Saturday, December 29, 2012

Cooking With Gas

"December is about to end. January is starting off with a new year - a new year
with a new beginning and new hopes. A new year hoping to be successful and
hoping all our efforts and hard work will pay off. Yes, this is a chance of a
lifetime - a chance to start all over again."

Thursday, December 27, 2012

The Bottom of the Pile.

But I  have hopes for the New Year. The truth is that if the hits are not there I will have no choice. But it is mainly in my playing field for now. I must get out and try to get more information from this section. Pearlridge will have to be first. Kapolei is pretty busy on their own. But there may be a new club forming there this coming year.

Probably came from the Greeks but well known to have been said by
the famous Indian leader. Mohandas K. Gandhi
 "First they criticize you, Then they ignore you. Then they laugh at you,
Then they fight with you, Then you win."

The territory is from Makaha to the Stadium. Covers a lot of territory but few dancers that wish to be part it. So I will have to work at it. Ewa Beach is coming up and Pearl City. Line Dancers are a possibility, this coming year will tell. We must look for new blood. Many of the old simply do not wish to be part of our endeavors and they certainly have that right. We will respect.

"When You Wish Upon A Star" by Glenn Miller

The new Ewa Shopping Center shows promise. We may have some action there too. Village Park on the other side of the Freeway has a good studio. Perhaps? Whatever, this is a dancing blog and we must try to include all those that wish to be included. The choice is theirs and we will respect those that are not interested and leave the door open.

This past week I communicated with several for the "third time" to try to get them to contribute information and/or photos to share with their fellow dancers. They may not be aware that I will never, ever bring it up again. They will still be welcomed, of course, and perhaps next year they will be ready. No hu, hu, it should be up to them. Meanwhile, I have work to do. Mahalo.

Pub's Side Note: Just got into Google + and made my first "circle," it is a little complicated but the simple stuff seems right up my social alley. You don't need an invite you can just ask to be let in. It seems to be better than Facebook or Twitter. I dropped those a year back. Guy Kawasaki has just written a terrific book "What the Plus!" Paperback on sale at Amazon for only $8.

Tuesday, December 25, 2012

Happy Holidays

Sorry, that's all for today Folks.


Sincerely, Joseph Martel

Sunday, December 23, 2012

Christmas Eve Tomorrow

Like all the rest of us I have so many things to do, I may as well get this one over with. Merry Christmas everyone and I hope to make more contact after Christmas. I hope everyone enjoys their Christmas as they usually do.

"Once again we find ourselves enmeshed in the Holiday Season, that very special time of year when we join with our loved ones in sharing centuries-old traditions such as trying to find a parking space at the mall.

We traditionally do this in my family by driving around the parking lot until we see a shopper emerge from the mall, then we follow her, in very much the same spirit as the Three Wise Men, who 2,000 years ago followed a star, week after week, until it led them to a parking space." ~ Dave Barry

Most people are going to their own private parties which sounds pretty good to me. And there are not too many dances scheduled for this time of the year. Then I suppose too, that many will be preparing to welcome the new year in. All indications are that it will probably be a good year for all and the world did not end after all.

Isaac Watts 1719 "Joy to the World" the Lord has come, the words that fill the hearts of Christians and others around the world with joy during the Christmas holidays. This song explains all that is Christmas.
 
It tells of the birth of the baby Jesus and
the reason for the season. Not the commercialism that is so associated with the holiday today, the true reason that
Christ was born to
save us all from our sins.

 
There are plenty of parties for New Year's in Waikiki. I don't know too much about the West yet.

Pub's Side Note: Just got into Google + and it is a little complicated (too much available for me) but the simple stuff seems right up my social alley. It has just about everything as social media to supplement our blogs. Guy Kawasaki has just written a terrific book "What the Plus!" Paperback on sale at Amazon for only $8.

Thursday, December 20, 2012

Good and Bad

Town Dancer along with the other blogs in our blogosphere is now moving along at a nice slow pace. We are in a plateau with over 400 total average hits per day in our dance blogosphere (12000 per month) we are now pretty close to the Law of Diminishing Returns.

"It's not about who stays real in your face. It's about who stays real behind your back."
 
However our blogs are still young and growing. These are not newsletters. Our blogs are much more current. In order to transfer them into social media we must have other "outside" input. Actually it is "inside" input from our friends and neighbors in our immediate dance world. We get too little, and then of course the max is the Guest Author.

