Family, friends, country and world events.

I have reconnected with family members long  lost, I have made friends with those whom I never thought possible, I miss my country and am proud that the economy and GDP is improving, and hope that the international geopolitical situation, with Greece and Iran and Afghanistan can all resolve their problems without issue.

I will write detailed blogs in my May 2010 to come.
America's thirst for oil has resulted in a big spill in the Gulf of Mexico.  If we had only developed alternative energy sources forty years ago, perhaps this wouldn't have happened.  
Serendipitous humor, chance encounters, facebook and linkedin fun have resulted in employment at Spicy English.  It was never meant to be serious, and was just a bit of fun but has taken on a life of its own.

I'm being obtuse, but necessarily so.
I'm off to Hong Kong today, then to come back.  I'm doing a little shopping.  Tomorrow will find me discussing and negotiating.
Uncertainty is always so much fun!

However, I'm hopeful.
I just bought some fresh apricots to enjoy in these waning days of April.

Last night, went for Dongbei BBQ with my girls.

Sunday finds me relaxing after cooking Italian sausage with fresh tomato, zucchini, sweet pepper and garlic.

The weather is cool, unusual for Shenzhen.
I am proud to report that I contributed 75 trees for Earth Day:  50 trees were planted in the Atlantic Rainforest by the Nature Conservancy's "Plant a billion trees" project and 25 trees for reforestation in a national forest of the United States via Arbor Day Foundation.

I've been a member of the Nature Conservancy for 25 years, and have participated three times in their "Plant a Billion Trees" project in the past two years (for a total of 100 trees,(25+25+50).

Prior to this, I planted some 150 trees on my former property in southern Illinois, some 1000 trees on my father's property in Joliet, Illinois, and also about another 1000 trees in the Nature Conservancy's restoration of the Lower Cache River in southern Illinois as volunteer work in the spring of 1996.

I think that my 2000+ trees have more than neutralized my carbon footprint, and yours as well.

Abraham Lincoln is proof that genius can be entirely self taught: with no formal education, Lincoln read law, and practiced law; he read the great writers of the English language, from Chaucer to Shakespeare, from Washington Irving to Nathaniel Hawthorne, and it shows in his writing. How succinct, how poignant, how precise his words are in the Gettysburg address; the economy of words, the depth of meaning, sincerity, honesty; he had an incredible talent for the written word! Both inaugural speeches are also masterpieces; the second shows how his genius and craft evolved during the four moving years of the Civil War. Abraham Lincoln is my favorite American President, and through his vision of what America should be, unified, one, without the institution of slavery, equal, made America what it now is. No assassin's bullet can take him away from us. To quote his friend Stanton, "He now belongs to the Ages". --James Zaworski, 2009

Posted by James Zaworski on January 5,2009 | 10:39 AM
My Godfather, Judge Michael A. Orenic, has died at the age of 85. He was a classmate and close friend of my father, Bernard E. Zaworski. They attended Joliet Catholic High School together, both served in World War II, had common interests in great literature and classical music, had large families (9 and 8 children respectively), and served the community of Joliet each in his professional way, legal and medical. 

I remember the Orenic's coming to our house weekly to play cards, and "the Judge" smoking his ever present cigar. He was a kind and gentle man, always with a light but serious heart, and ready with sage advice.

He was my Godfather, and he played a role in my formative years, and also helped me as well in my adult life.

He will be missed, and my condolences go out to his family and friends.

Earth Day week begins today, and Earth Day is on April 22, 2010.  I am going to plant some trees via proxy, meaning I will donate to the Arbor Day Foundation, The Nature Conservancy's "Plant a Billion Trees" project.  I'm in China, so I do not own any property here, and cannot plant a tree.

However, I will reduce my energy consumption, this week, walk as much as possibly, refrain from taking a taxi, and generally try to keep a low carbon footprint.

I found a nice BBC article about a hotel in Denmark that offers guests a free breakfast if they use the stationary bicycle in the hotel gym, which is hooked up to the energy gr