Monday, December 31, 2007

We Win, We Win!

Montana has finished first in per capita consumption of booze at bars:

National average: $52.
Montana: $258.

Just think if J-Hole and Frenchie moved to Montana -- we might catch up to Canada! New Year greetings to all, including any New Year's Eve Babies out there.

Sunday, December 30, 2007

Notes from the Texas Bowl

1. Paid Attendance: 62,000+
2. Actual Attendance: Somewhat less
3. Both bands wear feathers in their hats. I didn't know any band still employed the gimmick, let alone 2 from Texas alone (TCU and UH).
4. The University of Houston Color Guard (girls who dance around with flags) are worse than any other color guard -- in history. At one point a young lass got so annoyed she just set the flag down on the field and continued to dance without it.
5. The "Biggest Holiday Firework Show in Texas" was not very big (this was a postgame event).
6. A "Texas Twister" costs $5.50 and is a pretzel (apparently the Texas Titty Twister is something entirely different). A pretzel is $3.50 and looks, tastes and smells just like a Texas Twister.
7. The game itself was entertaining, finishing with Houston getting the ball at its own 2, down a touchdown, no timeouts, and two minutes to go. They made it to the TCU 19 and had three shots at the end zone, but alas, all fell incomplete.

I choose not to respond to the sodomy conversation. I do not want J-Hole suing me for misinformation when he tries to stick it some girl's earhole at KTV.

Saturday, December 29, 2007

The Tonka V issue vol 4



Built 4 boyhood w/ real lead paint........
back when we didn't care or know better?

4077

G u g u a n




Slinky....... fun for a boy and a girl.

Hell, all ages:)

Low & slow

Friday, December 28, 2007

S O P O



Airlines step up in-flight Web services

JetBlue passengers will be able to check their e-mail for free next week; American exploring fee-based offerings.

Sodomy

The term comes from the Ecclesiastical Latin: pecatum Sodomiticum, or "sin of Sodom".[2] The expression has biblical origin and was used to characterize sexual acts that were attributed to citizens of ancient Sodom and Gomorrah.

The term includes all sexual acts other than coital sex between a male and female.[2] Although not gender specific by definition, in common use sodomy generally refers to homosexual intercourse between males.

In its widest definition "sodomy" refers to anal penetration, oral sex, masturbation and paraphilia. The term is also sometimes used to describe human-animal sexual intercourse (also known as bestiality or zoophilia);[2] this is the primary meaning of the cognate German language word Sodomie.

In current usage, the term is particularly used in law.[3] Sodomy laws forbidding certain types of sex acts have been instituted in many cultures. In the various criminal codes of United States of America, the term "sodomy" has generally been replaced by "Deviant sexual intercourse", which is precisely defined by statute.[4] These laws have been under challenge and have in places been found unconstitutional or have been replaced with different acts.[5] Some countries, particularly in Africa, the Middle East and southern Asia retain "sodomy laws" against homosexual acts. Elsewhere the legal use of the term "sodomy" is restricted to rape cases where an act such as anal penetration has taken place.[6] The English term buggery is very closely related to sodomy in concept, and often interchangeably used in law and popular speech.[7][8]

Small Business

A small business may be defined as a business with a small number of employees. The legal definition of "small" often varies by country and industry, but is generally under 100 employees in the United States while under 50 employees in the European Union (In comparison, the American definition of mid-sized business by the number of employees is generally under 500 while 250 is for that of European Union). These businesses are normally privately owned corporations, partnerships, or sole proprietorships.


http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Small_business


Employment Size of Firms

Table 2a. Employment Size of Employer and Nonemployer Firms, 2004
Introductory text includes scope and methodology. These data are also available by industry and state. Table includes both establishments with payroll and nonemployers. For descriptions of column headings and rows (industries), click on the appropriate underlined element in the table.
Employment size of enterprise Firms Estab-
lish-
ments
Paid
employees
Annual
payroll
($1,000)
Sales or
Receipts
($1,000)

All firms 25,409,525 26,911,465 115,074,924 4,253,995,732 n/a
Nonemployer firms 19,523,741 19,523,741 n/a n/a 887,001,820
Employer firms 5,885,784 7,387,724 115,074,924 4,253,995,732 n/a
Firms with no employees as of March 12, but with payroll at some time during the year 802,034 803,355 0 40,043,549 n/a
Firms with 1 to 4 employees 2,777,680 2,782,252 5,844,637 165,904,564 n/a
Firms with 5 to 9 employees 1,043,448 1,055,937 6,852,769 195,519,100 n/a
Firms with 10 to 19 employees 632,682 666,574 8,499,681 257,802,789 n/a
Firms with 20 to 99 employees 526,355 692,677 20,642,614 670,418,442 n/a
Firms with 100 to 499 employees 86,538 330,447 16,757,751 587,676,161 n/a
Firms with 500 employees or more 17,047 1,056,482 56,477,472 2,336,631,127 n/a
Firms with 500 to 749 employees 5,695 66,305 3,449,491 130,408,281 n/a
Firms with 750 to 999 employees 2,709 41,835 2,331,851 87,180,964 n/a
Firms with 1,000 to 1,499 employees 2,828 57,479 3,444,427 132,832,629 n/a
Firms with 1,500 to 2,499 employees 2,281 76,491 4,396,430 179,582,908 n/a
Firms with 2,500 employees or more 3,534 814,372 42,855,273 1,806,626,345 n/a
Firms with 2,500 to 4,999 employees 1,739 106,893 6,038,196 262,111,452 n/a
Firms with 5,000 to 9,999 employees 905 120,311 6,378,292 278,396,903 n/a
Firms with 10,000 employees or more 890 587,168 30,438,785 1,266,117,990 n/a

Source: Statistics of U.S. Businesses (See industry and state detail) and Nonemployer Statistics

http://www.census.gov/epcd/www/smallbus.html


What did you get?

To the great relief of my wife, Christmas finally arrived. She has been thinking up ways to open presents since Thanksgiving - Let's open a couple so the kids (our students) can see what it's like or I think I know what that one is, so I might as well open it. I was able to fight her off until Christmas Eve when we celebrated. I enjoyed all of my gifts, some good clothes and books, but a couple stood out. A cooking apron and some DVDs.

