Working for a living

Less than six months left in my working life.  This week I’ve had cause to reflect on how much this part of my life has meant to me, especially these past couple of years.

As I look to the future of what I hope and imagine will be a life of leisure, I worry about how I will remain engaged and connected to the world around me.  I’ve got some ideas in that regard, but will they really be satisfying?  Only one way to find out I suppose.

So, what is it about working that I will miss?  This week I had the occasion to participate in the 198th session of the Status of Forces Agreement (SOFA) Joint Committee.  Basically, this is where the ROKs and US representatives get together to resolve issues of mutual concern in order to maintain a strong alliance.

It’s a pretty big deal, and it was really an honor for me to participate in what is very likely my last meeting with this group…

It’s always nice to see my name rendered in Hanguel.

I humbly serve as the Chairman of the Labor subcommittee. Which as you might have surmised is involved in resolving issues associated with our 12,000+ Korean National Workforce.

What else?  Well, the money is good of course.  And working again has allowed me to position myself to live a very comfortable lifestyle in the Philippines or wherever else my heart will lead me.

Today we had a Thanksgiving luncheon for my staff and afterwards I met with the Korean Employees Union leadership.  We we able to bring closure to some longstanding issues and they left happy.  There is satisfaction in that.

But what I’m going to miss the most is the people I work with.  They are truly my work family.  Honestly, after the marriage fell apart I was floundering.  Having the purpose that work brought me and the respect and friendship I have for my team members made me feel a part of something much bigger than myself.  I needed that the most.

Thank you all for all that you do!

Keep the customers satisfied

(sorry for the pagination.  For whatever reason I can’t seem to get paragraph breaks inserted)
I had mentioned in my previous post that I was upset by what I considered rude behavior by Joy on Friday night.  Who knew she was a blog reader?  After three days of the silent treatment I received this message from her:
I was rude to you ..???
It’s seems like u never grow up
Me rude to you ??? Ur such a liar …
I even give u a big hug and sit next to ur friend ..whoever he is…
And u took ur stuff move to other table ???
You making a scene ??? U acted like a kid ?
And causing me out ???
I am done with you ….
On your blog u were saying I was rude ?!!! … how about you ??? Ur such a drama king and acted like uneducated person …yelling at me in public telling me I’m a fucking bitch …And u said fuck you three times… U WANT ME TO RESPONSE TO YOUR BLOG ? smh
I hate you ..
Well, I already stated on the blog that I had been in the wrong and that I was sorry for my actions.  I did not have a clear recollection of what I said, but I knew it was ugly.  I’m very ashamed of myself for overreacting this way.  I feel bad because I’m sure Joy got hit with a barrage of emotions I’ve been holding inside since the break-up with Loraine.
I’ve messaged Joy to express my sorrow and regret for hurting her with my words.  No response.  I ran into her on Monday night at the bar where we met and tried to apologize in person, but she turned her back on me.
And with this post I’ve told the world her side of the story, again taken responsibility for what happened, and said I’m sorry for the last time.
Life goes on.

Who’s your Daddy?

Had a nice surprise visit from my old buddy Duke Gates this weekend.  I’ve been knowing Duke since around 2005 when he introduced me to the game of darts.  He left Korea several years ago, but we’ve stayed in touch more or less.  When I was back living in the states we’d always meet up.  Haven’t gone back for almost two years now, so he came to me I guess you could say.

Here’s a strange story from the small world of the internets.  I’m not sure where or why, but Duke had posted this picture on some website:

That’s me and Duke I’m guessing around 2010 or so.

Anyway, Duke get’s a random message from this girl:

She works at the dart bar I used to frequent here in Angeong-ri and she recognized me. The question she had for Duke was “is he your father?” That cracked us both up.

Anyway, I had planned to take Duke to the bar I Don’t Know the name of, even though I’m probably not welcome there anymore.  But alas, they were hosting some kind of private party and we weren’t able to get inside.

So, there’s a father and not his son enjoying some adult beverages in the ville. We did a pretty nice pub crawl on Friday night.

