Tuesday, August 21, 2012

College: Is it worth it?

So I have several YouTube Channels that I subscribe to. One of these is the Vlog Brothers.
Today's video was by John and it was titled Is College Worth It?

It seemed particularly fitting that today's video should be on this subject, because today:


That's right! I am now an employee at Solar Wave. I'll start training Monday to be a PV designer. 
I will design solar panel systems!!! 
(There is a lot more to it than just that. If you want all the details shoot me a text and I'll call you)
I am absolutely in love with the job and company! 

In the video John talks both about the financial worth of college and the intangible worth of college. And in his case the expense was worth it. I am happy to say I can be in that same boat.
Not only will I be gainfully employed, but I will be doing something I am passionate about, in possibly one of the coolest places on earth. So for me, YES college was 100% worth it.

Side note:
Ronnow Drafting and Design is still a thing! I am still going to be running that on the side to make extra money and because it is fun :)

Side Side note:
Listen to the angler fish song- it makes me laugh:

Friday, August 17, 2012

Abby's Aloha Chicken

I've been toying with this recipe for awhile now, and I finally have it just right.
The original came from a bottle of Aloha Soy Sauce.
The base ingredients are very similar but I've omitted some and dramatically changed the cooking and marinading methods.

Abby's Aloha Chicken:

1/2 Cup Ketchup
1 1/2 Cup Aloha Soy Sauce
1/2 Cup Water
1/2 tsp Chicken Bullion
1/3 Cup White Wine*
1/4 Cup Hawaiian Sun Orange Pineapple Juice Concentrate*
Chicken Legs*

Mix the first 6 ingredients in a gallon Ziploc Freezer Bag. Add in as many chicken legs as you would like as long as they all can be submerged. Place in the refrigerator 24 hrs or at least over night. Flip the bag every few hours or so.

Cook on a well greased, clean grill over low heat with the lid on. Flip and baste with the marinade every 5- 10 mins until last 10 mins of cooking time. (DON'T throw away the marinade though!*) We cook ours between 30-40 mins*. You can tell they are done when they start splitting apart. 

Serve with white rice and pineapple.
Licking of fingers is acceptable and anticipated ;)

-I haven't tried substituting the wine because all the alcohol cooks off. If you do try substituting it, use something with a good acidity and maybe add something flammable to the marinade like oil.
-You can use pure pineapple juice concentrate for a much healthier option and it is still quite tasty.
-I almost always use frozen Chicken Legs and just let them thaw in the marinade. I've left them soaking for days and they turn out fantastic.
-Watch for Flare Ups! This is a very flammable recipe. This makes for great caramelization and lovely crackly skin but it is easy to burn them.
-DON'T throw out the marinade. There is a ton left over. Just toss in a few more legs and put the whole thing in the freezer. Later, when you want more, take them out, thaw them in the fridge for a day or two, and put 'em on the grill. I've been able to get 3 uses out of the same marinade!
- The marinade dyes the meat and juices pink so you can't use the it's done when the meat is white or the juices run clear trick here.

I hope all the notes don't scare you off! It is really a simple recipe and the flavor....!!! 
I'm salivating right now just thinking about it! 

Thursday, August 16, 2012

Coral Reefs and Rough Waves

We made a visit back to my favorite North Shore beach. It started out pretty calm, we snorkeled out to the reef. Richard found this lovely Spanish Dancer slug.

Here it is hiding deeper in the reef

Another one of my favorite urchins (pencil urchins)

A cute little snowflake eel 

Trying to scare Richard away from his hole.

When we returned to shore.. the wave situation had changed dramatically! They were not calm little lappy waves, But big churning waves with a vicious undertow. Getting out was rough but the waves were so much fun I just had to go back in! 

