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Tag Archives | guest bloggers

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Jean Youn: Being thankful

It is a Thanksgiving Day week. In other words, the end of the year 2012 is getting closer. There is no doubt that the lapse of one year to teenagers is beyond comparison to that of people in their seventies or eighties. However, that is just a difference in feeling. In fact, time flows at a constant speed and the flow of time is always fair to everybody. Then, what causes the differences in feeling? I wonder whether the duration of time we think we have... Read More →

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Veterans Day salute 2012

Jean Youn: Veterans Day and playing the castanets

Today is November 11, “Veterans’ Day.” I want to salute all the veterans for their sacrifice and bravery for this country. It is also 11.11 in Arabic numbers. Looking at the numbers 11.11, what comes to your mind first? People like me, growing up in a culture in which chop sticks are used, may think about them, chop sticks, before everything else. Or the numbers may make some people think about the castanets. The castanets are the musical instruments which make sounds by hitting two objects... Read More →

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Jean Youn: November, time change, and a season of mums

Now, it is November. Daylight saving time ended today, because we turned our clocks back an hour to begin Standard Time.  From now on, the night time will seem even longer. Where is your hometown? If you spent your childhood in Australia, you’d remember that November is the beginning of spring there. If your hometown is located not just in Australia, but in a region in the Southern Hemisphere, the same would be true. In Korea where I spent my childhood, November is the time when fall... Read More →

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Photo: FLLewis/Media City G -- Garden Guru Emilio "Elmo" Telles at the Armstrong

Garden Guru: Fall planting from seeds in the Southland

Now’s the time to get those winter veggies ready to start! I have people coming in wanting to buy pepper and tomato seeds and I immediately show them what they should be planting now. Here in SoCal we have mild enough”winters” to start our cool season seeds this early. Green and root vegetables will do fine in our winters. Here are some seeds to start now. Remember the hot days might be a risk for starter plants (cool season) you’ll find growing at your nursery. That is kinda risky with the... Read More →

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Jean Youn: Positive message of “Gangnam Style”

Do you happen to hear the song or watch the video of “Gangnam Style” sung by a Korean singer, Psy? He is only the second Asian singer who has ever reached No. 2 on the Billboard chart. To be honest with you, I don’t understand why it became so popular worldwide. I can’t hear and understand clearly the lyrics, even though it is written in Korean. His dancing style seems strange to me. However, today I want to introduce a very unique story about the region,... Read More →

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Jean Youn: Heaven on Earth

When we tell an old story, we start with the phrase, “A long, long time ago.”  But, Koreans begin like this, “A long, long time ago, during the era of the Koryo dynasty.” The current name, Korea, is derived from the Koryo, as Korea was first known to the Western world by that name. It is a story about 1,000 years old. A long time ago, during the era of the Koryo dynasty, there was a person, Inro Lee, who held a very high position at the Court, which may be equivalent... Read More →

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Jean Youn: Elections, politicians, and a variety of opinions

It is a so-called political season in an election year. I’m not trying to talk about the election and politics as I don’t know much about them. There is a common saying that small businesses like mine fall into a slump in an election year. Well, how could I, a simple cleaner, know why people say so? Later this year, a presidential election will be held not just in America, but also in South Korea where I used to live. Thus, news and stories about politics... Read More →

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Photo courtesy Guest Blogger Jean Youn

Jean Youn: September and the fresh breeze of youth

An advertisement was posted in a newspaper in Ohio in 1979. <Escape from dull everyday life! Enliven senescence!> Qualification: Men of an age between the late seventies and the early eighties. Task: Profound discussion about memories while traveling for a week. Fee: None (Paying a fixed amount for expenses) Benefit: Free traveling costs. ————————————————————- Eight men from the applicants were selected. They were old men who had deep wrinkles and blotches on their faces and for whom just standing up seemed to be a hard task. They arrived at an... Read More →

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Photo: FLLewis/Media City G -- Garden Guru Emilio "Elmo" Telles at the Armstrong's Garden Centers in Glendale August 4, 2012

Garden Guru: Summer bugs

Lately, I have had customers and my neighbors inquiring about patches in their lawns looking “dry” or spreading patches. The answer: Grubs, which are an “alien” looking fat white worm, are eating at the roots. There are a few organic forces you can use against them and they will go away easily and are environmentally friendly — organic is particularly good (read safe)  if you have pets and kids running around the lawn. Then again,  the problem with lawn brown patches can be attributed to fungal/bacteria diseases, which also attack the... Read More →

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Photo courtesy Guest Blogger Jean Youn

Jean Youn: Finding joy in routine tasks

Everybody has their own routine work to do. At the same time, everyone has their own special things to do. Perhaps, an ordinary person usually has routine work more than special things. What are your routine tasks? What are your special things to do today or this week? As a cleaner, my daily routine is the repetition of almost the same things. What I do daily is more like the continuance of the same work as a wheel goes round and round. However, I have many things so special at the same time. That’s people... Read More →

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Jean Youn: Olympic medals and serenity of mind

The London Olympiad, which draws the attention of people around the world, is about to end. Many athletes have won glorious medals, but a lot more athletes will go back to their countries with empty hands. There is one thing that will be equally given to those who won medals, those who didn’t, as well as to all the people who enjoyed the Olympic games. That is the time of tomorrow. Being asked the secret of winning, an archer who won a gold medal responded, “I... Read More →

