Wednesday, November 29, 2006

Rainy Day

The rain has finally arrived, but now I don't want it. UN Day at school is on Friday. It is my busiest photo day of the year. I sure hope we have nice sunny weather.

Yesterday, I made a trip to the embassy to get new pages for Kayla's passport. For some reason, both Tika and I had to go, we had to present Kayla's birth certificate, and both had to sign the government form. The entire process, driving to the embassy, getting the pages, and driving back took over four hours. Argggggh!! The traffic in this city is a nightmare.

Our driver took the "frog" (our VW bug) into the shop today to get the huge scratch painted over on the driver's side wheel well. When I was at Satu Lagi last Friday, some idiot tried to squeeze between my car and a wall, and left a huge scratch. Uncharacteristic for Jakarta drivers, the guy actually found me in Satu Lagi to tell me that he had done wrong. I was shocked....usually people just take off after hitting another car. He was very appologetic, and offered to pay for all the damages....which he did....another shock. His excuse was that he had just finished playing 36 holes of golf. Ok, he is forgiven....maybe he will take me out for a round of golf later...ahaa haaa...

Tuesday, November 28, 2006

Turkey Overload Recovery

It is now Tuesday, and I am still recovering for all the turkey I ate over the weekend. I think I may have gained 20 pounds. On Sunday, a group of close friends all celebrated Thanksgiving with all of our kids. We splashed around in the pool, danced to 70's disco music, and of course, we gorged ourselves with great food. The hit of the night was Sue's oreo pie....mmmm.....could have eaten the entire pie plate if it weren't for Butch who had at least 6 pieces. Somehow, Jurrien was able to fit us all onto one couch with his camera on a small tripod, and run to sit in the middle before the camera fired. Good job, Jurrien.

Sunday, November 26, 2006

How 'Bout Dem Gators

There is a new teacher at JIS who went to Florida State. At our big thanksgiving dinner last night, we were throwing insults back n' forth before the game. I wasn't able to stay up until 1:00 in the morning to watch the game on the internet. However, the first thing I did this morning was check the scores. YES!! I am not sure what the bowl picture will be...guess we need to wait to find out if USC loses to Notre Dame or I write this, USC is ahead at half-time. I have never routed for Notre Dame before, but it sure would be nice if they could pull out a win on this game....if so, the Gators could have a chance at the national championship. I would sure like to silence the Big 10 fans here at school...they are just as obnoxious as us SEC fans.

Sorry, no pictures from the big feast yesterday. I left my camera in the car, and Tika didn't arrive until after dark. But.....Greg, Dave and I cooked THREE big birds in the hot oil while sipping beers. The only thing missing was a big TV with football. We have another turkey dinner tonight with our close friends. I will be sure to get photos there.

Thursday, November 23, 2006

Happy Thanksgiving

Happy Thanksgiving everyone. I am sure all are watching football on TV and smelling the fabulous turkey cooking in the oven. The weather outside is a bit chilly? Dad is thinking he should be out playing golf, but the women would never allow it. Ah, sure wish I were there.

We are celebrating on Saturday with 4 turkeys out in Sawangan with our regular group. Now that Wayne Kaler is not along, a few of us have taken over the tradition of hosting a big feast. We couldn't find a house that would be suitable, so we decided to have it out at Kurt Kaler's place on the lake. It is about an hour south of school, but it is a nice location.

What do you think of the new colors of the blog? I converted to the new beta blogger, and now I have many more options for the format of the blog.

Tuesday, November 21, 2006

New iMAC

Ok, I have had the new iMAC for a week now, but I kept forgetting to get a photo of myself in front of it. I remembered today after teaching my Photoshop class. I set up the tripod, and took a photo of myself in front of the new machine. Aint it a beaut?? I love the screen....24 inch. It has the new dual processors and 2 gigs of RAM. I think Photoshop runs faster on my G5 tower at home, but the new Photoshop CS3 is supposed to work more smoothly with the new intel chips.

I used the new machine today when I showed the 9th grade class the project week slide show. I was able to just unplug the computer, and hand carry it to the little theatre.....try doing that with a PC. I then plugged the computer up to the projector, and wala....slide show ready to go. So easy. Why would anyone want to use those ugly PC' style, no elegance.

You should have heard the comments from the students as I was carying the iMAC to and from my classroom.....the oooohs and aaaahs were everywhere. The students know a good computer when they see one. I have had many students drop by my room just to have a look.

Ok, enough of the MAC commercial....they should pay me. Nothing else going on. See ya.

Sunday, November 19, 2006

Kayla Being Kayla

After the costume party, we put the wigs on the pool table. Well, Kayla found them, and of course, she had to try them on. She had us laughing till our stomach's ached. Then she wanted to model them, so she walked up and down the pool table modeling the wigs. You had to be there to get the full effect, but it was pretty funny.

