The QiRanger Adventures

Archive for the ‘Jo’ Category


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The short mini-vacation, known as Chuseok week, is now over and I must return to work… for one day.

It has been a glorious week away from work, aside from the rain. What’s been best about the week, is that Jo and I made the most of it, taking side trips and visiting such iconic places as the DMZ and Everland.

We had originally wanted to hit Everland earlier in the week, but rain forced us to delay our plans, so we went on Thursday. This was very fortunate, since at the park we met up with Robert.

The day was a blast and such a great place to return to as well (for me). We weren’t alone in our plans to take the last day of vacation at Everland, as thousands joined us. In fact, at one point, we saw an MBC helicopter taking video of the day.

I think what made the week even more special for me was that I left the camera behind and enjoyed it as a real vacation. This weekend, Jo and I have a few plans (ie, video and cultural trips), but the big one is Seoul Tube. I am really looking forward to this event, as it is shaking up to be really huge. As of last night, we had 84 RSVPs on the Facebook Event. That is far more than I ever thought would come.

Since I have been away for so long, I feel kind out of the loop on all things Internet. What’s up in your neck of the woods?

Written by Steve Miller

September 24, 2010 at 8:10 am

The Pick-up

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Today was the awards ceremony for the most recent Korea Brand UCC Contest. Unfortunately, due to my work schedule, I was unable to fully participate; however, I did manage to make it out to Seoul for a while today and meet with the fine folks at the Presidential Council on Nation Branding.

At first I declined to attend the ceremony, not because I didn’t want to meet everyone, but because it takes about 90 minutes to get from their offices back to Dongtan. Since the ceremony was going to be at least an hour, it meant there was no way for me to be at their office and miss work. My solution was to go early (with their permission), and they agreed.

As this was my second award, both parties were eager to put faces with names. When I received my award certificate, it was also shared with all those in attendance that I was a repeat award winner.

It was great to finally be at their offices and mingle with other award winners. There’s an incredible amount of talent in Korea, and the contest brought out the best in everyone. They announced two more contests for the remainder of 2010, and I might enter them as well. For now, I we’ll see how my free times stacks up.

As mentioned on YouTube, I thought I’d answer some of the most common questions regarding my travel videos. I’m going to do that now, since I’ll be delivering my computer to UBASE on Friday for a hard disk upgrade, and I’m not sure when I’ll get it back. Couple that with SeoulTube 2010 and Chuseok (추석) next week and I think you’ll see that I’ll be away from the Internet for some time.

So here are those commonly asked questions:

How long does it take to make a travel video? On average, the 4-minute videos I produce on YouTube with a travel theme take a full day of editing. Meaning that it may take 8 or so hours to produce the 4-minute program.

How do I choose where to go? This is really more of a team effort on Jo and my part. We both love to travel and see as much as we can during the time allotted. This means researching our destinations and scouring over maps to see what may be interesting and off the beaten path. Once we have an idea of where we want to go, we set about researching the Internet and consulting tourism organizations and books for details.

Are my videos scripted? Not really. Based on my research, I know what bullet points I want to cover, but rarely do I actually write out each line.

As always, thanks for reading and commenting. If you’re in Korea, I hope you have a great Chuseok and I’ll see you soon!

Living in Korea: A Vlog

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One of the questions I am most often asked is, “What is it like to live in Korea?” I find it incredibly hard to answer that question, since I believe you get out of life what you put into it. I hope this video does a better job showing what life is like in Korea, at least from my perspective.

Written by Steve Miller

September 8, 2010 at 7:52 am

Monday… Monday

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From the media pole!

The past few days have been amazing, but alas it is Monday once more and time to focus and get ready for work.

This past weekend was a great little get-away for Jo and I since we had a lot on our to-do list. It entailed traveling all over Seoul, picking up items from Craig’s List, seeing movies, breaking bread with friends, and visiting historic sites.

Probably the best part about the weekend, is that we just kind of took things step-by-step, having a few ideas of what we wanted to do , but being open to other opportunities along the way.

For example, we had completed all of our shopping on Saturday and had a few hours to kill before meeting up with our friends for dinner. While on the bus to Sinchon (신촌), we passed by a Megabox movie theater and decided to see if something was playing. We opted for Killers with Ashton Kutcher and Katherine Heigl.

