Tuesday, April 26, 2011

Suck it up, Kids

There is a rambling diatribe blasting Marianas High School principal Craig Garrison in yesterday's Marianas Variety. This part made me roll my eyes:
The Marianas High School senior students are also faced with the possibility that several of them may not be allowed to participate in this year’s MHS school graduation because they may fall short of his 40 minimum required hours of what he calls Service Learning program. Several of my senior students do not want to comply and have decided to boycott the program knowing very well that they may not be able to meet the requirements and will not be allowed to partake in the graduation ceremony.
I think the point of the Service Learning program is to teach these kids some civic responsibility. Obviously the lesson has not been learned. Let them sit out the graduation ceremony.

Friday, April 22, 2011

Hope Mows

I once asked a member of the Legislature if he thought ignorance or apathy was to blame for Saipan's woes.

He responded, "I don't know, and I don't care."

Alright, I admit, I made that up.


There isn't much hope in the Marianas these days.  Despite the promises made in the last election (by Republicans, no less!), most of the change has been bad.  I see lots of talk from various elected whoevers and appointed whatsits promising better times, but nobody has had the gumption to pick up a shovel, a garbage bag, or a paint roller.

With that said, the highest ranking official in the Northern Mariana Islands, a man who has the power to influence the direction of the United States Congress, was out mowing his front yard Saturday morning.

With all the shenanigans on Saipan, it is nice to know that there is at least one guy who isn't afraid to wear those shorts in public.  And if he can wear those shorts, he can stand up to the relentless assault of malarkey only Saipan can deliver.

Alright, so the shorts comment is supposed to be clever.  The man knows my dog by first name, so give me a break.


This graphic isn't an advertisement for Garapan Open Mic Night -- it is an an invitation for you to attend Delegate Sablan's town hall meeting on April 27, 2011.

Quick, name one elected official in the Northern Mariana Islands who will stand up in front of a crowd of voters and answer any and all questions he gets asked.

Alright, name two.

You can't.  From governor, senator, representative, mayor, municipal council member, all the way down to dog catcher, there is only one elected official in Saipan who is willing to face his constituents.

His name is Greg.

Wednesday, April 20, 2011

Lazy is as lazy does

When I had the bright idea to start 2011 in 2011, my goal of running 2011 miles in the year 2011, I thought I'd update my status every other day colored with excruciating attention to detail.
Mile 1: I started sweating as I shuffled down the four steps from the door step leading to the driveway. I was out of breath before I turned the first corner.

Mile 2: I never knew I could move so slow and have it hurt so much. I think I might be having a minor heart attack.

Mile 3: .....
This blog hasn't turned out that way. In part it is because I've been too busy (lazy) to run every day, but also because I've been to busy (lazy) to write any blogs. So seeing as today is the 110th day of 2011, I thought I'd do a little accounting.

In 110 days I have gone on 56 runs. That means I'm on pace to run 1005.5 in 2011, not 2011 in 2011. In the immortal words of Butthead, Dude, that sucks.

Normally I like to blame things on Al Gore, but I'm going to blame my lackluster performance on travel. I have been on the road 67 of 110 days this year, not to mention the days of jet lag that followed each trip.

So if I were to excuse myself from running on days that I was on the road that would mean that I'm really only 43 days into 2011...

Yeah, I didn't really think so either. Worth a try, though.

Anyway.

Not that all is totally lost. When I stepped on the scale this morning I was a spritely 199.1 lbs. In the boxing world that means I've dropped from heavyweight to cruiserweight. Sorry, David Haye, I can't fight you anymore.

So I ran 5.3 miles today, bringing my total miles logged for 2011 to 256.9. With 255 days left in the year, I have 1754.1 miles to go before I reach my goal of running 2011 miles in 2011.

And all is not lost to accomplish running 2011 miles in 2011.  I just have to make sure I run every day between now and New Year's Eve and make up for the 54 days of missed runs, which equates to just 173 miles, less than one mile per day for each day left in the year.

Vegas is taking bets on whether or not I can do this (just ignore the fact that you have to trust me when I say I'm running or not).

Tuesday, April 12, 2011

Fatty Diet Fatty Blogger

Yesterday I did one of those great runs where you just head out the door and let your sneakers take you where they are going to take you. I mapped out my trail when I got back and found it was the perfect length. 5.3 miles.

I got home at around 6 PM today with plans to tackle this new route before making some phone calls and sending some emails and then going to bed early. Then it started raining. Run canceled.

Nevermind, I'll just send the emails. I opened up my bag and tried to untangle my computer cord from my headphones. I say tried, because there was no do. Exhaustion: #winning.

Deflated, I chose sleep.

Now it is 10 PM, I'm awake, and I really want to eat a cheeseburger. You may recall that one goal of 2011 in 2011 is to give up red meat. Yeah right. Not that I'm going out and biting the flesh off cows, but can you really eat Pho without slices of beef? And who in their right mind would turn down meatloaf? So there. And now I want to eat a cheeseburger. One of Wild Bill's bacon cheeseburgers would be perfect. Or maybe the jalapeno burger with bleu cheese and bacon.

Writing about it makes it easier to resist.

And that plan of going vegetarian by July? We'll see. And the plan to only drink 12 adult beverages this year? Let's just say I've already used up my quota through 2026, not that I'm counting.

