Sunday, September 30, 2007

Rodin Exhibit Address

Former Taichung Municipal Building, #97 Min Chuan Rd., next to the city government building - 台中市役所(台中市民權路97號、市政府旁)

Saturday, September 29, 2007

Dancing Policemen Part 2 or The Reason Why The Streets of Taiwan are Safe

I believe this is the I'm-okay-after-taking-a-hit gesture.

Friday, September 28, 2007

So What Can You Get For 190 Billion?

Years of tuition fees (Texas Tech/ UConn): 9.5 million

High school lunches (Boston) : 95 billion

Months of Health Insurance (Worden, Montana, family of 3) : 190 million

Months of Daycare for 1 child (U.S. average): 310 million

Pounds of B.C. Bud: 54 million (sweet jebus!)

Lamborghini Murcielagos: 595 000

Years in Iraq: 1 - 2

And on a brighter note, here is a

Strong Canadian dollar also hurts marijuana exports

Now, THAT is an Amazing Yahoo News Headline!

So, now it will no longer be BC Bud being smuggled into the US, but Washington Weed heading up north. Ahhhhh, the miracle of free market economics.

I don't know if I am supposed to congratulate Canadians I meet on their "strong" loonie or buy them a sympathy beer, but I am sure those sending money home now realize that a "strong" currency isn't necessarily good news.

It does kill the whole "Canadianer" poker joke, though. Pimp and I were discussing this and decided that the joke now has to be an "Americaner" which is like betting NT$110 instead of 100.

Or I guess it can still be a "Canadianer" but it would be NT$ 90 bet. (Gasp! Why that's a hundred American!)

West Coast Trip Part 1 of 6

This first shot is taken on the stone beach of the largest fresh water lake (by surface area) Lake Superior. We drove for nearly 15 hours to get to the Provincial park. So beautiful up north. One observation on the drive up here. So many A&W's. I might buy some stock.
To get an idea, we are still a days drive around the lake to reach Thunder Bay. The picturesque skyline of granite cliffs and pine trees would soon allow me to forgive the distance.

This photo was taken at Quetico Provincial park. Sunset across the lake. I didn't use any filters for this photo but I was disappointed when i got home to find this was the best pic. The Sunset was unbelievable. Quetico is home to well over 2000 lakes. We put the canoe in here for a while, but due to arrival time, it was only a while.

The next photo was take from the Terry Fox memorial in Thunder bay. I kinda screwed up this post as this photo should come before Quetico. Anyways, this is called the sleeping Giant. Terry Fox for those of you who don't know lost his leg to cancer. He was part of the track team in high school so after the operation pledged to run across Canada raising money for cancer research. He planned to run about 40km/day (most of us know as a marathon) and get this....on one leg. He started in St-Johns Newfoundland and made it as far as Thunder Bay which is over 3000 km. Most say his determination killed him, but he was recently voted as Canada's second most influential person of our time.

Finally, we have the first shot of the prairies. We reached Manitoba in the early morning of day three. When I talked to people around home about the journey they all mocked the prairies. "Oh the Prairies, you'll sleep during that part" but honestly, I found it to be quite therapeutic. A race against the sun to reach our next destination. Nothing standing in our way, two lanes of traffic and the simple beauty of farmland.

Stay tuned for more next week.

Sacred Legacy

Edward S. Curtis' photo exhibition of the North American Indian is in Taiwan and will visit the National Museum of Natural Science in Taichung 10/27~11/25.

As part of the Shining Taichung Arts Festival, Mayor Hu has arranged for an exhibition of 100 prints and 32 sculptures by Rodin. This will be the only display in Taiwan. It runs from 9/22 - 12/22 at the former Taichung Municipal Office. And yes, The Thinker will be there along with Monument to Balzac and the Age of Bronze. Not that I'm familiar with the last two, but I plan to see them and raise my snootiness by a good 27%. Couple that with seeing Pavarotti's last full-scale public concert in Taichung and my overall snootiness should be in the high 70s. Almost high enough to qualify for Austin citizenship.


