Jul 302007

Eugene Cho has been keeping up with the latest news on the Korean hostage crisis in Afghanistan via Korean news media, perking up some interest among blog readers and getting some web traffic spike (#85 on Top Posts on WordPress.com 7/29, #99 on Top Posts 7/30, #28 on Top Posts 8/03, #45 on Top Posts 8/06). I don’t read Korean, so I can’t track the Korean media on the latest news, so I’m grateful for Eugene’s links, relevant commentaries, and call for prayer. We’re into day 10 at the time of this writing.

One blog has noted The Silence in the Godblogosphere is Deafening. Yes, this kind of thing doesn’t generate a lot of chatter nor media attention. Why? B/c they’re Christians, and b/c they’re not Americans. And, in a shame-based culture like Korea, even with the best of citizen journalism, opinions and editorials don’t seem to be buzzing on the English side of things — don’t know if there’s buzz on the Korean language web world.

Found 2 other blogs tracking hostage news: Jawa Report has been actively blogging about the Korean hostage crisis. Michelle Malkin is keeping had it as the lead story (cf. second murdered South Korean Christian hostage); muddlingtowardmaturity has been blogging the incident.

[update 8/01] Wikipedia entry collaboratively has the latest info at
2007 Taliban-seized South Korean hostage crisis

Michelle Malkin’s op-ed piece: The Martyrs No One Cares About (8/01)

US news wire services AP and Reuters is the main source of news that gets distributed

(AP) Afghan Army Prepares for Military Action 3:55pm EDT
(Reuters) Korean hostages alive, Afghans warn of operation 4:11PM EDT

[update] Korean papers Chosun Ilbo and The Hankyoreh have English editions with up-to-date news:

Chosun Ilbo >>

Taliban Deadline Passes, No Word on 21 South Korean Hostages (8/01)
Korea Warns Taliban to Stop Atrocities
Video Shows 12 Korean Hostages in Captivity

Taliban Kill Second Korean Hostage (7/31)
Devastating News From Afghanistan
We Must Save the Remaining Hostages
Hostage Crisis Calls for Reason, not Passion
Ex-Taliban Speaks Out on Hostage Negotiations
Taliban Denounced Around the World
Roh’s Security Advisor to Deliver Hostage Message
Korean Muslims Plead for Safe Return of Hostages
Video Shows 12 Korean Hostages in Captivity
Korean Hostage Tells Media of Group’s Plight
Second Korean Hostage Speaks to Press
Korean Missionaries ‘Rethinking Ambitions’ – Time Magazine

The Hankyoreh >>

Abductees’ family members send letters to bring loved ones home
Female Korean captive interviewed by Reuters identified as English interpreter
Roh’s envoy meets Afghan president to ask for help for early release of hostages
Pastor Bae’s bereaved family calls for U.S. to support release of other hostages
Concern for hostages’ health rises

65,435 69,922 70,177 have signed this petition, they’d like to reach 70,000 [ht: superhua] – sign the petition now >>

To the Taliban leaders,

Please honour the code of the Pashtun people, respect aid workers as guests in Afghanistan and release all hostages unharmed.

Jul 272007

Stopped in on 2 events with the ISAAC summer immersion program this week – a panel discussion on Wed night about the contemporary Chinese church, and right now in a site visit to NewSong.

The group of about 20 have gone around many Asian communities during the week, learning, listening, eating, discussing, experiencing how life is lived on the margins. One person said after going thru Chinatown and J town that she’d never see things the same again. That speaks to this being a powerful experience. Great job ISAAC team!

* Sent via BlackBerry Curve by AT&T

Jul 272007

Heard about this conference thru the DTS Alumni grapevine, and thought I’d share the invitation with the blogosphere, since there are many churches doing missional things everywhere.

The Center for Christian Leadership is pleased to announce an upcoming conference, Beyond the Church Doors: Developing a Missional Mindset within Your Congregation, on March 31 and April 1, 2008, featuring Dr. Ed Stetzer and Dr. Alan Roxburgh. If your church is developing creative and strategic ways of engaging in missional ministry, we would like to profile your activities in our conference materials.

Take the Missional Church Survey online >>

Many North American churches today are shifting away from an “attractional model” of ministry designed to draw people into the church building to a “missional model” which involves training and equipping whole congregations to act as missionaries in their local communities. We would like to know how your church is engaging in ministries of compassion and service in order to further the gospel and impact the culture. …

We are compiling a list of stories that will inspire others to creatively engage in missional practices. Please share one or two of your church’s activities that have impacted your community.

Jul 252007

Not one to rely on 1st impressions, I still do have them. Having been here for 3 weeks intermingled with 2 weekends of travels, here are my impressions so far after moving into our new apt home this past Monday sans furniture:

Freeway driving on wider roads either exceeds avg flow of 70 mph or is jammed with traffic

Lots of time spent driving just to get around (can’t walk to get around, tho’ people do walk or jog for exercise) to cover the wide expanse of Orange County, not to mention even more time to get around SoCal places like LA or inland empire as they call it

Sunny weather year round makes for lost sense of time’s passing and sunburns come easy – just a few hours will get you to being near well done

No reason to eat at franchises when there’s so much local flavor and ethnic variety (I still use Yelp to vet the places)

Using a Blackberry makes for shorter emails and shorter blog posts

And, keeping an eye on the sad news of Korean hostages in Afghanistan, one already impatiently killed. Eugenecho.wordpress.com has latest updates. Not much dialog in the blogosphere. Anti-Christian sentiment being reported on chosun.com and ohmynews.com, home of citizen journalism.

