Thursday, November 29, 2007

Blogging Break for a While

I realize that there are those who enjoy looking at my blog to follow my diving exploits, and look forward to their daily fix of dive pictures. I know I haven't been so good about posting them lately, but I have been taking them, little consolation I know.

I have taken a hiatus from my weekly commentary Food For Thought, I just need some time to refresh and reflect and reprioritize, and frankly I'm a bit tired. I will also be taking a break from my blog, I'm guessing for maybe a month or so. I realize that this may completely wipe out my reader base, but this is something I need to do for myself. I'll be back, I promise. I am actually in the process of writing a book at the moment, something that people have been encouraging me to do for the last 25 years. Recent events have finally convinced me that I do indeed need to write a book before the most recent events fade from my memory, so that is where all my writing will be focused for a while.

Thanks for all your support and encouragement in the past, and don't forget about me, I'll be back.

Monday, November 26, 2007

Thanksgiving After Diving

One of my traditional jobs every year for Thanksgiving is to carve the turkey. And typically someone will snap a picture of me carving the bird, they usually catch me when there is still plenty of meat to carve off the carcas, but not this year. Sarah came in after I was all done and said I had to pose for a picture carving the turkey, I told her she was too late, it was all done. She insisted that I pose for a picture with the carcas anyway, so here you go. If you're going to be the picture taker, it's important that you are ready with the camera to get pictures when they present themselves, like when I was actually carving the turkey would have been nice. Emma was on clean up detail, at least she was more than willing to help clean up the turkey scraps after the carving. She is working on her dishwashing skills, but she doesn't always get all the crusty stuff off the dishes, so we can't trust her to wash all the dishes. (That was a joke, well as far as you know it was anyway). Any guesses whose glass this one might be? This was the table before we all filled our plates with food. We had 11 for dinner, and then one more came later. The list this year included, Kelli & I, Sarah & Chris, Greg & Bev, Bryan without Hozumi, Kevin & Lynn Baker, Kaye Christian & Brenda Hoffert, formerly Haddox. Zandra came later after her other commitment. I believe Kelli was trying to make Emma be a neat dog here as she ate the turkey scraps, but if she really wanted that, she probably should have given it to her outside. Here you see Greg & Bev, this was what they did to help get things ready. I guess we all have our place in life. And here we all are enjoying our meal. Every year it seems a crime to me that something that takes so much time and work to prepare is over so quickly, but such is Thanksgiving dinner. It was truly a delicious meal, Sarah even made homemade cranberries, I have to admit it was better than the canned version. Now this is the Bev that I'm used to seeing. It seems that everytime she sees me anywhere this is how she greets me. I don't know if there is a message there or not, but I had to include this picture since I've seen so much of her tongue. Bryan was feeling a bit ill, but Kelli filled him full of Enchinacea and Ginger and Sarah gave him some Advil, so he was feeling much better by the end of the night. We played a game of Sorry after dinner, and after jumping out to a commanding lead, I wound up being the biggest loser, such is my luck at games. Zandra showed up for leftovers and to be humiliated in pictures. Sarah and Chris went through various stages of like and dislike throughout the game, but as you can see, all's well that ends well. And I bet you thought I was kidding about Bev always sticking her tongue out at me. Nope, seriously, whenever I picture Bev in my head, this is the image that automatically pops up. We had an awesome Thanksgiving, and I hope you and your family did as well.

