Tuesday, November 30, 2004

Friendly Flamingos

There have been a half dozen or so flamingos nosing about in the "stink pond" behind the TWR studios. Usually one has to travel to the far flung reaches of Bonaire to see these shy birds.

Speaking of far flung reaches, I was riding my bike up north on Thanksgiving day and had to turn around at Gotto Lake. The lake had completely inundated the road, due to all the rain we've been having. Posted by Hello

Click on the photo to make it and the flamingo slightly bigger. :)

Cruise Ships

It's cruise ship season again here on Bonaire. There were two in on Monday. They still tend to dominate the skyline, here seen from the TWR studios.
Click on the picture to make it bigger so you can see the ships. Posted by Hello

The two ships in port on Monday were the Oceana with 1950 passengers, and the Veendam, with 1255 passengers.

Wednesday, November 24, 2004

Sunday and Monday were pretty sunny, but the rains came back on Tuesday and Wednesday morning too. Here is a look at the hotel across the street from our studios. We may have a really nice view of the Caribbean and Klein Bonaire soon. Posted by Hello

Sunday, November 21, 2004

Sunshine Returns to Bonaire

It only rained a little bit on Sat. and Sun. mornings. We had a nice breeze and some sunshine too. I got in a 40 mi. bike ride Sat. am and we did a load of wash that actually was dry by the afternoon, and the flooding is receding slightly in some areas.

Here are two pictures by Bob Thorp showing the water at the Transmitter site. The parking lot is in the foreground and a security guard is walking along the access road in the middle. The original MW feedline used to parallel this road. One can also see a ship at the salt company pier in the background.

Close up shot of the access road at the TX site. When I rode by on my bike Sat. am, the water level had gone down noticeably. Click on the pix to see them bigger. Posted by Hello

If you have a fast internet connection, here is a link to a 10 meg. file that is a great movie showing the rushing water flowing down the streets and through the yards in the Sabadeco neighborhoods. You can also find some amazing underwater videos on the blennylips site. Berni Lusse appears in most of the videos if you watch closely.

Friday, November 19, 2004

Rain Rain Go Away

The antenna fields are under water at the transmitter site, but the building itself is still dry - barely.

The front parking lot is under water, though, which means that the water at the site is quite a bit deeper than it was when I posted pictures during last year's rainy season.Posted by Hello

You can click on the picture to make it bigger.
This picture was taken by Rich West on Thursday. It rained hard on the south end last night, so Rich has headed out on Fri. to see how it looks.

Thursday, November 18, 2004

Rainy Bonaire Recap

Officially, we had about 3.5 inches of rain at the airport yesterday, but some people measured up to seven inches in their neighborhoods. The "word on the street" is that was is the highest daily rainfall in 60 years.

Here are the summary charts for yesterday.

We've had about .9 inches of rain today (thur) as of noon. This is more "normal" for this year's rainy season.

It's nice and cool out too. It is hard to believe that it was only a few weeks ago that we were melting in the windless heat.

Wednesday, November 17, 2004

Rainy Bonaire

So far this month, we've gotten five and three quarter inches of rain. That's a lot when you consider that the annual rainfall is something like 20 inches.

A giant crop of mushrooms has just sprouted in our yard, and of course, the weeds are growing quite nicely. I'll have to post another picture of Rich West mowing the TWR property with our Sears garden tractor, like I did last winter.

Our dogs are spending a lot of time in indoors, where it is dry. They think that is great, sneeze sneeze.....wheeze wheeze.

Here is a link to the weather info for today. You can navigate to weekly weather and monthly weather too. In fact, you can check out the weather for just about anywhere on this site.

Pads Poured

The rains held off just long enough for the guys to pump out the holes and pour the foundations for the two new dishes. It's been pouring rain every day.... including right now as I write this at 07:30 on Wed. Posted by Hello

Friday, November 12, 2004

What's Wrong with this Picture II

Here is another quiz. What is wrong with this picture.

Hint - it is the same thing that was wrong with the picture that I posted a couple weeks ago. There is another hint a couple postings down in my blogs from today.

You may need to click on the picture to make it bigger before you can see what is wrong. Posted by Hello

MKs visit Bonaire

We were lucky to have two different MKs (missionary kids) revisit their old stomping grounds this week.

Mark Kellner and his wife, Sue, are having a great time on Bonaire celebrating their 25th wedding anniversary. I left my camera at home that day, so I don't have any pictures, but I can tell you that they don't look old enough to be celebrating a 25th anniversary. Mark hadn't been to Bonaire since his family left back in 1973.

Sarah Early is spending a week on Aruba with her friend Rebecca and her family. They flew over to Bonaire for a day.
Sarah, on the left, with Renata, at the office.

Rebecca and Sarah, with Sandra and members of the Swanson four legged, eco-friendly home security system. Posted by Hello

Satellite Dish Update

Heavy rains prevented our guys from pouring the foundations for the two new satellite dishes. They've pumped out the holes and are now waiting for the ground to firm up a bit.

