Tuesday, June 28, 2011

Sunset for Newton

Honokohau Harbor ~ 27 June 2011

Every now and then it's useful to remind ourselves just how fragile and precious life is.  It's worth thinking about because while we know our stay here will be short, the common assumption is that we have many more years left to enjoy family and friends.  For some, and worldwide for many every day however, today will be their last day among us.

In my working career since college I have always been in or around construction.  It's a very dangerous business and I have seen many accidents.  In those years also I have been on five sites or projects where someone has lost their lives suddenly, violently, and unexpectedly.  Monday June 27, 2011, unfortunately was one of those tragic days.  A water truck driver for a project contractor at the airport was just doing what he always does about mid-day when somehow his rig went off the edge of a small embankment, rolled over, and pinned him in the wreckage.  By the time his co-workers got to him he was gone.

It's sober, somber, and serious, these sites, and they're not pleasant to be around, yet they remind of us of how important it is to take safety seriously, at home, at work, at play, and all the time.  It only takes a moment's lapse of concentration, or a single instance of poor judgment, or a small failure of any kind to make all the difference in the world.  And that difference can determine life or death.

No one knows what happened exactly today, this accident took place in the sight of God only.  We can only pray the end came quickly and without pain.

Here's the sunset you missed tonite, Newton.  Rest in Peace, bro.

Tuesday, June 21, 2011

Wordless Wednesday

Comic by Simon's Cat by Simon Tofield, embedding allowed.

Friday, June 17, 2011

No Laughing Matter?

... you be the judge. Seems pretty creative in my opinion.

STUCK from Joe Ayala on Vimeo.

Read the full story -here-.

Tuesday, June 14, 2011

USAF Pacific Lifeline 2008

Here's another post for the "catch up" folder I guess.  This one was made several years ago & long before the thought of a personal blog ever crossed my mind.

The subject matter is self-explanatory.  My role was one of local support for the military civil engineering team that came in advance of the exercise and set up the camp.  This was a real world training exercise to prepare team members for the day they will be called upon to provide humanitarian support and relief following some crisis, either natural or man made.

Sorry it's so late, but Enjoy!  (Best quality at 720p if your connection can handle it.)

As a post script I'll say also that I haven't quite figured out the YouTube video thing yet or specifically how to get a good cover thumbnail for a vid.  So if anyone reading this has a heads up tip for me on that I'm all ears. 

Saturday, June 11, 2011

Kamehameha Day Parade Kona 2011

My favorite parade of the year took place in Kona on Saturday morning, and although the skies were a little cloudy and overcast at times the crowd was by far the largest I've seen in years.  It seemed like a lot of them were visitors too.  Maybe there is a bit of a rebound in our local economy after all.

You can see these and many more photos of today's parade in my PBase gallery.


Thursday, June 9, 2011

Time Domain Electromagnetics

In the period of 1943 to 1945 over 40,000 acres of Parker Ranch land near the town of Waimea (Kamuela) on the Big Island of Hawaii was transformed almost overnight from serene pasture into a US Marine Corps training facility known as Camp Tarawa. Originally constructed by the Marine survivors of the Battle of Tarawa in the Gilbert Islands this new camp quickly soared in population to over 25,000 troops.  Before the war in the Pacific was over more than 50,000 soldiers had trained at the facility.  This must all have come as quite a shock to the people in sleepy little Waimea, who at the time only consisted of about 400 permanent residents... mostly all Parker Ranch employees.  Waimea, with its cool and moderate climate, was perfect at the time for those Marines suffering the effects of tropical diseases such as malaria. 

Two primary groups of Marines trained at Camp Tarawa.  The first to arrive, the 2nd Marine Division, were resident from December 1943 until the spring of 1944.  These soldiers went on to fight in the battles of Saipan, Tinian and Okinawa.  The second group, the 5th Marine Division, came in the fall of 1944 and trained until late December, 1944. When they left, it was to fight the horrific Battle of Iwo Jima. One of the local “puu”, or small cinder cone, was a perfect training site for what they would later face at Mount Suribachi on the southern tip of Iwo.

All this military activity took a toll on the land however, and over the years many unexploded remnants of the training have been found, in several instances with fatal outcomes.  Now the US government has funded a project to survey and locate unexploded ordinance on another 14,000 acres of this training area.  Follow-up projects are planned to remove items found and fully clear the area.

What you see above is a Bell Model 206L helicopter on the ramp of Waimea-Kohala Airport just outside of Waimea.  Workers are installing a Time Domain Electromagnetic (TDEM) induction system that will be used to detect metal objects or unexploded ordinance that may still be in the ground at the old training site.  Other applications for TDEM technology include identifying aquifers or detecting the presence of water or salt water intrusions in groundwater investigations, mapping aggregate deposits for quarry operators, mapping leachate in environmental investigations, or permafrost or other geologic features in geotechnical engineering.

The primary contractor for the government on this project is CH2M-Hill, with support from Battelle, and Pacific Helicopter Tours.  The survey and identification portion of the project is expected to take about two months. 

This work also goes straight to the heart of a key Hawaiian value, namely the concept of Malama 'Aina - Care for the Land.

Wednesday, June 8, 2011

Storm of Egypt

A friend of mine in Cairo, Mostafa Moftah, a wonderful photographer and musician, has posted the following compilation video of images from the unrest in Egypt earlier this year.  While not credited, I am assuming for now the music was composed and performed by him. 

If you still have Egypt and Egyptians in your heart as I do, spend a few minutes with this.  It's extremely well done, as are all of his YouTube postings.

From Hither & Yon

For the life of me I don't know how some of you have found this place... my promotion of it has been only slightly more than minimal.  But in the short time this has been up the log shows views from the USA, Greece, UK, Germany (sorry about one of the videos... for some reason those songs are blocked at your border), Japan, Malaysia, Canada, Chile, and Italy.  I'm honestly humbled you took a little time and spent it here.

Saturday, June 4, 2011

4 Hrs


4 to 6 boneless, skinless chicken breast halves
1 tablespoon butter
2 tablespoons lemon juice
1 tablespoon dry sherry or white wine
8 to 12 ounces fresh mushrooms sliced
salt and pepper to taste
1 tablespoon cornstarch mixed with 1 tablespoon water
1 cup green seedless grapes


Place chicken, butter, lemon juice, sherry, mushrooms, and salt and pepper in the slow cooker/Crock Pot. Cover and cook on low for 6 to 8 hours. Stir in the cornstarch mixture and grapes during the last 45 minutes. (May be cooked on high 3 1/2 to 4 1/2 hours, adding grapes the last 20 minutes. Serve over rice.

Serves 4 to 6... or 1 for 3-5 days.

It’s been a few weeks since the crockpot has been fired up, so last night it was time.  And while this wasn’t eaten over rice it was still excellent in a serving of steamed broccoli.

Thursday, June 2, 2011

Hilo Armed Forces Day 2010

Okay... this is a *little* late... my bad.  But it dawned on me now that this blog is out there and a YouTube channel is set up for embedding content, that there might be more things in the archives to share.  So share we shall... now and in the future.

While I work on a production for the recent Kona airshow, here's a flashback from the past: