Tag Archives: american samoa

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I wanted to make sure that I updated my blog before we left for Myrtle Beach. I am not if I will update it while I am there, but I will try to get in a race report if at all possible. I am still pretty excited about running the full marathon distance and am unsure how fast I will run it or if I will pace myself slower than normal to conserve energy. Nonetheless, it should be just fine. I haven't ran since last Tuesday, which is ill advised but my legs will well rested. And it's not like I have not been exercising, I swam both Monday and Wednesday for a half a mile (800m).

Eric is doing fine. We got results back from his eye screening and they say that he might have some far sighted condition. I don't know what it is called hyper-something-or-other. But we will have a optometrist check it out.

I am almost done getting my computer back up to speed. I'll then be able to make Eric web albums and give you all something fresh to look at.

we, well… I, changed our BB&T checking account today to something a little more in our lifestyle now. It was no big deal, they were fast and friendly. I was pleased with the whole transaction, just the way that I like it.

On ESPN Sports Center, there was a highlight of a monkey dressed up as a cowboy riding on the back of a dog going through an obstacle course. It was hilarious… the monkey just thought that it was having a grand ole time.

I was thinking about the apple iPod, the Mp3 player that can hold to 40GB of music depending on the version you get. Currently, I have our complete CD collection ripped on one of the extra hard drives at home and it only take up 22GB (because of how I ripped the CDs). In essence, I would have all my music PORTABLE. I could play it in either car with the Cassette adapter for the headphone jack, or on the stereo with a RCA jack. But really, right now, I need something that is very portable with an armband… and inexpensive. Currently I am looking at a Creative MuVo Sport C100, Rio Cali, and RCA lyra 2010. All of them have MMC expansion slots (I have a 512MB card I can use), they have a armband included and have some form of a FM radio.

Did you catch the news about American Samoa? Cyclone Olaf took a stab at the islands. See Story They were pretty much out of the path with no major damage, but given the location and damage will take a while to fix.

Here's a funny… I have had gray hairs for a while now, mainly near my ears that Jen likes to point out. Well, now I have one prominent gray hair right on my forehead. I will have to take a picture… ahhh crap, I might start looking my age now! 😀

Miles for 2005: 91.2

You can't tune a tuna

But you can sure find a bunch of crap on the internet about them. I am currently updating the numbers for the American Samoa report that I am writing for work. There is a bunch of information on the internet about tuna and tuna accessories. Luckily enough, I only have to concentrate on the Starkist and Chicken of the Sea since they are the canneries in American Samoa. Bumblebee Tuna, of Ace Ventura fame, is canned in Thailand as is most of the other tuna sold in the United States. I have been doing that all day long so now I am taking a break from the fishiness.

We are forecasted to get some snow in the next few days. Saturday is supposed to be rainy and then transform into snow overnight. Seeing that I need to do my long run on Sunday morning, I am just so thrilled! It will be most yucky running the 18 miles that I need to run. Today isn’t very sunny right now, but tonight I will be on the treadmill after Eric is asleep. I can try to get 5 in tonight, but that is 2 more than I like to do on a treadmill.

I currently have a choice to make. On Feb 19th I can either:
1) Run Strawplains
or
2) Be in the Myrtle Beach Marathon and use that as a race rehearsal for Knoxville.

The biggest problem that I see with running MB is that it is 4 weeks out from “The Big Show” and even though I know that it is far enough away from Knoxville to not be a problem, I do not think that I would really benefit from running that far.

I’ve also done MBM before, so it wouldn’t be anything new. But I can’t get out of my head that it would be a nice monitored, water/gel supplied course that I could get a relatively good idea on what to expect in Knoxville.

Jen and I watched American Idol in St. Louis last night. It was typical AI preseason show although I thought they showed the judges extremely mean to some of the contestants (some rightly so) right before them. Not much else to say about that since it is too early and we are watching it to see the “train wrecks” that tried to audition. (I would be one of them)

We then watched Point Pleasant on Fox, which was rather interesting. Without going to the homepage to read the actual discription, it seems like a story about a chick whose dad might be The Man Downstairs born to a mortal woman. She apparently has some effect on other based on her mood, and influences those around her. Much like a Jedi Mind trick, if she is happy everyone else is happy. It’s like a Carrie meets X-files in Kingdom Hospital with a hot younger (and older) cast that only Fox can cast (re: Dark Angel, The OC, X-Files, etc). I am going to try to catch the second episode to see if it is worth watching.

