Wednesday, December 31, 2008

「兩週一聚: 午夜前的十分鐘」之【我的蘇俄女兒】 / 「Bi-weekly Series: Ten Minutes Before Midnight 」【Where Are You My Russian Daughter?】

I am going under; my mind is clear. The tidal waves of time will soon swallow me. My life has run its course. I want to leave you with my thoughts which I hope you will see someday, long after I am gone.

歲月不留人,朝代易轉,國政翻新,我不是想指責任何人,我只是想在此作一個交代,是臨暮前对自己的一個交代,如果有一天我女兒能看到這篇,或許這也算是我对她迷茫生世的一個交代。我的蘇俄女兒,讓我在這夜蘭人靜,午夜前的十分鐘,給妳這篇留言。

Like the pebble on top of a mountain after the Champlain Sea has disappeared, or the stubborn stone that refused to march with the retreating glacier. I have chosen Canada as my final resting place.

But where are you my child, my long-lost daughter born of a Russian father and a Chinese mother?

Pick up each pebble and each stone, and it has a story to tell, only if we would listen. There is no regret, nor do I blame fate or people for losing you, my dear daughter. The history of China is full of turbulence and we are souls caught up in the midst of a storm. When I met your father, Sino-Russian relationship was at its peak. We fell in love with dreams of rebuilding China with soviet technology and the patriotism of a young Chinese girl. We were an innocent couple in love. Then the political wind changed. Our countries parted way, pulling our inter-racial family into an abyss. There was no future for a Chinese girl with Russian blood. You left with your father. I stood on the Wuhan Bridge, all alone, my eyes dried of tears.

大江東去,人生如夢,我們都像古海和冰川遺留下來,千千萬萬的小石子,每一顆都有他和她的故事。我和妳父親是在中蘇友好時期相識,我倆一腔熱血,是要用蘇聯科技,融合年青人愛國之心,建立一個強大的新國家。無夸好景不常,醞釀数年的政治和思想鬥爭風暴,終於在我們住的城市爆發,蘇聯要召回在中國工作的技術人員。中蘇關係分裂,把我們這個小康之家投入深淵地獄,妳混血兒的眼睛,又怎能逃避群众的批鬥指罵。我在武漢橋上,看着你們離去,淚水朝肚裏流,我的心碎了。

For many years, the fog of war engulfed the city; it filled the streets with shouts and slogans; it filled young patriotic hearts with anger and excitement. The fire burnt, my photos, my diaries, my dreams. I could no longer ride with the new tide. Arriving Hong Kong, then on to Canada, my body travelled, leaving my youth behind, far from the city where we once were, a family. The foreign moon shines bright, but no more brighter or dimmer than the one you and I shared many a night. You cuddle close in my arms. The cicadas and the crickets sing their songs. The sweetness of jasmine fills the night.

生逢乩世,我不想指責任何人,我只希望能尋找我失去的女兒。我曾希望總有一天,会接到您們的訊息,但群众的怒火在燃燒著,被「下放」受「勞改」的人身不由己,在那十年多的艱苦歲月,我燒毀了我擁有的相片和日記,而團聚的夢想亦慢慢地隨煙而逝。文革後我輾轉從香港移民到楓叶國,遠離妳出生的家園,在太平洋的彼岸定居,在外國的月亮之下,我懷想妳倚偎在我的胸脯中,在蟬兒和蟋蟀歌声中, 茉莉花香充滿了夏夜。

Tonight, the North Star of the Canadian sky is keeping me company. The constellation of the Chinese sky awaits me. I long for solitude and serenity. I am closing the door, the hope of ever finding my daughter.

在加拿大的寒夜中,每個家庭都在溫暖的屋內慶祝歲晚,午夜前的十分鐘,我還是不能入睡,我遙望掛在天空中與我作伴的北極星,但我知道入夢之後,我看到的將会是家鄉的滿天星斗,銀河分隔著牛郎織女,而妳就是月亮裏的玉兔。

When I sleep you will be awake. The pulse of the night slows down to a single last heartbeat. And, in my resting heart shall also rest eternal the gift of my life, my memory of you, my dear daughter.

在這暮年歲月中,我已放棄了和妳團聚的夢想, 或許,皈依我佛,相信隨緣,將会是我人生的一個大解脱,但在我閉上眼之前,我還是会想念着妳,我親愛的蘇俄女兒。

後語: 這一篇不是政治言論,除了一些被删改了的時間丶地方丶人物之外,大部份都是真人真事。

++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++

以下網友也參加了今次兩周一聚:

周游

C9 readandeat

芸淡風輕

揚眉女子

michelle

mad dog

JO 子

Sherry

yaya

Hongkie At Large

C+

athrunz

醫書直說

audreyma

Haricot

miobb

laichungleung

Monday, December 29, 2008

Turn Around - 1960s Kodak ad

The song was also used by Kodak in its commercial back in the 1960's. But the meaning has not been lost to many mothers.

一瞬間妳你已長大成人 / Turn Around and You're Going Out of My Door

Xiao Zhu's Dec 28, 2008 blog article 【尋˙迷】 reminds me of a song I heard a while back. It's abt the passage of time through the eyes of a mother.

Turn Around - by Harry Belafonte, Malvina Reynolds and Alan Greene
(text in brackets are from me)

Where are you going, my little one, little one,
Where are you going, my baby, my own?
Turn around and you're two,
Turn around and you're four,
Turn around and you're a young girl (boy) going out of my door.
Turn around, turn around,
Turn around and you're a young girl (boy) going out of my door.

Where are you going, my little one, little one,
Little dirndls (mittens) and petticoats (snowpants), where have you gone?
Turn around and you're tiny,
Turn around and you're grown,
Turn around and you're a young wife (man) with babes of your own.
Turn around, turn around,
Turn around and you're a young wife (man) with babes of your own.

Source of info / references / Links:

* Song lyrics from http://www.wku.edu/~smithch/MALVINA/mr175.htm
* Xiao Zhu's blog article【尋˙迷】 http://xiaozhu1979.blogspot.com/2008/12/blog-post_28.html

無肉的百果餡 / The Meatless Mincemeat Pie


很多初來北美的唐人(包括我在內),以為聖誕新節日吃的mincemeat pie是肉末餡餅,但其實它是沒有肉的百果餡,是聖誕大歺之甜品。我查詢【維基百科Wikipedia】,找尋到以下的資料:

"... A mince pie (sometimes also minced, minced meat, or mincemeat pie) is a British festive sweet pastry, traditionally consumed during the Christmas and New Year period. Mince pies normally have a pastry top, but versions may also be found without the top in which case they are known as mince tarts. Mince pies are filled with mincemeat – a preserve typically containing apple, dried fruits such as raisins and sultanas, spices, and either suet or vegetable shortening. Modern mince pies typically do not contain any meat, but because suet is raw beef or mutton fat, mince pies made with suet are not suitable for vegetarians. Individual mince pies are usually 6–7.5 cm in diameter, although larger mince pies, suitable for slicing, may also be baked ...

... The origins of the mince pie lie in the medieval chewet (also spelled chewette), which was a fried or baked pastry containing chopped liver and other meats mixed with boiled eggs and ginger. Dried fruit and other sweet ingredients would be added to the chewet's filling for variety.

By the 16th century mince or "shred" pie was considered a Christmas speciality, although in the 17th century, Oliver Cromwell made the eating of mince pies on Christmas Day illegal. (This law was voted fourth "most ridiculous British law" in a 2007 poll.) In the mid-17th century the liver and chopped meat were replaced by suet, and by the 19th century meat was no longer generally used in the "mince" in either Britain or North America ..."

Source of information / References:
* 2008年聖誕火鳮歺 / The Turkey Dinner of X'mas 2008 http://lotusandcedar.blogspot.com/2008/12/2008-turkey-dinner-of-xmas-2008.html
* http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Mincemeat
* http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Mincemeat_tart

Sunday, December 28, 2008

2008年諾貝爾文學獎 / 2008 Nobel Prize Winner of Literature Jean-Marie Gustave le Clézio

I recently visited my blogger friend 周游列國 and read her December 25, 2008 article entitled "好好讀" As the title suggests, it is a great article on the 2008 Nobel Prize winner of literature, Jean-Marie Gustave le Clézio. I am taking the liberty of sharing with you my comments posted there. If you wish to leave an opinion, please go to:
http://wordwordword.wordpress.com/2008/12/25/%e5%a5%bd%e8%ae%80-6/

Haricot's Comments:

Thank you for your blog article and the links (Nobel Prize articles re his background and the interview, which I read). In many ways, writers are like painters, they are the instruments through which "reality" (in the eyes of the beholder) expresses itself. I do find that the more an artist or a writer is exposed to different culture, the less cultural eccentric the person will become. To this end, JM Gustave le Clézio has translated his cumulative overseas experience into his work, which is perhaps something that many contemporary Chinese writers should emulate.

Now, I am just a blogger and am light years away from the realm of Nobel Prize winners such as le Clézio. However, I do have a comment on the following quotation:

“... Culture, as I have said, belongs to us all, to all humankind. But in order for this to be true, everyone (and especially children) must be given equal access to culture. The book, however old-fashioned it may be, is the ideal tool ... ”

I can't help but disagree with (or nick-pick) the word "ideal". I can think of at least three books that have been central to both the transaction and transformation of culture: The Bible, The Koran and the Quotations from Chairman Mao. You know where I am going with this one: A tool is only as good as the person(s) interpreting it. As the old adage goes: "Meanings are in people, not in words." So, I would submit that the book (in hardcopy or electronic form) is the ideal tool provided that ..... Well, I will let you fill in the blank.


