Between a ROK and a hard place

Imagine that you are an American sitting in a Seoul drinking establishment minding your own business.  Your Korean ex-girlfriend is there as well, but you are not there together.  You then observe a younger Korean man begin verbal harassing your ex.  And then he strikes her.  Acting on instinct you get up and tell the guy to back off and give him a shove.  The guy collapses and goes into cardiac arrest.  He is transported to the hospital and placed in ICU.  You are placed under arrest and transported to jail.

This just happened to a friend of mine.  I’m not sure what the outcome will be, but I don’t see any scenario where he isn’t screwed.  Any options he might have are going to require money that he does not have.  So, at my suggestion he’s set up a Go Fund Me account.  I hope things work out for him somehow, but I don’t have much faith in Korean “justice” under these circumstances.



I’ll drink to that!


Last night I had the pleasure of running into a long time LTG reader and old friend Neil Hirst (aka Thirsty) at Dolce Vita.  I’ve been knowing Thirsty since we met at a dart match in December 2006 when he impressed me by recounting his favorite posts from the blog, including the time I busted open my skull and witnessed what turned out to be a friend of Neil’s falling out of a cab. And over the years he’s continued to read the blog and occasionally even comment!  You can’t buy that kind of loyalty, but you can reward it with a beer.  So I did.

Neil left Korea a few years back for Jakarta but we stayed connected via LTG. He then spent some time in China where he acquired a beautiful Chinese wife who subsequently provided him with a handsome son.  Thirsty proudly reports the boy can cuss in three languages!  These days he calls Singapore home, but a recent promotion will afford him the opportunity to visit Korea several times a year.  So, I’ll be looking forward to our next chance encounter.

Speaking of which, there was a fair amount of kismet involved in my running into Thirsty last night.  I wasn’t even supposed to be at Dolce Vita as I have a standing Wednesday night dart date at Bull and Barrel with my Canadian friend Craig Cowper.  Craig had to cancel last night, so I made my way over to Shenanigans where I enjoyed some beer and conversation with a university professor who hails from Alabama.  He wanted me to stay and throw some darts with him, but alas, I had left my darts at Dolce Monday night.  So, I went to retrieve them and ran into a friend whose son was visiting from Russia and she asked if I’d give him a game or two.  Which I did.  He’s a fine lad and his game is improving, but let’s just say his missiles weren’t flying as accurately as Mr. Putin’s.

And then Thirsty appeared and we played us some darts, drank us some beers, and had us some fun.  Oh, and Neil’s also a big fan of the Big Hominid’s blog and he mentioned that he enjoyed reading about me and Kevin meeting up a couple of months ago.

So, that’s the story of how I quenched my thirst for a good night in Itaewon!


Yobo Gangnam style

A photo blog of yesterday’s birthday celebration.

While Jee Yeun was still sleeping I went out to the local Paris Baguette and purchased a tasty birthday cake.  That's 4 tall candles and 9 small ones.  You can do the math.

While Jee Yeun was still sleeping I went out to the local Paris Baguette and purchased a tasty birthday cake. That’s 4 tall candles and 9 small ones. You can do the math.

In the evening we ventured out to a small restaurant in Gangnam that had come highly recommended.  We were not disappointed!  They feature various cuts of pork cooked at the table Korean BBQ style.  Although they actually supplied a cook to do the grilling properly.  He even had a clever laser-like device to make sure the grill was the right temperature for optimum cooking.

In the evening we ventured out to a small restaurant in Gangnam that had come highly recommended. We were not disappointed! They feature various cuts of pork cooked at the table Korean BBQ style. Although they actually supplied a cook to do the grilling properly. He even had a clever laser-like device to make sure the grill was the right temperature for optimum cooking.

All the cuts were tender and juicy.  The "skirt meat" tasted just like beef.

All the cuts were tender and juicy. The “skirt meat” tasted just like beef.

