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Hawaii Part 2: The Rest

Wednesday, October 1st, 2014 No comments

The second part of my trip was better in some ways and worse in others.  After LOST 2014, I didn’t have a schedule of activities, which left me free to do whatever I wanted.  However, I was alone most of time and there were occasions when I had time to kill, but not really anything I could do.  Not having a car hampered me a little, because I couldn’t go to some places by bus before they closed.

On Tuesday, I did a lot of walking around to explore Honolulu.  I was still getting used to the bus system at this point.  Once I got on the something like the 9 bus, but it turned out to be the 9S bus, which went to a completely different place.  Each bus said the areas it was stopping by, so maybe if I knew the area better I wouldn’t have as many problems.  I only wasted a little money though.  I got to see the Christian academy where the last scene of LOST was filmed. I think other scenes were filmed there as well. I went to see another movie this night.  It was The Giver, which was much better than I thought it would be.  It seems like a lot of people don’t like to go see movies while on vacation, but I do.
Sacred Hearts Academy

On Wednesday, I went to Diamondhead and hiked all the way to the top.  I was so tired and sweaty by the time I got to the top. Afterwards, I took another trip to Waikiki Beach.  I had wanted to go to a non-touristy beach, but this one was more convenient.  I got dinner at a cheeseburger place.  I went to see another movie, A Walk Through the Tombstones.  It wasn’t as good as I was hoping it would be, but it was still solid.
View of Waikiki from Diamondhead

On Thursday, we found out that Bonnie Craft passed away.  Bonnie is a big time LOST fan.  I never met her in person. She was one of the LOST fans who friended me on social media leading up to LOST 2014.  I exchanged a few messages with her on Facebook.  I think she was the one behind the thank you video that was played at the final event because she asked for photos of us.  They told us then that she had pneumonia and wasn’t able to attend LOST 2014.  I don’t think I knew at the time that she was actually in Hawaii.  I heard this day that some met her at the check-in before the Jorge Garcia Q&A, but I don’t think I did. After  I found out that she had passed, I saw her last posts from Hawaii telling people to go on without her because she wasn’t feeling well.  I then saw tweets from earlier where her sister was trying to get an update on her condition from  and shortly after that the news broke.  Very sad.  That day I went on another hike, this time to Manoa Falls.  It rained on me a good bit of the hike, which was fine because it cooled things down.  I ate dinner at a Korean BBQ place and wondered the city until it was time for bed.
Manoa Falls

On Friday, I didn’t plan on doing much because I was tired.  People came over at 8 am to do an inspection on the apartment I was in and to fix something.  I did some podcast prep after they left.  It rained a good bit that day.  I didn’t get to see a friend like we  had planned this day because he was busy entertaining another firmed from Minnesota.  Maybe I’ll see him next time I’m in Hawaii.  It rained a good bit this day..  I ate dinner at a another burger place and went back to my room after that.

On Saturday morning I went to airport way early.  I was just ready to get out of that apartment and start making my way home.  Someone I met at the last LOST 2014 event was on my plane.  I tried to get his attention before we boarded, but I don’t think he saw me.  We landed in Portland a little after midnight and I made it home after midnight. It was so cold compared to Hawaii.

A few more observations:

  • I saw a lot of military people, probably because of the nearby military base.
  • So many places there were cash only.  I didn’t eat at some places because of that.
  • I had shave ice almost every day.  It’s great!
  • I think I became an expert at the bus system by the time I left.  But I was relying heavily on Google Maps, which tells you exactly which buses to take and where to transfer.
  • I got to see a lot of crazies on the buses, but they weren’t that bad.
  • I never felt like I was in any danger while I was wondering through unfamiliar neighborhoods late at night.

I had a great time in Hawaii.  It was expensive, but it was worth it.  I don’t want to go anywhere else for a while.  I am worn out.  I have a few trips already planned for 2015, but they are more spread out.  I’m pretty sure I’m not going on the one I have planned for January.  I just want to stay home.  In 2016, I think I’ll take fewer trips and dedicate more time and money to each one.

I’m so ready for Fall.

Hawaii Part 1: LOST 2014

Tuesday, September 23rd, 2014 1 comment

I’m in Hawaii!!! It’s my first time here.  I came here for the LOST 2014 fan event, but also just to visit Hawaii.  Instead of waiting for the end of the trip to write one long entry, I decided to break it up into two entries.

