Friday, October 19, 2007

Friday Beer Report

As some of you may know, I like beer. Beer has been very, very good to me. And I have been very, very good to brewers. So this being Friday, I thought that I might share a wee bit of promise that appeared in today's New York Times. Good beer - good regional beer - may yet win.

Industrial beer is still the vast majority of the American market, and it’s not going away tomorrow, but there is no future in it. While industrial beers suffer flat or declining sales, craft brewers are experiencing double-digit growth. The big brewers now try to copy craft beers. European brewers, who once laughed at watery American beer, now look to the United States for inspiration.

It's a good time to be alive.
It's a good time to have a beer.


UPDATE: What was the first beer you ever had?

Thursday, October 18, 2007

Inside Baseball

As many of you know I am a teacher. Over the years I have not blogged about it much, because well, who want to read shop talk.

But when a colleague come under professional scrutiny, sometimes one is compelled to come to his or her defense. This might be one of those times.

Teachers come under tremendous pressure to modify their instructional style so as to not leave any pupils behind.

In this case an educator might be able to take a more direct approach for the visual or auditory learners, but if these girls were tactile kinesthetic learners, this approach is spot on.

Tuesday, October 16, 2007

Pile In Aught Ocho Talking Point Memo--10-16-07

I have a million ideas. The country can't not afford them all."

Pile On

Monday, October 15, 2007

Guest Post

Hi Peoples. Pile has asked me to announce that there are like lots and lots of new posts here at the Institute and stuff. If these posts were beers I don't think I could like hold them all. So like read them, it will totally be like a best of show only without some stuff that Pile told me to say but I forgot.

Anyways, these were originally posted at Villainous Company, but that site has been taken down and sold for scrap metal. So the staff at the Institute has reposted them here for your viewing enjoyment.

Check back from time to time. There may occasionally be something new and that totally rocks.

Posted by Chick With Six Beers.

China Retaliates Against Imports of US Air

BEIJING - Stung by a spate of safety recalls of its products, China hinted Thursday that it might take retaliatory action against U.S. shipments of air exported to China.

China's top air safety regulator today said it has found repeated safety problems in shipping containers filled with air from the United States and demanded the US take "effective actions" to solve the problem.

Pernicious particulates have been detected in the gaseous mixture imported from the US by several entry-exit inspection and quarantine bureaus around China during the last few months, which put the country's forests, ecology and Chinese air consumers at jeopardy, stated the Chinese General Administration of Quality Supervision and Inspection on its official Website.

China imports millions of cubic feet of air from the US every year.
Consumer advocates in China stated “US air was of lower quality than traditional Chinese breathing gases lacking eight micro elements for human body, that make for important curative effects and improve markedly life quality for Chinese breathing consumers.” The advocates went on to issue a warning to anyone that may have consumed American air to take caution to only expose nostrils and throat breathing apparatus to traditional Chinese air to return to panacea of extraordinary respiratory splendor again.

US retailers and other importers of Chinese manufactured goods expressed concern that these actions by the Chinese government could lead to a shortage of shipping containers in China with which to import goods to the US and also a glut of containers stateside as American air makes up the bulk of US exports to China.

- Pile On

Pile In Aught Ocho Town Hall Meeting Number 1

Pile In Aught Ocho Town Hall Meeting Number 1

First let me say, this is not CSPAN. The Iraq war has made me well aware that the American people have the attention span of a dog pecker gnat*, so this is going to be a fast paced exchange. Read fast or be left behind.

Peggy Noonan, you are first up. Go ahead Peggy.

Yes Mr. On, the American people want to know just one thing of their president: WILL YOU SUFFER?

Peggy, let me just say that I really enjoyed that book you did on President Reagan, When Character Was King.

And not just suffer privately, but will you seem to suffer publicly during press conferences, public appearances, and the like so that we can savor your suffering?

Oprah tapes in Chicago. Thanks.

Next question, you, MTV viewer person.

Yes thank you Mr. On my question is, the war in Iraq?

I support it.

The war on terror?

That too.

The war in Bosnia?

Sure why not.

The battle of the bulge?

Thank God CNN wasn’t there.

The War on drugs?

Like your drugs huh?

