Sunday, 30 November 2014

T minus 2 (another double entendre and a dilemma )

Yes, 2 more days until it is time to return to Igloo-land and -2 was the low temperature in Roberts Creek tonight. That combination does not bode well!

Temperatures here in Kona have plummeted as well. The nightly low when we arrived was 24 Celsius and last night dropped to a not quite bone-chilling 19 Celsius.

Before sunrise

It is saying: Throw more bread off the balcony !

And there is the flying lawn mower again. Jefferey and another student.  And the student (pilot) is looking down in my general direction while I take their picture (Trust me, I zoomed ;-)

While we're on the subject of flying: Do I have over-active imagination or does anyone else see a white dragon flying over the volcano landscape in the pic below?

Wikipedia it says that this represents a Virtuous and pure King.  But maybe I got it wrong and it's really one of the Horsemen?

Has everyone heard about the huge bruhaha in Vancouver, because the City of Vancouver dared to refuse when a huge OIL company promised FREE money to local schools?  Apparently most mayorates or school boards in the Lower Mainland accepted the FREE money, but someone in Vancouver City Hall didn't like the smell of gasoline.  I guess down here in Kailua-Kona, they need the money desperately. Even if their town's gas stations (Only the one of THAT OIL company:

Fuel your school?  EVIL!

See, that is the danger of accepting CORPORATE MONEY:  How many parents of school  children do you think can refuse that evil logic?

I discover more EVIL (maybe just STUPIDITY) when I stop at Sack-n-Save (Oh, PPPlease, find a better name).  I am in Hawaii.  A fisherman's paradise. What are they selling?  Previously frozen FARM fish from China.  And it's EXPENSIVE compared to local fish !

But let's not blame the store; let's blame the CONSUMER. I mean, WHO in their RIGHT MIND would buy canned pineapple in Hawaii?  Apparently lots of people ;-(

Later in the day I head into town again and finally take a picture of the giant tree.

As evening and sunset time approach, I find myself going down to the water over a different cluster of lava boulders.  And I discover an animal that I have never ever seen on any of the other boulders.  And there are lots of these here. But WHAT ARE THEY?

First the dragon, then the daemonic creatures above, and now an upside-down sunset!  

But after a little wait, the sunset is right-side-up again. Too bad the world can't be fixed that easily.

At the end of the 2nd bottle of Chardonnay, I realize that being at the burial of my Spare-Mom's ashes on the 12th of December in Germany is easily doable within existing time constraints.  The realization what that would do to other existing plans causes me to pull the cork on # 3 ;-(

A novel way of saving the planet (or Arrre you a erviro-viro-mentalist 2?)

Just think of all the happy people breathing clean air ;-)
and yes, I am on one of those forwarded forwarded forwarded e-mail lists with jokes relating to WINE. What does that tell ya?  No BullShyt (Read Stephenson's Anathem) on this BLOG! Thank you Denise for that e-mail ;-) In Vino Veritas!  

Saturday, 29 November 2014

A close shave on Saturday

Vancouver's SeaWall was closed earlier.  Has there been a Shark attack?  Nope, a high tide and wind pushed 1 (one) log over the wall and there is water on the paved path.
Bloody Nanny City, but then enough Vancouverites would whine to city if they got wet feet resulting in a cold.  I still remember last November 20th, when sail-boats were ripped from their moorings and crashed into the seawall. That was fun (obviously not for the boat owners though)!

Just after I start shaving this morning I decide to take pictures with shaving foam covering half my face.  I'm sure I saw a commercial with very pretty people (Advertising PORN) doing the same on TV, but at least I don't remember which product the commercial was advertising ;-)  Inspecting the pictures I notice that I'm no longer pale. Good. 

The day is filled with work, bike rides, water line walks, and staying out of Grandma's way. She has fallen back on her old habit of reading every piece of paper that I have made a mark on. Shopping list, list of defects of the apartment for the day we leave, etc, etc.  Good thing that when Grandpa learned to use computers about 10 years ago, she steadfastly refused. 

Later in the afternoon, Grandma wants to go to the market stand where I bought the oeuvre d'art yesterday.  I had told her yesterday "Would you like to go there and have a look. They won't be there tomorrow and they are only there today until 6 pm".  No desire at all to go yesterday, but today it is important.  There are fresh bite marks on my tongue. Fortunately the stand lady had put her card in with the purchase, so I get to look up the Kona International Market on Google Maps.  Way out of town, but I know how to get there.  20 minutes later (we are almost there), Grandma says "If I had known it was that far, we wouldn't have come here".  I think 'OH NO, YOU DON'T!' and do more damage to my tongue.

At least half the stands in the Kona International Market are deserted and there aren't many buyers to be seen either (even thought it's Saturday).  There is a man manning (;-) the stand and it's the husband of yesterday's lovely woman womaning the stand at the hotel.  He is originally from Czechoslovakia and his wife has told him about the 'guy on a bicycle' that bought something yesterday.  Over the 'where are you from?' we get over 'how it used to be there' to 'how the people are there' and end up agreeing that people in this world don't seem to know the difference between NEED and WANT any more.  From there he relates how an elder Japanese lady once told him "Don't let other people's Karma bring you down".

