Thursday, June 26, 2008


What's been going on here? Nothing too exciting. Ridiculous court decisions, playing golf on Fridays, mostly just hanging out.

I have started outrigger canoe paddling. I don't have any pictures yet, but I'll put some up when Naomi takes her waterproof camera out. Naomi has been paddling for quite a while now. I just started and I still suck pretty bad. At the moment my back is really sore from top to bottom from it. Paddling is really hard because they're race training every day, but it is good exercise and nice to be out on the water around sunset.

The golf is $3 for 9 holes, so you can't beat that.

I see that ridiculous court decisions aren't limited to American Samoa though. This is nearly legally indefensible in my opinion. The militia requirement is pretty clear. The majority acts like it has never been a real requirement and they just gloss over it. That is totally not the case. I am not saying all guns should be illegal, but if a jurisdiction decides it needs to put some restrictions on guns, they should certainly be allowed to do so. The members of state national guards should be exempt from any such law. This is another pathetic politically driven decision like Bush v. Gore.

This is what happens when you put unqualified and/or politically motivated judges on the Supreme Court.

Golf tomorrow, poker/Markus's bachelor party Saturday---maybe head to Apia for Manu'a Flag Day (you all should demand July 16 off work) long weekend. After that it is the Pacific Arts Festival here on Tutuila. Hopefully the supply of food won't run out on the island. This place is completely unprepared for any large event and this is going to be a disaster. Then when the disaster is over, the Governor will declare it a great success.

Wednesday, June 25, 2008


Today started out early because I had a trial set for today.

On my drive into work, I listened to the morning radio show for a little bit. At first there was the usual extremely easy trivia that callers miss until there's only one choice left.

Then there was some discussion about the local election. Then it was mentioned that this is a big election for here and for the US.

Host: so who do you like in the presidential race, John McCain or Barak Hussein Obama?
Nana: (laughter at the Hussein comment)McCain, gotta go with McCain.
Host: Yeah, McCain is the man, I mean he's a war hero and POW.
Nana: Yeah, McCain...uhhh, McCain, yeah.
Host: All right enough of that I'm going to hear from all the Obama supporters out there. Maybe they'll paint my car like the Laker fans threatened last week to paint it yellow. What do you think the Obama supporters will paint it.
Nana: Black, they'll paint it black.

On the main radio station here.

Oh, and a really nice legally incorrect ruling during trial- I even feared this incorrect ruling so I did a bench memo setting out some caselaw about this issue. No matter... still the same ruling.


Friday, June 20, 2008

Almost halfway mlb predictions

Boston 100
Tampa 91
NYY 90
Tor 83
Balt 73

Chi 98
Det 87
Cle 83
Minn 78
KC 66

Oak 88
LA 86
Tex 74
SEA 66

Phi 97
Atl 88
Fla 86
Mets 83
Wash 65

Cubs 101
Stl 91
Mil 81
Hou 76
Pit 73
Cin 71

Ariz 86
LAD 80
Colo 75
SD 72
SF 70

Thursday, June 19, 2008


I don't take any joy in the firing of John McLaren, but it had to be done too. Even if this isn't his fault at all, they needed to at least make a change to have the appearance of starting over. McLaren's been with the M's a long time though and on a lot of the great teams.

Here's part of a story about a Lou Pinella onfield freakout with a nice McLaren comment:
Mariners manager Lou Piniella delivered the masterpiece of a long and distinguished career by calling upon his full range of talents and putting them all together on one stage. In protest of a call at first base, he charged onto the field, hurled and kicked his cap, screamed at the umpire, kicked dirt and tossed first base into the outfield -- twice -- before leaving the field to deserved and thunderous applause.

"That was the best," said bench coach John McLaren, who has been witness to most of Sweet Lou's eruptions. "He had all his greatest hits in it. He had the cap, he had the base, he had yelling in the umpire's face. He had everything."

They can let Riggleman endure the rest of this season, and then hire:

Bobby Valentine.

Please designate Vidro and Cairo for assignment today!

For the rest of the season, see how the young guys do:

1B Ibanez/Clement/Jojima
2B Lopez
SS Betancourt
3B Beltre
C Jojima/Clement
LF Balentien
CF Reed
RF Ichiro
DH Ibanez/Clement

If someone gets hurt, bring up and start LaHair.

