Sunday, February 28, 2010

Kid Cam

After church we had lunch at Ruby Tuesday, and then went over to Schofield lanes to bowl a game. Sue and I collected video with the iPhone again, but we also used something new. Ben has a head mounted flashlight that uncle Matt and aunt Sarah gave him for Christmas. I temporarily rigged the GoPro surf camera so that it would fit in the headband instead of the flashlight. Don't worry I put it back together again when I was done. :) It gave a fresh perspective to home video. Bowling from the kids perspective as viewed through a fish eye lens is definitely comical. You can read more about our bowling adventure on Suz' blog.

Saturday, February 27, 2010


The governor made the public annountsment that the Tsunami warning was over at around 2 o'clock today. The die-hard tsurfers immediately made their way down to the beaches. I became giddy contemplating the protspect tsunami tsurfing, at tsome point I mutst have become intolerable. Tsue tsent me out to have my fun. I thought that tsurfing a tsunami without any proof would be unacceptable, tso paddled out with the board camera mounted.

It was a beautiful and rare day in the TsouthWetst. Intstead of tstruggling to catch chop, there were perfect, shoulder high organized waves. Enough for everybody, and then some. I was out in the water for a couple of hours. and got a couple gigs of footage. The result is the film you see at the top of this entry.

I was exhuasted after the tsesh, totally tsurfed out. Tsue had a huge pan of homemade mac'n'cheese ready. Yum! This was totally the best tsunami EVAR!

Tsunami: LAME

Thanks for checking up on us. Thankfully the tsunami turned out to be more of a drill than a natural disaster. (more)

lots more here

Thursday, February 25, 2010

Ewa Beach Goes Green

I've been working from home this week, down with the flu. As usual, I'm the last one in our family to get it. From the home office, I heard what sounded like Godzilla kicking trash bins down the street. I ran to the window. Alas, it was no behemoth Japanese leviathan, but rather the City and County of Honolulu's Refuse Division flat bed trucks delivering... NEW TRASH BINS! Pretty much the guys in the truck-bed were tossing them onto the curbs in front of the houses as fast as you could say "when's lunch break". We used to have just the black rubbish bins. Now there is a blue one for standard recyclables, and a green one for yard dander and the like.

Sue was out gathering sundries in van, and passed by our main drag, Keanui Drive. She told me over lunch that the bins come some assembly required. City workers on Keanui were putting the wheels, axels and lids on the containers just before delivery by the flat bed trucks.

I'm stoked about becoming a green-type person. I've heard it's a very warm comforting feeling. Bummer is, now we have 3 large roll-away bins in our (already tiny) backyard vs. one. Also we lose one of our bi-weekly trash pickup days to a recycle day. Oh well, no-one said saving the world one mouth-wash bottle at a time was easy. We'll see how it works out when pick-ups for the new program start on May 3.

Sunday, February 21, 2010

Arduino Fun

After reading a few articles in Make magazine I decided to try the Arduino embedded target. Having worked a few years in embedded hardware products I was pretty blown back by how easy it easy to get going with this platform. The IDE is a superclass of Processing (yet another easy yet powerful technology) and the byte code is set through either serial port or USB port to the target.

I'm a packrat, and I've got tons of old electronics junk lying around from my battle bot days. I had some console displays from old dot matrix printers lying in a crate that I used to play with. I pulled one out, probed it with an Ohm meter and then hooked it up to the digital I/O's on the Arduino.

Most of the examples I could find were for pushing pins high, rather than pulling them low. As a former 8051 developer I'm more used to the latter. The printer board too was wired with one Vcc and all the rest grounds, so pull down it is.

It didn't take long before I had written some simple code (maybe 20 lines) that pulled the pins low in sequence. There is something so awesome about seeing old junk reanimated. I'm stoked to try something else now!

Wednesday, February 17, 2010

You're a Daisy if You Do...

