It’s freezing, but I’m roasting

Today never got above zero. Which makes it a perfect day for pot roast. Yeah, yeah, no big deal cooking a pot roast. But I never had done it before. So I succumbed to my craving and gave it whirl. A three pound roast, some onion, baby carrots, seasoning, and cream of mushroom soup. Put it all in a bag, popped it in the oven, and three hours later I was chowing down.

And it was good.

Already looking forward to leftovers tomorrow.

On the town

Last night was softtip dart league night. We were playing Danny’s Bar in Hannam-dong. Although we were playing at Jay Bar because Danny’s no longer has an electronic dart board (having replaced it with a baby grand piano). Talk about extreme makeovers.

Anyhoo, Hannam is the next village over from Itaewon, but it is world’s away in terms of atmosphere. Not nearly as many foreigners for example. Savvy readers will remember that I technically live in Hannam, although I am several blocks away from the business district. I actually only rarely go there which is a shame because it is a nice change of pace.

So, the softip league differs from the steeltip version in that about half the teams are made up exclusively of Koreans. And they are good, eight of the top ten players are Koreans. Danny’s/Jay Bar are Korean venues. In fact, the bar staff didn’t speak English at all. So, I got to use my limited vocabulary a couple of times (although teammates Lonnie and Grant are comparatively fluent).

We won 13-0. That is two weeks in a row we have swept the match. Of course it would be dishonest if I failed to mention that both victories came as a result of forfeits. Not sure what is going on, but rumor has it the Korean teams are boycotting because of some controversy that occurred in a big softtip tournament with an American member of the league. Don’t know that that is the case, but it was strange that NONE of the Korean teams showed up last week.

Well, we were there at Jay Bar and had the board to ourselves so we played a couple of rounds and enjoyed some cold beers. Then we crossed the street to check out Danny’s and had another round of beer. Afterwards we cabbed back to Dolce and played some “real” darts (steeltips) and drank more beer.

Mr. Kim, a fine darts player and a good guy showed up. Rare for him these days as he is juggling three businesses and is always working. He immediately challenged me to a game, but I protested I was too drunk to throw and besides I had already put my darts away. He wasn’t hearing it, reminding me that I had put him out of the tournament on Saturday and he wanted some revenge. What are you going to do in that situation but play. Well, the results were pretty predictable as he won 4 of the 5 legs we played. Although given my condition, they were relatively close. I think sober I *might* be able to beat Mr. Kim 40% of the time. Or not.

And then I had a nice surprise when Brian, a friend from the fantasy football league, came in with a Canadian friend of his. We all got to talking and the next thing I know its 2 a.m. It was good to see him again though. BTW, my team lost in the second round of the playoffs last weekend. I had debated which running back to bench, Willie Parker or Clinton Portis. I went with Parker who wound up getting injured in the first quarter and scored me zero points. I would up losing by 10 points, and the difference was sitting on my bench in the person of Mr. Portis. Ah well.

Oh yeah, on the evening of Christmas day we had the bright idea of inventing some dart bar drinks. I don’t know enough about booze to be of any benefit to the creative process, but in a small way I was the inspiration. I was throwing pretty poorly and Jim had ordered a round of drinks. When the barkeep asked what I wanted I blurted out that “I needed a dart lesson”. A light bulb went off in Jim’s head I guess, because the next thing I know he had pen and paper in hand and was working on a recipe. And the shot now called the “dart lesson” was born. Its an ungodly mix of grenadine, jagermeister, Bailey’s and Midori. Given the various consistencies of the ingredients it makes for a layer of dart board colors in the shot glass. Looks good but the taste is pretty gross. So, we decided it would be a punishment drink, i.e., someone throws a bad round of darts and the call goes out to “give that guy a dart lesson”. That should provide some motivation to shoot well. Jim actually worked up a couple of more drinks, including a Ton-80. That consists of two parts Wild Turkey and one part Southern Comfort (to take the edge off). Now, I personally can barely drink whiskey as it triggers a gag reflex. But, Lonnie had thrown a Ton-80 at Jay Bar, so of course we had to give the new drink a try. Yikes, it is powerful concoction! Luckily (for me) Ton-80s are relatively rare.

