Saturday, August 26, 2006

the long and short of 10 years ...

Ten years is a long time. It's a full decade, an era - one-tenth of a century.

Most cars don't last longer than 10 years. How many televisions shows run for 10 years?

Within the span of a decade, there are three different presidential terms, five terms in the House of Representatives, almost two full terms in the Senate.

But 10 years, in certain circumstances, is a very short time.

Like today, for example.

Today, 10 years ago, my dad died.

He was just 55.

My mother and I found him on his ranch, a place he loved to be, when we went to drop off the van for him; I was going to take my mom shopping.

We parked and I started down the hill, calling, "Pop! Pop!" We thought he was further down, doing some work. But then I saw him off to the side on the walk down, laying face down next to an upended bucket. I surmise he'd flipped it over and was sitting on it when the heart attack came.

He'd been dead for a while when we found him. In desperation I rolled him over and tried to give him mouth-to-mouth and CPR after yelling to my mom to call an ambulance. I kept trying, even though I knew it was futile.

Everyone who knew my dad took it hard when they heard the news. He was a well-liked and well-loved man.

In fact, he was the rock of the family. Not just my immediate family, but of our extended family as well, especially since the passing of my Aunt Anna. He wasn't the oldest among his seven brothers and sisters, but he was listened to and respected for his opinion.

He was not only my father, but a father-figure for many as well, especially when he was in the Air Force. Pop rose to the rank of senior master sergeant and served for about 27 years, and one thing was always universal -- his men loved and respected him. He was always there to help them out. He often brought them to the house for a home-cooked meal, or to one of our family fiestas. The officers over him respected him and his opinion.

Pop was also my primary teacher in life. He taught me how to fish, from how to tie on a hook, how to cast, how to gut and clean a fish. He taught me how to throw a baseball, how to catch and swing a bat. He taught me how to toss a football, dribble a basketball, make a layup and a hook shot.

Pop taught me how to use tools, how to change a tire, how to take apart a carburetor. He gave me my first pocketknife and showed me how to use it properly, how to sharpen it, how to carve wood with it. He showed me how to use a machete, the proper technique for splitting wood.

I learned how to build a fire, marinade meat and barbecue from him. He showed me the secret to making the perfect grilled cheese sandwich.

He taught me how to draw, how to do calligraphy, how to carve wood and weave coconut leaves into hats and baskets (which I forgot, but luckily my youngest brother retained all of that learning).

I also learned the value of reading from him. He and my mom read voraciously -- newspapers, books, magazines. His standard response when we wanted to know what a word meant: "Look it up." And we did, and we learned from that.

He emphasized the value of a good education. He and my mom both took some college classes while in the military, but neither ever got their degrees. I remember how proud of me he was the day I graduated from high school as salutatorian, and again, four years later when I earned my B.A.

He taught me how to treat friends, family and strangers, with generosity and respect. Everyone who came to my house was offered food and drink. If I brought a friend home unexpectedly, that person was always welcomed to dinner, and there was always plenty of food. There wasn't much he wouldn't do for a friend or a family member, whether it was loaning them money, helping them out on the ranch, whatever.

I got my sense of humor from him. He loved a good joke and it was always good to see him laugh his quiet laugh -- there was no sound; his eyes would crinkle and his mouth would open in a smile and he'd tilt his head back. He played practical jokes now and then, getting a kick out of scaring his kids.

He was so great with his grandchildren as well. You'd never expect if from a gruff, down-to-earth guy like my dad, but when he held a baby or a small child, you could see how great of parent and caretaker he was.

He was always quiet and reticent when I was young, but as I grew older, we began to talk more often, about all sorts of things -- politics, the world, sports.

Although it's been 10 years, it doesn't seem like that long ago. I still feel as if I've just recently lost him. I still miss him, miss his advice, miss his presence.

Ten years. Such a long time. Such a short time.

the debate ...

... actually went very well. R did a great job of organizing things and everyone involved gave 100 percent so it pretty much went off without a hitch.

It was weird being on TV and knowing I was on TV and trying to force myself to look at the camera and/or my co-moderator and not do something stupid like lick my lips.

