Living in Wonju South Korea, These Many Long Years

Living in Wonju South Korea, These Many Long Years: Version 2.0!

Saturday, March 30, 2013

Black, White, WTF Face

For some reason I feel compelled to go old school:

So 2012.

Friday, March 29, 2013


He stares at the screen.  He should go out, but he knows what waits for him: antagonism, conflict, a bevy of inane questions.  In his youth, he answered them eagerly, as it was some form of human contact.  Now he stays home and stares at the screen.

Break out!  Live!  Ignore the blindness you see in others, remember what it is to see!  You've been here before, why are you letting so much go, cheap?

But tonight he is paralyzed.  He can't bring himself to go to the door and walkabout.  Tonight he thinks what is, and refuses to indulge what could have been.  Tonight is about finding a better way.

He drinks.  It will take some time, this contemplation.  But it is shortened since he knew it was coming and has entertained it before.  Still, he moves not.

where am I? what Am I? what will I choose to be?  Easy questions that no longer have easy answers.

Fuck it.

He takes another drink and stares at the screen.

So many kinds of wrong

I've been behind in finding videos; what can I say?  There are only so many hours in the day.

But I do have a few for an edition of

So Many Kinds of Wrong

WARNING: 3rd NSFW cat video

This pill would have to be cheaper and more effective than soju

A little David Bowie to end on a soft note:


Tonight was a big English reading night at this Waeg's household.

I'd recently acquired box sets of Oxford Bookworms, starter and first level. I paid 90 thousand for each box, a 25% discount for being so awesome by paying in cash.

I've used them in the past to great success.  Many are abridged versions of classics, with comprehension, vocab, and writing exercises at the end of each book.  They served nicely to supplement the reading component of my classes back in my E.T. (English teacher) days, so I thought I'd try them out on the girls. We went through Survive and A Mystery in London from the starter series.

I was happy with the youngest's progress: she is reading quite well for a first grader.  The eldest needs more attention however.

We also read some Beatrix Potter.  Tonight we took a break from the Judy Blume; the girls are huge fans.

Tired now.  Time for sleep.

Tuesday, March 26, 2013

Scotch Blue!

scotch blueToday after work I went out to Emart to pick up a few essentials, primarily booze.

I like to spread out my booze buying locales: it wouldn't serve to constantly be buying liquor at the same place!  Who knows what kind of misguided, warped idea the local convenience store owner might get of me if I was constantly cleaning out their supply of rice wine!

Besides, heading out to Emart allows me more variety in terms of beer, Daepo, and the infamous 6500 won Scotch Blue Pocket.  This totally floors me: the small pocket size 200 ml bottle costs 6500.  A 350 ml bottle runs about 21000.  I'll take three of the small bottles for 1000, Alex.   It's actually not a bad blend considering the price, and the pocket bottle is even made out of plastic!  How much more awesome could it be??

Time for another nip or three.

Monday, March 25, 2013

Impact Craters!

And the Heliosphere.  Kuiper Belt.  The Oort Cloud.  Precious Metals deposits found in most impact craters.

Wonder what we could find in Valhalla?

Remembering a Philip K. Dick story, The Mold of Yancy.  Been a while since I've read that one.  But not now.  Should get some work done instead of reading all this Wikipedia stuff, mmm?

Time for tea.  Someone left a bag of Earl Grey, so why not.

Organic Gardening!

23 spam comments worth.  Sweet.

Looks like someone just put a big order in for fake reviews.

Today's selection was exclusively on organic gardening, and taking care of any pests that plague your plot.

If only I had some kind of spray that would work on people in everyday life.  I'd buy a case of that shit.

Time for coffee.

Sunday, March 24, 2013


Where's Waldo?
Today I bundled the fam into the van and went out to visit the Indian museum and have a bbq.

The museum was actually better than I thought; the eldest curator sent her 20 something daughter over when her mom realized I knew more about many of the exhibits than the guide.  The daughter has great English, speaks well, and is pleasant to have a conversation with.  I suppose I'm not too disappointed that no one knew anything about the historical Indian - Korean connection.  The eldest curator said it was probably fiction, although the conviction she displayed only after first being surprised and unsure didn't persuade me. 

Afterwards we went down to a spot near Juchon and grilled up some pig and cow over an open fire.  It was delicious.  We also ate soy bean paste soup with nengi that we scooped up around our picnic site.

After letting the fire die down, we packed up the hammock, tables, chairs, and cooking gear and headed back to the Wonj. 

