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Nature on Video

February 10, 2016

 

Kapalua Beach Sunset Maui Hawaii

Sun setting off of Kapalua Beach on the Hawaiian Island of Maui.

The whole basis for My Blu Horizon is to provide nature videos that you can view on your computer screensaver, tablet, phones, etc., so that when you can’t make it outdoors, we bring to you so you can at least experience the thrill of the thundering waterfalls or the tranquility of the sun setting of a Hawaiian beach without having to travel there.  The videos can’t replace the experience but they can hold you over until you return to Angel’s Landing or Yosemite Falls or wherever your escape may take you.

Videos capture and hold forever these moments in time, however, they will never change.  They only hold that particular moment.  Althought they provide the senses with the sights and sounds of nature, they are only the sights and sounds attributed to that moment in time.

Enter Webcams. There are a large number of webcams throughout the world that bring the unpredictable nature, of nature, to your desktop, tablet, etc.  As I write this blog I can watch the sun setting off of Santa Monica Beach on the Explore.org webcam for Santa Monica.

Explore.org is a website that provides access to webcams all over the world.   From watching Pandas in Gengda, China to the waves of Waimea Bay on Oahu, Hawaii.  The beauty of the webcams is that you can watch the scenes as they unfold.  I can watch the beauty of the single Hawaiian sunset off of Hideaway Beach on the Hawaiian of Kauai,  Hideaway Beach Screensaver, any time that I want but it will always be the same scene.

With the webcams you can see the actual scenes as they unfold.  Whether its Weedy Sea Dragons or Giraffes in Africa, with Explore.org you can see the scenes live.  Now don’t expect to watch the Giraffes live in Africa if you live in North America unless you get up really early or stay up really late.  There is a time difference and it’ll be night in Africa at 1pm Eastern in the US.  You can obviously watch the livecam recorded highlights should you be visiting the website during off hours.

Explore.org is not the only website that provides live webcam feeds of nature.  There are a number of National Park webcams that provide live feeds from Old Faithful in Yellowstone National Park to Yosemite Falls in Yosemite National Park.  You can also visit the Giraffes in the Houston Zoo on their platform cam or Winter the dolphin on the Clearwater Marine webcam.

Either way, when you’re missing the outdoors and stuck under the florescent lights in your office, click one of the webcam links above or leave your favorite link in the comment section below.

Always remember, “A man could be a lover and defender of the wilderness without ever in his lifetime leaving the boundaries of asphalt, power lines and right-angled surfaces.  We need wilderness whether or not we ever set foot in it”  Edward Abbey.  Webcams and Videos can’t replace actually being outdoors, but until you can get out there, enjoy the Webcams and our Videos on My Blu Horizon.

Have a great week and Escape your Reality.

 

 

 

 

 

 

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Our Furry Kids

September 24, 2015

I grew up in the country and strive to get back there every day.  Since I can remember, I’ve always had at least one dog, which is somewhat remarkable considering my father hated animals when I was growing up.  He was bitten by a rabid cat as a kid and at that point in time they automatically gave you six weeks worth of shots in the stomach.  It has been remarkable over the years watching my father grow to love animals as he saw how important they were to my life.

One of my best friends, Roman, and I love our dogs. We refer to them as our furry kids and I can’t imagine life without them.  I’ve unfortunately had to put a number of them down, Brandy, my Miniature American Eskimo passed away from complications due to Cushings disease.  Angus, our Enlish Bulldog passed away at young age (four) due to an inoperable brain tumor and Ghost, my Siberian Husky, passed away at the age of eleven due to complications from a urinary tract infection.

My mother once mentioned that the pain of losing one of our pets was almost too unbearable to warrant having another one, but I can’t imagine my life without them.  The pain, although excrutiating, has never eclipsed the years of joy and happiness they brought.  Whether it was staying up late at night watching the movie Hidalgo, hugging Angus and Ghost almost to the point of suffocating them I was holding on so tight, or Ghost howling at the top of her lungs when she could see me outside but couldn’t be outside with me.

I mentioned Roman; his dog when we first met, Overton, was half Saint Bernard, half Border Collie.  He was a pound puppy that was the most tolerant, lovable dog you could imagine.  Whether it was the numerous times we dressed him up in his beach attire or his Halloween Costumes or the time he very calmly walked by Roman and I at a party and very calmly reached over, snagged a piece of cake and never broke stride, just kept walking by.

Today finds us with our furry kids Maya, my Siberian Husky and Diesel, our English Bulldog.  And we have been joined by my one year old daughter, Mattie.

The whole purpose of this long winded narrative is that Roman forwarded me this link today from the Huffington Post. .  It’s about a photographer, Ben Moon and a tribute to his dog, Denali, and their adventures together.  Before you watch the video make sure you read the article and as the writer says, “Don’t watch this unless you’re OK with openly weeping in your current location.”

For those of you with pets you’ll understand the comfort and unconditional love that our dogs provide us. For those of you without, I hope that someday you can experience the love of a dog.

Enjoy the video and hug your dog tonight.

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November 15, 2011

Rewiring the Brain to Ease Pain http://ping.fm/vNhd5 via @WSJ

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Kauai really “Revealed”

December 1, 2009

For those of you that haven’t made it to any of the Hawaiian Islands, the first bit of advice I will give is study up, save up and go. I have yet to be dissappointed by any of the three islands that we have had the pleasure of visiting and can’t tell you how relaxing it is just sitting on the beach. Now having said that I don’t sit on the beach very well, I’m usually out exploring and will do what I can to discover places that haven’t been seen before or are least likely to be regularly visited.
If you don’t have a considerable amount of time or don’t want to or have no desire to get off the beaten path there are numerous beaches on the island off Kauai that will more than satisfy your need for the tropics. I’ve had the luxury to read the Frommers and other books about Hawaii but my favorite books about the island for those of us that don’t actually live there and can’t spend time finding the best places, you need to read the “Revealed” Series by Andrew Doughty. Specifically,The Ultimate Kauai Guidebook: Kauai Revealed, was our guide as we had used the “Big Island Revealed,” on our trip to the Big Island two years ago.  I absolutely love these books and read them religiously prior to planning a trip to one of the Hawaiian Islands.  There are some negatives to these books that I’ll explain  a little later but as a whole they are wonderful.

