Saturday, December 30, 2006


try an avocado, bacon and cheese burger... the weird yello color is the light, not the burger...
kua'aina burger is good. up on the northshore... nothing like it...

the hills are on fire...
here we are on top of this mountain thingee where the remains of an old hawaiin temple resides. the sun was quickly fading. not much of a "dusk" here. the sun goes down quickly.

gifts are good, even if she did give me a christmas ornament she got off her sister's dresser.
i also got some cazimero cds and cocoa samoa (which kinda gots me nervous, cause it may be mistaken for little bags of opium when i am trying to clear security at the airport.)

Friday, December 29, 2006

warning: not just beaches...

katie, beware... there is at least one picture on this blog that you will not wanna see...
everyone else, there may be two pictures you don't wanna see...
but here are some pictures of a few oddities i discovered to give yall a view of the other side of the islands--

a mean santa claus

burnt dinners... so post a comment and tell me what this was supposed to be, and the first correct (or closest) answer gets a box of chocolate covered macadamia nuts...

feral cats have their purposes too... this is the remains of fivel, an american tail... notice the tail in the bottom right (along with a tuft of fur); we determined the organ up top left must be its kidney.

this needs no caption. but how do you spell big?

this also needs no caption... (the best oddity of all)

Thursday, December 28, 2006

scroll down for hawaii...

sorry to do this, but for those who care, i gotta let you in on a new book coming out soon...

"I, Little Slave"-- maybe i can make it down in january to hear him read from the book... and i can give you more details. for now though this is all i know:

(edited from the columbian, article by tricia jones)

On a good day, Bounsang Khamkeo could collect rainwater to splash on his face. On a very good day, his makeshift trap would snare a rat, and Khamkeo could enjoy meat for supper.
Such days were few in prison. More frequently, the hours in the jungle "re-education camp" were marked by suffering, abuse and sickness.
Many died in camp, or went insane. Khamkeo refused to do either. He survived seven years of confinement, returned to his waiting family and escaped his native Laos to start a new life in the United States.
Now a Vancouver resident, Khamkeo has written a book he believes to be the first of its kind, detailing the persecution he says he and others endured under the rule of Laos' Pathet Lao party. "I Little Slave: A Prison Memoir From Communist Laos" (Eastern Washington University Press, $21.95) was released in November.
Its pages chronicle the chaos and corruption accompanying the country's political revolution in 1975. Khamkeo writes of his arrest in 1981, and his life in two filthy jail camps that were notorious for mistreatment.
They were also regarded as deathtraps. Khamkeo said he entered the camps knowing that the Laotian government claimed to be above mistakes. Most prisoners therefore faced life sentences.
"So I told myself, 'If they want me to die in prison, I don't want to die,'" recalled Khamkeo, 66, whose family owns Vancouver's Royal Cuisine restaurant. "'The date I get out of prison, that date I will be the winner.'"

Despite its accounts of physical and mental persecution, Khamkeo's is not a venomous book. It's true that his forthright sentences contain some anger, and occasional profanities. But Khamkeo's deepest wish clearly is for justice for his country, and not personal vengeance.
His message is effective because Khamkeo is not a whiner, says Ivar Nelson, director of the Spokane-based Eastern Washington University Press. Nelson said "I Little Slave" transcends its setting. It could come from Chechnya or Guatemala or an Iraqi prison, he said.
"It's a human story of perseverance through incredible difficulties and maltreatment ... and (ultimately) living well, without rancor," Nelson said.

So began Khamkeo's seven years, three months and four days as a political prisoner. He said he wore handcuffs for 18 straight months. He was forbidden to communicate with his family and didn't know that his wife had bribed officials to send him letters and provisions. None ever arrived.
"I knew my wife and our four children loved me and waited for my release," Khamkeo said. "To deserve their love, I told myself to be strong, to endure and to return home."
Eventually, the political climate shifted, and Khamkeo was freed. He and his family fled Laos for Thailand six months later. They emigrated to the United States, settling in Tennessee and Maryland, before arriving in Vancouver in 1992. Of their four children, now all adults, only the youngest still lives at home.
Khamkeo said he chose Vancouver because a friend of a friend mentioned the Portland area might offer a variety of employment prospects. Starting over in his mid-40s was the most difficult adjustment for Khamkeo, who speaks three Chinese dialects and five other languages. Between the restaurant and his addiction counseling at OHSU, the family is scraping by. Khamkeo said OHSU hired him to work with Asian clients who have alcohol, drug and gaming problems. But few Asians are willing to seek help, because most have been raised not to speak of such issues, Khamkeo said.

Khamkeo said his book is the first to be written about human rights violations in Laos, by a Laotian in English, and published in the United States. Nelson said he believes that's true.
Although Khamkeo naturally hopes the book will sell well, he says he wrote it from a burning need to tell the truth about human rights violations in his homeland. His survival depended on his belief that he would be able to do so.

