Thursday, September 29, 2005

Getting Old?

It is amazing how stiff I get after an hour's walk. I must be getting old.

Until Next Ime
Fai Mao
The rapidly aging Blogger

Tuesday, September 27, 2005


I am not normally, with a few exceptions, a big fan of technology. It has been my observation that many of the things that are touted as labor saving devices actually make our lives worse in some obvious way.

There are many items that I feel should never have been invented. Cell phones generally top this list but there are others. Most of these, strangely enough, tend to be kitchen gadgets. Maybe the world has become so Ronco'd that everybody needs more than a knife, unless it is a "Ginsu" to "slice, dice and make Julian Fries." Or maybe I'm just not very up-to-date.

Once you get beyond cell phones; electric carving knives and electric can-openers along with food processors and expresso machines top the list of bad technology. Goofy peeler's and sandwich-makers, Popcorn-makers, microwave egg cookers and bread-machines are also some of my least favorite things. These items take more time to setup, cleanup and put-up, cut with, chop, brew or knead bread than doing the same thing without them.

Sometimes, as in the case of the electric carving knife they appear to be outright dangerous and in the case of the electric can-opener are simply an exercise in laziness. Not to mention that many times they remove not only the tedium but the fun parts of the activity they supposedly relieve us of. Other times they simply seem to add work rather than save labor in which case I ask: "What's the point?"

I am, it seems normally more vocal in speaking out about the bad technology than I am fond of praising the good. I don't know why that is but it is so. Maybe I just expect things to work.

I do, however, also have a list of items that actually have made life easier or better. Oddly enough, most of my favorite technology items are also kitchen related. I guess I am just obsessed with food. Many of the items on this list are quite old inventions such paper, ballpoint pens and canned food. However, the microwave oven, the electric light and mechanical processes like lathing and grinding by other than animal power are also included as are the washing machine and the clothes dryer.

I also have some items like computers and televisions that I am ambivalent about. Sometime I like them and sometimes I don't.

My list of favorite technology recently changed. I used to put the microwave oven as my favorite thing. I am, when I want to be an excellent cook. Much better than my wife but I am also somewhat lazy. Thus, the microwave has been a favorite of mine for it's quick and easy heating and reheating for years. But, the microwave has fallen to number two. Number one is a new item and one that I must admit I'd over looked for too long. The refrigerator.

When you look at what refrigeration has done to change the world it is a simply amazing invention. How many deaths have been prevented by refrigeration? Probably millions. Think of the cases of food poisoning that haven't happened because food was kept too cold for germs to grow in! Is there anything more refreshing than a cold drink on a hot day? Related to this would be airconditioning and that is another favorite thing.

According to the Encyclopedia Britannica Online the origin of refrigeration can be traced to a cat named Carl von Linde who invented a feasible way of liquefying gases. The compression and expansion of gases is the heart and soul of a refrigeration system. What an absolutely wonder invention.

I think I'll stroll over to my family frig' and open cold one in honor of Carl von Linde.

Until next time
Fai Mao
The Airconditioned and refrigerated Blogger

Monday, September 26, 2005


This past weekend Hong Kong was near missed by a strong typhoon. 60+ mph winds 15 inches of rain (it is still raining) 9 to 10 foot waves. 1 person, a construction worker died trying to keep a scafolfding from falling over a road. Two surfers were washed out to sea (No great loss there) and the kids didn't even get to miss a day of school.
It did take me nearly 40 minutes longer to get to work today but there was no evacuation, there was no panic. Kids here actually pray for typhoons here like kids in Minnesota pray for snow days. It is just a chance to stay home and watch TV.
Perhaps the government of NO could learn a lesson. Don't build below sea level. Build building that can withstand the winds and then get on with your life.

Until Next Time
Fai Mao
The Hoping for a Typhoon Blogger

Friday, September 23, 2005

Fai Mao?

In Chinese Fai Mao means Fat Cat

Thus this blog is the Fat Cat's sand box.

Now you know what it means

Until Next time

Fai Mao
The blogger whose name is a type of bathroom humor


Hong Kong is a weird place.

One of the weirdest things however are the t-shirts. You quite often see people, especially women wearing things that are really meant to be bought as gag gifts at adult book stores and never worn. I've seen women wearing t-shirts that say things like "I'm a juicy bimbo." "Just do me; Please, just do me," "Super Rich & Super Bitch," "My panties your pleasure" and my all time favorite "Sex instructor-first lesson is free." This doesn't count the ubiquitous "Bitch, Bitch, Bitch"

This situation isn't helped by a clothing chain called "The French Connection of the United Kingdom" which trades under the acronym "FCUK" They sell shirts with the words "FCUK YOU" as advertisement.

Why would anybody buy clothing from a store with a name like that? Perhaps I'm just too up tight but I can't see that it is funny and if that is fashion then I'll stay with my plain green singlet and running shoes and sweatband.

You also see lots of funny but more innocent bloopers and misspellings on shirts. Unlike the obscene examples above, these can be quite funny and are generally worth a read. My wife has a mouse t-shirt with the words "Ingenuous Mouse" embroidered over Mickey's head. I can't help but think it was supposed to say "Ingenious Mouse."

Others simply make no sense at all. "The red and the green make a hard palette of colorful odor in my Tuesday stomach" is one that an office worker I know wears quite often. Clueless does not even begin to describe my reaction to this. It looks like random words that a MS Word program could not find a spelling mistake in.

All of this is a result of language. Most of the people wearing these shirts don't have a clue what they say. However, this theory breaks down when you see tourist wearing shirts. Tourists don't normally wear the obscene shirts but they often wear really provocative political shirts. Don't get me wrong there is a place for these shirts at conventions or party rallies. But, I do wonder about the wisdom of wearing them in public in Asia.

I saw a girl this morning in an Anti-George Bush t-shirt. I'm not going to go into what was on the shirt or even whether I agree with the shirt or not. The issue is that wearing that shirt in Asia is a bad move in several ways.

Foremost of these is that anti-Americanism is not limited to party outside of the US. Bashing George Bush and bashing John Kerry is the same thing here much of the time. The Chinese make think President Bush is a cowboy or warmonger but they also think that Bill Clinton was an idiot and buffoon. There is no love for either of them. Thus the anti-Americanism is not decreased by spouting or wearing anti-Bush stuff. That means that wearing Anti-Bush shirts, or Anti-Kerry shirts simply increase hostility generally rather than focusing it on a particular target.

Do Americans, or Europeans or whomever think that people in China, or Indonesia or Bali truly understand the problems and issues faced in the US? Do people really think that people in Asia even care? Isn't it somewhat presumptuous to think they are not more concerned about what goes on in their own country?

Worse, by increasing the amount of Anti-Americanism in Asia these tourist are making themselves as well as me, targets. I don't like people making me a target along with themselves. These shirts make you a target.

I believe that a lot of the Anti-Americanismm in the third world is also is simply political hyperbole. It is easier for politicians in struggling countries to blame their countries problems on someone else than to take the possibly dangerous steps needed to correct those problems.

In reality, the vast majority of people in the world have almost no clue as to the problems and issues being dealt wih in American politics. They are Anti-American because they have conditioned to be so by leaders with an agenda. This is not to say that the US is blameless, it isn't but very often the extent of blame the US receives for the plight of the starving in the third world is much less thant the blame that should be apportioned to the local leaders who live in luxury while their people starve.

Likewise, most tourist have almost no conception of what life is like in a different place.

In any case, for whatever reason, there is a lot of anti-Americanism in the world today. Do you really want to remind people in a country you are vacationing in that they don't like you?

At best I think people wearing these look silly and at worst they look petulant, mean and narrow minded. I've seen exceptions but this is a general rule. I don't wear political shirts. I wish others would follow my example

I could write more but this is probably enough.

