Monday, January 25, 2010


Ok Hwa's passport came via express mail today from the Korean Consulate in Houston.

We made a trip down to the Consulate in Houston a couple weeks ago, on January 8. We had all our documents and information in order, but they still hit us with a "Gotcha", as they always do. They wanted to know her blood type, and would not finish processing the application without it. Neither of us knew it, and so we placed a call to our doctor in Dallas. Left a message with the nurse to call me back with the information A.S.A.P. The clerk at the Consulate said we could telephone the information to them the next week. We took care of that on the following Monday, and they told up to expect the passport in three to four weeks. It got here in just over two weeks, so we're happy about that.

The passport arriving was the second piece of the puzzle to fall into place for our upcoming trip back to Korea.

Last week my W-2 form from work showed up in the mail, and I got to work immediately on preparing our taxes. Tax Act online is a great product that I've used for three years now. I've never had a problem with them, and it costs only $9.95 to e-file. What's not to love? Now it looks like our tax refund will be more than enough to finance the trip. What a relief!

I went on-line the other night, checking Korean Air for fare prices. They seem to be the only airline that flys non-stop from DFW to Korea. Neither of us want to go through the ordeal of changing planes again. If we go sometime before May, the fare will be about $1,129 each, round trip. Not bad, considering how far it is.

So far, so good. We're keeping fingers crossed, and thinking positive thoughts about making this happen. More on this as things fall into place.

Fall into place...Like the Tao says, don't work so hard, relax and go with the natural flow, and everything will come to you...

Sunday, January 24, 2010

Arty Hill at KNON

Baltimore's very own Arty Hill came by the KNON studio on Friday, November 20. He did a show benefiting the station in the KNON Live Music Room that night at about 8:30, and also was in the studio during the "Texas Renegade Radio" program from 4:00 to 6:00, for an on air chat with host Mark Mundy. He played a few songs during the radio show, and also wrote a song in the studio during the show! What a guy.
Arty's a great writer and singer of honky-tonk songs, and also plays a pretty mean country guitar.
Here he is playing one in the studio, on air during the show:

And, here's one from the benefit concert in the Live Music Room, which was not broadcast:

For more videos of Arty Hill, and many other artists, playing at KNON, follow this link:

Official Website of KNON Community Radio in Dallas, Texas:

Official Website of Arty Hill:

Saturday, January 16, 2010

Terlingua/Big Bend, Day 7

Monday, November 9, 2009

This was our departure day, so we were up with the sun and packing as soon as we got dressed. I did pause long enough to make a cup of coffee to jump-start my day. We had to pack carefully to get everything in. The Bronco is filled up to the top when we finish. We could use some more room, and I think we'll tow our little trailer when we come out here next time.

Packed and ready to go, we paused by the Singing Frogs Mural on the way out and made some farewell portraits:

On the road, we hightailed it to Alpine for the first stop - gas and lunch. By the time we made it to Monahans and the Interstate highway, I was ready for a nap. After a twenty minute break, we were back on the road again, homeward bound.

We stopped once more, in Cisco, for gas and a bathroom break, and then hit the highway hard again for the home stretch, making it home around 7:00 p.m.

It's always great to come home, but the transition from Terlingua Time back to reality is difficult sometimes.

Sunday, January 3, 2010

Terlingua/Big Bend, Day 6

Sunday, November 8, 2009

We all woke up early to a cool, gray, and cloudy day. No one was making breakfast this morning, because most of the campers were packing up to head home. Ok Hwa and I were staying on for another day. We didn't want to be part of the crowd headed up highway 118 towards Alpine, and get caught up in the long wait at the Border Patrol check-point there. We had scheduled another day of vacation time to enjoy one more day in Terlingua. We helped the others get their stuff packed up, and as the sun was coming up over the Chisos, I shot a short video of the scene from our hilltop campsite. I took some more pictures as they were breaking camp. When they were all done and packed up, we all went down to the main pavilion of the Chili Cook-Off, to the mural of the Singing Frogs. We have a Sunday morning tradition of getting a farewell group photo, and this time, for a change, we decided to do it in front of the Singing Frogs. It turned out great! Here is a short video of our Sunday morning breaking camp, and photo session (the leopardskin pumps hanging on a light pole was just a bonus I discovered on the way back up to the campsite - some poor gal was probably hung over from the night before, wondering where she left her shoes!):

After the amigos left for home, Ok Hwa and I set out exploring the area behind the Chili Cook-Off grounds. There are a number of dirt roads that lead off to the west and south. We found a few nice homesteads out there, and took some pictures. Then we headed over to the Terlingua Airport, turned down Fulcher road for the back way over to Study Butte. This road crosses Terlingua Creek, and we stopped for some more photos there. We stopped at the Study Butte Store for snacks and water, then headed down into the Park.

I decided I'd take her up to the Lost Mine Trail for a nice little farewell photo safari. It turned out to be the perfect choice. We only went up the trail as far as marker 10, which is about half way. It's an easy walk to this point, without too much vertical climbing, and the view from here is one of the best in the park. Ok Hwa loved it! It was just the right amount of hiking for her, and the picture taking along the way was excellent. Here is a short video and slide show of our hike up Lost Mine Trail:

After our little photo safari up Lost Mine Trail, we headed back to Terlingua, with a stop by the coin-op showers, as usual. We went back to our camp on the hill to relax for a while, then headed over to Terlingua Ghost Town. Watching the sun set on the Chisos from the front porch of the Terlingua Trading Company is a daily ritual for many folks around here, and I always enjoy it when I can. As it was getting dark, we drifted over to the Starlight Theatre for dinner. I've never had a bad meal at the Starlight, and we always try to eat there at least once while we're in Terlingua. Here is a little photo slide show of our morning and evening in Terlingua:

The Official Website of Big Bend National Park:

The Official Website of The Original Terlingua Chili Cook-Off:

The Official Website of Terlingua Ghost Town: