Sunday, December 31, 2006

New Enthusiasm for a New Year

As I see this picture, with a Mom holding up her child to get a better view of the huge sea bass that is slowly gliding by the window pane, I am reminded of the sense of wonder at the world and the wide-eyed, open minded hunger for new knowledge and experiences that we possess as youth. Some of us lose that curiosity and hunger along the way, having substituted neat labels and stereotypes for how we perceive the world and conveniently ignoring all the things that do not fit into that all too tidy world. For 2007, perhaps we can all try a little harder to re-kindle the fires of open minded curiosity from our youth and rediscover the world each day with wide eyes full of excitement and enthusiasm.

Saturday, December 30, 2006

Out Shopping...

Shopping is luckily not on my New Year Resolution list (to avoid). Hmm. Well, okay, I don't have a resolution list. Perhaps I should (grin). In either case, when the S.O.'s away, the Wayward Hawaiian can shop, shop, shop. Not really anything serious. A small CD player for the office. Some ham and fixings for my latest soup creation. New socks to replace the old, overstretched athletic socks in the drawer and a really warm pair of plaid jammies (hmmm, a fashion statement if ever I saw one). I'd actually meant to replace more than the socks but, for some silly reason, mens underwear has gotten really expensive and I'm still too thrifty to spot for the stylish stuff socks are going to have to do for tonight. New socks and new jammies to ring in the new year, grin. Happy New Year!
Picture: Underwear ad from the Frankfurt Airport. For some reason, the airport was just full of underwear ads. Obviously, the Europeans are not as puritanical as many Americans are about body image. I've never seen underwear ads in an American airport although you still see them in the stores.

Happy New Years and Best Wishes!

Happy New Year! Here's to wishing you all the very finest of times and lots of success for 2007. May all your dreams and goals come true.
Photo: Fireworks over Lahaina, Maui (wishing I was there right now but San Diego's not too bad either...).

Lady Bug on Glass

Every now and then it's fun to take a picture that is spontaneous and off the cuff. This one is of a lady bug from the bottom up as it crawled across my windshield. As with people, animals also often look different when you see the "non-public" side of them.

Friday, December 29, 2006

Eye to Eye

Sometimes, when taking pictures, the bloopers are almost more precious than the pictures that came out. This tourist popped his head up right in front of my camera and I ended up with an ear shot instead of walrus. However, if you look closely, you can see them staring at each other leading you to wonder what would happen if that thick plexi-glass pane wasn't there.

Are you a Boar?

Are you a boar? 2007 is a year of the Boar as was 1923, 1935, 1947, 1959, 1971, 1983 and 1995. People born in the year of the boar are pure of heart, generous and kind. They are strong and courageous as well as sensitive, sincere and passionate friends. They are also said to be fond of luxurious surroundings and like to pamper themselves or be pampered. They are also intellectual and voracious readers.
Ah you say, what a wonderful Boar picture! Well, more precisely, I suspect it is a pecary, but who's counting anyhow? The Chinese New Year is celebrated at the second new moon after the winter solstice and falls between January 21 and February 19. This year of the Boar lines up with the Chinese Calendar year 4704 (they've been doing this for a long time...).

Thursday, December 28, 2006


You can see the hippo bounding off into the distance with it's hind legs kicking up into the air as everyone watches with rapt attention. You can almost hear the groan of the camera people as it bounds off only to be captured on camera(s) again as it loops around the tank for another pass by the window.

Wednesday, December 27, 2006

Mr. & Mrs. Mallard

Rumor is ducks pair for life. At least in Korea, they say that. They give newly wed couples a pair of carved wood ducks as a symbol of a lasting relationship. These two ducks, however, were part of a huge flock that were out lounging on the pond in what has turned into some cold, windy and rainy San Diego weather.

Tuesday, December 26, 2006

Gull Frenzy

The child in the picture was feeding the gulls. As you can tell, gulls are not at all shy about taking handouts. In fact, they're downright aggressive, swarming around the little guy begging for food. Yet another fine way to spend a warm Christmas afternoon.

Monday, December 25, 2006

Where's Santa?

While the guys were out decorating the beer tree, where was Santa? Well, Santa was out playing a quick game of baseball (with a rubber playground ball instead of a baseball)! Santa was having fun and I hope you all are too. He's earned the day off, grin. Merry Christmas to all and to all a good night.

Beer Tree

Every guys dream. A christmas tree decorated with beer! I figured I check out Mission Beach to see what craziness was going on for Christmas day and ran into this beer tree. Santa hats were pretty popular too.

