My Love Interest: Fountain Pen

March 14, 2012

I am not a fountain-pen-holic. I carry just 3 fountain pen (FP). I possess only 7 FPs total. Well… you may wonder who is FP-holic then 😉 I don’t have very expensive pen. 4 of my FPs are same model. From FPN (Fountain Pen Network) standard, I am just a newbie. Still I love fountain pens. This love interest has been developed for last 5 years. It was natural, I think, because I write writing. Combination of moleskine and fountain pen.

My first FP was Super-Rotax from Germany. I found it in my house one day. Don’t know how it came to my family. Probably owned by my sister. Before that incident, I didn’t like hand-writing. Typing was much more comfortable. I felt pain even with little hand writing. It is still a mystery why I decided to give it a try. Anyway, I bought an ink (Parker Quink Black). Tried the pen. And magic happened! Since that time, I (hand) write with FP for 98% of time.

After Super-Rotax, I found a Parker 45. Probably same route to my family. I used those two for a while. The problem of Super-Rotax is that it is frigile. When I brought it to an oversea trip, it started leaking. I lost Parker 45 also. I looked for alternatives and chose Lamy Safari, which is very cost-effective. Since then, about 5 FPs left me – lost or broken 😦

Here is my pen pouch. Paid $17.97 on Amazon. It was when I lost another Lamy Safari (blue) that I decided to do something about it. I can’t lose a FP for every 6 months. After some thought, I chose to buy a pouch and it worked so far. No more lost pen. I carry 4 pens in this pouch. 3 FPs and 1 roller-ball (RB).

First FP is Lamy Safari Black. This is what I kept for the longest time. Extra-fine Nib, but little bit broad like F. Usually I put black ink. Sturdy and reliable. Light. Good amount of ink. No complaint. It’s like a best buddy to me.

Second FP is Lamy 2000. This is the flagship model from Lamy. 14k gold EF-nib. Unlike the name, this pen has been produced since 1966. Just one minor design change during 45 years. I like its simple and modern look. Nib is very smooth. Large ink capacity that lasts long time. I usually put blue ink in this pen.

Third FP is my old friend, Super-Rotax. After losing 4 of them, I ordered more on eBay. Got a special deal with ordering 4 together. I will put extra care this time not to break them. This pen was one of the reason to buy pen pouch. I put green ink. Nib is ultra-fine, very thin. That is the reason I like this pen.

I got this RB pen from my company. The design is good, but it doesn’t write well. I don’t write with RB, except when I need to press hard, such as writing check. Another reason to carry this pen is for other people when they want to borrow a pen. I don’t mind sharing. Just some people are not used to writing with FP. You don’t want them to press hard when they use your pen 🙂

My love interest to FB will continue. I will add more pens to my collection for sure. But so far, I am quite satisfied with what I have 😉


20 reasons to love my son

March 12, 2012

I wrote this first version of “20 reasons to love my son” in 2009. It was an assignment from ‘Father’s school’. In this program, for 4 days, I learned how to love and how to communicate to my family – wife, son, and daughter.

Here is the original version of 2009.

01. I love Timmy who wakes up by himself on time.
02. I love Timmy who eats any food with appreciation.
03. I love Timmy who smiles a lot and who is always positive.
04. I love Timmy who keeps himself clean and neat.
05. I love Timmy who always does exercise and has a good body shape.

06. I love Timmy who puts an effort in Taekwondo and teaches younger kids.
07. I love Timmy who didn’t quit Violin for 8 years.
08. I love Timmy who sang a beautiful song in Middle school graduation ceremony.
09. I love Timmy who practices guitar everyday to be a good soloist.
10. I love Timmy who writes well, as like me 🙂

11. I love Timmy who was so sad when he got 690 from math and couldn’t get into SET.
12. I love Timmy who felt sorry for his jealousy to his friend who got in a prep school.
13. I love Timmy who can make friends at any time anywhere.
14. I love Timmy who understands any book he reads so easily.
15. I love Timmy who read Harry Potter bought in San Francisco airport before the flight arrived Seoul.

