That will drive you mad

In celebration of ten years of blogging here at LTG, each week for the next 52 51 50 49 48 47 46 45 44 43 42 41 40 39 38 37 36 35 34 33 32

 313029 28 27 26 2524 23 22 2120 19 18 17 weeks I will delve deep into the sewer archives of past posts to bring you a tidbit of blog history.  I had originally planned to call this series “The best of LTG”, but damn, there just wasn’t much “best” to be found.  And mediocre is too hard to spell.)

Nine years ago I made my first drive out to the Incheon airport to pick up my step-son. The trip started auspiciously when I discovered the garage door at my apartment building was blocked by an illegally parked car.  The journey ended with my car breaking down on the return trip near the Han river.  I wrote about that fiasco in a post called “Adventures in driving”.  

All these years later I drove my new old car home from work today.  It took an hour in heavy traffic, and there were a couple of wrong turns before I finally gave up on the GPS and listened to Jee Yeun.  I did manage to affix the GPS to the dashboard using Velcro, for all the good it did me.

Welp, the car is now safely parked in the garage here in Gireum-dong where it will sit until Sunday morning.  Then I’m going to head back out Incheon way to take my wife on a visit to a famous Buddhist temple near there.  I suppose I am up for a new adventure in driving.

On the road again

Sunday morning I drove my new/old car to Yongsan Garrison with Jee Yeun as my navigator.  The purpose was to make sure I was prepared for my Monday morning commute.  The GPS that came with the car has proven to be essentially worthless, which may be due to the fact that we have no instructions and we haven’t manged to fully grasp the intricacies of its operation.  Plus, the previous owner did not give me the equipment to mount the sucker on the dashboard.

Anyway, the way I get to work is to turn right on the main drag outside my apartment building, turn right again at the first main intersection, turn right at Korea University, turn right onto highway 6, drive a fair piece until I can make a left turn on the road that goes past Seoul station, then turn left towards Yongsan High School, another right, and then enter the base through the Camp Coiner gate.  Easy as pie.

We did a little shopping at the PX, had lunch at the food court, and then headed home.

I brought home this fine crock pot from the PX. So sometime in the coming days I'll being doing up some pulled pork barbecue. I also dropped twenty bucks on a "universal" mount for the GPS. I guess my GPS is from another universe because there was no way to make it fit. I played with it some more today using velcro strips, but those have proven not strong enough to hold it in place. Maybe I'll go with superglue...

I brought home this fine crock pot from the PX. So sometime in the coming days I’ll be doing up some pulled pork barbecue. I also dropped twenty bucks on a “universal” mount for the GPS. I guess my GPS is from another universe because there was no way to make it fit. I played with it some more today using velcro strips, but those have proven not strong enough to hold it in place. Maybe I’ll go with superglue…

Took a different route going home.  Out the MP gate, past City Hall and the American Embassy, turn right at the Blue House, drive until I see the sign for the Hyehwa rotary, first right in the rotary, then a straight shot on home.  Who needs GPS?

I made it in Monday morning on my own with no getting lost, no accidents, and only blowing through one red light (that I know of).  And that was at a crosswalk, so no big deal, right?  35 minutes door to door.

My chariot. Ain't she a beaut?

My chariot. Ain’t she a beaut?

With a fine ass to boot. Ahem.

With a fine ass to boot. Ahem.

I’ll be driving in every Monday and driving home on Wednesdays with a boot full of groceries.  And hopefully we will do some weekend road trips now and again.

I took the subway back into Itaewon Sunday afternoon for my Singles League match.

The 15-1 victory took some of the sting out of last week's 14-2 shellacking. My opponent wasn't pleased, but hey, I was on my game and he wasn't. It happens.

The 15-1 victory took some of the sting out of last week’s 14-2 shellacking. My opponent wasn’t pleased, but hey, I was on my game and he wasn’t. It happens.

