a taste of sushi and … kimchi

Man, I miss food.  I mean food from all over.  Friends and I went out to Dono Sushi a bit ago.  I had a bowl of spicy udon noodles, and we shared some sushi.

Kimbap!”  K found kimbap on the menu!  “What kind of kimbap?” I asked.  He laughed.  “Just kimbap,” he said.  We had some of that, some salmon sushi, and … (and here is where I got excited) … kimchi!!!

I asked the server if they had any.  It’s not on the menu, but yes.  Now I know why.  It’s rare that I have kimchi this terrible.  It wasn’t good.  I have no idea what was wrong with it.  It was just … bad.

There was a vibrating buzzing noise in the restaurant.  The service was friendly but slow.  The noodles were very good.  The sushi was very good.  But …

Anyone out there know where to get good kimchi in Southern Alberta?

just browsing

At the advice of a friend from college a couple of weeks ago, I’ve switched from Mozilla Firefox web browser to Google Chrome.  Yet, i’m not convinced that this is the best idea.  So I’m trying other browsers.  Here are my thoughts.  (BTW – I’m using each browser listed to edit each blog entry.)

  • Google Chrome:
    • Yes, it works; but, it being Google, I’m concerned about privacy and them selling off my browsing habits to the highest bidder.
    • It often doesn’t seem to have a spell-check.  Being a former English teacher, I shouldn’t be worried about this, except that it’d be damb embarasing to mispell somthing wihtout no-ing it.
    • Adding Canadian English is a fight, defaulting back to American English.
    • It’s scrolling up-and-down is very choppy, unlike Firefox’s smooth transition from line to line.
    • There is no provision for automatically switching to a new tab when opening one (Crtl. T).  I have to manually switch (Crtl. Tab).
  • Mozilla Firefox
    • It works well, but it insists on its updates, changing some of its characteristics without me wanting it to.
    • Upon updating, it has a legacy function to allow older add-ons to run.  No, this isn’t a negative.  I’m just listing its characteristics.  This is a review, rememeber?
    • It seems to have a problem running Java or like programs.  (Yes, I said programs, not apps.  I’m old-school.)  Maybe that’s Java’s issue – not sure.
    • It has smooth scrolling.
    • It gives provission to jump immediately to the next tab when opened.
    • Older versions are not listed in Windows 10’s default web browser list.  Try as I might, in the end I must uninstall and reinstall Firefox to be able to choose it as the default browser.  No amount of web helps will help.
    • There are lots of add-ons available for privacy, picture downloading, password saves, everything.
    • It’s open source!
  • Opera
    • Don’t laugh.  Give it a try.  It works.
    • People laugh when I use it.  Stop laughing.
    • It looks the same as all the other browsers except that it has a side menu bar for FacebookWhatsAppSpeed Dial (the front screen showing tiled websites you’ve visited before), Personal News (a place to set favourite news websites, I guess), etc.  Handy.
    • No Canadian English spell check.  Only American.  No place to change it.  (Yes, I know how to spell favourite and colour and doughnut.)  Big downfall.
    • Fast.  It could be my imagination, but it seems faster than the others.
  • Internet Explorer
    • I really don’t know why everyone hates it.  It works.
    • It’s been stable all of its existence.
    • It has a spell-check and spelling error correction.
    • It can remember passwords and forms.
    • It can interact back and forth with Windows Explorer for internet, intranet, etc.
    • It’s made by people who are paid to do their job.
    • Anyone running Windows of any type can use it.  No downloading necessary.
    • It stores Favorites in a folder that is easily accessible.  No searching, no trying unsuccessfully to create a backup copy.
    • The Settings area doesn’t change with every version, forcing one to have to re-learn where everything is.
  • Edge
    • Not sure what is so different with this one or why Microsoft would create it.  Smaller?  Faster?  Better with tablets?
    • It works.
    • The icon looks too much like the ‘e’ in Internet Explorer.  Damn picky, aren’t I?
    • It has something called Web Note.  It allows someone with a pen (stylus) to doodle all over the website and save it.  Where to?  Not sure yet.  In what format?  Uncertain yet.
    • Microsoft has Extensions for it, much like Firefox I suppose.  I haven’t played with them yet.
    • Crtl. W actually works on this program (sigh … app), unlike a lot of the new Windows 10 apps.  (Press Crtl. W now.  But be aware you’ll have to go to og.allansplace.ca again.)
  • Safari
    • Oh my.  What can I say.  Firstly, it was really difficult to download Safari for Windows.  Try it.  Do a Google search.  Or a Yahoo! search, or an Ask.com search, or a GoDaddy, or a DuckDuckGo, anything.  Not many actual links to actual Windows downloads exist.
    • Secondly, right away Safari warned me that my browsing wasn’t secure.  It gave me a link to go get a secure version.  But … there didn’t seem to be anywhere to get it.
    • Next, that very same window bragged about how fast it was.
      I tried to insert a screen shot here, but WordPress doesn’t really work very well.  I think I’ll do a review on website generators next.
    • Then, I tried to edit this OGL entry, but the entire window to edit text was blank!  Good gravy.
    • And, finally, text in a web page is kind of fuzzy.  It’s not sharp.
    • I had a good experience with Safari (yes, for Windows) long ago.  But I guess times change.
      By the way – I’m now using Internet Explorer to edit this entry.
  • Netscape Navigator
    • Holy cow!  Yes, I’m serious.  A generation ago (people generations, not computer generations) Netscape Navigator was a serious contender in the browser realm.  However, things have changed.
    • Easy to download.  Easy to find on many web searches.
    • Doesn’t display my own Ongoing Letter blog page.  The menus are all over the place.
    • Doesn’t allow easy editing of the text.  It’s all white text on a white text window background.  Well that’s nice – not.  I have to highlight all the text to see it – coding and all.
    • Yes, I know what you’re thinking.  Why even bother?  Just because, I guess.  (I’m am using IE again for this entry.)

Here is more reading.

And a lovely picture.

https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Browser_wars#/media/File:StatCounter-browser-ww-monthly-201707-201707-map.png

And the winner is – oddly enough – Internet Explorer.  Why?

  • It works.
  • It’s on every Windows computer.
  • Spell check – in Canadian English.
  • Extensions & add-0ns.
  • And many, many more.

 

surprise identity

So I’m at a late supper with a couple of friends from college, K & A, and somewhere along in the conversation the idea of mixed ethnic origins comes up, as it sometimes does.

I asked K what if he and his wife have chosen a name for their new child arriving in Sept / Oct this year.  (S)he will have two names – an English first name and a Korean middle name.  “You can have two last names, too, if you want,” A says.  “Passports from each country will have that nation’s family name.” Well how do you know this?  I never knew that.

Later, we were talking about jobs, living in other countries (A wants to study in Germany after college here).  A family ancestor was the USA.  I suggested getting his Green Card, like me.  It was then that he confessed that he already has dual citizenship.  “What?  Where?  Seriously?”

So it was sometime around then that he confessed.  As it turns out, the only other white guy (i.e. “Caucasian Canadian”) in the group spills the beans about not actually being a white guy.  Yup, he’s half white Canadian and half Taiwanese.  He speaks Mandarin and grew up in Taiwan and Canada.  Taiwanese Mom & Canadian Dad.

I was 90% surprised.  Why?  I knew since I met him that he’d had an accent.  Not a regional dialect, not a 2nd-generation ethnic accent, but a first-hand mixed-origin accent, like 5~10%.  I could never pin it on any region outside the general area of Asia, never down to one country.

He’d kept it a secret all this time because, I gather, he likes to surprise people and also, I think, finds it a cause of disruption of normal interaction.  He only tells those he has known for a while.  He told K & C (Koreans) but never me!  So I said during supper that I’m actually the only white guy in the group – a minority.  A reminded me that I am mistaken – that I’m half Korean, too.

Right.  Almost forgot, being around all these white people.  Haha!

I feel honoured that I’m counted among this trusted friends.

(By the way – I’m not Caucasian.  I’m white.  Caucasians come from the Caucasus region in Eastern Europe / Western Asia.  Look it up.  And yes, I eat crackers.)

Kia damage at mall

I was at Centre Village Mall last Friday doing a CANstruction installation when mall security came around asking who owns a brown Kia.  Uh oh.  Now what?  Someone hit my car in the parking lot.  I went out and found a guy standing there waiting for me and my car’s front end sitting on the ground.  He backed into the stall next to mine, hit my car, decided to move forward, and pulled off the front end.  We talked with mall security and a witness from Save-On Foods then drove to what he thought was the accident reporting place.  Just as everyone had said, it’d moved to downtown to the main police station.  We went there, spent an hour reporting.  Police took pictures.  So now I’m waiting for his insurance company, Cooperators, to contact me to arrange repairs.

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balance at Tim Horton’s

So I’m at Tim’s having a bowl of chili and a decaf, thinking about what just happened.

I asked the woman at the till to get me a balance on some cards.  “You don’t remember what you have?  Really?” she asked in a childish voice.  WTH?  Why ask me this?  “All of them?  Well how many cards do you have?”  WTH again.  “I’ve only got three,” I say to her.  She scans the first one and asks, “Do you see the balance?  Can you remember that?”  <Ahem>  When she was done, I asked her, “You think I have a short memory, eh?  I’ve got dozens of cards for everything.  No, I have no idea what the balance is.”  I was going to ask her if she could remember my order, but I was too polite.  I now think I should have.

There is a balance between formal politeness and familiar friendliness.  She broke that balance.

Mark found mark

My instructor Mark from a year ago found my final exam!  He gave me a zero for the final in his steel construction class because he could not find it.  Long story short – I put my work in one pile and the exam paper in the other on his desk.  I asked, and he looked twice before, but he said he couldn’t find it.  Finally, a few days ago, I asked him if taking his current class will erase my old mark.  He said it wouldn’t but that he’d look again for it.  “I remember now that you took the exam with the other section group,” he said, and that he’d look for the exam again.  He found it, graded it, and submitted the grade and documentation to the registrar’s office.  I’m waiting to hear back to confirm that my mark has changed.  I will get a B- in that class.

feeling iffy and mouldy

Feeling a bit iffy this past week.  With the cold snap, getting down to -32°C (-26°F), condensation collected on two walls in my room.  With my bed pushed up against the walls and the storage area under (in) the bed full of stuff, no heat got back there, and this condensation collected, froze, collected more, and eventually grew mould on the bottom 6 inches of the walls.  I was headachy and hacking away for the good part of a week.  I happened to notice a little pool of water at the head of my bed.  Oh crap, where’s this coming from?  I pulled the bed back and found a black mouldy surprise.  It’s pretty much cleaned up now, but I’m still a bit achy.

EDDT and Earthships

I have yet to attend Environmental Systems class.  I’ve had two days of classes at the college in the EDDT course so far, with Process Design II, the designing of pressure vessels and their connections; Applied Research, the second class in a series including statistics that builds toward a final presentation to peers and instructors; Architectural Design III, actually the fourth in a series of residential and commercial architecture training; and Civil Design and Drafting, a continuation of topographic, mapping, drainage, landscaping, and all things considered in developing land for habitation, industry, or business.  It’s the weekend now, and I’m looking forward to next week to see what the environmental class has to offer.

I woke up this morning to an Earthship blog from New Zealand as a result of somewhat randomly clicking links online.  YouTube – Healthy Homes – Te Timatanga Earthship New Zealand  Also, Earthship NZ  I also saw an Earthship created here in Southern Alberta.  Alberta’s First Earthship  If I am to go in any direction that I choose, this would be it – sustainable building.

One of my instructors hit on something I lack – confidence.  He wrote on the board a list of characteristics a cook and a chef might have.  I spouted off the first characteristic – creativity vs. following.  It seems odd that I would be the first to offer an entry to his list, which in fact takes leadership, because I seriously lack the confidence needed in planning, creating, building, etc.  (I offered another, which he moved to the top of the list – communication.  I do have that, being an English teacher.)

So this is a personal skill I must work on during this last term in school – confidence in leadership.