Sunday, November 28, 2010

The Dogs Come Out at Night

Part of my job requires me to go the airport once a month at night and return early in the morning.
The interesting thing, and somewhat sad, thing about the return trip is all of the dogs that I see on the street, as in literally on the street.

I'm not sure why but possibly because the streets are cooler in the evening and there isn't any traffic. Along with packs of dogs I see lots of dogs just sleeping by the curb.

I wish the government would do something about all of the stray dogs and cats but the fact is it's because of the culture.

There is an actual word for it, it escapes me, but basically every animal should be allowed to do its own thing. And here that would be creating litter after litter of puppies and kittens.

I'll try to make a video or take some pictures of the dogs at night.

Saturday, November 27, 2010

Book Corner - Finished Reading

I, Alex Cross by James Patterson
400 pages
Mystery thriller/Cross series.

Even I'm surprised at how quick I fell into the Patterson rut again! What can I say, another typical Cross series novel. Has to be one of the shortest ones I've read yet.

Operation Spay and Neuter

The cats at Colpetty Market keep coming and coming. Chris recently discovered the siblings of the baby she has been nursing. They were just as small and in bad shape. There are two mother cats that are ready to have litters and two tom cats that are ready to take care of business and get the cycle going again.

So we were very happy to find out about a spay and neuter clinic sponsored by the overseas school here. The flyer said to round up as many stray cats and dogs and bring them for shots and to have them spayed and neutered.

We grabbed our two kennels and called a taxi and went to the market. Chris bought two plastic picnic baskets that she had seen people use for carriers (they were slotted all around).

We grabbed the two male tom cats and two female cats without any problem. Part one went without a hitch.

The clinic was at the other end of the city but we got there soon enough. Chris went to the registration table run by students from the school when I saw her come back shaking her head which I already knew what she was going to say. The vets had stopped taking pets a half hour earlier and they were not going to do any more surgeries. They did offer to give them shots (well, a shot). We received shot cards for them, got back in the taxi, returned to the market and released them.

Chris had made some phone calls and found a vet that perform the surgery on all four cats for less than $90. The cats will get much better treatment than the MASH clinic that we visited.

Sunday, November 21, 2010

Book Corner - Finished Reading

Gone Tomorrow by Lee Child
432 pages
Thriller novel/Reacher series

My third Reacher series novel by Lee Child, getting better but as with any book of this type I had a few problems with it. In fact I think my interest in the books are beginning to waiver. Maybe one more, that's it!

John Wayne Doc

Doc MeyerMe circa 1985 at Camp Lejeune probably at LZ (Landing Zone) Blue Bird. One of the rare times that I ever went out into the field, and this was probably just a for a weekend! Of interest the M1 "steel pot" helmet that I'm wearing. Lone replaced by the kevlar helmets. I believe the kevlar helmets were already standard issue at this time. Also the poplin material camouflage uniform, old school. Last but not least the M60 machine gun, again a thing of the past.

Friday, November 19, 2010

Cannons and Cats

The big celebration for the president here has been underway. I just found out something interesting. Everyone was told that this is his 'second" swearing in ceremony (sic) even though he was re-elected in January. But also his 65th birthday was yesterday. Now I'm sure that the two have nothing to do with each other, especially the mass fireworks display last night and the multiple rounds of ceremonial cannon fire that reverberated all over shaking our windows and scaring our cats!

When I came home yesterday there was military police in the bank foyer. When I get home there is a note from the apartment management saying that we might be subjected to a body search entering our apartment building (Because we enter from the bank foyer). Absolutely stupid.

This morning I go up to the gym and see military police hanging around the patio tables around the pool. They kept staring at me as I worked out. I also saw one of the regular security guards up there chatting away. Then some suits came up and I saw the security guard jump to his feet. I aslo noticed that there was cops pretty much on every roof top within my view. Crazy.

To say the least I'm not going up to the pool for those guys to stare at me. I was thinking about going up there with my camouflage bush hat, my Motorola radio and my binoculars and freaking them out.

Interesting OpEd

Book Corner - Finished Reading

The Hard Way by Lee Child
384 pages
Thriller novel/Reacher series

So this is my second Reacher book I've read by Lee Child. This one was much better and closer to what I expected from the main character. Still the book was a bit off and confusing but overall I enjoyed it.