Monday night we faced off with our sister team from Dillinger’s (the Dill’s Pickles), the strongest team in the league and one we’ve never managed to beat.  I was full of confidence but drew their top Korean player in every fucking match.  He whipped 6-0 in singles, but with a partner we went 3-3 in doubles.  Despite my lackluster performance, we somehow found ourselves tied at 19 going into the final leg.  I came to the board facing a 60 out, and threw a double 20, double 10 for the victory.  It was an exciting finish and I felt at least partially redeemed.  And then the bar picked up my tab as a birthday gift.  I’d call that a good night!  Even made it to bed by 11:30 which gave me 5 hours sleep, my bare minimum it seems as I made it through today without my usual Tuesday blahs.

Speaking of my birthday, here’s some of the guys responsible for my sorry state of inebriation on Friday night.

At the two extremes are co-workers. The guy next to me is my old friend Howard who was my sponsor when I first came to Korea in 2005. He's been in Japan all these years since so it was great to see him again.

At the two extremes are co-workers. The guy next to me is my old friend Howard who was my sponsor when I first came to Korea in 2005. He’s been in Japan all these years since so it was great to see him again.

Damn, I’m fat.

 

The check is in the mail

Daughter-in-law shared the good news this morning that the kindly folks at AT&T have issued me a check.  I assume it is a refund of some kind or another from my recently cancelled USA phone service.  Now the only question remaining is where do I spend this unexpected windfall…

Never let it be said that I have no cents.

Never let it be said that I have no cents.

The end of the line

My brother pointed out that since I was born in the USA, yesterday was technically my birthday as well.  Nothing to do but celebrate again, right?   Had a large group of friends and co-workers out at Shenanigans.  It seems everyone insisted on buying me a birthday shot.  I normally stick to beer for a reason, and last night proved to be a reminder of why.

I stumbled out of the bar and meandered my way to the subway.  Successfully managed the transfer to Line #4 and promptly passed out.  I was awakened by the announcement that the subway had reached it’s final destination–Dangoggae.  That’s about 5 stops past Gireum.  I had to pay again to catch the ride back to where I was supposed to be.  While waiting for my train I sneezed which caused a shart.  It was not pretty!

Oh well.  I probably had fun, I just don’t remember.

On the ride to work Monday morning I scored a seat in the old folks section. No guilt, age has its privileges.

On the ride to work Friday morning I scored a seat in the old folks section. No guilt, age has its privileges.

Still crazy after all these years

Thanks yobo!

Thanks yobo!

So, another birthday, number 60. Sixty is traditionally a special milestone in Korean culture.  As commenter Kevin Kim helpfully shared:

That’s five times around the twelve-year Chinese zodiac, and Koreans normally celebrate this with a special party called “hwan-gap,” a reference to having completed the 60-year cycle. If no one’s said anything to you about hwan-gap plans, it could be that you’ll be in for a surprise on Thursday. And, hey—if you don’t get a proper hwan-gap celebration, go have an awesome meal at your favorite meatateria, anyway.

Well, there was no hwan-gap today for me, Jee Yeun advises that people live so long these days that 60 has lost its significance.  Instead, the big party is for hwan-gab, the 70th birthday.  What a difference a “b” makes, eh?  Here’s hoping I’m still around for the hwan-gab celebration!

Hwan-gap or no, it turned out to be a pretty fine day.  It started with awakening to the flowers pictured above and a sweet card from my spouse.  Then it was off for another day on the chain gang serving the American people to the utmost of my ability.

Although I did take time out for a selfie whilst I contemplated all the wisdom I've accumulated over the years.  It didn't take long.

Although I did take time out for a selfie whilst I contemplated all the wisdom I’ve accumulated over the years. It didn’t take long.

At lunch time my boss and two co-workers joined me for a fine Mexican feast at On the Border in Itaewon.

Upon my return to the office the long awaited email from the embassy was there informing me that MOFAT (Ministry of Foreign Affairs and Trade) had finally seen fit to issue the documentation verifying that my vehicle had been de-registered from it’s former diplomatic status.  So, I hoofed it over to the embassy annex and picked up said paperwork.  Then I hiked over to Camp Kim to get my car registered with USFK.

