How not to find a dart team

Last night was a tad strange. Our opponent could not field a team so the match is to be rescheduled at some future date. Having a rare free Monday night, I decided to go watch the other Dolce Vita teams compete. I’m nothing if not flexible!

Anyway, I start out at Blue Frog where the Take it Easy lads were playing M&M, last years champs from “C” division who moved up to “B” this year. TIE wound up winning a close and hard fought match, but that’s not the strange thing.

So, I’m sitting there enjoying the competition, drinking a beer and generally minding my own business when this guy comes in with his Korean GF and starts insisting that I put him on a dart team. Hell, as far as I know no one died and left me in charge of anything! I wasn’t even wearing my jersey so I’m not sure how he even figured me for a team captain.

I explained to him the way things worked, i.e. you come out to Dolce on Fridays and throw in the tourney, meet some people, and if you are any good AND a team is looking for a player, you might get an offer. He basically thought that was bullshit saying it was Monday night and he wanted to play. I told him that I had no spots on my team at the moment, but he could put his name up on the website and maybe someone would pick him up. He then started getting kinda aggressive, which I just shrugged off, and then he actually asked his girlfriend to intercede. Damn if she didn’t practically beg me to find him a team. Of course by this point I had decided I would rather forfeit every week before I would play darts with this asshole, so I just said sorry, nothing I can do.

So apparently he left where we were, went into the other room where Dawg Pound was playing and pulled the same shit. Some of those guys are young soldiers, and I’m guessing he got off easy since they didn’t kick his ass.

Then I leave the Frog and head over to Geckos to watch our “D” team, Sweet Life, play for awhile (they won too by the way). LaRoy, the captain of the Geckos team said some crazy dude had come in there giving him crap about playing on the team while he was chalking for crissakes! LaRay sent him over to Dolce, but since our game was postponed no one was there. So he comes back to Geckos and accuses LaRoy of giving him the run around.

Without a doubt the guy was about the biggest idiot I have encountered in my three years here. He was definitely ugly. I hope he was Canadian! (apologies to all my Canuck friends, but Americans have enough baggage without people like this soiling the planet in our name).

Never seen someone burn so many bridges in one night before. I think it is pretty safe to say he won’t be playing in our league any time soon.


Old Mr. Jones

I mentioned in a previous post about the new Tuesday night entertainment at Dolce Vita, featuring a great musician named Steve Butler. He covers many artists very well, but his original music is something really special. My favorite song of his is “Old Mr. Jones”. Just so happens he now has a music video up on You Tube. It is my honor to introduce you to Steve and his music. Please come out to Dolce on Tuesday between 8-11 and see this guy while he is still playing for free!

Seoul cold, but London broil

Heh, did a London broil on the grill today. Served it up with mashed taters and asparagus. First attempt at this on my own and to be honest it didn’t turn out all that well. Tougher than I’m used to, and my hybrid marinade (a mesquite and Italian mix) was pretty unsatisfactory. Well, it was worth a try I suppose and I have enough meat left over to snack on for the next few days.

Guess I’ll get off my lazy ass (I just won five straight at spider solitaire), shower up, and figure out what to do with my Saturday night. Hmm, there’s darts at the Blue Frog…

Korea in New York City

In the summer of 2006 I was in the Big Apple for a conference. One day while randomly wandering the streets of Manhattan I stumbled upon Korea town. Didn’t even know it was there. One minute I’m in NYC and the next thing I know I’m back in Seoul. It was really pretty cool.

And now, thanks to the Marmot, I’ve found a video report depicting the sights and sounds of this vibrant Korean community. Hope you enjoy it as much as I did.

Cold night, hot darts

Something a little different in the Friday night dart routine at Dolce Vita. Tom C. and Doug are on the first leg of their farewell tour, so the tourney was held in their honor. Yes, two more darters/Soldiers are leaving the land of the morning calm soon as they complete their tour of duty here. Both have been regulars at Dolce and their presence will certainly be missed.

