I Must Be Adopted

I am truly hopeful that I am adopted, and thus not as messed up as the rest of my family.

Wednesday, October 25, 2006

Fiji Water

While in Fiji, we discovered the bottling plant for Fiji Water.

You may, however, want to think twice before drinking their water for a while...


Sunday, October 22, 2006

I think I'll call him Syd

Say hello to my little friend... Syd.

He showed up on the path to our Bure this morning. Traci is terrified of spiders, but won't let me move him. For perspective, I have placed my finger on the web beside him.

He's big...

We Won!

In-bounds play

In addition to Saturday being Diwali, it was also the day of the island's biggest Rugby rival game. The village of Nadi vs. the village of (I can't remember). Rugby may very well be the national sport here in Fiji -- but don't quote me on that, I'm just going by how the locals talk about Rugby, and how big this game was to them.

Nadi is just across the bay from Namale, and a large portion of the staff lives in that village.

So Traci and I decided to go into town and watch the game, despite the fact that neither of us knew anything about the sport -- rules, scoring, strategy, etc...

While we were there we learned a little bit about the game and scoring, but nothing in too great a detail. We did, however, know that we were losing for most of the game... They had scored a touchdown (or the rugby equivalent) and 2 field goals, while we had only scored 3 field goals.

That is until the last minute of the game. We scored a touchdown, and the place went wild (we were the home team.) 30 seconds after we scored, people were running onto the field and celebrating, etc... I didn't know what was going on until someone said that the game was over and we had won. You see, there was no score board or any other device telling how much time was left, and since we don't know how long a game lasts, we had no idea when it ended. By the way, our team was the blue/burgandy team.

We also learned (maybe this is just with the local game), there are no injury timeouts. In the picture below on the right hand side they are tending to a player who had been on the ground for at least a minute before I took the picture. Hidden by the post is the action that was still going on, and went right on past the player and the guy helping him.

No Injury Time-outs

Friday, October 20, 2006

The Village and Kava

Went to the village today to have a look around, and meet the local people... Many of the staff here at Namale live in this village, so it was nice to see them in their element, and not while working... The staff here is EXTREMELY friendly.

While in the village, Sunia (the staff member who gave Traci and I our initial tour, and who has been extra friendly towards us), invited us into to his home to have some kava -- read the effects section.

Kava is an important part of the culture here in Fiji. There are no gathers, meetings, ceremonies, etc., that do not start without the drinking of Kava. Here at the resort, the mantra "No Kava, No Dinner" is expressed by everyone. During the dinner period, they encourage the guests to join some of the staff and sit around the kava bowl listening to the staff sing and play music and, of course, drink kava.

Sunia, prepared for us, an especially strong batch of kava -- MUCH stronger than what is given here at the dinner periods. Strong enough that after 3~4 bowls of the stuff, Traci was feeling really good. I'm thinking Kava for the next poker gathering...

Tomorrow we are off to the town and the local market. There is a black pearl farm here. Traci is really excited about the fact that they accept credit cards... YIPPIE!!!

Thursday, October 19, 2006

There Be Bats

As advertised, there are indeed fruit bats here at the resort.

We spotted them last evening at dusk. Also as advertised, they are at least 2~3 foot in wing span. I'm attempting to get a photo of one to post, but they are not very cooperative. I have some video of some, but no still photo yet.

We will continue to try.

Tuesday, October 17, 2006

Pollywog No More

Traci and I offically lost our Pollywog status at 09:30 EDT (02:30 local time, somewhere at 38,000 feet over the Pacific) on the morning of Monday, October 16th. 2 hours later, we crossed the International date line, and jumped ahead to Tuesday. All of this was decided by watching my in-seat navigation system on board our 747. I was rather hoping for some official notification by the pilot, but considering the time and the fact that most of the plane was asleep, I can understand the silence.

