Archive for Musing

Hand-pulled noodles

A real treat: hand-pulled noodle 手拉酱面

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Muscle memory

6-3, 3-6

The first set, no hold, no doubles. The second set, I held but have two doubles. 

Looking at my serves on video, I just want to kick myself: where’s the improvements?

My arm shouldn’t face forward … not pronated! 

I tried scratch my back method – cut the up swing motion, place the racket at the back, elbow out, then toss the ball. But somehow, I still manage to change my grip AFTER tossing the ball. How talented am I. 

My top and skirt are mostly wet when I start out on the tennis court, because I always go to the pool first, to swim a few laps, to warm up for the game. I towel dry then over to tennis.

Today’s wet is an extreme, and I don’t know why and what has happened, dripping wet.


If you’re trying to copy how a pro does the serve properly, keep watching it in slow motion over and over and try to memorize how it’s done and reply everything you saw when it’s your turn to practice it on the court or even off the court

Split your serve practice session into different separate segments like
Segment 1 – dribble the ball x number times before tossing
Got it perfected, move on to the next
Segment 2 – Work on your toss without hitting with your racket
Check the following:
How high was your toss?
How far away in front and to the side of you?
Put something on the ground where you expect the ball to land . You can use a coin or a piece of paper
Make sure you can land the ball on that target or close to it over and over
Now you’re ready to work with your racket: where it travels to reach the hitting position
Is the racket head all the way up like in the pictures? Whoa that’s usually for the advanced players
Very important to leave your shoulder from tossing hand to stay up before you start you service swing else your serve will most likely hit the net
Point to the ball if you don’t want to look like your serving food or drink

Assuming that you’ve learned the proper positioning of your feet so that there’s no issue bending your knees

Have someone watch you from different angles: from behind you, from the left side, right side to get some feedback

Too many pointers already and getting a headache?
Take a Tylenol and call me in the morning 😜😝😛

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Messi sits out game in Hong Kong, triggers China’s ideological paranoia

Messi’s mess in Hong Kong

Soccer star Lionel Messi sits out game in Hong Kong, triggers China’s ideological paranoia, 2024.2.14

The recent furor surrounding Lionel Messi‘s absence from a soccer game in Hong Kong provides a striking illustration of China’s deep-seated ideological paranoia and a tendency toward political schizophrenia.

At the heart of this controversy lies the Chinese Communist Party‘s profound suspicion of the international community, rooted in a belief of a pervasive and coordinated conspiracy aimed at undermining the communist government. This mindset propels the Communist Party to interpret even the most minor incidents as evidence of a grand scheme against it, often leading to exaggerated and absurd reactions that serve to justify its paranoid worldview — and its aggression and belligerence.

On Feb. 4, the Argentine-born international soccer star Lionel Messi was in Hong Kong with his team, Inter Miami, for a match with a Hong Kong team. Mr. Messi, however, stayed on the substitute bench throughout the game due to what the visiting team’s doctor described as an injury. The disappointed Hong Kong fans discovered that Mr. Messi nevertheless played for 30 minutes in a soccer match in Tokyo a short while later.

Suddenly, this minor sports incident involving Mr. Messi has been seized upon by the Chinese government’s extensive propaganda machine as a symbol of an alleged vast international conspiracy. Mr. Messi‘s decision not to play in Hong Kong has been construed as a move orchestrated by myriad forces, each with its own historical and ideological significance to China.

First, the reaction to Mr. Messi‘s absence cannot be disentangled from the Chinese leaders’ profound loathing of the recent political developments in Argentina. Argentina’s shift from a long-standing alignment with left-wing political forces toward the free-market stance championed by the newly elected president, Javier Milei, has been a source of contention for the Chinese government.

Mr. Milei’s explicit rejection of socialism and his opposition to Argentina joining the BRICS pact, a coalition seen as an alternative to Western economic dominance and which China aims to lead, represents a direct challenge to China‘s influence. Mr. Messi, as a global icon of Argentine identity, has thus become an unwitting participant in this ideological battle, with his not playing in Hong Kong interpreted as a deliberate act of defiance and a statement against China‘s political ambitions.

Second, the narrative constructed around Mr. Messi’s club, Inter Miami, further exemplifies the extent of the Chinese Communist Party‘s ideological paranoia. Chinese state media announced that the Florida-based soccer club is an anti-communist front organization with collaboration with the CIA.

The Global Times, an official Chinese Communist Party mouthpiece specializing in international affairs and anti-U.S. fanaticism, published a hit piece on Feb. 8 entitled “Messi’s Soccer Club Bosses Have Ties to the CIA,” alleging the father of two of the club’s three owners, brothers Jorge and Jose Mas — the other owner is the retired British soccer star David Beckham — was recruited by the CIA after he fled to Fidel Castro’s Cuba.

