Reasons why I love smoked food

I love any food, especially meat, smoked. And like many, there’s a good reason as to why.

We all grew up being a bit pyromanic… right? Didn’t we? Well, I know I did. 😛 I remember memories of making my own fire crackers… putting two matches head to head and wrapping the heads in aluminum foil and heating up the foil, you had instant crackers. 😀

However, what was even more memorable was my visits to my grandparents’ place in Namwon. It is (at least it was when I was a kid) a small town about an hour away from Chonju, Soojin’s hometown, and 5 hours south of Seoul. Back when I used to visit, they still cooked food using wood. Rice was cooked in this big black pot that sat on top of fire. My (beloved) grandma used to let us feed wood to that thirsty fire, and my brother and I didn’t care how hot it was, we just kept feeding the fire to it.

Soon enough, I developed a strong liking to the smell of burning wood. When crop was good, there’d be days when my uncle would bring in peas and after they are dried in sunlight, we’d set the whole thing on fire and eat the cooked peas inside the pods. Boy were they good!

So every time I eat or smell either smoked food or burning wood, I always reminisce about the old days. Things were much simpler then… Cooking in fire was even cooler at night. Shucks… I wish I could relive that moment.

Engage… Make it so #1

As some of you know, I had written an article on the cowboys and western movies and their impact on me. Well, I have also grown huge interest in sci-fi as well since I was a kid! So needless to say, if Clint Eastwood is the badass of the western genre, then Patrick Stewart is the badass of the sci-fi genre. Who the heck is he, you ask? Well, to the sci-fi nerds, he’s better known to us as Jean-Luc Picard. That’s Captain Jean-Luc Picard to you, by the way. 😀

Capt. Picard was the captain in the The Star Trek: The Next Generation. Sure I liked the original, Capt. James T. Kirk. Capt. Kirk had his … interesting … pauses… in … his … speech, and a way with the ladies, but Capt. Picard was the leader. He made the whole concept of being a leader so amazing. Stern when needed, yet quite approacheable, Capt. Picard made me want to be a good leader.

Sure, you can laugh at my admiring a fictional character, but Picard always had a class and a way about his actions. I sure do miss the TV episodes… shucks. And of course, Patrick Steward did an awesome job creating the character. I still imitate some of his famous lines… “Engage” “Make it so, #1”.

Here’s to you, Capt… to the final frontier!

Being Thrifty Online (and retail)

In this day and age, everyone wants things brand new.  While that would be nice, it just doesn’t add up a lot of the times… especially if it’s technically aligned items.  Their values hold worse than a car!  😮

So what’s a guy to do?  Be thrifty, that’s what.  Koreans (in Korea) look down on buying used stuff.  I disagree and good chunk of Americans disagree as well.  What’s wrong with paying at least 1/4 to 1/3 off just because it’s been used a bit?  I’m not ashamed to admit that I buy used things.

However, you can’t just blindly go buy things… you have to use your brains still.  So here are some of my own tips.

  1. Check weekly ads (best comparison site is
  2. See what they go for online and retail (My fav. site for that is
  3. Then look for how much it goes for on eBay and Craigslist.  (remember, Craigslist is under .org and not .com!)
  4. See who has the best price.
  5. Last but not least, I love one particular online forums site where there’s a LOT of FS (For Sale) traffic… Anandtech Forums.

Some safety pointers…

  1. Check seller’s feedback on eBay.  For other sites like forums, there’s feedback system called heatware.
  2. If it’s too good to be true (on eBay and Craigslist), it’s very likely that it is.
  3. If you are buying/selling something locally, try to meet at a common public places to buy/trade!
  4. If you are selling something online, be sure to get good estimates on SHIPPING cost!!
  5. Sometimes, it IS cheaper to buy at retail stores!
  6. Set a price you want to buy it for and stick to it!
  7. You can haggle online forums and for lower prices but be reasonable!
  8. When selling, avoid eBay.  Sell via Craigslist first to avoid listing fees, selling fees, AND PayPal fees!
  9. If selling online other than eBay, and you take PayPal, setup a separate PERSONAL account and only accept non-credit card payments (otherwise, Paypal/eBay take another 4 to 5% of the fees!!  🙁

In the end, just use your head and common sense… 🙂  Happy hunting!

Visit to Dallas

After having visited Austin two weeks ago, I visited Dallas this past weekend.

I got to see Jun Kang, an eclectic friend of mine, who is a movie/film director/editor/producer. He is a very artistic guy, and I always think of that director dude from the series “Entourage”! 😛 Had lunch with him on Friday and hung out at the Dallas Museum of Arts. Then we hung out at the museum’s little gravel garden. It was good catching up with him…

After that, I went to see my ex-roome, Jin Chung. He came back from Washington, DC where he worked for a great non-profit organization called IJM (International Justice Mission) but came back home to take care of his parents. He’s a good guy really… misunderstood like the most of us… but a great guy with passion. We had fun catching up and reminiscing on the good ol’ times.