Christmas Cheer and A Little Grilling

Here's a little mug of me with the grilled portabella mushrooms. It's that Christmas party time of year which means that it's time for me to cook up some grilled terriyaki veggies and some of my famous Wayward mystery bread (zuchinni, carrot, bannana...this time anyhow) for the annual Christmas potluck. It was really nice to see the friends.
We open presents tomorrow (grin). Dog has a nice new furry pillow to rest those aging doggie joints on and some tasty treats. She's been sniffing around the tree for days now (and I think she hasn't found them yet this time -- although I probably ought to peek to make sure they're still there!). Hope you all had a wonderful Christmas as well.

Sunday, December 24, 2006

A Little Christmas Poetry

I found this guy with his dog driving the "Star-Trike", a motorcycle spiffed up to look like the Star Trek Enterprise! The dog was pretty occupied looking at the passing people but Santa was very happy to pose! Merry Christmas to you all! Here's a little California poetry for the season!
Twas the night before Christmas,
When all through the beach,
Not a creature was sunning,
With lotion at hands reach.
When out from the waves,
Surfboard in tow,
Came Santa a-swimming,
Merry Christmas to all!
Good surf and good cheer.

A Mission Beach Christmas Tree

I ran across this happy little tree along Mission Bay. While there are more stately trees out there, there are few in a more lovely setting along the bay in warm San Diego. Merry Christmas and Happy Holidays to all!

Saturday, December 23, 2006

Slow Day at the Beach

It was actually fairly nice out today although there was a light cold breeze. The weather man claims that the cold air has taken a vacation until just past Christmas day. We shall soon find out I suppose. Nevertheless, I took that as an excuse to go roller blading for a little bit as well as to work in the yard for a bit. I'm guessing everyone else was at the mall as the beach parking lot was about 80% empty. Wow. Wish it was like that all the time!
Happy Holidays!

Awesome Christmas Trees

Sometimes you see amazing trees at stores and malls and you wonder how long it takes to put them up. It turns out, my neighbor, a florist put up this totally amazing tree. The answer, 5 hours of going up and down a ladder to deck out this very large tree. I was totally impressed (although not impressed enough to spend 5 hours on a ladder to do it myself, grin).
Now, I like my tree (shown a few days ago) with perhaps about an hour of two of us popping up ornaments and shell garlands but wow, this is something else. Admittedly the doggy pillow/treats and big pile of presents under our tree add a little something warm and special that a big formal tree doesn't necessarily have but for wow factor, the neighbors have it!

Denver Snowstorm

My friends in Denver sent me this picture. Their neighborhood wasn't plowed yet and, with two feet of snow, it's looking like canned goods for Christmas dinner but there's still hope. The airport was finally opening back up today after being closed for two days! This is an airport that was specifically designed to handle snow and bad weather as well!
I used to live in Denver and still have fond memories of living there. However, the fondness stops when it comes to shoveling snow. Yechhhh. Bleah. Hate shoveling snow, especially the wet, heavy Springtime stuff. Happy Holidays!

Thursday, December 21, 2006

Dog Days of Winter?

Okay so dog days are normally in the summer... However, this African dog was definitely enjoying a nap in the Sun at the Honolulu Zoo. I particularly liked how the sun glistened off of his fur hence the picture.
For those of you buried under two feet of snow in Denver, perhaps you're overdue for a little time in Hawaii! Check out the Mele Kohola link on the right.

Tuesday, December 19, 2006

Large Orange Sulphur Butterfly

I suspect that this is a Large Orange Sulphur Butterfly, Phoebis agarithe. They were flitting around in profusion on the wet side of Oahu but almost never landed anywhere where I could get a good snapshot of them. I finally found one that was willing to stay still long enough to get a photo outside the Honolulu Zoo, half an island away. As opposed to their name, these butterflies are a wonderful lemon yellow. Of course, I might have misidentified them as well.

Monday, December 18, 2006


They frequently have notable sailing ships in San Diego Bay including the Star and Stripes which we saw on a recent sailing trip. This ship, an unidentified two-master was just leaving the dock on a windy, overcast day.

Sunday, December 17, 2006

San Diego Harbor

One of our friends is buying a condo in downtown San Diego overlooking San Diego Bay. Wow, what a view from the patio! The cruise ship had just come in and you can still see the tug boat along side it. To the right, you can see the four master, Star of India, parked next to a submarine. I'm guessing they have tours of the submarine, perhaps selling tickets at the same place that sells them for the Star of India. The inside of the apartment is really pretty as well including a double wide refrigerator and a nice gas stove with wok fixture included as well as a little fireplace. Not too shabby.

