Archive for October, 2008

Happy Anniversary to Organized Literary Abandon!

 The title of this post is not the oxymoron NaNoWriMo Iconthat you think it is.  National Novel Writing Month is upon us once again and there are organizers across the oceans who have organized ways for writing fanatics to write with reckless abandon!  

This year NaNoWriMo celebrates its 10th anniversary.  I know there are a lot of bloggers across the nation who are involved with this endeavor in one way or another.  Here in Honolulu, the bulk of participants seem to be made up of college students.  There are a lot of people in unexpected places as well. 

I failed NaNoWriMo miserably last year but I’m aiming to try again this year.  If I can pull it together this year, it may make me more capable of pounding out more blog posts more consistently.  More, more, more!  I’ve already decided whose life I’m going to mess up big time in my novel. Ha!  🙂 

The beauty of this is that you’re jsut working for a draft at best, not a well-crafted, read to go to print manuscript. In other words, don’t worry about it, just write and let your writing take on a life of its own. I’ve read that people’s characters take on a life of their own and surprise even the author as things move along.  I like that idea!

Some people have been published in the months that followed NaNoWriMo, but don’t count on it.  The writing goes on at fever pitch for 30 days — not so much for literary genius but for putting passion down on paper.  That’s how I see it anyway (no surprise there I suppose).

Anyway, Happy Anniversary NaNoWriMo!  There’s a story in my head.  Isn’t there one in yours?  Sign up!  Hurry, the literary abandon starts November 1st!  There are write-ins going on all over the State of Hawaii and the rest of the country.  Starbucks, book stores and various restaurants have got to be looking forward to the coming month of November!  Coffee sales must go through the roof at times like this!  🙂

Follow-Up on Nuuanu’s Chevron Station

They’re closed again.  But, I was told by Chevron staff, not for long!  There is this chain-link fence keeping people out which is the first time I have seen this at this station — even when it was closed for nearly a year.  There was never a fence.

Nuuanu Chevron station surrounded by chain-link fence.

This banner is also a good sign.  They wouldn’t say it, put their name on it and then hang it if it weren’t the case.  Since displaying this banner, and fencing the place, the gas pumps have actually been removed.  Now, that may mean that there is some new, more state-of-the-art equipment coming but that remains to be seen. 

Sign saying that Nuuanu Chevron is renovating.

They have had staff painting the trims with nice fresh blue paint.  I’m not sure which day that was but I think it was Saturday, that I saw them sprucing things up a little. 

I saw an obvious employee checking out the station and I had to ask what they were doing (’cause I’m nosy like that).  He said, ” We’re remodeling.” 

     “Uh huh,” was my border-line sarcastic response.
     “Is that good or bad?” he questioned with a strange look.
     “Good!  After all my complaining and whining look where we are now. Closed again!” 

He just kind of smirked and dismissed me which was fine with me because I got the answer I wanted to hear.  I’m such a bitch. Businesses always forgive me, though.  Afterall, my money, although there isn’t much of it, is still green.  🙂

Matson container sitting at Chevron station.

Oh yeah, like I could have walked away from this photo op!  These corporations are just so lucky I like them so much.  I don’t know why.  I guess they provide needed services and they’re part of our community.  You see, there really is something to be said about logo recognition and trade familiarity. 

Bloggers Sharing the Love

It’s always a treat when we get to share posts, tributes and common  interests.  I wanted to take this opportunity to prompt everyone to join in the fun — the deadline for the next Carnival of Aloha is this coming up on us again this Wednesday, October 29th.

Blog Love Award

I was pleasantly surprised to read a comment left by one of our regular Carnival participants letting me know that she included Homespun Honolulu on her list of blogs to receive this little award.   Pua chose to make her selections consist of Hawaii blogs and that served as a wonderful reminder to me that we all share so much with each other when we share our posts and accolades like this one.

Pua received her award from Anele over at True Aloha. Thank you, Anele and Pua, for sharing this with each other and thank you, Pua, for including me!

