Monday, May 31, 2010

Memorial Day.

Blue skies, smiling at me nothing but blue skies do I see.

It all looks so lovely, until I reveal that the perfect lush green bits are part of the new golf course being built in Wailea (clearly I'm not a golfer!). Still it could be worse, littered in condo's and ABC stores, choking off the view for the rest of us to enjoy.

At the end of Thompson Road is a nursery and as I rode by, the bold contrast of these three colors struck me as snapshot worthy. As was the bleating goat at the beach yesterday, but that one came out blurred.

Nuff said.

At 28 cents per kwh Hawaii's electricity is the most expensive in the country. Last months bill of $200 threw me over the edge and I stepped back in time, finally installing a washing line. The clothes pegging skills from my youth came flooding back and it was a pleasure to hang up my stuff and walk away for the day. Full of self congratulation, hours later as I unpegged my laundry, I discovered one minor disadvantage....a bird had seen fit to shit on my skirt!

And finally, on my drive back up Baldwin Avenue I stopped by the Maui Veterans seemed like the right thing to do. Combatants from as far back as World War One are buried here and I quietly walked around looking at names, dates and rank. I watched wives pushing zimmer frames accompanied by daughters come and go with flowers and white haired old men talking story. All of a sudden the backs of my eyes became damp and I had a moment, which I guess is what today is all about.

PS: It's been at least a year since I've been out on my long board and boy oh boy could you tell! In honor of Memorial Day, ready, aim, fire!

Saturday, May 22, 2010

Pun, fun & strum.

At the Olukai race last week, the girls who performed Hula also demonstrated how to make their thick ti leaf skirts and fragrant plumeria lei.

This made me think of a cleaning company here called 'Lei the Maid' and of a cheese shop called 'Who cut the cheese'. At the risk of being a pun snob, they just don't do it for me.

Yet somehow these do... in Kent there's a van company called 'Van Gough', in Hillsborough a furniture store called 'Sofa King Cheap', in Sheffield on Effington Road 'The Effing Sandwich Shop' and a bunch of classic chippies, of whom 'A Salt N Battered' & 'In Cod We Trust' rank high amongst my faves.

Whilst I'm on the subject, I fish sat for a few days last week and had flash backs to all the aquariums I've ever owned. It made me glad I don't have one any more, too much work....but happily Henry (said Betta above) was ameanable, quiet and well behaved.

Orchids are much easier, though under my care don't live as long as the fish. This one was purchased in Paia at the new Agua de Flora Botanicals, stop by if you're in the hood it's delightful inside.

Talking of Paia, my friend Aaron who works at Maui Cyclery is heading out on the mother of all road trips next month. Awakened by the contrast of not living his dream, he's taking the next five years to cycle around a good chunk of the planet. Check out his website www.beyondthe, the Q & A will give you a really good idea of what he's in for! Dude-good luck.

It was so stinking windy all weekend, I had to venture elsewhere for fun.

Starting with the Makawao Forest. The mystery of passing more friends than normal running and riding was solved when I stopped to chat with my pal Tom. He'd organized a 12 hour forest romp for anyone that wanted to come & play, the banana's and water were on the house. I pulled over to let three expert riders fly by "hey nice to see you up here", yelled Jeff as he zoomed past. 10 minutes later and peddling hard up hill I crossed paths with Marsha and a girlfriend on their downward run, "hey how's it going?" and so it went on. All of us appreciating the trails and getting in a good work out in the process, super fun.

And then there was time to practice, practice, practice....though clearly not enough!

Saturday, May 15, 2010

Sugar cane and nose flutes.

HC & S owns 37,000 acres on Maui and the old sugar mill at Puuanene is the last working factory of its kind on Maui. However, times they are a changing and bio fuel crops may be wave of this companies future. In January the Islands sugar industry was given a years reprieve to produce a higher yield, otherwise the economic reality of losing $45 million dollars over the last two years may claim another historic casualty.

Lets hope the research into alternative energy produces the results that (amongst others) the 800 workers want to see. The revitalization of this 130 year old company would be a positive boost in uncertain times, for the full story click here and I hope I paraphrased accurately!

On a brighter note, we have a new friend at the office. His name is Anthony and he's a talented bloke in ways you would not expect. We paid for him to tint our windows, but (trust me) we got a lot more than we bargained for. "I like your tattoo" I said, "It's based on my genealogy" he told me, "I resisted for ages because I'm not a tattoo kinda guy, but one day the words 'OK let's do it' came out of my mouth". From his Filipino background, the alligator teeth/scales running both ways give him protection, the birds represent the wind as he play the nose flute and the honeycomb represents his family.

Anthony and his magic flutes. from Sharon on Vimeo.

"Nose Flute"? I hear you say......well here's a small sample of this mans big talent. Corina and I both had the privilege of receiving the gift of a double flute private concert.

"Is that the phone ringing?" "don't worry the machine will get it". All in all it wasn't your average day at the office and how happy do we look?!

And finally, over the last few weeks natures morning greeting has been a flurry of purple snow on my back deck and I wanted to share.

Sunday, May 09, 2010

Purple, yellow and pearl.

I passed a woman sitting...or rather posing under a blooming Jacaranda wearing all purple and having her photograph taken. "That's quite the effort" I thought as I drove by, but these stunning trees spark the imagination and make people do wacky shit like that.

These buses are not quite so majestic or quirky, but they are quintessentially American, which is what I always think when I drive by them. On weekends, they're parked above the grassy, flower filled graveyard of St.Joseph's church and I pass them on my way to ride in the Makawao Forest.

My hands want to grab the top of the buses (I can instantly feel the texture of the windows on my finger tips) and run them along the ground like Matchbox Cars.

Instead let me grab some thing a little more satisfying!

Oh the delicious and novel joy of being able to grab handfuls of pearls and feel them rolling around like ball bearings in the palms of your hands. If you went into a stuffy old jewelry store you could never do some thing as yummy and unconventional as this (or at least I couldn't!). Luckily our Tahitian Pearl source let us giddily grope her wares before deliriously buying one bracelet too many.

Meesh making a considered choice.

Of course not all of us need such extravagant accoutrement's, case in point....pup on park bench with bottle cap accessory.

Sunday, May 02, 2010

Distorted swelling and other amusements.

And so the unjustness of wave distortion through the fish-eye of the Gopro continues, fabulously (I'm happy to say) in my favour.

It was messy, sloppy windy and small, yet this ripple looks substantial. I can assure you it wasn't or my scaredy-cat self would not have been out there.

"My Hawaiian foot", is the new name Giampaolo has given to his healing hoof. The gravitational swelling and chameleon like color changes make his limb shape shifting entertaining at best, though for him the novelty of still walking on crutches (at five weeks) has definitely worn off.

Meanwhile, he continues (amongst other things) to write his monthly article for the Italian magazine Wind News. His blog series "Everything is possible" was adapted for this months feature and the title is true because there are my front steps in the mag!

'Tis the season.

Finally, in my experience it's a rarity when everyone in a group shot looks good, (though Ulli might disagree with me), so for this reason alone last nights post dinner pici gets posted.