Saturday, March 31, 2007

Dinner time

Time for dinner. On the menu tonight a savory dish we like to call "bacon wrapped beef tubesteak with a roasted garlic tomato sauce". Our pasta is a blend of Italian Garolofalo Farfale and Radiatori semolina pastas imported from Italy. And don't even get me started about our wine list! ....

Okay, we actually forgot the hamburger for the spaghetti sauce, so we're using leftover hotdogs and bacon instead! Mmmmmm. Gary is doing a great job whipping up dinner and the kids are playing Star Munchkin in the tent.

The light is fading over the mountain and soon it will be lantern time. S'mores and tapioca (not at the same time) are also available for dessert tonight. I think we'll be putting a candle in some tapioca and be singing Bradley a happy birthday song too.

Peace Love and Camp Cuisine,


This message was sent from Rich's Treo 650.

Lazy, Lazy, Lazy

Our hike was nice and simple. We went down the road for about 30 minutes and then went a bit off trail to find a place to eat lunch. After sandwiches, string cheese and Tang, it was time to head back up the steep road. When we got back to camp it was free time 'til dinner. The kids played while Gary and I swung in our hammocks talking.

Today we saw skydivers, planes and gliders in the sky. Gary's taking his seconds nap of the day and I find myself contentedly staring off into the woods, looking at nothing in particular.

I love camping.

Peace, Love and Rest,


This message was sent from Rich's Treo 650.

(Turns out the Gabcast! service is not configured properly for my blog. Em did the last one for me by hand. Thanks Em! I'll get that working later so no more Gabcasts for now.)

Hammock time

We had pancakes for breakfast and had a couple of visitors. Peacocks were eating out of our hands! After cleaning up, I tried to hang a rope from a very high branch to make a super swing, and it involved a sling shot, a fishing weight, fishing string and a really long rope. Unfortunately the string I brought kept snapping.

Just kickin' back now and talking about taking a hike. Ahhhh...

Peace, Love and Swaying in the Breeze,


This message was sent from Rich's Treo 650.

Handfeeding the Peacocks

Well they don't call it Peacock Flats for nothing! These peacocks were hanging out around camp as we woke up this morning. Critter count so far:

Peacocks: 2
Whales: 4 (in the distance)
Wild pigs: 2
Mosquitoes: 0

This message was sent from Rich's Treo 650.

Friday, March 30, 2007

Made it Safely

We've arrived safely at our favorite campsite. On the way we startled another pig.

Bryan manned the spotlight as I drove in, and even though I intended it as a fun thing for my boys, the spotlight was very helpful with my driving! Gary and the boys were still up when we rolled in at 9:20pm.

We got the tent set up and sleeping bags ready and then the kids could play. It's 10:20pm right now and Bryan and Josiah are lying in the hammock talking and Bradley and Nathan are running around the campsite playing super heroes. The moon is nearly full and is bathing our wooded campsite in a cool white light. Gary and Ian are asleep in their tent and I'm about to call the kids in to bed. Glad I'm here.

Peace Love and Good Times,


This message was sent from Rich's Treo 650.

4X4 at night

Going to the campsite! All is well! Got the truck with high beams, hazard flasher, amber flasher and 1,000,000 candlepower spotlight. I'm a UFO on wheels!

This message was sent from Rich's Treo 650.

Live Audio: From The Trail

Here's our Gabcast about our night trip offroading in the Waianae mountains to go camping. Bryan also tells us what he saw beside the truck on our way up.

Click to Listen: (2:01)

On the way to the campsite

Wednesday, March 28, 2007

New Friends

Hi Everyone,

Papaw's eye surgery went fine. They visited the do
ctor today and tonight they are back on Maui. Dad was saying it didn't even hurt but I think he was just being a little brave.

The kids are on Spring Break this week. Tuesday Bryan and Bradley had some of their friends over. Brian Lab and Taylor spent much of the day playing video games, and soon they were joined by Bradley's friend Cole. Let's just say our boys slept well that night.

I visited a local meeting of the Coast Guard Auxiliary last night. They are requesting that amateur radio operators become involved as they try to implement their communications readiness plan. It was an interesting meeting, but I think I was the youngest one there! Even so, the organization allows one to serve only as they are able and offer all kinds of great training. I could even assist is regular Coast Guard Search and Rescue missions, or do radio watch standing or chart verification. I think that would be cool. Auxiliarist can participate in anything the Coast Guard
does except military or law enforcement actions. The reality is it is mostly education and non-binding boat inspections. A lot of nice folks there and I enjoyed the company.

Today, on the way home I met Juan. Juan had overheated (well,...not Juan, but his truck), and he had been sitting there an hour! Juan speaks Spanish and his English was very basic, but we seemed to be communicating just fine. He seemed to be very happy to see my jug of water! Just as I was wrapping things up, Juan's friend Raoul (?) arrived and he thanked me for helping.

I'm supposed to be camping with Gary this weekend but I am not ready at all. I'm going to be scrambling for the rest of the week to get everything ready. Wish me luck!

Peace Love and Friends,


Monday, March 26, 2007

Fewell News of Note

Here's the very latest from the Fewell Frontier:
  • - Nana and Papaw (my parents) have joined us for a few days from Maui. My Dad came over for some eye doctor visits. It was supposed to be a one day visit, but looks like the news isn't good. Without going into details, let me just say the my Dad is having some serious surgery on his eye tomorrow and we would welcome your prayers for him.
  • - Since my parents were here, we kinda surprised Bradley with an early birthday celebration. He will be turning 9 on April 4th, but we threw a little party for him on Sunday. He got to open his special present from Papaw and Nana, iPod Nano with his name engraved on the back! Bradley has really fallen in love with music lately and he LOVED his gift. He was thanking Mom and Dad continually for like a day. He loaded all his songs on it, but we laughed because he likes to pick one song and play it like 40 times in a row, before he gets bored and moves on to another song!
  • - On Friday, I picked up a used, mid-80's HF ham radio for a steal. It will finally allow me to listen in to the General Class bands that all the long distance communication occurs on. I should finally be able to listen to the mobile maritime ham radio nets that I have always wanted to. I homebrewed an antenna on Saturday out of copper wire and an old paint stirrer and heard Maryland and Eastern Canada my first night. I've also heard Russian and Chinese (I think). Still not quite as good as I've hoped for yet, but I have a lot to learn. At least I have a ticket to play now.
  • - Lastly, I have been presented with a ministry opportunity at our church New Hope Mililani. I have written much more about it in my other blog "A Hope and A Future". If you are interested in hearing more about that you can click over to it using this link "Duty Call".

Saturday, March 24, 2007

Family Fun Day

Friday, Hanalani Schools held their Family Fun Day, and the boys always look forward to it. Emily helped chapparone the kids among all the rides, food and games. Here are some photos:

Wednesday, March 21, 2007

Fixing broken things

This afternoon I got a worried call from Emily telling me the steering was really getting tough on our Isuzu Rodeo. She thought the tires were flat, but none seemed any flatter than another. She was picking up Bryan and Bradley from school, and had our nieces Rachael and Becky in the car too. She had one of the teachers look at it and it turns our our power steering belt was holding on by a thread!

Fortunately we have AAA so we had it towed up to Goodyear and they had it fixed in no time for only $58. Dealing with all of that took Emily all afternoon.

On a different note, I stopped to help a young man with an overheating problem on the way home today. A fitting had cracked off his engine block and he was losing all his coolant. All he had was a tire repair kit which wasn't helping much. I had some duct tape, so we used it to bind up the hole as best we could and refilled his radiator. We were next to Waikele, and he just had to get to Mililani, but that meant driving in... the gulch! (Music: Dum Dum dum...a misty fog rises from the ground, eerily lit from below)

(Read slowly:) Yes, the Gulch of Doom, the Canyon of Never Ending Darkness, The Black Hole... It is in a depression (difficult cell coverage), it has no shoulder or sidewalks (no place to pull over out of the road), it has blind turns and no street lights when it gets dark. It is The Pass That Time Forgot!

OK, OK, enough of that. (Rich waves hand dissipating misty fog). We got rolling, and I followed him into the gulch. A little trail of water was being left by his car. Not good. We got past the worst possible place to stall, but then he pulled over in the only place that had a little bit of room for both of us. He hopped out and started refilling his radiator. I mostly kept an eye on traffic. After a long second refill, we were off again and soon out of the gulch. We shared a wave and a shaka as we parted ways. I hope he can get that fixed tonight. He needs it to drive to work tomorrow.

When I finally got home, Bradley was having a meltdown about his spelling. After arriving home late, and then having to deal with Bradley and his relationship with everyone else in the house (he had gotten everyone angry with him), it was clear we were not gonna make it to our Bible study, Wananada Wednesdays. Even though we missed small group, we did have a good time at home of reconciliation and forgiveness,...and then study. Tomorrow is the kids' last day before Spring Break, so they each have 5 or 6 tests to take. We studied spelling and Mayan history for nearly 2 hours until we were all so, so tired.

Peace, Love and Repairs,


Tuesday, March 20, 2007

Cops raid !

I kid you not! As I tested the link on my blog entry below to see if it was working (it was), I was watching when the cops rushed into his apartment, GUNS DRAWN, asking who called in the chest stabbing! Somehow, some viewer relayed a call through Justin's phone number to the SF 911 and reported a stabbing. (His phone number is on the website) Justin's hands went up and a lot of very quick explaining ensued. At first the cops thought the guys were pranksters but then they seemed to accept the story. At one point they asked Justin to remove the camera from his hat, so he spun it around backwards.

This wasn't the first prank. Earlier someone ordered a bunch of pizzas to be delivered to them. They gave his number as the number and somehow got the address.

I bet they never expected that kind of action!

OK, so not a lot happened in my life today.

So since my life is so boring, check out Justin's life at Remember the movie EdTV? This is very similar, but real. Justin is wearing a video pack and is transmitting to the internet 24/7. It's creepy, but so far just normal life stuff. I won't vouch for the content (Justin like to swear) but the technology to pull this off is pretty remarkable. Sometimes I'm accused of being too open on my blog, but this is way over the top.

Sometimes, when he is sitting at his laptop, he'll just ask the audience for an opinion like, "What should I write to my brother who just got dumped?" or "Which of 2 interviews should I accept that are at the same time?" . Imagine having a "Poll the Audience" option for every decision you make if you so desired. Imagine having instant feedback to every thing you do (your menu choices, your music choices or even if you are boring at any instant!). That would drive me crazy!

It would be interesting in court though.

"Where were you on the night of March 20th?"

"Well, I'll just call up the archive and see!"

Or the old "I TOLD you to take the rent check down yesterday!"

"No you didn't, let's go to the instant replay!"

Imagine putting one on a U.S. Soldier in Iraq!

Or a a stray dog.

Or on your kids first date!

There are all kinds of interesting ways to use the technology, but honestly, there's no way I would ever wear that thing.

Peace, Love and Precious Privacy,


Monday, March 19, 2007

Crazy Hats and Shades Day

This is Spirit Week at Hanalani and to kick it off they have Crazy Hats and Shades Day.  This is how we actually sent our kids to school this morning!  They love it!  Bryan is wearing a hat he's worn every year for this event, and Bradley is sporting a faux coon skin cap.  Both hats were souvenirs from Disneyland.

MOBILE Blogging?

Don't you need to be moving to be a MOblogger? As you can see, I'm goin' nowhere. Some kind of multicar accident at the Pali onramp up ahead. Sigh. Happy Monday.

Peace, Love and Traffic Jams,


This message was sent from Rich's Treo 650.

Sunday, March 18, 2007

Photo Catch up!

Bryan went to District Science Fair

Bryan and 3 classmates from Hanalani got to go to the district level Science Fair. He got a certificate but was not selected to move on to the State Science Fair. I have already taken his Science Fair Project and repackaged it for a rocket. More on that later.

Punahou Carnival

Emily wanted to go to the Punahou Carnival on her birthday, so that is where we went. Believe it or not, I had never been! Got my malasadas, got lost in the pressing crowd, and was surprised that it didn't rain at all this year, despite all the horror stories I've heard.

We Got a Wii!

We took some of our Christmas money and wanted to get a Wii for the kids...YES the KIDS!
It is a pretty hot item and we weren't successful for 3 weeks. Then we heard that Toys R Us was making a shipment available on a Sunday, so we went to Saturday Night Service at New Hope so we could stand in line Sunday morning! (terrible no?). We got there a couple hours early and still we were 50 or so people back. We were glad when the staff came outside and started handing out the slips to everyone in line. If you got a slip, you got a Wii, and that's how they avoided a big mad rush. They had a hundred units to sell and no doubt they were all gone BEFORE THE STORE TECHNICALLY OPENED!

We have really enjoyed the system and it is a very active gameplay style. Em has reported sore legs after playing bowling all evening and Bryan's arm was sore swinging the bat all day in baseball. Good to see them playing active games.

Em's 40th Birthday Getaway

We went to the pacific Beach Hotel for a weekend to celebrate Emily's 40th birthday. We had some friends over for brunch and also went to Waikiki Beach with the Mannings. It was a nice weekend and just the kind of thing Emily loves! The only snafu happened when, despite repeated warnings, Bradley accidentally locked the room safe with a random (unknown) code with our laptop and his DS inside. Fortunately a call to the staff and someone came to the rescue. It was suprisingly easy to get the safe opened,...with the right tool. It's a secret.

I Had to Laugh!

I saw this garbage truck on the highway and I had to giggle. I bet they don't get many complaints! Read their slogan to know why.

My Ham Radio Plates Finally Arrived

I love my truck, but it is a bit of a common design in Hawaii. I see gray Tacomas all the time! Everyone seems to do something to make their truck a little different from everyone else's. Well as soon as I got my ham radio license, I applied for a custom plate. It's not a standard vanity plate. Instead it is confirmed and distributed by the Department of Emergency Management (formerly Civil Defense). They wait until they have enough of them then do 'em all at once. Here I am 6 months after applying and I finally got mine. I think it's cool.

Joey's First Birthday

We had a nice time at Joey's first birthday party last week. It was fun to see a bunch of old FCF friends and hang out with the Wananadians too (our small group). The food was great too.

Amateur Television Rocket Payload

One of the main reasons my blogging quieted was that I started spending evenings working on this amateur television rocket payload. It all started shortly after Bryan's science fair project was completed. Bry and I wandered into the Hobby Company and started talking with one of the young employees there,...Jesse (16 years old). He was telling me about this High Power rocket he was developing and how he wanted to have an on-board video payload. I was telling him about Bryan's project and we quickly decided to collaborate. I was going to develop the video payload while he finished the rocket.

I spent many evenings building cardboard prototypes and testing components, but in the end I was very proud of the final project. Last Friday it was supposed to fly, but some of the parts Jesse ordered for the rocket had not come in (like fins!), so we will try to fly again in May. There is all kinds of paper work to do with a rocket of this size and it takes a lot of planning to get everything in place for a launch. This whole project has kinda given me the bug to get into High Power Rocketry and become certified to level 2, which requires some testing and demonstration of skills.

Instead the latgest engine we flew on Friday was a G, which is a little disappointing considering we were hoping to fly an I-engine. (Each letter doubles the power of the one before)

Wananada Wednesdays

So now I'm kinda getting back into the old routine. We have started a new series on Wednesday nights about marriage. We so enjoy our small group and we long to get to know each member more as we deepen our commitment to each other and to God.

And that sort of brings me up to date. I have been wanting to write more about all these events, but I'll be satisfied with this. Now hopefully I can blog forward without feeling like I've skipped to much!

Peace Love and Aloha,


Friday, March 16, 2007

Busy Day Off

Today I took the day off. I'll be busy running around all day. This was supposed to be the big day to launch our High Power Rocket. I(eye) engined with on-board live video (my contribution) but some things just didn't come together for the launcher especially. We'll try again in May. We will still be launching rocket but of the smaller sort. I think there will be an H-engined flight though.

I also have to go to an appliance parts store, to the bank, downtown to pay a bill, to KITV for a bit... Lots of driving.

Feels good to just sit a relax before the big day. BLOGGING is also on my list of To-Dos. I have so many photos I want to post!

Peace Love and Catching Up,

Rich (mobile)

Thursday, March 08, 2007

Writer's block!

OK, so my Dad and Mom are begging me to pick up blogging again, and honestly I don't know why I stopped fo a while. Right around Em's birthday I got a little busy and never got back in the rhythm. Then I started to have "Catch-up-itis" in which I felt like I had to fill in the entire gap that was unaccounted for. After a while that got to be intimidating and then paralyzing. Dad had it right when he said "Never mind catching up, just start fresh." It worked! Look I already have an entry!

Now I just wonder if anybody is reading this anymore.

HELLO......Hellooooo.....hello.......h e l l o o o o..... [cricket chirping sound].....

Peace, Love and New Beginnings,