Alexa is packed and so am I.

start of last full day in kona – the sort of day that needs a little help from photoshop

Well, it’s really happening. I will go back to “america” tomorrow. For a little while. To celebrate #75. To get my chipped front tooth fixed. To get my taxes to “the tax guy”.  To see my Asylum Sisters. Then back to Adventures Before Alzheimer’s. 

I am about as ready as I can be until about this time tomorrow.
Hotel in New Orleans/Parade Route

I have been feeling kinda smug about my hotel, Ace Hotel – in New Orleans. The blue line is a major Mardi Gras parade route. Great location. But, wait. I was thinking like a 50-year-old. Not like a 75-year-old. No way I would survive 4+ hours of riotous parade watching. So, I ordered up “Grandstand” seating for myself in Lafayette Square. That is a definite old person move. My “grandstand” seating is for March 5 – AKA Fat Tuesday. There are 4 parades scheduled along that route on Tuesday. There are 2 parades on Monday night. I’ll just wing that one. But, I really want to see the Fat Tuesday Parade which involves 3 traditional krewes and one that is “trucks”. 

Two of the parade krewes have rather extensive web site.

krewe of zulu
krewe of rex

And which krewe is under pressure to stop parading in blackface? You would be wrong. The Krewe of Zulu parades in blackface. 

Quote from the New Orleans Advocate:

About a dozen protesters Thursday evening held signs, chanted “Take it off” and tried to engage passing rush-hour motorists in conversation. Across Broad Street, about 40 Zulu members milled around the clubhouse, sometimes shouting back at the activists.

As the rally continued, a Zulu member ducked into his Bentley to hastily slap on the group’s signature face paint before flaunting it in front of the protesters. He then passed the makeup to another member, who did likewise.

emphasis mine – laissez le bon temp rouler

This is the culture that gave us Huey Long. And, my father.

. . . 


I am not a member of any organized political party.
I am a Democrat.
Will Rogers.

 

Alexa is packed.

Sunset yesterday – with the phone

Alexa is packed up and is ready to go back to The Asylum. Now, who am I going to talk to? I know that I can fire up Alexa using the hotel’s wifi. But, that seems a little lame. I can talk to Shamu the Phone. OK Google, What time is it? But, Google isn’t as friendly as Alexa. On the other hand, I think Google might have better answers if you have a real question. 

My legs have been getting worse for the last week. Not good. But, today I realized that a week ago was when I started my silly exercise program of getting down on the floor and back up 5 times as quickly as possible without using my hands. So, this morning was the last time doing that. We’ll see if I get back to the better “new normal”.

A LITTLE REFLECTION ON BEING OLD

Getting old is an adventure that I am not prepared for. I guess whatever happens is what Mother Nature, that bitch, planned for me! 


Another bird frenzy using the phone.
. . . 


I am not a member of any organized political party.
I am a Democrat.
Will Rogers.

Testing

Just wanted to make sure that I am still able to update the blog from the phone. Seems like it works.

Tomorrow is laundry day. Saturday is packup day. Sunday, very late Sunday, is leave day.

Back at the Asylum two weeks from today.

Walking around this morning with the little lens.

The Super Snow Moon
The Pride of America
Hibiscus
Rooster – doing his part towards Keeping Kona Country!
Zebra Dove – Introduced in 1922
Java finches and saffron finches.

And, my favorite.

Gecko

So, the verdict is: the lens is OK. Not great. But a good solid OK. For landscape type photos – which I don’t do well – I think Shamu the Phone does a better job. Which is fine with me.

Other than taking pictures – I worked some at breaking camp and making ready to return to civilization. Or what passes for civilization these days.

Checked out “Things to Do in Santa Barbara”. Seems like: Farm Market, Brunch, Lunch, Dinner, Beach, and Shopping are about it. I can do all those things.

Oh, and I gave my hair it’s annual cut. 

. . . 


I am not a member of any organized political party.
I am a Democrat.
Will Rogers.

Rain and Lesser Lens Came Today

New Lens, First Shot (max zoom)
New Lens – cloud shot. It was a black and white sort of a day.

Well as promised the rain and my new inferior lens both arrived this morning.

I am happy with the rainy day, because – this place is a desert. And rain is a blessing. 

