Wednesday, August 29, 2007

Batteries, Widgets, and Radioactive Cockroaches

Part I


This summer I had a stroke of luck and was able to get a Wii for my birthday. And no, it has nothing to do with urinating, it’s actually Nintendo’s new revolutionary gaming console. And the reason I use the term “revolutionary” is because of the new, and unique way in which players can interact with this new system. No longer is video gaming a sit down sport, with the Wii you spend much more time on your feet moving around than on your butt. In fact, I about threw my arm out playing tennis with my wife in our living room the other night, how cool is that?

The key component to this interactivity is the innovative new controller, the so called Wiimote. It’s about the size of a king size Snickers bar and is completely wireless. The wiimote is a very virtually versatile device, playing the part of tennis racket, golf club, baseball bat, gun, etc, so that one actually uses their “Snickers bar” to control their tennis racket on the screen.

The only drawback I have seen so far is being that it’s wireless, this groovy new device runs on what else but a pair of AA batteries, the one piece of electronics that has remained unchanged for the past 30 years or more. Think about it, when you were a kid, lo those many years ago, what did you always need a handy supply of to keep your toys flashing and beeping but double A batteries. Now here it is the year 2007, I buy the latest, greatest piece of hardware available and what brings me to my knees and has me crawling back to it like a crack whore but more AA batteries.

So, being that my wiimote sucks down batteries faster than a Chamorro with a Budweiser, I seemed to have a real dilemma on my hands. After much deliberation, I decided rechargeable batteries would be the way to go. So I headed down to one of our favorite local markets, whose name will not be mentioned (), and proceeded to search for some rechargeable batteries. Upon finding them I was shocked to find a charger and four batteries priced at $34.99! Well, that was way more than I wanted to pay sooo I decided to go across the street to everyone’s favorite bulk market and buy the brick of 48 AA batteries for $15. In my mind 48 for $15 was a helluvalot better than 4 for $35.

Well, apparently, my wife does not agree. After proudly showing her my battery investment she frowned and replied “all you needed was two.” “Yes, but you’re not seeing the big picture here, darling” I retorted. “No,” she said, “you’re just too lazy to go out and get batteries only when you NEED them…you’re such a guy.” But that’s ok, she’s just a woman, so I know she couldn’t understand that this purchase was not just for the puny wiimote but was for all of my many devices that run on AA batteries, plus the package claims that these bundles of power have a 7 year shelf life, beat that you little rechargeable pansies.

It was at that point in the discussion that good old reliable CUC (never thought you’d see those words proceed CUC did ya?) came to the rescue with an unannounced (as though somehow they’re better when announced) power outage. But were we scrambling for flashlights filled with dead or dimming light?…noooo, we had enough battery power to light the stage at a U2 concert. Who needs a diesel generator when you’ve got 48 AA’s on hand? Now if I could just figure out how to wire my apartment to run on batteries instead of CUC, shoot, at a mere $15 for a brick of 48 I could probably save myself some money every month. To be completely independent of the grid would be so nice, then without fear of interruption, I could kick back and play with my Wii.

Incidentally, I find I receive queer looks when I tell the guys that I’m leaving Godfathers early so I can go home and play with my Wii…still not sure why that is…Wii envy I suppose. I mean my wife likes playing with my Wii, I’m sure they would too if they would just give it a try...wait somehow that didn’t come out right…

Part II


Widgets are what they call these nifty neat little thingamabobs over to the left of everyone’s blog which do everything from chat to balancing your checkbook. Recently I’ve been checking out many different kinds of widgets and trying to decide which ones will work first off, and then which ones I want on my blogsite.

Finally I’ve decided on one which I was pretty impressed with from a site (which PSS bans) called Stickam. You should (crossing my fingers, provided you're not at PSS) see it over to the side there ---> in the light blue skin. I was pretty impressed with this widget cuz, like I mentioned in a previous post I really like to share my music with everyone and let people see what I’ve been listening too lately.

But this one caught my eye because not only does it do music but, with it, I can also share pictures and videos, hence the title “Photos, Videos, and Music…Oh My”. So I hope you’ll take a minute to check out some of my music, see my videos (there’s two original Redd Productions on there now) and you better look at the photos too cuz you never know if you might show up in one.

Part III

“Radioactive Cockroaches”

Haha…I know, probably the part you’ve all been waiting for. And I don’t even know why I’m including this except that when I sat down to write this I was trying to come up with something unique that happened to me today and this is what struck me.