Saturday, December 16, 2006

Lovey Dovey

Every wonder where the term "lovey dovey" comes from? Perhaps it's because those doves seem so cozey snuggled up with each other. Or perhaps it's because they are so prolific! Either way, these two doves were aptly earning the moniker. Hopefully, you can be as lovey dovey with your significant other for the holidays!

Friday, December 15, 2006

Hibiscus Surfboards

These are the hibiscus surfboards at the board rental place on Waikiki Beach, Hawaii. They are big, heavy and stable for the newbies and have that extra happy hibiscus flair to them. They also made a nice picture.

Thursday, December 14, 2006

Duke Kahanamoku: a Hawaiian Hero

Duke Kahanamoku was born in 1890 and gained legendary Hawaiian status by winning the Olympic 100 yard freestyle in a time when Hawaii was largely unknown by the average person. Among other things, he was also a reknowned surfer at Waikiki beach (note the long board that they used back then) and had also gained some notoriety after choking a 10 ft Moray eel to death with his bare hands after running into it during a swim (reportedly losing his index finger in the process). The statue commemorating Duke is along the boardwalk at Waikiki Beach just a short distance from the surf board rental shop.

Wednesday, December 13, 2006

Face Plant

If you're going to face plant anyhow, do it in style! More pictures from Sunset Beach on Oahu. This guy got some great air and a pretty nice run before he went feet up.

Bar Ethics

Ever feel like you're reduced to being just another new piece of meat when you go to a bar? Wouldn't it be nice if people actually wanted to get to know you and make new friends? Well, some still do but baby, the attitude out there is thick, lol. This little Brazilian Cardinal seemed to have just the right attitude for the sign.

Tuesday, December 12, 2006

Oh Christmas tree oh Christmas tree...

Yep, it's that Christmas tree time of year. We started off thinking about getting a little one but somehow the big ones looked sooo much fluffier. So there she is, Ms. tree, in all her glory. If you look good you can see the seashell garlands and the little coconut husk Angels. Of course, you have to have tinsel as well and lights too! Overall, putting up the tree was fun although I always seem to end up being the one to water the tree each week.

Monday, December 11, 2006

Good Cheer Indeed

The Christmas cards continue to come in. Some are fun like the one from one of my friends in Las Vegas who sent pictures of the two of them posing with various television celebrities. Others are downright depressing. In fact, I've had two really depressing cards already (and it's only the 11th), one talked of how his mother had just passed away and another, how his wife had a massive stroke and was unconscious and paralyzed. I tend to wallow a little in the sad ones.
I just got back from visiting my Mom and I realize that, as much as we would prefer otherwise, we are all aging, our friends, our loved ones and all that we care about. Less I wallow too much, it also gives me incentive to get out of the house and do things like travel and spend quality time with the people I care about. Aging is as much a part of life as youth, death as much as birth. The key thing, I suspect, is keeping a positive perspective on the whole experience. Ah yes, the picture is me posing with a wooden pig in Overland Park, KS.

Sunday, December 10, 2006

Angels in Hawaii

Makaleka is shown here posing with one of her hand made angels. She's been making these angels for years and was at a small booth in the Waikiki Shopping Plaza selling them for Christmas. The angels come in multiple sizes and are made with natural materials like coconut fronds, each having unique character. I bought a few for Christmas ornaments including one for Mom and one for my sister. Makaleka collects photos from all over the world from people that have bought her angels and litterally beamed from ear to ear when she showed me her collection of photos. She actually asked for two photos, one of her ornaments on my tree and one of me. I suppose I'm going to have to do a wayward self portrait (LOL).
As I stood yacking with Makaleka, a young woman came by to look at the angels. She had obviously red eyes from crying. I was tempted to run for cover, but Makaleka asked her if she was okay and why she had been crying. That totally opened up the flood gates! She broke into a whole new round of tears and talked about having just had an operation (I was not about to dig for details although a few possibilities came to mind that would cause that kind of reaction) and about a husband in California who was about to divorce her and a brother that came with her to Hawaii but promptly ditched her to go surfing. I did my best to cheer her up and provide a little perspective but I suspect she needed a lot more than a little casual cheering could do. To that very, very sad lady, wherever you are, I hope you are feeling better and that things are looking up for the holidays.

