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2018/11/30 Waikiki Aquarium
π 2018-11-30 01:01 in Aquariums
Ok, the Waikiki Aquarium does not warrant a special trip to go visit, but if you are already in the area and have 60 to 90mn to kill, it's still a fun visit. A few pictures below:














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2018/11/29 Ohahu Fine Dining #4: Maru Zushi
π 2018-11-29 01:01 in Dining
Since we were in Ohahu for a few days, and there were lots of good restaurants in Waikiki where we were staying, Jennifer lined up nice restaurants for us every night.
Night #4 was Maru Zushi, another very good Tokyo Ginza like sushi tasting menu with more dishes than we were able to count:












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2018/11/28 Ohahu's Sea Life Park
π 2018-11-28 01:01 in Aquariums
After diving nearby, it made sense to go check out Sea Life Park. It's a fairly small Sea World, but still fun to visit for 2 to 3h depending on how many shows/talks you go to. The actual aquarium bit is kind of small, though. The birds added some good amusement.


nice background
nice background







There were a couple of shows, one with Sea Lions and one with dolpins:





This is the 2nd aquarium we go to that has a nice little birdie collection. Those were very friendly and hungry :)



first one
first one

then more :)
then more :)

See more images for Ohahu's Sea Life Park
2018/11/28 Ohahu Fine Dining #3: Senia
π 2018-11-28 01:01 in Dining
Since we were in Ohahu for a few days, and there were lots of good restaurants in Waikiki where we were staying, Jennifer lined up nice restaurants for us every night.
Night #3 was Senia, a custom tasting menu at the chef's counter. It had plenty of food, but when I saw a bone marrow dish go by that seemed very tasty, I added that to our tasting :)









7 extra deserts for the road :)
7 extra deserts for the road :)

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2018/11/27 Pearl Harbour's Pacific Aviation Museum
π 2018-11-27 01:01 in Flying
As part of Pearl Harbour's visit, there is a small-ish aviation museum. Sadly, due to the rest we went to see that day, we only had 70mn to visit, which was barely enough. The place wasn't very big, so while I had to take a few pictures of text I read later, we barely got to see all the planes and displays:




actual bullet holes from the pearl harbour attack
actual bullet holes from the pearl harbour attack

















2018/11/27 Ohahu Fine Dining #2: Chef Mavro
π 2018-11-27 01:01 in Dining
Since we were in Ohahu for a few days, and there were lots of good restaurants in Waikiki where we were staying, Jennifer lined up nice restaurants for us every night.
Night #2 was Chef Mavro, a French-like 9 course tasting menu with Hawaiin Flair. It wasn't bad :)










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2018/11/27 Ohahu's Pearl Harbour Monument, Museums, and Mighty Missouri Ship
π 2018-11-27 01:01 in Museums, Trips
Visiting Pearl Harbour is a whole day affair. It opens at 07:00 but you go stand in line a bit before that to get the daily free tickets to the Arizona Memorial. You then have until 17:00 to see the multiple museums, bowfin submarine, take a bus to ford island, see the Missouri (which in itself is over 2H if you do the great 90mn engineer tour), and then hurry on to the Air Museum before it closes at 17:00. It's barely doable in a day.

a bit of early morning rain
a bit of early morning rain

ship that took us to the Arizona Memorial (currently being renovated)
ship that took us to the Arizona Memorial (currently being renovated)


Mighty Missouri
Mighty Missouri

rainbow over the location of struck ships
rainbow over the location of struck ships



Back on land, onto the museums:



suicide torpedoes, ugh...
suicide torpedoes, ugh...









it is still an active military base
it is still an active military base

The Bowfin is a nice typical submarine visit:












Then onto Ford island, by bus, onto the mighty Missouri where we took the 90mn private engineering tour

they have their own private neighborhoods there
they have their own private neighborhoods there



the guns are big
the guns are big







our private tour guide
our private tour guide



big guns
big guns







Then, we had to hurry on to the Pacific Aviation Msseum to see what we could before it closed:


More pictures of the Pearl Harbour Pacific Aviation Museum

And that was it for our Pearl Harbour visit. I now agree that it's hard to see it all in one day :)

2018/11/26 5 Dives off the Coast of Oahu
π 2018-11-26 01:01 in Diving
We didn't go to Oahu to dive, but since we were going diving in Micronesia's Truk Lagoon, and we had to fly through Ohahu, it made sense to stop there for a few days and dive a bit while we were there. Ohahu not being a prime diving destination compared to the other islands, it catered to beginner divers more than confirmed ones. It was hard to find a dive shop that would ensure we didn't have crappy dives due to a boat full of beginners.

