February 2006 Archives

February 28, 2006

I may post some things

I may post some things today, but otherwise posting on leftsider will cease for a bit as the exodus begins.

Time to actually start packing; we head to Seoul on friday. Then we'll be traveling in Japan four a few days, arriving in the States next thursday. Once we're there, however, I'll be making lots of trips to finalize our housing (and turn on the internet!), prepare for my job, and just send out a general "we're back!" So let's just say I should be back in the groove by mid-march.

Consider any posts before then an unexpected treat and a sign of my love and dedication to you. Or, proof of my internet addiction. heh. In the mean time, keep an eye on my Flickr account for the early jump on travelling pics.

February 26, 2006

Lately I've found myself having

Lately I've found myself having a small knot of anxiety, coming from one of the strangest of ideas. With our impending departure from Korea imminent, I find myself unexpectedly nervous about not seeing korean. Right now I'm looking out the window of an office in Busan, and on the signs, the advertisments, the businesses and apartments there is one concurrent theme: hangul.

It's become a bit of a habit to look at storefront signs and billboards-- even commercial vehicles--to see if I can decipher what it says; is there Konglish? is there a new vocabulary word hidden in the content? So many insights and amusements can be found by just looking around Korea. And I feel that those things, without exception, won't be there for me in the US. And that makes me a little sad.

Just another reason why I'm just not ready to go.

February 24, 2006

Asus dreams up modular

Warning, this is a reactionary

Warning, this is a reactionary post.

The problem with being a lover of knowledge is that, as some point, you start to share it. It's actually quite noble and upstanding to share what you've gained, but ultimately people start to become ungrateful. In fact, they come to expect it. This is, without exception, rude.

Recently, people have looked to me for answers without a thread of appreciation. Especially in the area of computers, some people have become impatient and even belligerent as I assist them with THEIR problems, which of are no fault of my own. When I give tech support to a person on an OS I don't use (which means I'm following steps from memory ALONE) and give them multiple solutions which they can't seem to grasp I fail to see how I can be any less at fault. Yet it seems that people are getting more and more demanding of the free service they receive from leftsider.

Yesterday someone who consulted me on buying a mac left an IM message that read: "My powerbook has been at the Apple store for 20 days! APPLE SUCKS!" I can't help but feel a definite LACK of pity for this person. It's a rare day in Daegu when I turn my computer over to anyone else for any type of support. I feel that part of the reasons my computers always do well for me is that I've taken the time to watch them, fix them, listen to them. It's nothing so deep as inanimate objects having spirits or anything, more like a good mechanic knowing his car's needs from the way it sounds. Total understanding eliminates problems.

Moreover, there's a TON of information out there that can be useful. And scads of DIY tutorials and walkthroughs that can further enable you. But I guess it's easier to just bite the hand that feeds. I guess I understand now the woes of customer support reps.

If you happen to be assisted by anyone for any matter, please remember that they are doing you a favor and show them the appropriate amount of appreciation. It really goes a long way.

AOL News - West Wing

AOL News - West Wing Blues: It's Lonely at the Top

All told, almost half of American presidents from 1789 to 1974 had suffered from a mental illness at some point in life, according to a recent analysis of biographical sources by psychiatrists at Duke University Medical Center.

February 23, 2006

Wired News: The planet's population

Wired News:

The planet's population is projected to reach 6.5 billion at 7:16 p.m. EST Saturday, according to the U.S. Census Bureau and its World Population Clock.

New Scientist Quantum computer works

Thieves Lift Huge Sum From

Thieves Lift Huge Sum From British Cash Depot

The Times newspaper, on its Web site, quoted an anonymous government source as saying that officials feared the total loss could be as much as 40 million pounds -- about $69.7 million. If true, it would surpass the Northern Bank robbery as Britain's largest.

A heaven with no

A heaven with no sex could give us pause

To many Americans, eyebrows raise at the very idea of suicide bombers believing their heavenly reward will include sex with beautiful virgins. But aren't the 75 percent of Americans who believe in an afterlife concerned that there might not be any sex in their heaven?

Apple - Support - Discussions

Apple - Support - Discussions - iTunes support for foriegn character ...

