It's true. This guys rips. He's right-brained like me. His thoughts are scattered like mine. He's weird like me. Those were the only reasons why I liked Dane. Now throw in that pile of qualities, the fact that he's honest enough to air out his dirty laundry and knows that this will propel him into galaxial (if that is even a word,) potential. Good on you Dane for being honest with yourself and taking a step to improve in the face of public pressure. Check it out: Marine Layer Productions

I told myself, if I don't do it now, I will never blog my Japan 2011. With all of the work and MBA related activities I've had in the recent weeks, it's been relatively busy, to put it lightly.  Japan is a wonderful place to visit and with relatives there, it's all the more special. 

I'm all about a feel good story. A story that reminds you about life. A story that humbles you and enforces the fact that you're your biggest competitor, critic, and cheerleader. A reminder that while we try to avoid the daily resistance, pressures, and battle wounds, they mold you into the person that you are and these things are absotively necessary. A story that emphasizes how short life is when you have great things to accomplish. A reminder that your perception dictates if the glass is half full or half empty. A story that tells you that you're not the only one who experiences failures. A story that says, "If we learn anything, let it be that the positive impact of Andy and all our friends who are gone brings us closer to the ones and the things that we love right here, right now." What story? THIS ONE.

Congratulations to Kelly Slater, 11-time World Champion!


Sick album alert!

"Get into trouble, make mistakes, fight, love, live" - D'Artagnan's father; 3 Musketeers.

As our Hawaii Primary Care Association annual conference came to a close, a speaker quoted Maya Angelou, "There is no greater agony than bearing an untold story inside you." So true. As I thought about my role in Health Information Technology, it became, once again, apparent that we HIT'ers must deliver the right amount of technology at the right time, to the right people, and in the right place. Let's face it, we techies have a tendency to get a little crazy with technology. We, sometimes, provide technology that is overkill or too much for the user(s) to utilize. We, sometimes, spend little time understanding the user and deliver the wrong technology. We need to make sure the technology we deliver is appropriate for the situation and is good for the "system" or organization. Technology such as the electronic medical record must be used to capture data and the data must be displayed and delivered to everyone who can make a difference in the health care of the nation or else... Otherwise, what are we doing all of this for?

Heavy...

My brain is on autopilot. It is independent (of me). It thinks what it wants. And when it wants. It is tangential and random (and often, loony). Today, while preparing for our company's annual conference, it remembered word visualization and word clouds. It decided to take a break and copy the last 2 paragraphs of my previous SYRV IX Adventure in Nicaragua blog and create a Wordle word cloud. A commonly used marketing technique, a word cloud attempts to take text and transform it into an image. Here is the result. My brain is happy. Try Wordle for yourself.

Wordle: NicaBlog



Here are some essentials for the traveling surfer, or at least some of the important stuff I brought to Nica - towel, boardshorts, surfboard wax, sunscreen, camera, sketch pad and pen, toothbrush, toothpaste, cash, WiFi-accessible phone, Flor De Cana rum (purchased there), Advil (for morning after), water (attained there), sunnies, hat (courtesy of SYRV and Monique Evans), carbohydrate/protein energy drink mix (no that's not cocaine), and of course, not pictured - your favorite surfboards.

I had to post a few pictures of the meals we had in Nicaragua. Majority of the ingredients were fresh. It seemed as though there was little use of preservatives and "additives." We even had fried chicken from a gas station, Esso, that was tender and tasted "pure," as if the chicken was not pumped full of hormones.

Late August 2011, I traveled to Nicaragua to volunteer with SYRV, an organization dedicated to providing clean water for the rural residents of Nicaragua. The global water crisis is more serious than I knew and this trip was an eye-opening experience. Many ask how I ended up volunteering in Nicaragua. And it goes a lil' sumthin' like theeeeeeees...


I've been working on my continuous line drawings, specifically of people and their facial and body expressions. Most recently, I've been inspired by Nora MacPhail and her wonderful single line and watercolor. After taking a step back from my most recent work, I think I need to work on using less lines and capturing more of the expression(s).

My homie, Del, recently sent me a link to a blog called Fluent in 3 months. The author Benny has 29 profound lessons, that he has learned on his 8 year travel. I have always had the same ideas floating around in my brain, in a disorganized array and to see the ideas laid out like Benny has, was refreshing! I think I will take each one of his ideas and elaborate on them as time goes on. Thanks Benny!

