Tuesday, October 31, 2006
Behind me you can see our hideous paneling, the reason we are remodeling our house.
Saturday, October 28, 2006
Thursday, October 26, 2006
Here's the view we had from the Pali Lookout. My husband is at the end of the video, wearing sunglasses. (24 seconds long) The sound you hear is the wind. Be sure and notice the ocean in the not too far distance.
From Frommer's: "Although some academic scholars scoff at this, the story alleges that in 1795, Kamehameha pursued Oahu's warriors up Nuuanu to these cliffs and waged a battle in his attempt to unite the Hawaiian islands. Supposedly, the Oahu warriors were driven over the cliffs by Kamehameha's men. Some say the battle never happened, some say it happened but there were only a few men fighting, and some say thousands were forced over the cliff, plunging to their deaths. Others say at night you can still hear the cries of these long-dead warriors coming from the valley below."
Wednesday, October 25, 2006
Tuesday, October 24, 2006
Partway up the crater. Yes, every day is gorgeous in Hawaii. And we are wearing SPF 50 sunscreen.
My mother and I have a tradition of taking our photos on the wrong side of Danger signs. This one's for you, Mom! Couldn't get all the way behind it, since it was a CLIFF!
This photo was taken inside one of the defunct, concrete "listening posts" that was placed on top of Diamondhead by the military. Yes, the water really does look that color.
After the tunnels, there are stairs. The fun part was watching the many Asian ladies going up the crater in high heels and skirts.
Beautiful Hawaiian flower...
Below you can observe the crater - it's the brown rim going around. The green foliage is the bottom of the crater. If you look on the left side of the photo, you can make out a narrow strip of road with a black dot in the crater wall. That's the car tunnel we walked through. Then we walked the entire base of the crater floor to the trailhead. I don't know if those of you receiving this blog through email can enlarge the photos, but if you view the photos on the blog itself you can click on them and make them larger (enabling you to see the car tunnel).
Below is view while walking through the tunnel.
Here's what we looked like fresh off the bus. Still calm and collected (before seeing the tunnel).
Monday, October 23, 2006
(below) L to R: Andy Sexton, Dean Lum, John Sexton, playing at the Chart House in Waikiki
(below) Andy wails on the sax
Saturday, October 14, 2006
Friday, October 13, 2006
This will definitely satisfy any chocolate craving.
Decadent, Adult Mocha (Cruelty Free!)
one large serving (fills a tall travel coffee mug)
1. Brew some coffee (I use decaf).
2. Mix together in a small pot:
1/4 cup Dutch processed cocoa
1/6 cup turbinado sugar
1/2 tsp cornstarch
3. With a fork, gradually stir in 1/4 cup water. Stir until smooth.
4. Place on stove and while continually stirring, heat to boiling.
5. As soon as it bubbles, stir in 1 cup coffee. Heat through.
Thursday, October 12, 2006
Wednesday, October 11, 2006
In the below photo, you can also see surfers waiting for a wave on the left side of the photo. Bunch of 'em.
Below: there are 2 surfers riding...one is on the left side of the photo, one is a dot in the wave on the right side.
This guy is in the middle of that wave. Notice the front of his board is in the air.
If everybody had an ocean
Across the U. S. A.
Then everybody'd be surfin'
You'd seem 'em wearing their baggies
Huarachi sandals too
A bushy bushy blonde hairdo
Surfin' U. S. A.
You'd catch 'em surfin' at Del Mar
Ventura County line
Santa Cruz and Trestle
All over Manhattan
And down Doheny Way
Everybody's gone surfin'
Surfin' U.S. A.
We'll all be planning that route
We're gonna take real soon
We're waxing down our surfboards
We can't wait for June
We'll all be gone for the summer
We're on surfari to stay
Tell the teacher we're surfin'
Surfin' U. S. A.
Haggerties and Swamies
San Anofree and Sunset
Redondo Beach L. A.
All over La Jolla
At Waimia Bay
Everybody's gone surfin'
Surfin' U.S. A.
The Sierra Club's mention of this is a breath of fresh air:
"Less than a week after the FDA lifted its ban on contaminated spinach, which lead to three confirmed deaths and hundreds of illnesses, a California lettuce grower recalled green leaf lettuce after finding irrigation water contaminated with E. coli. These E. coli incidents are serious reminders of the need to properly regulate waste. Though large farming operations are one of the most common sources of pathogens like E. coli, and the FDA is investigating livestock waste as a possible cause of the spinach contamination, the government is doing little to ensure proper handling of the contaminated livestock waste. In a meeting with environmental groups last week, the EPA said it has no plans to require any new controls on large livestock operations. "
Read about factory farming and the impact it has on your health and the environment HERE.
Heaven forbid any new controls would be put in place that might slow down the speed with which people can get their fast food hamburgers.
