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July 2017
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Archive for July, 2017

That is Jones Cup 2017

Anger is my feeling.
Shame is how I see part of this tournament.
But there are sparks too.

Blue won the last one.
It was a good turn around.
Especially it was against Korea.

Korea is respectable this year.
Great player turns to coaching.
And he taught good big men with nice outside shots.

Tournament is too close to me.
Canada was a big surprise.
They are all about team play with great balance in only 4 hours practice.

I feel like a fool.
No one care like I do.
The way Canada and Blue game was conducted a shame.

I am out dated, maybe.
But it was a disgrace.
The Canada team was cheated out a win.

They beater Lithuania in a very close game.
But it was a fair one.
And Lithuania beat host Blue near 30 points.

Refs were the difference.
Canada loss was so one sided.
There was no sportsmanship.

And Blue played a hell a game.
They showed what they were capable.
But refs beat Canada.

Watched Macau lady ref on Lithuania and Philippines game.
She is no way in the same class as past invited ref. in this tournament.
Players were too good for her in both speed and reflex.

Organizer invited her.
I wonder why and how
That really lowered the tournament standard.

Funny how tournament is named.
CHANGE they call this one.
And indeed change they are.

Unfortunately it is not a positive one.
There were so many bad moments.
No one stood up to protect tournament honor.

No one in position did.
That is “be there” and “carry out” the responsibility.
They were not.

No one was at court side.
Only the lower rank ones did.
It ended hush-hush to wrap up.

And to my surprise, when looked around, no one cared.
All were happy the host won.
And no one cared how it was done.

Press were the same.
Where was the decency of winning fair.
They lost what the tournament was about.

It was just in one game.
And they lost all.

Organizer didn’t use their head.
They mindlessly threw both out the window.
The tournament lost just and fair play.

May be I am the only one saying that.
But the game was very well televised.
All teams and players saw it

Blue played good.
But it was not enough.
That is to win over Canada.

3 refs were not neutral.
They took side.
And like I said, it made the game 8 against 5.

Canada was green in this situation.
They ended confused and angry.
They were fool to play on.

This tournament is in 39th year.
People had learned plenty in the past.
It took all kinds.

There were times.
Teams were cunning to protest.
They threatened to walk out.

That got attention.
The tournament had to make adjustment.
They did learn and compromised.

Yes, protest bought them time.
That helped and changed the outcome.
One year, the Korea team simply left.

Those days, refs were good.
But the cunning took full advantage.
There is no punishment.

It was unfortunate.
There is no rule for this.
Jones Cup is an unofficial international tournament.

Canada team was mistreated.
Yet no apology was given.
Honor is a joke.

Clueless was all Canada.
They felt helpless and played angry.
No where to turn, they lost eventually in close one.

Yes, like I said, Blue had great shooting.
The center was 5 for 5 at 3 points.
Another key player had a near no miss night.

Yes, this was done before.
That was refs in favour to host team.
But they did it subtly.

They showed skill.
That is to cover up the foul play smart.
Many did in near art form.

And fan slowly caught on.
They also learned to appreciate.
That also became a charm for fan in the tournament.

Those visiting refs made themselves a favour.
This is not an official FIBA tournament.
They allowed games to be fun.

But it was never this obvious.
It downgraded everything.
Integrity of the tournament lost totally.

I firmly believe.
The organizer didn’t plan it this way.
And clearly the refs took it too far.

There is other possibility.
That means they simply are no good.
Or they just couldn’t understand Canada team’s English.

Sadly tournament went on.
And no one thought it a big deal.
All lost sportsmanship and fair play

Yes I do feel shame.
What went on needs to be recorded.
So, here I am.

Tournament was loose especially on ref.
And there was no supervision.
It was a mess.

That was “see no evil”.
The refs got the message.
That was to help host team win.

But truth is in all eyes.
Teams will come next year again.
Respect will not.

We have to invite good refs again.
Local refs have to reach some standards.
Good refs must officiate important games again.

Canada team was not wise to play careless at start.
That showed the mind set.
They never recovered

Language was another factor.
Asian refs seemed lost.
They couldn’t respond to Canada complain.

Things compounded.
Players hurt.
And we saw no medic.

Canada team was gracious.
They kept playing.
Many teams in the past just stop to play.

Jones Cup day 3

Yes, Canada ought to win this tournament.
But they lost to host team tonight.
And it was a game with the least sportsmanship.

The game was out of control.
Refs simply were bad.
They couldn’t keep up.

Yes, it was like a tradition.
Host team is favored.
But this one went too far.

Many teams would have quit the game.
Thanks to Canada, they finished the game.
It was a game 8 on 5.

Blue had superb shooting to win.
Their aggressive play showed how loose refs were on them.
And technical committee unfair interference was another dark spot.

Seriously, Taipei lost the dignity of the tournament.
Canada very angry but was a good sport.
But quality of fan was a disappointment.

Lithuania won.
Korea was good too.
Both had such clean game made their skill shine.

Both teams and host Blue all had a shooting night.
Sadly for Canada, they didn’t match for the night.
That put them at one loss now.

Lithuania coach displayed the winner altitude.
That is pushing hard all the way even ahead.
That is kind sharpness local team missing.

Clearly Canada still is the team to beat.
Lithuania has to settle for second place.
Philippines and Korea will fight it out for third place.

And host Blue is in fifth place.
Blue may move up if to tie with Korea and Philippines.
There are still some great games left.

Cunning Korea played tough Lithuania.
Both shoot each’s eye out most the game.
It was so clean and Korea lost steam at end.

Philippines will fight Korea hard.
Coach and ref will be the difference.
That is a 50-50 ball in day 5.

Korea will challenge Canada in day 6.
Ref will be the key again.
They most likely will be local refs.

Philippines will challenge Lithuania on day 7.
Philippines has the fan base advantage.
Local ref will be another reason to influence the outcome.

Final day will be Blue against Korea.
It will be the last game of the tournament.
Blue is in full advantage as host.

Jones Cup second day

Today there was a big game.
They offered fan super coaching match up.
And we have first team reaching 102.

India lost to Korea by 20 points in first game.
Then Japan lost to Iraq by out side shots.
Canada against Lithuania made our day.

Quickly Canada was down.
It was 7 to 10 points catching up game.
102 to 99 told the story.

Both sides were brilliant.
That was in shooting and defense.
We almost could have a first over time game.

It was back and forth all the way.
Only near end, Canada managed a small lead.
Fans were at their feet.

It was physical and tough.
Refs were few steps behind in tempo.
Coaches displayed cunning and wit.

Canada team is temporary assembled.
Yet their cool and unity won the game.
Coach is simply amazing.

The local White can use his service.
And their big man is far useful than the one in team White.
Fact and numbers tell the full story.

The real surprise is Lithuania team.
We expected they are good.
But none did expect that many completed players.

They humiliated Canadian players from the start.
That really helped for us to appreciate how Canada held on.
At end 102 to 99 said it all.

Yes, it is on TV.
But local fans were at loss.
The on court presence was priceless.

We can’t say enough.
That is the superb shooting on both sides.
And both side defense was amazing and fantastic.

The tournament had long established way back.
People came to see good games.
This one will be for the memory.

Fan has to look beyond the host team.
Both lost yesterday.
Tournament is titled CHANGE.

May be it is timely.
We certainly can make use of Friends from Canada.
I will pick the coach any time.

Yes, Philippines is box office to organizer.
But that will not help in long run.
After all, they are loyal only to Philippines team.

They are Philippines labor workers here.
The tournament deserves bigger and better market.
And World U can use more.

With teams this year, we hit gold.
Many can be text book one.
They after all are all on TV.

A TV special can be made.
But that will not happen here.
Too many bureaucrat are here.

What amazed me is.
Canada is a team put together in days.
They practiced only 4 hours.

Lithuania had shocked them.
They looked finished.
But they held strong to win.

And Lithuania has my full respect.
They are here to play.
And their style is new blood and great excitement to local.

Focus July 12, 2017

Top news today is ISIS’s defeat.
Iraq finally surprised us.
They had victory and recovered Mosul.

We hope it a definite one.
And set back it can’t.
Evil can not allow a second chance.

ISIS cruelty is clear to the world.
That erases all kindness in us.
We wish finality of them.

But conventional wisdom also told us.
They are cornered now.
That makes them dangerous than ever.

Animal can be deadliest when cornered.
This indeed is the most dangerous moment.
More violence can be expected.

Kill will be their final statement.
Strike back they must.
It is a question of where or when.

I hope not Taipei.
Taipei is racial and political divided.
There is no trust within for now.