We landed in Fiji, and after a short delay jumped on our final of 4 flights and 18 hours total flight time. Below is a picture of our final destination airport, SAVUSAVU on the Fijian island of Vanua Levu. It's not much, and they are closing it down for renovations at the end of this month. I'm guessing by renovation, they mean 2 sticks of dynamite and then starting over.

The worst part of our trip happened at this airport. A summary of the conversation between me and the airport attendant:

Attendant: "You mean your bags are on that plane?"
Me: "You mean the plane that just took off?!?! Yes, my bags were on that plane! Traci, wave goodbye to our bags!"

We had 2 of our bags delivered to our Bure (villa) at the resort some hours later. And after we pointed out we had 3 bags total, the third was located and delivered.

I'll save the rest for a later time, but here are some of the pictures so far.

Namale's Main Gate

Our View at Breakfast

Stairs into our Private Area

Our Bure

Our Deck

Our Beach from Our Deck

Our Bed

Kilo markers.
Big shout out, if you can spot the problem here

UPDATE: Traci just learned they have rather large (2~3 foot wing span) fruit bats at night here... Apparently, we are now searching for them tonight. This should be fun.

Thursday, October 12, 2006

"He Cold Clocked Me"

I know I said my last post was the last from the US, but that was before lunch...

As I was leaving the building for lunch, I was walking down a hallway talking with a colleague. Walking briskly about 10~15 feet ahead of us, was an older gentleman in a fancy suit talking on a cell phone. In retrospect, I would guess the man was a lawyer, but that's a total guess.

The gentleman turned to say something to my colleague and I, as he was approaching the part in the hallway that leads to a stairwell door.

Based on the name of this post, any guesses where I'm going with this?

The gentleman (walking briskly) meets the door to the stairwell as it is opened by another colleague of mine (Tim).

It was a nice impact; a good, deep, resonating "THUD"! The gentleman was sent stumbling against the opposite wall -- if not for the wall, he would have been down.

I tried to warn him, but I was only able to get out "Sir, Wa..." THUD!

When asked multiple times if he was OK, the man replied that he was. He went on to say he was about to say something to my colleague I was talking with when he turned around and "he cold clocked me."

To which I responded, you have to watch where you are walking.

Tim, if he does turn out to be a lawyer and sues, let me know, I saw the whole thing, and it was pretty entertaining. I'd love to describe whole event in open court.

Goodbye from America...

This will be my last post from America, and as a single man. The pending Neptuials occur on Saturday, and then we wisk ourselves away to a romantic honeymoon in the South Pacific.

My next posting will hopefully be from Fiji (the resort has Internet access).

Stay tuned as I hope to post somethings from the honeymoon, including pictures... Plus, since we cross the international dateline and will be a day ahead of you here in the US, we'll know if the world ends (see all the news articles on North Korea) before you guys. If it does look like it will end, I will post a warning... :-)

So, goodbye for now... and as a tribute to Fiji, here are the multiple ways to say goodbye in Fijian:

Au sa liu mada
Moce mada
Sa moce
Ia, moce [reply to above]
Loloma yani
Au se lako mada [said by person leaving]
Au se gole mada [said by person leaving]
Au sa tatau meu sa lako [said by person leaving - polite]
Au sa tatau meu sa lesu tale [said by person leaving - polite]
Vinaka [reply]
Io vinaka sa vinaka [reply]
Vinaka vakalevu [reply]

The In's and Out's of my sister's life

Chet is out... Gone... History. He'll be missed.

Shannon is in. (Shannon is the biker guy.)

Email excerpt from my brother:

Just so you know, crazy biker guy has 100% officially moved into Laura's house.

Oh and he doesn't work and drives his motorcycle all day, and in true WV style has 3 cars, 2 of them are older than me but they do run, and they are all here.

WV = West Virginia, and to be honest my brother has a tendency to embelish a little. I have yet to meet Shannon, so I am trying to withhold judgement for now. He might be the nicest guy, and best thing for my sister.

