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More progress on the reading list site

I probably spent 16 hours yesterday working on the backend code for my revised reading website. I continued working on it today, and my goal is to have the new site on panix by the end of the day today. I’ve got just about all of the back end coding done. A few minor things left and then, I need to finish writing the code to generate the static pages. Beyond that, just minor stuff. But I’m pretty happy with it at this point.

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Last minute productivity

It always seems to be a race to the end of the year. I’ve been feeling pretty lazy these last couple weeks but today I started knocking things off the old mental to-do list. I sent out a slew of “thank you” notes for various gifts I received for the holidays (is it me, or is the sending of a thank you note becoming a dying art?). I also finally got around to renewing my season tickets to the Orioles for 2006. It’s the same seats we’ve had the past 2 years, and the same price too for the 13 Sunday games. This year, however, 3 of those 13 games are against the Yankees, which means I’ll get to see them more than I normally do in a regular season.

I’m halfway though Forward the Foundation but should finish it tonight. That will complete my 4th reading of the entire original FOUNDATION books (although the last time was back in 1998). More on that later.

Jen heads back up to New York this afternoon on the Vamoose so the house will once again be quiet. My plan is to finish up my book, finish writing the remaining code for the new reading list site, and get started on a new short story.

Maybe I’ll even get the house cleaned up in between.

Last minute productivity

It always seems to be a race to the end of the year. I’ve been feeling pretty lazy these last couple weeks but today I started knocking things off the old mental to-do list. I sent out a slew of “thank you” notes for various gifts I received for the holidays (is it me, or is the sending of a thank you note becoming a dying art?). I also finally got around to renewing my season tickets to the Orioles for 2006. It’s the same seats we’ve had the past 2 years, and the same price too for the 13 Sunday games. This year, however, 3 of those 13 games are against the Yankees, which means I’ll get to see them more than I normally do in a regular season.

I’m halfway though Forward the Foundation but should finish it tonight. That will complete my 4th reading of the entire original FOUNDATION books (although the last time was back in 1998). More on that later.

Jen heads back up to New York this afternoon on the Vamoose so the house will once again be quiet. My plan is to finish up my book, finish writing the remaining code for the new reading list site, and get started on a new short story.

Maybe I’ll even get the house cleaned up in between.

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Getting ready for the new year

Lots of things to do, and I feel like I’m running in six different directions at once: trying to get my newly revised reading website up and running by January 1. Trying to complete Forward the Foundation before the end of the year. Trying to get this blog squared away so that I can make better use of it in the coming year. Trying to decide how to get started on two new stories (ideas come easy, getting started is always the hard part for me). Time’s running out. The new year is just around the corner…

Getting ready for the new year

Lots of things to do, and I feel like I’m running in six different directions at once: trying to get my newly revised reading website up and running by January 1. Trying to complete Forward the Foundation before the end of the year. Trying to get this blog squared away so that I can make better use of it in the coming year. Trying to decide how to get started on two new stories (ideas come easy, getting started is always the hard part for me). Time’s running out. The new year is just around the corner…

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Lihue, the first full day

As I mentioned yesterday, we all went to bed pretty early last night, right around 9 PM. I was pretty tired and dozed off almost right away, but I was awakened 40 minutes later by the sound of… well… I couldn’t quite tell where it was coming from because sound seems to echo among the buildings here, but somewhere nearby people were, you know… and it was pretty darn loud. I walked out onto the Lanai, curious to find out where it was coming from. We’d seen a honeymoon couple earlier in the day and I thought perhaps it was them. I never did find out who it was. It only lasted thirty seconds or so. I had the momentary mental fantasy of standing there on the balcony and saying into the night, “That was quick,” only to hear a disappointed woman’s voice say from somewhere in the darkness, “You’re telling me!” Instead I went back to sleep and slept through the night with the screen doors wide open listening to the sounds of the Pacific and slept soundly through the rest of the night.

I woke up around 6 AM. Dan was already up and eager to get started. He was out the door pretty early to scope out the beach conditions, and in particular, the wave conditions. After showering, we headed into town to get some groceries and have breakfast.

View of Hanalei Bay from our Lanai
View of Hanalei Bay from our Lanai
Breakfast on the balcony
Breakfast on the balcony
Dan gets ready to rent a surfboard
Dan gets ready to rent a surfboard

When we got back from town, we ate our breakfast out on the Lanai. Dan was getting a little stressed about renting a surfboard so he made a number of phone calls and finally found a place on the east shore that rented long boards at a good rate. He was out the door in a flash to get himself a board. In the meantime, Megan and I sat around on the porch chatting and waiting for Dan to return. Dan had taken his cellphone with him and when we called him, we found that he was in the parking lot. The fact that he had his cellphone with him plays an important part in the unfolding events so keep this in mind. When he finally got back (well over an hour later, it seemed) we prepared ourselves (sunscreen, towels, books, etc.) and made our way down to the beach.

We staked out a good place at the beach. It was mostly cloudy, but the air was warm and there was a strong offshore breeze, and most importantly, the water was warm. The waves were breaking pretty far out and Dan had to paddle out 200-300 yards to catch the wave. Megan and I sat on the beach, soaking up what sun we could, relaxing, and watching Dan surf. He was out there for quite a while, and had gotten a couple of good rides when suddenly, he came paddling in.

After giving us a brief description in surfer lingo of exactly how totally awesome it was out there, Dan mentioned that he’d come back in because he was sitting out there waiting for another wave when he began to vibrate. Well, not him exactly, but the cellphone that he’d put in his pocket when he’d gone to rent the surfboard. After so much time in the warm salt water, the phone finally shorted out. Among the pictures below, you’ll find the wrecked remains of Dan’s cellphone, first surfing casualty of the week.

Waxing up his surfboard
Megan keeps an eye on Dan while he surfs
Megan keeps an eye on Dan while he surfs
Paddling out
Paddling out
Riding a wave
Riding a wave
Ah, the view!
Ah, the view!
Returning home
Returning home
The infamous phone incident
The infamous phone incident

I did a little bit of swimming in the water but not much. There was a lot of coral and I cut myself on that the last time I was here back in 2001. Besides, my plan for today was to relax. I did manage to get one fairly decent picture of myself while I was in the water.

Cool cameo
Cool cameo

In the afternoon, we drove into Hanalei looking for something to eat. We ended up at a place called “Tropical Tacos” which is a famous local place that was once just a roadside van but is now a small restaurant. We had tacos, burritos and casadillas there. We then drove around Hanalei and eventually stopped so that Dan and Megan could get some flavored shaved ice which is popular here. I got a chocolate shake which was delicious and filled me up.

Back at the condo, feeling full, and with the sun setting, we decided to stay in for the evening. I downed a couple of bottles of Pacifico while Megan read Dan and I questions from the “Battle of the Sexes” game. Dan got a craving for some pineapple and went about slicing one up. He sliced a little too much and managed to get some of his finger.

Slicing pine apple (and fingers)
Slicing pine apple (and fingers)

Dan and Megan ended up watching one of the DVDs here (Lilo and Stitch). My plan was to catch Smallville at 8 PM. However, as I found out, Smallville airs at 7 PM here, as it does in Central time, so I missed it. Oh well.

I’m about ready to call it a night. Dan and Megan are already asleep. It’s raining lightly out right now and I’ve got the balcony doors open so I can listen to it. The plan for tomorrow depends on the weather. If its bright and sunny, we’re going to the beach again. If its overcast, we’re doing an all-day hike, 8 miles round-trip to get to a waterfall and natural pool. Either way, it should be fun.

Lihue, the first full day

As I mentioned yesterday, we all went to bed pretty early last night, right around 9 PM. I was pretty tired and dozed off almost right away, but I was awakened 40 minutes later by the sound of… well… I couldn’t quite tell where it was coming from because sound seems to echo among the buildings here, but somewhere nearby people were, you know… and it was pretty darn loud. I walked out onto the Lanai, curious to find out where it was coming from. We’d seen a honeymoon couple earlier in the day and I thought perhaps it was them. I never did find out who it was. It only lasted thirty seconds or so. I had the momentary mental fantasy of standing there on the balcony and saying into the night, “That was quick,” only to hear a disappointed woman’s voice say from somewhere in the darkness, “You’re telling me!” Instead I went back to sleep and slept through the night with the screen doors wide open listening to the sounds of the Pacific and slept soundly through the rest of the night.

I woke up around 6 AM. Dan was already up and eager to get started. He was out the door pretty early to scope out the beach conditions, and in particular, the wave conditions. After showering, we headed into town to get some groceries and have breakfast.

View of Hanalei Bay from our Lanai
View of Hanalei Bay from our Lanai
Breakfast on the balcony
Breakfast on the balcony
Dan gets ready to rent a surfboard
Dan gets ready to rent a surfboard

When we got back from town, we ate our breakfast out on the Lanai. Dan was getting a little stressed about renting a surfboard so he made a number of phone calls and finally found a place on the east shore that rented long boards at a good rate. He was out the door in a flash to get himself a board. In the meantime, Megan and I sat around on the porch chatting and waiting for Dan to return. Dan had taken his cellphone with him and when we called him, we found that he was in the parking lot. The fact that he had his cellphone with him plays an important part in the unfolding events so keep this in mind. When he finally got back (well over an hour later, it seemed) we prepared ourselves (sunscreen, towels, books, etc.) and made our way down to the beach.

We staked out a good place at the beach. It was mostly cloudy, but the air was warm and there was a strong offshore breeze, and most importantly, the water was warm. The waves were breaking pretty far out and Dan had to paddle out 200-300 yards to catch the wave. Megan and I sat on the beach, soaking up what sun we could, relaxing, and watching Dan surf. He was out there for quite a while, and had gotten a couple of good rides when suddenly, he came paddling in.

After giving us a brief description in surfer lingo of exactly how totally awesome it was out there, Dan mentioned that he’d come back in because he was sitting out there waiting for another wave when he began to vibrate. Well, not him exactly, but the cellphone that he’d put in his pocket when he’d gone to rent the surfboard. After so much time in the warm salt water, the phone finally shorted out. Among the pictures below, you’ll find the wrecked remains of Dan’s cellphone, first surfing casualty of the week.

Waxing up his surfboard
Megan keeps an eye on Dan while he surfs
Megan keeps an eye on Dan while he surfs
Paddling out
Paddling out
Riding a wave
Riding a wave
Ah, the view!
Ah, the view!
Returning home
Returning home
The infamous phone incident
The infamous phone incident

I did a little bit of swimming in the water but not much. There was a lot of coral and I cut myself on that the last time I was here back in 2001. Besides, my plan for today was to relax. I did manage to get one fairly decent picture of myself while I was in the water.

Cool cameo
Cool cameo

In the afternoon, we drove into Hanalei looking for something to eat. We ended up at a place called “Tropical Tacos” which is a famous local place that was once just a roadside van but is now a small restaurant. We had tacos, burritos and casadillas there. We then drove around Hanalei and eventually stopped so that Dan and Megan could get some flavored shaved ice which is popular here. I got a chocolate shake which was delicious and filled me up.

Back at the condo, feeling full, and with the sun setting, we decided to stay in for the evening. I downed a couple of bottles of Pacifico while Megan read Dan and I questions from the “Battle of the Sexes” game. Dan got a craving for some pineapple and went about slicing one up. He sliced a little too much and managed to get some of his finger.

Slicing pine apple (and fingers)
Slicing pine apple (and fingers)

Dan and Megan ended up watching one of the DVDs here (Lilo and Stitch). My plan was to catch Smallville at 8 PM. However, as I found out, Smallville airs at 7 PM here, as it does in Central time, so I missed it. Oh well.

I’m about ready to call it a night. Dan and Megan are already asleep. It’s raining lightly out right now and I’ve got the balcony doors open so I can listen to it. The plan for tomorrow depends on the weather. If its bright and sunny, we’re going to the beach again. If its overcast, we’re doing an all-day hike, 8 miles round-trip to get to a waterfall and natural pool. Either way, it should be fun.

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Travel Day/In Hawaii

Travel day today and all-in-all things went very smoothly. I didn’t have to get up too early since my flight to Lihue didn’t leave LAX until 1 PM. When I finally did get up, I watched last night’s episode of “House”, which I had taped. Doug and Rachel drove me to LAX at about 10 AM and I was at the gate by about 11:45 AM. I had upgraded my flight so I had a first class seat, 3B for the 6 hour flight to Lihue.

The flight departed LA on time and was completely uneventful. I watched Back to the Future III on my laptop to pass some time. The food was okay. I had a caesar salad to start, then a filet with mashed potatoes and finally, an ice cream sundae. About 1-1/2 hours out of Lihue the flight got pretty bumpy but that didn’t bother me. I tried coordinating the music I was listening to on my iPod to the bumps. I started out with “Ripple” by the Grateful Dead and eventually worked my way up to “Whiplash” by Metallica.

There was a strong crosswind on the approach to Lihue and I forgot just how short the runways are. Still, the pilots managed to put the plane down safely even with the 17 knot crosswinds and a 6000 foot runway. I was off the plane in a flash and made my way to the baggage claim, where I met Dan and Megan, but not before getting “laid”. They had arranged that for me and a nice Hawaiian woman put the flowers around my neck so I clearly looked like a tourist.

In LA, my baggage, completely unlabeled, had been the first bags out of the baggage claim. In Lihue, with my bags marked “Priority”, they were nearly the last bags off the plane. Once we had our luggage, we picked up our rental, which turned out to be a red Ford Mustang convertable. With the top down, we headed around the island making our way from Lihue (on the eastern shore) to Princeville on the north shore. It took about 45 minutes, but we arrived at the Hanalei Bay resort, checked in and had our bags taken to our condo. I took a couple of quick photos of the living room and dining area. The condo also features a full kitchen, and bedroom and a large Lanai that overlooks the bay.

Condo in Hawaii, dining and living room
Condo in Hawaii, dining and living room
Another view of the living room
Another view of the living room

Once we were settled in, we walked down to the beach. The sun had set and it was dark and we could barely see the path in front of us but we got down there safely. We stuck our feet in the Pacific and the water was warm. The stars were crystal clear and you could see the Milky Way cutting a swath across the sky almost directly overhead. Dan saw a shooting star but I missed it. I was too busy looking for satellites. It was gorgeous.

We had dinner at the Bali Hai, an excellent restaurant right on the resort. I had tiger shrimp and scallops. I also tried out a local beer, which wasn’t too bad. For dessert, I had the Chocolate Mousse cake. By the time we were finished with dinner, we were exhausted. 9 PM Hawaii Standard time is 2 AM Eastern Standard time. This was the first time I’d ever been more than 3 times zones away from home.

Travel

Condo in Hawaii, dining and living room
Condo in Hawaii, dining and living room
Another view of the living room
Another view of the living room

Travel Day/In Hawaii

Travel day today and all-in-all things went very smoothly. I didn’t have to get up too early since my flight to Lihue didn’t leave LAX until 1 PM. When I finally did get up, I watched last night’s episode of “House”, which I had taped. Doug and Rachel drove me to LAX at about 10 AM and I was at the gate by about 11:45 AM. I had upgraded my flight so I had a first class seat, 3B for the 6 hour flight to Lihue.

The flight departed LA on time and was completely uneventful. I watched Back to the Future III on my laptop to pass some time. The food was okay. I had a caesar salad to start, then a filet with mashed potatoes and finally, an ice cream sundae. About 1-1/2 hours out of Lihue the flight got pretty bumpy but that didn’t bother me. I tried coordinating the music I was listening to on my iPod to the bumps. I started out with “Ripple” by the Grateful Dead and eventually worked my way up to “Whiplash” by Metallica.

There was a strong crosswind on the approach to Lihue and I forgot just how short the runways are. Still, the pilots managed to put the plane down safely even with the 17 knot crosswinds and a 6000 foot runway. I was off the plane in a flash and made my way to the baggage claim, where I met Dan and Megan, but not before getting “laid”. They had arranged that for me and a nice Hawaiian woman put the flowers around my neck so I clearly looked like a tourist.

In LA, my baggage, completely unlabeled, had been the first bags out of the baggage claim. In Lihue, with my bags marked “Priority”, they were nearly the last bags off the plane. Once we had our luggage, we picked up our rental, which turned out to be a red Ford Mustang convertable. With the top down, we headed around the island making our way from Lihue (on the eastern shore) to Princeville on the north shore. It took about 45 minutes, but we arrived at the Hanalei Bay resort, checked in and had our bags taken to our condo. I took a couple of quick photos of the living room and dining area. The condo also features a full kitchen, and bedroom and a large Lanai that overlooks the bay.

Condo in Hawaii, dining and living room
Condo in Hawaii, dining and living room
Another view of the living room
Another view of the living room

Once we were settled in, we walked down to the beach. The sun had set and it was dark and we could barely see the path in front of us but we got down there safely. We stuck our feet in the Pacific and the water was warm. The stars were crystal clear and you could see the Milky Way cutting a swath across the sky almost directly overhead. Dan saw a shooting star but I missed it. I was too busy looking for satellites. It was gorgeous.

We had dinner at the Bali Hai, an excellent restaurant right on the resort. I had tiger shrimp and scallops. I also tried out a local beer, which wasn’t too bad. For dessert, I had the Chocolate Mousse cake. By the time we were finished with dinner, we were exhausted. 9 PM Hawaii Standard time is 2 AM Eastern Standard time. This was the first time I’d ever been more than 3 times zones away from home.

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Travel

Condo in Hawaii, dining and living room
Condo in Hawaii, dining and living room
Another view of the living room
Another view of the living room

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Dinner at Andy and Mandy’s

Doug, Rachel and I went over to Andy and Mandy’s for dinner tonight and had a great time. Lisa was there as well (although she went home early because she wasn’t feeling well). Andy cooked a ton and a half of chicken and tri-tips on the grill, we had a delicious salad and we brought dessert along with us. We spent a few hours there and had a really nice time.

At the end of the evening, just before we left, Andy and I posed for a photo, to re-enact a photo that was taken of us 15 years ago at our high school graduation. The older photo, which recently surfaced is hillarious, mainly because of our amusing hair styles. But we couldn’t resist posing for it again, and decided we’d do it once again in 15 more years. the new photo is below. Click on the photo to see it in full size and you’ll see that we are holding the original photo from 15 years ago.

Andy and I, 15 years later

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