Thursday, December 11, 2008

Rain, and lots of it

We just weathered a massive rainstorm last night!  It rained a total of 5.4 inches on our house, with 90% of that coming between 3am and 7am.  It was wild!  I collected a few of the photos I took on my iPhone and put them in a gallery.  Check it out:

When I got up in the morning, I discovered my weather station gear wasn't posting to the internet.  I fixed it and got data from 4:30ish on.

Peace, Love and Dry Days Ahead,


Tuesday, December 02, 2008

December Update

Sorry it has been so long since I've written!

November was a very busy time both at work and at home.  At work we had not even recovered from the General Election coverage before we we waist deep in sweeps.  At home, we were rapidly trying to prepare the house for our Thanksgiving celebration which turned out great for all 26 of us (yup!).  I also went to a Men's Retreat with our church and had a good and deeply meaningful  time there.

As this month begins, it seems to be a month of changes.  My boss announced that this will be his last month with KITV.  We will be going into the new year without a manager until they decide to hire another one or dissolve our department, and roll it into others.  There has been no mention of what direction it may be, but corporately, they have not replaced the Creative Services Director after he left 5 months ago.  I don't feel like I am in any danger of losing my job, but no doubt changes are in my future.  It should be exciting, no doubt.

We are also very nearly out a debt.  When we finally make that last payment we are looking forward to redirecting that money elsewhere.  We have fallen behind in other arenas and we will still have some catch up to do in areas of maintenance and savings and the like.  Looking at the current economy I feel very blessed to have a secure job and be debt free.

We are looking forward to spending some time with our Maui family during the holidays.  We may even be taking the Superferry too, which I am looking forward to.  I'll be sure to let all of you know what that is like.  It will be so good to spend time with both our families and eat and sleep and read and rest.

That's enough of an update for now.  If you have any questions let me know by email.   I'm not very good at keeping in touch and sometimes I need a nudge. 

Wishing everyone Peace, Love and Joy during this holiday season,


Monday, November 17, 2008

Did You Know? I didn't

I sent this to some friends and got quite a response. Maybe it will interest more of you if you haven't seen it already. I was stunned by the information in this video. You may be too.

(press PLAY)

Wednesday, November 12, 2008

The Way Things End Up

This morning I woke up feeling very thoughtful. I was re-analyzing past decisions in light of where I am now, trying to see if, in the current light, past cloudy decisions are any clearer.

(Oh wow. Even as I write this there are 2 guys next to me at Starbucks discussing the same decision I was analyzing.)

I started thinking about my direction in life, and where I am now in comparison to where I thought I was going to be. Obviously they don't line up well.

I notice that young people have such a confidence that they are going to change the world. They are going to leave their mark on history. I remember thinking that way, but it seems like those intentions evaporate. Reality quietly sets in and hardens like concrete, to the point that the energy necessary to break out is too great for us and we settle for what is, rather than what could have been.

Is this just a lifestage thing? Is anyone else my age feeling this? Is everyone feeling this?

It seems it is a pattern with so many things in my life:

Our old church started so strong and ready to change the world, and ended (for us) with hurts, distrust, division, and sorrow. (on the mend)

Our marriage started blissfully, but guess what, it got hard! We went through some really tough patches. Praise God we are still together (on the mend).

When I started my career, I was hot stuff! (Ha!). I was fast, accurate, conscientious and committed! It's been a while now since I've felt even a little warm! (ha ha)

My video ministry at New Hope Mililani restarted a year and a half ago with an explosion of activity and plans. Here I am a year later struggling to maintain status quo.

Plans and dreams seem to corrode. What was shiny clear and new becomes battered, rusted and weathered.

Isn't that one of the laws of thermodynamics? That things tend to deteriorate unless energy is added to them?

The only thing that is stable and unchanging in my life is my relationship with the Lord. He has been a constant through all the changes and stresses in life, a source of comfort and wisdom. He is a friend like no other, who draws near to me in times of trouble or joy.

Some of you may be sarcastically thinking "...must be nice to have a perfect imaginary friend.", or you are surprised by the personal "relationship" terms I use when talking about God. I know. There are all manner of crazy ideas and suspect motivations out there. All I can say at the moment is that the presence of God's Spirit feels very real, the wisdom I apply seems to work, and the character issues He reveals to me are not my own ideas. I understand myself, others and the world better and I find fulfillment in pleasing God in my heart and actions. I wish I would do that more consistently, but I have a foe, my old wayward nature.