Did you know?
"I Little Slave" was a formal style of address in prerevolutionary Laos, used in place of the word "I," to address an elder or person of higher social standing. The communists scrapped the phrase as an insult to members of a classless society, but then forced political prisoners to use the term as a form of humiliation.
The Pathet Lao began as a communist movement in Laos in the mid-20th century. After communist forces prevailed in Vietnam and Cambodia, the Laotian coalition government collapsed, and the Pathet Lao took power in Laos in 1975. The country is known today as the Lao People's Democratic Republic.

look for it on (to be released in february...)


in hawaii...

we went to the beach, and this is a surfer. you can kinda see him on top of the wave. i think he fell right after this.

i didn't go swimming, but 3 of the girls did. ailana got knocked over by a wave, so she was completely submerged- with her legs sticking up outa the water. i think that counts as swimming...
and here are my nieces. four of them. you can't see natahli, cause she was next to me reading a book. she likes to read. right now she is reading a series by mercedes lackey. the author sounds like a romance novelist (with a name like mercedes) but she is actually science fiction. i am proud of natahli for reading outside the box...

and this is a christmas tree from downtown. we went to go look at the lights they put up every year.

ailana gets a new bike...

and this is natahli with a macadamia nut pancake. good. very good. we got this at the hukilau cafe right up by the polynesian cultural center. its my second time there... but this time i brought my own sugar-free syrup so i could get me some macadamia nut pancakes. i think i will eat there again. and maybe again.

we also went to the punch bowl (not to be confused with diamond head, that was last trip's trek)... a dormant crater of a volcano. this is from the top. they have a memorial to u.s. veterans there and a cemetery.

hope yall are having fun wherever yall spent the holidayz... i will be here two more weeks, so check back with me often for updates!

Wednesday, December 27, 2006

nieces and their cousin alan

wl, this is more for you than anyone else:

while we "old people" went to the cazimero concert on friday night, the nieces and their cousin alan stayed home, looking for a way to spend quality time together. (this was alan's last night in hawaii, so the girls wanted to do something with him that would be fun - alan left on saturday for vancouver b.c. - he is engaged to get married and was joining his fiancee there.) so this video is what they came up with - filmed by the girls and alan, and edited by ko'olina. i woulda chosen a different song, but to each his (or her in this case) own...


Monday, December 25, 2006

mele kalikimaka is the thing to say...

you can't argue with this one: "mele kalikimaka is the thing to say on a bright hawaiian christmas day."

and let me give you five good solid reasons why this is so:

#1: a walk on the beach is only a walk away. and this is us, on christmas morning, while waiting for ivona to finish getting the christmas omelets ready for breakfast. the kids got up early to open their stockings while i slept in... but eventually i got up, & a walk on the beach is a great way to start christmas day.

#2: my 10 year-old niece, nohealani makes amazing sandwiches. i coaxed her into making this one for me... and there aint nothing like a turkey, egg and tomato sandwich to make the christmas season merry and bright.

#3: the brothers cazimero... these guys can sing. my brother, john, and my sister-in-law, ivona took me and my dad out to see their christmas concert on friday night at the newly restored hawaiian theatre. it was amazing. check out the link below for a sample of "the carol of the bells." they opened with this number, and it was hypnotic. some woman was so completely entranced, she walked off the balcony and tumbled into the crowd below. (only a few of us concert-goers noticed - the rest just went on listening...)

#4: my nieces really know how to bring it home when it comes to mele kalikimaka-- these girls are amazing! they're fun, beautiful, talented, and intelligent! and they know how to scream when they get that christmas present they have always wanted (and maybe even a gift they didn't want, but they know how to graciously scream for joy anyway).

Natahli, Welina, Nohealani, Ko'olina, and Ailana...

#5: when people carol here in hawaii, they sometimes sing in a language of the islands (samoan in this case)... and this was no different for us - here on the north shore - a family from the neighborhood came by- and sang songs, brought cookies and smiles.

so mele kalikimaka everyone; hope your christmas was great! and happy new year!

Saturday, December 16, 2006

under the weather

in case you aint heard: seattle is crazy. check out for details on our amazing winds, floods and power outages. (last month it was floods, record rains, and snow).

and i am kinda sick, getting better i think. i skipped work friday. thankfully i had power. i watched a lot of tv.

hello hawaii, goodbye whatever this is here....

Tuesday, December 05, 2006

back from cambodia

good for mom, good for the temple, good for the kid:

sometimes america, in all its wisdom, can't provide the answers. and sometimes the answers to life's problems are a little farther (or closer) to home than we think. thanks jacob for this link.