* Sent via BlackBerry Curve by AT&T

[update] rats, the attempted post via my Blackberry was all garbled gobblygook; had to make corrections above from sent mail folder… sigh

Jul 232007

It takes an extra effort to post a blog entry via email b/c it requires a “ping” (of wp-mail.php) and a glitch (bug) in wordpress 2.2.x – if this post goes thru, then there is a fairly easy fix using 2 plugins. I’ll update this post with the how to…

* Sent via BlackBerry Curve by AT&T

[update] when this post was originally made via email, it only had the title (which was the email’s subject line) and blank content with the entry (even though the email had the above in the message body; I had to copy/paste after the fact). So, all this to say, it’s rather involved to fix WordPress 2.2.1 so that it can post via e-mail. What I did to fix blog by email:

  1. Downloaded WP-Cron-Mail Modified plugin
  2. Installed 2 plugins included in that ZIP and activated them
  3. Modify the /wp-includes/class-pop3.php according to igudo’s code fix for lines 367-379 <- this one worked for me! ** oops, I spoke too soon; this fix only works sometimes for me *
  4. Also tried solution for wp-mail.php fix in line 116 [not 165] from peymano, but that didn’t work either
  5. Alternatively, there is a patch at WordPress Trac 4337, but I don’t know how to patch
  6. note: the shorter fix from martinauer’s comment in this support thread to delete line 372 <- this did not work for me

If there’s an easier way to do all of this to get it working, please add a comment here. Appreciate the help!

Jul 222007

Yes, we did it! Got to the airport counter 3 minutes late, so they wouldn’t give me a boarding pass and I was stuck standy. Ran to security checkpoint, stuck behind an elderly lady strolling along. Didn’t have the heart to pass her.

Ran across the underground tunnel of IAD, got to gate B24 with 13 minutes before takeoff. Technically, they’re supposed to let me on (gates close 10 minutes prior to departure). After a couple of back and forth, they wave me on. I plop my self down in the last row, corner seat, write this blog post, and sign off. Long Beach LGB here I come!

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(Posted late b/c I still haven’t figured out how to post by email)

Jul 212007

Food gets used in so many other ways than providing basic nutrients, and yes, there are still starving people around the world. So – watched 2 hours of competitive eating on espn — replays of the last 4 years of the July 4th Nathan’s hot dog contest, mostly won by Kobayashi… And then last night watched a show on PBS about sandwiches… More to come after FIVE GUYS

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[update] Ain’t it amazing how the evolution of food has gone from basic sustenance (food as survival), to meal times for deepening friendships and/or striking a deal (food as relationships), to an epicurean eating of delicious delicacies for the gourmet connoisseurs (food as enjoyment), and more recently a proliferation of televised shows beyond merely cooking shows on a popular cable channel called Food Network (food as entertainment), and for yet more entertainment value, competitive eating (food as sport)! Those in the latter 3 categories are sometimes known as foodies, and it’s one of those transcendent things that crosses cultures and generations.

Competitive eating is both fascinating and disgusting. Mesmerizing to watch, but not something I’d seriously attempt. During my recent cross country drive, I saw a kind of competitive eating up close and personal: 2 guys attempted to eat a 72 oz. steak dinner at Big Texan in Amarillo (TX), and if they were to finish in 1 hour, they’d win the meal for free and get their names in lights. They didn’t make it. The only 2 attempts I’ve made at consuming mass quantities of food was a 50 oz. Porterhouse T-bone steak (bone-in) at Trail Dust and 2ndly, downing pizza slices at Cici’s buffet (maxed out at 12, minus crust). I’m obviously no threat to the professional eaters of Major League Eating.

BTW, the PBS show that kept me up late last night was called Sandwiches That You Will Like (cf. official website); the Wikipedia entry has a list of the sandwiches spotlights. My next foodie destination: Philippe’s for a French Dip.

Jul 182007

My new number is 949-243-7260, please update your address book, effective immediately.

My old cell phone number is now disconnected, courtesy of the new at&t relocation program and this new Blackberry Curve that’ll keep me more wired than ever.

Sorry, iPhone, I went with something that can record videos take photos and send them via MMS, and more proven reliability.

[yes, the above was posted via the Blackberry Curve, edited later for links and correction]

Jul 172007

Even though I’m well into my 4th century decade of life, there are still many things I haven’t done. There’ll probably be many more firsts to come. Yesterday was my first time with white water rafting, what a rush!

Our team-building group of 9 went with the excellent family-run Zoller’s Outdoor Odysseys to raft down the White Salmon River (near Stevenson, WA). Towards the end of our 8-mile run, our guide Zak gave us a choice to opt-out as he described Husum Falls to be a 16 foot drop, with a 4 foot slide and 12 foot vertical drop, which amounted to a Class 5 rapid! My conflicted self quickly battled between its in-bred timidity with its adventurous wild-at-heart. The wild side won out, and we dipped into the rapid with a full immersion, pictured below — as you can see, we were entirely submerged. No one tossed out, and the raft didn’t tip over. Whew! (I’m in the 2nd row to the left.)

down we go on Husum Falls full immersion at Husum Falls

entirely wet after Husum Falls