Government is making the worst example.
Saying one thing and doing other is the norm.
Cut off any China tie is in full force.

Erase history is practiced.
That stops all continuity.
Confusion is only the beginning.

Tolerance is said but not practiced.
All things are seeming in wrong content.
It helped the process.

That is making the young as nature independent.
Now young can born as one.
The brain wash is working.

Brain wash works.
Many parts of my past wiped out.
They can not exist to young generation.

The traditional principle in life is erased.
And we have no new one to replace.
So, for my generation, it is not easy to forget.

Can sweet talk works?
May be.
We all are watching.

They are talking about raise.
Public support is low.
The change in retirement policy back fires.

Military is uneasy.
They are game changer.
It is vital to settle them.

US’s military vet policy is used as example.
But, to me, that will never happen.
They have no idea how tough it is for US now.

It is human nature.
Entitlement will be.
That only will deepen the problem.

The root of all troubles now here is the President.
The elite thinking is the reason.
That hurts the public the most.

But she can’t see that.
It is just like Ma.
Elite mentality blinds both.

Now finally the problem is clear.
But she still pretend it is not there.
Even God can’t help this way.

Can you imagine.
World University Games is on hand in August.
But the budget will not.

It will only until Games done.
She expects things to work with empty hand.
Practically that will never happen.

Avatar the show is in Taipei now.
NT $ 800 you can see it in person.
But that is too rich for my blood.

Also Hilton the hotel is back to Taipei after 14 years.
Lot there are lot memories to old guy like me.
It was the first 5 stars hotel and first disco in Taiwan.

Creative is topic of the town.
Forums are plenty.
I will do my best to attend all.

Yes, government is hot in action too.
They aim to create Asia Silicon Valley.
That is 4 years on NT $ 3.6 billion budget.

Seattle allowed people to choose flexible working hours way back.
It was wildly reported in Fortune magazine at time.
Now Japan is hot in it too with Taipei following soon.

Jones Cup 2017

Yes, there is that new arena.
It holds 7,000 seats.
And all tickets sold out.

It is not the glorious day 13,000 full house.
But it is nice of all the conveniences in Taipei.
And the best is more than 5,000 or so.

Space and comfortable blind in modern lines.
Security is tight.
It is preview of next month World U Games.

People are spoiled here.
It is nice location.
But the complain is no bus stop right outside.

And there is lot room around.
Taxi will soon come.
Uber can make the full use here.

I got there on second game.
Iraq won over India.
Both are national teams but not top power in this tournament.

Lot fans showed up for second game.
That is local World U team against Korea one.
Clearly guest team is better coached.

Local star did good on his own.
But he failed to see the open teammates.
Coach was not to keen on team defense.

I have no idea of the only foreign player on the team.
Clearly he can’t play in World U Games.
And he seemed weak in facing Korea.

Third game is the best.
I was surprised.
Their national team didn’t play this good before.

They won over Philippines national.
And Philippines wants the championship.
Yet Canadians met the challenge and more.

Philippines has super fun support here.
They work here and crazy about basketball.
Players are well known to them.

It was a surprise.
Canada only got together days and practiced 4 hours.
But they displayed the best defense with great temperament.

Philippines hold back some.
That is for good reason.
Their best player played limited time.

Their goal is Asia Cup next month.
And they wait to play other Asia teams.
This tournament is perfect for that.

They were physical.
Fan got to see a good game.
That reflects how solid Canada is this year.

Both team are capable to block shots.
That will stands out this tournament.
Canada coach is a interesting one.

He and some players deserve to have job opportunity in Asia.
Some can play in Philippines pro.
Local can use some of them too.

Iran is a second national team.
Some super stars are no show.
That gave the Lithuania club team the win.

Sadly there was no food or drinks in the arena.
It is not business oriented yet.
That means opportunity for ones think fast.

The last game is local national and Japan World U team.
Japan is weak in the middle.
Result was clear at half time.

Taipei daily, July 11,2017

Obey the law.
That is what came to mind.
We all will when seeing the news.

Yes, it is 1719 bikes being towed.
People just leave them where ever they want.
Finally local government had it.

And on 7/17, rider will be fined.
That is if riding on walk pavement again.
We walking people had it too.

People simply need discipline.
It is too long people can be whatever they want.
Stop they must now.

