Saturday, January 31, 2009

The Tonka XVIII issue, vol 17

Cement trucks, swimming pools and movie stars?


Friday, January 30, 2009

Guam Slideshow

Created with Admarket's flickrSLiDR.

Click on the photo during the slideshow to read the description. Most have a description, a couple do not.

"Pork Medley"

For all the resident carnivores.

Anything that starts with a 5x5 bacon weave has gotta be yummy.

Bacon Explosion!

Tuesday, January 27, 2009


I’m in Guam. Have been for about a week and I have 3 days left (Be back Thursday for an afternoon beer at Mom and Pops). I got Karl some beef bouillon cubes. Almost got him a carton of beef stock but just knew it would burst sometime and all my clothes would smell of it. Not a bad thing, but either my wife would force me to wash them or my dog would chew them to shreds.

I remember someone else requesting something, deodorant for AJ, perhaps. I have been asked to render odor assistance twice and both times the requests have been very specific: Brand X, clear, screw-up not push-up, fragrance-free or Herbal Sausage and Active Mango with sans serif font on the labeling. Obviously, I didn’t remember the specs, so if the deodoree will kindly re-submit the request, I will try to comply. Anyone else needing something please feel free to ask.

Guam has no sales tax. Most everything is brought in from off island so prices tend to be a bit higher than what I remember back home. There are some things that are cheaper though, for example, beer. A 12-pack of Bud is $9.90. A 36-pack is $26. Restaurant prices ( chains, hotels and name restaurants ) scare the bejeezus outta me. Maybe it’s just seeing the prices in US dollars instead on Taiwanese NT. But I must do a double, nay… a triple take when I seen a plate of spaghetti with marinara sauce and a roll for $17. Anyway, I am able to watch the USA network until the wee hours armed with beer, pepperoni and Cheetos for a pittance until it’s time for the breakfast buffet at 7:00 (I like the Burn Notice and Monk, not so much the Law and Order).

I strongly recommend Guam. My beach rating for Guam is high. Most have very good sand and they are open to all. Hotels have beachfront locations but the beaches are open to the public. The weather fluctuates from 77-86 year round and there is much less humidity than Taiwan or Houston. They locals are very hospitable and will invite you to join them for lunch or supper. Also, there are 8 flights a day from Japan – Taiwan has 2 a week – and while it may not be local, Bread, there is plenty of talent. Especially now, which is winter vacation for students in Japan.

So, I’m sitting at the Outrigger, drinking a beer from OK Mart. It’s okay here to BYOB as long as you don’t drink on the beach or inside the hotel. But most hotels have patios, beach-front decks and pools ( though some pools don’t allow poolside drinking) to drink, catch the sun, read and relax. Fixin’ to go swimming. Send requests soon. Oh yeah, the picture above is from poolside at the second hotel we stayed at. They do allow poolside frosty adult beverages.

Sunday, January 25, 2009


I must be smoke-free almost a year. I didn't mean to quit. I read this book and it changed my mind. Instead of thinking about having a cigarette every hour, it comes up once a week. I ah yeah, I got fat. I think that might be Karma from calling my buds Ry and Bread fat.

I took this file and had five copies printed. Two went to co-workers, nothing stuck. One went to Karl's doorstep nothing happened. One went to Ry's favorite smoker nothing happened. I made one for Brit Paul, swung by PJ's and the cute waitress didn't know who he was. Think he might be hanging with the new owner of Bodaga?

I don't care if people smoke, I just need to pass on the info.

Reflections from the Road

Montana: -20F at departure.
Idaho: The nearest Jack in the Box to Missoula.
Utah: Red rocks and Mormons
Arizona: Grand Canyon under snow is a sight to behold.
New Mexico: Sitting by my brother's Kiva, stepping in Dog Poop, and finally watching a Harry Potter movie.
Texas: Cotton pickin' time out west, 80 in Htown (meaning the temperature difference from the time I left Missoula was officially 100 degrees).
Louisiana: Getting lost in the bayous and finding an unnamed diner with two things on the menu, boiled shrimp and boiled crawfish. Opted for the Crawfish.
Mississippi: Lost a lot of money in Biloxi...
Florida: Diving in the keys, camping out in Dry Tortugas Nat'l Park and without question the most boring state to drive across.
Georgia: Decided here to make the detour to NY and NB.
South Carolina: Deep accents.
North Carolina: Ordered a pizza for the road, probably not one of my better decisions.
Virginia: Richmond gas stations at 2am are not a place for the faint of heart.
Maryland: Baltimore has a lot of toll roads. Westerners hate toll roads.
Delaware: Five dollars for the Delaware Bridge, five miles to cross the state. Really, that's a state?
New Jersey: I could hear PJ playing the Spoons all down the turnpike...
NY: Kicking it at a gay bar with my gay cousin. Fortunately, neither of us entered the underwear contest.
Connecticut: I blinked.
Rhode Island: 3 hour nap on the roadside.
Mass: Somewhere Kurt was telling me I was a rookie to Taiwan.
New Hampshire: 19 miles to cross, 3 dollars in tolls. I hate toll roads!
Maine: A cute girl with a thick Maine accent serving me Popeye's and trees. A lot of trees.
NB: See previous post.
Pennsylvania: Hit a blizzard. Not so fun.
Ohio: Saw a Hawaii license plate, thus completing my list of American tags on the trip. Still waiting for the NW territories and Nunavit to complete Canada.
Indiana: Miller Beach (my father's hometown) has changed a bit ethnically since the days when he grew up.
Illinois: Won some money in a hold 'em tournament with my brother-in- law and cousin.
Iowa: Sang Dar Williams and slept.
Minnesota: Visited the Green Giant statue in Blue Earth while listening to the Jayhawks' album "Blue Earth."
South Dakota: Visited the Corn Palace and checked out Mt. Rushmore at night. Was the only person there, so that was cool.
Wyoming: Sheridan may be the most disgusting town in the United States.
Montana: Shooting stars by the second in Wyola.

That about sums up my vacation. If you made it through the list, congrats.

Stoney's Version of Baseball

Okay, let's clarify something. In 2003, Smoltz, Maddox and Glavine ALL played for the Braves. You traded Maddox to the Cubs, Glavine to the Mets and who knows where Smoltz played (probably with the Expos). You hit two home runs off piss ass Ortiz while my number two (Hampton) was warming up and made the two runs stand up. I'm sure had I had one of the big three, back to back jacks would not have been in the cards. Granted I still would be trying to score while swinging at balls in the dirt, but that's another story.

Saturday, January 24, 2009

Bread Machine in NB

So Bread was on his way to New York City and thought he'd "swing by" New Brunswick.

I'd never heard anyone say that before.

Unless you're in Maine or Quebec, you don't just "swing by" NB. We are rather out of the way.

In a panic, we alerted the border authorities but Bread was somehow able to slip through the porous security. Freakin' cutbacks.

He showed up in shorts and a tank top.

It was damn cold when he was here. That part is true. We had an Arctic system move through the Maritimes that week. We're almost up to zero this weekend. Balmy!

The Make Out King of Montana spent a whole day on a university campus in minus 35 with a wind chill and was unable to see the inside of any dorms rooms. And he disses the talent. ("I don't care if the sun don't shine...")

Let's see, what other hyperbole can get unspun?

We did indeed split a 2 game set in computer baseball. In fact, I blew a 3 run lead in the eighth of the first game. Bread got inside my head. But I tuned him in the second game. We played rosters as of winter 2004. (A-Rod is still a Ranger in this game). If you're the Braves, you're gonna start good ol' Russ Ortiz.

Candlepin bowling is kind of like using cannonballs to knock down, well, candlepins. We rolled 2 strings and tied the first at 55. I took the second 88-74. The world record for one string is 245.

Bread is notorious for roaming all over the planet and never carrying a camera.

8 months in Africa, nary a pic. Europe, no pics. South America, one pic.

New Brunswick? 3 pics of me bowling in my space pants. Chris!

The old man prefers rum, not beer. Just in case anyone's keeping score.

Here's a pic of the famous bridge copied from the wiki page.

New Brunswick Redoux

One last thing about New Brunswick. Frenchie must have a keen nose. The day I arrived in NB I received an email from our long lost buddy informing me of his marriage, two step children and a pending Eagles victory. I think the reason he has been quiet is his two children are 4 and 7 year old girls and he is worried YuriBuri will fly to Canada in order to "play" with them.

Friday, January 23, 2009

Reflections on New Brunswick

1. It's cold. Made Montana feel like the inside of a lantern .

2. Candle Pin Bowling is a nice way to pass an evening, though it is not a game for the prideful as scores in the 80s often win games.

