July 2003 Archives
Spotted on an ad for Olympus Digital Cameras: "In both Optical and Digital worlds, that brings you to a wonderful journey".
What's scary is that there's an English commentary which is obviously by a fluent English speaking Hong Konger and it's perfectly correct English, apart from this bit of nonsense at the start.
It never fails to amaze me how blind some HKers can be. I regularly see people waving frantically at a taxi to flag it down, completely oblivious to the fact that:
- The 'For Hire' light isn't lit,
- The Taxi is full of other people
I saw such a group today, just outside the Mandarin Hotel. They looked very indignant when a taxi with four people inside didn't immediately stop and pick them up.
Also, with buses, sometimes the bus is full. My regular ride into work, the No. 18, is frequently very busy in the mornings, and it's not rare to see the bus full sign lit up. Even when the bus is so jam packed full, that the standing passengers have their faces pressed against the windows (and the front windscreen!), there'll be some self-important jerk gesturing at the driver to open the door and let him in.
If you were to see me now, you'd do a double take. I've dug out my swimming goggles in preparation for going down to the Pool with the kids in a few minutes. In an attempt to work out which side is which, I'm wearing them now. "Which side is which?" Well, they're prescription goggles, and my eyes are slightly different diopters, so I'm wearing them to figure out which way around is right.
We normally go down to Victoria Park, which is a few minutes walk away from here. It's free on Sundays in July, but it's not that expensive at other times.
Roxanne likes swimming, although she's quite nervous and needs her flotation aids. Conor is funny - he likes being in his floating ring and seems to have a good time smiling at people. He even kicks a little and will try to move himself around by splashing his hands. Not bad for a one year old.
While reading Kuro5hin I came across the following political quizzes:
- Libertarian Quiz - On this one, I'm a left-liberal, which seems about right. 100% Personal Self-Government, 40% Economic Self-Government.
- Political Compass Quiz - On this one, I'm Economic Left/Right -3.25 and Libertarian/Authoritarian -6.21. This means I'm to the left economically, and more liberal than authoritarian.
These both sound about right.
As many who know me know, I'm horribly prone to ear infections. I also get blocked up with earwax a lot and this affects my hearing. I got my first ear infection when I was in University, then I was ok for a few hears until I had a really bad one in Saudi Arabia. Ever since, I get them regularly. Living in a hot and humid environment doesn't help very much. I've tried lots of things over the years, with varying degrees of success but today, I found an almost instant cure for wax, so here's some tips on what to do with ear infections and excessive earwax.
- Earwax - Cerumol is rubbish. I've finally found something that works: Hydrogen Peroxide in a 3% solution. ...the fizzing noise can be somewhat alarming... Put some drops in your ear with your head turned sideways and wait for the foaming to stop. It gets a little warm and the fizzing noise can be somewhat alarming, but don't worry. After the fizzing has stopped, tip your head over and allow the mess to dribble out. You probably want to sluice out your ear with warm water too. It's best to do this in the shower, as it can be a little messy.
- Ear Infections - Otosporin is yer only man. I first had this in Saudi Arabia, and everything else has been completely useless. Otosporin is a prescription medicine, so you'll need to get it from a doctor. Many doctors (especially in Hong Kong) will pile you down with anti-biotics and other medicines. You will probably need the anti-biotics, but always ask the doctor if they're really necessary. Hong Kong Doctors over prescribe like nobody's business, especially anti-biotics.
I'm just watching the first episode of Fastlane. I can't decide if it's complete and utter moronic drivel or a good parody of complete and utter moronic drivel. A cop gets thrown in jail, and the inmates play Trivial Pursuit?
Got it! It's a remake of Miami Vice with the knob turned to 11! More scantily clad chicks, faster cars and less plot.
I've just bough my first ever non-pc DVD player. HK$ 550 for a multi-region, multi-system unit which has managed to play every thing I have so far. From Region 1 to Region 3 and whatever those Chinese bootlegs are, it plays them too. Good Stuff.
Regina Ip, otherwise known as Broom-head on account of her hairstyle, has resigned. "Oh, don't worry, just trust us..."
She was the Minister for Security and Oppressing the Peasants, or something like that. This is shortly after recording the biggest drop in popularity of any politician ever in Hong Kong. Her modus operandi was to try and introduce legislation which would make it illegal to criticize the government, then say "oh don't worry, just trust us, we'd never use the law to our advantage..."
Next to go is probably Anthony Leung, who failed to declare a luxury car purchase just before he changed the law to increase the tax revenues on, you guessed it, luxury car purchases.
