Tuesday, August 29, 2006

Dog Days

The puppy got neutered this morning. He bounced back great and was full of vim and vigor by the time I got home from work in the afternoon.

This seven and a half month old chow hound weighed in at 60.8 pounds at the vet this morning. As you can see in the photo, it's all muscle.

This pup makes no bones about the fact that mealtime is his favorite time, and he usually gets three squares a day. He was extra hungry tonight. He hadn't had anything to eat since 6 pm yesterday, 'cause of the surgery this am.

More Dog Days

We're not sure who catches the iguanas, but this guy always ends up with them. We call it his "teddy iguana" because he carries it around with him all day. Iguanas are very good at playing "possum" and run away when they get a chance.

Iggy here regained his freedom after being carted around for a few hours, when the puppy got too close and the big dog took off after him to teach him an Iguana etiquette lesson.

Wednesday, August 23, 2006

Bonaire Weather

The sky is pretty clear this morning, but there is no wind. I would have taken advantage of that fact to do a super fast bike ride this morning, except that my legs are still recovering from my bike ride after work yesterday.

If you want to see what the weather is like here on Bonaire, you can just take a look at the webcams. If you want to see what the weather will be like over the next couple days, you can watch the Tropical Update on the Weather Channel. It is on 10 minutes before the hour and we watch it faithfully this time of the year. You can see the bad weather marching towards us from Africa and get an idea of what to expect here.

We can also check the satellite images weather dot com. Here is one that shows Bonaire and the weather to the east that will be here in the next 24 hours.

This map shows all the way to Africa and gives us a long term view of what to expect. I really appreciate this, 'cause in my early years on Bonaire, the weather just happened and we didn't really know why.

Moon and Venus take 2

Since the sky has been cloudy, I've had to do my stargazing on my computer.

This is the same picture that I posted on Monday, showing the Moon and Venus. I adjusted it in Photoshop to bring out the sunrise colors and make Venus a little easier to see. You may still need to click on it to be able to spot Venus a little to the upper right of the cloud.

The actual sky looked more like the Monday picture, but I won't tell if you don't. :)

Morning Planets Update

Well, the sky was completely clouded over Tuesday morning, so I didn't get to see the moon and planets show that I had mentioned on Monday. So I had to be content with looking at a simulation on my computer of what I would have seen if the sky had been clear.

I've come to appreciate that the stars and planets appear different here in the Tropics than they do in N. America or Europe. Actually I'm so accustomed to the Bonaire sky that I was quite thrown last year when we a enjoyed a clear, dark night camping on friend's property in the Catskills. I could see a zillion stars, but I had quite a time figuring out how they all fit together.

Here is another example. When I looked online to see what I could expect to see Tuesday morning, the picture showed the planets lined up in a row and tilted over at an angle from left to right. Here on Bonaire, they are also in a nice line, but the line is almost vertical. It's a noticeable difference.

That's why computer sky simulations are so handy for someone like me, who doesn't live at the mid northern latitude that most published sky charts are created for.

Check out the two computer generated images posted here. The New York sky is on the left and the Bonaire sky is on the right. The planets and the Celestial Equator (the green dashed line at the lower right) look pretty vertical on Bonaire and tilted over quite a bit as seen in New York. The New York image is like the one I saw online.

You can click on the images to see them bigger if you need to. They should load quickly.

Monday, August 21, 2006

Moon and Venus

Here is what the Moon and Venus looked like just before 6 am. this morning, here on Bonaire.

The moon is pretty easy to see towards the top middle of the picture. You may need to click on the picture and make it bigger to be able to see Venus towards the lower right corner.

Tomorrow, the Moon should be lower.... more to the left of Venus.

Supposedly Mercury and Saturn can be seen to the lower left of Venus, but I didn't spot them with my naked eye this am. I'll check some of my other pictures and see if I can see anything.

Sunday, August 20, 2006

Bonaire Buggies

As some of you may know, during our early years on Bonaire, we had a Meyers Manx dune buggy. It was a lot of fun and a good "explore the island" vehicle. Here is a picture of Richard helping maintain it back in the early 80's.

As we drove by the Napa store yesterday, we noticed that they were having a big street fair. What really caught my eye was the bright red drag buggy on display.

They also had a couple other race cars and fired them up around noon. Yes, they were loud. The one with the big block motor had the lumpiest idle I've ever heard and you could really smell the unburned fuel. There was a 69/70 bodied Camaro too, with a small block motor that sounded really crisp and eager to rev.

The drag buggy was great. It is powered by a Mazda 13B rotary (Wankel) engine, with a humongus Weber carb and it looked like nitrous injection too. It has run a 10.69 quarter mile. That has got to be a wild ride sitting in an open buggy with your various parts flapping in the breeze.

I've got pictures on my winkflash site. You can check them out if you are a buggy enthusiast. You'll have to scroll down the page past the Rincon photos and the aerial photos to see the car photos.

You can tell from the close ups that it is not a show car, but has lots of innovative tweaks to make it fast and safe on the track. We had a nice chat with the owner, Ronald Neslo, as well.

Friday, August 18, 2006

New Construction

A new road has been put in to the east of Kaya Gob. N. Debrot, the "Hotel Row" road, that runs from the traffic circle by TWR all the way to the WEB power plant. There are some evidences of development along that road, even though it hasn't been paved as of yet. It is a great dog walking road right now, actually.

