Archive for June, 2007

Highlights of the Japan/Guam Acker/Myer/Moon Holiday

There were so many good times but here a a sampling of our favorites:

1. Seeing our friends!!!

2. Hemiji and Nijoji Castles (Alex and Gwen’s choice)

3. Eating the food in Japan-sushi for breakfast, bentos for lunch on the train, and udon and donburi for dinner

4. Playing paintball in Guam (Alex and Wally’s choice)

5. Boat ride in Agat Bay with dolphins and snorkling at Coral Gardens

6. Staying at the ryokan, sleeping on the floor, wearing the yukata at the inn (Gwen, Davis and Elli’s choice)

7. Relaxing at the public bath in Kyoto (Gwen and Wally’s choice)

8. Swimming at the Hilton (Elli’s choice)

9. Pokemon Center in Tokyo (Davis’ choice)

10. Learning to speak japanese (Elli’s choice)

Hafa adai and sayonara

japan-199blog.jpg

Advertisements

Chamorros can really grill!

The social life of a typical chamorro entails attending any one of several fiestas around the island nearly every weekend.  The fare is delicious but remarkably does not vary from fiesta to fiesta.  You have the red rice, pancit, or some other noodles, the lumpia, the soups, and the meats.  Oh the meats.  The fiesta table – think of 6′ folding tables end to end to end – consists of grilled chicken, ribs and sometimes fish.  This afternoon at work, the folks decided to have an afternoon barbeque to celebrate the first season of the office basketball team.  Never mind that we were pretty much terrible the whole season; the guys thought we should celebrate a fun and hard fought season.  When I arrived at the party, there were several guys around a bbq covered with pork ribs.  If you like ribs, these were awesome.  If you can imagine several guys around the grill, you can probably guess everyone had an opinion about which rack to turn and which was done.  The tongs were in heavy demand.  Well, one of my more humorous friends exclaimed that it is in fact hard to cook without the essential chamorro bbq tool – beer.

He described the traditional grilling method that works to perfection: Drink one beer, drink a second, turn the meat, drink a third, drink a fourth, turn the meat, drink a fifth, drink a sixth, the meat is done!!

Is this progress?

The European Union commissioners have announced that agreement has been reached to adopt English as the preferred language for European communications, rather than German, which was the other possibility.

As part of the negotiations, the British government conceded that English spelling had some room for improvement and has accepted a five-year phased plan for what will be known as EuroEnglish (Euro for short).

In the first year, “s” will be used instead of the soft “c”. Sertainly, sivil servants will resieve this news with joy.

Also, the hard “c” will be replaced with “k”. Not only will this klear up konfusion, but typewriters kan have one less letter.

There will be growing publik enthusiasm in the sekond year, when the troublesome “ph” will be replaced by “f”. This will make words like “fotograf” 20 per sent shorter.

In the third year, publik akseptanse of the new spelling kan be expekted to reach the stage where more komplikated changes are possible.

Governments will enkorage the removal of double letters, which have always ben a deterent to akurate speling. Also, al wil agre that the horible mes of silent “e”s in the languag is disgrasful, and they would go.

By the fourth year, peopl wil be reseptiv to steps such as replasing “th” by “z” and “w” by ” v”.

During ze fifz year, ze unesesary “o” kan be dropd from vords kontaining “ou”, and similar changes vud of kors be aplid to ozer kombinations of leters.

Und efter ze fifz yer, ve vil al be speking German like zey vunted in ze forst place….

Dolphins and paintball

Normally, you don’t associate these things together. However, on Saturday the Ackers, Myers and Moons enjoyed both in one fun-filled day. It all started with an early wake-up call at 600a. Since we’ve been sightseeing and staying up late most nights, the alarm wasn’t well received by anyone. We headed down to Agat Marina about a 25 min drive from our place. There we met Capt. Chris who is a parent at our kids’ school. He captains a 40′ catamaran called the Sea Odyssey II. The early start would get us a jump on all the other boat tour operators and keep us from the intense heat of mid-day. As you can see from the pics, it was a glorious day. Agat is a calm protected area and the dolphins enjoy the sandy bottoms and slow waters.

acker-myers-visit-094blog.jpg

acker-myers-visit-102blog.jpg

We found a school of about 10 dolphin willing to play along side the boat. They stayed with us as if knowing that we’d enjoy watching them. The dolphins were incredibly close to us, about 10 feet away. Truly one of the highlights of our adventure.