I played golf today out at Rainbow Hills with a couple of buddies. I hadn't played in almost 5 weeks, so I was rough on the edges. For the front nine, we got stuck behind three groups of Koreans who are not known for their fast play. It took us over 3 hours to get through nine holes. I shot a 54, so was not a happy camper. The back nine was wide open, and we finished it in the regular hour and a half. I shot much better....a 44. Not sure what happened to my swing during the front nine, but it wasn't there. Thankfully, I got it back. I really need to get out more. Once a month does not improve your golf.

Saturday, November 18, 2006

Birthday Party and Bond

We started the day today with a birthday party for Bella at an unusual time of day for a birthday party.....10:00 am. I was hoping for Krispy Kreme donuts, but none were there....only pizza. Oh well. Kayla had a good time playing with her friends, and us adults talked about the party last night and the new Bond movie....which, by the way, Tika and I saw....and we liked it. I didn't really like the new Bond when the movie started, but he kind of grows on you through out the film, and in the end, I liked him. I think he is more of the style Ian Flemming had in mind when he wrote his books. Anyway, I recommend the movie. It gets a Scotty rating of 4 stars out of 5.

Friday, November 17, 2006

Haloween Party

Yea, I know, it is the middle of November. Well, a good friend of mine tried to have a Halloween party in October, but it was in the middle of Ramadan, and most thought it might not be such a good, it was re-scheduled for November. I dressed as "A Guy With Hair", and Tika dressed as the "Indo Marilyn Monroe". It was fun, and there was a different crowd at the party...not just JIS teachers. That was a nice change, and a good chance to meet some new people (that is if you could tell who they were when in costume).

Thursday, November 16, 2006

James Bond Marathon

Star movies is featuring a bond movie every night this month in order. Tonight we watched "Thunderball". It is fun, and I always think of Kathleen when I see a Bond movie...."The Bond Trivia Queen". Kath, you would love it. We are hoping that the new Bond movie will open here on Friday.

I did get my iMAC, but forgot to get a photo of myself in front of it. I will do that tomorrow.

Wednesday, November 15, 2006

Check it Out

I saw this slide show thing on Scott Kelby's blog. He supplied a link, and it was really easy to create. I think it is pretty cool....what do you think?

Drowning in Grading

While I was gone on Project Week, I gave a quiz and a test to my Pre-Calc kids, a project for my Senior Math class, and two projects to my photography class. Guess what was sitting on my desk when I returned....yes, all the tests, quizzes and projects. I at least got all the tests and quizzes graded last night so that I could give the kids their tests back today. I now have to look at all the projects. Yuck.

Got some good news today. The new iMAC was approved for my classroom along with some new camera equipment. If all goes well, I will have the MAC sitting on my desk in the morning.....yee ha. Hopefully, my next blog entry will feature me sitting next to my new iMAC. That will make grading at least a little more pleasant.

Monday, November 13, 2006

PD Day Blues

Today and last Friday there were no students so that us teachers could work on curriculum. Talk about total boredom. They flew in some specialist to help us with our UBD's. I don't know how much the school paid her to come out here, but she was totally useless. Her only saving grace was that she was from Fairfax county. She must have had a bad math teacher when she was growing up because it was obvious she didn't like math teachers....she kept giving examples of why she didn't learn enough math when in high school. Anyway, I will be very happy to see my students tomorrow and get back to teaching instead of learning about essential questions and enduring understandings. Yuck.

In other news, I just got back from playing softball. We won our game tonight, and I contributed by making three catches in the outfield and a couple of RBI's.

Sunday, November 12, 2006

Rugby and Kayla

We spent the day today at JIS watching a Rugby tournament and a Swim meet. I had to take photos, and Kayla had a great time running around checking things out. It is nice to be home with my girls.

Saturday, November 11, 2006

Mandarine Fish

I was going through my photos today. While the kids were off doing some activity, I was able to escape (last week) to dive with Otto looking for the elusive Mandarine fish. I have wanted a photo of one for a long time. Otto found three of them for me, and one of the photos I took is above. They only come out of the reef at around 5:00 pm or so. They are tough little fish to get photos of as they are always ducking into the coral hiding. But, the wait and patience pays off when you get a shot of these guys....check out the colors.

Thursday, November 09, 2006

Newly Certified Divers

The kids all returned to Jakarta today as certified divers. The parents were all very happy to see their kids, and were very proud of their kids for what they did during the week.

We (us teachers) have professional development tomorrow. Not really looking forward to sitting in a room listening to some boring presentation on curriculum writing. I would certainly rather be diving.

Wednesday, November 08, 2006

A Nice Combination

Today was our last day of diving. It has been an incredible trip...such a great mix of culture and diving. I hope it will be a trip that the kids will remember the rest of their lives.

