The Pinky:st girls celebrated their TENTH BIRTHDAY yesterday!

Of course they had a party!

With cake! And ice cream! And real candles… ten of them!

June 29, 2015 marked ten years since the girls’ very first photo appearance!

Here’s Kokoro in her first photo, taken ten years ago yesterday:

Yes, it’s the very same Kokoro (and Reina and Asuka)! Same faces. Same hair. Same outfits they wore to Thailand in December 2005. And oh! How the time has flown! So many places they’ve seen: Hawaii, Alaska, the American Southwest, the American Mid-West (including the World’s Largest Ball(s) of Twine), the American Pacific Northwest, Canada, Thailand, Costa Rica, and of course La Tomatina in Spain!

What exciting adventures will the next ten years hold?

342. Sartorial Impairment

After seeing this photo of “Mr. Sableā„¢” on Flickr, I feel the need to sartorially re-invent myself.

I find this photo fascinating. It illustrates the difference between how men used to dress, between the 1920s and the early 1960s, and today. Back then, even “casual” mean slacks, dress shirt, necktie, jacket, and hat. Today, it’s jeans and a t-shirt, or jeans and a rumpled, open-necked dress shirt or a knit sportshirt for “dressier” occasions.

I’m a slob. I don’t even own a suit.


Back down to 201.0 lbs today.

Actually jogged for an hour. Very slow. Felt very fat. But I went. Swam for a little while, too.

Packed up a couple of small items that sold on eBay. “Small” items included the extension rings for my DSLR camera lenses. I loved those extension rings. They allow regular lenses to focus at macro close-up distances. But I rarely used them, and since I’m selling the lenses, I’ll have no future use for them. They sold for about half what I paid for them new.

Wasted time on the internet. Tired today.

Sunny morning. Rainy afternoon. Raining tonight.

I need to get back to serious work on purging and packing, and take care of some minor fix-it things around the house before the appraisal… which hasn’t been scheduled yet.


Weight today: 202.2 lbs. I don’t know why it’s up so much since yesterday.

Manic housecleaning in the morning until early afternoon. The potential buyers for the house came by with a handyman and a contractor to measure, look around, and make some estimates on upgrading and repairs. The buyers still seem enthusiastic. I hope. Depends on what kind of numbers their contractor comes up with, I suppose.

Of course, they asked us how soon we’d be able to vacate. I guess that’s a good sign. If it were only up to me, I’d do everything I could to be able to turn the house over the day it closes. Unfortunately, my spouse wants a minimum of “two or three weeks” to get organized for the move. The new owners, if, indeed, they become the new owners, want $3,500 in rent if we stay in the house for an additional month, which is not an outrageous charge for beachfront in Hawaii, but it will take the entirety of three of my paychecks, or a month and a half of work. So I’ll be working the last six or eight weeks of my stay in Hawaii for, basically, nothing beyond a roof over my head. Moving to another place isn’t an option “because of the kitties.” My wife’s six d@mned cats are going to cost us a minimum of over four thousand dollars, if you count the extra rent plus the cost of moving them. Pardon me if I still feel like driving an ice pick through my skull and ending it all.

And then our stupid neighbor is starting to claim that because of his “allergies” we won’t be able to have the house tented for termites. The f#cking house hasn’t been tented in twenty years. Most houses in Hawaii are tented every three to five years. It’s a miracle that this place has not collapsed into a pile of sawdust. The neighbor (the house is “attached”) says the tenting gas will send him to the emergency room. In fact, he freaks out when houses a block down the street get tented.

There’s nothing wrong with him that cleaning up the utter squalor that he lives in wouldn’t fix. And there’s very little wrong with me that moving as far away as possible from him won’t remedy.

I dunno. The standard termite approach here is whole-house tenting. Maybe we can find a company that will use the heat method, although the one termite company who inspected the house said it probably wouldn’t work for our structure.

339. Camera Comparison

I briefly tried out the new Fujifilm Finepix S1 yesterday. Here’s a quick camera comparison, similar photos snapped at the same time with four different cameras:

CANON EOS 7D DSLR with CANON 50mm f/1.2 L USM Lens
(Lens is opened up to f/1.2 to maximize the “soft background” effect)

FUJIFILM FINEPIX S1 (Compact “bridge” camera with 50x telephoto range)

PANASONIC LUMIX DMC-TS5 (Weather-resistant Point-n-Shoot)

CANON POWERSHOT D20 (Weather-resistant Point-n-Shoot)

I took a number of different shots of various subjects at various distances, primarily comparing the Canon EOS 7D with the new arrival, the FujiFilm FinePix S1. After looking at the results, as well as evaluating the “usability” of each camera, I decided to try to sell the DSLR lenses (50mm f/1.2 and 135mm f/2.0) via eBay. I will keep the DSLR camera and the wide-angle 10-22mm Canon lens. The wide angle lens is what I keep on the camera most of the time as my “general purpose” lens. I find it useful for interiors and for expansive landscape panoramas. The zoom lens on the FujiFilm S1 is amazing. Yes, I’m sure the absolute image quality is not quite as high as that of the DSLR with the high-end lenses, but I rarely shoot at extreme telephoto anyway. The high-end telephoto lenses for a Canon DSLR cost thousands of dollars.

