Friday, March 30, 2007

I'm sorry about the lack of posts this week. I have had no time at work at all. But, this week is over, I'll write some this weekend and get some new pictures too. I requested a phone line the other day so I can get dsl, so once that happens this problem will be alliviated (that must be misspelled).

Have a good weekend!

Monday, March 26, 2007

So Friday wasn't as stress free as I had hoped. If you want to know about it, just email me and I'll tell you, but I don't know if I should post the details on a public site. It isn't really all that interesting though, so don't get your hopes up.

Anyway, this weekend was pretty uneventful. I am decently rested though. I wanted to go snorkling Sunday, but couldn't find anyone to go with me. I went snorkling by myself before, but I don't know if that is the safest thing. It was a really nice day here though. It had a downpour for about an hour which I will try to upload a link here: (if it isn't there, I guess it didn't work) This isn't an unusual one, but I just happened to have my camera out and it was daylight.

Saturday, I helped partially remove an air conditioning unit, some other attorneys from work came over and hung out while it poured down rain. Then they left, I read, and fell asleep for a while. Not exciting, but a pretty relaxing afternoon.

Kevin, are you back from Mazatlan? How was it? Did you have some good street tacos/hotdogs? Did you go to the great buffet place? Are you as red as a Robster? I heart Mexico. Maybe your next vacation, you could go to the S. Pacific. Bad airline prices, but free accommodations are not bad.

Speaking of Mexico, Mom&Dad, at least check the prices for flights during spring break to Huatulco (HUX) and Puerto Escondido (PXM I think). You can stay at the place we stayed at in Puerto Angel for about $40 a night and you'll just love it. Huatulco airport is only about 20 minutes from Puerto Angel and Puerto Escondido is about an hour away. I think it is the best place I've ever been. Alternatively, check Apple vacations online and check their specials, sometimes they have all inclusvie 5 night packages to Cabo or Mazatlan for $500 per person including airfare.

Yay, Oregon lost and everything is right with the world. Now basketball season can end for me; and for you too Adrian, sorry about Kansas.

Carolyn, are you back to work now? If so, how's that going being away from Jorge? And how is the commuting Adrian? Annemarie, this is your first day back? How're you surviving?

I don't think I've explained how holidays work here. I'm not sure I really know actually, but this is how I think it is: pretty much we get the same holidays off as at home. But, we get Flag Day (April 17 I think) off. This is the day that AmSamoa became part of the US. So it is a Tuesday, and usually we get Monday off as well. If that is the case, I think we're going to Western Samoa for the long weekend. But, apparently it is a mystery as to when we'll know for sure if we get that day off. The governor will let us know sometime between now and then if it is a work day or not. It could be as late as the Friday before. Everyone thinks we'll get it off, but last year I guess they got shafted and didn't get the day after Thanksgiving off. Anyway, court is not scheduling things on that day. That'd be good for me and for Meg and Adrian because I'd have a better idea of how things work before heading over.
Additionally, we might possibly get Good Friday off and maybe the day after Easter off too; or maybe we won't.

KC, if we would have had NCAA 2007 during college, we would have never gone to class. People in the crowd hold up signs and you can program what they say for different situations and you can make them say anything.

Before my stuff got here, I had the shittiest knife that anyone has ever had as their main knife(s) since the bronze age. I bought it on the street in New York for $10 with a matching pen and watch, so I really shouldn't be expecting Victronox (spelling?) quality. One of its main bonuses WAS that it had a corkscrew that was bent and would conviniently wriggle its way into your hand when trying to cut something. The blades aren't especially sharp, but the corkscrew kept itself in rapier condition so as to be sure to stab me every time I wanted to cut any piece of food. Once my stuff arrived, I only needed to use the dastardly corkscrew. I've bought 4 bottles of wine since I've been on the island, and one was a screwcap (and it sucked). Last night I was going to put some wine in my pasta sauce (as well as drink some) so in order to remove the cork, I had to break out the knife. This happened:

If you look closely at the above picture, you might be able to see the corkscrew completely broken off inside the cork. Very nice.