Partial birth abortion?

Bloody murder.

School bussing?

Beats walking.

Affirmative action?

Sometimes less is more.

The F word?


The S word?

S word?

The N word?

Don’t use it.

The C word?

Wouldn’t recommend it.

National health care?

Sure, if the nation is sick.


Good friends are hard to find.

Michael Moore?

I am sure I will be a source of future inspiration.


To each his own.

Long walks in the park?

The only thing better is a short walk.

Warrantless wire taps?

Depends on what you mean by warrantless?

Surgical spinal taps?

No thanks.

This is spinal tap?


The NEA?

Wait till they get a load of me.

The CIA?

Needs a house cleaning.

The FBI?

Glad they are on my side.


What does that second A stand for?


If you aren’t part of the solution you must be part of the precipitate.


Isn’t that an AM station in Chicago?

The ratio of a circle’s circumference to its diameter?

Yes, I like pi.

Missing bees?

Depends on who is missing them.

Killer bees?

The Astros aren’t having a very good year.

Brazilian bikini wax?

I have never understood why they call it a bikini wax.


A poor substitute for a family.

Prescription drugs?

Why do you ask?


Don’t need them.


Haven’t seen them.

Red necks.

Sure, just don’t get carried away.

Leather necks?


Long necks?

It's not about the bottle.

Global warming?

Wouldn’t be the first time.

Climate change?


Endangered species?

99.9 percent of all species that have ever lived have gone extinct. We are all endangered.


Not quite as sexy as global warming.


Don’t make me flash the lights.

Wind power?

What do we do on the days without wind?

Solar power?

Get back to me when the technology has improved.

Power windows?

Never knew I needed them till I had them.


Sorry, just checking to see if my wallet is still there.

Child abuse?

That’s why we build prisons.

Gay marriage?

Happy is good.


Only works in theory, kind of like Marxism.



George Bush?

Like him or no, you got what you voted for.

Women in prison movies?

Sure, if tastefully done.

What type of underwear do you like?


*Dog pecker gnat is the common name for canis genitales sp., of the order diptera. An unremarkable specimen that spends its summer days buzzing about warm moist dog members.

Today Sure Has Been Super!

I dunno about this. The British have been warning us about bloody hell for years.

Is America ready for a president with Nebraska roots? The good folks at the Pile in Aught Ocho exploratory committee think so.

aught ocho logo.jpg
To find out what you can do to save America in Aught Ocho send a self-addressed stamped envelope to:

pileon - at - sbcglobal dot net

Marriage and the Times

More American women are living without a husband than with one, according to what many experts call an extraordinary analysis of census results by the New York Times.

The dissection by the Times (which has been repeated in more places than you can whip a pencil at) concluded that in 2005, 51 percent of women said they were living without a spouse, up from 35 percent in 1950 and 49 percent in 2000.

“This is yet another of the inexorable signs that there is no going back to a world where we can assume that marriage is the main institution that organizes people’s lives,” said Prof. Stephanie Coontz, director of public education for the Council on Contemporary Families, a nonprofit research group. “Most of these women will marry, or have married. But on average, Americans now spend half their adult lives outside marriage.

Emily Zubiks, a totally adult woman and band member who does volunteer work at her local secondary school, said she was not surprised by the trend. “A lot of my friends are not married and stuff. I don’t even know anyone who is like married or anything.” Ms. Zubiks who has gone steady a couple of times told us “marriage is just not where I am at right now.”

Brenda Parths, an editor of a free publication that covers issues important to students who has never in her whole entire life been married, said, “I like boys, I mean, like, they’re okay, I guess, I like to pass correspondence with them in the hall, but like, marriage is totally gay mister.”

Posted by presidential candidate Pile On®, who by the way, has his own exploratory committee!!

Christmas Pleasantries from the Institute

hippy holidays.jpg
Hippy Holidays Ya’ll from The Ebb & Flow Institute located in what you might call a multicultural neighborhood where it is not unusual to see aging hippies riding giant tricycles.

I had intended to make this a 2006 year in review post, but to be forthright; I became bored with the topic. And to be even more direct, honest and with increasing forthrightness, while researching the post I came across this alarming photo from the Institute Halloween party.