The opportunity to bid them farewell in the darter tradition (a tourney) brought out the biggest crowd ever in the history of the Dolce Friday night competition. And the two kegs of free beer probably helped too! Lots of new faces, and it was also good to see the Goat out and about again. 32 players in all, so the bar was packed. Which was good, because it was damn cold last night. Hell, its been bitingly cold all week, with the high temperature hovering in the mid-20s F.

I drew my former Take it Easy teammate Matt as a partner. He’s currently ranked #1 in B division, so I thought we had a fair chance to finish in the money. We played some good darts, most notably against Alestair (a great player from Scotland) and his partner Natalie. He tried to mess with our minds with some psychological warfare techniques, but I just kept telling him “fook you”. Of course, his ability to pound the bullseye 5 at a time was a little more difficult to overcome, but Matt and I pulled it off to advance in the winners bracket.

Which led to our first encounter with Petro (number 1 in A division) and his partner Eric who is also a strong dart thrower. In the first cricket leg they jumped out to a huge lead in closed numbers and points. We fought back and were one bull from the win, but wired it and Petro closed the door. We took the ’01 game, but I lost the diddle and Petro called cricket. He then proceeded to throw a 9-mark and that was pretty much our ticket to the losers bracket.

We then faced the Goat and his partner Rod, a team I was surprised to see in the losers bracket as the are both outstanding players. Me and the Goat have a friendly rivalry going and our games our always close and hard fought. He has it in his head that he has beaten me one time more than I’ve beaten him, but I don’t think he is counting our tourney matchups. Regardless, he’s playing A division this year too, so I’m sure we will get the chance to face-off again soon. Last night Matt and I dispatched them 2-0 (although it took some great darts to do it).

That brought up Natalie and Alestair again. Pretty much an instant replay of our first match: three tough legs of back and forth leads. Alestair was itching for a chance to win the last cricket leg on the bullsyes (they had 3 to our zero, and needed two more to catch us on points). Matt burst his bubble though by throwing three single bulls for the victory.

Which led to our revenge match against Petro and Eric (who had inexplicably been beaten by Jay and Kyle). Well, revenge will have to come another night because we didn’t get the job done, being eliminated 2-0. That gave Matt and I 3rd place and W60,000.

Petro and Kyle went on to beat Jay and Kyle two times to take the tourney title. Petro also won the drawing for a bottle of Jack Daniels, so he went home very happy. Some guys have all the luck! But congrats anyway.

Alestair was spoiling for more darts and wanted another shot at me and Matt. He pulled out W50,000 and said let’s play winner take all. I was tired and had consumed my share of the free beer and wasn’t willing to play for those stakes, although I said I would go W25,000. Natalie had the good sense to say let’s keep it friendly, so we all put in a mahn won. Which me and Matt collected two legs later. And that was all the darts I wanted.

Had a late night meal of samgapsil and soju on the walk home and a final beer at the Opry and that was the end of a fun night.

The second leg of the Tom/Doug farewell tour is Sunday at Bless U. Petro talked me into playing in my first soft tips tourney next Sunday, so we will see what that is all about.

Ok, that’s about all I have to say on the subject. Yeah, yeah, I know I said too much. Deal with it.

Strange changes

Well, one of these days I’m gonna sit down and write about the presidential campaign. But this is not that day. Now that my man Thompson has dropped out I’m not sure where my loyalties lie (Huckabee being the only one I could not vote for). I presume regular readers know that Billary and Hussein would be nightmares. Anyway, all I know for sure is that a change is gonna come. Don’t believe me? Check out this video for proof:


Fayetteville (NC) trumps NY (Times)

As mentioned in an earlier post, the NY Times has taken its anti-war bias to a new extreme with an anti-soldier story disparaging our brave troops as murderers.

Lo and behold, the little newspaper from Fayetteville (home of Fort Bragg) did a little fact checking of their own and guess what? The NY Times really ISfull of sh*t:

In Fayetteville, North Carolina, the local paper was intrigued by the Times’ claims and decided to check its own archives for evidence. Fayetteville, located near Fort Bragg, home to the 82nd Airborne and special operations units, is an excellent place to conduct the experiment; few localities, if any, have been home to as many soldiers returning from Afghanistan and Iraq.