Frankly I have very little faith here.
People will say.
Obey the law? Why?

No matter what.
It is a start.
Let us help to enforce it.

Then there is another reality.
It is like alternative truth by Trump’s White House.
Call it “alternative” for each’s own definition.

People are too free on its own.
They are so used to choice own explanation.
Lawless is a reality.

We have it coming.
It is law and order time.
Better now than never.

It can be a warm up.
We do have something terrible coming.
And no one seems to care.

Will terror attack Taipei coming August?
My take is yes.
Taipei is a easy target and world will see.

I am not nut.
And I am not dreaming.
Locals had it coming.

Here is why.
Yesterday MRT had a drunk went wild.
Hundred people ended up rattled with 3 hurt.

Mind you.
There was no bomb or gun.
Imaging if it was.

Ok, we do have max security here.
It will be in front of our eyes in days.
And it is political.

Current President is shadowed by protesters.
And foreign President will be visiting for 3 days.
This is two birds in one stone.

It is on full alert.
Nothing will happen for sure.
Locals, after all, will not kill.

It is the World Universities Games.
150 countries will come.
Terrorists love just that.

They will be here and in groups too.
It is their wish.
That is to kill at the crowded people event.

Taipei has its own mind too.
It is the best of time to promote local interest.
Local tries and will try harder.

That is the problem.
By far no one bothers to think terrorist at all.
It is not in their logic.

And the worst is.
Locals love to befriend foreigners.
There is never enough to serve the visitors.

Locals will end up helping.
That will make easy for terrorist on almost everything.
This will be nightmare.

Tickets are not selling.
2013 sold 780,000 and 2015 52%.
But now only 1138 sold.

That is US 730,
And HK is 190 with Japan 70 and China 21.
South Korea is only 2.

Locals have no sense what terrorist will be like.
It is too late to educate now.
All visitors will be best treated.

Taipei needs to be united as one.
But they are not.
Politics divided totally.

Opposition leader is urged to be “brave”.
It is one academy within the party.
The issue is one China or not.

Ruling party is having fun watching.
Even they are in different opinion on the same subject.
It is divided among divided.

It is ironic.
Internationally Trump is wreaking US.
That but is helping China rising.

China is not coming.
That means no terrorist threat to them.
And Taipei is strangely and badly needing unity.

Back to basic

It is vote buying.
And all are in the name of national budget.
They will be in hand of ruling party’s local governments.

It is $ 880 billions in 8 years.
And government is only in 4 years term.
It is one year gone.

One can not help but to think.
The King indeed is not wearing any cloth.
It is all pretend.

The story is old.
Yet it is amazingly accurate.
People simply never learn.

Things never are that complicated.
We often are too smart for our own good.
And the truth is we lie even to ourselves.

Transparency and accountability can take care of that.
But vague takes over.
They gave the impression of things sophisticated.

That is the trick.
Once people hesitated and got confused.
They indeed got away with it.

Look at Taiwan.
So much money did spend on flooding.
And it is flooding still.

The worst is.
Much more is in the planning.
None mentioned the past.

The irony is.
Typhoon season is near.
So far flooding is simply automatic.

Yet money is budgeted.
They just pile up more.
Human greed has no limit.

We also see the “garbage mountain”.
The pic is on all front pages.
It is gross.

And we learn.
Also tons of money already had spent.
All have nothing to show.

We have to wonder.
Where is the transparency or accountability?
And how can people still tolerate?

No one openly talks about it.
But we all know what happened.
The greed and corruption are the politicians.

And it goes on.
There seems no end.
Now two issues burn the island.

One is the unaffordable retirement system.
And the other is the light rail.
Both divide the people.

There is nothing complicated here.
Rails light has no urgency.
It is not in our national interest.

And there is the retirement fund.
It is definitely heading in the bankruptcy.
Current government can’t afford the 18%, period.

But obligation is there.
They are the old and retired.
We must let them live.

A way out is a must.
It is time to think outside the box.
Even it is against our senses.

US had Marshall Plan after Second World War.
That gave Japan and Germany new life.
And China is the new hope.

They are hot with One Belt One Road now.
Some money can be that 18%.
It is a way.

That can be a solution.
Yes, $ 14 billion annual hole is bad.
We must find a long term solution.

It is the best with China.
Peaceful unification will result.
No war means no life lost.

That will be priceless.
The key is to face reality.
May it be One China Policy.

Taipei 2017

Often people ask.
Why I am here every year.
Normally, other people would go to different places.

I could.
That is for the same amount of money and time.
Yet, I am always here each year.

Well, here I am again.
That is after near 2 years absence.
Yes, I was not well for that long.

My wife did warn me.
My heart could bust on long flight.
Yes, I just had a major heart operation last November.

Here I am.
That is from 6/2, 2017.
A sense of belonging is me.

Yes, there is a new government.
They are not my cup of tea.
But I am comfortable as it is.

And look over the news paper.
I know precisely why.
It is the people.

There are gaps.
But life goes on.
And the variety is the fun.

It is mongo season at the moment.
Locals are getting creative.
They manage so many ways to eat it.

Fresh iced is one.
That catches all eyes.
Japanese is here for that.

Many travel across town to try new ones.
I managed 2 places so far.
They are different but good.

Yes, they attract all kind visitors.
Japanese love it.
New variations thrill them.

Variations are good and colourful.
People are in long lines for it.
And all by products are amazing.

Many took out too.
I saw HK people do that on last minute rush.
They had a flight to catch.

Competition is real.
Burger is the focus this time.
It is a new fight this year.

It is Korea style against Europe one.
Mac is catching up.
So are Burger King.

There are other competition too.
Coffee is going boutique.
Brand and varieties are plenty.

Japanese food is another local special.
They hold special place in local heart.
A noodle house, just opened, has long lines for hours.

And it is not cheap.
There are problems.
But people didn’t care.

There is a department store.
They have the whole basement for all kind of breakfast special.
Korean one stands out and other new big names jump in fast.

Yes, it is summer here.
Beer is wild.
Promotions are everywhere.

The south city is making a major festival out of it.
It is called United with Tomorrow Land.
They will be on at end of July.

That is a 8 countries joined event.
It will be all at same time.
It is a major international event now.

Indian movie is hot.
The one father made his girl a champ was a hit.
Now a classic war one will hit the screen next week.

Oh, one local land mark bookstore will surprise us.
The store is famous for the way it operates.
Now a new branch is located at METRO underground.

I will be here to see more.
It is only July.
The summer just begins.

My daily routine, Taipei

Got here on 6/2, 2017.
Landed early at 4:30 am.
Hotel car was there to pick me up.

Weather cleared then.
Was told.
It rained really hard earlier

I missed the big one
Not so.
The rest day was nothing but rain.

I had to stay in the rest the day.
That followed for the next 10 days.
But I am glad to be here.

Finally rain stopped.
And the sun is on.
That was by the room window at 5 am.

I went to B at Mac.
That was a half sandwich plus coffee.
All together is only $39 NT.

Then I picked up paper.
Yes, it is a paper about China.
And for $ 10, I learn plenty.

The walk helped.
It looses up my joins.
Then a hot shower made it perfect.

This is great.
I was on wheelchair before the flight.
Now I am fully on my feet.

I can feel the pain in the joins.
It is not the numbness.
That pleases me.

Ate again at 10 am.
By noon, I go out or sleep on.
That would be lunch or movie.

Yes, I walk a lot now.
I am getting better everyday.
The stairs down the MRT is challenging but great.

I started with two hands to hold on tight on the side.
Now I am free with both hands.
Foot work will be firm next.

Now hands free is my pride.
And sweat like pig feels alive.
It is a month now after all since here.

Pool in the afternoon is a must.
That will be daily soon.
I need to adjust gradually.

It is now 2 and 2.
That is going 2 days and rest 2 days.
The recovering demands patience.

At pool, Sunna is great at 85 degrees.
It makes me sweat in a hurry.
Heat was good to my aching joins.

Then dip in cold water was next.
Yes, pain and stiff are real.
But new sensations made me alive.

Yes, it is running in the pool.
It is better than good.
No pressure on knee or ankle.

30 mins to an hour each time will be routine.
It depends.
Not to exhaust is the key.

Then there is that water pounding.
Massage it is.
The water spa concludes the work out.

Dinner time next.
Ate good and then MRT back.
By now the whole body is comfortably in pain.

Bubble tea is heavenly and timely.
Cold drink is a must.
Ice cream or the like is king.

Walk back is quite exhausting yet relaxing.
The weather heat really is a comfort.
Then it is TV back in room.