Steve's China Blog

Monday, August 31, 2009

Football season has started

The NFL season has started, and like the previous years I am listening to the Redskins Radio show through NFL Fieldpass over the internet. The Redskins' first pre-season game against the Baltimore Ravens was pretty bad. The Redskins' next two pre-season games against the Pittsburgh Steelers and the New England Patriots seemed much better.

On Tuesday evening I went out to Shamrock for dinner, and they had the usual soccer and rugby games on the TV there. I mentioned to my waiter that I wished I could watch American football, but the stations here never carry that. He told me there was a new sports channel on their cable called ASN (All Sports Network) that showed American football, and sure enough I got to watch the Monday Night Football game between the Baltimore Ravens and the New York Jets. It was even an exciting and fun game to watch!

A replay of the game between the Washington Redskins and the New England Patriots was supposed to be on Saturday night on ASN, so I went to watch that. Unfortunately, there was a problem with the satellite hookup, and they could not get that station that evening. Oh well, I had dinner there and ran into some old friends and made some new friends, so the evening was not a total waste.

Monday, August 24, 2009

Dog days

A few weeks ago I went over to a friend's house to see some puppies. They have a big copper colored poodle that just had puppies a few days before. This weekend I learned that someone stole the mother dog a few days ago. Not sure how well the puppies will do since they still have not been weened yet.

On Friday night I got a support call from work, and had to work all night. Then I got another support call early on Saturday morning, and when I was done helping with that I had to help with an upgrade to one our systems in Korea. I was very tired by lunch time. Even so, I went out to do some shopping with my friend Reese in the afternoon. I bought a few long-sleeve shirts and a jacket, since summer will be ending soon. In the evening I joined my friend Kitty for dinner. We went to the fish hotpot place near my apartment. It was excellent... I ate too much.

Sunday was a lazy day. I could have slept all day, but got myself up and did some things around the house. I played on the computer some and watched a few movies in the evening. Terminator 4 and Inkheart. This week is going to be pretty busy since half my team at work is on vacation.

Tuesday, August 11, 2009

My P-38

About this time thirty years ago I was going through basic training in the Army. Back then when troops were out in the field they ate C-Rations, which are tins of food. In order to open those cans of food we had a simple little can opener that we referred to as a P-38. The P-38 is considered by many as the Army's greatest piece of gear... simple, compact, durable, and easy to use. I was given a P-38 thirty years ago, and not only has it been on my key chain all these years but I still use it regularly.

When I got my P-38 it was a dull silver color, and through the years it has turned darker and darker. On Sunday I was surprised to find to find it covered in a thin layer of rust. I could easily rub the rust off with my fingers, but I can't understand why it got rusty all of the sudden. I've had it all these years, in all kinds of weather, and it's never gotten rusty before. A trivial mystery that occupies my mind sometimes.

Monday, August 10, 2009

News of the new news

I didn't have a lot planned this weekend. I had some friends over for dinner on Saturday night. I cooked some spaghetti and we also had some french bread and gouda cheese from Holland. It was pretty good. The rest of the time I spent playing on the computer, doing some laundry, and catching up on the news back in the USA.

I haven't read the news much lately since I've been so busy. It's amazing how much has been going on... I never even heard of this cash for clunkers program until now. What a financial disaster that is. It looks like a typical government program... give everyone $3,500 or $4,500 for their old cars, but the taxpayers end up spending anywhere from $20,000 to $45,000 per car. It looks like they are going to try to keep the program going too. These are the same idiots that want to run the health care system?

The socialization of the US health care system is another big topic in the news. It's always funny when these aristocratic-wannabes in Washington decide they know what's best for the masses, and then they get all upset when people complain. How dare those sheeple complain!

Doesn't matter... they don't care about the will of the people and they'll pass that socialist garbage. It is interesting to see them display their utter contempt and disdain for the average person though. They always say their there for the people but we all know that, like socialist political elites everywhere, they don't give a rat's pah-tooty about anyone but themselves. If the changes to health care are so great then why are the politicians exempt from it?... for their whole lives?

