Tuesday, December 30, 2008

Tales of a man and his Clothesline. Also, thoughts on the Holidays.

I know it’s New Years, and Christmas just passed, but right now, I am in love with my clothesline. I’ll have some thoughts on the holidays at the end.

But I love my new clothesline. I’ve been thinking about having one for a while-it’s hot here. It’s windy here. Kinda makes sense. Our friends down the street have a fancy European one that retracts into its own spool. I had clothesline envy for a while, and I tried to find one like that here, but alas, was unable to do so.

So, I lost interest for a while, and continued using our electric dryer.

But it was irritating me. It makes the garage hot, doesn’t always finish when I need it to be done, and I have to turn it off if we have to leave the house, as we certainly don’t want a fire, but moreover, it just wasn‘t getting the job done, and costs money to run, as we do a lot of laundry.

So, about a week ago, I had alls I could stand, and I couldn’t stands no more…

I found a long covered cable and another rope in the garage. I used my extensive knot-tying training from my time as a student at Hurricane Island Outward Bound, and rigged me an old fashioned clothesline on the back porch, what the locals call a “Lanai,” but I call a porch.

I found myself some pins, and up that first load went. I felt great satisfaction as my Philadelphia Eagles Jersey (they made the playoffs! Woot!) gently swayed in the breeze. The combination of the wind and heat had the job done in less than an hour. I was hooked, and went looking for more laundry to do so I could dry it on my new clothesline.

Walking past the dryer over the last week, I feel like I’m walking by that girl who broke up with me for that dude with the hair, only now, I have a hot new clothesline, or rather, girlfriend, as the metaphor poorly indicates. I’m sure the dryer, had it feelings, would feel rejected, and that would be appropriate. I’m done with that thing. It costs money, and like I said, makes the garage hot, and despite this being Hawaii, I still don’t enjoy being unnecessarily hot if I have some say in the matter.

In all honesty, I have learned the following about how my new clothesline is better than the dumb dryer in the garage:
1) My clothesline uses no electricity, and was essentially free, since I made it from stuff we already owned.
2) I can leave laundry on the line if we have to go out.
3) My clothesline doesn’t get cranky and start banging against the washer when it feels too full.
4) My clothesline doesn’t need its lint trap cleaned.
5) My clothesline is so easy to use, the kids can help me. It takes longer when they do, but it’s an easy way to fill up 30 minutes or so in-between playgroups and such.

And those are just off the top of my head. I’m sure it’s considered “going green,” but that’s just gravy. For some reason, beyond the top five above, I have to admit, that I have found a sense of inner peace when I’m putting clothes on the line.

Unless the kids are clamoring about, there is something about just being a man outside on the porch, with my clothesline and the gentle Leeward Oahu breeze, that is centering and spiritually uplifting. I feel at one with our washables. Perhaps there is a sense of balance to be found in the process. More research is clearly warranted. Stay tuned for the next load…

Couple of notes on Christmas: thanks again to all who’ve written me of late regarding the blog. Your comments and suggestions are always appreciated. Hope your holidays were great.

In the days leading up to Christmas, the kids spent their time at home wrapping “presents” in a dishtowel and giving it to one another to “practice” opening presents. They’d take turns opening and being surprised and saying, “OHHHHHHHH! It’s a Pooh Movie!!!!” or “OHHHHHHHH! It’s a Princess something!” and so forth. They entertained one another like this for hours.
It was great-I got a lot of laundry done, and as such, got to spend time with my clothesline.

Christmas day, we opened some presents with family on the mainland via the magic of the Logitech Webcam. It was nice, and the girl in particular reveled in the joy of each present. Wanting one after the other in quick succession, enjoying them all tremendously.

Her Twin brother on the other hand, opened one, loved it, and ran up to his room to play with it by himself. He came down a little later and opened more, and then went back up to the cave to play undisturbed. He’s a smart boyo.

The little bear loved her presents, and everyone else’s, and the boxes, and packaging, and especially the paper, that soon covered every inch of the house in small, torn-up squares. Felt like we’d been in a ticker-tape parade…

The fireworks here started about two weeks ago. As you can buy them as an impulse item while checking out at Foodland and Walmart, to say they are easy to come by here, is like saying the Eagles barely beat the Cowboys this past week. (They won 44-6. Go Eagles) The lead up to New Years in Hawaii is bombastic. I have a friend who spent time in Iraq. He says that our town on New Years Eve is louder than anything he saw over there.

