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General / Google ordered to wipe out sex images by court??
« on: November 06, 2013, 06:41:24 PM »
Google ordered to wipe out sex images by court??  Really??  It turns out that European courts have ruled that the sex images of an orgy by Max Mosley have to be "filtered" by google.  Sure enough when I tried to search the term "Max Mosley sex image" the results page was BLANK!  Never seen a blank page in a google search before.  Just for fun I tried it with startpage and although there were some "censored" fuzzy images in some news stories, I could not find any links to the REAL images and no video either. 

I know there are some great porn sniffers here, maybe someone can actually find something in Russia or elsewhere, but I think this is amazing that this can simply be "wiped" from the web...

General / Re: In Beijing for Antique Car Rally (I'm driving-watchout)
« on: October 22, 2013, 11:10:39 AM »
China Classic Car Images can be found here:
I'm going to email this imgur account to several of the other participants and they will add their pictures when they get to it so this will change in time. 

General / Re: In Beijing for Antique Car Rally (I'm driving-watchout)
« on: October 20, 2013, 05:37:46 AM »
I'm back in Beijing and within 24 hours we'll be on the plane for home.  I looking back on the last 10 days and it's been such a blur that I'm never going to be able to put it all in chronological order (the dates on the videos and photos we took will help).  As I think of things, I'll try to add them here.  I'll say one thing that I've harped on in the past regarding Stop Signs.  They are pointless.  The 1100 miles I drove had ZERO stop signs.  I've only seen a few signs in a development in Guangzhou (a few years back) and even there I never saw anyone actually stop at one.  I was able to drive in ways that would have gotten me arrested for sure back home.  Passing on the shoulder, going through intersections on red, and just generally driving like a brute is the norm here.  It's never taken as an aggressive act here to honk at someone and cut them off.  It's the norm and it's expected.  Some will say that this is dangerous (and it certainly is to an extent) however the question should be is it more dangerous than our way of driving.  I have my doubts.  In many years of coming here, I've never seen a serious accident resulting in death (of course they happen too often).  Can't say that I've seen such a serious accident at home either so how does one determine what "system" is more dangerous?  One thing that makes driving safer here is the fact that you don't need to be constantly on the watch for "the man" in his cruiser hanging around the corner trying to trick you into a ticket.  I had absolute no fear of the cops and indeed took the opportunity a couple of times to cut in front of them just because I knew there would be no offense taken and no consequence to my actions.  I guess now I will have to re-adjust my driving to US standards or I will be getting even more tickets and paying more extortion money to the gang of thugs...

General / Re: In Beijing for Antique Car Rally (I'm driving-watchout)
« on: October 19, 2013, 11:55:30 AM »
Two more days to report on: The last day of the rally and the "Rally on the Bund".  The LA Times actually carried a bit of a story on it here and you can see a photo of me getting out of the Volvo...

Since the last leg of the race was short, we only had one segment.  The lead car got us lost before we even got to the starting gate.  Then we had to go through a traffic jam that was really more of a big parking lot but we eventually got to the start about an hour late.  This segment we made our best time at only 24 seconds over the 3 hour allotment.  I thought this was good until I learned that in order to place in an event like this you need to get ALL your times within a minute of the target.  Since this is my first time, I guess I'll take what I can get.  We all gathered at the finish line and then followed the lead car to the Shanghai Automobile Museum where the award ceremony was to be.  It was raining very hard so we all sat in our cars wondering what could be done.  About an hour after the scheduled start time the rain stopped so we were able to have the ceremony in front of the museum as planned.  First, Second and Third place all went to the Chinese teams (but they are probably the most accustomed to the unique traffic "customs" (I wouldn't really call them rules).  Some other awards were given out and then we left the cars there (they were to be towed to the Bund for display) and then waited for a bus to take us to the hotel (and waited...).  One thing about China is you can never count on things taking place when you expect them to.  We really only waited about 20 minutes for the bus, but it seemed longer. 

The next day we were free in the morning so we walked the 2km back to the Auto Museum and looked at the cars.  They even had my all-time favorite (1970 Dodge Challenger Convertible).  In the afternoon we rode the bus to the Bund (the riverfront area downtown Shanghai) and gathered by the cars.  We waited for the ok to go and then we took off following the lead car to the other end of the Bund and back again.  It was a very unique experience for a westerner like me to be able to drive that route with the Shanghai skyline looming high above.  Afterward was a party at the Bund and some more awards.  I was surprised to receive "Best Driver" award.  Don't know how they made this judgement but hey, I'm not giving it back... ;)

General / Re: In Beijing for Antique Car Rally (I'm driving-watchout)
« on: October 17, 2013, 09:53:16 AM »
Two more days...  We went from Lianyungang to Nanjing.  We actually completed each leg without getting lost.  The first leg we were something like 6 minutes too fast and the second leg we were about 2 minutes too slow.  This is the first time we actually got any kind of score so we looked for the scores at the end of the day where they are supposed to be posted in the lobby but they weren't there.  I've stated over and over that "rules" in China are really only suggestions and people break them all the time but my wife set me straight and came up with a better explanation for this behavior.  Instead of looking at it as "rule breaking" behavior, it's better described as "being flexible".  Conversely, in the USA we are far too "rigid".  It makes what sounds like an insult for the Chinese to actually be a compliment.  From now on I'm going to use the "flexible" terminology when I tell people about China.  Anyway, this rally is like that, it's pretty "flexible".  Whatever the eventual score is, it really is not that important.  What is important is meeting people and having fun.