Looking at it, are you as disconcerted and unnerved as I.

I know I am.

Well to be direct, open and candid it got me thinking about the direction of this country. When I was a kid you could spot a witless half-wit because they had a pocket fisherman.rocketfishingrod_thumb.jpg
These days Roland Martin is advertising a Rocket Fisherman that launches a bobber and hook from something that resembles a sawed off shotgun. So we are still good there.

But dear peoples, the state of the American Cartoon is, to be blunt curt and abrupt, bad. Real bad. Spongebob aside, the plot to every modern cartoon is as follows. A baby animal is missing; often the baby animal will be an endangered species. The “heroes” of the cartoon have to save the baby and they are going to need our help to do it. They look into the camera with their large vacuous brown eyes and ask us to flap our wings, or for directions to the volcano. You are the explorer Dora, can’t you recognize the large blue volcano right freaking next to you? The cartoon always concludes with the “heroes” returning the baby endangered species to its parental units who didn’t seem to notice that their progeny was missing in the first place. Perhaps instead of returning the baby they should call Child Protective Services? Or better yet just let nature run its course.

Did Bugs Bunny ever ask for help?


I have also been thinking about the war. The elections in November, been thinking about them too. As many of you know, there has been considerable pressure on me, some public, some private, and some pressure applied in a manner that can only be describes as both public and private to get me to run for president. Of the United States.

I have thus far resisted this pressure because, to be plainspoken and unguarded, I just wasn’t that interested. And my family, what it would put my family through, I have thus far resisted because of what it would put my family through, of course.

To be candid and unambiguous, things have gotten to the point where it would be inconvenient for me not to be president, at least for a while. So I have made a decision, frankly, the time is right to bring some frank frankness to the political arena (it is not really an arena, that is a tired figure of the speech).
No, I am not announcing that I am seeking my party’s nomination for president, that is not the way we do things. I am announcing that I am forming an exploratory committee

aught ocho logo.jpg
If you would like to be a member of the Pile in Aught Ocho exploratory committee please write me at pileon - at - sbcglobal dot net. I caught some large fishes in Florida in November, and owing to my political fine tunity had my picture taken with the large fishes I had caught. But we are going to need someone who knows how to get the images off of my cell phone and onto the World Wide Web. We need someone to design a better logo too.


movie critic.JPG

Rex Ropner is a heavy-footed marginally employed journalist with a customary sneering wit. Struggling to make ends meet, Ropner leaves his wife and son to pursue a better life for himself. When Gardner lands an internship at a prestigious newspaper, he endures many hardships, including covering stories where there is no complementary buffet and losing his DSL service when gambling losses and an unscrupulous online pornography provider leave him unable to pay his cable bill. Through it all, Ropner never gives up his dream, and with a little help from an uncle with a large advertising budget Ropner lands the position of movie critic.

This film captures the essence of the great American film critic.
John Long—San Francisco Chronicle

**Note from Pile: In my opinion, the reviews of the Pursuit of Happyness tell us more about the reviewer than the movie. Go see it.

Moments in Senate History

kerry mccain.jpg

I know you have some reservations about the Iraq Study Group report John, and I know I said I was on board with your proposal; but honestly, what does sending more soldiers to Iraq have to do with increasing troop deplorement?

Posted by Pile, who contrary to popular belief did not lose his log in.

Al Qaeda forms 527 Group

terrorist spokesperson.jpg
Al Qaeda, the international terrorist group and social services organization held a press conference today to announce it has formed a 527 group to influence the November midterm elections in the US. Sulaiman Abu Ghaith, a spokesperson for the group, declined questions but issued the following statement:

“We have formed the group The American Center for Coming Together Through Progress not to endorse any candidate but because we feel strongly about the issues in this election. While we are unaccustomed to having our right to free speech regulated we do want to show our respect for American laws by being in compliance with McCain Feingold. We have negotiated some kicking ass rates with the international media company CNN and we did not want to jeopardize that agreement by having any troubles with the FEC. Peace be upon you.”