I had all my required paperwork, but the vehicle inspection is only good for 30 days, and 30 days came and went on Wednesday.  Despite my urging for an exception to policy (being as how the vehicle has been parked for the past three weeks) I was given no quarter.  Instead, they gave me a temporary registration and licence plates (for $3.50, U.S. currency only).  Then it I carried my plates back to the embassy annex, finagled a visitor pass, and went in to finally take possession of my 1999 Hyundai Sonata.

My embassy contact handed me the solitary key to the car, I dutifully inserted it into the ignition. turned it, and…nothing.  Yep, the battery was as dead as that ambassador Hillary hung out to dry.  My helpful embassy contact secured me a jump start and then had one of the mechanics install my temporary tags.  And this time I was able to actually drive back to Camp Kim (and the A/C worked perfectly!).  First stop was the AAFES car care center for a new inspection and a $122.00 battery.

Battery installed and inspection passed, I completed the reams of paperwork, and was given two shiny new license plates (for $6.50 U.S.) and told to install them myself.  No big deal I suppose, but that is a service the registration folks used to provide.  And it was hot and I was in slacks and a tie.  Oh well. I got ‘er done and drove back on post just like I knew what I was doing.  Found the car wash ahjussi and he cleaned my new old car up like a champ for a mere W10,000.

I did a little more office work and then Jee Yeun arrived to take me shopping at PX (she buys, I pay).  We had discussed purchasing a new backpack, but after trying a couple on for size I decided I liked the one I’m currently using better.  So I settled for a pair of slacks and a shirt.  Suits me.

Jee Yeun said she was hungry and although I was still stuffed from lunch I drove her (even opened her door like a proper gentleman) to Dragon Hill Lodge for a fancy dinner at Sables.  We had us a live Maine lobster which on the menu was listed as “market price”. That turned out to be a mere $65.00 and included three sides of our choosing.

A huge ass lobster served up with a baked potato, broccoli in cheese sauce, and asparagus in butter,  I was glad we didn't order two lobsters because I was stuffed.

A huge ass lobster served up with a baked potato, broccoli in cheese sauce, and asparagus in butter, I was glad we didn’t order two lobsters because I was stuffed.

My fat and satisfied 60 year old self.

My fat and satisfied 60 year old self.

After dinner we drove over to the commissary and stocked up on all the heavy items we could now easily transport home in the very spacious trunk of my Hyundai.  Then I got to find our way back to Gireum-dong.  The GPS that came with the car is next to worthless, but Jee Yeun did a great job navigating and we made it home in less than a hour, which considering the traffic wasn’t bad at all.

So Hee brought me a birthday cake from Paris Baguette.  A cheesecake which I truly do enjoy.

All decked out with 6 ten year candles...

All decked out with 6 ten year candles…

...which these old lungs managed to blow out with a single gasp.

…which these old lungs managed to blow out with a single gasp.

And that’s pretty much how my day went.  As regular readers know I’ve been a little melancholy upon reaching this milestone.  Glad I did of course, but reflecting on the ever dwindling time I have left has been somewhat disconcerting.  The fact is I still feel young (the aches and pains notwithstanding) so I’ve come to the conclusion that I’m going to embrace that and keep on going as hard and long as I can.

It's a sorry shame is what it is...

It’s a sorry shame is what it is…

Well, I’ve been blessed.  And instead of focusing on the things I no longer have in my life, I’m going to work at being satisfied with the things I do have.  It’s not a bad life I’m living at all and I’m certainly in no hurry to let it go.

Back in college I read Hemingway’s A Clean Well-Lighted Place (full story at the link, it’s short).  It moved me then, but re-reading it tonight from the perspective of an older man gave it a rich new meaning.  A couple of days ago I came across a story (fiction, I think) that also resonated.  Living life in regret will consume you if you let it.  I won’t.

Happy Birthday to me!

And the wheel in the sky keeps on turning

In celebration of ten years of blogging here at LTG, each week for the next 52 51 50 49 48 47 46 45 44 43 42 41 40 39 38 37 36 35 34 33 32 313029 28 27 26 2524 23 22 2120 19 18 weeks I will delve deep into the sewer archives of past posts to bring you a tidbit of blog history.  I had originally planned to call this series “The best of LTG”, but damn, there just wasn’t much “best” to be found.  And mediocre is too hard to spell.)

