Saturday, December 31, 2005

Joo's Birthday!

It was my Moonie's birthday the other day so i figured (seeing as this is part her blog and all) that I would post up a few pics.

This one at her staff party (which turned out to be a 200 person birthday party for her... kind of). And, just like this blog, she does not seem to be able to get away from me. They even called me up to the front to help her blow out her candles. Sheesh!

Juggertha drawing

I thought some of you might appretiate this. My wife bought me a pen-mouse for my birthday so I figured I'd put it to good use.

Now this is my first "computer drawing" so I'm sure they'll get better, but as it is, I think it turned out well.

Here is the "original" character I used. He is from City of Heroes in case anyone is wanting to come online with me. ;)

Thursday, December 29, 2005


X-Men 3 is coming next year and I'm getting excited. Here is the trailer for you to check out (if you haven't already). I'm not all that impressed with the Juggernaut though. Look through the official site pic to see what I mean (or just keep an eye out for him in the trailer)

Monday, December 26, 2005

A trip to Canada

As some of you may have noticed, my blogging has been a bit lite of late. Actually I left the Land of Morning Calm and headed to the Great White North for a rather unplanned visit.

It was great to see everyone there and I thought I'd share a few pictures.

Here is the view when I was leaving Korea. I thought it kind of typical of Korea.. being lots of cranes and a great sunset.

Here is a pic of my parents (the reason I went on this trip). Some people might be wondering why I went to canada so quickly, I'm not going to really get into it now but I'd like to say that Cancer is a bi$#h

I was able to meet a lot of old friends on this trip (but as always I missed some of them). Here is a shot of my good bud Dan (you may or may not recognize him from my posts on bodybuilding here earlier in the year). This man is one of the people I missed most and such a nice guy that he lent me a car for my time in Canada. I ended up seeing a lot of people on this trip, Mike, Dan, Rob, Marcus, Al, Dana, Trish, Mandy, Kurt, Deb, Dawne, and Justin. Wow, so many of them I haven't sen in years. It was good to hear about how so many of them were doing.

This next shot is of Dan's vehicle... no, this is not the one he lent me. Shoot, before visiting Canada I was actually thinking about buying a eco-car or something. being back in the land of giant vehicles though has led me in a different direction.

So long as I'm bragging about Dan, I wanted to make note of his house. Like so many other's (Mike, Marcus, Trish), I was facinated with what they have done with their places. In Korea here it is SO hard to coordinate home furnishings. I like the class in this photo and hope to have a nice flow like this through my place. Also note, Rob is building his place now and if the past is any indicator.. it's going to be impressive.

My wife never really had a dog. Not counting the puppy her dad bought her (and her mom got rid of in less than 24 hours) she has been pet-less. She had fun with my parents 13 year old terri-poo and I'm hoping that when we move into a hosue we'll be able to raise one from a pup.

Well, that's it for my trip. I'm glad I went and although it wasn't perfect... it was great seeing so many close people again. I find I'm missing Canada a lot less but my friends and family a lot more.


Monday, December 19, 2005

Chiang kai shek

I saw this book on sale over at Whatthebook for $10 and thought it seemed like a good deal. After reading through it, I'm not so sure.

It's an ok book and all, and it seems to give a fair accounting on Chiang's life, but for some reason it just never seemed to "pick up" for me. It was more just a continual talking about him (using far too many unfamiliar names - even if introduced).

Either way, I now know more than I did.

Sunday, November 27, 2005

The Rape of Nanking

I've had this book sitting on my shelf for a little while now and it seemed to continually get bumped from my "next to read" list. I had heard some srange things about the author, everything from she fabricated most of the facts in the book to she commited suicide after writing it. I usually dispell rumors but I must admit when I started off reading this book I already had my back up (at least a little).

The book itself is an "account" of the Japanese invasion of the city of Nanking (Nanjing) on December 13th, 1937. The photos have been bandied about over the internet for year. While some have shown them to be false (or at least staged), others simply show the horrors of war.

