The perfect gift for you’re favorite grammar nazi…

Your right, the usage in the title is wrong.  And so is it in the previous sentence.  Sue me!

I actually do care and do sometimes notice when I screw up.  Most of my errors are sloppiness rather than ignorance.  Some things just irk me.  For example, I think the quotation mark outside the punctuation is aesthetically displeasing.  An Englishmen is rumoured to have said “that’s how we do it in the old country”.

Anyway, I saw this shirt on the internet and had to laugh:


Kevin Kim, if I knew where to buy one you’d be wearing it proudly.  So their!

Surf and Turf


I spent the weekend in Virginia Beach getting my ass kicked in darts.  It’s hard work being the tournament patsy and I did develop  quite the appetite.  After all, man does not live by low carb beer alone.  They had a great snack bar set up for the tourney participants.  Unfortunately, the selections were all rich in carbohydrates.   Which led me to the hotel’s seaside restaurant in search of something healthy to eat.  The best choice for me seemed to be the surf and turf salad and I ordered one up.  After quite the wait, the server brought me a plate of leaves covered in strawberries.  I said “what’s this?” and she told me it was the surf and turf salad I’d ordered.  Well I took my fork and demonstrated for her that this particular salad was lacking in both the surf and the turf.  “Oh” she replied, “we only serve the surf and turf on Sunday, so the kitchen must have gotten confused.”  Apparently.  After another long wait I got what I ordered, a tasty salad with some strips of steak and some small shrimps.

It ain’t easy keeping to this diet when I travel, although my sweetie did her best to keep me supplied with healthy snacks.  And if this week’s weigh-in is any indication, the sacrifices seem to be paying off.  I’ve even noticed a slight change appearance-wise. I’m still a big bellied MFer, but when poked my stomach now has some give.  It used to be as hard as a watermelon.  So, there’s that.

This week’s weight (still using my unreliable scale) is 263.5, down an amazing 3.5 pounds from last week and an incredible 15 pounds from the 278.5 I weighed on February 19.  I pray to Buddha that I will continue to look less like him with each passing week.

My girth has dropped to 49″, down from last week’s 50.5″ and 2.5″ from my 51.5″ starting point.

Yes, I am pleased.  I still have a long, long way to go to reach my target of around 220 pounds.  That’s still on the high side according to the experts who claim my healthy weight to be 180 (I’m 6′ 1″ tall).  I haven’t been that skinny since high school and I don’t expect, or really want, to be that thin again in this lifetime.

I’m thinking this week’s results are likely an outlier, but I’m obviously pleased to be heading in the right direction.

Although my dart game was in the toilet all weekend, I did meet some folks with a Korea connection.  They had been living down Songtan way, a place I visit for darts only a couple of times a year.  But we knew some of the same people and it was nice to encounter some fellow lovers of Korea.  They really got a kick out of my Walrus dart jersey.


Down in old Virginny…

…Virginia Beach to be precise.

Here for a rather large annual dart tournament, the aptly named Virginia Beach Dart Classic.  An interesting ride getting out here.  From an amazing sunrise in South Carolina to a surprising heavy snowstorm in Virginia.  The sun was quite beautiful until it began frying my retinas.  Driving blind is not as much fun as it sounds.  It’s 36 degrees Fahrenheit, so at least the snow wasn’t sticking.  There is, however, an icy wind a blowing that makes standing on the 6th floor balcony quite painful.

Oh, the reason I was up before the sun this morning was to make the 6 hour drive and arrive in time for the two o’clock start of the Pro Cricket qualifying event.  Having arrived at just prior to one, I was feeling rather pleased with myself.  Right up until I noticed the start time is four o’clock.  Duh!  In my defense, the actual Pro Cricket event does start at two tomorrow.  So you can see how I might have been confused.

Speaking of Pros, I see from the sign-up list that some of the top darters in the country have turned out.  That should make the punishment that will shortly be coming my way all the more delicious.

Ah well, there’s always the view…


In the year of the bicentennial


It was 1976,  America turned 200 and I was 21.  I was living in a cracker box two bedroom house with my wife and baby girl in Westminster, California.   We were poor.  Being on food stamps poor.  I had a job in route sales, delivering packaged sandwiches to convenience stores all over Orange County.  The wife was waiting tables at the local Sizzler Steakhouse.  We also had a German Shepard named Angie.  I rented the house from my mother who lived next door.

That’s me sitting at the kitchen table calculating the statistics for the softball team I captained.  The Ringwraiths.  We of course didn’t have personal computers or the internet in those days.  That calculator I’m using was pretty high tech stuff for me.  We did have a 21″ RCA color television.  A Christmas gift from mom and dad.

My luck was going to change for the better a couple of months down the road when I hired on with the United States Postal Service as a letter carrier.  The pay back then was $5.25 per hour and of course I got the full benefit package (health insurance, paid leave, and for the first time in my young life, job security).

Funny thing is, I don’t recall ever feeling put out by my financial situation.  Truth be told, I guess I didn’t know any better.  I had grown up in a working class family.  We didn’t have a nice house, stylish clothes or fancy cars, but we had food on the table and a roof over our heads.  So, I guess it was just what I was used to.  Which is not to say I didn’t envy the nice things others had, but I didn’t begrudge them the trappings of success (or at least the good fortune of having high income parents).

Things were what that were, we made the best of it, and hell, we were generally pretty damn happy most of the time.  We had a tent and we’d frequently go camping.  We had good friends.  Marijuana was cheap.  Life was good.

