Tuesday, December 26, 2006

Holiday videos

starring Rocky

Rocky's Christmas wish did come true: he got to roll around, eat grass, and hunt lizards in the yard, but it still seemed as if he was waiting for someone.

Quicktime | WMV

He liked the cat-related gifts the best.

Quicktime | WMV

Tuesday, December 19, 2006

'Tis the season to be late

Rocky's card

Ordered Christmas stamps online a week ago, but they haven't arrived yet, so I have no idea when I'll get those out. We finally got our tree yesterday, but not in time to include a picture of it in the card -- that we can't send out yet, anyway.

Forget stamps, here's the card below!

rocky's card 2006

Sunday, December 10, 2006

U2's last night, last night

End of Vertigo Tour

  1. another concert t-shirt to add to my collection
  2. closest I could get to the floor
  3. GA area filling up
  4. screen during 'One'
  5. Eddie Vedder grabbing Bono for a hug
  6. screen during 'Windows of the Skies'
Surprises were during the encores: Billie Joe of Green Day joining Bono for "The Saints Are Coming", Pearl Jam/U2 together for "Rockin' in the Free World", and "All I Want is You" as their final song instead of the expected "Bad/40". After all, last night was the finale of their nearly two-year tour, and while I do love the song, it wasn't a big ending, and not the best choice.

Early on in the show an arena worker saw me scribbling updates to my projected setlist (I like to go prepared) and called me over to show me the official one, which I immediately asked for, and said he'd give it to me just before the first encore. A few songs later I heard, "Senorita, Senorita", and ignored it 'til I realized he was calling me. (Didn't expect to be called that in Hawaii!) He said that he no longer need it, but that it was "top secret" and I was to show it to no one. I nodded solemnly, thanked him, and wondered if he was serious.

It was a great show, and I had a good time. Would've loved to be on the floor, up close, or at least surrounded by party people dancing it up, but the section I was in was pretty tame, probably because our corner wasn't full. That didn't stop me from singing and dancing, but I did feel a little left out of the party.

EDIT (whine), 4 hrs later:

I left the place feeling like I walked out of a movie that I knew was of good quality, but if asked about how I liked it, I knew I couldn't give it top marks, but wouldn't quite be able to explain why. Had a nagging feeling all day, but now I finally think I know the reason. I need to participate fully at a concert to really enjoy it, and this was one I was particularly looking forward to.. I've liked them for decades, know they're more than just their music, have most of their stuff, bought the special edition U2 ipod only because of them, etc., etc. I'm probably more bummed than I should be that I wasn't able to get more into it than I did. But what could I do? The vibe isn't quite the same when you're on your own.

I'd like a second chance. Another concert with another last song (I love 'All I Want Is You', but it's not 'Bad'/'40').

Saturday, December 09, 2006

One life, One love, One concert

The long-awaited, once-postponed, last-show-of the Vertigo Tour takes place tonight!!

I've been sick for most of the week, but am getting better and will be dragging my butt to the Aloha Stadium, decked out in my red INSPI(RED) shirt (along with gazillions of others) for what is probably my only chance to see probably the greatest band in the world.

Fans have been flying in from all over the world, and many with GA tickets camped out since Thursday for their chance to get in the ellipse when gates open at 5 pm today. I'll be comfortably ensconced in my reserved seat with my kleenex and cough drops.

After Rocko and the Devils (U2's stage manager's band) and Pearl Jam (you know who they are), U2 should hit the stage at around 9 pm, probably opening with 'City of Blinding Lights'. Imagine all all those panels below lit up...it's gonna be more than incredible.

The main stage for the U2 concert was flown in on three 747 cargo jets from Tokyo and has been erected at Aloha Stadium for today's concert. This will be U2's only outdoor performance in the United States during the Vertigo tour, as well as the final stop on this year's world tour.

Sunday, November 26, 2006

Should I??

MacWorld Expo 2006

The last (and only) MacWorld Expo SF I attended was in January 1999. I remember that when I wasn't freezing, I was loving it. I finally found the dusty ol' website we made for that trip. Here's one of the photos:

I have the almost-opportunity to attend it again. Our school vacation has been extended to three weeks, but it ends a little short since MacWorld would start a couple of days before the of our winter break and extend beyond. I could burn a personal day off to fly back from SF, but I'd start work a day after everyone else. Normally that wouldn't be so bad, but since we'll be having a whole three weeks off (for the first time ever), wouldn't it seem that I could at least get my butt back in time?

Tuesday, November 21, 2006

Happy T-giving

Rocky Raccoon's reasons to be thankful this Thanksgiving and the many more in his 7 or so remaining lives:
  • people who take in pitiful strays
  • compassionate vets who give those people discounts
  • safe places to take naps
  • kitty massages
  • grass
  • silly people who take his picture for holiday greetings

Sunday, November 12, 2006


It's been bugging me ever since I saw that beautiful green lizard with red spots that was indulging in Leona's chocolate candy (see entry below) while we indulged ourselves in the Pinot Grigio I brought over.

I've never seen one like that, and I'm jealous. All I have are those oogly-ish dinosaurs that have taken over our yard (fodder for many pictures on this blog because they're display STRANGE behavior), but they're definitely not beautiful. I miss our lovely, sleek, green anole lizards that they killed off, and when I saw Leona's new kind of lizard, I got all excited. I had to find out what it was, and closest I can find is this one who was spotted in parts of our islands, on the left below. He's gotta be a relative of "Liz", but perhaps he's a male and she's a smaller, more delicate-looking, and less-decorated female. The guy on the left can grow up to 12" long, though. Kind of big to be munching on your chocolates.

Day gecko <---------------> Leona's Liz

Saturday, November 11, 2006

Leona's lizard

That's a piece of foil-covered chocolate candy that "Liz" is eating!

Click image to view slideshow

Tuesday, November 07, 2006

Beautiful day...

...in Japan??

It was a gorgeous day. The tradewinds were back, making 85 degrees feel like 85 degrees instead of the 99 it's felt like the past few days. I had Election Day off, so caught up on errands. Safety-checked & oil-changed the car, then got my glasses adjusted, checks cashed, goodies purchased, and voted.

Took my camera along, as usual. The best shot of the day was a reproduction of the torii gate in Miyajima, Japan. But instead of "floating" in the water, it sits in a little triangular section of land between Jiffy Lube and my optometrist's office. Below it is the picture I took of the original torii gate when I visited Japan back in 2001.



Saturday, November 04, 2006

An INSPI(RED) night at Aloha Stadium

35 days from now


At least U2 rescheduled their Honolulu concert, originally scheduled for April. The Rolling Stones flat-out cancelled their November 22nd show for Honolulu, postponing some of their other dates, and pushing up LA in what was supposed to be our date. Adding insult to injury, Ticketbastard won't refund the $3.75 processing fee for tickets that were purchased online. I wasn't sure if I'd be able to stand listening to George Thorogood as the opening act, and now I don't have to worry about that.

Looking ahead, I already know what I'll be wearing to the U2 concert on December 9 -- the same thing hundreds, if not thousands, of others will be wearing -- my (PRODUCT) RED INSPI(RED) t-shirt to show support for Bono's Global Fund initiative.


Tuesday, October 31, 2006

Good deal

Thanks, Apple!

• Open bank account
• Get 2GB iPod nano as free gift
• Exchange at the Apple Store for gift card (value: $149 + tax)


Monday, October 30, 2006

Halloween Greetings from Rocky Raccoon

Night of the evil Maine Coon

You can see fear in the little black cat's eyes!


click to view slide show

Monday, October 16, 2006

Earthquakes rock. duh.

6.7 and 6.0 magnitude

My second floor bedroom wall is up against the corrugated-metal garage roof, and the incessant drumming from heavy rain at 2:00 AM was so damn LOUD that I gave up trying to sleep. I read for a while, then decided to clean off my dresser and organize some drawers instead. Very strange behavior for me. Gotta admit, I was a little nervous and was just hoping it just wouldn't flood again like it did in April.

Eventually the rain subsided so fell back in bed and enjoyed a really peaceful nap (after all, I had finally cleaned off my dresser and drawers!) . The next time I opened my eyes I was delighted to find that it was almost 7:00, later than I ever get up, and that Rocky Raccoon had actually let me sleep past 5:30 on a Sunday for once! He noticed I was awake, so ran on up to go though his usual morning routine (licked my hands, feet, and especially top of my head) until I had enough and I made him go back to his towels at the foot of the bed.

A couple of minutes later a huge convoy rolled through the yard. Or a plane lost altitude as it flew overhead. Or a crazy-ass tornado circled the house. Or maybe it was just a herd of very lost buffalo.

I sat up, looked at the cat, who was dozing obliviously at the foot of the bed, and called out to him. Only then did he sit up straight and look around, wondering what those very noisy buffalo were doing in our yard. I couldn't wait for him to figure it out, so I ran to the doorway and did what they say to do, though I feared the old house might crumble, bringing me and the door jamb crashing to the ground floor.

The quake hit at 7:08 AM on a Sunday, probably the best day and time possible. It caused very little damage on Oahu, though the island-wide power outage was a real inconvenience, especially for tourists and those low on gas who, for some reason, needed to be on the road. Long lines formed at the few stores and gas stations that were able to remain open, but I couldn't really understand why. It was DAYLIGHT, for goodness sake, the rain had temporarily abated, so why were ice, batteries, water, and beer in such demand and being sold out so quickly?? Sheesh, don't people keep a stash? (yeah, I do, but replace "beer" with "wine".)