There once was a time when Red A, J-Hole, Kevlar, Rye and myself would meet at my apartment on Friday afternoons to unwind after a long hard work week of 22 hours. Adult beverages were consumed, bullshitting was expected, and computer baseball was played. Why am I rehashing old times? Because it has come to my attention that Rye thinks I'm competitive because I used to kick his ass at computer baseball, take his money at poker, and break his toes in real football. I call that being better than him, he calls it hyper-competitive nature. Whatever.

Funny thing is, Rye is uber-competitive himself (for a Canuckistani). One day he showed up at my house and challenged me to baseball. Started talking smack and doing some new move with his baserunners. I figured out what he was doing and decided to not allow any baserunners for the rest of the game (I occasionally let him get on base lest he take his toys and go home). Next day I called Kevlar and he told me he was over at Ryan's.

This may seem like an ordinary, innoculous statement. However, anybody who knows the three of us knows that we were basically attached for the better part of two years. If Kevlar was at Stoney's house and I wasn't there, I was at least informed prior to arrival. Something fishy was going on. Next week at baseball Stoney throws some new pitch or something and I realize he has been practicing. Strange, being as I was the one with the game. So I asked if he had been practicing. He became evasive (practicing what?). He became beligerent (Screw You). He became cocky (you're just pissed because I struck you out). Finally I asked: Did you buy a copy of the game? Yes. And have you been playing with yourself (Sandy was still putting out at that point so he knew what I was talking about)? And have you and Kevlar been having covert sessions? Busted. The S.O.B. was so determined to beat me he bought the game, practiced with our best friend, and never said a word. Like a kid who tries to convince his parents that he just found the cookie jar empty.

Rye, you got Sandy, you got two kids with eighteen names, and you got rid of Grace. YOU WIN!

Tuesday, September 25, 2007

Religous Police in Saudi Arabia

Apparently two chicks in Saudi Arabia pepper sprayed some religious policemen who were hassling them. Now, that's EMPOWERMENT.

Seen in Taiwan

I've been wanting to start this feature which is basically what kind of crazy English language apparel you see when driving around Taiwan. Here are some classic examples:

"Sissy Boy" jacket - the scooter punk has no idea that his jacket identifies him as a "Sissy Boy"

Country Club Fire Department patch on a night market jacket...well, that fire department is literally half a mile from my Mom's house in did it end up on some jacket in a night market?

Please post more in comments...

Today was not as good as those, but still...."USA Sniper T-shirt" on front with "Don't try to run, you'll just die tired" motto on back. WTF?

Anyways, I expect all of our posters (Jim and Frenchie excepted) can come up with good stuff.

Almost Canada

These pics were not taken in Canada.
Although we were close to Canada. We were not. In Canada....

These are pics of Anchorage, Alaska and surrounding areas.
I was nice just to get away for a weekend and check out the scenery.

PIMP, I'm building 'em up for those Canadian pics....

Take off eh?

Wow, great post Rye. I've been pretty busy since I've returned. I have a number of photos to post, but I'll save them for a day when this site hasn't seen so much action.

I saw Rush on Saturday night. It was expensive, but it made up for the long time I've been in Taiwan. I was honestly going to write about all the songs they played, the reaction of the crowds, the venue etc but then this morning, I log on and see a descriptive posting for THey Might Be Giants. I had to click on one of the links because although I had heard of them, I've never listened to their music. Anyways, a big fat guy was rocking beside me and I was thinking the whole's good to be back.

I drove across Canada a few weeks ago. I met that TMBG fan at Waterton National park and I'll post some photos. BUt my next point. Great clip. If you are into downloading TV and you are canadian, or have a boner for Canadian TV you should check out Corner Gas. Kevlar, you should star in this show buddy, the humour is abstract. Here's a clip

Nick vs. Relic

One more peek at the Beachcombers.

I think I remember one of my aunts being into Bruno Gerussi.

Classic Nick and Relic confrontation to start an episode.

on a lighter note...

The other night at Fubar we were talking about CBC TV. Sam (Michigan) knew a few, like Hangin'In, Degrassi and Danger Bay.

"Danger Bay, baby! Danger Bay!"

