Visiting Family

I live a LONG way from my family, and I miss all of them. Here are some photos from a recent trip. I stopped in Los Angeles to see Andrew. We spent a wonderful evening together and are winding up by indulging at a Ben & Jerry’s. I then went on to West Lafayette, Indiana to visit my mother and sisters. My mother and her friend Bill knew each other in high school. Now they take care of each other in warm, loving companionship. They’re approaching their 90th birthdays.

Trump’s First Week

Trump’s first week in office has disturbed millions of Americans.  Just this week, a member of the Hawaii state house, influenced by Trump’s obvious conflicts of business interests, introduced a bill to “prohibit the governor and the four Hawaii mayors from accepting any outside employment or earnings while in office.” (Star Advertiser, January 28, 2017)

What can we do? Donate to threatened organizations (Planned Parenthood, NEA, Public Broadcasting, etc), write letters to your senators and members of congress. And protest peacefully.  We will have better success if we do it peacefully, even though we want to rant.  There’s enough ranting.  And just in case you still were wondering, there were many, many more attendees at the march last Saturday than at the inauguration.  


Collapsing wall at Halemaʻumaʻu Crater

Part of a wall at Pele’s home in Halemaʻumaʻu Crater collapsed two days ago and triggered an explosion within the molten lava lake.  The lake is 31 feet below the level of the crater’s edge and the explosion sent up a cloud of ash and lava splatter. wall-collapseNo one was hurt, as people aren’t allowed inside the crater, but people standing around the rim captured some good video and photos. Pele is getting restless!

Hawaii’s Active Volcano

peleKilauea isn’t THE most active volcano in the world. That honor belongs to Stromboli Volcano, off the west coast of southern Italy, which has been erupting continuously for over 2,000 years.

But Kilauea is one of the most active. It erupted almost continuously from 1823 to 1924 and the current eruption has been ongoing for over 30 years.

Kilauea is a shield-typed volcano on the Big Island of Hawaii that rises 4190 feet, or 1227 meters,hawaii-volcanoes-map-mediumthumb above sea level. The summit caldera contains a lava lake called Halemaʻumaʻu that is said to be home to Pele, the Hawaiian volcano goddess.

According to geologists, the Hawaiian archipelago sits in the middle of a tectonic plate known as the Pacific plate. The plate’s melting rock produces magma, which rises through the earth’s mantle and crust to erupt beneath the ocean to form an active seamount. Over time, countless eruptions push the seamount to the ocean’s surface, and geologists call it an ocean volcano. eruption

lava-entering-oceanThe people of Hawaii call the rising seamount and incipient island Loʻihi (I can’t get the macron over the O to work here). It is about 975 meters, or 3000 feet, below the sea’s surface and is expected to emerge in a minimum of 10,000 years—if it appears at all. Meanwhile, the Big Island grows as lava pours into the sea.

Surf like a Girl

surfs-like-a-girl_elliot-lebo_1Women have broken through a glass ceiling in Hawaii, a bright beacon considering recent discouraging events. For years, women have lobbied to be allowed to compete in big-wave surfing contests such as Jaws (Pe’ahi) on Maui or Mavericks in California. Hooray for the Hawaii state regulators who wouldn’t grant a permit unless women were included!

The result? Twelve women and 24 men competed in separate events in surf that topped 30 feet. Some of the competitors’ training exercises include holding their breath for over 4 minutes, because a big wave can pin a person in “the green room” for a dangerously long time. the-green-room

Paige Alms won yesterday’s (November 11, 2016) competition.

Paige Alms training

Paige Alms training

Trying to Listen

One of my dearest friends voted for Trump, and she is one of the kindest, most moral people I know. So what happened?!? How could the two of us, with basically the same information, differ so fundamentally? We needed to talk.

Hillary and Bill’s use of the Clinton Foundation and Bill’s speaking fees bothered her a lot, but it turns out that she couldn’t decide between the candidates until the last debate. Apparently, someone asked if Hillary supported late-term abortion, and my friend heard Hillary respond that she supported women’s rights and abortion. Period. Moderator Chris Wallace repeated the question about late term abortions, and Hillary repeated her answer. Did I mention that my friend is very religious? (Somehow, I missed this part of the debate, but I would have heard the women’s right’s part, and loved it.)

My friend shared that she had watched an animated video of a late term abortion not long before the debate, and was profoundly disturbed. And this issue tipped my friend’s vote to Trump.

trump-2And here’s a direct quote from one of my family’s email threads: “I get that Trump doesn’t always watch his mouth.  But I feel like the Soros-funded riots and protests are causing a huge amount of divisiveness too.  I think the average American is just tired of being called racist because they disagree with Obama’s policies, sexist because they disagree with Hillary, anti-Muslim because they are afraid of terrorism, and anti-immigration because they want to see ILLEGAL immigration controlled.  The other side are not demons, they’ve been demonized.”

