Wednesday, August 17, 2011


Charlie, Kauai's Octopus Bounty Hunter
(Photo courtesy of SKA)

As intelligent, resourceful, and innovative as the octopus might be, they are no match for a determined octopus fisherman.  On the beautiful Garden Island, the oldest sibling of the Hawaiian
volcanic chain, Charlie, aka The Octopus Bounty Hunter, is arguably the creme de la creme.

Weather and tide permitting, Charlie is up long before the multicolored bantam roosters, running wild and overpopulating the island with their fowl presence, even think about clearing their throats with that first morning crow. 

He is dedicated, organized, and relentless in his pursuit of the octopus.

It is rumored that the tentacled arthropods all along the Kauai coastline do their mating whenever Charlie takes a day off.  Loosely interpreted, this means that the octopi are recreating and procreating only during high tides and nasty weather conditions.  

I can just see it now.  On any given reef or local ocean bed, the blinking (rapid color-changing) male of the species is calling out to his potential mate,  

"Eh, honey!  Mo' bettah we hook up right now befo' dat Chahlie come around, yeah?"

"Okay, sweetie!  I goin' put on my puka-coral necklace and be right ovah!"

"Yeah, well, hurry up because I stay all stressed out.  And you know how dat affect my performance!"

Ah, yes...the ongoing quest otherwise known as the survival of the fittest.

I jest, of course, but it's all in an effort to underscore just how good this local boy is.

Just a few months ago, he was sitting at home wondering how he was going to get rid of 300 pounds of frozen octopus meat in order to make room for the rest of his family's frozen goods.

Then, one day, after talking story (shooting the breeze) with his brother who has a small business on eBay, Charlie was inspired to pursue Craigslist as a viable means of marketing and selling his overflow.  Charlie had seen ads on the local site for selling opihi (Hawaiian limpet), but he wasn't sure how the sale of tako would fare on that online marketing venue.

But the listing was free, so why not try?

And try he did. 

At first, nothing happened.

Gradually, however, he began getting a few nibbles.  Soon, the nibbles turned to gobbles.  Within a month's time, the volume of demand surpassed the volume of he'e that had been sitting on ice. 

At $5 a pound, a most reasonable price in today's economy...and certainly far less expensive than what the grocery stores were asking...Charlie soon sold out his frozen octopus.  

Now, with most of his bills paid and money in his pocket, the delicious dilemma he faced was to go fish for more octopus to help feed his family and hustle up a decent income for living expenses.  I use the adjective delicious because, next to his aloha for his family, Charlie LOVES to go fishing. It's in his blood.  It's in his Polynesian heritage.  It's in his very soul.

Long a decent spear fisherman in both shallow shore as well as over-the-reef fishing, Charlie began concentrating more on finding and capturing the elusive tako.  Some days, he came up empty-handed...well, not really, because he would always have the fallback benefit of spearing a variety of fish.  Most of the time, he found his octopus.  Quite frequently, as in the photo above, and especially in his more recent dives, he has caught multiple octopi.

Charlie's hobby/business has grown to the point where he's established a more than sufficient customer base.  In fact, he has had to delete his listing on Craigslist.

Recently, I kidded with him.  "Charlie, maybe you better hire that Jamaican guy I saw lying on the beach last December."   

(Click on the link below.  Check out the post and find the photo of the colorfully clad Rastafarian of whom I was referring.)

Charlie laughed.  But he and I were on the same page.  When good things happen as the result of seizing golden opportunities in the midst of struggling, there's a part of us that wants to share our good fortune with others.  

I never preach to Charlie, and he shows me the same respect.  But we do speak spiritually nonetheless.  We know there's a compassionate God who cares about each and every one of us here on earth.  We keep it simple.  We thank Him in our own special way.  Charlie pays homage every day he leaves the beauty of the sea.  I like to think I do it every time I pound out a post on my two blogs.

In any event, I keep in touch with Charlie on a weekly basis.  I like hearing of his successes.  He and I have had our share of dark times.  In the late summer of his life, and in the autumn of mine, we have hopefully begun learning that no matter how dark things may seem, there's always light peeking in somewhere.  We just need to go look for it.

Speaking of light, I couldn't think of a more fitting way to bring today's post to a conclusion than to present you with something lighthearted to watch.  

(I want to thank fellow blogger, Shirley Hao, who shared the following video with the readers of her post dated December, 2009, in the blog.  I also want to acknowledge the team of scientific researchers from Australia's Museum Victoria who made the video.)

