Tuesday, April 26, 2005

Walter's Camera Shop

Every day can bring growth, warmth and friendship into our lives - we just have to be open to it. In Los Angeles we are normally so caught up in our hurried lives that momentary acts of kindness or humanity don't exist and are even frowned upon. We are too busy to be nice, right? Wrong. I've just come back from a week on Kauai and I still have that Aloha spirit. Aloha means more than hello and goodbye, it represents an attitude.

So off I hurry to Walter's Camera Shop to have the battery cover replaced on my digital camera. Funny thing is that I ordered a new battery cover from Kodak because I was going to put it on myself. I'm an engineer, how hard can it be? Well, 4 tiny screwdrivers, a magnifying glass and some time later I decided I had no idea how to take the old one off.

I found Walter's on the internet. I met the nicest guy, the owner, Walter you'd think, right? Nah, his name is Sayed and he's from Egypt. He's been fixing cameras since 1952 & has a Master's in Political Science from Alexandria University. We had a rousing discussion on the price of gas and the power of OPEC as he did his thesis on Global Economy & its future relation to oil in Middle Eastern Countries. I thought that was fairly progressive for 1951. I won't go into all the details of our discussion but suffice it to say, it was interesting and he is definitely Anti-bush. Another interesting comment he made was the lack of political protests in America now, a cowed media and a "grin and bare it" attitude among America's citizens. I have to admit, I have to agree with him.

My camera repair was $5.

Monday, April 25, 2005

The new gutters are here! Now I dread not getting them in copper :-( They will be painted in a couple weeks, the same color as the house, which doesn't show up well on the pictures on the blog for some reason. But the 1/2 moon style and round down spots keep with the 1920's architecture of the home.

Friday, April 22, 2005

Eating our way through the North Shore

The north shore of Kauai continues to improve dramatically in its food selection and quality. We ate at many fine restaurants in Hanalei Bay and Princeville and wanted to share my report.

Postcards **** $$$$
-- a fairly recent edition to Hanalei Bay - exquisite vegetarian & seafood selection
-- wine and beer only, great service
-- Our favorite high end restaurant in the area

Hanalei Gourmet **** $$ - $$$
-- wonderful selection and excellent quality, certainly not "high end" but definitely great food!
-- Best mai tai's in my opinion on this side of the island

Bamboo Bamboo *** $$$$
-- Their Mai Tai's are a 2 on a scale of 10
-- The food is good, lots of variety, not exceptional, but good.
-- Service was great.

Bubba's hamburgers ** $
-- if you need a hamburger, maybe Hanalei Gourmet is the place to get it.
-- undercooked as usual, I've tried several times
-- I like my fries well done, there's were marginal cooked at all
-- service is not really their top priority
-- But if you need a burger and a Coke, this is the joint I suppose

Sabella's - Princeville * $$$$
-- Mai Tai's were a 5/10
-- Food was the worst I've ever had, over priced, nothing special, they have no clue what "piccatta" means and it's an Italian joint.
-- Size of the filet was a joke, especially at the price.
-- Bottom line, you want good food at a great price, try somewhere else
-- Island rumor has it the chef quit a few months ago and it's been downhill ever since.

Sushi Blues *** $$$
-- Wasn't there this trip but went last trip, remember the food was good, can't remember the Mai Tai's - perhaps that's a sign
-- Always live music so its a happening joint

Zelo's Beach House *** $$$
-- Mai Tai's a little sweet, fresh juice though -- 7/10
-- Suggest upgrading to the Iniki Mai Tai - basically a souped up version of the above.
-- The food is good

Wake up Cafe **** $
-- Best breakfast place in Hanalei - 'nuff said
-- Make sure to try the Portuguese Sweet bread cinnamon roll!

Tuesday, April 19, 2005

Learning to relax is an art

I truly believe that living in the US of A has caused me to forget how to relax. Americans take less vacations than any other country in the world. As I wake up each morning in the lush, tropical paradise that Kauai is, my mind tells my body, "jump up and do something!" My mind whirls with things to do, I must do SOMETHING, shouldn't I? No actually, I don't.

We must relearn how to relax. We must relearn how to lounge about, take life less seriously, stress about less things and stop to smell the papaya occassionally. Check out any of the links I've referenced for this blog and see what I'm talking about. Americans are being robbed of their right to proper holidays. It's important that we recharge. Wouldn't we be more productive if we did that? Something to think about.

Well, got to go, I hear my snorkel gear calling me.

Sunday, April 17, 2005

Motivation in Hanalei Bay

Well, here I am in beautiful, idyllic Kauai - in Hanalei Bay wondering why I wake up each morning with absolutely no desire to do anything. All my motivation is gone. Dena says its because I'm on vacation and that's the way it's supposed to be. No wonder people get nothing done on the islands. When I go to Honolulu to work I have to plan extra days, about 50% more than normal to combat this island work mentality. As a mainlander it frustrates me, but spending any time here one comes to appreciate that kind of attitude.

I think today Dena and I are going shopping at a local craft fair in Kapa'a and then off to Poipu state beach for swimming and snorkeling. Maybe - sometimes we get sidetracked. Anyone that knows me, knows I have to have a plan. It's hard to have a plan in Hawaii. You just sort of hang loose and go with the flow and whatever happens, happens.

In a couple days I'll write about "eating our way through the north shore". A comprehensive restaurant review.

Tuesday, April 12, 2005

My kingdom for a screw

You know, you can never find the right screw when you need it. Today was just another sunny, beautiful day in Los Angeles, Dawn out searching for that one perfect screw. Mostly I find myself looking on the weekends but today I found myself in a weekday need. A quandry if you will. Could I find it and did I already have it? You see, you don't want to spend your time "shopping" for a screw if you've already got it the perfect one at home.

Some screws are a matter of taste, others are a matter of need. There are all types of screws after all; big, small, long, short, wide, skinny, pointy and blunt. Sometimes you need a special, one of a kind screw, but even if my need is a little unique - I can always find it somewhere. This is LA after all - you just need to know where to look. You can find ANYTHING in LA.

Today's need was a 2" flat topped #8 machine screw which I just didn't have. I have a garage full of screws, individually sorted into parts drawers and labelled. You'd think I'd have such a common screw. You did know I was talking about hardware didn't you?

Monday, April 11, 2005

Dena learns all about cement and gets her slippers dirty doing home improvement. What will she come up with next? Of course I had to do all the hard work mixing the cement and carrying the 60 lbs bags...... Here she is filling a tiny hole with 120 lbs of cement, one cupful at a time. Talk about patience.

Saturday, April 09, 2005

Off comes the tile roof