Friday, December 19, 2008

Let The Sunshine In

This is an outstanding video podcast of my favorite singer, Mike Doughty. He, along with his band, is playing live in/at a radio station. The first and the last songs are particularly enjoyable. Please take a few minutes and watch it, it's good stuff.

p.s. I do intend to get back to regular blogging in the near future...

Wednesday, November 05, 2008

Hell YES!

The Kids Have Spoken!

I couldn't resist doing this in class yesterday. My kindergarten class got into the spirit of the election. They did a terrific job.

From left to right: Claire, Jason, Benson (seated), Monica, Me, Stella, Wanda. These kids are a incredible. They inspire me.

Tuesday, November 04, 2008

The Vet Who Didn't Vet

This is seriously funny, kinda sad, but funny nonetheless.

What a tragic chapter in the history of the U.S.

Sarah Palin is going to disappear from the radar in the next few days. I am willing to bet that she'll have a difficult time holding on to her governorship in 2010.

Sunday, November 02, 2008

My Electoral Prediction

Here is the way I see the electoral college going on Tuesday. My beloved home state, Ohio, has lots of kooks in the southern part of the state so it's gonna be close. Cleveland and the surrounding areas are Obama country, not so much Cinci.


>2008 Election Contest: Pick Your President - Predict the winner of the 2008 presidential election.

Popular vote: Obama 51% McCain 46% Other 3%

FL & PA will go to Barack. This will mean the election should be called rather early in the evening. I would love to see IN, MO and GA go blue, but NC will suffice. A blue NC will make Jesse Helms roll over in his grave...good stuff.

I am closely watching the Franken/Coleman race in MN. I would love to see Al in the Senate.

Other projections:
Post-election Senate make-up: 58 Dems, 40 Reps, 2 Others
Post-election House make-up: 256 Dems, 179 Reps

Wednesday, October 29, 2008

Bushman's Blogtoberfest!

Last Saturday was the second installment of M.J.'s blogger get-together. It's always fun to see the authors of my favorite blogs in the flesh. Catherine and I are honored to be included in the group. M.J. (The New Hampshire Bushman), is the guy who put it all together and the party was a hit!

Had to start out the photo run with Michael and Catherine. We both enjoy spending time with Michael. He is a very cool guy and encourage all of you to check out his outstanding blog, The View from Taiwan.

Andres, purveyor of Andres in Taiwan, and his wife thankfully brought along Olivia. She is so adorable. Catherine had fun entertaining the little cutie.

The food at the party was awesome! We are hoping to make a trip back down to Hukou for some killer Thai food...I will be calling soon M.J.!

Catherine and Carrie, the architect of My Several Worlds, chatting and noshing. Carrie and her fiance' John have been great friends of ours since their arrival here in Taiwan. Cath & I value their friendship and we wish them lots of luck with their upcoming trip home to get married. Click over to Carrie's site for details, it's crazy!

We were treated to some serious singing courtesy of Carrie and M.J.. Sitting towards the rear end of the table is Todd, scribe of The Daily Bubble Tea, and his soon-to-be wife, Cathy. We had the pleasure of riding the train back to Taipei with them. They are a cute couple. Their wedding day is quickly approaching. Check out Todd's blog for some stunning photos.

The man with the plan. M.J. pulled off another great shindig. Thanks pal.

Monday, October 20, 2008

An Afternoon in Sijhih

I'm back...I love this blogging stuff, just been uninspired lately. Catherine & I have decided to get back into the day-trip mode. We are going to make a concerted effort to make Sundays our day to explore. The weather has been just about perfect lately and we are ready to take advantage of it.

Here we go...

One of Catherine's co-workers suggested that we check out a place called Sijhih, it's about 30 minutes outside Taipei City. Her co-worker is a member of hiking club and highly recommended the mountain trails just outside of the city. We set off at about 1p.m., anticipating a nice respite from the hustle and bustle of the big city.

We stepped off the train and Catherine went to work trying to figure out how and where to catch the proper bus to take us to the hiking/temple area.

Sadly, the bus driver told us that we were too late in the day to take on the serious trails but he would take us to the temple area. This is the starting point of most of the trails. We could mosey around the area and enjoy the scenery. It would have to suffice since we got such a late start.

Outside the temple the kids had these nifty little motor-driven animal thingies.

Not one of the prettier temples I have seen. The color scheme was a tad bit frenetic for my tastes. A bizarre mix of staid statuesque figures and finger paintings.

Preparing to make a climb up to another temple. Cath looks as cute as a bug, as usual. What's the deal with my hair?

Pondering our next move...

My attempt to be creative. Didn't nail it, but it's kinda cool. If you look closely, you can see Catherine in the mirror.

Overlooking the city. A hazy day makes for some not-so-sexy photos.

The temple area was interesting but kinda boring. We high-tailed it out of there. On our way back to the train station we came across a nice little market.

This is Catherine's territory. She loves haggling with the vendors for her coveted vegetables. It's fun to watch her wheel and deal.

This little girl was mesmerized by the fish heads. She stood there for several minutes anticipating something...not sure if she expected them to talk or perhaps sing and dance?

What a cute little kid! His mom and dad were furiously prepping and selling while he surveyed the scene.

Couldn't resist snapping a shot of these little fellers...Yuck!

We had an enjoyable afternoon. It would've been more fun if we had hit the trails, but there's plenty of time for that in the next few months!

Next week, we are heading down to Hsinchu for the annual Blogger party. I am certain it will be a good time for all. Check back soon for all the gory details...

Sunday, September 28, 2008

Teacher's Day Goodies

Today is Teacher's Day here in Taiwan. Yes, there is an official holiday to honor teachers and it's a wonderful gesture.

It was established in 1939 and coincides with the birthday of Confucius. Here is a excerpt on the topic from Wikipedia:

"The day honors teachers' virtues, pains, and also their contribution not only to their own students but also to the whole society. People often make use of the day to express their gratitude to their teachers, such as paying them a visit or sending them a card. This date was chosen to commemorate the birth of Confucius, believed to be the model master educator in ancient China."

My students & employer went above and beyond the call of duty this year. I received tons and tons of chocolate goodness from several of my students and a really cool thumb drive for my computer from the boss lady. The thumb drive, or USB drive, has my name on it...I like it!

It's always great to get stuff from the kids, it makes me feel like a million bucks. I love my job so the gifts are icing on the cake.

Monday, September 15, 2008

This Says It All

Wake up America! Palin is NOT the answer.

p.s. Eerie how much Tina Fey looks like Palin, eh?

Sunday, September 14, 2008

Cats, Dogs & Buckets

Rain, rain & more rain. We're coming to the end of the third day of non-stop rain. Last I heard we had over 10 inches on Saturday...crazy stuff. This is a brought to us by Typhoon Sinlaku, a nasty storm that has managed to sit off the coast of Taiwan and thoroughly drench Taipei.

Sinlaku has not been all that bad. The winds have not been too ferocious. I expected lots more.

The government here is seriously skittish about typhoons. As a result, we have enjoyed a three-day weekend. If there is a decent chance we could be in the path of the storm, they cancel all schools and complaints here!

You'd think I would have taken advantage of these past few days of no responsibilities...not so Catherine and I have managed to be as unproductive as is humanly possible. We have watched tons of TV and had our fair share of naps. I did manage to get some work done for my adult class, but I haven't been too motivated. I think I needed this time to decompress. The past 6 weeks at work have been grueling.

It's still coming down. I am gonna have to swim to work tomorrow!