Sounds pretty mundane, huh? Well, it just takes a little thought to allow these items to become, in my mind, unique. First is the apron. I cook and grill often. So it's practical. Okay. But where it transcends the white chef's apron or the goofy slogan apron is the material. Denim. Tough, sturdy, rugged denim. Grillwork is not prissy stuff. Fire, smoke, sizzle, sauce and juices. Denim conceals the occasional hand wipe or the flavorful exploding fat bomb until it can be pulled off ( a one-step quick release snap) and thrown into the washer. The quick release and heavy material also make it ideal for whipping up on would be grill thieves. Three tall-boy pockets make sure I have all of my, ahem, sauces in easy reach and it can also be used as a hot pad. A grill apron for men.

The DVDs earn a special look because of their content. My Uncle Don played at Tech with his friend E.J. Holub, though E.J.'s football career was a little more distinguished. He has box seat season tickets and they make the drive up from Medina to attend Tech's home games and frequently take my mother along. He knows of my support for the Red Raiders and these are the factors that make these DVDs special. 12 Tech games on DVD. Prepared by the Red Raider Club they include pregame, halftime and postgame shows, all focusing on Tech. The actual play has no commercials and much of the lag time walking back to the huddle is eliminated. It's just the right touch - quick enough to watch in a little over an hour but not so fast that the atmosphere and mood are gone. My students have really enjoyed seeing a real football game on the big screens in our classrooms. And when I tell them to "Git your guns up!" they do.

So, what about you? What interesting, wonderful or horrible gift did you get?


Help Needed - I have a high school student, Jack, that I have taught for about a year-and-half during his time at I-Ning. He has always been a hard working English student. Unlike most students, he takes the initiative, approaching me and others to engage in conversation and takes responsibility for his English learning. The last two years he has been practicing magic (and testing out his tricks in English) and he's not bad. Not great either, but he's always working and might be one day. Yesterday he came over to me and asked when I was going back to the States. I told him I was going back in the summer. That is too late. He graduates this year and I will not be back before he leaves our school. His request is a U.S. half dollar for use in some magic tricks. If anyone has one that they would be willing to give up, I and Jack both would greatly appreciate it. He really is a great kid. Let me know. Thanks.

Thursday, December 27, 2007

Remember 2007

John led me to this site jibjab. It's pretty funny. Unfortunately I can't embed the video so here is a link to remember 2007 or go to www.jibjab.com. Lot's of fun!

Happy New Year all!

Wednesday, December 26, 2007

May I recommend?

Surrender by Cheap Trick?

Yes, it does bring back memories. Yes, it does mention Indonesian junk.

Tuesday, December 25, 2007

Human Powered Machines

Are you feeling fat from eating all the holiday food?

Who am I kidding, at Nihowdy, it's not food but beer that's making us fat (J-hole excluded.)

Here's an article from the delightfully named "Low Tech Magazine" about human powered appliances, etc. I always wanted a computer game that could only be played if you exercised enough - I think I would be a thinner person if Civ III had required me to bike an hour for every two played or something like that.

Monday, December 24, 2007

Last minute gift idea


The Mosquito Bug Zapper Killer. A staple here in Taiwan and I suspect throughout Southeast Asia. Just insert batteries, not alkaline as they will paikee the racket, and start zapping. Easy to use. Press the button on the handle when any flying vermin appear and hold down according to desired doneness. Also available in over-sized. Not recommended for Buddhists or PETArs.

Look at all the snow!




I hope everyone has a wonderful Christmas!

Friday, December 21, 2007

Best use of organically harvested in sentence. Click on it Rye. You said you would.


If this isn't enough reason to overhaul Japan's peace constitution, nothing is.

Ishiba noted that Japan deployed its military against Godzilla in the classic monster movie.
"Few discussions have been made on what the legal grounds were for that."

Tuesday, December 18, 2007

I r v i n g



Any given Sunday:)

D a l l a s




The Big "D".......
picture taken at 80 mph on HWY 45 headin north.
From the drivers seat:)

77

A u r o r a



-6 C...... Now that's a Blaster Ball.

Procrastination

I have a final in two days I haven't prepared for. Maybe it was the twelve hour exam this weekend or the 8 hour one last Friday, but I'm not entirely excited about the prospect of Business Organizations. Maybe if we discussed actual business it would be interesting, but Corporate, Partnership and L.L.C. structures are about as exciting as icesnot. Derivative actions, fiduciary duties and agency are not why I entered law school. With this in mind, I decided to visit Red A's blog for the first time.
Now I know Ponce and others give Red A and his 'logic' trouble sometimes, but I generally stay clear of that stuff. However, I must send out a tsk tsk to all of you for agreeing with Red A* that direct links will encourage Taiwanese businessmen to return on weekends and thus spend their money on the island. Everyone knows:

1. Chinese ladies of the night are about 1/10th the price of Taiwanese ones,
2. There are screaming kids at home, and
3. Er Nai is sweeter than normal nai

Thank goodness we have my discerning media presence to set you all straight before you start buying into Red A's lies like an Alabaman falls for Bill O'Reilly.


*Nov. 19th post

S G N H o C h i M i n h C i t y







Did You Know?

  • The smallest commercial aircraft flying out of SGN is a ATR with 72 seats.
  • The shortest flight out of SGN is 31 miles.
  • SGN connects with 43 cities nonstop.
  • There are over 329 international flights per week from SGN.
I think Jason fly's the ATR, on the shortest flight out 2 1 of the 43 cities nonstop, too miss 1 of those 329 international weekly flights...............

H o C h i M i n h C i t y





Goooood Morning Vietnam!

J A P A N 30K



Mt. Fuji.......

Low and slow:)

Monday, December 17, 2007

More Palawan

Ever wonder why everyone calls him IJ?

K a l o o w n




Nathan road

D o n g g u a n



National week....... China

Z h u h a i



Next stop..... Macau

Sunday, December 16, 2007

Friday, December 14, 2007

Christmas Gift Idea - Blaster Balls

Blaster Balls! A great bargain at only $20NT a pop.

Read the instructions carefully - and then disregard. I thought a pokey was like a hoosegow. The last line, however, seems sage advice. Blaster Balls are meant to be thrown on a hard surface, which produces one of two effects. If thrown on an uneven surface, such as roads or blacktops, they will make a popping sound and bounce high. If thrown on a hard, smooth surface such as the sidewalk they will hone your shrapnel-avoidance reflexes - exploding like malicious anti-personnel Gobstoppers (see below). This gift is probably best used as a fruit cake replacement - a gift given to another and not used yourself. You can place your orders through me or Mr. Bean.

