The monsoon season is in full force right now.  We thought about heading south today to visit ceramic shops and the Korean Folk Village in Icheon, but we decided to abort at the last minute.  Instead, we took it easy at home today.  In the afternoon I tried to take my son to the pool for his first swim.  We wanted to buy him something to keep him afloat in the pool (as a safety precaution).  Unfortunately, the local sporting goods store carried neither child-size life preservers nor arm floaters.  The lack of common items readily available in Korea is one of the more frustrating aspects of life here.  For example, finding grilling utensils such tongs and oversized metal spatulas is difficult.  Typically, items not often used in Korea are hard to find.  I realize that seems like an obvious assumption, but it’s a reality you realize often if you’re an expatriate living in Korea.  I plan to take my son to the pool as soon as I can find something that will buoy him in the pool.  We also had difficulty finding a good pool.  We drove to the one freely accessible pool near our home and discovered that it’s an outdoor pool.  Swimming outdoors in a monsoon is not much fun.  We spoke to the pool manager and finally learned through the broken English that there is also an indoor pool nearby.  Unfortunately, it was closed by the time we arrived.  We decided to try again another day.  My son was a good sport and settled for Popeye’s Fried Chicken.
All in all, it was a quiet, melancholy day.  I would normally be bummed out about this time of the evening with only five days of work to look forward to, but tomorrow is U.S. Independence Day and I have the day off.  Tomorrow night my wife and I will attend the annual Fourth of July celebration at the U.S. Ambassador’s residence.  In the morning, we’ll take it easy at home.  Although there is presently no U.S. Ambassador to Korea (there should be within a few months), it is still an important event.  Dignitaries and honored guests are invited to this annual event.  The Chargé, or acting Ambassdor, and the former Ambassador’s wife will host the event.
This afternoon I also assembled our elliptical machine.  We don’t get enough exercise and are constantly finding excuses not to exercise, so I decided to bring exercising home.  I put the machine next to the bed to serve as a constant reminder that we need to exercise (or perhaps it will serve as an extra clothes rack).  I set up a small TV and DVD to give us something to watch while we exercise.  What better incentive could we have to exercise?  Of course, I didn’t use it today except to test it.  I reasoned with myself that because I worked "so hard" putting it together I didn’t need to use it today.  And so the excuses go on and on… One of these days I will actually start exercising.  No wait, tomorrow.  No, I can’t…I have to go to the Ambassador’s residence.  Yeah, right.
Wade3016, thanks for the comment on the audio I mentioned yesterday.  The problem does have to do with mono- to stereo-audio conversion.  I bought a Y-splitter to split mono into stereo audio, but that did not work.  I will try a few VCR channels to see if that works.  I have a feeling that I may have to return the cheap VCR and buy one with stereo audio output.  I’ll exhaust my splitter and channel options first, though.  I’ll write you soon offline or give you a call.
To everyone who has written comments in the past few days:  Thanks for your input!  I appreciate it.  I read every comment posted.  I’ll look at your sites soon too.  I appreciate the traffic.  I’m not sure why, but traffic on my blog has increased substantially in the past couple of weeks.  I’m glad to see it increase.  Your comments let me know I’m not writing in a vacuum.  Thanks!

Books by MG EdwardsMG Edwards is a writer of books and stories in the thriller and science fiction-fantasy genres. He also writes travel adventures and children’s books. A former U.S. diplomat, he served in South Korea, Paraguay, and Zambia before leaving the Foreign Service to write full time.

Edwards is author of six books. His memoir, Kilimanjaro: One Man’s Quest to Go Over the Hill, was finalist for the Book of the Year Award and the Global eBook Award. He has published four children’s picture books in the World Adventurers for Kids Series: Alexander the Salamander; Ellie the Elephant; Zoe the Zebra; and a collection featuring all three stories. His book Real Dreams: Thirty Years of Short Stories is an anthology of 15 short stories.

Edwards lives in Taipei, Taiwan with his family. He has also lived in Austria, Singapore and Thailand. For more books or stories by M.G. Edwards, visit his web site at or contact him by e-mail at or on Twitter @m_g_edwards.

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