Wednesday, January 30, 2008

Squadron Raises $1000 at Hickam Car Wash

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On just about any Saturday or Sunday afternoon, the parking lot between Burger King and the Commissary on Hickam AFB is the place to go to get your car washed. Each unit on the base is allowed to hold two fundraisers per quarter, and washing cars is by far the most profitable method many how found.

Labor is provided on a volunteer basis, and money is collected via donations, which usually average between $5 and $10 per car.

It's generally a semi-fun day for the volunteers. As long as you have a decent sized organization, there's usually enough people washing and drying each car to keep the line moving along pretty quickly. And if nothing else, you almost always go home with a tan.

Organizations generally raise anywhere between $800 and $1500 during a 6-8 hour day. The money goes toward things like holiday parties, going away gifts, and flowers in the event of births and/or illnesses.

So, next time you're driving through Hickam on a weekend, pull on through and get your car washed. Your car will appreciate it, and you'll be contributing to a good cause.

Keep havin FuN!
Todd

flickr photo link
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Monday, January 28, 2008

Picture of Hawaii Rainbow over Diamond Head

Hawaiian Rainbow

I've written in the past about some of the Prices of Living in Paradise, such as hawaii traffic jams.

But then, I catch a day where the drive home includes a view like you see above (and the cool part is, it's really pretty common).

This picture was taken at the beach about 10 minutes from my house in Iroquois Point. It's a nice relaxing place to go, with palm trees, and nice view of Diamond Head.

Definitely makes me feel "Lucky Live Hawaii".

:)
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Saturday, January 26, 2008

Aerial Picture Above Diamond Head

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I took this picture from the window of a C-26 on the way back from a trip to the Big Island of Hawaii. I liked the way the light was hitting Diamond Head. You can also see all the hotels, and the beaches along Waikiki and Ala Mona.
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Friday, January 25, 2008

How to Drive on Fort Weaver Road

I just wanted to follow up on my earlier Fort Weaver Road Rage with a few pictures, and a bit of advice ... (that I learned the hard way).

If you live if Ewa Beach, or have ever visited anybody down this way, the following picture will not be an unfamiliar sight to you ...

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This is the view from just under the H-1 freeway at about 4:45 in the afternoon. As you can see, the cars are well backed up across the Farrington Hwy overpass. If you're faced with this view, the main thing to remember, is DO NOT get in the left hand lane. For about the first 3 weeks I lived in Iroquois Point, I made this mistake on my way home in the afternoons. It ended up costing me about an extra 20 minutes every day.

Once you get over Farrington Hwy, you'll be faced with another decision as you approach the stoplight near the Hospital:

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At this point, I'm in the right hand lane, but notice that at the bottom of the over pass, it actually becomes 4 lanes (before merging back into 2 a couple hundred yards up the road, after the stoplight). If it was a little earlier in the day, I would definitely want to get over as far to the right as I could ... that lane moves fastest for some reason. However, on a day like this, when there are already quite a few cars merging in from Farrington Highway, you're probably better off just staying in this lane, or even getting over to the left.

Unfortunately, no matter what you do, it's probably going to take at least 20 minutes to get to the point where the road becomes two lanes again:

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At this point, it really doesn't matter whether you're in the right or left lane ... although, the right lane does still seem to move a little quicker.

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As you approach the merge with Old Fort Weaver Road, this is definitely the point where you'll want to get in the left hand lane. And, baring any accidents or traffic light malfunctions, this is also where your drive is getting ready to be a lot better. Just around this curve you can see in the distance to the left, traffic usually thins out, and you can make the remainder of your drive at normal speed.

The are currently doing construction to add another lane to this area of Fort Weaver Road. And, the North South road a little further west towards Kapolei is due to open in a few years. Both of these should help to ease the congestion. But in the mean time, I suppose it's just something we have to live with ... the price of paradise.

I hope you find these pictures and tips helpful. If you've got any tips to share, please leave a comment.

Keep havin FuN!
Todd
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Sunday, January 20, 2008

Doesn't Anybody Stop at Crosswalks Anymore?

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We're barely halfway through the first month of 2008, and there have already been 3 pedestrian fatalities here on the Island of Oahu. Apparently, these accidents are not always the driver's fault. But, with the weather being so good here in Hawaii, we have so many people walking that our pedestrian problems get magnified.

