Sunday, July 31, 2005

Back to the Plantation

Since we really stumbled on to the Dole Plantation last week, and arrived after it closed, we decided to run back up there today to take it all in. Below are the pictures.

Notice the precision of the "reservoir" photo taken from a moving train (ok, it was a lucky snapshot).

Also notice the mischievous grin on the boy's face.


Amazing Ti leaf bowls.

Taken from the train.

Pineapple Express...ALL ABOARD!!!

New Music (Relatively)

I got around to purchasing two albums from two of my favorite artists. You know who they are (most of you)...Damien Jurado and David Bazan (aka Pedro the Lion). The new albums are: Damien Jurado "On My Way To Absence" (Released in April or May) and Headphones "S/T".

"Absence" is a great record for Damien. His last full-length release "Where Shall You Take Me" was a little off...I should say a little awful. There were a few redeeming qualities, "Matinee" "Intoxicated Hands", but it didn't have the usual PUNCH that was present on even the sedated "Ghost of David".

"Absence" picks up where his 1999 album, "Rehearsals for Departure" left off. Looking back, this was a fitting title, because none of his subsequent albums were similar style to "Rehearsals"...i.e. departures. But now he's back, doing what he does best, rocking a simple song about complicated issues of love/jealousy ("A Jealous Heart Is A Heavy Heart"), friendship ("Simple Hello", previously issued on a Made in Mexico EP), and revenge ("Sucker").

Don't expect to throw "Absence" in to the player and immediately "get it" like the accessible "I Break Chairs" (probably considered his "best" album), but after two plays through, you won't want him to stop.

"Headphones" is a new story. Anyone who has been following David Bazan knows the name T.W. Walsh (collaborator on "Achilles Heel"), but most won't recognize new bandmate Frank Lenz. Frank is a member of the former biggest Tooth and Nail band Starflyer 59 (great noise-pop, really ahead of their time, check out "Gold").

David Bazan, T.W. Walsh, and Frank Lenz got together to form a little side project. Bazan calls the record "heavily influenced by...Low." I think that is a terrible comparison. The best comparison I can come up with for Headphones is, well, Pedro the Lion. Bazan sings and writes all the songs, therefore it comes across very Pedro the Lion-y. The new addition of Frank Lenz (and his synth) adds a nice dimension of diversity to the sometimes droning Pedro sound.

All things considered this is a GREAT favorite this year. I guess I just don't see the need to call it a new band, especially considering the fact that Pedro the Lion changes lineups nearly every record. From the original lineup of four bandmembers, Bazan kept the title and ditched the bandmates. Created an album completely alone (Winners Never Quit), one with Casey Foubert (Control, who appears on Damien's new record), and then added T.W. for Achilles Heel. What's one more change...?

Ok, so the album. We've come to expect Bazan to wrestle with issues of politics, spirituality, humanity (fall of man), etc. The Headphones album is no different. The first track tells a story (another thing we're used to from Bazan) of two friends being tied to chairs and burned alive by their "friend" that they have bullied. Is this a Palahniuk novel?

On "Natural Disaster" Bazan sings, "I know we disagree, but soon enough we will all be free, to worship any way I choose. But you would wait on the rapture, or a natural disaster, to come around. Maybe a couple of airplanes would crash into buildings and put the fear of God in you. Now we're taking over, no one is the wiser, with Mexican and Negro cabinet advisors."
Uhh, wow...

Some of you watched the transition of Bazan with his hesitancy to use profanity in songs to coming to embrace strong words...this album is no different in that regard (reference song #2, "Shit Talker").

Read the rest of the lyrics here.


This is something new to me...I love the idea (being able to download Radio-type programming directly to your ipod to listen on-the-go), but this is one more thing that is going to suck me in to pay $34.95 for high-speed access.

Those of you who know more about this (Erik for one, I think he's actually DOING a podcast now), give me all the details...

Thursday, July 28, 2005

Blogger Binge

Boy, when I blog, I blog big...I could use a little moderation in my blogging diet.

I crave the blog-discipline of the Kory Pence's and the Stevan Sheets' of the world.

