31 December 2008

2008 was a great year, 2009 will be a fine year

In 2008 I married my soulmate and in 2009, God-willing, she comes home. Each year just keeps getting better for me! I never really do New Year's resolutions, but this year I resolve to give up the horrible addictions to fast food and soda (pop). This will improve my weight, energy, overall physical and financial health. Please pray that I succeed! Happy Civil New Year Everyone!

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16 December 2008

Whiny LaoWai ExPats

Recently at Hao Hao Report, (A site like Digg and Mixx for English language China stories) a story was mercifully buried where a foreigner in China was complaining that the average foreigner wage for someone with a degree and experience was "only" 131,000.00 RMB (Chinese Yuan Renminbi). Currently, that equates to over $19,000.00 USD (United States Dollars). Now, that very well may be low for an Americans working and living in the United States of America, but this is for people living in the People's Republic of China where EVERYTHING is cheaper! Keep in mind, that the average Chinese citizen earns only 10,000.00 RMB a year. I mean, even university graduates are only asking for 18,000.00 RMB a year!

Now at Lost LaoWai's community blog, a site I respect and enjoy a lot, one of the great authors is complaining about having to work 6 Sundays a year, meaning there are 6 6-day weeks to allow for some week-long holidays! I would love to work a 6 day week to get a week-long holiday! Wouldn't you?

Don't get me wrong, I am glad that Christianity gave us the popular 5 day work week (Saturday off for the Sabbath and Sunday off for the Lord's Day, the day of Jesus' Resurrection), and I am glad that Henry Ford started the standard 40 hour workweek of 5 8-hour days, with 2 days of rest, but occasionally working 6 to get 3-7 days off is not a bad trade-off either!

Seriously, anyone who goes to China should know what they are getting in to, but this complaining about making "only" 10 times as much as the average Chinese person, or occasionally having to work a 6-day work week, because you have a week-long vacation strikes me as whiny and petty. Am I alone in this opinion?

For the record, I work every Sunday and Saturday and work 5 days a week. 4 of those days are 12 hour days, and 1 day (Sunday) is a 7 hour day. My wife works 7 days a week. She works 12 hours a day, from 9:00-21:00 like me, but she gets the standard 2-hour Chinese lunch/siesta time in the middle of that day (like these complaining expats most likely have) too. For this, she earns 12,000.00 RMB annually and 2 vacation days per month that can be accrued and used all at once. Maybe that is why I have no patience for this seemingly petty whining?

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15 December 2008

Lisa See Reviewed Some More


This last month I have read 2 more of Lisa See's books. On Gold Mountain: The One-Hundred-Year Odyssey of My Chinese-American Family is her non-fiction biography of her family. This is very obviously her first book and very interesting, telling then story of her family in China and America over the last 150 years. She had not yet developed her writing to such a degree as with her fiction over a decade later. Lisa has quickly become my favorite writer, but this book is not in structure what (I would call great, but the information inside is, and as such I would definitely still reccomend the book.

Peony in Love: A Novel is a fictional book in the same vain as Snow Flower and the Secret Fan: A Novel, a book I loved, however it is based on a true story. I cannot say too much without spoiling it, but it is a powerful story about love, fate, feminism, The Peony Pavilion, and art, that may very well now be my favorite book. It deals with the afterlife in a way you would not expect, detailing the Chinese religious thought on the subject, which makes many traditions in China come to life with anew understanding. I want to say more, but you are better off buying this book and reading it knowing nothing more than this.

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14 December 2008

Toward Better Tones in Natural Speech


The problem, as Dr. Liao presented it, is that many learners can reach a relatively high level of fluency in Mandarin Chinese, have excellent tonal accuracy for individual words, yet still make a large number of very unnatural tonal errors in natural speech. This is a common enough problem that educators really need to be looking for ways to address it. Here is a suggested solution.

08 December 2008

Chinese Pinyin in 6 Mins


Cute and Short. It's a good flash for learning Pinyin.
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02 December 2008

Odd Dreams


In the last 24 hours I have had 2 very odd dreams. For the longest time I did not dream, or remember my dreams, but after I went to China I began dreaming vividly. My daughter has had the same experience, calling it a magical land.

Anyway, my first dream was normal for my dreams, it was just a typical day of Fei and I spending time together, but it was narrated, which was very odd. Maybe because I have been reading so much lately, having finished 3 books in 3 days time. I recognized the narration voice because I was the narrator, interestingly enough.

The other took place while I napped. (I have been blessed to have taken naps in the last 2 days, helping me catch up on my sleep.) This one was even odder. I know this took place in an era of about 100-400 years ago. I was approximately 17 years old. I was from a rich family and had been given a maid who was supposed to sleep at the foot of my bed. However I let her sleep in my bed so that she could have comfort and warmth. My parents (who bore no resemblance to my waking world parents) did not approve, and I continued on with this and fell in love with the girl. At some time before we agreed to run off and elope, because I wanted to marry her, she recognized me as Nik and I recognized her as Fei, although these were not our names in this life. As I said, very odd, if there were such things as past lives, it seems it would be impossible for past lives to know future lives' names, so the logic seemed off. But such are dreams.

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2008 China Blog Awards Nominee


If you find this site helpful or interesting, you can vote for this site by going to http://www.chinalyst.net/node/46424 and clicking on the + sign. Chinalyst has voting for the best English language China blogs every year. Voting for the China Blog Awards 2008 runs from 1 December 2008 to 31 December 2008 and you are allowed to vote once per day.

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23 November 2008

Book Reviews: "Wild Swans" and "Factory Girls"

Wild Swans, Chang's international bestseller.Wild Swans: Three Daughters of China by Jung Chang was a good book comparing and contrasting the lives of her grandmother, a woman of Imperial China, her mother, a daughter of the Communist Revolution, and herself, an expatriate and anti-Maoist. The story is very good, although I think her editor failed her in jumping around in time too much. Chang has been accused of severe anti-Maoist distortions, but I have no way to prove or disprove this. I just know that this book is a very interesting look at China from the early 1900's to today and I would recommend it to any fan of China or history.

Factory Girls: From Village to City in a Changing China by Leslie Chang is a fascinating look at the culture of the factory girls who come from rural China and work the factories of industrial urban China. Over the years things have changed and this has changed the power structure and traditions of China for these girls and their families. This book is a very good introspective of these girls. However, seemingly out of nowhere Chang starts putting her family history in the book. Rather than adding to the book, it distracts from it. Her family history is still very interesting, and not unlike that of "Wild Swans", but I feel that part should have been left for its own book and "Factory girls" should have been left to focused on just the factory girls, which Chang never was.

While both books have serious flaws, I would still recommend them to anyone interested in the sociology of modern and recent China.

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Ziggy Marley and the Melody Makers: Tomorrow People

I always thought he was singing, "Where is your best?" I think there was a more powerful message in my misunderstanding!
Oh Lord, oh no!

Tomorrow people, where is your past?
Tomorrow people, how long will you last?
Tomorrow people, where is your past?
Tomorrow people, how long will you last?

Today you say you deyah. Deyah be.
Tomorrow you say you're gone,
but you're gone so long.
If there is no love in your heart - so sorry -
Then there is no hope for you - true, true.

Tomorrow people, where is your past?
Tomorrow people, how long will you last? Come on!
Tomorrow people, where is your past? Where is your past?
Tomorrow people, how long will you last? 10 years!

So you're in the air,
But you still don't have a t'ing to spare.
You're flying high,
While we're on the low, o-o-oh

Tomorrow people, where is your past?
Tomorrow people, how long will you last? Tell me now.
Tomorrow people, where is your past? Nowhere!
Tomorrow people, how long will you last? Ten years!

Stop tellin' me the same story.
Today you say you deyah. Deyah be.
Tomorrow you say you're gone, and you're not comin' back.
If there is no love in your heart, oh now,
There will never be hope for you. No hope for you.

Tomorrow people, where is your past?
Tomorrow people, how long will you last? Ten years!
Tomorrow people, where is your past?
Tomorrow, tomorrow people, come on.

If you don't know your past, you don't know your future, everyone!
Don't know the past, you won't know the future, everyman!
Don't know your past, don't know your future, come on!
You don't know your past, you don't know your future, hey!