Republicans Agree on Interrogation Bill

The White House and rebellious Senate Republicans announced agreement Thursday on rules for the interrogation of presidential candidates and those suspected of having presidential aspirations. President Bush urged Congress to put it into law before adjourning for the midterm elections.

"I'm pleased to say that this agreement preserves the single most potent tool we have in protecting America,” the president said. He spoke shortly after administration officials and key lawmakers announced agreement after a week of high-profile intra-party disagreement.

Maverick Senator John McCain of Arizona who has been held as a presidential candidate for seven years six months and thirteen days was one of three GOP lawmakers who told Bush he couldn't have the legislation the way he initially asked for it, said, "The agreement that we've entered into gives interrogators the tools they need to continue to ask the tough questions that need to be asked, while protecting the rights of presidential candidates to make symbolic gestures without having to put up with any unusual or tortuous questioning.

It sounds like the administration got a pretty good deal actually" because it would reinstate the press's prerogative, said John Yoo, a former Justice Department lawyer who helped write internal memos in 2002 designed to give the media more leeway in aggressive questioning of suspected candidates.
kerry windsurfing.jpg
Human rights lawyers disagree on whether this flexibility, along with the bill's definition of cruel treatment, would endorse such techniques as "waterboarding"and "windsurfing" methods intended to simulate the sensation of being a regular active outdoorsy guy. Windsurfing and similar publicity methods allegedly used by press photographers to humiliate candidates are not specifically identified as crimes although some say these techniques could qualify as cruel and inhumane.

"There's no doubt that the integrity and letter and spirit of the Geneva Conventions and some of them other conventions have been preserved," McCain said, referring to international agreements that are not applicable and have absolutely nothing to do with the issue at hand.

A vote in the full Senate on this bill has not yet been scheduled.

Religous Harmony

In an unprecedented display of inter-faith unity, Islamic scholars publicly demonstrate the general validity of the Pope’s recent remarks on jihad and the spread of Islam.

arab street2.jpg

Islamic scholars engaging in reasoned dialogue.

Pope issues apology, invites jihadis to convert to.....humanity.


Everyday Hero

You never know when the chance to be a hero might be thrust in your general direction. You just don’t. I keep my eyes open for my shot though. Call it a love of country thing. These days the best opportunity to prove your hero bona fides seems to be while flying. I don’t fly too often but I fly as often as the next guy who doesn’t often fly. When I do fly, I often keep a patriotic eye open. I give the flight attendants that cooperative look of mutual understanding, as if to say, “when you need me, I've got your back..., just give me the signal and I will go all citizen air marshal on some Islamonazi sympathizer with a bladder full of protest pee”.

I do not go looking for trouble. Nope. But when a suspect little daisy goes traipsing up the isle, I am ready to serve my fellow humankinds. And my country. “Yeah, you just take your nitrogenous waste in the lavatory there honey, cuz if you’ve got international answers sister, I’ve got the questions for ya. So go ahead and expose your giblets in the isle little Betty, before one drop of free speech hits the floor I am going to drop you like a fifty pound sack of organically grown whole wheat flour. Say hello to the commercial grade over trafficked airline carpet. B**ch. Hand me the plastic cuffs airline waitress person, I have the situation under control”.

Some guys get to have all the fun.

In other news, if I ever get fired for something I post, I hope it is half this funny.

Mad props and stuff to Ace.

President Kerry: What Might Have Been

lebanon council.jpg
Nasrallah: Okay here is my plan, we continually fire rockets into Israel, then send a small band of armed fighters across the border to capture a few Israeli soldiers so that we can then negotiate a prisoner swap.

Prime Minister Siniora: Let me remind you that the much beloved President Kerry extended us a seat at the table.....where we can talk.

Nasrallah: Oh. Oh yeah. Nevermind.

Rendezvous With Destiny

OPERATOR flip.jpg
Thank you for calling the Mayo Clinic, how may I direct your call?

You presume to direct my call?

OPERATOR flip.jpg
I am sorry sir?

I should say so.

OPERATOR flip.jpg
How may I help you sir?

I need to see a doctor.

OPERATOR flip.jpg
Let me put your call through to the appointment desk.

If Mohammed can't go to the mountain, the mountain will go to Mohammed.

OPERATOR flip.jpg

I require you to dispatch a team of doctors through Canada, and have them pretend to be Venezuelan.

OPERATOR flip.jpg
Is that you again Fidel?

An Important Post on Human Rights

This important post consists of an important open letter from Pile, the chairman of The Ebb & Flow Institute.

Dear humanity,

As you probably know, we here at The Ebb & Flow Institute take human rights very seriously. It is a primary concern. This concern, coupled with the fact that self-improvement is something of a hobby of ours has caused us to take pause when the United Nations Human Rights Committee issued a report that blistered the backside of the United States for numerous human rights violations.

Since the UN Human Rights Committee consists of many nations where human dignity flows freely like semi-potable water from the tap, we have decided to boil this report, then drink deeply.

Human rights violations committed by the United States.

The U.N. Human Rights Committee said poor and black Americans were "disadvantaged" after Katrina, and the United States should work harder to ensure that their rights "are fully taken into consideration in the reconstruction plans with regard to access to housing, education and health care."

The UNHRC says the Dixie Chicks "got a raw deal" from a disapproving public following their criticism of President Bush. Article 17 of the international treaty on human rights states that chick based music ensembles must receive "fully cooked" deals.

Security "pat-downs" of fans at Tampa Bay Buccaneers games are unconscionable, unreasonable and makes us want to cry, stated the UNHRC, throwing into question the practice at NFL games nationwide.

In accordance with UNHRC article 12.3 the right to liposuction must not be infringed upon and must be made affordable and available for the worlds obese poor.

Ashlee Simpson. The export of Ashlee Simpson and Ashlee Simpson byproducts violates the Uruguay Rounds of GATT. The Agreement on Agriculture and Pop Music provides for, export subsidies and or countervailing duties if imports cause "material injury" to domestic producers and or viewer/listeners.

The UNHRC . . . remains concerned that residents of the District of Columbia do not enjoy full representation in Congress, a restriction which does not seem to be compatible with article 25 of the covenant," the report concluded.

Thank you United Nations Human Rights Commission for this constructive criticism. We vow to give it all the attention it merits as we continue our efforts for forge a more perfect Union.

Warmest Regards,


Another Fatwa Against Hezbollah

As I predicted in a post on Friday, another Islamic cleric has issued a fatwa against Hezbollah, this time a shia cleric in Iran. Ayatollah Noamir Syed al-Chomkin Shirazi is a professor of Islamic linguistic studies at the Tehran Institute of Technology (TIT). Below are key portions of his illuminating 180 page fatwa.

It appears that Amongst the most important replies that I have given, is my reply concerning the actions of Hezbollah, the natural general principle that will subsume this case where one censures the importance of studying the branches [furu'] of jurisprudence, and we seek refuge in Allah from the deviation of such a corpus of utterance tokens upon which conformity has been defined by the paired utterance test.

I suggested that these results would follow from the assumption that if the position of the group Hezbollah were only relatively inaccessible to funding from the mullahs of Iran, this selectionally introduced contextual feature renders the entire region subject to the hegemony of Iranian rule. In this reply nevertheless, I make mention analogously,that the scholars of the methodological bases of Islamic jurisprudence (usuli’un) and the Imams of jurisprudence themselves have said about such a matter.

As for my labeling this action as Iranian Imperialism, it is only because they have desired to impose upon common people the precious rank of absolute independent reasoning [ijtihad], the requirement that branching is not tolerated within the dominance scope of Iranian military influence....

This might be satire.


Hezbollah: Violence mixed with social mission.

Hezbollah is regarded by the U.S. and Israel as a terrorist organization. It is dedicated to eliminating Israel and has formally advocated the ultimate establishment of Islamic rule in Lebanon, according to the U.S. State Department.

It garners popular support among the Lebanese by setting up schools, hospitals and other social services like the popular jihad match-making service

Jihad-Harmony's matches are unlike any other jihad match-making service you have ever heard of. The main reason why is their personality profile. After years of studying jihadis they have found 29 key dimensions of hatred for Israel that predict deep compatibility and happier, more lasting relationships. The personality profile covers these important areas of hatred for Israel, helping jihadis learn more about themselves and their ideal partner and allowing to match them with highly compatible jihadi singles.
jihad date seeker.jpg

What Jihad-Harmony's users are saying.

"Meeting each other has changed our lives forever. I was so busy launching missiles and providing social services that we probably wouldn't have crossed paths if it hadn't been for Jihad-Harmony. We both had been waiting so long to meet that 'truly compatible' person. My first wife, peace be upon her, lacked a compatible level of hatred for Israel, which as it turned out caused some serious health problems, peace be upon her. When my soul mate was delivered, our waiting was finally over. Jihad-Harmony saved us the headache of meeting people randomly, only to find we had very few dimensions of hatred of Israel in common. We discovered that we both approach jihad in a very similar manner, and our similarities and differences really do bring out the very best in our marriage. It's amazing how well our hatreds of Israel compliment one another. Without Jihad-Harmony our meeting would not have been possible. Thank you for bringing us together."

--Omar Abdul Hassan Nasrallaman

burka brides.jpg

"He had us at death to Israel."

Taking a Chinese Vacation with the Chinese in China

When most Americans visit China they do so as part of a tour and have a guide who speaks English to show them around the country. My recent visit was somewhat different. I was there to visit my wife's parents who had never had the opportunity to meet a chairman of a prestigious free market think tank institute; nor had they met any of my staff, which notably includes The Onlette.

So my visit was not unlike what most Americans do when they load up the minivan and head to Wisconsin to see Grandma and Grandpa except instead of having the 15 month old in the back seat fussing for hours on end, she is on a jetliner where complete strangers can share the experience.

Even though I could not spend the whole time I was there sightseeing, I did want to do some of that; so Mrs. On and I went on a Chinese vacation with the Chinese in China.

I suspect it is slightly different than an American vacation with Americans in China.

We boarded a bus in Hangzhou bound for the Yellow Mountains (pronounced Huangshan) and embarked on what was about a four-hour ride. Our guide for the first leg of the trip told us we should "sleep while we traveled and pee when we stop". That was a plan I could get behind. All of the guides on this trip spoke into a microphone, on board the bus it was plugged to speaker system with some serious reverb. Serious reverb, and loud. Soon the guide was informing us about the trip in that incomprehensible language they call Chinese. Have you ever noticed that when people speak Chinese it often sounds like they are angry and yelling? It was like the guy was yelling at me. With reverb. Just when I thought he was going to stop yelling at me, he would start yelling at me again.

It was like I was a prisoner. A prisoner of war being pumped for information. I told them nothing.

We arrived somewhere and were marched into a small hot room and sat on hard wooden benches. A tall pretty young lady proceeded to yell at us about tea, using a speaker system attached to her waist. I bought no tea but many were not so strong.

We stowed our gear and then hiked about 2 kilometers up a mountain next to a lovely little stream. It was a nice break from being yelled at, but it was tiring. You see, in China, just like in other countries I have been to, climbing a mountain involves going up.

The next morning we were taken to the base of an even higher mountain range and told we had to hike 6.5 kilometers up to our hotel for the next night. This hike involved a change in elevation of about 1800 meters. There are no roads up this mountain so we had to carry all of our gear with us on this climb. I had a backpack that I could have carried clothes in but since everything on this mountain has to be carried in, things are expensive by Chinese standards. Because of this, by Chinese custom we filled our bags with bottled tea, cup-o-noodles thingies and of course cucumbers. Lot's of cucumbers, which are surprisingly heavy.
I think this was the point in the climb where I wrote the first two verses of a song I call "yi píng lěng pí jiu" or "one bottle cold beer".

This hike took about half a day, then after being soaked by a sudden rainstorm we looked at the mountains from numerous angles. This involved many changes in elevation while being yelled at by a tour guide with a hi-tech sound amplification system attached to his belt.

This is a famous tree which you of course recognize.

The next day we got up at 3 am to hike 2 kilometers to the highest point humanly possible to wait for a sunrise at 5:13 am.

We all crowded up to the railing, camera in hand and waited.


There was nowhere I would have rather been.


Then it happened, sunrise orgasm.

