Monday, September 05, 2011

This Blog Has Moved.........

Effective September 5, 2011, this blog has moved here:

Please update your RSS feed accordingly.

The new site has much better support for mobile devices.

Hangin' Wit Da Cousins

In Penticton, BC

Jessica (& friend)

Matthew (& friends)

Rumbling on the couch

Mountain biking with Mom & Dad on "Rusty Muffler"

Thursday, August 25, 2011


US Open site: "X" Marks The Spot.

Bad Karma. The US Open hazz it.

Monday, August 22, 2011


This morning I got THE email from American Airlines:

Due to your status in the AAdvantage® program, you may be eligible to participate in a screening pilot program being tested by the Transportation Security Administration (TSA) this fall. The goal of this pilot program is to evaluate expedited screening processes for selected American Airlines travelers through designated security checkpoints at the Dallas/Fort Worth International Airport (DFW) and the Miami International Airport (MIA).

I registered using my Global Entry #, and received this:

We have received your opt-in submission for participation in the Transportation Security Administration's screening pilot program and no further action is needed on your part. During the reservation process, you will not need to input a Known Traveler number as your opt-in allows American Airlines to identify you as a participant in the program when submitting your passenger reservation information to the TSA's Secure Flight system.

When the pilot program begins this fall, you may experience the expedited security screening at the following airport checkpoints:

-- Dallas/Fort Worth International Airport (DFW) at C-30
-- Miami International Airport (MIA) next to the American Airlines First Class check-in counter

Unfortunately, to me Dallas and Miami are in flyover states, I rarely check in there, but progress is apparently, well, in progress.

Thursday, August 18, 2011

One Of The Most Beautiful Sights You Will Ever See..... the sight of your electrical meter running BACKWARDS.

Especially if you live in a place where electricity costs 40 cents per KwH (in most places on the mainland, it costs around 7 cents).

Now that I've got my solar array installed, I sell electricity back to MECO all day long. At night, the meter runs forward. Hopefully at the end of each month it's a wash.


The Local Boyz Arrive

Bolting The Mounting Rails To The Roof

Not much to these panels. They only weigh 50 lbs or so.

Each panel has its own inverter.

Almost finished

Kaoni wires the array into my meter.

Done. And plenty of room on the upper roof for another array if I need one.

Great News From.......TSA?

OMG. I never thought I'd commit this phrase to electrons, but my email inbox contained great news today from the Transportation Security Administration and Customs & Border Protection.

I'm not making this up.

As you know from some of my previous posts, a few years back I applied to CBP for NEXUS and GLOBAL ENTRY status. I went through the interviewing process, submitted my biometric information, and passed. And let me tell you, dear readers, it has been the greatest thing since sliced bread. I average about 15-20 border crossings per year, and I breeze through US and Canadian Customs via a biometric kiosk in 15 seconds, no matter which port of entry I am using and regardless of how long the line is. At the end of a long trip or the start of a long day traveling, it is simply wonderful. Canada has become my favorite destination, because I can use the kiosk going both ways.

Nothing makes my day more than flying home from Calgary (YYC), where the early-morning Customs line is never less than 45 minutes. I breeze through in 15 seconds. Like clockwork.

Now, it looks like TSA and CBP are cooperating (image that - cooperation within the US government) to expand this program to TSA screening. Pretty soon, a biometric kiosk will replace the strip-search-and-radiate-in-bare-feet process at select US airports.

I have 3,000,000 lifetime miles on AA and always have access to the "priority" TSA lines at domestic airports. Nevertheless, the process still sucks. Priority lines mean it just sucks a little less for me than for most people. I stand there and roll my eyes at all the clueless Ma & Pa Kettles, who fly twice a year, as they futz around with their their baby strollers, their backpacks, their bottles of water, their car keys, their jewelry, their snotty little kids' Gameboys. FUCKING DUH! Can't you read? This occurs just after a barely literate cretin, who most likely was recently was fired from a job flipping burgers, scrutinizes my Nexus card or passport with a flashlight to determine whether I even qualify to be searched.

Can you just IMAGINE how otherworldly awesome it is going to be when I can walk past all the queueing Kettles and the Barney Fifes, slap my hand down on a fingerprint scanner or shove my face into a retinal scanner, and be on my way in 15 seconds?

Oh. My. Gawd.

But I can temper my excitement by contemplating the prospect of still having to go through Heathrow a few times per year.

We are pleased to announce that U.S. Customs and Border Protection (CBP) is partnering with the Transportation Security Administration (TSA) on a new Department of Homeland Security initiative announced July 14, 2011, that qualifies some passengers for expedited screening through U.S. airport security checkpoints.

This pilot program will be available to U.S. citizens who are members of CBP’s Global Entry, NEXUS, and SENTRI Trusted Traveler programs. The pilot program will provide expedited screening through TSA checkpoints via dedicated screening lanes.

The United States government. Love those guys.

Love 'em.

Friday, August 12, 2011

The Inspiring Story of the Boffins at MIT Media Labs

This interview with Hugh Herr blew my mind. The guy is an intergalactic boffin, a real-life Tony Stark.

I listened to the interview three times, just to make sure I got every word. Afterward, I ordered a copy of this:

The Sorcerers and Their Apprentices: How the Digital Magicians of the MIT Media Lab Are Creating the Innovative Technologies That Will Transform Our Lives

by Frank Moss

Tuesday, August 09, 2011

I Love Paul Krugman

If you're at all interested in the current economic mess and don't already read Paul Krugman's column & blog in the New York Times, I highly recommend it.

Even if you don't agree with the Nobel Prize-winning Princeton economics professor, he is a wonderfully entertaining writer and pops out gems like this one on a daily basis:

"I mean, as far as I can tell he’s Sarah Palin in a suit."

Priceless. Krugman alone is worth the price of my online subscription to The New York Times.

Interestingly, I've seen Krugman on TV several times, and his public persona is nothing like his literary one. On TV he is extremely shy, very soft-spoken, doesn't look people in the eye, and is almost painful to watch. He is somewhat of a Caspar Milquetoast. But on the printed page.....I just love the guy. What a brain.

Krugman is the inverse of, say, Jim Cramer, who is enormously entertaining to watch, but whose ideas have repeatedly proved demonstrably false and intellectually bankrupt from every perspective, over and over, for a solid decade.

Krugman personifies a (rare) triumph of substance and raw intellect over style in today's bizarro-world media hairball.

Saturday, August 06, 2011

ENSO Alert System Status: La Niña Watch!

La Niña Watch!!!!

Last winter was La Niña and, very possibly, the best North American ski season in 50 years. If not the best, then definitely top 3. PowMow got 500 inches, and us AT guys were still touring PowMow in June, over a month after the resort closed. Snowbird, which averages about 500 inches, claimed 783 inches (although we all know the Snowbird Marketing department lies like a Fox News commentator). Lifts at The Bird were still running limited service on July 4th. In the Sierras and in Colorado, the backcountry guys are STILL hiking and skiing corn, and it's August....of the hottest summer in 50 years.

NOAA has just issued a La Niña watch for 2011-2012. YEE HAAA! I've got these sitting in my garage, just waiting:

Friday, August 05, 2011


At last, a universal sarcasm font.

Tuesday, July 26, 2011

Contador Goes Down Swinging

I've never been much of an Alberto Contador fan. It's not that I "like" or "dislike" Contador; it's simply that I have a hard time relating to a fully-grown man who weighs about 125 lbs. I can't imagine what racing a bike feels like to a guy who'd get slaughtered in an arm-wrestling match by a jockey. A FEMALE jockey. I relate much better to racers like Thor Hushovd, who is 6' tall, weighs 185 lbs, and STILL wins mountain stages of the Tour de France, which is absolutely phenomenal. For those of you who have never raced bicycles, a guy Hushovd's size winning a mountain stage of Le Tour is the cycling equivalent, in inverse, of a 12-year-old girl playing power forward in an NBA game and dominating. It's impossible in theory, but he did it. Twice in the 2011 Tour, alone.

Last year Contador won Le Tour 2010 but subsequently flunked a blood test. His blood sample was found to have traces of Clenbuterol, not itself a performance-enhancing drug, but rather a masking agent. Contador claimed he injested the drug from tainted beef brought to the team dinner from Spain. This is cycling's version of the "dog ate my homework" defense. His defense was accepted by the Spanish Federation, but that verdict is currently under appeal by the UCI and WADA. Contador may still lose his 2010 Tour title on appeal.

I really don't know what to make of cycling's drug cases. On one hand, if it walks like a duck and quacks like a know the rest. On the other hand, there is so much corruption and incompetence in the governing bodies of most of the sports I'm involved with (cycling is worse than most), to me neither side has much credibility. As a result, I simply assume those who have not been convicted by due process are clean, and those who have, are dirty. Period. So Contador, to me, is not guilty until proven otherwise.

Notice I did not write innocent until proven otherwise.

Anyway, last week Contador was climbing some ungodly mountain in Le Tour (I think it was Col du Telegraphe or Alpe D'Huez, I forget the exact spot), in the midst of a massively gutsy uphill solo attack, and a maniac wearing surgical garb and carrying a fake transfusion bag ran up beside him and gestured like he was giving Contador a transfusion. Contador soloed on. But then the guy reached out and grabbed Contador's arm, and Contador clocked him right in the face.

I've never tried to punch anybody while riding a bike up a steep mountain road, but I've tried to do other things from that position (put on a jacket, take off a jacket, throw a water bottle at a menacing dog) and - trust me on this - doing almost anything other than controlling the bike is extremely difficult. Contador didn't flatten the guy, but I think he got his message across. And he didn't crash. Didn't miss a beat.

I could get to like this fellow Contador.

Thursday, July 21, 2011


My latest attempt at purrrrrfection: Dynafit Stoke, 191 cm, 134/108/122, 24.8m radius.

I currently own about a half-dozen pairs of skis, but my 188 Coombas (right) are by far the best skis I've ever been on. Nevertheless, I carry on a never-ending personal vision quest for something better. Not because the Coombas aren't insanely great, but (A) because I can, and (B) The fun is in the discovery.

I mean.....even the guys who married Cindy Crawford and Elle Macpherson eventually got divorced.

Early-rise tip. Not as radical as "rocker" tip, but the efficacy of rockers whilst climbing on skins is controversial. The Coombas have conventional tips, although the more recent "CoombaCK" model has full rocker.

It's The Stoke, eh?

Designed in cooperation with Greg Hill, a backcountry legend from Revelstoke, British Columbia.

Trust me. If you're a real skier and you haven't skied Revelstoke......go there. Soon. And whilst you're there, ski Rogers Pass too....if you dare.

Specs written on the tail of the right ski.

Hergestellt am Österreich

Austria. Where skiers are REAL skiers, and sheep are afraid.

A Canadian flag maple leaf on the tips, in tribute to Greg Hill and Revelstoke.

Pre-drilled, reinforced inserts for Dynafit bindings.

Dynafit has redesigned their touring heels for 2012, and the 2012 touring bindungen are not available yet, so I'll just have to wait a few months to get my hands on a pair of FT's.

Mounting instructions for Dynafit bindungen. No drill needed. Just a screwdriver.

Monday, July 18, 2011

Really, REALLY Cool Engineering Project

A 200-mph, remote-control model car.

I wonder how the speed is captured? You'd have to put your photocells directly on the tarmac. At 100 m/s, the vertical tail fin isn't large enough to trigger a circuit closure in an average photocell, even with the potentiometer settings maxed out. At half a meter long, even the entire fuselage would still be a mighty small object to capture with a photocell at that kind of speed.

"Thou art a boil, a plague sore, an embossed carbuncle in my corrupted blood."

Show them how truly pissed off you are, in iambic pentameter.

Shakespeare's most vitriolic insults:

No wonder the Poms were so appalled by John McEnroe. They hadn't heard anything like his infamous "YOU CAN'T BE SERIOUS, MAN" rant since 1616.

Monday, July 11, 2011


For those of you who may be wondering what my ingenious nephew is up to these days, he's finishing up his PhD in computer science and is well into his 2nd summer fellowship at Microsoft Research.

Beats the hell out of skateboarding around the US Open site, dissing umpires.

When The Going Gets Tough, The Tough Get Weird

Prior to the 2002 Winter Olympics in Salt Lake City, I had a difficult time explaining to my friends on Austria Ski Team how in the great State of Utah ("the beehive State"), one can walk into a store at 3AM and walk out with a fully automatic submachine gun and a case of ammo, but it is impossible to walk into a convenience store or supermarche and buy a bottle of beer.

Well, sports fans, in Utah the situation has just gotten weirder.,8599,2081565,00.html

Monday, July 04, 2011

The Most Expensive Golf Shirt In The World?

Joe Saward, my favorite F1 journo, posted this mind-blowing photo on his blog today.

Currently the Louvre is hosting an exhibition entitled “L’Art de l’Automobile", featuring Ralph Lauren's personal car collection. Joe stopped by to see it.

He (as I too would have done) just about fell over when he saw the price tag on this ordinary cotton golf shirt with some ostentatious embroidery.

For €125, it better come with a blowjob from a gorgeous French girl.

Tuesday, June 21, 2011

"DuckDuckGo: Google Tracks You. We Don't."

Upstart search engine DuckDuckGo is an interesting alternative for those concerned or obsessed with privacy. They do not track, there is no membership database, and indeed there is no way to sign in even if you wanted to.

I've been using it, and I have found it to be as good as Google but with significantly less annoyances.

Try it here:

Monday, June 20, 2011

"Jackass" Killed Two Blocks From Chester County Hospital

When I was a kid, my father was Chief of Orthopedics at Chester County Hospital in West Chester, PA.

This morning, this news item caught my eye:

link here

"Jackass" was killed in a car crash about two blocks from Dear Old Dad's former place of employment.

Darwin can be a bitch.

Sunday, June 19, 2011

Join the TSA - Get A Free Working Holiday In Honolulu

More black eyes for the TSA.


NOTE: It's good to know TSA employees can be fired for SOMETHING.

Saturday, June 18, 2011

The Perfect Diddle Stick?

Those who know me, know that my life is one big quest for the perfect....whatever.

The perfect wave (sometimes get 'em every day for a week straight here in the Hawai'ian Islands)

The perfect powder day (got about 15 of them last ski season between ski trips to Austria, Utah, British Columbia)

The perfect one-ski quiver (so far 188cm K2 Coomba, but the fun part is looking for something better)

The perfect racing bicycle (58.5 Serotta Legend Titanium)

The perfect airline (ha ha, just kidding)

Last week at Spruce Meadows' The National I asked NathanD, one of SM's audio guys, if I could borrow a small electronics screwdriver (aka "Diddle Stick"). He handed me a contraption of a type I'd never seen. After examining it and using it for a day, I'm thinking I may have found The Perfect Diddle Stick. Fortunately, they were available at the Home Depot across Route 22X from Spruce, so I bought a few to investigate Perfect Diddledom a bit further.

The device in question is called a "12 in 1 Mini Dial A Bit" ("12 en 1" in the Canadian government-mandated French on the label), by Fuller.

The heel stores 5 double-ended bits: various Torx (T6, T7, T8, T10, T15), various flat-blades (#1.5, #2.5), various mini-Philips (#0, #00, #000) and even two small Robertson bits (#0, #1). Another double-ended bit resides in the tip, yielding a total selection of 12. The bits are selected using a small thumb-wheel in the heel, which also keeps the unused bits from falling out of the handle.

The hilt is extendable. In short configuration, the diddle is 13cm (5 1/2"). Extended, it is 20 cm (8").

Shirt-pocket clip.

I think this Diddle Stick may become my go-to device for diddling.

Sunday, June 12, 2011

Spruce Meadows' Unique "Dual Slalom"

Two of Everything!

Two Finish Lines

Two Start Chutes

Two Rolex Clocks

A Horse Named "Bob's Your Uncle". For those of us who love Australia, this may be the best horse name, ever.

Close! Winner Gets a Checkmark. Margin of Victory: 0.124 second

Sunday, June 05, 2011

Coolest Mini-Keyboard EVER

I'm always looking for cool mini-keyboards to use in TV Production Trucks, where one is usually allotted about 20 square inches of desk space. Well, I may have found the ULTIMATE.

Integrated touchpad, rechargeable via USB, wired or wireless, back-lit, fits in a shirt pocket. Wouldn't want to write 20,000 lines of code with it, but for setting IP addresses and clicking a few buttons, can't beat it.



Monday, May 30, 2011

I'm From The Government And I'm Here To Help You....

This is a great thing, something I figr'd would never happen. It is obvious that Maui is the most perfect microcosmic test environment in the US for biofuels, but I doubted anyone would ever take advantage of that fact.

1. There are tens of thousands of acres of sugar being grown here on an ongoing basis, 100% of which is grown at a financial loss. MC&S grows sugar at a loss in order to retain its water rights so that they can develop their massive land holdings "someday", but of course now is not the time, since the housing market is so bad.

2. Two of the biggest problems with biofuels do not exist here: (1) There is no such thing as cold weather (2) On an island with a circumference of 160 miles, there is no such thing as delays getting refined biofuels from factory to consumer. One tanker truck could conceivably deliver to every gas station on the island in one 24-hr day.

