Monday, September 27, 2010

Kanu's Eat Local Challenge: Day 1

I admire and respect people who force me to question my own beliefs. Such is the case with my Twitter friend @scrivener, whom I have known IRL for many years. Some may find his probing exasperating, but I welcome the pondering it elicits of the people, causes, and ideologies I support. Kanu's (@kanuhawaii) Eat Local Challenge is a good example. He posted this tweet about eating fish during the challenge week. The ensuing conversation made me think about why I've chosen to become involved in the campaign. I'm not doing it to try to prove anything; I'm doing it to raise awareness about the precarious state of Hawaii's food supply. I believe we, as consumers, have the power to effect real change by how we choose to spend our dollar. I, for one, would like to be able to walk into a supermarket and know that there will be locally grown fruits and vegetables in the produce section or milk and eggs produced from locally grown livestock. I don't want my food flown in from a random South American country, even if that means giving up some of the choices we've grown accustomed to. So, @Scrivener, thanks for having these conversations with me and others about the Eat Local Challenge. The increased dialogue is evidence to me that the campaign is working.

Wednesday, September 22, 2010

Obligatory Hawaii Five-0 Post

I am probably the last blogger in the state to write about Hawaii Five-0. I missed the Sunset on the Beach premiere and I don't have TV so my only option was to stream it from IMDB tonight. A quick Google or Twitter search will reveal a plethora of blog posts related to the new series. Ryan Ozawa (@Hawaii) blogged about it here and Catherine Toth (@thedailydish) of Nonstop Honolulu wrote a post that has already garnered more than 50 comments. I also enjoyed reading John Garcia's (@JohnGarcia) design breakdown of the opening sequence. I agree with everyone that it was actually A LOT better than anticipated (once you get past the geography and pidgin). So what's left to write about? Well, being the geek that I am, I'm going to blog about the show's mobile tech.

During the first scene, McGarrett (played by Alex O'Loughlin), whips out this dinosaur. I was thinking to myself, "What the heck is that? It sorta' looks like a 6100 series Nokia." Anyone know what the actual model is? I had a similar phone when T-Mobile was still VoiceStream. That may very well have been my last monochromatic phone. EVER.

When he arrives in Honolulu, he must have been eligible for an upgrade (or maybe he changed carriers from T-Mobile to AT&T) because in the next scene, you see him rocking an iPhone 3GS. Someone should have told him to hold out for an iPhone 4. The iPhone 4's 5-megapixel camera and LED flash is much better suited for taking pictures of a poorly lit crime scene.

I was just scratching my head on this one. During this conversation, McGarrett's iPhone makes an audible beep when he picks it up and when he ends the call. My iPhone doesn't beep when I take a call and neither does my wife's. Is there some unknown feature I'm missing out on here?

Even the bad guys have iPhones and they get better reception than I do >:(

In addition to iPhones, our heroes are decked out with unibody MacBook Pros, 'cause you know, crime fighting is so much cooler with a Mac ;)

Incidentally, if you are a fan of the new series, Kukui High School is now on Twitter. Follow them @kukuihigh.

Saturday, September 18, 2010

3 Things I Learned at the NonstopHonolulu Launch

1. Malika Dudley (@MalikaDudley) is tall. If you know me IRL, you're probably chuckling to yourself as you read this, given my towering 5 feet, 4 inch stature (and that's on a good day), but really, she is tall.
2. Not everyone gets a Swarm badge :( Yes, I am a little bitter about that. I checked in when I got there (at the time, the count was at 35) and after the announcements started blowing up my Twitter stream, I checked in a few more times for good measure. Nothing. Apparently I wasn't the only one, based on this tweet by Ricky Li (@rickyli99)
3. Lastly (and this was more of a reminder than an actual lesson learned), but as Melissa Chang (@Melissa808) points out in her blog, social media has a very personal component to it. It doesn't matter where you come from, what your socio-economic status is, or how many Twitter follows you have. Everyone was there to have a good time. My only complaint? There wasn't enough time to say hi to everyone or get to know those I've never met before.
Overall, it was an awesome experience. Here's to a long, successful journey for Nonstop Honolulu!

Wednesday, September 15, 2010

Kanu's Eat Local Challenge

Current farming practices, both land and sea, are not sustainable. If you didn't already know this, you should check out the movie Food, Inc., Michael Pollan's (@michaelpollan) book The Omnivore's Dilemma, or this article by Chef Rick Moonen (@rickmoonen). I also blogged a little about the need for supporting local agriculture here.
These problems are amplified in a community like Hawaii. We don't grow enough food to support our population so we must rely on imported goods. What can we do about that? Well, we can start by joining Kanu Hawaii's (@KanuHawaii) Eat Local 2010 Campaign. It's a week-long event (September 26 - October 2) that emphasizes the need for a healthy, sustainable future for Hawaii. There are a variety of ways to participate and every bit counts. Don't feel like you have to make radical changes to your lifestyle (though if you feel compelled to do so, don't let anyone stop you!). Real change happens one step at a time.

