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Where The Hell Am I?

It was a blog about my life and adventures as an expat in Seoul, South Korea. Now that I'm back in the States it's a blog that I update occasionally every now and then.

Updated: 2018-03-17T08:35:02.688-04:00


Serious English Teaching? Not in Korea


:::Comes in and kicks the tires:::: Yep, it's still working.I saw this blog post pop up on my Facebook feed: Why South Korea isn’t the Place for Serious English Teachers.I read it and then started writing a Facebook comment that kept growing and growing, so I realized it was probably better as a blog post.With that said, if you've taught in Korea, I think it will hit a nerve.  He's in it now as he mentions he's planning to finally leave Korea. You can identify with his frustration, and he's hitting on some very real points. What's interesting is someone I know who still lives in Korea reached out recently. I'd not been in contact since before I left and this wasn't someone who was in my inner circle. I moved back in 2009, so it's been at least seven years since I've been in contact with this person. He and I were exchanging messages, and I had to excuse myself to get back to work as I was up late. He replied that he had a class coming up soon, and I realized he's been an ESL teacher in Korea for years upon years. Nothing wrong with that, but he's pretty much going to have that "best dead end job" that the author mentions for as long as he can pull it off.  I had that job too. In terms of career prospects when you're in Korea, that's close to it. I know some people including non-Koreans and foreign born Koreans who've gotten into entertainment through radio and TV. I also met other foreigners there who were with the military or were there for business. But if you want to stay on the teaching track, that's pretty much it. The top of the ladder is teaching at a Korean university or college. Beyond that there is no career track or professional development because you're supposed to do the job for a handful of years and then move on. Teaching English in Korea has always been set up as a temporary gig and was never meant to be anything more than that just by the way it's structured because of the required yearly visa updates/renewals along with mostly yearly contracts (some schools might do more, but most don't.) One of the many reasons I chose to move home was being over having to get sign off from immigration for any project that came up. At one point I had both a student via and a teaching visa simultaneously. If you didn't, you're in violation of your visa and, trust me, a lot of people take on other projects. I have some friends who've made it work or have pushed themselves onto another track by getting a PhD. I have a couple of friends there now who are professors in other topics, but they've put the work in. They're basically experts in some aspect of Korean culture or history and, of course, are fluent in Korean.I was there for my own set of reasons: post law degree and trying to figure things outgetting time to travel and see a bit more of the world, which I didhealing and patching up my soul after losing my parents within 5 weeks of the other and reconciling that with being adopted, which also requires a certain level of healing and patching upMy almost eight and a half years there equipped me with experiences that to this day still benefit me, but that time took me off the grid in many ways. Repatriating is a hard process which took me almost five years to complete, and I've still got one or two more things to do to make it complete. [...]

Save Annie - help a sweet pit bull stay alive


I don't know why I didn't think of this sooner! Okay, I do, I almost never write posts on this blog anymore. The story: my boyfriend and I recently moved to Oakland. Overall, it's been a bit of a bumpy adjustment. Monday was made even bumpier because someone decided to leave a dog in our yard. Because we can't have pets and because the other person in the duplex has a young son, there was no way we could keep her. I do wish we could foster her. Oakland Animal Services (OAS) picked her up on Tuesday afternoon, and, as it's a kill shelter, she's on borrowed time.I named her Annie as in Orphan Annie.  She's a very sweet pitbull that's gotten a bad start.  Dealing with this shows me the massive bias that breed is up against. I'm trying to spread the word every way that I can.This is an appeal for help. The benefit of her being at OAS is we have confirmation that she wasn't micro-chipped and that health-wise she's in good enough shape not to be put down immediately. Her number at OAS is ACR 17331.She's anxious but she was very sweet with my boyfriend (he was the one who found her and took care of her the day she arrived.) has offered to provide free training, support and promotional assistance as appropriate to anyone who can foster her. Read more about their work at the link!What I'm hoping for is for someone who is in the pet rescue community to get wind of what's going on. I figure they're best suited to help and would be more effective in finding someone that could foster her. The trick to to making that happen is getting it out to as many people as possible. Hence this blog post.Please help spread the word via your social media accounts. Here is my write up about her on Google Plus and there are a few more pics of her there: are links on other social sites:Facebook photo album (this is where you'll get the latest updates - good or bad): if all you can do is share, that helps; and I appreciate it!If you're interested in how it all turns out tune in to the FB thread I posted. I'm putting updates there as we go.Thanks so very much. :) #SaveAnnie [...]

