Thursday, July 31, 2008


Just got back from a wonderful week long family vacation on the Garden Isle of Hawaii, Kauai.
* Discovered Queen's Bath in Princeville. It is a very steep and muddy hike down to the lava rocks. The adventure was better than the snorkeling.
* Rented bikes and rode the new pathway along the Kapaa coast.
* Shore-dived Tunnels on the North Coast. Saw a couple of sleeping white tip reef sharks, eels and two small turtles. The current was rough coming in on the first dive. IMHO, Tunnels is a better snorkeling spot than scuba.
* Caught a luau at Smith's Tropical Paradise. The grounds were wonderful, the food delicious, and the show was great. I highly recommend this luau.
* Did the 2 mile Kalalu trail segment to the first beach. When we reached the beach, we some locals returning from a pig hunting party. They had about a dozen dogs that rounded up the pigs which the men then killed with a knife. These guys already had one pig dressed and one fellow carried like a backpack. Jaya thought it was very creepy.
* Kayaked up the Wailua River to Secret Falls. The hike to the falls was worth it. The kids did some great paddling even with the fierce winds coming back.
* Got a lot of beach time right in front of the condo. The kids were old enough to tolerate the waves.
* Good eats: Chaka Taco in Kapaa, Brick Oven Pizza in Kalaheo,

Tuesday, July 15, 2008

Atlanta Vacation

We recently went to Atlanta to visit family. Some of the highlights:
* Stone Mountain - awesome time at the small amusement park. Loved the SkyHike even with its two hour line. Bought a fire poker made the resident blacksmith. Took the gondola to the top. Took the tram to the top of the mountaingiant rock. Pretty nice views from there given the flatness of the area.
* Kennesaw Mountain Battlefield - this time we drove to the top and saw the amazing view (better than Stone Mountain). Also went to the Dead Angle on Cheatham Hill. Over 5,000 soldiers were killed during the battle, many on Cheatham. For prespective, 19 soldiers died at our local battle site, San Pascual.
* Smyrna Historical Museum - had a nice chat with a life-long resident. My wife may donate some of her high school yearbooks next time we go.

Monday, July 07, 2008

4th of July Weekend

My parents live in Santa Ana, last refuge of the "safe and sane" fireworks. Growing up, we bought fireworks, but never to the quantity that I wished. A couple of years ago, my brother was in town for the 4th and we were like kids in a candyfirework shop. This year, we bought a large (but not quite "block party" size) box of pyrotechnics. The kids loved the little items: ground bloom flowers, sparklers, worms, lightning bugs, etc. It gives a parent great satisfaction to teach their brood how to start the fuse of an explosive device without losing a finger or hand. As we set off our fireworks, the rest of the neighborhood joined in. There were multitudes of air-burst rockets, like mini-Disneyland fireworks. I imagine they were purchased in Tijuana given the area's large Mexican population. In any case, I was very jealous; the bottle rockets we had as kids were pathetic compared to the new ones.

Tuesday, July 01, 2008

billg retires

Bill Gates has "retired" from Microsoft. The end of an era, perhaps. I've often wondering why Gates and Microsoft get such a bad rap. They certainly played hardball but in my opinion most of their competitors created their own problems and/or couldn't keep up. That is the beauty of free enterprise. A small company can come up with great products, cut even better deals and make a fortune. The PC industry grew so fast so quick just because of brilliant people like Gates (and many others), not because the government was there to control what came with our operating systems. Microsoft may be on the downturn, but its rise will be one for the history books. Mr. Gates created enormous wealth, let's sit back and watch him use it.
Here is an Then & Now shot of the classic early MS pic.