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人是多麽的渺小啊! June 10, 2018

Posted by hslu in Japan, misc.
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在熱陽的煎烤下,在暴風的吹打下,在巨浪的打擊下,在地震的搖擺下,在洪水的衝擊下,在火山的岩漿下,人類顯得如此的渺小,如此的無助。

臺北今年五月比往常要熱。最熱的一天的高溫達到38.2℃,打破了有史以來122年的記錄。除此之外,台北還有連續四天的高溫超過37℃和連續十三天的高溫超過35℃的記錄。這些也是破了122年的紀錄的。因為創記錄的高溫和無法忍受的濕度,使得台北和苗栗地區有好幾個地方都停電了。我們住的林口還好,一般都要比台北低個四,五度。有時候,徐徐的海風吹來也有點幫助。

來源:自由時報

此外,臺灣在五月份連續發生了11件兇殺案,其中有2件還是慘絕人寰的分屍案。一件發生在板橋,另外一件在桃園。雖然這是附帶提起的消息,可是面對心如此殘忍的人心,如此凶狠的手段,如此脆弱的人命,如此難測的命運,實在令人唏噓不已啊。難道這就是”人不照倫理,天不照甲子”的征兆嗎?

除了高溫,臺灣還沒雨。臺灣從南到北許多水庫的存水量也達到了危險的底限。臺灣是個小島,沒電,沒水還沒有辦法向別人買。沒電是民進黨製造出來的問題,而沒有雨則是老天不幫忙。人雖然萬能,高高的坐在 food chain 的最上面,碰到這種事還真是一點辦法都沒有。

前幾天,臺灣的陽明海運”發明輪”在澳洲外海被無情的巨浪的打擊下,使得83個貨櫃掉落海底。這種事應該以前發生過,只是我自己孤陋寡聞,沒有注意到。陽明海運的意外還是我第一次聽過。應該是我孤陋寡聞吧。

馬里蘭州前一陣子下了大雨。就在離我們以前住過的northern Virginia 不遠的 Ellicott City 發生了一千年一次的大水災。水災一來,人一點辦法都沒有,能夠保住命以外,只有站在邊上看的份。

雨剛剛開始下。

蓝颜色的是公司或餐館用的垃圾桶。另外好幾部車子都已經漂到這裏。全都堵在這裏。

Ellicott City 的市中心變成一條大河。走的不是人是漂在河上的車子。

最近一個月的重頭戲是 Hawaii 的 Kilauea 火山和 Guatemala 的 Fuego 火山了。

夏威夷的 Kilauea 火山是一個月以前爆發的。目前為止,有六百間大大小小的房子被岩漿掩埋了。人除了跑,對即將到來的岩漿可說是一點辦法都沒有。連修改它的路線都沒有辦法。至於火山什麼時候會爆發,什麼時候會停,下一個裂層會在什麼地方會出現,這個萬能的人可以說是根本不知道。

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瓜地馬拉的 Fuego 火山是最近幾天爆發的。它和夏威夷的 Kilauea 火山不一樣。它爆出來的除了岩漿以外,最令人膽戰心驚的是高熱的灰塵無孔不入,吸入肺臟必死無疑。就算能躲過灰塵,碰到有毒的氣體一樣無法活命。目前知道的是:百來人死了,還有將近200人失蹤。這些可憐的居民根本沒有機會逃離現場,因為它來的實在太快了。

還有一個更可怕的天災就是地震和地震引起的海嘯了。最近一次最可怕,影響最深遠和最有名的地震就是2011年3月11日發生在東日本的 9 級大地震和海嘯了:Tōhoku earthquake and tsunami。因地震而延發的海嘯使得東日本好幾個縣受到無法想象的人命和財產損失。死亡人數約一萬六千人,六千多人受傷,兩千多人失蹤。財產損失估計超過美金 $360 billion。當地震和海嘯來的時候,車,船,房屋和建築物在海嘯的摧殘之下根本沒有機會保留。人們死的死,傷的傷,運氣好一點的還可以逃命,運氣不好的竟落得個屍骨無存。

更爲嚴重的是 Tōhoku 海嘯引發了影響深遠的核能災害:Tōhoku 海嘯不但使福島核能發電廠 (Fukushima Daiichi nuclear power plant) 第一核電站反應爐的設備嚴重受損,還使得反應爐的爐心完全熔毀,進而釋放出放射性物質到空氣和海中。這個核能災害到如今還不能有效的控制,它的影響可能長達好幾十年。

人面對地震,海嘯和放射性物質實在是一籌莫展,除了逃命還能做什麽?

面對大自然,人是多麽的微小啊!看來”人定勝天”要改成”人不一定勝天”了。

但为君故 June 8, 2018

Posted by hslu in China, Culture, 詩詞, misc, 中國.
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这是我刚刚在网路上看到的一个电影的主题曲。电影的名字是:新白蛇传之青蛇。白蛇传是大家都很熟悉的一个故事,这个电影只是从另外一个角度来叙述青蛇的故事。

其实,我并不是那么喜欢这个电影,对这个电影的男女主角也不是那么在意,可是蛮喜欢这首主题曲的:”但为君故”。

这个电影很新,大概只有一两个礼拜,是刚刚被人家上传到 YouTube 上的。我在网路上找不到主题曲的歌词,只好用百度语音输入把歌词念出来,记录在此,留作以后细细品尝。

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电影:新白蛇传之青蛇

主题曲:但为君故

人生如一夢,醉卧温柔乡,

一掷千金,换不来灿烂春光,

唯有满天萤火下,方好诉衷肠,

只盼你凝眸,看见我深情满腔。

酒后笛声扬,月下琴音殇,

刀光血影,到头来天各一方,

最怕一世情缘断,离别如参商,

永世我留恋,只有你青丝白裳。

演不完才子佳人的戏码,

唱不尽高山流水的乐章,

若度世,让我轮回变换又何妨,

只情愿,陪着你千年不老共徜徉。

酒后笛声扬,月下琴音殇,

刀光血影,到头来天各一方,

最怕一世情缘断,离别如参商,

永世我留恋,只有你青丝白裳。

演不完才子佳人的戏码,

唱不尽高山流水的乐章,

若度世,让我轮回变换又何妨,

只情愿,陪着你千年不老共徜徉。

Before and After August 3, 2015

Posted by hslu in misc.
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I have been busy and have pictures to prove it.

20150726_170149

I power-washed it first to get rid of junk, mold and muck. This is about 1/5 of the total surface area that I cleaned. Took me about 2 whole days to do all four sides around my house.

One layer of masonry paint: glacier white.

One layer of masonry,stucco and brick paint: glacier white. 3 gallons. $60.

And there is more. The deck took more time because I had to power-wash it first, repair the wood and then fill the big cracks with Acrylic/Silicone Caulk which took a lot of time. I had to do this first because it has been neglected for too long.

A layer of primer was applied first.

A layer of primer was applied first.

Home Depot's BEHR  solid color wood stain - color: Cappuccino; 5 gallons; $166.

Home Depot’s BEHR solid color wood stain – color: Cappuccino;
5 gallons; $166.

 

破財消災:A $3,500 plumbing job February 10, 2015

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It’s very expensive. I know. I feel the pain. Worse, the stint will stay with me for a while.

Well, all I can say to comfort myself is: call it ‘破財消災’ 吧。

You see, I had what commonly refers to as a ‘slab leak.’ Yeah, water leaks out from below a slab; like the concrete slab in your basement or garage. It is very serious even though the amount of water leaked into the house around the water supply line was small: like about 15 gallons a day, roughly two toilet tanks worth of water.

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The leak was somewhere along the water supply line coming into my house from the shut off valve at county line out by the street. The 1 1/4″ water supply pipe is about 30′ long but I didn’t know where the leak was and I didn’t know how big the crack was either. Although only a small amount of water leaked into the basement, some water had to have leaked into the soil which may cause the foundation to shift or settle unevenly. The recent rain and snow also made the situation unpredictable and dangeous. That could be very serious if left untreated.

