Swim Today

Swimming out toward the ms Oosterdam
Turn around point – the Glass Bottom Boat is coming back too.
Heading home – it was a lovely day out here in the middle of the ocean.

(And, at this instant it is a wonderful evening in Alabama.)

The plan is coming together for the Australia Adventure. I played with various scenarios today. And, I know it can be hot as the hinges of hades especially in Northern Australia is February – but – so is DC in August.  

Think that for sure I’ll come back to Kona for 3 or 4 days after the adventure. It is a lot cheaper to fly back here and then on to DC – rather than leaving for the Asylum  from Sydney  or Perth. I can also leave my computer, jeans, jacket, gloves, etc here. None of these things will be needed. 

(Still good in Alabama!)

Monk Seals Today.

Monk Seal – the small one – she is all dried off.
Monk Seal – the big one

After starting and finishing our holiday shopping – Billy and I went for a little walk. A couple of female monk seals are known to hang out in this area and we were lucky to see both of them.  Male monk seals are in the 300-400 pound range and the females are bigger. This is a good place to hang out. Not many people. And, just off shore is a fish farm – which must supplement their diet with some easy pickings. 

Billy was going to our candy factory to get candy for his Xmas presents – I went along for the ride and decided to get a box myself to use as my “Secret Santa” gift. That is it for my Xmas shopping. Still have to finish my Xmas Butterflies. 

Sign at the candy factory cash register. Guess their customers aren’t too bright. Chocolate shopping for dummies!

Adventure Plan Monday.

  • Kona to east coast of Australia. Direct flights from Honolulu to Sydney, Brisbane and Melborne. Leave stuff at hotel.
  • Spend a couple of days east coast of Australia – then take plane to Adelaide and take the train to Darwin. It isn’t the best time of year for this trip – but I am running out of adventure time in my life.
  • Figure out how to get to Ningaloo Reef in Western Australia – Snorkel with whale sharks.  OOPS, wrong time of the year for this. 
  • Head to Perth.
  • Train to Sydney. 
  • Back to Kona. Collect stuff. Rest up a few days and head home. 

That is Plan Monday. 

 

 

Busy in the Ocean Today.

Yep, that’s a dog
The usual fishy suspects.
And a small turtle.

There was also a 2,000 passenger cruise ship at anchor and the normal Sunday assortment of paddlers, kayaks, and kids.

This evening is the boat parade. The boat parade is a new thing, but – it doesn’t seem to be taking off. I think it is an excuse to drink. And our drinking village with a fishing problem doesn’t really need an excuse to drink. 

Thinking about my next adventure. Seriously, my life is in 2 minute drill mode. It’s now or never. And, there is still stuff to do and places to see. Train across Australia maybe. Stop off in Fairbanks and hope for aurora. Just thinking at this instant.

Starting to feel a little “old”. My general plan is to walk 5 miles a day and 30 minute swim or 60 minutes of yoga. Well, my muscles don’t seem to be with the program anymore. I remember that Carlton had to cut back his tennis schedule after he hit 70. He kept of swimming and bike riding. But, he never swam more than 10 minutes at a time. And, he wasn’t into long bike rides. His major exercise was killer tennis. My major exercise is walking. How do you know how much you can/should be doing as you age?

I suspect that aging is like tapping and mudding drywall. But the time you are finished you have gotten pretty good at it. 

Kona Xmas Parade.

Nothing like a nice big truck for Xmas.

A nice friendly breeze unfurled the flag. I take all the help I can get with hand held night shots. 

The parade was 2 hours of good old fashioned small town fun.

Jeanné Kapela

This pretty girl was a favorite of mine. She is 23 years old and announced last week that she was running for the State House of Representatives. How cool is that? Exactly what this country needs – young people getting involved. 

A most satisfactory day. 

Lazy Day

Money Laundering

Today’s big (only) event was laundry. Not only did I not sort my clothes by color, texture, fabric, degree of filth or any other  criteria – apparently I didn’t check the pockets either. After washing; I just chucked everything in the dryer, plugged in a whole bunch of quarters and dried the entire mess on “HOT” for 35 minutes. So much for my domestic skills.

“Alexa, 35 minute timer, please.” Well, that was another event. I got Alexa tethered to my iPad again. And I played with using video clips a blog header. 

And, I went to a little Christmas program at Carlton’s Palace. It was after dark. And, I didn’t bring my monopod. I was tried of it after the Last Great Photo Shoot. I don’t hold out much hope for any of the pictures. How good can f1.8 @ ISO 3200-4000 be? We’ll see tomorrow when I download the images.

Tomorrow is Grace Hopper’s Birthday. You might want to pause for a nanosecond of silence.

How much do I miss seeing?

Christian So Called College Dunking Converts – Where is a kraken when you need one?

Sorry, I am not real tolerant of the religion these days.

Went out for a swim this morning. It was just OK. The water was clear. But, the fish were none too plenty and I was sort of fighting the current. So, I head back to shallow waters. 

And… what do I find but an octopus.

Trust me, that is an octopus

As soon as I spotted him he oozed under a rock – not to be seen again by me, at least. But, that was cool. I spotted an octopus. 

I continue mostly floating in. 

Ah, some nice convict tangs. But wait…

But, wait – is that a fin? Could that really be a huge Devil Scorpion Fish? In less than a foot of water?

