North Korean Blog?

So, as a few of you know, I have fully joined the blogging bandwagon by creating yet another blog. This one is for my Korean friends, so don’t be surprised if it is all in Korean. Blogs are pretty standard in Korea, so I thought that I might as well make one in Korean to keep people up to date on what is going on in my life.

Well, I didn’t want to use the exact same color scheme as this blog, so I chose a different template from the options, shown here.

I then sent out an email to all of the Koreans that I have an email address for, and told them that I had created a blog and that they were welcome to take a look at it if they so desired. One of my Korean friends, a man that I met near the end of my mission and was baptized a few months after I left, sent me an email about my blog.

It started out with the usual formalities of “how are you? I am great.” and then he began to talk about my blog. He said that he was glad to see that I still miss Korea, and that the blog was generally well made. He had only one complaint. He said that the design of the blog reminded him too much of the North Korean flag, and so it made him feel “rigid” and uncomfortable. The North Korean Flag (or as they would like to say the flag of The Democratic People’s Republic of Korea) looks like this.

So, what do you think? Do you think that google is trying to send subliminal messages about our unfriendly neighbors to the east?

Message from eBay

Today I checked my mostly-junk email account, which is the one I use for all eBay transactions and communications. It’s been a while since I bought anything – a Nightmare Before Christmas messenger bag to help me feel better about having to carry my books all around campus. Anyway, I had a message from eBay.

The weird thing was, it was a Response to Question about Item, from a seller who requested that I “Please send me the money for this item or i will report you to eBay.” I’m very positive that the payment went through for the messenger bag, and what seller in their right mind would ever ship an item without receiving payment? So I looked at the email some more, very confused. It said the message was sent while the listing was active – and I thought that meant…not ended yet – and that the person writing the message, Stanley, is a potential buyer. More confusing.

An item number was listed as a link, so I clicked it and a new window opened with the eBay login screen. And yes, I did login, but was brought to a page to “update credit card and security information.” Ah…that’s not so great. But I still thought maybe I’d just see about that item listing number, so I skipped the information screen completely and did an advanced search on eBay. No such item exists. (Anyone surprised?)

Going back to the email, tested another link. It pulled up the same eBay login and “update” page as before, so I hovered over a link in the email. was the domain name, and afterwards there was something about displaying an eBay login screen. This was now very obviously a spoof email, and I forwarded it to the eBay security center. But I hope that others are just as cautious! eBay guarantees that any message they send out will also appear in your “My Messages” center on eBay, and when in doubt, open an entirely new window and go to the official eBay homepage.

A few more inconsistencies: the message said it was sent to Verified Member, and that my name was included to show the message originated from eBay. Unfortunately, they did not include my name but simply referred to me as Verified Member. All other eBay communications have my full name and eBay username.

By the way, I just went back and actually read through all of what the “update” page wanted. It’s pretty incredible:

– Credit or debit card #
– Expiration date
– Card identification #
– PIN code, confirm PIN code (“Personal Identification Number (PIN) ensures that no one but you has access to your funds.”)
– Mother’s maiden name
– Your date of birth
– Social security number
– Email address registered with eBay
– Email address password

If you know people who are gullible enough to fall for this kind of thing, please warn them!!

Lack of Study

So, as many of you know, Roni and I are rather fond of our reptilian friends. We want to be good pet owners, we really do. I spend a lot of time looking up information in books, and online about the best way to care for Mu and Remington. I am always surprised to find out how little is really known about the animals we keep as pets.

Chinese water dragons are not all that uncommon. You can find them in pretty much any pet store, from major chains like Petco, to the little pet shop down the street from where you live. But not much is really known about these guys. I haven’t run into one scientific study on them, in or out of their natural environment. Most of the information that is available on water dragons is anecdotal evidence that owners have come up with in their own time. A lot of owners disagree on what is best for the lizards, and with no evidence (beyond “my lizards like it when I…”) to back up what people say, it is hard to decide who is right and who is wrong!

Even companies that make products for reptiles seem to know very little about the creatures that they make the products for. We recently spent about $60 on a lighting system that broke down in a few days. The bulbs alone where $16 each, and were supposed to be guaranteed for a year. I stumbled on a website that went out and actually tested these bulbs and found that they are almost useless after 4 months!

Lizard update

I know everyone has been desperately following this story, so I bet no one was expecting the sudden mid-season actor change: yesterday we went to the Wasatch Reptile Expo in Salt Lake and have decided to return The Little Guy, since we bought a baby orange-yellow bearded dragon for super cheap.

Now, you may be thinking, why get a different type of lizard? Doesn’t that require another cage? Well, yes, but bearded dragons are amazingly mellow, grow slowly enough to not need a big cage for a while, and really don’t get all that big. We still have a little 10-gallon cage from when the Romgi had anoles, and the beardie seems to really like the setup.

His name?

Remington Steele.

And before you ask, yes, I have pictures!


This last Friday, the Romgi’s first morning class was cancelled. I said I’d take notes for him in our 11:00 class so that he could go home and sleep after work that morning. Everything was going as planned until I went to go sit in on his Korean linguistics class that afternoon.

The teacher also is in charge of my first-year Korean class, and I had asked about visiting the linguistics class sometimes because I find it very interesting. So I showed up a little before 2:00 and waited with the five or six other people in the class. It got to be 2:00…then 2:15…and then class was over, and the Romgi had never made an appearance.

There’s something you need to understand here. If I don’t set an alarm, I can sleep for ten, maybe twelve hours at night, or six or seven hours for a nap. But the Romgi seems to have an excellent instinctive alarm that tells him when it’s time to wake up. And so I figured that there was no way he had simply fallen asleep after work and kept sleeping all the way through class. It just didn’t make sense.

By the end of class I began to get a little bit worried. The cell phone was at home, so I couldn’t try calling. Instead I practically ran the 6 blocks back to our apartment, all the while imagining worse and worse things that might have happened.

First I thought that maybe the Romgi got in a car accident after he dropped me off on campus earlier in the day. Who would have been able to get ahold of me? How would I find out what had happened? Then I envisioned a horrible, grisly murder scene at our apartment. I ran faster. Or maybe he’d had some freak heart attack or stroke and was paralyzed – or even dead. I pictured calling his parents in tears and telling them they needed to come down to Provo because the Romgi was no more.

Needless to say, I was quite out of breath by the time I made it back to the apartment. I raced up the stairs and had just started putting the key in the door when someone unlocked it from the inside and cracked the door open.

And who should it be but a very sheepish Romgi, still in his pajamas, who apologetically said that he had just woken up a few minutes ago? Apparently, he didn’t think he could sleep that long either.

But it was very nice to see him. Alive.

The little guy

So, remember I said that I bought a new lizard? Would you like to see pictures of him and Mu interacting? Ok, here you go.

Please, please, please!

May I just say that although I adore Mu and the new lizard, I HATE CRICKETS. I moved the cricket cage into the far side of the bathroom in the wee hours of the morning today, but I can still hear them chirping from the bedroom with a thick blanket over my head.

The Romgi says not to kill the crickets, but they just won’t be quiet…and they are driving me crazy!!