I left Portland Friday morning.  The plane ride was the longest I’ve ever been on.  I think it was about 5.5 hours.  It was light flight with not so many people but lots of cargo.  Because of that, the plane’s balance was off.  They made some people in the front of the plane move to the back to balance things out.  I had never heard of that happening before.  The pilot said he had never seen that on so large a plane.  Someone who still doesn’t really like flying doesn’t want to hear about problems with the plane.  The flight was smooth except for the final descent.  We had some of the worst turbulence I’ve even felt.

The first thing I noticed when I got here was the heat.  Everyone is saying it is unseasonable warm.  I keep hearing people say that this is the time of the year that the trade winds stop, so it gets hot, but this year is worse than normal.  I’m sweating so much that I feel unclean the whole time.  I don’t care that it’ll be after midnight when I get home in Portland.  I’m taking a nice, long bath.

This is my 5th trip since the middle of July, so I’ve been trying to save money each step of the way.  I went the Airbnb route to find a place to stay while I’m here.  It’s a nice apartment in a nice neighborhood, close to some non-touristy places to eat.  The biggest drawback is that I’m a couple of miles from where the LOST 2014 event was.  I’m relying on public transportation to get around, so it’s a bit of a hassle to get over there.  I can’t really come back here to rest between events, so I’m out in the heat pretty much all day. I feel clean for about 5 minutes after a shower then, I feel like I need another one. I probably should have staying at the event hotel while the event was going on and then moved to a less expensive place when it ended.  Also, I should have rented a car, which I still might do.  Don’t be so cheap, Will.  But that’s how you afford to do a lot of the things you do.  Decisions decisions.

Friday after I got in, I chilled at at tea café while I waited for my host to get off work.  After I “checked in”, I walked around this neighbor and did some grocery shopping. My host is a really nice guy.  He gave me some tips on where to eat, what to eat, and some places to explore.   He does have company sometimes, and at times they’re making lots of noise when I’m trying to sleep.

On Saturday, LOST 2014 began.  The first thing was a Q&A session with Jorge Garcia.  He was great.  I got to get his autograph and get a picture taken with him.  We had an awkward moment hugging each other because the person taking the pic couldn’t figure out how to take a pic with my camera.  The same thing happened with Chris Mulkey at the Twin Peaks Festival.  After this I started giving people instructions on how to use my camera.  Not everybody listened though.  After the Q&A, I had some time to kill so I explored a little.  I got some shave ice like my host suggested.  It was delicious.  I also went to Waikiki Beach for a little while.  There were some awesome beach bodies on display.  I wish I could look like that.  Next, I went to the event hotel and read in the lobby for a couple of hours.  I followed the Mississippi State game while I was doing this.  Then it was time for the welcome reception and costume contest.  At this event and the Q&A, I got to meet people that I had become friends with on Twitter and Facebook leading up to this weekend.  There were a lot of cool costumes.  I really have to dress up for one of these events. The winner was a Bad Robot / Claire thing.
Me and Jorge Garcia

The only thing I had planned Sunday was a tour of the LOST filming locations.  It was so hot, but it was worth it.  We got to see Dharmaville, the beach that was used as the crash site in the pilot and for other scenes throughout the show, the place where the Nigerian village scenes where shot, the stadium where Desmond met Jack,  the road where Kate was on in the Australian outback, the waterfall where Kate and Sawyer found the Halliburton, the convention center that served as the Sydney airport, a gas station which I think was involved in Kate’s storyline, and a church that was involved in Sawyer’s storyline, and probably some other things I’m forgetting.  Some places we drove by without stopping.   I know some people have gone to the church used in “The End”.  I may try to do that before I leave.  The guide on our tour wasn’t that great.  He knew a lot about Hawaii, but didn’t know as much about LOST as I would’ve have liked, just the facts he had in his notes.  At first he tried to tell us that Sawyer met Jack at the stadium, but the people on the bus quickly corrected him.  He seemed to have trouble finding his words at times.  The scenery that we saw on the tour was beautiful.  After the tour I went to the beach for a little while and then I went to a movie theater and sat in some air conditioning for a little while.  The apartment that I’m staying in doesn’t have A/C.  The Drop is a pretty good movie, 4 out of 5 stars.
Me and Jorge Garcia