Still, I'm running. I'm at 221.5 miles for the year. That's about a hundred miles behind my overall goal, but at least I'm running. Also, I figured into my plan that by the end of the year I'd be back into college shape (too optimistic?), so if it gets down to the wire and I have to run 12 miles each day it will be more a matter of fitting it into my schedule rather than physically being able to run 12 miles per day.

I'm on the way there, too. On Sunday I went for a run on the W&OD Trail. I ran west for 45 minutes, turned around, and slogged east for 55.

I'm also seeing some results on the scale. For three days in a row I've tipped below 200 lbs. I haven't been this far south of obesity in three years. I'm about halfway to what I weighed in college (the first time I went) and I have to admit I feel really great.

Alright, I'm going to go get that cheeseburger now.

Sunday, April 10, 2011

Back in the Day V

Was looking through some old photos and found this one of Dad and me.  This was taken in August 1995 right before I boarded the plane back to Florida for my senior year of high school.

In the mid-1990's Eddie Murphy popularized the collarless dress shirt.  Damn you, Eddie Murphy.  But what can you expect from the guy who gave us Party All The Time?

Expect some college photos in the next few weeks.  You've been warned...

Split in Two in Taveuni

taveuni meridian
In this photo, my left foot is in the Western Hemisphere, while my right foot is in the Eastern Hemisphere.  My shirt's all askew because it was really, really hot.

In unrelated news, Edz was telling me over Skype that her weight is all the way up to 100 lbs. Great. That's means she is literally by better 1/3.


There Comes a Point Where You Just Have to Give Up

The latest firestorm of controversy on Saipan concerns the government's installation of power poles along the main road on the North end of the island into Marpi and the veteran's cemetery. The community, at least some members of the community, think the power poles are an unnecessary eyesore. The Fitial Administration doesn't seem to care and continues to erect them despite protests.

In the grand scheme of things, what are a few power poles anyway?

Probably nothing, except that a tried and true political strategy for garnering votes on Saipan is to hand out free homestead plots to dedicated supporters. Combined with the fact that the Fitial Administration has already bulldozed forest to survey potential plots, and well, you do the political calculations.

So in all likelihood, the next time I live on Saipan the green hills of Marpi will have transformed into the grey slums of Marpi, indistinguishable from the poorly planned, rat infested villages in Koblerville and Kagman.

I've noticed that little by little the island gets more degraded and very few people seem to care. The power poles, and the flame trees that were damaged or killed in order to make way for their installation, are just one drop in the bucket. The dozens of trees cut down along Beach Road in front of Marianas High School and Hopwood Junior High School have made their neighborhoods more barren and have added to the urban blight. The unnecessary expansion of Isa Drive will lead to more runoff, increased accidents, and pedestrian deaths.

All this happens while elected officials bang the drum of We Have to Improve Tourism. So they go on taxpayer funded vacations to improve tourism instead of picking up a garbage bag, a shovel, or a paint roller.

Wednesday, April 06, 2011

200 in 2011

Oh, man.

I fell off the running wagon hard.

I jumped back on today, though. I guess that's why you set long term goals along with short term goals.

So I ran 4 miles today, bringing my total miles logged for 2011 to 203. With 269 days left in the year, I have 1808 miles to go before I reach my goal of running 2011 miles in 2011.

Dazed in America

When I woke up this morning I didn't know where I was. For a split second, at least.

Oh, that's right, I'm back in Washington, DC.  And it is cold in America. The Internet says it is a crisp 53 degrees Fahrenheit out, but surely it must be colder than that.

The flight back from Fiji was non-eventful.  I didn't eat on the plane, but had a spicy chicken pizza and caesar salad at the Wolfgang Puck Express in Los Angeles.  Speaking of which, the plane arrived in Los Angeles nine hours before it left Fiji, at least according to local time.

I was adding up my travel days so far this year and realized I've already been on the road 67 days and we're only into the first week of April. That means I've been suffering from varying degrees of jet lag every day since the middle of January.

Kava on the Beach: Drinking Kava during a meeting on the shores of Waitabu Marine Park
Not that I'm complaining.

I've been able to do some very meaningful work these last few months and the people I've been able to work with have been amazing and inspiring.  If every three month period could be as successful as the last three month period, the planet and future generations would be saved by the middle of this decade.

Virgin Deep Gets All Puerto Rican


So my claim to Richard Branson fame is that I saw him at the Western Inaugural Ball in 2009. Yes We Can.

Sir Richard was trying to grab the spotlight today for his plans to go deep-sea diving in his fancy new one-man diving machine. He's heading to the Puerto Rican Trench first, with plans to tackle the Mariana Trench in the near future.

I blogged about this last January. I wonder if anyone at the Marianas Visitors Authority has called Sir Richard yet?

Friday, April 01, 2011

OMG Fruitbat Double Rainbow Overload


I just spent two nights on the island of Taveuni, Fiji.  Tavenui is famous as one of only a handful of landmasses that cross the 180 meridian, fully on the other side of the globe as Greenwich, England.


After a beautiful sunset our first night, the next morning we were treated to a double rainbow over the neighboring island of Vanua Levu.  OMG.


We also found a pacific almond tree full of fruit bats.  Hundreds of fruit bats.  Maybe even one thousand or more fruit bats.