Two months, it was only supposed to be two months.


This post was written on the flight from Hawaii on August 20,  2018. I have just now gotten around to proofing it and getting it onto the web.

 It all started in 2005, when I came to Hawaii to be with a very dear friend whilst she was going through an unpleasant divorce. Now it is 2018, and I am finally leaving.

Yesterday, I went out with another friend, drank, and ate too much. We remembered our friendship and pledged that we will continue to be a part of each other’s lives.

I had meant to go by the union hall and say goodbye, but by the time I made a last trip to my storage unit and finished my packing, it was time to open up the Lyft app and head to the airport.

It has been a very long time since I have flown on Hawaii Air. The have always been a good airline, but they seem to be pulling out all the stops nowadays. The seat back of the seat in front of me has a built in Phone or Pad stand. The USB power outlet is not only contently located right next to the built in stand, it glows with a pale blue light which helps you find it when the cabin lights are out.

I had planned to pull out my 12-MacBook to work on my blog during the flight, but seeing the great setup for the iPad, I decided to work on my iPad instead. I had two choices. I could have worked using the Drafts App, but I chose this time to work on within Scrivener. Scrivener is the app, which I use for writing my novels. It might be a bit of an overkill for blogging, but I simply wanted to check out how it would work in this situation. If I manage to find myself on another flight with these nifty iPad holders, I will do a test with the Drafts App and see how seamlessly it works with WordPress. At least I hope it is a seamless operation. I love using the Drafts App on my Apple Watch, to save quick notes. It came in especially handy when I was biking in Honolulu. I could pull over punch the Drafts Complication on my watch and dictate a quick note before resuming my ride. I often thought of things while I was ridding that I needed to make a note about.

With the iPad secured to the seat-back in front of me, I could of course, not use the iPad’s smart keyboard, which connects via the pogo pins. This wasn’t a problem for me, since I hate the MacBook’s keyboard, I travel with the Logitech Easy‑Switch K811 Wireless Bluetooth Keyboard. I particularly like this keyboard, because I can pair it to three devices. There are three buttons in the upper left hand corner of the keyboard that let you switch on the fly between devices I currently have it paired with my MacBook, iPhone, and iPad. The rounded keys with deep wells between keys is much better than the MacBook Keyboard. The moment one of my fingers strays from its proper position, the sharp edge of the slightly divoted key guides my finger back into place.

I like the fact that the iPad is on level with my eyes, so that I don’t have to hunch over the seat tray to work. This might be a draw back if you type looking at the keyboard, but for a touch typist as myself, it is wonderful, preventing fatigue.

It is a little difficult at times to do the on screen gestures when the plane is bouncing around. Here again the built in iPad holder comes to the rescue. I find that I can brace my little finger and ring finger on the tabs of the holder and select text and correct spelling in the few lines above the bottom of the screen. Of course, this is only after the screen is quite filled. It doesn’t take long with Scrivener since I keep the editing window rather small. I will have to make some test with the Drafts App to see if I can make the window smaller. Right now it takes quite a bit of writing before the new text is entered at the bottom of the screen with Drafts.

The guy across the aisle from me just opened a bowl of poke. Oh, I am going to miss poke so much. I wonder if there are any places in Ecuador that serve such things. I know that poke is becoming more and more popular on the mainland, but my passage through the 48 is going to be too short to go hunting for Hawaiian food.

One of the choices I made when packing for Minimalist travel was to not take two many long power cords. I am carrying one each: Anker PowerLine+ Lightning Cable (3ft), Nylon Braided Charging Cable, Anker PowerLine+ II Lightning Cable (1ft), MFi Certified, Anker 3ft Nylon Braided Tangle-Free Micro USB Cable and Anker PowerLine+ Micro USB (1ft) Premium Durable Cable [Double Braided Nylon]. As soon as I fixed my iPad Pro 10.5 into the pad holder, I noted that the short cord was more than long enough to reach the power outlet. Another score for Hawaii Airlines.

Normally I don’t fly on Mondays, but when I booked my flight Monday had the lowest fares. I also have been told not to book your flight on a weekend since that is when everyone is looking to book a flight and the prices are higher. I forgot this. Face it after so many years of going to sea, days of the week really have no real meaning to me.

I remember once I was visiting one of my sisters after having been at sea for five months. One day she came home from work to find me lazing her her white barrel chair reading a book, oblivious to time.

“Thank God it is Friday!” she exclaimed as she tossed her purse down on a table and flopped on the sofa next to my chair.