Saturday, December 09, 2006

Almost Christmas

My Christmas shopping is mostly done and there are lots of presents for the niece and nephews under the tree. The shopping mall here in Honolulu was absolutely packed with people shopping like there was no tomorrow. In fact, there were so many people it created a horrible traffic mess getting in and out of Ala Moana Center.
Every Christmas, the center brings out their kiddie Christmas train that plays holiday music and drives slowly around the center. It gives us food for thought in watching how little kids find joy in the simplest things like riding a musical train while adults seem to need to go to such terrible lengths including huge houses and fancy cars and still end up unhappy. Perhaps there is something to be learned from the children about happiness in the little things like riding on a musical train or going to the beach. Perhaps indeed.

Wednesday, December 06, 2006

Hawaiian Monk Seal

This rare Hawaiian Monk Seal appears to be winking although I suspect he's just hoping for a quick handout. Hawaiian Monk Seals are rare in the main Hawaiian Islands, having retreated largely to the Northern Islands where there is little or no human presence.

Tuesday, December 05, 2006

Sunset Beach

They had a surfing contest going at Sunset Beach. Unfortunately, I got there just as it was ending so I missed the competition. I settled for a few shots of the surfers up the beach catching the waves. One surfer actually caught about 5 ft of air and landed back on the wave and rode it in. Pretty doggone amazing. I suppose I could have been out there when I was a kid instead of studying calculus, eh? Hmmm. Looks like more fun anyhow.

Showtime at Ala Moana Center

It's showtime at Ala Moana center! The holidays are here and the stage is full of live performances including singing, dancing, hula and even ballet! This local hula troop put on a very festive show while promoting their CD which was apparently for sale at a nearby store. It was cute to see a nice range in ages from older performers to very young newbies.

Thursday, November 30, 2006


I'm back in Kansas City and it's snowing something fierce. The highways are coated in about 6 inches of snow and they're talking about 18 inches of snow by morning. I'm guessing it only makes it to 8 or 10 inches of snow as the snow is slowing down a little but either way, it's cold, windy and slippery out. After a dinner with co-workers of Kansas City Barbeque, I'm feeling ridulously full (and wishing I didn't eat quite so much...). Hopefully, it will not still be haunting me tomorrow morning.
We managed to drive out to one of the shopping areas off of Stateline road to look at the lights. The stores were all closed already but admittedly, the lights reflecting off of the snow and the nearby river walk area were really beautiful. There were also stunning displays at some of the mansions along the roadside.

Wednesday, November 29, 2006

Funky Tatoos

People get the funkiest tatoos. Sometimes you wonder what motivated the owner to get them. Were they drunk? Was this supposed to be his girlfriend on his arm? If so, what happens if they break up? His girlfriend was there lying on the grass next to him and she "kinda" looked like the tatoo (sort of). Grin.
This is a closeup from Saturday's posting. The other thing that always amazes me is the details that pop out of pictures that you don't notice in real life. Things like markings on a bird, veins in a dragonfly's wings and tatoos...

Tuesday, November 28, 2006

Night Heron on a Rock

Sounds kind of Zen doesn't it?
Night Heron on a Rock.
Water lapping gently.
Breeze ruffles feathers.
Evening sunlight waning.
That heron didn't budge, even as I walked up to get a picture. That little bit of water between myself and the heron was enough to convince him that it was okay to pose without flinching.

Monday, November 27, 2006

The "Doggie Eye"

Shelties are generally not water dogs; however, this sheltie is being braver then most, entering the cold salty water up to his shins. However, he is definitely giving his master the "doggy eye" and perhaps thinking that cold salty water is no place for a sheltie. I had to laugh at this since it is the same look my dog gives me when she doesn't get treats in her dogfood.

Sunday, November 26, 2006

Digging for Worms

Snapped this picture yesterday of a guy digging for sea worms in the mud. They use the worms for bait. I was amazed at how tame the birds are, eagerly hanging around for a stray worm or two that someone else labored to dig out.

Blue-eyed Kitty

Cats have the most piercing eyes. Siamese, with those striking blue eyes, seem almost haunting. This pampered cat was out relaxing in the sun on the top of a bordering block wall at my sister's place.

Saturday, November 25, 2006

Saturday Bike Ride

It was a gloriously sunny day. My allergies have been kicking up for the last few days so it was nice to have a little reprieve from the sniffling, enough to get out in the Sun on the bicycle anyhow.
I snapped a fair number of bird shots and, with the setting sun reflecting off of the water, some of the shots were quite spectacular. I also found a slowly moving unknown heron to take a picture of. It's always a exciting to see a bird you've never seen before. This one looked like a heron, walked like a heron but was just too small and too darkly colored for your typical great blue heron. As is often the case, when you stare at the pictures for a while, you become aware of new details that you may not have noticed under the original conditions. While staring at the photo of the "mystery bird," I decided that it is likely a juvenile great blue heron (explaining the smaller size and lack of cascading feather plumage).

