Tuesday, January 22, 2008

Super Bowl prediction

I've been so right on so far this season that I'm sure everyone is really looking forward to my pick. I know there are still 10 days or so til THE GAME, but I'm leaving Friday and may forget. I'm looking forward to seeing how many NY based "national" sports guys pick the Giants. I'm picking the Patriots.

NE 45
NY 20
The Patriots will be picking Eli. Eli: 21-45 235yrds 4 picks 1 TD
Moss: 3 TD

This weekend it pretty much rained constantly. So, instead of camping, everyone just kind of hung out.

It is sunny at the moment, but there are the biggest waves I've seen on the island today, so that probably won't last. Some waves were actually breaking on the beach today---the reef keeps them from getting even close to the shore usually. There's a tropical depression (11F) causing the waves and rain. It is a couple hundred miles away, so I hope it stays away at least until we get on the way to Auckland. Hurricane Page

I don't know how my neighbors' kids can still make any noise. Their vocal cords have to be nearly ruined from almost constant screaming. I'll really miss that while I'm gone. I love incessant screaming, yelling, crying, and complaining (loud, always loud). It is kind of like a babbling brook or ocean waves.

In SC, I'll go Obama 45-37. I hope that's how it goes too.
For the Rs, I hope Huckabee wins the nomination. He's funny and he can't win the election. Really anyone except McCain would be fine with me since he's the only one that could win. I think it'll end up being close with McCain and Romney. Rudy'd be the absolute best for results though. He could go down 0-50.

Friday, January 18, 2008

New Zealand Itinerary

Next Friday, January 25: After work, fly from here to Apia. Then that night, fly from Apia to Auckland.
26: Lost to the date line.
27: Get in at 125am. Pick up a rental car and go sleep at an airport hotel. Then in the more reasonable morning, drive to Waitomo. Cave tour that day. Afterwards, drive to Tongariro Nat'l Park and camp there.
28: Tongariro Crossing hike. Stay at a hostel in the National Park Village.
29: Either drive to Martinsborough and visit some wineries and then camp or drive along the coast and stay at a hostel a couple hours north of Wellington.
30: Drive to Wellington- hang out in the city. Stay at YHA hostel downtown.
31: Fly to Christchurch at noon. Then drive across the island to the Wanaka area and camp.
February 1: Hike to Rob Roy Glacier in the morning, then drive to Te Anau Downs area and camp.
2: Drop car off at Milford Sound in the morning, then bus back to Te Anau Downs to catch the boat to the start of the Milford Track hike. Hike to the first hut.
3: Hiking the Milford Track
4: Hiking the Milford Track
5: Hike out to Milford Sound- drive back to Queenstown
6: Queenstown
7: From here on out the itinerary is somewhat up in the air but I'll guess the rest: drive to Fox Glacier and camp there.
8: Backpack to Welcome Flat - stay in a hut there
9: Hike out, check out Franz Josef Glacier- drive to Hokitika and stay in a hostel there.
10: Drive to Nelson Lakes Nat'l Park- camp
11: Hike around Nelson Lakes park- camp
12: Drive up to Abel Tasman Park- hike to a hut and stay there
13: Hike to another hut in Abel Tasman
14: ?
15: ?
16: Drive over Lewis Pass- camp or stay in a hostel
17: Drive 1.5 hrs to Christchurch- check out the city.
18: Fly to Auckland in the morning, hang out in the city
19: Fly back to Apia in the morning-- then back to American Samoa. We'll get the day back from the date line and be back home on the 18th.

Tuesday, January 15, 2008

UW Medical Center, Cedars Sinai, OHSU, Mayo Clinic, LBJ

Now I guess I can enjoy my hike on the Milford Track without worrying about trying to listen to the Super Bowl.

I'm pretty pumped about finally getting to go on vacation soon. I have needed a break from the island since about June. I'm about the only person I know that hasn't at least gotten to go back to the mainland for a conference. Of course why would prosecutors need any training? There are mainly 2 AAG's in High Court right now: Moi and me. Between us, and counting our time in American Samoa, we have a little over 2 years experience prosecuting. Why would we need any training? Anyway, just 7 more days of work before New Zealand!

I guess I need some training about sunscreen. This Sunday we went to Airport Beach. It was really hot and sunny out, but I put a good coating of 30 sunscreen on. It was Banana Boat sport sunscreen and supposedly waterproof.