Luckily I stopped at Kmart before and bought a bunch of handkerchiefs ... fat man with shaved head under bright TV lights = sweatfest 2006. I went through five of those. Luckily, most of the camera time was spent on the candidates, so I had plenty of time to pat down in between the times I was on the air. I'm sure there might have been a time or two where I had no choice but to pat the forehead when I was on camera, but I kept it to a minimum ... I hope.

I also avoided major stumbles over any of the text I had to read; pretty much everyone I talked to after gave me the "good job" thing. That's gotta be a good sign, no?

I ended up having to be the mean moderator, frequently admonishing the crowd to contain their applause. But, again, I got good marks from those involved with the debate for being stern and helping move things along.

But, ultimately, the main lesson learned was this: I have a face for print journalism. LOL

pre-debate dzer ...

Too tired to get into the debate and all that too much ... plus still have some work to do.

But here's a pic of me before the debate, gussied up a bit.

One problem with the weight loss — clothes don't fit so well. The new shirt was loose, especially in the neck. The vest, an old favorite of mine my moms made for me, is also way too loose.

Hard to look snappy when your clothing doesn't fit very well.

C'est la vie.

Oh ... and for a couple new Guam photos, check out DZER's Guam Pics.

Friday, August 25, 2006

T-minus 3.5 hours

In a little less than 3-1/2 hours, yours truly will be live and on the air!

Wish me luck ... a few meetings to tie up here, then I'm headed down there to get prepped and ready.

More later, when it's all over.

Thursday, August 24, 2006

random fun and frivolity

After deciding, after all, not to blog about what I was planning to blog about, I was left with this question: What the hell do I blog about?

Well, here's what I came up with ... enjoy!

So, you read DZER's Diatribe daily but still just don't know enough about the DZER? Maybe you're just too lazy, or too busy, to go through the archives to find out all of the little nuggets and gems about the DZER that you so desperately want to know?

In any event, your troubles are now over. DZER Publications is proud to introduce the soon-to-be international bestseller ... The Great & Mighty DZER for Dummies!

That's right! Now, presented to you in an easy to read, simple to understand format comes the book that everyone needs and no DZERette can go without.

Send your check or money order for $19.95 (plus $6.95 shipping and handling) to:

123 DZER Plaza

BEIJING (Reuters) - Striptease send-offs at funerals may become a thing of the past in east China after five people were arrested for organizing the intimate farewells, state media reported on Wednesday.

Police swooped last week after two groups of strippers gave "obscene performances" at a farmer's funeral in Donghai County, Jiangsu province, Xinhua news agency said.
Just in case you're wondering, the is EXACTLY how I want to go out! Instead of "Amazing Grace" or other traditional funerary hymns, there will be a mix of stripper songs with several exotic dancers disrobing atop my rather large casket! In lieu of flowers, please bring dollar bills with which to tip the strippers. LOL

Fellow fans of the Colbert Report are well familiar with Stephen Colbert's penchant for putting people, things and bears "On Notice!"

Well, I contacted my good buddy Stephen (fellow journalists and all) and he put up my personal current "On Notice" list. Wasn't that nice of him?

Note: The DZER will accept no guff from Canadians. After all, you ARE "On Notice!"

Just off the southern coast of Guam is Cocos Island, a 100-acre mini-island. It's a popular site for those looking to get away from it all while still enjoying tropical waters and white-sand beaches. It is accessible by glass-bottom boats, which go to and from Cocos on a regular basis.

Wednesday, August 23, 2006

feeling old and a shadowy HNT ...

Every year, Beloit College in Wisconsin releases its “Mindset List,” which gives facts about current generations that put into perspective just how old we really are. Here are some of the items from the newest list, for those who will graduate from college in 2010. How old does this make YOU feel?
Members of the class of 2010, entering college this fall, were mostly born in 1988. For them: Billy Carter, Lucille Ball, Gilda Radner, Billy Martin, Andy Gibb, and Secretariat have always been dead.
• The Soviet Union has never existed and therefore is about as scary as the student union.

• They have known only two presidents.

• There has always been only one Germany.

• They are wireless, yet always connected.

• Smoking has never been permitted on U.S. airlines.