Nine years ago I celebrated my 51st birthday in grand fashion.  I wrote about it in a post called “Finished with fifty”.  And now I’m leaving the 50s behind altogether.

Ah, but I was so much older then, I’m younger than that now.

 

It’s all good…

…except when it’s not.

Sunday started out with an ass reaming in Singles League play.

And he didn't even bring lube...

And he didn’t even bring lube…

Well, Daw Jon “Storm” is one of the top Korean dart players, we even saw him on the video screen of Phoenix soft tip darts machine (he’s sponsored by Phoenix, which I suppose makes him a pro).  I didn’t have any serious expectation that I’d beat him, but there were three additional legs in play (I had first shot at the out) but I couldn’t execute.  Truth is, I’ve lost a lot of my passion for darts lately.  This manifests itself in a lack of motivation to practice.  And my game show it.  Ah well.

After darts I met up with nephews Justin and Joshua at Shenanigans.  Jee Yeun even came out and joined us which was a special treat.  She hasn’t come out for a night on the town in Itaewon in well over a year.  It seemed like old times.  After some cigars and beverages we moseyed down the street for a fine meal at one of my favorite Korean restaurants, Don Valley.  Hell, I’ve been dining there for 10 years now, even the waitresses all know us.  We ordered up a smorgasbord of Korean delicacies, including galbi (pork and beef), bulgogi, and samgaetang.  And more adult beverages of course.

Then it was off to the norebang where we all sang our hearts out until it was time for me to head back to Gireum-dong.  That 0530 alarm is a real bitch.

Monday night was dart league and my game didn’t show much improvement from Sunday’s effort.  My poor play in fact cost us a close match against Bull and Barrel.  Adding to my unpleasant experience was running out at 11:15 to catch the subway home, which put me in bed at midnight.  Too late for this old body to recover sufficiently for my early rising and work day.  Tuesdays really suck for me.  By the afternoon I’m so damn tired I can’t focus on being productive.  Early to be bed tonight so I can work twice as hard tomorrow to make up for it.  Next season I’m either quitting Monday darts are finding a team that will let me leave after the singles matches.

Jee Yeun took our visiting family out shopping in Myeong-dong Monday afternoon.

After lunch coffee at Cafe Coin.  Everyone was impressed with Jee Yeun's ability to negotiate discounts from the vendors.  Me? I was working.

After lunch coffee at Cafe Coin. Everyone was impressed with Jee Yeun’s ability to negotiate discounts from the vendors. Me? I was working.

Josh and Bree are now en route back to the states.  It was nice spending some time with them.

During my non-productive time today I came across this graphic that I found hilarious:

 Suck it fat man!


Suck it fat man!

What else?  Well, barring some misfortune I’ll be turning 60 on Thursday.  This has been a tough one for me, I admit.  I’m equally torn between regretting the past and dreading the future. A future that I reckon *might* provide me ten “good” years.  If I’m lucky.  Well, being 60 beats the alternative, that’s for sure.  And I have way to many friends and acquaintances that weren’t fortunate enough to celebrate 60 years here on Earth.  I came across this article on Instapundit this morning (told you I was not productive) which provided a modicum of perspective on being 60.  I’ll just have to suck it up and embrace old age I suppose.

And now it’s about time for me to drag this tired old body off to bed.  Sweet dreams.

 

The brother’s boy

My younger brother Gregory has two sons.  Justin has been living and working in Korea for several years.  His kid brother Joshua is now visiting with his girlfriend and another couple and their baby.  They seem to be having a helluva time doing the touristy stuff, which also included a whirlwind trip to Japan to experience Tokyo Disneyland.

My contribution was to take them to my favorite Samgyapsal joint in Itaewon.  They all professed that it was the best meal they’ve enjoyed in Korea.  But then, us McCrarey’s are lying bastards.

On the mean streets of Itaewon.  This was after a couple of rounds of drinks and cigars on the back deck at Shenanigans,

On the mean streets of Itaewon. This was after a couple of rounds of drinks and cigars on the back deck at Shenanigans,

 

No it didn’t

Things don't end well after all...