Friday, November 23, 2007

Thanksgiving - Saipan Style

Part of the problem of getting up wayyyyyyyyyyyyyyyy before the crack of dawn to go to work is that even on your days off, you're still awake by 5 am. So here it was Thanksgiving morning when I should have been sleeping in enjoying myself, but no, my internal alarm clock was telling me it was past time to get up at 6 am. So I tossed my dive gear in the truck, grabbed my camera and headed off. I needed to get my tanks filled, since I usually don't remember to get them filled ahead of time, and the dive shop didn't open until 7:30, so I had some time to kill. I went to American Memorial Park and decided to watch the sun come up over the mountain.When I got to the Grotto it was before 8 am and there wasn't another diver in sight. Now you can take that two ways, you can either be a little nervous about why you're the only one diving the Grotto on this particular day and go carefully check the conditions, or you can just say, YEA - I've got the Grotto all to myself and go jump in. I chose the latter. I did have to time my crossing over onto the rock in the Grotto as there were some pretty big swells rolling through, but I could time it and it did slow down enough occasionally for me to cross over so I wasn't too worried. I was kind of surprised at just how strongly the swells were pushing me around inside the Grotto, but I had everything to myself, so my camera and I headed outside in search of turtles. If I'm by myself I can pretty much guarantee I'll see at least one turtle, I know most of the spots to look, and I can cover a lot of territory if I don't have to wait for anyone so I just start looking in all their usual spots. But no sooner did I pop outside of the #1 hole than I saw this guy coming right toward me. He was just gliding along with the swells and looked quite spectacular. I never get tired of seeing green sea turtles, and get just as excited as I did the first time I ever saw one. There is something magical and otherworldly about just swimming alongside one of these magnificent creatures and just gliding through the ocean like they do. I spent about 10 minutes with this guy and then I spotted another another turtle down in about 75 feet of water, so I headed down to visit with him and get a few pictures of him as well. One of the keys to approaching a turtle and being able to get within good picture taking range is to approach them very slowly without any fast or threatening movement. Also you want to try to slow your breathing way down so there aren't quite so many bubbles coming out of your regulator. If the turtles don't view you as a threat and don't feel like they're being chased, they will usually let you get fairly close to them. Sure enough, this guy was just hanging out, and didn't seem to mind letting this other funny looking turtle hang around him for a while. I spent enough time to get a few more good shots, and then let him head to the surface for some air. After spending some time with those 2 turtles, I was having a pretty good dive and didn't really care if I saw anything else or not. I decided to get a natural high and do a narc dive. Nitrogen Narcosis is an effect that divers feel when they go past a certain depth. It has the effect of having a couple martinis, and you get an all natural buzz. It kicks in at different depths for different divers, but is usually a little over 100' for most divers. It usually takes me going considerably deeper to get the feeling, so I carefully watch my dive computer and start heading down. I'm not going to say just how deep I go lest I get the dive weenies trying to lecture me and leave nasty little comments on my blog, but let's just say I was feeling great. My only problem is that I've blown out both of my ear drums and inner ears diving, and now I get vertigo occasionally on ascent. When that happens it seems like you're on a merry-go-round going about 100 mph, and you can't get your bearings or tell which way is up or back, everything is spinning too violently. Yup, this was one of those days and I got hammered good with a bout of it. You can try fighting it and swimming back, but it won't do any good, you'll just wind up swimming in circles and you'll get even more disoriented. Your best bet is to just close your eyes and wait for it to pass. But at the depth I was at, you start racking up decompression time pretty quickly. And that is why I dive with a 130 cu. ft. high pressure tank. I want enough air that I have plenty for whatever might come up. So eventually it did pass and I worked my way back up. I went inside the Grotto and burned off all the decompression time I'd accumulated. After I got it all burned off, I still had over 1500 pounds of air so I decided to go back out and see if I could spot anymore turtles. I was glad I did because this guy was up fairly shallow, about 25' and just playing in the swells and the surge. When I'm taking pictures of a turtle, I become immersed in him, and lose track of where I'm at and what else is around me, I'm just totally focused on the turtle. I'm waiting for just the perfect shot and looking for the best angles to photograph him and for the best lighting conditions. It was paying off with this guy as I was getting some really good shots, and he was shallow enough that the natural lighting was making his shell really stand out.