It is too late probably to convert Morrow to a starter this season, but he definitly should be one next season.

See if anyone will take Bataista and Silva.

Somebody will give us at least something for Sexson and Washburn. Take whatever the best deal is as soon as possible.

If we can get value for Bedard, trade him. If not, keep him.

The Sonics trial seems to be going well. Bennett got pounded pretty hard about his lying explanation of "a man possessed". A man possessed to keep the team in Seattle...right. Plus, he admitted that they stopped all work on trying to get a new arena in Seattle 6 months into a 12 months best-efforts period. That helps Schultz's suit.

Restaurant review: Dog sticks

Behind the courthouses in Fagatogo is a little ghetto looking store called ABC Fax. Out in front, a guy has a barbeque set up every day grilling skewers of meat. They're a buck. He has them marinating for at least hours before they go on the grill. What kind of meat is it? Could be pork. There are lots of extra dogs around and... No I think it is pork...probably. This is not a guy you want to rush because if you get there and order some dog sticks but they're not quite cooked yet, he'll hook you up with some semi-raw meat. I think Nate has paid for this situation in the past. So as long as you make sure the dog chunks are fully cooked, it is actually good, and at a fair price. On island: 9 Off-island: 6.5 (as long as the dog is cooked)

After some thought I also need to adjust the off-island rating for Sadies. 4.5 is too high. I'd never go there. It is just way too crappy for the price. 2.5

Tuesday, June 17, 2008

Tractor painting

Sharon's old truck (now Amity and Sam's), The Tractor, got a facelift this weekend. Check it out on Jeremy's blog here.

I know the weather in the NW has been pretty rough lately, but it hasn't been #1 here for the past several weeks either. Aside from Sunday and yesterday, there has been lots of rain pretty much every day. Here's what it looks like at my house right now:

It is 78 degrees, yes; but it still gets old when it rains pretty much all the time.

So, again this weekend we were forced inside after getting in about 6 holes of golf between downpours on Friday. Samoa Steve is back from 2 months on a boat:

Ben got punched in the face this weekend (here's an exaggerated re-enactment):

Mainly there was just your standard hanging out.

Ayla drank a LOT of beer:

We're even reduced to entertaining ourselves with eyebrow contests:

Restaurant review:

Sadie's. This is probably the best actual real "restaurant" on the island. It isn't as good as Falepule, but Falepule isn't open on a daily basis. For lunch, I'm a fan of Sadie's. They have an $8.95 special including bread, soup or salad, and iced tea or lemonade. Dinner and other things on the menu are still way overpriced, but if you're only going there once a week for lunch, having just two choices is not that bad. Overall, the quality varies between about as good as and a little better than Denny's (but aside from the lunch specials, priced like a 4-5 star restaurant). Like everything though it is not always consistent. Once in a while it is really good. Once in a while what you get would never be allowed to be served at a Denny's. The service here is actually pretty good in general and just awesome for the island.
Off island: 4.5 On island: 9

Monday, June 16, 2008


Bill Bavasi is gone. After transforming a perennial winning team to the worst team in baseball, he finally was fired after 4.5 years (which seems like 45 years).

Here are some highlights:

Carlos Silva making about $10M per year:

Giving Jeff Weaver $8M last year:

Carl Everett:

$12M/ year to bat .196:

$5M/year to bat .064:

$11M/year to be average:

Horacio Ramirez (worst pitcher in baseball aside from Jeff Weaver):

Why's Carlos Guillen so happy? He just won the World Series and Bavasi traded him for nothing:

It might be nice to have Rafael Soriano (traded for Horacio):

and George Sherrill:

Also we traded our top prospect for a just above average pitcher that is injury prone and just signed our .230 hitting catcher to a 3 year $25M deal.

How did he last this long?

Well, at least it is over. Now we'll probably hire Allard Baird.

Sunday, June 15, 2008


Sometimes you realize things suck but then after a while if they hang around long enough you stop thinking they suck and start to like them.

Raul Ibanez is an example. When Lou used to keep bringing in Raul in clutch situations, it was time to pack it up and go home. He was a guaranteed out. But, he stuck with it, hung around and now he's one of my favorite players.

