Thursday, January 31, 2008

Cave and Cart


Cave and Cart
Originally uploaded by karmking1111.
I finally got a pic put into the coolest flickr group out there: Entrance to Hell . Check it out.

Wednesday, January 30, 2008

Animator vs. Animation 2

One of the coolest videos I've ever seen. Makes me wonder where my imagination has gone. There's a better quality vid at http://www.malgusto.com/flash/200709_animacion-vs-animador2.php

Monday, January 21, 2008

The Festival


The Festival
Originally uploaded by karmking1111.
Pictured is the Sancheoneo Ice Festival. It is an event that is supposed to honor the mountain trout that resides at this high altitude. How do people honor this fish? By yanking it out of the lake and frying it up. Here there are literally thousands of people drilling holes in the ice in an attempt to go fishing. Does anyone else see something iffy about this? Thousands of people-- holes in the ice.

I think this festival is a testament to cabin fever rather than about any fish. There was ice fishing, Korean sledding, ice skating, four wheeling on ice, dune buggies on ice and generally just people on ice. Cold as it was, it was a good time.

A Million Other Strangers


A Million Other Strangers
Originally uploaded by karmking1111.
The sledding field was a bit crowded.

Ice Town


Ice Town
Originally uploaded by karmking1111.

Go!


Go!
Originally uploaded by karmking1111.
Pictured is one of the attractions at the ice festival, bare-handed trout fishing. I was content to take pictures of this event.

There Always Has to be One


There Always Has to be One
Originally uploaded by karmking1111.
False start.

Waiting


Waiting
Originally uploaded by karmking1111.
Talking game strategy while freezing their cahones off.

Don't Ask


Don't Ask
Originally uploaded by karmking1111.
Where do you put the fish when you have no bag and your pockets are too small? (Wait, let me answer that question for you.) Down your shirt.

Gotcha


Gotcha
Originally uploaded by karmking1111.
Tim and his catch.

Di's Sled


Di's Sled
Originally uploaded by karmking1111.
The race is on.

The Attempt


The Attempt
Originally uploaded by karmking1111.
Before. Here Scott puts on a show for the Koreans. With beer in hand he attempts to run, jump on the sled, and ride across the ice with predictable results.

Splat


Splat
Originally uploaded by karmking1111.
After

Ice Kat


Ice Kat
Originally uploaded by karmking1111.
Kat with her protective bag in front.

Inflexable


Inflexable
Originally uploaded by karmking1111.
Here I am trying desperately to fit on my sled. Maybe it's time to get back into stretching.

Hell on Wheels on Ice


Hell on Wheels on Ice
Originally uploaded by karmking1111.
It's never to icy or cold for recreational, motorized vehicles.

Psyched


Psyched
Originally uploaded by karmking1111.
You gotta stay psyched to stay warm.

Road Warriors


Road Warriors
Originally uploaded by karmking1111.
The new ice skating.

Seoul Sunrise


Seoul Sunrise
Originally uploaded by karmking1111.
The day started early.

Thursday, January 17, 2008

Winter Camp Kids


Winter Camp Kids
Originally uploaded by karmking1111.
Awhile ago I wrote a bitchy post about how I had to teach at this winter camp. We (the foreign teachers) were told it was voluntary and then we were forced to sign up for it. We were told we would have breaks and then watched as they were slowly taken away. We were told we could choose our subject matter, then I was informed I had to teach math. I was skeptical when I started the thing, but, and it pains me to say this, everything turned out okay.

The kids were great. They were pretty high level English speakers and surprisingly anxious to learn. My co-teacher was awesome and she set up the math unit all by herself. We also got to teach outdoor sports and despite being the middle of January that worked out as well. We taught the kids hockey and American football and only one kid got wanged in the face with a hockey stick and had to go to hospital. That's pretty good for us. Another one of our children walked face first into a razor wire fence and had to get stitches, but that's another story. Overall the whole thing worked very well, despite my attempts to hate it.

