The classic Dolce Vita jersey.  Now retired.  Which is to say, it’s not a New Jersey.  Ahem.

So, Tuesday and Wednesday are my down time.  No darts, no subway rides.  Mostly just surf the ‘net, play Civilization and Hearts, nap, rinse and repeat.  Well, I did drag my sorry ass out to the grocery store this evening, so there’s that.

Saturday we’ll be heading down to Songtan.  A friend wants to do some shopping, and I could do for a change of scenery.  The plan at this point will be to rent a room and stay the night.  Find a new place for dinner and some new bars.  For darts, of course.

Oh, I’ve got to share this.  It’s the perfect picture of the post-racial America that Obama promised to usher in:


And that’s about all I’ve got to say about that.  For now.

A little rocky…


Well, another weekend is just about in the books.  Y’all know the drill by now.  Darts at DV, darts at Phillies, and some Korean-style eating in between.

There may be some trouble brewing at the bar that has me more than a little disconcerted.  Even messed with my sleep last night.  I’m going to see how it plays at over the next few days before deciding what to do.

We shall see what we shall see.  Off to Dillinger’s for a dart league meeting tonight.  More to come, stay tuned!

The events leading to my death

I always thought that would be a great title for an autobiography.  It’s probably been used before.  I can’t remember the last time I had an original thought.  Actually, I do.  But that was a pun so it probably doesn’t count.

After more than 56 years of hard (meaning soft) living, I’m sure my body has paid the price.  How much, I don’t as yet know.

Nothing significant to report from today’s version of being poked, prodded, and probed.  Had some different tests than last time, but I’ll have to wait for next week’s appointment with Dr. Yu to get the full results.

I was a little disconcerted that my blood pressure was so high, it’s usually borderline (135/90) but today it was 156.  Also, they have this machine that takes a picture of your heart in 3D that they wanted to use on me.  Apparently, your heart needs to slow down to like 70 or something (keep in mind, I know nothing about it other than what I was discerning from some very rudimentary English).  They gave me a little pink pill, but apparently my heart rate was still too high, so I sat there for an hour and the gave me another pink pill.  They did the test, so I guess I’m golden.

In an MRI-like machine it freaked me out when a male voice with an English accent said distinctly: “take a large breath and hold it in.”  Followed by “now let it all out”.  After the test, I asked the technician about it but he didn’t understand a word I said.  I heard the same voice again in the 3D heart machine, so it was in fact recorded as I had surmised.

The last test of the day involved the prostrate.  A pretty nurse told me something about a probe and my anus.  It wasn’t the pretty nurse who inserted said probe but rather some male Korean technician.  He was none to gentle nor generous with the lubricant.  And while he was probing around in there his cell phone rang.  And he answered it!  I felt so cheap and humiliated.

Ah well, it’s all over now except for the crying.  Which I hope I won’t have to do after getting my results.

Stupid is as stupid does

So, I’m on my way to the Army base with Jee Yeun today to take care of a little business.  My friend Corine had graciously agreed to meet me at the Ichon gate and sign us in.   So, we are about half way there on the number 6 subway line and Jee Yeun asks “did you bring the passports?”.  Um, no I didn’t.  (To gain access two forms of ID are required, one documenting citizenship.  So, it takes a passport and a driver’s license.)  Even worse, Corine had already left the office to meet us.  It was a damn inconvenient brain fart all the way around.

We got off at Namdaemun where Jee Yeun purchased a few items and then we returned home.  And so it goes.


Seoul train


Is that a great picture of Seoul or what?

Almost as great were my darts at the Bless U tourney last night.  That’s two first place finishes in two days.  One thing I have noticed is having an excellent partner seems to make a big difference.

My game is getting better though.  Not what it once was yet.  But I’m getting there.

Having a ball


Well, not the Army Birthday Ball.  But still having a good time with my dart buddies in Itaewon.  An impromptu tourney broke out at Sam Ryan’s last night and some pretty intense games ensued.

Back out for my chuckin’ and chuggin’ at Dolce Vita tonight!