So, today is the first day of my mini-vacation. I took today and Monday off, so I’m sitting on a 5 day New Year’s weekend. Not doing anything out of the ordinary though. Dart tourneys tonight and Sunday, and a New Year’s eve party at Dolce Vita are about all I have on my agenda.

Been trying to sell my deceased boss’ car for the past couple of months, and finally got a call this morning. So hopefully we will complete the sale on Monday. That will be a worry off my mind.

And that just about brings y’all up to the minute in the exciting world of LTG.

So this is Christmas

And I hope it is a merry one for each of you.

It really does not feel like Christmas to me at all. I am so far removed from all the traditions I associate with the holiday that I just can’t capture that heart warming spirit. I should have had the foresight to purchase some of my favorite Christmas movies (all oldies, preferably in black and white); they always kinda put me in the Christmas mood. All that I found on Korean TV this morning was “Elf” and some Shrek Christmas show. Alas.

I was out and about last night, but if Santa came through Itaewon he must have missed the bars where I was hanging out. Actually, I started my evening at the Dragon Hill Lodge on base where I went for the crab and shrimp buffet. $21.95 for all you can eat, but I could only manage about ten bucks worth. The crab legs were good, but damn, you have to work so hard to get that morsel of meat that I’m pretty sure you expend more calories extracting than you gain by consuming.

Hit Metro bar where I drank beer and watched music videos on the big screen until midnight. Moseyed over to Dolce to share a Christmas toast with Jim and YJ. Then as I made my way home, I stopped by Manila Bar and wound up hanging out until 0330. Nice crowd, mix of Pinoys, Koreans, and Canadians. The owner did some singing and guitar playing, then a strange brew of karaoke broke out, which was actually pretty entertaining. I eventually contributed my rendition of “500 miles” (yeah, I was drunk enough to sing in public) to which I received a smattering of polite applause.

Then it was home. Today I watched the aforementioned “Christmas” shows, took a nap, and made myself a Christmas dinner of cheesy hashbrowns, courtesy of the folks from Hamburger Helper.

Oddly enough, I am not depressed at all.

For friends and family I send wishes for a joyful Christmas day. You are all in my heart and thoughts today as always.


I didn’t run into any of Santa’s Korean helpers either (I’m sure I would remember that!). However, I bought myself a custom tailored cashmere overcoat as a present to myself. Naturally, the weather has now warmed up (almost 50f today). But I know January is coming…

Celebrate good times, c’mon!

Yesterday we had the end of the season dart league banquet, awards ceremony, and tournament. Dolce Vita was packed as we had 50 people sign up for the tourney, plus many others who came out to support the league. Congrats to the outgoing SIDL officers, Petro, Tom and Max who did an outstanding job in organizing a great event.


So Young, one of the Dolce bartenders, is laid up with a broken foot, so YJ brought in a replacement to help with the tourney crowd. It was a nice surprise to see Ji Young, my buddy Duke’s girlfriend (and soon to be wife) again. Duke will be in town for a couple of weeks in February and we are all looking forward to seeing him again. The purpose of his visit is to have a pre-wedding celebration reception for his friends and family in Korea. Ji Young will be returning to the States with Duke for the long awaited nuptials.


The pool table was converted to a buffet stand. Great food from three different vendors with a nice mix of Korean and Western delicacies. I chowed down on bulgogi and turkey, a surprisingly good combination.


Unfortunately, Take it Easy did not qualify for any team awards this season. I did earn pins for my 9-mark, high ton, 5-marks, and league elite (finishing in top ten). This photo shows some of the players admiring their hard earned pins.


The Arctic Division Champions, Cake Mix from Wolfhound Pub. Congrats guys on a great season.


The Sliders, Dolce Vita’s “A” league team, won the Pacific Division Championship. The entire Dolce Vita family shared in the pride and bragging rights they brought to the “best damn dart bar in Itaewon”.

I finally got off the fence last night and made the decision to play in “A” division next season with the Sliders. I do want to take my game to the next level, and I’m thinking the challenge of playing in the top division will push me to play more consistent darts. We shall see.

Tough to leave Take it Easy, the only team I’ve ever played for and great bunch of guys. The decision was a little easier because Dan will be joining T.I.E. and with Sliders needing a fifth player, it works out best for both teams. We are also doing some recruiting in an effort to put a third team in the bar, and I think that is going to come together.


Time to register for the tourney. Max, the outgoing secretary-treasurer collects the entry fees and sells the raffle tickets. This year they raffled a complete home dart setup that was really fantastic. I don’t know why I didn’t take a picture of it, but the lighted board was really cool. The whole set-up was worth over $500. I really coveted that prize and spent W20,000 on raffle tickets, but alas, my teammate Rick had the winning number. I did get a nice board as a door prize. Since I have a rarely used board at home already, I donated this one to Dolce Vita.


Here’s dead-eye Colin showing his winning form during warm-ups…


The format for the tourney was blind draw, double elimination. Basically, all the entrants names are placed in pool and drawn for partners. The “A” players are in one pool and everyone else in another to avoid having two “A” players paired up. The top “B” players are moved into the “A” pool to balance the numbers, so I was included with the “A”s.

My partner last night was Hanna, the owner of Bless U Pub, and a solid “C” player. To be honest, I didn’t think we would have much success, because quite a few teams were “A-B” or “B-B”. It is always the luck of draw, but my attitude is whoever your partner you still have play hard and hope for the best.

Let me tell you, Hanna was a pleasant surprise. We wound up going 3-2 on the night, but we beat some teams that were statistically better than us and our two losses went all three legs and we were in a position to hit the out dart in every match. I didn’t have anything in the first couple of games, but Hanna picked up the slack and carried me. I got stronger as the night went on and we almost made it to the money rounds. Best part was we had a lotta fun and that is really what matters most (ok, that’s the loser lament, but I think it is a fine consolation prize).


Speaking of consolation prizes, there was a drawing to pick one team from the group that didn’t place, and Hanna and I won that. Woo Hoo!

Jim and Petro played for the Championship, but wound up short. If you can call second place and W150,000 each coming up short. Way to go guys!

After the tourney, eight of us headed over to Don Valley for beer, soju, and samgyapsal (pork belly). During the meal the manager came to our table and said customers were complaining that we were being too loud. We probably were. But, there was a group of Koreans having a birthday party who were certainly every bit as loud as us. And anybody who has been around Koreans who have been drinking can attest that they tend to be quite boisterous. So, I think our crime was being loud in English. Anyway, no big deal. Just a reminder that us foreigners will always be viewed as second class citizens here. Just a fact of life. You accept it or spend your time being angry.

And that’s about all I have to say about that. Or anything else right now.

One, two, three…

look at Mr. Lee…

The Republic of Korea elected a new president last night: Lee, Myung-bak. From the conservative Grand National Party, he garnered nearly 50% of the vote in a field of five candidates (his closest opponent was at 26%). That’s the biggest margin in the admittedly short history of democracy in South Korea.

Anyway, I’m no expert on Korean politics. I did want Mr. Lee to win as he is more pro-U.S. and less likely to bend over and take it up the ass from Mr. Kim, Jong-Il. By most accounts he did a good job as the mayor of Seoul. And he is the former CEO of Hyundai, so he knows business. The liberals are trying to conjure some scandal involving bribery and kickbacks, but the Korean public didn’t seem to care when they cast their ballots.

