Sun Moon University on a super cold day!

So after checking the weather forecast last night, and reading that it would be a sunny day, I was all set for some touring today. Well, the weather report was a little off, and by “a little,” I really mean “completely off!” It had snowed the night before and it was still snowing tiny bits of snow. The temperature plummeted to 33 deg F (1 deg C). Determined to still get out there, I layered up a few layers of clothes, and just went for it. There was no way around it, during the first 20 minutes, I was miserable due to not being able to feel parts of my face, fingers, toes, and etc. I made it my goal to pedal as fast as I could in order to warm up my body quickly. It worked to some extent.

Today’s goal was to check out Sun Moon University. I took a very indirect backroads route and then arrived in around an hour. It was an interesting university. Much bigger than I originally imagined.

I then biked in downtown Choenan for awhile, for reasons I can’t explain. It could be because I ate too many bowls of Frosted Flakes this morning and was feeling wired!

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More Touring pictures

Biked to SCH University and beyond.

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Exploring Hoseo University, Cheonan, and Asan.

One of the best ways to explore a new place is on a bicycle. I took the Bianchi out yesterday to discover what Hoseo University, Asan and Cheonan had to offer. As you can see in the photos the campus is clean and modern. I am definitely excited about starting work there as an English professor.

I went into town and found two things I was looking for, a self-carwash and a bike shop. The Bianchi was in dire need of a tune up and me being new to roadbikes I wanted an expert to look at it first. I explained to him as best as I could in my broken Korean that the gears need to be adjusted. He put it up on his stand and spent 10 minutes with it. It came back with perfect gears. He didn’t want to charge me anything for the labor, so I bought a bottle of Wet Ride lubricant and was on my way.

Today, I’m going to take the bike out again in an attempt to find a swimming pool and some alternate roads for getting into the countryside.

Tomorrow is a big meeting for all of the English professors. It will be nice to meet everyone and see what my class schedule will be!

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Well, I uploaded the two-part Philippines to Youtube and there are a couple things I’m not happy with.

First – I thought I could get away with posting the first part of the video with a song from the new Tron movie soundtrack. Well, that’s okay, I knew I was in the wrong, but I didn’t realize how fast Youtube would discover that I used copywrited material.

Second – I uploaded the video in 720p, but it saved as 240p. What’s up with that?! It looked like the kind of videos I used to upload in 2002.

Third – The audio on the second video (which didn’t have any copywrited material) was way off!

The movie was in a .mov format. This may have been the first time trying to upload using that format. I think all previous times I uploaded .avi files.

I will upload the entire movie on Dropbox. I think that will be a better option for the few folks that would like to view the video.

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Back from the Philippines

After two weeks in the Philippines, I am now back in Korea. What an amazing place, especially if you are into diving!

After arriving in Cebu City, I proceeded to head to the Diplomat Hotel, which is a mid-priced hotel located downtown. Whilst traveling in the taxi to the hotel, I couldn’t help but notice how much Cebu City resembles poor neighborhoods in Southern California or Mexico. It was ridden with garbage, graffiti, prostitutes, beggars, and it just wasn’t what I was expecting. After one night there, I proceeded to travel to the north part of Cebu Island where Malapascua Island is located.

In the taxi, traveling up the poorly maintained road, we passed through a bunch of small villages that in comparison to Cebu City, looked more and more pleasant. They were cleaner, greener, and seemed safer than the city. The one thing that I found interesting about the villages though, was the sheer amount of kids either returning from school, helping their parents on a farm, or just hanging out. Actually it didn’t seem like the majority of children there attend school because each school that we would pass by seemed too small to accommodate the large number of kids I saw. I asked my taxi driver about that, and he mentioned that indeed there aren’t enough schools to accommodate all of the children. It’s really unfortunate that not all children there are given an equal opportunity with receiving an education.

Arriving at the port of Maya, I was in a daze. I exited the taxi, and then a barrage of locals came up to me wanting me to ride their private boat, buy some of their goods, or stay at their hotel. It was too much for me, so I just tuned them all out. I read on one of the signs that the ferry over to Malapascua was 50 pesos, and what some of the locals were tiring to charge me was 10 times that!

I took the ferry over and my whole opinion of the Philippines changed. Here was an amazingly beautiful and clean island! This is the type of island you would expect to see in National Geographic or on the Discovery Channel with white sand beaches, little bungalows and ultra clear water. After getting situated in the hotel, I met up with Jackie, a new friend and co-worker. We began to talk about diving over drinks, after all it was happy hour. Then, without knowing what I was getting into, I made a decision (under the influence) to enroll in my open-water PADI certification. It ended up being something that I really enjoyed and it gave me something to do before some of my other fiends were set to arrive. The next three days I dedicated my time to learning the “in’s and out’s” of diving. On a few later dives, I was even able to capture some good pictures and videos on my new Panasonic DMC-TS2 camera. The camera has a rating of 10 meters/33ft without the use of an external case. I even took it down to 13 meters/43 ft. Without any problems.

