Archive for January, 2011

Calling All Bloggers! Deadline approaching for February Carnival!

Perfect pink hibiscus.This is just a reminder to submit your favorite blog posts to the Carnival of Aloha and share your thoughts and concerns with the rest of us!  Your fellow bloggers can then share the link with their audiences who can discover all of you!  It’s fun stuff, if it’s done right.

I’ve found so many interesting people following the links from Carnivals and Memes.  Hmmm… let’s start a game! What kind of a meme can we start that is Hawaii-specific?  Suggestions anyone?

For an example of a meme, you can check out Noel’s meme over at his blog, A Plant Fanatic in Hawaii.  This meme is a good one for those who love to take pictures of our natural flowers and vegetation.

For those of you who missed this definition, a meme, according to YourDictionary.com is a “unit of cultural information, such as a concept, belief, or practice, that spreads from person to person…”  In short, a blog meme is the sharing of like information between bloggers.  It’s similar to a blog carnival but not quite the same. 

A meme is a little more focused.  For another great example, you can check out Teaser Tuesdays!  So easy, so informative, and so much fun!  Following the links makes it even better — especially if you like to read!

For the time being, while we think of a new meme for all of us, remember to submit one of your Hawai’i posts to the Carnival of Aloha by using this form!   Now you can’t get mad at me if you forget! 

Still saying, “No to Rail!”

The first two photos in this post were taken back in October of 2008.  I thought they had given up.  According to one of our independent news sources, the Hawaii Reporter, “Honolulu Rail Critics Vow to Stay the Course” so they haven’t given up!

Supporters of Saying No to the Rail

How far will they get?  That is hard to say.  Was I supportive of this movement two years ago?  Yes.  Am I still supportive?  You bet!  I was horrified when they first started talking about the Rail.

Signs for the movement

Hot Lanes seemed like a good idea to me!  Some of the other ideas that were put forward seemed not only beneficial but feasible.  I hated the rail idea and I still do.  I was hoping that our new mayor would not find it quite as wonderful as his predecessor but, alas, that is not the case.  Talk about a disappointment!  I’m still happy he is the mayor, so far.  It’s just that this wretched project seems to be more destructive than helpful in the long run.

Sign holders hold signs urging people to Save the Rail

There are, however, those who think just the opposite.  In January of 2010 I ran into a group of Rail supporters demonstrating along Beretania Street, in front of the State Capitol.  What shocks me is the number of people who think it’s such a great idea!  I thought that most people would have been as horrified as I was/am.

Convoy of trucks supporting the Go Rail crew.

Somehow, everyone was involved that day!  All of these trucks with their horns blaring were just amazing to see!

Sign holders support Local Jobs for Local People

Local jobs for local people — how can you argue with that?  Now there’s something that will get 100% of my support.  I’m really not sure if they were there in support of the Rail or if they just happened to be there at the right time.

There are not too many things that can defuse my heated opinion when my mind is made up about something.  I must admit, I did find the combination of things going on that day to be quite disarming.  It’s good to know that we’re not going down quietly!

Borders Books & Music: Still in Trouble!

I may be part of a shrinking minority but I have to admit it, Borders has always been and continues to be my favorite book store.  My mother and I spent hours in the Borders store at Ward Center almost every Sunday.  While their online presence has never measured up to that of bn.com (Barnes & Noble) or Amazon, except when Borders and Amazon were linked at the hip, that wonderful brick and mortar store was, for me anyway, all that!  It still is.

Borders book store at Ward Center

I had no idea just how bad things have gotten for them in recent months.  On Monday, January 17th, Borders laid off another 45 people and, according to MarketWatch.com, the Wall Street Journal shared the news that Borders “hired bankruptcy and restructuring lawyers while continuing in talks to secure a $500 million credit line.”

While I like the idea of them getting a credit line to get back on their feet, I’m a little worried about who will actually be willing or able to extend them that kind of credit.  More importantly, have they polished up their business model enough to qualify?

Signs telling of sales and discounts on books

We all like to see these great signs of sales and discounts to be had but not because the business is ready to collapse.  Yes, there has been talk of bankruptcy. The same friends that alerted me to the problem-plagued condition of the store spoke of customer service problems.  I know this is true because I have run into this myself.

In early 2007, although I thought it was longer ago than that, Borders severed its ties with Amazon.  At the time, analysts thought Amazon would lose a lot of money.  Some consumers saw it going the other way.  The consumers were right.  Amazon is as strong as ever, maybe stronger.  Borders was and still is in trouble.

In a completely unrelated conversation with Amazon’s Kindle-support staff on Tuesday morning, while responding positively to a “How Did We Do” survey Amazon sent me via email, I asked them to light a candle for Borders.  Seriously!  I did!  I told them that Borders is not as much their competition as they are their helper.

I know, you think I’m nuts but think about it — Borders helps us to be able to smell, touch, and feel those books we are going to download on to our Kindles, or whatever eReader floats your boat.  I don’t think Borders would really appreciate that comment but it’s true.

Mall entrance to Borders at Pearlridge Shopping Center

There are still books not available for Kindle download and there are still bibliophiles, self included, who are not willing to give up the ability to walk through those wonderful glass doors and enter that colorful room filled with the scent of new books!  See, the need and desire for a good bookstore is still there.

Bargain books at Borders, Pearlridge

We need to have access to a place where we can hang out in comfort, a place with good books to experience, and a place equipped with quality staff  that knows what it is they are selling!  This is not a 7-11 Store — the staff at Borders needs to have just a little more expertise and they need to have a more cater-to-the-customer mentality.

Perhaps the affiliation with Amazon is one that Borders could, and maybe should, examine once again.  Arrogance and professional jealousy on both sides will probably not let that happen.  I think it would be a good idea but experts like Mary Gotaas at IBISWorld think this was one of their mistakes.

I disagree that their connection with Amazon was a bad thing but I do agree that their development of a signature eReader was way, way too slow in coming!  Can they catch up with the Amazon’s Kindle and Barnes & Noble’s Nook?  Unless they can come up with some fantastic new development I think they will remain well behind in that arena.eReaders one sale at Borders

Of course they could figure out a way to sell books that are compatible with both of those lead eReaders and sell those on Borders.com, with competitive pricing!  That would be great for consumers, if Borders has not already alienated publishers so much that those publishers would never entertain any such newfangled notion.

They should, they could, perhaps they might, it would be a good idea if — I can go on all day.  In short, I’m hoping that Borders will be able to pull a rabbit out of a hat, or something, and get their book-seller feet back on the ground!  Come on you guys, you’re making me really nervous!

Carnival Welcoming the New Year

Happy New Year!

Welcome to the 34th Chapter of the Carnival of Aloha!

Bridge in Wahiawa

This is the stuff novels are made of!  It suddenly dawned on me that this is the residual impact that The Bridges of Madison County has had on me.  It made me pull over and take this picture!  The book was much better than the movie, by the way.  No surprise there.

Whenever I see a structure like this, that’s where my mind goes.  Couldn’t help it, had to get this picture.  I have one more thing to say about this picture of the bridges over Wahiawa — at the end of our blog Carnival.

As we start our Carnival journey, we first need to be fed!

Cynthia Hoskins shares a nice post about Lunch and Learning at the Hawaiian Vanilla Company that she posted at asynchronicity.  Did anybody else even know there was such a thing?  Bloggers always seem to have the knack for finding the coolest things!

As we give birth to another New Year, I just have to share something else I found in Wahiawa — something other than that bridge.

Evelyn (I) found it because she was looking for it!  I really wanted to share this link about The Birthing of Hawaiian Royalty.  This location has been a cultural fascination to me for a long time and I finally got to see Kukaniloko!

There are so many things about our culture that are not simply fascinating; there are sometimes things that are actually unknown to many of us.

Karen Awong provides us with a medicinal and seasonal part of Hawaiian culture when The Pleiades Rises and Lono Arrives posted over at kareninhonoluluBishop Museum has so much to offer.  Thank you, Karen, for sharing these things!

Karen’s post touches a little on winter in Hawaii and the snow.  Snow?  Wait, we need a little more clarification on this.

Sheila asks Does it snow in Hawaii? which is answered by her post over at Hawaii Vacation Advice – GoVisitHawaii.com.  I still haven’t seen any myself.  Maybe I need to go to the Big Island in the winter just so I can say that I have!  Tsk!

Culture and climate are always so important, so is our history.  For that reason, it is important to share this next post.

April M. Williams talks about Preserving Falls of Clyde the Last Iron Hulled Tall Ship Honolulu Hawaii over on her “Where are you today?” Travel Blog.  I am very happy to share this so you all know that I am not the only one with a fixation on the preservation and restoration of this surviving fragment of our maritime history.

As we go out to the shoreline, we have some other ocean activity to share.

Hawaii Beaches shares their Best Coral Reef Beaches in Oahu posted at Hawaii Beaches.

For those who want to keep their feet dry, there is some entertainment for you as well.

Malia Yoshioka presents 5 Places to Watch Football in Waikiki.  Malia is happy to join us with this post at WhyGo Hawaii and she says, “Mahalo nui loa!”

I’m with Malia on that as we conclude this chapter.  Before I let you go, I have to return to the photo of our bridge.  Some may have noticed the Mylar balloon tied to the side of the bridge.  There are flowers there as well.  We all know what that means.  We did not have a very safe driving record in 2010.  Please, please, please drink at home and, even if you’re sober, remember to drive carefully so we can bring the highway death rate down this year!  Stay safe no matter where you are!  I want you all to hang around for a very long time.  If you don’t mind.

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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Happy New Year! and a Carnival Reminder

Fireworks over the Hilton Hawaiian Lagoon just before midnight on December 31, 2010

Happy New Year, Honolulu!  The wind picked up and the sky is clear!  There’s a nice breeze blowing and we currently have no rain and no lingering pollutants — just a beautiful, bright, blue sky.

I hope everyone had a nice New Year and will join us for the first Carnival of Aloha of 2011!  The deadline is coming up quickly!  I’ve extended it to Sunday because I’m sure there are things that you all want to share with the rest of us!

Come on, send them in!