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Is this thing still turned-on?

A view from the Quebec Countryside

I've been working on my photo skills again lately. What do you think?

Amtrak #68 (Montreal - New York) on Saturday, 11 August 2012

Winter in July

No... we really didn't just have a blizzard in Palm Springs.

Ain't he cute?!?

Taken at the State Capitol Building in Honolulu, HI.

Chip (bearfuz) could be on the cover of a magazine, for sure.

Oh wait... I'm having a flashback!

What a difference a "D" makes

The other day I went to the local Lowes home improvement store to take care of some business. This cart has been outside the store for some time and, now, having recently returned from the Islands, I can't help but wince when I see this.

You see... there is no "D" in Hawaiian Shave Ice. I was going to tell the woman behind the counter (the owner, perhaps?) but decided against it. After all, what difference would a little detail like that really make to the people who utilize her services? Probably none. Would I truly have felt as though I had done something worthwhile by pointing out her mistake? Not really.

I thought I had let it go, but then I'm writing about it here. That's me.

In other news, Phil and I are driving to Irvine to see Men Alive - The Orange County Gay Men's Chorus at the Barclay Center for their concert of "Von Trapped"- a spoof on "The Sound of Music". This chorus premiered most of their concert for the recent GALA Choruses conference recently held in Denver (which Phil go to see).

Daily Travail


Another day in Southern California. Should the "s" in Southern be capitalized? Some think it should. Me? I don't really care one way or the other, unless it's supposed to be.

I find that with every trip here I have created a list of things to do and people to see. More often than not, unlike bearfuz, I usually don't get to complete most of those lists for one reason or another. Prioritization is quite key in such circumstances!

I just woke up a couple hours ago (finally on Pacific time) and am ready for a nap now. Go figure!

Time for a Vacation from the Vacation

Home Again
So the major portion of Summer 2012 is done and finished. I'm not sad, not by a longshot! However, what I am is exhausted. Though we tried to relax and have some downtime on our trip to Vancouver and Hawai'i, there's still a lot of "on" time.

I'm feeling it catch up with me, and that's alright.

It's nice being ensconced yet once again here in Palm Springs. This is the first time I've spent any length of time here and had my own vehicle; I don't know how to really handle this new-found independence (and I keep writing in compound adjectives this evening for some unknown reason).

Phil and I are driving into Los Angeles tomorrow. The plan is relatively simple (though seldom in southern California does it ever really turn out that way): (a) A self-guided audio tour of Walt Disney Concert Hall; (b) A self-tour and possible attendance of Mass at the Cathedral of Our Lady Queen of the Angels in Los Angeles; followed by the ever-important lunch at (c) Philippe's - home of the "French Dip" - ooh la la!

There should be plenty of good opportunity for photos, reflection and food! If you've never been to Philippe's in Los Angeles, it's a must-do stop on any trip (and just a couple blocks away from Union Station).

Have a good night, all!

Tonight's Menu in Honolulu

Travel plans
We're heading out from the B&B very soon to make our way northward to Hilo. We'll have a little lunch and I need to stop by Radio Shack and pick-up a SD card reader (I didn't bring the MacBook Pro and the MacAir doesn't have one). I did manage to install Photoshop CS5 on the MacAir (I would have preferred Adobe Lightroom but they already came out with a new version for download and I couldn't download the old version.)

Anyway... for you foodies (and non-foodies, alike)...


1st Course
Azure Sashimi
Hawaiian Yellow Fin Ahi, Japanese Hamachi
Avocado & Watermelon Radish Salad
Ginger Vinaigrette, Papadum Crisp
Wine Pairing: Crios de Susana Balbo Malbec Rosé

2nd Course
"Ocean Cappuccino"
Dungeness Crab & Black Tiger Shrimp Bouillabaisse

3rd Course
Kona Lobster Tail Risotto
Marinated Tomato, Saffron, Waialua Asparagus
Wine Pairing: BEX Riesling

4th Course
Butter Poached Fillet of Beef
Hamakua Mushroom, Taro & Brandy Puree
Madeira & Black Truffle Sauce
Wine Pairing: Vita Nova Merlot by Jim Clendenen

Kula Strawberries & Fior Di Latte
Balsamic & Cinnamon Fadrizzle

Breakfast View

Travel plans
So here we are, on Hawaii, having our morning coffee and breakfast. The view is simply stunning! The ocean breezes kept us quite chilled through the night, so much so that we needed to cover-up.

I don't know if I would want to live here (in Hawaii, generally) but I would certainly consider it an option.

New plans: though neither of us are foodies (those who know us can surely attest to this) I did snag an 8:15pm reservation this Monday night at Azure (in the Royal Hawaiian) for us. It's probably the most upscale thing I/we have ever done. There's a four-course tasting menu (with wine) for $95 that seems quite reasonable. So... what the hec, right?

It is my hope that it's not another eleven years again before we have a real vacation together, but having memories such as the ones we're currently making is a nice insurance policy to have just in case.