Not suitable for kids under 75

The Tonka IV issue vol 3



Built 4 boyhood:)

F O C F u z h o u




Did you know?

  • There are 10 airlines operating out of FOC Airport.
  • The smallest commercial aircraft flying out of FOC Airport is a EMB with 18 seats.
  • The largest aircraft flying out of FOC Airport is a 757 with 185 seats.
  • There are 30 nonstop flights per week departing from FOC Airport.
11 weekly air carriers

J J N J i n j i a n g

Did you know?

  • JJN has 182 flights departing per week for short haul destinations.
  • The longest flight from JJN is 1,053 miles.
  • There are 3 airlines operating out of JJN.
  • Over 24,164 passengers can travel out of JJN every week.


4 airlines servin this location weekly.

Getting Old

I have a stepson who is 14. Let me warn you what that really means:

Your iTunes constantly wants to play High School Musical songs or shitty R&B/Rap stuff.

Yeah, when Ivo is 14 it will be different....different shit music interrupting your Skynard, David Alan Coe, and Rai.

Small mercy: the iTunes has several Il Divo CDs loaded into it, but never queues those up.

Wednesday, December 12, 2007

Holiday Shopping on Amazon


Back to Basics TEM500 Egg-and-Muffin 2-Slice Toaster and Egg Poacher

Back to Basics? Man, if that is a basic product we need to get back to, I have to assume people are already commuting to work in flying cars by now in America.

Canada of course is still using snowmobiles as their main form of transportation, but instead of being made of wood and rope, they are now made of wrought iron and use those new fangled steam engines! My God are the kids happy this Christmas in Antigonish! No more pulling Dad around town! They only have to chop a few tons of wood to keep the snowmobiles fueled up!

UPDATE: I'm told the latest snowmobiles run directly off Athabascan tar sands and furthermore its not polite to bash Canada now that they can buy America with their spare change. I apologize for my rudeness and I hope you will let me make it up to you by having you buy me a drink with all those newly valuable Loonies you have in your pocket.

Friday, December 07, 2007

Rye's Birthday

So, Rye, how does it feel to be 40 years old, married with two kids, and secretly thinking that what you really want for your birthday is two hours of goddamn peace and quiet!

and maybe some Kirin. Yeah, some Kirin would be nice.

Happy Birthday!

p.s. I know you aren't 40 yet, but after 33 1/3 all your birthdays will feel like 40 anyways.

I'd go out to the bar to celebrate with you, but I don't know if you are even going out to bars anymore, and I am angling to get to go to Karl's house tomorrow for Axis & Allies, so I have to stay home and take care of my hell raiser.

BTW, my Mom is coming to Taiwan for Christmas. Which means, God willing Fiona is not sick, we can go to Ivo's birthday party. Yay!

p.s.s. I only know its Rye's birthday because Sandy saw me at Costco and left me a voicemail. Normally I don't keep track of my friends' birthdays. I also can't name starting line ups for sports teams or remember my own cell phone number, so its not personal.

Thursday, December 06, 2007

Bali Global Warming Conference

Check out this article. Or just read the highlights:

Two big climate conferences have been held in less than a month, both in idyllic, far-flung holiday destinations -- first Valencia, Spain, and now Bali. They were preceded by dozens of smaller gatherings. In Bangkok, Paris, Vienna, Washington, New York and Sydney, in Rio de Janeiro, Anchorage, Helsinki and the Indian Ocean island of Kurumba.

The pace is only expected to pick up, prompting some to ask if the issue is creating a "cure" industry as various groups claim a stake in efforts to curb global warming.

You think? How hard is it to decide to start cranking out nuclear power plants while we wait for the car companies figure out what kind of electric car will be used in the future (the main issue is with the kind of battery.)
The U.N. estimates 47,000 tons of carbon dioxide and other pollutants will be pumped into the atmosphere during the 12-day conference in Bali, mostly from plane flights but also from waste and electricity used by hotel air conditioners.

If correct, Goodall said, that is equivalent to what a Western city of 1.5 million people, such as Marseilles, France, would emit in a day.

But don't worry...they are making sure its a carbon neutral or even carbon positive event:
Host Indonesia, which has one of the fastest rates of deforestation in the world, averaging 300 football fields an hour, said it had planted 79 million trees across the archipelago nation in the past few weeks.
Does anyone think that is a true statistic? Maybe I am a cynic, but that seems to be a whole lot of trees to be planted within a period of few weeks.
"If you don't put the U.S., the big developing countries, the European Union around the table to craft a solution together, nothing will happen and then the prophecy of scientists in terms of rising emissions and its consequences will become a reality," de Boer said.
I think the word he is looking for is prediction, not prophecy. Normally I don't like to base major economic decisions on prophecy. "The chicken liver is clear and healthy. The gods are pleased and the temperature will only increase 0.2 degrees centigrade this year. Canadians, you may keep your beer fridges!"

Wednesday, December 05, 2007

The Tonka III issue vol 2



Cement consumption in China to grow over 5% per year through 2010

Demand for cement in China will rise 5.1 percent annually through 2010 to reach 1.3 billion metric tons, driven by moderating but healthy growth in construction expenditures. China will remain the largest national consumer of cement in the world, accounting for close to half of global cement consumption in 2010.

Built 4 boyhood.

K H H K a o h s i u n g





Did You Know?

  • The largest aircraft flying out of KHH, TW is a 330 with 313 seats.
  • There are over 61 long haul flights per week from KHH, TW.
  • There are 6 nonstop flights out of KHH, TW per week that have over 300 seats.
  • The smallest commercial aircraft flying out of KHH, TW is a DH8 with 56 seats.
12 air carriers servin this location weekly.

low and slow.... four 0 seventy 7

How to Reduce CO2 Emissions

Choose a Global Warming conference location where there will be enough parking for all of the private jets that fly in, thus reducing the extra emissions that will be made by having the private jets park in airports hundreds of kilometers away.
Tempo Interaktif reports that Angkasa Pura - the management of Bali's Ngurah Rai International Airport are concerned that the large number of additional private charter flights expected in Bali during the UN Conference on Climate Change (UNFCCC) December 3-15, 2007, will exceed the carrying capacity of apron areas. To meet the added demand for aircraft storage officials are allocating "parking space" at other airports in Indonesia.

