Saturday, June 22, 2013


Our main reason for going to Hawaii was to spend time with the Daughter #2 family which we did.  It was really great getting to reestablish and grow the relationships with the grandchildren.  This is such a difficult thing to do when you are a third of the way around the world away from them.  But I felt that we had a lot of success and that we know and understand them a lot better.  With that said, being long term empty nesters, we needed a day to our self so we did the Camera Sherpa island drive around.  We saw:

Crashing Waves

Buddist Temples

Photographers Taking Pictures of Buddist Temples

Buddhas in Buddist Temples


Botanical Gardens

It was a lovely day

Thursday, June 20, 2013

More Island Sunsets

More Hawaiian Home Scenes

The house the #2's are renting is right on the water which is great fun for 2B & 2.1 who really love to fish.

The Mighty Fisher Folk at Work

Not much was actually caught.  However 2.1 befriended a number of locals who were working the same area.  As a result they gave here a number of their extra fish.  This lead to a brief discussion between the cooks (#2 and I) as to who was going to clean the fish since neither of us had ever done this.  I stepped up to the plate.  The whole process wasn't has bad as I thought it would be except that all the knives in the rental were pretty dull.  One fish in particular (a very lively, larger one) had skin like chain mail.  I had to resort to a serrated knife.  I will give the younger ones credit.  No one was particularly squeamish.  In fact they were fascinated by the process. 

The fish 2.1 had gotten us were on the small side so #2 cut them into pieces and turned them into a fish stock.  Then the next day we went to Chinatown in Honolulu where they have great seafood markets where we picked up some larger fish, shrimp and clams.  That night 2B grilled some of the fish and shrimp while the rest were put in the stock.  It was a great feast for Wife and I who love fresh seafood and rarely get the opportunity back home.

2.1 was also taught by the locals how to gather sea urchin from the rocks, how to open them, and get the roe within...what is sold as Uni in sushi restaurants.

2.1's catch of local sea urchin

2.1 using unconventional sushi preparation techniques

2B and 2.1 in the course of their fishing also found that a number of sea turtles called this area home.  This lead to numerous attempts by all photo takers to capture a 'money shot'.  This was my best (not very) attempt.  If you expand it you can see it in the middle.  Wife got a much, much better one.

Finally, this trip was the first of my transition phase 2 trips, where I go where I want but take time to do work as I so choose.

 De-I Pacific Rim Headquarters

Monday, June 17, 2013

Hawaiian Home

The main reason for our going to Hawaii is to spend some time with the daughter #2 family.  With them living in Manila, Philippines it is very hard to even Skype with them because of the time difference.  Plus the younger two grandchildren are not very keen on talking on the video either.  So with them being in Hawaii for R & R,  this was a great opportunity for us to spend some serious time with them.  They rented a house on the far Western side of the island.  This is not the main touristy area by any means.  In fact all kinds of people we talked to who know Oahu gave warning that this is the 'bad' part of the island.  Our experience is that if you are not ostentatious, use commons sense, courtesy, and humor, it's just fine.

The house itself is really in a great location.  Right on the water, it is lovely place to just hang out and be the kids.

A view of the house from our the sea side lava rocks

Looking island side from the north side of the house.

Facing West right on the ocean, the sunsets are great.

Photo Wife taking the sunset shots

Daughter # 2 taking in the ocean

The back yard

Sunday, June 16, 2013

First iPFP

Will we be now taking our food porn to a new level with the splendor that is the now totally uncool and obsolete iPhone 5 (with officially banned Siri - banned because I find her obnoxious).

We arrived in Honolulu on Friday at around 4 PM.  We were staying our first night at a hotel in Waikiki, an uber touristy area that would not be my first selection but was convenient for my brother and his significant other who are both doctors and were working that day.  They were picking us up and taking us to dinner.

They took us to a great place called Cafe Miro.  My brother wanted us to sample the range of things offered so we ordered the four course tasting menu with an attempt to not replicate any of the courses.  It was only after the first course was over that I remembered the new phone and started taking pictures.

Our general feeling was that the appetizer and fish course offerings were top notch while the main courses seemed to be lacking in pop for some reason.  A sampling of Cafe Miro offerings:

First Courses
Grilled Lobster Tail

Poached Abalone

Carpaccio of New Zealand Salmon with Daikon Salad

Grilled Scallops

Braised Beef Tongue with Wine Reduction Sauce
Grilled Opa (fish) with Daikon Fus

Roasted Duck Breast with Port Wine Reduction

Trio of Mini Desserts - Creme Brulee, Green Tea Cheese Cake, Macadamia Ice Cream

Friday, June 14, 2013

Aloha You All

Wife and I are in Hawaii.  Daughter #2 and family are here for Diplomatic Corps required rest and recuperation (so their folks don't go native).  They've rented a house so we thought it would be a great chance to spend some quality time with her, 2B and grandkids.  We just arrived a couple of hours ago.  I'm grabbing a nap before we have dinner with my brother and his girl friend.

I will be trying out the photo capability of my new iPhone.  I tried once just after I got it when I was hiking and it didn't turn out that well.  I think I wasn't holding it still enough.  Hopefully I will improve.

More on Mom

Wife's been after me to post on my further revelations concerning my memories or lack of memories related to my Mother that I posted on back in May. 