September 11th: 10 Years Ago


I found a new social application, Tint, that lets you integrate your various social streams into one layout. I think it's great. Here is how it looks with my Pinterest and Instagram streams. (I'm much more active on Pinterest these days, but came back to Instagram when they added video.) powered by FotopediaHere I am in Omaha, Nebraska unable to get back to sleep. I just read a really good 9/11 blog post by Patti Digh, "remember". She writes well about what it was like for her that day. She also talks about how polarized and hateful things are in the US right now. However, she brings it home to what matters: living your life now to the fullest.I'll admit that I've been avoiding watching TV and the coverage on the 9/11 anniversary. I wasn't in the USA when the attacks happened. I had just moved to a university near Daegu, South Korea for a new job as a visiting professor. I had my little Daewoo Tico, and I was driving around that evening while listening to military radio. I can't recall which US morning radio show it was, but it was fun to drive around a new place in a foreign country while listening to an American radio show. Then they broke into their broadcast and said a plane had hit one of the World Trade towers in NYC. I was hoping it was some horrible accident, but the World Trade had been attacked before. Then a second plane hit the other tower. Like everyone following what was going on, I knew my country was under attack. I turned my car around and headed back to my apartment. At some point, I heard that the Pentagon had also been attacked and that there was another plane that went down somewhere in Pennsylvania. I'd just moved, so I didn't have a TV. Good for me that South Korea is a well-wired country. I simply walked across the road to a PC-bang (Internet cafe), logged in and kept up with the news. Also, that Internet cafe also had a big screen TV and switched news covering what was happening. I was at this cafe when the towers collapsed. I stayed there until dawn just keeping up with the news. It really was just overwhelming, and I felt helpless. So many lives were lost. I cancelled my classes for that day. Last week, on Labor Day I left the wonder that is NYC to move back to the SF Bay Area. I miss NYC already, but I know that I need to live somewhere that I not only love but where there are people that I love and have deep connections to. Today, I'll be doing exactly what I did when I heard about the attacks: driving. It's a propos. I still hurt and probably will always hurt for those who lost their lives in those attacks. I also hurt for the family and friends they left behind. Peace be with you all. [...]

Social Media 101 - A class for beginners (don't be a Weiner)


Next week I'm teaching a class called "Social Media 101 - A class for beginners (don't be a Weiner)."(Yes, it's a silly title.  I was feeling playful when I was planning the class. Also, I realized I could do it now or not do it at all as the joke would be passé by the time I taught the class and, ta da, I was right.)The class will be on June 29th from 7pm to 8:30pm at Hive @ 55 in Manhattan.It's a class that is specifically for people who are new to the social web or who have a little experience but want to learn more.  Here is the class description:This course will cover the basics of the social web. You'll learn about the big 4 social media sites: Facebook, LinkedIn, Twitter, and YouTube. You'll learn the best ways to navigate these sites. You'll also learn what to watch out for regarding security and privacy.The goal is for everyone to leave the class with a Twitter account. You'll follow a few people and send your first tweet. If we have time, we'll also send retweets and a direct message; even if you don't send them all during this class, you'll leave knowing what those terms mean. The price includes handouts.This class is for people who simply haven't taken the plunge and want to know the basics of the social media landscape before diving in. What's required? Please bring a laptop or tablet (iPad or Android tablet) and be ready to learn. This class is a beginner level course. If you're already doing your thing on the big 4 social media sites (Twitter, Facebook, LinkedIn and YouTube), this is going to be boring to you.The plan is I'll talk for about 30 to 40 minutes but the rest of the we'll work on getting you a real Twitter account, so you can jump in.  Honestly, even though the concept is basic, I find that people learn best when they're in it.I'm really excited because I do miss teaching. I've had a chance to do a handful of presentations on the social web and have gotten great feedback.If you're in the NYC area and would like to take it, you can sign up here:, if you know someone in the NYC area who you think would be interested, I would love it if you shared it with them.Thanks and have a great weekend! [...]

