Wednesday, January 08, 2014

Gwanak Mountain

One thing this old blogger likes to do is talk to himself in his head about how long it has been since he last posted. Aware that such mutterings can easily sow the early seeds of a number of druggable neurological disorders, we here at Lee's Korea Blog have decided to attempt a limited slash and burn at the overgrown jungle of as-yet unposted posts that need posting.

Within the dusty cloistered catacomb-like vaults of my image archives, a substantial stash of pre-Alex photos await even the most basic of accompanying narratives.

Unfortunately, I do not believe they are going to post themselves.

This photo was from a spontaneous picnic that occurred near Incheon, back in the day when the other members of the now-famous Couples with Kids Clan were yet to have their kids. Ashley was the first baby on the scene, and thus a center of interest and a considerable scoop for the Farrand family.

Here's a photo of some fish that our old neighbor's hung out to dry on their clothes line.

As one does, when one is fond of dried fish. 

And incontiguity in storytelling aside, one early morning at around 5am, many moons ago, a mildly sleep-depraved band of SNU colleagues found themselves perched upon a mountain.

For what reason we chose to climb the mountain at such an unagreeable hour has since been distorted by hwesik myth and alcoholic recollection, but I seem to remember it had something to do with the topic of wolves.

Of which there are none on the Korean peninsula.

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This rather stark geometric projection is a signal amplifier perched atop Gwanak Mountain.

And here's Baengy learning how to poop atop a chambered pot. She went through a number of cycles, shunning the tall white structure and going back to her kiddy potty, only to triumphantly return to the throne and leave a sizeable deposit a few days later.

The holding of her feet by Mother Farrand seems to put her more at ease.

Here's Heather's father and brother consumed in a game of Go.

Apparently there are more combinations of game outcomes in a game of Go than there are atoms in the universe. I have a rather boisterous friend who does not believe such claims, but it appears to be quite true.

According to Wikipedia:

"The game complexity of Go is such that describing even elementary strategy fills many introductory books. In fact, numerical estimates show that the number of possible games of Go far exceeds the number of atoms in the observable universe.[nb 15]"

I don't quite know how we can get our heads around that one, but it's safe to say that humans have a very primitive grasp of exponentially large numbers.

This photo is from a walk in the Geumjeongsan park near Heather's parent's house in Busan. Back in the golden days when Baengy still had no hair.

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When I was a boy, which in many ways I still feel I am, although by some metrics I guess I may not be, but anyway, questionable use of punctuation aside, when I was a much smaller boy, I remember very much being enamoured by all things biologically aquatic. Guessing that such a strong impulse may have genetic origins, we took Baengy to the Coex Aquarium to observe the results.

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It soon became apparent to us that Baengy is scared of no fish. Fish larger than Baengy-size, next to the glass, with crooked razor-sharp teeth and mouths ajar like gaping wounds, received not even the slightest flinch from the unblinking eyes of our offspring.

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Although I am not entirely convinced that she knew we were standing next to aquariums with real fish, as opposed to large television screens.

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Our daughter knows what a camera phone is and has been observed to take the odd photo of herself from time to time.

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She has also learned the fine art of the sarcastic pose.

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She tends to make friends with people wherever she goes. In the photo above, a shop assistant is showing her some phone apps. Baengy placing her hand on a stranger's shoulder means that they have been promoted to a fairly high status. 

Promotions tend to happen quickly when smartphones or sweets are involved.

We spent a good deal of time teaching Baengy how to kiss properly. She knew that it had something to do with two sets of lips being brought within close proximity of each other. However, the coincident vacuum peck was not to be realised as a necessary addition until many months later.

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And we also noticed that she likes lids, to the extent that we soon found that any bottles or jars within arms reach were at risk of being thoroughly investigated and the contents strewn across the floor. So Mother Farrand decided to address the problem by manufacturing a 'lid sampler' with 3 different kinds of empty plastic bottles with lids immobilized onto an old shoe box. The amount of time Baengy has spent playing with this box of delights has both bewildered and pleasantly surprised us. So much for the electric piano and Fisher Price gear.

And then we noticed that Baengy likes putting things in slots. So Mother Farrand cut a mailing slit into the same box, and we gave her some business cards to play around with. The device overall has kept Baengy occupied for hours on end.

I guess the moral of this story is that a bit of creative thinking can keep your aggies occupied for extended periods of time.

Happy New Year everyone.