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Tuesday, September 30, 2008

Volunteers at my High School - why mostly White?

My daughter's High School has a parents Booster Club that runs a Bingo and brings in about $200K a year for the school. The challenge is most of the members are White, yet most of the school is Asian (Chinese)? Not sure the why of this.

On a positive note, my suggestion for a bit of automation was done for the Bingo for a game called Bonanza, now the numbers only need to be entered one time. When I was a caller I noticed the numbers were entered at the beginning, and then when the game was played. But I heard other Bingo's did not do this, so I looked at the manual and figured out with some programming we could also have this ability. So I suggested and finally our bingo vendor sent somebody to do this - I know how to program, but like the idea of having somebody do in 5 minutes what would take me 2 hours tgo do


Monday, September 29, 2008

Is nothing Sacred - Now Chocolate

Cadbury: Melamine found in Chinese-made chocolates. I admit it, I have a slight, and yes, only slight chocolate problem.

This is convenient, dare I say, Scapegoat - Suspected Milk Adulteration Syndicate Arrested in China New York Times.
I have a feeling there were a lot more people responsible than just the 34 that have been arrested in an $18 Billion dollar industry in China.


Sunday, September 28, 2008

China and US Space Race

China is definitely in a space race, even if the world has been distracted by China's Milk Scandal And in a strange coincidence, Sanlu is a sponsor of the Chinese Space Program. China just did a space walk and was the third nation, after the USSR and US to do this. It was meant to be follow up the the Beijing Olympics to show how far advanced China is. Future plans include a space station and a trip to the Moon. Perhaps China will focus on the commercialization of space, such as raw materials.

Other countries with interests in space are India and Japan. The US due to pork barrel politics and lack of leadership with the space shuttle as Exhibit 1, and the International Space Station as Exhibit 2, has no real official plan for space (Richard Feyman's comments on the space shuttle are still so relevant). Private space efforts focused on space tourism in my opinion are the only real hope for progress in the US.



Melamine - What China Can Do

Melamine, Melamine, and Melamine. The same type of scandal happened a year ago, but then it only affected Pets in the US and some toothpaste. Now it's affecting China and getting massive publicity, and do the the huge amount of Chinese food exports recalls have spread to Sausage in Japan, to Baked Goods in Taiwan, and to the Mr. Brown Ice Coffee drink that used ingredients from China. This has hurt the positive bounce that China got in their reputation for quality with the Olympics. The space walk that China just did was overshadowed by the milk contamination scandal.

So what can China do?

Current Actions by Chinese Government:
  • Publicity inside China on this disaster, allow only trusted media to write about it. China's government for over a year had issued orders to the Chinese news media not to write about food safety issues.
  • Delete any references on the Internet in China on blogs, web sites, etc.
  • Have Chinese leadership do photo ops with victims.
  • Arrest a few people (only 12 arrested so far).
  • Fire local officials (I think 5 so far) and have head of testing resign.
  • Threaten any lawyers who try to help victims to sue.
  • Run articles saying how milk remaining on shelf is OK.
  • Run stories about how more testing is being done and this only happened at large firms that were exempt from testing since the were trusted. My opinion on this - BS. Lots of corruption allowed this to happen.
Summary - Show the problem has been fixed and downplay as much as possible so can focus on more important issues. Very similar to what was done with Szechuan School Collapse disaster.

My suggestions:
  1. Allow the news media in China to report on food safety stories.
  2. Allow Chinese Media to write about corruption issues.
  3. Remove threat of retaliation from local officials on news stories.
  4. Stop censoring of Internet inside China on corruption and food safety stories. I would totally free the media, but I don't see China's leadership doing this. The problem with corruption is it goes pretty far up and includes the communist party, and the leadership is worried that more stories about corruption will hurt the credibility of the communist party.
  5. Allow food prices to be set by the market. What happened was China's milk prices were kept artificially low, so producers increased their profits by watering down the milk and then adding Melamine so it could pass the test for having enough protein. The protein test was probably put in place after several babies died due to baby formula that did not have enough protein in it in 2004.
  6. Hold local elections.
  7. Separate the local governments from local businesses. Local business leaders are often also local government officials.

