Archive for the ‘808 Pride’ Category

No Such Thing As "No Can"

July 16th, 2014

Those who are stuggling on dis Hump Day Wednesday and dat cup of joe just ain't doing it, check out dis video dat I came across...scratch dat... dis frickin' AWESOME video.

It's da HPU (Hawaii Pacific University) 2014 Spring Commencement speech featuring Big Island (Hawai'i Island) Mayor Billy Kenoi.

I don't know da man nor have any political affiliation with him or HPU oddah than wat I see on tv but a quick glance at Mayor Kenoi through media, you don't get da "brightest" impression. I do get dat he's very down to earth with local boy "mannerisms" but you truly do NOT see dat - evah - in today's politicians.

Wassup Wit Dat!

I guess it really depends on who's "looking" at him. I can imagine people of "position" not particularly impressed with him while us blue-collar-get-your-hands-dirty kine of people can totally relate. It shows - proves - dat you can really be.... both.

They say dat you got roughly 60 seconds to impress people..... dis man impressed me for a full 9 minutes and 22 seconds.

You need inspiration? You need shmall kine motivation? You need a quick laugh? You want a smile on your face? Then for da next 9:22 - no judge, just listen. Chillax on your okole sipping your brew and enjoy a terrific local boy share his mana'o and mo'olelo's in a manner befitting to his (our) true local character.

It don't cost a thing oddah than wat you put in.

Time To Get Lei'd Like Never Before

May 16th, 2014

Graduation is right around da corner - if not hea already - and wat's da first thing we in Hawai'i nei go for before heading down to da footbal field, stadium or arena? Das right, one lei..... or two or three or four or howevah much you need for da graduate and his/her hui.

We seen - and smelt - it all. Plumeria, hibiscus, ti leaf, maile, carnation, ribbon, feather, quarters, dimes, nickels, pennies, beer (rogah, I've seen dat EVERY year some barely 18 year old get a six pack of beer probably from da "fun" uncle), inflatables, haku..... does dat cover it?

Those heading down to graduation looking to be da "different" relative? Da one who da graduate will remembah dat gave a cool gift?

How's about a gummy lei? It's not wat you tink wea it's just a single row of gummies but how's about a POUND of gummies (three rows) braided so cleanly and tight dat you swear it was a "real" lei?

E Komo Mai Sweet Lady Lei   (

I will first mention dat she, Lauren Murphy, is a co-worker of mine dat sits a few cubicles away.... and one of my bosses so not going hurt if I give her a shout out right? :razz:

Hea's a little Q & A we did earlier in between her juggling her "real job", fresh off da live morning show on KHON and unknowing shout out on Monday's Today section "5 Things We Love":

• Do you physically make each lei?
Yes, the candy is manufactured in the USA and each lei is handmade in Hawaii by me and my business partner, Nel Ota.

Made in Hawai'i - das wat we like to hear! Plus it "stays" in Hawai'i too!

• How did da “gummy lei” come about?
I love gummy candy and my good friend Nel loves crafting, so we created the lei during a late night brainstorming session with gummy snacks!

Ummm, "late night brainstorming session"? :mrgreen:

• How long have you been doing this?
We launched in April 2013 for graduation season and it was so popular we continued it year round since then. In addition to our website (, we are now wholesaling at Watanabe Floral, Primo Popcorn, and Samurai Snacks.

They are also on too! Ho, hit da big time yeah? :grin:

• Do you eat any of them while making them? No lie.
No, LOL!, but I have tight quality control standards so the ones that do not pass the test go into a “samples” jar that I usually end up eating or giving away.

Cause I got da WWD! Hui's back.......
• Get discount?
Sure, I will offer 15% off the entire order if they order online and mention the blog. Primo, Watanabe, and Samurai will not honor the discount so please make sure you mention it applies to website orders only for the 15% off promo.

Eh, no complain if you nevah follow directions by not mentioning dat you saw it on WWD! eh! Click on ovah to their site,  (  and order there.  Their turnaround time is really quick but in da same breath, it is grad season so they are getting slammed and working feverishly to get out all their orders.

• Any fun facts you want to add?
FUN: this is the perfect gift for any occasion because it is the gift that keeps on giving. Shelf life is 9 months at room temperature, so you can wear it and then eat it. All candy is sealed for freshness and comfortable wear. We make bracelets and leis – bracelets range from $5-8 and leis range from $10-20. It’s a unique, one of a kind, gourmet gift that is easy to transport.

HISTORICAL: Gummy Worms were created in 1981. The Sour Worms are the #1 selling gummy worm in the US. The first gummy candy was invented in Germany in the 1920’s and did not come to the US until the 1980’s – the same year the Gummy Worm was created. The largest Gummy Bear in history is from Texas in 2011 – 81 lbs!

BL:    I can pound da whole lei in a few minutes


Ha ha ha. I just re-read dat sentence out loud in my head....... :lol:  if you no get 'em, nevah mind.

All I gotta say is dat their website is VERY AWESOME! Lots of pictures, clear cut descriptions and excellent detail. 

