Sunday, January 30, 2011


Girlie (1995 - 2011)
(Photo courtesy of Silas Kaumakahia)

She was of no pedigree lineage.  Instead, she could have been the  poster canine for POI DOG OF THE YEAR.

But what she lacked in purity of heritage, she more than excelled  in purity of heart.

She was the faithful companion of my brother, Charlie, for thirteen years.

Charlie estimates her age at death at fifteen years.  That's the equivalent of one hundred and five human years.

At the end, she could barely move anywhere outside of her one square yard of living area.

Girlie was stricken with severe arthritis.  She was also blind.

When my wife, adult children, and I visited our Kauai family in late December of 2010, we remember seeing Girlie walking stiffly in tight circles on or near her resting space just outside of the front entrance to my sister and brother-in-law's home.

Not unlike a human elder finding comfort in ever-decreasing perimeters, Girlie was content to live in her tiny and insignificant space.

But in my brother's heart, she possessed and traveled through prime real estate that had no boundaries.

On the evening of Girlie's death, Charlie looked through old pictures and watched videos of his dear, departed friend.  He thought it would bring him comfort.  Instead, he was stricken with anguish and sadness.

In Isaiah 11:6, we read:

The wolf also shall dwell with the lamb, and the leopard shall lie down with the kid; and the calf and the young lion and the fatling together; and a little child shall lead them.
Charlie can find solace in knowing that there will be animals in heaven.

Someday, when he stands at the threshold of heaven, it's reassuring to know that Girlie will be there to greet him.

100 DAI-RIKI SCUD FLY TYING FISHING HOOKS--SIZES 8, 10, 12, 14, and/or 18!

Dai-Riki 135 Scud Fly Hook
(Photo courtesy Lords of the Fly)

Aloha, fly tying ladies and gentlemen!  We have for your shopping pleasure today 


(Your choice of sizes 

8, 10, 12, 14, 

16, and 18)

That’s right! You will receive 100 of these internationally acclaimed hooks in your choice of sizes 8, 10, 12, 14, and/or 18.  

Choose 100 of one size or mix and match sizes in 25
-hook lots.  

However you place your order, the price is very affordable at $10.00 per 100 hooks.

Featuring a curved shank and slightly offset bend, the Dai Riki 135 is a superb choice for tying your favorite scud, caddis pupa, and larva patterns. It’s a great hook for nymph and bead head flies as well. The Dai-Riki 135 has a downturned eye and is composed of 1X strong wire. It is 1X short and has a reversed bend and bronze finish. It is comparable to a Mustad AC80200BR, Tiemco 2457, or Daiichi 1150. Dai Riki hooks are made out of high carbon steel and are chemically sharpened. You're gonna love these Dai Riki hooks for tying your favorite flies.

eMail us at: with your order and/or questions.

We accept PayPal.  

Thank you very much for your time and interest.

Welcome back anytime!


Sunday, January 23, 2011


View from Princeville at Hanalei

There are times when one will flow with the crowd.  

Social conformity, after all, is a requisite for a civilized and progressive nation.

There are times, however, when one must stand apart from the majority.  Times when one must draw a definitive line in the sand and declare,  "I disagree with what you're doing.  I choose something better for myself."

It's a matter of principle.  A matter of character.  A matter of courage.

It could also be the one choice that makes a significant difference.

Case in point:  My brother, Charlie (aka Silas Kaumakahia Aqui).

Several months ago, Charlie made the tough but very sound decision to quit smoking and drinking.

He didn't pussyfoot around with patches or programs or a slow and steady weaning from the nicotine and alcohol.

He just made up his mind to quit.  And he quit.  For good.

You see, we have a brother who, without warning, collapsed as a result of a brain aneurysm.  A lifestyle of poor choices--yes, including nicotine and alcohol.  Lots of both.  Poisons that are seductively alluring, overpowering, and controlling.

Thankfully, our brother survived and is currently traveling the challenging and sometimes rocky road of recovery.

Charlie quit smoking and drinking as a result of what had happened to our brother.  As the addictive poisons gradually left his body, he became reacquainted with the inherent beauty of a lifestyle that is totally void of mind-numbing chemicals.

It was as if his life made a quantum leap from being a film noir movie to living like a blu-ray DVD.

His food tasted better.  His passion for the laid back island way of living was renewed.  His love for all things Hawaiiana, especially his free diving and fishing for reef inhabitants, like the octopus (please see previous blogs, using octopus as a key search word), was enhanced tenfold.