I guess that is not actually true:

My back is just on fire. This is by far the worst sunburn I've ever had. (yes, worse than the BYU "E" on my chest burn and the Mazatlan Robster burn)

(The following is based somewhat on news reports and somewhat on just things I have heard, so take that for what it is worth)
I have mentioned before on here that our Lt. Governor is under federal indictment for corruption (but he only stole a couple million bucks, so no big deal), yet the Governor has done nothing to ask him to resign. As I write this, the Governor is apparently in ICU at LBJ hospital here on island. This is a bad place for anyone to be. The hospital has been criticized for allowing non-US licensed doctors to practice there. The hospital risks losing federal funds by continuing to do so. Even the Governor has called for all doctors at LBJ to have passed US licensing exams. (none of his relatives or any matais on island must be unlicensed doctors) The hospital and the Fono (legislature) have been against this requirement. The Fono is usually against anything that makes sense, so this is no surprise. They just cannot understand why this is important and refuse to grasp that if the hospital does not stop employing non-licensed doctors that they will lose federal funding. So why is the Governor in the hospital? Well, he had an appendix problem, so he went to the hospital. They told him he's fine and to go home. It got worse so he came back and they finally figured out he needed an appendectomy, but almost too late. Then they gave him antibiotics that he is allergic to causing him to go to ICU. Had they even checked, they would have known that. I guess the hospital really made their point: they don't need to have them licensed...everything is fine.

So...at the moment the acting Governor is on the verge of spending 4-20 years in federal prison. What? What's wrong with that?

Thursday, January 10, 2008

Seattle at Green Bay coverage

Have you read many articles about this game or the Seahawks yet? You'd think Seattle was U of Hawaii getting ready to play at the Patriots.

This ESPN article give the chances that each underdog has of winning this week. Jaguars beating the undefeated Patriots at New England? 15 to 1. Seahawks beating Green Bay? 50 to 1. What?

Seattle has been in the playoffs 5 years in a row now. Most of Green Bay's players have never been in the playoffs. I understand that THE GAME is at Green Bay, it'll be cold, and they have Favre. But the Seahawks are used to being in the playoffs and we have Hasselbeck. As slow as Seattle started and as great as Favre's season has been, by the end of the year Matt's stats were almost as good. Check it out

While you're looking, look down the list...way down. Find Eli Manning? Seahawks fans know firsthand that he sucks, but this ridiculous east coast biased article doesn't see it. Don Banks must prepare for his job by only watching Giants' practices and only on non contact days and then only in passing drills where there is no defense. How can he seriously put that on CNN and still have a job? Maybe he doesn't even watch practice and is a big fan of Citizen watches:

I don't think I've read any national article picking the Seahawks. They're a lot better team than last time in Green Bay.

We'll take the ball and we're going to score.

Friday, January 4, 2008

Happy New Year

For New Years we went to Ofu for three nights. There was a really good group of 11 that made it. It was a big hassle to get the "airline" to fly us over and back when we wanted. Luckily Ofu Jim was able to convince them to come to their senses. Jim's parents own the lodge at Ofu.
So we went to the airport and after talking with an employee with a plastic sword, learned that our tickets would work and we could go to Ofu. We got the tiny plane.

I was seated directly behind the pilot.

Surprisingly, the flight was pretty smooth and we made it there with no problems at all. The landing is still scary though.

We stayed at the Lodge again. That is just a very nice and super relaxing place with a huge yard with hammocks right by the ocean.

We spent most of the first day hanging out at the beach right by the lodge:

At sunset, just before dinner, we walked down the beach and took some pictures.

You can see the island of Ta'u in the distance.

They do nuclear testing nearby:

OK, its just the sun:

A few weeks ago Naomi did some fashion modeling at a show here on the island. Here is another attempt at runway model:

The next day we went to the bridge. Randall is a guy doing construction on the island. He took us down there in his truck:

Hanging out at the bridge is great. It is just a wonderful spot between Ofu and Olesega islands:

Then back to the lodge for some more chilling out:

The next day was New Years Eve. Some of the group went for a hike up the mountain without a real trail. Some of us didn't want to be exhausted for NYE, so we drove over to Olesega

we got some wood for a bonfire:

and drove around Ofu, hanging out/swimming at different places.

But some of the group went bushwhacking up the mountain instead:

Right after they finally got back from fighting the jungle, there was a waterspout. I've now seen a tornado or waterspout 2 times and both on Ofu:

After they got back, they declared 2008, "The Year of Not Alden" for Alden forgetting to tell them where to go on the trail at the top, since they didn't make it to the viewpoint.

Then we went snorkeling and hanging out at the National Park Beach, which is about a 5 minute drive from the lodge. It is the best snorkeling I've ever seen; just ridiculous.

That night we had another good dinner and then had some drinks:

Before midnight, everyone was at the bonfire.

After midnight, we went for a swim in the bathwater temperature ocean to start 2008.