Archive for July 2009

Yeah, it’s a dry heat. So is a fire.

Thursday, July 16th, 2009

Call me anal, but starting about two weeks before an upcoming trip I start checking the weather reports for my destination – the National Weather Service, AccuWeather, and the Weather Channel.

I probably started getting into the habit of doing this over the past few years, when my trips to Oregon revolved around the Hood to Coast Relay. (I’m not doing it this year…our team failed to make the lottery.) Most teams take more than 24 hours to cover the 197 miles from Mount Hood to Seaside. Like the others on my team, I had to run three legs, of which one would be late at night, and one would be in the hottest part of the day. Obviously, in that case it would be a good idea for me to know what kind of weather I’d be in when it came time to run my legs  – whether I’d be in mid-90-degree heat in blazing sun or in cooler temperatures with drizzle – and plan accordingly.

In about a week, I’ll be headed up to Las Vegas, for only the third time in the nearly 16 years I’ve been of legal age. I’ll be bringing my running shoes with me, but I think the only outdoor running I might be doing while the sun is out is to and from the valet. As I write this, the weather report is calling for high temperatures near 110 when we arrive. And it will drop to the mid- to upper 80s at night.

In Hawaii, it’s rare to get into the 90s even during the hottest part of the day in the doggiest days of summer.

Mind-boggling. This is probably the first time in recent memory that I’ll have been in weather that hot. Yes, I know, it’s a dry heat, so they say. As my friend puts it, so is a fire.

“Hey, let’s blow up a building and get in the Guinness Book!”

Monday, July 13th, 2009

From Paul Graydon (@Twirrim on Twitter) comes this tidbit.

FAIL Blog is a humor blog that posts humorous examples of “fail”–failures of all sorts–communications, sports, what have you.

Among them are words that probably are not intended to be there. Like, for instance, a link inviting a visitor to the Guinness World Records site to “break this record” — the record for “Most Individuals Killed in a Terrorist Act.” (If you need to know, it’s 2,823 people who died in the World Trade Center on September 11, 2001.)

Goodness. I can just see the response to that. “Yes, I am very much interest in breaking record for most people killed. I not do that yet, but am working on it, you see. BTW, death to infidels like you. (signed) Osama Bin Laden.”

As is FAIL Blog’s custom, they posted a screenshot of the offending record, with its trademark “FAIL” in Impact Bold.

Apparently the people at Guinness had not heard of the concept of fair use, so they wrote a nasty e-mail to FAIL Blog  demanding they remove the trademarked material from their site. Not one to let anyone else have the last laugh, FAIL Blog complied with the request but then wrote a response entitled “OMG U FAIL SO HARD” in which they outlined their position and response, along with the e-mail and the redacted screenshot. The response is funny and deserves a read. Hint: go ahead and read the “legal response.” Go ahead. I dare you. :)

On your next trip: Sunshine insurance?

Monday, July 13th, 2009

You’ve heard of travel insurance, where for a premium you can recover the cost of your trip if some unforeseen event forces you to cancel your trip. I usually take it out whenever I buy my plane tickets; I’ve yet to have to file a claim, but in a way that’s good.

That said, though, look at what some travel agents in France are offering:

PARIS (Reuters) – Sun-seekers whose holidays are spoiled by bad weather could be reimbursed after French travel agencies launched insurance cover for unwanted interruptions to the sunshine.

The insurance policy, launched by holiday groups Pierre et Vacances and FranceLoc, will allow holiday-makers to claim back part of the cost of their trip if they suffer at least four days of rain in any one week.

“Aon France allows Pierre & Vacances to propose its clients with automatic reimbursement for part of their stay…if weather conditions don’t meet expectations,” the holiday group said in a statement.

Rain-spoilt holidays can now be worth up to 400 euros ($556) and holiday-makers would be informed by telephone text message or email if they are liable for compensation. They would receive a cheque a few days after returning home.

I guess I can take comfort that, if I were offered this type of insurance to where I’m planning on going in a couple of weeks (Las Vegas), the premium would be pretty darn low. :)


Monday, July 13th, 2009

Testing WordPress posting capabilities on Dreamhost. Hopefully, this works.

Purchasing a piece of history…now what?

Tuesday, July 7th, 2009

Recently a small white house at 2234 University Avenue in Honolulu has gotten nationwide attention. From the New York Times, July 5, 2009:

Opponents lined up quickly when Honolulu Christian Church announced plans to convert a modest residential lot in the Hawaiian capital into parking for its growing congregation.

Surely there were enough spots on the street, opponents said. Turning the small driveway into a parking lot entrance would create safety and traffic problems. The cute old house on the property, built in the 1940s, is worth preserving.

Besides, the president used to live there.

Yes, you heard that right. Barack Hussein Obama II, the 44th President of the United States, lived in this modest house in Manoa, near the University of Hawaii. He lived for about three years here with his mother and grandparents.

The center of the controversy revolves around a nearby church, which is seeking room to expand, pitted against its neighbors who understandably want the residential character of the neighborhood to be preserved.

That controversy hits close to home for me, because Honolulu Christian Church is my church. I’ve been a member for nearly 15 years.