The Fayetteville Observer checked its own archives, with predictable results:

Twelve Fort Bragg soldiers have been accused of killing 13 people in the six-plus years since Sept. 11, 2001, according to Observer records. In the six years before the terrorist attacks, 16 Fort Bragg soldiers were accused of killing 18 people.

There you have it: wartime and peacetime yield the same low homicide rates for soldiers. In reporting these findings, the Observer referred to the claim made by the New York Times that reported instances of alleged homicide involving a veteran increased by 89% in the period 2001-2007 compared with the six-year period preceding the war in Afghanistan. That claim, insofar as it related to Fort Bragg personnel, was refuted by the Observer’s research.

Big hat tip to the gents at PowerLine for shining another light on the roaches who reside at the NY Times…

To the airport I did go…

At o’dark thirty this morning. In the snow. I was very pleased with my decision to not drive my hoop-dee. Saw three accidents on the Airport Highway between the toll booth and the airport, a stretch of maybe 10 KMs. God love ’em, Koreans just don’t slow down for wet slippery pavement.

Anyway, arrived a little later than expected, but my new employee and his family had a long wait for the baggage, so there was no problem. Oscar has two daughters, 3 months and 2 years of age. And more bags than I imagined possible. It took two cabs to crammed to the gills to transport us back the Yongsan Garrison. But we made it.

Danny, my other new employee arrived Saturday but having lived in Korea previously required no assistance from me. So, after in-processing is completed this week I’ll be a lot closer to being staffed up. Well, 3 more vacancies, but I have someone coming in next month and a solid candidate for another position. Things are definitely looking up work wise.

Snowed a lot yesterday and again today, but the temperature stayed above freezing so there was not much accumulation. Which is a good thing.

And that’s the story from here.

That’s what I’m talking about!

A good night for darts. Sliders beat the other Dolce “A” division team 21-10. Solid play around. I played much better in week two, going 7-2, including a sweep of my singles cricket match. Even managed a couple of five marks, tons, and a 3 bull combo. Long way to go, but I think we are going to be tough to beat over the course of the season.

My old team Take it Easy also pulled out a big win against Eberhardt, 10-9, so half of the Dolce teams are feeling good tonight!

I have to be at Incheon Airport at 0630 to meet my new employee and his family flying in from Germany. It is such a relief to be getting those vacancies filled.

So, it is off to bed for me…

Lies, damn lies, and statistics

A few days ago, the NY Times did a hit piece on our troops who have served in Iraq and Afghanistan.

The New York Times found 121 cases in which veterans of Iraq and Afghanistan committed a killing in this country, or were charged with one, after their return from war. In many of those cases, combat trauma and the stress of deployment — along with alcohol abuse, family discord and other attendant problems — appear to have set the stage for a tragedy that was part destruction, part self-destruction.

Oh, by the way, 20% of these 121 cases involved manslaughter associated with drunk driving and at least one example occurred before the soldier deployed. Hey, no need to let the facts get in the way of your narrative, right?

GI Korea (among many others) has been all over this story. He has another post up that shows the worldwide negative impact the Times disparaging article has had on the reputation of our military men and women.

The sad thing about this anti-American propaganda is that the whole premise is demonstratively false. Wrong on the facts, and most assuredly wrong on the conclusion that our GWOT vets are walking time bombs who are a danger to society. As I said in a comment left at GI Korea:

This is just more of the same old, same old from the biased left wing MSM. I remember last year it was about the “increase” in suicides amongst returning troops. Well, they didn’t find it newsworthy that the suicide rate of Iraq vets is LESS than the national suicide rate for all Americans of that age group. So, I guess serving in Iraq makes one LESS likely to commit suicide, right?

