Sunday, August 21, 2011

And Now, We're on a Radio Station's Web Site!

The views of our video on YouTube jumped by several thousand views a day since it was on CNN and HLN. This morning, I got a message saying it was now "as seen on KISS COUNTRY 93.7".

I have a famous dog.

Saturday, August 20, 2011

Riding TheBus

TheBus is the primary means of public transportation on the island. With gas high as a cat's back, it makes much more sense to ride TheBus than it does to drive your car. We have never used TheBus and decided we really ought to figure it out. With that in mind, we took a field trip with our friends to go ride TheBus into Honolulu and back. We have friends who know how TheBus works so I went to them to ask all my questions - "Do you use tokens or money?" "Do you pay the bus driver or put it in a machine?" "How do you know which bus to get on?"

Then we went out and promptly did everything wrong.

We got to the bus stop a little early, but our bus arrived early as well. Because I was unsure exactly how this worked, I assumed the bus would wait until its scheduled departure time so that no one would miss their ride to work.

That is incorrect.

Our friends were pulling up as the bus started to pull away (five minutes early) and we all had to run waving at the bus to make it stop and wait for us. This apparently makes bus drivers grumpy (for the record, we were not the only ones running for TheBus).

You do not pay the driver, you put your money in the machine while the driver stares straight ahead and ignores you when you say hello. Have exact change. (I'm not kidding - have exact change.) The fare was $2.50 for me, $1.25 for each kid. You use money, not tokens. It can take bills, not just change.

We sat right up front not realizing that those seats are saved for the elderly or handicapped. Apparently you are allowed to sit in them if they are open, but if someone gets on who needs them, you are required to give up your seat, which is as it should be. I told my kids that if a senior citizen or handicapped person got on, we'd better be the first ones up offering our seats. Manners are manners.

I saw a sign up near the ceiling which shows all the things not to do on TheBus. I noticed that it said no eating or drinking on TheBus. Because Ben will be taking TheBus a lot this year, I pointed out the sign to him so that he doesn't grab a drink on his way to TheBus one day.

"Look," I told him, "It says you shouldn't drink on TheBus."

"Yeah, it says you shouldn't urinate on TheBus either," he replied.

There was also a sign warning not to hug the driver.

Our friends, before we noticed the sign about no drinking, were passing a water bottle back and forth. Drivers get grumpier about this. We weren't trying to break rules, just honestly didn't see the sign at first.

As we got closer to our destination we noticed people getting on and getting a pink transfer ticket. While we were stopped, Lisa asked the driver about the tickets and he wouldn't look at her but grumpily replied something none of us could understand.

We realized we might be able to use those tickets to go back home without paying a separate fare for the ride so we each (all seven of us) asked for one as we got off. We realized after reading the ticket that you are supposed to ask for one as you get on TheBus. Our driver really didn't like us by that time.

The transfer allows you to ride without paying again if it is within two hours of boarding TheBus. Which was great for us as we were just turning around and heading back home.

While we had been able to sit on the way to Honolulu, we had to stand on the ride back home. That bus was full. An elderly couple got on TheBus at one stop and the driver announced, "We have two senior citizens who need seats." I wish we had had seats because we would have given them up immediately. As it was, no one else offered their seats. There were already quite a few senior citizens in the reserved seats, but there was also a man younger than me, as well as a woman with bright orange hair, bright orange lips, and bright orange nails with her ten-year old son (both of whom would have done well to burn off a few extra calories by standing rather than sitting) who did not offer up their seats.

Lisa asked the kids who were with us, "If an elderly person gets on TheBus, what should you do?"

"Um...get off TheBus?" one of them answered.

"NO. Just offer them your seat!" She also mentioned that they should offer seats to any female or anyone who looks like they might like to sit. Right on!

So our first bus ride was informational. We learned what not to do, but we learned what to do in the process. Now, if necessary we can get around as needed for a lot less than the cost of driving ourselves!