The pushthrough method isn't the most spill free, but it does work. Plus then you get to have little chunks of cork in your wine. Kingston Estate shiraz for $6.99 isn't too bad. They have $2 Chuck here, but it is $15 Chuck. Booooooooooooooooooooooooo!

Movie reviews:

Babel: 6.7 It is pretty good; interesting. I probably wouldn't want to see it again, but just because it is too intense. Kind of like The Departed in that respect, but not as good.

Stranger Than Fiction: 8 I liked this Will Ferrell movie way more than Ricky Bobby (3.5).

I still haven't received the stuff I mailed myself from home. It includes my stereo and that would be nice to have. When I mailed it, I paid a little extra for tracking. Sotthe other day I checked the tracking, and the last tracking info it has is received in Castle Rock, WA. It is a little irritating that you pay extra for something and they don't do it, but it'll be way more irritating if that is the accurate status of my stuff.

Ha! Just now sitting here at home (Sunday night) and writing this, I was thinking that Meg didn't send me Strange Brew with the box of stuff. I was looking at the Balderdash box and wondering if maybe she stuffed it in there. Yes! Plus some outfits for LD! She'll be very happy.

Have a good Monday.

Have a good time in WA June, and Happy Birthday Taylor.

Friday, March 23, 2007


Today is going to be long because of probation review. It will also be boring because of probation review. The break from stress will be nice though after yesterday. I had my first preliminary examination. It is where the government has to show probable cause for all the elements of the crimes being charged. It's the first contested hearing I've had. It isn't even really contested though. The defense has a chance to ask questions too, but the odds are so stacked in the government's favor that there has to be some real problem with our case or the prosecutor has to screw up. I was concerned about the latter happening. I'm sure I'll forget something sometime, but I didn't yesterday and it was bound over. I can't say that I "won" because of the way things are set so much in my favor, but I'm relieved to have not screwed it up. Also, I was the only one working from my office for most of the day because everyone else was at the AG's funeral. I had to go to court though. I also needed to finish a brief today, but the office was locked. I finally got in about 230, so I had just over an hour to finish the brief before court closed. It wasn't my best work, but at least it was filed.

Pretty much every government offfice was closed today for the funeral. That stopped me from getting some things done that I'm supposed to, but at least I have a reason.

But most of you probably didn't even read the paragraph above becuase of this:

The manskirt. It is actually a pretty comfortable article. Its main drawbacks are that it can flap open in the wind and that when you have things in your pockets you end up sitting on them sometimes. It is way cooler (temperature) than pants. I'd never pick a lavalava over shorts, but that might be because all the ones I have so far are heavier material. I'm going to get some made with lighter fabric. I'll also get some more pictures of them on here. I just wanted to get at least one on here to semi-satisfy everyone. One feature that you can't see in this picture is my shoes. I wear flipflops to work/court every day. That is a really nice deal. The lavalava and sandals setup would be even better if it weren't so cold in District Court.

I'm not totally sure what I'm doing this weekend. I'm hoping to do some hiking- we'll see if anyone wants to go with me. Friday, maybe poker. Saturday there's a bbq. Sunday- again hoping to go snorkling but it depends on the weather. The tropical depression that has been here for a couple weeks seems to be moving on somewhat.

Things are so hit or miss whether they are going to be nice, ok, or jacked here. For example, the DMV here is in the jacked category. You should see my drivers license. It is way crappier than a student ID. In fact everyone that comes to visit should go get one. They're $12. Selection of food in stores here is ok. It actually is jacked, but considering the distance to get stuff here, it is ok. The air conditioning and carpet in my office is super jacked. But, I went to the library and it is nice. It is new, nicely ACed, clean, organized, and they even had the exact book I was hoping to find.

