Thursday, July 30, 2009

"if i don't see you in the future, i'll see you in the pasture"

i am sad to say that good friend and general upstart durrell cashed his checks in and headed home to seattle today. most do not realize that durrell was not actually a founding author of this blog, but joined after we arrived in china more four and a half years ago. while his posts were typo-ridden at best and unintelligible at worst, they definitely made the blog more interesting and i believe pretty accurately reflect the always upbeat attitude that make durrell such a good guy to have around here. durrell, i think in terms of both life in beijing and the blog, i can safely say that it definitely won’t be the same without you, but it will be a lot quieter.

durrell celebrates 4th of july

Wednesday, July 08, 2009

beautiful beijing

i've been a bit slow in getting these pictures up, but unlike the good ol' blogger block back in 2005 i can't write to the blog except through the proxy at work, which needless to say has slowed our blogging progress considerably. even clark recently expressed an intention to blog that had been stymied by the internet censorship.

anyway, two or three weeks ago was a day with probably the worst air quality since i've been here. so i figured i'd take some pictures to show people how bad the air can get. the first picture is from that day, while the second picture is at the same spot on a remarkably clear day a couple weeks later, for contrast.

while that first picture does look bad, i do want to caveat it by saying that i think a lot of the poor visibility was fog, which may get me a lot of flack from the cynical expat crowd. the air was definitely bad (the u.s. embassy's air quality monitoring station gave it a 500, which is pretty off the charts), but there was the close-in damp feel that you get with fog, not pollution. though i'm no meterologist, i'm willing to bet that there's some sort of correlation between fog and super bad air days, either the fog holds the pollution in or the still air that leads to fog also allows the pollution to just sit there. or something. anyway, the air was bad and now you can see it.