Monday, December 29, 2014

Living with Livia

Living with Livia

Christmas may be over, but there's no reason you can't get everyone you've ever met a belated gift. What better than a book that's a little dark and hopefully has some funny bits as well.

Living with Livia is the best thing I've ever written. If you think my writing sucks then that probably won't mean much – and why would anyone read a blog that they hate? If you've found anything I've ever done amusing then you should like this one.

People have called me brave and/or reckless for Hailey's Bali Diary, but Living with Livia is more revealing, as far as I'm concerned.

Paperback at Amazon

e-book at Amazon

Other retailers coming soon.

Thursday, December 25, 2014

Merry Christmas

Christmas Medley
Judy Garland, Mel Tormé, Jack Jones, Liza Minnelli, Tracy Everitt, Lorna Luft, Joey Luft

Have Yourself a Merry Little Christmas

Wednesday, December 24, 2014

Tuesday, December 23, 2014

Monday, December 22, 2014

The Most Wonderful Time of the Year

It's the Most Wonderful Time of the Year
Andy Williams

Wonderful Christmastime
Paul McCartney

Thursday, December 18, 2014

Hong Kong Protest part 5

The big democracy protest is now officially over. Thousands of people camped out in the streets demanding something from their government that they were never going to get. China has historically not had the most open government in the world. Killing people is preferable to them than listening.

In the beginning, the protests were interesting. People were excited to be involved. Local and international media were excited to see some action. Then everyone got bored. With instant everything these days, several months of protests are never going to hold everyone's attention. The international media left soon after they arrived. Even the local news stopped talking about it – except to complain that the protesters were blocking traffic and interfering with sales. Since most local Hong Kong media is owned by people with business connections to Mainland China, they were never going to be in favor of the protests. Most simply chanted the Chinese government mantra.

The world basically ignoring the protests is exactly what the Chinese government wanted. They could always block content in China – apparently, even this blog was blocked after I mentioned it – but there was never anything they could do about the rest of the world. Fortunately for China, the rest of the world had its own problems. The protests in the United States were always going to be more newsworthy – and they turned out to be far more violent. The protests in the Arab world were always going to be more violent. Say what you will about Hong Kong protesters or Hong Kong police, but they're far more polite to each other than you get in most countries. There were a few minor issues with police assaulting their people, but it was nothing compared to American and Arab police killing their people.

When Hong Kong officials started clearing the protest sites, not a lot of people outside Hong Kong even noticed. When they closed down the protests at Admiralty and Causeway Bay, most of the people I know who don't live in Hong Kong thought it had all ended a long time ago.

In the end, the government agreed to nothing. The new election laws that started the protests are still in place. CY Leung is still in charge. Some of the protest leaders are in jail. Some will probably quietly disappear. I was hoping that more would come of it, but at least it ended peacefully. There was no Tiananmen Square in Hong Kong.

Sunday, December 7, 2014

Pearl Harbor

“Yesterday, December 7, 1941—a date which will live in infamy—the United States of America was suddenly and deliberately attacked by naval and air forces of the Empire of Japan.

The United States was at peace with that nation, and, at the solicitation of Japan, was still in conversation with its government and its emperor looking toward the maintenance of peace in the Pacific. Indeed, one hour after Japanese air squadrons had commenced bombing in the American island of Oahu, the Japanese ambassador to the United States and his colleague delivered to our secretary of state a formal reply to a recent American message. While this reply stated that it seemed useless to continue the existing diplomatic negotiations, it contained no threat or hint of war or armed attack.

It will be recorded that the distance of Hawaii from Japan makes it obvious that the attack was deliberately planned many days or even weeks ago. During the intervening time the Japanese government has deliberately sought to deceive the United States by false statements and expressions of hope for continued peace.

The attack yesterday on the Hawaiian Islands has caused severe damage to American naval and military forces. I regret to tell you that very many American lives have been lost. In addition, American ships have been reported torpedoed on the high seas between San Francisco and Honolulu.”

-- President Franklin Delano Roosevelt

Thursday, December 4, 2014

The Tooth Fairy part 4

By the time the dentist finally came into my little cubicle, I was ready to go home. Before she even looked in my mouth, she showed me the x-rays. The good news was that the rest of my teeth are still in great shape. The dentist was actually impressed by how good they looked. I still don’t know if that was supposed to be insulting or not. Maybe she just sees so many bad teeth all day that good teeth are a rarity.

The bad news is that she wants to tear out my wisdom teeth. She said that they are going to cause nothing but trouble in the near future. I don’t even notice them now, but she seemed pretty certain that I would when the time came. I decided that we should just concentrate on the crown for now.

She took a mold of my teeth and put on a temporary cap. I have to go back when the crown is ready. It was all pretty much the same as when I did the first crown a million years ago in Minnesota. Either the technology hasn’t changed much or Hong Kong is behind the times. The hospital is as modern as can be and none of the equipment looked especially old. The only disappointments I had with the facility were the cubicles instead of rooms and the long wait time.

Four hours after my appointment time, I went home.

I went back to finish the crown, but I’m definitely going to a different dentist about this whole wisdom teeth issue. In Hong Kong, or anywhere, you should get a second or third opinion before you let anyone cut into you. I know that I should go to the dentist more often, but nothing about this visit gave me any enthusiasm to do so.

Monday, December 1, 2014

Thanksgiving 2014

Ryan came to Hong Kong for Thanksgiving and we all went out to dinner. By we, I mean Lily, Kevin, Ryan and I.

We went to Agua Roma, a trendy Italian/Japanese restaurant at Tsim Sha Tsui. We mostly went for the mix of Italian and Japanese, but the views were not too bad either. We all like Italian food and we went to Tokyo this summer, so we’ve all been looking at Japanese food more.

The food was good enough, but nothing exceptional. Most people go for the views. The restaurant is close to the harbor and has famous views of the Symphony of Lights. Several movies have been filmed in the bar. I remember seeing something with Morgan Freeman there, but I don’t remember which movie that was.

Overall, I would probably never go back. Like most trendy restaurants, the emphasis is on the restaurant’s design and how hip everything is. I prefer restaurants where the emphasis is on the food. Agua Roma looks nice, but ultimately, you go to any restaurant to eat, not to look at the walls.