That night did end on a sour note though.  I had invited Joy, a woman I was interested in dating (we’ve had a couple of outings, but nothing too serious), to join us.  She said she was tired and it was too cold to go out.  Well, pretty near the end of our night out drinking we had settled into a bar called The Wall.  And lo and behold, who comes waltzing in but Joy.  She didn’t come over to greet me however, she was talking to some of the other girls who work there.  I came over to say hello and introduce Duke and she made a grudging acknowledgement and moved over to the bar (sitting on the stool I had previously occupied) and started talking to the bartender.  I was a bit taken aback and the bar was full, so Duke and I moved over to an empty table to wait.  Then when I look up she’s walking out the door with nary a word or a goodbye.

Now, I was hurt and angry about her rudeness.  I was also drunk.  So I followed her out to the street and said some shit that I almost immediately regretted.  And she stormed off into the night.  I tried to send her an apology the next morning, but of course she has blocked me on messenger and is not accepting my calls.

Oh well, that’s the way it goes.  I’m ashamed of my behavior but I’ve also lost all interest in having this particular Joy in my life.

I’m pretty much resolved to not pursue any romance for my remaining six months in Korea.  There’s really no point.  I had dinner with Mi Young the other night which was pleasant enough.  I think the friend zone will be a safe place for me to stay while I wait to start my new life in the Philippines.

Pride goeth before the fall

Well, first I lose my pride and now this happens:

Autumn arrives in Anjeong-ri…

This is a nice color on me, don’t you think?

Anyway, the long holiday weekend is drawing to a close.  I had half-considered going up to Seoul on Saturday, but decided to nix the idea as there is really nothing for me in Seoul either.  At least here when I get drunk I can sleep in my own bed.

And yes, I’ve been getting drunk a lot…

Decisions, decisions. What to drink last night? Started out with the red-headed slut. Then I had sex on the beach. Next a blowjob with an orgasm chaser. I’m drunk but strangely satisfied.    (that’s a joke, I stuck with beer.  But the drink menu lends itself to humor, right?)

A river runs through it. As seen on my walk around Pyeongtaek this morning.

When I wasn’t drinking this weekend, I was walking.  Too cold to take the bike out, but I just incorporated those two hours into my walking regimen.  I’ve been well over 20,000 steps each day.  Weighed in at an even 211 pounds today, that’s down 15 pounds in two weeks.  I know that pace can’t be sustained, but I hope with the increase in walking and decrease in eating (I have one full meal a day supplemented with healthy snacks) will get me down to the coveted 199 pounds soon.

Emotionally, I’m still on a roller coaster, but overall I’m making progress.  Walking gives me lots of time to think and I’m getting things clearer in my head for the most part.

Forgive us the wrongs we have done, as we forgive the wrongs that others have done to us. (Matthew 6:12)

Look at me, quoting fucking Bible verses for Christ’s sake.  Well, yes.  Yes I am.  One thing I’ve done is forgive myself for the mistakes I made that brought me to this sorry pass.  It seems to have helped me let go of the past and prepares me for the next big thing.  Whatever the hell that will be.

It won’t be this. That’s Anna, my friendly Filipina bartender at Arirang bar. She’s smart and funny (i.e. she gets and laughs at my jokes) but alas, she is a mere 31 years old. Exactly half my age. I won’t go there.  Not that I was invited to do so.

So, I was the only customer in Arirang last night (there’s a military exercise going on, so none of the soldiers are allowed to drink).  One of the other girls was playing sad Filipino songs while I told Anna the story of my life (hey, I was buying her drinks, she had to listen!).

Just about the time I was ready to start crying in my beer, she played this song for me:

I’m letting myself off the hook for things I’ve done
I let my past go past
And now I’m having more fun
I’m letting go of the thoughts
That do not make me strong
And I believe this way can be the same for everyone

I can’t walk through life facing backwards
I have tried
I tried more than once to just make sure
And I was denied the future I’d been searching for
But I spun around and hurt no more
By living in the moment
Living my life
Easy and breezy
With peace in my mind
With peace in my heart
Got peace in my soul
Wherever I’m going, I’m already home

See, I told you she was smart.  Now I’ve got to be smart enough to actually let myself live in the moment.  That’s all I have.