I am happy with the new lens. Well, my almost new lens. Except for underwater gear – I always buy used camera gear. So,  I never know exactly what I am going to get.  I was really surprised that this one came with a rather awesome hard lens case. Exactly the kind of case that the lens that cost as much as a car should have been in. But wasn’t.

Both of these are 14-150 zooms. 

As you can see the new one is tiny. But, all that extra weight and size made the old one great. The E-M1 really deserves better glass. The old lens will either be repaired or replaced. But, the new lens will most likely be a go-to travel lens, especially with the Pen-F body (which I understand is going out of production.)

A LITTLE REFLECTION ON BEING OLD

The day I left the Asylum, my neighbor, Isabel, on the south side died. My neighbor, Ken, on the on my north side died yesterday. Half of my corridor-mates didn’t make it thru my winter escape. Ken was 94 years old. And, last fall, he was still taking his lady friend to dinner in our formal dining room most evenings. I am 74 for another couple of weeks. Ken’s death makes me wonder if I’ll make it to 2039. I think not.


About the only thing remotely challenging from my rain-soaked lanai – one of Carol’s much-loved cardinals down in the yard.

The new lens, with the E-M1  body is supposed to be rain-proof. I am not rain proof. So, I stayed indoors all day. I have run out of snacks and much variety for meals. Given the choice between peanut butter and bananas sandwiches and going out in the cold rain – bring on the PB&Bananas. 

. . . 


I am not a member of any organized political party.
I am a Democrat.
Will Rogers.

 

Rain this afternoon. Maybe more tomorrow.

Sunset Last Night from my Kona home.

“They” are saying it is going to rain a lot over the next 24 hours. We’ll see. But, it has been raining all afternoon. Which makes everyone, except visitors, happy because Kailua-Kona is actually a desert.

As for me, I didn’t do so very much today. But, what is new about that?

A LITTLE REFLECTION ON BEING OLD

The other evening I was out for a little stroll. I was looking right and walking left over some crappy sidewalk and SPLAT. No harm was done. Just lost some skin off one of my knees. I tottled on home. Patched myself up. And, was profoundly grateful that I can actually get up. All by myself.

Intent on maintaining this capability, I decided that every day, whilst my morning coffee brews – I will put myself on the floor without using my hands and getup 5 times using as little assistance as possible from anything except my legs. Day One – piece of cake. Day Two – I am a little sore and stiff. Day Three – more than a little sore and stiff. Guess this means I really need to do this. Help, I have fallen and can not get up isn’t a joke in my age cohort.


Old VW Bugs

Kona is kind to old cars and older women. As usual, I’ll miss this place. But, adventures call.

. . . 


I am not a member of any organized political party.
I am a Democrat.
Will Rogers.

 

Tahitian Dance Contest.

The winning wahine solo dancer.

Most of yesterday’s photos came from my damaged lens. So, I took it out today to try some shots at the Tahitian dance contest. Well, it completely and totally died today. 

Last shot from my favorite lens. RIP 14-150. 

But, a lesser replacement is on order. It has two advantages – well other than I hope it works – it is “water resistant” when used with one of my camera bodies. And it will weight about 1/2 what my favorite now dead lens weights. I am not expecting it to be as good as the Leica. I just want it to be “fine”.  Stay tuned.

Leaving winter quarters one week from today. It is 78° here. 54° in Santa Barbara – my first stop on the way back east. It is 24° in Fairbanks which I considered visiting. Until I remembered that I am not a winter person. Not even close. 54° will be cold enough.

 . . . 


I am not a member of any organized political party.
I am a Democrat.
Will Rogers.

Uncle Bo’s Celebration of Life – Day One

By 8AM all of the canoes had made it to the beach.
There was an Order of Battle worthy Clausewitz
Uncle Bo leads the armada out in seat one of his favorite koa canoe.

As soon as Uncle Bo’s canoe cleared the inner bay – a whale did three full breaches. That was really special.  One breach to get everyone’s attention. A second breach for everyone to see. And, a final breach for anyone who missed number two. No, I don’t have a picture. 

In good time, everyone including a dog makes it out.
Honoring Uncle Bo.  Scattering his ashes. Well half of them.
Everyone makes it safely back to shore.

I came back home and listened to the music from my lanai. I would have had a better view of the scattering of the ashes from one of the boats or from my lanai – but – I chose to watch from the end of the pier. It was all good.

