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Tuesday, August 14, 2012

The End of Summer "Vacation"

I put vacation in parenthesis because I've worked every day of the four weeks that comprise this particular summer vacation.  As usual, food seems to play a big part.  Maxine loves going to the cake-decorating place, where you buy a cake and decorate it.  Almost too much adorable for one picture.
 The two of us went out for a late afternoon that included Japanese Octopus Spheres, which Maxine did not enjoy nearly as much as it looks like in this photo.  They are basically a little wheat flour and octopus fritter, with a savory sauce that is Worcestershirey and shavings of some dried fish that taste better than they sound.  I enjoy this relatively recent addition to Korean street food, even when prepared and eaten in the basement food court of Shinsegae Department Store.
 Last week Horyon's mother made a Vietnamese dinner that I have been unable to hunt down a name for, in spite of spending literally minutes looking on the internet.  It is a sort of make-your-own spring roll buffet, with julienned veggies (red and yellow bell peppers, cucumber, carrot, cabbage, onion, sauteed mushroom), fruits (pineapple, apple, peach and cherry tomato) meats (shrimp, Korean style cooked pork, snail), cooked Vietnamese rice vermicelli, fried egg white strips and fried egg yolk strips, and two or three kinds of fresh, raw bean sprouts.  You first dip the rice paper squares into hot water.  They start out stiff, like an x-ray sheet, but quickly get floppy after being dipped in the water.  Place it on your plate, then pile up whatever ingredients you like, topping them with sweet chili sauce.  The thick, tasty, fun-making spicy one, or the more watery, vinegary one.  By this time, your rice paper is rubbery and sticky, and doesn't seem like something you would voluntarily eat, but it sticks to itself well enough to burrito-ize your stuff without needing any other adhesives.  Then pop the whole thing into your mouth (oops, should have mentioned that before you started piling stuff on.  Sorry.).  Don't even try to take a bit of it, because the whole thing will fall apart and you'll mess up your shirt.  This is why we can't go to nice restaurants, you know.  For me, the major triumph of the evening was remembering to take a picture BEFORE we decimated the spread.
 Another in my "Seen While Biking" series, in fact taken on the same day as the Water-Bike Guys, this lovely couple was having their wedding photos taken by the sea.  It was actually a nice day for it, luckily for them.  They had probably had it on their calendar for months.  The wind even cooperated in blowing that silly veil in a most romantic fashion.
 Horyon's father took me and the kids to the fountain in their apartment complex, where the kids and I splashed around for a bit.
  Later Horyon asked how clean I thought that water was.  You know, there are some things we are probably better off not thinking about.  With temperatures in the high 90's, I hope for our sake that they were pulling fresh water from the tap rather than recycling it for this fountain, or that if they do recycle that they have some pretty good filters in the system, but I'm not really feeling very optimistic on this one.
 Our church has had half a dozen babies born in the past six months, and Maxine has enjoyed holding all of them.  Here she is with Trip, a.k.a. John Harrison III.  So far she has not dropped a single baby!  I think she's ready to babysit!
 Here is a photo of Horyon and Quinten walking down the hill from our church, ICC, which meets on the campus of Busan University of Foreign Studies.  We walk down this hill most Sundays, and I thought I'd share the view with all of you.
 This is, I believe, the secret entrance to the undercity.  I need to go back and take more pictures so you can see the locked chainlink fence and gate at the bottom.
Or it might be the secret entrance to the new apartments going up in the background.
Or it could be an old underground street crossing that has been closed up because too many vagrants were sleeping there and kids were going there to smoke and make out.  Who knows.

Anyway, my apologies for not being a more regular poster.  I know that many people don't see what my kids look like outside of the Roblog, and people who love us have no idea what is going on in our lives.  Frankly, there are times when I am not sure what is going on in our lives.  It's all happening so quickly:  Quinten is talking more coherently and hasn't worn diapers in more than a month.  Maxine is starting at a new school in September.  Horyon is very happy teaching at her old high school.  And I love certain aspects of my job.  Which is not to say that I am excited to go back to work next Monday, but a man's gotta do what a man's gotta do.

And I have to put together next week's lesson plans and a sermon for this Sunday.  So I hope you all have a nice whatever time of day you are in the middle of.

Saturday, August 11, 2012

Pedal Boat -- Water Bike

As I was biking the other day, I passed some guys getting ready to put their projects in the water.  They were from Busan National University, and they were all in the Water Bike Club. Getting the bike over the fence was the trickiest bit.  I even took a little video. If they get going fast enough, they hydroplane on the wings down at the propeller level. They could only keep that speed up for about 20 seconds at a time. I found myself wondering how soon I'd be able to buy one of these, and asked about the weight restrictions.  They're running a couple of guys who weigh less together than I do by myself.  Sigh.

A Brief Introduction

Roblog is my writing lab. It is my goal to not let seven days pass without a new post. I welcome your criticism, as I cannot improve on my own.

Here is a link to my cung post, which remains the only word which I have ever invented, and which has not, as far as I know, caught on. Yet.