Tuesday, October 16, 2012

Lost In A Storm...Without My Laptop

Aloha Kakou!!!

I am as I write this, a little lost and at odds with the world. Why is that? Well, about a week ago, my Mac decided to take a vacation, get sick, go kaput, screw the pooch...whatever descriptive you may choose to use. It is at times like these that I realize how much I depend on this little wonder machine. Never mind the fact that it is my primary way of keeping in touch with family and friends around the world. Never mind that I do all of my banking and bill paying online. Never mind that it holds much of my music that gets me through two hours of lei making class. Never mind that I use it to flesh out, compose, arrange and often record the music that I perform with. Never mind all of these things and about a million other wonderful things that it does for me. If the only thing I used my computer for was to write this blog...I would still miss it a ton. So, for the next two weeks, I will be writing this blog from my iPad as I try to figure out this new app...BlogPress.

Apps and I have a strange relationship, as I am always amazed at how they make ones that are so great at increasing and refining our productivity, and I love those ones. Yet, they also have the ones that make flatulant noises and let you kill hours by flicking wadded up paper balls at trash can...and I love those ones too. But, the one thing I am consistent with, is that I usually do not get an app that needs more then a minute to figure out. So dear reader, stick with me while I figure this one out...for better or worse. For instance, I will right now, randomly try to insert a picture into this blog...heaven knows what I will find in my photo gallery...I'll be right back....

Ahhh....glad I found this one. This gentleman is named Bobby Ingano...in my estimation, one of the finest steel guitarists in the islands...or anywhere for that matter. He has a touch and a tone in his playing that I would gladly sacrifice some part of my anatomy to attain. Let's see what else is in the gallery...

This is a picture of one of the famous backyard kanikapilas that used to take place at the home of slack key legend, Gabby Pahinui...his music figures very prominently in the great movie, The Descendants. He is a revered figure in Hawaiian music, and at his home in Waimanalo, on O'ahu, there used to be famous jam sessions that would last the weekend with music, food, fun, drinking and lots of aloha. By the way, three of his sons are very well known musicians here in Hawai'i...Cyril, Martin and Blah...wonderful slack key guitarists all. Let's spin the photo wheel and see what else we have...

This is a good one, and something that we ran into when buying our home in Hilo. As some of you might know, the BI has volcanic activity. So, there has been a map made to reflect the Lava Zone of a given area, and the danger of there ever being lava flowing through your backyard...for instance, Leialoha and I live in Waiakea Heights in Hilo. Our zone is 3...it is when you get to 2 and 1 that you have some real problems getting financing and so forth. Believe it or not, there are people who live in Zone 1...they cannot get a mortgage, and I believe they cannot get insurance. In other words...one big crap shoot. That's living on the edge my friends. One more photot and we are done with random photo night...

This a great old photograph of downtown Hilo...I cannot find a year on this, but I might put it in the 20s or maybe the 30s...I have always been interested in old photos of places I know...and I am always fascinated to see how things have changed and developed. Believe it or not, you can go into Hilo today, and still see some of these buildings...not many, but enough that you can almost get a feel for what it may have looked like.

We are now a cruise and a half into the season for the Golden Princess, and I have to say, that it is looking to be one to remember. We are having a great time with the passengers, and so far, we have been overwhelmed by the aloha...especially from our repeaters. We seem to get a lot of repeaters and there is not one Sailaway that we do now that we don't have at least five or six couples or individuals come up to us to say hello and to reintroduce themselves to us. It's a very wonderful feeling to know that we have some positive impact on people's experience...all we can say is Mahalo nui!!

So...be on the lookout for more frequent updates and blogs everyone...tomorrow is Nawiliwili, and that can mean only one thing...Hamura's Saimin. ONO!!!!

Aloha Nui,

Location:Kailua, Hi

Monday, October 1, 2012

Everybody's Gone Surfin...

Aloha Kakou!!

    Well, first of all, an apology for not putting out any fresh blogginess for the last week and some change. Leialoha and I joined the Golden Princess for yet another season of Hawaiin cruises...and if you thought dial up internet was slow back int he 90’s, you have yet to exoerience ship internet...which moves at what might be generously called a “glacial pace”. I’ll get back to how internet works on the ship in a moment...but for a little while, the blog will not be appearing on a “regular” basis...but on a kind of catch as catch can basis. In other words, when I have internet that I don’t have to take out a second mortgage to use...I will post. Sorry about that everyone.

