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Archive for February, 2010

Hawai’i Tsunami Warning [Update 4]

Hey folks,

New event for me while living in Maui.  We heard the tsunami warning sirens this morning.  Definitely not the monthly test.  There are waves coming from the huge 8.8 earthquake from Chile. 

Maui is not under any evacuations orders.  They are just running the sirens to keep people on alert and telling folks near the coasts to be on the watch.  The local news is showing long lines at all the gas stations.  Some gas stations are starting to turn people away.  And they are evacuating (voluntary) people from coastal areas to shelters.

The first waves are supposed to hit the Big Island around 11:05 a.m. our time (we are currently 2 hours behind west coast time).  I think Tahiti got something like a six-foot wave.  I think it will just be a swell – honestly, probably smaller than the huge waves we had on the beach when my mom was here.  Of course, tsunamis are not nice waves – just a large push of water.  The local news is telling people to stay out of the water. 

Guy from the Tsunami Warning Center is now saying Hilo may get a one-meter wave.  Soooo….I think we’ll be fine.  Our house would be fine even with a huge wave since we are on higher ground.  However, I think we may force our house guest to stay put today since traffic may suck at different places around the island.  You pretty much cannot drive anywhere in Maui without at least driving partway on a coastal highway.  Our local news says they are getting messages from people around the world worried about friends and family in Hawai’i.  Local news coverage is streaming online at www.hawaiinewsnow.com 

Aloha.

UPDATE

The first waves are about 20 minutes out from Maui.  Several areas have been evacuated and most of the roads are closed now.  We are watching the live news coverage as the first waves are about 8 minutes out from the Big Island.  We’ve been asked to stock up on water.  Our power generation and wastewater treatment plant are at sea level so they are worried about sewage washing out. 

UPDATE 2

Live cams from the Big Island are posted on the local news coverage.  Not much happening yet.  Helicopter just swooped down to an idiot in the water on Oahu to yell at him to get out of the water.  Here on Maui, there is a line of cars near our home as people are driving up from lower areas.  Our biggest towns on Maui are at sea level.  The airport at Kahului is still open.  A couple of our neighbors are on their roofs, but I don’t think we’ll be able to see anything from here.  

Update 3 (12:01 p.m.)  

We are watching the live cam from Hilo Bay on the Big Island.  The most dramatic parts are when the water gets sucked out of the day.  Beach areas and rocks are exposed for a couple of minutes.  Then, the water comes back over.  The surge coming in doesn’t look that big.  Someone calling in from Kahului Harbor here on Maui says the water is getting sucked out but, again, I don’t think the incoming waves are big at all.  Not noticeably different than normal waves. I think our biggest wave will be 6 feet.

UPDATE 4 (1:30 p.m.)

Well folks, looks like the worst of the tsunami event is over.  The cars have returned to their homes.  The uninterrupted news coverage is off the air.  The first official measurements show that Kahului had the biggest wave surge at……..wait for it…….wow……..3.2 feet.  Yup.  That was our tsunami.  3.2 feet.  I am happy to say that the ocean was kind to us today and I am happy to know that all of our early-warning systems work well.  Some people may grumble about being evacuated today but you know what? They would complain louder if they stayed home and were swamped with a giant wall of water.  So, good job Hawai’i.

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Nice day in the water today on Maui.

I took my buddy Ice on a whale watching trip with the Pacific Whale Foundation.  As I have mentioned before, out of the whole whale season (roughly November to April), the best time to see whales is full moon February to full moon March.  That is according to one of the naturalists on a boat a couple of years ago.  Well, here we are in late February and the whales were hopping and breaching today!

We started off with a little greeting by a couple of dolphins.  They swam past the ship soon after we left the harbor.  I’m not used to seeing the dolphins, but I managed to get off a good shot as they swam under the boat and appeared right beside us.

 

Then, on to the whales.  We saw several whales “logging.”  This is when they are just kind of floating horizontal on the top of the water.  Just hanging out.  We saw some blow from a mom and calf.  We saw some whales from far away.

My buddy made some comments like: “Well, at least the boat trip is nice,”  and “We saw more whales from the beach.”  But, true to form – the whale watch provided plenty of breaching whale shots.  In fact, one whale breached several times right off the side of the boat and it was the closest I have ever seen a whale breach. 

Ta da!

and……….

 

and……..

 

Finally, as we made our way back to the harbor, the captain suddenly slowed the boat.  For……no….not another whale.  A little Honu was about to cross our path!  I barely got him with his little head sticking out of the water.  You can see him at the bottom of the picture.

