Tuesday, July 30, 2013

My Kingdom

Of sorts.
At least that's the way I think of it.
Finally I get my own classroom.
If you, the reader, have been following along at home, you know that last year I shared two classrooms, being something of a floater type person.
This year I start with a brand new room.
Well brand new to me anyways.
It was previously a social studies room so there are some remnants and traces like old books and maps and other things.
I did my best today to take some of that stuff down.
Even though today was an all day seminar type thing extolling the virtues of the newest bestest strategies and assessments plans the government and the private sector have to offer.
The school I work at is undergoing restructuring so we have a contractor helping us get better.
If you know what I mean.
Back to My Kingdom (MK).
Actually Flat Tire Land is MK, so let's call the classroom My Small Kingdom (MSK).
The kind maintenance folks delivered my desks and chairs, even though they weren't supposed to be available until the middle of next month:

It's a mixed bag, but what the hell, I wasn't expecting Ikea.
Sort of.
I still have a long way to go turning this into a mecca of photography, but the serfs don't arrive until Monday so I've got a bit of time.
I need to redo the bulletin boards and arrange the shelves and take down more of those reminder thingys and clean up some and well, you get the idea.
My office is about the same:

I'm undecided about whether or not to keep it nice and tidy or turn it into a mini homage to myself since you know, I'm pretty awesome.
Sort of.
I thought I'd be needing to make a trip to the office supply place but I'm pretty much good to go.
The way I set up MSK is dependent on what I do this year, which at this time is still up in the air.
I've decided to do something different, not that last year was bad, but because I think I can do better.
I also have the Photo 2 kids, so I'll need to come up with some really torturous lesson plans in order to keep them engaged.
Thats' the fun part.
The torturous lesson planning I mean.
Anyways, tomorrow is more meetings then I got the rest of the week to design and decorate.
Then I can sit back and wait for my computers and stuff to come in.
Which won't be for a while.
Which means I'll have to wing it.
Which means I'll have to call upon all my Jedi Skilz to make the first weeks of school interesting.
Which means I'll actually have to work.

Monday, July 29, 2013


Well in about 12 hours or so, tropical storm Flossie will be passing over the Flat Tire Command Center (FTCC).
The storm has been weakening as it nears the islands, but right now it looks like the Big Island will be taking a full hit.
It's been a while since we had a full blown storm here, tropical or otherwise.
Hurricane Iwa hit in 1982, and we had Hurricane Iniki in 1992, so following that timeline we're a year late for a big one.
I remember both storms and they were doozies.
Both hit Hawaii in the channel between O'ahu and Kauai, sort delivering a left hook as it passed southeast of the island chain.
Flossie looks like it'll pass right smack dab over us, giving each island some tropical storm love.
The view outside of the FTCC this morning:

Actually our hurricane season doesn't start until like November so this is more like a summer storm.
Unfortunately I'm not very prepared.
Or am I?
Most of my camping stuff is all packed away in boxes of unknown location.
On the other hand I do have my bicycle stuff.
Like a couple of headlights that if set on low last a pretty long time.
If needed, I got three tail lights that can bathe me in a red glow.
I have a candle around here somewhere that I've had for like forever; I'll be looking for it as soon as I'm done doing this.
Ever since I moved, I've been cooking on this:

I've got lots of gas and a bunch of canned soups.
I think storms/hurricanes are an adventure.
We need them every once in a while to remind us of who we are and where we are and that we at the mercy of powers beyond our control.
Most of us tend to take things for granted don't you know.
Besides, the rain washes away the dust and plants get watered and after every thing looks all nice and green.
What with all the debris on the roads and all.
Anyways, I'll be riding this out and the only thing I'm worrying about losing is my internet connection.
You know, the eVilness, CL, Amazon and all that.
Hope it's dry where you are.
Not wishing you were here:

