Archive for the ‘808 Pride’ Category

No Be Scared

August 19th, 2016

A couple of months ago while Da Baby was getting his haircut on a mid-morning Sunday, Da Keiki wanted go next door to da McDonald's playground at Moanalua Shopping Center. While we were walking there, she asked for a smoothie from Jamba Juice and me being da 'economist' really didn't feel like dropping $7 for a smoothie. I told her dat we could pick one up at McDonald's aftah she pau play since we had gift cards.

Aftah Da Baby was pau with his haircut, I asked Da Wife to get two smoothies for da rugrats and she came back empty handed.

BL: No more smoothie's? (was thinking morning time they don't serve it)
Da Wife: They're only taking cash right now.
BL: Heh? Wassup Wit Dat!
Da Wife: They said their machines are down and only taking cash.
BL: So no gift cards or credit cards?
Da Wife: Nothing but cash.

Since we manage our expenses - as well as rack up da points - via credit cards, cash isn't something we always have on hand and having dropped tip to da stylist, we didn't have enough to buy one let alone two smoothies.

A few minutes latah, an 'intimidating' lady tapped Da Wife's shoulder and I couldn't help but immediately notice da tat's on her arms and a skull on her motorcycle club vest. She gently placed two small smoothie's on our table and began to leave. We immediately offered her our gift card to which she politely refused and aftah thanking her repeatedly and trying to get da monkeys to come down, she left. We nevah look hobo (was wearing a puka-less shirt) so I can't imagine her thinking we couldn't afford it but seeing dat Da Wife entered da playground could probably assume we had keiki.

Once da monkeys took their final laps, they were excited to have smoothies waiting for them. We explained to them wat just happened and Da Keiki asked wea da lady was to thank her to which we further explained that da lady just wanted to help and be kind then left.

On our way out, I was spocking out da parking lot (hoping) for bikes and noticed a gang of them in da parking lot. Once we recognized da lady was still hea, we gave da gift card to Da Keiki and she walked ovah with Da Baby to thank her personally. Her reply, "you're welcome Sweetie."

Let's be real. Most of us already have a perceived idea of 'biker gangs' and it generally involves a mixture of rude, mean and dangerous type of people. Skulls, tattoo's and loud bikes don't help soften da notion so having an 'out of character' moment, was a lesson we couldn't let pass. Maybe cause Da Keiki already has been exposed to tat's and bikes (via me), it wasn't as intimidating to her but it was a touching moment to see da exchange between Da Keiki and da lady.

She rode with da Combat Veterans Association (CVA) and I wanted to give a shout out to them and say Mahalo for showing true colors and da spirit of Aloha!

I didn't ask for a name but upon retrospect, I'm glad I didn't because I think it emphasized a complete random act of kindness from a stranger and once you know a 'name', you no longer are strangers.

Dis moment was classy.... and I'd like to remembah it dat way.

Believe It Or Not

March 16th, 2015

I can't. I really can't.

As I ritually do every year about dis time: get a haircut, shave and load up da truck for da first "official" day of practice. This will be year 22 of my faithful community service to da Police Activities League (PAL) with HPD and da C&C of Honolulu.

Every year, ritually, I fall back to two mo'olelo's dat 1) got me doing wat I do and 2) keeps me doing wat I do. As a volunteer, I am not paid for my time or resources spent and rely on soulful guidance to carry on since I don't even like baseball all too much. Seriously, I don't. I don't watch or keep up with any baseball teams oddah than highlights on ESPN and find it a little boring. I know, I know........

Wassup Wit Dat!

Long story short, I was asked by a friend a supah dupah loooooong time ago if I wanted to help him coach.

BL: "Coach wat?"
Friend: "Uh, baseball - what else?" (He's a baseball fanatic)
BL: "Baseball? BASEBALL?! Dat isn't even a contact sport!" (BL played football and loves contact sports)

Da very first day I show up to da field expecting to see "tweeners" but wat did I see? Little 5-year old munchkin rugrats wearing gloves and hats dat were too big. AI-GOO! 🙄

We had a majority of those kids for the next six/seven years and it was really fascinating to see them grow athletically but more importantly as individuals.

My friend "(involuntarily) retired" almost a decade ago and I've been carrying da torch alone full-time evah since.

Why continue to do it?

For da most part, I tell both da keiki and parents I don't coach baseball... I coach life. If they want hardcore baseball they've signed up at da wrong place. Don't take me wrong, da players will learn baseball and I can say with ablsolute certainty that they leave da program learning more about baseball in four months than they've learned da last few years they've been playing.

Coaching in a low-income latch-key community, I've witnessed - experienced as well - too many punks with no guidance or direction. I grew up there for most of my young life and now as an adult, spend my afternoons there for five months of every year and things haven't changed so much. I've seen and experienced things most keiki should not and know how tough it is to be an environment where most of the people you see are struggling one way or anoddah.

Da people in my life - "old school Korean parents", key coaches and teachers - have shown me oddahwise. Now I blend all da influences I've experienced and share them through coaching - hopefully it'll sink in for those keiki learning to balance on da fence of life even if it is just one.

I always read dis little mo'olelo before da season starts and some say it's true, some say it's made up and oddahs say it was tweaked but all da same, it's a reminder of why I still do wat I do after all these years.

In Brooklyn, New York, Chush is a school that caters to children with learning disabilities. Some children remain in Chush for their entire school career while others can transfer into conventional schools. At a Chush fund-raising dinner the father of a Chush child delivered a speech that always be remembered by all who attended.

