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Is this a robbery or what?

I ran a red light. Here is the notice (issued two months later ..):

  1. $50 fine
  2. $45 driver responsibility fee
  3. $55 public safety fee
  4. I just need your cash???

There is something fishy – Nassau County TPVA Red Light Camera: the timing of the yellow lights have different timing, which I think, favors the government to ticket us. I have trouble to remember which traffic light has longer yellow time.

When I look at the fine, I thought, holly molly, are they robbing in board daylight or what?



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Low end population; Amazon; RYB

I ordered Hershey chocolate on Nov 26 for a birthday boy in Beijing.  In 22 hours, it shipped out from Shanghai and arrived in Beijing (Dahongmen 丰台大红门 Big Red Door @ Fengtai district), to be delivered. However, after two days, it returned to Shanghai on Nov 29. Not giving up, I ordered something fresh, originated in the city that guarantees to deliver within two hours. Again, failed due to fire inspection warehouse rectification:

【每日优鲜】尊敬的用户您好,您的订单由于消防检查仓库整改 大仓最近不到货,导致无法为您配送,辛苦看到后联系在线客服或者拨打4009911977为您处理,如果24小时内未处理,这边会为您操作退款,给您带来不帮请您谅解,祝您生活愉快!回复N退订

This has everything to do with Beijing government’s sudden evictions of millions of migrants from the city. The term 低端人口 low-end population has been in blog sphere  for a little while. My first thought is, how can they do that to these people, who contributed to Beijing’s prosperity? The reason for the sudden action was  the fire in Beijing killed 19 at Daxing on Saturday Nov 18. (Reuters) But the illegal buildings must have local government’s tacit permission. Will they take responsibility and return the bribery? As for migrants, I vividly remembered when Nainai and I rode over the portrait of Chairman Mao in Tiananmen, Nainai spited and said, “tubie,” 土鳖 country hicks! Mao and his band of brothers were all migrants! Just listen to their accents.

My next thought was, holly molly, who’s going to deliver the packages and all the chain reactions associate with it? The stores, the packager, the shipper, … oh, let’s get the mayor to do deliver that millions packages.

This morning, Living in cars, working for Amazon: meet America’s new nomads caught my eyes because of the above. There will always be different kind of people – some work for a company while living in cars, and some benefit enormously be investing in the company – which brought me to the follow 60 Minutes interview of Amazon’s boss Jeff Bezos.

“What’s with the Honda?”
“This is a perfectly good car.”

AMZN ipo’ed in 1997 at $18 per share. Perhaps how to treat the less fortune people is the key separate two countries?

(Another event that embroiled Beijing is 红黄蓝教育 RYB Education wiki, a NYSE listed company in preschool business, headquartered in Beijing but is registered in the Cayman Islands, is accused of abusing kids.)

1516 Second Avenue Columbia, sandwiched between porn shops, porno parlors, wig store, teriyaki restaurant at corner, Settle – King County Department of Public Health Needle Exchange Program …

昨天一本书讲到 ’生活在汽车里,为亚马逊工作‘ 令我想起这个1999 60分钟的采访. 那时亚马逊的总部挤在色情店,假发店,公共卫生部的针头交换计划中. 走进办公室里  烂桌子 赃地毯 … 那年 亚马逊的市值是 30 billion (560 billion in 2017) … 采访的人问 “你自己有大约 1 billion dollars? … 这个旧的本田汽车是怎么回事?”
“这是一辆非常好的汽车呀.” 接着又是一阵笑声. 俺也失笑出声了. AMZN 1977 上市每股 $18 一股. 今天开市 (on 2017.12.4) at $1,174.65. 人总会有不同: 有些人替一公司打工住车里; 有些人投资在一个公司里可以早早退休住在海边. 我想社会/政府的不同是住车里的人有什么基本保障和尊严!