Saturday, October 07, 2006
Below is what we saw from the room:
Once walking out onto the lanai, this is what we saw on the right:
When I hung the top of my body over the rail, I could see the view below. The lanai was so small, only one person at a time could be in the chair that angled out enough to see this. The lanai could barely fit 2 chairs and table, you had to climb over each other (literally) to get in or out. You don't see a rail in this photo because I am hanging out over it. If you look down in the photo, you can see the wonderful industrial fan right below our room. Nope, could not hear any surf. Could only hear industrial restaurant fan. My comments may seem petty if you don't know what we paid for this room. Too much.
This is the pool. The rail you see at the bottom of the photo is the rail of the upstairs restaurant, Hula's. I took this photo from my dinner table (you can even see the table touching the rail). The bottom floor restaurant, Duke's, looks out over the hot tub. At lunch, I could have handed a french fry to the people in the hot tub, they were immediately abutting the restaurant rail at my table. So, you can use the pool and hot tub if you don't mind being scenery for two very crowded, open air restaurants full of people looking at you while noshing. It's a human aquarium! I should have taken a photo of the restaurants from the pool, to give you a feeling of just how weird it is to be at the pool and have two full open air restaurants right there.
Thursday, October 05, 2006
below: Manoa falls
below: muddy, slippery hike through bamboo to the falls
below: 2 guys on the trail had captured Jackson's chameleons, a non-native species that had escaped into the environment from a pet store. The horned head indicates that this is a male.
below: Beehive ginger from the nearby arborteum run by U of HI.
below: preparing to enter the rainforest
Wednesday, October 04, 2006
Here are two photos of an interesting fruit I encountered in Chinatown. It's called Dragonfruit. It's an epiphytic (air plant) cactus that makes fruit. I just had to try it. The inside is soft and the texture when eaten is reminiscent of kiwi fruit. It sort of tastes like what you'd get if you crossed a kiwi with a jicama and threw in a taste of "green".
Below are photos of us at the Queen's falls.
Below is Mitch at the Ala Wai canal.
Tuesday, October 03, 2006
The giant clam (Tridacna gigas) or traditionally, pa’ua, is the largest living bivalve mollusc. One of a number of large clam species native to the shallow coral reefs of the South Pacific and Indian oceans, they can weigh more than 180 kilograms (400 pounds) and measure as much as 1.5 metres (5 feet) across.
Sessile in adulthood, the creature's mantle tissues act as a habitat for the symbiotic single-celled dinoflagellate algae (zooxanthellae) from which it gets its nutrition. By day, the clam spreads out its mantle tissue so that the algae receive the sunlight they need to photosynthesize.
As is often the case with uncharacteristically large species, the giant clam has been historically misunderstood. Known in times past as the killer clam or man-eating clam, reputable scientific and technical manuals once claimed that the great mollusc had caused deaths; versions of the U.S. Navy Diving Manual even gave detailed instructions for releasing oneself from its grasp by severing the adductor muscles used to close its shell.
Today, it is generally acknowledged that the giant clam is neither aggressive nor particularly dangerous; while it is certainly capable of holding one fast in its grip, the shell's closing action is actually a defensive response, and far too slow to pose any reasonable threat. No account of a human becoming trapped in this manner has ever been substantiated.
The IUCN lists the giant clams as vulnerable. There is concern among conservationists for the sustainability of practices among those who use the animal as a source of livelihood. The numbers in the wild have been greatly reduced by extensive overharvesting for food and the aquarium trade. On the black market, giant clam shells are sold as decorative accoutrements, and the meat, called Himejako in Japan, is prized as a delicacy.
Everything in these photos I took there is alive. Although coral looks like a plant, it is a live animal with a skeleton.
Check back later for some amazing photos I took of jellyfish and dragonfish.
Below: my favorite animal in the aquarium is this puffer fish. It is very sociable, since it is hand fed. It followed me around it's tank, trying to get attention just like a pet bird. Puffer fish have poisonous spines they stick out when threatened.
Below: a gorgeous fish called the turkey fish. It's spines are poisonous. Yes, I took these photos myself! Isn't it beautiful and amazing?
Below: I didn't notice this fish until it moved. Can you see it? This is a Nohu (devil scorpionfish) and it can inject poison if bitten or stepped on. Although it's topside is camouflaged, it's bottom side is colorful and it can open it's fins and display the colors as a warning.
Below: a giant clam! It's a live animal, not a plant.
Below: a photo of the aquarium's "reef". At bottom left is a giant clam. When they last weighed it about 6 years ago, it weighed 150 lbs. They can reach 600 lbs!
Below: a closeup of the giant clam. The plant looking skin (alive) is overlaid on top of the clam shell (skeleton). We saw a deceased giant clam shell that looked like a giant, fluted clam shell that you'd expect (underlying the skin). The clam receives nourishment not from eating, but from a process going on in it's outer covering. I'll have to go look this up, my memory is getting hazy. The exhibit also stated that it's a myth that giant clams eat divers.