Walk on!

It’s been quite awhile since I broke the 30,000 step barrier. Had a tough day yesterday and this filled 4 hours in a positive way.

I’m also down to 212.6 pounds, a loss of nearly 14 pounds in 12 days.  Happy about that!  I want to see if I can finally break the 200 pound threshold.  Lowest I got before was 205.

Got to stay strong!

Like the fool I am and I’ll always be
I’ve got a dream, I’ve got a dream
They can change their minds but they can’t change me
I’ve got a dream, I’ve got a dream
Well, I know I can share it if you want me to
If you’re going my way, I’ll go with you

Moving me down the highway
Rolling me down the highway
Moving ahead so life won’t pass me by
Moving me down the highway
Rolling me down the highway
Moving ahead so life won’t pass me by

A little bit of Seoul

I had a couple of meetings up in Seoul on Friday afternoon, so I drove in the morning and then booked a room and spent Friday night in Itaewon.  Had lunch with my senior Korean labor adviser and introduced her to American-style BBQ at Linus’.  She said she’ll be back.  The meetings went well enough then I picked up a few things at the PX and called it a day.  Here’s what happened after work.

A new edition since my last visit to Itaewon. There was no comforting her though, she just sat there in stony silence…

…but I had bigger fish to fry. Actually, I failed to get nekkid this trip, but I was on my way…

….to tackle that mountain named Nam.

Now, I didn’t realize just how flat Pyeongtaek is compared to Seoul. I was winded before I even made it to the beginning of the stairs. I seriously considered wimping out, but then I said “fuck it, go for it! What’s the worse that could happen?” Half way up it occurred to me that a heart attack was perhaps the answer to that question.

getting closer…

Looking to the south….

Looking north on the upward trek…

The city wall…

Namsan put an ass whipping on me…

But I reached the top and made the tower my bitch

Going down with the sun.

A pause at the Philippine embassy…

That was a lot of hard walking….

I rewarded myself with a nice evening at Shenanigans with the nephew. I didn’t get asked to buy a lady drink once. Go figure.

Back home in Pyeongtaek where the choices are much more limited….

But I can accept that. Peace out!

Buy me a drink!

My favorite bartender quit her job this week.  She was good at what she did but was not really cut out for the work, or at least not the way bars seem to operate here in Anjeong-ri.  She shared with me some of the frustrations she encountered in the biz and while I was not surprised it was still disappointing.  Here’s the lowdown:

Way back in 2009 I wrote about juicy bars and prostitution.  My experience was pretty much limited to what I had seen in Itaewon.  This burg is a whole other animal.  A juicy bar is a joint where the girls work for drinks.  It’s usually a lounge type bar where you sit with the girl and chat while she downs W10,000 drinks.  And that was about the only reason you’d have to visit such a venue.  By the time I left Itaewon there were only a handful of this type bar left.  Most of the bars were regular pub type establishments with pool and darts and food and regulars just hanging out (like Shenanigans for example).  You could buy the bar staff a drink if you wanted (and they felt like drinking) but it was always customer price.

So I was somewhat taken aback when I first explored the Anjeong-ri bar scene.  I’d go into what appeared to a regular pub and get hit up for a lady drink.  Now, I don’t mind buying the occasional drink for a hard working girl, but I really hate being asked.  As time went on I discovered that virtually ALL of the bars here operate on the “juicy” principle (girl gets a W10,000 drink, and her share is W5,000).  These aren’t regular drinks either, they are watered down versions or alcohol-free juice. It really gets tiresome being pestered for drinks by the staff, so I’ve tried to find places where they will at least leave me alone until I offer.  My friend the (former) bartender was one of those.

After quitting, she explained to me the horrendous pressure the bar owners put on them to hustle drinks.  It begins with paying a ridiculously low salary so the girls will feel compelled to supplement their income with lady drinks.  Now, I enjoyed my friend’s company, so I’d normally buy her a drink with every one of mine (which gets expensive real quick, no idea how these young soldiers I see buying lady drinks can afford it).  She told me about a customer we both like who never buys a lady drink.  The owner would get mad if she talked to him, saying he should be ignored until he bought I drink.  I said, well you know, the owner wants you to talk to other customers who will hopefully buy you a drink.  She told me no, even when the bar is empty I’m not supposed to chat with someone not buying drinks.

