Hail Cesar, and welcome July. We’ve had a printer issue here at the house for longer than I can remember. Just one of those things that ought to get fixed but never does. And part of the reason is I can easily shuffle over to the front desk at this compound and use their printer. For a while I’d come over with a USB. Then, they, (albeit wisely) had a policy that said no USBs into the system. But I could go on line and print from the cloud. That’s cool, I’ll hop on Gmail and source the attachment and print it. This usually worked well.
This morning a contract came that had taken a very long time to source. So once I had a moment this morning I was determined to head over, print it, sign it and scan it. Upon arriving though it dawned on me that my Gmail account would be inaccessible from their computer. This, because ever since the 25th anniversary of the Tiananmen tragedy, some twenty-five days ago, the powers that be have gone from slowing Google down to blocking it outright. Dutifully I entered the site into the browser, regardless. Nope. Might I be able to get to Google Hong Kong? Nice try. GFW riseth, until 将计就计
Walking back home I pondered the final straw between me and a new printer. And pondered as well this process of navigating to the global internet from China. It is enervating. It is annoying. It is ironically understandable that a country or certainly a Party would not want to allow for the manifestation of a force it did not create nor can not orchestrate, free reign. So things are bluntly blocked. And it feels blunt, and clumsy and brutish. Until you recall that many of your own countries control mechanisms and legitimizations for power projection are simply more refined, and familiar. They don’t feel as blunt because it “’tis of thee.”
Heading in to town this afternoon for a series of meetings. Three of them, stacked together, back to back. They’ll be another one after that, but it will be casual. I’m trying see if I can get everything done in time to pay the barber a visit. I’m very glad to still have reasonably robust hair, wood knocking as I type that. When I cut it short it looks well enough. As it grows out it goes wide before it goes long. This, unless very well attended to, tends to create a clown-like effect that is undesirable. We are now well into the Krusty, with fork in socket stage and, more pressingly than the printer, it needs to be addressed, post haste.
I used to have this gent who was fabulous. He was a very good barber, from Marseilles. His English was pretty good and my French was dormant, but between us we covered European politics, what life was like in New York City in the 70’s when he lived there, his left vs. right policy jousts with his son. We’d laugh, sip espresso and have good time of it. Then one day he, the owner, mind you, was gone. “He went back home.” I see. The new gentleman’s English is not as good and as a result we didn’t really explore much of anything, save my desired lock lengths. The former owner had been in Beijing for over fifteen years. I shot him a text. I hope he’s well.
We’ve been deep into the Hammond Organ jazz sound and we’re going to continue in it. To be fair I have some gentle, majestic Ali Akbar Kahn on “Evening Raga” as the typing falls, but all morning driving the kids to school and getting my coffee it was a Hammond Organ fest. We listed to Big Joe Patton, who I’ve talked about and Reuben Wilson. And we also took the time to get to know the one Baby Face Willete. Son of a missionary he plays most mournfully on this number “Goin Down” from his 1961 release “Face to Face”, that I've gone and switched on cause I felt like it. Considering this and other cover photography it isn’t hard to understand how he got a name that sounds like a Bugs Bunny episode. Nothing funny about this solo though. No sir.