Web-log archive: 2006

December
2006-12-24

圣诞快乐!

...Means Merry Christmas! In Pinyin it’s written Shengdan kuaile, pronouncing the es as short “uh” sounds. It’s fine weather for it: about 20C (70° F?)...

2006-12-20

Murse

Evidence that I am gradually becoming a different person: I have started to carry a murse. Or a man-purse, if you prefer.I’ve taken to hauling...

2006-12-19

Foreigners

Lately it seems foreigners are everywhere in Xiamen. We’ve only been here four (five?) months; how is it possible we missed all these foreigners already?Maybe...

2006-12-18

Weather Report

Cool and clear, mid-50s F, windy. Pollution levels are near zero, especially after the heavy rains last week. Altogether it feels very much like a...

2006-12-16

我们没有煤气

One of our British friends generated an algorithm for determining the time to complete any given task in China:“Imagine the longest possible time you think...

2006-12-05

What’s to Like

Learning the language Discovering that the Chinese name for most James Bond movies uses the phrase “Brave Escape” The food, duh Take-no-prisoners kitchen appliances, like...

2006-12-04

Like Oregon, But Not

Hey Transplants to the Pacific Northwest! Remember your first winter in [Oregon | Washington | British Columbia | SE Alaska]? Remember how, after about 60...

2006-12-03

Unremitting

Was it only three weeks ago that Jenny twisted her ankle? Because today she went for her second run since the accident. My wife could...

November
2006-11-29

Kindergarten

For various wha-acky! reasons I’m tending the XIS kindergarten for an hour a day. This is actually a really easy gig: I'm basically babysitting. The...

2006-11-26

Black as Midnight on a Moonless Night

Jenny’s mom is visiting from Oregon for about 10 days...and while the highlight of her visit is the, y’sknow, visiting, part, we’re sorely glad for...

2006-11-18

Laid Low

The health ish just keep piling up here in Phoenix Villa. Friday at about 10:30 a.m. I began to feel achey/chilley/sore all over in a...

2006-11-13

中山医院

Minutes out of the shower yesterday our house phone rang. Jenny and Bismarck were out for an early morning jog, and I was a little...

2006-11-11

Welcome Back

I’m given to understand culture shock comes in stages. I don’t know what those stages are and I’m kind of loathe to find out. But...

October
2006-10-29

Unexpectedly Homesick

Jenny was out of town this weekend for a swim meet in Beijing. (She coaches the XIS HS swim team, such as it is. And...

2006-10-23

Dust and Construction

Life is slow and frustrating in Xiamen lately. Warm and dusty. I’ve about had it with nothing working right, shoddy design, and everyone basically being...

2006-10-14

Home

We’ve been back in Xiamen for a week now. This set me to thinking about my own peculiar notions of what constitutes “home.”First (and this...

2006-10-09

Don in Tha House

Jenny’s dad was in town for the weekend. He arrived about two hours after we got in from Singapore, so we just waited at the...

2006-10-07

Back in Xiamen

Jenny and I returned to Xiamen yesterday on remarkably uneventful flights. The meal they served (at 9am) was actually (gee I hate to say it)...

2006-10-06

Singapore Insomnia

So I was lying awake in Singapore, thinking about a post-to-be-created that ran something along the lines of “why the summer of 1988 was so...

2006-10-04

Malaysia Dispatch

We're back in Singapore after a couple of days in Malaysia, specifically Tioman Island. I have only the vaguest sense of where Tioman Island is...

2006-10-01

Black and White

We are staying in Singapore with Jenny’s friend Vicky (and her dog Nima), who grew up here, in a family typical for this environment: her...

September
2006-09-30

Singapore Dispatch

Singapore is the anti-Xiamen. Leaving China necessitated two forms, two passport reviews (and stamps) four lines, and more than an hour of waiting and paperwork....

2006-09-24

Damn that last post was long

Wasn’t it?Today was just like that, except last night we were up all night crazy itching because of mosquitos. I foolishly left the windows open...

