Karma…………..

A few blogs ago I showed pictures of the beach erosion on the south end of Baldwin Beach.

I was down there today and was surprised that the beach erosion continues. This is the Pavillion that has been there a long time. A few months ago, it was about 100 feet to the water. Now it’s about 20.  (I couldn’t find a before picture). I was walking the other day and a local who had lived there for about 16 years told me he had never seen the beach like this. He figured the Pavillion will end up collapsing into the water.

Now what is interesting about this event, it started about the time they kicked the homeless people out who had been occupying this area. The Pavillion was shelter from storms and blazing sun. The beach was a pot smokers dream. (You never had to worry if the couch would burn up when you dropped the ash in the cushions).  The sound of drums and acoustical guitars filled the air every day. I would say that the homeless were in tune with Mother Nature here. Now it seems the beach and the Pavillion will both be gone, like the homeless.

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There were no demonstrations. No cars were flipped over and store windows were broken and looted. No angry mobs with signs. Didn’t even make the news. The peaceful woods dwellers left without protest.

Seems like sometimes a message is sent. Sometimes it doesn’t come from Man.

Karma’s a bitch………………

 

 

 

I don’t have time………….

I picked up my kids from school today, same time every day, 2:20 PM.  And as always, sunny skies and warm. The kids just had a three day weekend over Labor Day and weren’t much in the mood for school this morning. Can’t blame them.

But my son happily gets in the car, had a great day at school, and says “Let’s go to the beach”.

I had a busy day, getting the kids to school in the morning, picking up gas and groceries at Costco, and watching Youtube tutorials in preparation for switching my website design. I had been thinking as I was driving to get the kids that I was anxious to get back and finish one particular video that had a lot of information (it is three hours long). And my blog site was a mess. Then I was cooking dinner and needed to do a little cleaning and laundry. And it was hot in the house.

“Not today Bud” I said. “And weren’t we just at the beach every day for the last three days for at least 3 hours a day?”

“So?” he replied.

“So isn’t that enough for the week? We can’t go every day. Why don’t we just go this weekend?”

“No. I want to practice some Boogie Board moves. Let’s go today”

Didn’t he know it was a thirty-minute drive? Didn’t he know I was in the middle of a project? Didn’t he know rush hour was going to start? Didn’t he know I had dishes to clean, dinner to cook, laundry to wash, things I wanted to get done? Didn’t he know I would have like a beach break?  I didn’t  even need to ask. I knew what he would say. “So?”

What is it that prevents us from living in the moment. I know that with work and family come responsibilities. I know it isn’t always convenient. It’s guilt. Maybe it’s not guilt. Maybe I’m not sure. I guess I have never been able to explain that brake on life I seem to apply when faced with situations that fly in the face of the planned day, week, month, the life that I think I should adhere to.

I want to be spontaneous. Take chances, live an unplanned day, drive the opposite way, wake up late, leave the dirty dishes in the sink. Have no idea what time it is, don’t care what the stock market is doing, never watch the news again. Take a shower at night instead of the morning, grow my hair long, put an earring in my nose, (ok, not that one). I want my kids to know how to enjoy life. Not by someone telling them, but by living it.  I want to enjoy an unfettered life.

Took me 3 minutes to say “Yes, let’s go to the beach.”. See, I am getting better. But with conditions.

“We can only stay an hour. You need to do your homework when we get back. And if we go today, absolutely no beach tomorrow.”  So I’m not perfect.

We went and he had a great time in the water even though there were only small waves. I had a great time watching him. We stayed two hours. I wanted to stay the extra half hour to watch the sunset, but I had let myself off the leash for enough time. We saw the sun set in the rear view mirror on the way home.

It’s interesting seeing posts on Facebook. If you throw out the shares, likes, comments, and ads, what you are basically seeing is someone at their “enjoy life” time. Pictures on trips, at the cabin, day off, family get together’s, pictures of the kids, pets, and other fun stuff. This is the life we all want to have. All the time.

Other than when I was a kid, this is probably the closest I have come to let some of the chains off my strict control of my happiness. I have heard this on more than one occasion, but when the subject of enjoying life comes up, the word is that I think too much. Analysis paralysis. It is true.

I am definitely going to start thinking less, when I get time.

Leave the dishes, let’s go have fun.

I asked my daughter if she wanted to come with to the beach with us. She said no. I think she has issues.

 

 

 

Changing WordPress Themes

Sorry if things look a bit confusing for you on the site today. If they are confusing for you, just think how I feel. I am updating my WordPress Theme.

A WordPress theme is the look and structure of the blog website. The one I was using was made in 2015, and am updating to the 2017 Blog Theme. No big deal, it’s free and everything that was on my old website transfers over.  Just have some tweaking to do, and change the stock photos to make them mine.

I am also going to add some more features and links, but a day at a time.  So bear with me. (I am trying to remain calm).

Also going to add another Category. Health and Supplements.  I  am a living testimony to 50 years, give or take, of supplementing with vitamins. I know what worked for me and what didn’t, and want to share a bit of that.

There is nothing permanent except change.      Heraclitus

You Rich Beach……..

Want to feel like a billionaire on the beach, but the guy begging for gas on the corner has more horse power than you. Then Palauea (or White Rock Beach as is known locally), is the place to set your umbrella up for the day. Remember the blog about Polo beach? This one is just down the road from there, maybe a half mile past oceanfront villas and beachfront mansions in the upscale town of Wailea. Instead of turning right into the lot for Polo beach, turn left until you come to a single lonely Porta Potty. There it is. You have to park your car along the road, no lot, and walk on one of two tree covered paths to the beach, maybe 100 feet or so. There you are greeted by a beautiful white sand stretch of beach about three football fields long, capped on both ends by lava formations. Lot’s of fish and Sea Turtles occupy these waters, and since it is facing west, would make for some killer sunsets. The picture above is my beach gear and my daughter pretending we are rich. (She’s better at it than I am).

Because there is no formal lot, facilities, and is in a residential neighborhood, it doesn’t attract a lot of tourists or locals who want to come and have their weekend get together’s. It’s pretty quiet as you can see by the pictures, and this is on Sunday on Labor Day Weekend. So if you picture your life in a beachfront home with about as private a beach you can get, then this is it. My kids both agreed we should look for a house there. Sorry kids, no lottery in Maui. Here’s looking south first, then north.

My son loves to be in the water, and he did just that for the three hours today we were there. Of course, he is a social little guy too, so made some boogie boarding friends right away. Dad and daughter didn’t stray far from the umbrella, the waves were too big for wading, and the sand was hot from the 89-degree midday sun. I know, what the heck is he complaining about.  On the north end were some fishermen with about 6 lines in the water. The only thing they caught was a turtle, which they let go. Here is my son catching a wave.

Now if we could walk up to our beachfront villa, we could just wash off in the Private outdoor shower along the gated path to the house. Put on a soft silk robe and settle next to the infinity pool with a cool Pina Colada and think “I wonder what the poor people are doing today?” But no. We have to climb in the hot car with everything we have full of sand, and sit on hot leather with wet clothes. That’s what the poor people are doing today. Most of the larger beaches have showers to rinse your stuff off, so there is a price you must pay if you want to play rich and you’re not. But after unloading the car, rinsing everything off including us, clothes in the washer, and a quick vacuum, I couldn’t have spent the day any better. Just to prove it, here is a quick three-minute video in case you didn’t get to the beach today. Rich Beach that is……

 

 

 

 

 

It’s Poke fun time…………

It’s not Polka all you Bohunks and old farts.

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And it’s not that crazy but lovable character Pokey and his faithful sidekick Gumby.

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It’s Poke, pronounced Poh-Keh. (I think of it as Poe-Kay). It’s fish, usually ahi tuna, that is cubed and sold mainly raw. If you want to cook it when you get home, that’s up to you, but it is traditionally eaten raw. It is mostly mixed with other ingredients to soften the fish flavor, I like the California mix myself. A tangy sauce, some other mystery things I have no idea what it is, and cubed raw fish. When I first got here, I couldn’t imagine why anyone would want to eat the stuff, comparing it to lutefisk, that dreaded northern staple. But after seeing how many people buy it at the grocery store, I decided to give it a try, and I really like it. My kids don’t even want to look at it. Some of the best places to buy Poke is supermarkets. Here is the display case at my local one, Foodland.

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Yup, that cooler is stuffed with raw fish, and a few other strange sea creatures on the left. All Poke is not created equal. There is fresh, and there is fish that has been frozen and gassed with Carbon Monoxide. Frozen to preserve it longer and kill any potential health threats, and gassed to preserve the fresh fish red color. I prefer fresh, but have eaten both kinds and really can’t tell the different the way I dress it up to eat.  It’s not cheap though. I bought some today, and here is what I paid.

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Yup, $12 bucks a pound. But half a pound is a lot, and about all I can eat even if I am really hungry. As you can see, there are a few other ingredients. That’s because of the mix I get. I started to eat the Hawaiian way, but switched when it got a little to fishy for me. The only thing they put in that is onions, soy, sea salt, and a little bit of seaweed.

No one knows the real origin of Poke, although the Hawaiians claim it. Many cultures around the world eat raw fish, and have for centuries. I think you know by now that fish is good for you. In moderation. I say that because large predator fish like tuna also carry Mercury in their flesh (the part we eat). Although there are no definitive proven Mercury dangers, the recommendation is to only eat tuna 2 or 3 times a week. If you want to eat more fish, eat small fish like sardines or smelt (That’s a fish you don’t hear much about). They don’t have the Mercury issue as much.

I know Poke has moved off the islands an is now very popular on the Mainland (what Hawaiians call the 48 states). It has caused some demand pressures, and that’s why it’s probably spendy as it is. While I am on the subject, fish and chicken are two of the most expensive meats on the island compared to the mainland prices. You can get hamburger at Costco for $3.99, and steak for around $9 a pound for good steak. Salmon can get up to $12 a pound, and chicken close to $6. We are surrounded by water full of fish, and there are loose chickens all over the place. Go figure.

When I have a little left over, that no longer may qualify for “fresh”, I fry the poke up in a pan with some eggs, and it makes a killer scrambled egg dish.

But for now, I’m hungry. It’s Poke time………….

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Time for Sunsets…….

Sunsets have been here since the Earth and the Sun were formed. Before life, before anything really. I wonder what those first sunsets looked like. I bet they were awesome. As life started, sunsets separated the species, those whose lives were lived in the light, and those of the dark. It marked a completion of a day before there were clocks and calendars to enslave our time. There has always been one sure thing. A sunrise will end with a sunset and a sunset will be followed by a sunrise. That’s pretty reassuring.

“Every sunset brings the promise of a new dawn”.  Ralph Waldo Emerson

I’m a huge sunset person. To me, they represent another day of your life has ended. Watching a sunset somehow closes that day out, and gets you ready for the next. It truly is one of natures most beautiful sights. Whenever I can, I try to stop what I am doing and watch the sun go down. Of course, it doesn’t always work out that way, you are busy, there are clouds, in the wrong place, inside, and a host of other distractions. A good example of this is my last place I worked. The dealership faced west and had a huge field that provides gorgeous sunsets. I got to enjoy very little of them because I was always busy with something that required my attention. I always felt a bit cheated by that.

I get it that everyone is not into sunsets. Take my kids, for instance, they couldn’t care less. Seems like I feel alone in my feelings for sunsets. Early risers like sunrise, beach lovers like that overhead sun. Night owls don’t like the sun at all. So a big plus for me to move to Maui was that I could watch unlimited amounts of sunsets. I grew up in the woods of Northern Minnesota, where it was hard to find a sunset.  I guess I started to appreciate them more when I moved to Key West, Florida, and went down to the pier at sunset along with hundreds of others to watch as the ocean swallowed up the sun. They were glorious.

To get the best sunset, you know you need to look at it across water or flat land. Because of the geography of Maui, and the neighboring islands, there is only a small spot on the island where you can get that over water show. In Maui, I don’t live in that primo spot.

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As you can see on the map, There really is only a small piece of the island where you can watch it without an island blocking it. (The sun sets in the west for you night owls).

For some reason, I wanted to write about sunsets today. This afternoon as I was writing this blog I came to a disappointing realization. For all the talk, and how I feel about them, I have only watched the sun set twice. (Technically once. We were on the beach as it got dark on the east side of the island). That really hit me. All that time had slipped by without my enjoying one of my greatest pleasures. And the only reason I saw those two (one) was that I had company from Minnesota and they wanted to go to the beach. What a hypocrite I am.

I looked at the time, 5:40, and looked up the sunset time, 6:40. Without hesitation, I jumped in my car to make the 30-minute drive to the beach where I could see the sun set best. Now keep in mind that I still had to reckon with clouds. Didn’t matter. And it didn’t matter for these sunset lovers when I arrived.

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I set up my beach chair, and quietly contemplated the day as the sun set behind the tip of the neighboring island of Lanai. When it was gone, I jumped in the car and thought I might as well get something to eat. I stopped at Maui Tacos and they had a special going, $5 house burritos. Nice. When I was done, I was walking to my car and stopped in a surf shop next to the Taco place. They were having a sale on Billabong clothes, and I got a killer pair of board shorts and T-shirt at 75% off. (I know what you were thinking. He probably wears a Speedo). I didn’t think the night could get better, but I looked up and saw a gorgeous half moon above. (OK, I’m a moon person too). On the way back home I opened up the panoramic sunroof, cranked the tunes, and felt like I was 20 again. Life is pretty good it seems when you take time for yourself. How could I have let these precious months slip away like that? The answer, of course, is responsibility, time, obligations, money, kids, life. Why do I feel so guilty taking moments of the day to enjoy, when I have others to consider. That is what I need to work on as it became glaringly obvious today.

I am starting to add video content to my posts. Here is a video I took from the beach at sunset. I find it very relaxing, I hope you do too. (as a side note, it’s 87 degrees with a slight breeze off the water).

From now on, I will be taking more time for sunsets………..

Not about cars…………

Oh yeah, it’s coming. Don’t even think it’s not. This picture pretty much tells you why I got out of the car business and moved out of Minnesota. A dealership is a lot of physical and mental work in the winter. (In the summer too, but not so much).  Everyone has their reasons to leave, but how about reasons to start in the first place. That’s my story today.

I didn’t have the inclination or money to go to college and steer my working years towards a career. Instead, I drifted around traveling, and when not doing that, worked on the farm with my Dad. I was thirty-five when we sold the farm, my Dad retired, and I was on my own, with a live in girlfriend and her 10-year-old daughter. Got a little money from the sale, but that was soon gone, putting the bulk of it into an old house and living expenses. I tried selling real estate, but the market was not so good, and my selling skills double not so good.  With the remaining money I had, which was dwindling quickly, I bought a little sign installation business putting up real estate for sale signs. I worked hard for a year, didn’t make any money, then found a buyer for what I had paid for it. Unfortunately, he had to pay me on payments, and when he figured out he couldn’t make any money either, quit paying me. I didn’t even bother to go get the signs and equipment. Licked my wounds and went on.

I started a carpet cleaning business with an old van and a rented carpet cleaner. The worst was cleaning bathrooms that had carpet around the toilets. Yuck. After about six months of hard work, the van pooped out, but I didn’t want to give up my dream of becoming the Carpet Cleaning King of the World. The King needed a van quickly, so I turned to my best friend who had been selling cars for about six months in the town where we grew up, about 20 miles from where I had my money pit, I mean my house. I went up to see him, and it didn’t take long to find out someone with no money, no credit, and no real job couldn’t get a loan for a van. Even Fingerhut would have turned me down. He came up with a great idea, knowing my dire situation, why don’t I sell cars. He had come with me on a couple of my sign installs, and after driving 45 minutes and trying to dig through rock to put the sign in the ground, he had asked my how much I got for each install. I proudly told him $15, which included installation and removal. He told me something I will never forget, as he leaned on the tailgate puffing on a cigarette. “I wouldn’t do that job for $100 a sign” he proclaimed. And he meant it. It was at that moment I knew I was doomed doing that. That’s when I dumped it.

I didn’t particularly like car salesmen, people, or big business, so it was a hard sell. He worked on me and the manager for a few weeks, then I finally was able to get a position at the dealership selling cars, and the rest, as they say, is history. (28 years to be exact). He did me the biggest favor of my life.

I’m not going to toot my own horn (well maybe a little) but selling cars was what I guess I was destined to do. I loved it and was rewarded financially like I had not imagined. I didn’t know much about selling but learned quickly with cassette tapes in my car on the drive to and from work. I didn’t know much about cars but found out you didn’t have to. Keep in mind, this was before the internet, before cell phones. I got by with enthusiasm and a big smile.( I learned that by watching a young guy in our real estate office. He didn’t know one thing about houses but sold a ton of them. I knew a lot, and couldn’t close a sale. All he had was a huge grin and a big coffee mug.) People buy from someone they like. And I learned one thing about each car, just one. I remember we had acquired about 120 Eagle Premiers and Dodge Monocos, and everyone ignored them because they were a bit different. The dash moved and the engine was in sideways. I thought that was pretty cool, so everyone I talked to I showed them that car. I ended up selling about 60 of them myself, keep in mind we had 7 other salespeople besides me. My biggest selling tool was with the engine sideways, there was what was called a dog bone support that held the engine up. If you got in a head on crash, the dog bone would break, and the engine would drop to the ground and go under the car instead of in your lap. Pretty sure all the cars did that but didn’t matter. That seemed to strike a concern with people and they bought them like crazy. That has served me well ever since. That you don’t have to know everything, just the right thing.

Albert Einstein once said, ” The only source of knowledge is experience.” I have plenty of that now. Sometimes I don’t feel that way, but if the right question comes up, the right answer seems to follow, at least in what I have experienced.

So I am going to start posting lessons learned, inside tips, funny and sad stories, and other stuff about buying a car. I set up a category just for that, and know that a lot of it will not apply to your current needs, but at some point, it might. I enjoyed the car business and it was good to me financially. Of course, it also affected my personal life, which long hours and lots of stress will do. No one knows which path to choose. Even hindsight is not so clear. To be sure is to be certain beyond question. I am not sure about a lot of things. I’m certain about less.

But I do know one thing for sure. The car business is not about cars…………..it’s about people.

 

Rain for dummies…………

 

We all know that rain comes from clouds. Too much you get the flooding that is happening in Houston right now. Too little, and you get devastating fires that cover thousands of acres across the West.

We were driving to school the other day, it was raining a little, and my kids asked me where rain comes from. I could have said it was tears from heaven, thunder is angels bowling, and there is a pot of gold at the end of the rainbow.  There are a ton of rainbows (if they can be weighed) here in Maui. Been looking for the gold but no luck so far.

But I didn’t. I gave them what I knew. Basically nothing, other than they came from clouds. So when I got home, I wanted to know so I wouldn’t look dumb if they asked me again.

Here is what you can tell kids if they ask. If you don’t care, then just watch the video barefoot, and enjoy.

The process starts as evaporation. This is the same process you use to get distilled water. Water evaporates, leaving any solids or impurities behind, and becomes a gas which rises above the earth’s surface. An example is ocean water. The salt is left behind. When it reaches a certain height, the gas cools and forms water droplets. Those droplets bump together until about a million of them bond, then they become a water droplet.

This is called condensation. When they reach a certain size and weight, gravity pulls them down to earth as rain, snow, or hail. Depending on the cloud size and density, it will determine how many droplets will fall.

This is called precipitation. This is the third cycle of rainfall, and what we experience as rain. As the rain falls, it collects in ponds, lakes, rivers, and oceans.

This is called collection. And it is here that the whole cycle starts all over again.

Just remember evaporation, condensation, precipitation, and collection. If you can’t remember those four words, then keep your mouth shut.

Now you know what to say to a kid, so you won’t sound so dumb. If they start to ask harder questions about it, just pretend you are deaf like I do. Or turn up the radio real loud and tell them it’s your favorite song. But I can only listen to Despacito so many times.

“The three great elemental sounds in nature are the sound of rain, the sound of the wind in a primeval wood, and the sound of outer ocean on a beach”.  Henry Beston.

Sharing……………

Learned something new today about a blog website. It can be shared. You will notice below a bunch of buttons that link to the major social media sites. Clicking one of those will allow you to share a blog with your connections. It’s at the bottom of every blog.  If one of my stories strikes a particular chord with you, please share it. Sharing is good.  I would appreciate it, and it would make you look way smart to be able to find such an interesting story. 🙂

Disclaimer: My two sisters are so far off the grid, they think social media is inviting someone over for dinner, and then watch a movie on DVD.  So this is not for you guys.