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Saturday, September 27, 2008

China Milk Crisis and Taiwan

Taiwan orders 160 China-linked goods off shelves from the IHT. The Taiwan government raised the allowable limits for Melamine under pressure from merchants, but there was such a backlash that the minister in charge of that area was forced to resign. Taiwan has been opening up to China in trade, but this milk scandal is causing doubts about the government's China policy. 25 tons of milk powder were imported into Taiwan for baking and $31.3 Million of China milk products/goods have been removed from shops in Taiwan.

3 Kids in Taiwan were found to have Kidney stones, but it seems they spent a lot of time in China.

And this is just dumb for those bakers who are unhappy:

Meanwhile bakeries in Taipei County have decided to forego milk powder and only use Taiwanese milk as the scare over tainted dairy products from China spread yesterday the Taipei County Bakeries Association told the Chinese-language Liberty Times.

Not all bakers welcomed the association's decision, saying switching entirely to Taiwanese milk would drive up their costs by at least 20 percent, while business was already down 50 percent because of the melamine scare.

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US Recalls - China Milk Crisis

Originally I was going to title this O No, Mr. Brown. Mr. Brown Coffee made by King Car in Taiwan started buying some creamer from China, and Melamine was tested in their ice coffee.

Somebody is still doing google ads for Mr. Brown Coffee and here is a cute Review : Mr.Brown Iced Coffee. I used to drink it all the time, but since I have been trying to lose a bit of weight I stopped.

Last night my dear wife was going through our cabinet and getting rid of all the delicious breakfast powders and instant drinks she had bought made in Taiwan. Unfortunately the milk in them may be contaminated. So bye bye the instant Almond Tea, the instant Ginger Tea, whole grain instant cereal with curry, etc.

In Taiwan, people are avoiding bakeries because you don't know where the milk came from. and milk sales are down - Carrefour dairy sales halved after milk scare in China. A test for Melamine has been developed in China that takes 20 minutes and costs $2.90, where is used to cost $20 and take a week. Taiwan has banned the importation of Chinese dairy products.

Last year after the thousands of pets lost their lives due to Melamine many US companies started researching to find out which of their ingredients came from China and to find out if they could get rid of them to limit their exposure. I wonder how much more of that there is going to be after this milk scare.

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Friday, September 26, 2008

Tainted Milk Flowed Through Holes in Scrutiny

Tainted Milk Flowed Through Holes in Scrutiny from the NY Times.
Key Points:
  • Communist system due to lack of checks and balances may not be able to guarantee food safety.
  • One year ago the party launched a big effort to clean up the food system.
  • Newspapers and other Media within China were told not to write about Food Safety Issues for the past year by the central government.
  • The New Zealand communications were the reason this came out.


Thursday, September 25, 2008

Milk Scandal started December of last year

China Says Milk Cover-Up Started Last Year from the NY Times.

And this is worrisome - Lethal chemical melamine in many China exports per San Francisco Chronicle such as crackers, cookies, and biscuits. In other words any typed of baked good that use milk.

And more innocent victims - Lion cub, baby orangutans sick from Chinese milk

And not very democratic - Amid milk scare, China's elite get special food

And still ongoing - Gymnast blames slip of tongue for age discrepancy


Wednesday, September 24, 2008

Upsetting Article - Baby Food Update

The poisoning of China's babies from UK's Telegraph. Pretty upsetting article.

Key Points:
  • Sanlu first started receiving complaints in December of last year.
  • Li Changjiang, the minister in charge of product safety, has been forced to resign. That was a telling moment. Mr Li became a celebrity last year for his handling of the row over poisoned Chinese exports, which began with pet food tainted with melamine and moved on to lead-coated toys. He said it was a "foreign plot" by Western countries to protect themselves from Chinese imports. That hubris has now been his undoing, as it has China's.

There was another article, but of course now I can't find it, discussing how the New Zealand company that bought a minority share of the Chinese company, how they are being hurt. They attempted to work within the system in China, and now they are being blamed. Of course if they had worked outside of it, they would probably never be able to do business in China again, but more babies would not have gotten sick.


Tuesday, September 23, 2008

Good College, Major Debt, & Now What?