Well, that’s fucked up.  And it made me recall a bar I visited before I understood “the system” here.  I mean, I’m used to ordering up a beer and having some small talk with the bartender (provided she’s not busy).  But this one just moved down to the far end of the bar and sat there.  I was thinking what the hell did I do to piss her off?  Now I know.  Another bartender I like asked me one night to rate her as a bartender.  I told her I thought she was a solid “8” (great personality, good conversation, just not that cute).  I asked her why she wanted to know and she said the owner told her she was just a “2” because customers don’t buy her enough lady drinks.

Oh, and the bars hire these undocumented Filipinas and pay them even less than the Korean staff.  This is not only unfair and exploitative,  it forces these girls to be even more aggressive in pursuit of lady drinks.

Damn, obviously I’m spending too much time in the bars.  But at this rate there won’t be many bars left that I can countenance to patronize.  I’m actually down to three now.  And yes, the girls in those bars also work for drinks, but they have the good sense not to pester me for one.  They get their share out of me (especially when I’m drunk) but they at least create the illusion that it is not expected.

I would love to open a bar here and run it the right way.  Ain’t gonna happen of course because I hate the idea of running a bar.  But the bar scene here needs a kick in the ass, that’s for sure.

I don’t know

While I was in the Philippines I received a message from a Filipina I know that used to work in a bar I sometimes frequented.  I Don’t Know the name (ahem).  Anyway, she quit at the end of September and got engaged to some lucky guy.  Apparently, the bar owner was not happy with her leaving and decided to punish her by not giving her the salary she had earned.  Was there anything I could do?

I suggested she contact the ROK Ministry of Employment and Labor whom I would surmise take a dim view of a business owner treating an employee like a slave.  She told me she couldn’t do that because she was working without a visa.  But of course.

Well, that kind of exploitation really pisses me off.  I promised her I’d see what I could do when I returned.  What we have is a bar that hires undocumented workers knowing they have no recourse for whatever abuse they may dish out.  But not paying someone for work performed is completely over the top.  So, USFK has strict rules regarding prostitution and human trafficking.  Bars that violate those rules are subject to being placed off limits to USFK personnel (soldiers, civilians, and contractors).  That’s the kiss of death for any bar that is placed off limits because that’s the entire customer base in Anjeong-ri.

I know of no prostitution in the bar I Don’t Know the name of.  But as I reviewed USFK’s definition of what constitutes human trafficking, one example was refusing to pay an employee for time worked.  I thought I could make the case to the Provost Marshal should I be compelled to file a formal complaint.

I didn’t want to do that if I didn’t have to.  It’s the nuclear option and I figured it would make me persona non grata with the local bar association.  So I reached out to a couple of friends that know this bar owner and asked them to intercede and try to convince said owner to do the right thing.  I also asked them to convey to her that if she failed to pay what was rightly due to the former employee I was prepared to raise the issue with USFK.  I said I was moving forward if she wasn’t paid by Monday.

Apparently that created a bit of a shit storm, but today my Filipina acquaintance advised the bar owner said she would pay her tomorrow.  Mission accomplished!  She also told me the bar owner wants me to come to the bar and apologize to her!  What the fuck?  Obviously that ain’t happening and I have no intention of ever patronizing that bar again.  I Don’t Know why I would.  Except for the darts.  Oh well, I’ll take the game up again after my move to the PI.

Well, it’s Sunday so I reckon y’all are expecting to see some photos of my glorious weekend.  Here you go:

That was me living life on the edge in the Philippines.

That’s me drunk.

That’s me sober.

That’s what an autumn day looks like here in the countryside…

That plant is known as “the answer” or so I surmised when I observed it blowing in the wind. Ahem.

That’s one big ass spider!

That’s my Sunday dinner…

And that’s me at 25 and totally clueless. Now that I think about it, not much has changed.