All these years later I find myself once again living in a two bedroom house (albeit significantly larger and paid for), comfortable in my status as a government pensioner, sitting at the kitchen table writing this remembrance on a notebook computer to post on the Internet.   I guess I’d tell that young man in the photograph that things would find a way of working themselves out.  But I’m thinking he somehow already knows that.

Life is grand, isn’t it?


The Ringwraiths (yeah, we were all really into Tolkien in those days).  Let’s see how many names I can remember.  Front row (L-R): Unknown, Dutch Griffin (my then wife’s ex-boyfriend), Chuck Martin, unknown, Doug Price (our star player), my brother Keith.  Back row: Unknown, Jim Meehan, Rod Headlee, Larry Raemakers, and me.

I got most of them, not bad for an old stoner I’d say.

My doctor doesn’t like my Levi’s

He told me flat out that I’ve got bad genes.  The most worrisome for me is the family history of diabetes.  After my last check up Dr. Yu (a hilarious* Korean at Soonchunhwang hospital’s international clinic) told me that I’ve dodged the diabetes bullet thus far but if I want to keep it that way I’d better start exercising and lose some weight.  I promised him I would be slimmer when I see him again in August.

Another doctor I follow online is a big promoter of the LCHF (low carb, high fat) diet.  So, I was definitely encouraged reading his latest post about a patient with Type 2 diabetes  who reports a stunning reversal of the effects of the disease after a year of the LCHF lifestyle.

So, on to the results of this week’s weigh-in.  One thing I’ve discovered is my scale basically sucks.  I mean, it’s a digital Health-o-Meter, a decent brand in the mid-price range.  But I weighed myself several times over the course of a few minutes and got a 1 pound variance in weight.  And no, I didn’t eat or poop in the interim.  I’m taking the reading in the middle for today.  Then I’ll go to Amazon and buy a new scale.

Today’s weight: 267.0 (or 266.5 or 267.5, take your pick).  That’s down (around) 3 pounds from last week’s 270.  And down 11.5 since February 19.  WooHoo!  Best of all I’m moving in the right direction again.  This is especially interesting to me because I was a total slug this week.  I mean, about the only exercise I got was getting up to take a leak during my marathon sessions of playing Civ IV. 

Girth remains unchanged from last week’s 50.5″ and down one inch overall.  Although it did seem that my shirt buttons weren’t bursting with their usual fervor.

Anyway, I’ll call that progress and recommit myself to actually moving around some in an exercise-like fashion.

*Here’s a funny Dr. Yu story.  Jee Yeun and I share appointments.  During our last visit I told Dr. Yu that Jee Yeun was always complaining about being bored.  I asked if there was anything he could prescribe for that.  Without missing a beat he responded “Yes!  Viagra.”

I can’t remember if I blogged that before or just posted on Facebook.  Ah well, it was worth repeating.

So, this is Saint Patrick’s day

Isn’t that special.  I’m not that much into delving into my cultural heritage.  Like most Americans, I expect I’m more of a mongrel dog than anything.   Indeed, family rumor has it that we’ve even got some Native American blood coursing through our veins.  I did ask my father once if the McCrarey clan was Irish or Scottish.  He said “well son, I drink like an Irishman and I’m cheap like a Scot, so I guess we’ve got some of both.”

Who knows?  And more importantly, who cares?  The whole purpose of this post is to share a short video clip that I found funny.  Enjoy!

How to meet women (part 1)

For all you single guys out there, I came across a great pickup line: “Baby, are you a cemetery? Because I’m dead inside and want to bury myself in you.” Man, they’ll be like flies to honey. Trust me on that.

Or you might try asking them “do you want to play the rape game?”  They will invariably say “NO!”  To which you respond “that’s the spirit!”

Hey, I’m giving this stuff away for free.  Thank me later.


A rainy day at the beach

Anyone up for a road trip to the Sea of Japan East Sea?


Leaving the traffic of Seoul behind and heading out to the country on Highway 6.


Most of the trip is two lane blacktop which is the way I prefer to roll.


You don’t so much go over the mountains as you do going through them.


A rest area where Jee Yeun refreshes herself with noodles and kimchi.


More tunnels.  I swear the Korean people must be descended from Tolkien’s dwarves.


The long and winding road that leads me to your door…


…well, our beachfront hotel room door anyway.


A room with a view for about forty bucks thanks to Jee Yeun’s well developed negotiating skills.


One view from the room…


…another view.


What do you do with a rainy day at the beach?  Find a coffee shop of course.


Here’s one of the reasons Jee Yeun is so special.  Most folks would be disappointed that it was raining at the beach.  Jee Yeun said “isn’t it great to sit here and smell the coffee and watching it rain!”  Even the butterfly (moth?) seemed to agree.


Me contemplating the wisdom of Jee Yeun’s words.


Like the Morton salt girl, when it rains it pours.  But that’s alright.


As they say in old Mexico: sometimes life’s a beach.


I came across the word “inexplicable” the other day so I thought I’d look up the definition.  The dictionary said “cannot be explained.”  So, I still don’t know what inexplicable means.

Bada bing.

Anyway, at today’s weigh-in I encountered a situation that cannot be explained.  Despite denying myself the wholesome sweetness of carbohydrates in all their fattening glory, I actually gained weight.  What the fuck is up with that?

I am discouraged by this unanticipated turn of events, but I’m committed to staying the course.  I just don’t know what I can do differently.  Well, I guess I could turn my good intentions about exercise into action.  Onward and hopefully downward.

This week’s weight is 270.0 (up from 268.5 last week and down 8.5 pounds since February 19).

Girth is 50.5, down .5 from last week and 1″ since I began the diet.

How do you gain weight and lose belly?  It’s inexplicable.