Friday, June 29, 2007

Set your phaser to totally awesome!

Tonight at Grooveyard come a join me for our last efforts to Rock Out! 80's dress essential!

Wednesday, June 27, 2007


Finally made it back to San Jose for some journalism work, as per request. If I had a camera, I could show photos of the recently deserted Taiwanese Residence. I could also show the embassy, but the rats carrying the sofa above their head might disgust our female viewers. I'd love to report a diplomatic solution to Taiwan's presence in the region, but that would involve looking at newspapers. I'm on vacation, therefore recycled Tom Wolfe novels and Oprah books of the month (Cien Anos de Soledad) are about as in depth as I intend to get.

I have actually spent the bulk of my time in Nicaragua. Cheaper, nicer folk, fewer backpackers, etc. My return to Costa Rica has produced one serious downer -- my external hard drive got swiped out of my backpack. Byebye 50G of music. law notes, 1G of porn, and all my photos (3)...

Tuesday, June 26, 2007

The weekend

Saturday morning was spent going around garage and estate sales. I was looking for cheap books. My mother was looking for what mothers look for - more things that would look great in a particular place in your house that go next to the things that already look "great" in your house. To her credit, she did pick up a $3 ceramic thing by a famous ceramic-making thing company that is worth a lot more than $3. I did find some books, among them a 50 cent hard cover edition of Graham Greene's The Comedians, but The Complete Sprouting Cookbook, The Female Body : A User's Manual, The Joy of Chicken and The Yeast Syndrome all got a pass.

Bonus question with a prize for the winner - How did I come across Felix Potvin and Allan Bester at the garage sales?

Sunday was a day of 100s for myself: the temperature, my golf score and the money spent/lost at the golf course. I hope today is not the day my wife accidentally checks out the blog. It could have been worse. I could have attended the Buffalo Springs Lake Ironman Triathlon. Well, not really. Not in this body and hopefully not in any body. There is only one Iron Man and he exists in the Marvel Universe not on a bike or in a wetsuit.

D-Wayne, check out what you can get for about $3,000 NT. Assuming that there is still space on your wall. Or maybe this for Trey.

Monday, June 25, 2007

Canada's own barbecue kingpin

Looks like a Flock of Seagulls fan who enjoys his barbecue a little too much.

Though who can blame him? The food looks good. Has anyone tried plank barbecue before?

Saturday, June 23, 2007

Lawyer K

One evening two weeks back. Outside Oldies hotdogs at 3am, Lawyer K was quietly drinking a beer. A Taiwanese male choose to break a glass on Lawyer K head. Dazed Lawyer K tossed a beer bottle at Taiwanese males car. The T.M. then got out of the car brandishing a watermelon knife. Lawyer K decided leave on foot.
Three hours later, lawyer K returned to fetch his motorcycle. TM and friends pounced on lawyer K, beat him up and slashed his arm deep enough to have lawyer K treated for severe blood loss and injuries.

Any updates?

A Haiku

Goodbye, Downey CA

I am going home today.

No more burritos.

Thursday, June 21, 2007

Vince Dandy to the Rescue

After resetting my internal jet-lag clock back to lag on Monday, I stayed up late watching the late shows and news. I was rewarded with one of the first airings of Hillary Clinton's latest campaign commercial shown on MSNBC. What issue did this person vying to become president of the United States choose to address? Her campaign theme song.

What? Or more correctly, why? Why a video? Why is it being shown as news on MSNBC? Incontinence is an issue to some, but not "everybody in America" is awaiting the latest advances in silent-release velcro or nanosponges. If the public got to choose her campaign theme accent(s), then maybe I would bite. But even then we wouldn't need a video to announce the results. This isn't jumping the shark, it's jumping a man-eating, blue whale-filled Snake River Canyon in a rocket powered Prius.

I am not against spectacle and showmanship in politics but if you are going to make that your priority at the expense of your message then you need to fully commit yourself. You need help from the experts. You need the WWE. Her cutesy videos and the Dems junior-high-school-student- council-level debates make Greg and Marcia look like political geniuses.

