Planet Haolewood

A toolbox, a change of underwear, and a surfboard.

Thursday, September 21, 2006

Miraculous New Weight Loss Plan that REALLY WORKS!

Do you want to shed some of those unwanted pounds? Are you gullible? Is your self-esteem so low that you are vulnerable to unscrupulous quacks selling hopelessly unrealistic “miracle solutions?” Then look no further, my friend because today by some freak stroke of good luck you have stumbled upon a miraculous new weight loss plan that inexplicably succeeds where every single other plan has failed. And the best part is that you don’t have to buy anything, change your diet, your exercise habits or change anything about your life at all for that matter. And what’s more it will SAVE you money. That’s right: eat exactly the same diet that got you fat in the first place, exercise no more than you do now –even if you do nothing at all but watch television- and watch in amazement as the fat simply vanishes before your eyes –all without spending a dime. In fact, you’ll SAVE money.

I’m sure you’re dying to know the details of this incredible weight loss program but before I describe it to you I want to tell you about myself. I’m not a doctor, dietician, psychiatrist, or guru. In fact, I have no training or expertise whatsoever. I’ve never lost weight using this program nor do I know anyone else who has which is why it’s so amazing that this incredible plan REALLY WORKS!

So how does it work? Let me tell you how I discovered this incredible weight loss process. Last winter I was remodeling a house in a particularly shady dark little valley in Northern California where it tended to get a little cold. All the windows and doors had been torn out so I was working all day in the cold. Everyday I would come home FAMISHED. I ate huge dinners. In anticipation of my hungry days I started eating bigger breakfasts and still I was hungry all the time. I couldn’t get enough to eat because my body was burning so many calories just to keep warm. What do you suppose I found when I moved to Hawaii? You guessed it. My appetite diminished dramatically. Even though I am just as active if not more so I need fewer calories because the temperature is higher.

So how can my experience help you shed those extra flabs of fat? Those of you who live in a climate where heating your home is necessary simply TURN DOWN YOUR THERMOSTAT and do nothing else differently. Of course you must not eat more. If you increase your caloric intake you’ll cancel the effects of lowering the temperature in your home. How can I be so sure the miraculous plan works even though I’ve never tried it? It’s the laws of physics, people. For every action there is an equal and opposite REaction. What goes up must come down. Every object in the universe attracts every other object with a force inversely proportional to the square of the circumference of your hips. Or something like that. Like I said, I’m not psychiatrist. It’s not important why or how it works or even WEATHER it works. Nothing can diminish for one moment the indisputable logic of my simple plan.

Of course, not only will you be loosing weight, you’ll be saving money on your heating bill. And not only will you be saving money but you’ll also be saving the world from global warming AND reducing the United States’ dependency on foreign oil thus preserving the Artic National Wildlife Refuge, helping to bring peace to the Middle East, taking the umph out of the War on Terror, and restoring our nations tarnished image around the world! Little Iraqi babies will be named after you by parents overwhelmed with gratitude for your role in bringing an end to the bloodshed in that far away land. And best of all you will look better than you do now.

So as the chill of fall approaches and you find yourself brushing up on the directions printed on the inside flap of your thermostat just remember my amazing and simple idea and ask yourself, “could that actually WORK?”

Sunday, September 17, 2006

The Electric Green Flash Test

Recently I’ve been watching a lot of sunsets and I’ve learned a few things. The sunset is much more than just the moment when the sun drops below the horizon. Actually the sun setting is really just a opening act for the real show of colors that begins AFTER the sun has set, a show which may go on for a good half an hour. The area where the sun set glows yellow and orange like a bonfire left to burn out, but as the show goes on any clouds in the rest of the sky light up with a whole range of pinks which brings me to the other thing I’ve learned about sunsets. They’re not just about that one spot on the horizon where the sun sets. A good sunset stretches out along the horizon and even touches the middle of the sky. I like to look at the pink clouds but I also notice the more subtle blue part of the show. As my gaze moves from the orange of the horizon upward I see yellow which fades and becomes the lightest of blues which in turn deepens until it is a nightfall violet high in the sky. And of course every sunset is unique.

And then there’s “The Green Flash,” a brief glimmer of green sometimes visible just after sunset. It may sound like a myth, but there is a scientific explanation for it which I won’t go into here. Brain swore he saw it. Sally said she didn’t. I thought I saw something but I described it as more of a dot than a flash. Maybe it’s like a Rorschach test. I think I’ll keep looking.

Friday, September 15, 2006

And Now for Something Completely Different

Update! This link actually works now.
Click here to view Winterforest

Sunday, September 10, 2006

The Kauai 2-Step


Wednesday, September 06, 2006

People Years, Part 2

Perhaps I’ve oversimplified. Maybe the experience of passing time cannot be described by such a simple calculation. There are strange “time warps” in life during which the acceleration I’ve described seems to stop or even reverse itself. I recently experienced one myself actually. The first few days after I moved to Hawaii were so over stimulating that they seemed to last a VERY long time. I remember telling someone that I met I had only been on the island for 48 hours and when I thought about it later I realized that I had actually only been here 24 hours but I said 48 because it had seemed like such a long time. So strong was my feeling that I had been there for more than one day that even after I realized my mistake I had to carefully retrace where I had been and what I had done to convince myself that it had really been one day and not two.

The following days also passed slowly but not quite so slowly. Gradually they began to speed up to a pace equal to what I experienced before I moved. New experiences, big changes, traumatic events and crisis can cause these “time warps.” So maybe if I moved to a new state every day I could slow down my perception of the passage of time so much that I would become virtually immortal! But I don’t think I’m going to do that because while I might achieve life ever-lasting I’d be too exhausted to enjoy it. Besides surf conditions on the North side of Kauai usually pick up in the fall so I don’t want to move yet.

My experience (and I’m sure you have all had similar experiences of your own) suggests an explanation of why we feel time’s acceleration as we age. To a new born child every moment is filled with new things. Imagine how long even a single day must seem to them. As a child grows and as we adults age we become more and more familiar with our world. The implication would seem to be that in order to live a full life we should all be seeking out new experiences as we get older.

I’m all for doing new things and I’ve been known to try a few myself. It can make you feel more alive. I’m sometimes tempted to end a blog entry at a point when it makes a nice tidy conclusion like right about now. Life is short so make the best of it. Nothing wrong with that, right? But this time I’m going to resist temptation and ramble for at least a few more sentences because there’s something about that conclusion that rubs me the wrong way. Maybe it’s not such a good idea to view the passage of time as something that needs to be resisted. Aging and the changes in the perception of time that go along with it are natural phenomena which every human experiences and they are going to eventually catch up with everyone form the time waster to the one who lives each day to the fullest. I guess what I’m saying is that to really live life to the fullest is to appreciate all its qualities, INCLUDING its fleeting nature and not in spite of it. So I say let the “people years” pass on by at whatever speed they do. We don’t know where we’re going anyway so why worry about how quickly or slowly we’re getting there.

People Years

If you’ve been around on the planet for a few years you may have noticed that time seems to accelerate. When I was a kid and the holidays had ended I remember the year that stretched before me until the next holiday season seemed so long that it might as well have been infinite. But don’t those years go speeding by now? And doesn’t it seem as though each is shorter than the last? Things have sped up quite a bit since I was a kid and I’m only 34!

A few months ago I broached this topic as I ate dinner in an Ethiopian restaurant with my mother, father, aunt and uncle. Their ages range form the 60s to the 80s and they confirmed to me what I already suspected was true: the acceleration of the perceived passage of time continues throughout one’s life. If it seems fast to me at my tender age (at least compared with my fellow diners) imagine how the years must fly by for them!

Consider a 15 year old cat. It seems wrong to say that kitty is 15 years old, as if he were attending his first school dance and looking forward to getting his learning permit. He is a respected elder of the feline world. So we use cat years to express his age. We multiply by 5 or 7 or whatever it is and pronounce him 105. The math never seems to work out right but the concept rings true.

I submit that we need a similar conversion to describe our age in years as we actually perceive them. But calculating one’s age in “people years” requires a little more advanced math than simple multiplication. I haven’t actually worked it out and I think it involves calculus. So it there is someone out there is the blogosphere who can express this idea in a mathematical equation please post a comment.

So here’s how it works. I like to think that I am going to live to be 100 which means that I’m about 1/3 of the way done right now. But because my early years SEEMED to pass so slowly and the years ahead are going to go by even faster than I perceive them now in “people years” I’m already well passed the 1/3 mark. Realistically I’m probably passed the 1/2 mark. Let’s just say for the sake of argument that in “people years” I’m 60. That means that assuming that I live to be 100 the amount of time I’ve lived so far FEELS like about 3/5 of the amount of time my whole life will feel like by the time I die in 2072.

That’s a rather alarming thought isn’t it? My proposed equation really brings home the idea that life is short.

Saturday, September 02, 2006

Gratuitous waterfall picture