21 December 2009

The Protoevangelium of James: Birth of the Theotokos


The Protoevangelium of James
The Birth of Mary the Holy Mother of God,
and Very Glorious Mother of Jesus Christ


1.IN THE RECORDS OF THE TWELVE TRIBES OF ISRAEL was Joachim, a man rich exceedingly; and he brought his offerings double, saying: There shall be of my superabundance to all the people, and there shall be the offering for my forgiveness to the Lord for a propitiation for me. For the great day of the Lord was at hand, and the sons of Israel were bringing their offerings. And there stood over against him Rubim, saying: It is not meet for thee first to bring thine offerings, because thou hast not made seed in Israel. And Joachim was exceedingly grieved, and went away to the registers of the twelve tribes of the people, saying: I shall see the registers of the twelve tribes of Israel, as to whether I alone have not made seed in Israel. And he searched, and found that all the righteous had raised up seed in Israel. And he called to mind the patriach Abraham, that in the last day God gave him a son Isaac. And Joachim was exceedingly grieved, and did not come into the presence of his wife; but he retired to the desert, and there pitched his tent, and fasted forty days and forty nights, saying in himself: I will not go down either for food or for drink until the Lord my God shall look upon me, and prayer shall be my food and drink.

2. And his wife Anna mourned in two mournings, and lamented in two lamentations, saying: I shall bewail my widowhood; I shall bewail my childlessness. And the great day of the Lord was at hand; and Judith her maid-servant said: How long dost thou humiliate thy soul? Behold, the great day of the Lord is at hand, and it is unlawful for thee to mourn. But take this head-band, which the woman that made it gave to me; for it is not proper that I should wear it, because I am a maid-servant, and it has a royal appearance. And Anna said: Depart from me; for I have not done such things, and the Lord has brought me very low. I fear that some wicked person has given it to thee, and thou hast come to make me a sharer in thy sin. And Judith said: Why should I curse thee, seeing that the Lord hath shut thy womb, so as not to give thee fruit in Israel? And Anna was grieved exceedingly, and put off her garments of mourning, and cleaned her head, and put on her wedding garments, and about the ninth hour went down to the garden to walk. And she saw a laurel, and sat under it, and prayed to the Lord, saying: O God of our fathers, bless me and hear my prayer, as Thou didst bless the womb of Sarah, and didst give her a son Isaac.

3. And gazing towards the heaven, she saw a sparrow's nest in the laurel, and made a lamentation in herself, saying: Alas! who begot me? and what womb produced me? because I have become a curse in the presence of the sons of Israel, and I have been reproached, and they have driven me in derision out of the temple of the Lord. Alas! to what have I been likened? I am not like the fowls of the heaven, because even the fowls of the heaven are productive before Thee, O Lord. Alas! to what have I been likened? I am not like the beasts of the earth, because even the beasts of the earth are productive before Thee, O Lord. Alas! to what have I been likened? I am not like these waters, because even these waters are productive before Thee, O Lord. Alas! to what have I been likened? I am not like this earth, because even the earth bringeth forth its fruits in season, and blesseth Thee, O Lord.

4. And, behold, an angel of the Lord stood by, saying: Anna, Anna, the Lord hath heard thy prayer, and thou shalt conceive, and shall bring forth; and thy seed shall be spoken of in all the world. And Anna said: As the Lord my God liveth, if I beget either male or female, I will bring it as a gift to the Lord my God; and it shall minister to Him in holy things all the days of its life. And, behold, two angels came, saying to her: Behold, Joachim thy husband is coming with his flocks. For an angel of the Lord went down to him, saying: Joachim, Joachim, the Lord God hath heard thy prayer Go down hence; for, behold, thy wife Anna shall conceive. And Joachim went down and called his shepherds, saying: Bring me hither ten she-lambs without spot or blemish, and they shall be for the Lord my God; and bring me twelve tender calves, and they shall be for the priests and the elders; and a hundred goats for all the people. And, behold, Joachim came with his flocks; and Anna stood by the gate, and saw Joachim coming, and she ran anti hung upon his neck, saying: Now I know that the Lord God hath blessed me exceedingly; for, behold the widow no longer a widow, and I the childless shall conceive. And Joachim rested the first day in his house.

5. And on the following day he brought his offerings, saying in himself: If the Lord God has been rendered gracious to me, the plate on the priest's forehead will make it manifest to me. And Joachim brought his offerings, and observed attentively the priest's plate when he went up to the altar of the Lord, and he saw no sin in himself. And Joachim said: Now I know that the Lord has been gracious unto me, and has remitted all my sins. And he went down from the temple of the Lord justified, and departed to his own house. And her months were fulfilled, and in the ninth month Anna brought forth. And she said to the midwife: What have I brought forth? and she said: A girl. And said Anna: My soul has been magnified this day. And she laid her down. And the days having been fulfilled, Anna was purified, and gave the breast to the child, and called her name Mary.