Our local High School had college night last night, so the wife, me, and our wonderful daughter (sophomore) went.

UCLA, UCI, Pomona College, Harvey Mudd College, and Scripps College were all there. After doing a tour of Cal Tech, she decided Math was not her love so we did not talk to Mudd.

After my wife and me were talking about colleges, and she mentioned how our daughter's piano teacher's niece had a degree from UCLA in Economics and was an office manager. I mentioned how a co-worker had a degree in Economics from UCI and ended up as an assistant. ($15 an hour or so at a Chinese run company we used to work at). I then mentioned another friend who graduated with a Master's from Harvard in Japanese and is looking for a job. And then there was my wife's cousin who got a degree from UCLA in Social Science with a minor in accounting, and could not get a good job so he became a lawyer (and doing very well). And my wife went to a CPA extended education class on paying for college and private schools cost $35K to $50K a year. It's not unusual for students to be graduating with $100K in debt in student loans! Average student debt is $19237 for a graduating senior.

Please don't take this as anti the major of Economics. A good friend of mine has a degree in Economics and did forcasting in the semiconductor industry. I always enjoyed talking with him about the direction the economy and industry was taking. A great Engineering Prof. of mine has a Masters in Economics and enjoyed it because half of it was right, and half was wrong. The problem was nobody was sure which was which. Me, I took two tests to get out of taking Micro and Macro Economics as pre-requisities for my MBA. And somehow I passed the section on that in the Social Studies test more recently.

We compared the people we know who went to a UC, to my wife who went to Cal State Fullerton and got a degree in accounting, and she has never had a problem getting a job. And I got an Engineering degree from Cal Poly that was very hands on. Looking at the majors at UCLA, and many of them don't seem to be very practical for finding a job. I have heard that Cal State's do a better job at the under-graduate level, and UC's do a better job at the Master's level. Both my parents went to private schools and ended up with degrees in Political Science (one specialized in European History and the other South East Asian Politics). And what did they end up doing? One was an accountant and the other a credit manager. Of course their son (that's me) did sit down with basically no studying take and pass the teaching exam for Social Studies - not good to mention in interviews with people who went back to school to get a degree in it to get their license ;-)
Something else to consider is what type of job will your little prince or princess get after graduating. What is the average pay of that major? How much in student loans does it require?

So much to figure out, and so little time it seems for the college admissions process! We plan on going on more college tours.



Monday, September 22, 2008

White Rabbit Candy - Melamine? Ouch!

White Rabbit Candy - really yummy, was tested and melamine was found in some samples. This is a bit upsetting, because it's one of my favorite candies.

General Update

Number is now up to 12,000 babies who have been hospitalized, and 54,000 affected. The heads of China's Quality Control just resigned. And the Made in China quality campaign has been postponed. Only the most trusted media in China is being allowed to report on this.


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Sunday, September 21, 2008

Wayne Wang Movies

Wayne Wang Revisits The Immigrant Experience from NPR. I was on my way to pick up my daughter from Choir and listened to this.

A Thousand Years of Good Prayers opens Friday in theatres and looks really good. The Princess of Nebraska, a companion film, will be released on YouTube. His big movies hits have been The Joy Luck Club and Maid in Manhattan.


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Saturday, September 20, 2008

Flashing Red Lights - New Chinatown

I was driving to and from my daughter's High School this morning, they had a practice SAT there, and one intersection had a flashing red light. 2 out of 3 times I had problems with drivers who endangered me through their illegal actions. The last time I took a different route home.

Flashing red lights is supposed to act like a stop sign. Unfortunately some drivers just drove straight through it without stopping, which was scary.


Thursday, September 18, 2008

Pinkberry Clone

Pinkberry accuses area shops, others, of copying its brand from my local paper.

The challenge is anytime you open a store, especially in a heavily Chinese area you will get copycats. Note how the copycat stores are located in Alhambra, Arcadia, and a new one in San Gabriel. All heavily Chinese areas in Southern California. I am curious if Pinkberry was smart enough to do some copyrights. Disney does an amazing job using copyrights to protect their intellectual property.