waterfall

Monday was the final day of LOST 2014, which coincided with the 10th anniversary of the premiere of LOST.  I slept late that day because the first scheduled event was the group photo that afternoon.  I got there early like I did for every event.  While I was waiting I felt something hit my shoulder.  I turned around and saw something orange and gross on my shoulder.  I don’t know if it was from a fruit or if it was bird poop.  Do birds poop orange?  I immediately took my shirt off, walked shirtless across the street, and bought another shirt.  There are shirtless people all over the place here, even inside stores, so it wasn’t a big deal to anyone else.  It was for me though.  It’s probably weird that I have no trouble being naked around people indoors, but not shirtless in public.  I did go to that nude beach last month though.  That seems like a really long time ago. Anyway, after the photo, I got something to eat and hung out on the beach some more.  That night was the anniversary party and charity auction.  They had LOST-themed food.  After the expected acknowledgments of everyone’s hard work, we saw pre-recorded messages from a few of the cast members and a thank you video for the event’s organizer.  Also, they announced LOST 2020 to celebrate the 10-year anniversary of the LOST finale.  They said they are looking at locations that would make it easier for more cast members to attend.  I’m assuming it’s going to be in L.A.
LOST-themed cake

I had a great time at LOST 2014.  I wish there were more activities, so there wasn’t so much down time.  If I were staying at the event’s hotel, it probably wouldn’t have been a big deal. I think I missed out on social opportunities by being so far away from everybody, but I did have fun meeting people I did from various places.  I think there were 15 countries represented and I walked to people from all over the United States.  LOST has brought a lot of people together.  I’ve made a lot of friends over the years that I never would have if not for LOST.  I’m glad we found each other. If at all possible, I will be attending LOST 2020.

 

Twin Peaks Festival 2014

Monday, August 11th, 2014 No comments

The first weekend in August was the Twins Peaks festival in North Bend, Washington. I sent my friend John a link about it months ago and he said that we should go.So, we went. John was one of the reasons I first started watching Twin Peaks. The Twin Peaks podcast was another. I remember thinking it was a weird show and not being into it much at first, but I liked it more as I went along.

He flew up to Portland the night before the festival . We had some drinks at my apartment and caught up with each other. The next day, partially because we were hungover, partially because we wanted to do some things in Portland, and partially because we got stuck in some bad traffic in Washington, we didn’t make to North Bend until later that night. We got there just in time for movie night, missing the activities earlier in the day. Apparently, we weren’t the only ones who arrived at that time. I got to meet Matt and Mel for the first time. I had known of them online for a while from the The Twin Peaks Podcast, Carny Cast, and appearances on other podcasts. Then I became their co-host on our own podcast.

The next day we got up early went on the filming location tour. Matt and Mel were on the same tour as us. It was great seeing many places that were used in the show. That night was the celebrity dinner and costume contest. Several actors from the show were there like Kimmy Robertson, Chris Mulkey, Wendy Robie, Sherilyn Fenn, etc. Jenn Lynch and James Marshall had to back out due to other commitments. I got autographs and pics with Kimmy Robertson and Chris Mulkey. They were both very cool.

On the last day, John and I had breakfast at Twede’s with Matt, Mel, and others. We had to skip the rest of the day’s activities so we could head back to Portland. We hit a few stops in Portland and John left for Mississippi the next day.

I had a great time at the Twin Peaks Festival. It was great to hang with John, meet Matt and Mel, and make some new friends. It’s not something I would do every year, but I could see myself going back some time in the future.

Christmas 2013

Thursday, December 26th, 2013 No comments

I had a good Christmas this year.  I decided to remain in Portland this year. It’s nice to spend a holiday resting instead of traveling.  I missed seeing my family, but I didn’t mind missing out on the airports. I worked on Christmas Eve for the first time ever, but I did take a vacation from work beginning on Christmas Day and ending on New Year’s Day. On Christmas Day I saw two movies, two of many movies I plan to see during my break. I’m going to a game night on New Year’s Eve, but that’s the only social activity.  I have planned.

What did I get for my birthday and Christmas? My friends and family took very good care of me this year.