The operational manager for Bali's Airport, Azjar Effendi, says his 3 parking areas can only accommodate 15 planes, which means that some of the jets used by VIP delegations will only be allowed to disembark and embark their planes in Bali with parking provided at airports in Surabaya, Lombok, Jakarta and Makassar.
Because Global Warming is such a serious threat to our planet that merely flying commercial (I hear First Class is nice) wouldn't do it justice. Let me suggest some other ways to save the planet. Land the Lear Jet in Lombok and have the VIP delegates take a catamaran ferry to Bali. That saves a plane trip just for parking.


p.s. Maybe a green argument for direct links to China...how many extraneous flight time would be saved by allowing direct flights?

Monday, December 03, 2007

Ang Lee on Taiwan & Gay Cowboys

Mr. Lee's emphasis on the old China goes back to his upbringing. His parents were from the mainland, but the 1949 communist victory in the Chinese civil war led them to flee to Taiwan, where Mr. Lee was born in 1954. Taiwan did not suffer from the same attempts to demolish Chinese history.

"In Taiwan we carry the torch of the classic Chinese culture, of feudal society, so to speak. We didn't go through Cultural Revolution and communism," Mr. Lee says. "In Hong Kong and Taiwan we're brought up in the old-fashioned way, and China has changed drastically. . . . I still grew up relatively similar to how my father was brought up."

Mr. Lee tells me that growing up in Taiwan influenced his career in other ways as well. He says that in his films, he always takes "the losing side." ("Somebody dies, somebody loses, well, gay cowboys--they're not going to win," he explains.)

You might be wondering what all this has to do with Taiwan. "I grew up in Taiwan, we always lose," Mr. Lee says. He laughs good-naturedly. "Nobody wins anything, that's just how I grew up. We're always on the losing side. My parents get beat by the communists, they escape to Taiwan. Taiwan's a small island, hardly anybody pays attention. Up until the late '80s I still get this: I come here, 'Where are you from?' I say, 'Taiwan.' People say, 'Oh, I love Thai food!' "

Taiwan, of course, also has more serious dilemmas. "You live in fear that communists will take over. . . . China's so big and Taiwan is a small island. . . . We look at America as the big brother, the protector, the good guys. So after the Vietnam War it's very frightening, [America's] . . . in trouble and you feel very insecure. So I think Taiwan needs Americans to be the good guys."

Mr. Lee describes the current mood in Taiwan as "quite depressing." It's "splitting," he says, between more independence-minded people and those who "have a hard time to believe we're not Chinese." Where does Mr. Lee fit in? "At heart, I'm still Chinese. That's how I was brought up. My parents came from China, we're the outsiders." Yet in China, he says, "I think I'm somewhat of a native and a guest at the same time."

Mr. Lee's work is not immune from Taiwan-mainland politics. Such was the case with the Venice International Film Festival a few months back. Taiwan criticized the festival for listing "Lust, Caution" as originating in "Taiwan, China," as opposed to simply "Taiwan."

"I wish the world was like the [John Lennon] song goes: 'Imagine there's no country . . .," Mr. Lee says, laughing. "I like to be in that gray-zone area, where people see me as 'all of the above.' "

Sunday, December 02, 2007

Saturday, December 01, 2007

More Montana Oldies

There are not many famous Montanans. Mike Mansfield (longest serving Majority Leader in Senate history), Jeannette Rankin (first woman elected to Congress and only dissenter in the Declaration of War against Nazi Germany), Gary Cooper (from Helena) and Dana Carvey (Missoula) are about as famous as we get. But today we lost our most international of stars, Rob 'Evel' Knieval, the man of gravity defying leaps and broken bones. It is a sad night in Butte, where he is more than a legend, he is king.

Raise your glass high tonight, Mr. Knieval is feeling no pain.

Friday, November 30, 2007

Canadian Beer Drinkers Threaten Planet

No Duh!

Here's the science:

Old, inefficient "beer fridges" that one in three Canadian households use to store their Molson and Labatt's contribute significantly to global warming by guzzling gas- and coal-fired electricity.
Heres' the sermonizing:

"People need to understand the impact of their lifestyles," British environmental consultant Joanna Yarrow tells New Scientist magazine. "Clearly the environmental implications of having a frivolous luxury like a beer fridge are not hitting home. This research helps inform people — let's hope it has an effect."

All I have to say is that a beer fridge may be a frivolous luxury, but so is holding two week long environmental conferences in Bali. Or maybe they actually had a math program calculate the distance from each attendees position and determined Bali was the closest locale? I think not.

Wait a minute, a British (female!) environmental consultant, thinks drinking cold beer is a frivolous luxury? Huh. I guess drinking warm pints would be fine. Or switching to wine spritzers or vodka crans or whatever the ladies are drinking nowadays. And we could sure cut down on our carbon output if we switched off TV when sports was on, too.

p.s. Did she consider that all of our hard work drinking beer is just to lock up excess carbon into the carbon sinks commonly known as beer bellies?

We are pretty boring

The real life "Turtle" from Entourage has passed away. His real life nickname was "Donkey." No explanation given, none wanted. The photo does bear some resemblance to the fictional Turtle. What I would really like is a look at the real life Johnny Drama, Johnny Alves. An image search was fruitless and could not find any video clips of him from Mark Wahlberg's Marky Mark's Workout video.

While Entourage is good, I'll go that far, I am always waiting for them to break away from droop-eyed, I-probably-need-a-punch-in-the-face Vince and the guy who reinvents Mike Seaver as a player in the movie biz. I'll take Drama, Turtle and Ari and spin the other two off into two minute webisodes.

Most of my viewing has been of Battlestar Galactica. I just finished Season 2 and had begun Season 3 when I ran into Karl. He was upset that they got away from the core - Humans vs. Cylons - to politicize it ( If I remember correctly. Feel free to correct me, Karl ). I told him that I was okay with that. And then I finished the season. Yep, he was right. They chose the topical and headline-relevant over the original and hot-topic irrelevant. I'll stick out the 4th season, I guess, but in the meantime I'm gonna learn Cylon. Hey, Kevlar, I bet I can become fluent in Cylon before the end of the season. Case of beer. Whaddya say?

Britain searches for a national motto - Read them all, but my favorite is "Dipso, fatso, bingo, ASBO, Tesco." Your suggestions are most welcome, especially Taiwan's favorite Brit entertainer, Brit Paul (or anyone who wants to pose as him).

