Thursday, May 31, 2007

First nations goes digital... Another rant...

I was checking out the CBC website today as I always do and I come across this headline...

"Manitoba chiefs want cellphone revenue"

I clicked and continued reading and what my eyes conveyed to my brain was one of the most outlandish claims I've ever heard.

This Chief wants to actually to get "compensated" for every cell phone signal that passes through their First Nations land. This is what he said:

"[The request is] based on the understanding that we do have some fundamental rights as indigenous people to land, water and airspace," said Chief Ovide Mercredi of the Grand Rapids First Nation.

"When it comes to using airspace, it's like using our water and simply because there's no precedent doesn't mean that it's not the right thing to do," he said.

Okay, so this precedent isn't actually set but just imagine if it is. Next, we will be asking radio stations for cash because they are using "our" airways. The same goes for satellite TV. Then, we may decide to ask Air Canada for some bucks because planes that fly overhead are using radios and GPS to navigate "in our airspace."

Indians get a lot of slack in Canada from non-indians. I know "Indian" isn't the proper term but when they are scheming like this they deserve to be called Indians. Actually, indians without the large 'I' is better.

See I respect this type of First Nations dude...

You know, the Lakota dude who sells the pills for back pain and arthritis. That's a legitimate gig right there.

Fuck this "Gimme money because I'm an indian" bullshit. We give you enough already...

Tuesday, May 29, 2007

Twaegi galbi...

Twaegi galbi is pork galbi. Galbi is just barbequed meat I think. Just imagine how much galbi, or bacon for that matter, you could get from this ridiculously sized wild pig.
Over ten feet from snout to hoof...


Monday, May 28, 2007

Time for rant...

I stumbled across this just now.

It's a bunch of pictures of "Al-Qaeda Style" torture techniques.

I fully support Americans torturing terrorists but I don't support terrorists torturing people back.

Here's my favorite method the terrorists use.Now I must state I'm not a racist, but the middle eastern people, I dunno. I used to think the war was against terrorism or something like that but it's not. It's now turned into a battle of extremism versus moderation. And if you look at who these extremists are, well, they all turn out to be Muslims

This is especially true for the whole Lebanon and Hamas thing. Both parties, the extremists and moderates, want to rule. What we have to do is help strengthen the moderates and impose a solution to both parties.

Some dude I was listening to the other day had this to say. Everywhere else the US has said "Okay, you people are fighting and you gonna reach peace." He said a few examples where this has worked such as Kosovo.

And say what you want about America and the fact that Iraq's in a bad war. Yeah that's rather obvious. But it's also rather obvious that the people they are fighting have a big ol' chip on their shoulder and hopefully they don't convince the "sensible" Muslims to also take on this chip. What's maybe a little less obvious to many is that Lebanon is not Iraq and it has a /relatively/ stable (well, when compared to Iraq) government.

In other news the US and Iran are gonna sit down and have a chat. It's been like 27 years since they sat around and chewed the fat. Iran could be a big part in the solution to all of this but I doubt they will be much help. Iran is the most successful "democracy" in the region besides Israel.

That's not really saying a whole lot but it says something I suppose.

Anyways, politics is kinda boring so I'm gonna go read one of the books I bought today. I've already started the 'international best seller' "The Alchemist" by Paulo Coelho. I think it's gonna give me hope and help me follow my heart and face my fears and a bunch of other cliched things related to positivity. I just hope it doesn't turn me into a big pussy.

I also purchased "L!fe, the Un!verse and Everyth!ng" by Douglas Adams, the dude who wrote "The Hitchhikers Guide to the Galaxy." I haven't read anything by him before but I'm hoping it's gonna be similar to Vonnegut.

And finally, I bought "Slaughterhouse-five" by Vonnegut. It's the only book I've read twice, and I'm gonna read it a third time. I'm bored at work and they didn't have anything else that appealed me at the store.

I was gonna but a book about the Middle East but I figured it would probably make me too angry and then my "Korea" blog would end up being a lot more of this.

I read this somewhere, maybe a friend wrote it, I don't remember. "Muslims have such nice food, why can't they just relax.

Great statement, and I agree. Chill out b'ys...

And I gotta get myself a vice.

Booked solid...

By now I'm sure you, like myself, are a member of Facebook. I avoided it for a long time thinking that it was just another Hi5 or Myspace ripoff.

