T-Shirt Wisdom

Back in 2012, a friend of mine, who has now passed away, started a quirky little blog called A Fistful of T-Shirts. He expressed his thoughts in combination of his collection of t-shirts. I had totally forgotten about it until I was doing some housekeeping through old emails. I was pleaseantly surprised to find that the blog was still around. Since I have a small collection of my own t-shirts, I thought I’d start something of the same, but not as focussed. So, consider it a ‘sub-topic’ to everything else here.

We’ll start with one of my newest acquisition.

ROUS

I’m hoping that the vast majority of people reding this will immedieately get the reference but sadly, the longer time goes one, the likelyhood of that happening for a movie from 1987.

In that case, let me introduce you to The Princess Bride. This was a ‘fantasy adventure comedy’ film. Classically cheesy but quite family friendly and had some of the best lines to even come out from a film in pop culture.

Hello, my name is Inigo Montoya…

The movie is like a classic fairy tale type of story. Even multiple ‘hero’s journey’ within it and that is what makes it a good film. The comedic lines and a sense of right and wrong morals/ethics are well played out without needing to get extreme about it.

How does this relate to my t-shirt? Well, if it wasn’t obvious, that’s where the term ROUS came from.

“I don’t think they exist…”

We all have our own Hero’s Journey to experience and survive. There are 17 stages of such a journey. Think about where you are and what it means to you. I certainly know where I am with my current endeavours. For me, I’m looking at “The Call to Adventure” stage for a new chapter in my life. Details will be forthcoming shortly.

Note, you will experience this process multiple times in your life. Every major turning point can be broken down by these stages.

So, let’s see where this all leads shall we?

Aaannnd we’re back.

Well, much has happened since the last time I posted. I’ll try to summarize as much as possible and try to post more regularly.

My friend Nixy(https://twitter.com/nixy_writes?s=21) got me into Journalling and so I’ve been doing much writing in it. I did start with a physical journal, then expanded it to different journals for different purposes, then realized that I can’t carry all those journals if I suddenly have an idea that needs to go into one of them. So I went Digital.

Actually, I did start doing Journalling back in 2019 with Day One. Nice app, some useful integrations (I.e. Instagram auto-posting…) but ultimately it started to be less useful. I started feeling that I didn’t need all those extra ‘features’. After a bit of research, I found GoodNotes. So I bought the app and decided to work on my handwriting, which would even put a doctor’s prescription to shame at times.

Now I am slowly moving all the Day One entries into GoodNotes. I also have created multiple journals. This means I only need to carry my iPad and I have all my journals with me. The battery in my iPad lasts a super long time, so unless I forget to charge it(for some strange reason as I do leave it plugged in all the time), I can use it all day without a concern.

I’ll be transposing some of those entries to here, so be sure to follow to see when a ‘new’ post goes up. For now, I’ll post here a quick summary for the last two years.

Back in 2017(second to last post), I had mentioned about adding some decals on my 2002 Volvo S40. Well, I’m 2 cars past that now. In 2018 I bought a 2007 Volvo XC90.

2007 Volvo XC90

What is amusing is that I swore I would never buy something ‘so big’. It was just me and the cat. I did give real consideration to a 2008 Volvo XC70(the AWD Wagon) and test drove both. Clearly I ended up with the XC90 and had it for 3 years.

Camping setup

It was a great vehicle, had the usual SOPOs(sins of previous owners) like mixed spark plugs(!), lack of maintenance (serpentine belt breaking due to non-replacement) and a few other things one would expect. Then, someone decided to make a u-turn off an off-ramp and felt it was necessary to ruin the first day of my camping vacation.

Accident summary and sample journal entry.

That happened on Jun 19th. It sucked but no one was hurt and it eventually got sorted out. I decided to up my Volvo Game and bought a 2016 Volvo XC90 Inscription and added in the Polestar Tune.

2016 Volvo XC90 Inscription

I’ve had it for just over 4 weeks now and since it was 5 years old, there were a few minor things that have been(currently are) dealt with. There was on major thing and that was some notable oil consumption. In the first 2900kms of driving(3 weeks), it used up about 2/3rd of the engine oil! That was concerning and the dealer was made aware of it. They topped up the oil on the day I discovered this and made a regular appointment for them to look deeper into the issue.

My research did find a NHTSA Technical Journal(TJ31216.4.0) that addressed this very issue on this 2.0L engine up until a certain serial number. So we’ll see if the engine falls within that range and see how Hamilton Volvo will handle this scenario.

Yes, it is a 2.0L motor. Don’t let that fool you. With the Polestar Tune, it puts out 335HP and 325 lb-ft of torque. That gets the 5000lb bulk of Swedish Metal to 60mph in about 6 seconds and the 1/4 mile in about 14.5 seconds. I’ve embarrassed more than a few vehicles(Lexis IS350 F-Sport, a lifted Dodge Ram with a Borla exhaust, and a 350Z). What’s a bit scary is that at ‘notable speeds’, you don’t feel it. It’s such a smooth delivery of power, like you would expect for a luxury SUV.

