Dearth of Morgan Blogs

June 11 2006

Seems we still have a dearth of Morgan blogs.  But, no doubt with camp being over the Morgans will once again unite.  I see that Josh is trying to "stir the pot again" .... he he he ... like father like son.

On Saturday we completed our "4th Asian Night" here in Angola.  Decy was the key organizer, although she created a committee to help her out.  It was very nicely done with dancing, singing, and entertainment for about 3 hours.  We had about 160-170 guests .... and probably some 50-75 different Asian foods (plus desserts).  For once, we actually didn't lose money on the event.  I will post some pics in the next day or two.

Decy has learned much over the last couple of years here in Angola.  And, she has been the focal point for Asians.  When she arrived here in 2002 there was no "Asian group(s)" for cultural association and few Asians knew each other.  Now, Decy has a database of names, phone numbers, and email mail addys.  She regularly gets emails from around the world asking about Asians in Angola.

Decy is the founder of "Asian Group" and the Asian nights.  The nights have grown from 40 to 160 participants, and many have to be turned away (due to capacity limits).  FYI, once we go over appx 150 attendees we have to rent a facility which would cost thousands of dollars.  Last Saturday was her final event as the organizer, as we are moving to Indonesia.

Now comes the challenge of finding a replacement that can carry on the tradition ... a tough challenge at that.

I love my wife, Decy, and am very proud of her accomplishments.  It is clear that she can do anything that she put her mind to.

ciao ciao

The Irrationality of Rationality

June 08 2006

Here's something for you economics types.  The "experts" claim that the market is always rational .... housing prices are rational, stock prices are rational, store prices are rational, yadi yadi yadi.

Of course, to believe the rationality of the rational theory then one has to believe that people individually and collectively are rational.  We know that people are NOT rational, but are emotional.  They are both fear driven and greed driven .... while some (good) folks are alturistically driven.

In the case of mathematics, we know that 1+1+1=3.  But it is not that way with people.  The summation of irrational beings does not suddenly become a rational society.  This is the case in economics, politics, business, life, and even religion.

So what can we do about irrationality?  About all we can do, is understand that people, markets, and things are not always rational .... although in most cases they are "explainable".  We need to accept that people and events, although understandable (after the fact) aren't always predictable ... and in the most cases are not controllable.  We need to understand our limitations ... and protect ourselves from ourselves ... and in particular our own irrationality and fears.

Its like white water rafting.  When the big 15 foot wave is heading right for you, you want to run from the wave ... turn away ... protect yourself.  If you do, then you will capsize.  However, if you charge right into the wave ... and face your fears ... then you have a good probability of successfully navigating the monster wave.  FACE YOUR FEARS, RECOGNIZE YOUR SHORT COMINGS, TRUST IN GOD, and MOVE FORWARD.

What about irrational markets?  Oh yeah, I don't understand the stock market .... its down 10% in the last month due to the fear of inflation and higher interest rates.  Does that make sense ?  No !!  What am I doing about it ?  Actually, I'm just staying the course in my investments .... I'm like the turtle .... slow and steady ... that will win the race .... 

For the younger folks in the world, and the ones that read this blog (including the one that had a decision to make) ... identify your goals, dreams, hopes .... develop a plan ... work the plan ... stay focused ... modify the plan, when necessary .... but stay focused on the GOAL ...

ciao ciao

Morgans Unite !!!

June 08 2006

Come hither ... from here, from there, from everywhere ... come back from work ... from camp .... from girl friends, from wives, from boy friends ....

Where are the Morgan bloggers???

... guess I shall wait until morning (Angola time) to blog something of value .... being as nobody but Liz and I are engaged !!!!

Life is a Circle

June 07 2006

What a truism.  As some of you may know, before moving to Angola I lived and worked in Aceh, Indonesia.  That was a tough time in my life (2000-2001) and it was particularly stressful because I was in a "war zone".  Ultimately I was evacuated because of safety reasons.  After the evacuation, I was on refuge status in Jakarta and lived in a hotel there for about 9 months .... ultimately coming to Angola to live in work.