Now today we made the run from Nanjing to Hangzhou.  This was our best day as we were only something like 45 seconds early on one leg and about 50 seconds late on the other.  Seems we might be getting this rally thing down.  I'm going to have to post many pictures and some video of this event somewhere (haven't yet decided what is the best web service to use for this - I hate facebook). 

Driving in China is very unique.  With the "flexible" rules you never know what to expect.  Yesterday a big truck almost nailed us as it came barreling out from our left and came all the way over to the far right lane without even slowing down or looking for oncoming traffic.  I had to lock up the brakes and screech to a halt stopping with about a foot to spare.  Of course I drive "flexible" myself and after watching many others passing on the shoulder and going through red lights, I joined right in (actually I have always observed such "flexibility" here in China and was anxious to become flexible myself).  I've even passed police vehicles and cut them off in traffic (common practice).  It's so liberating to know that these cops are not going to zip up behind me with lights flashing and tough-guy attitude with their hand on holster like I'm going to jump out of the car with guns a-blazing...

General / Re: In Beijing for Antique Car Rally (I'm driving-watchout)
« on: October 15, 2013, 10:41:19 AM »
The third leg was from Chingdao to Lienyungang.  We actually finished the first part to the "rest stop" without any difficulty.  We were a full 9 minutes early because I was in such a hurry at the start that we were at least 20 minutes ahead of schedule at the end of that segment so I drove around a bit to kill some time (I'm still driving the Volvo which is at least running well but today the speedometer stopped working).  After the rest stop we headed out for the second leg and about one-third of the way into it, we found ourselves lost and so were pretty much all of the other participants.  We made quite a spectical of ourselves at a huge intersection in some town were we all wound up pulled to the side of the road scratching our heads wondering where we went wrong.  (As it turns out there was a goof-up in the road book and everyone spent about 2 hours trying to figure it out).  We did not want to wait around for an answer so we took off on our own and asked directions of the locals and eventually found our way back on the route after driving through about 20 miles of heavy road construction (in some places almost 4-wheeling it).  We were the 7th car to the end of the route but then they determined that there would be no score today because of the mix-up.  Some of the "serious" competitors are getting quite upset by these mix-ups but we are just here to enjoy and we are so far behind it really doesn't matter...

Tomorrow we go from here to Nanjing.

General / Re: In Beijing for Antique Car Rally (I'm driving-watchout)
« on: October 13, 2013, 11:09:01 PM »
Quick update:  We are in the 3rd day of the rally and it's a "resting day".  We will soon do a parade through Qingdao.  First day of rally I was driving the 54 Mercedes 300D which made it to our destination in Tianjing but it had several mechanical difficulties and we had finally have it towed (but that was after we reached the final check point).  The second day they gave me a 57 Volvo which broke down before we reached the start point and they took about 2 hours to have it towed and fixed at which point we started the longest leg of 560km to Qingdao.  We did make it however we missed our first check point (hey, it's hard to find your way around China) and just decided since we were so far behind at that point we would just drive the freeways to our hotel.  We actually were almost the first participants to the hotel due to our "short cut".  Both days had a great deal of adventure that I don't have time to get into here because we are getting our stuff packed because we are starting the parade at this hotel and going to stay in a different one until the start of the next leg tomorrow.

General / Re: In Beijing for Antique Car Rally (I'm driving-watchout)
« on: October 10, 2013, 07:20:21 PM »
Yesterday was a relaxing day for all participants.  Some of us took the provided tour of Beijing for most of the day.  We went by the site of the Olympics then toured the Forbidden City and Temple of Heaven.  After returning to the hotel, we had the opening ceremony in the conference room.  There were quite a few people there and we had a very good time...

General / Re: In Beijing for Antique Car Rally (I'm driving-watchout)
« on: October 09, 2013, 06:42:38 PM »
Morning of the Second day.  Yesterday we had a relaxing day of just checking into the hotel and getting our schedule.  In the evening we were supposed to drive the car I rented into the city but because of some government function we were unable to drive the cars to the display area near Tianamen Square.  They instead had to arrange to have the cars towed there sometime later in the evening. 

When we were looking at the cars we did not know which one was the one I was to drive and I speculated that it was a 1971 Mercedes 300SD which was not so exciting.  When I went down later to drive the car around the parking lot I discovered that they had instead given me a 1957 (I think) Mercedes 300D which is pretty cool.  It still has the huge upright radiator and it's HUGE.  There's no power steering or brakes so it's a handful.  Since I only got it into 2nd gear there in the parking lot, I really don't know how it will handle on the road, but I guess I'll find out in two days when I have to drive it back to the hotel from the display area.  I really wish that I'd gotten the 78 Vette Pace Car shipped here in time.  THAT would be the car to drive in this rally.  Maybe next year...

