Hawaii 2017 – Day Two

Following the long trip from Calgary to Hawaii we decided to sleep in on the Saturday and take our time, no big adventures planned for today, we would just try to make it into Hilo and get some groceries.

We woke up mid-morning and took better part of an hour to square ourselves up, our hosts left us some fresh fruit from their garden so we enjoyed some tangelo oranges and some fresh papaya. Shareen was able to enjoy a cup of coffee as well.

Eventually we dragged our asses out the door and headed for Hilo with the intent of looking around and opportunistically grabbing some groceries.

On our way out we had our first look at our cozy little Ohana that Stefan had build for his wife Hallie (our hosts).

The drive to Hilo was about 45 minutes, we took our time as we didn’t feel very confident on the roads. Most roads in Hawaii are single lane without a whole bunch of shoulder. Once we got to Hilo the first thing we enjoyed was the weather, we had a beatiful sunny day with just a few clouds and temperature around 25c.

We managed to park our car towards the end of downtown and just started wandering the place. We somehow ended up on the wrong side of a fenced median but at least we had ended up on the bay.

Once we found our way back over the fence in the median we ended up in the farmers market where I was blown away by all the fresh fruit and veggies. The avocadoes are the size of my fists over there. Later on we found a nice little coffe shop (Hilo Sharks) where I had one of the best cups of espresso ever. Strong but with little acidity or bitterness. It really rounded out the afternoon.

Tired and all shopped out we headed home but we missed our turn off and ended up on the eastern most point in Hawaii, this was the Kumakahi lighthouse (and point) that survived the eruption of 1960.

My first day ended with an overall happy impression of Hawaii and Hilo. The day and the people were warm and friendly.

Following our dinner of Marlin and potato salad we settled in for an evening of cocktails and relaxation back at the Ohana with the intent of embarking on further adventure tomorrow.

Hawaii 2017 – Day One

I made a point of picking a “civilized” departure time, meaning something during the day so we wouldn’t have to get up at 4:00 AM in the morning (wait for it, irony coming later). We get up at the regular time around 7:00 AM, have breakfast, shower, get dressed and start packing, all good.

Shareen panics at about 9:45 and start bugging me to call Uber to pick us up to head for the airport. I give in at about 10:00 and call Uber which shows up at 10:10, and at that time of the day we arrive at the airport at about 10:30, our plane doesn’t leave until 1:15.

On a Friday at mid-day we breeze through security and customs and now have about two hours to wait until we fly out. Ugh!!! But it’s not all horrible, the new terminal in YYC is actually nice, we take our time shopping in Duty Free and Shareen tries out the food fair, the rest of the time we sit in a comfortable lounge without getting swamped by people.

Just to the left of the picture above there’s a sign that tells us to relax (in that word) until about 12:30 at which point it tells us to head over to our plane as it’s boarding. We saunter over and literally walk onto the plane. That’s civilized travel!

Plane (nice new and clean Embraer) leaves on time, no issues, and about two hours and forty minutes later we arrive (about twenty five minutes early) in SFO.

We wander the place and find a scrubby pub to have lunch, they don’t feed you on planes these days. Again, the plane leaves on time, yay United!!!

It was a long five hour flight, no two ways about it, and by the time we land my back and butt are killing me. For some reason United had better seats and more room on the two and a half hour flight than on the five hour flight, no kidding.

We arrive in KOA in the dark, it’s about 9:00 PM local time but it’s bustling and busy. It’s quite the revelation for me to be in an “outdoor” airport again, the walk from the plane to the luggage carousel is all outside. It takes about 15 minutes to get our luggage and we get on the shuttle to the Budget car rental desk.

Only two people in front of me but it takes about 20 minutes to get to the agent who was courteous and helpful. Then just as I get my keys a wave of people arrives on the next shuttle, would hate to be the guy at the end of that wave. Takes about another 15 minutes to actually get the car, I’m pretty sure they are turning these around as soon as they come back, we essentially had to wait for it to get cleaned and detailed, they didn’t do a great job but it was adequate.

The rest of the trip is a two hour odyssey driving on highways 200 (Saddle Road) in the dark. It’s mostly a two lane road with some passing lanes on uphill segments, stretch of construction near to Hilo but no problem. We get to the Ohana about 11:30 PM local time (2:30 AM YYC time), about 15 hours after leaving YYC. Although it was a perfect trip with everything running on time, it was exhausting and we are bagged.

No worries, tomorrow will be great!!!

Willow Valley – Fall 2015

Went for hunting again this year and finally ended the three year skunk but that aside here’s what willow valley looked like in the fall of 2015.

Also, a little video taken with the new “live” photos in iOS 9…sorry it’s vertical (vertical videos looks stupid on most TVs) but it seemed like a good idea when I was taking the picture.

Willow Creek

Head Smashed In Buffalo Jump

I’ve never been there so Shareen insisted on that we go today and it was great! Aside from the interpretive centre there’s also a short walk where we saw a bunny (not a hare) and three Mule Deer.

Here’s the view form the top of the trail (after we visited the interpretive centre).

The World Makes Sense Again!

As some of of you may know I’ve been playing recreational slo-pitch, it looks something like this…


The glove you see in the picture is not a fancy glove, it’s not expensive either and it doesn’t make me a better player, but it’s my glove, I’ve had it for a few years and I’ve grown to like it very much.

Then three weeks ago, it went missing, we show up to our weekly game and no glove. My best guess was that I forgot it at the previous game the week prior. No way on earth I’ll ever see it again.

In a last ditch effort I contact the Calgary Sports and Social Club, the people that run the slo-pitch league that I play in. Laura takes down my details and tells me that she’ll reach out to the other teams to see if anyone found it. I don’t hold out much hope and about ten days later I’ve written the glove off. Then literally the next day I get up in the morning and check my email to get an email from Laura that my glove was found by Chris from another team. She provides Chris’s details and I reach out to Chris who responds within a few hours and later that day I’m re-united with my favourite glove.


Sometimes things happen and the world makes sense again. It was a little thing but still.

Things that go boom!

Some years ago my friends and I heard about Tannerite and for a few years we all were wishing that we had it in Canada. Tannerite is the brand name of a binary explosive intended for target practice. In essence it’s inert and perfectly safe until you mix the two ingredients at which point it’s “primed” and will be detonated by the impact of a high velocity round.

A Canadian brand of Tannerite is Gryphon Energetics and as it turns out we can now get it legally in Canada. We decided to go shooting on public land and I was sent out to go and get some exploding targets. The “targets” are in fact 1lb jars of unmixed binary explosive which you then mix and leave in their jar (once you’re at the target site that is). The jars are roughly 4″ by 4″ and actually challenging to shoot at 100+ meters.


We had four of these, here is the video of us shooting one at about 125 meters, at about 5 seconds into the video we are using slo-mo mode so you can see the full effect of it, also listen for the report after the initial rifle shot.

Some people may wrinkle their noses but it’s fun!!!