Lotte World in All Its Glory


Lotte World in All Its Glory
Originally uploaded by karmking1111.
The kids have always told me about Lotte World. They ask, "Teacher, do you know about Lotte World?" and I'll say, "No," and they'll proceed to tell me about all the wonderful things in this place. First, it's a little hard to get as excited as the kids about Lotte Word. For one, Lotte is giant corporation kind of along the lines of Wal-Mart. In fact, they ran Wal-Mart out of business in South Korea. Imagine Wal-Mart making Wal-Mart World. I can't really imagine lining up to see that. Also, anything wholesome and family oriented has lines out the door, so I've never been too enthused to stand around with a bunch of strangers and their screaming children. Still, I've been a bit curious to see what all the hype was about. I got my chance this Tuesday when the winter camp I'm working for took me and the kids on a field trip to the infamous Lotte World.

If you're a Korean kid, aged 11, who doesn't know any better; then Lotte World is amazing. If you're a disgruntled waygook-en then Lotte World is laughable. I guess I'm jaded because I hit up Magic Mountain in California over the summer so I expected miles of roller coasters. I got meters of kiddie rides. Still, it's all about the kids, right? (That's a serious question.) They took me on all their favorite rides and ate way too much junk food. They had a blast and that's all that matters; that and I didn't have to pay a dime.

Does Disney Konw About This?


Does Disney Konw About This?
Originally uploaded by karmking1111.
From bootleg DVDs to amusement parks, Korea is the place to get knock-offs.

the Best Ride Ever!


the Best Ride Ever!
Originally uploaded by karmking1111.
The lines were too long for the real rides so I just took the kids on the escalator a few times.

Where'd All the Whities Come From

This is the Lotte World Grand Musical. It was a musical that involved acrobats, Egyptians, Mad Scientists, Russian acrobats pretending to be Polynesians. It was a little hard to follow.

Sack O' Chips


Sack O' Chips
Originally uploaded by karmking1111.
Before. (Ryan was quite the eater. He refused to put his backpack in a locker because is was, as he put it, full of snacks.)

The Hurler


The Hurler
Originally uploaded by karmking1111.
After. (Ryan doesn't look so good.)

Extreme Tea Cups


Extreme Tea Cups
Originally uploaded by karmking1111.
Experience the joy of spinning around in circles.

My Posse


My Posse
Originally uploaded by karmking1111.

Kat's Posse


Kat's Posse
Originally uploaded by karmking1111.
Kat and da girls.

Despite this promotional video, there are plans to visit the Hwacheon Ice Festival. I think the script for this piece of marketing media was translated directly from Korean to English with no consideration for cultural language differences. That accounts for its ridiculousness and the utter irritation it can cause upon viewing. I believe hell is watching a documentary of my life with this narrator doing the voice overs. Still, the festival promises to be interesting.

Sunday, January 13, 2008

Under the Watchful Gaze


Under the Watchful Gaze
Originally uploaded by karmking1111.
Welcome to the morning commute. Kat and I are working at a winter camp for about a week and half and we have the morning commute from hell. I'm usually half awake during this and I just go with the flow. On days like this I console myself with the thought that I'm not from here, I'm just a visitor and some day I'll be in Wyoming, population 500,000.

The Walk to Work


The Walk to Work
Originally uploaded by karmking1111.
Last year the kids wrote an essay about their favorite season and a surprising number of them said winter. The number one reason they sited winter was because of the snow which I thought was odd because you only get one or two snowstorms a year here (and wouldn't really count those as snowstorms). Even when there is barely a trace of snow you and see kids scraping the ground trying to get enough snow to make a snowball. What they usually get is a clump of ice, dirt and gravel; which they then hurl at their friend resulting in the inevitable trip to the school nurse. That's just a long way of saying it snowed of Friday and I liked it.

Chaos


Chaos
Originally uploaded by karmking1111.
Sometimes the pace of life here can be a bit hectic.

Huts


Huts
Originally uploaded by karmking1111.
A new temple that Kat and I went to that's surprisingly close.