The Global Times concluded that “It’s highly unlikely that Messi’s snub to Hong Kong and China was his personal decision. It’s most likely that he acted according to instructions given to him by his bosses (fathered by a CIA agent).”

Thus, Mr. Messi’s absence from the field is framed as part of a broader anti-communist agenda, suggesting a level of international collusion that borders on the fantastical. Such claims reflect the Chinese government’s tendency to view world affairs through a lens of ideological confrontation, where every action is seen as part of a larger battle against communism.

The case of Japan serves as another layer in this complex narrative, with Mr. Messi’s participation in a game in Tokyo following his absence in Hong Kong sparking further speculation and conspiracy theories. Hu Xijin, the Chinese Communist Party‘s most notorious and noxious propagandist, tweeted on Feb. 6: “Why didn’t Messi play in Hong Kong or participate in the handshake with HK chief executive? And why did he smile, run freely and looked fit in Japan?”

The Communist Party‘s reaction, demanding an explanation and apology from Mr. Messi, underscores a sensitivity to perceived slights and a readiness to interpret individual decisions as politically motivated.

Moreover, the incident touches on the sensitive issue of Hong Kong and its status in China‘s political framework. In 2017, upon request, Mr. Messi sent an autographed photo to one of his biggest fans, the jailed 2010 Nobel Peace Laureate Liu Xiaobo via one of Liu’s friends in Hong Kong. China was deeply paranoid about this and regarded Mr. Messi’s action as dangerous and subversive. On Feb. 7, Regina Ip Lau Suk Yee, a leading Chinese Communist Party proxy in Hong Kong, angrily wrote, “Messi should never be allowed to return to Hong Kong. His lies and hypocrisy are disgusting.” She continued, “Hong Kong people hate Messi, Inter-Miami, and the black hand behind them, for the deliberate and calculated snub to Hong Kong.” The vilification of Mr. Messi, based on his perceived support for human rights reveals the lengths to which the Chinese Communist Party is willing to go to suppress dissent and maintain its narrative of unity and strength. All in all, the uproar over Lionel Messi‘s not playing in a soccer game in Hong Kong encapsulates the communist worldview as the real force that animates China‘s political system. An entrenched ideological paranoia and a propensity for political schizophrenia characterize such a worldview. The Chinese government’s reaction to this incident reveals not only its deep-seated fears of international conspiracy but also the complex interplay of geopolitics, ideology and individual agency that shapes its engagement with the world. It serves as a perfect illustration of the ideological absurdity at the heart of China‘s political landscape. With it, an international superstar is now an international supervillain against the socialist motherland of China. • Miles Yu is a senior fellow and director of the China Center at the Hudson Institute. Copyright © 2024 The Washington Times, LLC. Click here for reprint permission. Please read our comment policy before commenting. Click to Read More and Vie

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Messi’s mess

The first time I heard of Messi’s Hong Kong trip was from a friend’s posting on WeChat on Feb 6 while in Argentina:


Six days later, I made a post about Messi after the Super Bowl when Taylor Swift’s bf Travis Kelce’s team Kansas City Chiefs won it, the second time in a row:

昨天Super Bowl Taylor Swift 霉霉男友队赢了
另外一个煤 因没出场 还在发酵
前几天的留言还多是 ‘不请他代言’之类的
[偷笑][捂脸] 人家稀罕吗?
能加入🇺🇸队的 都是半退休的 has been

他选了🇺🇸 钱是最少的

Seriously, is this worth the commotion in China? A has been soccer star didn’t play, so what? Was his appearance written into the air-tight contract (no matter what, does he have to appear? or unless he’s injured?)? If so, it’s a legal dispute. If not, – like you didn’t pay for his appearance, then what’s the hell did you expect him to play?!?

Here are some coverage:

Today, I saw this great article (below), that I agree in many ways; and it made me thinking of an incident, more than quarter of century ago: In late 1990s, our village decided to hold fancy dinner party with next village on lunar Chinese new year. It was a great idea. For $100 per head, we got dress up, wine and dine. A few older couples used this opportunity to show case their ball room dance skills …

At that time, people from mainland was the minority. For some reason, one of the organizers loved me, dragging me everywhere to her social events. Dancing? Call Irene; singing? Call Irene; yoga at her home, call Irene. Big social event? Get Irene …

大眼李哥: 站住别动! 我是中国人民的感情 2024-02-15

































发布于 湖北
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2024-02-15 09:32:32

2024-02-15 09:30:30

2024-02-15 09:22:22

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Paddle board @ Copacabana

Rio de Janeiro

Sunset at Copacabana Beach.

Watching over the sunset from the Café 18 do Forte, I saw the paddle boarders: have to do it.

It was 6:40 when I got to an outfit who was willing to rent me one. The first one to the southern most won’t do it – it’s too late.

