Monday, April 30, 2007

Pledge Danger

I pulled out a folding table this weekend, in order to work on a laptop computer. Since the table had been stored under the sofa for awhile, it was a little dusty. I pulled out a can of Pledge and proceeded to dust the table top. It worked quite well, and the surface was very clean and shiny. However, there was some overspray from the Pledge can onto the floor, and CH and I have nearly killed ourselves today when walking near this table. In fact, I came home from dinner and went to open the window, and nearly busted my head on the floor it was so slippery.

Also, my fridge broke today. It has a small door for access to a small drink compartment, adnd the latch broke. We called the repairman, but they have to order a whole new door, which won't arrive until Thursday. So for now, it is taped shut.


The Stumbling Girls went along with me on one of my Hawaii business trips. Even though I am so bored visiting Hawaii after so many times, they really enjoyed it. Especially the beach and swimming pool.

One highlight of the trip was a Hawaiian Luau. Neither I nor the girls have ever been to one of these before, so we decided to go one night. There was a delicious buffet with lots of Hawaiian food, free drinks, and lots of Hawaiian dancing and singing entertainment.

I also bought a charcoal grill this trip, and some of my work buddies and I used it to grill some great meats.

Finally, I ran across this sign: Aren't ALL manholes "confined spaces"?

Friday, April 20, 2007

Wrap Up

The Stumbling girls visit wrapped up this week. First we went to visit my friends WJ and HJ, who recently had their first baby SS:

From left to right, that is HJ, WJ, and SS. Fortunately SS looks like HJ and not WJ! We went out to dinner after meeting the baby, and at some delicions Shaboo-shaboo (it is very thinly sliced beef which you boil in a boiling pot of thin broth with vegetables). The best part for me, as always, was when the meat was finished and they made a noodle soup (kal-guk-soo) in the left over broth. I requested extra garlic and red pepper, and it was so delicious!

Young Stumbler #4 made me a lion and a sheep this week. They can be used to hold small note papers. Also this week, the Stumbling girls really wanted to go visit one of the factories where we do some of our production work. I brought them along, and they had in interesting experience. Mrs. Stumbler was a little bored, I think, but YS#4 had a great time with all the factory ladies. Whenever they were on break, she could be seen surrounded by the ladies all talking and laughing. Here she is posing with a small shipment we had just completed.

Yesterday we left Korea for Hawaii, and had an uneventful if long trip. It was pleasant flight, and we were able to take the non-stop flight from Seoul to Honolulu. One week here in paradise, then back to Seoul for The Stumbler.

Knead Dough?

I've been buying a bread at the local bakery for awhile now, its name is "56h". Previously, I understood this meant the bread was fresh for 56 hours. This past week, when shopping for the bread, I happened to study closely the label. What I read completely confounded me. I must say "Konglish Alert", or, perhaps, since this is the "Paris Baguette", can we say "Konch Alert"? (if Korean + English = Konglish, does Korean + French = Konch?)

Sorry for the bad photo - it was almost impossible to get a good shot of this text because of the colors. Here is what it says:

It kneads a dough with the boiling water high temperature and hour from low temperature and maturing 56 a natural taste deeply and it saves with chewy it is soft there is the recording wall hundred which it will chew it does and a possibility of feeling simultaneously with the bread. The flavor there a possibility of seeing and it is a bread.

I really want to visit the "recoding wall hundred" which can chew!

Monday, April 16, 2007

Chili Friend

This week Mrs. Stumbler prepared some American style chili stew for our Korean friends CH and HS (their baby ES did not eat any). It was a success, I must say. HS and I ate two full bowls each, not to mention rice, salad, and bread. We topped off the evening with a peanut butter pie which Mrs. Stumbler made, and also introduced them a fun-packed game of Yahtzee. Here are all the girls before dinner:

Unfortunately, I was too busy eating to take a photo of the chili. But there is some left over in the freezer; when I thaw it out to eat next time I'll post a photo of it. Speaking of food, Mrs. Stumbler has taken most excellent care of my food needs this trip. First of all, she found some great bags of frozen meats at the Costco that I can store in my freezer and eat as needed. For example, I now have one bag of frozen Salmon steaks, and another bag of frozen chicken breasts. Until now, I have only been able to find fresh meats like this, and was too lazy to freeze them myself. We have eaten similar food in the USA from Costo or Sam's Club, and they really are good.

