Monday, October 29, 2007

Free Hugs

Would you?

My Mom's Blog is Back

Hi Everyone,

Just wanted to give my Mom a little unsolicited advertising by announcing she has begun blogging again! It's always more fun to write when there are readers, so I encourage you to check out her blog.

She writes in a devotional style and although everyone can enjoy it she especially has a heart for building up young Christian women. She also throws in a crafty thing or a great holiday recipe from time to time too. Check it out here:

Sandy's Refreshment Spot

Sunday, October 28, 2007


Isn't that ironic? I post about how to kick start the writing habit and then you don't hear from me for a week! SHEESH!

It was a busy week. At KITV we have ramped up again and are hard at work creating the spots we will run during "sweeps" (TV Ratings period).

We had a nice Wananada Wednesdays meeting this week which included 4 new people! Great! When you include the kids it was 28 people from 5 churches! Cool. If we ever have a week where EVERYBODY comes, we will be pretty large! We're not meeting next Wednesday because it is Halloween.

Thursday was the EARC (Emergency Amateur Radio Club) meeting. It was weird. It was supposed to be the election of our club officers, but despite having people willing to be on the board, no one wanted to volunteer to be an officer. Because I am putting so much time and effort into launching the video ministry at NHM I did not step up either. Maybe next year, but not now. It is kinda spooky too that none of the current officers want to do it again.

Yesterday was a work day around the house. Got some things done and that always feels good, but of course not everything that needs done, got done. I still want to make rootbeer this weekend, so it will be ready for thanksgiving. We will be having thanksgiving at our house again this year. That also means another deep fried turkey! YUM. I'm actually considering not doing a rocket launch this year. My rockets are in disrepair and it wouldn't take much to just say...nah. 'Nuf already. Still, it WOULD BE BREAKING A 27 YEAR TRADITION FOR ME. Just thinking about it that way makes it hard.

Well we have church in a few hours. I did the video set up last night so it SHOULD be a pretty relaxing setup this morning. (Watch live or archived)

Peace, Love and Good Times,


Monday, October 22, 2007

7 Ways to Kick Start the Writing Habit

Here is a simple little article for all my blogging buddies, especially the ones who are starting to blog, or have stopped blogging. We really did read and enjoy your blog and it helped us feel closer to you. Please consider writing again, even if you think you have nothing to say or you think you won't stick to it. Just 5 minutes a day!

Peace, Love and 5 minutes a day,


Sunday, October 21, 2007


Wow, what a weekend! I feel like we have been very busy this weekend, yet I feel like nothing got done. We spent much of our Saturday celebrating Vance and Kris's wedding. We went to both the ceremony and the reception, with a nice "date" in between. We stayed up much too late, and I missed my alarm for church, so I was late to church on Sunday. Fortunately Boise and Hazel were there to start set up. What a blessing! I was not expecting them.

I've updated a few items on the blog tonight. Per Gary's suggestion, I moved the weather icon to the upper right. You can now see, at a glance, what the Mililani weather is. If you want more info, you can click on it and see all the history graphs.

I've added a bunch of new blogs to check out. You may want to bookmark the RSS feeds of some of these (RSS, I LOVE IT!)(Fuel Depot RSS Feed). I also got tired of fussing with the order, so they are alphabetized now. Here are the new ones:

All About Olive
She's a 108 year old blogger who lives in Australia I think. She dictates her blog ("blobs" she calls them) to a friend who writes them down for her. Very cute.

Bryanz Scienz Blog

Bryan has started a new blog to fulfill the journaling requirement for his Science Fair project. This year he is building a GPS tracking device, utilizing the APRS system, thereby showcasing his ham radio license again. If you'd like to encourage him and follow along, then be sure to visit his blog.

Ken's Blog: Winter Wonderland

Great place to keep up with Ken and Lianne. I've been encouraging Ken to keep a blog, and he's giving it a shot. Check out his new "Night Train" Harley. Niiiice.

Ron Hashiro: Get Ready, Be Ready
Ron is the guru of all things "amateur radio" in Hawaii. I just discovered he is keeping a blog too, so I wanted to link to it. His website is a great resource to any Hawaii ham.

