Wednesday, June 30, 2004

Exciting New Project

Following the purchase of some books for the in-laws, I have struck upon an idea. I would like to have a project whereby everyone who reads this blog, limited numbers I agree, would send me a photo from their part of the world that they took on July the 10th. Then I could put it into a Webpage. Sounds cool?

If you are interested send it to my email. It would be nice to get 10 or 15 pics from around the world.
Strange Feeling of an Empty House

It felt a bit unusual coming home from the airport last night. The house was empty and had so much more space in it. I guess that I've just gotten used to having the in-laws at home. They weren't difficult to live with, I must say.

Yu-Jin's room was almost completely empty. I remember that it was full of junk before the in-laws came and now it looks barren following their departure. Then I thought - it's because all of Yu-Jin's junk is sitting in the living room so that they had some space to put their belongings. It will soon be full again.

Yu-Jin didn't want to sleep in his room last night. He slept on his mattress, in his tent, in our room. Yes, I thought that it would be a cool idea for him to sleep in the tent but on the mattress. I'll have to take a photo sometime. He doesn't want to leave. I have to admit that the tent is a bit warmer than the rest of the room.

An old feeling has returned. That of being able to fart freely again. It's a wonderful feeling. And it's almost as though someone turned a switch.
Frugal Bastard Comes To The Fore

It was out to the airport following tea last night. The bags had been packed and the weight checked at home and found to be one kilogram over the limit. I bought some books about Australia to give to my in-laws but they weren't able to take them as they were too heavy.

As soon as we arrived at the airport the ladies reweighed the bags and found that they were 3.6 kilograms over the limit. Miky had brought another box, scissors and some tape. After some repacking of clothes the limit was achieved.

Then Miky went upstairs with Yu-Jin, who has some asthma and another ear infection so isn't very well, and got her mum to follow. I don't know what she was thinking. Her mum had to show her face at the checking-in desk to match that on the passport as she was taking the flight.

That's when I had a thought. We were there early and we should put all of the baggage on the scales at the checking-in counter. If they said, "That's too heavy," then I could take the extra box away. Fourty four kilos and no problem. Excellent. That saved about $45 in postal charges.

Upstairs we had some drinks, Miky and her sister had a look at the duty free shops, and then Yu-Jin and I went to the observation deck. There was a humungous Antonov and an Emirates Airbus parked at the terminal.

Time to say goodbye. No tears, surprisingly. On the way out I was saying to Miky that she took that a bit better than I expected. Then a voice rang out in the distance, "Mi-Kyoung ah!" It was my sister-in-law. The man at the departure point wouldn't allow them to take their bags onboard the plane. I know that you are only allowed one piece of hand luggage each. They had a heavy duty bag, a backpack, a handbag, a suit bag and a duty free bag. I thought that I could book the suit bag into the hold but in the end decided to see the guy. He said that they didn't have any immigration paperwork, too many bags and the heavy duty bag was two kilos too heavy. I thought that you could have one piece of luggage and a suit bag but it was one or the other. Then he said, "She's old so I'll let them take the heavy bag."
"Thanks mate."
Filled in the cards and said goodbye again. Actually, told them not to come back soon. Meaning not to give us any trouble. They got past the man this time.

Still cost me $5.80 for parking. At least the sister-in-law bought tea.

Tuesday, June 29, 2004

Who Should Pay?

On Saturday a nine year old boy started a fire in a supermarket. It ended up causing two million dollars damage. Police say that the boy used a cigarette lighter and an aerosol can to start the fire whereas the boy’s father said that there were some matches within easy reach and that’s how the fire was started.

My question is - Who should pay?

The boy is under the age of 10 and therefore the law says he cannot be held responsible for his crimes. I can handle that but I feel that the parents should be held responsible. Two million dollars is a lot to pay, though. I've heard the arguments that the shopping centre should have insurance therefore the parents shouldn't have to pay anything. Do people with that line of thought believe that all businesses should become targets for firebugs because they should have insurance? That's a little bit far-fetched. What if this little bastard set fire to your house? Shouldn't you have insurance? Does that make it ok?

The people who are legally responsible must be held accountable. I'm sure that the insurance industry would be interested in offering insurance packages so that parents could guard against their little horrors running around with their ADD or ADHD or whatever other excuse they like to use for the bad behaviour.