  • Grimm lore book
  • Batman figure
  • The Shining by Stephen King
  • Princess Mononoke on DVD
  • 2(x)ist underwear
  • Pizza pan
  • Beanie
  • Enterprise-D model
  • C.O.P.S. Vol. 1 and 2 on DVD
  • Batman snuggie

I sent my niece a toy Dora the Explorer guitar. I hear that she really liked it and was doing air guitar not long before she got her gift.

Fandoms

Sunday, June 30th, 2013 No comments

While I was at LeakyCon, I spent a lot of time thinking about fandoms. I’m a major Star Trek fan. More specifically, I a major Star Trek: The Next Generation fan. I’ve seen every episode and movie many times. If I came across a rerun, I used to be able to recognize an episode and tell you the title and season within seconds. I haven’t put that to the test in a while since you don’t see reruns on TV anymore. I know there are people who are more obsessed with it than me, but I’m pretty obsessed. Star Trek: TNG is definitely the series I’m the most obsessed with, even more than LOST.

I thought that I was fairly knowledgeable about Doctor Who. I’ve seen every episode since the relaunch at least once. I spend a decent amount of time chatting with people about it. At the Doctor Who meetup at LeakyCon, we sat around in the circle and discussed the show. I knew there would be people who knew a lot more than me. I was just hoping to be able to contribute to the conversation. As the discussion went around the circle on different topics, I was just happy that I knew what people were talking about. At one point, I was having trouble hearing what was going on when all of a sudden pretty much the entire circle of 50 or so people burst into some Doctor Who-related song. Later, I remembered hearing “Pandorica” and “Amy” and “River”. When they finished, I had no idea what had just happened. It blew my mind. They all knew the song word for word, but I had never heard of it before. Earlier they had all sung a Harry Potter song, but I figured that was from the Harry Potter musical that I have refused to watch.

Later on, with the help of Google, I discovered that the Doctor Who song is by a UK band that writes songs inspired by Doctor Who. They write songs INSPIRED BY DOCTOR WHO. I had no idea this kind of thing existed, but I shouldn’t be surprised. These guys are big on YouTube apparently. The Internet wasn’t around when Star Trek: TNG was on, much less YouTube. I wonder how it would have been different for me if I had the Internet when that show was on. I don’t do a lot of general web surfing these days, but I did when I was in college and had more free time (I didn’t get Internet access until my freshman year of college in 1997). I’m hardly ever on YouTube, but if I had it in 1990, I probably would have spent hours watching Star Trek videos. Most of the people in the Doctor Who discussion were at least 10 years younger than me.

I already knew that the Internet has changed fandoms. I’m already a part of several online communities. This Doctor Who discussion made me realize that I’m not utilizing everything that I could. I have to step up my geek game if I want to keep up with these young people. Or maybe I don’t need to. I’m doing fine the way I am now.

Goodbye Netflix DVDs

Saturday, April 6th, 2013 3 comments

Today I canceled my Netflix DVD account and I’ll be streaming only from now on. It’s something I’ve been thinking about doing for a couple of years now at least. I hardly use the DVD service anymore. Most movies that I’m interested in I’ll see in the theater and either never want to see again or like enough to buy when it’s on video. Most Netflix rentals sit around here for weeks or months and I send some back without watching them. I told myself that once I got my DVD queue down to 0, I would go streaming only. Technically, there are 2 movies left in my queue, but I’m sure I can watch them before my membership expires in 22 days.

I figured I can use one of the various streaming services or Redbox to watch new releases that I don’t want to own. I’ve already been doing that a little. Lately, Netflix has mostly been for older movies that aren’t streaming.

I’m going to miss getting those red envelopes in the mail. According to my account history, I first joined in March 2004. My first rental was Curb Your Enthusiasm: Season 1: Vol. 1. The last movie in my queue is The Abyss (the classic version).

Fringe’s Farewell

Monday, January 21st, 2013 No comments

Last summer, my #1 show ended. My #2 show at the time, which became my #1 show, was Fringe.

I remember watching the first 2 episodes when they aired, but I gave up on the show after that. Because people said the show got better and I have to watch everything J.J. Abrams produces, I started recording it again. After the season ended, I caught up on the episodes I missed and I loved it. Not all of Fringe was great, but it had a lot more good than bad. It had great characters, great acting, and imaginative story lines. Fringe should have gotten a lot more recognition than it did.

