Daily Archives: 04/02/2005

Brush Fire On Saipan

Photo by Marconi CalindasThere was a massive brush fire atop Saipan’s Mount Tapochao Friday night. Almost the entire summit of Tapochao was engulfed in flames. Firefighters could not reach the blaze, but were continuing to monitor it. No homes were threatened yet by the wildfire.

It serves as a reminder: This is brush fire season on the Marianas. I drove by a big fire in Manenggon Hills last Friday, blazing away on the road to Leo Palace. Scorched patches of earth bear testament to the flames. It’s hot outside, and the grass is dry after three months of the dry season.

While I’m Waiting

Feels like I’m on a death watch here, as the Pope slips through his final hours. I think I was 11 years old when he was elected Pope. That was a long time ago. Pope John Paul II has had decades to press his conservative agenda from the seat of his infallibility.

I think its fair to say John Paul II has stacked the Church hierarchy with like minded men, and Catholicism will remain a bulwark of conservative ideology for a long time to come. Whoever becomes the next Pope will probably be drawn from this ultra conservative faction John Paul II entrenched during his tenure. Long story short, don’t expect the Catholic Church to come out endorsing birth control or condemning global warming anytime soon. This is the same church after all, that took until 1992 to admit that Galileo was right and the Earth did revolve around the Sun. I doubt we have the luxury of three and a half centuries before the church recognizes the environment is in trouble in the 21st century.

Yesterday was an entertaining day at the office. Just after I got back from a late lunch the marketing and HR managers started dashing through the cubicle farm, telling everyone they needed to evacuate the building. Right about then I heard the fire alarm start up. Smoke was filling the foyer and stairwell on the third floor of our building, so it was time to leave my cube, SQL Server configuration issues, pharmacy claim data files and the data warehouse server task list behind and exit to the parking lot.

The entire company stood around in the parking lot for about 45 minutes while the facilities manager and a couple guys searched the building for the source of smoke. Standing in the parking lot, I couldn’t see anything incriminating. Most of the tenants of the building never even left their offices and stores.

Finally management made the call and released everybody from work around 3:00 pm. Sure enough ten minutes later, as a steady stream of cars hastily exited the parking lot, one of the facility guys came out of the building with the good news; they’d found the source of the smoke. A motor burnt out on an air conditioner cooling the stairwell, but there was no danger to anybody.

The few of us remaining in the parking lot headed back upstairs to the office. It was actually refreshing to work in the quiet office. Maybe it was the idea that I was free to go at anytime, instead of dutifully watching the clock until quitting time.