Friday, July 30, 2010

Friday 5 for July 30: Oceans

From Scrivener's Friday 5 website, this week's questions deal with oceans.

"Hello, and welcome to this week’s Friday 5! Please copy these questions to your webspace. Answer the questions there; then leave a comment below so we’ll all know where to check out your responses. Please don’t forget to link us from your website!"

Open Ocean

1. When were you last in ocean waters?

On July 6 I went on a trip to nowhere aboard the aircraft carrier USS Ronald Reagan. You can read about it here and also see more photos here. The photo above is of the open ocean as seen from one of the hangar decks aboard the huge aircraft carrier. By the way I am not in the military. I was invited to go on this trip as part of a media tour for the first day of RIMPAC operations.

2. When did you last fly over ocean waters?

I rode a U.S. Navy Seahawk helicopter over 50 miles of open ocean from the USS Ronald Reagan back north to the island of Oahu and Hickam Air Force Base on July 6. I will be taking a 400+ mile jet round trip from Oahu to the Big Island of Hawaii in August.

Flight Back to Oahu
Here's a view of the open ocean and the island of Oahu in the distance as I flew back on the Seahawk helicopter. The entire trip from carrier to base took about 35 minutes flying at an altitude of about 600 feet.

3. What ocean sports activity seems like the most fun?

Probably surfing but I am not a surfer. Would be nice if I had learned because it looks like a great place to take pictures from. But alas, I am way too old and out of shape for that kind of stuff today. I prefer to stay safely on shore and just watch the waves.

Surfer #2
A surf shot I took several months ago.

4. What are your thoughts or feelings about public aquariums?

They are great places to look at fish and other lifeforms in an underwater environment without risking your life and limb. Just pay the admission and walk through the many displays.

5. What are your thoughts or feelings about sushi?

I love it especially with pieces of raw fish in it and wrapped in nori. Great rice alternative. Try it if you ever have a chance.

Saturday, July 17, 2010

Friday 5 for July 16: Legend and Lore

Hey, it's Saturday and here are my answers to yesterday's Friday 5!

1. Most neighborhoods have at least one place that’s (according to lore) haunted. What the haunted place in your neighborhood (or in the neighborhood where you grew up), and what’s the story?

See the story in #2 below (haunted and stupid combined).

Old Church Near Honokaa

2. Most neighborhoods have at least one place where some kid (according to legend) did something daring, dangerous, and most likely stupid. What’s the place in your neighborhood (or in the neighborhood where you grew up), and what’s the story?

Can't remember the name of this church right off hand. It is located near a former cane field that is now surrounded by an agricultural forest. For the most part this church is not known to be haunted.

About 25 years ago my kid brother and his friends went up to the church after a party one night and fooled around inside the structure and in the cemetery next to it. They had broken into the church and vandalized it. My brother told me that some kind of haunted spirits came after them. He said one person was levitated and thrown in a truck. The others were scared and ran out of the church and property. I forget most of the details of his story, but needless to say these young teens (at the time) got out of Dodge on their vehicles and went home.

While they were at home, many of them could not sleep and had other emotional problems for days. One day they had to confess to someone and upon doing so had to get the situation remedied. So they had to meet the caretaker of the church, an older Hawaiian man and got a Hawaiian blessing to chase the spirits away from them and apparently make everything “pono” again. After that they were apparently ok.

My brother told me the story in vivid detail but generally doesn’t like to repeat it. A picture of the church that I took in 1995 appears above.

The Cinerama Theater

3. Most neighborhoods have some lame building (like a bank or a gas station) where there used to be something much, much cooler. What’s the place in your neighborhood (or in the neighborhood where you grew up), and what’s the story?

I am still saddened that one of my favorite theaters of all time, the Cinerama on King and Punahou Streets in Honolulu closed in 1999 and became a Checker car parts store. That is the theater that I spent many of my college and later years watching first run movies such as Star Wars and The Empire Strikes Back.

Another set of theaters that have closed are the old Waikiki #3 theater and the newer Waikiki #1 and #2 theaters. The Waikiki #3 was built in the 1930s and finally went out of business in 2002. I saw a lot of movies there including the re-edited Star Wars (1997) and many others. Last movie I saw at the Waikiki #3 was Lilo & Stitch.

All of the theaters mentioned here were single screen venues with very large screens, generally good, comfortable seating and fantastic sound for their time. The Waikiki #3 is especially known for its d├ęcor that featured palm trees, fake clouds and a real organ that if you were lucky enough, some guy was playing while you waited for the movie to start.

The Waikiki #3 was torn down and ritzy tourist trap shops were put in its place.

The Waikiki #1 and #2 opened in 1970 and closed in 2003. Those huge twin screen theaters remained vacant until this year when it was announced that they’ll be gutted and placed in its interior will be the largest Ross’s discount clothing store in Hawaii.

Fact is I miss most of the single screen, movie palace type theaters. The old New Royal Theater in Waikiki was razed many years ago and today a big concrete hotel sits on that property. The old Kuhio Theater in Waikiki was a nice single screen venue, that was split into 2 screens in the 1970s and torn down in the 1990s to make way for another development.

Such is the pace of progress….

4. In most neighborhoods of our youths, there are a few places that almost always cause us to say, “That’s the place where I _________.” What’s one such place in the neighborhood where you grew up, and what’s the story?

Back in my college days I spent way too much time hanging out in the darkroom and our college newspaper office putting the paper together in the old fashioned way without the use of any desktop publishing system and using chemicals to develop film and print pictures from that film of what we took. Plenty of hours, too much time to be efficient in today’s computer world. The college paper is still around in the same place today but of course everything is computerized.

5. Where in the neighborhood where you grew up would you most likely run into someone today who knew you when you were a kid?

If I go back to my hometown people are bound to run into someone they know at the post office or the local grocery store.

Friday, July 2, 2010

Friday 5 for July 2: Dog & Pony Shows

Great questions from Scrivener's Friday 5 weblog....

Of course I'm spinning them in my own way! Enjoy....

Aloha Festivals Parade
Here's a zoo animal that costs the taxpayers too much money.

1. What’s your favorite zoo animal?

Honolulu Mayor Mufi Hannemann is one of my favorite Honolulu zoo animals. The guy is a political bully and is largely responsible for the added tax burden upon the State of Hawaii's people. Why? Because we are and will be paying a huge cash outlay to fund his egotistic, unneeded, heavy gauge, fixed rail, choo choo train mass transit project. The thing will cost at least $6 billion to build and countless millions and billions to maintain and sustain. Plus it will be the biggest, ugliest blight ever constructed in the City of Honolulu. It will ruin our sense of place and divide communities.

Former U.S. Congressman Neil Abercrombie can rival any squealing or howling monkey at the zoo when giving a speech espousing his socialistic and collective views.

2. What’s your favorite circus act?

Democrats in the Hawaii State Legislature, Democrats in the U.S. Congress and President Barack Obama. All of these circus acts make great fodder for conservative talk radio. Sadly these circus acts cost the taxpayers way too much money while they take away more of our freedoms.

Last Day Hawaii State Legislature

3. When did you last attend (or participate in) a parade?

The last parade I attended was the annual Downtown Honolulu Chinese New Year parade and festival. Check out the photo slideshow above.

4. When did you last attend a sporting event?

While waiting for a political meeting to start this past February at a local gymnasium, I watched a pretty good game of amateur, co-ed pick up league basketball.

5. What unique festivals does your area feature in celebration of some kind of food?

While I have never been to it, the Waikiki Spam Jam is quite notable and popular in these parts. It pays homage and celebrates the strange meat in the blue can. It is not a festival for junk emails.