Social Media is NOT Magic


I might as well start cross posting. :)  I fired up a blog on what I do on Word Press over a year ago.  However, what I realized fast was it was more important to hustle and network to get clients than anything else.  I've fired it back up and here a post that I added yesterday.  I've turned comments off here, but you're welcome to leave me a note there.Photo courtesy of Hryck on FlickrI've just found a lot of people who seem to think that social media is some mysterious and magical thing. That sentiment has inspired me to fire this blog back up.As someone who works in this very fun field, I get that a lot. I get this will current clients. I get this with possible clients. I also just see it a lot in passing.The social web is not magic. It's something that humans have done forever: communicate. I just HATE seeing requests like this:I am seeking someone who is an expert at this who can take my (whatever it is but redacted because this is a quote) and work your magic.Look. It's NOT magic, and, honestly, as much as I love the thought-leaders in this space, we're all learning as we go. I'm not going to call any of them experts. This is all new and even the people who have expertise are learning and adapting to new tools and resources that are constantly being launched.It takes knowledge of the tools. It takes knowing how to use them. It takes strategy. It takes trying, measuring, and adjusting, as needed. It takes reading case studies. It takes reading on what people are doing. I'll also admit it takes sharing what you're doing (and, yes, I've been neglecting that; building a business is HARD.)However, most important is that a successful social media strategy takes also having GREAT products and/or GREAT content that helps people solve their problems or engages people on an emotional level.(*Also, before someone wanders in to say people are just using "magic" and similar terms as a figure of speech or play on words and they understand that it takes knowledge and strategy, I'll agree that maybe that's the case, for some. However, a lot of people do seem to then there is some mysterious alchemy going on, and that's not true.) [...]

Comedy of Errors: Insulin pump failure (x2) and UPS failure


At least she's got a working doorbell.This has been a crazy week for me. It started off very exciting as I took on a new client. However, on Monday, I got out of the shower and my lovely insulin pump started vibrating. I knew it was the pump's alarm telling me it was time to check my blood sugar. I went on with drying myself off and then I was going to do it. When I looked and there was an error in the display: BUTTON ERROR. Uh oh. Either a button broke or when the pump was vibrating a button was pressing on something. (The pump is not on me when I shower.)I clear that error, check my blood sugar and get ready to have lunch. I start the sequence to tell the pump how many carbs I plan to eat. Then, uh oh, the numbers keep scrolling and I can't stop them!!! Problem! I take out the batteries hoping a reset can fix it. Nope. Then I call Medtronic. The rep I got was friendly and talked me through what was happening. Her answer was something I didn't want to hear. My pump was broken and needed to be replaced. Okay, bummer, but I have a vial of Lantus (long-acting insulin) just in case of a pump emergency.  One day of that will be fine.  Plus, I don't have a choice.She takes my info. I tell her that the doorbell in my building isn't working right now. My landlord has to get it fixed and he's off somewhere on a trip. Therefore, they've got to make sure the delivery company calls me when they're at the door. She says I'll get a phone call the next morning when the truck is en route. As promised, I got a call around 8:45am the next morning. It wasn't a person though (and she'd not promised it would be.) It was a message basically telling me the same thing you hear when you set an appointment for a home repair or cable installation. However, the window for this delivery was between 9am and 5pm. That's ridiculous, but no worries. I had nothing on my schedule for Tuesday. I called UPS and explained the situation. I was told there was no way he could call as UPS doesn't provide their drivers with phones. Okay, I'd heard that before. I stressed this was a medical device and that I'd be home all day, so how could I get someone to let me know he was there or en route? She suggested I leave a note. Okay. However, the street I live on is like a wind tunnel, so I opted for a bright green box that I had sitting around. Here is a shot of that box that I put outside.The note I left for my UPS driver which was, clearly, ignored.One pic I didn't upload because it has my phone number on it. However, I think that says how important it is if I'm writing my number on a box and leaving it outside. I mean anyone, in theory, can come by and pick it up. That's why I asked the driver to read the part the arrows pointed to.It ends up the driver showed up around 9:45am or so when I checked the tracking info online.  I was concerned. Did someone take the box and am I about to get a crap-load of crank calls? Nope. The box was there AND the driver had put the delivery attempt notice ON the box. I was losing it on the phone when I saw that or I would have taken a picture of it. You'll have to trust me on what I saw because I flew through the roof. I have TWO stores next to me. I think the one on one side doesn't open until 10am or so, but there is a general store on the other side that is open in the mornings. He could have gone there as asked them to call me. The message was CLEAR. I was at home, and I was waiting for my medical device.I flip out. However, I realize that, thank GOD, I'll be at a conference the next day. I also tried as hard as I could to get redelivery attempt on Tuesday. I contacted UPS customer service, again.  I explain the situation.  The UPS rep puts my message through to the UPS hub. The hub calls me. They then contact the driver who said there was no way he'd be able to double back. Um, okay. So the UPS hub can contact him abo[...]