After extolling the school and its dedicated staff he cried out, "Where is the perfection in my son Shaya? Everything God does is done with perfection. But my child cannot understand things as other children do. My child cannot remember facts and figures as other children do. Where is God's perfection?"

The audience was shocked by the question, pained by the father's anguish and stilled by the piercing query. "I believe," the father answered, "that when God brings a child like this into the world the perfection that he seeks is in the way people react to this child."

He then told the following story about his son Shaya:

One afternoon, Shaya and his father walked past a park where some boys whom Shaya knew were playing baseball. Shaya asked, "Do you think they will let me play?"

Shaya's father knew that his son was not at all athletic and that most boys would not want him on their team. But Shaya's father also understood that if his son was chosen to play it would give him a comfortable sense of belonging. Shaya's father approached one of the boys in the field and asked if Shaya could play. The boy looked around for guidance from his team mates. Getting none, he took matters into his own hands and said "We are losing by six runs and the game is in the eighth inning. I guess he can be on our team and we'll try to put him up to bat in the ninth inning."

Shaya's father was ecstatic as Shaya smiled broadly. Shaya was told to put on a glove and go out to play short centre field. In the bottom of the eighth inning Shaya's team scored a few runs but was still behind by three. In the bottom of the ninth inning Shaya's team scored again and now, with two outs and the bases loaded with the potential winning run on base, Shaya was scheduled to be up. Would the team actually let Shaya bat at this juncture and give away their chance to win the game?

Surprisingly, Shaya was given the bat. Everyone knew that it was all but impossible because Shaya didn't even know how to hold the bat properly, let alone hit with it.

However, as Shaya stepped up to the plate, the pitcher moved a few steps to lob the ball in softly so Shaya should at least be able to make contact. The first pitch came and Shaya swung clumsily and missed. One of Shaya's team mates came up to Shaya and together they held the bat and faced the pitcher waiting for the next pitch.

The pitcher again took a few steps forward to toss the ball softly toward Shaya. As the pitch came in, Shaya and his team mate swung at the ball and together they hit a slow ground ball to the pitcher. The pitcher picked up the soft grounder and could easily have thrown the ball to the first baseman. Shaya would have been out and that would have ended the game.

Instead, the pitcher took the ball and threw it on a high arc to right field, far beyond reach of the first baseman. Everyone started yelling, "Shaya, run to first. Run to first." Never in his life had Shaya run to first. He scampered down the baseline wide eyed and startled. By the time he reached first base the right fielder had the ball. He could have thrown the ball to the second baseman who would tag out the still-running Shaya.

But the right fielder understood what the pitcher's intentions were so he threw the ball high and far over the third baseman's head. Everyone yelled, "Run to second, run to second." Shaya ran towards second base as the runners ahead of him deliriously circled the bases towards home. As Shaya reached second base the opposing short stop ran to him, turned him in the direction of third base and shouted, "Run to third." As Shaya rounded third the boys from both teams ran behind him screaming, "Shaya run home." Shaya ran home, stepped on home plate and all 18 boys lifted him on their shoulders and made him the hero as he had just hit a "grand slam" and won the game for his team.

"That day," said the father softly with tears now rolling down his face, "those 18 boys reached their level of God's perfection."

'Nuff said............... Kleenex please.

5-0 Chicken Skin

December 13th, 2014

Just like any oddah state, there is a certain representation dat automatically attaches itself to your person especially if you're from out of state but I truly believe dat da Aloha State is unlike any oddah.

Dat case couldn't be more prominent wen we travel off da rock to anywea in da world and come across a person dat is from Hawai'i. There is an instant bond - an "open willingness" - to help out more than average but at da very least, just talk story. Obviously da Ninth Isle nails it but wen your travels take you to da West Coast, chances are you probably run into a Hawai'i transplant or someone on vacation.

No mattah if you (not) interested in it, if it connects with Hawai'i, you can't help but "feel" like it's a part of you. Try look at wen Ewa Beach won da Little League World Series, everyone across da state was beaming and you didn't even have to like baseball - or kids. You can hear or read about an athlete with Hawai'i ties and you perk up a little.

Marcus Mariota - Heisman Award winner.

Now das some chicken skin moment as a local boy winning da most prestigious NCAA Division I award you can win, wins by a landslide and da braddah is all up to his ears in fresh maile lei with all da haoles asking "why is he coverd in vine?" 😆 For all da hype associated with dis award and with da recent kooks to have been voted into dis unique fraternity, Marcus Mariota is an extremely refreshing damn humbling face.

Nevah mind he plays for da Oregon Ducks and not UH. Nevah mind he went to St.Louis and not one public school. He's a Hawai'i boy and das all dat mattahs wen you no longah are physically on da rock. Wen "one" person, team, event is nationally recognized, it's dat sense of pride we all feel wen just da word "Hawai'i" is mentioned. I guess you could say it's almost like living vicariously through da moment especially wen it's nevah been done before or just an infrequent moment wea "Hawai'i" just isn't synonymous with national recognition except for our high cost of living.

Regardless da motive, for locals, da odds are - will always be - stacked against us. We don't have da resources dat is readily available like our mainland counterparts have nor are there multitude of choices to pick from - but we hold our own and I guess it's dat "chip on da shoulder" dat drives and enlightens us at da same time.

Congratulations to Marcus Mariota for winning da Heisman and making Hawai'i proud.

Two Heisman finalists from Hawai'i in two years? Now even people NOT from Hawai'i are getting....... goose bumps.

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.

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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? 😛

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? 😀

• 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....... 😆  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!   😉

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. 😉 😉



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