Monday, February 26, 2007

An Almost Perfect Weekend

My life is pretty sweet. Friday, left work a little before 3 pm. Played golf with a bunch of friends, and it didn't rain on us. I actually played well, and most of the greens had grass on them (instead of the usual mixture of dirt and sand). That night, went out to dinner to "Famous III" - a Chinese restaurant. The Kung Pao chicken had flavor, and the green peppers tasted like green peppers and the chicken was actual chicken and not chicken parts.
Played some poker on Saturday night. Sadly, I did not win, but Jeff did win. It was the third time Jeff had ever played poker, let alone Texas Hold'em. Even the people playing against him in the final round wanted him to win - his story could be a NBC movie of the week - just wash out the degenerate gamblers.
Sunday night went over to the Keysers' for dinner. They made a bean casserole and potato casserole that blew my mind. We were warned a head of time about the mind blowing, but didn't really believe it until I tried it. They also have a pool table - amazing what some people can find in Am. Sam. I also got to ride in Emily's new convertible, pretty sweet. I didn't even mention the perfect weather this weekend - while a little hot, I'll take 90 degree weather in February. To top it all off - they had lettuce at the store.
Yup, my life is pretty sweet.

Thursday, February 22, 2007

Six Months

Shockingly, I have been in Am. Sam. for six months. Even more shocking, I only have six months left in Am Sam. Wow. I guess it is true that time goes by fast when you are having fun.

Tuesday, February 20, 2007

Palagi Olympics

We had a dream. A dream to combine sport, beer and a celebration of U.S. presidents. That dream came true in the form of the 2007 Island of the Sacred Chicken Special Olympics (a non-race based community extravaganza) during the weekend of president's day.Day One started with the selection of nations. A MacGyver concoction of ping pong balls, Velcro and a pitcher assisted in the selection of competitors for each nation. Once the members were selected, they chose nation names. AomaSalandia, Sofa King Republic, and the fifth grade humor nations of Buttswana and YourAnus were represented in the games. The first event was a Goodwill Sloshball match between AomaSalandia and Sofa King Republic versus Buttswana and YourAnus. For those new to the Sacred Chicken Games, sloshball is a simple game in theory, but a complex one in practice. It is based on America's pastime, but combines the role of the athlete and the drunken fan into one with a pretty cool backdrop. The rules are like baseball, but the house is a ground rule double.The major difference is second base. If one makes it to second base, it is necessary to take a beer. You may not drop that beer until it is finished. This includes times when you are batting or in the field. Special props to Ruth for getting numerous hits while holding a beer and a cigarette, that is true athleticism. If you still have that first beer, and get on second base again, well, now you have two beers. We also tend to take longer seven inning stretches. Aoma/Sofa King started with an early lead, but due to the numerous times we went past second base that inning, our fielding suffered. After a seesaw game, the Aoma/Sofa King team was victorious. Luckily, that ended Day One.
Day two started with a Flip Cup tournament. Four athletes line up to the table. At the go mark, the first person in line must chug a half a cup of beer (some were larger than others).Once the beverage is consumed, the athlete must place the cup right side up on the edge of the table and "flip the cup" to drinking side down. Once the cup is properly flipped, the next athlete begins to consume the frosty beverage. AomaSalandia easily took the gold medal and set a new Sacred Chicken record. It was to be our first and only gold medal at these games.
The next event was a three legged race, from Point A to Point Beer and then back. A bit of controversy arose due to allegations of not finishing the beer at Point Beer. All disputes during the games were settled by Rock, Scissors, Paper, best of five format. AomaSalandia did not place, and lost the challenge, so I did not really pay attention to who won what medals in that one.
Astronaut Training was the third event. Another relay, in which one team member runs a couple of yards, then grabs a bat, circles five times around the bat and then runs back to the starting point. At one point we were a bit worried for Emily running into traffic when she crossed the entire length of the field, but she made it home safe.
The fourth event was Washoes. A Randy "tu-pac" Nicholson original event. The game field is comprised of two wooden boxes with three holes in each of them. Each athlete attempts to throw the Olympic disk (a washer) into one of the holes. The closest hole is one point, three points for the middle one and five points for the furthest hole. First one to 21, without going over, wins. Unlike the Price is Right, you don't automatically lose, but go back down to ten points. Each nation entered two teams into a bracket elimination, I am not sure how it all worked, but it was written down somewhere.
The fifth event was Beer Pong. Six cups, with some beer in them, are set up at either end of the table. Two members of a nation complete against another two member nation team. One at a time, the athletes attempt to throw a ping pong ball into one of the cups. If successful, the opposing team must finish the cup of beer and remove the cup from the playing field. Local rules allowed for the bouncing of balls into the cups, which is not followed in Chicago or the basement of the Sigma Chi house at GW. The first team to get a ball into each of the six cups wins. It takes a minute to learn, but a lifetime to master.
The final event was the Pisupo Eating Contest. A unique event at the Sacred Chicken games due to the nature of Pisupo. Cue the Bob Costas athlete profile music. As legend as it, the first canned good to arrive in Am. Sam. was Pea Soup - or Pisupo. The Samoans loved it. However, the next can to arrive was corned beef. The Samoans loved that even better, but decided to keep the name Pisupo for corned beef. Makes sense to me. Over the years, Pisupo has been refined into a mixture of meat, grizzle and congealed fat. Delicious. Each athlete had to finish 7.5 ounces of the delightful treat. Fork (and vomit) was optional. We finally made it to the award ceremony. At least Ed the Dog remained interested in the closing ceremonies. In the end, Sofa King Republic was crowned the champion. Nice going guys. Start training for the 2008 games.

