Category Archives: Unfortunate

18 year old son of a popular celebrity I grew up watching commits suicide

Michael Blosil and his mom Marie Osmond

Michael Blosil

Donnie and Marie were always on TV when I was growing up.  Their smiles lit up the networks and they seemed as happy as all can be.  However, we just learned today, all is not always happy behind the scenes with celebrities unfortunately.

From the Daily Mail.

Michael Blosil, 18, left a suicide note for his family saying he had decided to end his life because of the ‘torment’ of his long battle against depression and drug and alcohol abuse.  A police source said Blosil, who had been adopted as a baby by Osmond and her ex-husband Brian, jumped off the roof of the ten-storey apartment block in central LA where he rented a £1,500-a-month flat.

Michael Blosil, 18, left a suicide note for his family saying he had decided to end his life because of the ‘torment’ of his long battle against depression and drug and alcohol abuse.  A police source said Blosil, who had been adopted as a baby by Osmond and her ex-husband Brian, jumped off the roof of the ten-storey apartment block in central LA where he rented a £1,500-a-month flat.

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Filed under Celebrities, News, Unfortunate

Wow! Cigarettes aren’t cheap!

10.50 Camel CigarettesEver since quitting smoking in 1st grade (yes, I smoked for a full week when I was 7 years old!), I’ve been an opponent of cigarettes.  However, my folks run a convenience store and growing up, I’ve always seen prices of smokes up close since I handed over those “packs” to customers for a dollar plus and up.  I saw this on Yahoo’s News & the images associated with the news and literally almost fell backwards in my chair.  While I think this is a great thing that tobacco’s gotten very expensive, I was still a little floored at how much it now costs for a pack of cigarettes.  I wonder though how much of this $10.50 is margin versus how much is actually the price going up.  I realize that taxes and other tariffs account for a lot of this price, but just like gas prices, I wonder if the tobacco companies’ profits have grown in line with the prices of the products they sell.

On a side note, why is it that oil companies do make much more money when they’re gouging customers throughout the world with higher prices?  I mean, while a barrel rises in price, why is it that the margins seem to increase as well for the leading oil companies in the world?  It’s definitely not my parents or the many convenience store and gas station owners fault because their margins stay the same.  I’ve seen it up close.

Tisk, tisk oil companies…

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Breaking Korean News: A young Korean actress (Jang Jin Young/장진영) passes away at 35 years old

jang jinyoung
Another one of the young and beautiful passes away at a very young age. More pics of this South Korean actress and former model follow. Continue reading

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Do not do this at home or anywhere for that matter… (on your motorcycle)

This is why I am trying to be careful and you won’t see me doing wheelies:

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Filed under Entertainment, Humorous, Motorcycle, Unfortunate, Video

Hagwon Advice…

esl kidsI’ve been around the (Korean) block a few times…

More specifically, I’ve been in the English as a Foreign Language (and as CDI or Chungdahm Learning likes to call it their patented ESL programs) industry for more than five years in Korea.  I get questions constantly about how to enter the industry, who to choose for work and honestly what to do if interested in this field if you want work.

Well, I just got another question (or should I say set of questions) asked of me about work here in Korea as an English teacher.  Instead of just answering this gentleman directly and minimizing the impact, I thought I’d write it up here so a few more can read and hopefully benefit from my advice.  In addition to reading the following, you can also read my piece called “Advice for Teachers” (they titled it that way even though I didn’t) which should actually be named “Advice for ‘Prospective’ English Teachers (in Korea).”

The guy asks: Continue reading

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Filed under Advice, Busan stuff, Business, Business practices, Entrepreneurial life, Entrepreneurship, ESL, Expat, Impressive, Inspirational, Jobs, Korea life, Kyopo - Korean American, Kyopo life, Rants, Theories by Brandon, Unfortunate, Work

Not the best week thus far…

The other morning, I fell down the stairs in my apartment for the first time.

stairs

It wasn’t a pleasant fall either…

I slid down the last three or so stairs landing face down on the floor. I looked up thinking “Jeez, I had better be careful next time.” I then look down to my arm which is throbbing to find the following “rug burn” (I guess the best term I can pin down for now). It didn’t help to add it to the recovering cigarette burn to my arm (no, I’m not joining the ranks of all the smokers here, but in an attempt to pat the back of one of our newer teachers who was smoking (out on the town), I caught the end of his cigarette instead).

Anyway, now writing this, all I can think of the phrase we may use when getting older “I’ve fallen and I can’t get back up!” I hope I never reach this point. Continue reading

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Talk about sh*t hitting the fan…

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Is it me?  Or did I just land in the country most well known for “drama?”  

Just visited my great friend Derek at his wedding in Hawaii with the beautiful bride Bonnie and great friends.  It was seriously a beautiful wedding. Here’s the couple dancing to “Bella’s Lullaby” played by you would think a professional piano player, but rather by their niece “Rachel” who is AMAAAAAAAAZZZZZZZZZING!!!! (think of Will Ferrell yelling this like he did at the Harvard Commencement speech).

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Not any given Sunday…

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accident-far-shot

Today was definitely not what I had hoped would be a “relaxing Sunday.” Last night, I stayed out late partly due to my fault in wanting to go out and the other part to see if the crowd would change at the bar Tim, myself and a new friend of ours hung out until like 5a. I managed to get to sleep by 6a… Continue reading

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Not being able to access Google…

Wow, but the other night was really (virtually) painful.  It also showed me how much I am reliant on Google as a search tool.  Basically, I think it was on the 13th when for some reason every time I did a search on Google, I got the following message returned to me: 

 

we're sorry virus check spyware remover message from google

we're sorry virus check spyware remover message from google

And an additional pop up message saying “TypeError x0 is undefined” as well attacks my browser like this: 

 

TypeError x0 is undefined

TypeError x0 is undefined

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Filed under Business, Business practices, Korea life, Rants, Search Engine Management, Stupid, Technology, Unfortunate

Customer Service Contact information is still a pain to get – even in Korea: Case in point – SK Broadband

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SK Broadband

SK Broadband

I recently moved.  I’ll definitely be posting about the experience here because it’s literally the 5th time I’ve moved here in Korea in my less than 3 years here and has to be the 100th time I’ve moved in the past 17+ years.  Let’s just say I’m a professional mover at this point & no, I’m not the one moving the “stuff.”  Rather, at least, I’m not the one who’s getting “paid” to move the stuff — I’ve been doing most of the paying.

Anyhoo, the reason I’m writing this post is to dedicate this to all of you who are looking to set up or change your Broadband provider in South Korea and happen to already be using SK Broadband.  If you need to get a hold of them and wanted to find their phone number conveniently online, you’re basically out of luck.  Similar to what I’ve said before about it being a pain to obtain customer service contact information like emails from ironically “online companies” (Amazon.com’s being one of the more difficult ones to find online despite being a HUGE ONLINE advocate) , this experience to try and find SK Broadband’s customer service department’s phone number before they closed was stressful.  Another similar example was finding a place or other way to contact the customer service department of one of the biggest online companies in the world at this point (Google)Continue reading

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Filed under Advice, Business practices, Customer Service, Korea life, Opinions, Sneaky, Stupid, Unfortunate

Proud of myself…

physical abuse

physical abuse

It’s not often you can boast about being proud of what you do.  Lately, I feel like I am definitely maturing and being less afraid of saying what “should be said.”  At times, you back down since you know conflict is not going to help a situation get better.  In other times, you know that conflict is necessary or that you must simply say what’s on your mind so that later more abuse or problems will fail to occur.  In the past month or so, I’ve been speaking my mind regardless of the outcome.  I think it through before doing so & in those times where I know conflict will result, I move forward…

The other night, we were at a dinner for one of the branches that we manage.  It’s our flagship branch since it’s the largest one in our 15 individual schools.  We went to a bar after dinner and sat around chatting for a bit.  In the middle of talking with my coworker Jason (who I think is a great guy, by the way), we notice an older man standing up and yelling at an older lady.  They are in their 40’s, I’m thinking or at least he is.  She’s possibly in her mid 30’s.  It’s hard to say. Continue reading

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Filed under Busan stuff, Korea life, Korean women, Random thoughts, Relationships, Stupid, Theories by Brandon, Unfortunate

Google apologizes to the world where the world isn’t looking…

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google apology

google apology

Google had some problems on their end and for a good 40 minutes on the 31st of January (2009), every search result said “This site may harm your computer”.  So, you may have been confused when clicking on the results.  They apologized on their blog to everyone — not on the site of course though.  So, 1/1,00,000,000 of the people who care probably read about it.  I just happened to find it when looking at Alexa (which I haven’t done in a LOOOOOOONNNGGG time).

They “thanked their team” for the quick work in finding this, but I wonder if there wasn’t a bit of yelling and stress in the operations center when this happened.  I remember at Doubleclick when we had problems like this and our CEO was definitely NOT happy when it did.  I wonder how “calm” it was inside Google’s HQ at that time.

Perhaps they need to punish employees by making them pay for their food at HQ?  Maybe take away some of their stock options?  Oh, never mind…the loss in stock price maybe is enough.  Then again, maybe the loss in stock price has not motivated employees recently enough to look the other way more these days???  Who knows…

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Filed under Random thoughts, Search Engine Management, SEM, Stupid, Unfortunate

Is the Koobface worm the cause of Facebook being slow?

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Is anyone else experiencing difficulty logging into Facebook these days?  Over the past 3 days — which coindentally happened to be 3 days I had more free time in a while, I’ve been having problems logging into Facebook.

Facebook Error

Facebook Error

I noticed after clicking on the “Help” link at the bottom of the page, I get this message now on their Help page. Continue reading

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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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