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13 October, 2003

I'm Outta Here

This will be my last post for a while. Tomorrow we're starting a 10-day vacation in Hawaii. Specifically, the island of Kauai.

The Excel books are finished, and it's time for a break. Ten days without a computer, and ten days without email. I'm going on record here. I predict that I'll have more than 5,000 spam emails waiting for me when I return.

So, check back again sometime around the 27th. Or, just keep showing up every day and read the archives.

Expect lots of photos. We're bringing two cameras and a gigabyte of memory.

Posted on 13 October, 2003

Happy Birthday Dear Blog

Today is the first anniversary of the J-Walk Blog -- sort of. The archives begin on 14 October, 2002, but the first actual post occurred on 16 October (it took me two days to figure out what to say).

So let's just make it a three-day celebration. Buy some booze and a party hat, and take a few days off. Tell your boss that it's OK with me.

Posted on 13 October, 2003

Astronomy Picture

Here's another great one from the Astronomy Picture of the Day site.

Though it looks like something from the imagination of a science fiction artist, this is an actual photograph from the Canada-France-Hawaii Telescope in Hawaii.

The Horsehead Nebula, embedded in the vast and complex Orion Nebula, is seen in this representative-color image from the Canada-France-Hawaii Telescope in Hawaii. The dark molecular cloud, roughly 1,500 light years distant, is visible only because its obscuring dust is silhouetted against another, brighter nebula. The prominent horse head portion of the nebula is really just part of a larger cloud of dust which can be seen extending toward the bottom of the picture.

Credit and Copyright: Jean-Charles Cuillandre (CFHT), Hawaiian Starlight, CFHT

Posted on 13 October, 2003

How To Throw A Wild Luau

If you're like most people, you want your luaus to be wild. That's why you need to go to the How To Throw a WILD Luau! site.

This picture shows Bob at his first luau. Now that's wild!

Posted on 13 October, 2003

Gasoline Prices

From AAA: Retail Gasoline Prices By State. The cheapest gas is in Georgia ($1.38/gallon). The most expensive is in Hawaii ($2.11/gallon).

This chart, from the Energy Information Administration, shows how nationwide gas prices have fluctuated since April, 2001. The low point in the chart is December, 2001 -- a few months after the terrorist attack.

Posted on 13 October, 2003

Hawaiian Rules

I have no idea where these came from (they're reproduced all over the Web).

  • Never judge a day by the weather.
  • The best things in life aren't things.
  • Tell the truth - there's less to remember.
  • Speak softly and wear a loud shirt.
  • Goals are deceptive - the unaimed arrow never misses.
  • He who dies with the most toys - still dies.
  • Age is relative - when you're over the hill, you pick up speed.
  • There are 2 ways to be rich - make more or desire less.
  • Beauty is internal - looks mean nothing.
  • No rain - no rainbows.

Posted on 13 October, 2003

Cocktail Umbrellas

Did you ever wonder who invented the cocktail umbrella?

And, believe it or not, cocktail umbrellas are controversial (see The Cocktail Umbrella Controversy).

The cocktail umbrella has a reputation for being a sign of frivolity and general bad taste. This is a matter of opinion, of course, and one can argue that a tropical cocktail with an umbrella invokes more memories or images of sun-drenched destinations than a plain one. Recognizing that the appearance is an absolutely vital element of the art and culture of making cocktails, the cocktail umbrella seems set to remain an institution in many cocktail drinking circles for a long time to come!

And, just in case you're wondering, the domain cocktailumbrellas.com is already taken. They sell cocktail umbrellas (25 for $6.99). For the bargain-minded, you can get a better deal here.

Posted on 13 October, 2003

Taj Majal

One of my favorite CDs of all time is Taj Majal's Hula Blues. It's a unique combination of blues and Hawaiian music.

The songs here are showcasin' what can happen when like-minded people from different backgrounds (here we have Afro-Caribbean, Afro-American, Pacific Islander, Portuguese and other European ancestries) are creating a cultural blend full of joy, love, and harmony. At it's very core it is the existing universal language of music. Some songs are new and written with the group in mind; others are songs you've heard in southern blues style. These are the words, now listen and if you will, please enjoy the music. Peace and good vibes - Taj Mahal

He has another CD in the same vein, called Hanapepe Dream (which I haven't heard).

Unfortunately, all of his recordings are on labels that are affiliated with the RIAA.

Posted on 13 October, 2003

The Gecko Network

Resources for gecko enthusiasts: The Gecko Network. The photo here shows Jubei, the Gecko of the Month for May, 2003.

Posted on 13 October, 2003

Kauai, 1997

The last time I was on Kauai was in 1997. Back in those days I had a film camera - a manual-everything Nikon FM. I took quite a few photos on the trip, and I had all of the images transferred to Photo CDs.

I hadn't looked at those images in several years, and I was surprised to see how bad they were. I guess my photographic skills have improved over the years. Or, more likely, it's just much easier to get acceptable shots when using a digital camera.

In any case, here are few of the better shots from 1997 (click to see a larger version).


Posted on 13 October, 2003

50 Facts

Fifty facts about Hawaii. A few examples:

Hawaii is the most isolated population center on the face of the earth. Hawaii is 2,390 miles from California; 3,850 miles from Japan; 4,900 miles from China; and 5,280 miles from the Philippines.

The Hawaiian Islands are the projecting tops of the biggest mountain range in the world.

Nihau is a privately owned island, with livestock raising as its principal industry. There is highly limited access by general public through helicopter landings at uninhabited sites. Legend says Niihau was the original home of the goddess Pele. The island has a population of 230, and is 69 square miles.

Posted on 13 October, 2003

Underwater Photos

View some nice underwater pictures here and here.

Posted on 13 October, 2003

The History of Hawaiian Punch

Serious scholars of history might be interested in this: Hawaiian Punch History.

In 1934 A.W. Leo, Tom Yates and Ralph Harrison developed the first Hawaiian Punch recipe in a converted garage in Fullerton, Calif. They wanted a tropical-tasting syrup to add to their line of ice cream toppings sold under the trade name Pacific Citrus Products Company.

"Leo's Hawaiian Punch," as the brand was called at the time, was sold to area restaurants, soda fountains and ice cream manufacturers. The "Leo's" was dropped from the yellow beverage several years later.

Posted on 13 October, 2003

Uke Chords

Here's a handy list of common ukulele chords.

Posted on 13 October, 2003

Aloha Music Camp

Slack key guitarist Keola Beamer will be among those hosting the 2004 Aloha Music Camp, on the island of Molokai.

Join us for a week long immersion into the music and culture of Old Hawai`i in an incomparable setting right on the beach on the magical Island of Moloka`i. Study with the Masters of the Hawaiian Slack Key Guitar, learn the dances and songs that give life to the land, explore Hawaiian language and culture.

Posted on 13 October, 2003

Vintage Hawaiian Shirts

A nice collection of vintage Hawaiian Shirts.

I once theorized a workable plan for world peace...you just issue every soldier on both sides a beautiful bright Hawaiian shirt--a different shirt for each soldier. Everyone would be so relaxed and contented that the idea of killing each other would be the last thing on any of their minds.

His comments on the shirt shown here:

The vertical border print is considered by many collectors to be the most desirable of all the vintage patterns. This is one of my favorites. It really has an outstanding three dimensional quality to it, and the colors are incredible.

Posted on 13 October, 2003

Kilauea Photos

Some great shots of lava flow at the Kilauea Volcano.

Posted on 13 October, 2003

KKCR

No matter where you are, you can listen to KKCR  -- Kauai Community Radio.

Kauai Community Radio (KKCR) is the only community based non-commercial radio station on the Hawaiian Islands. Music heard on KKCR reflects the broad spectrum of Kauai's community. Programming includes Hawaiian, Jazz, Blues, Rock, Reggae, Classical and World artists.

Posted on 13 October, 2003

Novelty Shades

A good assortment of unusual sunglasses.

Posted on 13 October, 2003