Tuesday, November 26, 2013

Radiation monitoring on Hawaii Island

We continue to monitor radiation on Hawaii Island and the levels have continued to remain unusually low.  We attribute the low level to the lack of uranium (radon gas) in the island’s lava, being closer to the equator where there is less solar ionizing radiation, and being at sea level. 

Here is a recent video taken along the Kohala Coast where most of the large resorts on the island are located.

When we notice any debris washed up on the beach during our daily walks (electrical wire coverings, residential wall insulation, carved wood structural beams, etc.) covered with barnacles that we assume came from Japan, we check it out with our detector.   So far none of the debris has had any detectable radiation.

There are numerous sites on the internet that display real-time radiation readings from detectors in the US on a map. Some show a disturbing trend of increasing background radiation levels along the western US attributed to the continuing Fukushima disaster.  Other real-time maps show the radiation levels to be within normal ranges.  

Although we believe Fukushima and other nuclear sites are a potential danger, there is a lot of misinformation and unclear messages about whether there is a risk or not.  We think having a radiation detector is an important investment in our family’s well being to make sure there is no reason to worry needlessly while at the same time being prepared with an early warning system in case there is a nuclear incident.   

Monday, November 11, 2013

Ideal Hawaii 2014 Day Planner

For decades we took workshops and seminars about how to achieve our goals in life. We found that goal setting, calorie counting, and weight tracking consistently worked for us. Last year we decided to design and print a day planner with space to track everything we found that improved our life year in and year out. Writing down the food we eat and our daily weight helped us lose 40 lbs each over the past five years. Reminding ourselves each day about what we appreciate having in our life brings us more things in our life that we appreciate.  Tracking our daily tasks has allowed us to accomplish more of our goals.

 Your Ideal Hawaii Day Planner 2014 is set up for goal setting, calorie counting, and weight tracking with space to schedule and record monthly and daily activities.  The 2014 Day Planner is ideal for residents and visitors to Hawaii because it has all the Federal holidays as well as unique holidays and special days celebrated in Hawaii.

Overview of 2014
The Planner is a 9”x 6” paperback book that is sturdy and easy to carry.   The front cover has the spectacular Kua Bay on the Kohala Coast of Hawaii Island and the 150 pages in the interior are black and white.  We often refer to our Planners from previous years to remember what happened on certain days, so we like having a paperback book record of each year in our bookcase.

2014 Goals
The Planner has a page for writing Goals for the year and pages to write your Choices and Plans about who and where to spend your time in 2014.  This year we added a page to write down what we are Thankful for, which is not difficult to list living in Hawaii, but so important to for us to remember every day.

Calendar pages for every month
The calendar pages for each month has a section on the side for writing monthly Goals, Health Choices, Appreciations, Projects, Adventures, and Events.

Pages for each week
Each monthly calendar is followed by two pages for every week.  Each day has room to write down what happened, record food, calories, and weight.  We use our daily food lists to track the relationship between what we eat and our weight loss.  Every week has a place to write down ideas and insights about how we can improve our life.

Overview calendars for December 2013 and January 2015 are also included.  At the back of the Planner are pages to record 2014 Accomplishments and make Plans for 2015.

2014 Accomplishments and Plans for 2015
If you are looking for a uniquely Hawaii Day Planner for 2014, we hope you will give this one a try and let us know how it works for you.

Tuesday, November 5, 2013

2014 Year of the Wood Horse

It is time for our annual predictions based on the Chinese lunar calendar for 2014 Year of the Wood Horse.  As we predicted, the current 2013 Water Snake year has been about rich people holding on to their wealth and countries becoming increasingly isolationist and possessive.  In contrast to the internal focus of Snake years, Horse years are about energy, expansionism, military power, physical feats, and economic change.  Although Horse years can bring good luck and fortune, they require quick thinking and decisive action.  The time for planning and introspection will be over when the year of the Snake ends on February 3rd, (a bit unique this year since the Chinese New Year is January 31st). During a Horse year we must be ready to react quickly to keep pace with world events and changes.

We find it useful to review what happened 60 years ago, during the last Wood Horse year, to see how events may relate to today’s world.  In 1954, the previous Wood Horse year, the new, secretive Hydrogen bomb project expanded to above ground testing around the Pacific.  The 1954 Congress was attacked by four gunmen with semi-automatic pistols who shot into the US House of Representatives chamber from a balcony and wounded 5 congressmen while they were debating an immigration bill.  The Snake year McCarthyism created new laws in the 1954 Wood Horse year that made being a “communist” illegal, authorized harsh penalties for spies, and approved the CIA opening US mail.  It would not be surprising for the wikileaks, NSA leaks, and other secrecy issues of the 2013 Snake year to result in harsh, new laws in the 2014 Horse Year Congress.

Horse years bring economic growth and chaos.  Although the last Wood Horse year of 1954 saw the Dow Jones close higher than its peak before the 1929 crash, most recent Horse years have seen major stock market crashes.  In the Horse year of 2002 the stock market dealt with the dot-com bust and in the  Horse year of 1990 the stock market took a dive after the Iraqi invasion of Kuwait.   In the 1978 Horse year, a stock market crash of 22% one day in October came to be known as black Monday and caused a global stock market decline.  No one ever figured out what caused the panic, but protective measures were installed to prevent a repeat of the disaster.

Horse years are military power and transportation minded.  During the last Wood Horse year of 1954 the US Army created the first helicopter battalion, the US Air Force Academy opened, the B52 bomber, C-130 Transport, and Air Force One all had maiden flights.  During the last Horse year in 2002, Fossett made the first solo, non-stop flight around the world in a balloon.  We expect a year of military advancements in space, the formation of drone battalions, and faster vehicles of all types.  We expect to see military coups, the unrest the Middle East and Asia to expand, and rapid changes in world leaders.

Horses are energetic and physically strong and Horse years often break records in human feats.  During that last Wood Horse year in 1954, the four minute mile record was broken and new records achieved for the 5K and marathon.  During the 2002 Horse year, records were broken in baseball, football, cycling, and other sports, by many athletes now accused of using performance enhancement drugs. 

There are health issues associated with Horse years, in particular issues with the lungs.  Smog and contaminated air may become recognized as a world-wide health problem.  Excessive heat, cold, storms, and earthquakes are also common during Horse years.

Horse years bring focus to fairness, equality, and humanitarianism.  We think sexual rights will progress in the Horse year, much like race rights did in 1954 with the ending of segregated regiments in the military and the start of school desegregation.  The Humane Society was formed in 1954 during the last Wood Horse year. 

Horse years are focused on entertainment, communication, and sociability.  During the last Wood Horse year of 1954, Disneyland was announced and construction started; Disney’s TV show and the Tonight show hosted by Steve Allen were started; color TVs became more common in American homes; and the world’s largest mall opened in Michigan. During Horse years, people spend more money and time on entertainment and fun.

From the introspection and isolation of the 2013 Snake Year, the 2014 Horse Year will bring explosive energy, a fast pace, adventure, unique forms of communication, and a focus on fun.