Back-to-back Honours

I’ve been blogging for less than eleven months now and in spite of my not churning out posts on a daily basis and infrequent visits to other people’s blogs, you, my readers, have remained loyal. So it came as quite the surprise to me that in the past little while I have been given not one but two awards.

Some guys make oodles of dough, some guys get all the girls, some guys avoid getting speeding tickets. I'm versatile.

The Places We’ve Been nominated me for The Versatile Blogger Award. In case you haven’t passed through their blog, they are a Canadian couple who have been living in Seoul, Korea teaching ESL. While in “the neighbourhood”, they’ve been visiting all kinds of places in Asia and Southeast Asia, because of which I am in a Level 9 state of envy. The only way that my envy could be raised a notch to Level 10 would be if they had included South Asia when they toured the continent and done the whole thing on a Bill Gates budget.

If you are at all familiar with my blog, you have come to expect a few things from me. One of which is that I tend to post really long blogs and, by the looks of how this post is progressing, you won’t be disappointed today. Another thing is that I consider Seoul to be my second home. Wait a minute, maybe my third home. At any rate, it is certainly in my top three. The Places We’ve Been, or rather The Ones Who Have Been to Those Places, have been to many of the places my Dad went to when I was a little kid — places where he took photos that made me appreciate photography and sparked my curiosity about Asia. I’d like to thank them for capturing images which caused me to flash back to memories from my childhood looking at similar shots.

Moving Day in Seoul.

They’ve also visited Saigon, and I really want to go there to visit an old drinking buddy of mine, Vo-Be. I have a few stories about Vo-Be and will make a note to write at some future date the story about one of his unsuccessful attempts to find a wife.

The Ones Who Have Been to Those Places’ blog documents not only the places they’ve been but offers us a look into their personal lives. They are leaving Seoul, their home for the past few years, and their sadness over leaving is buffered by some good news… they’re expecting a baby!

But, as the saying goes, every silver-lined cloud is a hazard to VFR aviation, and The Ones Who Have Been to Those Places are human and therefore flawed… they are Toronto Maple Leafs fans. I was born in Montreal so genetically I am a Canadiens fan who always wondered why their favourite team’s name wasn’t written “Toronto Maple Leaves”, like they taught us in school.

The Toronto/Montreal rivalry dates back, in my opinion, long before the NHL sold it’s first overpriced glass of beer. You see, Toronto (then called The Town of York) was the capital of Upper Canada beginning in 1796 and then Montreal stole the title and was the capital of The Province of Canada from 1844 until 1849. After several days of rioting, which was to be reenacted every time Montreal had a shot at the Stanley Cup, the capital was moved to Ottawa to keep the peace. This worked out well, because the Ottawa Senators have not won the Stanley Cup in 85 years. For hockey players, there’s not much prestige associated with playing for Ottawa, but they do get one hell of a pension!

Gratuitous Montreal/Toronto hockey rivalry joke:

Q: Where is Toronto’s red light district?
A: Right behind the Maple Leafs’ (sic) net!

All kidding aside, check out their blog!

According to The Places We’ve Been, here are the rules for the Versatile Blogger Award:

  • Make a post with a list of 15 nominated blogs.
  • Inform the nominees that they have been nominated.
  • Share seven things about yourself that your readers don’t already know.
  • Thank the blogger who gave you this award.

Wait a minute! Somebody’s making a profit here… the number of blogs I have to nominate is 15, but when The Redneck Princess nominated me for this very award back in September, I was required to nominate only 5 other people! Are the good people at the Academy for the Versatile Blogger Award aware of this escalation?

Well, I’ll pass it along, but I’m just passing the award along to only five other bloggers — I think that’s fair but I do intend to get to the bottom of this inflationary act. In addition, because I’ve recently been given two awards and this post was meant to respond to both, the list of people I’m passing this award along to will also serve as the list for the other award I got, so everyone on the list will be getting two whole awards!

I feel that this is perfectly legal… when a wacko goes on trial for chopping up his mailman for delivering bills and then disposes of the civil servant’s remains by putting them in a green garbage bag placed at the side of the road on his community’s Garbage Day, the wacko gets only one life sentence. In what they call “concurrent sentencing”, the courts tend to consolidate the life term for the actual murder with the $20 fine for not putting the remains in the “organics bin”. I personally don’t believe in concurrent sentencing because I’ve never seen the top jurist in the land, Judge Judy, do it but since it is legal I’m invoking my right to take advantage of this loophole.

The list of bloggers to whom I am passing this award are asked to follow the list of things they are asked to do that will follow my list of Seven Things My Readers Don’t Already Know About Me, read my acceptance speech for the Liebster Blog Award, and follow the procedure for the second award. Or not.

Seven Things My Readers Don’t Already Know About Me
  1. I’ve spoken before about how flat my feet are but I don’t think I’ve mentioned that I strongly suspect the extreme flatness of my right foot is responsible for a corn on its sole that appeared when I started wearing hard-soled shoes (for a crummy job) thirty years ago. That damned corn still keeps growing back!
  2. I had a short-lived nickname in high school… “Micky Rat”. Other nicknames I’ve had over the years, but luckily none never really stuck on a wide scale, were The Townie, The Spy, Mohammed bin Raza, Ganesh, Chris Cưng, BB, and Chrissy Poo. I guess the real revelation here is that my first name, in real life, is Christopher (but everyone calls me Chris, but I kind of like HoaiPhai here on this blog).
  3. Aside from the quick-an-easy recipes I’ve posted on this blog, I truly enjoy a little “heavy cooking” involving more than one pot and “from scratch” ingredients. I plan on posting some of my own personal secret recipes sometime in the near future.
  4. I was personally responsible for having liver removed from my family’s menu when I was about five years old. My parents took me and four of my siblings to the country where we stayed at a place where you had no menu choice at dinnertime. One fateful night they served liver. My dad was a “You’ll eat it and like it!” type of guy and thought my protests of “Dad, I really can’t eat this stuff” was just me being finicky, which I had never been accused of being before. Well, I didn’t like it and was forced to eat the vile offal just the same. In the parlance of the Seinfeld TV show, I “refunded” my meal all over the table and none of us kids ever had to eat liver again. Who says there are no happy endings?
  5. As a lad, I used to make my own fireworks. I used to walk into the pharmacy and buy whatever I needed, the pharmacist knew what I wanted it for, and even suggested ways to make my creations better. Ahh, the good old days! I also had a friend that used to make napalm for recreational purposes. No living things were ever hurt, by the way.
  6. I’ve broken my nose a couple of times and in spite of its pronounced proportions I can flatten and twist it around so my nostrils face more up than down.
  7. I’ve trained wild, feral skunks to come when called.

There. I’ll consider all offers from people wanting to make a movie based on my interesting life and highfalutin’ accomplishments.

On to the award ceremonies! All of the following blogger can now claim ownership of these two blogging awards, The Versatile Blogger Award and the Liebster Blog award. Wear these badges proudly!

  1. Clown on Fire — A guy from Montreal who is probably too young to know about The Bus to Nowhere, but he seems like an OK guy and a great dad. He’s one of the newest visitors to my blog so he might have missed this post, which I think he might like, and this one too. I know that Hippy nominated you at the same time she nominated me but I tend to take forever getting my posts to the presses so enough time might have passed for him to have forgotten by now.
  2. Random — Random is a blogger I selected for this award completely at random after having read his comment on Hippy Cahier’s post where she proclaimed that she woulds no longer bow to award requirements to pass them along to others. After deciding on his nomination, I read his latest post (as I wrote this post). You should too.
  3. Ruby — Ruby posted [Food for Thought] Beauty Appreciation, a quick but thought-provoking post.
  4. Asian Music Invasion — If you are into C-, J-, or K-Pop, this is the blog for you. If you aren’t into that kind of music but want to see what someone who’s passionate about something can do with a little bandwidth, go see.
  5. Greysqrl — This guy is all over the place with his photography… available light, landscape, close-up, light painting… and that’s the way it should be. Get out there and experiment and if you need a little inspiration, check out his Light Family post.

So you five winners above, please read on to the very end of this post as you are also nominated for the Liebster Blog Award below!

My first German award!

Hippy Cahier awarded me with the Liebster Blog Award. I think I’ve gotten this award before and getting it at all, never mind getting it twice, surprises me because I don’t speak much German. It’s a tricky language with some of its words as long as some of my posts. The funny thing is that I can understand it a bit because a lot of its words sound a lot like their English counterparts thanks, at least in part, to what is called “the High German consonant shift”. We hear a lot examples of this… the German “Wasser” becomes the English “water”, “Volks” becomes “folks”, etc. So without a German-English dictionary handy, I figure that “Liebster” must have something to do with “lobster”. Perhaps this award was given to me because of the crabby tone of some of my ranty posts.

Speaking of ranty posts, Hippy just posted one of her own, “Take My Award, Please“. I highly recommend that you read that truly groundbreaking post but let me sum up what she’s saying…

  1. She truly appreciates that people think enough about her and her blog to give her awards.
  2. She feels crummy when she cannot honour the giver of the award by turning around and passing the award on to others in a timely fashion.
  3. She does’t like the chain letter nature of most of these awards (but, again, stresses that she is thankful that people think enough of her to give them to her in the first place).
  4. She is putting her size-six foot down and is refusing to pass along any such awards to any other people ever again.

My response to Hippy’s stance is thus:

  1. Amen.
  2. Ditto.

I feel the same way. Lately I haven’t had nearly enough time to blog, either actively by posting or passively by reading others’ stuff, and a lot of the blogs I have been visiting have been on winter reduced output. My readers in the Southern Hemisphere seem to be slowing down too, perhaps they are taking full advantage of the shift toward their summer season.

But whatever the reason, I feel bad when someone sends me one of these awards because even though I’m immensely flattered that they thought to name me, I know that they are sitting there for days on end waiting for my response and perhaps even feeling that I’m snubbing them until my response post surfaces.

And then when I do get around to posting a response, I have a lot of trouble coming up with new people to give the award to — I feel that I shouldn’t be giving the same award to the same people every couple of months. In addition I feel guilt that by naming certain people I’m leaving some people out. I also worry that by awarding someone I’m saddling them with an assignment or an obligation that will eat away at the precious few moments they set aside to write or read blogs — obligatory “passing on to X number of winners” smatters of The Magic Internet Wish Genie, and I really would hate to be associated with him.

So you five winners, here are some more hoops you must jump through. Whether you do so or not is totally up to you but if you have not received any awards thus far and don’t participate in at least on such award’s hoops, you are missing out on a lot of fun. Get jiggy with it!

  1. Thank the blogger who gave you the award and link back to them.
  2. Copy and paste the blog award on your blog (get it from Google Images, if you’d like).
  3. Pass the Liebster Blog Award on to five other bloggers you admire.
  4. Let your recipients know of the award by leaving a comment on their blogs.
  5. Bask in the love of the blogosphere.
My Own Award Ideas

I have been thinking about this for a while — even before reading Hippie’s post — but the time seems right for this idea to see the light of day. Conventional blog awards acknowledge blogs in their totality but I personally feel that perhaps we should be rewarding individual posts and even individual comments to posts. So what I’ve come up with is a few small graphics to include in comments to individual posts or replies to other comments. Here they are in all their glory and are to be used “no strings attached”… the recipient is not asked to do a single thing apart from looking at them. Feel free to use these or make up your very own!

This one is for letting the author of a good post know you like what he/she wrote.

This one is for letting the author of a good comment know you like what he/she wrote.

This one is for letting the author of a bad post know you disliked what he/she wrote.

This one is for letting the author of a bad comment know you disliked what he/she wrote.

I suggest you add one of the above badges to your comment if you are really moved to do so. A graphic such as this really adds punch when you’re trying to make a point. Please download them and use them. If you are not a PhotoShop master, I can craft similar badges with different animals and/or messages.

Any Black Belts in WordPress Out There?

My experiments reveal that it takes a couple of lines of HTML code to make the badges appear in comments. Does anyone know of a down-and-dirty shortcut? Something simple like how one adds YouTube videos to posts would be great.

Thanks in advance!

About HoaiPhai

I'm up late digging up the dirt. View all posts by HoaiPhai

15 responses to “Back-to-back Honours

  • clownonfire

    I like to be told I’m too young at the tender age of 107-yrs old. You’re a good friend.

    Thanks also for the nominations, but I’ll take an Alan Smithee on this one, even though I have shamelessly accepted Hippie Cahier’s nomination and ran with the money. (

    I like your awards. I might steal a few just to decorate my award wall. I’m vain, this way.

    As for the HTML code, it should be easy, something like this:


    But I hear only certain templates will allow it.

    • HoaiPhai

      I think a bunch of us should start a joint blog featuring straight do-nothing-to-accept awards! Maybe Hippie would like to get involved.

      You’re right… I don’t know how old (or young) you are. Youth is a relative type of thing. It’s just that I thought that if you have a school-aged son, you’re younger (chronologically) than I.

      You might consider me a relic… during The October Crisis I had to go out trick-or-treating at Hallowe’en during the daytime because of the curfew and within a year of that I saw Black Sabbath, with the original four members, perform at the Forum. I went with my friends to Terre des Hommes (in ’68) without my parents and I bought my second motorcycle and drove it to the Olympic Stadium (in the semi complete form… the roof was not put on yet and the tower was not finished, but nothing else had fallen off) to see Pink Floyd’s Animals show in July 1977.

  • clownonfire

    It didn’t show. It was :

    [img class=”aligncenter” src=””]

  • theplaceswevebeen

    Thanks for the mention! I’m truly honored! I’ve enjoyed reading your blog. I think at one point I saw you had posted a picture of Nowon-Gu. There’s where we lived in Seoul and we will miss it a lot.

    • HoaiPhai

      You’re so welcome and congratulations on the upcoming half-fare traveller!

      I’ve posted a lot of pictures of Nowon-gu…the moving photo on this post was taken from my wife’s parents’ apartment building there. It’s the large Hyundae apartment complex, maybe you know it. My wife grew up in that area and her older brother still lives there. Every time we visit, he takes us all over the place, like Baekdamsa, Sokcho, and Incheon. I joke about how my wife grew up in a slum (Nowon-gu = no ₩ town)…stupid joke.

  • Carl D'Agostinoc

    Congrats. Sometimes I think there should be a reward to completing the acceptance rules. Such has become a bit much for me.

    • HoaiPhai

      Yes, I can understand it. While I was sincere about my appreciation for the blogs I awarded, I don’t blame them if they drop the ball on the hoop-jumping aspect of the reward.

  • My no-longer-non-award-winning blog » Random Says...

    […] of my first blog post, I have received my first blog award nominations. These come to me thanks to HoaiPhai, who has his own blog. (If you go check it out, you’ll find some cool photography and […]

  • Random

    Thank you for the nomination! Sorry it’s taken a few days to comment, but I posted about this over on randomsays.

  • nigel

    Hi.. Thank you for the award, it’s very kind… not sure I’ll pass it on purely and simply because I don’t want to say, I like this blog more than that one… I like them all 🙂 Thanks again, and welcome back!

    • HoaiPhai

      You’re very welcome and you are deserving of much better awards! That’s the problem with these awards — you get them and are obligated to re-award others’ blogs in an arbitrary fashion. So if the award criteria limit you to not award everyone you feel may be deserving, then you feel bad for the ones you didn’t honour. If you award everyone whose posts have ever touched you and then two weeks later you get another such award, who do you pass the award on to? The same people all over again? That’s why I like having my own award(s) designed in-house at HoaiPhai Industries, and post them when and where I want with no strings attached.

      Maybe WordPress should have official award nomination buttons in addition to the “Like” buttons. Then WP could dish out official awards on a periodic basis.

  • baby girl conception

    Hi it’ѕ me, I am also visiting thius web page daily,
    this website is in fact nice and the people aree genuinelу sharing fastidious thoughts.

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