And there you have it.  How about some Hunter S. Thompson for dessert?

What he said.

Home again

And I learned some things along the way.

Plane landed wheels down at 1730 in Incheon.  A 747 and it appeared every seat was full.  I was relatively close to the front (row 37) so hustled on down to beat the crowd to the immigration queue.  Success!

Had to wait for my bag about 10 minutes, but I’m not one to complain.  Much.  Anyway, I was undecided about how best to get home.  I went out to the Airport Limo ticket stand and asked about the next bus to Pyeongtaek.  It left at 1900, and my watch said 5 minutes past 6.  Fuck that I said to myself (hopefully I didn’t say it out loud!).  So I made my way to the airport railroad.  I reckoned on taking the “all stops” line, figuring to get off at Yongsan station and catch the train home.  Well, once I was on board the AREX slow train I looked at the map and saw the fucker didn’t stop at Yongsan.  Every other goddamn burg along the way, but no Yongsan.

So, I got off at the stop prior to Seoul station and caught the subway over to Yongsan (2 stops).  I arrived at 19:30 and the Pyeongtaek train departed at 19:50.  So the timing was good.  In retrospect, I’d been better off taking the express AREX to Seoul station and cabbing or subway to Yongsan from there.  Might have saved me 30 minutes.  Not sure if there was an earlier train to Pyeongtaek, so maybe it didn’t matter.

Anyway, I got back home a few minutes after 9.  I probably beat the Airport Limo bus, but not by much.

Traveling is such a pain in the ass.  Can’t wait to do it again!

Bowed but not beaten!

And tomorrow I’ll blog about my new attitude.  Now it is off to bed.

Should I stay or should I go?

Came across this site in a wooded area on yesterday’s hike. Thankfully, civilians are not allowed. Unless I wasn’t supposed to take the picture.

It should come as no surprise that I’m not particularly happy with my life here, so why stay?  As commenter Brian pointed out, you can’t add time to the back end of your retirement.  Well, here’s my thinking on the subject.  Although my thinking is subject to change.

To begin, technically I’m still retired since I’m drawing my full pension.  In the parlance of Uncle Sam, I’m a re-employed annuitant.  So one way to look at it is that I’ve taken up a forty hour per week hobby with some pretty lucrative benefits.

When I originally left government service on December 31, 2010 I had a plan and most importantly, someone to share my planned life with.  Initially I was kept engaged with seeing my parents off on their voyage to the afterlife, then dealing with matters of their passing as the executor of the estate.  I also had to set up residence for myself and Jee Yeun, finding a house and having it remodeled, and furnishing said house.  There were the kids and grandkids to spend time with, dart leagues to found and run, and some travel to enjoy as well.  And with the six months there, six months in Korea routine it kept things from getting stale.  Which is not to say it was never boring, but it was a comfortable life that I expected I would live until the end of my days.

Then one day it was all gone.  A betrayal I’ll never fully understand or completely recover from.   Well, life goes on (until it doesn’t) and having a job and what passes as a social life with my work family gave me some meaning and purpose.  I’m not sure I would have made it otherwise.

Now I find myself back in the job I left when I retired and living in lovely Pyeongtaek.  I had planned to re-retire prior to the the move, but was convinced to stay through the transition to Camp Humphreys.  My employees (bless their hearts) think I’m the greatest boss ever and don’t want me leave.  I seem to be respected and appreciated by the command leadership and that feels good.  And not to brag, but my organization has really stepped up and filled some voids.  We have a “can do” reputation and I’m very proud of all that my team has accomplished.  Which is a long way of saying I do derive a lot of satisfaction from my working life and it is not really a burden to show up each day and do what (little) I do.

Well, all things must pass and I have told my people that I will not stay beyond May. Nothing real magical about that day, other than it is when the lease expires on this big ass house I’m living in (for free).  And in reality, I can leave anytime between now and then (with a 30 day notice to the landlord) if I decide circumstances warrant bailing out.

And there’s the rub.  There is nothing wrong with my life here.  Other than the fact that I’m unhappy with it.  I’m bored, lonely, and far too often, drunk.  That lifestyle is unsustainable.  But I know that until I figure out how to transform myself, those symptoms will likely continue wherever I am living.