Rundown: single dad marine biologist with two brilliant kids running an aquarium foils anti nature types and has unspoken pg relationship with mother figure helicopter pilot. electric theme song .Here's the opening for Sam.

No one knew The Beachcombers! It was the longest running dramatic series in Canadian TV history! Bruno Gerussi stars as Nick Adonidas, a log salvager paid to collect lost barge logs and Robert Clothier as Relic, his nemesis who will go to any lengths to steal Nick's logs. They hung out at Molly's Reach and that nice Constable John would always help out. Every Sunday night.

Wiki sums up the Beachcombers, but really all you need to see is this video.

Monday, September 24, 2007

Worst POTUS Ever

Here's an article highlighting the fascist tendencies of the Bush regime.

George W Bush and 14 points of fascism.

Not Canada

Well fellas EW here.... or there.

These pics are from my weekend vacation on Joe Pool lake.
Brought to you Live from Arlington, TEXAS.

Hope that's enough key strokes for ya'll.........

TMBG Review

Sometimes I think I am strange and that my mind works on strange levels. In an ongoing quest to be free from all pigeonholes I can be pigeonholed quite easily. Then I attend a concert and everything becomes clear. If I thought I was one piece short of a full pie, this evening's concert assures me that no matter how eccentric I become, in reality I am just another schmuck working on a law degree.

They Might Be Giants are silly. They sing about presidents long dead, they create images of birdhouses in the soul, and even have an entire song of nothing but the names of countries. They cannot sing a lick, yet managed to fill up the University Center ballroom with people from all age brackets. They poke fun at their own idiocy, call up people long since dead in a segment entitled 'necrophonetime,' and let audience members try their hand at accordions.

Some people think authors like Bukowski write in the extreme just to see how far they can push readers, make them feel violated, and then bring them back for more. Others think Tom Waits has made a concerted effort to see how far he can trash his voice and still have people purchase his records. I think They Might Be Giants think of the most off the wall idea, toss it around, and challenge themselves to turn it into something that the adoring masses will purchase. How else can you explain the success of Particle Man? I Palindrome I? Istanbul? I'm not sure what this proves about them (or their audience), but I can assure you they were worth the two sawbucks I laid down to see them.

The show started off with Alphabet of Nations and New York City before a series of tunes off their new album. The Cap'm and The Mesopotamians were the highlights, but to be honest nothing really stood out from that portion of the show. In fact, the interruption of the new song stuff with Birdhouse in Your Soul drew the loudest response of the first half (probably not too surprising). Fingertips is still one of the weirdest tunes I've ever heard, Istanbul still makes people go crazy after however many years, and the close of the show with Doctor Worm had everyone hopping (literally). They encored with Damn Good Times and insisted we form a Congo line before dropping into Particle Man to close the show for good.

Why do I write these words? Because after the amount of positive energy experienced in that room, my ears are still ringing and my eyes are still wide open. A band with no political statement? A band who just wants to play music and be happy? A band that makes people hop? A nice change of pace for a grumpy S.O.B. like myself. I didn't even mind that they skipped Lucky Ball and Chain and Your Racist Friend.

Saturday, September 22, 2007

Somewhere in South Taiwan

Turns out the guy wasn't hurt.

Friday, September 21, 2007

Eating less meat could slow climate change, experts say

Or that is what the AP article states. Of course that disturbs me - eating less meat, so let's take look at the article. It's ten paragraphs long. The first restates the title claim that livestock methane production is in part responsible for climate change and the second presents a study by experts printed in The Lancet.

Paragraph three quotes Geri Brewster as saying, "

We are at a significant tipping point. If people knew that they were threatening
the environment by eating more meat, they might think twice before ordering a
Who is she? She is a nutritionist at Northern Westchester Hospital in New York, who was not connected to the study.

Why does the AP give this non-expert precedence over the one true expert mentioned in the article (paragraphs 5 and 7)? This seems a very careless way to build a news report. Ms. Brewster is given another paragraph to expound. "
As a society, we are over consuming protein. If we ate less red meat, it would
also help stop the obesity epidemic."

