Sep 18 2014

From Wenxue City to WeChat

Published by under View from Bottom

Yohooo, happy (and surprised) to find this 文学城 blog has a link to post on to Weixin 微信 – only available on my laptop tho. But how? Help please!
Screenshot 2014-09-18 14.20.52 Screenshot 2014-09-18 14.20.41

I’m getting this when I tried to download to my laptop from

Screenshot 2014-09-18 15.36.31

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Sep 17 2014

iOS 8 update needs 20 hours?

Published by under View from Bottom

Screenshot 2014-09-17 19.34.44I connected my iPhone to iTunes and it automatically asked me if I’d like to update.
YES, I clicked.
Then the status on the top is showing ..

Downloading I item
iPhone Software Update ( 14 hours remaining .. )

Eventually settled on 17 hours remaining.

OMG, is this true? On my iPad it’s 20 hours!

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Sep 16 2014

Anhui: “国保”振风塔大修

Published by under Genealogy Research

Anhui News:

6月 30日,国家级文物保护单位安庆振风塔正在进行大修。
振风塔被誉为“万里长江第一塔”,是七层八角楼阁式的建筑,始建于明代隆庆四年(公 元 1570年),距今已有400多年的历史。据悉,此次振风塔的维修以恢复原貌为重点,凸显历史原貌,彰显明代建筑特色。吴均奇摄


image image


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Sep 14 2014

Add 5% to your parking ticket

Published by under View from Bottom

imageInternet and technology have been making our life easier by the day and I’m really embracing it, anyway I possibly can.

Paying for parking tickets, I have thought that it’s a no brainer that the government would surely use the net to streamline.

They do, and for a fee.

If I remembered it right, a few years ago it’s less than $2. This month I found it stands at 5% or $4.46 for a $90 ticket.

When I write a check to snail mail it in, someone at that end, would have to open my envelope, register and post my check and ultimately deposited the check into government’s coffer/bank.
I wondered if the union has anything to do with it, like guarantee union members’ jobs. But now seeing the fee more than doubles, maybe it has to do with the company that profits on the slow moving government?

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Sep 14 2014

Why to print?

Published by under View from Bottom

imageFriedrich was running a promotion when I purchased one. The salesman was so kind as to write the barcode label for me on the rebate information sheet. Upon registered online, I was informed that I’ve to print it and snail mail it in.

2. Print the confirmation page and mail it with a copy of your sales receipt to the address shown ..

PC Richard is an authorized dealer and I am sure (I hope at the point) that they’ve a way to trace a unique number on my sales receipt to avoid physically photocopying it and mailing it.

Bewildered, I consulted the info sheet given by the store:

$30 manufacturer rebate if you submit your entry online, or a $25 rebate if you mail in your entry.

Now I’m totally confused: how much would I be getting, $30 or $25? Thinking clearly according to Friedrich’s math, registering online earns me that extra $5. Big deal.

There are true revolutionary companies that better our lives and there are the rest, like this one.


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Sep 10 2014

A Chinese writer and the publishers

Reading  梁文道:从抄袭来的《货币战争》看我们对无知的恐惧, From plagiarism to the “currency war” to see our ignorance of fear. I couldn’t help but to recount my own, not on ignorance of fear but on plagiarism and the Chinese publishing industry.

imageThese ten books on my shelve are from the same writer. I cartooned the picture on purpose. Three of them were purchased by myself and seven were gift.

This Chinese writer specializes in the oral history of the prominent Shanghai families in the by gone era. I came across this writer’s book when I have already began my genealogy research.

Around 1996, I acquired first two books, someone I once sued brought them from Taipei.
In 2003, I bought one more in Beijing.
In 2010, I received four as gift in Shanghai, the writer autographed them
In 2012,a relative gifted me three in a collection, she was one of the subjects in the book.

The writer spent time in researching and pieced them together straightforwardly. However, most of those books, (the writer published far more than what I have) are, essentially the same: same stories with minor changes, then published under different cover, title and publisher.

I am annoyed if not outraged. At the long lunch that day I didn’t question the writer if it’s the doing of the publishers or the writer’s own.

This would be a professional suicide if it were in the West. Both the writer and publisher’s name would be tarnished. (Remember Marguerite Duras, as an established author, she took critics for publishing The North China Lover after The Lover?) It’s morally wrong.

At the lunch in Shanghai that afternoon, one of my relatives who is also a published author in Shanghai, said clearly and firmly that he would NOT do such a thing, no matter what pressure (bitter or sweet) a publisher puts on him. So glad to know. Professional integrity and moral high ground are the key elements that drive us to excellence.