For now all we can hope for is, to get a little email information now and, yes, your viewpoint is important.  And then of course. the big bonus, the group picture of six to eight people in a fun dance. Wow! That really hits the maximum of reader/dancers. Some do not want to share, it is their privilege. Yes, I know, it may be illegal or something.

"The Next Time I Fall" by Peter Cetera & Amy Grant

With enough steady contributors we can try to convince two or three to be Guest Authors. We can help them learn the ropes. Then they can blog whenever they wish. And within our parameters write what they wish and about whoever they wish, without a "pardon me" or "go to hell" to anyone. Just get in, write, and get out, all on your own.


Blogging is new and we are still learning including myself. With two Guest Authors I believe each blog could go over 100 average hits per day. This implies that people from the neighbor islands and even around the Pacific will be reading those blogs. Eventually with proper feedback, there will be a wealth of dance information exchange among the Pacific Islanders.


Pub's Side Note: Blogs are more personal, direct and more current communication, They leave an opening for comments in each blog and they are receptive to more formal answers and opinions in the blog itself. The hits go through the ceiling. Real Social Media is much different than anything we have come across before.

Tuesday, December 18, 2012

Busy Season

So many things to do. But my health is first, so Monday I had to bleed at the VA. A few details like breakfast, computer, shower and I was ready on the Beach before 10:00 AM. The "C" bus, aka the "Cattle Car" was a little late and packed to the gills. They sure know how to make the users of public transportation "uncomfortable" (a term unknown to them.)

"Your life in now, seize it and make it amazing."

But everybody is paying for the rail right now and it is going to get worse. We are talking billions and billions of dollars in pure profits. Property Taxes, gasoline taxes, parking in town going up to $500 per month. Those crooks knew what they were doing when the "bought" the election with lies and dirty tricks. And the voters fell for it. Now the suckers have to pay the piper - through the nose.


The articulated bus (one tandem) being used increasingly in China, South America
and Europe. The "shortie" buses still have a use for them but in small areas
such as Kalihi Valley or Nanakuli Valley, but the rail is out.

Got to the Kalihi Transit Center just fine, The bus drivers are OK. But fortunately the VA shuttle showed up and I was at the VA by 11:30. Went through my routine, and got the bus back at almost 1:00 pm. Then, the #2, (another cattle car) to buy some goodies on School street. Then the #2 again to town, more goodies at Love bakery and then a cup of coffee with part of the goodies from the bakery.


Was at the Alapai Transit Center just a little before 3:00 and the #93 (a shortie) was ready and left about half full. People still unaware of this particular bus. Much different than the "Cattle Cars." Almost full by the time we got on the freeway. But we all fully realized that a lot of cars were missing right in front of the bus because the drivers are "sitting" in the bus "comfortable."


These beautiful buses cost more but they do the job, as long as they are not used as cattle cars. Public Transportation for people in comfort not cattle. That was in the last century. With a couple of industrial parks on the Waianae Coast, why do we need rail?

First stop Honokai Hale, past Kapolei, and I was home in Nanakuli before 4:00 pm. I thanked the driver, told him they should charge us extra - Comfortable ride. The rail ain't gonna beat that in a million years. He smiled nicely and shakaed.


Articulated (one tandem) buses on the "C" and the #40, and on the morning and evening express buses, 91, 92, 93, and 94 and the rail would be superfluous. Nobody would be on the freeway and it would cost less than one tenth. But the big bucks conned everybody. They paid plenty to many of our key legislators too. For sure, all over the world, there will be no more rails. There will be more buses and there will be more industrial parks. Da Way Tuh go!

Sunday, December 16, 2012

Not Ballroom?

By Jeffrey Felton, Kunia.

I haven't had much teaching but in over 60 years I have learned an awful lot of dancing. People would say I have loved music. True. The thing is I have never danced International Style and yet I haven't really danced American Style either. I have danced, a kind of street dance learned at home parties, school gatherings, bars and night clubs.

On the Mainland: "Our dance society is like a stew, if you don't stir it up
once in a while, then a layer of scum floats to the top."

When one dances with a variety ladies in a variety of places, one must stick to the basic movements so that we can both enjoy moving to the music. The step, step, step is very easily learned and with a little body action you can feel the music. And with the slow, quick, quick or quick, quick, slow, you get a little more variety with the appropriate music.

