30 December 2007

29 December 2007

New Google Talk bots bring real-time translation to IM

New chat bots can be added to translate Google Talk (or Pidgin or Adium) chats in real time. As we expected, Google's automated translation yields mixed results, but it's a big step in the right direction.

read more | digg story

28 December 2007

404: Not Found

The requested blog entry was not found on this server. There are so many reasons that this might have happened we can scarcely bring ourselves to type them all out. You might have typed the URL incorrectly, for instance. Or (less likely but certainly plausible) we might have coded the URL incorrectly. Or (far less plausible, but theoretically possible, depending on which ill-defined Grand Unifying Theory of physics one subscribes to), some random fluctuation in the space-time continuum might have produced a shatteringly brief but nonetheless real electromagnetic discombobulation which caused this error page to appear. Or (and truth be told, this is by far the most likely scenario) you might have reached a page that we meant to create but didn't get around to it. But in all actuality I just wanted to try something clever for the 404th blog entry to this blog.

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27 December 2007

A New Goal

In the last week I learned that I am only 15# away from my brother's current weight. My brother has never been overweight in his life, and with him being 1.5 years younger than me, I have never weighed less than him. So my new goal, for 2008, is to be under his weight of 182# the next time we meet up, which may be some time. This is a goal that I am very excited about!

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14 December 2007

Ecumenical Buddhism

So, I have to admit that I have found the new blog, Ecumenical Buddhism very interesting. As my friend Bryan and I were discussing earlier today, there are some very interesting parallels and similarities in Buddhism and Orthodox Christianity. From vegetarian monks in monasteries to prayer ropes to iconography to incense, etc. there is more alike than one might at first assume. Of course, I am not going so far to compare the two religions as the blog, Ecumenical Buddhism, does, but I must say that the author writes a very interesting blog with many interesting topics, whether one agrees with its syncretism or not.

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09 December 2007

197#!

Today when I weighed myself, I was down to 197 pounds. It feels so good to be on the opposite side of 200# and staying there. To be fair, I did gain some weight upon returning to America, and being sick has probably helped me lose… but sticking with a vegetarian diet and only drinking water for the most part is definitely helping.

At this point I do not plan on setting a goal for the end of 2008 as I did for the end of 2007 (199# was my 2007 goal, requiring me to lose almost 100# in 2007!), but I would like to continue to lose, as having more energy, strength, and looking better are all positives that I am enjoying and how to continue enjoying with increased vigor.

The other good thing about this is that my calculated BMI was over 40 before and now is under 30. My waist size has also gone from nearing 50 to under 40 as well.


06 December 2007

☭ Is China Communist? Not as much as America! ☭

Is the People's Republic of China (PRC) or the United States of America (USA) more communist when it comes to socialized government services for the people?

Socialized Medicine?
  • China – No.
  • U.S.A. – Yes, for the poor and elderly currently.
Social Security?
  • China – No.
  • U.S.A. – Yes.
Taxpayer Funded Government Schools?
  • China – No.
  • U.S.A. - Yes.
Welfare via Robin Hood Taxation?
  • China – No.
  • U.S.A. – Yes.
So what exactly is it about communism that America opposes?

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05 December 2007

豪杰 (HaoJie) Part 5: "Being Called HaoJie Every Day"

Ever since CHEN JunYu knew of the Chinese name of HaoJie that TAN LiYuan gave me in May, she has called me by this name. I kind of got used to it in China, as she called me by this name and her sister called me HaoJie Gege, but now that I am back in America, each morning when I call CHEN JunYu, I get called by this name, so I am getting used to it here too.

BTW If any of you are ever considering calling China or any other country, I suggest using Nuvio VOIP, as with Nuvio I only pay $0.02 USD, while Verizon, my cell phone provider wants to charge me $1.92 USD!

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04 December 2007

Forget This!

Putting my dugg stories here was a big mistake I think. It buries (Digg pun not intended) the stories about my personal life, which is why people come here in the first place, I believe. So I am moving my dugg stories back to "This Too Was Dugg By…" at http://nstanosheck.wordpress.com

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03 December 2007

Jet Lag Concluded

Finally last night I got a full night's sleep! I went to bed at 18:00 yesterday after work and then awoke at 03:00 for a full 9 hours of uninterrupted rest! Unfortunately the lines to China seem to be down so I was unable to call JunYu this morning. :-(

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02 December 2007

Something New Is Brewing This December

This December stand up with your fellow Americans make a friendly, fun, and loud statement for freedom. Help us celebrate the Anniversary of the Boston Tea Party by sending our elected leaders a very special gift. A gift that symbolizes American Freedom, and our will to protect it!

read more | digg story

01 December 2007

The Great Movement of Restoring Authentic Chinese Clothing

The main supporters of the restoring of authentic Chinese Clothing are young Chinese people who belong to the Han(漢) nation (the main peoples of China). These young Chinese people include college students and white-collar persons because they have enough time and energy to exchange thoughts by Internet and bring their ideas into effect…

read more | digg story

30 November 2007

Senate Bill to Criminalize Thoughts, Blogs, Books and Free Speech

The end of Free Speech in America has arrived at our doorstep. It's a new law called the Violent Radicalization and Homegrown Terrorism Prevention Act, and it is worded in a clever way that could allow the U.S. government to arrest and incarcerate any individual who speaks out against the Bush Administration, the war on Iraq, the Department of

read more | digg story

Jet Lag Part Two

So it is Friday morning after 5:30 a.m. and I still have not gotten to sleep. Tomorrow is going to suck… HARD!

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Jet Lag

When I flew to China, I arrived tired, and went to sleep early that first night at about 20:30, and awoke at around 3:30 the next morning, but after that I returned to a sleep pattern of going to sleep at 22:30 each night and waking at 6:30 each morning. So jet lag was not too much of an issue although I did get very sleepy every afternoon at 16:30 for some reason. But on my return home to America, I find myself unable to go to sleep before midnight and so tired in the afternoon that I must simply nap for a few hours and wake up feeling like crap! This jet lag sucks!

