06 November 2009

Transfered to Wordpress

Thought I'd let the six people who read this know that I've decided to transfer to wordpress.com My new URL is http://commentariideperegini.wordpress.com/

01 November 2009

Learning Korean

There are a lot of great resources on line to help you learn a new language.

KOSNET - Site requires registration, haven't checked it out yet.

Koreanclass101.com - Also requires registration but you can get a large amount of their materials off itunes.

Sogang Korean Program - Put up by Sogang University, this site has one of the best tools I've seen to help learn the Korean alphabet.

Quite a few more and I plan to add them as I have the time and inclination.

The Warrior Song

Someone said that this song reminded them of the cadences they used to chant. I can't think of a better description. Kinda makes me want to reenlist, heh.

14 October 2009

My Students

My students broke a window in the main office today, last week they set one of the classrooms on fire. If you're coming to Korea to teach, avoid the all boys schools unless you know what you're getting into.

12 October 2009

Incheon Global Fair

Didn't take a whole lot of pictures, then again there weren't a whole lot of things to take pictures of. Large sections of the fair devoted to booths on how Korea is planning on dealing with nuclear waste and the gas company on one side of the fair. Tourist information booths for different countries and regions of Korea on the other. The Gem of the fair was a section filled with booths selling all kinds of food from around the world. If you go, avoid the official food courts and check out the small stands.

Some things that stood out were . . .

Giant Robots

Astro Boy

A Kite Eating Tree

An Old Motorcycle

It was marked Indian but made by a Japanese company if I remember right.

The Trojan Horse

And a 'Vehicle Prohibited' sign
(It's okay if you have more then one)

Incheon central park across from the fair grounds.

Seoul Pics

I'm not a big fan of Korean beer, which is why I was so happy to find a brewpub in Seoul. Octoberfest has decent food and drinkable beer. To get there, exit Jongak 1 and take a right turn right before NH bank, it's on the left. MAP

Just an old brick church I came across somewhere in Seoul.

East Sea

Dokdo hogwan? I do my best to stay out of the whole Dokdo issue but isn't this taking things a bit far?

A branch of my bank

Jogyesa Temple

Most of these pics were taken in and around Jongno-gu.

01 October 2009

How To Make Samgyeopsal

For the three people that read this, I've got a few pics to put up this weekend.

07 August 2009

Flying Around Tokyo

Hat Tip: ROK Drop

Tactical Internet Pants

Depending on your geek/mall ninja level, you may or may not have heard about the wonderful invention known as Tactical Internet Pants. I'm referring of course to 5.11's wonderful Tactical Pants. These were originally designed to be rock climber pants, they were then picked up by the FBI, since the FBI used them it quickly came to be that police officer or mall ninja was properly dressed unless they were clad in a pair. Recently, Geeks and Nerds of all strips have discovered these wonderful things and have been taking advantage of these tough and functional cargo pants. If you, like me, think that fifty bucks a pair is a bit much to spend then I have good news for you. L.A. Police Gear is currently selling them for around twenty a pair on their 5.11 clearance page (I paid about seventeen and they went up a few bucks to twenty three in the last day or two).

What I like:

1. Easy access to the back pockets.
2. They're made of a thick cotton canvas and appear to be quite durable.
3. Lots of pockets.
4. Comfortable.

What I don't like:

1. Limited number of colors, to be fair this was because I bought them on clearance.
2. Make me look like a cop/mall ninja. Not that I have anything against cops or ninjas, not even the mall type.

In closing, I heartily recommend that you get a pair of these things. At twenty a pair, you can't go wrong and if you act now (always wanted to say that) you can use the product code THANKS15 to get fifteen percent off your purchase from L.A Police Gear.

Further Reading:

Merlin Mann review of Tactical Internet Pants.

Geek Dad's review of Tactical Internet Pants.

In the interest of full disclosure: I'm not affiliated with any of the mentioned companies or entities and have not received any sort of compensation for this review. Though if any of the above companies or entities would like to give me some sort of compensation, that would be just swell.

On a more personal note, I'm back in Oregon and quickly remembering why I left in the first place.

30 July 2009

Summer Break

For Three Weeks

26 July 2009


If you're looking for something to do in Seoul, you might think of checking out the Renoir exhibit near city hall station.

18 June 2009

Flying In And Around Seoul

Video Taken From A Blackhawk

12 June 2009

Bukchon and More

Spent some time in Bukchon a couple weeks ago. Bukchon is located near Jongno 3 station and Kyongbuk Palace Station.



Another Street

Japanese Ramen Place

(Across the street from the museum of chicken art)

The Ramen

Better then 81 ramen in Itewan in my opinion, still looking for Kitsune Ramen.