Link:

To see the original blog article "好好讀", please click
http://wordwordword.wordpress.com/2008/12/25/%e5%a5%bd%e8%ae%80-6/

Friday, December 26, 2008

2008年聖誕火鳮歺 / The Turkey Dinner of X'mas 2008


北美的聖誕節日是相等於中國人的農曆新年,除了軍人丶警察丶消防員丶和医院等緊急部門之外,政府机構丶銀行丶和大部份商店都在12月25日放假一天,讓僱員有机会和家人慶祝假期。

如往年一樣,我們住在這埠的家人親戚,都趁這机会團聚在一起吃埾誕大歺。老實說一句,歲月不留人,好几個上了年紀的長輩,都已在前五至十年棄我們而去,我的母親也近暮年,每年佳節,她總会想起老伴,所以我們這些後輩,就一定在聖誕日焗火鳮替她「做節」,希望她不会感到寂寞。

好了好了,新年流流,灰話說得太多不好,讓我轉話題兒告知各位今年聖誕日的「歺牌」餸菜:

* 焗爐火鳮一隻(6.5公斤左右),內有白麺飽和一些香料 (sage鼠尾草/洋蘇葉; savory 木質薄荷; thyme百里香/麝香草; rosemary迷迭香), 用來做填火鳮的配料 stuffing
* 原味火鳮汁
* 薯仔搓牛油
* 烘西葫蘆瓜 butternut squash,以橄欖油丶鹽丶胡椒粉丶和蔥作配料調味
* 有氣泡的蘋果汁 sparkling apple juice
* 甜品 (沒有肉的 mincemeat pies, Yule log 朱咕力蛋糕)

在聖誔樹的燈飾下,我們吃飽了埾誕大歺,又暢談家庭軼事,渡過了一個愉快的假期。

Photo 攝影图片: 火鷄的皮是畧燒焦了,但內裏的肉和 stuffing 卻是非常 juicy 好味!!

Monday, December 22, 2008

教學: 從「不知不覺」到「學無止境」 (一)

最近看了Carmelina 及其他網友談到為人師表丶為人父母的教學責任和方法,我不敢在此儼然以專家身份來發表意見,但是提供「五逆仔」丶「家庭黑羊」 (Black sheep of the family) 的第一人身經驗,我卻可說是游刃有餘啊!!

教丶學其實不一定是兩個人或以上的程式,一個人也可以自教自學,故此從效果覌點來看,我覺得個人的領悟才是最重要,而這個領悟過程約可分為以下数個步驟:

(一) 「不知不覺」:

我是不相信「胎敎」,或灌輸給嬰兒「莫札特」音樂丶或其它製做super baby的「高級知識份子」養料,出世之後,嬰兒是不知不覺,這個狀況可以維持数星期 (但也有些人是混沌一生,不赘),之後他/她開始有自我的覌念 (concept of self)和逐漸領悟時間丶事物的永恆性 (concept of permanency e.g. Peek-a-Boo I See You; face recognition; disappearance and re-appearance of people, food, toys, and events)。在孩提時代,父母的的角式責任重大,如以下我在網上找到的一篇提議:

【如何做一個稱職的父母】

*現代父母的角色:
  每一個父母,當孩子一生下來,就對自己的孩子有很高的期許。然而,通常父母會希望有個乖巧懂事、又聰明的孩子,卻疏於反問自己如何做個好的「父親」或「母親」。
  現今的社會,習慣地把教養子女的責任,經常加諸女性的身上,等孩子出了問題,卻彼此責難,那就來不及了。因此父母親應對自己的角色有以下的認知:
(一) 在教養子女的過程中,父親與母親同樣重要。
(二) 即使父母工作再忙碌,也應撥出時間陪孩子,教導孩子。
(三) 父母應關懷了解孩子身心的成長,並在管教上建立一致的態度,共同找出適合孩子的管教方式。
(四) 重視父母本身的「身教」。父母怎麼做,孩子就怎麼學。

*有能力的愛:
但您是否覺得在花費許多心力教孩子、愛孩子之後,他仍覺得您不夠愛他,甚至彼此之間關係緊張,這是怎麼回事呢?答案是:愛是要有能力的。什麼是有能力的愛呢?
(一) 親子溝通的過程,要有溫馨、祥和的感 覺,若引起彼此之間的僵持或不愉快,則是沒有能力的愛。
(二) 指正孩子,要能引發他的心智成長,若只是一味的要求與責備,則是沒有能力的愛。
(三) 認清孩子的能力,幫助他走出自己的路,若凡事要求他跟別人比,只會更增加他的挫折感。
(四) 培養孩子主動自我指導的能力,使您的愛成為孩子自發成長的動力。
父母都是愛孩子的,但是愛是要有能力的,才能幫助孩子成長,讓他感受您的愛。

*親子溝通的技巧:
不過也有很多父母感到疑惑,為什麼每天都和孩子「溝通」,親子關係仍然不好?根據研究發現,您和別人溝通,對他所產生的影響力,在措辭方面佔7%,音調方面占38%,肢體語言(表情、動作、姿勢等)方面佔55%。也就是說,如果您和孩子說一件事,說話的音調和肢體語言影響溝通效果很大,所以,有時對孩子一個真心的微笑,摸摸頭、拍拍肩,甚至一個熱情的擁抱,早已勝過千言萬語。
●良好的溝通條件是:
(一) 用關心的眼神,注視對方。
(二) 面帶微笑,專注傾聽。
(三) 點頭示意,表示接納。
(四) 問些問題,增進了解。
●溝通的技巧:
(一) 表達意見時,對事不對人。
(二) 只描述具體可見的行為。
(三) 說出自己的感受,而不是指責孩子。
(四) 把握適當時機。
(五) 與孩子一同討論,尋找合適的解決之道。

*指正孩子的行為:
孩子在成長過程中,難免會犯錯,父母必須適時扮演指正者的角色,教他反省、改正,以建立正確行為。孩子有好行為時要給予讚美;相對地,不當行為則需即時指正。您可以試著這麼做:
(一) 即時指正:「阿雄,不可以搶弟弟的玩具。」
(二) 指導正確行為:「阿雄,你很想和弟弟玩是嗎?拿出你的機器人模型,和他一起玩!」
(三) 注意公平性:指正是以行為的對錯為準則,而非年齡。如:忽略了公平性,只是一味地要哥哥讓弟弟,會讓哥哥不服氣,弟弟不講理。
(四) 態度堅定:讓孩子知道他的錯誤是得不到通融的,但要語氣溫和,不須像犯人一般地審問。
(五)持續增強:留意孩子正確行為的持續性,並適時給予讚美和鼓勵。

*讓孩子跟自己比較:
每個孩子都有個別差異,不要拿他與另一個孩子比較,即使是兄弟姊妹也要避免。
● 請看看專家的分析:
(一) 經常被比較為不如人的孩子常會表現:
喪失信心、退化或幻想、仇視或敵意、害怕被遺棄、攻擊別人的缺點、為贏而不擇手段等行為。
(二) 經常被比較為比人強的孩子會表現:
怕退步的焦慮、擔心失去手足朋友的情誼、凡事求完美而造成壓力、驕傲自大或不合群等行為。
● 因此積極的做法是:
(一) 發現與肯定孩子的優點。
(二) 鼓勵孩子欣賞別人的優點,但不可藉別人的優點批評他。
(三) 鼓勵孩子自己跟自己比,有進步就可以了。
(四) 讓孩子體會父母真心愛他。
  
孩子都有優點和特有的能力,父母要多發現他的優點,鼓勵他成長和學習,讓他和自己比較,協助他走出亮麗的人生。


References / Links:

1. 【如何做一個稱職的父母】 An article posted on a school website http://www.talented.com.tw/k024.doc

2. 【別害了孩兒的一生】 Carmelina's Opinion on Some Mother's Kid http://www.lpbi.blogspot.com/2008/12/blog-post_18.html

.... / to be continued 下續

Sunday, December 21, 2008

「偷食」男人的特徵 / Characteristics of an Unfaithful Man

男人对女伴不忠,出外偷情有外遇,最近常有所聞,以下是節譯美國Cosmopolitan 雜誌在網上發表一篇叫“Will Your Guy Cheat on You?” 的文章,列出一些「偷食」男人的特徵,再加上我的意見:

1. 自幼在家庭被寵壞,只替自己利益着想
2. 父母常無條件替他解决困難,他不需負責任
3. 他大言不慚地吹噓, 為求目的,手段不是問題,正如考試「出貓」一樣
4. 他常有机会在寫字楼或其它工作地方接觸女人,由其是較低級下屬
5. 常告訢女伴他忙,要应酬丶工作丶出差丶開会等
6. 他对其她女人顯示,我有財丶有勢丶有情,能照顧妳
7. 他口頭滑,像演戲一樣,內心計算,七情上面
8. 他会对女性施魅力,令她們陶醉,令女人覺得他有男人吸引力,或值得女人憐愛
9. 在派对和有女人的場合,他常有狩獵之心,看凖每一個女人,計算「偷食」机会成数
10. 他或許会有一群「志同道合」的男同事,以工作出差应酬為名,出外「滾」女
11. 他說這些晚宴約会,是男人康樂活動,女性不宜
12. 他的朋友也是在男女關係方面有問題

当然,不是每個「偷食」的男人都有以上特徵,或都是「二世祖」類的花花公子,但如我在【間諜秘笈: 色性丶权力丶金錢 / The Secret Spy Manual: Sex, Power, Money】一篇所說,很多俗世男人都是受不起色性丶权力丶金錢的誘惑,或許這就是為什么,「吃唐僧肉」是对一些女人的另一種誘惑啊 (【港女頌 / Femme Fatale】)!!

Thursday, December 18, 2008

My responses to your comments

Gwen and Ian + Michelle:

Thank you for your comments !!!

Haricot

+++++++++++++++++++++++++++


Here are the relevant articles:

"鹹水中文 / "Lightly-Salted" Chinese":

"
訓練跑馬拉松 / Training for a Marathon"

"
旅遊摩洛哥 - 卡薩布蘭卡的沙灘 / Road to Morocco - Beach near La..."

"
The Art & Science of Blogging for Beginners"

"
威尼斯式面具 5"

"Pictures of Venice / 水城「威尼斯」照片"


"東西文化思想衝突 / Cultural Differences"

市場經濟: 三腳凳子 / Free-market Economy: The Three-legged Stool

When something goes wrong, people start pointing fingers, but usually at others. In a so-called "free market" society (as opposed to states with centralized economy), there are mainly three players:

* the public sector (federal, regional, and municipal govts, and other organizations that are responsible for public good)
* the private sector (industry and their associations and lobby groups, and other for-profit organizations)
* the general public (the Joe and Josephine on the street, consumers, NGOs, community and special interest groups, etc)

Each of these contributes to the wellness and stability of the society. So, it seems to me there is an abdication of responsibility when the free-market advocates put the blame of the recent economic melt-down on the govts, and the govts on Wall Street, and the public on both industry and the govts.

