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My Wide Blue Seas

Its All About The Journey


Name~ Hokule'a Kealoha

Short Bio~Hokule'a Kealoha is the Nom De Plume of a writer that formerly lived in Hawaii and is now living a life of adventure on the highways and byways of the American South . I am a Born Again follower of Jesus, as well as a wife, mother of cats and dogs,jeweler, entreprenuer, photographer and pilgrim...

Age~ Old enough to know better

Status~ Newly Single after 13 years of marriage,fur mom to the loving and devoted mini ShihTzu doggie Annabelle, born 6-11-2007 RIP 2-25-09, and the beautiful Abigail born 2-14-09

Hair Color~ natural brown/grey

Mood~ I ALWAYS have a mood, try me...

Loving~ Jesus, Hawaii, my furry friend, Abigail, my Pen Pals, Jewelry ,Blogging ,Writing anything,my Ipod,and being outdoors surrounded by my wonderful natural surroundings

Hating~ Boom Box Cars, Earspray, Abuse of Power,

  • Bible

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  • Jesus, Divine Mercy ~
    Learn About The Divine Mercy
    I Trust In You~

    My Favorite Past Posts~Relive The Journey!~
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  • 2008~
  • Be Thankful

  • Colateral Damage

  • Make Lemonade

  • Home Is Where The Heart Is

  • The Poor With Us

  • Because Its The Hardest Thing I Can Do

  • We Have All Become Victims

  • Lest I Forget

  • The Most Important Words

  • Family Values

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  • May Perpetual Light Shine On Them

  • A City In Motion

  • 2007~
  • The Quiet Storm

  • Fellowship of the Cane

  • Like Dead Unremembered: A 9-11 Tribute

  • The Medicine Machine

  • One Giant Leap

  • In The Steps of St. Francis

  • Too Much Information

  • The Un Choice

  • 2006~
  • The Holly and the Ivy

  • The First 9-11, Dec 7,1941

  • Small Moments of Silence

  • Peaches to Winnipeg

  • Dreaming of Hawaii

  • Memorial Day

  • Scattered Values

  • The White Line is the Lifeline for the Nation

  • Warnings of a New Civil War

  • I Will Be True To The Promise I Have Made

  • The Snowy Bloody Day

  • Cats in the Cradle

  • 2005~
  • The Journey

  • Rebirth of a City

  • For Posterity's Sake

  • The New Civil War

  • Every Mother's Son

  • And There You Stayed, Temporarily Lost at Sea

  • The Lone Rider

  • The Bible Is Not the Fourth Member of the Trinity

  • Rome Wasn't Built With Union Labor

  • Happy Birthday Mom ~revised~

  • A Beautiful Noise

  • Even Now

  • The Wearing of the Red

  • Night Ranger

  • The Joyful Traveler

  • Hoiliili "To Gather Up"

  • Ke Makakilo (My Observations)

  • He Giveth Sleep

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  • 2004~
  • Lux Aeterna

  • December 2004

  • You're Joking, Right?

  • Ground Zero

  • I Am Not A Failure

  • O,To Grace, How Great A Debtor

  • Lost In Translation

  • One Small Step for Man

  • The Rainbow's End

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  • Makoa's Song

  • No Aloha For The Weakest

  • The Paradoxical Comandments

  • The Time Is Now

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  • When No Fruit Is On The Vine

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    Religion Link List~

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  • Interactive Links~

    Live WebCam Feed from the Mauna Lani Resort, Kohalla, Big Island of Hawaii

    Click here for Aloha Joe!Live Hawaiian Music 24/7

    St Damein of Molokai'i,Patron Saint of Hawaii, Pray for us

    St. Damien of Molokai'i, Patron of Hawaii and the Outcasts among us, pray for us....

    Hawaii Links~ ~
  • For more Hawaii links Click Here

  • Volcano Updates (Pele's Mood Meter)Hawaii Volcano Observatory

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  • Technorotica for Jewelers, and the Jewelry Trade~

  • Gemological Institute of America

  • The Drouhard National Jewelers School

  • The Conner School

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  • April 30, 2004

    Rememberance of Things Past...

    The title is from the insufferable 6 volume work of Proust by the same title, never read it. Like as not I wont tho I do read a lot. I have so many books that I estimate that 25 percent of the net weight of the can we moved our stuff in to the Rock was my library...

    But I digress. My subject is today's date. I toyed with calling this post "The Day of Endings". Today is a date of somber anniversaries for me...

    Actually the whole month of April is one huge bummer for me and always has been. All of my life I have been ill to the point of bedridden much of the month of April. April is the month of the Jacaranda in California...That lovely tree planted in every town in LA County...
    "It is said that if you are walking underneath the Jacaranda tree and one of the trumpet blossoms falls on your head you will be favored by fortune." It says on the website... yah you best have a fortune as those lovely flowers ruin your car paint if they fall on your hood. Still I LOVE the trees and had planted on in my yard at "Midway'round the Bend"the name I gave my little house in Bellflower. Too bad Im likely deathly allergic to the things the pollen or something off them. I would get huge lung infections that would put me in bed... Id get hives and yes during the horrible year of 1996 I had a near death experience on April 25. Somethings up...

    April is the month of Death and Taxes, layoffs and slowdowns, spring grades and road grading. April showers, never enought to squelch the pollen in LA, so much rain here that the tourists stopped comming to our side of the island in disgust!

    It was April 29, 1988, that my first husband declared that we were through and he'd gotten a lawyer and he was throwing a party to celebrate his clever scheme of streching the truth about my sins as a wife. He had 100 people to our house and pretty much demoloshed it. I never quite got it cleaned up to where it was prior. He treated me as cruelly as you can imagine short of hospitalization...

    He later confessed that he had hoped that the shock of this would cause me to commit suicide. He didnt have the balls to move out for 6 months after that, and was so cowardly that he never told his new girlfriend we were married and eventually he remarried without the benefit of a divorce decree amongst other things. ( It was quite a shock for her to have to get married again lol) His concern was money of course. He didnt want to devide the assets. He didnt want to support me, and I was a basket case, too mentally ill to work. I can remember the incredible dispair of abandonment, my family, all of our friends turned their backs and took his side in the matter until much later, when the truth came out that our wild lifestyle was his idea, and that he was a willing partner in a high rolling, sex drugs and rock and roll (literally) Hollywood groupee, free for all that embarassed the hell out of him when it all came out. He had a nervious break down and slept in his car for months a bag man, mid life crisis at 27...

    Funny thing, when you hit bottom like that this is when God can really work on you. 5 months to the day later while walking on a deserted beach I had a audible voice experience with God. I thought that I had finally gone mad. I was on my way to therapy, and I went laughing hysterically with pure joy of the relieved. When asked what was so funny, I shared my "delusion"... Amy the Observant Jewish therapist confrimed to my shock that this was the real thing... The change in my personality from one day to the next showed that a conversion had turned me inside out and right side up. Her words still ring in my ears.."DRG, you have been visited by G-D, like Moses in the burning bush,... so what are you going to do about it?" I rose up and chose to live...

    I have never regretted it.

    Jeff did me a favor on April 29,1988.... Thanks if you are reading this.

    The other big April 29 was April 29 1992, which was the day my Father passed out of this world of toil and misery (for him) and I want to believe, into life everlasting. It marked the end of an era for me.One where he and his mental illness had dominated my life, maybe overshadowed it, is a better way to look at it. I was freer to choose my own life paths, knowing that his care was not an issue. It was 10 years before I was really able to make that break and do what I wanted where I wanted to do it... Now if I can just get on with it here.

    I guess I dont think of my Fathers death as a horrible thing when placed in the context of his life...It was a mercy as he was suffering all sorts of pain filled agonies ath the end there.

    Another April 29 date (this date in History lol) came to mind. April 29, 1994.... I looked it up in my journals and sure enough. Woody first asked me to marry him on this date. I said NO NO NO I wasnt ready. Persistant little bugger that he is he asked me again and again often in public, usually at church. My girlfriends would chant "say yes!say yes!say yes!" This happened once when I was on the platform ready to lead worship... The mutual friend I was working with said "Well... Yes or No?" I said No, in the microphone, the Pastor interviened and the teasing ended... It was all a game to me until the ring showed up that December...We were like Pepe Lapew and Franchesca the Cat. Our courtship would have made great reality TV.

    Funny how the roles have reversed....Woody and I had a long discussion this weekend about things and I am pleased to say that this week wasnt going to have another break up on the historical calender... but I dont rule it out in the future from what was said to me. I am becoming more resigned to it and perhaps that is why I have been bummed for the last few weeks... I see the signs along the way. Our separations every week show us that living apart may be more functional for both of us. I pray to God that this isnt so, but I also know that man has free will and while I may not like it I must remember this April that...

    Through many dangers, toils and snares,
    I have already come;
    ’Tis grace hath brought me safe thus far,
    And grace will lead me home.

    Im ready for a new month!

    PS May 3rd I have been meaning to do this but after I posted this I realized that I had recently had another loss on April 29, 2003 a dear friend, one of our frist frinds on the island Sash Seguawa, Father, Wave Rider, Waterman, and bruddah, lost his battle with cancer at 42. Sash we hardly knew ye and we miss you still.

    April 28, 2004

    The Phone Call

    Starting blog entries with poems may become a habit... we shall see...
    Calling him back from layoff a poem

    I called a man today. After he said
    hello and I said hello came a pause
    during which it would have been

    confusing to say hello again so I said
    how are you doing and guess what, he said
    fine and wondered aloud how I was

    and it turns out I'm OK. He
    was on the couch watching cars
    painted with ads for Budweiser follow cars

    painted with ads for Tide around an oval
    that's a metaphor for life because
    most of us run out of gas and settle

    for getting drunk in the stands
    and shouting at someone in a t-shirt
    we want kraut on our dog. I said

    he could have his job back and during
    the pause that followed his whiskers
    scrubbed the mouthpiece clean

    and his breath passed in and out
    in the tidal fashion popular
    with mammals until he broke through

    with the words how soon thank you
    ohmyGod which crossed his lips and drove
    through the wires on the backs of ions

    as one long word as one hard prayer
    of relief meant to be heard
    by the sky. When he began to cry I tried

    with the shape of my silence to say
    I understood but each confession
    of fear and poverty was more awkward

    than what you learn in the shower.
    After he hung up I went outside and sat
    with one hand in the bower of the other

    and thought if I turn my head to the left
    it changes the song of the oriole
    and if I give a job to one stomach other

    forks are naked and if tonight a steak
    sizzles in his kitchen do the seven
    other people staring at their phones


    by Bob Hicock, from "Insomnia Diary". © University of Pittsburgh Press.