It looks like they really underestimated the public's reaction though. Only in a few places did their red guard thugs show up to beat the complaining peasants. No worries though... they're taking names, and a few years in a re-education though labor camp will stop those pesky complainers. This article is pretty funny...

Know Your Town Hall Mob Agitators!

Greetings citizen! By now you may have heard scattered rumors of state and party officials encountering reactionary resistors at local health care reform information programs. Do not be alarmed, for our 5-year plan for citizen health proceeds without delay. Remain stalwart! The truth can be told at last, that these so-called “protests” are merely the desperate rear flank mob actions of dead-end bandits and saboteurs in the pay of enemy insurance agents.

About time the people in the US started standing up for their rights. I have to wonder if events in Iran and Honduras helped.

The recession here in China is pretty much over with. When it hit here back at the beginning of the year you could tell something was wrong. Usually the whole country is one big construction site, but all those migrant workers who usually do all that construction work were told to stay home after they left for the Spring Festival holidays to visit their families, and construction came to a stand still. It seemed rather quiet sometimes with no construction going on.

The government then put together a stimulas package which gave tax breaks to businesses, so that they could hire people and get the economy going again. It seems all that construction is going again, which is good for the Chinese economy even though it can be loud at times. Even the government in Beijing knows that tax cuts are always a great way to get out of a recession. Increased government spending and tax increases are really bad for economies. Too bad the idiots in Washington don't know this, or maybe they do and they just don't care.

Let's see, what else?... Oh, there was this trip to North Korea by Bill Clinton. A reporter discusses socialist culture in an interesting article I saw in the Washington Post about a photo taken there....

An Emotional Restraining Order For Clinton the Statesman

When former president Bill Clinton arrived in Pyongyang on his mission to bring home the two American journalists, Laura Ling and Euna Lee, who had been detained by the North Korean government for nearly five months, he posed for an official photograph with the country's reclusive leader, Kim Jong Il. The photograph is, to be blunt, weird. Disconcerting. Creepy.

Why would anyone dislike life in North Korea? They have government run health care (political elites are exempt from it though). No need for tax cuts for business (since the government owns all the businesses). No need for tax cuts to improve the economy since they are in a permanent recession (since the government owns all the businesses). No complaining peasants. No food either.

Tuesday, August 04, 2009

Contest, hotpot, and shopping

Last Monday when I was at Hooters some of the girls asked me to come back on Friday for something special, so on Friday I went back with some friends and a co-worker. Friday was the one year anniversary of Hooters in Chengdu, and they were having a Miss Hooters contest for the Hooters in Chengdu. The competition started with each girl saying a few things about themselves to everyone in Chinese and in English.

Ariel (left in pink top) from Shanghai Hooters was the MC

After that the girls did some dancing and some even sang a little.

I wish they danced like this in the Hooters in the US

And more dancing.

Getting everyone to sing along

We had dinner there too.

Victoria ordering dinner

Limbo time

Then they went around and introduced themselves to customers and encouraged the customers to vote for them. There were four winners of the Miss Hooters in Chengdu contest. Those four girls will go to the Hooters in Shanghai where they will compete against girls from the Hooters in Shanghai, Beijing, Hangzhou, and maybe Wuhan. The winner of that contest will be Miss Hooters of China, and will go on to compete in Las Vegas against Hooters girls from all over the world.

Nicole and Ruby

On Saturday I woke up and played around on the computer, fixed lunch, and did laundry. In the afternoon Reese and her boyfriend came over for some swimming. In the evening we went to a hotpot place behind my apartment. I had been to this hotpot place before, but they have changed recently. Before they served your regular style of hotpot, but now they specialize in fish hotpot. It was really good.

On Sunday I just lazed about the apartment in the morning. In the afternoon I went to meet my friend Victoria and we went over to do some shopping at Metro. I was really hoping to get some Italian sausage there, but they were all out of that. I did get some Australian beef, some cheeses from Europe, some wine from California and France, and a new mosquito zapper. The plan was to go back to my place and cook dinner, but by the time we got back it was pretty late, so we just went out to dinner at another restaurant near my apartment.