Friday, August 19, 2011

Kailua Beach

Last week, we actually went to a beach I've never been to before.

This is Kailua Beach, over on the Windward side of the island (that means the west side if you don't know). The water of there was an amazing shade of turquoise. It's very very blue in most places - before we moved here, I thought all pictures of Hawaii were photoshopped because I'd only seen east coast beaches and the water is never that blue.

There was a little island not to far out. Ben and two friends decided to swim out to it. I wasn't a fan of this plan because I figured it was farther away than it looked. I didn't want them to get halfway there and realize it was too far. But they insisted, and they did it. After they made it back, they did admit that it had been farther than they thought. But the closest Ben would get to saying it was difficult was when he said, "I'm going to sleep well tonight!"

A short squall ran over us soon after we got there. As is typical in Hawaii, we all just sat through it, but covered up our towels and cameras with the boogie boards. It only lasted about five minutes and then it was gone. But then we were all cold, so we had to wrap our towel around us until we warmed up a bit. It was probably in the upper 70's on the beach in Hawaii, and we were all cold. Our blood has thinned and we can't handle temperature change anymore. Wherever we move next, we're going to either freeze or roast most of the time.

We're going to die of exposure when they ship us off this island.

Thursday, August 18, 2011

Wednesday, August 17, 2011

We're on CNN!

Kerry logged in to Facebook yesterday and had a message from a friend saying, "Hey I saw you and your dogs on CNN!" He had taken a picture of his TV with Kerry and the dogs on the screen. Wow! Who knew?? Our video is on YouTube and anyone can use videos from YouTube so they didn't need to ask - and I don't mind - but I do wish they had let us know so we could tell people to watch. Luckily because we are six hours behind the friend who advised us about it, we were able to tune in and catch it.

They are right near the end of the segment, and only a small bit of our video is in it, but hey, I'm not complaining!

Fortunately, YouTube has an "insight" feature where I can see how people are finding our video to watch. I've often found that our video has been shared on other blogs or news sites. It's been embedded on sites where all the stories were written in Japanese or Russian (I think). Luckily, it doesn't require knowing English to understand what's happening in our video.

I'm really proud of this video. We have great dogs and seeing how much it meant to them when Kerry came home still touches my heart when I see it. I love for this to be shared on television shows, YouTube, and Facebook so others can share what was a very special moment for all of us.


Saturday, August 13, 2011

Bikini Babes

We were walking down the beach today and these two women in string bikinis walked past us.

Once we were out of ear-shot, Ben said, "Did you see those two old ladies in bikinis???"

"Old ladies?" I said, astounded. "They looked like they were in their mid-twenties!"

"I thought they looked at least thirty!" Ben replied.

Thursday, August 11, 2011

Old Spice

We were rambling about the other day and we stopped in a store to pick up a few things. Ben mentioned that he needed deodorant and trotted off to find some. He came back with Old Spice Deodorant which is not a brand I've bought him before.

"What made you choose that one?" I asked.

"Their commercials are hilarious," he told me.

Ah. Always my top priority in choosing products - the amount of humor in the commercial.

He showed me the deodorant. He had chosen "Matterhorn" scent which claims to smell like "Ice, Wind, and Freedom". The description reads like so:

The actual Matterhorn is comparable to one thing on this planet: Old Spice Matterhorn. Here is what they have in common: 1) Both smell as fresh and crisp as snow. 2) Both can be found in cold regions. The actual Matterhorn is in the Alps. Old Spice Matterhorn is in drugstores and supermarkets, which always seem to be freezing for some reason. 3) Both have peaks. The Matterhorn’s is 14,692 ft. Old Spice Matterhorn’s elevation stands at 6 in. when fully extended. To our knowledge, no man has stood atop its mighty peak.

I have to agree, I probably would have been intrigued enough to buy that too. And it does smell really good. Every so often Ben will lift his arm, take a deep whiff of his armpit and say, "AH! That smells like freedom!"