Doesn’t watch his mouth? Racist because “they” don’t agree with Obama’s policies? Wait, who is demonized??trump

Oops, I’m not supposed to rant. I’m trying to listen.

I’m Worried. Really Worried.

So far, I’ve avoided politics in my blogs, but I need to vent or I’m going to explode. Fifty-three percent of white women voted for Trump and I don’t understand. What am I missing? I understand why many feel Hillary had trust issues, but those issues (private email server?) pale in comparison to Trump’s immorality. Even if you were trying to vote for the better of two bad candidates, how does one choose a candidate who is proud of molesting women and brags that cheating and lying are “smart business practices”?

Americans elected a man who has lied—for starters—about his income, his business deals, his treatment of people who work with or for him, and his taxes. He claims his father gave him a “small loan of $1 million,” but documents show that Fred Trump guaranteed the $70 million loan from the bank that financed Donald’s first real estate venture, the Grand Hyatt hotel in Manhattan. (Meanwhile, Fred had to keep a low profile because of his disreputable reputation in New York real estate.) When Fred died in 1999, his estate, which was between $100-300 million, was divided among his four surviving children. (Washington Post,

Worse yet is his treatment of other people. He cheated students at Trump University and contractors who did work at his real estate sites. At least 60 lawsuits, along with liens, judgments, and other government records document that Trump failed to pay people for their work. ( He had an affair soon after marrying his third wife, Melania, because she was “unattractive” while pregnant. You saw the video where Trump bragged to Billy Bush about his ability to grope women, right? See if you missed it, but brace yourself for despicable language and attitudes. It shows an utter lack of humanity—it’s what parents knock themselves out to teach their kids NOT TO DO. NBC fired Billy Bush, but America elected Trump.

What about his comments about Mexicans and African American communities? Immigrants?

What are we thinking? I agree with Luvvie Ajayi (Here’s her blog on the topic. We have dug a ditch—a chasm—that we may never get out of. You religious folks, please start praying NOW. Chris Christie, who ducked culpability over vindictive bridge closures and is letting his ex-deputy chief of staff, Bridget Anne Kelly, be convicted for the infraction (see will be a member Trump’s cabinet. Rudy Giuliani may be Attorney General. Help!! And David Duke, who ran the KKK, may be an advisor. Are you kidding me? This is like a Philip Dick novel (and those are apocalyptically depressing!).

Please answer me in a logical clear-eyed manner, because I want to know.

Shark attack!


Shark Attacks in Hawaii

Are shark attacks increasing? A recent study theorizes that rising ocean temperatures lure many more swimmers into the ocean, which has increased the risk of attack. Meanwhile, the coral reefs where the sharks normally feed are suffering from the rising temperatures.

But wait! A report by the International Shark Attack File, a database of shark attacks maintained by the Florida Museum of Natural History, states that shark attacks are not getting worse. Six people died of shark attacks in 2015, whereas eleven died in 2000.

However, it is always smart to take precautions. Apparently, sharks like colorful clothing, in particular yellow and orange bathing suits. The sparkle of jewelry attracts them, too. So forget about making a fashion statement if you’re planning on a swim.

Stay away from murky water, and avoid going into the ocean at dawn, dusk, or at night, when large sharks come closer to land to feed. Avoid swimming, snorkeling, or surfing around the mouths of rivers or streams. tiger_shark

And then there’s blood. It’s probably better to err on the side of caution and avoid swimming in the ocean if you are bleeding. With paired nostrils on the underside of their snouts, sharks can sense one drop of blood in a million drops of water (about the size of a home swimming pool), and may be able to detect blood from a quarter mile away.

Sharks possess clusters of pores that contain specialized organs called ampullae of Lorenzini, which allow them to detect electromagnetic fields and temperature gradients. All animals (including people) generate electrical fields as their hearts beat and muscles contract, and some varieties of sharks can sense as little as one nanovolt per square centimeter—a sensitivity that is about 5 million times greater than humans feel.

shark-attackSwim in groups and avoid splashing. If you are approached by a shark, stay still—except for the advice to strike the shark’s snout, eyes, or gills. Hmm…that’s pretty hard to do without splashing. On the bright side, though, there were about ten confirmed shark bites in 2015 and only six died from their injuries.

But watch out—a hundred died from falling coconuts!