To me, rights come with obligations. The govts have the right (or are given the right) to govern, and therefore the obligation to make and implement sound policies. The industry has the right to make profit, and therefore the obligation to be responsible corporate citizens. And, as to the general public, they have the right to earn a living (among other things), but also the obligation to participate actively in the management of the society, and not to complain only when things go bad.

A three-legged stool will not stand if one of the legs decides to say: "It's not me. I am not responsible."

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References/Links:

* Mind Necessity: "市場經濟的盡頭"

https://www.blogger.com/comment.g?blogID=17028869&postID=7195869997507676066

* Wikipedia: "Public Good" http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Public_good

Tuesday, December 16, 2008

名列前矛 / The High Flyer

本埠的巴士罷工之後,很多學生都什感惶恐和担心,他/她們沒有公共交通工具,每天要找人share ride,不單只是費時失事,而且更会影響上學期考試的成績。考試名列前矛是每一個學生的夢想,更是做父母对子女的期望,我父親是相信「棒下出好兒」那一套,所以一年兩次,學校派成績表的時候,我就「有得震,無得瞓」,鳮毛掃打在大腿上颼颼有声,可不是開玩笑的!!

無獨有偶,我隔鄰房「死黨」阿雄也有一個嚴父,於是在某年上半學期派成績表之前,我們兩個亍坊小童,有商有量,落下决心,就是要將阿雄名列前矛的夢想成為現實。第一: 我們往印刷館映印了阿雄學校的成績表。第二: 我們訂做了「高記」校長的簽名圖章。第三: 我們填寫阿雄上學期的成績表,他所有科目都是名列前矛,不是A就是B+以上。

但我們就是「棋差一着」,阿雄的父親心裏有数,就是不相信他懶慣的兒子会突然出人頭地,名列前矛,於是在嚴刑拷打之下,阿雄大爆內幕,兩個鄰居嚴父開了閉門会議,决定我們偽做文件罪名成立,而阿雄考試「肥佬」,隱瞞事件更是罪加一等,唉,不在話下,我和阿雄那年就成了鳮毛掃下的怨鬼。

所以現在每聽到學生們想要名列前矛,我就不禁想起我和阿雄当年那段要將夢想變為現實的「光榮史」,如果不是受了那次敎訓,我和阿雄就可能真是永遠沒有名列前矛的机会了!!!

My responses to your most recent comments with thanks !!!

To see my responses, please click on the link.

1. Inner Space:

領導政治組織: 成員,總責,職責,過失,和資歷 / Political Leadership: Choice of team members, Accountability, Responsibility, Blame, & Competencies

2. Inner Space / 筆路 / C.M. / Michelle / Mad Dog / The Man Who Loves Everton / Gwen and Ian / 周游

「兩週一聚: 禮物」之【前人種果後人收】 / 「Bi-weekly Series: Gift 」【For the Next Generation 】

Sunday, December 14, 2008

「兩週一聚: 禮物」之【前人種果後人收】 / 「Bi-weekly Series: Gift 」【For the Next Generation 】

前数天在YouTube看以前香港生活的錄影,撩起了很多兒時的往事回憶。雖然我在加拿大已渡過了很多個寒暑,如我說: 『香港是我生長的根,而加拿大卻是我的家 Root is where I came from. Home is where I settle』,但人總是会飲水思源的,我之所以能夠有机会出外留學,都是因為上一代留給我的「禮物」。【三字經】有云:『養不教,父之過』在上一代來說,供書教學是做父母的職責,所以当我父親知道他有限的入息,實在不足夠支持我往加拿大讀大學的經費時,祖父就自願助他一臂之力,兩人合籌了共一仟一佰元加幣,再加上單程香港往愛明頓refugee class「難民」机票乙張,作為給我的留學「禮物」。在我接受這份「禮」的時候,我還是一個入世未深的青少年,根本領略不到他們用心之良苦。而是在年紀大了,心理成長了之後,我才明白到,父親入息不高的原因是因為他初中畢業後就被迫綴學,出外謀生賺錢,幫補家計,養活他幾個小弟弟,但學歷不足從此就成了他以後升職的絆腳石,影響了他終生的事業和入息。所以這個「禮物」,可以說是祖父和我父親一份未完成的希望,寄托在我的身上,正是『前人種果後人收』,我希望這個下一代的後人,沒有令他們失望。


微豆

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(Updated: 20081217 18:18 EST)

禮物 (共16份 :)

readandeat(今次出題者)
Michelle
筆路
小孜媽
mad dog
The Man Who Loves Everton
Haricot

阿四
imak
Mugen C
揚眉
Zero
Athrunz
周游
膠碟王aulina

Friday, December 12, 2008

1967 油麻地 Yau Ma Tei

Quote from hkpai:
"... 幾百人包圍南九龍裁判署聲援受審示威者。
Support in South Kowloon Magistracy, Yau Ma Tei Over a hundred people ..."

Note: This is intended for historical rather than political record.

香港的艱苦歲月 Difficult years in Hong Kong - 50's~60's

Quote from hkpai: "... 那個年代的香港人不怕艱辛,面對逆景可從頭再來,自力更新。而小 孩子一張張純真的面貌,自然可愛。... "

Old Hong Kong Central 1962

看這些古老片,聽当時亍上的人声,我心中不知是什么味兒。

Thursday, December 11, 2008

公共交通大罷工 ∕ Transit Workers Strike

30 cm Snow + Economic Downturn + Political Uncertainty + Strike = Perfect Storm for Ottawa

Today is the second day of work stoppage by the city’s transit workers and the strike is taking a toll on all those who rely on public transportation. While many people decided to stay home yesterday because of the 30 cm of snow that clogged up the roads, most are returning to work today. As there are no buses, many are taking their cars and as a result the downtown core and all the feed roads are completely grid-locked during rush hours. According to news reports, many drivers were stuck in traffic in front of the Parliament Building for almost an hour. All north-south and east-west major routes are jammed early in the morning and late into the evening. Many people are walking to and from work, making trips of up to three hours each way. Some are taking their bicycles, risking their lives through the narrow gaps betwn cars and the snow banks.

While it is a legal strike, some people resent the fact that they are the one that get caught in the cross-fire btwn the union and the city. Small merchants, who depend up to 50% of their annual sale in December and January, are concerned that the strike will keep customers from making shopping trips outside of their neighborhood. University students are afraid they might miss their mid-term exams and fail the term. Many parents, whose kids usually take public transportation, now have to drive juniors to schools. Fixed income elders find themselves stuck in their houses or apartments as they cannot afford to take taxis as an alternate means of transportation. Social workers are concerned seniors who are sick might give up seeking medical help.

So, it is back to the old issue. Is strike the best and only way of leveraging the workers’ bargaining power in a salary and benefits dispute? Should the people who are collateral damage of a legal strike situation be compensated? And, if yes, by whom and by how much? Finally, is the collective good more, or less, important than individual rights?

Monday, December 08, 2008

香港鴨巴甸街, 荷李活道, 文武廟 / Aberdeen Street, Hollywood Road, ManMo Temple in Hong Kong


母親說她和父親結了婚之後,由九龍油麻地搬往鴨巴甸街住,当年父親入息不高,与年輕的配偶,兩口子租了一間狹窄的板間房,母親「佗」 着我的時候,在鴨巴甸街上斜落斜,什為辛苦吃力,但可幸我的袓父母住在附近的荷李活道,所以有緊急事也可以大家互相照应。我記得年幼時阿嫲常帶我往文武廟処玩,又去上環街市買餸,回到祖父母処就和「中間房」木匠的兒子阿榮玩拍「公仔紙」, 但是我們孩子是不准去「尾房」玩,因為那对夫婦住客是吞雲吐霧的(鴉片?)「煙精」。我記得在騎楼望開对面是「飛髪舖」,顧客有兩個選擇,「陸軍裝」或「花旗裝」。楼下是賣柴丶炭丶雜物的舖頭,常常擠滿了買餸的家庭主婦,她們与老板伙記討價還價,或像「開墟」的說一堆不着边際的話兒,或大家閒話家常,和在街上的行人丶小販丶街坊丶小童鬧哄哄的噪声混在一起。鴨巴甸街是我的出生地點,荷李活道是我的玩耍地方,現在看見這些相片,帶來了很多童年的回憶,令我在那天真無邪的歲月中流連忘返。

攝影图片 Photo Credit: Wikipedia

* 香港鴨巴甸街是一條很鈄的路 Aberdeen Street on Hong Kong Island is fairly steep
* 鴨巴甸街和皇后大道中交界 Intersection of Aberdeen Street and Queen's Road
* 荷李活道的文武廟 The ManMo Temple on Hollywood Road, Hong Kong

References:

1. Aberdeen Street 鴨巴甸街:
"... 鴨巴甸街於1840年代規劃,作為華人與洋人的聚居界線。華人需要居住於街道以西的太平山街地區,即上環和西營盤一帶,街道以東則發展成為維多利亞城的市中心。這條道路與香港仔一樣,都是以當時的英國外交大臣鴨巴甸勳爵命名。..."
(References: http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Aberdeen_Street / http://zh.wikipedia.org/wiki/%E9%B4%A8%E5%B7%B4%E7%94%B8%E8%A1%97 )

2. The ManMo Temple on Hollywood Road, Hong Kong 荷李活道的文武廟:
"... Man Mo Temple or Man Mo Miu (traditional Chinese: 文武廟) is a temple in Hong Kong, China, that reveres the God of Literature, Man Tai (文帝), Man Cheong (文昌)and the God of War, and Mo Tai (武帝) or Kuan Ti, Kwan Yu(關羽). It was built in 1847 after two gods, Man the god of literature and Mo the god of war..." "... 東華三院文武廟位於香港上環荷李活道,是香港開埠早期的中式廟宇及於開埠早期於港英政府批准下可以用中國方法進行「斬雞頭,燒黃紙」的宣誓及裁決華人之間的糾紛。文武廟亦為香港一級歷史建築。..."
(References: http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Man_Mo_Temple / http://zh.wikipedia.org/wiki/%E6%9D%B1%E8%8F%AF%E4%B8%89%E9%99%A2%E6%96%87%E6%AD%A6%E5%BB%9F )

Sunday, December 07, 2008

百年基石 - 香港地產史話 : 2008-05-10 越過鴨巴甸街

I was born there on Aberdeen Street, Hong Kong 香港鴨巴甸街 !!!

