Pancakes, Beach, and Church

At first I was planning on blogging every night of my vacation. Obviously I missed last night so that's a wash. Really it's just a ploy to have enough material to write about.

I'll start with Saturday morning. Honolulu has a place with a famous recipe for banana pancakes and macadamia nut sauce. It's a tiny, hole-in-the-wall kind of place called Boots & Kimo's. There are about 6 or 7 tables, and there's usually enough people there that they need to take your order outside before they find a table for you. This is more than made up by the sheer delight that is the pancakes. I've been keeping a list of foods that I expect to find in Heaven. These were just added.

For the afternoon, we were taken to the Bellows Air Force station. During the week, the beaches are closed for maneuvers, but on the weekends, half the beach is open to the public, and half is open to military personnel and their guests. John's brother-in-law is in the Air Force, so we got to be on the military side. Lol

I've been to the Atlantic Ocean and the Gulf of Mexico before, but neither of them were the brilliant turquoise that the Pacific had this day. Several good pictures were taken, and you can find some of them here.

Sunday we went to church with John's family. The band played a couple of old praise songs I knew, and a couple I'd never heard before. The sermon was on the letter to the Church in Ephesus found in Rev. 2:1-5. This is the passage saying that the church had done good works, but had forgotten the love that they had had in Jesus. I've been feeling convicted lately that I've been really selfish lately, not spending time developing my relationship with the Lord like I should, and this really hit home for me. I thought that it was ridiculous of me to be looking for a wife, a woman to share my life with, when I'm not even pursuing the relationship I have with the God who saved me.

To do something about this, I'm going to try to find time to spend in prayer. It's something I've known I needed to do for a long time, but I never was motivated enough for some reason. Busy schedules and an overabundance of entertainment tend to crowd spiritual things off the schedule. No more. At least for tonight. Who knows how committed I'll be tomorrow?

Aloha!

A couple days ago Ryan suggested that I should start blogging here. That sounded reasonable, and now that I'm on vacation, I feel like I've got stuff to talk about. Tongue

The count right now, is that I've been up for just over 23 hours. I woke up at 5 this morning to gather the travelers and catch the flight out of Louisville International at 7:30. After some connecting flights to Chicago and Los Angeles, we finally arrived in Honolulu at 4:30 Hawai'i time. For those of you keeping track at home, that's a 6-hour time difference.

In short, Hawai'i is amazing. As was recently said, "it's like someone set the thermostat outside to 'perfect'". Used to a long Louisville winter, I couldn't agree more. Of course, the locals say they think it's kind of chilly, but that's their prerogative. Even after dark, it's still a pleasant 70-something degrees.

Despite how late it felt, we went to the Tsukiji Fish Restaurant and Bar. This was my first experience with sushi, much less buffet style. I'm sorry to say that I wasn't that impressed. I like to think I'm an adventurous individual, and I did try several different kinds of fishy delicacies. But none of them were really something I'd care to eat again. However, the highlight of the meal was when I got the Hawaiian shaved ice. They had listed several different flavors: vanilla, strawberry, orange, melon, condensed milk, ... azuki beans. OK, condensed milk is a strange snow cone flavor, but what are azuki beans? I decided I wanted melon, but I meant to ask the lady making the dessert, "What are azuki beans?" in case I wanted them. I said it a couple of times, but she must have decided I wanted orange with azuki beans. I didn't want to be rude and just refuse it out of hand (remember, I'm adventurous), so I accepted the offered condensed milk that was drizzled on top.

Azuki beans are a lot like black beans. Not in flavor, but in texture, if they were mashed a little. I got the feeling earlier that azuki beans don't really go with orange flavoring. I was right. Melon is a better fit, but still not great. Kind of like raw fish in general.

Ubercart Announcing Its Candidacy

<img align="right" src="http://www.bywombats.com/files/uberbadge.gif" style="margin: 0em 0em 1em 1em;">After a lot of work from the development team and community, <a href="http://www.ubercart.org">Ubercart</a> has decided to stand on its own two feet and <a href="http://www.ubercart.org/news/apr-02-2008/ubercart_moving_release_candida... its candidacy</a> for a 1.0 release. We're excited about Ubercart's non-partisan politics and history of improved e-commerce sites, but several pundits are worried about his lack foreign policy experience. Don't let them dissuade you! There was a time when Ubercart survived a DDoS attack as fierce as any sniper fire when deploying on a non-profit website in Bosnia.

Yes, Ubercart wants you to believe in the fierce urgency of now. <em>Now</em> is the time to update your existing sites to the <a href="http://drupal.org/project/ubercart">latest release</a>. <em>Now</em> is the time to <a href="http://www.ubercart.org/forum">post</a> your feedback and <a href="http://drupal.org/project/issues/ubercart">bug reports</a>. <em>Now</em> is the time to polish up this release so we can dream of a better future on Drupal 6 and beyond.

Feel free to read more if you want some of the details.

Thanks for reading, and Ubercart for President. <img src="http://www.bywombats.com/sites/all/modules/smileys/packs/example/smile.png" />
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Our initial alpha release was made over a year ago, and the switch into betas was long in coming. We started posting betas on January 7th, and through the help of a very responsive, knowledgeable, and excited community, we're finally at a state where we feel confident putting up a release candidate.

This does not mean Ubercart is feature complete for everyone... as we've learned through the process, there's just so much people expect from an e-commerce suite that you can't do everything! Sadly, a release candidate doesn't even mean the features there don't have a few bugs left to be massaged out. Fortunately, that's where you and our large and growing user base come in. You are essential to helping us isolate problem areas, apply fixes, and make Ubercart even easier to use.

Furthermore, we'll be posting a roadmap in the near future outlining our plans for future versions and Drupal version updates. The sooner we get to 1.0, the sooner we can update for Drupal 6 and bring e-commerce on Drupal into uncharted territory. I'm as excited as anyone about all the improvements D6 brings to the table, so let's work together to get to the 1.0 release as fast as we can. 8)

Knight Foundation Recognizes the Value of Drupal Development

I'm always a little ashamed to answer Drupal surveys on third party sites, so a while ago I prepared and submitted a proposal to the Knight News Challenge to develop a beefed up survey module that would start getting some use. As part of the challenge, the module's specification included connecting survey results into geographical locations, allowing localized sites to create chart and map based presentations of the survey responses. I had fun dreaming it up and proposing it, and it didn't cost me any more than a few hours' time.

The proposal was denied. Cool However, it did receive recognition through Knight's site as a top proposal for 2008. I'm sure other Drupallers have submitted applications, and I wouldn't be surprised to see a few of them be chosen for funding. The Knight Foundation has shown in the past that it has no qualms investing in Drupal as a news and community publishing system, so keep an eye out for the announced grants in May and consider what you might do to apply for a grant next year!

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