Related Posts:


Saving Face and the Baby Formula Tragedy

It's interesting to read the official time lines. The Chinese version has the central government being informed one day prior to the New Zealand Ambassador notifying China's central government.

I see three options:
  1. China to save face officially was told a day before being contacted by New Zealand. This way China is not embarrassed having to be told by an outside source about this tragedy.
  2. The NZ company told the local government their government in two days would be contacting the central government. This allowed China to find out internally.
  3. The city decided out of the goodness of their heart to notify the provincial government and it was just a coincidence this happened at the same time as the New Zealand government's communication.
My guess is on number 2.

Time Line:
  • March - Chinese company, Sanlu, received complaints.
  • August - Tests by Sanlu confirm presence of Melamine in milk.
  • August 2nd - Fonterra told the local government the problem but were ignored.
  • September 9th - NZ Prime Minister informed and gives two days before she contact central Chinese government.
  • Sept 9th - City government informs provincial government.
  • September 10 - The central government was informed of the issue the local provincial government. One day delay.
  • September 11th - NZ Ambassador informs central Chinese Government.
  • Recall of Baby Formula ordered.


Wednesday, September 17, 2008

Chinese Baby Formula Update

6200 Chinese babies ill, 3 die from tainted milk from the AP.

Lots of interesting and sad information in the article.
  • 20% of all Chinese Milk Producers had melamine in their product.
  • 6244 from 1,200 a day earlier for the count of sick babies, 3 dead.
  • China's cabinet met to discuss nationwide testing of milk.
  • Sanlu's general manager Tian Wenhua was arrested.
  • The Mayor of Hebei province's capital, Shijiazhuang, was fired. Four other city officials from Shijiazhuang, where Sanlu is based, were also fired.
  • Fonterra told the local government on August 2nd about the problem but were ignored. Last week after letting the New Zealand Prime Minster know, who contacted the central Chinese government the problem on Sept. 11, which then became public.
  • The central government was informed of the issue on Sept. 10th by the local government.


4's Chinese Unlucky Symbol

I pulled into a parking space outside my office, and my car's odometer read 444.4 for the last four digits. I am not Chinese, but I figured better to be safe than sorry, so I drove one time around hte building and it became 444.5

4 in Mandarin Chinese (and Japanese) has the same sound as death, so you try to avoid phone numbers for example that are full of the number 4. 8's are considered in Chinese lucky, so you might notice ChildBook's phone number has a few 8's in it, 909-595-8885. My old home number was really cool, especially when the area code was 818. 818-810-3688, but then the area code changed to 626, and then we moved a couple of blocks which was now in the 909 area code and I did not have figured out how I could have kept the number, so goodbye really lucky Chinese Phone Number. When we lived in an apartment a long time ago, after we moved I found a local car dealer had gotten the phone number, since it had lots of 8's in it.

A great reference about Chinese beliefs and culture is:

Good Luck Life: The Essential Guide To Chinese American Celebrations And Culture
Good Luck Life: The Essential Guide To Chinese American Celebrations And Culture
Our Price: $14.95

Excellent book!
  • The most complete book I have seen on Chinese Culture!
  • Highly recommended. Covers Chinese Celebrations & Culture A-Z!


Tuesday, September 16, 2008

Can it get worse? China's Baby Formula Debacle

China Finds Melamine In More Baby Formula from the WSJ.

China has now found Melamine in 22 other manufacturer's Baby Formula products.

This quote provides a clue:
China's dairy industry has boomed over the past five years. Milk formula alone is expected to be a $3.45 billion-revenue industry in 2008, up 191.7% since 2003, according to market researcher Euromonitor International.

Translation - demand outstripped production, so the milk was watered down and Melamine added to it appeared to have enough protein in the Milk so the milk suppliers could meet the market needs.

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Monday, September 15, 2008

Baby Formula Strange Turns

Per the Times of London, 1253 babies have been sickened.

The article also mentions that it was the joint partner, Fonterra, somehow got the NZ Prime Minister to help out to have a recall.

But the scandal only came to light due to the intervention of Helen Clark, the Prime Minister of New Zealand, who had been informed by the New Zealand joint venture partner of the Chinese company of its failure to persuade the Chinese side to implement a full recall of the tainted product.

