Sunday, February 26, 2006

Hanalei Bay Rains

Hanalei river runs thru the canoe club.
Raging mouth of the Hanalei River. The beach was crumbling at the edge. There is a huge debris field out past the mouth where large trees, etc gathered. They were ferrying people who had to leave in boats over to Princeville.

View from just before Postcards Cafe. The Dolphin is in the background there.

Thursday, February 23, 2006

Explanation of Hats -- from Kauai

Yesterday I had to explain to Dena the reason for my hats. I have a small collection of baseball caps. I hadn’t thought of it as a collection really until I had to explain to Dena why I “needed” another one. It’s not that she’d deny me of anything of course, just wondering why in the world I wanted another one. So as I was explaining my little reason for the hats I realized that each holds a special memory of the person, place or event where I bought it.

For example, my Microsoft hat was purchased at the Microsoft store in Redmund, WA after a week of testing a special Baypoint-VPIM --> Microsoft Exchange application. It was a thrill for me to be at Microsoft in general, to walk the hallowed halls, eat in the 24 hour amazing cafeteria, go to the “corner” stores in the campus and finally shop at the famed “employee only” Microsoft store. See, each holds a memory.

So the hat in question yesterday was a Hanalei Dolphin hat. I struggled with buying it, as true, I have a lot of hats. But alas, the memories won. Dena & I have eaten there every time we’ve come for 15 years now. And we were hurried out the night the bridge was closed sans dessert. It has memories, what can I tell ya.

In Kauai today I’ve discovered that there were 20” of rain in 24 hours yesterday. Amazing. We spent the day lounging about the beach, daydreaming about how we could afford to live here. Someday....

Wednesday, February 22, 2006

Day 4 -- Kauai

I awoke early today, anxious to see what all that rain had done. It didn’t stop raining until about 7 and then it only changed from a steady downpour to a drizzle. I ventured out of our completely flooded driveway and on to the Hanalei Bridge. I didn’t get far. The road was completely flooded starting at Postcards. The Dolphin was reportedly under about 2’ of water.

I then went down to the mouth of the river near the pier, I was stunned. The river was probably 10x the size and was raging. The Hanalei canoe club was now part of the river. The silt from the river had turned the entire bay brown and the fresh water roiled angrily into the salt water, upsetting the bay all the way out to Princeville. I was stunned as were so many locals. We all watched from what was left of the beach as the water continued. Turning toward the mountains I was stunned to see them awash in water falls. I’d never seen so many. The rains had tripled the number of falls cascading down the mountains. I'll post pictures upon our return...

It would be a long, quiet day in Hanalei with all the shops closed. Most people who work in the shops and restaurants don’t live in Hanalei. We snorkled at Ke’e beach where the water was crystal clear and glass like. I’ve never seen Ke’e so calm. It was a joy.

The night was spent visiting with people from all over the world, talking about the storm and ourselves and enjoying a Kauai local brew - Keoko. We stumbled home, happy with our day on the island.

Tuesday, February 21, 2006

Day 3 -- Kauai

Our day began as much as any other on Kauai, lounging about and wondering which beach we might visit today. We decided on our beach - Hanalei Bay and spent the day frolicking in the waves and having a beach side picnic. We were chased away around 3:30-pm and that’s really when the adventure began. We spent the rest of the afternoon and early evening indoors as the rain continued without letting up.

At 8 we took off over to the Dolphin for dinner and tried to talk as the rain pounded the tin roof. It was a rain cacophony. A little after 9 the check appeared the restaurant all of sudden was empty and no dessert was offered. They were closing the Hanalei River bridge, the water was rising, pay the bill and get out!

Startled we paid and dashed thru the puddles to the car. It rained torrential downpours all through the night, so much so that often we could not sleep for all the racket. My mind wandered with all sorts of thoughts of flash floods, rising water and being trapped in Hanalei.

Monday, February 20, 2006

Day 2 -- Kauai

Sunday we awoke through the night to torrential downpours beating out their song on the tin roof of our Ranch accommodations. I’ll blog about our dwellings later. We ventured off to the south today, having breakfast at Gaylords. Something we’ve always wanted to do as it was a much touted uppidity thing to do -- Sunday Brunch at Gaylords Plantation. Well it appears that marketing is everything. The brunch was mediocre at best, except the purple sweet potato pork hash was phenonmenal. The setting however, was wonderful. Alas, one cannot have everything can they? Of course I can, and I will!