The Big Island of Hawaii, where the quakes were nearest, suffered much damage, but, amazingly, reported few injuries and no fatalities. A teeny little four-inch tsunami (tidal wave) was generated.

Oahu regained power slowly and methodically, and I got power back about 11.5 hours later, just as it was getting dark. I was kind of bummed because I had set out candles in most rooms and was prepared to rough it out, at least until the next morning when I had to use my blow dryer and curling iron.

I heard that TV news reports (which I couldn't view) made it seem that a catastrophic disaster had befallen our little islands. Yes, the Big Island of Hawaii sustained a lot of structural and property damage, and roadways were closed and are now in need of repair. But some other islands barely felt anything, and never even lost electrical power. I don't know what CNN and Fox showed, but I can guess. After all, they would only be sent the most dramatic shots to broadcast, and who would want to hear about folks who took advantage of their "down" time catching up on reading, cleaning their houses, brushing their cats, and playing old board games with their kids?

It could have been so much worse. As it was, Mother Nature considerately waited until the sun was up, kids weren't in school, and most people home so could take care of their cats and kids. After the initial surprise and shock, most of us probably were able to reflect, slow down, and appreciate what we have. It would've been hard to not think of other recent disasters. Hawaii definitely can be a paradise.

Sunday, September 24, 2006

Blockbuster boo-boo

I don't watch much TV and only discovered my cable was out and the actual wire need to be replaced when I tried to catch season pilots the other week. I probably wouldn't watch DVDs at all if I hadn't won a player in a drawing a couple of years ago (then had to get a new TV that could play the thing).

But I love freebies and decided to take advantage of Blockbuster's free one month online trial. In addition to unlimited online rentals, I get four coupons for free in-store rentals. So yesterday I signed up, printed the first coupon, and went to my local Blockbuster that I hadn't been to in over a year. Didn't even have my card, but that didn't matter. Picked out "The Producers", took it to the counter, and got my freebie.

I did notice the yellow tab in the case when I plucked it off the shelf, but forgot about it as the kid at the register rang me up ($0.00) then added my $1 Boys and Girls Club of America donation. Only when I got home did I realize the tab was still in, and I couldn't open the case.

A call to the store gave me the permission to break in to it, since there'd be no way I'd be able to remove the tab that ran along the entire length of the right side of the case. (Yes, sidster, you're right, it takes super-strong magnets to remove it.) The operation was successful, the patient had its spine slit open, and the DVD was freed.

So was the movie worth all that trouble? I didn't even get to finish watching it because I gave up after being interrupted twice by phone calls.


Monday, September 18, 2006

More Butch

SF & Anaheim concerts

Butch Walker continues to tour, but I'm only able to catch him when he stops in California. Two of his best shows were in SF and Anaheim, and I was lucky enough to be a part of the experience!

Take a look at my googlepage for more pictures.


Brief trip, briefer synopsis

I've lamented before how the hardest part about returning from a trip is going through all the pictures and deciding which ones to use. I took the easy way out this time:


Saturday, September 16, 2006

Last Flight Out

yeah, that's the title of a Butch Walker song

I saw Butch Walker and his new band in SF and Anaheim last week, and took four planes going there and back. My suitcase barely made it under the limit, and my contact solution was confiscated (even though saline solution is permitted, according to the TSA site). I missed being able to carry on bottled water, but was able to get enough to drink on the first three flights. For some reason, the leg from LA to Hawaii was a dehydration flight, but at least Hawaiian Airlines still feeds its passengers.

Some delightful and not-so-delightful insights about airports, especially when traveling alone:

Good: Discovering the airport carries Starbucks' new Pumpkin Spice
Bad: Being forced to consume the entire grande coffee before boarding the plane
Definitely good: Sitting close to the rear of the plane and being able to tell easily when there's no line for the bathroom

Not-so-bad: Not knowing what kind of person you'll get as a seatmate
Good: Being asked to trade seats w/a person who's allergic to cats, getting to sit near the cat, and receiving complementary headset to watch a movie I actually wanted to see

Not-so-bad: Getting the attention of a cute little drug-sniffing beagle who was interested in the catnip in my carry-on bag
Bad: Breaking a nail while wrestling my 46.6 lb suitcase off the conveyer belt
Good: Warning guys who were blocking my way that I might knock them over (and break a nail) when I grab my bag -- and having them grab it for me instead

Good: Experiencing pleasant counter people and lack of crowds on 9/11
Bad: Tolerating TSA security newbies practicing on me "so they know that I know what to do"* on 9/11

* TSA agent trying to show that she knew what she was doing (after I was deafened and puffed in the chemical-detecting booth, and before she frisked and patted me down)

Tuesday, August 01, 2006

Get paid to spread the love

Get your mind out of the gutter.

