Archive for October, 2004

The Race Tightens Up

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Can you believe the presidential election may end up with the 4 electoral votes in Hawaii deciding the race? Unbelieveable as it sounds, the possibility of this race coming down to the wire exists as both the Democrats and Republicans roll out their heavy hitters this weekend. Former Vice-President Al Gore and current Vice President Dick Cheney will pay the islands last minute visits this weekend in search of those elusive votes. The state is being mentioned on several national newscasts as well as on radio shows such as Rush Limbaugh. The latest polls have shown the local race for president deadlocked in a hopeless tie.

Hawaii’s polls are the last to close on election day.

The state usually swings Democrat but in the past has gone Republican twice, once for Nixon in 1972 and another time for Reagan in 1984.

Former President Bill Clinton said in a recent media interview that the Republican resurgence can be attributed to the popularity of Hawaii’s Governor Linda Lingle.

Locally sign wavers are hitting the streets with last minute campaigning as portrayed in the photo above as well as a handful of others that I have taken at this link.

Today’s Golden Sunset

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One of the great things about living in Hawaii are the opportunities for us to enjoy the simple and beautiful glories of paradise. Today was such a day. After hanging around Ala Moana Beach Park shortly after work this afternoon, not expecting to see much, the sun broke through the thick layer of clouds to manifest this beautiful golden sunset.

Canoes arrive at Kaho`olawe

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I got a chance to participate in an historic event, the arrival of three traditional canoes to Kaho`olawe in a celebration that establishes Kaho`olawe as a navigational training center for students of traditional Polynesian sailing. Kumu Hina, who was one of the crew on the Hokule`a chanted her arrival on Kaho`olawe. The three canoes that made this historic event were the Hokule`a, Makali`i and the Hokualaka`i. Papa Mau Piailug, master navigator (seated on the right), responsible for reviving the art of seafaring in Hawai`i back in the mid-1970’s was also on hand. His announcement of Kaho`olawe being an integral part of navigation will ensure Kaho`olawe’s role in the training of the next generation of navigators. Both the Honolulu Advertiser and Star-Bulletin covered the story.

Got Pumpkins?

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With a week to go until Halloween, demand for pumpkins are reaching their annual peak. But why limit yourself to the neighborhood supermarket? You can head out to Aloun Farms in Kapolei and pick the perfect pumpkin in an honest-to-goodness pumpkin patch.

It was rainy today.

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GiRL FeST!

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Studio 1 in downtown Honolulu is one of my favorite hangouts. Tonight Studio 1 hosted a fundraiser for GiRL FeST Hawaii, featuring MC Medusa & Feline Science. GiRL FeST! is the brainchild of one of my high school friends, the talented Kathryn Xian. The organization’s mission is raise awareness about violence to women in Hawaii. The statistics are appalling, and GiRL FeST! is a vocal proponent of women’s rights.
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Hawaii International Film Festival

The Hawaii International Film Festival starts tonight. The festival occurs twice a year, and brings dozens of foreign and/or significant films to the big screen in Hawaii. The film I’m most excited to see this year is Steamboy, the latest film by Katsuhiro Otomo. Otomo is best-known as the creator of the 80’s cyberpunk manga/anime Akira. Steamboy is almost sold out, so if you haven’t purchased tickets, go now!

Also on Saturday is a free seminar, the Future of Video Games in Hawaii. I first heard about it from my friend Roy Sato, a digital animator at Konami. It looks interesting, especially as efforts continue to transform Hawaii into a hi-tech economy. Roy originally mentioned a digital animation seminar, but it seems to have mysteriously disappeared from the HIFF schedule. That’s too bad, as Roy was originally supposed to sit on that panel. Roy’s really talented. If you were one of the 17 people who saw the CGI Final Fantasy movie in the theaters, you might have seen his work. He was the lead animator for Aki, the cutie hapa girl in the film. I remember visiting Squaresoft in 1997, staring at a room of 60-terabyte hard drives as Roy complained that they cound only render one second of animation per day because their storage capacity sucked. I think every desk on two floors had an SGI Octane workstation humming. In 1997, that was a staggering amount of computing power. In the end, the movie tanked and Squaresoft Hawaii shut down, but it was an extremely cool introduction to digital animation for me.

Next up for Squaresoft is the Final Fantasy VII movie sequel, Advent Children. This one looks better. I hope HIFF screens it during their spring festival!

Taste of China

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This weekend brings the second annual Taste of China food and cultural festival at the Blaisdell Center Exhibition Hall. The event “will feature local restaurateurs and vendors as well as Chinese folk dances, singing, lion and dragon dancing, and Chinese music,” notes Pacific Business News. The event is organized by the Chinese Chamber of Commerce of Hawaii (CCCH).

It was a fairly modest event last year, but still a pleasant way to spend an hour or two with the family. A smattering of food (some Chinese, some “everything else”), performers and exhibits, and yes, wandering princesses. What’s not to love?

Partial Eclipse of the Sun

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One of the neat things about living in Hawaii are the opportunites the islands offer us to view nature’s spectacular shows. One such event occured this past week as the sun went into a partial eclipse over island skies shortly before sunset on October 13. The partial eclipse came at the right time for me, starting just after 5PM during the waning hour of another long workday.

I made it to Kaka’ako Waterfront Park, a popular place where Oahu residents go to picnic, jog, surf and swim among other activities. The local eclipse chasers, fans and just simply the curious were out not in droves, but in numbers to witness the event. I came shortly before the eclipse began, set up my camera and waited a bit for the moon to start takng a chunk out of the sun.

Like clockwork Mother Nature did her thing and slowly, but surely nibbled away at the sun’s disk. No matter that this was not a total eclipse, a partial eclipse still has a charm of its own. I knocked off about 18 shots of the eclipse with my old 35mm film camera, some of which I published to various websites.

Here is a link to some of my eclipse photos for the day. The photo quality is not as great nor is the composition “awesome”. But in a pinch these photos will do, especially since another eclipse will not occur again in several years. If you want to see a totally awesome photo of Wednesday afternoon’s eclipse go to this link at the Honolulu Star Bulletin’s website where professional photographer Dick Walker captured a great image.
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Speaking of Wal*Mart…

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Stopped by the Mililani Wal*Mart today and picked up some poi mochi. Poi is the purple glue we make from the kalo (taro) plant and serve to tourists to make them feel kind of Hawaiian. Mochi is a type of sugared Japanese rice dumpling commonly fed to children whose parents wonder why their kids are hyperactive. In Mililani, though, you can get both at the same time: poi mochi! Yes, two two two starches in one!

“Hey! Your taro fell into my mochi rice!”

“Wow! Your mochi rice is all over my taro!”

“Hey, let’s mash this up and deep fry it together!!!” Poi mochi!

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