I'm getting more used to the heat now. I've mostly stopped using the AC at all, even when sleeping. If anyone visiting can't take it, you can just use my room and I'll use another one. That just reminded me- Meg if you haven't sent the latest box, I could use a set of double sheets for my guest room. I suggest Ross since I don't need super nice ones, just sheets. Or you could just go Dave Howe and sleep straight on the mattress. Of course to really go Howe, you'd also have to start "borrowing" my shirts without my knowledge, wear them for a week in a row until your skin and the shirt start to meld and the armpits are dark brown, then say, "oh, hey I guess I accidently grabbed your shirt, here," and take it off right then give it back to me. Thanks Dave, you can just keep it. Boliva! Sorry if you don't know what the hell I'm talking about but I'm laughing right now.

There are private busses that serve as mass transit here on the island. Most rides are 50 cents. I like this green bus in particular, check it out:

I didn't get a picture of it from the side, but see the cool thing is you still can see what it looks like because it has a mural of itself on the back.
Something else that is 50 cents is a hot dog at Checkers. I wish you could hear the radio commercial. Actually, I think the station is streamed on the internet; they play it at least once an hour. Adrian- it isn't as crappy quality than the Dashers commercials, but it I really like it.

Of what do you want to see pictures? What do you want to know about here? I'll try to hook you up with that stuff. I'm a little less flying from one thing to another at work now because I've mostly scheduled things and mostly know what is coming up, so I can actually do some other things too.

How do you like the weather at home? Sure you don't want a lawyer, teaching, or fish canning job here? All are available at the moment with the imminent departure of one of our attorneys. I know most of you probably are focused on the fish canning job, but there is a drawback: you don't get to swim around in the vats of dead fish...oh, and they pay $2.85/hour.

Please don't let Oregon win the tournament.

Wednesday, March 21, 2007

Monday and Tuesday seem to be the busiest days for me, so I’m least likely to post. Right now it is extra busy because one of the attorneys, Mark, is on vacation for the week. So now we’re down 3 or 4 criminal attorneys for the week. Our main civil attorney Valerie is leaving her job soon too because of a family illness. I don’t have all that much civil experience, but it’s possible that I have the most in the office, so we’ll see how that goes.

Sunday night the attorney general’s body was flown in from Hawaii. Our whole office went to the church at 930pm and they brought the coffin in when it arrived. It got over about 1145pm. I was exhausted even before going, but it wasn’t nearly as bad as I feared. First, I couldn’t understand what was being said so I could reasonably stare off into space like I didn’t know what was going on. Also though, it was pretty interesting. Some of the speakers were really animated (though they could have been demanding cheaper pop for all I know). Also the church choir was huge and really good.

I’m always tired Sunday night, but I think I went to bed about 430am Saturday night. I think pretty much everyone I know here outside of work was over here except my neighbors the Colettis who were dealing with a chicken pox outbreak. We had a great bbq with tons of chicken and I made grilled pizza, fabulous hummus, deviled eggs, corn salad (Jerry!), and other delicacies. We also had beer and green food coloring. Some went in beer, but I think more went on dogs. There was a survivor flip cup tournament (which is a good idea, but maybe should take place at the beginning of an evening instead of 4 hours in). There was also Washoes which is something we should have played a long time ago. We could have set it up on the roof during college. It is like horseshoes kind of. You pitch big washers into holes cut in the washoe board. 1, 3, 5 pts; first team to 21 w/o going over wins.

The rain stopped today. It had pretty much dominated everything for about 10 days. It isn’t that you can’t do anything usually because it is still so warm, but sometimes the downpours are just insane. You know how this fall/winter in Washington it rained super hard a few times like I’ve really never seen in the NW? Well take that high level of rain and take the amount that falls during a straight hour of it- then take that amount and have it come down in 5minutes. That’s how it is here sometimes. But today was great and I’m hoping it stays like that.

The funeral for the AG is Thursday AND Friday… all day I think. We’re supposed to attend the main service which I think is Friday sometime. Unless they cancel court, I’ll miss it probably. It is a tough call as to whether I would rather they cancel court or not. I have probation review Friday which is 1.5-3 hours of torture for me. I’d like to get out of it, but if they cancel it, they’ll very likely just push all of it until the next week- yuk! Best case would be I get probation out of the way for this week, then meet everyone at the church for the eating part.

I don’t have any movie reviews but I’ll use this space to say again how much you should avoid Lets go to Prison. But if Lets go to Prison is a broken hand, the Protector is a chopped off head.

It seems like there is something going on this Saturday, but I can’t think what that is. I am too tired. I started getting a migraine today for the first time in maybe 10 years, but I fought it off. OK, I’m going to bed.

Happy Anniversary to my parents!

(KW, if you could call them and sing them that song,;that’d be great!)

Oh, I have international text messaging now. I need to put more money on it though to make it work. I'll try to do that tomorrow (Wednesday).

Friday, March 16, 2007

Great Success!

High five!
I finally got the machine together.

OK, here is a sampling of the directions:
Step one- sure it looks like any other set of directions (maybe a little worse than normal)

And then we're on to this:

Come on:

Oh of course, how simple and clear:

And there's more. But it is put together and it works; yay! Don't ever buy this product though! I know a few people who say they love putting stuff together. (not you KC) This will take that right out of you. The chances that I disassemble this thing and ship it home are absolute zero. OK, I can conceive of a scenario so it isn't really absolute zero, but it is close and none of those scenarios are close to likely.

Thursday, court was stressful, but this time it was all my fault. I left my court files in the work vehicle and then it was taken out to serve subpeonas and the investigator serving them had lost his cell phone. The cops put out an APB for the vehicle (no kidding) to get my stuff back. It turns out the court had a copy of the thing I was most concerned about though, so it really wasn't that big of a deal. I felt like a moron though.

I was going to try out making pizza here Sunday, but my neighbors that were going to be the guineapigs for it can't make it. So, now it is Friday. The dough will probably rise in about 45 seconds here. Meg sent me some green food coloring, so I'll be adding that to my beer this weekend.

Good job Cougs. And good job VCU. Stanford... pathetic. Zags... is not so good.

I think this is the 7th day in a row with lots of rain. Still highs of 87 or so and lows of 80 or so. On Monday when I was driving to work, the radio said it was 77. That's easily the coldest temperature I've heard since I've been on island.

Meg and Adrian: everyone says sloshball can't get organized for a Friday. Some people don't get home til 530, and it gets dark around 715 right now, and that'll be earlier when you're here, so I think we should just go to Apia on Friday. Also, I hear that renting a car there is actually the way to go.

Happy St. Patrick's Day!

Wednesday, March 14, 2007

Supposedly I'm going to get paid on Friday. That'd be nice. Getting paid is always nice...especially in return for working. We'll see though.
Once I do start getting paid I'm going to sign up for internet at home. So given the urgency that me getting paid has within the government and the fact that the best setup for internet service looks like it is the government telecom, I'll probably be all set up by 4th of July. .
This setup is somewhat insane actually- at least right now. I'm the District Court prosecutor at the moment. I have pretty much no guidance though as to when to charge what. I've read the code. Moi and Mark, who both used to have my current job try to help me out as much as possible, but they're the only guys at high court. I took criminal law in law school, but other than that and a couple department of licensing hearings, my criminal court experience prior to coming here totaled my own apprearances at traffic court. I think that was a total of three appearances. That's pretty funny eh? The bad is that it sucks stresswise for me right now and quite possibly also for the interests of justice. But, soon I'll have it figured out and have more experience than if say I worked for a prosecutor at home for a year- since I get to handle all kinds of stuff and not just the lowest offenses (as most prosecutor offices smartly start inexperienced attorneys at that level). I hate looking like an idiot, and I'm quite sure that I do quite often in court right now, but hopefully that won't last terribly long.
We're understaffed by somewhere between 2-5 prosecutors apparently. We also apparently have funding for 2-3 more attorneys. None have been hired recently though because the Attorney General has been undergoing cancer treatment for about a year off island. Unfortunately, he died the other day. I never even met him.
While that is a tragedy for his family and village, maybe they will appoint a new AG or at least elevate the acting one so that he/she has the authority to hire some people. Even without that though, I think it'll get better relatively soon for me. I think I'm starting to get things organized and pretty soon I won't just be sitting waiting for some deadline to pass for something that my office was supposed to do but that was never calendared or in anyway revealed to me before heading to court. In another two weeks, I think all the stuff that was filed before I was there will be done, so at least I'll mostly know what is coming. That'll make my job much easier and much much less stressful.
All of this is just the reasoning behind why I haven't posted or emailed much lately. It'll improve. I'm sorry for the unreturned emails too. I keep meaning to get to them, but I just haven't been able.
I didn't do anything that you would probably find interesting this weekend. I just hung out all weekend. Friday- went to a public defender's house and hung out for a while. Saturday...drank beer, played Risk all day. It rained a lot recently, so there wasn't much to do outside, and I didn't really want to do anything else due to the tiredness. Sunday...nothing really. Some computer Risk, KFC bucket o chicken. Monday, I was so drenched with rain at court that I couldn't stop dripping all over all my paperwork. Very nice.
The other day I had some oka, which is one of the specialties here. The variety I had was really good. Kind of like a whole bunch of sashimi tuna in lime juice and hot oil and a little coconut juice.
I don't know what I'm doing this weekend. It probably depends on the weather. I've heard rumors of sloshball Saturday. That'd be fun. If not, and it doesn't pour down rain, I'm going to do some snorkling. And if there is sloshball, I'm planning on snorkling Sunday if possible.
Oh, also Sunday I went out to Moi's house. It is in a ridiculous setting. It is right by the ocean. The shore is a lava flow with tubes that the ocean goes into so that there are holes where the ocean comes in maybe 60 feet from shore- and big, Pitfall tarpit sized holes. You can jump in them and swim out to the other ones and then to the ocean apparently. I'll have to take some pictures of it out there next time.
Huskies: No NIT? Whuuuuut? Well that was a shafting, but not exactly one that matters I guess.