We then cabbed over to a famous jazz joint called Once in a Blue Moon.  I had the unique experience of drinking my first W17,000 beer which not so coincidentally was the cheapest beverage on the menu.  The music was good and all, but the prices were too rich for my blood.  Suffice to say I can only afford to visit this establishment once in a blue moon.

We then cabbed over to a famous jazz joint called Once in a Blue Moon. I had the unique experience of drinking my first W17,000 beer which not so coincidentally was the cheapest beverage on the menu. The music was good and all, but the prices were too rich for my blood. Suffice to say I can only afford to visit this establishment once in a blue moon.

We decided that we could make our own music much cheaper, so we ended the night at a nice little norebang.  I have some pictures, but I apparently dropped my phone at some point last night.  I’ve got spiderweb cracks on the screen which is otherwise dark.  I’m sure that faux pas is going to cost me more than the rest of the night combined.

Ah well, Jee Yeun said it was the best birthday she’s had this year.  So there’s that.

Have yourself a merry little birthday

Well, it’s the 4th of July and we all know what that means.  Yep, my sweet wife is celebrating another birthday*.  After she wakes up this morning I’ll be playing her traditional birthday song at full volume.  Although she never seems to enjoy that as much as I do.  Ah well, you gotta do what you gotta do.

* Jee Yeun’s passport says she was born on July 5, but July 5 in Korea is July 4 stateside, right?  Anyway, I’ve made some special plans for her birthday tomorrow in Gangnam.  And now she tells me she was in fact born on the 4th of July and that her passport is wrong.  So, I’m covering all the bases here.
UPDATE: What, the USA is having a birthday too?!  Well, what are the odds of that?

The way it’s done

Jee Yeun tells me today that her daughter has a new beau.  She was yammering on the phone to Sohee this afternoon and I ask what was that all about?  Jee Yeun said she was getting the boyfriend’s birth date info.  Turns out he’s 35 (Sohee is 26, but I can’t remember if that is “Korean age” or American-style counting).  I ask Jee Yeun if that’s too old and she responds that she is going to find out.  Next thing I know Jee Yeun is heading out the door and I say where are you going?  She responds, “I told you, the fortune teller”.

But of course.  No one invests much time in a relationship these days without the sage advice and wisdom of a seer.  I recollect Jee Yeun dragging me in to see one back in our early days of dating.  I thought at the time we were doing it as a novelty.  But that was wrong.  Had I not gotten the thumbs up from the fortune teller I would be but a distant memory by now I suppose.

Well, Sohee is a sweet girl.  So I hope this new guy was not born in the year of the rat.  Or snake for that matter.

Little orphan Johnny

Well, maybe not so little these days.

Walter Lee McCrarey, aka Dad

Walter Lee McCrarey, aka Dad

Today is the day we celebrate Father’s Day in the USA.  All that remains of my father are the memories.  To be bluntly honest about it, I spent my childhood mostly in fear of my dad.  He had a hot temper and was quick with the hand or belt should I stray from the path of good behavior.  In later years we argued loudly about politics and rarely saw eye-to-eye on anything.

But he was a good man.  Smart, hardworking, and extremely talented in so many ways.  He could do just about anything he set his mind on–woodworking was a special gift of his (sadly, that gene skipped a generation).  He also loved gardening, camping, the sea, poetry–and in his own unique way–his children.

It’s strange the things that come to mind unbidden.  The other day I recalled how my father served as my personal seatbelt back in those long ago days before vehicles were so equipped.  During a hard brake, his arm would reach out to keep me from sliding off the seat and into the cold hard steel of the unpadded dashboard.  It looked something like this:


I also remember he’d on occasion sing me a song as we drove along.  I remember the lyrics as going something like:

Papa writes to Johnny,                                                                                                         but Johnny can’t come home                                                                                               No Johnny can’t home                                                                                                         Papa writes to Johnny                                                                                                          but Johnny can’t come home                                                                                         ‘Cause he’s been on the chain gang too long

Oddly enough, I have never in my life actually heard this song performed.  Until today when I found it on YouTube.  Either my dad got the lyrics wrong or I’m thinking of a different tune, but the song was hauntingly beautiful regardless.  And somehow fitting for the occasion of this fatherless father’s day.