The father in this case says that the supermarket was at fault for leaving matches within reach of children. It was his son's first fire and he wasn't "known to police". He plans to take his son to the lock-up for a few hours. As if that is going to be a wake-up call. Keep you posted. Literally.

Monday, June 28, 2004

The Strength of The Australian Economy

All of us adults were sitting around talking last night. Miky wanted to know how strong the Australian economy was. Strange sort of subject for her to talk about, but anyway. I mentioned that Australia has one of the strongest economies in the world at the moment. She had the thought that it must have been doing well since she arrived. Do you think we have a case of princess disease or what?

Actually, I had to agree with her. Since she had come to Australia money had been pouring into the economy. MY MONEY. I never spent anything until I met her and now it is freely flowing into the economy. So it is all due to my spending.

So don't let little Johnny or Peter Costello tell you that the strength of the Australian economy is due to their fiscal policy. It has everything to do with my non-frugal spending habits since getting married.

Sunday, June 27, 2004

Australian Aboriginals Need A New Name

Let's put our heads together people. Aborigine means "native" therefore a lot of people in the world are actually Aboriginals. Just to name a few - Inuit (eskimoes), American Red Indians, Maoris. Quite rightly they could also be called Aborigines.

Take the Australian Aborigine. Without being derogatory there are no other names that they are known by. Isn't it high time that we came up with another term for them? Aborigine is too generic. Then they could forge a new identity.

It's worth a thought.

Celebrity Spotting

Remember a few weeks back I mentioned that a former teacher of mine had won the Premier's Maths Teacher of the First Semester award? Well, I bumped into her and her husband down at Fremantle last night where we had dined (scoffed ourselves more like it) on fish and chips. It was great to catch up and personally congratulate her upon the award.

And she was still so down to earth even after being made (more) famous after appearing in these hallowed pages. Ahem, ahem.

Modesty is not something I could be accused of being frugal with.
The Fitness King

I decided to do a bit of exercise yesterday. Having been tipping the scales at 80kg lately. And the guts is sticking out a bit. So Yu-Jin and I went to the playground - he on his trike and me jogging and bouncing a football. So it was bounce, run, stop for recovery. I'm so unfit. And this morning I've got quite a few bruises on my foot. Maybe I'll try the fitness thing in a few weeks once I've recovered.

Celebrity Marriage

Was wondering if the front-runner for the Italian soccer coaching job, Marcello Lippi, got married to former Melbourne AFL coach (now rabid Collingwood coaching staff member) Neal Balme's daughter, would she change her surname to Lippi-Balme?

Oh well. I try.

Friday, June 25, 2004

Welcome To My 100th Blog

Hasn't that come around quickly? And with so little substance included. I would like to make this a special posting. At least a little bit.

You Are Judged By The Company You Keep

There was an accident last night involving two cars in Perth, not far from our house I believe. An eighteen year-old woman was killed. She was a mother, so it was reported. Started a bit early didn't she? Sitting in the back seat she was. Didn't wear a seatbelt. Starting to sound like a bit of a loser, or at least a person who made some poor choices in life?

Both cars were being driven my unlicensed drivers. The car that she was travelling in was driven my her boyfriend. In fact, one of the drivers had never held a driver's license. It turns out that one of the cars had false number plates.

What the hell was going on here? I think this woman made a lot of wrong choices in life and she was only 18.

Darius Vassell

Who, I hear you ask. Well, he's one of the guys that missed penalties for England in their defeat by Portugal overnight in Euro 2004. I bet that old Darius is grateful that one David Beckham missed the other penalty. People can concentrate on Beckham instead and he can fade back into obscurity.

Beckham had two misses from the spot during the tournament. And we thought that his affairs were behind him. (Two missus - misses) - oh, nevermind.

Free Superannuation Money

Get into this one before it is too late. If you earn less than $31000 this financial year, which ends in five days time, the good old Aussie government will kick in dollar-for-dollar contributions up to $1000 to match your personal contributions. Free money people. Okay, you can't touch it until you retire when you are about 78 years old but it is still free. What a great incentive for people who don't have any money. That's right, get it tied up in superannuation when you don't have enough to live on already.

