Saturday, February 27, 2010

Tsunami on the Way

Yesterday (Feb. 27) there was an 8.8 earthquake in Chile. The repercussion of that earthquake is a Tsunami that is headed straight for Hawaii with the west coast of the mainland expecting to feel tsunami effects. As I write this, the projected time for the arrival of the tsunami here on Oahu is only 40 minutes away.

The coastal areas of Oahu have been evacuated. People living in apartment buildings or staying in hotels are advised to go higher--3rd story or above. No traffic is being allowed into certain coastal areas, although they will not prevent anyone from leaving. Stores have been inundated with shoppers stocking up on emergency items since early this morning. Gas stations have had long lines, also since early this morning.

I'm on high ground. Leah is on higher ground. Others that we know living near the coast have relocated themselves and are staying with families from church.

I'm house-sitting for a friend who is on the mainland and is supposed to arrive in Honolulu around 4:30 this afternoon. (last word on the Honolulu airport was that planes could land, but passengers would probably have to hang at the airport until the all-clear is sounded) Her dog had to be walked this morning, so I headed over there early this morning. I didn't have to go on any coastal road, so my trip was pretty uneventful. I'm glad to be back home, though.

I needed to make a stop at Walmart first. It was early, and we're not in a danger zone, so I figured it wouldn't be too busy. I was right & wrong. It was busy, but not out of control.

After getting what I needed, I was standing on line thinking I should take some photos. Well, I just happened to have my point & shoot in my purse--dead batteries though. Dang it!! So I put the camera back in my purse and pouted. Then the lightbulb went on. BUY SOME BATTERIES, YOU DUFUS!!! So I did and went about the happy business of taking photos and recording the situation in Walmart.

Following are some of the images I took.

Empty milk case, but for goodness sake, there are still a few gallons of chocolate milk left. What's up with that??

Everyone was very calm and orderly.

So!!! People were buying milk, soda, Spam, bread, bottled water and juices, other non-perishables and easy-to-eat foods in anticipation of a power outage. I, on the other hand, decided to keep my priorities straight. I went for the really important stuff. No fooling around for me.

Okay! Only about 1/2 hour until arrival time. This will be an interesting adventure, to say the least. There was a long time between the first warnings last night, and the reality of the tsunami this morning. Praise God for the technology that enables us to be alerted to some of these events early, thus providing enough time to prepare well in order and save lives and property.

Friday, February 26, 2010

Reaping the Rewards

This past Monday and Tuesday I spent my days on the Big Island--Hawaii. I was assigned to an underclass portrait session, along with three other women, on another island. The travel arrangements were to arrive at the Honolulu airport at 4 o'clock in order to board the plane by 6. Well, folks, that wasn't 4 o'clock PM, it was 4 o'clock AM . Good grief, that meant I had to get up by 3--ugh.

Well, this time I managed to finally find the parking area at the airport. During the past two winters here on Oahu, I haven't once been able to find the entrance to the parking area--so whenever I pick someone up from the airport, I basically get there as late as possible and circle around and around until I see them standing at the curb. It's more convenient that way, anyway--no dragging the luggage to the parking area, no trying to remember where the car is parked , no wandering around the garage aimlessly, hoping others don't see the look of exasperation and frustration on your face and hoping against hope that you can find your person, get back to the car and get out of the gate within the "complimentary" 1/2 hour, and no paying the outrageous parking fees when you don't escape within the "complimentary" time frame.

So...We met at the gate only to wait an interminable length of time to get all the pieces of equipment checked and then we arrived at our gate with not a second to spare and not a drop of caffeinated drink in our hands.

Upon arrival at the Kona airport, we had to retrieve the 16 pieces of equipment, load it onto our rolling carts, drag it outside (which wasn't far since almost the entire airport is outdoors) and then wait for our team member to arrive with the rental van. Next we had to load all the equipment into the van, scurry for the supermarket to get some breakfast food and continue on to the school.

The rest went like this:
*gobble some of the food we had just purchased before arriving at the school
*find the school and figure out where to unload
*unload all the equipment which now numbered 18 pieces including the two
camera bags we used as carry-on luggage
*put all the equipment on the rolling carts
*haul it all into the multi-purpose room we were assigned to use
*unload it all off the carts and begin to set up the camera sets
*watch the clock and hope we could set up within the allotted time
*breathe a sigh of relief for getting set up only minutes before the first class arrived
*check the class lists--get the name cards ready--brief the parent helpers
*scurry to the rest room to avoid a trip later when we would be really busy
*groan inwardly when we realized that we were scheduled for 15 min. per class,
which, in many cases, meant 1/2 second per child, for the next 5 (yes, that's FIVE ) hours.

Then the news that made me groan inwardly--we had to break both camera sets down, pack it all up, load it all back into the van--even though we would be returning to the very same spot the next morning. Reason: the room could not be secured with locks.

I was very relieved to hear the other three team members say they were beyond tired and hurting as I was. The consolation of that is: all three of them are younger than my oldest child, in other words, they're all young enough to be my children and one of them is young enough to be a grandchild, OMGosh, that is plain scary!!!

Anyway, the following images are of the condo where we were lucky enough to stay, basically "reaping the reward of our hard work". I managed to muster up enough energy to take some photos and go for a short walk to get some additional photos of the area around our condo.