So tomorrow, I am going to awake at 6:30 in the morning, take my daughter to school, go to my restaurant for some breakfast, and spend much of the day walking, in hopes that it will keep me awake and allow me to get plenty of sleep tomorrow ^later tonight. I have to be at work early this Saturday morning, so I need my regular sleeping pattern stat!

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22 November 2007

20 November 2007

Thanksgiving in China

Thanksgiving is an American holiday. How can it be connected in any tangible way to people living on the opposite side of the world, in abject poverty, groveling under the tyranny of Communism? And yet I think that the kernel of this story, the very heart and meaning of it, comes clearly into view when we compare China with America at Thanksgiving.

read more | digg story

19 November 2007

First Step to Reunite Roman Catholic and Orthodox Churches

Efforts to reunite the Roman Catholic and Orthodox churches, split for nearly 1,000 years, took a cautious step forward as a joint commission agreed that the pope has primacy over bishops of both churches.

read more | digg story

Having Lots of Kids Helps Dads Live to 100

A young, trim farmer with four or more children: According to a new study, that's the ideal profile for American men hoping to reach 100 years of age.

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Announcing the Terra Soft Solutions 2007 Holiday Gift Box for under $100 U.S.!

I want one! The Terra Soft 2007 Holiday Gift Box is now available from the TSS Store. It includes a wonderful assembly of Yellow Dog goodies including YDL 5.0.2 (PS3/Mac Install & Source DVDs), Getting Started with YDL book, YDL Coffee Mug, YDL T-shirt, YDL Zipper Case, Flippy Flier, 2 YDL Stickers, YDL Beanie, and Delicious, Colorado Cherry Company jelly.

read more | digg story

Philosophy of Anarchy..It's catching on! Provocative piece

"No sane person believes that anarchy generates order. The idea that anarchy could be superior to government in some cases seems even more absurd .... Self-governance, however, might work better than you think"........ Read on with an open mind. Very intriguing and thought provoking.

read more | digg story

Wal-mart's "Secret Sale" on PS3, 15 free Blu-Ray Movies !

On 11/24 at 8:00am (running through 11:59pm on 11/25), the 80GB PS3 ($499) will come with 10 FREE Blu-ray movies instantly. You choose any 10 BD titles under $30 within the store and they will override the prices to zero. For those stores that carry BD already, additional titles are being sent in for the sale. And you still get 5 free movies by mail too!

read more | digg story

18 November 2007

Updated Weight Chart

My Weight Chart:
Weight Chart


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201#!

Only 2 pounds to go! My original idea was to be down to 199 lbs. by Thanksgiving and I may make it yet! So for those counting, I have lost at least 80 pounds since I started tracking it in April!

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U.S. Government Considers US Constitution "Terrorist Literature"

The U.S. Government now officially considers people who "make numerous references to the Constitution" to be "potential terrorists" (Google Video)

read more | digg story

15 November 2007

Hitting the Open Source Road With a Linux-Powered Driverless Vehicle

"Any time something creative is done with Linux on Power, it showcases a unique solution and stimulates others to also think outside of the box to recognize that we can choose to live in an other than Wintel world and still be viable, even thrive," Kai Staats, CEO of Terra Soft Solutions...

read more | digg story

14 November 2007

Li Ching-Yuen

Li Ching-Yuen or Li Ching Yun (Pinyin: lǐ qīng yún; Traditional Chinese: 李清雲) (Szechuan, China, 1677 A.D. - 1933 A.D.) is said to be one of the oldest persons who ever lived in our century, dying at 256 years of age.

Li Chung Yun was born in 1677 in Chyi Jiang Hsie, Szechuan province. He spent most of his life in the mountain ranges gathering herbs and knowledge of longevity methods.
In 1748, when he was 71 years old, moved to Kai Hsien to join the Chinese army as teacher of the martial arts and as a tactical advisor.

In 1927 Li Ching-Yuen was invited by General Yang Sen to visit him in Wann Hsien, Szechuan. The general was fascinated by his youthfulness, strength and prowess in spite of his advanced age. His famous photo was obtained there.
Returning home, he died a year later, some say of natural causes, others claim that he told friends that "I have done all I have to do in this world. I will now go home.", and then allowed his spirit to depart.

After Li's death, General Yang Sen investigated the truth about his claimed background and age. He wrote a report that was later published. In 1933, people interviewed from his home province remembered seeing him when they were children, and that he hadn't aged much during their lifetime. Others reported that he had been friends with their grandfathers. The truth about his long life may never be solved.

The Time Magazine article says that in 1930 Professor Wu Chung-chieh, from Chengdu University, found records from the Chinese Imperial Government congratulating Li Ching Yuen in his 150th birthday in 1827.

In his book "Ancient Secrets of Youth" Peter Kelder brings a remarkable tale about Li Ching Yuen, told by one of his disciples, the Taiji Quan Master Da Liu. He told that at 130 years old Master Li encountered an older hermit in the mountains who taught him Baguazhang and a set of Qigong with breathing instructions, movements training coordinated with specific sounds, and dietary recommendations. Da Liu reports that his master's said that his longevity "is due to the fact that I performed the exercises every day - regularly, correctly, and with sincerity - for 120 years."
Dr. Yang Jwing-Ming, in his book "Muscle/Tendon Changing and Marrow/Brain Washing Chi Kung." says that Li Ching-Yuen was a Chinese herbalist skilled in Qigong who spent most of his life in the mountains. In 1927 the National Revolutionary Army General Yang Sen (揚森), invited him to his residence in Wann Hsien, Szechuan province, where the picture shown in this article was taken.

Chinese General Yang Sen wrote a report about him, "A Factual Account of the 250 Year-Old Good-Luck Man.", where he described Li Ching Yuen's appearance: "He has good eyesight and a brisk stride; Li stands seven feet tall, has very long fingernails, and a ruddy complexion."

Stuart Alve Olson wrote in 2002 the book "Qigong Teachings of a Taoist Immortal: The Eight Essential Exercises of Master Li Ching-Yun". In this book he teaches the practice of the "Eight Brocade Qigong" learned with the Taiji Quan Master T. T. Liang (Liang Tung Tsai), who learned it from the General Yang Sen.

