One of my favorite writers, Pat Conroy, pays tribute to his father, Colonel Don Conroy, aka The Great Santini. Y’all really need to read the whole thing, but here’s the part that pertains to his service in Korea:
Here’s hoping that America will always find “a few good men” like Don Conroy when she needs them.
Man, I wish I’d written this:
Read the whole thing. It’s good.
Hat Tip: Spleenville.
UPDATE: I actually found the above on a blog a rarely read these days. Following some links on even less frequently read blogs I came across this:
But wait, on yet a third blog, I found this:
Wow. I’ve been saying this for the longest time…liberal, progressive, whatever you call it, is in fact just the opposite of what those terms have historically meant. I am still the liberal here. The rest of you have gone mad…
New dreams emerge.
It’s the freakin’ circle of life.
So, I have decided to postpone retirement until 2 January 2011.
Time to work on Plan “B”.
Well, we have the forces of the US/ROK alliance as represented by the carrier George Washington:
Up against the fearsome North Korean navy:
Pray for peace.
Opening night of the new dart season kicked off last night. It was good to be playing again and especially nice to rejoin my old team Take It Easy. Although we were defeated by 3 Alley Pub 16-9, it was a fun and competitive evening. It’s been awhile since I could say that.
Not to worry, but I’ve got some kind of bug. I played darts yesterday afternoon in the Subic league (went 2-2 but should have done better) then went back to the room and went to bed. And stayed there for 14 hours (with occasional trips to the CR).
Anyway, I sick and tired of being sick and tired. Had enough.
No worries, just limited access to the internet here in Subic. Something is wrong with my wireless on the laptop. Pain in the ass to come down here and use the computer in the hotel lobby.
Anyway, I am a tad disconcerted right now but I’m going to see it through and wait until I get back home to decide what the hell to do.
But I’m good.
Ate dinner at Tequila Reef in AC and was more than satisfied with the quality and quantity of my platter. Shredded beef taco, shredded beef enchilada and chicken enchilada, plus beans and rice. Set me back 360 pesos, or about $7.50.
Definitely the best Mexican I have experienced since leaving the USA.
Open air darts that is. Spent some pleasant hours yesterday at the Blue Boar Inn chucking darts in the upstairs open air dart bar. The temp was hotter than my darts, which actually doesn’t say much because the same statement would be true if it were December in Alaska. But actually I played alright.
The proprietor of the Blue Boar is Jimmy Dale, who is known around town as Harry the Horse. You can read his monthly newsletter here if you are so inclined. Great guy and enjoys the game of darts. Even invited me to play on his team. Which I might consider if I’m willing to make a weekly trip down from Subic. We’ll see…
Jimmy and his upstairs open air dart bar at the Blue Boar…
We played a nice 9 leg set (cricket, 301 DIDO, and 501) of which I managed to eek out a 5-4 victory. Then he called in an Aussie teammate who put a pretty good ass-whuppin on me. I had a great time though.
…and workin’ overtime.
Well, not really. But I am getting some things done. Had a good meeting with the Special Resident Retirement Visa (SSRV) representative and came away with a whole new list of things to be done. Some I can do now, others will have to wait until I return in September.
Right now I’m fixin’ to head over to the medical clinic for the exam required for all SSRV applicants. Then I’ll go to the mall and have 14 2×2 photographs made of my handsome mug. 12 for the SSRV, and two for the bank. I need to open a Philippine bank account in order to make the required SSRV deposit.
Anyway, I’m getting about by the most common* means of transport in the Philippines (and my least favorite)–the trike.
This is my happy driver from yesterday, anticipating charging me the foreigner tax for a short ride (about twice the fare he could get away with for a local). Ah well, we’re talkin’ the difference between 50 cents and a dollar here, so I don’t sweat it. My problem is folding my oversized body into the sidecar. It ain’t pretty or comfortable, trust me on that!
*I guess the Jeepney might be the most popular means of mass transit, but the trike takes the place of taxi’s, generally. Although taxi do exist, just not so much in AC.
I arrived safely and without incident at midnight. Drank some SML’s and went to bed. Woke up, ate, exchanged some dollars for pesos, walked to the mall, bought a cell phone (Samsung!), walked back to the room, and now I’m posting this play by play account of my exciting trip. Next I’m going to take a trike to the Perimeter road area and meet with the SSRV (retirement visa) counselor.
Needless to say, it has been an outstanding trip thus far!
One of the highlights occurred on the bus to the Airport. I just love some of the English naming conventions adopted by Korean businesses, both large and small. Like this:
Perhaps their motto is “we take the convenience out of convenience store”.
At the mall today I was reminded that wherever you go in the world, you are never far from Korea.
More great stuff like this to follow…
…the wonderful wizard of immigration for the Republic of the Philippines. Among other things.
10 days of adventure in AC, Subic/Olongapo, and Manila. If you call house hunting and dealing with bureaucrats an adventure.
Well, it won’t be all work. I’m taking my darts and looking forward to quaffing
I’m taking along the camera, so chances are you’ll see some photographic evidence of the trip here at LTG soon enough.
