Archive for September, 2003
Yingling set to return from the Philippines this week to face an indictment for charging personal expenses to an airport credit card.
A former co-worker passed away last week. He was a good man.
So the flying saucer that landed on Soldier Field hosts its first NFL game tonight. Let me say it – it’s ugly. Butt ugly. And it sits atop the carcass of hallowed Soldier Field, a profane mating of architectural polar opposites.
Scientists are studying the reef ecosystem at Anatahan. The island was the site of a massive volcanic eruption earlier this year, and the ash cloud destroyed a vibrant, thriving coral reef.
Scientists from NOAA recently surveyed the damage to the reef. They are fascinated by the opportunity to study the rebirth of a coral reef. The coral supported a thriving community before the May 2003 eruption, and scientists can now observe the change from desolate wasteland to thriving community over the course of decades.
Worm diggers in Maine are upset about a planned worm aquaculture farm that could spell the end of their line of work.
Better the devil you know than the devil you don’t I guess. I know I wouldn’t be fighting to hard to protect my job if it involved rooting around in tidal mudflats for big, slimy worms.
Well, it had to happen sooner or later; my fantasy football squad stumbled this week and lost for the first time. I am now 3-1 on the season. It was a tough week for my roster, while my opponent’s players finally got their act together and posted some points.
Randy Moss played terrible the first three weeks of the season, and since both he and Culpepper were listed as doubtful, I benched him for Laveranues Coles, arguably the best receiver in football this year. What happens? Moss goes off and scores three touchdowns and racks up hundred of yards receiving, while Coles has a lackluster day with no TD’s. Damn. That’s why I hate Randy Moss/Terrell Owens type of players. They are too damn sporadic. They only show up to play every three or four games. I still think we got the best receiver corps in our league with Randy Moss, Coles, Santana Moss, and Dangling Chad Johnson. I only wish all players were like the Chad. That dude is like money in the bank man. Solid points every week, guaranteed.
More troubling are my travails at running back. Portis is proving to be too frail to last an entire game, and Corey Dillon is a wuss that won’t stay in an entire game. Our backups aren’t much help either, the anemic Anthony Thomas and LaBrandon Toefield, a rookie riding the pine until Fred Taylor gets injured over in Jacksonville. Not much. I attribute this week’s loss to our decision to start Portis even though he was doubtful against the Lions. Our reasoning, even a single quarter of play from Portis is worth more than an entire game of Anthony Thomas in the backfield. Little did we know that Dillon would take himself out of the game – again. Ugh. Our two starting running backs produced two fantasy points. I am not pleased.
The other positions were solid this week. Doug Jolley snagged a touchdown, and Jeff Wilkins booted three field goals. Our second string defense, the Jaguars, contributed some points during Tampa’s bye week. That’s all we needed ‘em to do. And while Maddox is struggling to hit his receivers for touchdowns, Matt Hasselbeck is back in action next week against the Packers. I’m hoping for a shoot out.
The supplemental draft is coming in a couple weeks, and I am already scheming on how to bolster the running game. It is certainly the most vexing part of our lineup. Too bad the pickings are pretty slim, we might have to engineer a trade if things don’t pan out.
The Department of Parks and Recreation announced the closure of four major facilities today. The departments budget was cut in half and DPR director Joe Duenas says he has no choice but to close the Guam Sports Complex in Dededo, the Hag�t�a Swimming Pool, the Hag�t�a Tennis Courts and Paseo Stadium. He also announced that 50 of the department’s 83 employees will lose their jobs.
Sounds like Parks and Rec is about to become just Parks. It sucks, but this is probably just the beginning. GovGuam needs to cut back on services and become a leaner organization. It just sucks that the things getting cut are the good things a government should provide; parks, a swimming pool, tennis courts. They are not critical services, but they make the community a better place. I woouldn’t be surprised if the Public Library is next on the chopping block, followed by the Guam Museum.
Slowly the quality of life dwindles on Guam.
Elia Kazan died Sunday at age 94. Acclaimed filmmaker and director, Kazan was a controversial figure in Hollywood, especially after he appeared before the House Un-American Activities Committee and fingered several prominent people in the film industry as communists.
The week at work was an interesting one. The arbitration with GovGuam happens this week, so most of my time was spent gathering data to support our position. It was a pretty busy week.
