Saturday, September 30, 2006

Party Time

Audrey & Emily

The little boy was a brother who just didn't want to be there.

Sally decorated the cake to Emily's exact specifications. She wanted "lots of colorful splashes".

Friday, September 29, 2006

Wednesday, September 27, 2006

Happy Birthday, Emily!

Today is Emily's birthday. She is seven years old today. I love my little girl so much! We let her open a present before going to school this morning. She was pretty excited.

Happy Birthday, Emily!

Tuesday, September 26, 2006

Coffee Faux Pas

I about caused a riot today at the Starbuck's at China-Hong Kong City Ferry Terminal. Yep, I grabbed. Well, it wasn't really my fault...after all, they called out "grande Americano" and no one else went for it. So, I figured it was "mine, mine, mine; all mine!" But it wasn't.

Had the guy who actually ordered it stepped up and took it when it was first called, then the whole "coffee criminal" nomer wouldn't have happened.

Look, I'm sorry I grabbed, but it was time to catch my boat and it was just sitting there, all alone getting cold. I reasoned I could remedy that.

Next time, I'll hesitate just a tad bit longer!

Sunday, September 24, 2006

Saturday, September 23, 2006

Osama bin Laden dead?

Here is a direct Google translation of a story in L'est Republicain, a French newspaper that claims that Osama might be dead. If he died of typhoid, even among radical Muslims, he didn't die a martyr's death! Now That's funny! (so is the English translation)

Usama Bin Laden would have died

The Saoudi secret service would have acquired the conviction that the Al-Qaïda founder died.

If it were confirmed soon, information would fall to peak for American president George Bush strongly abused by the surveys to less than two months from the elections.
Information that we reveal today results from a note of confidential information classified “defense” emanating from the Directorate-General of the external services (DGSE). The French secret service transmitted it Thursday September 21 to the President of the republic, to the Prime Minister, to the Minister of Interior Department and Defense. We deliver the contents of it to you in-extenso. :

“According to a usually reliable source, the Saoudi services from now on would have acquired the conviction that Usama Bin Laden died. The elements collected by the Saoudis indicate that the chief of Al-Qaïda would have been victim, whereas it was in Pakistan on August 23, 2006, of a very strong crisis of typhoid having involved a paralysis partial of his lower limbs. Its geographical insulation, caused by a permanent escape, would have made impossible any medical care. On September 4, 2006, the Saoudi services of safety collected the first information making state of its death. They would wait, to obtain more details, and in particular the exact place of its burial, to announce the news officially”.

The information collected by the DGSE on the death of Bin Laden was considered to be sufficiently reliable so that it is decided to inform the highest French authorities of them. A first note had been written and diffused last on September 19. It was entitled: “The Saoudi services seek to confirm the death of Usama Bin Laden”.

Before the disclosure of this news, that made more than three years that the American persons in charge for the counter-terrorism had not received credible information. It is necessary to go up with the arrest of one of the Al-Qaïda leaders, Walid Mohamed Ben Attash in April 2003, to find a trace of Bin Laden. It had been established then that this last had met the spiritual chief of Jihad, three months before, in the province of Khost in Afghanistan. These last months, the American commandos, who were in load of the tracking, concentrated their research at the border between Afghanistan and Pakistan, in the north of the tribal areas. I.e. in the area not controlled by the authorities of Islamabad and where the army never ventures. It should be said that the soldiers Pakistani recorded enormous losses as men when they had tried to occupy the ground in 2004 and 2005.

644 dead

In spite of the enormous means deployed by the Americans for the capture of Bin Laden, research is remained vain. And this, in spite of the use of satellites, drones and means of listenings sophisticated. Thanks to the arrest of several members of nebula Al-Qaïda, the services American know that Bin Laden leaves its masks little. It would leave only during the night and when the cloud cover is thick. And thanks to his local troops, the Saoudi billionaire has a very good knowledge of the area which offers an infinite number of cushy jobs.

In spite of this impossible research, American administration forever desired to give up. “It is our principal priority”, declared last on September 13 the Cheney vice-president. While the Senate resolved 200 million dollars to recreate a cell of the information especially intended to track that which on September 11, 2001 to be dared to defy America. And whose organization asserts the commission of 16 attacks, made 644 having died and 2700 wounded, perpetrated in the world in the name of Al-Qaïda since September 2001. An organization become a mark, a label, an ideological reference to the name of which thousands of fanatics throughout the world are ready to pass to the terrorist action in an autonomous way. Like the authors of the attacks of July 7, 2005 in London.

Same, Same, But Different

Thai Coup
Tai Koo

Same, same; but different.

Two things

If you have never visited my other blog, The Hungry Traveler, please check it out. Please leave comments if you agree or disagree with my ratings. You can go to it here.

Also, if you have never placed a "pin" in my guest map, please take a moment and do it now. You'll find it on the right hand column, right above the "Visitors Online" chart.

And above all, thanks for taking time to read my blog.

Not a great day

Well, I did get to sleep in, but I woke up with a horrendous headache and a general sense of not feeling good. As the day went on, it just got worse. Sally, despite having a migraine of her own, fixed our favorite African food; a recipe she picked up in Dakar. It tasted good, but I just couldn't eat much. I went back to our bedroom and took about a 2 1/2 hour nap. After waking up, I felt better, but still feel kinda puny.

A rather wasted Saturday....

Friday, September 22, 2006

Dollboy's Birthday

My grandpa would have been 97 today. My mother started calling him "Dollboy" when she was about 4 years old. No one knows why, but the name stuck. Even his grave stone says "Dollboy".

I was his first grandson and he loved me very much. I loved him, too. He used to take me fishing. He died in 1975 from a massive heart attack. I still miss him.

Thursday, September 21, 2006

Panda Bites Man, Man Bites Panda

Panda Bites Man, Man Bites Panda Back at Beijing Zoo (September 20, 2006, AP)
A drunken Chinese migrant worker who was bitten by a panda at the Beijing Zoo when he jumped into an enclosure to hug it, retaliated by chomping down on the animal’s back, state media said on Wednesday. Zhang Xinyan, from the central province of Henan, had drunk four jugs of beer at a restaurant near the zoo before visiting the animal, Gu Gu, on Tuesday, the Beijing Morning Post said. “He felt a sudden urge to touch the panda with his hand,” and jumped into the enclosure, the newspaper said. The panda, who was asleep, was startled and bit Zhang, 35, in the right leg, it said. Zhang got angry and kicked the panda, who then bit his other leg. A tussle ensued, the paper said. “I bit the fellow in the back,” Zhang was quoted as saying in the newspaper. “Its skin was quite thick.”

Now, THAT'S funny!

Space Shuttle

Space Shuttle in Tulsa, c.1980

We just finished watching the space shuttle return from space on CNN. I was reminded that sometime around 1980, NASA flew the space shuttle to Tulsa because workers there worked on the bay doors. It was a fascinating time to see that huge beast atop the Boeing 747. It looked so funny perched on top and we never thought it could ever fly. It is so amazing to think we can send something into space then let it land on tires on a runway.

Wednesday, September 20, 2006

Thailand under Martial Law

Well, I just chatted with a different friend in Thailand and he said that there are soldiers with machine guns all over town, even at the malls (which are still open). He said that they have taken the entire satellite TV system down and they only have one local TV station, run by the government. There had been a report that international calls were blocked into Thailand, so I called him to make sure. I got through without problems, so, if they were blocked, they are back open.

He said that all major intersections are guarded by machine gun toting soldiers and it is now illegal to have a gathering of more than 4 people. They have installed a new Prime Minister, the Central Bank Chairman, who, interestingly enough, is a Muslim. We'll see how all that works out in the Buddhist country which is having all the Muslim separatist problems/bombing down south.

Pray for the people of Thailand.

Tuesday, September 19, 2006

Coup in Thailand

The Thai Army took control of the government in Thailand ousting Prime Minister Shinawatra, who happened to be in NY at the UN to make a speach. (that'll teach him to leave the country). The government removed foreign media from the airwaves (BBC, CNN, etc) and promptly went to the king for his "approval", which provides legitimacy for the coup.

I just finished chatting with a friend in Thailand over Skype and he said that CNN was STILL off the air, so that Thaksin can't address the Thai people. He said that all the schools and banks have been closed for the day, but the shopping malls will remain open as usual. Gotta love that Thai sense of entrepreneurship.

