Sunday, June 24, 2007

Vayniac Wristband

Vayniac DoggiesGary Vaynerchuk (Vay-ner-chuk) and the great people at Wine Library put on a nice podcast called Wine Library TV where Gary tastes several wines for us, describes the nose & the taste and gives us his opinion of the wines in question.

As a benefit to his fans (above and behind the show itself), Gary and his staff would send out, for free, a Wine Library TV wristband. The only price is to take and send in a picture. I cheated and sent a picture of my dogs instead. But it was cute. I hope he likes it.

If you like wine or want to learn more about wine, check out the podcast.

Saturday, June 16, 2007

Day 11+1 (Sat, Jun 16) II

Welcome to MarylandHome Sweet Home!

Holly's dad just dropped us off at home. Thanks, again, Glenn.

So, our flight from Dallas/Fort Worth sucked. It was just a crappy way to end a crappy travel day (well, 22 hours). We left our hotel yesterday at 4:30 PM (10:30 PM ET). We just got home at 8:30 PM ET. After the events of Part I of our trip home, we were hoping for a nice, quiet flight. WRONG!!

Day 11+1 (Sat, Jun 16)

Airplane!We sat on our plane at the gate at the Honolulu airport for 3 hours with infrequent updates like, "We're on the phone with maintenance here and in Tulsa working out the problem with the fuel pump. We've tried several things and have several more things to try. Sorry for the slow updates, it takes a while." Wonderful. At the 3 hour mark, we were told it was going to be at least another hour and we could deboard the plane. I took that opportunity to relax with a Long Island Iced Tea (or two). Holly just paced.

Friday, June 15, 2007

Day 11 (Fri, Jun 15)

last day in paradiseToday is our last day in paradise. The Halekulani was very gracious and gave us a 3 PM check out time! We were able to go see Pearl Harbor and the USS Arizona Memorial and sit by the pool for a couple hours without having to worry about our luggage.

We woke up early this morning (not knowing that we would be able to check out late) and packed. Then, we waited for the V.I.P. shuttle to Pearl Harbor. After dropping some people off at the airport (that was a surprise), we made it to Pearl Harbor. The line for tickets to the Memorial wrapped around a courtyard and was very, very long. But it moved pretty fast.

Day 10 (Thu, Jun 14)

dinnerToday started with a drive to the airport. We were sad to leave the Waikoloa Marriott, but we have a date with Pearl Harbor. We got through security and had a quick breakfast before flying to Oahu (Waikiki).

While booking, we were given two choices on hotel. I said, "Hey! It's our last night... let's splurge" so we chose the Halekulani. What a good choice. This is an amazing hotel and the people are just fantastic.

Thursday, June 14, 2007

Day 9 (Wed, Jun 13)

sunsetThis morning started early with a phone call from a doctor's office 6 time zones away. And, it was a wrong number. And she gave me attitude (her: "it's the number down on the sheet" me: "I don't care... it's wrong"). Life in paradise is rough! I went back to sleep until 9:30.

After another buffet breakfast (first mimosa that showed up before I was finished with breakfast), we went down to the pool for a couple hours. Then, given that it's our last night on the big island, we thought it was a good idea to try out the beach and get in the ocean (having spent most of our lazy time by the pool so far).

Wednesday, June 13, 2007

Day 8 (Tue, Jun 12)

Dinner at Donatoni'sThe day started like yesterday did: breakfast buffet, tardy mimosa, lazy morning by the pool...

For the afternoon, we went to the Kekaha Kai State Park. The road was less than paved and our poor little rental car cried most of the 1/2 mile driveway to the beach. The beach itself was not much to speak of. It reminded me of a rocky, choppy version of Sandy Point (under the Chesapeake Bay Bridge) except that it was surrounded by lava.

Tuesday, June 12, 2007

Day 7 (Mon, Jun 11)

hotelIs it Monday? It doesn't feel like Monday. Are all you suckers working?

We started our lazy pool day at 8:30 (well, Holly woke up at 7:30) with another buffet breakfast. There was some foul-up with my mimosa (didn't get it until I was done with breakfast), but the food was good.

We spent most of the day by the pools. The "Infinity Pool" was neat; one side of it was shorter than the others and continually overflowed onto some rocks. While Holly and I were hanging out in the Infinity Pool, we remembered how nice Cancun was (no kids).

After I took a nap in the room and Holly took a walk and some pictures, we had dinner at Merriman's Market Cafe (we didn't see any of Shawne's "Lite's Out" memorabilia). Holly had Ahi wrapped in Proccuitto and I had mozzarella/tomato salad (which was awesome) and a nice fish (I think it was kamachi).

Now we're sitting on our lanai (balcony for you Hawaiian neophytes) sipping drinks. Aloha.

Sunday, June 10, 2007

Day 6 (Sun, Jun 10)

helicopterSunday morning started with very sore backs. The bed at our hotel was SO stiff and uncomfortable. After stretching out for a bit, Holly and I hit Ken's House of Pancakes in Hilo. Even though I felt fine, I ordered the ROUGH NIGHT omlette which was an omlette topped with chili and cheese.

After making sure everything was packed, we asked for a late checkout so we could leave our luggage at the hotel instead of the trunk while we went on our Blue Hawaiian Helicopter Circle of Fire and Waterfalls tour.