Seconly, Mrs. Stumbler brought a few key indgredients from home to cook a few delicious American meals. The first one was enchilada casserole. That one was real tasty, and lit our tongues on fire because of the spicy peppers she found in my refrigerator to use! That dish was so popular there was none to freeze. But when she made the chili, I have one huge pot full that is now in the freezer. And tonight, we had a variation on normal chili stew, "white chicken chili". It, too, was delicious and spicy, again thanks to this jar of peppers. Now I have one more huge pot of chili in the freezer. I will be well stocked for food now, whenever I have a craving for a western meal.

During their visit, Mrs. Stumbler has introduced me to the English-language church service right across the sidewalk from my apartment building. This Sunday, as usual, YS#4 was running way ahead of us as we walked to church. When we entered the building, YS#4 had already made a new friend! HR is about 6 months younger the YS#4, and they hit it off immediately. Sunday afternoon they sat in church together, went to Sunday School together, then after went to lunch and played together all afternoon! Today HR and her mother came over this afternoon so the girls could play together again. They have exchanged email addresses, and promise to keep in touch. HR speaks english very well, and the two girls don't seem to have any trouble communicating.

To The Zoo

On Tuesday, we decided to go on an outing to the Seoul Grand Park. This is a huge complex boasting a zoo, a technology museum, an art museum, and an amusement park. CH was very kind to drive us to the park, whereupon it immediately began to rain. After scrambling for two umbrellas, we began touring the zoo. Within 10 minutes of buying overpriced umbrellas, naturally the rain stopped, and we had to carry them around with us the rest of the afternoon.

Here are some of the more interesting animals we saw.

Near the end of our visit, Young Stumbler #4 wanted to take the Sky Lift back to the exit. The Stumbler has never been a big fan of Sky Lifts, and this time was no exception:

But as you can see from the big smile, YS#4 enjoyed it very much:

When the day was over, we took the subway back home. It was rush hour time, and there were no seats. We had to stand up for over an hour on the subway, along with two transfers! Everyone was bushed when we got home. I think that was the night we decided not to cook dinner, nor go out for dinner. Instead I called the pizza ship across the street and ordered delivery.

Sunday, April 08, 2007

Costco Caper

We went on a little adventure yesterday. Took the subway to the Yeongdeungpo-gu Office Station and walked a short way to the Yangpyeong Costco store. There were a lot of cool things, most of them packaged too big for The Stumbler's small apartment. However, this place turns out to be a great source for cheese!! If only for cheese, I will be returning to this place in the future. They also had a cheap snack bar, similar to our Costco store in the USA.

(I had a hard time finding directions on the web - the Costco site assumes you are coming by car. For anyone interested, take the #3 exit from the station, turn left, and proceed west about 5 minutes walk. We actually turned 180 degrees from the exit and then went right, but I think any of those west-bound streets will get you there. It is a big red building, kind of hard to miss, just past a big green net covered golfing practice building. The household goods are on the first floor, and if you search hard near the entrance, you will find the ramp to the B1 level where the food is. Beware - the Korean shoppers were much more eager to eat the free food samples compared to the USA).

I have a short history of exchanging illuminated sporting items with The Stumbling Brother. After he began the trend by giving me the illuminated night time fishing line float, I reciprocated by giving him an illuminated badminton birdie. He almost got a new gift this time:

However, on closer inspection, this was not an illuminated Hockey puck as I thought, but instead it was a small light that was made in the SHAPE of a Hockey puck. I think if you actually hit it like a real puck, it would have come apart. Another manly gift I saw, but was too big to bring back on the airplane, was this small 18 million candle power flashlight. Perfect for looking for those lost keys under the sofa, or finding orbiting satellites in the night sky.

