Friday, May 1, 2015

News update

I know it has been a couple of weeks since I last posted. I made the mistake of starting a reread of the Spearfishlake Tales on my main computer. They're engaging enough that I find it hard to stop reading them. Since 38 of the novels have been published online, the 39th starts Monday, it takes a while to work through them.

Three weeks ago Wednesday I went to a networking event called Wetware Wednesday. There was a celebration for the dozen or so graduates of the Dev Bootcamp. There was also an announcement from Datawarehouse that they have formed a new parent company called ike. Datawarehouse will continue providing consulting services while ike will work more like an incubator. They also had the man that is running their first startup talk about his business which involves monitoring the elderly in nursing homes.

Three weekends ago on Saturday was Pascha (Easter) and I went to the 11 pm service at the Greek Orthodox church. Earlier that day I went for a hike with the idea of taking a nap before service. I found a group of trails, the Honolulu Mauka trails iirc, and walked one of them. Then I walked to a state park with an overlook on Mt Tantalus near there. The walk to the park was a bit more tiring than I expected for a 3 mile walk up the mountain.

The week after that I started my reread and it was a quiet week.

Then a week ago last Tuesday I went to the Hawaii Student Entrepreneurs Showcase. They had several presentations by the students.

In the presentation for Scholar Sponser the gentleman presenting mentioned that he was looking for a technical person. He did a great job with the presentation so I introduced myself. We had a nice getting to know you talk and agreed to talk earlier this week. That conversation was pretty high level though we did talk in a very general way about what sort of conditions he'd need to meet for me to join his team. It is quite clear that he's running a nonprofit startup and doesn't have any money to pay a developer. So, if I do work with him it will be nights and weekends work. We'll be meeting again next week to talk in more detail.

Mom flew into Honolulu a week ago Thursday. She joined me for dinner Thursday and Friday. On Saturday we went to the North Shore and hiked in Waimea Valley.

This last week was quiet though I'm joining Mom and Paupau on the Big Island this weekend.

Monday, April 6, 2015

News from last week 4/6/15

Here’s the news from Oahu for last week.  Only a day or so later than I meant to get it out.  I spent Saturday and Sunday sleeping off a cold that I caught.

Early in the week there was rain in the afternoons and evenings.  From my desk I can look out through an empty office to see the weather coming down the slope above my apartment.  One day I saw that the roads were terribly backed up while I walked home.  I learned the next day that the machine that was supposed to switch the direction of the express lanes had broken down.  This effectively closed two of lanes on the H1, which resulted in long delays for the folks driving home.

Other than that it was a quiet week with not much special going on.  This week looks to be busier with events in the evening Monday, Tuesday, and Wednesday.

Monday, March 30, 2015

"Music to Code By" by Carl Franklin

I heard about this music while listening to .NetRocks!, which is a three days a week podcast talking about different pieces of the software industry, particularly the pieces of interest to .NET Developers, with the occasional geek out on some other topic, like whiskey or space based power generation.  It is put together by Carl Franklin and Richard Campbell.

Music to Code By is music as productivity aid. You can either order the music either as a CD or get a download. If you buy the CD you get the download free. It comes with three tracks; Blue, Orange, and Yellow.

This isn't music you’re going to want to sit and listen to. The tracks aren't mind-numbingly boring, but it takes real effort to listen carefully to any of these tracks the whole way through. However, they’re really pretty good at encouraging focus on whatever task you’re working on. I loaded all three of them onto my phone and I've used them at work when I really need to focus on getting some work done.

All three are instrumental and all three seem to be mostly variations on a single motif. This gives each track a particular tone. “Blue” is really mellow. “Orange” is the darkest of the trio. It makes me think of sunset, maybe with storm clouds on the horizon. “Yellow” is the lightest with a cheerful tone.

My experience with Airbnb in Ala Moana.

I guess the place to start on this is with the room I rented for the week.

