Thursday, August 31, 2006

Krispy Kreme Arrives

Need I say more? The day has arrived...Krispy Kreme in Jakarta, and YES, they taste the same!!

Wednesday, August 30, 2006

Open House

I was very surpised tonight how many parents showed up for open house. It is a long day at work when we have open least it is over for another year. I usually give them my life story (the short version), and parents are usually interested to hear about all the different things I have done. I am not your normal teacher. I met a parent tonight who grew up in Kauai. It was fun talking with her....we were able to trigger eachother's good memories. I still miss that place...the most beautiful spot in the world, in my opinion.

Off to bed. See ya.

Tuesday, August 29, 2006

Got My Ticket

It is now official. I am off to Vegas on Monday. I will be staying with my good friend, Frank Doneski. It should be a great trip.

Tomorrow night is open house. Yuck....that means a long day at school. Oh well, need to get it over with.

I played golf today after school. Well, let me rephrase....I hit a little ball around (in every direction but straight), but not sure if you can call it was like I had never played the stupid game before. I was another human being borrowing my clubs from myself....awful....if I wasn't so addicted, I would have quit forever after today. Oh well, that is the drug called, "Golf".

Sunday, August 27, 2006

New Pink Shoes

Yep, two years old, and already is very particular about her fashion. Everything must be PINK....let this be a warning to all who buy clothes for Kayla....THINK PINK. Flowers or butterflies are cool as well. She is modeling her new pink shoes that Mommy bought her today. We also had to make a special trip to the mall to get her the pink jacket that she has been talking about the last week....picture of that later.

Saturday, August 26, 2006

NAPP Editor's Choice Again

Surprise, surprise. I logged onto the NAPP site today, and found another one of my photos (the one above) was selected as an Editor's Choice. That is pretty cool.

I got up early this morning to get my new driver's license. It is always an adventure, but miraculously, we managed to get in and out of there in just 65 minutes. That is a record. Of course, it took us twice as long to drive home in the traffic, but I am now good for another year.

Off to the movies....we are going to go see "The Breakup". Maybe I can turn this blog into a movie review site.....nah.

Friday, August 25, 2006

The Weekend is Here

We only had a 4-day work week after our 5-day weekend, and now it is the weekend again. Woo Hoo.....gotta love teaching. The weekend usually means golf, playing in the pool, going to the movies, and sleeping-in. Well I should be doing all except the sleepin-in part. I have to be at Magill's house by 6:45 tomorrow morning. We are all driving up to the driver's license place and do our annual re-newing. It is a real pain, but something that has to be done.

I didn't run today, and I feel a bit guilty. I just didn't feel up to it....ok, will go tomorrow, I promise.

Thursday, August 24, 2006

Some Cookn' News

The big news for email from my long lost cousin, Catherine. She had mysteriously given birth to her third child some time back...and today we learned the name of her child (Alexa), and we can now place real pictures to our mental images. Thanks for the email, Catherine....and Alexa is gorgeous, but I really don't know who the other children are in the photos you sent...they are way too big...I don't recognize them.

Wednesday, August 23, 2006

New Kayla Gallery

I made a "Best of Kayla" gallery on Check it out (click on the PBase link to the right). I will add photos to it as she grows up. I think it would be cool to have an on-going gallery into her teens...

A so-so day at know, the usual...busy. I like being busy though....must be the genes passed on to me from Mom.

Not much else to, later.

Tuesday, August 22, 2006

The Bearded Breezeway

Ok, let me explain. Gene Magill, in the center with the "santa clause" beard came back to school after the summer sporting that beard. We all gave him a hard time, and he told us he was keeping it. So, over the 5-day break, we all decided we would grow our beards for 5 days, show up at Gene's classroom, and surprise him. That's what we did. We showed up at his classroom at 7:00 am this morning and surprised him. So the picture above is the result. The name, "Bearded Breezeway" is a long story.

Monday, August 21, 2006

Best Friends

Butch and I took our daughters to the zoo today. Mariska and Kayla are best of friends. By the way, in case you were wondering, the girls both wearing jean outfits was not something planned by Butch and I....that is a "mom" thing...but they are pretty dang cute.

Back to school tomorrow. I am ready. Too much sitting around doing nothing.

Sunday, August 20, 2006

Back To Papua

I got an email today from Max who runs the dive operation out in Papua. He wants me to take some photos for him, and has offered a free week of diving in return. So I am thinking of either October break or Christmas time heading back there for a week. YES!!

Dinner at Amigos tonight. I never tire of that place.

Saturday, August 19, 2006

Fantasy Soccer League

For the past few years I have endured going to parties where all my friends end up talking about particular the English Premier League. They all meet for BBQ's on the weekends to watch the games, and write emails back n' forth about players, goals scored, etc. When you turn on the TV to watch sports in this country, the only thing playing is soccer, soccer, soccer.

So this year, instead of fighting it, I joined. Yes, I joined into the fantasy soccer run by Yahoo Sports. I have to pick every week 11 players in the English Premier League to be my team (Kayla's Gators), and will compete with all my friends. So, tonight was the first night of the EPL season, and I joined in with 8 other guys to watch the opening games. I know a few of the players from the World Cup, but I don't know much. It is more the social thing than sitting down to watch the game, but I must admit, it is pretty fun, and I found myself routing for certain guys (my team) to score. My competitive nature will no doubt lead to spending countless hours on the computer studying the different players in the league so that I can stay in contention every week. We will see.

Today was a "fat pig" day for me. I ate pizza for lunch, and then stuffed three donuts down afterwards. I then sat at the computer for a few hours updating some of my galleries, and Tika came in with a root beer float. The only consolation is that I did run...I maybe burned away one slice of pizza. It is diet day tomorrow.....yea, right. By the way, I started an Africa photo gallery if you want to check it out. The photos are two summers old, but they are still some of my favorites.

Friday, August 18, 2006

Don't Hit The "Big Ball" First

You know how it is, the photographer is never in any of the pictures. Tika insisted she take a photo of Kayla and here you go....

I played golf today up in the puncak (mountains). It was a beautiful day, and there were seven us playing including our new Headmaster. I managed to make it through an entire round hitting the ball cleanly everytime, and not hitting the "Big Ball" first....meaning the earth. It was nice. I shot a could have been better but the greens were tough....really, I am not just trying to make excuses. I had two 4-putt greens....go figure that one out. So, make those two greens 2-putts, and there you go...a sub 90 round. Sure wish you could trade-in shots. I still think the game is stupid, and still question why I play. Must be some disease or something...with no known cure.

Dad wrote correcting me on yesterday's blog entry. Here is Dad's quote...."By the way, the midshipmen going up the greased Herdon Monument marks
the transition to upper class for the plebes. Nothing to do with
Army". So, I stand corrected. Thanks, Dad.

It is really nice knowing I still have three more days left in this weekend. Gotta love it.

Thursday, August 17, 2006

Indonesia Independence Day

I wanted to get out today to get a good shot of Independence Day. Most of the villages have games that they play all day. A popular game that is played is called "Panjat Pinang" where they grease up a large pole with some prizes as the top. Large groups of guys climb on top of eachother to reach the top....I guess similar to what is done at the Naval Academy before the Army/Navy game. I wanted a photo of that, but I couldn't find it being played will have to wait till next year. I got lucky though, and ran into a small parade in one of the small villages near our house, and snapped the shot above. I like the photo, and think it is a good representation of the day.

I am off to play some golf tomorrow at one of my favorite courses, Genung Gelis. It is not an easy course, but it is really beautiful, and it is carved out of the mountains. Wish me luck.

Tuesday, August 15, 2006

The Frog Gets Washed

Muz, our driver, couldn't stand it any longer. He saw my car in the parking lot at JIS, and heard some words from the other drivers that my car was filthy. I got a message from Tika that I couldn't run today because Muz was waiting at home to wash the car. Ok by me, any excuse to get out of running works for me. must say the car looks 100% better. Muz left today a happy man.

Monday, August 14, 2006

Time to Ruffle The Feathers

It was three Pre-Calculus classes in a row today. Even I got tired of hearing my jokes for the third time in a row. I did "ruffle my feathers" today after school by running TWO miles, and I managed to pump out 90 push-ups (not in a row). Some of my students were shocked to see Mr. Graham out on the track after school, but they were proud of me, I know.