Thursday, November 29, 2007

Pool B Wrap

The Philippines advanced to Pool A action this weekend by tying Thailand 0-0 this afternoon. That left them 2-0-1 to finish first.

I saw the game this afternoon. Thailand's pitcher, the one Dean and I saw pitch 6 plus innings Tuesday night vs. Hong Kong, took a 1 hitter into the tenth. Jeez. There wasn't even anyone warming up in the bullpen. Made the Philippines offense looked pretty anemic. Then again they probably are. For advancing, they get to play Japan Saturday night. They also beat Pakistan 2-0 and HK 4-1.

Thailand finished second at 1-1-1. In addition to the PH game they beat HK 8-4 and lost to Pakistan 5-3. Dean and I caught the TH-HK game Tuesday night. Truly some ugly baseball. Scattered moments of brilliance and excitement, but mostly just cold beer, cold wind and bad baseball. We left after the 7th.

HK finished 3rd at 1-2. They beat Pakistan tonight 8-6(I just got back). Down 6-2 in the 6th they loaded the bases with no one out and failed to score. They did it again in the 7th and this time got a bases clearing triple to pull within one. In the 8th they got 3 more to get ahead and seal it. They suicided in the last run. It wasn't pretty but they got him in.

Good on Pakistan for coming out. 0-3. Deep green unis with racing stripes. Too bad they had they meltdown in the late innings. I was rooting for them tonight. Dean was too until he started the HK rally in the 7th with his loud and profane exhortations for them to pick it up and make a game of it. To their credit, Pakistan played pretty well defensively making only 1 error.

HK was the worst fielding team I've ever seen. They need infield practice in a large way. They gathered in a big circle in front of the dugout after each inning to listen to the manager's pep talk. All players removed their caps when facing him. They ended their huddle with one of those everybody get your hand in there on top of everybody else's and make a big whooping GO TEAM! shouts before descending into the dugout. Though a night game, the manager wore sunglasses the entire game and took over coaching third in the late innings against Pakistan.

There was a lot of shouting and chanting and chatter by all the teams from the dugouts on every play. They reminded me of little league teams with their enthusiasm.
The mixtures of Thai, Cantonese, Tagalog, Urdu and English easily drowned out the crowds of 80 to 100 people. It was cold weather baseball though. Prob 14 degrees with the wind chill.

Admission was free.

We still saw people peering in through the barred gates on the second floor though. (?)

They had ball boys running around after foul balls in the stands. When a fan got one they were asked to hand it over. I've never seen the like. Baseball blasphemy. Is this because there was no admission?

A Canadian in a Montana Jail

A death-row Canadian inmate in Montana is taking the Canadian government to the Federal Court of Canada. Here's a summary that includes Indians, booze, drugs, a less than stellar defense attorney and a valuable lesson that it's probably best to come down off those drugs and booze before making a guilty plea and asking the judge to kill you.

Bread, any thoughts? And you can't start billing yet, can you?


Anyone wanna split anything from Costco? I was looking at the Quatro Cheese and 3lb. bucket of sour cream among other things.

Montana Grandmas in Court (contiued)

Going with the new theme of the week, this article from the Missoula Indendent details what happens when Montana Grandmothers go bad (in this instance they become meth dealers).

Wednesday, November 28, 2007

A great funny

Lawyers should never ask a Montana grandma a question if they aren't prepared for the answer. In a trial, a Missoula prosecuting attorney called his first witness, a grand motherly, elderly woman to the stand. He approached her and asked, " Mrs. Jones, do you know me? " She responded, " Why, yes, I do know you, Mr. Williams. I've known you since you were a young boy, and frankly, you've been a big disappointment to me. You lie, you cheat on your wife, and you manipulate people and talk about them behind their backs. You think you're a big shot when you haven't the brains to realize you never will amount to anything more than a two-bit paper pusher. Yes, I know you. " The lawyer was stunned! Not knowing what else to do, he pointed across the room and asked, " Mrs. Jones, do you know the defense attorney? "
She again replied, " Why, yes, I do. I've known Mr. Oneil since he was a youngster, too. He's lazy, bigoted, and he has a drinking problem. He can't build a normal relationship with anyone and his law practice is one of the worst in the entire state. Not to mention he cheated on his wife with three different women. One of them was your wife. Yes, I know him. " The defense attorney almost died. The judge asked both counselors to approach the bench and, in a very quiet voice, said, " If either of you f*cking idiots asks her if she knows me, I'll send you to the electric chair. "

Tuesday, November 27, 2007

Brit Paul Week Continues

If I remember correctly, Brit Paul is a Queenspark Rangers fan. This list of quotes from their former manager has some true nuggets. My favorite (about a recent dryspell for the boys):
"I feel so unlucky right now, if I fell into a barrel of boobs I'd come out sucking my thumb."
Oh those wacky lads from across the pond.

Monday, November 26, 2007

BP Live in Paluwan

My fav English comedian spins one in Paluwan.

Sunday, November 25, 2007

IBAF Asia Cup

Asia Cup starts Tuesday in Taichung with Pool B games. All games will be played at the new Intercontinental Stadium. Pool B consists of the weaker teams, Thailand, Philippines, Hong Kong and Pakistan. Winner of Pool B gets to play in Pool A with traditional baseball powerhouses Japan, Korea and Taiwan next weekend. The winner qualifies automatically for the '08 Olympics in Beijing. Second and third place teams will advance to an Olympic qualifier to be played in Taiwan next spring.

Tuesday at 1 pm, Pakistan vs. Philippines and at 6, Hong Kong vs. Thailand (which I could possibly attend if anyone wants to go out there and drink beer with me)

Wednesday at the same times features Thailand v. Pakistan and Philippines v. HK. (I can't make these games)

Thursday sees Thailand v. Philippines and the evening game has Hong Kong v. Pakistan. I may get Thurs afternoon off due to exams at Wei Dao so I might take the boys up there for a daytime game. I'm curious to see what Pakistani baseball looks like so I may take in that game too.

No games Friday.

Saturday 12/1 at 1 pm Taiwan v. Korea. The evening game is Japan v. the Pool B winner. (I may hit the evening game) I've been told all Taiwan games are sold out but I bet if you really wanted to get in you could go stand in line and still get a seat. Not me though. I can't stand the horns that go with a full on Taiwanese crowd. I'll watch on TV with the sound turned down.

