Wednesday, July 28, 2010


I did a vector render of one of my favorite pieces of graffiti in Honolulu. At some point I want to make a T-Shirt out of it*. It's on the H1 King Street on ramp (West bound). The post has two signs on it. A bright yellow "Click-It or Ticket".. and then a defaced black & white sign: "Buckle Up, It's the APE".

Maybe it's my visual imagination, but I think the sign is hilarious. Picture a brutish Hanna Barbara looking gorilla stalking the berm waiting for an unsuspecting negligent driver to go by unbuckled. The beast bounds over and rips the driver out of his car through an open passenger window. Hey, Buddy.. you'd better buckle up!

I don't usually take the King Street on ramp unless I'm surfing Diamond Head, or swimming the Double Rough-Water buoy course before work. This morning, it was the latter.

A reporter from the Honolulu Star-Advertiser (Nancy Arcayna) called yesterday and asked me if she could interview me about my upcoming channel swim from Kauai to Ni`ihau. Certainly. She also wanted to send a photographer out to get some shots of me doing open water training. I told her that he could meet me on the beach after my typical Wednesday Double Rough Water swim.

I think eight out of the last ten or so weeks, I've been swimming the Double Rough on Wednesdays. I usually go with my friend Brian. He and two others will be crossing the Kaulakahi with me, so it's good training for us to swim distances together. He had to get to work early today though, so it was just me. The solstice is over, the sun is coming up later. I had to start the swim about 30 minutes before sunrise. It was a little creepy being out there then but in the end it turned out to be a great swim. I broke my own record, probably due to some unusual currents. 54 minutes out, 40 minutes back.

The photographer snapped several pictures of me when I returned to the beach at the end of my swim. Nancy said she would interview me later on. She commented that the story probably won't run until closer to Labor Day.

*: If I make a T-Shirt with the APE graphic, it will be available to you through "Quinnzshoppe" the link to the shop is in the margin on the left. Thanks.

Thursday, July 22, 2010

Rain Date

Our friend Kate, let us know that Foster Botanical Gardens is hosting a series of musical concerts on the lawn Thursdays this month.

Sue and the kids picked me up after work and we headed down Vineyard avenue to catch tonights concert featuring the Manoa Strings. By the time we got there we were about a half an hour late and it was raining. Rather than shiver on the lawn, we took a detour.

It's been a while since we've been to our favorite island burger spot, so we headed into town for drinks and massive drippy avocado and bacon covered burger action.

Sunday, July 11, 2010

Watch Me


The van was still at the railway society where we had left it last night. After church today, Sue and I put the littles in bed for a nap and left our oldest son up to baby sit while we ran back to pick up the van together. Sue has really advanced as a runner, after a year of training, she and I are pretty much the same speed.

We went together on foot back to where the adventure started. She ran with her new wedding ring on, and I was also wearing my anniversary present. A bright orange stopwatch/diver's watch Sue gave me during train ride. It also makes a fine couples jogging watch. Our run time is in the picture on the left (26:36.70)

Before we headed back we took a moment to stop in and talk with Tom from the Hawaiian Railway Society. Tom set the whole thing up for us. He also gave us our last anniversary gift. He snapped a bunch of pictures with his Cannon SLR and presented them to us on CD. Thanks Tom!

Saturday, July 10, 2010

Not Just Married

abstract: Seventeen years ago, Sue and I were married in a hot church in North-Central Pennsylvania. Today we celebrated the event and renewed our vows in a grassy field on the Ko Olina grounds of West Oahu. (pics)

It was a busy day. I got up two hours before sunrise to shoot some North Shore waves at Pipeline with a friend, David McDaniel. After the surf, I met up with Sue and the kids they cheered me on at the Cholo's Waimea Bay Swim. The hugs and shakas must have helped out because I miraculously came in 17th* and third in my division.

After the awards ceremony we headed back to Ewa for a long nappy afternoon. We needed the naps; I had gotten up early and competed, and Sue was pooped from shuttling the kids to the Bay. Besides, we were going to need our strength. I had put together some very special surprise anniversary arrangements for the evening.

I chartered one of the old sugar cane trains from the Hawaiian Railway Society five miles from our house. The train ride on the old tracks goes through a lot of the undeveloped Ewa side, and then shoots through Ko Olina. Tracks from there go all the way to "tracks beach" on the West Side. For our sortee though, Sue and I stopped in small grassy field not too far from Roy's Ko Olina restaurant.

Our pastor, Rev. Bob Miyake-Stoner of Trinity United Methodist Church, met us by the tracks at the end of our locomotive trek. We disembarked. There in the field, Susan, the pastor and I recited our parts verbatim from the ceremony seventeen years ago. The charge, the pledge, and the exchanging of rings.