Dinner and a show

Last night we were On the Border.  Not the DMZ, rather the Mexican food eatery in beautiful downtown Itaewon.  We were guests of my old friend Dennis McPeters and his companion Julie.

The food was the best Tex-Mex I've eaten outside of the USA.  Jee Yeun is a little ambivalent about Mexican cuisine, but she loved the "Kimchi Taco" featured in the foreground.  I also enjoyed my chicken enchiladas in a sour cream sauce...

The food was the best Tex-Mex I’ve eaten outside of the USA. Jee Yeun is a little ambivalent about Mexican cuisine, but she loved the “Kimchi Taco” featured in the foreground. I also enjoyed my chicken enchiladas in a sour cream sauce…

Dennis had the foresight to make a reservation, which was good because the place was packed with people lining up to get in.  We also scored a table overlooking the street.  It was a very pleasant evening weather-wise, so the windows were open and the sounds of the city created a nice urban ambiance for our dining pleasure.

A table with a view and refreshing libations made for a pleasant dining experience.

A table with a view and refreshing libations made for a pleasant dining experience.

Amongst those sounds of the city was some guy walking up and down the street screaming fire and brimstone into a megaphone.  From our perch on the second floor he could be heard but more or less easily ignored.  However, after we had finished our meal we had the misfortune of exiting the building directly behind him.  As we were walking in the same direction we got the full impact of his evangelism.  Well, it was in Korean but Jee Yeun’s translation was that we were basically all going to hell.

As we progressed up the street I was watching the reactions of the passersby to megaphone-man.  And the universal reaction was a combination of contempt, disgust, and anger.  I’m thinking to myself “man, this guy is driving people away from salvation with his rude message”.  Just as I was completing this observation a Korean man did what we were all wanting to do and loudly confronted the screaming bastard.  And what happened next was pretty surprising.  The “Christian” man put down the megaphone and started fighting with the citizen who told him to shut up.  Well, it was a Korean-style fight–mostly some back and forth bitch slapping, but still.  I thought it was pretty funny actually and was shouting encouragement from the sidelines “oh, you are such a good example of Christianity, you douche!”  Jee Yeun even joined in by demurely observing “you should not be so loud” (she said it in Korean though).  I guess megaphone man realized he had lost the crowd, so he picked up his megaphone again, shouted something angrily, then exited hurriedly down a side street.  Man, you just can’t buy that kind of entertainment!

We proceeded to Bull and Barrel for a nightcap without further incident.  I made the mistake of signing up for the dart tournament and proceeded to play the worst darts of my “career”.  Seriously, the first time I ever picked up a set of darts I played better than I did last night.  It was humiliating.  Ah well.  I’m trying hard to not let this slump get inside my head and exacerbate whatever the hell my problem is.

I guess this is as good a time as any to talk a little about my old friend Dennis.  I’ve been knowing him since the 1980s when I recommended him for a job with the USPS in Columbia, SC.  Later on after I’d moved to a job in DC, I hired him to work for me there.  And still later I brought him over to work on my team in Korea.  I’m long gone and he’s still here.  But not for long.  He’s finally retiring in January.

I frankly envy his post retirement plans.  Rather than having himself and all his stuff shipped back to the USA, he’s selling everything he owns and is going to live the life of a nomad.  I asked him where he was going to go and he said wherever I want.  He mentioned the Philippines, Cambodia, Vietnam, New Zealand, Australia and Thailand as a start.  If he gets tired of Asia, South and Central America are on the list of options.

I used to fantasize about a lifestyle like that.  But the reality is I wouldn’t have the courage to do it right.  But I’m brave enough to fly in for a visit whenever I get an answer to the question “where in the world is Dennis?”  So there’s that.



