Month: September 2005

First Month

{moszoomimglink:The main entrance}The first month of ownership is over, and I felt the urge to go for myself and check things out. Good news: Brad is a brilliant contractor, and the work he’s done with the crew is amazin. Bad news: he’s barely had time to work on the house. After I left, he’s only completed the subflooring and done the lanai mauka, with the lanai makai on the way. One wall was put in (left of the main entrance) and a few window frames.

At this speed, the house is not going to gel for a long while – time I don’t have. Additionally, the general contractor is mounting a stink because he’s found out his binding bid is actually binding. And Brad needs money to carry on. The problem is going to be how to give him money where he barely did anything on the house…

Back from Ninole

Ninole over the weekend was wonderful. You’ll find the pictures up tonight – for now a briefing:

  • The lanai mauka is in place, beautiful as could be
  • The lanai makai is rough, but should get done this week
  • The subflooring is done

That’s not much of a progress report, of course, but considering there were less than two full weeks of work on the house, it’s at least progress!
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Quills (2000)

A movie about the Marquis de Sade? That sounds like a difficult proposition in the best scenario. And yet, here it was pulled off with great results. A sickly and lascivious Marquis de Sade plays the clown in a scenery dominated by Joaquin Phoenix and Kate Winslet.

The plot is inconsequential and irrelevant at best. What we are interested in is the man, and the beauties. The man, it turns out, is mostly frustrated behind bars. A lot of his pornography seems to have been the result more of wishful dreaming than of experience. Still, the Marquis succeeds in projecting himself into our presence even as the mere shadow of himself, until the very end.

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Six times a week

Recently, JP became a spinning instructor and has taken over the Wednesday and Friday slots that I avoided like the plague. I want to help him out in the beginning, since he’s got no takers yet and the guy that was there beforehand has sent everybody into the stratosphere in search of a class.

Of course, that means I am going to take his class for the first few weeks until he gets his own regulars. And I don’t want to leave the Tuesday and Thursday class, taught by Carol, who does a great job at cycling. Her classes really try to mimic what I’d do in the Great Outdoors.

Take the weekend and its own load, and I end up with six classes. I’ll skip the Monday class for no good reason but the fact that I just need to relax one day. And here comes the million dollar question:

"Is it good to do six days of spinning a week?"

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Ua Mau Ke Ea O Ka `Aina I Ka Pono

"The life of the land is perpetuated in righteousness" is the state motto of Hawai’i and allegedly the motto of the Great King, Kamehameha I. I have memorized the words of the original, but somehow the translation never seemed to make a lot of sense, neither as a sentence, nor as the motto of a king.

Now that I have been learning Hawiian a little, the translation makes even less sense, because I have the underpinning to understand a little more of the structure of the sentence. I’ll reveal my new tentative translation at the bottom, but give me a little time first to explain how I got there.

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Learning Hawaiian

While in Hilo last time, I decided to buy an 8 CD course of Hawaiian. It promised to be full immersion, so I decided to put it in the car CD changer and devote time to it on my way to work.

After a funny incident at the beginning, when I put in CD 6 after CD 1 and almost died of language shock (that’s what you get for being smug!), things are progressing well. The amount of time I spend with the course is not sufficient to learn the vocabulary, and it’s sometimes hard to really hear the exact spelling of words, but otherwise it’s helping me a lot.

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Eternal Sunshine of the Spotless Mind (2004)

An exercise in complicatedness. That’s what it felt like, especially after coming home from work on a very long Friday.

The movie is clearly meant to be viewed a few times before you can piece together the whole scenario. DVD viewers (thanks to the commentary) have the upper hand, and if you think you are going to get into something funny or romantic, it’s going to be a startling revelation.

Boy meets girl. They love each other. The relationship falls apart. Girl gets her memories removed. Boy finds out. Boy has his memories removed. Boy fights memory removal, in vain. Boy meets girl again. They love each other…

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Missed Katrina Until Wikipedia Told Me

I am astonished. Due to the trip to Hawai’i and to the lack of TV, I almost completely missed Katrina. I heard people say about the disaster, but I had no idea until I finally decided to check for myself on the web, and found just how horrible the situation is.

Partially it may be because I was in Hawai’i, an island chain so remote from the mainland, an event in Japan is more likely to cause a stir than a hurricane in Louisiana; partially I was completely cut off from news there, seeing how I had no access to news media at all; and finally, partially my utter lack of TV access removed me from the worst of the sights.

Then I checked out Wikipedia, which is becoming more and more my information medium of choice, and read the entry Hurricane Katrina. The text, the images, the whole setup had an urgency that somehow radio had failed to convey.

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The Aviator (2004)

Howard Hughes seems to have been quite the character. A multitalented virtuoso of money-making, he ended up being one of the richest men in the first part of the 20th century, rivaling in power other tycoons like W.R. Hearst. And maybe it’s the analogy with the latter that moved Scorsese to create this movie. Once in a while, you are reminded of "Citizen Kane", and it’s not only because of the decor.

The Aviator succeeds in pacing its plot convincingly, allowing the scenes to portray someone who is not "one of us"  in a way that makes us feel sympathetic.  Despite philandering, despite early symptoms of neurosis (today we’d call it OCD, obsessive compulsive disorder), Howard Hughes is a person we’d be interested to meet.

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Joomla?

What do I read on SlashDot? Well, what do you know, the last major contributor to Mambo left Miro (the company that created Mambo Open Source) and now the project is being rebuilt from the outside.

That’s how Mambo is getting a new name, a new site, and new people. It’s going to be called joomla, which supposedly stands for something somewhere, but I am sure is somehow related to the oo craze. Too bad the initial ‘j’ can’t stand for Java!
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