On the DPRK

On Thursday I attended a lovely dinner as a thank you for my volunteering to interview candidates who wish to teach English in Japan. One of the other guests regaled us with stories of his trip to North Korea last year. He was the only American on his tour as this was right when Otto Warmbier died. Prior to the trip, all tourists were given a chance to get a full refund and cancel, but this young man figured as long as he followed the rules, he’d be safe.

Here are some facts I learned:

  • You must always, even in private conversation call Kim Jong-Un, the “Supreme Leader.”  His father, Kim Jong-Il, whom he succeeded, must be referred to as the “Dear Leader.” The Supreme Leader’s grandfather is referred to as the “Eternal Leader.”
  • Upon arriving at the airport, travelers go through a thorough security check of your bags.
  • Foreign travelers must use either US dollars, Euros or Chinese RMB. It’s illegal for them to have the local currency.
  • If you have a newspaper with a photo of the Supreme Leader on it, you can not fold the paper.
  • When you take a photo of a painting of poster of the Supreme Leader, you must take his full body. You can not leave out an elbow, ear, etc. It has to be 100% of what’s pictured.
  • The tour covered the countryside and there all the farm animals, mainly goats, but a few cows , were emaciated.
  • The best food he had the whole time was scrambled eggs and tomatoes. Most food was tasteless.
  • In the capital city, Pyongyang, the group stayed in a 5 star hotel, that surprisingly he said was the most luxurious hotel he’s ever stayed in. For the Japan Exchange Teaching Programme, upon arrival in Tokyo, teachers stay in a 5 star hotel so it’s not as though this man’s never stayed in a good hotel.

 

Amplified: Chicago Blues

Recently the Chicago History Museum added over 45,000 photographs of Blues musicians to its collection. Now it’s hosting a terrific exhibit of a small selection of Raeburn Flerlage’s photography of Blues musicians taken in the 1950s and ’60s.

As a member I was invited to attend the preview party which included informative welcome speeches, live music, food and drink. First my aunt and I took advantage of the curator’s welcome speech which heightened he exhibit’s explanation of how the Great Migration spread the Blues to various parts of the U.S. We also learned how and why the museum acquired Flerlage’s vast oeuvre.

Afterwards we viewed the museum, which features opportunities to interact including a special guitar that gives you a brief introduction to playing Blues guitar. There’s a stage where you can sing the Blues, solo or with friends.

This informative, fun Blues exhibit goes through August 10, 2019.

Tickets: Groupon Discount (eBates 9% discount also available),
Chicago History Museum several discounts available

Hours: 9:30 – 4:30 pm

Tale of an Accidental Repairwoman

Yesterday, while I was cleaning the lint catcher, something fell down the lint chute.  I couldn’t see it or reach down the chute.  I didn’t even know what fell in, but after one attempt, I could see that the machine wasn’t going to work anymore.

I tried using a tool we have that’s made of wire and can pinch and pick up objects. Since I couldn’t see what or where the item was, this didn’t work. I really didn’t want to pay our handyman to fix this.

Today I went on YouTube, glorious YouTube and found that I’m not the only klutz to make this mistake. I watched the video above and saw that I could fix this myself. I love the esteem boost I get from such challenges so I went to the hardware store to get the tools suggested in the video below, (the video moved too fast for me to follow).

Turned out the socket wrench didn’t work so I went to Lowes, because the hardware store’s customer service was so slow. There the helpful associate helped me select the specific screwdriver needed ($4.97 plus tax). Once I got home I started to work. It didn’t just take 10 minutes, but it wasn’t hard to do. I did struggle with repositioning the outer chute, but after two trips to nearby stores, and about a half hour of working on the machine, our dryer’s back in working order. Total price $5.45. I think I’m stuck with the other tools, but they weren’t that expensive and I can either keep them or sell them on eBay.

Fix it cost: $5.45

Self-Esteem boost: priceless

WPC: Lines

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Arabic writing consists of so many dramatic lines

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Lines in a green house, Indonesia

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Lines of shops in Lijiang

1. Each week, WordPress will provide a theme for creative inspiration. You take photographs based on your interpretation of the theme, and post them on your blog (a new post!) anytime before the following Wednesday when the next photo theme will be announced.

2. To make it easy for others to check out your photos, title your blog post “Weekly Photo Challenge: (theme of the week)” and be sure to use the “postaday″ tag.

3. Follow The Daily Post so that you don’t miss out on weekly challenge announcements, and subscribe to our newsletter – we’ll highlight great posts. Add Media photos from each month’s most popular challenge.

Just a few wonderful posts: