Tuesday, April 9, 2013

Hawaii, Part II

I received a text message from blog reader Captain Todd the yesterday telling me how much he enjoys the traveling posts I write.  Again, I think of myself as a political blogger, so the acclaim I get from folks for what are essentially meaningless rambles always baffles me.  But, he demanded more, so who am I to argue.

When last I checked in, it was the wee hours of yesterday morning with my Eastern internal clock in stark conflict with local Hawaiian. Time.  I had a productive morning, with a few blog posts, a few witty Facebook posts and a little Twitter.  Around 0600, I found a cheap eggs joint about a ten minute walk away, so I headed there to staunch some of the bleeding that will be the cost of food on this trip.  Hotel food is sometimes expensive, resort food especially so.
My blogging perch

I found a wonderful hammock just off the beach after breakfast where I lounged for a bit, watching the tourists come down early to ensure good pool and beach seats with towels that will sit there for hours without accompanying bodies.  This seems to me somehow immoral, but also, appears to be the rules of the game.  After a while I went for a walk down the street that included a stop at the ATM.  A short while later, I realized that I did not have my ATM card anymore, as it and some cash were the only things I had in my pocket when I left the hotel, and now I only had cash.  So I went back to the machine, which was attached to a Bank of Hawaii branch.  There were a few folks who were sitting at desks with customers, so I signed the "sign in" sheet and sat down, waiting to ask someone to see if I had left the card in the machine and retrieve it for me.  Nearly thirty minutes later, none of the customers had moved from their seats with the bank staff, so I finally accosted a teller to explain my problem.  A can do fellow, he went and checked.  No luck.  So I had apparently either not left it there, or left it in the machine long enough to be collected.  I went back to the hotel and called the bank to kill the card, and was informed that the miscreant in possession of the card had treated him/herself to Coldstone Creamery Ice Cream  just after my ATM transaction.  A total of $3.88 had been fraudulently charged, and the bank was very serious about explaining to me how to file a claim.  At the end of their explanation, I told the nice woman that this was an example of what Brother Tom calls, "the stupid tax", which is, when something costs you money through your own stupidity. She laughed, but urged me to file anyway.

I decided to to drown my sorrows at having lost my ATM card by getting a Swedish Massage, from a Japanese woman at the spa in the hotel.  It was ghastly expensive for a 50 minute session, but worth every penny in relaxation.  When it was over, I went up to my room to watch the basketball game, but took a nap instead when Michigan had the game well in hand in the first half.  Mistake, I am told.  When I awoke, I dressed and met General Dan for a steak dinner just down the road from the hotel.  General Dan is really thriving here in this environment, and we had a great time talking about things we talk about, including daughters and quasi-daughters who appear to be growing up a tad too quickly for either of our comfort.  We agreed however, that our views on the matter were generally discarded by all involved.

As you can tell, yesterday was not a work day.  Today is, however, and I am here to speak on Thursday at the Association of the US Army Land Forces Pacific Forum 2013.  Today was the opening day, and after a bit of morning exercise and breakfast, I headed to the venue.  As you might imagine, it was chock full o' Army dudes.  The morning's agenda was pretty decent, though not earth shattering, and I spent a good bit of time trading snarky text messages with a friend in attendance. 

It is now the lunch break, and I hit the Japanese restaurant from the other night for a sashimi lunch that was to die for.  Coming back up to my room in a long, long corridor of rooms, there was only one maid cart visible and yes, you guessed it, she was in my room.  I don't know about you, but when things like this happen, I truly believe the cosmos is conspiring against me. Like when the dork in front of you at the ez-pass lane clearly doesn't have ez pass--when that happens, it isn't just an accident.  It is karma taking a bite out of me.

More when anything interesting happens.


Tom de Plume said...

$3.88 is not much a a stupid tax. Stupid spare change you might give a homeless guy. The real cost was your time.

Anonymous said...

So how did someone use your ATM card? Do you have the PIN written on the back?

The Conservative Wahoo said...

It is also a debit card.

"The Hammer" said...

You need a handler.

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