Thursday, August 31, 2006


Kyle's beloved Gamecocks are playing today, 2pm Hawaii time. Which means he gets to leave work early, and I have the convenient excuse of having to work. Don't get me wrong. I love football. I may even love the Gamecocks. But I do not love the agony or ecstasy that will no doubt ensue. Win or lose, the drama will be thick, every play will be analyzed over and over again.

Some may appreciate this. Some of you grew up with a team, went to a college with a great team, or even marched in a band for a team. I envy you because you have what it takes to watch these battles. I fear my heart is just too weak, my ego just to fragile, my excuses just not polished enough to explain away the possible losses that could be due to luck alone.

Good luck, Gamecocks. I will try to be there for you. Maybe someday I'll even be willing to leave work early to watch you play. Maybe that day will be today if I can get my act together. I promise I will try to do my best to be a fan.

Tuesday, August 29, 2006

Andre Agassi is the man too!

Did anyone catch the Agassi / Pavel match last night? I was more excited than I had been in years to watch tennis. Long points. Aces. Net play. This game had it all. Not to mention Agassi coming back from a 0-4 deficit in the 3rd set to win in the third tiebreaker of the match! Wow. Agassi, of course, will retire after this US Open which means any of his games could be his last. But he isn't going out with a wimper, that's for sure.

I was a Sampras fan in the days of the Agassi / Sampras battles. But I fear that Agassi may just have more heart than Sampras. I read yesterday that Sampras has come back from retirement and is playing some competitive tennis once again. Maybe we'll be treated to a reunion tour someday. Wouldn't that be awesome?

Friday, August 25, 2006

Mark Twain is the man!

Mark Twain spent a considerable amount of time in good ol' Hawaii (btw, please send back the Sandwich Island book you borrowed, soon to be Mr. and Mrs. you know who!). Yesterday, I was trying to remember his famous statistics quote ("There are three kinds of lies: lies, damned lies, and statistics") when I found these other gems:

I am opposed to millionaires, but it would be dangerous to offer me the position.

I didn't attend the funeral, but I sent a nice letter saying that I approved of it.

I have been through some terrible things in my life, some of which actually happened.

I must have a prodigious quantity of mind; it takes me as much as a week sometimes to make it up.

Clothes make the man. Naked people have little or no influence on society.

See this page for more Mark Twain quotes if he makes you giggle. Happy Friday!

Thursday, August 24, 2006


I remember learning all the planets in the solar system when I was 10. I made a model of it right after I made a model of a black hole (fold a piece of black posterboard in a conical shape, and voila! A black hole!) Now, according to the powers that be, we have to relearn the planets of the solar system. Pluto is officially no longer a planet.

Percival Lowell, who the Lowell Observatory in Flagstaff was founded by, was the first to predict that Pluto existed in 1905, but never saw it before he died in 1916. Only in 1930 was it discovered, and named after the god of the underworld (and the name was also fitting because it contained Lowell's initials). Now, 76 years later, we have to say goodbye to planet Pluto and hello to dwarf planet Pluto.

I'm not sure why it bothers me so much. After all, it is merely a logical change in definition (Pluto's orbit overlaps that of Neptune's and thus it can't stand alone as a planet). We are constantly learning more thanks to new technologies and ideas. We have to accept these changes and move on:
After you've done a thing the same way for two years, look it over carefully. After five years, look at it with suspicion. And after ten years, throw it away and start all over. ~Alfred Edward Perlman, New York Times, 3 July 1958
I can't wait until someone redefines a neuron in a whole new way. . .

Tuesday, August 22, 2006

Freshmen frenzy!

Not too much going on in paradise. K went back to work yesterday with the start of the UofH fall semester (he's so psyched to teach everyday of the week!). The campus, shown above, is bogged down with thousands of floundering freshmen. Yesterday, I was walking down the hall when someone ran up to me and asked "Where is Biology 101 held?" I guess I looked like I knew because I was wearing a lab coat.

Ah, to be a freshmen again. I have great memories from that year at Allegheny, but alas, a lot of terrible ones too. So, in honor of the start of the school year, I am listing the top five things I wish I would have known when I was a freshmen:
  1. Ride a bicycle everywhere (this wasn't really possible in Meadville during the winter, but for four months of the year, it would have been fine)
  2. Study outside, preferably by a pool or body of water
  3. Drinking on weekdays is bad for Chemisty grades
  4. Find a friend with a car and get off campus
  5. Relax and savor your time
Lame list. Oh well. Feel free to list your own advice for the Class of 2010!

Wednesday, August 16, 2006

Long live the King!

The history of Hawaii today in the Advertiser includes this factoid:

1977: Elvis Presley dies at the age of 42. His first Island appearance was on Nov. 10, 1957, in a concert at Honolulu Stadium. His Bloch Arena concert on March 25, 1961, was a fundraiser for the Arizona Memorial.

Elvis made three movies in Hawaii (Blue Hawaii, Girls Girls Girls and Paradise, Hawaiian Style) and apparently visited here several times on vacation. Check out this site for more information on the King's time in Hawaii.

I am not a huge Elvis fan, but I think I should try to watch at least one of these movies. Does anyone have a favorite?

Thursday, August 10, 2006

Almost paradise

I just finished reading Paul Theroux's Hotel Honolulu. Apparently it is a true story about his time as a manager in a worn-down Waikiki hotel. He tells funny short stories about his employees, guests of the hotel, and locals which made me laugh out loud. Some of the stories end kind of darkly with at least 5 of these forlorn souls committing suicide, and also there was considerable talk of the pests around Hawaii.

Recently, I posted on our mouse problem, which apparently wasn't the last of the pests to enter into our lives. I discovered something that looked like a tick on Gaffney about 2 weeks ago, and I took it to work to look at it under the microscope. This "tick" only had 6 legs, which was strange, since ticks are arachnids, so they should have 8 legs. I asked around and found out that ticks were pretty uncommon in Hawaii, besides Gaffney is on medicine that is supposed to prevent them.

Yesterday, the AP ran a story on bed bugs. Apparently they are making a comeback, especially in hotels in, gasp, Waikiki. I looked at the pictures carefully, and sure enough, that is definitely the insect I found on poor G. Today, K&I got bit for the first time, which led us to completely go crazy washing everything in our bedroom in really hot water and vacuuming the entire house. Hopefully they go away, but they are apparently really hard to kill without professional intervention. Sigh.

Theroux makes light of the pests of Hawaii, so perhaps I should too. As he writes:

In Hawaii there are always rats, and always sharks just offshore, and cockroaches patterned like tortoiseshell, and geckos and moths and ten kinds of ants. These were the certain proof and reminder that Hawaii was paradise.

Aloha, bed bugs...

Sunday, August 06, 2006

Big Island Pictures

The pictures from our Big Island trip have been posted on Flickr. Some of my favorites:

The lone tree on the pali; we backpacked down the pali to Halape Shelter Beach where we camped here:

It was paradise.

We hiked out to the car, the last 1.5 miles was over 1984 lava:

We spent the next day exploring waterfalls,
watching sunsets over Maui,
and drinking Budweisers:
The final day we snorkeled and visited the lava trees:

K & I get to go back to the Big Island in October, when my parents are going to rent a house south of Hilo. I can't wait!

Friday, August 04, 2006

Fun with photoshop!

Look familiar to anyone?
Thanks to Anne-Marie for the panda image. If anyone wants to see more photo-shopped animals, let me know and I'll send you the forward.

I hope to post more pictures this weekend, especially of our Big Island Trip and our new addition to the family (suspense , no?). Have a great Friday!