Sunday 12/2 in the afternoon has the Pool B winner vs. Taiwan. The evening game is going to be the main game I want to see in this tourney, Korea v. Japan. Both teams are sending their A squads and should be played in front of maybe 200 people. 500 tops. Be there!

Monday 12/3 the tourney wraps up with Korea v. Pool B winner at 1 and Taiwan v. Japan at 6.

There's no championship game per se though Monday's games could well be must wins for one or all teams.

The winner will be decided on wins/losses/runs allowed and run ratio.

See yall out there.

Link to Chinese schedule.

Wiki rundown.

Friday, November 23, 2007

BigEl, Ponce

This article is worth a read just to give you some things to look for on YouTube. I checked a couple of the fights and they are definitely an enjoyable way to procrastinate.

Turkey Day in Montana

I decided to kick off my holiday at midnight. Went out for a smoke and realized the gibbous moon was shining bright off the snow. A clear night in winter is rare in these parts -- usually nighttime is reserved for clouds and snowfall. I had read an article about some comet in the northeast sky, so I thought I would take a gander. Problem is there was a big mountain in my northeast sky. Wearing my trusty corduroy coat, I determined I needed to see this damn comet. And so I started a small hike.

At this point it was a mere 5 degrees (F, roughly -15 C), no big deal for a mountain man like myself. As I ascended the hillside, the snow was sparkling like an old man's eyes at the thought of a childhood sweetheart. Compelled by the beauty of the night, I continued up to the ridgeline. However, I had not planned on this moonlit escapade. I had planned on a five minute smoke. Wearing pajama bottoms, sneakers, a long sleeve T and my trusty cord jacket, I pressed onward, oblivious to the cold that was biting my ears. After 30 minutes I made the line and glimpsed to the northeast sky. While I could make out something nebulous, I remained unconvinced that I was contemplating cometness. I pressed on.

Why I pressed on I'm not sure. I was sweating and freezing simultaneously. My lungs were burning from the cold. My eyes were frozen in place. My runny nose had become caked with icesnot. the moon was not going to get less dim (thereby giving me better comet viewing). The extra height was not going to put me any closer to the comet. And yet still I climbed.

When i reached the summit of the hill I was left with two choices. Go over the hill and down into the canyon or return home. Had I brought my trusty sled, I might have descended into the canyon. But I couldn't imagine going downhill twice, I would become a popsicle for sure. So I glimpsed to the northeast sky once more and started the trudge back to my little cabin. The descent, while less taxing on the body, was a great challenge on the mind. I was frozen solid. By the time I got back, it was 2am. The thermometer read -5 (that's -20C). I cranked on the electric blanket, made some tea and stood by the embers of a now decrepit fire. And then I realized something. I never got my smoke.

Thanksgiving cake

We had been planning to celebrate both Thanksgiving and my niece-in-law's birthday on Saturday. But my wife got a call at 6:00 telling her that Joanne's birthday party would be held tonight, now, 7:00 on Thursday, in one hour. I was on my way home anticipating a supper of steak and pizza and unaware of the change. I was not receptive at all to this change. My wife, a 9-year veteran of dealing with me griping about eating anything, anytime at her folk's house, played the only card guaranteed to shut my mouth and make me act civilly - a promise that we would be in and out within one hour.

Hour 1 - We have been waiting the arrival of, well, everybody except my mother and father-in law. Joanne, her mother, bro and sis-in-laws are absent. A little strange considering everyone except sis-in-law lives there. Pops hears JinMen mentioned on the TV and starts on his tale of being denied the opportunity to be stationed there during the '49 invasion attempt and the '58 bombardment.

Hour 2 - Joanne and her mother arrive. Sis and Bro do not. It's best not to ask questions, even in English, about them. Sis is estranged and semi-homeless. Bro is just deranged and completely hopeless. We decide to start without them. We do not decide to do anything about it, though. The table remains empty. Conversation does not flow. It drips - occasionally. Only Pops keeps up his end of the conversation, though I can't understand much of his JiangSu accent. My wife pretends she can't either and can't / won't translate (still on about JinMen and some colonel, I think.

Hour 3 - I must of dozed off. The table is filled. Finally! Pears, apples, persimmons and vegetarian crab. I think this explains my anything, anytime position quite well. However, Joanne is there and her wonderful laugh and beautiful smile make me abandon my selfishness. We bring the cake / main course to the table and let Joanne blow out her candles. Thank God for Joanne not dawdling, for if she waited a few seconds more, we all would be dead.

There was another blow out that followed Joanne's, my mother-in-law's. Seated around a low table, she remained standing to my right. What she let pass - no, pass does not convey the true brute explosive force that erupted from her backside - was the truest, most accurate instance of onomatopoeia I have ever witnessed - FART. Like a flash/bang grenade, her outburst left my speechless and immobile, much to my horror. As she was standing and I was sitting, my face was just inches away from ground zero. Only Pops had the foresight to station himself in the corner of the room at his desk. As quickly as possible , though still much too slowly - I stood and passed the browned fruit and locked myself in the bathroom while I used every type of cleanser there to rid me of the attack. Whether they worked or not is moot. In my mind, I keep hearing the phrase, Odor is particulate. Odor is particulate and am afraid nothing can scour my mind well enough. Well, maybe a lot of Gold Medals or some Gao Liang.

Thursday, November 22, 2007

Kilotons

They're not just for measuring nuclear weapon yields anymore.

According to this article from 2006, Taiwan imports more than 300,000 kilotons of fruits and vegetables in a year.

Top three source countries were USA, China, and Vietnam.

That's a lot of broccoli and apples! (which by the way, you don't want to ship together, because broccoli makes a ton of ethylene that will make the apples rot faster.)

Fake Eggs in China

This is old news, but I found a cool blog post that explains how the fake eggs were made and has photos.

Wednesday, November 21, 2007

Hearsay

Dear Bread,
Out-of-court statements are of suspect trustworthiness and probative value because the

declarant was not under oath at the time the statement was made, and the declarant's

perception, demeanor and veracity are not subject to cross-examination in front of a jury that

can judge the credibility and weight to be given to the statement.

How is the oven?

Tuesday, November 20, 2007

Ocean, beach, pool, hot tub



Not 2 bad for the 2nd night stay in Phuket......................
And this was the best they could do!

EW

Hearsay

Just wanted everyone to know I aced my Hearsay exam today. Average score: 33% My score: 100%. Sometimes it's hard to be humble (not that I try). For those of you wondering what in the hell hearsay is and why I'm writing about it (Kevin), I wish I were you.

Finally, A Bonds Article Worth Reading

To all the Bonds' haters out there, of which there are many, I think this article sums up my feelings to a tee. Let it be known I am no fan of Bonds, at least not the Bonds of the home run. And I still remember cheering Sid Bream around third and being stoked that Bonds' throw was, um, a little off. But the pervasive nature of drugs within baseball culture was known by everyone, from the owners on down. And yes, Mr. President, this means you and your Texas Rangers.

The greatest Astro ever, Jeff Bagwell, went from being a doubles hitter in the BoSox minor league system and expendable for a tired old reliever to being one of the most feared bats in the N.L. When the league belatedly instituted its drug policy, he and many other titans of the sport remarkably went on diets and shed 30 pounds (see BigMac, Pudge, Giambi). Now that steroids are out and HGH is in, we see Tori Hunter cranking out 35 homers in a contract year. Gee, you reckon he'll be back to his standard 25 next year?

Barry Bonds has enough bad about him that we can boo him independently of steroids. But that swing, that was and is a thing of beauty. You take Ken Griffey circa 1996, I'll take Bonds. And yes, I think Junior is as guilty as Barry.

Monday, November 19, 2007

great plains and alaska tribes photo exhibit



There's a photo exhibit on the North American Indian at the Science Museum on Bo Guan Rd. The photos were bankrolled by JP Morgan and were taken by Edward S. Curtis early in the 20th century to 'document traditional native life before it went extinct' (or finally got wiped out by the white man, whichever came first). Though they're beautiful pics (gallery) be aware of the context of times he was living in,
"Curtis documented some aspects of the customs and lifestyles of American Indians of the trans-Mississippi West. The publication of Curtis's work, highly romanticized and most craftily staged, exerted a major influence on the image of Indians in popular culture. Curtis is reported to have retouched some of the photographs in order to remove modern objects, adding to the popular illusion of Native Americans as a primitive people."

and for further reading on the a plight of the American Indian in the late 19th and early 20th centuries read David R.M. Beck's (University of Montana) excellent essay, The Myth of the Vanishing Race

Saturday, November 17, 2007

Cuba - U.S. final Sunday 16:30.

DWayne showing the game?

Deano coming back from the North?

Friday, November 16, 2007

WC Semis

US vs Netherlands

Japan v. Cuba

Netherlands hit a solo homer in the top of the 9th to tie Taiwan 2-2 and ended up winning in it the 11th 6-3. The US beat Korea 3-1. Cuba body slammed Mexico 6-0 and Japan shut down a hot Aussie team 3-0.

I don't work on Monday and am going to have a rib eye steak.What about you?

Well, that was nice. Two weeks of very limited Internet time. No blogs, no email. Only a few peeks at sports and a 30 Rock download. Now to check out what's been happening. Back in a little while.

Wow, lot's of baseball. Haven't been but D-Wayne got me a shirt. On with the post.

Let's start with meat, specifically, beef. The wife and I visited Costco last Sunday. I intended to go to the grand opening on Friday but mistook the huge, unmoving line outside for the line to enter the store. Turns out it was just the line for the 10 free eggs and motored away. According to initial reports in the Chinese language media, the Taichung Costco set records with the most memberships - around 50,000 as of Saturday - and the most single day memberships sold - 22,000.


Well, we bought. Shrimp, 2 kilograms of maple bacon and 3 lbs. of steak. I'm sure we bought other things, but I grabbed my steaks and just roamed the beef section while my wife finished up her list. The beef is good. Good cuts, well trimmed and clearly labeled. They offer U.S. prime and select beef. Prime of course is the best with the most marbling which affects flavor, tenderness and juiciness. Select is next, with slightly less marbling but still more than adequate for the average guy's needs. We bought Select Rib Eye Steaks cut about 1 1/2 inches thick, maybe a tad more. This is an important consideration when broiling a steak. Anything under an inch will probably be cooked to well done before you can pull it off the grill - assuming you are using a very high heat, as you should. Cooking the steak at lower roasting temperatures will not give your steak a seal that locks in the juices. The lower heat will also take longer to cook. Remember this rule of thumb with beef: Tender cuts need to be cooked quickly over high heat. Tougher cuts need lower heat to allow them to become tender and the flavor to fully develop. Therefore, if you're using chicken temperatures for a rib steak, you're gonna be doing a lot of chewing. So if you don't have the proper tools, don't even attempt this:

There is a good amount of food - maple ham, sausages, beef bakes... - produced by a Taiwanese company, K & K Foods (碁富食品股份有限公司) that, if I'm translating this correctly - 本公司為美商在台分公司 - states that they are a Taiwanese branch of / for an American company. Their website is still under construction, but this page says they have been supplying companies such as McDonald's and Burger King since 1987. I have tried their maple ham and found it very good. Nice and thick, not too lean. So, don't be put off by the brand. Give it a try and let me know how their other products rate.

Thursday, November 15, 2007

world cup update

The preliminary rounds are over. The remaining games will be played in Taipei starting tomorrow.

Quarter final matchups have the US vs. Korea (who finished with the same record as Canada but advanced because they allowed less runs. That or because they beat the Leafs in head to head action). That winner will play the winner of the Taiwan - Netherlands game at noon. The winner of Australia vs. Japan will play the winner of Cuba vs. either Panama or Mexico, depending on which site you read. The IBAF site reads Mexico. Wiki says Panama. Panama beat Mexico 3-2 in the 11/9 game and allowed 28 runs to Mexico's 32.

UPDATE: There seems to be some question as to the eligibility of 5 Panamanian players because they weren't insured for the tourney. So they forfeited 2 games, dropping them out of 4th place, making it a Mexico-Cuba matchup. Explanation here.

I'm Back from China

I'm actually starting to like Dongguan/Shenzhen. They have spaghetti bian dangs and you can get romaine lettuce at some restaurants. I even managed to find imported German hefeweizen tall boys at about NT$ 40 per can!

This trip I did not have the vegetable withdrawl symptoms I used to have after an extended China trip, where I'd end up in the Champions restaurant in HK airport lusting after vegetable soups and salads. Unfortunately, that means we will probably be doing business in outer Mongolia next, because I have a theorem that states:

The competitiveness of FOB costs for products is in direct inverse proportion to the availability of romaine lettuce.