What to do, what to do?  A girlfriend would be nice except that a) I’m incapable of love and b) I don’t want to get roped into a relationship that is doomed to end in just a few short months.  So I’m going to have find a way to deal with the boredom and loneliness on my own.  And preferably without the alcohol crutch.  I’m floundering some now, but I’m confident I’ll find my way out.

Does it get any better than this? I sure as hell hope so!

So looking ahead to my new life in the Philippines, what will I do to keep myself occupied and engaged without the benefit of a full-time and meaningful job?  Good question.  Here’s what I envision:

I’ll have my employee available to assist me and take care of me.  That should help some.  I’ll have a dog or two.  Dogs never complain about not having a happy life and then abandon you.  I could use that kind of loyalty in my golden years.  I’m still struggling with what my “purpose” will be in retired life.  I envision myself becoming more engaged with the Fil-Am orphanage  I have assisted during my recent trips to the PI.  And I have it in mind to do some other regular charity work, I’m just not sure what that will be yet.  I’ll play in the dart league and join the local Hashers  hopefully making some new friends along the way.  Maybe that will be enough.

So there’s lots of work to be done in the meantime.  I do appreciate all the support and encouragement my loyal readers provide in the comments.

Onward!

 

An atypical Sunday

No walking, no bike riding.  Here’s what I did instead:

Browned some ground beef…

Did some laundry…

filled the candy dish…

diced an onion…

gathered my chili ingredients…

mixed it all up in the crock pot…

beat the carrot cake batter…

marinated the ribeyes

Made a banana pudding…

thawed the shrimp…

Iced the beer…

baked the cake…

cleaned the grill…

prepared a vegetable appetizer with ranch dressing…

baked some potatoes…

set the table…

cooked the corn…

greeted my guests (nephew Justin and friends from Seoul Wan Jun and Beckie…

…the buffet…

garlic bread and grilled meat…

More than enough to go around…

Might have overdid it a tad, but it was fun.  Nice change of pace.

Welcome to the Friend Zone

So, a Korean friend sent me this in messenger. Even personalized it. Yeah, I got the message.

friend zone

noun

informal
  1. a situation in which a friendship exists between two people, one of whom has an unreciprocated romantic or sexual interest in the other.
    “I always wind up in the friend zone, watching them pursue other guys”

Lord knows over the course of a lifetime I’ve both been locked up in friend zone jail and done the incarceration.  I understand the frustration and disappointment that goes along with unrequited emotional attachments.  But, there are worse things.  Honestly speaking, in this case it was almost a relief.  I’ve been down that road too many times to think it will lead to anywhere other than a dead end.

I’m not going to love or be loved, notwithstanding the occasional weak moment of temptation.   The fact of the matter is that I do get lonely and I do crave companionship. And yes, I wouldn’t mind getting laid now and then.  Friends with benefits would work just fine, but alas there are no prospects on the horizon.

Seven months left in Korea.  Ten days until my next visit to the Philippines.  I’ll get by I reckon.

In other news, these three stories were listed in order on Drudge yesterday:

Walking to work staves off death.  Okay, I do that just about everyday.  I should be good to go, but…

Loneliness is as deadly as smoking 15 cigarettes a day.  Good thing I’m into vaping now!

And finally the secret to happiness is revealed: Sex and Sleep are the keys to happiness.  Well damn, I’m so horny I can’t sleep.  I’m not happy about that.  I’d say I’m screwed but I’m not.

At least I have the friend zone.

I hope the day will be a lighter highway
For friends are found on every road
Can you ever think of any better way
For the lost and weary travelers to go?

Making friends for the world to see
Let the people know you got what you need
With a friend at hand you will see the light
If your friends are there, then everything’s all right

 

Carry on

Well, I see it has been a week since my last post.  Regular readers have probably discerned that I must be in one of my moods.  Yeah, I’m in a funk but don’t worry, I’m not going to go there.  Much.

