Halloween in Hong Kong

My colleague informs me that in Hong Kong people don't give sweets instead they give money. Perhaps I will take Padstow trick or treating after all...

Royal Blackmail: The name - But who cares?

OK, lets get this over with - The law is indeed an ass as the Times.co.uk writes here. They are not allowed to publish the name, but anyone else in a foreign country can.

Its Lord David Linley (read here for the Italian link). There we go. A very minor royal and the only real news is that someone wanted £50,000 pounds to keep it quiet. Frankly, no one cares about this chap and they should have released it days ago - There would be no story now had they done this.

Have they learnt nothing from the Diana fiasco? I wonder who advises the Royal family on the web and PR because they are doing a pretty lousy job. It took me two minutes to establish that it wasn't Harry (have you seen Chelsea??! Gay? I don't think so...) Charles? Well, possible I suppose.

Any child in the UK can type into google and get the result. The issue should be that people are writing that its Charles, its Harry and that is where the dame can be done.

The real story is that this isn't a story - Its only making waves in the UK because the (UK ONLY) press can't publish what I can or the Italian press can, its absolute madness.

Now, lets all get back to Britney's meltdown or the smog in Hong Kong. That is really news.

Now this is a quote...

I always tell people, be careful what you say online as everyone will quote you, no matter what or how you meant those words to come out. Everything is now under a global microscope.

Today I read a new favourite from NBC Universal Chief Jeff Zucker;

"Apple has destroyed the music business... If we don't take control on the video side, they'll do the same [there]."

If he means destroyed in terms of increased sales (read profits), new artists and generally an all round better experience for consumers then yes, Apple has indeed destroyed the music business.

Words fail me on this one. No-one would ever say anything that stupid in Hong Kong of course...

Happy Halloween!

Greetings to all from Hong Kongs Halloween Monster!

ALL women should watch this!

Single, married?! Ladies, this is a 101 lesson for all of you. Please digest and learn as it will help you understand the complex make-up of the male species.

Travel Book is ready to go to print!

Well, its quite a week. Not only am I working on a book for the Hong Kong Dog Rescue charity I am also publishing my first photographic book of my travels.

Called "The World Through My lens, by ali bullock 2004 - 2007" its a collection of my very best photos in a large coffee table format. I am really pleased with the results and I hope that it will make a nice gift for Christmas.

You can see some photos here

Locations include, Cuba, NYC, London, Padstow, Hanoi, Beijing, Paris, to name but a few. You can also see my list of 50 places to see before you die including where I have been here.

The HKDR Book is almost ready to be published

I went down to the publishers yesterday and the book is almost ready. We should see final proofs in the next week or so and then its off for the print run. And there is a thousand to sell, so please buy it...!

The book looks like it will be featured in Hong Kong Tatler and HK Magazine (I hope) which will certainly increase the sales. If you want to buy a copy let me know, all the profits go to the charity.

A few photos on the right for your enjoyment.

This is a really great time for me and these very lucky dogs.

If you laugh at this you are a bad person

Its so funny, yet so true. Yes, I am a bad person, and so are you for laughing at this:

Speed Dating- Omid Djalili - The funniest bloopers are right here

Now I'm in Korea {and then back in Hong Kong}

It feels like I came back from China took a wrong turn and ended up in Korea, completely missing Hong Kong on my latest work trip. In fact I was only back in HK for 2 nights so close enough.

Korea is a funny old place. It seems to want to be so much more than it is, but it just doesn't seem to know what "that is," is - People were very nice that I work with and I could not have asked for better food. A recent comment (from I think Richard H?) who says that Beijing has better food than Hong Kong. If you are eating from the streets I would have to agree, but civilized restaurant food, I think HK is heard to beat. Richard, I'm afraid that we are just going to have to agree to disagree or as the Chinese government would do - Throw you into a "re-education camp" until you agree. But thank you for the comment.

(Note: In the UK we have Butlins - Not quite the dictatorship style though (for anyone non-British that won't be funny, oh hell I can't be bothered to explain... Its to late in the evening).

In other news, the first drafts of my travel book and the HKDR book have come back for my review. Both look really good and I'll publish more on these when they are in the final stages.

