Heartbreaking news from South Carolina. Christopher Werner II, aka “Fooey” and “Mini-me” passed away today. He was in middle school, witty and sweet, and born with a bad heart. I understand that during a routine check-up procedure he succumbed.
His mother Bridget loved him dearly and she died last year at age 49. I wrote about her here.
I’m not religious but if there is a heaven it is comforting to think that they have now been reunited.
That’s Bridget and Fooey with us on the West sea circa 2012.
And that’s me and Christopher “dicking” around. The boy seemed to enjoy a similar sense of humor.
My heart goes out to his daddy Chris. I cannot even begin to fathom what he is going through now. I hope he finds the strength to persevere through such a devastating loss.
Rest in peace, Christopher. You were an amazing young man and will not be forgotten.
“Age has no reality except in the physical world. The essence of a human being is resistant to the passage of time. Our inner lives are eternal, which is to say that our spirits remain as youthful and vigorous as when we were in full bloom. Think of love as a state of grace, not the means to anything, but the alpha and omega. An end in itself.” ― Gabriel García Márquez, Love in the Time of Cholera
Well, another journey around the sun has been completed. And man am I tired.
Honestly, it’s a struggle. I’m stuck somewhere between being unhappy and being depressed. Today was not one of the good days, but I’ll keep on fighting regardless.
I’m not sure why I just can’t seem to embrace acceptance of what my life has become. When I look around me I can see that I have it better than many folks. I’m grateful for my blessings, and regretful for the things I’ve lost. Perhaps most significantly, the capacity to love. A couple painful reminders of that this weekend have thrown me off my stride.
Well, let me say this–I’m cruising through a rain soaked week but I don’t have much to complain or blog about. Not that that will stop me!
On the one day it didn’t rain it was quite beautiful on Camp Humphreys, don’t you think?
As I suspected, the bars in Anjeong-ri are nearly vacant with General Order #1 in effect. I snapped this photo because I thought it was cool seeing a bar that is even older than I am. I haven’t gone in there though (yet). I’ve been spreading myself around to my four primary favorites (Horse and Cow, Mass, Galaxy, and Shooters. I’m usually the only customer and I just don’t have the capacity to keep them all profitable during the exercise. Sorry!
Speaking of getting older, I do have a birthday on the horizon. My wonderful staff treated me to lunch at the Alaska Mining Company on Wednesday…
Treated me like a King they did! Crown and all!
And in one of those rare first time in a lifetime events, I blew out the candles on a Winnie the Pooh cake.
Well, I thought this was funny as hell…
Speaking of relationships, I recently heard that a couple of my friends are getting a divorce. I hope it is not true and/or they patch things up. They are both cool people and I thought they made a fine couple. Having said that, I took the news as affirmation of my belief that love is a sucker’s bet. I actually recall when I attended their wedding (last summer!) and watched them making their vows to one another thinking “yeah, I’ve heard that before”, Anyway, love should be for more than the happy times. Otherwise it is meaningless. Least that’s how I see it.
No one belongs where they’re not wanted You’re just a ghost, and my heart is haunted When I said goodbye, you didn’t even beg me to stay It wasn’t what you said, it’s what you didn’t say No baby, it wasn’t what you said, it’s what you didn’t say
Time for another installment in the fascinating journey of my so-called life.
Well, I reckon it can be summed up as WWBD. Working, Walking, Biking, Drinking. I suppose it could be worse.
Work is work. My Deputy has been on leave for the past three weeks which means I am staying somewhat more active than usual. Even had a couple of days of coming in early and leaving late. I expect things will quiet down for us during the annual Ulchi Freedom Guardian (UFG) military exercise. It starts today and runs for the next two weeks. I have no part to play which is a good thing because I’m not subject to General Order #1 (forbidding consumption of alcohol during the exercise among other things). Anyway, things are good with the Army. We are ready to “fight tonight” if need be, but I expect Mr. Kim will not be so foolish as to test our resolve and readiness.
I’ve been working on the walking and making some progress in re-losing the weight I gained when I was sick. Although technically I’m still sick I suppose (COPD doesn’t go away, best you can hope for is that it doesn’t get worse). The meds are controlling the symptoms though and I’m feeling pretty good for an old fucker. I hope to keep it that way!