I took my boogie board and figured I'd try and teach myself to body surf. These particular waves changed the water depth really quick. You can go from standing in chest deep water to ankle deep in a matter of seconds. It was on one of those instances where I jumped belly fist into the water. The last under tow had cleared a nice section of basket ball sized rocks, and of course that is right were I landed. I broke my board beyond repair and did this to my leg:

OWWWW! Funny thing is it didn't manage to phase me enough to get out of the water. I sure am feeling it now though.. sanitizing it was less than fun as well.

We both got to work on our tan's a little too. They don't ever show up well in pictures and we still get asked where we are visiting from but we are significantly darker, Richard especially. If we ever get off this night shift schedule he's going to look like the real deal in a hurry :)

Tuesday, August 7, 2012


We have been trying to beef up the Etsy shop in time for Halloween and Christmas. 
I learned how to make cute little top hats!
These are my first two

This one's fabric is from a huge curtain I found at Saver's for a few bucks
And the flower is just tea stained printer paper!

The fabric for this one came from a Saver's find as well!

I found out that bias tape is the wrong thing to use for trim. I need to go with an upholstery trim or something equally flexible.

Richard added this cool spider medallion 
He made the 'gear' from one of the rings that came on the curtain I used for the hats!

Ridge Hike!

Since we first landed to Oahu back in February we have done all sorts of hikes. There are lots of types to choose from, coast line, historical, rain forest, waterfall, etc, but one type we had never tried was a ridge line hike.

This weekend we remedied that.

The first section was quite arid,

Then more semi arid.
With all the lava rock and pine trees it reminded me of parts of NorCal

(That's lichen that Richard is holding)

About 1/4 of the way up you get your first vistas:

A cute little farm to the right:

Honolulu to the left:

(can you spot the sail boat?)

The higher up we got, the more green and lush things became:

Then after considerable amount of panting we arrived at the top:

That ridge snakes it's way all the way up the island.

And here it is the view:

It was late afternoon and cloudy so my camera was having troubles with the lighting. As cool as these pictures are, they don't even come close to the real sight.

See those two little islands off on the right? Ben and I paddled out to those!

Some beautiful flowers also shared our view:

Needless to say... It was pretty awesome!

Friday, August 3, 2012

And the Crafty Continues!

Richard has created another pair!
This one features a black and brown color scheme and a working LED light! 

Pretty cool right?
Also, I added links to our Etsy Shop, our YouTube Channel, and my Architectural Page. It is over on this side
underneath the calender of us on the bicycle.

So ya, check it out

We should be adding some more stuff very soon..

Wednesday, August 1, 2012

The Abby Jayne Birthday Weekend Extravaganza!

Guess What? I'm 24 years old! 
In honor of this Richard scheduled Monday the 30th as a vacation day (night?). So when he got home from work early Saturday morning, the Birthday Weekend Extravaganza began!

It started with a nap, but around noon we woke up and headed out. 

I've been wanting to reread and finish reading the Harry Potter series for some time. So we started out at the library. I LOVE THE LIBRARY! I always forget how much I like public libraries. Kapolei's is a particularly nice one. I eventually want to do some volunteer work with them. They have all sorts of great activities for the community.
 I got the 1st book in the Harry Potter series along with a collection of SteamPunk stories, and ordered Miss Peregrine's home for Peculiar Children. We then walked (another activity I forget that I enjoy so much) to Krave Frozen Yogurt.

Last month I scored a spend $5 for $10 Gift certificate, and we decided this would be a great time to cash it in. I created one with Pineapple, Vanilla, and Coconut and covered it with every type of fruit in the topping section. The vanilla was good, the pineapple tasted just like the famous dole whips, but the coconut... the coconut was TO DIE FOR!!! It was so amazing I made Richard eat some! He pretended to enjoy it but I decided not to waste any more, left him to his own sugary concoction, and gobbled mine down before it melted.

