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January 2009

Old Honolulu Fun

Sarah B was commenting on an earlier post about Old Honolulu (Old from our small kid time) and mentioned how she hadn't heard "Checkers and Pogo" in ages and then she asked "Do you remember that big slide on Oahu? They used to advertise it all the time -- the kind you rode down on a piece of cloth?" 

Do I ever! That would be the Gibson Sky Slide and it was awesome! There was another one in Waipahu too.


Here is a little C&P for you:

God they are scary looking now!  How many times were you in the audience for that show? I think I went once or twice. So exciting.

In another site I found while looking for images, someone mentioned the San Francisco Rag Shop. That made me think of Jen cuz she always shopped there and I thought she had the coolest clothes ever. Remember the woman who worked at the Maui store with the LONG Hair? 

The same person on that random thread also mentioned a tv commercial for Ponderosa Pines "Call now-for sure!" That creaked my memory disks to life, wow.

Safety Graphic Fun - Now With More Traffic!


Thanks to many of my closest friends and readers for helping me get Safety Graphic Fun onto Neatorama earlier this week! The traffic flowing to the site is amazing and I've had many people send me their own images that I will be posting in the coming days/weeks. Hooray!

I've also created a page on Facebook for SFG, please check it out.Become a fan!

7 Things You Most Likely Didn't Know About Me -- Part II

Continuing from earlier...

2. TV Habits from my Youth

My favorite TV shows of the late 70s and early 80s were:
Battlestar Galactica -- swim practice ended at 6 and it took about 15 minutes to drive home and BSG started at 6:30. This was pre VCR people! I would RACE to my mom's bedroom on Tuesday nights, still in my damp suit and towel and watch. During the commercial I would run to the kitchen to get my dinner on a tray.

The A-Team. (Hmmm, Dirk Benedict was in this show too, I wonder if that had anything to do with it?) Don't know why, but I loved this show. Silly, wacky, funny with next to no redeeming features. LOVED IT!

Dukes of Hazzard. Oh yes. All that ridiculous driving and yeehawing! I even watched the spin off show, Enos. Amazingly, that show lasted a full season! Doubtful it would have lasted 2 episodes today.

And of course Magnum PI. That so totally goes without saying, but I'll say it anyway.

Oh and Parker Stevenson was my favorite Hardy Boy.

3. Driving habits

I'm a great driver and I only like having cars that are manual. And fast. (at some point I'll actually have a car like that again.) I find it shocking SHOCKING! that so many people I know don't even know HOW to drive stick. Seems insane. I know that finding new cars with a stickshift is getting harder and harder. Makes me sad. I like to drive. Oh and if I'm wearing slippers or something similar, I must take them off and drive barefoot. MUST.

4.  I always hope for a few minutes of time travel. 

When I'm in a place like England or Italy or DC, in a small village or in some historic quarter of a big city, I always secretly hope that *this time* I'll turn the corner and will have been transported back in time. Just for an hour or so. I just want to look around, see how it felt. 

5. Pen and paper

Many of you know my love for paper. Oh I love stationery and writing paper of all kinds. I spent about $200 of my per diem in Washington DC (in 2007) on paper. Most of it is already gone, used up, written on and mailed out. When I go to Italy, I don't spend money on shoes or clothes. I spend it on paper. Creamy beautiful Italian paper. Mmmmmmmm.

What you probably don't know is that I have a few old fashioned fountain pens  -- the kind with metal nibs (no, they don't have feathery plumes sticking up!) and pots of ink. And I use them to write with often. I love the ceremony aspect, setting up the ink bottle nearby, getting out the paper, gently dipping the pen into the ink, watching the ink slowly fade as it gets time to re-dip. Love it.

I don't care how expensive stamps might get or if I'm the only one left in the world, I will still be sending you hand written thank you notes when I'm 90.

6. Future Career

The first thing I ever remember wanting to be was a writer.

There are my 7 things. I will now send this along to others. 

I'm supposed to send to 7 people, but I'm just sending to six...

7 Things You Most Likely Didn't Know About Me -- Part I

I got tagged on a meme! Thank goodness because I don't know how much more you wanted to read about Chinese New Year and me cleaning my house.