This is my question...does any one know? really? I'm completely lost on this one--and that's significant.

Story of Vaseline Vaseline’s first

Story of Vaseline

Vaseline’s first major success came as medicine, which is ironic because later it was proved to have no curative power whatsoever—the only advantage to its use was the fact it kept grime and bacteria out of the injuries.

Who says you need to

Who says you need to be original to make something great?

The new design is almost 100% unoriginal. Backround image stolen from Janesdead, to mimic Maniacalrage. Content and css culled in tribute to Emily Chang. And I'm happy with it. Any usability issues? Comments? Questions? Criticisms? Let me know.

February 22, 2006

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the hush, originally uploaded by Janesdead.

A couple weeks ago I

A couple weeks ago I went to the bookstore with a friend and ended up buying a book that looks pretty interesting. Learn Hanja the Fun Way takes an interesting approach to learning the Hanja (Chinese characters) upon which 70% of korean vocabulary is based. Probably not the best place to start your korean study, but definitely good if you're looking for stronger grasp on vocab and/or branching to japanese or chinese later.

I personally was sold on it because it was written by someone born and raised attended 경북대 right here in Daegu, but it seems that it has gotten favorable reviews.

The Huge Entity: Reasons Why

February 21, 2006

#1 Song on This Date

#1 Song on This Date in History

On the day I was born, the number one song was... "I Will Survive" by Gloria Gaynor. :)

How to Go from Xbox

lost camera: camera unlost, but

lost camera: camera unlost, but not quite found.

Yet another reason why I'm having reservations about my re-entry into north american culture. What kind of loser would do this?
Page has been getting a lot of publicity around the blogosphere, so I'd be surprised if the people aren't eventually shamed into doing the right thing.

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look girl 'pen', originally uploaded by **sirop.

February 20, 2006

Washington Post: For Elderly in

MIT OpenCourseWare | OCW Home

MIT OpenCourseWare | OCW Home

a free and open educational resource for faculty, students, and self-learners around the world. OCW supports MIT's mission to advance knowledge and education, and serve the world in the 21st century. It is true to MIT's values of excellence, innovation, and leadership.

February 18, 2006

Child's Play from 1UP.com Man,

Child's Play from 1UP.com

Man, if the kids I met were this funny, I'd like kids a lot more. It's interesting to note that their opinions really reflected thought, rather than the short attention span and impatience that I usually associate with kids that age.

Mind Hacks: Erasing the need

February 15, 2006

Koreans...Just like Fam, Man!

Since I've been recently shown some blog love by none other than Mr. TAN himself, I've decided to pull out one that I've been sitting on for a while. About a month ago, over some trivial and triffling thing, I whimsically uttered, "Just like black people." The problem is, I wasn't talking about blacks; I was talking about Koreans.

Immediately my wife and my friend Robert questioned me about my rationale. We all live in Korea, and it's nothing at all like being at home. But being one who refuses to back down easily, I argued my case--much to their amusement. And so, today, I present to you a few things that Koreans and black Americans seem to share.

  1. Things. Haha I know that's painfully faceless, but work with me. As I study Korean and Korean culture, I'm always encountering people who write things off as only understood by Koreans. It's kinda ridiculous when you spend most of your day looking at Korean customs and traditions--of course you know about it, then--but someone will insist: "It's just a part of our culture; it won't make sense but that's how it is." So reminiscent of "It's a black thing; you wouldn't understand."
  2. Home Cooking. Somewhat related to the first, Koreans are especially fond of traditional meals. Come to Korea, and someone will shortly invite you to a traditional meal--just like mom used to make. Problem is, most of the time it'll be to a restaurant; these home cooked meals are becoming more and more of a rarity in modern living. I grew up in a more rural area, so I've had my share of down home cookin'. And we love to reminisce of its virtues, swearing it the best, illogically healthy, and even a source of strength and virility. Yeah; it's just like that here in Korea.
  3. Percussional Proclivity. Parade? Holiday? Traditional celebration? Bring out the drums. Jumping around and dancin' the fool to nothing but drums and cymbals once meant that I was attending a HBCU competition. Today it means some Korean is keeping it real. Oratorical history is usually perfomed with a drum as well.
  4. Hustlin'. This was the original point of contention. To be more polite to both sides, I will formally call it "entrepreneurial creativity and unconventional resourcefulness." From getting things done cheap to making a profit where there is none, both black Americans and Koreans can be matchless geniuses. Can be; doesn't mean they always are.
  5. Pride. When it comes down to it, no one loves you more than you love yourself. Both Koreans and black Americans know this all to well. Forced servitude and the general "raw deal" are in both histories. So is emancipation and revitalization. Now, it seems, we both spend a lot of our time validating ourselves to the world at large.