Ms Clark told TVNZ that food giant Fonterra had been trying for weeks to get its partner, Sanlu Group, to recall the milk powder. “The local authorities in China would not do it. I think the first inclination was to try and put a towel over it and deal with it without an official recall.” Fonterra holds a 43 per cent stake in Sanlu and could only follow Chinese rules in handling the incident.

The contamination apparently was by suppliers of mill to the baby formula manufacturer.

Two infants have already died from drinking the formula laced with melamine in a ploy by farmers to boost the protein content of the milk they sold to one of the country’s biggest and best-known milk powder manufacturers. Police have arrested 19 people, including two brothers who ran a milk collection station.

Chinese milk powder contaminated with melamine sickens 1,253 babies

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Sunday, September 14, 2008

China's Challenges and Progress

With the mine disaster in China that buried a village and tainted baby formula, why do I see what as reported as hopeful?

The fact that China actually had a recall (something that was only put in place last year) of 8000 tons on the Baby Formula is a step in the right direction. The publicity this is getting also means China's government is sending a message to food producers (clean up your act or else). The Mine incident is another one where I find the publicity positive for cleaning up a situation that

Related WSJ Articles:


Saturday, September 13, 2008

Made in China - Test, Test, and Test. Trust Nothing

Infant milk powder is latest worry in China from LA Times.

Sad comments in the article:
  • Anything you're going to buy from China, you have to test everything, You can't assume anything.
  • Foreign companies such as Fonterra that form partnerships with Chinese companies have to be careful, particularly if they don't control the production process.
Desmond O'Toole, an adjunct professor of chemistry at the City University of Hong Kong.

Past Posts:

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Friday, September 12, 2008

Creating New Competition

I was speaking with a bank officer today and he mentioned to be careful when talking about my business with Chinese, since if it's successful many would just copy it. I have seen that here, where a friend's Taiwanese restaurant had a competitor open right next to them with basically the same menu. The competitor finally went out of business, but it was not fun (I was surprised the plaza management would allow a competitor to do that, but the comment from our friend was all they cared about was the rent).

My opinion is there are already a lot of people selling what I sell, but what really matters is providing value to your customers. Simple idea and common sense, but actually making it happen is not as easy as it seems... I have been doing ChildBook for 10 years and every day still brings new surprises, and I am constantly learning. That's another reason I enjoy running my own business, it's challenging and makes me think all the time!


Thursday, September 11, 2008

Not Again - Now Baby Formula

FDA issues warning on imported Chinese baby formula from the LA Times.

The good news is it's illegal to import Chinese Baby Formula into the US, and this FDA warning is due to some kids in China who fell ill, and at least one death due to somebody cutting costs and using the same ingredient that killed so many pets.

Past Posts:

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More Moon Festival Worksheets for Kids

Moon Festival Worksheets that are great for use in the Class Room that are available for free on this page Chinese Moon Festival Teaching Lesson Plans, Worksheets, Games, and more for use in the class room and at home!

  • Chinese Moon Festival Game
  • Chinese Moon Festival Game traditionally played during the Moon Festival
  • Chinese Moon Festival Jumbled Words Work Sheet
  • Chinese Moon Festival Match A Word
  • Matching Work Sheet related to the Chinese Moon Festival for use in the class room
  • Chinese Moon Festival Word Scramble
  • Chinese Moon Festival Word Search
  • Chinese Moon Festival Game traditionally played during the Moon Festival
  • Word Search Work Sheet for the Chinese Moon Festival for use in the class room
  • Moon Festival Lesson Plan for grades K-4

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Wednesday, September 10, 2008

Moon Festival Games for Kids

Dice Game for Moon Festival

Materials You will need:

6 pieces dice, preferably numbers 1 and 4 in red, other numbers in black

Wide-mouthed bowl
Prizes, prizes, prizes. You still have time to solicit…
Assortment of quietly smiling, or rambunctious, or dancing family members and friends on Moon Festival night. Grandma, Grandpa and little cousins included

Object of the Game:
To get as much prizes by throwing the dice and getting prescribed number combinations.