It was officially announced that an Apple Store will be opening at the mall near my home, and Mac Specialists (otherwise known as sales flunkies) are currently being hired to "Get paid to spread the love". I think I could do that.

Apple's website didn't seem to list the soon-to-be store yet, but craigslist did and, according to the description, I might just fit the bill:

• You get excited about the latest and greatest and can not wait to share with everyone - Yep, even when they don't want to hear it
• You love Apple technology and are ready to inspire a whole new generation Apple addicts - ooh yeah! Like putty in my hands!
• You can translate “techno-speak” into layman’s terms - Do that on a daily basis at work, but with PCs (eww)

According to Apple, it's an opportunity "To delight. Impress. Advise. Engage. Inspire."

I've been told before that I should work there, especially after I helped several people to purchase their computers/iPods, even walking them through it in person.

I'd like to say I'd do it for the passion, but in reality retail sucks, the Apple/Mac-related training probably is minimal (they bank on their "specialists" coming in with prior knowledge) and one such "specialist" told me the pay was around $8/hr. Employee discounts are what I'd hang in for, especially if it increases w/the number of purchases made. Ooh, I'd get to keep the employee t-shirts, won't I?

Just for kicks I think I'll email the contact person.

Thursday, July 20, 2006


One of the hardest parts about returning from a trip is looking through the hundreds of pictures I've taken. I was in Portland and Los Angeles the past couple of weeks and got to take some pretty cool shots, but decided to sort out only my favorite ones tonight.

Some of you might know how I love to play with snakes and have been deprived of the pleasure because Hawaii has none, with the exception of a sad little legless worm. I haven't had the chance to handle them in years, so this was definitely the highlight of the whole trip.

view slideshow

Friday, July 07, 2006

Korea's missile aimed toward Hawaii??

Yikes, first we're being warned that California is long overdue the "big one" (hopefully not when I'm there later this week) and now it's been reported that the failed North Korea missile was aimed thisaway:

By Ruth Mantell
Last Update: 8:28 PM ET Jul 6, 2006

SAN FRANCISCO (MarketWatch) -- North Korea targeted waters near Hawaii on Wednesday when it fired a long-range missile, according to a media report Thursday evening. Defense officials in Japan and the United States have concluded that the Taepodong-2, one of the seven missiles fired Wednesday, was targeted near Hawaii, according to the Associated Press, which cited a Japanese newspaper. Lt. Col. Ellen Krenke, a spokeswoman for the Department of Defense, declined to confirm the report, but said: "We are monitoring the situation closely." Officials decided that the missile was pointed at Hawaii from the angle of its nose cone immediately after its launch and the altitude it reached before falling into the Sea of Japan, the report indicated.

Thursday, July 06, 2006

Half over

Not that I'm complaining (what other profession gets weeks off each summer), but this summer break is the shortest yet, and half of it has flown by already. But the best is yet to come: Butch's new CD comes out next week, and as Rock Star: Supernova's album producer, he'll be making more guest appearances on the show. I'll have to miss some episodes and will catch up later, but that's OK, because I'll soon be having a great time on vacation from my vacation. So no more blogging for a while, like I do much of that anymore, anyway :)

Tuesday, June 27, 2006

ButchBits3 videocast

Rich People Die Unhappy

Butch's video is pretty dark, and I guess I should've lightened it up a bit, ohwell. My aim was to figure out how to get a couple of pictures and my voice in there since the video track replaces the podcast track. Dunno if it was actually the "right" way, but it worked!


Sunday, June 25, 2006


My second attempt at podcasting is online and on iTunes. I think I'm sounding less doofus-like. Helps to have some idea what to talk about.


Wednesday, June 21, 2006

I sound like a doofus

The more I listen to myself in that podcast, the more I don't like what I hear. At first I had no idea what I'd be talking about, so I rambled on a bit until I decided to narrow the subject matter to Butch. I edited a bunch out, but I still sound awkward and unsure of what I was doing -- which was exactly how I felt!

I'd like to eventually get it going where I can create education-related podcasts, but for now I'll stick to butchbits or whatever comes up.

For what it's worth, the podcast is now a free download at the iTunes Music Store!

Tuesday, June 20, 2006

First podcast

HissyFitz and ButchBits

Gotta keep up with the cool kids. Unfortunately, the cool kids probably have something cool to talk about, while I just wanted to see if I could do it.

Created my first podcast today, with Butch Walker content, of course. Don't like how I sound, but it wasn't that easy while leaning over the desk with my face practically against the monitor of the iMac. Gotta pick up an external microphone someday. I purposely tried to speak slowly since I tend to rattle on quickly, but the effect makes me sound half-asleep.


Monday, June 19, 2006

The best things in life are...

..redeemable with Rewards Points!

Nuthin' like closing a rarely-used credit card account and discovering there were enough rewards points on it to get five $25 Macy's gift cards -- and receiving them in the mail just before heading out for a combo birthday celebration/Macy's shopping night. Cute stuff from that night:


A close second: finding out the person you'll be traveling with to SF has more than enough rewards points for a free car rental!

Friday, June 16, 2006

I was phone-phished by Sam-I-Am!

I received a call from a male with a heavy pseudo-sounding accent today. At first I thought it was a joke.
Sam: Hello, I am [garbled] from [garbled] [garbled] [garbled] calling about your domain ***.com.
Me: I'm sorry, who is this?
Sam: My name is S-- (garbled again, but definitely started w/an S), calling from Domain Registry [garbled] about your domain..
Me: Who? Calling from Domain Registry what? (By now I figured this was either a joke or a scam, so figured it was OK to be a bit rude.)
Sam: I am Sam (I think) calling from Domain Registry S-- [garbled]
Me: OK. I understand Domain Registry, I get your junk mail all the time, but what is that word that you're saying after that?
Sam: S-- [garbled] (his obvious attempt at enunciation made it even worse)
Me: Sorry, please spell that.
Sam: s-u-p-p-o-r-t, supppououurrrt
Me: Oh! OK, support! Don't tell me you guys are now actually CALLING people??
Sam: Yes, this is about your domain, ***.com
Me: Heh, ok, what are you trying to ask me?
Sam: We need your fax number to send you more information.
Me: More information about what?
Sam: We need your fax number to send it to you.
Me: But what kind of information do you want to send? Can't you tell me what it is now, over the phone?
Sam: No, we need your fax number...
Me: Hey, this is actually getting pretty funny if you're for real. Can't you at least tell me what kind of information you want to send?
Sam: silence
I was actually a little disappointed the guy didn't try harder. Did a little bit of research after I hung up, and found that others have had similar experiences. Turns out DomainRegistry.com knows about it this scam (they even received a phone call from them!) and says their company has nothing to do with these guys. They just want to spam-fax owners of domains in hopes of transferring them to their company -- the same thing Domain Registry does, but by email and snail mail.

They probably got my phone number by doing a whois, but I already had a fax number listed. My other domain names don't show my phone number or any other personal information, and thought this one didn't either. It doesn't anymore!

Tuesday, June 13, 2006

What's your guilty pleasure?

My definition: An indulgence that wastes time and money, makes you feel a tad guilty but waaaay too good.

Some people have certain food fetishes, shopping pleasures, trashy reading preferences. Mine is going to concerts.

Living on a rock in the middle of an ocean makes it difficult to feed my habit (with the exception of the four Eagles concerts, along with The Who, Steely Dan, Motley Crue, and Elvis Costello shows that managed to stop here recently..and U2 who will reschedule later this year). I usually have to fly out to see my favorite bands or artists, but I try to keep it financially reasonable, so it's off again to California for my Butch Walker concerts!

Bought the last of my tickets today, booked my airfare to LA, and am working on the SF portion of the trip. This is already consuming me, even though the concerts are a few months away. I want to make the most of my SF trip: wine country tour, ferry ride to Sausalito, shopping, good hotel. It all adds up, but the travel costs that accompany the concerts are a necessary part of the splurge, aren't they?

The damage so far:
concert tickets: $80

airfare/hotel/car: $750

seeing Butch again: you know it -- priiiceless!


Saturday, June 10, 2006

Yes, I survived

Someone posted a comment on my other blog today, wondering if the diet had done me in since I hadn't blogged since I started it. It's just that I haven't had much to say the past four weeks, but now that school's out I'll probably start talkintomyself again.

A quick update of the past few weeks is below..might be WAAAY BELOW, depending on what browser you're using. Blogger did funny stuff w/the HTML table. Shows up fine on my other blog!

The diet's officially over but I'm going to continue parts of it. Didn't lose quite what I wanted, and the get-together at Todai, a huge all-you-can-eat seafood restaurant, on the last day of the diet sure didn't help. That's OK, I just want to lose a couple more pounds.
Summer vacation has begun, no more dirty looks til July 27th!
Celebrated the end of school with yummy lychee martinis (and more) last night. Lychee's a fruit, so that's OK on my diet. Not too sure about the vodka.
Butch recently announced four concerts in California -- see ya in September! His new CD will come out next month..but I'll be at a conference in Oregon when it's shipped to my home :(
How'd my eyeball get here?

Tuesday, May 16, 2006

Offline and out of touch

Not sure if it's my darn ISP or my DSL carrier that's at fault, but I haven't been online for two days. Attended an off-campus meeting today so couldn't even get online at work. Had to resort to checking email at my parents' home.

Between this and my diet, I am not a happy camper.

Sunday, May 14, 2006

Day 1

Purification diet

I'm not one for dieting, but I could stand to lose a few pounds and this new diet will not only do that, it'll detox me, as well. If I can follow it.

It's actually a 21-day purification diet that involves taking a bunch of supplements w/essential vitamins and minerals, drinking their shakes, and eating organic veggies/fruits. Doesn't sound so hard, but I was kind of hungry today and my (non-organic) veggies and fruits didn't really satisfy me. But clearing out toxins is a good thing, and I weigh a little less tonight than when I woke up this morning.

Not sure yet if the hardest part will be swallowing 10 capsules three times a day or not drinking wine in the evenings.

Saturday, May 13, 2006

Don't swat that!

Hawaiian picture-wing flies

HONOLULU — Twelve species of rare flies known for their elaborate courtship displays and found only in the Hawaiian Islands are now protected under the Endangered Species Act.

Photo by Kevin T. Kaneshiro/AP Wide World

At least they're two to three times larger than the common housefly so they won't be mistaken for them. But I suppose it could still happen.


Saturday, April 29, 2006

Vote for Honolulu

Monopoly is being redisgned in the "here & now"

Hasbro is conducing an online poll that will allow consumers to decide which new cities and their famous landmarks will appear on their "Monopoly Here and Now" game board that will be in stores in the fall.

Landmarks in 22 cities are up for grabs. Honolulu has Diamond Head, Kalakaua Avenue, and Waikiki Beach. Personally, I thought that was a little redundant since Waikiki Beach fronts Kalakaua Avenue (and how many people who've never been here can even pronounce "Kalakaua"?), but I'm all for putting us on the map, er, game board.


Vote now through May 12th, and vote often! The live results show that Honolulu needs more support, but it appears you can vote for that city just once a day. Technically. Honolulu just got 4 votes from me today from my different computers at home. Note to self: Enlist kids next week from the computer lab!

Sunday, April 23, 2006

Definitely hate Definately

Think there's a trend?

Months ago I lamented the decline in people's spelling abilities, which shouldn't rear its ignorant head in this day and age of spell-check. A while back I ranted about the use of "there's" when "there're" is meant, and, more recently, complained about the stupid new use of the word "random". Can't help it, it's the teacher in me.

What's been bugging me for a while now is the misspelled usage of "definitely". Because kids (and adults!) see it misspelled so often online, I think those who are on a shaky ground, spelling-wise, probably think that's the correct spelling. I mean, if so many people are spelling it EXACTLY that way, it must be right, right? WRONG!!

What freaked me out was the email I received from a TEACHER on Friday, with that damn misspelled word!! I've read it in other adults' writings and could brush it off, but auuugh, no, not from a teacher!!

UrbanDictionary.com even lists "definately", with this as its first entry:

Idiot-speak for "definitely". One of the most common moronic misspellings found on the internet.

Sunday, April 16, 2006

New Venture

Motivational (??) Posters

Been wasting too much time playing with pictures I've taken, so I decided, hey, why not make something worthwhile from them? I was leaning in the direction of those hilarious de-motivational posters, but I quickly discovered that not only am I not hilarious, I guess I'm just not cynical or depressed enough. Today, anyway.

Don't know if these three I made would actually motivate anyone to do anything, but it's a start. I won't quit my day job just yet.

click for 3-poster slide show

Happy Easter -- woops!

It's a beautiful-as-usual day. No more torrential storms, scary floods, nasty sewage-y stuff in the water. Perfect for taking pictures..you'd think. The first three above were taken this morning from my mom's church on the slopes of Diamond Head (where I visit a few times a year, coincidentally during holidays), and the fourth was at the restaurant where we had lunch afterward. Unfortunately, I wasn't able to take any more pictures because the fish were out to get me.

Those peaceful koi have pondmates, a bunch of huge-@ss ulua (the largest was 80 pounds and is displayed over the buffet table, see below) that sometimes splash around, causing the walkway around the pond area to be slippery. After taking that last picture, I crouched down to get another view. My high heel slipped in the water, my butt hit the floor, and while the camera never left my hand, it also hit the floor. I got up quickly before someone took a picture of ME, and took one last glance at the fish. I coulda sworn I heard someone or something giggling under water.

And, yeah, the camera is out of commission for now. I was zooming in to take a shot and it's stuck in that position. But not to fear, I have access to other cameras...

Star-Bulletin photo by Cindy Ellen Russell

Saturday, April 15, 2006

Musical cat

PG-rated picture


Friday, April 14, 2006

Geezer needed assistance

I like words and don't like them to change meanings on me without warning. Lately I've been reading and hearing "random" used more and more often (hey, I don't hang with the cool kids, and I work at an elementary school on a military base in the middle of the Pacific Ocean where slang usually arrives on our shores late), so when I tried to explain its "new" meaning to another person last night, I needed some help. Turns out the definition is pretty random itself, according to UrbanDictionary.com, ranging from "irrelevant", "unrelated", and "unexpected", to something said "out of the blue by mindless teenagers". Several posts reflected these opinions:

"For the love of God, stop using this word. It's not clever, it's not funny and it's not original. You sound just the same as all the other clone-like teenagers who think they're oh so unique for saying it. Give it a fucking rest." and "Trouble is, being 'random' is predictable, boring, moronic and extremely sad indeed."