Let’s just say that I continue to struggle with the emptiness that is my life.  I won’t allow anyone to fill that void with love (and yes, the opportunity has presented itself) and so I have to fight to keep the sadness at bay.  Some days are worse than others in that regard, but I know I’ve been blessed in so many ways that I don’t let myself sink too deeply into despair and self-pity.  I have the power to change my life but for whatever reason I seem incapable of doing so.  So far at least.

Okay, enough of that!  I continue with my WWBD (work, walk, bike, drink) lifestyle.  Work is work but it at least provides some purpose.  Walking gives me lots of time to think, but that’s not always a good thing.  Biking is something to fill some weekend daytime hours.  And lately, drinking is what I do best.  Every fucking night of the week (but only to excess on the weekend).  But hey, it’s what passes as my social life.

Well, I’m a bar stool genius – I can solve the world’s problems
Without even trying
I have dozens of friends and the fun never ends
That is, as long as I’m buying

Who knew I’d be living the lyrics to an old Styx song?

Hey don’t go!  I’ve got pictures!

See, I can still find something to smile about. This was posted above the urinal in an SK gas station I visited on one of my weekend walks…

So near and yet so far. On this side of the fence is where I work, on the other…freedom! Well, I’ve postponed my imminent retirement date. I’ve already announced to my staff that I’ll be gone no later than May. Sooner if need be.

So, I get this weird email from a stranger asking me if I knew how to contact the owner of this beached boat. A victim of Hurricane Irma. I spent the night with my old high schools friends on the Second Chance for New Year’s 2012. When I asked the emailer how she found me she said a Google search turned up this blog post. Interesting. I’ve lost touch with Rod and Patty but I’m not sure it’s the same boat anyway.

And the seasons they go round and round. I watched the rice being planted when I arrived down here. And now I’m watching the harvest.

My trusty river rider parked at the only restrooms you’ll find for over an hour in either direction…

On Saturday I rode to the end of the trail on one side of the river…

And on Sunday my way was blocked by this collapsed bridge which had been under construction. That’s only one section, the whole damn thing came down.

But at least there were flowers to enjoy along the way.

It seems I keep missing this delivery truck when he comes by my place…

I took a trip out to Osan AFB to do some shopping. And that meant rewarding myself with some Arby’s. The French Dip was outstanding!

There’s no Namsan to walk around here, but I make do…

The weather has cooled off to where I can almost walk in comfort…

So many choices in life. Maybe one day I will make the right one…

A park…

And another park.

The path less traveled. But I took it anyway.

Death always looms large, but I just walked on by.

A juxtaposition. Gawd, I’ve been wanting to find an excuse to use that word!

And then it was “back” home. Ahem.

Been keeping the grill fired up…

And I was even on TV! CCTV, but still…

That’s how I look on a drunken Saturday night. Kinda crazed, don’t you think?

It’s not the life I chose nor the life I wanted, but it is most assuredly the life I have.  And I can live with that.

Peace out!

One morning I woke up and I knew you were really gone
A new day, a new way, and new eyes to see the dawn
Go your way, I’ll go mine and carry on

 

I don’t know

I unilaterally ended my boycott of IDK bar last night.  Regular readers may recall that three months ago the bar added drinks to my bar tab without permission.  Sadly enough, IDK is the only bar in town with dart tourney.  During my exile I had simply quit playing darts, but I’ve decided I need to get off my lazy ass and start throwing again.  I mean, if I’m going to be in a bar drinking, I want to do it productively.

Anyway, I played the tourney last night.  I paid for my drinks as I ordered them thus avoiding the bar tab scam.

Me and my blind draw partner took a second place finish. Not bad considering how much my game has deteriorated during my self-imposed hiatus.

Today I took a walk, took a nap, then took a bike ride.  Did laundry then took another walk.  In the meantime my crock pot was cooking up a nice juicy pulled pork barbecue.

Rode around the base perimeter (inside the fence) today. That’s the new golf course behind me…

Oh, the irony! (that picture is from the internet, but I thought it was pretty funny)

I saw this church on my walk today. Not sure of the denomination, but it seems holy enough….

And that’s all I got folks.

Look what I saw!