It's usually ok to just focus on the turtle, but when there are really big waves and swells and you're fairly shallow, it's also important to keep an eye on what big rocks are near you and where the underwater cliff line is. And today was one of those days when I really should have been keeping a much closer eye on that. The next thing I knew a huge swell picked me up and slammed my body into the underwater cliff line, completely knocking the wind out of me. If you've never had the wind knocked out of you, it's like your lungs completely collapsed and you can't get them to work. You can try as hard as you can, but you just can't seem to suck in a breath. Not cool at all when you're underwater, and especially when you're now being tossed around the rocks like a rag doll. I remember thinking, yup I got to see 3 turtles on this dive and got some great shots, but it would really suck if my head got bashed in on these rocks while I can't breathe. But like any good Bumble (watch the movie "Rudolph the Red Nosed Reindeer" if you don't understand this reference) I seem to bounce. I didn't break anything or get cut up, just a few bruises. So I had plenty to be thankful for on this Thanksgiving! And all of this before 9 am. Needless to say I was good with one dive on this particular morning and decided not to push my luck.

We had some friends over and had the big traditional Thanksgiving dinner at home, but that's going to have to wait until the next post!

Wednesday, November 21, 2007

Martin Nievera on Saipan

Sunday night was quite the event on the tiny island of Saipan. Tan Holdings, who has been the largest private employer on this island for the past 25 years was celebrating their 35th anniversary of being in business in the Marianas, they started out on Guam. Jerry Tan, President of Tan Holdings on Saipan decided he wanted to do something special to give back to the community and the workers that have been with him for so many years, so he decided to bring Martin Nievera back for a free concert. I have never seen traffic jams on Saipan like I saw trying to get to the concert Sunday night. Normally I will do anything to avoid those kinds of situations, I really don't like crowds, and I got my fill of concerts back in my country radio days, but I felt a bit of an obligation to go to his concert this time around.

Martin was here 2 years ago for a concert to raise funds for the Northern Marianas College Foundation. The concert was on a Saturday night, and I got a call on Saturday morning asking if I could interview Martin on the radio to help promote the concert. That's right, it was a Saturday so you know where I was, off diving. But they did manage to catch me right before I jumped in the water. I told them I was about to dive, but to meet me in the studio in 2 hours and I'd interview him between dives. I went in to the studio still dripping wet from the dive with my swimsuit still on. Martin was a good sport about it and didn't seem to mind at all. We had a great conversation and the interview was awesome. We seemed to hit it off and had a good time with each other. He of course invited me to the concert that night and said he would be expecting to see me there. But I figured he probably said that to everybody. I had some guests from off-island who I was taking diving that day, and they were coming over to my house after diving for a cookout, so I knew I probably wouldn't be able to make the concert. Needless to say, I didn't wind up going to the concert 2 years ago. During dinner I got a call from Teri, who was at the concert, she wanted to know where I was. I explained to her about my guests and that I was home having dinner with them. She said that Martin just talked about the interview he did with me, and was asking me to come up to the stage. She then held the phone out so I could listen as he dedicated a song to me and proceeded to sing it. Yeah, I was feeling pretty bad about not being there, but what can you do? The next day I met Martin again at the sponsors' lunch. He asked if I heard the song he dedicated to me. And because I did hear it over Teri's phone, I could in good conscience say that yes I did. I didn't bring up the fact that I had to hear it over a phone and that I missed the concert, I really couldn't see the point of including those details right then. So we said our goodbyes, and I figured I got out of that jam pretty easily.