It is “Allabout the Beauty!” and is listed by Skye.  From the picture I can see that she’s added a dresser of some sort next to the electric outlet on that wall.  It should make a good place to put your charger and have the phone charge overnight.  The room and the bed are quite comfortable and there’s plenty of storage for clothes.  Here’s the picture I took looking out one of the windows in the room.

Skye was friendly and helped me with the few things I needed help with.  The location is pretty good for food, it’s in the Korea town area so there’s a great deal of decent Korean food.  You can also walk to the Ala Moana Center or Ala Moana Beach Park fairly easily.  Having said that it is probably a twenty minute walk to that beach and if you want to walk to Waikiki it is more like forty minutes.  If you want to be on the beach every day this location wouldn’t be the best choice, but if you want somewhere to serve as home base while you explore the island this is fairly well placed as it is very close to the H1 and everything on the Waikiki end of Honolulu.  Also, the price is lower than any of the hotels I saw at $88/night.

Moving from my particular experience to the overall Airbnb experience there are a couple of watch outs.  The first is that you don’t simply book a room.  Technically, Airbnb is just a platform for individuals to rent out homes, rooms, or couches.  When you go to book a place you’re actually asking whoever listed the property whether they’re willing to host you.  They can say “No” and don’t have to give a reason, so make sure you line up the room ahead of time to avoid being caught without.  Another point to remember is that when you show up at a place you’ve got 24 hours to tell Airbnb if the location doesn’t match the ad.  After the end of that time Airbnb pays the host the full amount for the stay.  This also means you can’t easily cut a stay short.

There are a couple of things you can do to guard against a bad stay.
  1. Most importantly, check the reviews and pay attention to what they say.
  2. Read the house rules.  They probably won’t be front and center when you’re bookig.
  3. You can see where the building is, so do a quick search to see if anyone else has talked about the host or the location.
  4. Check to see what the mapping sites show at the location.

Overall I prefer the certainty of going to a hotel rather than using Airbnb, but for those that want a more personal stay Airbnb is well worth considering.

Sunday, March 29, 2015

News from last week

At work we got finished with everything we needed to get done on Friday.  Then we got a pair of changes to the requirements.  The ladies that will be using the system are going to send us the details so we can get into the new work on Monday.  The work is getting more interesting as I get further into it.  I’ve also gotten some feedback from Ashley, the recruiter with Teksystems.  They’re getting very positive feedback from HMSA.

This week was quite a bit quieter than the last few.  I haven’t gone to any events after work.  The major news is that I’ve finally got my home internet sorted out.  My choices were Oceanic Time Warner Cable or DirectTV.  The apartment is wired for Oceanic and I went with them.  The tech came by on Saturday and got the internet and TV setup.  I only got the most basic TV some it is staying off just like it was when it wasn’t plugged in.

This last weekend was a good one for staying home.  It rained off and on all day Saturday and Sunday.  Also, the Vietnamese place I mentioned last week is called "Green Papaya".

Sunday, March 22, 2015

News from last week

Work continues to get more interesting.  We’re heading into crunch time with one of the applications I’m helping with.  Another, where I’ll be the developer supporting the other team, has had several meetings.  I've learned how the initial developer has the work put together, but I’m also learning about the political situation in the office.

The picnic I went to last Sunday was fun, though there isn't anything to report from that.  On Thursday I went to a different event.  It was a get together put on by a company in Chinatown that just opened a coworking location.  I figured I’m not going to need it anytime soon, but many of the folks meeting there were well worth the trip.  I talked to several developers about mobile development and a website consultant about his business a little.  I also spent some time talking to a young man that is a senior at UH Manoa.  He co-founded an entrepreneur club there.  We spent some time talking about the differences in office culture between Hawaii and the mainland.  We also talked about the differences between the way developers see the world and the way business people see the world.  Particularly in the context of an event his club is involved with.  Start-up Weekend is what I remember him calling it.

The weather has warmed up and we've had a little bit of rain in my area of Honolulu.  I went to the Ala Moana beach on Saturday.  I went into the water briefly, but only part way up my shins.  I did spend a couple of hours working on getting a more even tan.  The farmer’s tan I got hiking up Diamond Head was pretty pronounced.  While I was at the beach I saw a rainbow over the Ala Moana Center.  I've seen a couple of rains like that since I arrived.  Mostly they don’t last very long and it never gets all the way overcast.  Generally, the sun is shining while the rain falls.

