Holidays Are Over !!!

January 08 2007

Even if my calendar didn't show it ... I can tell by the traffic.  Yesterday morning traffic to the office was very erratic and jerky ... it was clear that people were coming back from the holidays and hadn't yet gotten into the "groove" of driving.  Then last night .... there was an extra 15-20 minutes tacked on to the commute time.  I suspect this will continue to grow throughout the week ... and by next Monday a 1-1.5 hour (sometimes 2 hr) commute will be the normal.

*** And Rayshielda makes 3 ... huh?  what?  Well, that is what I think her name is.  On 2-January ... David and Anna had their second child .... which is now my third grandchild. Watch out Poppy ... I'm catching up fast !!!  I understand that mom and baby are doing fine.  They are over in Ungungpandang (Makassar) ... so we haven't seen the baby yet.  We will need to run (fly) over there sometime when things settle down.

Speaking of babymaking ... seems that our maid Wiwi is pregnant ... she is due in August (perhaps we haven't been working them hard enough).  Obviously that changes our plans a bit around the house ... however, we were wanting to hire a 3rd person for the house anyway (as we think the house and yard is too much work for 2 people; but, perhaps not) ... and had visited with Wiwi and Nunung about that in Nov/Dec.   We invited them to bring in one of their family members that they could work cooperatively with.

So, this past weekend "Sumi" a young lady joined our big happy family.  She's about the size of Wiwi (Chris and Paul can relate to that) but has probably an extra 3-4 pounds on her.

Decy gives the staff nicknames ... Wiwi is already short ... Nunung is called Nunu ... Mulyono is called Yono ... and Mustafa is called Stafa.  Now, Decy is calling Sumi ... Mimi ... the alternative was Susu ... but we clearly cannot use that ... Susu in Bahasa Indonesia slang means "breasts".

And for those folks that STILL want an email ... sorry ... not this morning ... BUT, I still and always LOVE YOU .... he he he ....

ciao ciao

The Cycle That Never Ends

January 07 2007

Did you know that in some countries a calendar shows Monday being the first day of the week?  And, in some countries the weeks are shown in columns rather than rows, did you know that?  What does that have to do with my blog?  Well, actually not a whole lot other than the fact that today is already Monday ... and it seems that Monday ALWAYS follows Sunday ... just can't seem to get away from this vicious cycle.

The weekend went pretty much as planned.  Friday night, Decy and I went out to Club CJs.  They will be changing the band out at the end of January.  That is good, as much as I like the band, something new (if they are good) will be refreshing.

Saturday morning went for my 2 hour massage.  Thasya went to be with a friend for the day ... and later that day Chely met up with some friends, who ended up staying the night.  After the massage, there was the normal Nasi Padang at Sederhana and then off to Johnny Andrean to get a detox, cream bath / head massage, and hair cut.  By then it was 5pm, so we skipped going to the dept store named Sogo where I could use my ~$220 gift certificate.

Saturday night was quiet ... and I succeeded in getting Decy to watch "Fellowship of the Rings" (extended version).  She liked it !!! Sunday morning I worked from home (after taking a business call at 8am) and Decy/Thasya went to church .... about 2pm we turned on "Two Towers" ... and at 6pm continued with "Return of the King" .... all extended version ... So much for getting a good nights sleep. oh well.

Have much to do today, including attending a key Sr. Manager meeting at 730am.  Today is the first (theoretically) normal week of the year, many folks will be returning ... who knows what challenges the new year will bring.  I do know, that at least for today ... I have two presentations to finish writing.  Almost finished both yesterday (Sunday) but was interrupted by wanting to spend Sunday afternoon with Decy and the girls.

ciao ciao


January 04 2007

Chris and Paul should be arriving home about now ... although I don't expect to hear from them right away.

As for me, really not much to write about. Work was a simple "ok" yesterday - not really great given that it was a cancelled vacation day.  However, Decy made it home safely ... and she and the girls and I shared lunch at the office on their way home from the airport.

This weekend will be a "return to normal" type of weekend.  I'll probably go to CJs tonight. I need to visit with Chris Millington, one of the lead singers, about a situation.  I think I will get a massage on Saturday. Plus, I received a 2 million rupiah ($220) gift card from the company - so I might spend that this weekend at a department store.  Also, I need a haircut - I have "wings" over my ears. >>> As you can see ... a pretty normal weekend.

