Monday, April 28, 2008

You Told Them WHAT??!!??

A conversation on the way home from church today:

Me (to the Diva): You need to let them (her employer) know that you are moving in a few weeks.

The Diva: I did. I just feel bad because I'm the only one who really does anything there, and they depend on me.

The Hubster: I'm sure they understand. They know that military families move a lot.

The Diva: Oh, I didn't tell them we were military.

Me: You didn't?

The Diva: No. I didn't want to get into all of that.

Me: What did you give as a reason for leaving?

The Diva: I just said that my parents were separating, and I was moving to California with my mom.

Sunday, April 20, 2008

Weekend Fun

This weekend I planned to hike the Koko Head 'stairs'. It's a pretty intense hike, more of a workout than a hike though. I've done them twice before, and they were on my list of things to do again before we leave Hawaii.

The 'stairs' consist of 1,100+ railroad ties from an abandoned trolley running up the steep side of Koko Head. For us short people, that's 2,200+ steps because the railroad ties are just far enough apart that they require two-stepping. This is Koko Head:


The stairs run up the right side, and start out at a somewhat gradual incline, but become much steeper the further up you go. Near the middle is a bridge which crosses a gully. That's a bit scary because if you make a slight misstep, you could easily break a leg.

Since the Hubster was moping around the house and grumbling about being bored, and because he seems to think I never break a sweat hiking, I invited him along. Two birds, one stone.

We used to live less than a mile from Koko Head, but he never paid much attention. As we approached the area, I pointed out the faint trail running up the side of the mountain. When I told him we would be hiking that trail to the top, he thought I was kidding.

I parked the car and we headed off in the direction of the stairs. He (somewhat quietly) grumbled under his breath. He hates reminds him too much of his early days in the Marine Corps when he was at The Basic School and had to do long hikes ('humps' in Marine Corps jargon) through the forests of Quantico, and had to use his land navigation skills to find his way out.

Once we hit the bottom of the stairs, he realized this wasn't going to be easy or a ton of fun. This is the view from near the bottom:


There were a few other people out there that day, and one who left an impression was a woman in black yoga pants and a white tank. She ran right past us as we were trying to focus on one step at a time. Before we had even reached the top, she came flying by again on her way down.

The views are amazing from the top. You can see everything from Diamond Head to Hanauma Bay to the Mokes. There are some trails at the top, and I usually wander off in a few directions before heading back down again. The Hubster wasn't in a mood to do any more hiking, so I snapped a few photos before we headed back down. Here's Hanauma Bay:


We were just starting back down again when the woman in the black pants and white tank reached the top again. We couldn't NOT say anything. After a quick comment about how she was putting us all to shame, she laughed and said, "I have four kids. You want to stay home with them? I do this on weekends because it's fun compared to being with four kids all week."

We laughed (with her) and headed down the hill. I heard the Hubster mutter under his breath, "Her kids must be real bastards if she does this for fun...."

Going down is a bit scary, because momentum carries you faster than you want to go. The stairs go most of the way to the baseball fields, then the trail leads to the parking lot beyond the baseball fields. Here is a view from near the top, and the scary bridge:



The closer we got to the bottom, the less the Hubster grumbled.

After we finished the hike, we went over to Sandy's and took surfer showers at the beach then headed off to the Olive Tree Cafe for a great dinner. It was awesome, as always!

Saturday, April 19, 2008

Genetics: Payback Time

Phone call from the Blonde One this afternoon:

Mom? I'm filling out this emergency medical form for graduation. I have a quick question for you....there's a section asking what to do if your child is injured and none of the emergency contacts can be reached. The choices are: Allow a school official to treat your child; Transport your child to the nearest medical facility; or Other. I said 'Other' and on the line I wrote, "I do not authorize my child to be treated in any way or transported. Instead I would like him to be offered as a sacrifice to Pele, the Goddess of the Volcano.

Is that okay? And can I forge your signature at the bottom?

Wednesday, April 16, 2008

It Is....

The Blonde One had the bar removed from his chest last month. The surgery went very well, his recovery was fast, and he had his final follow-up appointment last week.

Final, as in we NEVER have to go back again. Ever.

Here's the original post. (The "Little Guy" is Destructo, before he was old enough to be destructive.)

And a follow-up.

And another.

One more.

(He wants to attach the bar to his key chain so he never loses his keys.)

Saturday, April 12, 2008

What Is It?



It's bigger than a steak knife.

It's smaller than a golf club.

I've blogged about it before.

It marks the end of a (long) era.

When first seeing it, the kids responded like this:

The Diva: EEeeeewwww!! Get that thing away from me.

The Blonde One: Can I keep it?

The Wildcard: Well THAT explains a lot!

Destructo: I can whack someone with that!

Any guesses?

(Some of you already fair guessing!)

Thursday, April 10, 2008

What To Do, What To Do......

I am generally a nice person, in real life anyway. I will go out of my way to do a favor for a friend or stranger without expecting anything in return, and never really give it a second thought. It's no big deal to watch a friend's kids if they are in a bind, drive miles out of my way so that a stranger/newbie to the island could follow me and find his/her destination, or let a teenager move in with us to escape a bad family situation. No big deal, really.

Once you piss me off, it's a totally different story.

So, this weekend the Blonde One put an item up for sale online and sold it for a substantial amount in a short period of time. The buyer paid via PayPal, and the item was delivered. Transaction complete, right?


The buyer immediately turned around and disputed the transaction with PayPal, who then put a hold on the money in our account and began a sham investigation.

We spent four days trying to get in touch with the buyer via IM's and various e-mail accounts. He wasn't responding. He also never responded to PayPal's questions.

Google is my best friend, especially when dealing with idiots. They post everything online.

It took less than an hour to find out where this guy lives, his phone number, his employer, an alternate IM and e-mail address, his girlfriend's name and address, where he went to high school, his age/birthdate, his turn-on's and turn-offs, and how much rent he paid on his previous apartment. That and a whole lot more, including dozens of pictures of him being a total loser.

My research proved that he had no intent to follow through on the transaction, that it was his PayPal account, and that he was a total loser. (Oh, I already said that.)

With a few phone calls I was able to get most of the item back to the Blonde One (it was an intangible). Loser then felt the urge to respond to PayPals inquiries, and the transaction was canceled by PayPal, based on the fact that we "took" our item back.

Now the interesting part:

The loser lives in Michigan, not too far from where my family is. I'm sure he thought he could easily get away with scamming a kid in Hawaii. After all, what are the odds of someone from Hawaii showing up at his door?

The Hubster wants to kick his ass. (We will be there in June.)

I want to intimidate him via e-mail for a while first, then kick his ass.

The Blonde One wants to post his phone number on a public forum and let all the freaks call him, then kick his ass.

What would you do?

(Disclaimer: We would never do anything illegal. I'm willing to go right up to that line though.....)

Sunday, April 06, 2008

Playing Catchup....

The kids were on spring break last week, so one day I ditched them and had a 'me' day.

My activity of choice was hiking, of course. On the east side of Oahu is Makapu'u, which has two popular hikes, the Tidepools and the Lighthouse. I had done each separately, but never on the same day. Combining the two is a great workout, and will leave you with a nasty sunburn if you don't reapply sunscreen halfway through the day.

The Tidepools are (obviously) along the shoreline, while the Lighthouse trail leads to the top of the cliff. I started out with the Tidepools and worked my way around to the east side, where I hiked up the cliff to the Lighthouse trail. Once I reached the top, I stopped to watch a pod of whales playing off the coast. It was an awesome day!

(I apologize for the small picture size, but I found several of my photos for sale on another website and am doing my best to prevent that from happening again!)

The Tidepools on the south side of the island:


A look back down at the tidepools on the east side:


The view of the Windward side from the very top of the lighthouse trail:


And finally, the lighthouse itself:


After spending four hours hiking those two trails, I went to the Koko Crate Botanical Gardens. I have more plumeria photos than I know what to do with, but will have to save those for another day!