From the beginning we are independent creatures, not submitted to God. We are born that way, each one. Our waywardness causes a rift between us and God. I suspect that is one of the reasons the best of intentions always seem to deteriorate into something less than ideal. The Bible calls it sin and it is a disease we all have, but many don't even know it, or they hear the diagnosis and deny it. It is a terminal disease. For God to remain perfect he must punish sin. For all of us, that's bad news because the punishment is death!

Here is the good news. God has taken the punishment we deserved and applied it to His Son Jesus who lived a perfect life, and satisfied the requirement of justice. He died from our terminal disease, then God broke the power of death over man and raised Jesus from the dead. What remains is for us to admit we are wayward, agree to the transaction, and restart a new life with God.

Each person has to decide for themselves. No one can decide for you, and just like in our recent ballot question voting, a blank vote is counted as a no.

You can decide how the most important decision in your life ends up. All it takes is a sincere conversation with God. Tell Him you know you've been living independently from Him and you want to accept his offer of Jesus and start a new relationship submitted to Him. That is when your new life begins.

For me and my family, it was the best and most important decision we ever made. It didn't make us perfect, but it freed us from the burden of our sin and enabled us to live new lives.

I encourage you to consider for yourself what you will do with God's offer. Decide now, or start your journey of discovery to see if what I've written here is true. It is the most important, significant, eternal decision you will ever make.

This time, you get to decide the way things end up. Choose wisely.

Wishing everyone Peace, Love and New Life,


Posted with LifeCast

Monday, October 27, 2008

Blind Testing

Something just happened to me and I have to share it. I was on my bike in downtown Honolulu, biking along S. King street toward KITV. I was still in the heart of downtown at Alakea and S. King. I pulled up to a stop light (on the road) just as it turned red. The pedestrians began crossing in front of me. There was one pedestrian left behind and immediately it is obvious that he is blind. He has a long white cane and was wearing very unusual blacked out goggles that covered his eyes and forehead. (It was gi-normous, with an acrylic-like face!)

One of the first pedestrians arriving from the other side let him know it's OK to cross, so he started out, sweeping his cane in a really wide arc as people scattered wildly in front of him realizing his condition themselves. He passed me just fine, but then began to drift out of the crosswalk and was heading over to the middle of a stopped bus! His cane was going to sweep under the bus and he wouldn't know it was there until he hit it!

I called over and then rode over to him telling him to come towards my voice. He stopped just in the nick of time and turned and was now walking toward me, parallel to the bus. "This is good" I thought until I saw his head heading for the massive rear-view mirror on that side of the bus. I called out frantically, trying to warn him, but he didn't respond and I cringed fearing the worst....whoosh it just missed his head! As he passed the front of the bus he turned toward the curb and found it and got up on the sidewalk, successfully having crossed the street.

The light had already turned green by this point but everyone was cool and when he was safe, traffic began to flow again. He never spoke once.

I find myself analyzing this experience over and over. Was he really blind?

I've seen blind people before and I've never seen them swing their cane in such a wild, wide arc. It was almost as if he was trying to scatter the people. He never asked for help or said thank you, (not that that is important for me, but I would think communication is key to safety in a situation like that). Despite me calling out, he took several steps until he stopped just shy of the bus. I also don't remember telling him to turn toward the curb after he had passed the front of the bus. He seemed to do that on his own. How did he know?

Here are the possibilities:
1. He is really blind. If so, I feel terrible for doubting it, and I would be concerned for his safety. He is not ready for being solo in an urban environment.

2. He is newly blind. Perhaps this was the first day he mustered up enough courage to leave the apartment and go to the corner market himself. If so, good on him!

3. His giant black-out goggles are a training tool. He may be training to work with the blind and as a training exercise he has to "walk a day in their shoes".

4. This is a TV show or social experiment to see what happens. Perhaps he could see dimly through the goggles and was fabricating situations to record and evaluate the reactions of others. There were plenty of places to record that scene from if it were so.  It would sort of explain the near misses and other behavior.

Fortunately, no matter which is true, my actions should still be the same. Help to guide the gentleman across the street. 

