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Technically Geeking: A Week Off From Tech

Hale Ohia Cottage

Hale Ohia Cottage

a blogumn by Justin Time

Last week saw a huge spike in tech news largely due to the attractive 9/9/09 date for launching new wares. To summarize, in order of importance: iTunes 9, iPod Nano, Palm Pixi, Zune HD, Motorola CLIQ, and The Beatles Rock Band.

Okay, now that those things are out of the way, let me say that I was glad to be on vacation last week, so that I didn’t have to bite my nails while I poured over all the specs on these products. Fellow geeks, you know what I’m talking about – a week of vacation means a week without computers, gadget news, and constant emailing and social networking. You might even read a real book, not that I did (I think I’ve forgotten how).

Better yet, a week in Hawaii takes you even further out of the technocracy. While I was pleasantly surprised to find that the Big Island had widespread cell coverage with 3G, I was equally satisfied with the discovery that the Wi-Fi in our rental house was not working, providing a welcome respite from our computers.  Here is some of the Hawaiian technology I did spend a little time with instead:

•  Ukulele – a Hawaiian interpretation of a small Portuguese guitar… easier than it looks
•  Surfboard – known as Papa he‘e nalu in Hawaiian… harder than it looks
•  Snorkel – breathing apparatus for breathless views of fish, coral, turtles and stuff
•  Flashlight – used to find your way through pitch black lava tubes
•  Outrigger Canoe – Okay, we only rowed in its distant relative, the kayak
•  Mai Tai – actually invented in Oakland, but it sure is at home in Hawaii (and my belly)

Perhaps the best example of awesome low-tech is pictured above. We spent one night in this amazing cottage near the rim of Kilauea, Hale Ohia, where they practiced rain harvesting due to the lack of city water in the area. In fact, they built our bedroom out of an old rainwater tank, and the new one resided right under the cottage. No TV… but well stocked bookshelves.