Wednesday, February 14, 2007

The Love Boat

We might not have much, but cruise ships seem to enjoy our lava rock. Over the next few weeks we could get as many as seven cruise ships docking in Pago Pago. However, the motherload landed yesterday - the Queen Mary 2. This was QM2 maiden voyage to Am. Sam. The ship can carry a little over 3,000 passengers and has over 1,000 crew members. It has a planetarium! It is over 1,000 feet long (twice as long as the Washington Monument) and about 236 feet high. It dwarfed over Pago Pago. It even made Rainmaker Mountain look tiny. While all of these new palagis explored the island, we tried to figure out ways to get aboard. We were unsuccessful. The news reported that three passengers from the ship got into a taxi at the harbor and asked to be taken to an air-conditioned mall. Unfortunately, the driver did not really understand them, so he took them to the local hardware store where they could buy an air-conditioner. Oops. I am not sure what is funner that the driver took them to the hardware store or that they were looking for a mall in Am. Sam., forget the fact that they wanted it air-conditioned. Silly palagis.

Tuesday, February 13, 2007

Feliz Navidad!

Santa and Reindeer Plastic Car = $9.99
Liquid Refreshment at Christmas Party = $50
Digital Camera with Recording Capabilities = $250
Resulting Video = Priceless

Sadly, I was not around for the making of the video, but still enjoy the end product. Rated PG-13 for explicit language and subject matter.

Friday, February 09, 2007

Ili'ili Country Club

I am still surprised that an island 26 miles long and 3 miles wide would have an 18 hole golf course, but hey, this is Am. Sam. Ben and I try to go on a semi-regular basis (when it is not too hot or pouring rain). The golf action shot. Nice Shot! Without fail it rains. I have not yet played where it has not rained. On the mainland, most people would run into the club house when it is raining, but here we play through it. The blinding rain does make it a bit more challenging and the newly formed water hazards can be difficult, but it is refreshing and normally done after a few holes. I am also not sure if you would want to run into the club house. The other day when we went, we were lucky because Sharon joined us and they recently mowed the fairways. Most times it is difficult to distinguish between the rough and the fairways. I can't tell you how many times Ben and I have lost our golf balls in the fairway. Perhaps the wild dogs take them?The putting greens can vary from good,(that was my chip shot by the way), some are just okaywhile others you just have to ask what the heck!?!I am not sure if it is up to PGA regulations. Regardless, it is a lot of fun, especially the golf carts and you can't beat the views.

Tuesday, February 06, 2007

Winter Olympics in Am. Sam!?!

