Friday, December 26, 2008


Well, after missing the special menu during my Thanksgiving trip to Outback, I was sure to ask for it last night when I went there again for Christmas. Steak Wellington was a steak cooked with a layer of bread around the outside. It was really delicious. The sauce was surprisingly good, since in my previous Outback experiences their sauces weren't very good. This one had a hint of red wine taste, but a gravy texture. To my surprise, I could only eat about half of it!

I must say that the longer I live in Korea, the more I prefer the Korean-style of grilling your beef at the table, usually in small bite-sized pieces. Not that I go very often, but I don't think I'll be going back to Outback much anymore.

I must comment that this is the first photo I've posted of me with my beard. This started on a whim a few months ago, as I was getting tired of shaving. The first time I went to get my haircut after that, the lady didn't spare me her feelings. She said it looked really bad on me. Made me look dirty and like a homeless man! But at that time it was fairly new, so we made a deal. After 6 weeks, she would tell me her honest opinion and I would keep it or shave it accordingly. Well, after 6 weeks I changed from homeless-looking to "normal" looking I guess, and she told me that to her surprise, it now looked good on me. I've kept it, but it turns out that having a beard is no less work than shaving every day. I have to trim it every week with an electric trimmer. I still have to shave around the edges of the beard (especially my neck), although I can do it every other day instead of daily. But basically it as much or more of a pain than shaving daily. I decided to keep it until Christmas, in the hopes of getting invited to lots of Christmas parties as Santa (good idea, but it didn't happen). Therefore I'll be shaving it off tonight.

Here are a few more bearded photos I have for reference...

You can see that my beard grew in two colors. My natural hair color, which used to be a very dark brown, and my new hair color, gray! The whole effect reminds me of a dalmation!

A few weeks ago my Korean friend "Gee" invited me to his birthday party, which concluded singing Karaoke. Here we are giving the Korean photo mandantory "V" sign. Here you can see the dalmation effect more clearly.

Here is my beard in profile, and you can also see my broken nose profile as well. Usually I'm embarassed about my nose, but there was something about this photo that made me proud instead.

Making an intelligent retort to something Trevor asked me. (Thanks to Trevor for taking the above two photos.)

Anyway, that's all for Christmas. The Stumbler will be clean shaven from now on.

Wednesday, December 24, 2008

Pitiful Pine

I remembered suddenly that we have a small artificial Christmas tree. John bought this back in 2004 when we first came here. It's been sitting in a box for a couple years. I'd forgot I had it until this afternoon (Chrismas Eve) when I saw it sitting on top of a cabinet at the office. So, for one night I have a small taste of Christmas:

Sunday, December 14, 2008

International Party

I found a notice on my door the other evening. I was invited to an Christmas Party for the International Residents of my building! Since I only know of one other foreigner here, I was surprised there were enough to make up a party! But it turns out there are four homes with foreigners here, two from Canada, me from the United States, and one family from Columbia! Plus at the part, a friend of the host was from The Netherlands.

I thought it was just going to be snacks, but we were also served a delicious meal as well. Hungarian Goulash. My neighbor told me he calls it Western Kimchi Stew.

Anyway, I had a fun time, and it was nice to meet the neighbors.

This reminds me of a story from a Korean I know who was essentially raised in the USA. He is back in Korea now, and I need to point out is reportedly an excellent cook. He told me he would opened his doors to the neighbors when he moved in, and cooked a huge dinner for them. He said these neighbors had lived on the same floor for years but had never actually met each other!

Thursday, December 11, 2008

Fire Gawker

As I went to bed last night, I saw a lot of smoke coming from a small building, and the fire trucks were all there with their flashing lights and spraying water on the fire. Well, this morning I had to to walk by and see what had burned. It was a small warehouse structure, with an electronics shop in the front (which seemed to have taken most of the damage).

Somehow these images turned up to bright. To my surprise, all the various image processing software I have can easily brighten an image, but there are no options to darken an image. That's really strange.

Monday, December 08, 2008