How many people did that one catch?
How many nations did that one catch, yeah-yeah?
Don't know the past, Don't know the future.
Don't say, don't know your past, don't know your future

How many people did that one catch?
How many nations did that one catch, c'mon, c'mon!
Tomorrow, tomorrow people...
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06 November 2008

Chinese Number Taboos are Often Local


This is from my friend LI Wan, who translated this in to English for a friend of hers.
Taboo, belonging to the category of folk culture, is a cultural phenomenon. China is a multi-ethnic country, and different nations have different totems and taboos. Taboo is the source of moral and civilization. All the Chinese people have regarded long as a totem and worshiped long all the time. When Spring Festival or other Festivals come, people in almost all areas of china will give an performance of dragon dance. In Dragon Boat Festival people will have a dragon-boat race, which reflects the nation's positive and never-give-up spirit.
  1. There are many taboos in Changsha where mainly inhabit Han nationality Just as westerners view the number of 13 as a taboo, we think of the goods priced at 33, 36, 7, 94, 250, etc. as taboos.

  2. Buying a house on the 18th floor is a taboo, because according to Buddhism, there is a saying like driving into the 18 floors of hell, so the land agent usually set a lower price at the 18th floor.

  3. We like 8, 9 to be a number’s ending, and do not prefer the ending is 3, 4, because in china the pronunciation of 8 is the same as “Facai” which refers to making a pile,and 9 means everlasting, but 3 sounds like “Sanhuo” which means separating, and 4 sounds the same as “Si” which is an equivalent of death. In Changsha it is a taboo for 7 persons to be at table together, it is more preferable for 8 , 10 or 12 persons to have dinner together.

  4. Azaleas (Rhododendron),the city flower of Changsha City, is a taboo to be used as a gift as well as chrysanthemum. Now it is the golden autumn of chrysanthemums blooming, but we'd better not send chrysanthemum to other people. Otherwise,you will find your well-intentioned behavior only arouses anger, because Chrysanthemum is always used to mourn the dead.

  5. It is a taboo to present an umbrella or a fan as a gift to friends, because the pronunciations of fan and umbrella are similar to “Sanhuo”. There are also some taboos for young people when they fall in love. It is not necessarily for men to send rose to express their love. Sending some willow branches or a handkerchief may be more effective in some places. Because in China there is a wonderful legend about sending willow branches, as for the handkerchief, it means that it is made of the horizontal and vertical silk threads and silk sounds like “Sinian” which refers to missing.
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05 November 2008

QQ for Mac 1.0 Preview 3 Build 362 提供下载!


QQ for Mac OS X 1.0 Preview 3, Build 362 is out, but not available from the official page, just from the QQ for Mac blog! SO if you want to download it, go to the QQ for Mac blog at http://qqmac.qzone.qq.com/ or download it directly at http://dl_dir.qq.com/qqfile/qq/QQ2009preview3/QQ_P3_362.dmg. The features are very much increased over preview 1, the build available from the official site at http://im.qq.com/qq/mac/.

And just in case you missed it QQ for Linux 1.0 Preview 2 is now available at http://im.qq.com/qq/linux/ as a Tarball, a RPM (SuSe, Fedora), DEB (Ubuntu), and even an installer for Lemote Loonux.

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29 October 2008

Voting by mail and choosing a POTUS and VEEP from 14 Parties


I just received my mail-in ballot and am surprised at the number of third parties on the ballot. Pleasantly surprised! But I wonder how they decide the order to list them. I think it should be alphabetical order, but I think it is in the numerical vote order for that party in the last election, hence the Republican Party is listed, followed by the Democrat Party, Constitution Party, Libertarian Party, Green Party, and so on.. I find it interesting that my new county of residence uses the retarded "complete the arrow system" and does not allow a write in candidate for POTUS or Congressman, but does for Senator. For the record, I am actually voting one of the 2 big parties for POTUS but 3rd party for Senate. I have to vote big 2 for Congressman, as no other party has a candidate running. Of course, not knowing the judges here, I am not voting for or against any of them.

While the POTUS race seems to be tightening up between the 2 major parties, it was interesting to hear on NPR last night that Sarah Palin is going rogue and standing up for conservative ideals and no longer staying on McCain's talking points, looking out for herself, supposedly due to her knowing that McCain will lose.

Here are the people on the Colorado ballot for POTUS & VEEP:
I think a couple of these parties could use come consolidation, like the 3 Socialist parties; The Green and Pacifist parties; and the Constitution, Boston Tea, and Independent parties; etc. Interesting to see that neither the Independence nor Reform parties are running any candidates this year!

Imagine how much better the Presidential Candidate Debates, currently monopolized by the big two parties, would be if they allowed at least the Constitution, Libertarian, and Green parties have their candidates debate too!

Of note, for ID, I had to enclose a copy of a utility bill with my address since I am a new residence of this county!

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14 October 2008

Books of Interest on China

If you are interested in going to China, or just enjoy others' stories about going there to live, to find romance, and adventure, the following books, IMO, are must reads.


First is Peking Story: The Last Days of Old China, a book about a Western man who was teaching English in China at the beginning of the Communist Revolution. He finds love, marriage, and an ever changing political climate that is fascinating to read, especially for someone who knows modern China of 2008 and can compare it to the China David Kidd once knew.


Next is Iron & Silk, another great story of an English teacher and now filmmaker named Mark Salzman, who falls in love with China, almost finds romance, and ends up being taught Chinese martial arts from many masters. This story is from a city in HuNan Province that I love, ChangSha, and shows big changes since the 1980's.


Finally we have Matthew Polly's often hilarious American ShaoLin: Flying Kicks, Buddhist Monks, and the Legend of Iron Crotch: An Odyssey in the New China, which is an autobiographical book about a young man going to China to learn Kung Fu at the ShaoLin Temple before it became a tourist trap. He finds meaning, strength, romance, and enlightenment and will have you laughing for hours.

I actually read these books in the reverse order and having been to China many times, I found each entertaining and educational. China is ever more open than the most recent book, American ShaoLin, relates to the reader, but the 3 books show how China has changed over the past 60 years. "Iron & Silk" is now a movie and "American ShoLin" will soon be one too, but I think the books are still the way to go. I hope that one day "Peking Story" will be put on the big screen as well.

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02 October 2008

Buy my wedding album!

Through the magic on the Interwebs and QOOP, everyone can buy our wedding album for the low, low price of only $49.99 here. You can also see the first 15 pages there as well. This is cheaper than purchasing one in China and shipping it over to America via FedEx.

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29 September 2008

Wedding Photos!


My wedding photos are finally processed, scanned and uploaded to Facebook. Sorry about the delay. You can see them at http://www.new.facebook.com/album.php?aid=53206&l=80e1a&id=505257160. Unfortunately Asian photo taking and retouching tries to make the skin more pale, prings out the red-tones, and softens the jaw line. All three are things that do not help my appearance at all. So while my wife looks beautiful in these pictures (as she always does), I am not very fond of my looks in many of these photographs. Please feel free to comment about the pictures on Facebook, or if you are not a Facebook member and do not wish to join, you may comment here as well. I love comments! :-)

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04 September 2008

Soulmates


I always liked the idea of soul mates, but I am not sure I believed in them thoroughly. That is, until I met my wife. As I have said before, she and I connect and are compatible on not only level I would want in a mate, but we connect on other levels I never expected or realized it was able to connect on. We are a perfect fit, like 2 puzzle pieces that were made to be together. And it is not just me who notices. Her family and my family have noticed how happy we make one another and others have even seen it in pictures. I have to wonder how rare it is that someone would not only have but meet and actually marry their soulmate? I do not know, but I consider myself the luckiest man int he world to have someone who loves me unlike I have ever been loved and someone who I love unlike I have ever loved anyone before. I truly am happy and satisfied with life when she is with me. If she were to die before me, I am sure that like many truly in-love elderly couples who experience this, I would die of a lonely heart and my prime desire to be with her,

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Superficial Thoughts on BeiJing, P.R.C.


I think I like ChangSha and even YuanJiang, in HuNan Province better than BeiJing. Do not get me wrong. BeiJing has some wonderful sights, a wonderful airport, excellent subway and bus system, and some great people like Winser Zhao and family (pictured to the left), but it is just not my kind of city. (Fei says I only feel this way because I was pick-pocketed, sold a fake memory card, and got sick in BeiJing!) Plus they are all taller up north and I no longer feel tall. LOL! It did not help that so many super-tall northern Europeans were in BeiJing when I was there either! In South China, people are shorter (like my perfect sized wife who is 158cm/5'2") and me being 175cm/5'9", I feel tall, which I like, as 5'9" is not tall in America or BeiJing! :-D

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20 August 2008

Evil Twins

Usually twins will not only look the same, but also have the same interests, aspirations, and desires in life. Sometimes this is not so. Though there may be moral disparity between actual biological twins, the term is more often a misnomer. In many cases, the two look-alikes are not actually twins. In others, the so-called "evil" twin is more precisely a dual opposite to their "good" counterpart, possessing at least some commonality with the value system of the protagonist.

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17 August 2008

China

So I am still in China (which is a story within itself for a later blog entry) but I wanted to let everyone know that my time in HuNan Province from 1-12 August was great! I will detail the wedding at http://feisnik.blogspot.com and I am uploading pictures as I get them on my Facebook page at http://www.new.facebook.com/profile.php?id=505257160. I finally met Fei's twin sister, YanHong; and it was good to see the two MeiMeis who I like and get along with really well, YanZi and YanFan. YanZi's husband and I of course drank many beers over those 2 weeks and it is always good to see DiDi. As I said before, I will blog about the wedding on the marriage blog and then return here to blog more about being stuck in BeiJing, which is also being covered somewhat at the new Facebook.

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28 July 2008

QiXi: Chinese Valentine's Day and Olympic Love


In 2008, Beijing is undoubtedly the focus of the world, because the 29th Olympic Games will be held here. It is not only a grand affair of the mankind, but also a great honor of Chinese people. We are solicitous of the advent of the Olympics and as well, we warmly welcome you to come to Beijing to appreciate the infinite glamour of the oriental ancient civilizations.

On the occasion of worldwide celebration, the coming of traditional Chinese Valentine's Day adds more festivity to the atmosphere. Double Seventh Day, the Valentine's Day in China on the seventh day of the seventh lunar month, which falls on August 7 this year, while Aug. 8 is the opening day of 2008 Beijing Olympics.

Quite mysteriously, it seems that the Olympics is destined to be connected with the Double Seventh Day, QiXi.

The indissoluble bond between the Olympics and love was tied since the first Olympic Games. In the old Greek legend, Pelops was the grandson of the Olympian Zeus, the ruler of the Olympus. He fell in love with Hippodameia, the daughter of King Oenomaus of the Elis City. A god once predicted that Oenomaus would die if his daughter had got married. Therefore, he came up with an idea that anyone who wanted to marry his daughter had to race carriages with him. Only the winner could have his dream come true. 12 warriors lost the race and also their lives. Finally, Nelops resorted to Poseidon and won the game with the magic carriage and flying horse borrowed from him. Nelops had his wish fulfilled and also became the king of the Elis City. To celebrate his victory, he launched the world famous Olympic Games.

As well, the will of perseverance lying behind the beautiful love story of Double Seventh Day happens to be similar to the Olympic spirit. The legend goes like this: Zhi Nu was the youngest of the seven daughters of the Queen Mother, while, Niu Lang was a poor orphan cowherd, driven out of his home by his sister-in-law. His only companion was an old magical cow.

Under the direction of the cow, Niu Lang successfully married the youngest fairy, Zhi Nu. They lived happily together and had two children before the Queen Mother discovered Zhi Nu's absence. Queen Mother was so annoyed that she had Zhi Nu brought back to heaven. Again, with the help of the magical cow, Niu Lang was able to follow Zhi Nu into heaven. He was about to reach his wife when the Queen showed up and pulled off her hairpin to draw a line between the two. The line became the Silver River (also called Milky Way ) in heaven.

Zhi Nu went back to the heavenly workshop, going on weaving the clouds. But she missed her husband and children across the Silver River so much that the clouds she weaved seemed sad. Their loyalty to love touched magpies, so tens of thousands magpies came to build a bridge for the Cowhand and Weaver Maid to meet each other. Finally, the Queen showed a little mercy, allowing the couple to meet each year on the 7th of the 7th lunar month on the Silver River. Then for lovers who can not be together temporarily, this day became an important festival.

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21 July 2008

HOW-TO: Announce the International Wedding Online

So the bride has her parents pick an auspicious day and everything is ready to go. But how do you let your friends in many countries know what you need? Well as for us, we used Facebook and specifically the application, "WeddingBook" by WedSnap. With it we were able to announce the date and place of the wedding, our online Wedding Registries at Amazon, Cutco, and Target, and also able to invite people — all electronically!

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30 June 2008

I won! I won! I won!

I received an envelope from China today, which is not unusual in itself. But what was inside was. I won third prize in the 2008 Olympics Global Contest sponsored by China Radio International! I received a nice certificate suitable for framing and one of the Games of the 29th Olympiad International Pre-Stamped Postcard in an awesome Fuwa stand-up frame. The prize may be small, but I am very excited to have won this international essay contest that over 300,000 people entered!

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21 June 2008

Hand Painted and Metal Greek, Russian, and Ukrainian Orthodox Icons for sale CHEAP! Moving Sale!


I am getting ready to move due to a new job, and besides needing cash, I found that I have a BUNCH of duplicate icons that I had put away and forgotten about! I am even selling some hand painted icons from Russia! These are some very beautiful icons, but with close of my mission and with my hundreds of icons that I own, I have no space to display them. My loss is your gain! All icon auctions are starting at only 99 cents American. See all my auctions on eBay at http://search.ebay.com/_W0QQsassZfeisnik

13 June 2008

Are you driving less? Why? Gas prices? Global Warming? Fat?


The Euphrosynos Cafe is wanting to know if current crises are changing your driving habits. Are you driving less? Are you walking more? Are you bicycling more? Why? Is it to save money? Is it to save the Earth's environment? Is it to lose weight? Is it to build more muscle tone? Or is it just because you enjoy walking and biking?


04 June 2008

FFF: Fruit, Fiber, and Fish FTW!

One thing I have not been good on during this change of lifestyle is taking in enough fruit. Well the last 2 weeks I have been getting better at that and am getting all my protein from beans, legumes, and fish. Also I have been upping my fiber intake along with this protein from beans regiment.

This, along with swimming in my now-opened swimming pool, working out every other day, and adding volleyball to my exercise regime has made for some serious weight loss over the last two weeks.

According to my scale this morning, I am now at 181 pounds/82.1 kilograms, which is exactly 100 pounds/45.4 kilograms under my weight when taken by a health professional on 11 November 2006!

100 pounds/45.4 kilograms in less than 20 months is not too bad, I think! :-) This is a very exciting day for me! Of course the weight is not the only thing I have lost. I have also lost 12 inches/30.5 centimeters from my waist measurement and dropped my BPI by almost 15% too! All of that along with a very noticeable increase in muscle density is very good for my long term health. And my now-more defined jawline definitely makes me feel better about my appearance.

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03 June 2008

KyLin TV (Chinese Pan-Asia IPTV) Now only $8!

KyLin TV is an IP TV service that offers over 40 channels from Asia in various Chinese dialects, Korean, Japanese, English, Spanish, and French languages. With a special FAF code and this link you can get a free IPTV box, a free month of service and continuing service after that for only $8 a month! What a great television deal for Sinophiles, Japanophiles, and other Asiaphiles!

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25 May 2008

Stuck at 189#... ...for now!

My Weight Chart:
Weight Chart


So I have been stuck around 189 pounds/85.7 kilograms for a good month or so. But I have just started going to the gym again, and plan to go every other day. So I am hoping that I can get down to about 185 pounds/83.9 kilograms by my wedding, even if that seems a little unrealistic to lose so much so quickly.

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22 May 2008

HOW-TO: Get married in China (for Foreigners)

I have a blog recapping the instructions and the hurdles I have found in trying to get married to a Chinese citizen. I am hoping one day in the future it helps other men who find their one true love abroad as well. If you would like to read it, check it out at http://feisnik.blogspot.com/.