• They have never had to distinguish between the St. Louis Cardinals baseball and football teams.

• DNA fingerprinting has always been admissible evidence in court.

• They grew up with and have outgrown faxing as a means of communication.

• "Google" has always been a verb.

• Mr. Rogers, not Walter Cronkite, has always been the most trusted man in America.

• Madden has always been a game, not a Superbowl-winning coach.

• There has never been a "skyhook" in the NBA.

• Carbon copies are oddities found in their grandparents' attics.

• They grew up in mini-vans.

• Reality shows have always been on television.

• They have always known that "In the criminal justice system the people have been represented by two separate yet equally important groups."

• They have rarely mailed anything using a stamp.

• They have always been able to watch wars and revolutions live on television.

• Green tea has always been marketed for health purposes.

• They have always been searching for "Waldo."

• They never played the game of state license plates in the car.

• They have always had access to their own credit cards.

• Beach volleyball has always been a recognized sport.

• Television stations have never concluded the broadcast day with the national anthem.

• Dolphin-free canned tuna has always been on sale.

• Disposable contact lenses have always been available.

• They grew up with virtual pets to feed, water, and play games with, lest they die.

• Professional athletes have always competed in the Olympics.

The early HNT from Guam:
Hey ... I finally didn't forget to get my early HNT from Guam posted on time ... late Wednesday here on Guam. This time I was proactive and got it done a couple days ago. So without further ado ...



To find out more about Half-Nekkid Thursday,
check out the link, baby:

In 2000, the U.S. Census Bureau said that the population of Guam was 154,805. More than 40 percent of the population lives in two northern villages: Dededo (42,980) and Yigo (19,474).

notes, observations and updates ...

• Spent $100 today on three pieces of clothing. This is one of the things that sucks most about being a guy who is both fat AND tall — clothes cost a LOT of money. Being on small island, even with the obesity rate here, means options are limited. There are no specific big-and-tall stores. Catalog ordering, even online, takes a long time in terms of delivery. There are no big outlet malls with cheap stuff. For the benjamin, I got: black slacks; a white, long-sleeve dress shirt; and a Big Daddy T-shirt, which was 20 percent off, or the bill would have been higher.

• Reason for needing new clothes, at least the slacks and dress shirt: I'm going to be on live TV for about two hours on Friday. I'm co-emcee'ing a political debate. Oops ... just realized I will also need to get a bunch of handkerchiefs ... us big guys sweat a lot under the lights!

• Still no word. I think I'm too antsy about this, especially because I REALLY am hopeful. Oh well, will keep ya'll updated as things progress ... IF they progress.

• Did four loads of laundry yesterday. Today, I finally got around to getting it all sorted, folded and/or ironed. All that's left to do is match up socks and put away the jeans and T-shirts. Unfortunately, I still have another four loads to do, and I probably should try to get that done before the weekend too. Fucking Bleah™. Laundry sucks ass, especially when you have to drive somewhere to do it and then lug it all back home.

• I skipped three poker games last week, including two of my regular games. Yesterday (Tuesday night, just several hours ago LOL), I skipped the main regular game again. Later today, there's another game and, again, it's likely that I won't go. It's not that I can't, from a financial standpoint -- I'm actually fairly flush right now. But I think I'm going to pay off my 2005 taxes (I filed an extension), so that's about $330 I will have to shell out. Add in the rent and utilities, which I have to pay this week. Even with all of that, I'm still in good fiscal position until payday and beyond, but I think I'm also going to put some more into my savings account, aka THE FUND.

• I also rolled more coins. I need to get some labels -- my bank doesn't have one of those auto sorters, so I have to include my name and account number on each roll of coins. Oh well ... more money into THE FUND; that’s the important thing.

Oh ... and be sure to check out the various names of DZER in the post below, if you haven't already ;)

Tuesday, August 22, 2006

what's in a name?

The following fun meme was stolen from Robyn, aka "The Purple Dawg" … LOL

(first pet and current street name)
Fanny Bradley … hmm this one doesn’t work … unless I’m some kind of glam-rocker who cross dresses?

(grandfather/grandmother on your mom's side, your favorite candy)
Vincent Butterfinger … wtf? Sure this isn’t porn actor name?

(first initial of first name, first two or three letters of your last name)
D-Geo … OK. That sounds like some kind of archeological company, or a cheap compact car

(favorite color, favorite animal)
Gray Gecko … now that seems like a cheap beer from the Caribbean!

(middle name, city where you were born)
Miguel Rome … hmm, maybe if I pronounce it “Ro-may?”

(first 3 letters of your last name, first 2 letters of your first name, first 3 letters of mom's maiden name and first 3 letters of the town you grew up in)
Geodu Wol-Mon … gesundheit!

("The," your favorite color, favorite soda)
The Gray Assam … sounds like a terrorist’s alias, or an Indonesian breed of cat.

(the first name of both your grandfathers)
Jose Vincent … sure it’s NASCAR and not tequila brand?

(the name of your favorite perfume/cologne and the name of your favorite shoes)
Tuscany Adidas … again, another porn-sounding name!!

(mother's/father's middle name and the next name you hear on the tv/radio)
Cruz "Tiger" Woods … oh yeah; I'll blend in with that!

Monday, August 21, 2006

get good grub on guam ...

I used to be one of those guys who ate almost every meal in a restaurant. There were the occasional dinners or weekend barbecues at a friend's house, every once in a while I'd cook up stuff you can't really get in restaurants — Sloppy Joe's, for examples, or a bacon-tomato sandwich that was actually packed with bacon — and, of course, I did my share of fast-food drive-though eating excursions.

But, largely, I preferred to eat in places where I could sit down, relax and get someone to bring me my food and drink — I really appreciate good service and tip proportionally; sometimes disproportionally (in the positive way, overtipping for VERY good service).

I looked at it as a way to get out of the work environment; I hate eating lunch at the office. I wanted a place that was totally not like work, with adequate to good food.

Often, I ate out with friends and/or co-workers (sometimes they were the same, but not necessarily so LOL). Good conversation, or just shared bitch sessions. Plus, you pretty much HAVE to go to some restaurants, especially Chinese eateries, with multiple people. That way you can order a bunch of different dishes, enjoying a diversity of tasty delights without feeling like a gluttonous pig.

The rest of the time, I'd take a book or magazine with me, and kill two relaxing birds with one stone — some good food and a nice relaxing read.

But things had to change. I was spending WAY too much money on a weekly basis eating out. I'd spend $10 to $20 for lunch, depending on the place, and usually about $15 to $60 or more for dinner, again depending on the place. That added up to a hefty bill at the end of the month and, especially during my younger and much more foolish days when the vast majority of these meals were charged to my multitude of credit cards.

I've since changed my ways. I have ZERO credit cards. Instead, I have a VISA check card to handle non-cash, or no-cash-on-me situations. This way, I can only spend, at most, what I have in the bank. I have a savings account that gets regular direct deposits straight from my checking account. I no longer spree shop, buying cool or neat things I don't really need just because I think they are cool or neat, or because they're on sale.

This isn't easy — the local Kmart recently has had TV's on sale in varying weeks. Once, they had a 32-inch TV for just $300. They've had 25-inch TV's for about $120. I have a Phillips 17-inch TV. No fancy features. It doesn't even have the shitload of plugs to connect speakers and stuff. But it works fine. My DVD player does have the shitload of plugs. It's not a true "home entertainment system," but it gets the job done. In the past, I would have just bought a new TV; now I refrain and just keep using the one I have. And, this week, I'm selling off the other two TV's that are just sitting in a closet right now. LOL

This fiscal restraint has also led to me eating at home more often. That means cooking more often. Now, I'm not a bad cook, and I can make more than just a few meals. I have a repertoire! LOL ... in fact, right now I'm cooking chili. Now it's nowhere as good as my Pop's was — his was pretty famous on Guam — it was a popular food requested for rosaries and fiestas. But still, I make it so that it's at least 10 times better than canned chili ... and that's all I need.

Now, I most often come home for lunch. I'll make a sammich, or heat up some leftovers, or have a bagged salad or something like that. And dinner is usually eaten at home too.

