Month: April 2012

Patdown at ABQ

Whether it was because he was wearing two layers of clothing, Khaki trousers with too many zippers, a combination of the two, or perhaps because someone monitoring the image/information provided by the machine in some backroom saw something else that they liked or didn’t, my father-in-law was chosen to undergo a patdown after going through a body scanner at Albuquerque International Airport last week.

The screener was very professional. Since I let him know that dad didn’t speak English, and that Shanshan needed to translate what he was saying into Chinese, he made sure to explain what was about to happen slowly, clearly, and with pauses for Shanshan to  do  the translation.

There was no groping (undue or otherwise) as far as I was concerned. The screener seemed very respectful.

Still, it was a traumatic experience for dad, mom, and Shanshan.

In talking with Shanshan afterward, she told me that he’d never been through something like this before. And, we’re talking about someone who lived through the Cultural Revolution.

I can certainly say that during my six years of living and traveling around China, I’ve never been subjected to such treatment, or seen something like it take place. I should also mention that the DPRK security in Pyongyang didn’t do a patdown.

Sleeping Cabbie

I’m not one to take pictures of people sleeping. I find that most folks doing so are trying to ridicule or find humor in posting such photos. That’s certainly not what I’m about. Folks here in Beijing have different norms regarding sleeping/napping than in the US (just as with Spain, Mexico, and other countries). It isn’t uncommon here to see folks napping after lunch, sometimes doing at their cubicles. (I used to take a nap at work more regularly when I had an office, but I’m just too light a sleeper to do so at my cubicle, which is right next to a walkway.)

Tradespeople, such as cabbies and san lun che drivers, often take naps during the day. From what little I know about cabbies from talking with them, they work extremely long hours and live in not-the-best accommodations, often far away from the city center.

The weather was wonderful today… blue skies, a few white clouds, and fantastic air quality. I was on a long walk when I passed by this cabbie taking a nap in the back of his cab. I really liked that he felt comfortable enough in this big city to leave the cab door open and leave his shoes on the street next to him.


Wedding Photos USA

From what I’ve seen, wedding photos are a huge deal in China. They are often taken many types of clothing and at scenic places. And, when couples aren’t able to travel, the pictures are taken at studios or even special wedding streets.

Shanshan and wanted to do something different for our photos. So, we planned on taking her wedding dress (actually bought for the pictures… she wore a traditional Chinese dress for our ceremony here last year) and my tux (bought long ago) with us as we traveled around the US visiting family and friends. In addition, Shanshan’s parents also brought along a suit and a lovely dress.

There are 38 pictures in the set, which can be viewed on either facebook or flickr at:

The first set were taken at Rodger and Christina’s, the second at Julia’s, and the third at John and Tanya’s. Rodger and Christina live in Longmont, Co, whilst Julia, John, and Tanya live in Galisteo, NM. All were taken with my Nikon D300 with either the 14 mm or 85 mm attached. When a flash was used, it was an SB-600. I shot most of the pictures. However, when I was appearing in front of the camera, the photographers were Rodger, Julia, or Tanya.

Here are five shots… please do goto the above links and take a look at the complete set.

Thanks once again to Rodger, Christina, Julia, John, and Tanya.

Galisteo in Black and White

Starting to sort through and process the hundreds of pictures that I took during the last few weeks in the US of A. The following seven shots are part of this set of 23:

All were taken in Galisteo, NM, when we (Shanshan, her parents, and I) were visiting my mom and Philip (my step-dad).

The last shot is a lead-in to tomorrow’s post.

Please do checkout the complete set on flickr. 🙂

Columbian Prostitutes

As someone who isn’t seeking (re)election, and isn’t courting any particular demographic, I’ve got to say I’m disappointed at how the “controversy” involving the Colombian prostitutes is being handled.

I just don’t think that the punishment that these folks are receiving fits the crime (and I’m not sure that any crime was actually committed, since I don’t know the statutes on prostitution in that country).

Perhaps some sort of censure for bad judgement and poor negotiation, but losing a job?

I wonder how many times secret service agents (and others) have covered-up for elected officials that have not only taken place in hotel rooms, but public office spaces.

During my days in the service, there was a reason that “Pubic Bay” was so called (and, mom, I never went there). I’m sure that there are now other destinations now with similar monikers.

If the folks involved were in committed relationships, I think this is between them and their spouses. If they missed reporting for an assignment because of police involvement, then they should be reprimanded for that transgression.