( Source: http://ca.youtube.com/watch?v=zJk0297lxSk )

領導政治組織: 成員,總責,職責,過失,和資歷 / Political Leadership: Choice of team members, Accountability, Responsibility, Blame, & Competencies

領導人的能力: 選擇適当的工作團成員,承擔總領導人責任,盡忠職守,歸咎過錯,獎罰分明,要擁有勝任領導人的資歷,要有實際經驗和行動,不只是空口說白話。

(12月9日補寫)

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In his Dec 3, 2008 blog article entitled “Secretary of State Hillary Clinton” (http://mindnecessity.blogspot.com/2008/12/secretary-of-state-hillary-clinton-cnn.html), Inner Space touched on the subject of political leadership and what it entails. Here are my two bits worth of opinion posted on his site:

Space: Here are my comments re: "... 管理學還有兩個理論..."

The choice of employees depends very much on the boss' line of business.

Senior executives of an organization will likely want "smart" employees (read: innovative and strategic thinkers) to deal with high risk, high uncertainty types of business.

On the other hand, operational managers will probably prefer employees who are reliable and independent to carry out prescribed tasks of a more low risk and routine nature.

In terms of accountability, there is no doubt the person at the top is always accountable and responsible for success/failure of an organization, even though he/she might not be the one to be blamed directly. As an illustration, here is a case in point in distinguishing “responsibility” vs “blame”: It is now said that USA President Bush's executive decision to start the Iraq war was based on less-than-accurate intelligence on Weapons of Mass Destruction in that country. So, as far as the intelligence gathering work is concerned, he is responsible, but CIA is to blame.

Finally, a less experienced and younger boss should have no problem leading a multi-discipline team of older and more seasoned subordinates as long as he/she has the mandate and authority (as in the case of the newly elected USA President) and, more importantly, the competencies to fulfill his/her roles and responsibilities as chief executive. (Note: All executive positions would/should have an established competency profile).

Saturday, December 06, 2008

旅遊摩洛哥 – 藝術品 / Road to Morocco – Les Objets d’Art

Morocco is a country permeating with exotic sight, sound and smell. During my stay, I visited the cities as well as the countryside and had many opportunities to take photographs and videos of places, people and objects. I am sharing with you here some of my favourite objets d’art pictures. I hope you enjoy them !!!

Friday, December 05, 2008

民主制度 / Democracy System

My comments left on Inner Space’s Dec 5, 2008 blog article 【民主的兩個例子】 :

Space: As mentioned in my blog articles concerning the recent political crisis in Canada: “… 任何政制都不会是十全十美,加拿大的威斯特敏斯特体系Westminster System ... 民主制度也不例外 ...” The success or failure of any democratic system, be it the one in Thailand, Canada, or other nations in the world, depends very much on the history, culture and people(s) of a country at any given point in time. Democracy, and for that matter any political beliefs or systems, is not a kind of take-it-and-you-are-cured magic pill. What is happening in Thailand is very different than and should not be compared to the situation in Canada, even though both countries have recent elections. To pass judgment on the good or bad of democracy based on Thailand and Canada is like saying Japanese and Chinese are the same because they are both Asians and they all look alike. I would submit that the leaders and people(s) of each country or state must experiment, customize and find out which type of political system is the best for them, recognizing that good governance does not happen overnight nor will it remain static.

ps: I take the liberty of linking your article to my blog.

Haricot

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Link to Inner Space: 【民主的兩個例子】
http://mindnecessity.blogspot.com/2008/12/apec.html

加拿大的議会政治制度 ∕ The Canadian Parlimentary Political System

任何政制都不会是十全十美,加拿大的威斯特敏斯特体系Westminster System (reference 1) 民主制度也不例外,最近發生的議会∕國会風波是好是壞,真是見仁見智,國人意見紛紛。有很多國家会將分離主義者處死,但加拿大的政制是容許選民投票選擇議会代表M.P. Member of Parliament,如Wikipedia 指出:『… 最高行政权力必须受到议会中的多数支持,议会的不信任票(non-confidence votes )可以使最高行政长官倒台。最高行政长官有解散议会、举行新选举的权力 …』(reference 2) ,所以魁人政團 Bloc Québécois 或其它黨派,在有足夠選票和議員的情形之下,在國会中有影響力,是無可否認的事實,但魁北克省以外的選民和政客能否接受這权力拉扯現實,那又是另一個問題了。

References and Related Links:

1. Westminster system
http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Westminster_system

2. 西敏制 (威斯特敏斯特体系Westminster System)
http://zh.wikipedia.org/wiki/%E8%A5%BF%E6%95%8F%E5%88%B6

3. 政治制度
http://zh.wikipedia.org/w/index.php?title=Category:%E6%94%BF%E6%B2%BB%E5%88%B6%E5%BA%A6&variant=zh-cn

4. 民主制度分类http://zh.wikipedia.org/w/index.php?title=%E6%B0%91%E4%B8%BB%E5%88%B6%E5%BA%A6%E5%88%86%E7%B1%BB&variant=zh-cn

5. 加拿大總督的職責 / The Roles and Responsibilities of the Governor General of Canada http://lotusandcedar.blogspot.com/2008/12/roles-and-responsibilities-of-governor.html

6. 加拿大總督: 休閉議会是解决國会政治風波的答案嗎? ∕ Governor General of Canada: Solving the Parliament Crisis by Prorogation? http://lotusandcedar.blogspot.com/2008/12/governor-general-of-canada-solving.html

7. 加拿大總督: 和哈珀總理在2008年12月4日会面 ∕ Governor General of Canada: Dec 4, 2008 Meeting with Prime Minister Harper http://lotusandcedar.blogspot.com/2008/12/governor-general-of-canada-dec-4-2008.html

8. Inner Space's recent blog article http://mindnecessity.blogspot.com/2008/12/apec.html

Thursday, December 04, 2008

加拿大總督: 和哈珀總理在2008年12月4日会面 ∕ Governor General of Canada: Dec 4, 2008 Meeting with Prime Minister Harper

I just saw Kevin Lynch (Deputy Head/Clerk of PCO, the Privy Council Office) leaving Rideau Hall on the TV screen. CBC News says that there would be a prorogation. Now, whether there are strings/conditions attached to the Governor General’s decision (with advice from Prime Minister Harper) will be confirmed in a few minutes. If there is indeed a prorogation, all business of the House of Commons will be "suspended" (all motions and bills will essentially "die" on the legislative table).

Prime Minister Harper is now speaking outside the door of Rideau Hall. Here is a summary (not exact quotes):
· Yes, permission for prorogation of Parliament has been granted by the GG.
· The Government will present as the first order of business a budget on Jan 26, 2009 when the House of Commons will resume the next parliamentary session.
· Due to constitution tradition, he will not disclose his conversation with the GG.
· It is critical for the three parties to work together with focus on the proposed budget that contains measures to stimulate the economy.
· In response to a journalist’s question regarding his previous attempt to eliminate funding to political parties, the PM pointed out the Government would continue to incorporate input from other parties and stakeholders into the upcoming budget.
· The Block (le Bloc Quebecois) has every legitimate right to be here, but their agenda is very different.
· The PM did not respond directly to the question regarding the launching of an election campaign, but instead emphasized again on the budget and the importance of working together.

I am sure upon hearing the PM’s statement, Canadians from coast to coast will have their opportunities to reflect and discuss over the Christmas and New Year dinner tables.

Reference:

1. 加拿大總督: 休閉議会是解决國会政治風波的答案嗎? ∕ Governor General of Canada: Solving the Parliament Crisis by Prorogation? http://lotusandcedar.blogspot.com/2008/12/governor-general-of-canada-solving.html

2. 加拿大總督的職責 / The Roles and Responsibilities of the Governor General of Canada
http://lotusandcedar.blogspot.com/2008/12/roles-and-responsibilities-of-governor.html

3. Wikipedia: Canadian Political Dispute http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/2008_Canadian_political_dispute

4. Privy Council for Canada: http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Privy_Council_for_Canada

5. Clerk of the Privy Council Office PCO: http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Clerk_of_the_Privy_Council_(Canada)

6. House of Commons: http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/House_of_Commons_(Canada)

加拿大總督: 休閉議会是解决國会政治風波的答案嗎? ∕ Governor General of Canada: Solving the Parliament Crisis by Prorogation?

Here is an article from the Canadian Press on the subject matter.

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Harper expected to ask Gov. Gen. to suspend Parliament

Wed Dec 3, 9:40 PM / By Sue Bailey, The Canadian Press

OTTAWA - Stephen Harper prepared for an all-or-nothing meeting with the Governor General by telling Canadians in an extraordinary televised appeal that the opposition coalition poised to topple his government represents a threat to the economy - and democracy. The prime minister will visit Michaelle Jean on Thursday morning. He's expected to ask her to suspend Parliament until January so that he can avoid a confidence vote Monday and hang on to his job long enough to present a budget. Harper dropped his angry demeanour of recent days as he hit the airwaves Wednesday night. But he repeated his vow to use "every legal means at our disposal" to block the opposition from taking power from his Conservatives. He admitted no errors in political judgment. Nor did he offer any new measures - such as moving up the date of the budget to deal with the economic crisis - to placate the opposition Harper condemned the Liberal-NDP coalition, which is backed by the Bloc Quebecois, as a dangerous deal with the separatists - the same separatists he flirted with four years ago. He gave nearly identical four-minute speeches in English and French, with the exception that he referred to the Bloc as "separatists" in English and "sovereigntists" in French, a term preferred by Quebecers. The prime minister told voters the opposition is trying to take power "without your say, without your consent, and without your vote." "At a time like this, a coalition with the separatists cannot help Canada," he said from behind a desk flanked by two Canadian flags. "And the Opposition does not have the democratic right to impose a coalition with the separatists they promised voters would never happen."

In fact, every constitutional expert has said the coalition is legal and legitimate. "I think the attack on democracy is the mob rule that Harper is appealing to," said Ned Franks, professor emeritus at Queen's University and one of the country's most respected constitutional scholars. "(He's) saying that the way people cast their votes isn't the way they should have cast them, and that the government doesn't need the confidence of the House of Commons ... I think that's the real attack on democracy."

Opposition MPs have assailed Harper for what they called a desperate ploy to cling to power despite the fact that proroguing Parliament would preclude any major spending at a time of economic crisis. And they point out that Harper signed a letter with the separatist Bloc in 2004 asking the Governor General to consider letting the opposition govern should the Liberal government of Paul Martin fall.