A couple months later I was in Los Angeles for an operation. I had gotten out of the hospital a couple weeks earlier, but still had bandages covering the cut on my throat, and had lost a substantial amount of weight because I wasn't allowed to eat for a month after the surgery. Kelli and I went into a little restaurant called Islands in Long Beach, it's right across from the Convention Center. I was drinking my lemonade, looking on lustfully as Kelli ate her soup and nachos, and who should come walking into the restaurant, yup, Martin Nievera, half a world away from where I saw him last. As we were leaving we had to walk by his table, so I said hi to him on the way out. He looked up at me with a puzzled look for a second, then he said, "Harry? What are you doing here? You look like hell!" I told him it was nice to see him too, and then explained what I was doing there and why I looked like hell. We chatted for a few minutes and he said he would be back to Saipan and looked forward to seeing me once again when he returned. So this time around, since the radio station was once again a sponsor, and since my wife was one of the volunteer's that night helping out in the VIP area, and since I didn't want to chance making a fool of myself yet once again, I went to the concert. And I was impressed, Martin is definitely an entertainer. He puts on a great show and even when he encounters technical difficulties, he doesn't miss a beat and the show goes on. So yes, I actually went to the concert this time and have the pictures to prove it. One of the parts of the concert I enjoyed the most though was the opening act, 16 year old Heather Manley from Guam. This young girl has already won numerous talent and modeling competitions, and has performed all over Asia. Her voice just blew me away, she was pitch perfect and had an awesome stage presence. But the thing that impressed me the most about her was when the CD player stopped working that they were using for her music back up. Heather volunteered to go ahead and sing a couple songs acapella, in other words with no music background. Now when you have the music back up, you can make little mistakes here and there, and even miss a note and most people will never pick up on it. But when it's just your voice, everything had better be absolutely perfect, and it was. Heather never missed a note, she was absolutely flawless. Keep an eye on her, because she will be going places, she has a very bright future ahead of her.

Monday, November 19, 2007

Yes, I Still Dive!

I know there has been some speculation as of late that I have given up diving because I haven't posted many dive pics for a while. Pure speculation I assure you, I've been getting wet every weekend, and actually I've been diving more than ever. I managed to get in 1 dive last Thursday, 4 dives this past Saturday and another 2 on Sunday, so I'd say I'm still getting in my fair share of bottom time. 2 of my dives Saturday morning were at the Grotto, my favorite place to hang out underwater. This green sea turtle has been hanging around in the same basic spot for weeks now, so I always check to see if he's there before taking off and seeing what else may be out there. Ironically the dive guides usually miss him and don't show him to the tourists, a shame. I always enjoy spending some time with the anenome fish. Many people refer to these guys as clownfish, but technically they're not. This two are double banded anenome fish, we also have single banded anenome fish in this area, you see a lot of them at Lau Lau.This moray eel was swimming from one hole to another as I was doing my decompression stop on the rope at the Grotto. You don't get to see the eels out swimming in the open water that often, typically you'll find them just poking out of their holes. But this guy got my attention by swimming right in front of me, so I followed him down to his new hole and took a few pictures. Then I went back on the rope, and he came out again and went to a new hole, almost as if he was playing hide and seek with me. Since I believe in always cooperating with the sea critters when they feel like socializing, I went over and took a few more pictures of him. He seemed to be enjoying posing for the camera. This is something I'm used to seeing, but it never makes me very happy. This is called canus slobicus, roughly translated it means a slob threw this can into the water. I always pick them up whenever I find them and haul them up to the trash can, but there are always more waiting for me on the next dive.

I went to the Marianas Dive beach clean up at Sugar Dock Sunday morning, and picked up nearly a full bag of garbage on the beach before I even hit the water. Then when I went down, I couldn't believe it. There was a dive instructor and a student in the water fairly close to the dock, and all around them were Budweiser cans, juice boxes, broken bottles and assorted other trash. I tried not to disturb them and started picking up all the garbage that totally surrounded them. After diving about 25 minutes, I finally had to come up because my mesh garbage bag had gotten so heavy I couldn't swim with it anymore. I was shocked by the sheer amount of trash the pigs on the dock manage to throw into the water there. My bag had to weigh about 75 pounds when I finally threw it up onto the dock. How sad that this is how we treat our natural resources and one of our biggest assets in the islands. I saw this baby flounder hiding on the sand as I was looking for garbage. I always believe in stopping for a minute to enjoy the beauty, even when in the middle of picking up garbage. Then this little guy was playing near the pilings for the dock. I had to take a picture of him just because he was so colorful and such a contrast to all the trash I had been picking up. After throwing my bag of garbage up on the dock, this little guy came crawling out. A baby octopus must have been hiding in one of the bottles or cans I had picked up. So I let him crawl onto my hand and I took him back into the water to let him swim another day, in a less polluted environment.

