Thursday, February 21, 2013

Exploring With Google Maps

Google Maps is so cool! Some might think these guys roaming around taking pictures on every street in the world are an invasion of privacy. I was able to use it to get a sneak peek at the area in Phuket where I'll be staying.

 That is the beach-side resort where we'll be staying and learning to become TEFL teachers. Nice.

 And here is the beach right across the road! Beautiful.

 So Google Maps shows you the businesses around, you get a feel for the place. It shows you...ahem...everything.

Tuesday, February 19, 2013

Is Bliss Starting to Look for a New Home on her Own?

Came home today to a case of Cat Theft Auto!  Bliss had procured the upstairs neighbor kid's BarbieMobile and looked like she was ready to roll!  

I spend hours each day preparing myself mentally for what I need to accomplish over the next six weeks before I move to Thailand, but one big issue I keep pushing to the edges of my consciousness is what to do with my kitty cat, Bliss.  I really need to find her a good home soon. 

Maybe she is picking up on this psychic energy because she found herself an off-road vehicle to venture out on her own!  Who put those ridiculous flower stickers right there on the driver's side of the winshield?!  Bliss had to stick her head out of the cab just to see.  DOGS stick their heads out of windows.  Ridiculous.

She's fluffy.  She doesn't shed.  Seriously, I've never met a cat that didn't shed until Bliss, particularly unusual for a long-haired kitty like her.  She's never destroyed a piece of furniture in her life. Independent, but loving.  Never peed anywhere but outside or her catbox.  She is the ideal kitty cat!  

Okay, so she doesn't wear a seat belt when driving.  Cats got 9 lives; they don't need seat belts.

I couldn't find the heart to break it to her while she sat there, ready to roll on her Tour d'Bliss.  The only reason the Barbie Mobile was sitting out there in the back yard, unattended and unlocked was because it had already been jacked for parts.

There is a certain amount of "cuteness" built into any kitty cat.  That said, Bliss is more dignified than cute.  I think she would get along well with the most famous cat on the internet right now, Grumpy Cat.  She could take him for a ride in her new ride.  Roads? No. 

Saturday, February 16, 2013

Goodbye Wanguruwe: Donating my first ukulele

I have determined that I have room in my luggage for two ukuleles.  As of this morning, I own five.  Of all my personal possessions I need to get rid of in the next 6 weeks, my ukuleles are my most personal, and none of these five are more personal that my only uke with a name, my very first uke, Wanguruwe.

I bought him from the proceeds of my piggy bank back in March of 2007.  He's been signed by a couple famous names in the ukulele world.  He's been in dozens of my YouTube videos, and his name 'Wanguruwe' will forever be google-linked with me and my first uke.

I did not have room for him in my luggage. He wasn't flat and square enough to fit into the two small boxes of stuff I'm leaving behind when I move overseas.

So, a week ago, I put out a notice at asking for some local person to please adopt Wanguruwe.  He deserves a better second-half of his ukulele life than to be donated to the Goodwill.

Susan, a lady whose involved with the art education scene in Tacoma responded to my ad.  She met me here in Seattle today and took custody of Wanguruwe.  I think, like me, he instantly recognized that this was a kindred spirit who would take good care of him.

Wanguruwe will become part of a children's education program sponsored by the Asian Art Institute in Tacoma.  If the kids in the program fulfill their practice requirements, they can earn a free uke.  Wanguruwe might be one of those.

I hope whatever kid earns himself Wanguruwe will enter his name in the YouTube search to understand what he or she is getting.

Tuesday, February 5, 2013

I'm Sorry, Albert. I Can't.

I received a call to yesterday from the HR manager for Albert Lee Appliances, a chain of "high end" appliance stores here in Puget Sound area.  They had heard about me through their own sales staff, they knew I was a 'top-producer' and were calling to recruit me. If you're an appliance salesman, Albert Lee is the place to be.  If I went over there, I would have the potential of doubling my current income.

If this call had come six months ago, I probably wouldn't be preparing to move overseas right now.

If you've read this blog from the start, you'll remember that my first impetus towards making the decision to go was based upon my current employer's decision to cut my pay by about 35% a year or so ago.  Sure, there are lots of other reasons why I made that decision.  I want to see the world. I want to go live somewhere warm.  I think I'll make a good teacher.  

I've sure been, in all modesty, a really good appliance salesman.  The fiscal year ended this last weekend, and I finished 2012 as the top volume salesman at my company amongst the dozen or so stores that make up our district.  The best. Well, at least I'm leaving on top.  

I chatted with the recruiter amiably, explained what I was doing and that I had already entered into a contract, but was thrilled to be considered by his prestigious organization and if things had been different....yadda yadda yadda.  I'm keeping the guy's number; who knows what the future will bring?


I thought I was going to retire there. I was the senior staff member. I'd been there longer than anyone. It. Is. Not. Fair.  But on the ...