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Olympic logo London 2012

Jean Youn: Olympic games, medals, and finding happiness

The London Olympiad is in full swing. Are you watching and enjoying the Olympic games? When I see the happy, smiling faces of the athletes who have won gold medals, I think they look like the happiest people in the world. Then, the Times in Great Britain took a survey of their readers’ opinions. One of the survey questions was “Who do you think is the happiest?” The respondents ranked as follows: The fourth was a doctor who had saved a patient’s life through a very... Read More →

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Jean Youn: Fourth of July, fireworks, and General Douglas MacArthur

This year, Independence Day falls on Wednesday. It is in the middle of the week. Do you have any special plans for the Fourth of July? By the way, what comes first to your mind about Independence Day? For me, it is the fireworks. Though each firework show looks similar at a glance, we realize quickly that each draws a different picture. Fireworks can be displayed splendidly only in the night sky. The night sky is dark and pitch-black. But without the dark and pitch-black background,... Read More →

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Photo: FLLewis/Media City G -- Garden Guru Emilio "Elmo" Telles

Garden Guru:Watering flowers and plants in hot weather

Occasionally, when the temps hit the high ones, my customers will ask why I am watering at Armstrong nursery when it is kind of hot and during the middle of the day. They quote various stories/articles about NOT to water at that time of day. Well, here’s the deal. In a retail nursery the smaller containers(6-pack color, 4-inch pots and 1-gallon containers dry out quicker than plants that are in home gardens. For those at home gardens, I suggest our best selling items are a premium potting soil (for containers) and a... Read More →

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Photo courtesy Guest Blogger Jean Youn

Jean Youn: The feel of summer

By chance, have you ever dipped your feet in a small creek in the mountains? Korea, where I grew up, has a lot of small mountains all over its land. During hot summer days, people frequently go up to the mountains and counter the heat by dipping their feet in the creeks. Not just the clear and cold water of the creek, but also the sound of stream makes them forget the sweltering heat. By the way, a stream makes a more pleasant and fresh sound if it flows in... Read More →

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Photo courtesy Guest Blogger Jean Youn

Jean Youn: the Korean War and pop singer Insoony

A certain day or month reminds us of something special. Of course, everybody may have different things in mind. In June, what comes first to your mind? In June, most of the Korean people, maybe except the very young generation, think about “the Korean War,” which has another name, “the Forgotten War.” The war broke out on June 25, 1950. A pop singer was born out of the historic event. To be sure, she may not be familiar to you and you may have never heard her name. But in Korea... Read More →

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photo of a pink tea rose

Jean Youn: Roses, morning glory, and June

It’s June now. A variety of flowers will be in full blossom. When you realize that it is June, what flower comes first to your mind? For me, it is a rose. That’s not because of my personal experience or memory, but because of education. As I learned in class that roses bloom in June, I had to memorize it for a test. In fact, it was the morning glories that I had seen most at this time of a year. Morning glory were very common... Read More →

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Jean Youn: Happy Mother’s Day!

Have you ever seen broken branches on a gusty day? And then, have you seen a bird nest hanging on that branch? Yes, that’s really amazing. Though branches may be broken by strong wind, bird nests won’t be broken. However, every nest is not always like that. If a nest is built on a windy day, it won’t be broken easily because it is strong. But more importantly, maternal love to protect young birds must be the foundation of a strong nest which can endure strong... Read More →

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Photo courtesy Guest Blogger Jean Youn

Jean Youn: Is it May or March again?

February this year has 29 days, instead of 28, because it is a leap year which comes every four years. Now, the solar calendar is the one which most of the countries on the globe use. However, there are some countries which use both the solar and the lunar calendar, especially in the Orient. China and Korea are representative among them. The solar calendar year has 365 days, but the lunar year has only 354 days. In other words, the lunar calendar is shorter that the solar one by 11 days. A... Read More →

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image of wire clothes hanger

Jean Youn: Reduce the clutter, recycle wire hangers

Today I want to share a joke with you. There are many various hangers at my cleaners. Some of them have been there for a long time, and are old. Some, which have been just delivered at the cleaners as ordered a few days ago, are brand new. I overheard what they were saying to each other. An old hanger said to a new one, “Never forget that you are a hanger.” Wondering why the old one said that, the new one responded, “Of course, I... Read More →

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bowl of rice clipart

Jean Youn: A bowl of spring

A plate or a bowl where food is put is called as a “Geu-reut” in Korean. “Geu-reut” has a variety of names. For example, we call it as “Bab (steamed rice) Geu-reut” if a bowl contains steamed rice which is the main staple for Koreans. If it holds soup (“Kook” in Korean), it is called as “Kook-Geu-reut.” Likewise, if bread (“Bbang” in Korean) is on it, it is called as “Bbang Geu-reut.” And If spaghetti is on it, it becomes as “Spaghetti Geu-reut.” In other words, the... Read More →

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music clip art

Jean Youn: Music and the sweet sounds of spring

What kind of music do you like? What are your favorite songs? Different people like to listen to different kinds of music. However, there are some songs that many people, across cultures, generations and gender all seem to enjoy.There are certain things that touch sensitivities universally. I think a good example of such a song is Nella Fantasia, it is based on the theme song, “Gabriel’s Oboe,” from the movie “The Mission” (1986). Even though the song is sung in Italian, and I don’t speak any... Read More →

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