I've been spending a lot more time reading blogs too...some of you are very interesting people, with some great insights and exciting things happening in life...some of you, not so much. Just kidding. Blog on you crazy diamonds (Oh no, I'm referencing the Beatles (uhh, I meant Pink Floyd, Thanks John)...I must be getting old or something)

Gunshots on day one...two...three

I'm walking the hallway (in Hawaii, all hallways are outside) alone when I hear gunshots. Now, I'm not the type that can hear a gunshot and tell you bullet caliber, type of weapon, and whether the shooter was left or right-handed, but even I could tell this was serious business. I slowed my pace, because even though the shots were in the distance (maybe two hundred yards), that sound just makes you more cautious.

Just as I was beginning to think that I heard incorrectly, there was the sound again. Pap-app-pap-pap-app, about 40 more rounds. Now I'm stopped dead (in my tracks, I mean), runnning through my survival training...oh, why didn't I get some survival training...forcing the final two steps to the main office.

Inside, Tim: "ummm, were those gunshots?" Office staff: "Yeah, you'll get used to it." T: "What?!?" OS: "Oh, there's a military firing range across the street, you'll hear that every day." T: "A little heads up would be nice."

By day five, I'm no longer "red: running for cover" at the sound, but I would say that my internal terror alert level has been downgraded to "burnt hazel: slightly jittery."

Just one more of the disturbing things about living on a floating military installation. I have to pass through a military check-point, complete with armed sentry, to get to work in the morning.

Today, during a faculty meeting, an F16 flew by the window...I waved at the pilot, and if I'm not mistaken, he waved back.

On my way home, the sun over my car was completely blocked by the shadow of a 767 coming to land...I think I ducked.

Mmmmm. Pineapple.

Look at the cute pineapple hula girl...

Love the red volcanic soil...

Ok, show of hands...who knew that pineapples grew out of the ground (like pumpkins, or really big strawberries) and not on trees (like bananas or coconuts)?

Apparently 17 miles from Pearl Harbor

At Dole Plantation (North Shore, O'Ahu)


So I noticed today, as I was preparing for another picture rampage, that people have been leaving little notes on my blog...that means people have been reading/viewing it. That's wierd...but nice when the people you know are far, far away.

It's great to know that the people you are thinking about are thinking about you.

That also means that I am going to have to pay more attention to my blog.

Sunday, July 24, 2005

School's IN for summer

School started this Thursday.
It's really disorienting to think that it's not even August yet and school is in session. That isn't the only thing that is disorienting about my new career.

1. For the first time in my life, I find myself saying both, "I really enjoy my job," and, "I feel useful today." (Goodbye "Gorillaz -- Clint Eastwood" life theme song: "I'm useless, but not for long")

2. Elementary kids are really Lucas...but they can run and jump and have a conversation (albeit a rambling conversation about "Halo 2", but a conversation nonetheless)...not like Lucas...yet.

3. After two days of school, I have already adjusted to the schedule. Up at 5:45, out the door by 6:30, at school by 7:15, leave school at 2:30-3:30, home by 3:30-4:30...strange. I find myself drowsy by 9:30-10:00, even on weekends. That's wierd...I'm not a morning person, at all...If I had my way, I roll out of bed at 10:00 every morning, back to bed around 12:00 for a nap...etc. Not here, alarm goes off, I spring out of bed.

That covers most of the things that are disorienting...but there is an overtone of surreality living and working in Hawaii.

In life, we tend to walk with our heads down, buried in whatever is going on inside...Hawaii forces you to dust off that haze and look around.

You get upset or worried or consumed by something and your brain kinda goes, "ummm, look up" and you see this huge, lush mountain (or turqoise wave) and you think, "now what was that I was worried about?"

That is my best explanation for the way I feel someone has shaken the cobwebs out.

Sunday, July 10, 2005

Relaxing at the beach

Hanauma Bay

Lucas at Hanauma Bay

Friday, July 08, 2005

Seal #2

Seal #1

Daddy and Lucas at the seal tank.



Thursday, July 07, 2005


Swinging monkeys

There's another goat that he's not so sure he can trust over there.

He loved this tortoise

Orangutan (big monkey)

hooray for the zoo!