 

All in all, a good whale watching day.  Aloha!

I’ll leave you with some more visuals from today.

And, one more video to completely bore you.  Same whale breaches twice!

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2-1

 

First the earth was flat
But it fattened up when we didn’t fall off
Now we spin laps round the sun

All the gods lost 2-1
And holes to heaven pointed out to us from light years away
We’re surrounded by a billion galaxies

Things are not always
Things are not always how they seem
Will you be ready?
Will you be ready?

The interim of life
Has got you tiptoed and pinning all your hopes
On the top dog of dreams

You’re not alone in this
The polyfilla way looks strong in the weakness
Of the gaps

Things are not always
Things are not always how they seem
They don’t turn out always
Don’t quite turn out always how we think
Will we be ready?
Will we be ready?

I’m dying to know, what’s in your head
I’m dying to know, how it all got in there
I’m dying to know, to help make some sense of it all
I’m dying to know
Tell me is it my fault?

And I care about you, darling

And I care about you
Course I care about you
More than anyone else

Things are not always
Things are not always how they seem
They don’t turn out always
Don’t quite turn out always how we think
Will we be ready?

(lyrics not reprinted with permission but Ms. Imogen Heap is usually cool with fans using her stuff respectfully.  Her website is over here:  http://www.imogenheap.com/site.html)

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Are You Stupid??

Watching years of figure skating and other winter sports, including many many Olympics, I have often thought this exact same thing when I hear an idiot newscaster trying to conduct an interview right after an event.

Bravo Sven Kramer!

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Stream of Consciousness

So, I think the only way I can even attempt to explain my slightly sporadic blogging is just to split a seam in my brain and see what comes out.  I warn you, it may lean towards the ranty and bummerish.

Ready?

Scccchhhhhhhhhhzzzzzzz…………..

January back in Maui.  Need work.  Drag work out of my California co-workers.

Grumble about the chronic health issues I’ve been trying to ignore and self manage. 

Side Ramble:    What can I say about my opinion of the medical community?  Ummmmm…..they are mostly useless.  Now, if I split my forehead open (which I’ve been told I did once), I will gladly welcome the ministrations of a doctor.  If I ever actually have a baby, I will be seeking the expertise of an MD.  But – as far as quality of diagnosis, I can tell you my experience in over 30 years has been – how shall I put it? – piss poor.  Going all the way back to biopsies taken at Stanford medical center that never figured out a thing, to a doctor who kept lecturing me about stress when I was lactose intolerant, to a dermatologist who smirked at me when I asked him to help me figure out what was wrong instead of just giving me a prescription to mask the symptoms and who told me “My other patients don’t care about that.”  And on.  And on.  I kid you not.  I have more examples. 

Mini-meltdown with Sweetie.  What are we doing?  Where are we going?

Finally acquiesce to Sweetie and follow up on the several referrals my doctor gave me back in November. 

Deal with the car.  Needs a safety check?  ok.  $$  What?  Needs a repair?  Crap. 

Get x-rays.

Sweetie takes me back to Dr.  I get a useless endoscopy.  Can I stay awake?  No?  Why the hell not?  Frak.  Spend the rest of the day and night throwing up from the anesthesia. 

Got some work.  Thank goodness.  Buckle down a little.

What?  You want me to see another Doctor?  Holy Crap!! That would be awesome!! My brain short-circuits and I agree.  Wow.  Someone listens to me.  Says things like “You’re not crazy.”  and “You know your body better than anyone else.”  We agree to try some dietary solutions instead of pill solutions.  Which is, by the way, EXACTLY what I suggested to my Dr. back in November.  Why exactly do I and my insurance carrier pay you people all this money?

Take the car in for repairs.  What?  You broke it while fixing it?  Frak.  $$  What?  I just put over $800 into a $3,000 car?  Egads.

Mom and my aunt arrive in Maui.  Hooray!!  Fun times ensue.  Beach.  Sun.  Whales.  Beach.  Volcano.  Lahaina.  Shopping.  Beach. The weather mostly cooperates.  We have a few days with higher-than-normal waves.

And – a slight mishap with the car.  That car.  You remember – the car we just shoveled over $800 of work into?  Yeah – that car. 

Good news – occupants of all cars were…mostly ok.  Some bruises.  Hopefully no whiplash.  Bad news – our car is essentially totaled.  We won’t be seeing it again after the insurance folks picked it up and dragged it away. 

What?  This sounds familiar?  Yes, it’s the second car that has been totalled while we’ve lived here, thanks for asking. 