    Woody got a call like this today from Walmart, Hilo's largest employer. I filled out an application for him three months ago and they called today. He had two interviews and a thrid one set up for tomarrow. Walking on cloud nine he is and I think he has visions of giving up the Kona run for a job closer to home. Its going to pay less but then no hotel bill or eating costco hotdogs everyday for lunch...

    I was astounded. This was amazing. Its happened twice in two weeks. Alamo car rental called him and now this... Im thrilled for him.

    The store is doing better and while we wont likely make the numbers we had last month we are in line... I still owe everyone on the planet money so if we can get a bit of that worked off we will be ( I will be... I hate being hit up by the collectors uggh... what can I say??) better all around.

    Been feeling a bit off and discontented. Woody and I are thinking more about moving off the island and back to the mainland... We are looking at retirement communities. That might not be everyones cup of tea but I like the idea of being in a quiet place with old people and activites ect. Woody is going to qualify this year as "mature" (he'll be 55) so we shall see. Information is being collected and we will do a lot more research before we jump this time! I am very lonely at times and wish I had someone to really talk to. Woody doesn't "get it", most of the time...

    No hostile comments yet on my last post. I was afraid that I was too controversial for my readers I hope not. Its going to take all of us with all of our ideas to work out the worlds troubles. As long as we can communicate we have a shread of hope...

    April 27, 2004

    March Madness


    Middle Age a poem

    The child you think you don't want
    is the one who will make you laugh.
    She will break your heart
    when she loses the sight in one eye
    and tells the doctor she wants to be
    an apple tree when she grows up.

    It will be this child who forgives you
    again and again
    for believing you don't want her to be born,
    for resisting the rising tide of your body,
    for wishing for the red flow of her dismissal.
    She will even forgive you for all the breakfasts
    you failed to make exceptional.

    Someday this child will sit beside you.
    When you are old and too tired of war
    to want to watch the evening news,
    she will tell you stories
    like the one about her teenaged brother,
    your son, and his friends
    taking her out in a canoe when she was
    five years old. How they left her alone
    on an island in the river
    while they jumped off the railroad bridge.

    by Pat Schneider, from "The Patience of Ordinary Things". © Amherst Writers and Artists Press.

    I told myself that Iwasn't going to write or say anything about "The March" in Washington DC yesterday... People have heard both sides of this till they are black and blue mentally and cant take anymore...

    But I want to tell you... the march didnt get much air time in Hawaii... not that we are not liberal politically we are as a group... if not me personally. two column inches in monday's paper and almost nothing in the radio news... Why? Well I think that its cultural.
    First, among the Polynesian people, out of wedlock births are accepted and abortions are not. "Dont go killing my grandchild!" parents say... They help raise the Kekei (children). You see a lot of 15 year olds with babies. I am glad that the kids are alive but am sorry that so many children have children so soon. It makes a huge difference in the future quality of life of that young person.

    My desire is that all children are born to families, a mom and a dad, tutu's too (grandparents are called "tutu" here) I was fortunate... My Mother and Father "had to get married..." I wasnt aborted and thrown into a trash bin, but could have been. My Father wanted me and so did my Mom. The situation that resulted in my conception was a terrible one, we'd call it "date rape" today, and I would have been subject to the open ended clause of most abortion legeslation " illegal except in case of rape, incest and the health of the mother..." The child seen as victimizer of the mother, when that child didnt ask to be conceived...

    The answer is simple. We should be educating that it is ok for a young woman to say and mean "No" to not having unprotected sex, or any sex for that matter. And we need to teach our young men, that they need to wait untill they are mature enough to deal with the consequences of sex and ALL that that means...

    Lest you think I am some Bible thumping prude who is not in touch, let me explain where I am coming from. I think education is vital because as a 14 year old, I was so ignorant that I was sexually assaulted and didnt know what was happening to me until a girl friend explained the facts of life to me two weeks later. Years later when discussing this with my parents, they felt that by telling me about "female stuff" that was all I needed to know until... who knows when, and my parents, particularly my Dad felt they were enlightened in going that far and maybe they were in their minds...

    Since statistics tell us that the average woman having an abortion is white, single and 25-35, not some poor black teenager, we need to deal with the first issue. As I tell people I am pro-choice. I think women need to have the ultimate right to choose... and that choice is to not have their futures violated by premature sex in a relationship... that its ok to say no and ok to not have sex till you are ready to deal with all aspects of that choice. Its about Self Respect....WE can chose to respect ourselves and not hand out our bodies to any guy that thinks he wants it from you, and often lies to get it...a whole other topic in itself. Again I speak as a woman that chose not to be physically involved in that way between marriages and gave up casual dating to insure that would be the case. If you dont believe that is possible... well, I went from married and 5 times a week to ZERO. Yah, it was hell, but you get over it and find that you really are a lot freer to deal with things that are way more important in life.

    I had a ring made that symbolized that promise to myself that after living a promiscuous life I would commit to the respecting of myself and not just hand out my body to whoever wanted it. When I would think about chucking my self respect for a brief roll in the hay, it reminded me of a higher purpose... It was a joy to be able to have kept faith to that commitment on my wedding day. Im still wearing that ring, these days it, and the promise connected to it is more important to me than ever...

    In answer to critics that speak of unwanted children, I must say that I have met more people that wanted to adopt babies than those that said,"having this kid was the worst mistake of my life..." As a childless woman I speak from my heart when I say that the empty arms of the barren would more than adequatly be filled by the loving gift of a life to them from those that are pregnant which a child that is going to be a burden. 20,000 couples are going to China to get children this year. If more women were brave enough to have their babies and the government would get their noses out of the adoption business, abortion would not have to be a forgone conclusion that it is for so many.

    To those that have had an abortion and regret it, I am sorry that you felt forced into that decision and my heart goes out to you. I believe that this act of killing a child kills a part of the mother that is forever in pain. My prayers are for you today that healing and closure will come.

    To those who read this and get angry, laugh at the notion, or see this as some conservative rant that gets in the face of their rights... fine, thats ok. I have a right to speak and I have lived a life that has been in the gutter and therefore am qualified to speak on the subject. You have a right to feel the way you do I respect that. See to it that you respect the rights of everyone while you're at it, including that tiny person yet unborn... Just like in the poem... it could change your life....

    April 26, 2004

    Adopt a Platoon

    I know that there are a lot of these sort of things going on but this was the first time I saw this in our little paper... If you want to help, your church or school needs a project this is a great idea.

    Adopt-A-Platoon offers chance to keep in touch

    • Soldiers take off for Iraq with more than just guns

    By Karen Blakeman
    Advertiser Staff Writer

    Hawai'i residents have been searching for ways to reach out to military men and women deploying to Iraq and Afghanistan, and local groups are responding with ways to help.

    Ways to help
    • A discount program has been started by Wahiawa businesses to support deployed troops and their families. Merchants who want to participate in giving discounts to military families should contact Dan Nakasone at 622-4032 or adventure@hawaii.rr.com.

    • The Hawaiian Humane Society offers a foster care program for pets of deployed military personnel, called Pets of Patriots. Military members in need of care for pets and those who would like to care for a pet during the deployment may call Kelli Nitahara, outreach programs coordinator, at 946-2187, Ext. 217.

    • Organizations wishing to adopt a platoon may contact George Vickers at vickersg001@hawaii.rr.com or 625-0177. He prefers to be contacted by e-mail.

    • The chamber's Web site is at www.cochawaii.org. From the heading, "What We Do," drop down to Military Affairs and over to About the Military in Hawaii to get to the link. On the Department of Defense site, click "Support Our Troops."

    George Vickers, president of the Hawai'i Chapter of the Association of the United States Army, is signing up businesses, schools and social groups to Adopt-A-Platoon, a program that will replace and improve upon the old "Any Service Member" mailing programs of past American conflicts.

    Because of terrorism concerns and the dangers associated with transporting mail throughout Iraq and parts of Afghanistan, the Department of Defense has discontinued mailing programs that allowed citizens to address letters and care packages to unnamed military members, and send them directly.

    Under the Adopt-A-Platoon program, civilian groups would keep in touch with military leaders, he said, so that the groups would know what the soldiers in each platoon want or need most — from local grinds to supplies for a village school — and how to best get it to them.

    Platoon leaders could also alert the groups if a particular soldier isn't getting mail, so that a few extra letters or care packages could be sent.

    Vickers said that although the program is in its infancy, response has been good. Classroom teachers from as far away as Texas have contacted him, he said. But he needs more volunteers.

    "I'd like to get some of the bigger businesses — banks, telephone companies — to adopt larger organizations," he said. "A company of four platoons; a battalion of four companies.

    "A business the size of Verizon could adopt a battalion."

    Linda Wheeler of the Chamber of Commerce of Hawaii said that a link from the chamber's Web site to a Department of Defense site can provide residents with more ways to help deployed military members and their families.

    The site contains everything from message boards where encouragement to soldiers can be posted, to sites for organizations that have been supporting the military for generations, including the American Red Cross and the United Service Organizations, or USO.

    Maj. Chuck Anthony of the National Guard said he hopes people keep in mind that helping a deployed soldier's family can be the best way of helping to ease the soldier's mind.

    "Things like getting the car towed or the plumber or the repairman to come in — if businesses could help expedite taking care of the soldiers' families, that would definitely be a big help," he said.

    "Baby-sitting or picking up the kids after work — these things will help."

    Many families will be shy about asking, he said, so simply volunteering instead of waiting for a call for help can make a big difference.
    Reach Karen Blakeman at kblakeman@honoluluadvertiser.com or 535-2430.

    I must say that Verizon adopting anything is a bit scary..

    Heres a few more ideas from the Advertiser

    Ways to help

    • A discount program has been started by Wahiawa businesses to support deployed troops and their families. Merchants who want to participate in giving discounts to military families should contact Dan Nakasone at 622-4032 or adventure@hawaii.rr.com.