This next week is going to be quieter.  I might go to an art event at the local art museum Friday, but maybe not.  Then on Saturday the cable internet will finally be setup so I can stop tethering to my phone for internet.

Looking it over I've got a whole lot of posts that are part way done that I should finish since this is going to be a quite week.  I’ll give a quick list with one liner comments.

Zaratez Mexicatessen – This is a lunch place with pretty good burritos.  I've been twice.

La Pizza Rina – Italian food.  Don’t bother with the pizza.  I've heard better things about their lasagna and sandwiches.

Pho Bistro – Tasty Pho and decent service on a somewhat run down corner.

Yogur Story - Pretty good food with an odd mix of sandwiches and breakfast food.

Sorabol – A Korean restaurant with tasty food.

Teddy’s Bigger Burgers – A pretty good burger joint more or less across from Don Quijote.

There’s also a Vietnamese place just mauka from the Ala Moana Center that was quite good, though the name escapes me.

A tiny shop with no dedicated seating selling Korean food along with fish and chips further mauka on Ke'eaumoku St. 

A little unnamed stall in the food court at Don Quijote selling really good gyros.

Don Quijote – it’s like a guy that owned a general store heard about Walmart and Sam’s Club and decided he could do that in a shop selling lots of Korean, Japanese, and Chinese goods in a one story building that fills the block.  It’s kind of remarkable really.

Airbnb – It worked well for me and Skye, the lady renting the room, was great.  Could be a better price than the local hotels, but probably less reliable on quality and less able to handle unexpected changes.

TheBus – Honolulu’s bus system.  It works pretty well and at $2.50 one way it’s also very reasonably priced, though it doesn't compete on ETA when compared to a car.  I should see if Uber or a car-share app is available in my area.

Hopefully, I’ll make the time to put together more detailed reviews and commentary on these, but no bets.  I've been getting out exploring the area, which feels weird compared to my tendency to stay in when I was in Chicago or Indianapolis.

Sunday, March 15, 2015

Diamond Head State Monument and Park

Diamond Head, called Le'ahi by the native Hawaiians, is one of the obvious landmarks near Waikiki.  According to the notes they had navigational fires on the summits along with a temple to the wind god to protect the fires from strong updrafts.  Today there is a lighthouse at the base of the makai (seaward) slope of Diamond Head.

In the early 1900's the military created a Fire Control Station in the rim of the crater.  The path hikers use was mostly created then.  Most of the monument is still controlled by the federal government and is restricted access.

Here's a map showing the overlapping areas.  The green area is the monument.  The blue area is the park or public access area.  The park and the road in were opened to the public in 1973.

The area inside the crater is drier then the areas outside the crater and there are some birds and other life to watch for on the trail.  There are several signs at the Information Booth next to the parking lot.  One critter I didn't see mentioned are the tiny mice that I saw several times along the trail.

The trail is only .75 miles and the first .2 miles is paved.  Having said that it rises some 560 feet from the trail head to the summit.  Also, the switchback to get up is roughly carved out of stone and has been somewhat eroded by the weather and ~800k people that climb Diamond Head each year.  Hikers are advised to wear proper hiking shoes rather than the slippers (flip flops) that tourists often wear around Waikiki.  If you didn't bring water bottles you can get water here.  Either from the vending machines at the comfort station or maybe from the food truck that sells hamburgers, hot dogs, and shave ice along with drinks in the parking lot.

Shortly before the first flight of stairs is a small platform holding the rusting remains of a winch and cable system that was used in the 40's to hoist machinery part way up the crater wall to the Fire Control Station.

After the first flight of 74 steps you'll come to a tunnel carved into the crater wall that is supposedly 6'1" tall or maybe a little bit taller.  On my way in I didn't see the sign showing the height.  I saw it on my way out.