In case you're wondering if they can do custom colors to match high school colors, yes they can! But please inquire with them as I cannot vouch dat they'll have da specific color you're looking for. Da gummy candy is onolicious if I do say so myself - not too sweet...... not too bland...... but juuuuuust right eh!   :wink:

Check da site  (  for full details and no fo'get to mention dat you saw it hea on WWD! for your kama'aina discount.

It's not often dat I hand it out but da product - and cause it's made in Hawai'i - is right on and deservingly so receives......


Five Shakas and A Howzit!

We've all had graduation or been to one and a lei is a lei and once on and piled high, you really don't pay much attention to it but trust me, whoevah gets a gummy lei will remembah who gave it to them. Compared to a floral lei, you'll be spending close to - if not more - so you might as well get something unique dat is memorable. They also do gum balls too!

Keep in mind dat it's not just for graduation though but for anytime you want to give a lei.

So go check 'em go check 'em go check 'em go..... next to beer, gummies are one of my favorites and I'm surah for many oddahs too. :wink: :wink:



Two Minute Major Or Minor?

March 3rd, 2012

At almost every sporting event - big or small - there's one thing that kicks off the start, the Star-Spangled Banner. It's the national anthem of the United States and it should mean something.... right?

It pays homage to this great nation that we live in and it's the only thing that everyone from an ordinary Joe to a military service member to a political dignitary can not only take part in but no one individual is greater than another.

It's a sign of respect and reverence that everyone who lives in this nation should ALWAYS show and take part in. It's also one of the most difficult "songs" to sing and those who perform it in public have a duty to do represent and do it tastfully.

There were three teens on February 3rd that kick started the 2012 First Hawaiian Bank High School Canoe Paddling Championships in Hilo that did just that. Star-Advertiser reporter Christie Wilson witnessed a chicken skin moment as Jacob Kaumuali'i Kailiwai-Ching, Hero Wooching and Kameron Kalamaku Freitas sang an awesome acapella harmony rendition that I've never heard before and more than likely won't hear again.

Luckily we got YouTube..........

Wasn't that awesome?

Although - I dunno about you - but when I hear the national anthem being sung, I stand up a little straighter, my hat or visor is always off and I certainly do not talk to anyone. If I'm not at my seat, I pause where I am and if I'm in a conversation I'll stop cold.

Did you see da braddah just walking through DURING the anthem?

Wassup Wit Dat!

Did you see him right before they started singing? Check out the video again and look between the deck post and you'll see him start to walk, pause, think about it then after some time just decide to walk through carrying his roll of cable. I really cannot fathom something so drastically urgent that he couldn't have waited till the anthem finished.

Is two minutes of his time too precious to spare to give respect to his country? (Yes, the national is usually sung in under two minutes) Was his life on the line? Was there a fire he had to get to?

Some may think it's not a big deal or something to WWD! about but then again, respect may not be high on their list. I guess if he was farther away it wouldn't have "mattered" but judging from the video, he appeared only yards away from the stage. I'm just glad that the trio wasn't facing him as they were singing their hearts out cause if I was, I would have been a little deflated seeing someone carelessly walk through going about their business as if nothing was happening.

How do you feel about the national anthem? Do you hold it in high regards or just another song? Do you sing along?

btw, da trio also sang Hawai'i Pono'i (the full three verses instead of repeating the first one twice) and da lolo was still "working".

Wassup Wit Dat!

Huh? *said while crying* Mid-wat?

February 11th, 2010

My Hawaii State ID is expiring.

My driver's license is expiring.

Oh crap. I can't believe it. I'm actually afraid to say it. I really don't like da sound of it and as of 12:00am today, there's no turning back from it.

Today........I hit,         *GULP*         da mid-thirties.   :shock:  :cry:  :shock:   :cry:

Sadly, I can say I'm "mid-" and actually mean it. I'm not 34. I'm not 36. I'm exactly in da middle. Goodness gracious,  it's only downhill from here.

Even prior to hitting da   *gulp*   mid-thirties, I've always had a short "bucket list" which hasn't changed since high school: 

  • Go to Disneyworld
  • Go to Japan
  • Fly with da Blue Angels and/or Thunderbirds
  • Watch da 49ers live.... or win a record tying 6th Super Bowl - both would be nice
  • Get a tattoo

I know I'm "young" to have a bucket list but I've always wanted to experience those things before it's "too late".

Well at least I got to scratch one off da list.... and I did it TWICE!

I got tattoos.  (Don't tell my mommy)

I've always believed and felt tattoos (tat's) weren't just "art". It's a representation - a lifelong representation - of who you are and what you steadfastly believe in. IMHO, tat's shouldn't be on a whim or some design that isn't even remotely representative of you. Not to single out any particular race, but take for instance people who get Polynesian warrior tattoos who aren't even Polynesian or even understand da significance of the design oddah than it was "cool looking".   :roll:  

And then there's da whole debate of whether non-Asians should be getting any kine of kanji inked on them at all. I'll just leave it at dat.

People get tat's for watevah reasons they may be and it's really no one's business except for da person getting 'em so I followed my heart chosing my designs  seriously and done it without an ounce of regret.