Always something interesting to see when you are hiking about. I guess we know what the secret ingredient must be in those waffles!
Weather wasn’t that great this weekend but I did manage to get in a couple of nice bike rides between rain storms.
The quality of this photo is crap, but the water lilies were in full bloom on the backside of Camp Humphreys.
And so that leaves the drinking aspect of my life. I do that every night. I consider it self medicating for my physic pain. Not sure that it helps all that much, but I do seem to be getting a good night sleep lately.
That’s what the inebriated me looked like on Friday night…
So, as I mentioned above with the exercise ongoing for the next two weeks the bars will be even lonelier than normal. I’m guessing some won’t even bother opening. On the other hand, I stand to be the youngest customer in some. I’ll probably even be more popular than normal with the bar staff. We shall see.
In other news, I did some shopping at the Osan Air Base on Saturday. That always includes a lunch at Arby’s. America’s Roast Beef Yes sir!
What with civil war fixing to break out any day now back in the USA, I’m wanting to get me one of these.
Can you hear me now?
And finally, it seems Facebook is fucking with my mind lately. It has this feature where it shares a memory from the same day in the past. Yesterday I got this:
That was on a trip to the East Sea on August 19 several years ago.
And this one was August 19 one year ago.
Today featured a 2011 post commemorating my proposal of marriage to Jee Yeun and her acceptance. That certainly didn’t go as planned.
Anyway, it hurts to be reminded sometimes. I constantly reassure myself though that there are worse things than being lonely.
There are places I remember All my life though some have changed Some forever not for better Some have gone and some remain All these places have their moments With lovers and friends I still can recall Some are dead and some are living In my life I’ve loved them all
Ah geez, been too long since my last post, hasn’t it? Let’s ketchup.
The days are slowly pouring by…
Well, there is work* and it seems to be going pretty well overall. I’m blessed with an outstanding staff of professionals who work hard and seem to enjoy their jobs. I’m fortunate to not have to deal with “people issues”. I treat them right and they respond accordingly. That’s just simple management 101, I’m no genius.
But having said that, I reckon I’m doing pretty good at what little I do do. No shit! People come to us for answers and solutions and we provide them. We’ve filled some voids for the command and I do believe the leadership appreciates our contributions. I take a lot of pride in that.
Our new building is a bit of a pain in the ass. The biggest adjustment for most of us has been getting used to the prohibition on electronic devices in the building. That means no cell phones and no Fitbit! God knows I hate losing all the ancillary steps that aren’t recorded during the day. My poor Fitbit is confused about being locked up at the front entrance and accuses me of taking a nap during the day. Oh well, these days we all have to be cognizant of OPSEC (operational security) and do our part.
Several of my folks have not physically moved to Pyeongtaek as yet and that commute from Seoul is a killer. For now at least I’m allowing them to telework 2 days a week, so that helps relieve some of the burden I suppose. Anyway, we’ll all adjust.
So you may be asking yourself “I thought he was planning on retiring in September?” I was. And I still am in the not too distant future. I’m just going to be flexible in my planning. As mentioned above I do derive some satisfaction from working and damn, it is hard to walk away from my ridiculous salary and my ridiculously big and paid for house. I’ve got a goal on how much money I want to have in the bank when I hang it up and I’m making steady progress towards achieving that goal. Meantime, I’m just going to enjoy the ride and try to decide what my “purpose” will be in life once I retire. So far the best I’ve come up with is enjoying bay views while I watch the world go on without me. We’ll see.
Ms. Choe, Song Won is one of my superstars. It was my honor to recognize her with the Commander’s Award for Civilian Service. (We had to go outside to get a photo. Everyone’s camera is on their phones these days)
What else? Well, I’ve had some visitors which is nice. Joey and Sonja (the newly engaged couple I wrote about here) have moved to Pyeongtaek. In fact, they wound up renting a place just about across the street from me. Heh, it’s a small town! We enjoyed a grilled meat dinner and then I took them on a tour of my favorite bars. That was a great time. Last night Jessie, one of my old time Seoul friends, was in town on Army business and he got to enjoy my upstairs guest room. We had some beers out on the town to facilitate a good night’s sleep of course.
