Archive for September, 2008

Reminder for Upcoming Carnival!

Queen Street view of Court Building
Aliiolani Hale – (the building behind the Kamehameha I statue) as seen from Queen Street.

Submission Deadline is Approaching!

The next Carnival of Aloha will go live on Monday, October 6th!  The deadline for submissions is this coming Wednesday, October 1st.

Don’t forget!  Come and join other Hawaii bloggers for the fun and share the Aloha!

Achievements of Science and the Human Mind

You just never know what’s going on around town! The strangest things could be happening just about anywhere. I have to admit, I was really fascinated to find out that this kind of research is actually going on in our little town!  Intelligent Human Assistive Technology, or iHAT, is part of what makes Archinoetics tick.  While this kind of technology may be a difficult thing to put your arms around, it is a fascinating study in the literal linkage of technology and the human brain.

Entryway at Archinoetics

A fellow Twitter member asked if anyone would like to participate in one of their scientific studies.  Of course I’m just naturally nosy and, thinking this would be something about “going green” I had to raise my hand.  There was talk from the company about reading vital signs and about studies in fatigue — I knew I was still a good candidate at that point.  The fatigue reference was not what the volunteers were for, but it is part of their ongoing areas of research.

Never underestimate the power of the human brain.  For those of you who cannot decide if your brain is into the sciences or into the arts, like me, you will love this one!  Part of Archinoetics' Brochure Cover

“Archinoetics is currently developing ‘Brain Painting’ applications that allows people to paint on a digital canvas using only their thoughts. This is part of research conducted under a National Science Foundation grant to create brain-computer interfaces.”

When I was visiting with them, I was told that one of their ultimate goals is to create a way for people to use their brain power to operate a computer.  Oh my!  Can you imagine what that kind of technology could do for the blind, for quadriplegics, or for anyone with a condition that limits the abilities?  This is a way to tap into the human mind so we won’t lose any intellectual or artistic treasures these individuals have to share.  See how nicely art and science can mesh together?  🙂

These studies are going on in our own back yard!  They’re right here, in downtown Honolulu!  Visited by politicians and students alike, Archinoetics is reaching out to the community, leaving a mark, and being recognized across the globe.  My favorite part is that they are trying to get and keep the scientific interests and abilities of our youth involved.

“Archinoetics Chief Science Officer Hunter Downs was recognized in the 7th annual ‘Flavors of Technology’ ceremony for being one of Hawaii’s ‘Top 40 High Tech Leaders’. Says Dr. Downs, ‘I think the key to the growth of Hawaii’s technology industry is to promote entry into the industry by young adults / students; impassion them to innovate with new ideas; and then to train them to identify development opportunities for those ideas.'”

Archinoetics is definitely an organization to keep on your radar!  I’m impressed.  They’re going places — they already have.  Down the road this kind of technology may open doors into understanding the severity of brain damage caused by accidents or strokes, and maybe even find ways to repair that damage.  Okay, I’m stretching it, but I’m hopeful that Archinoetics’ achievements in research will someday help the human mind in areas we’ve previously seen as hopeless.

Neuroscience is a fascinating thing and neuro-anything behaves differently from one individual to the next.  Hats off to Archinoetics for their research and for their analysis of ways to harness and interpret the information they are able to extract from their scientific trials.  Research in this area is long overdue!

“F” is for Friday, and for Food!

Every Friday Fun, Crafts and Recipes has its Four Foods on Friday thing, and invites readers to play along.  It’s fun to participate in this weekly food fun and you even get to learn some interesting things about cooking.  I wanted to play this week, so this post is my contribution.

1. Share a recipe for something Italian.

This was my mother’s recipe many years ago.  I have never used it because the recipe I use has gone over the top with spices and probably costs more than it should to make.  Maybe I should try this one based on its simplicity!  I’ll let you guys know how it goes!

Ingredients:

1 1/2 lbs hamburger
1 egg, slightly beaten
1 c Progresso Unseasoned bread crumbs
1 large onion, chopped
1 1/2 tsp Salt
3/4 tsp Pepper
1/4 can Marinara sauce (don’t know the brand)

Mix together all ingredients well, except Topping (preparation of Topping below).  Pack into meat loaf pan.  Pour Topping over loaf.  Bake at 350 for 1 and 1/2 hours.  Pour off grease before serving.

Topping:

Remaining 3/4 can Marinara sauce
1 C  Water
2 T  ea. of brown sugar, vinegar, and spicy mustard

Mix Topping ingredients well. Pour over loaf before putting in oven.

Good luck with it!  I’ll let you know how mine comes out!  🙂

2. Jam, jelly, preserves, marmalade, fruit butter or butter. What’s on your toast or bread?

Smart Balance Omega 3  It’s really tasty and makes a great spread for toast — because it has olive oil in it!
3.  What’s your favorite Kellogg’s product?

Brown Sugar and Cinnamon Pop Tarts.  It’s not a cereal but it’s a breakfast food and I like them with milk!

4. Do you like liver? What about liverwurst?

No!  Yuck, yuck and double yuck!

I was just talking this morning about how important food is to me!  🙂   I’m looking forward to trying out this noodle lasagna!

Is Hawaii Tourism’s Budget Skewed?

Last Friday, September 12th, Mark Niesse, in an Associated Press article, wrote the following:

“Hawaii Gov. Linda Lingle on Friday called for the state’s top tourism executive to resign after it was revealed he sent racist and sexist material from his government computer in addition to pornographic e-mails disclosed earlier.

“Hawaii Tourism Authority CEO Rex Johnson forwarded jokes about Sens. Barack Obama and Hillary Clinton to friends, besides pornographic e-mails that had already been disclosed.

“It’s crystal clear that Rex Johnson needs to resign,” Lingle told reporters. “This e-mail is disgusting. It goes against the very core of who we are as a people, that we’re a place where all people will feel welcome and comfortable.”

“If Johnson doesn’t “have the class to resign” on his own, Lingle said, the board of the Tourism Authority should remove him.

“Johnson was reprimanded and his pay docked last month for using his state e-mail account to relay pornographic material. But the Tourism Board did not disclose the racist and sexist e-mails, which were among 600 obtained by The Honolulu Advertiser in an open-records request.”

I posted a lot of it here, verbatim, just in case the link goes dead, which it will, eventually.  The best part of all this, I write with a sarcastic sneer, actually had me feeling badly for the guy.

The board considered Johnson’s fate for three weeks before deciding to keep him. As punishment, his annual pay was cut by $40,000…”

Wait, it gets better.

 “…or 16 percent to $200,000. His four-year contract was also reduced to one year.”

You’ve got to be kidding!  Heck, cut it by another  $50,000, or even $100,000 and hire me!  You don’t even need to give me a contract!  I’ll be Miss Aloha and give our visitors everything they want for that kind of salary!  Sheesh, I’m obviously underpaid.  Give me a break!

That extra $100,000 could then be added to the “Hawaiian culture” and/or the “natural resources preservation” buckets!  I’ll even stand with the University of Hawaii and the Department of Land and Natural Resources to clean up our streams and trails!  I wonder if I should send the Hawaii Tourism Authority my resume?  With that kind of salary I could buy that Jeep I would love to have and use it for business — to get up those mountains and check those reservoirs, etc.! We do need to clean up around here! 

I guess that I’m just overwhelmed.  Seriously though, I have a lot of thoughts about alternative ways to get people over here.  We can’t just do the usual printing of flyers and hope for the best.  Lingle also said recently that we can’t just go about business as usual.  She’s right.  We need to do something different and we need to do something more.

We need to do something different; we need to step outside of that proverbial box!  There is so much money available and it seems to me that too much of that money is going for administrative costs and a lot of fluff.  I still think I should send them my resume.  Compared to what they’ve been paying, I’m a cheap hire! 

Our local media has, of course, picked up on the story as well.  I just liked the AP article — it made its point quickly. 

To the Hawaii Tourism Authority I say, “hang tough guys, we’ll get through this but you need to do some major brainstorming.  There is so much depending on all that you do!”  We’ve got to make it work!

Sold-Out of Pop Tarts and Gasoline!

Those of you who have been around here for a little over a year, might remember all of my moaning and groaning about my friendly neighborhood Chevron station.  Since they reopened and restored the look of that busy corner, they have been busier than they ever were before!  Well, I stopped by yesterday (9/13/08) to get my favorite Pop Tarts.  They carry them.  Seriously.  I was too tired to drive further and I wasn’t even there for gas.  I didn’t even notice that every pump was covered with plastic.

