Wednesday, May 31, 2006

Hafa Adai...

If you make it to Guam, feel free to use the local greeting: Hafa Adai. But, unless you want to sound stupid, try saying it right. You don't pronounce the first "a" in Adai. Now I know...

I'm back from my week on Guam. I really enjoyed it. It was more hot and humid than expected. I was expecting it to be more like Hawaii. Still, it's not as hot as Arizona. They say Arizona is better because it's a dry heat. Whatever. Baked or broiled, you're still getting cooked.

As soon as I landed the first thing I saw was a big welcome sign outside the airport that said "Hafa Adai." When I went into the airport this picture was my first greeting:

Welcome To Guam

The welcome sign at the Guam Airpot

Thanks to the guys that I'll work with, I was able to get a feel for the culture and history of Guam pretty well. I have a ton to learn, but it was a nice crash course. This is what the flag looks like:

Guam Flag Quilt

The Guam flag (quilted)

All over the island you see the same shape reapeated over and over:

Latte Stone Park

The famous Latte stones of Guam

The Latte stones are a part of Chamorro history (sorry, but I'm sure I'm spelling Chamorro wrong). They are the native inhabitants of Guam. No one is really sure what these stones were used for. Many believe they were used as foundations for homes. I think they were used as pillars for that gladiator game where you try to whack each other off the podium with the giant Q-tip. You know the game.

I found some places that I might like to live in. I met some great people. I attended what might be my new branch and I got a crash course in what my work will be. All in all, I like it. I think I'm going to like calling Guam my home.

Guam Sweet Home

My new home

Friday, May 19, 2006

Gone In Guam...

It has come time to announce my news to the world.

I am gearing up to change the name of my blog again. It will soon be known as “Gone In Guam.” Nice name, huh?

I was thinking of making it a contest like I did the last time, but I had such a sad turnout for my cell phone greeting contest that I decided against it. The winner will be announced soon, by the way.

So, by now many of you might be wondering why I’m changing it to “Gone In Guam.” Simply put, that’s where I’m going.

I was offered a nice job in my home town of Phoenix with Kim Komando. I was tempted, but it was something I knew I could do and I felt that I could spread my talents further and make more money.

I also got a job offer from a web hosting place called They are great for domain name registration and web hosting. But the job I applied for ended up being a telephone based tech support position. Ya, I can do better than that.

Then one day, a student of mine came up to me and asked me if I was applying for the job in Guam. I had no idea what he was talking about. He gave me the flier. Then weeks later when the interviews came, I had almost forgot about it. I ran into another student of mine walking around the halls. He said that I should make sure not to miss the interview. As it turns out, that student was the son of the guy conducting the interviews. I think he put in a good word for me. On the way, we also ran into Darren Jaggi, a good friend of mine graduating with me. He decided to interview as well.

The job is for the position of the IT Tech for The Church Of Jesus Christ Of Latter-Day Saints. The position is based in Guam, but covers all of the church’s technical equipment for Micronesia – an area that spans as far wide as the continental United States!

The opening came down to two applicants; Jaggi and yours truly. Being good friends, it was fitting that we were pitted against each other. We both felt confident that we would get it. After personal interviews, phone interviews, and weeks of waiting, I was informed that I got the job.

Next week I will be going for a few days for pre-training and to look for housing. Then I come back to finish up my classes and graduate. I walk on June 24th. My family is coming to Hawaii for the event (and for an excuse to come to Hawaii). That same day I have to catch a flight to Sydney, Australia. I will be attending a regional conference for a week.

Following that I come back to Hawaii to join my family on the vacation. Only days later, I’m flying to Phoenix to drop off and pick up. Then, right back to Guam. I am pretty sure that I will be racking up some nice frequent flyer miles in no time.

So, away I go, to live on an even smaller island even further away. I’m excited. The pay is thousands more than any other job offer. The benefits are great. The travel is fun. The experience with both computers and cultures can not be beat.

I used to say that I’d like to work for the government. I figured that it’s one company that will never go out of business. Come to think of, my new employer, The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-Day Saints, will REALLY never go out of business. I might even get to have the same job for the same company in Millennium!

I wonder if I’ll have to take a pay cut then…?

Wednesday, May 10, 2006

Living Conditions...

As some of you already know, I have moved my place of residence. It's not far from where I was before. I am still living on the beach. It's closer to campus and right across the street from the Polynesian Cultural Center.

Have you ever noticed how new places take some time to get used to? My new place is one of those places. First, the whole place has tile flooring. I tried to walk around barefoot and my feet were as black as an African night. I have to wear my slippahs everywhere I go in the house.

I guess that should not be such a big deal since the whole house is the same size as my parent's walk-in closet. We have four guys in less space than Robert Downey Jr's medicine cabinet.

To save on space, the bedroom and the bathroom have been combined. I don’t mean connected, I mean one room. The sink, mirror and counter space are also our boudoir. Fortunately, there is a door for the toilet. But, the toilet leaks, so I have to wear my galoshes when I go in. That room reminds me of Luke’s swamp in the Dagobah system.

As a result of the space issues, we have bunk beds. Being large of girth, I was a natural pick for top bunk. If this was just a regular bunk bed, this would not be a problem. We have home-made bunk beds. They are sturdy, but they are also taller than Goliath. Again, that wouldn’t be a problem, except that there is no ladder. I have to use the house mop to pole-vault myself up. Again, this would not be a problem, except the ceiling is rather low. And, again, this would not be a problem if the ceiling wasn’t made of asbestos shrapnel. Well, I don’t know what it’s made of really. It’s some sort of soft, white, foamy stuff. If you even look at it wrong, it falls in your eye. When I breathe too heavy at night I wake up thinking it snowed on me. The stuff leaves a white trail on anything it touches. If I had druggies around, they’d be trying to score off of my sheets.

I at least like the folk that I live with. That is not to say that we have not had our problems. One night I scaled up the post to get to my bed. Half-way through the night, my feet felt sticky. Through the soft glow of my computer monitor I could see that I had something stuck to my feet. I was tired and mostly out of it, so I tired to sleep anyway. All night the sticky feet bugged me.

In the morning I found that my feet were covered in gum. It was gross. I could not figure out for the life of me how I got gum on my feet. I wore my slippahs all night before bed and they had nothing on them. I cleaned my feet up and eventually forgot about it.

Today, I crawled up my bed again. Suddenly, I noticed that I had fresh gum on the bottom of my foot again. I then put it all together. “Todd, did you have gum just a second ago?”

“Ya,” he replied. “Why do you ask?”

As it turns out, Todd’s chewing gum does not lose its flavor on the bed post over night - because it ends up on my feet instead.

Well, that venting aside. I do enjoy living right on the beach. I could literally be in the ocean within 15 seconds of choosing to do so. I wake up to the best view I have ever had in my life.

Like it or leave it, I will be graduating in a few short weeks and will be out of here. I’m sure that it won’t be long before I can finally find a place again that I can call home.

Wednesday, May 03, 2006

Message Machine Maddnes...

For the last few months now I have had many complaints about my phone's answering machine message. They all comment that my greeting was funny, but that it's real old now. Well, I agree, but I don't really want to put any effort into it any more. So, you do better!

That's right. I am asking for you, my faithful reader, to assist me in a creating a new greeting. Leave a comment on my blog and I will pick my favorite one. The winner gets an autographed photo of me!

Get on those thinking cap and bust out with those creative craniums. The deadline is two weeks from the date this post hits the net. Jared needs a new answering machine message!