Mossy Dragons


Mossy Dragons
Originally uploaded by karmking1111.
The Buddhists have some really neat stuff.

The Amazing Putzmeister


The Amazing Putzmeister
Originally uploaded by karmking1111.
I wonder who came up with the name for this vehicle and what they were thinking.

Connectivity


Connectivity
Originally uploaded by karmking1111.
Lots of things are crowded in Seoul.

My Grandpa


My Grandpa
Originally uploaded by karmking1111.

Ed Knopp


Ed Knopp
Originally uploaded by karmking1111.
On the 8th my grandfather, Ed Knopp, passed away. He had lots of family around, but I still wish I could have been there. If you get a chance, read the obituary. It should be a goal for most people to have an obituary like his. Here are some random memories I have of him:

-My grandpa taught me how to throw fireworks. While my parents were telling me to light them and run away, he was showing me how to toss black cats.

-My grandpa made me stilts.

-My grandpa set up some hay bails for archery practice for me. I was always much better with a bow than he was.

-I always thought grandpa was a much better harmonica player than a fiddle player.

-My interest in investing and the stock market is owed to my grandpa. At the ripe age of eight him and my grandma taught me how to read the stock quotes in the daily paper.

-If napping were a sport, then my grandpa would be the Michael Jordan of napping. I'm trying to follow in his footsteps.

-My grandpa has been to all seven continents. In that I am also trying to follow in his footsteps.

-My grandpa could be quite controlling at times. When I was 13 he deemed that I was too skinny and that my sister could loose a few pounds. To remedy this situation he would take food away from my sister and give it to me.

-I never knew anyone who could talk to everyone like my grandpa.

-I was always told that swearing was a sin and I believed it was a sin you could go to hell for, so I was always shocked when grandpa and his brothers would get together and every other word was "goddamn , hell, or son of a bitch". Sometimes I think they just swore at each other with no topic of conversation.

-I remember watching the Friday night line up with my grandparents "Dukes of Hazard" followed by "The Incredible Hulk" and then "Dallas". I always thought Dallas was terminally boring.

-My grandpa used to grab me, hold me down and scratch his whiskers against my face. This minor form of torture always entertained him.

-My grandma and grandpa taught me how to play blackjack at an early age.

-My grandpa was a paradox. He scrimped and saved all his life but would give money freely to the grand children. When the can opener broke he waited until can openers went on sale to buy one, but he and my grandma bought me a new car for graduation. They then bought me another one when the first got old and run down. He is the reason I am now a spoiled brat.

-Grandpa taught me (by force) to eat my vegetables.

-I got to go up in one of the planes my grandpa went sky-diving out of. I was 16 and he was 70. I remember him just kind of toppling out of the plane and he was amazed how at how fast he fell away from me.

There hasn't been a lot of death in my family so I'm kind of confused at how to deal with this. Of course I'm sad, but I'm sad for myself knowing that I won't see him again in this life. I've been so lucky to know my grandpa for so long. So much of what I try to achieve in this life is based on what he achieved. He's always been a role model and I count it as a blessing that we were so close. I think the only thing to say is he will be missed.

Saturday, January 05, 2008

Christmas Time 2007

For better or worse the holiday season is over. It was an memorable one that will be easy to forget. There were some great things that happened in there and then some points where nothing happened at all.

Christmas Eve
On Christmas eve we gathered at Scott and Allison's place for some Christmas Eve cheer (Yagermeister), had a traditional Christmas Eve dinner (marinated rib meat and kimchi), and then sang some Christmas carols (Born to be Wild at the no-re-bong). After that we opened presents delivered by the Christmas platypus and bathed in egg-nog. I'll let you decide which parts are true and which parts are false.

New Year's Eve
I hate to break it to everyone, there are other Wyoming people in Korea (hold the Brokeback comments please). Sarah and Jason Behuniak have arrived and are teaching English in Ulsan, about four hours south of Seoul. Since the distance between our cities is a little much, I won't be able to see as much of them as I would like. Still, Kat and I have visited their quaint little chunk of Korea and this New Year's they came up and visited ours.