Two points I wanted to make with this post. First, I was astounded by the reaction of my Korean coworkers this morning. They were positively gleeful! Even the normally laconic Mr. Yi, Yong-in was going on and on about how happy he was that Mr. Lee had won because he thinks it will improve relations with the U.S. and make the economy stronger. What really surprised me was how much he hates the outgoing President Roh. I actually share that sentiment, as Roh is a cowardly leftist he has done much damage here in the short span of his five year term. I told Mr. Yi that I had memorized the Korean word for yellow by associating it with the soon to be former prez (roughly, no lang. which kinda sounds like no wrong. hmm, y’all know that Roh’s name is pronounced Noh, right?)

Anyhoo. I have three folks working for me with the surname of Yi. The funny thing is in Korean they are Lee’s, just like the new president. They are Yi’s now because USFK using a different Romanization convention and we actually require our Korean employees to spell their names the way we tell them to. Which is pretty outrageous, but there is supposedly a valid reason we do that. Perhaps I will write about that another day.

The other point of this post was to share with you the song that has been bouncing around my head all day. You remember the Bobbett’s, doncha?

One, two, three, look at Mr. Lee
Three, four, five, look at him jive
Mr. Lee, Mr. Lee
Oh, Mr. Lee
Mr. Lee, Mr. Lee
Oh, Mr. Lee
Mr. Lee

I met my sweetie
His name is Mr. Lee
I met my sweetie
His name is Mr. Lee
He’s the hansomest sweetie
That you ever did see

My heart is achin’ for you Mr. Lee
My heart is achin’ for you Mr. Lee
‘Cause I love you so
And I’ll never let you go

Mr. Lee, Mr. Lee
Oh, Mr. Lee
Mr. Lee, Mr. Lee
Oh, Mr. Lee
Mr. Lee, Mr. Lee
Oh, Mr. Lee
Mr. Lee

Here comes Mr. Lee
He’s coming for me
Here comes Mr. Lee
He’s coming for me
He’s my lover boy
Let’s jump for joy

Come on Mr. Lee and do your stuff
Come on Mr. Lee and do your stuff
‘Cause you’re gonna be mine
Till the end of time

One, two, three, look at Mr. Lee
Three, four, five, look at him jive
One, two, three, look at Mr. Lee
Three, four, five, look at him jive

Mr. Lee, Mr. Lee
Oh, Mr. Lee
Mr. Lee, Mr. Lee
Oh, Mr. Lee
Mr. Lee, Mr. Lee
Oh, Mr. Lee
Mr. Lee

One, two, three, look at Mr. Lee
Three, four, five, look at him jive

Mr. Lee, Mr. Lee
Oh, Mr. Lee
Mr. Lee, Mr. Lee
Oh, Mr. Lee
Mr. Lee, Mr. Lee
Oh, Mr. Lee
Mr. Lee

For Avery


Avery is the sweet girl second from the left. She is the daughter of my second wife and I am the only father she has known. Which is a shame because I have not been a good example of fatherhood for any of my children, but I have been especially neglectful of her. After the divorce I moved to Virginia and I drifted out of her life, seeing her on rare occasions but not ever being there for her. She always remained part of the family, especially with her brother and sister in South Carolina, but my emotional distance far exceeded the miles between us.

And no words here can ever make that right. In a lifetime of too many regrets, hurting her is one of the things I am most ashamed of.

She is an amazing young woman. Smart as hell, adventurous, compassionate, with a zeal for living life to its fullest and making the world around her a better place. I have always been extremely proud of her, even if I never adequately conveyed that to her. She is truly one of a kind and although I get none of the credit for the extraordinary woman she grew up to be, I am grateful that she is my daughter.

She recently graduated from university in Hawaii and I offer her my belated congratulations. I have no doubt that she will leave her mark on the world and touch many lives in a positive way. We share a spirit of wanderlust and I know she will make the most of her life experience on whatever path she chooses.

Words are just words. Yet I hope that in her heart she will sense all the love and respect this flawed man she calls Dad holds for her.