For dinner we had a boiled ham, delicious scallop potatoes, and corn.  During dinner, I had to explain 'singing to the choir' and how to properly play gas-liquid-solid.  No, you can't use fork as your solid, what's it made of?  Yes, metal, what kind of metal?  Steel is made of . . .?  Iron.  Don't we eat that? Sure, but what are you going to say for gas?

Tired now.  Been a long day and there is a bottle of rice wine tempting me.

Monday, March 18, 2013

Indian Museum!

After pushing through a pile of paperwork until the middle of the afternoon, I realized that today would be an excellent day to check out some of my favorite camping spots in preparation for the spring's first big camping extravaganza.

I decided to try out a few side roads I'd neglected in the past.  I ended up back on highway 82 down through Jucheon when several brand spanking new signs appeared, encouraging me to visit an honest to goodness Indian museum.

I admit I was skeptical at first: the English on the sign could have been a case of English fail; what I would actually find would be a folk museum, somehow the Indian being used in place of 'folk' or 'native', but the Korean did specify India.  Sure enough, it seems an old retired couple who spent considerable time there scooped up an abandoned school and turned it into an Indian museum.

Sadly it was closed on Monday.  But something tells me I know what I'll be doing this weekend with the fam.  It'll be a great opportunity to teach them some Korean history, in particular about the early days of the Silla Dynasty
Maybe combine it with a day trip involving some barbeque.  A good time should be had by all.

Time for coffee.

Sunday, March 10, 2013


Today I roasted up a chicken in our new steam oven. It turned out quite nicely.

After picking off most of the meat, I threw the carcass into a pot, covered it with water, added salt, pepper, sage, savory, a ton of garlic. After it had simmered for a couple of hours, I took out the bones and threw in chopped carrots, potatoes, flat noodles, broccoli, an onion, turnip, some of the chicken.

I took the rest of the chicken and made sandwiches. We had them with the soup for dinner. It was delicious.

Full. I won rock scissor paper on doing the dishes and am quite successfully ignoring June's mutterings as she does them. Hey, at least I cleaned up all the mess I made from making the soup.

Time for some Max. I started William Gibson's Zero History while cooking, should finish it before sleep.

Monday, March 4, 2013


Behind the smoking corner I heard one of the first signs of spring: the croaking of the frogs.

They'll often begin their racket when ice still covers a majority of the little pond they've made their own.  This year is no exception, although the ice is disappearing fast.  Besides the frogs, pussy willows are also in abundance.  Today is near balmy compared to the last few weeks, which may explain it.  This year was a cold winter with quite a bit of precipitation, so the streams will be running high in a few weeks, which should bring good fishing later.

Besides the normal routine of checking design specs, dealing with orders, correspondance, and the other bureaucratic minutia that fill my day, I spent some time planning for the first work camping trip in May.  I'll probably head out in late April with the fam, but May is better since I can put more hands to work collecting wild vegetables.  My girls are always keen on collecting piles of the stuff, but as they are smaller they can't quite collect as much as an intern or staff underling.  Besides, we usually end up eating whatever we collect, which won't jibe with my master plan:  this year I'm hoping to get an undocumented immigrant or grandmother to sell off a bunch in the local market.  It is about time I get a new car after all, and with June closing her business and putting ever more pressure to make more money, this could be at least a small source of extra moola. 

I'd train my coworkers to look for pine mushrooms or wild ginseng, but any attempt to pull that stuff out of the woods would almost certainly result in groups of aged countryside pensioners chasing us back to the Wonj, as the mushrooms and wild ginseng can be quite valuable.  Laugh and shake your head if you will, but I do have a story involving a very irate grandfather reproaching me for picking wild pine mushrooms, as they apparently weren't mine to gather.  As far as I knew, I hadn't broken any laws and was not on private property, but this does not change the result: I now know the hunt for those two requires stealth, while the selling of any spoils would need to be done through halmoni brokered secret deals in dirty piss stained back alleys to avoid the harsh scrutiny of the roaming haraboji gangs.  Be warned, waegs!  Korean pine mushrooms and wild ginseng are national treasures 308 and 616 respectively, and can only be properly handled by hands thoroughly seeped in Koreaness!  If the buyer becomes aware that the ginseng was handled by the waeg, the superpower of the ginseng will be tainted, and proper sacrifice will need to be given to the mountain spirit which gave essence to the now corrupted ginseng. 

At least that was the sense of what the grandfather's logic was supposed to lead me to think.  Of course, I could be wrong.  It wouldn't be the first time.  Some of my friends tell me the old guy was crazy, but who knows.

Time for coffee.