Saturday, July 30, 2011


 Ballard Seventh-Day Adventist Church
(Hawaiian Odysseus photos)

My wife and daughter wanted to go thrift store shopping this afternoon, so yours truly--big on two of the three most significant women in my life (with Mom completing the female trinity), but certainly NOT big on shopping--asked to be dropped off at the Ballard branch of the Seattle Public Library.

As I walked a few blocks eastward along 22nd Avenue NW, I couldn't help but fondly reminisce about the dozens of times I had walked this very route after catching a bus from downtown Seattle to the historical Scandinavian town now turned Yuppieville.  

Friday afternoon.  67 degrees Fahrenheit, according to the Google thermometer, but feeling more like 80 as the sun, unimpeded by the usual marine clouds as it bathed in a naked azure sky, bounces off the pavement and a liberal scattering of bricked sidewalks, close kissing cousins to their concrete counterparts.

And I'm on my way to church.

A day early, since I'm Seventh-Day Adventist.  But also seven months too late.


Because the beautiful, vintage, and historical red-brick church formally went to sleep on December 31, 2010.

Not knowing for certain if and when I'd ever be back this way, I had to pay my respectful tribute to this wonderful, old-fashioned yet--in its waning years--homey retreat for weary and wayward souls (of whom, to borrow Paul's words, I am chief).

I attended the Ballard SDA Church from 2007 - 2010, and I honestly enjoyed every Sabbath I spent there.  The sermons were average--sometimes, I wish that there had been more spiritual meat and oomph to them, but they were, overall, effective and traditional deliveries of the Word.

It was the people that I loved about this church.  It was how a very small population of, oh, twenty loving souls, one-third of which were members of a warm and friendly Samoan family with the other two-thirds comprised of middle-aged and senior citizens, banded together each Saturday to have the dearest times of worship and fellowship.

If you're somewhat familiar with church organization, both the macro and the micro of it, you know what I'm talking about when I say that I resent how politics--yes, it exists even and especially in a spiritual organization--can drag a good church down.

I am very outspoken about how I don't like the hypocritical politics and nepotism present at the uppity conference level of the church.  To me, every organized church has its own version of the Vatican. Metaphorically, I am referring to that point where politics overtake spiritual revival.  

The same evil that existed when Christ cleaned up the temple still exists today, except it is more subtle while being more prevalent.

Oh, I could go on and on.  But I think you get my drift.

The old Ballard SDA Church was a respite for me.  

A virtual oasis in  a desert of contemporary apostasy.

I also appreciated how the church board refused to be formally sucked up into the conference's black hole.  It was refreshing to see how the elder, deacons, and female church leader maintained the church's independent structure for the longest time.  Secretly, it fed my poorly-cloaked anti-authority proclivity. 

And, oh, how I loved the congregation.  

When you attend a small church, you get to know and become better acquainted with most, if not all, of the members.

For circumstantial and personal reasons, I liked sitting in the rear left of the church.  I liked being with everyone while still reveling in my thoughts about the week's events, spinning my own mini-sermons, singing as soft or as loud as I wanted to at any given moment, and--shame on me--closing my eyes whenever I needed to.  I won't use sleep apnea for an excuse.  I was just really comfortable and at home in my pew.

Every now and then, I was asked to sing for special music.  It was delightful to get up front and have my nervousness ebb away as I'd look at the spectacular images and colors of the upstairs balcony's stained glass windows.

But any thought of being on the inside of this beautiful church and marveling at the sun dancing on those stained glass windows was quickly squelched.

I dared not even climb the few concrete steps that led to the front doors.  To do so would have been futile.  More so, it would have been a desecration of all that was memorable and reverent about this church.  

So I found consolation in taking three photographs of this grand institution.

Then, finally, I walked away and closed yet another chapter in the saga of Hawaiian Odysseus.

Wednesday, July 27, 2011



College Place, Washington, a bedroom community just west of the burgeoning wine town of Walla Walla, was recently indelibly penned into regional southeast Washington maps when one of its very own hometown personalities brilliantly attained some major career milestones.

KONA aka KONES or KONESY (this last nickname reserved only for those intimately tied to this famous feline), a graduate of GCU (Garrison Creek University), was appointed today to be the new CEO of Birch Avenue Cats Alliance, a non-profit organization whose sole mission is to spread the good news that you can be vegetarian and neutered and still be a TOMMISH cat.

The dapper, well-groomed gray and black cat reveals his unique strategy in the accompanying photos as to how he moved rapidly up the corporate scale.  "The reason why I've been promoted to Plant Manager,"  meowed Kona, "is because I showed my employers from the early going how well I could plant and manage myself in any kind of chair, but especially the challenging and cushy office chairs."

(Hawaiian Odysseus photos)

We present this special post with tongue in cheek, of course.  Still, there's something to be gained by mimicking Kona's style of working smarter, not harder.

You, too, can be your own boss and make a decent income even as you relax unabashedly on your favorite CEO chair.

Kona has the residual income process down pat.

Friday, July 22, 2011


Seagull Feeding on Crab
Mukilteo Beach, WA
(Hawaiian Odysseus photo)

It's funny...

You see an interesting event like a flock of seagulls pecking away at something on the beach. Thinking a friendly beachcomber has offered the birds a little snack to eat, you look a little closer.

You then observe that the gulls are feeding on the remnants of fresh crab meat still clinging to the shells.  

You notice how one gull, not necessarily the biggest nor the sort of bird that appears to be an inspirational leader, is more successful at getting what he wants.