Things don’t end well after all…

Watched another vintage Korean film (circa 1999) tonight called Happy End.  Not one massage in the whole movie, but there were some steamy sex scenes.

The story is about a couple, or to be more precise, a triad. The wife is cheating.  The husband finds out.  And well, let’s just say he avoided divorce court.  Hard to feel sympathy for any of the characters, but it was well acted the ending was a bit twisted, in a Tarantino kind of way.

Some tidbits–the wife owns a Hakwon and the work scenes were filmed at the Seongnam branch of ECC, so perhaps I rode past it when I was working at K-16.  And the wife drove a 1999 Hyundai Sonata just like the one I bought, albeit in better condition.

Thank you Amazon Prime for the free viewing.  A buddy lent me a stack of Korean DVDs but alas they won’t play on my laptop (I’m assuming they are the wrong zone).

Grilled, but not filleted (hopefully)

This morning upon arrival to my office there was an email from an OPM Investigator wanting to schedule an interview as part of the background check for my security clearance.  I dutifully responded that I was willing, ready, and able to sit down with her at her earliest convenience.  Which turned out to be 1100.

Our admin vehicle is in the shop (and I’m still not in possession of the car I bought last week) so I hoofed it over to the J-2 building, which is about a 10 minute walk.  I arrived pouring sweat.  Which if I recall you are never supposed to let a government agent see. Ah well.

I was a little bit perplexed because I had told my life story to OPM (and the Chinese apparently) on the 127 page SF-86 form (I wrote about that here).  I didn’t recall having a sit down interview in my previous background investigations, but the OPM person (who was actually very friendly) explained that my file had been “flagged” for additional information.  She then said her process was to go through the entire SF-86 and re-ask the questions I had previously answered.  Oh boy.

With one or two exceptions I gave the same answers I had previously provided, and I was able to give a reasonable explanation for the dependencies.  Nevertheless, it’s one thing to answer questions on a form, and quite another to be pressed for details about the most intimate matters of one’s life.  For example, explaining the circumstances of my three prior divorces.  I’m pretty sure I was flagged because I’m now married to a foreign national based on the multitude of inquiries regarding Jee Yeun and the in-laws.

Anyway, two and a half hours later the ordeal was over.  The OPM agent said she was not the adjudicator for my security clearance but she felt sure there would be no issues with my loyalty to Uncle Sam.  Well, I am what I am but I ain’t no spy.  I guess I’ll know I’m in the clear unless and until I’m hauled off by armed agents to Guantanamo.

The final journey

In celebration of ten years of blogging here at LTG, each week for the next 52 51 50 49 48 47 46 45 44 43 42 41 40 39 38 37 36 35 34 33 32 313029 28 27 26 2524 23 22 21 20 19 weeks I will delve deep into the sewer archives of past posts to bring you a tidbit of blog history.  I had originally planned to call this series “The best of LTG”, but damn, there just wasn’t much “best” to be found.  And mediocre is too hard to spell.)

Three years ago found me in my Dad’s beloved hometown of Memphis, TN to commit his cremains to the muddy waters of the Mississippi river.  I wrote about in a post called “To the sea”.

Brother Keith carries the ashes to the riverside

Brother Keith carries the ashes to the riverside

Where one of Dad's favorite poems was read--Sea Fever by John Masefield

Where one of Dad’s favorite poems was read–Sea Fever by John Masefield

And then we sent him on his final journey

And then we sent him on his final journey

I must go down to the seas again, to the vagrant gypsy life,
To the gull’s way and the whale’s way where the wind’s like a whetted knife;
And all I ask is a merry yarn from a laughing fellow-rover,
And quiet sleep and a sweet dream when the long trick’s over.

 

A train runs through it

A friend posted a link to the 25 best films of the South Korean new wave (whatever the hell that is). I was surprised that I’d only seen six of them.  So I set out tonight to add a seventh–a 1999 movie called Peppermint Candy.