It looked like it was going to be a cute comedy, and there were moments, but in the long run, it fell flat and was predictable. But for Jo and I, it served its purpose and allowed us some down time and time to get out of the summer heat in Korea. (Seriously, when is it going to end?)

Over the next few days, I’ll be reviewing some video footage to put together a quick video about a normal weekend in Korea. I hope you’re downtime was fulfilling. What did you do?

Written by Steve Miller

September 6, 2010 at 6:43 am

Bionics on!

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Oh, how I remember watching that show while growing up. It brought together two things that I really love: bionics and stupid-fun-cartoons. Truth be told, I don’t remember too much about the show these days, but I’m sure I could find something on YouTube if I wanted.

The reason this came to mind has been my recent bout of Physio at the doctor’s office. For the first few times, they just gave me heat, ultra-sound, and e-stim. However, after the fourth trip, they started using the device to the right.

It’s an altered air cast that has five zones. Each zone cycles through air and promotes circulation. It starts off at the feet, then the ankle. Then as it starts filling the lower calf, the foot deflates and so on. The therapy lasts for 15 minutes, and unlike the other ones I receive, forces me to sit-up straight (rather than lie down and take a nap).

Since the office started using this therapy, I’ve noticed that my knee has been healing much faster. In fact, with only two therapy sessions left, I’m looking forward to returning to the doctor’s office on Friday and asking to resume low-impact cardio exercise. It’s my hope that I can reduce the therapy to three times per week and resume working out on a full-time basis. Not going to the gym has been killing me (although I suspect that Jo enjoys me not coming home smelling like a locker).

This (hopeful) release will also mean that Jo and I can start climbing some mountains! With Fall right around the corner, I’m eager to show her the beauty of the land!

Take care!

Written by Steve Miller

September 1, 2010 at 12:32 pm

Posted in Asia, Health, Jo, Korea

Tagged with , , , , , ,

One week to go!

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The weekend is quickly approaching and that means only one thing (well maybe more than that): It means that Jo and I are off for another adventure!

This time we’re headed down to the island paradise of Jeju. It’s going to be an action-packed trip that is sure to make for some great video footage, so stay tuned.

However, more importantly, I only have one more week of physio before my knee is evaluated again. I briefly spoke with the doctor on Friday and he agrees that things are progressing nicely, so hopefully next week, (just in time for September), I’ll be given a clean bill of health and I can resume trekking in the mountains again.

Also, I’ve begun recording the audio for my book. Previously this summer, I started writing a travel book for an online store. Not only was there a written version, but an audio companion as well. With the manuscript done, I’ve now turned to recording each chapter. One would think that with all the videos I do that recording the audio would be easy. I can assure that a simple 4-minute piece can take well into 30 minutes with all the flubs and noise that come from recording at home.

Since the audio book recounts a two-week trip I took through the National Parks, I’d like to know this: What’s the best trip you ever taken and why?

Have a great weekend and stay safe!

Written by Steve Miller

August 27, 2010 at 2:43 pm

A day away…

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Jo and Little T in the Flowers

When the weekend comes, it most certainly is time to play. One of the things that Jo and I do during the week is try to find something new and exciting to do. In fact, for the next month, we have nearly every weekend planed with a fun outing or gathering.

We weren’t sure what we had wanted to do this past weekend, but thankfully the KTO posted a link on their Facebook page for the Taebaek Sunflower festival.

There were several options on getting out there, but Jo and I settled on grabbing an Intercity bus from Suwon and resting along the way. Once there, we walked over to the Tourist Information booth and were instructed to take a taxi to the festival.

Being up in the high country was a welcome change after over a year in the concrete jungle, I really wanted to see some alpine areas. Taebaek was just what the doctor ordered, too. Everything was spectacular, even though most of the sunflowers had moved on to… greener pastures (I know… lame).

Yeongyeon Cave

From the festival area, Jo and I opted to taxi-it to Yeongyeon Cave. It was even a little higher up the mountain and took us on a 800 meter walk underground. It was an amazing experience, mostly because after being in the direct sunlight for hours, the cool, damp cave was welcomed. I thought it was strange that they gave us hard hats when going into the cave, but Jo and I soon realized why they did this.

