Wednesday, May 30, 2007

$9 !

In early 2006 we flew to the Big Island (a.k.a. Hawaii) and paid nearly $140 a person for our tickets. That's quite a chunk of change for a family of four.

Then the price war started. Go!airline underbid everyone else, and we flew to Kauai for only $39 a person. Recently, we flew to the Big Island again for even less, $29 a ticket. (These are one way tickets, btw. And it doesn't matter what island you fly to, the price is the same.)

Just now I heard on the radio that our price war has reached a new low: Go!, Aloha and Hawaiian now offer tickets for a measly $9. That's awesome. $9 means we could fly to Maui just to hang out on a beach for a weekend afternoon. We could fly in early in the morning, do some swimming and snorkeling, and fly back in the early evening. Heck, $9 means we could afford a (pricey, this is Maui after all) hotelroom and stay the entire weekend.

Sweet.

Oh, I also found a few more things I'd miss if we moved:

1. plumeria, tuberose, hibiscus and all the other flowering trees and shrubs
2. malasadas (yummy!)
3. Pizza Bob's
4. geckos


(It's semi-official, btw, that we are staying for now. Yay.)

Wednesday, May 23, 2007

Ouch

This from iTunes:

“After researching your request, I found that on April 2nd, 2006 you were allowed to redownload the purchases you had made with the account "[ ]." This was an exception to the iTunes Store Terms of Sale. I'm sorry, but the iTunes Store can't make another exception for you.”

Well, that sucks.


I’m bummed.

Tuesday, May 22, 2007

@$% !!

My computer died two nights ago. I was in the middle of something and got up to get a glass of water and when I came back the computer was dead. Some fatal error or another.

This is the second time now that darn thing died on me. The first time was messy, because it took all my files with it. This time I was prepared. I had back-ups. The truth is, I spotted erratic behavior last week and immediately backed everything up. Or so I thought. It turns out I forgot about iTunes.

Then the battery on my iPod needed recharging today. Of course, I didn’t think much of it and plugged the shuffle into my husband’s computer. As soon as I connected the two, iTunes popped up and “updated” my shuffle. UGH. It erased everything I had on it and replaced it with songs from early 2006 (the last time I was forced to use the husband’s computer). I am so mad right now. It didn’t help that I couldn’t figure out how to contact iTunes support. After a bunch of self-help dead-ends and reading my way through various FAQ, I finally found the contact-us form. Yay. Now I hope they come through and restore what I lost.

Sunday, May 20, 2007

Hawaii: what I will and will not miss

What I will miss:

  • the beach and
  • being able to go snorkeling or swimming at the drop of a dime
  • not having to worry about what the weather will be like; it’s the same every day (more or less) or
  • the warm weather, period
  • being able to send the kids outside to play any time of the year; it’s never too cold, but occasionally it’s too wet
  • not having to wear shoes or socks or, god forbid, pantyhose
  • watching the sun set over the ocean right from our back porch
    open-air movies
  • waking up to the sound of birds in the tree outside our bedroom and
  • going to sleep to the scent of plumeria from the tree outside our bedroom

What I will not miss:

  • beach sand in the bed or anywhere else in the house
  • no one being on time and everything starting late
  • ants, centipedes and cockroaches the size of minivans
  • sunburn
  • traffic and Hawaiian drivers; I had to take the HI road test to get my driver’s license (don’t ask! long story) and I’m not surprised the people here don’t know how to drive
  • kids and adults riding in truck beds, sometimes sitting in lawn furniture while doing so, barreling down the highway at 65 mph!
  • Hawaiian pidgin English; Fo real you know. I no keed you.
  • having to pay extra shipping on anything coming from the mainland
  • no Target, no Applebee’s, no Olive Garden, no good Chinese or Italian restaurants, period
  • having to fly an airplane to leave O’ahu county

Religion in school


I’m a proponent of religion as a class subject in school. I think in a day and age when we fight and die for religion (and freedom), we cannot afford to be ignorant.

I have no idea how many people are religion/church-affiliated in this country. I wouldn’t even want to hazard a guess. I’m not Christian myself. I am, in fact, very uncomfortable when it comes to church-run educational institutions, but that doesn’t mean we can’t teach our kids.

I grew up in a country that separates church and state, but I still had to go to religion class. In middle-school, it was a subject much like geography or biology. We learned about the five major religions and a few lesser known ones. We had guest speakers from whatever religion we discussed at the time, and at the end of the year, we knew what made each religion tick. No one was converted. No one was brainwashed. No religion was badmouthed. No religion was hailed above all others.

I honestly think we’re doing our kids a disservice by not teaching them what the rest of the world believes in and fights for. Or in the words of Martin Luther King, Jr.:

"Nothing in the world is more dangerous than sincere ignorance and conscientious stupidity."

Saturday, May 05, 2007

Life after ...

It’s been two weeks since my purse was stolen out of my brother’s rental car. What a pain. I still haven’t replaced everything that was stolen. My glasses, my car and house keys, my phone, my wallet with all the stuff that’s unusually in a wallet (i.e. driver’s license, credit cards, annual passes to the water park, zoo, Polynesian Cultural Center etc.), my military I.D. (yes, complete with birth date and social security number), my writer’s notebock with all my notes and a spa gift certificate I won at Christmas.

Most of these things are/were fairly easy to replace. I had to argue with the management at the Polynesian Cultural Center, because they refused to give me new annual passes (and we’re talking passes for the entire family here!), but they eventually came around and caved in.

I just had my replacement phone activated today. I wasn’t eligible for any upgrades, of course, so I’m stuck using my old, old phone for the time being. Truth be told, I like/liked the old one better anyway.

I just found a new messenger bag I liked yesterday, but I still don’t have a wallet (not that I have any money to put in to it anyway).

Unfortunately, I also lost my new glasses. Not only were they expensive, but they were bought with my PROTECTOR advance. I loved those glasses. Luckily, I hadn’t donated my old pair. I argued with the insurance about them, too. I don’t see why I cannot claim them (pun not intended). They were not a frivolous item left in the car (like the snorkel gear that’s gone); I am legally required to wear them to drive the car, so they should be insured.

Oh, well.

Did I mention my brother and his girlfriend lost everything? Cash, passports, state I.D.s, driver’s licenses, credit cards and the engagement ring my brother had hidden away in his backpack. Carmen, his girlfriend, had had no idea!

Dealing with the German consulate in San Francisco was a pain. My brother and his now-fiancĂ©e must have been the first German tourists ever to lose their passports in a foreign country. Luckily, their replacement papers arrived just in time. And unlike predicted by the unfriendly clerk on the phone, they had no problem at the airport. Well, they did leave on the first leg of their journey back to Germany. I found out later that they got stranded in L.A. when their plane broke down and couldn’t be fixed. So with only $20 in cash and an emergency credit card that didn’t work (another long story), they spent an extra day in California. Some vacation!

And what have you been up to?