A stroll in the snow

I managed to get my daily walk in yesterday despite a rather heavy snowstorm.

The view from my balcony...

The view from my balcony…

I had planned on hiking down to the Han river and I didn’t let the snowfall dissuade me, reasoning that much of my walk would be on relatively level ground.  And it turned out fine.

Snow and water...

Snow and water…

...water and snow.

…water and snow.

And by the time I got back home there was snow on the mountain.

And by the time I got back home there was snow on the mountain.

It was rather pleasant having the riverside almost all to myself.

In other news, I bought this grill on Friday:

My balcony is rather narrow and would not comfortably accommodate a full size grill, so I went with this portable Coleman setup...

My balcony is rather narrow and would not comfortably accommodate a full size grill, so I went with this portable Coleman setup…

 

It required some assembly which proved to be a pain in the ass. Didn't have the best tools for the job. and getting the places I had to bolt together to line up properly was nightmarish. I'm not the most "handy" guy around, but I got 'er done. Eventually.

It required some assembly which proved to be a pain in the ass. Didn’t have the best tools for the job. and getting the places I had to bolt together to line up properly was nightmarish. I’m not the most “handy” guy around, but I got ‘er done. Eventually.

If I'm doing low carb, I'm doing it featuring steak. And the best way I know how to cook steak is on the grill. And now I can.

If I’m doing low carb, I’m doing it featuring steak. And the best way I know how to cook steak is on the grill. And now I can.

Happy Leap Year Day!

A walk in the park

In preparation for my first weekly weigh-in this morning I found the motivation to tackle a mountain yesterday.  Such as it is.

I’ll let the pictures do my talkin’ about my walkin’.

You gotta start somewhere, so I started by walking out my front door...

You gotta start somewhere, so I started by walking out my front door…

...and into the street...

…and into the street…

...from where you can view my ultimate destination.

…from where you can view my ultimate destination.

This storefront seemed to be offering me encouragement to plod on...

This storefront seemed to be offering me encouragement to plod on…

Came to a fork in the road--to the right the road leads up to the Grand Hyatt. To the left--who knows? I went left...

Came to a fork in the road–to the right the road leads up to the Grand Hyatt. To the left–who knows? I went left…

...making progress...

…making progress…

...but first I must manage these many, many steps.

…but first I must manage these many, many steps.

After all those steps I was in the mood for an exercise break...

After all those steps I was not in the mood for an exercise break…

So I followed the path that lead steadily upwards...

So I followed the path that lead steadily upwards…

I was getting hot and sweaty, but not feeling philosophical about it...

I was getting hot and sweaty, but not feeling philosophical about it…

Almost there, but had to breach the wall first...

Almost there, but had to breach the wall first…

Not a particularly clear day, but Seoul is still awesome...

Not a particularly clear day, but Seoul is still awesome…

That's my hot, tired and sweaty look...

That’s my hot, tired and sweaty look…

Goal achieved!

Goal achieved!

A bitter reminder that all the locks in the world won't chain the heart of a soul who yearns to be free...

A bitter reminder that all the locks in the world won’t chain the heart of a soul who yearns to be free…

So, I screwed up on the way down. I was thinking I was on the path that would lead to the National Theater and figured I might even find a cut-off leading to the Hyatt. By the time I realized my route was taking me to the wrong side of town, I had a pretty good bit of backtracking to do--mostly uphill. So I eventually found a trail with the word "Hannam" in it, and I figured close enough. Especially since it was going downhill...

So, I screwed up on the way down. I was thinking I was on the path that would lead to the National Theater and figured I might even find a cut-off leading to the Hyatt. By the time I realized my route was taking me to the wrong side of town, I had a pretty good bit of backtracking to do–mostly uphill. So I eventually found a trail with the word “Hannam” in it, and I figured close enough. Especially since it was going downhill…

And I wound up on the opposite end of Itaewon/Hannam from where I live.  I had planned on a two hour walk, why not two and a half?

There's always something interesting to see on the mean streets of Seoul...

There’s always something interesting to see on the mean streets of Seoul…

I didn't walk at a brisk pace...I guess you could say I was dogging it...

I didn’t walk at a brisk pace…I guess you could say I was dogging it…

But I had a Great Dane anyway. *ahem*

But I had a Great Dane anyway. *ahem*

When I finally reached home I was tired and hungry. Baby back ribs were my reward...