And for those of you who asked, yes we were affected by the blackout, but it was really not a big deal for us. Lit some candles, made sure there were no clothes on the clothesline (I love my clothesline), and read a book. No big whoop. Our side of the island was without power from 7pm-3am. We got ours back before the “Windward” or “snotty” side of the island. So there Kailua! (I still love Kailua. Not as much as my clothesline though.)

Oh, and one final note. I’m not sure this fits into the theme of this column, but I had to mention it as it happened this evening and was really cool. I got some Itunes gift cards, and have downloaded a lot of new stuff that I’ve been wanting to get for months. Included in that is a great young band from New Brunswick, New Jersey named “The Gaslight Anthem.” You can check them out here: http://gaslightanthem.com/ They clearly have prayed at the alter of Springsteen…

Anyway, we were listening to new stuff, and the kids were grooving on it, and as we finished dinner, the boyo says:

“Dad, do we have a sad song?”
And I said, “Well, we have lots of sad songs I guess-what do you mean?”
“Dad…can we take a sad song and make it better?”

For those of you playing along at home, that is, of course a lyric from “Hey Jude” by the Beatles. And while the kids have heard that version, I knew the one he wanted to listen to was the Wilson Pickett version featuring the late and still great Duane Allman on lead guitar. We hadn’t heard it for a while.

I asked him, “You mean, ‘Hey Jude?’”
And he said, “Yeah, Dad. That’s the one.”

He’s four. That was cool.

Hopefully, I will have an actually entertaining column regarding New Years in the coming week. Last year’s ‘Eve was pretty exciting. We shall see. Until then, thanks for reading. Tell a friend…Aloha!

Wednesday, December 24, 2008

By Popular Demand: The Great Tree-Knocking-Over incident of 2008

We had a little tree for Christmas last year when were stuck in that truly craptacular apartment in Waikiki. We had arrived on the Island December 10, and our house wasn’t ready for us. So, we lived there and muddled through as best a family of five can in a two-bedroom apartment. That is poorly, at least for me. I got a total of zero nights of decent sleep in the 29 days we lived in that place.

But, I digress. We had a little tree, no more than 24 inches at its best. We put the Snoopy tree blanket around it as it sat on the glass table. That glass table…that mother of toddler facial bruises that it was…was the worst, but it was home to last year’s Christmas tree. Our first Hawaiian Christmas.

It was weak at best. But it sufficed. We had the tree, and watched the Grinch and “Charlie Brown Christmas” on Youtube on the old laptop, and we made it through.

This year, I had hoped that we could do better. After all, we were in our house, and have been here almost a year. It’s become our home, and our kids, as one of their Godfather’s once said, “Dude, they are old enough to remember this stuff now…make with a tree!”

And so, with that in mind, all three kids and I made a sojourn to the Waikele K-Mart. I’ll admit I didn’t even consider a live tree, although they were available at K-Mart, and elsewhere. They cost way too damn much here, and there’s nowhere to plant it after the fact, and in this economy, I’ll be damned if I’m going to pay that much for something that’s going to die and leave needles all over that I have to vacuum up, not to mention the fact that I was still unsure if the kids would be able to handle having the tree out and about.

I am certain that there are families that have children in a variety of quantities and ages who manage to enjoy having their Christmas Tree out and about in various states of repose. I’m sure “John and Kate Plus Eight” have a tree in everyone’s room, and everyone behaves, as they fear, quite rightly I would think, that Kate might actually bite their heads off both figuratively, and perhaps, well, I‘ll leave it there...

But, I was concerned as it relates to my children’s ability to co-exist with a large fake tree adorned with cool things under which at some point presents would appear.

Call me crazy.

You see, my children are an interesting amalgamation of personages: the twins are four now. Their little sister is two. They can communicate across the board now and work together on any number of missions, both productive and destructive.

The kids and I put the tree together in the foyer of our upstairs area, which is a common area in between everyone’s bedrooms. While I shall avoid, out of good taste the opportunity to rail against the term “Easy to Install,” I am pleased to say that we got it done in something less than two hours. There is only one piece of furniture in the landing area, and that is the Wife’s Grandfather’s old Leather Easy chair. It is more often than not an open area that they bring their toys into and have a variety of adventures and so forth. The tree made it through the first night, and the kids were promised a tree-trimming with Mommy and Daddy a few nights later as work schedules allowed.

While the tree was an object of interest the first few days before the ornaments went up, it was a casual one at best. There was interest when we put it up and I added lights, but without the ornaments, it was a bit dull to their sensibilities. They left it alone, and that, I am sorry to say, gave me the false sense of security that would later prove problematic.

The tree survived, and was left very much to its own devices for the first few days of its time with us. It had a place of prominence in the main foyer upstairs, abreast the largest window in our home. It was a prominent feature in our daily lives those days, those all too brief days…as we awoke in the morning, it was among the first things we saw.

Those were good days. Those four days that the tree lasted.

As I said, the first two, it was just a tree with lights. Then we did the ornaments…and all Snoop broke loose. Once the tree was adorned with Snoopy, and colorful balls, birdies, and angels, and lacrosse sticks, and toy soldiers, and, man, I fear to say it as the kids might wake up and run down here and tackle the computer….once S-A-N-T-A showed up on the tree, the sheer enthusiasm alone was nearly enough to blow a hole in the kid-waiting-for-present-time-continuum….

And the event was fraught with Holiday albums: Johnny Mathis, Charlie Brown, and Sinatra, along with John Denver and The Muppets, carried us though an evening of Pizza, Spicy Ahi, and Egg Nog. That everyone’s stomachs were off the next day is irrelevant. Mele Kalikimaka…

So we trimmed the tree and it was good. And the children were told that the tree was to look at, and not to play with. The more delicate ornaments were either put high atop our glorious six-foot artificial tree from K-Mart, or they were tucked away for safe keeping. We talked about where some of the ornaments were from, and each of the kids clearly had their favorites. Little Bear loved the Snoopy ornaments. Much like her Mother, which explains the bevy of them on the tree. The Girl liked Snoopy too, but she enjoyed far more the ones that had pictures on them: some of her and her twin brother, and another that was a wedding favor at her Aunt and Uncle’s wedding.

I took that picture that they used. Took the ones of the twins too.

The boyo liked the ones that looked like “houses” but are actually replicas of old-school ornaments of church houses. He liked the one that looked like Gracie too. I like that one too.

And the tree was very welcome in our home. The weather here, which rarely wavers, did in fact just that, and there was a period of heavy rain so hard that the twins pre-school was cancelled. It was one of those time that I really understood that I am still an East Coast guy, as I said, “What, people can’t drive in this? C’mon…” Much like people from Minnesota ride people from Ohio for their small amounts of snow, and people from Buffalo ridicule people from New Jersey (at their peril…) and people from Maryland laugh out loud at people from Georgia who cancel school when it snows 1 inch. It’s all relative I suppose.

But the storms were pretty severe, and I saw some serious lightning and there were flash floods all over the Islands. This relates to our story in the manner in which it meant we were homebound a bit more, and as Daddy is not one to throw extra TV at the problem, we were upstairs a bit more, and the tree was right there…and it had all this cool stuff on it.

I should have known it was short for the house when school was cancelled. It was midmorning when I heard the crash. I had already been upstairs several times, and I had give a few timeouts for messing with the tree, though truth be told, I knew it was only a matter of time. I had gone downstairs to start on lunch, when I heard it.

Oddly, if not for the twins reaction, I might not have thought anything of the slight shuffling and crunchy noise I heard. But, alas, I heard the thunderous thuderousness of the boyo hopping down the steps…and felt a sense of dread as he reached the bottom step, calling out:

“Um, Daaad?”

To which I replied: “What is it Boyo?”

“Um, Dad, Did you hear that crash?”

And I looked over, as he stood at the bottom of the stairs, his face scrunched up in thought. And as I flew to the stair well, and bounded up the stairs, I knew halfway up that this tree was not long for our house.

And there it lay, our first genuine Tree, all six-feet of it, fully knocked over on its right side, the little bear standing on her great-grandfather’s leather chair, truly resplendent in her joy at having reached the ornament of Snoopy kicking a soccer ball.

I sighed. And then, I picked the whole tree up, and moved it into our bedroom, moved Grandpa’s Chair, and gave the tree a new home.

The kids would later earn visitation rights, which became far more popular once gifts started collecting beneath the tree. Truth be told, it has turned out to be a blessing: the tree has survived, and I’ve enjoyed having the chance to sleep in a room with a Christmas tree.

In addition, I wrote in my last column about “Grandpa’s Radio Time.” That might never have occurred had not the tree been there. That first Sunday, when I gathered around the radio with the kids before bed was motivated by a number of things, one of which was the kids desire to visit their Christmas Tree.

