Monday, April 23, 2007

Year of the...

I was out to dinner tonight with our stone supplier for the granite importing operation my Dad and I are trying to get off of the ground. I love going to this dinner, because I usually end up with a great quote to post on my blog. Tonight's was a winner:

Zhao: "How old is your father?"
Nick: "57"
Zhao: "You are a cock."
Nick: "Excuse me?"
Zhao: "Ni shi ji."
Nick: "Oh, right. Yes, I am a rooster (I was born in 1981)."
Zhao: "Oh no, I make a mistake. I am so sorry. I just remember the other meaning of cock."
Nick: "No, cock is a word for rooster... technically."
Zhao: "Mr. Nick, I promise; I don't think you are a penis. Please forgive me."
Nick: "It's ok, don't worry about it."
Zhao: "You are not a penis!!"

I couldn't make this stuff up.

I beseech Thee, oh Gods of Fortune...

... make this week go better, please!

Not that splitting up with my girlfriend of over 1.5 years is bad enough (read: nausea inducing kick to the groin), but you apparently feel the need to add a few rotton cherries on top. I know how much you love to inflict food-poisoning-esque aliments on me (I'll take partial responsibility as I choose to live in this country) but you always seem to bring on stomach bugs at the most inopportune times. Then, you cause me to loose an all-in bet at poker, to Lee of all people. I had Kings and 6's, and that son-of-a-criminal Aussie beats me with Aces and 6's. I suppose you are doing me a little favor by not making work suck so much this week (things are actually progressing), but I have one favor to ask:

Redeem yourself (and stop kicking me while I'm down) by giving me good news on Wednesday. Really good news, not, "Oh, I'm sorry but you're going to have to wait for another 8 weeks while we decide whether you've gone through enough torturous waiting yet." Tell me news from London that is going to bring this week back up to mamahuhu (means so-so in Mandarin, literally horse horse tiger tiger) level and not one of my worst weeks of the last two years.

I offer you this sacrifice of three pirated DVDs in my microwave (they didn't work so I was going to chuck them anyway). I hope the flying sparks of electricity, and cracking plastic appease Thee.

Friday, April 20, 2007

Regrettable Translation

Below is a segment of an article taken from the APwire. If you'd like to read the full article, see here, finally proving that Kingsoft translation sucks.

TORONTO, Ontario (AP) -- Doris Moore was shocked when her new couch was delivered to her Toronto home with a label that used a racial slur to describe the dark brown shade of the upholstery.

The situation was even more alarming for Moore because it was her 7-year-old daughter who pointed out "n***er brown" on the tag.

"My daughter saw the label and she knew the color brown, but didn't know what the other word meant. She asked, 'Mommy, what color is that?' I was stunned. I didn't know what to say. I never thought that's how she'd learn of that word," Moore said.

The mother complained to the furniture store, which blamed the supplier, who pointed to a computer problem as the source of the derogatory label

Kingsoft Corp., a Chinese software company, acknowledged its translation program was at fault and said it was a regrettable error.

Tuesday, April 17, 2007


I just read on about the massacre at Virginia Tech today, it is the largest mass shooting in US history. The level of evil it takes to kill 32 students is truely astounding. Please let's remember the friends and families of those students and teachers who were killed in our thoughts and prayers.

How can something like this happen? And how did the school's administration not shut down the campus and cancel all classes after the first shooting in the dorms? Two hours later, 30 more people were killed!! If they had shut down campus after the first killing, perhaps the second set of shootings could have been averted!?

Monday, April 16, 2007

Don't borrow money from the Chinese mafia...

A guy I know, Adriano, got himself into some bad business with the Chinese mafia. It seems that he owes them quite a bit of money and last week they were looking for him to have a "talk".

Faced with the option of loosing a few fingers (or possibly much worse) or running, Adriano skipped town back to Kuwait.

I think he owes half the people in Yantai money, including me!!

Thursday, April 12, 2007

Hilarious Parody

This parady is great. Alanis sings one of the worst songs ever written.

Funny Chinese Products

Can you read the can? It says, "Mr. Bond Coffee, American Pattern, I'm young... I'm coffee." I think the marketing people at Mr. Bond Coffee were perhaps smoking some Crackpop when they designed this slogan.


Alright, I know I haven't posted in a while. I've felt a lack of inspiration... my days pretty much consist of sitting around at work waiting (waiting to get paid, waiting for April 25th review date), then going home, eating dinner, watching a movie, and then going to bed. Repeat. Well, at least that's the way it feels. I suppose I have had some variety recently.

A few weeks ago I went to a Chinese wedding. I keep meaning to write a post about that, but I never seem to get around to it.

My friend Mattei came to visit me for a week and a half. I met him in Beijing where I showed him the sights. We hiked 10k on the Great Wall, one of the most exhausting activities I have done in years. We spend the evenings out on San Lutin drinking entirely too expensive drinks. We definitely retreated back to the Shut Up Just Drink bar where prices are still adequate and they serve "F**ing Good Mojitos", as they are called on the menu (and they are).

I tried a new street food stall and consequently missed worked yesterday, praying to the porcelin god that resides in my bathroom. Yeah, that was fun. Lesson learned: stick to food stalls I know and trust.

Four hour venture into Walmart. They've increased their selection of western foods and I've finally bought a incandencent lamp so that I can turn off my horrendous flourescent lights in my house. Incandenscent makes Nick happy.

Other than that, nothing much is going on with me. I recently found two products which made me chuckle. I tried to upload the pictures, but blogger won't let me for some reason. I'll try later. To give you a teaser, one is a candy called "Crack Pop" and another is a product called, "Mr. Bond Coffee". Gotta love Chinese marketing.