Here are Scott, Will, Wally and Alex ready for paintball war. Later that afternoon, we ran around the course shooting balls from air-powered guns at each other. The balls left little bruises, but it was all worth it.

acker-myers-visit-120blog.jpg

Added bonus!! The kids enjoyed the “flow rider” at Tarza waterpark a couple days before the boat ride. Most of us tried this ride over and over. With the water flowing up at you, if you balance correctly, you remain stationary with the water pushing up the slope and past you. It was easy to lay on the board and enter the ride, the hard part was staying on the board and not having the water push you up the slope and over the edge.  Here’s Alex showing up how it’s done, and Tyler showing us how not to do it.

acker-myers-visit-024blog.jpg

acker-myers-visit-036blog.jpg

Konichi-wa!

We just returned to Guam after 8 glorious days in Japan with the Myers and Ackers, and Elise’s mom, Florence. What a wonderful culture of considerate and thoughtful people. We were amazed by the many touches of ingenuity the Japanese have incorporated into their daily lives such as the automatic doors for taxi cabs, and the toilet booty wash with temperature and pressure adjustments. We were taken by the cab driver who after just dropping us off, saw that we dropped a 10 yen coin (about a dime) and got out of the cab, picked it up and handed it to Dan. We felt very safe as we toured the number buddhist and shinto temples and shrines, the castles built by past shoguns and protected by their samurai. The kids loved that the samurai fought the ninjas so well. We stayed in a modern hotel in Tokyo and ate noodle soups for breakfast; we stayed in the traditional ryokan in Kyoto with a hot soaking tub. We even attended a public bath house. The kids were unanimous by choosing the Pokemon Center as the highlight of the trip. Personally, I enjoyed a little restaurant in Tokyo that had a vending machine out front where you chose your meal and paid by coin. You’ll be happy to know that Starbucks, Tullys and KFC are ubiquitous and always there if you tire of bento and sushi. Check out the pictures under Recent Photos.

Here’s one artful pic of a 6′ diameter steel ball with a hole drilled through it. This is Davis putting his face at one end while I had the camera at the other. It became a human kaleidiscope.

japan-007blog.jpg

japan-011blog.jpg

You say it’s your birthday!!

Davo enjoyed his 7th birthday with a party at the house. He had several of his little friends over for slip n sliding, balloon toss, pinata beating, and general horseplay.june-046blog.jpg

The Moons dominated the balloon toss, must be all the practice we get throwing things at each other.

june-048blog.jpg

The slip ‘n slide was a welcome relief as it was the usual 90 some degrees out.

june-079blog.jpg

Gwen made the pinata herself. Move over Martha Stewart.

june-035blog.jpg

june-107blog.jpg

What birthday would be complete without the ‘cash’ present that our kids so much adore. Happy birthday mini me!!!

june-043blog.jpg

Spanish Steps

Get a load of this picturesque place. Its called Spanish Steps. On the navy base, there’s a hike down a steep cliff along the spanish steps to a secluded beach. The spanish constructed a drinking water well at sea level and hiked up and down the steps to retrieve water.  At the bottom, you are rewarded with a rocky beach is rocky, a bit small, but you don’t need to spend alot of time there.  It’s mostly an entry point to shallow water and limestone rock croppings.

june-019blog.jpg

june-028blog.jpg

Here’s where we enter the water for some snorkeling. It’s a very protected area, and the access to it is very limited. The military keeps it closed most of the time since the main harbor entry way is just on the other side of the croppings. Elli found a blue sea star.

june-018blog.jpg

What I loved about the hike down were the hundreds of coconut trees. Here’s one trying to get it’s share of the forest.

june-005blog.jpg