I might have a Physics tutoree, not sure yet but maybe.
Cheers

Day Five – Almost Famous

Tuesday morning we went to KHJ to do a local radio spot with Samoan Sunrise, the local radio station. Richard and I did two small sports on the radio with John Summers and his partner. At some point we went to ASTCA and we were stopped by a woman named Judy who had seen us on TV and heard us on the radio. She was from the Yukon

After out meeting we went back to the government building to meet the locals who had been assigned to us to help us during our stay. His name was Tony and seems to know everyone on the island.

In just the first day he was a wealth of information, especially since companies have multiple stores. We can just hi the main headquarters instead of haphazardly bumping into the stores.
We were able to get 2 completed forms down at the harbor. We found one store that had porn and of course is a liquor store. The attitude of the island had been very reserved about nudity and little is any about it. I think that is why I was surprised to the see the mags.
We went to the Sports Center which the local bowling alley was we had “dinner” or rather drinks. I had something like 5 Valimas for dinner, except for some raw fish salad that was pretty good.

I drank some water that night and felt good for Wednesday. Since Jen was leaving for Canada with Eric I missed her on the telly. SOI have not call tot talked to her for a few days and I miss her. Wednesday was productive. We went to DDW’s for breakfast where we met Tony and then made our way up and down the island, hitting a number of businesses in Nuuuli and Tafuna area. Reception to us is pretty good; they have seen us on the TV and heard us on the radio. We had lunch at McDonalds. After lunch we went around again before heading to Pago Pago to get Tony’s car around 3:30. We were going to meet him to get a few other people but he had trouble with the paperwork and we ended hitting a few other places. We visited Sadie Thompson Inn where “T” showed us around. If there is a chance to come back this place would be ideal. There is a restaurant/bar, internet and all there plus it’s closer to allot of the businesses in the harbor. We are going back on Thursday for a dire knife show. We last hit Trophies and Things whose relative played with the Tennessee Titans and now plays for the Redskins, Joe Salava. Richard and I went to The Equator for dinner where I got the Mongolian Ribs with Potatoes which were good but were fatty pieces of meat.

Samoa Day Four – The Work Begins

Our meeting with the gov’t employee Henry Kappel and his group was at 0845. We ate breakfast at the Equator again, where I got a massive plate of food with pancakes, eggs and ham [Portuguese, I think]. We can drink the coffee with little harm of diarrhea, which I think no one of us has been blessed with receiving. On our way there we many of the school children being transported or waiting for their bus. The schools are designated by lavalava uniforms, different solid colors with the school emblem seal on the bottom. Everyone seems to being wearing white shirts as part of their uniform. We met with MK and his team for a short while talking about what we needed and the best strategies. HK said that he would make some calls for us to arrange appointments with some of the companies and to arrange a radio interview with KHJ 93.1.

After the meeting, we went to the Blue Sky Communications to get a mobile phone while on the island. For 2 weeks, it was $170 up front with a $100 refund once we returned the phone. We wandered around the shopping center looking for Richard who was in search of a better map. We went to the Dept of Interior looking for him but no luck. However the lady answering the door was by far the prettiest on the island [and after the fact, she was]. We found Richard in the USDA office talking with a guy named Wallace who helped us with a nice map and some information about the locals on the island. We went downstairs to back to the gov’t building but not after sending Richard back to see the DOI chick, after all he has been the girl watcher on the island.

Back at the gov’t building HK set up some appointments with Tony at the local canneries and some of the other businesses. He also arranged for us to be on TV to do a spot for the local news. We went to the TV station and did an interview spot, Tom did all the talking and the spot was promised to be on at 5pm & at 9pm Monday. After the TV went to lunch for on of the best cheeseburgers, very very tasty. We met with the radio station and Tom did a radio spot, but had not heard it yet. We are to come back for an interview on the morning radio show. After leaving the radio, we went to Samoan News to meet with Fili add information to our story. We had a call from the Starkist to schedule a time to meet. News interview went well and ended our workday. We traveled back to the hotel but found a barber to get Richard a trim. The business was run by Orientals who have a laundry mat, photo lab and barber. The stylist had an assistant, a young girl, with orange eye color. She did all the prep work while the “maestro”, as we called him, made all the cuts. He did a good job for $10 that I might get one if my hair does not cooperate sine I have no comb/brush. Tom was out of commission with a head cold that he had and decided not to go to dinner at the beach club that Tuci had suggested. After helping Tom with the mobile phone, I went downstairs and ran 4 miles on the treadmill while Bring It On was playing. After a nice shower and relaxing time, it was time for dinner. Dinner was something unique. The beach resort was dead again, there were a few locals at one of the outside tables. We were seared inside in an enclosed building but we were able to watch the beach. We saw the equivalent as the hermit crabs sold in the US. They are actually called Coconut Crabs and are common on the island. I had some ribs that were good and again the portions were very large, i.e. Samoan Sized!

Samoa Day Three – More Exploration

It’s now 6:32 am and I expect Jen to call soon. NFL games should be on soon due to the time difference. The Armed Forces Network (AFN) has sports on for most of the day. They had ESPN, so I got to see some college football, they even had the Alabama/Tennessee game from 2 weeks ago on a different channel. The AFN commercials are really PSAs for the troops watching the videos. So I think that it is cool that I might be watching the same thing as John Monihan in Iraq. It appears that the island has about 20 some soldiers over there are they support them 100%. There are yellow ribbons and hand made signs (some professionally done) everywhere.

We drove to the Western side of the island which seems less industrialized. There were a number of small stores around but not as many of them. There are larger churches on the western half od the island. Much larger and some that look very nice. Sunday seems to be a day of prayer, there are no alcohol sales and most people are dressed in the same color/style of lavalava. We found some very nice houses, relative to the island but then again some very poor looking houses.

We ate dinner at Pizza Hut on the island. The food is about the same as it is back home. The drinks have something to be desired though. They taste weak with not a lot of carbonation. I ran 3.5 miles at the fitness center while watching the ESPN sunday night game, in the afternoon.

Samoa Day Two – Exploration

Woke up about every hour this morning until I got up at 7:45am. I watched some TV or rather some football since most of the games are played in the afternoon (EST), it is morning here. We went at 9:30 to pick up our cars at Avis. I have a Toyota Echo, small car but it is decent for the island. THe roads here are pretty beat up. THere are buses that carry people along the road to different towns. Along on each side of the roads there are houses and businesses, most are run down. Some of the businesses are same as the states ACE Hardware, NAPA, McDonalds, Pizza Hut, KFC.

We drove from our hotel out to the eastern side of the island. The water is beautiful and we have some good pictures of the ocean. THe road ends on the Northeast side of the island where we got out and went to the shore were there was bunch of coral that had been washed ashore. We took a few neat pieces and head back to town. We ate at McDonald’s since it was familiar. The food was about the same and we commented at the prices, which are a little higher than the States. We then went to Cost-U-Less which is the equivalent to a mini Sam’s Club. We got some snacks and some water. I think we are going to a beach resort for dinner tonight. I’m going to try to work out or run before dinner.

Football scores: UT 13 vs ND 17, UVa 16 vs Maryland 0, Furman 29 vs Ga Southern 22

I was going to rest until 4:30pm but then fell asleep until 6:30 which was our meeting tie to leave. Thank goodness for my haircut because now I can have bed head and it will be OK. Jen had left a message that she was going to bed, so I will leave her a message on her machine that she can get later. at 6:30 we went to the beach resort to eat dinner and try the Vailima, local beer. We found one car in the parking lot and the chairs leaned up against the tables. The so called tourist place was dead although it had an open sign. Richard commented that it must not be tourist season [we later found out that there is not a tourist season on the island.. at all, ever]. Given the road signs in American samoa, you’d never know if you were going in the right direction to get to a tourist place, or away for that matter.

We came back to the hotel and ate at the hotel’s Restaurant, The Equator. There were a few people there and is a really nice upscale place. Prices were high and the selection was limited. I had a Cobb Salad which was very tasty, the ham was very fresh (maybe made that day??). The vegetables were fresh as well and the portion size was rather large. So far I have not been able to weigh myself, so i do not know if I have lost any weight, I am guessing so.