2006-09-22

Typical

I think I’m entering the phase of culture shock where daily life has become mundane. It is no longer surprising or fun to ride with...

2006-09-16

East-West (东西)

The Chinese name for House (the TV show with Hugh Laurie) is “Hooligan Doctor” (流氓医生, Liumang Yisheng). Alias is “Double-Faced Spy Woman” (双面女间谍, Shuangmian Nujiandie).A...

2006-09-11

Good and Bad

Good Bad Slightly sweet popcorn Slightly sweet beer Owners of small dogs Small dogs Old guys doing inexplicable Chinese exercises like walking backwards uphill while...

2006-09-11

Weather Report

The heat finally broke this weekend, but the humidity didn’t. Taiwan helpfully dispersed a typhoon, but Xiamen has been receiving a steady dose of light...

2006-09-09

Doggy Play Date

Yesterday we met with Megan, the former ESL teacher at XIS, and two of her friends at a beach south of the university. (We had...

2006-09-04

Clothes Shopping

I’ve been clothes shopping lately, trying to fill my wardrobe with school-appropriate clothes. Before we left Portland I thought myself to be “about the size...

August
2006-08-24

Rain; School; Intestines

I'm delivering this post from a cybercafe, so apologies for the brevity. We've had two days of rain and the weather has cooled pretty substantially....

2006-08-09

Arrival: Xiamen

After about 25 hours of transit we are finally in Xiamen. Flights were all smooth, after a delayed departure from Portland. The delay actually worked...

2006-08-05

T-Minus 48h

48 hours until the plane departs...and we're having to cancel last-minute goodbye breakfasts with old friends because every hour is now accounted for. Problems have...

2006-08-01

Empty Rooms

After unloading the majority of our possessions in Ellen's garage in Bend, we returned to clean the apartment. Apartment cleaning usually inspires bittersweet feelings (nostalgia...

July
2006-07-27

Last Call For...

Fuego Burritos Arcadia Beach Terwilliger Drive Grand Central scones Balloon sculptures shaped like Cookie Monster Black Butte Porter All my family less than an hour's...

2006-07-27

Ditch Digging

In late 1998, I had a vision about energy. This was at my last archaeology job, in Southern California. I was "monitoring" a large construction...

2006-07-11

Is It Wrong That I Actually Like...

old apples when they get dry and wrinkly? watching Jaws over and over and over again? leftovers (especially pizza!) that sit out on the counter...

2006-07-06

Stuff

We are literally hip deep in the process of deleting all our stuff in preparation for the move to Xiamen. The office is hardest hit:...

June
2006-06-15

Anchor Babies

So the Washington State Republican Party declared its hostility to the 14th Amendment. They have gripes with the part that reads "All persons born or...

2006-06-14

Story Problems

“Basically I took the client's email with all the requirements and turned it into a workflow diagram. It was like doing a story problem. That's...

May
2006-05-17

Decades

About twenty years ago, my family took a vacation to the Pacific Northwest. This was the first time I had ever seen the ocean (age...

April
2006-04-25

FREE BEER

...or rather, free ice cream. Today was "free ice cream" day at Ben and Jerry's, apparently a phenom of some sort. [sidebar: the local Ben...

2006-04-05

Born in the Twilight

Today's Salon features an interview with William Easterly, who criticizes U.S. foreign aid as stuck in a top-down model that hasn't worked since the 1960s....

March
2006-03-29

Wires and Code

I love when a site unexpectedly shows me a little bit of code. I found this one on wired.com, of all places, in an article...

2006-03-19

Innovation

In 1934, a swim coach at the University of Iowa speculated that breaststroke swimmers could gain a significant time advantage by bringing their arms and...

2006-03-06

Barbers ≠ Surgeons

Once upon a time, barbers were surgeons. This offends modern sensibilities but there’s a logic at work here: after all, they use approximately the same...