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13 May 2008

China Red Cross: Now! Donation for earthquake in Sichuan

Cash Donations: Payment by mail

Red Cross Society of China

Add: 8,Beixinqiao San Tiao Dongcheng District Beijing 100007 China

----------------------------------------------------------------------

Cash Donations: Money Transfer

RMB Account:

Bank: Industrial and Commercial Bank of China,DongSiNan Branch,Beijing

Acct.Number: 0200001009014413252

Acct Name: Red Cross Society of China

USD Account:

Bank: China CITIC Bank Beijing Jiuxianqiao Sub-Branch

Acct.Number: 7112111482600000209

Acct Name: Red Cross Society of China

---------------------------------------------------------------------

Cash Donations: In-person Donations

Please send money directly to Red Cross Society of China or any of its branches, and provide them with your address.

Print the donor's name and address clearly so a receipt can be mailed to you.

----------------------------------------------------------------------

In-Kind Donations

Please send items directly to a local Red Cross branch or to a Red Cross in a disaster-affected area.

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28 April 2008

Sleeping Positions of Married Couples and What They Mean

Loosely Tethered Sleeping Style

This is a variation of the Spoon - the most common position adopted by couples in the first few years of marriage. Comforting and cocoon-like, it's a semi-fetal position with hips against buttocks to provide maximum physical closeness, though it's not necessarily an erotic position. The man is usually the embracer. Few years later, couples feel secure enough to allow space - and comfort - into their bed. Often, they sleep tethered, like Spoons but with distance between them. The emotional current is sustained by a touching hand, knee or foot.

The Honeymoon Hug

This face-to-face, body-ensconced-by-body position is often termed the "Rolls Royce of intimacy". Less common than the Spoon (and uncomfortable to maintain throughout the night), the Honeymoon Hug is a natural position that many couples slip into just after lovemaking. It's quite common at "love's blazing beginning", when you're so deeply enamored that you wish you could "fuse". Some couples return to it over the years, during periods of special joy. Among those who stick to it, psychologists say the partner who tends to initiate it could be overly dependent on the other. If both do, they could be "overly enmeshed".

The Royal Position

When one partner (typically the man) lies face up in what's known as The Royal Position, it indicates a strong ego and a sense of entitlement. The woman's head on his shoulder suggests that she is the more dependent and compliant one - almost as though she is "looking at the world from his perspective". This position reflects a high level of trust and strong commitment. Women who are uncomfortable but want the coziness of proximity can try the reverse: Lie face down, with your body overlapping your partner's. Psychologically, this represents an attempt to focus total attention on your partner, even in sleep.

The Leg Hug

Some couples aren't comfortable establishing physical contact at the onset. They would rather go about it as if it were almost by chance - their toes or feet "accidentally" touch, or one partner's leg is casually thrown over the others. Although such casual contact could imply that you or your partner are in two minds about expressing affection, or are intentionally withholding it - maybe after a fight - it may also indicate healthy camaraderie. Hooked legs could also suggest familiarity and comfort - almost like a "secret code". After all, you need to have a pretty strong foundation to assume such "physical proprietorship" even after a quarrel or argument.

Zen Style

With the passage of time in a marriage, as the couple's closeness becomes fully established and less exploratory, a renewed sense of each partner's individuality is likely to arise. For some couples, it would translate into a need for space and therefore, a larger bed. Other couples find a compromise in the above position: Touching buttocks allows for large-surface contact and private connection, but without clinging. Like two circles, separate but overlapping, this position is a perfect definition of interdependence. It's a good position to adopt when your kids have got the better of the couple with their constant clinging, and they need a sense of their own space.

The Cliffhanger

When one partner suddenly retreats to the far side of the bed, the other should ascertain what's behind the sudden withdrawal rather than worry or fume about the "rejection". If he/she is going through a trying time, give him/her space - you'd want the same. In time, your partner will roll back. The person who veers toward The Cliffhanger could also indicate that he/she is comfortable enough to admit that a good night's sleep is better than cuddling up together (and having to put with snoring or teeth-grinding!) If distance leaves you lonely, suggest that you at least start the night in close proximity. If you still sense distance, it may be time to have a heart-to-heart talk.

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