A Thanksgiving blessing

I guess you could call it that.  Had a fine traditional feast at Dolce Vita last night.  Thanks Jim and YJ!

We had 14 players in the dart tournament that followed dinner. The draw was nice in that the teams were pretty evenly matched (which does not always happen in a blind draw).  I teamed up with Ron and we wound up meeting Alistair and Matt for the championship.

Dolce features live music on Thursday nights and the tourney ran a little longer than expected.  So, by the time we started the finals the band (well, two guys on amplified acoustic guitars) was going full bore.  The dart boards in play are right next to the ‘bandstand’ as it were, so it was a lot louder than normal playing conditions.  And the place was packed with darters and music fans, with the music fans sometimes forgetting darts etiquette and walking through the game.  Suffice to say, appropriate levels of concentration was difficult.

Giving the environment (I really hate throwing while the band is playing if for no other reason than it seems rude and disrespectful somehow) I suggested that we call the tourney a draw and split the combined prize money of 160,000W equally.  Alistair wanted to play it out and so we that’s what we did.  And after a tremendous battle with some great darts on both sides, Ron and I prevailed.  Sweet.

It was a blessing to throw some decent darts for a change.  I had a real up and down season and somewhere along the way I’ve developed a flaw in my mechanics.  I really focused last night on reacquiring a smooth rhythm with a consistent release point.  For the most part I succeeded.  The challenge will be maintaining that week in and week out.

We shall see.

Things I don’t miss…

I really, really dislike the whole “nanny state” concept.  It brings out the rebel in me.  Korea may or may not be trending that way, but it is at least a decade or two behind what I’ve observed in the good ol’ USofA.  But really, does it get more insane than this:

When a small church comes to the Bowery Mission bearing fried chicken with trans fat, unwittingly breaking the law, they’re told “thank you.” Then workers quietly chuck the food, mission director Tom Bastile said.
“It’s always hard for us to do,” Basile said. “We know we have to do it.”

Lines at soup kitchens are up by 21 percent this year, according to a NYC Coalition Against Hunger report released yesterday. The city’s law banishing trans fat took effect in July 2008 and touched everyone with Health Department food licenses — including emergency food providers.

You might die hungry, but you’ll die healthy I suppose.

So, when people ask why I am seriously considering retirement in a third world country here’s another reason.  I’d rather have the inconvenience  of limited government services than the oppression of a government telling me what’s good for me.

A day for giving thanks

Happy Thanksgiving to you!

In these distressing times it is important to remember all the blessings that life provides us.  And while things could certainly be better in this cold, cruel world they could definitely be a whole lot worse.

I’m thankful for my health, my children and grandchildren, mom and dad, friends, a great job and a good life here in Korea.

Later today we will be having the traditional Thanksgiving feast at Dolce Vita Pub in Itaewon.  If you are in Seoul and thinking about turkey, come on out and join us!

Rumor has it a dart tourney will break out around 1930 or so which is about when I’ll be ready for one of those turkey induced naps.  Should be interesting.

Wherever you may be out there on the internets, here’s wishing you a great and happy day!

Turkey time!

Ah, Thanksgiving week means the holiday season is upon us once more.  Kicked it off on Friday with our TG office luncheon.


We had Turkey of course.

a21.JPG And a ham…


…fruit salad and all the traditional side dishes.


We celebrated the November birthdays…


I presented an award…

a61.JPG…and then we chowed down!

On Thursday we will be having our annual Thanksgiving feast and dart tourney at Dolce Vita.  If you expats are looking for a place to celebrate the holiday, come on out an join us in Itaewon.

What’s worse than being mocked by SNL?

Saturday Night Live skewers the President’s recent visit to China.  See it here, it is funny as hell.

More worrisome has got to be being compared unfavorably to Sarah Palin by the Queen of Liberals, Maureen Dowd.  An excerpt:

Barack Obama, who once had his own electric book tour testing the waters for a campaign, could learn a thing or three from Palin. On Friday, for the first time, his Gallup poll approval rating dropped below 50 percent, and he’s losing the independents who helped get him elected.

Like Reagan, Obama is a detached loner with a strong, savvy wife. But unlike Reagan, he doesn’t have the acting skills to project concern about what’s happening to people.

Obama showed a flair for the theatrical during his campaign, and a talent for narrative in his memoir, but he has yet to translate those skills to governing.

If we could see a Reduced Shakespeare summary of Obama’s presidency so far, it would read:

Dither, dither, speech. Foreign trip, bow, reassure. Seminar, summit. Shoot a jump shot with the guys, throw out the first pitch in mom jeans. Compromise, concede, close the deal. Dither, dither, water down, news conference.


Yoja of the week

It’s finally Friday!  Today is special because we are having our staff Thanksgiving dinner.  Yes, I made a fruit salad.  Although y’all won’t get to share in the turkey, I hope you will enjoy this week’s yoja–Korean actress Jun Ji Hyun:


She was declared one of the “Nine Hottest Women in Korea” on LiveJournal.  Go check it out and see if I chose the right one.  Think of it as a Thanksgiving feast for the eyes.