Sour Grapes

I wonder if this terminology came about following one of Italy's earlier defeats in a soccer tournament. They haven't made any friends by trying to make the Danes and Swedes guilty about having a 2-2 draw which saw both of the teams qualify for the semi-finals ahead of Italy. If those stupid Italians had beaten either of those two teams they would have progressed to the next round. They only have themselves to blame and obviously can't face up to that. Good riddance to bad rubbish.

My Job Is Great

I struggle to stop for a lunch break on most days as I am so busy. It's great. Friday comes around so quickly it is unbelievable. I would hate to be in a job where I was looking forward to Friday's arrival and counting down the days. Before I know it it is the weekend and believe me, that's not a bad way to work.

Football-Free Weekend

I know that it's a depressing thought and even more difficult to actually live through. I'm not really in favour of the weekend of byes in the AFL. What are we supposed to do on our weekend off. When you have a weekend off there is no better way to spend it than watching the footy.

Hotmail Account Size

I guess you've heard that Hotmail is going to provide a 250MB limit starting from July. I have a 1 GB account with Google and Yahoo! already raised my limit to 100MB. Time for you folks to start rolling the good stuff in. Feel free to send me heaps of videos etc.

The Family Is Heading Home

Next Tuesday my in-laws are heading back home. They have been staying with us for two and a half months. They haven't socialised with me too much in the time that they were here and they haven't really gone out and had a good look around either. I don't know what they do to pass the time.

Without them Yu-Jin wouldn't have been able to go to kindergarten and I am really grateful for that. Yu-Jin is starting to make friends at kindy. The only friend that he mentions is Jack. I don't know Jack. I don't know anyone as I have yet to attend kindy. I'm sure that I will miss his grandma and aunty after they have gone. I'm glad that they got to have some input into his upbringing. Yu-Jin has so little opportunity to mix with his family.

I need to think of a good present to buy them. Any ideas?
Yu-Jin Is Literally Minded

He certainly is. Take a look at this picture. He was reading the numbers. Think about what you see here.

Yu-Jin told me that the numbers were, "One.. three.. one.. square.. eight.. eight.. eight." Can't fault him on that one.

Poo Is My Favourite Word

Well, not mine. Yu-Jin uses it all of the time. We went shopping last night and at the checkout the girl said "Hello" to us and then to Yu-Jin. His reply was, "Hello Poo Bum."
"What's your name?" asked the girl.
"Toilet" came the reply.

Did we have a laugh.

Thursday, June 24, 2004

Latest Hostage Decapitation

When I heard the news that a South Korean civilian was captured in Iraq and was to be beheaded, it was a little surprising. His name was Kim Sun-il but I immediately thought of him as Him Soon-Dead. There was no way that they were going to release him. I can't believe that anyone thought they would.

Apparently there are a lot of South Koreans that want to join the military now and go to Iraq so that they can take revenge upon the perpetrators! That's quite surprising and obviously not what the Iraqis were expecting. They still believe in an eye for an eye in Asia.

I get the feeling now that there will be bugger all civilians left in Iraq soon. They'll all be buying their one-way tickets out of there. I do believe that the killers chose their victim well. Kim was a foreigner with degrees in English, Theology, and Arabic. There was some mention of him practising evangilism, as he wanted to be a minister upon his return to Korea, and I'm sure that riled the Iraqis.

I certainly don't condone the killing but it is much easier than fighting a full-frontal war. Guerilla warfare is now the norm.

Don't think that George W. Bush is going to pull the Yanks out. His father thought that he had won the war but he didn't manage to depose old Saddam. Saddam has been desposed but the Yanks still haven't won the war. If Bush is voted out of office in the coming Presidential elections, as I believe he will be, then the troops may come home but it will be another Vietnam.

But that's another story.

Wednesday, June 23, 2004

Little Johnny Is Flying The Flag

What does everyone think about Little Johnny's latest attempt to split the Labour Party? Well, that's all it is, isn't it?

John Howard wants all Australian schools to fly the Australian flag or lose Federal funding. Sounds like a good idea as I believe that every school should be flying the flag. We don't need to become too patriotic like the Yanks and treat it as a sacred symbol.

I can see through the smokescreen though. Little Johnny wants to make it more difficult to CHANGE the flag. No more referendum regarding changing our flag whilst Little Johnny is still in power. No sir-ree.

