Archive for December, 2011

Autumn in Review

Yesterday was the first day of Winter, and it was quite warm, around 22*C.  I was hoping it would be at least brisk, but it looks like another warm Christmas.  The leaves have finally all fallen, but it is still very green in Charleston.

I was quite busy because from late September to late November because I was regularly exercising. If you do any one thing outside of work, then there goes all of your time for doing anything else.  And December is just busy because it is always that way in December. I hope to get back to exercising regularly though. I didn’t lose a lot of weight, but my clothes fit much better and I generally felt better overall.


The marshland is every where and just goes on and on…


Sometimes a boat is just the best way to get around — riding on the Wando River with a colleague from work


Low clearance


Dusk on the water


Some people live on the water in mansions like this…I cannot even fathom this kind of world.  From what I’ve heard, this home is owned by a surgeon.  Kids, go to medical school.  Period.  No further questions are necessary.


Liam at the Children’s museum mock grocery store — despite the fact be appears to have picked out a lot of bread and fish, he consumes neither on a regular basis.  He is just into rice and miso soup.


At Checkout he experiences the sticker shock due to the food price inflation


Canadian Geese flew to SC in mass numbers and seem to bully the areas the occupy.  I could even walk beside them and they were not the least bit nervous about me–they even seemed a bit confrontational at times


Suspension cables on the Ravenel Bridge — there is a walking lane on this bridge, and it takes about 90 minutes to walk from one side of the bridge and then back.  It is a great workout due to the up/down slopes, and the views of the harbor of Charleston are wonderful on a clear day.


Downtown Charleston from the top of the Ravenel Bridge


The old cigar factory, which is now poised to be renovated and turned into modern urban living spaces


Port of Charleston – there is a lot of political fighting at the local and state level about competing with the Port of Savannah in Savannah, GA.  The Savannah river is going to be dredged further to allow ships with a deeper draft to enter the Port of Savannah.


The Bibimbap (비빔밥) at RiceB — they also offer a hot stone bowl type as well, which I was more familiar with because it is how it is often served in Japanese-style Korean restaurants.  Perfectly prepared, and oh so delicious!


The Bulgogi (불고기) bento box at RiceB — the beef, broccoli with sesame flavoring, seasoned tofu, daigaku imo (Japanese University Potatoes, or candied sweet potatoes), and rice topped with a sesame flavored sauce.  Home-style Kimchee also comes on the side which is quite refreshing.  Delicious!


My favorite plant in Charleston, yet I don’t know its name.  I just know that from late October to mid-November, this beautiful pink hue is everywhere!


High tide!


Seriously, high-tide!


After fixing Liam’s anpan-man piano, Liam enjoys playing along while giving his “Hi!” hand signal


Sedrin Beer (雪津啤酒) – I had to try it when I saw it in the Asian Market.  It is a very watered down beer, resembling Taiwan Beer or cheap Japanese Happoshu (fake beer)


“Inebriate American heart totally” — I think all of the China phobes and pundits misunderstand China’s plans.  China won’t attack the USA with its military, it is just going to get all of the Americans drunk

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Labor day weekend

(I started to write this in September and was going to add some pictures from the Lazy 5 Ranch, but never got around to it.  I’m just going to post this as is…)

It is still too hot in Charleston, so we decided to head back to Charlotte for the weekend wear at least the trees help to beat the heat.  Last time we came for the Japan Festival, we had wanted to take Liam to the Lazy 5 Ranch, but the rain prevented us.  This time we made it to ranch, and it was quite enjoyable.  The animals roam freely around a large track of land with a dirt road.  You drive your on car on the road and can see the animals up close.  Among the animals on the grounds are emus, ostriches, water buffalo, bison, various steer from around the world, gazelles, zebras, and much more.  There is also a special section with giraffes.  All in all it was worth the visit, and though the large animals scared Liam, he enjoyed the emus, pigs, giraffes, goats and other less intimidating animals.


台湾牛肉拉面 Taiwan Beef Noodles — I skipped breakfast just to make sure I had room to enjoy these noodles at the Joy Luck Club cafeteria in Grand Asia Market.  They are not better or worse than Japanese style ramen noodles, they are different.  I really enjoy the beef broth!


This one is for Spounge Bear — Taiwan Beer now selling at Grand Asia Market in North Carolina.  Next time I will buy a few cases and start handing out beers at work.  In five years, Taiwan beer will be everywhere. Ha ha ha!!!


I had to work to get this photo of the gecko, but he eventually tired and let me take his photo.

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It has been a long time since I’ve blogged anything. A lot has happened this autumn, but there is not much to say at this point. Hopefully 2012 will allow me more time. I’m just thankful I survived the lay-offs at work.

I do, however, have to say that the health care industry in the USA is out of control and absolutely horrible. Not only is it ungodly expensive, it employs the most lazy and the rudest people I’ve ever met in my life. You get better service at a Walmart! The next time I hear someone going on about how the health care system in the USA is supposedly the best, my head is going to explode. They are obviously people who have never received medical service outside of the country and are just saying that to make themselves feel better. We could do worse, but at the same time, we could do a hell of a lot better.

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