Archive for April, 2008

Being Bit by Bachi

Growing up in a Japanese household, the concept of bachi was something that was constantly instilled in us. Very loosely, bachi means “what goes around comes around”. It’s like laughing at someone falling and then tripping two seconds later.

So this past weekend, Dural, Kevin, Leschon and my brother were getting scuba certified and they had to do a few certification dives. Since Keidi and I are already certified we decided to join them in the water and see if we could take some pictures. The dives were at Electric Beach on the west side (which is the complete opposite side of the island that I live on) so Keidi and I tried to meet up with them in time for their second dive.

Since we were hella far away and Keidi had already run a 10k that morning (she finished 2nd in her age bracket) she decided to bring along some lunch to eat on the way to the dive site. Of course, I had always been taught that you shouldn’t eat right before you get in the water because you might cramp up and drown.

So as she’s eating, I remind her of this little nugget of wisdom. She kind of flippantly remarks back something to the effect of, “I starting just eating snacks before swimming but now, with proper training, I have worked up to full meals”. So I comment back, “Well, if you cramp up, I’m not saving you so I hope you can swim.”

When we got to the beach we couldn’t find anyone (but we did see their cars) so we decided to hit the water to see if we could find them. It’s a pretty shallow dive (my maximum depth was only 27 ft.) but there were really cool fish and marine life.

Some sort of starfish

Some fish and other marine life

So after diving for about 20 minutes Keidi and I looked around and saw some scuba divers exiting the water. We weren’t sure if those were our friends or not, so we decided to investigate. Now, my brother was borrowing my fins so I was forced to borrow a pair from someone else and we ended up being one pair of boots short. I tried to be a trooper and I shoved my gloves in my fins and used them for cushioning.

But because I didn’t have any boots, I wore my slippers down to the beach. I cleverly stashed them under a dead branch and prayed that they would still be there when I returned. As luck would have it, they were indeed there when we came ashore. But since I put them under a dead branch, some thorns must have been stuck in them because when I put them on I felt something poke me. So I tried to take the thorns out with all of my gear on and I started to lose my balance. I jumped on one leg to try to regain my balance and as I was falling I remembered that there were thorns in my other slipper so I tried to keep from stepping on that foot. Well, back to the whole bachi thing.

As I fell, my leg cramped up and I just fell sidewards and hit the sand. As I was silently grimacing in pain, trying to work out the cramp (because my samurai blood dictates that I suffer in silence) I explained to Keidi what happened. Of course after mocking her in the car I didn’t get much sympathy. In fact, I swear she just walked away and left me in the sand. Darn that bachi.

Keidi and I on another dive in March (when we were still friends)

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I remember a few years ago my friend was talking about your shower routine. Your shower routine is what you do in the shower every day. Most of us have a very predictable shower routine and if you deviate from that routine there’s no telling what may happen. For instance, my shower routine starts with washing my face, then my hair and lastly my body.

One day, I decided to mix things up and wash my body first and I got totally confused and by the time I had gotten out of the shower I realized that I had completely forgotten to wash my hair. So the lesson to be learned is when something distracts you from your routine bad things can happen.

So tonight my wife had forgotten something at MiniChurch (we moved houses tonight so there’s the first break of the routine) and I nicely volunteered to fetch it after she left for work (she starts at 11:00pm). Since we’re somewhat sharing cars I took my motorcycle and rode on down to Enchanted Lake.

When I got home I started pulling into the garage and I noticed my brother hadn’t parked very well. In fact, he was kind of at an angle and he made me sqeeze in between his car and the garage wall.

Well, as I was giving his car a dirty look, I started getting off my bike. Here’s the break in the routine part…I usually turn off my bike, put the kick stand down and dismount my bike. Tonight, however, I turned off my bike and started to dismount my bike.

Notice the difference?

You guessed it. I started to get off and I slowly came to realize that it was leaning over way too much. This is one of the scariest moments of my motorcycling life (and I have been in several near-accidents). Talk about horrifying. There’s nothing you can do when you’re going over. Well, nothing except fall with your bike on your brother’s car.

So now what? Now I’m wedged between my brother’s car and my bike. I’m way to prideful to call out for help, but I’m also really uncomfortable because my bike weighs like 500 pounds without gas.

So after a few awkward, flailing moments between Stanton’s car and my bike I took off my helmet and placed it on his car. Then with a Herculean effort and the brute strength of Samson, I grasped the beast by the handles and heaved it upright. Seriously, it was like something out of a movie. Like when the hero is stuck between a rock and a hard place and he has to decide whether to cut his leg off or die of starvation, but at the last second decides he has enough determination to lift the boulder off of himself.

I was all ready to gnaw off my arms and legs when I discovered that I am really strong! Whew…dodged a bullet that time. I shrugged off near disaster and left with nary a scratch. Next time it will probably be easier if I just move Stanton’s car!

