Sunday, September 28, 2008

Promises, Moves, and Concerts

Hilo, HI,


First thing, first. Now that I'm settled, I plan on updating this blog every Friday and Sunday. Really, I promise, I'll do it.


This leads me into the part about being settled: I've found a permanent place to live. It's a recently renovated duplex. I live in the upstairs unit, and the downstairs unit is only temporarily occupied by my landlords. They're moving to Oahu (which actually seems to be pretty common with many rentals - the owners don't live on the Big Island), so they're hunting for a tenant. If I can find one soon, I'll get a free months rent.

I've been spending this and last weekend unpacking. I'm almost done with the major stuff - a couple of half-filled boxes of dishes awaiting their turns for the dishwasher, and a some boxes of clothes to put away. After that, I'll hang up my art pieces and I'll be more settled than I ever was in my Girard apartment. I'll post some pictures soon.


Last night was a three stage, six hour music festival of local[1] bands. It happens once a year and seems to draw about a third of the town. Since I've been here, I haven't seen so many people in one place. It actually made me feel a little uncomfortable. My expectations of small crowds has skewed my perception of big crowds. Back home, I would not have had a problem with fifteen thousand people, but here it just seemed overwhelming.

Needless to say, I didn't hang around too long. I had arrived late, due to unpacking, so I only caught the tail end of one band which had a good sound. Fortunately, on my way back to my car, I ran into some folks I met a few nights ago, and went back to the concert, stayed fifteen more minutes, and then went back to their place for cigar and some fine, Guatemalan, 23-year aged rum.


[1] It seems to me that "local" here means the state of Hawaii. The bands were from all over the islands, with a few from the Big Island. This seems true of most things - produce, furniture, art, etc. I'm getting the sense that there's much more of an affinity between the islands then there is between Hawaii and the Mainland.

Saturday, September 13, 2008

At Gemini

At Gemini
Originally uploaded by pschwarz.
Hilo, HI

As far as programming jobs go, this one is a mixed bag. I've never worked in an organization that required so much in the way of documentation and meetings. My next six months will be less coding and more designing on paper. I try to keep my fingers in code, just to do a little testing of concepts, but I think my life will be dominated by writing words.

On the other hand, I did get to go to the army base and practice driving a four-wheel drive vehicle on dirt by weaving cones and doing donuts. That's not a perk in every job, is it?

It also involved driving up to the summit. I hadn't actually thought that I do it a second time, at least not anytime soon. It was much better than the first time. I felt great up there. A little light-headed durning the drive up, but that may have had to do with the road conditions (bumpier than all hell), then the altitude.

The drive down, on the other hand, was a pain. I drove from the summit, back to the office (about an hour's drive) in a very thick fog. Fortunately, this only started at the paved section of the mountain road, down. It would have been extremely white-knuckle otherwise. Of course, there are miles of construction on the Saddle Road which in foggy conditions is pain to drive.

The trip was made easier by my passengers: the two brits spent most of the time talking about how Captain Cook died. There's no better distraction than people discussing how an Eighteenth-centery explorer was dismembered by the natives.

Sunday, September 07, 2008


Ready to Go
Originally uploaded by pschwarz.
Hilo, Hi.

I checked out the Na Hoa Holomoku Yacht Club today. They have a little fleet of Sunfish, a couple of Hobie Cats and a pair of Volksboats. Well, without my life-jacket, hat, gloves, shoes, or really anything sailing related, I only took a couple rides on the Hobie cat.

I'll go next time, certainly. Since I should be getting possession of my car soon (the location of all the aforementioned sailing gear), I'll be set to practice tipping the boats, riding the swells (if I want to risk sailing past the breaker - which I do), and generally getting extremely burned.

I think a better sort of hat is in order.

Saturday, September 06, 2008

The Rest of Me

Hilo, HI

My things have arrived on the island. Not in my possession, mind you, they've merely arrived. My car is at the docks, some where. My container of personal belongings is also there, I imagine, stacked there like that warehouse in Raiders of the Lost Ark, never to be seen again.

The hunt for a more permanent residence has been a flurry of showings lately. I have seen a house a day for a week. Yet, still no luck. As I was told yesterday at a company BBQ, I need "to get used to a different standard of living."

Ah, crap.

So I'll keep looking. I'm headed to see another place this afternoon. Might be a good candidate. If it doesn't work out, I going to get a room in someone's house, pay a weekly rate until I can find a place of my own. There are a few options there, as well.

This weekend there is a intro meeting for the local sailing club. I plan on checking it out, sailing one of those little dinghies in the bay. It should be fun. I haven't sailed a really small boat since my UW sailing team days.