Cool House

Chicken Art Museum
(Just follow the signs)
Telephone: 82-763-9995
Foreign: 82-2-763-9992

Exterior Shot

Admission is 3,000 won if I remember right. Fairly small museum but worth it just to say I went to the Chicken Museum.

Old Church

Another Street Shot

And Another

Tax Museum

This is located near the US Embassy and in the national tax office, just follow the signs.

Another small museum. About half of the museum is dedicated to distillation which was the interesting part for me. Admission is free.

Not just do the legal thing,
to do right thing!

Picture of a Ceramic Soju Still
Don't think I've ever seen ceramic stills before.

Here's the Real Thing

The Distillation Desplay

And here's a model of a modern distillery.

Recommend this one if you're in the area, it's a couple blocks away from Kyobo book store http://www.kyobobook.co.kr/index.laf so it might be something to do on the way to or from a trip to restock the library.

16 May 2009

Home Plus

The Guy in the Pink is a Champion Wrestler

Home Plus is a chain of Korean Department Stores, one of them is across the street from my apartment and the most convenient place to get groceries. They play this constantly on big screen televisons and over the intercom, silence is dead in Korea.


Just a few random things I saw when I was wondering around Seoul.

Dog Menu

Museum of Chicken Art
(Middle Sign)

I don't know, but I plan to find out

Sand Presso
Sand is Konglish for Sandwich + Presso from Espresso

Willy Campus
Fun Languages

Sexy Lion
(Looks Grumpy to me)

These are Seoul Police mascots
(and they shall forever haunt my nightmares)


This would never be legal in the States

26 April 2009

Mighty Mouse

The scroll ball on my Apple Mouse stopped working a couple days ago and no amount of cleaning would get it to work again. So, I did what anyone would do and disassembled it for a more detailed cleaning. I didn't bother taking any pictures or video but it was quite similar to what the guy in the video below did.

Only thing I can add is that you may wish to have a bit of canned air on hand to blow it out since my mouse was filled with dust, lint and hair.

If you like working on electronics and you live in Seoul, the area around Yongsan Station (right of the station proper when you're facing the main entrance) has several small shops with tools and parts. If you find yourself in a redlight district then you're in the wrong place.

10 April 2009


One thing that has always driven me nuts in my time overseas was the lack of reading material. I love books and in non English speaking countries they tend to be; expensive, hard to find, and there never seems to be much of a selection. So what's a bibliophile to do? Find 'em free on the Internet of course.

Hal Spacejock
- Is an Australian series about the misadventures of a space cargo pilot. First book in the series is available for free download. It's a decent read and the price is right.

Baen Books has all of their books available for download in several formats at WebScription including a large number of free books in their Free Library.

Finally; Google Books and Project Gutenberg have a number of old online. (With Google you need to mess with the settings a bit to make it show full books).

04 April 2009

Walking Tour of Seoul

Last Sunday, I went on a walking tour of Seoul's Joseon era palaces conducted by the Royal Asiatic Society's Korea Branch. The tour itself was fairly well done and I was continually impressed by the guide's extensive knowledge of Korean History. (Though his knowledge of non Korean History and Politics could have used a tiny bit of refinement).

We started the tour at Deoksugung Palace which is located next to Seoul City Hall subway station (Line 1 and Line 2).

The palace complex has several preserved and brightly painted buildings.

The above building was designed by a British Architect and constructed at the end of the 19th century.

Side View

This building was built quite a bit later during the Japanese Colonial Period and it adjoins the above building.

More of the Palace Complex

You can see the city in the background of this shot.

Site of the former Imperial Russian Legation
The American Ambassador's residence is down the hill and to the left

Another Palace

The original was destroyed during the Japanese Colonial period and was later rebuilt by the Korean Government. This one sits behind the Seoul city museum.

Traditional Korean Houses

The Blue House

This is the home of the President of Korea and is the site of the infamous Blue House Raid when a group of North Korean commandos infiltrated in an attempt to assassinate President Park Chung-hee.

Picture from another Palace

Government Building on the Grounds of another Palace

The Last Palace

Members and relatives of the Korean Royal Family lived in this palace until 1991 when it was acquired by the Government.

Fairly sure that this is a palanquin


The Grounds

Another shot of the grounds

Train Tracks

All in all it was a fairly good tour, if a bit long (8 hours). An amusing consequence of this was the fact that I got a mild sunburn. When I showed up to school the next day, the students were all convinced that my face was red because I'd been drinking heavily all weekend and several of the other teachers thought it was because I was angry about something.

If you are in Korea, I recommend checking out the the Royal Asiatic Society's Korea Branch's website for a list of future tours. The cost for the one I went on was 20,000 won and I learned a lot about Korean History.