Up & Running – Fingers Crossed!

So, thanks to a friend, I have access to a computer once again, at least for a while anyway.  It’s nice to be “connected”, as I was going through some fairly serious withdrawal and battling a bit of depression as well!  I haven’t touched my camera for a couple of weeks and there was no way to process what I already had in the can.  I am using an old refurbished, upgraded, still-slow laptop, that I hope might last a few months until I can get a replacement of my own.  I am keeping my fingers crossed because most of the software is less than “official”.  It’s China after all, read between the lines.  I have downloaded the free trial versions of Photoshop Elements 7 and Lightroom, so I’ll be able to use those for 30 days.  A photographer friend is sending me his copies of Photoshop CS3 and Lightroom, so I’ll be able to install those when the trial period expires.

I am also very happy to report that the data on my portable hard drive, including ALL of my photos from China, has been recovered.  A computer shop here in Liuzhou was able to use a software program to recover it all.  THAT made my day, as it looked like it was all gone.

I’ll get to work next week on processing the photos from my trips to Shenzhen and Hong Kong.  I went twice,  on back-to-back weekends, and had a great time getting away from Liuzhou.  The first weekend I spent with my friend Robert Lio, just hanging out.   He graciously let me stay at his place and wouldn’t let me pay for any food for four days.  The highlight of the trip was finding a nice Mexican restaurant in Shenzhen and a real hamburger in Hong Kong.  We also met some very talented photographers in Hong Kong, really nice guys, and had a great day exploring the city.  The second weekend I shot the F1 boat races again and I was able to stay at Robert’s apartment while he was in Guangzhou on business.

Bob Lio Bokeh

Robert Lio – Prince of Shenzhen

Robert is coming to Liuzhou this week.  A successful Canadian businessman, he has agreed to give a lecture to my business students on Wednesday and then Thursday night we’ll head over to Guilin and Yangshuo for a weekend of photography.

I’ve been busy enough.  School is fine, but try as I might to avoid it, I actually do have to work.  I must admit though, preparing lessons and grading papers, while time consuming, isn’t exactly pounding nails.  Liuzhou Teachers College is celebrating it’s 50th anniversary next weekend and there is a big whoop-tee-do planned for Sunday.  Unfortunately, no one told me the date until after I had already planned my trip to Guilin and Yangshuo, so I won’t be attending the festivities.

The weather has changed, it’s rained for the better part of 7 straight days.  November is usually very dry, but I hear there has actually been some flooding in Nanning.  I washed some clothes last Saturday.  They were still wet on Wednesday.  I washed them again Thursday.  They are still wet today.  It’s also cooler, and that of course is a welcome change.  It’s about 65 as I write this now.

Anyway, I’ll do my best to get back into it here with the blog.

Here’s to hoping that Barack Obama can somehow remain atop the pedestal and live up to the image many of us have carved out for him.  Actually, I’m finding it difficult to adequately express how I feel about it all.    Don’t get me wrong, I am proud to be an American, proud to say I voted for the man.  I am happy to have lived to see the day when a black man can become President of The United States.  It’s just that there is this monumental, seemingly impossible battle ahead, and I am not sure how any human is up to the task.  The hopes and dreams of a nation, and to a great extent the world, rest squarely on his shoulders.   Now, I hope I live to see the day when the world once again looks at our country with respect and admiration.  My friend and colleague Ken, a Brit, posted one simple, but effective word, on his blog here.  Yesterday, he told me that when he announced Obama’s victory to his advertising class, the young Chinese students cheered and applauded. I hope we are all still applauding in 4 years. The audacity of hope indeed.  Good luck Mr. President.

h  O  p  e

What else…

The Broncos stink, they are lucky to be 5-4 and, as I predicted a month ago, breaking my heart.  UK football stinks, this team NEVER gets over the hump!  The Avalanche stink.  It is too early to tell about The Nuggets, but I do smell something emanating from The Pepsi Center.  Then there is my passionate, life-long love affair with UK basketball.  Talk about hope.  I just hope Mr. Gillispie can pull a rabbit out of the hat and produce a hard-working, over-achieving squad after last years disappointing campaign.

Anyway, I’ll be back soon with more on life in China.  Peace!

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~ by Expatriate Games on November 7, 2008.

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