Archive for January, 2012

Honolulu Welcomes the Dragon!

Chinese dragonKung Hei Fat Choi!

Every year I wait for the sounds of those drums!  Whenever I hear them I follow the sound, grab my camera, and grab my wallet for dollar bills, or $5 bills if I am in a good mood and feeling the need for whatever prosperity the Chinese New Year will bring.

We are closing the year of the Rabbit and welcoming in the year of the Dragon.  I love dragons.  I’m more prone to the Old World dragons that guard castles and nest on piles of gold and jewels but, like I said to someone last week, a dragon is a dragon and I’ll take whatever I can get!

No, I am not superstitious and, no, I do not follow the teachings of the zodiac.  However, I have to admit that there is often some truth and accuracy to the things they say about our character traits.  Besides, it’s fun.  You can take it with a grain of salt but it is a heck of a lot of fun to see how things fit the people you know!

Chinese drums move down Fort Street in Downtown Honolulu

There is just something about the sound of those drums, when they are done right, that just triggers something.  Of all Asian art and culture, Chinese lion and dragon dances surpass it all for me.

Lions dance and spectators offer money for bring good luck and prosperity for the coming year.

The best part of Downtown Honolulu at this time of year is that it is so very close to China Town.  Businesses frequently enlist this rite to chase away evil spirits from their doorways.  Hopefully I will run into more of them this year than I did last.  I do not want to wait another year to hear those drums and watch this cultural marvel unfold.  Firecrackers included!

STRIKE! Perhaps this will send a message…

… if enough people participate.  You might be surprised at how many people/sites that will be participating.  Here is the scoop:

January 18th is going to be amazing. Sites are striking in all different ways, but they are united by this: do the biggest thing you possibly can, and drive contacts to Congress. Put this on your site or automate it by putting this JS into your header, which will start the blackout at 8AM EST and end at 8PM EST.

Websites: How to Strike

  1. Black out your website for 12 hours with this page’s HTML, or by putting this Javascript into your site’s theme. Tucows is doing this and so is BoingBoing.
  2. Other people have made tools to strike. Some other ways to strike:
  3. Don’t be silent that day. Tweet all day from your official company account (#SOPASTRIKE) and share news on sites like reddit. You will get much love in return from your users, and the bigger the action you do, the more love you will be feeling 🙂 – You can follow us on twitter for news as the strike gets closer. If you are really feeling shy, you can blackout your site logo / add STOP SOPA messages wherever you can.

Everyone: Prepare to Strike

  1. If you have a Twitter account, tweet about the #SOPASTRIKE and ask your followers to get ready. You can follow us on twitter for news as the strike gets closer. Go to Blackout SOPA to add ‘STOP SOPA’ to your Twitter image.
  2. Post this SOPA Strike page to your Facebook account by clicking here.
  3. Get ready for January 18th! Email and tweet at your friends, tell them to tell everyone about the strike. When the day comes, call Congress, tweet like crazy (#SOPASTRIKE), and help the strike appear everywhere!

On Jan 24th, Congress will vote to pass internet censorship in the Senate, even though the vast majority of Americans are opposed. We need to kill the bill – PIPA in the Senate and SOPA in the House – to protect our rights to free speech, privacy, and prosperity. We need internet companies to follow Reddit’s lead and stand up for the web, as we internet users are doing every day.

Um, that’s tomorrow gang.  So, if your favorite site is down, now you know why!  Follow the links and send your protests!  Tell Congress NOT to mess with OUR Internet!   

Happy New Year Carnival!

A perfect yellow hibiscus blowing in the breeze.Welcome to the first 2012 edition of the Carnival of Aloha!  I was surprised to hear that more than 70% of Americans were very happy to put 2011 behind them.  Really?  You mean I’m not alone?  It was a rough year for many of us, and in many ways.

Yaro Starak, the blogger’s favorite entrepreneur, had a hell of a 2011!  He calls it, My Most Challenging Year Part I: When Family Tragedy Strikes that he posted over at the Entrepreneurs-Journey.  I can certainly relate although I am not as open to talking about these things brought to us in 2011 like Yaro is.  No, Yaro did not send this to me for the Carnival and no, it has nothing to do with Hawai’i.  It was in my Inbox because I am subscribed to one of his lists.  This could not have been more timely.  His post certainly helps me make my case for wishing a speedy aloha to 2011.  Thank you, Yaro, for helping me with that.

I know I’m ready to move on into this new year with hopes of a much gentler outcome.  Chinese New Year at the end of this month will be welcoming in the Year of the Dragon and I am looking forward to having that Dragon come roaring onto the scene!

Great news!  We are already starting out on a much more positive note!  Hmmm… I guess we’re eating seafood for this Carnival.

Karen happily shares Squid, Fish and I, Oh My Or Fishing in Waikiki posted at kareninhonolulu, saying, “my latest blog from my trip to Waikiki this New Years Morning. It’s a fun blog to start off the year.”  I don’t know if any of those squid made it to the hot coals that morning but we’ll go with it.  Karen was relaxing but I have to tell you guys that she is the hostess with the mostest over at Bishop Museum — we’ll talk about that later!

