Monthly Archives: November 2003

Cairns

I am sitting in an internet cafe in Cairns. I left Auckland yesterday, and I was sad to go. It was entirely too brief a visit, and I am not looking forward to work and Guam on Monday morning. I guess I will spend the next two days cramming in as much fun as I can handle.

Excuse me, there’s things to do.

Wandering Around

Still here, sorry for the lack of posts. I am in New Zealand right now, soaking up the sights and sounds of a very cool country. I leave tomorrow for Australia, so my next post might be from there.

It’s been a blast here in Auckland and the North Island. I regret that I am only here for 10 days. It just isn’t enough time.

I’ve got about a billion photos to post here and a full write up. That will have to wait till later though.

Bon Voyage

I am heading out on vacation tonight. 10 days in New Zealand. I promise to take lots of pictures for show and tell. I might even find time to make a couple posts up here. I doubt it though.

True to form, a storm is brewing out east of Guam. It is expected to pass south of the island on Sunday, but the true direction of the storm is still sketchy. I hope it doesn’t hit. It will certainly make me anxious the next couple nights.

Speaking of anxious, my father had another hip replacement surgery on Monday. I was rather worried about him, he’s 82 now and major invasive surgery isn’t exactly easy. But I talked to my mom and he is doing fine. He even walked 20 feet today with help from the nurses. She expects him home on Friday. Good luck Dad!

That’s about it. I’ll try and make a couple posts when I am in Auckland.

Esta Gupa!

Did I Mention Wal-Mart Is Evil?

Commentary on The Wal-Mart Dilemma. Ever lower prices force US companies out of business, making more unemployed people that demand lower prices.

“People ask, ‘How can it be bad for things to come into the U.S. cheaply? How can it be bad to have a bargain at Wal-Mart?’ Sure, it’s held inflation down, and it’s great to have bargains,” says Dobbins. “But you can’t buy anything if you’re not employed. We are shopping ourselves out of jobs.”

Good Movie

Caught a few good movies the last couple days.

Last night I watched Zelig, a pretty funny Woody Allen flick.

Monday night I saw The Maltese Falcon, a classic Humphrey Bogart picture. I prefer The Big Sleep though. Mary Astor just doesn’t compare to Lauren Bacall.

Saturday late night I watched Spike Lee’s 25th Hour. Easily the best movie I’ve seen all month. It was a powerful film which followed a man’s last day in New York City before he starts a long prison term. While he doesn’t express much regret for his crimes, he certainly realizes this is it. He’s fucked up and the jig is up. I really enjoyed the entire movie; while it is kind of slow-paced the ending is a gut-wrencher. And Rosario Dawson – Whoa Nelly! The woman gives me palpitations.

Assorted Personal Notes

I got a new driver’s license this morning. It took almost 50 minutes to renew my license. I had to interact with 9 people at the DMV. It cost $5 for my new license.

No wonder the government has no money. It should have taken 10-15 minutes tops to get this done. Instead I had to tromp around from window to window, filling out a form, passing a form between enough people to field a baseball team, walking to another window, picking up another form, walking to another window… All those people pushing paper around, collecting a nice government paycheck and collecting my $5. Just killing time down at the DMV.


My dad had surgery on Monday. Another hip replacement – or I guess it’s actually a replacement of the hip replacement. I was anxious about him getting this surgery, but it sounds like he made it through okay and is recovering nicely. That’s a relief. Here’s to a quick recovery!

Palau Considers Casinos

Palau considers casinos as a way to develop the economy.

I am not to crazy about that idea. Guam is already a wreck, I don’t think adding casinos to the mix here will be a degradation of the community. But Palau is different. Palau is still relatively untouched, especially the island of Angaur. Let the monkeys keep Angaur, not every paradise needs to be paved over with a parking lot.

Kasparov Wins in Computer Chess Match

Garry Kasparov defeated X3D Fritz to even the series of matches. Commentators said the computer made a series of ‘silly’ moves after Kasparov boxed in the computer’s options. Apparently computer chess programs have a difficult time making quality moves when the game is a confined, defensive contest instead of an open, aggressive battle. I never knew that.

The Weekender

I briefly laid out Thursday and Friday night’s activities yesterday. It was a busy weekend, with lots of interesting events.

Saturday night I popped into the KPRG member appreciation party at Da ‘Ranch in Harmon. I only stayed for a half hour, mostly due to a dearth of funds in my wallet. My generosity gets the best of me at times. That was the first time I’d been inside that space since the P.U.B. microbrewery shut down several years ago. Boy, I really miss that place. They made some wicked brews up there – I got shitfaced there many a night.

Anyway, that was a brief sojourn out for the weekend. Sunday I worked most of the day up in Tamuning, then spent about three hours at the Laundromat on the way home. Sunday night I went to the Hilton for Jazz for Wishes, a benefit concert with Larry Franquez and Sadao Watanabe, a huge jazz star in Japan. It was excellent – I just wish I could have stayed for the entire concert. I had to come back home and put my nose back to the grindstone. Too much work to do before Monday.

I spend way too much time in front of a computer. I need a vacation…

Support Your Local Library

Found this interesting little tidbit about how authors and publishers are blaming libraries for a slump in book sales. Hmm…

In a related note, I got a library card this weekend. Stopped off at the Nieves Flores library in Hag�t�a. I let my last one expire a few years ago. Why? Because the library sucks. Seriously. I should have taken some pictures. The new acquisitions section was about 12 books, all of them automobile manuals. The periodicals are all about 3 to 4 years old, there’s no money for subscriptions. The air conditioning is busted so the library has this funky, musty odor; and the computers don’t work. The place is wreck. But then I am not surprised. Our elected officials are more interested in fattening their own pockets than creating a stable, thriving community. One look at the plummeting test scores, crumbling infrastructure and reduced services should reveal that. Sunday’s opinion page of the PDN lays out what is wrong and how to fix it.