It all happened this morning when I went to microwave my frozen Jimmy Dean Sausage, Egg, and Cheese Croissant (another purchase from the bulk store where I got like an assload of them, and no, the wife was not thrilled with that purchase either). So I put the thing in and nuke it for one full minute per the instructions and as I open the microwave to retrieve my highly preserved carcinogen, er I mean breakfast, shooting out of the open door comes this little cockroach. He’d been in there for a whole minute, 60 full seconds, and didn’t seem fazed by it at all!? I mean it had turned my sandwich to mush but he looked like he was on cockroach crack or something, he was running around all super fast and stuff and darted under the counter before I could kill him. (Not that I was in any hurry)

So if you see a smoking fast little glowing cockroach over in the Kagman area I hope you’ve got some kryptonite on hand to kill his ass cuz I think he may have rode in on that asteroid spacecraft thingy with Superman.

Random Quote of the Day:

If you tell the truth you don't have to remember anything

-Mark Twain

Thursday, August 23, 2007

Re: Non-Voting Delegates

Whoa…stop the presses, did I just write a headline about something serious…AND political!? Yeah well, it did take me 3 minutes to find the man in the picture below so we know I’m an idiot for doing this but I did say this was going to be a blog about anything, everything and nothing so, here’s what tickled the one motivational bone in my body. It’s the issue of the CNMI’s potential non-voting delegate to the United States Congress.

What got me thinking about this issue was how lame people on Saipan seem to think this idea is, especially Mr. Bruce Bateman, who surprised me with how harsh he was on Donna Christensen, the non-voting delegate from the USVI, in his Sour Grapes commentary in the Saipan Tribune. But he likes controversy because it gets people reading his article and sells papers, but it also makes people think, which I appreciate.

He says “A Non-Voting Delegate is not a representative, but a lobbyist, a hanger-on near the outskirts, or underskirts of the U.S. Congress. If you have no voice, no vote, then you cannot represent anyone. Our cause will not be furthered by delivering speeches to an empty room, or jockeying to carry a real Congressman's briefcase home from school.”[1]

Ouch…but hey, I’ll admit on first reading the term “non-voting delegate” does sound a bit like “non-barking dog” but lets take a closer look at what exactly this entails, since as we can imagine the “non-barking” dog could be the little biatch (and I totally just used that in context) that sneaks up on you and bites you in the @ss without you knowing it.

The real kicker seems to be that even though they can’t vote in the full House, a non-voting Delegate may vote in a House committee of which the Delegate is a member. And we’re all aware that it’s at the committee level where the real work is done on a bill, usually by the time a bill makes it out of committee it’s fate has already been decided, the vote on the full House floor is many times just for show.

It seems unfair for Bateman to say “While you are back there in D.C. not voting, or whatever it is you do all day, please consider helping us out here on Saipan.” Well, not only is she voting (in committee) but she’s currently the Chairwoman of the House Subcommittee on Insular Affairs[2]…sounds like a pretty powerful position considering the fact we’re an “Insular Affair”.

Incidentally, the Congresswoman from Guam, Madeleine Bordallo is currently the Chairwoman of the House Subcommittee on Fisheries, Wildlife and Oceans, another pertinent and powerful position considering Guam’s location. Keep in mind both of these are possible positions for a potential CNMI delegate.

Another point to ponder is the fact that a non-voting delegate is funded by the Federal government. The legislation states that:

“the Delegate from the Commonwealth of the Northern
Mariana Islands
shall receive the same compensation,
allowances, and benefits as a Member of the House
of Representatives”[3]

Which means, no more local money for a “Resident Representative” which truly is nothing more than a lobbyist who has to rent their own building (which comes across like some sort of an embassy). Imagine having a delegate who would have an office of their own in the halls of the US Congress and who was completely federally funded.

Also this ISLA bill, as it’s come to be called, makes no provision for the CNMI to start incurring federal taxes. So it’d be kinda like the NutraSweet of politics, all the great taste of representation without the calories of taxation.

Remember too that this is not an appointed position. The delegate would be elected from the CNMI at large by US citizens, so that means none of those pesky potential non-immigrant visa holders would be able to vote. It also means that if we did get a delegate who went and sold the CNMI down the proverbial river then we’d have no one to blame but ourselves.

(b) Manner of Election-
(1) IN GENERAL- The Delegate shall be elected at
large and by a plurality of the votes cast for
the office of Delegate.[4]

Unfortunately there’s no runoff clause like there is in the statute creating the Guam delegate.

The Delegate from Guam shall be elected at large and
by a majority of the votes cast for the office of
Delegate. If no candidate receives such majority, a
runoff election shall be held between the candidates
receiving the highest and the second highest number
of votes cast for the office of Delegate.[5]

This would ensure that the winning candidate had a clear mandate with the majority of the voters behind him.

It seems that this ISLA bill is the closest the CNMI has ever come to actually gaining the position of a non-voting delegate in Congress. There is the “Northern Marianas Islands Delegate Act” but without being attached to H.R. 3079 it appears to have fallen on deaf ears with this Democratic Congress. Incidentally, this idea was first proposed during the original Covenant negotiations but was rejected by the U.S. mainly due to the CNMI’s small population size. This actually could still be an issue with the whole "one man, one vote" case law which places pressure on Congress to keep the population of federal Congressional Districts roughly equal. Who knows, some big Congressional District back in the States could even decide to challenge our small size to delegate ratio and win?!

But regardless, we should all realize that politics is about bartering. I’ll give you this widget if you give me that doodad. And from the start it was almost implied that the federal government would eventually take over the CNMI’s immigration, the founders of the Covenant even concede to this. So we should be taking this opportunity to at least bargain for something in exchange and in fact the current legislation (H.R. 3079) offers us that in the form of a non-voting delegate to the U.S. Congress. But unfortunately the CNMI seems to be missing out on its chance to bargain for this important and, in my opinion, powerful position. I say lets get it while the gettin’s good, or at least before we’re force fed the federal widget without getting our doodad in return.

Wow…that was way more than I intended to say, but I do feel good that its been said…and its even a little controversial, sweet maybe now I’ll get lots of hits on my blog like the cool kids over at the Saipanuvian and Mt. Olympus…or maybe not, either way at the end of it I’m all like…”Whatever”.






Student Quote of the Day:

"Mr. Redd, Mr. Redd, Mr. Redd, Mr. Redd, Mr. Redd, Mr. Redd, MR. REDD!!?"
To which I patiently reply..."WHAT!?"

Tuesday, August 21, 2007

So Ya Think Yer Smart, Eh, Mrs. Pink?

My wife sent me this little picture with the title "find yourself". At first I was baffled by these vague instructions but after approximately 2.8 seconds...hehe yea right, I became aware of her intent, which was not to test my intellectual prowess but simply to taunt me. But before I give too much of it away, why don't you try taking this little mental exercise. See how long it takes you to find the man in this picture. Apparently if you find him in under 3 seconds you have a pretty highly developed coconut on your shoulders. If, however it takes you over 3 minutes to find the guy then it would seem you have more of a rotten mango between the ears.

So without any further ado, fire up those synapses and get ready...set...go!

So, now that you've found the man (you have found him, right) you can see that apparently my wife thinks I have less hair on my head than a coffee bean, which I take exception to and respond with a resounding "Whatever!"

Incidentally I hear it took her well over a minute to find the man, and even then she was only able to locate him after her co-worker gave her the hint that he looked like me :-/

Kid Quote of the Day:

During lunch today I had a second grader ask me in all sincerety "So if you're Mr. Redd, then is your wife Mrs. Pink?"

Monday, August 13, 2007

What I'm Listening To

I have a passion for music and as a former radio DJ I also have a passion for sharing music with other people SO...after spending all of Saturday and much of Sunday afternoon working on a way to share my vast collection of music with the masses, I finally have my new phatass little widget up and running. Now if you'll take a second and peruse over to your right there you'll notice my neat new little widget entitled "What I'm Listening To" and it's pretty much just that. It's a sample of my 25 gigabyte (and growing) music collection. It's what I've been throwing on my Winamp media player over the last week or so and it's all there for your listening enjoyment. If its a song that you're also quite fond of you can even download it to your computer to have for your very own, simply right click and save target as...and away you go. So pick an artist, then click on that groovy little orange play button, sit back, relax and surf the net to the hippest new tunes brought to you by your's truly si Bryan Agaga ;)

I hope this works.....Let me know how it goes...

Saturday, August 11, 2007

The Sociological Implications of "Whatever"

Since it has been well established that this blog is to be about "whatever" let us take a moment and delve into some of the intracacies of this beloved word. Seriously, think for a moment about the implications contained in this powerful word. I know of no other phrase that is as guaranteed to produce rage in authority figures as "whatever." That word implies a disregard that is beyond mere contempt or dismissal. Someone spends a good five minutes of lung power explaining something to you and you reply with "whatever, man" - this is brutal; almost malicious. Saying "what?" implies you didn't listen; saying "whatever" implies that you DID listen, but chose willfully to disregard everything the person said, arbitrarily.

"Whatever" also gets you off the hook, removing the need for any sort of counterargument. In true Generation-X or Y or whatever we're up to now style, there's really no point in having an opinion when the next set of commercials on MTV is going to change it for you.