Sunday, July 28, 2013

Sunday Final

I'm all pumped up!
Sort of.
I mean I slept a lot today.
After seeing my nephew get water poured on his head at a place of worship, the family went out to eat and I ate.
Then came the sleepiness.
I succumbed.
Then I woke up.
Still sleepy.
So I went back to sleep.
Anyways, now I'm up and here to tell you, the reader, about my new pump:

I actually have another pump, but it's in some box somewhere and I couldn't find it.
So Black and Nasty it is!
My other Lezyne pump, the blue one, is for like roade bikes and it was taking me like 200+ pumps to well, pump up the tires on my non-roade bike.
Instead of a huffing and a puffing going down the road, I was standing by the side of the road a huffing and a puffing trying to puff up my tires.
If you squint yer eyeballs you can see that the black and nasty Lezyne Alloy Drive is bit larger diameter wise than the blue Pressure Drive.
Both have the same hose stored inside the body:

I kinda like the hose on the pump as it helps to save the valve stem from wild gesticulations while said a huffing and a puffing is going on.
This one has what looks like a bleed valve on the presta side:

Not quite sure that's needed as I've never had any problems removing the hose and I run presta even on my non-roade bike.  Then again, I usually only get to around 40psi before the canned air comes out.
The Alloy Drive also has a new clamp thingy:

Again, squinting yer eyeballs, you can see that the pump will fit in the clamp from either side, the old style would only mount one way.
I've never mounted the clamp so can't comment on how it works but it seems a bit well, rattle prone.
The other small complaint I have is that the rubber plug thingys that seal each end tend to come off for no reason, thankfully they are attached to the body.
Other than that, I've really like my Lezyne pump, I should know, after about six hundred pumps it's still going strong.
Hopefully with this new pump, it will only take me 100 pumps or so to get to terminal inflation with less a huffing and a puffing and wild gesticulations on the side of the road.
Not looking forwards to trying it out.
If you know what I mean.

Sunday Early Edition

Two more days of nothingness.
Sort of.
I have something to do today so it's more like one day.
Back to work on Tuesday.
Actually I'm looking forwards to going back, new year and all that.
Except the first week, without kids, is like pulling teeth what with all the meetings and stuff.
This is my sixth year in the system, second as a teacher and lemme tell you, the meetings are like watching the same movie trailer over and over and over and over and over and well, you get the picture.
Anyways, yesterday I went shopping:

I always imagined getting my own executive chair, you know, once I got my own office.
I was in chair heaven!
Sort of.
Them chairs are kinda pricey.
I was going for one of them high back chairs for ultimate comfort but then I thought boy, I'm still on probation so I better not.
Maybe next year.
On the other hand, I didn't want one of them "task" chairs, like the one that's already in my room.
I spend over an hour sitting here and sitting there, leaning back, going up and down, swiveling around to and fro.
They have these mesh chairs that are kinda nice, but cost a bit more.
We aren't air conditioned at school so that sort of factored in, especially since it's still summer.
In the end though, I went mid range:

No tools required!
The unboxing:

I was going to make a video.
Okay, not really.
Why folks make videos of unboxing stuff or opening packages I don't know.
Anyways, this thing was too big.
As promised, assembly was easy.
Put the wheels on the bottom thingy, insert gas thingy in bottom thingy, pop chair on top.

One hundred and twenty nine dollars of leather goodness!
Some nice lady at the store saw me testing out the chairs and gave me a coupon so I got a nice little discount.
Now if that chair doesn't say superiority, I mean it's got four year degree written all over it!
Testing it out:

Oh yeah baby!
Perfect those times when I need a little nap, er, break.
Not that I take any breaks at work.
Don't you know.