Now will y'all just STFU? Thanks: RT @johnhaydon: Obama Birth Certificate Released By White House (PHOTO)

Happy New Year!


image by - creatorThis has been an amazing year for me. I feel blessed.I woke up late today after a very late night out. They'd already rung in the New Year in Asia. I had messages wishing me a Happy New Year. I really did feel very loved and blessed to have such thoughtful friends.It's been hectic:I had a ridiculous number of moves. I now know that's par for the course in the NYC area for many. I dread thinking about it, but I foresee, at least, one more move next year. That's why I've not really unpacked yet. :-/It's been overwhelming:I thought I'd be able to keep up my writing. I just haven't been able to between these moves and networking. I've got a few interviews from weeks past I need to write up and submit.  I also have a couple I need to rethink conceptually.Networking is essential if you're working for yourself. If you factor in that I moved here not knowing a soul and having no family and less than a handful of friends here, well, I've had to hustle.  Also, networking is necessary for your sanity and social life if you're in a new place. I've had moments that have challenged my patience too. I've had to adjust to an urban culture that is very different, for better or for worse, than what I'm used to. I'm still trying to figure it out, but I'm getting there.  It's been rewarding:Working as a freelance social media manager and strategist and getting real results for my clients has been just INCREDIBLE.I'll admit that sometimes there is that itch of uncertainty because this is a fairly new industry. There are a lot of people claiming to be a "guru" or an "expert".  My approach is to do the work and do it well.  I've created results for myself.  I'm now creating results for my clients. I'm in the most competitive pool in the USA, so having happy clients that recognize that I'm doing a great job makes me smile. Being able to have a viable freelance business with just over a year of work with no transition from the support blanket of full-time work or the name recognition of a company behind me, well, I'm proud that I'm doing it.  It's just been great in so many ways:I've met some great people. I've had some great moments.  I've also lost some important people due to growing apart or moving on, but, you know what?  That's okay. You learn from it all. It's forced me to be very introspective and to see what needs fixing: I fancy myself as someone who is already quite introspective.  I've had a fair amount of loss and losing my parents early and in rapid succession made me tough.  My mom had already taught me to be resourceful. It's just that with them gone, I have to use it. When I moved abroad to South Korea I longed to see a bit of the world and learn. I did that in ways I never predicted. A weird effect of that, however, is even being a city like NYC now means I'm impressed with what I see here, but I'm not THAT impressed.  Why? Because I just know there is more out there.  I chuckle when I hear or see people here say "only in New York". We're more common than not.  NYC is a vibrant and special place, but, for me, that's not because it's necessarily the best place. It is, however, a city that attracts the best talent and the best creativity.  When you look at modern history and the lives of individuals who've made an impact a large number of them have spent, at least, some time in New York, NY.  That makes me feel like the odd person out because I hear that "only in New York" stuff so often that I do feel like the odd person out. It's great, but come on...Resuloution time? Yes and no. I don't "do" resolutions. I do life changes or I don't bother: I've got some chronic personality quirks - I tend to run late and that's bad.  It's also funny because I know it's a reacti[...]

I Interviewed Seth Godin!