昨天阅读了 梁文道:从抄袭来的《货币战争》看我们对无知的恐惧, 深有感触. 不是恐惧无知,而是中国出版业的抄袭。

我书架上的这十本书对都是同一个作者 (特意漫画化了一下)。三本是我自己购买,七本是礼物。这个中国作者专门写关于老上海名门望族人家的口述历史。我知道这个作者的书时,已经开始了我的家谱研究。

1996年后,我获得了两本书 (一个和我对簿过公堂的人替我在台北买的)。



2012年,三本 (一集)亲戚送的

作者花时间研究采访,故事都是直截了当地写的。然而,大多数的书,(该作者出版的书远远超过我所拥有),换汤不换药: 同一个故事,轻微的改变一下,放进不同的书里,换个封面,标题和出版商。。


在西方这将是一个专业的自杀。无论是作者还是出版商,他们的名称会受损。 (还记得杜拉斯,作为一个定的作者,她因为在出版了情人之后又出版了中国北方情人,曾经受到非议)。这是不道德的。在这个午餐上,我的一个亲戚也在上海出版了书,他就清晰而坚定地说,他不会做这样的事情,不管出版商给什么压力(苦或甜)。


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Sep 10 2014

Teachers’ Day

Published by under View from Bottom

China celebrates it on September 10 and Taiwan observes it on September 28 as it’s Confucius’s birthday. During my children’s school days, we the Chinese parents organized Teachers’ Day by gifting hand-made trinkets to the teachers, to comply with our school policy (no gift except handmade by the kids).

Chinese are minority in our little town of 40,000 population. When my husband graduated in 1981 in one of two high schools here, he was the only Asian boy (now Asians among to about 50%). In the 1990s, Taiwanese were out numbered Chinese from mainland by a large margin and the divide showed prominently during school events.

After a couples of Teachers’s Day being honored on 9/28 when I took part, I suggested to the committee that each year thereafter we alter between 9/10 and 9/28, or pick a day in between, just to be fair. I was turned down. During one of the many cultural events, the Taiwanese made it point to display their flag instead of Five-star Red Flag.

I was seriously ticked off.

I don’t believe the average Americans know nor care the struggle between the Strait. We, as Chinese, during an cultural event, shouldn’t we put down our differences and come together to celebrate our shared heritage?

Unfortunately at the time, QQ nor WeChat were available, I couldn’t mobilize a sizable crowds to protest when school refused to change the flag (to be fair, the flags were ordered a week earlier. I wasn’t involved and only discovered it when I saw the list of flags that morning). I even called Chinese Consulate in New York. In short, both flags were displayed that night.

Many such seemingly inconsequential incidents happened and happen often. It reaffirms my believe of Taiwan’s insecurity and Chinese lacks of unison.

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Sep 04 2014

The multiculturalism, bending backward

Published by under View from Bottom

多元文化,向后弯曲 肤色 什么时候可以变透明?

From 1997 to 2013, according to the Rotherham (160 miles north of London) report, at least fourteen hundred children, some as young as eleven, were subject to sexual abuse perpetrated by organized and fairly methodical gangs: “They were raped by multiple perpetrators, trafficked to other towns and cities in the north of England, abducted, beaten, and intimidated.
The other leading explanation is that, because most of the perpetrators were Pakistani and most of the victims were white, local officials were reluctant to proceed, worried about inflaming ethnic tensions.

The New Yorker reports.  Google “Screenshot 2014-09-04 19.23.40Rotherham“, the top two entries are the reporting of the sexual abuse, Wiki comes in third. Other media also reported on the case:

  • New Yorker, An Old Contempt in Rotherham, by Margaret Talbot, 2014.09.04
  • Telegraph, Rotherham: In the face of such evil, who is the racist now? by Allison Pearson, 27 Aug 2014
  • BBC, Rotherham abuse: Researcher ‘faced council hostility’, by Alison Holt, 2014.09.01
  • NYT, Years of Rape and ‘Utter Contempt’ in Britain, by KATRIN BENNHOLDSEPT. 9.1, 2014
  • The Guardian: Rotherham: ‘It’s sad that it’s taken something so horrific to give voice to these girls’, by Homa Khaleeli, 2014.09.03

从1997年到2013年,根据罗瑟勒姆报告 (罗瑟勒姆: 伦敦北部的160英里),至少有一千四百儿童,有些年仅11,遭受相当有组织的性虐待:“他们被多个人强奸,贩卖到其他城镇和城市,绑架,殴打和恐吓。

肤色 什么时候可以变透明?
谷歌 Rotherham “罗瑟勒姆“,前两项是性虐待的报道,维基屈居第三。伦敦北部的160英里的罗瑟勒姆近来很热,大西洋两岸的主要媒体都在报道:从1997年到2013年,至少有一千四百儿童,有些年仅11,遭受相当有组织的性虐待。他们被多个人强奸, 绑架,殴打和恐吓。贩卖到其他城镇和城市,..

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Sep 04 2014

The security question 

Published by under View from Bottom

In light of the pretty women’s photo break in out, one would very much appreciate the tougher security measure. However, some sites are just don’t feel right.

This is Home Depot and one of the rules is Answers must have at least 4-but not more than 56-characters.

Screenshot 2014-09-04 14.23.21 Screenshot 2014-09-04 14.30.38

What if their name is Amy, Joe, Joy, Si, Jim, Tim, Ken, Lee, Leo, just to name a few?

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Sep 03 2014

Dell computer is calling

Published by under View from Bottom

Just now: a man from Dell computer with an Indian accent called. The caller ID is (661) 748 0240 Palmdale Area. He said my laptop is comprised, and asks me to press key R with any other key – the phone connection is poor I didn’t get it. After I hung up, he called two more times. I can hear a lot of talking noise in his background.




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Aug 31 2014

90+ @ 60 Minutes

Published by under View from Bottom

One of the segments at tonight’s show is on elderly: 90+ years old. The common things to do is, not in this order..

  1. Wine
  2. coffee: 3 cups a day
  3. socializing
  4. exercise: 15-45 minutes a day
  5. romance
  6. gain weight


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Aug 28 2014

HIV in China: Li Hu 李虎

This posting is about AIDs in China, and the front runner or organizer Li Hu 李虎, in trying to save one of HIV positive, who was refused by many hospitals, withheld the fact to gain admission to a hospital.The patient got the treatment. But by doing so, he put medical staff at great risk. It’s the policy of the nation, not those medical staff.

image艾滋“斗士”李虎抗争8年离世 曾陷入骂名漩涡






11月21日,时任国务院-副-总-理LI KE QIANG致电卫生部,作出批示“采取切实措施,保障A滋病病人接受医疗救治的权利,不得歧视。”

































此事经媒体的连续报道后,2012年11月21日,时任国务院-副-总-理的LI KE QIANG致电卫生部,作出批示,“采取切实措施,既要保障A滋病病人接受医疗救治的权利,不得歧视,又要保障接触救治A滋病病人的医务人员自身安全”。

11月26日下午,李虎和12名民间防艾组织的负责人及A滋病病毒携带者患者,在卫生部与LI KE QIANG面对面座谈,讲述防艾工作的困难及建议。



“公权力的歧视更要严格惩罚。”他对媒体一遍遍复述着LI KE QIANG的话,他说,有了这次支持,A滋病感染者就医将渡过一道难关。
















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Aug 28 2014

The billing of the medical Insurance

Published by under Bitter medicine

Recently I received a medical bill, with five items (charges). The ten columns are as follow:

  1. Date
  2. Post Date
  3. Code
  4. LOC
  5. Description
  6. Charge
  7. Payment
  8. Adjust
  9. Balance
  10. Pending

I didn’t pay much attention to the headings but to the amounts. By just looking at them with my untrained eyes, two of five items ($1100 and $325) didn’t have insurance adjustment. I kind of expected that all items should have adjusted because we’ve been paying for medical insurance as long as one starts to work. When the agent Marie failed to explain she sent me a new bill.

First bill (May 1)

  1. $325, adjust $216.19, my responsibility $108.81
  2. ..
  3. ..
  4. $1100, my payment of $680, my responsibility $420
  5. ..


Second bill (July 30)

  1. $325, adjust $216.19, my responsibility $15.24
  2. ..
  3. ..
  4. ..

The new bills has four charges instead of five on the last bill. So I called again. Agent Kim explained that when it’s paid off (either by insurer or patient), it won’t show on the bill.

Does it sound right? I don’t think so. But it’s not up to me.

The math behind the $15.24 of the second bill is:

  • $1,100 is adjusted by $513.57, commonly known as write off
  • $586.43 (1100-513.57) applied to my original payment of $680
  • $93.57 (680-586.43) applied to $108.81 of the first bill
  • $15.24 (108.81-93.57)

Ok, is there any more complex bill out there? How would a regular consumer understand it??

For the $1,100 charge, the clinic asked for up front payment of $680 before hand. But their contract amount (the amount they are allowed to charge a patient of this insurer) is only $586.43.

