Tuesday, January 30, 2007

Monday Bath

Trudi loves bathtime!

Indian Food at The Spice Shop

Vanessa and I had a very nice dinner Sunday night at The Spice Shop on Anhe Road. The food was good, the ambience very nice, and the price wasn't too bad. The Spice Shop's address is Dunhua South ROad, Section 2, Lane 65, Alley 53, No.2. Their telephone number is (02) 2704-2537.

Monday, January 29, 2007


Sleeping like babies...

Vanessa took this picture the other morning. Trudi sleeps very well when she's snuggled next to V or me. Last night she had her longest sleep yet - 4 hours!

Sunday, January 28, 2007

"We Don't Need No Education"

At least not if Education Minister Du Zhengsheng (杜正勝) is leading the way. As the Taipei Times reports:
Du proved unpopular as head of the Ministry of Education from the start with the pan-blue camp, ruffling their feathers in 2004 with his proposal that Taiwan maps be rotated 90 degrees counter-clockwise in schools nationwide.

With the country's north no longer on top, Du argued, students could appreciate Taiwan from a fresher, "fairer" angle.
He's also been compared to George Bush for his apparent lack of literacy, which is a pretty glaring flaw in an education minister. He's been criticized in the past for dismissing Chinese idioms, a rich part of Chinese literary culture, as something which "makes one's brain rusty" and is not something to be included in a modern Chinese education. This may or may not be true (I suspect it isn't), but his gaffe over the weekend shows what an ignoramus really is.
Last week, Du defended his ministry's listing of the phrase "three little pigs" in its online classical idioms dictionary, insisting that the saying - apparently from the Western fairy tale by the same name - was indeed a classical Chinese idiom.

"For example, if I saw a student slacking off, I could say to him, `Don't be like the oldest of the three little pigs.' You see, that's an idiom," Du reportedly said.

Incidentally, in the fairy tale The Three Little Pigs, the oldest pig character outsmarts a villainous wolf by being hardworking.

Du's allegedly iffy grasp of idioms prompted pan-blue lawmakers to cook up their own "idiom" last week: "To pull a Du Zhengsheng," referring to verbal gaffes exposing one's ignorance.
And to make matters worse for the embattled education minister, the media reported that his son was seen partying with scantily-clad escort girls in a hostess bar, a violation of servicemen conduct codes.

I have no problem that a young soldier was out sowing his wild oats - that's what young soldiers do, but the public reaction was interesting. While watching some TV interviews with members of the public, I noticed that many people placed the blame on Du's son's moral failings on a faulty education system. "They just don't teach proper values in the schools anymore!" was the recurring theme, which to me is a funny thing to say. I don't want the school system here to teach my kid values. That job belongs to Vanessa and me. In fact, I think in the future I'll have to make a point of telling any of Trudi's teachers to please not teach her any values - she's being home-schooled in that department. She certainly won't be any worse off than her Taiwanese peers.

Saturday, January 27, 2007

Independence? No. Reunification? Ummmm.

So the Taipei Times is reporting that Ma Yingjiu (馬英九) is saying "no" to Taiwan Independence. Big whoop. That's an easy thing to say here - almost everyone, after all, is afraid of the consequences of a full-out conflict with China. However, just saying "no" to something isn't enough, in my view. He's got to say what he stands for, and run on it. I'm talking vision beyond the political landscape of 2007. How about vision for the political landscape of 2017, or even 2012? Of course Ma's party, the Kuomintang, was founded on the concept of One China - the full name is the Zhongguo Guomindang (中國國民黨), which translates as The Nationalist Party of China - but if Ma is really serious about reunification, let's hear how he thinks, or hopes, that might work. I'd like to hear him express his dream to Joe Taiwan about how he'd like to establish a system that would have people in Taiwan under the rule of a Beijing president, even a democratic one. Of course he couldn't - it would be political suicide. Just one more politician with no courage and no convictions.

Us and Them

Friday, January 26, 2007

Baby Blogger

I have to apologize to anyone who's reading this blog and not expecting or wanting the goo-goo ga-ga videos and pics. For better or worse, that's my life right now, and it's a good way to keep the family in the loop with Trudi. Now that that's out of the way, here's another video!

Wednesday, January 24, 2007

Home Videos

For Christmas, Jer and Janice gave Trudi a blanket and cap that Janice had knitten herself, and a Sony DSC-T10 digital for Vanessa and me. Anyway the gifts arrived a couple of days ago, so we're very happy. Yay! Here's the camera:

Here's Trudi with her gifts:

And here's a couple of videos we took with the camera:

Tuesday, January 16, 2007

Life with Trudi

Every day there's something new. Today, she learned about pain. We took her to the hospital for her Hepatitis B shot, and she cried in a way I had never heard before. What was really sad to watch was her face when this new sensation that was pain registered with her. Up to now, the worst she's known is the discomfort of a dirty diaper, or the hunger pangs that precede her being fed. Today, however, she got stabbed with a tiny piece of metal, and learned what it feels like to hurt. As a father, of course I know this is no big deal, and that inoculations and vaccinations are good for her, but hearing my daughter cry in pain also touched on some other pretty primitive instincts in me. God help the person that ever maliciously inflicts pain on my daughter, because I will not be in a gentle mood.

After we got back from the hospital, she was a little fussy, and V was tired, so I held her for a couple of hours while V got some sleep. She likes my voice, I think, because she doesn't cry when I sing to her. She'll gaze at my face for hours and hours, and scans my face and my eyes all the time. It's pretty cool.

Thursday, January 04, 2007

World's Best Baby?

I just love this kid. She makes me happy just thinking about her. I love the way the top of her head smells, I love the way her eyes scan my face when I sing to her, and I love the way her fingers clutch at my nose and ears when I hold her close.

Trudi's 1st Passport Picture

We had to put a hand behind her to keep her propped up, but it's still a pretty good picture - better than mine, that's for sure.