Well that was fun!

We just had a nice 5.6 magnitude earthquake here in the East Bay. I was playing video games with noise cancelling headphones in the kids’ room when I felt the desk shake. I was about to get all over the kids for not sleeping, and saw Dylan crawling out of his bunk. But when I took the headphones out, I finally realized that the whole house was freaking shaking and all kinds of crap was falling on the floor. Chandeleirs were swinging all over the place. So naturally, the first thing I did was to look it up on the USGS site and register my ratings. Then Twitter. Then blog.

This reminds me: I really need to quit playing video games and go practice.

Clobber and rewrite

It’s time to redesign. I’ll use my traditional method of blowing everything away and starting from scratch.

Also upgraded to WordPress 2.3 today. Noticed some of my categories are missing. This is a first for me – usually the upgrades go pretty well.

I wonder what design I’ll come up with…

I also need to find a new web host.

So pardon the dust. This is a work in progress.

Sweet & Sour

Hu Jintao has issued a brilliant edition to what I call “Sweet & Sour” – the kind of rhetoric that comes out of the PRC that sounds sweet and flowery at first glance, but which is a sour and distasteful statement under the hood:

“We would like to make a solemn appeal,” Hu said at the opening of the ruling Communist Party’s five-yearly Congress.

On the basis of the one-China principle, let us discuss a formal end to the state of hostility between the two sides, reach a peace agreement, construct a framework for peaceful development of cross-strait relations and thus usher in a new phase of peaceful development.”

Wow, great job at saying basically: “Bend over and surrender to your PRC masters.” Here’s another gem from Zhang Qingli, the Communist Party boss of occupied Tibet:

“Such a person who basely splits his motherland and doesn”t even love his motherland has been welcomed by some countries and has even been receiving this or that award,” Tibet”s Communist Party boss, Zhang Qingli, told reporters during the congress.

“We are furious,” Mr. Zhang said. “If the Dalai Lama can receive such an award, there must be no justice or good people in the world.”

This on the other hand is pure sour. And really, you have two types of sour: The good kind, like a lemon drop shaken and served up. And the bad kind, such as sour milk – spoiled, curdled, and nasty. This falls squarely into the sour milk category, does it not? I include it here for a bit of contrast, and also to illustrate the huge amount of pure unfiltered crap that this country is capable of spewing from the mouths of their politicians, which almost rivals our own Bush administration in its outlandishness and downright fictitious nature. Gruber provides the clarification:

Where by “no justice or good people”, Zhang means “justice and good people”.

The PRC apparently has much stronger crack than they sell here, and they’re passing it out freely at the party congress.

Update: Best law ever: Chinese authorities issued a new regulation in July 2007 that requires all reincarnations – including the Dalai Lama – to be approved by the government. Now that is funny. When people unearth this civilization tens of thousands of years from now, they will be laughing their asses off…

Play Misty For Me

Come and see the show:

Benefit Concert Nov. 7 at 1 PM at 1755 Sunnyvale Ave in Walnut Creek, California, featuring members of the Taiwanese Bay Area community.

As of this writing, my pieces appear to be the Rossini Duetto for cello and bass, Koussevitsky’s Chanson Triste for bass and piano, and the last two or three movements from the Dvorak quintet. Yingwen is working on a Brahms Rhapsody, will accompany me on the Koussevitsky, and is accompanying a soprano soloist, a tenor soloist, and her choir. Should be fun!