Our first day, we went with Hawaiian Diving Adventures, met them at 07:15, and were lucky enough to be the only divers that day (just after thanksgiving weekend). Our first dive was the sea tiger, a nice boat sunk on purpose:





Our second dive was "the pipe", minimal life, but a bit more fun with the octopus our guide found:






Two days later, I chose Reef Pirates, because they had a 3 tank dive that was more geared towards experienced divers. Sadly we did not luck out that day as they made us go there by 06:30 (getting up at 05:40), and then left 45mn late while they were sorting out whether they would allow a diver with medical conditions, join us, or not.
Once diving the Coraair plane wreck, they forced us to go back up after barely 10mn down there, even though I still had 12mn of bottom time left on my computer. I'm not impressed by such forced babysitting :(






The next dive was Angler's Reef, where our guide found another reef octopus:








Last was Koko crater, with two underwater Buddhas and lots of turtles (more than 7 different ones, one of which sadly had a piece bitten off, probably by a shark):




And that was it for diving in Oahu, not super impressive, but not terrible either. At least the water was still reasonably warm during the winter (25C or better).

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2018/11/26 Ohahu Fine Dining #1: Sushi Sho
π 2018-11-26 01:01 in Dining
Since we were in Ohahu for a few days, and there were lots of good restaurants in Waikiki where we were staying, Jennifer lined up nice restaurants for us every night.
Night #1 was Sushi Sho, a Tokyo Ginza like master sushi restaurant. It was around 20 courses and they were yummy :)











Oh yeah, we also took the 8 course sake sampler, and the portions were generous :)

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2018/11/26 5.5 days in Oahu: Visiting the Island and Some Diving
π 2018-11-26 01:01 in Trips
Since we were going to Truk Lagoon for Diving for diving, and we had to fly through Oahu, we figured it would make sense to spend a few days in Oahu, the only main Hawaii Island we hadn't seen so far.
Not to badmouth Oahu, it's still Hawaii and it isn't terrible :) but compared to the other 3 islands, it wasn't as nice and more industrial, especially in Waikiki. On the plus side, this also means it had some kick ass restaurants, which we sure went to visit :)

  • Sushi Sho
  • Chef Mavro
  • Senia
  • Maru Zushi
  • we then did 5 dives on 2 different days (on this separate page, and the rest of the time was used to visit the Island a bit:

    The first day, we did morning dives and then stayed in the Waikiki area:




    yeah, bring your phone and selfie stick to the infinity pool, makes sense...
    yeah, bring your phone and selfie stick to the infinity pool, makes sense...

    diamonhead crater
    diamonhead crater

    I tried to surf a bit, but there were barely any waves, so I only got the chance to go up once
    I tried to surf a bit, but there were barely any waves, so I only got the chance to go up once



    On the 2nd day, we spent the entire day in Pearl Harbour|/perso/trips/post_2018-11-27_Ohahu_s-Pearl-Harbour-Monument_-Museums_-and-Mighty-Missouri-Ship.html]

    Our 3rd day, we did 3 morning dives, then checked out Oahu Sealife Park and spent the rest of the day checking out the East Coast and walked to a few viewpoints:






    Our 4th day, we started with the Diamondhead hike, which turned out to already be pretty packed. The parking lot was full, but we were able to find a parking spot just outside the crater tunnel (yes, there is a tunnel through the volcano crater):


    cars are in line waiting for parking spots to free up inside
    cars are in line waiting for parking spots to free up inside

    hike up
    hike up


    %(caption)s

    the top had stairs to where the artillery used to be
    the top had stairs to where the artillery used to be


    once at the top, nice view of course
    once at the top, nice view of course



    Waikiki where we spent monday afternoon
    Waikiki where we spent monday afternoon

    Koko crater hike, didn't have time to do it that trip. Maybe next time.
    Koko crater hike, didn't have time to do it that trip. Maybe next time.


    lava tube with access to the ocean
    lava tube with access to the ocean




    we found a rare solitary monk seal, sunbathing
    we found a rare solitary monk seal, sunbathing

    it didn't mind us too much thankfully
    it didn't mind us too much thankfully



    small arch, tall Jennifer :)
    small arch, tall Jennifer :)

    we then hiked up to Koko Arch
    we then hiked up to Koko Arch


    Once done with the blowhole, lava tube, and arch, I drove around to the other side of Koko crater and its small botanical garden




    the viewsonic bird!
    the viewsonic bird!


