Thursday, January 31, 2008

If you look really close, you can see my floating head in the crowd:

Obama '08 get-together

Democrats Abroad gets 22 delegates at the Democratic National Convention. That's more than Michigan, Florida and Alaska combined.

Monday, January 28, 2008

It's been pretty friggin' cold lately, snowing steadily for almost several hours this morning. The snow has built up a couple inches in some places. I hear that at least one international school has called a snow day tomorrow (SMIC takes a longer CNY vacation, so we're already off). We went to the hospital this morning to get some medicine for Jodi's stomach, and will be going out for dinner and a little shopping tonight. Wish us luck!

Snowy Yinghua Rd

Sunday, January 27, 2008

Jodi prodded me to take Charlotte to the movies with us tonight. We saw the new Doraemon movie at the Super Brand Mall theater. Charlotte enjoyed it for the most part. For the first 10 minutes she was just entranced by the giant screen and the loud voices but after a while she really got into it, waving her arms and shouting at the exciting parts. It's a good thing the audience had lots of kids in it because she could make a little noise and nobody cared because it was pretty much the norm for the average audience member. I was impressed that she was able to stay interested for almost the whole 112 minutes. It's good to know that we can take her to the movies with us. Like I told Chris last week, she's just too well-behaved.

Saturday, January 26, 2008


Friday, January 25, 2008

Q: Why is C taller than A?
A: Because A C .

Monday, January 21, 2008

Sunday, January 20, 2008

Jodi and I have been off the home computer for a few days because the power supply finally gave up the ghost. I wasn't expecting to find a Shuttle XPC SS51G mini power supply in Shanghai and was ready to order one from the US, but the ever-resourceful folks at the Taipingyang PC mall in Xujiahui pooled their forces and found a near-enough match. Once home I found that one connector was missing, but used some wire from the old power supply to patch up the new one. Seems to be working fine for now, which means I'm listening to Rhapsody and browsing high-res pictures of a spacewalk.

The trip to Xujiahui meant that I got to take Line 2 to Century Avenue, switch to the Line 4 inner loop to Shanghai Stadium, and Line 1 to Xujiahui. On the way back I took Line 6 from Lancun Rd, just for fun.

Tonight was one of those rainy stay-at-home-but-who-wants-to-cook nights. Jodi suggested ordering pizza, but the lady at the Pizza Hut central switchboard let us know that our local delivery branch has closed so I offered to run to 湘霸王 for Hunanese take-out. Healthier, cheaper and tastier! Clear-fried celtuce, Chinese celery with cured beef, and spicy BBQ shrimp skewers. Yummers.

Whenever I tire of the provincial flavor of the local papers, I buy the 南方周末 (Southern Weekly?). Also yummers.

Thursday, January 10, 2008

Funny forum sig sighting:


Doesn't translate well.

James Fallows on the ways in which the US is richer than China:

It’s more than strange. Some Chinese people are rich, but China as a whole is unbelievably short on many of the things that qualify countries as fully developed. Shanghai has about the same climate as Washington, D.C.—and its public schools have no heating. (Go to a classroom when it’s cold, and you’ll see 40 children, all in their winter jackets, their breath forming clouds in the air.) Beijing is more like Boston. On winter nights, thousands of people mass along the curbsides of major thoroughfares, enduring long waits and fighting their way onto hopelessly overcrowded public buses that then spend hours stuck on jammed roads. And these are the showcase cities! In rural Gansu province, I have seen schools where 18 junior-high-school girls share a single dormitory room, sleeping shoulder to shoulder, sardine-style.

I fight a silent war with the janitors at my school to close the hallway windows in winter. At least we have AC units in the classrooms.

This also reminds me of an article in can't-remember-which-local-rag last week titled (rough paraphrase-translation) "Foreigners Think Shanghai Houses Are Not Warm Enough" and went on to talk about building insulation — gasp! — and double-paned windows — double gasp!

I have a vivid memory of back when I was single and living at Jinshajiang Rd, where I would sometimes awake to the sight of my breath forming jets of condensation over the bed covers. But that had more to do with penny-pinching than insulation (to some degree).

Wednesday, January 09, 2008

Went online tonight to look up schedules for the Shanghai Sharks men's basketball. Turns out the season just ended 6 days ago... drat. Men's soccer doesn't start until the end of March, and is taking a 3-month break for the Olympics so it will actually run until the end of December! The schedule for this year's baseball league (is there a women's league? maybe college softball...) hasn't been posted yet, but if similar to last year's it will run mid-April through late June. By the skin of the Sharks' teeth, the men's volleyball Group A finals were last weekend and this weekend, with Shanghai hosting Liaoning next Saturday and Sunday. Too bad it's out in the boonies of southern Nanhui, probably a 1.5 hour mini-bus ride.

Saturday, January 05, 2008

Malatang Delivery

This was stuck in our mailbox this evening. First time I've seen delivery for malatang.

But seriously, who orders a malatang that costs more than RMB 10? Gentrification!