Red wine is another example.

After a long time knowing that Nickelback sucks, I've determined that I like them. I'm still not sure I can say that they don't actually suck with a straight face, but they've grown on me. Specifically, the Rockstar song has changed my mind. The video is helpful, but mostly it is the "I'll have the quesadilla" line. It is so dumb and so awesome at the same time that I'm now forced to overlook all the other suck indicators of Nickelback.

(the band indicating their dislike for the unattended dog problem in Lions Park)
(alternatively, they're telling someone where they can Doug)

Nate is on yet another trip off island for work. I'm still locked at zero. Anyway, due to the unceasing incompetence of ASG,

they didn't book the travel arrangements two or three months ago, but instead waited til last week. Guess what...the flight was booked! So after lots of lying on the part of the travel agency that they'd make a flight or that Hawaiian had sent a smaller plane than usual, they had to spend not only the extra money for booking flights last minute, but they had to send him to Fiji in order to get him to Hawaii.

A month and 5 days until the Pacific Arts Festival. I'm sure that since ASG can't even do something like book a flight to Hawaii, we're in for a myriad of minor and moderate disasters during that time.

Saturday, June 14, 2008

Maximo/ Leti/ Rich/ Ed

We took some losses somewhat recently here on the island.

Maximo left back to Argentina

Leti left to Florida

Rich went to Washington DC (unless NOAA shafts him)

and Ed died.

I'm not sure what killed Ed. The housing guys found her by Nikki's house I guess in Lions Park.

A while ago we played poker at my new place. I had the poker chips. But...I left them in Barbie's trunk. That would have been fine except that Barbie's no-wheel problem was still being fixed and Barbie was in Tafuna at a repair shop instead of here.

so we had to use rummikub tiles, jenga blocks, and beans for chips:

OK, restaurant review:

DDW used to be one of the only decent dependable places to eat around here. Then it changed hands and got even better. They tried having different things (unheardof on this island) and they kept their excellent coconut cream pies. Unfortunately, now the place is on a steep descent. They switched from ordering at the counter to ordering through waitresses. This is a complete disaster. There are two competent waitresses at DDW. So, they put one to work in the kitchen and one to work the cash register. For the floor, they hired two of the top 3 worst waitresses in the world (see Evi's Taco Hut). Incompetence is not even close to a strong enough description. It is truly unbelievable. Nobody could move slower if they were trying. Screwing up your order is a MUST. It makes me angry every time I'm in there and it takes several minutes just to get your order across. At first, I thought it was kind of funny because it is just so ridiculous. But, over time it has not improved at all and I don't see as much humor in it these days. The last time I went there, part of my eggs tasted like fish. Yuk! I've been forced to put DDW on my boycott list. I'll now only go there if all I want is a piece of pie. They haven't ruined that yet, but one dose of tuna will take that down as well. Off island rating: 1 on island rating: 3.

Also, I hadn't had KFC for a while. It sucks every time but I had it anyway. Guess what, it sucks. Unlike McDonalds and Carl's Jr., the KFC is not up to off-island standards. Off island rating: 1.5 On island rating: 3.5.

Friday, June 13, 2008

Who is advising John McCain?

I have an idea:

McCain's statement today probably took him out of consideration for a relatively large chunk of voters.

Giving rights to defendants to be tried fairly is not exactly something that is against the American ideal. I'd say it is the opposite.
And confirming that defendants have rights is one of the worst decisions in history? Wow.

I really doubt that there are many voters at all that agree with McCain that aren't already set on voting for McCain (or rather set on voting against Obama...did you know he's black?).

I'm stunned by McCain's stupidity, but I welcome it.


That was a great NBA game last night. Maybe the controversy about fixed games promoting teams with the superstars they want to promote made them hold off on giving Kobe every imaginable call.

Whatever it was, the Lakers just paid themselves back for that Blazers comeback. That was a pathetic second half performance by LA, and I love to see it.

Go Ray Allen. Did you see they guy sitting right by the scorers table with a Ray Allen Sonics jersey?

ohhhh, what's the matter Kobe?

6-19 in that one. Can't blame Odom for this one.

