July 14, 2011

OSHA? Bah!

Subtitle: You're Not in Kansas Anymore

We live in an island nation in the tropics. 

This makes for a large and hungry mosquito population.  Not necessarily larger or hungrier than, say, Coastal Louisiana or Key West, but still substantial.

We like to spend time outdoors, and we have a nice yard and pool in which to do it, so luckily our landlord provides free fogging for the mosquito problem.  Mosquitoes here don't carry malaria which is a nice change from Africa, and they don't carry West Nile which is a nice change from Houston, but they do carry Dengue and we don't really want it. 

We did our best to ensure that the fogging stuff he uses is not any more toxic than the stuff they load on the trucks and drive around neighborhoods in the U.S. and we now get fogged every first Tuesday of the month.

The guy who does it is so very nice and cheerful.

Every month he comes to the house, every month the security guard informs me he is here and asks permission to let him do his job. I haven't figured out why he needs permission every single time and abstract discussions are still beyond my language skills, so I just smile and say "Baiklah".

Anyway, he comes and puts on his 'safety equipment' and fires up his fogger, which sounds like a marine engine, out of water, with a glass pack.

Without further comment, I provide photographic documentation for your horror and amusement.

 Now, lest you think we trust our entire mosquito well being to Mr. Safety Fogger, think again!  

We also have Mosquito Tennis Racquets.

They plug into the wall and once they are charged up, you flip a switch and swing them randomly through the air and when they come in contact with anything solid-ish, they SNAP and fry it to bits.  

When we first got them, my Scale Model accidentally grabbed it by the business end and got SNAPPED for his trouble.  

He is more careful now.  

We got one for the security guards too, and the sound of SNAP...SNAP SNAP SNAP...SNAPPITY SNAP! can be heard from the garage at irregular intervals depending on the humidity and boredom levels out there.
We rarely have mosquitoes indoors, but sometimes we get a crop and then it's normal to see one of us reading or watching TV while occasionally sweeping the air around us with a charged up racquet. 

And it wouldn't be any fun without a photo of my scale model and our wiseacre kid holding two of our magic bug snappers.  

[p.s. College student for sale- take over payments.  :-)]

July 4, 2011

Lombok Idyll

Thanks to a mid week holiday, we made a long weekend in Lombok last week. 

As you, I'm sure, know by now, Indonesia is a nation of islands.  We live on Java, Sumatra is just north and west of us, Borneo is due north and Bali is due east.  

Just east of Bali is Lombok Island.  

Here's a map to help: 

You will have to click it to make it bigger.  Bali is the island east of Java where the city of Denpasar (on map) is shown.  Lombok is the island just east with no cities noted. 

Fun geography fact: Lombok is the eastern side of the Wallace line.  The Wallace line was noted by Alfred Wallace in the mid-1800s, and separates the Asiatic and Australasian ecozones.  

It's a lot more complicated than that, but the cool part for the Engineer and the English major, is that the line runs smack between Bali and Lombok which are separated by only 20 miles.   So you can vacation in Bali, then go 20 miles east and be in a whole new ecozone with all different birds and animals and even sea life.  Whoot.

And that's all the mind expanding info I have for you.  

Our purpose on this trip was to let Coop get more diving in and to sit on our ex-pat fannies and watch the sun move across the sky.  

We were successful on both counts.  

On one of our five days, we went with Coop on the dive boat to the Gili Islands to snorkle.  The Gilis are tiny little islands off the north coast of Lombok with some really nice diving sites.  Ted and I just snorkled off the beach while Coop headed out to deep water.  

Here's a few of our pictures...

Clam lips.  The clam itself is encased in the rock.

Idolfish (Gill from Finding Nemo)

There.  That expanded your mind a little bit, right?  Because I'm betting you didn't know what kind of fish Gill was.  I had to look it up.  :-)

Our hotel was the stuff dreams are made of.  Peaceful, relaxing, out of the way, and we are trying to keep it on the downlow.  

Lombok is, in contrast to Bali, a quiet, rural, natural place and we are hoping it stays that way. 

We had an infinity pool looking out over the ocean, and my scale model agreed to demonstrate proper use of said pool...

When the sun went down, we had front row seats of Mt. Agung in Bali.  It hasn't erupted since 1964, but like all volcanoes on these islands, the next eruption is anytime.  

So in this pic you have Mt. Agung in 2011- could be a collector's item next time it blows and the landscape changes.  

Or not.                           

  In any case, it's a nice picture.  Click it bigger for good effect.