Wednesday, June 16, 2010

Sleep Study

Well I finally got around to having a sleep study done last night. I went to the Seoul Sleep Center, apparently one of the, if not the, premier place in Korea for sleep problems such as apnea (a nice English review here).

Since this place is about 45 minutes away for me, I scheduled it so I could do everything in one trip. I arrived at my appointment time of 5pm, and met with one of the English speaking doctors for about an hour. Then I want to a nearby small restaurant for dinner. After eating, I still had some time to kill, so I stopped at a nice coffee shop and had some tea. Finally around 8:30pm I went back to the sleep center to my appointed room.

Lots of pillows, so I was happy:

And there was a TV, watched a little bit of the movie "Paycheck":

The two night-shift nurses proceeded to hook me up. There were more than 20 sensors hooked to my brain, face, nose, throat, chest, torso, and legs. When all done, I felt like a walking robot:

The nursing staff weren't fluent in English, although one of the nurses was pretty good. The task of answering a questionaire, and installing these numerous sensors was pretty funny with the language barrier. But finally all was successfully completed.

I went to sleep at the appointed time, 11pm. The only issue was my sleep position. They wanted to collect some data with me sleeping on my back. I can't sleep on my back. In fact, it is almost like torture for me to sleep on my back. I tried like a good patient to sleep on my back, but after about 15 minutes I gave up with excrutiating pain. I rolled over to my side and promptly went to sleep. The nurses weren't too happy, but what could we do?

They woke me up again at 5am, telling me the sleep study was over. He removed all the sensors, then said I could sleep longer if I wanted (I did). Seems like they should have just let me keep sleeping, but maybe there is a reason. I woke up at 7am, and took a shower to wash the glue from my hair and body! I was hoping to get some preliminary comments from the nurse, but alas, the shift had changed and the nurse who knew English had gone home. So I'll have to wait until next week to get the official results.

One good news - the doctor warned me that my sleep problem might be so severe, that they would wake me up during the sleep study and get me to use the CPAP breathing machine. In fact, she strongly suspected this would happen. But, it didn't. I can only guess that my sleep problem is not the severe type. Wish me luck.

-The Sleepy Stumbler

Tuesday, June 15, 2010

Stuffed Chicken

A friend of a friend, SH, posted a recipe on his Facebook some time back for stuffed chicken breasts. I finally got around to trying it this weekend. I didn't 100% follow his recipe, since I didn't have any sour cream, and I kind of just winged it on the spices.

I took chicken breasts, sliced them in the middle (butterfly them), and inserted cheese (I used pepper cheese) and spinach leaves (quickly boil the leaves first). Then I sprinkled on some salt, pepper and basil. At the last minute, I decided to pour in a little wine before putting it in the oven to bake. Unfortunately, I only have red wine, so my chicken turned a little purple on the bottom. Even so, it was pretty good for a first try. Thanks SH. I'll try the sour cream next time.

Go Big Reds!

The first Korean World Cup match was Saturday night, Korean time. I dug deep in my closet and pulled out my special red tee-shirt, which first appeared on this blog during the last World Cup in 2006. I bought a couple of extra items this year, a cap and a big red "towel" to help cheer the team to victory:

Obviously it worked, since Korea won against Greece 2-0. A pretty exciting game, considering... my air conditioner (sorry, aircon) is broken and the one repairman servicing Seoul can't come until the next century. So I had all my windows open. Apparently everyone else in my neighborhood had their windows open, too. I could hear the cheering whenever Korean challenged the goal. However, everyone would cheer 4 seconds too early! I finally realized it was because I have satellite service. The link delay from the groud up and back to the geostationary satellite is about 1/4 of a second, so either Skylife radiowaves travel slower than normal, or they introduced some extra delay, intentionally or not. It also seemed to me that the video was not truly in HD. I know on any given night, I can tune into this same station (SBS) on the Skylife system, and see crystal clear HD programs. But the game just didn't seem very high quality. I'm going to try some other channels next game and see if I can figure it out.

Next game is Thursday against what I'm told is a very strong team, Argentina. I do want to go watch a game in a public venue like a restaurant or sports bar, but I'm just too tired this week. I think I'll just be lazy and watch it at home again - of course, with my big red towel cheering them onto a second victory.

Friday, June 04, 2010


One of the small gifts I brought The Stumbling Mom was a bottle of Bulgogi marinade sauce. We wanted to try it out, so Monday night we decided to prepare a Korean meal. Started with some Sirloin meat, which I tried to slice as thin as possible - still wasn't thin enough, but it was good. Cut up lots of small vegetables to add to the marinade sauce - onions, mushrooms and green onions. Let is soak for a few hours (overnight would have been best, but we didn't have the time):

Next, The Stumbling Mom roasted some pine nuts, I cut up some more of the "cucumber peppers", made some brown rice in the new rice cooker, and finally cooked the bulgogi:

Here is the final result. The home-grown lettuce leaves weren't very big, so I spilled a lot of rice when making a wrap. Also, the brown rice isn't sticky, which made it easier to spill. But still, very delicious.