Dolce Vita Invitational

Last night we had the inaugural playing of the Dolce Vita Invitational Dart Tournament. And I think by all accounts it was very successful. We had invited 20 players, and 12 showed up. That was my goal as a minimum. We had invited the top ten finishers from the Arctic and Indian Divisions, and wound up with six players from each, so that made a nice balance. Seung Youb showed up too late to play and Craig (the top seed) had a conflict and couldn’t make it, so that was disappointing. I was also sorry that Cake Mix, the Arctic Division champions, did not have a representative in the tourney. Next time guys!

The concept of the tourney was to have the best of the B/C divisions play head-to-head for bragging rights. And to give us something to do on a Monday night between seasons. But mostly, it was an excuse to get some dedicated darters together for some camaraderie, competition, and fun. I’m quite certain we achieved each of those objectives. I was especially happy to see that all three of the invited females competed. Anyone who knows Kyung Mi, Becky and Natalie would not be surprised that they came to play and were not intimidated by all the testosterone in the room.

Anyway, the format was a blind draw, double elimination, singles tourney. YJ, owner of Dolce, generously kicked W100,000 into the pot, which gave us a W220,000 purse. We had all four boards in play and quite a few spectators which made for a full house.

Here’s how the bracket went:

Round 1: (winners in BOLD)

Kyung Mi (M&M) v. Colin (Blessed Bulls)
Max (Alley Ratz) v. John (Take it Easy)
Jesse (Dawg Pound) v. Natalie (Survivors)
Paul (Dawg Pound) v. Brian (B Team)

Bye: Greg (Eberhardt), Dennis (Eberhardt), Chris (Alley Ratz)

Round 2:

Greg v. Colin
John v. Becky
Dennis v. Jesse
Brian v. Chris

Round 3: (Winners Bracket)

Greg v. John
Dennis v. Chris

(Losers Bracket)

Natalie v. Colin
Paul v. Becky
Kyung Mi v. Jesse
Max v. Brian

Colin v. Becky
Kyung Mi v. Max

Chris v. Colin
Greg v. Max

Round 4: (Winners Bracket)

John v. Dennis

(Losers Bracket)

Colin v. Greg
Dennis v. Colin

Round 5:

John v. Dennis

Championship Match

Dennis v. John

Yep, I managed to take first place. But it was a struggle. I was throwing some of my best darts of the year, and I needed everything I had to stay alive. I had some classic battles with Max and Greg and I was fortunate to come out of them victorious. One dart either way would have changed the outcome.

If you will indulge me, I want to talk about my games with Dennis. First of all, Dennis is a great guy and a true gentlemen from the Philippines. I’m not sure how long he has been playing, but this was the first year he was in the league. Damn, he is good. With Craig’s absence, he was the top seed in the tourney. And he will kill you with triples. Always tough to beat, but when he is on he will destroy you. I took him 2-1 in our only match during the regular season and he tells me that was the only singles match he lost all year.

In our first game last night, I took him to school in cricket. Whenever he left a number open, I would pound him for points. I think that threw him off his game just enough for me to get the win. He came back to take a close ’01 game, then it was back to cricket. We had a back and forth game (he was killing me on my open 17s, hitting a triple 3 times in a row. I was answering with 4 and 5 marks on 16s). We went to the bulls with me up on points, but less than a bull. I started with one bull. He answered with three. I stepped up to the oche and threw a double bull to close, and then another double bull for the win. Dennis was stunned, and to be honest, so was I.

So, as I expected would be the case, Dennis came up through the losers bracket to meet me again. He apparently took the cricket lesson I had given him in our first match to heart. He opened with seven 20s, putting me down 80 points out of the box. And he never let up. I would use three darts to close a number, he would close by hitting a triple and then pointing me on my open 20s with the next darts. He was determined not to let me back into the game, which is exactly the way cricket is supposed to be played. After he completed my destruction in cricket, we moved on to ’01. Although it was much closer (we both exchanged a couple of ton-20s) he got the out and the match.

As you might imagine, he was pretty excited. Until I reminded him that he had to beat me again for the championship. That was my first loss in a double elimination tourney.