My major problem with this book was the end noting style. For a book that makes SO MANY claims, it has the most awkward note system. The edition that I bought had end notes but no reference numbers. Grrrrrrrrrrrrr.

Here is an excerpt:
THE CHRONICLE OF humankind's cruelty is a long and sorry tale. But if it is true that even in such horror tales there are degrees of ruthlessness, then few atrocities can compare in intensity and scale to the rape of Nanking during World War II.

The broad details of the rape are, except among the Japanese, not in dispute. In November 1937, after their successful invasion of Shanghai, the Japanese launched a massive attack on the newly established capital of the Republic of China. When the city fell on December 13, 1937, Japanese soldiers began an orgy of cruelty seldom if ever matched in world history. Tens of thousands of young men were rounded up and herded to the outer areas of the city, where they were mowed down by machine guns, used for bayonet practice, or soaked with gasoline and burned alive. By the end of the massacre an estimated 260,000 to 350,000 Chinese had been killed. Between 20,000 and 80,000 Chinese women were raped--and many soldiers went beyond rape to disembowel women, slice off their breasts, nail them alive to walls. So brutal were the Japanese in Nanking that even the Nazis in the city were shocked. John Rabe, a German businessman who led the local Nazi party, joined other foreigners in working tirelessly to save the innocent from slaughter by creating a safety zone where some 250,000 civilians found shelter.

Yet the Rape of Nanking remains an obscure incident. Although the death toll exceeds the immediate number of deaths from the atomic bombings of Hiroshima and Nagasaki (140,000 and 70,000 respectively, by the end of 1945) and even the total civilian casualties for several European countries during the entire war (Great Britain lost 61,000 civilians, France 108,000, Belgium 101,000, and the Netherlands 242,000), the horrors of the Nanking massacre remain virtually unknown to people outside Asia. The Rape of Nanking did not penetrate the world consciousness in the same manner as the Jewish Holocaust or Hiroshima because the victims themselves remained silent. The custodian of the curtain of silence was politics. The People's Republic of China, Taiwan, and even the United States all contributed to the historical neglect of this event for reasons deeply rooted in the cold war. After the 1949 Communist revolution in China, neither the People's Republic of China nor Taiwan demanded wartime reparations from Japan (as Israel had from Germany) because the two governments were competing for Japanese trade and political recognition. And even the United States, faced with the threat of communism in the Soviet Union and mainland China, sought to ensure the friendship and loyalty of its former enemy Japan. In this manner, cold-war tensions permitted Japan to escape much of the intense critical examination that its wartime ally was forced to undergo.

Sunday, November 13, 2005


I just finished reading 1984 and... wow. Simply, wow. It is really a great book. I had heard for years about this book but had never bothered to read it. Like so many other Canadian kids, I had read Animal Farm in Jr. High and figured that was about all I needed to know about Orwell and Communism. I was wrong.

As an adult this book takes on whole new meaning. His writing style is fluid and abundanly descriptive. There were more than a few times I almost missed my stop (subway) because of his book.

If you want to find out what is at the bottom of the rabbit hole, this is the book for you!

An excerpt:

IT WAS a bright cold day in April, and the clocks were striking thirteen. Winston Smith, his chin nuzzled into his breast in an effort to escape the vile wind, slipped quickly through the glass doors of Victory Mansions, though not quickly enough to prevent a swirl of gritty dust from entering along with him.

The hallway smelt of boiled cabbage and old rag mats. At one end of it a coloured poster, too large for indoor display, had been tacked to the wall. It depicted simply an enormous face, more than a metre wide: the face of a man of about forty-five, with a heavy black moustache and ruggedly handsome features. Winston made for the stairs. It was no use trying the lift. Even at the best of times it was seldom working, and at present the electric current was cut off during daylight hours. It was part of the economy drive in preparation for Hate Week. The flat was seven flights up, and Winston, who was thirty-nine and had a varicose ulcer above his right ankle, went slowly, resting several times on the way. On each landing, opposite the lift-shaft, the poster with the enormous face gazed from the wall. It was one of those pictures which are so contrived that the eyes follow you about when you move. BIG BROTHER IS WATCHING YOU, the caption beneath it ran.