Give everyone a theme song and a sidekick and/or a manager. Have Jim Ross and Jerry Lawler body slam Chris Matthews and Brian Williams and take over the moderating duties. Have debate questions thrown out to the entire panel and let the candidates' theme music act as a buzzer to answer. Da du dun. Da du dun. Lunatic Fringe. Yes, Dennis Kucinich!

Foreign objects, while technically illegal, would be encouraged. I don't believe it! Biden and Gravel are pelting Obama with lit Marlboros!

Surprise visits would be mandatory. Richardson has once again pulled out his baseball bat in response to Edwards' challenging of his facts. And...what's this music? That's...Jim Dandy! Oh, my God! That's Fred Thompson's music. What's he doing here? He's not allowed here. And, oh no! He's carrying a two-by-four!

Think about it. Vince McMahon was conveniently "blown up" last week, supposedly dead. Look for him to resurface in the near future as the new media relations manager for the Democratic Party.

Wednesday, June 20, 2007

Donkey Love

Bread has been to South America many times. Maybe this explains it.

Third video is NSFW and shows man-donkey love (zoophilia) not that there's anything wrong with that.

p.s. I''m jet-lagged in Downey, CA.

Hub City Report

Monday was only a semi-jet lag day. A day of firsts. My first cold beer in a mug since leaving Taiwan, about $42 worth at $2 a pop. It was also the first day of any physical activity for me as I helped my friend build a fort-tree house for his kids. Kevlar would be proud. He eschewed the pre-cut, pre-drilled kits that only required inserting and screwing in the screws. No, he wanted old school. Old school requires that you spend more alone on tools to construct the fort-tree house than the kit itself. The icing on the do-it-really-by-yourself cake is flatlining your bank account to buy the materials so that your new toys have something to do. Old school is sinking the foundation posts a year ago and then waiting until one or more of your friends find themselves unemployed and/or on vacation to help you. My friend found both and we went at it. Actually, they had started before I arrived back in Lubbock. My assignment was to document the progress and play with the dog.

Work, and belly rubbing, progressed nicely until we were left with only one assignment for the day - the swing. Ah, the swing. Old school allows you to add those cool - and highly unsafe - features that the kits don't have: a trap door in the floor (Safe enough); sliding front door (Safe but inviting heavy ridicule - How do you answer the door? In an ascot?); a rope ladder attached to the left-most branch for kids that don't even reach to the floor of the fort, no more tree house, its' a fort (Hey, they say broken bones heal stronger than they before - Old School Book of Knowledge); and a swing supported by the yardarm sticking out of the roof on the left ( Danger high. Having already been placed and decided upon as the swing location, it just needs some support. How about placing those two 4x4s under the end of the yardarm? No, impossible. A bracket has already been bought to secure the 4x4s to the end of the yardarm, and the OSBofK does not allow returns or admissions of error. It will be interesting to see what the OSBofK has to say about lawsuits.

Obama notes from the Take Back America conference
  • I think Chris Matthews has a man-crush on Obama.
  • Obama wants a principle-based, united America and if you don't agree with him, then "we will beat you." At the polls, I suspect.
  • He likes the unions. Boy, does he like the unions.
  • He also likes trade. Not really free trade, but the kind of trade where both sides follow strict environmental standards, everyone in the world makes money on the deal and unions are in control.
  • He thinks China and the US have identical manufacturing sectors and our factories (unionized) need to produce more of what China is producing for us. Good thing he's going to declare a billionty dollar minimum wage so we can afford our new Made in the USA Che T-shirts

Packaging Question : What does Mar1795 mean? It was on the front of the package of Sargento's shredded parmesan cheese that I ate.

Monday, June 18, 2007

How to procrastinate - Maria Elena Holly style!