The praticants of Jiulong Baguazhang, also known as Nine Dragon Eight Diagram Palm, claims that his art was conceived by the Daoist sage Li Ching-Yuen (follow the reference among the "External links").

The Taoist Master Liu Pai Lin (劉百齡), who inhabited São Paulo, Brazil, from 1975 until 2000, had in his classroom another photograph of Master Li Ching Yuen unknown in occident. In this photo his face is clearly visible, as are his long and curled fingernails. Master Liu had met him personally in China, and considered him as one of his Masters. He used to say that Master Li answered to him that the fundamental taoist practice is learn to keep the "Emptiness" (Wu Wei). Master Liu's son, Master Liu Chih Ming, teaches in CEMETRAC the 12 Silks Qigong, as transmitted by Master Li.
[edit]Chinese herbalist

Li Ching-Yuen is also reported to be a real Chinese herbalist, proponent of the use of Gotu Kola and others Chinese herbs to conquer longevity.

An interesting sidelight was thrown upon the unique properties of fo-ti-tieng (Gotu Kola) by a 107 year old Indian sage named Nanddo Narian, who claimed that the herb provides the missing ingredient in a man's diet, without which, he can never control disease and decay. He found it to be, in practice, the finest of all herbal tonics and nutrients.

The results of the studies performed upon Gotu Kola by the French in Algeria revealed what appears to be a new vitamin not known in any other food or herb. It was described as the "youth vitamin X" that exerts a rejuvenating influence upon the ductless glands, the healthy functioning of which is, the means by which the brain and body are maintained for healthy activity.

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13 November 2007

Fedora 8 sees strong adoption in first week

Fedora 8 has been installed over 54,000 times since its release last week according to statistics from Red Hat.

read more | digg story

One Laptop Per Child Now On Sale

For a donation of $399, one XO laptop will be sent to empower a child in a developing nation and one will be sent to the child in your life in recognition of your contribution. $200 of your donation is tax-deductible (your $399 donation minus the fair market value of the XO laptop you will be receiving). Between November 12 and November 26.

read more | digg story

12 November 2007

Linux Goes Hollywood With New Terra Soft Film Rendering Tool

Y-Film is a product formed from two separate applications. First is a cluster construction suite supported by TerraSoft's Y-HPC platform. The second is the Artist Productivity and Asset Management Tools developed by Scott Frankel, president of Circle-S Studios and the lead developer of Y-Film. The tool set runs on x86 or Power Linux and  Mac OS X.

read more | digg story

08 November 2007

Fedora 8 Officially released!

One of the most impressive new features included in Fedora 8 is the PulseAudio sound daemon, which will allow users to set the volume for each application individually, move streams between devices, redirect audio streams to other computers on the local network, and much more.

read more | digg story

HOW-TO: Learn (But Not Master) Any Language in 1 Hour

Secrets Unlocked to learning new languages

read more | digg story

06 November 2007

Another Reason the Apple Macintosh is Superior…

Power adaptability from 110v to 140v (AC) without any adapter is not an often touted advantage, but a very important one to world travelers!

read more | digg story

04 November 2007

PS3 enters DARPA Urban Challenge

Terrasoft Solutions posted an article on their development of a stereo vision object detection system built upon Sony'sPS3 for Axion Racing's entry into the DARPA Urban Challenge.The PS3 running Yellow Dog Linux replaced one of the on-boardDell servers to process the realtime stereoscopic sensor data.

read more | digg story

The State of the Linux Gaming Industry

When I read reports on the Linux gaming industry, I can't help but wonder where the Linux gamers are at? Can we find them on the Nintendo Wii or perhaps the Playstation 3 (PS3)? After all, I have heard that PS3 actually works rather well with Yellow Dog Linux.

read more | digg story

HOW-TO: Yellow Dog Linux 5.0.2 W/ WIFI!!!!!!

How to install on PS3

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Supercomputing with a stack of PlayStations

Khanna's system runs Yellow Dog Linux, chosen because there is a PS3-centric version.

read more | digg story

Diggity: Digg Dugg

I am no longer having a separate blog for my stories that I really digg at digg.com, so effective immediately, said stories will be posted here from digg. You can see my old dugg stories blog at http://nstanosheck.wordpress.com for more details.

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31 October 2007

3-week vegetarian diet

My original goal was to be down to 199 lbs. by Thanksgiving. I later changed that to the end of the year, giving me a little over a month more to lose the 81+ lbs. that was my goal for this year. Well, in hopes of reaching my original goal of 199 lbs. by Thanksgiving, I decided as of last night to go on a 3-week vegetarian diet. As it works out it will then end the night I fly out of Denver for Las Vegas, then BeiJing, and then ChangSha. (Although I had considered starting KungFu earlier, I have decided to wait until after my trip to China.) I am frustrated being stuck here at around 209 lbs. and want to start losing weight, mass and inches again! I also want to kiss the 200's goodbye for good.

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27 October 2007

I Dugg This




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09 October 2007

It's a Sin, Pet Shop Boys

When I look back upon my life,
it's always with a sense of shame,
I've always been the one to blame.

For everything I long to do,
no matter when, or where, or who,
has one thing in common, too…

It's a, it's a, it's a, it's a sin.
It's a sin.

Everything I've ever done,
everything I ever do,
every place I've ever been,
everywhere I'm going to…
It's a sin.

At school they taught me how to be,
so pure in thought and word and deed.
They didn't quite succeed.

For everything I long to do,
no matter when, or where, or who,
Has one thing in common, too…

It's a, it's a, it's a, it's a sin.
It's a sin, It's a sin.

Everything I've ever done,
everything I ever do,
every place I've ever been,
everywhere I'm going to…
It's a sin.

Father, forgive me,
I tried not to do it.
Turned over a new leaf,
then tore right through it.
Whatever you taught me,
I didn't believe it.
Father, you fought me,
'cause I didn't care,
and I still don't understand!

So I look back upon my life,
forever with a sense of shame,
I've always been the one to blame.

For everything I long to do,
no matter when, or where, or who,
has one thing in common, too…

It's a, it's a, it's a, it's a sin.
It's a sin, it's a sin.

Everything I've ever done,
everything I ever do,
every place I've ever been,
everywhere I'm going to…
It's a sin.

It's a, it's a, it's a, it's a sin.

It's a, it's a, it's a, it's a sin.

Confiteor Deo omnipotenti vobis fratres,
quia peccavi nimis cogitatione,
verbo, opere et omissione,
mea culpa, mea culpa, mea maxima culpa.
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08 October 2007

210#!

70 pounds (31.75kg) later, I have 11 pounds (5kg) to go to make my year-end goal (though ideally I have always wanted to have it all lost by American Thanksgiving)! I am very happy about this, but am afraid that the next 11 pounds (5kg) will be the hardest yet to lose.

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21 September 2007

WTF God, really, WTF?

Yesterday at work the safe fell on me. This morning the microwave at work exploded and started billowing smoke clouds, and tonight my car alarm stopped accepting the signals from my 2 remotes, even when I put new batteries in them. WTF God, really, WTF?

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08 September 2007

I'm a Cool Light-Weight Nerd


NerdTests.com says I'm a Cool Light-Weight Nerd.  What are you?  Click here!


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My Bike Was Stolen! :-(

My Schwinn Corvette classic bicycle has been stolen from my covered deck/porch, so I ask for prayers for the thief who thought that he desperately needed it more than me. Thankfully, my daughter's bike, which was chained to it, was not stolen.

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01 September 2007

HOW-TO: Pinyin Pronunciation Guide

Key to Chinese Phonetic Alphabet
a as in fah
ai as in
aisle
an as in
land
ang a as in
fah and ng as in sing
ao like the
au's in sauerkraut
b- like the
p in spay, or akin to b in bay
c- like
t's-h in it's hell, but with more breath
ch- like the
ch-h in teach him, but with the tongue tip curled far back and with more breath
d- like the
t in stay, or akin to d in day
e like the British
err, but spoken with tenser muscle
ei as in
eight
en and in
end, sometimes like the un in unfit
eng as in
length, sometimes like ung in lunger like the American err, but spoken with tenser muscle
f- as in
foolg- like the k in skate, or akin to g in gateh- as in hayi as in machine-i (after z-, c-, s-, zh, ch-, sh-, r-) a vowel produced by keeping the manner for the preceding consonant
ia = i + a (like
Yah in Yahweh)ian = i + en (like yen)iang = i + ang
iao = i + ao (like
yow in yowl)ie = i + e (like yeh)in like ining as in singiong = i + ong
iu = i + (o)u (like
you or yoo in yoo-hoo)
j- like
tch in itching, or akin to j in jeepk- as in kerb, but with a stronger aspiration
l- as in
letm- as in may
n as in
net or in pin-ng as in sing (also forming a few independent exclamations)
ong like
oo in hood and ng in singou as in soulp- as in put, but with a stronger aspiration
q- like
ch in cheap, but with more breath
r- like the r in
crew, but with the tongue tip curled far back
-r a weak form of
er (many Southerners speak Chinese without this suffix)
s- as in
seesh- like the sh in shoe, but with the tongue tip curled far back
t- as in
turn, but with stronger aspiration
u as in
rule, but with more lip-rounding
� (=yu): made by producing the
i of machine with the lips rounded as for the oo of ooze (written as u after j, q, x, y)
ua = u + a (like
wa in wahoo)uai = u + ai (like Wye)uan = u + an (or � + an after j, q, x, y)
uang + u + ang
ue = � + e
ui = u + ei (like
weigh)un = u + n
uo = u + o (like
w-awe)w- as in woolx- like sh in shey- as in yearnz- like t's in it's ours, or akin to ds in bedszh- like j in just, but with the tongue tip curled far back

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26 August 2007

My conversion to Linux is 90% complete!

I am only booting up in to my Mac OS X partition to listen to my msongs, watch my movies, and other DRM-filled items like some PodCasts that I got from the iTunes store. Otherwise, it is all Yellow Dog Linux, baby!

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20 August 2007

Oops!

I realized I have not shared any pictures of CHEN YuLing, so here is one of the latest photos that she sent me yesterday.


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15 August 2007

My HOW-TO: Was Published on TerraSoftSolutions.com!

Here is the snippet and a link to my personal Yellow Dog Solution:

TOPIC: Get Chinese Characters to Appear Properly in Firefox in Yellow Dog Linux v5

Introduction

Unfortunately, even with the Chinese Language installation installed, Chinese will not appear properly in Firefox under Yellow Dog Linux v5, so I have written the steps needed to make it work for you.

14 August 2007

100 Days … and counting!

In 100 days and about 10 minutes, God Willing, my plane will land in Hong Kong, A Special Autonomomous Region (SAR) of the People's Republic of China (PRC)!

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09 August 2007

我最光荣属于预定!

我最光荣属于预定! 11月20日到11月27日我会在中华人民共和国.是的,这意味着金秋节感恩会发生在美国期间,我缺席.也许我能找到一些前爱国者庆祝?

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220#! FTW!

I forgot to mention it earlier, but I have reached my next milestone of 220 pounds (just under 100 kg). Yay!

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30 July 2007

Snow Patrol Chasing Cars

We'll do it all,
everything,
on our own

We don't need
anything
or anyone

If I lay here;
if I just lay here;
would you lie with me
and just forget the world?

I don't quite know
how to say
how I feel

Those three words
are said too much;
they're not enough

If I lay here;
if I just lay here;
would you lie with me
and just forget the world?

Forget what we're told;
before we get too old;
Show me a garden
that's bursting into life

Let's waste time
chasing cars
around our heads

I need your grace
to remind me
to find my own

If I lay here
if I just lay here
would you lie with me
and just forget the world?

Forget what we're told;
before we get too old;
show me a garden
that's bursting into life

All that I am;
all that I ever was;
Is here in your perfect eyes,
they're all I can see

I don't know where;
confused about how as well;
just know that these things
will never change for us at all

If I lay here;
if I just lay here;
would you lie with me
and just forget the world?
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Hmm… Time For GongFu?

