Monthly Archives: December 2008

How did I live before Last.fm?

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Lenka from Australia

Lenka from Australia

Seriously, I thank for the Internet for many things. Recently, one of my teachers I saw recommended a cool app/website called DropBox which allows you to have free secure backup online up to 2 gigabytes (I believe) and it appears to be relatively quick, but just discovered it.  However, what’s been seriously a life saving find is Last.fm.  It helps you do a number of things on the topic of music, but what I love is the feature that allows you to see “similar artists” to an artist you like.  I just recently discovered this Australian singer by the name of Lenka while watching an episode of Grey’s Anatomy.  I like a number of her songs (for now) and searched on Last.fm which let me discover so far a couple artists I think I like: Lights and Charlotte Sometimes.  I haven’t spent an enormous time today looking for more, but at least for me when life isn’t the best, music sometimes helps cheer me up.  As a result, Last.fm helps me be more positive by finding more artists that I can make me feel good.  Kudos to the folks who created the site!

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Filed under Accolades, Entertainment, Great finds, Great sites, Music

Will this reduce salaries for English Teachers in Korea?

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Well, if economics can predict the future, there will definitely be an addition to the supply of English instructors in Korea for the next 2 years through 2010.  The following story shows how the Korean government decided to open up the Immigration standards to allow Indian citizens to teach English in Korea as long as they have an English related degree or have a teacher’s license.  In the past couple of years, there has been a decrease in the number of applicants from the normally accepted countries of the U.S., Canada, Australia, Ireland, New Zealand and South Africa due to heightened Immigration requirements which include a somewhat difficult to obtain (in some locations) Criminal Record check.  (the check isn’t always the difficulty, but sometimes the Apostille or official notarizations have complicated matters)  Continue reading

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Filed under Education, ESL, Expat, Immigration, Linguistics, News, Work

My feet are cold

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cold feet

cold feet

Earlier, this evening, I could barely feel my feet. We were eating in a Pojang Macha or basically an orange tent which houses a small single operating restaurant in Korea. Many of these “street vendor” type of eating establishments serve the most basic of pleasures in Korea like soju, beer and simple food. As a westerner, you might be somewhat disgusted at the hygiene which appears to be low, but in general, most people fail to get sick and these Pojang macha’s are a favorite destination after hours. However, it was really cold tonight and I couldn’t wait to either get inside or go home. Continue reading

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Filed under Busan stuff, Humorous, Interesting..., Korea life, Random thoughts, Unfortunate, Weather, Work

Two words that describe the following violence: 1) wow 2) embarrassing

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South Korea US Free TradeWhat does it take to have someone spray another human being with a canister of full of fire retardant?  Answer: an FTA agreement.

It’s really sad, but this is not the only thing that will get the Korean legislature into a frenzy and into physical fights over issues that affect the country.  On one hand, it exhibits the passion that these lawmakers have over the issues that the country must take on.  On the flip side, it shows how ridiculously stupid our country’s people are when it comes to debating and supporting or voting against laws and policies governing the country. Continue reading

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Filed under Korea life, Opinions, Politics, Seoul, Stupid, Unfortunate, Weird

SAY what? I mean Satyam what?

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Satyam Computer Services Ltd. Logo

Satyam Computer Services Ltd. Logo

**READ THE UPDATE TO THIS POST BELOW. 

This was my latest stock pick.  The company’s called Satyam Computer Services Ltd.  It was trading at a good $12 or more all year and up until recently (actually it was even higher between $20-30 all year until the recent melt down).  However, it wasn’t moving down until literally a day or so ago when they announced they were going to take over a couple other companies (that the management had family ties to).  It then dropped to less than half to about $5 or a bit more.  Continue reading

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Filed under Advice, Financial, Unfortunate

“Without hope, life is not worth living…”

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Picture of Milk bottles

Picture of Milk bottles

Watched “Milk” tonight starring Sean Penn.  Not a bad story about the true life of Harvey Milk.  Towards the end of the movie, Milk says “”without hope, life is not worth living…”  He had just turned 40 and said stuff to his partner that he hadn’t done much in his life he was proud of.  Kind of reminded me of how I feel some days.  I guess I shouldn’t feel that way entirely, but I have to admit some days I do wonder how much I’ve accomplished.  I wish I could have done more.  Continue reading

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Filed under Blogs - Friends, Cinema, Food, Online projects, Opinions, Random thoughts, Statistics

What is Alpha Inventions?

