Thursday, October 30, 2008

Life is Precious

This morning my daughter and I got in the car and headed to work. We were chatting about some loser driver from our road that cut her off the night before while she was stopped at the end of the road, to turn right. She was in the right hand lane. He was sitting in the left lane blocking the path to any drivers that would want to turn in to our road too. Rude, poor driving skills, yes. But more than that, this type of driving risks everyone around them, and themselves and their passengers too. I have to wonder if life is meaningless to these people, that laziness would allow them to drive like this. So anyway, we finished that conversation, and headed north on Beach Road and approached the Quartermaster Road intersection. You know where this story is going, don't you? I was in the left lane (that goes straight through) and two other cars were in the right lane turning right. As I was right at Quartermaster, the car on that road decided to turn left into oncoming traffic. I hit my brakes, quickly assessed my options, drove around the cement divider into the oncoming traffic lane because it was empty and back into my own lane (all with the assistance of a guardian angel, I'm sure) - ALL to avoid the loser at the intersection who pulled out into oncoming traffic. Really, what are people thinking? Do they really think two cars can occupy the same space at the same time? Did they skip science and physics classes growing up? Common sense, 101? I laid on the horn for quite a while, and I only wish I had been able to see the license number. Not that it would actually help, but I would feel better reporting their wrecklessness. So again, life, is it not precious to some? Not precious enough to drive responsibly? Apparently not, because I've seen a number of accidents in this very same spot. And one was a cop car (not his fault, another loser exiting Quartermaster). Anyway, just needed to vent. I don't like people risking the life of my daughter due to their wrecklessness, or my life for that matter. Be careful out there!

Monday, October 27, 2008

Marianas Dive UW Pumpkin Carving Contest

Marianas Dive held it's 2nd Annual Underwater Pumpkin Carving Contest on Saturday, Oct. 25. This sounded like a fun event last year, but I wasn't doing much diving back then. Things change alot in a year. I was so excited to attend this year's event. The only thing missing was having Mike Tripp there, too. But he'll be home soon. Harry and I went shopping for pumpkins the night before. We found nice big round ones, but they were $25. So we opted for the local version. I got a local squash and Harry got the local pumpkin. Here's my squash just before the event began. Here's Harry gutting his pumpkin. They smelled so good when we cut them open, I was tempted to take it home and have Sarah cook them for us. But we went ahead with the contest - yes, in spite of our art deficiencies. We thought we could still have a fun time. And we did! Here's Tami working at the registration "desk". And Mark busy cooking burgers on the grill. Moon is helping with flipping the burgers.
Rose is headed out to the carving site with her pumpkin in tow. Harry brought his pumpkin out to the site via "dribbling". He would bounce the pumpkin as far down as he could and watch it float back up to him. Our carving site was near some beautiful coral, and the sunlight lit everything up really well for us. Even the fish were excited it was pumpkin carving day. They seemed to really appreciate the pumpkin innerds. Dennis is working diligently on his pumpkin. And Rose is busy carving away on hers, too. Tami is working in the background. Here's my squash work of art. Ha. Yes, here he is. I think he needs a name. Any suggestions? He was truly mortified when Harry did this to him. Poor squash guy. I'm guessing the sea cucumber wasn't that happy either. Gross!Susan is modeling her pumpkin, with carved palm trees. Very pretty. Susan won 1st place. Brad is our underwater videographer. Tami is working hard on her pumpkin. Tami won 2nd place. Harry is beginning his carving. And here's the finished product. Alien pumpkin guy. Once again, Harry does mean things to the pumpkins. He's making his barf sand. I think he's smiling in his regulator. Dennis is hanging out near some beautiful soft coral after finishing his pumpkin. Harry is just plain hanging out after finishing his pumpkin. Where are those bubbles coming from?Underwater pumpkin showcase. And here we are, back at the Marianas Dive canopy. Dennis and Judy are enjoying a burger. I brought some of the dried cherries that my Dad sent me for my birthday. They were a real hit. But we also had decorated cupcakes and cold drinks - yum!Well, here are the contestants for the pumpkin carving contest. L to R is Susan's, Kelli's, Harry's, and Tami's. Close up of Kelli and Harry's pumpkins. I know you wanted a better look. Ha. L to R Tami's, Dennis's, Ron's and Rose's pumpkins. And finally here's the group, owning up to our carving expertise. We had a great time! Thanks Marianas Dive for putting on a fun event!

