Apr 20 2014

Becoming a Christian 基督徒

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The 45th Baptismal Service of CCGN is held this afternoon. A friend of mine’s one of the 12 converts – they range from age 11 to 51 (the program).

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A friend decided to take the plug. Reportedly she can still drink and consume meat. So that’s good to know. No offense to those who believes in a religion. I’m just a heathen and like to joke. Guess no god with a redeeming value would want me in his or her camp. The converts share the same tub of warm water. (The testimonies are way too long, more than two hours, the water got cold. A few guys tried to add hot water to make the customers more comfortable.) Happy for my friend who found her calling. The upright badly needs a tune up.
I have trouble to distinguish Christian or catholic (calories and proteins, so I give up. Not knowing isn’t too bad). This church used to be a synagogue and had a Japanese Rabbi. I played badminton here for a few years and when they failed to recruit me and any of the players, they shut down the program.
Ran into Margret who looks so good.
The heavy food smell permeated the side (where I used to play badminton.)
Two persons give the speech in English and Chinese, in this order. The testimony is painfully long. Some used paper for their speech while others used their phone.
The teenagers tend toward, ‘my family brought me here .. ‘ while the four adults have

  1. the 24 years old basically antagonized everyone around her by canceling gatherings at the last second ..
  2. two mothers have medical problems, one had half her face in pain with splitting headache .. they all made a bargain with the devil: If I get to be healthy, I would ..
  3. a new Hangzhou immigrant with a daughter who’s husband is back in China tending to the business ..

The god must be really busy. The kids (English) are ok but the adults (speak Chinese) are decidedly problem-loaded and come to seek relief, redemption and help. They all know they’re sinners 我知道我是一个罪人.


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Mar 22 2014

The utility guys

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gridThe utility companies are terrible in the USA.

National Grid – I’ve been with them for ages and never looked at the bills. I would not notice the following if were not for the large amount wrongful charge:

  1. how could a residential account uses over $300 gas per month?
  2. the payment due date is April 9 but they auto deduct on April 1 – see the two red circles.

Our water guys, still uses antiquated system that they can’t even handle the auto payments. When we first bought this house, we got a bill that was for the previous owner. Not a lot of money but it shocked me when I told them the mistake, and their reply?

I have to deal with it or pay it up.

I just can’t believe it.




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Mar 18 2014


imageThis one is posted on the WeChat,


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Mar 10 2014

Replacing a NY driver’s license

If you don’t change anything, like name or address, it’s relatives easy. Get a ticket R724 @ 12:21 and wait to be called. Today is a Monday, when I got the ticket, R712 was being serviced. We waited for 45 minutes. The process of replacing it took only ten minutes, cost $17.50.

CNN: Two mystery passengers add to intrigue in airliner’s disappearance: Tickets linked to stolen passports for missing Malaysia Airlines Flight 370 were purchased by an Iranian man, authorities say.

At least two people on board the plane were traveling on passports stolen from an Austrian and an Italian.

According to Thai police officials, an Iranian man by the name of Kazem Ali purchased the tickets for two friends who he said wanted to return home to Europe. While Ali made the initial booking by telephone, either Ali or someone acting on his behalf paid for the tickets in cash, according to police.

WSJ: AI-CH193A_MALST_G_20140310065415Stolen passport on MH370 raise security concern, this listed a few figures:

    • 1,000,000,000 # of times passenger boarded planes in 2013 without their passports being checked against Interpol’s database
    • 800,000,000 annual searches against the stolen and lost database on average per year
    • 40,000,000 mil travel documents registers as lost or stolen in Interpol’s database
    • 60,000 the # of ‘hits’ generated by the Interpol database on average per year

In light of this, I asked the DMV agent if the lost license is cancelled. She said no, there is no mechanism to do so.

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Feb 24 2014

My typing skill

I learned typing on an old mechanic typewriter (would be considered an antique by now) during my school days in Beijing. Back then we did not have after school program and I often spent free time lingering at the Zoology Institute where my mom used to work. Other than boredom, the well insulated office building provided warmth in the winter and chill in the summer. On one of those frequent and bother-some visits, one of mom’s colleagues offered to teach me how to type. I gladly accepted it, only because it beat out doing nothing. Little did I know that it would so be put to use and I’ve been using it ever since.

During the 1970s, part of school curriculum was to send students to field trips, called 学工学农 拉练 Learn from the Workers, Farmers and Soldiers. Those re-education exercises aim at introducing us to the virtues of plain living 培养艰苦朴素的美德. Those trips varied in length and locations. Some were away that lasted weeks month while others might sandwich between classes if the school had a workshop.

untitledOnce we went to a week long field trip. Due to my weak health and passable calligraphy, the classroom teacher Lin assigned me to the printing office with few classmates. Most work units used  mimeograph 油印 to satisfy the print need, with either waxed paper 蜡纸 with hand or Chinese typewriter typeface 中文铅字打字机  that required memorization of the location of each character, which was an actual job. Hand written waxed paper used a specialized needle pen 钢针笔 with a 钢板 plate. Each stroke, the needle pen would cut through the waxed paper and leaving two white trails. The trick to have a clear print, each stroke needed the same force which was impossible to achieve. When a mistake was made, we used extinguished match to repair, either lightly burn it over or used a small piece waxed paper to paste on it.

The printing office was headed by an old man who probably was sent there for reeducation too. On the first day, I spotted an typewriter and played with it for a moment. First he was not pleased and then when he saw me could actually type, he promoted me to the typewriter. I was flattered and motivated to do well. However, other mates in the office were eager to try the new toy, which made my little job more difficult because I did not know how to say no and they often made unnecessary mistake. After the week long field trip, my typing skill had improved tremendously. At the time, I had no idea what I would be doing when I grew up but typing became one of skills that I use on daily basis shortly after.

After came to New York, I went to school to learn English. It was 1986 and the computer had been widely used. For my first class assignment of composition I typed it up and found it was much easier than hand writing. The teacher was very surprised to see a neatly typed and printed homework. My English was deplorable but my effort deserved an A+.

Chinese typing has been a pain since I didn’t know how, only learned when I joined QQ, an old chatting tool used by my classmates and now migrated to WeChat. It’s really the easy to type made me writing this blog in English rather than Chinese.



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Feb 04 2014

The new Mona Lisa

Peng liyuan
China’s first lady Peng Liyuan’s oil painting portrait has a story:

彭丽媛神奇的“座.江.山”油画,价值过亿 !




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Jan 14 2014

The cockroach

Published by under View from Bottom

I’m reading Bud, Not Buddy, a fiction (part of it is based on true story..) by Christopher Paul Curtis. One of Bud’s friends is called Bogs because a cockroach has crawled into his ear. Today I heard this news in the radio ..

By Alexander Smith, NBC News contributor
Doctors had to surgically remove a 0.8 inch cockroach from a man’s ear after it crawled inside while he was asleep, according to Australian media reports Friday.
It’s purely coincidental that I’m reading Bud Not Buddy by

Hendrik Helmer told the state-owned Australian Broadcasting Corporation that he had unsuccessfully tried to suck out the insect using his vacuum cleaner.

“I was hoping it wasn’t a poisonous spider. I was hoping it didn’t bite me,” he said.

Having been woken in the early hours of Wednesday morning by an excruciating pain in the side of his head, Helmer convinced his roommate to drive him to the hospital near their home in Darwin, in northern Australia.

The doctor put olive oil into Helmer’s ear but that merely drove the cockroach down further. After 10 minutes the creature began to die so the doctor pulled it out with forceps.

Helmer said his friends were so concerned by his experience that they had started going to bed wearing headphones, Sky News reported.

Before I moved to Hong Kong, I had never seen a cockroach before. One day at school, in a boring class, the windows were all open, and suddenly I saw a thing flying in. I screamed. The whole class erupted or reacted to my out burst. Then one mate said,
“Omg, it’s just a cockroach for Pete’s Sake.”
The class busted out laugh.
Sorry mates, I’m afraid of bugs。
In Beijing we have the scary bug 土鳖 ground beetle (it often refers to hillbilly too). I was so glad to leave that behind … only to find a new species.

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Jan 01 2014

New Year kimchi

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3 lb napa cabbage 白菜,1 lb radish 白萝卜
2 cup water
3 table spoon sweet rice flour
1 table spoon sugar

4 table spoon salt (app.)
2/3 cup fish sauce
2 cup pepper flakes
4 cloves garlic

image image image image

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Dec 23 2013

The art of selling

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IMG_2069Two bags made by two different company. I was at the store whose bag is to the right after purchasing the one on the left. I asked the sales girl which one suits me better. She said, without thinking her bag, because its compact. But she then added a compliment to the one I purchased: it is nice too.
It’s a rhetorical or facetious but she makes the effort.
In Flushing, many times the store clerk would say,
Your hair looks awful ..” That’s quite right because, the fact is I don’t comb my hair and like it that way.
Your face looks terrible ..” .. desperately need a facial.
Are we Chinese so uncouth blunt?

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Nov 29 2013

A dragon ..

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a dragon on display at Joe’s .. changing neighborhood or what ?

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Nov 29 2013

Christmas Cactus

Bought this cactus from Trader Joe’s on 11/18. A diver? A swan?  More Zygocactus on FB, taken with T2i
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… but I still much prefer the orchids ..

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Nov 22 2013

At the grocer – New York Mart

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On LIE in Little Neck. (My hot pot beef encounter on Yelp..) Grocery shopping is a never ending chord.

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Nov 10 2013

林毅夫等人获聘国务院参事 讲真话是最起码要求

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据新华社电 国务院总理李克强8日在中南海紫光阁向新聘任的国务院参事、中央文史研究馆馆员颁发聘书。他强调,要充分发挥参事、馆员在国家科学民主决策中的特有作用。

- 纵深
郎志正说,讲真话是最起码要求,当参事必须独立思考、敢说真话,不能人云亦云。当年朱镕基总理发聘书时说了4个字:“直言谏言”,温家宝总理第一次会见国务院参事时重申3个字“讲真话”。 新京报记者 王姝

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Nov 10 2013

Beef, thin sliced

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My review on New York Marts In Little Neck. The left one is from Korean H Mart, right is from New York Mart, improved.

image image

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Nov 05 2013

Air BnB

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the first time I read about Air BnB and checking its site out, my first thought was: is it legal … and how do the owners handle the tax. The authority is pretty quick on its heels, perhaps from the pressure of the hotels? The biggest losers I could see are hotels In New York – the first destination in USA.

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Oct 28 2013

央视批星巴克起反效应: 网上广传的新段子

Starbucks in China is more expensive than in USA. Last time in Shanghai, a latte cost 30 RMB about US$5 to $6.

【大纪元2013年10月27日讯】近几日,中国网络上最热闹的事情,莫过于中共央视大批美国星巴克连锁店在中国卖的咖啡贵,牟取暴利,但没有赢得民众的喝采,反倒是在网上热传新段子对央视冷嘲热讽。 下面摘录其中的一些。

  1. 我问星巴克服务员:拿铁 (Latte) 多钱?服务员:27元。我质问:为啥伦敦卖24.25元?芝加哥19.98元?孟买14.6元?服务员平静说:中国房价比国外贵,汽车比国外贵,汽油比国外贵,上网比国外贵,税比国外贵,为啥拿铁不能贵?正在我哑口无言时,后面一群人催我:买不买?买不起滚!我:…  I asked the attendant: How much does a Latte cost? Attendant: 27 RMB. I demanded: why does it cost only 24.25 in London and 19.98 in Chicago and 14.6 in Mumbai? The attendant replied: Chinese real estate is more expensive than anywhere in the world, auto is more expensive, gasoline  is more expensive, Internet  is more expensive, taxes is higher, why shouldn’t the Latte  be expensive? As I was debating, the crowds behind me became impatient: “Are you buying or not? Can’t afford? Get out of here … “
  2. 买着世界上最贵的房子,开着世界上最贵的车子,加着上涨最快的汽油,吃着全世界最不安全的食品,享受着一场大病能让大多数家庭破产的医疗,用着又贵又慢又恶心的网络,发着世界上收快递频率最高的微博…这些你统统视而不见,却来告诉我一杯一年喝不了五次的咖啡是世界上最贵的咖啡,真有意思!
  3. 以前一直以为星巴克都是土豪们喝的,一杯起码也要小两百,这几天才知道,才27块!你早说嘛,害得我眼馋了那么多年都不敢进去,每次午后路过看到里面的人坐在洋气的沙发上,晒着太阳看书聊天上网,据说还不计时,真心羡慕那些人,看来以后我也可以像他们一样享受午后生活,感谢央视给我机会 I always thought Starbucks is the place for new rich, a cup of coffee would cost 200 RMB. I only knew now that it cost only 27 RMB. How come you did not air this report earlier, depriving me envious are afraid to go in for so many years, every afternoon, passing Starbucks see the inside of people sitting on the sofa, basking in the sun reading chat online, I also heard there is no time limit, really envy those people. Thanks to your reportage, I can live like them enjoy the afternoon, giving me the opportunity to enjoy just like them
  4. 老师问学生:“央视点名批评了苹果,第二天苹果股价逆市上涨;央视点名批评了星巴克,第二天星巴克的股票同样上涨,这是为什么?”学生:“因为能被央视点名批评,说明这个企业的产品质量和服务比中国高出许多,是良心企业。
  5. 央视称星巴克暴利,吓我一跳,我还以为星巴克也进军中国地产了、投资中国通讯了,参股国企了、投资医院了、来华办教育了、进军交通了、投资中国石油了……于是,果断喝了口星巴克咖啡压压惊。
  6. CCTV,油价你不骂,房价你不骂,看病贵看病难你不骂,上学难上学贵你不骂,高速过路费这么贵你不骂,人家星巴克这个价格你大篇幅的说。
  7. 一杯咖啡而已,至于央视点名?杯笔,无尺,还有羊驼,我尽量含蓄些,Less Monday,more coffee,我就喜欢敢爱敢恨真性情的人。
  8. 1、星巴克卖的不是咖啡,卖的是休闲。2、法拉利卖的不是跑车,卖的是一种近似疯狂的驾驶快感和高贵。3、劳力士卖的不是表,卖的是奢侈的感觉和自信。4、希尔顿卖的不是酒店,卖的是舒适与安心。5、麦肯锡卖的不是数据,卖的是权威与专业……你在卖什么?
  9. 有人在争论,调和油和地沟油,哪个更靠谱?有小伙伴这么说:还是喝星巴克吧。虽然贵了点儿,但没有参东西。

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Oct 28 2013

美国排中国前50名高中,人大附中夺冠 !


