Archive for August, 2008

Tennis in Beijing

the group .. .a playdate
Tennis and golf are luxury sports in China.

The summer 2003. One weekend Yishi summoned group of her Qinghua friends, we marched to the countryside, eight families in six cars. As we were driving, my children saw more high-rise buildings. ChangPing used to be a remote area to us, the city slickers, now a part of Beijing landscape. There were skeletons of street vendors selling peaches.
“I bet they bought the peach from the city to sell here.” Wang commentedThere were some farmlands, but patchy. I forgot the resort name. The hotel was adequate. The amenities included an indoor tennis court (carpet), small swimming pool – I only remembered those two, since that’s all I cared and used. The tennis court looked clubby, dark and felt seldom used. The court fee was astronomical, US$32 per hour. With that, you get two lazy ball girls who dressed to the tee but didn’t nothing. The manager didn’t like my Ked sneakers, insisted that would damage their court surface, made me rent a pair of sneaker for 5 RMB.
the happy trio water ..
The swimming pool was ok, although small, was about US$8 per day.
That night, we had dinner at the village, obviously. The shack was ok, looked the part, one story with outer and inner courtyard. Looked like a formed living quarter, without a main dinner hall, all small rooms, perhaps the bedrooms. The savvy lady who served us was pretty sleek. No makeup, non-nonsense with a short haircut. Just like any working girl you’d found on the streets of Manhattan. Her black jacket looked like from Ann Taylor (it was July), simple and profession. A ball pen was hanging on her neck. We decided to have the hot pot of games, plus few suggestions she made. I couldn’t pin down her accent. Her exchange with us was short and terse. Was she hiding something, or running away from someone/thing? Bad teeth.

the main gate yummmy but chewy

Kids had a field day. We seemed the only diners there. So kids had run of the place. From the courtyard, to the dinning rooms – they dined in another room since each room was so small ..
The food .. .. the hotpot tasted great, but the games were over cooked, chewy. ..
That night, we played baifen.
Sorry it’s been six years since, but Irene still remembered this incident:
Six of us played with two decks of cards. Two wives with four husbands. Irene was kind of slow and put down an extra card in the base. Now, as a good sportsman, I would or any of my girlfriends who play with me often, would inform me regardless of being my partner or opponents because we all want a good game that being played fairly.
When the hand was depleted to the last round did Irene realize she was one card short.
One of the husbands who I found very cocky laughed with triumphal,
“I saw you put that extra card down.” He said, taking pleasure in my misfortune.
“Really? Why didn’t you tell me?” I asked.
“Why should I tell you?” He retorted.
He did have a point.
During one of his seven wins in France, Lance Armstrong waited for his closest competitor who falls off the bike to get back on before racing again.
Ok, I wasn’t dealing with world class. But was it my fault for always hoping for?

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We Can Help China Embrace the Future

A sensible article by Tony Blair on WSJ’s Opinion page.  He sees the rising of the East isn’t a threat but an enormous opportunity, resonating with Michael Bloomberg‘s.  Interestingly, Blair compares China to USA and mentioned USA few times.  A worldly man.  I have always admire him more than any Brit PMs in the recent history.  And his unwaving pro US stance has certainly gained my approval when as tradition, the most European heads of state are on the other side of the spectrum.   Bashing Washington might get you elected (short term) but it won’t fix your problem (long term).  Bashing China would yield the same result.  The East is the timely opportunity, seize it before too late.  Don’t be left behind.

I had somewhat expected him to sell London’s 2012 summer game.  He mentioned it too, at the end.

McCain and Obama are too busy throwing dirt at each other.  They should spend more time/money on their policy, how to change this country and how to deal with the rising East to benefit this country.  One comment posted that “Blair was a more lucid spokesman for American interests than was our own president.”  I agree.  China matters.

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13:0 Giants vs Patriots

It’s half time, New York Giants is leading New England Patriots 13 to nothing. The demo convention got a few seconds during the half time. Isn’t this cool or what, the presidential race got a few seconds out of half time, when half time was just few commentators, well commenting.  As if frying some cold old rice from last season. Not like having Janet Jackson’s showing other pretty breast or something special. Manning isn’t playing.  No wonder, the president makes far less than a footballer, of any position. It’s America.  US Open is openly being covered live – Ana Ivanovic is out; Nadal is playing an American, DeHeart.  The benefit two weeks of US Open equals to a single Superbowl.  Go figure.

