How The Outrageously-Rich Play Politics: A Gambling Analogy

For those who remember me ranting about the 99% stuff a year-or-so ago, I wanted to tackle something I see a lot of people talk about. People tend to fly off the handle about the ultra-rich (the 1% – people who make enough money to give the maximum contribution to candidates) supporting certain candidates. I’m […]

ChinaTrust Banking Policies

I recently had some issues at ChinaTrust bank, finding information that would be relevant to foreigners in Taiwan.  Hopefully, conveying what I learned can save you some time. My situation is a common one: I wanted to know how much money I could withdraw from my Bank of America account using one of ChinaTrust’s ATMs.  […]

The Battle Against Bullying

I’m 29 years old – that means I was born in 1983.  It was around that time where parents began to go off the deep end.  Prior to that, corporal punishment was the norm, as was letting kids run around outside unsupervised, or riding bikes without helmets.  To this day, there has not been any […]

One More Month, And The Agony Will Stop

There seem to be two types of people on Facebook or, at least, that’s been my perception over the last six months: People who continuously post politically charged articles, memes, status updates, comments, etc. – and people who don’t. Now, don’t get me wrong!  I’m a politically-minded person, and I will post the occasional political thought.  But they are […]

Teaching in Taiwan – The Basics, Before You Come

There’s many routes to take, regarding teaching in Taiwan.  Since there are a lot of outdated resources out there on the subject, I thought I’d write about a few of them, to give people some idea what to expect in 2012 Taiwan. First of all, I live in Taichung – that is my perspective on […]

Foreign Drivers in Taiwan: More Fun Dealing With the ROC Government

As I wrote yesterday, dealing with the government in Taiwan can be a little absurd.  Today’s example is their motor vehicle regulations. First of all, unless you have a Resident Visa (ARC), you can not register a vehicle in Taiwan.  Nobody can explain why.  The funny part is, if you register a vehicle under your […]

Visa Extensions in Taiwan – Another Example of Asinine ROC Bureaucracy

There are a lot of great things about Taiwan.  But this isn’t gonna’ be about those.  This is about how annoying Taiwan’s Bureaucracy is. You have to understand that the concept of “majority rules” goes haywire here.  Nails that stick out are hammered down or, as the Taiwanese put it, the fattest pig is the […]

Jheng Jin Copy – 偵晉影印 – Best Taichung Print Shop

I need to tell you about my friend Ann.  It’s entirely possible that Ann hates my guts (I may be her most anal-retentive client), but I consider her an amazing asset and hope that someday I can repay her for all the help she’s given me.  There is no one else that I would trust to […]

A Simple Explanation of Inflation, Minimum Wage, and Value Meals

Many people don’t really understand inflation, so I thought a simple explanation of inflation might help.  One of the more interesting ways is to look at the history of inflation as it relates to the minimum wage, because while only 2% of Americans make minimum wage, almost all of us have been minimum wage employees […]

Rice Cooker Banana Bread: A Recipe

I adore banana bread; while this is a recipe for my banana bread, we’ll see a unique baking option, too: rice cooker banana bread. First, I’ll show you how to make banana bread, traditionally, in an oven; then, we’ll get to rice cooker banana bread. Ingredients 2 sticks butter, softened/melted 2 cups white sugar 4 […]

About a Girl

So, there’s this girl.  She’s different than any other girl I’ve ever known.  And this is about her. We met in 2002, when we were 19 years old.  I don’t remember exactly how we met, or when – I would guess that she doesn’t, either, despite her profound memory – we almost certainly met through […]

My Marinara Sauce Recipe for My Friends In Taiwan

  Ingredients 1 7-pound can of tomato paste 6 tablespoons of Italian seasoning 6 cloves of garlic 2 cups of red wine Water Materials Measuring spoons Rubber scraper Large pot (with a lid)   Remove the tomato paste from the can and add it to your pot – use the rubber scraper to get it […]

Short and Sweet – For The Ladies

Men are 1000% more likely to commit murder than women. 23% of American murders are men killing women. 50% of those murders involve the women being stalked, first. 75% of murders of women by previous intimate partners involve stalking, first. Possible threats are always to be taken seriously. Ten women are murdered by men every […]

An Easy Way To Understand The USA’s Budget

Let me give you an easy way to understand the USA’s budget by comparing their numbers to something more familiar to you. Here’s the numbers regarding the 2012 US income/budget/debt:But that’s not easy to understand and appreciate. Because it just looks like such an enormous amount of money. So how about we remove some zeros and […]