Life Lessons by Benny the Irish Polygot - Fluentin3months

*sniff* *sniff* This was a "little" fella who grew out of my worm bin, and I decided to remove it and give it, its own home. After growing roughly 2 feet tall, and leaning over the pot, it needed some help in standing up, and so I retrieved 2 pieces of driftwood, as uprights. Today, it is doing well and may soon need taller uprights. Hopefully soon, I will be able to harvest the tomatoes. They grow up so fast.

The saying normally goes, "if you don't stand up for something, you stand up for nothing." The question I have is... If I support a side, am I encouraging a divide?

I attend Toastmasters because I have a public speaking deficiency and recognize that it is largely, due to my insecurities. One way of improving upon these insecurities is through what people refer to as, "fake it until you make it." Just like surfing or any other activity, through repetition, you can develop more comfort in what you do. Additionally, scrutiny of your results, unabated honesty WITH YOURSELF, correction of your mistakes, re-evaluation of your goals, humility, and the courage to self-motivate, is necessary if you want to be a better YOU.

Tonight, I witnessed a new member give his first speech. It's never an easy one, even though the topic is you. There's rarely a time when I get up in front of a crowd or speak to a small group of friends and not be nervous. This individual not only gave his first, "icebreaker" speech. He spoke about the infidelity of his father and the drug use and ultimate death of his beloved brother. Not many of us would have the courage talk about these unpleasant matters, or expose ourselves and admit that they occur within our families. Yet, he did all of the above. Thank you for the inspiration.


I found a pretty good picture of a fire-burning stove at one of the Haleakala cabins. The cabins are also equipped with press board logs, so you don't have to forage for firewood. These stoves are dang effective for heating up the cabins and you simply have to make sure that someone throws in a few more logs during the course of the night. I remember having a hard time falling asleep one night, because of the heat, and waking up, sweating profusely. And just so my insurance agent can rest assured, I will confess that my fire-starting skills suck.

Maybe I should stop sketching randomly, on scrap pieces of paper and actually create pieces that I plan to frame and hang on the wall. Somehow, my random sketches come out better than "planned" sketches - sort of like that date you got all gussied-up for and didn't go well versus the "Ima just hang out with a friend," and you two hit it off. I guess I'll keep on sketching randomly...








I really didn't know what to expect of our Haleakala hiking trip. With all of my recent projects, school-work, research, recreational reading, and confidence in my travel buddies' enthusiasm and research abilities, I left the details to them. What I experienced, as a result, was beauty in diversity.

After flying in and having dinner at the Flatbread Company (they have the sickest pizza!), we drove up to Hosmer Campgrounds, and crashed out. The following day, we had breakfast at Kula Lodge, made our way to the visitor center so that we could check in, parked one car at the finish line, and parked the other at the start. It was cold. It was supercalifragilisticexpialidocious, cold (for a sea-level Oahu boy). I have walked through clouds on a few occasions and this was no less exceptional! We, then, walked and walked and walked. We walked all the way to the Kapalaoa cabins. Remember how I said there was diversity? From the barren environment and the cold and wet of the clouds, we traversed to a warmer climate, and the amount of vegetation and wildlife, increased. Everyone was in high spirits and didn't seem to mind the foot, back, leg, and shoulder aches that started to surface. As we descended towards Paliku cabin, the moisture and cold ramped up and so did the vegetation and wildlife, including an abundance of many ferns and an increasing number of Nene geese. From the Kapalaoa cabin, the various hiking paces emerged and somewhere in between Kapalaoa cabin and Paliku cabin, Kelley, Amber, and I got lost from the pack(s); or rather, there was a "diversion" - kind of like life. =) When we arrived, weary from our travels, the gang applauded - nothing like being loved. They had already started to prepare dinner - a wonderful pasta, tomato, broccoli, chicken, and spice medley, adorned with "homemade" garlic bread, from Costco. The night was a blast. We laughed, we got to know each other (how can you not, with 12 bunks in a single room), played cards (I, being an amateur card player, if that), talked story, shared, and listened to music. I had a great time - a big Mahalo to the gang! Mike may have been a little gung-ho with the firewood because it was freakin' hot, that night in the cabin. A few of us had a hard time sleeping and Yovin, who braved the top bunk laughed in delirium until he finally rested, for 3 total hours.





























