Busy Busy

By , April 21, 2012 1:54 pm

And no time to update this blog, apparently.

At least I have some decent excuses.

I picked up a new website to develop back in March. Two teachers here in Ulsan want to start a ESL (English as second Language) website that provides resources for students who are learning, teachers who are teaching, schools who want to hire teachers, etc., etc.  There are already some pretty big players in that market, but these boys think they want to climb that hill anyway.  They had previously contracted with a company in the UK to construct their website, and they had done an admirable job piecing together some off-the-shelf web applications. They hadn’t, however, bothered to make the website look like a single, cohesive site rather than a bunch of disparate apps thrown together. Clicking from one function to another gave the user little to believe he was even on the same site.

Anyway, the two guys here knew I managed Ulsanonline.com and are frequent users of the site. They asked me if I could take over the work from the boys in the UK and I agreed — for a couple thousand bucks, sure.  So, beginning in April, I’ve been hard at work trying to make their site look like a single website with multiple functions.  Check it out and see what you think. Still not quite done and it’s not ready to launch (they’ll pay me more money to add functionality they has yet to be developed, such as online video classrooms) but at least it looks like a single website. The site is ESL Heaven.  I redesigned the front page and just put in some garbage text, but we’ll fix that…I think…these boys aren’t terribly web savvy and likely haven’t even read it.

I’ve also embarked on a “Best Of Ulsan” campaign for my own site, UlsanOnline.com.  I’ve modeled it after the “D Magazine” articles they did every year for best and worst of Dallas. I had to create a few forms for people to vote, a backend database to record all the votes and then tabulate them and then stay active online with trying to get the couple thousand or so foreigners here to fill it out.  Once voting is done, we’ll write multiple articles on which restaurant has the best x, which service provides the best y, etc.  But that’s just an add-on to the continual, on-going efforts of our very popular website and I write articles for it weekly.

June is our annual “Ulsan Inferno” event in which teams of motorcycles and scooters compete in a scavenger hunt/race/adventure challenge around the city and surrounding areas. I’m part of the planning committee on it this year, having won 1st and 2nd place in the event in 2010 and 2011, respectively. It’s a lot of fun and get’s people who sometimes don’t get out of the city much to see the smaller, lesser known points of interest in this beautiful country. We’re in the middle of planning for this event and that takes a few hours per week.

And if that weren’t enough, I’ve officially been inducted into City Hall’s newspaper efforts. They started last winter with a quarterly newspaper, printed both in Korean and in English. I had a loose arrangement where Ulsanline.com would supply a few articles for each issue but now I am on a team of eight in the paper’s planning committee and we’re setting out the strategy and content for each issue.

I think that’s all the work related things I have going on.  The rest of what keeps me busy is riding the bicycle and rock climbing.  With spring finally here, climbing is back on the agenda as is riding the bike. Gotta stay healthy.  And reading – I still love to read and since Jessie and Teri bought me a Kobo reader last year for my birthday I’ve consumed enormous amounts of text.  My physical bookshelf has been emptied and I gave all the paper books away to friends and some foreigner bars who stock books for lonely newcomers. But my virtual bookshelf of the books I’ve read continues to grow.

I’ll close with a few recent photos of me, just in case anyone forgets what I look like. The beard is gone.


Me and my dogs Sparky (r.) and SaTang on Munsu Mtn.


Sparky doesn't like to be too far away wherever we go. I'm belaying long-time climbing bud, Dee


The Three Amigos, From left Spark, Satang and litter-mate Corker

One Response to “Busy Busy”

  1. Peggy says:

    Nice Mard! thought the dog peed on your knee though, but I guess its just the cammo color. LOL. Peggy

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