There are rules though:

1. Link to the original tagger and list these rules in your post.

2. Share seven facts about yourself in the post.

3. Tag seven people at the end of the post, linking to all their blogs

4. Let them know they've been tagged.

My walking/blogging friend Will Campbell tagged me.

1. I learned how to fly when I was 15/16. 

(I wrote about flying in January of 2007, but that was a different post.)

I wanted to be an astronaut. I found out you probably had to be in the military so I figured Air Force Academy for college. I also figured why not learn to fly in high school so I'd be one step ahead. My parents were game, though it would cost some money and while I would work to pay for part of it, they would pitch in. I only found out later that my mom was terrified, but she never said so and was very supportive so off I went. 

David was my flight instructor and thank the gods. He was one of those magical amazing teachers who make you want to learn every single thing he has to teach. If all teachers were like him, man what a world we would live in. He was funny and positive and easy going and he loved to fly. And when we practiced landings he made time fly - pun intended. Flying for an hour in a circle on the same runway can get a bit dull as you practice various landing types. There are short field landings, soft field landings, high altitude landings and go-arounds. Go-arounds are when you are coming in for a landing but something at the last second makes you have to full-power it up and go around again without touching down. When we practiced for the full hour, we would be coming in on final approach and the David would say which type of landing we would be doing. And for go-arounds he would make me laugh because he would say "Oh NO! There's a huge herd of aardvarks (or water buffalo or ostriches, etc) on the runway, what do you do!?!?" So in between giggles: Flaps up, power up, nose up, go around.

David was a serious instructor and I always felt safe with him. When you learn to fly, from day one you sit in the pilot's seat (the left seat). The instructor can control the plane from his seat, but only does when necessary. As you get into the lessons, you, the student, fly most of the time. Only when the instructor needs to show you something do you hand over controls. And he says very clearly, "give me the controls" or "give me the airplane" and you do. It's smooth and relaxed and there are no sudden moves. Except one time when we were practicing landings. 

Kahului Airport (OGG) has two runways, the main runway 2 and the shorter runway 5. OGG is right near the ocean and runway 5 is parallel to it. Here is a view of OGG (Click for bigger):


Normal flight patterns at most airports go to the right but since we would practice for an hour, we would do left hand traffic to stay out of the way of the main traffic on runway 2 and we would fly over the ocean. So one day we were practicing and I turned the airplane downwind, over the water and Dave said suddenly and a bit loud "Give me the airplane." I took my hands and feet off the controls and tried to calm my breathing. What was going on? What was the emergency? Dave cranked the plane into a steep turn and said "Look at that HUGE MANTA RAY DOWN THERE!!" and pointed. I looked and damn if there wasn't a HUGE MANTA RAY!! down there! Seriously, it was amazing and we were up about 700 feet. When my heart attack subsided and Dave gave me the plane back, we laughed and he apologized. But I love love love that even while doing something serious, he made time for something so cool like that.

My first solo was September 2, 1983 at Hana Airport (where we would also practice landings). Dave said, "Stop on this next landing, I want to use the bathroom, you just taker her around 3 times and pick me up." WOOOOOT!!!! Solo! I was smiling and singing the whole time except for when I was saying on the radio "Hana Airport Traffic, Cessna 6243 Quebec on base for runway 8, touch and go." When I picked David up, he gave me a huge hug and said he was very proud of me. I didn't need the plane to fly back that day.

Dave left for bigger and better jobs about halfway through my instruction and my new instructor was dull. I started to get bored, I was 16 and realized I didn't want to be in the military and money was tight and I didn't get my pilot's license. I stopped flying. I loved it, don't really miss it but I do highly recommend it. Flying is not hard. Seriously. It's a blast. 

And David? He died in a plane crash somewhere on the mainland a few years later. There was an auto-pilot malfunction and he was gone. Thanks David L. Osman, you were a great teacher.


Me and 6243Q. (You can't see that I'm barefoot - I flew like I drive.)

Whew! I got so long winded on this one, I'm going to do the next 6 in a separate post and keep them shorter.

Chinese New Year's Eve

The week has been a blur of cleaning and scrubbing and polishing and dusting and clearing out. I have not gotten to every nook and cranny, but I am not disappointed with the results. I just hope the kitchen god is happy. We are celebrating with Chinese wonton soup and lots of rest (as Kurt has a cold). I also find myself humming "Auld Lang Syne" as well, which made me laugh when I realized *why* I was singing it. This really is my true "new year's eve".