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The fates of two retirees

Michael Strahan and Brett Favre retired early this year. I’d consider them both exited at the height of their career. Smart move. Then something isn’t right, and the QB wanted his old job back. His team said thanks but no thanks. So he ended up with another team. Michael is asked to come back by the Giants.

For one, I feel playing for one team is far noble. Look at LT, Joe Montana, Dan Marino .. jumping to another team, regardless of circumstance, cheapens the memory.

Two, does Favre’s retirement decision sounds like a Las Vegas wedding?

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The New Kids on the Block

I heard people gossiping about little brawl broken out between Moscow and Georgia. The assassin stepped down from presidency to be PM and now turned to be a bully. The West can’t do a thing. America’s army ties down in the Mid east. Might it be the French or German’s turn to police the world?

I couldn’t remember seeing it or read about it, but during one of Phelps’ eight gold medal podium moments (the 6th I think), the US national anthem was cut short, while Bushes were in attendance. ‘Got the land of the free but apparently the home of the brave was no longer available. Did someone foreclose?’ as one writer asked. So I wasn’t the only anal one who noticed, and I wasn’t the only boring one who even linger for the ceremony.

A technical error, or sour grape over one Yankee’s hauling up so many gold?  OR .. they meant business??

I was upset. US deserves respects. Beside, a good host would never embarrass her guest.  You want to make them feel welcome and comfortable.  That’s hospitality 101.  I happened to like the The Star Spangled Banner and love to hear it in its entirety.

There are many other ways to show off your rising power and influence.

New money never smells good and feels right.

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Lost in translation

LPGA is going to enforce a minimum English language requirement for its players. There are 121 international players from 26 countries, including 45 from South Korea on the LPGA. Many of them have minimal English language skills.

Good move. Those international players are making nice living on American soil, should they at least learn a thing or two?  They should.  The LPGA is looking out for itself in the long term, before they start losing sponsors.  Money talks.  If the tour is being bankrolled by sponsors, they have every right to demand.    Geeesh, isn’t is unverisal thing that you learn the local lanaguage in order to work there?

I found it ridicules nowadays every company in the USA uses English/Spanish greeting. I’m sick of it, not mentioning the extra button I need to press.

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The Greatest Haul of China

Or Beijing in that matter.  Wooooooowwww Michael Phelps got his 7th.  The finish reminded me of Matt Biondi, was also in a fly race.  He was the heavy favor but he chose to glide and took the silver.  That’s hurt.  I doubt this race between Phelps and Milorad Cavic of Serbia would be talked for years to come. Not many people remembers Biondi. Never for a split second I thought Phelps lost. So, what’s there to talk about? One thing for certain, Cavic is gracious. The Russia boxer who lost the gold and refused to shake hands with his opponent. That, isn’t sportsmen like.  Well, it’s a Russian, what do you expect?

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Funny or poor taste

Ok, I may have to spend some time in jail .. jk .. by link to this one. It’s funny or poor taste is up to everyone’s imagination. The guy, a trader got fired by Citi over his saucy website. Citi has less humor than ?? 

Oh well, Michael Phelps just won his third Gold, set a new world record in the process.  Girls did well too.  All in all, the swimming is done well today, each event has won by an American and one other American managed silver or broze.

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Yao Ming

My parents met on the basketball court, Dad was the captain of the Katyusha (it’s in the 50s, what do you expect for a name?) and Mom played forward. But I was never infatuated with it. Not even with Yao Ming. Half naked men running around isn’t all that attractive, compare to, i.e. – ice hockey or football. Yes, those two are definitely my favored spectator sports.

“The one thing they do with all of their athletes is drive them into the ground with training. The strongest survive. If you don’t, they’ll find another to come and do it.”  Too bad.  China ought to know how to protect their most valuable possession or investment.  The mentality is so wrong.  1.3b people bred this wrong mentality.  Don’t you see as the joke goes, many Chinese has the biggest house in an area, but it’s mostly empty: they don’t believe to spend money on decorating and maintaining it.

Jiujiu watched it.  He said, “I think China actually won” because in the past, the scores were in 40 pt deficit.  With Yao China managed it to 31.  So it’s a win 🙂 .. he has a point.


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Lang Lang on Adidas

Cross marketing or what? Pianoman wears Adidas. I bet Lang has a lucrative contract than Yuan Meng.  Where is Yundi Li?

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