Watching the kids on their 8th dive of the week was a real pleasure. They finally turned into experienced divers. They were all with their buddies, buoyancy control was perfect, they were looking at their gauges, paying attention, and looking at things in the water. It was a remarkable transformation from their first dive when they were mere monkeys.

Tuesday, November 07, 2006

Camp Fire and Singing

After a long day of diving and other activities, Otto, pictured above, arranged a camp fire on the beach for the kids. He gathered all of his singing buddies, and they entertained us with Papuan music and dancing. With 6 guitars and a bongo drum, they filled the air with really great music.

Otto has been with Max since the start of the dive operation in the early nineties. He is an incredible divemaster. He has over 10,000 dives, and can find anything you want to see in the ocean. I asked him if he could show me a ghost pipe fish, and he said, "what kind do you want to see?" I said, "How about an ornate ghost pipe fish?" We went diving, and he showed me three different kinds of ghost pipe fish. Unreal. He can also look at the ocean, and based on the currents he can see on the surface, can tell you whether or not the mantas will be out there or not. He really is unbelievable, and was a tremendous help with the kids underwater.

Monday, November 06, 2006


Monday was another day of diving. Max entertained the kids with his little pet who would climb onto the kid's heads and into their shirts.

We all settled into a nice routine. Breakfast at 7:00, first dive at 8:00, a 30 minute nap, second dive at 11:00, lunch at 1:00, third dive at 3:00, an afternoon activity, dinner at 7:00, journal writing, and then lights out at 10:30.

Sunday, November 05, 2006

Let the Diving Begin

Sunday was a day of diving. The kids completed their first three open water dives. We took them to a sandy spot with no current for their first dive. As expected, they were all over the water like monkeys in a cage. With 18 divers to watch underwater, it was no easy task for me, Mike and the divemasters to keep track of them all. The second and third dive were a little trickier with some current. It was an exhausting day, but we managed to return to the resort with all the kids in one piece and three dives under their belts.

Saturday, November 04, 2006

Service Project

Every Project Week has to do some community service. I had arranged with Max a few months ago to do something for the Papuan community, and we had agreed that the kids could buy some cement, and put a floor into the new school the village had been building. We donated $250 to buy 30 bags of cement. The kids first had to load the cement bags onto the boats to bring to the village. All kids, including the girls, helped wheel the bags down the pier to the boats.

When we arrived at the village (about an hour boat ride), the entire village was on the beach singing psalms for us (they are Christian) when we arrived. They were lined up on the beach with the eldest in front, and the youngest at the back. They presented us with colored palm hats they had made for us in the weeks before we arrived.

It was very touching to see how happy they were to receive something as simple as a new cement floor for their school. The kids all mixed cement, and spread it onto the dirt floor, and 6 hours later, the school had a new floor. It was a very successful service project.

Friday, November 03, 2006

Snorkling and Lost Photos

Before I left for Papua, I had taken the team photos of the Boy's Varsity Baskeball team. Since we let the kids have most of the day off for snorkeling, I took a walk on the beach to take some photos. Well, for some reason, the photos never made it onto my portable hard drive, so I lost all the photos I about frustrating. I had some beautiful shots of driftwood on the beach and some sunset photos.....not to mention the team photos I will have to re-do. Arggggggh!!!

At least I didn't lose any of the underwater photos I took. The one above is of Mike, my fellow instructor.

Thursday, November 02, 2006

Back To Paradise

It was a long night on the airplane. We left by bus at 6:00 pm, and climbed on board the plane with 18 kids at 9:00 pm, and then flew through the night making three stops before finally arriving in Sorong at 6:30 in the morning. I have no idea why they have such a bad schedule for flying to Sorong.

Anyway, we were greeted at the airport, stuffed into 4 small buses, and taken to the pier where we boarded three boats for the two hour boat ride to the island of Kri. We let the kids relax most of the day with an afternoon snorkel.

Wednesday, November 01, 2006

Two New Galleries

Be sure to check out my account (link is just over to the right of this post). I have posted two new galleries. One from our boys trip to Flores and Komodo (small gallery) and one that contains some miscellaneous photos from trips all over.

I am off to Papua tomorrow with 18 freshmen students. Nine girls and nine boys. Mike and I have been working with the kids the past month getting them ready for their open water dives. We have had four pool sessions and four academic sessions with them, and will do the 5th confined water and academic session with them when we get to Papua. Most will be very good in the water. There are a couple of mousey Korean girls that we are bit worried about, but in the end, I think they will do fine. I am most worried about myself. I picked up a cold yesterday, and it is in full form as I write this post. I will have to take some major drugs to dry myself up in order to get down. The timing is really bad...why couldn't it had been last week or the week after the trip?? Argggggh!!

No internet, no TV, no nothing where we will be diving. We will be in paradise, and be rest assured I will take plenty of this will be my last post for a week.....see you next Thursday.