In the morning, Kelley made a rice gruel with scallops - delish! Half of us parted, and they made their way out the Kaupo Gap, to a ride that was waiting for them, on the highway. Our original plan was to hike up to Holua campgrounds and stay the night there but, being that we would backtrack twice, in the following days, the consensus was to stay at the Paliku cabin, wait to see if the next group would allow us to stay, and if not, camp at the campgrounds. A few groups stopped by, one group being a bunch of nudists (just kidding), who were pretty cool. After hiking a bit of the way down the Kaupo Trail and diverting to a waterfall, we hiked back to the cabin, invited them in, and talked story - another great group of individuals with lots of good vibes. Another group of campers came by, and we invited them in as well. As the evening approached, we were excited about the possibility that the group who had reserved the cabin, was not going to show. We had roughly 15 people in the cabin, all kinds of food, sharing of knot-tying techniques, recipe-sharing, sips of whiskey and tequila, and more. Then, at 7:30, when we were extremely confident that the next group would not show, they appeared. We got kicked the you-know-what out. It was okay because I had a chance to share a small and (supposedly,) 2-man tent with another snoring man who farts and talks in his sleep, in what seemed to be 40 degree weather, instead of a warm cabin with a fireplace and a bunk to myself. That was sarcasm, folks.

The next day I woke up and bleary-eyed, I made my way to the outhouse (aka: composting toilet). The early morning and evening seems to be the best time to use the outhouse because the cold temperature keeps the flies away. I know. That wasn't exactly what you wanted to hear but that, out of all the crap (no pun intended) in this post, is probably the most important information I can give you. After a good hour or so, we all woke up, packed, said our goodbyes to the nudists, fellow campers, and people who stole our cabin (just kidding). We made our way to Kapaloa cabin, again experiencing the diverse weather, vegetation, and wildlife. We had another wonderful and gluttonous lunch, courtesy of Mike, who brought tuna, tortillas, cheese, and veggies to make wraps. I fell asleep (as I always do) as my fellow hikers played cards, wandered the outskirts of the cabin, and took pictures of me and probably wiped boogers on my face while I slept. We woke up and went for a stroll to Pele's Paint Pot and a 65 foot deep cavern that was said to be the place where the Hawaiians of back-in-the-day, threw the afterbirth of their children, with the belief that anyone who attained the afterbirth could control the child. That evening, we had a siiiiiiick pasta/stew, brownies, and hot chocolate, courtesy of Amber and Angel. We watched the sunset, played with the cameras and long exposure, played charades (and acted out "penis", thanks to Del), and made candles using the remaining wax found in the kitchen. If you are planning to check out these cabins, I suggest bringing some wicks to re-make candles using the leftover wax from old candles - something fun to pass the time.





























The following day, we woke up to my (kind of) cuisine (peanut butter and jelly sammiches), that Amber was nice enough to assemble. We then, trekked to Holua cabin, hung out for about an hour, checked out the lava tube(s), and hiked out to the car.





























The pictures you see display the beauty in environmental diversity of Haleakala, but the real story was the beauty of the diverse people who were there. There were people who seemed uptight and inflexible, people who were nonchalant and lackadaisical, immature people, people who seemed as though they had something to prove, people who seemed overly defensive, people who were passive-aggressive, people who seemed to pride themselves on independence, and more. Disclaimer: this list of qualities includes me - I am a work in progress. =) Also, all of these qualities may have been skewed, based on different perspectives, and all were absolutely necessary. These same people were also highly organized, respectfully honest, genuine, full of various perspectives, soulful, positive, funny, and if you really paid attention and thought, people indirectly reminded you of your dislikes and likes. Thank you to my fellow hikers. I had an awesome time!

Ok. I've had a few Tecates (which were referred to as Mexican road flares, tonight) and right now, it is 12:10AM, May 21, 2011 - the end of the world. I am not a believer of this theory and if it comes then so be it. I try to live everyday like it's my last. The question I have is this... What happens if your religion or belief is that May 21st is the end of the world and it isn't. What happens tomorrow? Does your religion turn to stone? What do you believe? Is it like the story of the Boy Who Cried Wolf? Are you disappointed? Seriously, what happens to the legitimacy of your "guiding principles"? I say don't worry about the day of reckoning; each of our days will come. Live life and drink Mexican road flares. =)

I came across an ad in the Transworld Surf magazine and decided to check out their site. What this company has been doing is a stellar job and if anyone wants to plan a trip out somewhere that needs water filters like this, give me a holler!

http://www.wavesforwater.org/

I use the word, harbinger, to isolate the man, Osama Bin Laden from all that he represents, because I am a little torn. A friend on Facebook posted a statement by Martin Luther King Jr., "I mourn the loss of thousands of precious lives, but I will not rejoice in the death of one, not even an enemy. Returning hate for hate multiplies hate, adding deeper darkness to a night already devoid of stars. Darkness cannot drive out darkness: only light can do that. Hate cannot drive out hate: only love can do that." I'm caught somewhere in between this, and, "good riddance to the fucker who killed so many beautiful people, in this world." I do not wish death upon anyone however, this individual represented a hatred so deep, dark, and amplified that it tainted his religion and killed so many people. When humans come across a rabid dog, we catch it and kill it because we deem that it can not be rehabilitated, in order to coexist with the beings on earth. Similarly, the hatred, the actions, and the person could not be separated and all had to be removed. I am confident that we killed one man and in doing so, saved many.

