Wednesday, February 27, 2008

Wed Feb 27 2008

The month of February gets shorter every year. I successfully completed the first half of my movies from my 2006 Mongolia trip. I used Roxio Easy Media Creator software and had a difficult time creating it. I included video, photographs, narration, background music, native music, graphics / subtitles. It was a lot to ask my 2004 PC computer with only 1 GB ram to handle the movie of 1 hr and 15 minute length. After many hang-ups/crashes I kind of learned to "save" every few minutes and endure the wait. I took a great many days to research the history of Mongolia since the time of Genghis Khan, and presented it in a condense 15 minutes at the start of the movie. I did all this work in order to make the presentation at our Honolulu Adventurers' Club at the Waialae Country Club (see photo at right). Sixty-five people attended the evening which included a $20-$25 dinner. So I was happy the movie, in the form of a DVD, was able to run on the DVD player and projector and used the house sound system. Sooo now that that's done I thought about doing the last have i.e. editing down the last 3 hours of raw videotape, etc. and I bought a new video editing software called Sony Vegas Movie Studio. Well, that's a whole 'nother can of worms to learn, but I think it will work. I'm going to give myself a break from video editing for a month or so.

After Feb 7th I had time to work a few days at Honolulu Hale, the City Hall, to televise the City Council Meetings. I've continued to work out diligently at the gym, and have finally seen the scale move in a downward direction! One day at the gym I saw Dog The Bounty Hunter's son and asked him if it were true that the series was going back on A & E. He was very polite and nice, and said that it was true and they were expecting the film crew in a week. So I'll be glad to see it back on TV.

It is whale season in Hawaii and I walked out to the nearby Makapu'u Lighthouse with Lucille, to get some exercise, sun and see the whales that were off shore. It was a beautiful day, and so clear we could see Moloka'i and Lana'i. There were many whales, and their blows and tail fins were quite visible from our lofty viewpoint. At one point a baby whale was seen to be apparently learning how to breech. At the left is a photo I took early in the month just at sunrise, being able to look eastward across the Ka'iwi Channel to the island of Moloka'i and seeing also Lana'i. The closest Oahu is to Moloka'i is 26 miles.

liI attended the preview at the Honolulu Academy of Arts of "The Dragon's Gift" arts and dances of the country of Bhutan (see photo of masked dancer on left). It was very enjoyable and beautiful. I haven't been to Bhutan, but it has similarities to Tibet. Unfortunately I slipped a tiny bit on my shoes and strained the muscles or ligaments on the outside of my right foot. That was enough to side-line me from walking or going to the gym for 48 hours as I let it heal. I had to miss a much anticipated shoreline "hike" up on North Shore near Turtle Bay to Kahuku, but I didn't want to chance the rough terrain. The foot is doing well.

I've gotten back to my genealogy and really enjoy searching around on the internet, especially ancestry.com. I've talked to cousins Dorothy and Don, in Iowa, about our Hague family and have been able to collaborate quite a bit.

Speaking of talking, a fantastic resource that has been around a while, but I just finally got gumption enough to try, is telephoning over the internet. I think it's called VOIP. I downloaded a program from the internet called Gizmo Project. It is really terrific to use. I put up $10 credit at the website and can use that credit to telephone around the world. Because I have my Rees cousins in England and Wales I have used it. At 2 cents per minute we can talk an hour for almost less than mailing a letter. I love the GizmoProject. I use a headset that plugs into the USB slot and can talk without needing my hands or worrying about bending over the microphone that came with my computer. I've also called my friend Bonnie in Nanton, Canada.

I watched a video on RootswebTV.com that GenealogyGuys.com created and wrote a little feedback to them saying how much I liked it "Down Under: Florida" about a story they researched from a tombstone in Florida (see photo at right). I asked about what the technicalities were in its production. I was quite surprised, when listening to their podcast, that they mention receiving the comments from "Donna in Hawaii" and talked about 20 minutes about their video creation. I was so absorbed by the whole discussion - and hearing my name every few minutes - that I sped up on the elliptical machine to 70 rpms and expended an all time high number of calories -- and almost effortlessly. It was a good distraction!

A neighbor had a big moving sale and I ended up with four rugs, one big Indich rug and three little rugs. That then prompted a surge of house cleaning, but not before a fun afternoon in Manoa Valley: I was invited to "High Tea" with my Army friend Julia Maguire's sister, Emely, and her daughter, Karin, at the Salvation Army's Wailoi Tea Room in Manoa Valley. We had a delectable selection of scones, breads, sandwiches, and deserts, plus a big selection of fresh teapot brewed teas. Our photo is on the right.

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