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Friday, May 5, 2017

PaGA 2017: Day 40 Who Am I Golfing With?

Kenji's Golf Safari has been held annually for just about two decades now.  They've gone as far as Myrtle Beach and recently mostly in California.  Usually, there are 8 golfers.  I joined about ten years ago and we typically golf 5 or 6 days in a row.  Recently, we have been comfortable in Vacaville, ideally located where the weather is salubrious and golf not too expensive.

Unlike me, this group is unpretentious and very much satisfied with good golf, beer, chips and the relative simple life.  I've tried everything possible, but I can't get them to try French Laundry.  For the first time--and it could be because we're getting old--we are now down to four golfers.

I thought I'd provide some details on who they are:
  • Our leader, Kenji, is a colleague of mine at the University of Hawaii and the Pacific International Center for High Technology Research.  For a long time we golfed Tuesday and Thursday mornings at the Ala Wai Golf Course, until I got tired waking up early in the morning.  He is a former Air Force General and President of the East West Center.  He was the influential person behind good things that happened at the University of Hawaii for decades.  He is known to walk into the office of Senator Dan Inouye as friends and was incredibly influential with the Hawaii State Legislature.  About his safari, he organizes everything and tells us what to do.  He usually is the worst golfer, until today, when he ended up first and me last.  I've been trying to get him to move into 15 Craigside, and someday he and Cathy still just might.  Kenji is an authority of the Blue Revolution and Hydrogen.  Just read that article, which was published in Japan.  A century from now, this paper will be cited as the beginning point of hydrogen from the ocean.
  • Gerald is the unsung hero (in the middle) of our team.  He is about the friendliest person you'll ever meet, but, in substance, Alexander and Baldwin, the company, is partially what it is today because he was the financial brains behind the success of Bobby Pfeiffer and John Couch to make the company the only successful surviving Big Five company in Hawaii.  They still own much of Maui.  More important than anything else, he retired just about when I did, and for the past 19 years now, has GOLFED EVERY DAY.  Let me repeat.  He has golfed very day (well, not really true, for he did not golf yesterday) for 19 years.
  • David has a PhD in Engineering Mechanics, and when the University of Central Florida first opened in 1968, he was one of the original members of the College of Engineering.  I met him a few years later when the University of Hawaii had at least twice the enrollment of UCF.  Today, UCF is the second largest campus in the USA with three times more students than UH Manoa.  In 1977 he became director of the Florida Solar Energy Center (which reports to UCF), and held that position for a quarter century, until he decided he had had enough, and stepped down to just make a lot more money for FSEC.  He told me he will finally fully retire in August.  He ran the solar programs in the Atlantic when I did the same for the Pacific.  He is older than me and I retired in 2000.
  • Pat...oh, that's me, and if you read this blog you know too much already.
Here are a few more photos, one from five years ago:


As you can see, all we do is eat, drink and golf.  Tomorrow, I'll report on our Cinco de Mayo adventure:

Tropical Cyclone Donna is now up to 105 miles/hour and could possibly attain Category 5 strength before heading for New Caledonia.  Looks like Vanuatu will be spared:



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