I will tell you one thing I've noticed (both here in Hawaii, and pretty much everywhere else I've lived in the past 10 years or so), Everybody is in Such A Hurry. I know when I was younger, one thing I was taught about driving is that a person in the crosswalk has the right of way ... ie, cars should yield at a crosswalk.

Well, if you've ever tried to cross a street lately, this concept is laughable.

I've had people look right at me, and actually speed up instead of stopping. Even worse than that, when I've been in my car, and stopped at a crosswalk to let pedestrians go, I'm not kidding you, cars have tried to go around me ... in the process almost running over the poor pedestrians I was trying to be nice to.

Sometimes you just can't win for trying.

It sure would be nice if everybody would just learn to slow down. That extra couple of seconds isn't really going to make that much of a difference. Anyway, I'm rambling a bit now. My point is, next time you see somebody on the side of the road waiting to cross, show a bit of aloha and stop let them go.

Maybe if enough of us get back to setting a good example, some of the "old" driving rules will start to catch on again.

Todd
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Saturday, January 19, 2008

Broncos NFL Cheerleaders Hold Youth Clinic at Pearl Harbor

The Denver Broncos NFL Cheerleaders were in Hawaii today. Starting at 9:30 this morning, they put on a youth cheerleading clinic for local girls squads from around the Island.

About a 150 parents and aspiring young cheerleaders were in attendance to see these real life "famous" (as one young girl put it) NFL Dancers.

My daughter's Iroquois Point Elementary School's team was among invitees.
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They started off the clinic by teaching the girls several new dance moves:
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Then the girls used their new cheerleading moves to put on a quick show for the parents:
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After the dance lessons, it was question and answer time. The girls came up with some great questions, such as "how old are you?", "when did you start dancing?", and "what do you like best about being an NFL cheerleader?".
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It took one of the coaches to come up with a "teaching" question: "How often do you practice?, and what kind of dedication does it take".
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Then, it was time to line up for autographed pictures (something the dads had been waiting for):
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You can see more pictures on my Flickr page

Keep havin FuN!
Todd
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Friday, January 18, 2008

5 Reasons to Start a Local Niche Blog Today

Have you started a blog about your local area yet?

Mine is just a little over a week old; and so far, I really love writing about Hawaii.

Plus, I've discovered a few hidden benefits, that are helping me break out of my recent "blogging funk". See if you can relate to any of these ...

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5 Reasons You Should Start a Local Blog Today:

  1. It's Very easy to come up with new things to write about. Most of us have interesting news, events, and scenes happening all around us every day.

  2. Your readers are more likely to encounter something "unique". Unlike with the echo chamber of blogs about blogging, or "making money online", depending on how large your community is, you may be one of only a few (or possibly even the only) bloggers writing about your subjects.

  3. May be easier to get search engine traffic. As I said, after only a couple of days, I'm already having people find my specific posts on the search engines.

  4. It provides you a good excuse to get out in your local community. Meet your neighbors, and explore all the great things that your city or town has to offer.

  5. And last but not least ... It Gets You OFF The Computer !!!! (sometimes blogging can easily take over your life if you're not careful)


Keep havin FuN!
Todd
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Wednesday, January 16, 2008

The Honolulu Zoo

One of my favorite places on the entire Island of Oahu is the Honolulu Zoo.

It's not by any means a big zoo. But, it's wide open, with lots of places for the kids to run around and play. And, the best part is, if the day's a little too hot, Waikiki beach is right across the street.

Oh yea, and did I forget to mention that it's probably the most affordable zoo I've ever been to?

A yearly family pass can be had for as little as $25. And even for those who are just visiting the Island, it's just $8 for the day.

It's located all the way down at the end of Waikiki, just under Diamond Head. And is open from 9am-4:30pm daily. Check out HonoluluZoo.org for more details.

Here are a few of my pictures from a day at the zoo:

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Tuesday, January 15, 2008

Riding the Iroquios Point to Pearl Harbor Grey Boat


All this week, I'm attending a computer class at Hickam AFB. Seeing as how I live in Iroquois Point, all the way at the end of Ewa Beach, this presents me with the possibility of getting stuck in traffic jams and "enjoying" the comfort of my car for at least an hour each way.

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Fortunately, courtesy of my military ID card, I have another option ...