... sorry this blog is so vanilla.  Guess having the boys gone has let some of the air out of my balloon.

ciao ciao

Just Thursday

January 03 2007

Not much to post about .... after 45 minutes of sleep on Tuesday night, I worked a full day ... no lunch ... but a nice "interruption" when Decy, Chely, Thasya, Chris, and Paul stopped by the office on the way to the airport - we shared breakfast ... and said a quick prayer before they continued onward.

As I write this blog the boys and Decy have just checked out of the hotel in Singapore and are on their way to the airport.  The boys plane leaves in 2.5 hours ... 1st stop ... China; 2nd stop Chicago.  Decy leaves Singapore about 10am and arrives around 11am ... maybe she will stop by the office (on the way home) for lunch.

Guess I am a bit of a "freak" .... last night I decided to watch the extended version of Return of the King ... finally got to bed at midnight ... alarm was going off at 345am ....

Josh has a very good blog about mankind and the nature of man.  Interestingly enough Chris and I visited on this subject just the other day.  I detest people lieing to me, deceiving me, cheating me.  And yet, I also know that for every person that cheats me ... there is one or more (at least I believe there is) that is genuine and sincere.  So, when a brother asks for help ... what do you do?  Do you help him or not?  What if he has deceived you?  What happens if two people ask you for help at almost the same time ... and you sense the first has just cheated you .... do you trust the second?  If you do ... does that make you a "sucker"?  What if a third then comes up to you? .... when you say "no" ... when do you say "yes" .... One should seek wisdom in these things ... and yet, wisdom in knowing when/how to trust man is so difficult ... because (for many) the hearts of men are black.

ciao ciao.

My Wednesday Morning

January 02 2007

Well, it looks like the internet is more or less fully functioning again from Indonesia into the US.  Read an article that 50% of all world-wide internet traffic is routed through Virginia ... which is why it was so easy to knock out 25% of the world ... And, I hadn't realized that Taiwan was a major hub for sub-sea fiber optics to the US ....

I will be working today and tomorrow ... and will be postponing 2 days vacation (plus carrying forward 10 days).  More importantly, today ... Decy will take Chris and Paul to Singapore.  They will overnight there and then catch an early morning flight to the US (Decy returns to Jakarta tomorrow).  The boys are having a challenging time grappling with the concept that they will leave Singapore on a Thursday morning ... fly for 24 hours ... and land in Chicago on THURSDAY MORNING ...  ah, the joys of world travel.

Overall, it has been a very good visit with the boys.  They have had an opportunity to see many aspects about Indonesia in general, our lives in Indonesia, and seeing me in a "non-vacation" environment (which they haven't seen in many years).  They've eaten at 5-star restaurants ... and they've eaten food from a street cafe.  They've frozen to death at 9,000 ft ... and sweated to death at the Christmas eve dinner.  They've ridden bajai's (bicycle taxis) and they've travelled around in our Fortuner with our driver.  They've gone to Dairy Queen and they've eaten Nasi Padang.  No doubt they (and we) have made many new memories ... and they will be coming back to the US with about 2,500 pic's to share with friends. I think this experience (especially at this age) now has helped the boys better understand why I do the things I do ... and why I am so intrigued about living in Asia.

Dear Ms. Stacy - RE Chris and his promise ... sometimes strange things happen and we don't always control the situation ... to whet your appetite ... ask Chris or Paul about New Years Eve at CJs and the young lady that tried to lip-lock Paul and then tweaked his nose ....

Last night the boys and I decided to watch as much of the Lord of the Rings trilogy as possible.  We started at 9pm.  We quit at 3am having completed only the first two movies.  I decided to "sleep in" until 430am ... so after cuddling up with Decy for a while and thinking about missing her on Wed night ... I picked up about 45 minutes sleep.  As for Chris & Paul ... not sure how much sleep they will get as they need to leave for the airport around 8am .... as for the boys, the sleeping issue actually will help them begin adjusting their body clocks.  As for me ... well, as Paul would say ... Dad, face it, you're a freak.