6. And the child grew strong day by day; and when she was six months old, her mother set her on the ground to try whether she could stand, and she walked seven steps and came into her bosom; and she snatched her up, saying: As the Lord my God liveth, thou shall not walk on this earth until I bring thee into the temple of the Lord. And she made a sanctuary in her bed-chamber, and allowed nothing common or unclean to pass through her. And she called the undefiled daughters of the Hebrews, and they led her astray. And when she was a year old, Joachim made a great feast, and invited the priests, and the scribes, and the elders, and all the people of Israel. And Joachim brought the child to the priests; and they blessed her, saying: O God of our fathers, bless this child, and give her an everlasting name to be named in all generations. And all the people said: So be it, so be it, amen. And he brought her to the chief priests; and they blessed her, saying: O God most high, look upon this child, and bless her with the utmost blessing, which shall be for ever. And her mother snatched her up, and took her into the sanctuary of her bed-chamber, and gave her the breast. And Anna made a song to the Lord God, saying: I will sing a song to the Lord my God, for He hath looked upon me, and hath taken away the reproach of mine enemies; and the Lord hath given the the fruit of His righteousness, singular in its kind, and richly endowed before Him. Who will tell the sons of Rubim that Anna gives suck? Hear, hear, ye twelve tribes of Israel, that Anna gives suck. And she laid her to rest in the bed-chamber of her sanctuary, and went out and ministered unto them. And when the supper was ended, they went down rejoicing, and glorifying the God of Israel.

7. And her months were added to the child. And the child was two years old, and Joachim said: Let us take her up to the temple of the Lord, that we may pay the vow that we have vowed, lest perchance the Lord send to us, and our offering be not received. And Anna said: Let us wait for the third year, in order that the child may not seek for father or mother. And Joachim said: So let us wait. And the child was three years old, and Joachim said: Invite the daughters of the Hebrews that are undefiled, and let them take each a lamp, and let them stand with the lamps burning, that the child may not turn back, and her heart be captivated from the temple of the Lord. And they did so until they went up into the temple of the Lord. And the priest received her, and kissed her, and blessed her, saying: The Lord has magnified thy name in all generations. In thee, on the last of the days, the Lord will manifest His redemption to the sons of Israel. And he set her down upon the third step of the altar, and the Lord God sent grace upon her; and she danced with her feet, and all the house of Israel loved her.

8. And her parents went down marvelling, and praising the Lord God, because the child had not turned back. And Mary was in the temple of the Lord as if she were a dove that dwelt there, and she received food from the hand of an angel. And when she was twelve years old there was held a council of the priests, saying: Behold, Mary has reached the age of twelve years in the temple of the Lord. What then shall we do with her, test perchance she defile the sanctuary of the Lord? And they said to the high priest: Thou standest by the altar of the Lord; go in, and pray concerning her; and whatever the Lord shall manifest unto thee, that also will we do. And the high priest went in, taking the robe with the twelve bells into the holy of holies; and he prayed concerning her. And behold an angel of the Lord stood by him, saying unto him: Zacharias, Zacharias, go out and assemble the widowers of the people, and let them bring each his rod; and to whomsoever the Lord shall show a sign, his wife shall she be. And the heralds went out through all the circuit of Judaea, and the trumpet of the Lord sounded, and all ran.

9. And Joseph, throwing away his axe, went out to meet them; and when they had assembled, they went away to the high priest, taking with them their rods. And he, taking the rods of all of them, entered into the temple, and prayed; and having ended his prayer, he took the rods and came out, and gave them to them: but there was no sign in them, and Joseph took his rod last; and, behold, a dove came out of the rod, and flew upon Joseph's head. And the priest said to Joseph, Thou hast been chosen by lot to take into thy keeping the virgin of the Lord. But Joseph refused, saying: I have children, and I am an old man, and she is a young girl. I am afraid lest I become a laughing-stock to the sons of Israel. And the priest said to Joseph: Fear the Lord thy God, and remember what the Lord did to Dathan, and Abiram, and Korah; how the earth opened, and they were swallowed up on account of their contradiction. And now fear, O Joseph, lest the same things happen in thy house. And Joseph was afraid, and took her into his keeping. And Joseph said to Mary: Behold, I have received thee from the temple of the Lord; and now I leave thee in my house, and go away to build my buildings, and I shall come to thee. The Lord will protect thee.

10. And there was a council of the priests, saying: Let us make a veil for the temple of the Lord. And the priest said: Call to me the undefiled virgins of the family of David. And the officers went away, and sought, and found seven virgins. And the priest remembered the child Mary, that she was of the family of David, and undefiled before God. And the officers went away and brought her. And they brought them into the temple of the Lord. And the priest said: Choose for me by lot who shall spin the gold, and the white, and the fine linen, and the silk, and the blue, and the scarlet, and the true purple. And the true purple and the scarlet fell to the lot of Mary, and she took them, and went away to her house. And at that time Zacharias was dumb, and Samuel was in his place until the time that Zacharias spake. And Mary took the scarlet, and span it.