You may not realize that Am. Sam. has a National Olympic Committee, well, it does. If I was around in 2008, I might be in line for a place in Beijing. Seriously. My neighbor might go for swimming. Anyway. I am not sure how, but it turns out that Am. Sam. has been picked to host the meeting where the three finalist (Pyeong Chang, South Korea; Salzburg, Austria; and Sochi Russia) for 2014 Winter Olympics will present their bids to the Oceania National Olympic Committee. Let me say that again, the three finalist for the 2014 Winter Olympics will be presenting their bids in Pago Pago. Not Sydney, Auckland, or even Palau. Pago Pago, American Samoa. We can't get lettuce on a regular basis (and now even mayonnaise) on the island, but we are going to host a bid presentation. I guess they have to meet somewhere and we did have that two man bobsled team in Calagry for the 1994 Winter Olympics. Go figure. I am rooting for Pyeong Chang cause that is the area where I went "skiing" while in Korea for Christmas - I sure hope they learn how to make snow before 2014. yikes.

Monday, February 05, 2007

Superbowl Sunday

Nate hosted a Super Bowl Party and we got to use the projector (from Screen on the Green fame) to watch the game on the big screen, or in this case a white wall. Due to the time change, kickoff was around 12:30 pm, which worked out well for us, but we had to block some of the Am. Sam. sun, so up went the dark sheets. I wonder how long Nate will keep them up. Sadly, neither the game nor Prince was that interesting. Also, we didn't get to watch the Superbowl commercial. In Am. Sam. the game was broadcast on the AFN channel - the American Forces Network. A channel for the military, by the military. Instead of playing the million dollar ads, it shows "important" public service announcements about credit card debit, hypothermia and suicide. I think the suicide ad is important, because after watching the same six commercial during each commercial break over a four hour period, I sure was on the edge. It also provides fun facts about the military. Do you know who are the only two individuals selected as General of the Armies? Watch AFN and find out. Regardless, I did get to spend the day in air-conditioning while stuffing my face with food. This included three different kinds of guacamole -including one with cranberry, which is actually really tasty. In addition, Niki made the famous dip and Nate cooked his newly famous chili. good times. Perhaps the Bears will pull it out next year, but at least I have time to practice the Superbowl Shuffle.

Saturday, February 03, 2007


The other day I posted an article from Samoa News that discussed a prison break in which the prisoners broke out of prison, drove around for awhile and then went back to prison through a hole they made in the wall. I stated that you can't make this stuff up. Well, I guess you can. The story was based off an affidavit filed by the police, but it appears that the police officers were "confused" as to the prison break. The prisoners never really broke out of prison and a small child, let alone a fully developed Samoan, could not fit through the hole in the cell. oops. But I guess everyone makes mistakes.

Thursday, February 01, 2007

Prison Break

At first I was not excited to be living near the Tafuna Correctional Facility THE territory prison,but after reading this gem in Samoa News, my fears are gone. I swear, you can't make this stuff up.

By La PoasaSamoa News Staff
Two TCF escapees are scheduled to appear today at the District Court for their preliminary examination hearing in connection with their escape from jail late December of last year. The inmates, Sione Muliaga and Suisape Tavete, are each facing escape from commitment and property damage in the first degree. They made their initial appearance in District Court on Tuesday.
The charges against the two stem from an incident that allegedly occurred on Dec. 28, 2006. On this day, at about 6:30 a.m., a TCF officer reported seeing a large hole in the wall of one of the cells. The hole was created by the two inmates, the government's case claims. When confronted by police, Muliaga admitted to a police officer that he and Tavete had made the hole in the wall, then left the jail building by that hole, climbed the fence to exit the facility, and then gone to Fagaima.
Muliaga said there, they met Muliaga's father, who drove them around for a while before dropping them off at Lions Park, from where they returned to their assigned cell in reverse order of their path of escape.
Tavete admitted to the TCF warden that he had created the hole in the wall of Cell No. 4 of Bravo Unit. He did not admit leaving the facility, but he was seen outside of the 'hole' by three inmates whose names are being withheld for their protection, the government's case said. According to Warden Moliga, the wall will have to be reconstructed (rebar and concrete) at a cost of more than $1,000.
At today's hearing, the district court judge will determine whether the government has sufficient evidence to bound the charges against the two over to the High Court for trial or other disposition.
Both defendants remain in jail as they are currently serving felony convictions. They are being represented by the Public Defender's Office. Each charge of escape from commitment and property damage in the first degree is punishable by a jail term of up to five years, a fine of $5,000, or both.

I am not sure why they would need to make a hole, because most of the time the front gate in unlocked. Click here for more great stories about our local jail.