Archive for category PicO’daDay

The Perfect Hawaii Vacation – Island Living in Kauai

Rainbow over Ka'napali Coast, KauaiSitting here now in the colder parts of winter, I was thinking back fondly to my trip to Kauai for some recharge and writing time after a business trip to Honolulu. It’s no secret that I love Kauai as an authentic Hawaiian experience, but I also love it for how it feels. A wonderful couple we met at the famous Tahiti Nui one evening provided a remarkable insight on this feeling – that “you can’t tell if you are in the air or in the water, it’s the same temperature as your skin.” That might not be true in the hotter summer months, but what is true is that evidence of what Deepak Chopra calls the bliss particle is all around you, from the moment you get off the plane.

The two times we’ve been to Kauai, we opted for staying on the North Shore, both due to the single lane road that takes you far from the airport and because the only real ‘chain’ business there is the local Foodland. Our first visit we stayed at the St. Regis using all of my SPG points to escape and recharge. This time, we were fortunate to meet Jacalyn at the HomeAway Summit in Seattle and learned about her family’s BeachinKaui property – we fell in love with this gorgeous property in Waihina immediately. You can see for yourself why in the 360/VR photos of the property below (though they are not well lit with my Theta 360 VR Camera).

Everything with the house thankfully was perfect. We had one issue which was resolved super quickly and graciously, handled like the true professionals they are. The house has a solid kitchen with a great lanai for breakfast almost every day, usually after a walk on the beach to catch the sunrise or the tail end of it (as we slept in).  Apparently the producers of the “I Love Lucy Show” built the house back in the day, and of course, “Lucy & Desi Slept Here”. The bed’s were comfortable, the bathroom was very well done and well stocked. They even had a detached ‘kids’ room that had multiple beds to host up to 10 or more. And outback, there was a smaller unit for couples retreats that could be rented with, or separately from the main house to host an extended family group.

Take a look around the house yourself:

#Kauai #vr #homeaway #theta360 – Spherical Image – RICOH THETA

View from the front Lanai of the backside of Waimea Canyon

#Kauai #vr #homeaway #theta360 – Spherical Image – RICOH THETA

Living / Dining Room / Kitchen

#Kauai #vr #homeaway #theta360 – Spherical Image – RICOH THETA

Master Bedroom

#Kauai #vr #homeaway #theta360 – Spherical Image – RICOH THETA

Master Bath

#Kauai #vr #homeaway #theta360 – Spherical Image – RICOH THETA

2nd Bedroom

#Kauai #vr #homeaway #theta360 – Spherical Image – RICOH THETA

Backyard Lanai (looking at other unit on property)

#Kauai #vr #homeaway #theta360 – Spherical Image – RICOH THETA

Breakfast Lanai

#Kauai #vr #homeaway #theta360 – Spherical Image – RICOH THETA

Covered Outdoor Lanai (downtstairs) with grill

#Kauai #vr #homeaway #theta360 – Spherical Image – RICOH THETA

Outdoor Shower

One of the best parts of doing a vacation rental instead of a hotel is eating healthier and more inexpensively, which we did throughout while still having great meals around the island.  Of course another great thing is being able to do our laundry, which I needed to do after traveling for more then 2 weeks straight. But the best part of staying in a VR like this one, was the sense of what it would be like to actually live there, and the sense of peace and calm I got from staying at this wonderful house eclipsed my expectations.

While we ate dinners out and stepped out for a Mai Tai on a few evenings, I really enjoyed making dinner and staying in one night, barbecuing some type of white fish we had never even eaten before. Starting with some maguro sashimi and seaweed salad we bought along with the fish from The Dolphin in Hanalei. We also managed to get some local purple potatoes and great wine from the Foodland. It was just an awesome vacation, with some work each day writing and several trips to the beach to worship the sun a bit across sunrise, rain storms and sunset.

This time we did get a trip to the south shore when we went on an amazing helicopter ride with Mauna Loa Helicopters where we got to fly with the doors off (and, um, didn’t have the same weight restrictions). First time doing this in Hawaii, and what a great tour of the island. Afterwards we went by Spouting Horn blowhole before Sunset where the explosion in the chicken population was a bit more fascinating then the blowhole itself at this particular time of day.  We also went shopping at the stalls, where we found a great hand carved wooden plaque of a surfboard with the islands laid out across it. Then over to a quick Happy Hour mai tai at Merriman’s Fish House and then dinner in the amazing little town of Koloa at La Spezia, a fantastic Italian restaurant.

This was perhaps one of the best Hawaiian vacations we have ever had. So much more left to explore though. Thankfully, staying somewhere like BeachinKaui really makes it feel like we are living not just visiting the beautiful island of Kauai.

Sunset on West Side of Kauai

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Preparing for the Future, We Must Understand our Present

Seeing more clearly, our future through the lens of the present...As part of the IBM Futurist programs, #NewWayToWork and #NewWayToEngage, I’ve received great access to some of the brightest folks around IBM. To talk with them, learn from them and become friends with them. Is IBM perfect, no, of course not, no one is. People have bad days, some people have bad attitudes and some are just bad ass! Everyone is different, which is why I appreciate the chance to meet so many different people in my life’s journey.

But truly, one of the best parts of being in both programs, is the access to other futurists, many of whom were already friends, some of which have become my friends.  Next week, I get a chance to get together with them again as part of TED at IBM, as well as with other soon to be friends whom I not only never met, but in some cases never even heard of before this event. People who give me hope, who inspire me, who have ideas that will make mine better and with whom I hope to reciprocate in appreciation of their gift.

In preparation for next week’s event, they asked many of us to answer a bunch of questions about the world today and what’s really important to us. This is important, because to understand the world in which we live (and the organizations in which we work), we must make visible and understand our common and disparate values. What we each hold dear, or even sacrosanct. The answers below, while simple in some cases and maybe obvious in another, also tells a bit about the story of that person. At least if you actually know them it does in a more meaningful way.  See for yourself and scroll past it to see a personal addition, a photo of the only personal item I would take with me on a long term space mission.


So what is the one thing I would bring with me? Did you read it in the presentation or just skip? No matter, it is this note my mom left for me one night when I flew home after living away in Philadelphia for a couple years. If you are interested in learning more about my mother, just ask my fraternity brothers about the time she stayed in the frat house and how she touched their lives. Or you can read it from her own words in this book she wrote on her life with Cerebral Palsy.

From across the whole of my life, it’s the most precious thing in, other then my wife Kristie, but she’s a great human, not a great thing 🙂 Anyway, just felt like sharing as I am feeling overwhelmingly grateful at this moment for an amazing week in DC and looking forward to another great week ahead back in San Francisco, with my friends, old and new, as we look to the future together.

My Mom's note I carry with me everywhere.

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My Photo in Opening Sequence of Intruders on BBC

In the ain’t it cool department, this ranks up there for me. As many of you know, I love photos, and occasionally take some pretty good ones – portraits, landscape, abstract, weddings, sunsets, conferences and more.  Occasionally, I shoot photos from planes of the earth below. So this one time while we were circling SEA-TAC on my way to help launch Social Media Club Seattle in December of 2006, the sky was just too brilliant to pass up, so I whipped out my Canon Rebel and grabbed this amazing shot of Seattle and Mt. Rainier (that has been viewed a whopping 282 times)

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Looks like it will be viewed a few millions times over the weeks ahead with the season premiere of new BBC “paranormal thriller” series called Intruders tomorrow night – debuting right after Doctor Who’s season premiere with the new Dr! Check out the series opener for Intruders below and you can see my photo at the 19 second mark.

