Sunday, November 28, 2010

Banaue Rice Terraces and Boracay Sunset

Evelyn just came back from her Family Reunion deep into Mt. Province and passed the Banaue Rice Terraces. She only had her iPhone4 to take pictures and I was amazed that the phone can take these awesome images.


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Tuesday, November 23, 2010

Santa Came A Little Early: My New Apple iMAC Computer

My Christmas and Birthday gift (to me and from me, hahaha) combined! What a dramatic transition from my old Macbook 13 inch screen to this huge and stunning 27 inch iMac desktop. I'm all set for some serious photography work, Facebook, HD Movies and TV Shows (yes I can watch TV while surfing the net), Website and Blog work, etc.
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Sunday, November 21, 2010

Hawaiian Stilt Bird (Ae'o)

The Ae'o is on the engandered species list. I saw it on a pond near the road on my way home from church. And of course my camera backpack is in the car, as always.
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Sunset Behind West Maui Mountains

I actually shot this in 2005 and just discovered it from my photo archives

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Sunday, November 14, 2010

This Old House (Philippines)

This is our next door neighbor in Tayug, Pangasinan Philippines where I spent my childhood days up to my high school years. A vacant lot separates the two houses. But what is amazing is that this house was already termite infested more than 50 years ago and it looks like it might still hold together for another decade. Maybe even more. This picture was taken in 2006 and remained the same when I visited our old house last March this year. Needless to say, it has also survived countless severe typhoons over the years! And yes there are 3 families still living in that house. It's more than 70 years old! Maybe I'll postpone the termite tenting and painting of my house for another 10 years and save more than $10,000.........

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Saturday, November 13, 2010

Thursday, November 11, 2010

iPhone to iPhone GPS Tracking

These GPS tracking systems are amazing. This image is a live view from my iPhone in Maui and showing Evelyn's location (through her iPhone 4) at Camp John Hay Resort in Baguio in the  Philippines. As part of their family reunion they're on their way to visit their Dad's hometown and birthplace deep into the Bontoc region to the town (or barrio?) of Barlig
Also posted in Facebook. This is for for non-Facebook friends and relatives.

Wednesday, November 10, 2010

20 Years Ago Today I Moved To Maui

Back in 1990 I was so addicted to Windsurfing, in my middle 40's (mid-life crisis?), and recession was just taking hold across North America. A large 100 year old company in Toronto where I was a Controller was winding down into chapter 7 bankruptcy (liquidation) following the refusal by its bank to extend its credit line.

Coincidentally we also just received our US Green Cards (after waiting for 16 years!) so I told Evelyn that I would take my chances in Maui instead of looking for another job in Toronto. She angrily protested because the boys were still in school (Don in senior year at High School and Jay in college). So I suggested that the kids would decide and when we asked them they screamed YESSSSSSSSSS! And so we moved and our Maui fairy tale begun. As it turned out I easily landed a job at Maui Land and Pineapple as Chief Accountant and worked there until I retired in 2003 and went to full time Real Estate sales through 2008 and "retired", again. Evelyn, on the other hand quickly got a job at a Maui Hospital after she passed the US Nursing board exam and got licensed in the US, even though she was a licensed RN in Canada.

We post this snippet of our Maui life to answer a popular question from our friends and relatives - why did you move to Maui? (Aside from our usual answer "why not")

Our first Maui car - 1978 Subaru I bought for $600! Drove it for 2 years as our family car
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Evelyn missing in picture because she was holding the camera

Monday, November 08, 2010

My New Workspace

Just did a makeover of my home work station using Jay's cherrywood executive-size desk that's been stored in my garage for more than 18 months. He told me I can have it already including the chair, etc. Thanks Jay!

The clean desk somehow reminds me of what my desk looked like when I was controller with a company in Toronto more than 20 years ago. The people at work used to wonder how I could keep such a clean desk, devoid of clutter while doing Accounting work and I used to tell them  - it's organization, organization, and organization, meaning I have everything stored in the drawers!

If the Boss approves it, my soon-to-be-purchased Apple Quad-core iMac 27 would look awesome with this furniture. Hmmmmm........maybe this Christmas, tax refund time in February, or better yet while she is away for 3 weeks vacationing in the Philippines (she left today!) Decisions, decisions......or am I playing with fire?
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Saturday, November 06, 2010

Today's Birdie Shoot At Keopuolani Park

I finally nailed a good shot of this elusive and very fast moving Japanese White Eye. It's a very tiny bird and very unfriendly but a bunch of them were merrily feasting on new flower blooms from a nearby tree when I noticed them while cooling off from my Saturday run. 
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And perched at a higher branch a sweet couple that is ready to call it a day.  I adore this shot. He even placed his right wing to shelter his sweetheart's back. Love is wonderful!
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Our Family Blog is 5 Years Old and 14,191 Visits

Five years ago I started this blog to keep our friends and relatives all over the world up-to-date about our family in Hawaii. The 14,191 visits shown here are not all from our friends and relatives but also includes others that are simply "surfing" the net but nonetheless they dropped by to check our blog out and every now and then I did get emails from them. When I get in contact with old friends and relatives that I haven't seen for ages, I simply direct them to this blog as I conclude our dialouge. It's also a great way to put more detail from my Facebook posts and at the same time record it as part of our family diary/bulletin board.

Our very first posting five years ago (Click here for actual post)



Thursday, November 04, 2010

Making The Most Of A Maui Rainy Day

Going through my hundreds of images in my archive, I remembered this one like it was just yesterday. I was in Victoria, Canada in October last year to attend the funeral of a friend's son who lost his life in a horrific car accident. It was such a sad and an emotionally draining time and we went to this park to kind of recompose ourselves. I post this image in memory of him.
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Tuesday, November 02, 2010

The Power Of Photo-Editors

Awesome waves at Kahului Harbor this morning but by the time I got there it was 10:30 and the sun was simply glaring and behind the surfers. It was not an ideal time and location for a shoot. Below is how the camera rendered the image and predictably the colors were almost completely washed out and the surfer is darkened because of the sun behind him. This would have been an easy delete.
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But because the camera digitally recorded all the details in that image, my powerful photo-editing software (Lightroom 3 and NIK Collection apps) wonderfully restored everything plus some. This type of editing cannot be accomplished with old film cameras of yesterday. Amazing but it comes with a hefty price. The editing software cost more than $700! (Of course, I did not pay full price or I'd get another scolding from the Boss. Got a great discount with the help of my daughter-in-law. Thanks Lynnette)
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And one more. Ever wondered if the photographer (me) was actually in the water right in front of the surfer? Nah......
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