Friday, October 24, 2008

Truth Challenged (PC term)

It was an honor to have the gentlemen from Washington DC out here to visit the island this past week. They were respectful, kind, smart, honorable men. I was embarrassed more than once by how they were treated during their visit. Have we lost our minds? Is rude and juvenile the new "cool"?
Yeah, I guess I'm struggling with a number of the ongoing issues. I don't know why I keep expecting people to tell the truth or do what is best for everyone. I should know after almost 13 years living here, that is far from likely. I don't want to sound cynical, really, but this past week (and the article about the governor, speaker and senate president's meeting with the DC men regarding the Marine Monument proposal) has just been over the top. The article was, frankly, a blatant lie.

I heard directly from persons present in that meeting. CNMI Officials certainly did not say - no, no, a thousand times no. Just a plain simple lie. The people of this island should ask themselves why they are being lied to like this? What is the agenda? Why can't they know the truth, and share their opinions openly? In my short life and experience, I tend to notice that people lie to cover wrong, hate, greed and fear. So I have to wonder which one of these or all of these is the motive for that behavior. I'm way beyond thinking that whoever fed the lies to the media will be held responsible. That just doesn't happen.

But I want to thank the Friends of the Monument group. You worked hard to share the proposal and potential good with the island. You were respectful and caring. You stated facts and listened to both sides of the issue. It's good to know there are still people like you all out there.

In other good news, there is a business group coming together to clean up and paint the pavilions at one of our beach parks this weekend. And the Marianas Dive group is having an underwater pumpkin carving contest. Sounds like great fun. Happy Fall!

Tuesday, October 21, 2008

Turtle weekend

It was fun diving with turtles this weekend, they just seemed happy to let us hang out with them. But we also saw some other cool critters while we were down there. In the photo below, I stayed hovering overhead while Harry checked out the crevasses. We've been seeing these little stone monuments all over the island. So Harry built a little fish feng shui down there. I was surprised by this eel as he came out in front of me as I was following Harry. Nice scorpion fish photo by Harry. Octopus hiding under a rock. Turtles - up close and personal. This guy was stirring up a bunch of silt wiggling against a rock. The turtles seemed content to have us near, no matter what direction we shot the photos of them. Harry watching this one eating his mid-day snack. This one was really stirring up the silt, but I leaned in for a close look anyway. You can really see all the silt being kicked up from both sides. This was after he settled down a bit. He still hung out with us, just quit wiggling in the silt. He even let us come close with the camera. It's just awesome to watch them watch you. Grabbing another snack. It was fun to be a part of their world for a few minutes. Another turtle - on his farewell exit. Thanks guys, for sharing some ocean time with us.

Monday, October 20, 2008

Harry's Birthday

Friday was Harry's birthday. Sarah treated us to a wonderful dinner at Giovanni's. Complete with Hyatt's delicious ice cream cake!Harry tried to blow out the giant candle . . .But eventually settled for blowing out the little candle at the bottom. In spite of being really, really full - we all had to try some of the ice cream cake. Here's where Harry's frosting ended up. After our amazing Hyatt dinner, we all walked down to Godfather's, where we invited some friends to join us for a couple of drinks. We were greeted by this giant banner out front. Inside friends were waiting to share a drink and some laughs. Here is Kim seated, Brad, Barry and Mike. I think Mike may have gotten a head start on the drinks. Barry, Jim, Maggie, Kathryn and friends share some good company and conversation. Rhea gave Harry an underwater light for his birthday present. It quickly became a light saber, zapping Brad who suddenly became "the dark side" foe. Dueling light sabers. Chris had a psychodelic one with flashing lights. Harry's birthday cake, complete with fish and underwater scene, courtesy of Godfather's. Thanks Ron and Scott, you made it a fun night for Harry and his friends. Harry and the band, singing Happy Birthday. Mike giving us his ninja pose. Good thing he's a dive instructor and not a marial arts trainer. We asked them to do something dorky for the camera - just kidding, I'm not sure who talked them into this pose. We shooed the boys out of the booth for a bit for some girls chats. I like Cathy's pose in this photo. She was only drinking coke. Here's Rhea enjoying her slice of Godfather's birthday cake. Harry and Steve. Kim and Harry. Kim and Steve are friends and fellow Rotary members. Here's Brad , Kim and Mike in the background, with Maggie coming over to wish Harry a Happy Birthday. Maggie is the most photogenic person I know. She always looks great. Here's four of us squeezed into one side of the booth - Kelli, Harry, Cathy and Angelo. I think Harry and I might be a little tired. Barry and Maggie signing the birthday banner. Cathy helping us take the banner down. It was a really fun evening, with plenty of friends, plenty of laughs. Thanks everyone for joining us in celebrating Harry's birthday!