Monday, April 19, 2010

Chicken Skin to da max!

This is dedicated to Ray Tyson my life long friend, surfing buddy and….

The following account took place on Maui in the Fall of 1965. Ray Tyson and I from Kailua High School upon graduating went to Mauna Olu College in upper Paia, Maui, Hawaii.

It was an easy choice for me. “They have a college on Maui?!!!. Honolua Bay, world class surfing spot, Maui? Gee, let me think about this….”

Ray and I were room mates at Baldwin Dormitory. I had a car. A brand new Kahmann Ghia.

So one of the first weekends there we decide to ‘Go to Hana’. Yeah!

Ray and I and three other girls leave bright and early after breakfast and take off to Hana, around the backside of Hana, Kaupo and back up through Ulupalakua and complete our return to Mauna Olu.

I had been on Maui several times before. I had surfed Honolua Bay enough to make a decision that, Yes!, Mauna Olu would be my choice for my scholastic pursuits. What is that anyway, scholastic???

For Ray and the three girls, Judy, Linda and – not sure, this was the first time for them to be on Maui.

For anyone in Hawaii, Maui is a special place and in particular, to go to Hana is a must!
This was no exception.

On the back side of Hana passing through Kipahulu where the Seven Pools –Why??? Seven? There are 16 that I have counted!!! – you have a breath taking view of the Big Isle and then Kaupo Gap where the crater opens up into Haleakala. On the makai (Ocean side) you have Kaupo Point and the Hui O Aloha Church.

This is where ‘Chicken Skin to the Max’ takes place.

Hui O Aloha Church, Kaupo. For those of you who are not familiar with Hawaiian, I will try to accurately convey the meanings of Hawaiian. First, disclaimer: I ain’t Hawaiian!

Hui is actually not Hawaiian. It is borrowed from Chinese. Hui is ‘group’. ‘O’ is like ‘of’ and ‘Aloha’ is technically ‘the breath of God through me to you.’

Hui O Aloha means: Group of ‘OOmmm!’

So anyway we are driving along slowly as the road and view is like WoWoWoW!

We of course turn off the road and go down to the Hui O Aloha Church and Point. We walk in and Ray standing in the entrance of the Church starts crying!

Now I will tell you why.

The week or two before this at Mauna Olu College there is this radio program on Maui of which our religious studies class is participating. If any of you are old enough, do you remember the ‘God is Dead’ articles that were prominent ‘Life’ magazine, ‘Time’, Newsweek?

This was the fall of 1965. Of all things, Ray and I are in this religious studies class and somehow are in this debate for our class and it is like being aired on the local Maui radio program. Ray is debating for, ‘God is Dead!’ I may not know what scholastic means, but having experienced first hand a tidal wave, Kilauea Iki volcano and a night in the desert at the age of 4, am debating against the idea that ‘God is (I ain’t even gonna say it!).

So standing there in the church, the three girls and I are like, Whoa! What’s happening to Ray?

Ray is standing there crying and staring at the wall above the podium. He is staring at the inscription written on the wall. The inscription is in Hawaiian. Ray, who does not know Hawaiian translates for us what it says: “If you seek me, you shall find me!”

If that wasn’t enough to knock us all over, the next thing that happened did. Suddenly, the inscription turned to English. The three girls and I just dropped! We fell into the pews and just sat there.

For all the years that I lived on Maui, 1975 -77, 1982 -99, I would frequent the Hui O Aloha church as often as I could. From about 1995 to 1999 I owned a Yamaha 850 (very cool) and used to go out almost weekly. It was my get away. I never went by the church without going in and …you know, reconnecting with Ray, and God.

Now, maybe I can prompt Ray to make a comment here:

In the mean time, Aloha! If you were Hawaiian you would say: Mahalo: (I receive the spirit (breath) of God through you to me!)

Sunday, April 11, 2010

Step 1. The Perfect Wave!

I have an idea. Maybe it is something that can grow into something worth while.
Imagine a perfect wave. Imagine a perfect wave in exact duplication. Again and Again. What would this mean to surfing? What would this mean to surf board design?

My father was an Oceanographic engineer. For credibility, he designed the reef runway extension at Honolulu Int’l airport. His tribar inventions are installed on each of the harbor jetties at Kahului, Maui, Nawiliwili, Kauai, and Hilo, Hawaii.

Internationally they are all over the world. Okinawa, Nigeria, Austrailia as well as some very noteworthy locations like Diablo Canyon, in California. In Ireland. They are everywhere.

I worked with my father on many of these projects as a part time assistance as well as full time helper.

Here is the thing: At the ‘Look laboratory of Oceanographic Engineering’ in Honolulu we had a model wave machine. Why not increase the size of this wave machine. I used to watch this machine generate these perfect waves. Granted they were model waves, but they were perfect.

We of course replicated the models to each of the harbors at the location of that particular project. But what if we built the perfect safe location and made the perfect wave. Again and again? Imagine surfboard designers with their teams of pro surfers competing not necessarily against each other, but against the perfect wave. And here is the clincher as far as I am concerned. This wave that they are competing against is exactly the same wave. Make it faster! Make it faster still! Which board, which surfer on which board is the best? It is a testing ‘ground’ for an endless developing process of fine tuning. And just in case you might overlook it – what do you think about FUN!

Got any ideas?

If you do, post them.

Tuesday, April 6, 2010

Japanese Garden


Come in and rest and enjoy a moment of solitude!

You'll find a bench just around the bend, yes that's right, next to the water feature.

This was designed and built by Natalia Timoshkina, Architect. She received her Architect degree at the Nagasaki Institute of Applied Science. She is Russian. She also has a masters in Design and BA in Foreign Languages.

Monday, April 5, 2010

Perfect Authentic Japanese –Hawaiian style short grain Rice


1. A Big bowl. Big enough to hand wash the rice grains to get the starch off, as a sheen off.

2. Short grain rice.

3. Water.

4. Either: A pot to cook the rice with preferable (not necessary) glass lid, so to can see in, OR a rice Cooker.

That’s it. That’s all you need!


So, how much cooked rice would you like? For two people? Four people?

Let’s go for the four people because if you do this, you will enjoy it and eat it all.

Okay, for 4 people.


In the bowl pour 2 cups of raw rice.

Fill the bowl with COLD water till it covers all the rice. More water is fine. But you do not want to make a mess while washing it by hand.
Scoop the soaked raw rice up in your hands and wash it in your hands. Wash it till the water is murky white. Maybe 10 or so times. Pour this water SLOWLY out leaving the rice in the bowl.

You do not have to get all the water out. Most is okay. Refill the bowl with COLD water till it covers the raw rice. Okay, repeat – wash it in your hands till the water is murky. Again about 10 times. Pour this water out, leaving the rice in the bowl. Now pour COLD water over the rice. Lift up the bowl and slowly swirl the rice around. Is it still murky? If so, rewash a third time. If not, then slowly pour this water out to get as much of the water out as possible with out pouring the rice out.


In a cooking pot or the rice cooker, dump the raw washed rice using either a MEASURING cup of WARM OR HOT water to wash the rice from the bowl into the pot or using a spatula to get the rice from the bowl to the pot or rice cooker.

You will need in this pot or rice cooker 2 cups of WARM OR HOT water.

If you prefer just a little more ‘fluffy’ cooked rice, you can add one ¼ more cup of water. Never more! But it is absolutely not necessary for perfect authentic Japanese Hawaiian style short grain rice to add this extra 1/4 cup.

If you have the rice cooker, plug it in and turn it on. Wait 15 minutes after the ‘button’ clicks to let you know that it is done.

Okay: Cooking in Pot. Important! If you are going to cook the rice in a pot, you can not leave the kitchen. If you have to do something, anything out of the kitchen do it now.

So you have your pot of raw rice with the water in it. Turn on the heat to medium with the glass cover on. If you do not have a glass cover, leave it uncovered.


Why? There is a perfect balance while the rice grains are cooking. If you move it a round, you will disturb this balance and your will have hard and soft, uneven cooked rice –yuck! Go ahead, ask me how I know.

When the rice comes to a boil and then when the water has disappeared covering the rice and bubbles are coming from the rice, TURN IT OFF! IF IT IS UNCOVERED, COVER IT NOW AND LEAVE IT COVERED FOR 15 MINUTES. If it is already covered, leave it covered for 15 minutes.

Has it been 15 minutes? If yes, then uncover the rice and slowly mix it, turning it with a rice paddle or wooden spoon.


Friday, April 2, 2010

Siargao Island, Philippines

The other night we walked along the beach path from our bungalow at the Jungle Reef Resort toward the pier that goes out into the lagoon and the surf spot, Cloud Nine.

It must have been late at night. I do not recall other people or seeing lights or TV’s illuminating some other dwellings.

Fire flies are here. We saw them up ahead just off of the path decorating a bush. They obviously liked this particular bush very much. It was a center for all their activity. And they were active. I had never seen so many fire flies in one location. A literal cloud of meandering decorative lights – floating around as they were, all around this one bush. We stood there for a moment watching them and then decided to move on in the direction of which we had set out toward – the pier by the surf spot going out into the lagoon.

A canopy of trees covers much of the land here as everywhere in the Pacific islands consisting primarily of Coconut trees. Here also were quite a few ironwoods. As the path of which we trod was at waters edge, we could look out and see the star covered sky. It was the starry night that we were going to the pier to observe unimpeded. To lie on the pier and look up.

The ocean’s play against the shore line was washing in and out, small pieces of coral and lava tumbling along. A light breeze fluttered the palm fronds. The distant waves broke on the reef far out in the bay.

The stars under a Pacific isle are something to behold. Some people who have grown up in large metro areas and maybe have gone out of these high population areas to glimpse the night sky would begin to appreciate such a viewing, but I would like to tempt you with what a night sky in a section of the world without pollution has to offer you.

I’ll let that moment wait for its owner. I truly wish this for you!

We would find on our stay here many and frequent occasions where the electricity failed. Some evening or another, reading, drinking chi – darkness. Your eyes would take a moment to adjust then you could take this suggestion to enjoy the night sky in its most pristine and glorious display.

All, the stars! Ohhhh, look a shooting star! Wow!

... a little addendum. While traveling all over the world, it was the starry nights that 'brought home' the fact that I was not back home, you know, like walking outside to take the rubbish out and glancing up at the night sky to see the constellations that you are familiar with. Looking directly above you at the 'Southern Cross' is a sight to behold! Rolling you head and 'just above the far horizon and seeing the big dipper, can have a profound effect on your psych. Wooooo! Where am I?