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Is Beijing Ready?


logo of the 2008 Olympics in Beijing

With the opening of the 2008 Olympics in Beijing a week away, I thought I'd share some pictures of the landscaping that's been going on around China in preparation for visitors from all around the world. Some articles that I've read have called this "greenwashing" - an attempt to purify the image of wide-spread pollution that many have in mind when they think of China. In any case, the results are spectacular and impressive, and the Chinese have shown great ingenuity and creativity in many of the preparations.

Here's the Bird's Nest Olympic Stadium...

2008 Olympic stadium

Now on to some of the gardens...

a tribute to the Greek origins

flowers highlighting several sporting events

a floral abacus

playful creatures

a butterfly

dolphin fountains

a hand with a waterfall

Chinese men talking

dragons

Whatever you want to say

At the end of our time of teaching two years ago, we went to Beijing for a long weekend before returning to the USA. You can read about it by going to http://blog.ivman.com/our-final-days-in-beijing At that time we seriously wondered if Beijing was going to be ready for the Olympics, and we weren't thinking about the landscaping! Those three days, we ate only in American chain restaurants - restaurants in which we seldom, if ever, eat here at home - McDonald's, KFC, and Pizza Hut. Our reasons were not because we craved Western food; it was because we could not read Chinese and could not order without assistance in a Chinese restaurant where no one speaks English. What astounded us was that, even in the American restaurants, no workers could speak English! We pointed at pictures on a menu to place our orders! I'm eager to hear how things go this summer when thousands of tourists arrive, unable to speak or read Chinese.

The question is not only if Beijing is ready for the tourists, but also if the tourists are ready for Beijing. If they want some adventures, they could try some Chinese fast food sold by street vendors (not always the safest option available, from what we heard.) Too bad the food won't be labeled as it is in the pictures.

street vendors selling their wares

fried starfish

various bugs

dog brain soup

seafood and more

goat lungs and red peppers

dog livers and veggies

sea horses

sea snake

grilled snake and silkworms

We ate some interesting stuff in China, but I assure you we ate none of the above - and definitely not from sidewalk vendors! Are any of you game to try any of those delights?

quotation...

"God's small group discipleship program is the family." - Dr. Drew Conley

=^..^= =^..^=
Rob

Taste makes waist.

Nice Bathroom Humor


One of the things that my readers appreciate is that what I post is suitable for even the youngest members of the family. So much of what calls itself humor these days ranges from blatant filth to innuendo to bathroom humor.

I've had some interesting pictures and information passed on to me lately, though, that I've been wanting to post. Technically, it's bathroom humor, but not what people normally think of when they hear that expression. You'll understand as you read on....

With so much emphasis today on everything being "green," many will see the practicality in a new device called WashUP. It uses the washer’s discarded water as the water for the toilet. Very clever - after all, who needs clean water for flushing?

washer/toilet combination

Pretty clever, huh?

Another innovation for those multitaskers who are the epitome of practical...

going online

Kind of gives "going online" a whole new meaning!

Some people, though, are more interested in uniqueness or beauty. Here are a couple of glitzy toilets on the market for people into "bathroom bling"...

aquarium toilet

absolutely glitzy toilet

Those who used to visit my funny picture archives will remember the following outdoor toilet from a European city...

European outdoor toilet

Some places in Europe do, however, prefer something with a bit more privacy...

disappearing outdoor bathroom

Scary, huh?

I have several bathroom signs that need little or no explanation.

Here's a sign from a bathroom in the Philippines... (Many thanks to two readers who located the original pictures from before my blog was hacked! Thanks to D.W. for helping me restore this one!) :-)

a sign in a bathroom in the Philippines - picture is still missing

This bathroom sign is obviously from an upscale establishment... (Thanks to M.H. for helping me restore this one!) :-)

high-class establishment

This sign says it all for those of us at BJU taking part in the Wellness Challenge...

restroom sign

I'll end this part of the post with a note seen on a bathroom door...

Attention Children: The Bathroom Door is Closed!

Please do not stand here and talk, whine, or ask questions. Wait until I get out.

Yes, it is locked. I want it that way. It is not broken; I am not trapped.

I know I have left it unlocked, and even open at times, since you were born because I was afraid some horrible tragedy might occur while I was in there; but it's been years and I want some PRIVACY.

Do not ask me how long I will be. I will come out when I am ready.

Do not bring the phone to the bathroom door.

Do not go running back to the phone yelling, "She's in the BATHROOM!"

Do not begin to fight as soon as I go in.

Do not stick your little fingers under the door and wiggle them. This was funny only when you were two.

Do not slide pennies, Legos, or notes under the door. Even when you were two, this got a little tiresome.

If you have followed me down the hall talking and are still talking as you face this closed door, please turn around, walk away, and wait for me in another room. I will be glad to listen to you when I am done.

Oh ... and yes, I still do love you.

Mom

quotation...