This is pretty exciting.One of my clients got invited to the NextGenCharity Conference here in NY, NY. That invite came via Twitter, which I manage for him. Score!Anyway, Tony creates a lot of great content targeted to small to mid-sized nonprofits.In fact, the tagline of his show is, "Big Nonprofit Ideas for the Other 95%."One of those resources is a weekly radio show that he started around the time I started working with him.Yesterday, he spent most of the day interviewing the NextGen speakers. He had to go to do a speaking engagement of his own around lunchtime.Wouldn't you know that Seth Godin would be available when Tony was gone. It was either then or never, so I revved up my interview skills and stepped in. Here is the post from Tony's blog and the video.Enjoy.NextGen:Charity Interview With Seth GodinMe and Seth Godin at NextGenCharity 2010 in NYC.Tony Martignetti Nonprofit Radio sat down with Seth Godin after he came off stage at today's NextGen:Charity Conference. But Tony Martignetti didn't. I had a commitment speaking (proudly) at Bernstein Global Wealth Management at the time Seth was available.Regina Walton, principal of Organic Social Media, stepped in and talked to Seth so the opportunity was not lost.He's a bright guy, so take a look at his advice for the nonprofit conversation. [...]

The Mourning Season


Last year, seven days after my birthday, I woke up and Kitty, my 19 year old cat, wasn't in her usual spot. That usual spot was actually many spots, but it was almost always somewhere near me.I went to the living room and saw her there. I let out a sigh of relief because I knew she was old. I had spent the last few years making sure she was breathing when she was asleep and had other paranoid moments. I went back to the bedroom thinking all was fine. It wasn't. I guess she'd had a stroke during the night. She couldn't walk but was able to make it to my bedroom door. I flipped out, grabbed my computer and found the number for 24 hour emergency pet clinics. I found one, but, at that time, I was up in Harlem, so it was a bit of a trek from where I was to the center. By the time we got there, she'd died. At least, it was in her travel bag (she got calm when I put her in that.) I donated her body to research (it was a teaching hospital). They then sent her off to be cremated. A few days later I got her remains back in a tin box. I won't get into it too much. I wrote about it the day she died. I miss her. Although, it's my favorite season, the autumn is also a sad season for me. My mother died years ago in November. Then five weeks later when winter is in full swing, I remember that my father died just weeks after my mother. (Tends to happen that way in my family a lot.) Nothing more to say except I miss all three of them so very much. I've learned most people mean well, but I'm about to become a mountain recluse. (Most people are morons.) I'm glad I've got loving memories of them all and realize I'm lucky. I feel these loses strongly but that's only because they lived and, because of that, I was blessed with tons of love and attention. [...]

Motorola Sucks, part 3 - Motorola Feedback Network


Okay, this is interesting. I got this email from Motorola a day or so ago.  I had a chance to read it now.  Dear Motorola Forums member,When you registered on the Motorola Owners’ Forums, you expressed interest in providing feedback to Motorola. Thank you!Please click this link (removed) to take a short enrollment survey for our Motorola Feedback Network. As a member of the Motorola Feedback Network, you will be included in various studies and feedback opportunities. Registering is no guarantee that you will be asked to participate in benchmark studies or beta-test software, but we chose those people from the MFN.If you have already received an invitation previously or signed up via a link on the Motorola Owners' Forum, please ignore this e-mail and accept my apologies for the duplication.The survey takes only five or 10 minutes. It’s all private and none of it will ever be used to advertise or market to you. If you have any questions, please e-mail me here. (removed)Thanks again, and we hope to be in contact with you soon.Matt GreenbergerConsumer Experience ChampionMobile Devices Consumer SupportMotorolaIt sounds good, right?  Granted maybe Motorola will find this blog along with the great graphic I used and toss me out of the network, but this email wasn't marked as confidential. I'm just hoping it's a sign that they realize they REALLY need some help and want to change future posts that people write from "Motorola Sucks" to "Motorola Rules". Thanks for the invite, Matt. I'm in. [...]

Please Demand Healthier Food, Thanks...


