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Showing posts from September, 2007

Roach part 2 - Erratum: The Price of Paradise

Erin and I were watching a perfectly legally copied DVD in the living room when Erin heard something in the kitchen. I hit pause and we listened carefully. I didn't hear it until after I saw it: Another giant flying cockroach. He was buzzing around the light above the kitchen sink in a moth-like fashion and then settled down in a crevice between the window and the wall. Erin and I shot each other a glance. No words were necessary, we both knew we had to put this roach to bed for the night.

Erin grabbed the broom and I grabbed a Dansko (Erin once told me that Dansko women's sandals are the ultimate roach flatteners). Erin flushed the critter out onto the counter/sink area and it scurried behind the dish rack. With a couple jabs from the broom, the roach flew out and made a break for the unopened moving boxes. But I was waiting with the shoe and knocked him to the ground with the first hit, and then de-roached him with a second strike while he was flapping on the ground.

So here&…

"sing mee-maw": owen's new favorite song

owen hasn't choreographed his own dance to it, but it's certainly at the top of the charts in this two-year-old's book. we recently got Common's latest cd, Finding Forever. needless to say, it's received a lot of airtime in the johnson house. it's thursday at 7:57 am and so far today owen has asked for his old favorite "ya-ya" only once. he's asked for "sing mee-maw", aka Drivin' Me Wild, four times. the "sing mee-maw" title comes from chorus "it's this thing yo, it's drivin me wild, i gotta see what's up before it gets me down".

i ask you: how can a mother deny her son access to a solid hip-hop song with a great message?



and here's footage from one of our recent dance sessions:

The price of paradise

Eighty-five degrees and sunny every day is all fun and games until you meet your first cockroach. The roaches here aren't the scatter-when-the-light-comes-on type. They'll stand their ground, and maybe even taunt you a bit. The other night Erin and I were watching an perfectly-legal, downloaded television show on the office computer when I went out to get a glass of water. When I returned, I saw a gigantic roach perched above the doorway to the office. He was all, and I quote, "Sup?"

At first I was pretty startled, seeing as the thing looked about as big as a house cat, only more muscular. After I gathered my senses, it occurred to me that it was "only" about an inch and a half long. That's about an inch and a quarter longer than I'm looking for in a roach. I grabbed a sandal (slippah) and told Erin to turn on the hallway lights as soon as I took my swing. If he was going to dive at me, I wanted to be able to see it. So I crept up to the doorway and …

picture of us

I just realized there are no pictures of Erin and me together anywhere on this site. This is primarily because Owen doesn't know how to operate the camera in anything but play-back mode.

Erin was looking through the various pics on her camera phone and found a long-arm photo of us riding the BART. Paradise is nice and all, but I do sincerely miss the Bay Area. Berkeley/Oakland/SF peeps, remember us the next time you're riding the Richmand/Daly City line.

Owen Ya-ya!

It's been hard to get action videos of Owen lately because he's become obsessed with watching videos of himself doing things. So if I get the camera out while he's doing something entertaining--which is about every 10 minutes--he'll immediately stop and run around to see the playback, even if I didn't manage to film anything. He just doesn't get that he has to do something on film first in order to watch himself.

Erin's dancing distracted him long enough for me to catch him in action in the video below. Notice at the end when he sees the reflection of the camera in the TV screen and tries to climb up my leg to watch the instant replay.

This is the same Jewish Wedding song that Owen was dancing to on bubble wrap in a previous post. And no, neither Erin nor I have any Jewish ancestry. Owen apparently developed his own heritage (no jokes about a Jewish milkman! Harold Greenstein was a gentleman and a consummate professional.)



Here's a video of Owen watching t…

weekend update

hands down, this has to have been our busiest weekend in hawaii. we didn't plan it that way, nor am i complaining. it's been a blast and certainly left us all exhausted. here's a quick recap:
friday: DATE NIGHT! our pal, laura (she's rad, btw), came over to sit with owen so we could have a night out. we went to tokkuri-tei for dinner, which i'm pretty sure translates directly to "crazy japanese". it was unreal. it's known as an izakaya (basically a tavern, but the name comes from "i (to remain)" and "sakaya" (sake shop) where customers were allowed to stay and drink/eat). a few things we ordered - squid pancake, assorted sashimi, fried octopus, ikura with shredded daikon... oh and a large sake! we finished the evening with a trip to leonards for their famous malasadas. what a treat :)saturday:
7:30 AM - owen and i did a whirlwind tour of the farmer's market and stocked up on all this for the week (see photo). highlights …

Stuck in my head: Sufjan Stevens

I have a secret: I grew up listening to "contemporary christian" music. It was a common teaching in my church's youth group that most of the evil that enters a young person's life comes from the sin of listening to "secular music." I can vividly remember a guest speaker laying the blame for the nation's excessive teen pregnancy rate at the feet of Tina Turner. All the same, I have to admit that the relentlessly upbeat, sugar-coated lyrics of the likes of Micheal W. Smith, and the soldier's call to duty of Carmen held a lot of appeal for me as I struggled through my preteen years in St. Louis, MO. Yup, I couldn't get enough of the rock-n-roll stylings of Steven Curtis Chapman and the soothing acustic guitar of Rich Mullins. I loved the God rock!

But I've grown up since then, and I'd like to think that my musical tastes have as well. As I exited the world of christian music around 9th grade and took a look around me and found an vast, ex…

Error message

Sometimes astronomy is exciting. You go out, use a gigantic telescope to collect light from a distant star so far away that the light left in like 1700AD. You sit down at your computer and use that light, in the form of a digitally-recorded image, to measure the movement of the star and notice that the star's velocity is changing in a very predictable pattern. Then you get to use that pattern to divine the existence of a planet orbiting a distant sun. You found a planet, a world, another place in the Galaxy! That might be someone's Jupiter that they look up and see in their night sky. Perhaps some alien got excommunicated from their alien church for proposing that their Jupiter orbited their sun, rather than their home planet. Maybe that world you detected from your night of observing inspires poetry and songs among an alien people.

Other times astronomy is less exciting and much more...um...what's the word? Buggy. For example, today I got the following error message:

Ioniz…

Song Lists circa 1999

Erin was unpacking and came across a historical treasure of vast importance: two of my old college radio song logs from 1999! I've transcribed one of the two lists below, along with the scanned images of both logsheets. If you look closely at the second logsheet, you may be able to detect the anxiety of a person just days away from graduation and having to move 2000 miles across the country. 3 short months later I met Erin during Spring Break in San Francisco. 4 short months later I received my acceptance letter from the UC Berkeley Astronomy Dept. The rest is, as they say, history...


DJ: JohnJohn Time: mid-3am Day: Wednesday Date: 10 Nov 1999

Artist - Tune
American Football - Five Silent Miles
Mineral - Forlvadell.
Rainer Maria - Lost, Dropped and Cancelled
Pedro the Lion - Big Trucks
Radiolaria …

no berkeley bowl, but you can bet i'll be back

i'm hereby vowing to spend many a saturday morning produce shopping at the kcc farmer's market. i ventured there saturday with our awesome neighbor, wanee.

we pulled up, parked and headed into a mix of people and smells that made me feel right at home. the first booth on the right is a local coffee producer. sipping a cup of just brewed coffee and snacking on a carrot/pineapple/coconut oatcake we walked up and down the isles checking out local & organic produce. paradise in paradise! there were plenty of hawaiian specialties to take home too- candy sweet tropical fruits, fresh roasted kahuku corn, organic fresh tofu, nori rice cakes, local honey, locally made portuguese sausage and more. lots of amazing cut flowers and more mangoes than a girl can handle.

armed with $23, i filled my bags with: japanese eggplant (which i roasted with some a quick tomatoes/herbs and goat cheese and served with polenta for dinner last night), okra, vine ripened tomatoes (i made a salsa f…

Stuck in my head: Kanye meets Zach

Sometimes Youtube can be so beautiful. I found this a while back, but I can't remember if I was searching for Zach Galifianakis (gal-eh-fin-ah-kis) or Kanye West because they are two of my favorite artists in comedy and hip hop, respectively. Now they're my favorite in both realms at the same time!