I learned that I love playing tour guide. We went to the palace, to some markets, to the museum, and we only got lost once. The good thing Sarah and Jason showed up on some of the clearest days I've ever seen in Seoul. They also showed up on some of the coldest days I've ever seen as well. Bars are pretty warm so we took them to a few of those on New Year's eve and we all had a blast. I did the kind of dancing that makes me shudder the next day when I think about it, but that's all part of the fun.

The Long Bout of Dullness in Between
In between the two holidays was a lot of time. Time for what? Not much. It's one of those things where I swear I'm going to get this and this and this done, and somehow I don't do any of it. I liken my will power this holiday season to a clunker automobile in sub-zero temperatures; it takes a lot of effort to get me started and once I get to my destination it's too late to do anything. Here's what I accomplished:

-Played Final Fantasy. My friends called me a geek for playing this one. Thankfully I came to the conclusion that Final Fantasy Tactics is a boring assed game and there are better uses of my time. Too bad it took me four days to realize this.

- Bought a new camera; but I don't take any pictures with it. I'm scarred of my luck with cameras. For right now I think I'll just stare at it and take pictures of things in the apartment. We'll work up from that.

-Made lists of things to do. Unfortunately these lists became lists of things that I'd like to do could I must up the motivation.

-Went to the gym. I think the act of picking up heavy things, moving them around for a bit and returning them to the place I found them is the perfect symbolic gesture for this holiday season.

-Writing in my journal. There was a lot of self-psycho-analysis going on.

The thing is in a week or two everything is going to hit all at once. School will be in full swing, university will start, there are side projects, I won't find time to do my laundry, the toilet will overflow. I just wish I could get some of these things out of the way but there's only so much laundry you can do ahead of time. I wish I could take this free time and package it for later when I'm burnt out; take an hour or two throw it in a box and open it during finals. I wish for so much and my girlfriend just has one wish, that I could relax.

My New Toy, the S5


My New Toy, the S5
Originally uploaded by karmking1111.
I'm going to jinx this one right of the back. The first camera I ever had lasted me 13 years. I'm hoping the same for this one. I have earphones on in this picture, but don't be confused, the camera doesn't play MP3s.

Gyeonbukgung


Gyeonbukgung
Originally uploaded by karmking1111.
The palace and the city.

Guards! Guards!


Guards! Guards!
Originally uploaded by karmking1111.
North Korea has no chance with these guys on the scene.

Happy Dragons


Happy Dragons
Originally uploaded by karmking1111.
These things look ecstatic. It's an old-fashion Voloft ad.

Friday, January 04, 2008

Rooftops


Rooftops
Originally uploaded by karmking1111.

Sarah and Jason


Sarah and Jason
Originally uploaded by karmking1111.
I did one to the biggest photo faux pas, I took the picture from to far away. I hate it when people do this to me. "Thanks for the picture, but that could be anybody standing there." Still I got the building in the background.

Am I Seeing Things?


Am I Seeing Things?
Originally uploaded by karmking1111.
And then the flashbacks began.

The House of the Future


The House of the Future
Originally uploaded by karmking1111.
"Honey, I know it sounds strange, but it's like this house is alive, like it's listening to us."

Enter If You Dare


Enter If You Dare
Originally uploaded by karmking1111.
Sometimes it's amazing what I find when I go for random bike rides. I never could have predicted seeing this thing. What's better is this park has an English camp. I'm not sure how these things facilitate the learning of English but they seem pretty cool. However, this is one of those things that are supposed to be fun, but as a kid I would have found terrifying; eaten alive by the English monster.

Pretty Duck


Pretty Duck
Originally uploaded by karmking1111.
I was lying about that thing about not taking the camera out. I've been test driving the new S5 for a while now. Behold the fruits of my labor; a duck!

Bird


Bird
Originally uploaded by karmking1111.
Some of the wildlife I see on my bike rides around Seoul. Unfortunately this is as wild as it gets.