Ok so there are a few. Hope this is helpful to you, though I can imagine how. Maybe it can be a bridge between black and korean americans? No....Jodi says koreans and gyopos are too different. Hmm. Maybe the secret for Ward Hines' success? Maybe not. If you do find it useful, kindly let me know. See any points I missed? Share them, would you?

MoCo Loco: 25 Houses Under

MoCo Loco: 25 Houses Under 3000 Square Feet

Another great coffee table accessory......*hint*

The Asia Pages: Finding Love

The Asia Pages: Finding Love in Arranged Marriages

"In America, you fall in love first and then marry. But in our country, you marry first and then fall in love."

February 13, 2006

Can someone explain the pratical

Can someone explain the pratical usage of SubEthaEdit to me? It's always being talked about, but I don't really get it.

If Apple's Working on a

What Carried the Girls Away

February 12, 2006

The Halifax Disaster" href="http://www.damninteresting.com/?p=389#more-389">Damn

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Split Peas & Mais, originally uploaded by More Altitude.

A gentle reminder that much of black history....isn't actually history yet. Still a lot of hunger, starvation, oppression, miseducation, forced servitude and violence.

If you don't agree, is 2006 the year that black history o0fficially stops at the slave boats? That's ok with me......Kanye and I are ready to fill in any void that is left by the schism.

The Assimilated Negro: Black History

The Assimilated Negro: Black History Month: An Objective Perspective

Ah, February. My favorite month of dread. The time of year when most of the superficially minded nation to which I pledge allegiance spend four weeks talking about what old, and often dead, black americans did for the US. A time for people to remember, "Oh yeah! You're not just my friend and a cool guy, but you're black too! WOW!!!" A time for tributes.....from McDonalds.

Without going into why this pomp and circumstance has no greater tangible relevancy that of valentine's day, let me tell you that I'm not a big fan (note, that does not make me a hater, Kim). Despite living, eating, and breathing this stuff as a child, I think I've had my media full.

Thankfully TAN has brought some joy to my black history month with his perspective. For the first time in a while (which I've been meaning to complain about, TAN) the assimilated negro makes me laugh and remember that it's genius like this that makes us worthy participants in a global community.

Sex addict Kanye struggles with

Sex addict Kanye struggles with monogamy - Yahoo! News UK


I know this post is totally out of character for me, but man....hahahaha...I can't stop laughing. The clincher is the last quote:

"Those addictions and afflictions are what make me a great artist. My biggest problem is lust, looking at girls with big booties."


eHomeUpgrade | Could the

eHomeUpgrade | Could the Playstation 3 Kill Sony?

Now that Korea has all but irradicated my sony lust, it's not hard to see the perspective of this article. I hope Sony has something special up its sleeve, because each day brings me closer and closer to an Xbox360 and a Nintendo DS.

Convert your Pocket PC into

Convert your Pocket PC into an iPod in seven easy steps

(A) Hammer
(B) Large-tip permanent marker, black
(C) 1 Steel-toed boot
(D) Lighter fluid
(E)1 match
(F) Fire extinguisher
(G) 1 can spray paint, white

Hahaha. Cute. I never did understand why some people haven't taken better advantage of what's available. I've got WiFi, Bluetooth, TWO media players, an e-book reader and an organizer all in one--with swappable media. Nice try, ipod.

For the last 45 minutes

For the last 45 minutes or so, Frulwinn has been sitting next to me thinking up ideas for her resume re-design. She's been playing around with a lowercase, serifed, italicized "f" as a logo and theme for the project.

