Steve's China Blog

Wednesday, July 29, 2009

A movie and a steak

Last week I took some of my English mentees from work to see the new Harry Potter movie. The week before that I re-read the book. The movie was entertaining and the effects were really good, but there were a lot of changes from the book.

It seemed to me that in the earlier movies they left out things, but did not make many changes to the story. I figured that was due to the fact that the last book had not been published at the time so no one knew how the story would end, but the sixth movie was finished after the last book was published so I do not know why they made the changes that they made.

After watching the new Harry Potter movie I had to read the last book of the series, mostly because I had forgotten what happened in most of it. It will be interesting to see how differently the last movie will be from the book, or if they'll be able to include all the things they left out and/or changed.

This last Monday was my birthday, and for dinner I went to Hooters. I had a nice steak tenderloin and a small chicken caesar salad. They put in a Wii there and I played a little golf on it. I splice as much playing on the Wii as I do in real life. It was a lot of fun, but I couldn't stay as long as I would have liked since I was on call, and had to go to work early the next day.

Wednesday, July 15, 2009

A few things

I know I have not posted anything after posting about my Hawaii trip, but I've been pretty busy. It seems I am spending all of my time either working or sleeping. There was also a lot going on that I didn't feel like posting about by themselves, so I'll tell you about a few things that have happened since I got back.

In Chengdu there are a few international schools. They usually teach foreign kids and a few rich Chinese kids. I wonder if they teach certain things, such as the Chinese version of history (which tends to be really inaccurate). Anyways, on the Saturday before the 4th of July there was an international school here that was having a 4th of July picnic which I was invited to, but I waited too long and wasn't able to get a ticket for it. I heard it was ok.

A few days after that I was chatting with a Chinese friend online and she asked me to marry her. I was very surprised and somewhat flattered, but I said no.

The 4th of July weekend was a bonus experience weekend in Everquest 2. For those that don't play the game that means is that your characters in the game can do some adventuring and quests and they are rewarded with experience, which helps them gain levels in their chosen profession. On Saturday I got my assassin to level 72 (yeah!) and decided to have my alchemist get some experience on Sunday. At sometime in the early afternoon on Sunday I got knocked out of the game and could not get back in.

In a lot of online games there is a problem... plat farmers (also called gold farmers in some games). These are people who logon to a game and make in-game money that they turn around and sell for real money to other players, usually through a third party. Plat is a term used for platinum, which is a denomination of coin in the game (e.g. platinum, gold, silver, and copper). A lot of plat farmers are from China. They can be very annoying at times, but I have met a few nice ones.

Back when my assassin character made level 70 I started saving my in-game money to buy him some nice items. It seems that having a positive cash flow and logging in to the game from China was justification enough for Sony (the owner of Everquest 2) to think I was a plat farmer and ban my account. It took about a week to work with their customer supprt to get my account reinstated.

Other than that things here are going ok. Last week the weather was a little cool and rainy, but this week is starting to warm up quite a bit. The new Harry Potter movie opens here later this week, and I am trying to setup a time some weekend to take some of my co-workers whom I help with their English. I took a few of them to see Star Trek a few weeks ago, and we had a great time. I am hoping I can get more to go with me this time.