At this point you get to chose between climbing the 99 steps to your right which have overhead pylons to hold camouflage netting.

Or you can go around to your left and climb the outside of the rim.

It offered a respite from stairs so I went around that way.  This is one area where you can get some extraordinary views of Koko Head and Fort Ruger mauka (inland) from Diamond Head.

After taking in the views from this level you're facing more steps, metal ones this time, to get to the top of the Fire Control Station.

This leads to a path near the summit from which you can climb to the summit or enter the Fire Control Station.

I suggest going up to the summit for a spectacular 360 degree view of the area.

As you can see from the middle picture there are retired bunkers/gun emplacements visible around the rim of the crater.  From here the observers could see ships well out to sea and the artillery could be easily directed.  A note I saw there indicated that the artillery in the crater was capable of hitting Pearl Harbor on the far side of Honolulu.

At the top was a park ranger handing out tokens as souvenirs and offering a certificate indicating that you reached the summit of Diamond Head.

The other thing to see at the summit is an info panel with a map of the area and a compass indicating the directions to several sites of interest.  Including Australia some ~3800 miles away.

After this head back down go through the inside of the observation area.  You'll have to crawl to get in, but it is an interesting room with a flat slit giving folks in the room a pretty good view of the ocean in front of them.

The man in that picture will have to stay bent over like that for about another full step to get outside.

From here you go down the spiral stair, perhaps taking the time to look into each level of the station.

And then out a tunnel to the top of the 99 steps I didn't take earlier.

The walk down is an easier hike than the hike up, so expect it to go more quickly.  In several places there are signs warning hikers to stay on the trail to prevent uncontrolled erosion.  Often, as in the case below, going off the trail would probably end in broken bones as well as erosion from tumbling several hundred feet down the steep, rocky crater wall.

Diamond Head is a reasonable hike for anyone that is in okay shape even if they aren't athletic at all.  Having said that it is pretty much wall to wall tourists so you shouldn't think of this as a wilderness hike.  You can either take a car in for $5 or walk in $1 a person.  It is an easyish walk from Waikiki and a manageable walk from Ala Moana.  If you prefer you can also take a bus to the entry point of the state monument and walk through the Kahala Tunnel.  Do remember that the hikers aren't permitted to start for the summit after 4:30 PM and really you should plan on getting done and out of the park not much later than 5:30 PM, including 2 hours to climb to the top and then back down.  If somehow you don't make it down and out by 6 PM you could get locked in and be in real trouble.  The gate at the entrance to the Kahala tunnel is closed each day at 6 PM.

Diamond Head – There and Back Again

When I was planning my trip to Diamond Head I was thinking I’d take TheBus.  Diamond Head is 4 or 5 miles away and that is rather a long walk.  However, when I checked how long each would take the route that used TheBus took an hour and 50 minutes while walking only took 2 hours and I was pretty sure I’d beat the walking time.  So I ended up walking it.

The route I took to get to Diamond Head was an inland route passing through the mauko suburbs.  I passed a couple of different schools, one of which was founded in the 1840s.  Initially I was going through urban areas.  Later though the area turned more suburban.  Some of the houses in that area looked like nice places.  In several cases I saw big boats in driveways.

When I got closer to Diamond Head I encountered some wild chickens.  I got a picture of a rooster and a couple of hens.  Then just down the street I found a tree where the hen had laid her eggs in the fork of a large tree.  The eggs had hatched and the chicks were stuck up the tree peeping when the hen flew down to get food.  I tried to get a picture of that but wasn’t able to since the chicks ducked out of sight.

I also saw a couple of other birds that I got pictures of.

On my way back I decided to go through Waikiki.  I passed Kapiolani Park and the Honolulu Zoo on my way there.

Waikiki is composed of four different beaches from Kapiolani to Fort DeRussy.  One of those beach sections is also called Waikiki Beach.  I got a couple of pictures of the beaches though.  The beach looked nice, but it was incredibly crowded with tourists as was the road through Waikiki.  In the future I suspect I’ll either go to Ala Moana beach or maybe to Fort DeRussy beach.  The fort has some military connection still, so while the beach is public it isn’t crowded with tourists and Ala Moana beach is similarly open though without the military connection.