Everything she has come up with is pure genius. Sofar, I've seen about five progessing versions that I would have totally stopped and worked with. Yet she keeps going. And it keeps getting better. Occasionally she'll reference the Illustrator helpfile or an online tutorial for information on doing a certain technique, but the idea is all hers, and she just keeps going.

People with talent disgust me, a no-talent hack.

The case of the plane

The case of the plane and conveyor belt (kottke.org)

Great little mind puzzle here....initially I immediately said yes, but now that I start thinking about wind and lift....I'm not so sure?

Somehow Kottke missed his way back onto my reader, so apologies for not sharing more of his fine hypertext products with you recently.

BBC NEWS | World |

BBC NEWS | World | Middle East | Pharaonic tomb find stuns Egypt

Archaeologists have discovered an intact, ancient Egyptian tomb in the Valley of the Kings, the first since King Tutankhamun's was found in 1922.

February 9, 2006

So I guess this post

So I guess this post is long overdue.

Fru and I are going back to the US in March. We'll say goodbye to Korea on March 4, spend a few days in Japan, then arrive in the states on the 8th. Our time living in Asia will, at that point, have ended.

I know that it's a necessary move. Frulwinn is tired of teaching English; I need to return to employia and continue my academic pursuits. It has always been an element of the plan; so why do I feel reservation about it?

Initially, I assumed it was because of a socio-cultural void. Everyone and everything we've experience in the last year will be unknown, and everything in that same period that has happened stateside for our families, friends, and communities doesn't exist to us. People have children that didn't exist before. People who I know are now dead--so many, in fact, that I'm not sure I remember everyone who has died. No concept of superbowls or judge confirmations. And no one there has perspective on APEC, Hwang Woo-suk, Yaksuni, or X-맨. For the first time, I get a more realistic idea of what it'd actually be like for a person to step in and out of an alternate dimension (like all those X-men comic books I read as a youth).

But, more recently, I've started to realize an even deeper tie. When Fru and I return, we'll be leaving a place that we lived for 14 months. Not that long. I lived with Joey in Silver Spring, however, for only 16 months. That experience impacted me in many ways that I'm likely to never forget it. In the same way, the things that I left and was separated from, the things which I may never see or experience again, and everything else hangs right here in Daegu. Sits and watches me pack up and leave.

Daegu has become as much of a home as any other place I've lived in. So naturally when I leave my home, my friends, my special places and my familiarities behind....well, I lose quite a bit. This doesn't change just because I'm moving back to something more familiar.

So...time keeps going faster and I'm procrastinating again--my trivial hope that if I accomplish nothing, nothing will change. But they will.

I'm preparing to say goodbye, Daegu. Please be gentle; breaking up is hard to do.

February 8, 2006

MoCo Loco: Blossom "new interpretation

MoCo Loco: Blossom

"new interpretation of a canopied bed" made for loft spaces. The canopy unit includes not only the bed but a toilet, shower and sink in one piece. The shower and toilet are accessed via glass doors on the sides and the sink/vanity are on the back.

Harlem Renaissance - New York

February 7, 2006

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Sunset Twister, originally uploaded by webbfeat.

Nothing even remotely like this happens in Korea.

Bits & Pieces: Doctors embarrassing

Canada Thriving as New Leader

Canada Thriving as New Leader Steps In

Canadians see the United States as consumed with war, weighed down with massive and growing national debt and divided by intolerance. Recent polls have shown deep antipathy among Canadians toward the Bush administration and general anti-Americanism.

BBC NEWS | World |

BBC NEWS | World | Americas | Chile gets first woman president

A doctor and a single mother, Ms Bachelet was seen as an unusual choice for the presidency in a country considered one of the most socially conservative in South America.

BBC NEWS | Americas |

BBC NEWS | Americas | Costa Rica vote too close to call

With one of the closest finishes in the country's history, officials said the result would hang on a manual recount.

My current obsession If I

My current obsession

If I can't get that.....maybe I'll go for this??? Something's gotta work in the US....