The Apartment II

Well I've been meaning to post pictures of this for awhile and just have not been able to find the time to do it. I won't write much but I'll give a brief description of each shot:

The Living room (going to try to keep this room slightly Spartan)

The Kitchen (don't mind the clutter, I was making dinner)

The Master Bedroom (cannot seem to get a good shot of this)

The spare bedroom / office (this clutter is permanent)

The nice smoggy view (it looks better on some days)

The night time view (There were fireworks for the first two weeks we moved in)

And my dinner (my mother in law was nice enough to bring by some Korean side dishes)

Sunday, November 06, 2005

Plan of Attack

Well I just finished reading PLAN of ATTACK by Bob Woodward. This one took me quite some time (as yu can see from my last "book" post). I was moving and had my mind on other things, but also, I was not really expecting this book.

I expected some behind the sceens dirt on why the US went into Iraq. Instead I got a blow by blow account of HOW they did it, or more accurately, how they went about planning for it (I guess I should read titles more carefully). Once I got into the flow ofthe book though it made for an interesting read.

It was quite interesting to get a glimpse into some of the personalities of the current US administration. I dare say I now know as much as I want to know about them.

On the 17th day of the Bush presidency, Monday, February 5, Rice chaired a principals committee meeting that included Cheney, Powell and Rumsfeld. Deputy CIA Director John E. McLaughlin substituted for Tenet. The purpose was to review Iraq policy, the status of diplomatic, military and covert options. Among the first taskings were for each principal and his department or agency to examine and consider how intelligence collection could be increased on Iraq's suspected weapons of mass destruction.

At least on paper, the United Nations had an economic sanctions policy directed at Saddam's regime. The principals conceded that Saddam had basically won the public relations argument by convincing the international community that the sanctions were impoverishing his people, and that they were not stopping him from spending money to keep himself in power. Powell very quickly said they needed to attempt to get the U.N. to revise the sanctions to tighten them on material that might advance Saddam's military and WMD programs. Sanctions could then be eased on civilian goods.

Another issue was the weapons inspections inside Iraq that the U.N. had authorized after the Gulf War to establish that Saddam no longer possessed weapons of mass destruction. The inspectors had helped to dismantle Iraq's chemical, biological and surprisingly advanced nuclear programs, but suspicious accounting of destroyed munitions and elaborate concealment mechanisms left many unanswered questions. In 1998 Saddam had forced the inspectors out, and the question was what might be done to get them back in. No one had a good answer.

What should be the approach to Iraqi opposition groups both outside and inside Iraq? When should weapons and other lethal assistance be provided? Who should provide it -- the CIA or Defense? Again no one had a complete answer.

Tuesday, October 25, 2005

Boys II Men

I have tickets to see them perform a week from now. I've been wanting to see them live for years now. Funny how I come to Korea and catch them here.

They are performing with Big Momma here in Seoul. I'll write more after I see it.

Sunday, October 23, 2005


As you may (or may not have) noticed, my blogging action has been at a minimum of late. No, I have not given up writing, but instead have moved to higher ground.

The past fews days have been filled with the normal day's duties plus an added little quirk, WE"VE MOVED! That's right, the day has finally arrived and myself and the Moonie are on our way.

*dances around singing "The Jefferson's" Movin' on up!

I'll write more when we're settled but until then, I leave you with this promo pic for our place.


Sunday, October 16, 2005

Hegemony or Survival

Noam Chomsky. Now there is a name that garners respect. I've found that whenever I say the phrase "I'm reading Chomsky" I automatically get respectful nods. I suspect it's less because those I'm talking to have read his works but rather because he has one of "those" names. He has a Russian name, and for some reason if you ever say you are reading anything by a Russian (sounding) author you get the respectful nod.

I've made attempts at reading his works before and could never seem to get through them. He is a prof. at MIT in Linguistics and Philosophy but (for those who do not know) often writes/talks about "the state of the nation" and other such exciting topics.

truth be told, I have never been a fan of his. NOT, because of his thoughts on subjects but more because his books are ridiculously hard to get through. I KNOW he is a linguist and I KNOW that he knows what he is doing when it comes to writing "correctly" but come on... If you are going to write about a topic that people that are not linguists have an interest in, please try to write so that average reader has a chance of understanding you. I liken him to Shakespeare. You may understand the words, and occasionally you may even understand the meaning, but if you really want to get it all, it is best to spend hours surrounding yourself with it.

Hegemony or Survival deals with US foreign policy in this century and asks the question (basically) when is it too much? When, if ever, is it possible for the US to overstep it's bounds.

I enjoyed the parts that dealt with S. America, Cuba, and Iraq, but I wish he would have organized the chapters into clearer categories. His sentences are thick with quotes and he often brandishes odd-ball "titles" on those he thinks are villains. Consequently diminishing his arguments against terms like "terrorist". I enjoyed the book but would not recommend it to the average reader.

Enemy Territory
Those who want to face their responsibilities with a genuine commitment to democracy and freedom -- even to decent survival -- should recognize the barriers that stand in the way. In violent states these are not concealed. In more democratic societies barriers are more subtle. While methods differ sharply from more brutal to more free societies, the goals are in many ways similar: to ensure that the "great beast," as Alexander Hamilton called the people, does not stray from its proper confines.

Controlling the general population has always been a dominant concern of power and privilege, particularly since the first modern democratic revolution in seventeenth-century England. The self-described "men of best quality" were appalled as a "giddy multitude of beasts in men's shapes" rejected the basic framework of the civil conflict raging in England between king and Parliament, and called for government" by countrymen like ourselves, that know our wants," not by "knights and gentlemen that make us laws, that are chosen for fear and do but oppress us, and do not know the people's sores." The men of best quality recognized that if the people are so "depraved and corrupt" as to "confer places of power and trust upon wicked and undeserving men, they forfeit their power in this behalf unto those that are good, though but a few." Almost three centuries later, Wilsonian idealism, as it is standardly termed, adopted a rather similar stance. Abroad, it is Washington's responsibility to ensure that government is in the hands of "the good, though but a few." At home, it is necessary to safeguard a system of elite decision-making and public ratification -- "polyarchy," in the terminology of political science -- not democracy.

Sunday, October 09, 2005

Kang Chol-hwan (Aquariums of Pyongyang)

Well this evening was an exciting one. I went to the Seoul club to listen to, and hopefully meet the author of one of my favorite books on North Korea. Kang Chol-hwan was giving a talk at the joint invitation of the Democrats and Republicans abroad.

Before tonight though, I re-read his book. It had been a few years since I last looked at it (actually I had to go and actually buy a copy) and I felt I had better brush up. The book itself is a facinating glimpse of life in a North Korean labour camp and of Kang's life and death struggles to survive in the tyranical DPRK regime.

"The sweatbox is one of the harshest punishments imaginable, and since it could be used as retribution for the most trifling of offenses - offenses that would seem downright ridiculous on the outside - it was perpetually dangled over our heads. I exagerate when I say "our heads": it wasn't used on kids. But when a relative was sent to the sweatbox the whole family was scared, not knowing whether the loved one would make it out alive. Stealing three ears of corn, responding to a guard's command with insufficient zeal, missing a role call, even if the absence clearly had no wrongful intent - any of these was reason enough for being sent to the sweatbox. Yet all were "faults" that anyone could commit - and often had to commit - to survive."

Kang made mention during the talks that "one of the biggest pillars supporting the regime were the labour camps" and that "South Korean students are facinated by an illusion... (where as this) sentiment is affecting the DPRK and extending it's tyranny."

I took a number of notes but I do not have the time to put them down here tonight. Basically, he held a lot of my views on aid to the North, that it should be monitored and measured against a backdrop of concessions from both sides. He seemed like a level headed guy and impressed me as a survivor. I wish him the best and hope that his nightmares are behind him.

