Hazard Fraught Tools

This post on Kevin Kelly’s Cool Tools blog is the funniest thing I’ve stumbled across in a long time. I sent this on Whats App to somebody the other day and he thought it was an actual advertising circular I was sending him.

My favorite? Either the 8 function electronic multi-tool (AC/DC current tester, meat thermometer, gaydar, searchable bible, paternity tester and corn on the cob holder) or the 12 hp, 4500 watt noise and fume generator (“take it camping and destroy the peace and quiet of everyone around you!”)

Wood S Lot

I was saddened last week to learn about the passing of Mark Woods in February 2017. He was the incredibly prolific blogger who created my absolute favorite site on the internet, Wood S Lot. I was shocked to realize that almost two years have elapsed since his last post. His posts were filled with more literature, poems and art than I could ever delve into in a reasonable amount of time. The sheer amount of work that went into this blog boggles my mind. Years and years and years of incredibly dense and obscure culture. It is with regret that I realize far too much time passed before I checked into his weblog last week, and never again shall I find new content on his pages.

Thank you for the years and years of culture and art you brought into my life.

Boonie Stomps

Here are the boonie stomps offered by the Guam Boonie Stompers for the next couple months. I will post these on the calendar when I get the chance…

07 APR Sella Bay Medium 4 hours for 1.5 miles We hike to the scenic bay to snorkel and explore the old Spanish bridge, Spanish oven, and ancient chamorro latte. Bring: 2 liters water, hiking boots, swim suit, snorkel gear, gloves, insect repellent, sun screen, sunglasses, lunch, and camera.

14 APR Hilaan, Lost Pond & Shark’s Hole Medium 3 hours for 2.6 miles We hike north from Tanguisson Beach and snorkel at Shark’s Hole of the water is calm, also visit the fresh water pool for a cool swim in the jungle behind the beach. Bring: 2 liters water, hiking boots, swim suit, snorkel gear, gloves, sun screen, sunglasses, insect repellent, lunch, and camera. Special conditions: Hiking over some rough rocks and in the water.

21 APR Upper Sigua and Alutom Falls Medium 4 hours for 2.5 miles We hike to two cooling and scenic waterfalls in central Guam. Bring: 3 liters water, hiking boots, gloves, swimsuit, sunglasses, sun screen, insect repellent, lunch, and camera. Special conditions: Steep slopes, mud, and climbing with a rope.

28 APR Umatac to Toguan Easy 3 hours for 1.2 miles This is a cleanup hike. We enjoy this scenic coastal walk while cleaning up the coastline. At Toguan Bay, we can snorkel or scuba dive. Bring: 2 liters water, hiking boots, swim suit, snorkel gear, sun screen, sunglasses, insect repellent, lunch, and camera.

05 MAY Mt. Sasalaguan Difficult 6 hours for 4.2 miles We hike through ridgeline of southern mountains. At the summit, you will be rewarded with views of Cocos Island and the neighboring Mt Schroeder and Mt Finansanta. Bring: 4 liters water, hiking boots, gloves, sun screen, insect repellant, lunch, and camera. Special conditions: Swordgrass, little shade, a lot of climbing, and a seriously long hike.

12 MAY Talofofo Caves Medium 3 hours for 0.8 miles We explore the extensive cave system overlooking Talofofo Bay including Window Rock. Bring: flashlights, 2 liters water, hiking boots, gloves, long pants, sun screen, insect repellant, lunch, camera, and a flashlight. Special condition: Crawling in caves.

19 MAY Asiga Cave Difficult 4 hours for 1.5 miles We visit an isolated southeastern wilderness area containing cliffs, dry caves, and two wet caves with underground pools. Bring: 2 liters water, hiking shoes, gloves, flashlight, sun screen, insect repellent, lunch, and camera. Special conditions: Walking on rough rocks, climbing in caves, mosquitoes, and scratchy vegetation.

26 MAY Ritidian to Falcona Difficult 5 hours for 6 miles We hike the long sandy beach south from Ritidian Point to secluded Falcona Beach, ending at the remains for the old pirate ship. Fast hikers have the option of trying for Double Reef. Bring: 4 liters water, wet shoes, swim suit, sunglasses, sun screen, lunch, and camera. Special conditions: Some walking in water, a long walk in sand, and no pets.

