Delicious grilled pizzas with Daniel, Leah, and Stijn; great Friday.
Great hike today with Daniel. Went up Dog Mountain in the Gorge. The sun was deceptive, though, as it was super cold at the top.
Daemon, and its sequel Freedom, by Daniel Suarez are two of the best fiction books I have read in a long time. Props to Daniel for the recommendation.
Way back on March 24th I took a trip to Maui with Daniel, Leah, and Leah. We stayed just south of Lahaina for 8 days in a great condo Daniel found through a charity auction.
The highlight of the trip was definitely the hike through Haleakalā crater. We parked the rental car at the Halemau’u Trailhead. That meant we had to hitchhike up to the summit and the Sliding Sands Trailhead. Luckily it didn’t take too long. After 5-10 minutes we caught a ride from a guy working on one of the observatories at the summit.
Starting down the Sliding Sands trail was pretty surreal. We started down early in the morning so the clouds at the summit were gorgeous.
All the way in to the crater the terrain stayed fairly barren. Some low clouds drifted by as well which created a neat effect against the dry volcanic rock.
The reds of the rock made a nice contrast, too with the blue sky that appeared later in the afternoon. We did make the mistake of taking advantage of a great view to have lunch, though. The view was great but where there’s a view there is apparently wind. Lunch was a short one.
Part of the appeal of hiking in to the bottom of Haleakalā is the silversword, a rare plant only found in the crater. We ran in to plenty of them and they’re pretty unique.
After hiking across the floor of the crater we hit a less barren area of terrain. My eyes had to adjust to the greenery a bit. There’s a cabin you can rent that’s just behind where I took this photo from. Next time I want to hike in to the crater and stay a night or two down there. Would be a great place to watch a sunrise.
The hike up the Halemau’u trail meant that we saved about 1,500 feet of vertical. That’s not to say that the trail was gradual, though. If you look closely here you can see the trail switch backs weaving up the rock face. Daniel decided he was going to run it from the bottom. I think he got about a 1/4 mile in.
One of my favorite hikes that I’ve been on. This was my first trip to Maui, or any of Hawaii for that matter, and I’m looking forward to heading back.
2 full days are in the books now and Maui is wonderful. We’re staying in a condo Daniel got just south of Lahaina. Nice spot with a full kitchen, BBQ, laundry, and one row of houses back from the beach.
The first day was pretty low key. Just hung out at the beach next to the condo, picked up snorkel gear, and made an epic trip to Costco. Daniel and Leah had made a trip to the Safeway in Lahaina the first day and after going to Costco I’m pretty sure that Costco 1/4 to 1/5th of the price. We bought way, way too much food including 6 pounds of ground beef, 4 steaks, 6 pounds of brussel sprouts, 6 pounds of edamame, and enough onions to feed us for a week.
Yesterday, day 2, we drove around to the other side of the island and hiked the Waihee Ridge Trail. The eastern side of Maui is much more what I was expecting the terrain to be like. Lush, wet, and filled with plants. The trail climbed about 1,500 feet over 2.5 miles and was a simple up and back. Really nice hike and there weren’t too many other people out on it.
After the hike we were all drenched in sweat. Humidity will do that. So we went straight to Oluwalu Beach to swim and snorkel. The snorkel gear we picked up for the week at Snorkel Bob’s, which is a great deal. $35 for the entire time we’re here for a mask, snorkel, and fins. The beachside sellers charge $100 and up for what looks like inferior equipment. The reef at Oluwalu was way better than Black Rock, which we swam in the first day. Here it stretched for a long, long way and we swam for about an hour. I’m terrible at tracking which fish we saw but we did swim with two sea turtles. One was swimming out to deeper water so we tailed behind for 10 minutes or so. The other, and much larger, one was content sitting under a ledge of coral. Would have loved to see him out and swimming as he was so much bigger.
Warren Ellis, How To See The Future:
The most basic mobile phone is in fact a communications devices that shames all of science fiction, all the wrist radios and handheld communicators. Captain Kirk had to tune his fucking communicator and it couldn’t text or take a photo that he could stick a nice Polaroid filter on. Science fiction didn’t see the mobile phone coming. It certainly didn’t see the glowing glass windows many of us carry now, where we make amazing things happen by pointing at it with our fingers like goddamn wizards.
I’ve been reading more of the writing behind the notion of a singularity since some chats with Daniel a few months back. I forget how I came across it but I got around to reading Vernor Vinge’s original essay on the Singularity. It’s fascinating the read this and know that it was written in 1993. I have Vinge’s “A Fire Upon the Deep” up next on my reading list.
Confessions of an Ivy League Frat Boy: Inside Dartmouth’s Hazing Abuses. Particularly this quote:
The college has also charged 27 other members of SAE, stemming from events in the 2011 pledge term. While the other students all categorically deny doing anything illegal, the information that Lohse provided to Dartmouth officials may directly implicate him in hazing. As a result, Lohse – the only student to come forward voluntarily – may be the only student who is ultimately punished.
Also, see “Allegations of hazing leveled against TKE initiation practices” and Daniel’s post. I have an idea for an enterprising reporter: take a deep look at fraternity abuse reports like this and answer:
- What percentage are followed up on by news organizations, particularly college newspapers, after the initial report?
- What percentage result in concrete action undertaken by college administrations?
- In how many cases is the student who reported the offense the one who takes the brunt of post-publication attacks?
- How frequently are reports the second, third, etc. time allegations have been made against a specific fraternity?
There are more questions that would be interesting but the above would be a start.