You know things are a bit tight for an entrepreneur right now. Like seriously, the local 99 cent stores are my friends right now. Moving in the metro-NYC area is never cheap even if where you're moving is cheap.Anyway, things will turn around soon and, since I'm not looking for a place to live, I can turn my focus back to my work and seeking out a new client or two or something else to supplement my income.  I'm pretty effective when I do that, so I'm not too worried.However, with that said, food. OMG, food in NYC is ridiculous. It's expensive and things like fruits and veggies? Gah, exorbitant compared to what I'm used to in South Korea and in my native California. I'm doing okay because in law school I had to be frugal, so I can snap back into that really easily when I need to.  Good for me that there is a farmer's market that is nearby.  I'll make sure to stop by this week to pick up a few things. However, I'm running low on this product, Applesnax's unsweetened applesauce, and I'm just irritated because it's not like I can skip over to the local market and replace it.Why? It has no added sugar.Why the hell is it so hard to find products with no added sugar when obesity is a major problem and type 2 diabetes (not what I have, BTW) is nearly damn epidemic here in the USA?I ask this seriously.  I know that Mott's has one too.  However, it's really rare that you'll find me in a mainstream supermarket and that's where you'll find Mott's products.  It's rare that small corner markets will stock sugar-free products. There just isn't any room and probably not much demand. I am someone who will ask local merchants to start stocking things and, I think, it's time to start asking for more sugar-free stuff.  I just hope more people start doing it because it's pretty insane how much easier it is to get processed high-fructose corn syrup crap than simple foods.   [...]

It's Raining, It's Pouring...Like seriously, it was pouring.


Just a bit of weather and architectural weirdness.

I actually think this is good because if the rain slides off the roof like that, someone did that on purpose. I'm hoping for a winter season of no leaks or snow weirdness.

Basically, I heard the thunder coming in and then boom, this deluge started. No problem as I'd seen them before, but with the heavy rain, I decided to check on the open windows and saw this:

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Wow. That's A LOT of water. :)(image)

*Some* recruiters are morons...


Okay, when I first came back to the States, I completely denied any urges to freelance.  Too scary.Honestly though?  I sort of saw myself doing this. I just wasn't sure how to do it or, honestly, what to do.  I knew the freelance writing market was being gutted due to the recession (economic slow down, my a$$, this is a recession).  Experienced writers were getting laid off and long-running magazines and papers were shutting down.  Not really the best time to come in as a newcomer only to have to compete against experienced writers.I started looking for your typical 9 to 5.  I had almost no success.  That was jarring for me because I was always someone who could land something pretty fast. It brought home how very real this recession is if I couldn't find something.  What people told me and what I eventually noticed was all that time I'd spent online? That gave me a wealth of skills that some people are willing to pay for and to my clients and to a well-wired South Korea, THANK YOU.  Now I freelance and have been doing so for about a year. Things are tight for sure, but it's rare that I'll apply for a job.  If I happen to scan the help wanted section and see something I think would be a good fit, I'll apply.  It's rare.  Why?  I'm convinced that most recruiters are just too conventional for their own good.  Most who talk to me are a bit baffled when they hear my background.  Honestly, I can understand it to a certain degree, but I look at it as "this is a candidate with a wealth of experience and tons of valuable transferable skills."  They, in contrast, don't get that I'm well-educated, well-traveled and haven't sold out to a law firm or something conventional like that. (God, no!) Anyway, the inspiration behind this post are the recruiters who contact me.  I've not gone looking for them.  They're usually finding me from my LinkedIn profile.  (So it's good to see the site does have some value in that respect.)  I had a recruiter contact me last week. She requested a resume and I sent that to her. She said she'd follow-up with me.  I was going through my emails last night and remembered that I'd not heard from her, so I shot off a quick follow-up email.  Her reply?Dense recruiter:  What kind of position are you looking for? Me: You contacted me, so nevermind. Good luck finding someone. That was my measured reply which was actually code for this, "Pardon me? I wasn't looking at all. You contacted me; you fucktard!"Honestly though...lately, I've been getting a few recruiters contacting me.  What I'm noticing is a lot don't do their homework.  If you find me via LinkedIn, maybe read the page and get a feel for my background before contacting me.  It's sort of insulting to know someone found you on a page where you've sat down and laid out your professional background, but then the person asks you to go through it. Instead, I want someone to show me they've read my info and ask me questions about it (questions being clarifying time lines or understanding my roles and experience). Basically, take the time to show you've read it and not just did a key word search.  It's lazy when I'm sitting there as the person who was contacted but I feel like I'm the one doing all the work.  It's lazy and I lose faith in you real fast.  Usually by the time you talk, a recruiter also has your resume. it.I've also had recruiters who've come to me then flip the dynamic.  It suddenly feels like I've got to sell myself and, half of the time, they've not even bothered to give me specifics a[...]

Questions about living and working in South Korea...


I just got this request via comments:"I was wondering if you could email me and just tell me a little about how you got started in Korea and what challenges you faced making new friends and getting established there."No.This entire blog, especially, the earlier ones deal with that...well, sorta.  I'll admit I did start this blog six years after I got there. There aren't any "well, here I am in South Korea!" posts.  However, there are ones that talk about moving, living there and my experiences. Also, there are a ton of other K-blogs where people are talking about moving there and adjusting to life in South Korea.I answer specific questions but not general questions. Also, this blog IS a broad overview and it touches on many subjects.  Any I didn't write about? I probably didn't want to make that part of my life public and, in terms of topics, there are a few glaring omissions. Take some time to run a few searches, click around and read what's already been written.  There is also just the feeling you've not read much I've written yet.  (I just ran a couple of searches to make sure posts come up, they do.  There is a search panel on the sidebar which allows you to run searches of my blog only.  I do try to make it easy.  Also, you should probably start with the podcast I did with another K-blogger in 2006.)After that, ask me questions.Good luck. [...]

Motorola Sucks, part 2 - The Factory Reset


There is only going to be a part 2, and that's great because I don't want this to drag out any longer.  If you slogged through my first rant, Motorola Sucks, part 1, you know that I was lucky and got a free Android phone from Motorola a few weeks ago. Yeah! (And, seriously, thanks...)However, you also know that after a few weeks the phone went buggy on me.  I called Motorola customer service. They kicked me to T-mo.  T-mo kicked me back to them because it was a free phone. The problem was all of my calls rolled into voicemail (nothing on my end to give me a chance at picking up) and the home button didn't work (so no multiple app fun for me...sheesh, is this an old pre-4.0 iPhone OS?)In one of my calls to Motorola, I was livid because it was, at least, my third or fourth call.  That rep, however, suggested something else: a factory reset (or hard reset).  Um, okay.  I'd heard NOTHING about that being a possibility before. It does suck because it wipes everything off the phone and, while I was constantly prompted to backup my Blackberry, this Android phone doesn't seem to have that. However, resetting the phone could very well fix the problem. Plus, I was desperate as my only other option was to mail the phone in and be without a phone for the 5 to 7 days it might take. The phone goes back to its factory state but things like contacts would remain as those are synced with Google, as is anything on the SD or SIM card. Okay, desperate times call for desperate measures.I asked the rep if the instructions were online.  She told me that they weren't.   That.seemed.odd.  However, I didn't have my laptop in front of me at the time to double check (and I would have).  I wrote the steps down and decided to try it after my move was complete and I was settled.My plan was to bite the bullet and mail the phone off today if I had to.  However, over the weekend, I decided to go back into the Motorola user forums to search for something, anything that could help me.  I figured I couldn't be the only person with a problem like this.Sure enough, guess what I found?  A step-by-step guide on the factory reset that I was told by a Motorola phone rep WASN'T online.Good grief...are you f%^king kidding me?   Granted, this is a forum, so maybe Motorola is just not keeping up with the content that's going up.  However, I found it with just a couple of targeted searches. It was posted about a month ago by someone tagged as a "MotoXprt".  I'm not sure how one becomes a MotoXprt. What's most pressing is why, after these folks have been tagged as experts, that their posts aren't tracked and archived by Motorola customer service.Just a big old pot of "argh"! Seriously, I would have done this a few days ago had I known.So, the phone is working again. Yeah! It's ringing and the home button takes me home. However, Motorola's customer service is horrible.  This is something that ~maybe~ should have taken one call. The online diagnostic didn't walk me through a factory reset.  The customer service rep who suggested it said there were no guides online when actually there are. The fact remains that if something goes wrong with the phone again, I've still got to mail it in.  At least, now I know how to do a factory reset.Glad I now have a working phone.  I'm still glad I got it for free because I'd be absolutely livid if I paid for this low level of service.Signing off....and Motorola? Your customer service sucks.  It's not just the hardware that people are paying for.  It's the experience of dealing with your c[...]