02 JUN Southwest Coast Difficult 6 hours for 7.5 miles We hike south from Agat to Umatac along the coast, passing by several scenic bays that are great for swimming and snorkeling. Bring: 3 liters water, wet shoes, swim suit, snorkel gear, gloves, sun screen, sunglasses, lunch, and camera. Special conditions: A long hike in the sun over, sand, rocks, mud, and partly in the water.

09 JUN Tarzan Swim Hole Medium 4 hours for 2 miles We journey to a remote swimming hole to cool off. Bring: 3 liters water, hiking boots, gloves, swimsuit, sunglasses, sun screen, insect repellent, lunch, and camera. Special conditions: Possibly slippery slopes and mud.

16 JUN Southeast Coast Difficult 6 hours for 5 miles We hike along this remote Asiga coastline with a few stops to cool off in the water. Bring: 4 quarts water, hiking boots, water shoes, swim suit, gloves, insect repellent, sun screen, sunglasses, lunch, and camera. Special conditions: Long stretches of walking in water, over rough rocks, no shade, and possible hazardous surf.

23 JUN Gun to Tanguisson Medium 4 hours for 1.8 miles We pass below the imposing cliffs of Two Lovers Point, visit latte, and explore the coastline with a cooling dip in the ocean. Snorkeling if waves are low. Bring; 2 liters water, hiking boots, swimsuit, water shoes, snorkeling gear, gloves, insect repellent, sun screen, sunglasses, lunch, and camera. Special conditions: Some walking in water and over rough rocks.

30 JUN Option 1: Mt. Tenjo to Maguagua Medium 4 hours for 3.7 miles or Option 2: Mt. Tenjo to Tarzan Falls Difficult 5 hours for 5 miles We hike from Mt. Tenjo to one of two waterfalls. Along the way we will see some of the remnants of the defensive positions taken up by U.S. forces at the time of WWI and WWII. Bring: 3 to 4 liters of water, hiking boots, long pants, long sleeved shirt, gloves, sunscreen, sunglasses, insect repellent, lunch, swimsuit, and camera. Special conditions: deep swordgrass, steep rocky slopes, possible climbing with a rope and long distances.

Updates

I cannot image why anyone would still follow this blog. It is as crusty and stale as a bag of potato chips left in the trunk of my car for a week. But let’s roll with some updates…

  • My baby girl turned 10 in February. Wow time flies. Seems like only yesterday – or maybe a dozen blog posts ago – that she was a newborn and I was a anxious new dad. Now she is a vibrant girl, full of curiosity about the world and her place in it.
  • My son turned 7 last Sunday. Again tempus fugit. He’s not a little guy anymore, he is a full blown boy, rampaging the neighborhood in full on boy mood (wheelies on his bike, crazy antics on the trampoline, basketball, running around with his friends, climbing trees).
  • My brother passed away right before the new year after a long battle with cancer. Though he was 15 years my senior, he was a great big brother, full of life and laughter. He lived larger than life. It seems like I spent most of the 80’s as his indentured servant, conscripted into labor as he rehabbed one house after another. I miss him terribly.
  • Speaking of home improvement projects, seems like I have been spending every down moment over the past few months working around the house. Started with the exterior painting, then the interior painting. Now it’s the doors and closets that are being replaced, then the exterior doors and then painting the roof with the elastomeric paint to reflect the sunshine. Oh, and put in new refrigerator and a new air conditioner, and enclosed the back laundry.

On The Old Tokaido Road

While not quite the same as getting your kicks on Route 66, my high school comrade David Neale has been attempting to walk the Tokaido, an ancient road from Tokyo to Kyoto in Japan. Check out his travel log here at 2 Guyjin. Chock full of great photos.

Color Guam Grand Opening

On Saturday, September 24, Color Guam celebrated its’ grand opening at the new art studio in historic Hagåtña. Free ceramic painting for everyone was a big draw; it was the most crowded I’d ever seen the studio. Throw in some face painting and balloon animals for the kiddies, add a dash of pupus and drinks, and a great time was had by all. The day was capped with a painting class of Sirena by the seashore. A great time was had by all and I am looking forward to many more great things in the months ahead for Color Guam.