The World In 2005 |

The World In 2005 | The worlds best country

Singapore (my new "it" country) beat the United States in this ranking of the world's best. It just missed the top 10. South Korea was way down at position 30....but actually beat Costa Rica(35). What is that??? Mexico and Chile did as well. Hmm.

Anyway, as I haven't spent extended time in Europe, I'm interested in finding out what's so nice about Ireland. Switzerland, sure; but Ireland? Go fig. I guess I'll never know until I visit...

February 4, 2006

INSIDE JoongAng Daily: No polish

February 3, 2006

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look girl 'a new spring footstep', originally uploaded by **sirop.

Bitterly cold today. A high of -4 Celsius??? Had to cut our day tour of 경주(gyeong-ju) short; nobody wants to be out in that kind of weather. All you people in weather that's much colder.....I don't want to hear how mild that is. I hate cold almost as much as this guy.

BTW this is not my picture, and it is not Korea. This is in Japan.

Just this week ----------- germanboy:

Just this week
germanboy: ok well I guess there are a few things I still need to figure out
leftsider: you just need to get some basic tips and tricks
leftsider: yeah
germanboy: Enjoy lunch
leftsider: ok man
leftsider: thanks!
leftsider: I'm hungry. :D
germanboy: Yeah but there is no one here to do that
germanboy: with
germanboy: Oh well, with time I guess
leftsider: there's the internet
leftsider: who do you think I talk to?????
leftsider: dork
germanboy: Yeah I know , it's frustrating siffing through all the junk though
leftsider: oh thanks
leftsider: so I'm your trashman
leftsider: :P

For all those messages I get week after week, finally, I'll post an answer to one of the many questions that I know but have to look up for others (like GERMANBOY).

"How do I change file icons and the default application on my Mac?" from the Ask Dave Taylor! Tech Support Blog

February 1, 2006

So there's this "Four Things"

So there's this "Four Things" meme going around and it's really pissing me off.

"Why?" you may ask. Well, for various reasons. The first and initial reason is that I dislike having to read through all that mess, and then after you're done you have to clear the last person's answers and fill the dumb thing out. This was old back when I used to get them every week (weak!) when I was using Hotmail. It's mad old now.

But then, all the cool kids are doing it in spades. Big names; hotshots. So I desperately want to do it to associate with greatness. But to truly use the meme correctly it must be passed to you.....and who's going to pass to me? Ed? Yeah, ok.

Once I realize the futility of ever being a part of this wildly popular meme that I will grumble about doing, I realize that I'd be a dead end anyway. Who to pass to? Fru? Kim? it's depressing.

So there. That's why I'm peeved. I'm going to mope now.

Mnemonics and Mnemonic Techniques from

Sex, boys and video games

Sex, boys and video games - Los Angeles Times

Note to self: Read Joel Stein's columns. I don't know who this guy is, but between this article and the previous one in which he announces his lack of support for troops, he's a very popular guy now. Or infamous; take your pick.

BTW, I've been saying what he is for quite some time now.

Guardian Unlimited Travel | News

Guardian Unlimited Travel | News | Sayonara, Tokyo. Oslo ends city's 14-year run as world's most expensive place

There's only a few places here that are on my interest list....but perhaps it's outdated. Revision time!

New America Media - New

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shop / shirts, originally uploaded by hinke.

Bought a new shirt yesterday, and Fru bought a new shirt for me last week. I'm definitely going to miss the styles I find here in Korea....and I wonder if I've adopted enough to make be look peculiar when I return. Hmm.

BTW, this isn't my picture, and I didn't shop here. This shirt store is in Amsterdam, apparently.

7 myths about the Challenger

MoCo Loco: Tea for Two

we make money not art:

we make money not art: Nam June Paik

I've yet to see if the Korean media have covered this artist's death.

BBC NEWS: What the World

Wired News: Nostalgia for Mud

Janet Reno sings Respect -

Packed Trains over the Holiday

Packed Trains over the Holiday Leads to Tussle on KTX

Ha. I can't believe this made the news....especially the english side. This happens once a week on DC metro trains. Hohum.

EducationGuardian.co.uk | eG weekly |