See y’all on the other side.
…and the law won. Don’t it always?
My first traffic infraction in nearly six years in Korea. And my last ticket before that was back in 2000. It seems that one of the ubiquitous traffic cameras caught me doing 76 km/h in a 60 km/h zone. Actually, I don’t tend to be a lead foot driver. I’m guessing this occurred during the transition from a 80 km/h speed limit. Yep, the age old speed trap appears to be a global phenomenon.
It appears flaunting the law is going to set me back 70,000 won.
So says Glenn Reynolds regarding Obama’s Katrina. Hard to argue the fact that there seems to be one common denominator to the problems we are facing in America these days.
Well, ok then. I’m spoiled for wanting competent leadership. Mianhamneeda.
Then again, Charles Krauthammer takes a look at the man behind the curtain and finds an empty suit. All I can say in response is: Krauthammer, grow up and stop acting like a spoiled child!”
And pass me some more of that Kool-Aid.
Hell if I know, but looking back at these old advertisements I’m just wondering why I am even alive…
See, it is probably not my fault I love beer so much, I might have been raised on it…
…and maybe this explains my cravings for Diet Coke…
Well, thanks to the Internets I can now download all my favorite TV shows and watch them continuously without commerical interruption. Thanks Mom!
Hmmm, coincidentally or not, Mom quit smoking right about the time I moved out of the house…
Hey, as Sawyer Brown said:
I’ve got to thank momma for the cookin’
Daddy for the whoopin’
The devil for the trouble that I get into
I’ve got to give credit where credit is due–
I thank the bank for the money,
Thank God for you!
Freedom and Democracy are beautiful things. And so are the women of the Czech parliament. Or at least the ones who posed for this calendar.
Czech out these samples (more at the link):
I guess in the game of politics, it would have to be Czech-mate for me.
Hat Tip: PowerLine
If everyone is racist, does that mean no one is?
Let’s see. There’s Arizona.
Then we have the NAACP calling the Tea Party folks racist.
And the Tea Party says the NAACP is racist.
Well, it is no surprise that the Black Panthers are racist.
And Obama says that al Qaeda is racist.
Hell, apparently even Hallmark greeting cards are racist.
It’s all so confusing.
Jeff Bezos, founder of Amazon, gave a commencement address at Princeton that I found moving. Perhaps you will too. The talk was entitled “We are what we choose” and one of the points he makes is that it is easier to be clever than kind. He concluded his remarks with:
Go read the rest, it is well worth your time.
I’ve kinda fallen off the posting wagon of late here, haven’t I? Not to make excuses (as I proceed to do so) but I’ve just been a tad out of sorts here of late. When the going gets overwhelming, my tendency is retreat into numbing mindlessness.
So these past several days have found me escaping into the world of CIV IV (and doing pretty well, thank you) and watching countless espisodes of House (I’m halfway through season six now!).
That hasn’t left much time for the blog. But what’s to write anyway? Politics is not exactly a bore, but I find it increasingly difficult to watch Obama and his team of clowns and fools systematically deconstruct everything that once made America great. Which is not to say that politics is not in the future here at LTG, but I’m waiting for something inspiring. Hey, maybe the elections in November will bring good cheer…
But really, I think it is my impending retirement and move to the Philippines that has put me off my game. I have a great job and the career has been so much more than I ever imagined possible. Lucky I have been! Still, I do know it is time to let go and do something else (or nothing at all) for awhile. I just don’t have the passion for it anymore. I think this passionlessness is most notably manifested in my escalating inability to tolerate bullshit. And trust me, working for the government is the Kingdom of Bovine Excrement. Although I will miss the people and the security of a well paid position of responsibility, I can let go and move on. I really can.
So, moving on means moving on to the Philippines. But oddly enough, I can’t seem to generate as much excitement for the reality of that proposition as I could for the dream. I’m not exactly sure why that is and that fact has created a sense of foreboding and dissonance of late.
Well, there I’ve said it out aloud. And no, I don’t feel particularly better for having done so. The fact is I have built a very nice life for myself here in Korea. As the days dwindle down I’m realizing just how much I’m going to miss living here amongst the friends I have made. So, there’s that.
I’m going to be heading out to the PI on Thursday and will stay for 10 days. It’s really a business trip. Taking care of the business of securing a visa, a house to live in, and a sense that I am moving to a place where I belong.
I told myself I’d give it a year and see what happens. And that’s what I plan to do. I’d just prefer that the year feel like time spent in paradise rather than jail.
It’s a hot day. And the lake is dark and cold. It’s a little scary to contemplate jumping in, because the shock of hitting that water is bound to be…what? Painful? Perhaps, but once I’m aclimated I expect it will be refreshing.
And if I’m wrong? Well, I reckon I will just get my ass out of the lake and go look for a hot tub.
(Mt. Pinatubo in Northern Luzon nearby where I expect to be living in September)
Places I Go
John McCrarey: That's the plan. It