I’m driving to Seoul in the morning for a meeting with the President of the Korean Employees Union.  After work, I’ll make my way to Seoul station and catch the Airport Express train to Incheon.  My flight doesn’t depart until 2200 and arrives in Angeles City at 0100.  I’ll spend the night early morning there then catch the bus to Subic at 0845.

Meanwhile, commenter and blog buddy Kevin Kim hopes I find the meaning I seek in the PI.  Well, whatever meaning means anyway.  Hell, I’d settle for some good old fashioned contentment.

Interestingly, a vlogger I follow seems to be in a similar place.  He characterizes it as finding his purpose.  I can really relate to that.  I don’t want to be the guy sitting at the bar at 10 a.m. because I don’t know what else to do with myself.  And really, when you are retired you have to have something meaningful to occupy your time.  I’m hoping I’ll make some social connections through darts and joining the Hash club.  And perhaps enjoying the beach and bay views will be enough.  Time will tell.

And then, one of my favorite writers, Steve Rosse, posted this piece today.  It spoke to me on several levels, but I’m still processing those lessons.  More to come on that perhaps.

And of course, spending time on the road (21,500 steps today) invariably leads to some subliminal messaging from YouTube.

Say something, I’m giving up on you
I’ll be the one, if you want me to
Anywhere, I would’ve followed you
Say something, I’m giving up on you

And I am feeling so small
It was over my head
I know nothing at all

And I will stumble and fall
I’m still learning to love
Just starting to crawl

Say something, I’m giving up on you
I’m sorry that I couldn’t get to you
Anywhere, I would’ve followed you
Say something, I’m giving up on you

And I will swallow my pride
You’re the one that I love
And I’m saying goodbye

Say something, I’m giving up on you
And I’m sorry that I couldn’t get to you
And anywhere, I would have followed you
Oh, oh, oh, oh say something, I’m giving up on you

Say something, I’m giving up on you
Say something

I gave up a long time ago, but the song still stings.  Ah well, off to bed.  New adventures await.

When you say nothing at all

I really hate that I seem to have become a once-a-week blogger.  What can I say?  When your life is devoid of meaning and excitement it just does not leave much to write about. Here goes anyway.

You’ve been warned.

My life in a nutshell:

I work my appointed 8 hours per day.  Nothing too strenuous.  I have a great staff, so I just provide the occasional direction and guidance and let them do the heavy lifting.  That’s what’s called being a leader.  Ahem.

Our HQ building now has signage,

And a reserved parking spot for yours truly.

In addition to my 8 hours of work, I try to get in two or three hours of walking everyday. I’m pretty close to 20,000 steps everyday, so I’m happy about that.

And then I wile away the remaining non-sleeping hours drinking beer in the bars of Anjeong-ri.  I’m not particularly happy with that, but damn, I do get bored and lonely.  The bars here seem to be mostly of the “juicy” variety.  That being the bar staff will chat with you in exchange for an overpriced drink (usually W10,000).  I’ll buy the occasional drink because I’m a nice guy and I know it is how the girls make their living, but I don’t enjoy the fake friendliness at all.  In fact, I’ve tested this out.  I’ve gone into bars and not offered a drink and I’m totally ignored.  Which most days suits me fine.

Now, the bar I’ve most often frequented is IDK.  It’s the local dart bar.  I’ve achieved regular status there (defined as being on a first name basis with all the staff).  And the girls don’t work for drinks, which I like.  Having said that, I encountered a problem there last night.

So my bar tab was W52,000. As I’m walking home I did the math. I’m drinking W6,000 beers so it didn’t add up. I go back to the bar and ask. They say you had six beers. And threw a 9 in 501 during the tourney so you had to buy a round of drinks. That was news to me that such a rule existed.  And none of the shitty players that couldn’t hit the board were buying drinks. Okay. You took me for W16,000 and lost a customer. Good deal for me.  I will not be back.  If I get a hankering for darts, I’ll make the trip out to Songtan.

What else?  Well, my son Kevin has left the world of sports journalism to venture out into the corporate world where the money and work hours are more conducive to family life. You can read his farewell here if you are so inclined.

I’m still slow cooking every Sunday. Pot roast this week…

And I still embarking on my weekend river rides..

My trusty chariot…

And the solitary restless rider…

And that’s about it.  Well, I guess I could mention that I’m flying out Wednesday night for a 10 day vacation in, where else, the Philippines.  Chances are good I’ll have something slightly more interesting to blog about.  At least we can hope.