Because this used to be military housing, the Navy still runs a shuttle boat between the dock on our side of Pearl Harbor, and several stops over on the Navy base. Since the Navy base is connected to Hickam, I just left my car on that side and have been enjoying nice 20 minute boat rides for the past two days ... and avoiding the traffic.

The boat leaves the dock at Iroquois point several times between 5am and 6:30am in the morning. And runs back the other ways every hour between 2:30 and 6:30pm. Anybody with a military ID card can ride the Grey Boat, but active duty Navy and Navy DOD civilian employees have priority. If you're in Iroquois Point, they have have schedules you can pick up in the resident services office.

One of the reasons I'm making this post is because I couldn't find this information last week when I searched for it. I'm by no means and expert Grey Boat rider after only a couple of days.

Hope you found this helpful.


Todd

Here's a couple of pictures of the boat docked on the Iroquois Point side.

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Monday, January 14, 2008

More Flower Pictures from Waimea Falls

Here are a couple more Flower Pictures from Waimea Falls Hawaii.

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Flower Pictures from Waimea Falls Hawaii

These are some pictures that I took during a day hike at Waimea Falls Park on the North Shore of Oahu. A camera is a must have item here in Hawaii. All of these pictures were taken with my Canon 20D, using a Sigma 50-500mm Lens.

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A Free Wedding in Hawaii

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Local News Coverage

I was at a wedding yesterday for two friends from work. I can honestly say, it was one of the nicer weddings I've ever attended.



The ceremony took place at the Hilton Hawaiian Village's Ocean Crystal Chapel. The reception followed right next door at the Hale Koa (Hawaii's military only hotel).

What made this wedding kind of unique is that it was almost totally Free.

You see, Cory and Lisa spent Jan-Oct of last year with me, deployed to Iraq. While they were over there, Lisa was surfing the Internet almost daily, searching for a wedding planner to help organize the dream wedding that she'd been saving for. Much to her surprise, one of the wedding planners she contacted was actually looking to do something to show here support for the troops, and offered her services Free of Charge. Not only that, but she also got most of the other vendors to donate their services as well.

... which very much helped to make Cory and Lisa Smith two of the happiest veterans on the Island yesterday.
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Fort Weaver Road Rage

I'm a pretty calm guy. I really never used to get too upset when I'm driving. Until I moved to Iroquois Point, all the way at the end of Ewa Beach.

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Fort Weaver Road would give a Saint Road Rage.

I live 16 miles from Wheeler Army Airfield, where I work. It takes me anywhere between 30 and 45 minutes to get to work in the morning (I leave my house around 6:30am). In the afternoon (I leave work at 4:30pm) it's a good day if I make it home in 45 minutes ... right around 1 hour is much more normal.

There's a bottle neck at the top of the road, near the Hospital. It can sometimes take 15 or 20 minutes to travel about a mile, at the wrong time of day.

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One thing that's unique about driving on Ft. Weaver road (and Hawaii in general) is that you usually move faster through traffic if you stay as far to the Right as you can. This totally counterintuitive. The first week or so that I was driving home, I did what I thought was normal, and got in the far left lane ... which increase my drive time by at least 10 minutes.

Now, as soon as I come over the Farrington Highway overpass, I get as far to the right as possible.

Over time, I've found a few good radio stations that keep me interested on the long drive home. This has helped a bit. And truth be told, I don't really get mad at the other drivers. But ...

I have absolutely no love for Gentry homes (who've built a couple thousand new houses in Ewa Beach over the past few years), and the politicians who approved all this building without first making sure we had the infrastructure to support it.

Oh well, I can this is just a little more of the price we pay for Living in Paradise.

Keep havin FuN!
Todd
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Sunday, January 13, 2008

Luau Fire Eater

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Even for those of us who are lucky enough to Live in Hawaii going to a Luau is great fun. Fortunately, we have one (Germaine's Luau) about 20 minutes down the road from our house in Ewa Beach. Of course I brought my camera along. Some of my favorite pictures were of the Fire Eater.

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Hawaii Mountain Sunset

The sun setting over the mountains near Kailua Bay, on the Island of Oahu.

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p.s. if you'd like information about how to obtain the full resolution version of any of my images, please drop me a message through my Contact Form
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Thursday, January 3, 2008

Why we Didn't Drink on New Year's Eve

first baby picture

Between my 3 kids, and Ana's 2 ... this new one will officially qualify us as the "Brady Bunch" :-)

Keep havin FuN!
Todd
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