Author Archives: archert

Cruel Nature

Just some rough ideas.

From the nature’s perspective, the mission of the creatures in this world is to spread genes. Whoever performs the task better, which means do the job faster and more efficient, will always gets the reward, SURVIVE. But I think the natural probably doesn’t care about the life quality of any simple individual.

For example, the men who live on earth now proves that their ancestors are more successful in spreading genes. They must had more sex partners and may possess the intuition to commit rape. It’s simply because doing so can increase the chance to have more offspring. But here comes the problem. If you get many sex partners, it’s very difficult to deal with the relationships. Hence you may live in a life full of quarrels, even fights, everyday. For most people, it’s like a torture both physically and mentally. And if you commit rape, it maybe good for your flesh and blood, since they get the chance to be born. But it’s definitely bad for you. I know there are so many rapes that have not been reported, still if you committed it, you are more likely to be pursued by the law and get punished, even death penalty can be applied depends on what period of history you lived. So why bother? I think the answer is we’re all slave of the nature and nature makes us the slave of our intuition. Whoever can be more adapted to the world, no matter what manner he takes. Whoever against this rule simply gets vanished from the earth. That’s the reality, such a cruel nature.

Europe Unplugged, July 17th, 2014

The very first thing you should know is that I strongly recommend this trip and this travel agency which I took and travel with this summer holidays, Europe unplugged and Topdeck. Don’t be shy to at least take a look, click here (the itinerary has already changed a lot bit).

Second thing, it’s quite a common wish that we can keep the good and vivid memories through writing dairy, otherwise we easily failed the mission. I am just doing that.

It’s all begin at July 17th, 2014. We got to our meet point at Clink 78 Hostel in London very early. Simply find our tour guide and checked in, then sit on the steps before the hotel to wait the coach coming. Lena said she preferred a male tour guide, compared to a female one she had met, because he was more enthusiastic and had a loud voice. Things always fail to meet our expectation, our tour guide is an Italian named Catherina, usually we call her Cate. Lena confirmed her speculation since she doesn’t used to her accent.

The other thing I remember was a man called Ryan, I didn’t know his name at that point. A beggar asked money for him, and I think he used some dirty words to drive him away. The beggar “politely” replied, “Thank you and fuck you too”. That’s very interesting, because I never seen such thing before.

We arrived Dover at about noon, got our passport stamped and ready to take the ferry. We put our luggage one a trolley and suppose to take them back when we get to the other side of the channel. Lena seemed anxious to leave our stuff in such a unsafe way.

Dover is a beautiful place. It’s famous for its white cliffs, but I am sure it would be more beautiful from another perspective when we take the ferry back. Actually, I’m quite looking forward to that.

The ferry is very luxurious, but I forgot her name. In it, you can almost find everything you want. Lena spent much time on inspecting everything in the shop to make sure which ones to purchase on our way back. It’s inevitable. Because we all had to prepare some presents for our friends. But still I felt a little boring, I know I would rather stay on the top board than to be refrained in the small shop. So I bought two bars of chocolate to cheer myself up.

The voyage was rather short, I didn’t realize the time escape so quickly. We jumped off the board and stand still to see where our luggage be dragged to. Before the trolley arrived, our team members had plenty of time to know each others’ names and exchange ideas. I have never been good at talking. So it’s always Lena to break the ice. This time we knew Cameron and Julia, who comes from Australia. And thank them, I got some new knowledge that New Zealander gets the nickname kiwi, but it’s not because of the kiwi fruit which is also famous, but a kind of lovely and also flightless native bird.

It was very hot that day, and we waited a long time to get our luggage back. But now it turned out that we had to wait for our coach in a custom building. And our group randomly chose a place and sat on the ground, some began to sleep, some began to chat. This time, we got the name of a girl from Uganda who is a student. And we knew that not everyone in this tour has the same itinerary, some got fewer days than we did.

The coach found us finally, and now we acknowledged our “chauffeur”, a proud Irish, Sean. I have to admit I had a great difficulty to recognize those word came from his mouth, they didn’t sound like English very much. And we also met our on-road-chef, Tobin, a former DJ. We found that out later, and we all puzzled why he had quit such a cool job.