Anyway, Armed Liberal has a good post on this topic at Winds of Change. Even taking the NYT’s skewed numbers, it turns out that the “murder” rate of returning vets is significantly lower than the national rate for 18-25 year olds. Geez, why wasn’t that the headline?

So, what is it that makes the Times and its defenders despise and fear our war veterans? I think Ralph Peters has the answer in a New York Post column entitled “The New Lepers”:

The purpose of Sunday’s instantly notorious feature “alerting” the American people that our Iraq and Afghanistan vets are all potential murderers when they move in next door was to mark those defenders of freedom as “unclean” – as the new lepers who can’t be trusted amid uninfected Americans.

In the more than six years since 9/11, the Times has never run a feature story half as long on any of the hundreds of heroes who’ve served our country – those who’ve won medals of honor, distinguished service crosses, Navy crosses, silver stars or bronze stars with a V device (for valor)….

Well, a quick statistics check let the air out of the Times’ bid to make us dread the veteran down the block – who the Times implies has a machine gun under his bathrobe when he steps out front to fetch the morning paper. In fact, the capital-crimes rate ballyhooed by the Gray Lady demonstrates that our returning troops are far less likely to commit such an offense.

Again, the Times’ smear certainly wasn’t an accident. The paper’s staff is highly paid and highly experienced. Its editors know that a serious news story has to put numbers into context. But their sole attempt at context was to note that offenses by former soldiers have ticked up since we went to war.

The Times is trying to make you fear our veterans (Good Lord, if your daughter marries one, she’s bound to be beaten to death!). And to convince you that our military would be a dreadful place for your sons and daughters, a death-machine that would turn them into incurable psychopaths.

To a darkly humorous degree, all this reflects the Freudian terrors leftists feel when confronted with men who don’t have concave chests. But it goes far beyond that.

Pretending to pity tormented veterans (vets don’t want our pity – they want our respect), the Times’ feature was an artful example of hate-speech disguised as a public service…

The hard left’s hatred of our military has deteriorated from a political stance into a pathology: The only good soldier is a dead soldier who can be wielded as a statistic (out of context again). Or a deserter who complains bitterly that he didn’t join the Army to fight . . .

A longstanding goal of the left, recently invigorated, has been to drive a wedge between our military and our society. The real vet is the neighbor who fixes your kid’s bike (or your computer). But the left’s archetypal vet is the Marine colonel in “American Beauty” who, frustrated in his suppressed gay passions, murders poor Kevin Spacey…

So let me suggest the best-possible revenge on the veteran-trashing jerks at The New York Times: Instead of fleeing in terror the next time you see a veteran you know, just thank him or her for their service.

I was shaking my head in disgust when I read the commenters defending the Times at GI Korea. No right thinking person could fail to see through the obvious agenda of disparaging the brave troops who defend this nation. I just couldn’t grasp what it was about our soldiers that inspired such contempt. But I can only conclude as did Mr. Peters that: all this reflects the Freudian terrors leftists feel when confronted with men who don’t have concave chests.

Sometimes I really fear for my country.

The secret to my good health

Well, to be honest my health probably isn’t all that good. But imagine the shape I would be in if not for my propensity to drink copious amounts of beer! That’s right, folks. It’s a scientific fact. You don’t even have to look it up, because I have the link right here.

Preliminary studies indicate xanthohumol, a compound found in hops, inhibits a family of enzymes which trigger cancer, as well as help the body detoxify carcinogens.

“It’s very healthy,” said Dr. Werner Back, a brewing technology expert at the Technical University of Munich. “I think the ingredients in the beer are very good.”

Xanthohumol contains more powerful antioxidants than vitamin E and some studies indicate it helps reduce oxidation of bad cholesterol.

“Xanthohumol has been shown to be a very active substance against cancer,” said Dr. Markus Herrmann, also of Munich. “It comes in small sticky beads, which you find within the hops.”

I hope this doesn’t turn out to be another scientific myth like that global warming thing (anyone who has been out and about in Korea these past few days can attest to the fact that it ain’t getting warmer!). But to be honest, I partook in quite a bit of the magic elixir last night and I don’t feel all that wonderful today. Maybe I need to figure out the proper dose. I’ll keep trying!


