Nostalgia.

I know I’m showing my age here, but I’ve been in a nostalgic mood as of late. Yesterday I asked Spotify to play a “great tune for Valentine’s Day” and it surprisingly came up with “We’re All Alone” by Rita Coolidge.

I was instantly transported to the back seat of my father’s 1971 Heavy Chevy, listening to 62 WHEN, riding with the rest of the family up Interstate 81 between Syracuse and Watertown, New York. Mom in the front seat, me sitting behind her, my sister to my left behind Dad as he drove us home from my grandparents’ home in the city to our mobile home next to my grandparents’ farm in the country.

Listening to Rita sing this track through headphones was an amazing journey. I was struck that I immensely miss the sound of music delivered through analog means and the experience of listening to an entire album, instead of random songs selected by algorithm.

I tried not to think about what a cover version of this track on “American Idol” or “The Voice” would sound like; any youngster (there’s my age kicking in) singing this song today would over-emote, engage in very unnecessary ‘melodic’ acrobatics, have pains of overwrought emotion and bad singing on their face, and make shrieking noises while an engineer backstage undoubtedly applied AutoTune1 to make it sound ‘perfect’.

Rita’s version is nearly perfect as it was recorded in 1975.

The complexities of the control required to sing this song properly are evident in later performances of this song by Rita; as she got older her voice lost some of its’ shine as age is wont to do. I stopped her Farm Aid performance of this song in 1986 about a third of the way in; I didn’t want to put tarnish on the memory of her sheer brilliance of the original performance. Watching this video from sometime in the 1970s (which sounds like it was a lip sync to the original track), I can’t help but admire the sheer beauty of Ms. Coolidge and of the song itself. Rita always presented herself as a very classy lady in her performances at this point in her career, and I found her to be a beautiful woman.

From 1975, here’s “We’re All Alone”, by Rita Coolidge.

1I stand by my opinion that AutoTune is absolutely the worst technological advancement of the late 20th century, and one of the worst crutches known to musical performances.

Impressed.

I’m always amazed at what Google Photos can do to a photo with a little stylizing. The colors are amazing!

Cold.

I believe tonight is the first time during this winter season that it’ll get below zero Fahrenheit. I was hoping we’d get through the season without temperatures dipping that low but Mother Nature seems to always accomplish her plans despite the increasing amount of interference from the humans running around on her planet.

I’m taking the expected cold temperatures tomorrow morning as a signal that I should workout inside and focus on my strength training with my resistance bands instead of going outside and burning of cardio through a lively walk. I’m not in the habit of trying to freeze my face off just for the heck of it, even if it means the chance of a lower number on the bathroom scale.

I’m sure the workout tomorrow morning will be quite dandy. And cozy warm.

Distraction.

I’m finding the political talk on Twitter exhausting so here’s a photo of some fish. They’re in the Pacific. Near Oah’u.

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Upright.

Remember when we were going to solve all the world’s problems once our computers were all connected together in this “Information Highway”?

Instead we’re all spending the evening making our brooms stand up without support because of a “planetary tilt”.

UA 705.

We are on the final leg of our trip home from Hawaii. We are onboard United flight 705 from San Francisco to Chicago O’Hare. It’s a beautiful night to fly; the air is smooth and the sunset is beautiful.

Our flight from Honolulu to San Francisco was aboard a United 777-200 “version 4” with the same amenities as I wrote about on our trip out. The experience was great, the service was great, and the WiFi worked better over the ocean than it did last time. The only thing I missed was live radio feeds from the cockpit, they were not turned on for that flight. We also went through some impressive turbulence for about 90 minutes of the flight.

This 757 is comfortable. We are in the first class cabin again. As a narrow-body aircraft we don’t have the pods or lay down seats but there’s plenty of leg room and the seats are comfortable. Some of the crew on our last flight are also on this flight.

Food choices are a hamburger on a pretzel bun or ravioli. I opted for the hamburger which apparently relieved the FA as she said they had plenty of those and 1K passengers always get their first choice.

I need to become a 1K passenger. Someone please let my husband know.

The WiFi and entertainment server is having issues, according to FA Ryan’s announcement. When in doubt, reboot, and they did that. It’ll take a few minutes for it to come back up.

It’s running Linux and it’s locked down pretty well. (grin)

The 757-300 is showing a few signs of wear but overall it’s a comfortable airplane and we are having a pleasant flight. As I recall, pilots certified to fly the 757 are also certified to fly the 767 as the cockpit configurations and handling characteristics are very close. I find that rather cool.

The passengers in 1E and 1F are very high maintenance. Jamie helped them with their luggage and getting it into the overhead bin. It’s too hot. It’s too cold. The coffee is too strong. The tea is weak. Where is the washroom. The list goes on.

I just smile and thank the flight crew. They all work hard and I feel like they’re under appreciated more than they should be.

The WiFi is now up and running and there is much rejoicing.

I have finished my warm nuts, I’m enjoying a 312, and I’m going to sit back, relax, and enjoy the flight.

Relaxed.

It is our last evening on Oah’u and I am sufficiently relaxed. This vacation has been wonderful with a nice balance of activity and downtime. I’ve had time to parse and defrag lingering thoughts I brought along, make plans for the future, and spend some time assessing my state of the world in an introspective way.

I’m in a good place.

I would be happy with another week away but we have further adventures coming along in 2020 and I have those events to look forward to.

I always enjoy people watching on Disney properties, especially here at Aulani. It takes a big of a commitment to come here from the lower 48 and I always enjoy the diversity and blending of cultures one sees here. As I stated in a previous blog entry, I need to bottle up some of Hawai’i and bring it home with me. Maybe I’ll find some Hawaiian candles or something.

Tonight we enjoy a family dinner and then hit the hay early for an early flight tomorrow. I’m looking forward to the continued experience.

Light.

The key to beating the darkness is to bring in the light. Open the curtains. Let the light in.

Aloha.

I’ve spent the morning walking the beach front path that passes by all the resorts and such here in Ko Olina. It’s a bit humid today but the breezes are keeping things under control.

Driving in from our adventures yesterday I saw a road sign advising of road closures starting February 8. I was momentarily confused because this is not weather I associate with February. It’s nice to be having this confusion.

While I’ve been online during this trip I’ve been keeping my social media interactions down to a minimum. I have participated in some conversations but there’s so much yelling and screaming going on and I just don’t have time for it.

The pacing of this trip has been great. We’re doing things here and there and having a lovely time but we’re also relaxing and taking it easy. I’m finding my center again. I want to capture it, along with the natural scents of O’ahu, in a bottle and bring it home with me. I like reminders and reminders keep me focused.