Just in case you haven't noticed: You have just read the most important sentence in this post ;-)  
But it's so hard if that person keeps generating more anger. Must ascend to higher level ;-)
This Buddha guy must have been a wise fellow.  For the last 10 days I have been travelling with a person who is the embodiment of holding and breeding anger and staying out of reach of this spirit is hard work.

I find something infuriating about a person who wants something but is unwilling to ask for it.  Little comments approach it laterally, but never does the person ask or even answer a question whether she wants something straight out.  But the person gets cranky if the person doesn't get what s/he wants.  Yes, I could have written this paragraph with "Imagine a hypothetical grandmother" but that is just to tedious.

This is probably a reason why I am allergic to the expression "Do you want to ....?" (insert 'put the dishes on the table, pick up your socks, etc etc for the dots, when the asker really wants to say "Please  do .....!" or at the least "Would you mind ....?" or "Could you ...?".

Life is so simple, why make it so complicated?  There is NOTHING WRONG with asking!

I end the day by heading to Bangkok House at 7:30 pm.  I have a craving for Thai food.  I only recognize the waitress or owner when she says "Same thing!" after I order the seafood curry.  The long day shows in her face, which is probably the reason I did not recognize her; last time I was here it was one hour after opening.  While the seafood curry is a safe order for me, I go wild and order a Chardonnay from Thailand.  And I kind of like it. It tastes like a decent white wine, but it has a touch of that throat-burning effect that I like about Sake.
Despite its slight lack of local seafood, the curry is balm to both stomach and mind.  The dish is full of things I usually would rather not eat (broccoli and other strange veggies), but I devour them all because they have been infused with the flavour of the curry. Next time I will order Thai HOT !!!

And as a closing note:

Friday, 28 November 2014

Friday (work, bike, work, sleep, bike, buy, bike, work, turtle, bike, work, sleep)

It's already Friday?  Where has the time gone? 
Only 4 days until the flight home to Igloo-land!

The sunrise is quite pretty today.

I'm translating quite a bit and head out to the water or for a bike ride whenever the adrenaline rises to uncomfortable levels.

On one of these bike trips: After I had stopped away from the road in the shade next to the King Kamahameha Hotel and had completed a few phone calls, I saw some tents in the hotel's parking lot.  At first I thought it was just another triathlon's changing area, but upon further exploration I found another market.  Only about 10 vendors were outside, while about 50 more were inside a large hall of the hotel.  The initial perusal did not show much beside the usual tourist crap, but one stand caught my eye.  The stand was manned (womanned?) by a slight Asian lady that was selling gorgeously carved and inlaid wood objects.


At 4 pm Grandma announces that she has spotted a turtle on the rocks.  Given that just 3 days ago she couldn't tell whether a full-sized man walking over those same rocks was one or two people, I don't put much trust into her 'discovery' at first.  But she is right.  I head down to take some turtle-portraits.

Laying eggs must be exhausting or boring or both.

Darth Vader Crab ready to JUMP !

Smiley rock

selective tanning. Thanks Teva !

It's still Friday?  Where has all the wine gone? Where did those 2 empty bottles come from?

Good night, world ;-)

The old man and the smoke (or Crossing the Salish Sea)

A few days ago I was browsing through camera shots on my cell phone (Yes, the cell phone with the severely handicapped camera) and I found some shots that I had forgot about but which I like. 

You know the drill: What I like, you have to watch, so bear with me ;-)

Approximate date of these pictures: November 15, 2014.  
Location: A ferry to or from the Sunshine Coast.  
Mode of transportation: Bicycle.

Warhol was 'ere

Thursday, 27 November 2014

A Thirsty Thanksgiving Thursday

After having my first work-accompanied coffee at 3:30 am, I thankfully go back to bed and sleep until 6 am (too late ! ;-).  
Still in time to catch the stratified sunrise on the volcano ridge on my bike ride into town.
The internet informs me that the Kona farmer's market is open at 7 am so I cycle into town in the hope of buying a few more bird of paradise flowers.  

While one stand selling $4 pineapples is open, most of the rest of the market is still closed, including the flower vendor. Ah well, at least I see a bunch of people trying themselves at a Triathlon.

Since it is American Thanksgiving today, most stores will close early, so people can devour their dinner turkeys amidst their families.  So the second bike ride is to KTA in Keauhoe Mall, where I buy another bottle of the $3.99 Chardonnay and various groceries. 

Grandma has started to notice the number of empty wine bottles around the suite, so the third bike ride of the day (I return just after noon) goes back to the Farmer's Market in Kona to buy 3 more Bird of Paradise flowers ($2) and 4 red ginger flowers ($5).  Since the stems of both these flowers are quite thick, each flower needs a wine bottle to itself, and I point out to Grandma that I'd have to drink faster to accommodate all the new flowers.  Thankfully I find a Weizen glass that holds all 4 Ginger flowers, so I don't have to start chugging ;-)

At 1 pm I spot a turtle and lead Grandma over the lava rocks at the water's edge so she can see it too.

I missed a career in flower arranging ;-(

Well, maybe not ;-)

Since the day was interspersed with translating work, I feel justified in going for a 4th bike ride. Grandma uses her suspicious voice when she asks me where I am going to ride to 'this time' .  My rides can only go South or North since the volcano is in the East and the ocean in the West.  I refrain from answering "South" to maintain the peace.

THIS is where I ride to this time ;-)

Good night, world!