You know, I’m going to refrain from boring you with the state of my mind, heart and spirit.  It is what it is and I’m doing my best to deal with it.  Still, during my walks when I let my mind go free it is disconcerting to have a random YouTube song kick me in the nuts.  This one did just that.

Staring at the bottom of your glass
Hoping one day you’ll make a dream last
But dreams come slow and they go so fast

You see her when you close your eyes
Maybe one day you’ll understand why
Everything you touch surely dies

But you only need the light when it’s burning low
Only miss the sun when it starts to snow
Only know you love her when you let her go

Only know you’ve been high when you’re feeling low
Only hate the road when you’re missing home
Only know you love her when you let her go

Staring at the ceiling in the dark
Same old empty feeling in your heart
Cause love comes slow and it goes so fast

Well you see her when you fall asleep
But never to touch and never to keep
Cause you loved her too much and you dived too deep

Well you only need the light when it’s burning low
Only miss the sun when it starts to snow
Only know you love her when you let her go

Only know you’ve been high when you’re feeling low
Only hate the road when you’re missing home
Only know you love her when you let her go
And you let her go




Neither here nor there

Well, it’s Father’s Day so cheers to all you dads out there.

My father’s father.

My father.

My father’s son.

This father’s son.

Fathers and sons.

And of course, my first born daughter.

I spent a goodly portion of the day riding on the river.

Camp Humphreys on the left…

The river on the right…

I encountered a grave situation on Saturday’s hike.

Darts at IDK on Saturday night. Took home first place money for the third week in a row. Ha, better to be lucky than good I always say…

Friday found me in Seoul where I attended the G1 Hail and Farewell ceremony.  As the name implies, it was where new folks coming in are welcomed and goodbyes are said to those on their way out.

The G1 is basically the Army’s military HR directorate.  I’m in charge of civilian personnel, and my directorate reports through the G1 to the Chief of Staff.  That can at times be problematic, but thanks to the outstanding leadership of Colonel Irish and Command Sergeant Major Grandison, we functioned effectively as one team.

Both COL Irish and SCM Grandison are departing, but we didn’t let them leave without a token of our appreciation.

I spent the night in Itaewon, so of course I dropped into Shenanigans to see two of my favorite bartenders, Sonya and Veta.

And in the category of an unexpected treat…

…I came home from work to discover my landlord had erected this nice cover over the area I set up for my grill. Didn’t even think to ask for that, but it is really a nice touch. Kamsamnida!

Learned this relatively late in life, but it is my mantra going forward, that’s for sure.

And that’s how my weekend were.  Hope yours was fine as well.

Adios mi amigos.

No parking problems

I needed to get in another 3000 steps or so after work today, so I took a stroll through the neighborhood.

The first park I encountered is right up the street from my place…

A ten minute stroll brought me to park #2…

Right across the street was park #3…

Walking on a few more minutes and I arrived at park #4…

Which wasn’t far from park #5…

With my goal achieved, I hoofed it over to IDK…

…where I parked my butt on this stool and enjoyed a well earned brewski…

It’s not always a walk in the park though. Like when these selfish motherfuckers block my driveway…

I got to meet up with an old friend from Seoul for a couple of beers on Sunday. It was nice to see a familiar face…

If you are looking for CAMP Humphreys you are outta luck…

And yes.  I will never forget.

Sometimes what is broken can never be repaired.

Like riding a bike

Exactly like riding a bike, because that’s what I did this weekend.  Back in the first iteration of my Korea life I had a very nice bicycle that I’d ride along the bike paths on the Han River.  But that was seven years ago.

Circumstances being what they are I broke down and purchased an inexpensive bike on Saturday.  I just couldn’t handle the desolation and distances involved in hiking the river here.

The bike, helmet, and lock came to W234,000.

Nothing fancy, but she’ll carry me to places my tired old legs would never see.

Kinda like this…

The ajumma who sold me the bike was also very friendly.  I was wearing shorts and she noticed the varicose veins on my left leg.  She told me I really needed to see a doctor about that as she stroked my leg and tsk tsked.  I promised her I’d get it checked out.

So, it turns out that riding a bike is much more strenuous than walking.  Maybe that should be obvious but it came as a surprise to me.  I was shifting into low gear on the slightest of inclines and really pumping hard on the pedals.  I guess that’s a good thing, cardio-wise anyway.

That first day I was also in quite a bit of pain.

This cruel bastard was the cause of my butt hurt.