"Live your life for the one thing that matters - the pursuit of Jesus Christ." - Dr. Drew Conley

=^..^= =^..^=
Rob

The length of a minute depends on which side of the bathroom door you're on.

Great Cat Quotations


My wife was looking at the tag cloud in the sidebar of my blog and said she noticed I don't have many posts about cats. Since we're cat people, I thought I'd better do something about that!

Here's a list of great quotations about cats and a few pictures I hope you'll find amusing.

"People who hate cats in this life will come back as mice in their next life." - Faith Resnick

"Cats are smarter than dogs. You can't get eight cats to pull a sled through snow." - Jeff Valdez

"Thousands of years ago, cats were worshiped as gods. Cats have never forgotten this." - unknown

"The cat is the only animal which accepts the comforts but rejects the bondage of domesticity." - Georges Louis Leclerc de Buffon

cat ad

"In a cat's eye, all things belong to cats." - English proverb

"Curiosity killed the cat, but for awhile I was a suspect." - Steven Wright

"Cats are connoisseurs of comfort." - James Herriot

"One cat leads to another." - Ernest Hemingway

"Beware of people who dislike cats." - Irish proverb

"If you yell at a cat, you’re the one who is making a fool of yourself." - unknown

"Cat people are different, to the extent that they generally are not conformists. How could they be, with a cat running their lives?" - Louis Camuti

"Cat’s motto: No matter what you’ve done wrong, always try to make it look like the dog did it." - unknown

"Dog's come when they're called: cats take a message and get back to you later." - Mary Bly

"As every cat owner knows, nobody owns a cat." - Ellen Perry Berkeley

"There are two means of refuge from the miseries of life: music and cats." - Albert Schweiter

"Kittens are born with their eyes shut. They open them in about six days, take a look around, then close them again for the better part of their lives." - Stephen Baker

"Dogs believe they are human. Cats believe they are gods." - unknown

"Cat: A pygmy lion who loves mice, hates dogs and patronizes human beings." - Oliver Herford

stress relief

"To err is human, to purr is feline." - Robert Byrne

"The cat has too much spirit to have no heart." - Ernest Menaul

"The phrase 'domestic cat' is an oxymoron." - George F. Will

"The cat loves fish, but hates wet feet." - Medieval Proverb

"There is no snooze button on a cat who wants breakfast." - Unknown

"Cats aren’t clean, they’re just covered with cat spit." - John S. Nichols

"Time spent with cats is never wasted." - Colette

"Cats are rather delicate creatures and they are subject to a good many ailments, but I never heard of one who suffered from insomnia." - Joseph Wood Krutch

"You will always be lucky if you know how to make friends with strange cats." - Colonial American proverb

"No matter how much cats fight, there always seems to be plenty of kittens." - Abraham Lincoln

"If you hold a cat by the tail you learn things you cannot learn any other way." - Mark Twain

"Some people say that cats are sneaky, evil, and cruel. True and they have many other fine qualities as well." - Missy Dizick

"There are many intelligent species in the universe. They are all owned by cats." - unknown

"When my cats aren't happy, I'm not happy. Not because I care about their mood but because I know they're just sitting there thinking up ways to get even." - Percy Bysshe Shelley

"I had been told that the training procedure with cats was difficult. It's not. Mine had me trained in two days." - Bill Dana

"The trouble with a kitten is that...
Eventually...
It becomes a cat!" - Ogden Nash

"Cats never strike a pose that isn’t photogenic." - Lilian Jackson Braun (author of The Cat Who... series)

As much as my wife and I are fans of Lilian Jackson Braun's series of The Cat Who... books, I have to say that we've seen our cats in some awfully unphotogenic poses. The following picture is a couple of cats who are modest sunbathers.

modest cats sunbathing

Our grandson Drew loves to play in water, and so his grandma Esther bought him a swimming pool. Here are several pictures of him enjoying it.

Drew in his frog pool

another pic of Drew in his pool

Drew loves spraying water

We'd enjoy hearing comments from other cat people!

quotation...

"Every Bible should be bound in shoe leather." - D. L. Moody

=^..^= =^..^=
Rob

Dogs have owners; cats have staff.

cat in a hammock

T-Shirt Slogans


My wife Becka and I have been talking about going to a Greenville Drive baseball game for a long time, but we just haven't done it. After finding out in choir practice at church Sunday afternoon that my young friend Dan was going to be singing the national anthem at Monday night's game, Becka and I talked about it half seriously in spite of being crazy busy. At the last minute Monday afternoon we decided we'd go to that game. (Such spontaneity, huh?!) Dan did a great job! (I knew he would because you know what the person who sits beside you in choir sounds like.)

There were a lot of things we enjoyed about our evening and a few things we could have lived nicely without, but all in all, it was a fun evening! One of the fun things was reading the slogans on the t-shirts people were wearing. Some of the t-shirts were among the things we could live nicely without, but some were clever and hilarious.

Here are some funny slogans from t-shirts. I also found some pictures of t-shirts online and add them to the mix.

fantasy baseball T

Volunteering: It doesn't pay

Camping is in-tents!