With that, I will close for now .... ciao ciao

Yikes ... internet Challenges

December 31 2006

Not sure what is going on ... if this is still the Taiwan effect or what ... but we are still having difficulty (all of us; Chris, Paul, myself) accessing Phusebox from Indonesia.

I don't want to spend a lot of time on the system trying to upload stuff if the system is going to crash ... so I will be brief.

So far the weekend has been pretty good.  Last night, New Year's Eve we went to Club CJs to ring in the new year.  Had a good time, no security incidents, good music, fun.  (Chris didn't dance !!).

An Indonesian superstar named Chanti was there and did a 1 hour set.  She was pretty good ... but we all agreed that we liked the normal band better.  I'll try to post some pics (I know I keep saying that) .... as soon as the internet is more stable.  We made it home at 4am ...

Gotta run ... too many internet challenges at one time ... ciao ciao

News Release on Earthquake ...

December 28 2006


Telecommunications operators in Taiwan and Hong Kong have dispatched workers to repair quake-damaged undersea cables, as much of Asia remained without Internet access, officials have said.

Millions of people from China to Australia muddled through a second day without full telephone or Internet services after Tuesday's 7.1-magnitude earthquake off Taiwan damaged the fibreoptic cables running through the zone. (AFP) top

************* YES, Stacy I saw your blogs on Santa and Dragons.  I know that dragons exists.  How else could Thasya and Chris eat as much as they do and not gain weight ... there must be a dragon in their tummies !!

Taiwan Earthquake - Ripple Effect

December 28 2006

Friends & Family - today (Friday) is my vacation day.  But, I have to have a 1 hr meeting at the office I need to attend. While I'm here ... I need to let you know something ....

There was an earthquake in Taiwan that has severely impacted Indonesia's access to the world's fiber optics network. As a result, from the house we are unable to access internet sites such as Phusebox, yahoo, etc. (but we can access Indonesian sites)  I think Chris's AIM still works.  Please be patient if you don't hear from us, Chris, Paul, etc.

Now, if any of you believe in "conspiracy theories" ... here's one.  The US has been alerted to a potential terrorists plot and is blocking telecommunications and internet accesses from targeted countries.  How's that ???

Ciao ciao ... hope to "see you" in cyberspace from the house soon ....

Internet Issues

December 27 2006

Family & friends. Could barely access the internet from home on Wednesday. Tried in the office - very very challenging.  There seems to be a country-wide network issue.

As of today (our Thursday, 6am) zero internet from home ... some from the office.

All is fine here ... don't worry ... rest of the family will blog/email as soon as they can.

I'm Back ...

December 26 2006

Very much internet challenged this morning. Spent from 415am to 525am trying to get into the i-net. Still not working very well .... Anyway, we are all back from vacation.  Nobody hurt. Everybody happy.  Probably 2000 pics between all of us. No doubt the boys will be posting pics before I do ... as I have to leave for work in a few minutes.

Had a great time visiting temples, climbing up and looking inside volcanoes, freezing to death at 9,000 ft elevation, sweating to death at sea level, eating lots of interesting foods (ask Chris and Paul about Ayam Taliwong), watching pottery making, and weaving.

Stacy, Chris has kept his promise (so far) ... no dancing ... ALTHOUGH both Paul and I got called up on stage on Christmas Day dinner to do some "Bali dancing" with two cute girls .... Paul did better than me (surprised ?)

Chris and Paul are eating more and more Indonesian food, I think they actually like it ... but maybe they are just starving to death.

I'm going to close this blog. Too many i-net issues this morning and it could crash anytime.

Ciao ciao.

Quickie ... Almost Time to Leave for Airport

December 20 2006

Its now Thursday morning early. I've been up since 245am, its 400am ... everybody else is just getting up. Within 30 minutes we head for the airport. If you don't hear from us until Tues/Wed it is because we don't have internet access.

Had the big family dinner/Xmas event last night.  We did not invite the fully-extended family; otherwise, we would have had 100 people ... so we invited bro's, sis's, mom-in-law, and their families.  Most showed up .. but some spouses did not.  Lots of little tykes. Had a great time ... best part are the children ... they are wonderful no matter the color, religion, or language.  Darlings, every one of them.