So to answer your question, they found it through Creative Commons but I am expecting a small licensing fee from communications with the production company. Regardless, I am just ecstatic to have something I shot used in a television series being aired by one of my favorite media companies, the BBC where so many of my friends have worked over the years. Given the ‘special relationship’ I have with the UK (me personally), it’s all the more special. Given that this premiers right after Dr. Who, well, that means I get to share a moment with a bunch of friends when we watch this together at my house tomorrow night. You are coming right?

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Memorial Day 2010 – For our right to live free

I didn’t get to visit the local military cemeteries in San Francisco this year, so I made a short tribute to those who have served for a higher purpose in service to our country and our freedom. The photos were all taken by myself over the years at the Presidio, in Washington D.C. and down at the Golden Gate National Cemetery.

Thank you for protecting our freedom, and for reminding us how precious and invaluable it is.

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A Love Note to Hawaii

Hawaii, The Beautiful 

View SlideShare presentation or Upload your own. (tags: hawaii maui)

I say this with the greatest sincerity, I love you Hawaii. We had such a marvelous time that I wanted to share some of the great beauty from your islands with others, so I put together this little slideshow to help tell a small part of our story… I hope you like it.

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Looking good, feeling good… soon to be all good!

With mom the year before she passed So Kristie and I are finally getting serious about the weight loss – I am sure we will lose plenty of weight before the wedding in 3 weeks… Oy ve, the self defeatist bit of me keeps coming out on this one. I have thought of myself as fat (I mean big boned) for so long now, it is hard to imagine myself at a healthy, happy weight again. The last time I was even close to my ideal weight of 215 (which was a pretty fatty 222) was after I had Montezuma’s Revenge down in Costa Rica in July of 2004.

It has mostly been because of the fact that I get the munchies at night, particularly after drinking.  I have eaten some crazy stuff in my day – cheese and ketchup with whatever meat is left over in the fridge for instance.  So just cutting out that will help a lot.  Stopping drinking helps me lost quite a bit just off the top too…

Now though, I have started working with a new coach – a really darn good one too.  Spirtiually aware, but grounded and pragmatic rather than hokey.  Will speak more about Stacey over time, but for now, want to get back to the weight loss…

The photo here is of my and my mom the year before she died. I was in the midst of Guru Communications, the first year I wore a goatee to try to look a bit older and get more respect for my young 26 years of age in charge of a 35 person company.  I was skinnier then because I was broke – mom would give me $5-10 to eat on and get gas for the day – I was living at home at that point, just prior to moving into the sweet SoBe Mansion (not quite, but it felt like it).  Shortly after this I started gaining weight and never went below 200 since.  I felt awesome though – high energy and generally pretty happy, but I never felt that I was good looking – self esteem issues – some of which I still struggle with I guess, which is partly to blame for the weight issue today, but only partly.

Now, however, I am much more comfortable in my own skin and confident in my talents and abilities, though I am completely embarrassed when people think I look like Roger Moore, which is a good motivating factor in itself.  Back then I could never have done the speaking I am doing today – would have been shaking as if I was having a seizure of some sort.   I still have some difficulty even seeing me at 215 pounds again, let alone the 195 I would really like to hit by this time next year, but if I do, maybe I will do that talk show.  I can do it, I just need the support of friends and loved ones – I need to keep hitting the gym everyday, no matter what else is going on and I need to eat the sorts of foods I know I should be eating but don’t.  Of course, emotionally and mentally, it is a lot more complicated, especially lately, but it is totally within my power.

If you can believe, you can achieve…

I scanned in a bunch of photos of me from over the years, in some of which I actually am pretty good looking. Check out the football one in particular – was so stoked that made it into the yearbook 🙂

PS – yes I have had a problem with big hair over the years – pretty damn funny in retrospect


iPhone – Chris’ Pic o’ DaDay #6

MacWorld2007 - 19.jpgI have been using my Treo 650 for a long time now, and generally have a love/hate relationship with it.  In working with MobiTV over the past couple of months, I have really been seeing some amazing phones that put great video in your hand, but have been holding off on buying one to wait for the iPhone.  Looks like I need to wait around 6 more months for this, but I need to get a better phone in the meantime, so if you have a good suggestion for what we should do while waiting for the FCC to approve the iPhone, please let me know.