Preparations before Moon Festival:

1. Look for a wide mouthed bowl.
2. Prepare 6 dice with number 1 and 4 in red. If you can only find dice with only the number 1 in red, improvise for number 4.
3. Solicit for prizes among family.
4. Prepare the following prizes

* 32 pcs 6th place prizes
* 16 pcs 5th place prizes
* 8 pcs 4th places prizes
* 4 pcs 3rd place prizes
* 2 pcs 2nd place prizes
* 1 pc 1st place prize

Value of prizes may vary. May be simple or extravagant. Others raffle off moon cake, candies, gadgets, ChildBook gift certificates (ehem:-) … Be creative.
Game Proper on Moon Festival night:

5. Place wide-mouthed bowl on a table. Gather everybody around the table. Appoint the first player.
6. First player throws all 6 dice into the bowl. Take note of the numbers face-up on the dice.
7. Certain combination of numbers on the dice entitles the player to a prize. See combinations and corresponding prizes below.
8. Pass the bowl to the next person. S/he will also throw the dice and get a prize if certain number combinations land face up on the dice. Etc. etc. until all the prizes run out.

Special rules:

* If any of the dice fall outside the bowl, you lose your turn for that round.
* If all the prizes for a given configuration have run out, then future appearances of that configuration win no further prizes.
* "Ultimate throw" – The best combination is composed of either 6 fours, or 6 ones. If you get this combination, you will ALL prizes, even those already won. Some families just give the 1st prize to ensure everybody gets to take home a prize.
* Other rules you can make up as you go along as long as it is fair and everybody gets to have fun.

Dice combinations and corresponding prizes:

The game is actually primarily based on occurrences of the "4" value -- the more fours you roll, the better the prize.

Sixth-place prizes - Awarded to people who roll 1 four

Fifth-place prizes - Awarded to people who roll 2 fours:

Fourth-place prizes - Awarded to people who roll 3 fours:

Third-place prizes - Awarded to people who roll 4 of any number except four:

Second-place prizes - Awarded to people who roll either a full sequence of all six numbers, or 3 of one number and 3 of another:

And finally, the first-place prize (zhungyuan) is given to the lucky soul who manages to roll four fours, five of any single number, or better:

Have fun and good fortune on Moon Festival! Gift your child Chinese Moon Festival books, coloring pages and help them learn more about moon festival through different resources available at childbook.com.

Source: “Of Dice and Moon Cakes” by Sean - http://lengthofwords.blogspot.com/2006/10/of-dice-and-mooncakes.html

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Making of Moon Cakes Video

Moon Cakes being made for Chinese Moon Festival:

Watch this video and learn to make moon cakes at home. This moon festival you make your own moon cakes and enjoy eating your moon cakes with your family. Kids can have fun on moon festival with different resources available about chinese moon festival at Childbook.com at this page http://www.childbook.com/Moon-Festival-s/94.htm

Other Moon Festival Resources:

Other Moon Festival Resources:

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Tuesday, September 9, 2008

Maylasian Chinese Racist Comment

Malaysia to Punish Politician Who Made Racist Remarks from the Wall Street Journal

In Malaysia, there are quotas for college for ethnic Malays. Ethnic Malays have also been favored by the government economically with jobs, and also in key government backed industries. The Chinese historically have focused on business and are 25% of the population.

For reference:


Monday, September 8, 2008

Caught Up - Mostly

I like to travel, but flying has become less enjoyable. Security headaches, poor customer service, over booked flights, you name it.

Anyway, finally got in last night at midnight, then had to get up early to take my daughter to school. Then had a huge amount of orders to get out (a good problem), so after a long day I am finally caught up. Denver was nice, but I am glad to be home! Especially with a good internet connection, amazing how important this becomes.

More future blogs posts on Chinese related items, so much to blog about!

Sunday, September 7, 2008

honesty - being real


Saturday, September 6, 2008

Met Chinese Adoption Granpa in Denver

I was eating breakfast at a hotel with my co-workers, two from China and one from Taiwan, and when I got up a person at another table asked me if they were speaking Japanese, I said no, Chinese. It seems his son's family just adopted a child from China 2 months ago with a cleft palate. Nice conversation about how much his grandson has improved since getting surgery and is almost walking, and should be able to catch up. He's 2 years old.