Who Are You Voting For, or, A Realistic and Simple Breakdown Between Obama and Romney

So, I get into a lot of historical and political discussions with people.  I find most of them excruciatingly frustrating.  Most people have no idea what they are talking about and, really, I need to find the will-power to just stop talking to them about this stuff.  People don’t argue to share information: they argue […]

The Best Oatmeal Craisin Cookies

I invented this recipe for the best oatmeal Craisin cookies after multiple experiments.  I figured out the perfect oatmeal cookie – hearty and sweet – a cookie with substance that doesn’t taste like a health food.  Despite these facts, these cookies hold their own, nutritionally, at a mere 60 calories per cookie. My standard recipe includes Toll […]

My First Ride In A Police Car

I was driving north on WenXin Lu, Monday, August 20, 2012, at 10:45am, on my scooter. Coming off the traffic light at Daye Lu, heading towards Dalong Lu, I attempted to merge right (from the right-hand lane into the scooter lane). I felt something hit the right rear of my scooter and turned my head […]

Can It Really Be That Simple?

My entire life, I’ve suffered from chronic sinusitis.  I have permanent dark circles under my eyes and a constant stuffy nose, thanks to my being allergic to most every kind of grass/pollen/tree/dust/mold on the planet.  It sucks, but the worst part isn’t actually the near-continuous sinus infection that is my life; the worst part is the effects […]

Caught With My Pants Down

Taiwan has a pretty significant amount of earthquakes.  Most of them are pretty mild, but usually I can feel one or two each month – just enough to notice I’m not dizzy and that the room is, in fact, vibrating.  But every now and then, something a little bigger comes along, and you’re faced with the […]

Shoot the Moon – Shoot Mars

I was taking a look at a picture of a scale composite picture of the relative sizes of Earth, Mars, and our moon. It got me wondering – how far away is Mars? It doesn’t look a whole lot bigger than our moon, to look at…but, actually, it’s twice the size of the moon, and […]

Traffic, Shopping Carts, And Saving Face

It has always fascinated me that a culture so aware of public perception can also be so completely self-absorbed.  In Taiwan, there is a great emphasis on “saving face,” and yet, it only applies to certain facets of life.  I have yet to fully grasp the concept, but I have made some observations. Generally-speaking, Taiwanese people prefer […]

Selling Children In Taiwan

While I no longer work with educational institutions in Taiwan, I do like to share my experiences with them. I have a unique knowledge in that I have been in both the education side as well as the managerial side; this allows me to have a perspective that is rarely gained and even less-commonly shared. […]

How Carrefour in Taiwan Hates Foreign Customers

While the people of Taiwan are often the nicest and warmest in the world, their cultural indoctrination leads to a dependence on bureaucracy, often to the point where people are unable – or unwilling – to make any decision without it being written as law or being directly authorized by a superior.  As a culture, […]

Paid To Entertain – How A “Talking Bar” Works

Asia’s a unique place, for a variety of reasons.  It’s also a huge place with a variety of culture, both indigenous as well as adapted.  This is to say that while you will find “Lady KTV” in Taiwan and China, you will not see “Gogo Bars” like you do in the Philippines and Thailand.  To […]

Missing Macaroni

One of the things I miss from back in The States is Kraft Blue Box Macaroni & Cheese.  Yes, I know it’s processed crap.  I don’t care.  And I’m willing to bet a lot of people reading this right now feel the same.  After being served it since children, we develop the taste for it, […]

The Reality of Living In Taiwan: An Introduction

Living abroad in a land where I don’t speak the language very well, questions abound and answers are not forthcoming.  It’s my own fault, obviously; you should become literate in the language of the place you are in, not simply as good manners, but also as common sense.  What happens when you need to find […]

Pesto, As Promised

You have one big problem making a legitimate pesto sauce here in Taiwan: pine nuts.  Everything else is so easy it makes my marinara sauce recipe look difficult. To make a pesto sauce, you need nothing more than basil, olive oil, Parmesan, and garlic…and that elusive pine nut. I’ve only seen pine nuts at Costco and, […]

The Long Winter of My Discontent

I talked before about peaking in high school, and that I could never be accused of such a thing.  University, however, is a different story.  It was one of the best times in my life and I had major accomplishments.  I served all four years in student government and, along with my best friend at […]