The nicest guy I’d never met

I reckon I’ve been knowing Kevin Kim (aka the Big Hominid) for going on 10 years now.  At least as well as you can know a person by what you read on their blog.  He’s a frequent commenter here at LTG as well and we’ve exchanged some emails over the years.  He even spent some time in my Korean abode last year, albeit while I was out of the country.  But not wanting to rush into anything, we had never actually arranged to meet up in person.  Until yesterday.

The setting for this long anticipated gathering in the flesh was the Tabom Brazil steakhouse.  Seven meats, all you can eat.

Carved right from skewer and onto your plate via Kevin's deft handling of the tongs.

Carved right from skewer and onto your plate via Kevin’s deft handling of the tongs.

I knew Kevin had enjoyed dining at the Copacabana, another nearby Brazilian steakhouse.  I’ve always preferred Tabom for its quieter ambiance, street views, and superior food quality.  Well, the food yesterday wasn’t quite as good as I’d remembered it.  I passed on seconds for at least three of the meat choices (although I had thirds and fourths on the others).  The pineapple was outstanding though.

Now, I’ve had the advantage or reading Kevin’s take on our meeting prior to writing my own account.  I’d say he gave a fair assessment, although I hope I didn’t come off more as an interrogator than a conversator (I either just made up a word or I don’t know how to spell conversator).  Truth be told, Kevin is much more interesting than I am.  Once I told him about my passion for darts, websites I visit, and Civilization game play, there wasn’t much else to reveal.  I figured I’d save my love of afternoon naps for our next meeting. On the other hand, Kevin is quite the intellectual with a keen interest and grasp of many and varied subjects.  It was much more enjoyable for me (selfish bastard that I am) to poke about his brain for interesting tidbits of knowledge.

After reaching our capacity for meat intake, Jee Yeun suggested  we retire to a local coffee house.  And so we did.

After reaching our capacity for meat intake, Jee Yeun suggested we retire to a local coffee house. And so we did.

We did engage a bit on some topical issues and current events.  Had I been drinking beer instead of coffee I might have become a bit more strident in articulating my positions on the political happenings back home.  I think it is fair to say that Kevin and I occupy different points on the political spectrum, although neither of us are in the crazy zone extreme fringe.  The give and take with an open minded person who does more than regurgitate trite talking points is something that I quite enjoy.  We’ll have to have more of that one day soon!

Anyway, it was a long overdue and a happy (and well-fed) meet-up.  After Kevin departed for his train, I retrieved my phone which I had inadvertently abandoned at a nearby watering hole the previous night.  Later I played my Seoul Sunday Singles League dart match and won 14-5 which was a fine finish to an outstanding day.

And oh yeah, we took our trash out for recycling today and had no issues whatsoever.  Just sayin’.


It’s a holiday tradition

That’s right, I know it must be Christmas because I just whipped up a big batch of my Aunt Pat’s recipe fruit salad.  I’ve been making it for the holidays the past 30 some odd years I reckon.  It was always my favorite part of the Thanksgiving feast when I’d visit Aunt Pat (mom’s older sister) as a boy.  Funny thing is I mentioned this to her and she denied any knowledge of making a fruit salad.  Well, one of us is wrong about that but I’m pretty sure it’s not me.

I start by draining a can of mandarin oranges and a can of fruit cocktail...

I start by draining a can of mandarin oranges and a can of fruit cocktail…

...then I cut up a granny smith apple...

…then I cut up a granny smith apple…

...and slice up a couple of bananas...

…and slice up a couple of bananas…

...the remaining ingredients are sour cream, pecans, coconut and baby marshmallows...

…the remaining ingredients are sour cream, pecans, coconut and baby marshmallows…

...I stir in the sour cream till it is mixed well with the fruit.  The I add the pecans.  Next, I sweeten it up some with the coconut and marshmallows...

…I stir in the sour cream till it is mixed well with the fruit. Then I add the pecans. Next, I sweeten it up some with the coconut and marshmallows…

...and it comes out looking something like this.

…and it comes out looking something like this.

Hey, I never said it was difficult!  And it does taste better than it looks.  The only problem I’ve ever had is with people who insist on calling it ambrosia.  It’s NOT ambrosia.  Ambrosia doesn’t use a sour cream base.  So there.

Hope y’all have (or had) a great holiday.  We’ll be heading over to spend Christmas with the son and daughter in the morning.  Started and finished my Christmas shopping yesterday.  It’s not hard when everyone on your list is getting a gift card.  Well, the grandson is getting this:

Assembly was required.  I managed it though.

Assembly was required. I managed it though.





Have yourself a merry little Christmas

xmas2013 004

To all our friends and family around the world:
즐거운 크리쓰마쓰
Nollaig Chridheil
Maligayang Pasko at Manigong Bagong Taon
Feliz Navidad
Geseende Kerfees en ‘n gelukkige nuwe jaar
I’D Miilad Said ous Sana Saida
Joyeux Noël et Bonne Année
Mele Kalikimaka & Hauoli Makahiki Hou
Pozdrevlyayu s prazdnikom Rozhdestva i s Novim Godom
Suksan Wan Christmas lae Sawadee Pee Mai
Noeliniz Ve Yeni Yiliniz Kutlu Olsun
Nadolig LLawen a Blwyddyn Newydd Dda
Gute Vaynakhtn un a Gut Nay Yor
(sorry, couldn’t find it in Canadian!)

A working class hero is something to be

From the gallery of Trevor King.

From the gallery of Trevor King.

Amongst my admittedly small social circle are several folks whose career path has led them to join the ranks of academia as university professors.  I’m sorry to admit I know little of their individual journeys and the challenges they faced and overcame along the way.  So I really appreciated this post written by Dr. Colby King, recently ensconced at Bridgewater State University in Massachusetts.  I’ve always had a great deal of respect for Colby, especially because he is one of my few left-of-center friends who is willing to actually  engage in a serious discussion of some of the issues facing our nation.  We rarely reach agreement but we do find on occasion some common ground or at least mutual understanding of our respective viewpoints.  Most importantly, I always learn something new and for that he earns my gratitude.  My respect and understanding were greatly enhanced after learning more about his personal story.  I encourage you to give it a read.

Being the selfish bastard that I am, Colby’s story set me to thinking of my own.  I grew up in an upper middle class area of Orange County, California.  But our family was definitely working class.  My father was managing a fast food restaurant when I was born.  After a McDonald’s opened across the street from his store, “The Rite Spot”, there was a futile burger war (it’s hard to undercut a 15 cent hamburger) and my father moved on to driving a truck in route sales.  My mother supplemented the family income first as a carhop and later working the night shift in a factory.

We always had food on the table (lots of fried chicken and ground beef).  We had a roof over our heads (a rented roof of a 1940s era house surrounded by fancy new subdivisions).  And we had clothes on our backs (in my case usually hand-me-downs).  So we weren’t “poor” in the classic sense of the word, but comparatively speaking we were amongst the poorest people in our community.

Kids can be cruel, and they were at times.  I recall classmates mocking “the shack” in which we lived.  And since my clothes were functional but not fashionable (and cleaned at the local laundromat) I took some heat for that too.  One painful memory from sixth grade was the day I wore some shoes my uncle brought home from the store where he worked.  They were a little too large for me, but they were new.  And I guess maybe they didn’t really go that well with the blue jeans I invariably wore to school.  Anyway, we were lining up for class and all the other kids pointed at my shoes and started laughing uproariously.  The teacher came out to see what all the commotion was, took a look at my shoes, and laughed too.  Needless to say, that was the first and last time I wore those shoes.  They looked something like this:

A painful memory.  Looking back on it now, maybe I would have laughed too.

A painful memory. Looking back on it now, maybe I would have laughed too.

Then there was the 7th grade math teacher (Mr. Peter Boothroyd the bastard) who found it appropriate to discipline misbehavior in his class by announcing “keep it up McCrarey and you’ll wind up like your father–selling Jello out of a truck.”  Suffice to say, by the time I finished high school I had developed a pretty healthy inferiority complex.  Which I self-medicated with copious amounts of pot smoking.