Charlie rediscovered his appetite for life itself.

His old drinking buddies, gathered at a favorite spot on the beach, would see Charlie longer sporting a 6-pack in each hand but, rather, a water bottle.  Charlie had now chosen to imbibe on artesian liquids rather than products of fermentation.

And the wonderful thing about friends is that none of them made fun of him.  They totally respected his choice.

Meanwhile, our brother neglected to follow his doctor's orders and re-immersed himself in the old, familiar lifestyle of smoking and drinking.  Knowing full well that he was endangering his very life and jeopardizing his relationships with loved ones, he coped with life's stressors by succumbing to toxins which were at once very familiar and very dangerous.

Long story short, he got into trouble.  Health-wise and legally.  

Fortunately, our brother was given the opportunity to enter into a rehabilitative program.  With tremendous support from his beloved wife and adult children as well as his family of origin, he committed himself 100% to the rigorous program regimen.

Just recently, he graduated from the program and thus earned the privilege of returning home.  His freedom, albeit conditional until he can get final clearance from the presiding judge in his case, is something he does not take for granted.  

I know without a doubt that our brother will make it.

Which brings this post full circle back to Charlie.  

Because Charlie took the strong stance to give up smoking and drinking, and--more importantly--because he regained the pre-Fall gift of clear, levelheaded thinking and decision making, he was and continues to be our brother's go-to guy, mentor, and chief support person. 

Those of us who have experienced similar situations know very well how tenuous and challenging a transitional period can be.  Charlie's role in our brother's life is pivotal.  

It's about the beautiful yin/yang of recovery--when one is weak, the other can be strong.  Brother carrying brother until both can stand on their own two feet.

Or walk.

Or even run again!

As Charlie succinctly called it in a recent phone conversation I had with him--"Hey, maybe it was meant to be, yeah?"

There is no doubt in my mind that the Lord had had His hand in all of this.  In spite of our foolish and often bullheaded choices that end up hurting our loved ones and ourselves, God has a wonderful way of turning bad into good.

So, Charlie, there was no maybe about it.  There was definite divine intervention.  And it was allowed to be because both of my brothers began making better choices.

My hat's off to my brothers.  They each in their own individual way inspire me.

I love my family of origin.

Friday, January 21, 2011


Plumeria Blossoms
(Photo courtesy of Ryan)

Island madonna
weaving her lei of plumeria
on a lauhala mat 
by the light of a pregnant January moon.

Her little boy
watches as she deftly pierces
the heart of each flower with a long spindly needle
the tail of thread connecting 

at long last
the ethereal garland
is completed.

Beginning connected
to ending--
a circle
signifying the infinity
of life

And the little boy
looks into the heavens
and with an understanding
beyond his years
recognizes the familiar pattern
of the 

Omnipotent Lei Weaver
of the universe

Thursday, January 20, 2011


Kahalani Beach on the island of Kauai
(Photo courtesy of Silas Kaumakahia Aqui)

I work the graveyard shift as a baker at a bagel production company in the Microsoft capital of the world--Redmond, Washington.  My co-worker is a 49-year-old black woman who loves--no, who lives!--to complain.  She has designated me (against my will, I might add) to be her go-to guy for all her rants. Wouldn't be so bad if she could just add a rave now and then...but like the incessant northwest drizzle, my co-worker (bless her heart!) is the proverbial contentious woman Solomon wrote about in Proverbs.

Hmm...I wonder if the wise king once moonlighted at a bagel production company himself?  They had bagels back then, didn't they?  Sure, they did.  Not to mention contentious women.  (Note to self:  Contemplate a future post comparing contentious women with bagels.)

Anyway, in spite of the full moon last night, I managed to get through the 10,000 bagels without burning a single one.

In fact, I went the whole week without toasting any bagels before their time.

That's a real plus for me.  Don't know if it's the ridiculous hours I work or if I have too many things going on in my brain all at once (truly, any rumors about me being bipolar were shattered years ago when I decided to fly off the disorder charts and land in my very own multiple-polar diagnosis).  But I digress...

I've been feeling fragmented lately.  And I know why.

Just returned three weeks ago from a splendid vacation on Kauai with my wife and two adult children.

Although it rained ten out of the twelve days we were in Hawaii, we had a great time visiting with my family of origin and taking in the breathtaking island sights.