Sunday, September 17, 2006

Oklahoma 33 - Oregon 34

Well, I guess that will just about do it for the top 25 since we won the first two and dropped in rank. When you can't hold on to a lead any better than this, you deserve to lose. (Of course, it would help to have a fair and impartial referee system!)

Boomer Sooner!

Saturday, September 16, 2006


Betsy - The first plane in the Cathay Pacific Airlines

Yesterday, the girls were out of school for a teachers' inservice. We took the day and went to the HK Museum of Science. I must say we all had a great time. One of the highlights for me was seeing "Betsy", first aircraft of the Cathay Pacific fleet. It is suspended from the ceiling in the "transportation" section of the museum.

I love "hands-on" museums. There, about 70% of the exhibits are hands-on. (So the brochure said) We had lots of fun in the electricity center, optical illusion center, and the weather center. This is definitely someplace I'd recommend your visiting if you are in Hong Kong.

Friday, September 15, 2006

Earthquake in Hong Kong

Local news reports that we had a small earthquake last night here in HK. We sure didn't feel it. They said it was 3.5 and was a few miles out in the ocean from here. Sources say that lots of people reported feeling it, but we must have been fast asleep.

Wednesday, September 13, 2006

Something funny

Somone sent this to my wife in an email and I thought it was funny enough to post it here:


1. You accidentally enter your password on the microwave.
2. You haven't played solitaire with real cards in years.
3. You have a list of 15 phone numbers to reach your family of three.
4. You e-mail the person who works at the desk next to you.
5. Your reason for not staying in touch with friends and family is that they don't have e-mail addresses.
6. You pull up in your own driveway and use your cell phone to see if anyone is home to help you carry in the groceries .
7. Every commercial on television has a web site at the bottom of the screen.
8. Leaving the house without your cell phone, which you didn't have the first 20 or 30 (or 60) years of your life, is now a cause for panic and you turn around to go and get it.
10. You get up in the morning and go on line before getting your coffee.
11. You start tilting your head sideways to smile. : )
12. You're reading this and nodding and laughing.
13. Even worse, you know exactly to whom you are going to forward this message.
14. You are too busy to notice there was no #9 on this list.
15. You actually scrolled back up to check that there wasn't a #9 on this list. AND NOW U R LAUGHING at yourself.

Typhoon Signal gone

Yep, 15W has gone on by and we are no longer under any typhoon signal. However, the rain is still lingering and the government has issued a landslide warning because of all the rain. They have even opened temporary shelters for people who must be evacuated. Wow!

Tuesday, September 12, 2006

Typhoon Signal 3

The Hong Kong Observatory has hoisted typhoon signal 3 at about 11 am this morning. We are also in a red rain alert. It is POURING!!! And, man, this rain is cold! It isn't like Thailand and Africa where the rain was warm. This is like Oklahoma rain. Even in the summer time, we have cold rain in Oklahoma; well, at least most of the time in the summer.

This tropical storm doesn't have a name yet; only a number - 15W. It doesn't sound very menacing and it looks like it is going to pass safely to the south of us. But, boy, it is POURING RAIN right now!

25 Year Old Movie

Yes, we watched "Cannonball Run" last night. Some of us watched it again, for the first time. I must say I laughed out loud quite a few times. It was a "blast to the past", but well worth watching again. Love that Dom DeLuise, er, Captain Chaos!

Revised weather statement

Well, I guess I posted that one a little quick. We are now at Typhoon Signal 1. A new tropical depression is about 480 km (about 300 miles) s-sw of HK and expected to move w-nw. Well, it is still nice and cool!

Nice weather

I guess much isn't going on when you blog about the weather, but the weather is so nice that I just had to say something! It is nearly 2 pm and it is only 72 degrees! That is what I call "nice".

I'm invited to an ice cream social this afternoon. I made some homemade strawberry ice cream to bring to it. I doubt I'll have to worry much about it melting before I get there!

Saturday, September 09, 2006

Oklahoma 37 - Washington 20

Two and 0. Looks like a good start to the season!

Boomer Sooner!

Happy Birthday, Mom

Today is my mom's birthday! Happy Birthday, Mom! We can't wait to see you in June!

Friday, September 08, 2006

Chinese test

方 伟 基

This is my name in Chinese: Fong Wai Gei (Cantonese) Fang Wei Ji (Mandarin). I wanted to see if it would publish correctly in Blogger.