    • The Hawaiian Humane Society offers a foster care program for pets of deployed military personnel, called Pets of Patriots. Military members in need of care for pets and those who would like to care for a pet during the deployment may call Kelli Nitahara, outreach programs coordinator, at 808-946-2187, Ext. 217.

    • Organizations wishing to adopt a platoon may contact George Vickers at vickersg001@hawaii.rr.com or 808- 625-0177. He prefers to be contacted by e-mail.

    • The chamber's Web site is at www.cochawaii.org. From the heading, "What We Do," drop down to Military Affairs and over to About the Military in Hawaii to get to the link. On the Department of Defense site, click "Support Our Troops."

    You may want to contact these folks to get info on starting up a service or project like this in your area....

    Im proud that Hawaii is supporting our troops in this way. If you are curious about what Hawaii's troops are doing in the field you can check out the blog Sgt Hook- he's reporting from Afganistan with the 25thIDL "Tropic Lighting" out of Oahu

    Ka Lama, "The Light " Appears in Hawaii"

    This is the first of a series of articles written for radio broadcast by the Hawaiian Historical Society. I thought that you'd enjoy reading some of them

    Ka Lama, "The Light," Appears in Hawaii
    By Helen G. Chapin

    In the 1820s, Protestant missionaries brought with them the technology for the American-style newspaper when they transported a printing press 18,000 miles around Cape Horn. The Islands' first periodical appeared in 1834, in what was the first newspaper building west of the Rocky Mountains, at Lahainaluna School on Maui. A former Kentucky compositer and pressman, missionary Rev. Lorrin Andrews, taught male Hawaiian students how to gather information, write it up, and print it.

    Ka Lama, "the Light" or "the Hawaiian Luminary," was printed in Hawaiian on a manually operated flatbed press that could turn out 100 sheets an hour. Content included articles on constitutional government and Christian teachings, along with illustrations of exotic animals like the lion, elephant, and zebra. We are told that when an issue appeared, students immediately eagerly read it through.

    Ka Lama was part of the Protestant groups almost immediate rise to power and influence. Mission editors joined the Hawaiian government. A modernized newspaper technology was a revolutionary force in bringing the outside world to Hawaii and cementing American expansion and dominance. Ka Lama initiated the popular press and was the forerunner of some 1,000 separately titled newspapers in a dozen different languages that have appeared to the present. It introduced what became the principal way to transmit information until the advent of television.

    Copyright © 1994 The Hawaiian Historical Society. All rights reserved.

    Understand that Hawaii had first contact with English in 1779, then the first missionaries arrived in 1819-1820 and began the work of translation of the Hawaiian language. Hawaiian was up until that time an un-written language that relied soely on verbal translation of ideas. There are "mele" and "o'oli" chants that can take days to recite that tell of lineage, long journies by voyaging canoe, and the histories of the people of polynesia.

    The Hawaiian Bible was completed in 1839. The translator's work was so well done that Wycliffe Bible Translators, the premiere ligustics specialists with regards to translation of new indigenous languages, uses many of the same methods today and Hawaiian is used as a model text to train translators.

    More literature has been produced in Hawaiian than all other indigenous languages in the US combined. Currently the University of Hawaii at Hilo has the only Hawaiian language studies Department in the nation and is the only place where you can get a PhD in an indigenous language course. This was how it all began....

    April 25, 2004

    Puna Sunset

    It was lovely today... That's saying something as its often raining grey and cloudy. But we had bright sun most of the day with bands of white clouds moving through... I call them "clouds of the tropics"...They are bands of flatbottomed white fluffy clouds that form on the horizon and eventually swing through on the trade winds and leave a bit of rain but dont make it dismal... Its a thing about Hawaii that I fell in love with from the first time I saw this on Kauaii in 1998 on our first visit... I laid on a padded lounger most nights and watched these incredible cloud formations swing through on a stiff wind between me and the moon, moving too fast to rain, which is why Poipu (southern coast) is so much drier than even the eastern shores only a few miles away. We were staying at the Embassy Vacation Resort and that week there sold us on living here in the Islands

    Life is never as easy as when you are on the endless vacation that we were on then... Traveling every three months. I long for it sometimes but even when its hard I am glad that we are on our own now and not dependent on Woody's Mom's money to make the two ends meet.

    As I drive out of Hilo down Hwy 11 towards Pahoa, You can see the wide blue sea from the road tonight it was so flat that the clouds reflected off the sea and in the fading light, as you look out you are looking to the east... the sun sets on the other side of the island at Kona.... Tonight the clouds were every pastel color blue pink grey and gold and just stunning...

    Reminded me of why I am here. No place like it on earth...

    April 22, 2004

    A Letter Home

    I was listening to Rush Limbaugh in the car as I was running errands today and heard this. I hear how we are killing everyone in Iraq and how bad we are doing from every corner, yet this is a gem direct from the front lines. It explains what we are seeing when our TV shows Al-Jezeera footage... (why do the networks do this? dont they get it? It would be like allowing Tokyo Rose to anchor the radio news in WWII) We are winning and things are getting better. Have a read. This was lifted from the Rush Limbaugh site with my thanks

    Date: Wed, 21 Apr 2004 12:27:08 -0400
    To: Rush Limbaugh
    Subject: Update from LTC K in Iraq


    An interesting note from a Marine commanding officer in Fallujah. It was to the wives of the men in his unit back home. Al Jazeera showed footage of the hospital when this firefight took place. Now you know the true identity of the "civilians" in the hospital beds. I have masked the names for security reasons. The 1st Marine Expeditionary
    Force (MEF) continues to perform magnificently and shows how true their motto is; "No better friend, no worse enemy".



    Subject: FW: Update from LTC K in Iraq

    Thanks to MB for sending this information about the actions of 2nd Battalion, 4th Marines in Fallujah along.

    Sent: Thursday, April 08, 2004 2:03 AM
    Subject: Update from Lt Col K

    Dear Ladies, the last two days have been the hardest two days this battalion has faced in over 30 years. Within the blink of an eye the situation went form relatively calm to a raging storm. You've known that since arriving there has been violence; attacks have been sporadic and mostly limited to roadside bombs. Your husbands have become experts at recognizing those threats and neutralizing them before we are injured. Up to this point the war has been the purview of corporals and sergeants, and the squad they lead.

    Yesterday the enemy upped the ante.

    Early in the morning we exchanged gunfire with a group of insurgents without significant loss. As morning progressed, the enemy fed more men into the fight and we responded with stronger force. Unfortunately, this led to injuries as our Marines and sailors started clearing the city block by block. The enemy did not run; they fought us like soldiers. And we destroyed the enemy like only Marines can. By the end of the evening the local hospital was so full of their dead and wounded that they ran out of space to put them. Your husbands were awesome all night. They stayed at the job of securing the streets and nobody challenged them as the hours wore on. They did not surrender an inch nor did flinch from the next potential threat. Previous to yesterday the terrorist thought that we were soft enough to challenge. As of tonight the message is loud and clear that the Marines will not be beaten.

    Today the enemy started all over again, although with far fewer numbers, only now the rest of the battalion joined the fight. Without elaborating too much, weapons company and Golf crushed their attackers with the vengeance of the righteous. They filled up the hospitals again and we suffered only a few injuries. Echo Company dominated the previous day's battlefield. Fox company patrolled with confidence and authority; nobody challenged them. Even Headquarters Company manned their stations and counted far fewer people openly watching us with disdain. If the enemy is foolish enough to try to take your men again they will not survive contact. We are here to win.

    The news looks grim from back in the States. We did take losses that, in our hearts, we will always live with. The men we lost were taken within the very opening minutes of the violence. They could not have foreseen the treachery of the enemy and they did not suffer. We can never replace these Marines and Sailors but they will fight on with us in spirit. We are not feeling sorry for ourselves nor do we fear what tomorrow will bring. The battalion has lived up to its reputation as Magnificent Bastards. Yesterday made everyone here stronger and wiser; it will be a cold day in Hell before we are taken for granted again.

    ------ End of Forwarded Message

    May God Bless our men and women in uniform and their families. They are doing a great job... My prayer is that this settles down soon and that they can come home...

    April 21, 2004

    God Will Make A Way

    There is horrible fighting going on in Iraq today. Lest we think the fight is in vain read the April 18 post by Dr. Ays at Iraq at a glance. I loved his punch line, in speaking of the foreign terrorist that have instigated the Fallujah/Basra mess

    "Iraq on the way of prosperous future in spite of you, so forget us.."

    I sort of feel like that regarding the trouble we have here in Hawaii just making it. "We are on our way to a bright future in spite of...(fill in the blank...) so forget us... " Trouble that is..

    We had a horrid week at the shop last week, wrote less than 100.00 worth of business. Then my website has been shanghaied by my hosting company to another one not of my choosing that is so lousy that I now have my 10 POP email boxes sorting into Hotmail accounts so I dont have to deal with THEM...My old Host sold their hosting and website biz to this other company and I had no say in the matter, but was told that it would be a smooth ride. NOT! This is not the way to do business so I am looking at new options which also may mean a new website... Like I have this money to spend.

    Getting Woody to Kona and back is a financial timebomb. For a 300.00 a week job he has to spend 130.00 on room, meals and gas. He's not living at the Taj Mahal and is eating Costco deli for meals. Hes dropped 20 lbs in nearly 4 weeks. Its burning hot and he's out in the sun for 5 hour streaches. Hes not getting enough rest and I think that in the long run this job is not going to work out. I pulled 1200.00 out of the store to keep us going and now the bill collectors,trademen that worked on the store move are screaming. I dont blame them. I feel like I am drowning much of the time...I The technology demons are bad after me again...spent most of the day on the phone with HP with my none functional printer again but I think its finally working right for the first time ever...Once it started working at 2PM I began a task I had been putting off...Writing "Im sorry but I cant pay you right now please give me some time and I will clear up this bill soon..."letters. Woody asked me for the 130.00 for the Kona run, which I didnt have...

    I didnt cry but close and then...

    We had a guy come in a buy a ring that his friend had wanted for a long while. It was a great sale and one I hadn't counted on. Another friend who has a shop of his own was there and after the customer left even with our friend Joseph there I found myself bursting out into song...

    God will make a way
    When there seems to be no way.
    He works in ways we cannot see
    He will make a way for me
    He will be my guide
    Hold me closely to His side...
    With love and strength for each new day
    He will make a way
    He will make a way

    (c) Don Moen 1988 Hosanna Integrity Music
    (I give credit where credit is due on the copied stuff!)

    There was no way I could get Woody to his job...He gets his first check Friday but we need to confirm the room on Thursday. Or he sleeps in his car. He suffers enough on this gig that would be too much. He was going to go to the Toyota guys (his old co-workers...Id have died of shame but he is shameless.) to see if he could borrow 100.00 to get the room squared away. Maybe Id be shameless to if I had no place to sleep.

    I know that eventually this will pass. I had a blessing today in that some long awaited goods from people that we buy from but are now friends in Hong Kong, came and the stuff will fly out of the store its so sweet. We also had a guy that really wants to buy the large Tahitian Pearl strand come look again and if that sells trouble would be over for a while. I dont know but I have a bit of hope.

    There was a write up in the Trib on the convention center event disclosure rule change. Its bad so if you could check out the previous posts and send a message to Gov. Lingle I would appreciate it. We dont want our beautiful islands to become the meeting place for hate groups ect. Mahalo for your Kokua

    On the frogs, we have a little opera singer now right next to the bedroom window. We wouldn't care except that he has no sense of time and chirps out of time and for us musicians its most annoying. Better get used to it...

    April 20, 2004

    A Door in the Wind

    I read this and I liked it so much that I thought that I would post it

    A Door in the Wind

    There was a time once when a door
    in the wind opened up, and we
    sailed through it effortlessly.
    Nothing could stop us back then,
    except the thought of stopping.

    We open windows now, hoping the air
    will whisper a clear summons
    in our ears, but the wind seals
    its lips, its stairways are forgotten,
    Does it matter than we grow fond

    of who we are, though we are different
    than before? We forfeit old diversions
    and open different doors. So devoted
    to moving on, we move on; except now
    and then, oh, the sighs in our hinges.

    From the Collection"The Enchanted Room"

    by Maurya Simon

    I leave you to your own commentary...Aloha

    Hawaii Needs Your Help

    I heard on the news as I was driving home from class tonight that a bill is heading for our governors desk that will change an important law here in our state. Because of all the corruption in our state in the past, laws called "Sunshine " Laws were passed. These laws do not allow for secret meetings of officials, and for open reports of use of public facilities and services. One of these public venues is our beautiful convention center The law says that any group renting this facility or any event held here must be public, and those sponsoring the event must be on the public record. Our legislature wants to change this and snuck in a bill hoping that the gov would just sign it. These people think that our Ms. Linda is a stupid woman, and when she was asked about it she said that she was unfamiliar with this bill and wasn't sure why it was so urgent, but she would examine it.
    The reason that its an issue is that many groups that are not so wholesome want to use our venues for their ugly conventions, but dont want the publicity. The Neo Nazis and Islamo fascists want a place to meet and want to do it behind closed doors, so they dont have protesters and bad press. Vegas has put an end to the hate groups and such coming in so they want to come here. The irony is that Gov. Lingle is an observant Jew. I know that she is a thoughtful and shrewd judge of character and the law, however this thing could be opening up Hawaii to hate conventions, and that cant be.

    If you have time please
    contact Gov. Lingle hereor paste this into your browser

    Here is a message that you can cut and paste into the email message box on the contact screen

    Dear Gov Lingle, Please veto the bill that will allow persons or groups to use public venues while concealing their identity. We dont want to see Hawaii become a haven for anti American, hate groups to hold their conventions. Thank you for your attention to this matter.

    I appreciate it and Hawaii appreciates it. As we say here in the Islands...Mahalo for your Kokua...(thanks for caring)

    April 19, 2004

    Public Enemy Number One

    You might be surprised at what is considered a public threat here on the Big Island. We have a major problem with Crystal Meth, homelessness and some of the worst schools around. But our mayor, Harry Kim, who is a nice guy and he means well has declared yet another war on something... We have the...

    War on terror... a real war as we are very close to Indonesia and its wonderful bearer of good will, Jamial Islamia... Indonesian for Islamic Jihad...I think we can guess what these folks are about and if you cant guess, remember the Sari night club on Bali, and the Jakarta Hyatt bombings...If that weren't enough, we also have Abu Syeff from the Philippines that would love to bring the jihad to the land of Aloha. Funny, we have people here that think that somehow we are immune to this, because we are on an Island. I guess that Pearl Harbor was just a fluke...

    The War on Weed. We have helicopters flying over our homes at dangerously low levels looking for pot plants. Bad enough the airtours sometimes flying over but the cops uggh! Yet if you dont stop the weed you get the...

    The War on ICE- Im all for this... Using crystal meth one time can ruin your life, and its taking a heavy toll on this island. Families are being destroyed as people give their lives over to this insidious chemical dependency/

    The war on Miconia- Big problem... this invasive plantcuts off light to the surrounding plants, killing them off. Its said that 80 percent of the native plant life in Tahiti has been disrupted by Miconia. It makes a million seeds per bloom and is tough. Triple strength Round up and a machete are the favored weapon against this invader. We see a lot of these here in Puna. If you see one you call and some one is there is an hour to destroy it. Nothing moves anyone here in East Hawaii quite as fast as a Miconia sighting.

    But According to Mayor Harry this is Public Enemy Number One...
    It's this

    Yes...its cute...But its an ecological disaster....

    to understand why this is such an issue... plug in this link into your browser

    There you can hear the earsplitting shriek for these little Romeo's as they are looking for a prom date...I lifted this from the site

    "This small amphibian affects humans in their pursuit of happiness, and their loud call is the main reason they are considered pests. In the U. S. Virgin Islands, the exotic but familiar coqui is just one more in a large suite of vociferous anurans. However, this species is receiving a lot of attention in Hawaii, which completely lacks native amphibians and reptiles. Its mating call is its namesake, a high-pitched, two-note "co-qui" (ko-kee') which attains nearly 100 decibels at 0.5 meters (HEAR 2000). On Hawaii, this species is disturbing residents and hotel guests, and local business owners are concerned that this otherwise unnoticeable exotic species will cause a decline in tourism in certain areas, and many fear that it might lead to widespread local or regional economic problems if allowed to spread. To get an idea of what Hawaiian residents and visitors are going through, listen to the individual frog calls and choruses posted on-line at the Alien Caribbean Frogs in Hawaii web site."

    What is being done... The Enviromentalists are concerned about the pressures that the frogs will place on the eco system BUT they also are concerned that anything that anyone does will harm the environment. Hey...I'm with them on that. I lived in So Cal in the late 80's and early 90's when helicopter spraying for Med Flies was done...It ruined car paint. killed off all the pollinators including several native butterflies that have not made a comeback and may have been a factor in my own health decline. I know that the University of Colorado is experimenting on a fungus that is killing desirable frogs there and might be welcome here to do a number on the invasive frogs. Testing to see if the killer fungus effects other species is underway.

    There is a sure fire way to gain a restful sleep. The L-Bomb
    Lots of folks are doing this around here. Lava Tree State Park is very close to our house. You drive by the gateway to the park and the noise is deafening. The vegetation was all chopped down and the place sprayed and new stuff planted and its still bad.

    I didnt think, and still dont think this will be a huge problem for us. We sort of enjoy them and they fill in a background noise that blanks out boom box cars and the neighbors next door. Our lot is cleared to the perimeters and what plants we do have are not leafy. The wild fighting chickens (boy are they a noisy bunch too) eat anything that moves with in range so they are likely keeping them under control. However we do have a stand of palms that provides a visual block between us, our bed room, and Mom and Dad Bandpeople, and their terrorist teenage sons..( just kidding we have had better relations with the sons than the dad..) The noisy little frogs have invaded the palms and we hear them calling. Usually I have a fan in the open bedroom window running. The buzz of the fan reduces the shrillness to a sort of pleasant chirping. When we have a million of the tiny beasts breeding in there it might be hell, but Im not worried too much now.

    I guess its just one more way that we dont fit in here. I find it hard to hate a creature no bigger than the end of my thumb... Saw one life for the first time a few days ago and it was very cute...

    Cuteness isn't going to save it from the War on Frogs... The Mayor must have a bunch in his yard... After 10 years, of continuing infestation... the war has been declared and they have to go... Sort of like screaming about the barn door after the cows get out...

    April 18, 2004

    Famous Last Words reprised again...

    Never trust what you read in the Trib (our news?paper)

    I had read that the services for Wesley John Kealoha Batalona were on Wed. of this week, but heard nothing more about it and I thought that was strange... It was...

    Due to problems with getting flights into the Big Island (due to Merrie Monarch... Even the military was helping out by flying emergency medicals to Honolulu, the over booking and flight corridor space is so limited)... The service was yesterday. The delay allowed many more family and friends to come including our Governor, Ms. Linda Lingle, and Senator Ed Case. Bata was buried with full military honors and I was told this morning by a friend that lives out towards Honoka'a that she had a friend that attended and it was a fitting tribute to a fallen hero. Im glad. I understand that Pres. Bush called the family as well. Over 500 people filled the LDS church in Honoka'a, and the burial was at the county cemetery there.

    The out cry against the rabble that was verbally insulting the dead in the paper was massive and the Trib printed a number of letters of support for the family. I wondered if the protesting peaceniks have such letters pre written for just such an occasion. Im very glad to see that what appears to be great support for our troops really seems to be the case. The Media would have you believe that we are all against the conflict, no matter what.

    Merrie Monarch Photos

    I have new photos in my albums and I upgraded that service so I can load pics on my blog I think... we shall try it and see!

    April 16, 2004

    Famous Last Words reprised

    Here is the final story for last nights post...

    "What! You stuff all of these people into this tiny plane, and I cant bring my 12 dozen Krispy Kream's? My people will kill me if I dont bring doughnuts!"

    Its true, This true doughnut addict has not had a real doughnut since she left LA in 2001. Most of my friends cannot believe it. So this news came as a thrill that we have a real Krispy Kreme on Maui. Yah Bruddah, the real thing! But I have actually heard about this from our visitors. The people of Hawaii particularly of the Big Island are so starved for variety in their diet and life that they bring home as many boxes of doughnuts as they can carry. They fill the luggage bins so you cant place luggage in them. Fistfights have ensued at the gate as the airlines try to restrict how many boxes they can lug onto the aircraft. Used to be pineapple boxes and stuff bought at the Ala Moana Mall, now its doughnuts....

    I have a solution... I will sublet the rear of my store for a Krispy Kream outlet...

    Who do I call?

    Famous Last Words or Da Kine News

    There is a lot of stuff going on in the world, some of it horrendous some ridiculous, and still others bits are sublime. From Iraq to Russia to here in beautiful Hawaii... Let me post on a few....

    Lets get the worst over with... Iraq

    "I'm going to show you how an Italian dies..."

    The final words of Fabrizio Quattrocchi, the Italian man taken hostage and murdered by the islamo thugs. While I dont know much about him other than he was another guy over there earning a living, I honor him for his courage in the face of sure death. He took it like a hu-man, and didnt whine like a dog.

    I also honor the Italian Government for not crawling away from this beaten, like Spain or the UN did last fall.

    read the story here

    The door to a truce is open for threemonths.

    An offer from our dear friend Osama bin Laden to our "friends" in Europe. I wonder if it a sin in Islam to lie? The Koran allows for not truce or treaty with the infidelel, nor Jew nor Christian. He is truly a son of the father of lies....

    The French, the Germans and the Russians didnt go along with this, they are not fooled and neither is anyone else. If a rabid dog wags his tail, better to not pet him, he'd bite you still. Bravo to them for staying their course such as it is.

    read about it here

    "Barbie no pasaran."

    I LOVED this. Being a woman of size, incensed for decades by the entertainment and fashion world's ideal of beauty, I have wondered what other people in the world thought of this...Here is our answer, in Alena "Pisklova" the viewers choice award winner in the Russian Miss Universe online voting. She is 15 and was nominated as a joke but its no joke. The anti globalization people have picked her up as a spokesperson/icon. the anti-barbie website is Cyrillic, but there are English parts and I found it interesting. I wonder in 10 years if we will see the same forms of dissent in Iraq? I actually think it will take less time. Way to go Alena, Yo da kine wahine!

    read all about it here

    "I swear that I will get my taxes done on time next year."

    Personal famous last words... Late and on extension AGAIN...thanks Woody... grrrrr!

    I was going topost the link for the extension form here but given that I am in the last time zone in the world nobody needs it its too late! Bah!

    I had some stories from the Big Island but the links are not working. However.... I found the official site for the Merrie Monarch Festival, with wonderful photos from last year and other good things so insted of boring you with more news garbage lets enjoy the islands shall we??? Let's Go Hula at
    http://www.merriemonarchfestival.org/Hana Hou!

    April 14, 2004

    The Friday Five for April 9 2004

    1. What do you do for a living?

    For the first time in my life I am working and not earning a living, at least not yet. I am the Cheif Executive Officer, Sales Manager, Purchasing Manager, Accounting Manager, and Top Sales Person ( as well as chief cook and bottle washer and lets not forget the not ready for prime time webmaster) for Azure Seas Jewelry, a division of Wide Blue Seas,LLc... I have yet to draw my first paycheck, but I love doing what I am doing...

    2. What do you like most about your job?

    Who doesnt love to be surrounded by beautiful things and share them with others? I love finding that perfect thing with someone and seeing them light up about it and take it with them. I love knowing that this is all something that I have created and developed myself, from original concept to working business. I love gems, metal and all of the technical aspects of jewelry as well.

    3. What do you like least about your job?

    Its a toss up between accounting stuff, all the bookeeping and inventory posting..and setting up and tearing down the store everyday. All items must come off the setups and be stored in the safe every night. It takes me two hours to set up in the morning and over an hour to tear down at night. Its a chore that amazes people and sometimes is just a grind. The good part is that I have an intimate knowledge of my inventory, and can clean polish and restore as the need requires. I also have to admit that I hate the uncertainty of having a new business, especially as I am in a new culture and am not quite sure how I am doing with dealing with the locals...

    4. When you have a bad day at work it's usually because _____...

    I didnt make a sale...I am trying to learn to not measure my days like that but rather by how well the store is doing over all

    5. What other career(s) are you interested in?

    I would like to own a tour service here. Take people on private tours of the Island, show them all the secret places that I have discovered. I would also like to take people to meet people that have livved here a long time and have them tell the stories of the people that have lived here.


    They buried what was left of Wesley John Kealoha Batalona today here in Hilo. If you recall this was one of the four men that were lynched, murdered and their bodies desecrated by the savages led by a murderous thug that calls himself a religious leader in the town of Fallujah, Iraq. He was 48 and a retired Army Ranger. His work was to help secure the convoys of relief supplies and other things... He was lead into an ambush and slaughtered with three other men....

    There have been wonderful eulogies, describing a family man who loved his wife and daughter, a soldier that loved his country. However there have also been nasty comments about his being a "hired gun" a "mercenary" and "only in it for the money." He said that he "loved being there" and "wanted to help the kids and be a part of building something good out of the ashes...". Yes, he was paid well for his services, some say over 1000.00 per day. But if it was so much as that, and he was getting so rich off this trip to Iraq, why was his wife a maid at a hotel? Truth be told, a soldiers retirement pay doesn't go far... And fact is, that its hard to get work when you are over 45 with grey hair, here in Hawaii... Just ask Woody. So a deal comes along like this you jump....

    Out of the frying pan into the Fire....Literally...

    How many of these soldiers, both enlisted and "contractors" are just there to earn a living? Those that were ambushed with Jessica Lynch...the cooks and mechanics.... Many went into the army to just earn a living, or get college money. The times are hard here folks and in many places there are no jobs... The National Guard is a part time job that helps to make ends meet. The Army is a good first job for many young people.

    So why are so many cursing these brave people? Why were there letters to the editor here speaking ill of the dead...

    Because we have forgotten that incredible awful truth... Freedom isn't Free. The tree of Liberty is watered with the blood of Patriots... This time some of those patriots were part timers, retirees and women. We have forgotten collectively what we did to the poor disadvantaged solders that fought in Vietnam, cursing them... Calling them babykillers. They were doing their jobs, bloody drafted they were. We may not have the draft today, but we have an even greater driving forces. Unemployment, rising tuition costs, partial employment and stagnant wages. Here in Hawaii, the military is a alternative encouraged by parents hoping that a duty station might be received close to home, for visits, and for wages that will be attractive enough to encourage the young to not leave the island indefinitely to seek employment, and for the prestige of a career.

    "Bata" left the cane fields of the Hamakua for the Army to seek a better life. I think that's true of a lot of the solders of today.

    Even if he was a swaggering "hired gun", as the liberal press reports, nobody deserved to die like that.

    I said a little prayer for the family... And can hear in my mind's ear the sound of the bugler as "Taps" was played... And perhaps a mele (Hawaiian chant) was sung. I dont know if this was so... so I will sing one...

    Aloha Kealoha, kali'liponi make wale nona pono ha ua mea......

    translated Farewell Kealoha (Bata's Hawaiian name which means "beloved") You died suddenly, and unjustly for a good cause...

    (to any Hawaiian speakers forgive my poor Hawaiian grammar if there is an error... I am the very least student in this...)

    April 13, 2004

    Blogroll Updates

    I have let a few blogs go that weren't going anywhere or being updated and added a few new ones as well as a few new links. If someone was reading one of the dropped, sorry, enjoy the added. There is something for every one, from Punk Rocking conservatives to a blog about pets, to a guy that takes beatiful snaps of East Hawaii. So read On and Hana Hou!

    Who Is The Merrie Monarch?

    This week is little Hilo town's moment in the sun... The 41st annual Merrie Monarch Hula Festival and celebration of all things Hawaiian. There will be nightly competitions and a parade at the end of the week. All are televised and if anyone is reading from Las Vegas, I think that one of the cable stations there is carrying it as well. The dancing is incredibly beautiful a thrill to watch.

    But who is the "Merrie Monarch" and what is this all about any way...

    David Laamea Kamanakapuu Mahinulani Naloiaehuokalani Lumialani Kalakaua, was born in 1838 in Honolulu, of chiefly rank. The Royal line was diminished, and he was a distant cousin of the Kamehameha line.

    He attended the Royal School and had many careers, among others, in the militia, as a lawyer and as Hawaii`i's Postmaster General.

    In 1874, at age 37, the Hawaiian Legislature elected him king. During his reign, he worked tirelessly to restore elements of Hawaii`i's culture banned by the British and American missionaries, such as the hula.

    His fondest hope for Hawaiians was to "be restored to our former position of pride and power in our own land."

    As a skilled diplomat, sportsman, author, historian, inventor and world traveler, Kalakaua's life was a mixture of Hawaiian and Western cultures.

    Although Kalakaua often was attacked by other Hawaiians for cooperating with the powerful Americans, the Americans saw him as too nationalistic, anti-American, and unpredictable.

    In 1887 a group of American and other white business leaders, backed by an armed militia they had founded, imposed on the king a new constitution that sharply limited his powers.

    The so-called Bayonet Constitution also placed new conditions on the right to vote, consolidating the influence of wealthy whites. It required that voters have a yearly income of $600 or own $3,000 in property, a rule that disenfranchised about three-fourths of the native Hawaiian voters. European and American males could vote, even if they were not Hawaiian citizens, but Asian immigrants were excluded.

    Kalakaua ruled from 1874 to his death in 1891, and his sister, Queen Liliuokalani succeeded him. She was the last of the Hawaiian Monarchs to rule an independent Hawaii

    His nickname of "Merrie Monarch" evolved from the many gala events he hosted at `Iolani Palace.

    King David Kalakaua's coronation ceremony was aan important milestone in the revival of the culture of the Native Hawaiians. It was held in a specially constructed pavilion on the grounds of Iolani Palace in Honolulu on a bright and sunny February 12, 1883.

    Kalakaua's coronation remained Hawaiian at heart, when proud and graceful dancers stepped forward to begin the hula nemanema, hula olepelepe and hula Palani pa'i umauma.

    King David Kalakaua's long reign of seventeen years was marked by a joyful resurgence in Hawaiian culture, including some of the very first public performances of Hula in defiance of oppressive missionary rules.

    Because of his enthusiastic patronage of music and dance, Kalakaua earned a special nickname.

    One hundred and sixteen years later, Hawaii, and the world - celebrates the memory of the 'Merrie Monarch' at the prestigious hula competition that bears his name. King David is honored as a Godly man that while he was having a good time he never forgot that he was king and that he had duties and responsibilities as well as priviledges. As the dancers perform in honor of his memory this week, and we enjoy the celebration, let us all remember that we to have the responsibility to pass on our history to our children, and not to forget the past as we press on towards the future.

    April 12, 2004

    Re thinking Hawaii

    Had a wonderful time today with Claudia and Mike. I met Claudia last November at the store. She came in, selling advertising, and we hit it off wonderfully well. She and her husband have been wanting to get together with us and I am so glad that we did. I think that this friendship would be a wonderful addition to my life. There is only one problem...

    Mike and Claudia have re-thought Hawaii, and are selling out and going back to the mainland... as soon as they find another place they want to move to....

    Its sad for all of us as they have tried to find friends for the past four years and haven't been able to do that. They miss the culture of the Bay Area and like Woody and I, have not been able to make a sustainable living here. The most positive thing that has happened is that their investment in a beautiful home in a subdivision known as "Vacationland Hawaii" will be rewarding them 3 fold and they will be leaving here with as much money as they came with. It was a dream for them that has been an adventure but is not something they want to continue to pursue... For many reasons...

    I look at Woody's sunburned face and arms, and wonder if its worth it for us either...

    Hawaii was my dream. Woody wanted to move here too, but it wasn't as important to him as me. It was a life or death decision for me, and that reasoning has won out until now...

    I am starting to be symptomatic again...Could be stress, the new shop and all the odors of the new flooring and paint, change of season, or my body and its "Severe environmental Allergy Syndrome" it at it again... It was a possibility that changing environments would help for a while and I would worsen again. That could be happening. I pray that it isn't... My constant use of nasal spray these days and my itching skin make me wonder...

    There will be no reason for me to stay in Hawaii if I am ill here as well. Then we could go anywhere and I can struggle just as well there and Woody wont have to police the dump. There are no guarantees he wont have problems anywhere we go getting work with his weight and his age against him.

    I have to trust God and wait. If I am shown that Hawaii is where God wants me to be then I must rethink my attitude and commit to life here, and be content. If I am shown that we are going to be moving on then I need to be ready to let go of my desires and wait and see what God has for us. Its a hard place to be.

    I will wait.....

    Volcano Watch Week ending April 9 2004

    Glowworm glows when Earth quakes

    Seismometers located across the island detect earthquakes and radio the electronic signals back to HVO. The arrival of the signals at HVO might seem like the end of the story, but actually it only begins the procedure of acquiring and processing earthquake data, which is an exceptionally complicated process.

    For the past five years, HVO has been running a seismic data acquisition and processing system called Earthworm. First conceived in 1993, Earthworm was developed by USGS scientists and continues to be improved upon by the USGS and many other cooperating institutions.

    Recently, a suite of computer programs written primarily by scientists at the Alaska and Cascades Volcano Observatories has been installed at HVO.

    These programs run in conjunction with Earthworm, creating an integrated volcano monitoring tool called Glowworm.

    Glowworm systems have been installed and currently monitor active volcanoes in Mexico, El Salvador, Costa Rica, Nicaragua, Colombia, Ecuador, Montserrat, Papua New Guinea, Saipan (for the Anatahan Volcano), the Cascade Range, Alaska, and now Hawai'i. The majority of these installations were accomplished by members of the USGS working with the Volcano Disaster Assistance Program (VDAP). VDAP was formed almost 20 years ago to mitigate the risk to increasing numbers of people living on or near active volcanoes, mainly in developing countries.

    The power of Glowworm lies in its extensive use of graphical user interfaces (GUI), enabling many tasks to be monitored at once. In many VDAP crisis responses, only one Glowworm computer has been needed to acquire, process, and archive data from a small network of seismic stations. The GUI provides displays for monitoring the computer system and program performance, allows amplitude and spectral data to be displayed in real-time, sounds alarms when significant events occur, and provides some ability to archive the data.

    In addition to its seismic data applications, Glowworm systems are being used for mudflow monitoring on the slopes of Mount Rainier in the Cascades.

    Plans are underway to use Glowworm to alert scientists about abnormal changes in ocean-water levels in Papua New Guinea that might indicate a local tsunami.

    How does Glowworm actually help monitor Hawaii's active volcanoes? Signals from roughly 60 seismic stations on Hawaii and Maui are radioed to HVO in real time. These signals are digitized and fed to an Earthworm module that continuously calculates RSAM, or Real-time Seismic Amplitude Measurement, for each station. RSAM is the calculated average amplitude of the ground motion over a given time interval. The higher the RSAM, the stronger the ground motion. During a volcanic crisis, RSAM data processed in Glowworm can instantly display changes in volcanic tremor and frequency of earthquakes.

    Volcanic tremor often lasts a relatively long time but has low amplitude, so RSAM is calculated over a 10-minute window for tremor detection. To detect earthquakes, a second RSAM is calculated over a 2.56-second window and is tuned to see larger average amplitudes. An alarm is declared if pre-assigned thresholds for amplitude and duration are exceeded; these thresholds differ for each station. If the conditions are met for enough stations, an alarm is automatically declared, and e-mail and pager notification is sent to those required to respond.

    Glowworm can also display SSAM data (Spectral Seismic Amplitude Measurement), which measures the distribution of seismic energy being produced over a broad frequency spectrum. This can be useful in determining the type of process that is causing a specific seismic event. SSAM also provides data that will be particularly useful in future research.

    Glowworm is now operational and monitoring the Kilauea summit network.

    Additional tuning and implementation are required to optimize the Glowworm software to meet HVO's specific needs. We will accomplish this in the coming months.

    Hawaii's volcanoes are arguably the most active in the world, with a growing number of people living in their presence. New monitoring tools, such as Glowworm, bolster our monitoring capability and provide opportunities to better understand these active volcanoes.

    Activity update

    Eruptive activity at Pu'u 'O'o continues. Most lava flows have been at the lower end of the rootless shield complex along the Mother's Day lava tube south of Pu'u 'O'o. Such flows have been small and short-lived but are gradually advancing toward the top of Pulama pali. Vents within the crater of Pu'u 'O'o are incandescent and sometimes visible from Mountain View and Glenwood. No lava is visible from the Chain of Craters Road.

    An earthquake of magnitude 3.3 was felt in Glenwood, Hilo, and Papa'ikou at 6:51 p.m. April 1. It was located 6 km (4 miles) south-southwest of Pu'u 'O'o at a depth of 9 km (6 miles). That was the only earthquake reported felt in the week ending on April 7.

    Mauna Loa is not erupting. The summit region continues to inflate slowly.

    Seismic activity remains very low, with 2 earthquakes located in the summit area during the past week.

    Visit our Web site (hvo.wr.usgs.gov) for daily volcano updates and nearly real-time earthquake information.

    This article was written by scientists at the U.S. Geological Survey's Hawaiian Volcano Observatory.

    April 10, 2004

    Holy Week

    I've been busy so I have not been posting. A number of things. I have been working on the business quite a bit. Sales are going well for the month, I have quarterly reports and inventories to do. I am selling more items at a time so I am buying more. This means I must price imput and ticket more things. I dont have a point of sale system yet. I have a computer that can handle that, and a credit card machine that will do that but the software is so expensive and I need a barcode label making machine... It goes on and on. My system works such as it is I just need to take the time to do it.

    I have been struck to by the need this week to reflect and have not said much. The Preacher in Ecclesiastes 5:1-2said"...Walk prudently when you go to the house of God, and draw near to hear rather than give the sacrifice of fools. Do not be rash with your mouth, and let not your heart utter anything hastily before God. For God is in heaven and you are on earth. Therefore let your words be few....." I feel like that this is a time to think and to pray and just be quiet. In these evenings with Woody gone this is easy.

    I am in prayer for your men and women in Iraq. I have a fond regard for the 1st Expeditionary USMC, it was my brothers unit as a Marine for much of his time in the service and I met a lot of great marines...I think that this was the best group to go into the hornets nest of Fallujah and deal with it... its a hard row to hoe and I hope that things calm down soon.

    I also try not to think of the hole that I am in financially both with the business and personally. I hate being beholden to anyone. I didnt get the loan as we are so far behind on our personal bills, and while I wrote the whining letter that Harv wanted me to write I felt like screaming..." How can you be so concerned about this, the money I am borrowing is 1/2 the value of the collateral ie my car and my thriving business has assets of 100K.....Uggh!" for 5000.00 they want me to crawl on my belly like a reptile. I have other words I want to use but I do not want to give the sacrifice of fools... Keep the yap shut.

    Like Christmas, Easter is a time when I miss being involved in a church the most. I worked rehearsed and downright sweated preparation for Easter services the minute that we took the decorations down for Christmas. Months of work, singing for nearly two days straight and then collapse for two days. Last year we visited the church that we started to attend in Pahoa for service. The situation was just short of a Easter Bunny party so we left and haven't been back.

    This year we have an invite to go out to Kapoho to my new friend Claudia and her husband Mike for lunch and to visit. Looking forward to it so much. I will take my camera as they live right near the shoreline and if the weather is good ( was hideous today, we had 2700 cruise ship passengers here naturally... Did I tell you that "Hilo" in Hawaiian means " dont forget your umbrella??? It poured!") I will take some pictures to put in the photo album.

    Tomarrow also is the beginning of the Merrie Monarch Festival of Hula and all things Hawaiian. Over the next week or so I will post about the events as I have time. Usually the paper has a lot of info and I will try to load pictures as I can. If you love Hawaii, the music, and the culture, the video of the competition is well worth the price and I will get the info on that. The people that compete are the best in the world and the dancing is unbelievable. The Super Bowl of Hula and its right here in Hilo.

    Woody is home from the dump. What a guy... I think he likes it cause he gets to tell people what to do....

    April 06, 2004

    The Journey

    I heard " Writer's Almanac" tonight on my way home from my first dance class, and a poem was read written by Mary Oliver, I was going to try to find it, but I didn't... I found one by her that was better for the subject of my blog:

    The Journey

    One day you finally knew
    what you had to do, and began,
    though the voices around you
    kept shouting
    their bad advice--
    though the whole house
    began to tremble
    and you felt the old tug
    at your ankles.
    "Mend my life!"
    each voice cried.
    But you didn't stop.
    You knew what you had to do,
    though the wind pried
    with its stiff fingers
    at the very foundations,
    though their melancholy
    was terrible.
    It was already late
    enough, and a wild night,
    and the road full of fallen
    branches and stones.
    But little by little,
    as you left their voices behind,
    the stars began to burn
    through the sheets of clouds,
    and there was a new voice
    which you slowly
    recognized as your own,
    that kept you company
    as you strode deeper and deeper
    into the world,
    determined to do
    the only thing you could do--
    determined to save
    the only life you could save.

    © Mary Oliver

    This is my story, but it was first my mothers story.

    Today is her birthday, she turned 72. She said when I called her yesterday that it is strange that she is 72. She thinks to herself that she should be able to do this or that, of course forgetting that the ravages of time, Parkinsons, and a life not too easy has made this impossible. She longs for a freedom that is not available to her. And of chances to re-take...

    What would each of us do over again if we could change some point in our history? And if we changed it, what would change along with it? Its a heavy thing...

    A friend once said of his life, "yeah, I wasn't going to be like my folks. Funny, one day I looked in the mirror and realized I looked just like my dad..Was working a bazillion hours just like him and for what?" He quit his job and moved the family to a small town in Oregon where he ran a fishing tackle biz... He reinvented himself and reconstituted his life and was happy.

    My Mother didn't get to run away from home to "re-invent" herself. She could have, but it would have ment leaving us with my Dad who I know loved us but was so mentally ill that he was no fit parent without supervision, or with it for that matter. So she stuck out a marraige made in hell for 30 years. People that didnt know us well couldnt understand the relief we all felt when my Dad died of cancer in 1992. At that point she "saved the only life she could save, her own."as the poet expressed. I still honor her for not cutting and running the many times she had the chance to do so.

    The thing that she would have changed was to never have gone out on a first date with a unbeliever. I know that there are young people reading this blog and that is my admonition to you. Dating does lead to marriage, choose your dates wisely.

    I have a similar thing I would have changed. I would have rethought out my marriage too. But I listened to everyone but my heart and married Woody. He does love me in his own way but our life is not what God would have for us, I believe...

    Choose wisely and follow your gut instincts. They are right 99% of the time.

    In the end all we can do is to "save ourselves" paddle our own canoe, and throw ourselves on the mercy of the Living God. He is truly there when all else fails us and His compassion is new every morning. As a dear friend was fond of saying..."Its all about the Journey..."

    Happy Birthday Mom, May God Bless you as you take these steps of faith in this final stage of the journey.

    April 05, 2004

    Volcano Watch

    Having discovered that I can cut and paste the best parts of the Trib and blog them, I will start posting the Volcano Watch. This is a weekly report of what the Kilauea Volcano is doing and where the lava is going ect. Some of my friends on the mainland think that this report in the paper every week is some kind of joke I am making... "How can you report on a natural disaster and predict what its going to do?" Easy...This is the most watched natural phenomena in the world... Too many people are here observing the ebb and flow (literally) for us to be caught off guard...
    So. here it is...

    Volcano Watch for Sunday, Apr 4, 2004

    If a sinkhole collapses in your yard, where did the stuff go?

    If a sinkhole collapses in your back yard, where and how did the stuff disappear? Did an underground opening already exist (such as a lava tube), did something "dissolve" away (such as rotting vegetable matter), or did a kind of conveyer belt remove material and take it somewhere else (such as moving magma)?

    We have this problem understanding how Kilauea's caldera formed. It wasn't by explosion, because no debris is piled around the caldera. It must have formed by collapse. And therein lies an unsolved mystery.

    Geologic evidence indicates that the caldera appeared in about A.D. 1500, give or take several decades. It developed at the end of, or soon after, a 60-year-long eruption from the 'Aila'au shield just east of Kilauea Iki, which ended in about 1470 after flooding much of Puna with lava flows. The caldera formed at the start of, or shortly before, a series of explosions that radiocarbon ages date to about A.D. 1500.

    That's not terribly long ago. Both geologic and cultural evidence should exist for such a major volcanic event. Indeed, the events are likely chronicled in the Pele-Hi'iaka chants. But neither cultural nor geologic evidence tells us where the rocks disappeared when the top of the volcano sunk to form the caldera.

    How much material was removed? The volume is uncertain but very large. If the entire caldera formed at one time, we estimate a volume of 6 cubic kilometers (1.4 cubic miles), equivalent to 780 million loads for a 10-cubic-yard dump truck. That estimate is based on the caldera's dimensions when first surveyed in the 1820s and on guesses as to how much deeper it might have been.

    Most geologic models assume very rapid removal of material to form a caldera. The argument is that a large void cannot support itself underground, so an empty volume of a few cubic kilometers (cubic miles) could not exist for long.

    If so, a huge volume of magma must have almost instantaneously left the reservoir under Kilauea's summit, leaving a void into which the summit fell. Where did the magma go?

    We haven't found it. Nowhere on Kilauea did a lava flow of huge volume erupt in about A.D. 1500. Could an eruption may have taken place offshore, along the Puna Ridge? Recent seafloor investigations found no large lava flow of appropriate age.

    Maybe there was no eruption. Maybe magma stayed underground, migrating quickly from the summit reservoir to some place in the east rift zone. A conservative volume of 3 cubic kilometers (0.7 cubic miles) can be contained in a huge dike 60 km (37 miles) long by 5 km (3.1 miles) high by 10 m (33 feet) wide. We have no way to test for such a dike, so we must consider one.

    Another possibility is that the eruption of the 'Aila'au lava flow, with a volume of 6 cubic kilometers (1.4 cubic miles), created the caldera. This is appealing, because the caldera formed just after the eruption ended, suggesting a link between the two large events.

    If this happened, then supply of magma to Kilauea must have slowed or stopped during the eruption, so the magma reservoir eventually emptied and then collapsed. Perhaps lessened magma supply during an eruption is necessary to form a caldera.

    The 'Aila'au eruption took place over 60 years. Did a void slowly grow within the volcano, not collapsing until it reached its final huge size? That would seem unlikely to most geologists. But what if we view the magma reservoir as a deep mine, with many interconnected passageways, rather than as a simple balloon? A mine has large void space, yet is stable to a point.

    Since the Pu'u 'O'o eruption started in 1983, the southern part of the caldera has been sinking 6-10 cm/year (2.5-4 inches/yr). Could this gentle sagging be an early stage of, or precursor to, another caldera collapse as the summit reservoir slowly empties?

    Clearly there's a lot we don't know about how the caldera formed. We'll eventually figure it out, but for now the origin of the caldera is as puzzling to us as the origin of your back-yard sinkhole is to you.

    Activity update

    Eruptive activity at Pu'u 'O'o continues. Most lava flows have been at the lower end of the rootless shield complex along the Mother's Day lava tube south of Pu'u 'O'o. Such flows have been small and short-lived but are gradually advancing toward the top of Pulama pali. On March 20 a new lava flow (the Kuhio flow) erupted from the south base of Pu'u 'O'o; it remains sporadically active. Vents within the crater of Pu'u 'O'o are incandescent and sometimes visible from Mountain View and Glenwood. No lava is visible from the Chain of Craters Road.

    Two earthquakes were reported felt during the week ending on March 31. A magnitude 3.2 earthquake, felt at Miloli'i, took place at 6:17 p.m. March 27 at a depth of 6 km (4 miles) about 16 km (10 miles) east of the summit of Mauna Loa. The next day, residents of Honoka'a and Papa'aloa reported a jolt at 5:42 p.m.; this event had a magnitude of 3.1 and was located 8 km (5 miles) south-southwest of Pa'auilo at a depth of 10 km (6 miles).

    Mauna Loa is not erupting.

    The summit region continues to inflate slowly.

    Seismic activity remains very low, with one earthquake located in the summit area during the past week.

    Visit our Web site: (hvo.wr.usgs.gov) for daily volcano updates and nearly real-time earthquake information.

    This article was written by scientists at the U.S. Geological Survey's Hawaiian Volcano Observatory.

    "He was trying to help..."

    I have copied the article in this morning Trib. We now know who that 4th man was that was brutally attacked, murdered, and his body desecrated on Weds. He was one of East Hawaii's own and the towns on the Hamakua are in mourning today for Wesley John Kealoha Batalona, an American Hero. Chris Loos tells the story below

    Ambush in Iraq leaves Paauilo family mourning

    June Batalona had just finished turning down beds Thursday evening at the Hapuna Prince Hotel when she saw her mother, her pastor and another man walking toward her.

    She realized they were about to deliver bad news.

    "I told him he didn't have to tell me. I knew," she said Friday at her Paauilo home.

    The man was Mike Rush, deputy director of operations for Blackwater Security Consulting, headquartered in North Carolina. He was in Hawaii to tell the hotel housekeeper that her husband, 48-year-old Wesley John Kealoha Batalona, was the final victim identified in Wednesday's attack that killed four U.S. civilians in Iraq.

    Rush escorted June Batalona to her home along the Hamakua Coast. "I told him I didn't want to talk about it tonight but he could come back in the morning," she said. "I didn't want to deal with it."

    She hadn't closely followed the news about the four American civilian contractors killed in Fallujah, Iraq, and then dragged and mutilated by an angry mob.

    "I just saw bits of it on TV but I didn't see a whole lot of it," she said Friday. "I heard them mention civilians but I didn't put anything together."

    By the time she met Rush again Friday morning, however, she'd made the connection between the TV news and her husband's death. "I kind of knew in my heart," she said. "But I didn't want to say anything until it was confirmed."

    Though well aware that her husband did dangerous work, June Batalona was still in shock. He'd survived hazardous assignments for years while serving in the 1st Battalion, 75th Ranger Regiment of the U.S. Army, specializing in attack missions.

    The Rangers are considered the U.S. Army's premier light-infantry unit, ready to respond anywhere in the world with 11 hours notice. They train for arctic, jungle, desert, mountain and amphibious operations.

    Wesley Batalona, sometimes called "Bata," retired as a sergeant in August 1994 after 20 years in the Army. He was last stationed in Savannah, Ga.

    He returned to the Big Island in 2000 and went to work as a security consultant at the Hilton Waikoloa Village. Apparently that was too tame for him.

    "He likes traveling and doing dangerous things," said his brother-in-law, Edmund Baquiring, who lives up the street from the Batalona home.

    Wesley Batalona decided to go to Iraq last year. His wife thinks it was in October but doesn't recall the name of the company that sent him there. He stayed about a month.

    Before leaving, Batalona told Baquiring and his wife he was going to help rebuild Iraq. Darla Baquiring said when Batalona returned, he told her not to believe everything she reads in the newspapers about Iraq. "He said they're really hard-working people over there," she said.

    Before Batalona returned, his wife tried to ship him some boxes filled with treats and a Bible he wanted. He never got them. He returned to Hawaii before the boxes reached their destination.

    By the end of February, he had the new job with Blackwater and was back in Iraq.

    "It's in his blood," June Batalona said. "He retired and he went to Iraq to serve his country. That's what he wanted to do and nobody was going to stop him."

    She said she and her husband didn't discuss his work. "He didn't tell; I didn't ask," she said. "All I know is he was doing security."

    Blackwater provides security and support for military operations. (See story Page A1).


    Wesley Batalona was born Feb. 20, 1956, in Kukuihaele. He and the woman he would marry were classmates at Honokaa High School, where Batalona was student body president. They graduated with the class of 1974.

    Batalona joined the Army right out of high school but returned to Hawaii on leave in 1975 and married June in Honokaa five days before Christmas. The Christmas season has always been extra special for the Batalonas because of the double celebration.

    Batalona went back to the mainland for his Army duties but his wife soon followed and stayed there throughout his military career. Along the way, they had a daughter, Krystal, who turned 22 on Friday.

    June Batalona has a scrapbook filled with certificates of four commendation medals, two achievement medals and one good conduct medal her husband earned.

    One recognizes him for his "exceptional dedication, valor and bravery" during "Operation Just Cause," the 1989-1990 invasion of Panama aimed at capturing Manuel Noriega and establishing a democratic government.

    The 3rd Ranger Battalion's airborne combat assault on Rio Hato airfield was the "spearhead" of the operation, according to the certificate. It says Batalona demonstrated he had "the critical components of battle effectiveness that win in combat: physical and mental toughness, tactical and technical proficiency and a warrior's attitude and spirit."

    His wife also has possession of the Bible she tried to send to her husband last year. While he was in Iraq this most recent time, her packages came back. The Bible is now a cherished treasure.

    She said her husband also sent her a couple of e-mail messages during his most recent mission. She still has them.

    "What we wrote each other was how we were and how the family was back home and how everything was with him and with me and how Krystal was," she said. The messages didn't mention Iraq at all.

    Early this year, Batalona posted a communication on a message board on ArmyRangers.com.

    "Great Website when you have nothing to do while on vacation!!!" said the Jan. 24 posting from Batalona, who identified his hometown as "Western HI."


    Krystal Batalona, who is attending college in Georgia as a pre-law major, is heading back to Hawaii for funeral services, which are pending. June Batalona said both she and her daughter are very proud of their husband and father.

    "My daughter told me, 'Mom, I just talked to a lady and she said, "Crystal, how do you feel about your dad knowing that he died with high honor?'" and she said, 'Mom, that made me feel like a celebrity,'" June Batalona said. "She's so proud of her dad."

    Batalona's wife was not alone in touting him.

    "He was a good man," said Darla Baquiring. "He was an Army man - fully. He loved his family."

    Batalona's cousin, Harry Batalona of Hilo, said Friday he was still shocked. "He was in the military all his life, but then this happened to him as a civilian," he said.

    Harry Batalona said his cousin saw the military as a great career opportunity. "He was always a go-getter, a disciplined kind of guy," he said.

    People who know Batalona say his death will create a loss in the communities where he lived and grew up.

    "Him and I go way back," said Presley Hart, a former classmate and lifelong friend. "It's devastating. Wes was a good guy, a real great guy."

    Hart said Batalona played football and basketball in high school and worked on a taro farm in Waipio Valley. He thinks the hard work farming taro might be what motivated Batalona to join the Army.

    Hart, head baseball coach at Honokaa High, said when Batalona came back to Hawaii, he helped whenever he could. "He was just there for the community. He was trying to make things easier for people," Hart said. "He would do anything for anybody, especially kids."

    Hart said the two worked together at the Hilton before Batalona left for Iraq.

    "He just went for that one tour and came back and said he had to go back," Hart said. "He believed in what he was doing. That's why he went back after 20 years of serving his country."

    H-TH reporter Dave Smith and Associated Press contributed.

    Here is an additional story on the organization that Mr. Batalona worked for.

    Security firm did its work in world's worst neighborhoods

    Blackwater Security Consulting, Wesley Batalona's employer, specializes in "high-risk situations and complex operations," according to its Web site.

    One of five divisions of Blackwater USA, it is headquartered on a 6,000-acre training facility in Moyock, N.C., a half-hour drive from the U.S. Navy base in Norfolk, Va. The company provides support for military operations as well as training for government and law enforcement agencies, both domestic and foreign.

    Besides providing security and protection, the company's Web site said operations can include reconnaissance and other intelligence-gathering, disposal of explosive ordnance and specific tasks such as rescuing of hostages and "structure penetration."

    According to Blackwater Security, which was hired by the Pentagon, Batalona and the three other Americans killed in Fallujah were providing security for food shipments when they were attacked.

    "We grieve today for the loss of our colleagues and we pray for their families," the company said in a statement posted on its Web site.

    "The graphic images of the unprovoked attack and subsequent heinous mistreatment of our friends exhibits the extraordinary conditions under which we voluntarily work to bring freedom and democracy to the Iraqi people."

    The company draws heavily on Green Beret, Army Rangers and Navy Seals for its "contractors," which critics of the U.S. role in Iraq say is merely another word for mercenaries.

    Blackwater President Gary Jackson is a former Navy Seal commando.

    The company's work includes providing protection for Paul Bremer, the former head of counterterrorism at the State Department who serves as the U.S. administrator in Iraq.

    Because of a recent "growth in contract opportunities," the company is again looking to recruit "highly motivated and professional" personnel with a background in military special forces or law enforcement.

    Requirements include being between the ages of 20 and 55 and able to obtain secret clearance from the U.S. Defense Department. Candidates must also be physically and mentally fit, drug-free, and have no felonies or domestic violence crimes on their records.

    Prospective employees must have retired or been released from active military duty within the past two years or have "maintained their skills' sets through other independent contracting opportunities."

    According to the company's Web site, "the post 'Iraqi Freedom' security needs are extensive for Department of Defense and contractors in-country."

    The Washington Post reported Friday that Blackwater has about 400 employees in Iraq and its armed commandos earn an average of about $1,000 a day.

    Dave Smith can be reached at dsmith@hawaiitribune-herald.com

    Monday Madness 4-5-04

    By the magic of blogger and the fact that I live at the literal ends of the earth or rather time zones I can have Monday madness on Sunday...

    1. What makes your country special?
    The United States of America is a special place because even though we have many problems, we have more opportunity here for anyone to make their dreams come true than anyplace else on earth. We are also the most giving nation on earth, where there is more charitable giving,both publicly and privately than any other nation. And...We wear our hearts on our sleeves...No other nation so totally bears up and shows its sins to the world, is honest about its errors than the USA.

    2. What makes your hometown special?
    I was born in Anaheim California, the home of Disneyland!

    3. What makes your neighborhood special?
    I live on some of the newest land on earth, created by volcanic eruption in fairly recent history. I am surrounded by ohia rain forest and wild orchids bloom where you least expect them to. I live 1 mile from cliffs that plunge into the Pacific ocean and am surrounded by a wide blue sea. Its a strange and beautiful place, my Hawaii

    4. And your loved ones - what is it about them??? My father worked as a senior staff project engineer on both the Gemini and Apollo space programs. My mother was a missionary in pre Castro's Cuba, and had the last seat on the last commercial flight by an American carrier out of Havana. These are the things that they did... But I think that the greatest thing about them is that they believed in the things that they did and passed that Idea down to me that when you do something in life do it only if you believe that it is the right thing and what you want to devote your life to. Sometimes that idea gets lost in the struggle to survive, but its a good one. You only have one life use it to the fullest potential.

    5. And finally you - what is it that is unique about you...???
    I have been very fortunate to be able to live out some of my dreams and do things that I wanted to do with my life. I think that my faith is my greatest strength and that thing that allows me to keep going. I have a passion for living and a good sense of humor, that allows me to at least have a good laugh if things are coming unglued. I think being given a second chance in life gives you a perspective that you can have no other way. I have had a number of such chances and I know that every day is precious and God given.... make the most of them.

    April 03, 2004

    Against All Enemies

    No I am not writing about that foolish, angry, "I wont work for no black woman, I dont care who she is...." Richard Clark. He's an idoit and he's going to get his...remeber the Hawaiian rules for life? "Tell the truth, its easier to remember..." His lies are going to bite him in the rear. Lies always do.

    No... there are other things... other enemies, ignorance, blind hate, Religious "shepards" misleading their flocks. Apathy... now there is a true enemy, losing intrest, losing heart and forgetting about the cause and why we are doing what we are doing in Iraq and elsewhere.

    Blog surfing a bit and found this piece written today by a North Carolinian lady about a solder killed in action in Iraq that she never knew. I found it touching and so like my own feelings at different times in this military campaign. I hope that you enjoy it and that her views, which may differ from your own on other issues, don't cloud the essential beauty of her encounter.

    I am weary from my day at the shop and I think that the codine builds up and drags you into lala land. To those that have emailed me and are waiting for a reply I will be on it asap now that I have WisperHawaii, which seems like a functioning ISP for a refreshing change....

    Hokule'a at mywideblueseas@gmail.com

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