Get a rental car for a month while we try and decide whether to get a new used car or not.

My sister asks me “Are you sad?”  And I have to think about it.  At that moment – no.  I wasn’t sad.  I said: “It happened.  We need to deal with it.”  I told her I thought maybe God is trying to tell me to just pack it up and move back to California now.  She said she was thinking it was too much to pile on me.  But I thought to myself – “No.  There are a lot of things that could happen that would feel overwhelming.  Losing my car isn’t the worst of those things.” But there are other things on the edge of my life that could feel more overwhelming than losing a car.  I’m trying to formulate a plan of action against those.

And so – we go on. 

The rest of Mom’s trip was good.  My aunt had several moments she said she would “Keep in her heart” and that is inspiring.  We all enjoyed each other’s company immensely. 

And I clean my house in anticipation of our next house guest who is arriving this Thursday. 

Now, if you will excuse me, I have a brain to stitch up.  Aloha, and I hope to be back to a more normal blogging schedule. 

Oh – and by the way – I am trying to finish a couple of books this month for my RYOB Challenge.  Including “The Tao of Inner Peace” which just quoted this line from the Tao Te Ching:

“To keep your center is to endure.”

So say we all.

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Check out Sunday Stealing Meme over HERE.  You can read about the origins of this week’s Meme.  I’m posting the questions and my answers.  Play along if you want! 

Sunday Stealing: The Clown’s Meme 1
 

1. How old will you be in five years?
Gee, thanks for starting off with a such a nice non-personal question! 
If my math is correct (and it easily could be wrong), I’ll be 43.  Thanks. 

2. Who did you spend at least two hours with today?
My Sweetie. 

3. How tall are you? 

5 feet, 2 inches and shrinking every year.

4. What do you look forward to most in the next six weeks? 

The imminent arrival this week of our very own Ice Tre to the island of Maui.

5. What’s the last movie you saw? 

Ug…..uh…..on Netflix – The Hangover, which wasn’t nearly as funny as I thought it would be.  In the theater? – egads…..I can’t remember.

6. Who was the last person you called?
My sister, I think. 

7. Who was the last person to call you? 

The insurance claims lady to tell us our car is a total loss.  Yippee.  Thanks, we figured that one out already. 

8. What was the last text message you received? 

“oh no!! where were you this time?”  after I texted T to tell her – “New quiz 4u. how many cars can we total while living in Maui?” 

9. Who was the last person to leave you a voicemail? 

I think it was Sweetie.

10. Do you prefer to call or text?
Call.  I’m a crappy texter.  

11. What were you doing at 12am last night?
Trying to fall asleep! 

12. Are your parents married/separated/divorced?
They were married at the time my father died. 

13. When is the last time you saw your mom?
Yesterday!!!!  She and my aunt flew back to California.  Miss you Mom!! 

14. What color are your eyes?
Brown 

15. What time did you wake up today?
7:00, then 8:00, then 8:30.  Holiday! 

16. What are you wearing right now?
Do you really have to ask?  I live in Maui – I’m always wearing shorts and a tank top. 

17. What is your favorite christmas song? 

Oh Come, Oh Come Emmanuel 

18. Where is your favorite place to be?
Pretty much wherever there is a good collection of family and friends.  Or somewhere on a hiking trail – Hood Mountain being one of the best.  

19. Where is your least favorite place to be?
Standing on the side of a road with a smooshed car. 

20. Where would you go if you could go anywhere?
There are a ton of places Sweetie and I want to go, but our first choice right now is an east coast trip so we can visit family and friends in New York, Ohio, and North Carolina.  

21. Where do you think you’ll be in 10 years?
Somewhere on planet earth, either above or below ground.  

22. Do you tan or burn?
I tan if properly sub-blocked.  Otherwise, I burn.  Don’t we all? 

23. What did you fear was going to get you at night as a child?
The hallway giant.  And that clown from Poltergeist. 

24. What was the last thing that really made you laugh?
My mom and my aunt. 

25. How many TVs do you have in your house?
One 

26. How big is your bed? 

Not big enough to avoid some territorial battles with Sweetie.

27. Do you have a laptop or desktop computer? 

My trusty laptop

29. What color are your sheets?
Beige, gold, red, and white. 
30. How many pillows do you sleep with?
Usually one 

31. What is your favorite season?
Spring 

32. What do you like about Autumn?
It’s not winter yet. 

33. What do you like about winter?
It’s only temporary.  

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…..and I have the scrapes and the headache to prove it!

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