Feline Friday: Cat + Sun = Nap

Annie in the sunYes, here we are again, another Feline Friday. That’s Ms. Annie. She was caught by the sun and melted in place. It’s just something that cats do, as natural heat seekers. There are several photos in this week’s collection featuring the same set of circumstances, all with the same result.

We are still realizing that four cats is far fewer than five. At least that’s the way it feels.

The cats have had an uneventful week. No vet visits. I would like to think that’s a trend, but it’s far too early to tell.

One item of note. Duke is supposed to eat a special cat food because of his diabetes. The other cats have been on another special food that is supposed to reduce urinary issues. Cats, especially male cats, can get blockages which can be life threatening, triggered by the chemical makeup of certain foods. They all liked the food they were on. Liked it too much, it seems, as they were gaining weight. So I just switched brands to a Science Diet version that is supposed to combat the weight gain. I’ve been gradually shifting to the new food, mixing in a little more every couple of days until they are are 100% to the new food. So far, so good. There is always uncertainty, as cats can be very finicky. So we’ll see.

–> See all of today’s Feline Friday photos!

If you would like to leave comments on individual photos, you can view them today’s photos on Flickr.

Throwback Thursday: Makapuu 1969

It was the Fall of 1969. Meda and I had recently gotten married and returned to Hawaii to enter graduate school at UH. I was showing her my favorite spots. We were probably still driving her old Dodge Dart, which we had shipped over from the mainland.

This was taken up along the road looking down over Makapuu.

Click on the photo to see a larger version.


The agony of whittling down your book collection

Here’s a great read for the day, a wonderful essay on books from a site I’ve just been introduced to, Literary Hub (“On the Heartbreaking Difficulty of Getting Rid of Books“).

After the experience of moving from our home in Kaaawa after nearly 30 years, I can relate to the wrenching pain of looking at a wall of books and trying to cope with sorting them into the keep/give away/offer to friends piles.

And this essay gets deeply into it as she tries to follow the advice of Marie Kondo’s wildly popular book, The Life-Changing Magic of Tidying Up.

Here’s a taste.

Paring down one’s wardrobe is one thing, but what kind of degenerate only wants to own 30 books (or fewer) at a time on purpose? What sort of psychopath rips out pages from their favorite books and throws away the rest so they can, as Kondo puts it, “keep only the words they like?” For those of us for whom even the word “book” sparks joy, this constitutes a serious disconnect. Still, as the weather gets warmer, many readers will tackle their spring cleaning with The Life-Changing Magic in hand.

I wondered, can Kondo’s Spartan methods be adapted for someone who feels about books the way the National Rifle Association feels about guns, invoking the phrase “cold dead hands”? I decided to give it a try.

Okay, I know you’re hooked.

Go ahead and take a few minutes to read the whole essay. You won’t be sorry. It might just help get you through the midweek doldrums.

A few midweek media notes


I failed to post anything yesterday. That’s the first time I’ve missed a day in a while, as I usually get at least some kind of placeholder up. Not so yesterday, as I got caught up in pulling things together to write my weekly column for Civil Beat. The topic was a different look at the case pending before the Hawaii Supreme Court regarding ballot problems in the 2012 General Election.

After listening to the recording of the oral arguments posted on the Judiciary website, I tried to put the whole thing together in context. I don’t know that I succeeded. But the focus of the questioning by the Supreme Court justices certainly added another dimension to the story.

You can find the column posted at Civil Beat today (“Ian Lind: Justices Aren’t Buying That Voting Rights Weren’t Violated“).

Moving on…As a former Kaaawa resident, I always pay attention to news from the old neighborhood. I caught in passing a story on the television news last night of an accident in Kaaawa, so checked the Star-Advertiser this morning.

It wasn’t hard to find: “3 children, 1 woman injured in school bus-SUV crash in Kaaawa.”

In the third paragraph, the Star-Advertiser reported the location of the accident.

The crash occurred about 7:05 p.m. near Kualoa Regional Park and about 15 firefighters responded to the incident.

Then, at the end of the story, there was this information:

Police reported Kamehameha Highway was closed in both directions from Crouching Lion Inn to the 7-Eleven.

If you’re at all familiar with the area, you’ll recognize the error here.

Kualoa Regional Park is about 3.5 miles from the Kaaawa 7-Eleven store, and a little farther from the Crouching Lion.

For perspective, that’s about the distance from Kaaawa to Punaluu, the next community along the coast.

Or, if you spend most of your time on the Honolulu side of the mountains, it’s like saying the accident happened near the State Capitol, and then slipping in that it actually happened in front of the Honolulu Zoo on the Diamond Head end of Waikiki. The two points are just about the same distance apart as Kualoa Park and the Crouching Lion.

I don’t know where the two different locations cited in the S-A story came from, but there should be some checking to avoid that kind of error.

And then there was the PBS Newshour last night, which featured a segment on geobiologist and author, Hope Jahren (“The secret life of plants — and ‘Lab Girl’ author Hope Jahren“).

Very interesting interview. Jahren has done lots of scientific writing, but has also been prolific in more general writing “about interactions between women and men and Academia” on her blog, hopejahrensurecanwrite.com.

What didn’t get any mention is that Jahren has been a faculty member at the University of Hawaii at Manoa since 2008, where she has her own lab (Jahren Laboratory) in the School of Ocean and Earth Science and Technology.

And once you know that, the next question is whether UH can rise above its many problems to keep this kind of world class woman on its faculty?

Hawaii Supreme Court skeptical of Office of Elections

Law blogger Robert Thomas (www.inversecondemnation.com) took a listen to the recorded arguments before the Hawaii Supreme Court last week in the case stemming from the ballot confusion during the 2012 General Election, and reported his impressions. His post also includes links to the official recording of the oral arguments available online.

I wrote a brief post about the case several days ago.

The court’s grilling of the attorney representing the State Office of Elections turned into what Thomas called “a judicial feeding frenzy.”

The agency’s arguments may have satisfied the ICA, but as a listen to the recording after the 31:30 mark reveals, they were the like blood in the water at the Supreme Court. The immediate onslaught of questions, incredulity, and downright scorn directed from the bench towards the agency’s counsel was as close to a feeding frenzy as you might witness in the usually decorous air of the state’s high court. No doubt, a very long half-hour-plus for the Election Office’s advocate. It began when Justice Pollack interrupted her opening confessional and promise “to do better in the future” with an obvious question: “Well how are we going to do better? I mean, it looks like to me the same thing could happen again.” She had no answer to that question, either for Justice Pollack or in response to the similar questions the other justices continued to hurl her way.

If you’re at all interested in this election issue, you should check Thomas’ post.

Given the nature and tone of the questioning, Thomas sees little chance the justices will side with the Office of Elections and allow them to proceed with in-house fixes.

More likely, he says, that the court will order the agency to adopt rules to cover such matters.

The unanswered question: “What will the court order the agency to do, and how detailed will it get?”

Attorney Lance Collins, who represents the plaintiffs in the case, contacted me to clarify one point.

“I also wanted to mention that none of the individual voter Plaintiffs are Green Party members,” Collins wrote. “They are either Democrats or independents from all over the state, Kauai, Oahu, Molokai, Maui and the Big Island.”

He also shared additional documents from the case, including the opening brief filed in the case before the Intermediate Court of Appeals, along with the state’s answering brief and the plaintiff’s reply brief. Collins says these documents lay out the underlying arguments that are referred to in the pending Supreme Court appeal.

I hope those links work properly. If not, leave a comment and I’ll make necessary fixes.