Sunday, September 21, 2008

Guam: Paradise Found

Barron's, the financial news publication, has included Guam on a short-list of great places to live, especially in terms of the cost of housing.
Here's the story kicker: 
Retirement: Bulletproof Your Portfolio -- U.S. territories like Guam and American Samoa may not be high on your list of retirement havens, but they're well worth a look. Finding oceanfront bargains.
Although the story is aimed at people who want to retire, I also believe that Guam, Micronesia and points in Pacific, can be attractive to knowledge workers, people who can work independent of any office. 
As the article points out: 
Guam is also much cheaper than Hawaii, and not as isolated as you might think. Though it is seven hours from Hawaii, good short-haul airlines make it easy to reach Japan, the Philippines or China. The big worry in Guam is weather; the island sits in the western Pacific's typhoon zone. In the past decade, it's been hit by two super-typhoons.
Yes, the typhoons can interrupt work but they are relatively rare and the island is usually quick to recover. But the more important is Guam's proximity to Asian countries, which, in my mind, can make it very attractive to U.S. workers who want to be in relatively close range of Asian time zones.

As a counterpoint to the Barron's article, read
Brad Boydston's thoughts on the idea of retiring on Guam. He loves the island, but as a place for retirement?

Saturday, September 20, 2008

Posting for Stars and Stripes

In addition to writing about Guam here, I plan to post every now and then on Stars & Stripes Guam edition.

I read Stripes everyday when I was stationed on Guam -- a great publication.

Sunday, September 7, 2008

Five things I like about Blogger

I just rehosted this from a Web hosting firm back to Blogger's free service. I didn't do this to save a little money, but because I wanted to try out Bloggers new "in draft" features. (In order to try out these new features your blog has to be hosted on Google's servers.)

Blogger uses a Typepad-like approach for assembling a sidebar in modular fashion. It's templates aren't anywhere as rich as Typepad. Three column layouts, for instance, aren't available.

Here are five things I like about Blogger's features.

1. Blog List. This allows you to create a live RSS feed on the fly. This is a very powerful feature. It displays a blog's most recent post and gives options on the display. This makes it really easy to add as well as cull dead links, and may encourage readers to visit you blog link list. I haven't found one widget provider that can support multiple blogs in a feed as well as Blogger has. Although the Blog List is designed for Blogger only, The Learning Moveable Type Blog has instructions on how to adopt it for use on other blogging platforms.

2. Link List. Instead of opening up the page template and doing a lot of cut and paste and alphabetizing of links, the link list interface does it for you.

3. The layout. As with Typepad, you can rearrange the gadget modules drag and drop. Blogger also allows you to put the gadgets in the main post column. (I haven't really explored how that works with the blog posts, but I plan to).

4. HTML/JavaScript Gadget. You can take third party widgets and tools, such as sitemeter and add them to your blog.

5. Text. This gadget feature allows you offer a personalized introduction.

There are other things I like about Bloggers new features. It would be nice, however, if they could extend support for people who are using custom domains on Web hosting sites.

Some changes I've made: Many people find this blog through search engine look-ups, so I've included some link list on the side to help people who come here find some key sources of information about the island.