    Then, we went to check out another coast access with a spitting cave you can hike to:


    15mn hike around the coast
    15mn hike around the coast

    and here is the spitting cave
    and here is the spitting cave


    From there, I drove up to Lyon Arboretum, which sadly was more jungle than botanical garden in places and then the quick-ish 45mn hike to the MAnoa Falls:









    We then had enough time to drive to Tantalus Lookout for sunset:






    For our last day, we went to check out Waikiki Aquarium, and then spent 1h30 at the US Army Museum of Hawaii:





    And last was Iolani Palace, the former Royal Palace:






    With a quick drive by the National Memorial Cemetery of the Pacific and the Japanese Garden in the airport:







    2018/11/23 Dreamstate Socal, California's Manageable EDC
    π 2018-11-23 01:01 in Clubbing
    So, you're thinking I've gone crazy already, but follow my reasoning: EDC Vegas is awesome, but 3 days is gruesome, never mind from 19:00 to 06:00 or somesuch (usually not back at the room before 07:30 and sleeping by 08:00 just to get up again between 14:00 and 16:00 for another round). It's like an 8h timechange overnight for 3 days, and even if you use "help" to stay awake, that doesn't really work 3 days in most cases.
    This is why Dreamstate Socal is a great event: 2 days is more manageable, and it was nice to have it start as early as 16:30 and end at 02:00, making it less of a timeshift. It was also nice to walk back to my hotel room in 20mn as opposed to spending 75-120mn getting back from EDC to a room.
    The lineup was solid, with 3 stages (one being psytrance), it was impossible to get bored.

    Nicely decorated venue:





    Plenty of people were lit:



    my sonic hedgehog found a friend :)
    my sonic hedgehog found a friend :)




    Great to run into friends again:









    Day #1:
























    Video summary of day #1:

    And that was it for Day #1, after some well needed sleep, I was there bright and early at 16:30 for Day #2 and Niko's set that was starting earlier than originally planned:














    we ended with Gareth Emery's laserface
    we ended with Gareth Emery's laserface







    Video summary of day #2:

    And just like this, after 18h30 over 2 days, it was over. It may not quite be EDC, but honestly the lineup and the music were great, and it was a lot easier/cheaper to attend. Heartily recommended. Hopefully I'll see you all for the next one:


    2018/11/21 Paul Van Dyk back at 1015, Folsom
    π 2018-11-21 01:01 in Clubbing
    It's now been ages since I first saw PvD at 1015 in 2001 and then he was back at 1015 in 2004. It was great to see him again there. Not only that, but my friends Blurr and Triode, as well as Sonic Fuzion were also spinning that night. All 4 rooms were going:




    Taj was next, just before PvD
    Taj was next, just before PvD


    basement was also banging
    basement was also banging



    PvD was next at midnight
    PvD was next at midnight



    and just like that, it was over after 2h
    and just like that, it was over after 2h

    Blurr took back over for the rest of the night
    Blurr took back over for the rest of the night

    Video summary:

    See more images for Paul Van Dyk back at 1015, Folsom
    2018/11/20 Jennifer 44th Birthday Dinner at Manresa
    π 2018-11-20 01:01 in Dining
    Since last time we went it was 8 years ago, time flies. Since then, they picked up a 3rd Michelin star and raised their prices accordingly ;)

    Last time I think I was not impressed because it wasn't the typical french tasting menu I was used to, but also because the service was quite slow and the whole dinner took 4H, which is just too long in my book. This time it was better timed, and some of the dishes that I was less impressed with were replaced by new ones that were all quite tasty with multiple levels of flavaours.
    The wine pairing cost arond $250, which clearly wasn't cheap. Jennifer was ok with it, but I think she would have appreciated more red wines, even if a good amount of dishes we had were better paired with white.


