Blog Facelift

As you can see, I’ve updated my theme to my blog!  Yay!  I sorta miss my old theme, but the blog needed a change.  I really wanted a template that did blog excerpts instead of full blog posts on the home page, but wordpress are assholes and I need to pay $$ to edit any template at all. 

In addition, I’ve actually given most of my posts a category to fall under.  It took me about 2 hours just to do 50 or so of them.  Got tired of doing the rest.  I mean, it’s not like anyone reads this blog.  Well, maybe later

Maoming

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Blue skies…in CHINA??  Okay, it’s a bit ‘shopped.

 

It may be the fact that I’m now living in a hot & humid area where I sweat by the bucketful or that I’m delusionally believe my writing is actually good, but here I am writing on this silly blog.

I’ve been here officially here for 3 weeks now and my classes are honestly some of the best I’ve ever had a privilege to teach.  My students’ English is simply fantastic (grammatically probably better than mine), and I can have a halfway decent conversation with them–do a little half Cantonese and half English, and bam!  I can talk with almost everyone here.

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Sounds great, right?  Good position at a decent university with good students, competent support from the bosses, and higher pay than my previous post.  As great as that sounds, the other shoe has dropped fairly quickly.  Maoming sucks.

Aside from the Chinese pastime of eating, eating, eating, there is really nothing much to do here, besides shopping.  Well, I suppose that’s what 85% of China is like.  There’s two parks nearby, but they look a bit shitty.

 

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The sucky-ness of Maoming was confirmed by a few of the long-timers that I met last night.  One American and one Canadian, both of whom, have a pink parachute i.e., married to a local Maoming woman, and a Kenyan couplewho’s been here for a few years, but don’t quite understand why they’re still here…for the weather?)

 

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But in all honestly, if this place was too happenin’, I’d probably be complaining just as much.  Gawd, I’m such a bitch.  That’s enough complaining from me.  Honestly, I’ll try to make this place a little more livable.  After all, the beach is only half an hour away!  I’ll just need to wait for a blue sky day to go.  Photos on this post are taken by yours truly. 

SSH Tunneling to circumvent Great Firewall

You’re reading this because you want to access stuff like facebook or youtube, but can’t.  Why?  Because you’re in fucking China where the internet is slow and meaningful online content (like porn) is blocked.

There’s a few ways around it—such as VPN service, Proxy Server, SSH Tunneling, etc.  I’m not going to explain how they all work.  If you want to know, then google it. (well, obviously I really don’t know, and just being being an ass to hide my stupidity).

But, I will show you how to SSH Tunnel today, which is I think is a bit more reliable and under-the-radar than VPN’s when web surfing in China e.g., not being able to connect to hotspot shield in china because it’s been blocked.  They’re generally a bit cheaper than finding a VPN service.  Pretty much, what you are doing is connecting to a using a unix/linux server and getting that to work as a proxy for you.

So this is what you’ll need:

-Firefox browser

-Foxy Proxy add-on for Firefox (the free version will work fine–http://getfoxyproxy.org/

-SSH Client like Putty–http://www.chiark.greenend.org.uk/~sgtatham/putty/

-A Shell acount, which means login/password to unix or linux system.  If you’re currently a Uni/College Student outside of China, see if your institution offers shell access.  Otherwise, you can find a paid/free one (as low as $4 or $5 a month).  Though, note many of the free ones don’t allow SSH Tunneling, but here’s one that does, albeit at a stupid, slow pace–http://www.cjb.net/shell.html

or a site that lists paid servers http://www.egghelp.org/shells.htm

Okay, got all that?

STEP-BY-STEP (instructions first, then the accompany illustrations in case you’re confused)

1)  Download & Install firefox, foxy proxy, and a ssh client.

2)  Get a shell account somewhere.  For my example, I’ll use the cjb one from above.

3)  Open your SSH Client.  For my example, I’ll use putty. 

 

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4)  Then click on that +SSH Tab you see at the bottom left corner, then select Tunnels.  Check throw in a port number (I suggest any 5-digit number).  In my case, I used 47527.  Then Check Dynamic and hit add.  You’ll see it saved in that box as shown here.  Remember that port number for later!

 

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5)  Go back to Session and type in your host name and port number.  In my case, it’s shell.cjb.net and port 22.  Make sure SSH is selected.  Now, it’ll be a good time to save this configuration.  Name it whatever you want under saved sessions and hit save.  You should see appear in that little box below.  We’ll go ahead and close putty for now.

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6)  Open up firefox.  If you installed foxyproxy correctly, you’ll see the foxyproxy buttom on the bottom right corner.  Right click on it to bring up the menu and select options.

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7)  Select add a new proxy, name it whatever you want, and then hit the proxy details tab.  Make sure manual proxy configuration is selected.  In Host or IP Address field, type localhost.  Then for the Port, type whatever port number you had back in step four.  Make sure to check Socks proxy?  and SOCKS v5.  Click Ok and then close the options menu.

 

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8)  Open up Putty again.  Select that saved configuration that you just saved and double click on it.  It should start connecting to the shell host.  It’ll then ask for usename and password and you should eventually tell you that you’re connected!

 

 

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9)  Go back to firefox, right click the foxyproxy button and select the proxy you just named.  The button should then change color.

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10)  Hopefully it works!  Try connecting to http://whatismyipaddress.com/  if you can and if it shows a different country other than the country you’re internet-ing from, then you’ll know it works!  If you’re using shell.cjb.net (the example I used), then you may need to reload the page 4 or 5 times before it works (I TOLD YOU IT WAS SLOW!), but it’s free.

At this point, you can go back to the foxyproxy options menu, edit your proxy so that you’re only using your proxy for certain sites.  But, personally I just use a second browser app, google chrome, for all my non proxy needs.

Still Here

Maybe I should write more on this blog of mine.

Confessions from a slacker

 

Being a Pisces, I am more of a reactive person, than a proactive one.  Which of course has its advantages and disadvantages.  The great thing about it is if my students doesn’t give shit about my class, neither will I.

 

Baozi...deceptively unhealthy

With that said, I ended my normally scheduled two hour class an hour early today.  The students don’t care, and I get paid either way.  Gotta love it.

Head to the Baozi shop with a few students.  As pictured above.  For those of you who don’t know what they are, they’re steamed buns usually with some sort of filling.  The filling for today was some greasy ground pork, scallions, and a few other spices…YUM!

dazed and confused

Okay, I’m about 1 hour away from going on my crazy ambitious vacation, which involves carrying 1200 USD in my backpack.  Yeah, me am stoopid.

Okay, first stop if Nanjing, to be followed by either Nanchang, or Fuzhou, then off to Hunan Province, Guangxi, Vietnam, Cambodia, Thailand, Laos and some more shit.

Yay, will write more as time comes.

Red, Red Wine…Feels so fine?

 

Playing poker with the buddies last night, happen to drink 2 bottles of red wine all to myself.  Looks like a giant grape mutant got destroyed in my bathroom.