Brown Sugar and Cinnamon Pop Tarts

One of the staff was about to tap on my window when she noticed I was getting out of the car and said, “Oh, you’re not here for gas are you?”

“No,” I said as I smiled at her, “I just came to get my pop tarts.”

“Oh, okay, I think we have those.”

“You do,” I grinned, “7-11 doesn’t have the kind I like, but you do.”

When I got inside their little snack shop where the cashier is, I began to wonder why she would ask me a question like that.  I mean, why wouldn’t I be there for gas?  My tank was recently filled but, aside from that, I couldn’t imagine why she would have said it that way.  As it turned out, they were out of Pop Tarts.

After giving them a little minor prodding about being sold-out of my Pop Tarts and making me drive further on to Safeway, I asked one of the young boys working there why I was asked that question.

Sorry No Gas sign on cone

“Oh,” he replied, “we’re out of gas.”

“What?!?  How did that happen?”

He shrugged.  I went back outside to get a more detailed answer but what I gas was, “We’re not sure,” or “We really don’t know.”

From what I could gather the station is not closing but Chevron is not coming to fill up the tanks.  The station sold the last drop!  So, what are they going to do?!?

You can imagine what was going on in my head — “Noooooooooo!!!  After all of my whining and bitching and complaining and…”  Well, you get the picture.  I really thought that things had been restored to normal after so many months of an out-of-order gas station.

Unable to get it out of my mind, I headed down the street this Sunday morning only to find the station coned off and with this new signage.

Coned Chevron Station

I’m not sure about the underlying reasons or the ultimate consequences of all of this but, trust me, I will find out and let you guys know!  I teased about the station becoming a Shell or a 76 but that was clearly not part of their plans.  All I know is that I’m rattled by this and I’m sure they must be too.  How, when they were so darn busy?!?

For now it’s back to 7-11 for gas and back to Safeway for my Pop Tarts — since my Chevron is out of both.  I’m not going to say this is a rant, yet.  I’ll keep you posted.

Homespun Honolulu Has a New Entrecard!

Homespun Honolulu EntrecardMahalo to my Twitter friend, PhoneGirl, for designing an Entrecard for me! The color choice could not have been better and the design is very welcome. It sure beats the black and grey square I’ve been dealing with all of this time! I just never bothered to do anything more, but my little friend decided I needed something better.  So, she put one together and emailed it to me!

PSL EntrecardI’m very happy with it and will take my chances, once again, with posting her Entrecard here, with the usual *warning* about the content you may find there.

This just goes to show you that while sharing some aloha with the blogosphere might be a little delicate at times, it can also be very rewarding!  🙂  It’s gorgeous, Phone Girl, thank you for taking that initiative!

Great Outdoors and Rambunctious Drivers!

I miss the Jeeps I used to see all over the place.  They don’t seem as popular nowadays.  Maybe that’s because Oahu doesn’t have as many rocky, Jeep-appropriate places anymore.  Sigh.  I used to terrorize my poor little car right after getting out of high school.  I would take the poor thing over the roughest terrain! 

Yep, I was climbing mountains as far as my little car could go.  Jeeps weren’t popular with my parents either.  Shucks!  My poor little Datsun (that’s a Nissan for those who don’t remember the Datsun make of car)  is gone now, but the desire to do the rugged, outdoors thing still remains!  

Black Jeep-like Vehicle

When you think of outdoors you think of hiking, biking, running and waterfalls! Kauai! Kauai would be a fun place to have a Jeep! Wailua Bay Car Rentals has Kauai Jeep Rentals!   Now that’s what you call a sports utility vehicle!  Okay, a bumpy ride but still a fun one!  I would love to drive one again.  Especially since I can’t go four-wheeling with my Datsun anymore.

If I ever move up in the economic world, I suppose my choice of recreational vehicle will have to be a Jeep.  As much as I love the motorcycles, I’m a coward and, I’ll admit it, a not-so-safe driver.  Hey, at least I’m honest.  Besides, you still get the wind through your hair with a Jeep, just with fewer tangles!

Now, if the people over at Wailua Bay ever read this, they’ll be sure to require insurance if I ever try to rent a Jeep from them!   But then, if I’m on Kauai, I be a tourist!  A kama’aina, yes, but a tourist nonetheless!  They do have other Kauai Car Rentals so don’t worry about that.  Of course, they also have rentals on Hawaii, Maui, Oahu, and Molokai.  Hmmm… Oahu huh?  Do you think they should be worried?  🙂

Okay, now that I’ve scared them, I will share that they also have Kauai Vacation Rentals — right on the beach!   Now they won’t slam the door in my face when I try to rent my Jeep from them.  If you’re venturing to Kauai, call them at 1-800-591-8605! 