After he was safe and I left, I wished I had stayed with the guy and guided him all the way to his destination. Perhaps then I would have known better his condition and the truth of the situation. I guess I will never know. If anyone ever sees a TV show with that kind of set up situation, let me know.

Peace Love and Character Testing,


Thursday, October 23, 2008

Badger Me at Your Own Risk!

Today's Dilbert had me in tears I was laughing so hard. It probably won't be as funny for you, but I was dying! I had to share it.

Mahalo and "props" to

UPDATE:  Added after great recommendation by twitterer RossB (Courtesy

Peace Love and Patience,

(often badgered KITV artist)

Saturday, October 18, 2008

A "Wrench-ing" Journey

My first experiment with Animoto, creating a slideshow celebrating my mechanical victory.

It's Alive!

After many weeks and cautious slow progress, I got my truck running again! You can be there too by watching the video:

Free Videos by Ustream.TV

I'm not done with everything I want to do on the truck, but I can drive it again! Woo Hoo!

Peace, Love and Purring Engines,


Thursday, October 16, 2008

Top 5 Creativity Killers

How do you get your creative juices flowing?

I get that question a lot from fellow freelancers, and unfortunately there’s no perfect answer because we’re all different and we all have a different working style.

But for those of you who have asked, here are my top 5 creativity killers and how I manage to stay focused, productive and creative.

#1 — Multi-Tasking And Distractions
I know some people have mastered the art of multi-tasking and working on tons of things at once. I tried and it’s not for me. There is no way I can focus on a project while trying to reply to emails, talk on the phone and chat on Skype. In order to get my creative juices flowing I absolutely need to focus all my attention and energy on one thing: work on that project.

Multi-tasking is not for me, but I can get just as much done in a day as someone who multi-tasks. It’s actually really easy and it’s nothing new, all you need is a schedule and you have to stick to it. When I need to work on a project and I find that I’m not inspired (say it’s a design for a client) I simply turn off my phone, close my emails get rid of all distractions and then get back to work. It works every single time.

I find I get much more done in 2 hours when I’m focussed than I do in 8 hours multi-tasking.

#2 — Lack Of Sleep
One of the cool things about freelancing is that you can work your own hours. That’s great! But for many of us it also means working evenings and week-ends and sometimes not sleeping much! There is always work that needs to be done, and clients that need our attention.

Lack of sleep can be a real creativity killer! How can you focus on something and be inspired when you’re dead tired? Work is still gonna be there tomorrow! Get a good night sleep and come back the next day with new ideas and a fresh perspective!

On a side note, our very own Dave Navarro has a program called ‘Becoming An Early Riser‘ and I have to say it helped me a lot in getting up earlier and getting more stuff done in a day. Try it and see if it works for you!

#3 — Fear Of Rejection
I’m sure it happened to all of us at some point, the fear of rejection. It’s not fun and it can definitely kill your creativity. There is no way you can please everyone and it’ll happen you will present something to a client and it’ll get rejected. It happens.

By all means, do not take it personally! Instead, try to use that (sometimes negative) energy and use it in a productive and creative way. Learn from that experience and go back to that drawing board and kick some ass. Always remember that if you got hired to do some work it’s because that person thinks you’re talented and remember that you’re probably not the first freelancer this person contacted for the project.

#4 — Financial Insecurity
It’s not easy to focus on a project when all you think about is your car payment, your credit cards and the mortgage. I used to always worry about money when I quit my day job a couple years ago because I was so used to the security of a paycheck every two weeks! The first year was very difficult and I was never sure I’d be able to make that car payment and then I realized I could just raise my prices a bit and I would then be able to put some money aside and voila!

I’m a web-designer and I have no idea what the average per hour rate is in Canada, nor do I care. There will always be someone willing to do the job for cheaper than me. And I’m fine with that! At the end of the day it all comes down to how much time you’re willing to trade for a certain amount of money. I prefer charging slightly more, focus on less projects and and have more time for other things like personal projects (which will bring me money in the long run).

#5 — Pressure And Deadlines
Some clients have very high expectations, and it’s understandable. Remember, they pay your bills! But can you really be creative when you’re under heavy pressure? Some people have no problem with stress but for those of us who do it’s fairly easy to make sure you’re never under pressure and still always deliver!