I also changed jobs a few times and it’s been a bit of a ride. Working on another idea but more on that if it pans out the way I expect it will.

So now we’ll all caught up. Specific adventures will be added as we go along. :)

Life goes on

Today I walked over to the mall and grabbed a burger from a place nearby.  It was only two pounds and was ok. While here , listening to the regulars joke around,  an rather inebriated old guy,  who was referred to as  007, came in.   There was some amusing discussion about making sure he paid for his food from yesterday.  After a few miss,  this woman comes  in,  and seems to be helping… Well Mr 007 didn’t like differing and gave her a bit of a shove away.  That started a downhill event that was worth of only a reality TV show. Harsh words were spoken,  the woman seemed to be all emotionally distraught because she was just trying to help.

Mr 007 was escorted out the door and things called down a bit but the woman seemed to work herself up into a fit and she came at him,  literally foaming at the mouth,  but the other patrons held her back.   It was both surreal and comical.

Eventually the owner called the cops,  and here is where I learned about how the massive CCTV surveillance is both used and thought about in London and the town of  Luton I’m staying in. . A few times since people mentioned that  “it(the whole incident) was caught in camera”  and when the owner called,  he did speak about the camera to the cops.

Eventually the two left and went over to the park area where it seemed only words were exchanged with other regulars of the park area and that was it.   I left about then and did not see any police show up.

It seems that I will be thoroughly entertained while in here too :)

Book Research Response

A Korean man who I met, is writing a book on foreigners and Korea, who was looking for inputs from foreigners.  He sent me some questions and I replied.  He then asked for more details so I gave them to him.  Keep in mind that, while they are pretty sharp criticisms, that does NOT mean I don’t like Korea nor do I not like being here.  These replies are just the ones focused on certain areas and if you haven’t understood how much I do enjoy things here, then you haven’t really read my blog.

> Would you answer some more, marked ***
>
> ***What made you come to Korea.

I came to Korea because of the lack of work on my own Country.  Specifically, the IT industry was dying down and my wife (who was teaching English to foreigners in Canada) was having an even worse time.  So, since my wife had already been in Korea before for a year, she wanted to come back.  I agreed and off we went.

> How long have you been here?

I have been in Korea 3 years and 7 months

> How long will you stay here?

I am not sure.  It will depend on how long my wife would like to teach here as my visa depends on hers.
> 2 Korea wants to be part of the world but does not want the world to be part of it.
>
> They only teach English language but not the culture behind it. Language is intimately tied into culture.
>
> ***What kind of the culture do you mean? for example?

When I say culture, I mean about the country behind out.  My wife, who is East Indian, was asked if she felt “left out” in Canada.  The implication was that she is not Caucasian.  The very question shows a compete ignorance of the culture of Canada and really points to Korea’s inability to accept those who think differently.  Example:  Korea is pretty well-known to being one of the most racist countries in the world.  So when they see a non-Caucasian, they don’t think that it is possible for non-Caucasians to live together with Caucasians.  This is a ridiculous concept because Canada has one of the biggest mixed races groupings in the world.

Should I even branch off into how “gays” are not accepted?

This all stems from the same issue and a phrase I developed which describes it perfectly.  “Korea wants to be part of the world but does not want the world to be part of it.”

> 3 Koreans believe they are too busy. This leads to being rude to everyone.
>
> Not letting people cross the street, not helping lost foreigners get to where they want to be.
>
> ***Some foreigners say Koreans are very kind. What is your opinion about that?

I will say this.  There is a general attitude that the closer you get to big cities, the less kind Koreans generally are.  I have found that, in general, if a Korean does not know you, they don’t care about you.  Example, bumping into you and not apologizing.  Cutting in line ahead of you when you have been there first and waited respectively like you are supposed to.

Now, when you get to be friends with a Korean, that completely changes.  I have Korean friends that have done way more for me than anyone else in my life.  I am really surprised at the level of kindness I have been shown and will forever be grateful.  Keep in mind that out of the 1000s of Koreans I have interacted with in my time here, the number of ones who have helped and befriended me can be counted on one hand.

I don’t expect every Korean to help me with the same level of help but when the vast majority do nearly the opposite, its not hard to make these observations.

> 4 lack of respect.
>
> This might sound odd but to spit in the path where someone walks is not only disgusting but also insulting.
>
> Throwing trash on the ground/in rivers is way too common.
>
> ***What about that in your country?