Since it's cheaper to eat at home than eat out, I'm spending less. And I still eat out for lunch and/or dinner now and then, just not as often. Also, since I eat more vegetables, salads and fruits — no fancy, caloric-laden sauces and desserts like restaurants have, it's also contributed to my ongoing weight loss.

A couple Friday's ago, I went out with a couple of friends to a fancy dinner — hadn't done that in months, whereas before it was at least once a week, if not more often. I have since resolved to treat myself to these gourmand-lover's meals a little more often — maybe every couple of weeks, or at least once a month. I'm much more financially stable now, and if I just keep it to the "occasional indulgence" category, I think I will be OK.

So, on Saturday night, if you're on Guam, you can find me at one of my favorite places, Hy's Steakhouse (imported from Canada), enjoying a pre-meal Absolut kamikaze on the rocks, eating a warm spinach salad and some steak tartare, followed by a thick Canadian steak (hopefully not rife with Mad Cow Disease! LOL) served with a twice-cooked, double-stuffed baked potato. Maybe even the Crepes Suzette for dessert.

Join me?

the new look of the Diatribe ...

so ... what do ya'll think?

I'd wanted to change things up in terms of layout for some time, but: 1) was being my normal, procrastinating self; and 2) couldn't find the right look.

I stumbled on this layout/look a few days ago and started tinkering.

I'm sure there are some more changes I will make, namely tweaking the sidebar, but I wanted to get the new fresh look up to start out the week (remember, it's Monday here already! LOL).

Hope you guys like it as much as I do ...

Sunday, August 20, 2006

a little bit of this and that ... and more golf

Before I get to the (boring) golf post from my Sunday morning, there are some matters to which I must attend:

• That's right, kiddos, not one but TWO new lovely ladies have been added to the DZERette fold!

First, there's the lovely Southern Belle, TequilaGirl. For some reason, she'd never applied for DZERette status until just very recently. For waiting so very long, she gets lots of extra spankings! Heh.

Next, there is Oº°‘¨t®ãg‘°ºO. For those of you who can't read all those freaky characters (LOL), the "normal" spelling would be "tragic." She's the latest Canadian DZERette, so she gets extra spankings too!

In fact, extra spankings all around!! Heh.

If you want to become a DZERette, find out all the nitty-gritty details on the sidebar!

• But, I'll keep you updated once there is some more information. ;)

• It seems to me as if I was just recently bitching about the shitty start to my year, about how the first few months pretty much sucked.

And now it's late August. It's almost September, for fuck's sake. What the hell happened to make the months fly by? Well, at least it seems now that the months and weeks have flown by. But since the start of, and during, that span of time, didn't they seem to drag on and on and on? What is it with time, that it passes by so very slowly until you look back on it, and then it seems to have flown by?

Ah well ... c'est la vie.

• Despite an afternoon full of heavy rain, not to mention steady showers during most of the night, my Sunday dawned bright and clear, and I woke up WAY too early, even given the fact that I was to play golf.

As usual, my godson A was super hyped to play, all smiles as I drove into the course parking lot. S was too, happy to be playing golf two days in a row. As was I, come to think about it. Hard to beat back-to-back days playing golf with people you like and love.

I started off playing fairly well — I did have two double bogetys the first four holes, but it could have been MUCH worse. I actually sank four putts of 5 to 10 feet, or else I would have been 10 over par after 4 holes, instead of just 6 over par. I then had three straight bogeys, just barely missing par putts on two of those holes. On the 8th hole, S and I both hit pretty good drives. Then, we both hit good second shots, both of which rolled up onto the green, giving us our first birdie putts of the day. I was about 30 feet away from the hole; S was about 15 feet away. I stroked a good putt and it rolled perfect, dropping right into the heart of the cup. I was ecstatic, and S was happy for me too, but at the same time, I was just one stroke ahead of him and if he didn't make the putt, he would fall behind at least one more stroke, if not two. But he hit a perfect putt too, getting a birdie as well.

