Tuesday, October 27, 2009

Maui No Ka Oi

Sue and I popped over to Maui Friday night to mooch free room and board off of my friend Ian while he was there helping to host an Iron Man event. We were there for the day Saturday, and again that night. We got back to Oahu Sunday morning.

So far Sue and I have been on three trips to Maui. We've never been up the hill to Haleakala. We headed 'Up Country' and on up to the Volcano after breakfast. We stopped a couple times along the way. From Kihei, it took about an hour and a half for us to get to the top. Although it was a cloudy day, the clouds pretty much vanished at around 7,000 feet. From there until the summit at nearly 10,000 feet it was crystal clear. The air is so thin up there, the sunlight was intense. It only took us about 20 minutes to turn a little pink.

There is something about looking a landscape as immense as the Haleakala volcano basin. I saw across the floor of terrain eight miles wide, and lost all sense of scale. In fact, the peaks of big island poking out of the clouds were clearly visible from the precipice. Awesome.

On the way back down, we decided to stop at the Ali`i Kula Lavender Gardens. It's hard to explain the appeal as a heterosexual male, but it is noteworthy, and I will try. The Lavender Garden is several acres of land mostly filled with lavender (shrubs?) and several other visually and herbally unusual flora. The overwhelming scent of lavender immediately chillaxed me. If you've ever heard that the smell of lavender is a soothing agent, you should believe it. It was like a big field of purple chill.

In our haste to cram a trip into a single day, Sue and I overlooked lunch. We arrived at the Lavender Gardens hungry, and found the Gallery (gift shoppe) in the middle of the garden acreage. The shop offered several rubs, fragrances, decorations, and YES foods made with lavender. I think we ate about a dozen almond lavender cookies with our herbal tea, and then went back for lavender scones. *burp* Not bad. Lavender has an mellow peppery accent about it. Odd but fun.

Here's a movie I did from just the volcano part of the trip.

Wednesday, September 30, 2009

Dinosaurs at Bishop

I took the kids to the Bishop Museum after work again today. It's fun to spend an hour there and let everyone stretch their legs before we get back in traffic. The new temporary exhibit is called "Dinosaurs Unearthed". It will be running until January 3rd. There's about a dozen animatronic dinosaurs in front of and inside the first floor of the exhibit hall. Of course, there's also the classic bones, and placards, but we kind of go for all the noise and scare factor.

It's the kids second time to see the exhibit. They are off from school for break right now and went with Sue last week.

I took them again today and put all our video footage from both trips together with a little homage to "The Land Of the Lost". I think that corn-ball show was my introduction to dinosaurs, so it fits well in our home video.

Tuesday, September 29, 2009

Tantalus


It's my birthday this Friday and a friend of mine wanted to catch me early in the week and give me my gift before all the hullabaloo later this week. Tantalus is one of those places I've heard about, but never thought about. It's nice to know that after three years on the island there is still so much to see. Tatalus is a breathtaking lookout on the Eastern ridge that defines the Manoa valley. It faces South and from that point you can see most of the South shore: Diamond Head, Waikiki, Honolulu, the airport, the harbor, and Barbers Point. It is one of her favorite places, I felt honored that she took the time after work to share it with me, talk story and then treat me to dinner in the valley.

Saturday, September 26, 2009

Surfs Up

I guess the winter is finally here. You can tell because the surf is up on the North Shore. It has been overhead since Tuesday. I drove up twice this week on Dawn Patrol to get ninety minutes of thrill before my day at the office. There is nothing like a drive into the country an hour before sunrise when the surf report is over 10' (face). You get so excited its like being over-caffeinated. There might be smooth buttery walls to carve, or it might be some double overhead blown out choppy monster. It's also a time for mental inventory, surfing 10 feet over a reef is actually kind of dangerous. Time to think about some of your life decisions.

On Tuesday I shot for almost an hour, then got washed up on the inside. I took the opportunity to go back to the car and grab the surf cam. This was a fun camera session. The North Shore was smooth enough that when the sets weren't firing I could change up the camera position. This video is the result of that session. I think more than any other one I've put together, it gives you feeling of what its like to play with the waves.

Saturday, September 19, 2009

Thunderbirds

Sue had to work today, but the kids and I met up with Eric and his kids at Hickam Air Force Base for the Thunderbirds airshow. It only took us an hour to get in and parked, so we were on the tarmac an hour before the Thunderbirds 3:00 show. This gave the kids plenty of time to climb around on the static displays and parked aircraft. They probably climbed through the cockpits and holds of 3 or 4 cargo craft, a couple of helicopters, and even a large Coast Guard plane.

We brought ear protection and camped just left and behind "air show center". It was amazing watching planes fly in elaborate formations just feet apart. The soloist also made several runs at each other breaking away at the last instant. The energy was intense and the kids really got into it. Sometimes Nate would shriek when the planes looked like they were going to collide. Ben liked the inverted passes, and was impressed (unusual for Ben) when the announcer said that they were flying at speeds of over 500mph. We had an awesome time.