Overall the Amazon reviews were pretty positive. Most of the readers were fans of the main character and had read other books. I think this one was a later novel.

Tuesday, November 16, 2010

Holiday For All!

We couldn't help but notice all sorts of activity at the Galle Face Green recently. Workers installing covered walkways and big tents, international, Sri Lankan and Buddhist flags all up and down Galle Face Road and most recently festive lights on tall buildings.

Nobody really knew what it was all about except that it was something for the President. Well the cat was let out of the bag and apparently there is going to be a big inauguration ceremony for the President, so he declared it a national holiday.

This has to be at least the third impromptu national holiday since I've been here. Thankfully it was declared on a Friday, nice three day weekend for me!

Veteran's Day, Thanksgiving and now this, sweet!

Saturday, November 13, 2010

Pictures of the Flooding

Here are pictures taken by a Sri Lankan Air Force helicopter of the flooding.

Book Corner - Finished Reading

Nothing to Lose by Lee Child
411 pages
Mystery thriller

I stumbled upon this series and would say I really liked it up to a point, when I calculated what the ending was going to be I was let down, kind of took the air out of the balloon. In the end it did give me a taste for the main character, Reacher (goes by his last name) and thought I would delve into a few more from the series.

All in all, only somewhat of a good read.

Friday, November 12, 2010

Feeding Sebastian Our Big Eyed Newborn Kitty

Another kitty feeding video. Sebastian (he now has a name) opened his eye last week. He can also hear very well.

Flooding Again

Wednesday night we had a very powerful thunderstorm. The rain was incredible, it rained all through the night and into the morning. This meant flooding. And indeed the roads were so flooded the kids couldn't go to school. I noticed that there was no activity at the private school next to our apartment.

Our housekeeper (Chris hired her back) didn't work Thursday so we didn't see here. When I came home the first question I asked Chris is what had happened to her home as when there had been flooding before she (our housekeeper) said the water would be up to her knees in her home.
Now when I say home, she doesn't live in a brick ranch house as you would picture, it's more of a shack. We had let her borrow our camera once so she could take photos of an event her daughter had and when I transferred them to CD I saw some photos she must have taken of her home, very sad.

She told Chris the water was so high in her home that when she opened the door all of her belongings went out with the water, all of her clothes, all of her food, everything. Can you imagine what that must be like?

We both agreed to give her some money so I went to the ATM and got 10,000 Rupees (about $88) and gave it to her. She was in absolute shock, she didn't want to accept it at first, then she did. She kept bowing to us, thank us, she touched our feet and cried (she is Hindu and I had to look up the meaning of touching the feet, I felt doubly bad as it means she is submitting to us, as in we are the boss).

We told her we just hoped it helps, and we do.

(Photo: Our housekeeper holding her daughter)

Thursday, November 11, 2010

Book Corner - Finished Reading

The Girl With the Dragon Tattoo by Stieg Larson
644 pages
Mystery Crime Thriller

Wow, I'll have to say that this was one difficult book to read. I almost quit reading it at the beginning and then at the end. At 644 pages it was a very long book at that! The end was the worse part, fortunately the author did deliver a good surprise ending that made it worth it.

The Amazon reviews were over the top. Me, meh. I say take it or leave it.

Wednesday, November 10, 2010

Happy Birthday Marines!

Happy Birthday to all Marines past and present. Once a Marine, always a Marine.
A special thanks to my brother, who enlisted first and put the spark in me to also enlist.

If it wasn't for my time in the Marines I would have never got my foot in the door into
the IT field.

Without a doubt being a Marine has changed me.

The Commandants message is always an important part of all Marine Corps birthday ceremonies.
I hope you enjoy it.

Semper Fidelis (Always Faithful)

Monday, November 8, 2010

Book Corner - Finished Reading

Scat by Carl Hiaasen
384 pages
Fiction / humor

This is the third book I have read from this author. It's a fun weekend read. The book is actually directed at young readers, but the humor is for all ages.

If you are looking for a good laugh and a weekend book try this one.

I guess I can try to write up a real book review someday!