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Thursday, August 13, 2009

The king is dead?

Chien-ming Wang's 王建民 miserable injury-riddled season (1-6, 9.64 ERA) is over, and there is some speculation as to whether or not he'll still be playing for the New York Yankees in 2010. One Taiwanese pitcher, however, is continuing to find success in Japan's Central League セントラル・リーグ. "Dragons' Chen wins 4th straight" says the Daily Yomiuri ザ・デイリー読売:

"Chen Wei-yin 陳偉殷 allowed a run in seven innings to win his fourth straight start as the Chūnichi Dragons 中日ドラゴンズ beat the host Hanshin Tigers 阪神タイガース 3-1 at Kyocera Dome Ōsaka 京セラドーム大阪 on Tuesday. Chen (6-2) didn't allow a run until Ryō Asai 浅井良 scored after leading off the seventh with a pinch-hit triple. He allowed five hits, issued four walks and struck out one. 'Even when I put runners on base, I was able to just focus on the next batter,' said the 24-year-old lefty from Taiwan. The Dragons scored twice in the third against Yūya Andō 安藤優也 (6-8) on back-to-back one-out doubles by Hirokazu Ibata 井端弘和 and Masahiro Araki 荒木雅博 and a single by Masahiko Morino 森野雅彦. Lee Byung Kyu 이병규 doubled and scored in the fourth on an in infield single by Chen."

It would be nice to be able to see Japanese games featuring local talent on Taiwanese TV, but the general public seems only interested in Wang.

Today being my one free weekday afternoon, it was off to the Tak'eng area in the early afternoon (in spite of the threatening skies) to get in some thankfully rain-free walking. On the last leg of the ride to the parking area at the start of the hiking trails, I made another one of those stupid, dangerous one-handed filming-while-riding videos:

I wasn't able to ride into the parking lot due to the accumulated mud on the ground, but with the exception of some damaged fruit orchards and several small landslides, that was about the extent of the impact on this section of Tak'eng from last weekend's horrific Typhoon Morakot. Perhaps because people were expecting there to be a lot of devastation, the trails were wonderfully empty most of the time I was out there. Instead, I had plenty of spiders, lizards and butterflies to keep me company, and in one instance, this walking stick insect:

One thing I did while out on my walkabout was to check out the Taoist temple 觀 I had come across a couple of weeks ago. The following is a 12-minute video that was rejected by YouTube for being too long. It ain't exactly gripping stuff, but it does give you a general idea of what Taiwanese temples look like, as well as a taste of the great outdoors, Takeng style. And if you're into wildlife, there's a lizard at the one-minute mark, and a huge, beautiful butterfly around 8 minutes and 45 seconds into the show:

Checking out a Taoist Temple

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