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Monday, February 22, 2010

Saturday, February 13, 2010

Talk about sassy!

Kung Hee Fat Choy!

Having our annual family get together. Thanks Auntie Lin.

Tomorrow is Chinese New Year dinner with my folks. I will make my
first attempt at jai.

Thursday, February 11, 2010


Was in a long meeting today. But my mind was here...

And here...

And here...

And here...


Wednesday, February 10, 2010

One of the best ways to work off lunch...

Granted, there are better ways. But few can match taking a nice unplanned hike unencumbered by gear. Since we are planning on taking the kids on a hike, I thought I would scout out our location in advance. So after a healthy lunch of a burger and fries, off I go.

I grabbed a small light shoulder bag that I keep in my truck, shove a canteen of water in there and a camera and off I go. I did also throw in a pack of tissues for just in case. The only other things I had with my was what was in my pockets. I guess that will be a later post.

Usually whenever I go on a hike, I make an offering of a stone wrapped in ti leaf. But this time, I didn't do it. Maybe because I wasn't planning on going very far...I don't know.

There were a lot of offerings that were left by others though. Piled rocks, rocks wrapped in leaves, fruits, etc.

The trail is easy and the kids will have no trouble with it.

There was a lot of beauty. Like this hibiscus.

And the trees were festooned with leis (garlands of flowers and/or leaves).

The patches of clear sky are always nice.

Generally, it was very dry. None of the streams were running and most of the stream beds were bone dry.

There was a lot to see, like these turn of the century bridges.

While there was water, I wouldn't drink it. Not even boiled or treated. I would only consider it if I thought I was going to die. And then I still might not drink it. If only it was running water.

One of the interesting sights is this dilapidated structure.

Another is this tree embracing a stone.

I think this place is a bushcrafter's paradise. There were stands of bamboo to give building material, pandanas trees for weaving mats and shelter roofs, lots of birds, fruit trees and palm trees, lots of dry grasses and ferns for tinder bundles.

This is one of the massive palms.

And vines galore for cordage.

And when you look off the trail, well it's a jungle out there.

But those are hau trees, they make cordage, fishing floats, and excellent friction fire materials. So other than it being dry, there are lots of materials to make use of. I was bummed that there were no fruits to be had today.

As I was walking along, enjoying myself, I heard this really deep rumble coming from deeper inside the valley that I was going into. It was loud, vibrating, and lasted for about a minute. All during the rumble, I kept going. Then I thought maybe it was the valley telling me to get back to work.

So I turned around and headed back out of the valley and back to work. Several hundred feet from the trail head, I did leave a parting gift.

I will be back with my family and we will likely do a portion of the trail. And later, when I make more time, I will be back to do the whole 11 miles or whatever it is. This trail, like many in Hawaii, will take you across the island to the other side.

Nagual Angel

Last week we had the pleasure of meeting Linda and Mark from England.

They were larger than life and taller than the mountains. They graced us with their presence and brought goodies. That made the little monkeys' eyes get really big.

We all loved the infamous Kendall Mint Cakes and the shortbread cookies were most delicious.

We in turn, shared a Hawaiian meal. A little mini luau. Or as we say, some ono kine grindz. By the time I thought to take a picture, most of the laulau, lomi salmon, poi, poke, squid luau, kalua chicken, pulehu tako, and haupia was gone. Washed down with iced green tea, there was ALMOST no evidence.

When I downloaded the pictures from my camera today, I found that the girls took about 120 pictures! The little monkeys were the primary photographers. They were given a reprieve from school work and a change in routine to play outside and meet some nice folks. Of course, about 85% of the pictures they took were of...

They weren't trying to take a picture of dad. Look what is centered.

I realized when I saw this that I look like a big old bear. Teddy bear, of course.

After we were done with lunch and running around by the lake, the girls wanted to take Linda and Mark to our most recent camp site.

We hung out and chatted a little bit there, but the girls really wanted to take our guests foraging for guavas.




Hanging out.

After a short while, the girls were tired of hanging out and were ready to forage.

I must admit, we were successful. And our guests and the little monkeys each had a little bag of succulent sweet guava. I think they were sweet and succulent. I am just realizing that I never even got a taste. Hey, what's up with that?!?

Well all good things had to end and we headed back to drop our visitors off. And head straight to two soccer practices. By the way, both of the girls' teams are still undefeated! Go girls!

Instead of dropping Linda and Mark off at their hotel, we left them in the Valley of the Temples, where they were able to continue their wanderings.

Thanks for visiting Linda and Mark. I wish we had more time to take you guys around. We hope you enjoyed your little visit with us and your stay here in Hawaii!

What a Monkey Looks Like

Right before splashdown. She climbed in my bed and went splat on top of me. Hop on Pop is definitely a favorite game for my monkeys.

Tuesday, February 9, 2010


This moth had about a five inch wingspan. I thought it was pretty big.

Monday, February 8, 2010

Winter Camping... Hawaii. Well, for those of you in the cold, please have some sunshine to warm you up!

We had a chance to camp out prior to the start of soccer season a couple of weeks ago. So we did. Here's our home for four glorious days. We had no rain this time and the days were in the 70's and it got down as cold as the 50's overnight. I almost had to put on pants. ;)

After setting up our tent, I made a shelter for the kids. They like to have their own "clubhouse" to go along with the secret spots that they run off to. I thought their tarp shelter (a modified diamond fly) looked like a sci-fi raptor.

The kids love the wagons. They play with them every time we go camping.

They also love helping out with cooking.

And they really love eating!

They loved the hammock. They would almost fight over it.

Kids like playing in the dark.

Kids love trees and to explore.

Kids are silly.

So are moms.

We saw hang gliders and para gliders everyday. This was at maximum zoom on my camera. 15x, I believe.

Of course, we made fire. I brought various fire making tools to play with. These included the tinder tube I made earlier, the Spark-lite (mahalo Chris!) and a fire piston (mahalo Kalimalena) that I have always forgotten to bring to camp. These went along with the old stand bys, the ferro rod and flint and steel. And while I brought some hau wood for friction fire, no one wanted a go at it. One thing that I learned was that the chaga took a spark fine, but didn't work that well in the fire piston. Char cloth worked the best in the piston.

I also showed some of the guys how to make a soda can stove with a Swiss army knife.

Of course, kids like fire too so they made and maintained their own.

Gratuitous camp fire picture.

A most precious view that I awake to.Some scenery...

We had wonderful sunrises and sunsets.

I found a nice shady and secluded spot to do some Tai Chi and Kung Fu.

And of course, the mountains all around are beautiful.