I did get a pair of pictures.  The first is the Diamond Head end of the beach.  The second was taken facing down the beach.  The pink hotel in the distance is on the section called Waikiki Beach.

News of last week

I’m mostly done settling in at my new apartment.  At work the settling in process continues.  I’ve been able to contribute some while I wait for the permissions I need to be granted.  We’ve been occasionally going out to lunch together.

The weather last week warmed up a little, but didn’t get into the 80s.  Next week looks like it will be a little bit warmer, though probably just into the mid-80s.  The office, on the other hand, was downright chilly.  Especially Friday when the blower by my desk was going full tilt.  It’s cool enough that I’m wearing the exact same clothes to the office that I wore in Naperville.

I’ve started going to events through  The first one was Thursday.  A get together at Dave & Buster’s for the happy hour.  I met a couple of interesting people there.  There is another with a different group this Sunday afternoon.

Today I walked up Diamond Head.  I’ve got enough pictures that I’m planning on doing two posts on that in the next few days.  Looking at myself in the mirror it’s clear I got quite a bit of sun

Monday, March 9, 2015

Hawaii – Apartment hunting

It was an interesting time and I learned a couple of things.  The first is this.  If you plan on moving to Hawaii find a place to stay for at least two weeks rather than the one I took.  Also, you should use several different sites.  I ended up using,, and

Everything I looked at and almost everything I found was owned at the unit level.  I saw one complex in Waikiki where the apartments were all owned by one group and rented out from an onsite leasing office.  Everything else was individual units owned by someone and rented out sometimes through a management company.

There’s a lot of variation between different managing agents.  Some want a big application fee, some don’t care about that.  There is variation on what is meant by Furnished and Partially Furnished.  The one partially furnished place I had included a stove and refrigerator and called that partially furnished though I’d call that unfurnished, at least as far as an apartment is concerned.  The place I ended up is fully furnished and includes plenty of kitchen appliances, like a rice cooker, and even had the cleaning supplies the prior renter had left, which was quite convenient when I went to do laundry on Saturday.  Another thing that matters is the personal rapport with the managing agent.  They’ve got plenty of leeway to make demands and when then they can pick and choose regardless of what they say while showing the unit.  The one thing all of them require is a showing.  You can’t even get serious about talking to anyone until after you’ve seen the unit.  Another thing most of the places liked was personal recommendations from folks already in the Islands.

Overall you might want to consider it more like buying a condo than it is like picking an apartment complex in Chicago or Indy, though the turnaround is faster since you don’t have to get financing.

Sunday, March 8, 2015

Hawaii – News 3/8/2015

I got an apartment and moved in last Sunday.  I’m at 1710 Makiki St for at least the next year.  It’s about a 20 minute walk to work each day.  I’ve got almost everything sorted out now.  The internet will be over a cable modem when that gets set up on the 28th.  Until then I’m using the “internet sharing” feature on my phone 5 GB a month should cover my needs if I’m careful to do stuff on the phone that can be done on the phone.  It’s an older one bedroom that came fully furnished even including some cleaning supplies.  It doesn’t have a lanai, but the way it is oriented I can open the windows in front and back and get excellent cross breezes more or less all day.  It also comes with a small potted plant on the front porch that I’m to keep watered.  Fortunately, I’ve been told it doesn’t need much water.

I’ve found a grocery store in walking distance and there are two farmers markets nearby on different days.  One is outside my new office on Friday around lunch time.  The other is an all afternoon affair just down the street in the parking lot of the Episcopal Church at the corner.  Below is a picture of that farmers market and a picture of the sign for the church.

I’ve been attending church at Ss. Constantine & Helen Greek Orthodox.  It has been interesting so far.  The priest is of Asian descent and comes from California.  He’s assisted by a priest that is a Navy Chaplain associated with the Pacific Command.  I spoke to him after church today and he spent a little time talking about writing doctrine for the Navy and assisting our allies with developing shipboard chaplaincies.  Church is about 25 minute walk from my apartment and maybe a 15 or 20 minute walk from work.

