Annual Award thoughts

Annual Award 2009

Project of the Year: Year of Online Sabbatical

Earlier this year, I decided to simplify my life by cutting on my online activities. I stopped writing my blogs and put up an announcement page instead. Not even half of what I intended was achieved but the whole attempt helped me appreciate the offline side of my life. For one thing, I now carry significantly less stuff with me when I commute. Furniture of the Year: IKEA Forhoja Kitchen Trolley

My wife wanted an “island” for the kitchen for some while. We found this kitchen trolley which was virtually what she wanted. The height is rather tall (90cm), higher than usual desk (70cm), and because of that the table top is really comfortable for preparing food (like chopping). This piece of furniture was one of the best buys of our household. As is usual with IKEA furniture, quite an effort in building is required. Book of the Year: Wisdom

This year’s selection Wisdom (Andrew Zuckerman) is rather peculiar. I like this book. I have given this book as a gift to number of people around me. I like the accompanying DVD (included in the book). Only thing is that I haven’t read it yet! Yet the idea in the making of this book is quite interesting. In a sense, the book is quite inspiring just to think about. Stationery of the Year: Pentel Slicci (gel pen)

Among many gel pens, Pentel’s Slicci proved to be most useful and handy this year. The body is slightly rounder, slimmer and shorter than the competitors so it feels less clunky in my pockets. It comes in three line thicknesses, 0.25, 0.3, and 0.4 mm. (I like 0.4 mm the best.) According to the product homepage, it was awarded International Stationery of the Year in 2007 (ISOT). Food Journalism of the Year: Jamie Oliver’s Ministry of Food Recipes Podcast

Our family, especially the kids, enjoyed watching Jamie Oliver‘s video podcast “Ministry of Food Recipes”, collection of 10 short videos (less than 10 minutes each) of Jamie talking and showing how he cooks. And when he cooks, it looks all so easy and simple, which encourages the viewer to try out him/herself. And this is what makes Jamie’s approach special. The point is not to show how great a cook he is but he visualizes how cooking can be fun to everyone. Jamie Oliver’s Podcast could be found on iTunes (but no direct link available). Breakfast Menu of the Year: Morning Set at Paris Croissant

It is not easy to find a bakery cafe that is open at 7 AM in Korea. Even Starbucks opens at as late as 8 AM in many locations here in Seoul. Thankfully, Paris Croissant, a prominent bakery chain store in Korea, opens at around 7 AM (might vary depending on locations). Not only do they open early, they serve quite decent breakfast set menu. You could get fresh salad, fried egg, yogurt, toast, bacon strips, and slices of tomato with either milk or fresh-brewed coffee in a large cup. The price used to be less than 5,000 Won after 10% discount using SK Telecom membership card. Sadly, following sharp price increases of commodities (sugar and flour) during mid-year, they could no longer serve the same menu at such price now. Documentary Film of the Year: Helvetica

I have loved typography since sophomore years (circa 1986). Helvetica (film, director Gary Hustwit) is a documentary film devoted to the art of typography and graphic design with the font Helvetica in the center of the story. The best part is that the interviews of graphic designers are shot inside their offices so that I can see their working environment. PBS has a mini-site for this film. The director’s sequel Objectified is also very interesting. (PBS mini-site for Objectified) Bath Product of the Year: 旅の宿

Product from Kracie (originally Kanebo), 旅の宿(Tabi no Yado) is a small package of powder you pour into hot bath water. I guess it is mostly sodium bicarbonate (baking soda) mixed with fragrance, coloring agents, and minerals. I do not know if it has any medicinal effect but it definitely makes you feel better. Highly recommended for your business trip. CD Album of the Year: Classical Kids Series

Earlier in 2009, my wife bought a box of Classical Kids Series, a collection of dramatized stories of famous composers. The whole family kept listening to it over and over again whenever we were in the car. Story on Vivaldi was great. My wife loves the story on Beethoven the most. Music of the Year: Beethoven No 7 2nd mov

This year, my family was introduced to many short segments of classical music thanks to Classical Kids album (mentioned above). Among those, Beethoven’s Symphony No. 7, 2nd Movement was the most touching piece of music to both me and my wife. The music was also adapted in Libera’s choir music Sacris Solemnis. runner up:

Web Service of the Year:

A twitter-like social networking service founded by Suman Park and his friends. I had the privilege of being close to their internal developments until the company was bought up by Naver, Korea’s largest online portal and search company. Software of the Year: Dropbox

Dropbox is a file synchronization service that allows me to work on my files both at home and at work without having to carry the USB memory. It can be used for collaborative file sharing in a small team. Storage upto 2GB is free. It feels faster than iDisk on MobileMe. The best part is that it supports most of the major platforms including Windows, Mac OS, and iPod Touch. Gadget of the Year: Canon IXUS 100IS

Very compact camera with nice image and video (HD) quality. Response is quick. Black color was out of stock when I went to buy it so I chose a gold color. I keep it on my belt holster all the time, perhaps not a coolest thing to do but very handy. Font of the Year: 네이버 나눔글꼴

Among many free Korean fonts, Naver’s Nanum fonts seems to be most versatile for display and text uses. The font has been updated in September 2009 to include Extra Bold types in its 2.0 version, a nice move indeed. Landmark Event of the Year: Relocation to Suwon

After living in Oksu-dong in Seoul for 9 years, my family moved to Suwon in Feb 2009. The purpose of the move was to live closer to the elementary school my eldest daughter was to attend. Now I have to spend about 3 hours every day for the commute on express bus and subway. Loss of the Year: C. S. Lewis Collection

Upon moving in Feb 2009(see above), I packed most of my C. S. Lewis book collections in a box and put it in a storage room. During the rainy season in the summer, rain leaked into the storage room and soaked some of the boxes on the floor. Black mildew took over my C. S. Lewis books. I had no other choice but to let go of my precious collections, including the 6-book set that my sister gave me in 1986. Annual Award Index

  1. Annual Award 2017
  2. Annual Award 2016
  3. Annual Award 2015
  4. Annual Award 2014
  5. Annual Award 2013
  6. Annual Award 2012
  7. Annual Award 2011
  8. Annual Award 2010
  9. Annual Award 2009
  10. Annual Award 2008
  11. *Annual Award 2005-2007는 파일을 분실했음

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