Friday, November 16, 2007

Heads of State in Studio

You know it's probably not going to be your typical day at work when you have a visit from the police at 5:30 am with their bomb and drug sniffing dogs. That was how my Wednesday morning started out. I didn't figure they were here out of concern for me, because I'm very surprised someone hasn't tried to blow me up already. The police officers explained that the Governor was bringing in the various heads of state from the Micronesia region in to the studio with him this morning and this was part of their security precautions. So the dog came in, went from room to room, looking for yesterdays leftovers no doubt, but didn't find anything more than a few crumbs here and there. By 7 am this is group that I had in studio, from left, Governor Ben Fitial of the CNMI, President Tommy Remengesau of the Republic of Palau, Governor Sebastian Aenfl of Yap, and Governor Felix Camacho of Guam. They were all on island for a meeting of the Western Association of Chief Executives meeting. I had a great time talking to each of them and asking questions about their various islands. President Remengesau and I talked diving for a while, and he personally invited me to come down and dive Palau with him, offering to take me out personally to some of his favorite spots. It looks like I just may have to make that Palau trip fairly soon, I mean how can you say no to the President? They all seemed to thoroughly enjoy their time in studio as well. We didn't get into any hard issues or questions, just talking about common concerns such as power, tourism and environment. I was very impressed with this group and believe that if they continue to cooperate like this, good things will come of it.
I had only asked to take a picture of the 4 of them, I mean it's not every day that you have 4 heads of state sitting in your studio. But they all insisted that I get in a picture with them all, a very nice gesture on their part I thought. Whether you agree with them politically or not and their policies, it's important to remember that they are people too, with feelings and concerns just like you and I. And I can't even imagine having to deal with all the problems and hassles they have to deal with on a daily basis. It was nice just being able to sit and chat with the 4 of them for a while getting to know them as people. Then there was Thursday morning. I had received an e-mail from Angelo Villagomez earlier in the week asking if he could come on and promote the clean up dive this weekend and talk about some observations from his vacation he just got back from. I like Angelo, and like to accomodate him whenever possible, so I told him to come in Thursday morning at 7. He invited Mike Tripp to join him since Mike is the Prime Minister of the Marianas Dive group. He's Canadian, need I say more? So at 7 am, there were Mike and I ready to talk diving, but where was Angelo? You can see in the picture above that his chair was clearly empty. I thought maybe he was just running late and would be here by 7:30, but nope, it wasn't to be. Mike and I talked to nearly 8, and still no Angelo. Now it's one thing if I invite you for an interview and you don't show up, but when you invite yourself and don't show up, well that's another thing entirely. It's not something you will live down anytime in the foreseeable future, or least as long as it lingers in my memory. So now Angelo is scheduled for Friday morning, of course he will have a bit of ribbing to live down for Thursday, but it's all in the name of good fun. Surely he wouldn't forget 2 days in a row would he?

Thursday, November 15, 2007

Anonymous Commentors = Cowards Without Credibility

One of the cowards who hides behind the cloak of anonymity tried posting a comment on my blog from yesterday blasting the Chamber of Commerce, making a bunch of generalizations, and claiming that none of us had any credibility. I had to just sit back and laugh at the audacity of this pompous blow hard. Telling me that I have no credibility when they don't even have the guts to sign their name to anything they have to say. Credibility is something that is tied to you as a person, to your history, to your accomplishments, to the things you've contributed to in the community.

The height of the lack of credibility would be tied to someone who chooses to remain faceless and nameless. Why would anyone believe anything they had to say? They have no track record, no history, no reputation, no community involvement, no service, nothing! They are just a little spineless coward hiding in the bushes spewing their venom trying to infect as many people as they can. For someone like that to make any claims of someone else having no credibility is the height of irony and stupidity.

Needless to say I didn't publish the comment, I really could see no point in it. After all, why would I want to publish something from someone with no credibility whatsoever? Yes, I like having comment moderation on a blog, it is not for meatheads who just want to cause problems. It is for me to share my pictures and stories, and to occasionally comment on something that really gets me going. But that does not mean that I have to allow the idiots to publish their garbage here, and I won't, case closed!

Wednesday, November 14, 2007

Irresponsibility Taken to New Levels

I was going to do a post today with some pictures of my dives from this past weekend, however there is something else that has grabbed my attention and is just begging to be addressed. The Marianas Variety printed a letter to the editor from Ron Hodges on Tuesday which proved to me that the Variety can indeed find new ways to sink to new all time lows. I am not the first blogger to talk about this. Brad and Angelo have both posted their thoughts on it, and if you want to see what has us all so up in arms, you can read the letter to the editor here on Brad's blog.

Ron is not happy about the local government passing House Bill 15-38, which is called the local Labor Reform Act. Ron is not the only one who isn't happy about the passage of the bill, the business people don't like it, the contract workers don't like it, the federal Labor Ombudsman has some real concerns with it, but Ron is the only one who is advocating domestic terrorism as an answer to the new law. Ron is telling the cooks in the CNMI to start spitting in the soup of all the tourists, he's telling the youth to go on a grafitti rampage spray painting everything, and he's telling the workers to sabotage the generators at Commonwealth Utilities Corporation.

At a time when we are already suffering some of our worst tourist numbers ever, Ron wants to completely kill the economy, all as his way of protesting this Labor Reform Act. I think it's important to point out here that Ron is a teacher at one of our public high schools. Is this what he is teaching in his class? Is he inciting his students to civil disobedience and unrest? Is he teaching them that the only way to deal with something you don't like is to become a lawbreaker yourself? Are we really paying him government funds to teach this to our children? Will PSS continue to employ a teacher who is clearly encouraging vandalism and terrorism openly in the newspapers?

But he's gone further than just encouraging destroying tourism with vandalizing food and spray painting everywhere, he's encouraging people to sabotage the government generators that provide electricity. I believe this has crossed the line of free speech and he has now moved into a fuzzy area that is known as inciting domestic terrorism. It will be interesting to see how the various law agencies handle this and what their reaction will be. Will they have to wait until somebody actually does something to one of the engines or generators, or do they have enough to go on already?

Then there is the other side of this, that would be the role of the Marianas Variety. I understand that the editor, Zaldy Dan Dan is claiming the letter was only meant to be sattirical, saying that if people don't understand satire it's not his problem. The thing is, after reading Ron's previous letters to the editor, I don't believe this was meant to be satire at all, I think he was being totally serious. So does a media outlet such as a newspaper have a responsibility to let everyone say whatever is on their mind, all in the name of free speech, or do they have a community responsibility? I think the Variety has once again clearly demonstrated that they are an irresponsible rag with no conscience and no integrity. They have become a mouthpiece for terrorism and vandalism.

It was issues such as this one that prompted me to cancel my subscription of the Variety over a year and a half ago. It was issues such as this that have prompted the business community to boycott advertising in the Variety and to show them they want nothing to do with them. Promoting or supporting a newspaper that runs letters to the editor supporting terrorism and vandalism means that you are also a part of the problem. I think it is time to renew the boycott of the Marianas Variety, and to rid the island of this disgraceful rag once and for all.