Susan has on of those rings where the engagement ring Jengas together with a second band from the ceremony. After the ceremony the band and the engagement rings are soldered together into one piece. When I bought Sue the ring, at the age of 21! I got her what I could afford. I sold off a coin collection I had been building from all the yards I'd mowed as a kid. The ring has years of sentimental value, but it was time to change the center stone to something less miniscule. I presented Susan with her reworked ring during the exchanging of rings portion of the ceremony. This pleased Susan :)

After the ceremony Sue and I proceeded in for a 6:30 dinner reservation at Roy's. If you've never been, I really recommend it. It is fine dining in fusion style. For apps Susan and I shared an ornate sushi/tempura butterfish maki roll, drizzled with sauce goodness. I had a sampler plate with dinner: ribs, salmon, prawn. She had a three part meal featuring mac nut mahi mahi.

It was a stroke of luck that Daniel Dae Kim (Lost: Jin, '10 Hawaii-5-O: Chin-Ho Kelly) was also at the restaurant dining with friends that night, and I swear I saw Grace Park (BSG: Athena/Boomer). Maybe not. Regardless, a friend sighted her at Ala Moana mall on Friday night, so, she is on-island.

After dinner the restaurant treated us to a complimentary anniversary desert. We sat back and thought about all that had happened in this last year, and all the blessings we've enjoyed together since 1993. We enjoyed reliving the memories and making new ones.

(*: When I came out of the water I was 17th place. I told everyone I planned it that way because it was our 17th anniversary, and my honey had come to watch me swim. In the end though, someone in the top 17 was ousted after the race, so technically I came in 16th. This maybe the only time in my swim career that I was SAD to move up a spot. Ah well, go with me here, I was 17th!)

Monday, July 5, 2010

West Side Story

I met up with Bill and Brian for a training swim in the North this morning, We went from Waimea Bay to Lani's in about an hour or so; I forgot to check the time.

I got back South before lunch and Sue and I decided to take the whole family for a trip to our favorite uncrowded West Side beach, "Tracks".

From Tracks, Sue snorkeled out to the hot water snorkel site off shore from Electric Beach. It's about a half mile out, usually easy to find because the vent is surrounded by Japanese tourists' snorkeling boats, and the churning in the surface of the water caused by the heat below. A snorkeler's booty is what's on the roll. Sue brought back a pretty good batch this time including an interesting one of a broom tailed file fish laying flat. It was blending into the bottom like a flounder might. She's never seen anything like that before. After reading this article you should head over to Sue's blog and post a message. Encourage her to get her new pics up online. Tell her Quinn sent you ;)

(Picture was a 'happy accident'. Water on the lens enhances the happy glow of the afternoon)

Tracks has a pretty steep break. It's sandy and the waves snap up suddenly at the water's edge. It makes for some large, loud, but pretty harmless kid's sized shore break. It also gives the beach a pronounced sandy ledge at the high water mark. The kids helped us carve out some pukas that made for excellent beach chairs. We sat straight upright in okole molded holes, compete with sand made arm-rests and a cocktail table.

Cocktail table? Yes. Any afternoon long trip to the beach is best enhanced with a "Sport Quart" of your favorite rum cocktail, and a big sack of dollar menu food melange. After Sue's snorkel we enjoyed some gritty burgers and the world's most appropriate Mai Tai right in our luxury sand traps. Toes in water, kids laughing. Good Times!

Thursday, July 1, 2010

Mister Goat's Wild Ride

I'm working on a new assemblage piece. The theme is our weekend on Big Island. The objective with the theme is to use only things that we found or brought back from the trip last weekend.

Sue and I pretty much drove the entire length of the West side of Big Island. We put almost 300 miles on the rental driving from the North tip of Kawi all the way to South Point.

We brought back a few things found on dry country roads: a young goat's skull, very, very old (40's) car parts, planks from a bee-keeper's hive box that fell off a truck. We brought back some bottles of sand. We brought back clippings of paper from the trip, coffee beans from Kona Joe's tour. Also we brought back some items very integral to Kate and Graham's weeding. The bulletin for the wedding was printed on old school hand waved fans. Each panel had a different part of the service.

Now that we are home again, I'm turning sections of wood from the bee box into a frame, the skull will pretty much be the centerpiece. I've already fashioned some shades for the skull from rusted car parts, and a pair of sunglasses that I broke on the trip.

I think I'll take my time with this one. Their are no deadlines. I'm not necessarily making it to sell. The trick will be to make something that is both personal to Sue and me, and still generic enough for the average person to be intrigued. Once I started with a general layout, Sue dubbed the piece "Mister Goat's Wild Ride" (a la: the Disney World ride named for Toad in Wind in the Willows). It makes sense, The dashboard of the old ?Model-T? is directly under the Goat Skull, he is wearing shades, and the wind is blowing back the tea-leaves in his 'hair'. I'm sure the work will only get wackier from there as I add in more elements from the trip.

Above are a few pics to show you where I'm at so far. A very rough outline sketch, a close up of Mister Goat with his custom (and bitch'n) shades, then a flop on the garage floor showcasing a POTENTIAL layout. Keep in mind, probably less than half of the potential pieces are shown in that pic. It will change.

Hope you get a laugh.