Thinking about native cultures

Our family enjoyed a luau this evening at the Hale Koa hotel in Honolulu, which is the military hotel on Waikiki. Since my dad is USAF-retired he could get us all tickets. The food and show were great. I am sure the closing fire dance act will be one of the big memories my kids keep with them after our trip is over.

This “Waikiki-style” show contrasted sharply with the hula program my relative Alice Rogers arranged for us to experience last Saturday night at the north shore camp where we were for our family reunion. That program was put on by a group of older women who share the stories and traditions of authentic Hawaiian hula. I was struck tonight by how different the infusion of native Hawaiian culture is here in Hawaii, compared to what we see in most parts of Oklahoma. While shows like the one we saw tonight have a performance/show feel and are certainly not pure examples of cultural preservation and sharing, they do serve important educational purposes as well as being sources of entertainment for tourists like us. I would guess there are varying opinions among the native Hawaiians about the instrumental and intrinsic value of these programs. While I wouldn’t think a commercialization of Oklahoma native cultures similar to what we have seen in parts of Hawaii over the years would be good from a tribal history standpoint and learning from esl classes certification, I do think it is positive in many ways that Hawaiian language and culture are bigger mainstream influences here. It is interesting how casino economics are changing some tribes in Oklahoma, and interesting to see how some are using that revenue to build up their respective cultural identities.

I think it would be both fun and worthwhile to lead a group of “storychasers” from Oklahoma here to Hawaii to explore some of these issues in-depth with various types of media, and continue that exploration back home in Oklahoma.

Swimming at Waimea Bay

This afternoon we spent almost 2 hours swimming at Waimea Bay on Oahu’s north shore. I have heard about Waimea before as the location where some of the big wave surfing happens here in the winter, but it was my first time to visit. It was spectacular! The waves break very close to the beach because the bay gets deep pretty fast. The surf was very mild and fun to play in. There were a ton of people there. This may turn out to have been one of the big highlights of our entire trip. It was awesome!

Hike to Ka’ena Point

Today we hiked about six miles round trip to Ka’ena Point. It is the northwest most point on Oahu, and there is a tower which serves as a lighthouse there. The view was pretty spectacular. We timed our hike so we arrived st low tide, and were able to explore the nearby tide pools. The highlight for me was seeing an eel attack a small crab. It was better than Wild Kingdom!

Next time we will take even more water. We made it ok on our 2 bottles, but it would have been a lot better with more. It was a long, hot and dry hike. At least we were able to swim awhile at the point, midway on our hike.

Great food and Loopt

We have had some GREAT food so far in Hawaii. On our way to the north shore on Friday, we ate at The Dixie Grill. I ate there twice in Dec ’07 when I was here for the USS Oklahoma memorial dedication, and they did not disappoint. The fried green tomatoes along with peel and eat shrimp were great! Yesterday morning the iPhone program Loopt came in handy to help my brother-in-law redezvous with us in a nearby town for breakfast!

Beach Fun

It is a pretty wonderful thing for flatlanders like us to have an opportunity to play in the surf here on the north shore of Oahu! This is the camp where we are staying our first three nights here during our Fryer Family Reunion. We went to a nearby state park yesterday to swim in the surf.

Seeing and Eating Pineapple

One of the highlights of our day yesterday was going to the Dole pineapple plantation to see and eat pineapple. I did some brief research and learned the origins of Dole lie with The Standard Fruit Company rather than The United Fruit Corporation. Both have an interesting political history, though I am more familiar with the latter and Guatemala. It is interesting but not surprising none of the company’s colorful political history is referenced in the songs and commentary shared on the tourist’s train tour of the plantation.

Vacation like a pensieve

Our vacation seems to be functioning as a pensieve for me. My brain seems to be processing out a multitude of ideas at night, so they do not clutter my waking, conscious mind. I normally do not remember any dreams in the morning, but sleeping as we are in these camp cabin bunks here on the north shore of Oahu, right by the ocean, I have had lots of vivid dreams each night and I have been enjoying getting enough sleep these days, not like at home where I can barley get four hours of sleep. I think I´ll get this queen mattress like the one at the hotel so I can finally sleep comfortably.

Shelly, Sarah and I are all awake already, our body clocks still not yet adjusted to island time. I think we are going to go on a morning hike today.

PixelPipe for Facebook and Flickr Photo Posts

Looking for a way to post multiple photos to either Facebook or Flickr from a mobile phone, like an iPhone? I am, in advance of our vacation next week. PixelPipe is a free application and web service that can do this. I have been working on getting it configured this morning. I actually opted to NOT update to Twitter and just have two targets: Flickr and Facebook. You can select a LOT of different post targets with PixelPipe.