Photo-Foiled or Not?

I saw a little white butterfly at the beach the other day. I was trying to sneak in close to snap a picture or two without falling off of my rollerblades when the neighboring cat also sees the very same butterfly. The cat comes bounding over as I'm desparately trying to get my picture (before he eats the little thing). Needless to say, the cat got to the butterfly before I did and the butterfly was none too successful at flying off. Actually, it ended up a bit of a tattered mess. I, being the perpetually adaptive thing that I am, ended up taking pictures of the cat chasing the butterfly instead. Be glad you're not a butterfly. Be very glad.

Thursday, November 23, 2006

Happy Thanksgiving!

I was asked what the derivation of Thanksgiving was. Digging around the web there are references to varied celebrations for the fall harvest both pagan and religious. It occurred to me that, especially in ancient times, making it through another year's harvest and having enough food to survive the winter was a real feat and something that people did not take for granted.
Odd that the "day after Thanksgiving" should now be the biggest shopping day of the year and that Christmas decorations popped up in the neighbors' yards a few days ago complete with dancing deer and inflatable Santas. Overall, however, while Thanksgiving has become a very commercial holiday it still retains the tradition of taking time off from the daily work craziness that we now live in to spend quality time with family and friends. Hopefully, that is a tradition that will endure.
Happy Thanksgiving to you, your family, your friends and those that you love. May you have many warm and enduring memories.

Wednesday, November 22, 2006

Enjoying the Last Rays

Some people enjoying the last few rays of the setting sun at Mission beach. It was pretty warm out and good enough to dabble in the shallow water.

Tuesday, November 21, 2006

Crouching Tiger, Leaping Turkey

Remember the Karate Kid? The "Karate Kid" (Ralph?) had that funky one legged pose/kick; flying crane or something like that. Well, here's "jumping turkey". Have a nice Thanksgiving and stay safe!

Monday, November 20, 2006

Hawaii From Space

Ever wonder what Hawaii looks like from Space? You can see the the East side of all of the islands is greener and wetter due to the prevailing easterly tradewinds that constantly bring moist water laden air up off the ocean to cooler mountain slopes where the moisture turns into rain.
You can also see how the islands get bigger as you go South due to the volcanic hot spot that slowly moves South, thereby creating the Hawaiian island chain (now creating Lo'ihi south of the Big Island of Hawaii.
While Maui (looks like of like a tadpole from the air) looks smaller, it was likely one of several surviving peaks including Molokai and Lanai that make for a significantly larger land mass. In order from North to South, you have Ni'ihau, Kaua'i, Oahu, Moloka'i, Lana'i, Maui, Kaho'olawe and Hawai'i.

Sunday, November 19, 2006

Mission Beach Sunsets

It was really hazy today. When we have high pollution days it normally means that there is going to be an awesome, color-stoked sunset.

As if on cue, there was a glorious sunset at Mission Beach. Brilliant shades of orange, red and yellows reflecting off the water. You can see two surfers trying to get in that one last wave although, overall, the ocean was pretty calm.

Saturday, November 18, 2006

Steaming Hot Lava

Picture of hot lava rolling into the ocean in huge plumes of steam.
Meanwhile, the camera is out being repaired. Apparently, I was a teensy bit too rough on it. I'll have to get myself a real camera backpack with padding so I don't have to worry about putting the backpack down. Of course, I have a few more cameras so it's not total despiration. I managed to get out of the Camera store without buying anything but then everyone was very busy/occupied so I suppose there really wasn't any pressure.

Friday, November 17, 2006

Demons and Ghosts

I really like the way the lighting puts up shadows like ghosts as the man looks into his reflection in the bowl. Playing with multiple directed lights provides some very unique effects.

Thursday, November 16, 2006

Happy Baby Penguin

Found this happy little penguin at Seaworld. His mom was standing nearby to keep watch. Reminded me of the neighbor's kids that are always running up and down the cul de sac. Isn't it amazing how much energy youngsters have? Almost makes me wish I was a kid again.

Wednesday, November 15, 2006

Bee in a Prickly Pear Cactus

What would make a bee dive into a prickly pear cactus? Pollen and lots of it. This little bee is covered head to toe in pollen and nearly every prickly pear flower on the cactus was pollinated. The flowers only last a day or two so they really give their all to attract the bees during their brief moments of glory.
Ironically, it makes you wonder about the analogy of people diving into prickly jobs for extra pay just like bees dive into pollen. For all our intelligence, are we really all that much better than worker bees driven by that last bit of pollen?