I floundered around some after graduation, taking a few classes at the community college but mostly just getting high and doing whatever minimum wage gigs I could find.  My daughter was born one week after I turned 20 and that kicked in a new found sense of responsibility.  So, I found a job in route sales (fuck you Boothroyd!) and actually did pretty well at it.  I took the Postal Service entrance exam and after a couple of years was hired as a letter carrier.  I was finally on my way!

I subsequently added a son to my family, transferred to Prescott, Arizona, and bought my first house.  I was living the American dream and was content to spend the rest of my life carrying mail and enjoying what for me was the best life I had known.  Then the marriage fell apart and I wound up with custody of both kids.  I started dating a grad student (I wrote about her in some detail here) and hanging out with her college professor friends at Northern Arizona University.  And probably for the first time in my life I started to realize that these people I admired were not better, or necessarily smarter, than me–just more educated.  So, it was back to the local community college for me!

The grad student relationship ended badly and left me pretty much emotionally devastated.  Being a single father was more than I could handle, so I transferred to Oklahoma (technically Fort Smith, Arkansas) so my mom could lend me a hand with the kids.  I was still delivering mail, but now I was doing it in stifling summer humidity and winter ice.  Made the job a lot less appealing!  Worst of all it was not mentally engaging.  As I carried my mail route I’d imagine doing things that I’d actually like to be doing.  And suddenly, I’d have completed my rounds and not recalled actually having done so.  I was just in automatic mode, mental masturbation if you will.  So, I realized that I needed to make a change in my life, but had no idea what exactly to do.

One perk of being a mailman (especially a single mailman) is that you tend to meet a lot of women along the route.  One of these was Iris Breed, the Director of the Fort Smith Girls Club.  One of the smartest people I’ve had the good fortune to meet on this road we call life.  We began dating and I shared with her my general dissatisfaction with the malaise of my career.  She said why don’t you take a management job?  Well.  I mean, who’d want a guy like me on the management team?  Besides, I was the union steward.  Working in management was against everything I stood for!  But she continued to encourage me and pointed out that the only thing I truly lacked in life was the confidence to pursue my goals.  So, when a job came open to manage the safety program I applied.  I knew nothing about safety management, but at least I felt like I could continue to support the rank and file from inside the beast.

Bobbie McLane was the Human Resources director and I had met her often when I dealt with her on union issues.  I guess she liked how I handled myself in those meetings because she took a leap and actually hired me.  And sent to the USPS Management Academy in Potomac, MD for several weeks so I could actually learn how to do the job.  I’m forever grateful to her for giving me that chance to be more than what I had been.  But the rest was up to me.

And I did alright I guess.  I was promoted to a labor relations position in Columbia, SC.  I went back to school (at an actual university–Go ‘Cocks!) and finally earned my bachelor’s degree in 1991 (at the tender age of 35).  After that, more promotions found me in D.C. where I took advantage of a management development program and graduate degree studies.  Thirty-four years after first putting on that letter carrier uniform I retired as GS-15 Director of Human Resources for the United States Forces Korea.

What a ride it was!  I had some luck along the way.  And help and encouragement from people that saw in me things I didn’t see in myself.  But ultimately, it was up to me to overcome my self-imposed limitations and find a way to achieve my potential.  Being from a working class background made that more of a challenge I suppose, but I’d argue that it wasn’t really society that put me in the box.  It just took some time to understand that no one can define who you are or what you can be, unless you give them that power.  Which sounds pretty simple when I write it now.  But learning that proved to be my life’s greatest achievement.



Glory days

hall of fame 010

So today I attended the induction ceremony as my daughter was enshrined in the Pelion High School Hall of Fame.  Yep, she was quite the athlete. Lettered in basketball as an 8th grader, was the South Carolina 800m champion in track, and excelled in cross country.  She still holds most of the female records in those sports twenty years after graduation.  She was honored to be honored and it made her daddy proud to boot.

