Friday, December 18, 2009

Food on sticks

Sunday, October 25, 2009

Two bridges from JianWai Soho

Southeast view from JianWai Soho

Northeast view from JianWai Soho
GuoMao Bridge

Thursday, September 10, 2009


Disinfected today

Wednesday, August 19, 2009

Supermarket Hotel

Conveniently located in the heart of Beijing's Ginza, Wangfujing

Friday, August 07, 2009

The Beginning of Something Special

Inventive fun

Friday, July 31, 2009

Beijing's Summer Storms

1 out of 500

It took me more than 500 frames to capture this one bolt of lightning - my very first, at last! With the naked eye one can see plenty of lightning, but getting it on camera is another story. Storms these days and nights are a frequent occurrence, and one might think - and hope -that afterward there would be fresher, cleaner air with plenty of sunshine. Sadly, these past few weeks, even the worst storms with heavy winds and rains, there appears to be no easy (man-made) fix to the notorious Beijing smog.

Wednesday, July 22, 2009

Chaoyang Park Pool

Have ticket, can enter

Chaoyang Park gate

Seemingly a hot day, but without any discernible sun due to the clouds - dare I say smog - it was a pleasant afternoon at this 50m outdoor pool. 90% of the people were just splashing about, even in the lanes designated for laps. The 18RMB (roughly C$2.50) price for 2 hours of swim time also included the admission charge to this rather large, lush park.

No helmets! Yay?

In front of the Canadian embassy at Dongzhimen-wai Road.
Note: I was on a similar bendy-bus when taking this shot.

Motorcycles with sidecars are all the rage with expats in Beijing. You'd be hard-pressed not to see at least one while out the streets in the embassy district of Sanlitun, night or day. Helmets are optional for drivers and their passengers. Of the 74,000 road deaths in China last year, one wonders how many of those needlessly died young.

Monday, July 13, 2009

Sun setting on a blue-sky day

It's hard not to feel that talking up the improved air quality, as defined in Beijing by the number blue sky days it gets, so much recently somehow jinxed our fine fortune of wonderful weather. Even the recent rains - natural or induced - can't seem to clear the clouds (aka smog) away. At least sunblock is no longer required during time off lounging at the poolside.

Tuesday, July 07, 2009

This gets me back to blogging...

China's Great Fire Wall has not blocked Facebook.
Sad news for all but the elite CPC members and the wealthy ones here who don't have to bother with the rules ordinary citizens have to endure.
Then there are folks like me who can just find a VPN to get around it all.
But seriously, it's time to study Mandarin in a better place than this.

Tuesday, June 16, 2009

Stormy day

11:30 am in Beijing

The distant thunder woke me up a few hours before the storm really set in. Sharp cracks of thunder and giant lightning bolts - one after another. Will have to read up on how to catch the lightning on camera. Needless to say, there were several periods of intense downpours of rain - during the one above, the skies were so dark it was like nighttime.

Sunday, June 14, 2009

Hello, again

Thanking Adam for getting back out there!

Wednesday, May 27, 2009

Backdoor ajar

Small joy that I've found a free service that opens the door closed to the Blogspot/Blogger domain by the authorities here in Mainland China. For a nominal fee I could subscribe to a proxy/VPN which would open up the door completely, allowing me to post photos & videos of my goings on here on sites such as YouTube & Blogger. For now (but, for how long?) Facebook will have to suffice. A host of other websites are also blocked - some again, some for the first time. provides a reporting service on sites blocked around the world, though is itself blocked from time to time in China. Country report figures change frequently, but China regularly wins top prize for number of inaccessible sites.

While this strategy of blacklisting & blocking 'objectionable' content may seemingly be in the 'best' interest of the ruling elite, its ultimate effect is the dumbing down of the increasingly educated masses. The cat and mouse game of bypassing China's NetNanny, aka the Great Fire Wall (GFW), may not appeal to many, but it will make for smarter hackers and rouse the curiosity of true thinkers. Great social injustice is being served up either in the name of keeping competition out (YouTube vs. Youku) or in the endeavour to close minds up (T-words).

I've had to remove more than half of my Google Reader subscriptions because they are from the Blogspot domain. In a previous crackdown on Blogspot, Google Reader subscriptions were still viewable. This time Google Reader froze up until I removed all Blogspot subscriptions. I saved all those 'offending' blogs, by exporting my subscriptions to an OPML file, in anticipation of being free to view them again somewhere, someday.

Friday, April 10, 2009

Great Walls of Fire!

It looks like recent moves by China’s NetNanny, aka the Great Fire Wall (GFW) has shut-out the domain, as well as YouTube.
There are backdoors, of course. But I can’t go into the gory details.

Here’s hoping Windows Live Writer will come to the rescue!

Monday, March 09, 2009

Beijing Images

The power of suggestion

Another Yen Party~

Numbers for your hole-drilling needs

Car art & bus ad

An Olympic mascot's new job

Thursday, February 26, 2009

Snowy day in Beijing

From the rooftop

Out of the bedroom window

Out of another bedroom window

Down on the ground

Wednesday, February 18, 2009

Chinese "white wine"

白酒 - Baijiu

This is grain alcohol, known locally as "white wine"

Tuesday, February 17, 2009

Somwhere in between all this...

... is my new flat.

The Canadian Embassy
a kilometre away

The massive, new PetroChina headquarters
across the street

Nanguan Park
around the corner

A giant SWAT truck
on the other corner

The Russian Embassy
at the end of the street

Monday, February 16, 2009

Lanterns for Chinese New Year

At home in Gongti

Over a shop entrance

Piled up and ready to hang at a department store

In Shunyi

In Mudanjiang

Saturday, February 14, 2009

Lantern takes flight

One of many scenes to come of the Lantern Festival

Friday, February 13, 2009

Before, During & After the TVCC Fire

13 November 2008
View from East 3rd Ring Road

10 February 2009
View from my flat in Gongti

10 February 2009
View from my flat in Gongti

11 February 2009
View from my flat in Gongti

11 February 2009
View from East 3rd Ring Road

Wednesday, February 11, 2009

Firecrackers, fireworks, fire!

The main Chinese propaganda outlets have shut out all comments on the recent fire at the CCTV's TVCC Tower. This grab from the China Daily Online website caught my attention because there's no link to an email address where they can be contacted!
How silly is that for "online" media?

Moreover, these outlets are suggesting that 'netizens' are demanding fireworks be banned in Beijing next year. Is that because CCTV can not afford another RMB1-million show or because it can not afford to burn down more buildings?
What would really suck is if fireworks for ordinary citizens were banned because of the negligent use of Class-A fireworks by CCTV.

Saturday, February 07, 2009