Once you receive this award, the idea is to do the following:

* Display your award.
* Link back to the person who gave you the award.
* Nominate at least 7 other blogs.
* Put links to those blogs on yours.
* Leave a message on the blogs of the people you’ve nominated.
* Enjoy your award!

I will follow Pua’s lead and list them in alphabetical order.  Some of them may be receiving the love more than once but, oh well.  🙂

A Darker View has been on my radar ever since they joined us for one of our Carnival of Aloha expeditions.  I love the photos and the night sky to be sure.

Go Visit Hawaii has been near and dear to my heart for quite some time.  Sheila’s love of the Hawaiian islands and her dedication to talking about all of them is what makes her blog very unique.  There are few of us who talk so consistently about all of the island all of the time!  In addition to her blog, Sheila and her husband Andy, are hard acts to follow as well.

Hawaii Vacation Gifts by Double Brush is a refreshing blog for me because this blogger keeps it real and stays close to nature and close to my heart.

Jason Boom is always “exploding across the Internet.”  I just like the “personality” of this blog and the way this blogger writes and the topics he chooses.

Lynn’s Lair, aka AuntiePupule.com is part of the love network, to be sure!

Mel’s Internet Universe Weblog always seems to capture my heart with all of Mel’s perfect photos and colors.

Skeet’s Stuff will always be one of my favorites, even if she does leave us.  Yes, she’s leaving us.  *Sniff!*  Okay, I’m being selfish.  She’s happy and excited and off on a new adventure.  She’s going to be joining family back on the mainland.  So?!?  Well?  I’m losing a friend and a coherent connection to the Leeward side of the island, what do you expect me to say? (Hmpf!)

The Modern Historian fascinated me when I saw it and I try to follow it whenever I can.  It’s so nice to have a touch of history every day or as often as you can get to it.  It’s nice to see how we’ve always been a little odd, just in different ways.  I love the linking of history and literature — this blogging about history sort of adds a twist to that.

Virtual Scratchpad is not one that I am willing to overlook, even though I already have seven.  Now I’m one up on the rest.  🙂  This in no way talkes away form The Right Blue, Bobbie.  Oh, does that make ten?

There are so many others that I could include here and it’s amazing that we have all found each other.

In addition to the blogosphere, I love our local blogs and their bloggers who have chosen to join us in the Carnival when they can. I hope this little post will inspire everyone to join the Hawaii-blogger ohana with their about-Hawaii submissions before the deadline next week and share their blog love across the Net.

Bells Will Be Ringing

Alexander & Baldwin rang the opening bell on the New York Stock Exchange (NYSE) this morning.  From what I could gather, this was to recognize the movement of their stock from the Nasdaq to the NYSE.  Now when you go to look for their stock, you’ll be looking for them under the ticker symbol, AXB.  I didn’t even know they were traded on the Nasdaq.  Consequently I didn’t know about, or pay attention to, the news that they were moving over. 

That bell on the news this morning triggered this post.  This is now a perfect time for me to talk about Matson!  I’ve been wondering for several days just how I would start talking about Matson.  I have mentioned them before, I have realized how important they are to the State of Hawaii and I have apparently added them to my internal list of companies to watch, endorse and respect.  Their owner?  You got it — Alexander & Baldwin!  I had no idea A&B owned Matson, until I did a little research.  Boy did I feel dumb!  I should have known that.

Let me give you a short recap.  First, I was so concerned about the Falls of Clyde being sunk and then I got excited when I heard that the Friends of the Falls of Clyde was stepping forward to keep the ship from going to a briny grave.  The next worry was money.  I wrote a post about sending emails to Matson, appealing, suggesting, okay begging, for their help.  Of course the Alexander & Baldwin Foundation is their charitable arm.  Like I said, I felt pretty stupid.     

Anyway, a very nice gentleman in Matson’s mainland office not only took the time to forward my emails to A&B, but he actually took the time to call me on the phone and let me know they were not ignoring me.  Suffice it to say, I was amazed and pleasantly surprised to find that an officer of such a large corporation was so patient and quite personable!

Matson barge as seen from the front.

The sound of the horn on this Matson ship was so loud it made me jump right out of my skin!  It also made me jump up and grab my camera!  Just to give you some idea of the physical size of this thing, those little figures just off to the left of the middle of the ship’s deck are people.  This thing is huge!

Matson barge and its containers

My groceries are on that boat — maybe even Thanksgiving dinner!  🙂    I did remind the gentleman from Matson to not forget our Christmas trees this year.  He chuckled and said they wouldn’t forget.  So every time you hear bells ringing this holiday season, think of Matson and the Falls of Clyde. 

Soon they will be moving the Falls of Clyde from her current location (next to the Hawaii Maritime Center adjacent to Aloha Tower) and taking her to dry land.  The intent is to repair the ship and eventually restore her back to the water for all to enjoy.  Maybe our Matson giant above will welcome the Falls of Clyde back into the water with a blast of its large horn.  Wouldn’t that be fun?!?  It wouldn’t exactly be bells but it would certainly leave our ears ringing!   

Commemorative Art in Public Places

fountain1.jpgThere are so many things that we all walk by each and every day without noticing them or ever noting their significance. The other day, while I was visiting the State tax office, I paused to gaze at the plaque attached to this large piece of art.  I I was quite surprised.  Realizing that I must have lost a large piece of royal genealogy, I was left scratching my head. Hats off to this artist for being moved to create such a tribute and mahalo to the State Foundation on Culture and the Arts for making sure that there is a description mounted securely to the artwork’s base.

STATE FOUNDATION ON CULTURE AND THE ARTS

Artist: Donald Harvey
Ka Ho’oilina Mau Loa
(The Eternal Legacy)
Granite and cast bronze 1993

In a nut shell and almost verbatim, the description on the plaque explains the sculpture as follows:

  “Symbolically represents the interrelationships among Kamehameha I, Ruth Ke’elikolani, Bernice Pauahi Bishop and their legacy to the people of Hawai’i.  The water represents the wealth of benefits that have flowed from these people.   The personal interaction between Ke’elikolani and Pauahi is symbolized by the cast bronze centerpiece.  The design of the cultural forms is inspired by ancient Hawaiian double-hulled canoes.”

Ka Ho'oilina Mau LoaWe all know the signficance of King Kamehameha and most people are quite familiar with the name of Bernice Pauahi Bishop but I had to ask myself, “who is Ruth Ke’elikolani?”  As I berate myself and try to read why I didn’t know more, I have found that there is no surprise since she did not share the notoriety of her other royal family members.  I still should have known.

Anyway, Princess Ruth was the great grand daughter of Kamehameha I and upon her death she left most of her estate to Princess Bernice Pauahi Bishop, her cousin.  Therein lies the connection.  Suddenly this shapely granite figure and its alluring draw of cool cascading water has real significance.  Such is the impact of artistic endeavors and the unexpected influence of art in public places!

For more on Princess Ruth you can visit this link to Wikipedia.

The Carnival of Aloha Goes to Sea

Welcome to Chapter 14 of the Carnival of Aloha! While thinking about a mode of transportation for this edition of our Carnival, it dawned on me that we could just use the obvious.  We’ll take a cyber ride with the Falls of Clyde before she’s taken out of the water and sent to drydock for a very costly restoration.

The Falls of Clyde prior to removal to drydock.

Financial concerns are very apparent with this Chapter and the feelings are shared across the board in one way or another.  It’s interesting that our Carnival this month mirrors some of the common, pervading feelings in our island communities.

Mel shares his pictorial genius with us in Parade Celebrates Aloha posted at Mel’s Internet Universe Weblog.  Mel said, “Nothing says “Aloha” more during September than the annual “Aloha Festivals” celebration. This year I captured the beauty of the annual floral parade that was almost canceled this year due to funding issues.”  It’s always all about the money isn’t it?  Thank you, Mel, for keeping us in the loop with this.  If anyone needs more visual impact, check out the rest of Mel’s photos, there’s over 100!

Ryan Suenaga asks one of the questions I hear over and over again these days, both around town and at home.  Ryan asks, “When Will We See Price Drops on Gasoline like the Continental U.S. Has?” at his blog, Uncommon Cents.  Such a great name for a blog with financial focus. Thanks for asking and addressing that question out loud, Ryan!

