Saturday, June 27, 2009

Huehue Street in the Late Afternoon

The cloud forest at the top of Huehue Street on a typical afternoon lives up to its name, 5 p.m. is usually foggy. Friday was no exception. A cool refuge from the glare and heat of town.

The pukiawe was blooming. Click for larger photos.

As were the ohia lehua.

Koa at the top of the little pu'u.

Friday, June 26, 2009

Noted Child Molester Passes Away

But not, unfortunately, in jail. Idiot Meredith Vierra just said that "everyone in the world" is mourning him. It's everyone minus at least one.

Thursday, June 25, 2009

Kelly Greenwell - Insane or Reckless?

West Hawaii Today reports that Kona's sterling councilperson, Kelly Greenwell, is proposing that Guantanamo prisoners be released here on the Big Island, not for incarceration, but for the healing process to begin, our island being such a beacon of tolerance and love. Having them here would give us a"new stew" where "various cultures can meet and learn to get along."

Admittedly, the Big Island seems to be lacking in medieval-minded religious fanatics intent on destroying tolerance and secularism, and wishing to deny women the right to go to school or drive a car. I for one am fairly happy with that situation.

On a positive note, Greenwell admits that the idea might "seem insane." That's good, the first step to getting well being admitting you're sick and all that. What's the procedure for having a councilman's mental status evaluated?

Sunday, June 21, 2009

Top of the world, Ma!

The photo in the blog title shows Mauna Kea (l.) and Mauna Loa (r.) from about 60 feet below the highest point on Hualalai. Here it is again: (click for a higher res picture)

Cloudless blue sky all the way to the top, which we didn't reach until well after 10. A nice father's day excursion.

Wednesday, June 17, 2009

Back to the "Hilo Way"

Remember when the words "Eastern Bloc" referred to the Soviets, not to power-obsessed Hilo politicians? It's not a coincidence, as Tiffany notes.
Universal negative reaction on the internets, as far as I can tell.

Back to the days when county expenditures decreased in direct proportion to distance from the county building? We'll see.

Tuesday, June 16, 2009

18 months in jail - an outrage?

The villagers are sharpening their pitchforks and in "shock" over Judge Strance's reduction of the prison term for the drunk driver who killed a woman in 2006, from 10 years to 18 months.

Knowing only the facts as given in West Hawaii Today, I am in a state of partial ignorance. But lack of knowledge of the case hasn't seemed to stop anyone else from commenting, so here goes:

In 2006 the defendant was clearly an out-of-control 22 year old. According to the prosecutor, Judge Strance found the defendant's turnaround in jail "extraordinary." Was it? I have no idea, but assuming for the sake of argument that the young woman has made an extraordinary change in her life, are justice and the community better served by confining her in a holding pen for another 8 years or by allowing her to become a productive, and positive member of society?

Nothing is easier than demanding harsh sentences for everyone. Doing justice is hard.

Monday, June 08, 2009

BitDefender - bad product, horrible service -Update

For the past 2 1/2 years I've used BitDefender, which has had a good reputation.

Three weeks ago, I had a virus attack (while browsing using Google Chrome) that disabled BitDefender, as in, the program would not start, would not reinstall.

Every time I re-booted, a seemingly random file opened. After 5 minutes, a popup diagnosing an infection would open, and, shortly, a "scan" would start. After 10 minutes, Windows-resembling error messages with red X's would appear and something would try to install itself.

I contacted "Support", attaching (to save time - hahahaha!) two diagnostic tests I knew would be the first thing they'd ask for. One week later, after several emails, "Support" sent me two more diagnostic programs to run, which I did, and returned the results. Ten days later (now) and still no response. My last two messages have been demands for a refund.

They have a phone "Support" line as well, you know. Twice I was placed on automatic hold "due to the high volume." I listened to elevator music for 15 minutes, then the connection went dead. Twice.

I'm not alone.

PC Tools Spyware Doctor with Antivirus

UPDATE: 25 days and counting from the time BitDefender was notified that a virus had disabled their product - 25 days without a solution!

UPDATE: June 21! 30 days with no recommendation from BitDefender. A truly pathetic Support department. Don't buy BitDefender.

UPDATE #3: June 24. BitDefender finally responded, apologizing for the delay and saying they've corrected the issues. So I suppose it's "safe" to buy BitDefender again, as long as you don't mind a 33-day delay in answering if you have problems.

National Trails Day Trail Cleanup at Pu'uwa'awa'a

Yesterday was the National Trails Day volunteer day at Pu'uwa'awa'a. About 50 volunteers cleared a section of the Reservation trail. The work part looked something like this:

It doesn't look like hard work, but four miles of bending and tossing leave an old person like myself fairly sore.

The 'ohia were in bloom, and provided a nice visual backdrop for our work. Click on pictures for larger versions.

The spikey leaves behind the yellow ohia lehua are silver oak, an invasive species planted in abundance many years ago at Pu'uwa'awa'a.

When we finished, we adjourned to the new pavilion at the top of the pu'u. Nearby were new plantings, like these mao hau hele, a native hibiscus, Hawaii's state flower:

So I'm back blogging, having restored my computer to good health, no thanks to BitDefender, my former anti-virus program. BitDefender allowed an infection (I think coming in through Google Chrome) which rendered the computer useless for three weeks, during which BitDefender's alleged "Support" sent me file after file of diagnostic tests to run, and then failed to offer any suggestions or any actual, you know, support.

So hooray for being back, hooray for National Trails Day, and Down With BitDefender.