Turn on the Sirens! It’s Carnival Time!

Honolulu Fire Department Engine No. 50

Welcome to the Anniversary Edition of the Carnival of Aloha!  It’s been a year since it all began but I think we’ve come a long way.  We’ve got more people and we’ve discovered more Hawaii blogs than we knew we had.  In the interest of saving time, we’ve got the Honolulu Fire Department’s Engine No. 50 to help us tour the Carnival.  Mahalo to the Honolulu Fire Department who, incidentally, doesn’t know a thing about it.  🙂

Speaking of someone who doesn’t know a thing about what’s going on,  I had no idea that some of the other island residents have some political drama of their own.  As we start to bid farewell to a very hot summer, we are looking at a very interesting campaign year!

Damon Tucker joins us for the first time and presents Is a Billy Kenoi Smear On? posted at Damon Tucker’s Weblog.  This is indicative to me that Honolulu is not the only one with a little bit of political drama.  It’s nice to know we’re not the only ones!   Thank you, Damon, for joining us and for sharing!  Stay with us and join us again for the next Carnival!

We can now continue with other things that people don’t know a thing about!

Ron over at Your Aloha Connection submitted a story from another blog.  A Hawaii Home In Hilo is a story posted by a relatively new resident who blogs over at Hilo Living.  Ron said, “This isn’t my blog or post, but I thought it was great post, so I submitted it. Congrats on the anniversary!!!”  Thank you for that, Ron, and for the new discovery!  Hopefully our new friend see this and will continue to join us every month!  This post talks about energy-efficient living and is a nice lead-in for Ron’s post.

TheSecretTestimonials.com, aka Ron from above, kind of follow suit as he shares Renewable Energy in Hawaii posted at Your Aloha Connection.  The whole green thing is on my radar for sure so I really do appreciate these posts.

We can cook without a stove.  That’s energy conservation!  Check this out:

Sheila presents What is an imu ceremony at a luau? posted at Hawaii Vacation Blog – GoVisitHawaii.com, saying, “How about some kalua pork hot out of the imu (oven)? I wrote this post to help visitors understand more about the origin and process of imu cooking and why it’s neat to see an imu ceremony at a luau.”

Thank you, Sheila.  It’s been a long time, 1982 if I remember correctly, since I’ve been a part of the imu cooking of pork.  It brings back fond memories of the fresh-out-of-high-school days.  🙂   Leeward Oahu is a great place for food, as we’re about to find out!

Skeet is sharing a post with us that’s all about the Sunset on the Beach 2008 posted over at Skeet’s Stuff.  It’s all about raising money for the kids but it’s also about guess what?  You got it!   Food!  🙂  I had not idea that such a venue started over along the Waianae coast.  Shucks!  Only once a year, Skeet?  Sigh.

Now it’s time for dessert!

HawaiiVacationGifts presents Mountain Apple Season in Hawaii posted at Hawaii Vacation Gifts by Double Brush-Hawaiian Gifts & Blog, saying, “Hi Evelyn, Hope you got to taste some mountain apples this summer.”  You bet I did!  I’ve loved them for about thirty years and thought I could only find them in Makaha Valley because that’s the only place I ever saw them.  But, a co-worker actually has a tree in her yard and brought some to work!

Now that we’ve done all of that eating, we may need some exercise!

Pua presents Kona Ironman Accommodation posted at Best Hawaii Vacation with Hawaii Vacation Blog, saying, “Visit Hawaii Big Island for the next Hawaii Ironman Triathlon Championship in Kona on Saturday 10/11/08. An experience of a lifetime!”

Time to get into shape if you’re thinking of participating!

Of course Evelyn, that’s me, loves to eat and I’m going to share the food from Formaggio Grill with you guys once again .  Take a look at Grilling Italian Style posted right here at Homespun Honolulu and wait for your stomach to growl!  🙂  All this food is going to take me a couple of days to work off but, oh well.

That concludes our Anniversary edition! Submit your blog article to the next edition of carnival of aloha using our carnival submission form. Past posts and future hosts can be found on our blog carnival index page.

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