There are some significant differences.  Yes people do toss trash on the ground but I have never seen anyone spit on the path I was walking WHILE I was walking on it.  The other thing had to do with concentration.  Because there are so many people in one place, there are more people doing it.

Lets say 1 in 100 people spit in front of you. (this is just a made up number to illustrate the idea and is NOT a direct representation.)  In Toronto I might see 5000 people in a day.  That means 50 people would spit would spot in front of me.  In Seoul, the number of people I would see in a day  would be 4 times that many due to population density.  That means 200 people would spit in front of me.

Now do you see the problem?

Let also address a contributing factor that seems to be ignored. Parenting.  I have nothing against being a good parent but in Korea, this goes to the point of crippling kids ability to function outside of their home.  Specifically because the mothers do everything for them, they are utterly dependant on them for anything.  A simple example is when we needed to figure out how to work the heating system, we asked a Korean co-teacher but she had absolutely no idea because her parents took care of it. She was in her late 20s.

This ‘doing everything’ gets extended to ‘cleaning up after’ the kids.  Since the kids are essentially taught that they don’t have to clean up, they just leave their garbage anywhere and everywhere, including the street.

Compound that idea with the population density problem and you now see why many foreigners are rather disgusted with the amount of trash just lying around (it would help if Korea has more garbage cans in public places) as well as the ‘mountains of trash’ that seem to get accumulated on various side streets.  Not only does it look bad, it is a prime source for bugs and infections.

These are pretty basic things from nearly every other country that has either more laws(i.e. Singapore and their zero-gum/spitting rules) or simply more maturing of kids in their teens by not having parents do every single thing for them.

What is interesting is to hear about Koreans, who have left Korea and lived abroad for many years, come back and comment on how rude Koreans are in general.  So my particular view is hardly unique to either myself, other foreigners or Koreans who have lived outside of their home country.

I hope this help with your book :)

Edge of Sacheon, #South Korea at Dusk

My wife likes to run. She has been fortunate enough to find another foreigner who is both local and likes to run also. Me, not so much. So I take my bike for a ride then :) And being on the edge of town, you get some really nice clear views of the surrounding mountains. Enjoy the views ;)

My wife and her friend jogging ahead of me.

 

Creative ideas

This is a new category, Random Thoughts.  In this category I will simply be sharing the ideas I’ve had stuck in my head but have no idea how to act upon them.  So, maybe someone can either guide me, make use of them or want to partner up to get them done.  In either case, here they will be for the world to see.  Good, bad, irrelevant or otherwise.  This is not a list, but simple ideas that come to my brain that have not been fully thought out.  Who knows, maybe a crowd-funding might even happen on one of them?

The Password Book
– a place to write down your passwords
The Wrestling Interview
– travel and interview old wrestlers (60’s & 70s)

Aspects of Life

We stand in the light
We smile and shine
We look around and see friends
And…we have time

Live, Love and Laugh
All a part of Life
The things we do and enjoy
But then comes also strife

Life is anything but fair
We play this game
And when its run the course
We are no longer the same

Older, wiser they say
Mature, experienced say others
Yet what could possibly compare
To the lost of a mother

Rest ye all in peace
Better things are in store
Think ye hard on all Aspects of Life
Go home, reflect and learn even more

May we all meet in a better Life Grandma.

Sidney Alexander

‘91

*I wrote this poem the morning of my Grandmothers funeral and read it there to everyone.

Honesty and truth.

Word.

Penny Gets Lucky

Dad:

I’ve had some time to think about the things you said to me, the day I told you I was bisexual. I’ve thought about what it means, and what you believe, and where I fit into that picture. I’ve come to a decision.

I assume by now you’ve shared the news with Mom, if not my sisters. (One already knows, I talked to her privately.) I don’t mind if you have, or if you choose to in the future. It’s not something I particularly need kept secret. In fact, that’s kind of the point.

I’m not writing this to disprove your religious beliefs, nor to tell you you’re wrong for believing them. My intent is not to break your faith in any way. However, in order to state my message clearly, there is something I need you to understand: I do not believe in your God. I do not…

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Assumptions about suicides

One of the best written pieces I have read in a very long time. So much truth and honesty here.

Conner Habib

Why do porn actors kill themselves?  Who is responsible?

Image

Whenever a porn star – especially a gay porn star – commits suicide, theories show up, and people act very, very certain about them.  Arpad Miklos, who was as much as a porn “star” as anyone can be in a time when we are hyper-saturated with porn, killed himself on February 3rd, 2013, at the age of 45.  As usual, many people felt sure they knew why he committed suicide, without much evidence.  It was drugs, it was studios not treating him well, it was the feeling of dehumanization, it was the vague but all encompassing “porn industry” that did it, it was the feeling of being hollow, it was it was his loss of validation after being a star for so long.

I can’t claim any special knowledge about his death, I didn’t know him very well.  We met in…

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