Tuesday, October 04, 2005


If you are wondering how I am downloading all these cool movies you can download the Bitcomet program here and then search for movies/files here.

It is really just that easy.

(thanks go to my favorite idiot )

Bumping this for some friends.

Monday, October 03, 2005


A good friend of mine Al recommended I read about book he had read on persuasion. I must admit I was less than a little enthusiastic. I had read too many self-help books over the years and I have never been a fan of pop-psychology.

Anyway, I decided to take Al's advice and get the book INFLUENCE. He told me the authors name and the title but when I went to the book stor they did not have exactly what he had described. Instead, I bought something similar and as it turns out that might just have been in my favor.

From what I understand, the top photo is of his "pop=psychology/ easy reading" book. While the second phot is slightly more accademic (with foot notes and all!!). I'm not sure if I would have liked the pop version but the second one (minus the lame introduction) was really good. So good in fact that I am thinking of incorporating it into some of my lesson plans. Shhh, don't tell the author though ok.

Here is an excerpt:


"This parallel form of human automaticity is aptly demonstrated in an experiment by social psychologist Ellen Langer and her co-workers (Langer, Blank, & Chanowitz, 1978). A well-known principle of human behavior says that when we ask someone to do us a favor we will be more successful if we provide a reason. People simply like to have reasons for what they do. Langer demonstrated this unsurprising fact by asking a small favor or people waiting in line to use a library copying machine: "Excuse me, I have five pages. May I use the Xerox machine because I'm in a rush?" The effectiveness of this request plus-reasons was nearly total: 94 percent of those asked let her skip ahead of them in line. Compare this success rate to the results when she make the request only: "Excuse me, I have five pages. May I use the Xerox machine?" Under those circumstances only 60 percent of those asked complied. At first glance, it appears that the crucial difference between the two request was the additional information provided by the words because I'm in a rush. However, a third type of request tried by Langer showed that this was not the case. It seems that it was not the whole series of words, but the first one, because, that made the different. Instead of including a real reason for compliance, Langer's third type of request used the word because and then, adding nothing new, merely restate the obvious: "Excuse me, I have five pages. May I use the Xerox machine because I have to make some copies?" The result was that once again nearly all (93 percent) agree, even though no real reason, no new information was added to justify their compliance."

Sunday, September 25, 2005

YOU: The owners manual

YOU, now isn't that an interesting subject? I thougth so, so I bought a book about it. I actually saw the author on Oprah talking about "your poo and you" and thought; anyone who could speak that openly on the subject is someone I'd like to read.

The book was decent but not as blunt as I would have liked. I did take some interesting things out of it (asparin, wine, nuts every day) but I'm not sure if it was worth carrying around this hard cover for a week. ;)

To do that, we want you to think of your body as a home -- as your home. When we
started thinking about the similarities between bodies and homes, we realized
that the two have a more striking resemblance than the Olsen twins. Your house
and body are both important investments. They both provide shelter to invaluable
personal property. And they're both places you want to protect with all your
power. That's the big picture. But if we explore the comparison even more -- and
we will throughout this book -- you'll understand the relationship even better.
Your bones are the two-by-fours that support and protect the inner structure of
your home; your eyes are the windows; your lungs are the ventilation ducts; your
brain is the fuse box; your intestines are the plumbing system; your mouth is
the food processor; your heart is the water main; your hair is the lawn (some of
us have more grass than others); and your fat is all the unnecessary junk you've
stored in the attic that your spouse has been nagging you to get rid of. If you
can get past the fact that your forehead doesn't have a street number and that a
two-story brick Colonial doesn't look all that good in a bathing suit, the
similarities are remarkable -- so remarkable, in fact, that we believe you can
learn about how your body works by thinking about how your house does.

Saturday, September 17, 2005

Lies my teacher told me

Alright, so maybe my teacher didn't exactly tell me all of these (I wasn't raised in the States), but this book is chalk-full of interesting "Lies" that are taught in American text books. While I cannot confirm that the books mentioned are being used in American schools, I can say this; if they are, god help the poor buggers.

Canadian texts are not always right, but they sure do go out of their way to show many sides of the same picture (well, at least from what I can remember. I'll have to glance at some when I go home next time). here is an excerpt from the book to tweak your interest.

Teachers have held up Helen Keller, the blind and deaf girl who overcame her physical handicaps, as an inspiration to generations of schoolchildren. Every fifth-grader knows the scene in which Anne Sullivan spells water into young Helen's hand at the pump. At least a dozen movies and filmstrips have been made on Keller's life. Each yields its version of the same clichE. A McGraw-Hill educational film concludes: "The gift of Helen Keller and Anne Sullivan to the world is to constantly remind us of the wonder of the world around us and how much we owe those who taught us what it means, for there is no person that is unworthy or incapable of being helped, and the greatest service any person can make us is to help another reach true potential."

To draw such a bland maxim from the life of Helen Keller, historians and filmmakers have disregarded her actual biography and left out the lessons she specifically asked us to learn from it. Keller, who struggled so valiantly to learn to speak, has been made mute by history. The result is that we really don't know much about her.

Over the past ten years, I have asked dozens of college students who Helen Keller was and what she did. They all know that she was a blind and deaf girl. Most of them know that she was befriended by a teacher, Anne Sullivan, and learned to read and write and even to speak. Some students can recall rather minute details of Keller's early life: that she lived in Alabama, that she was unruly and without manners before Sullivan came along, and so forth. A few know that Keller graduated from college. But about what happened next, about the whole of her adult life, they are ignorant. A few students venture that Keller became a "public figure" or a "humanitarian," perhaps on behalf of the blind or deaf. "She wrote, didn't she?" or "she spoke" — conjectures without content. Keller, who was born in 1880, graduated from Radcliffe in 1904 and died in 1968. To ignore the sixty-four years of her adult life or to encapsulate them with the single word humanitarian is to lie by omission.

The truth is that Helen Keller was a radical socialist. She joined the Socialist party of Massachusetts in 1909. She had become a social radical even before she graduated from Radcliffe, and not, she emphasized, because of any teachings available there. After the Russian Revolution, she sang the praises of the new communist nation: "In the East a new star is risen! With pain and anguish the old order has given birth to the new, and behold in the East a man-child is born! Onward, comrades, all together! Onward to the campfires of Russia! Onward to the coming dawn!" Keller hung a red flag over the desk in her study. Gradually she moved to the left of the Socialist party and became a Wobbly, a member of the Industrial Workers of the World (IWW), the syndicalist union persecuted by Woodrow Wilson.

Friday, September 16, 2005

The Island

I have been quite busy of late and haven't really had a chance to post but I wanted to mention a movie I saw a few weeks back.

The Island was quite impressive, and while I didn't see it on the big screen, it still got me jumpin' at times.

Watch it.

Sunday, September 04, 2005

Dan Dufresne: 2005 Mr Canada !!

Well I just got word that my good friend has won the Canadians!! I can't express how happy I am. I've known dan for about 10 years now and trained with him for quite some time. I always enjoyed him as a training partner and repected him even more as a friend.

I remember first hearing about him from another training partner (darrell). Hearing that he was such a big monster and all (remember, he was only about 17 at the time) I have to say I was a little dissapointed when I first me him. He didn't have the arms or chest by which (at the time) I judged all great bodybuilder (lol). He did have the best set of legs around (other than Tom Platz) and a great training spirit.

After training together for a few years we became really good friends. He is like that mellow brother I never had. I've been frustrated with his "lack of a win" at the Canadas over the past few years and was hoping for the best this year.

Way to go Dan, I wish I could have been there man.


Friday, September 02, 2005

The Fish Man

For those of you who have known me for some time, you know that i'm quite fond of fish. I enjoy eating them AND I enjoy keeping them as pets. I always enjoyed seeing my own little world in front of me. An ecosystem that was reliant on me to manage (to an extent). I also enjoyed collecting some odd creatures. So far in Korea, I haven't bent to temptation yet and bought an aquarium. Maybe I'll get one in the new apartment.
Until then I am forced to occasionally go to the COEX Aquarium (a mall) to get my fix. It's expensive and after the first time, not really all the exciting.