First, I had to find out where the leak was. For that I called a leak detection company I found online.

Well, they couldn’t come to test the line right away because it was windy. It also rained for a few days. The guy told me he’d come on the first clear day and it would cost me $450. Any time after two hours would be $160 extra per hour. Not cheap.

The crew showed up as promised on the furst ckear day. Theyy shut the water off. Took the meter off and pressure up the line with either N2 or air. They also used a pressure gauge to make sure the leak came from the supply line. They’d then listen to the hissing sound made by air leaking out of the hole using a listening device to locate the location of the leak. That’s why he couldn’t have wind blowing around his ears or rain dropping down. Snow was okay though.

Well, the leak came from the supply line and it was somewhere near the house below the slab because the hissing sound faded away quickly once he walked away from the house. He couldn’t tell how far down the crack was because the supply line might have come into the basement from below the slab which is about 6′ below the ground level.

He suggested that a new line be put in from the shut off valve on the city line, drill a hole through the basement wall, run the line inside the basement and tie it in to the existing plumbing before the meter. This sounded reasonable to me because it beats digging a 10 foot deep hole in the ground which might not reveal the location of the leak.

That’s what we’d do but the leak detectiin company wouldn’t fix the leak and I had to get a plumber to do that.

Usually when we have a leaky pipe or  worn out faucet inside the house, we called a Chinese guy who may or may not practice the trade before he came to the U.S. He may have picked up the skill by working for a plumber over the years. People like this usually charges at least 1/2 of what a regular American plumber charges.

But a Chinese plumber couldn’t be trusted for this kind of job because it required him to work with county official and utility companies: a permit had to be applied and received, burried lines and cables had to be located before any digging began and inspection had to be performed by the county before finishing the job. Digging a 25′ long trench about 3′ deep called for a backhoe or a bobcat. All these tasks were usually beyond what Chinese plumber was comfortable doing. The bottom line was that it’d take big money to fix the problem.

I got referrals from the leak detection guy but one of them didn’t want the job for reasons I didn’t know. I got the other guy came in and told him the leak guy’s suggestion. He agreed with the suggestion and told me he’d give me a quote the next day.

He called around 8:30 in the morning and asked for $3,100 for the job. Since the guy looked honest to me and he was willing to make a trip with a short notice, I told him to come the next day. He said he’d see me the day after tomorrow because he had to get a permit from the county tomorrow because it was getting dark outside.

The next day, he sent in a trailer with a bobcat backhoe. The day after, three guys showed up early in the morning digging around the city valve which is about 4′ below ground.

An hour or so later, a guy came to mark the burried lines and cables. Soon after he left, one guy fired up the bobcat and started digging around the house. He moved away from where the supply pipe was because it is close to the city sewer line.

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From utility company to mark buried cables.

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Once a trench is big enough for a man to work down there, another guy started to drill the hole through the basement wall. It took him about 25 minutes because he hit steel half way through and had to push the long drill bit hard with another guy’s help.

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Then the old plumbing was cut off and a new insulated flexible water line was put in. Once the entire path of the trench was dug up, two guys worked on the tie-ins and the bobcat guy started to back fill the trench. They left my house around 4:30 pm but they have to come back tomortow because it was too late for county inspection. I guessed the county guy probably was packing his stuff in and already call it for the day by then.

image

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The lead guy told me someone will come back tomorrow and be here with the inspector. Once the insspector signed off on the job, he’d fill the hole back up, pack the soil in and pave the walk way with paving stones. All I have to do was to seed the dirt in the spring.

image

The hole was sealed with hydraulic cement and a layer of tar.

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At the bottom of that standing pipe is the city line and shut of vale.

That will cost me $3,100.

唉:|!破財消災也!

