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“Any sufficiently analyzed magic is indistinguishable from science.” - Girl Genius, by Kaja & Phil Foglio

"Any sufficiently advanced technology is indistinguishable from magic." - Arthur C. Clarke

Perspective, it's all about perspective ...

Saturday, December 28, 2013

Skunk Battle at the Corner Condo

A skunk dug a den under my patio. This usually happens in the spring, but this year the critter waited until fall. Exactly one week before I was leaving on my vacation, I woke to the house smelling like a tribe of skunks wandered through my living room marking the territory as their own.

I probably haven't mentioned that I need new windows, but this is a major reason I know I need new windows.

The condo management company won't do squat for skunks on a Sunday. I called first thing Monday morning. They were good about getting back to me, letting me know Critter Control (the real company name, not made up for the story) would come the next day to set a trap. Monday afternoon they called again to inform me there would be repairs made to my patio either Tuesday or Wednesday, and wanting to know if electricity and water were available.

I was confused. All this for a skunk?

Sunday, December 22, 2013

Hawaii - Sea Days and Encenada

Every sea day I attended ukulele practice. There were about 40 students, some of whom purchased instruments either on board or ashore in Hawaii. I haven't decided if I'll buy one and take lessons, but I really enjoyed playing.

Prior to arriving in Encenada, Mexico, the ukulele class and the hula class (about 60 people in hula, so almost 100 total) gave a show in the main theater. We filled the place! The hula class danced three dances, then the ukulele class came on stage for two numbers ("Pearly Shells" and "Tiny Bubbles"). The final song - "Aloha Oe" - we played and they danced.

This is a really short clip of the end of "Little Grass Shack" during dress rehearsal.

I didn't go ashore in Encenada. Stayed on board and took pictures.

Thursday, December 12, 2013

Hawaii - Maui

Lahaina was a tender port, which means the ship wasn't at a dock but anchored. Passengers were transported ashore in small boats called tenders. The orange boat in this picture is one of them.

This was the only port where we were greeted by folks giving out flowers! Not leis, but individual flowers. I wore mine above my ear, it lasted all day. (No picture; didn't even occur to me to take a selfie at the time.)

Monday, December 9, 2013

Hawaii - The Big Island

Our second port of call was Hilo. Here's the view before breakfast. I don't know which volcano that is.

Here's the balcony view docked in Hilo.

Asthma prevented me from going to an active eruption area, but I was still able to go to Hawaii Volcanoes National Park and walk around on a volcano. Well, actually, as soon as you step ashore on any of the Hawaiian islands you're on a volcano!

Saturday, December 7, 2013

Hawaii - Oahu

We came ashore in Honolulu into a large building with murals painted on the walls. This is where we assembled for our various excursions. (The door back to the ship is on the left by the person in a red shirt.)

I took a bus tour of the east side of Oahu. A photo from the bus as we drove along: 

Tuesday, December 3, 2013

I Ran Away to Sea - This Time to Hawaii

I ran away to sea; now I'm back.  :-)  I took a fifteen day cruise out of San Francisco, California, to Hawaii and back to San Francisco, on the Grand Princess. I learned a little bit of Hawaiian, a little bit of ukulele, and took many pictures. The cruise was booked months ago during a sale where a cabin with a window was the price of an interior (no window). Just days before we sailed they upgraded me (free) to a cabin with a balcony.

I was on my balcony when we set sail.

The Golden Gate Bridge is ahead. The bit of ship superstructure in the upper left is part of the ship's bridge.  In the lower left are balconies on the deck below mine.