from my school's 57th anniversary party Saturday:

Script: Vocational School (graduating students)! Your the smartest!
Actual words: Vocational School! See you next year!

Script: Co-host - John, can you guess how many students have graduated from I-Ning in these
57 years?
Me - 30,000?
Actual words: Me - Uh, two?

Script: (Presenting a bouquet of flowers to the chairman's mother) The first leaf represents
nurturing. The second represents love. And the third represents selflessness.
Actual words: The first leaf represents honesty. The second represents chastity. And the third
represents vigilance against the Turks.

Script: Everybody get HIGH!
Actual words: Everybody get HIGH!

Housework, school work and $49NT draft beer have conspired against me to limit my blogging recently. Two have been taken care of, and the third is fixin to take care of me. As a rule, home improvement will suck. The rule remains unbroken. We now have a deck in the front part of our "yard" and new paint - again - in the living room and kitchen. The deck unites the sidewalk and the grass. No more stepping in or over the gutter. Some, mainly Canadianers, will say that the deck is slanted. I say "Ha!", it's just a trompe l'oeil using the crafty technique of raising one side higher than the other. In any case, Canadianers will not be allowed to touch or utilize anything wooden at my house.

The painting was left to true experts. The last pair of painters were not considered this time because they were too drunk at KTV to come and bid. Instead we hired the electrician. He turned out to do the best job of anybody. The living room is very important to my wife and her work. Therefore, she secured the services of a Taiwanese interior designer (Please shudder here). She suggested either a pale, industrial green or a "safe" corn silk yellow. "Safe" for everybody but Col. Mustard. Apparently he and his kin have been exploded onto our living room walls. Which just goes to show you, Taiwanese interior designers are like gas barbecues-nonexistent. The kitchen color was left to me. Under orders to lighten up the room a bit (from white?), I choose a light sky blue. Which it turns out, is perfect for when Barbie and her friends come for tea. Which just goes to show you, I would have made a helluva Taiwanese interior designer.

Word from the Oracle is that A.I.T. will set up a small consular office in the library at Taichung Park. Initially, it will serve only as a reference room for those interested in going to the States. But, we have been assured that it will provide the same services the mothership provides in Taibei. Give credit to Amcham Jack. Hooray! Okay? See, there's credit. Apparently he pushed the a-holes in Taibei into this. Once-a-month service at Morrison has been stopped for about 8 months. No more long drive and putting up with the barely sentient help. It's only a few minutes away.

Jamie and Jeff will host an open-mike at PJ's on Sundays beginning next week. Musicians are welcome to come and join in. Spoken-word freaks, DJs and didgeridoo players are not.

Dr. Pepper and Mountain Dew. Now, very near my house on Zhong Min Nan Road, three doors down from the Sinon. $30NT a can AND buy 5 get 1 free. Derek! I'm givin you the Finga!

Friday, May 06, 2005

I don't want to keep posting

But this deserves it.

Penelope Cruz & Salma Hayek as lesbians.

I...I...I...don't know what to say, except:


I can't believe PJ closed on Cinco de Mayo

I mean, he supposedly has the best Mexican food in Taichung, and he closes on Cinco de Mayo? and NO, I don't buy that "visa run" story for a minute.

Also, Cinco de Mayo is not Mexico's national day, but instead celebrates a Mexican victory over a French army in 1862.

Living a long time in Taiwan – the con column

1. Sound trucks. Jack hammers. Matsu processions. At 7:00 a.m.
2. Return home at age 65 to find Social Security bankrupt. WTF?!
3. The wife you inevitably find here likes to watch Korean soap operas.
4. “Canadian invasion” forces you to learn their geography and “culture.”
5. Could live long enough to see Ma Ying-jeou president of Taiwan.
6. Lots of stinky Tofu.
7. Watching your friends join you in a slow descent into insanity.
8. Losing at poker week after week – why can’t Bread ever fold in Cross?
9. Heineken overdose forces you to import microbrew beer yourself.
10. You might buy a car – along with the ensuing parking nightmare.

Bonus: Enjoy the look of shock and surprise when people find out you’ve been here since they were in Junior High!

Double Bonus: End up learning new romanization systems every couple of years.

Thursday, May 05, 2005

Living a long time in Taiwan – the pro column

1. Terry Schiavo coverage was basically nil.
2. Not having to care about Social Security going bankrupt.
3. Cannot vote for American Idol.
4. Unaware of last three Canadian election results.
5. Could live long enough to see Lien Chan step down from head of KMT.
6. Liang Mien for breakfast. I love that stuff. with Tabasco.
7. Watching your friends join you in a slow descent into insanity.
8. Lots of pork.
9. Can enjoy watching egg tart craze replaced with donut craze.
10. Chance to be the first person to see J-hole buy a cell phone.

Bonus: All those going away parties for people who are back in 6 months.

Do you despise vegetarians?

This guy shows a way to show your love.

J-hole, I think this is something you would do, for sure.

Meanwhile, I apologize for all the lame little posts.

Islamic Republic of Texas, Part II

Dry counties, Birka wearing cheerleaders...now this!

What's next? Mandatory 9:00 p.m. lights out?