“Why?” I asked, puzzled.

My sister, just stared at me as if I was making a bad joke. After a while, with deep irritation she responded to my puzzled look by saying, “Because, I worked hard all week long and now I have a few days off.”

“Oh,” I said, and sat thinking for a while. When I finally had compared what she had sad about her work schedule, to my work life, I said, “I see, when you say Thank God it is Friday, it is pretty much the same as when I say, Thank God it is May 31st.”

My sister was quite for a moment. Perhaps she was remembering that I had finished my last assignment and left my ship on May 31st. “Yes, that is it,” she said.

I guess that was about the last time she ever understood anything about my life. I have to admit that I still have no empathy for anyone with a normal job. Even when I worked in an office, working for the Coast Guard was far from normal; Not when they could rope you into folding flags at a funeral on any weekend.

Okay, I just finished my meal. Yes, I am in coach and Hawaiian Airlines served a meal! It was a very nice BBQue chicken sandwich, Maui Onion potato chips. I rounded it out with a double gin and tonic. I know, with the stress of selling my place and throwing my live over to start again, I have been drinking too much, but I can’t pass up my tradition of G&T on flights. My only gripe, abet it is a very small gripe is that the airline has Tanqueray rather than Beefeaters Gin. I will get over it.

The meal was complementary, but I had to pay for my drink. No problem, after all I am in coach. When I offered my card for payment, the attendant’s pad (Android! Haaaaaa Haaaa) wasn’t ready to accept payment. I found another use for the built in pad holder. I placed my card in the lower holder grips to wait for the attendant to be ready to charge my card. Have I mentioned how much I like this built in holder.

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Let’s give a shout out to Bose. My Bose SoundSport Wireless Headphones are keeping me from hearing too much of the really excited joyful passengers. It seems that everyone on this flight has either had a great vacation in Hawaii or they are looking forward to a great vacation on the mainland. United, you should take a page from Hawaii Air, this flight has beens so chill, without all the drama that seems to surround so many of the United flights.

I look at my nut brown hands and wonder, “How long is it going to be, before my hands are sickly pail again. Will I remember the days when I worked at trying to stay in the shade to keep my skin from being so brown. Of course, it has not always been so. When I first moved to Hawaii, I reveled in my tan. I didn’t have a tourist tan. I had an exaggerated farmer’s tan. My feet and especially my toes were very dark. My legs up to the hem of my skirts as a little less dark. My hands and most of my lower arms were not quite as dark as my feet, but they gave hints that I wasn’t 100% European.

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Tourist tans are quite another thing. Tourist try to make sure their tans are as even as possible. This is a problem in the US since nudity on the beach is more the exception than the norm. But excluding the little bitts here and there, the American tourist, has a nice even tan. Another thing that was a dead give away that a person was not a local was the burned spots. Locals, tan very slowly. Burns are not common on local flesh. So when you seen a striking looking person walking down the street with a nice even tan, but showing little edges of burn, you know that you are looking at a person who’s base tan was obtained on other beaches, and who just over did it in Hawaii.

The thing that makes you realize that a person is local is that their tan has gone over the edge. That is when, you seem an otherwise handsome person walking down the street, with a a skin that looks like it was tanned in the tanneries of Ubrique. Next is the person, who tries their best not to tan, but face it, they live in Hawaii. This is the person, who like me who has the graduated tan.

I am so excited about going to TWIT.TV, in Petaluma, CA. It has been about five years since I last was there. It was a bit of a lark to go that time. I was sailing aboard the M/V Mokihana for Matson Navigation Company. Our port stay in Oakland was not long, but I really wanted to meet Leo Leporte. I was a fan of his since the old Tech TV days. Now, I can’t say that I was a Tech Guy fan, when Leo was just on the radio, since I really have never liked radio.

I hated radio so badly, that I never listened to it unless I had to. I got my first tape player when I was in Junior High. Once when I was traveling around the country, foreshadowing my nomad leanings, I found myself in a situation where the AC in my car crapped out and the sound of the wind from the open windows didn’t let me hear my tape deck, which I had plugged into the lighter. (If you remember tape decks, you are aging yourself!) So I was stuck listening to radio. I was right in the middle of the fly over states. Rest assured that I wasn’t finding any of my favorite music on the radio. That trip did leave me with an abiding love for country and western, and the knowledge of what was country and what was western.