Off to the embassy tomorrow to get my mail. I am excited to be reunited with my long lens that Dad borrowed over the summer. It is nice to know that it was put to good use.

George in Santorini, if you are reading this, I will mail your photos to you tomorrow. Sorry for the busy at school.

Sunday, August 13, 2006

Lazy Day Around The House

It is very hot outside, so I am spending most of the day inside. We may take a drive to our plot of land as we have not been there in about a month. We can sit and dream about the house that will be there. Speaking of the house, we are still waiting for the second bids on the new foundation and roof design. Burhan had said he was going to push them to get their bids in my the end of last week. That has passed. The waiting is driving us crazy.

Next week is only a three day week. The 17th is Indonesia's Independence day, and then we also have Friday and Monday a FIVE day weekend...nice! Too bad we have no money to go anywhere. Flights to Bali are totally booked anyway, so I plan on hitting the golf courses as much as possible.

Saturday, August 12, 2006

The "Mandi"

One of Kayla's favorite past times these days is taking a bath (a "mandi" in Indonesian). She doesn't want to get out.

The first week of school is behind me, and we all celebrated last night at a "welcome back" party at one of the teacher's house last night. It was fun, and they had great food.

Today, we had a minor electric problem in the house. Right when I had just finished a long email, one of our pembantus (house helper) plugged in the vacuum cleaner into an outlet in my office...which blew a fuse in my voltage regulator box. Of course, I lost all the work I had done on the we rushed to the store to get a new fuse. Something simple like that took over two hours. Later today, there is a ceremony in the school theatre to honor Rob Weber's life. We will go to that.

It was nice to see both my sisters commenting on my photos at Kathleen had even showed off my photos to her office. Thanks.

Thursday, August 10, 2006

School Starts

School was buzzing today with action. The dragon fountain in the background is the one that CSC had built two years ago.

Another shot of our nice campus.

This is the acapella group from Harvard that sang for us today. They were VERY impressed with our school.

I signed onto my homepage at, and noticed some comments from Bart and Jimmy Everett, and Uncle Dave and Aunt Judy. That was a nice surprise. Dad had written a comment earlier too. My underwater photos have made the first page of popular galleries...that is cool. I need to get started on my other galleries as well. It is very time consuming though.

School went well today. The opening assembly went like clockwork, and the CSC received very positive comments about the job they did. I have some great kids in my classes this year....lots of personality. It should be a great year.

Oh, I heard today from some students that Jakarta now has a Krispy Kream Donut place in town. You can rest assured I will be making a visit this weekend.

Wednesday, August 09, 2006

My Model Does it Again

After dinner tonight, I told Tika and Kayla that I didn't have a photo for the blog today. Kayla immediately grabbed Mickey Mouse, and started posing. How can Daddy resist that? So, I have included another triage of photos of my favorite model.

Tomorrow it all begins again. We have over 1030 students in the high school this year. We are back up to big numbers...numbers we had before the riots of 1998. Most of my classes are of 18 students...not too bad. I am the sponsor for the Central Student Counsel (CSC), and we are in charge of the opening assembly tomorrow morning. The kids made a video before school let out in June with them dressed like the characters from the movie "The X-Men"...being the bald guy that I am, they have me staring as that bald character in the movie that sits in a wheel chair (forgot his name). There is also an acapela group from Harvard (called the "Din and Tonics") performing at the assembly. We got lucky with that one. The group just happened to be on a world tour, and will be in Jakarta tomorrow. So our choir guy (an amazing guy) asked them if they could sing for our school...and they accepted. That should be good.

I will try to get some pictures of our first day at school, and use one of those on the blog tomorrow. See ya.

Tuesday, August 08, 2006

Lesson Plans

It was a day of writing lesson plans. I have three Pre-Calculus classes, Senior Math, and a Photography course to teach this year. I will have the three pre-calc classes on the same day, so by the time I get to the third one, my jokes will be old, and I will be sick of answering the same questions....but, that's the way it goes. Senior Math is a new one for is a math course for Seniors who are not the best of math students, but need another half credit. It should be a fun course to teach, and there is no real set curriculum, so I can teach what I want at the pace I want.

The photo above is at the Ragunan Zoo. Kayla pretended to read the sign, but she sure makes it look like she knows what she is doing.....kinda like some of my students. Ha haa....

Monday, August 07, 2006

More Tsunami Photos

I talked with Greg today about his summer vacation. He spent most of the summer in Hawaii on a science program for teachers. He spent some time at the Tsunami museum in Hilo. The director of the museum needs photos of the Tsunami in Aceh and also the recent tsunami that hit java about a month ago. So, Greg and I are going to take a trip there this month to take some photos, and send them off to Hawaii where they might be used on exhibit at the museum in Hawaii.

We had our first day back today, and it was good. We have 43 new teachers, and a new Headmaster. I think everyone was impressed with the new headmaster. He has a good sense of humor, plays golf, and is a leader who thinks of the well being of the kids first. I think he will do well here.

It was a day of catching up on people's vacations and meetings. I prefer the "catching up" part. It always amazes me on how many places people visit over the summer. Places ranging from the Galapagos Islands all the way to the shores of Turkey or the plains of Africa. We cover most all of the globe every summer. One of the new teachers (they all have to introduce themselves in front of the entire faculty) commented that back home in the states, people were always impressed with her vacations and adventures. When she met all of us teachers here in Jakarta, her travel stories paled in comparison, and she said her goal was to do something that would impress us teachers here, but it would be tough. That's exactly how it feels when talking to everyone about their summer vacations....

Ok, gotta get Kayla to bed....more tomorrow.

Sunday, August 06, 2006

Amazing Photoshop

OK, first off, the photo above was taken by me....but the amazing sunset was in Indonesia a few years ago. Amazing how you can just take the best of two shots and make one great shot...kinda cheating though. Who needs to wait for the perfect sunset when you have Photoshop?? Just take the photo, and add it in later. Right.

Teachers are all returning from their vacations. This is a great time of year to hear all the stories of what happened over the summer. I am on my way over to Tom Schulz's house to hear his stories....he always has good ones.

Work tomorrow.

Saturday, August 05, 2006

New Photos Posted

I have joined up with "" to display photo galleries. It is fun, and thousands of photographers from around the world display their work at this site. I have added a link to the right so that you can view what I put up on the site. I have to add a little bit at a time so that my galleries can be seen. When I upload photos to a gallery, my gallery name appears for a short period of time on the site when people browsing can see them. Since hundreds are uploading photos, I only have a short time span in which I can receive votes. Once I receive votes, my gallery could move to the popular gallery section where it can remain for days. So, I need votes.

Not much going on today. We are going to go see a movie...maybe we will see "My Super Ex-Girlfriend" but it is up for debate. Just one more day of relaxation before heading back to work on Monday. Yuck, again.

Friday, August 04, 2006

Back From Singapore

Just got back last night. I guess good news comes in packages of two. First good news from Uncle Dave, and now good news from me. My colon looks as good as it has ever looked. The drugs are working well. The inflamation is way down, no ulcers, and no cancer or pre-cancerous cells. Dr. Yang said it looked pretty normal, and he was pleased. I don't have to go back to see him for another year. Yes!!

It was nice to be in Singapore for a couple of days. It is such a nice city to hang out in for a few days...everything works like a clock easy. I went to my usual places....the MAC store, Border's Books, and several camera shops (to just browse). I also gorged myself with Kenny Roger's Chicken...I love that place. They used to have one in Jakarta, but it mysteriously closed one day, and I never saw it again.

I had a computer in my hotel room hooked up to the internet, but it was expensive to use, so I didn't do any updates to the blog....I didn't have any pictures anyway, and I only like to make a posting if I can add a photo.

School starts on Monday. Yuck. However, I need the money.

House news: we had three contractors bidding on our project. One of them was rediculously high, so they were canned. We are now down to two. One of them made a another bid, and it was 500 million (Rupiah) less than his first bid. The engineer working with our architect has re-designed the foundation and roof to make it less expensive to build. We are now waiting for new bids based on the new design. Burhan says that 43% of our cost is the foundation and first floor. Hopefully, with the new design, the bids will come in much closer to what we can afford. So, still waiting.