3. There is already a wildly successful biofuels program in place here, a private venture owned by singer Willie Nelson and local businessmen Bob & Kelly King. About 10 years ago, they built a plant to refine cooking grease into biodiesel. Today they operate at a profit, sell biodiesel for about $1 a gallon less than petroleum diesel, and they refine every single drop of cooking grease produced on the island. Not one drop goes into the (limited) landfills here.

Since the island imports all of its energy except for the 15%-20% of its electricity generated by the massive Kaheawa Wind Farm, Maui has some of the highest energy costs in the US. Yet Maui has almost unlimited wind, unlimited sun, great soil for growing things, and a huge and robust growing infrastructure. There is no reason why the island can't be completely energy-independent within 4 or 5 years.

Friday, May 20, 2011

Hot Shots from NASCAR Pit Crew Challenge

Sprint Rent-A-Slut With a T-Shirt Cannon

Kevin Harvick's wife drove the car since she's quite a few pounds lighter than Kevin, so his crew put her name on the roof.

The Boys in their aloha shirt Skunkware uniforms.

Andrew doing graphics for SPEED.

Another rent-a-slut with a t-shirt cannon. A word to the not call a woman a "rent-a-slut" when she is holding a loaded weapon.

Trampass tries to keep the teams from cheating.

"BACK! BACK 6 INCHES! THAT'S WHY THEY CALL IT THE START LINE" says Trampass to Jamie McMurray's crew chief

That's more like it, says Top Cop Trampass.

Another rent-a-slut, more t-shirts

Trampass tightening up the crew chief of the 27 Menard Chevrolet

Friday, May 13, 2011

Good News For All Of Us....

Texans pointing out they suck. They know they suck. And especially....George W. Bush sucks.

Rush Limbaugh, Glenn Beck, and the rest of the Lunatic Windbag Chorus are falling on hard times as listeners tune them out.

Monday, May 09, 2011

Thomas Dolby and Mark Knopfler

I've been a huge Mark Knopfler fan since I heard the debut Dire Straits album in college. I've seen him, both solo and with Dire Straits, several times, and have tons of his music recorded in various forms.

The other day I was listening to the NPR podcast "Fresh Air" while out skateboarding, and Thomas Dolby was featured. I've never really liked Dolby's music, it's a bit gimmicky for me, but it was easier to keep listening than to stop and fast-forward the podcast, so I kept listening.

The Dolby interview turned out to be very interesting indeed. Dolby has totally changed his approach to music since his early, gimmicky, "Blinded Me With Science" sound. These days, he opines, anybody with a $1.99 iPod app has access to better synthesizers than he bought for half a million dollars way back when, so after not making any new CDs for 20 or 25 years he is coming out with a new work called "Oceania" which features something very few CDs today have - good songwriting craft, real musicianship, and very few tracks. As the podcast wound down, one of the Oceania songs was played, and it was outstanding. I made a note to check it out.

Oceania has not been released yet, but an EP has, and I got a copy. If the record is anything like the EP, I will definitely buy it.

I checked out Dolby's web site, and there is a terrific video of his visit to Mark Knopfler's personal studio in London to have Knopfler record a guitar track for the Oceania song "17 Hills". Dolby plays back about a dozen tracks Knopfler laid down, and then demonstrates how he weaved snippets of the various guitar licks into the track he actually used.

Fascinating stuff, and a real treat for Mark Knopfler fans like me. Check out "17 Hills Dissected, Part 2 of 3"

Saturday, May 07, 2011

Panic vs Choking......and Tape Measures

Panic and choking are not the same thing. In fact, they are diametric opposites. A person who is panicking simply goes blank. His brain stops processing, he can't think of even the most basic instructions or commands. A person who is choking suffers from a runaway brain, flooded with so many contradictory messages it starts to seize up like a thirsty man trying to drink from a fire hose.

Being a former professional athlete and a sports fan, there's nothing I respect more than somebody who neither chokes nor panics under pressure. There is nothing more difficult, nothing more difficult to train for, than the buzzer-beater.

In my lifetime, the king of this has, until this week, been Michael Jordan. The guy was just impervious to pressure. There is a huge difference between somebody like Carmelo Anthony, who has every shot in the book and (a few that aren't) and Michael Jordan, who has the same talent but can execute all of them, any of them, when an entire season, or an entire career, is on the line.

Probably THE classic choke was Jana Novotna vs Steffi Graf in the Wimbledon Final in 1993. Jana Novotna was KILLING Graf in the final set, and she simply fell to pieces. It was like watching a huge train wreck in slow motion. It was agonizing to watch.

Other than Jordan, the ten sportsmen who pop into my head (in no particular order) who have exhibited the greatest cool under fire in my lifetime are:

Alain Prost (aka The Professor). 4-time Formula One World Driving Champion.

Valentino Rossi
(aka The Doctor). 7-time MotoGP (Formula One motorbike) Champion.

Rod Laver (aka The Rockhamption Rocket) 2 tennis "Grand Slams" despite being banned from Grand Slam tennis for 6 of his peak years.

Lindsey Vonn 3-time Alpine World Cup Overall Champion. Her Gold Medal DH run at the Vancouver Olympics on a rapidly slushifying course, which was running 2 seconds slower than when leader Julia Mancuso skied, might be the ballsiest thing I've ever seen on snow.

Roger Federer 16 Slam titles.

Pete Sampras 14 Slam titles.

Franz Klammer 4-time Hahnenkamm Downhill Champion. His Gold Medal DH run at Patscherkofel in the 1976 Olympics was the ballsiest thing I'd ever seen on snow until Vonn at Vancouver. Check it out on YouTube sometime. Astonishing.

Chauncey Billups (aka Mr Big Shot). Point guard, currently with The NY Knicks.

Tiger Woods Say what you want about his recent problems, the guy was, for almost 15 seasons, simply impervious to pressure.

Jimmie Johnson 5-time NASCAR season champion in a sport where any technical advantage is, by definition, eliminated by NASCAR.

There are a lot more who certainly are in this same league, such as Willis Reed and Juan Manuel Fangio, but they were before my time.

This morning, I read this article by Bob Woodward in The Washington Post.

If the last few paragraphs of this article is true, then as of this week, in my opinion, there's a New Sheriff In Town. The coolest cat of all time. This guy is more impervious to pressure than Michael Jordan. This guy is Mr. Spock, with a suntan. His name? His name is Barack Obama, and he's President of the United States.

And I quote.....

"In the White House Situation Room on Sunday night, the president and his national security team watched a soundless video feed of the raid.

When bin Laden’s corpse was laid out, one of the Navy SEALs was asked to stretch out next to it to compare heights. The SEAL was 6 feet tall. The body was several inches taller.

After the information was relayed to Obama, he turned to his advisers and said: 'We donated a $60 million helicopter to this operation. Could we not afford to buy a tape measure?' "

Obama staked his entire presidency on this raid. The odds of success were, by all credible accounts, about 50/50. He knew, as a President who had never served in the military, that a failure would define his presidency and possibly lose him the next election. And at the height of all this, instead of losing his temper at a snag, he cracks wise?

This Obama fella may have a future if he keeps this up. The guy is cool.

Monday, May 02, 2011

Reliable As The Weather in Hawai'i

People always think I'm kidding when I tell them it snows regularly in Hawaii. It does in fact snow regularly up at the summits of Mauna Loa and Mauna Kea (altitude 15,000 feet, give or take)....however not usually at my house (3,450 ft above sea level).

Today I was swimming at the Pukalani Pool (altitude 1,500 ft give or take), the air temp was about 80 degrees and the sky was partly cloudy. I was zoned out to the tunes on my SwimP3 player and had done about 2 km. As I went into a flip turn, I felt something bang against my legs. I stopped and there was a lifeguard standing over me. "Yo brah, we closin' da pool, dare's lightnin' & thundah".

This is a common ploy. There's a rule at the County pools - when the lifeguards hear thunder or see lightning, they are required to get everyone out of the pool and close the pool deck for 30 minutes. This is very convenient for, say, when they want to go out to the baseball field and smoke a quick joint, or hit Starbucks across the street. I looked up and was surprised to find there actually were some black clouds around, and even some thunder, which is extremely unusual. Hailing from Florida, where a day without lightning and thunder is unusual, lightning is so unusual in Hawaii that it usually makes the newspaper.

I packed up my crap and drove home.

Ten minutes after I got home, a wicked hailstorm started up. A hailstorm as vicious as any I saw in the 20-odd years I lived in Florida.

I even have the photos and the video to prove it.