This just in from Asia...SMOG!  

It's been hazy here the last few days. Today I couldn't see the ocean from my office and the nearby mountain was very hazy as well. Normally that only happens when it's rainy. What was the cause of all this gloominess? It depends on your news source! The newspaper says it is smog from Russia, China and Japan. The TV news says it is dust from the Gobi Desert in China. Funny thing - they both site the National Weather Service (NWS) as their source!

You can read the official release from NWS here. Homeland Security also issued an advisory. One of the symptoms is general lack of energy. I think I'll call in "haze sick" tomorrow! In fact, I think I have a permanent case of haze! :-)


My good deal of the week!  

Several years ago, my best friend talked me into buying a down pillow (no feathers, just down!). They're kind of expensive, but I have decided it is well worth it! Well, it was time for a new pillow. The only place here on island I've seen them is Macy's. They start around $140 and go up to $280! I figured I wouldn't be buying my pillow at Macy's! Last week they ran a sale - Buy one, get one for $1 (I had a friend that maybe wanted one & we could split the cost, but that was still too expensive!) Friday night I stopped in and the pillows were all 40% off. Still too expensive. Then I spied the clearance bin. It was full of pillows! However, there were no clearance stickers on them & they were $220. Ouch! I figured they were just using the bin to hold their extra stock & they probably weren't on clearance. I decided to check anyway, but didn't get my hopes up. It rang up at $55! That was 75% off! Hooray! I am now the happy owner of a new pillow & got a good night's sleep last night!



I got my taxes filed last night. It only took about 30 minutes. I am getting back about 1/2 of what I did last year. Bummer. But on Guam, it is years before you see your refund anyway, so I guess it's not a huge deal! :-)

While we're on the subject of money, here are some local prices for you:
8 oz block of cheese $3.50
gallon of gas $2.93
gallon of milk $7.10
yogurt $0.99 (I only buy this on clearance when it's 25 to 50 cents!)
12 cans Diet Coke $4.29 (this is at KMart. the grocery store is $5.15!)
pound of bacon $4.89
box of Jell-o (4 serving size) $0.89
8 oz cream cheese $1.99 (on sale. I think regularly it's around $2.45)

Things are expensive here & you learn to bite the bullet and pay it or watch for good sales & stock up! Sales here aren't quite like they are in the States. Some things never go on sale. :-(


The simple things in life...  

I grew up in Iowa - the tall corn state. When I lived in Wisconsin my mom would sometimes find a way to send fresh corn up for me. I LOVE Iowa corn! (Wisconsin corn is nasty. But their cheese is good!) Well, due to customs restrictions and the time it takes to get packages here, I resigned myself to the fact I wouldn't get any good corn unless I was back in Iowa. Guam is not known for their produce. It's pretty difficult to grow crops here. However, there is a local guy that grows corn & it is in season now. I bit the bullet & bought some today. $5 for a 1/2 dozen. It is really pretty good for not coming from the tall corn state! :-)



This morning at 5:30am, it felt like a large dog jumped out of my bed. Then I remembered I didn't have a dog! I realized it was an earthquake! It was a 5.2 about 40 miles NE of us. You can see the stats here.

I didn't feel the one to the east of Saipan. It was too far away.