Da two tat's I got inked with are THE most important things dat mattah to me:  my family and my life.

For me, "family" runs the gamut be it by blood or friends - they are all "Kwons'" to me so I protect everyone of 'em as such. Each of my immediate family members has gone through "above normal" struggles - of which I witnessed even though they tried to "hide" it from me and I hope to God no one goes through dat - but they persevered.

My friends mean a great deal to me as without them, I wouldn't be who I am today either. Even though we may not bear da same last name, they are my ohana and will always be a "Kwon" to me.

"Life" is a hard one to describe in a word or kanji character or singular symbol and made it too broad and almost impossible to "describe" me. Those who regularly read WWD! know dat I've battled/ing adversity for da bettah part of my life.  From playing sports to even writing dis blog, I've had to always battle as a "non-favorite" and overlooked in sports due to uh, my size. So what fitting character to represent an underdog than Underdog himself? Plus it's a "funny" which fits me perfectly don't you tink?   :lol: 

Some may tease or laugh but like I said, a tat is a representation of you and if you can't stand up for it and believe in it, you bettah not ink yourself wit it. I got them as "badges" and can live with it.....

Permanently.   :wink: 

You got a bucket list to share? Done anything dat oddahs may look or say is weird but you did cause you believed in it? Ready to get inked?   :wink: 


Don't you just love dis sign at a tattoo parlor?   :grin:



Let it begin..... can you spot Da Wife?



Does it tickle.... or does it hurt?



Doug has got some real steady hands



One done. On to numbah two.



Man on a mission



All pau



Braddah Doug with some after care instructions... some very clear instructions.



Oh yeah baby! Mahalos Braddah Doug!



Braddah Doug also offers a free one-time follow up touch up because during da tattooing process, there are many variables dat can affect da original inking and all bets are off if YOU wen mess up by not following his directions... trust and believe, he going know if you did or not. Check with him and ask au' kine questions, I did.

Hea's da tat's a few days aftah da touch up session.......

Some of you may be wondering why I nevah get "Kwon" in Korean characters. Well I had asked my Mom before I got married, to find a kanji "Kwon" for the very reasons I mentioned above. It's because kanji is "universal" - in all asian languages using characters - and while I may be Korean, my love for ohana stretches far beyond being "just" Korean.



It only took me about 20 years to think of using dis to "represent" me.... and I tink it's perfect. I've gotten a lot of compliments on it.... even Da Wife changed her mind cause she didn't like it at first until she saw da finished product on me.   :grin: 




SHOUT OUT:   A huge Maaaaahalos goes out to Doug Wheeler at Hawaiian Tattoo Co. at Pucks Alley-University for doing such a great job! If you guys need a tattoo artist to help represent, see him. He's not only professional but up front and a helluva guy! Check out his website

And in case you missed it, he also was da inaugural 808 Pride blog I did last year. It was a video interview so check it out and you'll see he's one cool braddah! Click hea' fo' see da vid!


Braddah Lance Kwon

Got Inked?

October 20th, 2009

As promised for a new feature on WWD!, I wanted to showcase regular hard working kind hearted kama'aina that usually don't get the spotlight or recognition for busting okole.

On this inaugural post of 808 Pride, I was referred to a tattoo artist to check out and I was more than pleasantly surprised!

I met with Doug Wheeler at Hawaiian Tattoo Company (Puck's Alley) on a late Saturday morning before the shop opened and once we got to talking, it almost seemed like we were lost friends catching up. He was a little nervous being that it was his first interview (not to mention his wife telling him no make "A") but I was equally as nervous too being that it was a first for me in full production mode as well.

The interview went on without a hitch considering I was a one man crew managing the video and digital camera's and believe it or not, the interview itself is unedited - except for the fact that I had to break it up into two segments because YouTube won't allow long videos - and we both kind of "winged it".   :grin:

Doug was extremely honest in his answers and he broke down a lot of stigma's and stereotypes I personally had about tattoo artists in general. For instance, he's not a hard ass punk rocker with piercings all over the creation and besides his very groomed goatee, you could never tell he was a tattoo artist. He also works six days a week and actually loves and takes pride in what he does. He recognizes that the artwork he creates is not only a representation of the person getting the tattoo but it's his "signature" on every piece.

Check out the videos and go see for yourself and you'll see why Doug represents with da 808 Pride. If you've ever thought about getting inked....... check him out cause trust and believe, he's one tattoo artist that won't let you down.

Did I get inked?

You just have to stay tuned and find out.   :wink:


Hawaiian Tattoo Company
Puck's Alley (corner of University and S King)
2600 South King Street
(808) 946-2600


Braddah Doug represent


Humble lobby with tons of previous artwork readily available to sample. The shop also does piercings which I passed on.   :lol:


Braddah Doug's workshop


Mahalos to you Braddah Doug for taking da time for sharing your mana'o with Da WWD! Hui!




SHOUT OUT: Let's all give a big cheee-hooo to Mr. & Mrs. Doug Wheeler because in about eight months, they'll have an addition to their ohana! Congrats!


Braddah Lance Kwon