Kanye is often credited as being part of the "conscience" hip hop movement along with Common, Mos Def, Talib Kwali and the Roots. However, instead of explicitly denouncing the negative aspects of ghetto culture and/or promoting alternatives, he instead revels in hip hop's extreme hypocrisy (HipHopCricy?), injecting his lyrics with a deep sense of irony, "Now I'm tryin' to right my wrongs/ It's funny cause those same wrongs helped me wright this song." He drags the dark secrets of hip hop out into the open and shines a bright light on them. Whether they hold up under scrutiny is up to his audience to decide.

At the same time, Kanye reveals a lot abou…

Stand Up Paddling

I was hanging out with Owen this morning while Erin was out at the giant Saturday morning farmers market (Mommy sto', bee wan) when I received a phone call from my friend, former office mate and fellow IfA postdoc Jon. He said he was heading down to Kaimana Beach to do some stand up paddle boarding. A couple weeks ago Jon told us about his new hobby and Erin and I had mentioned that we'd like to give it a try sometime. Well, today was the day!

We didn't bring the camera, but the video below gives you an idea about what stand up paddling is all about. The vid nice and cheesy, just like old fashioned surf videos. You can get the gist of it in the first minute or so.



Just like the guy in the video we were going to do some board work in relatively calm water. The video was filmed at Ala Moana Beach, which one of our favorite haunts. Think salt water swimming pool, which is great for Owen. Kaimana is a little rougher, with little 1-foot waves coming in past the reef.

Jon gave me s…

Dude, where's my laptop?

I received this forwarded email from an astronomy professor who had his computer recently stolen. I've changed his name to protect his identity since I didn't ask for permission to post it in a public forum. I didn't ask for permission because I didn't want him to say no. This is just too good not to share.

Dear Robert,
I'm a student in Singapore, a small country in North West Asia. I am using your notebook, it is Macbook pro Core duo 2.0ghz. I has bought it from Ebay in Singapore last few days. And I found your information here.

But I have a problem that you set password on your computer, and now I cannot install more applications, and I cannot also set my information in this notebook. If you don't mind, would you like send me the password of this notebook, and I can change the information. Thank you very much and nice to see you.

-Dann…

Classic Owen

Here's a fun clip of Owen telling a story about his trip to the playground with Daddy. It's from back in 2006, so you'll have to excuse the choppy, unsynched video. You know how technology was back then...



Here's the thrilling conclusion of his story

Missing items

Now Apu, Mrs. Simpson claims that she forgot she was carrying that bottle of…delicious bourbon (looks at bottle). Brownest of the brown liquors. So tempting. What's that? You want me to drink you? But I'm in the middle of a trial. Excuse me...(runs out of the room)
-Lionel Hutz, Attorney at Law

We're slowly discovering that Hawaii is lacking some key institutions that we've taken for granted in the past. For example, there's no Ikea. You can't even get your Umplong office chair or Oklog pencil holder shipped here! There's no Trader Joes, so gone are the days of Two-buck Chuck and vegetable medley with eggs for breakfast. There's not a single casino anywhere. And today I learned there's no BevMo! How am I supposed to tend to my vices?!

Not only is BevMo missing, but my favorite bourbon, Knob Creek, costs 42 bucks for 0.75 liters at Safeway. That same …

saturday in kapiolani park

this morning, owen and i took john to the airport for his second "bye-bye airplane" to the big island to use the keck telescopes. it's a super quick flight (about 40 min) from oahu to hawaii meaning that daddy will only be gone until tomorrow afternoon.

we already had the jogging stroller packed in the trunk for a stroller strides class, and before class began, we took a short detour to watch a garbage truck empty 6 dumpsters. owen was in heaven, and i'm pretty sure we'll know every sanitary engineer on the island before the year is up.

once class was over we joined the other moms and their keiki (children) to make a sea-life
mural. after about 20 minutes of coloring and gluing, owen was done, so we grabbed "mommy coffee" and "specail milk" (vanilla-flavored milk) and headed to the okinawan festival in the park.

about 24% of oahu's population is of japanese descent, making the festival a big deal. we perused the seleciton of goldfish for …