Thursday, October 24, 2013

Texas on my mind....

Howdy Everyone!
Well, its been almost a MONTH since my last update. 

I keep thinking that there's not much to write about, but actually there is!
I've been on quite a few adventures. For the National Holiday, XB, one of my guys that works for me got married, and I was invited to his wedding (also had to give a speech about his work ethic and what a great job he does), my aunt came in from Taiwan, and we had a nice visit, I took her to the grape festival, out to eat at a nice sushi place, and met some friends that I made here. Overall a very nice time!  She's my first foreign visitor! She left on Saturday, and I had Sunday and Monday to recover.

The first weekend in October, XB my right hand guy,  Took me to Huangdao, which is across the water from Qingdao.  We drove the longest bridge in the world to get there.  In fact, we had such a good time driving and talking that we ended up overshooting the exit for huangdao, which was ok, because we ended up in a very rural area of China, all farmland.  It was beautiful, and I'm bummed that I didn't get a chance to take pictures, but I was driving.    XB and his wife and I explored Huangdao in the afternoon, and had a nice time.  XBs wife teaches college english there but since she lives on campus, has not had a chance to explore the town, as her weekends are usually in qingdao with XB

The second weekend, I took it easy, saw friends, and Sunday went to Church and ran errands.  This past weekend, I was recovering from a cold, which was no match for Nyquil and Dayquil and Mucinex, so I got some CHinese medicine, which worked slow, but yielded results!

This past weekend, another one of my guys got married, and again, I had to do the wedding speech as the boss and talk about work ethic and marriage.  Its interesting how much weight they put on your job and how much of a part of your life it becomes, so much that the bosses have their own table at the wedding!  Sunday, I met with my friends that are in China from Washington state.  We went to Jimo Lu, which is the equivalent of silk street in Beijing (if you're from Houston, think of Harwin Shopping district).  There, they had street vendors with food, produce, clothes etc, and that was just on the OUTSIDE of the shopping center.  We enjoyed a giant Fritter (Yiu Tiao), as well as some Stinky Tofu (Will, the guy in the picture didn't like it, but his mother, who lived in Taiwan for a few years, enjoyed it).  Bought some fresh fruits, and then ended the evening at Burger King at Marina City, along the water.  Burger King was actually really terrible, as they just opened, and everyone and their dog was there, so instead of making your order when you pay for it, there's tons of Hamburgers premade.  The result is a cold, nasty, soggy burger.  I'll come back when they're not so busy and see if the food is better.
Work is going good, if not just constantly frantic.  I've learned quite a bit since taking over the role as operations manager, and one of the biggest things that I've discovered since becoming a manager, is that your productivity level generally decreases, because you're being pulled in 100 different directions in a day.  Some of the biggest headaches are HR issues.  Employees that dont pull their weight, employees that fight, slack off, etc.  Now I really understand why its hard to get a response from managers, because they're too busy putting out little fires every day.    On the good side, you do get to work with people and the people that are on my team are all eager to learn.  I just need to find the fine line between being friendly while still trying to be the boss.
The weather here has cooled signifcantly, and the days are getting shorter.  IT runs in the mid 50s at night and mid 70s in the daytime.  Kody is doing well, the cooler weather has him shedding his summer coat and growing in the winter fur!  Kody has also made a new friend, Yiu Yiu is a Collie that lives in the first building in my strip of apartment buildings.  Shes a beautiful dog, and we run into her a few times a week when we go out for walks.  Her owners are nice people, and we have a great visit every time we run into eachother. 

Dining has been an adventure, as I've been eating local fare, and I've attached some pictures of the goodness for your drooling pleasure.
The House in Katy is
Thanksgiving is fast approaching, and I'm excited that Jennifer and John and the girls are coming.  Then after that, I'll be home on the 17th for about 3 weeks!  Looking forward to catching up with everyone if our schedules allow for it.

Miss you all and would love to hear from you!
Peace and love,