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Saturday, 27 December 2008

Getting Married in Dubai

Hello everyone! Yes, I am still alive and kicking. Apologies for the lack of updates but life has been just so busy ya know? Anyways before we get started just wanted to say a big MERRY CHRISTMAS and HAPPY NEW YEAR to all those people out there still reading this blog! Thanks for checking up on my updates and commenting. I hope everyone has been able to spend the holidays with their family and friends.

As for us, we have been spending the past couple of weeks again in the UAE! As most of you know we got engaged last year and just over two weeks ago we tied the knot in Dubai! It was a very small wedding on the beach, right outside the Burj Al Arab hotel and Madinat Al Saqr. It was pretty nice to be in the sun and out of the snow and cold that people back home have been "enjoying" to say the least. ;)

Here's a pic of our view from the Madinat Al Qasr:

Here's a pic of Dubai from the top of the Burj Al Arab, where we had brunch the following day. Can you see the world's tallest building, the Burj Dubai (which funny enough is being built by Samsung Corp!):

As you can probably tell, we are having a blast right now. The food at the Burj Al Arab brunch was downright incredible! A massive buffet that includes such a massive array of food that it was impossible for yours truly to even taste it all! I'm not joking! I tried taking a pic of every plate but I couldn't do it anymore to my body.

The seafood selection was pretty awesome though. Lobster, king crab legs, shrimp, mussels, clams, oysters, and even caviar! There was a dude there who's job was only to spoon caviar on your plate--hilarious. Also, there was a foie gras station as well. Buddy would take your order then freshly pan sear a slab of foie gras for you. Talk about massive calorie intake right? Come on, that's what you do when you go on holidays!

Here are a few pics of what I had to eat:

On top of getting hitched in Dubai, we just got back from our honeymoon in the Seychelles. Yes, life is pretty difficult right now as you can see. Until next time!! ;)

Thursday, 6 November 2008

I Bought a New MacBook!

Hey folks! Yes, I am still alive and well. Things have been busy at home so I haven't had much time to update the blog. But I recently did something very significant in terms of updating my computer collection: I bought a Mac!

I was waiting patiently for Apple to update their MacBook line up and I'm glad I did. I ended up picking up a 13" aluminum base model and I've been loving it! Using OS X was a bit weird at first, but I quickly picked up the differences after using Windows for the past 15 years!

I am happy to say that I will never have to format and reinstall XP ever again. What a great feeling to be liberated from the grips of Microsoft. It's really unfortunate that I never did get the chance to experience the wonderful upgrade in Vista. /sarcasm

Anyways, here is a pic for your enjoyment. If you have any applications you can recommend or good sites to visit, let me know! Until then, I'm happily enjoying my new MacBook to go along with my iPhone 3G. Does this qualify me as an Apple fan boy yet? ;)

Tuesday, 9 September 2008

Blog World Expo 2008 Contest Entry Take 2

For those who have been following my blog still, you may remember my previous contest entry to win a full pass to the 2008 Blog World Expo from the notorious panda killer, John Chow. Well, unfortunately I didn't hit the jackpot that time, but here we go again. Enter Blog World Expo 2008 contest entry, take 2!

Zac Johnson is going to part of probably going to complete one of the most EPIC panels ever at Blog World Expo 2008. You're not going to find a bigger star-studded line up of bloggers and marketers then the likes of John Chow, Jim Kukral, Darren Rowse, Jeremy Schoemaker, and Brian Clark. These guys can afford lots of luxury goods I tell ya!

Why Do I Want to Attend Blog World Expo in Las Vegas?

I want to attend the Expo for a variety of reasons. Attending the Blog World Expo will allow me to meet so many of these influential bloggers and marketers whose advice I've been following all this time. It's through the help of people such as Zac Johnson, John Chow, Darren Rowse, and Shoemoney that have helped inspire my blogging aspirations. Their models for positive success has helped me achieve my own through my other blog, iPhoneinCanada.ca!

Moreover, I have already booked my flight/hotel to the Expo and I am excited to visit Las Vegas for the first time. I managed to book an Exhibit-only pass at Blog World. If I won this full conference pass it would definitely be the icing on the cake!

Winning this pass would enable me to witness history in the making by listening to some of my online mentors speak about what they love to do best! I'm also looking forward to meeting the Unique Blog Designs crew that helped design my iPhone blog too!