Chris, Chely, Thasya, Paul had lots of fun handing out gifts to everyone, including our hired help.  It was a great time.  Mixed in there ... there was lots of eating, talking, and karaoke.

Dinette table arrived just before the family did. It was almost fully assembled when the family arrived ... and was ready in time for the Christmas (Vietnamese soup) dinner.  Everybody enjoyed ... even Chris and Paul.

Check the pics ... I only had time to post 5 (takes 20-25 minutes) ... but it is a good sample.

Gotta run wake the boys up ....

And, YES, Stacy, you are SMALL (kecil) !!!!

ciao ciao 

Friday ALREADY !!!

December 19 2006

Ok, so my weeks are messed up due to the segmented vacations.  Its not perfect, but it is better than nothing.  Today (Wednesday) I hope to leave the office by 2pm and begin a long holiday weekend.

First stop ... Christmas dinner and presents opening at our house ... me, Decy, Chely, Thasya, Chris, Paul ... and a whole busload of Decy's family (mom, brothers, sisters, in-laws, out-laws, nieces, and nephews).  This place will be a zoo ... not sure how many are coming ... but I'm thankful to (a) not have to cook, and (b) not have to clean up afterwards.

Second stop .... early to rise for 7am flight to Jogykartara.  There we will see some ancient temples. Overnight, then on to ....

Third stop .... Surabaya .... very traditional city plus (weather permitting) we will travel to a volcano, watch the sunrise behind it ...and then walk to rim and look in .... still smoldering .... hot (BTW, did you see that another Indonesian volcano is on "red alert" ... I think there is something like 120 active volcanoes in Indonesia).  We stay 2 nights in Surabaya.

Fourth stop ....Lombok.  I'm told there are white sand beaches, clear water, great snorkeling.  That is where we actually have Christmas.

*** then back to Jakarta on Tuesday the 26th ... 2 days work ... and then another long weekend (with plans for other fun).

>> Guess you saw Chris's blog about the salon ... he he he ... as I understand it ...the girls giving the cream bath head/shoulder massages were pretty small ... but strong ... and good ... although their fingers got stuck in the boys thick hair a few times.  Rumor has it that good things come in small packages (and according to Chris, Stacy is not an exception).

After work yesterday we took the boys to eat Nasi Padang.   I suspect somebody will blog on that one .... everybody walked away full .... I guess eating oysters, goat brains, curry chicken, strange vegetables, and a gazillion other strange things didn't bother them too much.

Well ... gotta run ... BTW, for those of you who may not remember or know .... the 19th (today for you) ... is GRANDMA SUZIE'S BIRTHDAY !!!!!!  hap-hap-happy-birthday grandma.

ciao ciao 

Doing Double Time

December 18 2006

Life stinks when you have 20 days vacation and you can't take them ... and then it double stinks when you can take some of them in 2-3 day increments.  And so, I take 3 days off ... work 2 days ... take 3 days off ... work 2 day ... and so goes the next couple of weeks ... and I will STILL carry into 2007 more than 10 days of unused vacation.

I can deal with the unused vacation but the pattern stinks.  First, one never really "rests" when parsing vacation .... a person needs a break from work, school, whatever .... a long weekend doesn't cut it nor achieve the true "refreshing" that a person requires.

Second, just as soon as I walk into the office, I'm hit with a firestorm of issues, problems, emergencies etc.  The days in the office are gruelling ... and everybody wants "a piece of me" before I leave again.  So, in essence ... I merely squeeze 5 days of work and stress into 2 or 3.

While I admit that taking vacation this way is "better than nothing" ... its not a whole lot better (well, actually it is) ....

Today, Decy is taking Chris and Paul around to do some stuff they've never done before. I won't spoil the surprise (as they might read this blog when they wake up) .... but they or I will blog about it tomorrow.

*** Oh before I forget, got home last night and found Paul doing karaoke Christmas caroles.  He did some other songs too .... he CLAIMS to have achieve a 96 on one song before I got home ... but all I saw was 70s and low 80s.  BTW, I did one song (sorry that's all last night) ... got a 92.  Paul - eat your heart out. Chris - go back to sleep (actually he slept thru the karaoke, mumbled something about being "tired").

