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
Carpenters

Wednesday, December 24, 2014

Tuesday, December 23, 2014

Christmas Songs


The Christmas Song
Nat King Cole & Frank Sinatra



Sleigh Ride
Ella Fitzgerald

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.

Monday, December 8, 2014

John Lennon

1940-1980


Power to the people
Power to the people
Power to the people
Power to the people

Power to the people
Power to the people
Power to the people
Power to the people, right on

Say you want a revolution
We better get it on right away
Well then get on your feet
And into the street

Singing power to the people
Power to the people
Power to the people
Power to the people, right on

A million workers working for nothing
You better give them what they really own
We got to put you down
When we come into town

Singing power to the people
Power to the people
Power to the people
Power to the people, right on

I got to ask you comrades and brothers
How do you treat you own woman back home
She got to be herself
So she can free herself

Singing power to the people
Power to the people
Power to the people
Power to the people, right on
Now, now, now, now

Power to the people
Power to the people
Power to the people
Power to the people, right on

Power to the people
Power to the people
Power to the people
Power to the people, right on

Power to the people
Power to the people
Power to the people
Power to the people, right on

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 colleagues 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 of 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.

“Yesterday, the Japanese government also launched an attack against Malaya. Last night, Japanese forces attacked Hong Kong. Last night, Japanese forces attacked Guam. Last night, Japanese forces attacked the Philippine islands. Last night, the Japanese attacked Wake Island. And this morning, the Japanese attacked Midway Island. Japan has, therefore, undertaken a surprise offensive extending throughout the Pacific area. The facts of yesterday and today speak for themselves. The people of the United States have already formed their opinions and well understand the implications to the very life and safety of our nation.

“As commander in chief of the army and navy, I have directed that all measures be taken for our defense. But always will our whole nation remember the character of the onslaught against us. No matter how long it may take us to overcome this premeditated invasion, the American people in their righteous might will win through to absolute victory.

“I believe that I interpret the will of the Congress and of the people when I assert that we will not only defend ourselves to the uttermost, but will make it very certain that this form of treachery shall never again endanger us.

“Hostilities exist. There is no blinking at the fact that our people, our territory and our interests are in grave danger. With confidence in our armed forces, with the unbounding determination of our people, we will gain the inevitable triumph, so help us God.

“I ask that the Congress declare that since the unprovoked and dastardly attack by Japan on Sunday, December 7, 1941, a state of war has existed between the United States and the Japanese Empire.”

--President Franklin Delano Roosevelt, 12/8/1941



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.