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“As long as I have my Cokes and Smokes” — Damaged Goods

“How did you come up with the idea for your story or novel?” is a question that I am often asked when folks want to know what inspired me. For my first novel, War Remains, the answer is a long one, which involves talking about writing for the Korea Times back in 2000, interviewing veterans […]

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Ghosts of Christmas Past — Japan, 1989

[youtube=http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=m2qCHLx_4qA&feature=related] Today, while I was in the locker room at Sol-Sporex (located in one of the lower levels of the SolBridge International School of Business), one of the more upscale fitness clubs I have worked out at here in Korea, I heard the Second Movement of Antonin Dvorak’s New World Symphony playing in the background. […]

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Picture of the Day: Daejeon, 60 years ago

Yesterday, September 28 was the 60th anniversary of the liberation of Seoul following the Inchon Landing during the 1950-53 Korean War. Two days later, this photo was taken of downtown Daejeon (back then spelled Taejon) which shows how badly the city was destroyed during fierce fighting in the opening weeks of the Korean War and […]

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Flash fiction story published in Bartleby Snopes

My flash fiction story, “What is this?” (Kore wa nan desu-ka?) was published in the online e-zine Bartleby Snopes today. The genesis for this story is based on my experience teaching in Hamamatsu, Japan in 1989 and also learning Japanese. One day I was thinking about how much Japanese I still remember and out of […]

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Picture of the day: Fujiyama from Kofu

Fujiyama or Mt. Fuji rising up from mountains hemming in Kofu. Black and white or in color, Fujiyama is one majestic mountain.

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Online Asian Photo Exhibition at The Camel Saloon

The editor of The Camel Saloon, Russell Streur, after he had seen some photos I submitted along with some of my poetry, came up with this cool idea about having an online photo exhibition of some of the photos I have taken during my travels around Asia. Called the Asian Caravan, it is a collection […]

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Let’s Boogie on down to the Boogie Café

It was a cold, rainy November Friday evening when my Japanese friend, rock and roll and tattoo brother Kenny Shangrila took me to the Boogie Café in Yokohama. On my way from Bangkok to Chicago via Japan, I had a three-day layover in Japan where I would be hanging out with Kenny. After he had […]

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It was twenty years ago today…

Not when Sergeant Pepper told the band to play but when this former Sergeant got on a plane at LAX and flew to Japan. And so began this 20-year adventure of teaching English in Asia—first in Japan and then in Korea. It’s been some adventure that’s for sure. I’ve already written much about my life […]

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The Great Buddha at Kamakura

The Great Buddha at Kamakura You sit there so quiet contemplative meditative and grand with that peaceful look upon your bronze face and heavy hands folded in your lap. Gazing straight ahead you’ve watched the seasons come and go- from delicate Japanese springs of pink and white cherry blossoms to the vibrant red and golden […]

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Christmas in Asia

Halfway around the world in Asia, the celebration of Christmas is quite different than the way it is celebrated in the West. Although the true meaning and spirit of the season might be lost in the obvious commercialization and marketing of the holiday in countries like Japan and Korea, certain traditions and celebrations have evolved […]

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