3. Stoney still cheats at computer baseball (pitching when you're not looking, convincing you to be the Braves then, after you've selected them telling you he's traded Maddox, Smoltz and Glavine AND your starter is Russ Ortiz, stacking his expos with the likes of Pedro & Co., etc.). Fortunately I was onto his ways and we split a two game set.

4. Sandy looks better than ever, and that's saying something. I can't believe my country let her go to some remote outpost on the edge of nowhere. And yes, I'm aware that makes Maine nowhere.

5. Burl and Ivo are pretty cute. Burl likes to walk around dancing and doesn't care who's paying attention. I respect that. Ivo likes to eat the sprinkles off the top of his donut and ignore the rest of the sweet Tim Horton's goodness. I can respect that, too.

6. A witches tit is not even half as cold as that god forsaken iceberg of a province.

7. UNB has a distinct lack of talent. Probably the only disappointment of my entire stay (other than the weather -- have I mentioned that yet?).

8. The border station near Woodstock has the best selection of cheap booze I've seen, about ten bucks a bottle for things like Campari (mmm, orange peel liquor), Kettle One, and Iceberg Canadian Vodka. The poor border guard on the American side saw I had a couple of bottles extra, decided it was too damn cold to bicker with me and waived me on by. Yes!

9. Stoney's mother makes Peanut Butter cookies, sews up ripped down jackets for wayfaring strangers, and quilts at the local church. Stoney's father drives his truck over the lawn so he can get the best angle for the jump because it's too damn cold for a car to start on its own, watches George Bush in high definition (not for the faint of heart), and drinks beer nightly. He also puts beans in his chili.

Anyhow, a couple of photos (taken with my cell phone so of admitted poor quality):

This is Stoney candle pin bowling. Three balls which fit neatly into your palm, don't clear the pins until the end of the frame, and lots of beer. Notice the pose at the end -- reminds me of him playing the shoot 'em up games at the arcades in Taiwan (when he would physically duck to hide from an ambush).

This is the world's longest covered bridge, situated in the suburbs of Woodstock. I would have taken a lengthwise shot, but then I would have had to stop and exit the car. Exiting the car was not an option unless it was for booze or broads.

Wednesday, January 21, 2009

Final 49

A quick follow up on the Obama songs. The final list here.

Tuesday, January 20, 2009

Taiwan's Vouchers

Supposedly only about 17% of the rebate checks sent out in the USA last yeat were actually spent. Most probably went to one-off payments on debt instead. (This is why economists say temporary tax cuts don't do as much to stimulate demand as permanent ones do.)

Now, Taiwan is trying to get around this by using a voucher system, where you have to spend the rebate. I will be interested to see if this system does better. Since money is fungible, people may simply use their vouchers on things they would have bought anyways and then save their "real" money.

This of course will be a very academic sort of interest on my part since the wife grabbed my vouchers out of the issuing clerk's hands before I even could glance at them.

Monday, January 19, 2009

Warning signs

Are we ready?


Sunday, January 18, 2009

Top 100

Here are the Top 100 songs voted in by CBC radio listeners.

Some of them aren't too bad actually.

Probably not enough Stompin Tom on there but what are you gonna do?

Would a playlist for Bush contain different songs?

Obama Songs

In news of the gay, CBC Radio is making a mixed CD for incoming President Obama.

Canadians were invited to vote for the canuckiest of songs. 49 will be chosen.

Polls closed last night. I'm happy to not hear the promo anymore.

Despite what the thought bubble on this link says, I think "Go For A Soda" will make the list.

That or "Patio Lanterns".

You gotta have patio lanterns.

I forgot to vote. PIMP? Kevlar? DW?

Friday, January 16, 2009

Going to Guam tomorrow. Any requests? Karl, you still need beef bouillon?

Front page picture, print edition, from the Taipei Times. Hey, it works! I sure as hell laughed. Watch out China Post, they're coming after you.

Good news for D-Wayne. Pop has upgraded him ( with no prompting from me ) from "the one who just points and doesn't ask" to " that Canadian" at Southern Command. Chris has yet to receive any moniker and I think AJ's is "the guy I don't understand when he talks about gout."