Hopefully this entry explains why I want to attend the Blog World Expo 2008. Looking forward to seeing you all in Vegas, thanks for the contest, Zac!

Sunday, 7 September 2008

Food Consumed During the Summer (Goodbye Summer!)

Helloooooo everybody! No, this isn't your eyes playing a sick joke on you, it really is Gdog coming at you with a blog update! How lucky (or unlucky) for you! Well, the summer has come and gone and it's been a busy one. I've been very busy with my iPhone blog and enjoying my first summer summer off as a teacher (it's going to be extremely difficult to wake up early again). 

Anyways, aside from relaxing everyday and riding my bike around town, I've eaten a whole variety of different food here in Vancouver. You can eat any cuisine as the choice are just endless. I'm going to stop with the rant and jump right to the pictures!

BBQ salmon on a cedar plank:

BBQ Duck Noodles at Congee Noodle House on Broadway/Main:

Beef and black been sauce on rice noodles at McKim's Noodle house in Richmond:

Cedar plank salmon with chips and guacamole:

Fresh fruit salad (Yes, I made this) with fresh black plums, lychees, raspberries, cherries, green seedless grapes:

Fresh steamed mussels on the patio at Granville Island:

Some breakfast action at IHOP...look at those pancakes baby!!

Beef flank noodles with beef tripe...MMMmmm....mom's special recipe:

Chicken Shawarma plate...there was so much food here I could barely finish it:

The best egg benedict in Vancouver at Cafe Zen on Yew St:

BULGOGI downtown on Robson St (there's a mini Korea-town strip there):

Homemade lasagna with meat sauce:

Clubhouse sandwich with double the bacon...yes, that is a jar of Miracle Whip!

So there you have it, that's just a small sample of the food I've enjoyed eating this summer. The cherry season was cut short due to weather that affected the crop, which resulted in higher than average prices. These local cherries from the Okanagan are the highlight of my summers!

On a side note, I've been having some fun shooting photos with my Canon digital SLR and recently photographed my first wedding with my uncle. It was a great experience and you can check out our gallery here.

OH, by the way, I've been getting emails about teaching in Korea from lots of ya. Sorry if I haven't responded, just email me again. Anyways, if you haven't already, be sure to check out my Teaching English in Korea FAQ to help you answer some questions. Good luck and talk soon!

Sunday, 10 August 2008

Aspiring to Head to Blog World in Las Vegas

Hey folks, it's been a while since Gdog has posted on The Daily Kimchi. Anyways, the summer has been going great, keeping very busy. So busy that I've neglected this blog! Anyways, today I'm going to post about why I hope to win a ticket to the Blog World Expo, the largest convention on blogging that is being held in Las Vegas this September. My buddy John Chow is holding a contest giving away two free tickets and I'm hoping that I get one of them.

Why I Deserve the Pass to Blog World

First things first, I am free in September and am committed to going to Blog World. You won't be wasting giving away your tickets to someone who is not going. I want to go to Blog World to network and finally meet all the crazy bloggers in this world. Notable examples are Shoemoney, the UBD crew that helped setup my iPhone Blog theme.

To experience the chance to meet these influential bloggers at the blogging mecca would be an unforgettable experience that would add to my blogging repertoire. By actually attending the conference would help me focus my efforts on blogging and to become even more successful online.

I've been blogging since July of 2006, starting with The Daily Kimchi. I posted on this blog everyday for a solid year while in Korea--now that's dedication! This blog has become my online diary for blogging essentially, hence why I'm posting this entry here. For my iPhone in Canada blog I have not missed a daily post since its creation in December of 2007. It's this kind of dedication and commitment to blogging that proves why I am serious about showing up at the Blog World Expo.

I'm not going to play the pity card and create some sort of sob story about why I should win a ticket. The fact of the matter is I deserve to go because I understand blogging and have created one of the most successful iPhone blogs in a matter of 8 short months (1.1 million pageviews, 300,000 visitors, and 3100+ RSS readers in July!), plus one of the most popular Teaching in Korea blogs too. I have put in the homework to research and learn how to create successful blogs. These are the cold hard facts--the Blog World Expo is waiting for me to arrive!