Work is going well so far.  It’s a large insurance company so they’re picky about security and require reams of paperwork for change management, which makes sense.  The people are hardworking and their attitude on matters that don’t relate to security are surprisingly laid back.  I’m finding ways to contribute while all the permissions issues are sorted out.  They’re talking about a crunch time towards the end of the month and I expect I’ll be fully up to speed with my required permissions by then.

One brief comment on the weather; I had the windows closed today as it has been a touch chilly the last few days with lows in the low-60s and highs only in the mid-70s, Fahrenheit.  This next week looks better as the highs are projected to be 80 all week with lows in the upper-60s or low-70s.

I’ve got three other random pictures I took while wandering around Honolulu.  The first is a view down the canal towards the sea.  If you look closely you can see the masts of a marina holding a bunch of small boats.

This second is of Ala Moana beach.  It is right next to the Ala Moana shopping mall and not far from Waikiki, though it is much less crowded.

The third is a picture I took because I was asked for a pic with palm trees.  This one is on Ala Moana Blvd in Waikiki not far from the bridge to the Ala Moana neighborhood.

I'm working on a couple of other posts still.  One on what it was like renting a place in Hawaii, another as a review for the place I stayed through Airbnb, and a couple of restaurant reviews.  I'll try to keep posting regularly.

Wednesday, February 25, 2015

Amina Pizzeria, 1694 Kalakaua Ave Honolulu HI 96826

Last night when it came time for dinner I pulled up the Yelp website and checked to see what restaurants around me were affordable and well rated.  There are at least a dozen well rated Asian restaurants near me with a good mix of Korean and Japanese with a few Chinese places.  Looking at the list I realized I wasn’t in the mood for any of those and I ended up going to Amina Pizzeria. 

It’s a tiny, only 4 tables, hole-in-the-wall local Italian place.  It’s the sort of place where most of the orders are carryout and the soda comes in cans.  The spaghetti and meat sauce I ordered was good and the garlic bread that came with it was excellent.  I’ll probably go there again when I’m in the mood to try a pizza or calzone.

You can call and place an order at 808-949-3584.  The prices are very reasonable.  I spent 10.95 on the spaghetti plate with a soda.

Move to Hawaii – First Day

I got into Honolulu just fine at 7PM.  The recruiter picked me up at the airport and took me to the place I’d booked a room through Airbnb.  I'll post a review of the place I got through Airbnb later in the week or over the weekend, I think.

In the morning I spent my time calling and emailing several different people about places to rent.  I got one, “Come to the viewing tomorrow”, an “I’m sorry but that property isn’t available anymore, have you considered buying”, and a “You can come by and see the property now if you’d like”.

The woman managing that last rental took me to the place, which is a bit north of where I’m staying.  The place is a little small, older, and in a more residential area.  It reminded me of the sort of place grad students I’ve known lived in and apparently that’s who usually rents the apartment.  In the process of hearing about the apartment I also learned that the current tenant is moving out to live with her boyfriend.  There was also something about them living on a boat, but I didn’t get any more details than that.  In many ways it’s a good place despite being old.

After that I walked to the office I’ll be working in just to get a feel for what that walk is really like.  The walk was fine at something like 15 or 20 minutes.  When I got to the HMSA building I ran into my recruiter walking another contractor back to the HMSA building after doing lunch with him.  We chatted very briefly.  After that I got myself some lunch and went back to the room to catch up on the news and wait for a couple more of the places I contacted to get back to me.  In the evening I did get two more contacts.  One waffled thoroughly but made it pretty clear things wouldn’t move quickly with her.  The other setup an appointment for me to see the apartment tomorrow at 5:30 PM.