After dinner we went to the KS Mart to get some beer. The place was like a meat locker. It was a sizeable grocery store for the island with some sundries on one end and groceries/produce on the other. Their prices, again, were a little more expensive than in the States, which poses the question: If the minimum wage is about 1/2 of the States, why is the food higher? Can people really afford it?

I got two of the Vailima beer, one regular and one “gold”. Tom got the same plus two of the New Zealand beers, I am hoping to bring back some bottles for Marty but not sure if I’ll be able to. Alcohol is about 1.2 of the State prices, less import tariffs, I presume.

We checked out the fitness room in the hotel which consists of 3 treadmills and 2 stair climbers. The treadmills are made by Landice which is a good brand so I plan to run on Sunday.

Samoa Day One – The Journey

My flight left at 7:15am and so Jen and I got there around 6:00am. We had someone watch Eric while we went to the airport. Since it was early in the morning, Eric wasn’t awake yet, but when I went to look on him, I made him cry. So, I was able to hold him and comfort him and then lay him down back in the crib. Jen and I hugged and said our goodbyes at curbside, seeing that we didn’t want to pay for parking and she couldn’t go past the security anyway. Security checked my luggage and I got my boarding passes for my journey that day, my loooong journey day. I was worried that I wouldn’t get past security because I had bought a Sam’s pack of AA batteries and so I thought it might be enough batteries to be illegal, but it was okay.I met Tom and Richard at the gate about an hour before we had to board. Both of them had been there for a while, but I had just made it there. The plane was on time, which is always good. I was a little worried because I had only brought a small saddle bag with a few books and some extra paper. They had brought gym bags with extra change of clothes. I thought it might be a good idea to have extra clothes since the chance that our luggage would make it, might be slim. We boarded the airplane and as we started to taxi, I was out. I slept through most of the flight. I woke up once after beverage service and then finally when we were about to land. I had the nice airplane seat crick in my neck. I thought the flight and the plane was great. It was the RJ 50 seater regional jet, not those Jet stream 41 29 seater prop planes, yuck!

Our stay in the air terminal in Houston was short. I called to let Jen know that I was fine and dandy before we boarded for Honolulu, since that would be a 8 hour flight. We boarded and started to taxi, but then we stopped. The First Officer came on the PA and said that there was a problem with the aircraft and they would need to go back to the gate, but it should be a quick fix. We got to the gate and they reset the AC. About 15 minutes later the FO comes on again to let us know that maintenance would need to take a longer look at the problem. It took maintenance about 30 minutes to fix the problem, so we were running about an hour late at this point.The plane ride went fairly smooth after we took off. Richard was blessed to have a First Class cabin seat while Tom and I were used as ballast in the back. I started the book Death’s Acre by Dr. WB Bass, a professor here at UT and the creator of The Body Farm. I probably read for a good 3 hours, only disturbed by the food and beverages and, oh yeah, the screaming kid behind me who could hit about 3 different octaves.

I did watch the movie The Bourne Supremacy starring Matt Damon. This was the second film about the character Jason Bourne, who is a CIA operative trained to be kind of a Dark Angel meets The Saint. I enjoyed the movie but probably would have gotten more out of it if I had seen the first one, The Bourne Identity.

We arrive in Honolulu amid rain clouds ad turbulence. Once on the ground we got off and proceeded to our next gate. Richard was happy to tell us how wonderful First Class had been. we of course, were telling him our war stories about Coach. My cell phone worked just fine in HI and was able to call Jen and let her know that I had arrived safely despite being delayed. She let me know that Eric was being crazy and stuff. That of course made me more homesick and it was still Friday! The Flight to Pago Pago left on time and was a 767. It looked at first that the plane would be relatively empty, but it started to fill up. In the end, the plane was fairly full, but there was some room to spread out. I was seated to a Samoan about my age. He went to Oregon (Go Pre) to play football but then transferred to University of Hawaii for finance and accounting. His wife is from American Samoa and will be transferring from Utah (where he works) to AS. We arrived on the island without any problems. We left the airplane and went to the airport terminal where we got our luggage (it made it!) and passed through Customs.

