Sunday, July 31, 2011

Sobering Display

I took the kids to Pearl Harbor last weekend and saw the usual World War II memorabilia -- except this one.  In fact, this Poseidon C3 submarine-launch ballistic missile has enough firepower bomb Hiroshima 14 times over.  A relic of this cold war (not WWII), this is the only publicly displayed Poseidon C3 anywhere in the world and it shows the 14 slots where the independent warheads (MIRVs) were mounted.  This one was a mockup used for engineering evaluation at the contractor's facility.  Just to the left of the rocket fairing are the mounts for the nukes.  Count 'em.  Four bunched up at the center and ten more in a concentric circle around.  All 14 slots can each take a nuke.

Surfer Girl

Little surfer little one
Made my heart come all undone
Do you love me, do you surfer girl
Surfer girl my little surfer girl

(Brian Wilson wrote Surfer Girl in 1963 with no one particularly in his mind.  However, when I took this photo in Waikiki last week at about 6am, all I could think of was that Beach Boys song.  I woke up early to photograph the dragon boats but as with most of photography, I was presented with the opportunity to make for a more interesting image.)

Standup Paddle Surf

In all sports, I believe the level of difficulty is driven by environmental conditions.  Paddle surfing is no exception to that.  I had never done paddle surfing before -- in any condition, until we did it last week at this lagoon just outside the Hilton Hawaiian Village.  The calm waters was the perfect place to learn this great water activity.  I did it.  Sam and JJ did it as shown above.  However, open ocean paddle surfing is an entirely different beast given the stability requirements of standing up through a 2-3 foot wave and being able to paddle through it.  In fact, that belief was reinforced a few days later when I read in the paper about an accidental drowning in the north shore of a paddle surfer.

They Make Vans Hiking Shoes, Right?

We decided to do a bit of hiking in Oahu last week and this climb to the 1200 ft summit of Koko Head was as bit of a challenge for everyone including JJ -- shown here just a few steps from reaching the top. We started at the baseball field (middle right of photo) and this climb is particularly difficult because you can always see where you're going and it's straight up.  Once there, the views are worth it.  Hanauma Bay Preserve is shown in the photo as well (middle left).
The second hike in as many days was to Manoa Falls, just a couple miles from the University of Hawaii in Manoa.  The challenge was not steepness but humidity and mud.  It was literally a hike through a rainforest and we sweated a lot even though it did not even feel hot.  This photo of a tree root is typical of this hike.
And in both hikes, JJ wore his trusty old Vans skateboarding shoes.  As I was washing it, I was extremely careful to make sure it doesn't fall apart completely.  JJ has this tendency to wear his favorite shoes (and clothes) until they are completely unrecognizable from their original forms.  This was no exception.  Of course, he wore it to the music festival LA Rising last night and he tripped as we were trying to beat the crowds out of the coliseum.  I'm getting him a new pair as soon as humanly possible.

Sunday, July 17, 2011

Back To Vinyl

Weird how I virtually stopped buying CDs for several years now, save for a couple releases annually and yet, I'm drawn to these vinyl albums.  There are several perfectly good reasons people buy vinyl from the vinyl-sounds-better argument to the for-pure-nostalgic reason.  Me, I think it's a mixture of several factors but mostly it's for the album artwork.  Nothing like a 12-inch canvas to showcase graphic designs which were considered cutting edge at the time. All that mid-century stuff that is still sooo cool.  Today, we dropped by Rhino Records in Claremont and I bought 5 of these classic jazz albums including the one above -- a Quincy Jones Bossa Nova album.