As you can see from the photo below, this flashlight would be a perfect accessory for Young Stumbler #4:

Last night was busy here at The Stumbling Apartment. We had a nocturnal visit by both the Easter Bunny and the Tooth Fairy!!! This morning YS#4 woke up to find FOUR quarters under her pillow, and many easter eggs hidden around the home. (Apparently the Tooth Fairy didn't have time to exchange his money to Korean wons, so The Stumbler was nice enough to swap YS#4 4 quarters for 1000 won - I think YS#4 came out slightly ahead in that deal).

Happy Easter.

Saturday, April 07, 2007


This morning, YS#4 finally was brave and came to me to have her loose tooth pulled out. After almost getting my fingers bitten off, finally the tooth came out. Here is the proud girl with a small gap, and the missing tooth:

Friday, April 06, 2007

Singing Songs

Well, finally The Stumbling girls got to experience the Korean singing room, or no-rae-bang. We went last night with CH and JI, after eating a delicious dinner of Korea-style pot roast (갈비찜 for my Korean friends). At first, YS#4 was a little shy of the microphone, but by the end of the evening she was singing londly and jumping up and down with her new singing buddy JI.

Mr. Cool Guy CH...

The Stumbling girls sing a duet...

YS#4 gets a lesson in tamborine playing from JI...

The Stumbler hits a high note...

YS#4 figures it out... singing a solo here...

Here she's singing a duet with JI, actually in Korean! I don't know how she did it, but the language barrier didn't seem to matter, she was singing as loud as he was...

YS#4 chosing her next song...

I wish I had made a movie of this scene - they were singing a Korean song and jumping up and down, it was quite a sight!

Well, a good time was had by all, and the Stumbling Girls were introduced to some Korean culture as well. I think even they want to go back one more time before the trip is over!

Easter Eggs

Well, this Sunday being Easter, the Stumbling girls are busy preparing colored Easter eggs. We bought some eggs at the store, but they were worried. In Korea, almost all the eggs have brown, not white shells. So, when shopping, we decided to buy a package of quail eggs. I often eat these at restaurants, but never tried to boil them myself. Well, we did, and you can see the result is quite pretty. After Easter is over, I'll peel these and boil them in some soy sauce to make the style that is often served as a side dish here in Korea.

Day by Day

While I keep myself busy with work, I worry the other Stumblers are going crazy staying inside this small apartment all day. I tried to help matters by buying a Badminton set for YS#4

YS#4 went with me to get my haircut the other day, and had a good time playing with my camera.

One evening we went with CH, his wife HS and their new 2-month old baby girl ES to dinner. Here is Mrs. Stumbler and CH's girls:

Here is YS#4 giving me a gift - what an expression!

Last photos this post - I'm assembling a small lab these days. Here it is in a completely disorganized state. Once I get over some urgent work things this week, we plan to clean it up and make it neat and clean. Doesn't The Stumbler look like a real engineer in that lab coat??? And check out the serious engineering diagrams and calculations on the white board! Actually, I'm considering getting rid of that, or mounting it on the wall. It seemed like a good idea last year when I bought it, but I find that I am not using it as much as I thought, and also it takes up a lot of space.

Out and About

The visit this time is not a vacation like last time, as I am very busy with work. But we did take some time Saturday to go around a little bit. I had to get a computer at the Yongsan electronics shopping area, and CH took us all there for shopping and lunch. Afterwards, CH drove us for a short visit to Samcheongak where we walked around and enjoyed the fresh mountain air.

Here are the Stumbling Shoes...

YS#4 in a small pavillion. Looks like something from a cartoon to me:

YS#4 and CH:

CH and The Stumbler:

After walking around for about 30 minutes, we went to the coffee shop. CH was surprised that the ownership had changed since he was last there, and the prices were sky high! I think one cup of tea for Mrs. Stumber was $10. If you read on the website link about, you will find Samcheongak was "first established in 1972 as a special Korean saloon for high ranks." I believe now days it is a "high-priced saloon for the regular ranks"...