Fringe aired its last episode Friday night around the time I was leaving for Vegas. I have a history of missing Fringe finales. I watched it this morning. I was very satisfied with how it ended. I’m glad that the show made it to 100 episodes and was brought to a satisfying conclusion.

I’m going to miss having new episodes of Fringe on my TV. I think a re-watch is coming soon.

Portlandia/Fiona Apple

Saturday, July 28th, 2012 No comments

Not long ago I saw online somewhere that Portlandia was looking for extras for Season 3. I filled out the online form and included the 2 pictures they wanted: a head shot and a body shot. I didn’t think there was any chance of being picked, but I figured it couldn’t hurt to try. I really enjoy watching the show. Wednesday afternoon I got a call asking if I could come early the next morning to be in a sketch. Of course I said “Yes”. They told me what to wear and later that night they sent an email telling me where to be and when to be there. I got there super early, but it wasn’t long before other extras started to arrive. Everybody was really nice. I had a great time. I signed an NDA that I didn’t read, so I’m going to play it safe and not go into any details now. Maybe more after the episode airs. Their seasons usually start in January, so I assume you’ll see it around that time. Hopefully, I’ll be on screen and won’t look too bad.

Later that night I went to see Fiona Apple in concert. The opening act was pretty lame. He played nothing but slow, mellow songs and even joked about that. I almost fell asleep because I hadn’t gotten much sleep over the previous few days. Once he finished, we had to wait about 45 minutes before Fiona came on stage. I was getting restless and it was getting late. When she came on she explained that she was late because she had just had her period. Anyway, she put on a really great show. There was was only one song that she didn’t play that I wanted to hear. She’s a weird one, but she’s good.

Fiona Setlist
Fast as You Can
On the Bound
Shadowboxer
Paper Bag
Anything We Want
Get Gone
Sleep to Dream
Extraordinary Machine
Werewolf
Tymps (The Sick in the Head Song)
Daredevil
I Know
Every Single Night
Criminal
Carrion
Not About Love

Encore:
It’s Only Make Believe

Eureka’s End

Tuesday, July 17th, 2012 4 comments

Last night my favorite show, Eureka, aired its final episode. I’ve always said that it’s not the best show, but it’s just plain fun. That’s what made it my favorite. It was nice to have some fun sci-fi to watch along with the gritty, depressing stuff. In the 5 years or so that I’ve owned a DVR, it’s always been prioritized in the #1 position ahead of sci-fi and non-sci-fi shows like LOST, Battlestar Galactica, Game of Thrones, Breaking Bad, Mad Men, etc.

I started watching Eureka in the summer of 2007 on DVD before the second season started. I knew about it during the first season, but hadn’t seen it except for a few seconds while I was flipping through the channels. I have this memory of Sheriff Carter in the woods. I know that doesn’t really narrow it down. The only time I mentioned it here was not long after I first started watching. I’ve enjoyed watching the show every season. Not every episode was great, but they were all at least pretty good as far as I remember. I even switched to using Degree deodorant was because of the creative tie-in they had in season 3.

I was very satisfied with the finale last night. We had the same familiar crisis-of-the-week story along with references previous seasons and resolution to the various character threads. The sheriff’s trip through memory lane was great. I’m just glad it got a chance to wrap things up considering how it was suddenly canceled.

With Eureka ending, there aren’t any truly sci-fi shows on Syfy. There’s not much sci-fi left on TV in general. I hope something as imaginative and fun as Eureka comes along soon.

New TV

Wednesday, August 31st, 2011 1 comment

Samsung LN46D550

I’ve had my new TV for almost a month and I love it! It’s 4 inches bigger than my last one. I didn’t think 4 inches would make that big of a difference, but it is a pretty good difference. I should’ve known. The picture quality on this TV is so much better. It took about a week of tinkering to get the optimal settings. I’m very picky about my settings. Now I’m happy. I’ll probably buy Samsung TVs for a long as they make them.

I didn’t know what to do with my old Vizio TV since there’s nowhere to recycle electronics nearby. It didn’t seem right to leave it on the side of the road. I ended up putting it on Craigslist for free. I had someone willing to take it off my hands within hours. Maybe they were able to fix it. To be honest, I don’t care. I just wanted to be rid of it.