What makes me different from others? I actually have implemented every single idea I've come across (including John's ideas), versus others that just talk about making a blog! What a simple concept to success! Regardless, if I don't win the free pass I'm going to put up the cash to buy a ticket and go anyways. That's how serious I am about heading to Blog World!

Also, John Chow owes me $4.25 in scooter gas money, so to win this pass I would accept it as a fair offer of paying me back. So there you go folks. That's my entry and see ya in Las Vegas!

Monday, 30 June 2008

The Quest for Shinpo Woori Mandoo in Vancouver

I know what you're thinking and I already have the answer to your question--yes, we are still alive and kicking! This is definitely the longest break between posts but it's been busy busy buy here so updates have been slow. Now that I have the summer to enjoy, maybe expect a few more updates coming your way!

For those long time readers, remember when I visited Tommy Hilfiger's long lost brother, Tommy Atkins? That night we ate at Shinpo Woori Mandoo. On our first visit there I noticed there was a Shinpo location in Vancouver! So, out of the blue we decided to embark on a trek to locate this Shinpo location in downtown Vancouver.

First off, great news, we found the location! Bad news, the place has closed down! LOL. I don't know if they moved or not, but I thought of Western businesses failing in Korea (think Walmart) and then here we have Shinpo's chain closing shop in Canada. Maybe the owners went back to Korea or moved to another location. I'll have to investigate further.

So Shinpo was off the list for dinner. Where to? We headed down Robson Street, which on the northern end of the street is almost like a mini Korean-town. We went to this one restaurant that had some pretty darn good naengmyeon. We each ordered one and also a dolsot bibimbap! It was like being back in Korea again (well, almost). The restaurant had one table of Koreans that were speaking...Korean--pretty much drowning the entire restaurant in "OOOHHHHS" etc.

Anyways, here are the pictures!

It's been a while since we had the whole water jug on table experience...

Konglish is awesome...NANG MYEN BABY! It's "one of the most famous food in Korea"

This table made sure we knew they were Korean:

The side dishes...

The naengmyeon...it was actually really good.

Korean seems to taste reallly good in Vancouver. I don't know if it has to do with the ingredients, but the flavors taste fresher than the dishes in Korea. The thing I miss the most though? The price! Naengmyeon could be had for 2900w ($3CDN) in Korea, where as each bowl here cost $8.95/BOWL plus tax/tip...so yeah...Korean is cheaper in Korea. Hope everybody is enjoying their summer...I sure am enjoying mine! ;)

Monday, 19 May 2008

BBQ Season Starts with my Weber Q 300 Grill!

Ahh, the joys of Spring in Vancouver means...RAIN! Well, it has felt that way for the longest time, but this past long weekend we were blessed with some of the hottest and sunniest weather we've had to date! What makes hot and sunny weather even better? If you guessed a "slip and slide", try again. If you said barbeque...now you're talking!

We recently moved into a condo and with that came a nice sized deck, enough room for me to fit my new Weber Q 300 barbeque! This bad boy retails for $399CDN or so, but I managed to pick it up for half the price used on Craigslist--and the unit was in excellent condition. This bbq sure does beat the el cheapo' $49 mini propane bbq I was using in Victoria. The conclusion is that cast iron grills are bad ass and will sear like no tomorrow!

This is something I definitely missed while I was in Korea--barbequing in the summer. Well, I did eat barbecue all year round in Korea, but it's not the same when it's only cuts of galbi and samgyeopsal! I'm talking big juicy steaks and burgers, too bad that would've cost about a few billion won in Korea!

Anyways, here are a few pics of some BBQ action. Too bad I've been sick during the past few days and I'm currently on antibiotics (drugs are awesome), but hey, I still got to do some grillin! muahahhaha!

Take at look at the grill marks on these top sirloin steaks:

Some grilled prawns were also on the menu:

I had some bacon in the fridge, so I grilled that too! The cool thing about the Weber Q 300 is that there is a opening at the bottom of the bbq which allows juices to drip down into an aluminum tray. I love this thing.

...and here's our table set for four people (Devante's brother and his girlfriend came over for the long weekend):

Okay let's move onto the next day, BBQ action round 2. I just so happened to visit Costco the day before and pick up some Angus Beef burgers there were on sale. These frozen bad boys are some of the juiciest (and high in fat!) frozen burgers you'll ever have. You gotta try them out, seriously! I've eaten three burgers in two days. Now if you'll excuse me I have to go jog for 50 miles, so my heart doesn't stop.