*Ahem*

There are plenty of things to see and do in this world.  Sadly, not so much in Anjeong-ri. Still, you do the best you can with what you got, right?

The river flows, it flows to the sea, wherever that river goes, that’s where I want to be…

This is where the bike path ended today. Nothing to do but turn around.

Enjoyed the serene green acres of farm living though…

“Go Back”. Your meaning may vary.

Witches need to use the restroom too. Apparently.

I’ve been eating good though…

Dinner last night.

Breakfast this morning…

And some lunchtime nourishment.

Took time to smell the flowers on today’s hike…

I have absolutely no clue why these water faucets were installed smack dab in the middle of nowhere.

A lonely road for a lonely man.

The sun goes down…

…and the moon rises.

Another day in the life out here in the countryside.

Labor Day

The long weekend is over.

Yesterday I did a cookout in honor of the newlyweds, Sonya and Joey.

So, I baked a carrot cake…

Made a banana pudding…

Marinated some rib eye steaks (herb and garlic)…

And then the party started and I totally forget about taking pics.  Anyway, we had shrimp (with cocktail sauce), celery, carrots, and potato chips (with ranch dressing) and nuts for appetizers.  Garlic bread, corn on the cob, asparagus, and baked potato to go with the steaks.  Also had some BBQ spare ribs. Way too much food!

Anyway, it was a good time.  Oh, we did a little drinking too!

Today I got up and as is my wont when I don’t have to work, I took a bike ride on the river.

It was a good day for it…

The ride was cut short though when I encountered this barrier…

Apparently that brand spanking new bridge had a collapse issue.  Oh well.

I managed 23,000+ steps on my afternoon walk.  And best of all, I finally found love!

Where have you been all my life?

And that’s about it for this drunken weekend.  Back at it tomorrow though!

About last night

Smack dab in the middle of a long weekend.  Here’s how Saturday went down.

Started the day with my usual river ride…

….managed to kill a couple of hours of a beautiful day.

Then on my afternoon walk I ran into this chill dude. Asked him if he was early. Apparently he never left.

My new hometown, the lovely village of Anjeong-ri. Let’s take a closer look, shall we?

The best way to start a Saturday night is by putting some food in your belly. And with that done, it’s time to hit some bars…

First stop on my bar crawl was Shooters. Always dead, but I’m pals with Dela, a bartender from Cameroon.

Then I moved up the street to one of my other regular haunts, Galaxy.

Made friends with this gal there, but she was a real dog…

I don’t frequent Crystal all that often. It’s usually got a good crowd and they don’t really need my business. Staff is friendly and attractive though, and with an open seat at the bar I took advantage and popped in for a cold brew.

Having caught a buzz I figured I ought to get some religion. So I attended Mass….

I probably spend more time and money here than any other bar…

Mi Young is certainly one of my favorites…

The fifth bar of the night was Casbah. Kind of a throwback place that never seems busy…

So the bargirls were happy to see my wallet me.

Next I stumbled wandered over to Ariang. Not here too often, but it’s a friendly place.

Cute Filipina bartender. Don’t remember her name though… Damn, I just noticed how creepy I look when i’m drunk…

Ended the night at Horse and Cow. It’s an okay place I guess, just doesn’t seem to have much personality if you know what I mean…

But Lana from Uzbekistan is always pleasant to chat with..

In summation–

Cooking up some steaks and fixin’s this afternoon for some friends.  Might be marginally more interesting than this post.  Stay tuned!

On a sunny Saturday in August

A really nice day here for a change.  Perfect day for a ride on the river.  Don’t believe me?  I’ve got pictures to prove it!

Your intrepid reporter…

A river runs through it.

Farm life…

Pyeongaek city on the horizon…

Nice rice.

I guess I should have used zoom…that’s a KTX passing by on the elevated tracks. I liked the juxtaposition of the country road and high tech transport. Oh well.

And now it’s another Saturday night.

another opportunity to explore my cognitive dissonance.

Another Saturday night and I ain’t got nobody
I got some money ’cause i just got paid
How I wish I had someone to talk to
I’m in an awful way

It wasn’t what you said…

…it’s what you didn’t say.

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.

What else?

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

In my life

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