Tuesday, November 23, 2010

Fall Foliage

Click the pix for larger picture.
It's snowing in the Pacific Northwest. In South China it has been in the mid to high 70's. Here are some of the Autumn colors from our local waterfront park.

Sunday, November 21, 2010

Crime in The Middle Kingdom

Dead Guy under the tarp on the left.
Zip tied, bagged and shoeless, ready for booking.

Click the pix for larger picture.
As we were strolling to the local big box store the other day we noticed that traffic had stopped moving. A police van full of cops whizzed by in the motorbike lane, and we soon came upon a crowd that was gaping at something across the street. We had come upon a major crime scene!
According to the newspapers, 4 men from Guangzhou were stealing motorcycles from the pay to park area. While one distracted the attendant, the others were busting the locks and loading the bikes into their van. An alert cop saw what was going and went to stop them. One of the men pulled a knife and was shot dead. The others surrendered, preferring to take their chances with Chinese prison.
I took some photos of the scene, which made me feel a little bit journalistic. The police didn't seem to mind the tall white dude shooting shots over the crowd, and there was a news team from the TV station on the scene.
There is little violent crime here, but lately there has been a lot of motorcycle theft. Sometimes it happens late at night at knife point. There are 4 fewer guys making a living at it now.

Friday, November 12, 2010

Ducks in China

Sports are very popular in China. They love basketball, ping pong, soccer, badminton, volleyball, gymnastics and all Olympic events. I wanted to introduce American football to my students. No sport is a better reflection of our national character.
It has complex rules and penalties that are constantly changing. It's violent, yet graceful. It can be very creative. It's brutish, yet the players must be intelligent enough to master its complexities. If you don't like an official's call, you can appeal it. It's a thrilling spectacle, just like the US.
The University of Oregon is blessed with the finest football team in its history. It's undefeated at this writing and possesses the most thrilling offensive unit in football. As a lifelong Duck fan I have been following their glory as best as I can from afar. It can be challenging. It isn't televised here so I am reliant on the internet. ESPN.com has a cute little graphic gamecast that gives you a play by play as it happens, and if you are lucky has some video replay. I also found a great blog site, Winesfamily.blogspot.com which has great Youtube recaps that they have made.
I have used these 10 minute recaps in my classes as the Great Leap Forward in football education. What better way to expose these kids to Great American Sport than to show them the lightening fast pummeling that Daren Thomas and LaMichael James give the unfortunate oppositions. To my joyous surprise cheers came with every good play, and Asian Duck mania occurred during the big plays.
There are now 2,000 more Duck fans in the People's Republic.