Imagine waking up at 4 am to see your pre-teen kids walking in the door. That's the new Pokémon GO game.
What it is: Pokémon Go is a free-to-play augmented reality mobile game developed for iOS and Android devices. The game allows players to capture, battle, and train virtual Pokémon who appear throughout the real world.
In simple English, it's a app that sends people to different physical locations to capture imaginary characters. It released this week here in Hawaii. By 7am on Sunday, there were people standing in front of places like Sea Life Park staring into their phones and deeply engrossed in their own fantasy world. By people, I mean people, and not just kids. The guy we saw at Makapuu was probably in his 30s. The woman we saw at Heeia Kea Pier was probably in her 50s.
While some were casting physical lures into the water, one of the locals was casting virtual lures. Boy did my kids go crazy. Lures are in-app purchases that bring Pokémon to the area.
As for what I think? Definitely mixed reviews. I really wish the developer would turn off accessibility during certain hours -- similar to the way some states prohibit the sale of alcohol? Say, midnight to 5am? Nationwide, there have been reports of IRL (in real life) robberies at Poké Spots, specified places where players replenish supplies for their game. Driving? Yeah, scary. People collecting imaginary characters and creating genuine hazards? What could go wrong?
On the other hand, my kids have seen more daylight in the past day than the rest of summer combined. They want to go places. They even love traffic (if you go slow enough, the game thinks you're walking and gives you credit for "egg hatching"). My son even expressed a desire for more strenuous exercise this morning when some skateboarder beat him to his destination. (Side note: skateboarding and playing Pokémon GO? Ditto: What could possibly go wrong?)
So, if you're out and about Honolulu and see your local vicar aimlessly meandering the streets with his smartphone? Give credit to Pokémon GO.
I just returned from an all-day conference on Hawaii's public education system. The symposium, called the 2016 Hawaii Education Summit, was hosted by Governor David Y. Ige's office. It was open to any stakeholder in public education.
I'd like to start off with a heartfelt mahalo to the Governor, the First Lady and the office staff. Putting together an event of this size in just a few months is phenomenal for anyone. It's nearly unprecedented in government.
As for the event itself, it was well-organized and quite well attended with 1,000 participants. Material was pertinent and informative. Best of all, everyone -- including parents and students -- had the opportunity to provide direct feedback to the Administration.
July 7, 2016 Honolulu City Councilman Ikaika Anderson (Waimanalo) has lost his post as head of the Zoning and Planning Committee to Trevor Ozawa (Ala Moana to Hawaii Kai) in a shakeup announced Thursday by Council Chair Ernie Martin. Anderson alleges retribution for his attendance at a Kirk Caldwell fundraiser. [Civil Beat]
July 7, 2016 The Department of Land and Natural Resources (DLNR), Division of Boating and Ocean Recreation (DOBOR) yesterday began construction of improvements at the Maunalua Bay boat launch ramp to expand the vessel washdown area and construct a roadway around it. Work is scheduled to continue this week and next week. The washdown area is scheduled to reopen on July 15. [State of Hawaii Governor's Office]
July 6, 2016 The city of Honolulu is currently in negotiations with Lio Lani Equestrian Group to have them move into the recently vacated Koko Head Stables. [Midweek]
July 2, 2016 The State Department of Health has updated its E-waste disposal site list including Hawaii Kai locations. [State of Hawaii]
June 30, 2016 Chef Ed Kenney's PBS series, Family Ingredients, Debuts in the Bay Area [7x7]
The Friends of Kaiser PTSA just held a plant exchange at their Tuesday Farmer's Market. It was definitely a success and we'll be doing it again on August 2, 2016. So, until further notice, FIRST TUESDAY, 4-7 PM, school parking lot, we'll be there.
Here's how it works. You bring a plant and exchange it for something else. Or, you bring pots or other gardening supplies. Alternatively, just leave a donation to the PTSA in an amount of your discretion. It's all good and everyone benefits.
I must say I was pleasantly surprised at the turnout and participation at our first event. We may have had over dozen or so people show up with exchanges. I even received these plants shown above, which by some miracle remained at the end of the event. They're going to be perfect for my natural rock landscaping: a little color among a sea of red rock and lush green ferns.
The point is that there's a little something for everyone. The Christmas cactus brought in was scooped up promptly. The pink pommelo (jabon) has a new yard. The mint, thyme and green onion went to homes needing culinary herbs. You just never know what will turn up. We even got a fresh supply of pots.
I've filled them with new plants for August and here's what I'm planning on bringing.
- Papaya (seedling) - highly prolific. We've been eating fruit and giving away for years now.
- Alocasia - Excellent landscape plant, tolerates indoor sun.
- Lemongrass - Good to have on hand for SE Asian cuisine.
- Oregano - Excellent edible ground cover. Grows well in partial shade.
- Ti Leaf (green) - Lovely tropical plant for landscaping, leis and cooking.
The list is subject to change, of course, but I'll keep this post updated so you have the latest information. Again, for those that participated this week, MAHALO. It was a huge success and thanks to generous donations -- both in plants and cash -- there's also some extra money for the PTSA to use in the school community.
Looking for parking at Koko Marina the other day, I thought the mall seemed busy for a Sunday. Turns out that Petco, in conjunction with the Oahu SPCA, was holding a low-cost pet vaccine clinic. The cashier informed me that the next one will be held on August 20 and 21. Here are the details:
Date: August 20 and 21, 2016
Hours: Saturday 10:00 am - 4:00 pm / Sunday 12:00 pm - 5:00 pm
Services: Vaccinations $25 each / Microchips $25 / Comfortis flea treatment (under 30 lb) $20, (over 30 lb) $30
Call 808-754-1519 for more information or follow-up treatments