The Taiwan Green Party is urging people to spend their vouchers wisely. Wisely means you spend it where they want you to spend it. They should not be used on frivolous items such as cars, gas, and disposable items. Damn! We're almost out of toilet paper. Maybe I can borrow some of the costumes from the Green Party Street Theater Troupe to tidy my heinie. Really, if they want to be taken seriously they need to get a new director, better costume designer and props man. Well, that and about a billion other things, but...One guy is holding a voucher with what looks like some sort of shriveled claw. In the foreground is what I take to be a giant condom ghost watching the other members dressed as...costumed troupe people? hold vouchers that seem to be drifting into the huge hole in the earth left by the levitation of the Leaf continent. None of them look too happy about whatever is going on. Maybe they're pissed their photo got bumped from the front page by an egg and a clown.

Wednesday, January 14, 2009

Houli horses!

The last day of the 4-day New Year's vacation, Petra, my niece Joanne and I went on a little day excursion to Houli (后里). Just a little north of Taichung, it is easily reached by train in 30 minutes or less. I wasn't sure what we would do, I just knew that my wife said we would ride horses. Really? Well, arriving at the Houli train station we started looking around for help. There were plenty of students working part-time offering assistance to tourists. We rented bikes at the train station to ride to the "Hores" Station. They offer bikes for all sizes (except Karl). I had my seat raised to its maximum height and still was unable to extend my legs past the Big Wheel stage. If you go, I would go to the front of the Hores Station to rent a bike. They have a better selection. Bikes for little ones, bikes with training wheels, tandems, 3-seaters, all with the option of an electric motor.

The Houli Horse Farm (Chinese link) , as the local government calls it, was about what I expected. The riding is done in a small pen. Children must be led around the pen by a worker - 2 laps for $60 NT. Joanne is pictured above getting ready to be walked around on good ol' No. 299. Adults can ride by themselves for half an hour. I don't know the price because I got tired of waiting for good ol' No. 288 finish his lunch and left. While waiting for 288 to finish, we toured the area. One good thing about the farm is that you can ride your bike into and around the place. Joanne just started riding a bike a couple of months ago and is still pretty green. This was a nice,safe place for her to practice and gain some confidence. She learned how to and when to change gears there before we went biking around the area. There is an area for archery, a small playground, a couple of dilapidated, vacant houses and lots of construction going on to kill a good 5-10 minutes. You can pet the horses, and the Great Dane who is stabled next to the horses if you dare, as well as feed them if you bring your own horse chow.

Okay, horsie time was over and my navigator told us we were going to ride on the Hou-Feng Bike Path ( 后豐鐵馬道 - the 鐵馬 characters don't mean iron horse, but rather the Taiwanese pronunciation of bike). No cars or scooters are allowed and bicycle cops patrol the path to make sure... well, I'm not sure what they do because unless you can lift your scooter 2 feet off the ground there is no way for a scooter to enter. But, they are there, just in case. We were riding at noon on Sunday - bike rush hour. The ride is pleasant and the path is paved and divided into two lanes, which surprisingly, most people followed. After crossing under the highway we came to Tunnel #9. This 1.28 kilometer tunnel was built by the Japanese as a rail line. Exiting the tunnel you come to the bridge pictured above. Still nice and sturdy. However I forgot about my wife's fear of bridges when I began shouting at her. She was leading the way with Joanne in the middle and me bringing up the rear. What caused me to shout was seeing her plow down the middle of the narrow bridge forcing oncoming cyclists to break left and right around her. She maintained perfect posture, head never turning left or right, until the end of the bridge. No wrecks and only 3 or 4 forced stops. Maybe I should have spent some time with her at the horse farm.

Our last stop was the winery above. It is owned and operated by a young Taiwanese woman who trained at wineries in Napa Valley. They are renovating the building and hope to open in time for Chinese New Year. They will have a tasting area, bar and restaurant. She speaks good English, is very friendly (she practically forced us to sample every one of their wines) and informative ( she used lots of wine words that I played like I understood ). They offer Taiwanese style wines as well as a couple of traditional ones. The plum wine ( I usually don't like anything plum in Taiwan ) tasted like what I think a semi-sweet white wine would. The ice wine was good. How good I do not know. I just know I can drink it and not be put off. We ended up buying two bottles of Red Onion Red Wine. There are two versions. One is more for medicinal use and tastes like it. The other is made exclusively for drinking and taste. This was the one I chose. Semi-sweet with a hint of Funyun. I am almost out and will reorder. She delivers free of charge.

