Wednesday, May 28, 2008

GPS Tracking

Cool! I just got GPS tracking working on my blog. See the map on the right, below the twitters? Quite a bunch of tools coming together to make that work. I can turn it on or off, depending if I WANT to be tracked or not.

Peace, Love, and "Everywhere I go, THERE I AM!",


(I just noticed my speeds are posted too! I wonder if that will change the way I drive?)

Thursday, May 22, 2008

Buttons and Lights

If you know me at all, you know I love gadgets. There has always been something about "buttons and lights" that has attracted me. I still fondly remember the satisfaction of my first cellular phone. I know you will remember it, it looked just like a brick,... but heavier!

I remember the Sharp Zaurus. I loved that thing. I remember the thrill of using my optional 300/1200 modem to log on and surf Compuserve (back when it was all text based, before the internet!) The Zaurus had a nice full sized keyboard. My old boss STILL uses and loves his Zaurus.

I replaced the Zaurus with my Sony Clie NR-70V. Now that was an amazing device! I kept that puppy running for a long time, and it looked like it. I invested deeply into the Palm OS and never regretted it. I was watching videos and TV shows on my PDA long before most people knew anyone could do that. I still have that thing too, not yet willing to give it up. It sits in a dusty corner, on it's battery charger life-support. If it looses power, its memory will be cleared and it will revert back to factory-fresh mode. I just can't bring myself to pull the plug on it just yet.

The only big drawback was it's low memory and the fact I had to carry a separate cellphone. Soon I was getting comments about my "bat-belt", with the Clie, the cellphone, the digital camera and my Leatherman. I wanted to have one of those nifty LED flashlights, but I couldn't find a place to put it!

So, in the interest of consolidation, I picked up my beautiful Palm Treo 650. The Treo could use all my Palm programs, had expandable memory and combined my phone and PDA into one device. I liked that.

I have definitely gotten my money out of the Treo. It has been a hard-working tireless partner with me for quite some time. Ruggedly built, it was innovative enough to keep me "caught-up" for many years. Slowly the upgrades got nicer and nicer but never really tempted me to the point of abandoning the Treo. When I buy a device like this, I'm in it for the long haul. The Treo's screen remains un-scratched, despite every corner of the darned thing having the paint worn off AND being dropped more times than I can remember. It is still branded with "Cingular" when that was a brand new company! Seems the phone has outlasted the corporation! Who would have imagined that?! I still like my Treo. It still has a ton of usefulness in it, and it is hard to beat that real QWERTY keyboard, but the winds of change are blowing.

I've been watching and waiting and I think I'll be upgrading again soon.

I am a big Apple fan. I love their designs. Their gear seems to work the way I think. I say to myself "I think it should work this way" and then I try it, and more often than not it DOES work that way. INTUITIVE, at least for me. That's why, when Apple came out with the iPhone, it was hard not to jump ship then. Everyone I knew was getting an iPhone, and everyone loved it. I even got one for Emily for her birthday, and she loved it. But I waited.

I've been waiting for an iPhone with GPS. I am into GPS. I love Geocaching, hiking and sailing. I'm into GPS tracking with Ham radio (APRS), I've been waiting for the convergence of GPS into the mainstream consumer product lines. I want all my photos geotagged. I want to set up reminder alarms based on location instead of time. I want to see every Twitter from anyone within a 2km radius. I want driving directions, restaurant recommendations and searches for the cheapest gas based on where I am at the moment.

To do these things, we need a revolution. Everything needs to know "where it is". In the past, with PDAs, we've been able to organize ourselves in relation to time: schedules, calendars, world-clocks, to-do lists with deadlines. Now I want to organize information in relation to space.

Well, the Apple rumor mill has been chugging away and rumors are abounding about "The New 3G iPhone". It will have 3G internet connectivity (fast), it might have GPS, it might have a great camera, it might be subsidized somewhat by AT&T (with a 2 year contract), it might be announced at the developers conference June 9th. Time will tell. One thing for sure. An iPhone, with GPS will signal to me the end of the wonderful Treo era, and the beginning of something new and very exciting.

Peace, Love and Innovation,


Wednesday, May 21, 2008

Bryan's Dome of the Rock

For history class, Bry had to create a "Dome of the Rock" model. We bought a ball and some foamcore and started cutting, painting and pasting.


