Sunday, December 30, 2012

Dear Diary

Today was a good day.

Lonely, lonely rat trap
We walked out to a rocky point at the end of the road. They had made a fence that stretched from the sea at one side of the point, across the point and into the sea on the other side of the point. The fence was high and solid and had a double gated entry on it, I guess to keep out rats, mongoose (mongeese?) and dogs. I don't know how well it worked cause there were rat traps all over the point.

The point was made a sanctuary for birds and monk seals and that's why the big fence -rats, mongoose (or mongeese?) and dogs eat birds and their eggs. So we walked around and saw some albatrosses, which we concluded the plural form should be "albatri", but is actually "albado". (Let me know if you get that joke).

We also saw Monk seals, but I wish the people who maintained the sanctuary did a better job of saying how far you should be from the Monk seals -of which there are only 1,200 left in the world. I didn't see any signage saying "stay at least 150 feet away" until I had already been within 20 feet of them, and that was only cause there was a kid near me who was 15 feet away from them. I hope my actions today don't contribute to the further decline of the Monk seal.
I swear there's a Monk seal in this picture.
We also saw some whales, but there were little more than tiny puffs of mist on the horizon, sometimes followed by a dark hump-like object breaking the surface. Tiny whales breached, though I didn't see the breaching part, only the post-breaching splash. If I had taken a photo, it would've just looked like a photo of the sea.

Then we went swimming and watched the sunset and stuff like that.

Some locals shared with us their homemade pickled mango.
It was good.
They were friendly and played Hawaiian pop music very loudly. I like Hawaiian pop music and am really touched at how prolific it is. I haven't heard a mainland top-40 (or bottom 40 for that matter) song since we arrives.
Watching the sunset.

I also took lots of photos of my feet. I think I'll start another blog of photos of my fingershoes. Maybe they'll pay me for it.

My feet.

Thanks diary, I hope you had a nice day too.

Monday, December 24, 2012

No trip to Hawaii is complete...

...without a visit to the world's busiest Costco on the day before the day before Christmas!

Sunday, December 23, 2012

Batman Flawed

The Dark Knight Rises inspires some haikus

Girl dies. Eight years ago.
Emotional basket case.
Some superhero.

Mr. Gotham City.
Doesn't realize he's right
below own building.

Eight year hiatus.
Maybe you should train before
Fighting real bad guy?.

Main laws of physics
Modelesque kungfu killer
With no muscle tone

To Gotham City
from rural Turkish prison
Two scenes? Penniless?

Revenge slain father.
Nuking twelve million, though he
was kind of a jerk.

Heartless, mouthless thug
killing all these people cause
he's really in love?

Wednesday, December 5, 2012

flat screen monitors, or flesh eating zombies in disguise?

Hi Umbra,

Question for you: what's up with flat-screen TVs popping up all over the place? I'm not talking about home entertainment, but they seem to be popping up everywhere. Coffee shops were understandable (but still annoying), but I was at a small non-profit recently and they had a monitor used as a digital bulletin board. Also, the extremely cash-strapped public university from where I recently graduated had them all over the place as electronic billboards.

My questions:
-What's wrong with good old fashioned billboards? Don't tell me a box filled with cheap plastic and chemicals emitting whatever flatscreen emit and constantly sucking electricity is 'better for the environment' cause it's using less paper!

-And since I mentioned it, what's in these monitors? I can only image their components, not to mention the factories in China where they're made so cheaply (though I did hear about the growing assembly industry in Mexico).

-And energy suck? What's the electrical usage?

Can you figure out how places -especially non-profits and universities- can economically justify buying one (or more) of these, plugging it in and running it 24/7?

(If you want specifics, I went to the University of Washington, which I'm sure you know is desperate for money. Two years ago Governor Gregoire and president of UW announced draconian cuts, and it made me wonder what 'comforts' UW forego, like the dozen TVs that fill the cafeteria blaring garbage. I know it's a drop in the bucket, but I'm wondering what the true financial costs and carbon footprint of these things are.)

I know I sound like a grumpy curmudgeon, I know it veers on petty, I know I personally hate TVs and monitors and think they're distracting at the very least, but I do think it's a rising trend in consumerism, something that harks back to the main message of 'Story of Stuff'.

What do you think?