I plateaued for a while at 260#, 250#, 240#, 230#, and now again at 225#. So I think it is time to add more physical activity to my life to make losing go more quickly again. After all I desire to reach my goal of 199# before the end of this year, if not sooner.

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春,夏,秋季,冬季…春季

我曾经历过复活节的春天 我经历了漫长的夏季,而正确的,现在比什么都重要, 我正在等待我的秋天. 然后我会在冬天和春天又一个新的东西是更好,更强大,比任何动物,我曾 以往. 上帝,请让我在这个周期.
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22 July 2007

The Repose of my Maternal Grandfather

Last week I was in Nebraska for my mother's surprise 60th party, and stopped to say a final goodbye to my maternal grandfather in the hospital. Yesterday morning he reposed and tomorrow I will start my journey back for the Wednesday funeral. I thank everyone who has prayed for my grandfather, Durward's health, and I would ask prayers for the repose of his soul in addition to prayers for safe journeys for all of my family members and I over the next week. Thank you all in advance.

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Picture: A Great World Map of Faiths

The 2003 Atlas of Faith from Encyclopedia Britannica is a great resource for anyone. Bookmark it for the future.


The 2003 Atlas of Faith from Encyclopedia Britannica is a great resource for anyone.


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Too lazy to research a candidate?

Just tell the computer what's important to you. This is a really simple way to find out which candidates share your views....

My Results:
  • Paul 42 Death Penalty, Net Neutrality, Minimum Wage Increase, Same-Sex Constitutional Ban
  • Thompson 13 Embryonic Stem Cells, Guantanamo, Net Neutrality, Iraq Troop Surge, Minimum Wage Increase
  • Brownback 12 Death Penalty, No Child Left Behind, Patriot Act, Guantanamo, Citizenship Path for Illegals, Net Neutrality, Iraq War, Minimum Wage Increase
  • Cox 11 Death Penalty, Assault Weapons Ban, Guns - Background Checks, Iraq War, Iraq Withdrawal, Minimum Wage Increase
  • Tancredo 8 Patriot Act, Guantanamo, Torture, Wiretapping, Iran Sanctions, Iran - Military Action, Iraq War, Iraq Withdrawal, Minimum Wage Increase
  • Huckabee 8 No Child Left Behind, Patriot Act, Guantanamo, Citizenship Path for Illegals, Iraq War, Iraq Troop Surge, Iraq Withdrawal
  • Kucinich 5 Abortion Rights, Death Penalty, No Child Left Behind, Embryonic Stem Cells, ANWR Drilling, Kyoto, Assault Weapons Ban, Guns - Background Checks, Citizenship Path for Illegals, Same-Sex Marriage, Same-Sex Civil Union, Same-Sex Constitutional Ban, Universal Healthcare
  • Biden 1 Abortion Rights, No Child Left Behind, Embryonic Stem Cells, ANWR Drilling, Assault Weapons Ban, Guns - Background Checks, Patriot Act, Citizenship Path for Illegals, Iran Sanctions, Same-Sex Constitutional Ban
  • Romney 1 No Child Left Behind, Assault Weapons Ban, Patriot Act, Guantanamo, Torture, Wiretapping, Iran Sanctions, Iran - Military Action, Iraq War, Iraq Troop Surge, Iraq Withdrawal
  • McCain 0
  • Hunter -1
  • Dodd -4
  • Obama -5
  • Clinton -5
  • Gravel -7
  • Edwards -9
  • Richardson -11
  • Giuliani -30

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06 July 2007

From the mouth of babes ...

The funniest question came out of the mouth of Derek & Mindy's 5 year old son, Zachary, the other day.

It was, "Dad, why is Nicholas so cool?" I thought it was funny, but also astonished that this 5 year old child looks up to me so much. Kids are so cool. :-D

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25 June 2007

The unexpected 50

I was not going to do a weight update for a while, until I hit 220 pounds/100 kg but then I realized today at noon when I weighed in at 230 pounds/104 kg, that this meant that I have lost 50 pounds/23kg already! That is pretty momentous, so you get a unscheduled weight update today!

This means to maintain my current weight, I need to eat 2458 calories a day, but I am continuing to try and keep my daily caloric intake at 1500 calories, which in theory should allow me to lose just shy of 1/3 of a pound (5 1/3 ounce)/0.15 kg a day with my swimming laps for 1 hour on my 2 days off each week.

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22 June 2007

The Naming Muse and the Agreeing Shopkeeper

After many requests for pictures of some of my friends in China, I am complying and posting a picture of TAN LiYuan and CHEN SiFang.



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17 June 2007

The 235# Clarification

First off Happy Father's Day to all of the other fathers out there. Both the fathers of adopted and biological children, as well as to all of the Orthodox Christian presbyters and deacons.

Secondly, I never mentioned my exact weight in my last blog entry. I am down to 235 pounds/107 kilograms, so that means so far I have lost 45 lbs/20 kg so far this year.

For international visitors: Both "#" and "lbs" are abbreviations for pounds in the American Imperial weight system.

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16 June 2007

Under 240# and I really have missed ...

... swimming! Today it was 79°F/26°C and my back was sore so I felt like swimming. My apartment complex has a private swimming pool and thankfully due to the cloud cover no one was in it, so for over an hour I did laps in the pool. Before my suspension, as an active clergyman, I could not go swimming in public places, and so I avoided using the pool.

Yesterday was my birthday, but I consider the vacant pool a birthday gift from God one day late. :-) At the end a black gentleman came in to the pool, but as I suspected, he went no further than waist-deep, so it did not interrupt my laps in the 6 foot water on the other side of the pool.

After swimming for over an hour I am exhausted and am going to go to bed after some I eat some vegetarian sesame noodles.

For those wondering how my weight loss is going, I am now under 240 pounds/109 kg so I have passed my half-way point in the amount of weight that I want to lose! Another birthday present of sorts, I guess you could say. For those keeping track, I started my weight loss program when I was 280 lbs/127 kg and would like to be under 200 lbs/91 kg by the end of this year.