Top 50 High School in China

High School Name A B C D E Total Score

1,中国人民大学附中 (北京)

Remin University of China Affiliated High School 7.40 6.17 10 10 10 43.57

2,清华大学附中 (北京)

Tsinghua University Affiliated High School 5.20 4.33 10 10 10 39.53

3,西北工业大学附中 (西安,陕西)

Northwestern(原文拼写错误) Polytechnical University Affiliated Middle Scho
ol 4.30 3.58 9 10 10 36.88

4,东北师大附中 (长春,吉林)

Northeast Normal University Affiliated High School 4.20 3.50 9 10 10 36.70

5,北京师大附属实验中学 (北京)

Beijing Normal University Affiliated Experimental High School 3.50 2.92 9 9
10 34.42

6,上海中学 (上海)

Shanghai High School 2.90 2.42 9 10 10 34.32

7,华中师大1附中 (武汉,湖北)

Central China Normal University Affiliated 1st Middle School 2.80 2.33 9 9 1
0 33.13

8,北京4中 (北京)

Beijing 4th Middle School 2.80 2.33 9 10 8 32.13

9,哈尔滨师大附中 (哈尔滨,黑龙江)

Harbin Normal University Affiliated Middle School 2.70 2.25 9 10 9 32.95

10,北京11中 (北京)

Beijing 11th Middle School 2.30 1.92 9 8 10 31.22

11,华东师大2附中 (上海)

Huadong Normal University Affiliated 2nd High School 2.20 1.83 8 9 10 31.03

12,北师大2附中 (北京)

Beijing Normal University Affiliated 2nd High School 2.10 1.75 8 8 10 29.85

13,河北衡水中学 (衡水,河北)

Hebei Hengshui High School 2.10 1.75 9 8 8 28.85

14,哈尔滨第三中学 (哈尔滨,黑龙江)

Harbin 3rd Middle School 2.10 1.75 9 8 7 27.85

14,北京8中 (北京)

Beijing 8th Middle School 2.10 1.75 8 8 8 27.85

15,山西大学附中 (太原,山西)

Shanxi University Affiliated High School 2.00 1.67 8 7 9 27.67

16,天津南开中学 (天津)

Tianjin Nankai Middle School 1.90 1.58 8 8 8 27.48

17,重庆南开中学 (重庆)

Chongqing Nankai Middle School 1.90 1.58 8 8 7 26.48

18,青岛2中 (青岛,山东)

Qingdao 2nd Middle School 1.90 1.58 8 7 8 26.48

19,西安高新1中  (西安,陕西) 

Xi’an Gaoxin 1st High School 1.80 1.50 8 7 8 26.30

20,山西省实验中学  (太原,山西)

Shanxi Experimental Middle School 1.80 1.50 8 7 8 26.30

21,浙江镇海中学  (宁波,浙江)

Zhejiang Zhenhai Middle School 1.70 1.42 8 7 8 26.12

22,南京师大附中  (南京,江苏)

Nanjing Normal University Affiliated High School 1.70 1.42 7 6 10 26.12

23,成都7中  (成都,四川)

Chengdu 7th Middle School 1.60 1.33 8 7 7 24.93

24,本溪高中  (本溪,辽宁)

Benxi High School 1.60 1.33 8 7 7 24.93

25,石家庄2中  (石家庄,河北)

Shijiazhuang 2nd Middle School 1.60 1.33 8 7 7 24.93

26,长沙雅礼中学  (长沙,湖南)

Changsha Yali Middle School 1.60 1.33 8 7 7 24.93

27,乌鲁木齐1中  (乌鲁木齐,新疆)

Urumqi1st Middle School 1.60 1.33 8 7 7 24.93

28,重庆巴蜀中学  (重庆)

Chongqing Bashu Middle School 1.60 1.33 8 7 7 24.93

29,广西柳州中学   (柳州,广西)

Guangxi Liuzhou Senior High School 1.50 1.25 7 7 8 24.75

30,东北育才中学   (沈阳,辽宁)

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Oct 22 2013

Renda Fu #1 人大附中排第一




















记者 刘超(春城晚报)

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