Wednesday, May 27, 2009

Blog 13 Getting Pets Quarantined on the Mainland

Valentine on Lake Michigan

Hawaii has no rabies and wants to keep it that way.  Recent changes in the State’s procedures have resulted in a huge improvement in bringing your pets to the islands.  For instance, ours were directly released to us on our arrival in Kona – before our luggage had even arrived.

Kiwi the Ragdoll

However, please bear in mind, that if you do not meet the specific requirements of this new program, your pet may be quarantined for up to 120 days upon its arrival in Hawaii.

Valentine's Puppy - Winston

Next the only thing to watch out for is the lengthy mainland qualification process.  It had an impact on delaying our departure by two months.  Procedures include getting chips implanted in your animals, two sets of rabies shots 90 days apart and blood work being sent to a laboratory at Kansas State University (KSU).  Significant preplanning is critical to minimize the impact on you and your pets in this type of relocation.

The official state link regarding moving pets to Hawaii is:


Valentine - Happy in Hilo

Thursday, May 21, 2009

Blog 12 Downsizing

I think one of the difficulties in moving to Hawaii, or any warm weather locale, is deciding what do to with all your heavier clothing and winter paraphernalia. It’s like, “well what if we ever move back to Chicago, won’t I need this?” And in our case, like many, we were going to a much smaller house (2,000 square feet versus 4,000 square feet) because of all the outdoor lanai (patio) space we were going to be having at our new place.

I had never been exposed to “garage sale fever” that exists in northern California, and perhaps elsewhere. Over five garage sales we were able to sell about $7,000 worth of unneeded possessions including TV’s and furniture. We gave away probably a like amount, and threw away probably even more. Undoubtedly we could have downsized more, and probably should have.

Our last move, only two years ago, had been a corporate move and we brought everything with us – which is probably typical.
And after two years in California, we had crates and boxes that we had never opened. That’s probably a message, but who wants to spend their weekends after newly arriving in California doing unpacking?!

Saturday, May 16, 2009

Blog 11 Putting the California House on the Market

Our realtor said it was first about price, and then a beauty contest.  So we priced conservatively and never had the house looking better.  And we had a great view of Mt. Diablo to the east.

Sure enough, after only a few weeks a decent offer came in that we accepted and the “offer pending” notice went up in front of the house below the “for sale” sign.

Little did we expect that our qualified buyer would run into the same credit crunch affecting the world at large, but they did.  The offer was withdrawn one month later, and our house no longer could win a beauty contest, in fact it would probably come in near last.  We had begun packing and holding a series of garage sales.  Stuff was strewn pretty much everywhere. 

Tuesday, May 12, 2009

Yoga on the Big Island

Scuba Sunday with Yoga

Another diversion from our relocation experience.

Where else but in these islands could you find someone like Anthony who combines all these characteristics into a single individual.

He is first and foremost:

An outstanding surfer

Followed by being:

A native Hawaiian
A weight lifter
A yoga instructor, and
A Harley-Davidson Sportster rider

Anthony's yoga classes at Spencer's Health Club are sometimes two hours long and arduous; often including the five Tibetan rites (Five Tibetan Rites).  My premise is that if you can make it to each of his three classes during the week, further exercise is really unnecessary, at least from a health perspective.

The benefits of these yoga classes are many, but for me the best thing is the feeling of peacefulness and total absence of stress after we finish.  And Anthony nearly always says during the relaxation period, "Just imagine, of all the places on this crazy earth, we get to live in Hilo, Hawaii."

I'd like to get a streaming video interview with Anthony one day and publish it here.

In the meantime, I have also made some good friends in the class.  In fact on "Scuba Sunday" where we meet up with the Hilo Dive Club some of the other yoga students came as well.  Here we (me, Kathleen and Vicki) are trying one of the more taxing yoga positions, i.e., "stacked feet with twisted hand," while a bemused tourist looks on and takes our picture as well.

And then there is our friend Jim, who is quite flexible enough -- enough to astound Kathleen at least.

Life is good on the Big Island.

Monday, May 11, 2009

Blog 10 Beginning of the Gauntlet

Getting ready for this move to the Big Island was only the second time in my life that I have had to breathe into a paper bag due to stress – and the first time was when I was 25!  I later learned from a Special Forces (“Green Berets”) veteran who completed a five-year tour in Vietnam that he had approached a nervous breakdown while trying to pack up their house while his wife was in Hawaii with the kids.  And finally I met a man who said at the end of their move he was so frazzled that he would pick up the some small, insignificant item from their kitchen counter, walk all around the house, and end up putting it back in the same spot!

Future blogs will address why it can be a challenge.  For now, our story will continue in the next posting.

Monday, May 4, 2009

Time for a Crossword Blog

I'll l get back to our moving experience, but meanwhile something happened this morning that reminded me of my love for crossword puzzles. The clue for 33 Down was "Largest city on the island of Hawaii?"  And the correct four letter word answer was of course "Hilo."

Many people do not know that the Big Island's official name is "Hawaii."  And the Big Island Visitors Bureau (BIVB) would like to recapture the name of Hawaii. (For instance, when someone says "New York" most people think New York City rather than New York State.)   I wish the BIVB good luck, but it may be an uphill battle.  Nonetheless, the Big Island is actually named Hawaii Island, and is only designated "The Big Island" to avoid confusion with the state name of Hawaii.

I started doing crossword puzzles in the NY Post on my return commute from Hoboken to Madison, New Jersey when I took my first job in the financial district in NYC.  And being an engineer/business school graduate, my early results were disastrous.  I would be lucky to fill in perhaps five or six clues.  Eventually, my poor performance led to me dropping the activity.

Then low and behold, one Sunday after moving to Connecticut I tried the NY Times Sunday puzzle and found it totally enjoyable although my results were no better.  So now I started doing the NY Times puzzles in the morning on my way into the city.  And learned that Monday's puzzle was the easiest and that they got increasingly tougher through Saturday, with Sunday's puzzle being at about Thursday's level but much much longer and more time consuming.

After awhile I could master the Monday puzzle, and by year two, Monday through Wednesday's puzzles were generally doable.  Now I can generally complete the puzzle on most days -- with the exception of Saturday.

It's great fun, and can be done online without subscribing to the paper.  My favorite blog for understanding the answers and themes of  New York Times crossword puzzles is  He's awesome and funny at the same time.