Dennis took the diddle, called cricket, and did the seven 20s thing again. I answered with five 19s, and the battle was joined. Frankly, I don’t recall just how I managed to do it, but I overcame the deficit and wound up winning the leg. I know I was pretty amazed by the outcome and I imagine Dennis was a little crushed. I owned the ’01 leg that followed, throwing a ton to open, a couple of 60s, a ton-21, a ton, and then my out for the win. (You can tell it was late and all the beer I had consumed was kicking in because the details are definitely fuzzy).

Anyway, I had a great night and it was especially satisfying to defeat some players I really respect.

I also need to mention that Colin was playing some really outstanding darts as well. I’m glad I didn’t have to face him last night. He was seeded 9th and took 3rd, so that tells you that he had to beat some great players to finish in the money. Couldn’t happen to a nicer guy. Well done!

Here’s the final standings:

1st: Yours truly
2nd: Dennis
3rd: Colin
4th: Greg
5th: Tie-Max and Chris
7th: Tie-Kyung Mi and Becky
9th: Tie-Brian, Jesse, Paul, Natalie

As I said at the beginning of the tournament, everyone there was invited because they are a winner. Last night was the reward for excellent play all season long. Our plan is to make the Dolce Vita Invitational a regular event that the top players look forward to with anticipation.

Here’s some photos from last night:


Four of the twelve participants (L-R) Dennis, John, Becky, Natalie


Money winners, Dennis, John, and Colin. Kinda like the Olympics: Canada bronze, Philippines silver, USA gold. This time anyway!


Colin takes home W30,000 and a big smile.


Dennis is W60,000 richer and no doubt plotting his revenge for the next time we meet.


Nothing beats the thrill of victory, but W130,000 comes close! Thanks to Jim for hosting the tourney, keeping everything on track, and being a big supporter of darts in Itaewon.

I can’t help but wonder how many people actually made it to the end of this post. If you did, leave a comment. I want to know if someone out there actually reads my long winded dart reports. Thanks!

Nothing to report

Pretty quiet weekend here. Friday night some light dart playing at Dolce, then a little dinner at Don Valley, a nice little Korean restaurant I frequent.

Last night had some company over for dinner and some cards. A good time was had by all.

Lazy Sunday, but I did step out to Dolce for a couple of hours of dart practice. Tomorrow is the Dolce Vita Invitational tournament. Top 10 from the Arctic and Pacific Divisions playing head-to-head in a singles double elimination format. I’m seeded 6th, but I feel like I can play with anyone if I am on my game. That’s a big IF however.

A full report will follow.

I need a fix…

…’cause I’m going down. Actually, I am already down. I mean my internet connection is down. Which is a real pain in the ass.

So I will see you when the problem is resolved. I think I have narrowed it down to a problem with my wireless router or my laptop.

Hasta la vista!

Another blogaversary

Hard to believe but I’ve actually been writing on this silly blog for three years now. But you can look it up–December 12, 2004 and 49,098 visitors later (which I calculate as maybe 30 or so masochists who keep coming back for more) I’m still plugging away, more or less.

So, for anyone who might care, here is the first post at Long Time Gone (back in my short-lived blogspot days). It’s actually a little embarrassing to read now because I was both full of myself and naive back then. But perhaps those attributes would fairly describe me today as well. Maybe the difference is now I don’t care! Or maybe I’m in denial. The only certainty is that it doesn’t matter. Life is what it is and it goes on until it doesn’t.

During these past three years my daughter gave birth to my first grandchild, my son got married to a lovely lady, Hillary made it home safe and sound from both tours in Afghanistan, Nolan got lost but is going to find his way eventually, and I became a stranger to friends and family.

I left looking for adventure and I guess comparatively speaking my life here has been that. It has cost me a lot more than I anticipated, but I think I have gained some understanding about myself along the way as well. Was it worth it? Would I do it again? I don’t know. And since you don’t get Mulligans in life the questions are meaningless.

I do like my life here very much. I’m not ready to go back to the USA now and I don’t know when or if I ever will. Lately I can’t seem to shake the feeling that I am not destined for a long life, and I just can’t see myself getting wrapped up in the rat race and drama that comes with living in America. But as Stephen Stills put it: “It’s no matter. No distance. It’s the ride”.