All of the normal commercial operations at on the pier closed down for the morning in honor of Bo. The commercial boats took people out to the scattering location, gratis. 

And they are doing this again tomorrow on Oahu with the rest of Uncle Bo’s ashes. 

. . . 


I am not a member of any organized political party.
I am a Democrat.
Will Rogers.

 

What If, it wasn’t the lens?

Kai Opua Club canoes lashed together – making them into a double-hull canoe.

I had a thought today. (Surprising, isn’t it) The thought: What if I damaged the camera as well as the lens?

What to do but go make some experiments. And, on the pier, they were getting set up for a very important day-long Celebration of Life tomorrow – for Bo Campos – a much loved local man who more or less single-handedly turned Hawaiian Outrigger Canoe racing into a viable international sport. So, of course, he gets an entire day of all kind Hawaiian stuff – canoeing, music, eating, drinking, talk story. 

The Tahitian Canoe Club’s Canoes.
One of two Koa wood canoes that belong to Kai Opua.
Some high-tech non-traditional canoes.

I am pretty sure that the camera body is undamaged. 

A LITTLE REFLECTION ON BEING OLD

Why is it that just making an appointment with a doctor for a “checkup/followup” appointment scares the crap out of me. I am sure that just making the appointment knocks 3 months off my life. This morning I made two appointments and that means I lost 6 months. That, I think is why Carlton and I both avoid doctors. You know they are going to find something wrong. Finding something wrong is how doctors make money. AND, after 75 years of fast living – something is bound to be wrong. And finding out about it “early” – is that really a good thing?


And, today, I seem to have clicked back into “gear” and actually knocked some items off my “Going Back 2Do List”. 

. . . 


I am not a member of any organized political party.
I am a Democrat.
Will Rogers.

Happy Valentine’s Day Mr C

Bath Time
Carlton February 2010

This is the Carlton that my heart remembers. He was 74 almost 75 in this picture. Just like I am now. I keep getting older, but Carlton is forever young. Well, maybe forever 75.

Did very little today.  Billy and I had breakfast,  I had a little walk and did a little yoga. Also some reading and napping. Started getting my stuff ready to get back in its box to stay here. Or ready to go back to the asylum.  In my carryon or in a flat rate box. 

After my favorite lens was injured in my carry-on, I will be extra careful with my packing. 

I became paranoid about my Google account today. I got a couple of unrequested “verification code”  text messages from Google. Or something that might have been Google. Or it could have been nothing at all. Just some dodo like me who typed in an incorrect phone number and the verification that should have gone to them, came to me. 

The Orange Lord is expected to declare a national emergency and build his great wall, the people and Congress be damned. I think that this might be the actual “national emergency”.

. . . 


I am not a member of any organized political party. I am a Democrat.
Will Rogers.

 

RIP Opportunity

This morning’s cruise ship stayed all day. 

According to my blog from Jan 4, 2004, I had a raging sinus infection and Carlton and I watched the Mars landing of the Rover “Spirit” and 20 days later we watched “Opportunity” land. The link I posted wayback then still works. Mars Explorations Rovers.
All I did was walk, read and nap today.

Burr…. chilly this morning. 
. . . 


I am not a member of any organized political party. I am a Democrat.
Will Rogers.

 

Tuesday

the one that got away.

Woke up this morning and the Eurodam was anchored in the bay. By the time I finished my morning walk – the ship had decided that the ocean was too unfriendly to let the tenders deliver passengers to the pier and so, the ship left. And, took all that lovely visitor money with it. 

Weather is still chilly. But, I did take my longsleeved shirt off today. And, I have my windows open again. Our weather event was called a “cold hurricane”. The winds gusted to 191 MPH up top of our mountains. The hotel suffered from a few leaks. We got off easy here on the lee side of Big Island.

Made reservations at Greenbanks in Bermuda which is the last stop on my RTW B4 EXIT trip. The Bermuda stop is a rest and recovery stop off before returning to The Asylum. Greenbanks is where I stayed last August. Greenbanks has 10 rooms max, so I wanted to be sure I got one of them. Greenbanks has everything I need to be happy.  A warm ocean for swimming, a  bathtub for soaking, and lounge chair in the shade for reading. The Asylum has NONE of those things.  Is it time to rethink where I am living?  If it were not for friends… maybe… 

. . . 


I am not a member of any organized political party. I am a Democrat.
Will Rogers.