Friday, December 11, 2009

Nothing to Say

Hi everyone,

Just checking in. Been super busy since I returned from the Haleakala hike! Work has been constant and hectic, but I'm happy to be working for sure! Our business is growing and we are really enjoying building something together as a couple. The kids are growing fast! Bryan and I look eye to eye now, and Bradley is maturing more every day. We are blessed and challenged every day and are grateful for all our friends and family.

I'll check in again some time down the road,

Peace Love and Aloha,


Sunday, November 15, 2009

Friday, October 16, 2009

Video of Haleakala Backpacking Trip

This was fun to put together for a party we just had here at the house with family.  It is a 7 minute video set to music of our hike.  It's just a quickie, but it might be easier than sifting through all the individual photos.

Thursday, October 15, 2009

Uploaded Photos from the Haleakala Hike!

Hi Gang!,

I've uploaded a selection of photos from our Haleakala hike to Flickr. You can see them here:

Flickr Photo Set

and you can see them on a map of Haleakala here:

Flickr Map of Haleakala Hike

Hope you enjoy them!

Tuesday, October 13, 2009

Back from our hike!

Back from our hike!
Originally uploaded by RichFuel

Gathering all the photos and GPS tracks from the hike and I'll post
them here before Saturday.

Bottom line: We're all safe and we had a great time!

Monday, October 12, 2009

Sunday, October 11, 2009


Originally uploaded by RichFuel


Haleakala Visitor Center

Haleakala Visitor Center
Originally uploaded by RichFuel

llz=20.759711, -156.246512

Saturday, October 10, 2009

Night before our expedition

llz=20.871646, -156.329126, 18

Despite only getting 8 hours of sleep last night, I felt fine most of the day. Other than a near-flat tire, which was quickly repaired, it was a good day.

We had lunch at my folks house, and then Gary and I went shopping for some fresh goods and some impromptu hiking sticks. Gary had to replace his entire supply of eggs because each and every one was broken, despite being in a hard plastic egg carrier. Tells you how our bags were treated!

After that the kids played and I packed, repacked, repacked again, and generally fiddled with my gear all day.

Now we're all in bed, and I think I'm the last one awake. In the back
Of my mind are questions about myself, my training, our planning,.... Last time we did this we were 18 & 19. How different will it be at 42 & 43? Did we train enough? The only way to know, is to go.

Pushing aside those thoughts, we are hoping for beautiful, clear skies, a gentle breeze, and abundant water on the trip.

I will do my best to share the adventure, but of course access to the Internet may not be reliable. If can, I will.

Getting sleepy now as I type this. Our adventure begins in the morning.

Good night.

Fwd: Uh oh....

Fwd: Uh oh....
Originally uploaded by RichFuel

> llz=20.892805, -156.438779

> Are cars supposed to hiss?

Civilian MREs

Civilian MREs
Originally uploaded by RichFuel

Our first day in the crater will be a long long walk, and when we
arrive at the cabin we are going to be able to enjoy a hot meal right
away, courtesy these Meals Ready To Eat (MRE). You just add saltwater
(included) and a chemical reaction begins the makes a hot meal ready
in 10 minutes! Click the link to see videos of it at work and get
more information.

This box contained 10 meals and cost $72.

2:30am...Done packing.

So much happened today but it us going to have to wait. So tired.
Packed our 3 backpacks. Brad's is 23lbs, Bry's is 24lbs., and mine is
only 39lbs out the door. I'm sure it will be more by the time we get
to the trail, but I'm encouraged. Right on target.

Got the MREs today and tested the solar panels with the iPhone.
Worked like a charm!

More tomorrow. The adventure begins after a 2 hour nap. Goodnight.

Peace, Love and Weighty Plans,


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

Friday, October 09, 2009

Motion X GPS app

Motion X GPS app
Originally uploaded by RichFuel

llz=21.444468, -158.024280

Up late preparing

llz=21.444475, -158.024301

Stayed up very late tonight making lists and gathering materials. Spent much of tonight updating our first aid kit. It will be top notch for this trip! Also made a long shopping list for Friday (payday). Em's gonna help me out with some of the non technical shopping tomorrow. I've still got quite a few loose ends to tie up. I'd show you pictures, but I've got to get to bed. The final rush has begun!

Thursday, October 08, 2009

Power To Spare!!

llz=21.302509, -157.852196

Power To Spare!!
Originally uploaded by RichFuel

Hi Everyone!

I have great friends! I went to my buddy Hank (KH6HAK) here at work
to try to help me think through a power solution so I could keep my
iPhone on all day as a GPS tracker. He surprised me instead my
offering to let me use this Innergy Power IP15B which is rated at 15
watts at 10 volts in direct sunlight. I tested it with my ham radio
and it worked great! I still need to test it with my iPhone but I am
missing my 12v iPhone charging cable, and it looks like I'll have to
pick up a new one tomorrow.

Without having to worry about power during the day, I can leave the
iPhone on to track our GPS progress, upload photos, navigate, and just
be the happy hiking geek that I want to be.

I am so looking forward to this trip, but there is still so much to
do! Tomorrow is payday, and I have a lot of last minute outfitting to
gather up. I'll be visiting Gary tonight and we're going to have a
backpack packing party.

Peace, Live and Preparation,


Tuesday, October 06, 2009

New Member at Small Group

New Member at Small Group
Originally uploaded by RichFuel

Position: llz=21.437011, -158.023267, 18

We have a great time at small group every week, but this week Vance
got to meet our newest member Koa!

iPhone to Flickr to Blog

iphone to Flickr to Blog
Originally uploaded by RichFuel

Testing if I can just email a photo to Flickr and have it post to my
blog with position data. So far no luck. Das Why Hard!

I'm a Geoblogger Now!

Position: llz=21.444505, -158.024262, 18

I seem to have it working, but now the challenge is to become a Mobile GeoBlogger. It really isn't too hard to do from a computer attached to the internet, but I want to post GeoTagged blogs from my iPhone in the middle of Haleakala crater. That is my next challenge! This blog post is my first experiment with that.

More Geotagging Testing

This is a geotagged blog entry. Theoretically I can search for it by location. We'll give it a shot. Testing continues. The tag code looks like this:

meta name="geo.placename" content="KITV, Honolulu, HI 96814, USA"
meta name="geo.position" content="21.290389;-157.840000"
meta name="geo.region" content=""
meta name="ICBM" content="21.290389, -157.840000"
But the real code is embedded in the HTML of this post. I derived this meta-tag from this really cool website:

It's a little late to be working on all of this, and I hear cell phone coverage in the crater is sketchy at best, but the geek inside me is driven to find a solution to have a hike map with all the blogs and photos in position where they occurred on the hike, along with a track of our actual route. Might be a bit too much to accomplish without ruining the "outdoors" experience. If I could at least record the data for later assemblage, that might work better.

Peace, Love and Cyber-hiking


Monday, October 05, 2009

48 Hour Weather Data for Haleakala

Looks like the high will be around 52 (12 C) and the low around 40 (6 C). Very high humidity means likelihood of fog, as evidenced in the webcam, even at noon. Not much wind.

Saturday, September 26, 2009

Manana Ridge Trail hike


Today we did another 'warm up hike' along the Manana Ridge Trail. It was beautiful! I can't believe it has taken me this long to enjoy this trail! Gorgeous. I would love to take it all the way to the end someday!

We invited Hayden, Bradley's friend from school to join us. We had all our packs and such on because we were in training for Haleakala, but Hayden just carried a bottle of watter. Irt was kind of funny actually! He always was tallking and energetic, while at time we were struggling up a steep incline. Ha! Glad to have him along.

I wanted to test post a few things from the hike.

All the photos can be seen on my Flickr page here:

Peace Love and Long Walks,


Thursday, September 24, 2009

Testing TrailGuru

Giving this app/website combo a try.

Preparation continues

Hi Gang,

I picked up what will be Bradley's backpack from Gary on Tuesday. I have to go through another sizing session with the boys to get their packs fitting correctly.

We will be buying our tickets on Friday. Gary is doing almost all of the trip with frequent flyer miles. We have been watching the ticket prices closely, and unfortunately they've started going up. It should be our last large expense.

I'm trying some new software for tracking the hike. Looking at TrailGuru now. Seems to be a fairly mature product. Here are some samples from this morning's walk:

And here's another:

Hmm.. Doesn't work . I was expecting a graph of my elevation versus pace. This is exactly the kind of problem I want to solve now, rather than when I am really counting on it!

That's it for now. Stay tuned!

Thursday, September 10, 2009

Geotagged map of Haleakala

For the hike, when I am able to post photos, they will appear on a map like this one, but I'll constrain it to only be my photos. Every photo will have a GPS geotag with it and so hopefully you can see where every single picture was taken. I've never played with this kind of tech before so I still have to do some more testing. Stay tuned.

Not Impressed

Not impressed with the hike tracking software. It shows promise, but under-delivers. I think I may be inclined to stick with my fitness walk-run software and Flickr for geotagged photos.

Here is a test link to a Flickr Map.

Gotta Run!


Wednesday, September 09, 2009

Our adventure will be here

Here is an example of an Accuterra map.

Accuterra iPhone app

Trying out a new hike tracking app for iPhone called Accuterra. We'll see. I wish I could measure map distances on the app. I was surprised to find I could not. I'm warm to the app but not giddy. It needs more refinement.

I also need to solve the power issue for the iPhone. Anyone have some flexible solar panels they want me to test for them? Spread the word!

Ka Iwi Shoreline parking


Testing a new app to possibly record our trip with.

I used AccuTerra on my iPhone to record a waypoint. Check it out:

Story: we thought this was an isolated location, but then discovered how crowded it is now.

The AccuTerra applications are available on Apple's iPhone App Store:

To learn more about AccuTerra on your phone visit:
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Follow us on Twitter

Tuesday, September 08, 2009

Haleakala backpacking

Hi friends,

When I was a kid my family did a lot of backpacking. We spent many 3 day weekends in the woods or high on a mountaintop. Sometimes it was beautiful, and sometimes it was a wet miserable experience. Even if it was hard I still cherished every moment (at least that's how I remember it. My dad will assure you that I whined a lot, especially as a younger hiker!). I have forgotten any pain or tiredness and only remember the beautiful views and experiences.

Well now I want my boys to have those same experiences and memories. Early this summer, I committed myself to taking the boys to Haleakala for a 3 day, 2 night backpacking trip. I got my buddy on board, with his boys, and now we are just a little over a month away from making it a reality!

I have been gathering gear and taking the boys on day hikes around Oahu. They have been great and really enjoy it! I still need a pack for Bryan and then I think I'll have all my non-food major purchases covered.

I plan on making this blog the online journal for the trip. I don't quite know what kind of access I'll have in the crater, maybe not much, but I'll post what I can. If you'd like to follow along, check back here often!

Looking forward to sharing our adventure with all of you!,

Peace, Love and Long Walks,


Wednesday, August 05, 2009

Expressive Purpose

Hi Everyone (or should I say Anyone?),

Just thought I'd drop a little line in here to say "Hey". I was just reading an article on about the shift from blogging to micro-blogging, and in that discussion I realized why this blog has died: It was strippped of it's purpose.

I started blogging with another blog called "A Hope and a Future", which was how I dealt with leaving my home church of 12 years in search for another.

I caught the blogging bug then, and I enjoyed the self expression and creative outlet it provided. I wanted to maintain the theme of that blog, but I was beginning to have other things I wanted to share about in my life. That is when I started The Fuel Depot. It was just my creative outlet regarding observations, funny experiences and the comings and goings of my family.

When Twitter, and then Facebook came along, those were better vehicles for this kind of expression. I never stopped sharing, it just sort of transferred over there. I didn't realize it, but I had killed this blog's purpose.

So now what? I'm not going to delete this blog,... ever! I am in search of a new expressive purpose for this space. I think if I ever identify something that excites me, that needs the longer format of a blog, and that other people would be interested in reading, then things will pick up here again. Any suggestions? For now, this blog is chillin'.

For all the action, check out:
Friend me on Facebook. I keep Twitter fairly open, but I do keep my Facebook friends to people I know or trust.

Peace, Love and Purpose,


Tuesday, June 09, 2009

Wow. That long ago

Hi Gang,

Wow, I've really fallen off the ole' blog-wagon.  Sorry.  April 29th was my last entry?  Wow.  I suck.  

I have been blocked by the overwhelming task of blogging about the Cal Poly and New Mexico trips, but it never seemed I had enough time to write about everything that happened.  The trips were amazing!  They should be shared.  Hopefully someday.

Not tonight.  I'm sleepy.

(yet another apology blog!)


Monday, April 27, 2009

Cal Poly and SF Updates Due soon

Hi Friends,

We had a tremendous time at Cal Poly and the subsequent mini-vacation in San Francisco.  We are still unpacking our bags and uploading photos and still have to keep up with life too, so as soon as we can, we'll upload the stories and the photos and share it all with you.

Peace, Love and Mini-adventures,


Saturday, April 04, 2009

Bradley's 11th birthday!

Today is Bradley's 11th birthday! Hard to believe it was eleven years ago that he completed our family! I remember that when the doctor arrived to check on Em they were surprised how quickly Bradley was coming and the had to rush to set up for the delivery just in time!

Bradley is such a tender hearted kid who is generous, and thoughtful and loves music and games and laughter! Happy 11th birthday Bradley!

Saturday, March 21, 2009

5,000 Twitters milestone.

GeoTagged, [N21.44553, E158.01993]

Hi all!

I know many of you noticed when my blogging habits changed and it seemed I fell off the face of the earth. What have I been doing? Micro-blogging on a service called Twitter. I've alreadt written about Twitter and Facebook before, so you can scroll back to find that, but I just wanted to share that I just passed the 5,000 twitters mark! Wow, who knew I had 5,000 comments to make about anything!

Anyways, mostly with this entry I am testing the paid version of Blogwriter for iPhone to see how the photo attaching and geotagging functions work.

Peace, Love and 5,000 Alohas,


Friday, March 20, 2009

My Journey to Geekdom

I'm trying to figure out what influenced me so strongly toward geekdom.

I suppose it started with being rather unsuccessful at sports. I was fearful of being hit by the pitcher when I played baseball, and I hated running which limited most other sports. I played (and loved) volleyball and tennis in high school, but that faded away after college.

I loved Star Trek as a kid. It appealed to me very deeply, and I'm not sure I could tell you why. I had the Enterprise blueprints and all sorts of inane facts memorized. Star Trek was soon followed by Star Wars and it was all over. Yeah, I had the Star Wars bedsheets, what's it to ya!

I think the first real computer I saw was during a field trip to the National Weather Service. Buttons, lights, satellites, faxes, radios, meters, dials,... I was in geek heaven. It was on that day I decided I wanted to work with "buttons and lights". That's exactly how I phrased it!

At the time, the biggest job involving buttons and lights was at Houston's Mission Control for NASA. That seemed like the dream job to me!

I think my future geekdom was set in concrete though, when my parents sent me to Computer Summer School at JAIMS (Japan American Institute of Management Science) in Hawaii Kai with my best friend, David. It was also the first time I learned how to ride the bus by myself! We had 3 weeks of BASIC training on TRS-80s, and 3 weeks of FORTRAN on the schools giant mainframe computer! The computer guys wore lab coats! It filled a large room and required using a card punch to program! I am so glad I had that experience, even though I never again touched FORTRAN.

David's dad was a lawyer, and they had a WANG computer! He invited us over on a weekend once and we logged onto "The Well" (an early Compuserve-like service) and played a rudimentary Star Trek like game in all it's green monochrome text-based goodness. All resistance was futile from that point on!

TRS-80s, Apple ]['s, our family's first Mac (512k Fat mac) and the story continues on to today, as I sit in a Starbucks, reminiscing with you via my iPhone, about to go to work as a computer graphics artist. Amazing!

Peace, love, and dreams which come true,


Wednesday, March 11, 2009

What if I Died Today? (I almost did)

Today I was nearly flattened by a bus.

OK, so that is the most dramatic way I could phrase what really happened. I was getting off the bus downtown and I was getting my bike off the front rack. I like this driver and I told her I was getting my bike. Usually I'm very fast getting my bike off, and this time was no exception, but a part of the rack that is spring loaded didn't retract normally and was sticking out. I set my bike down on the sidewalk and went back to fix the rack (changed my pattern). I was still fiddling with that spring loaded arm, when the engine fires up and the bus starts moving toward me, and not just a little! She's leaving! I jumped back to the curb, the bus literally brushing my backpack! The sudden movement catches her eye and she stops the bus, and we trade good intentioned nervous looks. I returned to fix the rack which only required a good thwack to retract (nearly my dying act!) and waved aloha to the bus driver.

Then I sat down. Wow. What if....

The good news? I was OK with the what if's. Yesterday, I told my parents I loved them (each personally).

Last weekend I told Bryan how proud I was of him and that I love him. I also told him no matter how successful he is in life, it is his relationship with God that is most important, and how happy I was that he has already begun that relationship. My last words to him were words of thanks.

Last night I gave Bradley his cough medicine at 4am, gave him a big hug and sat on the edge of his bed until he fell back asleep, stroking his hair and humming "Amazing Grace".

Yesterday, I gave Em a smothering hug too (she was trying to tell me something and I wasn't listening) and held her hand while I fell asleep (she was already fast asleep). I regretted the little "nipping at each other" that we do when life pressures get the best of us.

Our family is (recently) out of consumer debt, own our own home, and my life insurance is paid up. My family would be fine financially.

I hold nothing against anyone and I don't think anyone is holding anything against me. Other than for being a general selfish clod, my forgiveness slate is clear.

KITV would miss me, initially, but no one is indispensable and Trish or someone new would take my place.

Lastly, I live in the confident assurance that if something happened to me, my eternity is secure. Not because of any goodness on my part, but based solely on my faith in Jesus, with whom I have a deep and very real relationship. I have no doubt that for me to be "absent from the body, is to be present with the Lord" and I still hold on to that inevitable future ahead of me.

Now let's be clear, I have no desire to die early, but today's bus close-call made me check how I'm living, against what I value. I am relieved at what I discovered, and I think that is rare.

Still, I think it might be healthy to treat everyday here forward as a gift, and make the very most of whatever time I have left, be it a day or another 60 years. Clearly God isn't done with me here yet.

Peace, Love and... Peace,


Thursday, February 26, 2009

Video from tonight's EARC meeting

We had a great time tonight at the Emergency Amateur Radio Club and we tried something new. We live streamed the meeting to the internet! Here is the video. If you watch the whole thing it will take 2 hours, so maybe just scan through and watch the SSB radio technology presentation Ron Hashiro (AH6RH) gives.


Tuesday, February 24, 2009

Bryan Demos his Cubesat at U.H.

We are so very proud of Bryan tonight! Because of some very generous offers, Bryan was invited to present his Cubesat to Dr. Wayne Shiroma and his team at the Hawaii Space Flight Lab on the University of Hawaii campus. Dr. Shiroma, who is a leader in this field, said that as far as he knew, no one has ever built their own Cubesat and was looking forward to seeing Bryan's.

We had a great time there having one the the geekiest Show-and-Tells I've ever had and we loved every minute of it.

One thing that they made very clear was that they wanted Bryan to attend UH when he gets to college. It is an exciting time at the University because they may be the ONLY university to have the capability to build AND LAUNCH their own Cubesats.

Anyway, check out Bryan's Scienze Blog for his perspective and all the photos.

Peace, Love and Opportunities,


Monday, February 23, 2009

Thursday, February 19, 2009

WalMart Vision Center Rocks!

Hi Friends,

Many of you don't know that I have been wearing half eyeglasses this week because the arm (temple) broke off and I am still waiting for new contacts.  It has been annoying and kind of embarrassing and was really getting on my nerves this week.

I just want to share my experience with all of you about my chance visit to WalMart Vision Center tonight.  I was passing by as I was headed into the store and saw Matteo hanging out behind the otherwise quiet optical counter.  For some reason I changed course and without a plan or a clue entered the optical section at Walmart.  Right away Matteo greeted me and set me at ease.  I told him I had a problem, showed him my broken glasses and asked him if there was anything he could do to help.

He kindly took my glasses and without making any promises, began to rummage through a box of old glasses and spare parts.  Eventually we found the right combination of a temple and a screw and he had my glasses fixed!

But then he continued on and replaced my gross old nose pads and adjusted their position.  He cleaned the lenses for me and fitted the glasses to my head until they were just right.  All this took him a little past his closing time, but he didn't complain at all.

After all of that time and above-the-call-of-duty service he even posed for a great picture for me with a smile!  

Thanks to Matteo for an awesome job helping me see clearly again and renewing a pair of old glasses to feel like new! Everyone should go visit my new friend Matteo at the Walmart Vision Center!

Peace Love and Clear Focus,


KIPO Bytemarks Cafe Appearance

Hi Gang,

Ron Hashiro (AH6RH) and I appeared on KIPO's Bytemarks Cafe to talk about amateur radio yesterday.  It was an hour long program and our part began about 20 minutes into it.  Listen near the end for my mental derailment when I totally blanked for a moment!  I lost my train of thought, then PANIC ensued!  Took me a moment to get rolling forward again, but fortunately didn't sound nearly as bad as it felt.

Here is the link:

It was great fun and I am so grateful to Burt and Ryan for having us on, and giving us an opportunity to talk about our hobby.  The feedback has been encouraging too.

Peace Love and Opportunities,



Been busy, especially this week. 

I have good news!  I have replaced the LifeCast blogging app (FAIL) with BlogWriterLite (so far so good).  I'm hoping this leads to me showing up here in my own blog more often.  The problem wasn't that I wasn't blogging, it was that my wonderful blog creations in LifeCast were not posting, and there was no other way of getting them out of the LifeCast app.  It was so frustrating.

The only problem with the BlogWriterLite app is that if I receive a call while I am composing a blog entry, when I return to the app, everything is lost!  I discovered that this morning!  I hope they fix that bug because that could become very annoying!  It needs some sort of autosave feature before switching to the phone app.

If I like the Lite version, I may spring for the full version which will let me do photos too.  That would be sweet.  I am shocked that it has taken me so long to find a decent Blogger app.  Still not sure if I have yet or not, but I am hopeful.

Peace Love and new App-isodes to come!


Thursday, February 12, 2009

Testing a new blog app

I just want to see if this will work. No news to report... Yet!

More Experimenting

Well, I just poured my heart and soul out into another post, and yet again the mobile blogging program failed me. Can I get any recommendations for a blogger app that works on an iPhone and with Blogger?

Posted with LifeCast

Monday, February 02, 2009

It's Emily's Birthday! Happy Dance!

Happy Birthday Emily!

Try JibJab Sendables® eCards today!

Friday, January 23, 2009

Science Fair Projects Completed

(Click on photo for larger view)

Many of you know that Bryan and I have been working long nights on his satellite for the Hanalani Science Fair.  It is completed and you can learn all about it on his project journal / blog Bryan's Scienze (  Wish him luck!

Bradley has also completed his first ever Science Fair and presented a beautiful board titled "Is a Rat Smart".  He tried to train the rats to ring a bell when they wanted to be fed.

I am so proud of both of my boys!  We are looking forward to a little relax time now that these big projects are completed.

Peace, Love, and Science,


Wednesday, January 14, 2009

Bryan's Science Fair

Aloha to all,

It is science fair time at the Fewell house and we have been putting almost all out free family time towards completing the projects.  This is the first year we have 2 projects to do, as Bradley has come of science fair age.  Brad is doing his about rat intelligence and Bryan is doing the usual electronics thing.  This year he is building a CubeSat, a 10x10 cm satellite.  He is building it from scratch!

No doubt we have some very late nights ahead of us, and we all wish we had started earlier.  (Mom & Dad are resisting the urge to say "I told you so!").  

Brad's project is due on Friday and Bryan's next Thursday (fortunately due to an unexpected extension!)

If you'd like to follow along on Bryan's project, check out his personal science blog, Bryan's Scienze.  If you do check it out, leave him an encouraging comment!  Every one helps it seem worthwhile.

Peace, Love and Science,


Monday, January 05, 2009

iPhone Blogging Not Working

If I ever get this iPhone blogging app working I'll start up again here. Meanwhile, patience I plead.


Posted with LifeCast

Thursday, January 01, 2009

Happy New Year!

Happy New Year!!

(I promise to blog more this year)

Peace Love and a Great 2009,