The scenes were so pleasant, I saw a lot of signs indicates that there are some deer nearby. OMG, you should know I am a crazy animal-lover. But I didn’t have enough luck to see one on that day.

I didn’t remember what happened on coach, but I did take a picture of the lovely “What’s on” sheet which Cate draws every time on our way to a new place. Apparently I cannot compete with her for tour guide on this aspect.

Then we were divided into two groups, each had its mission. I was in the group manage to set up the cooking tent while Lena’s job was to do our own tent. I have never done that before, even set up a net troubles me so much. But Tobin showed us how to do it properly, and it turned out to be such a piece of cake.

And our own tent was not so difficult too. But Lena is a perfectionist, she wants everything to be perfectly well if not awesome. She kept asking Cameron, Tim and anyone within her grasp if our tent got anything wrong.

The first time I laid on the air mattress and took a rest under the tent build by ourselves was so wonderful.

That night we took the coach for a “Night Light Tour” around downtown area of Pairs! We passed the Louvre, some square which seemed holding a live concert, a golden roof palace (King Louis IV or VI), Napaleon’s Tomb, Military School and Eiffel Tower, of course; on our way back we drove along the River Seine. We learnt that the center of Pairs originate from that small island really. We saw the old city hall and old royal palace (used as prison later) stand on that island which have several bridges to connect the mainland. One of the bridge is full of locks which we know as love bridge. It’s still arguable which one is the original, but it’s may not a good idea. Just couple weeks ago one bridge was collapse because it cannot bear the weight of so many locks. So sad to know that. And I stubbornly hold the idea that those who want show the world of their love usually break up in the end. The thing is if you are confident of your significant other, why bother?

One thing really interesting happened on this tour. Cate cannot stand for the young fellows interrupt her speaking. It makes some sense, I do understand some people cannot keep the speech if he/she receives any disturb. Sean also offered the help to hush the audience. But as a tour guide, one should certainly know emotions would be better keep at bay, otherwise you ruin the tour. Some boys are naughty, but still there are quite a few who want to enjoy the introductions of the city. Poor Cate, so easy to jump into temper though in a very quiet way. Anyway, for me it’s such a cute disposition.

The first night was too exciting for sleep, but we all tired. Some young fellows were so energetic, they stayed up late, talking, drinking, laughing. It’s wonderful to be young which I think me and Lena are still in that category..

The Shanghai Zoo

After I come back from UK, I feel what’s a shame for not visiting the London zoo. So I took my son to the Shanghai zoo instead a few days before, partly because I want him to be interested in animals, but I couldn’t deny the main reason is I want to see them.

That was a long day, we got there at about 10:30 and got out at 16:00. The weather is lovely and my son took his bike as a company which made me quite relieved because I don’t have to worry about holding him all day long.

We saw some giant tortoises first, they were taking the sun bathe. It’s a good way to keep them healthy.

The next thing we saw were some gold fish. He didn’t trouble to spend one minute on it which exactly the same behavior I would take if I was at his age.

After that, we entered primates area, all kinds of monkeys. It’s a very inaccurate word, because they all get their unique categories. I can hardly tell all the differences among monkey, baboon, ape, macaque, chimpanzee, gorilla and gibbon which now I find it’s very interesting to figure it out. One more thing, they all look like human beings at some extends. If the evolution is true, which I couldn’t find any strong evidence to refute it, then the Bible gets some faults.

Then comes the elephants, I asked my son whether he knows the name of it, but I think he was too shy to speak it out. And anyone knows why Evernote chooses an elephant as its logo? Because of the old saying “An elephant never forgets”. And that’s very true, the leading character of a herd of elephants is always a female, and her memories usually services her very well. She can remember her members even after a few years separation. And a good memory will remind her avoiding those places where usually the drought pursues.

The followings were ox and deer, not so exciting, I saw reindeer in Cairngorm’s Reindeer center and some wild roe deer in the isle of sky.

And now it’s giraffe’s turn, we usually been taught they’re dumb, now we know it’s not correct. They are not dumb, but we are deaf, they use the sound wave to communicate which we cannot hear. How ironic it is!

We have also seen two fights. One was between two rhinoceros and the other involved two pandas. I don’t suppose those were common things happen everything day. We were luck.

That’s just the half way, but I’d like to stop my pen keyboard. God knows writing is so time consuming.