Yes, that’s a fin and an eye.

Not a rock. A huge devil scorpion fish. If I poked him, he would move a couple of inches and flash the orange insides of his fins at me. But, this is a big old fish. It would be rude to disturb him/her just for a photo op. 

Float around and look at the happy face.

Devil Scorpionfish are not as bad as their name indicates. But, if you step on one or grab one – you will get stung. Not fatal. But attention getting for sure. If a little fish swims by this big boy will open that mouth and inhale the unfortunate little fish.

So, today’s little lesson from Mother Nature, who is a bitch, is about seeing. And not seeing. And, it could be about survival by blending in. 

So, my just OK swim turned out to be great. I just have to see the unseen.

 

When will I learn?

When will I learn, if it is working – don’t fix it. I had Alexa tethered to my iPad. It had been working 24/7 for a couple of weeks. Well, today, I decided to ruin a perfectly good afternoon. I decided to move Alexa. When I plugged her back in – I couldn’t get her to connect to the iPad again. I tried everything. Now, I have no Alexa. 

Other than that, it was a nice (but chilly) day. I did most of my year-end financial stuff. Cleaned out some more of my digital clutter. This time – the contacts. Not sure why I  worry about how many contracts I have. Yesterday, I read that David Rockefeller had 200,000 cards in this custom Rolodex. He who dies with the biggest Rolodex wins!

 

Tuesday…

Another in the occasional series – Views the Tourist Bureau Don’t Want You To See… Everyone has to live somewhere.

It is a sad and tragic photo – but sort of sweet too. The dog has a shirt to keep him warm. 

Friend Billy wanted a picture of this cool bike – if one picture is good three is better. 

The Felt Bicycle
The Felt Bicycle
The Felt Bicycle

Today was mostly about swimming. I left my camera on shore and just swam. Then I swam back. I didn’t see anything that made me regret leaving the camera. 

Back home, nice hot bubble bath, lunch, nap, do some work for the hospital, go for a little walk, now it is time to decide what to fix for dinner. It is “cold”. Maybe, I’ll make a can of soup! 

Monday

Sunrise at the old airport

Today was a grim day in the USA. The orange lord’s tax legislation is a train wreck for all but the uber rich. The orange lord’s lawyer says that “President cannot obstruct justice because he is the chief law enforcement officer under [the Constitution’s Article II]…” The orange lord destroyed two national monuments. And that is just the top level crap.

How to deal with the end of my country as I knew it? Nothing lasts forever. If the younger people want what “we” wanted starting with Roosevelt (either one) through JFK, LBJ, Clinton, Obama et al. If they want that vision of America – well they will have to get their butts to the polls for each and every election. From dog catcher to president. It is time for a “new generation”. 

Sunday

Hawaiian sergeant major

These little guys were everywhere today. 

Nice Sunday. Logged my five miles walking  and 30 minutes of swimming. And, resupplied my “kitchen”. Today’s bonus was chicken caesar salad from Costco. 

Also, got some more bath goodies. I am taking full advantage of my hotel room’s tub. The Old Bat Cave is a senior safe tub free unit. I am sure it is “for my own good”. 

Better late than never: been playing Sea Hero Quest – as a video game – it is rather lame. But, as a concept it is pretty cool. Sort of citizen science like the old Seti project when we “donated” our PCs downtime to search for intelligent life in the universe. Maybe we should try searching for intelligent life here in the USA? 

But, Sea Hero Quest is a cute little cartoony game – what you do and how you do it goes to researchers in the UK who are studying dementia. Read about it. 

The Apple of Sodom as in … and Gomorrah

mystery tree – old airport

Earlier this month on one of our morning walks – Billy asks – What is that?

It looked vaguely familiar. It is about as tall as I am, has slightly misshaped large fruits, and small flowers. I think it might be some sort of cocoa plant, except it isn’t. I don’t think much more of the mystery tree.

Until. Thursday, when I am going walkabout at the old airport. I wander over to check it out more carefully. 

The flowers.
The fruit – or is it a veggie? Actually – it is a seed pod!
Calotropis Procera – HUGE milkweed – Apple of Sodom

When I see the seeds I realized that this is a monster milkweed. A milkweed tree.  Google declares it to be Calotropis Procera – Apple of Sodom. (Solanum linnaeanum is also called Apple of Sodom.) But this big thing is the Biblical Apple of Sodom. Josephus, that ever popular Roman Jewish historian saw  growing near Sodom: “…as well as the ashes growing in their fruits; which fruits have a color as if they were fit to be eaten, but if you pluck them with your hands, they dissolve into smoke and ashes.” 

The Apple of Sodom has been used by John Milton, Marilyn Manson, JS Bach and others as an allegory for something that looks great on the outside – but is something else entirely on the inside. Did I mention it’s latex sap contains some serious cardiac poisons? 

Have a nice day. An Apple of Sodom a day keeps long life away. A totally unpleasant plant. 

The menu from the Asylum for today has Lobster Mac and Cheese as a choice. I will have Avocado Mac and Cheese. 

Kiss Your Ass Goodbye

The State of Hawai’i wants us to take cover and stay covered for 14 days. I don’t think so. I plan to grab some beers, sit on the pier and watch show. 

Kiss your ass goodbye.

On more positive notes: I got passport photos today. And, winter friends from Wyoming arrived last night.