Archive - Jan 2007

January 27th

True enough

This sign appeared in one of the gardens in Suzhou.

Hangzhou street kiosk

Photo gallery

Stumbled upon the online gallery of Chuck Kimmerle yesterday. Kimmerle is the University of North Dakota's official photographer. His gallery demonstrates that he has a real gift for photographing the prairie and its features.

January 25th

Root beer

It's been a while since I have been into the Fertile Hilton, so I paid Aunt Olla a visit there today. I started asking her about the old days, and she started telling me about the years of 1927 and 1928, when she was down at the Moorhead State Teacher's College, or Normal School as it was called at the time.

Chinese home cooking

One of the highlights of the trip to China was a home-cooked meal put together by a friend of our co-host Micheal, Xiao Miao, a former professional cook. It was fun to watch him slice the pork and the veggies very quickly and accurately.

These critters were squirming when they, in the words of Micheal, voluntarily committed suicide by jumping in the wok. And oh were they good.

Twins err

The Twins made two predictable errors in the past weeks, signing washed up pitchers Sidney Ponson and Ramon Ortiz to contracts for the upcoming season. Ortiz was given $3.1 million, despite his record as the second-worst pitcher in the National League last season.

January 24th

And back to Suzhou

If you get the feeling I am running through my pictures finding ones I have missed, you're right. Here is one from the garden city, Suzhou. The trunk of a tree planted in one of the courtyards intermingles with the distinctive Suzhou limestone which is used so prominently in the major Suzhou gardens.


To contrast with the frivolity in Shanghai, here is the seriousness of Beijing. The enormous building in the background is Mao's tomb. You can go see what's left of him, if you wish. We did not.

Up close, the soldiers looked too young to take seriously. They also looked like they were from another part of the country. They had distinctly round faces. But we could only speculate.

Modern Art in Shanghai

For some color on a drab January day, we turn to the MoCA, the modern art museum in Shanghai.

The museum is supported by private donors. However, the government has allowed it, and that is no small thing.

As is usually the case when I visit a modern art museum, some of the things I understand...

American Idol

I have never watched the show, but when I was in a hotel room last night surfing TV channels, I saw some clips of the show's auditions. Despicable. Simon, the resident curmudgeon, tore apart some poor people who clearly had no talent, but who were obviously allowed to go as far as they did in the contest so they could be made fun of on national TV.

One kid who was juggling while he was singing was told that he had no future in singing or anything else. The kid broke down crying backstage, saying "I've never felt so humiliated in my life!"