Sunday, March 25, 2007

So i read stories like this...
and i'm left with the idea that maybe...
just maybe...
i should just give up, move to china, and look for haruhi...

Thursday, March 22, 2007

Adventures in Chinese Videos...

I've been here for a while... and i tend to leave MTV (or the local equivalent Vgongshe) up in the background...

First off - a LOT of interesting influences... i hear C&W ballads, weird jpop-styled crap with girl bands dressed disturbingly young (not that chinese girls dont look too damned young to begin with), and odd stuff with very odd 'engrish' from time to time.

But here's the stuff that stands out - and my version of what's going on.

黃義達 - 完整演出 -- Yida... Chinese Emo music (as far as i can tell) - without the screaming or the my chemical romance makeup.
非你莫属 - TANK -- a popular song about a female stalker / chinese princess type who ends traps some poor guy into breaking her arm and doing whatever she wants. (he'd better watch out... there's usually a really big shoe budget involved in those...)
小情歌 - 苏打绿 -- a sad country chord progression ballad about a girl who has some sort of odd mirrormask problem with her walls - with lots of poison gas and blood raining from the skies and people who rip their hearts out of their chests... at least... that's what it looks like...
拥抱的问号 - 袁泉 -- Another country ballad - by another pretty chinese girl (damn but there are a lot of those) with one of those smoky jazz voices that would probably hold up in a more interesting musical style.
就算没有明天 - 孙俪/黄晓明 -- Hong-Kong Gangster Powerballad... think John Wu meets Michael Bolton. PC Load Letter my left nut.

on edit - one more
黑涩会美眉_-_晴天娃娃 -- ok - if theres one you gotta watch... the disturbing story of a group of 4 chinese lesbian cheerleaders and their attempt to get one of their coven pregnant by a very tall basketball player... or something like that.

I cant find some of the stuff i see in heavy rotation... hard to do when you dont speak the language... but you get the idea. It's pretty soft... even the harder stuff is soft... (never gets more aggressive than a Verve-esque guitar sound and guys with their collars turned up). I want to see Chinese punk - but oddly enough - that's one thing you dont see on the streets here... i dont think i've seen a single kid with attitude.

Thursday, March 15, 2007

So... here's my take on the firing of the US attorneys - and it probably doesnt surprise any of you that I have a bit of a different take on this than most. See... everyone is focusing on the fired... the firing... the 'why'... people are doing the whole 'who knew what when' angle to death.

I have a different question.

8 US attorneys were fired because, after being pressured to play ball with the administration - pursue purely political indictments - create MSM stories of 'corrupt democrats' to offset all the the horrific Duke Cunningham and Tom Delay and that Gay Pedophile Republican Congressman (god i love putting those 4 words together) - that there were 8 attorneys who just wouldnt play ball... 8 of them.

And they didnt fire the other 85.


Why not fire the other 85?

What... exactly... did they do that merited, in the eyes of this remarkably corrupt administration, a pass? How did those 85 justice department officials comport themselves so as to KEEP their jobs... THAT is what we should be looking at. Not at the firings. The firings are the easy story.

Sunday, March 04, 2007

Blogging from china is weird.
Blogger knows i'm in china... and so everything is in chinese simplified chars..

anyway - i'm here. Not all that much to say - honestly - friendly people taking my 'lost bags' report... friendly policemen screaming at cabdrivers to get out of the way... friendly cab drivers charging me less to get to the hotel from the airport than a montreal cabbie would charge for me to get into his car...

It is starting off as an adventure. My ATM card expired at the end of feb... Jake is going to fed-ex me the new one - if he can find it amongst the prodigious stacks of mail at my house. If it doesnt happen it's ok - I can get a cash advance from people headed this way next week - and i have enough cash i can manage.

Air Canada lost my bags ( I figured with 2, they could only lose one... i was wrong) They were in Vancouver... so in theory they're on their way here. The hotel lost my reservation - so when I did arrive - they had no record I was supposed to be here. Needless to say, when you have 20 nights booked in a hotel, having your reservation go missing can create a serious problem for the hotel... but eventually it got sorted (i gather the room aggregators have some method of pushing out reservations that's outside starwood's system - and it seems that the purchases dont come in a batch with some sort of Syn-Ack with the hotel). Once they found it - it was all good - but seeing as the room was prepaid I wasnt really in the mood to pay for it all over again.

When the roomkey didnt work in my door the first time i tried it - i just laughed. 'Of course it doesnt...'

The hotel is nice - the room service is better than i'm used to (room service in montreal hotels is expensive and generally beyond crappy - though, to be honest, food in montreal is a lot less spectacular than they think it is). The internet has some latency - but it's not as bad as people promised... (yet). Nothing to report on the work front - other than the fact that there are some *really* big things going on in the background - and they're all moving in positive directions... All I have to do is get this stuff working...


all i have to do...

Friday, March 02, 2007

Ok peeps... read this

Now - it's really simple. Look - I deal with customs people all the time... but this? this is beyond stupid. They had this guys FULL DIPLOMATIC PASSPORT and they didnt let him in to do his 'very necessary and helping the US in a bad situation' job...

We should just fire these DHS people - or better... use them for the surge. Send all these morons into iraq and let them be traffic cops outside the greenzone. Multiple idiots had a chance on this one - and all of them failed - i'd fire every single one of them. (I'm on a firing binge of late... i suppose that just puts me in a bad mood).

Thursday, March 01, 2007

Ok. File this one under wrong.

Colorado to use inmates to fill migrant shortage
Tough laws passed last year against illegal immigration have created a need for farmworkers.

From the article:
Prisoners who are a low security risk may choose to work in the fields, earning 60 cents a day. They also are eligible for small bonuses.

The inmates will be watched by prison guards, who will be paid by the farms. The cost is subject to negotiation, but farmers say they expect to pay more for the inmate labor and its associated costs than for their traditional workers.

So farmers are upset because they have to pay $.60 a day for a worker - plus the minimum wage for the security guard to watch them - because that's more than they're used to paying. Sixty cents. And prisoners will be willing to DO the work for that sixty cents... And in the mean time we give Apple a hard time for the Chinese I-pod manufacturing facilities...

Along those lines - last week - IBM wanted to charge me several thousand dollars for management modules in 1U servers I'm having deployed in China for remote management - things that could open and close the DVD tray... do a little more than the typical remote login functionality. When I did the ROI, I realized I could pay 3 shifts of chinese workers 4 years of salary before I broke even - to sit there all day and push the button when i needed it.

The 'invisible hand' of capitalism is about to destroy your way of life America... and in the mean time you're so focused on chasing ghosts that you're not doing anything about it.