Thursday, November 30, 2006

My Turn...

My nose is running and just won't stop. I caught something and I just feel icky. I need to finish up a few things at work today, then maybe I'll go home early.

The good news is that Emily has started feeling better now. We almost broke our family rule of "Both parents may not be sick at the same time."

Peace, Love and Pass me another tissue,


Wednesday, November 29, 2006

Sinus Infection

Poor Emily,

She has a bad sinus infection and it really is hurting her. She has already seen a doctor and is taking something for it, but she said yesterday that the pain was so bad she couldn't sleep! We had turkey soup for dinner last night and I think she really liked the hot soup and steam. I hope she starts feeling better today.

Tuesday, November 28, 2006

Ggrrrr...The Evil Threesome

I've been grumpy lately because of this! I was pulled over for having an expired safety check. GGrrrr... It's all current now but I'm still grumpy.

I notice I am not as inclined to write about junk things in my life as I am about fun things. Keep that in mind as you read this blog. I readily share the good things in my life, but I still keep the bad things private, especially when those bad things reveal character weaknesses. Don't let that fool you into believing that my life is all roses and no hardships. I have many hardships, many self induced.

I am lazy, selfish and proud and usually I feel helpless to change any of those attitudes. They are still the source of much of the grief in my life. In fact, let me introduce them as my nemesis. Let's call them the Evil Threesome.

They follow me around everywhere I go. They are most bothersome when I try to ignore them, and yet when I focus on them they get real dodgy. My attempts to subdue them glance off and the very attributes I need to defeat them are what they attack.

It takes tremendous effort to deliberately focus on making character changes, so Laziness attacks my persistence.

I have to be humble enough to admit that I need help and prayer. I don't want to share my shortcomings. Pride knows I want to be strong and admired, so attacks me there, making me unwilling to admit my failure and weakness.

I think a strong character reveals itself in the value one has for others. Honoring the elderly, caring for the young and weak, defending the defenseless, recognizing God's thumbprint on each and every life. Selfishness focuses my eyes on myself and in a way, prevents me from seeing the cracks in my character. My love for others goes untested, because I am too busy loving myself. It's like a crack in a wing of a fighter jet. So long as the flight is easy, smooth and no one is shooting, everything seems fine, but when the battle gets heated and the pilot needs to pull a high-G turn, the weaknesses become apparent and may mean the difference between life and death.

The Evil Threesome will likely be with me all my life, yet I vow not to make friends. I don't want to become comfortable with them, tolerating their presence in my life. I would love to be their worst nightmare, yet that takes persistence, humility and a servant heart.

Pray for me as I seek to strengthen these weak spots. I guess this has been a sort of safety check for the soul. Probably a good idea for everyone.

Peace, Love and Self Inspections,


Friday, November 24, 2006

Happy Thanksgiving!

Yesterday we had a great Thanksgiving!

It started off at 5:15am, when I got up to get ready for the rocket launch. Woke up the kids, got the gear loaded and left for Neal Blaisdell Park before sunrise. Had a smaller crowd of regulars, with us, the Manning's, The Lee's, and the FCF youth group among others. Bit of a rough start as the first rocket wouldn't fire, the second landed in a tree, another (mine) didn't deploy it's recovery system and crashed onto an apartment roof, then Bryan's Space Ship One landed in a tree and was unrecoverable.

At that point I was almost ready to go home early, except that I always say every rocket flies at least once. Then next bunch went off beautifully, including the D-engined Payloader and Mercury Atlas and the C-engined Mercury Redstone. Some real pretty flights. We left with 4 of the six rocket we brought, and I may try to go back for the Space Ship One model.

After the rockets it was off to Turkey Day at the Fewell's. Lots of last minute clean up and preparations. I started the fire for the 2 turkeys at 11:40am and by 2:00 the last one was out. This year the turkey came out wonderfully (that means I didn't over cook it!). Guests started arriving around 1:00 or so and soon we had a wonderful crowd of friends and family enjoying themselves and the food. Lots of boys playing around! Over half of our guests were children and we had a great time together.

You can see all the food and we even had a chocolate fountain with fruit for dessert!

I think everyone went home happy and well fed and we were glad to just lay back and relax into a tryptophan coma.

Peace, Love and Tryptophan for all!


Wednesday, November 22, 2006

Getting Ready for Thanksgiving!

We've been busy! Most evenings and weekends lately I have been cleaning up outside or building rockets in the garage. Every Thanksgiving morning (for the last 25 years!) I go down to the Neal Blaisdell park in Pearl City and launch rockets with a bunch of friends. This is the only time of year I'm really involved with rocketry, but it is as much a part of our Thanksgiving tradition as the turkey! This year we'll be bringing 6 rockets (too many probably!), 3 D-class rockets and 3 C class rockets. We have 3 beautiful ones this year, a Mercury Redstone rocket, a Mercury Atlas and Space Ship One. Should be fun!

This year we are having quite a crowd over to our house for Thanksgiving. 25 folks I think! I'll be deepfrying 2 turkeys this year! I actually prefer to do 2 smaller turkeys because I don't have to fill the pot too high with oil, and I get sort of a second chance if somehow the first turkey is done wrong. You can see my past efforts at deep frying turkey's here (2003, 2005).

Also wanted to mention that Bradley has gotten glasses! He loves them! He was starting to have trouble seeing the blackboard at school and the eye doctor said it is time to get them. Bradley was actually really looking forward to getting them. Today was his first day at school with them and I hope he can see everything he needs to see and that the other kids are kind to him.

We have so much to be thankful for! I hope that the busyness of the season doesn't distract you from appreciating the blessings in your life.

Peace, Love and Thankfulness,


Friday, November 17, 2006

Guns and Bows

I just wanted to share a few photos. Bryan's 12th birthday was Wednesday. He had seen a Nerf "Tag" set at Costco about a month ago, and really wanted it. They begged me for it but we just couldn't get it at the time. About a week later I was able to pick it up on my own and hide it until his birthday. They are great fun! They "shoot" really well, and we have ALL had a blast running around the house and falling down in a hail of bullets and laughter. It's funny how menacing they try to look while holding their Nerf guns!

I have still been enjoying my birthday gift of a compound bow. At least twice a week, usually before work, I spend about 45 minutes at the archery range. It is usually very peaceful because I am all by myself, but on 2 occasions I have unexpectedly been joined by Dan Uchida, which is always a pleasant surprise! I have slowly been getting better and for the first time this week, I have considered raising the draw weight of the bow. When I first got it I wasn't sure if I'd be able to use it because the "pull" was so heavy. Now it feels very natural, and I'd like to see my arrows fly a little flatter with some more speed.

Peace, Love and Staying on Target,


Thursday, November 16, 2006

Yeah Right Mom....

All this week, Good Morning America is doing a special series on the NEW 7 Wonders of the World. This morning was the Mayan Ruins of Chichen Itza. Well it just so happens that Emily's family visited Chichen Itza in 1976 on a great big cross country vacation, ending in Mexico. Emily recognized the ruins and told Bryan "I've been on those steps!" Bryan's reply was "Yeah, Right Mom..." with a look of a person not willing to be deceived. Emily vigorously defended herself, but Bryan wasn't having any of it.

Well, thanks to Grandpa Hirose, here is photographic proof of the event, as well as a few other photos from the trip.

Peace, Love and Familiar Mayan Temples,


Monday, November 13, 2006

Lazy Weekend

Friday night we took the kids to a new discovery of ours, Phuket Thai in Mililani. We love the place and especially the complexity of the flavors in their cuisine. Read a review about them here.

Friday night, we gave Bryan permission to try something he has wanted to do for a while now. He wanted to stay up all night long! I said just wait until college, but he was really looking forward to trying. We said goodnight to him around 10pm and left him for his great attempt. I got up at 2:30am and found him fast asleep in front the the TV with a Spongebob Squarepants marathon going. Good luck next time Bry! You can try again New Years Eve.

Bryan will be turning 12 on Wednesday, but we let him open one of his gifts on Saturday. Nana & Papa bought him his own ham radio! (Thanks Nana & Papa!). Now he has one of his own, just like mine and we have already programmed it and started using it.

Sunday we went to see Pirates of the Caribbean: Dead Man's Chest at the $1 theaters at Restaurant Row. Fun movie with lots of Swashbuckling. Didn't feel as creepy as the last one, despite some amazing makeup and effects on Davy Jones and his crew. Learn all about it here.

That's all for now!

Peace, Love and Lazy Weekends,


Wednesday, November 08, 2006

Stunningly Beautiful

Plitvicka Jezera National Park: waterfalls at Plitvicka Jezera National Park. Photo ©2004 by Jack Brauer.

KITV Election Coverage

Well, I guess it is only fair.

Not long ago I made a lot of noise about what a great job KITV did with the earthquake coverage. Tonight I am here to tell you that our election coverage was a mess. I wasn't in the control room so perhaps tomorrow I'll find out what was going on, but TECHNICALLY we had a tough night.

My computer would not join the network, despite being checked out an hour earlier, several sites had terrible audio problems, we had officials telling us one thing and then contradicting their statements later, graphic template problems, It was a mess and it feels pretty junk to go home from.

Get all the ugly details at our website, where Brent kept a "behind the scenes of election coverage" blog.

Peace, Love, and the Show-Must-Go-On,


Monday, November 06, 2006


My kids and and I enjoy a rousing game of Heroscape from time to time, and yesterday afternoon they wanted to play again. I had sent them into the guest room to build the map and get the game ready. That can be a big part of the game, just building the map! To make it more fun, Uncle Albert Lum had also recently donated all his Heroscape materials to my boys, so they had 3 sets plus a few expansions to build from. Well, they spent quite a long time in there, and built a huge map with EVERY single map piece they had, and set up for a super-brawl with every character on the map! This was going to be a huge, messy, LONG battle!

We started in and it indeed was a lot to keep track of. After an hour and a half we had only completed 2 rounds! Clearly we had bitten off more than we could chew. How fun this would be though if we had a few more players and a whole afternoon to play! I took a few photographs because I think the kids did a great job laying out the terrain and the pieces are actually quite impressive. Maybe we'll keep the map up a few days and just scale back on the combatants.

I love playing with my boys! One of the reasons it was taking so long was that Bryan had to act out every encounter with full sound effects, and Bradley kept us supplied with the requisite number of chips and snacks.

I really wish I had John Letoto's macro lens (and eye) for these shots!

Peace, Love and Mortal Combat (between friends),


Sunday, November 05, 2006

Hanalani Craft Fair

Yesteday Emily participated in her biggest craft fair yet!

Her and her friend Wilberta set up a booth in the Student Activities Center at Hanalani and sold earrings and bracelets and "danglys" and such. I was responsible for keeping the kids occupied and escorted them around the fun fair. Bryan also had his (borrowed) ham radio so we were "haming it up" all around campus. We also struck up some conversations with local area hams and even Wayne (KH6MEI) came to visit and brought his family!

It was hot, but fortunately the gym is air conditioned, so when we really got wilted it was back to the gym. I regret not taking any pictures in the gym of the craft fair, so this one of the kids at the fun fair will have to do. Em ended with a tidy profit and possibly a commission to do 15 or so baseball "danglys" for a Little League baseball team!

Peace, Love and Craftyness,


Thursday, November 02, 2006

Where did the sky go?

Gray skys everywhere...

It has been rainy here lately, especially today. As I was driving in on the viaduct, I couldn't even see the Koolau Mountains or Honolulu. Just grayness. Everywhere.

It's time for a little color!

Over the past few weeks I've been snapping pictures of the sky. Sometimes, the heavens really put on a show! Here are some interesting colors and clouds for your viewing pleasure. Enjoy!