I decided (last night for some unknown reason) to add to my web site a page all about places that I want to see before I die. Here is the link to click

What do you think, what have I missed?

Other than that, I am dead tired of planes, airplane food and check in counters in general. never thought I would say this, but I am tired of planes... This feeling will of course only last a couple of days and I'll be up and running to get back to that list.

Photos from Beijing

Just a quick post to say that the photos from Beijing are up on my web site on the following link:


Hong Kong 1 - China 1

Well the Great Wall is indeed a Great Wall. In fact it is much more than that. Words fail me when I come to describe how good the Wall actually is.

I spent 3 hours up there looking around and taking photos (one of which you can see here). admittedly, I don't make the whole 6,000 km) but I saw enough to tick this one off my list of places that I want to see before I die.

The pictures will be up on my web site: alibullock.com but as I write this I am still sorting out all the photos (so you'll just have to wait). But they are good and I will have them up by Sunday evening.

Speaking of places to see before you die, I have never thought to write that sort of list. I have seen the Empire State Building, The Great Wall, Houses of Parliament, Eiffel Tower and Red Square but I need to get a list together? Anyone got any suggestions...?

Hong Kong, 1 Beijing 0

I had high hopes coming to Beijing, that on reflection could not be met. Now, don't get me wrong it is one splendid city and I think it will do the Olympics proud, but Hong Kong it is not. For some reason it just does not match up and I so felt that it should be better than HK in some way. Makes me realise how lucky I am....

The bad news; Tianamen Square is not nearly as great as I thought it would be. Not rubbish by any means, but certainly no Houses of Parliament or Empire State building. Red Square in Moscow is far better (on the subject of squares).

The good news; The people I work with could not be nicer, and the city's architecture is a marvel to behold. The buildings rival New York or Chicago and I can only see bright things ahead for the city.

Tomorrow, start at 6 am and go to the Great Wall - My expectations are sky high, a tough one for China to meet. But I have a feeling that this economic and political giant may just manage to out do its self.

We'll see.

So Mrs B isn't the only crazy one...

I love this headline that popped up today, "Woman Gives Up Convertible for Lost Dog." And there was me thinking that Mrs B was crazy over our dog, who has now taken to sleeping on our bed next to Caz and so now there are two people to push over due them hogging the space.

Is Mrs B crazy over the dog? Absolutely, but I can take heart that there is someone crazier than her, and where else does she come from but Texas. Note to Mrs B: There is NO WAY, NONE, ZERO chance that I will swap my Porsche for the dog. He is on his own if he gets lost. Chop him up and eat him, no way I am I giving up the Porsche.

Here is the article in full for all you dog lovers out there.

Internet censorship in China

People in Hong Kong are luckier than sometimes they know. Unlike Singapore they don't pay 300% tax on their cars (and then a $15,000 a year license fee) and unlike China they can view the BBC web site amongst others.

(Don't even bother to click the above if you are in China as you won't be able to see the page). Mine, and thankfully this blog remain safe.

But when you work in China, or if you have interest in the online space in the Asia region this latest report (courtesy of Google blogscoped) makes very interesting reading. From the organization Reporters without borders (another one on the China hit list I suspect) has published a report on the governments inner workings around web sites and what gets blocked by the new great wall of China.

You can read the full report here

In my role as interactive manager have to look at the Chinese market when it comes to approving advertising. Now, China is progressing very quickly and while a company like mine is unlikely to be working with anything even remotely anti-government (for all the usual corporate reasons) but never the less this report does make interesting reading. Here are a few bullet points I found:

1. The Beijing Information Office has introduced a new system of “licence points" for websites. As well as being fined, sites can have points withdrawn. If they loose all their points, they risk to get their license withdrawn. But they have the possibility of recovering lost points and are encouraged to do so.

2. Various forms of communication have been established between the leading commercial websites and the supervisory bodies – phone, email, SMS text messages, MSN, QQ and RTX (Real Time eXchange) instant messaging, web platforms and a weekly meeting. The Beijing Internet Information Administrative Bureau uses these different means of communication to instruct sites to not publish an article, to not cover an event or issue, or to put a stop to certain comments. The employees of these privately-owned sites are expected to liaise with the bureau and respond to its orders as quickly as possible. (...)

