Reluctance

I know better than to accuse someone groundlessly, but having seen both the good and the ugly in my three decades inside the Korean American churches it is hard not to cling on my experience and intuition when I see a clergy openly hint at something.

The head of well-known North Korean ministry in South Korea was visiting Albuquerque not too long ago, and the main purpose of his visit was to gain support for his ministry of course. My pastor and the elders seemed to have agreed. I think that was his second visit. While eating with him, bunch of church members, and North Korean girls he had brought with him, I noticed that he was comfortably embracing one of the teen girls without hesitation.  I understand that physical touch, and such embrace used to be something very common in Korean culture, and I’m sure all the other adults in the restaurant probably didn’t think much of it, but it really bothered me.  He was sitting down, and one of his arm embraced the girl below the waist around her buttocks after he had called up the girl to introduce her to the group. The girl enthusiastically massaged his shoulders at one point, too. I had an internal knee-jerk reaction. Here’s a pastor who was traveling globally to gain support for this ministry, and yet his actions and how he embraces these girls doesn’t even come close to meeting any international standards on etiquette. Again, let me point out that many adults in his age group is more comfortable about physical touch than subsequent generations, and I even know how such things are rationalized–“oh, he’s treating her like his own daughter”–but enough with the bullshit.

Three decades in different churches, mostly as a youth pastor, taught me that pastors are human beings, with all of its glorious flaws. And many mega-churches have come to ruins because of the illicit conducts of its senior pastors. This is no news. And in light of such cultural failures, you can only expect dimwits to believe that this respectable(?) pastor from Korea is clean with his hands when it comes to dealing with these girls?  If he’s not hesitant about such embraces of these girls in the open air, I don’t want to imagine what he could be capable of when he’s alone with these girls. Growing up hearing so much of sexual misconduct by pastors, I personally became hesitant to even shake hands with youth group girls, much less embrace them “in Christ.”  I had created a big, internal monitor on self to check my thoughts and behaviors. Even with my own daughters, after reaching certain age, I’m more careful about how I embrace them.

Would you allow your own daughter to be handled that way by ANY ONE?  Start there.  I don’t know why these adults continue to allow these self-designated religious leaders to handle girls this way. Since he left, he’s requested to have various things translated–for free. After completing one of the translations, my heart turned weary… with the barrage of news coming from Korea about pastors who secretly raped teenage girls under their care (the latest is so-called the verified “x-file” of pastor Kim Gi-dong of Sungrak Church)… I really pray and hope this specific pastor would be pure in his life, but I’m not naive enough to have no serious doubts about it.

Korea has been the dumping ground for low-quality meat

(Sorry, but the video is in Korean.  The documentary clearly brings awareness to Koreans who have been fooled by believing that the beef quality increases with the fat content. The most expensive beef in Korea are the ones with the most fat content.)

When I was growing up in Korea back in early 1980s, eating meat was for special occasions.  I’m not sure if that’s the real reason why there weren’t many fat people back then, but it’s a different landscape now. Although I have been living in the U.S. for over 30s year now, it seemed like a lot of Koreans ate meat on a daily basis starting at some point in recent past. I guess the price has gotten lower and people just oriented towards what tasted good for them. For a while, our own family didn’t eat that much meat, even though my wife is an ethnic Korean. She immigrated back in early 1990s. Anyway, after recently joining a local Korean American church what surprised me once again was how much Koreans liked sam-gyeop-sal (sliced fatty pork belly meat).  It’s basically 90% fatty bacon.  People usually consume it by frying it on a grill in front of them, and wrap it with a leaf of lettuce w/ chives and other side dishes with rice. Once or twice a year there would be sam-gyeop-sal party at the church. Koreans love meat.

The video on top is basically an exposé of how the Koreans value meat is strictly based on taste and not on the soundness of health. Basically, the beef certification system strictly based on how much fat beef contains. The higher fat content, the better beef, thus more expensive.  The documentary points out that such rating system started in the U.S., and then moved to Japan, the home of Wagyu Kobe beef, and then popularized in South Korea. It also features how Argentinians prefer lean meat, and compares the Korean beef cert system to the U.S. one. It also shows how Australians, preferring lean meat themselves, intentionally fattens cows to sell to Korea, a large meat market now.

How did Korea become such a meat loving country?  The answer lies in the not too distant past. Koreans were under dire poverty right after the war, and for many growing up during those years being able to eat meat was associated with well-being, and so that generation instilled in the next that eating meat, with little regard to health — which was taken for granted, thanks for their vegetable-based diet — is something that is promoted within families. In fact, it was only on special days that my father came home with cha-dol-bae-gi, thinly sliced beef, that was roasted on top of a frying pan.  However, all such factors contributed to where Korea is today.  A dumping ground for unhealthy meat. And paradoxically, it has also become a nation of health craze.  Maybe, it was only a matter of time that this type of exposé comes to the general public.

This is yet another documentary that exposes the other meat — pork.  Korea has been the dumping ground for the fatty pork belly meat.