And so, to complete the "circle" I am now being transferred back to Indonesia.  I will work and live in Jakarta ... but not as a "refuge" this time.  International relocations are quite a challenge ... and the process is complicated, time consuming and frustrating.  Plus, setting up a "new life" there will be full of interesting twists and turns.  No doubt this will make good "blogging fodder" ... so, hang on to your hats.  Hopefully, some of you will find this interesting reading over the next few months.

*** Part 1:

International relocations is very much a "hurry, hurry, wait" situation.  I was first approached in April about the move (which came as a complete surprise as I expected to be here in Angola until June 2007).  I was told scant information but expected to provide prompt feedback on whether or not I was interested.  Then I heard the move was a "done deal" ... before I even said "yes".  So, I spent the next few weeks scurrying around trying to flesh out details of the move, housing, schooling for Thasya and Chely, and the job so that I didn't feel like a mushroom .... then came the "silence" part where I heard absolutely nothing about the move.

Kept asking for information, but got scant details.  Kept hearing that things were moving along and soon they would request key personal information from me, but heard nothing.  I reminded everybody that I was going on vacation for 3 weeks ... so what did they do ... they issued their barrage of questions/requests (all with "prompt replies" required) WHILE I was on vacation.  Luckily I was able to handle the requests before White Water Rafting.

NOW ... its silence once again .... stay tuned.

Back in the Saddle

June 07 2006

Just a quickie.  Back at work now .... some things never change or at least they do so in only "geologic time".

No doubt friends and family have seen Josh's pics on the White Water Rafting ... yahoo ... still feel the thrill of 15 ft waves.

SORRY, nothing exciting to write about this morning. I will blog tonight after I get some "juicy material" to write about ....

ciao ciao

Survived !!

June 03 2006

We owned the Colorado River !!!  No doubt Josh, Chris, & Paul will tell their own stories and post their own pics, so I won't steal their thunder.  But, in a word ... AWSOME !!!

Forget everything you know about white water rafting.  Think Cataract Canyon, Utah ... 3 of the top 10 rapids in the US ... any time of year ... and the best overall set in the nation at this time .... think 5 days .... ~95 total miles travelled, ~80 miles paddled by hand in kayaks ... think 15 foot toe-to-crest waves ... think bodies flying everywhere ... think think think think ....

What a ride !!! wave after wave ... Class II, Class III, Class IV, Class V ... and two Class VIs that HAD TO BE AVOIDED.  Often times, we were navigating between "certain capsize" on the left and right to "likely capsize" in the middle.

To say we got wet was an understatement ... nothing was left dry.

To say we got thrown around is a joke ... Josh and Chris were airborne more than once.

Think ... small rubber ducky (kayak) being drenched, beaten, thrown by waves ... 8, 10, 12, 15 foot high ... nowhere to run, nowhere to hide ... capsizing was nearly certain many times ... with only sheer determination, strength, and heading straight into the "enemy" as the only possible chance of survival.

Who went over and who didn't?  I'll never tell ... but it wasn't me.  Be watching the sites of Josh, Chris, and Paul ... "for the rest of the story".

What was the best part? .... being with my sons.  What was the funniest part? ... watching Josh/Chris fly without wings. What was the saddest part? ... having to say good-bye, once again.

So Many Shrimp ... so Little Time

May 27 2006

The great convergence of the Morgan boys occurred Friday in Denver.  After waiting 4 hours for the old man (me) to arrive all of us (and the stunning and talented Stacy) put on our best duds and headed to the Broker Restaurant.  After valet parking we walked into the bank, down the stairs, and I promptly tripped (but didn't fall) on the last step.

We announced our arrival (actually, I think my tripping pre-announced us) .... we were promptly led into the VAULT and placed in a corner (do you think they knew we were going to be "acting up" a bit?).