Friday, August 12, 2011


Grace Presbyterian Church Steeple
Milton-Freewater, OR
(Hawaiian Odysseus photo)

Stressed by a sub-par pace
    the runner fights his pain to find himself
         the author of his own potential.

Frustrated by concrete walls and steel bars
    the prisoner develops an inner awareness
         transcending penal ennui and deprivation.

Scratched by a literary grain of sand
    the poet mentally sweats each word out
         the resultant pearl a bit of his soul.

Dying a slow painful death
    the Nazarene transforms an ugly pagan cross
         into a compass needle pointing heavenward.


Thursday, August 11, 2011


 8-Year-Old Quarterback Prodigy
(Photo courtesy of Richie A.)

My young grandson, Kainoa, has probably thrown more touchdown passes than I've seen birthdays. 

From the age of seven, Kainoa has excelled as a field general, leading his respective teams to first and second place in Oahu peewee football leagues.  As of this writing, he has just completed his baseball and flag football seasons and is currently training for his first year of tackle football.

His family members, other players' families, football fans, coaches, and officials have collectively recognized Kainoa's potential to mature into a gifted athlete.   My son, Richie--Kainoa's dad--and I have even mused about this young lad's chances of forging a successful path all the way to the professional ranks.

But for Kainoa and other aspiring football stars, the NFC challenge will not be played out on the gridiron.

Instead, their NFC playoffs will be played out in corporate boardrooms all across America.

What in the world is this guy talking about?  You might be silently asking yourself right now.

Sorry.  I've been toying with you.  

Everything I've shared about Kainoa is true.

But the NFC I'm referring to--something I just learned about yesterday when I read an informative document--stands for Near Field Connection.

Near Field Connection technology seeks to make life easier and more convenient for the global consumer to conduct transactions, share digital content,  and link high tech gadgetry with a touch.

Here, let me show you what I mean.  Watch this video.  It's a great example of what this technology can do...and mind you, this is just the tip of the iceberg.

NFC and Theater
(Video courtesy of NFC Forum)

For other cool videos demonstrating the application and efficiency of NFC technology, you can peruse the following web page:

Just as revolutionary as was the transition from cash to credit and debit cards will be this amazing quantum leap from cards to smartphone payments.  Indeed, the day will come when the object you're swiping or tapping at the grocery store, ATM machine, Redbox, or public transportation terminal won't be a plastic card but an appropriately named smartphone.

According to the NFC Forum, a consortium of prominent corporations, NFC is a connectivity technology that unifies and brings into harmonious working order the wide spectrum of contactless technologies, thus facilitating current and future solutions in areas such as:

  • Access control
  • Consumer electronics
  • Healthcare
  • Information collection and exchange
  • Loyalty and coupons
  • Transport
  • Payments.

Let's take a look at just that last category alone--Payments.  A prominent research group, Forrester Research, has found that over 12% of Americans and 6% of Europeans have ALREADY
paid for products or services by utilizing mobile devices.  In addition, the Wall Street Journal reports that $32 billion worth of merchandise were made by using mobile gadgetry in just the last year alone. But that's not all.

The statistical analysts at Generator Research believe that current numbers will jump to an astounding $633 Billion in the next three years.  They also predict that  490 million people around the world will utilize this technology by 2014.

Can you imagine the serious money to be made?  

I am seriously considering investing a humble amount in NFC.  A small and affordable amount is all anyone needs to risk in order to get HUGE returns on investment.

And that is precisely why the behemoth corporations like Google, Apple, Microsoft, AT&T, Nokia, Sony, Samsung, Texas Instruments, Visa, MasterCard, American Express, PayPal, Motorola, Hitachi, Sprint, Panasonic, and Toshiba are jockeying for position and leverage in preparation for this dynamic wave--no, make that a TSUNAMI!--of transition from the old school methods of payment--credit cards, debit cards, checks, and even cash--to NFC integrated mobile devices.

Knowledge, inventions, and technology are rapidly increasing.  Man made the machines, and now the machines are helping man make even more sophisticated and intricate machines.  

Machines that communicate with each other more efficiently and peacefully than man communicates with his fellow men.  

It's a Brave New World, alright.

And for Kainoa and his generation, I can only pray that they will adjust well to the innovative and advanced technologies.

The possibilities are awesome!