So after an abbreviated ride of an hour or so, I parked the bike at home and hoofed it to PX on base.

Where I purchased a seat more appropriate to the size of my ass. Today’s ride was much longer and much more comfortable for sure.

Anyway, I plan to incorporate the weekend biking into my regular exercise routine.  Which means the river rides will be in addition to my daily step goal of at least 15,000.

In other news…

Maybe so, but not so much when you are living a solitary existence.

Still, I took myself out on a dinner date and enjoyed me some pretty decent Mexican food. For dessert I won the dart tourney at IDK for the second week in a row…

There was a full moon Friday night…

Which led me to a pub called “Horse and Cow”…

The Pub featured a drink special called “Sweet Tight Pussy.” Sorry, but I’m not going to pay for it!

This is the only pussy I saw all night…

That was my weekend and all that jazz…



How bored am I?

This bored:

8 hours at work, 4 beers after work, and a whole lot of walking in between. Such is life in the countryside.

Speaking of steps:

This is my step ladder.
I never knew my real ladder.

Stick around, I’ll be here all week.

Green acres

Green acres is the place to be
Farm living is the life for me
Land stretching out so far and wide
Keep Seoul city just give me that countryside!

A Sunday walk through farm country…

It’s been fascinating watching how rice is actually farmed…

It is definitely a labor intensive process…

Saturday night in the village found me participating in the dart tourney at IDK Bar.

Where I achieved my first first place finish in Pyeongtaek.

Finally found a gal willing to dance with me. Shocking I know, but she was electric!

A view of high midnight in Anjeong-ri…

I should probably add this shirt to wardrobe, don’t you think?

And so ended another weekend.

Today’s river adventure

Despite a nasty hangover from last night’s over indulgence, I set about hiking a new section of the local river this morning.  Unlike the Han, there are very few bridges.  Well over two hours into my walk I finally reached this bridge:

But it was a freeway. So, I could either turn around and retrace my steps (something I absolutely despise doing) or I could seek out a new route home.

I chose the later option.  The only exit from the river trail was across a narrow concrete jetty through the adjacent rice paddies.  I could see traffic way off in the distance, so I figured what the hell.  The farmers must have thought I was nuts.

So when I reached the highway I saw a sign that pointed to Pyeongtaek/Ansan.  Well, that’s generally the right direction although I live in Anjeong-ri.  After a goodly long walk my road intersected with highway 45 leading to Pyeongtaek.  Problem is, that’s a major thoroughfare not conducive to pedestrian traffic.  So, I took a detour and walked through the sleepy little village of Bucheon-ri.

At this point I was at the three hour mark which is pretty much my max and I wasn’t entirely clear where I was or how to get to where I was going.

Nothing to do but soldier on.  After awhile I saw a taxi on a cross street up ahead.  I wondered about the odds of his turning in my direction (well, I guess they could have been 50-50).  He did turn my way so next I wondered if he might be empty.  As he approached I saw that he was indeed without a fare.  Deciding it was providence I flagged him down and said take me to Anjeong-ri.  A few minutes into the ride I realized that if I had walked on for ten more minutes I would have known where I was.  But that was still a 45 minute hike away from home, so I was glad to be in the cab anyway.

Had the cabbie drop me at the street market where I purchased some fresh bananas for tomorrow’s traditional Sunday smoothie.

24,500 steps and I have no (ahem) egrets.

Nothin’ ain’t worth nothin’…

…but it’s free…

A whole bunch of nothin’ going on here in my country life, which I expect is what country living is all about.  Well, nothin’ to say never stopped me from sayin’ it anyway, so let’s roll into June, shall we?

My friends all tell me that I’m great. My imaginary friends anyway. Not sure what the Koreans are saying…

Me at a bar called “the Wall”. It was only me for the entire 2 hours I was there…

IDK is slowly becoming my “go to” bar, almost by default. It ain’t real busy either, but the staff is friendly to me at least…

When I’m not working or drinking, I’m usually out walking the country roads. Here’s a shot of the river…

The farmland…

And some wall flowers…

No one told me I was leaving! Actually I found this when I was unpacking some boxes in my new office. That’s from back when I retired the first time in 2010…

This cracked me up…

Still struggling with the emotional side of my life. Not really going to go there, but this is one way to put it:

Time is a one way street. So, why does the past loom so large?

Easier said than done…

I’m still being an oversensitive crank.  In fact, this could be my theme song…

That’s it.  I say it best when I say nothin’ at all.  But you knew that.