Is this because Korean people in general are more gullible than other nations?

A repost of “Why I Chose to No Longer Wear Leggings”

For girls.

A post by Veronica Partridge (now deleted, but the old link was http://veronicapartridge.com/why-i-chose-to-no-longer-wear-leggings/)

For the past several months, I have been having a conviction weighing heavy on my heart. I tried ignoring it for as long as I could until one day a conversation came up amongst myself and a few others (both men and women). The conversation was about leggings and how when women wear them it creates a stronger attraction for a man to look at a woman’s body and may cause them to think lustful thoughts. God really changed my heart in the midst of that conversation and instead of ignoring my convictions, I figured it was time I start listening to them and take action.

I went home later that day and shared the convictions I was having with my husband. Was it possible my wearing leggings could cause a man, other than my husband, to think lustfully about my body? I asked my husband his thoughts on the matter when he got home. I appreciated his honesty when he told me, “yeah, when I walk into a place and there are women wearing yoga pants everywhere, it’s hard to not look. I try not to, but it’s not easy.”

I instantly felt conviction come over me even stronger. Not that I wasn’t feeling it earlier, or else I wouldn’t have thought twice about the conversation, but after talking to Dale, it hit me a lot harder. If it is difficult for my husband who loves, honors, and respects me to keep his eyes focused ahead, then how much more difficult could it be for a man that may not have the same self-control? Sure, if a man wants to look, they are going to look, but why entice them? Is it possible that the thin, form-fitting yoga pants or leggings could make a married (or single) man look at a woman in a way he should only look at his wife?

And at that moment, I made a personal vow to myself and to my husband. I will no longer wear thin, form-fitting yoga pants or leggings in public. The only time I feel (for myself) it is acceptable to wear them, is if I am in the comfort of my own home. I also want to set the best example of how to dress for my daughter. I want her to know, her value is not in the way her body looks or how she dresses, but in the character and personality God has given her. I have been following the vow I made to myself for the past couple of weeks now and though it may be difficult to find an outfit at times, my conscience is clear and I feel I am honoring God and my husband in the way I dress.

Car Repaint Project: [LAST] Day 7 – Wetsand and polish

Wetsanded the car with 1000 grit, and then tried polishing it using Ultimate Compound.  I’m guessing the clear coat wasn’t sprayed well because even after polishing, the paint looked dull.  The car looked rather shiny after the third coat of paint, but with the clear coat sprayed on it didn’t look so shiny anymore.  I guess it may have something to do with my polishing. But anyhow, I’m glad it’s over, and the paint has a coat of protection on it. Since it’s white it doesn’t need to twinkle or anything.  I’ll probably post the photo later, but IT’S DONE!

UPDATE: I may need to use a buffer to polish it up better.  It’s still a blur.  It’s going to be a long weekend, so I might as well take the time. ;-(

Car Repaint Project: Day 5 – Fine Sanding and Third Layer of Paint

I took Monday off.  I just didn’t feel like working on the car yesterday evening.

Before I log this day, let me note that it’s 12:30 am right now. I started the work at around 7:30 pm. So, it took me exactly 5 hours to finish.  If I learned one thing today it is that painting with heavier paint takes longer time.

I thought I had bought 800 grit, but I found that I had 600 grit instead. I used it to makes scratches all over the car.  It’s impossible to sand off the paint with it. Just rough up the car for easier reception of the third layer of paint.  I prepared the paint by just pouring more paint into the 40/60 can I had prepared before. It’s probably more like 1:5 ratio, maybe little too thick.

The paint definitely felt different this time. I wouldn’t say that it was easier to paint than using 40/60 paint, because it wasn’t, but there are some differences that sometimes made it easier. You can paint the whole panel for example, and then come back to brush over it.  If I understand it correctly, the paint is supposed to dry faster with more thinner, but I found that the heavier paint seemed to dry faster.  Anyhow, I guess it depends. I’m glad this is going to be the final layer, even though I’ve read that some people would put even more layer of paint from here.  I think three layers suffice for this type of work. Besides, I’ve gone farther than some of the write-ups I had read.  Anyway, here are photos after the third layer of paint was put on the car. I like it. I’m going to be spraying with clear coat tomorrow after work.

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Car Repaint Project: Day 4 – Sanding and Second Layer of Paint

Today I spent about 4 hours after church sanding and putting on the second layer of paint. This time, I took time to sand using 400 grit, having learned from putting on the first layer. What I’ve learned is that paint don’t really stick well without enough sanding, especially on vertical pieces like the doors. Even with a good scratches from sanding it can be little frustrating, but it may have something to do with the amount of thinner I’ve added to the paint. Mine was nearly 40 thinner/60 paint, which really isn’t according to many recommendations I had read, including the one on the paint can itself, which recommends little or none.  Anyway, first two layers are supposed to be somewhat thin anyway, in order to speed the drying, and the last coat is supposed to be thicker.  I normally don’t praise the my own work, but after putting on the second coat I had impressed myself. It started to look like a decent paint job!  I’m now a firm believer in using Rust-Oleum. 😉  Of course, having done the work myself, I know all of the little inadequacies and places where there are too much paint or too little, but overall, it’s quite satisfying, albeit back-breaking. This ran into late evening hours, and I won’t get into details of little pesky bugs sticking on the paint and so on.  Just use your common sense if you’re following a similar procedure.