Of course, being the genius that I am I cooked the rest of the bacon for breakfast, which didn't leave me any bacon for my burgers. At least I had some cheddar cheese! Oh well, a Bullseye BBQ sauce cheeseburger was just as good:

Anyways, as you can see good food gets me going and it also motivates me to post on this blog. Hope everyone out there is still alive and kicking! Maybe next time I'll save you a burger or two. ;)

Thursday, 24 April 2008

April Update...What's Been Going On...

Hey everyone! It's been a while, hasn't it? Yes, we are still alive and well. Things have been really busy back home! The month of April has almost come and gone, and this month has been smokin' busy for the both of us.

I've been working pretty much full time as a teacher on call here in Vancouver. It's been a lot of fun so far, and the students have been awesome. I think teaching is my calling card--I enjoy the students and they laugh at my silly jokes! ;) Lately I've been working in a Grade 3 class. These students I must say are a great age group to work with. Still so keen and eager to learn!

This month it was also my mom's birthday near the beginning of the month. Happy birthday mom! Check out this mango birthday cake:

Stuffing my face full in Richmond has become a sport it seems. Everywhere you go there is always some restaurant or eatery where you can find a great deal (just watch out for some of the drivers, LOL). The following meal was from Ginger and Garlic on No.3 Road. Beef steak (it tasted like beef at least) and three pork satay skewers, along with Borshe soup and a drink for under $8!

I just started playing volleyball down by Jerico Beach on a team with my brother and some of his friends. Note to the wise: playing in barefeet on wet sand in mid April will result in frozen feet. Here's an awesome Mexican meal I had from Mexi Cali afterwards--a beef redondo, mexifries, and a lime slushy for $6 tax included!

We had time this month to make a run for the border--Washington State that is! We went down to the Seattle Premium Outlets to do some shopping. I frickn love shopping in the USA! Two pairs of shoes, jeans, and multiple shirts later satisfied my shopping needs. Of course, what is a road trip to the USA without a run to Taco Bell? It just tastes better in the US!

Here's a picture from our wait at the Peace Arch on the way back...we had no problems at Customs which was awesome!

So there you have it folks...a tiny update on what's been happening in our lives. Now that you have scoops on us, what going on in your life? I know many of you still follow my blog, which is super cool. Leave me a note in the comments!

Tuesday, 1 April 2008

Happy April Fools' Day, Hello Kitty!

Hey everyone, you're probably surprised that you're reading a new post on The Daily Kimchi! No, this is not some sort of dirty April Fools' joke--but it's going to be close enough. A lot has been happening lately in our lives, we both are working full time and we recently just purchased our own home! How exciting!

Anyways, just here to wish everyone a happy April Fools' Day. But in particular, a Happy April Fools' day to the following mango dessert I recently devoured from dim sum on the weekend. The following sequence of pictures is dedicated to all those creepy Hello Kitty fanatics out there! Enjoy...

Gee, here I am naked without syrup...

What is this stuff you're dousing me with?

Noo, not of all things, my jugular...ahhh!

haha...if that wasn't good enough for you, please check out the following clip of me at work:

You've been RICK ROLL'D!

Friday, 14 March 2008

To Hell & Back at Hell's Kitchen

This has been the longest period of time between blog posts! Anyways, I haven't had much time (same old story) to post stuff, so when all else fails why not just post about the meals I've eaten?

This time around our brunch took place at Hell's Kitchen--no, not that Hell's Kitchen but the one located in Kitsilano in Vancouver. We went there with my brother and his wife and this place is known for its decent grub. However on this day, I have to say they definitely had an off day...

For starters, the place was extremely understaffed (we had to wait a long time for drinks to come, and sugar packets were hard to find for our coffee). Service was not great and the cleanliness of the restaurant (we sat on the patio) was not the greatest. I've worked as a server before and in restaurants all my life--so I'm well aware of the hardships sometimes faced by servers.

On this day I felt like eating a burger so I went with that choice. Now, I know that Hell is supposed to be flaming hot, but who would've thought they would focus this to their burger patties?! When my burger arrived it looked extremely well done. I'm talking dark, charred grill marks. I love my burgers so I decided to take a bite anyways--bad decision! The entire mouthful of beef was bitter because the underside of the patty was just charred black--ouch!

