Saturday, January 25, 2014

2014 Chinese New Year Company Party

The annual Chinese new year party is a great event that includes dinner and entertainment.  The entertainment is from the employees doing singing, dancing, tai-ji and more singing.  There are also many drawings for prizes, called "Lucky Draw" for massage machines, air purifiers, juicers, etc.

The company spends a lot of money on this event and I think it is the best event of the year.  Colleagues seeing their other colleagues doing performances outside of work is very enjoyable.   It takes a lot of guts to get up on stage in front of all your peers and do something that could be a little embarrassing.

Here a few photos.  I'll probably upload more when they are available from the photographers.

Party preparation, including changing the words on a song.

This was the Tai-Ji show.  It was very artistic and the audience
enjoyed it very much.

During the Tai-Ji there was a guy doing calligraphy.
This was a Chinese folk dance from Western China.  It was
very close to a middle-eastern/Russian style.

This is a couple of our leaders.  The CEO direct-reports
had to all dress in super hero costumes.  Superman is my

This is from the stage.  There were about 300 people but the
spouses were not allowed.  A disappointment for us.

This was a song called "What does the Contract Say?"  I
changed the words from What does the Fox Say?
This year I was asked to return as one of the four MCs.  I was quite honored to be asked again but I think that they just wanted to see "James Bond" again.  So a week before the event I sent out a request for people to send in videos for if they have seen James Bond.  I had a strong feeling the response would be weak, which it was, so Ziad (a work friend), Will and I went out around Shanghai to capture some video.  I also got a few great videos from a friend in the UK who did some fancy green-screen work with his son.

At the beginning of the dinner the other MCs asked where is James Bond and then this video was played.  At the end of the video I ran along the side of the audience and jumped up on the stage.  It was fun entrance.  The video can be seen on youtube.

Friday, January 3, 2014

Philippines, Shangri La Resort

We had 6 nights at the Shangri La.  We stayed on the first floor on the Ocean View wing.  Our room was a bit bigger since we put all five of us in it.  In China we have been 'forced' to book 2 rooms each time we stay at a hotel so with 1 room we upgraded a bit.  It ended up being about a few hundred bucks a night - oh well, we were on vacation so just don't think about it, right?

This was a our Christmas morning.  We made a deal with Santa
to only give the small presents and save the big ones for Shanghai.
He obeyed.

BBQ on sticks and milk shakes after a day at the pool/beach.  And
a show!

Fire twirlers.  It was a show of 'tropical' dancing from around
the pacific.

Hawaiian dancing girls. 

The limbo for the kids.

Mark, Dagny and Dad did it.

The grand finale.
Fire breathing!

3 kids on the hammock, a great week!

Happy hour for apple juice and sprite!

Our friends from Jinqiao showed up for the last couple days.
Dagny's friend Addy.

Fireworks for us on Friday night, not sure why?

Nice gym facility.  We are all stretching or at least pretending.

Mini golf on the monuments of the Philippines.  It was a
ridiculously hard course but fun nonetheless. 

The boys had a great time in the water balls.  You ran in them
like gerbils.  You only had 10 minutes until your air ran out but
they had quite the workout.

Dagny made friends with another 6 year old from Hong Kong.
Tabitha, Cypress and little brother.

The snorkeling off the beach was great.  They called it a marine sanctuary since there was a bunch of coral reefs in less than 10 feet of water.  We saw 1000s of fish, giant clams, eels, sea snake, big blue star fish and crabs.  We were out there hours each day.  
I bought a plastic bag for my iPhone and it said it was waterproof to 6m.  It worked great for videos but not as good for photos, except for a few like the one below.  A great $30 investment.  

A cool blue starfish!

A Nemo fish.

Giant Clam that Mama wanted to bring home...

Great snorkeling right off the beach! 

The beach was crushed coral, very nice.