All posts by Stew

Watcha Gonna Do When They Come for You?

This is as close to an episode of COPS as I want to get.

Yesterday, as I was leaving my parent’s tranquil neighborhood in Morgantown, WV I was nearly run off the road by an unknown person in a Honda CRV. My interest was piqued when I noticed he was being closely followed by a police car, lights flashing in full-on car chase mode. Not too far behind where a couple more cruisers in hot pursuit. I found out later they finally caught up with the allegedly stolen vehicle after an extensive chase.

Now I really want some ‘spike strips’ of my own.

Here are some local news reports on the incident:
WDTV CBS Channel 5:MAN ARRESTED AFTER HIGH SPEED CHASE

WBOY NBC Channel 12:Police Chase Man Through Morgantown

New Look, Same Great Taste!




Autumn Spiral

Originally uploaded by Stewsnews

I have received some pressure lately to join Facebook and/or Twitter. Mostly because people are concerned I’ve fallen off the face of the earth or worse. Instead of bending to peer pressure I thought an update to Stewsnews might be in order.
I cannot promise that I’ll be very regular with my posts; my life is just not that interesting these days. However, I’ll try my best to put something up even if is just the occasional photo.

Step Forward For Civilization

Visiting a public restroom anywhere in the world can be a gamble. Sometimes one is pleasantly surprised: At the Icon Grill in Seattle male patrons are encouraged by a multimedia display featuring scenes of waterfalls, floods and running faucets all set to classical music.

I haven’t come across anything similar here in China but I do get a kick every time I visit JUSCO, one of the large department stores in Qingdao. Posted above every urinal is the phrase “Step Forward for Civilization” in both Chinese and English. Apparently the powers that be believe that if we men could just be a little more tidy when taking care of business the world would be a much better place.

Maybe they’re right.

Get on the Bus?

Earth Day came and went here in Qingdao without so much as a litter pickup party. It is very easy to feel discouraged about the current and future state of the environment here in China. One thing we all can do to help is use more public transportation.

Should you every find yourself in China you might be inclined, perhaps in an effort to reduce your carbon footprint, to take the bus. In my experience this can be somewhat traumatic. Maybe you just want to save money, why spend 30 yuan ($4) on a taxi when you can spend 2 and take the bus. Remember, that 28 yuan could be used for a decent meal, a couple of beers, or a whole stack of pirated DVDs. To save you the expense and years of therapy I offer this simple overview of taking the bus in China.

Of course the bus will be crowded, everywhere in China is crowded. Current estimates put the population at 1.3 billion. I think this number is a bit low, I could swear there were at least a billion people on the bus with me last week.

Just getting on the bus can be a challenge, school children and old people will scratch and claw their way along with office workers and government lackeys to squeeze through the narrow front door. If entry through the front door seems impossible it is common practice to hand you fare to someone else to put into the fare box and enter through the back door. Keep in mind that the bus may not stop completely during this process.

There is almost no chance you will be able to find a seat. This is because people who have a seat never leave the bus, their families toss water and sandwiches trough the windows as they pass by. Charlie had nothing on these guys.

Imagine yourself standing, squeezed into a contortionist’s position, you head bent against the hand rail and some stranger’s buttocks uncomfortably close to your crotch. At least you made it on and in 40 to 60 minutes you will arrive at you destination. Of course your spine will never be the same again, but you have done your part for the enviroment You close your eyes and picture yourself sitting back with a beer, watching a pirated DVD when the unimaginable happens: someone farts.

I am a big advocate of public transportation. When living in Seattle I was a proud participant in the Ballard in Motion campaign, and have to tote bag to prove it. Still, I shutter each Tuesday and Wednesday morning I climb aboard the #321 to my university teaching job.
Man in a Truck