In a way I suppose that's all it really is, but unlike like the other "social networks" it seems that everyone who's ever used a computer is on Facebook. I have people on my list who I've totally thought my brain would never be reminded of again.

The site, like all "social networking" sites, is kinda creepy. It tells you what other members are doing, like adding pictures and comments and shit like dat.

I read today that the developer of the site is some 25 year old Harvard dropout ala Bill Gates. And like Microsoft, he's trying to get third party companies to develop software and ideas for Facebook. Believe it or not, Facebook traffic has recently surpassed Ebay in the last month and it is in the top five most visited sites in America (or maybe the universe, I can't remember).

I jsut wish I had Franky Basha as a friend on there.

Friday, May 25, 2007

King of the jungle... Yeah right...

This has nothing to do with anything but it's pretty cool.

I saw this video at geekologie. Here's what they had to say about the video...

"This video was taken while on safari and shows a battle between a pride of lions, a herd of buffalo, and two crocodiles at a watering hole in South Africa's Kruger National Park. Throw in Voltron and you've got yourselves a war."

Thursday, May 24, 2007

More on The Hermit Kingdom...

I want to write more about North Korean "vacation" but there's not much to really talk about because we weren't really allowed to do anything.

It was more like going to a resort that you couldn't leave so I'm just gonna talk about a few pictures I took.

In this picture you see me drinking water and a bunch of South Koreans getting some water.

This ain't just any water though. This is special spring water that actually makes you ten years younger. After I drank it I felt great, and well, a little immature.

They say if you're greedy and drink too much of this water that you'll end up back in your mother's womb because you'll be so young. I didn't wanna test this theory so I just drank a little.

This picture was taken from the bus after we went through North Korean immigration. You can see a picture of Kim Il-sung on the building. It sucked because we weren't supposed to take picture's from the bus and they had soldiers all along the road watching us. If they see you taking pictures from the bus they hold up a red flag and then all of the buses have to stop. Soldiers will then come on the bus and kill you or something. I'm not sure what they do actually, maybe they just delete your pictures if they can figure out how to use the camera.

The lack of propaganda was actually the most disappointing part about the trip. I was expecting big pictures of the Kims everywhere but I only saw two. There were many signs but I can't read Korean so I don't know what they said. There were also a lot of inscriptions on the mountains and rocks that I couldn't read.

This picture was taken after the acrobatics performance. The show was truly impressive but we weren't allowed to take pictures. We could only take snaps when the show was over. The music for the show was actually performed by a live orchestra on the balcony.

My favorite performance was this chick who had three full wine glasses on a tray and a thin sword a few feet long. I can't remember exactly how this went but I think she took the sword, tilted her head back, put the sword in her mouth, then balanced the tray on the sword. This was impressive enough but she kept stepping it up.

A trapeze then lowered from above and she was hoisted up. She was hanging on the trapeze by her legs and started swinging back and forth. She still had the tray of wine glasses balanced on the sword that was in her mouth. She changed positions a few times all while swinging and the concentration and skill that went into this was unbelievable. I'm pretty good at balancing and stuff. I can ride a bike really really good, even with no hands, but the performance she was putting on was much better.

Still in awe of this swinging lady, she once again turned it up another notch. She took a large ring and started swinging it on her leg, then she started juggling with her hands.

So she's now swinging on a trapeze balancing a tray of glasses on a sword that she's holding in her mouth, swinging a ring on the leg, and juggling. Crazy!

Say what you want about Kim Jung-il and his tyrannical regime but damn, the man knows how to put on a good acrobatics show. That's more than can be said for most world leaders.

We also weren't allowed to take any pictures of North Korean people but I did anyway. I walked along with my camera held in front of my stomach and happened to get this picture. It's my favorite picture from the entire trip. Those two men are North Koreans as you can tell by the pin on their shirts. All North Koreans have to wear Kim Il-sung their pins all the time and they get new pins on certain holidays.

The guy with his hand on his head is like a big metaphor for something to do with North Korea. Their plight, their hardships, their struggles.

I'm not exactly sure what that metaphor is but it's probably something like "Man, it's warm in these black clothes on this sunny day" or maybe "Why did god create me this way. I don't want to be this way anymore, but that young white boy in front of me is so damn hot that I can't look at him any longer without my heart breaking."