See those "black strips" extending out from my burger? In the words of Ralph Wiggum, "it tastes like burning"...

Honestly though, just what the hell (no pun intended) are kitchen chefs/cooks thinking when they overcook a burger? "Hmm...it looks really black and will taste bitter...I think I'll just flip it over and try to hide it. That was easy (think of the Staples button)!"

So anyways, I let one of the servers know and they ended up making me a brand new burger with some "surprise" fixins'. After watching everyone else eat their meals (which included cold hashbrowns), I finally got my burger. It was good but nothing special. There is a positive side of this story. Hell's Kitchen did apologize for my burnt burger and took care of it on my bill (who would want to pay for a charred black burger?) which was nice.

The replacement burger 20 minutes later...yes, there is a patty underneath...

So that's my story...talk about going to hell and eating brunch with the devil. To top it off, our server's gang of girlfriends decided to occupy the patio and express their nightclub adventures from the night before out loud (quite entertaining). Ahh, the joys of eating in hell...

Sunday, 24 February 2008

Eating Samgyeopsal in Richmond!

I'll admit, I am dedicating a lot less time writing posts for this blog. Honestly, I've been so busy with work and other online endeavors that I have been neglecting this blog. However, I am grateful to all of you guys that still swing by here once in a while to check up on things!

Anyways, earlier last week went went for a Korean meal in Richmond--samgyeopsal and samgyetang to be exact! This has only been the second time we've had Korean since we arrived back in Canada. You can read about our first encounter in Coquitlam here.

Why you ask? Well, I think we both had more than enough of our fair share during our time teaching English in Korea. Plus, it's so darn hard to eat anything else but delicious and cheap Chinese food in Ricemond!

So our restaurant this time around was none other than Kyung Bok Palace (check out my visit to the REAL palace here) located inside Landsdowne Shopping Mall.

On the menu today, some samgyeopsal for me and some samgyetang for Devante. Let's take a look at the pictures, shall we?

This samgyeopsal was sliced very thin, unlike the thick chunks in Korea. I loved the thick slabs...mmm...pork fat...

The ajumma (aka a teenager) flipping my pork belly...they forgot to turn on the fan, which I politely reminded them to do so:

What is this stuff again? OH right...it's called kimchi!

Remember what I said about it being sliced too thin? It's like I had crispy bacon (yes, I know this is too well done, blah blah blah; I like my samgyeopsal crispy and not fatty)!

Overall, the meal definitely was overpriced compared to prices in Korea--by a long shot. This meal would have cost 26,000w in Korea, but it cost us about $45CDN after tax and tip (that's what I miss about eating in Korea--no gratuities!). The side dishes were really good and everything tasted fresh. Too bad their service wasn't up to par. We were 1 out of 3 tables, yet I had to ask for so many things.

Anyways...let's hope our next Korean experience will be a bit better. What should I eat next?

Saturday, 16 February 2008

Namdaemun: Then and Now

I've visited Namdaemun in Seoul on countless occasions. It is located in the heart of the city and I have taken lots of pictures of the beautiful monument, which sits at over 600 years old. So to discover that the ancient gate was set ablaze while I was perusing news headlines, I was surprised to say the least!

For those unaware, Namdaemun was set on fire just over a week ago. The entire incident was suspected to have originated from an arsonist, which proved to be true soon afterwards. A 70 year old man, known as "Chae" confessed to lighting Namdaemun on fire with paint thinner and a lighter.

Why the heck did this elderly man set the structure on fire? Well, his beef was about how he was not properly compensated by delevopers in the sale of a plot of land he owned. His cries for help went unnoticed so he took matters into his own hands!

Koreans are a very patriotic bunch, and to see their #1 National Treasure burn to the ground must have been devastating! They are planning to rebuild and restore the gate, but it obviously won't be the same. Let's take a look at some pictures of Namdaemun I've snapped up in the past...

...during the daytime (check out my post on Namdaemun Market)

...a few during the night...(from my trip to City Hall at night)

Pictures of the fire...here it is set ablaze with the wooden structure at the top crumbling to the ground (picture credit to the AP):

...and the aftermath (NY Times)!

Here's a clip of the inferno...

For those still in Korea...what is the general mood about the destruction of this national treasure?

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