Always under-promise. Say you have a design gig and you know it’ll take you 3 weeks to complete it, well simply tell your client it’ll take 4 weeks! Works wonder, no stress and happy clients every time!

Jon Phillips


About the author: Jon is a full-time freelancer, blogger and designer, he loves WordPress and plays guitar in a heavy act. he can also be found on Twitter.

Tuesday, October 14, 2008

The day I almost drowned.

Bryan is heading to Maui tomorrow for a class trip.  This won't be the first time he's been away either.  I can't remember my first trip away from home, away from Mom and Dad.  

Let's see, it was probably a church camp at Camp Olomana.  I slept in a bunk bed, stayed up too late talking, was terrified of taking a shower, and (the most vivid memory),... I almost drowned.

There was a pool full of kids and inner-tubes.  It was packed, and loud and chaotic.  I remember jumping off the diving board and landing in the water, I swam toward the surface and bumped someone's butt.  I laughed underwater.  

This turned out to be a big problem.  I exhaled a lot of air laughing and lost most of my air reserve and my buoyancy.  I scootched over a bit and swam upward again, this time blocked by an inner-tube.  I started sinking and began to have that panicky feeling.  I was still in the deep end of the pool, so I couldn't push off the bottom.  It was a long way down.  

I struggled and kicked upward again and came up where 5 or 6 inner-tubes were rafted together, each with a kid sitting on them, oblivious to me below.  I tried to tip one over so I could break through and catch a gulp of air, but I had no leverage.  Every attempt to push an inner-tube merely sent me toward the bottom, but not far enough down that I could jump upward with any speed.

I knew I was in trouble then and my lungs were screaming for air.  I made one last upward attempt and this time missed all the inner-tubes and broke the surface of the water and breathed in deeply.  My lungs filled with cool air and my ears filled with the sound of laughing and splashing and "Marco?, Polo!"  No one had any idea I had almost died (or so I felt).  I got out of the pool, and honestly, quickly forgot about how close I had come to inhaling water.  The most vivid parts of the memory were the panic, and the sounds of kids laughing from underwater.

As I type this, Bryan is trying on a new pair of swim shorts.  I guess he'll be swimming on Maui.  I know it is irrational for me to be upset, but I'm saying a special prayer of protection over him for this trip.  Tomorrow I get up at 4am to drive him to the airport.  I'm sure he will have a great time there.  Just a tip, stay away from the inner-tubes Bryan!

Peace Love and Access to Air,


Friday, October 10, 2008

Creativity, Where Are You?

Lately I feel as though I've lost my creative side. Is it smothered? Is it dead? Did I grow out of it? Or is of that I'm just tired? It is affecting my work, ministry and even my 'play'..

When I was a kid, I used to play role playing games a lot. Massive amounts of imagination were required. The more colorful and detailed the better. Even today I still run an occasional game with my old buddies, but lately, just haven't felt the spark.

I play guitar. That should be a creative outlet, but again, I feel like I'm just playing the same songs over and over, and yet I'm not improving or growing. I have no new influences to challenge me or share with.

I've been working at KITV 17 years (thereabouts), the last 10 or so in graphics. The same projects come up year after year. The technology improves, but not finding much creative excitement there lately.

Video editing for my church used to be a huge satisfaction. I loved creating testimonies and baptism videos for our church. Not so much anymore. Now I think mostly of the massive amount of work and time needed to pull off a project and I feel overwhelmed by it. It wasn't like that before.

I think this is why some fields, especially repetitive ones, have sabbaticals. An extended period of time to pull out, refocus, retrain, reequip, and recharge. The picture in my head is of an empty water gun. With every pull of the trigger it has strong streams of water flowing from a full reservoir, but eventually it begins to spatter and sputter and eventually only a moist mist comes out, yet many kids keep pulling the trigger. Sometimes you need to take the time and run back to the faucet and refill the tank to have an effective tool again.

I don't know where my faucet is, or how to refill my tank, but definitely feel like I'm running on empty. Hopefully, this upcoming vacation will be the beginning of a recharge, but how full can the tank get in only a week? It's like throwing a cellphone on the charger for 5 minutes before heading back out the door. Almost insignificant.

Don't know what the answer is. 