11. And she took the pitcher, and went out to fill it with water. And, behold, a voice saying: Hail, thou who hast received grace; the Lord is with thee; blessed art thou among women! And she looked round, on the right hand and on the left, to see whence this voice came. And she went away, trembling, to her house, and put down the pitcher; and taking the purple, she sat down on her seat, and drew it out. And, behold, an angel of the Lord stood before her, saying: Fear not, Mary; for thou hast found grace before the Lord of all, and thou shalt conceive, according to His word. And she hearing, reasoned with herself, saying: Shall I conceive by the Lord, the living God? and shall I bring forth as every woman brings forth? And the angel of the Lord said: Not so, Mary; for the power of the Lord shall overshadow thee: wherefore also that holy thing which shall be born of thee shall be called the Son of the Most High. And thou shalt call His name Jesus, for He shall save His people from their sins. And Mary said: Behold, the servant of the Lord before His face: let it be unto me according to thy word.

12. And she made the purple and the scarlet, and took them to the priest. And the priest blessed her, and said: Mary, the Lord God hath magnified thy name, and thou shall be blessed in all the generations of the earth. And Mary, with great joy, went away to Elizabeth her kinswoman, and knocked at the door. And when Elizabeth heard her, she threw away the scarlet, and ran to the door, and opened it; and seeing Mary, she blessed her, and said: Whence is this to me, that the mother of my Lord should come to me? for, behold, that which is in me leaped and blessed thee. But Mary had forgotten the mysteries of which the archangel Gabriel had spoken, and gazed up into heaven, and said: Who am I, O Lord, that all the generations of the earth should bless me? And she remained three months with Elizabeth; and day by day she grew bigger. And Mary being afraid, went away to her own house, and hid herself from the sons of Israel. And she was sixteen years old when these mysteries happened.

13. And she was in her sixth month; and, behold, Joseph came back from his building, and, entering into his house, he discovered that she was big with child. And he smote his face, and threw himself on the ground upon the sackcloth, and wept bitterly, saying: With what face shall I look upon the Lord my God? and what prayer shall I make about this maiden? because I received her a virgin out of the temple of the Lord, and I have not watched over her. Who is it that has hunted me down? Who has done this evil thing in my house, and defiled the virgin? Has not the history of Adam been repeated in me? For just as Adam was in the hour of his singing praise, and the serpent came, and found Eve alone, and completely deceived her, so it has happened to me also. And Joseph stood up from the sackcloth, and called Mary, and said to her: O thou who hast been cared for by God, why hast thou done this and forgotten the Lord thy God? Why hast thou brought low thy soul, thou that wast brought up in the holy of holies, and that didst receive food from the hand of an angel? And she wept bitterly, saying: I am innocent, and have known no man. And Joseph said to her: Whence then is that which is in thy womb? And she said: As the Lord my God liveth, I do not know whence it is to me.

14. And Joseph was greatly afraid, and retired from her, and considered what he should do in regard to her. And Joseph said: If I conceal her sin, I find myself fighting against the law of the Lord; and if I expose her to the sons of Israel, I am afraid lest that which is in her be from an angel, and I shall be found giving up innocent blood to the doom of death. What then shall I do with her? I will put her away from me secretly. And night came upon him; and, behold, an angel of the Lord appears to him in a dream, saying: Be not afraid for this maiden, for that which is in her is of the Holy Spirit; and she will bring forth a Son, and thou shall call His name Jesus, for He will save His people from their sins. And Joseph arose from sleep, and glorified the God of Israel, who had given him this grace; and he kept her.

15. And Annas the scribe came to him, and said: Why hast thou not appeared in our assembly? And Joseph said to him: Because I was weary from my journey, and rested the first day. And he turned, and saw that Mary was with child. And he ran away to the priest? and said to him: Joseph, whom thou didst vouch for, has committed a grievous crime. And the priest said: How so? And he said: He has defiled the virgin whom he received out of the temple of the Lord, and has married her by stealth, and has not revealed it to the sons of Israel. And the priest answering, said: Has Joseph done this? Then said Annas the scribe: Send officers, and thou wilt find the virgin with child. And the officers went away, and found it as he had said; and they brought her along with Joseph to the tribunal. And the priest said: Mary, why hast thou done this? and why hast thou brought thy soul low, and forgotten the Lord thy God? Thou that wast reared in the holy of holies, and that didst receive food from the hand of an angel, and didst hear the hymns, and didst dance before Him, why hast thou done this? And she wept bitterly, saying: As the Lord my God liveth, I am pure before Him, and know not a man. And the priest said to Joseph: Why hast thou done this? And Joseph said: As the Lord liveth, I am pure concerning her. Then said the priest: Bear not false witness, but speak the truth. Thou hast married her by stealth, and hast not revealed it to the sons of Israel, and hast not bowed thy head under the strong hand, that thy seed might be blessed. And Joseph was silent.

16. And the priest said: Give up the virgin whom thou didst receive out of the temple of the Lord. And Joseph burst into tears. And the priest said: I will give you to drink of the water of the ordeal of the Lord, and He shall make manifest your sins in your eyes. And the priest took the water, and gave Joseph to drink and sent him away to the hill-country; and he returned unhurt. And he gave to Mary also to drink, and sent her away to the hill-country; and she returned unhurt. And all the people wondered that sin did not appear in them. And the priest said: If the Lord God has not made manifest your sins, neither do I judge you. And he sent them away. And Joseph took Mary, and went away to his own house, rejoicing and glorifying the God of Israel.

17. And there was an order from the Emperor Augustus, that all in Bethlehem of Judaea should be enrolled. And Joseph said: I shall enrol my sons, but what shall I do with this maiden? How shall I enrol her? As my wife? I am ashamed. As my daughter then? But all the sons of Israel know that she is not my daughter. The day of the Lord shall itself bring it to pass as the Lord will. And he saddled the ass, and set her upon it; and his son led it, and Joseph followed. And when they had come within three miles, Joseph turned and saw her sorrowful; and he said to himself: Likely that which is in her distresses her. And again Joseph turned and saw her laughing. And he said to her: Mary, how is it that I see in thy face at one time laughter, at another sorrow? And Mary said to Joseph: Because I see two peoples with my eyes; the one weeping and lamenting, and the other rejoicing and exulting. And they came into the middle of the road, and Mary said to him: Take me down from off the ass, for that which is in me presses to come forth. And he took her down from off the ass, and said to her: Whither shall I lead thee, and cover thy disgrace? for the place is desert.

18. And he found a cave there, and led her into it; and leaving his two sons beside her, he went out to seek a widwife in the district of Bethlehem. And I Joseph was walking, and was not walking; and I looked up into the sky, and saw the sky astonished; and I looked up to the pole of the heavens, and saw it standing, and the birds of the air keeping still. And I looked down upon the earth, and saw a trough lying, and work-people reclining: and their hands were in the trough. And those that were eating did not eat, and those that were rising did not carry it up, and those that were conveying anything to their mouths did not convey it; but the faces of all were looking upwards. And I saw the sheep walking, and the sheep stood still; and the shepherd raised his hand to strike them, and his hand remained up. And I looked upon the current of the river, and I saw the mouths of the kids resting on the water and not drinking, and all things in a moment were driven from their course.

19. And I saw a woman coming down from the hill-country, and she said to me: O man, whither art thou going? And I said: I am seeking an Hebrew midwife. And she answered and said unto me: Art thou of Israel? And I said to her: Yes. And she said: And who is it that is bringing forth in the cave? And I said: A woman betrothed to me. And she said to me: Is she not thy wife? And I said to her: It is Mary that was reared in the temple of the Lord, and I obtained her by lot as my wife. And yet she is not my wife, but has conceived of the Holy Spirit. And the widwife said to him: Is this true? And Joseph said to her: Come and see. And the midwife went away with him. And they stood in the place of the cave, and behold a luminous cloud overshadowed the cave. And the midwife said: My soul has been magnified this day, because mine eyes have seen strange things -- because salvation has been brought forth to Israel. And immediately the cloud disappeared out of the cave, and a great light shone in the cave, so that the eyes could not bear it. And in a little that light gradually decreased, until the infant appeared, and went and took the breast from His mother Mary. And the midwife cried out, and said: This is a great day to me, because I have seen this strange sight. And the midwife went forth out of the cave, and Salome met her. And she said to her: Salome, Salome, I have a strange sight to relate to thee: a virgin has brought forth -- a thing which her nature admits not of. Then said Salome: As the Lord my God liveth, unless I thrust in my finger, and search the parts, I will not believe that a virgin has brought forth.

20. And the midwife went in, and said to Mary: Show thyself; for no small controversy has arisen about thee. And Salome put in her finger, and cried out, and said: Woe is me for mine iniquity and mine unbelief, because I have tempted the living God; and, behold, my hand is dropping off as if burned with fire. And she bent her knees before the Lord, saying: O God of my fathers, remember that I am the seed of Abraham, and Isaac, and Jacob; do not make a show of me to the sons of Israel, but restore me to the poor; for Thou knowest, O Lord, that in Thy name I have performed my services, and that I have received my reward at Thy hand. And, behold, an angel of the Lord stood by her, saying to her: Salome, Salome, the Lord hath heard thee. Put thy hand to the infant, and carry it, and thou wilt have safety and joy. And Salome went and carried it, saying: I will worship Him, because a great King has been born to Israel. And, behold, Salome was immediately cured, and she went forth out of the cave justified. And behold a voice saying: Salome, Salome, tell not the strange things thou hast seen, until the child has come into Jerusalem.

21. And, behold, Joseph was ready to go into Judaea. And there was a great commotion in Bethlehem of Judaea, for Magi came, saying: Where is he that is born king of the Jews? for we have seen his star in the east, and have come to worship him. And when Herod heard, he was much disturbed, and sent officers to the Magi. And he sent for the priests, and examined them, saying: How is it written about the Christ? where is He to be born? And they said: In Bethlehem of Judaea, for so it is written. And he sent them away. And he examined the Magi, saying to them: What sign have you seen in reference to the king that has been born? And the Magi said: We have seen a star of great size shining among these stars, and obscuring their light, so that the stars did not appear; and we thus knew that a king has been born to Israel, and we have come to worship him. And Herod said: Go and seek him; and if you find him, let me know, in order that I also may go and worship him. And the Magi went out. And, behold, the star which they had seen in the east went before them until they came to the cave, and it stood over the top of the cave. And the Magi saw the infant with His mother Mary; and they brought forth from their bag gold, and frankincense, and myrrh. And having been warned by the angel not to go into Judaea, they went into their own country by another road.

22. And when Herod knew that he had been mocked by the Magi, in a rage he sent murderers, saying to them: Slay the children from two years old and under. And Mary, having heard that the children were being killed, was afraid, and took the infant and swaddled Him, and put Him into an ox-stall. And Elizabeth, having heard that they were searching for John, took him and went up into the hill-country, and kept looking where to conceal him. And there was no place of concealment. And Elizabeth, groaning with a loud voice, says: O mountain of God, receive mother and child. And immediately the mountain was cleft, and received her. And a light shone about them, for an angel of the Lord was with them, watching over them.

23. And Herod searched for John, and sent officers to Zacharias, saying: Where hast thou hid thy son? And he, answering, said to them: I am the servant of God in holy things, and I sit constantly in the temple of the Lord: I do not know where my son is. And the officers went away, and reported all these things to Herod. And Herod was enraged, and said: His son is destined to be king over Israel. And he sent to him again, saying: Tell the truth; where is thy son? for thou knowest that thy life is in my hand. And Zacharias said: I am God's martyr, if thou sheddest my blood; for the Lord will receive my spirit, because thou sheddest innocent blood at the vestibule of the temple of the Lord. And Zacharias was murdered about daybreak. And the sons of Israel did not know that he had been murdered.

24. But at the hour of the salutation the priests went away, and Zacharias did not come forth to meet them with a blessing, according to his custom. And the priests stood waiting for Zacharias to salute him at the prayer, and to glorify the Most High. And he still delaying, they were all afraid. But one of them ventured to go in, and he saw clotted blood beside the altar; and he heard a voice saying: Zacharias has been murdered, and his blood shall not be wiped up until his avenger come. And hearing this saying, he was afraid, and went out and told it to the priests. And they ventured in, and saw what had happened; and the fretwork of the temple made a wailing noise, and they rent their clothes from the top even to the bottom. And they found not his body, but they found his blood turned into stone. And they were afraid, and went out and reported to the people that Zacharias had been murdered. And all the tribes of the people heard, and mourned, and lamented for him three days and three nights. And after the three days, the priests consulted as to whom they should put in his place; and the lot fell upon Simeon. For it was he who had been warned by the Holy Spirit that he should not see death until he should see the Christ in the flesh.

And I James that wrote this history in Jerusalem, a commotion having arisen when Herod died, withdrew myself to the wilderness until the commotion in Jerusalem ceased, glorifying the Lord God, who had given me the gift and the wisdom to write this history. And grace shall be with them that fear our Lord Jesus Christ, to whom be glory to ages of ages. Amen.



20 December 2009

New QQ International Version

With more than one billion registered accounts and 500 million monthly active users, QQ is both the most popular instant messenger service and the largest online community in the world. Tencent's QQ 2009 Beta 1 has been updated with a new version... and a new name. It is now called QQ International and is now in Beta 2 for Windows XP or Vista and Mac OS X (The Linux version is still Beta 1 and available at http://im.qq.com/qq/linux/), supporting English and Japanese operating system versions. Unfortunately the old QQ 2009 Beta 1 will not auto-update to the new version, so you must manually uninstall the old and install the new version. It has many new features beyond the enhanced nudges.

  • Groups

    Enjoy the Group Panel recommending the latest hot groups featuring on QQ International, all of which are mixing foreign and Chinese members speaking in English! You'll definitely find people who share similar interests and if not, just start your own group!
  • Chinese Style Skin

    Customize your QQ International platform with a unique selection of Chinese style skins.
  • The International Channel Shanghai

    Offering fast-browsing videos for foreigners living in China, from news and culture to language and travel, the Shanghai Information Channel covers it all!
  • City Weekend

    Check out the upcoming events, a selection of the best venues, find yourself in their party picture albums and much more in the City Weekend Shanghai and Beijing application (now with the ability to hide from launch!).
  • ChinesePod

    Online audio and video lessons, amazing tools to complete your Chinese and your English apprenticeship, offering various interactive options for you to enjoy... a courtesy of ChinesePod!
  • Weather Icon

    A default weather icon gives you the weather forcast of your actual location. You can now easily switch between Celsius and Fahrenheit!
  • World Clock

    Want to know what time it is and what's the weather like in your own city and in your friends' countries? The customizable World Clock integrates many cities, their respective DSTs and a small weather icon.