General / Re: In Beijing for Antique Car Rally (I'm driving-watchout)
« on: October 08, 2013, 04:08:52 AM »
I mentioned that I saw those 4 Harleys in the store but today I actually saw a guy riding a Harley on the street.  It was only about a half mile from the store that had 4 of them, but still, that's the first time I've seen one on the streets in China and it sure does show that the prosperity in China is real. 

General / Re: In Beijing for Antique Car Rally (I'm driving-watchout)
« on: October 08, 2013, 12:01:13 AM »
Want to know the "reason" I've chosen this board to record these events?  It's because I cannot find any way to "download" or store my posts on DailyPaul or RonPaulForums where I usually post.  Here I know that I can use a web site copier to download the entire thread (I did it with my "Christian Anarchy" thread). 

Anyway, we didn't do much yesterday but visit with friends.  Tomorrow we go to the hotel for the first day of the rally.  We will just go through some orientation and get our Chinese driver's license.  I guess we don't even have to take any test.  They will just issue the temporary license good for some short length of time.  For the rest of our time here we will be in hotels that all rally participants will be in.  We are kind of excited because they are all 5 star hotels and we usually don't stay in such swank digs because we are thrifty people...

General / Re: In Beijing for Antique Car Rally (I'm driving-watchout)
« on: October 06, 2013, 05:23:37 AM »
I forgot to mention that yesterday I saw Harleys in China for the first time ever.  We were walking down the street and I saw them through the window so I had to stop in.  They had only 4 of them but it was a very unusual sight in China.  The Harleys dwarf any motorbike on the roads here.  We talked to the shopkeeper and they said that these are all "smuggled" in.  They are used (but looked new) so they could not come in through official channels since only new vehicles are allowed to be imported and those get a huge tax on them.  I asked if they are selling any and they said there's a steady flow of customers buying them and they are the only ones that they know of selling them in Beijing.  I've yet to see on driving down the road, but I'm sure it's only a matter of time until I do.

General / Re: In Beijing for Antique Car Rally (I'm driving-watchout)
« on: October 06, 2013, 02:15:40 AM »
Today we were walking back from the store and saw this HUGE ribbon of firecrackers strung out on the sidewalk in front of a restaurant.  They were performing a grand opening ceremony and they had a roll of about 5000 firecrackers strung out in zig-zag pattern on the sidewalk in front of the restaurant.  There were also about 10 of those big multi-launch exploding fireworks.  After their little announcement and group pictures they let them all off and for about 5 minutes there was a lot of "noise pollution".  Everyone just continued business as usual and there was even some guy who wanted to park his car on the sidewalk (a usual custom here) right next to the fireworks and he did it while the fireworks were going off.

I would also point out that fireworks are illegal here in Beijing...  ;)

General / In Beijing for Antique Car Rally (I'm driving-watchout)
« on: October 04, 2013, 09:37:04 PM »
Not sure how many people read these forums now but I thought that this would be the best place for me to share my experiences.  This trip is to take part in (I believe the 3rd) Beijing to Shanghai antique car rally.  I will be driving an older Mercedes (I wanted to ship my 78 Corvette Pace Car but that did not happen as we were too late).  We arrived in Beijing a couple of days ago and we are now just visiting with friends and family until the first official day of the rally which is the 9th.  Our first leg will be from Beijing to Tianjing which is a very short drive of under 2 hours.  It's a timed event so how fast your car is does not really play into the scoring.  For each leg we will be released in timed segments and scored when we arrive.  No GPS are allowed and we have a navigator (my wife - which means we will be lost alot) with a print out of the directions.  When we arrive the cars will be displayed for spectators to admire (damn I wish I'd gotten that Corvette shipped in time).  

More to come...

General / Re: Christian Anarchy is the only sensible answer...
« on: March 29, 2013, 04:20:10 AM »
In November I was diagnosed with prostate cancer and wanted to know if there are any stories here about treatment.  I was actually scheduled for surgery today but I chickened out and I'm going to monitor my PSA levels a bit longer.  This is in it's early stages and people have been known to live for many years with prostate cancer before going terminal. 

I've looked into radiation and the "Davinci Robot" surgery and I like the robot best so far.  It seems either way you run about a 30% chance of impotence and/or incontinence.  Of course I don't want either of those which is one reason I'm holding off for a few more tests. 

Being in the field of medicine, we know of many people who have tried different things but I was just wondering if anyone here have stories of people you know with prostate cancer and what the outcome was...

I had the operation two days ago and come home yesterday.  Only one day stay but I'm sore, of course.  Have to wear a catheter for a week.  I can freely move about but not do any heavy lifting, etc.  The surgery should guarantee that the cancer is completely gone unless it has spread to the bones.  In a month or so we will get another scan to make sure it has not spread.

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