16. I love Timmy who asked me help to overcome temptation for pornography.
17. I love Timmy who is tall and handsome, not like me.
18. I love Timmy who says “I love you” to mom and hugs her frequently.
19. I love Timmy who has many of my weak points.
20. I love Timmy who will overcome the weak points and be a better person than me.

I remember people asked me “Why do you attend father’s school? You are already a good father!” I said “I am not a good father. I want to be a real good father.” But frankly, I thought I was one. I thought I was doing well as a father.

3 years passed. Timmy is now 16, becoming 17 in a week. Going through good times and not-so-good times. And I am realizing that I am really not-a-good father. I was not a good listener. When he needs help, I didn’t provide it. I didn’t communicate.

This morning, I encountered this 2009 writing by a chance. Since then, many things are changed. He quit something and picked up new things. My understanding of him is changed also.

So Here comes a 2012 version. Many of them changed and will change as time goes. But the last two-line will be same.

01. I love Timmy who wakes up at 5 in the morning to be an early bird.
02. I love Timmy who eats any food with appreciation.
03. I love Timmy who smiles a lot and is always positive.
04. I love Timmy who keeps himself clean and neat.
05. I love Timmy who always does exercise and has a good body shape.

06. I love Timmy who likes to think and wants to be a philosophy professor.
07. I love Timmy who realizes happiness is not from money or position.
08. I love Timmy who lost 20 lbs in 3 weeks to compete in wrestling as a varsity.
09. I love Timmy who puts his effort to be a great wrestler.
10. I love Timmy who overcame limitations and did a wonderful job during debates season.

11. I love Timmy who overcame internal struggle and decided to be honest with me.
12. I love Timmy who admits mistakes and tries to make up all the time.
13. I love Timmy who can make friends at any time anywhere.
14. I love Timmy who understands any book he reads so easily.
15. I love Timmy who is tall and handsome, not like me.

16. I love Timmy who wants to find his own meaning of his life.
17. I love Timmy who wants me to be proud of him.
18. I love Timmy who says “I love you” to mom and hugs her frequently.
19. I love Timmy who has many of my weak points.
20. I love Timmy who will overcome the weak points and be a better person than me.

As I think 20 reasons to love Timmy, in other parts of my mind, I had one question. “Do you need 20 reasons to love him?”

Of course not. I don’t need 20 reasons. I love him because he is Timmy, my son 🙂

I want to live a life of …

March 11, 2012


There are three activities I like the most. Writing, Photography, and Listening Music. I want to live a life of doing writing, taking pictures and listening music.

Writing is an act of creation. Taking picture is an act of discovery. Listening music is an act of appreciation.

I want to fill my daily life with those things. Someday …

Tree under Water

March 9, 2012

Troubled Situation: Second Thought (a.k.a. Christian Version)

March 9, 2012


Last time, I wrote about how to handle troubled situations. I laid down the best approaches when you are stuck in a difficult situation. I liked it. The three actions you should take in the situation are the best choices, I believe. But, I got another question. Is that it? The thought was very ‘Humanistic’. There was no room for Divinity.

So What?

Last Sunday, my church’s pastor gave a great sermon. Interestingly, the topic was same. How to handle troubled situations. But the conclusion was totally different my writing.

The passage of the sermon was from Exodus where Moses and Israelite were facing red sea and Egyptian army was chasing them. Israelite didn’t go there by a chance. Bible says that God told Moses to bring his people to that place and wait. It was near important army base of Egypt. The instruction did not make any sense. No wonder Israelite complained. But that’s when God showed who HE is – dividing Red Sea so people can cross and making it collapsed with Egyptian army.

With God in the picture, it becomes a totally different story.

Now What?

First, do not fear. You need to trust HE has a plan for you no matter what the situation is. You may be there by your mistake or some force beyond your control. Still have faith. HE can turn the trouble into a blessing. HE is the king.

