Sunday, November 29, 2009

All the Tea in China

I've always been quite a tea drinker, even when I was a kid. In China, I've found many new reasons to love my drink of choice, even though I have yet to sample All the Tea in China.

My favorite tea is probably pu'er tea, though I'll drink just about anything. And, probably the type I drink most is Oolong tea, though I usually settle for the cheap bottled types you can find on shelves in convenience stores all over China and Singapore. i know, I know, kind of lazy, but still...

Thursday, November 26, 2009

I. M. Pei and the New Suzhou Museum

I am presently doing a lot of research and preparation for a book I am writing, a travel guide on the city of Suzhou. I'm putting this book together in cooperation with the publisher of the largest English language magazine in Shanghai.

On a recent research trip to Suzhou, I visited the New Suzhou Museum, prompting me to write a little article about I. M. Pei and the New Suzhou Museum. It is an impressive facility, designed by an impressive man.

If you ever make your way to Suzhou, don't neglect the museum. It is well worth walking through, even if just to see the structure itself.

Monday, November 23, 2009

Hungry Go Where?

I was trying to plan a birthday dinner over the weekend, and was having trouble thinking of a good spot to eat. (I guess I've been away too long!) I remembered then that a friend had recommended the website Hungry Go Where for just the sort of time when you are cracking your head for ideas, and seem to come up with nothing more than a headache.

The website is good enough that I came up with 5-6 options all nearby, and all places I've not eaten before. I was glad for that, and have kept the list handy (got more birthdays coming up soon to think about).

I'll also have to keep Hungry Go Where in mind. It's a great resource for hungry Singaporeans!

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Thursday, November 19, 2009

Changes in Spain and Finland

It was interesting to read about some changes in both Finland and Spain that will guarantee some basic broadband services to residents of the two countries, making broadband a right of people in those two places.

Very cool, and very much a sign of the times, isn't it?

Makes you wonder when the rest will catch up. The US is, of course, lagging behind in this area. And yet, it is hard to be overly worried about that when there are so many places where rights that are even more basic — like clean drinking water, freedom from oppression, etc. — are neglected.

What a strange world we live in.

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Monday, November 16, 2009

South for the Winter

Looks like my timing was just right. I got back to Singapore late last night for my 3 month stay during the winter months. I am in my shorts and t-shirt now, as comfortable as can be.

But back in Shanghai, the weather has turned nasty. It's cold, rainy, and there are predictions for snow! The temperatures are going to be below 10 degrees Celsius this week. Ugh!

The nasty winter weather is pretty much the only thing I am not going to miss about Shanghai this winter (I was really enjoying the momentum developed there), but I am glad to have some tropical sunshine on my shoulders right now. I loved being in Shanghai during the autumn months, enjoying a bit of comfortable weather and seeing and smelling the changes in the air, but I don't know if I'd want to stick around now that it is really turning to winter. I am definitely cute out for this peregrine lifestyle, as far as the weather is concerned.

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Monday, November 09, 2009

dark 'til dawn

Having just launched dark 'til dawn, I've been getting lots of feedback on the project this couple of days. The launch was good, and the feedback has been really encouraging so far.

If you'd like to have a look at all of the lamps in the series, I've posted a PDF catalog. It isn't of very high resolution, so hopefully it won't take too long to load.

If you are interested in purchasing one of the lamps, drop me a note and I can let you know which ones are still available. There is only 1 of each piece, so once it's gone, there won't be another chance to buy that piece.

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Arizona Rentals

When trying to find a rental in Arizona when I was a kid, I can remember my parents poring over a magazine with cheap paper and tiny print. We were going on a big holiday that would spread across 3 weeks, driving from Texas to California. It was a tedious process for my parents to do the planning, but we had a great time when all was said and done.

Finding rentals in Arizona is so much easier today. Locating good prices for my travel needs is probably one of the top 10 uses I make of the internet. I travel a lot, and have found lots of good deals online to make my travel more affordable, and much easier than it was back in the days when my parents had to use materials that weren't very user-friendly, nor were they very extensive in the information offered.

Today, searching for, say, a rental in Scottsdale is much easier, but it still has its difficulties. For instance, there are so many sites offering travel information and travel services. How do you know who to trust.

Arizona Lodging Experts would be my first choice when traveling to Arizona. There is a whole lot of information at the site, with pictures and prices all available right at your fingertips. You can make your bookings directly through Arizona Lodging Experts too.

For me, this is just the sort of website I look for when I want to make a booking. It is easy to navigate, has good information, and is convenient. It is hard to beat this sort of service.

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Saturday, November 07, 2009

The Launch of dark 'til dawn

Yesterday was the launch of the dark 'til dawn series of collectible art pieces with decollection. The series is built around 30 of my haiku, and features 30 unique lamps, each designed and hand-painted by Chinese artist Peter Zhou. Each is a one of a kind art piece, and comes accompanied by a birth certificate signed by both the poet and the artist.

Here's a picture of the poetry reading I did at the launch yesterday. There was a fairly big crowd there (though not all are visible in the photo), and it turned out to be a lot of fun.

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Sunday, November 01, 2009

The Five Elements in Chinese Thought

The Five Elements in Chinese Thought have been on my mind a lot for the past year. I am writing a series of poems that considers the interrelationship of the elements in Chinese thought. It is actually a series of poetry collections, and the whole project will stretch over a very long time, I think. (er, it already has, actually, though it has not yet made its debut into the public eye.)

The history of this aspect of Chinese thought is interesting. It shows up everywhere in the Chinese mind. It is a fascinating study, one that can take a lifetime to explore.