I sample and stitched some video from my iPhone. The grainier spots are were I tried to zoom in later during the edits.

Tuesday, September 15, 2009

Sunset Photo Opp

Every month the company posts an internal newsletter with the latest company info and a profile article on an employees. This month it was my turn. Nancy, the communications manager, asked me for a picture of me and the family doing our thing on the beach. I write software for a living, and she asked if I could wear my "CodeWarrior" T-shirt for the shot. I wore it to work last month and got a lot of comments.

To facilitate the photo opp, we had a family sandwich dinner at Hau Bush after work. It's winter now, so by the time we got there the sun was already starting to set. We took the picture and I still managed to get in a 20 minute session while Sue lifeguarded the kids. She made ono chicken salad sandwiches, with a hint (ha ha) of fresh paprika. We enjoyed those while the sky turned purple.

Side Note: I finished up editing the latest surf video over the weekend. It uses footage from the new rail camera mount I mentioned in this post.

Sunday, September 13, 2009

Splash at Hawaiian Waters


After church today, the kids and I went to use our season passes at Hawaiian Waters, water park. A couple hours there, and nap time is noooo problem.

Sue was out sick today. She had us all worried with a 103˚ fever that sprouted in the middle of the night. Pua ting missed church, the water park ... and.. work! They have a strict three strikes absence policy, so hopefully she won't get in too much trouble for it. Feel better Sue!

Here's a cute video of No`i vs. Water-Jet at the park today.

Saturday, September 12, 2009

Weekend Hike

Sue and I recruited a new baby sitter. We arranged for her to watch the kids this morning while Sue and I made another hike up Koko Crater. It's our fourth time going up together, and it seems like it's become our new regular thing. I'm encouraged. We feel stronger each time we go.

On our way back we stopped at Rainbow Drive-In. Right near the end of the Alawai down town. We enjoyed some ono pork cutlet, shoyu chicken and took some beef stew home. I think their mac salad might be the best on the island. (Except for home kine of course!)

Saturday, September 5, 2009

Garage Sale

When we moved to Hawaii from Norfolk three years ago, it was all done in haste. The trash cans were practically packed by the movers with the trash still in them. Our Norfolk home was 2,300 square feet with half an acre of yard. The house here is about 1,650 square feet with enough yard to start up the mower. So between the mélange we should have purged then and the size of the house now, we were busting this joint at the seams with surplus detritus.

We've been planning this sale for about three months, I think Sue and I finally got serious about it last month. We went through the house room by room and opened nearly every box we brought here from the East Coast. We sorted the assemblage into three piles: sell, give-away, and throw-away. The sorting part was actually easier for us to do than we thought.

The day started at 4AM with me posting a series of signs around the neighborhood. The Adams family provided us with some canopy tents and fold out tables, and we also had three large steel shelves we used to hold-up, prop-up or tie-up all the tchotchkes that we had for sale. Ceci Adams is pretty much a garage sale pro, she had tons of tips for us. One of the killer ones was: sell food. A hot dog, or a bottle of water in the hot Ewa sun makes for a quick buck, and people hang out, talk-story and buy more.

The sale ran from 7AM until 2PM. At close I pulled down all the signs, we got everything from the driveway back into the garage, and headed out for dinner at the Sizzler in Waipahu. We had a lot to celebrate, we had a family event, we purged a ton of old junk, and we pocketed a cool 400 bucks! Epic WIN.

Thanks again Adams for all the help.

Thursday, September 3, 2009

Kudos To Sue

Sue is always talking about all my athletic events, in my opinion though she is the real jock. It's easy enough for a varsity has-been (me) to go and decide he is going to win a few community races in his middle age. It's another thing altogether when someone who NEVER was an athlete decides that, after three kids and 16 years of marital domestication, she wants to get into Sizzlean shape. Since April Susan has made three trips up and down Kokohead and logged over 130 miles on her Nike+ running fob. Those of you that haven't seen Sue in a year may be suprised, she has always had a long build. The changes however, are remarkable. Sue has lost about a fifth of her body weight, and as you can see, what is left is muscle and smile. Kudos Sue!

Thursday, August 20, 2009

Uno Night

Sometimes after dinner we will have some cheap family entertainment with the Uno Deck. Its a simple game where you match the color or number of the card to the card in play. Of course there are some interesting cards which make it harder for other people on the table, but, for the most part a 3 year old can play it. video

Monday, August 17, 2009

Butt Cam

Well, I've had a lot of fun with the camera teh Suz got me for Father's Day. Recall that, I have this old semi-buckled long board in the garage which I put a camera mount in the front of. I've already uploaded about 3 (uno, dos, tres) videos surfing with the front mounted, rear facing camera ON the board. The board wasn't getting any younger SO, I put a NEW hole in it. This one is on the left rail, about half-way down. I thought I'd make it interesting and have it point about 45 degrees to the right. As I am a "natural-foot" surfer, the idea was to show the wave walls coming down from the right. In reality, I think it became more of a butt-cam.. hey-what's-that-up-there-cam. Oh well, with all the wind, and water and the fish-eye effect, at least it came out interesting. Here's a still. I'll work the video in with some other segments from another sesh later this week. Stay tuned. Thanks!

9/17: uploaded video with this footage

Saturday, August 15, 2009

Hawaiian Waters

The company had the annual summer party at Hawaiian Waters Adventure Park this weekend. The kids and I all got there around noon and joined the rest at the pavilion area of the park. There was an all you can eat buffet, a drawing for prizes, and lots of party games. Sue joined us as soon as she could after her work. After the company event was done we all meandered around the park and rode the excellent water slides. The End.

Monday, August 10, 2009

Felicia

Gene Hackney, and old friend who used to live in Hawaii, and hurricane Felecia, both came to visit us at the same time. Gene used to live over in Kailua, and as his amazing luck would have it, it is the Eastern shores that are being affected by the tropical storm. Sue and took the beautiful drive over the Ko`olau range after work and met up with Gene near flat island. The wind fetched surf was honk'n especially for Kai Lua.

Faces were consistanly over seven feet. Crowds were also pretty intense. When they get an opportunity on that side of the island, everyone goes. Today was no exception. A couple of times dropping in, I felt like I was on the city bus. Surfers on my left and right on the same wave.

Afterwards Gene treated teh Suz and I to pupus and drinkus on the front porch of his rental. Then, we went to Buzz's in Kailua for their signature rum drink. We got all caught up on how he Patty and the have been doing this year in New England.

Saturday, August 8, 2009

Ehukai to Waimea

Video from North Shore Swim Series race #4
more at teh Suz blog

Dinner and Fireworks

We had burgers off the George Foreman grill at Eric's brand spank'n new place in Waikiki. Afterwards we all went down to the beach to swim and catch the 7:45 fireworks show. Here' a pic of all 5 kids playing in the water fountain on Leward street.

Monday, August 3, 2009

Lunch in the City

I did another training swim with Kate Costello, and also Brian Denaro this morning. After the three races so far Kate is the women's overall first place by about 45 seconds. So, I was super bummed when I found out that she's headed back to the mainland to bridesmaid a friends wedding tomorrow. She won't be back for the final race.

We had a good training swim regardless, the course from Ehukai (Pipeline) to Waimea Bay was very flat this morning making it an easy swim, Kate and I both spotted a couple of spotted stingrays. Brian went further outside the surf zone and didn't see much. Our times ranged from fifty minutes to one hour.

At work I'm still tasked with better integrating the Map Interface Layer Framework into more of a standalone resource. It's a lot of reading, and understanding other peoples code so it was nice to have a long lunch break with teh Suz. We both had a doctors appointment down town, so we packed most of a lunch and then picked up a dollar chicken sandwich each to go with it. We found a great spot to eat on Hotel Street about a block east of Bishop St., near the HPU campus mall. The area has tables and an onyx-like step of waterfalls that drowned out the city noise. It was a nice oasis for a lunch break in the middle of Honolulu hulabalo.

Sunday, August 2, 2009

Hot Wax

Our house guest Scott left Friday afternoon. We all missed having an excuse to go out for food and drink too much. The kids also missed having an oddly buddyesque adult in the house. Aloha Scott, Na Hui Ho!

Suz and I were hoping to finally have it together for our garage sale by Saturday. Alas, with all the house guesting and family de rigor it just didn't happen. We came up with a novel idea though, split our objective into smaller chunks! Wow, crazy right? So Saturday morning we came up with the four week master plan to be ready for the worlds most amazing (music please) garage sale, coming soon, the first weekend of September. Later on Saturday Sue made me do another training swim for North Shore race #4. We took the fam wagon up to Pipeline they dropped me off and got chow and met me fifty minutes and sixteen seconds later at Waimea Bay. Who is this agressive athletic supporter?! and what did she do with my wife? I love it!

Today was fun too. We made it in to church and after the kids had their naps Sue had a spa appointment at Paul Brown's down in Ala Moana. The kids and I went across the street to the park while Sue had here appointment. They swung on banyan trees, climbed on rocks, and Ben even caught a fish! Heading back to Ewa we took an hour to swing by the Bishop Museum. It was Suz' first time in. We saw the temporary insects exhibit and the indoor volcano. The exhibit features a three story walk-in volcano and several substations demoing volcanism as hot wax in minature.

After that it was back to the Ewa Beach shack on the shore for grill cheese sandwiches and Mai Tais. Good Times!

Thursday, July 30, 2009

Little Rascals


We did the Thursday night movie night on the lawn again with the family (and Scott) by the bar between lagoons 3 & 4 at Ko Olina. The movie tonight was the 1990's "Little Rascals" remake. Scott flies home tomorrow, it was good to see one last West Side sunset with him. Aloha Scott, Na Hui Ho.

(8/9): In case you can't read! The illustration above says: "Movie Night. Yesterday I went to Ko Olina with my family. We watched a movie. We sat on the grass. I ate popcorn and drank water. I wish I can watch (it again)"

Wednesday, July 29, 2009

Training Day

Well, it's getting pretty close to the end of the North Shore swim series. The overall winners are determined by the sum of their times for all four races. Just one left, the last race July 8, is the longest. It runs about 2.3 miles and goes from Ehukai (Pipeline) to Waimea Bay. I'm barely in third place, so to stay in the winners circle it is going to take a little work. Ernie, Kate (see video) and I went up to swim the course for race #4 before work this morning.

video from race#3

Monday, July 20, 2009

Coconut Bras

We took Scott to a luau today, and I'm to lazy too write it up. So I'll quote directly from Scott's travel blog:

"..After a shower and a babysitter we headed out to Paradise Cove at Ko'Olina with Quinn and Sue. The objective of the evening was to take part in a Luau, something everyone should do while here. I went into this thinking.... ok this is going to be cheesy, and the food will be kind of mediocre because they're feeding hundreds (if not a thousand) people at once. We got there and had a complementary mai tai, which was made more alcoholic via trademarked Carver Sippy Cup Technology. There were demonstrations on how to wear sarongs, how to husk and crack open a coconut, as well as tree climbing. As always there were hula lessons, of which you will not see me attempt. I have no rhythm, much less coordination to move my hips and hands and feet in three different directions at once... However that doesn't stop some people, does it Quinn?

The food at the luau was good, much much better than I anticipated. They had originally pulled a cooked pig out of a pit, but I have a feeling the time it takes to do that and the time we got to eat, it would have been impossible to separate all that meat and make it taste as good as it did. They also brought around some of the food they'd be serving and made some poor sap eat Poi. LOL, his face says it all.

The food served was some generic stuff for people with bland palates, (sorry Sue) like Fried Chicken, some pasta salad and vegetable salads. They also had a sweet salmon salad which had pieces of salmon, some tomato and onions... it was a lot like Ceviche, but not quite. They had the pig all shredded up which was friggin awesome, and various other delicious deserts like Haupia. Interestingly, George Takei (Commander Sulu)was sitting one table over from us.

After fire dancing, hula hip shaking, and 3 enhanced Mai Tais... I decided this is a must-do if you go to Hawai'i. Also, the luau at the PCC doesn't have booze, so.... what fun is that?!"

Sunday, July 19, 2009

Big Weiner

We took Scott for dinner with the fam at La Mariana restaurant down near Sand Island today. It's the Tiki-Bar restuarant recently made famous by the movie "50 First Dates", an Oahu must-see. On the way there we intercepted the Infamous Oscar Meyer Weiner-Mobile. As Sand Island is pretty much full of industrial warehouses, we suspect that the Weiner-Mobile was on it's way to be stowed in the secret undisclosed Oscar Meyer weiner-cave for the evening.

btw: Strangely apropos is that Hurley (Jorge Garcia) also blogged a Weiner Mobile sighting this week.

Saturday, July 18, 2009

Swap Meet

It was our house-guest and longtime friend Scott's first morning in Hawaii. We made up a big breakfast of pancakes eggs, fried rice and hashbrowns, and ate outside under the coconut tree in the backyard.

Right afterwards, we all piled into the van and headed out to Aloha Stadium to immerse in the weekly Swap Meet that happens in the stadium parking lot. Sue picked up some shiny things including a couple new shell necklaces and hair clips. I found a new bucket hat to surf in, and we all had some fresh hot malasadas.

Before Sue headed out to work this afternoon, Scott, Ben and I all went down to the beach to enjoy the ocean while the littles and Sue napped. We brought boards and Ben and I paddled out. It was soooper windy, maybe the worst I've seen at HauBush. I caught a couple long rides but it was pretty tough going for Ben. We were lucky to get off the beach without dinging up any boards. Scott took the only casualty, he waded off the apron and into the coral and gashed up his left pinky toe. We fortified Scott's wound with beer, poke and poi once we got back to the house.

After the kids afternoon naps we made a run for Don Ho's at the Aloha Tower market place. I fed the kids and got us both tipsy for about $35. They have really good pupus specials and well drinks from 3 till 6. We got a couple "surfboard" pizzas, and other fried food along with two rounds of G&T's. Good evening!

video: Aloha Stadium Swap Meet

Thursday, July 16, 2009

Moving Day

Well, I had to help a friend I've known since highschool move into his new home today. He bought an apartment in Waikiki and is getting ready to have his family move out here to Hawaii to join him. His old apartment was a sweet bachelor pad in China Town.