Liberal Leader Stephane Dion's pre-taped response to Harper aired several minutes late, it's up-close and off-focus framing reminiscent of a YouTube video next to the prime minister's crisp presentation. "Stephen Harper still refuses to propose measures to stimulate the Canadian economy," he said. "His mini-budget last week demonstrated that his priority is partisanship and settling ideological scores. "The Harper Conservatives have lost the confidence of the majority of members of the House of Commons. In our democracy, in our parliamentary system, in our Constitution, this means that they have lost the right to govern."

NDP Leader Jack Layton was on the air next to reinforce that point. "Mr. Harper delivered a partisan attack ... Now he's trying to turn an economic crisis into a political one. But Stephen Harper has broken trust with the Canadian people."

Harper took pains to emphasize that he is working on the economy, outlining several measures the government is taking, including consulting premiers and international partners. But he said new economic initiatives will wait until the federal budget Jan. 27.

Dion insisted Harper must go because of his failure to focus on the economy. "We offer a better way. We say settle it now and let's get to work on the people's business. A vote is scheduled for next Monday. Let it proceed. And let us all show maturity in accepting the result with grace and the larger task of serving Canadians in mind." Liberals squarely blame Harper's mean streak for causing a political showdown the Tories are now using to demonize Quebec separatists. Dion sent a letter to Jean on Wednesday urging her to reject any attempt by Harper to prorogue Parliament.

Catcalls filled the House of Commons for a third straight day as Dion accused Harper of trying to save his political skin at the expense of allowing Parliament to focus on the economy. "Why does the prime minister care more about his own job than allowing Parliament to save the jobs of Canadians?"

Harper shot back that Dion could help save those jobs by co-operating with the teetering Conservatives. "He can reach across the aisle and work with this government, which will be pleased to work with him on saving this economy." Harper announced that he has invited the premiers for a mid-January economic summit, a way of demonstrating that he's working on economic matters despite the political turmoil. Harper precipitated the crisis last Thursday with a provocative economic update that contained no stimulus package, killed public financing for federal political parties, and banned public sector unions from striking for two years.

Desperate back-peddling by the government over the weekend in the face of coalition talks did nothing to stop opposition momentum. The Conservatives turned up the rhetoric Wednesday, going so far as to talk of treason. Ontario MP Bob Dechert accused the Liberals of trying to destroy the country by aligning with the separatist Bloc. "They're getting into bed with the separatists," he said. "They've actually written a deal giving the separatists a veto over every decision of the Canadian government. That is as close to treason and sedition as I can imagine."

The three opposition parties in the House together won just over 54 per of the popular vote in the Oct. 14 federal election. That figure rises to 61 per cent including the Greens who do not have a seat in the House.

The Tories have fired up their formidable campaign machine for an all-out PR blitz against the opposition. The barrage includes radio ads, rallies, and urging supporters to swamp MPs, talk shows and media with calls and e-mails. The coalition was preparing a counterattack. The Canadian Labour Congress, which is organizing rallies in support of the coalition, says it has radio spots ready to go.

Rallies were being organized across the country by supporters on both sides of the bitter parliamentary meltdown. Into the political maelstrom lands the Governor General. Jean, who must decide whether to allow Parliament to prorogue or let the opposition take over, has been working closely with her advisers and constitutional experts, said an official. There is precedent for the vice-regal refusing to dissolve Parliament in the face of a confidence crisis - the King-Byng affair of 1926. But the question of refusing prorogation is uncharted territory.

The coalition would be first change of government without an election since 1926. Under the opposition pact, Dion would serve as prime minister until spring when he is to be replaced as Liberal leader. The deal calls for the coalition to survive at least 18 months.

Source: http://ca.news.yahoo.com/s/capress/081203/national/parliament_crisis

加拿大總督的職責 / The Roles and Responsibilities of the Governor General of Canada

(Photo Credit 攝影图片: Wikipedia/Governor General of Canada - Her Excellency the Right Honourable Michaëlle Jean)


在十月十四日加拿大聯邦政府大選之後,沒有人預料一個政治大風波,会在短短的数月間在渥太華國会爆發。以下是節錄自Wikipedia 的“2008 Canadian political dispute”:

“ … On November 27, 2008, (the) Finance Minister … provided the House of Commons with his fiscal update. … Since the fiscal update was a vote of confidence on the newly formed Conservative minority government, it had the possibility of bringing down the government … On December 1, 2008, the three opposition parties agreed to defeat the Conservatives in a vote of non-confidence. Under the agreement signed by (the) Liberal … and New Democratic Party leaders, the (Liberal-NDP) coalition government would have … a Liberal prime minister (with Stéphane Dion as the initial prime minister)… The coalition agreement is in force until June 30, 2011. The Bloc Québécois … has agreed … to support the proposed coalition government… However, the Bloc Québécois would not be a direct participant in the coalition itself…


… (Governor General) Michaëlle Jean faces a difficult choice in interpreting her … role as governor general of Canada. Should Prime Minister Harper come to Rideau Hall, he may advise four possible courses of action: 1) Dismiss parliament and call an immediate election, only two months after the last; 2) Prorogue Parliament until January, delaying any possible non-confidence motion by the coalition; 3) Prorogue Parliament for a longer time, up to a year; or 4) he may resign as prime minister and the governor general could permit the coalition headed by Dion to govern …

… On the federal level, the reserve powers of the Governor-General have been used twice in respect to declining the advice of the Prime Minister. The first took place in 1896, when Charles Tupper refused to resign as prime minister following his loss in the election of that year and Governor General Lord Aberdeen refused to sign several appointments, forcing Tupper to relinquish office.

... The second instance was in 1926, during the King-Byng Affair, when William Lyon Mackenzie King's government asked the Governor General at the time, Lord Byng of Vimy, to dissolve Parliament and call an election so that it could avoid a non-confidence motion. Lord Byng of Vimy refused and gave Arthur Meighen, the leader of the Official Opposition, a chance to form the government. Meighen's government was itself defeated in the first non-confidence vote it faced. King, running on a platform which sought to limit the Governor General's powers, was re-elected with a strong majority in the resulting elections…”

Governor General Michaëlle Jean現已減短她在東欧的旅程,趕緊回國解决這政治風暴,她的首要職責是要清楚明白加拿大的歷史前例precedents (例如上述: 1896年Governor General Lord Aberdeen 和拒絕下台的Prime Minister Charles Tupper, 和1926年的King-Byng Affair) ,與及總督的权力界限 reserve powers of the Governor-General。總督莊美楷回加後將会和現任總理哈珀The Rt. Hon. Stephen Harper会面,之後要立刻作一决定,讓選民知道在這世界經濟動蕩危机時刻,誰会領導這個國家。

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References:

1. 2008 Canadian Political Dispute: http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/2008_Canadian_political_dispute

2. The King-Byng Affair: http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/King-Byng_Affair

3. Reserve Powers of the Governor General: http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Reserve_power

4. Past and current Governors General of Canada:

伍冰枝: http://zh.wikipedia.org/w/index.php?title=%E4%BC%8D%E5%86%B0%E6%9E%9D&variant=zh-hk

Adrienne Clarkson: http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Adrienne_Clarkson

總督莊美楷(中譯米凯勒‧琼/庄美楷):
http://zh.wikipedia.org/wiki/%E5%BA%84%E7%BE%8E%E6%A5%B7

Governor General of Canada Her Excellency the Right Honourable Michaëlle Jean:
http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Michaelle_Jean


5. My previous two blog articles on the Governor General of Canada (GG) and the Oct 14, 2008 Federal Election:

加拿大總督 / Governor General of Canada (Click View)

2008年10月14日加拿大聯邦政府大選 ∕ Canada's Federal Election Oct 14, 2008 (click View)

Wednesday, December 03, 2008

「兩週一聚: 朋友」之【鐵路人狼】- 後語 / 「Bi-weekly Series: Friends」【The Railroad Gang】- Postscript

真人丶真事丶真英雄?

網友問那【鐵路人狼】的故事是虛幻小說,還是真實記錄?以下是作者「我」的回答:

我寫的故事多是基於個人之人生旅歷,或在走江湖時之所見所聞。【鐵路人狼】是屬於前者。這故事是記錄当年我在加拿大西部洛磯山脈舖鉄路時所發生的一件事,雖然主題不是關於我自己,但事態的發展卻是和我分不開來。当然由於私隱原因,人物姓名和一小部份詳情是删改了,但總括來說,這故事是真人丶真事, 但至於是不是真英雄,那就讓各位讀者自己定斷了。

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Updated list of "friends" as of Dec 2, 2008 23h00 兩週一聚網友﹕

這樣過 Come and Go
Haricot
周游
The Man Who Loves Everton
Readandeat
Zero
芸淡風輕
揚眉女子
mad dog
小孜媽
Michelle
Mugen C
athrunz

Tuesday, December 02, 2008

「兩週一聚: 朋友」之【鐵路人狼】(第四集完) / Bi-weekly Series: Friend(s)【The Railway Gang 】Part 4 of 4

"... A friend in need, is a friend indeed!!! ..."

朋友的定義真是可以很廣泛,猢羣狗黨可以是朋友,萍水相逢和生死之交的也同樣是朋友。鐵路風波把我們三個背景不同的人聯繫在一起,從人狼生事那天起,我丶Ronny丶和 Big Red就成了朋友。在Ronny 和Big Red眼中,我永遠都会是那個識擒拿手功夫的Chinaman。而在我眼中,他倆雖然是中產階級所謂的「粗人」,沒有多大教育,但心底卻是善良,是路見不平,拔刀相助的江湖好漢。我曾問Big Red他長遠計是什么,他說是想当警察丶軍警丶或保衛員。Ronny年紀還輕,前途应有很多選擇,但他就是喜啫杯中物,喜欢飲啤酒,逢飲必醉,醉後口沒遮攔,常和人在酒巴口角動武,帶著黑眼睛black eye回來工作。

至於Jose那披人皮的冷血人狼,聽說他被鐵路公司炒了之後,在附近小鎮勾引了一個未成年的少女jail bait,發生了性行為,被当地父老驅逐出埠。皇家騎警RCMP來調查他背景的時候,我丶Ronny 丶和Big Red都非常熱心地和那constable合作,加一提供有關人狼的資料。騎警臨走時笑說: "If Jose has friends like you guys, he won't need any enemies." 我們三人不約而同齊声說: "You are damn right, Mister. A friend in need, is a friend indeed!!!"