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The leap years

It’s also called intercalary (闰年 in Chinese) when February has 29 days. According to this website, 1600 and 2000 have 29th day but 1700, 1800 and 1900 have not. This website explains:

A normal year is defined as 365 days. … Putting all of these rules together, you can see that a year is a leap year not only if it is divisible by 4 — it also has to be divisible by 400 if it is a centurial year. So 1700, 1800 and 1900 were not leap years, but 2000 was.

And here is the Quora discussion. But I just looked up on iPhone’s calendar, Apple seems to disagree: the February of 170018001900 (of course 2000 too) all have the 29th day!


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The Vikings, the Brits and the Chinese

I’ve been on and off watching the television series (written and created by Michael Hirst for the History channel). Ragnar Lothbrok’s first wife Lagertha (Katheryn Winnick) is very pretty -:).

The British Isles were invaded a few times, from 2000 BC to 1688. The Vikings raided it from 793 at Lindisfarne to 1284 for its riches, because they had superior ships and navigation ability. A BBC report.

King George III of the Great Britain sent his men to China, asking for trade, in 1793 and 1816. Both times were refused. Inward as she was, China was the riches economy in the world and she did not need to intercourse with anyone. Her haijin sea ban had limited foreign trade, and the little foreign trade she reluctantly allowed was restricted in Guangzhou (Canton). To gain market, the Brits invaded China twice, in so called two opium wars, in 1839 and 1856. … and look at China now.

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Why China tolerates N Korea for so long?

The radio station wnyc this morning had an interviewee who’s knowledgeable on North Korea (was he the ambassador to South Korea?). He said China thinks (thought) the Kim family brings stability to the country. And it was unwise for the United States to ask a favor of China to reign in the little Kim. “No country does favor to another.”

It seems such short sight to think Kim brings stability to his country. A good chess player looks 5 or more steps ahead. And China looks for now.

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Race & discrimination

I have been saying that White male Americans need some sort of affirmative action protection to survive. And I mean it.

Recent the events, from the Charlottesville VA protest two weekends ago, on 08.12, to down with the statues, it’s tough to be a white American male. I’ve heard, at least, one tv anchor man mentioned China’s Cultural Revolution. OML.

Then there is “I wish Trump is assassinated” by a black senator. I didn’t read her Facebook post but saw her on tv to say that she is NOT regreat the comment and would not apologize for it. I am just wondering, what IF, the comment is made by a white senator or a white person toward Barack Obama? By the way, Obama is half only half black. Why no one is mentioning that he’s half white? Doesn’t his half whiteness matter?

The assassination plot is fermenting over the days:

  1. 08.21, resigned under pressure?
  2. 08.20, Amid calls for her resignation, a Democratic state senator in Missouri on Sunday said she made a mistake
  3. 08.19: She would later explain that she didn’t actually wish harm to come to Trump but wrote it out of frustration
  4. 08.18, Chappelle-Nadal later explained that she didn’t actually wish harm to come to Trump but wrote it out of frustration.
  5. 08.17, A Democratic Missouri state senator is … posting – and then removing – a Facebook comment saying she wished President Donald Trump would be assassinated

What was she thinking to post that comment, as an elected official? I don’t think voters want to see an air head, a hot head …

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A mean woman

Is the restaurant vegetarian friendly?”

How do you define “vegetarian”?? Sorry to come off as a jerk but … is it no meat? No dairy? Eggs allowed? Do a little home work and check their menu, will you, pls?

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Wade-Giles vs Pinyin

Pinyin is the way to go, hands down. No if but and.

Reading books that has written before 1990 and earlier, inevitable, one has to deal with Wade-Giles 韦氏拼音 and Pinyin.

Such as personal name of 周学熙: Zhou Xuexi in pinyin and Chou Hsüeh-hsi in Wade-Giles

Before the current standard of pinyin, Wade-Giles was widely used. The spelling, as you can see the example above, is quite a struggle from pinyin. For me, of course, I prefer pinyin, hands down. I didn’t know pinyin until I started to use QQ and now WeChat = very recent, no more than ten years. But I am a fan of pinyin. Because it is the standard, forward.