On the 9th hole I lipped out a par putt, and it was pretty much downhill from there. The back nine was filled with double bogeys and one triple bogey. I managed one bogey, again thanks to a 10-foot putt. On the last hole, S was ahead of me by two strokes. I hit a good drive and then a 9-iron to just off the green. S had a bad drive but a good second shot, though he chunked it. So if I could get it close and one-putt, he would need to get on the green and one-putt to win; two putts meant a tie. My chip shot skirted the right edge of the hole, giving me a 2-inch putt for par, which I tapped in. Again, the pressure was on S — he hit a great bump-and-run 7-iron to just 4 inches away, getting a bogey and assuring himself of the low score — a 96 to my 97.

Aidan continues to improve. He's really starting to get solid off the tee; he had several shots that went well beyond 100 yards, and he's paying attention to grip, setup and stance before he takes his shot. He's starting to get a better feel for putting too. I'm definitely going to get him a new putter; he likes a mallet-style putter like S and I have and currently makes do with the simple blade putter that came with the set of clubs I bought him. Anyway, he actually sank a couple of 5-footers and lipped out at least 5 putts that could have went in. He totally had a blast. I can never get enough of playing with him; it's just so great to watch his reactions and to feel his love for being out on the course.

One more thing from the round — on the second hole of the back nine, S left a 2-foot putt short and, angered, slammed the ball with his putter toward the hole. Unfortunately, I was standing just behind the cup, holding the flagstick. Bang!! Smack into my left shin. LOL ... Luckily, I have thick legs with strong muscles and bone. In fact, it only hurt for a little bit and didn't affect my game — though of course I will blame my poor performance on it! LOL

What's funny is this isn't the first time he's hit me with a golf ball on the course. A few years back, we were playing a course in northern Guam. I'd driven up ahead a little bit, as I'd outdriven him by 50 yars or so. I was on the far left of the fairway; he was in the middle of the fairway. The hole was well to the right. I watch him hit and see the ball coming straight for me! I tried to jump out of the way — a bit of a hop, more like it — but it hit me square in the thigh ... which is when S yelled "FORE!" That one hurt a lot longer, and left a bruise that turned several colors of ugly before it finally healed. LOL

Guam is currently in the middle of typhoon season, which typically lasts from early July through December. That doesn't mean we don't get hit by typhooons in other months, just that these are the months in which we most often get hit.

more golf today ...

Yep, even after 18 holes in the blazing sun yesterday, I'm going to hit the links again today, in just about an hour.

This time, I'm playing with S and his son A, my godson, in what's become our little weekly tradition.

I woke up super early this morning (especially for a Sunday!), even without an immediately looming tee time. I guess the three-hour power nap I had yesterday evening was enough to allow me just five hours of sleep and not feel dead.

A combination of factors got me out of bed and kept me up — I had to pee, I had a little cramp on the top of my right foot, and I heard an "ut-oh" from my ICQ, which I pretty much keep up and running when my computer is on.

It turned out to be good that I got up and stayed up; I got to spend a couple hours chatting with My Favorite Person, which always is a good thing.

She's napping now (a woman after my heart LOL) and I need to get dressed and ready. Gonna get there a little early so I have time for a breakfast -- I've only had two bananas and a peach since that heavy lunch yesterday -- and a chance to read the paper and maybe do the crossword, if I have enough time.

Hope ya'll are having a good weekend.

And there is a post below this one that almost none of you have read ... LOL ... though, granted, it is about golf, but there also is a link to some new (FINALLY!) Guam pics. Enjoy!

a great day of golf with the fellas ...

WARNING: The following post is pretty much entirely about golf! LOL

About the only thing I find worth waking up early for is golf, and that was the case Saturday morning. I was up a little after 6 a.m. to give me time to wake up, get dressed and otherwise get ready for S to pick me up at 6:45 a.m. We had a tee time set for 7:45 a.m. with our friends, C and J, at the Country Club of the Pacific, located in Ipan, Talofofo, on of Guam's southern villages. The course is on the eastern side of Guam, built not too far off the coast. It's long been one of my favorite courses, but I haven't played there in quite a while; several years in fact. There are several courses that are either closer, cheaper, or both. LOL

The day started off bright, sunny and hot and pretty much stayed that way. CCP is a pretty tough and long course (at least it plays that way LOL). From the white tees, the front nine is 3,146 yards long, the back nine is 3,079 — for total yardage of 6,225 (Sorry Knight, but I couldn't find the slope rating of the course; it's not on the score card). It didn't help that it was blazing hot out there today ... I mean smoldering. A beat-down from the sun with no real breeze to cool things down. I'm glad I brought plenty to drink, and had to cool down a couple times by dousing my head with water. The course is pretty mean in its setup too, as no matter which nine you start on, you're faced with a par-5 on the first hole.