(完)

Monday, December 01, 2008

「兩週一聚: 朋友」之【鐵路人狼】(第三集) / Bi-weekly Series: Friend(s)【The Railway Gang 】Part 3

"... 就在這緊急關頭,Big Red突然出現:"Let the Chinaman go!!!" ..."

在午間Richard接到上頭电訊,指示有一列運輸火車將会在這條線經過。"Boys!!! Get everything off the track and take a break!!!"我們七手八腳地將工具和机器移放在最近的鐵路側線岔道,之後便懶洋洋地散坐在路軌旁等候列車。

正当我想趁机打嗑睡的時候,Jose靜靜的在我背後出現,他眼睛牢牢地盯著我說:"You wanna go into the bush?"天真的我回答說:"What for?"Jose一手扯著我的手腕,对著我陰笑說:"You know ...."我立刻明白他的用意。Jose是一隻披上人皮的冷血人狼,曾經有一次他对我說:"I wanna kill someone."我也是天真地問他:"What for?"他竟然漫不經意地說:"I just wanna see what it's like."記起了他以前說的話,我心裏冷了半截,莫不道他就是想用我去祭旗,成全他變態的慾望!!

冷汗從我的額角冒出來,我本能地用擒拿手,反手一扣,姆指就封了他的勞宮穴,正当我要起身逃走的時候,人狼的左手已在腰間掏出一把小刀子,就在這緊急關頭,Big Red突然出現:"Let the Chinaman go!!!" 人狼持刀的手在空中劃了個半圓形,但Big Red比他更快,鋼槓桿朝他腦袋搗來,人狼急忙舉手保護他的天靈蓋,鋼棒滑手而過,但仍在他面上劃了一條血痕。

在這時候,Ronny和其他鐵路工人都已聞声而至,Ronney挺身站在我身旁,人狼見事敗,就硬說是我主張提議和他入樹林,做些不可告人的事。工頭為了息事寧人,又恐怕葡國族人会幫親不幫理,擴大事件,於是就和副工頭把攪事和看熱鬧的人驅散。翌日,工頭和葡族代表談判,他們都同意Jose是攪事攪非的不良份子,就這樣,他被鐵路公司解僱了。

(待續)

Sunday, November 30, 2008

「兩週一聚: 朋友」之【鐵路人狼】(第二集) / Bi-weekly Series: Friend(s)【The Railway Gang 】Part 2

"... 唉!替唐人打工就是有這些免稅「利益」,和脫不掉的朋友和人情關係。..."

在洛磯山脈舖鐵路,不应該是我大學暑期工的第一明智選擇,但我生來就是喜愛在戶外勞力工作,在香港如是(曾替維他奶和百事可樂送水),來到加拿大也是一樣,所以我一得知鐵路公司請人,就立刻要辭退唐人歺館那份室內「企枱」工。老板娘聽說我打算「跳槽」,就立刻力想挽留, Prince Rupert埠仔細唐人少,我這個「生招牌」是頗具有吸引顧客的作用。"Don't go"台山阿姆幾乎哭著对我說,"Last worker, I give lots of gifts. You stay, get lots of gifts too. Work for me, like good friend." 唉!替唐人打工就是有這些免稅「利益」,和脫不掉的朋友和人情關係。但我心意已定,况且阿姆又沒有落重注,介紹她的女兒,招我做她的女婿。所以我一声bye-bye道別,就提上背囊,離開了歺館,在CNR処簽了「賣身契」,重踏当年加拿大開埠老華僑的腳印,在洛磯山脈做舖鐵路的生涯。

"Hey!! Wake up Chinaman, we are here !!!" 那口沒遮攔的Ronny把我從 白日夢中猛然驚醒。"Oh!! Shut your freaking face !!!" 我也不甘示弱地回敬他一句。Jose向著我陰陰地笑。我望望那灰暗的天空,晨早的森林漳氣環繞著我們這群散仔,微微細雨還是不停的下著。Big Red早已在卡車未停定之前跳出車外,他一腳踏在鐵路軌丶一腳踏在枕木上,一枝粗粗的鋼槓桿在手,未等待工頭Richard指示,就開始撬在枕木和鐵軌間走了位的tie plates。"Hey Chinese!! What are you waiting for? Get moving !!!" 工頭Richard向著我這方向咆吼。"Yes Boss!!!" 我暗地裏咒駡他的祖宗十八代,趕忙戴上了安全頭盔,穿上濕透了的皮手套,跳下卡車,開始賺鐵路公司的血汗錢。

(待續)

Saturday, November 29, 2008

「兩週一聚: 朋友」之【鐵路人狼】(第一集) / Bi-weekly Series: Friend(s)【The Railway Gang 】Part 1

(特此声明 Viewer Discretion: 以下寫作,間中会描述不雅言語丶行為丶舉止。)

加拿大卑詩省British Columbia北部的天氣就是時好時壞,從太平洋吹來的潮濕暖風被洛磯山脈一阻,再混上深山裏的森林沼澤漳氣,就算是最好的天文台報告員,也不可能凖確地預測氣候的轉變。在滂陀大雨下,我抽緊幾乎濕透了的雨衣,在兜帽的隱蔽下,偷偷看一看其他和我一樣,瑟縮在卡車上等候開工的鐵路工人,他們都是加拿大國家鐵路公司Canadian National Railway在Prince Rupert埠招請的廉價男性勞工,年紀有老有嫰,其中有剛從監獄釋放出來的囚犯(他們很容易被辨認: 紋了身的粗架子和隨身攜帶的刀子),每日必飲必醉的兇酒者(那陣悶人的酒氣和紅腫的鼻子),乳臭未乾讀書不成的小伙子(滿口粗話,問候令尊,「福F*ck」言有声),無家可歸的流浪漢(他們眼中總帶有一份失落潦倒的神情),和一族說外地話的歐洲移民(聽說是葡萄牙人)。正是龍蛇混雜,您總不会知道這班人混在一起的時候,会有什么可怕和罪惡的事情發生。

"Let's get the 福 out'a here !!!" 年輕的Ronny 不耐性地告訢負責點名計時薪的timekeeper。坐在他左边,昂堂7呎,体重250磅的紅髪Big Red,狠狠的用手肘撞了Ronny一把,用「大哥頭」alpha male的語調說:"You leave the mother福k'r alone !!!" Ronny 自知不能和神高神大的Big Red 对敵,看到坐在他右边的葡國仔Jose在陰陰地笑,就將怒氣撒放在後者身上。"What're you snickering about, you福k'n prick !!!" Jose 正想問候Ronny 母親安好,我們的卡車突然顛簸地開始向前開動,timekeeper看看他的計時錶,寫下了早上開工時間,就向我們的工頭foreman Richard揮手道別,而一場在豪雨中醞釀的口角也就不了了之。

(待續)

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Reference links:

* Haricot 「兩週一聚: 我有一部時光機」之【紅髪女孩】/ 【The Red Hair Girl】: Bi-weekly Potluck Series (submitted article under the theme " My Time Machine") http://lotusandcedar.blogspot.com/2008/10/red-hair-girl-bi-weekly-potluck-series.html

* 「兩週一聚」由巴黎 Michelle 發起

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Updated list of "Friends" as of Dec 2, 2008 23h00 Eastern Standard Time 兩週一聚網友﹕

這樣過 Come and Go Haricot 周游 The Man Who Loves Everton Readandeat Zero 芸淡風輕 揚眉女子 mad dog 小孜媽 Michelle Mugen C athrunz

Thursday, November 27, 2008

旅遊摩洛哥 - 卡薩布蘭卡的沙灘 / Road to Morocco - Beach near La Corniche, Casablanca



The weather was cool, the beach windy and the sea rough when these pictures were taken. But I thoroughly enjoyed the walk on the beach, listening to the waves rushing up and down the coast line and feeling the fine sand shifting under my feet. The sky resembled a giant oil canvas, with patches of deep blue being painted over by wisps of white clouds. Rain showers could be seen in the distance and there was a long arc of rainbow on the horizon, with perhaps a pot of gold hidden somewhere in the Medina, the walled quarter of Casablanca. Amidst the drizzle, amorous young couples were seen walking hand-in-hand, enjoying their privacy away from the prying eyes of elders in the city. Young soccer players kicked their ball and laughed, their youth energy merged with the blowing wind on this cool winter day, the joyful moment forever captured through the eyes of the photographer.

攝影图片: These photos were taken on Nov 2, 2008 near La Corniche, Casablanca, Morocco, under cloudy condition. Please double-click to enlarge pictures and see details in higher resolution.

Wednesday, November 26, 2008

My Responses to Your Comments Oct 31-Nov 24 inclusive (With Thanks !!)

"「兩周一聚: 我有一部時光機」之【紅髪女孩】/ 【The Red Hair Girl】: Bi-we...":

新鮮人 + Michelle: I was going to leave the story at just that, but perhaps a sequel is in order.

Xiao Zhu: Thanks !!

Mugen: As people say, the story writes itself (spooooky !!)

啤酒花™_J: Here is another pic from the backyard !!

imak: The next installment will be the last :)

The Man Who Loves Everton: I will take your suggestions into consideration with some upcoming stories in the 兩周一聚 series. Thx !!!

Hyacinthus: There is no doubt in the story that Ken loves his wife.

"「兩周一聚: 我有一部時光機」之【紅髪女孩 (續集) 】 / 【The Red Hair Girl ...":

The Man Who Loves Everton: Yep !! That was a Halloween special for everyone. Glad you enjoy the story :)

Michelle: Thx !! Oui, le Canada est un pays bilingual :)

新鮮人: To tell you the truth, I don't really know the name of the wild berries in the picture.

Hyacinthus: "... 物競天擇 ..." Now that is an interesting perspective you have introduced into this story !!! It is my understanding that in the animal kingdom, nature usually favours the female whose role is to reproduce the species (that's why women generally live longer than men!!). The role of the male is just to "facilitate" the procreation process. If that's the case, maybe the red-head should have lived on. Perhaps that will be a sequel for next Halloween ;-)

啤酒花™_J: What you are inferring - a designed universe - is different from the evolutionary world 物競天擇 as seen by Darwin. However, I do find the classic line poetic: There is a time/season for everything.