I signed up for a fun group challenge in November called National Novel Writing Month. The challenge is to write a 175 page (50,000 word) novel I'm 30 days. It is unashamedly an exercise in throughput, not quality. That may be so, but several NaNoWriMo novels have been published and 1 was even on the a New York Times Best Seller! Mine won't be I'm sure, but perhaps is will stir up some latent creativity and give me the boost I need. I have no idea if I can write that much, but we'll see.

Peace, Love and Creativity,


Posted with LifeCast

Friday, September 26, 2008

My Time In The Shack

I just finished an amazing journey this week. It was to a dilapidated shack deep in the heart of Oregon's backcountry. The journey was not taken by air or car, but via the book "The Shack" by William P. Young. I flew through this book and loved every moment of it.

When I first heard of the book, I had my guard up. Most fictional works regarding God contain gross distortions or incomplete pictures of Him, and no doubt any work describing God is going to be limited and incomplete. But I started reading with my shields and sensors up, looking to identify the "Aha! There it is!" moments of theological weakness.

I'm an idiot.

This work captured my heart, skirted my defenses and quickly started transforming my preconceptions about my spiritual life.  I very quickly switched from a critical mind to an open heart.

(Spoiler Alert)

It is the story of a mid-life dad, raising a family. During a family vacation in Oregon, his youngest daughter Missy goes missing (abducted). An all out search is undertaken which ends in the crushing discovery of her blood stained dress in a remote shack deep in the woods of Oregon's back country. The family is plunged into a deep despair, and "Mac", the dad, is haunted by guilt and regrets which never fade.

Years later, still emotionally a wreck, he receives a note in the mail which reads "Meet me at the shack this weekend. Papa.". Papa is the wife's "pet name" for God. After ruling out pranks and bad jokes, Mac secretly packs some gear and heads to the "ground zero" of his despair. The resulting spiritual journey will captivate your mind and release your own misconceptions about who God is and the relationship He desires with us.

I "read" this as an audiobook (iTunes $3.95), and I would highly recommend that, if you are not the reading type.  The embarrassing part was, I found myself (multiple times) wiping tears from my eyes on the bus or other public places I happened to be listening.  You've been warned!

It was a mistake to approach the book looking for theological flaws. Just join your heart to Mac's and share in the journey he goes through. If you have never read a "religious" book, this is the one to read.  It won't be long before you may be raving about the time you spent in "The Shack". It is time well spent, and it is no overstatement to say it could change your life and even your eternity.

Peace, Love and Good Books,


Posted with LifeCast

Tuesday, September 16, 2008

Humble Pie

Hi Gang,

I haven't been blogging lately because the most major thing going on in my life right now is a personal failure.

I did not complete an assignment I had agreed to do for our church. It was a promotional video for our upcoming Flourish worship concert on Sept 27. Long story short, I did not do it.

My mind tries to give excuses but my heart knows the truth. I was selfish and irresponsible and did not give the project the attention and energy I promised and that it deserved. I flaked.

Lately, I have been struggling with ambitionlessness. A sort of life-boredom. This time last year I was all over this project! I wanted to make a splash, to make a difference. This year I am almost indifferent.

It disturbs me. I know I am feeling this way, but I don't understand why. Mid-life crisis? As a young man I imagined my life very differently. Nothing really turned out the way I dreamed it would. But my life is great! Great family, home, work I mostly enjoy, hobbies, friends and church. Nothing to complain about. Very safe and very stable. Very.

To admit to this failure was difficult. Very humbling. I tried to give no excuses, but be honest about what happened. Don't know if I did a good job at that, buy hey, I'm even confused about how and why it happened! There was never any deception. I fully expected to finish the video, up until the last week when it became obvious it was too late.

To not have discussed it here would have been dishonest. I am trying to live my life openly, and this happened, so I should discuss it, as embarrasing as it is. I've been keeping my head low lately and trying to not over-commit myself. I want my word to be my bond, and to be a trustworthy fellow. I want my yes to be yes, and my no to be no. It takes years to build a reputation, but it can be destroyed in an instant. My reputation is not just my own. I also represent Christ. I don't want to take anything away from Him. I'm just glad He can draw straight lines with a crooked stick like me.

