Sunday, May 18, 2014

Sunday musings

Well here in North America, the advent of the summer season is at hand. For proof positive, all one has to do is to check the last weeks TV offerings where almost every series program had their season finale.
What more is needed?
Now begins the next 4.5 to 5.5 months of endless re-runs and ill fated "fill in" shows.
I am of the group that remember when the TV season coincided with the both the start and the end of the school year.
Not anymore as costs are so much higher than before and one knows the strain on the staff and actors is truly harder than in days (actually decades to be honest) past.
Thankfully the younger folks will not miss a beat as long as they have the ability to bury their noses in their smartphones.
I still marvel at the memory of our last trip to the Sandwich Islands and seeing day after day an endless stream of the youngsters plodding along sidewalks totally focused on the tiny devices in their hands and not even seeing other people or the wondrous scenery all about them. I still chuckle at the memory of a couple of times seeing someone walking right into a utility post on the sidewalk, bounce back a foot or so, and then shrug and continue on.
Somewhat like our cats used to do when embarrassed - 3 quick licks and then act as if nothing happened.
As in every year, optimism always rises as summer starts, one wants to go and see/do things different than the usual fare and indeed much of the local economies of towns and cities depend on that. It is like the swelling of a water filled balloon to see the ever larger streams of vehicles bearing license plates from out of area residences arriving EVERYWHERE in sight. The parking lots fill with huge trucks, campers and mobile homes that spew forth strangely garbed Birkenstocked folks with huge aviator mirrored sunglasses and cameras/phones in hand. They come, stop, shop and disappear in a cloud of exhaust fumes all within the space of a half day it seems. The only redeeming feature of this is that you do the same darn thing when you go "on vacation!"
In a few days we are off to the "other" side of our Islands to spend some time and explore there and are looking forward to that. One still is surprised at how large this Island really is - quite a learning experience it has been. I suspect that is a result of all the reading one did as a youngster where in the adventure novels, islands were deemed to be no bigger than what one could walk in a day - great for the author but not quite accurate for islands like this one or Great Britain, New Zealand and others.
With this weekend, we mark the start of the festival of Farmers Markets all around here. Having been through this for the first time last year, these will feature for the next few weeks, mainly items like crafts and baking and home preserves but as soon as mid June comes, all manner of fresh produce will fill the display tables and the thought of the soon to be ever expanding waistline is both wonderful and terrifying!
Getting back to the Sandwich Islands, an old Maui favorite is on the verge of a comeback. Azeka’s Hawaiian Barbecue Sauce was featured by a family business of the same name starting in 1950. They sold as much as 2,000 pounds of Hawaiian-style ribs marinated in Azeka’s sauce from the small Azeka’s Ribs and Snack Shop in KÄ«hei before closing in 2006.
Definitely something to look forward to as we have had many wonderful meals that have had a "Maui" style sauce as a majour component.
Also, the Lahaina based Hawaii Fudge company has opened a second store in the magical town of Kihei so more folks can enjoy that wonderful product.
One of the interesting things happening on my Island is the slow, extremely slow, progress in the modernization of the hospitality industry. There has been a pair of proposals made recently to see  two large hotels built in the harbour front area. One would be the biggest building on the Island at 35 or so floors and the other would be smaller but not by too much. The main opposition has been from the industry itself as represented by a number of, what could be termed, 1960 era motel owners. They constantly plead against these new places and use as justification statistics that say the room vacancy rate in the city is high. With all due respect to these folks, have they looked at their places with non prejudiced eyes lately? With names similar to ones like Dew Drop Inn, Blue Heron (matching colour scheme thank you!) they resemble small, seedy places where for sure they have vibrating beds for you to plug quarters into for entertainment. They refuse to accept the fact that today's travelers expect a certain level of structure and facility for their dollar and will not accept less. If they want more people using their rooms - they have to upgrade and rebuild, renovate or give up - that simple. To fight against what will eventually happen, well that is a losing effort and only restricts the future of a wonderful place.
I have wandered afield lately and found yet another set of walking parks to "get lost" in and boy are they ever fun. I strap on my trusty walking camera, walking stick and jaunty chapeau and stride along many paths all the while singing (OK, only in my mind am I really singing this tune because if sang out loud, well the wildlife would be traumatized by the sounds) that fabulous Monty Python LUMBERJACK SONG!!!

I can only imagine at what a splendid sight this is for all to see....
So, that ends my column for this week and as you can tell, this time I really wanted not to bemoan the sadness in the world. Indeed it can be so depressing and I am so tired of thinking and writing about it and heck, for at least this week, the world can wait....
take care out there,

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