This category contains 30 posts

Flying Back to China

by Myra Brien – The Calculated Adventurist My family and I are all settled into our “new” house. I say “new” because our house is actually pretty old, but we’re happy with it and that’s what counts. Instead of saying it’s old, I like to say it has character. Saying it has character excuses the … Continue reading

“No Animals Were Harmed” – NOT!

Instead of the familiar sounds of people swimming, playing baseball, volleyball or cricket,  Blakely Park sounded more like a civil war battlefield complete with canon fire today. Actually, no people were at risk.  But at the same time there were no disclaimers declaring … “No Animals Were Harmed”, like you see in the movies.  In … Continue reading

Pregnant In Beijing – Part Two

by Myra Brien – The Calculated Adventurist In my last post, I forgot a vital piece of information that I should share. Before I even had an inkling I was pregnant and had just returned from Africa, I went for my usual reflexology massage in my favorite area of Beijing. I always made a point … Continue reading

Pregnant in Beijing: Part One

by Myra Brien – The Calculated Adventurist Before I start with the telling of my true story about being pregnant in Beijing, I will remind you of our life circumstances when we first arrived to Beijing in 2008. We had quit our jobs, sold our home and made off to China with two suitcases and … Continue reading

Police Stories – Lodi Style

By Detective Eric Bradley – Lodi Police Department As police officers, we handle dozens of situations each day.  Most are “routine” but we occasionally find ourselves in humorous circumstances, often at our own expense.  I sat down with veteran officers Lieutenant Fernando Martinez and Corporal Roger Butterfield to have them provide me with a story … Continue reading

Pilfered Poultry

“Behind the Badge” by Lt. Chris Piombo – Lodi Police Department The story you’re about to read is true. Nothing has been changed to protect the innocent. Doug Chinn and I were on downtown bicycle patrol right before Christmas many years ago when a dispatcher exclaimed over the radio, “Theft of frozen turkeys just occurred … Continue reading

The Great Wall and the Axe Lady

by Myra Brien – The Calculated Adventurist As we ran across the dam and onto to the trail leading up to the Wall, our friend was yelling, “They have guns! Oh no! They have guns!” I almost peed my pants, mostly because I was laughing so hard and was trying to hold it, so I … Continue reading

Animal Control – The Old Way

by Lt. Chris Piombo – Lodi PD Back in the old days, police officers had to deal with animal calls after hours when the shelter was closed. We didn’t receive any formal training on how to deal with animals so we pretty much had to rely on our extensive experience raising puppies and hamsters when … Continue reading

Chinese Culture Jolt

by Myra Brien – The Calculated Adventurist Living in a new country is not only educational, but entertaining. Each time we had visitors from the United States, I was reminded what it felt like to be in China for the first time … namely the assault of newness and the cultural jolt of everything feeling … Continue reading

Cops and Robbers Chinese Style

by Myra Brien – The Calculated Adventurist It was 9:00 pm on a Monday in Beijing and I was completely worn out.  My wallet was stolen,  I chased the robber, a gang of old women helped me,  I rode in a police car and got to see the inside of a Chinese police station. So … Continue reading

Count Your Blessings

A group of seniors were sitting around talking about all their ailments “My arms have gotten so weak I can hardly lift this cup of coffee,” said one. “Yes, I know,” said another. “My cataracts are so bad; I can’t even see my coffee.” “I couldn’t even mark an “X” at election time, my hands … Continue reading

A Woman of Patience

by Myra Brien – The Calculated Adventurist Get comfy – this anecdote is five hours long. One day in September we were sent a package from the U.S. It was packaged with care and sent to us at our correct Beijing address … International Priority, no less. One week after it was originally sent I … Continue reading

Disappearing Car Prank


Chinese Food: the Good, the Bad, the Gelatinous

by Myra Brien – The Calculated Adventurist Have you ever felt like you were destined for something?  Not that there’s some grand master plan laid out for you, but that a bunch of small events in your life were preparation for something greater? It sounds strange to say it, but I feel that way about … Continue reading

Learning Chinese by Osmosis

by Myra Brien – The Calculated Adventurist Before I moved to China, I dabbled a bit in Chinese. Because I never really dove in and got my feet wet, I could barely count and knew some words here and there. Later, a few months before we left the U.S., I kicked it up a notch … Continue reading

China and the Creeping Crud

by Myra Brien – The Calculated Adventurist Before I regale you with tales of sickness and woe, I must first describe to you our Chinese apartment so you can have a picture of what I’m talking about. When my husband and I went to China we were told we would have a furnished apartment ready … Continue reading

“Organic” … Chinese Style

by Myra Brien – The Calculated Adventurist Coming back from vacation means traveling to the store to stock up on essentials that have languished in the fridge while I was gone or replacing items I hadn’t the forethought to chuck before leaving. We came home to a fridge full of old yogurt, which I didn’t … Continue reading

Middle Kingdom Education

by Myra Brien – The Calculated Adventurist Upon arriving in Beijing, I was part of a massive mental reeducation program and I learned a lot. Culture Shock makes one learn fast. For the first few months in a new location, it really is all about day to day survival as you navigate through a confusing … Continue reading

The Calculated Adventurist – Introduction

by Myra Brien – the Calculated Adventurist I’ve always been a calculated adventurist. Since I was small  I have assessed the risk to benefit ratio of whatever I did. For example, at four years old I remember looking at a very large and intimidating slide. This slide is so large its built into a hill … Continue reading

In the Eye of the Beholder

. . . . . . . . . . . . . Have you ever been guilty of looking at others your own age and thinking, surely I can’t look that old?  Well … you’ll love this one. My name is Alice and I was sitting in the waiting room for my first appointment … Continue reading

School Bus Ad-ition

School buses are being used throughout the nation to sell commercial products and services.  The Lodi Unified School District is considering such use as a source of revenue (Sentinel Article). …

Free Public Art on School Street

It was reported last week that $30,000 was spent to place 10 life-like human statues on School St.  With the cooperation of a few volunteers, we did it for FREE! …

Found! 40 Pounds

When My Wife Went Quayle Hunting

It was Field & Fair Day in the summer of 1992 and my wife and I got up early to eat a pancake breakfast and experience the thrill of seeing hot air balloons rise from the grassy field at Hutchins Street Square.  We were not disappointed.

Lodi Cracks Down on “Silly String”

Steve Carell investigates the dangers of Silly String in Lodi, CA

Life Lessons

A lifetime ago in the summer of 1965 I was looking for work to support my first year in college. After spending a week trying to sell Cutco knives door-to-door (that’s another story),  I found a job as a Nurses Aid Trainee at the Veterans Administration Hospital in Palo Alto, CA.  The fact I was … Continue reading

Just What Were They Thinking?

While the State of California has for years been considered in the legal forefront in many respects,  there are still some crazy laws and ordinances have been passed within the state that make us wonder. . . just what were they thinking?: • Under State Law, animals are banned  from mating publicly within 1,500 feet … Continue reading

Questions to Ponder

If a mute swears, does his mother wash his hands with soap? If someone with multiple personalities threatens to kill themselves, is it considered a hostage situation? Instead of talking to your plants, if you yelled at them would they still grow? Only to become troubled and insecure?

Tips for Those Who Tipple With Words

What would we do without those gems that turn up in church bulletins? The fasting and prayer conference includes meals. The sermon this morning: Jesus Walks on Water.   The sermon tonight: Searching for Jesus. Ladies, don’t forget the rummage sale.  It’s a chance to get rid of those things not worth keeping around the house.   … Continue reading

New Dept of Edu Study (Satire)

Satire:  Pundits offer their views on how to motivate students. Produced by “The Onion”. Use controller below to play audio file

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