Trying to enjoy a romantic evening in a rough economy? I've got an idea for you. Go out and buy some bright colored nail polishes for about three bucks a bottle. Find your special girl and tell her that you'd like to spruce up her top coat of nail polish with some custom designs. Something.. a little special. You don't need to be to elaborate. Try dipping a toothpick in one of your colors du jour and penciling in a little pattern on her nail. Repeat nine more times and voilá! Personalized wearable art work, made just for her.

I'm pretty new at this myself, but we've been having a lot of fun with it. Sue also found a set of professional nail brushes for about thirteen bucks, and we have both kept our eyes peeled for new fun colors, like Pac-man yellow, and bubble gum pink. Here's a gallery of the designs we've tried so far. As you can see the designs get better with practice, but they were all fun. See if you can find "Honu", "Lizards", "Cherries", "French Inmate", "Macintosh", and today's creation... "Daisy".

Tuesday, February 16, 2010

Black Pearl Sightings

Argh, ahoy ye mateys and scally-wags ye olde Black Pearl (actual name: "Sunset") is moored up in Ko Olina for the making of Pirates of the Caribbean 4 (or uh, is it the Pacific?). Anyway, no reports of actors on island yet. Just the boat.

Sue originally got the scoop from a friend at work. Addam heard that the Black Pearl was on island last weekend, and decided he wouldn't rest until he found out where she was in port. We followed his tweets until the search ended at the Ko Olina Ocean Marina.

Today further photographic evidence was provided by Bill and Pat Goding. They cruised the marina just before sunset and took these pictures.

Thurs Feb 25, update: Honolulu Advertiser article

Sunday, February 14, 2010

Valentine's Day

When you think Valentine's Day, you think "Biathlon" right? Well, we have been. The Waikiki Swim Club hosts a series of (run/swim) Biathlons every year. The last one is on Valentine's Day. I've never participated in it before, because I never knew a runner I felt comfortable smooching at the relay exchange. Enter Sue! Sue picked up the gauntlet and started training (specifically for this event) since November of last year. She did awesome, training over 14 miles a week for the last several months, by the day of the biathlon she was down to a nine minute mile! This was her very first athletic event, and a first for us as a family.

The event had several awards. The oddest one was in "The Best Kiss" category. At the run/swim exchange, the hand-off is done with a kiss. Ben took this picture (left) 3 seconds before Sue planted one on me. When I turned to go, Sue slapped me HARD on the butt. There was a loud *CRACK*, I yelped and went off like a shot. It also netted us 2nd Place in the kissing contest. In the event over all, we placed 8th in the married division. Only about 6 minutes short of the 1st place winners. Awesome!

We went out after the race to Cheeseburger Waikiki to celebrate what will probably become a new tradition. Later that evening, we got a sitter to go out and do Valentine's Day properly. We relived the race over dinner at Buzz's Steakhouse in Pearl Ridge and after dinner went and saw The Wolfman. It was a good movie, and went well after our bloody rare steaks; Yum!

Saturday, February 13, 2010


The coin-op horse in the Waikele factory outlet mall kept the kids busy while I shopped for a Valentines Day present. The whole cavalry rode one steed while I was perfume shopping for mommy just a horseshoe's throw away.

Wednesday, February 3, 2010


The final season of Lost started last night. On Oahu that's a pretty big deal. The show is filmed here on the island, and the first episode of the season debuts on the beach at Waikiki with many of the Lost cast and crew present.

As I have a weird sciencey job on the same island as the DHARMA Initiative (the mysterious organization in the Lost series), I figured I needed a work uniform to match. DHARMA has all these icons for the different stations on the island (ie: "The Pearl", "The Swan"), and each has its own icon inscribed within a shower-drain octagon shape.

To be part of the Initiative, I need an icon for my 'work-station' too. See, that way I'll blend in. Last night I took some Illustrator artwork and cut it into a stencil. I got out an old T-shirt and some acrylic paint. VoilĂ , I'm official. By the way, I used the art on this shirt and published it to Cafe Press. You can get your own DHARMA/Referentia coffee mug here.