Wednesday, July 24, 2013


Sort of.
I think that's why I enjoy Sand Island so much.
Not the recreation area but that back road place I've been going to lately:

It's kinda desolate in a nice way, I mean there are no facilities of any kind.
No shade unless you want to be poked by the pokey bushes and bring your own water.
There are folks around, mostly though they seem like me, there to enjoy the solitude whether it be fishing, surfing or just well, being alone.
I was there for a reason, trying to get my perfect sunset image, but those clouds over the mountains weren't cooperating.
It was okay though, I was there and not over here.
If you know what I mean.
If you look closely at the image above, you can see where the ocean has found a path from one side of the point to the other.
One day, it will cut off this small piece of land and the point will be no more.
Unless humans intervene.
I wonder if I'll still be here?
Waiting for the sun to set.
Can you really call it waiting?

No prize for me today, but I was rewarded.
Some kids enjoying the last light of the day:

Like that cloud, they don't wan the day to end just yet.
Don't worry, it'll all be good again once tomorrow comes.
One more place to go, since I'm out here I mean.
So off I went.
No picture here either:

Like that elusive perfect setting sun, the lights just don't want to align to my satisfaction.
One stray light here, one there, just can't seem to frame it correctly:

I give up.
Tired of waiting for the headlights and tail lights to pass and give a clear shot, I turn my camera in the other direction.
The Moon is coming up:

No good there too.
I hadn't planned on shooting the Moon, so I left without my magic filters.
Too bad.
It was a nice sight.
Pack it all up and get ready to go and coming down the road I see some single lights:

Bicycle Ninjas invading my turf!
Camera out I ready myself to document their existence, but my lens is too slow!
I left the fast focusing lens at home!
Abstract bicyclists:

Let me try that again.
Here they come on the return leg:

Just don't have what it takes.
Not tonight anyway.
Pack it up again and hit the road for home.

Tuesday, July 23, 2013

Trespass and Other Things

Boy, the things I do for you, the reader.
Risky business this blogging thing.
Sort of.
Today I went in to work to check on some things that needed checking on but no one was there to do any checking.
I was about to leave when I spied some other folks doing their job:

I don't like heights.
For the life of me I don't know how those guys do it, swinging around up there in the breeze.
Not that there was any breeze today, it was hot and humid.
Still, you get all sweaty and a things a getting all slippery:

I was rushing the photos cause I didn't want them to get too low, and I forgot again to check my camera settings.
It sort of worked out okay though as I took these hand held with Big Mama and even with the Vibration Reduction I was weaving back and forth looking almost straight up.
I wanted to get a couple more angles but I was kicked off the property.
That's right, some security dude came and reminded me that I was taking pictures on private property.
This property is right across the street from school and also houses a furniture place and restaurant.
Oh well.
I forgot to post up some pre art festival pictures of My Friend Kyle doing some raku:

Not so good.
Longer exposure please:

Getting better but I think I needed another half second or so.
Unfortunately he was done for the night, so maybe next time.
If you squint yer eyeballs you can see my two Jack in the Box tacos on the table to the left.
Finally, I got in my anti flat devices:

Some Mr. Tuffy tire liners!
Oh yeah baby!
Those are supposed to be for 26 inch tires, but when you unravel them, they look like they could go on some 29s.
They are also on the heavy side, but no matter since my bicycle already weighs a GAGILLION pounds.
Hopefully though this will help stop things from poking through my tires.
I'll get those installed and go find some other place to go and trespass.

Sunday, July 21, 2013

Sunday Final

So for the last two days, I've been a hawking my goods over at the Haleiwa Arts Festival.
I didn't have the opportunity to make new stuff what with the move and all, so all I had was whatever was laying around.
My intention was to get rid of as much stuff as possible cause I can't take whatever is laying around with me when I move again next month.
Not a very good view of the North Shore and Haleiwa:

Haleiwa is off to the right.
The weather was beautiful!
Yesterday we had clear skies but very little wind so it was a bit warm.
Today, the breeze came back so it was nice and pleasant.
The North Shore during the summer is flat, flat, flat:

Ali'i Beach Park is off to the left and I've seen 10-12 foot waves there during the winter.
This is what they call diving conditions.
It sort of amazes me the transformation the North Shore undergoes just with a change of season.
My Friend Kyle (MFK) manning the fort:

