Trouble in Ray’s Library

Last year I helped save a library from abandonment when Ray fell ill and had to leave China for the USA . . . see Ray’s Library . The library was moved into storage, but unfortunately, there was a leak in the roof of the new storage room. We lost five or ten percent of the books to mold and pages that are glued together. I was able to save several books by laying them out in the sun.

We have thrown out some books and elevated others in the hope of saving the rest of the library. We even attempted an interior repair of the roof, but I am not particularly impressed with the workmanship.

Baby has Arrived !

My housemate’s baby has arrived.  I just talked to the father, and the kid made his first appearance at 8:20 AM this morning (June 3, 2016), about five or six hours after letting everybody know that he was ready for the world. (Mother went into labor at between 2 and 3 AM). He’s a boy.

Baby Coming

As an old bachelor, without children, I don’t have any experience of someone having a baby near me.  I have a large apartment which is shared with a Chinese couple, expecting a baby. The baby is due in two weeks, and I asked the future mother if there was anything I could do. . . “No.”

So I asked for the husband’s phone number, just in case, and she said that he wouldn’t understand me anyway, but she gave me the number. So this morning at 3 AM I hear some rustling around, doors opening, etc. She says, “Maybe we will go to the hospital.”, “Anything I can do?”, “No. My husband is getting the car.” I told them not to worry, I will make sure that all the doors are locked . . .

I am very attached to this couple. So how long do I have to wait before I call the husband for an update? So what do you say to somebody who is waiting . . . especially if they don’t speak English? Sheesh !

Hopefully everything will come out OK and I’ll get good news in due course.

Big Data Conference of Guiyang had VR 3D Glasses

My students Wang Min and Bai Zhong Jun attended the conference and helped me talk to the exhibitors. 20160525_155235Wang Min loved to play with the Virtual Reality Three Dimensional Glasses.  When you view the world through these glasses, it takes you to a differenct world and a different reality.  When you turn your body around, you are looking at a different world behind you, but in fact you are standing in the middle of a conference.


Big Data Comes to Guiyang


Photo taken the day prior to opening day.

From May 25 to May 29, a Guiyang hosted the China Big Data Industry Summit and China ECommerce Innovation and Develpment Summit. I attended the confernce with two of my students.  Wang Min is a student studying Hospitality Manageent at Guizhou Normal University and Bai Zhong Jun is a student of Software Engineering at Guizhou University.

Sign advertising the event

Sign advertising the event

These signs are everywhere in Guiyang.

These signs are everywhere in Guiyang.

The Big Data Conference in Guiyang brought companies from all over China and from around the world. Companies that were represented include:

  • Amazon
  • AliBaba
  • Huawei
  • Huipu
  • Dell
  • Microsoft
  • Qualcomm
  • Foxcomm
  • Hewett Packard
  • Baidu
  • Tencent
  • Jingdong
  • Tellhow
  • Teamsun
  • Scistor

The Big Data Conference had good attendence by State Owned Businesses which can provide services and financing to companies with interesting projects, projects that can employ Guiyang’s technical labor force. A small stream can grow to a river and an ocean. Guizhou Province of China aspires to become the “Big Data Valley” of China. The private and public comapnies represented here suggest that this is very feasible.

Living in China – Flag Day Update

I talked to some kids in a countryside school and offered to help them learn English:

In order to give that talk, I had to drive for three hours on an expressway, stay in a hotel, and then have breakfast (in the hotel). The trip down was fine, and the hotel looked normal.  It was a free breakfast, but I came prepared. When I go to a small countryside place I always take my bottle of instant coffee. I was ready for this trip.

The tea pot had a short cord, so I had to plug the pot in beside the bed, on the bed-stand.  Unfortunately, the TV in the hotel didn’t work, but I got up a couple hours before my little talk and played with my cell phone while laying in bed. When I finally got the coffee done I put it on the bed-stand with the tea pot, cell phone, etc. Sharing the electric for charging phone etc was awkward and as I moved on the bed the pillow fell on the coffee and tipped the cup over, almost drenching the cell phone . . . I moved fast. I avoided the worst of it and, in my stocking feet I went to get a towel from the bathroom. I got the towel wet in the sink, but the sink leaked, and I soon found myself standing in water in my stocking feet. I wrung out the socks, cleaned up the coffee and got out of that funky room and down to breakfast . . .

Fortunately I had plenty of coffee that morning, and together with the annoyance of the wet socks I had no problem waking up. The breakfast was typical cheap, elaborate Chinese breakfast. As expected, no coffee. There were noodles and a sauce with precious little meat. There were eight or ten different shaped pastries, all of which seemed to be made of the same sweet bread dough (yuck). Anyway, the smokers at the next table didn’t bother me much and the hard boiled eggs were done just the way I like them. Breakfast was OK, EXCEPT I kept hearing coughing and sneezing. 

It is my experience that I shouldn’t look at the people coughing or sneezing. Gross. It was very close to me and I decided to look up. I was relieved to see the guy holding a big napkin and I figured that maybe I was safe from air-born germs. WRONG. I looked up and noticed that he was sneezing and coughing without covering his mouth, and then he used the napkin to wipe his nose and mouth after sneezing and coughing. I hurried out of breakfast and went to the school assembly.  I had volunteered to talk to a class or two, but this turned out to be the my biggest group since visiting China. I tried to talk in Chinese, but it was suggested that English would have a better chance of being understood . . . 

Flag Day Pep Talk