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You know, there are many times in a man’s life where he likes to hear the the words, “Gee, it’s bigger than I thought”. I’ll let your mind wander around for a while and think of a few situations…okay, are you back?

Yesterday I heard that phrase but it was in a totally unpleasant way. Totally unpleasant. Where was I you may ask? Well I’ll tell you. I was in my dentist’s chair. Now, I don’t know about you, but I’m not really a big fan of dentists. Don’t get me wrong, I really like my dentist as a person. He’s actually my classmate (which was a little awkward at first) and my friend. When I see him at football games or at restaurants we always talk story and what not, but as soon as he puts on the mask and gloves I immediately tense up.

So back to yesterday. This was a follow up visit because one of my fillings came loose and he needed to take it out and refill it. So while he was in there I heard those dreaded words, “Gee, it’s bigger than I thought”. Yikes.

This actually really bums me out. I mean I brush and floss daily. I use a mouthwash. What more do I need to do? Why do I keep getting cavities?

So I was sitting there in the chair and Kevin, my classmate/dentist, just finished injecting me with whatever painkiller he used and he was ready to go. To me there is nothing more unnerving than the whir of the dentist’s drill. Anytime I hear it I always tense up. I mean, I’m sitting there and I’m clinching my fists and curling my toes and my back is all tight. Even though I keep telling myself to relax and I try to breathe slowly and loosen my muscles within 30 seconds I’m already tense again. Augh!

It’s so sad that I’m so conditioned to fear the dentist. I mean he’s a really nice guy and I know he wants the dental experience to be painless as possible, but I can’t help but dread that once-every-six-months visit. So after an hour of sitting there telling myself it’s not going to hurt (and it really didn’t) it was finally over and I was free to go. Yay! Now my next six month countdown begins again.

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Ah the Masters…held during the first full week of April, Augusta National Golf Club hosts golf’s first major of the year. To celebrate this wonderful golf tournament, we decided to play a little round of miniature golf at Hawaiian Waters Adventure Park’s miniature golf course. Actually, our intent was to go Box Car Racing with some of our friends from New Hope but due to a small miscommunication we couldn’t get on the track and had to go for Plan B. No worries, my life is is full of plan b’s and c’s and sometimes even d’s.

This is about as close as we got to the race track.

So unfortunately for Steve, who kept threatening to put all of us into a wall, we headed over to Kapolei and got ready for a round of 18 holes of fun and excitement.

Hawaiian Waters opened this course last year and this is the second time I’m playing it. I must say, as far as miniature golf on Oahu goes, this is one of the best courses (although there isn’t much competition). It has many little fun challenges and it’s not overly penalizing.

Are you up for the challenge? Of course you are!

So after breaking up into foursomes and fivesomes we teed it up and started playing. A few weeks ago, Mikey asked Dural, “Do you own any shirts with sleeves?” I think this is a reasonable question, since Dural’s main wardrobe really does seem to consist of tank tops. So the question really is, “Why does Dural only wear tank tops?” I think I may have an answer…

Need some tickets…to the gun show?

But anyway, our fivesome consisted of me, Kevin, Tricia, Angie and Steve. Not to brag, but if you were going to pick a winner from this group who would you pick? If I were you (and I’m not), I would say the safe money would have to be on me. I’m not trying to be conceited or anything, I’m just trying to be honest 🙂

But since I felt I had the best chance at winning, I decided to spice things up by making a side bet here and there. For example, on the second nine, there is a hole under a waterfall that’s relatively short and straight. So I proposed to my group that whoever had the highest score on the hole would have to stick their head under the waterfall. Seems fair eh?

Well as it played out, we all took our first shot and I ended up around a foot from the hole. After everyone played their first shot, I was the closest followed by Tricia, Steve, Angie and Kevin (with Kevin being around 6 feet away).

Angie hitting her second putt with Kevin studying the line.

Since I was the closest to the hole I went first (I know, I know, it’s opposite of real golf) and finished with a 2. Tricia, Angie and Steve all missed their second putts and finished with a 3. Kevin, who was the furthest from the hole, now got ready to hit his second putt. Now I should mention, Kevin had not made a clutch putt all day. It seemed that if there was any hint of pressure on him to win or tie a hole he just couldn’t do it. He would pull his putt one way, he would push it another. It was amazing…he would just crumble.

However No. 12 was different. Although I expected him to miss miserably as he had done all day, he somehow confidently stepped up to his ball and stroked it pure. And wouldn’t you know? He sunk the darn putt. How completely unexpected!

With Kevin safely in at 2, it meant that Angie, Tricia and Steve lost the bet and therefore had to stick their heads under the waterfall.

There’s Angie barely getting her head wet.

Tricia was a little more into it.