First, livestock do produce a lot of methane. But that is usually not the primary or even secondary source of methane in the countries that produce the most.

China, India, the United States, Brazil, Russia, and other Eurasian countries are responsible for almost half of all anthropogenic methane emissions. Methane emission sources vary significantly among countries. For example, the two key sources of methane emissions in China are coal mining and rice production. Russia emits most of its methane from natural gas and oil systems; India’s primary sources are rice and livestock production; and landfills are the largest source of U.S. methane emissions.

In the U.S., enteric fermentation (livestock methane), is third behind landfills and natural gas systems. Again, livestock do produce a large source of methane, but there are methane reduction practices - little used outside of the dairy industry - that address this problem. However, I think priority should be given to the two larger sources.

As for over consuming protein, well, here she is the expert. But is red meat the main culprit? Is too much protein the cause of so much obesity? I don't know but I do know that milk, cheese, chicken, fish, peanut butter, eggs, rice and beans are also common food staples and high in protein. Over consuming protein? Probably. We're fat because of red meat? I'm not too sure about that one.

Thursday, September 20, 2007

For Anonymous

From the Saturday Travel section of the Taiwan News: Local bakers have responded to the rise in wheat and flour prices by creating a new style of mantou ( 饅頭 ) - a steamed bun, complete with extra adornment. It did not state where they could be bought, but I'm sure you can find it easily enough, Anonymous. Happy Moon Festival and don't forget to chew well.

Wednesday, September 19, 2007

Reminds me of John and his Cowboys

Getting funny looks lately?

Police in Kaohsiung have arrested an American for the killing of Taiwanese woman who was a language teacher broker. (Or as the old hands used to say, an English Pimp.)

Monday, September 17, 2007

Zero Low, One High

Dear Friend,
I am Mr. Patrick Jeka an Attorney at law and the personal lawyer to Engineer Dr.Alfred A. XXXXXX a foreigner who owned XXXXXX Oil International here in Ouagadougou Burkina Faso, Herein after referred to as my client.
I got your contact at the office of the Chambers of commerce and Tourism in Ouagadougou-Burkina Faso as I was going through some directories.
On the 10th day of August 1999, my client, his wife and their two children were involved in a car accident along Ouaga - Bobo express way while arriving from a Holiday to Bobo. All occupants of the vehicle unfortunately lost their lives.
Since then, I have made several enquiries to their embassy to locate any of their extended relatives and this has also proved unsuccessful. I am hereby contacting you to assist in repatriating a fund valued at USD$13Million,(Thirteen Million United States Dollars),left behind by my client before it gets confiscated or declared unserviceable by the Security and Finance Firm where this huge amount were deposited.
The said Security Finance Company has issued me a notice to provide the next of kin or have his account confiscated within the next twenty one official working days. Since I have been unsuccessful in locating the relatives for over 5 years now,
I seek your consent to present you as the next of kin to the deceased since you have the same last names, so that the proceeds of this account can be paid to you. On smooth conclusion of this transaction, you will be entitled to 30% of the total sum as gratification, while 10% will be set aside to take care of expenses that may arise during the time of transfer, internal revenue tax and also telephone bills, while 60% will be for me towards any profitable investment in your country.
I guarantee that this transaction will be executed under a legal framework and legitimate arrangement that will protect you from any breach of the law. I am looking forward to hearing from you soonest. You can send your reply to my alternative email address below:

Or Two, Both Ways?

Sunday, September 16, 2007

Joe's Bar Anniversary

Joe's Bar, Located at what was known as Two Tigers.

Celebrating Tuesday, Wednesday and Thursday!!!

Three evenings of fun at Joe's Bar.

Yes! This week. Draft beer and cocktails
ALL you can drink just 500 nt.

Buy two whisky and get one free!!

I just might make it out for
Vinny's B-day on Wednesday.

Friday, September 14, 2007

Consumers could face higher toy prices

This article does not inspire my confidence in the media:

Shoppers have become accustomed to cheap playthings from China because Wal-Mart Stores Inc. and other discounters have waged cost-cutting campaigns. Critics say real safeguards were sacrificed to keep prices low.
I have been selling sidewalk chalk for about 12 years now, and the safety regime has not changed much at all. I have never had a customer ask for a better price in return for a lowered safety requirement. In fact, pretty much every customer is completely anal about safety and asks for a test report to make sure they are in compliance with national requirements.