Well, a house is kind like a person. As peoole get older, problems start to show up inside the body, skin starts to lose firmness, grey hair shows up seemly over night, wrinkles begin to appear on the face and body parts start to work not as good as before. People start to see doctors more often and hospitals and doctor’s offices become the places to visit on a regular basis and nurses begin to call you by your first name. You become a regular customer.

When a house gets older, things fell apart. My house was built 35 years ago and it had a new roof, a new siding, new windows, a new GE water heater, a new A/C, a new garbage disposal, a new garage door, a new water supply line and soon a new carpet. Deck needs a new surface. Some doors won’t close properly and cracks start to let more hot air out during the winter and can’t keep the cold air in in the summer. Handyman’s business cards start to crowd out other people’s cards and it becomes very expensive to keep the house not to mention thousands of dollars in property tax that we have to pay every year.

Too bad that I can’t claim the plumbing job as a loss on my tax return.

NATO, US, Russia and China September 2, 2014

Posted by hslu in China, Cold War, Economics, Energy, Euro, Global Affair, Islam, Middle East, misc, Obama, Oil, Putin.
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The US is pulling strings to dictate what NATO needs to do in order to restrict Russia’s aggression against Ukraine.

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Source: WSJ.

NATO is essentially the US because US accounts for the majority of the funding, provides the bulk of the military assets and is a puppy of the Pentagon. It pretty much does what US tells it to do. Germany, U.K. and France are what we call ‘昨日黃花’ because they don’t have money or the will to fight a war they deem not essential for their national interests. They have no desire to lead a fight against Putin’s Russia because it was not their fight. All other NATO members are what we call ‘跑龍套的’ because all they can do is act like cheerleaders on the sideline because they don’t have anything to offer. That leaves US with ‘The US.’

NATO is a case of ‘一個願打 一個願挨’ 兩邊 ‘一拍即合’ 是也。

America started the Cold War against Russia and America ended the Cold War which was a great achievement. The US enjoyed peace dividend and for a while didn’t know what to do with all the extra money that came with the defeat of the Soviet Union.

Over the next 10 some years, America forgot about Russia because Berlin Wall came down, Soviet Union was torn apart, Russia entered into bankruptcy, America reached to the pinacle of the world and the new world order was functioning just like what American strategists have envisioned. Russia was like a sick tiger with no influence what so ever in the world.

The American empire was finally in place and by this time the United States dominated almost every corner of the world. America created many colonies and it did it with American dollar along with the most powerful military in the world.

Then came 9/11. With that, what took America half a century to put together came down like a house of cards.

America became a hostage of Bin Laden. America then spent trillions to beef up its security by fighting two wars and monitoring almost everything  within its borders. Thetremendous costs acted like a national tax on itself. The Fed then reduced interest rates which planted the seeds to the financial crisis. It then reallyrr bought America to its knees. Most western nations, many of them NATO members, kowtowed with the US and they helplessly saw their national debts went through the roof.

Oil prices went through the roof which benefited Muslim nations and none other than Russia: the old tiger who were licking its wounds.

Which bought everyone; including NATO, to 2014, Crimea, Donetsk, Luhansk and now Mariupol.

Ukraine war is a sideshow. Putin is fighting a war he will not lose. Eventually he’ll get Donbass and a pathway to Crimea. Then he’ll stop. And what America is doing to counter Putin’s aggression: economic sanctions and travel restrictions. Yeah!  Putin is shivering in Kremlin.

Obama also managed to piss off China by rounding up China’s neighbors in order to put a NATO equvalent around China. He called that ‘pivot to the East’ in the name of protecting America’s national interests.

Over the same time period, America’s war on terror killed thousands of innocent Muslims and reealy amplified the resentment and hatred against the US. As a result, America is fighting a prolonged guerrilla warfare with many muslims groups and whether America  likes it or not, the war in voming to the America.

