i made it to palau

It’s kind’a hard to believe that I’m actually here. The travel time to Palau from HNL was not so much fun, but I’m done traveling for a while. We were greeted by our “host” families at the airport late last night. They gave us good food for breakfast and I was given a lei my host, Naomi. The guys then piled into a Palau Mission Academy(PMA) bus and headed to our homes at PMA.

Walking into our new apartment was a total shock for me. The place is gigantic and really nice. We have a large entry area and living room space with nice couches. The kitchen is good sized and we have two fridges so we aren’t cramped for space. We also have a washer and drier in a room off the kitchen. So, no coin-op machines for us. There are two bathrooms and three bedrooms for four guys.┬áThe other guy here for two years and I have our own room all to ourselves. I have a hard time believing how lucky I got.

Friday was a time for a lot of firsts. I started out the day by exploring the campus with one of the guys and found out why we didn’t find a wifi access point the night before. Two breakers in one building had gotten turned off or tripped. The ones that powered the room that the AP was powered from. That was my first bit of work for PMA done. Pretty easy. We then checked out the covered gym and shot a few hoops. I decided to finish getting the wifi access setup, so I wandered up to the main office came out with a handful of keys. After a bit of work, I got everything setup and everyone registered into the filter system.

Next up was a trip into town with ten guys crammed into a car that normally seats seven. This is where it started getting a bit exciting. Oh, I forgot to mention that it had been raining all day and it never stopped. We stopped by the school to drop off one passenger that rode in with us to pick up another vehicle. We ended up picking another one up for ourselves. I’m guessing that since I am the oldest here by three years, the driving fell on me. The vehicle I got to drive is lovingly known as “the beast”. There is no passenger side window on the left. No, left is not a typo. This is a right hand driven vehicle that gets driven on normal right hand side roads. This van can easily seat twelve people and feels a little top heavy. So I had a fun time driving this around town while we got lunch at an awesome bakery/restaurant and picked up groceries and other necessities for the weekend. One more fun aspect was that whenever we went through a good sized puddle, my leg and foot would get splashed. Found out there was a decent sized hole in the floor near my door and was thankful that I was wearing my flops.

I’m going to cut here even though there is so much more I could talk about, but I’m thinking I should get some sleep and I’ll probably mention it some other time.


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update on life and new exciting stuff

So much has happened since I last really updated my blog. A little under two years ago, I was engaged to someone pretty amazing. That ended up breaking up and I’m still saddened by that. The healing from that break is taking a lot longer than my divorce. Life marches on, however, and I’ve gotten to do some pretty exciting stuff.

This last year my sister called me up and asked me to help out at Upper Columbia Academy. (My alma mater for high school.) She taught math up there and wanted me around to sub for her since she knew she would be out of the classroom a lot. She wanted to make sure that her sub could actually teach the students instead of just babysit, which is often the case for math classes. I ended up picking up the yearbook class and halfway through the year I became a Teacher’s Assistant for the pre-calculus classes. I made some awesome friends there and I’m going to miss a lot of the kids.

This summer I did the normal thing of helping run sound for Pacific Union College graduation and Soquel Camp Meeting for the Central California Conference. This year, camp meeting was far less stressful than in the past. The sales system I wrote for CD sales mostly just got polished instead of any major changes or major new features. It was very nice having gotten it to this point.

Well, I got home to my parents’ place Thursday night and all day Friday was spent packing, throwing stuff in storage and buying stuff I will need this year. Oh yeah, I’m going to Palau!!!

I leave tomorrow morning (Aug 1) for Hawaii where I’ll get some training on cultural stuff for Micronesia/Palau. That training will be over a couple days and then I fly out to Palau on Wednesday afternoon and a few hours later I land in Palau on Thursday night. Once I get there, I have 5 weekdays + Sunday to get everything ready before school starts. Talk about and insanely short schedule.

Gotta finish packing and shipping stuff. More to come later.


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Website upgrade and changes

I upgraded the software running my website and changed some things around a little bit. For some reason this generated three bogus emails. Sorry for that. I hope to sit myself down soon and start blogging more, especially with the new stuff in my life.

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re: authentic relationships

This is a reply to the article Authentic Relationships in the Adventist Review.

Before I get started on my rant, I want to say that the my main issues with the article are not with the conclusions(mostly) or the intentions of the author. Nor am I trying to disrespect her. I feel that this article is, unfortunately, very typical of the Baby Boom and X generations. What is not being realized is that that the Net Generation is causing major cultural changes and are actually wired to think differently. (If you want to read about this, I highly recommend Grown Up Digital(Amazon) by Don Tapscott.)

For starters, it was very apparent to me that the author had little clue about what she was talking about, in regard to Twitter and how the Net Generation relates to the world. It was well researched, but not to the point of true understanding. I recognized many snippets from multiple articles I’ve read over the last few years. Unfortunately, they were written by authors with the same alarmist misconceptions brought on by misunderstanding of how things are changing. Continue reading

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james bond-ish data center

This has got to be one of the coolest things I have ever seen. A data center that looks like it came straight from a movie set! Most data centers are pretty functional, boring, and drab. They are cool in their own geeky way, but not much draw for the non-geek. This data-center is far from that. It’s built underground and yet has lots of plants. The actual server room has a hanging glass conference room above it! Even if you aren’t a geek, please watch the video below. Parts of it may be slow, but I think you will still be amazed that this place really exists and is not just a set. I would recommend watching in high-def if you have the bandwidth to do so.

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twitter public again

I just wanted to mention that my twitter account is public again. Not quite sure why, but I kinda feel relieved. I’m not ready to go into the reasons why I made it private, quite yet, but I should be able to write about that soon. For those that don’t know what twitter is, I recommend watching the video below. By the way, twitter is completely free.

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new hosting and stuff

I finally decided to take the plunge and move my skeemer.net website from my GoDaddy hosting to HostMonster. What I thought was going to be the very hard and extremely time consuming part was changing galleries. I had my own gallery software installed before and realized that there was no reason for that and it made it hard to move between servers, due to a lot of huge files. I recently fell in love with Picasa, so I decided to just use Google’s massive servers to host my gallery. This turned out to be a lot easier than originally thought and changing the pictures in the posts only took about an hour. So, not too bad considering I thought it was going to take three or more hours. The only casualty so far has been the paintballing pictures. I didn’t feel like re-uploading several hundred pictures.

You’ll probably notice that the look of my site is pretty bland right now. I just got urge to change it, but I’m not sure what I’m going to do with it yet. This look is just a skeleton theme that gives me a starting point. Hopefully, I’ll get some inspiration soon and make it look amazing. (Yeah right!)

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avila beach

Since I had nothing else to do today, I decided to cruise on over to Avila Beach and take some pictures. I wasn’t quite sure what I was going to take pictures of, but figured I would figure out something. Once I got there, I quickly figured it out. Since my Honduras trip a year ago, I haven’t really carried my camera around in a town.

I just now realized that I haven’t posted pictures from my excursion in Copan Ruins, so I can’t refer back to then without explaining. I was bored and didn’t know where anyone was, so I went out with my camera to see what I could find. I quickly became fascinated with the signs on the various shops. Most were handmade and quite unique. It was night-time and I didn’t have a tripod, so I had to get creative with bracing my camera. I was using the corners of buildings, telephone poles, steps on the sidewalk and even at times lying in the street using the curb. I did manage to get some decent shots that I will have to post soon.

Today was not quite as crazy, thankfully. It was mid-afternoon, so plenty of light was available. For some reason, I love the variety found in small shop signs. Many are quite creative. Without any more yammering from me, just click the photo below to visit the gallery.



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post-“busy week” update

As some may have seen on Twitter, I was in a lot of concerts this last weekend. I’ve also been busy since. Here’s how it went.

The day after moving back to the Central Coast, my mom calls up begging me to fill-in for some people that left the handbell choir that my dad conducts and my mom rings with. I decide that it can’t be that bad and so I say “yes”. Well, I honestly had no clue what I was getting into. Four practices and I found myself 1 week and 1 day later playing the first of four concerts over the weekend. I did alright. I only fouled up one song and it was easily masked by all that’s going on. I’ll get back to what exactly this concert is in a second. As we are putting the bells away, I wonder aloud, “Why do we really need to put the bells away if we are just going to use them again tomorrow?” The answer, “Because we’re moving them tonight.” That’s when I find out that I’m playing for my church in the morning. Now I’m up to five concerts in that weekend. Needless to say, pretty tiring. Continue reading

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I just want to briefly mention that I’m now using Subscribe2 to make it possible to receive email updates from my blog. I’m doing this so those of you that like to keep track of what I’m doing and don’t use a feed reader, may do so. If you like to follow several blogs and don’t know what a feed reader is, I recommend this simple, yet fun, video from Common Craft, RSS in Plain English. My favorite reader is Google Reader.

I want to give a shout out to Matt for testing and then maintaining/developing Subscribe2. Thank you!


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