|Never does everything go right on a trip. Every traveler knows that. But with some preparation, the number of hiccups tends to go down. This recent trip to Hawaii seemed to have more than its fair share of hiccups, at least from the get go, starting with a 6 hour plan delay that put us into Maui in the middle of the night, long after our hotel's shuttle stopped working forcing up to sleep in a homeless camp on the beach. But those things happen.
The big hiccup that altered our trip severly was one I never saw coming. We were quite rudely refused service on Maui Public Transit due to the size of our luggage(which I would have been happy to carry on my lap). So all the planning of figuring out the schedules/routes to get us to the frisbee tourney, to campsites, and back out to the airport was lost. I was stunned at the this rule and the rudeness with which it was enforced.
An inquiry to the transit agency after our trip was rather unhelpful as to ascertaining the reasoning behind such a limiting regulation. "The rules regarding luggage size are from City and County of Honolulu." I, personally, suspect that there is a more underhanded motivation behind the rule, to discourage tourists from using the service, instead pushing them to car rental to help boost the island's economy. Call me a cynic, I guess.
So where did that leave us, all transportation plans shot? At the whim of strangers, that's where. But luckily, we found quite a few friendly ones, specifically ones associated with the Maui Hat Draw frisbee tourney* who toted us out to tournament site and helped us find a nice campsite afterward. It also pushed us to the time-honored tradition of hitchhiking, something neither of us has done much but took too rather easily.
While in the end the trip turned out awesome despite the epic fail of the local transit agency, I can't help but have my faith in public transportation slightly shaken by the experience. If I can't believe in the bus, what can I believe in? Am I going to have to become a car-renting, gasoline-burning tourist like the rest of them? We'll see, I guess, as I've got another adventure just around the corner.
|Thursday March 7 2013||File under: hawaii, transportation|
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|How do you summarize a trip where you didn't really do anything? I can't say "we went to a luau, surfed, and ate fresh coconut every day" because we didn't. But that doesn't mean we didn't have a great time, because we did. And I suppose it would be a bit of a stretch to say we did nothing. While most of our time was spent lounging at the campsite or meandering around Lahaina, we had a few noteworthy experiences.
We saw many breaches of the humpback whales (often right from the beach at our campsite), ate some of the local cuisine, hitchhiked*, hiked to get a geocache, saw the largest banyan tree in the U.S., were warm, reveled in fun yet insignificant discoveries, and just enjoyed hanging out together.
And in terms of bang for our buck, I think we did pretty dang well. The whole concept behind the trip was let's go hang out somewhere warm and not spend oodles of money (hence the camping, hitching, spam, etc.) And while the final receipts haven't come in yet, I know we did amazingly well.
Yep, Hawaii ain't such a bad place to hang out for a week. In fact, I might just have to do it again next year.
|Saturday March 2 2013||File under: travel, hawaii|
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|Wednesday February 27 2013||File under: travel, Hawaii|
|After taking a bit of a break from crossword creation, I'm back at it. I posted a while ago about the puzzle I submitted to the New York Times. Well, I got a very cordial "no-way bub" response*, so that means I can now make it available to ya'll! It can be found here or at on the games page.
Since then, I've put together two new ones, both of which I think are pretty dang neat. They can both be found over at the games page as well. Format wise, I've forgone the html online version in favor of just .pdf and .puz. If you're greatly missing the html version, let me know and I'll resurrect it.
One puzzle is worth calling attention to: A Reason For Celebrating was created as a welcome to the world for baby Soren (although in reality, it'll be at least 8 months before he's figuring out "Rooty Tooty Fresh 'N Fruity spot" in 4 letters.)
Anyway, do the puzzles, share them with your puzzle-oriented friends, and let me know what you think. I've farmed a few more out in hopes of getting published, but I'm not holding my breath. I'll no doubt keep you posted on if anything ever comes of that. In the meantime, I'll keep cranking out puzzles. Because if nothing else, I certainly enjoy them.
|Wednesday February 20 2013||File under: games|
|In case you haven't heard the exciting news, Jule and Katy recently welcomed a happy and healthy baby Soren into this world. From all accounts, all the birthy things went well, although us men-folk are sometimes spared those details so for the full story, you'll have to go to the source or Auntie Fern or Uma. I can tell you he's a big baby, tipping the scales at 9lbs!