Wednesday, June 11, 2008

Shane 2

Once we were back in the AS, Shane did some of the usual sightseeing, such as it is, on Tutuila.

We went to Tisa's

Mostly, I think he enjoyed the rest of his time here chilling out.

But, he did also enjoy Sliding Rock (Tutuila version), one of the nicest features we have:

and Nuu'uli Falls:

These crazy kids were climbing way up the falls and jumping into the pool.

And then he headed back to the real world of bad weather and things that work correctly.

Fa'afetai lava Shane for coming out to visit our island.

Sunday, June 8, 2008

Shane's visit to AS (western samoa edition)

Before I get to that, I'm glad that the primary race is finally over and very happy with the result. I think if Obama picks Hilary for VP, he's nearly sure to win. But, I kind of think he really doesn't want to. So I think it'll be someone else. Maybe Jim Webb. That would be pretty good. He talks a lot of shit about W, and anyone that talks a lot of shit about W is ok with me. Hilary could be made Secretary of something, stay in the Senate, or maybe put on the Supreme Court. I'd say AG, but I think John Edwards is going to get that.
So check out this shirt:

It is awesome!

So, Buff came to visit:

And Shane made it too:

I picked him up at the airport late on a Thursday night. The next day, I rode into work with Nate so Shane could drive Barbie around the island. He went to check out a couple things, then came into town to meet for lunch.

On his way, Barbie had some minor trouble. Her wheel fell off.

What? Your wheels don't regularly fall off? I've seen many, many cars on the side of the road here with their wheels off. I suspect this is due to 2 factors:
- Everything here corrodes because it is so hot, humid, and salty, so the bolts just end up breaking.
- Most work here is done in the least thorough way possible when it finally gets done, so installation may be at issue in some cars missing wheels.

Anyway, we made it to the airport on time and headed to Western Samoa. We got in a taxi van and headed to Apia. On the way, there was a car stopped on the road for no reason. Our taxi passed it. Apparently, this pissed off the driver of the stopped vehicle who engaged us in a high speed chase for about 5 minutes. He was right on our ass and was swerving all around. It was insane. High speeds & Samoan drivers do not make for a safe experience. But, we made it and had a fantastic dinner again at Apaula Heights- though Shane had to go on the DL for most of the evening.
(19 Hosley--- out for night with unstoppable nosebleed)

The next day we hit Sliding Rock.

We gave some British guys a ride on the back of our rental car down from Sliding Rock to Apia. Naomi wanted me to gun it and knock them off, but I guess I'm just not as mean as her. (this picture was taken out the window towards the back of the car as they were trying to hang on)

Then we headed over the pass to the south of Upolu and towards Lalomanu.

Shane saw plenty of roadside pigs on the way:

Lalomanu was awesome as always.

It looks kind of cold in this picture, but it is always warm to hot not only outside, but in the water as well.

We stopped by the sea trench again

This time we got in it.

That was a really good call. It is kind of scary to go up and down the ladder, but once you're down there it is pretty spectacular. You can swim underground between the holes. The whole time you're kind of gently moved around by the tide also because on the ocean end of the pool, it is connected to the open sea. Apparently you can swim out there underwater through a tunnel. Nobody felt like drowning that day, so it wasn't tried.

We had lunch at Sea Breeze, which is not too far from the trench. It is awesome. I think the food there is even better than Apaula Heights. It also has a near perfect location.

Here's Shane, off the DL with the aid of nose plugs.

Next we hit Black Sand Beach.

There were actual waves breaking on the sand. It was really fun and we stayed for hours.

The waves beat the shit out of us though.

That night we went to Virgin Cove to stay in their fales. The water there is weird. There are no waves because it is so sheltered. We walked about half a mile out into the water and watched the sunset in about neck level water. Really really cool.

They do a really good job at Virgin Cove. All the fales are connected by paths that are lighted at night by oil lamps. The food is good as well. Maybe not as good as Lalomanu, but still a great deal.

and we survived one more flight back to American Samoa.

Restaurant review:
Rose Garden: It is yet another Chinese place, but probably the best one. Nothing we have had was total crap yet and that's through 3 visits. They actually clean their bathrooms too- incredible! Off-island rating: 3.5 On-island rating: 8.5