Skeet tells us about the Neighborhood growth revisited posted at skeet’s stuff, saying, “Some of our local homeless population will soon be living in transitional housing that will help them prepare for eventual home-ownership or rental.”  They’re trying to fix things.  There’s hope!

Sunny Petropoullakis is a mom who joins us with more of our attempts at “fixing” things. Sunny: Recycle Hawaii! posted at Sunny, shows that we really are trying.  Welcome aboard, Sunny!

Lynn shows us that we really can try to make a difference as she says, “Hello” to us at Auntie Pupule.com as she returns from her campaign for office that has made us all perk up and pay attention.  Thanks, Lynn, for trying to fix things!

Angie steps in to give us a break with A sweet treat from the Big Island posted at True Aloha.  We needed some sweet sustenance, Angie!  Thank you!  Angie said, “I just picked some of this up recently…yum!”  This is not the first time we have enjoyed the product of the busy-bee ohana (family) on the island of Hawaii.

Sheila tells us Where to Stay in Hawaii to Avoid Rain, posted at Hawaii Vacation Blog – GoVisitHawaii.com saying, “I love all of Hawaii’s micro climates. I never stop being amazed at the differences between the windward and leeward sides and everything in between! With the wetter winter months just around the corner, I wrote this post to help people who are unfamiliar with the the geography and climates of Hawaii find the maximum sunshine for their Hawaii vacation.” Thank you, Sheila.  We can stay out of the rain and eat toast with some of Angie’s honey!  🙂

HawaiiVacationGifts presents Hawaii Vacation Gifts by Double Brush-Hawaiian Gifts & Blog: How to Grow Orchids on Trees in Hawaii posted at Hawaii Vacation Gifts by Double Brush-Hawaiian Gifts & Blog, saying that she, “wrote this special for the carnival.”  Thank you, Cheryl, we needed something to calm our nerves.

Ron continues our journey across the Big Island as he shares a whole bunch of Hilo Hawaii Beaches posted at Your Aloha Connection.  Thanks, Ron!

Kara Williams brings us even more relaxation with a Molokai Sunset on Papohaku Beach posted at Traveling Mamas.  Thank you for joining us, Kara!

Pua takes us from the beaches on Molokai to the Hawaiian Fish Ponds posted over at Best Hawaii Vacation with Hawaii Vacation Blog.  Pua says, “Everybody who lives in Hawaii knows about a favorite ancient Hawaiian fishpond in their area.  These fishponds are not only places of utmost serenity and peace. They used to feed Hawaiians and their families for centuries. Read about the efforts to rebuild and re-create one of the many Molokai fishponds for doing just that

Evelyn, yours truly, emphasized that there is hope where funds are not always available telling us that The “Falls of Clyde” Has Friends, posted right here at Homespun Honolulu.  Our mode of “transportation” this Chapter was going to be sunk into the briny deep until someone stepped forward. It’s all about the ohana, gang.  If we band together and support each other, we can get through just about anything.  I didn’t say easily, but it is possible.

That concludes this chapter of sharing both a little drama and the aloha with our Hawaii bloggers. If you’re a Hawaii blogger or have a post to submit about a visit to our island chain, check out our guidelines and then submit your blog article to the next edition of the 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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Tax Season Reaches Drop-Dead Deadline

The 2008 tax season is quickly approaching the absolute deadline for all of those who have put their returns on extension.  If you have not completed your filing, you’ve got ten (10) days left!

If you’re scared and a little worried about what to do at this point,Turbo Tax, the one I always depend on, is still standing by to assist.  I left their little logo on the upper right-hand corner of my blog since April but here’s their article about dealing with the upcoming October 15th deadline.

TurboTax - Do your Taxes for Free - It's EasyTurboTax has come forward again to assist — knowing that people like us are still sitting on things until the last minute.   The best part is that when using TurboTax Online, the eFiling is included for free!

If you’re late or on extension, hurry up! Don’t miss this deadline — nobody needs to be stuck with penalties and interest on top of all the other financial problems we’re trying to deal with!