It was a double whammy for me to say goodbye to my mother, siblings, and extended family members only to have to say goodbye to my wife and adult children two days after we arrived back in Washington.

The economy being what it is today, it's been necessary for me to work in Redmond while my wife and daughter live approximately 250 miles away in southeast Washington.  (My son attends graduate school in San Luis Obispo and is now officially--poor guy!--a California resident.)  My apologies to California residents--it's not your fault Arnold (Call me Terminator!) Schwarzenegger was a better actor than governor.  I'm just saying...

But I just love  the Eagles' "Hotel California."  I really dig that line:  "You can check out anytime you like, but you can never leave."  What the...?

Where was I going with this?  I do have a point to make.  I think.

I wanted to RAVE about the fact that when I am feeling fragmented, that when I am in the midst of this tremendous angst about how much my life sucks and how very, very much I miss my two families, that when I find myself withdrawing my head into the 10,000 bagels a night because the pain of listening to my female co-worker's rants is just too much to bear...

I have a private place to retreat to.

Better than a vacation.

Better than a million bucks.  (Okay, it's well documented that multiple-polar personalities kid themselves.  A lot.  A whole lot!)

Better than getting into a hot tub.

Better than...okay, enough of that!

My private retreat is...

This blog.


'Opaeka'a Falls
(Photo courtesy of Silas Kaumakahia Aqui)

Magnificent falls
your double cascade bathing basalt
and watering this island Eden.

Where are the rolling shrimp--
your namesake--
that once were so rampant
the natives could see them flowing
in your 151-foot liquid tresses?

Are you the tears of God
Who paused for a moment
during Creation
to sadly reflect
the point of it all?

The blessing 
is that you never stop

Flow on, magnificent falls,
flow on,
forever giving life
to this verdant emerald isle.

Thursday, January 13, 2011


Coconut Plantation, Island of Kauai
(Photo courtesy of Ryan)

It is another schizophrenic morning in downtown Seattle.  

The nagging misty rain, like a stubborn shower spray, has temporarily stopped.  The wind has picked up, as evidenced by Old Glory and the emerald green Washington state flag fluttering in the breeze on the facade of a medium tall building kitty corner from the Starbucks at 4th and Seneca that I'm presently sitting in, sipping on a lukewarm venti drip.

I miss Kauai, and I miss my family of origin, so very, very much.

Facebook provides me with a respite from this agonizing homesickness.  My son has posted the dozens of beautiful photographs he took when our family went on vacation last month.  I rush to find an image that will grace my work-in-progress blog.

The coconut plantation has been there in Waipouli--halfway between Kapaa and Wailua--for as long as I can remember.  

Seems to me these statuesque vanguards were surrounded by pasture land when I was a little boy (five decades ago).

Today, it is bordered by hotels.

No matter.  I would still prefer to be in the midst of those trees right now instead of these Northwest skyscrapers.

I would love to walk barefoot and feel the combination of dirt and sand squishing through my toes. Here in downtown Seattle, I would never dare walk barefoot.

So many changes...and yet these majestic palm trees still remain. 

Giant stilts.  Prepared, as it were, for the next great tsunami to hit.  

What's the lesson in it for me?


Establish my roots.

Whenever necessary, bend a little.

Weather anything and everything...come what may...and know that I will remain standing.

Even in the meteorological schizophrenia of Seattle.

Friday, January 7, 2011


Dylan Watanabe in deep visualization.
(Photo courtesy of Ryan)
(Dylan is in deep thought.  He's been hearing about "The Secret" and is meditating about the possibilities for his future successes.)

I am a three-sport letter man at my high school.
I have a superb grade point average.
I am an outstanding debater and win all kinds of awards.
I apply for and get accepted into a prestigious university.
Because I have several grants and scholarships,
I only have a minimal amount of student loans to pay off.
I am the CEO of a major Fortune 500 company.
My wife is beautiful, and my two children are gorgeous!
My childhood collection of 1000 hot wheels is worth a mint.
I am a Hawaii state legislator aspiring to the U.S. Senate!
I am an outstanding blogger and author of Hawaiiana.
I give back to my community by donating to children's causes.

(Dylan concludes his "Secret" session with the simple yet meaningful thought:

"Good things are going to happen to me now!")

Saturday, January 1, 2011


Hanalei Pier and Beach
(Photo courtesy of Ryan)

May God bless you with an incredibly memorable and spiritually rewarding new year!

Aloha and mahalo!