啤酒花™_J: Hold your horses !! I am not sure if those wild berries are edible and I am not willing to bet my life on it (for fear of being eliminated in the Darwinian process).

"秋日隨筆: 民風 ∕ Fall 2008: Thoughts on Civil Society":

新鮮人
: 為了要減消這"背道而馳"的逆勢,我相信教育是很重要,就像近十年的環保運動一樣。

啊澤
: "... 紐約人還是比港人更有跌序和禮貌 ..." My concern is that when these people with poor manner go overseas and behave as if they are in HK, their behaviours really make EVERYONE of Chinese/Asian origin look bad.

Inner Space: I agree, for many people, HK is a place to seek wealth and fortune.

imak: You have a very good point: "... 文明是從生活中表現出來 ..." I wish people can become rich and more civilized at the same time.

"秋日隨筆: 黑与白 ∕ Fall 2008: Black and White":

樸老: 我同意這是和『修身、齊家、治國、平天下』的意思有很大關連。

Inner Space: 有些不幸事情的發生是人為,但也有些是環境迫成,在某種情形之下,或許禍魁和受害者在壓力之下的心智運用,正誤與否,在当事人眼中就未必是那么黑白分明。I can appreciate where you are coming from.

Michelle: Vous avez raison. C'était le Keyboard plutôt que le logiciel qui m'a posé problème au Maroc.

And ... I was told there are Internet cafés (altho not the one I was in) that provide clients with English-version keyboard and software.

"Low Speed Internet":

Inner Space: You are always up-to-date on info. Yes, it comes to abt a buck an hour.

imak: You are right. There are other parts of the world where Internet cafés do not exist.

Hyacinthus
: Thanks !! I have been a bit tied up with other things upon my return from Morocco and am slowly getting back into blogging.

"Road to Morocco: Through my Own Eyes":

新鮮人: 我現正在整理相机memory cards的攝影图片 :)

"Back from Morocco":

啊澤: Thanks for your comments. It is one of the more exotic places I have visited. More articles and pics to come !!!

"旅遊摩洛哥 - 【北非諜影】 (1942) / Road to Morocco - “Casablanca":

新鮮人: The B&W version of the movie is a classic. I have watched it many times.

Space: Your article is better than the one in Wikipedia !!! ps: I also left a message there.

Space: I have to admit that it's hard to think of replacing the actors and actresses in a classic movie like Casablanca - 先入為主 ?!!

Tuesday, November 25, 2008

旅遊摩洛哥 - 卡薩布蘭卡 / Road to Morocco - Casablanca

Many people who arrive at the Casablanca airport are surprised by the unique architectural design of the building which is not anything like the one in the Bogart-Bergman movie. In fact, visitors will find geometric patterns and symmetry almost a constant theme in the layout and design of many homes and mosques throughout the country. And yet, this almost compulsive attention to organization and details is diametrically opposed to what one would find in the shops and narrow alleys that scatter and snake through the Medina (walled part of the city).

ps: I threw in a picture (bottom) of the Charles de Gaulle airport in Paris as a comparison.

.... to be continued

Monday, November 24, 2008

旅遊摩洛哥 - 【北非諜影】 (1942) / Road to Morocco - “Casablanca” (1942)

"We'll Always have Paris !!"

In addition to the clip of the final scene from YouTube, here is a summary of the movie "Casablanca 北非諜影" in Chinese:

二戰期間,玩世不恭的美國人里克•布萊恩(Rick Blaine)在卡薩布蘭卡開了一家受到眾人歡迎的亞美利加酒吧,而且擁有兩張寶貴的通行證。亞美利加酒吧是歐洲難民最喜歡去的地方。納粹少校史特勞塞(Strasser)因追蹤捷克地下陣線領導人維克多•拉塞羅(Victor Laszlo)而來到卡薩布蘭卡,當地警察局長雷諾(Renault)竭力取悅納粹少校。故事就在卡薩布蘭卡的里克酒吧展開。里克偶然發現維克多的妻子伊麗莎(Ilsa)竟是自己昔日的摯愛,他們以前曾在巴黎墜入過情網,兩人以前在火車站逃難時失散,臨走前伊麗莎不辭而別,上火車前里克拿到伊麗莎告知不能同行的紙條。

伊麗莎知道里克能幫助自己和丈夫離開卡薩布蘭卡,於是請求里克以大局為重,幫助拉塞羅離境,但是此時里克的心情卻極為複雜。一開始里克毫不動心,不願合作。後來里克知道當年伊麗莎沒有到火車站與自己一起走的緣由,當時她已和拉茲洛結婚,但一直以為丈夫已經死在集中營,臨行前得知原來拉茲洛還活在世上,但身染了重病,迫使伊麗莎放棄了與里克的愛情。里克知道後,決定幫助拉塞羅夫婦。雷諾在機場準備逮捕拉茲洛夫婦,里克將槍指向雷諾,讓拉茲洛夫婦上飛機。里克忍著內心的痛苦,目送情人與他人遠去的一段成為愛情電影的經典。

References:

1. Wikipedia http://zh.wikipedia.org/w/index.php?title=%E5%8C%97%E9%9D%9E%E8%B0%8D%E5%BD%B1&variant=zh-tw

2. YouTube http://ca.youtube.com/watch?v=8UisahukMdg

Casablanca (1942) - Part 10/10

旅遊摩洛哥 - 【北非諜影】 (1942) / Road to Morocco - “Casablanca” (1942)

I passed through Paris on my way to Morocco. I couldn't help but remembering what Bogart said to Bergman in 【北非諜影Casablanca】: "We'll always have Paris".

Thursday, November 20, 2008

旅遊摩洛哥: 回程 / Road to Morocco: Back Home

I am back from my vacation in Morocco and am busy unpacking and catching up on house chores.

Thank you for all your blog comments which I will respond soonest, each and every one of them.

Meanwhile, I will share with you photos and and articles about that fascinating country.

旅遊摩洛哥: 耳聞目睹 / Road to Morocco: Through my Own Eyes


Having spent almost 17 days in Morocco, I have got used to the sight, smell, and sound of the buzzing north African country. Compared to the quiet neighbourhood streets and the cold weather here in Canada, Morocco seems so unreal. Now, I am not passing any judgement on which place is better or worse. Every country, town or neighbourhood has its own charm and characters. What I am saying is that I miss the place and the people and wish I could have spent more time there. So, let me share with you my fond memories of Morocco and perhaps in doing so, relive some of the experience through my own eyes.

Tuesday, November 11, 2008

旅遊摩洛哥: 緩慢的網絡 / Road to Morocco: Low Speed Internet

The Internet Cafe connections around here are sooooo slow zzzzzzz !!!! I guess there is no way I will be able to quickly post any pics on my blog.

But then I am paying only 7 dh an hour and I should not really complain.

Gotta go !!!

Your Comments / Vos Commentaires

I am in a French environment and am not able to read or respond to your comments posted in Chinese. Please be patient and I will get back to you aussi tot que possible.

Saturday, November 08, 2008

秋日隨筆: 黑与白 ∕ Fall 2008: Black and White

Being a HK resident in my younger days and having been educated and brought up in the Canadian culture and work environment, I come to realize that society values are very much a function of time, space and people(s). What we define as self-righteousness may be considered by some as bullying and imperialist aggression; and "being nice" can be interpreted as stupidity, vulnerability, or simply a "kick me" sign on the derrière. So, if good guys always come last, where is the incentive for being nice? More importantly, is there such a thing as absolute right and wrong?

It is true that when we see what is currently happening to the global economy, the cruelty and atrocities people do to each other, and the daily bad-news stories reported by journalists, we tend to lose faith in ourselves and others and give up our values of right and wrong. However, I cannot accept the notion that "if you can't beat them, join them". As suggested in the movie "Blindness", I believe there is right and wrong. One does not need to blindly (excuse the pun) follow someone who claims to see better than us, especially evangelists who trade our donations for tickets to heaven. In the end, each of us will need to develop and use our own moral compass to navigate while respecting the norm of the society we are living in.

Tuesday, November 04, 2008

秋日隨筆: 民風 ∕ Fall 2008: Thoughts on Civil Society

我初來加拿大是住在Province of Alberta艾伯塔省之City of Edmonton愛民頓市,還記得那時民風頗好,罪案很少,包租公從來不鎖屋門,讓住客自出自入。在深夜市中亍道,交通燈轉紅,週圍沒有車輛,行人還是会有耐性地站在路旁,等綠燈才過馬路。這種路不拾遺,夜不閉戶的市民公德行為,对我們這些新從香港來的移民,就真是不知好嬲還是好笑。我記得有很多香港華青,就常在西人背後,揶揄他們老番真是「笨實」(誠實粗語),是十足十的「老襯」,但其實我們暗地裏都有點羞怒之心,明知道在香港那套「執輸行頭慘過敗家」和「人不為己天誅地滅」的價值覌是很市僧丶自私丶和自利,但為了面子和民族優越感,誰又会在自己唐人面前,冒被指罵為崇洋漢奸之險,長他人志氣,滅自己威風呢? 不過話得說回來,今日愛民頓市的治安又不如以前一樣了,阿省南部Calgary交加里市上星期更發生熗殺事件。或許無論在那裏,人口增高,民風就会下降。但我們做普通市民的除了關門上閘之外,又应該做點怎什么?而做政府的又要用什么方法去改善這逆勢呢?社会民風一事,真是令人費盡思量!!

Friday, October 31, 2008

「兩週一聚: 我有一部時光機」之【紅髪女孩 (續集) 】 / 【The Red Hair Girl (End Game) 】: Bi-weekly Potluck Series (submitted article under the theme " My Time Machine")


上回說到何健在矇矇矓矓中,似乎是看到紅髪女孩看著他微笑,在那一剎那間,他感到天旋地轉,四肢無力,倒流的時光,像怒海巨浪一樣,向他迎頭冲擊,就在他幾乎支持不下之際 .......

"Are you okay, Ken?"

Startled by the voice behind him, Ken turns around and finds his boss Bob looking at him with some concerns.

"Oh, I am fine, Bob."

"That's good. As I was saying, please go over the papers submitted by the two applicants and decide who is going to be your principle researcher."

Now, Ken starts to remember.