Obama’s incomptency, his misguided Middle East policy, his animosity against Israel and his deliberated retreated from the world stage completely back fired. Now, America is fighting three wars at the same time. And where was NATO? NATO was still daydreaming; dreamed what Chinese call ‘黃粱一夢,’  and by the time NATO got their act together, Putin already gets what He wants from Ukraine.

America is fighting a Cold war with Russia. It Probably will last another 40 years.

America is fighting a guerrilla warfare with muslim terrorists. This war may last another 100 years.

And what China is doing now? China is building high speed railroads everywhere they need one. China is building Air Craft Carriers until they think they have enough. China is developing fighter jets and commercial airlines to satisfies their own demands and expands into world market. China is making deals on pipelines and terminals with countries rich in natural resources. China is exploring space to advance its technology. China is strengthening its financial system and currency which one day will bring down the US dollars. China is getting rid of corruptions which has reached to the highest level of the local and central government.

And what the American empire is doing? America is making bombs, bullets, missiles and blackhawk helicopters.

Oh, the once mighty America the empire is borrowing money to get by day in and day out. It has been busy piling on debt after debt to as far as eye can see into the future.

Happy time isn’t far away, CNBC keeps telling US, because stocks are at all time high and the sky is the limit. Trust me, Yellen told us that too.

Hmmm…., what was that I heard on the news that another mortgage crisis is coming this winter?

Don’t Look at me! I didn’t say that. Bove did. He said it on CNBC’s today: 09-02-2014.

What does Chinese have to say about this? ‘鷸蚌相爭 漁翁得利也.’

Hmmm.., before I forget, Soro has a billion+ dollar short on the S&P 500. Thought you might want to know.

Hmmm…, how do I get you back to NATO? Last I heard they were debating sanctions against Russia again.

I have a suggestion and it is a grwat one:

Why don’t they get it over with by putting a real tough sanction against Putin himself. He has billions somewhere, doesn’t he? Freeze his assets. Don’t Let him in the US, German, UK and France. Add Italy and Spain while NATO is working so hard now.

That for sure will get Putin’s attention.

Cat or cell phone? December 17, 2013

Posted by hslu in misc.
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In case you are confused as much as I did when I first saw this ad: It is not about the cat. It was a cell phone commercial.

In case you are as confused as I was when I first saw this ad, it was about cell phone. Not the cat.

Nice cat.

Do something, please, County of Fairfax, VA September 27, 2013

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Someone at Fairfax County Government Center got this brilliant idea a few years past and we now have to endure this sight every time we drive through Reston, Virginia.

Keep up the good job! Fairfax County. Go ahead and spend someone else’s money

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The Fairfax wild flower project, Baron Cameron Ave near Wiehle Ave. in Reston, Virginia

 

My new blogsite: www.polinomicspost.com January 29, 2011

Posted by hslu in Chinese Food, Economics, Food, Life, Death and Yuanfen, misc, My Restaurant, Politics, Restaurants, Shanghai, Travel, Wine.
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If you are looking for my blogs on politics and economics, may I present you a new blog site of mine thanks for the help of XB:

www.polinomicspost.com

xiaohua remains to be my blog on personal matters such as:

food, travel, life in the US and China, 命运 “ming4 yun4”, 生 死 “sheng1 si3” and 缘份 “yanu2 fen4.

A new blog! A new beginning!

It is still evolving and may take a while to reach its final stage.

Taxing the riches won’t work October 4, 2010

Posted by hslu in China, Congress, Economics, misc, Obama, Religion, Taiwan.
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Taiwan, taking a page out of Democrat’s play book, has hinted the likelihood of closing its annual deficit gap by taxing the rich.

Unfortunately this logic is fundamentally flawed and will not close the spending gap in the US and later in Taiwan, in the long run. You see; in order to make this tactic successful, you have to assume that more people becomes rich and rich gets richer into perpetuity in order to support a growing number of poor people at the bottom of the social network.It also assumes that the rich will not hide their incomes from Uncle Sam or KMT for that matter, by shifting their assets to foreign countries.

Brain Teaser 1 August 10, 2010

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