"Dime" by Morris Albert

Learning the rock step and the chasse, gets you into feeling your oats in any dance and most ladies, bless their hearts, are very good at following. To top it off a few lessons at some social clubs like on Oahu and you can learn some easily led figures. Just be careful of teachers with LAGS.* You can wait months for the few good movements to become part of your routine, then if you feel like it take another course in bronze some where else.

I have seen the syllabi on the American, Country and International. They are mostly grouped the same because they took from each other. This was created by teachers a century ago and how they have perceived dancing mostly from the income perspective and make sense of their teaching to the prospective buyers.  It is not strictly social dancing.

"Y Volvere" by Los Bunkers

In our social, street, cultural, recreational or whatever our group dances, the basic or "Bronze" is twice as big as the disciplines. And those are the basic movements used in social dancing. When and if you get a steady partner or one that you dance with more frequently, then you begin to branch out into the intermediate class or "Silver." But you are not going to dance that with just anyone.


Anything beyond this is "ballroom," exhibition, or competitions, contests, professionals or whatever but it ceases to be "Social." For most of us, it is not the same fun anymore. When they say they have to "work" at it, then you know, it just ain't da reel teeng anymore. However if anyone wants to get into that, they have a right to their decision and we should respect that. Meanwhile, let's dance.

Pub's Side Note: *LAGS = Latest And Greatest Syndrome.

Monday, December 10, 2012

The Industrial Park

On Oahu where we worship Honolulu as the Mecca, many tend to accept living in bedroom communities without a place nearby to work and make a living. In Waianae it is a little more understood. "I coulda been home in 20 minutes."

"The people who try to do something and fail are infinitely better
than those who try to do nothing and succeed."

In too many sections the big bucks have been in the high end of the market, such as in Kapolei. Not enough people to warrant a large commercial district. Many come from far away to shop. But a 10 million dollar home is usually vacant for a large part of the year. They got the money, honey.

For the majority of the home owners in the West the perfect answer is the Industrial Park but of course this has been voted down by the rail people and their backers. And many of our legislators are paid by special interests such as the rail people. And everyone has seen their methods, by hook or crook.

"Joy To The World"


The Industrial Park like many in China and South America is designed to relieve congested cities. The type that has been voted down by Inouye and the rail people for West Oahu. One like this in Waianae and one in the Ewa Plain would be a miracle come true. Each would have about 1000 workers from the vicinity. That would be 2000 less cars on the freeway every day going to town, 2000 less cars in downtown Honolulu traffic and 2000 less cars coming back.


With the addition of Articulated buses in the #40, 91, 92 , 93 and 94, the rail becomes superfluous. But of course the billions and billions of dollars in profits by the few are more important. So many have been conned, it has been an assault on the citizens of these entire Islands.

"O Holy Night" (Cantique De Noel)

Some of the complainers of having a something new like the new Walgreens in Nanakuli have been about minimum wage jobs. But there is a well known fact on the Waianae Coast from people that work in minimum wage jobs. Minimum wage in Waianae is worth ten times what is worth in Honolulu. Our representatives on the coast do not have a clue. They get the bucks from the OP (the other people.)

From the Rubaiyat by Omar Khayyam, written a millennium ago,

For some we loved, the loveliest and the best
That from his Vintage, rolling Time has prest,
 Have drunk their Cup a Round or two before,
And one by one crept silently to rest.
 
 

Thursday, December 6, 2012

The New Photo Icons

Most everyone is well aware in the difference of blogs or web sites with or without graphics of some kind to liven up the looks. In blogs it helps to represent the currency of the blog, they are up to date.

Dancing in all its forms cannot be excluded from the curriculum of all noble education;
dancing with the feet, with ideas, with words, and, need I add that one must also be
able to dance with the pen?  ~ Friedrich Nietzsche

I use drawn graphics and converted photos of dancers in two separate categories in my files. (Examples in these included posters.) However I am going to set up a third file. "Our Dancers." These are our people that are getting to be well known in our blogosphere.

I will go about getting these photos slowly and I started out with Calvin & Debra Ota. Lately I added Theo and Diana Behic. These photo icons will not be identified by name. Most of our people will recognize them immediately. Their photos will not appear every day, nor every week, and no guarantee of every month. They will be used in the new posters I will make. Then they will appear only when I use that poster. And the poster will be available for anyone.


