Tag Archives: clean

Dog vs. Skunk

I find that cleaning up after a skunk attack is not unlike cleaning up after a murder. You have to be meticulous; a single drop of skunk oil can cause immeasurable suffering. Ask me how I know.


Cleaning up a room after a skunk spray.

Notice the absence of rugs, the candles burning, the mop, the electric floor scrubber, and the fan. In hindsight, the candles and the fan were like bringing a cup of water to a forest fire.


My dog apparently mistook a visiting skunk for her arch-nemesis, Rocky the Raccoon. Rocky steals her food, digs through the trash and stares at her through the window with that smug look that all raccoons have. So when the dog saw a small black animal in the back yard, she pounced.

I never heard spray, but it didn’t take long for me to understand what happened. The dog ran directly into the living room and slid face-first onto the (expensive) rug. A second later, she was rubbing the other side of her face across a different rug. I noticed the long oily streaks on the rug at the same time that the overwhelming smell hit me.

Step 1 – Lock the dog outside.

Dog was sprayed by a skunk.

This is her new home for the foreseeable future.

Step 2 – Use paper towels to soak up oil from the fur.

Soak up skunk oil with paper towel.

She was happy to have someone rub the oil away from her eyes.

Step 3 – Remove everything that she touched. EVERYTHING!

Step 4 – Wash the dog.


Washing a german shepherd dog after a skunk spray.

By the third wash, she was over it.

Step 5 – Shower.

A day later and the smell is starting to fade. I still get whiffs of it a few times an hour. I’m beginning to locate the sources. My briefcase was too close to the action, so it still smells like skunk. My dad, who flew to china 8 hours after this episode, said that his watch band soaked up some of the oil.

After some research, we learned that tomato soup does nothing to get rid of skunk smell. There is, however, a recipe that is said to do wonders. It’s a mix of baking soda, 3% hydrogen peroxide and dish soap. If it works, I’ll be sure to follow up here and let you know.

Have you ever had a run in with a skunk? Were you able to get rid of the smell? Leave a comment and tell me about your experience.

Until next time.


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That’s Just Gross – Top 5

Koreans take immense pride in the fact that, over the course of about 30 years, the country dug itself out of poverty and into its current place as one of the world’s 20 richest nations. And they should be proud – their meteoric rise to world power is unparalleled.

Despite the fact that life in Korea is nearly as convenient as life in the US, there are some third-world tendencies that haven’t been updated  as quickly as the nation’s technology and infrastructure. The thing that freaks me out the most on a day-to-day basis in Korea is the general ignorance of (or unwillingness to adhere to) basic sanitation rules.



5) Hand washing

This is not just a Korean problem. It’s one that bothers me in the US also. It is rare for me to see a Korean man wash his hands properly after using the restroom. Soap is rare in Korean bathrooms, and seldom used when available.

4) Coughing / Sneezing

When Koreans cough or sneeze, they simply don’t pay attention to where they are aiming. This is arguably no worse than coughing into one’s hands, as many older Americans were taught to do, but it’s still disgusting. I have been sneezed and coughed on by just as many adults as kids, and I work in an elementary school.

Source: Tripadvisor

Source: Tripadvisor

3) Food Cleanliness

I have had several issues with food cleanliness in Korea. At a restaurant, I showed a waitress a hair in my food, and she just laughed. I got a similar reaction when I showed a fellow teacher a dead bug in some food served at school. Sure, there’s no way to prevent the occasional contaminant in food, but their attitude toward food contamination left me a little weary.

2) Wet Napkins

When the weather is hot, I love wiping my face with the wet cloth napkins that are handed out with silverware at many Korean restaurants (not to be confused with disposable sanitary wet napkins). They are usually rolled neatly neatly and packed in plastic sleeves, which left me with the impression that they are clean. After watching me wipe my mouth with a wet napkin several times, a Korean friend told me that many Korean restaurants soak the napkins in a bucket of water after they are used and roll them up again for the next customer. He worked in a restaurant where the same water was often used all day for hundreds of customers.

Source: Sam Hurt

Source: Sam Hurt

1) Plates and Dishes

I began paying attention to the treatment of dirty plates and dishes after one of my high school students told me about his experience working at a hotel in Daegu. To save time, his boss instructed him to wipe off dirty drinking glasses with the dirty shower towels to save time while cleaning a room. Since then, I’ve noticed a couple of restaurants with awful sanitation practices. The worst was a local bar where a waitress cleaned dirty glasses by rinsing them under the tap and using her unwashed hands to scrub the rim.

Although these unsanitary practices bother me more than the average (well-adjusted) person, I think they should be at least a little disturbing to everyone. This shouldn’t stop you from visiting Korea, but it should be a reminder to always keep hand-sanitizer close.

Until next time.


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There’s a Toothpaste for That

Don’t like math?  There’s a toothpaste for that…

That’s right folks, Korea has finally overtaken the US in the technology race.  They are now selling “Anti-Calculus” toothpaste.  I went to the grocery store last night and ran across this little gem.  If you notice in the top left corner, there is a small LG emblem.  I know for a fact that there is at least one English speaker over at LG.  I feel like they should run new box designs by her before they distribute them.

Or maybe this product actually makes calculus go away.  If that’s the case, then I’ll be starting an export company for high school students in the US.  I’m gonna be rich!

Seriously, though, I must have missed something – right?

Until next time.


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Bring Your Toothbrush

The weirdest part of my workday is brushing my teeth in the office with a bunch of other teachers.  As soon as we return from lunch, my office-mates and I bust out the toothbrushes, gather around a big sink in the back of the office, and scrub our fangs.  I managed to score cool points with a couple of the teachers because I brought my toothbrush on the first day, which they did not expect from a westerner.

It’s already been a week and I still can’t get used to the idea of personal hygiene being a public thing.  You can’t see it in the picture above, but there are rolls of toilet paper sitting on the window sill.  They don’t keep toilet paper in the bathroom, so you might as well announce it to the world when you grab a roll and head for the hallway.  Not cool, Korea.

Despite the awkwardness of brushing teeth in public, I definitely like brushing my teeth in the middle of the day.  Kimchi breath can do some serious damage.  I try not to talk to anyone immediately after lunch for that reason.  I contend that Korean food puts Italian food to shame in terms of breath destruction.  I think I would have had a free pass if I did walk around with bad breath, though.  I heard from one of the other teachers that her coteacher thought westerners don’t brush their teeth.

I guess my fresh breath and I need to get back to work.  I was given two new textbooks today and told that I will be teaching a “special class” from 5-8pm on Mondays and Tuesdays, which means two 13-hour days each week.  I don’t know what “special class” means, and nobody was able to tell me the age group of my students, so I better be prepared for anything.

Until next time.


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