    we started with what looked like macaroons with pate de fruits, but were actually salted
    we started with what looked like macaroons with pate de fruits, but were actually salted

    sea urchin
    sea urchin

    tasty ostiestra caviar
    tasty ostiestra caviar

    lovely dish with edible flowers
    lovely dish with edible flowers

    so cute
    so cute





    dessert #2
    dessert #2

    and dessert #3 with a candle for the BD girl :)
    and dessert #3 with a candle for the BD girl :)

    and dessert #4 just to be safe :)
    and dessert #4 just to be safe :)

    2018/11/06 BBR Private Track Day at Thunderhill
    π 2018-11-06 01:01 in Cars
    I just had a motech system installed in my car which gives detailled logs of how I drive my car, namely how much and exactly when I pushed on each pedal compared to where I was on the track. Once the improvements you can do get smaller, it's easier for coaches to get a data log to compare their near ideal lap against your best lap and look at telemetry to see where you are slower.

    this is how coaching happens now :)
    this is how coaching happens now :)

    With the time change, the morning flight was not in the dark:



    We had around 10 cars:






    Sadly one of the cars had a not quite explained oversteer in turn 15 and did a full 180 before hitting the inside wall hard. We're thinking it might have had a tire failure:

    that wall was supposed to be straight
    that wall was supposed to be straight

    the rebar got ripped out
    the rebar got ripped out

    TH put the wall back in no time, I guess it wasn't the first time
    TH put the wall back in no time, I guess it wasn't the first time

    poor car
    poor car

    In the meantime, while the track got slower in the afternoon, I slowly relearned what I manage to forget every time I go, and got my time down to a record 1:47 (for me) on the 3 mile track with the bypass after putting on fresh tires. I could have gone faster in the morning when the track was faster, so my guess is that in ideal conditions, the car can do at least 1:45. Nothing to sneeze at :)

    This was my best session where I managed a few fast laps, including 1:47:xx

    With the same time change, the flight back was darker :)


    2018/11/06 Caterpillar Growing Kit for Jennifer's Birthday
    π 2018-11-06 01:01 in Public
    What do you get someone who already had everything? :) Well, live caterpillars of course :)

    They come in a container that has food:

    they were quite small when we got them
    they were quite small when we got them

    they quickly grew
    they quickly grew


    After a week or so, they turn into chrysalis and stay that way for over 2 weeks. Those weeks are not very eventful:


    they make a shell and drop what their used to be their head
    they make a shell and drop what their used to be their head

    we then cleaned the gooey hair and install them in the growing kit
    we then cleaned the gooey hair and install them in the growing kit


    after much wait, the first butterflies finally got out
    after much wait, the first butterflies finally got out


    when they get out, they don't fly yet, they need time for their wings to harden
    when they get out, they don't fly yet, they need time for their wings to harden

    Sadly one of them had a shell that did not open right, got stuck while trying to get out and broke both its wings and a leg :(


    once I confirmed that the poor thing even had a broken leg and was apparently bleeding through its broken wings, I ended its suffering
    once I confirmed that the poor thing even had a broken leg and was apparently bleeding through its broken wings, I ended its suffering

    Over the next few days, the other ones came out too, the last ones just in time before our trip. We went to release them before flying out:







    Within a few minutes, most of them had flown off. Sadly the weather is not ideal for them anymore as nights get cold and rain was in the forecast, but we hope they make it.
    All in all, it took 22 days from when we got the shipment with baby caterpillars to setting them free.

    2018/11/03 Pendulum at Mezzanine, SF
    π 2018-11-03 01:01 in Clubbing
    While it's not my main music, I have a soft spot for Drum and Bass, especially since I first listened to Pendulum on essential mix more than 10 years ago.

    Sadly, Pendulum started playing late (00:30) for only 90mn's worth, a bit underwhelming to say the least, but the set was good, using good old vynil no less.
    Thankfully, Steven Ross, Kowta, and Dirtyphonics before him, gave good set too:






    By 00:30, Pendulum finally showed up





    It was a good set, glad to have seen him for the first time in SF.

    See more images for Pendulum at Mezzanine, SF

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