Earlier in the week I honored some of my ancestors by polishing the silver trays that used to belong to my grandmother. The blue dutch oven on the stop top was hers as well. Mom was kind enough to pass it along to me and I look forward to using it very much.


Grace found and snapped this photo of a photo last week as well. Me and Jen at GrandmaJane and Papa Dick's house on Maui (the one next door to where mom lives now). I guess if Jen is/was* my older sister she counts as an ancestor. ?? No matter what, I like this picture.  Thanks Grace!


*I've gotten to that strange place of stumbling between present and past tense about Jen. 

Here is to 2009 and here is to 4707. Much luck to all of you and all of your loved ones, past, present and future.

Gung Hei Fat Choy!

Friday Catch Up and JPL

I over scheduled myself these last two weeks. They were all good things, doctors appointments, lunches and coffees and dinners with friends, exercising, and cleaning cleaning cleaning. As Monday is the Chinese New Year (or CNY as a friend from Beijing says), I will continue the cleaning today and over the weekend. I do have a few hours of paying work to do this morning first, so I'll get that out of the way as quick as possible.

One of the things I did on Wednesday evening was a Tweetup at JPL.  I had been following the Mars Phoenix Lander on Twitter (you can too) and got caught up with the drama of it's short life span and experiments. I started following other missions as well, (like the Mars Rovers Opportunity and Spirit who both landed on Mars in January 2004 for only a three month mission. They are still going strong five years later!) And then JPL announced a Tweetup and I hovered over my keyboard at the moment you could sign up to go. The evening was inspiring and exciting and never have my tax dollars felt more cool. In the auditorium where we gathered, there was a life sized model of Voyager. Check us out:


Here is the golden map on Voyager that (somehow) shows a map back to our solar system for whomever might find Voyager in the future, way out there.

Voyager 1 and 2 have been out there for 32 years and are at the edge of our solar system and still going. They send back small packets of data now and then. I love the idea of these tiny beacons still voyaging on.

That was a fun night. I'll be writing up more about it on Metblogs this weekend.

Now back to paying work and cleaning!

O Goody!

I am amazed at how happy I feel with PRESIDENT OBAMA in office. Gods, I love saying "President Obama"!! I spent the morning at Sarah's for Obamimosas and yummy treats brought by many women who came together to watch this historic moment. Then my New Yorker came today with this cover:

_The First_

The image is called "The First" and is by Drew Friedman. I totally dig it.

I twittered throughout the inauguration, here are some of the highlights:

I am at a friend's watching the events and on the way over was already tearing up!

OMG here we go!!

If I were Obama, I'd be doing cartwheels!

HE's Human and president! (When he stumbled a bit while saying the oath)

I feel like the weight of a man sized safe has been lifted from my shoulders. (if you need the reference, here's a great one.)

Grateful grateful grateful.

Amen Mr. Lowery!!

Maybe now I can finally feel good about bringing children into the world!!

Now for the inauguration luncheon -- is it like a wedding where President Obama and Michelle will have to remember to eat?

Does anyone know what Obama's secret service code name is? 

Today is such an exciting day I almost forgot I'll be going to JPL tomorrow for the tweet up!!

And I'm enjoying watching our new President and his wife dance at various balls and parties. They are vibrant and young and gorgeous and I'm really really pleased. 

Now the real work begins: "Progress, Not Perfection."

Preparing For The New Year

1197028975858hOw The Chinese new year, that is. 

Starting Janaury 26, it will be the year 4707 and the year of the Ox. My preparations include cleaning the house very thoroughly. Cleaning sweeps away the bad luck and makes room for the good luck to come in the new year. Getting a haircut before the new year is also good luck and I have one scheduled on the 22nd. 

The general forecast for the year of the Ox is:

The OX year is a conservative year, one of traditions and values. This is not a year to be outrageous. A slow but steady year.
This OX year will bring stability and growth where patience and diligence pays off.
This is a year of Harvest - when we reap what we have sown. Take care of business this year, do not let things slide.

I like this forecast. I can be slow and steady, one foot in the front of the other to get things done. After last year, I'm not looking for outrageous acts. 

Get cleaning!