A bamboo cannon: New Year’s 2009

First, Happy New Year 2009, or as we say in Hawaii: Hau’oli Makahiki Hou! Those of you who know New Year’s Eves in Hawaii will smile, while those of you who haven’t ever had the pleasure can’t imagine the noise and smoke of the fireworks, plus the enjoyment of the grindz — the food — and fun as families or even whole streets, especially in places like Laie, put picnic tables under easy-up awnings and go at the excitement of burning off thousands of dollars of fireworks. Some Laie families are well-known for their annual New Year’s Eve street parties.

Again, for those not familiar with Oahu, firecrackers up to a certain modest length and quantity are legal (with a permit, from licensed vendors), while almost every store sells the usual fireworks — sparklers, cones, spinners, pop-pops, etc., etc. But the legal limits have never stopped illegal pyrotechnics that also invade the community every year, including window-shaking aerial bombs, bursts and various rockets.

Amid all of this for the first time last night I noticed another noisemaker I hadn’t seen for many years: A Samoan fana ‘ofe or bamboo cannon. [Read more…]

Some help with the Aborigines

In the early 1990s the management team at the Polynesian Cultural Center was trying to develop a series of “special events” to help overcome one of the periodic downturns in the visitor industry: The idea being to offer something new or different that would encourage people to visit, including some of those who have been before. Interestingly, the PCC’s Haunted Lagoon spooky canoe ride in October 2008 and the current A Gift for Sadie Christmas canoe ride are recent examples.

But I’m thinking of our earlier efforts, some of which are still going strong — the Samoan World Fire Knife Dance competition being the best example. Others were one-time hits… [Read more…]

Not just a writer

I’ve done tons of writing over the past 35 years, and have been a relatively successful freelance writer for the past eight years (prior to that I usually wrote as part of my regular job assignments)…but I’m actually interested in all the digital media: web building, still and motion imagery, web movies, etc.

Check out one of my latest web videos on the Polynesian Cultural Center’s Christmas canoe ride.