Steve decided to take a bath.

I’m glad they were all good sports and they all held up their end of the deal. Overall it was a fun long day on the west side. I’m not sure when we’re going to do this again since it was all the way in Kapolei, but if we do, I’m sure I will be the victor again!

To see all the pictures from the day click here.

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After watching Ulalena in Lahaina we decided to head back to Kihei. After all, tomorrow would be a long day as we had to meet Tripp in Makawao at like 6:30am. I know what you’re thinking, “why so early?” Believe me, we all had the same thought. But that’s the time they wanted to head out so who am I to complain?

Saturday also happened to be Marti’s birthday. How nice that she got to spend her 32nd birthday with a bunch of her closest friends on Maui! Keidi even got her a present (although she keeps reminding me that the present was from all of us, not just her).

There’s the birthday girl, bright-eyed and bushy-tailed

So after singing her a quiet Happy Birthday we headed out to Upcountry. One thing you have to understand about the neighbor islands is that even though they may be bigger in terms of land mass, they still have that small town feel (by which I mean, it’s hard to keep secrets from them because everyone knows everyone else). This is would be very evident a little later.

This is what greeted us when we arrived at Tripp’s house

After meeting Tripp’s family we started loading up the trucks for our weekend in Hana. This probably took us about half an hour or so and there wasn’t too much work to do so some people slept in the car and others just talked story.

Dina was real tired because she stayed out so late. To see why click here

But anyway while we were almost ready to leave, Tina, Tripp’s sister, yells out her now infamous question. I wish I had a picture of this, but who would have known she would blurt out such a thing? She asked, “So which of you is Kelly’s sister’s boyfriend?”

Now all of us kind of stupidly stood there since we had no idea who Kelly was let alone Kelly’s sister. There was one person, however, that knew the answer to the question. So after a few awkward seconds John-John kind of raises his hand and mutters, “She’s not my girlfriend…”

By then we all figured out what Tina was talking about and we all turned to John-John, pointed at him and started laughing hysterically (well, maybe it was just me that actually pointed). At this point John-John turned a bright shade of red and stood there seemingly stunned by our taunting. At that point, I knew it would be a real fun weekend.

John-John (far right) before he turned the color of Clinton’s (far left) jacket

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Bathroom Comics

Well it’s now been a week since I’ve last blogged on this thing. Whew, that’s too long. But not to worry, now that my taxes are done, I’m sure I’ll have a lot more time to devote to blogging. I still want to continue my Maui Memories series, but first I thought I’d give you some light hearted humor.

In my bathroom I have three calendars. I usually wait until the end of January to buy them because at that point in time the prices go down and you can get some really good deals. Unfortunately, when you wait that long, the good calendars are gone and the selection is usually pretty slim. So this year there I couldn’t get Dilbert, Foxtrot or even Luann. Instead I had to “settle” for Rubes and Brevity. Brevity has been a wonderful surprise. It has made me laugh out loud on more than one occasion. So without further ado, here are a few of my favorites from the last month or so.

By the way, I’ll continue to post more throughout the year.

This is totally me and Keao. Can you guess which one is me and which one is Keao?

For some reason, this one really reminded me of Mikey.

I think we’ve all had this thought at one point or another.

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Okay, so I haven’t been blogging in a bit. It’s been really busy at work (plus taxes are due next week!) so I haven’t had time to regale you with stories from the Valley Isle. So to make up for it, I’ve created a short slideshow from some of the pictures we took on Maui. Hopefully I’ll be able to provide a little more narration later this week.

Ignite’s Maui Trip 2008

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Maui Memories Part 3

A few days before I left for Maui, Keao and I took Cassandra (Keao’s sister) and Lauren (our niece) to the beach. Unfortunately for me, while I was washing off Lauren, I got stung by a bee. The bad news is that I’m allergic to bees (well their poison anyway), the good news is that I’m not dead. Keao wrote about it here.

So by the time I reached Maui my foot was still swollen and a little sore. Although it wasn’t terribly bad, I decided to take some antihistamines. I didn’t realize it at the time, but antihistamines make you really, really drowsy. Combine that with my lack of sleep and by Friday morning, I was pretty much useless.

There were others, however, that decided to go up to Haleakala to watch the sun rise. Haleakala or “house used by the sun” is the world’s largest dormant volcano and it’s a very popular place to watch the sun rise and set. On paper it sounded quite dandy, but in real life, leaving Kihei at 3:45am didn’t sound too appealing to me.

Since I didn’t actually go to Haleakala, these next pictures are credited to Joy, Keidi and Lisa.

Marti, Keidi, Lisa, Jasen, Alex, Joy and Kevin smiling at the summit.

The sun as it rises above the clouds.

In addition to being so high up (according to a sign 10,023 feet above sea level) Haleakala is the only place in which the silversword grows. It’s kind of a cool plant that resembles a tumbleweed.

