Maui No Ka ‘Oi

Up at around 6:30 on Friday moring – which is fine by me. Made my usual vacation breakfast of ham, eggs and carbs – though I added some fresh pineapple, what with this being Hawaii and all. Ate on the lanai – obv.

On the road by 9:30 and had set up Camp Ricky (chair, umbrella, cooler, Kindle, crossword puzzles) at Little Beach and at 10:00 I was in the glorious Pacific Ocean. God, do I love being in the water here.

My “low-profile” ear gauges were washed out of my ear holes pretty much instantly – luckily, I’d also broght some double-flares which can stand up to the rigors of the surf. And, rather amazingly, I actually found one of the original ones that vanished – it washed up on the beach, not 20 feet from chair. I think I may need to keep that one as my good luck charm…

There was a bit of excitement (not really the good kind) around lunch time, when a swimmer far off shore signaled he was in distress, caught in the riptide. Kudos to all the locals and experienced swimmers (including the dreadlocked naked stoner/surfer/hippie dude who put down the ganja and was in the water with his boogie board in the blink of an eye) who got to him right quick and got him back to shore, none the worse for wear.

The waves were pretty great – though I used my best judgement and didn’t venture out when they got pretty big.

At some point, I was sitting staring off into the water and some local dude, there with his lady and their little baby, got out his ukulele and played and sang. Seriously. I’m sitting on the beach in Maui, listening to the waves crash and ukulele music. Perfection.

Wound up the day perhaps a bit earlier than I’d hoped when the clouds started rolling in and there was a bit of rain. But I’m looking forward to spending the next six days in exactly the same manner…

Google Now Throws Major Shade at Me

So, for those of you who don’t know (hahaha – stupid iPhone users! And I’m kidding – unlike many iPhone users, I don’t ascribe personality traits to people based on upon their choice in gadgetry [well, except for when I just did exactly that by ascribing gadget snobbery to iPhone users] – I happen to like Android, others prefer iOS, some prefer BlackBerry [ok, those people I do judge – BlackBerry, in this day and age?HAHAHAHAHA! What saps…]. But I digress…), Google Now is a neato-keen component of Jellybean, the latest iteration of the Android OS.

In a nutshell, the app keeps track of where you are, what’s in your calendar, your email, etc. Essentially it’s stalking you, along with some preferences that you set up (e.g. do you commute by car, public transit or bicycle?) and making generally quite accurate assumptions about information you might need that is served to you when you need. For example, if I have a dinner reservation at Locanda at 6PM, as I did the other night, a reminder popped up just before 5:30PM, telling me that if I wanted to be on time, I needed to leave in the next ten minutes. This was based on Google Now knowing where I was (my office) and the schedule for BART (which I’d be taking to Locanda). The same kind of information shows up for airline reservations and other appointments. Also, things like local weather, sports scores, etc., etc. Yes, it’s all kind of big brother-y but it’s not like we’re not all under surveillance anyhow, so why not take advantage of it?

At any rate, you can just imagine my displeasure when THIS particular card showed up unbidden in Google Now, telling me how long it would take me to arrive at a particular establishment:


Though I will grant you this – it was the night after my visit to Locanda. Perhaps I need to take the hint that Google is giving… Sigh.

Keep On Keepin’ On, You Crazy Kids

There’s that old saw that “youth is wasted on the young.” And, like any other embittered old, I could point to many examples of the truth of this statement. But, let’s face it – it’s ultimately untrue. Youth is best enjoyed by the young.

I remain kinda pissed that electronic music remains a niche category in the USofA – it gets such short shrift, in my opinion. Why? I don’t know – the music, while certainly adhering to the modern definition of pop (i.e. some good singable lyrics and an irresistible hook) is viewed as somehow sub-par. I suppose in some ways it’s related to the rampant (though happily evaporating) homophobia in the United States (i.e. listening to dance music is gay. And I’m not gonna even try and get started on the whole subject of “I think I was born in the wrong country because this music really speaks to me, like it does to everyone in Europe”).

And while I’m not one to read too much into pop music (the pop is, after all, short for “popular”), I know of many instances of electronic music that I find far more moving and affecting than any syrupy pop throw-away.

Anyway, my only point is that this song by Swedish House Mafia is not only really amazing to me, this concert video makes it even more so. These young kids are living it up, taking in a concert that will never be repeated and reveling in every moment of it. They are enjoying their youth and I love (and yes, envy) them for it. Keep it up, you young whippersnappers – it surely helps me hold onto that part of me that is still young and carefree.

Happy Birthday, Saul Bass

Today’s Google Doodle is a tribute to Saul Bass – and it’s a pretty good doodle!

But check out Mr. Bass’ stunning opening sequence from North by Northwest. It’s really quite amazing and as fresh and exhilarating today as it was over 50 years ago when the film was released. And let’s not forget that Mr. Bass’ work was truly revolutionary. Per the Wikipedia:

Before the advent of Bass’s title sequences in the 1950s, titles were generally static, separate from the movie, and it was common for them to be projected onto the cinema curtains, the curtains only being raised right before the first scene of the movie.