Monday, August 8, 2011


MULTIPLE STREAMS OF INCOME is a personal finance or entrepreneurial concept bandied about by the money gurus for quite some time now.  

And while I like the way those words roll off my tongue and my eyeballs go CHA-CHING! CHA-CHING! I have to admit, my own multiple streams have been more like muddy irrigation ditches where the only thing moving besides the water is an occasional crayfish.  

Anyway, a man can dream, can't he?  And if there's one ingredient I have, it is PERSISTENCE!

To that end, then, and as has been alluded to with the tongue-in-cheek "Words from our Sponsor" posts in this and our sister blog, Hawaiian Odysseus 2, Hawaiian Odysseus has at least a second life maintaining auctions and a store presence on the world's greatest marketplace--eBay!

Just for fun, I wanted to share with you a new listing I put up today.  What follows are three of the images I used and the verbatim text of my listing.  (For your convenience, the auction link is located at the bottom of this post.)

Suffice it to say that there's been enough gloom and doom news in the mainstream media these past few days.  It prompted me to get into a different space today--a spring cleaning, as it were, or perhaps more appropriately, a summer overhaul of my gray matter doldrums.

Here, then, is my most recent auction listing on eBay:

Metz #1 Magnum Grizzly Neck
(Hawaiian Odysseus photos)


New In Package

Okay, here's the thing...I truly don't understand this current hair extension trend, and I won't insult your intelligence by pretending to be an expert about a field I know absolutely nothing about (except for having seen Steven Tyler with some grizzly feathers hanging near his ear).  

All I can tell you is that a whole bunch of fly tyers and fly fishermen are pretty disgruntled because they can't get their hands on any kind of quality feathers because the craftspeople are gobbling them up like crazy.

And to compound the problem, you've got these narcissistic politicians in Congress showboating when they ought to be representing the people, the result of which is a band aid fix for a huge problem that could have been effectively resolved had they listened to the urgent pleas of their constituents years ago.

So, I'm not going to baffle you with falsehoods.  Here's what I will do instead.

I'm going to tell you the truth.  I'm going to take a huge chance and list what I consider to be some primo grizzly necks for auction, starting at a price that's more sensible than a lot of what I'm currently seeing on the major auction sites.  In fact, I'm going to make it fun for you by starting it up at the ridiculous price of a Lincoln penny.

I will not lie to you and tell you that I got some capes in today for a cheap price.  I paid an arm and a leg for them to a very respectable dealership in Oregon.  The sales rep told me I got the last of these, and I believe him.  So I'm taking a huge chance here.  

But I think we all deserve some light moments in our lives during these anxious times.  Hey, it'll be great fun--you bidding and competing with others, my wife and me watching to see how things go.

I will do this for at least the first of these capes.  If things go well, I'll do it again with a second.  If things go bad, I'll do what everyone else is doing and list it at a stupidly high price and watch as day 7 comes and goes without one nibble.  

But, folks, why do that?  Come on, let's bring the glory days of eBay back--at least for a little while, if at all possible--and truly have a great time competitively and recreationally passing the time.  

One more bit of honesty.  

My primary target group is comprised of my fellow fly tyers--though retired from that wonderful occupation, I will never forgot the spectrum of agony and ecstasy, of cussing and oohing, until each dozen flies was tied to perfection.  That said, if any of the hair extension and jewelry craftsmen participate in this auction, God bless you, too.  The more the merrier!

So, without further ado, I'll let the pictures above and your working knowledge of feathers drive this vehicle.  

One last thing...there will be no returns.  I cannot afford, given the current economy AND fashion trend, to get back grizzly capes that have been partially plucked and/or damaged.  I'm taking enough risk as it is to provide a good time for everyone.  

Thank you very much, everyone!  
Bid heartily, and have yourselves a blast!

Check out our other items!

Thank you for visiting our eBay store--
--the humble online shop with great expectations!

Sunday, August 7, 2011


Charlie and four of his octopi friends
(Photo courtesy of S. K. A.)

An enterprising local boy from Kauai has combined his passion for octopus fishing with the e-commerce vitality of the juggernaut social medium, Craigslist.  

Fellow Kauaians who eagerly search for octopus in local stores, sadly discovering that this seafood is often sold out, find themselves without bait while their friends and other fishermen are hauling in papio, ulua, and other game fish that are compelled to strike the alluring tentacles and mantles of the octopus.