OK. So you'll never catch me trying to be hip at the risk of sounding clone-like, not to mention moronic and sad. Not that it ever occurred to me to even try out the word. I can't even speak pidgin properly, and I live in Hawaii where it's pretty much the State Language.

Where DO these things start, anyway?? A lot of new stuff originates from gamers, and those are actually interesting, but what lame-o came up with "random"??

My visit to UrbanDictionary.com was enlightening. In fact, I might add its Word of the Day to my blog. Today's is below, which reminds me, I have to revisit my state return because TurboTax took liberties and shortcuts with my information, and I think I could do better manually.

April 14, 2006

A heightened state of excitement or ecstasy over the completion of any facet of the taxation process. Usually experienced by CPAs.

I am so excited about the new tax folders I am having a taxgasm!

Saturday, April 08, 2006

After the storms

The weather's been gorgeous all week*. Tourists are back in the relatively sewage-free waters of Waiklki, potholes are being filled, cars are being dug out of landslides, yards and homes are drying out. Mazes of yellow tape are a little less labyrinthian.


A little background info: the mall near my house was flooded last Friday as water overflowed the street, crashed through walls in the theaters, and swept through the different wings of the mall. It was closed for several days, and while most of the stores have since re-opened, some still are boarded up or shrouded in plastic. GNC had reopened earlier in the week, but just as I was about to make my purchase, there was a power outage so had to return today to buy my bars. Yellow tape mazes still wind throughout the mall, but as the floors are repaired, they're being removed, so there's a little less zigging and zagging to get from point A to point B.


* Would've been a great night for a U2 concert :(

Sunday, April 02, 2006


March 31, 2006 was finally our turn

It had been raining for weeks, so when another thunderstorm began, I pretty much ignored it, figuring it wouldn't cause much damage. I only looked outside when I heard my dad, who lives next door, banging things around. Turns out he was wrestling with trash bins that kept floating away. That's him in the picture below, taken from behind my screen door, just before water started to come into my house.

I live upstairs in an old, two-story house. Thank goodness downstairs is mostly used for storage..and shoes. Unfortunately, my car, that was vandalized last month and was just brought back from the body shop the day before, also lives downstairs and got flooded.

After 4.5 hours of sweeping, scooping, and mopping water up, I finally ventured out in my soggy car to get a Shop-Vac. Shoulda done that earlier. Yesterday my father ripped out the living room carpet and threw out the two couches. They were old and only Rocky would miss them. Most of the things in storage are OK, with the exception of some older printers and monitors. My stuff is all upstairs, safe and dry.

Click the image below for a slideshow of my view of the flood. I couldn't go outside to take better pictures because I was trying my damnedest to block the water from coming in the doors! Once it started seeping in, it gained power, pushing away towels, rags, and rugs I used to try to stop the flow.


I'm very lucky. Nothing of real value was damaged. The first thing I did was scoop up my shoes that were on the floor, and make sure the rest were out of harm's way :) It's mostly the days of clean-up that are a pain. Others weren't as fortunate. It's been raining off-and-on, but mostly on, for about five weeks. Hawaii hasn't been hit like this in decades.

Thursday, March 30, 2006


I wouldn't have been able to type that word days ago, since the "g" on my keyboard stopped working. The forward delete and return key wouldn't work, either. Might have had to do with the fact that I rinsed out the keyboard a few days ago...

Anyway, my underscore key got lots of action. I typed emails saying "_ood luck" and "_et back to me later". That got old, so I just came up with other words and phrases to get around using "g". (For blogging I used a keyboard utility and eventually a different keyboard.)

The novelty had worn off by yesterday so I decided to make a trip to my local Apple Store. The particularly spastic little geeky Apple "Genius" (he really was, I'm not making that up and would never make fun of a fellow Mac enthusiast) just plugged it in to his laptop, and the darn thing worked. He never even flipped it over where he might've spotted the water puddles through the clear iMac keyboard casing.

Guess it just needed extra time to dry out, LIKE EVERYTHING ELSE ON THESE SOPPING WET ISLANDS! It's thundering and lightning-ing as I type. As of today, it's been 40 days and 40 nights of sogginess.


Wednesday, March 29, 2006

30 Years of Apple

1976 - 2006

Founded in a garage by two college dropouts to become the cultural icon it is now, Apple Computer will celebrate its 30th birthday on April 1st. "One long April Fool's joke."