Movie reviews:

Man on Fire: 6 (Denzel even played a slightly different character)
Lets Go to Prison: 2.5 It isn't incredibly painful to watch, just boring and not funny, oh, but it is stupid.

I watched another stupid movie this weekend that I had seen before: Super Troopers: 9.5

So what's up? How are your kids. Apparently you pretty much all have them or will soon now. There must be some good stories.

Meg: I got the Balderdash and the other stuff. Thank you! Powdered Propel...great success.

Books: Somerset Maugham wrote lots of short stories. One of the most famous ones, Rain, takes place here in Pago Pago. The stories are ok, but they all end the same way- one of the main characters either kills himself or gets killed to end pretty much every story, so the only suspense is how they will die, so it is a little like Final Destination. Not great, not horrible. Plus, now you know what happens.

Games: EA NCAA Football 07 is great.

Friday, March 9, 2007

On Tuesday I got admitted pro hac vice to the American Samoa Bar Association. They still haven't processed my application, but pro hac vice is like a temporary pass to practice until it finally gets approved. The lawyer that was doing District Court had been practicing pro hac vice since December. They got around to processing her application and found that her license is suspended in California, so they barred her from practicing here for now. Her license just got suspended because she forgot to pay her bar fees. But anyway, that was Tuesday so since then I've been handling District Court and trying to get organized at work. The files are in sort of a state of disarray, so I've been kind of trying to get things straight while I haven't been in court. That's been difficult because there isn't anyone who knows where all the files are and what is going to be coming up at court. That's really neat just sitting there waiting for something that we should have done that didn't get done. After a week or two it'll be figured out though so I'll know what is coming.

My stuff getting here is great. But, it's meant that I've stayed up late each night trying to set things up and organize stuff. So I'm exhausted from court and work. I haven't really even had time to check my email. I'm going to try to get out a little early on Friday and go golfing. $3 for 9 holes I think. Before that I have court which will probably last from 830 til hopefully not later than 130, but we'll see.

Here are some pictures of my living room with at least some stuff in it. Also, the dog that lives here, my tiki torches and yard, and me drenched in sweat from cleaning.

I spent another 1.5 hours working on the excercise machine tonight. This should have had a warning on the box that says something like: NOTICE, this will be the hardest thing you ever do. My total time spent assembling this is almost surely going to exceed 6 hours. That is too long.