He is adept and aggressive, Michael Jordan-like in successfully making his way to the goal as his opponents hack away at him.  He is undeterred, graceful yet ferocious in his single-mindedness.

One thing is certain:  The gull is successful because he is relentless!  He never gives up!

You store the visual memory of it somewhere in your brain just as your camera stores the digital memory of it on its card.  Soon, all too soon, you forget about it, the events of life pulling at  you and distracting you at rapid-fire pace.

Until later...when several days have come and gone, speeding by like the cars on a passing Amtrak's only then, when you find the image in your computer where you've imported it into a file called MUKILTEO; only then, when you summon it up to complement a blog idea whose inspiration has suddenly hit you as you sit at your kitchen table, your laptop staring  at you, mocking your excuses and your feeling sorry for yourself and your despondency and your utter lack of direction and your self-imposed inability to get up and do something about IT...whatever IT might be.

So, quite randomly, while actually looking for another photo that--for some strange reason, your computer has chosen to hide from you, only adding to your current sorry state--you find this one...and it's then that you remember the day you took this photo and its sibling images.

Except, there's an added twist.  Can it be?  YES, IT'S TRUE!  


The very determined and successful gull is actually...


And it's at that very moment that the proverbial EUREKA light bulb burns brilliantly in your head and Katy Perry's fireworks song goes off like a 3-alarm fire! 

Your month-long WRITER'S BLOCK has suddenly been dynamited!  And, ooh, baby, the juices begin flowing all over the mango syrup oozing all over a Hawaiian kid's mouth as he bites into the juicy and delectable fruit.

It's then that you snap out of the doldrums and begin getting excited all over again.  The endorphins come out to swim around in your bloodstream and wake up everything and everyone in their path--like miniature Paul Reveres crying out,  "THE BLOGGER IS COMING!  THE BLOGGER IS COMING!"

How in the world can you sit there feeling sorry for yourself because you're unemployed at the moment?  So what if your pocket change is but laundry lint?  So what if it seems like no one will hire you?  So what if you, Hawaiian Odysseus that you are, feel entitled and have all these unrealistic expectations of yourself and others?  So what if you're pining away, day after day, for that magical something to happen that will propel you to--what's the phrase the entrepreneurial gurus (READ: INTERNET CON ARTISTS) like to use?  Oh, yeah..."the next level."

If a one-legged bird can slam dunk crab shells while all his competitors are fiercely pecking away at him, you can very well get off your fat ass and do something positive with your life!

You're 59 years old in just five days.  If you truly want to get to that proverbial next level, then recognize this:  What you are experiencing is just another obstacle in your special odyssey.  

You've survived the Trojan War, Circe, Scylla and Charybdis, Polyphemus the Cyclops, the sirens, the many challenges of Poseidon, and now you're home in your real-life Ithaca.

This lull...this passage through water when there is no wind for your yet just another challenge.  

The seagull with one leg isn't just another mythical oddity.  It is INSPIRATION.  It reminds you that you are crippled in a way, too; maybe not physically, but perhaps socially, perhaps emotionally, perhaps because of the negative self-hypnosis to which you've developed an addiction.

So, the question is, WHAT ARE YOU GOING TO DO ABOUT IT?


Monday, July 18, 2011


Mukilteo Ferry
(Hawaiian Odysseus photos)

A large ferry approaching the dock at Mukilteo, Washington, is a formidable sight.  It's a memorable icon indelibly planted in one's brain long after the experience is over.

For me, it's a symbol of something good finally coming home to rest in one's life.

A new beginning.

A new adventure.

A new opportunity.

My ship has docked.  How about yours?

I've worked hard all my life...and, for the most part, I've worked hard for other people.  

From picking pineapples to fishing to tutoring math and science to digging ditches to electrical apprenticing to selling door to door to washing cars to attending parking lots to writing to working in institutional kitchens to baking breads and bagels to selling on eBay and Craigslist and a host of other jobs...I've amassed a lot of employment experiences...

with nothing to show except a frenzied paycheck to paycheck existence...

until now.

You can work hard for other people all your life.  

Or you can work smart for yourself and have financial freedom.

My ship has come in.  How about yours?

I tell you what, my friend.  There is a lot of room at the dock where my ship is moored.  

You are more than welcome to join me.

Friday, July 15, 2011


Statue of Puck
from Midsummer Night's Dream
San Luis Obispo, California
(Hawaiian Odysseus photo)

Time to quit PUCKING AROUND!

I'm headed on over to the newbie website--

Come and join me!

Saturday, July 9, 2011


Kaimana and Keala--"TROPICAL RAINBOW"
(Video courtesy of Silas K. Aqui)

Bending across the sky--
A bridge that God and angels walk on by.

Weaving a lei of dew--
A symbol of the love I give to you.

When a passing island shower
Throws kisses to the sun,
Their love affair will blossom
With colors on the run.

Miracle that you are,
You'll linger on to greet the evening star.

When a passing island shower
Throws kisses to the sun,
Their love affair will blossom
With colors on the run.

Weaving a lei of dew,
A symbol of the love I give to you;
A symbol of the love I give to you.

Words and music by Hawaiian Odysseus.
Copyright 1973 & 2011 by Hawaiian Odysseus.

Friday, July 8, 2011


A Plymouth Rock Rooster in Newport, OR
(Photo courtesy of Silas K. Aqui)



Better check out the inventory at


(Either that, or we could hook the whole darn chicken and see how many trout we can catch!)