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October 25, 2006 - Guyuan, China


Liupan Mountain

Visit from a Laowai

My program director from VIA, Michelle, stopped in Guyuan for a whirlwind visit on Monday. The visit nicely coincided with the nastiest weather we have seen in a month - I’m sure she didn’t mean it.

Rain, chilly temperatures and a nice dollop of dreary.

Plenty of glad-handing with the school leaders, a few very tame banquets (tame doesn’t begin to describe these psuedo-banquets - the dice didn’t make an appearance and there wasn’t a drop of baijiu to be had) and a quick walk to a section of the old city wall later she was in a school car, off to Yinchuan.

Earthquake Redux

So the buzz survived the weekend.

It seems that it even grew - so much in fact that the school administration held another meeting this afternoon.

They’ve pulled a 180 on their previous stance and are now giving recommendations to classroom head teachers on earthquake safety.


The Stomach Ailment

Of course, arriving at the same time as the blech weather and Michelle was a stomach bug. Let me reiterate that it was not me on my deathbed.

I told Ms. Wang I wasn’t feeling top-notch.

Ms. Wang saw this as an emergency.

“But I think you’re very strong, and if you are ill in the stomach then it must be serious.”

I realized the err of my ways - namely to let her know that I was experiencing the slightest bit of unease.

“No, no. I’m fine! I just don’t think I am going to eat lunch.”

Wrong tact. Really wrong. Not eating lunch must be code for “my-insides-are-being-dissolved-by-a-flesh-eating-bacteria” here.

I saw her eyes pop.

“No lunch?!?!”


“We will get you medicine!”

From what I hear, medicine means IV’s and sulfa-drugs and hospital stays.

It took me 5 minutes to squirm my way out of that - mainly by insisting I was only joking and would like to rest and have a small lunch at home.

Remind me not to get sick.

» Link lovin’

Stunning Blue Sky - Wow. Saturation. Time. Geometry. All framed by cold precision of annihilation. Those lines are the streaks of 8 Peacekeeper missles performing a hellish ballet.

Firefox 2.0 Storms the Block - Firefox 2 is out. Get a line on the hottest new plug-ins.

24 Shill - Ugg… I hate shilling for networks but the new trailer is out…

Pigeon v. Pelican - The pigeon looks calmly reserved to its fate.

Libravox: Listen and Read - A fantastic resource of recordings of books in the public domain. You can even help by reading books aloud or listening to pending submissions. Cool stuff.

Dawkins Does it Again - “…gains crucial electoral support from a religious constituency whose grip on reality is so tenuous that they expect to be ‘raptured’ up to heaven, leaving their clothes as empty as their minds.”

iPod Light Show - A nice tutorial on those spiffy light streats for the nano commercials. Now we just need a new “Star Wars Kid” to add them to.

Safire on Email - The eternal struggle, to say “hello,” a name or dive right in. I think I prefer the dive right in.

» The Jetsam of Note

From a fellow VIA vol, via Reuters.

“Last month, a court in the eastern province of Zhejiang ordered a group of eight friends to pay compensation after a guest they made drink too much at a banquet collapsed and died.”

That’s right - they made a guest keel over and croak. Sounds familiar - it’s “Chinese Hospitality!”

I think it's sad that the millions of Christians in our country are so undescerning that they actually think Bush is one of them. The counterfeit Christianity pervading our government (and the Catholic Church) is only used to gain political standing. Bush's idea of so-called "Intelligent Design" is a far cry from true Creationism. Even Satanists call their god "the Great Universal Architect." The "Christianity" in our government is a two-faced fraudulant guise, and our country would be better off without it. IMHO.

Oh, by the way, hope you're feeling better!

- Siobhan on a Thursday
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