HAM and Pineapple

My new friend Keith has just entered the world of ham radio and is blogging his way into it. He also reads my blog from time to time so I thought I would keep track of his too.

Peace, Love and New Friends,


Friday, October 19, 2007

Weather Station (My New Toy)

For my birthday, I got a electronic weather monitoring station, will all these cool sensors and buttons.

I love it! I hooked it all up right away and downloaded some cool software (Weather Display) and now my weather station data is being uploaded to the "Weather Underground" and the ham radio APRS system (via the Citizen's Weather Observer Program) and is even being used by the the National Weather Service!

Not only that, via the magic of the Internet, you can see the weather at my house anytime by coming right here to the The Fuel Depot and clicking on the button in the lower right of the blog which looks like this:

Weather Underground PWS KHIMILIL4

There are all these cool graphs and charts there. I don't know why I am so jazzed about this, but I really am! Never been much of a "data" guys in the past. Weird.

Wednesday, October 17, 2007

The Closest Thing to Flying

This is a little to much even for my adventurous spirit. As close as it is to flying, it is still essentially FALLING!

(sorry, you gotta click to it. No embeddable video)

Monday, October 15, 2007

Back to the salt mine....

Up for 24 hours....

12 hours asleep....

Iced Venti Chai....

Back to work.

Peace, Love & "Hi Ho, Hi Ho, It's Back To Work I Go....."


Sunday, October 14, 2007

We're home!

Just landed safely in Honolulu!

This message was sent from Rich's Treo 650.

We've boarded on time

We're on our ride home, a Boeing 757. We'll arrive in Honolulu around 2pm (ish). The movies are "Evan Almighty", "Shrek 3", and "Spiderman 3". Yes, 3 movies!
Aloha, -Rich


We had a nice flight to Atlanta. We felt sorry for the flight attendant because he was a hulk of a man like a linebacker. His head grazed the ceiling and when he walked down the aisle each shoulder grazed the overhead bins. It was a small plane.

We have a 3 hour layover here and fly out on Delta flt#1273 to Honolulu.

This message was sent from Rich's Treo 650.

Saturday, October 13, 2007

On Our Way Home

We've passed through security at Yeager airport and have officially started our journey home. We had breakfast at the airport (see photo) and said our sad goodbyes. We'll see my folks again at Christmas if not sooner. There's no fog here at the airport and we are grateful for that. Hawaii, here we come!

Last Day in WV

Today we got an early start because we had to drive all the way to Huntington, I'm guessing 100 miles away. We stopped by Krispie Kreme donuts on the way to the Heritage Center and the Radio Museum.

The Heritage center was great with buildings full of antiques and items from WV's frontier and coal mining past. Much of it was restored to working condition. The junk thing was they were adamant about no photography. Some highlights for me were the early 1900's ELECTRIC delivery truck, the original LINOTYPE printing press and all the working steam engines and old vehicles. They were amazing.

I loved the radio & technology museum! Got lots of pictures too. I worked an actual spark-gap transmitter (noisy!) and saw all kinds of classic radios. They even had a whole wall dedicated to Heathkits! I LOVED seeing the old TVs too. They even had an Ampex 1" machine I was quite familiar with.

The computer room was filled with memory too (pun intended). The TRS 80, the Apple 2, Lisa and "toaster" mac. The Osborn and a bunch of other computers I desired as a kid. I loved it!

We had dinner at Red Lobster and now we're driving home. Tomorrow we travel back to Hawaii. We have to get up at 2:30am and leave Lockwood at 3:30am. We fly from here to Atlanta then to Honolulu. We should be arriving in Honolulu Sunday around 2:30pm if all goes well. Emily and I work on Monday and the kids go back to school. We are going to be beat!

Thought I'd better get this blog out while I'm near cellular service.

Peace, Love and Coming Home,


This message was sent from Rich's Treo 650.

Pit stop...Mmmmmmm

This message was sent from Rich's Treo 650.

Last Full Day

Photo is of the WV State Capitol, with it's gold leaf dome. Today we are headed past Charleston to Huntington to see the Heritage Farms Museum & Village, where they have displays and recreate what life was like in fronteir days. After that we are headed to the Radio & Technology Museum, where hundreds of old and new radios are on display. I'm hoping to operate their active ham radio station.

This message was sent from Rich's Treo 650.

Geocaching WV

We found our second WV geocache at Carnifex Ferry, site of a big civil war battle. I was able to place 2 Travel Bugs here but I'm still looking for WV Travel Bugs or Geocoins to take back to Hawaii. For info on Geocaching go to .

Thursday, October 11, 2007

Deer, Deer...

We are just seeing a ton of deer! They are everywhere! The funny thing is, if you are in a vehicle, they don't recognize you as a threat. We can drive up right next to them and they will watch the van, but they won't bolt away. Dad has said he has even gotten very close to them on a sitting lawn mower. They don't seem to recognize the threat. But if one sees you on foot, all you're likely to see isthere white tail bouncing into the woods.

After my last blog, my parents took me to the Wal-Mart of outdoor equipment... Garner Mountain Outfitters. I was given a generous budget and told to go find my birthday present! That was fun! It had an indoor archery range, a gun section larger than Longs Drugs, and camo clothing as far as the eye could see. I ended up picking an unexpected item for my gift. It is a really fancy weather station that will track all kinds of data and will interface with our PC. It will help support me in some of my ham radio activities like being a SkyWarn spotter for the National Weather Service and creating an automated weather station using APRS (as part of Bryan's latest science fair project).

That night we had left-overs for dinner (I prefer to think of them as highlights) and watched 2 tremendous high definition documentaries on my dad's HD Direct satellite television. One was about the first photographs ever taken of a living Giant Squid in it's natural environment, and the other about the racing boat team "Miss Geico" which is the only team to use 2 jet turbines to power their 1860 horsepower racing boat to speeds of over 200 mph.

Today, after my favorite breakfast of Biscuits and Gravy (both made from scratch!) we headed up to Summersville for the day. The temperature had dropped tremendously and was somewhere between 45 and 50 degrees. We started by visiting my grandfather's grave. It was my first time there and I found it very moving. It is a very peaceful location with a beautiful headstone.

From there we went to Carnifex Ferry, the location of a large civil war battle and now a national park. We saw more deer, this time bedded down in a softball field like they owned it. They didn't even get up as we drove by. We got out and quickly found a nearby geocache, in which I was able to give out my last travel bug. From there we went on a short, cold, but very beautiful hike through the woods. Bradley collected oak leaves and I was looking for wild life.

Afterwards, we headed to Applebees for lunch, and then a few short stops on the way back home. At home we relaxed and Bryan and I played another game of NetRunner, a game we have learned to play while we were on this trip. It is a card game where one player takes the role of hacker and the other "The Corporation" and it's all about data security and hidden agendas. Complicated, but I think we finally have it sorted out.

Brad went on an errand with Papaw and saw a dozen more deer.

2 more HD shows (Secrets of Hawaii, and Jeff Corwin's Wildlife Experience) and then the kids and Em are off in bed, watching Chronicles of Narnia on DVD while I catch up on some online updates (like this).

Tomorrow is a down day to relax, but we have some more family coming over for a small birthday party. We're gonna make homemade ice cream! MMmmmmm.... Should be fun.

Saturday is very full, and we wake up to leave for Hawaii Sunday at 2:30am! Yikes! That hurts just thinking about it! Then it's right back to work on Monday (that hurts too).

Peace, Love and Packed Vacations,


(Details in this blog are subject to revision, spelling correction and photographic enhancement when I get home.)

Wednesday, October 10, 2007

When You're Here, You're Family

We finally got to eat at Olive Garden! It was awesome! Great ambiance, great service, Great food! A triple play! Thanks Papaw for bringing us there!

This message was sent from Rich's Treo 650.

Day 3 in WV

Yesterday we visited Tamarack and saw so many beautiful WV crafts and gifts. We spent a lot of time (and money!) there and many of our gifts that we are bringing back are from there.

It has finally started to rain a little here and it is also getting cooler! 71 degrees is the expected high today and by Friday it might be down to the low 50s. The overnight low may be in the high 30s! Hurray! It was weird going outside and being in 85 to 90 degree weather!

On our way home we stopped by the Summersville dam and looks at how low the water level is. Their recreational "beach" was 30 feet above the water line! We also saw a bunch of deer again! We've definitely seen our fair share of deer, and now we are hoping to see a bear or a snake,... but not too close.

Today we are in Charleston to take my grandma to a regularly scheduled doctor's appointment. While she's in there, our family is doing homework in the car and I have found an open wireless connection and am using it to get some updates in and out. I've also played some ham radio, but I can't seem to get the IRLP connection to work from here so I could "radio" back to Hawaii. Oh well, still fun.

I'm gonna go ahead and send this update out then see if I can add some more photos later.

Peace Love and Geeking in WV,


Tuesday, October 09, 2007

Trout at Tamarack

2 fillets of rainbow trout with a lemon butter sauce, green beans, skillet fried potatoes and 2 orders of fried green tomatoes (not shown). Mmmmmm...

God Bless McDonalds WiFi!

Thanks to a little free time and McDonald's WiFi, I have uploaded my first set of photos! Check them out here:


I didn't have time to caption every photo and make it all "nice-nice" but you get it.

Our second day in WV involved staying close to home. We went for a short hike to an abandoned coal mine nearby, we shot a muzzle loading pistol my dad has (lot of work for 5 shots!) and went geocaching and backroads exploring. We ended the day with a wonderful home-cooked meal that my mom made for me.

Enjoy the photos and I'll try to stay in touch today. We're heading to a place called Tamarack which features artisans and crafters from all over WV.

Peace Love and WiFi,


Sunday, October 07, 2007

1st full day in WV

Thanks to Dad, who fired up the modem connection for me I can at least write a text
update from our vacation. We are totally in the country! We've seen deer grazing in the
fields both nights we drove home. There is no hi-speed internet available here and no
cellular phone networks for quite a ways away. I was pleased however to be able to
reach a local ham radio repeater very well, even from the valley (hollow). This repeater,
I've discovered, is connected to the Echolink system so I could call it from home and
talk to Dad. Now all I have to do is get Dad to get his ham radio license!

Speaking of ham radio, we are going to get to visit America's largest radio and
technology museum. They have hundreds of old radios, TVs and even old computers
on display. They also have a fully functional super-duper ham radio station with big,
powerful antennas that any qualified operator can use. I may not be experienced with
this sort of gear yet, but I am legally qualified, so I'm hoping someone is there that can
walk me through it. Using that equipment, I may be able to speak directly (via radio)
with Hawaii! What fun that would be!

Today started early with a visit to a beautiful country church in Jodie. I have to confess
I was expecting a lot of suits, boring hymn singing and a highly conservative
environment. Boy was I wrong! I love this church and I am so glad that my folks are
involved there when they are in West Virginia. The love these people had for each other
and us was so abundant and was seconded only by there love for Jesus! Although we
did sing classic hymns, they were sung with such passion and love that some people
were overwhelmed with emotion (and then surrounded by supporters to confirm and
comfort)! These songs take on new life when sung this way! A powerfully-preached
sermon by a man who's knowledge and love for God's word oozed into every word.
And this person wasn't the pastor! They have no pastor! Each one serves as God has
led them them, there are no full time staff. There is actually a lot that other churches
could learn from this little church nestled in the backwoods of West Virginia. I was
simultaneously delighted and humbled to be there.

After church we went to a park called Hawks Nest for lunch. We had a beautiful view of
the surrounding river valley and watched as a dozen graceful hawks soared effortlessly
on the thermals coming up the valley. I don't think I ever saw them flap a wing the
entire time we were there. Just soared. We also got to ride a cable car down to the
valley floor and back. Photos will have to come later.

After lunch, we went to visit a ghost town! Thurmond was once a bustling train town
that use to service 9 trainloads of passengers a day. There were no roads into
Thurmond back then. The only way into or out of the town was by rail! The city
literally built up around the train tracks, with a bank and 2 hotels, coal-car filling
equipment and stores. It was divided into a reputable side and a seedy side, with a
saloon, brothel and the longest continuously running poker game on the east coast (at
the time). Today just 3 buildings, the coal tipple and the passenger station (now
museum) still stand. Amazing that just 70 years a ago it was a bustling town, and now
it has nearly vanished were it not for the National Park Service purchasing and
renovating parts.

Tomorrow is an unscheduled day, so we'll probably go geocaching, maybe do a little
shooting (plinking), and basically spend the day around the "holler".

Hopefully I will be able to load photos if we find a WiFi zone somewhere, but it will be
quick and messy (probably uncaptioned). We're still able to check emails so let us know
your reading!

Peace, Love and Old-Fashioned Country Livin',


Jodie Baptist Church

What a wonderful country church we just visited. Their love for the Lord and each other is so evident. We felt so welcomed and loved.

N 38° 16.15210'
W 81° 2.32980'

This message was sent from Rich's Treo 650.

GPS: WV Home Line creek

N 38° 16.15210'
W 81° 2.32980'

Paste into Google Maps and view satellite photography.

Saturday, October 06, 2007

1192 lbs. Pumpkin!

This message was sent from Rich's Treo 650.

GPS: Pumpkin Festival

Pumpkin Festival Parking

Google it yourself.

N 38° 25.87420'
W 82° 7.62940'

This message was sent from Rich's Treo 650.

Wonderful West Virginia

We're here! Had a wonderfully predictable and unrushed trip to WV. My parents and grandmother were at the airport to pick us up. After securing all our luggage it was off the the pumpkin festival!

This is no small event here. The police and members of the WV National Guard are deployed at all the intersections leading to the festival. We are in a bumper to bumper line of cars that stretches for 3 MILES leading to the fairgrounds. My parents are shocked! Apparently Crystal Gayle is performing here tonight too. Dad heard that this year's pumpkin festival will be the largest ever.

That's OK, because it gave me a chance to listen to the WV ham community's Simulated Emergency Test (SET). Hawaii's set is next weekend. A SET simulates some sort or emergency situation and passes simulated emergency messages between participating responders. It was cool to listen in.

Well that's it for now, I can finally see the fairgrounds. Til next time,

Peace, Love and Pumpkins!


This message was sent from Rich's Treo 650.

Hi, we have arrived...

Hi, we have arrived in Atlanta on our way to West Virginia, had a great flight. No problems. Next step gait(?) West Virginia.
Click here to listen

Powered by Jott

Thursday, October 04, 2007

2 hands,...2 guitars. WOW!

This is NOT a double necked guitar! This is 2 separate guitars. He's playing his own rhythm and lead simultaneously,...and almost seems embarrassed to be able to do it!

Tuesday, October 02, 2007

Blogging humor

I was reading some entries from 2005 in my very first months of blogging and I came across this. I want to share it with all my blogging buddies:

from October 2005 - "A Hope & A Future":

When I see news stories about people all over the world who are experiencing hardships, I worry about them, and I rack my brain wondering how I can make a difference. So I decided to start my own blog. That way I won’t have time to think about other people.

People who are trying to decide whether to create a blog or not go through a thought process much like this:

1. The world sure needs more of ME.
2. Maybe I’ll shout more often so that people nearby can experience the joy of knowing my thoughts.
3. No, wait, shouting looks too crazy.
4. I know – I’ll write down my daily thoughts and badger people to read them.
5. If only there was a description for this process that doesn’t involve the words "egomaniac" or "unnecessary".
6. What? It’s called a blog? I’m there!

The blogger’s philosophy goes something like this:
Everything that I think about is more fascinating than what is in your head.

The beauty of blogging, as compared to writing a book, is that no editor will be interfering with my random spelling and grammar, my complete disregard for the facts, and my wandering sentences that seem to go on and on and never end so that you feel like you need to take a breath and clear your head before you can even consider making it to the end of the sentence that probably didn’t need to be written anyhoo.

My Idea of a Relaxing Hangout

Monday, October 01, 2007

University of Missouri

Journalism class...not a design course!
Click on photo for better view:

See any trends? Reports are that this is becoming typical on many college campuses. I love it! Apple is going to have to change their "think different" marketing approach though.

Peace, Love and Macs,