On the way home, while we were stopped at a light, we looked up to see a huge fluffy cloud serving as a back drop for the most perfect rainbow that was springing out of a deep green grove of palm trees. And right as we were enjoying this view a flock of pure white egrets flew in front of the rainbow.
It was the most ridiculously Hollywood example of Paradise and it was happening to us as we were waiting for the light to turn green. My mouth literally dropped open... as I turned to Richard and said.. "Yeah... and We live here!"

While I'm on the subject of how lucky I am I happened to be lucky enough to get some birthday money this year :) and I knew just what to spend it on. We had a great time poking around in surf shops all over our corner of the island to find the perfect rash guard. We finally found it at the Rip Curl Store:

It is perfect! It has no-seam underarms, a really cute pattern and cut, and the black color absorbs solar heat helping even more :) Plus wearing one of these around makes the tourists think I'm legit ( I got asked how to get  places, what the 'conditions' were like, etc), I'm not fooling any locals yet though ;)

Also we got a leash system going so Richard and I can stay in contact without kicking each other in the face
We got these:

And put a 15 ft section of cord between them.

Armed with new equipment to test we headed off for the Lagoons at KoOlina. We like to test things out there because it is shallow and calm. All the new gear was great! I especially liked having the leash for when it gets murky. After the test swim we rinsed off and enjoyed a lovely stroll along the beach walk. We walked while being serenaded by the soft Hawaiian music the hotels were pumping out and watching the sun sink into the ocean.

On the dive home suddenly all the cars in front of us started swerving of towards the side of the road! As we also swerved we found out what all the commotion was about. Some one had lost a boogie board out of the back of their truck. Well I've wanted one since we've got here so we doubled back at the next exit.
It had been run over a few times but I figured it still floats... so Happy Birthday to Abby!
We brought it home and 'siliconed' it back together.

Now I won't get laughed at for using a noodle while I snorkel! Also, it has a wrist leash so it doesn't get in my way/ slow me down when I'm not using it :)

Monday morning we got a negative tide up at the Pupukea Tide Pools. I always liked eels, I felt like they got a bad wrap from movies like The Little Mermaid etc. I loved watching them on nature shows, learning about them in school, and checking them out at the aquarium.

However when you meet one in person, with no glass between you... EVERYTHING CHANGES!!! These are possibly the most terrifying sea creatures of all time! (sharks don't scare me for some reason... probably because I haven't met one yet.) It doesn't help that Richard had irritated this one a little too.

Look at those teeth!! When it came rushing out of the rock trying to escape Richard it just so happened to come charging at my very exposed ankles... I'd like to say that I stayed calm, used logic, and didn't make a fool of myself.. I'd like to say that... That's not what happened. Instead there was an unnecessary amount of undignified splashing, wailing, and general panic.

We decided to spend some time with a more docile sea creature. Look at this lovely long spine sea urchin:

Also since the tide was so low we got to explore some of the underwater passageways that refresh the tide pools:

We found an octopus but it was very shy:

So we only played with it a little.

Well the tide started to come in, so we decided to continue the adventure next door at sharks cove. It turned out to be one of the best snorkel days yet!

Richard was able to get a picture of my favorite type of urchin,
A Pencil Urchin:

We found another Octopus but it was so deep we weren't able to get any footage.

Then we met this cute little girl sea turtle:

 That's me in the background!

Here is Richard diving down to see her closer:

Here is a great video Richard took:

We decided we were probably annoying her so we stopped following her and were just checking out some fish in shallows.

But when she realized we had stopped following her she doubled back and stared at us for a while.
"Why did you stop following me? Let's go, The food's over here."
So we started following her again which she seemed oddly pleased with.
She stopped at a good growth area and started to eat:

Too cute!
Speaking of cute can you find the little fish poking out of his hole in the rock?

Also if you are in the I Spy mood, here is a video Richard took while he was following a flounder.

My favorite part is when he would lose it and you can hear his muffled "where'd it go" through his snorkel

It was an Absolutely wonderful weekend :)
We finished it off with a home cooked steak dinner and strawberry shortcake for dessert :)

Turning 24 couldn't have gone better :)