I had a great time with some ex-customers who wanted me to maybe help them with QC inspections...I got to visit their factory with them and yell at people who were not my own suppliers. It was refreshing and it combined well with a hangover I might add. The latent anger you feel from the hangover gives your directives a harsher, no-nonsense edge.

Wednesday, November 14, 2007

sunday night baseball

Japan v. Panama. Sandy's write up on Honeybees. Pics of everybody. Dwayne and Trey, AJ and Sian were there too. And Hoagie from Changhua. Ivo had fun with Trey. I got a foul ball while holding Burl. Pics of my Expos hat! Didn't drop the baby or ball. Boo-yah! When I showed it to Ivo he promptly hurled it 3 rows down. Thanks to DWayne for retrieving it. Caution when giving rare balls to 2 year olds. Good beer. Sparse crowd. No horns. No whistles. Thank Zeus! Japan won 6-2. Panama got 5 hit til the 8th or 9th when they finally scored.

And to Karl. I was relating this story to a 7th grade girls' class yesterday and when I told them that Panamanian players were good at digging, because of, you know, the canal ???? Blank stares all around. I showed them where it was on the map and explained how ships could pass through between the 2 oceans by way of the canal and didn't they say to me,

"Oh! Teacher! The shui3 gou1!"

Monday, November 12, 2007

baseball I've seen

I made it to 2 world cup baseball games over the weekend at the new intercontinental stadium off Cheng De Rd. The stadium appears to be fully operational, complete with merchandise vendors, corn dogs and Taiwan Beer for sale. There's even what seems to be a makeshift McD's on the outside ground floor just before the ticket booths. It also has a fine ramp for strollers or wheelchairs. No problem taking in your own beverages either, of course. Lots of parking so long as Taiwan's not playing. All around a fine ball park. I'm ruined for the old one on Shuang Shr. Which, I heard, was built by the Japanese during the occupation. Possibly the 20s or 30s. Anyone know to confirm this?Anyway, I love that this ballpark is in Taichung.

Saturday: Japan vs. US. Met up with old Chang Hua friends Tom, Paul and Johnson who I found outside sitting and giggling around a pile of empty Heinekens. Light crowd. We sat on the US side. US scored 3 in the first. Japan got one back in the 5th(?). The US tacked on 2 more in the last of the eighth to seal it, 5-1. Japan actually loaded the bases in the ninth sending the potential tying run to the plate before he was retired. Both teams hit the ball well, good defense and pitching on both sides.
Fun, light hearted crowd. There was a young American girl who waved a full size starless US flag with a peace symbol on the blue every time the US recorded even an out. If you saw her on TV, I was the guy a couple rows back and off to the left wearing the Expos tricolor. Tom said he found the peace symbol offensive and when I suggested that a tank would be a more appropriate, Tom just started giggling again and said "Fuckin' right." I eventually went to the men's room and ran into Les Arthur and John Kuhel. John plays weekly in Tainan in a league and was actually wearing his Factory Cats uniform, hoping to track down US hitting coach Reggie Smith after the game to get a few pointers.

I had been in touch with Dean-o prior to the game and found him sitting with that crew completely absorbed by the game, beer in one hand and what looked like a potato wrapped in tin foil in the other. He was on the aisle so I sat down on the step next to him and said, "Hey Dean! How you doing?"
He looked over at me with a big grin and with his opposite hand just kinda pawed my shoulder a few times and said, "Ryan! I found you!" It was around this time that we heard that the beer vendors had sold out. I thought of my last two Kirins under my seat and decided to head back before the wolves sniffed them out. Dean-o insisted I take a sandwich back with me. He handed me the potato shaped thing he had been holding and said, "Take it!" When I got back to my seat Tom asked what it was and when I told him it was a potato, did he want it, he snatched it out of my hand and tore it open informing me that it was not potato, but a sandwich! He asked where I got it so I recounted my story and told him about Dean. Did he know Dean? No, Tom doesn't know Dean. Just then, Tom gestured two sections down to a guy wearing a blue hat approaching the US dugout from the stands, hands cupped over his mouth and shouting something onto the field. Tom says, "Hey, that guy's really into it." I looked around and exclaimed, "That's Dean! That's the guy! You're eating Dean's sandwich!" Tom just leaned back, chewing, and said, "Good sandwich. What's he yelling about? This is fun!"

Dean was probably yelling "The legs feed the wolf!" repeatedly. Though I could be wrong.

We hit Joe's Bar after the game and didn't stay too late. Paul and Tom had to drag Johnson out of there, he was having a blast. Joe's is a lot like his Chang Hua bar, wooden interior, drinking games, TV on Cinemax and bar snacks. No rock n roll though, Joe seems to be liking the House music.

___________________________________________________________________________________

I'll write about Sunday's game tomorrow. It was a family affair.

___________________________________________________________________________________

John, did you hit COSTCO on opening day? Get your eggs? I saw some madness on the news Friday night with reaching, pushing, grabbing for these eggs. They must be good freakin' eggs! Looked like a refugee camp save for all the people looked pretty well fed.

Tom said he drove in from Changhua, drove around the block, and drove straight home.

Shocking Result

Texas only defeated the pink ladies by sixteen this year. Maybe next year J-Ho.

Friday, November 09, 2007

world cup baseball

I hope to hit the Japan-USA World Cup Baseball game tomorrow night up at the new stadium at 6 pm. My family may or may not join me, we're not sure yet.
Tickets shouldn't be a problem judging by the abysmal attendance I've seen on TV this week. Taiwan eviscerated South Africa last night in front maybe 200 people. There were maybe 50 in the stands for US-Mexico game the night before. I expect Taiwan's afternoon games will sell out (apathy be damned!), Saturday vs. Spain and Sunday vs. Mexico, if everyone isn't at COSTCO all weekend. Sunday night at the new stadium has Japan vs. Panama, which should also be a nice quiet game. Leave a comment if I should look for you or gimme a buzz.

Friday, November 02, 2007

Angie's Fleeing The Authorities!


Our good friend Angie (aka Gangy Angie, aka The Sudbury Strumpet), boozehound extraordinaire, is taking off next Friday, so we will get her hammered one more time. Well, until Sunday anyway. Soon to be known as The Big Bash, it goes on Saturday, the 3rd. That's tomorrow. Kicks off around 7, last chance to get her to take her top off.