The water is relatively calm. By then, all the paddle boarders have returned. I was the only one out there. Shortly after, I saw a huge turtle to my left. Then I began to dream a killer whale swims under neath of my board -:)

I returned a little after 7. Thanks for renting me a board.


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Fishing on the Tampa Bay

I’m no expert on fishing, but among the few fishermen by the Tampa Bay in Saint Pete, as we walk toward Mahaffey, only one is using light-tackle spinning/rod and reel, which I consider fishing, the rest are using cast nets on the Tampa Bay. Is this even legal? One throw, they come up with multiple fishes. Gosh … the fun is gone or even more fun this way?

The fish in the video is mullet.


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5 4 3 1 jump

My first hand: 13 hcp, with one singleton. My lho starts bidding:

R1: p, 1♦️, p, 4♦️.

We made 5.

opening jump

My thinking goes: both opponents passed and my partner has at least 13 point. One of the players said, the max jump I should have, is 2 or 3. I did consider to go to 5. But with only 1 ace, I only bid 4.

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7 3 2 1

The first game in 2024. I’ve 13 hcp, 1 singleton and one doubleton, 7 diamonds.

The bidding:

R1: 1♣️ p, p, 4♦️

It tells me my lho has 13+ pt, my partner and rho  have less than 13. Point wise, we might be pretty even but my 7 diamonds and singleton and one doubleton are advantageous. So I jumped to 4♦️, fearing a pretty even hand would not go to the 2nd round. I’d like to go for the game but not knowing my partner’s hand, I settled for less. We ended up making 11/5.

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Doubles in bridge

My rho bid 1♣️ off the bet: I doubt that he’d make it. 

One of conventions in bridge is doubles: takeout or penalty. It’s being used so often, that can be taken as a natural call.

I use the penalty double ( often, especially when I don’t have a biddable suit. My aim at this stage, is to win under the line points toward game and rubber, and doubling a contract, however successful, wins no such points.

The following two hands were good candidates for penalty double, at my 2023 annual party (cue bid): my rho bid twice my suit and both times, were club.

This hand, I’ve 4 clubs: ♣️Q,J,10,7, with total 13 hcp, not counting the two doubletons.

Round 1 bid: p, p, 1C, 1S – me, who won the bid.

My lho led ♣️4, my partner has ♣️8,6,3,2, which meant my right opponent has ♣️A,K,9, 5. Also, my partner has 9 hcp.

We made 2 (8 tricks in total). If I just doubled him, we wouldn’t win the 20 under the line point.

Interestingly, the same opponent bid my suit the second time, also in club.

This hand, I’ve six clubs: ♣️KQJ432, 17 hcp with two doubletons. Clearly, club is my best suit.

There was only 1 round of bidding: 1♣️, 1♠️ – me, who won the bid. At this point, I didn’t know cue bid, and also wrongfully bid 1♠️ – I think the better bid should be 1N, to show my points.

The take out doubles, on the other hand, is a little complicated, with many factors …

  1. essentially, it’s asking your partner to bid the unbid suit
  2. you’ve 11+ pts, 3+ cards in each unbid suit




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The Chinese value

Playing Guandan with Chinese from mainland is quite an experience: they talk A LOT, like telling their teammates, how their hand is, and what should they play, especially toward the end, with fewer cards, it’s usually the most exciting time of the game: testing your playing and bluffing skills. It looks like cheating to me. But because they don’t see it that way, therefore, they do it openly and continually.

They say …

  1. … my hand is lousy, you guys go
  2. … you can’t play single
  3. … you’ve to play double
  4. … what should I play

… so I wrote the following on WeChat. A few playmates are in my friends circle. One of them, with a PhD from Oxford, replied, “[偷笑][偷笑]等打出来默契后,就不需要通气了” Google translates “Once a tacit understanding is established, ventilation (talking) is no longer needed.”

I disagree.

掼蛋 … 老太婆也时髦

还记得我们小时候在北京, 牌都很旧, 毛边 每张都很厚. 现在的娃们可能都不知道俺在说什么

昨天晚上我的牌一直都挺好 (归功于观看的娃[拥抱]谢谢 希望常来喔) 大家打的都好 双双晋级到A – 我们先到珠峰 但是第一次没有打过. 他们奋起直追 连续打了几个胜仗🐮… 小嫉妒大开心. 我们第二次才打过A. 俺的二个搭档都棒 (会打牌的那种) 舍命陪君子 又肯牺牲色相[闭嘴]俺的护航舰队[得意]

商榷 推敲牌技[强] 相互通气[弱] 不知道打桥牌是不是也这样?

桥牌是例外一班人马. 很早以前一次见俺搭档犹豫不决 我多口说了句 ♥️K已经出了. 他们三人虽然没有出声 但明显感觉很不当[闭嘴] 很难为情. 搭档选择出♠️ … we didn’t make the contract.
Lesson, learned [捂脸]

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