The price for the product has fallen tremendously, but that was mainly due to switching production to China and the rise of many more competitors. The problem now is that unscrupulous factories have been getting test reports done for hand-made samples using the correct paints and then using banned materials for actual production runs. The only way to stop that is to test each batch.
Most of the rising costs come from emergency third-party testing in the U.S. by both makers and sellers as they aim to root out any unsafe products, analysts say.
The cost for testing lead in a toy is NT$ 995 / color for a Taiwan lab. It's not exactly going to break the bank, even if you are testing more often then before. I can't see a 10% hike based on that alone. I suspect the industry thinks this is a great excuse to claw back some margin.

The U.S. Toy Industry Association supports a federal requirement to make safety testing and inspection mandatory and is working with the American National Standards Institute to develop industrywide safety procedures. But during Wednesday's Congressional hearing on toy safety, senators urged even more stringent measures including stepping up fines for selling or failing to report dangerous items.

There already is an industrywide standard for lead - ASTM E1613-04 / E1645-01 - which is 600 ppm. Making safety testing and inspection mandatory for each batch is probably a good idea. If you want to be really safe, make sure the testing is not done in China and the people who choose the random product to test are not being bribed.

One very important thing to remember is that everyone in the industry knows that you cannot use lead paint. All the contracts will mention following safety standards and require test reports. I have had vendors tell me they wouldn't even know where to buy lead paint if they wanted to as it is pretty much black-listed. This is not some case where suppliers are ignorant. It's willful fraud. Personally, I don't know how they sleep at night.

p.s. There are hand-held lead detectors. You'd think the big toy companies would have invested in some of those and used them during their normal QC inspections.

Ghost Month is Over - We can post without fear again

Remember the American lawyer with extensively drug-resistant tuberculosis ( XDR-TB) who decided to visit Europe and Canada? Well, this July, while I was back home relaxing, a Taiwanese couple decided to visit their son and extended family in China. The husband has multidrug-resistant tuberculosis (MDR-TB) and the wife has open TB. They were eventually rounded up and brought back to quarantine in Taiwan.

Where in Taiwan? Well, Chou Chih-hao (周志浩), deputy director of the department's Centers for Disease Control stated that he could not divulge the name of the hospital out of respect for the couple's privacy.

However, the Chinese language media had no such qualms. The above link is to the Aug. 1 edition of the English language Taipei Times. The following link shows the search result page for "tuberculosis Hu Dzi Chiang (mayor of Taichung)." All report the location.

And whaddya know? Yam News (Chinese) reports on Aug. 1 that the couple was sent to Taichung Hospital. Mayor Hu and others are upset. They must be pan-green.


PJ - You need to talk to the people who translate your ads for the Compass. In the Nightlife section of the print version they use 三文魚 instead of 鮭魚 for salmon. I have shown the ad to about 20 adult Taiwanese and only 2 were able to identify it as salmon. They both said they thought it derived from Cantonese. Others thought it was milkfish or the Mandarin pronunciation for the Taiwanese word for a kind of fish that has no discernible (to us, at least) English name. The majority just didn't know.

All 20 were baffled by the "有帶?" phrase that corresponded to your line about all-you-can-peel shrimp. They simply had know idea what was meant.

Oh, by the way, not that it's that important because not many Taiwanese follow the NFL, but instead of your Monday through Thursday NFL action, they have taken the liberty to claim that you will be showing the Atlanta Eagles on those days. Those are fightin' words.


I hear these guys are going to tour the island.

Chief Justice Visits Missoula

He wore a nice red tie. He had his hair parted. He made a mistake once by not reading the entire text of a rule of Civil Procedure. He compared lawyers to firefighters and discussed at length the Mann Gulch fire. He removed the limitations of past cases, but none of us were prepared for that and therefore stuck to the mundane.