The next milestone I am likely to report on will be 220 pounds/100 kg.

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14 June 2007

Leonard Cohen's Best Metaphorical Song, "Everybody Knows"

Everybody knows that the dice are loaded
Everybody rolls with their fingers crossed
Everybody knows that the war is over
Everybody knows the good guys lost
Everybody knows the fight was fixed
The poor stay poor, the rich get rich
That's how it goes
Everybody knows

Everybody knows that the boat is leaking
Everybody knows that the captain lied
Everybody got this broken feeling
Like their father or their dog just died

Everybody talking to their pockets
Everybody wants a box of chocolates
And a long stem rose
Everybody knows

Everybody knows that you love me baby
Everybody knows that you really do
Everybody knows that you've been faithful
Ah give or take a night or two
Everybody knows you've been discreet
But there were so many people you just had to meet
Without your clothes
And everybody knows

Everybody knows, everybody knows
That's how it goes
Everybody knows

Everybody knows, everybody knows
That's how it goes
Everybody knows

And everybody knows that it's now or never
Everybody knows that it's me or you
And everybody knows that you live forever
Ah when you've done a line or two
Everybody knows the deal is rotten
Old Black Joe's still pickin' cotton
For your ribbons and bows
And everybody knows

And everybody knows that the Plague is coming
Everybody knows that it's moving fast
Everybody knows that the naked man and woman
Are just a shining artifact of the past
Everybody knows the scene is dead
But there's gonna be a meter on your bed
That will disclose
What everybody knows

And everybody knows that you're in trouble
Everybody knows what you've been through
From the bloody cross on top of Calvary
To the beach of Malibu
Everybody knows it's coming apart
Take one last look at this Sacred Heart
Before it blows
And everybody knows

Everybody knows, everybody knows
That's how it goes
Everybody knows

Oh everybody knows, everybody knows
That's how it goes
Everybody knows

Everybody knows
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13 June 2007

Judging People By Their Appearances

Today at work we had a perfect example of why you should not judge people based on their appearances. An elderly man came in and was extremely rude to everyone, made outrageous demands, argued the prices, etc. Right behind him were 3 punks with various piercings, including gauged ears, and very stereotypical punk clothing and hair. Yet these 3 guys were extremely polite, sat down to let us take care of the older man's every request and then tipped us with their change. My boss and I both used to be in that scene, but we did not treat them any different than we treated the older man or any other customer, yet they were the example of how to treat others, while the man with many more years in his life was the opposite. Something to remember next time when you see a group of youths who in your eyes look like freaks, or the next time you see and elderly man. Do not prejudge them based on looks alone. You may be surprised who the true gentlemen in life are!

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12 June 2007

6 year old girl sings, 'Somewhere Over The Rainbow' on Britain's Got Talent


Conny, 6 year old girl who has been singing since she was 2 sings, 'Somewhere Over The Rainbow' on Britain's Got Talent and amazes the judges so much that it brought tears to one of the judges eyes.


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07 June 2007

豪杰 (HaoJie) Part 4: "Is a Hero the Victor of the People?"

Meanings of names matter a lot in Chinese culture. 尼古拉 is Nicholas or Nikolai transliterated in to English. In HanYu Pinyin it is ní-gǔ-lā or ni2gu3la1 depending on which way you write your pinyin. So that is actually what most of my Chinese friends call me when they speak. Tan LiYuan actually calls me "Ni-gu-la-si" when she is saying my English name however. It is a variant transliteration of Nicholas. Nicholas or Nikolai means "Victory of the people." Nicholas is the familiar Greek form of Nikolaos, and Nikolai is the Russian form of said Greek name.

Because of this, one person pointed out that if we consider 豪杰 (HaoJie) to mean roughly "Hero", as Google and Chen SiFang both say, it is not too far away from calling a man "Victory of the people" which also makes 豪杰 (HaoJie) an equivalent to Nicholas or Nikolai. However your mileage may vary, and if you think you have a better Chinese equivalent that also matches my true character, please leave a comment with your contrary ideas. I am all ears! :-D

What does 尼古拉 mean in Chinese? So far I have only gotten one answer, and everyone else says they have no idea at all. LOL! That answer was, "The god that protects sailors and children." Seems that they are thinking of Saint Nicholas of Myra in Lycia, there. In secular Chinese, saints are called gods it seems, as Buddhist saints are also called gods or goddesses. Chinese Orthodox may have a better term that my secular and Buddhist friends are not familiar with however.

And since it usually comes up when I have the discussion on my name's meaning, my long last name has a long meaning too, which is roughly "First son (crown prince) of the Russian King (Tsar) Stanislaus of Poland." My last name simply cannot be transliterated in to Chinese from what I have been told by many Chinese-speaking people. As for my middle name, well it means the exact same thing as my first name, oddly enough.

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06 June 2007

Johnny Cash "Hurt"

This is the video that made Nine Inch Nail front man, Trent Reznor say, "'Hurt' isn't my song anymore." Perhaps very fitting that this was also Johnny Cash's last video.

I hurt myself today,
to see if I still feel.
I focus on the pain,
the only thing that's real.
The needle tears a hole,
the old familiar sting.
Try to kill it all away,
but I remember everything.

What have I become,
my sweetest friend?
Everyone I know,
goes away in the end.
And you could have it all,
my empire of dirt.
I will let you down,
I will make you hurt.

I wear this crown of thorns,
upon my liar's chair.
Full of broken thoughts,
I cannot repair.
Beneath the stains of time,
the feelings disappear.
You are someone else,
I am still right here.

What have I become,
my sweetest friend?
Everyone I know,
goes away in the end.
And you could have it all,
my empire of dirt.
I will let you down,
I will make you hurt.

