Archive for the adventure Category

Letter of Apology from the Shanghai Metro: Another Failure of the Worker State

Posted in adventure, opinion, politics with tags , , , , , on 2013 July 22 by KLP

This morning, my coworkers and I enjoyed a significant delay on the green line of the Shanghai Metro. Apparently there was some kind of accident. Not only did it take a lot longer than we were used to to get on the train than we had experienced until this morning, the train only let us off several stops after our intended destination. On our way out of the station, a small mob formed around some of the metro staff who where handing out pieces of paper. It seemed important, so I made sure to get one for myself. The following link includes scans and an explanation of the document: In short, if you are late to work because of a delay on the metro, you can present this letter to your employer as a valid excuse.

Despite the terminology I often hear in the US, China is not a communist state. A “communist state” is actually an oxymoron because the absence of a state is part of what defines a communist society. Officially, China is a worker state, meaning that the working class has taken control of the state and is using it to progress toward communism, at which point the people will just abandon the state. But if the workers really are in control of the state, why do they have to present a note to their employers if they are running a little late? After 64 years of the People’s Republic, that is some dismal progress. Clearly, these notes are great little examples as to why the state is not a viable means of achieving worker liberation and communism. I am going to frame mine and hang it up in my cubical.

Managing a Button Collection on Election Night

Posted in adventure, projects with tags , , , on 2008 November 5 by KLP

Displaying the Buttons

Kat and I might not be following the polls and coloring our electoral maps this evening, but given that some of the buttons endorse political movements and candidates from as far back as 1940, for Franklin Roosevelt, we’re certainly politically involved, if not inundated in Americana.

That run-on sentence is all I have to post right now, other than a story about an incident that occured when I went to vote today. My apartment number was wrong on the registered voter list. Luckily the ladies behind the desk were nice and let me vote. Be nice to old ladies. They are the gatekeepers of democracy. Also, when exiting the polling place, Kat and I accidentally used the entrance and not the proper exit to leave. We caught a slight scolding from a middle aged woman. Such women are powerless underlings.

Comrade Eddie!

Posted in adventure, Photo with tags , , on 2008 June 7 by KLP

During my walk around downtown Moscow today, I discovered this billboard. In tribute to this awesomeness, I present lyrics of Iron Maiden’s Run to the Hills in Russian:

Белый человек пришел через море
Он принес нам боль и страдания
Он убил наших племен, он убил нашего вероисповедания
Он принял нашу игру за свою необходимость

Мы боролись ему трудно мы боролись ему всего хорошего
Ушли на равнинах мы дали ему ад
Но многие пришли слишком много для криийский
Ах, мы сможем когда-либо быть бесплатными?

Верховая езда через dustclouds и бесплодной отходов
Галопирующей над равнинами
Чеканки redskins обратно в свои дыры
Борьба с ними на их собственной игре
Убийство за свободу ножом в спину
Женщины и дети, и трусы нападение

Пробег на холмах баллотироваться в вашей жизни
Пробег на холмах баллотироваться в вашей жизни

Солдат-синего цвета на пустоши отходов
Охота и убивать их игры
Насилуя женщин и мужчин, теряя
Только хорошие индейцы являются приручить
Продажа них виски и занять свое золото
Рабство молодых и уничтожая старые

Пробег на холмах баллотироваться в вашей жизни
(повторять до конца)

I wanted to translate this translation back into English, but there are hardly any errors, except that “Пробег на холмах баллотироваться в вашей жизни” translates back into “Mileage on the hills run for your life”.

I have a bunch more photos that should eventually be geotagged. I’ll try to get them ready and share them too.

From Russia with Love

Posted in adventure, opinion, Photo with tags , , , on 2008 May 5 by KLP

Finally, here are my photos from Moscow:

I think some of them are pretty cool. I took these photos on my first trip into downtown Moscow. Unfortunately, the lighting wasn’t good. Luckily my Nikon Coolpix 8800VR held up relatively well. The rain sucked, but it did make the Red Square look all shiny. The mist made Saint Basil’s Cathedral look really spectacular. Buildings like this one freak me out with their age and beauty. They’re all over Moscow, too. I can’t really rationalize a vacation to Moscow, but I can’t rationalize passing up an opportunity to visit either. Somehow, despite the traffic and pollution, Moscow makes me feel good about humanity. Too bad pictures can never really convey this sentiment.

Subway Surfing in Moscow!

Posted in adventure, beer with tags , , on 2008 April 13 by KLP

Twenty-four hours, three beers, 27 subway stops, several Soviet monuments, one hitched ride, and one fanny-pack later, I am about to pass out. For serious. I couldn’t sleep at all on the flight from JFK to Sheremetyevo so I watched The Host on my laptop and read DMZ Vol. 4: Friendly Fire and a little bit of Flight Vol. 2. After arriving at the hotel, I showered and passed out for a little bit, and then went into Moscow to do some touristy stuff. I got some good photos but, like the ass that I am, I forgot to bring the USB cable that connects my camera to my laptop. Therefore, it will be a little while before I can share them. Also, Baltika is a good brand of beer.

