Thursday, January 31, 2008

Jan. 31, 2008

Well, it's still fairly early in the day, but I won't be getting home till late tonight due to dinner and tv with Leah, so I decided to post now, cause I know I won't want to at 11 tonight.

The best I can do, though, is some more names translated into Hawaiian. Here goes:












It must have rained again during the night, it was still drizzling when I got up. It's cloudy right now. This would be a great day to find some flowers to take photos of. No glare, no washed out colors. Signing off.
Wednesday, Jan 30, 2008

I decided to take a trip to Punchbowl Cemetary in Honolulu today. It's the National Memorial Cemetary of the Pacific. It's located in Puowaina Crater, which is an extinct volcano. It received the name Punchbowl because of its shape. The white pillar below is one of two that flank the main entrance into the cemetary.

Below is how it looks from the memorial looking back toward the main entrance. Honolulu is in the background. I took a longer shot showing all of the grassy area--it reminded me a lot of the Mall in Washington, DC looking from the Lincoln Memorial toward the Washington Memorial.

The next image is of the memorial area. Straight ahead you can see the body of a female figure. She is known as "Columbia" and she is on a "symbolized" prow of a ship. She's holding a laurel branch in her hand. There's a walkway that curves to the left and right of the figure, in which are maps and descriptions of various battles.

Another look at the memorial area.

This little chapel is inside the memorial behind the figure. It's supposedly a non-denominational chapel in spite of the fact that you can see a Star of David, a Cross, and to the right is a Muslim symbol.

After I took this shot of the chapel, I turned around and on the wall was this inscription. As I finished getting this shot, a tour group came by and the tour leader asked me if I know what the inscription was all about. Since I didn't, he said I should stay and listen to what he had to say.

It was very interesting. When Japan bombed Pearl Harbor, all the Japanese on the mainland were put into internment camps. But the Japanese in Hawaii were mostly of second generation citizenship, so they were left alone. At one point the United States needed about 1,500 troops to go to Europe, so they appealed to Hawaii's Japanese. 15,000 responded. They later became the most decorated and famous units in the war.

All of the graves in this cemetary are marked with headstones that lay flat on the ground. Apparently it goes along with the guidelines for all national cemetaries. Some had flowers placed near them, but I can imagine what it looks like on Memorial Day.

When I was heading back to the car, I decided to get some shots of the view overlooking Honolulu. Quite impressive. It's hard to believe that so many people call Oahu home. There are one million people living here, and probably about 3/4 of them living in Honolulu, the remainder being scattered throughout the rest of the island.

But, when you think that there are over 10 million people living in Manhattan alone, I guess one million in Oahu is not that outrageous.

I had gone up to another hill where there was an overlook not too far from the memorial. While walking back to the car I saw this rainbow. I've never seen one so low. It was beautiful and it lasted a long time. A nice way to end my visit.

rainbow=Anuenue (probably a nue nue)

Tuesday, January 29, 2008

Tuesday, Jan 29, 2008

This has been one of those days where it's nice just to get cozy (olu olu), curl up on the couch and read. It's cloudy and cool and rainy. Every time I think it's safe to walk the dog, it starts to pour. I thought I saw him crossing his legs waiting for that trip outside. It seems as though today's weather fits the saying that comes from Maine, "If you don't like the weather, wait a minute".
I had decided to stay home today and putter. I learned a few new tricks in Photoshop--I won't remember how to do them, but at least I know now that they can be done and I can use the book as reference
I finally managed to take the dog out inbetween the rain showers and also finally remembered to take my camera with me.
There's a park area next to the Mililani Elementary school where I walk with the dog that has a small building with restrooms and this public phone booth. It's so pretty, I almost want to use the phone. I can't help thinking about what the NY phone booths look like... Anyway,

I was looking up the word for phone, but it's not listed in the dictionary that I have. In the process, though, I came across photograph=Kii, to photograph=paikii (pa i ki i), and photographer=Paikii (Pa i ki i)

The house where I'm staying is at the end of a small cul de sac. This is what it looks like from where you turn into it. My house is not visible in this image.