It's high on my agenda to get down there and get in some good uncling time soon. Until then, I will be watching the Baby Soren picture stream and you can too. It's linked to over in the right hand column* or here.
|Saturday February 16 2013||File under: family|
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|This year's entreaty for Roses are red poems is coming a little late. That means you better get your submission in pronto! And remember, the more entries the more fun! (Rules as always: gotta use either "Rose" or "red" in the poem and it must follow the standard Roses are red rhyming/stress scheme.) Happy composing!
|Wednesday February 13 2013||File under: poetry, holidays|
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|This photo, taken of last night's sunset and then pretty-ified with instagram, is meant to represent what I'm up to: chillin'. While I can't, for the life of me, think of what I've been busy with the previous 6 months or so, I feel like I haven't gotten a proper chance to indulge the lazy life that I once knew so well. These past couple weeks have been a return to that easy life, and it's been so nice.
Lazy and easy doesn't mean I'm not productive. I'm working on all the projects that have built up for me over the past months, both for myself and for others. I'm making websites, printing troothpicks, knitting(!), writing*, making crosswords*, and getting travel plans ironed out.
Lazy and easy, however, does mean that there is time for non-productivity too. I'm catching up on reading, tv, baking, and lots of Words and Scramble with Friends*. It's easy to let myself enjoy this because I know it's not meant to last. With spring travel then summer circus season just around the bend, I better enjoy the lazy life while I can.
|Saturday February 9 2013||File under: misc|
|It has been a really long time since I've made a beard post*. This is partially because I've been bearded more than normal this past year, and partially because I'm having a hard time coming up with new beard art ideas. This time around, however, I thought I try to employ a little technological fanciness for some fun.
If you aren't using Internet Explorer, click here to see the fun canvas version. (If you are using Internet Explorer, click here to learn why you're doing it wrong.)
|Sunday February 3 2013||File under: beard|
|The last year and a half have been the least travelly of my adult life. Besides a few short domestic trips (Maine, Las Vegas), two stints with the circus (Alasqua, Oregon), and a handful of trips to Portland, I've mostly been hanging out in good old Northwest Washington. While it's been nice to see what the sedentary life is all about*, the travel urge has been growing. I happy to announce that plans are in the works!
Firstly, Della and I are headed to Hawaii at the end of February, with the current plan being Maui for 5ish days and Oahu for 4ish days. Besides a frisbee tournament on Maui and visiting some friends on Oahu, we don't have any huge agenda. Also, that means we are open to suggestion (including, but not limited to, friend-of-a-friend hookups! Otherwise the plan is to camp on the beach eat sand flies.)
Secondly, and [I can't help but saying] way more excitingly, is that we are going on a cruise!!!(!!!) Of all the ways I picture myself travelling, a cruise is probably towards the bottom of the list*. But an opportunistic traveller takes what he can get. It turns out that if you keep your eyes open, you can get ridiculously good cruise deals.
Our cruise goes from San Juan, Puerto Rico to Lisbon, Portugal, with stops on St. Thomas and Sint Maartin. It's 10 days with [all-you-can-eat] food and room included*. And what was the price? $299pp! Of course with taxes and mandatory gratuity, that price jumps to more like $470pp and you have to get yourself to Puerto Rico and back from Portugal, but still! I'm stoked.
It's my hope, that since I'm already in Europe, I will putz around there a bit afterwards, but that's all yet to be decided. April/May of 2013 is going to be a heck of a ride!
Just the thought of getting back on the road has me more excited than I can convey. Hopefully, besides a healthy tan, some awesome new experiences, and a few more places to add to my "been there" list, I'll also get a few fun blog posts out of it. So stay tuned!
|Thursday January 31 2013||File under: travel|
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|I'm not much of a celebrity hound. If I passed Usher on the streets of Anacortes, 1) I totally wouldn't recognize him and 2) if he was pointed out to me, I gaze curiously for a moment and then move on. But there are a few people out there who do get true celebrity status in my eyes. Last night, I got to go see one of them speak.
Ken Jennings first attained fame through an epic run on Jeopardy!, earning a cool $3.7mil. Since then, he's taken to writing books. I've read Braniac, a history of trivia interwoven with his experience on Jeopardy! and Maphead, a great look at geography nerds of all types. I recommend them both highly.
Last night, he was speaking a Village Books in Bellingham about his latest book Because I Said So!, an interesting look into the facts behind the myths and lies our parents told us when we were kids. He recounted some of the facts from the book and they were quite funny. I don't know if I've ever go to hear an author speak, and I was pleasantly surprised by the experience.
Afterwards, I stood in line to get a book signed only to realize it was already signed! Solution: have him sign it again!
Celebrity-ism is funny to me, but also neat. All in all, a neat experience!
|Friday January 25 2013||File under: books|
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