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Sunday, September 18, 2016

LIVING LIFE TO THE EXTREME

I have generally been a very careful person.  Security has always been a high priority.  So while I lived safely, there was always that passion to do something extraordinary.

Since pre-school, I've blessedly been in some process of formal education or had a job, the past 44 years with the University of Hawaii.  Since high school, I've never been unemployed, until I retired 17 years ago.  But, save for the month Pearl was in intensive care, these have been the best years of my life.  I still maintain an office on the Manoa Campus.  My current lifestyle in the Purgatory known as 15 Craigside is appropriately a final representation of my life.

I do have this desire to leave the world a better place.  My professional life has thus been focused on various aspects of renewable energy and sustainable resources.  I've written three books and co-authored another two with others.  After heading the Hawaii Natural Energy Institute for 15 years, my final focus has been on the Blue Revolution as the next frontier for Humanity.  I even gave my apartment to the University of Hawaii to initiate a long-term program on this topic.

However, as I don't believe in any kind of afterlife, on occasion I've dabbled in "safe" binges, my kind of living life to the extreme.

I've never been an alcoholic, as such, but an unexpected pleasure of 15 Craigside is that virtually every night is a party.  Typically, for a table of seven, two or three individuals each bring a bottle of wine or sake or sochu, and we generally drink them all.  I keep telling my friends here that, perhaps, we might be drinking too much.  But at our age, if our body can take it, why not?  To the right, our mixmaster Dexter of our now infamous Monday Night Table fixed an Air Force One, so I'm wearing my Air Force One attire.  The jacket brings back memories of my past of possible interest to you, for it was a key part of the Blue Revolution process.

While that does not qualify as a binge, almost exactly half a century ago, while a process engineer at the Hutchinson Sugar Company, I decided to go to graduate school.  So my office-mate, Dante Carpenter, decided we needed to celebrate.  I still remember the brand.  We drank a whole bottle of scotch, Old Rarity, and I was sick for a week.  Here, Dante and factory superintendent Ed Lui, at my going away party.  Dante went on to become Mayor, State Senator and Chairman of the Democratic Party, and I've had a different kind of success, so maybe occasional overindulgence like a binge can actually be good for you.

My wife Pearl passed away seven years ago.  If she were alive, I would never had done this, but on a First Class trip from Honolulu to Bangkok five years ago, with a 6-hour stopover in Tokyo, I tasted 24 different types of alcoholic drinks, Dom Perignon being just one.  This is one advantage of being certain that no one is watching you from above.  You can enjoy life without conscience.

Just this week I binged twice.  First, I involuntarily walked 9 holes at the Ala Wai Golf Course in one hour and twenty minutes.  I did not think my body was capable of this accomplishment, but certainly, this was one of my extreme accomplishments ever.  On Friday I walked another 18 holes.

Thus, on Saturday, I was ready for an ultimate NCAA TV watching binge.  Life as a couch potato is tempting early death.  Sitting is one of the worst things you can do, perhaps even worse than being overweight (see my posting on the overweight living longer than normal people) or drinking alcohol.  However, all that walking about took much of the salt out of my body and justified a day (20 hours, actually) of just loafing pleasure.

It all started when I had to go to the bathroom at 3AM.  To go back to sleep I turned on ESPN to watch College Day, which emanated from Louisville, host to Florida State at 6AM.  I never went back to sleep.  I had to see Stanford beat USC and LSU edge Mississippi State.  The University of Hawaii was excused from being slaughtered by Arizona because during the past few weeks they have played away games at California (Sydney), Michigan (Ann Arbor), and Arizona (Tucson).  Plus, they might have found a better quarterback, even though I was hoping Ikaika Woolsey (to the right above) would do better.

While all the above was occurring, I recorded the Rainbow Wahine volleyball team playing Pepperdine.  We won, so, while I was skipping around watching a dozen or two football games, my teams won three out of four games.  To restore some sodium, I had a lau lau, chicken long rice, poke and a couple of drinks.  Theoretically I was still watching TV because I can see the screen from my lanai.  I finally quit after the volleyball game at 11PM.  20 HOURS!!!  I did not nod off once.  Combined with my now 20-20 eyesight (cataract surgery), better than expected hearing (I had an ear check this week that showed my hearing has actually improved from five and ten years ago), excellent physicality (hey, walking 9 holes in 1.33 hours is not bad at all for anyone) and mentality (yes, here at 15 Craigside they check your mental capabilities annually and I again scored 100%--although, granted, the standards at a nursing home can't be too high).

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Typhoon Malakas is still at a powerful 105 MPH, and has a projected path over Miyazaki (where I had the best beef last month), Tosa-Shimazu (where Mikimoto did his original pearl research, and where I once gave talk on Rainbow Pearls) and Tokyo:

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