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2012 Artography - Four Random Images

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Oh, ssssuuuuuuuuuuurrrrrre I see it.

Where do i buy one of those berets with the little thing sticking up out of the center of it. Is the cigarette holder mandatory and must I walk around unshaved in paint-spattered tatters and smell like an eastern European that's never heard of deodorant?



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Have you returned to China's 35th provice or are you still over there?



Yes, still here (there).

Went west to the mountains and visited the Enshi/Hubei Grand Canyon.

Oh. My. God.

You know that iconic picture of Yosemite Valley, with the two vertical cliff faces and heart melting beauty? The Enshi Grand Canyon has about 200 or more miles of that valley with countless cliff faces that are much bigger. Instead of traffic jams, SUV's and RV's with portable generators, and silly people in smokey the bear hats telling you to stop doing things that are fun, there are indigenous farmers with an approximately 1000 year history tilling the soil in terraced fields at high elevation. Upon seeing you, they offer tea.

Hiking at elevation, one thinks they are away from it all, and you round a corner and come upon a local selling roasted yams, corn, these great little potatoes fried in sunflower oil, covered in hot pepper sauce, and hot water in thermos bottles.

Every component of the snack was grown on their farm, including the oil (the farms all have their own little oil presses). They spend about 3 hours, twice a day, hauling all the stuff up there and hauling it all back down. 2 yuan for more than you can eat; that's about 30 cents. I try to press several more yuan notes into their hand, they won't accept them....it's impolite. Occasionally, one comes upon a stone "shack" where someone lives; they never come down out of the mountain.

Spent about 13 hours on a "hard bed train" getting there, another 13 getting back. High speed trains don't run everywhere one wants to go, so hard bed trains are how "common people" get from one place to another. Each car has 11 bays, 6 bunks to a bay, 3 per side.

It's all kind of humorous and fun until it's time to go to sleep, then one is greeted with the sights and sounds of everyone bunking down....I'll spare the visual details. One prays that they didn't get a snorer (or worse) in their bay. My prayers worked on the way to the mountain, not on the way back, but thankfully it was only a couple hours until we made our station and could get to civilization.

Did a business meeting with the thermostat yesterday; discovered upon arrival I was giving a "speech" to several investors and the assembled development team, about 20 people. I was the guy telling folks "what it's like in America" and why I think the product is the right one at the right time. I'd speak, the interpreter would translate, then I'd speak again. It was kind of wild. Afterward, it was the big dinner at a fancy local restaurant (Mao's Family Restaurant, I'm not kidding, Chinese understand marketing too), and the usual 2 hours of toasting and pleasantry.

I don't have any money in this game, just my time which has so far been 100% fun, pleasant, and I get to be a celebrity for a couple hours every once and a while. I will never be rich, but so far, I'm having a good time.

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