1990 is NOT a definite watershed. But since then, more and more books have began using pinyin. And now, it is singularly pinyin. I agree: more young people growing up without have knowledge of Wade-Giles. Why not make reading easily, by using pinyin?

I’m pretty surprised to find the monumental work by Ben Elman, published in 2000. I asked him why, he replied by saying simply, out of habit. hmmmm… It’s rather costly because as I read it, I struggle with Wade-Giles. On the other hand, another monumental work by French writer Alain Peyrefitte who used pinyin throughout his book published in 1992 – well done.


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Missing the Boat

This beautiful marble stone boat parked in Summer Palace was and is a tourist trap, for generations. When I was little, we visited Summer Palace, as well as ZhongShan Gongyuan like it was/were the only places on earth, which was not too far from the truth. Given there was no tourist industry to speak of. We went to the places that were near us.

In 2003, I took the kids to visit Summer Palace, and … they were not impressed. Well, they were only 9 and 10 years old. There was an exquisite photo of my relatives on the boat in the 1930s. Anyway, what made me talking about this stone boat, is the book Patchwork Child by Brooke Astor (see the pic to the right). With the laureate of Random House, and all the editorial power her money could buy, they didn’t get this simple fact right. It is NOT “The pure marble Summer Palace outside Peking” 132 Please don’t get me wrong, this is a wonderful book but they committed to a very elementary mistake: they missed the boat – pure marble boat instead. Summer Palace is outside of Beijing. Gosh, I must make this kind of mistakes all the time, but I am no Random House.


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Andrew Ross Sorkin interviews Jack Ma at Davos 2017

Youtube video This is a pretty good conversation. However, I don’t like the Chinese title. And the inaccuracy, i.e. at 10:31 mark, Ma said “… this is the first a Chinese leader made a number commitment. … He (President Xi) said next 10 years we are going to import 8 trillion US dollars …” I happen to glance at the Chinese title which has it as five years …  should be more diligent.

Two other things they talked about (among many more), are Amazon and counterfeits. Funny, today, Amazon just purchased Whole Food today. $995 and $41.95 surged 26%; and Ma’s Alibaba is at $134.

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A Douglas MacArthur for Mideast

I know this is crazy but I’ve been thinking, Japan was a war torn country when Douglas MacArthur arrived. There was no Japanese refugees fleeing and in a short time, Japan got on her feet and so became a power again. So shouldn’t we look for a Douglas MacArthurs for the Mideast? If an American could do for Japan, isn’t another American can do for the Mideast?

Another thought: how many refugees has China, as second economy, taken in as of now? Why not?

有件事想不通,需要开导:Douglas MacArthur 带着小日本奔上了小康之路 (战败国;2枚原子弹… 但是没有难民…)现在中东是不是需要几个麦将军?如果说日本在二战前已经是个开化的国家,那么 发达国家应不应该去指手画脚,或者干预 不发达的国家?不可以让他们继续生活在自己享受的“黑暗时代”?

另外 中国,第二大经济国,收留了多少中东的难民?

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The race

… and ethnic 民族 is such a prominent character of a human, maybe we should not dance around it, making hyphenated terms, such as Chinese-American, African-American, etc.

Here at Carnegie Hall, for “My Music Interests” lists

  • African American
  • Asian Indian

For example. I know you may say, that there are music from Africa and music from American Indian. Maybe this isn’t the best examples …


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Rhododendron 杜鹃

some other plants. In 2015.

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some of the plants

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some of the plants


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Why such high fee charged by government for online payment?

This parking ticket is $265. When choose to pay online, the government adds convenience fee of $13.12, which is 4.95%. To me, again, seems the government is discouraging people to use online service, which is more efficient to me. When I mail a check, I assume there is someone, who will open the letter/check, and look for my record, reconcile, post it, and deposit.

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Chives 韭菜

Home grown


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