Here are some pictures of the event; for more photos surf over to the Color Guam website and click on Photos.

Come on down and check out the studio; it is located across from the Terlaje Building in Hagåtña, between the Legislature and the Julale Shopping Center. Check the map below:

Taliea Featured on KUAM News Extra

Taliea appeared on the nightly news again last night. A camera crew came out to our new location in Hagåtña, the Color Guam studios for Art & Entertainment. Here is the link to the page on KUAM.

Taliea Strohmeyer helps others through painting.

More on our new painting studio and other exciting events in the coming days. And let me invite everyone to the grand opening on Saturday, September 24, 2016. There will be food, music and entertainment for all ages at the studio, and an opportunity to paint Sirena and the Sunset!

Testing My Jetpack

Adding a contact form… hmmm not working for some reason. The popup does not load completely. Worked fine on Taliea’s site though…

Update – it works at home. Must be the firewall at work blocking the popup form from Jetpack

How about a PayPal button?




That seems to work

Puppies!!

We got puppies! Three little cuties, born two weeks ago.

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Puppies in a basket:
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Lorelei is in love with these little guys…

Ugh Living On Guam

One thing you learn living on Guam – buy stuff in bulk. Things can be in the store one day, two days, a month, and then just disappear forever. And nothing but bemused looks from the clerks in the store.

I remember once I went to the grocery store looking for a particular product, I believe it was hummus. It wasn’t on the shelf anymore. I asked the guy stocking the shelves and he actually told me that yeah, they had a hard time keeping that product in stock, so they just stopped ordering it. Huh?? Something is selling like hotcakes, so you just decide to not bother with re-ordering? That makes no sense.

So we bought this fish tank kit back in December for the kids; fish tank, gravel, chemical drops, filter packs and the pump. It was pretty cool, and the kids enjoyed the fish we got them, 3 regular platy’s and a swordtail platy.

Well the charcoal filter packs are only designed for two weeks of use, so after the sampler 2 pack was gone, I went to the pet store to pick up a couple more. And of course they didn’t have the replacement filters. Spoke with the store owner and a couple guys at the store and they suggest I just purchase a rival’s filter, cut it to size with a scissors and that would work just great. And they would order the actual filter I was looking for, since they were selling a lot of that aquarium kit.

Suffice to say that replacement filter hack did not work out too well. The pump got clogged up since I was using the wrong filter that didn’t really fit the housing. After a couple weeks of that, I pulled the pump cleaned it out and ordered the filter from Amazon. That fixed things, though the pump was rather anemic after that incident. The pump struggled on until last week, when it pooped out and would not start up again.

I visited the pet store again today, looking to get a new pump and some filters. After all, that incident with the filters happened in early January. It’s late March, they should have gotten their order delivered. Yeah, that order never really happened. No filters, no replacement pumps, not even for the rival brand who’s filter pack I still have lying around. Sheesh. Only option was the the gigantic jumbo size pump of a third competitor, the kind of thing for a huge tank like my brother owns.

Hopped on Amazon back at my computer. Cool beans they have everything I need, pumps, filters, even replacement drops and whatnot. Order up – and DENIED. The pump cannot be delivered to my location on Guam, perhaps I could ship it to another location in the States? Same thing with eBay, where I could probably buy a human kidney and unicorn horns if I looked hard enough. Nobody wants to ship to Guam.

The swordtail platy died last night. We are down to 1 fish left because that swordtail was a mean bastard and harassed the other fish mercilessly until they all died but one. I am guessing that poor little guy’s days are numbered too now, especially since the water is getting murkier by the day. A casualty of our island’s poor logistics.

Superbowl?

Yeah, funny thing about living on Guam. I just can’t get into watching the Superbowl on a Monday morning. In years past I would go to one of these Superbowl parties at local hotels and restaurants. And of course friend’s parties. But I just can’t get my head around drinking beers on a Monday morning, let along eating ‘game food’ – guess I am turning into a fuddy duddy.

