Saturday, December 21, 2013


I don't think of myself as someone who stereotypes, yet I found myself doing it the other day.  Growing up in Hawaii, a Hawaiian, Filipino, Portuguese and Swedish local boy, you couldn't pigeonhole me as such.  I ran (road,track and cross country), water skied, skim boarded and cycled, not your typical local boy activities, I played basketball at the courts with other local kids, just not as much as I did other activities.
So I found it strange that I found humor in this scene.  I pulled up to a traffic light and there was this hard core rap music blaring out of the vehicle next to me.  It was a Toyota Highlander Hybrid and the factory speakers were distorting.  The driver was a late teens early 20's male.  Not to be mean, just for you to get the best visual possible, the driver looked like the Pillsbury Dough Boy.  White and fluffy, boppin his head, doing the hand wave thing.  I couldn't help but smile and wonder...
In my music collection (at this same age), I had a huge assortment of albums and tapes.  AC/DC, Beastie Boys, Gabby Pahinui, John Denver, Boston, James Taylor, Prince, OMD, just touch on a few of the mixed Genre's.  Why is it then, that I found this so humorous?  I guess stereotyping is something we all do, to a certain extent?
Anyway, enough rambling for today, tomorrow is just a short sleep away... 

Monday, September 2, 2013

Yellowstone National Park: Being a Tourist Amongst Tourists

I am not a worldly traveler, but I do like to sight see.  I am not an historian, but I do like history.  I am not a photographer, but I do like to take pictures.  I am not a creeper, but I do enjoy people watching!

We packed up our Subaru and drove 1800 miles, burning 72 gallons of gas in 4 days, to visit Yellowstone, our nations first national park.  Hmmm, 1800/72 the year the park was established...very strange...


There were so many different ethnicity's represented.  All of us with a common goal.  See and document as much of the park as possible.  It was very interesting seeing how all of us, though culturally different, shared the same awestruck faces when taking in all the natural beauty.  The range of color, temperature and scenery kept you wanting to see more.

 Walking around with my wife and daughter made me miss having my son with us (he had to work), at the same time relishing being able to share this experience with them.  

 There were couples pushing strollers, and elderly being helped by younger family members.  There were tour buses and RV's and there were bicyclists.  There were motorcyclists and there were hitchhikers.  Just about any type of person you could imagine, was represented.

Being born and raised in Hawaii, there was always natural beauty to be seen.  Here at Yellowstone the waterfalls were  different than what I was accustomed to.  In Hawaii it was sort of natural to see a waterfall cascading down a green mountain side.  Here you might hike awhile seeing sparse vegetation and dry rocky mountains  and all of a sudden there is a waterfall in a deep canyon.

The rivers varied quite a bit also.  Some were in deep valleys and some had wildlife in and around them.  I am drawn to water anyway , but seeing the rivers here was always a reason to stop, not that I did, I just wanted to.

There was time while learning, for some goofing around.  I usually do more goofing around than learning.  But, if it wasn't for my goofing around I might not want to learn anything!

The views and scenery are incredible and well worth whatever it takes to get there.  These pictures don't do it justice.  This park is truly a must see in person, once in a lifetime, bucket list...cliché .

Just in case you were wondering, yes, we did go see Old Faithful.  We also did go shopping, but I won't bore you with any of that!

This was an awesome experience that everyone should try to do.  We were only in the park 2 days and it wasn't nearly enough to even scratch the surface.  We have plans to return, but don't know when.
Enough rambling for today, tomorrow is just a short sleep away...