Out came two giant bowls of boiled shrimp (yahoo !!). Paul took a pic and hopefully will post it.  We dug in ... and in ... and in .... and loudly said "Decy", "Chely", and "Thasya" THREE times (its an Indonesian thing, sorry).

We ordered our foods, drinks, and other asundry things and then dug back into our shrimp.  Ahhh, what a wonderful night ... can't explain all the wonderful delicacies that we ate ... but the best way to characterize the evening was when I asked the stunning and talented Stacy if dinner was worth the effort of dressing up ... and she replied "YEP" ... that's my girl.  Oops, sorry ... that's Chris's girl.

After a night of watching movies, got about 4 hours sleep, woke up the boys at 6am ... shortly we head up the mountain for a drive to Grand Junction ... with visions of shrimpies dancing in our head.

Ciao ciao.

Goldtoother ...

May 24 2006

Ahem, recall James Bond in the movie "goldfinger" ... well, having completed my dental work this morning I now have a nice shiny gold crown on a molar (its stronger than porcelian, which I need as I grind my teeth at night) ... and so .... with my gold tooth ... I should now be called (a) goldtoother ... or (b) Mr Bill (MaryBeth's choice) ..... maybe I should just stick with Desperado ...

Just love technology and my company (sometimes they are AR).  Tried and tried last night to access my Co email via Grandma Suzy's broadband.  Even called the company "Helpless Desk".  Lo & behold ... they say that Grandma Suzy needs a router for me to access the Company via her cable modem ... because the IP address wasn't compatible with the VPN network .... soooo, given that I had to access my email (no real choice) ... I dumbed down .... good ole' dial-up .... can you say SNAIL?

Ha ... lunch time soon .... hmmmm, hungry .. Hungry ... HUNGRY ... think I'm going to Chinese buffet to get a fortune cookie that will say "you will travel to faraway places with your job" ...

Ciao ciao

Time to Move Forward ....

May 23 2006

Vacation step-1 is now complete.  Paul is graduated ... time to fly back to Florida to complete some dental work (step-2).  Step-3 (white water rafting) is just around the corner.

This trip to Tennessee has been extremely enlightening and fulfilling.  This trip, I was able to see the spouse and "close female friends" of all three sons (ahem, for the avoidance of doubt each son had only one "significant other).  It is amazing to watch the boys (now men) grow and develop.  It is interesting to see the woman they are bonding with ... all of them very nice, very strong, very confident .... all very different.

I have good sons, every one of them.  I am so proud of them.  They have shown and proven that children from a divorce don't have to be plagued with emotional problems and aren't doomed to failure.  These guys are strong, confident, intelligent, and have a plan for their life ... they are all excelling ...  they are NOT a "statistic" ...

I can't really say it is anything I have particularly done.  I've been pretty much an absent father, and in particular the last 10 years I have been overseas.  However, I have tried to help raise my sons when I can / where I can, to give them guidance, support, and love whenever I could.  But, I think the "honor" goes to their mother ... Jeana ... I "tip my hat" to you and say .... job well done.

.... guess its time to head to the airport ... for Step-2 ... but in my heart, my focus is Step-3 as once again all four of "us guys" will be given yet one more opportunity to bond ... and I thank God for each and every opportunity .... not every father has such.

Ciao ciao.

Monday Morning ...

May 22 2006

Its not my normal Mon-AM, but I did log on to my office email while vacation.  I HATE ... hurry hurry .... wait ... hurry hurry wait.  Got an email from the other side of the world asking that I do something ASAP .... and send it to them.

Geez, I told them 3 weeks ago I was going on vacation and that if they needed any special work to request it BEFORE I left ... so what do they do?  First, they request it nicely 2 days after I left ... so I responded nicely I would work on it during vacation (isn't that nice of me) but would complete it and submit it when I return.

Now, they tell me to do it ASAP ... so much for vacation.

On a better note, having a great time visiting the boys and meeting their friends ... you have probably seen some of the blogs on that ... these folks (sons & friends) are a great group.  If more "young adults" were like them ... the world would truly be a better place ... let's pray that the "yeast" leavens all the bread of the world.

BTW ... I LOVE little Daniel ... what a bundle of joy .... he he he ....

Sunday ... a Day of Thanks

May 21 2006

Today, I'm in the US (Tenn) with my sons ... and away from my wife and daughters (they are in Angola).  This is a reversal of my normal pattern ..... it is very hard being away from Decy and the girls; I am so use to being with them every day ... they are an integral part of my "daily life".

When I'm with Decy, I think of my sons.  When I am with my sons, I think of Decy and my daughters.  Is that wrong?  No, not necessarily ... as I love all of them.  I do, however, have to remember to enjoy EACH AND EVERY DAY ... to take advantage of all the opportunities to be with the ones I love ... and to trust God to protect the ones who are not with me; and trust I must.

Today I give thanks that there are so many in my family, that we love each other, we respect each other, we enjoy being with each other ..... Blessed is the man who's quiver is full .... and I am truly blessed.


Where Am I ... What Time Is it ...

May 19 2006

Ok, so today was my first full day of not having to travel since I left Angola ... but that didn't stop me from staying up last night until 1130pm ... and up at 3am ... urrrrgggghhh to that jetlag ...

But, today was a good day, overall. Today I got to see the Destroyer of Worlds ... yes, the world-famous Daniel ... the youngest of the Morgan's.  What a cutie ... luv that little guy ... he can pick my pocket and take my money (and love) anytime he wants.  Oh yeah, his mom and dad are pretty cool, too.  Unfortunately, I don't have a way to post pics right now ...

Worked with Chris to buy a Yellow Machine 1 tera server ... I'm going to let him work out all the details of access and security ... after he does that ... then some of us will begin using it ... its a bummer being scattered all over the world ... but technology is grand and we are learning to leverage it more and more every day ... now if only Continental Express could learn to do that.

BTW, I don't seem to recall any of the Morgan boys discussing the upcoming White Water Rafting trip ... class IV and V rapids ... 5 days in Colorado/Utah .... YAHOO .... more to come ....

Ciao ciao ...

Its a Small World

May 19 2006

Talk about strange events. So, I'm flying from Tampa to Nashville. Some guy sits next to me and starts talking.  I share a little bit about myself and the reason for travelling, which is something I normally do not do.  Lo and behold, this guy knows all three of my sons (quite well) and attends church with them .... yikes, what a surprise.  Glad I didn't "misbehave" ... as I wouldn't want to embarrass my sons.

Last night I saw Chris and Stacy ... today I am hoping to see the rest of the family ...

Ciao ciao.

I Have Arrived

May 18 2006

... in more ways than one ... although "not all of me" arrived at the same time.   Yes, here in am in Florida ... having trekked from Angola to Houston to here ... Tuesday & Wednesday; no problems on flights - just the normal jetlag.  BUT, I had an extremely complex derivation of suitcases (one) to check ... made it out of Angola ... made it into my hands in Houston ... turned it over to the very "trustworthy" hands of Continental Express ... with 4 hours for them to move the bag 1 kilometer to the plane ... guess the quantity and time period was too tight (not enough degrees of freedome) ...

I arrived in Tampa ... what, no luggage?  Off to the service counter, with claim ticket in hand.  Knowing that this was 21st Century America I was confident that a few clicks of the button from the man behind the counter would be able to proudly proclaim the precise location of my suitcase ... and how they would rectify this situation.

WRONG ... seems Continental Express (don't know about other carriers) do not scan the barcodes on the suitcases ... anywhere in the transit process.  So, they have/had absolutely no idea where my luggage was ... and would never have any idea where it was until it poppod up "somewhere" unclaimed .... hmmm, makes me wonder what happens if someone had taken it from the carousel (either intentionally or on purpose) and took it home ... guess my luggage would be "delayed" forever .... and ever ... and ever ...

As luck would have it (thankfully) the suitcase was delivered in Tampa later in the day ... found "abandoned" ... logged into the "delayed baggage" system .... and ultimately delivered to me a 10pm Tampa time .... 3am Thursday Angola time .... Now ... I feel "normal" .... total travel time for me and my stuff ... ONLY approx 33 hours ...

Ah, nothing like 4.5 hours sleep ... wake up, shower/shave/etc, then I schlep off to the dentist to get some crown work done ... soon I will rush back to the Tampa airport for a flight to Nashville.  All going well, I'll be in the hotel there approx 9pm local time (3am ... again, for my body clock ) ..... wonder how "trustworthy" Southwest Airlines will be with my suitcase?

Now, what was that about the 21st Century?  Well, all is not doom and gloom, there is hope ... DHL does an excellent job of tracking packages .... over the last 2 months I have sent 3 packages overseas ... and I am able to track the packages EVERY step of the way ...

Enough blogging for now ... ciao ciao ...

BTW ... I miss Decy, Chely, Thasya .....

Volare ...

May 15 2006

4 months of hard work = 1 well deserved vacation ... today I head to the US to see Paul graduate high school .... visit the "Morgans Unite" ..... and do various asundry things.

But before I can go to the airport (plane leaves at 11pm, have to be there at 7pm) ... I have to work about 7 hours, spend time with the family here, get a haircut (that should take 10 seconds), and finish packing ... then off like a herd of turtles marching through peanut butter.

All going well, the flight from Angola to Houston will be about 15 hrs +/- 1hr .... about 4 hr layover ... then on to Tampa ..... should be dead about the time I arrive Tampa on Wednesday afternoon.  Thursday AM visit to the dentist .... to work on a crown ... rush to the airport and arrive Nashville Thursday night.  By then, my head will be spinning, spinning, spinning .... get some rest on Friday (sort of) .... graduation on Saturday ....

.... more details later ...

... I'm going to miss Decy and the girls .... : (  they can't come because school is still in session in Angola.

Ciao ciao

So Was Today Really All That Different?

May 15 2006

And so ... after a "short day" of 12 hours of work ... Decy came to pick me up from work.  There were the normal frustrations with the job, the normal "kilo challenges", the normal traffic issues .... as they say in Indonesian "sama sama" ... its the same .... But, maybe it isn't the same. Maybe today was just a little bit better ... maybe it was because this morning I "gave thanks" before going to work.

Tonight, I had a quiet dinner with Decy at a new Chinese restaurant.  We enjoyed our personal time together.  Decy and I have now been married nearly 3 years .... unfortunately, for various reasons we have not been able to share our anniversary together ... this year is the same (tomorrow I leave for the US to attend Paul's graduation) ... maybe next year.  In the meantime, I give thanks ....

Good night, selamat tidur, boa noite, buenos noches ....

Time for Reflection

May 14 2006

Monday morning, 430am, almost time to go to work.  Normally, I would be dragging myself out of bed grumbling something about "hating Mondays".  But today is different, first, its a short week and tomorrow I fly back to the US to spend some time with my sons (I could grumble about Decy and the girls not getting to join me; but I won't).

I could grumble about not getting to have a decent phone call with my mother on Mother's Day (probably due to Sunspots), but I won't.

I could grumble about having to get up so early and work such long hours; but I won't.

TODAY IS DIFFERENT.  Today is my 48th birthday.  While not a "milestone" year it is still the marking of another year in passing.  Time passes so fast ... so many things happen ... some good, some not so good.  I can feel myself getting older ... especially if I run a very hard hash ... or go dancing all night (yes, I still do that).  Nevertheless, I feel good about my life ... I feel healthy, my weight is under control, I have a large and growing family that loves each other ... and actually gets along.  Perhaps ... just perhaps, I am the happiest man in the world in that regard.

I give thanks to God for my three sons:  Josh, Chris, Paul.  I could write hours and hours about them; but they already know in their hearts how much I love them ... how proud of I am of them ... and how I would do anything for them.

I give thanks to God for my two daugthers:  Chely and Thasya.  Bless their hearts, I have put them through so much over the last four years; yet they continue moving forward, growing, learning, and adapting.  They are wonderful girls ... and I hope and pray the best for their future.

I give thanks to God for Liz and Daniel; daughter-in-law and grandson .... such special people to come into our lives and family.

I give thanks to God for my wife Decy.  While God is the source of my "being" ... she is the source of my sense of direction, of understanding about life, of learning to "relax", of learning to accept what life gives. Without her, I would have physically, spiritually, and emotionally died while living in Indonesia in 2000-2001.  I owe everything to her.

I give thanks to God for my sister and her family.  They have seen me do so many "weird" and oftentimes "unacceptable" things.  Yet, they have stood by me ... and we still remain friends and family.

I give thanks to God for my dad, Poncho.  He came into my life when I was a restless teenager and he stood by me ... sometimes as a friend, sometimes as a father ... didn't matter ... he stood by me.

I give thanks to God for my mother.  God knows how much I love her and how much I appreciate the life long sacrifice she has made.  Surely, there will be a special place in heaven just for her.

And finally, I give thanks to God for God the Father, the Son, and the Holy Ghost.  Without their mercy ... I am nothing ... without their protection ....  I would not be alive today ... without their sacrifice ... I would have no hope for tomorrow.

TODAY IS DIFFERENT ... I could grumble ... its 447am ... time to leave for work ... BUT I WON'T.  To everyone reading this message .... God bless you !!!

As promised ... a weekend full of events

May 14 2006

Dear family, see pics on BD party .... hash .... and mother's day lunch .... sorry, I'm lazy to attach them .... and today is my last day of rest in Angola before I travel again ...

Still 16 ... ha ha ha ha ...

May 13 2006

Ok, ok. So I promised a blog on Saturday to talk about the Friday night celebration.  It was absolutely fantastic ... wow, Valerie decided to cook the meal ... so all I did was provide the 48 year old port ... and the 48 year old man.

Food was great. Dinner was great. Conversation was great.  Everythng was great.  Even caught my second wind and did karaoke unitl 3am .... until Franck and Decy got tired.

So, what about pics. Well, Decy says she will download them tomorrow (Sunday).  In the meantime, remember that I told you about our Monday dinner with the Indonesian Ambassador?? Well here are a couple of pics from that event.

Left to right:  Indonesian Ambassador, Decy, me.


... bet you don't need me to tell you this is NOT the ambassador .. .nor me ......

Ciao Ciao

Sweet 16 and Never Been Kissed ....

May 11 2006

Well, not really ... not 16 and certainly have been kissed at least once or twice.  Monday, 15-May is my 48th BD.   Under normal circumstances, I would celebrate the event (on that day) with all my might ... but celebrating on Monday doesn't feel right.  So, tonight, Friday, Decy and I will celebrate my birthday.

About 3 years ago while in Portugal, I bought a 1958 bottle of port ... it was quite expensive.  I have been saving it for my 50th birthday (you can do the math).  BUT, lo and behold, it appears I won't be here in Angola to celebrate the momentous event ... and I don't want to risk losing or breaking the bottle during the move .... so, Decy and I decided we would enjoy the bottle tonight.

Now, how does a person enjoy such a special bottle?  Only with special friends that would truly appreciate what is about to come out of that old, old, old bottle (yikes, I feel old now).  So, Decy and I have invited Franck and Valerie Boursier (a french couple) over for dinner tonight .... no doubt we will have a wonderful dinner ... snacks, meal, port, conversation ... and probably karaoke ....

Stay tuned for a Saturday phusebox-post ... with a pic or two .... in the meantime, I have some work to do ....

Ciao ciao ...