And as I wrote last time-it has been the beginning of something really cool for me and the kids.
The kids consistently ask for “radio time” during the week now. We had one last night, and caught the end of a cool broadcast of Tchaikovsky. The kids enjoyed it, and I asked them if they liked the radio time just because of the tree…and the presents...

The girl told me, when I asked her “No Daddy…” and then proceeded to dance around the room, at least in the moment oblivious of the tree.

I hope it continues.

Happy holidays, and thank you for reading.

Wednesday, December 17, 2008

Grandpa's Radio

It’s a Silvertone, with Sears Integrated Circuits, Model # 8072 in Colonial Style Cabinet. It was a gift from his parents when he graduated college in 1961. Growing up, until I was in the eighth grade, it was the center of many of our evenings.

It plays both AM/FM stereo and played records until recently, when the needle and cartridge succumbed to the age of the unit. It is quite fixable, so if anyone knows where I could find Cartridge #57-88930 and Needle #5788119 for the Silvertone, vintage 1961, I would totally love you for ever and ever. Honest.

Music was a huge part of my life in my parents house, and continues to be in my own home. As a kid, I remember very fondly listening to “Friday’s With Frank Sinatra” hosted by our old friend and Philadelphia legend, Sid Mark. We followed Sid from Friday’s with Frank, to “Saturdays with Sinatra,” and later Sundays. Sid is still making it happen: www.soundsofsinatra.com/ Good for you Sid. I remember fondly learning at Dad’s left hand at the dining room table the difference between the Dorsey Era-Sinatra, and his later work with Percy Faith and Nelson Riddle.

When Frank wasn’t on the radio, it was likely be Philly’s favorite Oldies station, WOGL, with Hy-Lit, or one of the other score of vintage DJ’s they carried. Dad would quiz us on Artist names and song titles. I still find myself playing this game in m y head whenever there is music on, and have taken to torturing my children, co-workers, family members, and occasionally complete strangers with what they must surely see as trivial information. Alas, all that info is locked in my brain, never to be removed, and always feeling somehow important. I mean, who can anticipate when I might be called upon to tell someone if that is Ben E. King or Clyde McFatter leading The Drifters on a particular song? Perhaps someday I’ll be called upon to settle an argument of international significance by clearing up a dispute over whether “Big Mama” Thornton’s version of “Hound Dog” was better than Elvis’ version. (It was)

When the radio wasn’t on, it was records. Vinyl. Yeah, the good old stuff. I’ve always been a vinyl fan, in many reasons because 8-tracks always sucked, I didn’t get a cassette player until I was ten, and CD’s weren’t even widely available until I was in Junior High. So, we listened to records. And we listened to them on the Silvertone. The favorite records were kept in the small storage space beneath the turntable. On any given evening, I might find myself sitting in front of the speaker and listening to Elvis, or Sam Cooke, or Simon and Garfunkel, or Crosby, Stills, and Nash (and sometimes Young), but we would be just as likely to have the Soundtrack to West Side Story, Oklahoma, Pirates of Penzance, and the whole Gilbert and Sullivan lexicon.

Beethoven’s 9th Symphony was a popular play, but only the version with the Chicago Symphony, conducted by Sir Georg Solti. This was a departure for Dad, as he typically preferred the conducting of Eugene Ormandy and the local Philadelphia Orchestra, and that of Leonard Bernstein, both of whom had conducted the 9th. I know this, as they were also part of Dad’s record collection. But, he swore by the Solti one, and to be honest, I think it holds up the best, and it is the only version of the piece on my Ipod. Still have the vinyl though…

I remember one Winter Saturday in particular, when for some reason, Mom and my sister were out of the house, and Dad baked bread, and we listened to Prokofiev’s “Peter and the Wolf,” conducted by Leopold Stokowski, with Basil Rathbone as the storyteller. It is an album, playable on at 78 speed, which most modern turntables don‘t even offer. I remember looking at the picture on the cover, and was confused at first, thinking it was a story record, like the “Star Wars” story record and the “Gingerbread Man” story record I used to listen to in my room on my “Popeye” record player. Yes, I know how cool that makes me. I also had a .45 of The Monkees “Last Train the Clarksville,” so maybe it’s a wash?

I once told a student about my .45 record collection, and, aghast, she cried, “YOU own a gun?!” But I digress…

“Peter and the Wolf” was neat, but I was confused because the story was mostly music. He explained to me that I had to imagine what the music was describing. It was weird at first, but by the time it ended, I understood, and remember feeling like my brain suddenly had access to a whole new kind of music. Bread was pretty good too.

