Sunday, April 30, 2017


The Maui News continues to report on the export of sand, with Mayor Arakawa calling for a moratorium. Honolulu Construction & Draying, "the premier producer of concrete on Oahu," was identified as the exporter. Not to worry, they said, we are planning on importing sand from British Columbia to make up for it.

This is clearly above my pay grade.

Meanwhile, Maui County is under a flash flood watch. If I wanted to sit in the rain, I could have just stayed home where we had the wettest winter since 1895. No wonder I was depressed!

While a rainstorm could be the perfect recipe for a steaming cup of coffee, I recently discovered Japanese iced coffee. Boiled down, the method calls for replacing half the amount of water used to brew the coffee with ice. I made it using a 10-cup Cuisinart drip coffee maker and it turned out great, consistently. I highly recommend trying it, especially if your coffee maker doesn't make especially good coffee. It's quick, easy, and makes an incredibly smooth cold brew. Add some coconut milk, and you have the perfect island coffee.

Last, but not least, cancer sucks. I would love to say more on the subject but the words won't come. They'd be inadequate anyway. Rest in peace, Phil. And peace to everyone who loved him. He will be missed by many.

Thursday, April 27, 2017

Shifting Sands

On April 23rd, in a regular feature of The Maui News called "Ask the Mayor," Mayor Arakawa explained the policy issues surrounding the export of sand from Maui to Oahu. On April 27th, The Maui News reported that $9.3 million is included for Kaanapali Beach restoration as part of Hawaii's proposed legislative budget for $1.1 billion in capital improvement projects.

Interested in the problem - even the concept - of beach restoration I tried to find out more about Kaanapali's restoration project. What I found was more about the problem than the solution - articles going back to December 1997. This one, prepared by University of Hawaii Sea Grant Extension Service and County of Maui Planning Department entitled "Beach Management Plan for Maui," does a good job of not only explaining the problem but references studies going back to 1971 which illustrates just how large a problem this is.

Regular visitors to Kaanapali Beach may be aware of the seasonal shifting of beaches as a result of currents. But unless they have been long time visitors, they may not be aware of the total effect of erosion.  Take a look at this promotional video from 1964 to see what the Kaanapali Beach looked like once upon a time:

You can get a glimpse of what it looks like right now:

Maui Eldorado Web Cam

Wednesday, April 26, 2017

Got out of town after Tax Day.

The in-flight movie was The Accountant.

No, really.

Sunday, April 23, 2017

Publisher's Weekly Ranks Mercy over Not Giving a F*ck

The Maui News - Sunday, April 23, 2107
And Bill O'Reilly over "The True Jesus." Should we be worried?

Thursday, April 20, 2017

Sweet Dreams?

Hardly. I dreamt about partnership basis last night.

At least I'm somewhere warm.

Sunday, April 16, 2017


Yes, please, automate my job.

The software we already use comes close and I suspect the IRS has some pretty sophisticated software to process all those tax returns on their end. It won't be long and Amen to that.

The last week before Tax Day is when the most complicated returns get done. (Extended, to be precise.) I don't know why this is - whether it's on the part of the taxpayer or the tax preparer or a combination of both. Just a week ago, a client came in with 300 pages of tax documents. (That's an exaggeration. It was actually a little more.) Can we get an extension ready for him, he wants to know.

While an extension is a single piece of paper, it's worthless if a reasonable attempt to prepare the return and estimate the tax has not been made. An extension only provides additional time to file the return, not pay the tax, so the return needs to get at least to the point of figuring out whether the taxpayer needs to pay and how much.

I am thankful to my employer who has invested in the software that helps me get through those 300 pages in a matter of a couple hours. 300 pages (whether paper or digital images) get converted to TIF files which get read by software that organizes them into sorted and bookmarked PDFs. Another process extracts the information to populate the tax return in the tax program. And viola. Tax return.

Not exactly that simple but it's getting better every year. The software doesn't read most deductions yet, for example. (Or capital gains or losses from sale of stock.) Which means, I'm late for work. I was handed a list yesterday of the returns that still need to get extended. It was in teeny tiny print so it was only the length of my arm.

Please send coffee to my work address. If you can't do that, bring coffee to your closest tax preparer. I guarantee they will appreciate it. (And there's a pretty good chance they're in the office today.)

Friday, April 14, 2017

Searching for a document this morning, I was surprised to see I had one named "To Do List." Thankfully, there was nothing on it.

That was a close one.


Saturday, April 8, 2017


I didn't want to get up this morning but I could see daylight creeping around the window shade and knew, by definition, I was late for work.

Almost Back to Normal

March 25 (two weeks ago)

March 27 (even higher)

April 5 (three days ago)

April 7 (yesterday)

Where did it all go? The ocean surely must be full now. But, yesterday, we had high winds. (Did they blow all the water away?) 

" South wind 25 to 35 mph with gusts 35 to 50 mph. Local gusts to 60 mph. "
We noticed.

On our walk/run yesterday, we had to lean into the wind or be swept off our feet. We watched as an Alaska flight, on approach from the west to PDX, was diverted. Tugboats had trouble keeping control of their barges. One, approaching the I-5 Bridge, spun completely around. Another, upriver, managed to hold steady mid-river but was using a lot of power to do it.

It'll be interesting to see what's in store for the river today.