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Friday, January 30, 2015

No Maui Wowie for me...


Tomorrow I'll leave the Valley Island for a short flight to the Big Island. I like the sound of that-BIG!

For me, I can't say I felt the Aloha for this island.

Maybe it's the VOG induced coughing fits I've experienced since landing here. 

Maybe because, I'm a land based mammal and Maui is geared more to the needs of water based mammals. In other words, there wasn't enough for me to do here unless I took up aerobic, competitive shopping. 
How much time can a person spend on a beach slapping sunscreen on and flipping over?

Lastly it's a total in-your-face couples destination. The bonded pairs come in all sizes, shapes and ages. Lots of the younger units come here bearing freshly made babies. I'm tired of the twosomes stopping me (the only single person) in Lahaina to snap my photo. It hurts when they remark, "No one back home would believe this without proof." 

Rumors abound that Maui's officials will round up the dozen or so single people scattered around the island. There's talk of a possible exile on nearby Molokai Island. I guess they fear an outbreak of being single. 
Sort of a modern day version of a Leper Colony. 

Sigh! That being said, it all still beats winter on the Mainland.

Today I made a difference! These Damsels were in distress. They were  Farbluzhet (Yiddish for lost) within a quarter mile of the trailhead. I pointed them in the right direction, gave them a pep talk and walked away. I didn't want to be the third wheel again.

Maybe one day I'll come back to Maui with a girlfriend or just to shop. 
Mahalo,
Jeff


Thursday, January 29, 2015

We have a winner!!!


Congrats to Doug and Carmen Brannan. They came forth and claimed the 10,000th Pageview hit prize. Whatever the hell a Pageview is.

http://jeffsambur.blogspot.com/2015/01/be-10000th-pageview-of.html

I've known Douger since he was five years young. Before the masses start screaming "Fix! Fix! Fix!" 

Lemme tell you about this guy. He's as honest as the day is long on June 21st in Fairbanks, AK. I'm his unofficial uncle who never received a church communion. Despite this drawback, I am still allowed entry into all Brannan family functions. For this, I have always been grateful. 

When he says he was the 10,000th hit, he was. 
This won't be the first or last time I spring for Happy Hour and dinner for him and Carmen.
I'll even pick up the tab for their tykes. 

Next contest? The 15,000 Pageview hit. One day, I'll figure out the meaning of a Pageview.

Goodnight, 


With the King's Trail as it's name


most hikers would conjure up visions of palm tree lined boulevards passing cool spring fed streams every now and then. Maybe a few mango, guava or papaya plants to provide sustenance. Wrong. This King must have ruled over the Moon.

It was a bleak, harsh landscape punctuated by jagged, black lava rocks. Don't fall here, you will be punctured. I should have known something was up when I spotted the two Crosses right from the start. ((What! No Star of David's.)

This was the scene of the last lava flow emitted from Haleakala. That's before it became a National Park. 

At one time, this rough trail really did circumnavigate the island of Maui. That was back in the 1600's. In the 1800's, the trail was rebuilt. Since then, the tourists and shoppers discovered Maui and the rest is history.

Mahalo,
The VOG is back with a wind shift today.

Wednesday, January 28, 2015

I'm Popeye the Sailor Man...


Ahoy Matey! 

With all the Humpback action going on off shore, I had to go in for a closer gander.
So with the aid of two Dramamine, I ventured into the Heart of the Ocean. Well, not exactly but it sounds more exciting that way. 

OK. I'll say it, the experience was almost, ALMOST as good as sex. Although, I've never medicated myself with Dramamine before performing the deed. 

For the cetaceans, it is all about mating. The males are sparring one another constantly. I suppose the ultimate winner gets the blubbery babe. Most of the heavy thumping occurs below the surface. When one Ultimate Full Contact fracas surfaced, we saw one stud-wannabe with fresh blood oozing from his tail. (No, I didn't dog paddle in and try to break the combatants apart). 

At one point, a crew member inserted a sonar device into the saltwater so we could hear the gangs taunts and threats.
Here are some of the snippets we picked up.

Male Whale One: "Dude! Your Mom wears Scuba Flippers!"
Male Whale Two: "Oh yeah! I saw your Mom make it with a guppy! She liked it too!"

You get the drift. Kind of like a late night bar scene without the beer flowing. 

I've attached the best shots. Enjoy them and light up a cigarette after.

Once again, I am so glad they escaped extinction.
Read all about it. 
http://jeffsambur.blogspot.com/2015/01/humpback-whales.html

PS. Just like Popeye, I do eat my spinach. 
No Olive Oyl sightings in Lahaina.

Good Night Mainland.




Tuesday, January 27, 2015

After two days of coughing like...


a West Virginian coal miner, I said screw this curtailment of activities. If I'm going to hack up a few capillaries, I might as well be engaged in doing something I enjoy doing like shopping-NOT. 

So I headed for the hills. Somehow I stumbled upon the Mahana Trail which is near the posh, hoity-toity hotels. In fact, the resorts maintain the trail. This morning, I saw a maintenance worker vacuuming the dirt surface. It was the best maintained trail I've been on in Hawaii. The hotels even provide shuttle service to the top so gravity does the work for their guests. For an extra few bucks, they can hire a Sherpa. 

Since I wasn't part of the "In Crowd" I ascended and descended the baker's dozen worth of miles. I didn't mind, it was beautiful, cool and quiet. The good news is I feel better than I've felt in the nine days since learning of VOG. 

http://jeffsambur.blogspot.com/2015/01/caught-up-in-vog-of.html

When I picked up an inhaler for my lungs, the friendly pharmacist said, "that's volcanic air pollution. It even has gaseous metals in it." 
No wonder I could hear "Clank!" when I stopped suddenly. 

With a nose like mine, I take in and expel a lot of air. Probably the same volume of what inflates the Goodyear Blimp. Yep! That's a lot of hot air coming and going from a little guy like me. I require clean air to run smoothly and efficiently. Don't we all?

Stay healthy and keep moving,
Jeff

PS. That's a Norfolk Island Pine I'm embracing. This specimen got a lot bigger than the ones I used to grow in flower pots. 



Monday, January 26, 2015

Be the 10,000th Pageview of...


"A Wandering, Wondering Jew" and you can be a winner!

Soon my blog will hit a milestone. I have no idea what a Pageview means, but 10,000 of anything is nothing to cough at. (Which I'm still doing). 

So...here's the rules of the contest. At the bottom of a post, (scroll all the way down past the Top Ten posts) you'll notice big, black and bold numbers. That's the Pageview counter. Whatever those are. When you see it turn 10,000 contact me at jeffsambur@gmail.com to claim your prize.

And what's the prize? Why Happy Hour and dinner with me of course. 

This will be my 4th handout of goodies. For a website that hasn't even scored me one, "Hey Jeff! I love your blog, lemme buy you an IPA." this doesn't make smart business sense. Somehow, I doubt if Zuckerberg had a Facebook contest like mine. 

But what the heck, it's a slow news day here in balmy Lahaina. (Which happens to have a lot of shopping.) and I'm curious about how this will turn out.

Here's the posts from the previous contests.

http://jeffsambur.blogspot.com/2014/12/you-must-enter-to-win-the.html

http://jeffsambur.blogspot.com/2014/12/and-winners-of-the_20.html

No cheating! Remember what our parents said, "Honesty is the best policy." 
A wise man once told me, "when you speak the truth, your story never has to change." 
True!

Thanks for coming along BTW.
Jeff



Sunday, January 25, 2015

Charles A Lindbergh


is famous for being a daring pilot, an author, an explorer, a conservationist, a political activist, a Nazi sympathizer, a Mamma's Boy and an Anti-Semite.

Whew! What a resume. 
He was also a womanizer who favored Nordic mistresses. He fathered seven children out of wedlock. Maybe that's where he scored the nickname "Lucky Lindy."

Mr Lindbergh was a most controversial public figure. A "pause button" before his many rants and raves might have kept him from becoming a Fallen Hero, (like Lance Armstrong). 

In his diaries, he wrote: "We must limit to a reasonable amount the Jewish influence ... Whenever the Jewish percentage of total population becomes too high, a reaction seems to invariably occur. It is too bad because a few Jews of the right type are, I believe, an asset to any country."

I'm not famous, so I can write outrageous posts without worrying about falling from Grace. I'll have to change my ways if I ever reach stardom. 

His Final Resting Place is in the graveyard of a humble church in Kapahula, Maui. 

Speaking of VOG, I'm now using an inhaler prescribed by the best GP in the World.
Thanks Lonny! 
I'll pay him for his medical help with a 6 pack of IPA when I see him in Boulder.
Lucky for me, he's OK with the barter system.
Stay VOG free out there,
Jeff

"I Survived the Road to...


Hana" T-shirts can be found in over abundance in Maui . (Did I mention there's  heaps of T-shirt shops and skin care product stores here?) 
The route is snake-like twisty with aggressive local drivers bombing down the skinny oncoming lane. I think the game of "Chicken" is an unofficial sport there. Like the Hawaiian hiking trails, there's no daydreaming allowed while negotiating the distance. 

When you can quickly glance around from the task at hand (surviving the drive), there's lush bamboo forests, ocean views and waterfalls. For me, it was a one and done experience. Hana as the destination after such an ordeal is kind of underwhelming. It's a quiet secluded spot lacking in a lot of amenities for a place so famous. There's no sports bar! 
I got a lot of reading in that one evening that felt like a week there. 

I'm back in Lahaina dealing with a persistent dry cough and I don't even smoke. 
Mahalo! 
Jeff


Thursday, January 22, 2015

You Meet the Nicest People III


At Bubba Gump's in Lahaina. 

How often do you befriend someone whom you sold a house to?

That's what happened to me with Scott and Melody Hayden in 2009.

I marketed my Old Town, Fort Collins abode by sticking a $2.99 "For Sale" sign in the front yard. A few days later, I got a call from Scott.

I gave him the quick nickel tour. It's a small house. He seemed to like it. 

