The official announcement

Promotion to the big chair.

My friend James, who worked with me in Benniu last year and is now in Chengdu, has been made the team leader there after the previous incumbent was removed.

I know enough about the people involved to know more about it than I’ll reveal here.


It pays to enrich your word power.

At the conference, there was some exercise in which people had to define a word. One of the words was “defenestrate” which caused a certain amount of “Huh?” among my colleagues here. I knew it. I could vaguely remember that it was a Czech thing. I believe I first encountered it when I’d read about the suspicious death of Jan Masaryk in 1948 many years ago. (In Look and Learn??) It actually has quite a long history in the Czech Republic going back several centuries. You didn’t like your town council? Throw ’em out a window.

Then the other day I happened to use “abstemious” and was asked what that meant.

I’d like several other offences to be taken into consideration.


At last, a decent DVD shop.

I’d been told there was a DVD shop on Jintai Lu (津泰路), which I tracked down this morning. Quite a good range compared with the local DVD shops, but a lot of it was more of the same. As I looked through the stock, I kept saying, “Got that. Got that. Got that.” There were quite a few recent releases, but I had to look them up on the IMDb when I got home because I’d never heard of them.

There didn’t seem to be any new TV series available. Obviously, the new season has only just started in the States, but there should be stuff from the season that’s just passed. The Sopranos, The West Wing, and Stargate SG1 spring to mind. I’m hoping Extras might make an appearance, but so far only The Office has.

When I found Jintai Lu, I discovered that I’d actually been there before. It’s where bookshop street is to be found.

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