As I spend hours online researching for a marketing paper, I am flabbergasted by the amount of information there is today, the rate of growth of this information, and the quantity of blogs that are produced as I search topics such as communication, media, social networking trends and statistics, data, information, browsing habits, and networking. I ponder current traditional job qualifications and academic curricula in existence and wonder how soon will these methods be outdated.

It seems to me that information is not only growing in breadth but, certainly in depth like never before. As a professional, expert, or enthusiast in any topic, the commitment seems to be greater and it is proportionally difficult for one to be well-rounded in many topics. With the increase of information and the increase of blogs (and pseudo-experts), how credible is data and let's face it, what good is information if no pertinent action is taken? It seems that non-personal acquisition of vast amounts of information is doable for anyone who has access to the Internet - and that pretty much means ANYONE.

Are we moving towards an era of well-paid information brokers and an increased need for those who can provide the "personal" delivery of information and assist us in taking relevant action? It is true that these people already exist. They already hire and orchestrate the "experts" who have tremendous depth of information. Or will tomorrow's human beings (and animals?) will grow brains that by far, out-compute and have larger storage capacity than the 20th century homo sapien neanderthalensis? I think we shall see this shortly...

Today I witnessed an amazing thing. An individual I had the pleasure of working with recently became the Youth of the Year and during a banquet today he gave the speech that he had been working so hard on the past few months. As he uttered the last 2 words of his speech, "Thank You," all of his efforts were suddenly recognized as a room of over 200 Boys and Girls Club donors, politicians, business men and women, and community-minded individuals stood in ovation. This moment was the culmination of all moments. His face lit up in pure happiness like I have never seen. I commend this boy, James Stabillo on his victory and wish him many more to come.

Adolescents by incubus

Spurred from a conversation while we were hiking, my friend recently lent me 2 DVDs, Temple Grandin (http://www.imdb.com/title/tt1278469/) and Like Stars on Earth (http://www.imdb.com/title/tt0986264/). To give a little background, my friend works with autistic and special needs children (forgive me if I am politically incorrect) and her stories always amaze me. First, I have a hard time conjuring up the patience to do what she does and therefore, I admire her and those in her field A LOT. Second, listening to (and understanding) her perspective is a real eye opening exercise for me as I begin to understand the world I do not know. There is such a diverse range of interesting and beautiful people in this world and to simply congregate with and understand those similar to ourselves is a tragedy. After watching these 2 movies, my admiration for her and her colleagues went up a million notches. Watch them and tell me if you didn't shed a tear...

Incubus Xmas Present to Our Fans from Steve Rennie on Vimeo.

This guy is unreal...

From time to time, my homegirl, Kimmie, invites me on her North Shore surf excursions and recently we had a 3+ hour sesh at Gums. T'was a small day with some winds but, fun fer sher! On a whim I tried her 5'6" Tokoro, which I may have to copy or steal from her (just kidding Kimmie)! It was a skaty little thing and I was having a blast. After, we headed over to the Haleiwa Farmer's Market for some grinds. They had some live entertainment and Kimmie was able to purchase a CD from the fellow who was jamming on his guitar and harmonica (which I must also copy or steal). We walked around for a bit deciding on what to eat; I had the Maui Beef Stew and she had the Turkey Chili. We are definitely stopping by the Farmer's Market the next time we in Haleiwa - so much Aloha! Even the forks and spoons had Aloha!





























During the Christmas break, my cousin told me his son said that his generation is infinitely more smart than the previous generation because of Google. I happen to be closer in age to said 2nd cousin than my 1st cousin and use Google A LOT. Did I clarify that I use Google a lot? With that said and knowing that my "natural" IQ dips into the same temperatures as the Antarctic, what is the I.Q. of Google? Because that's how intelligent I am.

I hardly gripe, but this one takes the cake.

Cashier at Aloha gas station in Kapahulu with pretty nails (and only pretty nails): That will be $8.93.
Me: You have this 6-pack advertised for $6.99.
cashier: (notice how I de-capitalized "cashier") Oh, price went up. Now $7.99.
Me: Oh yah, and you charging 8% tax too?
cashier: huh?
Me: Here's $9. Do something useful with the change.