In Soviet Russia the Toilet Flushes You!

Posted in adventure, opinion, Photo with tags , , , , , , , , on 2008 March 28 by KLP

I feel as though I’ve taken on too much responsibility this week. I bought renter’s insurance, Alstom is shipping me off to Moscow, CCCP for the week of April 13, I made a claim using said renter’s insurance, and bought a nice suit at Macy’s.

The events concerning the insurance and the toilet reference in the title of this post boggle my mind. I signed for a policy Sunday evening, which I did not previously have, and this morning the toilet backed up, flooded the bathroom, and leaked into the unit downstairs. For serious. Having the foresight to get the policy is just as much an act of God as my crapper rejecting its breakfast. Consider also, that the affected neighbor downstairs enjoys listening to Christian rock in the early morning and late evening, praying out loud, and crying while he does so. He also talks very loudly on the phone for hours about how much he loves God and how his passion makes him a better person than folks like me, who aren’t Jesus freaks. Act of God, indeed.

I am excited about going to Moscow. This adventure will include a lot of firsts for me:

  • I’ve never visited a non-English speaking or non-Spanish speaking country.
  • I’ve never flown for more than about four hours.
  • I’ve never been so far from home.

To clarify that last statement, I’ve never traveled farther north than Toronto, farther south than Belize, farther east than Puerto Rico, or farther west than Las Vegas. That said, I can only imagine visiting Moscow for work related reasons because it really isn’t relevant to me. I certainly respect and appreciate the city’s history, but it’s a history to which I don’t belong. Furthermore, Moscow seems closer to nowhere than I’d travel to for the sake of traveling. I’m also nervous about the trip because it seems like the folks at Alstom’s Russian branch are counting on my expertise on piping analysis. I’m told that I am supposed to answer their questions. I wonder if they have any idea what they are in for.

I hope to take plenty of photos with my new Holga in Moscow. In fact, I hope to take one of a Volga. I will consider the trip wasted if I do not achieve this goal.

Seaside Heights, NJ: home to the best and worst of the Garden State.

Posted in adventure, opinion with tags , , , , , , on 2007 July 16 by KLP

I won’t concentrate on the worst. You are totally capable of imagining it for yourself. Think rhinestone belt buckles, muffin tops, and Gino the Guido (not work safe). While a daytime visit would have been warmer and allowed for an $8 romp on the beach, I appreciated the over stimulation provided by the bright, colorful lights on the rides and game stands. I’ll summarize the evening’s events:

  • Kat and I played at the frog-launching Frog-Bog stand at Casino Pier and won a teddy bear.
  • I punished a large cone of Kohr’s frozen custard.
  • I watched Bidya exploit a nine-year-old boy sitting next to her on a roller coaster. If you’re reading this, don’t be ashamed little man.
  • And I ate some pizza that had been on display all day and did not get sick… yet.

This trip was my first to the Jersey Shore. Despite exclamations of fear of their own state, my guides, Kat and Bidya, apologetically asked me not to judge the state based on what I saw at Seaside Heights. Thus far, I’ve passed plenty of judgment on NJ just by driving on her roads and highways, if they can be called that. My tune hasn’t really changed after this weekend’s visit, but now I have some appreciation. I could say that the NJ shore is Americana’s tombstone, but I don’t really know what that means. It sounds smart though. However, if that sentence makes any sense, then it might explain why Kat was upset to see a Dunkin’ Donuts on the boardwalk at Seaside Heights. There’s almost nothing wrong with it, and in that sense it’s like an invasive species of seaweed. It doesn’t look like it doesn’t belong, but it doesn’t. It hitched a ride on a foreign vessel took root in this new harbor, and won’t ever go away. There’s no point in even trying to make it go away because it’s just seaweed. But you have to appreciate all the seaweed, and I sure do. Why? Because its extract, carrageenan, is used to make ice cream which is delicious. Going back to the frozen custard, I love the decadence. I want a machine to myself so I can bask in the dense, yolky glory of it all. Until I find a closer source of this joy pudding, I’ll still have some tolerance for NJ’s traffic.

But I digress. My point is that what makes places like Seaside Heights special is slipping away. These places aren’t exclusive to NJ. This year looks like the beginning of the end for Coney Island, for example. Some people will say that the remission is due to bad groups of people and their disrepute that are moving in. I disagree. Diversity is what makes these places in large part. The same goes for independence. Cramming various amusement parks, bars, and individual rides and games with different owners within a small area helps to keep prices down. Having more than one of the same ride or game within walking distance keeps lines bearable. In short, everything is more fun. Yet there are forces that are invading, be they subtle, passive, deliberate or blatant. I wouldn’t call the lone Dunkin’ Donuts blatant. I would, however, call what is happening and has been happening in Coney Island very blatant. For a concise history, read the Wikipedia article. And patronize one of the boardwalks. These places are not being allowed to just be and it’s a damn shame.


Venture Communist. Miscommunications Technologist. Telekommunisten Polemicist. ThoughtWorks Analyst.