He's clever, Little Johnny. That's why he's been in politics for so long.

Big Fat Celebrity Spotting

Little bit more celebrity spotting the other day. I saw Kim Beazley on my way to work one morning recently. He was walking his dog, only one this time. Must be getting too much for the fat bastard to walk both at the same time.

Tuesday, June 22, 2004

Frugal Bastard Tip - Save On Postage

Without being so frugal as to do away with postage altogether, here is a little something that I tried.

Whilst overseas I wrote lots of postcards, at least 180 (I did keep track of it, including about 34 to my mother), and thought that I didn't have to pay the high prices of international postage. In France for example, it didn't make a lick of difference if you were posting a letter or a postecarte. Zounds!

Being the frugal bastard I am, I sent a stack of postcards to my mum and asked her to post them on for me to friends in Australia for only 45 cents each, instead of the three dollars each they would have cost me. Clever, eh? Frugal? Definitely.

Being the utter bastard that I am, I even mentioned to one of my friends that I had returned home early from my trip because I was homesick and missed my friends and would he mind giving me a call. This was about eight weeks into my year-long sojourn and was a very bastardly act. Grooks, sorry mate, fell for it and gave me a call. At least I knew that I could count Grooks as being one of my mates. Up until he made the phone call that is and found that I was still overseas.

Bastard. Frugal Bastard. It is possible to combine both aspects.
There Are No Refugees

What's this crap that I noticed on Nick Souter's Blog? He's going on about the refugees having been freed as some sort of trick to play on Merlin from Big Brother.

Well, they have. There are no refugees in Australia. There are people in detention centres but they have been refused refugee status. The only reason they are still here is that they continue to appeal their deportation.

I'm all for taking refugees. I even have some friends who were refugees from the former Yugoslavia and they are hard-working people who have made a success of themselves. Exactly the type of people we need in this country.

So, if Merlin was to be tricked by Nick, he wouldn't have been tricked at all. Not that I saw the episode of Big Brother in question but I guess they would have loved the controversy and publicity that Merlin's stunt gained them. So Gretel looked a bit stupid? Just who is she anyway to think that she is so good?

Friday, June 18, 2004

Tea Time Saga

Yu-Jin initially seemed keen to eat his tea tonight. I think the fact that mum gave him four, I repeat FOUR, biscuits before tea must have put a dampener on his enthusiasm to finish the job. Here is the result.

Oh well, you can but try. I think that Yu-Jin awoke just after I left for work this morning at 6:10 so he must have been tired. It was only 7 o'clock.

Thursday, June 17, 2004

Tea Time

Not so successful last night with the clock. I think that can be attributed to the fact that tea was not great. There were chicken, egg and vege pancakes, which were excellent, and fluffy white glutinous rice with red beans. Yu-Jin loves rice but he wasn't keen on this at all. And I don't blame him one bit. I struggled to eat mine. There was also some miyok gook - seaweed soup - which includes seaweed and meat. We all loved that and no complaints were forthcoming.

It took two hours for Yu-Jin to finish his tea but he did. Then he asked for a muesli bar as soon as it was done. That was wolfed down.

Wednesday, June 16, 2004

Death of a Video Tape

Miky taped a Korean movie a couple of nights ago. When she went to watch it last night she found that the tape was buggered and unwatchable. This gave me the chance to pull it apart. Yu-Jin helped me to unravel the tape and he was having a great time for about 20 minutes. There must have been 240 metres of tape.

After our shower he was pretending that the tape was hair, like Guy Sebastian and then he proceeded to cut it into 20 cm strips so that he could load it into his tip truck. I decided that he wasn't going to be able to complete that in one sitting.

Miky wondered why he was so quiet and came to investigate. She felt that something was wrong because he is only quiet when he is up to no good. I may have just found a way of keeping him busy. It certainly captured his interest.

The Tea Eating Saga

I said that I would keep you up to date on this issue. I put the clock in front of Yu-Jin last night as he sat down for tea and gave him 20 minutes to eat. He finished his meal, with few complaints, seconds before his time was up. Yu-Jin even ate the onions without making any fuss and he definitely hates onions. He must be too preoccupied with beating the clock. We'll see how long this works for. But it certainly makes the evening much better.

Tuesday, June 15, 2004

A New Product

How about a new makeup range called "Eat Me"? It could be made with the purpose of making ugly people a little more palatable.