It means something like "direction of Great Foundation"

Life in Hong Kong: Part Deux

Eating out in HK is a really big deal. This is for several reasons, the most important one being that Chinese people LOVE to eat. Another reason is that folks like to entertain, but the average flat in HK is very, very small and is not conducive to having a dinner party. Consequently, restaurants are always booked and if you don't have a reservation, you usually don't get in. Unless you know a few things.

Take tonight, for instance. It is Friday night and I wanted to treat the family to a nice dinner tonight. We like to go to Ruby Tuesdays. They have really good food and we bought a discount card that gives us 50% off our meals. (Which makes it about the price of food in the USA) Well, I didn't think about us going out to eat until just a few minutes ago, at around 4 pm. I called to make a reservation and the girl said that they were sorry, but that they were completely booked solid tonight and there were no reservations available. I simply said, "well, how about at 6 pm?" She said, "Oh, that is fine".

The deal is, we are Americans. We have kids. We eat early. The normal HK person doesn't eat until around 8 pm. If we go at six, we only have to promise that we'll be done by 8 and we can eat almost any day, any where, without reservations.

That is one of the little things to know if you happen to want to eat out in HK but you forgot to plan ahead.


Wunderphotos is a really great place to see pictures from all over the world. I have an account on wunderphotos. You can see my pictures HERE. Go ahead and register (it's free) and rate my pictures. I have pictures from Africa, Oklahoma, Thailand, China, Macau and Hong Kong.

You have to laugh....

A good friend of mine is in the hospital here in HK. Sally and I went to visit him this morning to take a care package of Krispy Kremes. He in in a semi-private room. The other patient is a guy from Chile, via So. Carolina, who works building a new US Embassy in Beijing. He is a real nice guy and mentioned that he had been given a Chinese name. It was Tai Mai Shu. However, it sounds just like "Tie my shoe". We had to laugh!

Thursday, September 07, 2006

2nd HK Krispy Kreme opening soon

That's right! The second Krispy Kreme store will open in Hong Kong on September 28 at 51 Elgin Street, Soho, Central.

Here is the map to the Causeway Bay store:

Wednesday, September 06, 2006

Pictures from Africa

Sally and I lived in Abidjan, Ivory Coast for two years and ran a guesthouse. It was a wonderful time and we loved our life there. Unfortunately, a civil war chased us away.

However, for the first time on Google Earth, I found a 'higher' res picture of Abidjan where you can actually see our house and guesthouse. They are circled in the picture and our house is the lower of the two buildings in the red circle. The building to the east is Polyclinique Avicennes, a nice little Lebanese/French hospital.

Anyway, we thought it was really great to see the old homestead. Hope you like it, too.

Monday, September 04, 2006

Coffee Snobs

You know who you are. Come on, now, admit it!

I have decided that I am surrounded, at times, by coffee snobs. You know, people who will only drink Starbuck's or some fancy (expensive) gourmet coffee. Well, as coffee white trash, I think I am happier because I can enjoy a cup of coffee anywhere I go, not just someplace where I have to pay 4 bucks for a cuppa joe.

I can honestly say that I enjoy a cup of Folgers, or Maxwell House, or even, God forbid, 3 in 1! There are those who travel with their makings for pressed coffee or fresh fancy something from Starbucks. Don't get me wrong, I'll enjoy those too, but I'm not limiting myself to only those fancy kinds. And, I'll willingly drink from the bounty of any coffee offered to me and ENJOY it.

I guess that is my point. I enjoy coffee. I like the smell, er aroma. I like the taste. I like it with breakfast and then all morning long. I like it with cake and especially with donuts, but I really like it in the company of friends.

Please don't hate me because you have identified yourself as a coffee snob. Remember, I didn't name names.

Now, let's head down to Pacific Coffee for a nice "pick me up!"

Sunday, September 03, 2006

OU 24- UAB 17

I'm a little late in posting this brag; I've spent most of the day in bed at the Migraine Motel. In any case, I am very proud of my Sooners for a good start to the season.


Saturday, September 02, 2006

Ming Hua History Link

I found this really cool site that gives the history of the Ming Hua ship that is pictured below at Shekou Sea World. It shows a picture of it at sea and back when water surrounded it in Shekou. Check it out HERE.