Until next time I am
Fai Mao
The non-political logoed Blogger

Tuesday, September 13, 2005

My Sartorial Creed

I don't
1. Wear an Ascot
2. Do plaid, checks or paisleys
3. Buy what is necessarily in fashion simply because it is in fashion
4. Have an opinion on whether organic or free-range cotton makes a better t-shirt
5. Mind wearing leather
6. Ever want to iron anything
7. Think that silk underwear is practical
8. Think men should have spend more than 7 to 10 minutes total shaving and combing their hair every morning
9. Think that cowboy boots are passe.
10. Wear Birkenstocks
11. Think socks with sandals are ok in cold weather

I do think
1. I look better in dark colors
2. Silk shirts are better than cotton
3. That bell bottom pants are, unless they are used as naval uniforms, stupid
4. That the waist line on most fashionable pants for women are obsene
5. Fat women shouldn't wear bikini's
6. Fat men shouldn't wear speedo's
7. That most fashion designers of women's clothing are the spawn of Satan or convicted sex offenders
8 Those who design men's fashions are worse than the ones who design women's fashions
9. That t-shirts look best when they are 4 sizes to big
10. That guys who wear saggy pants are idiots
11. Ball caps should always be worn with the bill facing forward

Thursday, September 08, 2005

My Emotional Creed

1. I don’t want to be touchy
2. I don’t want to be feely
3. I don’t want to be (other than in the physical sense on a cold day) warm
4. I definitely don't want to be fuzzy
5. I have no interest in being an “Alpha Male”
6. I am not and will never be a "Metro-sexual”
7. I’m not “in touch with my inner self”
8. I don’t think I need to be more sensitive
9. I’m not seeking to bond with any person or group
10. I don’t believe that “Love means never having to say ‘I’m Sorry’”
11. I don’t believe that people are rational
12. I don’t believe that people are basically good.

I do think:
1. That my choices matter
2. That I have find a way to live in peace with my neighbors
3. That I am sometimes responsible for the care of those around me
4. That I am always responsible for my actions and choices
5. That my past does not determine but may colors my future
6. That it is the responsibility of individuals to opposes evil
7. That sometimes there are no good choices
8. That sometimes there are no bad choices
9. That sometimes I am required to do something unpleasant
10. That sometimes I must not do something that would be pleasant
11. That sometime violence is, if not a good thing then at least a necessary thing
12. That I will be held accountable by God for my beliefs and deeds

Until Next Time
Fai Mao
The emotionally stable blogger

Wednesday, September 07, 2005

Bowing down at the alter of Fud

This past spring I completed a PhD in Educational Philosophy from Central China Normal University in Wuhan PRC.

After making the obligatory pilgrimage back home so my parents could show off their new "Dr. Phil" son (That joke got old real fast) I came back to work and found that, gasp, absolutely nothing had changed. However I have more time to play video games and take walks with my wife and do the other things that were sacrificed to give typing time for the last four years.

I guess that getting the PhD was like earning the primitive camping merit badge in the Boy Scouts, something I am glad I did but wouldn't want to do again

until next time
Your over educated blogger
Fai Mao

Monday, September 05, 2005

Finding time

I am back

But it is at times so hard to find things to write. Not because nothing happens but because what could I possibly say that hasn't been said better by others? My area of expertise is school libraries, bicycles and Educational philosophy. writing about those topics are not exactly a gripping read for most people.

I try to avoid politics but will have to talk about politics in December when the G8 meeting comes to Hong Kong and the park across the street from my home becomes the staging area for the baboons that aren't too poor to fly to protest but seem to be too poor to rent a room and who make all of these meetings. My, God, I don't even see how a fairly left wing person could like those folks. At least not when they're in your town shitting on your jogging trail and blocking your route to work. But, I'll get to them when they get here. Until then, I's rather avoid political issues

Thus, I am in a quandry. I would rather not get too political yet and what to say?

Never fear. I'll think of something. I just hope I think of it soon

Until next time
Fai Mao
The experiencing writters block blogger