When I finally reached home I was tired and hungry. Baby back ribs were my reward…

So I ate and took a nap.  Then did my usual Saturday night gig at Shenanigans.

Which means keeping my lady friends entertained...

Which means keeping my lady friends entertained…

And that brings us to this morning’s weigh-in.  I’ve been doing reasonably well on the diet. I don’t think the walking adds much value other than keeping me motivated to not eat my usual junk thereby negating the time and effort spent on walking.  As I mentioned last week, my goal is to lose 50 pounds.  So if I can average losing one pound a week I’ll get there in less than a year.  Last week I was 269.2 and this week–

Woot! Down 5.8 pounds! More than I dared hope for. Of course, in the early stages of the diet you get bigger drops, and then your body adjusts and it gets tougher. Still, just give me one pound a week and I'll be happy...

Woot! Down 5.8 pounds! More than I dared hope for. Of course, in the early stages of the diet you get bigger drops, and then your body adjusts and it gets tougher. Still, just give me one pound a week and I’ll be happy…

I guess I’ll just have to keep on keeping on.

Week 2 Kickoff breakfast. Eggs , cheese and salsa with leftover ribs..

Week 2 Kickoff breakfast. Eggs , cheese and salsa with leftover ribs..

And an afternoon stroll to the Han River is in my immediate future.

No more trash talk

Some people say I have a dirty mouth.  Fuck that shit.

I did get a dental cleaning today from the ambiguously gendered Dr. Sohn. Except for a cracked filling and my gums needing a little TLC I’m doing fine.  She said I could get the filling fixed soon or come back for a root canal later.  Hmm, decisions, decisions…

For the record, I think she is a great dentist and a female.  I recommend her highly.

 

Just call me Randall Flagg

I’m the walking dude.

As in walked to work.  And walked for a full hour at lunch.  Then walked home.  Then I walked to the bar.

A ham and cheese omelette for breakfast.  Tuna, a boiled egg, and a pickle for lunch.  And a salad for dinner.  I’m all in baby!

How long till I’m handsome again?  Don’t answer that!

The barkeep at Shenanigans gave me this advice:  “You’ve got to love yourself, no one else is going to”.  I responded “ouch” and she professed that is not the way she meant it.

Still, she could be right.  But I’m feeling better regardless…

And today I got a call at work and the person on the other end said “first of all, I really enjoy your blog…:”

I am always pleased to discover random readers.  And also glad I rarely blog about my working life.  Anyway, good to know you are out there Jerry!

And that’s about it for now.  Stay with me.  Things are on the upswing!

How I roll these days

Took an ass whuppin’ in darts last night, so let’s not talk about that.

I managed a 45 minute lunch time stroll yesterday and added another 45 by taking the long way to darts (including a stroll up “gay hill” and down “hooker hill”.  I only got propositioned on one said hill.  I’ll leave it to your imagine which one.  I did not however partake of what was being offered.

After the dart match we are not going to talk about I went straight home.  Which avoided my consuming additional beer carbohydrates (our dart venue was out of Miller Lite, so I had to go with the full bodied Cass, of which I had three).  In bed by 11:00 p.m., woke up and hoofed it into work.  I was very surprised to find it was almost a straight shot from my villa to my office.  I used the walk-in gate near the kimchi pots in Haebongchon and instead of going around the 8th Army HQ building like I have to do in my car, I found a pathway running behind the USFK HQ (aka The White House) and was at my office in 15 minutes!

I rewarded myself with a ham and cheese omelette from the food court, skipped lunch and got a haircut instead, then satiated my hunger with celery and cheese sticks in the afternoon.

My new doo.  No need to carry around that extra weight from a full head of hair...

My new doo. No need to carry around that extra weight from a full head of hair…

Walked home (15 minutes back as well, go figure).

Did some laundry...

Did some laundry…

...and hung it up to dry...

…and hung it up to dry…

Washed up some dishes, the pulled out my new George Foreman grill…

Only big enough for two hamburger patties at a time...

Only big enough for two hamburger patties at a time…

But I was finally able to put some real food in my belly…

roll4

Well, as real as it gets around here anyway.

Still got 30 minutes of walking to finish, so I will meander around the neighborhood and perhaps discover a back way to Shenanigans.

And you thought this post would be devoid of adventure!

 

Victory!

My partner and I took home first place money at the SIDL monthly dart tourney last night...