I initially mobile blogged this with WordPress for iPhone. This was my first post to successfully auto-post to Facebook via PingPressFM! Woo hoo! I logged in on my laptop and added the links. Photos were mobile blogged too.

A few favorite photos from Washington DC today

Here are a few of my favorite photos I snapped today in Washington D.C. with Alexander. I added all of these to my NECC 2009 Flickr Set.

Alexander on the Mall

At the Smithsonian Natural History Museum

Alexander and Dad by the Apollo Capsule

This is the first time I’ve seen a Tomahawk cruise missile up close.

The Tomahawk Cruise Missile

We were able to not only see but also TOUCH several enormous meteorites today at the Smithsonian Natural History museum, including this one from Arizona:

A meteorite from Arizona

The exhibit on the Mishin diaries and the light they shed on the Soviet moon landing plans was very interesting to me

The Mishin Diaries shed light on Soviet moon landing plans

This was the “designed but never used” Soviet cosmonaut moon suit:

The designed but never used Soviet cosmonaut moon suit

The Unmanned Aerial Vehicle (UAV) exhibit was definitely the highlight of the day for me.

Unmanned Aerial Vehicles (UAVs) in the Smithsonian Air and Space Museum

I incorrectly called these “unarmed aerial vehicles” near the end of the video sequence I recorded at the exhibit today. These are definitely NOT “unarmed.”

Technorati Tags:
, , , , , , , , , ,

Travian sitting report

My week of “sitting” for Alexander’s Travian account is officially over. These were the results:

Travian Post-Summer Camp Report

This was what Alexander asked me to do:

Travian Strategy

Overall his village sustained 9 attacks, and I think on 3 of those occasions the attacker got resources. That was one of the reasons I build up a 2nd cranny to level 9. (The cranny protects your resources when attackers come.)

Hopefully he’ll be pleased with the results. His field production levels are a lot higher than they were a week ago.

Travian Status

Alexander, why don’t you write a “report card” on how things went when I sat for you in Travian, and post it here as a blog entry? I did add your Travian share link to the top of my blog at the start of the week, so be sure to check your “earn gold” link under Travian Plus. 🙂

Technorati Tags:
, , ,

Crosspost – Help Needed! WordPress commenting isn’t working (WordPress database error Duplicate entry)

Ah, these are the moments I wish I had my own IT staff. If you’re a WordPress or mySQL guru perhaps you can help me!

I am running WordPress on my main blog (“Moving at the Speed of Creativity”) and the blog has stopped accepting comments for some reason, as of Monday night (April 27, 2009) around 8 pm CST. That’s when my last comment came in successfully. I can post new entries to the blog, but no new comments can be received. I’m running WP 2.7.1. I haven’t installed or updating the blog or plug-ins lately, so I don’t think the source is a recent change I’ve made. I tried disabling all plug-ins except Akismet, but the error persisted. I think the problem is in my mySQL database. 🙁

I checked my WordPress directory error_log file and this is the last entry. It is a “WordPress database error Duplicate entry” message:

Wordpress comment error

The other strange symptom is that in my WordPress dashboard, it shows that I don’t have any comments on my blog, even though there are almost 7000 approved.

Wordpress comment mySQL error

The comments are still there, when I click the “comments” sidebar link they show up. Something is messed up with the auto-incrementing and I think it needs to be reset in mySQL. I’ve never done that, however.

I did a full mySQL database backup using phpMyAdmin. I considered reinstalling WordPress 2.7.1, but since this appears to be a mySQL problem I don’t think that would help. I haven’t (to date) done a good job monitoring and managing my error and access logs, and I’ve got some other issues and problems that it looks like I need to fix. (Some big ones with PodPress.) Overall I know I need to clean up my mySQL database, but never having done that before I am not sure where to begin. At least I have a new backup, I know that’s always a good idea…

Do you have any suggestions or tips for me that could help? Since my blog isn’t accepting comments (isn’t that ironic) I’ve cross-posted this to our Learning Signs blog (where commenting is working) or you can Tweet me an idea or link as an @reply or direct message.

Many, many thanks. Yuk. I really don’t like technical glitches like this which can often consume LARGE amounts of troubleshooting time.

Technorati Tags:
, , , ,

KidZui browser

I’ve just discovered the KidZui browser. It looks pretty cool, you create a unique account and can login to access games, videos, and lots of other “kid friendly” stuff. I’d like you to both check it out and let me know what you think and find by writing a blog post about it here. I’ve created an account for you both, ask me and I’ll tell you your login credentials. (Hint: Your userids are the same ones you’re using for our blog. Rachel’s is the same as she’s using for Club Penguin. Everyone’s password is the same as Rachel’s Club Penguin password.) I’ve downloaded the program already on my laptop, we’ll need to download and install it on other computers too.

Have fun!

1 2 3 4 5 6