I wish this could have been better quality photo, but we had to send back the Cannon Rebel XT because the repairs they did under warranty for an autofocus problem rendered the camera pretty useless.  So sorry about that – I had intended to use this series of blog posts to highlight a beautiful picture.  Instead, I highlight a beautiful piece of technology (you should have seen the technolust dripping off of everyone’s wide smiles).  Check out the rest of the photos I took of the iPhone, Steve Wozniak and the AppleTV at Flickr


Chris’ Pic o’ DaDay #5

Sunset in JamaicaI can’t believe how long it has been since we were in Jamaica.  On November 23, 2005 we were standing on the beach in Negril, looking at this beautiful sunset. As it turns out, this was my last night of freedom before getting engaged to Miss Wells. The colors here were just stunning and well captured by our little camera, so the sunset can speak for itself.

What I need to speak to is the little place we were taking these photos from, Jimmy Buffet’s Margaritaville in Negirl.  Like most of the overly touristy places, it was geared a bit too much towards the pedestrian sensibilities that goes along with loving TGI Fridays way too much and a little craziness that you get in the mornings  if you have a morning “Zoo” radio show in your market.

But as with all drinking frozen drinks while listenting to reggae and carribbean music, we had fun nonetheless. The Margaritas were awesome (go for the good stuff, avoid the shelf tequilla – Patron is my favorite).  Looking at this photo for the past 15 minutes while writing this is really helping me reconnect with the beach mentality – it feels good! Which reminds me, we heard a new Jimmy Buffet song on Internet radio the other day, I need to go check out his latest album in iTunes…

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Chris’ Pic o’ DaDay #4

Tahoe_Xmas - 12.jpgWow – am I really posting 4 times in one week on the same meme? Shows what a little perseverence and will power can do – now I only need to do the same sort of mental and emotional gymnastics in regards to my diet and exercise regimen and things will really start picking up. Which is kind of the subject of my Pic o’ DaDay #4 – FoodPorn!

Ok, it is not exactly food porn in the traditional sense, but it was quite a special meal.  This was the fist Christmas dinner I ever really had a chance to cook for Kristie and me (2006) – it was also the first time I ever cooked a Turkey, which actually came out quite good, though the top of the bird got a little bit dry due to the 30 minutes of extra cooking time for high elevation (Lake Tahoe).  The gravy it made was amazing, and the Stove Top Cornbread Stuffing was wonderful (but you need to get creative with the broth and the ingredients – finally a recipe secret I have that you don’t!).  It went really well with the Duckhorn Sauv Blanc, but would have gone better with the ZD Chardonnay if I did not forget it in the freezer for a quick chill that ruined it – DOH!
In the end though, the meal was good, but the company was better – my first Christmas alone with my honey pie.  Sorry future-mom-to-be for missing your holiday gathering this year, if you decide to forgive us, I am looking forward to another Wells’ family Christmas on the Oregon coast next year…


Chris’ Pic o’ DaDay #3

Martini GlisteningThe sad thing, this is one of the worst tasting martini’s I ever had. You know how sometimes when you order a martini, the bartender has never had one and they use too much vermouth? Well this was not one of those times, it was worse. This was a situation where the Bar (in this case Bar of America in Truckee) tried to pass off the cheap vodka as a Belvedeere and it just tasted awful. I will never order another martini from them (and rarely go back there since the bartenders are typically so rude).

Fortuantely, it did provide a great photo, the solitary olive on a stick, with vodka legs slowly falling down the side of the glass and glistening perfectly. For a closer look, check out the Martini Glistening on Flickr…

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