The date was, or rather is, October 30, 1988. Their pharmaceutical company is one of many in a fierce competition to map the DNA sequence of a persistent virus that has plagued the lives of many children in developing countries. Since sequencing technology is not exactly Ken's forte, his boss Bob has asked him to hire a post-doc to solve the problem.

"I sort of prefer the red-head over the brunette," says Bob half-jokingly. "But of course, we are professionals and I'll let you be the judge of who best qualifies for the position."

"Of course! Of course!" Ken replies, watching Bob leaving the office.

Ken reviews the two unfolded files in front of him. Here is the brunette's résumé and her thesis on DNA sequencing. It is good work but not exactly something that will lead to the break-through that has yet to happen. Ken knows this because he already has the scientific knowledge and answer from the future. On the other hand, the work of the red-head - Ken feels bad identifying female workers by their physical appearances - is exemplary and she will very likely make the discovery on her own without any intervention from Ken. There is no doubt she is the preferred candidate. There is just one little problem: Ken knows the future. He and the brunette will eventually have an office romance, fall in love, get married, and have children.

So on this day October 30, 1988, Ken makes the most important decision of his present and future life. He takes the brunette's file into Bob's office.

For the next 20 years, Ken "knowingly" fulfills his destiny. He uses his knowledge from the future to help his principle researcher "discover" the sequencing technology. The pharmaceutical company is able to find a cure that will save the lives of many yet-to-be born children in the third world. His career thrives and they "spontaneously" fall in love, get married and have children.

As to the red-head who was not hired, she falls into a depression and eventually commits suicide. And Ken has known it too.

後言: 世界就是這樣的不公平的嗎?為了私人感情,阿健就是選擇了他未來的妻子,但如果他不這樣做,他的未來後代就不会成人長大,所有被保存的美好家庭丶事业都会化為泡沫!!至於那紅髪女孩,為什么她每年都会在阿健的後花園中出現呢?她是寃鬼回魂丶再世投胎丶還是她妻子夢想未出生的女孩子?既然阿健和妻子都不是頂尖兒DNA測序法專家,那么他們的知識又從那裡來呢?

Happy Halloween !!!

Thursday, October 30, 2008

「兩週一聚: 我有一部時光機」之【紅髪女孩】/ 【The Red Hair Girl】: Bi-weekly Potluck Series (submitted article under the theme " My Time Machine")


每一年,当天氣漸漸轉涼,阿健都会等待那紅髪女孩的來臨。他妻子問:「你幹什么呆呆的站在窗旁,望著咱們的後花園?」 阿健沒有立刻回答。他看着楓樹上的葉子,一片一片地隨風飄下,園裏的花草都變黃了,堆在泥土上的落葉,在下午陽光的透射下,替後花園泛上了一遍紅色。

良久,他回答說:「我是要看那松鼠兒秋收冬藏,將鄰居那棵橡樹的果實脫殻,收集帶回家裏給他的妻子,存糧在樹洞中,好渡過這個嚴冬。」那娘兒看他那一套認真的儍氣,心裏暗自好笑,也就不理会他,繼續將午膳後的刀丶义丶盤丶碟放進洗碗机裏。

阿健望着眼前人的後背影,她那玲瓏浮凸的身段,至今仍是令他砰然心動。他想:「妻呀!我知道妳孩提的夢想,就是想有一個長紅髪的女兒,但嫁了我之後,天然因子就是不容許我們有紅髪的後一代。現在我倆的孩子都長得玲俐可愛,就像是我們各一半的倒影,但每年秋天,我都盼望那紅髪女孩的來臨,把咱們的後花園油上那紅燦燦的色彩,也算是成全了妳做小孩子時的願望。」

阿健手中的綠茶,冒出一陣陣的篜氣,時光在一瞬間倒流易轉,在矇矇矓矓中,他彷彿看到那未出世的紅髪女孩,在後花園向著他微笑。

++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++

Reference Link: 「兩周一聚: 我有一部時光機」

Wednesday, October 29, 2008

建國 - 行政重點和基礎設施 (其一) / Nation Building - Priorities and Infrastructure (Part 1)

『公欲善其事,必先利其器』
“You need good tools and people to do a good job.”

I drafted this article in early April 2008, when the rising of China中囯崛起, the 2008 Beijing Olympic Games, and other related issues were being hotly discussed among bloggers and mainstream media alike. Here is the formula I wrote down at the time, on the subject of nation building:

Nation Building建國 = A(1,2,3,..)+B(1,2,3,..)+C(1,2,3,..)+D(1,2,3,..)+E(1,2,3,..)+ etc....

where,

A=economics, B=education, C=governance, D=sports such as the Olympics, E=other priorities, ...

(Note: Obviously, each nation will have to determine what the priorities are at the national and regional levels at any given point in time and space.)

and,

1=transactional infrastructure changes
2=transformational infrastructure changes
3=other systemic changes, ...

(Note: All systemic changes must take into consideration both "hard" and "soft" winning conditions in order to achieve national priorities. For example: Physical installations such as water treatment plants are "hard" infrastructure, but their successful operation and maintenance will depend very much on the workers' knowledge and experience, or "soft" infrastructure. This concept applies to both transactional and transformational infrastructure changes.)

....... Next: Case Studies / to be continued 待續

++++++++++++++++++++
***** Updated 20140210 *****

Supplementary info re TRANSACTIONAL vs TRANSFORMATIONAL 

Let's look at the types of leadership that are associated with transactional and transformational changes. According to Wikipedia:

Transactional Leadership, also known as managerial leadership, focuses on the role of supervision, organization, and group performance; transactional leadership is a style of leadership in which the leader promotes compliance of his followers through both rewards and punishments. Unlike Transformational leadership, leaders using the transactional approach are not looking to change the future, they are looking to merely keep things the same. Leaders using transactional leadership as a model pay attention to followers' work in order to find faults and deviations. This type of leadership is effective in crisis and emergency situations, as well as when projects need to be carried out in a specific fashion.
"Adhering to the path-goal theory, transactional leaders are expected to do the following:
  • "Set goals, articulate explicit agreements regarding what the leader expects from organizational members and how they will be rewarded for their efforts and commitment, and provide constructive feedback to keep everybody on task".
  • Transactional leaders focus on increasing the efficiency of established routines and procedures and are more concerned with following existing rules than with making changes to the structure of the organization.
  • Thus, they operate most effectively in organizations that have evolved beyond the chaotic, no-rules stage of entrepreneurial development that characterizes so many new companies.
  • Transactional leadership establishes and standardizes practices that will help the organization reach maturity, emphasizing setting of goals, efficiency of operation, and increase of productivity. "

Transformational Leadership enhances the motivation, morale, and performance of followers through a variety of mechanisms. These include connecting the follower's sense of identity and self to the project and the collective identity of the organization; being a role model for followers that inspires them and makes them interested; challenging followers to take greater ownership for their work, and understanding the strengths and weaknesses of followers, so the leader can align followers with tasks that enhance their performance.

The full range of leadership introduces four elements of transformational leadership:
  1. Individualized Consideration – the degree to which the leader attends to each follower's needs, acts as a mentor or coach to the follower and listens to the follower's concerns and needs. The leader gives empathy and support, keeps communication open and places challenges before the followers. This also encompasses the need for respect and celebrates the individual contribution that each follower can make to the team. The followers have a will and aspirations for self-development and have intrinsic motivation for their tasks.
  2. Intellectual Stimulation – Such leaders encourage their followers to be innovative and creative. They encourage new ideas from their followers and never criticize them publicly for the mistakes committed by them. The leaders focus on the “what” in problems and do not focus on the blaming part of it. They have no hesitation in discarding an old practice set by them if it is found ineffective.
  3. Inspirational Motivation – the degree to which the leader articulates a vision that is appealing and inspiring to followers. Leaders with inspirational motivation challenge followers to leave their comfort zones, communicate optimism about future goals, and provide meaning for the task at hand. Followers need to have a strong sense of purpose if they are to be motivated to act. Purpose and meaning provide the energy that drives a group forward. The visionary aspects of leadership are supported by communication skills that make the vision understandable, precise, powerful and engaging. The followers are willing to invest more effort in their tasks, they are encouraged and optimistic about the future and believe in their abilities.
  4. Idealized Influence – the degree to which the leader acts as a role model for their followers. Transformational leaders must embody the values that the followers should be learning and mimicking back to others. If the leader gives respect and encourages others to be better, those influenced will then go to others and repeat the positive behavior, passing on the leadership qualities for other followers to learn. This will earn the leader more respect and admiration from the followers, putting them at a higher level of influence and importance. The foundation of transformational leadership is the promotion of consistent vision, mission, and a set of values to the members. Their vision is so compelling that they know what they want from every interaction. Transformational leaders guide followers by providing them with a sense of meaning and challenge. They work enthusiastically and optimistically to foster the spirit of teamwork and commitment.

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Saturday, October 25, 2008

香港歷史: 二次大戰時的勝利友 / History of Hong Kong: The Lawless Mobs during World War II

In my last response to San Wen Ji (http://lotusandcedar.blogspot.com/2008/10/blindness-movie.html), I erroneously described 勝利友 as lawless mobs who terrorized the citizens of HK immediately after World War II. Actually, this happened at the beginning of the Japanese occupation 三年零八個月when the British commanders were losing ground to the invaders and Chinese gangs took advantage of the power vacuum and roamed the streets of the Kowloon Peninsula.

References and photo credits: Wikipedia http://zh.wikipedia.org/wiki/%E9%A6%99%E6%B8%AF%E4%BF%9D%E8%A1%9B%E6%88%B0

"... 香港保卫战,又称香港攻防战、香港战役、十八日战事,是指第二次世界大战之中自1941年12月8日日本进攻英属香港至同年12月25日香港沦陷期间的战役。这次战役后,日军开始了在香港的“三年零八个月”管治。..."

"... 日军并于第二日占领青衣及直扑荔枝角。总部感到大陆兵团随时有被大包围危险,加上九龙总警司向旅长宣告警察放弃九龙,街上汉奸(即自称“胜利友”的黑社会分子)四处抢掠,英军被迫放弃九龙半岛。直至12月12日傍晚,除鲤鱼门北岸的魔鬼山外,九龙新界都已完全陷于日军。12月13日,最后留守九龙的拉吉普营乘驱逐舰撤离到香港岛,九龙沦陷。..."
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