The next thing was to figure out where to get a taxi to the hotel, wherever that was located. I was running point and looking for a taxi, I same a gentlemen with a “Quality Inn Tradewinds” sign. AHHA… our savior. I signaled to Richard and Tom to go follow that guy to his transport. We got it. Is was noticeable hot and humid at 9-10 at night. It was really dark and so it was hard to see anything other than the lights of the houses, buildings and cars. We got to hotel and checked-in with a problem. We had rooms on the 3rd story (the hotel was one of the tallest buildings on the island). The rooms were spacious and seemed to have some amenities comparable to mainland hotel chains. We had cable TV, I will talk more about that later. I figure out that I could call Jen direct from my room for the low price of $1.25 to connect and $1.25 per minute, which was prorate to the second. I called the voice mail directly so that she would have a message waiting for her when she woke up. After all she was very tired and it was 4 o’clock in the morning there. No sense in waking her at this point. Now it was for me to try to sleep.

Leaving soon

I am not sure when my next post is going to be. Perhaps on Saturday sometime, if I can get internet access. My website has a web access to a file manager, so I can edit online via the web as opposed to using dreamweaver.

Yesterday, I gave blood. One of the downsides to going to American Samoa is that for the next 3 years, I have to say that I went to American Samoa. I have been doing this for the past 3 years with our cruise in 2001. That travel trip expires next month, but now Samoa comes up…

Have you noticed that I haven’t done any running? Yep, not since saturday, but hopefully I will commit myself to yoga and pilates while at Am Samoa.

Where in the world is Terry?

For those of you who would like to know where I will be the next few days, here is my schedule (all times Eastern, for your convenience)

Fri 05 07:15 am Leave Knoxville to Houston
Fri 05 10:35 am Leave Houston to Honolulu
Fri 05 10:05 pm Leave Honolulu to Pago Pago
Sat 06 03:35 am arrive in Pago Pago

Sun 21 4:52 am Leave Pago Pago to Honolulu
Sun 21 9:50 pm Leave honolulu to Newark
Mon 22 9:55 am Leave Newark to Knoxville

I did not include the layover times or anything like that, but you’ll get the idea, it’s a long damn flight!

Bush is president again…

I have run very much the past weeks and now that I am getting ready for American Samoa, running has been minimal. SInce I will be gone, I am hoping that I can run at the hotel, if they have a treadmill. I figure that I could run 3 miles 6 days a week, or something like that. I did send my entry form to the Knoxville Marathon on March 20, 2005. Technically my 16 week training program will start next monday, but now that I have some high mileage under my belt (>10 miles) maybe I can really do well this time.

World Famous Voting since 1789

I am actually writing this in what you will consider tomorrow, but right now it is today. I have some pictures that I want to include in this post, so I am going to wait until tomorrow to actually upload the pictures. The good news (for me) is that I create most of the post so that you’ll have the update early.

I am in the process of getting ready for American Samoa, I have a packing list together and have beginning to collect some of the things on it. I only have to buy a few things, well, I might buy… I need new shoes, but may just wait until i get back. I am also contemplating a phone cards to take with me, as I do not know what internet access I will have.

Eric is pretty amazing, for example, this morning (Monday) he woke up early and entertained him in his crib for 45 minutes, maybe longer because I left.

[it is now Tuesday, late]
All three of us went to go vote at the farragut high school this morning. We arrive right at 8am and waited in line for about 20-30 minutes. Eric was having a grand ole time looking at all the people, plus there were a couple of other babies around that he was interested in watching. During the last presidential election I almost had a problem with voting because my address on my voter card did not match my driver’s license. Well, I had it changed that November of 2000 but then moved to Schooner lane in 2001. Fast forward to today… once again, my driver’s license did not match my voter card. I was a little worried that I would be questioned, but I never imagined that I would be denied. Good thing was they never asked to see my photo id. However, I noticed that they had my birthdate wrong, they had something like 03/14/1951, which would make me 53 years old! Mom would have been 21 months old, YIKES! well, I pointed it out to them and asked for my twenty years back. I just had to fill out a change of address form from one of the voting judges and I voted. So we will see. I doubt we will know much tonight unless a few key states really lean in a direction, but don’t count out the lawyers to make things easier…

Here is a picture that I took of the Tennessee River. I should have put a larger picture online, but you can see the Power T of Neyland stadium and the river. Baptist hospital is the building on the right. If your eyes are too bad, you can make out downtown in the background near the Power T

Tenn River

Speaking of Football, UT won against South Carolina and UVa and Furman had bye weeks.