My partner and I took home first place money at the SIDL monthly dart tourney last night…

And I rewarded myself this morning with a low carb breakfast of scrambled eggs with shredded cheese and salsa...

And I rewarded myself this morning with a low carb breakfast of scrambled eggs with shredded cheese and salsa…

Got a pork roast slow cooking in the Crockpot so I’ll enjoy me some pulled pork tonight after my hike today.  Thinking I might tackle Namsan.

Yes, it is sad that not everyone can live such an exciting life.  Don’t be a hater!

 

Let’s get started!

Every journey begins somewhere and my quest to lose weight starts at 269.2 pounds.  My circumference is a robust 47″.  Talk about the long way around!

My goal is 220, which means losing 50 pounds.  I’ve done that before doing the low carb diet routine.  Although obviously I didn’t manage to keep it off once I reverted back to my old bad habits (sweets, ice cream, and OB beer).

I’m going to have to find where I left my self-discipline.  It’s gotta be around here somewhere.

No shit, Sherlock

Today I visited the hilarious Dr. Yu for the results of my recent physical examination.

And just about everything went as expected...

And just about everything went as expected…

Except I apparently have a broken heart.  Hell, I didn’t need to spend $1200.00 to know that!

Well, technically it’s not broken, more like 50% blocked in places.  Dr. Yu put a scare in me when he insisted I visit the cardiologist immediately.  I asked what for and he said probably an angiogram to confirm the blockage.  I asked if that is done on an outpatient basis.  He told me that it requires hospitalization and I responded hell no, that ain’t happening.  No way I’m going to a Korean hospital alone.  They aren’t designed that way.  Anyway, he got all concerned and asked me to at least talk to the cardiologist to which I consented.

I figured I might be at one of the crossroads, and in this case it was better to keep to the left...

I figured I might be at one of the crossroads in life, and in this case it was better to keep to the left…

The cardiologist proved to be much more sanguine about my situation.  He said you really couldn’t tell from the pictures of my heart how serious the blockage might be.  He wanted a sonogram of my co-rotted arteries as well.  Then I’d do a stress test and he’d know more after seeing how my heart responded.

My boss was too busy to stress me so we had to use a treadmill.

My boss was too busy to stress me so we had to use a treadmill.

Which I seemed to tolerate well.  At least there was no talk of surgery and stents and the like.  As every doctor in the universe has previously advised me I need to incorporate some dietary discipline and exercise into my lifestyle.  And also take pills to reduce my hypertension and cholesterol.  Which I agreed to do.

So come Sunday, I plan to re-institute a low carb diet.  For me, that will mean cutting out sweets and breads and switching to Miller Lite beer (3.2 carbohydrates per bottle).  As I told my Shenanigans friends, if I can’t drink beer I may as well be dead.  I’m in the process of negotiating a discounted price (12 oz for W5000 versus a 16 oz OB for W3000).  Let’s see if we can find some middle ground, right?

As for the exercise, well it will be walking.  I’ll try to manage an hour a day and see how that works out.

Anyway, I was glad to be cancer and diabetes free.  At least so far.  Taking care of the heart is job one and ought to be good for everything else as well.  Especially my fat liver.

Getting old sucks.  But it beats the alternative.

My Valentines…

So, the day began with me still at the bar when the clock struck 12.  I’d been throwing darts at Dolce Vita with some old friends, and decided to finish the night at Shenanigans….

Where I ran into my dart league protege Choonae. The flower ajumma came through so I bought some flowers. But no, there was no romance involved. I'm squarely in the friend zone with Choonae. Damn it!

Where I ran into my dart league protege Choonae. The flower ajumma came through so I bought some flowers. But no, there was no romance involved. I’m squarely in the friend zone with Choonae. Damn it!

The female bar staff invited me to join them for some pizza at Gino’s today.

Where they surprised me with the gift of a new backpack and a sweet card. I almost cried. It was there way of saying thanks for the small kindnesses I show them (candy and stuff I cook occasionally) Or maybe they were just taking pity on me for being such a pathetic old bastard...

Where they surprised me with the gift of a new backpack and a sweet card. I almost cried. It was their way of saying thanks for the small kindnesses I show them (candy and stuff I cook occasionally) Or maybe they were just taking pity on me for being such a pathetic old bastard…

My harem of lovelies...