Monday, May 19, 2008

Bryan's Diorama

For English class, Bryan had to creat a dioama of the hillside which is the setting of a book they have been reading as a class. Here is the diorama's journey from newspaper and foam to a rather impressive miniature terrain.

This is the picture in the book.

Styrofoam and newspaper form the foundations of the model.

We just dug the river out of the foam.

We begin to cover the newspaper with a plaster-covered fabric we picked up at the local hobby store. Just get it wet and lay it on.

Hey! This might actually work!

Some green and sand colored spray paint, and the model begins to come alive!

We added a layer of green-grass-dust and then sprayed the whole terrain down with clear coat to affix it all in place. A scenic spray glue might have worked better, but this seems to have done the trick.

The riverbed gets a layer of sand and rocks.

The hollowed out log, which serves as the home for the main character, is created from plasticised modeling clay, pressed and carved with a wood texture, baked at 250 degrees for 20 minutes, dipped in Tire-Black, dried and sprayed with a matte clear coat. I'd say the result looks like wood!

We custom made the other trees on the layout with florists wire, tape, and broken up green sponge. This tree was too big to use, but serves well to demonstrate the technique.


The river was poured with a clear latex-like material called "Real Water" and had a great wet-look.

The little reeds by the river were cut from an old paintbrush, the rocks are from the yard and the school parking lot, the moss came from the floral department at WalMart and the green sponge from the railroam section of the hobby company.

Sunday, May 18, 2008

Bradley does video at NHM

Bradley sits in for daddy during the message at New Hope Mililani.

Mobile post sent by Richfuel using Utterz Replies.

Wednesday, May 14, 2008

Precarious Nap

I've been home for a few days and have gotten a chance to see what home-life is like when I'm at work. One of the things I've discovered is that our rats sleep through most of the day. They are handled so much when the boys are home that the take advantage of them being at school to catch a few winks.

At lunch time I noticed that "Dot" had chosen a pretty precarious spot to fall asleep. I think she likes to perch there and watch the house and she just dozed off. She nestled her nose between her legs and nodded off. I started taping some to show the boys when they got home, and when I was done, I knew I had another vlog entry.

Watch to learn why:

Peace, Love and Long Naps,


Tuesday, May 13, 2008

Amazing Animated Graffiti

This is a little weird and distasteful at times, but the graphic artist in me realizes how difficult this animation was to create. As you watch it, keep in mind all the work involved in creating it.

MUTO a wall-painted animation by BLU from blu on Vimeo.

Monday, May 12, 2008

Mentos Powered Rocketry-Vlog 4

For Bradley's 10th birthday, his cousins Rachael and Becky got him a Mentos and soda powered rocket. Well it took a few weeks, but we finally took the kit to the park with Nana and Papaw to see what would happen.

At first we were a little underwhelmed (see video) but at the very end the kids actually READ THE INSTRUCTIONS and learned how to properly set up the kit. The last "blast" was much more energetic (see photo).

Peace Love and Candy-chemistry,


Saturday, May 10, 2008

Bradley's Home

It is so nice to have Bradley back home with us again. He had a great time on his field trip to the Big Island. He brought us back a big box of Big Island Candies...Yum!

He saw the Ellison Onizuka museum, the lava fields in Kona, the volcano (steam vents and all), the Lyman Museum and a zoo (with a white tiger!). They flew into Kona and flew out of Hilo, so they covered a lot of ground!

Bradley took with him an older digital camera we had, but I'm having trouble getting the photos off. It is a Compact Flash card and I may have to wait until I can borrow a multi-card reader to post the photos here.

Welcome Home Bradley!

Peace Love and New Experiences,


Friday, May 09, 2008

We haven't seen Bradley for 2 days!

OK, before you call Child Protective Services, let me explain.

Bradley is experiencing a common Hawaii student right of passage... the 4th grade Big Island trip. He, along with the entire 4th grade of Hanalani Schools, has descended upon the island of Hawaii and is exploring lava tubes, and volcanoes, and all kinds of things over there. They also get to experience a wonderful bonding experience between themselves, as well as be away from mom and dad for a while.

This is the longest Bradley has been away from us. We miss him. I missed him as soon as I got back in the truck that took us to the airport. "Didn't two of us come here? How is it I'm leaving with only one.... myself?" I know he is having a wonderful time, and we keep finding ourselves checking his itinerary so we can imagine what he is doing at that very moment.

I'm fine, so long as I can avoid letting my mind play "But What If..." . Several times I've had to command my mind to stop contemplating worse-case scenarios and terrible disasters and remember that Emily and I "gave" Bradley back to the Lord many years ago, and now is no time to snatch him out of God's hands. We rest in the fact that our Lord loves Bradley even more than we do (if that's possible) and is wiser and more capable of helping and protecting him than we will ever be. We rest in that.

Today, when I leave work, I'll be heading straight to the airport to pick him up. What a thrill it will be to hear for the first time of all the adventures he has had with his friends over there. I can't wait to give him a hug that has been building up in me for 3 days! Hope I don't crush the little guy!

Peace, Love and Reunions,


Thursday, May 08, 2008

Compassion International

We've adopted!

Well kinda. Meet Jerald Ogatis. He was born November 6, 2002 in the Philippines.

We've committed to supporting Jerald through his High School years through Compassion International for $32 a month. We can exchange letters and photos with Jerald through Compassion who provides translations when necessary.

Compassion's work in the Philippines began in 1972. Currently, more than 41,300 children participate in more than 210 child development centers. Compassion partners with churches to help them provide Filipino children with the opportunity to rise above their circumstances and become all God has created them to be.

Jerald lives with his father and mother. At home his duties include carrying water, gathering firewood and running errands. His father is sometimes employed and his mother maintains the home. He is one of 3 children in his family.

Jerald is not yet attending school. Playing with toy cars and marbles are his favorite activities. He also attends church activities and Vacation Bible School regularly.

Compassion works with kids all over the world. If you would like to look into giving back a little of the tremendous blessing you have been given, click in the widget below or check out their website. There may just be a child there who is hoping for someone just like you.

Peace, Love and Giving Back,


Wednesday, May 07, 2008

Catching up on some photos

Yesterday, my folks left for West Virginia to watch over my Grandma for the summer. Even though they live on Maui when they are here, I am still aware of the greater distance they are from me when they go up to WV.

A few weeks ago they came to visit and I haven't had the chance to post the photos. Here are some now:

Nana meets our latest family member... Dot the Rat. So long as Dot stays still, Nana's fine.

Nana, Bradley and Bryan.

Nana, Bryan and Papaw.

(We seemed to have trouble getting everyone together for a photo. When this on was taken, I was trying to get some debris out of Bradley's eye.)

Nana keeps a blog called "Sandy's Refreshment Spot".

Bryan also has a blog (which he updates rarely) called "Bryan's Scienze".

Peace, Love and Family,


Tuesday, May 06, 2008

Archery with Gary

My friend Gary recently turned 40 and got some birthday money! Woo-Hoo!

He recently told me he's thinking of getting a bow. That really made me happy because I got a bow a year and a half ago and I really enjoy it. The only thing that would be even better is going to the range in the mornings with my best friend and shooting together before work. That would be so cool!

I asked Gary why the sudden interest in archery. Know what he told me? "Cheaper than a Harley" he said. (!) Ha!

Peace Love and Bullseyes,


P.S. Gary keeps a blog called "Eutychus Nerd", and as soon as his Dell computer is repaired he'll start updating again. He is a Doctor of New Testament Theology at Pacific Rim Bible College.

Friday, May 02, 2008

Utterz: Hanalani May Day Program

A Mobile audio post from the Hanalani Student Activities Center.

Mobile post sent by Richfuel using Utterz. Replies. mp3

Thursday, May 01, 2008

RSS Awareness Day

RSS Awareness Day

Hi Gang,

Today is RSS awareness day. The RSS technology makes it easy to track changes to some of your favorite websites, even this one. Can you find the little RSS icon on this page? Click on it. This is a tremendously useful way of tracking lots of blogs without actually visiting every site to see if there is something new.

Only a very small percentage of the Internet population is aware of the RSS format and its benefits, and that number is growing slowly over time. Be one of them!

Peace Love and Real Simple Syndication,