  • The clinic should not have charged me more than their contract amount. They have my insurance information.
  • The billing, either a contacted out billing company did it or the clinic itself is flowed because it didn’t pick up the adjustment from my insurance. If I didn’t spend time to read line by line, no one would discover it.

The inadequate billing ability adds frustration to the process.

Here is another bill ..

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Aug 23 2014

Degas’ little ballerina

Published by under View from Bottom

14yr-oldThe “Little Dancer Aged Fourteen” is getting a makeover musical, premier at the Kennedy Center in DC 10/25-11/30 this autumn.

I first saw the sculpture La Petite Danseuse de Quatorze Ans by Edgar Degas (1834-1917) at the Mets in 1986. I was captivated by her pose first, then her facial expression. I bought a pair of earrings during that visit. One has lost but I kept this singleton since. The one time Wimbledon champ (2013) Marion Bartoli reminds me of the dancer.

According to this wiki entry, the original was done in wax around 1881, using the Paris Opera Ballet dance school Marie van Goethem. There are 28 bronze repetitions were cast after Degas’s death by his heirs. The National Gallery of Art has two.

The original wax sculpture was acquired by Paul Mellon in 1956 and  bequests to the NGA among many other Degas works. SO .. only NGA exhibits the original. How do one feel about the casting of an original art work, with limited copies?

IMG_2471 IMG_2472



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Aug 21 2014

The moon cake

Published by under View from Bottom

The Mid-Autumn Festival is on Monday, September 8. The selection at New York supermarkets are wide. The first pix is taken at JMart at Flushing’s New World Mall on Main Street. The 4th pix is a small independent bakery, Star Bakery on Kissena Blvd (at the Park Regent building) which make fresh moon cake every year. The previous owner did this. After changing hand and changing store name, they continue the good tradition.


IMG_2286 IMG_2285 IMG_2284 IMG_2326

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Aug 15 2014

My thread is being LOCKed!

Published by under View from Bottom

A kind user K replied before the same replier from the previous thread locked my post/topic. I was able to private message K.

The left picture is from K (right is mine). It seems we’ve identical left panel but the right, the main body differ drastically: K has two tabs and I’ve 3! K is able to click on the singleton when I can NOT because I don’t have the little check box on top left of the photo. WHY?

Also, my single upload does NOT appear in Batch Manager nor Caddie.

image  Screenshot 2014-08-15 19.51.15  

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Aug 14 2014

Learn from the best ..

Published by under View from Bottom

I’ve been taking a deep breath for the past few days, and am totally calm and sane.

I was told to stop [asking a specific question] on the forum at a photo site on my second try.

It’s not polite, and down right wrong.

What and why did I ask: after loading multiple pix, on the same screen the site offers Action (a pull-down menu where one can manage the pix on the same screen). However it’s NOT available for uploading a singleton – needs a few more clicks to arrive at a different screen to manage the singleton (hope I get this right – is this the only way?):

  1. uploading one photo
  2. go to the Batch Manager
  3. have to change to the appropriate album ..
  4. then finally you get to the Action..

WHY?!?  I’m confused.

I never thought a site would want to complicate its site from one click to several clicks. When I didn’t understand the answer – my instinct is to look for a clickable link on the same page. I asked again. So here we’re.

A few facts:

  • I’m dim with the computers ..
  • I’m spoiled by the ingenuity of the Americans ..
  • I’m using piwigo only because my host offered it..

I had experienced a defunct site ( once (yes, I lost every pictures I posted there), so unless it’s earth shattering I would not change to another photo site – that’s why I’m spending time here writing, in the hope to make piwigo better and last for the eternity, at least for my lift time. (Btw, IF Piwigo specifies that they’re catered to the developers only I won’t have bothered with it in the first place.)

IF what I’ve described above is the only way to manage a single upload, shouldn’t you have viewed my question as a wake up call instead? To slim it down to one click?

I know I could only go as far as my imagination allows. And I always appreciate a good suggestion or two. I learn this first hand from the Americans.

Piwigo’s forum has been helpful with the main developer asking me for opinion (perhaps due to my locale?). Then I couldn’t log in to my own account after a little hiatus. Recently I created a new account with the same old ID and email and begin posting in the forum frequently.  Some question is being answered with great patience (see the pic with all red arrows – very much appreciated ..), some being received well (they’ll improve it in the next version ..) while others’ are less desirable….

Over all, I enjoy the site. Please keep up the good work.

I could only hope for the best with all my sincerity.




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Aug 09 2014

What I’m cooking now

Published by under View from Bottom

IMG_1056 IMG_1057


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