At that time I wrote about how certain feelings had finally come back to me.  That was good.  But there was still this resentment unhappiness about how Dad had held us at bay during her passing.  That led to my thinking more about the relationship she had with us (Wife and I) over the years.  I remember my talking about how Dad had one unconditional love and that was for Mom - no room for kids.  And then it came to me, why things were the way they were.

Mom's great unconditional love was from Dad.  She wasn't as fanatical about it as he was but there was no doubt that once he lost his eyesight, there was no way she was ever going to go away from him...even though he was still going overseas for business trips!  I realized that when it was her time to pass, she made that decision with him or at least did not object to it.

I can't say that this made me any happier about how things transpired but it did make me understand this was just the way they were.  I guess I can say I still mourn for what never was.

Thursday, June 13, 2013


What more can I say when you're in the most drought stricken state in the nation.

Promise...PROMISE, to actually have some meaningful posts soon.

Monday, June 3, 2013

Your iPhone - No Longer Cool

Even if the Samsung Galaxy has been the new rage of the mobile device set, the iPhone has for a long time been the sin quo non of the "I'm a cool, hip, Seri using, totally connected" set.  But no longer.  You want to be cool?  You want to be with it electronically?  Then I suggest you get the heck off of that iPhone.  Why you ask?  Because de-I and Wife are getting them.  Wife is already getting up to speed with hers.  Once she's figured it out and can show me, I will get mine.

If you search in Wikipedia for the definition of "Uncool", under the electronics subsection it has this as part of the definition.

"...and any device that has been purchased by de-I and his Wife, is also by any rational person's definition Uncool to the max.  This couple are the leaders in trailing edge technology acquisition."

 On the other hand if you really love that retro look and feel your iPhone is not helping it, we're glad to of been assistance.

Saturday, June 1, 2013

Cooking Update Post

Wife told me I needed to do another entry related to my continuing post-Dad death reconciliation but I'm not up for heavy writing today.  That would include doing an entry on the transition process.  So I think we'll punt and do a nice, mindless entry on food - always a favorite subject.  Even though I've been refocused on work and putting lots of effort into it (hence the scarcity of entries lately), that doesn't mean that cooking hasn't been taking place. 

Last weekend, Memorial Day, I had the close friends Derf, Agent W, Wild Bill and Jill over as I frequently do on the 3 day holidays.  I wanted to do some grilling type stuff but not be tied to cooking when the guests were here (a goal of mine).  So I did dishes where I grilled food in advance that was then served later.  This included:

Hungarian Pulled Turkey - This was my own invention.  I created a flavor rub of onions, garlic, Hungarian Paprika (lots!) and caraway seed.  It's cooked down and cooled.  I rubbed this on two turkey thighs.  I let this marinate for two days.  Then I pressure cooked the turkey until it was almost cooked.  I finished it on the grill for another half-hour.  Then you shred it and put in a sauce made from the marinade.  In theory.  In actuality, these were incredibly tough turkey thighs and I had put them BACK in the pressure cooker for another 45 minutes to get them soft enough.

Persian Eggplant and Walnut Dip - I got this from a favorite cookbook.  You put garlic slivers in the eggplant.  It is grilled for 20 minutes until charred on the outside and soft.  When cooled slightly, you pull the charred skin off.  Walnuts are blended into a powder.  The eggplant is added with olive oil, lemon juice, and yogurt.   Blend until smooth. 

Turkish Roasted Fennel - From the same cookbook. Fennel bulbs are sliced.  They are marinated in olive oil, balsamic vinegar, and chopped shallots for about two hours at room temperature.  The fennel slices are grilled until just soft (about 20 minutes) and have a nice dark glaze from the balsamic (I know, I know de-I using balsamic!).  You pour the leftover marinade over the fennel when it is done and serve at room temperature.

Sri Lankan Potato Salad - (ditto the cookbook)You saute a bunch of shallots with coriander, cardamon and chile in oil.  This is the dressing for the cooked potatoes.

Then this Friday, Wife and I had a luncheon for a number of volunteers who do work for a networking group I operate.  We told them this was not from the organization but was our personal thank you.  I told everyone to come at 1 PM and to not schedule any work afterwards as much wine would be offered.

I had some pate and vichyssoise from our last party in the freezer.  We also made:

Roasted Red Bell Pepper Salad with a lemon, garlic, anchovy vinaigrette.  Before you poo-poo the anchovies in this, they are not strong at all but add a depth of flavor and saltiness that really sets off the sweetness of the peppers.

Tortilla (Spanish frittata) of potato and onions

Warm Dal Salad with Lime Juice, Cilantro, and Roasted Fennel

Tomato Salad with Fresh Oregano - This one showed the power of simplicity and great ingredients.  There are these tomatoes we get from Costco called Campari that have better flavor than any other kind I can buy.  I simply sliced them and sprinkled them with olive oil we had brought back from Spain, a tiny bit of aged sherry vinegar, salt, pepper, and chopped fresh oregano from our garden.

Fresh Salmon Salad - I call this fresh because we roasted the salmon, let it cool, and then flaked it.  I made an aioli (garlic mayonnaise), and added chopped celery, chopped daikon, and chopped oil cured olvies.

Wife made her 18 hour bread (she is getting better and better results with this) and an incredible chocolate filled babka (sort of coffee cake) for dessert that used Nutella for the filling.

Everyone seemed to have a great time.