"Whatever" is also a replacement word for anything you are too tired to think about, like when you tell your wife "Woman, get me a beer out of the fridge, and whatever," implying that there are also chips, salsa, and dried salted seaweed to be fetched, but you can't decide which ones you want...not that she's actually going to bring it to you anyway...but whatever.

It is also a phrase used to express self-doubt. You can say "I wanna be a film director, or whatever" which is perfect since it gives you plenty of room to fail and become a film crew janitor without completely forsaking your integrity.

"Whatever" is certainly not a new word - all that has changed is the attitude around the word, the implications involved in using it as a phrase rather than as a simple adjective or implied pronoun. In his article entitled "Like, Whatever" David Astle seems to claim that it's the film "Clueless" which indelibly stamped the expression into our culture forever ("What-everrr!"), but the scriptwriters obviously had to learn it from the mean streets of Beverly Hills.

The older generation, especially politicians tend to use the phrase as Webster says to use it - to imply a simple list, as a substitute for "et cetera." They're not aware of the Gen-X,Y,Z usage, loaded with bitter contempt and arrogant dismissal. So, saying "I care about the children, the homeless, or whatever" may seem perfectly logical to someone like Bob Dole, but it seems callous and cold to us.

"Whatever" is a beautiful word - it sums up a generation of slackers in a single expression. It's like flipping someone off without even expending the effort to raise a middle finger. So when someone confronts you with an opinion or rant about which you could care less, savor the moment that they will finish, waiting for that time when you can deliver the one-word death blow, from which there is no recovery.


[Source: The Evasion-English Dictionary by Maggie Balistreri, Melville House, 2003]

Apathetic Whatever (translation – Yeah, so): Oh, I’m immature? Whatever.

Pseudo-Impartial Whatever (Who am I to judge?): She’s dating the boss. Whatever.

Self-Pitying Whatever (Why am I always the martyr?): Never mind I did all the work but whatever.

Slow Thaw Whatever (OK but I’m gonna sulk): Him: I’m sorry. Let’s have dinner. Her: Whatever.

Emotion Kibosh Whatever (Get over it): Dad, whatever, it’s just a tattoo.

Evasion Evader Whatever (I’ll see you an evasion and raise you one): So now she’s mad at me. Whatever.

Jealous Whatever (Lucky so-and-so): His uncle got him the job but whatever.

Minced Oath (F*** you): Her: This kitchen is a pit. Him: Whatever.

Faltering Cliché Whatever (Let’s skip the psychobabble hey): That way you can get closure or whatever.

Bashful Whatever (Oops. Emotion. Sorry): I just feel such total love or whatever.

Doubting Thomas Whatever (Liar, liar, pants on fire): He said he lost my phone number and I’m like whatever.

So I hope you enjoyed todays post but if you didn't:

Thursday, August 9, 2007


WELL...this is it...I have finally succumbed to the peer pressure. That's right, I have capitulated to the crowd and started a blog. Being the great conformist that I am I knew it was only a matter of time and after Lewie emailed me showing off his latest endeavor, I knew it was time. Yep ladies and gentlemen the blog wave has finally arrived on Saipan and it has come as a tsunami. (the only kind it seems we'll ever have, despite the constant alarms)

Mind you, it has been an agonizing and soul searching feat as I struggled with what exactly I would write about and what shape this diatribe would take. I mean, I don't have the strange fascination with underwater snail orgies that Harry and Greg so enjoy. I don't have that cute ESL twist on the English language that my wife Hozumi does. I'm not as opinionated as Bateman, I don't have the sex appeal of Brad, nor do I have near the motivation and general go-getemness of Angelo. I'm not as philosophical as EJ nor do I much care for swimming or biking, and unlike Lewie, the only way I'm going to run is if something is chasing me. I do however posses a phenomenally receding hairline, but alas, it would seem even the outspoken Mr. Turbitt has me browbeaten there.

So, I concluded, why be tied down to any one hobby or talent (since I lack both) why not simply write about everything, and a word "Whatever".

"Whatever" - it's not just a word, it's an entire vocabulary in three syllables! Express contempt! Drip with irony! Shatter your opponent's sense of self-worth! Leave clueless Baby Boomers dumbfounded! Let it lead to anything! And best of all, it's fat free!

So be sure and return regularly to read about "Whatever" cuz you just never know what random strange aberrant indiscriminate thought might spring forth from my cranium. I suppose my blog could be summed up by that mentally challenged genius Forrest Gump when he said and I quote "Life is like a date with never know what yer gonna get."...or something like that...