Movie review- Man of the Year: 5

I was going to go to Aunu'u (which is a little island off this island) this Saturday, but the weather is supposed to be kind of crappy and right now I'm worn out, so I think I might just hang out Saturday and go to Aunu'u a different day when it is nicer out. It isn't like it is terrible weather, but it has been really cloudy the past few days. The main reason I'm not going to go is that the group is leaving at 8am Saturday and I really hope to not be awake by that time and could use the sleep.

Thanks to my parents, KC, and Jaymie for the Husky score updates. 5 in a row to the Cougs. Yuk!
Now I'm confident that we'll make the tournament, it is just that it is the NIT.

Meg and Adrian are coming out here April 26-May 3 in case anyone else wants to come out at that time.

Tuesday, March 6, 2007

ZACH BAYS, YOU LIAR!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!

"Nope, I'm not doing anything." ... oh yeah, then how did this happen!!!!????

Zach Bays... pants on fire!
Congratulations though. You should really name this one Zachson.

I got most of my stuff yesterday. Yay! My house is completely jacked right now since I didn't have time to get everything put together yesterday. Maybe tonight. By the end of the week, I'll have my place set up (except no stereo yet) and will get that machine put together. And... to you divan doubters, you were partially right. I'm going to have to scale it down a little. If I didn't have any other furniture it would work great, but with the couch, table, chairs and other items, it's a little too cluttered. I guess I need a bigger place for the full scale one.

It is clear and 88 here today. I hear it is nice at home too. The first couple nice days of the year are always a nice shock.


Monday, March 5, 2007

This weekend it rained alot. I played poker Friday night. It was at Mike Keyser's house and was his 30th birthday. He used to be an AAG also, but now is general counsel for the power company here. Anyway, their house is ridiculous for the island- super nice. I got home at about 345am after poker. Saturday, I was exhausted. I cleaned my house and did laundry pretty exciting eh? Doing laundry really sucked. It took forever, and I just sat there while 10,000 kids were running around yelling. Saturday night, I was tired and didn't do anything. But, I did get 10 hours sleep that night.

Yesterday, I played poker again ($2) and then had a delicious dinner at the Coletti's house next door.

It poured down rain all night pretty much.

Jerry: I'm sure I could find you a teaching job. You could almost surely get a job at the college. It'd be a pay cut for you ( I think about 36k or something), but the cost of living is also less than where you live.

I think the Huskies could make the tournament if they get to the championship game and lose. I think they should make it if they do that. If they lose the game before, it'll be really hard to get in.

Friday, March 2, 2007

I don't have much time because I've been in the office for about 10 minutes today and I'm leaving again soon. Sorry for the short post. I'm heading to a birthday party tonight and then poker. No plans for tomorrow. I may look at some crappy cars. OK, What I can do is answer Kevin's series of questions

Are there any pool tables on the island? Yes, there are bars with pool tables. There is even a bowling alley.

What is the danger factor? Crime,- crime, pretty low. There is the occasional serious charge but really most of the charges are disturbing the peace, dui, driving on suspended. Probably 1 time a week guys get hauled in for getting drunk and fighting with each other.

Wild animals, etc.? There are giant bats that are not dangerous, there are centipedes which I have not seen, but apparently hurt really bad if you step on them- they're big so you can't miss them I guess. They're not harmful, just painful.

Do the locals like the tourists or do they spit at them? People are extra friendly.

How many grains of sand per square inch for each specific beach? Ha. There are lower grains per beach than at home.

What is the average salt content for the Western-most beach? Salty

How many roaches have you seen? one

Why haven't you been on any hikes? I've been mostly hanging out in town.

Are you going to buy a boat? Probably not, but I'll be on the lookout for a cheap one.

Do you like anyone at work, like more than a friend? ha, no

Can you go fishing there (please address price, type of fish, etc.)? You can, there's tuna and all the big tropical fish.

Thursday, March 1, 2007

It is about 815p right now, probably 85 degrees and it just started pouring rain. I like it when it pours at night because it usually provides a little breeze and the noise is soothing. That was for you Jerry.

