Planting Seeds

Last weekend we went back to the Kinzua Bridge and hiked all through the valley. Since we last visited, they have built a beautiful educational center and we learned a whole lot about the bridge it made for an even richer experience. Most of the fellow visitors were local and they were pretty amazed that I drove my family 3 hours to see it (again), but it is definitely worth it as it makes one heck of an impression.

On trips through Philadelphia, my father would sometimes point out people living under bridges, it was a remarkable site, especially growing up in a lovely suburb. It did plant the seed in your mind, how did they end up there? It also planted seeds of sympathy and sadness, cold nights around a burning barrel, nothing to make your sleep more comfortable than a couple pieces of cardboard.

I wonder if I’m taking my kids to all these natural disaster sites in Pennsylvania to plant similar seeds, “This is why you must do things the right way.” You don’t want to be responsible for the next bridge to fall over, the next Johnston flood, or Austin dam break that destroyed the town of Austin. Maybe Pennsylvania is just disproportionately known for shoddy workmanship. We are close to where the Homestead Strike occurred and Carnegie and Frick decided to break the strike by sending the armed militia of Pinkerton’s army where over a dozen people died on both sides trying to establish fair pay for a hard day’s labor. The site now features a movie theater and a Dave & Busters, so it has been quite difficult for me to get the kids to focus on the historical significance.

I am very much looking forward to an upcoming concert on April 21st in Philadelphia, Hot 8 Brass Band at Milkboy. I’ve been way too busy and that concert is my northern star of respite.


Always Finding Paradise

I came across two breweries in the Big Island of Hawaii, one was more commercial, pictured above. It was absolutely wonderful and you will hear no complaints from me, but I found another in what I think is a local hangout in a non-touristy area of the Big Island called, Waimea. The name of the microbrewery was called the Big Island Brewhaus:

Image result for big island brewhaus

I sat next to two locals, one claiming to have gone to high school with Barack Obama. The food and beer was so good, I dragged several work colleagues there 2 days later and they all raved about it too. I someday look to go back here again!

On my last day, the front page of the newspaper said that a ridiculous amount of lava was flowing into the ocean and they had a picture of it that was credited to a local boat tour. I called the boat tour and had the opportunity to see it myself. See the videos above and below. The captain dipped a bucket into the water and the water was extremely hot to the touch, I think he said it was 170 degrees.

I left Hawaii on Friday afternoon and returned to Pittsburgh on Saturday afternoon. Managed to sneak in a little sleep on a red eye and get home in time for Dalia’s gymnastics competition at the Pittsburgh convention center. We’ve gone to the convention center for a variety of things, it was cool to be going there to see a daughter do something incredible!


A couple weeks ago, I blogged about Valerie June’s song called Astral Plane and how I was listening to it on repeat. On Saturday night, had the opportunity to see her in a small venue called the Carnegie Lecture Hall. Great concert and happy to enjoy it will Jaclyn and a couple great friends.


Snorkeling = Less Pictures

It is important to note that I am doing more and more work here, which is at odds with enjoying Hawaii more hours of the day. It is also worth mentioning that I have become completely obsessed with snorkeling and I do not currently have a waterproof camera, which is preventing me from documenting the experience. To my knowledge, this is the first time I’ve tried using the snorkeling mask/fins/mouthpiece, and it is surprisingly intuitive and allows you to stay underwater for very long spells with no issue.

Under water, I am coming across all types of fish that you would expect to see on a reef. Lots of yellow, blue, and rainbow colored fish, but I enjoy finding the big ones. Yesterday I came across a grouper who was easily 5 pounds and some large silver fish that were easily 3 feet long.

The movie above is from ground of our hotel, I snorkel out the lagoon into the ocean. It is a pretty steep drop off on the other side of the rocks and all kinds of big fish zoom around. I was in the conference ballroom and came across this bird:


On my walks around the campus, I’ve seen 2 or 3 mongoose. They are devious looking creatures, like they should have a cigarette dangling from their mouth.

It has been a good trip, but it is like fishing by yourself, even if you catch something awesome, it is disappointing that you don’t have a friend to share it with. Looking forward to seeing my family in a couple of days!