Tuesday, August 30, 2005

On Writing Well

Well I am still doing quite well in my "one book a week" quest. Even though I rarely hit the target, it's good to push myself towards some type of goal.

Some books feel like a push. Sometimes I really have to struggle through them. On Writing Well by William Zinsser is not one of those difficult to read books.

As someone who barely remembers high school English class and who (obvious by this blog) really needs practice in writing, this book is a godsend. I actually borrowed this copy from a good friend but after I return it I'll be sure to pick up another for myself.

Fighting clutter is like fighting weedsThe writer is always slightly behind. New varieties sprout overnight, and by noon they are part of American speech. John Dean holds the record. In just one day of testimony on TV during the Watergate hearings he raised the clutter quotient by 400 percent. The next day everyone in America was saying "at this point in time" instead of "now."

Consider all the prepositions that are routinely draped onto verbs that don't need any help. Head up. Free up. Face up to. We no longer head committees. We head them up. We don't face problems anymore. We face up to them when we can free up a few minutes. A small detail, you may say is not worth bothering about. It is worth bothering about. The game is won or lost on hundreds of small details. Writing improves in direct ratio to the number of things we can keep out of it that shouldn't be there. "Up" in "free up" shouldn't be there. Can we picture anything being freed up? The writer of clean English must examine every word that he puts on paper. He will find a surprising number that don't serve any purpose.

Clutter is the laborious phrase which has pushed out the short word that means the same thing. These locutions are a drag on energy and momentum. Even before John Dean gave us "at this point in time," people had stopped saying "now." They were saying "at the present time," or "currently," or "presently" (which means "soon"). Yet the idea can always be expressed by "now" to mean the immediate moment ("Now I can see him"), or by "today" to mean the historical present ("Today prices are high"), or simply by the verb "to be" ("It is raining"). There is no need to say, "At the present time we are experiencing precipitation."

Speaking of which, we are experiencing considerable difficulty getting that word out of the language now that it has lumbered in. Even your dentist will ask if you are experiencing any pain. If he were asking one of his own children he would say, "Does it hurt?" He would, in short, be himself. By using a more pompous phrase in his professional role he not only sounds more important; he blunts the painful edge of truth. It is the language of the airline stewardess demonstrating the oxygen mask that will drop down if the plane should somehow run out of air. "In the extremely unlikely possibility that the aircraft should experience such an eventuality," she begins a phrase so oxygen-depriving in itself that we are prepared for any disaster, and even gasping death shall lose its sting. As for her request to "kindly extinguish all smoking materials," I often wonder what materials are smoking. Maybe she thinks my coat and tie are on fire.

Saturday, August 27, 2005

Where in the world is Moonie II

Well, my wife has once again gotten wise and decided to take a break from me. Luckily, her work pays for these international jaunts and this time she has landed herself in Florida.

I have never been there but I'm envious anyways. The clear skies, cool amusement parks, and North American shopping is quite the draw for us.

Now if only she could avoid those pesky storms.

Monday, August 22, 2005

Animated GIFs

Well, not only have I been playing around with transparent images (which really don't look all that special on this Blogs format), but now I've found my way into (minor) animation.

Here is some "sig" work.

Tuesday, August 16, 2005

10 Day MBA

Well I am still trying to keep with the "a book a week" thing. I know it's been over a week since i last posted a book, but honestly, the "week" thing is subjective. Kinda like when God created so and so in 7 days. personally, it's all a matter of perspective.

Anyways, my most recent book was "THE 10 DAY MBA" (must be said in CAPS I suppose).
I am not really going to write much about it other than... it was ok.

I read it, not because I'm interested in getting my MB, but more because I wanted to enlarge my Biz-speak. Instead, I think I bored myself out of the business. It's not a bad book, it is just something I'm not focused on right now.

I may have to pick it up for a second read at a later date.

Friday, August 12, 2005

Wedding pics: A long time comin'


Well we finally got around to developing some wedding pictures. Take it from me, if you ever get married, get the pictures "done and sent off to the relatives" ASAP. Ifyou don't, then you'll be like me doing it 14 months after the fact.

Here is a cool picture of us walking through the garden behind the place we got married. It's actually one of my favorites.

Here is another one, same garden, but more wrinkles. I swear that the photographer was trying to make ME look bad and Joo look good. He kept yelling at me in Konglish "SMILE!"

I think I might have to photoshop my face a bit here. ;)

And of course, here is another lovely shot of my Moonie.

For some funny reason, she had tons of shots of her "solo" but not one single cool shot of me.


And this is the last one for today. I really liked the lighting here. Not the cleanest shot but I think it'd look nice blown up and in a frame.

Wednesday, August 10, 2005

Mr. Schwarzenegger

Well, it seems that my favorite body builder/ movie star/ real estate mogul/ Governor has been having a tough time in the mean streets of Cali.

From what I understand (and that is very little), the state was operating at a huge deficit and was leaking money from all points. Arnold came in and approached it like a businessman would; he attempted to trim the fat.

Unfortunately, "the fat" in business often refers to "the essentials" in the community. Health care, police, fire, education, ect... They all are usually the first to fall (in hopes of brining some of the bureaucracy down with em').

Ralph Klein did the same thing in Alberta and was heavily criticized for it. The truth can only be told in long term figures such as quality of said services over a range of say 20 years. What does become immediately evident (if it is left to run it's course) is the economic benefits. Being from Alberta one knows right away to brag about the economy. While other issues must be included, it always feels nice to know that there are tons of jobs around.

So, I guess Californians need to ask themselves; do they want jobs or services?

Even the BBC picked this one up.

"We have tough choices ahead. The first choice that we must make is the one that will determine our success. Shall we rebuild our state together or shall we fight amongst ourselves, create even deeper division and fail the people of California?

"Well, let me tell you something, the answer is clear. For the people to win, politics as usual must lose."

Inclination to re-elect Schwarzenegger among registered voters
February 2005: 56%
June 2005: 39%
Source: The Field Poll

Thursday, August 04, 2005

Mother Tongue

Well, in keeping with me posting about books I've read, here is another. Actually "another" by Bill Bryson. I think it may be his easy to read style and my "lazy when reading" style that attracts me so.

Anyways, Mother Tongue is a decent read about the origins and growth of the English language. Although not my specialty (shhhhh, don't tell my students), it was still very informative.

here is an excerpt:

Words change by doing nothing. That is, the word stays the same but the meaning changes. Surprisingly often the meaning becomes its opposite or something very like it. Counterfeit once meant a legitimate copy. Brave once implied cowardice -- as indeed bravado still does. (Both come from the same source as depraved.) Crafty, not a disparaging term, originally was a word of praise, while enthusiasm, which is now a word of praise, was once a term of mild abuse. Zeal has lost its original pejorative sense, but zealot curiously has not. Garble once meant to sort out, not to mix up. A harlot was once a boy, and a girl in Chaucer's day was any young person, whether male or female. Manufacture, from the Latin root for hand, once signified something made by hand; it now means virtually the opposite. Politician was originally a sinister word (perhaps, on second thoughts, it still is), while obsequious and notorious simply meant flexible and famous. Simeon Potter notes that when James II first saw St Paul's Cathedral he called it amusing, awful and artificial, and meant that it was pleasing to look at, deserving of awe, and full of skillful artifice.

Interesting stuff, no?

Tuesday, August 02, 2005

Joo is back!

I am finally back from Hanoi.... I came back from hot weather, only to land in even more hot weather.... how lucky I am:)

I wanted to show a Vietnamese rainbow to Eddie.... because even I haven't seen one for a long time. I hope you guys like this one.

Before the rainbow, it rained soooooo much. The car I was in could barely move. Check out this photo I took while driving to a factory.