These books give you great directions for planning where to stay, the locations for the best places to eat, well you get the point.    From the food stand point they’ll give you directions to some great places and yes when you walk up to the Raggae painted Shave Ice shack (Jo-Jo’s Clubhouse) take them for their word.  The service at Jo-Jo’s was great when we were there and the Shave Ice was even better.  Not quite as good as  Tropical Dreams Ice Cream but the shave ice on the island is wonderful.  By the way the only place to get Tropical Dreams on Kauai is at the Kilauea Video in Kilauea.  They don’t open early in the morning so plan your visit for afternoon or evening.  If you skip it, oh well, your loss.

“Revealed”, gives excellent directions to numerous trails and waterfalls throughout the island and the island truly is a garden paradise.  I will have to admit I have an affliction with the east side of all the islands, as that is where the majority of the rain falls, but the whole island was absolutely fantastic.  When they tell you to take the first dirt road or the hidden left, they mean it.  Take it and any warnings they give you to heart.

For almost all of my life I’ve done everything I could or could afford to get off the beaten track.  I’ve hiked the Rocky Mountains alone for weeks at a time and climbed the cliffs of secluded canyons just to see places others may not have tread.  This book will show you the hard to find waterfalls and toughest trails and the hole in the wall eating establishments.  But if they tell you the trail is not for the faint of heart or not properly manicured.  They’re trails people, look up the early settlers and covered wagon trails from the origins of manifest destiny.  There are a number of places throughout the book that tell you to head warnings or that certain trails are more for experts; you might want to take that to heart as well.  We ran into a group on the Na Pali Coast Trail that were sincerely angry that the trail wasn’t properly manicured.  I’m just curious, yes there are portions of the faintly worn trail that if you miss a step you could be shark bait, but did you not read any of the signs or actually read about the trail you were about to take before you took off on it.  They’re trails, not roads, go to New York if you want concrete and roads, go to the Na Pali Coastline if you want to see raw beauty.  As far as the trails are concerned, they’re trails but they’re nowhere near the most difficult in the world.  Having said that I’m not sure I would take Na Pali for my first long, 22+ mile trek round trip, hiking excursion.

When choosing places to eat, the book was spot on.  If it says the resturant has great food and exceptionally slow service, they mean exceptionally slow.  I’ve seen dead people move faster.  I have yet to be disappointed by any of the eating establishments that are recommended by “Revealed”.  And yes I do mean the hole in the walls you wouldn’t expect to pass health care inspection.  If they say its “ono” they mean it.  Did I mention Tropical Dreams Ice Cream, good, really, really good.

The “Revealed” series of books is very detailed, you just have to know the details to follow.  It would also be worth your while to get copies of the actual trail maps to go along with the book and in my case I study the details of the book in accordance with the maps.  That way I have physical landmarks to go by once I actually get on the trail.  And the maps aid in actually following the trail that sometimes disappears.  It also is advisable that if you’re going off on some of these trails to take a compass or a GPS.  I actually use the two previous and I have a personal locator beacon, Find Me Spot, just in case you get lost.  I’ll review the Spot later.

The trails, locations of waterfalls and scenic beaches are not the only details the maps in the “Revealed” books show.  You can also find the farmers markets, where they’re located and on what days the markets are actually open.  For instance, on page 46 you’ll see the farmers market close to the Kilauea lighthouse is available on Thursdays at 4:30 pm.  By the way these farmers markets are usually in a parking lot or open field.  They aren’t in grocery stores or strip malls.  But the fresh fruit, heliconias, ginger, etc., are well worth the visit.

As far as the negatives are concerned the book details several items of consideration but you have to  head their warnings.  They have constant updates on their website http://www.wizardpub.com, but it’s up to you to check the site and the local laws and current restrictions.  We ran into a couple that had passed through some government posted no trespassing signs and consequently were going back to Hawaii to fight their trespassing violation tickets they had received from the Hawaiian authorities.  Theft on the islands is their second favorite past time behind only surfing.  We have yet to visit an island that our vehicle’s weren’t broken into.  We’ve gotten to the point that the last several times we just left the vehicle unlocked and literally nothing in it.  Take theirs and our word for it.  Don’t leave anything in sight.  When we were visiting with a couple of the locals they specifically told us, when they vacation, on other Hawaiian islands, they shy away from any of the convertible’s when they visit any of the other islands because of the theft issue.  You might want to heed all of our warnings. 

Oh and make sure you get the insurance on your vehicle.  You’ll be surprised of the number of ways you’ll need it.

If you’re going to visit one of the Hawaiian Islands, I strongly suggest you read the book for the corresponding island.  Without the book you’d have missed Secret Beach on Kauai.

You can get the book by clicking The Ultimate Kauai Guidebook: Kauai Revealed

Enjoy the islands and the books.

My Blu Horizon

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November 18, 2009

What triggers your anger, frustration, depression and what positive thoughts do you use to replace the negative thoughts?

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October 22, 2009

http://ping.fm/68eW6 ( http://ping.fm/gtqw0?sms_ss=pingfm )

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July 1, 2009

Currently enjoying the cool weather the rain has brought. Dropped the temp from 107 to 93. Man do I miss Kauai.