The problem was, that from time to time, I couldn’t even get music on the radio stations in the middle of no-where. That is when talk radio came into my life in the very worst way. Rush Limbaugh! I had never been exposed to so much misogyny in my life. Stop for a moment and think about this. I grew up in the deep south. I was moved to the heart of Texas when I was ten years old. When I was not yet 18-years-old I found myself as one of the first few classes of women to attend Texas Maritime Academy, and I had never been exposed to as much misogyny as I heard spew from that lard-ball’s mouth in five minutes.

I was in the middle of no-where; in the part of the US where you drive and drive, eventually beginning to wonder if you shouldn’t have filled up at that last gas station so many miles ago. Yes, I was there. The last thing I had seen of any interest was an antelope squished flat by the passing of unnumbered semis. I wanted to speak back to that fat ass. Now I have to admit, that at this time I had no idea that the man had a weight problem. I was quite the bigot when it came to weight issues back then. Since then I have done much growing, mentally and physically, and no longer have the bias against weight challenged people. Myself, these days I am not overweight, I am over short.

I drove and drove. You might think that I would be worried about the ever emptying gas tank, but no. I was on the lookout for a pay phone. (If you don’t know what that is, ask your parents or grandparents.) Today, I am kind of amazed at the kid I once was, traveling around the US without a cell phone!

[One funny think about working with my external keyboard and the iPad fixed in to the holder on the seat back in front of me is that from time to time, my hand drifts to the tray table and tries to move the cursor, using a non existent trackpad, which my muscle memory tells me should be just below my keyboard.]

Back to my story. Finally I saw a pay phone. Parking, I fished out a handful of coins and grasped the scrap of paper where I had written the phone number for the radio show, which I had written down when I was so outraged that I had to pull over and write down the phone number that the voice over recited, each time the the vitriolic hoist took a break for ads.

In spite of my efforts I wasn’t able to talk to this jerk. I realized later that the person who screened the calls was screening out anyone who could have put up good argument against the BS the fat man was spewing. Resuming my drive, still fuming, I vowed to never drink Snapple, the soft drink which was the sponsor of the broadcast.

Boy that was quite the rabbit hole to go down. What I was writing about was why it took me until he was on Tech TV to become a Leo Leporte fan. There was a far too brief time when Cable TV showed how it could be good. History channel had history programs, A&E had arts and entertainment programs, and MTV had music.

Tech TV had two shows I thought were worth my time. The Screen Savers and Call For Help. Often I found myself sitting in the middle of the living room floor with parts of my computer scattered around me. Thick volumes of PC magazines not only provided me with information as to how to install an advanced graphics accelerator, they also provided support of various parts, which I had not completely disconnected from the motherboard, but laid off to one side, with their wires trailing over the edges of the gutted computer tower.

I don’t remember if anything they said on the shows was pertaining to what I was doing to my computer, but I know that I felt more like a credible fangirl when my hands were filled with computer parts.

Looking around the cabin has distracted me from writing about TWIT.TV, but I will have plenty of time to write more about that later.

The couple in front of me is playing a card game. They are sitting on opposite sides of the aisle. I am not quite sure if the rest of the people on the row are part of their party, or if they are following the advice for couples to split up that way, as several travel blogs are recommending these days. They are passing cards back and forth between each other. I don’t know much about cards, so I can’t tell you what the game was, but they seem to be having a great time.

Next to me is a couple who must have been married in Hawaii. When they got on board, the man was juggling a bouquet of flowers as they were trying to settle into there seats. The flight attendant stepped up and made sure that their precious memento of their marriage was safely stowed away.

When I finished packing I took out my little scale and weighed my back pack. It came out to be 26 pounds. My under the seat bag, which has all the electronics weighed in at 12 pounds. I didn’t weigh what I was going to wear, this time, but I know that I am well under my 40 pound limit. That being said, as I made my way from my friend’s apartment to the airport, I found myself thinking that I had too much stuff. I keep going over in my mind: What can I get rid of. Getting rid of some of my travel specific stuff causes me to get the heebie jeebies. I know that there are somethings I won’t need in Ecuador. I am going to be staying with a friend for a few days in Houston before I fly out. I am sure that if I leave a box with her of things I might need in other countries, she would be glad to stow it for me. I know that I am coming back to Houston for a short while in December when my stay in Ecuador is over, so if I need some of those things for my next country, I can pick them up then.

Suddenly I am so tired. Maybe the double G&T is to blame.

Categories: Talking Story, TravelTags: , , , , ,

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