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Saturday, April 11, 2015


I slept for ten hours last night, getting up at 9:20 this morning.  As I missed breakfast in our dining room, I had an unusual and enjoyable brunch of a giant salad (with truffle balsamic and olive oil) I ordered last night (because I was to miss dinner here),  cream of broccoli soup, bagel and glass of red wine on my lanai.  The wine was appropriate because it was close enough to noon.  I noticed various spotches of yellow from my lanai, and was pleased that I could eat outdoors because it was drizzling a bit and my former rooftop dining area could not be used when it rained. Then there is also my sweet basil and mint (four kinds) garden next to where I dine.  But there are more green and gold to come.

This has been a memorable year for the Gold Tree:
  • On January 5 there was a ceremony in tribute to Pearl at the Ala Wai Golf Course.  Perhaps 50 trees have now been planted at Ala Wai, plus the Makalena Golf Course and Hilo Municipal Golf Course.
  • It was just about two months ago that I posted:

I did express puzzlement that the timing was a bit early.  Well, it turned out that was a preview, for more gold trees are now blooming, especially on the University of Hawaii Manoa Campus.  Here is the iconic tree adjacent to Bachman Hall:

A nice bank of these Gold Trees is located next to the Law School by the athletic complex:

The main reason I spent some time on campus yesterday, however, was because I was among a special group of ten invited to a reception before the volleyball match of the #1 NCAA team, the Green Hawaii Rainbows, against the Cardinal Red of Stanford University.  Why cardinal red?  When Stanford University decided to replace "Indians" with something else, the students were asked to make that determination.  So they chose Robber Barons, no doubt referring to the founder.  The University might even deny this history, but the administration selected Cardinals, the color.  The effective unofficial, but operating, mascot is now an idiotic redwood tree, by consensus voted by the Pac 12 as the dumbest in the conference.

But it's not as pornographic as you might think, for the red thing hanging out there is the tree's tongue.

Introduced were David Matlin, our new athletic director, and Eran Ganot, our new basketball coach:

The basketball coach is taller.  Then volleyball coach Charlie Wade (below with Chancellor Robert Bley-Vroman) gave a stirring speech:

He indicated that, here, both parents of the recruit he most wanted two years ago, Gabriel Vega (left), taught on our campus, but he nevertheless went on to Stanford, where he is now their top player.  I was standing next to Wade when he completed his talk, so I casually mentioned that it was about thirty years ago that I recruited Gabriel's father to the University of Hawaii.  Luis Vega (right) is now the world authority on ocean thermal energy conversion, and works at the Hawaii Natural Energy Institute (HNEI).  

During the same period back then when I was director of HNEI, I also brought in Steven Masutani and Bor Yann Liaw to the University of Hawaii.  Today, our four offices are on the same floor of the Pacific Ocean Science and Technology building, and, interestingly enough, the sons of Masutani and Liaw are also (although one or both might have recently graduated) at Stanford.  Ah, that's me as a freshman.

Anyway, Hawaii retained its #1 status by beating Stanford in three straight sets.

We all sat right where I took the above photo.  Aside from too many volleyballs careening into us, it was a most noteworthy reception and game.


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