I’m no reviewer but you can get the backstory at the link above.  It was emotionally powerful and hard to watch in places.  Korean movies are often overwrought, but I’m glad I sat through this one.  Some historical events from Korea’s recent past (the Gwangju massacre for example) and how they shaped the life of the movie’s protagonist were particularly interesting to me,

Another enjoyable feature was how the movie started out showing one fucked up individual and then went back in time to show how he became such a fucked up douche-bag.  A train was utilized as a recurring theme throughout the movie and served as a makeshift time machine to carry the story backwards as it were.

Anyway, it was well-made, powerful, and sad.  Which is what a Korean movie ought to be. Give it a watch and see for yourself.  (It’s not on Netflix for some reason, but I was able to stream it on Amazon Prime.  I reckon you scofflaws can do an illegal download if you are so inclined..

It’s no distance. No matter. It’s the ride.*

Sometimes we wait awhile to begin our journey, but in due time we move on towards our destination. Along the way people come and people go, but the reality is we are all solitary travelers. And then the ride is over and it is time to pay the piper. But the damn fare machine won’t accept the only paper money in your wallet. So goes another morning subway commute.

* Stolen from this old Stephen Stills song:

“If it goes in greasy, it comes out easy”

Time to catch y’all up on the happenings in my so called life.

This GPS unit was a steal at only $1200.00!  And it even comes with a 1999 Hyundai Sonata (not pictured).

This GPS unit was a steal at only $1200.00! And it even comes with a 1999 Hyundai Sonata (not pictured).

I finalized the deal on my vehicle purchase.  My new/old car is currently sitting at the embassy annex on Camp Coiner (right next door to Yongsan Garrison).  The guy I bought it from has been reassigned to the embassy in Afghanistan (no idea who he pissed off) and flies Monday, so there was some urgency in getting things done.  I should have everything I need now except the “de-registration” form from the embassy.  And the guy who handles that said I should definitely have it “next week”.  I went by an insurance company Friday but given that it was a Korean holiday (Independence Day and you are welcome) I couldn’t get a policy issued.  I was promised four quotes on Monday and should be able to purchase some bona fide coverage by the time I get the embassy paperwork.  Then it’s just a matter of taking all my documents to the USFK vehicle registration folks at Camp Kim (across the street from Yongsan Garrison), getting a temporary vehicle tag, then going to Camp Coiner to pick up the car, take it back to Camp Kim, and have my permanent licence plate installed.

If all goes according to plan I’ll be taking a road trip to Bonumsa Temple (near Incheon) with Jee Yeun next Saturday.  Jee Yeun has already asked if I’ll let her drive.  In her words “can I drive?” To which I responded “can you?”.  Anyway, since it’s a $1200 hooptie I reckon there’s not too much risk in finding out.

Yesterday me and my boss had a working lunch in Itaewon.  She asked me what I wanted to eat and I said “how about barbecue?”  Turns out she was thinking the same thing and we both had the same place in mind, a new joint called Linus’ BBQ.

And in fact, I did have a perfectly fine bowel movement this morning...

And in fact, I did have a perfectly fine bowel movement this morning…

The double entendres didn’t end with the marquee.

Here's a crappy photo of the well-worn menu...

Here’s a crappy photo of the well-worn menu…

The brisket is described as what happens “when a man from swine country diddles with cows”.  I passed on “da bomb” sandwich because I was not in the mood to have “Linus’ BBQ bust a nut in my mouf”.

The boss and I had a good laugh over the decidedly un-PC menu, then ordered us up some south Alabama-style barbecue.

I selected the pulled pork platter for W15,000 and did enjoy it...

I selected the pulled pork platter for W15,000 and did enjoy it…

We arrived a few minutes before the 11:30 opening time and I was surprised to be greeted by one of the waitresses I know from Dillinger’s who also moonlights (sunlights?) at Linus’. It was good that we arrived early because by 11:45 the place was packed and there was a goodly sized waiting line.  I asked my friend from Dillinger’s (I don’t recall her name, but she knew mine which made me feel ashamed) if it was always this busy for lunch.  She told me it was and that if I wanted to come later in the evening it would be best to make a reservation.  Damn, I hate that because I am not big on planning ahead.