The Haleakala Silversword

So by the time the Haleakala group came back to Kihei, it was around 2:30pm and I was still a little groggy from the medication I took. Even though I was in somewhat of a stupor I still noticed that Jasen walked in wearing only a long sleeve T-shirt and workout pants. Now I know that Jasen is tough, but I also know that Haleakala before sunrise can be absolutely freezing. I mean I think the normal temperature is somewhere in the 30’s and 40’s and it’s been known to snow up there. So when Jasen walked in the door dressed the way he was, I was surprised.

Here’s a short transcription of our conversation:

Me: Eh, Jasen, is that the way you dressed for Haleakala? Weren’t you cold?

Jasen: Brah, it was freezing!

Me: So why didn’t you dress warmer?

Jasen: Because, when I woke up, I saw Kevin walking out the door smiling and wearing just a T-shirt and shorts. I thought to myself, brah, that guy is gonna be cold! Then, when we got to the top, I seen him start taking out all these jackets and pants!

Me: I told you to dress warm!

Jasen: I thought I was dressing warm! This is Hawaii!

Not too worry though. Lisa did let him use her jacket and some people brought along extra blankets.

Hey Mister, can I have my jacket back?

A picture perfect rainbow in Upcountry.

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I started my day as usual, checking emails, reading various news articles and reading through some blogs. I normally read Keao’s, Nely’s, Bryce’s, the Advertiser’s UH Football one and most recently John-John’s.

As I was reading Stephen Tsai’s (the Advertiser’s one) blog I noticed he had an article written by Chris Shinnick, a former UH football player.

Me with Stephen Tsai (left) and Ferd Lewis (right) in Las Vegas.

I met Chris probably sometime around 2000-2001. At the time he was the youth pastor at Moanalua Gardens Missionary Church and some of the kids in my High School MiniChurch wanted to check out their youth group called the Firehouse. So I went along and I’ll never forget the first thing he said to me. I walked in the door (and he probably thought I was some creepy guy since I was considerably older than everyone else) and looked me straight in the eye with an outstretched hand and said, “Who are you?” He didn’t say it in a threatening way, but rather matter-of-fact genuine way since he didn’t know who I was. I explained why I was there and thus began a long friendship.

Take the time to read his article. You can read it here. It’s worth reading. It tells the tale of unselfishness and heroism. I can only hope that if I’m ever in the same situation I would act the same way as that young man. Thanks for the reminder Chris.

Chris (far left) with Senor Pablo and Liz at camp in December, 2003.

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Windy Road Flashbacks

Although we’re right in the middle of our Maui series, I thought I’d take a little break. One of the highlights of our trip on Maui was the weekend when we went to Hana. As you may have heard, the Road to Hana is a very windy, narrow road. You can read the Wikipedia article here. There is, however, a similiar, albeit shorter, road on the Big Island. It’s known as Saddle Road and it connects Hilo and Waimea. Like the Road to Hana, Saddle road is windy, sometimes narrow and it has many one-lane bridges. Compound that with a fog that usually settles in at night and you have one harrowing experience.

Well last year instead of going to Maui, we went to the Big Island. We were in Hilo and we wanted to get back to our hotel, Uncle Billy’s, in Kona as quickly as possible. Since my wife is from the Big Island she volunteered to make the drive. Of course she chose to drive on the Saddle Road because she is quite familiar with it. We had no idea what we were in for…

Keao grading at Uncle Billy’s

As I mentioned earlier, there is lots of fog on that road so the visibility is very poor. Add that to the windy road and it made for a really jerky, swervy ride. Well prior to us leaving Hilo, Dural, being the nice guy that he is, offered to buy us ice cream from Cosmic Cones. Bad move Dural, bad move. It would come back up to bite him.

As we were driving down the road Dural starting to look a little green. I mean, the dude looked miserable. Now, I sometimes get seasick so I know how terrible it feels to be nauseous. About halfway through the ride I guess he couldn’t handle it any longer…he weakly called out to Keao, “Can you pull over?” Of course she obliged and we waited for Dural to get out and do his business. What happened next surprised us. Instead of opening the door, he simply started repeating the word “drive.”

Drive you say? So Keao started to slowly pull away. “No, the car is in drive,” was the response. Apparently he couldn’t get the door open because the car was in drive. This car needed the car to be in park before he could open the door. Hee hee. Keao quickly threw the car in park and Dural bolted out of the van and upchucked his entire milkshake from Cosmic Cones. I mean, he really launched it! He barely even made it out of the van when we heard the giant splat.

*sigh* These were the thoughts that ran through my mind right before we started to make our way on the Road to Hana. I really hoped we didn’t see a repeat…

Guess who made this little mess?

There’s the proud papa!

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