I hope it was the first one because I wouldn't wanna be forced to tell the other North Korean dude that his buddy is a fruit. He doesn't seem to be the open-minded type.

Here's another picture of that dude. This time he's contemplating something. Again, a great picture that can be used as some kind of analogy for North Korea. And again, the exact wording isn't coming to me as simply as I would like it to, but I have a few ideas.

Maybe the analogy is something like "I feel that myself, like my country, is just a woman trapped in a man's body" or maybe "I wish my country was not so poor because then I could get that sex change I've been dreaming of since I was 13."

Of course, the woman is a symbol of democracy and the man being hardliner communism. The sex change is a symbol for his countries desire to change over to the free market system, and more importantly, to allow him to make some bucks to get a set of breasts.

I almost feel bad for making fun of this poor man who lives in the most repressed country on Earth, but thankfully I don't feel bad. Yes, I do pity him a little but he probably lives better than 95% of North Koreans. And also, laughter is the best medicine right?

I'm sure he probably got some shit wrote about me on his blog too.

Basketball, drama, and racism...

To begin, I have to express my disgust with the NBA and the playoffs.

The league ruined the Suns entire season with their ridiculous suspensions of Amare (AKA Black Jesus) and Diaw. Robert Horry body checks Steve Nash the Suns get screwed in the process because a couple of the b'ys left the bench.

I've always hated the Spurs and Robert Horry, but
now I'm starting to hate the NBA via the Spurs and Big Shot Rob.

So now we have the Spurs and Jazz in the conference final. This series could quite possibly be the most unappealing matchup in playoff history.

On the other side we have th Pistons and Cavs. I like the Pistons and Cavs are alright but I'm still not sold on Lebron. He will never be Michael Jordan (well, nobody will) and he's just not very exciting for me. Don't get me wrong, he's a phenomenal player but the excitement factor is not as high as it should be.

I don't really care who wins the championship just as long as it isn't the Spurs. But you know what, they're gonna be just about impossible to beat.

But that's what everyone thought about the Lakers a few years back and the Pistons had their way with them. I'll just have to wait and see.

Sticking to the topic of basketball, I went out and got drunk last night. Today is Buddha's birthday so it's a holiday.

I went ot Hyehwa with a Newfy friend and hit up a bunch of bars. We covered a lot of ground going to a few artsy/dirty/dingy places, a couple of strange basement establishments that were really cool although empty, and then to a dance bar.

At our first basement bar we ordered something call dundungju or maybe dongdongju. Either way, it was pretty disgusting. It was this weird carbonated milky sour drink that came in a large pumpkin bowl. It was similar to this other Korean drink called makali but much grosser.

The best thing about the place was this girl sitting in the corner wearing a leopard print shirt. Hot. Really.

By the time we hit the dance club I was no longer anywhere near sober. My buddy left to go home but I stayed out and it's blurry from there on in.

I remember dancing with these girls for a long time but this Korean dude kept coming over and dancing with me to seperate me from the girls. The girls would keep coming back my wayHdancing with me and soon enough the dude would be back again. He was being really nice the whole time while attempting to keep me away. He was really pissing me off but I was the only white guy in the place so what can you do?

I asked him what his deal was but I don't know what he said. Neither of the girls were his girlfriend though. My conclusion on the whole incident is that he is simply a racist and I told him that.

I remember saying "Stop being a fucking racist man. What's the deal?" He'd just smile at me.

When I left the place I was talking to the guys outside at the door for a bit. All I remember saying is "Man, there's some racist shit going on in there. You shouldn't let racists in your bar." We all had a laugh at my drunken rant and I'm glad I'm able to be a prick but go about it in a way that doesn't get my ass kicked. I think I inherited this skill from my dad.

It was now time to go home and as I stumbled through the streets trying to get to the main drag, I came across a film set on a basketball court. I asked around and they were filming a scene for some Korean drama (soap opera but they always call them dramas here).

I tried my hardest to get myself in the show but they didn't need a drunk white guy for whatever scene they were shooting.

Once again, a bunch of racists. Every scene should have a drunken white guy in it, especially if it's a scene involving basketball.

I tried to explain to the director that I was twice the runner-up in my Provincial free throw competition but it didn't impress him. Racist!