Brought back some memories as well.  I recall my motivational speech before the State Track meet.  I told her if she won the championship I’d buy her a new car.  I admit I figured it was a pretty safe bet since she had a lot of long legged competition.  But I wound up buying the car.

She was aggressive as hell on the basketball court too.  She’s only 5’5″ and most of the girls she played against had a few inches on her.  But she didn’t take no shit from anyone, driving the ball to the basket over, around, and when necessary, through her opponents.  Once she had gotten into foul trouble so was sitting the bench.  Towards the end of the game I heard her pleading with the coach “Put me back in!  I’ve got one more foul left.  I want to use it!”

That’s my girl.hall of fame 001

Money for nothing


A friend from Georgia was in town last night and stayed at our place.  He wanted to treat us to dinner, so we took him out to our favorite Korean eatery here in town, the Korean Garden. 

Justin had never enjoyed the Korean dining experience before so it was a lot of fun watching him get so excited about all the side dishes and the unique flavor of Korean meats and stews.  We ordered up a little of just about everything–jumuleok, L.A. galbi, bulgogi, doinjang jiggae, kimchi jiggae, and a yakimundo appetizer.  It was all good, and it was nice to wash it down with an ice cold Hite beer.

After our feast, it was off to the Kwagga Sports Pub for our regularly scheduled Wednesday night darts.  I was off my game which is pretty frustrating given all the time I’ve invested in practice.  Justin played well enough to make it to the finals.  When we got home Justin suggested we play a few games for money.  I reluctantly agreed.

I almost never bet on my games this way.  The thrill of competition is all the motivation I require.  Now, I’ve seen lots of guys play head-to-head for big money (I’m talking several hundred dollars here) and that certainly takes the “friendly” out of the game.  Anyway, Justin wanted to play for ten bucks a game and it was on.  Did I mention we had sipped a little whiskey before we started?  That and some beers.  So, neither of us was feeling any pain.  But I wound up putting a hurtin’ on him anyway.  As bad as my darts had been at Kwagga earlier in the evening, they made a miraculous recovery back at the house.  After I took the first three or four games, Justin wanted to up the ante to twenty bucks.  So, we did and I won again.  It was now getting close to 2:00 a.m. and we mercifully came to the mutual decision that we were finished with darts for the day.

He made a few comments in jest this morning (at least I hope it was in jest) about my cleaning out his wallet, and I really did feel kind of bad about it.  Which is the main reason I don’t like to play for money that way.  The money was not at all important to me and I would have not minded giving it back.  But I think there is a certain etiquette involved in gambling and I wasn’t wanting to offend him by making that offer.  Jee Yeun told me after he left that she slipped twenty bucks into his bag.  So, I guess she felt guilty about it too.

Ah well, more darts on tap tonight at State Street Pub.  I wonder which game will show up this time.

An American Soldier

My good friend Chris deployed today for a nine month tour in Afghanistan.  He’s got a wife and kids waiting for him back home.  I just want to wish him all the best as we anxiously await his safe return.  I appreciate your sacrifice and I thank you for your service to our nation.

Barney mania

Granddaughter Sydney is a Barney fanatic...

Granddaughter Sydney is a Barney fanatic…

Doing a little babysitting this weekend.  Sydney loves Barney the dinosaur, to the exclusion of all others.  Sadly, my Netflix programming features a total of three episodes.  So, for the last several hours we’ve gone through them all repeatedly.  I tried to switch it up with a little Curious George, but she was having none of that.

There was a brief respite when everyone in the house collapsed in sheer exhaustion.

Who gave out first is a matter of debate.  I'd just call it a tie.

Who gave out first is a matter of debate. I’d just call it a tie.

Other than her taste in television Sydney’s a great little girl of course.  And really she keeps herself entertained pretty much with various toys and activities.  She just wants that damn dino around as background noise.

“I love you, you love me, we’re a happy family…”