Tuesday, November 13, 2007

Island Scenery

Yes, Kelli came back with my camera, and yes I went diving this weekend and took some pictures. But I totally forgot to upload them to my computer, which means that the dive pics are going to have to wait until tomorrow. It was another Axe Murderer Tours weekend, I had a friend want to come over and go diving Saturday, so we hit the Grotto twice. But in my travels around the island, I've been just driving around looking for things I thought would make cool pictures, and this Kingfisher sitting on the power lines qualified. A trip down to Ladder Beach is always good for a few good pictures, it's just one of those naturally beautiful spots that never disappoints. This is looking down on the beach from the top of the stairs leading down. One of my favorite things is to just sit on the beach watching the waves break on the cliff line and the rocks and seeing the spray shoot into the air. If you're really lucky, you might even catch a glimpse of a turtle playing in the waves just riding them as he gets his next breath of air. Granted when I sit there watching the waves, I'm always wondering what is happening below them. Is there a white tip reef shark cruising by? Are there green moray eels poking their heads out of their hiding spots? Are there some Red Lionfish just cruising back and forth with the currents? And what kind of nudibranchs hang out here? Are there some that I haven't discovered yet? I have to just remind myself that there is plenty of beauty above the water as well and let myself soak some of that in too.And then one of the things you always want to be on the lookout for in the islands is a spectacular sunset. Some are better than others, and you kind of learn what conditions to look for. I could tell this was going to be a pretty nice one, so I stayed and waited a few minutes. And to think there are people who can't understand why I would want to live someplace that doesn't have decent shopping, only has very limited restaurants and everything is a long plane ride away. I guess it just all depends what you're looking for through your camera lens.

Wednesday, November 7, 2007

My Wife & My Dive Camera Return Home!

Kelli has been on a trip to Texas to spend some time with her grandmother and our son Josh and his wife Regis. It sounds like she's been having a great time and I've really enjoyed seeing the pictures on her blog that she has taken in Texas. I sent her on the trip with the camera I use for diving, as I wanted her to be able to bring back some great pictures, since someone had to stay here and work and feed the cats and dog. Last night Kelli returned, which I am very thankful for, I think my steady diet of Lays potato chips might be catching up with me. But that means my dive camera has returned as well. I haven't ordered the housing for my new camera yet, I wanted to spend plenty of time with it getting familiar with it first. I think a few of you might be getting tired of my other pictures, but I'm having a great time taking them. I've been keeping an eye out for good sunsets and then heading down to the beach every time I think there's going to be a good one. As I was heading down there the other day, I drove by this field of wild sugar cane, and the tassles looked like shimmering silver in the sunlight, so of course I had to stop and take a picture on my way to my appointment with the sunset. When I got to the beach I found plenty of other subjects to concentrate on while I was waiting for the sun to set. This is a sight you see all the time, fishermen on the beach hoping to reel in the big one. In all my years living here, I've only seen one fisherman reel in the big one fishing on the beach, so I know it does happen, but certainly not very often. As I walked past this group of kids swimming, they started calling out, "Hey mister, take my picture, only me!" They saw the camera and all wanted their pictures taken. They were having so much fun making all the poses how could I possibly disappoint them? There's just nothing like having some fun in the water on a Saipan beach. And it's even better if you can find some funny looking guy with a shaved head and a camera to take your picture. Do you remember those carefree days when the most pressing concern you had was how you were going to pass the math test the next day? Sure enough before too long the sun started to sink and do its thing, and I could tell it was going to be a pretty nice sunset. By this point I had wandered down to PIC, and got some happy hour chicken wings to make waiting for the sunset a little easier. I thought it was cool watching all the people in the water as the sun turned the water into slivers of liquid gold. The kayakers were silhouetted against the setting sun, swimmers were nothing but a dark circle above the water, and there were several other beach-goers also taking pictures of the sunset. You know it's going to be a nice sunset when it turns the skyline into a rich golden hue. Obviously a sunset that those kayakers would treasure from their tropical vacation. One of the things I enjoy the most about a spectacular sunset is the contrast in colors. If I was an artist it's moments like this that I would try to capture on canvas and recreate. But sadly, I have no artistic talent, I can only visualize things in my head, but can never make them materialize on paper or canvas. It was looking like conditions were turning perfect for a green "flash", which really isn't a flash at all, but is more like a very quick little blip. If there are no clouds in the way, the second the last little bit of sun sinks over the horizon, you will see a little "flash" of green as the colors of the spectrum are bent around the curve of the earth. Sure enough, I saw it, I tried to capture it on the camera, but I wasn't successful.But I was successful in getting some pretty nice sunset pics, and I totally enjoyed my sunset time on the beach. It's easy when you live somewhere like this to just get busy, or just come home and not pay attention to the sunsets, but there are some nights when you really need to take the time and make the effort to enjoy them. This was one of those nights.