Wednesday, February 27, 2013


I recently had a health situation for which I should have received an avalanche of cards wishing me well and speedy recovery.  I'm not a particularly needy person, so that is not an easy thing to say, but it's true.  What's also true is that the number of cards I received was about equal to the number of the fingers on my right and left hands.  Which, in my mind, is a very sad state of affairs.

Now, this is not just about me.  I've talked to others who have experienced the same level of being overlooked & ignored at these very delicate times of their lives.  I must confess that I've been guilty of the same apathy toward others.  I can just hear the excuses:  I meant to send a card but the time got away from me;  I didn't have any cards in the house;  I ran out of stamps;  I didn't know you were in the hospital/sick/dying of cancer/home from the hospital; couldn't find your address; the cards in the stores are too expensive;  I fell asleep; the dog ate it before I could put it in the mailbox; and on-and-on.

So what am I doing about it?  Well, there's nothing I can do about not receiving the cards, but there's definitely something I can do about my responsibility toward others. I will be sending cards to as many people as I can when I know they have a "situation" in their lives.

For example, a grandson with whom I don't have much communication recently got accepted to the college of his choice and received a $60,000 scholarship to go along with the acceptance.  Wowser, that's big HUGH!!  So I sent him a card.  Before my particular situation, I might have thought about it, but probably wouldn't have followed through.  End of rant.

So now, in light of how stinkin' expensive cards are in the stores, I decided to get back to the practice of making my own.  I was additionally motivated when I read a blog describing her card-making process. If you want to see her explanation of the process, go here and scroll down to the Feb 16 post. It sure seemed easier than when I used to make them years ago, so I thought I'd give it a shot again.

After I found the card stock (already the right size and scored to fold easily besides) and the envelopes, and I computed the total cost, I realized that this might be the way to go for a while.  Oh--I also ran some of them through the computer to create some funky text on the inside.  So some will be printed and some will be blank.  Total cost (photo included)=maybe as much as 30 cents each.  Nice, huh?

So now I'm on a mission to find and take images that will suit the cards I'm making.

What does this all mean??  It means I no longer have an excuse for not sending cards to people AND it means I have to use up 300 sheets of card stock...sheesh.

Sunday, February 24, 2013

Scavenger Hunt:  The Contents of a Junk Drawer

The assignment was to create a sculpture with the contents of one junk drawer.  It had to be from just one drawer--not a little from here and a little from there.

I'm not in my own home, but I'll tell ya, there are a lot of junk drawers around this place.  I told my friend what my assignment was and she immediately pointed to this particular drawer.  Actually it's one basket among others in a built-in bookcase, but it definitely meets the criteria.

These particular items didn't lend themselves to building "up", which is what I think of when I hear the word sculpture, so I had to settle for an "arrangement".

This next image is an HDR.  The background is really a sheet of white paper, but I didn't feel like fussing in photoshop to make it look white.

This final image is a straight shot, one stop underexposed.

I thought this assignment was less-than-desireable, and then we were told what next week's assignment is.  All I can say about it is oi vey!!

Friday, February 22, 2013

Thankful Thursday Swimming
23/365 Thankful Thursday post is from 2/14 when I went to the Y and did some swimming.

Swimming is probably my all-time-favorite physical activity.  I haven't done it at all for the past two years--swimming in upstate NY is not easy.  It's difficult to find a decent public beach at a lake, I don't know anyone who owns a lakeside cabin, it's expensive to join a Y or fitness club and to get anywhere to swim involves a fairly long drive.

But in light of my recent surgery, when I return to NY,    I.   will.    join.   a.   YMCA.   and swim to my heart's content.

No photo of the Y.  But below are two images.  The first one was already posted a while ago.  The second one is the same image but processed differently in Photomatix.  Oh, goodness, that program is so much fun!!

Wednesday, February 20, 2013

China Town

Jackie and I took a trip to China Town today.  After driving around for about 10 minutes looking for a parking spot or parking garage, we finally found one.  It's alway an experience trying to find parking in Honolulu that's reasonably affordable.  

We just walked around.  We.   Were.   Totally.   Obvious!
I'm not usually too self-conscious when doing street photography, but today I was.  
There we were....two haole women with camera bags on our shoulders and obviously good expensive cameras in our hands.  Jackie has an "L" series lens, and you know how they stick out like a sore thumb.  Most people think, "white lens = professional photographer".  And to top it off, I was schlepping my tripod, which, by the way, I never even used.

Thankfully we didn't get mugged, annoyed, bothered, questioned or shooed away.

And then there's the other face of Hawaii....the homeless.

Monday, February 18, 2013

Great Aloha Run

Today was the annual Great Aloha Run.  The run is 8.2 miles.  Entrants can walk, jog, run and/or push strollers.  There's a fee to enter. I don't know if there's a money prize for the winner, but the event supports a huge number of charities.  The first place runner did the distance in the low-30 minutes.  Yikes.

Anyway, Leah ran the course again this year.  Her finish time was 1:14, which is her personal best.  Way to go, Leah. 

There were over 24,500 entrants, so needless to say, traffic/parking is a nightmare.  Leah asked me to drive her to the staging area so she wouldn't have to deal with parking.  Okay---the things we do for our children.  We left the house at 5:45 am.  ugh!

I dropped her off and went to a McDonald's for breakfast and some reading.  Then I went back, parked in the stadium parking lot and went to look for her arrival so I could document it with a photo.

After walking through the stadium, all entrants get their "Finisher" T-shirts, some fruit, water, protein bars and the congratulations of their friends and families.

This is the same stadium where the Pro-Bowl is played.  In the lower right corner is a tent where the Marine Band played music continuously for the arriving runners. 

Sunday, February 17, 2013

Scavenger Hunt #30,   "Leaning"

I was going to take this assignment very literally--no surprise there.
But as I was going through my photo files, I came across this scene with "leaning" palm trees.

So, there ya go!!

The Wind Was Craaaazzzzzy!

Yesterday was one of those picture-perfect days and I did nothing constructive or interesting.  Well....I made some French Bread, but really, on such a nice day, I should have been out and about.

So today I decided to head up to the North Shore and see if I could find some waves and surfers to photograph.  Well the wind was crazy and the waves weren't all that wonderful.  But it was still a great day to be out.

There were some surfers trying to catch waves, so I got a few shots--none of which were too successful.  I spent a good deal of my time hunkered over my camera to protect it from being sandblasted when the wind blew particularly hard.  

As usual, I did some people-watching.

This woman cracked me up!  She was with her husband and three children.  I can only imagine that this trip to Hawaii might be a trip of a lifetime for them.  In my mind's eye I can see them saving for years to be able to get all 5 of them to the islands.

And there she is...taking pictures with her iPad!!  I don't know~~it just seems so wrong to me.
But she seemed to be enjoying herself, so I guess that's really what matters.  They'll probably have some great photos for their family album.  I guess it beats taking photos with a flip-phone, and I've seen plenty of that too!

I decided to go home the long way which took me past the Byodo-In Temple.  

This angle of the temple is even more beautiful when the sky is blue--but no such luck today.

Friday, February 15, 2013

Thankful Thursday

My thanks for Thankful Thursday is from Feb. 4, about a week after I arrived here.  I joined the YMCA so that I could use the exercise equipment as part of my physical therapy AND the pool.  I keep forgetting to take a pic of the pool, but I'll try to remember the  next time I go.

Last Saturday Leah treated me to an early-bird dinner at new restaurant in Ko Olina called Monkey Pod.  It was an interesting experience, but the best part of it was the dessert.  Strawberry Cream Pie. Probably the best of its kind that I've ever had.  

It may not look too big here in this pic, but it was a huge piece, so it's a good thing we decided to share it.  Too bad I didn't remember to take the pic before we began to eat it, but I think you can get the idea.

This past Wed, some of the ladies from church met at a sweet Victorian tea house in Kailua called 
2nd Cup of Tea.  What a great place.  I only had my point and shoot with me, and I had to bump up the iso really high in order to get the images without flash.   

There are racks of hats that are available for wearing if you so choose.  Leah grabbed this one and tolerated me taking her pic before she took it off. 

Wednesday, February 13, 2013

A Look At Waikiki

Today my friend, Jackie, and I took a trip to Waikiki to do some street ocean photography.  It's an awesome place to people-watch and if you hang out there long enough, there's no telling what kind of images you can bring home.  

I had a particular idea in mind, but it didn't work out, so I wound up getting some images that I hadn't planned on.  But really, when you're in a public place like this, usually what you get is a big, happy surprise.

I lugged my tripod with me and I'm glad I did.  I wanted to try some HDR and it was actually pretty successful.  Score!!

There are several surfboard rental kiosks along the beach which lend themselves to some nice still-life. 

After we got done at the beach, we decided to stop at one of our favorite places for a snack.  

Sunday, February 10, 2013

Scavenger Hunt

The assignment for this week is:

One photo of the inside of your house that would be used in advertising your house for sale.

So, I'm not in my house, but my hostess is totally okay with me taking photos of her house. Her house looks better than mine anyway, but maybe when I return to NY I might try this there.  Of course, that means I'll have to clean the house first....hmmmm.

This first image is a straight shot, with the camera determining the exposure.  I did a little post-processing in Photoshop Elements, which lightened up the darker areas but didn't help the window area too much.  

This next image is an HDR of exactly the same shot.  You can see how much more detail there is in the window area and in the darker areas of the hutch and wooden chairs.  

So if I ever want to sell my house, I'll be sure to:

1) clean it first
2) get rid of the clutter
3) take photos of it using HDR.

(ps--I have NO idea why those first few lines are highlighted.  I tried everything I could to undo it, but to no avail.  Weird)

Saturday, February 09, 2013

Thankful Thursday (very late on Friday again)

So my Thankful Thursday post is from Feb 5 which was one day less than 6 weeks after my surgery.  I mention that only to say that I was able to walk one mile on the treadmill and still do a significant distance on the recumbent bike.  Things are progressing nicely and I'm thankful to God for the healing that's happening.  

The day of my surgery, I couldn't imagine that I'd come this far in just 6 weeks.

Below is another photo from my excursion to Pearl Harbor the other day with my friend Julie.  I love these old grungy looking scenes.

Friday, February 08, 2013

Makaha Beach

So today Betty and I headed out to Makaha Beach on the leeward side of the island.  It's really beautiful over there, and nowhere near as crowded as other areas of the island.

The people in the images are just random beach-goers.

This was the view from our office window this afternoon.  It's a tough job but someone has to do it. 

Thursday, February 07, 2013

An Afternoon At Ford Island

My friend Julie and I went to Ford Island yesterday.  It's right at Pearl Harbor.

This first image is of a plane hanger and the holes you see in the glass are the original bullet holes from the bombing of Pearl Harbor.

The next two images are of the tower at the airfield.  It's in the process of being restored, and it was freshly painted within about the last year.

An old fire truck.