Now and again I come across a commercial that strikes my fancy. I mean if you gotta sit through the damn things, at least you should be entertained, right? A unique idea, interesting locations, good photography, wit and/or humor, and of course sex are all ingredients of a successful advertisement. It is rare indeed when all of these elements come together in a single ad. So, kudos to the folks at Scruff’s Hardwear, manufacturers of construction clothing in the UK, for this outstanding commercial.

Pretty well done, eh? Gotta hand it to the Brits on this one.

But, you may have noticed I tagged this post in the “humor” and “politics” category. If you are wondering why, I’m glad you asked. It seems that the attractive blonde woman in the first vignette went on to become an English teacher at an academy in Manchester. At least until some of her students recognized her from her work in television. She is currently under suspension while the school board decides her future at their institution of enlightenment. You can read about it here. Pretty f’d up in my view.

Speaking of ads, here’s a photo of a Target billboard in Times Square.


Believe it or not, this innocuous advertisement has the feminists loudly complaining that the model’s placement “objectifies” women. Umm, I don’t see that, do you? Amy Alkon has a good post on this subject that shines a bright light on the ignorance of our would-be liberal overseers.

As a commenter on Ms. Alkon’s blog notes:

I’m sure it’s a great comfort to the women in jail in the Middle East for the “crime” of being raped that Western feminists care so deeply about the placement of a well-paid, fully dressed model on a corporate billboard.



Something a little different at Dolce Vita last night. Yeah, we did our darts routine, but this time to some live music.

Maya, the newest bartender at Dolce came in last night with her American husband, Steve. And Steve came in with his acoustic guitar. After awhile he started providing a little free entertainment. After awhile longer (and a few more beers) we all started to sing along. He is quite the talented musician and it turns out he plays with the locally famous rock band “Faded”. I’d actually heard them play once a couple of years ago. And Steve invited me out to see them perform at Woodstock tonight, which I intend to do.

In addition to playing some popular favorites, Steve also writes his own songs. He played one called “Rita” which was really a quite moving love song. Very impressive. He also has a great sense of humor and incorporates it into his music. He did “Country Roads” as you might hear it at the norebang–in Konglish. Hilarious. He also did an “R” rated version of the traditional A-B-C song that had us laughing like maniacs.

We all had such a good time that YJ invited Steve to do a regular Tuesday night gig at Dolce. So, now the best damn darts bar in Itaewon will also be serving up some live music on a weekly basis.

If you got a hankerin’ for some mellow music to while away the hours on a cold and lonely Tuesday night, you now know the place to be. See you there!

Popping my cherry

Well, I’m no longer an “A” division virgin anyway. You know, the first time is always the worst, right? I went 3-3 and had zero marks, so that was pretty much bleh. But, the team won 16-15. And we were playing XOX, probably the best team we will face this season. And none of us played as well as we can, so all in all it was a pretty positive night.

Anyway, I am glad to have the first night behind me. Now, I just need to relax and throw my game.

Dolce’s B and D division teams also won, so we had cause for celebration. Nothing but positive vibes. It was especially nice to see my old team, Take it Easy, get the win against Pacific Ratz, our rivals and a top quality team.

Now it’s time to sleep. Anyong.

There’s always darts

Friday night at Dolce we had a small group, but still managed to put together 3 very nice little tourneys. Paul and I took the first one, then it was Jim as my partner and we took that pot as well. Finally, Dave and I were teamed up and finished second to Rod and Doug.

Saturday afternoon I participated in an invitational tournament at 3 Alley Pub. It was a nice change because most of the guys were pub throwers (not playing in the league) so there were lots of new faces. I was impressed with the overall quality of the darts.

I was throwing good up until the semi-finals when I faced of with Scott from Blue Bulls. Actually, I threw well against him, but just not good enough. I was way up in the cricket game, but he came back and beat me on bulls. Then he threw awesome darts in ’01, and while I managed to hang with him, he got the out before I had a shot at it. Well played matches.

