My wife, Won-Kum, left early this morning with 10 other family members in two separate cars to travel to Jeollanam-do, the most southwestern province in South Korea. Their main destination is a small town called Guyre-gun close to the Mt. Jirisan National Park. They are planning to return Saturday sometime, probably late. While this part of the country is where Won-Kum was born, she can’t remember ever being there as the family left when she was about 2-years old. I’ve tried to interest my wife in exploring what her family did during the Korean War that began with an invasion though the DMZ by North Korean Armed Forces on the 25 June, 1950, but she seems uninterested, at least reluctant to do so. Anyway, they all made it through the war, and I’m guessing they were just fortunate in being at the right place at the right time instead of being hammered like so many Korean civilians caught between the advancing and fleeing armies. Like most fighting that’s done under the United Nations Flag, Americans & the Brits did most of the fighting & dying with the US shouldering the biggest burden of any other nation, except South Korea. The following statistics are taken from Wikipedia, Korean War Casualties.
South Korea 137,899 KIA 450,742 WIA 32,838 MIA/POW
United States 36,516 dead (2,830 non-combat) 92,134 wounded 8,176 MIA 7,245 POW
United Kingdom 1,109 dead 2,674 wounded 1,060 MIA or POW
Turkey 721 dead 2,111 wounded 168 MIA 216 POW
Canada 516 dead 1,042 wounded
Australia 339 dead 1,200 wounded
France 300 KIA or MIA
Greece 194 KIA 459 wounded
Philippines 112 KIA
Netherlands 123 KIA
Belgium 106 KIA
Luxembourg 2 KIA
New Zealand 33 KIA
South Africa 28 KIA and 8 MIA
I’m holding down the fort here at home. This morning I went to to the Smile Health Club, where I’m a member, and lifted weights. I returned home and went to MLB.com and watched the St. Louis Cardinals battle the LA Dodgers for 15 innings. The Cards pulled out a win when Albert Pujols drove in the winning run with a line drive over the pulled-in center fielder’s head. It was a good victory for the Cards as the Dodgers had many more opportunities to win than the Cards did. The game ended after midnight in St. Louis, and they still had a big crowd there when the game ended.
Won Kum works about 30 hrs per week as a short order cook at Jay’s Burger & Hotdog Stand. She likes it, but I’m not sure how long the establishment will be able to stay in business. He’s just not selling enough chili dogs, regular dogs, hamburgers, French fries, pop, & etc to make a profit. Maybe that’s why he didn’t protest when she asked off to go on the family three-day, weekend trip. Jay is a Korean man raised in America and speaks both fluent English & Korean, but he doesn’t appear to be a very good business man.
I now have a pretty good weightlifting routine down. I lift 6-times per week, concentrating on my upper body 3-days and my lower body, including abdomen, the other 3-days. I’ve added two exercises that is helping my sore knees and shoulders. For my knees I use this machine called a Z-up, a South Korean made inversion lifter. Simply put, you secure yourself on a board with your feet secured by a mechanical, padded device. A small electric engine swings you upside down & you end up hanging only by your feet. I get a real good stretch in my lower back and knees, which over time has provided some relief for those areas. Not a big difference, but a noticeable one. For my shoulders I just hang from a bar that gives me a real good stretch in my shoulders. I do the stretching every day in hopes of making further improvement with my ligaments and lower back. I‘ve tried Glucosamine & Chondroitin galore to no avail. Maybe I was too far gone. As they say, “a drowning man will reach for a straw.” I hope that’s not me yet!
When I was playing basketball in the eight grade & throughout high school, team members all wore Converse All Star canvass tennis shoes, high tops. After graduation from high school, I played for a community junior college, as they were called then, for about 3/4 of the basketball year. One day I left practice and never returned. That ended my short amateur career in basketball and my wearing of Converse All Star tennis shoes, high tops. Around 2004 I bought me another pair of black Converse All Star’s, high tops. I used them to lift weights as they were popular for power lifters. When I put them on again, my memory of what they felt like on my feet came back, and they felt so comfortable and familiar that the feeling made me smile and say to myself, “I know that feeling and they feel just the same as they did the first time I wore them.” I fell in love with my Converse All Stars all over again. It was just a wonderful experience.
Now, I had a small problem with carrying my Converse All Stars to the fitness center. I tried carrying them in my backpack; then I tried carrying them in a plastic bag, but I didn’t like that either. One night I remembered how I use to carry my tennis shoes in the 8th grade, so I returned once again to the past to solve my problem. See the picture for how I did it then, and how I do it know. I’ve discovered that thing you use to be comfortable with, or really enjoyed doing, like building model cars, or collecting baseball cards, or whatever, if you use to like it, you probably will like it now if you have the courage to try it again. A necklace of Converse All Stars, black high tops worn around my neck. I hope nobody chokes me with them. All I know is that they seem like they belong there and are always and easily available—no hassles of getting them out of the bag or backpack. garland dale