Saturday, June 9, 2007

Day 5 (Sat, Jun 9)

volcanoWe ended last night packing for today and then crashed.

This morning, we woke up early (5:45), got our stuff together and were on our way to the Maui airport by 6:30. We ate a quick breakfast in the airport and had a pretty painless flight to Hilo on the big island. The scenery from the flight was breathtaking. We were able to check into our hotel early and were even upgraded to a suite for our one night. It's not the most modern hotel, but it's pretty nice.

Day 4 (Fri, Jun 8)

Us on our anniversaryToday we woke up a little later than other days (still before 8) and went down for another nice breakfast (with mimosas) at the Swan Court.

We spent another awesome morning/early-afternoon by the pool. The scenery was very nice and the sun beat down hard. After a quick dip in the pool, we went for a walk down to Whaler's Village where we had lunch and picked up a new pair of sunglasses for me and a polarizing filter for Holly (happy anniversary to us).

Friday, June 8, 2007

Day 3 (Wed, Jun 7)

We woke up this morning at 6 AM (Noon back home). I feel MUCH better today.

After slowly getting ready (and posting 3 blog entries), we headed downstairs to have breakfast at Swan Court. It's a grouping of tables and chairs that opens up to a waterfall and a manmade pool. There are birds flying everywhere, so you have to watch your food. It was beautiful, but we only had my camera phone and its pictures weren't the best. The buffet is excellent and we top it off with a couple mimosas.

Thursday, June 7, 2007

Day 2 (Wed, Jun 6)

poolHolly and I got up at a little before 8 to get some final things ready. Holly's dad was coming at 9 to take us to Dulles. I drank some more Pedialite (awful stuff, really) and then some Gatorade and we were off. (Thanks for the ride, Glenn)

With everything that had happened previously with the flights, I was uneasy about everything until we were actually on the plane. The flight was uneventful. We had minor annoyances that seem to happen on every flight. After a brief layover in L.A., we had another mostly uneventful flight. My stomach was still VERY, VERY active for most of both flights, but I felt so-so (not good, not bad). The half chicken sandwich and fries I had in L.A. didn't make things worse. I stuck to water and ginger-ale.

It took forever to get our rental car in Maui and at what felt like 3 AM to us, the drive was pretty rough. We finally checked in at 10 PM (4 AM EDT) and crashed. The cherry on top of the trip to this point was that the room with the king sized bed we reserved was not available and we have a room with a queen and a double. Our consolation prize was that they upgraded us to an oceanfront room. Oh well... we're here. We both just crashed without dinner (I still wasn't hungry).

[small edits by Holly]

Day 1 (Tue, Jun 5)

4:30 AM: I think I can make it. I'm lying in bed and feel terrible, but think I _may_ be able to handle the flight. I get up and... no way. I wasn't much better (if any) than I was the night before. Fever was ~100F. We thought we'd need to leave the house by 6:15 if we were going to make our flight. During the next 90 minutes, Holly tried to call our travel agent, scoured the web and called American Airlines (twice). No one seemed to have any suggestions on how to best handle this situation. We weren't warned, "if you don't do _this_, you're screwed" or anything.

6:30 AM: We missed our chance to go to the airport and I wasn't feeling better. :(

Day -1 (Mon, Jun 4)

medsAfter a long weekend of house cleaning and getting ready for a house guest (we're having a house-sitter take care of the dogs so they can at least stay at home), I worked from home on Monday to finish up a few loose ends. At lunch time I met some friends in Bethesda at the Austin Grill (Hi, Bonita and the Captain). Then I visited my old company, Epok. Shortly after returning home, I came down with a stomach flu (or food poisoning). But, following Occam's Razor, it was a flu. Family had it and after seeing them (thinking everyone had been better for more than a week), I got it.

So, for the rest of Monday, I... uhhh... stayed close to the bathroom. Very close. My fever rocketed to 101.3F, every single joint and muscle hurt, my stomach was doing somersaults and I was wiped out. Holly did her best to get everything ready while taking care of me, but was worried about overdoing it and possibly catching what I had. We finally crashed at around 1 AM and were going to just see how things were in the morning...

Saturday, June 2, 2007

V for Vendetta

V for VendettaI'm a little late to the game. I didn't know anything about V for Vendetta (the movie or the graphic novel). I don't think WB did a good job marketing this movie when it was out in the theaters. It just didn't seem interesting to me.

Then, someone, I forget who (sorry!) suggested I check the movie out. So we added it to our NetFlix queue and checked it out.

Wow!

Spoilers below, so either see the movie or send complaints to /dev/null.

Where have I been?

Dogs in Snow!So where have I been?

Two months ago, I made the very difficult decision to leave my previous job and start working with a new company. I loved my old job and especially loved the people I worked with. But, I was working all the time. They were not in a position to hire help and I really couldn't do it anymore.

And, I started writing for Undeadly: The OpenBSD Journal. As an editor for the site, I am more inclined to post my OpenBSD-related content on Undeadly instead of here. So check me out there.

Also, Holly and I are preparing to celebrate our tenth (YES, 10TH!) anniversary in a few days and are doing something special. I'll post a recap or several posts recapping our celebration (with pictures!).