The QiRanger Adventures

Posts Tagged ‘Apple

Rounding out the Philippines

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Adventurer Jo!

It’s hard to believe that I’ve been back in Korea for two weeks! Time really flies when you’re working 12-hour days during the summer intensive season. That being said, I’ve been spending a lot of my downtime working on the Philippine Travel videos. Today, I present the last in the series: Corregidor: Day Two.

As I noted in another post, this was by far the best day. Hiring the driver and getting a more personalized tour really made the experience for us. In this video, you can also see Jo ziplining down to the beach, which was so much fun.

I’d also like to thank everyone who has been so supportive of my travel videos. It really means a lot. I simply enjoy making them and look forward to making more and more travel-vlogs and travel-shows in the future.

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Corregidor at Night

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The evening adventure package was amazing. Starting off with a walk through the historic Army Post hospital, the tour then takes you to Top Side and an unimpeded view of Manila Bay for one of the best sunsets I’ve ever seen. Then we were off to explore Malinta Tunnel. Walking through its network of tunnels was amazing!

Corregidor: Day One Video

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Jo, Little T, and I ventured out from Manila to the island fortress of Corregidor. We spent two days exploring this incredible destination, filled with history, here are a few of the day one highlights.

The Bataan Death March

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For the United States, World War II started on December 7th, 1941 with a surprise attack on Pearl Harbor. What many don’t realize that the Japanese launched simultaneous attacks around the Pacific in near unison.
The Philippines, a territory of the United States since 1898, were under the command of General Douglas MacArthur. He was tasked with preparing the islands should Japan attack. As much as he did, Japanese forces quickly overran defenses and US and Filipino armies retreated to the Bataan Peninsula.

Here, the combined might of the US and Filipino armies held off the Imperial forces of Japan until April 1942. Once General King surrendered, those that remained alive were forced to march more than 100km in what is known as the Bataan Death March.

My Great Uncle was stationed here prior to World War II and survived the march. Join me in this special QiRanger Adventure as Jo and I travel to Bataan. We start off at Mariveles, the sight of the first of two 00km Death March markers and make our way through the peninsula all the way to Tarlac and Camp O’Donnell.

An honest review…

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It really is magic...

I have been using a computer for longer than I can remember. I think the first computer I used was back in the late 1970s and I have loved them ever since. For a long time, I used PCs, simply because I needed certain software and Macs didn’t offer me anything. Over the years, I liked, Macs, but really didn’t like their operating system.

That all changed when Apple decided to drop their old system and move to UNIX. For those not-in-the-know, Macs run an operating system that dates back more than 40 years. By contrast, Windows is roughly half that old, and is continually being gutted and changed. So each incarnation is a new product. Apple went with UNIX because there’s so much behind it. When you add in the Linux community, the programming resources become infinitely larger.

But the thing that always grated me with Apple was their mice. I hated the one button thing. I was always used to two, three, or more buttons on a mouse. When I first got my Macbook Pro, I opted to get the Mighty Mouse. It’s a Bluetooth wireless mouse with several options. It offered left and right clicks (based on sensor inputs), had a trackball, and side buttons. I loved it. I could do everything with it.

However, the biggest problem with that mouse was the trackball. It would always get gunked up. When that happened, you either couldn’t scroll one way, or even at all. After three years and countless cleanings, my Mighty Mouse’s trackball finally gave in. I needed to get a replacement. Since I like the Bluetooth aspect of my mouse (it keeps a USB port free), I needed to get another one. Apple’s only option is the Magic Mouse, which they introduced last year.

It’s sleek. It’s sexy… but only has one surface and effectively one button. It allows for left and right clicking and solved the scrolling issue, by using the surface of the mouse as a touchpad. But, I had grown used to using Spaces and Exposé with my Mighty mouse. What was I going to do? Go to YouTube of course.

I found several tutorials on how to make better use of the mouse. this lead me to MagicPref. It’s a free program you install on your system to manage the Magic Mouse. It offers far more customization that I’ll ever use, but it now allows me to use Spaces and Exposé by creating special clicking areas (middle click for Exposé and three-finger click for Spaces). I love it and highly recommend this free program for anyone with a Magic Mouse.

Written by Steve Miller

July 26, 2010 at 7:55 am

Wongudan: Korea’s Temple of Heaven

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Wongudan Altar

The World Cup is over and Spain has claimed victory. I know it seems like a strange way to introduce this entry, but the World Cup played a major part in me discovering this hidden gem in the center of Seoul.

It was late in the afternoon, and after spending a few hours on the lawn of Seoul Plaza, I needed to empty my bladder. Seeing that most of the port-o-johns were occupied, I opted to cross the busy street. Upon doing so, something caught my eye: a large temple gate. I quickly debated on whether or not to continue my current mission, or take a side trip. Since I knew the gate wasn’t going anywhere, I decided to move forward with the public restroom.

Once my business was done, I inspected the gate and learned a little bit of history. As someone who’s traveled around Seoul quite a bit, I’ve never seen anything describing this, especially since it’s located directly across from Deoksugung.

What’s even more amazing, is that this treasure is on the grounds of the Westin Chosun Hotel. That makes it a nice and quiet alternative to some of the other sights in Seoul.

Wongudan is Korea’s Temple of Heaven. An altar used for ritual rights to ensure a bountiful harvest. The practice of these sacrifices dates back to the Joseon Dynasty, but ceased as China and Korea developed close ties. When King Gojong declared independence from China and set himself up as Emperor of the Daehan Empire, he created this altar in the image of Beijing’s Temple.

The grounds of the altar are a stark contrast to the highrise buildings that surround the quiet garden. That being said, visitors are treated to a fantastic experience. You can enter from Seoul Plaza or the Westin Chosun Hotel. What I fond interesting, was that the main entrance to the actual Temple was a small side gate, while the main, ceremonial gate, can no longer be used to gain access. (You can still step down and walk through and photograph this area though.)

The base and grounds of Wongudan are guarded by mythical haetae. Unfortunately, these fire-eating beasts weren’t able to protect the structure when Japan annexed Korea in the early 20th Century. However, the present three-story sanctuary is beautiful and well worth the few extra minutes for a visit. If you’re a photographer, you’ll have many chances to get some fantastic shots of the plethora of haetae that cover the grounds.

I think that this is probably one of the more memorable sights in Seoul, because so few people know about it. You can literally have the entire place to yourself. It made the experience, that much more special, since I could take my time and not have to worry about blocking someone’s view or getting in the way of a picture. It does present a problem though… no one to take your picture!

For the travel documentary, check out my video on YouTube!

Little Travellers’ Seoul Scavenger Hunt

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Founded in 2005, Little Travellers assists the Hillcrest HIV/AIDS Center in South Africa. The Korean chapter held an exciting scavenger hunt in Seoul on July 10th to help raise funds. I teamed up with “Chris in South Korea” to tackle from of the more difficult tasks. It was an amazing day and we met some great people along the way.