It was a cool trip, and I am glad that I went but I don't think I will go back on this particular trip again. It got me thinking about the difference between a Chinese vacation and an American one. In America we work hard and often have stressful jobs. We go on vacation to relax and unwind. I suspect the Chinese go on vacation to endure hardship so they are happy to go back home and return to work. Well, that and to have their picture taken in as many designated photo-op spots as they can.

The Perfect Declares The Good the Enemy--Breaks off Relations

In a development that many people worked to mustn't let, The Perfect officially severed all ties to The Good stating " The Good just isn't Good Enough anymore. With all that has transpired we have no choice but to consider The Good our enemy". Good Enough welcomed the comments by The Perfect exclaiming " we have been trying to tell people this for years".

The Good said that while they were disappointed by The Perfects decision, they would continue their work and try to forge an alliance with someone else, perhaps Terrific.

Terrific who has been in negotiations with Not So Bad told reporters "given the circumstances we feel we have to explore all of our options".



Major adjective realignment continues.

The Average announces surprise merger with Vile. Reprehensible feels slighted, but observers say they may have just worn out their welcome.

Stay tuned.....

China and the Internets

One morning during my recent trip to China my wife and I decided to get on the internets and do a few of the things people do when they are on the internets. Namely, see why our friends and family in China can't access a secret blogspot site that we set up so that people could see pictures of the youngest member of our staff without our actually having to get photos developed and put in the mail.

No one on the staff knew where an internets cafe was, but my wife knew the way to the library, so after no deliberation we decided to go there. In the computer room of the library there were about 25 computers and it was no trouble getting two next to each other. The attendant logged us into the computer and we were off. I tried to enter the secret blogspot address and after 30 seconds or so, I was redirected to a Yahoo search engine page. The site can't be found doing a search so I did what most Americans would do, I checked to see how the Astros were doing. After about five minutes I had checked my e-mail and had read all the news I cared to. I was trying to use the trip to give myself a break from the media.

For kicks I did a google search on my old blog, The Ebb & Flow Institute. There is nothing new there but I like to use the blog roll. I found a link, and as soon as I clicked on it my computer and my wife's were rebooted. No one else's. Just ours. Within a few seconds the attendant at the front of the room was on the phone. When she hung up she came over and logged us in again, saying she didn't know what had happened.

I just visited PRC approved sites until my wife finished running down her e-mail and then we decided to see if what happened was a fluke. I visited this site without any trouble, but I was only here for about thirty seconds when my wife tried to visit The Onlette's blogspot site.


Both computers again. We got up, quickly settled our tab for fifteen minutes of internets access and disappeared into the city.

I had no intention of trying to get on the internets again, but a week later Chinese television took a break from it's non-stop World Cup coverage to inform me that there was flooding in Houston. The coverage did not mention the Institute headquarters so it was back to the internets.

This time the Library attendant did not allow us access to the internets. So we did what most people would do in such a situation, we went to get haircuts. I highly recommend getting a haircut in China. For about what I normally tip, I got shampooed, cut, styled and a young lady spent about twenty minutes tenderizing my upper body like a cheap cut of beef.

The salon had internet access, so while they finished straightening my lovely wife's already straight hair, I learned that the flooding in Houston had not impacted The Ebb & Flow Institute's headquarters. And thankfully, China is still safe from the subversive influence of blog sites devoted to the children of free market think tank institute chairpeoples.

Home From The Peoples Republic--A Report

The entire staff of The Ebb & Flow Institute have now returned safely from the Peoples Republic of China, and have been debriefed by all the appropriate debriefing personnel. Thus we can report to you, the VC reader on the portions of our trip that have been declassified.

The staff and I stayed in a private residence in the city of Hangzhou (pronounced Hangzhou). I was told prior to our trip by a Chinese national that Hangzhou is the one city in China that people would move to if they could. He also told me it was a city with very beautiful women....,on that I will not comment at this time, nor will I question his judgement.

I can see why people want to live there, it is the most beautiful large urban city I have ever been in. It has nice clean tree lined streets with wide bike paths on either side to support all your urban transportation needs. It seems that no matter where you are, you are a short walk from great restaurants and shopping where you can buy all the pirated goods you can afford. And thanks to the monetary policy of the communist party, your American dollar can buy an amazing amount of fine silk, tea, or fake NBA gear.