I had Neil (aka Thirsty in my comments) and we played a nice set. He took the first ’01 leg, I came out in cricket with a 9-mark and that was too much to be overcome. We played a close ’01 to finish and I got the out for a 2-1 win and third place. Rodney was the host and tourney champion and good on him as he put together a very classy event.

Later I found myself at Blue Frog. No intention to play in their Saturday night gig as I was quite wasted after several hours of throwing and drinking. The were on an odd number though so I was compelled. Took a third in my inebriated state so I guess that was a plus.

Tonight went to Dolce and practiced for my “A” division debut tomorrow. I’m a little nervous but I think by the end of the season I will know whether I can compete at that level. I do look forward to the challenge but I also intend to have fun.

And that’s story of my weekend.

The white stuff

Snow has been falling from the sky all the day long. In DC it would have been a snow day (i.e. government closed) but no such luck here in the land of the morning calm. You know, that being ready to defend against Northern aggression thing. Although I doubt Mr. Kim, Jong-il would bother dragging his sorry ass outta bed on a day like today. I know I didn’t want to.

But really, I overstate the case. The snow stopped sticking around 1000 when the temperature made it above freezing, but it started sticking again around 1600. The boss let us go home 59 minutes early to get a jump on traffic, but the major roads were all good. A little tricky getting up the hill to my villa, but here I am safe and sound.

So, now to figure out what to do with a snowy Friday night. Hmm, well you know I will wind up at Dolce Vita but I expect most dart players have more sense than to walk the slippery sidewalks of Itaewon. Or not. We’ll see.

Good to see a comment from Duke (hell, good to see a comment from anyone!). We are all looking forward to his visit next month.

Anyway, I will try to come up with something a little more interesting than the weather to talk about tomorrow. Here’s the view from my back door:



Today I had visitor number 50,000 to LTG. Yeah, only took me 25 months to reach that milestone. But given the crap I post that says more about my readers than me.

Actually, I am very happy to have the 35 folks (on average) who drop by daily to see what I’ve posted. Who cares why? It’s always nice to have guests in my house.

So, who was the lucky number 50,000? This is what I know about you:

You logged on from an IP address at the University of Seoul.

You came by at 4:46 this afternoon.

You stayed for six minutes and 38 seconds.

You “enjoyed” four page views.

And then you likely fell fast asleep and you now have keyboard indentations in your face.

So, if that describes you, please leave a comment and tell us who you are. If we have actually met in the 3-D world, I am going to buy you the beverage of your choice the next time I see you. And thanks for the visit!

Who else has been here in the last 24 hours? Let’s see:

A dozen or so from Korea, my biggest audience!

From the States we had folks from California, Oregon, Virginia, Tennessee, Maryland, Tacoma (Washington State), Georgia, Missouri, Wisconsin, and one of my former coworkers from the Department of Education in Washington, DC (Leslie?). Thanks everyone!

International guests include: Iran (from the Tabriz University of Medical Sciences no less!), Finland, Russia, and the UK (where the visitor read the post called “Stupid is as Stupid Does”, a long rambling story about my trip to the emergency room. One of my most popular adventures here apparently.)

You know in a funny way I feel this sense of obligation to you, the faithful few. I have been trying to post on a more regular basis, because I know how crappy it is when you take the trouble to go to someone’s blog only to find they’ve “gone fishing”. So, it may be crap, but I will try to keep it fresh for you, fair enough?

Oh, and that gone fishing remark was not a shot at The Lost Nomad. He was certainly one of the most popular bloggers in Korea, but he hung it up on New Year’s Day. He had his reasons (something about putting family and fishing ahead of blogging) and you can’t fault him for that. Still, he is very much missed and I hope he knows how much his faithful followers appreciated his efforts.

Ah well, enough of this. I do love to ramble on sometimes, but I have soft tips dart league tonight so I need to jersey up and head on out to Itaewon.

See y’all soon.