As I was cleaning out my closet and drawers the other day I discovered I own at least 15 Apple or Mac-related t-shirts and one sweatshirt. That I kinda figured, but my next round-up surprised me.

I have nine Macs in this house! Not all are mine, and not all are in tip-top shape, but they're definitely too precious to abandon. Actually, that's why I have so many, a few are downstairs, having been rescued from a computer donation site. A couple will be used in schools. One classic may not even be working, but it was adopted to keep another we had from years ago company. Kinda like bookends.


Aww, aren't they cute?

Monday, March 27, 2006

Public transportation ain't so bad

in spite of the rain


I took my poor, keyed Scion to the body shop this morning. The street was ponding as I got out of the car. Stepped in a submerged pothole, so by the time I got to the office, I looked pretty pathetic. They took pity on me, gave me a bunch of paper towels and a ride to the mall where I was to catch the bus. Who knows, I might've drowned, otherwise.

Nothing was really open at the time except Starbucks (of course), a couple of eateries, and the supermarket. I was bummed that the new Borders, with their yummy Cinnamon Dolce Latte, wouldn't open until 9:00 am, so I just wandered around..and took pictures. Kind of wanted to, but didn't, take pics of the homeless hanging around the market. Actually, I tried to avoid them, especially the ones talking loudly and gesturing to who knows what.

Tried to clean up and dry out in the bathroom. Several others came in looking pretty soggy, but no one but me took pictures of herself looking like that :)

The last time I took TheBus was probably decades ago. The actual ride was pleasant, but I almost wasn't on it. It appeared on time, but passed right on by! If it weren't for a stop sign a little ways down that gave us a chance to run after it, we would've had to wait another hour for the next one. The driver claimed that wasn't his stop, even tho it was clearly marked and I had spoken to a supervisor earlier to confirm the time and location. (Yeah, I submitted a complaint online a few minutes ago. So there.)

The bus was pretty empty because most people going in that direction hopped on the more-frequent Waikiki buses. Ahh, Waikiki. Instead of the usual sunburned tourists, there were umbrellas, sandbags, puddles and more rain. At least Diamond Head was greener than usual, but no one would want to hike it today.

Won't get my car back until Friday, but will borrow one of my dad's cars 'til then so I won't be doing any more bus-riding for a while.

Sunday, March 26, 2006

Between the rainstorms

an excuse to take pictures

The end of April will mark a year since I started blogging. It feels longer than that, and I've yet to find my groove. I can yammer on only so much about Rocky Raccoon, Apple computers, the bands I like, and the occasional personal/topical/news-related comment, before I run dry for weeks at a time. I wouldn't think about dissing work, and always keep in mind that my parents, some colleagues, and even my brother if I ask often enough, actually check in (tho rarely comment!!) once in a while.

I don't have a killer sense of humor, a controversial slant on politics, or even kids to write about. I don't live an exciting life filled with crazy highs and despairing lows..hmm, maybe there's the problem. I don't really have much of a life.

Yet I will muddle on, but, as someone commented recently, I've been in an unusual posting frenzy. (But he also called me a sporadic blogger, which is closer to the truth.) Digital cameras are so nifty. Photoshop is even cooler. And when you have nothing to say, hopefully a half-decent picture or two will fill the bill.

Here's the latest from today, in between rainstorms:


RIP, crazy tree



It put up with a lot, but the recent downpours were too much for it.

Saturday, March 25, 2006

Weird Hawaii Weather

Hail and tornadoes


Hailstone drift in geraniums
Honolulu Star-Bulletin, March 25, 2006

Horizontally-flying hailstones the size of quarters on the Big Island of Hawaii, tornadoes on the island of Lanai, lots of flooding, landslides, and power outages state-wide. Roads and homes were taken out, and seven lives were lost on Kauai.

Not your typical Hawaii weather.

Thursday, March 23, 2006

This is Hawaii??

Five weeks is enough

EDIT: Both QuickTime and Windows Media Player versions of the 29-second video are now included as links, for those who couldn't view the original QT version and whose browsers were having hissyfitz. Thanks, Joey, for letting me know.

I wasn't feeling well, so stayed home from work today. I never use video cameras, but we ordered a couple for school and I wanted to try it out. It actually started to let up as I filmed, but later at night the island was rocked by thunder and lightning.


QuickTime_icon.jpg OR wmp_icon.gif
[Select QuickTime (.mov) or Windows Media Player (.avi)

The QuickTime version is nicer. Install QT!

Sunday, March 19, 2006

It's alive

But what is it?


I thought I had killed it, or at least, put it in a state of suspended animation. It hadn't bloomed in probably a year, then one day I noticed its spines turning pinkish, and soon long, dark purple flower-like protrusions emerged!

About a week later the flowers wilted and the spines returned to green, but soon the same amazing thing happened on the other side of the plant.