Well, time to get back to work ... its already 500am.

ciao ciao 

Monday Morning, Already ???

December 17 2006

This whole weekend has been tough, weird, and frustrating ... even though I took off Wed-Fri everything seems so out of whack.

While leaving Jakata on Friday and going through emmigration, I forgot to complete the departure card ... had to leave the line and do it.  Then I got completely discombloberated and was thinking "Singapore" not "Jakarta" and filled out the card as an "arrival card" not a "departure card" ... all info backwards.  I finally corrected that.

Plane leaving Jakarta was an hour late .... which means that I would have a tough time being on time to meet my friends at 730pm at the hotel.

Arrived in Singapore only to find out my handphone didn't work there.   ARRGGGHHHH.  After checking into the hotel, made a couple of quick phone calls ... to let Decy know what was going on ... and James, as he hadn't heard from me.  James picked me a few minutes later (after a good hot shower) and we were off for parts unknown.  Made it back to the hotel at 4am ... still not sure where he took me.

Saturday, get on the internet to figure out where the boys are ....after several emails from Jeana and checking the flights on the internet, it appeared all was fine ... glad I DID NOT see Jeana's 1st email ... and then wait for the 2nd.  I would have been panicked.

Did some shopping, ran around, had lunch in Little India ... rehecked the email to see the flight time from Japan to Singapore .... looks like the boys are arriving early.  So, I clean up and take a rest waiting for James and Nathan to call me .... room is hot hot hot ... a/c not working well.  ARGH !!!

Found out my PDA works in free hotspots and I can check emails from my hotel room.  Yeah !!!!

James calls me ... tells me to take a cab to Singapore Indian Association.  So, I try to do that and wait an hour in the sweltering heat for a taxi ... Scott's Road on Saturday night and xmas time is a mess .... by then its time for the airport, so I go straight there ... never made it to SIA.

Finally get the boys to the hotel about 130am ... then we go walking to stretch the legs.  Then talk in the hot hot hot room.  Finally, I think around 430am we try to go to sleep ... I'm on a chair, boys on a jumbo king bed.  I can't sleep in the chair, so i sleep on the floor using a towel for a pillow.  After several lame attempts to sleep, we get up at 8am ... shower, go for a walk, try shopping.  Finally we get some successes (which I cannot talk about right now, due to the readership of this blog).

We finally head to the airport to take of some stuff there, could have been on an earlier flight (but we stay with our current schedule as I can't call Decy to send the car earlier).  MISTAKE .... due to a series of weather issues, mechanical issues, and just plain dumbness our flight is 3 hours late.  Boys are collapsing on me and I'm not doing much better.

>>> sweltering heat waiting to make it through immigration in Jakarta .... that was a fun 45 minute exercise.

Finally make it to the house at about 1030pm (no traffic at that hour) .... we show the boys the house ... eat some Izzy Pizza and surprise C&P with Dr. Pepper !!!!  All head to bed about 1130pm.

I'm up at 345am, shower, shave, stagger to this crazy computer.  And now, Chris has woken up and is beside me .... so, I will close for now.

Ciao ciao

Waiting .... for Chris / Paul

December 16 2006

Its 7pm here in Singapore ... boys should arrive about 1140pm ... local time ... approx noon Saturday, Nashville or Florida time (more or less).  I'm excited ....

Been trying to do some shopping today and not doing a very good job of finding what I want ... urrgghhh !!!!

Gotta go meet some friends for dinner ..... ciao ciao ...

In Memory of Uncle Dave

December 14 2006

A few minutes ago, I learned that my Uncle Dave passed away.  He was approximately 100 years old ... and the oldest in our family.  He will be missed by many.  He was loved by many.  He touched many.

Uncle Dave had many unique stories ... but the most amazing is his "nationality".  That side of my family immigrated from an area that was sometimes "Russia" and sometimes "Poland" depending on wars and the border movements.  Yeah, that's right, I'm either part Russian or part Polish.

Anyway, when the family immigrated there was great grandpa, great grandma, great aunts, great uncles, and a (I think) 6 kids from GGP/ GGM .... but something funny happened along the way and in New York Harbor Uncle Dave was born.  Because he was in "American waters" he was deemed "an American" .... a gazillion immigrates coming off the boat ... and one American new born baby.

I have visited Ellis Island where the immigrates were processed.  If you ever have a chance to go there ... do it.

..... I love you Uncle Dave ... may you rest in peace .... may you be with God, Jesus, and Aunt Carrie.

Go Friday !!! And Other Things

December 14 2006

Finally, Friday ... in less than 2 hours I head to the airport to fly to Singapore to meet Chris and Paul.  They leave Nashville about 11 hours from now.  The achilles heel for this trip is their Washington DC connection .... very tight.  All going well, I WON'T hear from them tonight ... meaning they made their connection ... if something goes wrong ... we will adapt the plan.

While waiting for Chris/Paul, I will visit my friends and do some shopping.

Went out with Decy last night .... we went up to the Sabang area ... which you can't find on a map (I tried).  I looked around at the street cafes ... and signs were saying "Bang Roby" ... so I asked Decy what/who was "Bang Roby" ... apparently "Bang" is slang for brother ... and "Roby" is a guys name.  So, I finally figured it out ... the street cafes were owned by Bang Roby.  Decy pointed him out to me and I introduced myself.  Told him how much I enjoyed his good food ... which probably was a shock for him (coming from a bule) ... but I really do.  I will take Chris and Paul there ....  

As for those that are confused about time change ... just consider this ... for this part of the world ... we are approximately 12 hours ahead of you... so your Friday morning is my Friday night .... your Friday night is my Saturday morning.

ciao ciao

Quiet Day

December 13 2006

Today is Thursday, another day off from the office ... but I have about 3-4 hours work I need to do today.  Plus, need to go to the bank and take care of some things.

More furniture arrived today ... a pair of chairs and foot stools.  Still waiting to see if the dinette arrives in the next few days ... that's the last of the major pieces for December ... some other stuff is queued up for January ... but we are clearly nearing the end (YEAH !!!).  And, yes, I know, I need to take and post some pics .... I'll do that after the dinette is here.

Tomorrow (Friday) I head for Singapore ... already James and Nathan have organized to collect me at 730pm at the Grand Hyatt hotel. Saturday I will do some shopping (hope to find Xmas present for Decy) ... and will wait for Chris and Paul to arrive Saturday night at midnight (approx noon Saturday USA time).  On Sunday we will come into Jakarta.

Ok ... time to get some work done.

ciao ciao

Short One

December 13 2006

Went to Club CJs last night ... had a great time ... Saw Kelly Rowland (from Destiny's Child).  She's good ... really good ... but you probably already knew that.  We were about 5 feet from her ... front row.  CJs management is always very good to Decy and I and we always have the best table in the club.

I think we are going to spend New Year's Eve at CJs ....

Some more furniture arrived today ... table & chairs for upstairs pool room ... and a really really neat hand carved teak "cabinet" for storing beverages ... glasses and that similar stuff.  I think a few chairs are supposed to arrive tomorrow (delayed vs due today)

Gotta go help Decy ....

ciao ciao

Friday Already ???

December 11 2006

Not !!!  But I am "officially" taking Wed-Fri off from work. Of course,I worked Sunday at home ... and Monday night until 930pm (after I got home from work) .... and I will work at home on Wed & Thurs .... doesn't feel much like a vacation.  PLUS - have some questions coming from Angola ... sounds like they messed something up and need some guidance (bad timing).

Speakers arrived !!! Yeah !! Hot - cool - neat - fantastic !!

The paintings from Angola that Decy had framed also arrived.  They are fantastic and the prices on the frames are unbelievable .... about $80 each ... but probably worth $300-400 in the US.  Wonder what else will arrive this week (besides Chris and Paul) ????

TONIGHT - TONIGHT. Tonight is the rescheduling of Kelly Rowland from Destiny's Child.  She will be at Club CJs tonight ... and so will we !!! ... a good reason not to go to work tomorrow AM .... given that we probably won't get home until 4-430am.

Well - gotta get to work and figure out what Angola has messed up ... and besides ... it is ALREADY 432am ....

ciao ciao