The condo complex we are in holds a special place in our memories . . . it was the first place we stayed at during our first visit to Hawaii. That was back in 1991. We were younger then, and we now show the signs of age. The complex also shows the signs of age, with many of the units in need of renovation, and the buildings themselves lacking the luster of youth.
But, they do maintain the grounds to a high standard. A sharp contrast, indeed, to the units themselves.
Yesterday, I picked up the Nikon D7000, mounted the Nikon 105mm Macro lens, and set about walking them grounds. I snapped a lot of photos. I then walked the same circuit and snapped a lot of photos using the phone.
So, here is the thing . . . these photos, all from the Samsung Note II, processed with the Snapseed app and signed with the Pixlr Express app, look amazing on my phone. Unfortunately, once WordPress gets a hold of them, they do their magic and degrade the quality to what you see here.
Vapid, uninspiring, bordering on brutally mundane versions of amazing natural beauty . . . Honest, I don’t know how WordPress does it. They screw up the Nikon versions as well, but the phone photos get treated much like the US Post Office treats packages; it’s like if they took a baseball bat to them.
Anyway, until we settle a bit more and until I have my PC up and running I will have to be happy (or unhappy) with making do with these.
There are other flowers. For instance, this flower . . .
I could research what they are, but it’s much easier making up names. Names that the average reader can’t really question because they too are too lazy to look these up. I name this one Pappagalli Rugosi.
Actually, I think it’s a variant of the Bird of Paradise flower/plant, but I am, as always, most likely wrong.
There are also interesting shrubs/plants with striking leaves, such as the one above.
Again, no idea what these are, but they caught my eye because of their simplicity. I dub them Bottoni Parasoli.
But, as I mentioned, lots of hibiscus flowers, in all sorts of colors. “All sorts” defined as yellow or red variants.
For some reason, WordPress insists of sucking the brightness right out of these photos. When you look at these, imagine them bright and very striking, exactly as I photographed them and experienced them in person.
Even these leaves which, in person, practically reach out and smack you with their bright and rich colors, get manhandled by whatever algorithm WP uses to make everything unattractive.
Oh, well . . . enough of me bitching about things I can’t control. Let me talk about other things as I cycle through the photos.
One of the things I did when we decided to move here is to put my guns up for sale. That was mostly done for convenience as Hawaii is not a gun-friendly state. It was easier to sell them than to have them shipped here, especially since for a number of months we would be renting. If I could have gotten a carry permit, I would have kept my carry gun as I would not have worried about having it stolen from the rental unit. But, since HI is not a “shall issue” state, and since the only people who can get licenses are people with connections, for the first time in many, many years, I am walking around vulnerable to younger, stronger, and/or more numerous thugs.
Now, I know some readers out there are thinking “What’s wrong with that? I walk around every day just waiting for someone to see me as a target, and I have a great life!”
Well, sure . . . if one is not used to thinking in terms of security and preventative measures, if one has never had their life threatened, if one has never been mugged, well then, certainly life is just a bed of roses where nothing but good things happen.
That ain’t me, Bob. If there is a precaution I can take, it gets taken.
Now, here’s the interesting thing . . . Colorado and most states with liberal gun laws have strict rules about carrying knives (for very good reasons which I won’t go into here).
Other states, for instance, California, which have strict guns laws have very liberal knives laws. Hawaii is no exception. In Colorado, I’m limited to knives with blades no longer than 3.5″. Here, there is no length limit. In fact, I can walk around with a machete strapped to my side or even carry one in my hand.
Lucky for me, I did keep one of my three machetes . . . also, I’m looking into bigger knives to carry. And none of them folding toys. I’m looking into nice, big, fixed blade knives. Of course, I’ll have to get as proficient with knives as I did with guns. All it takes is practice.
It’s a strange world, isn’t it.
One of the byproducts of us scrambling for the past six weeks was us not paying much attention to the national news. In fact, for the last four weeks in Colorado, we didn’t even have a television . . . or a proper bed, or table to sit at, or furniture, or cooking utensils, or any of the amenities one gets so accustomed to.
So, we’ve not paid much attention to the ongoing presidential campaigns. We did register the fact a whole lot of people with all sorts of leanings seems to be angry about one thing or another. We did note that Trump and Hillary are the likely adversaries come November. That has strengthened our resolve to not register to vote. Yeah, yeah, civic duty, blah, blah, blah . . .
Honest, folks. These are the two best prospects for president? Never before have people had a more clear example of just how little their vote matters. Hillary will likely win, although it’s by no means a certainty, and that will set up and interesting election for 2020. But, regardless who will win, look for a country more divided than ever. Look for more campaign promises broken than ever before (again, regardless who wins). Look for political and social violence to increase. Cover your asses folks . . . it ain’t gonna look purty out there.
Now, some might feel like challenging my assessment . . . forget it. I’m in Hawaii. If I’m wrong, I’ll be OK with it. If I am right, I’ll be OK with it. Besides, no matter my reader’s opinions, they can certainly find many, many sources that will either support or counter said opinions.
Whether you want someone to nod along with you or someone to challenge your views, a simple internet search will get you plenty of reputable sources that will do just that.
So, what else can I write about to shock my readers?
Hey, my cholesterol in December 2015 was 262. My doctor wanted to put me on medication to reduce it. I told him I would do it on my own.
I cut out cookies, Nutella, candies, and reduced the intake of other “bad stuff”. Reduced, not eliminated. On June 7th, I went in for blood work to check my cholesterol after six months of my own efforts . . .
Total Cholesterol: 194 down from 262
Non-HDL Chol.: 131 down from 209
LDL Chol.: 122 down from 185
Triglycerides: 44 down from 118
Chol/HDL: 3.1 down from 4.9
HDL Chol.: 63 up from 53
Of course, between the Malasadas, French Toast, Macademia nuts, and other good stuff that can be found here on the island, I’m likely already shooting back up. But, what a way to go.
We do miss our daily visits to the gym. We walk every day, and we’ll likely start some other exercises we can do on our own, but we can’t wait until we have a more permanent residence and can look for a gym to join.
Meanwhile, those 11 pounds I lost? They are likely finding their way back home. I’m used to weighing every morning so as to have the incentive to control my weight, and that too I miss. Again, as soon as we have a more permanent residence, we’re replacing the scale we sold. We could buy one for here, but that just makes more things we need to move out at the end of the two weeks.
That’s the thing, you know. Once we got rid of a lot of what we owned, everything we’re even thinking of buying is scrutinized through a different set of criteria.
What we don’t want to do, is build another cache of stuff we don’t really use. Oh, sure, we’ll probably build up our belongings again. It’s what people do as they settle somewhere. And yet, we will strive to remain lean, mobile, and mostly unencumbered. We’ll see how successful we are.
Let me see . . . personal matters, guns, politics . . . I suppose I should touch on religion and round out the post by spanning the gamut of things no one cares to read about.
This is actually a bit of politics, as well. I happened to catch a bit of Hannity. It was surreal. Hannity was incensed, incensed I tell you, that Muslim countries deny rights to women, gays, and transsexuals. Luckily, I was not eating or drinking at the time or I might have choked.
I wanted to raise my hand and point out the hypocrisy of the statement . . . because that is exactly what Christians do in this country. All the way to killing people in the name of Jesus and the “oh-so-misnamed” Good Book.
I had a strange vision of Hannity and O’Reilly standing atop a hill and waving the flag of equality and equal rights for all.
The amazing thing is that liberal “guests” Hannity challenges with that bit of news about Islamic countries don’t point out the hypocrisy and blinders their brain-addled host sports with such enthusiasm.
Honest, folks . . . some days I cry for this country. Left or right, conservative or liberal, I really don’t see much evidence of critical thinking, thoughtful analysis, or honest debate. All I see, constantly and without shame, is the effort to sway potential listeners with distortions. And that’s on a good day. On a bad day, they out-and-out lie. Remember, left and right, not just one or the other. Take your pick, but don’t tell me one side is better than the other or that one side is not as bad as the other. There is plenty to dislike about both ideological extremes, and yes, we are no longer “leaning” one way or the other . . . the majority of vociferous proponents are swimming at the deep ends of their respective pools.
But, I don’t want to leave readers with the taste of frustration borne anger . . . let me see if I can lighten the mood by repeating a joke Bob e-mailed me. An actual Bob, not my fictional Bob . . .
I was in the restaurant yesterday when I suddenly and desperately
needed to pass gas. The music was really, really loud, so I timed my
gas with the loud beat of the music.
After a couple of songs, I started to feel better. I finished my coffee
and noticed that everybody was staring at me….
That’s when I remembered that I was listening to my iPod.
I’ve never done that since I don’t listen to music in public (part of that “being aware of one’s surroundings”) but I can totally see this happening. During these past few weeks I’ve mingled among more people than usual. It is amazing how many people walk around with phones in hand and totally ablivious of what’s around them. Many do walk around with earbuds leading to an electronic device.
The first thing I wonder about, especially when I see young kids with their heads down as they stare into a four-inch screen is that they will face a life of neck problems. Possibly, eyes problems as well.
Plus, you know, I can’t help but fear that what they are so intently absorbing is not a lecture on Astronomy or a podcast on History or a discussion of deep philosophical issues. No . . . not even close.
I dare say that if this next guy and others like him had access to iPods, they would not be long for this world.
Well, I’m all out of topics and that was my last saved photo. I think that beginning tomorrow I will restart reading the blogs I follow. Mind you, I can’t go back and cover all the posts I’ve missed, but I can at least engage with new posts as they go up.
I mean, we’re still somewhat busy, but we are making the effort to slide back into our old routines. We’ll see how I do.
That’s it. This post has ended . . . except for the stuff below.
If you are not reading this blog post at DisperserTracks.com, know that it has been copied, and likely is being used by someone with nefarious intention, like attracting you to a malware-infested website. Could be they also torture small mammals.
Please, if you are considering bestowing me recognition beyond commenting below, refrain from doing so. I will decline blogger-to-blogger awards. I appreciate the intent behind it, but I prefer a comment thanking me for turning you away from a life of crime, religion, or making you a better person in some other way. That would mean something to me.
If you wish to know more, please read below.
Note: to those who may click on “like”, or rate the post; if you do not hear from me, know that I am sincerely appreciative, and I thank you for noticing what I do.
. . . my FP ward . . . chieken shit.