Let's all wish them both a nice, big Phillip Wong (i.e. drink a little wine and give them the finger).
Another 20,000 or so people demonstrated outside the Legislative Council building last night, calling for democracy and the direct election of the Chief Executive. Meanwhile, Beijing is denying that anyone Chinese officials have had any long talks with Democratic Party members from Hong Kong. I get the feeling that they're embarrassed that Tung has been so ineffective.
I'm currently working my way through the Phillip Pullman trilogy: His Dark Materials, featuring: "The Golden Compass", "The Subtle Knife" and "The Amber Spyglass". I've only just finished the first one and I thought it was really good. Excellent world-building and good story-telling.
Well, the people of Hong Kong have spoken again: 50,000 protested outside the Legislative Council building last night in a peaceful protest against Article 23 and Tung Chee Hua. There's a strong movement now to bring in direct elections for the Chief Executive instead of the current method of selection by Beijing.
Interesting times, to be sure.
Family members will be delighted to learn that Conor is now walking. He's quite strong on his legs and the only reason he crawls now is to get around faster.
It looks like Hong Kong's political future will be decided by Beijing after the spineless gimp known as Tung Chee Hua has decided that he's incapable of decisive comment.
What's really irritating is that it looked like Beijing were quite happy to let the first post-colonial administration run its course and do its thing without interfering. I honestly get the impression that Beijing are embarrassed that Tung Chee Hua's government are such a useless embarrassment. I think they would have preferred that Hong Kong went like Taiwan with fisticuffs in LegCo every day and people squabbling on the street: "Hey, I'm for Anson Chan!" "*SMACK!* Martin Lee for Chief Exec!"
As it is, we got the worst of Hong Kong: clueless people promoted to management because they're Chinese and not offensive.
I reckon Hoover should name their next product the Star Trek: Nemesis, because then Everyone would know that they have a product which sucks beyond belief.
I've just noticed a very strange referral line: someone found this page while searching for "the order of the phoenix crack download". There's a crack for the book now?
I've just noticed over 200,000 (That's Two Hundred THOUSAND!) requests in my httpd logs from one particular address hosted by ev1.net. These requests are trying to push ostest.ru into top place in my referral logs, and presumably, benefit from being linked to. These requests have sucked down over 3GB (THREE GIGABYTES!) of my bandwidth in the last few days so, as you can image, complaints have been sent. I haven't bothered complaining to the Russians: from past experience, it's a waste of time. I have complained to EV1.net, and this may or may not get a response.
I've also blocked both that IP and the OSTEST.RU domain from this site and I'm currently writing a perl script to implement some sort of quota on the webserver use.
Update: OK, anyone who makes more than two thousand requests in any one log period gets banned by IP address. This is checked hourly, so this sort of abuse will get you blocked forever. I absolutely *hate* getting taken advantage of. Also, I got nothing more than a boilerplate response from ev1.net, so I'm assuming that they don't care. EV1.net - spammers!.
The police are quoting an attendance of 350,000, while the organizers say 500,000. This makes it the biggest demonstration since the marches against the Tienanmen Square crackdown in 1989, when one million people marched.
The March seemed to wind up about 9:30 pm, so it took over six and a half hours for all the people in Victoria Park to get to Central.
And Tung Chee Hua has been quoted as saying that none of the marchers need to worry because the legislation won't be used to crack down on this. What a clueless twit.
In other news, some pro-Beijing organization held a festival (also in Victoria Park - that was dumb) to commemorate the 6th anniversary of the handover. From what I could see on the TV, the attendance seemed to be a lot of confused looking old people wandering around and playing some silly games in market stalls, like 'throw the ball and get a prize anyway', or 'pin the tail in anything, dear, and there's a sticky bun for you'.
As I type, Victoria Park is chock-a-block with protesters against Article 23, and the front o the march has been accumulating at Government House since about 4pm. From the TV, I can see that Hennessey Road is full of people marching, and that road is six lanes wide. There is a solid queue of people at that density all the way from Victoria Park in Causeway Bay to Government House in Central. This is an incredible number of people, far in excess of what was expected. The trams are stopped, the busses can't move, and the Chinese Premier ran away this morning before having to see real civil unrest.
I fully expect to see the pro-Beijing spin machine spewing more rubbish in the next few days, even though it was discovered that they were falsifying grass-roots support. (Hmmm, that sounds a bit like Microsoft's Astroturfing.) They'll say that, even if One Million People marched, that six million stayed at home. (I honestly don't think that a demonstration any bigger than the one today would be feasible in Hong Kong - it's looking like the last protesters won't be at Central until much later tonight.
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