My harem of lovelies…

the food as usual was excellent and the company superb. It meant a lot to me that these young ladies took time to make me feel special.

the food as usual was excellent and the company superb. It meant a lot to me that these young ladies took time to make me feel special.

Anyway, it was a good day.  I got shellacked 12-4 in singles league this evening, but I’m still feeling fine…

I’m thankful for the people in my life who truly care…

To a friend

I ask but one thing of you, only one,
That always you will be my dream of you;
That never shall I wake to find untrue
All this I have believed and rested on,
Forever vanished, like a vision gone
Out into the night. Alas, how few
There are who strike in us a chord we knew
Existed, but so seldom heard its tone
We tremble at the half-forgotten sound.
The world is full of rude awakenings
And heaven-born castles shattered to the ground,
Yet still our human longing vainly clings
To a belief in beauty through all wrongs.
O stay your hand, and leave my heart its songs!

–Amy Lowell

NSTR

That’s Army-speak for “nothing significant to report”.  Which explains why my blogging activity has been so spartan.

Working and drinking is pretty much my routine on a daily basis.  I guess I’m doing okay at work because my boss recognized me with an 8 hour Time Off Award.  As the name implies, it is essentially a get out of jail (for a day) card.  Not a lot to say about the bar life.  I try to stay moderate in my intake, although I did get “floored” again on Saturday night.

I’m throwing some darts as well, and they are flying reasonably on target most of the time.

It could be I’ve lost my mind a little (more).  Most nights I lay in bed and shout at the ceiling.  Sometimes in a made up language.  I find it helps clear my head and facilitates sleep.  Your mileage may vary.

And that’s about it from here.  When I was doing that exercise of posting from the archives of LTG I noted there were times when I’d go an entire month between posts.  And then I recalled it was during periods when things were pretty much fucked up in my life.  And it’s been a long time since I’ve felt this out of sorts.  But I think I’m starting to get it back together, little by little.  I’ll never be the same I’m sure, but nothing ever is.

And that’s just about enough of that.  For now at least.

An old fashioned rogering…

Well, I survived the physical examination.  It might have been touch and go.  I checked in with my blood pressure at 160/80 which is quite a bit higher than my normal 135.  So they gave me some medicine and made me wait, then checked it again.  Still too high, so they gave me another pill and I waited some more.  Finally they consented to proceed with the various tests (apparently high BP can create problems with the results, who knew?).

So, I got weighted (121kgs yikes!), had my vision and hearing checked, gave a blood, urine and stool sample, chest x-ray, MRI like thing, ultra sound on my vital organs, prostrate exam, and then the colonoscopy and endoscopy.  I was asleep for the last two thankfully.  A cute young woman did my prostrate check but it still was not fun to have a stick stuck up my ass.  Ah, for the good ol’ days when they used a finger.

Before we started they reviewed with me my results from two years ago.  I had a fat liver then, who knows what 40 straight days of drinking has done now.  Well, I will know on the 16th when I see the hilarious Dr. Yu for my results.

I actually wavered on going for the physical because if I’m dying sooner than I’ve planned, I’d rather not know.  On the other hand if they find something that can be fixed and give me those ten years, why not?  We’ll see soon enough.

When it was over I’d been 24 hours without solid food and I was famished.  The hospital gives a coupon for a traditional rice porridge at a nearby Hannam-dong eatery.  It was damn good, but I expect anything would have been at that point.  When I got back to the house I made myself a proper tuna sandwich and took a long nap.

Back in my usual chair at Shenanigans last night so I guess things are returning to normal.

A crappy start to the day…

…and it is going to be a shittier night.

No beer tonight. Just a bunch of liquids and water to insure I shit through the night.

No beer tonight. Just a bunch of liquids and water to insure I shit through the night.

Getting my bi-annual physical tomorrow.  So this morning I had the dis-stink honor of scooping my poop into that little black jar.  It was a shitty experience.

So, at 6:30 I drink whatever is in that tube.  Then at 7:00 I drink my first bottle of whatever it is that makes you shit (with a liter of water).  I’ll do that again at 9:00.  That should have me shitting through the night.  But I’ll wake up at 5:00 to drink another bottle.

I’m just hoping there is nothing left to poop when I leave for the hospital.

Oh well.  It’s great to be me!

UPDATE:  Dinner is served!

Piping hot chicken broth... Yum!

Piping hot chicken broth… Yum!