Anyway, the boss and I had a nice lunch and chat (despite the overly loud 1960’s music). We did some work talk and I also got to learn a little more about her personal story.  I actually like and respect her very much.  At some point I confessed to having a blog (she thought it strange that I was taking so many pictures) but assured her I rarely post about work.  She said “good, and if you mention me give me a pseudonym.  Just make sure it doesn’t start with a B”.  Did I mention Ms. B has a wicked sense of humor?  I think we are going to get along just fine!

I am meeting up with Young Chun next week to deliver some more copies of his book. On the drive back to the office I told Ms. B (who is also Korean-American) a little about Young’s story and she seemed interested so I gave her a copy of the book to read.  Ms. B had briefly mentioned some of her Korean dating experiences over lunch.  And without thinking I said “I should introduce you to Young”.  I reckon I should have consulted Young on that first.  She didn’t say no to the idea, although she may not be available this Thursday when I meet Young.  On my way upstairs to my office I thought to myself “dude, that was plain ass stupid.  If they did meet up and things go south, I’ll be in direct line for the fallout”.  I marched back downstairs and told her that and she said “I’m not really that much of a bitch.  Usually”.   Ha!  Well there is something to be said for living dangerously I suppose.

I’ve been spending a goodly portion of my free time at Shenanigans where they treat me like a regular.  A regular what I’m not saying.  But I have earned a coveted spot on the computer cash register screen where bar tabs are maintained.

I told them I would have preferred "Handsome" to "Big".  They just laughed.

I told them I would have preferred “Handsome” to “Big”. They just laughed.

It’s been a hot summer and that has necessitated my drinking plenty of fluids.

OB will likely keep me warm this winter as well...

OB will likely keep me warm this winter as well…

 

An outrageous outrage

In celebration of ten years of blogging here at LTG, each week for the next 52 51 50 49 48 47 46 45 44 43 42 41 40 39 38 37 36 35 34 33 32 313029 28 27 26 25 24  23 22 21 20 weeks I will delve deep into the sewer archives of past posts to bring you a tidbit of blog history.  I had originally planned to call this series “The best of LTG”, but damn, there just wasn’t much “best” to be found.  And mediocre is too hard to spell.)

Ten years ago found me raging at censorship in the ROK in a post aptly titled “Censorship in the ROK”.

Kevin Kim of Big Hominid fame had a lot to say on the issue as well.  But sometimes words just won’t suffice, so he let this picture do his talking:

MIC is the Korean Ministry of Information and Communication

MIC is the Korean Ministry of Information and Communication

The block on blogs was lifted shortly thereafter, although it is unclear if the photo above played into that decision.

Of course, all the best porn sites are still blocked in Korea.  Which is why God invented the VPN.  Not that I’d ever have the need to use one.

What dreams may come

“A man is not old until regrets take the place of dreams.”
— actor John Barrymore

“I dream of having no regrets.”
–faker John McCrarey

Last night’s dart action saw us eke (ha!, I can spell it now) out a victory over Friend Bar.  I contributed a 5-1 showing in singles, and a much less impressive 2-4 in doubles.  Made it home by 11:30 and asleep by midnight.  Still, Tuesday’s kick my ass.  I’m thinking next season I’ll look for a team that let’s me play singles and leave or maybe I just won’t play.  I don’t act my age, but damn when 0530 rolls around I feel it.

Looks like I may close the deal on the car tomorrow.  I’m a bit concerned because I can’t register it with USFK until I get the paperwork showing the embassy has de-registered it. The seller has been a little fuzzy on just when those documents may arrive.  I’m loathe to hand over the cash until I get what I need, but we’ll see what we can work out.

And that’s all he wrote.  Today anyway.

Up to my old Shenanigans

And a hearty welcome to all my faithful LTG readers.  Yes, I mean both of you!

And a hearty welcome to all my faithful LTG readers. Yes, I mean both of you!

A pretty nice week at work, to the extent you can actually use nice and work in the same sentence.  Got to research a pretty tricky issue, dispense some guidance and advice, and have my efforts sanctioned by our labor attorney.  That’s the kind of stuff I enjoy doing the most.  My boss appeared pleased by the efforts as well, so perhaps I truly am back.