The last couple days, I've been sitting in on a jury trial. That's been sometimes interesting and sometimes frustrating and boring because of the defense counsel. The prosecutor, Moi, is from Seattle and even though he's a Coug, he's a good attorney and has done a nice job. I'm mostly just watching, taking notes and making a very few suggestions.

Running was less bad today. I already feel quite a bit better since starting that. I keep running into obstacles when putting that stupid machine together. The first obstacle was laziness and that persisted for a couple days since I was dreading it after my first day at it. The second problem was that I don't have any tools here and I reached a point where I needed at least a wrench. So I bought a monkey wrench. That worked for a while, but now I'm to the point where I need another wrench to hold the other side of a bolt from spinning. Today I went to buy another one or a socket set (even though I have one en route), but the hardware store was closed. Now I decided I'm just going to borrow tools.

So far, Meg is coming out here on April 26 and leaving May 3. My parents are arriving July 1 and leaving July 8. If you would like to come at those times, I think we'll be heading to Western Samoa for a few days for both. You are certainly welcome to head out whenever you can make it. I have a guest bedroom, and once my stuff gets here, I can fairly comfortably sleep 6 guests and could easily cram more in. Another really good stint to come out here would be over Labor Day since it would save you and me a day off, or Veteran's Day if you want to wait until then. Or, if you wanted to wait until Christmas, I think my parents, Meg, and Andrea are going to meet me in Fiji. I'll probably be there something like Dec 20- Jan 2, but I could probably go a little longer if adjoining days work for anyone to hang out in Fiji. Or whenever for visiting AS, just let me know, its no problem for me at all.

If you want to hang out here, and you really like snorkeling, you could easily entertain yourself doing that for a week. There is great scenery here around the island. There are a couple good hikes to tops of mountains and a few good hikes to beaches, and a good hike through a jungle valley. I have done zero hikes so far, but that is what I hear. As far as nightlife, that's pretty much a negatory- at least as far as I hear. There are some cool places to hang out, but you pretty much have to bring your own group as most places are dead. Apparently the exception is the bowling alley. I haven't been there yet, but I guess it has a busy bar/danceclub part to it, at least on weekends. It's also a doable walk from here. I've only been a few places, but based on what I've been told, there are only a couple really good places to eat on the island so this isn't a dining destination, unless you count eating what I cook (which as you know can be pretty good - occasionally screwed up though (bread, rice, too hot, etc.)). There aren't big beaches here like at Long Beach or Ocean Shores for example. Here, the beaches aren't very wide between their start and the water. Plus, usually, at a beach, the water is shallow (maybe 2 feet deep) and stays shallow for maybe 100 yards where the waves break on the reef. Even where the waves break, the water is usually still not deep. The good snorkling places have trenches between the beach and the reef break. For example, at Tisa's Bar beach, once you go out maybe 40 yards, there's a 60 foot deep trench. That's great because there are just tons of fish there and you don't have to worry about getting scraped on the reef. But on one half of $2 beach, it just stays 1.5-4 feet deep way out to where the waves break. As far as I know, Tisa's is the only bar on the beach. There are a few other places on the water, but there aren't really beaches there. So that's some of what I know so far, but I've maybe seen 1/3 of the island, probably less actually. What would you like to know about here?

I know this is quite a ways in advance, but I was just sort of loosely planning out my vaction time for this 2 year term. Is anyone seriously interested in going to the Olympics in China? If it isn't terribly cost prohibitive, I'd like to do it for 2 or 3 weeks, but I'm probably not going by myself. This is way out in advance too, but unless something stops me, I'm going to the 2010 World Cup in South Africa, so pencil that in for big trips if you are interested.

I was glad that it wasn't the M's who horribly overpaid Gary Matthews Jr., now I'm really really really glad.

I am irritated that the Sonics didn't trade Rashard though. Now we're going to lose him and not get anything. I know that sometimes in the NBA, losing a guy is better than taking on crap longterm contracts, but it seems like we could have gotten an expiring contract and a draft choice at least: something like Grant Hill and a #1 for Rashard? If they draft a center this year, it better be Oden (and not Oden Tyvand).

Now the rain has stopped.