The axe dropped on Friday. A round of layoffs struck our office and there was lots of crying amongst the survivors. Of course we couldn’t see the unfortunate, they were dismissed immediately, and not allowed to mingle with the employees. Their cubicles sat empty all day, a silent reminder of the recently departed. Their personal effects still littered the cubes. They could return on Saturday to collect their things, under the watchful eye of a human resources representative and a security guard. Seperate the living from the dead, the wheat from the chaff.
Time for a quick scan of some recent headlines.
- Marilyn Manibusan off to prison – Former senator and Guam Territorial Land Use Commissioner Marilyn Manibusan departed island this week to begin her sentence in federal prison. She was sentenced to five years and 11 months for extortion, money laundering, wire fraud, and bankruptcy fraud during her tenure at the Guam Territorial Land Use Commission.
- Gerry Yingling indicted – former Guam International Airport administrator Gerry Yingling was indicted this week, after a string of stories detailing further abuse and misuse of travel by airport officials and others in the previous administration. Authorities were still searching for Yingling yesterday, and suspected he might be in the Philippines.
- Former Parks and Recreation official indicted – Rounding out the trifecta of former government officials indicted or imprisoned this week, Franklin Herrero was indicted this week on charges that he took funds from the Department of Parks and Recreation and deposited them into the employee’s association bank account.
- Power rates to go up, water rates to go up, test scores to fall – May you live in interesting times.
- FY 2004 budget railroaded through – legislators shot the new budget through to the governor last week, and basically extorted him to sign the budget by tying it to an airport bond refinancing measure that would expire that very day.
- Banned coach discovered at football practice – Loring Cruz, banned for life from coaching high school football because of a player’s death a decade ago, was found at practice sessions for the George Washington Geckos this week. The incident sparked a firestorm of controversy in the local media, especially after he was caught on videotape. It sure looked like coaching to me.
- Guam man arrested in Chicago for luring underage girl over internet – A Guam man was arrested in Chicago last week for planning a sexual rendezvous with an underage girl he met over the internet.
-And that was the week that was.
It is raining like mad outside right now. It’s been raining for over a week. I forget what the sun looks like. The cloudy weather and rain keep me from trying out my new telescope, and that really irritates me.
Tried to fire up my DreamCast tonight to play a video game; it’s acting crazy. I think the recent spate of lightning is to blame. Dammit. Now what do I do with all those stupid games? Buy another DreamCast? I don’t think so…
UPDATE: It seems to be working now. I unplugged it for about a half hour and the problem is gone. Whew.
APOD has a great photo montage today of the similarity in shape between hurricane Isabel and M51, the Whirlpool Galaxy. It is eerie the way shapes repeat themselves in nature. The same spiral can be found in certain seashells, flowers and even cauliflower.
Hey, here’s a handy guide to the universe. An Atlas of The Universe starts with our near stellar neighbors like Alpha Centauri and Sirius, then proceeds to show our galaxy, the local group of galaxies, the Virgo supercluster, and finally the entire known universe. Wow, that’s a big map.
A surprisingly lucid letter to the editor appeared in yesterday’s PDN. GovGuam has far too many officials. Boy, you can say that again. Mr. Stoianoff makes a good point about the bloated size of GovGuam, but some of the increased size is necessary. Guam is not a city, it is a self governing territory in a compact, semi-urban environment. Thus GovGuam needs to address the needs of both a city government and a state government, plus police its borders, manage a deep water port, and operate independent utility agencies. It’s a tall order, and it needs a larger government than what is required to run a city.
All that aside, I do agree with Mr. Stoianoff about the bloat. Vice Mayors? C’mon. 15 Senators? Really… Here’s a compromise, reduce the senators to 11, and have them represent actual districts instead of being senators at large. Reduce the mayors to 11 as well, and have them handle the day to day affairs in these districts. The two elected officials, senator and mayor, can work in tandem for the betterment of their district. They can even share one enlarged office staff between them.
Largest Arctic Ice Shelf Crumbles off Ellesmere Island.
The Ward Hunt Ice Shelf broke up with Canada after 3,000 years. Sources cite irreconcilable differences between the massive ice sheet and the North American continent. While not blaming the split up on global warming, scientists did cautiously mention North America’s 150 year temperature upswing, which happens to coincide with the continent’s flirtation with industrialization.
Diving right back into the polar dating scene, remnants of the Ward Hunt Ice Shelf were recently seen with Greenland. A spokesman for the Ice Shelf would neither confirm nor deny these sightings.