Sunday, February 28, 2016

everything's beachy

Small sandy crab.

Something's wrong with this pier.

"Those were the happiest days of my life / ... / Now we're back on the train / Oh, back on the chain gang"

racing dive

Teacher Ivan explains the racing dive to Soren.

This is not exactly the form that was discussed.

But he makes it through the hoop, in any event.

garden update

Spring is coming!

Namsan Seoul Tower memento

A composite of three photos (one of which—the panorama—is itself a composite of a couple of photos)

Saturday, February 27, 2016


I made up the name "bibimchard" to describe the quick meal I made for myself.


  • 1 bunch rainbow chard
  • neutral cooking oil
  • crushed red pepper
  • 2 cloves garlic
  • generous tablespoon soy sauce
  • 1-2 tablespoons sesame oil
  • toasted sesame seeds
  • 1 egg
  • bibimjang


  1. Remove and dice thick chard stems; chiffonade chard leaves.
  2. Heat a tablespoon or two of cooking oil in a pan over medium low, and add a few shakes of crushed red pepper.
  3. Mince garlic, add to pan and saute for a minute or two.
  4. Add diced chard stems to the pan, saute and cover for a few minutes.
  5. Uncover and add chiffonade; saute until reduced and tender.
  6. Remove from heat; add soy sauce, sesame oil and sesame seeds; mix and transfer to a wide bowl.
  7. Fry an egg, and place on top of chard.
  8. Drizzle with bibimjang, and eat with a spoon.
Note: Bibimjang is a sauce made with gochujang, a Korean pepper paste. If you can get gochujang, though, you probably also can buy pre-made bibimjang. But if you somehow have access to gochujang but not bibimjang, it's easy enough to make the sauce. It's 6 parts gochujang; 3 parts each of sesame oil, sugar, water and toasted sesame seeds; 1 part each vinegar and minced garlic. Just mix them all together.

nutritious dinner for the boys

Cashews (protein), snap peas (vegetable), rice and kim (carb) & root beer float (dairy)

Larva (the evening's entertainment—a show we discovered in Korea)

Sunday, February 21, 2016

Saturday, February 20, 2016

AT-AT Walker

In Insadong, the boys were fascinated by a store that sold paper models, including Star Wars models. The models are made by a Korean company called Momot (모모트).

Soren and I built his AT-AT Walker on the evening that we got back from Korea. He did most of the folding and I did most of the gluing.

Korea: Flying out

We're off!

Things look good up front...

...and in back.

Shortly after takeoff, Soren was napping.

The end of the 12+ hour flight looked much like the beginning of the flight.

(If you're reading these Korea 2016 blog posts sequentially, there are a lot of them! When you get to the end of the web page, you'll need to choose the "older posts" link. If you haven't yet seen the flight back to the U.S., you aren't done yet!)

Korea: Gyeongbokgung Palace

During the Chosun Dynasty, Gyeongbokgung Palace (경복궁) was the main royal palace. It was built in 1395, but burned down toward the end of the 16th century. It was rebuilt in the 19th century... and then demolished during the occupation at the beginning of the 20th century. Starting in the late 20th century, the palace grounds have been restored and reconstructed, but about half of the buildings are still left to go. The plan is to finish the restoration within 20 years.

We visited the palace on Monday morning. We arrived just in time for the morning Changing of the Guard ceremony, which was a larger version of the ceremony we watched with Anders at Deoksugung Palace (덕수궁) in 2009.

The big drum.

The ceremony took place in front of Gwanghwamun Gate (광화문), which is the main gate to the palace, on the south side.

Next, we walked through Heungnyemun Gate (흥례문).

We then visited Geunjeongjeon Hall (근정전), the throne room.

Here are some pictures of what I think is Donggung (동궁), the crown prince's compound.


This has to be one of the nicest bathrooms I've ever visited.

This is the children's museum at the palace. We didn't have time to check it out, though.

One of the amazing things about the old palaces in Seoul is that they are right in the middle of the city, with views of the surrounding mountains.