Monday, October 30, 2006

Photos and Video from the Party

Just a quick note.

If you would like to see some of the photos from my 40th birthday party, click here for the photos. If you would like to see the video that was shown at the party, click here for the embarrassing video. Click here for Vance who made the video on very short notice and took most of the photos. Vance is a big fan of this blog and now he's in it! (Thanks Vance!)

Saturday, October 28, 2006


Emily was helping Gary Lau with a seminar today, so among other things, the boys and I went geocaching. I've known for a while that there is an easy geocache on the way to church, and every Sunday I drive by I think about it. Well, today we had breakfast at the Mililani Mauka McDonalds then headed over the the cache.

Brad found it right away, but the log had gotten wet. Since it was such a nice day, I decided to spread the micro-log out on a rock and let it dry before I put it all back together again and rehide it. The kids played on a nearby jungle gym and I did a little ham radio.

Eventually it all was nicely dry, so we reassembled it and hid it and headed on with the day.

It has been a while since we have gone geocaching, so it was nice to get back into it again.

Peace, Love and satellite powered treasure hunts,


Thursday, October 26, 2006

Awesome Lunchtime Tour

Today driving to work I struck up a conversation via ham radio with one of my new friends Alex (KH7F). We were talking about hunting and fishing and just enjoying our conversation. Alex and his wife run the Panya Bakery, whose kitchen (one of them at least) is on Cooke and Queen streets, near KITV. Alex has offered to show me around in the past, and today I took him up on his offer. I rode my bike down to his shop and introduced myself.

Alex is a genuinely friendly person. He immediately greeted me and took be behind the scenes. I met his wife and soon found myself next to walk-in ovens and freezers and in the midst of a commercial baking kitchen. We quickly passed through and he showed me the chocolate room. (Don't you wish you had a chocolate room?!)

This very cold room is specifically for the purpose of preparing chocolate shapes for the various cakes and pastries. This work is all about temperature! He has to heat the chocolate to just the right temperature, then work it very quickly as it cools to form the various grates, spirals, springs and forms of chocolate. He works on a solid marble surface and has to endure a very cold air conditioner as he works. He was never formally trained as a "chocolate sculptor" and had to pick up the duties when the chocolate chef they had left for the Big Island and no others could be found.

But then his face lit up as he led me to his radio room. He pointed out the bundles of cables that led from the roof to his sealed radio room. As he opened the door, he unveiled banks and banks of buttons, dials and lights. It was awe inspiring! From this room he is able to speak to people all around the world. He showed me his meticulous logs of contacts from Belgium, South Africa, Brazil, Japan...everywhere!

He got his start in morse code at 19 in the Taiwanese army, and came to Hawaii in 1985 to help the family business. He has been here ever since and now seems to be doing very well with the bakery and enjoying his radio and fishing hobbies. We spent a lot of time in his room, as he explained about how the components of the station are wired together. He also fixes radios on the side and we talked about that some too.

It was tremendous fun to see his "radio shack". As I consider my humble beginnings (a walkie talkie, a scanner and a really big impressive clock) I wonder if I have just peeked into my future. Who knows what I'll be doing 25 years from now, but I sure hope it has as many knobs, buttons and lights!

Peace, Love and Button Lust,


More Surprise Party Photos

Thanks Vance!

He shot over 150 photos last Saturday! I can't share them all here, but I wanted to share a few. Thanks also for the awesome job on the video! It was incredibly meaningful to me and it was fun to share with everyone. Now on to the photos (click on any one you want to see enlarged):

Tuesday, October 24, 2006

The First Party Photos

Here are just a few of the photos from my incredible surprise party last Saturday. Vance Kitaoka was a picture taking machine, and I'm sure he has more to share with us, but here are a few that were on my camera.

Everyone wants to know if I was surprised. The answer is yes! There were no cars outside, no slippahs by the door, everyone was quiet inside and when I walked in there was a big shout of "Surprise!" and folks tell me 10 different emotions crossed my face in an instant! I knew Em was up to something but I didn't know what or when or why.

I am so blessed to have such wonderful friends and family. The gift of love you gave me that day has made a huge impression on me and I only hope that every day I can make you feel as special as you made me feel that day. You guys are the "Best-est"!

Peace, Love and Good Times,


Monday, October 23, 2006

Announcing 2 new blogs!