Between general yearly use, and it’s increased use around the Holidays, I remember vividly the day he taught me how to use the turntable on his Silvertone, and got authority to change sides. I was also given clearance to adjust the player when it got to that skip in Johnny Mathis’s “Blue Christmas.” I still can’t hear that song without hearing “I’ll have a bluuuuu, a bluuuuu, a bluuuu, a bluuuuu….”

To have earned permission to use and handle the unit was very much a coming of age in our house, as until the great “Christmas CD player and stereo system purchase of 1986,” Dad’s radio was in many ways the centerpiece of Family dinners, and general evenings at home. Seems like there was always something playing.

After the Christmas of ‘86, The Silvertone was the old boy in the neighborhood, having been replaced by a brand new “Realistic” cabinet system with huge speakers and a graphic equalizer. The Radio Shack up in the Jamesway shopping center saw my Dad coming a block away, and sold him the system by pulling on his need for better sound with which to conduct the tympani player of the Chicago Orchestra. “It’ll feel like you’re there at the concert! That’s what the man said!” And while the sound was immeasurably better, and liking new technology as much as the next guy in 8th grade, I found it to be pretty darn cool, I was sad a little too for the Silvertone.

Once the dust settled, I asked if I could have the old stereo to use in my sanctuary, that of course, being New Jersey in the 80’s was the basement. I already had a recycled black and white TV down there, and a couch, and a weight bench. Now, I could have some tunes, Maaan!

I know, like something right out of “Visionquest.” The momentum carried me. Sorry about that.

And so it spent the next 20 years or so in my half of the basement. It got a lot of use. I played the hell out of that thing; the radio didn’t get a lot of stations way down in the basement, and by the time I was in high school, I had a stereo in my room. I fell in love with vinyl, partly because it just seemed cool, but the sound was good, and, more vital as I got older and was a broke high school student, and then a broker college student, I could get records pretty cheap. So, I started collecting every record of every artist I liked. I remember vividly when I was introduced to “The Smiths” around 11th grade. One CD of theirs was nearly $25 at Sam Goody, and was about the same at Jamesway. So, I hit the Record Exchange, and bought pretty much their whole catalog on Vinyl, including “Louder than Bombs” and a great Import Pressing of “Rank” for $20.

Stuff I really liked, I would transfer to cassette on the soon to be obsolete, yet once new "Realistic" stero, for playing in my fancy new AM/FM stereo AND cassette player that Mom and Dad got me for my 17th birthday, and had installed in the old Nissan after I got my license.

Ironically I suppose, it was the last gift my parents gave me before Dad died. The car is long gone, but I still have that stereo in a box in the garage.

Still have the records too.

And I still have the Silvertone. It’s in our bedroom upstairs. And it gets regular use, especially on Sunday nights, which are now “Grandpa’s Radio time.” It happened almost on accident a few weeks ago, but the kids really dug it, and it’s turning into a regular activity.

The wife works late on Sundays and they tend to be very busy days: between church, Football, and the copious amounts of birthday parties, fairs, special events, and other kinds of things there are to do here on Sundays. I usually aim for them to be in bed between 6:30 and 7:30pm these days, as they really have lost the regular nap. And they wake up around the same time every morning, so I aim for that as their bedtime, and it’s been pretty standard.

Hawaii Public Radio, 89.3 FM, has “Sinatra, the man and his music” on from 5-6 pm, and we listen to that during dinner, and then I’d been listening to “Prairie Home Companion” at 6pm. I usually only got to hear a few minutes though, as it got to be bedtime. So every weekend, I’d have that as a target, but then the night would get away from me. I’ve always liked the show, but never had a chance to listen regularly.

So, it was time for a shift. We got ready for bed early a few weeks ago. We ate dinner, and then went upstairs to Mommy and Daddy’s room, and plugged in the Christmas tree (where it was moved after the great tree-knocking over incident) and put the show on. They sat on the bed, or on my Dad’s old recliner, and looked at the tree, and listened to Garrison Kielor start the show on Grandpa’s Radio. The sound is remarkably good for a unit of its age, and the kids played with some ornaments, and listened to the songs, and the silly stories, and asked about people in the pictures that sit atop the unit. After about 45 minutes, we moved to bed, and they went. It was a lot of fun, and we’ve repeated it every Sunday since. Week two, when the “Guy Noir” story started, they asked if “Mr. Wiggles” or the "Snake" were in this one, as he had been a prominent character the week before. I explained that it would be a new story, but was impressed with their recall.