He asked a few obvious question. I gave him truthful answers.

"I'm a friendly guy (he is). How's your neighbors?"

"Well, Scott. They suck. They both lack social skills and are assholes. That being said, at least they are quiet losers." 

He kind of gasped at my brutal honesty, but I think he knew he was dealing with a straight shooter. 

We signed the papers and we've been buddies ever since. He's a good doctor too, and makes a difference in people's lives. 

I don't think all home sales end like this.

Melody was on the Mainland while Dr. Hayden was on a temporary assignment in Maui.

From the photo of the big fans, I finally figured out the origins of Hawaii's Trade Winds. 

MaƱana, I'm on the road to Hana.

Mahalo!
Jeff


Wednesday, January 21, 2015

Thar She Blows...


Over the years you have been hunted
by the men who threw harpoons
And in the long run he will kill you
just to feed the pets we raise,
put the flowers in your vase
and make the lipstick for your face.
Over the years you swam the ocean
Following feelings of your own
Now you are washed up on the shoreline
I can see your body lie
It's a shame you have to die
to put the shadow on our eye
Maybe we'll go
Maybe we'll disappear
It's not that we don't know
It's just that we don't want to care.
Under the bridges
Over the foam
Wind on the water
Carry me home.

"Wind on the Water" lyrics by David Crosby and Graham Nash

Today, after a stroll up a ridge line (photos included), I walked a few bonus miles past the swank beach resorts on West Maui. Off shore, Humpback Whales were breaching and blowing. (The Humpback photo is a Google shot). On shore, people were standing mesmerized while taking in the aerial acrobatics of these Gentle Giants.
Every spectator displayed an enormous grin/smile. 

To think, the human race came so close to hunting the Humpbacks to extinction. At one point, 90% of this wet species were gone. There are now an estimated 80,000 Humpbacks left. 

We can only hope our great-great-great-great etc grand kids have the opportunity to see the same shoreline show. I'm sure they too will be grinning and smiling. 

It's all about pre-mating rituals for the whales in these tropical climes. Must be the warm temperatures I guess. Maybe a lot of Aloha too. 

I'm so happy we didn't kill them all. 
Good night,
Jeff

Tuesday, January 20, 2015

Caught up in the VOG of...


Maui. 

On yesterday's Haleakala hike, I felt out of sorts. I was lacking my usual vim and vigor even after my multi-gallon caffeine fix. Sore throat, itchy eyes and other "Oh! Crap! I'm catching a freaking cold" like symptoms. 

At the midway point of my ramble, I took a lunch break and chatted up with a couple of locals. I made mention of my maladies in conversation.
Here's what one said.

"Dude! You got VOG."

"What? I stay away from dirty toilet seats and sick people. What is it anyway?"

"You get it from breathing bad air after a volcanic eruption. The Big Island has been active and it drifts over here eventually." 

So when I returned to Wifi Land I Googled it.
Straight from Wikipedia. (This is why I donate to them).

 Vog contains chemicals that can damage the environment, and the health of plants, humans and other animals. Most of the aerosols are acidic and of a size where they can remain in the lungs to damage the lungs and impair function. Headaches, watery eyes, sore throat, breathing difficulties (including inducing asthma attacks), flu-like symptoms, and general lethargy are commonly reported. 

So...This is what I say. Please Pele the Goddess of Fire, take a break. I need a dose of clean air.

Here's to a VOG free day for all,
Jeff


Monday, January 19, 2015

"One of These days Jeffie...


Bang! Zoom! Straight to the Moon."

My apologies to Ralph Kramden (from the classic TV show "The Honeymooners") for stealing his line.

I turned inland today or as the locals call it, "Up Country" to Haleakala National Park. The NPS claims it's a dormant volcano (last kaboom 1480-1600) but who's to say when Pele the Goddess of Fire throws her next tantrum. 

The crater is BIG: seven miles across by two miles wide and half-mile deep. Today, it was sunny with little wind. While I tramped along the bottom zone. It felt like being on the business side of a cast iron skillet. With a little olive oil anointing,  I would have been sizzling like chicken fajitas. 
Unless you have my "40 Years in the Desert" skin genes, bring vats of sunscreen. Thank You! Moses for granting me my dark skin pigment. 

It was way cool, despite being way toasty. 
It kept me out of the shopping malls too.

Shop Happy
Jeff



Sunday, January 18, 2015

Like! there's totally so...


much shopping here in Maui. I'm beginning to think the Valley Island nickname came from those lovable and materialistic California Valley Girls.

Eventually I extricated myself out of the Lahaina Mall to do a little sight-seeing.
After all (for me) a day without clothes shopping is like a day without sunshine. 

I passed the glitzy beach resorts and found Waiawhile Blowhole. Well, Wait-A-While is really not its name, but this is no Old Faithful geyser when it comes to reliability.

Luckily, I was able to fit this event into my BUSY schedule. 

It's time for a brew and then back to the Mall. I heard Tommy Hilfiger is like having a sale. Bitchin'!

Happy Shopping!
Jeff