There is also a new structure starting to appear across the street from the TWR parking lot, where the Arty's World sign used to be. Rumor has it that a McDonalds is going to appear on Bonaire soon, but I don't know if that is what is being built here or not.

The whole corner has been stripped bare of vegetation. Here is a view looking east towards the TWR activities building from the west side of the traffic circle. The new building is going up just to the left of what you can see here, which puts it more or less across the street from the Sand Dollar Grocery.

I've created a panorama from three images I took in the TWR parking lot. You can see it on my club photo site by following this link, I hope. There will be a link in the club photo page to let you see the full 1747x700 pixel panorama. If you have set your browser to NOT resize images, you'll be able to scroll across the image and see lots of detail.

Blast from the Past

Here is a picture of Sandra and me vacationing on Cape Cod 42 years ago.

Little did we know.......

Silver Anniversary

I'm still having problems posting pictures to the blog. So I'll just post the text and add pictures when I can.

Sandra and I celebrated our silver wedding anniversary on Tuesday. Here is a shot of our big day, 25 years ago.

Wednesday, August 16, 2006


Sandra celebrated our 25th wedding anniversary, on Tuesday, by hanging out with the dogs inside our house with the windows closed. This super gigundo jackhammer machine was directly in front of our house, and boy was it loud. We could feel the impact of the hammer through the floors too, even in the back room.

Most of the main roads are dug up right now. The word is that Telbo is preparing to lay fiber optic cable for a super broad-band service - internet, digital TV and the like. I don't know if we would spring for something like that at the house, but a fiber optic super fast connection would revolutionize downloading all our radio programs at the TWR office.

I celebrated by going to the dentist. whoo whoo! The pictures of that are too gruesome to post, heh-heh.

Monday, August 07, 2006

More Aerial Photos

Last week, I posted a couple pictures on my blog, of Sorobon as seen from the air.

Now I've put a whole bunch of photos of Bonaire landmarks on my club photo site.

When you follow the link to my club photo site, scroll past the Rincon Day pix to get to the new aerial photos. It was a pretty hazy day, but I still enjoy looking at familiar places from a new perspective. Ernie Franke (the pilot) and I are already dreaming about doing another flight around Bonaire on a really clear day, some day.

If you know Bonaire well, you can have some fun figuring out what is shown in each photo, based on the cryptic file names. I might eventually put real descriptions with each photo, but we'll see....

There are a few photos labeled "house" that are hi-resolution images, so you can see lots of detail if you tell your browser not to automatically resize the pictures to fit your screen. Most of the rest of the pictures are around 920x680 pixels. The pictures labeled "house", also show the Golden Reef Inn, since it abuts our back yard.

Sunday, August 06, 2006

Birds of a Feather

I've been seeing the usual number of Bonarian Parakeets on my bike rides, but lately I've seen some Loras (the large parrots) too.

A couple of Loras have occasionally been hanging out in one of our trees at home in the late afternoon, but never when I've had a camera handy, grrrr.

I was in the back yard thursday evening shooting dog pix, and there were a couple Parakeets hanging around. So here is a Parakeet picture, while we wait for a Lora picture.

Thursday, August 03, 2006

View from the Office update

Back on May 11, I noted that the rubble across the street from the TWR studios and offices, where the Bonaire Beach Hotel used to be, was being cleared away.

Work has continued steadily since then, and it is starting to look downright nice over there now.

Here is the view from our parking lot this morning.

Puppy Update

I had posted some dog pix back on May 25. You can click on "May 2006" in the archives list at the right side of this page to see the May stuff.

The puppy continues to eat like a pig and grow like a weed. Here is a current picture of our roaming home security team receiving their marching orders from Sandra.

Sorobon from the Air

Here are a couple pictures of where everyone windsurfs, on the Sorobon side of Lac Bay. We flew just outside of the reef and were looking back towards Bonaire.

The light green water is waist deep and is the area that beginning and intermediate windsurfers sail in. More advanced sailors can venture into the blue (deeper) water extending off the lower right corner of the picture, and sail all the way over to the Cai side, if they want to.

We have flown a bit more south now and you can see the south part of the reef that extends from Sorobon to Cai and creates Lac Bay.
This view shows how just close to sea level much of the southern part of Bonaire is.

You can just see some fingerlike formations of coral inside the reef towards the bottom right edge of the picture. This is an awesome snorkeling area if there aren't too many waves.

This view is just outside the south end of the reef. The fingerlike coral formations and more can be seen right in the middle of the picture, just to the right of the waves breaking on the main reef.
At the lower left of the picture is is an oblong formation under the water that we used to call "the trench", but is more commonly known these days at "white hole." It is a sink hole of sorts in the ocean floor, and has a sandy bottom, so it looks light in color with a dark rim around it. We often see tarpon and sometimes see a nurse shark in the trench, and always see turtles and rays out past the trench as the bottom slopes away to deeper water. Posted by Picasa

I was really pleased that we could see the trench from the air. Then I had the bright idea of seeing if I could find it on the Google Earth picture of Bonaire. See my post below about Google Earth. Sure enough, you can easily see the trench on Google Earth. Just search on
12.094129N 68.228076W

The windsurfing centers can be seen at 12.093088N 68.236209W

The beach, conch piles, and buildings at Cai are at: 12.103612N 68.222346W