I also looked up the two Orthodox churches in Honolulu.  It looks like the closer of the two is Ss Constantine and Helen Greek Orthodox Church.  I was thinking of going to the Presanctified Liturgy, 6 PM on Wednesdays, but I can’t get there from the 5:30 appointment in time.  The Sunday morning service starts at 8:30 AM.  If I keep waking up when I am at the moment that will be no problem, but past experience of coming to the islands tells me I’ll revert to my normal schedule and probably before Sunday.

I’ll let keep posting as I get things settled down.

Monday, February 23, 2015

Chelsea's Kitchen - Phoenix Sky Harbor International Airport, AZ

In the long layover I have before my plan leaves for Honolulu I met my Paupau and step-grandmother, Mary, for lunch.

We went to a restaurant in the Phoenix airport called Chelsea's Kitchen.  Paupau and I had cheeseburgers while Mary had the soup of the day, a tomato chicken soup.  The fries that came with my burger had a very nice seasoning salt.  The food was all good and the service prompt.  It was no more expensive than I've come to expect for good food in an airport.

Before I went Mary got a picture of me alone and a picture of me with Paupau.

Hawaii move – Preparations

Now that I’m done with my preparations and am about to board the flight that will ultimately take me to Honolulu I’ve got some time to describe what it takes to be ready to make the transition to a Hawaii job. 

The first step that I expect to occur to folks is getting an offer for a job in the islands.  In my case it took a month or so of back and forth with the recruiter before she was willing to submit my resume to clients.  It took another month to find a position that both of us felt fit well with my resume.  The interviews, when it came to them went quickly.  In many ways the process is similar to any job search a long way from home.  The recruiters and companies all want to make sure you’re really committed to making the transition.  I gather that Hawaii positions see more of that in the winter when folks want to get away from the cold.  I found that the simplest way to handle that was to talk about the trips I’ve made in the past and about what I’ve learned by researching a move to Hawaii.  Another way to deal with that is to simply move to the islands and as long as you’ve got the resources to live here without a job for a month or so it would probably work well. 

The flight reminds me of just how thoroughly I’ve had to pare down my possessions.  I’ve got two checked bags at just under 50 pounds each, two carry-ons, my coat, and a hat.  Everything else either went into storage or was given away.  The challenge is the cost of shipping goods to the islands.  Oahu is the cheapest but costs range from three to six dollars a pound unless you use the USPS flat rate boxes even there.  Over the next year or more I’ll be looking to bring my books over.  Some of them could come as checked bags and some certainly be shipped. 

I’ve given, or thrown, away all of my furniture.  Most of it went to my sister with a little bit going to my brother and more going to the local Savers thrift store.  If you decide to make the move remember that Goodwill and Salvation Army might do pickups but they’re going to want something like two weeks notice to schedule a pickup.  I sorted through my clothes and gave away three trash bags full.

Another challenge is to find a place to live in the islands.  Realtors don’t help find rentals in Oahu so you’ll have to rely on the internet with sites like Zillow or Craigslist to find options.  Then you’ll have to wait until you get to the islands before you can apply.  The caution here is that some listings are scams intended to take application fees without having a real property to rent.  In my case I’ve got a week lined up through Airbnb in the neighborhood I’m looking to live in at first.  This is also the neighborhood where my new job is.  I’ve got a four or five options lined up for consideration and tomorrow, after recovering from my flight, I’ll arrange time to get into them.  I’ll also go walk about in the neighborhood and check into other options that catch my eye. 

My flight will be boarding soon.  Thinking about that when you go to book your flight you should plan on using an aggregator site and check two or even three weeks out for the soonest cheap flight.  I found in my investigations that the best prices were on Tuesday three weeks out.  At two weeks out both Monday and Wednesday had good flights for only twenty or thirty dollars more than the Tuesday flight.  It isn’t convenient for a vacationer, but if you can manage it the cost savings are best if you fly out early in the week.
We’re boarding now.  I’ll put up another post later, maybe later today but more likely tomorrow or the next day on how my flight went

Friday, February 20, 2015

Moving to Hawaii series

I recently got a job in Hawaii and several people have asked that I put together some posts on the move and the activities there.

All of the series will be tagged Hawai'i whatever activities I talk about will be tagged with the island as well.