So now that I've probably bored all of you with this tome, here are the photos.

One of the team members standing in an area of black lava rock.

Thursday, February 18, 2010

Makapuu Lighthouse

I forgot to post these photos last week. I took a friend of mine to the light house on the windward side of the island. It's really beautiful along that coast, so we first stopped at a lookout point to see the view. This beach is the one that was used in the movie, "From Here to Eternity". There were some bathers down there enjoying the relative solitude.

At the top of the light house trail, Chrissie took a break to enjoy the breeze and the beauty around her.

Every time I take this short hike to see the lighthouse, I'm amazed at the the cactus growing along the path. I would never expect to see cactus in Hawaii, especially on the windward/rainy side, but there it is.

There's no access to the walkway around the base of the lighthouse, but the overlook provides a very clear view of the structure. This is the lighthouse that was used in the movie, "50 First Dates".

Tuesday, February 16, 2010

2010 Great Aloha Run

Today, President's Day, was the Great Aloha Run in Honolulu, Hawaii. It's an 8.2 mile run, which is open to runners, walkers, stroller pushers and any combination thereof. We left the house at 4:45 am (for the 7 am starting time) and spent 2 hours traveling the 15 mile route to the stadium where we were scheduled to get the bus to shuttle us to the starting point. Yeah, I guess they weren't too organized this year--I think we made the last group of shuttle buses...

Anyway, my hosts, Betty and Britt and I posed for a photo before we got started. Britt ran the majority of the route, so once we passed the starting line we didn't see him again until we met him at the car at the stadium.

There were bands along the way, mostly school marching bands, but this one was awesome. It was hard to get photos of it since they were backlit....

It took Betty and I 2 hours and 25 minutes to complete the 8.2 mile course. I'm pretty happy with the time, but I was hurting when we finished. (it was actually about 9 miles with the the walk to the Start Line, and walking around the stadium after the Finish Line.) After a few hours I felt good again, and am definitely glad I did it.

Monday, February 15, 2010

Finally, a Beach Day!

I was finally able to get to the beach yesterday, without the obligation (enjoyable as it might be) of "guarding the Honu". So I headed south this time to Ala Moana Beach, which I love. It's right on the edge of the the tourist section of Honolulu, so it's not as busy & crowded as Waikiki. It was, however, President's Day weekend which I completely forgot, until I arrived there and wondered why there were so many people with barbecues and tents set up, so it was a little more crowded than it usually is on a Sunday.

But even in its "crowded" condition, it was still great. Following are some random images from the afternoon. I basically "parked" myself on my beach chair and swiveled around to see what was available to shoot.

Saturday, February 13, 2010

The Crew Meeting

My job, with Lifetouch Studio, requires a Crew meeting every Wed. afternoon. It's the type of meeting during which we receive updates on the schedule, new procedures and participate in team building activities. It's actually pretty fun, and it really has helped us, the newest employees, get to know the others and help them to get to know us.

First, though, this first image shows what we do with our down time when on-site to photograph the elementary school kiddies. We were in the science section of the library, and when we were breaking down to leave for the day, Ky decided that she wanted to play with the whirly-gigs. The kids had been playing with them all day, so she wanted to see what it was all about.

The following 4 images were taken during this week's crew meeting. We were in 3 different groups and each group was responsible for teaching the other two groups how to make something--with the emphasis on teaching to a certain type of learner: kinesthetic, verbal and visual. It was actually a lot of fun and this particular group did a great job.

As you can see, they aren't shy at all.

So that's how we end our day on Wednesdays.

Same Old, Same Old....

Well, I just finished reading the blog posts of my friend, Bridget, who seems to be on a roll with her posts. Seems like she's been posting almost daily. Ok! Puts me to shame. So instead of just loading these images into a file and forgetting them, I was motivated to put them up as a post of my own. Even's the same old, same old, beach, turtle and sunset that I've posted many times before.

I keep thinking I'll get sick of taking the same shots every time I'm on turtle duty, but I lug the camera along with me thinking that "this might just be the day when I get THE shot." The shot of what, I'm not sure, but as I've mentioned before, "hope springs eternal".

Who knows... Carrie Underwood is here to shoot a movie about Bethany Hamilton, the young surfer who's arm was bitten off by a shark...I might run into her--sure, like that's going to happen! AND, the ship that will be used in the new episode of "Pirates of the Carribean" is landing in Oahu tomorrow (even though the episode is not scheduled to begin production until this coming summer). Stay tuned, I might manage to get a shot or two of that.

Anyway, back to this post. I've mentioned before that I enjoy watching the people as much as the turtles. This particular group was especially fun and I couldn't resist getting their expressions and body language on "film" (as we used to say in the days of film--what exactly do we say now--"on sensor"? Doesn't sound quite as nice, huh?)

So enjoy--people, turtles and sunset. Just a typical day as a Honu Guardian on the sunset shift.

Monday, February 08, 2010

Finally, A Model!

My friend's son wanted to have his portrait made. He wants to begin a website to promote his singing and guitar playing. I was invited to join them on their photo session this past weekend.

We had fun and I'm happy with some of the shots. It was a beautiful day--it was great to be out. We managed to get to the beach as well, but I'm not happy with those images. These are a few of the ones I like.