Some scenes from Hangzhou.
This is a street in Hangzhou. I don't remember its name, it sounded kind of Chinese though, I remember that.
hangzhou 2.jpg
Overlooking West Lake and Hangzhou from the top of Leifeng Pagoda, an historic buddhist temple thing the commies have been kind enough to restore.
West Lake he hua which is about to bloom.

This is me, Pile achieving enlightenment. The path to prosperity is to build a temple and charge admission. Twice.

While we were in China the Shanghai Cooperation Organization (pronounced SCO) was meeting in of all places Shanghai. The SCO consists of Russia, China and some of the stans, (Afghani, Yerkamaka...etc...), that get together once a year and congratulate themselves for all their cooperative cooperation in cooperating to counter-balance the free, democratic nations of the West. This cooperation consists mostly of being non-western, unfree and undemocratic and cooperating together to see that as many nations as possible stay that way.

Normally I wouldn't give the SCO a second thought, but this year they had invited the nutjob president of Iran, Mahmoud Ahmadinejad to speak at their gathering. This was being talked up in the local media as a chance to improve relations with a country that is very influential in that region of Asia. Puke. I had to do something. So I did.

The next morning my interpreter (pronounced interpreter), the lovely and talented Dr. Wang and I set out for Shanghai using modes of transportation that I have always felt were best left to other people. First we rode bicycles for about 15 minutes to the Hangzhou train station. There we bought tickets for the standing room only Huhang Peasant Express. This was about 2 1/2 hours of indescribable transportation, where people kept staring at me. I did stick out like a sore thumb on this train, being what they call měi guó (pronounced měi guó), one who doesn't give a flip about the World Cup, which is on tv 24 hours a day in China.

After arriving in Shanghai we took the subway to check in at the US Consulate's office. You know, just in case. Then we were off, traveling by bus so I could get my picture taken with this statue of a Very Important Dead Communist.IMG_1216.jpg

Note, the artistic political statement in this photograph made by cutting off the top of the commie's statue head.

Then more pictures here, where my interpreters purse got shanghai'ed.

Alas, all this use of public transportation failed. The SCO went ahead and granted Ahmadinejad a certain level of respectability by giving him a forum from which to tire us with his mixture of hatred and nonsense.

On the way back to Hangzhou we were able to get tickets on the soft seat Huhang Express. Very nice. If you are ever in China and have the choice of paying a little more for a soft seat train, do it.

There isn't much that I am allowed to tell you about the purpose of our trip. The high level top secret negotiations. But I will tell you what I can. I was invited to tea at a tea farm on a Sunday morning. This seemed pleasant enough. After a couple hours of getting to know each other we were served lunch. It was obvious the Communists were trying to unsettle me. There were 500 hundred year old eggs, fried duck tongues, sparrow gizzards with eggplant, stinky tofu (pronounced horsebarn), fish guts with pork and a few other things. Frankly I got tired of asking. I just ate. What the commies didn't know was, Pile will eat anything. Once.

During the meal I was introduced to a rather appealing Chinese custom. You stand up, propose a toast and say gān bēi (pronounced cheers). The catch is, not everyone drinks, just the person making the toast and the person being toasted. And it is not just a drink, it is the whole glass. I was also outnumbered four to one.

It was becoming apparent that the PRC was taking these talks very seriously. But they had not done their homework. I was given the choice of beverage, and I chose pí jiu (pronounced beer). When I learned that my Chinese counterparts were all retired PLA fighter pilots, I quickly began insisting on no foam. Commies can be sneaky that way.

My interpreter informed my that not only were they pilots, they were claiming to be wáng pū kè fēi xíng yuán (roughly translates to ace pilots) who knew four kinds of English. Except for the one who was not drinking, he made no such claims.

I knew I had represented my country well, when my interpreter whispered to me that she didn't think they knew any kinds of English, and that in fact they seemed to be having a great deal of difficultly speaking Chinese.

It was a good day.

Gān bēi gentlemen.

Coming soon to an Internets near you.

China and the Internets.

Taking a Chinese vacation with the Chinese in China.

Pooping in the Peoples Republic.