Monthly Archives: March 2005

Coots At The Post Office – A Lethal Combination

Maybe I’m just unlucky. About three weeks ago I went the the Agaña (sorry, Hagåtña) post office to collect a package. For some inscrutable reason the Postal Service only had one clerk working the counter. I stood in line for 45 minutes waiting to pick up a package, along with about 50 other people.

Now the wait is going to be long whenever there’s only one dude working the counter, but this line was particularly stymied by one old man. Hell, if ever there was a definitive ‘coot‘ this guy was it. Old salty sea Navy veteran, washed up on Guam’s shores and looking like Robinson Crusoe. Wiry build, wild white hair, bushy white beard, scrimshaw tattoos all over his arms, cracked look in his eye… in other words, a crazy ass old coot. Mind you, not the deranged homeless type of coot, just a stubborn old fart with too much time on his hands.

That old coot tied up that poor clerk almost the entire time I was there, complaining about how some tires got shipped or something. Who the hell ships truck tires? Old coots apparently, though they don’t like paying the postage due when them big ass tires arrive. He yelled, cussed and pleaded with the beleaguered clerk for 30 long minutes while nobody else got served. I was pretty damn steamed, hell everybody was pissed off in that line – just because this old fart’s got nothing better to do than harangue postal workers doesn’t mean I need to waste all afternoon waiting for my package.

Partly it’s his fault for being an old coot, but mostly I blame the Post Office for only having one clerk working the counter during lunch time rush. Hell, I was all excited when a second clerk slowly came forward, assembled his materials, logged onto his terminal, counted his cash, set the date on his postmark and finally started seeing customers. Finally two clerks to handle this unruly mob. Of course as soon as the old coot was finished ranting and wandered off in a disgruntled fog the original clerk promptly shut down his terminal and walked away. Now that’s customer service for ya baby. Fuck those people, I’m a lazy mope with a federal job. Think I’ll go take a nap now…

Fast forward to this morning. I received another package slip in yesterday’s mail, so I stopped off at the post office to collect my new booty. And who’s standing in line three people ahead of me? Crazy old coot! I know this is going to be ugly and sure enough, when he gets his turn at the counter off he pulls out a oily sheaf of documents and starts in on the hapless clerk about how the post master needs to apologize and he better yadda yadda yadda or else he was gonna write a letter yakkity yak yak.

Mercifully there was another clerk at the counter so I was able to bypass the coot and get my newest toy, a Garmin eTrex Legend GPS from REI. Now I know that the office in Tamuning is a 13°29’45.5″ N and 144°46’54.8″ E and 49 meters above sea level. So I guess my new toy more than makes up for the inconvenience of old coots.

Gasoline Hits New High

The price of gasoline hit a new high on Guam; $2.56 a gallon at Shell stations today. Mobil and 76 are expected to match that price today.

I sure am glad the oil companies are reporting record profits. It makes me all warm inside when I realize how thoroughly big business is putting the screws on us all. Sometimes I just wish Armageddon would hurry up and get here already. I’m totally ready to go beyond Thunderdome, right out into the Forbidden Zone, riding the waste lands, scavenging for ‘go’ juice.

Oh wait, less than two weeks ago I laid out how that Collapse isn’t going to happen. So I guess I’ll just have to put up with getting reamed in the pocketbook for the foreseeable future. Now I know why folks long for a fiery judgment day, so big business can get screwed over the same way they do it to the little people.

Gloomy Monday

We’re sitting on the edge of a tropical storm today, so the island is shrouded in clouds and light rain. A good day to eat some soup, and that’s just what I did for dinner. Nothing like good hot soup on a rainy day.

I’ve been monkeying around with hard drives the last few days. I got a few hard drives lying around the house, mainly a 120 GB Seagate drive I bought last year for a project that never really got started. What with my new iBook G4 (I did mention that purchase, right?) I thought it would be good to put that hard drive to use. Especially since I’ve used up almost the entire 60 GB internal hard drive ripping my entire CD collection into iTunes. That extra disk space can come in handy.

A little shopping on eBay and I had not one, but two hard drive enclosures with USB 2.0 and Firewire on the way. They took a while to arrive, but the finally showed up last week Wednesday. The 120 GB drive is now purring away happily, split into three partitions for files and backups. The other enclosure is home to the 20 GB drive I yanked from my long dead Dell Celeron Windows PC. I wanted some files off that 20 GB drive, mainly the bookmarks and my Microsoft Money files, and then I sucked all the files off the reliable old G3 tower onto that 20 GB drive as well. Worked like a charm. As a plus I pulled down my entire website from Kuentos onto the drive and then moved it over to my new home here at using Transmit.

So basically I’m trying to say I spent a large part of the weekend copying files around on a couple hard drives. Call me Mr. Excitement.

Another Test

This is just another test post. I’m trying this one out from the office, using W2K and IE 5.5 (our crummy “common reference desktop” or whatever it’s called these days). It seems to run smoothly.

Oh yeah, check out my other weblog at East of the Sun, West of the Moon.

Handy Latin Phrases

Make anything you say sound profound with these Handy Latin Phrases from the BBC. A sampling:

  • Canis meus id comedit: My dog ate it.
  • Re vera, cara mea, mea nil refert: Frankly my dear, I don’t give a damn.
  • Ita erat quando hic adveni: It was that way when I got here.
  • Quantum materiae materietur marmota monax si marmota monax materiam possit materiari?: How much wood would a woodchuck chuck if a woodchuck could chuck wood?


I made the upgrade to WordPress 1.5 tonight. Fairly smooth process, just a few hiccups.

Blowing Smoke

Big stinky puffs of hot air surround this whole story. Mark Forbes can talk all he wants, but there will never be a permanent, modern facility for the Guam Museum. The political will is not there, and the funds are definitely not there. And the way GovGuam is circling the drain, the money will never be there.

Setting Up House

Sorry for the long delay between posts. If you catch this page at a bad time it will look pretty horrendous. I’m trying to get a feel for customizing this template and other possible goodies. Don’t worry though, I actually plan to start attending to this weblog real soon. Just give me some more time to monkey around.

Looking Back: Satellite Images

Found a couple interesting satellite images from the past couple years.

There are a few other interesting photos from the Marianas area available on the site, mostly typhoons and tropical storms.

Vula Takes The Stage At UOG

Last night I went to see a performance of Vula, a magical play from a New Zealand based group of actors. The cast of Vula came to Guam at the invitation of Peter Onedera, Guam’s resident playwright, after he was captivated by their performance at last year’s Festival of the Pacific Arts in Palau.

Vula was an otherwordly performance. The four actors appeared in a series of vignettes intertwining the lagoon and the lives of Pacific Islander women. The entire stage is a pool of water, and the women spent their time fishing, washing, splashing, and floating in the pool to an ethereal score. It was mesmerizing.

Moving Over The Weekend

Pardon my mess…
I’m moving off of Kuentos’ web space into a domain of my own. They’ve been giving me grief about the amount of disk space I’m using. So I guess it’s time to move on to bigger and better things.

Stuff might be a little sketchy for the next couple days as I migrate files over and continually republish the weblog. I’m kind of stumped about redirecting all my URL’s to the next domain. I can’t seem to find any mention about this problem in Blogger, but I’ll keep looking.

So be sure to update your bookmarks and links. After all this is a hotbed of internet activity…

R. Lee Ermey On Guam


Yes, “Gunny” R. Lee Ermey, of Full Metal Jacket and Mail Call fame is on island for a couple days. I think I might head down to the hotel tomorrow to meet the guy, he’s signing books or something down in Tumon.

Ermey is heading for Iwo Jima, along with a contingent of WWII veterans. It is the 60th anniversary of that bloody battle and the iconic photo of Marines planting the flag atop Mt. Suribachi. I was surprised to learn it is a forgotten battle in Japan, but then they’ve done a wonderful job of repressing all those nasty memories of what they did during the war.

Bobby Fischer Stays In Jail

Looks like Bobby Fischer is headed back to the U.S. after a Japanese court refused to free Fischer and allow him to leave Japan on an Icelandic passport. A grand jury will convene next month to hear a tax evasion case against the chess legend, and if he is indicted the United States will extradite him from Japan.

The U.S. originally revoked his passport because of a 1992 chess re-match with Boris Spassky. The re-match was held in Yugoslavia, violating U.S. sanctions against Americans competing in the country.

Protester Unleashes Bomb Hoax

© PDN photo of Norbert QuinataMost people on Guam have seen Norbert Quinata standing on a corner on Guam for the past several years. His protest signs accuse former Governor Carl Gutierrez of murder, corruption, conspiracy, etc. Mr. Quinata’s been standing a lonely vigil against Gutierrez’s administration for years now, silently protesting the abuses of the the former governor.

Guess the strain got to be too much for him. Yesterday afternoon he walked into the U.S. District Court Building and announced that his cellphone was set to detonate a bomb in his car. The bomb threat evacuated the courthouse, closed down Marine Drive and mobilized the FBI, the ATF, and the Navy’s EOD unit.

While I’m Waiting

My car crapped out on me this weekend, so I’m waiting for a tow truck to haul the Blue Torpedo up to the dealer. While I’m waiting, Giant Steps by Michal Levy is a wonderful way to waste a bit of time. A very cool graphical representation of jazz. Check it out, it’s like being inside John Coltrane’s brain.