Sunday, April 28, 2013

New Twist On An Old Pastime

I grew up in Hawaii, surrounded by water.  Did all sorts of water activities.  Boogie boarding, surfing, skim boarding, water skiing, snorkeling and fishing.  I have since lived in the mainland for the past 13 1/2 years and lost track of those fun times.
Yesterday gave me a glimpse of a life I used to have.  A life free of bills, work, projects and chores.  I have a wife and 2 friends to thank for that.
Fishing in Hawaii was a bit different than it was here on a lake.  My earliest memories of fishing, were from shore with my parents and grandparents in the dark.  They used long whipping poles, sand spikes and bells.  I fished from shore, casting and retrieving a lure.  Then When I was 12 or so Grandpa took me on his 26 foot boat with a flying bridge and cabin, powered by a Volvo Penta diesel motor.  We'd leave the house at 4:30am and return at 4:30-5:30pm.  We'd cruise 20-25 miles off shore and troll for Aku, Ahi and Mahi Mahi .  Lures were made with store bought skirts and heads cast by my grandpa.  Great memories.
Enter a new chapter.
Yesterday 2 friends and I hit the lake for opening day in this 12 foot boat,powered by an electric trolling motor with paddle back up.  Whoa! What a different scenario!  It was opening day, so there was lots of boats and fisherman.  All were in good spirits.
This is the kind of stuff I was now going to be using.  Uh, OK.  I'm glad I happened by a fishing seminar a couple weeks ago and listened for a few minutes, because if I didn't I would have looked REALLY stupid.  As soon as we shoved off and were on the way one of my friends asked do you have a wedding ring?  If I hadn't heard the term at the seminar i would have looked down at my  finger and said not wearing it right now.  Instead I promptly answered "Yup got a red one"  Whew!  2 minutes in and I would have looked more stupid than I am!
We trolled around while me and my carpal tunnel hands took for ever to rig my pole.  Damn 8# line!  I finally was ready to go, got the line in the water and in minutes, Hana Pa'a!  Or here in the lake Fish On!
Lost that one but a few minutes later, got this 16 inch trout!  Doing good so far.  Ended up getting greedy, letting a 10 incher go.  Decided later when the bites weren't coming as easy, to keep another 10 incher.
Gutted these guys, stuffed them with lemon wedges and garlic slices seasoned with salt and pepper and through them on my Traeger wood pellet grill.  Pretty tasty, I must say!
All in all, had a great time making new memories with 2 good guys.  Hope to go again soon.  Enough rambling for today, tomorrow is just a short sleep away...


Wednesday, April 17, 2013

Neighbor Disputes

Do you ever ask yourself, at what point do you say to your neighbor, WTF?  I have suffered in silence for a long time.  Mainly because I was the guy that, "has the Sheppard that barks all the time."  
This has lead to a lot of frustration for me.  Especialy since she is now a lot better!
But some stuff, really?

What do you say to this?  I said " Your tree fell and almost took out our dog kennel, it could have been bad."  The response was, "Oh really, wow!"  Nothing happened, I cleaned it up and took care of the rest of the tree.
That is probably worse than the rest of the crap we all deal with, but still.

Keep your s**t in your own yard!  C'mon now!  I bust my ass trying to keep my neighbors crap at bay, but it gets to a point where you just lose your mind!
Run your trimmer for goodness sake!  I mean, really?!?
Sorry, but sometimes things just get frustrating!  Enough rambling for today, tomorrow is just a short sleep away...

Sunday, March 24, 2013

Remodeling For Life

Sometimes we make a change to our home with a specific thing in mind.  We don't realize sometimes how much it may affect us later.  Life has a way of reminding us of things we might have forgotten.  I did almost all of this before I damaged my neck, which would make most of this stuff impossible in my current condition.

I started remodeling our house right after we bought it.  It started with removing 6' tall Rhodies in front of my kids bedroom windows and dropping the sill height to bring in more natural light.  It spread to bigger things from there.  These windows were cut into a wall where there weren't any.  This really opened up the living room.

Later we bought a fridge that didn't quite fit into our galley style kitchen.

I moved the end of a wall to accommodate the fridge, not knowing what was coming next!

Neither the galley style or storage space fit our needs. So major reconstruction started!  This pushed our family to the limits of sanity.  Our lives were drastically changed for months on end!

My kids got first hand experience, REAL life experience.

They both got to get in there and do the work!

I can only hope it gave them both an appreciation for what we now have.

It wasn't all slave labor, there was time to explore and goof around!

Walls came down, new walls went up, it was a major ordeal trying to leave some stuff in place so we could still cook and provide for our family while everything was a war zone!  Electrical hanging from the ceiling, plastic covering furniture and TV.

The further along the project came, the realization set in that sooner or later everything was going to have to be gone!

For a while we had no kitchen, dining or living room!  That was a lot of fun!

I sure am glad I had some help...?  My father and son working together is well worth it!

Slowly things started coming together.

Which was nice, compared to coming apart.  At least now there was a light at the end of the tunnel!

All of a sudden, just when things were almost back together, demolition started again!  What is wrong with me!

Now when you entered, instead of having the galley kitchen in front of you, there was a wall.  The already small entry shrank even more.  So i took some space out of my garage to widen the entry!

The ugly front door opened the wrong way now too!  More demolition!

Much better, don't you think?

7 years later it is so nice to cook in here!  At this point in my life cooking is as therapeutic as it is necessary! 

At the end of it all, I couldn't be happier.  Glad it's over, but the rough life through the process definitely makes it even more worthwhile!

We had a party here recently and it was nice to hear compliments on the kitchen.  It has almost become a forgotten memory.  Almost.  It is still the gathering place we hoped it to be when building it.  

This group of people spent a lot of the night in the kitchen hanging out.  We didn't even cook anything.  It's just where everyone decided to kick back!

 Today this remodel still provides what was only a dream 7 years ago!  A place to cook, entertain, hang out and enjoy life.
Anyway, enough rambling for today, tomorrow is just a short sleep away...