Later Adam, Kim, and Stephanie arrived. It was nice to have some new faces there. However somehow, I then fell into a routine of waking up, going for a jog, swim, massage, lunch, nap, drinks, dinner, and finally more drinks. That pattern lasted five days. At the third day however, I started to question what I had become. Is this me? Can I continue to relax this much? I missed being productive and felt like I soon needed to move on. At the end of the fifth day, that’s exactly what I did. I went back to Cebu City for the night with the plan to head to Bohol and Panglao the next morning. In the morning, I got a surprise call from a friend whom I hand’t seen in a long time from Korea. She had been working in the Philippines and saw my status update on Facebook. We met up at where else, but Starbucks. Isn’t that the quintessential meeting place for people whom you haven’t seen in a long time? I say it is. I somehow talked her into coming to Bohol, which was great. That meant I actually had someone to explore the island with. She could leave right away however, which gave me a day in Bohol by myself. That worked out fine for me because I dove that day on a couple dives and had a lot of fun doing that.

After Ji Yoon, my long lost friend, arrived we were then ready to explore the sights of Bohol. We saw a lot of things in one day including, the famous Chocolate Hills, tasiers (little primates), and we even did an intense zipline over a sprawling gorge. It could tell that while I do enjoy my independence, it really was nice to travel and experience the sights with a friend.

Ji Yoon had to return to work the next day, and at that time, I was ready to head back to Korea. I wanted to get caught up on some work and errands that I needed to take care of before returning to school. I also needed to pick up my cat “Forest” from my vet. I ended up coming back three days early. It just felt like the right thing to do.

I will post a two-part HD video on Youtube tomorrow while at work. That’s it for now!

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Bicycle Touring

Bike touring is the best thing ever since bicycles were invented in the first place. Ever since my brother Nick left Korea and needed someone to watch over his bike, I have been going on long rides once or twice a week. Lately, I have been traveling on the backroads from Yeosu (where I currently live) to Suncheon and beyond. I average around 85 to 90km. I know that is a little on the low side, but I am progressing.

I have noticed that road bikes are not too popular in Korea, when compared to mountain bikes. Yes, mountain bikes are more versatile than road bikes, but it really is amazing how much more efficient a road bike is on a paved surface compared to a mountain bike. The bike I am riding though it is a steel frame, it is very light. It has a carbon fork and carbon seat post. I will say that although I love bombing hills with it, it does tend to get a little twitchy at high speeds.

Pictured below is the science teacher at the middle school I teach at every Thursday. I have toured with him once (that’s not his green and white bike in the background.) He is a strong rider, but also he reminds me that touring isn’t a race, and that part of touring is enjoying the journey, not racing to the destination. We have a two day tour coming up this weekend. It will be freezing, which means layering on a few layers.

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Forrest went to the vet today

So, after three months of living with my new roommate, Forrest, we finally made our way to the vet today. She was given the first round of vaccinations, I will have to go back to more times in two week intervals. She was also given flea medication, heartworm, stomach parasite, and some other vaccinations. I also had her nails trimmed down and learned how to cut them myself. It was interesting getting over there. I was debating on whether or not I should buy a carrying case for her, but she did just fine in the car. She just rode on my lap the whole way over.

One other thing, I bought a leash for her, and will attempt some cat walks in the near future. I will see how that goes. I am guessing she will really hate it at first.

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Arrrg PHP!!

So, I have been doing a ridiculous amount of PHP coding for the past two days and my head is about to explode. After setting up MAMP, a local server on my macbook that allows me to test dynamic websites with PHP and MYSQL, then, going back and fourth editing PHP code, which is confusing in of itself, I think I am about ready to throw in the towel. I have been making progress on making the wordpress blog the same style as my website, but every now and there, I hit a roadblock. The most recent roadblock is adding my navigation bar. For some reason, when I edit my PHP file that contains the code for the nave bar, it doesn’t seem to attach to my index.php page. All other php files DO seem to attach to the index.php page. For example, I was able to add my banner, text styles, and background. In other words, I am so close, yet still far.

I will take a break from this for now. If anyone out there knows PHP well, I could really use some assistance.

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I’m working on the website today!

I finally have some time to work on the site. It feels like it’s been over a week since I have even opened up Dreamweaver. It feels good to dive into some coding work again.

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Editing the site

So the site is still under construction. I am learning a little bit of new programming skills everyday. When things work the way you want them to, then there is really no better feeling, however lately, I’ve run into a few problems. As you can see, I have integrated wordpress into my website. BUT, I was hopping that I could use Dreamweaver CS5 to edit the theme and make the appearance the same as my other pages. I thought it would be as easy as copying the page source code from the blog page into Dreamweaver then changing around the headings, banners, and et cetera.

Well, that did work at first until I made my first blog entry. The first blog entry didn’t update on my edited page. After messing around with it for over an hour, I decided to do a google search and found a very lengthy Dreamweaver tutorial on editing a wordpress theme within a website. I think I will need to dedicate somewhere between two and three hours to get it working. That is due to the fact that beyond HTML and CSS, I have no programming skills. Changing the theme requires some PHP and MY SQL programming. Anyway, thanks for being patient with the site. Everything should level out soon!

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