There is a nice garden as well as outdoor seating with a table made from 20 foot long and 3 foot wide piece of driftwood. This was washed down the side of the hill in a typhoon and they bought it from the government. In Taiwan, all driftwood belongs to the government. What about the fish and the trash? Do you also have to pay to remove these from the water? The table is spoiled somewhat by an inevitability - the wooden mock choo-choo Wine Train at the head of the table. Oh well. Trying to remove kitsch from Taiwanese is about as easy as removing the dermis from the epidermis and the subcutaneous fat. Still, we plan to return for a meal and a brace of Red Onion.

Tuesday, January 13, 2009

Last Anime Stewardess

This links up with EW's post....if you have unsafe sex with an anime stewardess, you may end up with a kid screaming for a teddy bear. "Forewarned is forearmed."

Uhhhh, I don't think the condom goes on the forearm, you know.

Monday, January 12, 2009

D u r e x

Surgeon General says......


Anime Flight Attendant III

Coffee, tea, or me?

Beer here, dear?

Saturday, January 10, 2009

Oh! You have to go too?

I don't care that everyone has to work today.

It is a make-up day for having Jan.2 off. More like wake-up it's Saturday, now go to work!!!
Jan.1 fell on Thursday, every asshole got a four day weekend. Everything kinda crowded. Now this!!

In an effort to enforce the regulations more effectively, those who report violations will be rewarded with 5 percent of the fine. People seeking to collect the reward may take photos of smoking in the act, ashtrays, lighters, and signboards of the venues as evidence

Public venues where smoking is banned include restaurants, karaoke bars, Internet cafes, coffee shops, indoor workplaces with three or more people, and public transportation stations and waiting areas.

Under the revised rules, people who take a drag in smoke-free areas will be fined from NT$2,000 to NT$10,000.

Friday, January 09, 2009

Anime Flight Attendant II

I believe this is Zoe? They all have names. 

She's asking you if you'd like to try her hot and steamy buns. (熱騰騰包子)

Thursday, January 08, 2009

Anime-style EVA Air Flight Attendant Dolls

What is she thinking? NT$ 680 for her thoughts.

Wednesday, January 07, 2009

Inspirational moments

Get Smart

Stick Shifts in Taiwan

Our car is being repaired, so I have been driving the loaner from the dealership.

It's manual transmission. I have not driven a stick shift in 20 years.

Turns out, its like riding a bike - you won't forget how. Yeah, there were some moments of "if you can't find 'em, grind 'em" but that's cool because then you can say "if you can't find 'em, grind 'em"aloud and relive your salad days.

The main problem with stick shift driving in Taiwan is Taiwanese drivers. They poke along slowly, pull to sudden stops, and then shoot out of intersections. Maybe my shifting skillz are not up to scratch yet, but I find myself switching between 2nd gear and 1st gear way too often as the driver ahead of me cannot decide to creep along at 2 mph or to stop a few times, and then creep along again to get to the green light ahead of us.

So my advice is to NOT buy a manual transmission car in Taiwan.

Monday, January 05, 2009

Mike Leach on 60 Minutes

60 Minutes profiled Texas Tech football coach Mike Leach last night, calling him the Mad Genius of college football. (video link - 11:30)

Included are replays of this year's come from behind win over UT (sorry Bread). Moneyball author Michael Lewis comments on his success despite not having access to the cream of the athletic crop.

Must see for Tech fans.

Now if only Blue Jay fans could look forward to this kind of story about JP Riccardi. He did work for Billy Beane for a while, did he not?

Friday, January 02, 2009

The Transporter 3

My wife and I managed to get out to see a movie for the first time in two years. I let her pick the movie and she chose The Transporter 3. 

Here is her decision-making process.

1. Must see an action movie, because they require the least amount of thinking.
2. Choose a sequel if possible.
2. Ask 14 year old son if this movie is any good.

As you can see, this process will lead to lots of bad movie choices and The Transporter 3 was no exception. It had a bad plot, bad writing, bad acting, and even bad casting.

Bad Plot: The basic plot is that a U.S. company wants to ship toxic waste to the Ukraine for dumping, but the minister of the environment there won't let them, so the company hires the Bad Guy to kindap the minister's daughter until he signs the contracts that would allow them to dump their toxic waste. Our transporter is forced to be the guy moving the daughter around Europe.

