China’s Tactics of Influence in Foreign Countries

China is a sovereign country, the same as any other independent and the world must respect this. What is unique about China is their willingness to use any means to exert their influence far beyond Chinese jurisdiction. I see that here in Canada, but there are reports of the same tactics being used in Australia and New Zealand.

Tactics include:
Funding education programs that have a pro-Chinese viewpoint
There is great concern here in Canada about their funding tactics. While it is great to encourage the study of Mandarin language, China is using this platform to teach a pro-Chinese viewpoint to very young kids. More than worrisome, this is meddling in the internal affairs of Canada. The Toronto District School Board had signed an agreement with this group, but the decision was reversed.

Buying Chocolate Truffles in China: Fakes Aplenty

Truffettes de France brand truffles marketed on a Chinese web site as French truffle chocolate. Actually made in Canada

Truffettes de France brand truffles marketed on a Chinese web site as French truffle chocolate. Actually made in Canada

A friend has asked me which French chocolates are best: Defeisi 德菲斯松露 or Feiluolun songlu 费罗伦松露. It was clear that she was confused and needed help. In providing her help it was clear that much deception occurs with Chinese suppliers and fakes are everywhere. As it turned out, neither are from France, and they may not be truffles, and one is only available from Chinese web site. These Chinese web sites are pretty sketchy. Add to this that Google search is unavailable in China, so Chinese people are not able to cross-check products, and the low level of English in China, makes it pretty easy to cheat Chinese consumers.

Guangdong Province, Kaiping City, Changsha District, Lougang/Nanyang: Maps

China, Guangdong Province, Kaiping City, west 8km, Nanyang Village (Lougang). Google Maps

China, Guangdong Province, Kaiping City, west 8km, Nanyang Village (Lougang). Google Maps

A friend said his ancestral village was in China, Guangdong Province, Kaiping City, Changsha District and mentioned something about Lougang as the village name. The Google map he sent me was confusing, in that yes, it was Guangdong Province, but not exactly close to Kaiping City. I investigated.

Toronto Snowfall 2017 November 10

This is the first snowfall of the winter season for Toronto, Canada, and a blustery -10C, a far cry from yesterday’s +6C, and also colder than the expected +6C next week.

Snowfall in Toronto, 2017 Nov 10. Photo by Don Tai

Snowfall in Toronto, 2017 Nov 10. Photo by Don Tai

By mid-day the snow had melted from my driveway, but there was still icy patches in local parking lots. Since tonight will go down to -8C if there were more accumulation I would shovel. Tomorrow and the next 4 days are all above zero.

Mountain Equipment Co-Op MEC Merchandising Fail

I’m in MEC looking for a windshell and arrive at the cycling section. They have a lower and upper rack. You need to be at least 6′ tall in order to get items on the upper rack, ones that hang on a clothes hanger. I had to go to the nearby canoeing section in order to “borrow” a canoe paddle so I could retrieve items from the upper rack.

When customers need to scour your store for tools in order to retrieve your merchandise, that does not promote a positive impression of your store.

Kidde and Garrison Fire Extinguisher Recall in Canada: 2017 Nov

Yes, there is a fire extinguisher recall from Kidde and Garrison, but I found finding the list of affected models difficult to find. News agencies seem to relish reporting the news but do not provide the necessary links to look up your model.

US Government Kidde Recall notice: Includes something about “in ocnjunction with Canada”

Canadian government Recall notice for Kidde and Garrison fire extinguishers. Of course the health Canada site, referenced by most news agencies, has nothing about the recall, so this is a dead end.

Ikea JANSJÖ LED Lamp Review : Great lamp, terrible light switch

Ikea JANSJÖ desk lamps are inexpensive LED lamps that have excellent light, a solid base and flexible neck, but the switches may make the light flicker.

Ikea JANSJÖ desk lamps are inexpensive LED lamps that have excellent light, a solid base and flexible neck, but the switches may make the light flicker.

I have two from Ikea and use them with my computer. The light they cast is a pretty pleasing combination of blue and yellow, neither too much of either. They are also very reliable, with the exception of the light switch. These were thrown out because they would not turn on. The issue was the utter cheapness of these switches.

Chinese Tattoo Art: Joey Pang, Hong Kong

Hong Kong tattoo artist Joey Pang has a Chinese style similar to Chinese painting. Her work is very lovely. Complete with red chop. Ben ma 奔马

Hong Kong tattoo artist Joey Pang has a Chinese style similar to Chinese painting. Her work is very lovely. Complete with red chop. Ben ma 奔马

I am not really into tattoos, but these images are striking. Tattooing has a history in Japan, with their koi and large tsunami waves, but I never thought I would see Chinese shan shui art in tattoo form.

This SCMP article says she ran off with people’s money and currently lives in China, because she experienced a lot of stress from her work.

Restored Leather Highback Chair

Leather highback chair needed two leather patches on the seat. After the repair was completed and new metal gliders added. Photo 1 by Don Tai

Leather highback chair needed two leather patches on the seat. After the repair was completed and new metal gliders added. Photo 1 by Don Tai

This leather chair was cast aside, but it beaconed me to come closer. It took little time to determine that it was leather covered and in need of a major repair. Once done, however, the chair was returned to service, and comfortable it is.

Glaringly obvious was the huge gash 6.5″/17cm gash in the seat, as well as a smaller 1″/3cm cut, also in the seat. After I determined that the backing material was actually the very reassuringly natural matte fibers of real leather, I knew the repair could be done.