I found a small house with the attractive coffee on one of my walks…
And if you can’t afford the best, this place is very good…
Still enjoying some quality time bicycling on the river…
That was not a bridge too far…
I kept to the straight and narrow. It’s jut the way I roll…
Serious business biking is.
What about my love life?
It’s probably for the best.
Tensions are higher than I’ve ever seen here on the peninsula. But we’re pulling out our big guns…
Be afraid. Be very afraid.
I’d still rather be here than in the USA. Much easier to avoid the silly PC social justice warriors. I have zero tolerance for that bullshit.
Well, they will be well-suited for future employment with Google I suppose…
I was just talking to the moon, hoping someday soon that I’d be over the memory of you. Too hard to hold on…
* The views expressed here at LTG are my own and are written on my own time and dime. My opinions are not sanctioned or endorsed by my employer and do not necessarily reflect the positions of the United States Government. What are the odds?
I saw this on yesterday’s walk about and for some reason it made me sad:
A metaphor for my lonely life perhaps?
It turned out to be a very strange day. Out of the blue I heard from three different women that in the past have professed their love for me. I guess it’s nice to be remembered and I also sometimes think of them. But I’m alone by choice. It’s safer that way.
I do feel sorry for whatever pain I’ve caused them on account of my bitter selfishness, but there is nothing I can do to change that. I’m a broken man and loving me is a big mistake. I have nothing to give in return. That’s just the way it goes.
Meetings in Seoul yesterday necessitated a return to my former hometown. Rather than fight Friday afternoon traffic I opted to spend the night. I’ve had a hankering to get out and revisit some of my old familiar trails. Couldn’t decide on whether to do Namsam or the Han river. So I did both. It was a hot motherfucker of a day but I got it done in three and a half hours.
I didn’t dare to tread there though. Truthfully, Seoul is a city full of memories for me. Quite a few of them make me sad these days. That’s one advantage to Pyeongtaek–nothing here to remind me…
Hello old friend, long time no see!
Truth be told, the street didn’t look all that old to me…
Up pretty early after a night of drinking chatting with friends in the bars. On the road before 0700 but still got caught in traffic leaving Seoul. Went pretty quick after that though.
Rested a bit then broke the bike out for a river ride.
I foolishly picked the hottest part of the day for my endeavor…
But it was a good 2+ hour ride regardless…
The buzzer on the oven timer just went off so I was expecting to enjoy some baby back ribs. Alas, I must have failed to ignite the oven, so now I’ve got another hour before I can eat. Need to get today’s walk in as well, but I’ll let it cool off some first.
And that’s the latest installment in my exciting life.
So I took the base bus to Seoul after work yesterday. I was on a mission.
It was my good friend Sonya’s last day working at Shenanigans…
Now, she thought all the folks who showed up were there to just say thanks and goodbye. But we were in on the secret.
Sonya’s boyfriend Joey was due to arrive in Seoul on Friday, or so she thought. Instead he came in last night. And his plan was to propose to her in the bar in front of their friends.
My job was to distract her. So, on the signal from the bar owner Willie, I called her over to my table and started asking her what would be the appropriate shot to order for my nephews. As I was keeping her busy, “their song” started playing. I could see her thinking “who’s playing that and why?”, but I kept up my ruse of not knowing what to order.
And then Joey was standing behind her. When she turned around, the look on her face was priceless. Disbelief followed by unbridled joy.
And then Joey popped the question…
And Sonya said YES!
Congrats and best wishes for a lifetime of happiness. Now, I personally don’t believe in love anymore, BUT I will admit to getting a little choked up and teary eyed seeing how much they love each other. It was a bittersweet reminder of what I’ve lost.
And Joey and Sonya will be moving to Pyeongtaek soon so I reckon I’ll be seeing them around and about. Always room for some friendly faces in my life, that’s for sure.
Yesterday I walked through the rain so I could get my requisite steps in. Then my phone chirps and I have a message from my “stalker” with this photo:
I had on my headphones and was focused on the task at hand, so I had no idea someone I knew had spotted me on the road. Ah, the joys of small town living. Everyone knows your business.
I made it to the river without further incident. The bugs were biting. Not mosquitoes who tend to be stealthy, but some kind of biting fly. Going to have to remember to spray on the off next time I’m on the water.
Life is good. At least that is what I keep telling myself.