Tenth Anniversary

by wjw on March 25, 2015

Glitter-Anniversary-Graphic1Today is the tenth anniversary of the day I drove myself to the hospital with a ruptured appendix.

Every day since then, no matter how lousy, has been pretty darn good.

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Brides on the Beach

by wjw on March 22, 2015

Kathy’s workshop is over, and we’re now spending a couple nights in Waikiki before heading home.wedding

Today (Saturday) the town was full of Japanese brides being photographed in front of iconic local sites.  When we ate at Orchids, we shared the restaurant with several large bridal parties.  I took any number of photos of cute Japanes couples.  I guess Saturday is the big wedding day because the family and friends fly in for just the weekend.

I’d have a lot more fun in Oahu if I weren’t so exhausted.  I was tired when I got here, and all those dives have taken their toll.  My feet are badly beat up from wearing fins— while they exert considerable force on the water, they also exert the same amount of force on the feet.  Scuba is always hard on my feet.

A couple more days, and then I can sleep all I want.

 

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Submariniana

by wjw on March 18, 2015

humpbacksHere’s a mother humpback whale breaching,  while her calf waves a fin good-bye.  We had to head for port before this pair became really active, and they started jumping once we were too far away to really get a good view.

This was a formal whale watching cruise, sort of a disappointment because the whales were given to “logging,” which is pretty much what it sounds like.  I’d seen much more active whales from the dive boat on the preceding couple of days, and I’d been expecting a bit more spectacle.

Still, a day with whales is better than one without.

Practically everything I’ve done here had to do with salt water one way or another.

The previous day I did four dives out of Lahaina.  The first was to “Cathedral #1“— there’s a #2 nearby— which is two coral pinnacles that have grown together overhead, leaving this huge cavernous vaguely-Gothic-arched space filled with beams of light spearing down from  jagged openings overhead.  Very impressive, especially when filled with whale song.

You leave the cathedral by bracing yourself against the exit hole, hanging on while the surge tries to hurl you back, then wait for the current to change, after which you launch yourself from the exit and let the current carry you free.

Once free, I saw a spotted eagle ray soaring over the reef, a hopeful sign if ever there was one.

Another dive featured the Carthaginian wreck, an old steel schooner deliberately sunk to form an artificial reef.  While we were waiting at the buoy preparing for the dive, a white submarine broke water a short distance away.  A very impressive sight, even though it was a glass-walled submarine used to bring visitors to the undersea world.  ”Why didn’t they paint it yellow?” I wondered.  ”Then it would come with a theme song and everything.”

I went down onto the wreck, which is at 95 feet.  I ventured into the hold, and then saw a very large shark just ahead, in the bow of the ship.  I decided not to corner the predator in a dark part of the hold, and decided to visit another part of the boat.  (It was a white-tipped reef shark, and highly unlikely to have attacked, but you can’t always trust our animal brethren to do the intelligent thing, and as I always say, “Better safe than savaged.”)

Eventually I ran out of bottom time, and came up along the mooring line to do my three-minute safety stop at 15 feet.  While I was hanging there, I heard electric motors whining away, and started looking for the sub.   Then it appeared like a white ghost, hanging in the water below me.   My three-minute stop ran overtime as I watched the sub floating over and above the wreck, and I wished my visit was a little better timed to give me a chance to wave at the tourists and their cameras.

Speaking of which, I was walking to the dock that morning, and I was accosted by a local.  ”You must be a tourist,” he said.

“No,” I said, “I’m an adventurer.”

I don’t think he was impressed.

You’ll note that I’m linking to other people’s photos instead of posting my own, and that’s because my underwater camera is buggered.  No more pics for me, at least underwater.

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Geocontest

by wjw on March 14, 2015

coastI’m on the road again, so posting may be erratic.

But my question to you all is, Where am I?

Anyone guessing where the above picture was taken will win free downloads of the audio books for all three Praxis books.

Begin . . . now!

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Cape Sounion

by wjw on March 12, 2015

sounionHere’s another photo from my long-ago trip to Greece, of sunrise at the temple to Poseidon on Cape Sounion, at the end of the Attic peninsula.

I took the bus out to Sounion, bought a ticket, viewed the ruin— which is perhaps the most perfect small temple ever built— and then had souvlaki in a seaside cafe.  I had a bathe, and met two Second World War vets who’d been in the underground.  One showed me the scars from a German machine pistol, which stitched him from his right shoulder across his body to his left thigh.  I was amazed he’d survived.

One of them told me that the temple was prone to mirages of Libya, and that sometimes you could see Arabs and camels wandering around the pillars.  No wonder the ancients thought the place was sacred.

After dark, I snuck around the fence and climbed up to the ruins, where I laid out my sleeping bag and contemplated the stars, quite brilliant on a dark but windy night.  Once it started getting light, I jumped up and commenced worshipping the local noumena, mainly by capering around and shooting off several rolls of slide film.

I regret to say that the marvelously subtle colors of these photos have deteriorated over the decades, but maybe this photo will give you an idea of the magic of the moment.

(Lord Byron, by the way, carved his name on one of these pillars, right where the sunrise would strike it every day.)

After the sun was up I began to be worried about getting busted for trespassing, so I made my way down, had another bathe in a secluded bay before taking the first bus back to Athens, where I arrived in time for breakfast.

I had a blob of crude oil stuck in my hair that resulted in an impromptu haircut, gift from a passing tanker.

The sequence of pictures, which is still maybe forty images long, is still a wonder.

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Secret Masters

March 11, 2015

So for years, when visiting Santa Fe, I’ve been driving past a giant pink Moorish castle, and wondering what went on inside.  For the place was Santa Fe’s Scottish Rite Temple, where met the Secret Masters of Whatever It Is They’re Secret Masters Of. The other day, for the first time in history, the temple […]

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Analog Me

March 10, 2015

I’m in search of lost time, as Proust might put it.  I’ve got a closet full of slide carousels documenting my various travels through the multiverse, and I’ve just bought a scanner/converter to bring them all into the digital age.  So for the last few days I have been soaking in nostalgia for the lost […]

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The Multiverse on Sale!

March 8, 2015

Implied Spaces is now on sale for $0.99 at Amazon, Barnes & Noble, Kobo, and Smashwords. It’s supposed  to be on sale at iBooks, but for some reason Apple seems not to have got the word.  This situation may be corrected by the time you read this, however.  UPDATE: the problem has been solved, and iBooks now […]

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Lessons for Writers: Dr. Funkenstein

March 5, 2015

I’ve been enjoying the autobiography of George Clinton, with its somehow perfect title, Brothas Be, YO Like George, Ain’t That Funkin’ Kinda Hard On You? I really didn’t follow Parliament/Funkadelic back in the day, for various reasons.  I liked my rock and roll more straight up.  P-Funk was so prolific, with its various incarnations— Parliament, Funkadelic, […]

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Bloody Jane

March 4, 2015

“From this period, the intimacy between the Families of Fitzroy, Drummond and Falknor, daily increased till at length it grew to such a pitch, that they did not scruple to kick one another out of the window on the slightest provocation.” Who was it, d’ye think, that wrote such an elegantly balanced Augustan sentence, and […]

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