Author Archives: Thomas

Storm’s Gone, Power Just Came Back

So that was a few days without power. It died out late Monday afternoon, and it just came back about two hours ago. Good thing, as we were about to go buy a generator tomorrow if this continued. Super hot last night. No power, not a breath of wind, really muggy. Ugh. It was miserable.

Color Guam fared pretty well. The breadfruit tree behind the studio blew over, luckily in the opposite direction and not into our building. However, the power line into the building went with it. It’s probably going to take awhile for that to get repaired. The power authority is prioritizing other areas now.

Super typhoon Mangkhut is headed towards the Philippines and it is now a Category 5 monster. Current track has it passing just north of Luzon and barrelling straight towards Hong Kong by next Sunday. Good luck people.

And It Is A Typhoon

We have a typhoon heading for us. Looks like closest approach will be tomorrow evening. Current track has it passing just north of Guam, but that can certainly change. Check my weather links page for all the details.

I spent the day securing the house, putting up the shutters, packing stuff inside, doing laundry, gassing the vehicles. A thousand things to do – and now securing my work place. I am tired. Bone tired.

Ruh-Roh Shaggie

Ya got trouble, my friend, right here,
I say, trouble right here in Guam.
Trouble with a capital “T”
And that rhymes with “T”
Which stands for typhoon!

Looks like this is going to be a doozy. Maybe Category 4 super-typhoon by the time it gets here on Tuesday, September 11. That forecast says 165 knots – which is like 189 mph. Goddamn. I hope this thing veers away.

Thursday Midday Update July 5

The storm has a name now. Tropical Storm Maria is moving away from Guam and the Marianas to the north-northwest at 10 mph, with maximum winds of 65 mph.

Here’s the storm track one last time…

I’m at work, and the power’s still out back home. Checking on that now, but I think it might be awhile. Here’s the situation about a mile down the road from my house.


Downed power poles and lines on Cross-Island Road by Tarzan Falls. Roads closed at this time.

That’s it for storm updates. Going back into stealth mode now…

Thursday Morning July 5th

Made it through the night. A palm tree blew down last night. Actually happened while I was outside bringing the dogs in. That was the height of excitement for us.

I’m surprised that the trash collectors came through overnight and picked up my trash. Coolio. Power’s still out. Not coolio.

Don’t have any position updates, I know it past around 3 am and things are slowly calming down. I think it churned right over us because it was pretty rowdy for a few hours there. Last storm track had it going over southern Guam.

Time to shower, wake the kids and head into town.

Power’s Out Good Night

So the power went out around 9:00 pm tonight. Winds are picking up but nothing really sketchy yet.

Might as well get some shut eye. Though it is funky how now I can still be connected on my phone, check the radar and forecast, even post here from my phone.

Night and I’ll check in tomorrow morning.

July 4 – Evening Update

Winds are picking up. Car is in the carport. Lawn stuff is secured – mostly. Hoping that trampoline doesn’t go airborne tonight.

Here’s the latest storm track.

Now this storm is heading north of Guam, through the Rota Channel.

Oh yeah….

This is really awesome. Check this cool graphic of wind speed around the planet out right now.

July 4 – Afternoon Update

Just got back inside after clearing stuff up outside. Still not much activity; some rain, a little wind. The literal calm before the storm. So I stuck the Guam radar image over there on the sidebar just now. You can see the swirls…

Also check out my dedicated weather page.

Heading into town to secure the art studio now. While the windows are not a worry, the ceiling in the studio has a few leaks. Need to make sure the buckets are placed in the right places and everything is secure outside in the parking lot and behind the building.

Update For July 4

Latest forecast #5 predicts a closer approach around 4 am tomorrow morning. Things are calm right now. Forecast calls for 39 mph winds tonight. Debating whether I put up shutters or not. Probably not. Need to secure stuff in the yard and carport though.

Here’s the storm track…

We Got Us A Storm

Shades of 2002, when Typhoon Chata’an hit right around Independence Day

Tropical Depression 10W is churning away south of Guam right now. Closest approach expected in 36-48 hours. Tomorrow night, Thursday morning. Going to be a wet July 4th.

Here’s a storm track for y’all…

More Boonie Stomps: Q3 Stomps

Here’s the latest like I’ve gotten from the Guam Boonie Stompers Facebook page:

HIKING SCHEDULE:
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.

Jul 07 Liberation Stomp Easy 4 hours for 2.5 miles We travel to several sites for short walks to historic features for the Liberation of Guam in July 1944. Bring: 2 liters water, hiking boots, gloves, sun screen, sunglasses, insect repellent, lunch, and camera. Special conditions: Short climbs and possible mud, slippery slopes, and swordgrass at Mount Alifan.