After brunch it was off to Glass Beach near Port Allen. It appears that the book Ultimate Kauai has spoiled most spots on the island. Too many people know about them now. We dug for sea glass and looked out upon the vastness of the sea and wondered.

To make amends with Karma and the Hawaiian gods we went back up to the graveyard where I had foolishly taken a shell in January 2005. I had taken this old large shell from a gravesite back then and put it in my pocket, happy with my newfound treasure. How vengeful the gods can be. What a horrible ride back to Hanalei it was with me smelling unbelievably bad of some old, dead sea creature that apparently hadn’t vacated the shell. With Dena gazing out upon the sea I went to the gravestone I had desecrated 2 years before and placed another shell I had found back where the first was. I asked forgiveness of the gods and Karma and hoped all would be right with the world now.

Sunday, February 19, 2006

Day 1 -- Kauai

Today I awoke in Kilauea in a very introspective mood but very much in the Aloha spirit. As we ventured to 3 beaches today I found myself reflecting on my life, past and present. Perhaps Hawaii will do that to you. One thinks of past misteps, past accomplishments, future goals and plans. I was reminded how fleeting life can be as I walked across the sand and my footsteps were washed away as fast as I made them. Is that what my legacy shall be? A life remembered only for a moment....

But enough of that serious stuff....
Our travels today took us to Kilauea Bay Beach. We ran across this one while taking a wrong turn looking for Secret Beach, which apparently still remains a secrect, at least to us. We did discover Larson’s Beach however. A nude/gay/hippie kind of beach on the West shore. There was a hippie couple, she’s pregnant and due any day. She makes lei’s to make a living. She will be giving birth in there makeshift abode on the beach. I find that quite scary considering its a 10 minute up hill hike to the parking area alone.... It was an eclectic beach to be sure with 60’s meeting ancient hawaiian’s fishing with nets to the gay 90’s....

Tuesday, February 14, 2006

State of the union

For Valentine's Day I will blog about my life partner. She's driving me insane. She's officially unemployed as of Monday the 12th as she awaits the start of her new job. So, she's home, ALL DAY! She's been purging and cleaning and shredding and discarding. It's great that she's starting anew in so many ways, but does she have to shred at Midnight? It was a school night last night. I'm laying there in bed, wishing I could sleep and all I hear is that damn shredder and it's pitiful whine. She's so focused on this whole purging thing that she was up @ 8am shredding. I'm trying to work here.

I'm pretty sure the shredder wasn't happy to see her that early in the morning either. It's 10:30 and she's still standing in front of my desk, cleaning and shredding. It's been 2 and a half hours! The shredder has just given up, I'm sure it's overheated. You can kind of tell when it's going to give up. The whine goes from pitiful to morose to downright exhausted, then silence. She says it's happened to her many times now. I've told her that shredding plastic cards is not a good idea.

She's like a machine. Cleaning out her closet, paying bills, running errands. I'm so amazed. I'm not sure I like this "at home" Dena. Oh well, I'll have to learn to enjoy it as she's going back to work on the 27th......

Monday, February 13, 2006

Google changes their logo...

I love Google. I love that they change their logo for special holidays, events or occasions. One of my favorites was the logo honoring the birthday of a French national hero, Louis Braille. The logo was in braille. Clicking on the logo when it's shape shifted brings one to a poignant URL. For the next two weeks though, go to Google each day, the logo will change with a different Winter Olympic event. They did this for the Greece summer olympics, too.

The logo shape shifting is thanks to the brilliant Dennis Hwang and they are iconic metaphors. The costumes Hwang creates for the logo reflect the world of Google's users, not just the importance of itself. A forward thinking company not obsessed with itself but putting a little fun & education out on the internet. After all, Google does have a huge user community.

As excerpted from the page referenced above Hwang works for Google and his favorite letters to manipulate are the O's and the L. Hwang says, "Google makes a big effort to recognize holidays that aren't necessarily mainstream. The Korean Independence Day logo was seen globally by tens of millions of people. Numerous Korean-Americans wrote to thank us on Aug. 15 last year. Many expressed how proud it made them to see the Korean flag."

Thursday, February 09, 2006