That’s gonna leave a mark…

Lindsey Graham takes Eric Holder to school.

I’m not a big fan of Graham, but he was a military Judge Advocate, and in fact still is in the Reserves.  He knows what he’s talking about.

You know, when The One promised change, I didn’t expect we’d be seeing show trials in our courts.  But since Obama has decreed that KSM is guilty and that even if the jury acquits, he won’t go free, I’m not sure how it can be called anything other than a show trial.

Meantime, we give Bin Laden and his followers an international forum to spew their hate plus a treasure trove of intelligence.

Good plan guys.


The Rubbies suffered a disappointing defeat in the second round of the playoffs at the hands of XOX at Friends bar last night.

The fates were against us as we had to play the match with a “ghost”, forfeiting the legs our unavailable fourth player would have played.  A match can still be won in that situation if everything goes right.  Sadly, my 0-6 performance doomed whatever hope we held for a miracle outcome.

So ends the season.  League play won’t resume until sometime in January.

A disappointing finish to a disappointing season for me.

Bad Romance

I am occasionally reminded what an old fogey I really am.  Hmm, I guess just using a word like fogey pretty much proves that point, doesn’t it?  But no, I was speaking musically here.

The impetus for this reflection on being aged was my listening to two new (?) songs this weekend.  I guess new may be relative, but bear in mind my musical tastes are nearly as old as my softball jerseys.

So anyway, my buddy Craig in Canada sent a link to a song in the comments in response to my cosmetic surgery for vagina’s post.  Give it a listen.

Craig, I stand corrected.  I guess some guys do call it that.  “what do I really want in a girl? me.”  Classic.

I also came across a music video at the Althouse blog that was somewhat reminiscent of my MTV watching days in the big hair 80s.  For the production values alone, this video is worth the watch.

Bad romance indeed.  Well, I’m not about to criticize today’s modern music.  That would make me sound like an old geezer or something…

Manila Bar

Ok, time for an addition to the “dart bars of Itaewon” series.  Next up, Manila Bar.


Manila is in the second alley on the right walking up from Hamilton Hotel towards the Itaewon arch.  It is upstairs from Nana Bar.


Alright, let’s be honest about it.  I have a lot of affection for this bar.  Owners Jovie and Teddy always make sure their customers have a good time.  But, it is really unfair to call this a dart bar.  This photo was taken on a Saturday night, and they take down the board on weekends to facilitate a DJ/videoke/karaoke thing.  Which is nice by the way.

There is a second board behind the picture to the right, although I have never seen it in play.  The phantom board pictured above plays ok, but the oche is real close to the bar so it can at times be tight.


Now, this is the nice thing the bar offers.  A great place to sing if that is your thing, and Teddy is an excellent musician.  He will occasionally accompany you on the piano while you do a videoke song, and he also does some lounge singing, whic is quite pleasant.


This is the bar looking back from the dart board.  If it looks small, well, consider it cozy.  One of the smaller “legitmate” bars I’ve visited in Itaewon.  Doesn’t take much to fill it up, but again, a full bar is a fun bar, right?

Like I said, it is somewhat unfair to compare Manila Bar to some of the other dart venues in town.  Although the sport a team or two in the lower divisions, this really isn’t a real darts bar.  Fine for chucking a few with friends on a weeknight, but if you are a serious darter this is probably not where you go to play.  Great for good times otherwise though.  A “D” rating for darts.

Yoja of the week

Judging from the hits I’m getting through Google searches, lots of folks seem to enjoy looking at photos Korean women.  I’m certainly happy to do my part here at LTG.  So, without further adieu, this week’s Yoja:


All I can tell you is the name of the model is “Honey Lee”, or at least that is name on the photo.  Found her at a blog called Bluemystery’s Weblog in a post hocking a book on how to date Korean women.

Time for me to skate off to work…

Blast from the past…

Literally.  I Googled my name to see what was up with me lately and found a link to the sports page of the Prescott Courier, dated August 2, 1979.  And it reminded me of this long forgotten event over 30 years ago:

John McCrarey belted a two-run homer to give National Association of Letter Carriers their first lead, and Randy Cox tripled and scored the winning run on Steve Huddleston’s sacrafice as NALC beat Yavapai Title, 10-6 in slow pitch county tournament action.

Heh.  I was not by any means a power hitter, my forte was screaming liners down the right field line, often good for doubles and the occasional triple.  Still, in the day I was quite a fanatic about the game. 

Yes I was a mailman and the local union president in Prescott, Arizona back then.  So of course the NALC sponsored our team.  I think I still have my jersey packed away somewhere back in the states.

So, thanks Google for the unexpected and pleasant memory from days gone by.

Geez, I’m such an old-timer.