Back to the Island

Aloha, friends. It’s been a while. Despite the fact I’m revisiting Lost, don’t expect another gargantuan blog post recapping the television action. Instead, I’m sharing a few pics I captured during a tour of O’ahu this past week highlighted by several sites you’ll recognize. Enjoy the tour.

The canal where Sun and Jin first meet.
The canal is in the middle of downtown Honolulu. Sun and Jin were walking along the canal’s edge on the right (picture taken as we were driving over the bridge).
Locke didn’t have much luck with dear old Dad.
Here’s John’s “crash site” (note the triangular grass and sidewalk) where he has his first fateful meeting with Jacob.
Santa Rosa Mental Health Institute where Hurley spent a good chunk of his time brooding over his seemingly cursed luck.
Despite how it appears from a distance, the location is actually pretty dilapidated at this point. Paint is peeling off the place and multiple windows are boarded up.
The show’s crew dragged the stone table and stools from across the street (directly behind me as I took the previous picture).
Sawyer shoots the Dharma polar bear in Season 1.
This was shot right off a paved road. Much of the ground foliage has been cleared out.
Sun’s oft-featured garden.
As with the polar bear site, much of the ground foliage has been cleared. The location is just off a well-worn path used to get to a public beach. There’s a public parking lot about 50 feet off to the right.
Among my favorite scenes…”PEE ON IT!”
Here’s the “Pee Beach.” This is a public beach about 50 feet from Sun’s Garden (behind me as I took this picture). You can match up the trees in the distance with the video.
You’ll recall Yemi’s (Eko’s brother) church during his flashbacks.
All of the Nigeria flashbacks were filmed on the grounds of a defunct sugar cane plantation and factory. It is now private property so this is as close as we could get.
And here’s the interior of the church as seen on the show.
The interior was actually shot in a church albeit about a half-mile away from the sugar cane plant. Above is the (functioning) church where the interior was shot.
The ill-fated plane laden with heroin-filled Virgin Marys and Yemi’s body taking off from the airstrip in Nigeria.
The real site is actually a functioning airfield: Dillingham Airfield not far from the sugar cane plant.
Pala Ferry, formerly a dock used by the Dharma Initiative and repurposed for The Others’ nefarious aims.
And here’s the location as it stands today. It’s hard to make out but all that’s left of the pier are the pilings that rise just above water level. Our guide tells us the pier was a constant victim of dry rot and would be reconstructed anytime a film or TV project needed the location. Good way for the owner to “maintain” it without footing the bill himself.
Our first meeting with the (apparent) “Others.”
Here’s the site in reality. You can see the rocks Jin runs from (chased by Eko and other tail section survivors) to the left of the trees.
Home to the Dharma Initiative, this village in the middle of the Island featured all the conveniences of modern living.
The filming location is YMCA Camp Erdman. We got lucky on the day as they do not allow visitors to walk around if kids are on-site and outside. Our driver bemoaned (as did we) that they recently painted all of the houses blue instead of keeping the yellow color featured on the show.
Ben during a scene of quiet reflection at his house alongside “Locke.”
Ben’s house as it currently appears flanked by our tour guide. The guide is leaning against a bathroom. So, in the scene above, the actor is looking directly at the door to the mens’ room about 10 feet in front of him.
Smokey having a pow-wow with one of the villagers.
And here’s the newly-painted gazebo in real life. We may or may not have re-enacted the scene above and captured pictures you’ll never see…
And we come to the grand finale…the original crash site of Oceanic 815.
The location did not disappoint. Aside from the distraction of a few scattered beachgoers, you could feel yourself transported into the show.
Looking down the beach in the other direction. This is where everyone who returned from a mission came around the corner and was greeted by the adulations of their fellow castaways.
Hard to forget the terrifying noises emanating from the jungle on the castaways’ first night on the Island.
The palm trees seen being trampled by Ole’ Smokey were actually all CG painted into the area above. The crash site beach is directly off of the paved road above (the beach is behind me as I took this).

I hope you enjoyed that quick look back. It was nice to immerse myself in this world again after being away for so long. Until next time!

Thanks, Dave.

As much as I’d love to write a 5,000-word essay on what Letterman means to me, I’ll say only that he profoundly influenced not only what I find funny but also the ways one should carry themselves in life (both because of and in spite of his actions over the years). I will miss him and his show terribly.

In lieu of that aforementioned essay, I’ll point you to a recap of a trip my buddy Ross and I took to NYC back in 2002 to see the Late Show. It was a big deal for me at the time and now, with the benefit of time and the power of nostalgia, is one the the most important memories in my life.

2002 New York City Trip Recap

Of Ducks, Mice, Fireworks, Food, Wizardz & Frivolity

After returning from an epic vacation with my girl, it occurs to me it’s been far too long since I’ve put together a full-fledged trip report. Alas, this report will probably be mainly bullet points and pictures, but take what you can get. You can view the full image galleries here or on Facebook. Enjoy.

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A-Vail-ing We Will Go

Yes, I remain fully aware of the fact the site’s gone without frequent updates for the better part of a year, and no, that shan’t change anytime soon. However, I come bearing digital gifts in the form of some pictures from a recent trip to Vail, Colorado with Dr. Jones and the Bossman (coming this Fall to CBS, coincidentally). Broken bones and ice rash were avoided long enough to take a half dozen good pics along with a heap of half-hearted shots of treez. Click the pic below to view the gallery.


It’s unfortunate the pictures don’t quite do Vail as much justice as being there in person. You’ll have to excuse the lack of grandeur as I chalk it up to the fact the most spectacular views came whilst perched precariously atop a chairlift 50 feet above the slopes or barreling down the mountain at Bode Miller speeds*. Mr. Jones took some shots as well that I’ll endeavor to add to my gallery once available. Stay tuned.

As I’ve oft-stated in the past, I’ve got about twenty drafts of quality posts in various stages of completion I vow to complete soon (“soon” = within the next decade). In the meantime, enjoy browsing through the archive for posts outlining the myriad uses for squirrel technology in our modern age.


Outer Banks 2010

Click the image below for the full gallery.


I don’t see any real need for a full-fledged trip report, as I can summarize each and every day of our vacation as follows:
7:30am – Good morning, Gil.
7:35am – Eat breakfast.
7:50am – Stumble around for a while.
8:30am – Change; head to the beach.
8:35am – Frolic.
12:00pm – Lunch.
12:30pm – Pool.
12:40pm – Back to the beach.
12:45pm – Read / raft.
3:00pm – Pool / beer / cornhole / water balloon salvo.
5:30pm – Dinner.
6:00pm – Beer / cornhole / chipz.
8:00pm – Movie / lampshades on heads / dance party USA.
10:00pm – Pass out.

Rinse, lather, repeat.

Pearl Jam – Philadelphia 10.31.09 Review

The Spectrum – Philadelphia, PA
opener: Bad Religion

Main Set: Why Go, Last Exit, Corduroy, Severed Hand, The Fixer, Elderly Woman Behind The Counter In A Small Town, You Are, Amongst The Waves, Even Flow, Pilate, Unthought Known, Daughter/(ABitWp2), Johnny Guitar, Rats, I’m Open, I Got Shit, Glorified G, Out Of My Mind, Black, Insignificance, Life Wasted

1st Encore: Just Breathe, The End, Low Light, Speed Of Sound, Jeremy, Inside Job, Bugs, Spin The Black Circle, Porch

2nd Encore: Whip It, Got Some, Crown Of Thorns, Satan’s Bed, Sweet Lew, Do the Evolution, Better Man/(Save It For Later), Smile, Alive, Rockin’ In The Free World, Yellow Ledbetter/Star Spangled Banner

It’s been nearly 14 years since my first Pearl Jam concert in 1996, and I still remember it fondly. I’ll always remember Justin walking into the locker room asking who wanted to go see Pearl Jam just before the bus left for a soccer game on the road in Williamsville. The sudden lottery jackpot of a PJ ticket predictably kept more than a few of us on the team preoccupied during the game, and it showed in the result, losing by more than a few goals. I remember frantically trying to get coach to let me hitch a ride with Justin and Steve and failing because I didn’t have a note from my parents; finally getting a ride downtown from one of the other guys on the team. All of 16 years old at the time, my first concert surpassed all of my expectations going in, and holds a place in my memory as one of those transcendent concert-going experiences that shaped your youth and set you off upon your course to adulthood.


(Probably an exaggeration in retrospect; I’m sure I was still doing homework and playing video games the next day.)

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Presque Isle

A few friends took a trip down to Presque Isle over Labor Day weekend, endeavoring to eat hot dogs, sit on the beach, have some drinks and enjoy the prospects of a few days without work. Mission: accomplished.


Click here for the full image gallery: Presque Isle 2009 Image Gallery.

Coincidentally enough, there was a feature story on the place in The Buffalo News the following weekend: click here for the article.

Fort Collins 2008 Trip Report (Part 2)


There’s nothing quite like the 6:45 am wake-up call of a ringing phone after a night full of dancing, drinking and hospital visits to make one thrilled to be alive. I slowly peeled my eyes open, brushed some Cheetos off my pillow and picked up the phone to hear Dannyboy tell me our rental cars were going to be towed at 7am if they weren’t moved out of the neighboring bakery’s parking lot. What? Oh yeah, I parked in the bakery parking lot yesterday because there was no room in the hotel’s lot. Shit.

I didn’t “sprint” so much as I “lumbered” out of the hotel room and down to the street to move the car to a now-available spot in the parking lot. It was then back to bed for an altogether too brief hour or two. But, in actuality, sleep was low on the list of priorities this whole week. We were all having too much fun to bother meeting our daily REM sleep quotas, and today would be no exception.

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Fort Collins 2008 Trip Report (Part 1)

When: September 2-7, 2008
Where: Fort Collins, CO
What: The Ross Madden-Kelley Rees Wedtacular
Who: Ross, Kelley, Boo!, Andy, Courtney, Steve, Lindsey, Dannyboy, Christine, Jamie, PETER ROE, Sean, Dr. Jones, Jenna, Martha, Jeff, and Justin Toy
How: Planez

I’m on a trip-report-writing tear at the moment, having just finished Virginia 2007, so what better time than now to write another one?

* * *

Okay, it’s been two weeks since I wrote that sentence above; I developed a severe case of writer’s block and haven’t touched this report ’til today. Of course, I could have said nothing and you’d have been none the wiser. But no, I hold nothing back from my readers; I lay it all on the line for you. And by “all,” I mean “several minutes of my time.” But I digress. Sit back and enjoy the latest excerpt from my forthcoming auto-biography, “Gee Willickers: A Boy’s Life.”

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Virginia 2007 Trip Report

This report’s been a long time in coming, existing only as a rough outline of the shenanigans, tomfoolery and hijinx experienced on a trip down to The Homestead in Virginia for the unforgettable wedding of our two friends, Courtney and Andy.

The When: June 7-11, 2007
The Where: The Homestead in Hot Springs, VA
The What: The Wedding of Andy & Courtney
The Who: Steve & Lindsey, Seaners, Dannyboy, Jenna & Justin, Jamie, Ross & Kelley, Yours Truly

The long trek down to Virginia from Buffalo was pretty uneventful until I reached the rugged back country of West Virginia, greeted with some breathtaking views whilst navigating the 168 hairpin curves up and down the Allegheny Mountains. Had I the misfortune of plummeting over the sheer cliff faces alongside the road, at least I would’ve had a fantastic, panoramic view of the countryside!


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