The Paperless Society?

We are supposed to be moving to a paperless society. I went to my local health insurance outlet (HBF) to get a refund for a chiropractor bill. They don't deal with cash on the premises as they only have a small booth inside a chemist's office. In this case they printed a cheque for me and have a standing agreement with BankWest which is nearby to cash the cheque on the spot. Normally you would have to wait three days for a cheque to clear.

So, to recap. Go to the office, receive a cheque, walk to the bank, get the bank teller to exchange the cheque for cash, return to whatever activity in your life that you were conducting.

Electronic banking was supposed to lead to less effort on our behalf, nicht wahr?

Monday, June 14, 2004

Eating Tea Quickly

Yu-Jin is a bugger for eating his tea properly. Mum and aunty cooked hamburgers, pumpkin, potato, peas and broccoli for this evening's meal. By the time I had finished mine, followed by soup, he had just eaten his potato. Miky was starting to get fired up and I decided to try something different.

I grabbed a clock and showed him that he had 20 mins, by setting the alarm hand, and then he tea would be thrown in the bin and he'd get nothing more to eat. Then I went to wash the dishes.

The first 10 minutes were full of talking and attention seeking. The next five minutes consisted of complaining and threats about Yu-Jin taking my clock away. The last five minutes saw plenty of action with the cutlery. I was so impressed that I gave him an extra five minutes. In actual fact it took him an extra 20 minutes to finish and he ate everything.

After tea he had an apple juice icy pole and then a frozen yoghurt. Frozen yoghurt is excellent stuff. I don't hear anything out of him for at least 10 minutes as he is so busy to get the yoghurt out of the container with a fork. Peace. It doesn't last for long but it is worth it.

We'll see what happens tomorrow night.
I Just Want To Sit Down And Eat Something

Organised a table for five at Queens Tavern in Highgate, near Mt Lawley where we used to live. The food there is very nice although a touch expensive. Miky got me to change the booking from 6pm to 2pm and because the weather was a bit murky we decided to have it inside.

Our table was in the middle of the room where everybody had to walk past and the music inside was far too loud. Miky asked for a table outside. The waitress found one for us. So we sat outside, until it started raining. The waitress said that there were table upstairs in the bar. Having Koreans in my family they are not tall people. The table came up to around my chest and you needed a ladder to get onto the chair. This most certainly wouldn't do.

So we went outside and I trundled off to a restaurant down the road, in the pouring rain, and found that it was closed. By the time that I got back they had found a table outside that was large enough to accommodate us. It wasn't too cold, the music wasn't too loud and the food was nice. Although, a touch expensive.

Saturday, June 12, 2004

Do I Swear Too Much?

Yu-Jin was playing by himself in the bath last night and making up some sort of a story. There were two characters and they were talking to each other. It went along these lines:

"You're a bastard."
"I'm not a bastard, you're a bastard."
"No I'm not. You are."
"You're a bugger."
"No, you're a bugger."

The other day he wanted to go into his room where his aunty and grandma are staying. He couldn't get the door open so he started yelling out, "Open the bloody door!"

But I don't think that I am entirely to blame. Miky tells him off in English also and he can swear in Korean too. Now, that's funny.

Friday, June 11, 2004

Miky's Dress

It's the moment you have all been waiting for. Here is a pic of Miky's dress. This was taken at Monday night's fashion show in Claremont.

Miky and I woke up early yesterday to drive way up to Joondalup for a 7 o'clock driving test. Turned on the idiot box and the NBC Today show was on. The weather forecast was interesting. Perth was expecting 44 degrees and rain and the rest of the country was expecting 14-22 degrees. I was only thinking that it was going to get up to about 19 degrees or so. It turns out they were wrong about the temperature. Although it did get to 44.5 degrees a few years back that wasn't during the middle of winter!

Just a quick thought. Look away now if you are easily offended. If a woman has to kneel down for a man then his appendage is obviously trouble as it is facing the wrong direction.

Tuesday, June 08, 2004

D-Day Sunrise

On the news in the morning yesterday they said that the sun rose over Omaha Beach on the west coast of France, just like it did 60 years ago. I don't know about you, but unless you are out to sea, then the sun isn't going to rise over the beach. Perhaps that was their point and I missed it.