Here’s what the FujiFilm FinePix S1 can do; this navigation buoy is a mile offshore! It’s barely visible from the beach to the unaided eye:

I’ll feel a little bit sad selling my “good glass.” Realistically, though, I’ll almost never use it again. And for those times I want to achieve the “dreamy soft focus” effect… I’m keeping my original version Lensbaby lens for the Canon!

Weight today: 200.8 lbs


Went to the dentist in the morning.

Crawled under the house in the afternoon. Spent a few hours grubbing around in what amounts to a huge, reeking litter box. I think I’m finished fencing off the underside of the house to prevent unwanted ingress by cats. Then again, cats have a way of being persistent.

Weight today: 201.0 lbs.

Here’s a photo I snapped while sitting in front of the fireplace last night:

Beachfront Fireplace June 2015

Beachfront Fireplace
June 2015

337. More Cutting

Weight today: 202.2. Why is it up? I dunno.

Did not get under the house today. Continued trimming trees and bushes away from the sides of the house. I had no idea the place was so overgrown.

Didn’t get out to run, as I had intended. I got right to the yard work, believe it or not. I don’t know if the yard work provided a workout, but I’m certainly tired and sore.

OMG! I saw a girl walking by on the beach today who was staggeringly, unbelievably gorgeous! She was more beautiful and sexy than even the impossibly proportioned figures in fantasy illustrations! Really, do I want to move away from this place? I saw nothing like this in Utah!

Too bad I didn’t have my camera, eh? Speaking of which, I’d almost forgotten about the camera I ordered from Amazon, the FujiFilm FinePix S1. It took ten days before it even shipped, and several more days for delivery. It finally arrived an hour or two ago via UPS. It’s plugged in and charging right now, so I haven’t had a chance to try it out yet.

336. Cutting

Weight today: 201.0 lbs

Got a haircut.
Mailed off four boxes at the post office. eBay sales. Yay!
Drove to the storage unit to find some stuff.
Now the house is a mess because I have storage tubs strewn all over the place again.
Phoned my mom. Phoned my dad. Told them about receiving an offer on our house and making an offer on another house.
Started trimming bushes, the crown flower and the thorny bougainvillea in particular. Those are now done, but I noticed several other shrubs and trees that will need to be trimmed back from the house.
I seriously need to seriously sleep.

331. 332. 333. 334. 335.

I shall endeavor to keep this brief:
1. Flew from HNL to SLC via PDX; rented a car; drove south to Kanab area.
2. Looked at the house we found online. Met the owner. Made full-price offer, contingent on our sale going through.
3. Looked at some other houses in the area between Kanab and Panguitch. Everything we saw made us like our first choice even more. (Well, everything we saw that was in our price range, that is!)
4. Had dinner with the property owners in St. George.
5. Drove back to Salt Lake City.
6. Flew from SLC to HNL

So now there’s double the stress: fingers XX’d that the sale of our property goes through, and eyes and toes XX’d that the purchase of the new property proceeds smoothly.

330. Leaving on a Jet Plane… But Alas! I’ll Be Back Again.

Morning weight: 200.4 I guess the effort I expended building a kayak rack and replacing a decaying access door to underneath the house paid off. I also seem to have injured myself. My right arm, between the elbow and shoulder, started hurting really badly last night and kept me awake for most of the night. I’m currently functioning, or not functioning, on too few hours of sleep. And my arm still hurts, although the Tylenol is dulling it slightly.

Copied the condo docs to mail off to the real estate agent. Measured the doors to all the rooms and closets in response to an inquiry from the Buyer (through the agent). Packaged up a small item I sold on eBay.

Wasted time being inefficient because I’m tired and I’m stressed. I’m not sure this last-minute jaunt to Utah to look at a house is such a good idea. I looked at the house on Google Earth today. Isn’t that good enough?

Somehow it’s already 4:00 p.m. Where has the day gone? I haven’t even started packing yet. Well, maybe I sort of started, if “making a list” counts as starting. I figured I’d better make a list, because I’m so groggy I’d otherwise forget something important or at least convenient.

Anyway, yeah, I’ll be without internet access for a few days. I really thought I’d have an iPad by now.

Okay, I gotta go pack; a neighbor is driving us to the airport at 8:00 p.m.