The Falls of Clyde Has Friends!

Before I knew the historic significance of the Falls of Clyde, I just thought of it as an old pirate ship, if I even thought about it at all.  A year and a half ago, the emotional and intellectual impact made on me by the Hawaii Maritime Center started my adoration of this ship.  I bought a copy of Bob Krauss’ book that he wrote about the Falls of Clyde and came to understand and appreciate its significance even more.  In fact, one of my favorite posts was the one I wrote about just that — the Hawaii Maritime Center adjacent to Aloha Tower.

Front decoration on the Falls of Clyde and its leading lady.

Recently, I was devastated to hear that they actually wanted to toss it, to dispose of it — to sink the Falls of Clyde!  First of all, I don’t know how they could bring themselves to do such a thing.  I understand that money is a huge issue and that neither the Maritime Center nor Bishop Museum can afford the needed repairs but the Falls of Clyde was declared a national historic landmark by the National Park Service of the United States Department of the Interior in 1989.  Doesn’t that mean anything?  Doesn’t that mean that it’s supposed to be “protected” and preserved?  Did they not seek funding assistance from the Federal government?

Falls of Clyde with its rigging still in tact.

It was a concern to me back in March of 2007, when it was already closed for safety reasons.  People were no longer allowed on board to check out the vessel’s design and make-up.  As you can see by the picture below, they had already removed most of the rigging.

The Falls of Clyde without its rigging.

Suddenly, a ray of hope came forward for this 125-year-old remnant of our history.  On September 30th, just last week, Bishop Museum made the news as it transferred ownership of the vessel to the Friends of the Falls of Clyde!  I’m not sure if the rigging was removed for the planned sinking or for the planned repairs that will be made to the vessel somewhere in dry dock.  It doesn’t matter.  What matters is that an organization has stepped forward to bring this ship back to its old, tourist-attracting self!

For the record, Bruce McEwan, the president of Friends of the Falls of Clyde, told the Honolulu Advertiser that the restoration may turn into a community project as people have already begun to step forward and join forces with the new organization.  As you can see, I am not the only crazy person around here!  Bob Krauss acknowledged in his book, The Indestructible Square-Rigger Falls of Clyde 324 Voyages Under Sail,” that he understood how people might scratch their heads and wonder about our seemingly-odd fascination with the Falls of Clyde.  Perhaps the following paragraph, written by another icon of our local history, can shed a little light on the emotions that push this conservation endeavor forward.

“First, on a global level, her iron hull and four towering masts mark the Falls of Clyde as an important step in the evolution of western sailing ship design, a culmination of refinement as sail gave way to steam. She is the only surviving full-rigged, four-masted ship in the world.  That’s not all.  This vessel represents a unique experiment in the global transportation of oil.  The Falls of Clyde is the only surviving sail-driven oil tanker.  Second, on a local level, she is as authentic a symbol of Hawaiian history as hula or surfing.  The ship is the only surviving original member of the century-old Matson fleet that still plays a vital role in Hawai’i’s economy.”

The Friends of the Falls of Clyde, has already applied for its non-profit status.  When I read that I started thinking.  I was grasping at straws and I thought of Matson.  I have mentioned Matson in this blog several times over the last several months.  It was Matson that brought this sea-going darling to our shores.  Yeah, I couldn’t help myself; I’ve already sent an email asking them about their corporate giving program.  Hey, you never know, maybe they can offer some support.  Maybe they will want to offer some support.

Sunset at the Falls of Clyde.

As the sun sets over Honolulu this October evening, Homespun Honolulu sends a huge “Mahalo!” to the Friends of the Falls of Clyde for stepping up to save a tangible piece of our maritime history!  Hopefully, in the not-too-distant future, the sun will rise again on the Falls of Clyde as it is returned to the water in all its historic glory.  You can bet this blogger will be there, with camera ready!

