Category Archives: General

Probably no post today

This is a travel day.

We’re on the way back today from Washington, D.C., leaving the Washington Hilton at 6 a.m. (I think that’s 1 a.m. Hawaii time).

We’ve been here for Meda’s major professional meeting of the year, the annual meetings of the American Society of Criminology. She had a good conference, while I mainly relaxed and got some little jobs done.

Hopefully we’ll be back home on time, and I’ll be ready to blog on Monday.

Check back tomorrow, please.

Feline Friday: Romeo is having a ball

Mr. Romeo has come out of the closet and out from under the living room chairs where he had been spending most of his time over the first month or more after our move from Kaaawa.

His behavior, and those of the other cats, certainly support the proposition that cats are place oriented, while dogs tend to be more people oriented.

But after more than two months in their new location, Romeo and the others are starting to take possession of the new space. Now they are more likely to sleep on the living room chairs rather than underneath them, a major change.

And I’ve noticed them playing. I saw Romeo out of the corner of my eye hitting this ball around the room. I missed the first half of the operation, but managed to get my phone in hand and start the video while he was still engaged.

There’s a story to the stool that you see in the right hand corner. I placed it over there in front of a tall window where Romeo can look out. I thought that he would immediately realize its strategic location, since he had been straining to see out while sitting on the end of the old Chinese chest. But every time I lifted him up on the stool, he would look around, check out the outside world, and jump right down. So I was interested that he was willing to play around it. Later, for the first time, he made his own way onto the stool, but I can’t tell yet whether than was a one-time fluke or evidence that he’s figured it out. We’ll see.

And you can see one other thing in the video–the new floor is slippery. Romeo skids on it at one point. Toby, unfortunately, hurt himself, I’m afraid. He’s still limping, and it seems to start getting better and then get worse again. He’s probably earning another trip to the vet. We’re keeping close tabs on him.

In any case, celebrate this Feline Friday by watching Romeo’s little video.

Throwback Thursday: Hawaii on sale down under

Here’s another oldie for Throwback Thursday.

I’m pretty sure that this was taken during our first trip to Melbourne, Australia, a city which we’ve visited several times and enjoy very much.

Meda was collaborating with a friend, also a criminologist, who was teaching at the University of Melbourne, which led to our trip.

My best guess on the date is about 1993, give or take a couple of years.

It was late spring or early summer in Hawaii, which meant that it was winter, or getting to be winter, in Melbourne, offering a chance for us to visit some cool weather.

And we were surprised to find signs of Hawaii tourism on the streets of Melbourne.

I’m sure it was the somewhat puffy down jacket that gave the false appearance that I carried few extra ounces during that period.

Melbourne c.1993

Deciding who to support in Hawaiian election isn’t easy

I’ve said for years that I’m an agnostic on the question of Hawaiian sovereignty.

Look up “agnostic” in the dictionary and you’ll find a definition something like this:

a person who believes that nothing is known or can be known of the existence or nature of God or of anything beyond material phenomena; a person who claims neither faith nor disbelief in God.

Apply that outside of religion, and you get a related definition like this (

a person who holds neither of two opposing positions on a topic: “Socrates was an agnostic on the subject of immortality.

And that’s how I feel about sovereignty. I don’t think enough is known, or agreed on, to be able to figure out whether any form of sovereignty would advance or hurt the interests of the broader Hawaiian community, so at this point I’m not opposing or supporting the sovereignty idea in general.

But I am supporting the Na’i Aupuni election process because it is a concrete and organized step to both broadening and focusing the discussion of sovereignty, as contradictory as that sounds.

It broadens the discussion by opening it up to all eligible Hawaiians, but focuses it by limiting the number of delegates and imposing a time period for reaching at least tentative conclusions and recommendations. It has the potential to move the whole process forward. But if it fails, it could slam the door on real progress for another generation or more.

While I intend to vote, I haven’t yet done so. And that worries me, because I’m guessing that many others may be having similar problems sifting through the candidates and selecting those to support. And low participation will endanger the whole effort.

Some candidate choices are easy, people I have known over the years, and I’m confident that they have the experience, vision, and good sense to sort out the many competing issues, interests, and personalities. But after that, choices are difficult.

Many candidates appear to be primarily supported by their extended families, judging by those who signed their nomination forms. The descriptions candidates have provided of themselves are heavy on broad generalities, and don’t always provide information on educational and employment backgrounds, or political views and affiliations, economic perspectives, etc.

Over the past 40 years, new Hawaiian institutions have developed, with the Office of Hawaiian Affairs likely at the top of the food chain. Older institutions, like the Hawaiian Homes Commission and the Department of Hawaiian Home Lands, have give greater emphasis to having Hawaiians in management positions.

I am interested candidates views on how a new Hawaiian governing entity can transform these institutions, or their essential functions, for the better, but there are few clues in the candidate statements.

Many candidates stress the importance of land.

Well, DHHL has land. So does OHA, on a smaller scale. What do they think a new Hawaiian governing entity can do to make better use of this land? How will any available land be allocated to address issues of homelessness and community economic development? How will the land controlled by the alii trusts be treated if a new governing entity is approved? I doubt the trusts are prepared to turn over their portfolios any time soon.

These, and a host of other questions, buzz through my head every time I sit down and try to systematically evaluate the candidates. And so far, I haven’t made it through the list or come close to casing my vote.

I will make decisions before the deadline for voting. But the process of getting there has me worried about whether the election, and the resulting convention, will be a success.

The sounds of the morning mynah birds

Waialae Beach ParkSince we moved back to Kahala and have been walking to the beach before dawn, there’s something been nagging at me. I finally figured out that it’s banyan tree that you see in this photo.

Actually, it’s the sound of the mynah birds in the banyan, located next to the parking lot at Waialae Beach Park, where Kahala Avenue runs in past the Waialae Country Club, the Kahala apartments, and on to the hotel.

There’s a period before dawn, which I recall being repeated during evening twilight, when the mynah birds gather by the hundreds or thousands in a raucous wave of bird sounds. It’s loud, but I realize that I don’t find it objectionable in the least because similar sounds are embedded in my small-kid-time memories.

I was probably somewhere between five and ten years old when my father would walk my sister and I down the street to the Waialae Beach Park after dinner several times a week, then either walk for a while across the golf course as it got dark, or go over to the beach and walk past the dairy where the cows were milked.

And along the way, there were several trees where the rowdy birds would be gathering before settling down for the night. It’s the same sound we now hear in the mornings.

Today I walked over beneath the tree and recorded a bit of the experience with my iPhone.

Click here to listen to the mynahs as the sounded on Sunday morning. I’ll eventually have to try this again with a proper microphone, but this will do for now.

I hope you enjoy it.