Archive for December, 2008

New Year Carnival of Aloha Reminder!

Decorated Christmas Tree

Okay, December just went way too fast!  It was like watching water go down the drain — the last part just goes, “sluuuurp,” and then it’s all gone!   

The deadline for the first 2009 Carnival of Aloha was actually today, BUT, I’ve extended it until Friday the 2nd.  🙂  I’m falling behind big time and, with the holiday season and all, I’m guessing that some of you guys are too!

Have a wonderful, safe and happy New Year celebration this evening and when you’re recovering from it all tomorrow, submit a post for the Carnival!  If you like, send in your favorite post of 2008 — just be sure to let me know that’s what you’re doing in the comments so I can make a note of it!

Mahalo to Richard Tajiri’s Christmas Hawaii for a picture-perfect tree that I almost didn’t want to decorate.  But, I did!  I’m hoping that I can be supportive of them at the start of the holiday season next year.

We Take So Much for Granted!

On Friday night we lost power.  We all lost power.  The entire island of Oahu was without power!  No lights, no air conditioners, no hot water, no traffic lights, no stores, no televisions — you get the picture.  Even the surviving radio stations fell off the air a couple of times.

Hawaiian Electric Company logo

Poor HECO (Hawaiian Electric Company), they were up and at it all night long.  There were a few strokes of lightening that seemed a little too close for comfort and we’re thinking may have actually hit some power lines.  That part, i.e. the cause, is still under investigation.  Apparently, our power system is set up to shut itself down to protect the system from frying when something goes wrong.  We all have to admit, it’s a lot better to be off line for a few hours than for a few days!  Ugh! 

Some places were back up and functioning in nine hours or less but it wasn’t until seventeen hours later that we had power back in our building.  There were still “pockets” of people without power. Two garbage bags of now-dangerous-to-eat groceries went out in the trash.  Thank goodness for Costco — at least we can replace our damaged goods relatively easily.  The financial part is not always so easy.   

Roughing it can be fun but it does get old rather quickly.  I had forgotten how a cold shower feels!  Brrrrr!  But, the house was kind of hot so it was okay.  Of course I then ended up outside in the rain right after that and the wind was nippy. 

After getting the call from home that our power was back on, I did see a HECO truck, one of many, driving around and my heart went out to them.  They looked so tired.  I waved and they waved back.  Albeit not a very safe job, it was probably still preferable to being one of the HECO operators taking phone calls from angry people still without power.

All of that being said, we had good company!  Our darling President-elect was with us for the party.  Relax, the Obama family was just fine.  They ended up with two generators and, I’ll wager, a lot of soggy reporters. 

I had to laugh at the CBS News’ coverage of  the paparazzi media —  Barack and the kids actually managed to run away from them!  Naughty, naughty. I shouldn’t laugh I suppose but I just can’t help it!  🙂  While CBS covered the Obamas, the Associated Press covered our power story quickly and summed it up quite nicely. 

We’re okay now, except HECO has to find and define the cause. But, let’s talk about natural energy, shall we?   Of course, we had very little sun and not very much wind either.  You can’t store Mother Nature can you?  Did I mention that we take so much for granted?

Who Doesn’t Want a Bike for Christmas?

The annual drive for the Toys for Tots campaign officially kicked off with the “Bikes for Tykes” event in Downtown Honolulu.  I didn’t know about this event.  It’s the third year and I did not know about it.  I missed it.  I will make it a point to NOT miss it next year!

The Marine Toys for Tots Foundation is on my list of wonderful organizations and the local Marines in Kaneohe do them proud!  The Marines and the Hawaii Chapter of Street Bikers United join forces, once a year, to take toys to the keiki — via their motorcycles.  I love this event because it is a rare occasion that we get to see so many riders all together at the same time and, best of all, for a common cause.  Regular readers know how much I love this event.  Guess what?  I missed that too!  The worst part is that I promised you guys last year to get it done this year!

Toys for Tots Bike Run 2008

Here is the one photo that I was able to get for this year’s event.  That’s it.  That’s all I have.  Last year I suffered from an equipment failure when my camera decided to have a memory meltdown.  This year, I was severely slowed down in the morning and then the husband locked his keys in the car (with it running) so I missed the end of the run too!

Needless to say, I was not happy.  Again.  This event only happens once a year!  I swear, next year is mine!  I will get those pictures that I discovered I really can get if I have to die trying!  Okay, maybe I won’t go quite that far.

I Have an Attitude Problem

So often seen as the kind of people you don’t want to take home to meet your parents, these tattoo-sporting, bike-riding, beer-drinking hooligans are, for the most part, just the opposite — they’re sheep in wolves clothing!  😉

These horrible monsters are taking toys to children.  Gasp!  Oh the horror!  Yeah, I’m being a wise a** but cut me some slack.  For all the “bad boy” or “hoochie mama” notoriety they get (yes, women ride too!), they’re just like the rest of us — they are passionate about what they do.  I keep grilling this “they’re good people” stuff into the ground, I know, but I can’t help it.  I can relate to that passion, be it as a loaner or as part of a group.

Any bikers reading this will be thinking, “Yeah!  We’re good!”  Then they hate me because I continue to caution them about safety and helmets and the like.  I can’t help that either!

I did tell the new downtown Honda store that they need a couple of motorcycles in the window if they expect to draw people in.  “We have a location for that,” was the comment.

“I know that,” I quipped back, “so have them lend you guys a couple to draw people into the store and then you guys can sell them the other stuff.  You need bikes on the floor!”  We’ll see what they do.  Trust me, if it happens, you guys will hear about it as soon as it does!  Then again, nobody listens to me so don’t hold your breath.

Anyway, if you can swing it, bikes are always good Christmas gifts.  Big bikes, little bikes, big tykes, little tykes, boys and girls — it’s freedom for the free spirited.  Don’t forget the helmets, knee pads, elbow pads…

I will add a link to this post later that includes all of the pictures that I have from the 2006 event.  Again, I apologize.  I also have four or five other posts sitting here waiting to be written.  Off to work!

Carnival Welcomes in the Holiday Season!

A Matson container of Christmas trees at Niu Valley Shopping Center

Under the current economic circumstances, people might not be traveliong as much as they usually do at this time of year.  I think we’ll just welcome the holiday season with a little help from Matson who has kept their promise to not forget our Christmas trees!  We’ll just let them bring the holiday season to us.

In these difficult times, our communities remember that it is the season of giving — even when that giving become increasingly more difficult.  We still seem to manage though — it’s all about community.

Skeet wants to be sure we’re aware of The Keiki Slippah Wish Fund.  Skeet posted this article over at Skeet’s Stuff and tells us that, “donations are slow this year and the Keiki Slippah Wish Fund needs some more attention.”  Check it out and support Auntie Lynn’s annual sharing some of the aloha!

I had to chuckle when putting this together because I knew that Skeet, our insect expert, wouldn’t mind being followed by geckos.  I don’t know that she wants to take too many of them with her to the mainland but, they’re always good for a carnival ride!

Andrew Cooper shares a post about House Geckos posted at A Darker View, saying, “Just part of life in the tropics…”

Indeed they are!  After that part of life in the tropics, we’ll move over from our star gazing blogger to our girl scientist whose posts I’m always happy to entertain!

GrrlScientist presents Hawai’ian Birds posted at Living the Scientific Life, sharing some educational material in the form of a five-minute video that is an “amateur documentary about Hawai’i’s endangered birds and the causes of their decline.”  It also sheds a little light on some of our indigenous fauna.

Sheila helps us get a little exercise by Hiking Diamond Head (Le’ahi) over at Hawaii Vacation Blog – GoVisitHawaii.com, saying, “Since we’ve probably eaten too much for Thanksgiving, let’s all take a hike to the top of Diamond Head to work off those calories. ;-)”

I know I did, Sheila! We need to work it off but then we need to cool off at the beach!

Sbreslin tells us all about October 2008 in Oahu? over at Hawaii Beaches, saying, “My travels over the last decade to paradise.”    I was reading this bloggers “About” page and I hope he hangs out with us for a long time!  Welcome to the Carnival, Sbreslin, and we hope to hear more from you!

Evelyn, that’s me, has to apologize, not only for being late posting the Carnival, but for being just a little more focused on writing something other than blog posts in November.  But, it was the 10th Anniversary of this literary abandon!  Besides, maybe all of you will join NaNoWriMo next year!  It’s exciting, draining, and very distracting.  I think I need to work on blog posts all year to go live in November, 2009.  🙂

That concludes this chapter of blog aloha.  Wishing everyone a wonderful holiday season.  Have fun, stay safe, and behave yourselves.  Okay, maybe you can forget the last one.  🙂

Don’t forget to 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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