Peace, love and a hard look inside,


Geolocate this post (Posted from bus on ride home)
Posted with LifeCast

Monday, September 08, 2008

Friday, September 05, 2008

My KITV Workstation

Geolocate this post

Posted with LifeCast

Testing A Mobile Blogging App

Aloha everyone,

I have found that since I got the iPhone I haven't been blogging much. In fact I haven't even been on the computer nearly as much! Now I know you are thinking, "Who are you and what have you done with the REAL Rich Fewell?" Well let me put your fears to rest and emphatically say I am me, and I am learning all sorts of new things I can do with this remarkable device.

The one I am trying now is called Life Cast, a blogging app made for the iPhone. (Free!) I found in the past that when I emailed a blog entry from my phone, the line breaks were all so screwy that it was driving me mad and I stopped sending them. Hopefully, when I check this out later, I'll have nice little sentences and paragraphs, rather than jumbled text with random line breaks.

Also, somehow, this entry is supposed to include my location. Not quite sure how it is going to appear, but if you're reading this, then you probably already have a better idea than I do at this moment as I write this.

This app is also supposed to be able to send pictures too, and I'll try that next. I'm told it can do one or the other but cannot combine them in one post.

Ok that's enough for now. Thanks for reading my test file. I hope to be back to real introspection and witty observations very soon.

Peace, love and new tools,


Geolocate this post

Posted with LifeCast

Friday, August 29, 2008

Ode to my online life!

I sit here at the keyboard,
wond'ring what to say.
Should I write about my thoughts,
or how I spent my day?

My comings and my goings
are Twittered thru and thru,
I've Flickr'd, Fring'd and emailed,
every one of you.

My online life is getting
just a little out of hand,
I plan my day around where I
get WIFI on demand!

A silent thoughtful moment
is really rather rare,
I find I don't have quite enough
leftover, now, to share.

So I'll close this little poem
like I always try to do,
Wishing Peace, Love and Aloha,
to everyone of you!

Tomorrow is a new day,
so I'll skip the flatteries.
Besides I have to recharge all
my gadget batteries!

Thursday, August 28, 2008

Blog? Why?


My friend Ken last night at small group was complaining to me about my lack of blogging. It's true, and it's not only me. In my neck of the woods, Facebook has caught on big time. Even Emily has an account now! Thusly, many of my friends are blogging less often, myself

To me, there is a significant difference between micro-blogging and blogging. In the Twitter/Facebook realm, one fires off short messages which reflect an emotion, thought or reaction to some immediate event. It answers the question "what are you doing now?". It's fun
and has it's place.

Blogging is more than a longer micro-blog. It is more thoughtful, slower paced. It forces the writer to have a message or a theme and to develop an idea, or tell a story. I enjoy blogging, more because of what it does for me, than what ends up on the page. It makes me

One of Bryan's teachers was telling all us parents that the reason they do so many essays is that her classl is not just to teach them history, but also to teach them how to think. Writing makes you think (at least it does for me).

When I blog, I contemplate, I evaluate, I support or defend, I realize new things that I had not previously, I appreciate my life and can see it for a moment from a different perspective.

I miss that.

I will get back on the blog-wagon, not because of any of you necessarily, but because I need to, for me. I just needed to remember why I do it. Thanks Ken.

Peace, Love and Fruitful Time-outs,


(Sent from my iPhone. Please forgive brevity or typos.)

Thursday, August 21, 2008

Blogging still?

Hey everyone,

I just wanted to white a quick note to say that I haven't forgotten about blogging and I'll try to get back to it again soon. I have been twittering a lot lately and I'm beginning to warm up to Facebook. You can probably keep up with me there too.

Till next time,

Peace love and aloha,


(Sent from my iPhone. Please forgive brevity or typos.)

Wednesday, August 13, 2008

We met Bradley's teacher

Bradley is entering the 5th grade this year, and last night we had the
opportunity to meet his teacher for the first time. Miss Ingram
seemed very nice and organized. They even have a white rabbit for a
class pet named "cotton". There is a lot of homework and this year
both boys have to do a science project.

There is a zero tolerance policy regarding deadlines. If a child's
work is not turned in on time, even if the work was completed, or
turned in late, the child receives a ZERO for the project. This bit
Bryan last year. They have to keep a journal all year of their daily
Bible readings. He forgot to turn it in on time and received a zero
for it. It was 20% of his grade and it dropped him a letter grade in
the end.

Should be a great year ahead (if we stay ahead of the work load)

Sunday, August 10, 2008

Weekend update

Hi friends,

Here is a quick update just to keep you all informed with what we are up to in the Fewell family.

Friday we enjoyed the Olympic opening ceremonies. On the way home I got caught in a bad rainstorm in Mililani on my bike.

Saturday morning I worked on the truck most of the morning, then we took the kids to Dave & Busters for a promised summertime visit. It was almost too late, because this was the last weekend before school starts.

Bradley and I are looking for a new bike for him!  He just learned how to ride (pretty much because he finally decided to) and now he loves it, but the bike he has now is a little small.  We're looking for a 20" boys bike for him.  We're looking for mountain bike with hand brakes, multiple speeds and a great deal.

Bryan helped me remove the entire brakes and suspension from the front of the truck.  I have been enjoying working on the truck and teaching him about how the parts of a car work.  It reminds me of when my Dad and I rebuilt a 1965 Fiat 1500 Cabriolet.  We worked a year and a half on that car before we ever heard the engine run!

Sunday we attended church and then after doing some errands, went to the Mililani Town Center to watch "The Dark Knight", a movie everyone has been talking about.  Wow.  What a fascinating movie.  Funny thing happened too.  Just as all he preliminaries were stating, who should sit down next to us?  None other than Barbara and Maria Olmos.  It was good to see them again and to take in the movie together.

After we got back, Bryan and I cleaned my truck wheels and washed Em's car together before dinner.

That brings you up-to-date!

Peace Love and Weekends,


Sent from my iPhone

Tuesday, August 05, 2008

Quickie Update

Much to blog about, but not much time to blog...

We had a great family reunion on Maui.  Photos to come.

I got the truck in the garage, so now I can start work on it!

Bradley has learned how to ride a bike and he has fallen in love with it!  I now ride with him when I come home from work.  I love it!

Peace, Love and Memories,


Sunday, July 20, 2008

Photos of Field Day and Camping

I've uploaded a bunch of photos to Flickr. To see pictures of the ARRL Field Day and of our weekend Peacock Flats campout, click here.

Just a sample here:

Wednesday, July 16, 2008

The latest JibJab is hilarious!

Send a JibJab Sendables® eCard Today!

Tuesday, July 15, 2008

World's Oldest Blogger Passes

At 104 years old, her life, perspectives and vitality amazed me. Although I never knew her, I followed her blog and enjoyed every minute of it. I was saddened to learn of her peaceful passing on Saturday, July 12 at 108 years old. Olive Dangerfield (maiden name), was born in 1899 in Australia, and has seen a lot, but she never let it affect her charm. As the blog "facilitator" put it, she had the memory of a hard drive, able to recall conversations from 1908!

We will miss you Ollie!

Check out her blog if you can get on. Lately it has been so overloaded with readers that it can't support the load.

All About Olive

Friday, July 11, 2008

Sorry, 16GB iPhones are sold out

They ran out of 16GB iPhones within 1 hour or opening. I stood in line for a total of 3.5 hours. They ran out about 8 people in front of me. I am not dealing with it well.

Rich Utterz while standing in line for iPhone

Mobile post sent by Richfuel using Utterz. reply-count Replies. mp3

Today is OUR Sweet Sixteenth Wedding Anniversary!

Many of you probably expected me to be writing about the new iPhone 3G coming out today. I will, but by far the most important event of this day is that it marks sixteen years of our wedded journey together.

So, in honor of that, I wanted to record down for posterity the card I found to give to Emily. I wish I had crafted all the words myself, because they express my heart so well, but with a little professional help Emily, let me record what is on my heart:

Dearest Emily,

Here we are. You and me. The same two lovers who pledged our lives to each other with stars in our eyes and big dreams in our hearts. And while the years have seen some of those dreams come true, these years have also opened our eyes to the reality that marriage takes work, patience, and the kind of love that stays true, no matter what.

Here we are. You and me. Celebrating another year of loving and living and learning. Another year of working to make this life together the best it can be. And I just want you to know that I believe in us. I believe in our love, and I cherish our shared love for the Lord. I am grateful for the strength and beauty that come from sharing life's joys and weathering its storms... together.

You are my love, and when I pledged my life to you, I said forever... I still do.

Happy 16th Anniversay my love!

Tuesday, July 08, 2008

My First "Long Distance" Call

Many of you know I have become interested in ham radio. I spend a lot of time on frequencies that allow me to talk to anyone on these islands by radio. We have powerful repeaters here that make it especially easy. I have also used VOIP technology to speak by radio (via internet) to anyone in the world. In fact I have made a great friend in South Africa using this method (Dave, ZS4DT).

Well, what happened last night is something new.

I picked up an old Kenwood TS-130 (introduced before the computer age) and strung a 102' copper wire in the trees around my home. My friend gave me a 40 lbs. 100 watt, 20 amp power supply (doubles as a boat anchor!) and I bought a manual MFJ Antenna Tuner from the Swap & Shop for $35. I've put maybe $250 total into my HF station, including maps for the wall and a clock!

Last night I had the priceless thrill of talking with someone overseas without any intervening technology. My radio to his radio. No internet, no phone company, no wires even!

I could hear VR7SS, who was operating JE7YSS (a club callsign) from Akita, Japan. Conditions were better than average last night and he was "booming" into Hawaii, making contacts with the mainland from Oregon to Arkansas. He was using a 3 element Yagi directional antenna, at 85 feet with 1000 watts (a lot).

I, on the other hand, was just using 50 watts into a G5RV (basically a 102 foot cooper wire dipole) hanging only 20 feet up off the ground (way lower than ideal). I called out a few times, but he would acknowledge other stations instead of me. I had no idea if it was even possible for him to hear me! He was on 14.290 Mhz. On the third try, at 9:05pm, my heart leaped into my throat when I heard him say "QR Zed Delta-Alpha-Delta?" (Ham-speak for 'Who is calling me with D-A-D in their callsign?')!

Now that I had his attention, I called "Juliet Echo Seven Yankee Sierra Sierra, this is Kilo Hotel Six Delta Alpha Delta, Honolulu, Hawaii. Name here is Rich, Romeo India Charlie Hotel, Rich. You are 5/7 into Hawaii and I am proud to say you are my first HF contact outside of the Hawaiian Islands! Pleased to meet you!"

He replied "Kilo Hotel Six Delta Alpha Delta, Juliet Echo Seven Yankee Sierra Sierra You are 5/3 (5=Clearly understandable, Signal strength 3 on a scale of 1-10) into Akita, Alpha Kilo India Tango Alpha, in Northern Japan. I am honored to be chosen as your first HF contact..."

We spoke just a little. His English was excellent. He is very involved with the Boy Scouts in Japan. He has a wife and 2 young children. He has been to Hawaii 3 times, and even operated from Hawaii once. This will be his last year at his current location, and will then be moving somewhere else.

When we finished and he moved on to another radio station, I raised my hands in victory and exclaimed "YES!" and was so thrilled to have assembled an HF station that actually worked!

Right now radio propagation is generally pretty poor (sunspot cycle), but as conditions improve, I'm looking forward to talking with more people all over the world. Some of the radio veterans tell me that there is nothing like the FIRST contact, but also encouraged me that it never really gets old. They still have that same thrill when their station is recognized by another one far away.

Now I have to start a logbook (probably digital) and start tracking my contacts. This is what I got into ham radio for.

Peace, Love and Worldwide Goodwill,


Wednesday, July 02, 2008

The Worst is "Behind" Me

Well, I survived the (C-word). I have to say that the Kaiser staff and system are wonderful. I felt respected and never "processed" and at no time did I feel my dignity was being sacrificed in the name of medicine. Truly, the worst part is the colon cleanser and the prick of an I.V. needle.

They found two small polyps, both of which they removed. One was too small for testing, the other will be tested just in case. I don't have to go back for 5 years! That's great news.

This brings to a conclusion this adventure. I will no longer be referring to the (C-word) and it is now safe to begin reading the blog again. I was very grateful for all the honest support I got from many people who enjoyed the blog and offered words of encouragement or advice on what to expect.

Thanks to Dr. Daryl Fujiwara, Bobbi, Rose and David for making me feel comfortable, keeping me informed of the process and performing as complete professionals. Also thanks to my recovery nurse who was very kind but I was too drugged to remember her name.

This is beginning to sound like an acceptance speech for an Oscar™ or something! Can you imagine what would that statue look like?

Peace, Love and "All's Well, that (my) End's Well",