Second, know your place and know how HE works. In previous posting, I said you need to do your best as if your life depends on it. But Bible teaches other way. Sometimes you should shut your mouth and watch what HE does. It is tricky because sometimes HE wants you to act. You need to know how HE works. A good news is as the situation gets worse and you have less options, HE shows greater things.

Third, grow through the experience. HE turns your trouble into a training. Not just a training. It makes you distinguished. Blessing when you are thrown into a fire furnace transforms you. Again, everything is about YOU. HE wants YOU to grow. What HE cares is only YOU.

How to deal with troubled situation

March 3, 2012


From time to time, you are stuck in a situation that you never wanted. Your boss told you that your end of year review will be bad. You got suspended from your school. You could not prepare a term paper when it is due tomorrow. Or you got a notice from the collection office because someone you co-signed did not pay her loan. No one ever wants to be in this kind of situation. But still it happens. So what you are gonna do?

So what?

The goal is to get out of the situation, of course. But is that it? You may get help from someone, or from God. (People will call it ‘luck’ or ‘blessing’ depending on their belief. I am the latter, btw.) You may find a way to get out by yourself. The problem may disappear suddenly. Or in many cases, you live with the consequences.

But is that it? Shouldn’t be. If you just want to get out of the situation and make the experience a piece of memory as you do, there is no improvement. There should be better way to deal with it.

Now what?

First, deal with it with everything you have. You never know what’s going to happen when you throw all of you as if your life depends on it. Do the best. Don’t leave any excuse.

Second, put your effort on the best bang for the buck. To make the best out of your effort, you need to find out what area will make the best outcome. There must be one or two. Focus on the areas. You don’t have much time.

Third, learn from it. Analyze why you got there. What could prevent the situation? Who caused the trouble? Don’t skim through. Go deep. Go to the root cause. But remember. It is not for finger-pointing. All thoughts should end up with these questions. “What could YOU do to prevent it? What could YOU do to make a better outcome?” It is all about you, not someone else.

Habit Change: 1st Target – Getting Rid of Distractions

March 2, 2012

For recent several years, I have struggled from bad habits. They are including lack of focus, multi-tasking, procrastination, and urge to check SNS and news. It was not bad at the beginning. Even though I used internet, I could control easily. I had good focus. But ironically as I have more load from work and study, I lose focus more.

I don’t know which one came first. Lack of focus? Or procratination? Anyway, they are each sides of one coin. When I don’t have focus, I procrastinate. In order to procrastinate, I open myself to distractions.

There were several attempts to change my habit with some success. But sooner or later, bad habits come back. Sometimes I see myself watching movies even though final is several days away 😦 I know it is to avoid pressures. I know the theories of procrastination. I can diagnose myself … But still MY BEHAVIOR IS NOT ACCEPTABLE!!

Here I try again. I don’t remember how many tries I made before. It doesn’t matter. This must be the last one. My first target is getting rid of distractions since there are many developed over the years.

Tweeter consumed my time, sometimes a lot. I had good number of followers. I used it to share my thoughts on self-development, politics, and other not-right topics. It was not total waste of time. But I let it go. More harm than benefit.

News portal consumed my attention. It’s gone. No urge to check it multiple times a day.

Politics of my home country was important to me. Now I put it in the good hands of people in the land. Anyway, I can’t even vote in Korean elections.

Facebook will continue. There are good connections – friends, classmates and collegues. But I will limit my time on it for 10 min per day. I am enforcing myself with ‘StayFocused’ – chrome extension.

I have two blogs. One in Korean and one in English. I care for them, specially one in Korean. Tons of thoughts I put there. Good connections too. But I didn’t write a word on it for a while. I am letting it go too. From now, I will write only on this blog in English.

Still there are unlimited sources of distractions. I need to get rid of them one by one. Oh! I got rid of TV too. There is no cable at my home. Only netflix.

‘Focus’ – free e-book of Leo Babauta is my guide now for this new journey. Once I succeed with first habit change, I will move toward next one. ‘Focus’ – powered by unschedule.