Jul 14 Tinta, Faha, Priest’s Pools Easy 4 hours for 1.5 miles We hike to the Merizo Massacre Sites of World War II and then cool off in the freshwater pools of the Pigua River. Bring: 2 liters water, hiking boots, gloves, swim suit, sun screen, sunglasses, insect repellent, lunch, and camera. Special condition: mud.

Jul 21 Invasion Hike to Tony’s Falls Difficult 4 hours for 1.5 miles We retrace the 21 July route of the U.S. Third Marine Division from Asan to the heights above and end up cooling off at a nearby waterfall. Bring: 3 liters water, hiking boots, gloves, swim suit, sun screen, sunglasses, insect repellent, lunch, and camera. Special conditions: Swordgrass and steep slopes.

Jul 28 Libugon to Fonte Swim Hole Medium 3 hours for 2 miles We’ll visit the ruins of the historic site U.S. Navy radio station. Then we’ll hike to the 1910 dam and explore the valley downstream and cool off in the pools. Bring: 2 liters water, hiking boots, water shoes, gloves, swim suit, sun screen, sunglasses, insect repellent, lunch, and camera. Special conditions: Swordgrass, and steep slopes

Jul 28 Moonie Stomp – Mt. Jumullong Medium 3 hours for 2.2 miles We hike up to the large cross on top of a mountain next to Mt. Lamlam. Bring: 2 liters water, hiking boots, gloves, insect repellent, and camera. Special conditions: Swordgrass, rough rocks, and steep slopes.

Aug 4 Guatali Falls Difficult 5 hours for 3.2 miles We hike from the central mountains of Guam into a pristine valley with 2 waterfalls and a swimming hole. Bring: 4 liters water, hiking boots, water shoes, swimsuit, gloves, sun screen, sunglasses, insect repellent, lunch, and camera. Special conditions: Walking in water, climbing with a rope, and a long hike up and out.

Aug 11 Ylig Bay to Tagachang Medium 4 hours for 2 miles We explore the headlands, beaches, and reefs of eastern Guam at Yona. Bring: 2 liters water, hiking boots, water shoes, swimsuit, gloves, insect repellent, sun screen, sunglasses, lunch, and camera. Special conditions: Walking in water, a short stretch of rough rocks, and possible surf.

Aug 18 Tinago Medium 3 hours for 3 miles We trek to a series of waterfall cascades in southeastern Guam. Bring: 2 liters water, hiking boots, gloves, swim suit, sunglasses, sun screen, insect repellent, lunch, and camera. Special conditions: Possible slippery mud.

Aug 25 Tarzan Falls Medium 3 hours for 1.4 miles We journey to a series of cooling waterfalls. Bring: 2 liters water, hiking boots, gloves, swimsuit, sun screen, sunglasses, insect repellent, and camera.

Sep 01 Ben’s Falls with Mt. Lamlam option Difficult 6 hours for 3 miles We journey to 3 waterfalls on the Sella River in southern Guam. Bring: 3 liters water, hiking boots, water shoes, gloves, sun screen, sunglasses, insect repellent, lunch, and camera. Special conditions: Walking in water through rocky river, steep slopes through swordgrass, and climbing waterfalls with a rope.

Sep 08 Tagu’on Medium 3 hours for 1.2 miles We descend 256 steps to a rugged coastline of northeastern Guam and snorkel if the water is calm. Bring: 3 liters water, hiking boots, gloves, swim suit, snorkel gear, sunglasses, sun screen, insect repellent, lunch, and camera. Special conditions: Walking on rough rocks, in the water, and possible surf.

Sep 15 Waterfall Valley Medium 4.5 hours for 1 miles A couple of short hikes to a series of waterfalls in southeastern Guam. Bring: 3 liters water, hiking boots, gloves, swimsuit, sunglasses, sun screen, insect repellent, lunch, and camera. Special conditions: Walking in water, slippery mud, and climbing with a rope.

Sep 22 Mt. Finansanta & Geus River Very Very Difficult 7 hours for 5 miles Our hardest hike, three difficult hikes strung together. We visit 2 mountains with fantastic views, a pristine jungle river, and swim, jump, and slide spots. Bring: 4 liters water, strong shoes, gloves, sun screen, insect repellent, lunch and snacks, and camera. Special conditions: Sword grass, steep slopes, walking in water, slippery rocks, more sword grass.

Sep 29 Cetti Seven Falls Very Difficult 5 hours for 1.2 miles We descend into the Cetti Valley and then climb up all 7 waterfalls. Bring: 3 liters water, hiking boots, water shoes, swimsuit, gloves, sun screen, sunglasses, insect repellent, lunch, and camera. Special conditions: Steep slopes, swordgrass, walking in water, and serious rope climbing. This stomp is for experienced boonie stompers.

Working From Home

I love this video. The little girl dancing into the room… The baby in the walker… The mom skidding in after them. Absolute gold.

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: