Archive for February, 2008

One Thing the NFL Did NOT Forget to Mention

While Honolulu welcomes the Pro Bowl back to Hawaii, the NFL is looking into other locations and bigger monetary gains.

Giant NFL Football

You know, while I was watching things unfold around here last week, I couldn’t help but focus my mind on how the media kept talking more and more about the Pro Bowl leaving Hawaii for another location.

Pro Bowl MascotsPro Bowl Mascots

The fascination and attraction is still very strong here. People here love to interact with these stars that they otherwise would never see, except on television. We’re isolated and can’t just travel across state lines to attend the next game. This is the only pro football game that Hawaii gets to experience live.

Pro Bowl CheerleadersPro Bowl Cheerleaders

What Will the NFL Lose?

Is it an idle threat or are they really going to pull this venue out from under us? I heard a comment on one of the news channels that people loved it because it gave them the chance to visit Hawaii and enjoy the game.

For both the participants and the fans, I can’t help but think that pulling out of Hawaii may change the face of this happy and fun event to one of mere obligation for all involved and a little bit of extra spending money.  That’s if you can get them to go at all.

There was also talk about having the Pro Bowl on the weekend before the Superbowl. My knee-jerk reaction to that idea was an instantaneous one: “Are you nuts?!?”

Can you imagine the pandemonium in a city expected to host these two large media events back to back? The stress of back-to-back events like that would be huge! Where would people stay? Would there be enough hotel room space to support such a venture? Of course, on the flip side of that, would there be enough people who even show up to fill those rooms?

Another comment flying around was that players in the Superbowl are not going to play in the Pro Bowl for fear of injury. Good point.

What Will We Lose?

Football MascotsLet’s think about this. While we do pay out a handsome amount of cash to host this event, we receive a lot in return. NFL Charities does a lot of charitable giving in conjunction with the Pro Bowl. They give handsomely every year to youth-related programs and/or projects — to the tune of roughly $100,000.

This year, NFL Charities gave $1 million to assist with the construction of a new youth center in Nanakuli.  Whoa!  Thank you for the generous gift!  That is a much needed and much appreciated donation!  Or, was that guilt money?

Somehow, the Pro Bowl seems to be losing its charitable nature. Some other comment flying around stated that the NFL is looking to capitalize more than they do, i.e. “the bottom line is the bottom line.” I understand that, but I have an ugly feeling that the NFL may actually end up losing revenue. How do you entice players and their families to give up a large chunk of their time to go to one of the other states in the middle of winter?  Why would they want to make that trip to a place they may visit often already anyway?

ProBowl MascotsThey’ve been talking about Florida a lot. Florida is a great place but if you think Honolulu’s humidity is bad, wait until you try Florida’s!

Of course I have no idea what it’s like to endure a Florida winter. It may be that the heat and humidity are more tolerable in the winter time. Of course there’s always Disney World.

I don’t think you’ll find too many big red Cardinals dancing the hula in Florida, or anywhere else for that matter. Even the mascots were enjoying themselves.

If this was an idle threat on the NFL’s part, I think everyone heard it loud and clear! Not only was the Pro Bowl one of the hot topics all week long, it was a focus of several businesses and it attracted more media attention than usual. At least it felt that way.

PBTent

Even to get most of these pictures I had to creep behind the sound people and buck the media cameras to get closer. I’m sure I ticked some people off but so be it.

The way it stands now, I have one more year to try to get better pictures but that may be the end of it. The Pro Bowl is scheduled to be held in Hawaii in 2009 but it is unclear where it will go after that.

Pro Bowl Cheerleaders

Just before posting this I saw that a site posted some commentary written by someone who attended the game! “Alright,” I thought, “now I can get some real scoops!” Well, since everything I had heard from locals and on the news was positive and people were having fun, and since everyone seemed happy, either to be here or to have the NFL stars here, I couldn’t help but think that maybe this guy should have stayed home and rested.

I fully understand his feelings and I respect them. But, if that is how people are going to respond to the Pro Bowl in other places on the mainland, I would be even more concerned about this idea of changing the venue for this event! Maybe he was bored with us and our refusal to turn Kalakaua Avenue into a college frat party. I just think that we recognize these visitors as professionals who have come to share their time and talent with us, and we treat them as such.

My feeling is that people should urge the NFL to keep the Pro Bowl here — to give us, and to give themselves, their staff and the players something to cheer about! We love you guys and we like it when you come down the hang out with us for a while! You guys worked hard all season and we want you to have just a little down time to recover!  “Before you roll those dice, Baby think twice!”

The Chambered Nautilus and the Blogosphere

Chambered Nautilus restingAfter writing a post about the Waikiki Aquarium, several people left comments about things they liked about the Aquarium or things that they remembered about visiting there. I realized, after listening to you guys, that I failed in a couple of areas. So, I had to go back. And, in honor of one of my MyBlogLog.com comrades, I made sure to do a little extra on his childhood favorite, the Chambered Nautilus.

So, Webomatica, Technology and Entertainment buff, this one’s for you!

Chambered Nautilus resting quietlyWhile the star of the show was resting quietly, it was so dark, I just had to get a picture and so, I turned on my flash. In hindsight, I was a bad person — I should have not done that because this guy was visibly agitated by the flash.

Feeling very guilty, I turned off my flash and decided to show you why I felt it so important to use it in the first place. See? Okay, I spared his distant cousin the octopus by shutting off that stupid flash. While the octopus was just a few feet away, he had a sign asking people to not use the flash. The Nautilus, unfortunately, did not have a sign.

Well, what I did have in the way of pictures just wasn’t good enough to do this creature justice. So, I stole a photo or two from the video that was playing nearby.

Cambered Nautilus very much awake

While waiting for some good screen shots of this little beast, I listened to the descriptions and explanations of this truly fascinating life form. Thank you, Webomatica, for making me educate myself.

Of course photos snapped from a streaming video are not always the most clear, but I liked these anyway. Besides, the chance of me getting any better shots of these molluscs while they are up and active is slim to none.

Nautilus in focus

This above photo was a little better shot captured from the video. See?!? All you have to do is ask!

Oddly enough, the video narration about this sea creature had me comparing this new area of interest to ourselves — cephalopods and bloggers. The Chambered Nautilus was referred to as a “living fossil” that has cheated evolution. Hmmm… I like that idea. Let’s see, the nautilus has maintained its way of life, unscathed by the changes around it. This champion of nature goes to a quiet place, lives a quiet existence and reproduces while dining on small fish and crustaceans.

Shark from underneath

We bloggers adapt while still maintaining our “way of life.” We change those things we must, of course, but don’t we go to a “quiet place” and reproduce web content? Am I stretching this? It sure sounds like I am. But, while listening to that video, what sounds like a stretch now, sounded really good at the time!

Will bloggers cheat evolution? I say, “Yes!” We will adapt to the changes in our environment but our free speech and uncensored opinions will remain and reign supreme! It is important that we, like the chambered nautilus, cheat the evolution of the Internet and keep its attempts at conforming us to the mainstream at bay.

Sharks

I’m talking about off-the-wall ideas and you guys are wondering why there are sharks swimming around here.

Come on, you didn’t think I could go back there and not catch just a couple more shots of my carnivorous darlings, did you? At least a couple of shots?

Aren’t they gorgeous? Okay, I’m weird.

One more thing that I wanted to get a good picture of was this sea dragon.

SeaDragon

When they’re still they look like floating lettuce but when they swim… oh my! This would make a great picture for the cover of an Anne McCaffrey novel!

For the record, we did visit the gift shop and I have to report that there was a very nice girl who helped us look for things and the prices were not bad at all!

Gift Shop Shark

What did you expect me to take a picture of?

Talking earnestly now, it did my heart good to go back and it was fun to learn more about some of the things that I would generally ignore. Mahalo to the Waikiki Aquarium and to the University of Hawaii for taking the care and research of all of these magnificent creatures seriously, and for sharing their discoveries with us!

Posties Like a Good Carnival Too!

I’m way behind schedule with this but maybe this will be a small revival of this Postie Carnival that may have just finished its round. I participated with this one and I wanted to be sure to share these because they’re outside my normal niche of blog cruising.

Lisa was the host for this Carnival that is relatively new to the Carnival scene, I think, new to me, hmmm… I’m not sure. It’s here, it has a very wide spectrum of participants and I have found much of it to be very engaging. Here is a list of the participants so that everyone can take a peak at what we’ve got going here. They are really quite good and you might even add some of them to your reading/subscription list!

Between the Posties and Entrecard, I have found so many new and fascinating places! Go have a look and see if anything needs to be added to your bookmarks/favorites/blog list/whatever. 🙂

This one I moved to the top because I found it interesting and thought you all would too… Blogging Tools that Build a Better Blog

Another excellent post — especially for the parental readers whom I know drop by now and again…
A Stand Against Bullying

We all know and love Skeet, but I didn’t want anyone to miss another visit to her blog and her Secret Cove.

In the interest of getting all of these out there for everyone to enjoy, I will try to keep them in the order they were posted and not waste your time with my commentary… you’ll be able to find my thought in their comments, hopefully, if I can get there fast enough!

Keep in mind that these are posts from 2007 that these bloggers are fond of and wanted very much to share with the World again:

Get Paid To Blog List

How to Raise a Reader

Got Balls?

Cooking Tips Passed Down

Give the Gift of a Home This Holiday

Furniture Friday: Resolute Desk Bathroom Habit

It’s a Nice Day for a White Wedding

Laura’s Couponing and Refunding Hints & Tips

Trenton Falls, NY… wait until you see this one!

New Educational Game Causes Concern

This post… Travel Writing Contest! Win $150 Cash is especially important to me to be able to include here. I had to turn Michael away from the Carnival of Aloha but I really didn’t want to. So, I get to include him here instead! You travel bugs need to go enter the contest! The deadline is February 28th so hurry up!

Then there’s one of my own favorites that I wanted to share with everyone again… But It’s Just a Cemetery, Right?

Okay, go check them out! I’ll race ya! You’ll probably win but I’m right behind you!

Lock Yourself Up!

The security of our personal information has always been a high priority but never as high as when the Internet became so popular. We’ve all heard the horror stories and we still have people living in fear of Internet commerce, and other types of financial transfers. I still remember the stories about restaurants and not letting your credit card out of your site for fear someone will lift your information. And on and on it goes.

Many of us have gone the other extreme — we’re too comfortable with our financial transactions, both online and elsewhere. Are we too comfortable? Have we let our guard down too much? How can we protect ourselves and still enjoy the paperless lifestyle we’ve come to enjoy and relish? Well, lifelock seems to think we have become too comfortable but they want us to maintain the lifestyle to which we’ve become accustomed.

This is particularly difficult for Hawaii when we’re all the way across the ocean and have to rely very heavily on paperless transactions. We can’t just drive to that store that has what we want. That realization started me thinking.

While looking through the LifeLock site, I couldn’t help but decide that their CEO, Tod Davis, is a crazy man. He put his social security number online… in big numbers… in the middle of the page! Is he really a crazy man? If he believes in his company that much, then I’d say that is business marketing at its finest!

Anyway, just to skim the surface, here’s what caught my attention — if I lose my purse to another glass-breaking thief at 7-11, here is what LifeLock will do for me:

LifeLock Identity Theft Protection WalletLock

If your wallet is ever lost or stolen:

We’re here to help! Just give us a call and a WalletLock Specialist will help you contact each affected credit card, bank or document issuing company, cancel those accounts and complete the paperwork and steps necessary to replace your lost documents*, including your credit/debit cards, driver’s license, social security card, insurance cards, checkbook – even travelers checks – at no additional cost. You’re even covered overseas. *Pictures, cash and other monies are excluded. Member is responsible for all applicable fees charged by document issuing companies to replace lost or stolen documents.

“Now way?!? Really?”

Did I fall for it? You bet!

**This page is your receipt, please print it and retain it for your records**

Congratulations on becoming a LifeLock member, you are now protected by our $1 Million Total Service Guarantee.

Note: In order for LifeLock to proactively communicate with you regarding account status information and service updates it is very important that you include *@lifelock.com on the “allowed” list in your anti-spam filter for both your e-mail and your internet service provider (ISP). If you have questions about how to do this, please contact your ISP.

Your membership has been processed using the following information:

* You have elected the following membership plan: monthly, which includes a recurring payment of $10.00
* The number of family members protected is: 1

Thank you and welcome to LifeLock!

Okay, so now I’m covered. Hooray! Don’t worry, I picked their site apart, called two of their phone numbers and read their agreements. They’re all working and there are live bodies, corporate offices and all kinds of reassuring things. While they’re not going to cover anyone for not paying their bills on time, we can at least relax and only worry about that part.

Through all of this I couldn’t help but be reminded of that blogger in England whose blog was stolen out from under him recently. Identity theft is an ugly thing! I wish someone would create a program like Lifelock for blogs! I love LifeLock’s ideas and it sounds like a great service. Now if someone could come up with BlogLock, I think I would pay double for that service! I would love to lock my blog up but, for now, I just locked myself up!

The Gorilla is at it Again!

Don’t ask me why I gravitate to this Gorilla’s contests. I always seem to end up there trying to get free money rather than at other places. I guess the Gorilla makes the contests interesting… or maybe they’re just too easy. Maybe I just like the Gorilla’s blog. Ya think? Now there’s a thought! Duh! Okay, seriously…

Win $100

In the interest of time preservation, I am going to do some shameless plagiarizing just to get my entry in! So, here’s how it goes…

To gain entries into the contest, just do any of the following:

– Make a comment of value (not just “I agree”, etc.) on a post [of any of the payees] = 1 entry (remember to comment on all blogs)

– Subscribe to RSS via email = 2 entries (per blog you subscribe to!)

– Write a post about the contest on your blog (must include a link to [Gorilla Sushi’s] page and the links below to participating blogs) = 25 entries

How much easier can [they] make it? So you can sneak in with just one entry by simply posting a comment [there], you can increase your odds by reading and commenting on a few more posts here and at one of the blogs below and maybe subscribe to a couple, or you can really up the odds and subscribe to all all of our blogs (which you’ll enjoy reading anyway), comment on a bunch of posts, and blog about this contest. The more entries you earn, the better your odds, of course.

If you’re going to post about this contest, just grab the image and code from here.

The deadline for this contest is 12:00 AM March 1, 2008.

[Let’s see] Who wants to pay [us]…

JoeTech.com
Link Bait
Gorilla Sushi
CK Marketing
The Big Bald Blog
How 2 Blogger
Dot Sauce Magazine
Jason Boom

Okay, now that that’s done with, I may have to expand the capacity of my free email Inbox. I’m gonna need that $100! Ya think GoDaddy.com is drooling? Nah, not enough money for them to drool.  Now there’s a beloved button for my sidebar!  Later!

We’ve Got Us a Whale of a Carnival!

 

Welcome to Chapter 6 of the Carnival of Aloha as we welcome the Humpback Whales back home to our Hawaii playground!

Whale with a dolphin on his head.

This picture is one of the most wonderful that I’ve seen. Here is the origin of the photo and the story from prize-winning photographer, Lori Mazzucca.

We have some eclectic submissions this time so I think we need some expert tour guides. I think we’re going to ask our ocean friends to give us a little bit of sonar help as we move through our carnival “rides.”

Bobbie tells us that we’re just in time as she shares Tales of Whales: Close Encounters with Humpbacks in Hawaii posted at The Right Blue. Bobbie says that we “might like this one, since it’s the peak of whale season right now.” Well, we’re going to ask our aquatic mammals to take us along for the ride!

L.P. “NEENZ” FALEAFINE presents Bred, Born and Raised in Hawai’i posted at From the Mind of NEENZ., saying, “Bred, Born and Raised in Hawai’i something I consider a miracle from the gods. From the Mind of NEENZ are my thoughts, visions, and experiences living in Hawai’i and more. I am sincere when I say that I welcome anyone who wants to know more about Hawai’i.”

Neenz shared something posted by an island visitor and it has left many of us with the feeling that we need to let our visitors know that there is much more to us than this visitor was able to take in while he was here. It also seems that our Carnival participants are more than willing to educate those who still need more information about the highlights and features of our islands.

Sheila starts us off by telling us her 7 Reasons Why a Hawaii Vacation is Great for Your Health that she posted over at Hawaii Vacation Blog – GoVisitHawaii.com. Sheila makes a valid point when she says, “In this post, I try to help people come up with a new excuse to take a vacation to Hawaii. Don’t we all need to improve our health?”  Of course we do!

Skeet then proceeds to tell us all about the wonderful, historic architecture that we don’t hear nearly enough about! Skeet says that They just don’t build them like they used to and she elaborates on this at skeet’s stuff. I have to say that Skeet caught some beautiful shots of one of Honolulu’s old buildings and captured its charm in the process.

I really enjoy sharing the intellectual things. It’s always entertaining to see some intellect with a little bit of that kind of charm and some good-natured humor. We don’t share our brains often enough. We do have them you know!

Mel proves my point as we get to visit Gene Simmons Rocks SBH Conference posted at Mel’s Internet Universe Weblog, saying, “Shout it out loud — rock n roll all night — and make money too!”

Usually at seminars and/or functions like this they feed us.  Don’t they?  We haven’t had any food yet!  I can’t help it — one of our finer qualities, in my humble opinion, is that if there’s a reason to eat, we will find it! Since we need to keep up our strength…

Angie is going to help us by sharing an Aloha Friday Recipe: Quick Loco Moco Bake that she posted at True Aloha. Angie shares this local favorite and keeps it real with some very typical and favorite ingredients that will fill you up real quick!

I told you we were going to need that energy because we’re going further inland to go hiking! Homespun Honolulu welcomes Rob and Jeff to the Carnival of Aloha as Rob takes us on a hike on Kauai…

Rob Kvidt presents 88 Shrine Hillside Walk on Kauai posted at Beat of Hawaii, and tells us that, “Rob and Jeff started Beat of Hawaii in January. This post on the Lawai International Center is their first entry into the blogosphere.”

Thank you, Rob and Jeff, for honoring us with your first post! While we’re at it, let’s watch out for each other…

Dayle watches out for us and tells us how to Keep Your Car Safe While You Hike in Hawaii posted at Hiking and Backpacking in Hawaii Blog. This is always a good idea!

If you’re still not impressed by all of the things we’ve shared with you so far and if you’re not feeling particularly intellectual today and don’t feel like reading, Lovena is going to take care of that too…

Lovena Harwood shares Aloha from Hawaii September 2007 that she posted at My Hawaii Travels, saying, “A pictorial version of my travel journal.” Pictures! We all love pictures!

Pua takes us back to the sea shore with some Hawaii Hula Dancers that she posted about over at Best Hawaii Vacation with Hawaii Vacation Blog, saying, “The annual Hawaii Aloha Festivals attract thousands of visitors to the Hawaiian Islands. Last year Honolulu Aloha Festival had organized a unique event by lining up thousands of hula dancers on Waikiki beach.”

Evelyn (me), in an effort to keep our focus on our marine friends, will wrap things up with how Waikiki Aquarium is a World All its Own, posted right here at Homespun Honolulu.

That was quite a bit of reading! I think that our monk seal at Waikiki Aquarium has the right idea — it’s time for a nap!

Mitch McDonald knew we would be tired so he tells us all about Hawaii Rentals : Finding The Perfect Vacation Home posted at FYI About.com. Thanks, Mitch!

That concludes this Chapter of the Carnival, but before you fall asleep, go ahead and submit your blog article for Chapter 7 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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Kung Hee Fat Choy, Honolulu!

Red Lion posing for a pictureIt’s that time again! February 7th is Chinese New Year for 2008! Celebrations have already started and the stores are already selling gau. The best part, for me, is that it’s time for the drums and the Chinese dragons (or lions) to make their presence known!

One of the best things about working close to Fort Street is that it is so close to Chinatown and the organizations that put on these wonderful, cultural performances are always close by!

I can’t explain it but the sound of those drums is like a lure for me. Time to drop everything, grab the camera and some dollar bills, and follow the sound of those drums! I was fortunate enough, yesterday, to be forewarned that they were on their way down Fort Street.

This particular group was very welcoming of the admiration I was more than ready to give them. This was exciting for me because it was my first for the year. Unfortunately, I only had $1 bills to give them. I have, in the past, given them $5 bills… they seem to “digest” those a little better. 🙂

Year of the Rat Calendar

Anyway, this group was the first to confirm for me that we’re about to leave the Year of the Boar behind and enter the Year of the Rat. Co-workers have already bought the wall calendar for those traveling to Vegas to check on their Chinese zodiac sign to see where their luck is going to be while they’re in Vegas.

Green and Purple Lion

Like I said, these guys were more than willing to soak up the admiration and have their pictures taken. What a sight they are! The beautiful colors and intricate detail of their costumes is really something to witness. Obviously they’ll get my vote every time!

Music for the Lions and the Dragons

As far as cultural art forms go, just show me a dragon and let me hear those drums and I’m one of the most appreciative observers that you’ll find!

Here’s a list of some of the festivities coming our way. Kung Hee Fat Choy, Honolulu!