Monday, November 24, 2008


Here are some sweet beach front pads.

Sunday, November 23, 2008

The Bootlegger

During our stay in Dali last weekend we encountered many different types of characters, the one that stood out for me the most was the guy that ran the local convenience, which was basically just the basement of his house. We ventured into his store around 7pm looking to purchase a few brown trouts to quench our thirsts. As soon as he saw we were buying brews, he started to tell us all about these different types of alcohol that he had in his store. After about 15 mins of him showing us all of these different types of Chinese wines, whiskeys, and beers, he decided to take us into his house where he had all of these giant cabinets full of different types of booze. He showed us a few different types of alcohol that I had never even heard of, and then he busted out this brown bottle with a yellow label with a pic of a tiger on it. The bottle came in a box and it looked fairly intense with the pic of the tiger and the sticky drip downs on the side of the bottle. He offered us a taste, and I was like ohh man I don't know about this, but naturally I tasted it. I put it in my mouth and instantly received a tingling sensation on the roof of my mouth and as I slowly swallowed the thick reddish concauction it burned the back of my throat and made me feel very warm. I looked up after I swallowed and everybody was looking at me as if something was about to happen, and I just said "smoooth". It turns out the drink was made out of tiger bone, and is called tiger bone wine. I looked it up on the internet and it says that tiger bone wine is highly illegal, but is considered a cure for arthritis in Chinese medicine. Here is a pic of the bootlegger, he had a mouth full of silver, and sported a buckskin shirt that was glazed with dirt.

The bootleggers parents.

One of the cabinets.

Before we visited the bootlegger, we passed through a huge temple. There were fireworks going off there and all kinds of strange ceremonial activities going on.

Monday, November 17, 2008

Northeast Coast, Guy

This past weekend I headed for the coast with a few peeps in the neighborhood. I packed up the essentials, including the Tivoli, a flashlight, some Hi Chew, and a few extra garments. We departed on the train bound for a place called Daxi which took about an hour and a half. We got off the train and walked about 6 kms to a place called Dali which is where we stayed for the night. That was a whole other experience that I will get into later this week. Right now I will tell you about our epic journey from Dali to Fulong on the Caoling Ancient Trail which began at approximately 1:30 pm on Sunday. The trail was built in 1807 as a transportation route between two townships. We had slight delays in the morning, Cianchino was so hungover from the night before that she couldn't even fathom embarking on a journey so epic that it would take us over a mountain, across some streams and into the misty sky's, so we made sure she was set to take the train to Fulong to meet us when we arrived. It all began with a long and winding staircase made of stone right next to an intense temple. Here are some guys on their way down into Dali.

We walked up up up and up for about an hour and half, most of the way was along switchback roads and steep stone stairs.


Queenie feeling the effects.

Reagan also feeling the effects.

Half way up, Dali down bellow.

The gate to the top telling you to beware.

On top.

The Tiger Monument.
This piece was carved out and erected by a general named Liu Mingdeng circa 1867. It is a symbol that stands for a female tiger. There is a legend that says the General was out on a mission scoping out this trail because he had heard through the grape vine that it was off the charts. He brought some of his peeps with him and was almost to the top when he and his followers encountered mass winds and intense fog. He figured that the only logical explanation for this was that the gods were laughing at him and mocking him. The general, thinking that he could outsmart the gods quickly remembered a saying he had once heard. The saying was "clouds bring the dragon and winds bring the tiger". He thought that if he carved the symbol for the tiger on a giant rock that it would fight off the winds and guide them through the fog. I guess he was right, he made it though and the monument still works its magic today sitting 330 meters above the sea. Snap.

Silver grass.

There was a festival for this grass going on this weekend, I think it only comes out at this time of year.

A man fishing and a women maintaining.

Here are some smaller things that were encountered. The next pic is of a Neolucanus Swinhoei, its pretty much harmless and just roams around in the soil.

The next badboy on the other hand will murder you.

Finally on our way out of the brush, I rounded the corner and look what was sitting in the bushes. I thought at first maybe it was a mirage, but I rubbed my eyes and looked again and there it was.

A 1987 Toyota Camry, with a little rust on the gas tank and everything. I took a moment and thought about the last time I saw my camshaft getting towed away down King Street from my window at 420 Westside Suites after I sold it for a hundred bucks. What a way to end the voyage.

Also, there were three check points along the trail where you could get a stamp and when you finished the trail with all three stamps you got a sweet headband.

Thursday, November 13, 2008

60 Years of Glory

So, it was my pops bday last Saturday and it was a big one. He turned 60 and naturally rung it in drinking some brew down in Port Credit. 60 years is a commendable achievement in my books, so if you happen to see Frits in the street be sure to tip your hat to him. I thought that I should share this pic, courtesy of UD, to commemorate the occasion.

Toronto Island circa 1987
Left to right - Frits, Liz, Eve, Dick, Jonathan.
What a classic.

Wednesday, November 12, 2008

What Doing

Snap, look who showed up in Taiwan the other night. Naturally caught eating a piece of cheese, my friend Michelle popped up on Saturday night and has been been getting a first hand look at the maintenance Jhonghe has to offer.

She didn't arrive until late Saturday, so we waited until Sunday before we put some plans into motion. Sunday Morning I called up my friends Queenie, Reagan, and Liv who I had been primming all week for the occasion. First we kicked off the day with some breakfast at one of my favorite spots in Jhonghe. It is this dotty breakfast shop which has this unreal lady named Evens that works behind the grill. I will have to get a few pics of her soon. After some succulent eggs we made the voyage to a place called Banciao (where the train station is) and walked around there for the day. I was looking to pick up some new shades but came up empty handed. The day consisted of lots of rain, eating, and walking, and ended off with some sushi, some brews, some cheese, and some wine. This is what it looked like by the end.

In my school life I need to come up with some new ideas for my bulletin board. Send some my way if any pop into your mind. Oh ya, I also have to pick a song for my class to sing and teach them some moves for the up coming concert in December. That should be unreal, I need to pick a track by the end of the week. Thanks to my friend Mikey D. everyone I know here is now constantly saying "Ohhhhhh Billly" anytime anything happens, and I think I almost piss myself everytime. For example, today I was working on a different bulletin board out in the stairwell and Tobey came out to check it. I heard him enter the stairwell so I turned to see who it was, when I looked up I saw Tobey glancing at my latest work and he looked down at me and said "Ohhhhhhh Billly", its to much to handle. Lastly, I found out how to say "what doing" in Chinese, it is like this "zigama". If you want to say "what are you doing" it is "nee zigama", but just "what doing" is "zigama".

Sunday, November 2, 2008

All Time Maintenance

Ok, it has been a busy past week. First off it was Halloween and things at school were going off the charts. I did a lot of face painting and decorating. I carved the sickest pumpkin and I don't think most of the kids had ever seen that before so everyone thought it was quite off the charts. I dressed up as a donkey and went trick or treating with my class, we hit five shops that we arranged with earlier to give us candy. Pics from this endeavor are still to come. After school on Halloween there was a riding event called the 4th Friderday. This event happens once a month, people get together and ride to a planned location where all kinds of wacky contests take place. They have the longest skid contest, and the longest track stand contest, and a track race to end things off. Unfortunately since I had to work until 10 I only made it in time to see the end of the races, next month I will try and make in time to belt out a few laps on the track. A guy from Belgium who designs folding bikes took the glory in the race and won a nice set of lime green tubular tires.

Check out some more pics from the event here:

Here are some Characters.

Ken and his women.