Since I was going to be off for the whole afternoon helping with the move anyway, I went ahead and PTO'd the whole day off work. What better day to spend a morning than with a family surf session on the beach. I got some really fun footage with the GoPro surf cam Sue gave me, and we ate some McDonalds take-out on the beach. Afterwards Ben went out and I paddled along beside him.

Today was the first day I can say Ben really stood up on a wave. And wow, I think he's got it. He popped up again 3 more times. Four rides makes a session I'd say. Good job Ben - I'm proud of you!

Saturday, July 4, 2009

Da Hui


Today was July 4th and Sue had a morning shift at Ala Moana. We dropped Sue at the mall and then the kids and I went to go watch Greg Adams compete in "The 31st Annual Hu`i O Hele Nalu Independence Day Paddle Board and Standup Paddle Race" at Waimea Bay. I brainfarted on the drive from the mall to Waimea and ended up heading North on H3 instead of H2. For those that don't know, there is no Stuckey's or Flying J to peel off on half way up the Ko`olau, nope. Making that turn is a half hour boo-boo. You are in Aiea and then next stop, you've bored through two mountains and are coming down a 3000' concrete rainbow into Kaneohe.

Making the best of it and deciding not to double back, we took the "scenic route" and went counter-clockwise round the island from K-Bay all the way to Waimea. It takes about an hour, which is about the longest you can drive on this island and not end up pretty much in the same place.

We saw lots of ocean, I had time to put in a much-needed call to my parents, Nate barfed, and still we somehow miraculously managed to get there in time for Greg's big finish. As we came around Three Tables into Waimea, we saw a flotilla of surfboard paddlers, seated paddleboarders, and standup boarders. There was a racing division for each.

We stayed around after the Race, and entered Ben along with Ilikea in some of the children's division games they had afterwards. Ben elected not to do paddleboarding but participated in the beach run and did very well in the ocean swim.

Having been to several North Shore open water swim events I can say with authority that paddleboard events are WAY cooler than swim events. The event was heavily sponsored by Red Bull, some brand of vodka, food was free (free for like a thousand people!) hot dogs, teri-burgers, sliced oranges, ono grindz. I think I'm going to give up swimming and maybe start paddleboarding. Those guys are rock stars.

Monday, June 29, 2009

Black Hole Sun

For Father's Day Sue gave me a GoPro surf camera for my quiver. I put an FCS plug in the nose of my old buckled 9'2 for the test run. Attached is some Super-Fun™ footage of my first paddle out with the gadget on deck. Thanks also to Greg Jacobs for recommending the gift.

Muy bueno video here

It's hard to hear much through the case so I added in a music track. I picked Sound Garden's "Black Hole Sun" due to an interesting lense effect. See if you can spot it.

Saturday, June 27, 2009

Raging Isle Sprint


The North Shore Swim Series started today. It was a pretty fast group, but without Noa Sakamoto and John Flanagan there to win the race hands down, some new names popped up to the top of the board. I finished third, which is a personal best. Last year, I was more at about the Seventh place slot.

Sue and the kids came out to cheer me on, as is our new custom. The Adams family was also in attendance at the finish line. Kapua and Ilikea, thanks for the flower leis.

results: TimeLineHawaii.com

Wednesday, June 24, 2009

Giant Insect Safari


Now through August 2nd Pearlridge mall is hosting an awesome robotic bug exhibit. Animatronic beetles, mosquitoes, grasshoppers and more are on display for free in the common areas of Pearlridge upper and lower mall. I took the kids on daddy adventures after work today and we checked it out. Funny that the Safari train through the insect patch is 3$ a keiki, but monorail rides between Pearlridge Upper and Lower are only 50¢. Whatupwidat? a quick lesson in money. "Son you can either have six McDonalds apple pies or a 5 minute ride on the kiddy train." Yeah, I think he gets it.

Here's some video from our safari. Btw: footage was shot entirely w/ the new iPhone, to get the best impression, be sure to click on the "view in high quality" option when youtube starts to play the video.

Sunday, June 21, 2009

Ni`ihau Sighting

We checked out of the Hale Kua a little early Sunday and went for drive around the SouthWest side of the island. I am channel swimmer having swum 3 (of arguably 7) Hawaiian channels. One of the channels I have not swum is the 17 miles between Kaua`i and Ni`ihau. It's a tricky swim because Ni`ihau, though part of the state of Hawaii, is privately owned. Technically you can't go there without permission. Seeing the channel with my bare eyes for the first time gave me a chill. It's an inviting challenge I hope to experience first hand one day. Above, Sue standing on the beach at Barking Sands, the island of Ni`ihau is barely silloutted on the left side of the horizon.

Saturday, June 20, 2009

Kaua`i Trip Part Duex

For Father's Day weekend, Sue snuck into the office Friday, threw a lei around my neck and kidnapped me away to Kaua`i sans keiki. We have been staying at the Hale Kua B&B in Lawai at the foot of the mountains on the south side of the island. The accomodations are seperate and down the hill from the owners' house. Our lodgings are surrounded by green trees, bird sounds and cool breezes. We drove down to Poipu yesterday and stopped on the way back for a trip to the infamous Puka Dog hotdog stand. We also picked up some very fresh poke and Gin & Tonic to go with the limes that are growing wild near the B&B. As a special Father's Day weekend treat, Sue let me beat her at Cribbage while we enjoyed the G&Ts after sunset. Aces!

Friday, June 19, 2009

Never Land

Locals with kids should know: Thursday nights at Ko Olina, a restaurant near the Marriott hosts a movie in the courtyard between the hotel and Lagoon 3. We got the tip from a work friend of Susan's. We rolled in around 7:15 and the movie started at dusk. We brought some snacks and stretched out on the lawn with the St. Ledger family. Everyone enjoyed a West-side sunset and trip to Never Land with Peter Pan. (Thanks for the pics Paul)

Sunday, June 14, 2009

Shark's Cove

video
We packed up the van with sandwiches and swim suites this morning and after church, made a run for the North Shore. Though the North Shore is home of legendary surf during the winter months, this time of year it is often flat. It was in fact totally flat today. The kids and I explored the rocks and crevices of Sharks Cove while Sue got in some much needed snorkeling.

Thursday, June 11, 2009

No School

Today is Kamehameha Day (no school!). Instead of running around the house getting the kids ready for the bus, we got up a little late and enjoyed a big breakfast at Denny's in Kunia.

Tuesday, June 9, 2009

Hau Bush Sunset

video
Sue and I had a doctor's appointment in the middle of the day. I ended up working from home to make things simpler. The best part about working from home is the commute. At pau hana I'm 5 minutes from surf. I got a head start around sunset and Sue came by with the kids and some ono chicken sandwiches about a half hour later. -- Love the half hour of golden light on the West side this time of year. Awesome.

Sunday, June 7, 2009

DIY Surf Rack Mod

Greg Adams gave me his old Thule surf rack. The rack had those little clamping ears which are supposed to work between the car roof and the door gutters. My Hyundai hatchback is a two window job with no gutters and a curved roof. Here is a DIY video on how I modified the rack, and my old car, to make it work.

Friday, June 5, 2009

BBQ/Sprint-Meet at UH

There was a notice on the workout board at practice this morning. "Potluck BBQ at 5:30", coach Jennifer also said she was going to arrange a sprint meet too (races under 100M) to be held before the grill got hot. Always looking for something to do with the kids after work, I took them with me to the event as a Daddy-Adventure(tm). The kids swam and jumped off the diving boards, I got in some good sprint events and then we totally pigged out on ono grindz right on the pool deck. It felt like the worlds largest pool patio bbq. Good times! (pics)

(above: Gnomes cheers me in lane on right -- I'm blonde these days)

Spring Program


Nate and Ben had their Spring Program at Holomua elementary today. Nate's class did a cover of Jack Johnson's: "Reduce, Reuse Recycle". The class did a jig with pom-poms made from 'reused' shredded up plastic grocery bags. (Nate above center)

Ben's class did a dance with all the kids dressed up kind of like gangsters (I know right), the song was called "Cupid Shuffle". Kind of hip hop. Sue and I had one of those moments where we realize how big Ben is getting as we watched him throw his long arms and legs around to the beat. Sniff, sniff.

Wednesday, June 3, 2009

Man in the Gray Suit

video

I had a fun session this morning at Hau Bush. I was a little disappointed by the wave size. It was projected to be seven foot faces. As you can see from the video, it was not. With big wave forecasts comes crowded breaks. There were over a dozen of us out there until an 8 foot tiger came through. The short boarders paddled in post haste. My fan club attended today's session again! Thanks girls.

Monday, June 1, 2009

Cerrado

Ode to Richardson:
Richardson, how I will miss thee.
we trained for crossing the Kealaikahiki

There was never a finer pool by a barrack
that had been deterred by a prick named Chris Deryck

Two and-a half years we trained for Pailolo
The Au'au, Roughwater, and the North Shore with Cholo

The COs, the XOs, CSO's they came
they said MWR's regs were to blame

So now here I am, a base pass cardholder
No PHM masters to train with and shoulder


The end of an era occurred for me at 4:55 AM this morning. The Naval Base Chief of Staff Officer Hodges and an assistant personally appeared at the sign in register for Pearl Harbor's Richardson pool. Due to some recent event, even those civilians who are MWR card holders, will no longer be able to swim at PHM (Pearl Harbor Masters). Interesting that it pretty much took the base XO's authority to trump MWR's guest policy. Even more interesting that the COS was dressed and on deck in the 0400 hour to waylay would-be benevolent civilian aquanauts. Clearly, there are some personal politics involved, maybe some favors called in. Be that as it may, once it was obvious that I was not swimming with PHM, I scurried off into the dawn to soak myself in the more hospitable waters at the longcourse pool of University of Hawaii. I got in 3400 yards there. I think this will be the new thing.

Saturday, May 30, 2009

Licensed to Drive


The kids and I went to Sand Island Sunday with the Ocean Point Posse. The occasion? The Launers just bought their second wet bike. We all got turns riding, being towed behind or driving the colossal toys. Meanwhile spectators and kids ate, drank and played in the sand nearby. Thanks Launers for a fun day at the beach. (video)

Thursday, May 28, 2009

Night at the Museum


It's been super hot and muggy on the island lately. I think there must be some vog going on too. I can't even see the Waianae mountain range from work. Sue and I switched off kids in the lot yesterday so that she could go to her evening shift. After a day of meetings, I just didn't have it in me to head back to Ewa to sit around, sweat, and watch the three munchkins. Idea: sit in a cool movie theatre with the kids. Sure! We went and saw Night at the Museum at the Dole Canary instead. The kids liked the movie and I enjoyed some cool air in a dark room. Win win. For those adults out there, this movie was pretty not-okay. If you've seen the trailer, you seen the best parts of the movie. Save your money and catch it on TV next year.

Sunday, May 24, 2009

The Gauchos are Coming


My little Powerbook is so choked with video footage that I didn't have room to do a system update today. Ouch. Biggest movies need to go first. I had eleven gigs of old footage I sampled in about a year a go. The subject: a family trip to an Argentine gaucho (cowboy) parade in the early 80's. It was from a box of other VHS tapes my parents handed off to me last time they moved. It's taken me a while but after a few editing sessions I finally got the hour and a half of source footage down to the best 6 minutes. Above is a frame of dad, a little older than I am now, with me in the background. (video)

Saturday, May 23, 2009

Waimea to Haleiwa


Randy, Ernie, and I met up at Waimea Bay to do a North Shore training swim this morning. I also came with my friend Greg who was looking to get some paddleboard training in. Greg and I went all the way to Haleiwa. The swim was about four and half miles, and took us about 2 hours and twenty minutes. The current was probably in our favor most of the way. There was some surf though, about 3-5' faces on some breaks. Greg took the inside as we paddled through Chun's and caught a couple. I spotted five honu during the swim. We planned to rendezvous with Sue and the kids at Haleiwa at 10:30. We were right on schedule. After I dried off, we had breakfast at Jamesons. Ernie also drove over to meet us after he finished his swim. He snapped this picture of me coming in. I started a tradition of finishing butterfly incase someone I know is watching and looking for me. This finish was for Sue.

Wednesday, May 20, 2009

Homework



Sue was wiped out, so I helped Nate with his homework last night. He had to make sentences each with two words from the day (sock, block etc.). This is something they do every week. When I asked Nate what the sentence would be, Nate immediately belted out, "The sock and the block go on an adventure." Sue who was down, but not out yelled back from the living-room recliner: "NO MORE ADVENTURES NATE!". Apparently Nate has ad-libbed this before.

Saturday, May 16, 2009

Cheeseburger Waikiki


Around Mother's Day every year Susan and the girls from Ocean Point try to get out for an overnighter somewhere to have a little fun on there own. This year we dropped Sue off at the Embassy Suites Hotel in Waikiki near the Outrigger club. On the way there we stopped for a delicious greasy meal at Cheeseburger Waikiki on Kalakaua.

Sunday, May 10, 2009

Mother's Day


It was a pretty busy Mother's Day. The first open water competitive swim of the year was this morning. Popoia, the Flat Island race started at 8:00 AM, and registration was long before that. I was flattered that the whole family wanted to make the trip to see it. I'm not sure but I think I'm seeing a trend! Awesome. We found church in Kailua to stop in at on the way back over the Ko`olau. Ben was feeling sick, but managed to make it through the service okay. (video from race)

Saturday, May 2, 2009

What the ????

We had a whole family outing to Ho`olmaluhia botanical gardens in Kaneohe. The 400-acre garden is planted with rain forest trees and shrubs from the tropics of the world, and has a lake in the middle of it. We enjoyed hiking down to the lake, seeing all the greenery and fishing for "Red Devils". Afterwards we all went for drinks and grindz at Buzz's in Kauilua. video

Thursday, April 30, 2009

Fan Club


There is a South swell in town for a while, so Hau Bush was looking pretty good. We did something very different this morning. Suz and Gnomes dropped by to watch my morning session today. So much more fun with family on the beach. One ride I got to ride from the outside all the way up to the sand and watch Naomi's eyes get big. Thanks for coming! video

Sunday, April 26, 2009

Trinity

We've been getting back in the church habit lately. Here's a pic of the children's sermon at Trinity United Methodist Church in Pearl City. Afterward, we all went down the hill to Chuck E Cheeses for lunch and Nates belated birthday celebration.

Friday, April 24, 2009

Monsters vs Aliens vs Punks

The whole family swung by to pick me up after work. We chowed at the McDonald's near the Sand Island access road and then went and saw Monsters vs Aliens in 3D at the Dole Cannery mall. The movie was campy and fun. The giant female protagonist has the same name as my wife, so there were lots of great one-liner quotes in the film to chuckle about later.

Tuesday, April 21, 2009

Happy Birthday Walrus

It is Nate's birthday today, He's six! He lost his two front teeth earlier this month. I took a minute to Google up some pictures of walrus before the bus came this morning. Here is Nate in his school uniform (a T-shirt) showcasing his Animal-Planet dentition.

Monday, April 20, 2009

Brain Storm

My boss asked me to white board some technical solutions for an issue we are resolving in an upcoming SBIR. During idle discussion moments I humored us both by sketching this Don Martin homage. By the time our session was over, the illustration was truly representative of our state of mind.

Sunday, April 19, 2009

Kaua`i Trip

Some call Kaua`i the "Green Island" or the "Emerald Island" of Hawaii. These are catchy names, but one that might suite the island best is the "Feral Chicken Island". Story has it that early Filipino residents brought their chicken livestock and fighting cocks to the island in early history. Then recently, hurricanes (Iniki 1992?) tore open several coops, freeing the fowl. They now roam and reproduce in the wild without any predators to keep them in check. Sue and I saw several of them in markets, along roadways and even walking into restaurant areas on our recent trip to Kaua`i. video

Thursday, April 16, 2009

Tower 1E


I took a long lunch yesterday to go on an errand with Sue. I had an hour to kill after I dropped her off on Bishop Street, so I went down to visit Bill at the Ala Moana beach park. Bill is a lifeguard there. He was holding about 200 more of Jeff's images and movie shorts from our Kealaikahiki swim. After pulling the files onto my laptop, I still had time to crank out one kilometer ocean swim before swinging back into town to get Sue. I'm still pretty stiff in the deltoids and triceps from last week, small recovery workouts have really helped ease the tightness.

(4/17: added J.Koz pic of Bill swimming at Ala Moana)

Tuesday, April 14, 2009

World's Longest French Fry Discovered


Sue and the kids got back from their impromptu two week trip to her folks town in PA. After pickup at the airport we celebrated the return with a dinner at Sam Snead's Tavern. Ben has been an avid Guinness Book reader lately, is this fry a candidate?

Monday, April 13, 2009

Homecoming


Sue and the kids are coming back after spending the bulk of the kid's 3 week school break with Grammy and Grandpa 'Puffos' in Pennsylvania. Gramma Lee and Grandpa Darrel have been visiting with me and waiting for their hugs here in Honolulu. Don't make a big deal out of it, if the house is cleaner than Sue might expect. We've been busy!

(4/14: Added Suz iPhone shot of kids on the DFW skylink)

Saturday, April 11, 2009

Kealaikahiki




I can't believe it was only yesterday that Bill and I were face down swimming over ten hours of impossibly blue Hawaiian ocean. Today I took a 3 hour nap, worked on my taxes and tried not to scratch the 5 dozen or so tiny jelly fish stings all over my body from yesterday. As the evening rolled in, we downloaded our depleted iPhones, cameras, video cameras etc. I'm hoping to get some more footage from Jeff later on. For now though. I threw together this video montage from about 5 different sources just to have something to get out. Check back, I'll work on a better edit as more footage comes in.

A word about Jeff our paddleboarder/gopher/lifeguard/line-of-site-scout. The word is: "stud". How many of us bitch and moan when we have to paddle out to a break a quarter mile off shore? Yeah, I thought so. Jeff: 17 miles, AND while toting water, cameras, power gels etc. He didn't have his paddler 16', he didn't even have a life guard 12' board. Jeff WORKED with a 9'6 all the way to Lana`i. Thank you Jeff! Btw: check Jeff's blog for more pics etc. from the crossing.

(4/12: changed the video link, YouTube was muting the audio.. DRFM issues w/ Linkin Park I guess)

(4/13): pics posted on mobileme

(4/17): Honolulu Advertiser article on this (pic incorrect though)

Friday, April 10, 2009

Made It

Kaho'olawe to Lanai 10 hrs 24 minutes. Above: Bill (also), Jeff (escort and paddler) and me