"Think it over what you just said. Think it over in your pretty little head. " - Buddy Holly, "Think It Over"
“I have always supported the city of Lubbock’s efforts to honor my husband. The current misunderstanding evolves from the failure of certain entities associated with the city in using my husband’s name without first consulting me. I have tried very hard to protect my husband's name, image, and reputation over the past 47 years and I will continue to do so." Maria Elena Holly
So how does she go about protecting her husband's name? By threatening to sue the non-profit orginization that oversees the Buddy Holly Walk of Fame and Buddy Holly Terrace. Net result, goodbye Buddy Holly Walk of Fame. See ya' later Buddy Holly Terrace. Maria has come to town (via her lawyers) to fight for you.
Of course, she does have the rights to her husband's name and how it is used. What is peculiar is her timing. Nothing was said some 20 years ago when the city held a concert to raise money for the Buddy Holly statue and honor him as the first inductee into the Walk of Fame. She was equally silent at the dedication ceremony for the Buddy Holly Plaza in 1995 for which she actually was present. But her actions are not without precedent. The Buddy Holly Music Festival had to change its name to the Lubbock Music Festival after she raised the fee after several years.
Next time my wife gets on me for not doing something immediately, I am going to invoke the M.E.Holly defense and kick back for several years...and then get all over it.
P.S. - Why can't I get breaks by using the Enter button?

Friday, June 15, 2007


Beautiful wooden bed. King size. asking $10000 or best offer. Probably can deliver for little cost. Custom made, solid wood. In excellent shape, less than 2 years old. Guaranteed to hold it's value. Contact me at or through Dwayne at fubar.

My bags are packed and I'm ready to go.....

After some careful planning, I have made the decision to return home to Canada. Although I have really enjoyed my time here in Taiwan, made some great friends, met some interesting characters, learned a third language, won/lost at cards, lost to Germans and American's at chess, armwrestled to many, rocked out with some core rockers, partied at three spring screams, put up with a lot of children, met some beauties, consumed 1 747 200 ml of Taiwan beer, saw the sunrise 50 odd times, had my heart broken by my Eagles again and again,had my heart broken by some beauties as well, ate many ooh so gooooood cheesesteaks, helped distribute and consume microbrew, smoked 349 440 cigarettes, hiked to the top of numerous mountains, supported the local businesses (Dwayne, PJ, and Mikee Mike), educated the leaders of tomorrow (hopefully), argued about irrelevant subjects, won 7 fantasy championships, drank 218 400 ml of Taiwan gold medal beer ......(oh how I could go on) I need to go. I will be returning to the great white north to fulfill my dreams. Date of departure is July11th but I will be going on an island tour for ten days to take in anything I may have missed. Orchid Island will be the highlight. Jamie my beautiful girlfriend will be coming with me this summer, and providing there are no kinks we will probably get married within the next couple of years. This might increase the chances of me returning to Taiwan briefly.

I have made some great friends and I hope to keep in touch with as many as possible. We all know that re-entry can be a drag and I must admit I'm quite anxious to get it over with and begin the next chapter in my life. If any of you wish to come celebrate the conclusion of my 8 years in the ROC, you can do so on June 29th as this will be my last performance with Crome Relic. This will probably be your last chance to make any wagers against my precious Eagles (McNabb looking pretty fit don't ya think?) or remind me of how poorly the Jays are playing.
I also intend on making this my only fairwell party. So if you can come out and make it I would love to say my goodbyes! It's been a pleasure all.

Taichung Homesick Blues

I'll be travelling home for my summer vacation tomorrow and will leave you with these notes until I get settled back in the Hub City.

  • Thursday night, my wife and I attended an advance screening of the new Fantastic 4 movie. We received free tickets from the mother of a Nigerian-Taiwanese boy named Bobo. The theater was crammed with kids - still don't know who was eligible for the screening - and their parents. A theater employee warmed up the crowd by giving away gifts asking questions like "What movie premieres on July ?th" (Harry Potter), " What movie do you really want to see?" (Harry Potter) and "What movie are you going to tell mom and dad to take you to see?" (Harry Potter). Poor Bobo knew the answer before any others and shouted it loud enough for Dad back in Nigeria to hear. However, the employee wasn't able to figure out that the people occupying seats past the first 5 rows were children and not a midget jamboree. Bobo got nothing and started to cry. I stood up and pointed at Bobo and yelled for the employee to call on him. He didn't I and I called him an incredible nincompoop in a tone loud enough that Bobo would approve of. My wife called me something less polite and made me sit down.
  • In a great display of prescience, Ni Howdy dispatched one of our contributors to Costa Rica in advance of the severing of diplomatic ties by Costa Rica. Here are two excerpts from Presidents Oscar Arias' 1987 Nobel Peace Prize acceptance speech:

"A nation which mistreats its own citizens is more likely to mistreat its neighbors." - Go China!

