Friday, April 18, 2008


Justin has spent the last two days chaperoning the 8th grade trip to Japan (seriously, what? A class trip to Japan???) and I've been keeping it real here with the dog. I'm doing surprisingly well here. Unless, of course, I have to do laundry, because I have no idea how to work the washing machine. And of course we still have the weekend, and there's a 45% chance of social bunny sightings.

Another important thing that happened this week... spring is here! Unfortunately, the camera is also in Japan with Justin, so I can't show you some of the beautiful cherry blossoms that bloomed at the school playground, but it really has been beautiful. The air feels great, and the flowers are everywhere. They're not blooming, though. They actually seem to be planted, in flats, like by landscape elves. I'm not really up on my city gardening, but I don't think this is usual. I wonder, will they dig them up later and replace them with something seasonal?

This is the sort of thing one wonders when one is home alone with the dog. A dog, I might add, that likes one's husband best.

You know, I think, that we're taking after-school Korean classes through the school. We started off pretty well attended but I'm sort of proud to report today that I am the last man standing. Yes, Justin wasn't here because he was in Japan, but I think he did it just to get out of the conjugation homework. The whole thing is so transparent, really. In any case, my reward? Learning to type in Korean!

This is my third letter set to type in, with the other being Chinese. In Chinese, you get to use the normal English keyboard and type out the romanization (English phonetic spelling) of the character in mind, and then you choose from a list of characters with that pronunciation. In Korean, you have a button that switches from the English character set to the Korean one. The consonants are on the left of the keyboard and the vowels are on the right, and if you're me, you chicken-peck like mad. The computer program then combines it into the syllable block for you (putting the sounds on top of each other and resizing them, larger or smaller, as appropriate). But this is all due to the miracles of modern computing. I recall reading from the national museum that converting Korean for typewriters, which couldn't do the automatic resizing, was a tremendous headache.

Oh, right, and it presupposes that you have the Korean program on your computer. Which, thanks to Microsoft, is hardly possible to do. I suppose it's fair to say that Koreans are far from the only masters of the 90% solution. So as much as I wish I could type something for you here, my computer doesn't have it. But try to picture it, it was really cool.

Sunday, April 13, 2008

Internet Woes

Apologies for the lack of posts this week--we've been without internet since Friday.

PROBLEM: Justin and Nana want Internet.

SOLUTION: Justin and Nana call KT, get Internet, and pay for services rendered in a timely fashion.

90% SOLUTION: KT installs service, but never sends us a bill. When we call (more than once) to figure out how to pay them, they say the bill's in the mail. (Hah!) Then on Friday, less than 24 hours before the Penguins' game, they suddenly kill our connection--because we haven't paid our bill. Which they told us was coming. Which never arrived. Oh, and they don't do business on weekends, so we're out of luck until Monday night. Sweet!

In other news, I'll be headed to Japan with the 8th grade this week. Poor Nana will be left here all alone. Send her bunches of e-mails and stuff to keep her company, will you? Thanks!

PS: We still got to watch the Pens' game, on the big-screen Smartboard at the school. Which actually rocked.