I have friends who have come and gone, and some that remain. I have my darts. My blog buddies (you know who you are). And a freakin’ ten minute commute to work.

Loneliness and feelings of loss and estrangement, sometimes I have that too. But I’m learning to embrace it all and call life good. And that is progress.

Folks, stick around. I can guarantee crap as bad as this post on semi-regular basis. What the hell, you’ve dealt with it for three years now. Whaddya got to lose?

Itaewon Sweet Life

Yeah baby, my fantasy football team eeked into the playoffs. I started out 0-3 but poured it on in the second half to finish 8-6. Good enough for a wild card spot. And now, anything is possible!

Sweet Life is the name of my team, BTW. It’s a riff on Dolce Vita, my bar home. Yep, I’m nothing if not single minded.

Speaking of which, I ordered some soft tip darts today. Yeah, I said I was quitting after this season, but last week I had a pretty good night (9, 8, and 7 marks) so what the hell. I’m sure having a decent set of darts will make me play like a champion. Or make me a chump. Either way, I guess it is something to pass the time on Thursday.

That’s about it for now. Thanks for dropping by.

From the Korean history channel

Most likely my visitors from Korea have already seen this video clip. But for those of you who have not, go have a look! This is hilarious on so many levels. Even if you haven’t actually lived here it will make you laugh. But for those of us who have had the good fortune (and I mean that sincerely) to observe Korean society up close and personal its killer funny.

So say I and so it must be.

Hat Tip: Occidentalism

Bush’s War

As part of the ongoing dispute over providing the funding necessary for our troops in harms way, Senate Majority Leader Harry Reid and other Democrats have taken to calling it Bush’s war. Seems to me whatever your position on the merits of going into Iraq, it is America’s war. Our men and women are fighting and dying on behalf of all of us.

Anyway, here’s a short video that reminds us of the time when Americans spoke with one voice. It is worth a look.

A river runs through it

Well, maybe not a river, but I do have a huge crick in my neck. Which of course makes any lateral movement of my head excruciating. Not sure what caused this or when it will run its course, but not much to do in the meantime but suffer through it.

It was pretty interesting trying to throw darts last night at the Blue Frog tourney. I use a sideways stance at the oche (as opposed to facing the board directly), so each throw required a rather painful turn of the head. During warm ups, I considered withdrawing but I was there and my neck would hurt wherever or whatever I was doing anyway. I thought about changing my stance but feared that would mess up my rhythm and release point. So in the end I just played with a grimace on my face all night.

It turned out all right. Took two second places and had a good time. Afterwards I moseyed over to Dolce Vita for a night cap, got hungry, and bought Big Macs and fries for myself and the bar staff.

And so ended another Saturday night in Itaewon.

Speaking of worthless…

How about them idiots in Congress? Makin’ life miserable for so many in ways that defy logic and belief. I mean, c’mon, not funding our troops in a time of war? What’s up with that?

Turns out that Congress is much less popular than the war they are so desperately trying to lose. Which led Don Surber to re-write the lyrics of that 1970 anti-war anthem by Edwin Starr:

Congress, huh, good God
What is it good for?
Absolutely nothing
Listen to me

Ohhh, Congress, I despise
Because it means regulation
Of all of our lives

Congress means taxes
To millions of employees
When they try to pay bills
They have no money.

Congress, whoa, Lord
What is it good for?
Absolutely nothing
Listen to me

Congress, it ain’t nothing
But a bribe-taker
Congress, friend only to the money waster

Ooooh, Congress
It’s an enemy to our freedom
Beats our right till they’re bleedin’

Congress has caused unrest
Within the American nation.
Election then destruction

Who wants to cry?


Good God y’all
What is it good for?
Absolutely nothing.

Yeah, we are talkin’ about you Harry and Nancy.

I lost my (A)

I guess it’s official: I am now the Deputy Director of Human Resources Management, Eighth United States Army.