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For a better comparison I should have taken some photos before the job, but I was merely thinking of blogging this as a type of record or a log.  Anyway, I had to rummage through my old photos to find this one (a stitched-up panoramic version) I had taken at Taos several years back.  You can see how the paint was coming off.

nissan-before-paint

 

Car Repaint Project: Day 3 – First layer of paint

It must’ve taken up a good half of Saturday for this.  After taping and spraying the car with primer, and waiting for it to dry, I’ve applied the first layer of paint.  I had no previous experience of painting using form brushes, so I was little frustrated with how things looked and I even had some places where I accidentally squeeze the form causing bubbles to appear and then even vertical drips.  I’ve learned quite a bit on this first layer.

After spraying on the primer.

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After the first layer of the paint.

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Car Repaint Project: Day 1 – Sanding

Without much time or money on hand, I’ve decided to repaint my 2002 Nissan. It had a Molten Silver color for its exterior according to the spec doc, but the outer paint started to peel off about 10 years ago. The paint looked fine when I moved to New Mexico nearly 7 years ago though, but, now, the peeling paint has made the car look rather shabby to others. I’m not emotionally attached to the appearance of the car I drive, so it didn’t bother me that much.  In fact, I somewhat enjoy wearing and using things that has a look of being well-worn. I think my own pastor and I share a form of camaraderie for having the shabbiest looking cars at the church.  Anyway, my bumper decided to give recently, and when I bought a replacement it came in its raw, black color, and it needed to be painted. I felt that I might as well repaint the whole car while at it.

I heard from a coworker once that an excellent paint job may cost over a 1,000 bucks, and an average paint job typically costs around 300 to 500. I can’t afford that kind of money at the moment, and there are other expenses that are just waiting to move out of my checking account, so I googled the Internet to find a more frugal way and most of the recent answers seem to be around the use of Rust-Oleum enamel paint.  There are actually many guides and write-ups and I’m indebted to them all, especially Styluss, Craig Fitzgerald, and jtech87. I guess this may seem like yet-another-attempt at a write-up, but this is more as a logging purpose for me to keep track of my progress.  I can only allot 1 or less hour a day to this project, and usually it’s in evening.  I may be able to find little more time on the weekends.

Materials (matches Styluss’ preparation, but mine ended up being about 90 dollars total):

  • Rustoleum high gloss white paint – 1 gallon
  • Odorless mineral spirits – 1 gallon
  • Primer spray paint
  • 4″ High density foam brushes – x9
  • 2″ High density foam brushes – x8
  • Paint trays – x3
  • Sandpaper – 2 packs (400 & 800 grit)
  • Painter’s tape – 1 roll
  • Rustoleum clear coat
  • (optional) Car polish
  • (optional, but recommended) Paint mask, ear plugs or earphones, and goggle

The first draft of my plan (similar to jtech87’s) looks like this:

Subroutine M: Wet a rag with paint thinner (100% mineral spirit) and rub down.
Subroutine T:  Use tack cloth to wipe the surface.
Subroutine P: Paint surface.
Subroutine S(n): [Wet]sand with n grit paper.
Subroutine W(n): Wait at least n hours.

  1. Wear a paint mask, ear plugs (or earphones if you prefer), and a goggle if you don’t want paint particles entering your system in any significant amounts.
  2. Clean the car and do S(400), M, and T. Dust off
  3. Spray primer. W(6).
  4. Prepare paint solution (50% Rust-Oleum Glossy White / 50% thinner) and mix it well.
  5. Do P, and W(6).
  6. Do S(400) to get rid of at least 50% of the orange peel.
  7. Do M, T, P, and W(6).
  8. Repeat steps 6 and 7, and then jump to 9.
  9. Do S(800). Get at least 80% of the orange peel, but do not sand too deep.
  10. Prepare a slightly thicker paint solution (less thinner than last time). Use a new brush.
  11. Do M, T, P.
  12. Apply clear coat.
  13. Apply 2nd clear coat (assuming you’re rotating around the car, you can start at the beginning point on step 12).
  14. Do S(800 or higher).
  15. (optional) Apply polish.

I estimate about a week, but with only an hour a day, it may turn out to be longer. Anyway, here I go.

With some preparation time, I ended up with only about 30 minutes of time. In a scale of 1 to 10, where 10 is a thorough job of sanding, I’d probably give myself 5 on this one.  I managed to cover most of the car except for 3 doors.  I imagine I may be sanding for a whole week before I put anything on.

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As you can see in the photo, there’s still much more sanding to do.  (Yawn) I need to sleep.