We decided to play two-man best ball for the day, for which we are all grateful. If we'd played individually, there would have been some VERY high scores. LOL. Using the best-ball format though, it was rare for either team (Me and S vs. C and J) to have bad shots on the same turn, though of course, being golf, it did happen.

S on the left after J hits his approach shot on the first hole.

It ended up playing out pretty evenly. We pretty much played match play, with the winner of any hole taking a skin ($80 total in the uncovered skins pot). We also played team putting Olympics — the team closest to the hole when finally on the green, if they made the put, got $2, while the team furthest away got $4. If a team chipped in from off the green, they got $5.

Me and S won a total of 7 skins, while C and J took 6, with 5 being pushes. So me and S pretty much only won $2 each from C and J. The putting Olympics was a different story — me and S racked up $24 thanks to a variety of putts and other shots made, while C and J won $16 worth — and only because we allowed them to press $8 worth on the last hole. If we'd have won the hole, it would have been our $32 to their $8, but instead it was our $24 to their $16. So, after all was said and done, S and I cleared a total of $10 each from them. Not bad for a fun outing.

Despite us all playing pretty well all around, there were only two birdies registered all day. On the 18th hole, which was our 9th hole as we'd started out on the back nine, I hit a driver down the middle of the fairway and we used that shot. After S topped his shot, I played a nice 5-wood to about 30 yards short of the green. I hit a wedge but caught it too full, overshooting the green — C and J were on in three and looking to make par. S gets up and hits a beautiful pitching wedge that hit into the face of the green, bounced up, then smoothly rolled into the hole for a chip-in birdie, a $5 Olympics and the skin. Neither S nor I saw the shot go in because of the angle, but we knew it went in when Jojo threw his clubs up into the air. LOL

Just two holes later, on Hole 2 (our 11th hole), which is a pretty tough par-4, being uphill most of the first half of it, we used S's drive, which was a good 80 yards past mine and on the right edge of the fairway. Steve hit it a little fat, fanning it out to the right rough. My 5-wood came through again, a nice fade to just 15 feet or so off the green, right at the pin. If I would have hit it perfect, we would have been putting. Good thing I didn't, as my chip from there left us about 5 feet away. But S again saved the day. His chip shot was perfect; as soon as it hit the green, J said "Oh, no!" ... yep, it rolled straight to the hole, hit the pin and dropped in for another birdie, another $5 Olympic and a skin!

On our last hole, C and J were on the green in two, with a long birdie putt to win the hole and the press. S and I were short of the green by about 15 yards, with a gaping sand trap in front of us. I stepped up and hit a pretty little pitch, which just skirted the left edge of the hole. One inch to the right and we would have done the chip-in birdie to them again! Oh well.

All in all, it was a great day on the course with a bunch of good friends.

Afterward, we went to a favorite Vietnamese restaurant. We shared some fried lumpia, which is placed on a piece of Romaine lettuce, then topped with cold noodles and/or bean sprouts and dunked into fish sauce. Mmmm ... I had the fried short ribs, as did C. S had friend rice and these HUGE fresh lumpia. J had combination crispy noodles as well as the friend spare ribs (he IS a chef and a gourmand and a hungry boy LOL). It was a nice capping off to a fun day of golf.

For a couple of nice landscape shots of the golf course, with the Pacific Ocean in the background, check out my photo blog: DZER's Guam Pics.

Golfers from Japan often fly out to Guam for the weekend for a round of golf or two or three. Even with the cost of air travel, hotel, food and golf (which is at least double the local resident rate, if not more), it's still cheaper than playing a round of golf in Japan, not to mention the fact that it's much easier to secure a tee time on Guam than in Japan, where you often have to wait for months to play a round.