In the car, I asked my co-worker who is visiting from China, if adoption is good for China? Her answer was yes, since the kids will have a better life. Interesting, and controversial answer with some. My answer was from a political viewpoint it's good for the Chinese Government, since they now have a little piece of China with pretty well off couples in the US (adoption ain't cheap, unfortunately).

Related Posts:


Friday, September 5, 2008

Open Mouth, Insert Foot - Olympics

A co-worker at the trade show from China asked me what made the most impression at the opening ceremony of the Olympics. So, I answered with what came to mind first. Milli Vanilli at the Beijing Olympics about the older girl who lip synced a song sung by a younger girl. And since she lives in China, she did not know about this (it's been censored) and said they just used pre-recorded music. I disagreed, and I showed her using my iPhone a picture of the two girls and an article Beijing Olympics: Faking scandal over girl who 'sang' in opening. And after some translation from another co-worker, she left to walk around the tradeshow. Not the type of conversation I really wanted to have.

When she got back I mentioned how I found the most spectacular part to be the person running around the ceiling, but the entire opening ceremony was amazing. Which was the answer she was looking for! She replied she really liked the drumming.

She thought the London opening ceremony may be very good, and I commented it won't match the Beijing opening ceremony, There will not be anything like it again. I need to watch what I say, because my answers can get a lot deeper than people expect, especially about subjects I have thought about a bit and done some analysis, like the Beijing Olympics. Part of the conversation also got into how much the Beijing Olympics cost, and I commented it's a good question if that was a good use of the money since there are so many other pressing issues in China (Sichuan earthquake, environmental, schooling, etc.), but I said that the world definitely saw how far China has advanced with the Olympics as a nation in wealth and technology.


Thursday, September 4, 2008

China Admits Building Flaws in Quake

My gut feeling is this is major, my guess is since the Olympics are over the official party line can be a bit more open on what really happened, perhaps as a way to defuse anger over what happened.

China Admits Building Flaws in Quake from the NY Times.


Wednesday, September 3, 2008

Dress Page Design

I am not sure what to do, the measurements are necessary and should be prominent, but where else to put them on the product page. If I put them so they are less noticeable, that may increase returns, but increase reviews which are under them. The trade offs.


iPhones, Lousy Chinese Food, and Good Vietnamese Food

I am again helping out a friend at a trade show, running my business remotely (thanks so much Mom!), and doing the Father duties via Cell Phone. And yes, I feel like pulling some of my already thinning hair out today.

So on the way from Denver's airport, a coworker from China wanted to go have steak. So I get out my iPhone 3G with GPS, and look for a steak restaurant nearby. Since I am driving it's challenging, so we get off the freeway and change drivers. I find a restaurant using the Yelp plug in, but no reviews in the entire area. And you can't go directly to the map in Yelp to give directions (hopefully fixed soon). So we proceed via some interesting surface roads to where the Restaurant should be, nope, not there, It's a Taqueria. So we went over to the other side of the road, and not there. So the consensus is there is a Chinese restaurant there, and I give my warning on be aware it's not what you expect, so don't complain. They did not even have chopsticks. It was edible, but I am so spoiled in Rowland Heights with real, excellent Chinese Food. When my wife got back from a trip to Germany, she immediately went to a local Taiwanese restaurant to recover from eating so many sandwiches for lunch while she was there.

So went to the tradeshow, and the booth had major issues. Got those fixed I hope... And went to dinner. The co-worker from China wanted Black Angus, and I had looked at Yelp on the iPhone and suggested Capital Grill, which is really well rated. No Black Angus near by, so we went to Pho Duy per the good ratings on Yelp. Excellent Vietnamese food, we seemed to have found the Little Saigon of the Denver area.

Long day!


Tuesday, September 2, 2008

Chinese Moon Festival - Even More!

Monday, September 1, 2008

Chinese Moon Festival - More!

Did you know there is a game traditionally played during the Moon Festival? ChildBook now has instructions.

Would you like to do a Word Search Game? ChildBook now has one!

More coming soon...


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