Sunday, December 28, 2008


It's been eventful and we've been so busy that this is the first real chance i've had to sit down and do this - cos i'm in Covance :)

We spent Thanksgiving with friends. In the morning, a group of us (mainly Aussies) swam across to Chinaman's Hat and climbed it. On our way back over, I was brutally raped by jellyfish all over my hand, arm, stomach and back -- sucked!!!!

We made a new friend on Thanksgiving. The marketing director of the Oahu Atlantis Submarine Tours is the dad of a friend of a friend and, after eating Thanksgiving dinner with him and his family (thanks to the friend of a friend - Stu Skinner - who'd been staying with us), he invited us to go on the submarine tour (he actually paid for us - not even the VP can get people on for free).

Above is Liane with her octopus friend. She later got soaked by some guy who put his hand in the water and freaked out with something slimey touched him. He pulled his hand out with such force (accompanied by a high-pitched scream) that he splashed water all over Liane's face and shirt. It was pretty funny (for us - the guy was really embarrassed).

Later that night, another friend of a friend allowed us to go into Hawaiian Waters Adventure Park after hours (Dan Sessions is in the same ward as the CEO of Hawaiian Waters). It was unreal.

I got to go to Kaho'olawe for a SIFE project. I went with 3 others (Troy, Brian and Leilani) and we were part of a group of about 12 volunteers who were given permission to step foot on the island. Kaho’olawe is the smallest of the 8 main Hawaiian Islands, about 10 miles off the coast of Maui. For over 700 years the island was populated by small, fishing communities, established along the coast. Following the introduction of goats to the island, severe environmental damage began. At its worst, there were estimated over 50,000 goats living on Kaho’olawe. On December 8, 1941, the day after the Japanese attack on Pearl Harbor, the U.S. Army declared martial law throughout Hawai’i and took control of Kaho’olawe, bombing it in training exercises for almost 50 years. Kaho’olawe has since been returned to the people of Hawai’i (in 1990) and island is slowly recapturing her original beauty, through the conservation efforts of groups of volunteers.

The shells on Kaho'olawe were so impressive. They were all over the place and really big. We went to one beach and the shore was covered in all sorts of shells - many as big as your fist...some as big as your head!!

The beaches were amazing...but sure enough, every single beach was accompanied by signs like the one below:

Although i didn't see any bombs, apparently they're around the place! One of the fulltime workers told me that 2 yrs ago there was a fire and as it was coming down the hill they could hear explosions going off. One was a loud, deep BOOM that shook the they're out there!!

In addition to shells and bombs, the island has many archeological sites. This one marks the highest point on the island, Moa'ulanui (1477ft). The island also has amazing sunsets and awesome wildlife. We saw monk seals, a whale, all sorts of birds and even swam with a huge pod of dolphins (maybe 50 or 60 spinners). Base camp was at a place called Hanakanai'a (Bay of Dolphins) -- truely lived up to its name!!!

Thursday, 2 weeks ago (with 2 days left of finals and right before graduation) there was a massive storm and flooding all over Oahu. Parts of Laie were waist and chest deep and 45 TVA apartments flooded, ours being one of them. 2 weeks later, they've only just started working on our place. We ripped out the carpet the day after and they knocked down the bottom part of our walls just a couple of days ago. We staying across the street in a studio until we hear otherwise. They'll rebuild, repaint and recarpet over the coming weeks.

Liane and I graduated. The night before (in our flooded home) we made each other a fews leis (just in case we didn't get any others). We didn't have any family there (just each other), but we got to sit next to each other in the front row (sometimes handy having a last name starting with "B"). Pres Eyring came out and spoke. Liane got a "cum laude". I think that's Latin for "heaps smart" or something. she got 6 A's this last semester. She'll probably hate me writing this, but I'm so proud of her!! We enjoyed the occassion, but it was somewhat dampened (no pun intended) by the flooding and the stress of having so much other stuff to worry about (finding somewhere to sleep and packing all our stuff up into boxes for when they would begin work on our place).

Liane shaking Pres Eyring's hand.

Believe it or not, this picture is my favourite. They told the graduates to turn, face and applaud their family for their support and for being here!! We didn't turn!! We stood and faced Amraa (who's become like a little brother to us) who was armed with our camera and carrying a bag with the leis that we made for each other! He took heaps of photos for us (like a personal photographer) and put leis on us when we came out!!

Us with Amraa, our "family" and photographer!!

Veronica Vaughn played one last gig at Gunstock with Matt Newbold as lead guitarist and front man. Erik, Justin and i are all still here until at least April so we might keep playing, but after a year and a half together, this was the last time Matty would be with us:

Friday, November 21, 2008

Octoberfest -- Catch Up!!

I'm still not very good at this whole blogging thing...not good at keeping up to date, but here's a quick catch up on a couple of things from the end of last month:


The band I'm in, Veronica Vaughn, opened for Upstanding Youth at a bar/club in Haleiwa. There was a $5 cover charge for people wishing to indulge in punky delights!!


Liane and I, according to tradition, ventured down to Waikiki for Halloween. We were Baverian Germans...some people called us Hansel & Gretel, others yodeled at us and others would (unsuccessfully) attempt to say German words to us -- at least they knew what we were tho!!
No Halloween is complete without a photo with funny Japanese women and sailors!!

Friday, October 17, 2008

Laie Beach Park

Pounders, not pounding!!

Bit of yoga - tree pose?

Veronica Vaughn Plays @ Gunstock

We played our first gig with new drummer Erik Norton.....who is SICK!! I am now officially the weakest link in the band!! :)

Tadd, half naked, screaming at the mosh!!!

Wednesday, September 24, 2008

I Kissed a Shark & I liked It!

During August was Shark Week! We celebrated! So did the sharks!
2 huge Tigers came out to play, and scared all the Galapagos Sharks away, but the Reefies stuck around!!

Saturday, August 30, 2008

Death in the Family

Nik and Liane mourn the death of a close family member...Ugly Albino Poo Eater, our catfish!! He will be missed!!! Don't worry...the photo was taken pre-upside down floating!!!

Friday, August 8, 2008


I'm just writing because I remember this day, 20 years ago (that's so scary sounding!!!!). My teacher, Mrs Anderson, asked, "does anyone know what's special about today?". I was thinking, "it's Thursday, the day before Friday...which means it's almost the weekend", but Tim Williams secured his status as the smartest boy in the class (which he held for 10 years, until we graduated high school), by saying, "it's the 8th of the 8th, '88". "WOW", I thought, "he's right!!"......and I've never forgotten it!!! So, Happy 8th of the 8th, '08!!!!

Tuesday, July 8, 2008

Stairway to Heaven

A couple of weeks ago, Ryan Tolley, a mate of mine from my mission (Brett Tolley's brother), his sister Alissa and I woke up at 4am and hiked the illegal Stairway to Heaven (Haiku Stairs)... 3,922 steps up the Koolau Pali to the 2800-foot summit of Puu Keahiakahoe overlooking Haiku Valley. It was unreal. We had a little trouble finding the trail head in the dark, but eventually found it and started our gruelling climb.

We all felt sick by the time we had our first break, so we slowed the pace a little. As we climbed into the clouds, it got windy in fact, that they rain was falling UP. It was the weirdest thing I've seen. It was hard going, but well worth it (even though we couldn't see anything from the top cos we were in the clouds). Coming down was a little hair-raising too -- Ryan and I even resorted to sitting down and sliding from step to step at one point, for fear of dying!!! :)