Foundation Day Holiday Fiasco

How dumb is this? Foundation Day celebrates when white men from England landed in WA to settle. They were due to land on the 1st of June, 1829. It was a little bit rough on the sea that day so they delayed it. So, the landing occurred on the 2nd. The following year they celebrated the occasion on the 3rd of June. Nowadays we celebrate it on the 6th of June, but that was a Sunday this year, so we had a public holiday on the 7th - nearly a week after that actual event! How would the veterans feel if we celebrated the D-Day landings but had the holiday six days later?

Good Day For Eating

Well, every day is a good day for eating. Personally, I don't go a day without it. Eating is one of my favourite habits. Yesterday was a particularly good day for this. I had breakfast, as usual, but felt peckish at 10am and had my lunch. As we were working a public holiday lunch was bought for us. I'm not one to turn down a free lunch and so I partook in my second lunch. Had tea early as Miky and I had a fashion show to attend. Photos from this to be added at a later date. Throughout the show they were serving h'ors doeurves (just taking a stab at the spelling there) which we particularly nice. As I said, a good day for eating.

Saturday, June 05, 2004

Silly Sayings

"This page is left intentionally blank" - excuse me, the page is no longer blank. If you hadn't noticed.

"He's hurt himself in the process" - painful area that, "the process". Not sure what kind of injury you can do to "the process". Is it a tear, strain, dislocation or what?

Friday, June 04, 2004

Phone Call

You get some funny phone calls at times. Yesterday at work was one of those ocassions.

Ring, ring.
"Good afternoon, ACS, Mark speaking."
"Who are you chasing?"
"Nobody. Just ringing up."
"Having fun on the phone are you?"
"No worries then. See you later."

He must have been about four years old. It gave me a good laugh anyway.

Tonight I had another call, at home this time. I thought that it was going to be my mother or a good friend of mine.

"City Morgue."
"Can I speak to Mr or Mrs Hee?"
"No, they're not here."
"Oh, I'll call back later."
"Don't bother mate. They don't live here."
"No worries. Goodnight."

He didn't even listen to what I said to start with. Nevermind.

Thursday, June 03, 2004


I'm trying to get Yu-Jin interested in board games. I remember having so much fun myself with this type of amusement when I was little. I've been yearning to play a competitive game of chess or Scrabble - certainly something that can't be done against an English-as-a-second-language speaker. So, I've been missing out for a while.

On Sunday night Yu-Jin wanted to play, and he chose the game. He grabbed the chess board. Last time we played he able to remember where most of the pieces lined up.

I go easy on him and put myself in a position where he can take some of my pieces. Don't want to dishearten the boy. He was white, or brown in this case, and towards the end of the game was in a hopeless position. I decided to clean up the board instead of going for the kill. Here is the result. A bloody stalemate! Couldn't believe that I was unable to beat a four year old who has a very limited grasp of the rules.

Last night we played dominoes. Miky won three games and Aunty Ju-Min came from nowhere to win the fourth. It is amazing how bad Ju-Min is at dominoes, mainly a game of chance with a little skill thrown in, but she has NEVER looked like winning since she arrived a couple of months ago.

Then Yu-Jin grabbed the snakes and ladders board. I got to the stage where I only needed a two to win but threw a one to go back near the start by sliding down a snake. This happened twice. And so I lost.

That means I haven't won a game in the last two nights. I am getting pathetic.

The Health Front

Hasn't been too good in this household recently. I've got a sore throat and Yu-Jin was sick all weekend and missed kindergarten on Monday and Tuesday. He didn't seem too bothered by that but didn't want to miss out on childcare yesterday. This morning he wanted to get up when I did, at five to six. He must be feeling much better.

Miky took her sister to the podiatrist yesterday and the poor guy had a hell of a time. Imagine asking, "Does this hurt?", while holding a foot, directing the question to the patient who doesn't speak English, having the other person translate, get an answer and Korean and then the translate version comes back. He found it so confusing. Wish I'd been there to see it.

Grandma is holding up well. She's quite a sick person and I'm sure that the government wouldn't allow her to stay because of health reasons. But her asthma has improved greatly since being in Perth. Must be a lot of pollution in Korea. Well, you can smell cabbages whenever you go into the back streets of any place you visit.