Played my previously postponed singles league match last and eked out a 10-6 victory. Gonna play tomorrow’s match tonight so hopefully I can keep it going.

I’m a little perturbed about my pending vehicle purchase.  Over a week without a word, including a non-response to my text message asking about the status our transaction. What sucks is I spotted a car I actually liked better but since I had given my word to buy the Hyundai I let it pass.  If they are screwing me over on the deal now I will be an unhappy camper for sure.  I can find another car of course, I just don’t appreciate the wasted time.

But otherwise, things are just peachy-keno.  Whatever the hell that means.

Between a rock and a hard place

In celebration of ten years of blogging here at LTG, each week for the next 52 51 50 49 48 47 46 45 44 43 42 41 40 39 38 37 36 35 34 33 32 313029 28 27 26 25 2423 22 21 weeks I will delve deep into the sewer archives of past posts to bring you a tidbit of blog history.  I had originally planned to call this series “The best of LTG”, but damn, there just wasn’t much “best” to be found.  And mediocre is too hard to spell.)

Two years ago found me being disappointed yet again by the incompetent fucks at the United States Citizenship and Immigration Service.  I wrote about it in a post called “Good news, bad news”.

I had been waiting as patiently as I am able for news of the green card (permanent residency) for Jee Yeun for which I had applied back in April.  The letter I got in the mail that day wasn’t the news I was hoping for.  Granted, the letter started out by saying that Jee Yeun wouldn’t have to sit for an interview.  But it went on to advise that “due to workload factors not related to your case, USCIS anticipates a delay in completing your case.”  A six month delay in fact.  See, USCIS was working hard to process the kids of illegals first, American citizens be damned.  Do I still sound pissed about that?

Ah well, now I live and work in Korea.  How that will impact the green card Jee Yeun received remains to be seen.  Since I’m working for Uncle Sam here I understand that Jee Yeun will still be considered a resident of the USA.  But those USCIS bureaucrats are tricky bastards.  Unless you are coming in from Mexico.  We’ll see.

What goes around comes around

I had to laugh the other day when my boss brought me a copy of my PD (position description).  I was saying stuff like  “you’ve got to be kidding me, I’m supposed to do ALL this?!”  It was only later that I noticed who had approved the damn thing back in 2009.

That would be me back in the days when I was the boss.  Damn, that decision came back to bite me in the ass...

That would be me back in the days when I was the boss. Damn, that decision came back to bite me in the ass…

But really, no big deal.  The PD was given to me so that I might establish my performance objectives for the year.  We are required to utilize the SHARP* SMART method when setting our goals: Specific, Measurable, Attainable, Relevant, and Time bounded.  That’s not as easy as it sounds.  For example, in order to be measurable you have goals like “will complete 90% of policy reviews accurately and by the assigned suspense date”.  Well damn, not doing my work completely correct seems like failure to me and there is no excuse to not meet a suspense date (and if you had a valid excuse, the suspense date would be modified accordingly).  Ah well, all in a day’s (government) work.

I normally prefer lunching at my desk rather than sitting in the food court to dine.  I don’t actually perform work at lunch, it’s just more comfortable for me.  Plus, I can play with the internet.

Today it was fried chicken Popeye's style, with a side of cole slaw, biscuit, sweet tea and an apple pie for dessert.

Today it was fried chicken Popeye’s style, with a side of cole slaw, biscuit, sweet tea and an apple pie for dessert.

Another loss last night in dart league.  We played a tough team of Filipino’s and I managed to go 3-3 in singles and 2-4 in doubles.  When you throw reasonably well and get beat you just gotta roll with it.

Got fitted for some new specs today.  It’s been a couple of years since my last prescription and I’ve noticed that words on the internet seem to be getting blurrier. Hopefully, this will fix the problem.  Otherwise I guess I’ll have to call the IT folks in.

And that’s the news from my world.

* Thanks to two commenters who rightfully noted I was referring to the SMART (not SHARP) method of performance objectives.  They were also kind enough not to point out that I’m apparently neither..