Here's hoping...

Tuesday, October 10, 2006

There must be something in the water

There's got to be something in the water in Columbiana, OH.

As posted earlier, my Grandma died a short while ago.

Upon returning home, 2 days later my cousin Bob died. Now, having met this gentleman only 2~3 times in my entire life, we did not travel back out for the funeral.

That's 2 weekends, and 2 funerals for my family in Columbiana. I'm glad I drank bottled water when I was out there.

Friday, October 06, 2006

Answer for Chuck

Chuck had asked where I got the picture of the lightning strike.

I thought that he and others would enjoy the article that lead me to that picture.

the ISS, Space Shuttle, and the Sun.

Click on the "When Lightning Strikes" link above the photo. And click on the Photo of the ISS, Shuttle and Sun for a close up of that one.

Beauty but no brains

Last night, as Traci and I worked to finish the program for our upcoming wedding, I was flipping through the channels to find anything remotely interesting... As usual, nothing. So I just left the channel turned to the NFL network as background noise... listening to the NFL Total Access show.

After that ended, the NFL Cheerleader Playoffs came on.

The premise is this... They take two-member teams from most of the NFL team's cheerleading squads and put them in physical (running, swimming, biking, etc.), trivia, and dance competition with each other. They are currently in round one of the competition, and have 4 groups competing per show. The top 2 teams from each show go to the next round...

I wasn't really interested, until they got to the trivia portion. Now remember, these are NFL cheerleaders... Meaning they spend at least 8 weeks every season (home games) on the sidelines of NFL games, surrounded by NFL players, and all that goes with being associated with all that is the NFL.

Here are some choice questions, and answers that were given. I am not picking on any one team's cheerleaders, so there are sample questions and answers from each team.

1) The largest attendance for an NFL regular-season game is more or less than 100,000 people? answer given: Correct -- I swear that's what she said.

2) Home many teams are in each conference? answer given: 32

3) What state is home to the Pro Bowl? answer given: Florida

4) What position does the San Diego Chargers' Antonio Gates play? answer given: Quarterback

5) How many yards is it from one goal line to the other? answer given: 10

6) What color is the challenge flag? answer given: PASS (next question)

7) What state do the Green Bay Packers play in? PASS (next question)

Complete questions and answers can be found by following the link at the top of this post. Try it and see how you do. On TV, they didn't get to the 20 and 40 point questions that are listed on the link.

I would like to announce that the Buffalo Bills squad dominated and won all 4 of the events in their competition, and moved to the next round. Their trivia part was to match all 32 team logos to the team names in 90 seconds or less. They completed it with 17 seconds left.

Before some of fans out there say "How hard could that be?" The results of the teams involved:

Bills: 32 correct with 17 seconds left
Vikings: 32 correct with 3 seconds left
Eagles: 17 correct with 0 seconds left
Texans: 12 correct with 0 seconds left

At least one part of the Buffalo Bills team won something this season. Ditch Losman!

Thursday, October 05, 2006

The 3 forms of lightning

Some time ago, Traci and I got into a discussion about the 3 forms of lightning -- I have no idea why or in what context the conversation took place... I just remember the outcome, because we joke about it every once in awhile...

We could each remember 2 of the forms, but couldn't remember the 3rd... finally she came up with "Close, Closer, and ZZZZT!" (meaning, it zapped you).

Seeing this photo online today made me think of that.

P.S. the 3 general forms are Ball (rare), Heat, and Streak (most common)

Tuesday, October 03, 2006

Goodbye Grandma

My grandmother passed away this past Friday.

She leaves behind:
11 Children
45 Grandchildren
49 Great-Grandchildren
9 Great-Great-Grandchildren

The picture below includes 3 of her children and some spouses, Laura, Brad, Traci, and myself.

It was taken one of the weekends spent preparing her home for sale.

God Bless you Grandma. I will miss you.