Gorilla Sushi’s AdSpace Contest

This came floating by on the blogosphere wireless and I thought I would share it with you guys for fun and for a possible chance to win some free advertising.   🙂 

Gorilla Sushi is a blog I enjoy reading, even though my friend Jason does get a little “off the wall” sometimes and has been known to be offensive.  But, that’s part of the Gorilla’s charm.  🙂

Without further delay, here is a contest where Gorilla Sushi and several other bloggers have joined forces to entice others to join in the fun, subscribe, blog or just meet some new bloggers.  I will post it here just as it was suggested on Gorilla Sushi.

AdSpace Contest

I can’t wait to tell you about The AdSpace Contest I found!

The idea is simple: Get as many entries as you can (very easy to do) before October 15th. The more entries you get, the better chance you have of winning! Shortly after the 15th, they’ll announce the winner.

The prize?
A 125×125 pixel ad spot (above the fold) on at least TEN DIFFERENT BLOGS that will run for one month. That’s at least a $100 value! Last month’s prize grew to be ad spots on 45 blogs! Who else is co-hosting?

How do you enter to win?

  • 1 Entry – Subscribe to any one of the blogs above via email (if you subscribed last month, you’re already entered again!).
  • 5 Entries – Twitter about the contest with a link to one of the hosts’ contest posts (new!)
  • 10 Entries – Write a post about the contest (must include links to all 10 hosts OR use our suggested text)
  • 25 Entries – Offer up an ad spot on your own blog for one month as part of the prize package (links will be listed above)

Simply put, you could subscribe to all 10 blogs, write a post, twitter about it and offer up your own ad spot for a grand total of 50 entries! Fill out the form on any of the host blogs to report your entries.

Contest ends October 15th.
Good Luck!

Okay, that’s it guys.  For the record, Jason Boom’s blog comes with very high marks from me too.  Just wanted to mention that.  Have fun!  

Ride it Right Outta Town!

HOT Alternative to RailI shouldn’t have to think like this but, I’m sorry, I have trust issues.  I don’t trust how the rail issue went down.  I have lost faith in the City government, the judiciary and the power of the people’s voice.

We need to work together and not have someone thrust things down our throats without any of us having a say.  I’m not one for sensationalism but I do tend to get excited when I think something is amiss or when I think my rights and the rights of my fellow citizens have been slighted.

Stop Rail Now may have run into a brick wall while trying to get the rail question on the November ballot but, in spite of the resistance, there will indeed be a question about this issue on the ballot.  KHON2 reports that the question will read, “Shall the powers, duties and functions of the city through the director of Transportation Services include the establishment of a steel wheel on steel rail transit system?”  The wording, the City’s wording, does not say much but it will show the overall view of Honolulu’s citizens as a whole.  If the vote is strongly against it, I can’t see how they can continue to pursue it.  However, this question does not stop them from putting rubber wheels in motion.

For the record, when I called the City Clerk’s office, they said there was no question on the ballot.  Seriously, that’s what I was told.  Like I said, my faith in our city’s governance has been severely shaken.  The question better not be tampered with when the ballot goes to print!  Trust me, I’m going to check!  The whole situation has my dander up and this incredible ignorance is just unbearable.  You know, “we’re not sure,” would have been a better answer.  It would have still been stupid but at least not as blatantly ignorant and borderline argumentative.

Kanu Hawaii has provided some interesting thoughts and ways to think things through.  I’m not saying I agree with it all, I’m just saying we should all think clearly on this matter and then vote!  Personally, I guess I have to come clean on my opinion, I’m still leaning towards the ‘HOT’ lanes like that pictured above.  There were be little to no damage to our skyline and would actually go somewhere useful, rather than nowhere like the rail is being set up to do.  Mahalo to HonoluluTraffic.com for that attractive rendering.

This issue has made it as far as New York!  Maybe we’re setting up a model of resistance for other states to follow.  They ask our opinions about other stupid things, why don’t they ask us about something we actually care about and that actually matters?  The whole idea needs to be ridden right outta town!  I’m originally from the Leeward side, Makaha to be exact, and I commuted to UH Manoa for over four years so, yes, I do know what that drive is like and I do have a vested interest both in the preservation of the beauty of my home and the liquidity of my City’s finances!