In the meantime, Charlie, a proficient octopus hunter, was facing a different kind of problem.  He had a freezer full of octopi.  Even after giving some of the delicacy to family and friends, he found himself hard pressed to clear up room in his freezer for ice and frozen foods.

One day, while discussing the very issue with his brother over the telephone, the proverbial light bulb came on.  Hey!  Why not advertise on Craigslist?  What could he lose?  After all, the listing would be free, and in what appears to be a double dip recession, you can't beat FREE!

His brother thought it was a brilliant idea and fully supported it.   Although Charlie was initially skeptical of the idea, he found his brother's support to be encouraging.

One day, then, he drafted a simple little ad and posted it on the Kauai Craigslist.

At first, not unlike Charlie's initial endeavors to catch the slippery, elusive TAKO (Japanese) or HE'E (Hawaiian), the lack of response almost prompted him to abandon what appeared to be a hairbrained idea.  But he committed to leaving the ad up for another week.

Eventually, like the sudden shock of a big fish hitting a line with tremendous impact, the first sale came through.  At first, the initial sales were few and far between.  Gradually, however, the entrepreneurial dam cracked wide open, and like a rushing, hellbent flood, orders began pouring in.  

Soon thereafter, Charlie's octopus stash was 100% depleted.  

About the same time, Kauai was hosting its annual papio/ulua fishing contest.  The locals were in a frenzy as they searched high and low for the prime octopus bait.

You know how it goes when demand overshadows supply.  The economic dynamics favor the seller. Such was the case with Charlie...big time!

Literally working his butt off (he'd lost 15 lbs in a month's time), Charlie went diving almost every day, diligently studying and taking wise advantage of the tidal and meteorological patterns.  He was able to meet his orders while growing a substantial customer base and a secure advance reservations list.

Most of us have heard the recent news about tragic Craigslist events.  This post won't give any attention to these things beyond the mere mention of them for the purpose of creating a contrast.

We need more stories like Charlie's to provide a basis with which to inspire other aspiring hobbyists and potential businessmen to utilize Craigslist and other social media for the promotion of constructive and successful transactions.  This is of special significance during these anxious and unsettling economic times.

Congratulations to Charlie and others like him who perpetuate the American economy, one small step at a time.

Monday, August 1, 2011


Wailua Falls
Aptly located on the Garden Island of Kauai
(Photo courtesy of Silas K. Aqui)

The scientists will say that the rainbow in the picture above is caused by white light from the sun passing through one side of the curtain of water vapor from the waterfall and getting bent as it passes through the other side.  This phenomenon of bending is called the REFRACTION INDEX of a given particle.  In the process, the white light disperses into the seven-color spectrum visible to the naked eye.

I remember as a young boy learning from my science teacher how to remember the seven colors.  The instructor taught us an acronym that was the name of a boy--ROY G. BIV.  The letters stood for Red, Orange, Yellow, Green, Blue, Indigo, and Violet.  

Honestly, I forgot until just a few minutes ago about the process of refraction.  But I never forgot the name of the little boy.

It's mnemonic devices like acronyms that make learning easier for me.  And when it comes to nature, I especially enjoy what I call the God element.

Back to ROY G. BIV, for example.  God cleverly put the seven visible colors in the very order with which an observant individual would someday come up with an acronym that little kids like me could understand.  

I mean, the colors could just as well have been arranged in such a way that the resulting acronym would have turned out to be:

  • GORY B. I-V (gory b(loody) intravenous shot?)
  • BY VIGOR (not by feebleness, but by vigor!)

  • BI ORGY V. (fifth reunion of indiscriminate lasciviousness?)
  • IVY BROG (a sharp stick from the wall climber?)
  • IVORY B. G. (anemic b(lood) g(lucose)?)

  • RIV. GOBY (freshwater big-eyed fish?)

Okay, I'm getting mentally fatigued.  But you catch my drift.

God intended the exact order of those colors in the rainbow spectrum.  And He surely anticipated the appropriate acronym that would someday help millions of schoolkids remember the majesty and splendor of a rainbow.

So while the scientists--obsessively compelled to organize, classify, and define nature--scramble to come up with theories and terms like refraction index, I imagine God adorning His landscape with creation after creation.

Chuckling every now and then at man's incessant and futile attempts to categorize even Him...

And pausing to leave His indelible humor on the whisper of a tradewind

or on the crashing percussion of waves against rocks

                                                       or on the muted slate of desert sand--

His comedic counsel in the form of--you got it!--another acronym:

K * I * S * S