South Korea's got Seoul

You Have the Right to Remain Silent, So Please Shut Up!

I'd Kill for a Nobel Peace Prize

faux paw T

I'm Not Cynical - Just Experienced

Shin: A Device for Finding Furniture in the Dark

Out of My Mind - Will Be Back Shortly

If You Can Read This, My Wife Fell Off (on the back of a biker's t-shirt)

goodbye cruel world T

I Used to Be Schizophrenic, but We're OK Now

Don't Treat Me Any Differently Than You Would the Queen

First National Bank of Dad - Sorry, Closed

In Dog Years, I'm Dead

Get a New Car for Your Spouse. It'll Be a Great Trade

Kenya dig it T

It's Hard to Be Nostalgic When You Can't Remember Anything

Dinner Is Ready When the Smoke Alarm Goes Off

I'm Going to Graduate on Time, No Matter How Long It Takes

Anything Not Worth Doing Is Not Worth Doing Well

Your Village Called - Their Idiot Is Missing

lousy T

No, I'm Not on Steroids, But Thanks for Asking

I Am a Bomb Technician; If You See Me Running, You Should Keep Up

For Every Action, There Is an Equal and Opposite Government Program

I Don't Suffer From Insanity - I Enjoy Every Minute of It

Missouri T

Nice Perfume - Must You Marinate In It?

I Hate Golf, I Hate Golf, I Hate Golf, NICE SHOT, I Love Golf...

Nobody Knows I'm Elvis

Those Who Live by the Sword Get Shot by Those Who Don't

outstanding T

You Have the Right to Remain Silent - Anything You Say Will Be Misquoted, Then Used Against You

Actually, I Am a Rocket Scientist!

Blessed Are They Who Can Laugh at Themselves, for They Shall Never Cease to Be Amused

My Dog Can Lick Anyone

Prague T

I Got to Vietnam Before McDonald's Did

I'd Quit This Job But I Need the Sleep

The Secret: Find an Age You Like and Stick to It!

I Am Not a Pack Rat - I Am a Collector

Today Was a Total Waste of Makeup

Wikipedia T

I'm Your Father, Not an ATM

I Got This Shirt When I Turned 40. I HATE This Shirt!

Never Underestimate the Power of Stupid People in Large Groups

Yes, It's Lonely at the Top - But I Eat a Lot Better Than You

I Chose the Road Less Traveled - Now Where in the World Am I?

Buddah T

The Weather Is Here - Wish You Were Beautiful!

And You're Telling Me This Because...

Don't Make Me Put My Hand on My Hip

I Can Fix Anything - Where's the Duct Tape?

I'm Only Wearing Black Until They Find Something Darker

My Cat Kneads Me

dyslexia T

Dad Knows a Lot, But Grandpa Knows EVERYTHING!

I'm Dressed and Out of Bed - What More Do You Want?

You're Just Jealous Because the Little Voices Are Talking to Me

Now I Know Why Some Animals Eat Their Young!

earthquakes T

You Non-Conformists Are All Alike

If All the World's a Stage, I Want Better Lighting

Our Lady of Perpetual Mood Swings

Below is a t-shirt slogan that I wanted to display larger so that the detail is more visible.

accuracy T

I never quite know what to wear when an invitation to an event calls for "dressy casual." This t-shirt seems to be just the thing for such an occasion....

dressy casual T

Our daughter Nora loves t-shirts. Here's a picture of her and her friend Beth in front of their world view classroom map of Europe. They have t-shirts to go with the theme. (For any readers who don't know her, Nora's the one on the right.)

Nora and Beth

Have you seen any great t-shirt slogans lately? Please add a comment and tell us what you saw.

quotation...

"Today we worship the earth and deny its Creator exists." - Dr. Drew Conley

=^..^= =^..^=
Rob

Plan to be spontaneous tomorrow!

Dog Days of Summer


Here in South Carolina we are definitely in the dog days of summer. It's warm for sure, but not as hot as you'd think it would be in the midst of global warming. How about where you live? Those reading this in the Southern Hemisphere might be longing for some warm summer days.

Over lunch this past Sunday someone mentioned having seen a man who looked remarkably like his Saint Bernard. It struck me as funny, especially since someone recently commented on the pictures on my old dog/owner look-alikes page (back in the days before I had my blog). Have you ever noticed how many people end up with dogs that resemble them?

Here are some pictures from my files of children who look remarkably like their family dog. I suspect that the photographers did a lot of staging for these pictures, but they're cute nonetheless.

blonde girl with pigtails

black curly hair

baby with folds of skin

boy and dog with a black eye

redhead with long pigtails

boy with missing teeth

boy with tossled hair

Hope that those of you in this hemisphere have a nice summer weekend, and happy dog and people watching!

quotation...

"Letting your life be an Alleluia is going to cost you a lot." - Ted Allston

=^..^= =^..^=
Rob

Did you know that in 1850, the first all white Dalmatian dog was spotted?