Hmmm, some problems here. Contracts signed under duress would be easy to nullify once you got your daughter back. Besides, ministers of the environment in the Ukraine probably welcome toxic waste dumping, and maybe a bribe would work better than kidnapping the guy's kid?

Bad Casting/Writing/Acting: The chick in the flick is an absolutely ugly red-head - Carrot Top's female equivalent. She also cannot act and her lines sucked, too. Apparently Luc Besson found her on the street. I believe that.

Look, I can live with some impossible stunts like driving between two semi trucks with your car on the side or inflating some duffel bags from your car tires to make the whole car float. (That seems to be against physics but whatever.)

But casting the eye-candy equivalent of Taiwanese dried salty plums as the female lead forces me to hate the movie. Meanwhile the male lead, who does his best to keep the film afloat, is forced to strip down TWICE in the movie.


Put on yer Taiwanese high school male thinking cap

Click here to watch the Racecar

You need to turn down the sound if you are at work.

Indoor Tropical Frost

There was a weird cracking sound, and then someone dropped the dishes. POP! five tiles shattered, a dozen more just lifted.
Ahh, maybe expanding air pockets? A trail of steamy footprints from the shower? One of those tiny indoor earthquakes that knocks over drinks?
The tiles wanted to leave because it is too cold.

Thursday, January 01, 2009

A Southern Command New Year's Eve

Sessions at Southern Command all begin the same. I get a beer, open my paper to the crossword and the security dog, Bao Bao, jumps on top of my paper, rolls over and paws at me until I rub her belly. Well, that's okay because I like dogs and we get bathroom privileges - providing we close the door. Pop always reminds me to tell the others, especially "the one who just points and doesn't ask" (D-Wayne).

Five o'clock comes round and people start gathering. D-Wayne and Chris are first. It's cold. How cold I do not know. But one of the cold-sounding Celsius numbers. We three get a head start on debunking the alcohol-will-warm-your-body myth. Esquire Willy and AJ are next and the table is crowded and the neighbors start putting in their earplugs. Steve is last (or Brown as Esquire calls him. I thought we pretty much had a moratorium on using last names in Taiwan but the Esquire nose-whistles his own tune).

Many motions are agreed upon: the Cowboys sucked, we still hate the Eagles, it is still cold and it is best not to open a bottle of beer one-handed while using the same hand to talk on a cell phone. The Esquire tried that and opened it up into a hundred pieces on the ground.

The cold inspires Steve to go inside and buy a couple of the heating pads pictured above. These are small bags that once activated by rubbing, crumpling and/or slapping, produce a constant heat for several hours. The bag is filled with iron fillings, water, active carbon and salt. My wife says her elementary school students know the formula and can make it themselves.

The ad at top says they maintain an average temperature of 50-55 degrees Celsius, with a max temperature of 66 for 20 hours. Well, I don't know about the 20 hours, but they were still quite warm by bed time. Students can always be found with these in their hands. Steve and I experimented with other locations. They are great as bun warmers. One in each pocket. I enjoyed leaving it on the back of my neck, getting a nice shot of heat down my spine and up my neck. Steve used them as earmuffs by securing them with his toboggan, yes, I said toboggan. Let me explain. Growing up in Lubbock, big snows were rare. The usual winter snow was a 1-2 inch dusting that disappeared quickly. We just weren't snow mavens. Whereas the Eskimos have a baker's buttload of words for snow, we ( or just me ) had only one word to cover all things snow related - and mine was toboggan. I didn't have any Canadianer friends at that time so I didn't know about toque. Now that I do, I still don't say it. So Steve was delighted wearing his heating pads inside of his toboggan.

AJ tried to warm up by buying whiskey - he wasn't there for the earlier debunking session. When he went to buy the second bottle I decided it was time for me to go and pass the New Year in my preferred manner - not dead. When the clock struck midnight I was asleep and alive, dreaming of black-eyed peas.

They are my favorite vegetable and you can get them in Taiwan. I have only found dried but my wife asked the person selling them and she said they were grown somewhere in southern Taiwan. I eat both kinds, but fresh black-eyed peas with snaps are better, better , better. So if anyone in southern Taiwan reading this...oops, that was stupid. If anyone reading this ( a little better) knows anyone in southern Taiwan who might know about fresh black-eyed peas, let me know and I'll send you a signed picture of Lee Deng-Hui.

Things were a little more lively in Taipei, where Jack Donaghy blew up Taipei 101.