I also should have told him that one night at the batting cages I got the highest score on the basketball game a few weeks back. He probably would have been more receptive to my request to be in his show then.
Soon after I got a taxi home and woke up 6:00 today.

Tomorrow I have an open class and some district people are coming to evaluate my class. I'm teaching a grade 6 lesson that I've alreayd taught to four classes and it went well even though my co-teacher Dong-sik was still half drunk from the night before.

He said he didn't remember going home Tuesday night. His roommate woke him up the next morning and he said he didn't know where he was. As soon as I walked into school and saw him I knew he had a hard night and when I got close enough to him I could smell the booze. He reaked of booze actually.

While we were teaching that morning he left a few times to go throw up. But I gotta hand it to him, he's a damn good teacher when he's drunk.

We finished teaching before lunch and by 1:00 he had himself locked in our English classroom passed out on the table.

He's a great guy but I hope he's sober tomorrow for our open class.

And I hope the people coming to evaluate my class aren't a bunch of racists!

Wednesday, May 16, 2007

The b'ys...

Here's a picture of me and the b'ys... The b'ys being The Dear Leader and The Great Leader (AKA The Eternal President)... They also go by Kim Jung-il and Kim Il-sung... It's a mosaic made with 250,000 pieces...
I kinda felt like a third wheel though...

Sunday, May 13, 2007

Northern touch...

Here's an email I sent a friend... decided to paste it here... Will write more later...

My trip to the North was really cool, interesting and fucked up. The mountains are absolutely beautiful and the hike wasn't difficult. It's crazy crossing over, going through customs, and standing face to face with the cold stare of a North Korean soldier. Everything is so organzizd that its creepy. We had to line up in a certain order to go through immigration, the bus had to pass through he DMZ and a specific time, you can't take pictures at certain points...

The most interesting part was driving along in the bus and seeing the North Korean villagers working on their fields, riding by on their bikes, or just "hanging out" in the middle of a field by themselves.


It was funny when the tour guide would translate some of the random signs and they say things like "We must defeat our greatest enemy, America!!"

All of the North Koreans have to wear a pin with Kim Il Sung (the former leader) and thats how you know if a person is from the North. We all had name tags and ID's and some NK's came up and said "Oh, Canada" but they never say anything to the Americans for the most part because they are the enemy.

The resort was awesome though... very classy... It was built by Hyundai so it's first class... Probably the nicest hotel I ever stayed in actually. The hot spa was also awesome and it was easy to forget that we were in one of the most repressive, screwed up places on Earth...

The North Korean villagers we got to see are not your typical NK's though. They have a much better quality of life than most people in the country because they live near the resort and Hyundai help them out, giving them a few trackers and stuff for farming... They still don't have electricity (I don't think anyway) and they still live in the past, but they aren't starving to death and they have adequate shelter, some schools, and well, food I guess.

The strangest thing I was an army truck going down the road with a shit load of smoke coming from it. Our guide explained that because of the fuel shortage in the country, they actually have the truck modified so that they are powered by the burning of wood as opposed to gasoline. Old school.

Anyways, time to go teach some kids who are poor by Seoul's standards, but extremely well off when compared to their brothers and sisters a mere 100 km's away.

The world ain't fair is it...

Thursday, May 10, 2007

The great white north...

Tomorrow, which is Friday, I leave for North Korea. I return to Seoul late Sunday night.

I'm going to hike some mountain and stay in a "first rate" hotel in NK Saturday night. Supposedly the mountains are nice. This is what the website says about them (to check out the details of my adventure click here and then select "2nd North Korea Trip").
"The mountains are very beautiful. People usually ascend in apprehension
but descend dazzled, lacking for words to depict the surreal land of fairies,
immortal hermits, dragons and phoenixes."

I mean, seriously? What in the hell is that all about? Maybe Kim Jung Il isn't actually crazy after all and he really does control some sort of surreal ,mystical paradise.

I just hope I get to eat some dragon meat.

If that ain't possible, I will gladly settle for some boiled fairies. But only if the fairies are cooked like lobster and I get to hear them scream when they are dropped into the pot.

Ok, that sounds really cruel and twisted and I apologize to anyone who likes fairies. Forget about the lobster style dish.

Battered and deep fried fairies is probably much more humane, and much more delicious!