After that episode, when he mentioned that he needed soap, I picked up some Old Spice Bodywash for him. I knew he would like it because of its awesome description:

Scrub three levels of shame away. There are three known levels of dirt and odor. There’s thermospheric odor, which can be detected by those in close proximity to you, such as subway riders or your fellow tank commander. Next is stratospheric odor that only you can smell. Finally, microscopic beings that live on your body emit dirt and odor before laying their horrible eggs into your skin and spawning an unholy ecosystem. High Endurance Body Wash helps get rid of all this.

• Cleansing rinse cleans you, makes you feel refreshed.

• Manly scent forces your body to smell great, even when it doesn’t want to.

• Lather chokeslams dirt and odor away.

Friday, August 5, 2011

Mountain Climbing Injury

Today's post ends like this:

Let me assure you, it doesn't get worse than this. This is as bad as it gets. So if you're squeamish, frankly, you've already seen the worst part, you should be able to handle the rest.

I'm letting Ben tell the story in his own words today:

"Camp Wainae is in the middle of the mountains, so there are many interesting places to hike and climb. One of the more popular hiking trails leads up a mountain overlooking our camp. Many of the counselors take the kids up this trail, as it is a safe and easy hike.... mostly.... The thing is, we usually end the hike before it gets rough to keep the kids safe but we don't always have kids with us. The trail is made up of four small mountains which are connected to each other. We always take the kids to the peak of the fourth mountain and then head back down, but there is another mountain range beyond that. At the end of the week, all of the children left and the leaders stayed at the camp to hang out for one more night. We decided to hike up the mountain, since a lot of us hadn't been to the fourth peak. The hike to the top was pretty uninteresting, as nothing happened other than walking and chatting.

Once we reached the top of the mountain, the eight of us sat down to enjoy the view of the island, and as we were looking around, we could see the other mountain range right next to us. We thought we might as well check it out to see if it was climbable. There was just one problem.... The mountains weren't connected. The only way to get to the next mountain was to get down from the fourth peak, which involved climbing down ninety degree cliffs.

We decided to go back down the mountain and go to sleep knowing we had made a safe decision.....Nah! Just kidding! We're teenagers, we don't make wise choices.

We scaled the cliff.

The 20 foot cliff.

That crumbles as you grab onto it.

And has small hand holds.

And sharp rocks at the bottom.

We decided to send Yolanda first since she was the lightest and least likely to break the rocks,
and then we sent Alana just to be sure. After they made it down safely (limber Asians...) I began to climb down. When I was about half way down a very hard object hit me on the top of the head.

My first thought was that Josh had kicked me, and I was about to release a barrage of unkind words, when my face started to feel wet. I looked down and saw a fist size rock rolling down the mountain, and then saw a whole lot of red (blood stings when it gets in your eyes, by the way). There was liquid coming down my face like I was in the shower. I began feeling dizzy and knew I couldn't hold on, so I dropped 10 feet and made a perfect landing like a ninja. It turns out Josh had broken a rock off as he was climbing and it fell directly into me head. Josh then panicked and climbed back up, while Alana and Yolanda checked out my head. We couldn't tell how bad it was, but I was bleeding profusely, so we assumed it was bad. So I did what any man would do. "Grab the camera!!!". Karese climbed down with the camera and took a picture for memory's sake. Unfortunately I had mopped up most of the blood with my shirt, so we didn't get an accurate portrayal of my agony and sacrifice. We decided that everyone else should go back down the mountain instead of climbing down the cliff, and after much complaining from Travis, our other half went back down. The four of us had to finish climbing down the mountain and find a trail around, since we were definitely not climbing back up that cliff. We climbed down more cliffs until we reached a dry river bed, and then followed it until we reached a creek, which lead to our camp site.

After an hour of walking, we made it back safely. I got my wound cleaned up, and then went to sleep. Ah, I love it..."