Tag Archives: AM

Aloha Dispatch Month 5

Prince Kuhio Day:
http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Prince_K%C5%ABhi%C5%8D_Day
It is one of only two holidays in the United States dedicated to royalty, the other being Hawai’i’s King Kamehameha Day June 11.

It’s a big deal too. It’s a day off regardless of the day of the week. Most holidays get shifted to the nearest Monday or Friday in order to be more convenient for businesses. But people are out for PKD no matter when it falls.

Only three states existed as independent republics prior to joining the U.S.: Vermont, Texas, and Hawaii.

Unrelated to Hawaii, a unique work-related experience happened to me. I had to move 107 records from an Excel file into a database. It took a lot of massaging of the data to match the structure … Read the rest

Aloha Dispatch Month 4

Driving a white minivan: boo!
Driving a white minivan to a volcano: yay!

I learned a fact about tsunamis. They stink horribly.

The water that goes into a wave comes primarily from the part of ocean just ahead of the crest; a trough appears because there is a wave behind it.
So a very large wave, such as a tsunami, takes an enormous amount of water just ahead of the crest.
People who have experienced tsunamis say they know when one is imminent because the water level at the shore starts droppping quickly, like a sped-up ebb tide.
A tsunami that is large enoughtakes so much water ahead of itself that the ocean floor is sometimes exposed – all the muck that has sat at … Read the rest

Aloha Dispatch Month 3

I don’t know anyone’s surname here, and I don’t think they know mine. Things operate on a first-name basis

Too many modern baby names are titles of jobs at renaissance fairs:
fletcher, cooper, mason, archer, tanner

One of the (numerous) advantages of “having” to take the bub to the beach every day is that my feet haven’t been this healthy in years if nogt decades. The salt water and sand exfoliation have made them look and feel better than I can remember.

Another advantage is that watching the surf wash in and move sand around is a great focus for musing over life’s questions.
Today’s conclusion is that The Butterfly Effect is hogwash.
The concept (first conceived, or at least written down, by Edward … Read the rest

Aloha Dispatch Month 2

The new year marks the end of our second month in Hilo, 1/3rd of the way through our adventure. Our building is currently under lockdown because a man, after shooting two police officers (in the legs) ran toward the building.

Reports of gun shots in Hilo, two officers shot


This is the second manhunt in Hilo in the past month. The first was when two men escaped from the local “correctional center”
http://www.neighborhoodscout.com/hi/hilo/kilauea-ave/#crime

There is a good ol’ boy / redneck-y feel to this place sometimes. I don’t fear for my own safety, but we’re never far from guys who like to get into trouble.

Christmas was a nice meal (all vegan, and quite tasty) with friends and about a dozen kids altogether. Met a … Read the rest

Aloha Dispatch Week 5

Finally got a new pair of sneakers.

Mike, the guy at the Sports Authority was very nice and helpful – like most people I’ve met who work in retail here. He’s a marathon runner and I got more and better advice on selecting a sneaker than I have ever before.

Went to the Mauna Kea visitor center the other night night.


View Larger Map

We thought of making it all the way to the top, to the telescopes we can see from our window, but that is at 14,000 feet of elevation and we were warned to not take that trip with a little one. Driving from sea level to that height (over 2 & 1/2 miles upward) can essentially cause “the bends” which divers … Read the rest

Aloha Dispatch Week 4

There is some kind of music revue show in town and the performers have so much makeup on that I can’t tell whether it’s a drag show or not.

I guess that probably means that it is.

There don’t seem to be any uniquely Hawaiian Thanksgiving traditions. People here have turkey and stuffing and squash and cranberry sauce, etc. There is also usually rice because there is always rice at every big family meal. But that’s true in parts of the south as well.

Hawaii does not fluoridate its water, mostly due to the general fear of governmental intervention that is prevalent here.

But I discovered that the water in Hilo has quite a lot of naturally occurring fluoride. According to the local water … Read the rest

Aloha Dispatch Week 3

It feels like we’ve been here a lot longer than 3 weeks, yet it also feels like we just got here.

There is a daily rainbow to the west of us each morning around 8am. Today it lasted for well over an hour, becoming more and less intense over time. I had never seen a rinbow move before, but this one lasted long enough to indirectly watch the Sun’s passage upward; the rainbow’s transit got lower and lower toward the ground while drifting northward, in exact opposition to the Sun.

There is a libertarian streak to the politics here, but more of the liberal, free-to-be-you-and-me variety. Part of that culture is home-schooling, which I realize now often means no-schooling.

Saw a cardinal at … Read the rest

Aloha Dispatch Day 16

I sat beneath a wide, shady tree today and had a thousand thoughts and I didn’t write any of them down.

The volcano blueberry (Vaccinium reticulatum) is a favorite food of the nene, the Hawaiian goose. The berries range in color from dark red to pale yellow when ripe.

The lure of polytheism is easy to understand here. I feel the presence of Pele whenever it rains.

It rains at two times of day here: when it’s hot and humid and everyone needs a 15-minute cool-down in the middle of the day; or in the middle of the night when everyone is already home and the world needs a good rinse.

This photo collection saves me some effort

Welcome to Hilo

Read the rest

Aloha Dispatch Day 15

Food

We’re eating in a lot more but so far what we make at home is significantly cheaper, healthier, and as tasty as we can get out.

At some point we crossed over from not knowing how to prepare tofu to knowing how. Generally, using less oil and salt actually makes everything easier: the tofu and vegetables don’t get soggy or break apart or stick.

You can get pork schwarma here – a sign that kailua pork transcends the traditions of middle eastern cooking.

We’re drinking lots and lots of iced coffee, sweetened with local honey. I had never thought about honey + coffee, but it’s good.

Saw a duck scratching its head with its foot the way a dog does.

The pool here … Read the rest

Aloha Dispatch Day 14

Visited the Vietnam memorial which happens to be in the park behind our building. Tasteful, eternal flame. Striking to see the photos of faces of young Asian men who died fighting a war in Asia on behalf of the US.

Made a quart and a half of guacamole for about $2 worth of ingredients. Ate it all in 2 sittings.

Frito-Lay’s Scoops are $5.69 at Cost-U-Less and $2.79 at the KTA just a few blocks away.

How I can tell that we’re not in a touristy town is that there are no tiki bars here. There is no place I’ve seen here with moai totems and thatch roofs and torches, that sells cocktails with umbrellas.

Were walking to the gardens when a horse … Read the rest

Aloha Dispatch Day 12

Despite the reputation surfing has, the primary sport/leisure activity around here seems to be fishing – with a rod and reel.

There are lots of fish in the tidal ponds behind our building.

Saw some people catching butterflies yesterday. It seemed a throwback to an old Victorian hobby, although these people were dressed normally. I realized they were probably illegally poaching rare butterflies for lepidopterists.

There were 2 grey-and-white cats sitting in the jungle-y verge watching them – it looked very much like a Rousseau painting.

There was a 3rd cat, a black one, lurking by the side. I had walked past it before I had noticed it. What happens when you cross the path of a black cat?

I remembered a few other … Read the rest

Aloha Dispatch Day 8

The ohana culture here is very different from what I’m used to. In New York, if you’re not at least a little pushy, people walk all over you. Here, it’s like everyone gets the family discount.
It’s as though everyone is related, maybe distantly, but still family – so that when you see someone (anyone) in a store or on the street, you talk as though you’re restarting a conversation you had with them a week or so ago. Even if you’ve never seen them before.
It’s very comforting.

Bought a pair of overpriced orthopedic sandals today. It feels like an even bigger commitment than the plane tickets or signing the lease.

Already planning our anxiety when watching the election results tomorrow. I’m looking … Read the rest

Aloha Dispatch Day 6

Today the Vog has arrived. We visited the caldera of Kilauea yesterday and saw lots of steam plumes. The volcano is essentially a cloud factory. The trade winds normally blow the clouds and humidity inland but a weather front to the north has disrupted the winds and the humidity is staying in place.
In truth, it is no worse than a typical summer day in the mid-atlantic (low 80s, overcast, humid) but we’ve already gotten used to the usual sunnier, drier weather here.

We finally got to the farmers’ market today. It’s partially a tourist trap for visitors arriving on cruise ships, but it’s also a genuine market with great, cheap produce. We got avocados 3/$1 and papayas 5/$2 and the quality is very high since … Read the rest