Closer view of the wares:

This year it seemed a little better.
There were more folks walking around and it seemed like we got more visits:

I however, did not do as well as I did last year, in fact I did not even make my entry fee back.
I'm sad.
Sort of.
I mean it's a really nice festival and I don't feel really bad about not making any money.
I still had fun.
Even if the most exciting thing I saw was a pink dog:

Thankfully dogs are colorblind and she wasn't too embarrassed.
The dog I mean.
Anyways, the bad thing is now I gotta figure out what to do with all my stuff.
Maybe I can store it here for now, until the next sale in November.
I am one box o'stuff lighter, but there's still a lot left.
Maybe a garage sale.
Or maybe not.

Thursday, July 18, 2013

I Think I'm Getting Better

As in practice makes perfect.
I was on Sand Island today, you know, taking pictures cause I'm a picture taking fiend.
To get closer to the water and on the rocks I had to move off the path on the well, off the path.
Wrong move.
It was covered with this:

Except not the green stuff, the hard brown stuff.
I sort of knew they were around so I got off the bicycle and rolled it the four or five feet to a tree so I could lean it.
Checking my tires I discovered two pokeys, one in the front, one in the back.
I pulled them out and everything seemed okay.
Yeah right:

Since I already pulled out the pokey thing, I had no idea where the puka was.
This was going to be a full tube change.
Which I did like I was in the pits at Bicycle NASCAR.
Or Formula Bicycle.
Or something.
Except that pump is for my roade bike so it took me like 260 pumps to get it well, pumped up.
The tire I mean.
Soon I shall be able to change out a tube with my eyeballs closed.
I have a feeling I'll be getting more practice.
If you know what I mean.
Anyways, I'm also practicing my sunset pics.
Getting the settings down so now they are starting to make sense:

Okay, not really sunset, but more like twilight.
Using that 16-35 is sort of tricky but I'm getting better.
I think.
I mean the angle is so wide, you really have to think about your composition.
Here's another, taken from the same place but slightly further back:

Both are longish exposures, I think the top one was about 2 or 3 seconds, the bottom one was 13 seconds.
I'll probably blow one of them up to a 16x24.
You know, to hang in the office.
Incentive sort of, to make it through the day.
Not that I need any help.
Don't you know.
Finally, I got give a shout out to AdoramaPix.
When they got my email about that flaw in the print I had, they didn't email me back.
They called me on the phone.
After I explained the flaw, they said they'd reprint and get another one out in the mail.
Oh, and keep the other one.
What's not awesome is my camera and all the dust it accumulates.
More on this later.

Wednesday, July 17, 2013

Hawaii 4-9, Being Tricky

I gotta stop eating them roast pork lunches.
It's the kind of lunch were after you eat, your legs don't wanna work no more.
What calories I burn, I double when I sit down to a lunch drowning in gravy.
I can't help it.
Cause it's so good.
So after sitting down and gaining five pounds, I figured I better take the long way home to work off some of that pork goodness.
I headed down the road to do my roast pork penance, my wrist, elbow, shoulder and leg still hurting a bit from yesterdays crash.
Along the way down the Road to Perdition, I saw this:

Except there weren't any uniformed police folks around.
I think the HPD 49 sort of gives it away.
There were some folks walking around checking things out, probably scouting a location:

I thought.
Just before I reached the end of the road, my front tire went flat.
Okay, not completely flat, just sort of flat:

I'm running these Specialized Hemispheres and they don't seem like they are very tough.
This flat was caused by one of them pokey things in the grass that got stuck in between the treads.
On the other hand, I do ride amidst the junk on the road and on some untraveled areas, so maybe it's just me.
I'm starting to think tire liners.
White cap day:

I don't know how much the wind has to be blowing to cause white caps, but it was blowing pretty good.
Riding straight into it sort of made me forget about lunch.
A bunch of a huffing and a puffing later I saw this:

Those folks weren't scouting a location, they were on location!
There was a whole bunch of cameras and crews and tents and stuff.
A little further down the road they had larger tents set up for the crew.
No cast. 
Real HPD watching faux HPD:

Actually a lot of the uniformed folks are real Honolulu Police Department officers.
Famous Camaro in the background.
I was looking for Grace Park or Scott Caan, but no stars were to be found.
I guess they were still setting things up.
Watch for this location on TV and remember you saw it here first!
Sort of.
Lastly, there are bunch of rubber trees growing by the  bicycle path:

Well rubber trees have this branch thingy with the leaves that fall to the ground:

When I was smaller, we would swing the thingys from our fingers and have contests to see who could do it the longest.
First you find a good one.
Branch thingy I mean:

You hook it around your finger and let physics do the rest:

Okay, wait.
Not like that.
Like this:

My stupid human trick for the day.
Tomorrow I'll try it while riding a bicycle.
I hope I don't crash.

Tuesday, July 16, 2013

Not If But When

Back to the beach!
Paper said there was a chance of a building swell from some storm down south.
So off I went!
I considered taking Big Mama with me, but I don't really have anything to carry it with so I left it home.
Besides, what happens if I crash?
That's a lot of glass to be hitting pavement and wouldn't you know?
More on this later.
I stopped off at Aloha Tower to get a cold beverage and a sushi.
The paper also said that the local college, Hawaii Pacific University has taken over the marketplace and will use it for classrooms and stuff.
I also noticed that the tower was open to visitors.
Believe it or not, I don't think I've ever been up to the observation deck, a whopping ten stories above sea level.
So up I went!

The harbor entrance with Sand Island Recreation Area on the right.
Where I came from:

The golfball boat below.
I had the place to myself so I could have stayed there for hours.
I didn't though.
Stay for hours I mean.
I had to check for surf!
What's this?

Some kind of stealth boat.
Or something.
It was sort of parked out of the way, you couldn't really see it from the road.
Then again, it's smack dab in the middle of the harbor so it's not like it was hiding or anything.
At the park I caught this dude:

It was plenty windy but he was going for it!
He almost made it all the way across.
I gotta think that a slack line is more difficult than a tensioned one.
I shoulda took more pics of him, but I still hadn't seen any waves.
Sort of:

The kids were making the best of their last 13 days.
The waves weren't as big as I thought they would be, but the swell is supposedly still coming up.
I moved on down the beach:

The submarines coming in.
Must be getting late.
I wonder if they saw any fish?
This dude did:

There was a time when I used to go fishing a lot.
Now when I see big fish like that come in, it makes me sort of sad.
I guessed around 300-400 pounds.
It was 285.
Back to see if the surf was coming up, I spied this:

Can you see it?
Squint yer eyeballs.

A dude had taken his young daughter out to surf!
I didn't have enough lens so I cropped the image.
Too bad I didn't have Big Mama.
Sort of.
Canoes were coming and going:

Entrance to Ala Wai Yacht Harbor and Ala Moana Beach.
The one closest is a double hull canoe.
Not very fast.
Must be some kind of punishment.
I was thinking today, as I watched the sun go down, how often I stop to see it.
Almost never.
How many sunsets have I missed because I was too "busy?"
Too many:

They got the right idea.
Apparently they aren't the only ones:

Flat Tire Earth machine there on the right.
Wait, what about the not if but when?
Oh that!
I took a spill trying to hop a low curb about a mile out from home. 
I almost turned back as I scurbed my elbow and leg and tweaked my wrist.
I soldiered on though.
For you, the reader.
Thankfully I didn't have my long lens!
I would have walked in front of a passing truck if I had broke that.
Anyways, soon I'll be living right up the street from Ala Moana so hopefully I won't be missing too many more.
Sunsets I mean.
Wish you were here.