Eating Italian In Taiwan

Taiwan has a lot of great food.  But both Italian and Mexican food are not on the list of things they do well. Traditionally, the Chinese like noodles served in a much more broth-like sauce – even their Italian versions of cuisine are noticeably loose.  Think when you go to a bad Italian joint in the USA […]

Addicted To Crack

After a few days of undergoing “intensive chiropractic therapy,” including daily half-hour-long treatments plus eating the most disgusting Traditional Chinese Medicine (a blend of 7 herbs/roots) three times a day, I feel better than I have in years.  I’m still waking up with a slightly sore neck, but this man knows what he is doing.  After only three […]

Three In Twenty-Four

The human vertebral column has 24 bones called vertebrae. A few years back, I managed to somehow move three of my lower cervical vertebrae (C5, C6, and C7) out of position.  It has resulted in chronic pain, mostly in my left trapezius.  It’s not uncommon for me to turn my head suddenly and feel as if […]

這是我絕望的呼籲台灣的司機 – My Plea To Drivers In Taiwan

Yesterday, I got to drive to-and-from Taichung City and Chungli City.  It’s around a 120 kilometer (75 mile) drive, each way, and involves around an hour of highway driving and a half hour of city driving.  Before leaving, I made sure to treat my windows with a generic product identical to the very famous Rain-X. […]

A Brief History of My Life on Two Wheels

I haven’t been much into machines, in terms of my lifetime. There wasn’t much exposure to me – my dad wasn’t into them – I didn’t hang out with any gearheads. I’ve always been great behind the controls of most anything that can be steered, but it wasn’t until I moved to Taiwan that I […]

I Need To Write Every Day

I’m going to try to start doing that more, like I did in college. Back then, I was impressed when I would pound out 8000 words in an all-nighter.  Now, I can do 2000 words an hour without breaking a sweat. So, why don’t I write more? As I age, am I becoming more jaded? […]

As Your Television Bleeds, Maintain Perspective

Recently, a friend of mine wrote the following on Facebook: Waking up to the horrible news of the movie theater shooting. I can’t even comprehend this. What is the solution to protect ourselves and our families? Gun control? Do we need metal detectors and TSA agents at movie theaters as well? These poor people were […]

US Military Budget Timeline

An Economic Timeline Regarding US Military Spending (in billions) 1942 $260 (estimated) 1944 $850 (estimated) WWII ENDS 1946 $556.9 1947 $52.4 COLD WAR BEGINS 1948 $103.9 1949 $144.2 1950 $141.2 KOREAN WAR BEGINS 1951 $224.3 1952 $402.1 1953 $442.3 KOREAN WAR ENDS 1954 $420.9 VIETNAM BEGINS 1955 $376.9 1956 $356.2 1957 $360.9 1958 $352.9 1959 $352.5 […]

My Thoughts On The PSU Scandal

Mere days ago, it was announced the Joe Paterno has a treatable form of lung cancer; a good friend of mine, who is both named Laura and a considerably larger football fan than I am, suggested it was to gain sympathy after the recent scandal.  This prompted me to do some research and write the […]

I Should Know My Self By Now

But, don’t get me wrong.  I know.  At least, I think I know better than most.  I’ve spent most of my life in existential exploration and what is true for me now is as true for me as it has ever been: All knowledge is self-knowledge. Anything we think about the world or about anything, […]

Fuck You, 99%ers

I’ve reached my breaking point. As has, it seems, plenty of governmental organizations and law-enforcement officers. I have major beef with The 99%ers. You all annoy me. You piss me off. And I have legitimate reasons why, just as you have legitimate reasons why you’re all pissed off, too. Some of the things you’re pissed […]

I Just Smoked A Cigar on the Balcony

I don’t understand this world that I live in. Which, I guess, doesn’t really say much.  I’ve never really understood this world I live in and I don’t think many other people do, either.  Those that do write books or become entrepreneurs or politicians.  Me?  I’m still stuck in the “figuring it out” phase of my life. […]

Whoring Around Asia

to learn about Taiwan Strip Clubs and Lady KTVs, click here Ever since I came to Asia, I noticed that prostitution was different here than what I was used to back in The States. The differences are almost too many to count, but in this article, I’m going to briefly discuss a few things, focusing […]

An Explanation of This Blog

I’ve been writing for many years, but up until recently, I never had a place to put my writings, beyond handing them off to friends.  About two months ago, I decided that I wanted to share what I had written over the last decade with everyone. Much of what I write is considered “stream of consciousness” or […]