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…that’s what I was asking myself when I saw that it was driving a bit of traffic to my website out of the blue.  Well, if you’re curious what it is, check out this blog entry on the inventor’s WordPress.com blog titled “What is Alpha Inventions?

Quite simply though, it’s a pretty smart thing this guy did.  He basically is giving, but GETTING  a lot of traffic from a bunch of random blogs who will write about him (like me).  He’s given me a little traffic, but if he gets us to write about him, he’ll get TONS back.  Smart dude…

His site basically just circulates in and out other recent blog postings and blog addresses.  Another Million Dollar Homepage type of idea?  Quite possibly…

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Filed under Random thoughts, Search Engine Management, SEM

A real update to my life

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Bike crash photo

Bike crash photo

Most days, I don’t feel this is a REAL personal blog — writing about my life and about me.  The posts here are usually about what I’m thinking or what others are thinking & I find interesting.  However, I thought I’d write a tad about ME today…

Why all of a sudden?  Well, I just got the wind knocked out of me riding down the driveway of my building’s parking lot.  I thought to myself “Who in this world right now cares?”  Fortunately, the nice security guard/parking lot attendant came to my rescue and tried to help me.  After catching my breath, checking my leg to see if I was gushing out blood and if I could stand straight up despite what it felt to be a puncture into my rib cage, I told him I was o.k.  The point is that when things like this happen in our life, who ends up hearing about it?  Well, if we’re humble, very few learn about it.  Instead, you want your friends and family to at least hear about your well being.  So, I want the people who care to read about it now.  Continue reading

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Filed under Blogs - Korea Expats, Korea life, Kyopo - Korean American, Kyopo life, My writings, Random thoughts, Stupid

iPhone available in Korea (in 2009)

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iPhone PicThe popular American gadget, Apple’s iPhone is set to be officially allowed in South Korea coming up next year in 2009.   According to this article from the Joongang Daily, the iPhone will debut in South Korea in April.

An excerpt from the article:

Popular Phones to invade Korean Market

Change in software regulation will allow in the iPhone and BlackBerry
December 11, 2008
Starting next April, the iPhone, BlackBerry and other foreign-made cell phones will be able to make their Korean debut without Wireless Internet Platform for Interoperability, the Korea Communications Commission announced yesterday. Continue reading

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Filed under Announcements, Business, Business practices, Communications, Humorous, Interesting..., Korea life, Opinions, Technology, Telecommunications

Following my own advice – I should listen to myself!

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chart-going-upEarlier last month, I recommended highlythat everyone buy a stock that was at a $1 at the time ($1.02 to be specific).  Genworth Financial (GNW) was hammered down from the $30 range down to less than a dollar and looked VERY risky at the time.  I was SOOOOO sure of it at the time that I bought.  However, it fluctuated so much that I shook in my own boots.  I jumped in and out of it and ended up losing money actually.  However, if I would of just bought and stayed in it for less than a month, I would of increased my portfolio 236%!!!

Why didn’t I just sit on it?  I probably would of sold thinking it had maxed out a day or two ago, but I would of at least doubled my money at least.  Why can’t I listen to my own advice?  Continue reading

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Filed under Business, Financial, Theories by Brandon

The (Apostilled) Criminal Record Check for an E-2 Work Visa in South Korea – U.S. Citizens version

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While I won’t go into much detail about the default documents that have always been a part of the process (Original diploma, Sealed transcripts, Passport photos, Copy of the front page of the active passport, Contract & Signed health statement), I will detail a bit below about how to obtain the Apostilled (a.k.a. Internationally Notarized) Criminal Record Check which seems to be the most complicated and time consuming document(s) required to obtain the E-2 Visa to Teach English in South Korea.  Also, I am focusing on how to do it for U.S. Citizens in this post.  If time permits, I’ll try to write one for Canadians, then the other countries who can also work in Korea legally as Native English Instructors.  Before continuing, I must also point out this is NOT an official set of recommendations or instructions, but simply what I’ve found to clarify the much to do about nothing confusion that’s been created since the start of this document as a requirement to work in KoreaContinue reading

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Filed under Advice, Expat, Immigration, Jobs, Korea life, Work

Not much from the American Embassy here in Korea this month

There were warnings about the political instability in India (duh) and other locations throughout the world — which isn’t really new. They also identified they would be taking Christmas and New Years off — another bit of information that’s pretty obvious. I guess the most useful information from the newsletter would simply be reminding folks of the contact information for the embassy in Seoul.

Happy Holidays! Continue reading

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Filed under Announcements, Korea life, Seoul