Closer view of my house

I hooked Solomon to the outdoor spigot and tried to get some decent shots of him. He's a sweet boy, but not too responsive. I kept whistling, making funny sounds and trying to sound like a cat--when I did that he looked off toward the street. Go figure.
But at least you can get a good idea of what he looks like.

Monday, January 28, 2008

Sunday, Jan 26, 2008

It's been a very peaceful day. In the high 70s, sunny but windy.

I went to church this morning. As I've mentioned before, it's in a cafeteria in an elementary school. Apparently one of the teachers wanted to spend some time in their classroom, but they didn't disarm the alarm system. So when the door was opened the alarm went off. It must not be easy or quick to turn the alarm off because it seemed like about 15 minutes before it stopped.

In the meantime, the doors and windows of the cafeteria were shut, which didn't do much to muffle the sound, and pastor went right on with his message. When it was finally turned off it was quite a relief.

Now this school is not surrounded by farms like the Fonda/Fultonville school is. It's on a fairly main road with houses and stores nearby. But every Sunday we're serenaded by a rooster! It's just like being home. Not!

When I got home I had to make some cookies for the Bible Study/dinner this afternoon. That went okay. It was Italian night and everything was really good. I had been craving spaghetti and meatballs since I got here, so tonight I got my "fix".

I looked up the translation for some names tonight. Here they are, and if anyone would like to know what their name is in Hawaiian, just let me know.

Cindy=Kini (I thought it odd that Jean and Cindy are both Kini)
Louise= Kaulanalkekaua or Luika
Marilyn=Melina or Melelina


mahalo nui loa=thank you very much

Saturday, January 26, 2008

Saturday, Jan. 27, 2008

After a night of rain, boy did that sound nice, it dawned cloudy and cool. (66 degrees) So cool that I actually had to put on jeans for the first time since I got there. I'm not complaining, it was just a surprise.

I had plans to meet some photographers at a place called the Contemporary Museum near Waikiki. There is a display of work by Richard Misrach. Never heard of him, but apparantly someone has. His prints were huge. The brochure gives the dimensions of one as 49" x 111". The pieces on display were of beaches and ocean water and some people. He didn't include any horizon lines in this body of work. And the curator said he took them all from his hotel balconies, and I think I read/heard that he uses an 8x10 camera.

The brochure also states: "Depicting people as small, often isolated figures in an immense scene, the photograhs remind us of the fragility and relative unimportance of humanity in the face of seemingly infinite nature.(italics mine) O kay... Guess it's clear that this guy has no Supreme Being in his life.

Go ahead a google him if you'd like a taste of what the art community considers photographic art. All I can say is, go figure!!! (remember that only the sand and ocean images were on display)

So after we listened to this lecture, the bunch of us went outside and walked around the absolutely beautiful museum grounds. It was stunning. Not too many flowers, but the
I didn't include any color images of the grounds, just some close-ups. The infrared images will give you an idea, though, of what it was like.

The image below is a portion of a tree trunk, not the root area, but the actual trunk. It looked like this practically all the way up.

This sculpture below was on the grounds near the outdoor cafe.

Below is a beautiful mural with a funky sculpture in front of it.

The following four images are infrared, which in my mind are spectacular--not the images, but the look. It makes anything green look white like snow, it darkens a blue sky and makes any clouds pop. I've only had success with it on very, very sunny days with mostly blue sky. I tried it once on a cloudy day and everything looked like gray soup.

These scenes actually look better in IR than they would in color because there is soooo much green, it just kind of mushes together.
The image below was taken from the museum grounds
overlooking Waikiki.

After we wandered around the grounds, we went to the cafe for lunch and got the chance to talk with each other and get to know each other a little better, which is always fun.
Today's word:
So divided into syllables it would be
pele kepuli kano

Wednesday, January 23, 2008

Wed, Jan 23, 2008

Humuhumunukunukuapuaa. Okay, pronounce that! The definition is: Varieties of humuhumu. There! Well, if you know that humuhumu is Trigger Fish, then you'd understand what humuhumunukunukuapuaa means. And people say English is hard to learn...

Then there's ua (pronounced oo a), which means rain.

Every syllable ends in a vowel sound.

Let's see, the 7 consonants are: h, k, l, m, n, p, w, so combined with the 5 vowels, that makes 12 letters that compose the Hawaiian language.
Tuesday, Jan 23, 2008

It just occured to me as I was typing the date that posting every day (or at least trying to) will at least keep me in touch with what the day/date is. It was another beautiful day--about 80 and windy.

I didn't do much today, but I did get to the beach for some sunbathing. I seem to have adapted very quickly and well to Hawaii time.

Another vocabulary word: puka=hole (my hostess, Kristine, uses it to mean a small area, like a cubby hole, or small area in a cabinet). So if I want to use a certain kind of bowl, it's in the puka in the cabinet to the left of the stove.

Oh yes, after the beach I went to Brew Moon, the restaurant where Leah works, to have dinner. I had a book with me, so even though I was alone, I just read while I ate.

I didn't know that the restaurant was in a mall type area with the buildings all around a courtyard. No access to the stores from the street, only in the courtyard. So even though the GPS got me there with no trouble, I had to go around the block about three times before I realized where the driveway for the courtyard was.

Then I had to navigate the parking garage--a dizzying experience if I do say so myself. I had to drive up to the 5th level before finding a spot. At least the parking was free! So feeling like I needed the exercise, I decided to use the stairs to get to the bottom level. If I was dizzy driving up, I was even more so walking down, because, of course, I didn't meander down, I ran down and around and around and down.

The restaurant was nice and I had a chicken queissidilla (I know that's spelled wrong, but I don't happen to have a Spanish dictionary at hand) which was really good. I sat at a small table just inside the open door leading to the lanai. Okay, you probably get the rest of the idea, with the breeze blowing in, the tiki lights lit, etc.

Backing up a little...before I went to the restaurant, I went into Borders. The place was calling my name, seriously. I found a book about hiking in Oahu which is loaded with lots of information about the islands, how to pronounce Hawaiian words, etiquette when on the Island, etc. In the section about pronouncing words, there is a verrrrry long word that the author helps the reader to pronounce. I'll post it another day, it's late now and the book is upstairs, and the next time I negotiate the stairs will be the last time for tonight.

But FYI the Hawaiian language uses the same 5 vowels we do, but it only has 7 (yes seven) consonants.

On that note, closing for now.

Monday, January 21, 2008

Monday, Jan 22, 208

I was awakened this morning at 6 a.m. by a phone call from my son. It was 11 a.m. for him, but the call was somewhat of an emergency--tuition payment issues. It is his first day back after Christmas break. I think I fell back to sleep for a little while, but when I did think about getting up, I could hear the wind and it looked cloudy and I thought I heard rain. Nice for a change. WHAT!! you're thinking. You're happy it's cloudy and rainy? Well yes, after a stretch of good weather, a rainy day is just the thing. I've always enjoyed that kind of change. It's the two-weeks-of-cloudy-snow and/or rain that do me in.

So I'm waiting for Caleb to call back and we'll take care of his tuition issue. And then I'll probably spend most of the day working on the computer creating a Missionary calendar for my church here.

But in the meantime, here's a vocabulary lesson. No test to follow, just some trivia if you're interested in tucking any of this away in your brains.

Aloah=hello/goodbye, or a feeling or the spirit of love, affection or kindness
Mahalo=thank you
Brah (pronounced bra)=bruddah, friend, brother (this is slang and probably not appreciated if used by a haole)
Haole (pronounced how-leh)=originally meant foreigner, now means Caucasian
Hanai=informal adoption
Enough for now.
Sunday, Jan 21, 2008
This was my second Sunday at Redeemer OPC here in Oahu. Don't know what happed to my brain last week, but it never occurred to me to post any info about the day. So I'm going to try and make up for it this week.
I'm experiencing a small degree of deja vu. We don't meet at the YMCA as we did when Covenant first began, but we do meet at Pearl City Elementary School in the cafeteria. See the sign below.

After entering the door, which by the way is wide open to let in the balmy breeze (that wasn't nice, was it?), you see the cafeteria in all it's glory. At the far end is a stage with a section of very comfortable chairs set up, which is the "church".

We have a keyboard organist, Cheryl, who is just off to the side of these seats in the picture above and pictured below.

Unlike my church in NY, Redeemer conducts Sunday School first, what is up with that!!! (Don't get any ideas Tim) And like most churches where that's the case, SS is not as well attended as church.

Following Sunday School there is a break, and we too have a coffee bar, Chris!

Before SS begins and in between SS and church, people visit, watch the kids, drink coffee and have snacks, etc. This all sounds kind of familiar. As I said, deja vu.

In above photo, Pastor's wife, Sue Watson, is on the far right. She's very sweet.

In photo below, Pastor Doug Watson is on left.

When I get there, everything is set up and ready to go. But, just as at the YMCA, the people of the church have to tear down everything before we leave, even the soap and towels in the bathrooms. The hymnals have to be lugged home with the family who hosts the Sunday night Bible Study and dinner, the "coffee bar" has to be dismantled, the chairs have to be put away, the floor swept--those of you from the early days of Covenant know exactly what I'm talking about.

But Praise the Lord, there is a place to meet. There are all kinds of churches renting schools and other buildings because buying property and/or a building is so expensive here. Leah tells me that Doug did a lot of research and calling to secure this school.

As I left "church" this morning, I saw this one flower in the hedge right outside the door. Actually there might have been a few more, but not many.

Every Sunday evening there is a Bible Study at one of the homes. We meet a 5, and then eat at 6. Most people stay around for quite a while visiting. It seems like there are as many children as there are adults, although that might be an overstatement.

Many of the families are military, so they're young and just starting their families.

The woman who hosts these Sunday night get-togethers sends out an email in the middle of the week telling everyone what the food "theme" is, and people respond with what they're going to bring. That avoids repetition. This church rivals Covenant with the amount of food at one of these dinners.

Sunday, January 20, 2008

Saturday, Jan. 20, 2008

Today was another georgeous day, sunny, breezy and around 80. I went to Waikiki to go to the Art Fest in Kapiolani Park. In order to participate in the Art Fest, you have to be a vendor who crafts his/her products in Hawaii using Hawaiian goods. It was quite large and the items for sale were very nice.

Then I went across the street to the beach, sat in the sun for a while for the first time since I got here, and then drove up along the east coast a way to a beach called, get this, Sandy Beach. One of the guide books says that it's kind of like calling a forest, Tree Forest.

Anyway, it was really beautiful, but probably better for sunrise than sunset. There were a lot of people there and it was almost sunset by then. The waves were pretty good for the boogie boards and the surf was full of boarders trying their luck.

But to back up a little. Yesterday I decided to go to Sunset Beach on the North Shore to photograph, yup you've got it...sunset. Another beautiful beach--well I haven't found one here that isn't.

I arrived there early enough to get some shots with full light but the sun at a low angle.

It so beautiful at time of day.

Even the sand looks better than usual with all the shadows and the beautiful yellow light.

Most of the swimmers and surfers are completely oblivious to cameras because almost everyone has one and you can't tell exactly where they're pointing. So it's easy to get this kind of image, especially with a long lens.

Once the sun gets this low, it's only a matter of seconds till it's gone, so you have to be ready. There were at least a dozen people lined up to catch this sunset. I wish I could have gotten a picture of that, but everyone was so spread out it wouldn't have been very effective.

I changed my position quickly and was able to include these palm tree trunks with the setting sun. There weren't many clouds, so once the sun was down, it was done. But...

when I turned around, there was the moon--not a full one, but impressive none-the-less. When it is this high in the sky, you can't make it look large without a super long telephoto. So actually, it was one of those days when the sun and the moon were in the sky at the same time.

Saturday, January 19, 2008

Friday, Jan 18, 2008

I'm writing this a day late, but I didn't want to not write. Yesterday, Thursday the 17th, I just hung around the house in the morning. The plans were to meet Leah around 6 at her apt. for pizza and TV.

I decided to go to a Botanical Garden in Honolulu in the afternoon before going to Leah's place. It was really beautiful--everything is so different from what I'm used to in the northeast. There weren't too many flowers, but I managed to get some images of a few of them that I'm pretty happy with.

I don't know the names of the three flowers above because there were no name plates, but I thought they were really pretty. The bottom one, that looks like a white puff-ball, was in red also.

Strange sign to see in a Botanical Garden, but it was posted right in front of a, guess what, CannonBall Tree. Okay! Very interesting. I didn't see any fall while I was there though.

This is just a portion of the Cannonball Tree. It was quite large, and getting the whole thing in the photo would have diminished the effect of the cannonballs.

These red leaves were part of a huge hedge kind of plant. They were really beautiful--the color is so intense. No name for this either.

This image of leaves was my attempt at patterns. They were really beautiful too. Very sturdy and the bush/tree was quite large.

Well, after that (the Botanical Gardens closed at 4) I thought I'd go to a beach and get some sun. Well the traffic proved to be a real hindrance to that. While I was driving, Leah called and said she was stuck in traffic and what in the world was going on? I had heard that somebody had thrown a toddler off a foot-traffic overpass and they had closed the highway for 3 1/2 hours to investigate. Traffic everywhere was practically at a standstill.

So by the time I decided that the beach wasn't a good idea, it took me forever to get back to the supermarket, and by the time I was done there it was time to go to Leah's.

The incident was very sad. EVERYONE was talking about it. Some guy had abducted a toddler from his neighborhood and ... well I said it before.

Leah and I had a nice time. The pizza was good (even though it was frozen), and we had Caeser Salad and then ice-cream for dessert. Yum. The shows were re-runs, but they're my favorite shows so I didn't mind too much.

Will post today's activities in the morning.

Wednesday, January 16, 2008

Wednesday, Jan 16, 2008

Another beautiful day. Breezy and in the high 70s.

I was supposed to meet several other photographers and do a hike at Kaena Point, the western-most spot on Oahu. From the parking area it is approximately 1.5 hours each way. Unfortunately, the organizer contacted us yesterday to say he wouldn't be able to make it. When I emailed the other participant, he didn't get back to me.

So I drove up there myself today with two thoughts in mind. Maybe the other person would show up after all, and even if he didn't, I figured I could get some photos, see a place I hadn't been yet, and just enjoy the outdoors.

At the parking area there was quite a lot of shoreline to photograph. It was beautiful!! Lots of waves, and as each wave broke, it showed the most georgeous aqua color...

I got there early, so I did some shooting, then I waited for a while. No show. I still considered doing the hike, but decided against it since I was alone. I'll do it sometime when I have company.

Tuesday, January 15, 2008

Tuesday, Jan 15, 2008

The skys are cloudy and have been all day. Great breeze and it's about 71. Just about perfect. I decided to do some infrared photography today, so I got everything all ready and left all my other equipment home so I would be forced to shoot infrared. As I mentioned, it was cloudy and cloudy is not particularly good for infrared.

So I headed out to the store to buy some things, including groceries, thinking it might be better a little later. It was a great opportunity to practice hyperventilating... Some prices are comparable to the mainland, but others....WOW! (of course, it depends on where you decide to shop--Walmart, Costco, supermarket, etc.) I went to a supermarket because the Walmart I was in didn't have a complete grocery section. So, bananas are $1.09/pound, whole milk is over $8/gallon ( I didn't see exactly how much 'cause once I saw the number 8 I had to look away). Skim milk is just under $5/gallon. Boneless chicken is just about $5/pound, and on and on it goes. Gas, however, is just about a dime more than at home in NY.

Anyway, when I got done with that, it was still too cloudy to shoot so I just came home. I walked the dog and now I'm just puttering.

Monday, January 14, 2008

Monday, January 14, 2008

Today started out cool and breezy--just beautiful! I cleaned the lanai and raked some of the yard. Then some email business.
I decided to head toward the north shore and some beaches. There is a beach called Turtle Beach--yup, you've got it, there are often turtles there. Not today though. But the beach was beautiful and it was great being there.

In Oahu, the north shore and western side of the island are beseiged with winds and high waves in the winter. Often the beaches are closed because of the surf. But it's certainly a sight to see, and I haven't even seen the best of it yet.

Well, I didn't realize until after I published the post that two of the above images are the same, except for the exposure. I can't for the life of me, figure out how to delete one of them. Oh well, so you'll see the same image. Can't be that bad, it's a decent scene.

More tomorrow...