I know the calamari lovers are starting to salivate out there so I’m really glad we have a remedy for what these much-loved delicacies leave behind.

Sheila helps us freshen our breath!  Aloha Friday Photo: SPAM Breath Mints? posted at Hawaii Vacation Blog –, saying, “Well, since you suggested it, here’s the SPAM mints post. 🙂 These crack me up!”  I confess, I did suggest this would be fun to share.  Besides, what is more Hawaii than SPAM?  Thank you, Sheila, for sharing this crazy breath freshener!  I can see how a Pez could look like a slice of SPAM.  Works for me!

Santa makes an appearance at the Russian Orthodox parish.You may think our next post is not too timely but I beg to differ.  The old-calendar Orthodox just celebrated Christmas last weekend so this is perfect timing!  Santa Claus even stopped by on his way back to the North Pole!

Gigi wishes everyone Merry Christmas from Hawaii posted at gigi-hawaii, saying, “Wishing you a very happy and healthy New Year!!!”  We can’t argue with that!  Gigi also shares some truly wonderful photos with us from earlier in the year when she visited the Big Island of Hawaii.  They are beautiful photos indeed.

Our “Happy New Year!” continues with what is culturally traditional.

Kay starts the New Year off by buying Kadomatsu for Mom that she tells us about over at Musings.   This was another case of perfect timing — I had just been thinking about these items because they have, once again, started appearing in all the stores.  They are very pretty and they are a cultural tradition!  It’s great to be educated like this.  Thanks, Kay!

Now that we’re full and festive, you know I have to share a little bit of Mr. TenBruggencate’s intellect and continue to educate all of us.

Jan TenBruggencate has shared yet another bit of scientific knowledge over at Raising Islands–Hawai’i science and environment.  Our bees have been a concern for quite some time and Jan sends yet another warning when he says, “A solution to honeybee Colony Collapse Disorder? Doubt it.”  I have been wanting to talk about our bees for quite some time and I am so grateful for these insights.  This way, I can sound intelligent when I approach our local bee keepers.  We just won’t tell them how I got so smart.  Shhh!  Let’s just hope the New Year brings good news to our bee colonies!

Just to add to my weirdness, I’ve started a new endeavor to add to the Honolulu mix.  My friend Karen who fed us fish and squid at the beginning of the Carnival sounded almost excited when I told her about this one so it made me just brave enough to share it with all of you.

Evelyn (my strange self) wants to share a new development.  Well, it is not really all that new.  It has been brewing for several years actually.  I just finally found something to do with my strange fixation.  It’s a… well… it’s a… a graveyard blog!  It’s what I do during my times of Resting Reveries.  I just provided the link to the blog because there isn’t much to it, yet.  It is amazing just how much history is contained in those stones!  You can click on the circle with the rabbit and you will find that there are a lot of people out there who are fascinated by the graveyards, the history, and the genealogy!  So I get to talk about some Hawaiian history from time to time — sounds like a good idea to me!  Don’t you think?

Happy New Year, everyone!  This concludes this chapter of our ongoing Hawai’i blog Carnival. 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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What the camera sees, and I miss!

You know those pictures that you take and there’s more there than meets the eye?  You know, the ones where you don’t see anything unusual until you get it home and look at it more carefully.  Just before Christmas, I was getting some exercise and was on my way to the nearby 7-11 Store for some water.

Photo of an historic cannon in downtown Honolulu.

Well, I thought this cannon was fascinating so I tucked my wallet under my arm and took several snap shots before I decided I would continue on my way to 7-11.  I was really thirsty!  I’m glad I stopped to take these pictures because one of them worked as a great prop for announcing the upcoming Carnival of Aloha.

While I was trimming the photos and selecting the one I liked the best, I saw that one very important item that the camera saw but I missed at the time these photos were taken.  It reminded me that I had not shared this with you guys yet.

See, I went to 7-11 and took a bottle of water out of the fridge.  I took it to the cashier and suddenly, “Nooooooo!  Where’s my wallet?!?”  I knew that I had dropped it somewhere between that cannon and the store.  I ran back, looking at the ground the whole way.  “It’s gone, it’s gone!  Don’t let this happen now, not right before Christmas!”

My wallet!

I got back to the cannon and, thank goodness, there it was!  It was broad daylight but nobody saw it!  My little flowered wallet with its little Chinese bell was sitting right there where I had dropped it while trying to take a decent photo.

Go ahead, scroll back up.  You know you want to!  You’ll see it right there.  I missed it completely when I snapped the pictures — I had to be sure I got the whole cannon in the shot.  Focusing on the ground was not part of the plan for these photos.

Talk about lucky!  My advice?  If it does not have a handle, leave it in your bag until you get where you’re going!  The cashier will wait for you to dig it back out again, trust me.  When I got back to the store they got a good laugh out of it all but I was nicely freaked for the rest of the afternoon!