15 December 2009

James Clavell's "Asian Saga" Book Reviews


I am reading James Clavell's Asian Saga currently. I started with Shōgun and am currently reading Gai-Jin. I understand that his books received critical acclaim and Shogun was even turned in to a mini-series.

While he may be a great story-teller (although all his stories are based on actual events of actual people with the names and some details changed), I would not call him a great writer nor his editor a great editor. I have found many spelling, grammatical, and factual mistakes. Yes, this is historical fiction, but putting things in the wrong time period is uncalled for in my opinion.

The use of 70's slang in books written about centuries before hurts the book, and the lack of knowledge of facts about some things hurts. Mr. Clavell seems obsessed with unneeded (IMO) sexual detail, and sometimes it make3s you think that these books are fantasies of how he wished his life had happened.

Shogun was full of so many unnecessary details and then just ended, summarizing what happened over the next few years. It is almost as if he just ran out of gas because he gave so much detail up to this point, that he just quit.

Thankfully, more details are filled in as one reads the further books of the saga, and for this, I am thankful.

That said, I still enjoy the books. I only wish his editor was more diligent and it would make these books much more enjoyable.




23 November 2009

Déjà Vu: My wife saved my daughter's and my life this weekend!

I have always had deja vu. I will be experiencing some mundane moment and will know exactly what will happen next, because I have dreamed it before. My daughter has inherited the same ability. Likewise, my wife has had this. First time was in Pueblo, Colorado when she saw a giant drainage ditch for the Arkansas River runoff. She had dreamed of this as a child. The second time she has experienced this in America, was this weekend when I was taking Raven to Wal-Mart. There was a whole 3-way conversation that happened exactly as she had dreamt of it long ago. Except in her dream Raven and I left and never made it back, so she insisted on going with us to ensure it did not end as in her dream. Well she went with us, and we made it back, so possibly she saved our lives!

10 November 2009

HOW-TO: Localized (or Localised) Google Updater

Of course I have the Google Pack, which uses Google Updater. I have installed everything save for Google Earth and gTalk, as I only use Google Maps and Pidgin for those protocols. Well for fun I changed the language on the Google Pack page from English to Chinese and found that I could get some other new software including WPS Office, 谷歌拼音输入法, 谷歌金山词霸合作版, and 傲游浏览器 2. I highly recommend trying this out, especially if you want some great freeware in another language!



14 October 2009

Welcome to the Social Revolution

This is why Social Networking, especially China's Q'Zone is the biggest shift in Communication since the Industrial Revolution. This is why companies like Krilix will be the future of Advertising & Marketing 2.0.





14 August 2009

Busy Days!

Yesterday I deleted http://orthodox.blogspot.com - the original address of this blog (Orthodox Ecclesiology... and Insane Ramblings) that I had received from Justin Kissel after he abandoned the domain. It became my blog on Ubuntu and Yellow Dog Linux on Apple eMacs, iBooks, PowerBook G4s, etc. But now my Macs are all dead (save for an old G1 PowerBook that runs Mac OS 9 & YDL 3) and I exclusively use a Lenovo IdeaPad S10-2 netbook. So now it is time for someone else to claim this domain for their own.

My wife comes to America in just 9 more days. So today I am doing a thorough cleaning of my house. Today is also laundry day, so busy, busy, busy!
Speaking of my wife, today I video chatted with her and her elder and twin sister on QQ. Then I cleaned the kitchen wall watching Star Trek: Generations. I m taking a break right now, I will post this then move on to my room and the bathroom. FUN!



12 May 2009

Back home!

I am back from China and thankfully Fei should be following me withing a few to several months. So although I enjoy every trip to China that I have made since 2007, I probably will not be back until Fei and I return with our future child, most likely in 2011. So far, we know if our child is a girl that her name will be Margaret (Maggie) with a Chinese middle name chosen by her parents, but we have not decided on a boy's name. All her family and much of my family would like for us to have a boy, but Fei would prefer a girl. I am good either way, but a girl would be more convenient since we have a name picked out. I had this same conundrum when Raven was born, no boy name picked out, so thankfully she was a girl!

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05 March 2009

Furniture Row Beds and Linens


You know what I think would look pretty fantastic? The CHICAGO Bed from BEDROOM EXPRESSIONS with Sky Blue Bamboo Sheets from DENVER MATTRESS and the RIO GRANDE Bedding Bag Set from BEDROOM EXPRESSIONS. Of course you would want to combine that with a HIBERNATION Soft-Side mattress set or the new MUZIC BED from DENVER MATTRESS, but what a fabulous combination that would be!

03 March 2009

HOW-TO: QQ Codes

I use QQ through Adium on Mac OS X currently and it tells me all the animated gif codes. Just in case you do not know the codes, here are a few:

/zj is a waving goodbye
/bb is a steaming pile of crap
/tx is laughing with the hand in front of the teeth
/dk is crying
/qiang is thumbs up
/ruo is thumbs down
/xs is a breaking heart
/xin is a beating heart
/wen is kissing lips
/aiq is 2 penguins in love
/yb is a hug
/bei is a stiff drink
/xy is rainclouds
/ty is a shining sun
/lh is embarrassment
/mg is a red rose
/lw is a wrapped gift box
/dg is a birthday cake
/fw is a penguin in love

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02 March 2009

KyLinTV has a great deal going on right now!

Promotion Details:
  1. The promo code is valid from March 1, 2009 to May 31, 2009.
  2. Get $30 instant discount and a free KyLin TV box when you order KyLinTV service and apply these codes.
  3. This Million Dollar Rewards in Action promo code RCC227718 is for one-time use for new customers only.
  4. Use the following FAF code: NS8B1C and get 1 free month of service.
  5. This code can be redeemed ONLY when order the service online at http://www.kylintv.com/order/logindetails.asp?
Here are just some of the many channels that you can get:
Channel: CCTV-4 (CCTV - International Channel Chinese)
CCTV-4 specializes in new reports, presenting domestic and international news in a timely and objective manner. It also delivers entertainment, educational, and consulting services.

Channel: CCTV-9 (CCTV-International Channel English)
CCTV-9 reports news and information to its global audience, while delivering other programs including culture, entertainment and documentaries.

Channel: CCTV-Entertainment (CCTV-Entertainment Channel)
CCTV Entertainment Channel has a fantastic range of entertainment programs including TV dramas, music, Chinese opera, Chinese acrobatic, galas and much more.

Channel: CCTV-Opera (CCTV-Traditional Opera Channel)
CCTV Traditional Operas Channel is mainly designed for North American viewers. It focuses on sharing the arts of Chinese traditional opera, developing Chinese culture, and to meet the demands of traditional opera lovers overseas.

Channel: CCTV-E (CCTV-International Channel-Spanish)
CCTV-E emphasizes on news and information. The programs also offer a wide variety of other genres including educational programs, interviews, as well as artistic and recreational shows.

Channel: CCTV-F (CCTV-International Channel-French)
CCTV-F delivers news and other programs including culture, life, and entertainment shows, providing a comprehensive coverage on the latest news and events from China.

Channel: HTV (Hunan TV)
As the top entertainment channel from mainland China, Hunan TV has dynamic TV programs appealing to the Chinese audience.

Channel: BTV (Beijing TV)
Beijing TV focuses primarily on culture and history, as well as fashion, lifestyle and travel. BTV covers information, culture, life, sports, children, technology and entertainment.

Channel: Dragon TV
Dragon TV's programming reflects China's modern urban lifestyle and covers many TV series, entertainment shows, sports and foreign language programs.

Channel: TVS (Guangdong Southern TV)
TVS features attractive programs such as current affairs, cultural exploration and entertainment shows for Cantonese communities in North America who wish to keep in touch with life back in China.

Channel: CMC (China Movie Channel)
China Movie Channel focuses on broadcasting outstanding Chinese films. Its rich movie resources offer an overall impression of China's filming industry.

Channel: Jiangsu Int'l (Jiangsu International Channel)
Jiangsu International Channel aims at offering insightful news of what is happening in Jiangsu with programs including culture, information, entertainment, economy and more.

Channel: Fujian Straits TV
Fujian Straits TV's programs range from Chinese ancient history to splendid culture to beautiful scenery to news and current affairs.

Channel: ZTV Int'l (Zhejiang International TV)
ZTV programs include news, current affairs, economics, and service information. ZTV International is aiming to create programming that reflects Zhejiang's economic and pursue the distinction among its peers.

Channel: Xiamen Star TV
Xiamen TV provides a wide range of programs mainly in Minnan dialect that covers entertainment, culture, arts, and news programs.

Channel: CYRTV (China Yellow River TV Station)
CYRTV targets overseas Chinese in the US and foreigners who are interested about China. Their goal is to promote China, share the culture and build a bridge for cultural exchanges.

Channel: Cathay TV
Programs on Cathay TV are mostly from Mainland China that focus on bringing the latest information from China into North America and Canada. Cathay TV will continue to strengthen the bridge between East and West.

Channel: Trading Day
Trading Day offers programs that keep viewers informed on the latest financial news and stock market changes. Experts will discuss topics on stocks, securities, bonds, financial markets and other investment opportunities.

Channel: Zhonghe TV
Zhonghe TV is a cultural info-news channel that focuses on five types of multi-media markets including movies, TV series, music, traditional opera and entertainment.

Channel: Kunlun Drama Channel
The TV dramas broadcasted on the Kunlun Drama Channel mainly feature genres such as history, war, action and crime. In addition to its routine hit features, the latest limited-viewing TV dramas released on KyLinTV's VOD service are also included as well.

Channel: Yangtse Drama Channel
The TV dramas broadcasted on this channel mainly feature programs revolving around enchanting love stories or family stories. In addition to its routine features, the latest limited-viewing TV dramas released on KyLinTV's VOD service are also included as well.

Channel: Oriental Education Channel
The Oriental Education Channel offers the best educational programs for the overseas Chinese of different age groups who are interested in learning about the Chinese culture. Aiming to promote the cultural exchange between China and America, KyLinTV hopes to provide our subscribers with the best Chinese language educational programs produced in China.

Channel: Phoenix InfoNews
Phoenix InfoNews Channel provides a blend of information and general/financial news to Chinese viewers from a perspective which is global in both content and values.

Channel: Phoenix North America
Phoenix North America Chinese features high quality programming that caters to Chinese communities in North America yearning to stay in touch with what's happening back home.

Channel: ATV (Asia TV)
ATV provides a full range of television entertainment to Chinese communities throughout the United States. This channel broadcasts the best of entertainment and the most up-to-date current events from Hong Kong.

Channel: Sun TV
Sun TV showcases Chinese culture and heritage, offering programs on a variety of topics including history, antiquity and the arts, painting, literature, fashion and the lives of extraordinary Chinese personalities.

Channel: STAR CHINESE CHANNEL
STAR CHINESE CHANNEL is consistently one of the most popular channels in Taiwan. It presents a wide range of Mandarin-language general entertainment programs including talk shows, game shows, contemporary and costume dramas, lifestyle and variety shows.

Channel: Sky Link TV
Sky Link TV offers programs that serve the Chinese speaking population in North America, carrying the most popular TV dramas, entertainment shows, financial talk shows, movies, and many other dynamic programs.

Channel: Dai-Ai TV
Da Ai TV presents the goodness and beauty of humanity to its audience. Various programs are provided including news and cultural series around the clock.

Channel: BLTV
BLTV provides in-depth news coverage, English news and overseas BL news, aiming to bring care and warmth to human beings, recording the true face of this age.

Channel: Dimo TV (PTS Dimo Digital Channel)
PTS Dimo Digital Channel targets both Taiwan and overseas markets. PTS Dimo TV broadcasts programs such as dramas, international news, foreign documentary, and several other programs.

Channel: Good TV
GOOD TV strives to serve all types of family oriented programs to its broad audiences. This channel focuses on delivering educational oriented programs from many Asian countries to its North American audience.

Channel: IAVC
IAVC carries programs from Taiwan's three major TV Networks, TTV, CTV and CTS. IAVC has been taking the lead as the No. 1 Chinese content provider in North America.

Channel: Sino TV
SINO TV offers a wide range of Chinese programming including drama series, movies, variety shows, cooking programs, children programs, and locally produced news and public affair related and informative programs.

Channel: Sino Vision
SinoVision is a Chinese language television program provider serving the Chinese community with locally produced news, and a variety of entertainment programs in Mandarin.

Channel: LA-18
LA-18 is the leading Asian language TV station in the United States. This channel provides a unique assortment of news, sports, drama, and entertainment programs.

Channel: Variety
Variety is a self-created channel of KyLinTV. With content mainly based on entertainment and the arts, it provides them with a relaxing environment. At the same time, the channel also offers educational programs and important information.

CHANNEL [V]
By incorporating music and variety-show set-ups, Channel [V] has captured the adolescent audience with its innovative programming mix. Other than screening the latest chart-topping music videos...

STAR CHINESE MOVIES 2
STAR CHINESE MOVIES 2 is a channel you won’t want to miss. Showing the world’s largest contemporary Chinese film library, STAR CHINESE MOVIE 2 showcases the best movies from the golden age of Hong Kong productions from the 1970s to the 1990s. This channel feasts a line-up of box office blockbusters featuring top rated movies stars and directors. Watch you favorite idols such as Jackie Chan, Chow Yun Fat, Jet Li, Stephen Chow and more!

MASTV
MASTV is committed to delivering viewers' quality programming on news and information, finance, home and world events, entertainment, cultural, sports and more.

HZTV
Hwazan TV is a Buddhist platform of a new century. The establishment of Hwazan TV is to accomplish Ven. Master Chin-Kung's ideal and detached thoughts and it uses technology such as satellite and internet to preach Buddha dharma. The mission of Hwazan TV is to spread peace throughout the world.

UCTV
UCTV is a Chinese language Buddhist channel from Taiwan aimed at spreading the teachings of Buddha to the rest of the world. UCTV programming seeks to inspire today's society with Buddhist teachings, increase quality of life and create a unified peaceful society.

NETV
Founded by the Communication Center of the Presbyterian Church in Taiwan, New Eyes Television(NETV) is dedicated to spread the words of Christianity and to serve the public interest to expresses strong care for the common people.


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