Wednesday, September 10, 2008

Beauty and the Beast

The day before my departure I was running errands when I saw this awesome Rainbow that I knew was in the right position to photograph against the spewing smokestacks. The only problem was I didn't have my good camera with me, so this Cell Phone Photo had to do. I also created a panoramic version that is composed of two left and right images sewn together. But I like this one with the juxtaposition of the gas guzzlers and the beautiful god smile in the sky. What's hiding behind the tree is the last remaining sugar cane refineary on Maui. It is a major cause of pollution not only from the smoke stacks, the poisonous fertilizer that runs off into the ocean affecting the creatures ecosystem, the harvesting creates noxious "smoke" the dry soil kicked up by the tilling of the land and carried by the wind, right into Kihei where I live. Check out this video I shot of the pollution from the burning of the sugar cane and these stills that amplify the point.

Tuesday, September 09, 2008

Trip report Day 1 of travel to NJ: Safe & Sound After 15 hours in the air

---------------- Tuesday, September 9, 2008 9:15 PM ---------------

I arrived safe and sound after a very, very, very long time on the plane.... I got dropped off by Jgold at Kahului Airport at 1pm for a 3:30pm flight that was delayed. I killed time until a 5:30pm departure. I found comfort by hanging out in the new restaurant named after a rock star. There was no free Internet anywhere I could find, but the air conditioning was working great and the other plus, was the couch of leather; bunk seating for one of the tables -- that became my command post (pix) and sleeping station. I had been up and down all night and needed the rest.

As usual my trick to carry an extra "suitcase" worked well and has been improved over the years. It worked so well, I was able to carry an apple with me that the Ag Scanner might have rejected? The plan left Maui as planned this time and headed for Honolulu. I took photos of course and will inject them here and there.

There was no time to hang in my favorite japanese garden and play guitar. I needed to get my technology recharged, the cellphone and computer, and video camera battery. My 5 hour battery died about 3 months ago after my last trip East. I have yet to replace it. I use SterlingTek batteries. They do the job but the life of 5 years was a little disappointing.

I was having dreams of the mile high club thanks to a lovely blond and bookish babe, her body snugly shown off in a tight black, form revealing pantsuit. I was joined in my middle section by a couple in the packed plane. Of course I took the pillows next to my seat to help my back issue and said nothing when she complained to her companion about missing a pillow that "somebody" must have taken. I was glad when a stew came over and whispered something to them. They got up and left me with a sleeping bunk and boy, did I make use of it.

The plane didn't land in Newark, under seige with a thunder and lightening storm. We circled for half and hour before being diverted to Dulles International Airport in Washington DC to pick up fuel. We relaunched to finally land 5 hours late. Unfortunately, for the first time ever my sister was going to come pick me up! A first!

Every time I come East, I want the pleasure of getting picked up by family to feel loved enough for either Lynn or Steve or Jon (as he now drives) to come and get me. Usually the response to my request (they would never offer) was "there's no time, its too late," etc.. So, I would rent a limo and deliver myself to my mom's doorstep. This was going to be a first where I would actually get to spend time alone with Lynn (which hasn't happened in 10 years) as she offered to pick me up - finally. But alas, that time will have to continue to wait.

She suggested I grab a cab. But after looking them over and seeing none had GPS devices, the cars were old and the next guy in line had Jihad writing on the back of his vehicle, I decided to call my limo connection and get picked up in style. It was a good decision, especially since the driver had an inverter so I could plug my laptop into the car battery and make a journal entry on the way to Moms. I stopped for some chinese take out and arrived just in time for dinner about 6pm - twenty four hours in the plane (if you don't consider the time zone changes) and wakefulness for over 30 as I got up finally at 6am on Monday Morning to begin packing for my 3:30 flight.

I did my usual ritual in the bathroom in order to better enjoy the flight and liked to put down the "baby table" so I could stand up and use my laptop in comfort of a well lit space. Hey, it was the middle of the night for most people who were rather comedic in various sleeping postures. There were ample bathrooms for the few who needed them so I felt no guilt in monopolizing one.

It was a delight as always to see my loving mother and give her a big hug. I was amazed at her place. How neat and organized it is! Lynn was in and basically continued what has been the family ritual, to help mom let go of her stash of hoarded stuff that rules her life as much as shopping and dieting. But you can't fault a person for doing what they need to stay sane in a world that (I know for her) for some, have been trying beyond the norm (seeing your house burn down and saving your kids) and watching your husband die of cancer.

The first thing I did after yet another short sleep was to fix her Internet connectivity which was delivering download speeds of 18 KBS! Speaking of sleep, its time for my first night of rest in NJ on my voyage that is completely without agenda other than visiting my dear mom, family and new music friends (not to mention an old NYC friend, Theo and my past partner and fellow Charles St. resident Andrea D. They are the only two with whom I am still in contact. Damon and the lawyer lady (who's husband is Damon's cousin) I’d met at a post 9-11 *** gathering in Union Square NY right after that pivotal day have written me out of their life scripts. That reminds me of the next song I will write and have already started called, "out of sight, out of mind." I tend to not throw people away and in fact remain in contact with many from my past.

*** I was supposed to travel from Ft. Lauderdale Fla. to Newark, NJ on Sept 11, 2001 - having traveled from Maui to visit my dad in his recovery hospital room after a heart attack. Little did we know then, he would have almost exactly 7 more years in physicality. You can find my complete story of my 911 experience elsewhere in TAOSB Note. Before the plane were again allowed to fly, I was finally able to get the last seat on a train heading North on Sept 18th -- arriving in Newark 42 hours (instead of 26) later due to unforeseen incidents that prolonged my travel and challenged the train. Kind just like this trip and the unexpected detour! The story is pretty interesting (IMHO) like many who have gone on record to describe their 911 experience.