Dec 28, 2007

Off the beaten track Detroit photo tour

Below: A potential customer at Lafayette Coney Island eyes the selections.

Lafayette Coney register. Coleman Young keeps watch at the top of the photo, and a bumper sticker stands guard at the bottom.

Below: A balanced lunch: one loose, one Coney, one root beer. Elapsed time for me to scarf everything down: five minutes.

Below: Devil's Night remnants near State Fair St. and Hoover. Directly across the street from this unsightly mess is a Catholic church.

Below: One of many burnt out post-World War II style houses near 7 Mile and Van Dyke.

Below: Who's up for some urban spelunking? This abandoned building is here near Gratiot and Van Dyke. I'd like to figure out what it is or was at one time.

Below: Who needs Ikea or Macy's when you've got a Mattress Station at the end of the block?

Despite being surrounded by burnt out houses, some Detroit residents still manage to get into the holiday spirit.

Below: A lone worker.

Dec 14, 2007

Fat boy

This is a real pair of underwear from Wal-Mart in Beijing. As far as I can tell, it's not a joke pair of underwear. This is something that they're actually trying to market to fat Chinese men.

I need to try and become their distributor in the US. This could have great potential.

Dec 7, 2007

Artwork to print out and hang on the fridge

Ready to be grossed out? Here we go. I was reading the illustrated instructions, in Chinese of course, for the stool sample we're supposed to give at the annual physical. This is the picture that's most amusing for me:

Doesn't the cartoon poop looks like a perfect silhouette of Mr. Hankey, our favorite South Park Christmas character?

Unfortunately, I can't say I've produced this kind of anthropomorphic poop before. Especially not while living in China, where there's a little too much oil and grease in the food. Maybe I should start eating crayons and steak to bind myself up.

Here's another cartoon from the stool sample cartoons. It looks like there's two methods that they're recommending:
  • Method 1: straddle the porcelain throne reverse cowboy-style while sucking your thumb
  • Method 2: do the traditional toilet squat
Do either of these styles appeal to you?

Here's the entire pamphlet that came folded up in the stool sample kit. Click on it to get a full size closer look. Print it out and hang it on your refrigerator next to the kids finger paintings, you'll be sure to get some rave comments on it from your visitors.

Dec 6, 2007

Christmas card

I bought this Christmas card at a store in Nanluoguxiang in Beijing. The Chinese characters on the right side say "Merry Christmas". I know there's something fundamentally wrong with having Mao on a Christmas card, but it was just so inappropriate that I had to have a copy for myself.

Although it's not something I'd want to send off to bunches of friends and relatives at Christmas, I think this is a great card because you can interpret it on so many levels. I wonder what levels the designer considered when he or she made it.

Would this card be as effective the designer had instead chosen Saddam Hussein, or Stalin, or Hilter for it? I think it can only work this well with Mao as the character.

Dec 4, 2007

Christmas shopping in Beijing

One of my stops for Christmas shopping this year was the Panjiayuan market in Beijing. In the years I've been living in Beijing, I've never come here, even though it's one of those must-see tourist markets, like Silk Street and Yaxiu Market. There's so really interesting stuff here, but the downside is all those tourists which create an atmosphere where it's very challenging to haggle down to the appropriate price. There are enough silly French and German tourists who are willing to pay ten times what a local would for something, so why should a merchant give you a decent price?

There's lots of fake antiques and reproductions of military weapons. One interesting thing I saw at a few stalls was a sheet metal reproduction of a Freddy Krueger glove with real metal fingers.

Despite the challenges, I did get some good stuff there, which I won't be able to list out right now since I wouldn't want to ruin the surprise.

Look at all that loot!

Bowls and bowls and bowls!
Bowls for cats, bowls for dogs, bowls for cereal.
You could buy one bowl for your Frosted Flakes, another bowl for your Cocoa Puffs, and another one for your Cinnamon Toast Crunch. So cool!

This Chinese man looks very content and warm with his fur hat. He's just standing around selling something or other.

Most of the market is outdoors, but covered by a high roof. The market is about three football fields in size, by my estimation.

Inside the rows of vendor stalls, it's organized chaos.