Then, I met up with Erica Quinn (now, Erica Bittner!) and her hubby, Travis, and my old favorite Daniel Quinn for dinner! We met at a neat Chinese restaurant called May Dragon. We had an awesome time catching up and having some of the best laughs I’ve had in a long time! And very glad to find out that Travis is a good guy and easy to get along with. My boy Daniel was now all grown up and working… sheesh… where does time go?!

Then I spent the night at Mo’s place. Dude… he lives too far!! Frisco!! But we had good time catching up and awesome breakfast at Le Peep’s nearby.

Then I met up Joohee Kim and her new hubby, Kihyun Kim for lunch. I think we went to the same Soon Tofu place that Alex Lee loved so much! I had missed Joohee’s wedding since I had to stay longer in Korea. She looked pretty happy so I was glad to see that. Joohee’s husband is a jundosanim (pastor-in-training) and he seemed sincere enough.

Then I headed over to Deborah Ahn (now Wingate) and her husband, Jon Wingate’s place! But since Erica didn’t know other couples like herself (Korean marrying Caucasian), I had asked Deborah if it was ok for Erica and the family to join us for dinner!

Added bonus was that I got to meet the Editor-in-Chief of “The Brew” magazine, Eric Beach! 😀 It is always nice to meet people in person after you meet them online. The two couples seemed to hit it off and I am glad to have been the link.

Afterwards, I had great talks of all kinds with the Wingates. Then the next morning, Deborah cooked awesome breakfast of bacon and eggs!! 😀 Mmmmm… and more great talk and catching up.

I attended Binnerri Church for service and see Mo again. But afterwards, I wanted to see Brian Shinn and his kid! So I met him up at local Chili’s resaturant. Last time I saw him was at least 8 years ago so it was great catching up with him. He had gained some weight… but he still was the same Brian! Since his kid was sleeping, he came alone. So I drove to his place to see his kid, Tyler, and meet his wife for the first time! Tyler was sooo cute!

After all that, I drove back home and got home around 7 pm. It was tiring… but awesome just catching up with old friends.

By the way, Jun, Jin, and Mo are still single if some of the readers are single women! 😉 LOL…

I have my very first article published (even if it’s online!)

I came across this neat online magazine called “The Brew” thanks to Deborah. Well, I found out that it’s written by viewers a lot of times… and for the month of July, I found out that the theme was “Western” and since it has impacted me a great deal, I decided to submit an article! 😮

Here it is!! I’m honestly just giggly thinking that there’s some kind of article online with my name on it! 😀

Please give it a read and the magazine as well! Here’s my article!

Do I look like Kung Fu Panda?!

So I got a chance to speak with my sister-in-law (my wife’s brother’s wife) in Korea.  And she said that she watched the movie Kung Fu Panda recently.  Then she started chuckling and started to tell me how the Kung Fu Panda reminded her of me!  Me!  😮

Do I really look like Kung Fu Panda?  Anyway, she went on to say that the panda’s personality also resembled a lot like me.  I have yet to see the movie… so for those of you that have watched it, does the panda really remind you of me?!  Is the panda that ssul-lung?!  😛  I thought that was funny and wanted to share.


Ever since I was a kid, I felt like I didn’t fit in. To anything.

I was a bookworm between the ages of 9 and 13. Loved maths. And physics. Soon after that, I realized that I was a nerd to the core. And to top that off, I was a geek. With that came my interesting (not-so-interesting to most) habits. Mild ones were like stamp and coin collecting. Doing puzzles was another. More geeky ones were like reading comic books, watching butt loads of anime and scifi TV and movies.

God calls us all to be something and someone. After much struggle at self-acceptance of who I was, I realized that it takes one to know one. Being a misfit helped me identify with other misfits… of most kinds. Misfits appear because of only one reason: unacceptable attitudes of others who follow the norm. Some of the most unaccepting kinds are also liberal and democrats. What gives?! I thought liberals were supposed to be the most “open minded”! (runs to the corner and embraces for projectiles)

Taking the name calling aside, unless you were in the popular crowd, we all have had different and unique habits and hobbies at least once in our lives. If not yet, it will come later in life. Human’s simplest desires are basic, and one of them is simply to be accepted for who we are. Not demanding changes, but simply making the effort to understand and comprehend.

Once you start going calling people misfits, and different, you go towards worse places: prejudice and genocides. That’s what you do towards those that seem out of place in order to make yourselves look better. In the words of Jack Nicholson in “Mars Attacks”, “Little people, why can’t we all just get along?”

Preventing things like Darfur genocide and anti-semitism, and racism all begins at the basic level… learning to accept people who are different from us. And that’s 99.9999%!