A few weeks ago I left my Analytics position in Denver, Colorado, to join my partner Kate in Hawaii. She is a nurse, and she took a position taking care of the last remaining patients who were cured of Hansen’s disease (formerly known as leprosy). Kalaupapa has a short, but rich, history, and, for those of you who are Catholic, you may know that this small village was the home of not one, but two, saints. Father Damien and Sister Marianne came to Kalaupapa to care for those afflicted with the disease. Father Damien caught the disease and died of it, though Sister Marianne did not. Both were beatified in the last ten years.
Kalaupapa is visually stunning. As you can see from the photo, it is flat peninsula that extends out into the ocean. The north end of Molokai broke off and fell into the ocean leaving the highest sea cliffs found anywhere in the world. Then, 250,000 years ago, lava came up and formed the peninsula. The location was chosen for the Hansen’s patients because it was difficult to escape. At the bottom of the photo, one can see the start of the black sand beach. The next photo shows it and the cliffs more clearly.
Anyway, you can see why I say that the place is visually stunning. The combination of the green cliffs which loom behind you with sun, sand, and ocean in front makes for some beautiful scenery. Over the coming months, I will write more about the place. Click here to go the National Park Service site for the place.
Someone asked me about my siblings, and I thought I would share a video of one of them. My younger brother Erik is a composer and performer in Austin, Texas. He’s performed on dozens of albums, produced about fifteen of his own, and was admitted to the Western Swing Hall of Fame. Here’s a video of his group at Flipnotics, a small cafe on Bee Caves Road on the west side of Austin.
He composes gypsy, western, swing, folk, and surf guitar! Here’s another example of him playing one of his surf guitar compositions (“Flash Flood”). It makes me so proud to see him play as he is so gifted.
I am tone deaf; he has perfect pitch. But he says, “Gee, John, you know how to do all that computer stuff.”
I drive an old car. 51 years old to be precise. And this week I saw a Volvo commercial with my car in it (well, technically, it’s a ’66 in the commercial, but that’s as close as I will ever get). Nice commercial, and Irv Gordon (who you will meet) is a legend in my car community.
I drive P1800 Chassis #5046, manufactured in November 1962. (When I say that I drive it, I don’t mean that I drive it as my second car; I mean that it’s the only car that I drive. 🙂 Here are some photos that I took of my car when it was tagged in California. Drive an old car? Send me a pic!
In 1994, just after the birth of the modern, graphical web, I registered my surname domain (Hokkanen.com). Over the past 20 years, it has been home to many different sites, changing with the times as technologies and needs have changed. At different times, it has been dedicated solely to different goals ranging from being a professional site to focusing on a trip around the world. For nearly two decades I ran my own servers in a commercial data center. But due to relocation, I have taken those servers off-line, and this opens new possibilities for me.
So I have decided to create an entirely new web site, using WordPress to create a blogging site. The idea of having informal posts to share ideas seems interesting, and so that’s what I plan to do for the forseeable future. I hope you enjoy the ideas. Feel free to contact me about any of these materials.
The Department of State alerts U.S. citizens to the heightened risk of terrorist attacks throughout Europe, particularly during the holiday season. U.S. citizens should exercise caution at holiday festivals and events. This Travel Alert expires on January 31, 2018.
Recent, widely-reported incidents in France, Russia, Sweden, the United Kingdom, Spain, and Finland demonstrate that the Islamic State of Iraq and ash-Sham (ISIS or Da’esh), al-Qa’ida, and their affiliates have the ability to plan and execute terrorist attacks in Europe. Last year, mass casualty attacks occurred at a Christmas market in Berlin, Germany in December and a nightclub in Istanbul, Turkey on New Year’s Eve. While local governments continue counterterrorism operations, the Department remains concerned about the potential for future terrorist attacks. U.S. citizens should always be alert to the possibility that terrorist sympathizers or self-radicalized extremists may conduct attacks with little or no warning.
Extremists continue to focus on tourist locations, transportation hubs, markets/shopping malls, and local government facilities as viable targets. In addition, hotels, clubs, restaurants, places of worship, parks, high-profile events, educational institutions, airports, and other soft targets remain priority locations for possible attacks. U.S. citizens should exercise additional vigilance in these and similar locations.
Terrorists persist in employing a variety of tactics, including firearms, explosives, using vehicles as ramming devices, and sharp-edged weapons that are difficult to detect prior to an attack.
If you are traveling between countries in Europe, please check the website of the U.S. embassy or consulate in your destination city for any recent security messages. Review security information from local officials, who are responsible for the safety and security of all visitors to their host country. U.S. citizens should also:
Follow the instructions of local authorities. Monitor media and local information sources and factor updated information into personal travel plans and activities.
Be prepared for additional security screening and unexpected disruptions.
Stay in touch with your family members and ensure they know how to reach you in the event of an emergency.
Have an emergency plan of action ready.
Register in our Smart Traveler Enrollment Program (STEP).
We continue to work closely with our European partners and allies on the threat from international terrorism. Information is routinely shared between the United States and our key partners to disrupt terrorist plotting, identify and take action against potential operatives, and strengthen our defenses against potential threats.