No they are not mine. I have plenty.

I just wanted to announce that Bryan has started a blog to handle his journaling duties for his science fair project. He is doing it on Amateur Television. His blog is titled ATV Project and can be found at .

Secondly, my mom has started an online blog! Her first one. She is an avid journaler and wants her blog to be a source of encouragement and refreshment for everyone, but especially younger women. That's why she has titled it "Sandy's Refreshment Spot" ( I'd appreciate it if you would give it a visit and write a little comment to let her know you've visited. I think she would be thrilled to know people are reading.

Both blogs have been added to the links section on the right, so they will always be easy to find.

Peace, Love, and welcome to the Blogosphere!



I've had an amazing weekend and feel truly blessed to have such wonderful friends, family and such a special wife. There was a surprise party for me on Saturday that I want to write all about, but I have just been too busy with stuff this weekend to put anything together. I just wanted to drop a note here to let all you die hard blog fans know I'm still here and will start writing again very soon. Aloha for now, -Rich

Tuesday, October 17, 2006

The go

Well now they've gone and done it. Right by Costco in Waipio, next to the freeway on-ramp, right on the way to work, a brand new Starbucks has opened,...and it has a drive thru!


I've been very good about avoiding Starbucks. I love it too much. If I let it, it would decimate my budget. I love the atmosphere there, the dark wood textures and the deep green accents.

There is an indescribable vibe there. "Seattle's Best", right across the street doesn't have the vibe. Starbucks has the vibe. What IS that anyway?

I love the anticipation of getting your cup. The sounds of the steamer, the heat of the cup, the incredible scent of roasted coffee wafting in the air. The soft creamy kiss of whipped cream, drizzled with deep brown chocolate syrup, floating gently on a perfectly made hot chocolate... or the cool chill and ice rattle of a professionally prepared Grande Iced Chai.

I'm doomed.

How did this happen? I don't even like coffee.

Monday, October 16, 2006

Comments on KITV Quake Coverage

KITV is racking up some great reviews of our 6.7 earthquake coverage. We were carried live by CNN for 7 hours straight. Our webpage had 2.3 million hits in 24 hours and was streaming video out to 114,000 computers worldwide simultaneously. Here are some of the comments:

How proud you must be that KITV was the only station broadcasting the results of the earthquake all morning! They are still doing a great job!
posted by Sandy Fewell

I've been watching the KITV Live Stream. You all are doing a great job!
posted by Barbara Olmos

IMHO, as a news viewer, as I clicked between stations 10pm coverage last night, KGMB seemed to be the least together out of all the stations. The anchors appeared to be ad-libbing a lot of things as opposed to KITV and KHON, which pretty much presented their broadcasts normally. There were also some technical booo-boos as well. It seemed like KITV had most of their staff in to provide coverage, which is what one would like to expect from a media outlet in a crisis like yesterday's.
tvguy via HawaiiThreads

More than 24 hours later, and KGMB's website still hasn't been updated! Go to -- it's like the earthquake never happened! Unbelievable. KITV is cleaning everyone's clocks -- they have dominated coverage through and through. Kudos to them.
via HawaiiThreads

Thank goodness for KITV. I, too, thought it was great that they were "broadcasting" online, even without local transmitting or cable power. Not that many locals could benefit from their efforts, but from the e-mails I was getting from around the world, they were pretty much the place to be for information for much of the day. They weren't "online" as fast as a couple of radio stations, but AFAIK, they beat the other television stations by a country mile.
pzarquon via HawaiiThreads

2 stations take real-time lead. KSSK radio and KITV become the primary sources for the latest news after the quakes.
Honolulu Star-Bulletin article

We are grateful that you trusted us to be that link and that you could rely on us for being your source for news. We hope that you will continue to turn to KITV and as your local news choice.

Mike Rosenberg, KITV General Manager

Life Goes On

It is amazing to see the difference electricity make in our lifestyle. This morning feels like business as usual. Yesterday we felt like we were in the middle of a crisis. I felt like we were pretty prepared, except that we did not have enough canned food for the long haul. That would have been a problem in an extended emergency. We had plenty of water (right after the quake I had the kids fill our emergency water tanks-27 gallons!), cars both had gas, light sources and batteries were plentiful and our communications was excellent.

I found the cell sites immediately were overloaded, but I could still get text messages out (like to this blog). We don't have a landline, and in this case I wish we had one, as they were supposed to be working too. We had an AM/FM radio, which was a great source of information from KSSK (people could also listen to their streaming audion via the web). But of all those things, I was most greatful to have my ham radio. I felt in touch with Civil Defense and it was interesting to see how the hams responded to the emergency. Within moments of the quake, hams had already set up an emergency net and were taking check ins and quake reports. It was cool!

This morning it seems all is well again and we are finally able to see images from the Big Island, where the quake originated. For the latest info check out .

Power is back at 1:00am

Just a quick update to let you know our power has just been restored.

Sunday, October 15, 2006

Bedtime Update

Turning in at 9:10pm. Ham radio battery finally gone. Cellphone showing 50 percent power. I can charge both on my drive in to work tomorrow. What a way to end my vacation!
(This message was sent from Rich's Treo 650.)

Update 8:15 - No power yet

Still no power. Camp stove dining was great. We watched Star wars for 30 minutes before the batteries died on our portable DVD player. We then played a board game and then Em and the kids turned in early. I'm sitting in a dark room still listening and participating in ham radio activities. I will probably go to bed early too. We're still fine and have not yet opened up the fridge or freezer. We have saved some emergency water if we need it. Hopefully I'll wake up to a powered world in the morning.
Peace, Love and Electric Dreams,

This message was sent from Rich's Treo 650.

Campout Cooking

No power as of 5:30pm. Noodles, canned chicken, and cream of mushroom soup on a camp stove for dinner.
(This message was sent from Rich's Treo 650.)

Update 3:30 HST

Power restored to 21,000 customers and climbing. Parts of Mililani have power but we do not so far. Parents on Maui have had power for 2 hours. Full restoration may be accomplished by 8pm.

Extended power outage?

ETA for Oahu power restoration not until 8pm. We are now at 21 aftershocks. Oahu has not felt any aftershocks.

6.5 Earthquake

We're safe. At 7:08am there was a 6.5 Earthquake at 19.9 N, 155.0 W, 19 miles NNW of the Big Island. No Tsunami was generated. Power is out right now. Cellphones overloaded. Ham radio working great and puts me in touch directly with civil defense. Kona hospital may have sustained structural damage. Most people just reporting overturned shelves and TV. Linda Lingle was in Kona at the time of the quake. There have been 18 aftershocks since the quake ranging from 2.5 to 3.5. I'll send more info as I am able.

Saturday, October 14, 2006

A slice of life

Last night Em and the boys took me to Spaghetti Factory for dinner. We were looking for something cheap with good bread. I love a good sourdough bread when I can find one and Spaghetti Factory has a great one.

This morning we were up early to go help Gary Lau and mGf Ministries with the Cat & Dog Theology seminar. Emily helps out quite often, and from time to time, Gary needs to have a video record of the seminar, so I tape those for him. Cat and Dog Theology is based on a joke about how Christians can think that God is supposed to bless and serve them (like cats think of their masters), rather than thinking like dogs and being excited by, being faithful to and serving God and seeking His glory rather than our own.

After driving home from the windward side I took the kids to Bryson's Birthday Xbox party. 4 networked Xboxes all playing Halo (or whatever) together. It was good fun! Happy Birthday Bryson!

Friday, October 13, 2006

(... cricket chirping ...)

Yes, yes, I know it has been a while since I blogged.

I have been on vacation this week and have taken leave of all my regular duties, which apparently included blogging! Don't know why, but just haven't had much to say this week.

I have still been very active with ham radio, and I have gone to the archery range several times this week, including this morning. Interestingly, every time I go, there are more people there than the last time. I think the word is getting out about this new range.

Today is my 40th birthday! Imagine that. I was in my 30s when I went to bed last night and when I woke up I was in my 40s! I think I'm gonna have to see a doctor about this state of affairs. Entirely unacceptable.

Em and I have been discussing what chacterized my 30s and how my 40s are going to be. One thing I have felt lately is that I care less and less about what people think of me. I am by no means immune to others opinions, but I have found that I am quite willing to let others have their opinions and still live my life and have my own opinions as I see fit. Is that a sign of maturity? Hurray! I think I'm finally getting out of puberty!

Even this blog and the general trend in my life now-a-days to live an open life is evidence of that. I like how it feels. Today as I write this I am sitting in Starbucks and I'm planning to be here for a while. Mark Olmos used to always ask me a question,..."Who are you becoming?" he would ask. I think I'm gonna mull that question for a while. Who AM I becoming? What am I holding on to that I should let go of? Where does Christ want me to be going? Am I letting Him be Lord of every area of my life? Am I developing a deeper character? Do I value other people and am I taking every opportunity to show them love? Is my family getting enough of me and my time and efforts? Am I making a difference at work, at home, at church, in my circle of friends?

Good questions. I'm gonna think about them a while.


Peace, Love and Deep Thoughts,


Monday, October 09, 2006

The Hypnosis Restaurant

Got a kick out of this idea! Check out this entry in Scott Adam's Blog (The Creator of Dilbert):

I love this photo!

Thanks to Peter Finnegan for this new treasured photo, taken at Nicholas Englar's 1st Birthday party 10/8/06

Sunday, October 08, 2006

Full Sunday

We had a pretty full day goin' today. We woke up early and headed off to Starbucks Mililani for some Iced Chai and Hot Chocolate and a promised game of Chess. Bradley has recently learned the game and likes to play with me when we have the chance. I decided to make a Sunday morning game a regular part of our schedule with Bradley, so he can learn the game and we can have some one on one time together.

Then it was off to church. We have been enjoying New Hope Mililani, pastored by Mike Palompo. Today after worship time was the baby dedication. A bunch of families went up to dedicate their children, and themselves as parents to raising up their children with Godly principles. There was also a time when we as a church dedicated ourselves to supporting their families. Today's message was part of a series on making good decisions and understanding our identity as disciples of Christ.

After church we went to Walmart for some gift shopping and lunch at McDonald's. After a short break at home, we headed back to the archery range with Emily this time! I'm getting a little better and my groups are getting tighter. There were a few more people than before, but still far from crowded.

After the range we cleaned up (from this very muggy weather!) and headed to Ige's for Nicholas Englar's 1st birthday party. Saw a bunch of friends both old and new and generally talked and ate too much, but we had a great time!

We're finally slowing down a little on this day of rest (Ha!). Good thing I'm starting my vacation this week! I need it. I can't stay up too late though, I'm having breakfast with my best friend Gary at 7:15am.

Peace, Love and Good Times,


Saturday, October 07, 2006

First Shots

The boys and I had a good day today. We slept in, watched some Saturday morning cartoons and played a little football in the front yard.

Around 11:00, we hopped in the car and headed down to the best archery store on the island, appropriately named Island Archer. I say they are the best because they were so helpful to me getting my bow set up for the very first time. There I met Danelle Pulawa who, even though I had not purchased my bow from their store, got my bow fitted and tuned for me and even replaced some of the smaller stock parts with better ones, free of charge. She spent a good 30 minutes with me, explaining my bow and helping me put on all the other little pieces that I didn't know where to put! She never gave me the "annoying rookie" look and even helped my boys find starter bows for them. I can't say enough about them and I really appreciated their help!

From there we headed (with unimportant detours) to the Central Oahu District Park archery range. I couldn't believe that on a Saturday afternoon there was no one there! I was relieved because I didn't have the pressure of trying not to look like a rookie, when in fact I was one. We got the gear all set up, went over the posted range rules, and taped a sheet of paper to the built in carpet bales on site.

I took pictures of each of our first shots (Bryan's was videoed so won't appear here) and then after supervising the boys a few rounds we all just started enjoying ourselves. My first shot wasn't stellar, but I steadily got better, with tighter groups and even tighter muscles after a while.

I found the sport and the location very serene and peaceful. Just the stillness and quietness as we focused in on nothing other than putting the arrow on the sheet of paper. It was refreshing. We shot for about an hour and a half! Only at the very end did a nice couple come up to join us as we were winding down. We really had a good time, and I'm glad that Bradley and I have an activity we can do together too. (He doesn't get to play ham radio yet, but he has begun to express an interest!)

From there we headed home to meet up again with Em, with promises of returning very soon.

Thanks Mom and Dad for making this possible. Thanks Danelle for the great assistance.

Peace, Love and Bullseyes,