Sunday, July 26, 2009

Makiki Tantalus Hike


Trails: Tantalus is a maze of interconnected trails. Many of the trails are loops. The route I took to the summit was Makiki Valley Trail to Nahuina Trail to Kalawahine Trail to Pauoa Flats. Back to the trail head, I went on Pauoa Flats Trail to Monoa Cliff Trail to Moleka Trail to Makiki Valley Trail to Maunalaha Trail.
Distance: 8 miles
Elevation Gain: 1500 ft
information courtesy of Stuart M. Ball Jrs "The Hikers Guide to O'Ahu"
Time: approximately 1:30 pm to 5:45 pm (4 1/2 hrs)
Trailhead:
End of Makiki Heighs Dr
Sights: Sights of valleys, ridges, Pearl City area (unconfirmed), Waikiki area.

So this trail I did is actually a series of trails. I would have been lost if I didn't have the book. It was tiring. The beauty of Tantalus is that you can make up your own path, hike less or more if you like, and get to various points, Manoa Falls, Maikiki, Nuuanu Valley, and there are probably more that I haven't been to yet.

The first mile or 2 was actually one of the toughest parts. Maybe it was cause i was just starting. Just a long graded hike. A lot of switchbacks and narrow paths. There were some open points where I grabbed my first picture but they were rare.


Some really muddy points towards the summit. Most of the hike, you are covered by the forest. It doesn't get blazing hot if you just stand. Thats what the hike is for. There were couple of bamboo forests. It's always cool to walk through them. When the wind blows, you just here them knocking into each other. Just an unexpected sound for nature. I found the later climbs weren't as tough once I set a pace. It reminded me of the Moana Trail hike I did a couple months back. Not too many scenic points but I managed to grab some pics. Took about 2 1/2 hrs to get to the Summit. Quite honestly, I'm not sure what valley I'm looking at.


The descent once again was tough on my quads. Actually my feet hurt more than anything. I haven't found the best way to descend whether it's steep or gradual. It really bothers me. My toes always get jammed in my shoes (need to invest in hiking boots). It's partially due to the way I step down. I don't always go heal to toe. I think I need more fine motor control to do it comfortably. Even when I do, my toes can't help but go down. I found myself jogging down certain sections, staying as perpendicular as I could to the downward slope. It helped but I almost tripped a couple of times. Plus my balance is off with the additional weight on my back (always have at least 10 lbs of gear on my back).

So far 5 hikes on the island excluding Mariner's Ridge which we gotta go back to.

Kewela Bay





So I returned to one of the spots I found on my previous hike around the island. Once again, access to this place is restricted. There's a gated community blocking access on one side and Turtle Bay Resort blocking the rest, despite the fact that all beaches are public property. A quick cut through will get you to the bay and it doesn't seem that anyone cares about trespassing. I believe it's a path that's part of the resort property used for a horseback ride. Anyway, so here are some videos. One of turtle near the coast and another just a brief video of the surrounding area. Found a free program that is pretty good at making panoramic images as well. Enjoy!
video video

Saturday, July 25, 2009

Health Care Reform Intro

So this escalating issue is in the eyes of the public at the moment. Statements forecasting the future exhaustion of financing for government health care, escalating health care premiums and costs for individuals and employers, proposals of universal health care, limiting benefits... some interesting information can be found at:
http://finance.senate.gov/Roundtable/complete%20text%20of%20financing%20policy%20options.pdf

Granted you have to grind through parts. It discusses the generals issues and proposed financial options by trimming costs, passing on expenses, and various taxes. There are some key ideas that are important and some others I disagree with personally. Generally, I believe the health system is failing due to a multitude of reasons. First, the general disposition and downward trend of individuals' health. The failure of individuals to "take care" of themselves and lack of promoting acceptable health habits (I'll be focusing on the general notion of obesity at first). Another part is the expectation that the nation or some third party will and more importantly that the mentality that these parties should cover their medical expenses. I believe this is the wrong direction to be heading in. In a broader sense, the consumer mentality.More responsibility and awareness is needed by the individual.

Obesity can be used as a reflection of the U.S. health crisis. It's a simple term that can be caused by a multitude of reasons. Metabolic and genetic diseases are some causes of obesity. Other causes include thyroid disorders, symptoms from prescription medication (irionically) but many result from poor dietary habits of individuals. The failure to monitor your intake and inhibit excessive eating. Also the lack of sufficient exercise. Often it is a mix of many of these. However, the most abundantly clear factor that we have control over is controlling our diet. So to prevent obesity would be the first step. It doesn't have to be complicated to begin. A simple self montoring process. If you see that your weight or body fat is moving in one direction over an elongated period of time, well it's time to try something different. Do some internet research and try new things out. It doesn't necessarily have to be extreme. As for exercise, our general day to day activities do not provide much. Our heavy reliance on technology has increased our productivity with less effort in many fields.

I've been focusing on it from a negative perspective though. There are many positive reasons to prevent or fight obesity. One that many focus on is physical appearance. Another is physical capability. Due to the nature of people and trends of attractiveness, this has direct mental benefits as such as confidence. Others are to prevent complications that obesity can bring.

The consequences to your health are numerous... in most of the population, it manifests itself by causing various joint pains, body aches, asthma... It limits general mobility and functionality... complicating and making day to day tasks slight more difficult। There are more serious issues as well as there are significant correlations between obesity and cancers such as pancreatic. The cancer may be more related the diet related issues that cause obesity rather than simply being obese. Of course with anything, there are also the negative mental effects. Many have suppose that it causes depression (to varying extents) which seems logical. Who's mind wouldn't be concerned, stressed, and inhibited as the consequences of obesity present themselves.

How about liability? We are always looking for someone to point a finger at (another problem I have). Yes there are influences from major businesses that indirectly promote obesity. Technology that makes physical labor less necessary, make indulging easier. Commercials constantly bombarding our senses with the joys of eating whether it be fine dining or fast food. Despite all this, it is up to the individual to question and decide. This in itself is another issue. We are plagued with taking the path of least resistance (in physics its a property of a current... makes me think that it is in natures best interest... but with us... something can be made to seem like the easiest) and when presented with what seems to be an opportunity to bring satisfaction to ourselves, many take it. Once again, the individual must filter out what is acceptable for themselves. Is it a priority though? Understandably, many have other concerns, rather than focusing on their diet which does not seem to have immediate effects on their health. A combination of finance issues and readily available inexpensive but unhealthy food makes matters worse, seemingly stripping the choice of eating healthy. It's more difficult to make the healthy choice. Yet still I come back to, people must regain or retain control.

The CDC is great source for detailed information. Some statistics at http://www.cdc.gov/obesity/data/trends.html#State Now some may argue that it's bullshit and that there's no reason that every individual has to be skinny.. that the American media is promoting the need to be skinny... I'm not focusing on that. I am looking out the shear fact that there has been a tremendous increase on obesity among the population. That it is a clear set back on many as individuals and as a nation as a whole.... and yields economic stress. Now perhaps there are other bigger (monetarily) healthcare issues but costs of obesity related treatment has been cited in the hundreds of billions (http://www.cdc.gov/nccdphp/press/).

to be continued....

On another note. I may be a hypocrite for stating what I have. I welcome commentaries to further refine my argument (and possibly changing my stance).

Tuesday, July 21, 2009

Babies

So... i held a baby for the second time... interesting experience. First time was Yvonne's daughter, Rebecca (sorry Yvonne if I misspelled that). I always thought the term was second cousin but it's actually first cousin once removed. I was always confused about how that all works. Good thing there's wiki. Getting off topic as usual. Anyway, so I held Nicole's nephew this past weekend. Her brother, Chuck, kinda just layed him out on me. His name is Teldyn. Now I'm not one for babies. I was uncomfortable enough holding Rebecca last year. I didn't know what to do. Was worried that I would "break" her. Quite honestly, it wasn't all that entertaining either. I just kept on asking "what now?"

With Teldyn it was a bit different. Initially, I thought... what are you doing Chuck? I'm sure everyone got a kick out of my nervousness. This time around, I found myself interacting a bit more... talking to the baby. Yeah I know, he doesn't understand me but none the less, just a person to comment to. He was really squirmy and kicking around. Felt a bit insecure and continually questioned if I was holding him correctly. He lacks motor control and still can't hold his head straight. That's where I came in. Fortunately he didn't cry. Every time I thought he was I tried to distract him. It seemed to work but (negating everything that precedes the word in the sentence...) then again, i'm not sure if he was even going to cry. It seemed like a really long drawn out moment... probably only 5 - 10 mins though. Soon enough... mommy to the rescue. Rescuing me rather than the baby.

Cute kid. Not quite ready for a kid. Still rather have a dog. A pepper coated border collie would be cool or a Siberian huskie. Well the latter wouldn't be suitable for here. Maybe in Alaska. Then again, if I ever settled in Alaska and had enough land, I'd be interested in getting a true wolf dog. Better yet, get to know some wolves. Wouldn't want to own any... don't think it would work... and i'm not trying to domesticate any. However, being able to approach a pack and interact, even if it is to a limited degree, would be interesting. Of topic once again. Babies... still don't know what to make of them... as I said interesting experience...

Monday, July 20, 2009

Google 411

Free directory 411 service.
Dial 1-800-GOOG-411
It doesn't give you the phone number but will connect you for free.
http://www.google.com/goog411/index.html#utm_source=us-et-more&utm_medium=et&utm_campaign=GOOG-411

Friday, July 17, 2009

Self Reliance

On another note I was thinking about relationships again. Well I was really thinking about self reliance and specifically my take on it. So what is my take on it? Well I simply don't like to depend on anyone on any situation... i want to know that I despite what may come my way that I can handle it. Of course, me saying that means that I have doubts about it. So it's something I have to continually prove to myself (the only way to prove anything is to continue to do it... though you can never prove an ideal unless you restrict it to realistic terms... which I often omit... the same applies to love... the only way is continually show love...). Yes you ask, "why do you need to prove anything to yourself?" Well quite frankly, it's because I don't know and don't have faith that I've proven something (don't quite agree with logic rules of induction). Failing one time disproves the whole ideal so it has to be proven every time. It shouldn't though. Just because I rely on someone here and there doesn't mean that I'm not self reliant. Still, I tend not to think that and it's something I believe I need to change. Why change? Well in respect to relationships, that train of thought doesn't fit well. Part of being in a relationship is trust and also exercising that trust... allowing to let go of who you are for something greater... something that I have not done. I'm still stuck in my mindset and it reflects in what I think, say, and do.... reflected in my insistence of walking as opposed to accepting rides... in my ability to take care of myself (little things like cooking, finances, and day to day)... in my 3 day hike... my whole trip out here... How can anyone have empathy (though you can argue that true empathy is unattainable) when the only thing he/she (not in any particular order for a reason... she/he works fine too but understand is himself/herself. I've already deviated from my original thought which explained one of my attributes (well not in this context) that holds me back from growing. All this from the idea taking care of myself. I'd like to think it's resourcefulness but if that were the case... excuse me for saying it like this... utilizing your friends and family would be a constituent (hate that I had to use spell check for that one)... lol... just proving it further... so partially resourceful. Gotta get away from having these strict all encompassing definitions... e.g. resourcefulness. So with that said... have I chosen a direction to move in? Not quite... still proud of my self reliance. Some people travel on a straight path... i spiral towards it.

Monday, July 13, 2009

Hawaii Loa Ridge

Trail: Hawaii Loa Ridge Trail
Distance: 5 mile (round trip)
Elevation Gain: 1500 ft
Distance and elevation information courtesy of Stuart M. Ball Jrs "The Hikers Guide to O'Ahu"
Time:
about 5 hours with the group w/ multiple stops, break at the summit.
Area: Hawaii Kai. In the beginning if you're coming from Waikiki.
Trailhead: End of Puuikena Dr.
Directions: From Waikiki or downtown area. Take H1 westbound and follow onto Kalanianole Highway. You'll see Kawaikui Beach Park on your right. Take the jughandle here to go up Puuikena Dr. There's a gatehouse and you'll have to sign in.
Sights: Excellent views of Koko Head, Hawaii Kai, Waikiki, the surrounding valleys and ridges. Summit view is extradinary overlooking Waimanalo. On a good day, you can most likely see Kailua.


So Nicole and I met up with a group, the Sierra Club, and went for a hike. The club tries to organize hikes every weekend but the leader said it had been slow lately. However this time there were about 25 other people. So met at 8 am went to the hiking base and started around 9:15 a.m. Jeez that was an exhausting hike.. exceeded my expectations (well I didn't have many and didn't research the trail much). Only 2.5 miles (one way) but goes all the way to the top of the ridge.



See that center peak at the top. That's where the summit was. Elevation was 2400 ft or so, vertical gain was about 1000 ft. Visibility was horrible from the summit but at moments we had glimpses of the other side of the island. Amazing views along the way though...





Second pic is another one on the way down. By the time I got to the top, I was out of breath even after taking multiple breaks and calves were burning. There are a lot of steps but uneven... and some stairs that you can't really use. Nicole said it was like the steps on the Great Wall of China.. uneven in height and length. On the way down, legs felt a bit like jelly... enjoyed sliding down on my ass a couple of times. Took about 5 hours round trip. Exhausting and rewarding. So glad I went. Going to try something else next week. Take care everyone!

Wednesday, July 8, 2009

3 Day Hike: Afterthoughts

So falling back to reality... it's too sudden to go back to the day to day. Sunday, after getting back around 3 p.m. I was just trying to stay awake long enough to get back on a regular schedule... looking at my personal finances... figuring what I need for the apartment... making sure I knew Monday's work schedule... and the Monday.

I was so restless and a bit lost. The constant thought of how boring it was haunted my mind... thoughts of what I can do for a job and truly enjoy... always think of dogs and working with them... but I wouldn't be able secure any profession that I could be stable with... so maybe something part time. Even thought of something more extreme... working with wolves... I've always been fascinated by them. Many studying them or assisting in studying them... I'd have to search at someone who would be willing to support me in terms of shelter and food. I'd imagine it's rare though but I'd like an upclose and personal look into it... not something like legislation protecting them though I believe in that.

Anyway, I'm transitioning back to a normality...

3 Day Hike Journal 3



That's it. Hope you can read my handwriting. Wish I had better pics... there's always next time.

3 Day Hike Journal 2



3 Day Hike Journal





So kept a journal along my trip. Here's the first 4 pages. I was gonna type it up but this adds a different effect and if I typed it, I might exclude or correct some things. Wanted it as true as possible.

Tuesday, July 7, 2009

3 Day Hike - some pictures





So above are some pics from the disposable cam (not the best quality). The first is the beach about a mile up from my starting point in Haliewa (for everyone on the east coast "w" is pronounced as "v" for most words... even the state name sounds like havaii... and places like ewa is pronounced eva). Second, my buddy Hannah. She's about 3 to 4 ft long just catchin some rays. Next I forget where it was... but a place where there's a lot of snorkeling. The last is my second favorite place across from Sea Life Park, Makapuu Beach Park. I think it's part of Waimanalo Bay. I'll be back there to camp and grab some better pics. It's the last place I slept at and the only beach I enjoyed sleeping at. The surroundings sheltered me from the high winds.

I kept a journal while on the trip and will post it as soon as I transcribe it. Hope everyone had a nice 4th of July.

Sunday, July 5, 2009

I'm back

wow... what a trip... just wanted everyone one to know i'm back. Had an overall great time. Fantastic views of remote areas... places you wouldn't know of if you just drove around... most were very peaceful... was fun... I definitely go back to some of those places. I didn't have much of a chance to enjoy them... had to keep moving. Probably go back and stay awhole day at a place... really get to experience it. Other times were tough... just being on my own.. and also living outside... it seemed like a good idea... but sleeping on the beach has its own issues...still haven't had any good sleep and gotta wait til tonight.. otherwise i can't get back into a regular schedule... plus all the walking... the thing bout an adventure... most of it is just determination and patience... not exciting all the time. anyway...

I'm going to post some info about the trip later but I wanted to mention the above... oh yeah... so as I started off, I realized I didn't bring my camera. Must of been worried about everything else I needed. So I bought 2 disposables. Halfway throug the day I used the first one and started the second. After checking later, I had lost it. So I bought 3 more disposables. Unfortunately, I lost the third and fourth one too. I have this easy access pocket that I used for my camera and map. I often took out my map without taking off my bag and it must have dropped out. Didn't realize what was happening til I lost the second one. Think I just left the third one somewhere. Well I have the better picks on the 2 that are left but you can read about everything later.

Thursday, July 2, 2009

New Place 2415 Ala Wai Blvd Suite 705, Honolulu, HI 96815

So moved into a new place in Waikiki with one of my old roommates, C.J. Chen. He's my age and just finished school and has his own business. The place is nice as hell. Check out the video. Sorry about the orientation. I thought I could edit the video but it's becoming so much of a hassle.

2415 Ala Wai Blvd #705
Honolulu, HI 96815
video