Get Your Shop On At Color Guam

A few people have asked me about getting a copy of the the Color Guam book for the holidays. Here’s a rundown right now:

  • Bestseller Books
  • Payless Markets; Oka, Mangilao, Dededo, Agana Shopping Center, Sinajana
  • A&L Crafts at Chamorro Village
  • GUMA Gallery at Chamorro Village
  • DFS T Galleria
  • JP Superstore
  • National Office Supply
  • Bon Voyage Stores
  • Faith Book Store
  • Navy Exchange
  • Playport
  • Two Lover’s Point Gallery

Additionally, our online store at Color Guam is open 24/7. If you are off island, this is easily your best bet for getting a copy of the book. And if you are on Guam, save yourself the hassle of traffic and crowds and shop online with Color Guam.

9 Views of Guam

Huge props and congratulations to my wife for her art show!

9 Views of Guam opened on Friday December 4th at the CAHA art gallery in Hagåtña. Taliea and two other artists, Jessie Snyder and Amber Word, took to the social media sites several months ago and asked for people to submit their favorite locations on Guam. Each artist would then create a piece inspired by that location. Nine locations were requested, so the show features 27 original works of art.


The Pacific Daily News featured the show last Friday.

Power Power Power

So the load shedding stopped midweek. GPA managed to get two generators online, so load shedding was not necessary.

Looks like my washer did not survive the ordeal though. The spin cycle is not working, and the repair guy says this is something that can happen with power outages. And of course the parts to fix it are not available. Great.

Yep, It’s Load Shedding Time

Just to confirm my last post…

Yes, Guam is in the midst of load shedding again. This was a common theme throughout the 90’s on Guam, with months and months of load shedding. At the time, my response was to just stay late at the office (with backup generators) then hit a couple bars and not come home until later at night when the demand for power was less and load shedding was over. Not really an option this time around. There are kids to be fed and bathed now, homework to be done, laundry, dishes, etc.

Sunday night GPA took a couple more generators off line and finally owned up to the situation. Instead of just bonking out neighborhoods at random they have started publishing schedules for load shedding. Back in the 90’s they were terrible at keeping to their schedules, and it would appear they still have difficulties. My power went out at about 10:15 last night, so I went around and secured the house, brushed my teeth and headed to bed. As soon as I laid down however, the power came back on about 30 minutes later.

I am sure this is just going to cause havoc with my appliances and the computer, tv, etc. Time to just keep those things off indefinitely and hunker down with flashlights and candles. And here I was so excited about the new solar farm coming online. Maybe it’s time to talk to Pacific Solar or Micronesia Renewable Energy about outfitting my house for solar power. Both these outfits offer affordable plans and basically take the place of GPA as the power utility. They take the excess power harvested from my rooftop (like during the day when I am at work and all that sunlight is shining on my empty house) and sell it to GPA. Guess I should make a phone call and find out if they can help with this load shedding situation.

Power’s Out

is this a return to load shedding?  Sitting around in the dark with two screaming kids is no fun. 

I thought the days of load shedding were behind us, but GPA had a catastrophic fire at the Cabras Power Plant on August 30.

Nut Graph

Listening to Marketplace this morning on the way into work with the kids. Kai Ryssdal was talking about the Federal Reserve not raising interest rates, and I swear here said “For those of you in a hurry, here’s the nut grab, the Fed is not raising rates now.”

Huh? Did he just say ‘nut grab?’ While that would certainly get my attention, I have never heard that turn of phrase before, let alone coming from a broadcast radio announcer on public radio for chrissakes. Doesn’t seem like something that would get past the censors.

Well a little investigation – basically downloading the mp3 file and listening again and again – I think I just misheard him and he really said ‘nut graph.’ And while I still have never heard of nut graph before, Wikipedia does tell me this is actually a term used by journalists. It is a contraction of ‘nutshell paragraph,’ the leading paragraph of a story that encapsulates the essential information in a short sentence or two. Okay, that makes much more sense.

Still I like ‘nut grab.’ Seems more visceral and on point. Actually reminds me of another malaprop I had back in 2004 or so, when I heard about the governor of Iowa was running for president or might be a vice presidental candidate. I swear I heard his name was Tom Ballsack the first couple times it was mentioned on the radio.

Hmm, nut grab, ballsack… I sense a certain Freudian trend in my malaprops.