Tuesday morning I headed up to Tennessee to meet with a colleague. Did some last minute shopping at Walmart, and drove on to Atlanta through heavy rain. Spent the night at the airport hotel, and left back to Seoul at the crack of dawn Wednesday morning.

Tuesday, June 01, 2010

Meat, Meat, and More Meat

Visited The Stumbling Brother this weekend, the focal point being a big meat cookout attended by me and two of his friends. He has converted part of his back yard into a meat cooking pavillion.

Here is a list of the meats that were cooked that afternoon. We added it up, and we cooked a total of 80 lbs of meat, or 36 kgs!

  • Brisket, qty 2, 4 lbs ea
  • Butt Roast, qty 4, 7-10 lbs ea
  • Turkey Breast, qty 2, 7 lbs ea
  • Whole Turkey, qty 1, 13 lbs
  • Chicken Wings, qty 24
  • Catfish Fillets, 5 lbs
  • Baked Beans w/Sausage, 3 lbs
  • Fried Hushpppies, 1 lb
  • Corn Fritters w/Black-Eyed Peas and Garlic, 2 lbs
  • French Fries, 3 lbs
  • SPAM, 1 can

  • The meat cooking equipment (that was used) consisted a gas grill:

    a gas stove,

    an electric "table-top" turkey frier,

    an electric smoker,

    and an experimental "trash can" method using hot coals.

    I don't think THIS grill / smoker was used, but I'm not 100% sure:

    Here we all are, sitting around waiting for the meat to cook...

    The Stumbling Nephew in his St. Patrick's Day coat with Young Stumbler #4:

    Sunday Visits

    Went to visit The Stumbling Brother this weekend, and took the opportunity to visit some folks from my long ago past. First, on Sunday morning, went to see Dr. and Mrs. W, parents of my good high school friend KW. Back in High School, we used to jokingly call him "Dr. Dr. W", since had two doctorate degrees. However, on Sunday he embarassed me by reminding me that we also used to call him "Big Dummy" at marching band events! It was great to see them again after 25 years.

    Then on Sunday afternoon, we visited an old family friend EB, who lives out in the woods south of town. He told us lots of fun stories from the old days, and we had a fun visit. EB is a Ham Radio operator, just like The Stumbling Brothers, and is encouraging me find a way to get on the air from Seoul someday.

    Piercing Day

    Friday, The Stumbling Girls had a plan. We met for lunch, then took Young Stumbler #4 to get her ears pierced! I have never seen my other girls getting their ears pierced, so it was a very interesting event for me.

    Here is the result. It seemed that the actual piercing didn't hurt very much, but the piercing machine didn't want to let go of the earing. It seemed that she hurt more from the machine than the piercing. But she was brave, and now has freshly pierced ears and new earrings:

    Then Friday night, Young Stumbler #4 had a fun overnight birhday party with several of her friends. Swimming was planned, but thunder and lightning made them postpone swimming until the morning. Young Stumbler #3 and I bought some pizza, fed all the girls, then ate birthday cake. Get ready, make a wish, and blow out the candles:


    Young Stumbler #3 graduated from High School this week! Congratulations!

    Wednesday night we had a small dinner for her at The Stumbling Parents' house. Hamburgers with corn-on-the-cob, roasted garlic, red peppers, potatoes, and many more...

    Big, red, peppers. In Korea, these are called 오이고추, or literally "cucumber pepper":

    Here we roasted whole garlics with some olive oil in the oven. Really soft and delicious.

    The Stumbling Dad preparing hamburgers:

    and cleaning the grill:

    Oven-roasted potatoes:

    Here is the grill ready for the hamburgers, with the corn on the top shelf:

    I made a fusion dish - kimchi burger!

    Oh - yeah, this post was about Young Stumbler #3 graduation! I got distracted by the food...

    Young Stumbers #1 and #3,

    and Young Stumbler #4 (#2 was working this night)

    After dinner, we were treated to a concert by Young Stumbler #4 - she has been practicing a song for several months now, and was ready to show off:

    The graduate played for us a little on her new keyboard graduation gift:

    The next night was the graduation ceremony itself. I was seated behind the band, with 9 tubas and 20+ Trombones! It was great:

    Here is Young Stumbler #3 receiving her diploma:

    After a final and unnecessarily long second speech of the night, the principal declared the class of 2010 officially graduated. And off came the hats:

    Based on previous years' experiences trying to find a restaurant after graduation, this year I made a reservation. However, we arrived at the restaurant to find it mostly empty! Not quite sure what happened. Here is The Proud Stumbler and the nw graduate: