Tuesday, May 26, 2009

Diet wrap

Okay so I'm trying to make a high fiber diet with the aid of Susan Roberts' "Instinct Diet." I may have mentioned before that this is probably a good diet if you live next to a whole foods, and living in Korea definitely makes things difficult. I will not actually start the diet until Saturday, but today I feel I have invented a wonderful recipe that I can use on the diet.

Introducing "Jim's Middle Eastern Barley Chicken Wrap."


Boiled Barley
Some onion
Some Tomato
Some Cumin
Some Salt
Some Pepper
A pita or a flour Tortilla
A chicken breast.
Olive Oil

Cucumber sauce

Take some barely and boil it in water. First boil the barely on high heat until it boils a lot, then reduce heat and let simmer for 45 minutes. Use the 45 minutes to chop the onion and tomatoes, and whatever else you might want to prepare for the meal like a salad or something.

Cut the Chicken into strips and fry in olive oil with cumin, salt, and pepper.

Use about three inches of cuccumber, chopped into quarters, and combine with 1 small container of unsweetened yogurt.

Now put the barely, chicken, onion, tomato, and cucumber sauce in the middle of a slightly warmed pita, or tortilla (Tortillas work great, that is all I can get here.)

Don't use too much barley. I cooked a cup of it, and now I'm stuck with a lot of barley. Tomorrow, I'm going to try and have oatmeal with barley in it for breakfast.

Enjoy. I just thought this recipe up this afternoon. The barley really matches well. It tastes kind of like a gyro.

Thursday, May 21, 2009

Finished reading the "Instinct Diet," and saw "Terminator," last night

The "Instinct Diet," by Susan Roberts poses many a challenge to a person like me who isn't currently living in the United States. The book is chock full of recipes that are both full of fiber, and full of taste. Unfortunately recipes like, "Old Fashioned Hot Cereal," call for things like ancient wheat grains (emmer wheat), and whole wheat berries. While Korean super markets carry grains and flours, the grains and flours that they carry are generally variations on rice and beans. The good thing is, is that Koreans eat a lot of barley. This will come in handy for me because the "I" diet has many recipes which call for barley.

Now If were go to the year 2018, a time after Judgment day, I'm sure that people like John Connor would also have a hard time finding many of these ingredients. I feel that a prime weakness in the "I" diet is that it seems to be written for overweight, upper middle class people who have the luxury of living down the street from a Whole foods or a Trader Joe's. After Skynet goes online and starts attacking humans; people will definitely have a harder time finding ingredients such as low carb tortillas for when they make their "I" diet "Indian Kebab Wraps."

Like the people in the ruinous future, I think that I will have to find alternative means of sticking to many of the more difficult aspects of the "I" diet. For example, if I were to make a vegetable curry, instead of using white rice, I should use whole grain rice or steamed barley to get the extra fiber.

In the not too distant future, it will definitely be a challenge to get fiber when T-600's disrupt crop cultivation with their habit of firing anti aircraft munitions at carbon based life forms. Non robotic machines such as tractors and combines might also be dangerous to operate after being exposed to nuclear fallout as they might become radioactive. This would also be extremely problematic for the use of metal dinner utensils like the forks and spoons that people would use in eating things like the "I" diet's "Tuscan beans with Rosemary and Olive Oil," or "Helen's Red Flannel Cabbage."

Indeed a sample menu for a post Judgement Day world could be something like this.

Day 1 Continental Breakfast.
Kyle Reece's "Two day old Roast Coyote"

John Conor's quarter of a ration compote.

Forgotten as you try to separate the debris of your friend from the robotic limb that you shot off of the giant terminator that was putting him into a transport.

As for me I'll just have to check the Korean baking websites to see if I can get things like bran, also I should eat more salads.

Monday, May 18, 2009

People don't sit next to me on subways, whinge whinge

This has been festering in my brain for about a month now. This is a subject that I have seen a few times on other blogs, and I overheard a group of about five English speakers talking about this on a subway in Busan. I can assume that these people were other English teachers because a few were carrying backpacks on a subway.

Now, from conversations that I have heard in English, I have heard a lot of comment about how Koreans are so similar and think alike. I think that it is something of note that a lot of times, these very same people who say that all Koreans are the same end up having the same conversations about Korea.

One popular subject is about how Koreans never sit next to them on buses or subways. To this query I answer....so what?

Really.... is not sitting next so someone on a bus or subway really a big deal. The last time I was in Seoul, I took a subway where an old man decided he had to vomit all over the place. The man even lacked the common courtesy to get off of the damn train. To his credit he puked in a bag for a few minutes, but he really could have gotten off at one of the stops when he started to feel sick. He could have horked all over the third rail if he had to go that bad, at least no one would have had to have stepped in it, or better yet found a bathroom. He instead, decided that he had to stay on the train until it was finally his stop, while intermittently cleaning up his red chunks with a napkin.

Yes, I'm sure it is all good to say that you wish that Koreans would sit next to you on buses and subways, but if you are from largely depopulated masses like North America or Australia, I'm willing to bet that you enjoy the extra leg room.

Secondly, I wonder if these people wishing for bus and subway companions enjoy the free English lessons that they have to give to the people that do sit next to them from time to time. In another post I told a story about a woman who was intent on preventing me from enjoying my lunch. Since then I have made a bus friend in a retired elementary teacher who seems to be in his seventies.

Now this guy seems extremely nice, but his volume is also extremely loud. I don't mind talking to him about how Communism is bad and how democracy is good, but I wish it could be at a lower volume so that the other passengers don't get annoyed. My last conversation with him also seemed to be after he had a lunch of garlic and alcohol. Once again, don't really mind the conversation, but for all of the people wishing that people would sit next to them, they should bear in mind the consequences of what really happens when people sit next to them when they take public transportation.

Sunday, May 17, 2009

Wednesday, May 13, 2009

A Moment in "Damn I wish I had my camera"

Today had been an ordinary day in school except for one thing. During the third period class, the color guard from the local air force base came and gave a nice little performance. It was a nice combination of a traditional marching band, and some traditional Korean drumming. The marching band did some maneuvers on the dirt football field in front of the school. After that some guys with Korean traditional drums (삼일노래)* played some drums and spun their hats around. That was followed by some guys with guns marching and throwing their guns around.

It all would have been a pretty awesome video to post on the Internet, but I didn't have my video camera with me.

This situation was much like the situation on Saturday when I recorded my first win in international Korean Kendo competition, and had brought my camera, but never took it out of the case.

*probably not spelled right

Tuesday, May 12, 2009


A little about myself first.

I became interested in Korean things when I was twelve. I joined a Taekwondo school and trained for the next thirteen years. My first experience in Korea was at a Taekwondo tournament in Jincheon county, in Choong Choong Do. I spent a week there and won second place in a plastic board breaking competition. After that I spent about a month in Seoul training at a high school for kids who wanted to become pro Taekwondo competitors. There I met a guy who was teaching English at the school, and that got me interested in Teaching English here.

I went home, graduated from college, waited a year, and then enrolled in a free Tesol course at a University in Jinju. I wanted to continue Taekwondo, but it was rather difficult. The Tesol course offered an "experience Korea" program where the members of the Tesol course could take other subjects at the university. One of the programs was a special Taekwondo program for the members of the Tesol course. I trained with them for a while but I faced a bit of a moral dilemma. I both wanted more and less Taekwondo. By that time, I had trained Taekwondo for well over ten years and was kind of sick of it, but I also thought that I should try an train with top players to improve my skills. I wasn't training with top players in the Tesol course, these were just people who were trying it out.

The inertia lead me to try something different, Kumdo (Kendo). Kumdo turned out to be a good challenge for me. I had to humble myself. I had never done anything like it before and was delighted at the frustration.

The three month Tesol course turned into a fifteen month part time job, with the illusion that I was making good money. Eventually, it ended, and I returned home to pick up Taekwondo at my old school for a few months. There, I tested for my fourth degree black belt officially making me a master in rank. It turned out that working in box factory and teaching Taekwondo in the evenings was no way to earn a living and so I took a full time job teaching at a middle school in Jinju.

While in America I also lightly continued some Kendo training. I'm only mentioning this because I learned a lot of things in those few months and had a great time with the Battle Creek Kendo Club. That is a great organization I highly recommend that place.

Anyway, back at the middle school, my first day there was a bit disappointing. Public school contracts don't say anything about teaching night classes, so I was disappointed to learn that the school I worked for reallllllly wanted me to teach a night class twice a week. I did the work and was paid for it, but I had to sacrifice two nights a week from six thirty until nine thirty to teach classes that the students didn't really pay attention to. The bus ride from my house to the school takes about twenty minutes, so on those days when I had those extra classes, I showed up at school at Eight in the morning and left at nine at night.

Interest in Taekwondo training fell by the wayside, and so did Kumdo. Luckily, a guy at my school was on the Korean national Kumdo team. He learned that I did Kumdo, and he talked to my old Kumdo master. Around December of that year I got a text message from the old Kumdo master asking me to go back to his school. So I did.

I have been doing that seventeen months now. Unfortunately I have been gaining weight also. I have been finding fat in new places all over my body for a while. Luckily, I ran into the guy who was in charge of the Taekwondo program at the University. Last week I joined his school. One draw back of the school is that all of the students are either middle schoolars or elementary schoolars. I don't think that I will loose any weight from just exercise so I am going to try a diet.

I ordered a book called "the instinct diet." I have never tried a diet before, so I am some what excited, I'm also somewhat embarrassed that I have let myself go to this point. Anyway I'm happy to be doing Taekwondo again. My skill is still okay, but seeing the reflection of myself and the way the otherwise baggy uniform is now somewhat form fitting is certainly a delicious piece of humble pie.

Sunday, May 10, 2009

Saturday adventures

Saturday I competed in another Kumdo tournament. This one was much smaller and had no special performances. My team took second place out of five teams. Yay. I had two matches. In the first match I won 1-0. It was a tense fight that dragged on the full five minutes, both of us couldn't get an advantage, finally he made a mistake. Something happened to make him drop his gaurd and I went for it hitting him in the head. Then about thirty seconds later the match ended.

The second match was a bit different. The guy was about 6-4 and seemed to have done Kumdo for most of his life. He scored two points, ending the match around the 40th second. I believe he only moved his Jukdo only three times (Jukdo = Shinai-a bamboo practice sword) After their team swept our team, my opponent was kind enough to hand my ass back to me. Fun times (in South East Korea)

Sorry no video for this one.

Tuesday, May 5, 2009

Happy Children's day

It is a Tuesday and I have the day off. This day off is due to the Korean holiday called Childrens' day. I celebrated this day by grillin up some steaks. I recently learned what a new york strip was in Korean, so I went down to the ole meat store and picked me up a pair of Korean New York strips. They tasted pretty good. Also on the grill were some Australian tenderloins. They didn't turn out so well because they cooked for too long.

Fun in Busan

Last Sunday I went to Busan. My GFF and I went to the new Shinsaegea department store at Centum City. This department store is huge so I took a little film of an outside park that is on the 8th floor of this place. I simply think that it is amazing that such a place would exist on the eighth floor of a building.

After that we went to Joongang dong and went to the American Apparel shop there. Not much to report. I bought a 10,000 won pair of socks, and a 30,000 won t-shirt for my gff. American apparel is pretty expensive, but I do like paying the higher prices to support the American made stuff. Also in Joongang dong there was a parade that had some Japanese people in it doing Japanese-y things. I didn't get a chance to film it because we were tired and wanted to go to Seomyun to get a book.

Later in Seomyun we stumbled upon a Uniqlo shop. Uniqlo is a Japanese company that makes clothes like American Apparel but at a mere fraction of the cost. I got a nice new shirt, and awesome pair of 10,000 won sweat pants. After that we had coffee and went to a Japanese style Ramen shop. I don't know the name of the ramen shop, but it is in Seomyun somewhat near by the Pascuchi coffee, and near by a street that has a whole bunch of fortune tellers. Anyway that place is really good, it is a lot cheaper than Ramen in Japan too. I don't much like Japanese Ramen, but the place's spicy Japanese Ramen is quite good. They even had the Japanese style ordering system where you put some money into a machine and a ticket comes out. You then give the ticket to a guy who takes the ticket to the cooks.

Friday, May 1, 2009

A Korean traditional Guitar performance.

The video quality on this isn't that great, (As if, the video quality on any of my videos is good any good) but this is a woman playing a Gaya Geum which is a Korean traditional stringed instrument. I took this video early last march and have been lazy about posting it.