I have used Vertra sunscreen on my face for a while now and because I surf almost everyday, I lean towards a higher spf. When I'm not using a wetsuit top or rash guard, I use a high spf, waterproof, and child-formulated sunscreen. I've heard a lot of contradicting things about sunscreen, higher spf ratings, adult vs. child formulas, waterproof vs. not waterproof, and the list goes on and on. What I do know is that the human skin is the largest organ one has and it is imperative that we take care of it. Here is an interesting blog about sunscreen that a classmate wrote.

Dean's SPF blog.























Once in a great while, I am invited out to the Waianae Coast Comprehensive Health Center for work and often, I see this from their wonderful cafeteria. For you surfers out there, would you be able to concentrate with this a few hundred yards away? I was able to get out to Maile Point for a 3 hour session. Unfortunately, waves were overhead and my board was undersized. Luckily, I did have some solid rides, the crowd was null, water was clear, and the sunset was impeccable!



















During our recent Toastmasters meeting, I was given an impromptu question, "Describe one thing about yourself that you would like to change." Although I answered differently, one thing that has been on my mind recently is fear of failure. Due to fear of failure I have hesitated, second guessed, disbelieved, denied, and stopped myself from doing many things.

First of all, what is failure? Is expressing a sentiment only to have someone strike it down, a failure? Is buying an expensive pair of shoes only to discover that they are horrible, a failure? Is signaling to get into a lane just to have the adjacent car speed up, failure? Is throwing caution to the wind and taking a chance, only to have people tell you, "I told you so," failure? Is failure being last in your hiking group?

I recently completed an inspirational (IMHO) book, "Fear of Failure" by Ralph Read and in it, Read quotes Mary Pickford, "If you have made mistakes, there is always another chance for you. You may have a fresh start any moment you choose, for this thing we call 'failure' is not the falling down, but the staying down." In part, I believe this is failure. I also believe that complacency and the unwillingness to reach YOUR OWN potential because of fear of failure, is failure. Everything else, is just an unwanted outcome and a lesson.

Now if I could only remember this in the face of said unwanted outcome and lesson...

I've been playing with the filters I purchased a while back for my camera and am liking the obscure photos. I call this one "clarity in obscurity."






























I was hoping to go hiking at Mariner's Ridge with my friends, but unfortunately was not able to due to a leg injury I sustained the weekend prior while surfing. I did get out to the north shore, however and it was nice.









A friend and fellow Toastmaster recently asked me if I could be his substitute for a volunteering gig while he's on a trip for 2 weekends. The task includes critiquing the kids on their speeches in preparation for a speech contest. Today, he invited me to see what he does and meet the kids he works with. Contribute it to the vagueness in his original description or perhaps my frequent narrow vision, I thought this favor (to him and the kids) would primarily be an opportunity to pass on my knowledge. It would certainly be an opportunity but, they were doing me a favor and I would be the one who learns.

As I heard my friend provide the kids with speaking tips and direction, I also found a few pointers that were new to me or had slipped from my vernacular. And then the kids gave their "icebreaker" speeches... I was flabbergasted by the stories they told - stories of anguish, of abuse, homelessness, bullying, misdirection, confusion, and isolation. During a time in a person's life when he or she is so vulnerable, so blank, and so dependent on direction, where was the fairness or humanity in harming them? I felt ashamed. I felt bad. I felt unworthy. I felt that for every nominal and silly complaint I made in my life, there were others who had a fraction of the good fortune I have been blessed with. However, with each story, there was something else. Something reminiscent of that tipping point in a movie when you know that things will be okay. I knew that I was sitting amongst future leaders and people who would have the drive to affect change. Great change. The group, one by one, spoke of how they were relocated to loving families, understood the wrong, understood that something needed to be done to inject positivity in their lives, how they were taking positions in leadership groups that provided them with goals and challenges, and how they would, one foot at a time, conquer their mountains.

I couldn't help but walk away feeling good and it was a reminder that everyone is mentally and soulfully stimulated through different venues. So, is it really an opportunity for me? Absolutely. I know I will learn a lot through instructing these kids.

Inspired by the Palta Rellena and Ceviche I had in Peru, I decided, why not make one dish that includes both?



















Powered by Blogger.
© 2010 Solomish Suffusion theme by Sayontan Sinha. Converted by tmwwtw for LiteThemes.com and further modded by me. =) .