Those Who Cannot Remember the Past are Condemned to Repeat it.

I’m not particularly favor the date today, but if I don’t write something then it’s meaningless for me to buy a VPS overseas.

It’s the 25th anniversary for the Tiananmen Square protests.

I still believe if the government try to cover things up, there must be something wrong. But we Chinese people have been ruled by dictatorship for too long, I doubt whether there’s still hot blood in our body if our stomachs have been simply stuffed. Of course, I’m a coward, I always was. I dare not to doubt and questioning the government’s behavior, I afraid to express my thoughts in public, I hide my feeling toward the massacre of Tiananmen Square. The thing has passed 25 years, China has a dramatic economic bloom, but so what? A country without soul is not worth respect, no matter how great achievement it had done, even I am a member of it.

I’m quite pessimistic about the view of government toward this incident, I can see no change. And every time I’ve seen this country change on this issue, it’s always been for the worse.

I hope those people who died for their dreams would rest in peace, for if heaven really exists, the God will make them justified.

Personal Experience of Cycling

Today I cycled 168km for over 12 hours, thing longest distance and time for cycling in my life. That was really not easy for me, I’m dying on the half way. But I learnt a lot this time.

First thing first, get yourself a hamlet and pair of rear and front light. Safety shall never be ignored!

  1. If you plan a long run (>100km), make sure you eat enough and regular. I kept cycling for about 4 hours at first, I didn’t eat much this morning, and I was starving. I mean it, my whole body was shivering at that time. It’s nothing about a strong will, if you don’t eat enough, you definitely couldn’t go on. And when it comes to the time for lunch or dinner, follow your instinct, if you ignore the signal, there will be consequence.
  2. Have a Plan B, a well planned Plan B. I got a Plan B, I told myself, if I feel exhausted, I could go back by a train. The thing is I didn’t check the time table. So when I felt no strength left in me, there was only a train which I had no way to catch it in time.
  3. Go to bathroom before you set out. No one likes to search a loo halfway in your journey. But if you really need it, just go to any restaurant and ask. Don’t be shy, it will be far worse if you keep cycling.
  4. Change gears. No matter you believe or not, technically this method saved my skin today. My usual gear set tend to hard to push, but go very fast. Yet my limited energy doesn’t allow that to sustain for long. I happened to change the gear to the set when I climb some slopes. It’s much easier to pedal, though the bicycle won’t go as fast as the former set. For a long run, it suits me perfectly well.

Today’s cycling is a test to see whether I could cycle to Hangzhou (200km+), I won’t deny I’m a bit disappointed to find I’m not fully qualified yet. But still, it’s a very interesting and impressed experience.


My ownCloud service is online

When Google decided to shut off its Google Reader, I understand on thing. You should not rely on others, no matter how reliable they are. For now, Dropbox serves me very well. But it will be much better if I can handle my stuffs on my own server, then no one can ever shut it down without my permission.

ownCloud is a Dropbox-like service. The instructions of how to set it up is rather foolproof. You can either follow the Lifehacker’s article or the official one. The former is much easier to follow.

But there was still something unexpectedly happened. And it took me a very long time to solve this silly problem. If you decide to run the newest version of ownCloud (which we all do generally), then you should pay closely attention to the PHP version on your server. the ownCloud 6 (the newest one for now) requires PHP 5.3.3, but the official page doesn’t state it clearly. My VPS runs unbuntu 10.04 now, and by default you just cannot upgrade PHP to that version. So you should manually add a PPA to achieve that goal.

I spent five hours to find it out. I hope this post could help others who face the same problem, though it only a possible.

p.s.: What’s next? I consider to configure my own mail server. Gmail is great, but as I said above, things that under my control will be much better.

Falling Slowly

Whenever I heard this song, it reminds me the time in UK with my dear darling. It’s an opening song for a drama named “Once”, simple stories about love affairs. But it’s the first time for me to see a totally authentic drama, the atmosphere of the theater (the name of which is Phoenix), the beautiful rhythm of the guitar, the humor of the play (which I can understand maybe just part of it), all made me amazed. And what’s more important is that I share those invaluable time and wonderful experience with someone who I quite believe will accompany me through this life.

And after hearing this song, I desperately want to learn playing guitar.