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

 

On and On

Whatever gets you through the day.  2.5 hours on the bike and another 2.5 spent walking.  Lots of time to think, although in my case that’s not necessarily a good thing.

Another drunken Saturday night in the Ville.  Not to worry, I confine my drinking to days that end in a “y”.

Saturday night in Anjeong-ri…

Compare and contrast this street scene with Itaewon.

Shut your Korean Man Hole.

Took the long trail to Pyeongtaek lake this morning. First time I made it out that far…

I was rewarded with this view.

Finishing up the walk by the main gate at Camp Humphreys I encountered a protest group doing Kim Jung Un’s work I suppose. The police were out in force as usual…

But at least now I know what number to call when I see a hot babe walking down the street. Sadly that is pretty infrequent in this hick town…

Ah well, life goes on.  And on.

On and on
I just keep on trying
And I smile when I feel like dying
On and on
On and on
On and on

Moving forward

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?

Past forgetting

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…

The Han is always a pleasure…

A nice way to end the day.

It was hot and sweaty work out there though…

Nothing like walking to Incheon, but not bad for an old guy…

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.

 

 

It was a good night

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.

Rarer than a solar eclipse

For the first time in the long and storied history of Pyeongtaek, three McCrareys graced the fair city with their presence.

Nephews Justin and Joshua came down for a visit with their favorite uncle.  I showed them around the army base and they were suitably impressed.

Fed the hungry boys lunch at the Alaska Mining Company, one of the fine dining establishments on Camp Humphreys. Justin declared it the biggest burger he’d ever seen in Korea.

Luckily both the nephs were up for a hike.  I took them on my “3 parks” hour and a half loop walk.  They seemed to tolerate it well, although we were  all drenched in sweat when we finished.

Rested up some and showered then it was time to introduce the boys to the Anjeong-ri nightlife.

First stop was Horse and Cow where we were well served by the Lana, the bartender from Uzbekistan.

Next stop was Mass bar where my favorite barkeep Mi Young gave the boys a friendly welcome. Hmm, she never welcomes ME like that..

The owner of Galaxy bar came in to Mass (which is owned by her mother) and gave me some good natured flak about cheating on her bar. So I promised we’d visit Galaxy next. Promise kept!

Then it was on to Shooters bar. Della, the African gal from Cameroon is a hoot. She can parry all my witty jabs and pay them back in spades. Always have a good time there. The gal in yellow is the owner, Tee. Well into our afternoon hike she spotted us on the street and called out to me insisting I visit her bar that night. The boys were impressed that everyone in town seems to know me. Well, everyone in the bar biz anyway…

I left the youngsters at Shooters and stumbled on home.  Just can’t hang the way I used to.  They continued their good times without me then made it home safe and sound on their own.

They are both still snoring away the day.  While I wait for them to get their asses moving I’ll share some other photos from my bar life this weekend.

“Mama” and Lana from Horse and Cow.

Me and So Yeon, the owner of Galaxy.

An action shot from Friday night in Galaxy. I’m usually the only miguk in the place.

Hanging with Della from Cameroon at Shooters…

Mi Young from Mass bar. Interesting gal. Spends all her free time working at the animal rescue shelter. Says she has 8 dogs at her house waiting for adoption too. Can’t imagine what that’s like, but good for her to be so committed to a worthy cause. I told her I was a sick puppy but I don’t think she got what I meant. Ah well.

Seems neither reason is good enough these days…

Yeah, well who needs it?

My personal assistant/caregiver from the PI is always sending me encouragement from afar.

Thanks for looking out for me Loraine.

Still need to get a bike ride in and then do my 2 hours of walking.  Assuming the nephews ever wake up…

 

Something to blog about

Well, settling into my small town life.  Not much happening that is blog worthy, but I do feel a sense of obligation to keep my loyal readers informed about the mundane details of my so-called life.

But what to write about?  Well, sometimes inspiration just comes walking through the door.  Literally.

Last night I’m sitting in Shooters bar finishing my final beer of the evening when a couple walks through the door.  I had to turn and look because people actually coming into Shooters is an infrequent event.  The guy looks at me and says “I know you, John”. Now, I’m pretty drunk and my memory ain’t what it once was, but he didn’t look familiar at all.  Seeing my confusion he tells me “I read your blog”. Outstanding!  Nice to meet you David!

In over 12 years of blogging meeting a random stranger who follows LTG has only happened a handful of times.  It’s always surprising to me.  I know a couple of friends and family members visit here regularly, but I usually just write as if I had no audience (yeah, I know it shows).  That people find enough amusement or interest or maybe pity that keeps them coming back for more is really quite humbling.  Sincerely, thank you all!

Anyway, David and his lovely Korean wife (sorry, the name escapes me now) invited me to join them at their table.  How could I refuse?  David also works on base and he was wearing a Scrooge Pub shirt (a bar I also used to frequent in Seoul).  Plus, he enjoys throwing darts.  So we had quite a bit in common. Had a nice chat and a couple of friendly dart games.  It was a nice way to end the evening for me.

It’s a small and random world after all.

New friends in town and the inspiration for this post.

The End of an Era

On Friday afternoon I drove up to Seoul for the official close down of my office building.

Building #1377 has now been signed over to the Yongsan Garrison Department of Public Works.

I climbed those stairs for the first time on January 23, 2005. They led me to a life I could never have imagined.

The trailing group of my employees who remained on Yongsan during the transition. They’ll all be reporting to Camph Humphreys on Monday morning.

I was here at the earliest stages of the planning for the move. It feels good that I was able to return and be here for the completion of those plans.

I stayed the night and met up with my old pal Alastair who was visiting from Scotland. Had us some beers and samgyeopsal and reminiscing.

Back home in the countryside Saturday morning where I enjoyed a nice long bike ride on the river.

On my afternoon walk I encountered this big ass sunflowers. They stood about 8 feet high…

Tried a new bar on Saturday night called the Eagles club. It was a huge place with just me and the (male) bartender. Maybe I was just too early. It was one beer and out for me, but not before I captured this sign with a somewhat unusual sentiment. I’d say it is more true of Korean women, but that’s just been my experience…

I was able to capture this image of the Saturday night action on the streets of Anjeong-ri. Powerful stuff, no?

And finally, talking about the end of an era, my daughter posted up this picture of me from the 1980s.  Good times!

Wish I still had the shirt.

Who you calling human scum?

Apparently someone high up in the North Korean food chain read my post about the Eighth Army headquarters move to Pyeongtaek*.  I guess they weren’t too thrilled based on this response in the commie propaganda rag:

US Troops Not To Escape From KPA’s Long-Range Artillery Strike
17/07/2017, Pyongyang Times.

A spokesman for the Panmunjom Mission of the Korean People’s Army released a statement on July 14 over the recent desperate and undisguised moves of the US to provoke a nuclear war against the DPRK and perpetuate its forces’ presence in south Korea.
The statement said:
On July 11, the US aggressor forces, which moved the Command of their 8th Army present in south Korea to Humphrey Base in Phyongthaek, Kyonggi Province, invited bosses of the south Korean government and military and even human scum, including ultra-right conservatives, to an “opening ceremony of the new building” of the Command.
The commander of the 8th Army in his “welcoming speech” praised the south Korean lackeys,terming the move an “event demonstrating the solid south Korea-US alliance” and allowingjournalists to look round the interior of the base.
As far as the transfer of the US 8th Army Command to Phyongthaek is concerned, the US has pushed ahead with it in collusion with the puppet regime since 2003 in order to move its aggressor forces bases in south Korea to the areas south of the Han River to get rid of the striking range of the KPA’s long-range artillery strike.
Lurking behind it is the ulterior design of the US to save its troops only, indifferent to the plight of the south Korean puppet army at stake.
The US imperialists are busy hyping the transfer of their 8th Army Command, the shock brigade that will play a flagship role in igniting a war against the DPRK. This fully revealed the US scenario to perpetuate its military presence in south Korea and stand in confrontation with the DPRK to the end in league with the south Korean puppet warmongers.The US regards the Korean peninsula as a vantage point of strategic importance where the strength of maritime forces and the strength of land forces are interchanging. It is the centuryold Asia policy of the US to occupy the whole peninsula with south Korea as its springboard andthus realize its wild ambition for dominating the world.It is a tragedy for the US that it is unaware of the tremendous might of the army of the DPRK.
The bases of the US troops in south Korea, the primary targets of the KPA, can never escape the mercilessly annihilating strikes by its long-range artillery, no matter whether they are located in Phyongthaek or in Pusan. The US warmongers will never escape the miserable destruction if they persist in foolhardy military confrontation moves in south Korea despite the warnings of the KPA. KCNA

Well, fuck you very much.  And Kim Jong Un if you are reading this all I can say is bring it on biatch.

*It is possible that the NORKS heard about the move somewhere else, although that doesn’t seem too likely to me.

And so it goes

Another weekend in the books.  I’ve said just about all there is to say about how it all went down, but I do have some photos…

I braved the forecast for torrential rain and went on a riverside bike ride anyway. Wound up getting soaked, but it was all sweat. So that worked out for me at least.

After the bike ride I drove out to the Osan Air Force base to do some shopping.  The current commissary here at Camp Humphreys is woefully inadequate.  There is a new bigger version under construction but it won’t open until next spring I’m told.  That won’t do me any good.  I figure I can supplement with a monthly excursion to Osan or maybe Yongsan.  Nice to change things up.

Got home and filled the pantry with my purchases, then walked into town for a haircut.  Yeah, my life is a thrill a minute.  I got drunk and juiced later, so there’s that.

Started my Sunday morning off with some scrambled eggs, with ham, cheese, and salsa. Bacon on the side of course…

It rained most of the day today, but I took advantage of a late afternoon break in the storm and managed to get my steps in. This is about 10 minutes from my house.

I enjoy the random beauty that pops up in the most unlikely places…

…but I enjoy it alone.

Such is life.  No complaints though.

Oh, and I thought this was funny as hell.

Good job random foreigner, whoever you are!