They ask about it during the week, and when someone mentioned Sunday to the twins the other day, they replied, “That’s Grandpa’s Radio Day!” They’ve asked to hear it during the week too.
The kids never knew my Dad, and this activity has given me a chance to connect with him in some way. What’s cool for me, is that this has given me a chance to remember the times when the whole family would be centered around that radio, and those are times I remember fondly.

When I grew up, there always seemed to be music on, and that I believe helped me learn to love, appreciate and gain joy from it for my whole life. One of the things that was elementary to me when the kids were born, was that I wanted to do the same. They’ve been exposed to everything I can give them. My Mom played stuff for them. My sister has played stuff for them. And my kids have heard it all.

So, while they’ve been listening all their lives, it’s been fun to reconnect with Dad’s Silvertone now. It’s a beautiful piece visually, and has outlasted any radio that I’ve ever had. Giving my kids a regular chance to connect with the Grandfather they’ve never known through the music of his radio is as pleasant as it is to do so myself.

I don’t know how long it will last, but I’m going to enjoy it while it does. Thus far, it’s been really fun. And at least I get to hear some of “Prairie Home Companion.” And they get to bed on time too. Gotta check the rest of the week’s radio schedule…

Music and story are powerful mediums, especially when provided by a vintage, 1961 Sears Silvertone, with stereo and Integrated Circuits.

I’ve spent the morning writing this, and the kids have been really excellent. They’ve played nicely all morning, with of course, Daddy’s Ipod playing on shuffle mode. As I was proofreading this to publish, I let them watch one Thomas and Friends episode, during which they saw a Christmas tree. The boyo said, “We have a Christmas tree, but not until Sunday with Grandpa’s Radio.” I told him we could listen and see the tree some other times too, if he wanted to. And smiled and said, “Ok, Dad!”

Well said boyo. Ok, Dad. Enjoy the show.

Thursday, December 11, 2008

Well, that's enough of that

Writing in general has always been something that I enjoy. My posting of yesterday not withstanding, I have found, for the most part, that the blog has been a positive experience for me, and has taken me in some interesting directions.

Last nights post was born of simple frustration, and I thank you all for your comments and feedback, both in public and in private. In addition to the blog, I have been working on a novel and some other projects. The blog does take a great deal of time to do, and I grew frustrated yesterday while working on it, realizing that I've neglected those other projects. As I was writing about our trip of last year, I suddenly felt like I was repeating myself, and where it would have been more professional to simply walk away and come back to it later, I instead put that frustration into the column, and published it. If you were offended by my tone, I apologize.

I considered deleting it, but have decided not to, as warts and all, it is reflective of what I was feeling in that moment. And, for better or worse, that's what this space was created for. I plan to keep writing here, and do hope you will keep reading.

Wednesday, December 10, 2008

One year in...shall I continue?

One year ago…

It was a rainy morning, and having been up seriously late the night before making sure everything was ready, the weather kind of matched my mood. My sleep during the last night in our old house was somewhat indicative of what the next month’s worth of sleeping would hold, though I didn’t know that at the time.

The gigantic van pulled up and we loaded the car seats and all the stuff we could muster on board, and we drove off to the Philadelphia Airport. It was an uneventful trip until my Mother-in-law phoned to let us know that we had not left her our house keys. She was at our home to oversee the pickup of all of out stuff…

And so we turned around. We gave the keys, and managed to make the plane on time, despite an overzealous security agent thinking that the boyo might have been hiding Al Queda in his “Incredibles” jacket.

And then we just carried on. The flight was a bit rough, and I’ve written about that in this space, and American Airlines made good on my complaints, so I’ll leave it there.

We landed, and the wife’s colleague met us at the airport, and we went to the McDonald’s drive thru, as there was no food on our flights…and then we went directly on to our temporary housing in Waikiki.

We spent the next 4 hours making the apartment, complete with its balcony, and two bedrooms, a kid proof home for our five person family.

It was a difficult transition, but we managed. I remember getting off the plane last year and feeling hot.

And beyond that, we adjusted. It’s been said in this space, and in all honesty, I am considering terminating this column.

The readership is not what I had hoped, and while I appreciate those of you who have read, I do not believe that this space will be greatly missed should it be terminated.

So, if you wish to hear more, please comment.