So, that means I get to drop the (A) for acting after my title.

What do I get for the “promotion”? A little more money (6%) and a lot more hassle. Although I’ve been putting up with the hassle anyway for the past several months.

It’s a little disconcerting that my predecessor died without relinquishing his job. I have no intention of following in those footsteps, but you never know.

On the plus side, I have a great boss and I probably won’t be bored anytime soon.

Also, the CG finally approved our filling four key vacancies. Not his fault for the delay. Despite repeated promises to the contrary, our “friends” in G3 failed to get him the approval package until yesterday. And he signed off immediately. So, I lost almost 8 weeks before even starting an obscenely long hiring process.

So, I have my NSPS/Transformation Chief coming on board 20 January. An Action Officer supposedly coming on board around the same time (although I ain’t heard from him in awhile). I’m going to make another Action Officer job offer tomorrow. And our admin support position should be occupied come Monday. That leaves the Staffing Chief, one more Action Officer and hopefully an IT type to get on board.

So, things could be (and have been) worse.

Fu*kin’ A. (Heh, did anybody else use to say that? All the cool kids did back in the ’70s)

Batter Up!

Gawd, I amaze myself with the witty, er, punny, blog titles I come up with. But then, I am easily amused.

Today’s post is dedicated to Cake Mix of Wolfhound Pub, Arctic Division Champions in the Seoul International Dart League. I went to watch the finals last night against Eberhardt from Scrooge Pub, and saw some nice darts and great sportsmanship. Well, done gents.

It was an interesting playoff series this season. Blessed Bulls and Alley Ratz (first and second place respectfully) had first round byes, but were both defeated in the second round. Eberhardt, the third place finisher took us down us down in week 1, and whipped Alley Ratz in round two to make it to the finals. Cake Mix beat FFOD to set up their big upset of the Bulls in round two. That match went to the final dart in the team game, with the Bulls missing the double 19 out, and the Mix lads hitting the double 18 for the win.

Cake Mix won last night 10-5, but it was much closer than the score. Most of the legs were extremely tight, but Cake Mix hit the big dart when they needed it. So, once again, congrats on a great season and a well-earned victory.

And for what it is worth, we did beat Cake Mix twice in the regular season. Which means nothing of course. The way they played last night I don’t expect we would have fared any better than Eberhardt.

So, I have to hang loose ’till January and the new season. Not sure yet if I will move up to the “A” division. I’m leaning it against it. Although I think I could be competitive at that level I’m not sure I would have as much fun. And frankly, I like the having fun part. Win or lose, our team pulls together. None of this crap about gettin’ on someone who is having an off night. We’ll see.

In the meantime, I still have soft tips on Thursdays. I’m playing a little better but I’m not sure its the game for me.

We are having an invitational tournament at Dolce on the 17th. Top ten players from the Arctic and Indian Divisions meeting head-to-head for bragging rights. Yeah, that’s what its all about!

I’ve got gas

Today, I doubled the value of my car. I filled the gas tank. Gas at the AAFES station on post was $3.16 a gallon. Insane. Luckily, I only have to fill up once a month. But still, that was 50 cents a gallon more than last month. What happened to all that oil the liberals say we invade Iraq to get?

I also went to the dentist today. As Dr. Choi reminded me, I hadn’t been for two years. Yeah, my dental hygiene could definitely use some work. It was a little embarrassing to be chided in broken English by a cute hygienist about regular flossing.

I went today because one of my front teeth chipped and it felt like a tooth shard was embedded in my gum. Floss and vigorous brushing wouldn’t dislodge it and it was driving me freakin’ mad. So, I got a good cleaning and the tooth repaired and my wallet lightened to the tune of W200,000. That’s about the same as my bi-weekly bar tab.

And finally, I was reading The Onion today and came upon this article that really hit home for me.

That could have been me! Lord knows, LTG is every bit as insipid. Except without the links and commenters. Oh well, did I mention I’ve got gas?