1-24  The First Twenty-Four
25-48  The Second Twenty-Four
49-72  The Third Twenty-Four
73-96  The Fourth Twenty-Four
97-120  The Fifth Twenty-Four
121-144  The Sixth Twenty-Four
145-168  The Seventh Twenty-Four
169-on  The Eighth Twenty-Four

49  Pure Michigan
50  Ah, Youth
51  Unlikely Friend
52  Golfballogy
54  Before/After Squared
55  Hawaiiana 1
56  Hawaiiana 2
57  Hawaiiana 3
58  A New Outlook
59  Hawaiiana 4
60  Crash Dummy
61  Dogs, Boards, Kids...
62  Photographic Treasures
63  Hawaiiana 5
64  My Comb is Crooked
65  Call Me A Doctor
66  Hawaiiana 6
67  Home for Christmas
68  Led By Words
69  Pono Bowls
70  Poppy Tour
71  An Invitation
72  Wunderkammer I




So you’ve dreamed about the paradise of Hawaii for many years and you have finally decided to make a visit.  Wonderful!  We look forward to seeing you and we definitely need the money.  However, we hope you will be realistic and know that all is not beer and skittles.  While the odds are that you will not encounter the worst of these threats, knowing they exist will help you to be prepared.


mosquito    centipede 

Mosquitoes!  These little pests are everywhere but their population is proportional to the amount of rainfall in the area.  You are most apt to see them outdoors after dark.  A bite will normally result in nothing more than itching, but there was an outbreak of dengue fever on the windward side of Maui a few years ago.  Spray with something containing deet if you plan to be outside in rainy areas in the evening.

Centipedes!  I’ve seen these guys everywhere including in my condo.  We have regular pest control inside and out, but still I’ve had about three encounters.  Two were rather small and although I saw them alive, I couldn’t catch up to them and found them dead when cleaning later on.  The third was somewhat larger than the picture, but was in its death throes from materials left by pest control when I found it.

I understand that centipedes can cause significant pain and should be avoided but they have no particular interest in humans.

Cockroaches!  Ubiquitous but benign.  Not healthy to live with but impossible to eliminate.  Every item that comes into your room can be a roach vehicle, whether from your rental car, the airport, the grocery store, the restaurant or someone else’s room.

Scorpions!  I haven’t seen many of these, but I think I was nailed on the ankle by one when I ventured into the rough on a golf course (looking for someone else’s ball, of course).  It hurt a bit, but was no big deal.

When I first moved to Hawaii and was looking for a place to live, one place was shown by the outgoing resident.  One room was detached and lower than the rest of the place.  I asked about the room and the lady said they didn’t use it because it was full of scorpions.

cockroach    scorpion 



sunburn    altitude sickness 


Sunburn!  I just want to scream when I see tourists rip off all their clothes and hit the beach the minute they get here without a minute of preparation.  Sunburn is perhaps the most common problem for tourists and all it requires is some sun block and some time restraint.

Altitude sickness!  Mt Haleakalā is some 10000’ high.  There is a nice (though switchback) road that can get you to the top in an hour or so depending on where you start from.  For most people that is enough time to get used to the altitude change and adapt.  Others experience light-headedness, shortness of breath, or even more serious symptoms.  A shot of oxygen can help, but the ultimate cure is to get back downhill.  The view is worth the trip.

When working at the observatory I was fortunate to have mild symptoms.  I was OK physically, but I know my brain didn’t function quite so well as at sea level.  Oxygen bottles were readily available and even long time employees made use of them.  Increased flatulence is a very common, usually non-fatal consequence.

Jellyfish stings!  Box Jellyfish normally arrive in the near shore waters 7 to 11 days after the full moon.  However, they may be found in the near shore waters at any time.  Picture shows mild stings.  They can be much worse and require medical attention.  Beaches are often posted when the threat is high.  When in doubt, stay out.

Injuries!  Hawaii offers a wide range of physical activities, with a wide range of opportunities for injury.  Please be careful.


 jellyfish stings    injuries


flash flooding    earthquakes 

Flash flooding!  This threat is a strange bird.  A big rain many miles away from you can cause a flood at your location quite a while later.  Look at it this way – you wouldn’t curl up and take a nap in the middle of a seldom used road.  Similarly, don’t spend a lot of time in a dry river bed or low-lying area.  Especially don’t disregard posted warnings.

Earthquakes!  Hawaii doesn’t have many big earthquakes, but we do have a lot of lesser ones.  The plot shows activity for the first two weeks of November.  There were 47 events, mostly on the Big Island and mostly around the volcano, but as you can see, one of the larger ones was just south of Maui.  I didn’t happen to feel that one, but I have felt (and reported) others.

Hurricanes!  The season for hurricanes in Hawaii is July through November.  The last major event was September 11, 1992, when Iniki hit the Island of Kauai and left enormous damage.  Pictured is the wreckage of the famous Coco Palm Resort, host to Pono and family and many other celebrities.  We made good use of the brunch when JR and Stuart were growing up.

Tsunamis! Positioned in the middle of the Pacific Ocean, every time there is an earthquake anywhere on the Ring of Fire, Hawaii looks for evidence of a tsunami.  In 1949 and again in 1960, Hilo on the Big Island was devastated by tsunamis that took great tolls in property and lives.  Below, right is the memorial in Hilo.

When visiting Hawaii, it is necessary to remain aware of world news and listen for warnings of impending events like these and instructions for how to survive them.   

hurricanes    tsunami memorial 

by Dean Sensui


gas prices    45 mph 

High prices!  I suspect that these gas prices won’t shock as many people as they would have a year or so ago, but we have been a dollar over the national average for a long time.  And that’s just the tip of the iceberg.  I see tourists modifying their grocery lists and complaining as they go around the local grocery stores.  And some restaurants make me shudder – I don’t think I could swallow a steak (with no sides) if I knew it was costing me $78.  And this is a restaurant with outdoor seating and bird poop on the furniture and an 18% gratuity automatically added.

Even the fast food places that advertise on TV give Honolulu prices, but put a note on the commercial announcing “higher on the neighbor islands”.  The five dollar foot-long goes for $6 on Maui.

Low speed limits!  Pi’ilani Highway that feeds Kihei, Wailea, and Makena was upgraded from a 2-lane to a 4-lane a few years ago.  They lowered the speed limit from 50 to 45 to celebrate!

Crowds!  Especially in the high season, wherever you go you encounter throngs of people.

Commercialism!  Whatever the nature of the business (with a few exceptions), if a tourist is apt to come in you’ll find a souvenir shop.  Usually it will be around the cash register where you can’t miss it.  Even my local credit union offers discount tickets to luaus and other events.

Please be tolerant when you visit.  If you live here for a while, you find ways to cope.

crowds    commercialism 





E komo mai – welcome to Hawaii.  If you plan to visit Maui, I hope you will let me know your schedule so we can get together.  Don’t worry about the threats, but do be aware!