Dry as a desert valley


Nothing to see here and nothing much to say.  Dinner in Myeong-dong Tuesday and I’ll venture out to Itaewon to chuck some darts later tonight.  And that’s about all there is to it.

Well, some Moroccan guy got busted for stealing I-phones from bar patrons in several locations.  I don’t imagine he’ll lose his hands over it, but rumor is he is here illegally so it will be back to the 13th century for him I suppose.

What else?  Planning a road trip in a couple of weeks.  Probably to the West Coast.  More on that as it happens.

Stay tuned.

A horse of a different color…


…and a different spelling.

I’ve lost my voice.  No smartass, it’s not obvious from the quality of my posts here lately.  I mean I can’t talk.  Well, I can sorta squawk and croak.  Bridget Werner from the dart team calls it “a creepy old man voice” in a “hey kids, wanna come to the basement for a Popsicle” kinda way.

It’s mostly just a pain in the ass (and throat) and mildly distressing.  I mean, it’s been over 3 weeks now.  I checked the internets and apparently it is not that unusual for laryngitis to take several weeks to heal.  So, I guess I’ve just got to tough it out and ride this hoarse till it drops…

Another brick in the wall


Part of the old fortifications that run across the crest of Namsan in Seoul.

If days were bricks in the wall of life, all in all yesterday was solid if unspectacular.  Practice with my dart teammates at Dolce Vita, then me and the gal had a quick bite to eat (bimbibap and bulgogi) before catching the subway home.

And just so you won’t feel this post was a total waste of your time, here’s a link to the classic music video of Pink Floyd performing the title of this post.

A memorable evening


This is part of the Korean War Museum.

Coincidentally, darts were flying last night in a tough battle not far from here at Phillies Pub in Haebangchon.  Although I went down in defeat relatively earlier in the fight, there were some great moments throughout the tourney.  Afterwards, six of us bussed over to Myeong-dong for some delicious budaejigae.

A fine time indeed.

Strike up the band!


Well, the 8th U.S. Army band was not there, but I had a rockin’ good time last night anyway.  Played well enough to win the early bird tourney at Dolce Vita.  Later enjoyed dinner with the Werner’s and Scheepstra’s at Don Valley.

Guess you could say we got our DVs on, if you get my meaning, if you catch my drift…

A perfect day for banana fish


Sorry for the obscure JD Salinger reference which has absolutely nothing to do with this post.  A great short story though.

Last night I had a great night out with Jee Yeun, Lonnie, Jaime, and Bridget.  Threw some darts at Sam Ryan’s, ate some wings, drank some beers (OB drafts are half price on Thursday!).  Enjoyed the good banter and camaraderie most of all.

Finished the evening with a nightcap at Bless U then taxied home to Gireum-dong.  Feelin’ so good we tipped the cabbie W5000 and made his night too.

Heading out again tonight for the Friday night tourney at Dolce Vita.  That’s the way I like it.

Of running machines and egg burgers…

So, courtesy of a kind friend I scored some comfort foods from the commissary, including hamburger patties.

And the first thing I asked Jee Yeun to make me was one of her famous “eggaburgers”.


You got your 1/3 pound hamburger patty, a fried egg, lettuce, ketchup, and cucumber on toast.  I first experienced this treat one drunken night from a street vendor in Itaewon.  Good as it was, no one makes an eggaburger quite like Jee Yeun’s.

I guess the irony is that I was enjoying this delicacy immediately after getting doctor’s orders to lose weight.  Since it doesn’t appear the diet part of the equation is likely to succeed, Jee Yeun called a second hand store in Uijongbu about a treadmill.  Actually, she calls it a “running machine”.  I don’t know if that is a literal translation from the Korean or just a “Jee Yeun-ism”, but it always cracks me up.  So, the store has three for us to choose from and we make plans to go up for a looksee today.

Last night Jee Yeun’s mom came by for a visit.  Now, we live on the 5th floor.  There are two elevators, one stops on even floors, the other odd.  For some reason Oma decided to go the the 6th floor and walk down.  And on the 6th floor landing she spots a perfectly good treadmill running machine just sitting there looking for a home.  So, Oma comes in all excited and Jee Yeun gets equally excited, makes me turn off the TV (Band of Brothers, D-Day episode) and go have a look.

Well, like I say, it looks perfectly fine but there’s still the question of ownership.  Jee Yeun puts a note on it and goes downstairs to ask the security guard.  The guard says the people in #608 didn’t have room for it and he’d be happy to see it moved out of the vestibule.  Jee Yeun confirms with the folks in #608 that the treadmill is in working condition and that we can take possession.

That turned out to be the easy part.  Because of course we still had to get this contraption from the sixth floor into our fifth floor apartment.  Now generally speaking when folks move big heavy furniture (or running machines) into high rise apartments, they bring it in through the window using one of these:


A furniture escalator not being an option, Jung bae (Jee Yeun’s daughter’s boyfriend) and I managed to wrestle the treadmill down the flight of stairs (technically two half flights, but who’s counting?) and park it at the entrance to our apartment.  That’s another thing about Korean apartments, the front doors aren’t very wide.  Which I guess is why they use the window, duh.  Well, we tried every which way to maneuver the damn thing through the door, but like OJ’s glove, it just didn’t fit.

I had two thoughts at this point–an understanding that when the folks in #608 said they didn’t have room for the treadmill they must have meant they didn’t have room to get it through the door.  And that paying to have a treadmill from Uijongbu delivered was looking like the best possible option.

Koreans love a bargain, and Jee Yeun and her mom were not about to let this freebee get away.  So Jung bae (bless his heart) removed all the screws holding the control panel in place (I supervised, which is consistent with my professional training).  Screws removed, it still took some yanking, pulling, prying and possibly breaking to get the top removed.  Once more we tried every which way to get it through the door.  It almost fit this time, but we still needed another half inch (or its metric equivalent) clearance.  Damn.

Looking back on it, it was kinda comical I suppose.  My Korean is about as good as Dong bae’s English.  In her excitement and frustration, Jee Yeun wasn’t being much help as a translator.   But in the end I was able to get across that maybe removing the motor cover would free up enough space to make it through the door.  I’m not that brilliant really,  it was just the last f’n piece that could be removed without a blow torch.  And yes, with the cover off we were able to just squeeze it through the door.

I then proceeded to relax while Jung bae reassembled the running

Ain’t she a beauty?  A bargain at half the price.  Just looking at it I can feel the pounds melting away.  That’s how it works, right?

I have never felt closer to the Korean people…

…than I did this morning.

In order to make my doctor appointment in Hannam-dong I had to catch the subway at 7:30 a.m.  Wow.  Other than clowns in a VW or college kids in a phone booth, I had no conception that so many people could be squeezed into such a restricted space.  I literally could not move and wondered how much longer I’d be able to draw breath, but at each station stop a few more folks defied physics and somehow managed to squeeze aboard.  And then someone starting touching my junk (although I’m pretty sure it was Jee Yeun and not the crazy guy behind me who kept mumbling unintelligibly the whole ride).

Mercifully, at Dongdaemun History and Culture Park station (which is a transfer point for two lines), a tremendous surge of people flowed off the train, like a wave of pus escaping from an overripe zit.  Of course, I was standing near the front of this wave and was battered and jostled but I managed to both keep my feet under me and to avoid being forcibly ejected from the train, so I rate that a success.

Oh, the doctor says my liver is still fat and that I need to exercise.  He said my throat problem is just post nasal drip and he prescribed an antihistamine.   Actually, he prescribed some other stuff for cholesterol and some blue pill that is supposed to do what I don’t know.  But he prescribed 8 months worth of each which ran me 700 bucks at the pharmacy.  I guess I could have just had the heart attack there and then and saved the cash, but what’s the fun in that?


I haven’t been this medicated since the 1970s.  But I’m sure these pills won’t be as much fun.