Here is another picture of our antenna farm, and the preparations for the two new 4.6 meter dishes. Posted by Hello

Den Laman Update

The hotel and dive center that is being built on the site of the old Den Laman restaurant is coming along nicely. That's the famous Bonaire traffic circle in the foreground. Posted by Hello

Wild Weather on Bonaire

We continue to have wild and rainy weather here on Bonaire. We had a major thunder storm and wind reversal at noon on Tuesday. The power was out all afternoon. Both our internet connections at the office were out too. The Telbo one is still out because the Telbo relay tower about 50 yards from our house took a direct hit. The storm had been sort of dying down and then all of a sudden, BLAAM. It was loud and bright. I don't think we need to worry about our house getting hit, with that nice tall lightning rod right near by.

We've had rain early every morning, so I'm biking in the evening after work. I still get wet sometimes, but at least it's warm water.

Check out these plots from the weather station at the Bonaire Web Cams. The rainfall rates and the wind direction graphs will tell the story. They will also help you answer the "what's wrong with this picture" quiz. Click on the picture to make it bigger.Posted by Hello

There is lots of standing water all over the place. The mosquitos are out in force and the little Bonairian mud puddle frogs are roaring up a storm each night.

Saturday, November 06, 2004

My Rain ... Your Gain

Well, faithful blog readers, I was up before sunrise today, all set for my first ride on my "new" bike. I bought it on eBay back in August and just got it out of Customs on Wednesday. I assembled it but couldn't ride on Thur. or Fri. because of other commitments.

Wouldn't you know it, just as I went out the door, a big old rain cloud came up and the proverbial cats and dogs came pouring down. The rain was accompanied by one big clap of thunder, that had our dogs checking their insurance policies (close proximity to Sandra) and also insured that I wouln't be so foolish as to take a brand new (for me) bike out for a ride in the rain.

Well, since I'm already bored with peddling the bike on my indoor trainer, I'm in here blogging instead of riding. grrrrr....

But, the sky is blue again. The roads are drying... so that shakedown run will probably happen soon. Then its off to the office later today, where someone is going to be looking at some of the cycling gear I'm selling to balance the budget, and that oh so important "bike to dog" ratio in our home.

New Dishes on the way

Remember all those Sunday School lessons and flannelgraph pictures of the Old Testament priests carrying the Ark of the Covenant on their shoulders with long poles? And what happened when they put it in a cart? Well, apparently the loving efforts of all you teachers out there was not lost on our creative crew.

The task was to lower a heavy cage of rebar and giant bolts into a deep hole. They did it quite handily by attaching two long poles (I-Beams) to the cage and carrying it Old Testament style!

From left to right, Benny, Rich, Rich, Ivan, and Udo. You can click on these pictures to see them bigger.

Our antenna farm is growing again. All the bare naked white poles are left over from dishes that were removed when we downsized. The two holes on the right are where the new 4.6 meter dishes (about the size of the two on the left) will go in. Intelsat rents space on our site for dishes and a rack full of gear they use to remotely monitor some of their communications satellites. This income helps reduce our operating costs here on Bonaire.

This is the dish on which we receive our Portuguese programming live from Sao Paulo, Brazil. The tower in the background supports the STL (studio-transmitter link) antennas.

This tower supports the STL antennas aimed at our transmitter site on the south end of the island, and also the STL antenna aimed at our FM transmitter on the north end of the island. Posted by Hello

The STL antenna for the FM seems to be hidden on the back side of the tower. That funny antenna lowest on the tower is a receive antenna for our FM monitoring gear.

FTP to the Rescue

Every evening, we broadcast programs in Creole for Haiti and the Haitians living throughout the Caribbean. One of them is Thru the Bible, a five year survey of the entire Bible. TTB Creole is recorded and produced by our partner in the Dominican Republic.

They used to send us a weekly packet of CDs by FedEx, but now they are posting the programs on the TWR ftp server so we can download them. This will save a lot of money in shipping charges and we also get the programs much more quickly.

I think this means that we now get every single program that we broadcast by either satellite or over the internet. No more tapes, cassettes, or even CDs. Yippie! Posted by Hello

This is a screen shot showing the TTB Creole programs on the TWR server, and the local drive that I'll be saving them to. You can click on the picture to make it bigger and more legible.

Monday, November 01, 2004

Ho Ho Hoe-ing

Saturday dawned rainy and cloudy, and stayed that way. So I didn't get in my usual mega bike ride. I cross trained by hoe-in the weeds in our back yard. On Bonaire we don't mow, we hoe. Mowing is easier, believe me.

Here is a "real estate listing" type shot of the back yard.

Here it is from another, more blah, angle. Posted by Hello

I tried to talk a couple of our resident livestock into posing out there in the yard, for scale etc. but was duly informed, "We may be brainless quadrupeds, but even we know that the only thing to do in the middle of the day on Bonaire is sleep in the shade. Preferably inside, but if that isn't possible, then under a vehicle of some sort."