If I could start again,
a million miles away.
I would keep myself,
I would find a way.
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05 June 2007

豪杰 (HaoJie) Part 3: "Hero"

So my other friend Chen SiFang was told about the name I was given, 豪杰 (HaoJie), and she had a slightly different definition for it. Chen SiFang said 豪杰 (HaoJie) roughly was equivalent to the English word, Hero, although not exactly. However Chen SiFang thought 豪杰 (HaoJie) was fitting and perfect for me, so it seems that Tan LiYuan did a good job since my other Chinese friends like 豪杰 (HaoJie) and find it appropriate to my character. Always nice to hear. :-)

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02 June 2007

豪杰 (HaoJie) Part 2: "Eximious"

Well I received a surprise letter from Tan LiYuan today and she told me the meaning of 豪杰 (HaoJie)! Apparently the name means "eximious". For those of you who may not know the meaning of the word, eximious, here are the 3 traits that define an eximious person according to Dictionary.com:
  1. Distinguished
  2. Eminent
  3. Excellent
Needless to say, this name which was chosen because of my character, is an even greater honor than I had expected! Thank you Tan LiYuan!

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01 June 2007

豪杰 (HaoJie) Part 1.5: "Update"

I forgot that yesterday when I received my name it was Thursday morning and Tan LiYuan is really busy with work from Thursday through Monday, so I may not have an update on the name until Tuesday evening after work. Google says 豪杰 (HaoJie) means "Hero" but I do not trust the Google Translator implicitly, especially since its Chinese translations are in beta still!

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Weather in Nanning, Guangxi, P.R.China



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31 May 2007

豪杰 (HaoJie) Part 1: "Christening"

This morning my friend, Tan LiYuan, gave me a Chinese name. I had read about this phenomenon before. Sometimes Chinese people once they get to know a Westerner very well, will give the Westerner a Chinese name that fits their character. And so it happened today and I was named 豪杰 (HaoJie). I have asked Tan LiYuan what it means, and perhaps I will be able to blog tomorrow about what exactly my Chinese name of 豪杰 (HaoJie) means. Nonetheless this is an exciting day for me since I have been given a name, which is a high honor for a Westerner in Chinese culture!

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21 May 2007

Freedom!

Yesterday I took my daughter to my brother's house so that she can babysit her 3 1/2 year old cousin. Tomorrow I start a job that was beyond what I was expecting to get in this job hunt. So that leaves me with today. And today I am feeling complete and utter freedom and it feels good. Life feel good today, it feels really good, and for the first time in a long time, I am looking forward to me job and going in to work. I have also been invited to China, and with the money I earned through my eBay sales, I should be able to pay for a trip, as this money no longer has to be saved for possible future bills. The future looks bright and the present is very satisfying and that is a set of feelings that I could definitely get used to!

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20 May 2007

My Icon Corners

Here are my 4 icon corners:

My family icon corner where we do Reader's Services. At the top is a hand painted cross, below that is our Slava icon, and the name of our former chapel, The Royal Martyrs; under that are icons of Christ the Pantocrator and the Theotokos by Mother Anastasia. On the sides are icons of our patron saints, Saint Anastasia the Great-Martyr and Saint Nicholas of Japan and an Icon of Saint Stephen the Protomartyr (who I feel close to because he was also one of the first deacons along with Saint Timothy) and The Hospitality of Abraham and Sarah. At the bottom with no home is the Menaion icon with an icon for every day and for all of the Great Feasts.


My living room icon corner made up of only hand painted icons. From left to right they are: Saint Nicholas of Myra in Lycia, a gift from Metropolitan VALENTINE and painted by a monk in Suzdal; Saint Euphrosynos by the hand of Mother Anastasia; Christ the Saviour, unknown iconographer; Tsar Martyr Nicholas Romanov by the hands of Archbishop GREGORY of and Archimandrite George of Dormition Skete. Under it is a hand sewn picture of the Church on the Blood and a cabinet bull of liturgical supplies which is on a book case of Orthodox books.


My personal icon corner, top to bottom, left to right: All Saints of America, Tsar Martyr Nicholas with icons of Saint Nicholas of Myra and Saint Seraphim of Sarov around him; The Theotokos; a Russian blessing cross; Christ the King, a gift from Juvenaly Martinka when I was ordained; Saint Nicholas of Myra in Lycia with icons of the Pantocrator and Theotokos, a gift from Vicar Bishop ANDREI; Christ blessing the children.


My daughter's personal icon corner. In the middle downward, in a Russian fashion: Her Guardian Angel; Christ the Pantocrator; Theotokos Sweet Kissing; her patron saint, Saint Anastasia the Great-Martyr; On the cross beam are: Saint Xenia who may get moved to my family icon corner after she helped me get this job; The Saints of Moscow; The Royal Martyrs; Saint Thecla, a gift to her from Justin and Mary Cecilia Kissel when we were Baptized.

19 May 2007

Thanksgiving for Answered Employment Prayers

Dear Friends in Christ,

I got the call this afternoon that the restaurant thought that the interview went really well and so they did not want to wait until Monday to make a decision and offered me the job as the restaurant manager today. I want to thank God, Saint Xenia, and all of you who have prayed for me during this time of my unemployment, job searching, and interview process. I know that all of your prayers helped me immensely! Glory Be To Thee O Lord, Glory Be To Thee!

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Yellow Dog Linux History as Seen by Google

Using Google Experimental tool, launched few days ago, you will find this. Quite interesting. Change the individual distro to see their history too.

read more | digg story

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18 May 2007

China to replace USA and become 3rd biggest travel destination

China is likely to replace the United States as the world's third most popular tourism destination next year, a United Nations World Tourism Organization (UNWTO) official said. At present, China ranks fourth, after France, Spain and the United States. Last year, China accounted for 5.8 percent of the global tourism market, a growth of 0.3 percent.

read more | digg story



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17 May 2007

The time of "Christian Society" is over. "Christendom" has ended…

George Oz says the sooner we learn this the better. "What the State does with Civil Unions has nothing to do with us. The only thing we can protest is if the State attempts to impose acceptance of Civil Unions on the Church. The Church began in Europe in societies which condoned homosexuality, and orgies, and idolarty. Yet the Church still managed to flourish."