Is China democratic - No. Do we care or should we be surprised by this document? Probably not given the economic impact that the country has. As for the guidelines and inner workings; Its essential to read this document if you want to advertise or work the online space in China. Of course Google and Yahoo self sensor articles and have handed over blogger details to the authorities, hence the need to move the "Don't be evil tag."

"This is China." And we are going to see a lot more of this, which is a shame.

Most wonderful mother in law

Some people have a monster-in-law, some have a star-in-law and luckily I have the latter! Who else gets brought an ipod touch by their mother-in-law?

Shame on Mrs B for not buying me one. But not to worry there is always the small matter of a Porsche to buy for Christmas. If she doesn't then there will be trouble.

(OK, that last bit is a lie, its not like I get to make any of the decisions round here.)

Anyway. Most wonderful Mother-In-Law goes to Lalage. The gauntlet is laid down to my own mother! She had better step up here!

UPDATE: My mother read this blog (a surprise to me) and said "I carried you for 9.5 months, you kicking all the time, then raised you for 29 years before I handed you over to Caz. I think that is worth 29 million Ipod touches, not that I know what those are."

That is actually a good point.

Funny the things you miss about the UK

Its ironic that I haven't missed the UK and London as much as I thought or told people I would. As we come to our first six months here our attention is turned to a visit back home just before Christmas for a wedding and general family catch ups.

It made me think about things I have missed. As I stood on our balcony watching Hong Kong's Porsches, and red taxis stream by I thought of a few things, one of which is how little I have seen of family & friends. One special person is I will certainly be looking forward to seeing is our (well Caz's niece Rebbecca). I wonder how she is doing and how tall she is now.

It will be great to see the fokes of course (inheritance tax threshold increased means I'll have to be extra nice, just kidding Dad). We'll definitely be going to Borough market, which is such a pleasure anytime, but coming up to Christmas its even better.

We'll be back in Hong Kong for the 25 December - Not sure how thats going to be, but with Padstow and his Santa suit I'm sure it will be a blast.

So to all my friends back home, sorry for not being in touch, but free up some time when I am back in town! Regards to all...

Why I love Hong Kong (Reason 43)

As many of you will know while I love my wife she is a nightmare when it comes to money. All she wants to do is save it, and as we all know living in Hong Kong this is an alien concept. Spend the cash is the mantra here and of course that means spending it on yourself and not any poor people or any such nonsense as saving Monks in Burma for instance.

Its all about showing off what you have to as many people as possible. Many of you (who know me, or even just read this blog) will know that I fit into this Hong
Kong life like a glove.

So I have the car I want: Porsche Cayman (check), Black as sin (check) but no personalised number plate (damn). Unfortunately, this chap has already beaten me to the one I would want for my car. His should read RICH FU**KER! Damn him.

Its not just Golden Week in China

While China takes a week off and the residents of Hong Kong take a collective sigh as we are invaded by a million people looking to hit the Luis Viton store we can at least breathe easily as the air is crystal clear.

This is a great time to take photos of the Hong Kong skyline as you can actually see the skyline (another top tip from me).

October is not just Golden week it is also Golden month in the ali and Caz marriage cycle. This is where I get to do/say nice things to Mrs B in the hope that in 3 months she remembers this and buys me a nice new gadget for Christmas.

Every year I do this and the results are 50/50 - So generally i keep on the same path. But this year is different, damn Apple threw me a curve ball (and by the looks of it caught out their business partners too) and released the Ipod touch early and even Mrs B picked up on the hype.

So I have had to bring forward operation "please Mrs B" - In the war of marriage you always have to dodge the minefields see here and here as well. In addition, listening to her when she talks about something kicks in at this point as well (Damn, I am good at this.)

So phase 1 is complete: Get Mrs B to a deal - So my study is tidy, I have ceded temporary control of the TV remote and changed my Facebook status to "ali bullock is lucky to have such a wonderful wife."

Phase 2: Flowers and a seeding of emails to her friends telling them to remind Caz how wonderful I think she is. If necessary a small something from Tiffany (but this really has to be held onto as its the nuclear option.)

The Ipod touch is so tantalisingly close, let the battle commence. Trained like a samurai warrior I feel confident that I will win this one, and she suspects nothing! Hurah!