The most interesting response all morning was to a young lady questioning the role of Chief Justice Roberts' heart in making rulings. She wandered if he took into account people's position in the case and how a ruling might affect them. The Chief Justice responded (basically) he couldn't worry about things like that; his job was simply to rule on the law, analytically and steadfastly. I thought this response interesting in our Common Law system (markedly different than the civil codes of Continental Europe). Justice O'Conner was frequently criticized for her working an opinion and interpretation to see justice was done (and thereby creating 'bad law'). I am happy to report there are no worries of the Chief Justice taking that tact.

I only had one interaction with him. I asked him if he was going to drink his coke as he was leaving (I was sitting near the drink table). He said he hadn't thought about, but he guess he might. I informed he needed to decide quickly lest I repo it. Not sure if he got the humor or not.

Anyhow, the Student Question time far exceeded the lecture he brought to the community later in the afternoon. Mostly I think he just wanted to go fishing and therefore came to our humble law school. It will be interesting to see if he shifts to the right or to the left over the next few years, I'm guessing (and hoping) he rediscovers his heart.

Thursday, September 13, 2007

Wednesday, September 12, 2007

Fantasy Google Searches

For example, "Taco Bell Taiwan"

Esquire Willy, have you ever been to one of these Chinese Taco Bell Grandes?

I thought of another fantasy google search that Karl would do: "Dinky Moore"

Thursday Fun Day

On Thursday, September 13th Chief Justice John Roberts will be visiting the University of Montana School of Law. Students have the unique opportunity to question our chief magistrate, so long as the questions have nothing to do with:

1. past cases
2. pending cases
3. cases which may arise in the future.

Do you reckon we can ask him about his love life? Anyhow, if you have any questions which have nothing to do with Justice Roberts' legal philosophy, post them in the comment section and I will do my best to get them answered.

No video recorders, cameras or recording devices are allowed, which means you will have to rely on me to provide accurate reporting. Granted I am not sure pens and pencils will be allowed either. I think I will take up the latest FoxNews mantra: I report (accurately or not), You decide (from a one sentence sound bite).

Wednesday, September 05, 2007

Hari Merdeka

Royal Guards from the planet Mongo march in Malaysia's Independence Day parade.
Review of Carrefour's enchiladas: Bland lasagna smoothie

Monday, September 03, 2007


Football season is upon us. The 4th annual Soho St. fantasy draft was held yesterday at FuBar. Looked like an easy draft till we got The Heretics online and he asked who the keepers were. I will have a preview in the next couple days, but enough to say that Jeff was the king of the draft, drafting Tiki Barber, then after he was informed that Tiki retired, picked Corey Dillon who was last seen selling life insurance in Lubbock, Texas.

I have set up a pro pick'em on yahoo for all interested. Enough interest and the winner each week gets a free beer. id# 55174, password "fubar". P.I.M.P. is the almighty god of a salary cap league, also on yahoo. id 7458, password "eagles" (blechh)

indeed, the apple does not fall far from the tree.

Trey and I went to the airshow at the army base in Shalu a week or so ago. We missed all the good stuff, but saw the Taiwanese equivalent to the Snowbirds fly over a couple times. Of course, all of Taichung saw that throughout the day. We didn't get too close to the aircraft as it was roped off, but Trey was psyched to see the planes. Only one booth that was selling cold drinks on a hot day, amongst the other hawkers, and of course, no trash cans.

Interesting take on the Michael Vick saga. You have to scroll down to "Atlanta Falcons"
Lance Briggs, of the Chicago Bears, crashed his Lamborghini into a concrete abutment last week, panicked, and reported it stolen. Owned up shortly, and was subsequently charged with leaving the scene of an accident and improper lane usage. Improper lane usage? If he hit concrete, he isn't in any lane.

My Taiwan Motto

My motto in Taiwan is "All good things will end" so I am not surprised that's TV schedule is not showing any football scheduled so far this year. It's schedule is phenomenal if you want to watch live Yankee games, repeats of Yankee games, highlights of Yankee games, or figure skating, though.

Well my loss will probably be Fubar's gain. D-wayne, can you let us know your plans for NFL this year? And how much do you charge for a membership card?