    How important is internet on a cruise ship...to those working on one? I would say that after the need to eat and sleep, it is the most important thing. (And by the look of some of these folks out here and how thin they are, maybe it is more important then the former...then again, it just might be that most of the workers out here are about 24 and have the metabolism of a hamster) For many of these workers out here, they are literally thousands of miles from home, and to keep in touch with family and friends is imperative to their mental health. This is a very hard gig, and sometimes, the one thing that can keep people on an even keep is being able to communicate with home. So, on any given port day, you see hundreds of cruise ship workers schlepping their lap tops to the nearest Starbucks or internet cafe to Skype with the Phillipines, Bulgaria, Australia, Ukraine, South Africa or one of the remaining thirty or so different countries that workers here hail from. THE hottest piece of news to share with your fellow cruise ship worker is where to find good cheap, or free internet in a port. Sometimes it’s actually not such a hot idea to share...case in point. When Leialoha and I first started working on ships in 2005, we were on a ship that sailed to St Thomas once a week. We found, just around the corner from the ship a lovely little dive bar, with cheap drinks and free internet...as long as you bought something. (Rumrunner with a floater for me please) Anyway, for about a month and some change, along with the trombone player from the orchestra, we were pretty much the only folks in there. But, someone ratted us out, (not me or Leialoha) and before you knew it, the entire bar looked like mission control in Houston with dozens and dozens of Skypers sucking up bandwidth.

   Now, internet ON the ship is another beast entirely...as crew members, we receive a discounted rate on internet...but not that much. I will try to give you an analogy for the speed of the internet at sea. If what you are used to at home or in the office is what most people use, let’s say it is this:

 Those of us who connect to the WWW on a cruise ship are surfing on something like this:

    Yes, for those of you born in a certain era, I have name dropped the Yugo...don't laugh...my friend Billy Richmond had one...and it could go from 0-60 in an impressive two days. This is no fault of the cruise company, it is just the way it is when you are using satellite connections, and you have hundreds of people at a time trying to jump on the net...so, in other words...NOT FAST. So, since we will only be in port for 1/3 of our days, I apologize, but the blogs will not be as plentiful. Then again, I guess I should be happy...in 1990, when I worked on my first ship, this, is how we all stayed in touch with loved ones and family:

My how things have changed...for the better!

   Anyway, we are five days into the Hawaiian cruise season, and to say it is going well is an understatement. The people have been very receptive, the ukulele,hula and lei classes full and fun, and the cruise staff from top to bottom is great. The seas were VERY smooth going over and if I peek out my window right now, I can begin to make out the Hamakua Coast in the distance. It will be a day of running around and business for us and of course...renting a car. See, we do not own a car, and have not for the last seven and a half years. It can be a bit of a pain, but very freeing...at least monetarily. So I have become a little bit of an expert on renting cars...long term, short term, budget, cargo...you name it, I have rented it. Next summer though, that all comes to an end...and I will share with all of you when the time comes, the trials and tribulations of that.

   Okay, to wrap it up, I am going to drop a recipe on you all. I know that we will be having a lot of new readers in the coming months, as already, many people on board have asked about websites for us, and things like that. While we are still working on our website, Elua World will have to do. So as a welcome aboard gift for new readers, here is one of my favorite recipes...Chicken Long Rice...I do a few things differently then the recipe...for instance, I use chicken thigh meat instead...and also have extra broth on hand, as the noodles will suck up the moisture pretty quickly and you will be left with no broth...so keep an extra two cartons of chicken stock ready...JIC. Try it, I think you'll love it. Next blog..."Welcome To My World"...where I will show you my unnatural habitat on the ship.
Prep Time: 20 Minutes
Cook Time: 40 Minutes
Ready In: 1 Hour 30 Minutes
Servings: 8
3 pounds chicken leg quarters
3 (32 ounce) cartons low-sodium chicken
1 tablespoon Hawaiian sea salt
1 (1/2 inch) piece fresh ginger root,
1 large Maui sweet onion, cubed
1 (8 ounce) package uncooked bean
threads (cellophane noodles)
1 bunch green onions, thinly sliced
1 small head bok choy, chopped
1. Place chicken, chicken broth, salt, and ginger into a large pot. Bring to a boil over high heat, then reduce heat to medium-low and simmer until the chicken is tender and no longer pink, about 35 minutes. Remove chicken, and strain broth into a new pot. Discard the solids.
2. Fill a bowl with hot tap water. Add the long rice noodles, and let sit for 30 minutes to soften.
3. Stir onion into the broth, and bring to a boil, then reduce heat to medium-low. Meanwhile, remove the skin and bones from the chicken and discard. Roughly chop the meat and set aside. Add the noodles, chicken meat, green onion and bok choy; simmer until noodles are tender.
4. After the noodles have sat for 30 minutes, stir in the chicken meat, green onion, and bok choy. Reheat and serve.

Malama Pono,