While the trail system in the cave is extensive, it really isn’t tall-people friendly. Several times low outcroppings darted into the path, and on more than one occasion, I had to get down on my hands and knees to traverse the cave. That being said, it was a great experience, one that I’m thankful Jo and I made together.

The one thing I didn’t understand was the pace that others were taking through this natural wonder. Jo and I took our own sweet time (maybe 90 minutes) to go through everything. Everyone else seemed to be in some sort of race to see how fast they could get through the cave, and in my opinion, missed out on seeing how beautiful it was.

Hwanji Pond

After lunch, we headed out to Hwanji Pond. It’s located about 10 minutes from the bus terminal and was nothing less than an oasis in the center of town.

Everything was so peaceful there, that I think Jo and I thought this was the highlight of the trip. What’s really unique about this ‘pond’ is that since it produces so much water, it’s actually the source of the Nakdong River.

If you have a free day and want to explore some great natural wonders, I really recommend hopping on a bus or train and giving Taebaek a try. There’s a lot to do, and I know that Jo and I will return to visit some of the other natural wonders in town.

Written by Steve Miller

August 23, 2010 at 12:19 pm

It’s on…

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For the past twelve working days, I’ve been teaching Summer Intensives (like Summer School). While I enjoy teaching, and in fact, got to write my own curriculum this time, what I really didn’t like was how it impacted my days.

Normally, I don’t start work until around 4pm (sure I go in a bit early, but that’s my choice). Having morning classes and then going back in the afternoon, really took its toll on me, since I’m used to taking it easy in the morning and also having time to go into Seoul if needed. Plus, after putting in a few hours in the morning, grabbing a quick bite to eat, and then looking at returning to the office an hour later, really inhibited my language learning time.

Granted, I have not been all that motivated at learning either Korean or Hangeul since Jo’s been here. But that’s changing. I am really motivated to take some extra time out of my day and learn both languages. An emphasis will be placed on Tagalog, since we’ll be returning to the Philippines for Christmas/New Year’s and I really want to be semi-fluent by then. Granted almost everyone in the Philippines speaks English, but I really enjoy learning languages and want to be able to converse with those that might not be comfortable speaking in English. I’m also looking forward to resuming my Rosetta Stone and TTMIK series (I erased my previous account with Rosetta Stone and started from scratch).

As of today, I’ve completed one lesson in both languages. That sounds more impressive that it really is, since they’re both review for me (I’ve done them many times). What I really appreciated was having Jo by my side correcting every little pronunciation as I was trying my hat at Tagalog. I hope with her expert instruction, I can really wow her mother and sisters.

Question: If you could learn any new language, what would it be?

Comfort Food

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I love pizza.

I love coffee.

I love greasy, greasy french fries.

They are the things that make me feel fantastic and provide that feeling inside that makes me warm all over.

What’s your comfort food?

Written by Steve Miller

August 17, 2010 at 7:00 pm


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It's HUGE!

Ever since I first ventured out to Mr. Big this summer, I’ve been longing to return with Jo and tackle their King-sized burger. This weekend we finally did just that.

We had made a fun day out of it as well. Our first stop was the jjimjilbang for a few hours of relaxation, which, I thought would be key to tackling such a huge burger. Then we walked over to the CGV and watched Inception.

Then, it was finally time to walk down to Mr. Big. We ordered a side of potatoes and a couple of beers while we waited for the main feast. We arrived at the right time, since shortly after we placed our order, the restaurant filled up. Finally, with our mouths watering, our burger came!

The regular size comes with four slices and the king size has six. Our host told us that this burger would feed 4 people. I’m not sure how, but hey, we weren’t interested in that. We wanted to chow down… and that’s just what we did. When all was said and done, we finished our potatoes and Jo and I almost were able to to complete the burger (remember, not everything you see on TV is real).

I’ve had a lot of burgers over the years, and I still think that this is really one of the best I’ve every had. If you’re in Korea and want to really enjoy a great burger (I highly recommend the TG Burger), head over to Mr. Big and you won’t be disappointed. Just be prepared to really sing your teeth into something that will take a while to consume… and bring someone to help you!

Written by Steve Miller

August 16, 2010 at 6:40 am