Tuesday, September 14, 2010

Today I cast my vote for A NEW DAY IN HAWAII

Today was the very first time I cast a vote in a primary election. That's right, the first time. EVER. I've made it a point to vote in the general election and I'm proud to say that I have exercised that right in every election since I turned 18. But the primaries? I never bothered. I guess I've always considered them unimportant - much like a preseason football game. My attitude used to be, "Who cares? After all, it's the general election that REALLY matters, right?" So why is this year any different? Well, I felt compelled to vote for Neil Abercrombie (@neilabercrombie) as Governor of Hawaii. Pretty strong statement coming from a guy who never voted in the primaries before, huh?
Generally, I agree with Mr. Abercrombie's plan, outlined in a 43 page document entitled A New Day in Hawaii. In particular, my views are aligned with his position on education, healthcare, and sustainability for the state. But it isn't politics that really convinced me to cast my vote. It wasn't a debate or public event, either. The deciding factor for me are the people who work for him. People like L.P. Neenz Faleafine (@NEENZ), Ed Morita (@NctrnlBst), and Melissa Chang (@Melissa808). People I have come to know through Social Media and now consider to be good friends of mine. From a Follow Friday shout out from Neenz to lunch with Melissa to being included in a video produced by Ed, I enjoy hanging out with these people and have come to truly value their friendship. They have supported me in many of my endeavors and I felt that this was a small, yet significant, opportunity for me to reciprocate. Russ (@ParkRat) blogged a similar sentiment here. Not once did they exploit our friendship for the sake of the campaign and for that I am also grateful. If they had used our relationship to solicit a vote from me, things would definitely be different.
Whether or not you agree with me and my choice for Hawaii's next governor, I implore you to cast a vote. If you feel you need more information, there are great resources available online like this one compiled by Kanu Hawaii. It is our duty, our kuleana to make our voices heard.

Sunday, September 12, 2010

Ka 'Ikena | Honolulu, Hawaii

9/15 UPDATE: Melissa posted her blog today. Check it out here.
Ka 'Ikena is a restaurant operated by students in Kapiolani Community College's culinary program. The menu is all-inclusive and the price is determined by which entrée you order. I've been there on several occasions for dinner and it's always "hit or miss." Sometimes, the food is phenomenal. On other occasions, it's just been ho-hum. Twitter buddy Melissa Chang (@Melissa808) and I decided to take a chance and hit it up for a lunch meeting this past Thursday. This is my take on the experience; watch for Melissa's on her blog, Urban Mix Plate on
Overall, the food was good. I felt badly for the waitstaff though, many of whom were looking just a little awkward.

KCC Ka 'Ikena Dining Room
4303 Diamond Head Road
Honolulu, HI 96816
(808) 734-9499
Website (There's a separate page for dinner.)

I started with the Petite Salad Nicoise. A few greens, some baby asparagus, tomato, egg, and there's a sliver of ahi (tuna) hiding in there. Nothing about this dish really wowed me.

I really enjoyed the biscuit. The outside was nice and firm, while the inside was soft and buttery.

I went with the Roast Rack of Lamb. The portion was very generous for lunch (in this case, 4 thick cuts of lamb sitting atop a mountain of potatoes.)

The two pieces on the left were cooked to a perfect medium rare. The two on the right were just a little overdone for my liking, so it was good that there was some Cumberland Sauce served on the side to balance it out.

Melissa tweeted a picture of the full dessert cart and got 12 immediate responses. I settled on the pecan pie and it was awesomesauce. All that was missing was a scoop of vanilla ice cream.

Monday, September 6, 2010

Brazilian Day (Crouching Lion Inn) | Kaaawa, Hawaii

We love Brazilian food, but it's hard to come by here in the islands (ever since Tudo de Bom closed) so we jump at every opportunity. The Brazilian Cultural Center of Hawaii presented "Brazilian Day" out at Crouching Lion Inn yesterday, complete with Brazilian style buffet. As it turns out, the restaurant features some Brazilian dishes regularly on its menu. We may need to head back out there next time we crave some Brazilian food.

Crouching Lion Inn
51-666 Kamehameha Highway
Kaaawa, HI 96730-9819
(808) 237-8981

The Brazil flag was everywhere.

This little guy sits at the top of the main stairs, but he doesn't say much.

The buffet was decorated extravagantly. Disappointingly, only about half the buffet was actually Brazilian food. The right side was mostly lettuce, tomato, and cucumber (i.e. your typical American salad bar fare).

I thought it was a little pricey give the selection, but when you are the only Brazilian buffet on the island, I suppose you can pretty much charge whatever you want.

The potato salad was interesting. There were all kinds of mixed veggies in there like carrots, green beans, and corn. I quickly discovered that juggling two plates of food while trying to snap pics with a DSLR isn't an easy task, especially when you have a three year old literally running circles around you.

My favorite dish by far was the Feijoada. The meat was so incredibly tender and flavorful. I briefly considered a plate full of rice smothered in the Feijoada's smokey goodness, but decided I had better try the other dishes too.

This is what my plate looked like after a trip through the line. In addition to the Feijoada, there was fried Yucca wedges with salted bitter greens (looked and tasted like collards), Carne ao Molho Madeira (roast beef), Frango Ensopado no Estilo Mineiro (chicken), a side dish that looked like cornbread, and coconut pudding.

This is the other side of my plate, where you can see the greens and coconut. Yes, it was a big plate. I took no prisoners.

In all, a very good day and the drive was totally worth it. We were treated to a beautiful sunset on our way back.

Saturday, September 4, 2010

Eggs 'n Things | Honolulu, Hawaii

Had this post sitting in my queue for a couple weeks, but just never got around to publishing it.

A few weeks ago, Julie and I went to Eggs 'n Things in Waikiki for dinner. When Eggs 'N Things was located in the Kalakauan, we used to go there to satisfy our late night munchies, but only recently managed to make it over to the "new" location. Overall, I'd say our experience was mediocre. The food left us underwhelmed (perhaps because we had such high hopes of revisiting this place once it reopened), though the service was good.

Eggs 'n Things
343 Saratoga Road
Honolulu, HI 96815
(808) 949-0820

Julie ordered a plantation iced tea to start. Not exactly a "breakfast food," but it was good.

If you order waffles, pancakes, etc., they will bring you an assortment of syrups.

I ordered the corned beef hash and eggs. It wasn't as satisfying as I remember it being at the old location. The taste was average and it wasn't quite enough.

Julie ordered the blueberry crêpes. She enjoyed them, just as she had at the old location.