"I said then, and I repeat today, that we cannot ally ourselves either politically or economically with governments which oppress their peoples." - Uh...Go People's Republic of China!

Now, his rationale for abandoning Taiwan: He criticized Taiwan for giving “insufficient” aid to its allies.

“I was always critical of the Taiwanese, and I can say now that I always told them . . . if you want to have friends in the world, you should be more generous,” he said.

We hope that Bread will tear himself away from his "studies" to give us an on-the-scene-account.

  • Did anybody else notice the final minute of Game 2 between the Spurs and Cavaliers? I know the Sports Guy has been relentlessly criticizing Cavs head coach Mike Brown, but saw nothing in his columns or blog about his final minute decision. Down 11, the Cavs received the ball after a loose-ball foul. He pulls LeBron James with 54 seconds on the clock. The Cavs walk the ball down the court and waste almost 20 seconds ( I'm relying on my memory, here) and throw up a clanker that San Antonio rebounds. Now it's San Antonio's turn to walk the ball down, burn the clock - no fouling occurring - and miss a shot. The Cavs rebound and are left with around 10 seconds left to seal their defeat. The buzzer sounds with James still in front of the scorer's table waiting to come in. I would love to hear someone's explanation of this move. Again, I'm relying totally on my sometimes faulty memory and if it didn't happen that way I would also like to hear.
  • Finally, a tech question. Do computers have regional restrictions for playing DVDs like DVD players do? I am going to get a few when I'm back in Texas and want to know if they will play on my Taiwan-bought Acer laptop.

Have a good summer. I'll report from the Hub City soon.

Sunday, June 10, 2007

Cuz I'm Bored...

Crazy Chicom in Japan

84 year-old ex-president and Godfather of Taiwan, Lee Deng Hui, was restrained by Japanese security from teaching a Chinese man about the Tao of Ass-Kicking at Narita Airport after the man hurled what was thought to be a couple of water bottles at him.

Japanese police requested and received permission to
instruct man in Lesson 1. What precipitated this attack against ex-President Lee? Well, Lee has been a thorn in the sides of the commies for years, but if there was one incident which humiliated them the most it was this.

Congratulations, D-Wayne! You are now part of a Flickr photo group. They saw one of your pictures and asked if I would allow it to be part of their group. I said "Yes," of course. Welcome to your new home - Random Butt Crack.

Saturday, June 09, 2007

Bon Voyage

Jerry, aka Commander Cardy, has left the building. Or is leaving. The Island, that is. Come one, come all, get in your final shots before it's too late. Going away party is set for June 15 @ 7 pm at Fubar.

National Lampoon's 72 Virgins
Two idiot college losers mistake an Islamic fundamentalist group for a frat and join with the promise of "lying with 72 virgins" ... "You the bomb, man!" "No, you are the bomb." "No, you're the bomb, man!!!" "No you are the bomb."

For maximum enjoyment and palm friction, watch with Red A.

Friday, June 08, 2007

What the Heck is "LOHAS"

I have been noticing a lot of magazines and advertisements in Taiwan using the phrase "LOHAS" and I finally googled it.

LOHAS is an acronym for Lifestyles of Health and Sustainability. It is a $227 billion market segment in the United States alone but worldwide in its extent. LOHAS consumers are those who are passionate about the environment, sustainability, social issues, and health. The marketplace includes goods and services such as:

  • Organic and natural food
  • Organic and natural personal care products
  • Hybrid and electric cars
  • Green and sustainable building
  • Energy efficient electronics/applicances
  • Socially responsible investing
  • Natural household products (paper goods and cleaning products)
  • Natural and preventive medicine (Naturopathic, Chinese medicine, etc.)

These consumers are variously referred to as cultural creatives, solution seekers, conscious consumers or LOHAS Consumers, and represent a sizable group in the United States: 17% of adults, or 36 million consumers.

So it's basically a cross between hippies , yuppies, and gays.

Some interesting Taiwan fact:

  • The two fastest growing countries in terms of LOHAS are Japan and Taiwan.
Monkey see, Monkey do...Doritos only succeeded in Taiwan when it was labeled "Japan Top Snack" by 7-11.
The opposite of the LOHAS is the LOVOS which represents the "Lifestyle of Voluntary Simplicity". It is not post-modern oriented but consistently post-materialistical and contrasts with consumerism. From the point of view of marketing, the LOVOS is a marginal phenomenon which is often neglected; but for the change of the society the LOVOS comprises a futurable potential.
Uhhhh, the opposite of LOHAS is driving your pick-up truck through the McDonald's drive-thru on your way to shoot prairie dogs for fun.

Taiwan has a new law that forbids cars from idling their engine while parked...Yeah, that's a great law. In the summer heat, you can't stop to idle your car and keep the A/C on so you will simply drive in circles expending more CO2 and causing more traffic. I also doubt the rich and powerful people like Chen, Ma, and Lien will abide their drivers' not having the A/C up and running when they enter the vehicle, but I'm sure they will claim "security" or some excuse for breaking this dumb law.

Hungry Planet

I bought a book called Hungry Planet for my Mom, which shows you what families around the world eat during the week. Time magazine has an on-line version.

Its very interesting, but I really wished they would have included would be him, Petra, and a stack of beer cases 12 feet high next to half a steer.

T P E C h i a n g K a i S h e k

Did you know?

  • There are over 1,080 international flights per week from TPE International.
  • The longest flight from TPE International is 6,784 miles.
  • TPE International has 79 flights departing per week for short haul destinations.
  • The largest aircraft flying out of TPE International is a 747 with 433 seats.
And only 25 air carriers serve this location a month........ Senseless 747 trivia!

Monday, June 04, 2007

Monday Night...

Here are some photos from last weekend. The food fest at Sogo was excellent. Hot weather, rockin' tunes, cold beer and hot chicks made it a great day, indeed. Sunday was Trey's 2nd birthday party. He had a great time with Kaia, Kayden and Ivo. Thanks to all for gifts and the cake from Sian.


Sunday, June 03, 2007

Talking With Kevlar Special Edition

Sometime in late May, Somewhere in Ryan's House

Bread: I have to call my mother today.
Kevlar: Would that be your birth mother?
Bread sits in stunned silence
Rye: What other mother would he be calling?
Kevlar: Well, he might be calling his stepmother, I don't know!
Bread: If I was calling my stepmother, I would say I am calling my stepmother. Or I might say I am calling Sue (her given name). I don't typically call the woman who married my father the same thing as the woman who birthed me.
Kevlar: Well I don't know that because my parents are still together.
Bread: Ok.
Kevlar: How am I supposed to know the difference?
Rye: Don't worry Kevlar.
Bread: Anyhow, my father is out of town this week, so I won't be calling that house.
Kevlar: Would that be your birth father?
Rye and Bread: AAAAAHHH!

Car-free Asia

Huzzah! Again, I say, Huzzah! No cars in Asia? There just simply is no downside. Taxi drivers would not mobilize to pummel discourteous passengers. There would be no one run over (and backed-up over and then run over again) by a gravel truck again. Every child's dream of having a pony could now come true. Depressed rickshaw shares would soar once again. So, how do we do it? I wasn't too sure, but sure enough, The China Post came to my rescue with the story.

By riding a bicycle. Of course! But it must be from Beijing to Paris (Paris is in Asia?). Participants will be arriving in China from Taiwan, Australia and New Zealand via the Kon-Tiki II and will make the 100,000 kilometer trek starting June 10.

Evidently, yoga or tai chi also play a part in this. Co-founder of the event, Wu Yi-ting (吳懿婷), explains: the tour is about "celebrating better mobility," - I'm starting to lose my enthusiasm.

This trip [Car-free Asia Tour] will use no motor vehicles and aims to usher in a new future for transportation," she added.

As it should be!

Most participants have indicated they will cycle all the way. Others will take trains and ferries on some sections of the journey.