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Job Interview Prayer Request Update

Thank you all for all your prayers, the Monday interview was horrible but brief, but today's 45 minute interview I passed with flying colors. Not only that but I got a call this afternoon calling me in for an interview tomorrow to be a manager at a restaurant, so I would like to ask for continuing prayers please!

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13 May 2007

12 May 2007

The Romeo and Juliet Effect: Why Christians Keep Having Sex Before Marriage

"In William Shakespeare's play, "Romeo and Juliet," the titular star cross'd lovers fatefully decide to pursue their love, despite the chaos and war unfolding around them. Their decision ends up being a fatal one. I suppose the ironic question that some people might want to ask the protagonists is why risk so much to violate the family rules?" From an essay by David Chen.

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You 'can be fat' even if you are thin!?!

So you thought you could afford not to exercise if you were thin. Think again, for "being thin doesn't automatically mean you're not fat", says Jimmy Bell, a professor of molecular imaging at the Imperial College of London. If it really is what's on the inside that counts, then a lot of thin people might be in trouble!

read more | digg story

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Samples From the FREE Chinese Language Learning Site I Advertise!

I.《每日一播》Everyday Chinese POD


II.《每日一句中文》Everyday Chinese


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British girl feared abducted turns four

A British girl kidnapped in Portugal Has spent her fourth birthday still missing, prompting a call from her parents for redoubled efforts to find her.

MISSING GIRL!

DIGGERS, LET'S GET THIS GIRL'S PICTURE OUT EVERYWHERE (Please Blog It!) AND PERHAPS SAVE HER LIFE AND REUNITE HER WITH HER DEVASTATED PARENTS!


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His Grace, The Right Reverend Titular Bishop Christodoulos of Theoupolis: Why Do We Pray?



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11 May 2007

Enigma: Sadeness


Procedamus in pace
In nomine Christi, Amen

Cum angelis et pueris,
fideles inveniamur

Attollite portas, principes, vestras
et elevamini, portae aeternales
et introibit rex gloriae
Qius est iste Rex gloriae?

Sade dit moi
Sade donne moi

Procedamus in pace
In nomine Christi, Amen

Sade dit moi
qu'est ce que tu vas chercher ?
le bien par le mal
la vertu par le vice
Sade dit moi pourquoi l' 'evangile du mal ?
quelle est ta religion ou` sont tes fide`les ?
Si tu es contre Dieu, tu es contre l'homme

Sade dit moi pourquoi le sang pour le plaisir ?
Le plaisir sans l'amour.
N'y a t'il plus de sentiment dans le culte de l'homme ?

Sade es-tu diabolique ou divin?

Sade dit moi
Hosanna
Sade donne moi
Hosanna
Sade dit moi
Hosanna
Sade donne moi
Hosanna

In nomine Christi, Amen

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10 May 2007

HOWTO: Get Chinese Characters to Appear Properly in Yellow Dog Linux v5

To get Chinese working properly in Yellow Dog Linux 5.0.1 (Phoenix):

First go to Add/Remove Programs and install Chinese.

Next install the RPM font packages from the following links (simply by clicking on the RPM download links in Firefox):
Then log out and log back in again, or reboot if you prefer.

Finally set Firefox so that it uses the 3 fonts you get from here, and now all your Chinese (and probably Japanese kanji too) characters will appear correctly!

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09 May 2007

Up to 3 weeks: Works as advertised!

Well, they were right and I am surprised. The Gillette Fusion Power Cartridges really can last up to 3 weeks. A very good razor with very good blades indeed! That being said, I do like having a fresh bade in there again. :-)

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Manicure? Pedicure?

I am no metro— but yesterday when I took my daughter to the local Asian salon to get a manicure and pedicure as a reward for her getting a good progress report, they had a special for parent and child, so for the first time in my life I got both of these. It is actually a very enjoyable experience, and it probably is good to have well-manicured hands when interviewing at such a prestigious company like the one that I will be interviewing with again on the Feast of Ascension.

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08 May 2007

Two Fifty Four

Well my weight is down to 254#, but I recently measured my waist and I have lost 4" from it. I have realized losing weight in numbers will be harder since I am also building muscle, but I am not changing my goal.

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Keith Oberman and Patrick Buchanan on why Ron Paul is the best candidate

Keith Oberman: Of the serious contenders this evening Pat, is there one who adheres closest to your conception of classic conservatism?

Pat Buchanan: I think the closest is Ron Paul who is a pro-life libertarian, who does not vote for big spending, who opposed the Medicare expansion, who opposed “no child left behind,” who opposed the war in Iraq…

read more | digg story



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Eat Mor Chikin!

That is indeed what I am doing. In my dieting I have cut out red meat from my diet completely, getting all of my protein from turkey, chicken, and fish except for fast days when I get my protein from seafood, beans, and almonds. Of course I do not get it from some fast food joint like Chik-Fil-A, but try to buy free-range, naturally raised, chemical and hormone free foods. Doing so, in addition to my change in how and when I eat, plus exercise has definitely made me feel better and it definitely helps the entire digestive system.

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07 May 2007

Job Update With Flying Colors!

I just passed my first interview with a very respectable, preeminent firm, and am scheduled for my second interview on the Feast of Holy Ascension, so I ask your prayers please.

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Chinese use right side of brain more frequently than Westerners

After a series of studies on how Chinese people perceive tones in the language, a research team from the Life Sciences College at China Science and Technology University - led by Professor Chen Lin - recently showed that it is the right side of the brain that analyzes the tones in early stages of cognition - within about 200 milliseconds after the acoustic wave enters the ear. The study also suggested that people speaking Chinese use the right side of their brain more frequently than Westerners who speak English. Chinese should pay more attention to the potential development of the right brain. The results of the study were published in the internationally renowned academic journal, "Proceedings of the National Academy of Sciences of the United States of America" on December 19.

According to reports, the two hemispheres of the human brain do different things in interpreting voice signals. Usually the left hemisphere dominates the understanding of semantics and the right hemisphere dominates the interpretation of music. However, the factors that determine the division of labor between the left and right sides of the brain is a problem that has long-perplexed academics, which is generally explained by two completely different hypotheses.

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