Wednesday, January 27, 2010


Andrew Bird plays Shanghai this week. I asked his people if he could come over to Xining for a day and play for us here. I offered the price of a plane ticket and an unlimited amount of coffee. His people were very nice in the response, yet his schedule takes him to Tokyo the following day so they had to turn down my generous offer. Thanks anyways, Mr. Bird. Maybe next time.

Click here for a video of one of my favorite cover songs of all time.

Friday, January 22, 2010


The 2 most important things to teach a 2 year old:

1. Tell mom or dad when you have to go pee.
2. The proper way to hold a hockey stick.

Wednesday, January 20, 2010

Beer me that price

I had mentioned in previous travels home that the price of beer in China is ridiculous. In many cases, it is cheaper than bottled water.

Qing Dao, "The famous and Popular Chinese beer in the World" is the decent one of the bunch made available at our little corner store.

Jonas is in this picture to give you an idea of just how big the bottles are. They are about a litre each. Now, for the price:

20 RMB = $3.06.

That is for ALL 9 bottles, working out to 34 cents a bottle.

Drink responsibly.

Tuesday, January 19, 2010


A Haitian man named Fritz, who told me of a curse that Haiti has suffered under for 200 years.

A place where evil is reality.

Everyone finally has a reason to turn and look at this country.

What do you do with all of the broken hearts?

prayer for Haiti

Tuesday, January 12, 2010

Don Miller needs a new editor

This was the worst the the 3 errors I came across in the last 2 chapters. Can you spot it?

Other than that, and I must confess I am no stickler when it comes to spelling, the book is a nice read. Miller's other books tend to tell of stories from his childhood and when he was a young adult going through life, like "back at Reid college we'd streak through the auditorium in the mornings and then later dig into 2 Corinthians while the girls would spoon at a big bowl of Chocolate Mint and the guys would smoke fruit pipes."*

A million Miles in a Thousand years is similar to those books, only post-Jazz. It is pretty nice to read about all of the things he's been experiencing in the past few years. His honesty and humor are second to none when it comes to books you buy at Blessings.

Miller weaves through the last few years as though he is creating a story with his life, which is actually the main lesson from the book. It's turning out to be a really good idea for a book. I like these kinds of books (and movies, for that matter) where there is a lot of dialog and thoughts being presented with some, but not all of, the answers. Barbara likes movies and books where things actually happen. I like those too, but I have a soft spot in my breathing lungs for contemplation and heartache.

* may not be an actual quote from any book.

Monday, January 11, 2010

Back at it.

We've been back in one of our favorite places for about 36 hours now. Here are some of the highlights:

- I went out at 7am yesterday morning to pick up a few things to eat, considering that the only thing in our fridge was an old jar of spicy sauce. I stopped by at the Hui guys down by the school and picked up a dozen potato dumplings. Heaven.

- Ginny and Dustin brought over noodles for lunch. The only Chinese food that Miles has liked so far. He is a work in progress.

- We went out for dishes last night with the Hendys, Joneses, and Heather. It was nice to get out and eat some fried potatoes, cashew chicken, sweet and sour chicken, garlic cucumbers, and a swack of other favorites.

- The boys sleeping from 830pm last night until 6am this morning. This is amazing bordering on a miracle. The jet lag is one of my sworn enemies, along with Nickelback, pork, certain Coupland novels, and the Vancouver Canucks.

- Miles has been holding his ukulele in rock star form while singing the ending of "Oh, Canada". Its been fun watching him while he knows he's being funny and cool.

- Jonas is addicted to the walker. So much so that he's already down for a nap at 9 am.

- I made eggs this morning with a dash of dill and they were amazing.

- My parrot shirt is back on.

Some of the lows:

- DVD player is busted. Heather said we could borrow hers so I can watch my 60 movies.

- My cell phone is busted. I'll probably try to borrow one for the next few months.

That's about it from the first 36 hours. We're glad to be back and as the weather warms up to a balmy 6 degrees this week we should be able to head out and enjoy the lovely people and places.

Monday, January 4, 2010