What? Oh, I see. They'll probably use coal-fired engines. Whoo! Almost lost me completely. But I now that I see that Canadian musician Matthew Lien mysteriously jumps into the report to say,

If we don't change the way we live, we'll have to build a memorial hall for the life we lost,

I feel much better. We already have enough problems with memorials, we don't want to deal with all the hassles of building a new one.

As much as I applaud their vision, I feel that their means for realizing it lack any meat. They neglected to mention scooters, motorcycles and factories. At four months for each trip, it would take at least a year before we could be rid of the infernal internal combustion killers. Solution? A Free EMP-Strike Asia Day.

Cause it is hot

Last summer I visited Halifax and saw this vehicle. My pic was awful because the vehicle blew by so quick. It is an amphibious troop carrier converted to take tourists around the historical sites on land and water.

Saturday, June 02, 2007

Back in the USSA (until Tuesday)

Just a quick note of thanks and good tidings to all. It was a neato trip and was real groovy to see all. Special thanks to J-Hole, Ponce, and Stoney for providing sleeping facilities; Kevlar for the bike, AJ for the spread, Dean for being himself, Helena for the hotpot, Dwayne and PJ for being open, and anyone else I have probably forgotten. You guys are all awesome and missed.

Ponce still owes me NT500 in poker debts, but I guess we can call it even given that I probably spent that much running his AC. J-Hole still owes me a few drinks (4.66) and I will collect another day. Of course by then that number should be back up in the double digits given that J-Hole will continue to bet against the Horns. Bald Titty still owes me more than I care to think of.

FYI: There is now Burger King at the new terminal, on the top floor. YES!


Friday, June 01, 2007

H K G C h e k L a p Kok

Did you know?

* The smallest commercial aircraft flying out of HKG is a CRJ with 50 seats.
* HKG connects with 108 cities nonstop.
* The largest aircraft flying out of HKG is a 747 with 456 seats.
* Over 553,813 passengers can travel out of HKG every week.

I'm not sure but a triple 7 may be bigger than the 747. I could be wrong?

And only 62 air carriers serving this location a week............

Mind numbing:)

F u Y o n g

Headin Home.........

Huangmei Opera Films - 黄梅調

The Huangmei Opera Films are a style of Chinese film originating from Huangmei folk songs that dealt with romance, the pastoral life and hardship. As the folk songs evolved into a minor (later major) opera style, so did the story as it moved to film format. The HOF was probably hottest during the '60s as Hong Kong studios adapted it into a popular film genre. The most notable of these would be the Shaw Brothers (the guys Tarrentino "borrowed" from in his Kill Bill movies). The films all contained elements of morality, heroism, love and Confucianism.

This Wednesday, having the choice of watching Van Damme on two channels or James Brolin, I flipped to the Chinese-language stations and caught the Shaw Scope intro. The Pearl Phoenix, hmmm. Sounds possible. Maybe it's a knife, a pirate or another crazy Chinese mythological creature. Nope. It's a hairpin. For two hours I watched trying to figure out what the phoenix tie-in was. All I can surmise is that in ancient China they were so bored moving their hands flowingly and moving at lava-lamp speed, that they resorted to giving commonplace objects more exciting names. Servant! Bring me one bleeding dragon's tooth and a stack of gilt unicorn foreskin (pen and paper).

I watched it all. Even had to postpone class for 10 minutes to finish it. It was like an Our Gang musical in freakish Wizard of Oz color. The ubiquitous Chinese Erhu was bowed, cymbals clanged and the clapping thing clapped - a lot. Songs were sung in the key of Alfalfa, though in tune, and all expressions were of Buckwheat subtlety.

It wasn't the story that kept me hooked, it was the lead male role, which was played by a woman. The HOF (and operas, as well) routinely use females in male roles. Okay, but this one really looked like s/he was in love with the girl. Two hours of looking at the girl like Floyd the Barber learning he just got another chair for the shop gets a little eerie. S/he doesn't look anything like a man. Midway through the movie his gal starts to masquerade as a man. So we have an actress portraying a man in love with a woman who passes herself off as a man. That's a script. And 40 years ago, too. Love finally works its way with the two, though I won't tell you how. You'll have to watch it yourself.

One Last Round

4 pm Northern Command a.k.a. Seafood Place or Nearest Cranberry Factory.

Wear something pretty.