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Thursday, August 13, 2015


ONE OF YOU TODAY WILL BE MY 900.000TH VISITOR TO SIMPLE SOLUTIONS FOR PLANET EARTH AND HUMANITY.  What do you win?  My eternal gratitude.  But, ah, the millionth.  I'll have to come up with something.  That could also well be my final posting.

Moving along, for the next three months I'll be home all of three weeks.  Beginning now I have this crazy series of loops:  Honolulu to San Francisco to Las Vegas to Los Angeles to Honolulu, Honolulu to Kailua-Kona to Honolulu, and my final Grand Around the World Adventure, for which I have not found that perfect acronym, although GAWA might work.  Gawa has many meanings in Japanese, including river, but is sometimes known in reference to the Tokugawa clan (their mon to the left--that's my modernized version to the above right), which ruled Japan as Shoguns from 1603 to 1867, leading to the modernization of the country.  Not long after the Meiji Period began, my grandfather's parents were sent to Hokkaido as early pioneers.

This is one of those no gambling nor golfing trips to Las Vegas.  I have two brothers living here and one is not doing well.  So how can I complain about having to wake up at 3:30AM to catch a 6:25 flight with a bad cough?

Actually, I was quite impressed with the 15 Craigside health care system.  (About this photo, that's 15C on the left, and, next door, the taller Craigside, where I live for 42 years.)  The afternoon before I started this trip I went down to the clinic, and in quick order, I was told the doctor would later advise me what to do, so I went back to my apartment.  A portable X-Ray machine came up to photograph my lungs, in quick order my personal doctor called and said all looked well, but he nevertheless prescribed an antibiotic and two Tussins (what happened to Robu?), one for keeping awake and a second for falling asleep, both in bottles that could pass through airport security.

One of the Tussins has codeine, and both have become a kind of recreational drug, especially the codeine version.  Euphoria and a heightened sense of perception, with altered sense of time and dream-like experiences can occur with overdose. However, if too much is swallowed, the cough suppressant dextromethorphan and expectorant guaifenesin can produce serious side effects.  10,000/year emergency room visits are almost expected by the U.S. Drug Enforcement Administration.  Interestingly enough, Caucasians are particularly at extra risk.

I left Honolulu at sunrise, got a view of Haleakala, Mauna Kea and Mauna Loa in the early sun, crossed into California, observed salt ponds and landed in San Francisco:

My departure gate for Las Vegas was close by the International United Club (one of the benefits of traveling more than 2 million miles is a lifetime membership here), the decor could well have been designed by Gucci and the assortment of edibles was mostly middle eastern, with an al dente vegetable (a half dozen which were crunchy) soup that was excellent.  And, instead of nuts, Skittles:

Yes, there is a terrible drought, with 90 percent the view from SFO to Las Vegas barren desert, including a forest fire.  Note also the drop in water level of the lakes:

Actually, if you've taken this route before, it ALWAYS looks like this, with, perhaps, some worsening today.  Not counting the money, there is hardly any greenery in Las Vegas:

They expect some rain today with the temperature only rising to 104 F.  However, 110 F coming on Sunday.  Fortunately, I leave here Saturday.


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