They will be full length photos, hopefully in a beautiful dance pose. They will be left in color to appear in the posters and they will be "our" people. They will all be changed to "transparency." That is in the poster only the dancing figures will show.  Anything in the background of the photo will be transparent and show whatever is in the poster background. Gradually I will delete all the other "professionals" and we will only have "our" People.


Tuesday, December 4, 2012

Dancing at a stand still in the West.

But in Town things are looking up all around. Just take a look see in Honolulu Dance Guide and you can see evenings in Town are jumping. In the West the "schools" are getting to want a little more of the action. We must make contact with District Parks and Community Centers, they should be more pertinent to adult dancing.
 
"Blogger's Law #41: All things being equal, you lose."

I don't believe any dance club has ever convinced a Community Center to kokua. Still the long deterioration of "Ballroom dancing" in the last twenty years has been reversed this year and renewed hope exported to the neighbor islands. And on the island of Oahu the cultural dancers are getting more cohesive and recognizing their own group.

The "hazards of the trade" for our dance teachers are still there. Many students want to learn very advance moves too soon, also known as LAGS. (Latest And Greatest Syndrome.) Often times, dancers who concentrate mainly on performance routines don't develop good leader/follower skills, making it difficult for them to dance with others outside of their group and have their own "standard" steps and routines.

"You Are My Sunshine"   ...   Jimmie Davis

This in turn leads to the "clique-ish" behavior of some groups that stick together and don't branch out. Many new dancers become indoctrinated into small social groups that tend to be rather exclusive. Not too bad until they start to talk stink about the other groups.


And it is quite normal for some teachers in the "exhibition disciplines" to forbid their students from dancing with others because they may pick up bad habits, (like dancing naturally.) We are gradually accepting that we must separate ourselves from these people and stick to our own groups.

"Daydream Believer" by Anne Murray

And you over there, holding your hand up at a 47 degree angle. Ya Dumb Dodo, that is incorrect, should be 45 degrees and you should know better.

The dancers will increase in number when they learn to pay more attention to dancing to music than without. Let's face it, without music it is something else. The Universal dancers will also pay less attention to the flashy, deluxe, exhibition moves and more to the natural "feel good" moves instead.

The Exhibition and the Competition dancers play their part in the scenery, but make no mistake they are a small part. And it is as it should be, humans dance for a more natural reason than to exhibit or compete. I am glad most of us are finally discovering this.

Pub's Side Note: Through these blogs read the most informed cultural dancers in the Pacific.





 

Sunday, December 2, 2012

San Juan's Tren Urbano

Could our rail be as big a disaster as San Juan’s Tren Urbano?

We have seen the new report showing that Puerto Rico’s Tren Urbano rail line was a complete disaster. But the contractors made millions of dollars in cool, sweet profits. Cost escalated to 74 percent greater than the Full Funding Grant Agreement projection, ridership was over estimated by four times the actual ridership. Sounds familiar? He He He.
 
"When people say "Oh you just want to have your cake and eat it too". Buzz off. What
good is a damn cake you can't eat? What should I eat, someone else's cake instead?"

Worse than this was that San Juan’s total bus and rail transit ridership resulted in 30 percent fewer riders than what they had before they built rail. Bettah ride car. You can see the proof, now in Honolulu. The "cattle cars" ain't fo me, mo bettah ride car.
 
 
The "Shortie Bus," excellent for small areas, and has done a great job for a long time.
Now obsolete as every day transportation for a city the size of Honolulu.

In the new report you can find all the sources of information easily and why such a disaster is likely to happen with Honolulu rail. But in Honolulu there are "billions and billions of dollars" in pure unadulterated profits. Easy Money for many on the Mainland too, those tied in with Inouye. It's the dough, Moe!


Articulated Bus, (one tandem) but on Oahu they were too successful, people were
actually getting off their cars and riding the more comfortable buses.
 
Naturally the rail people objected. Carlisle was ordered to cut the bus schedules down and turned them into "cattle cars" with the resulting punishment to the users of public transportation. Packed solid and sometimes, "Take the next bus." Auwe. Every user of Public Transportation is firmly convinced we need more buses not a rail. The proof has been in the pudding.
 
You can get a bi-articulated (two tandems) bus for about 900 thousand dollars in the US. From Europe, perhaps closer to 800 thousand. From China, about 600 thousand. In the US. a shortie bus cost more than a half million. Every user in Honolulu, now is certain, rail not needed. Buses yes, desperately.


The Bi-Articulated Bus (two tandems) would be perfect for just 40% of the entire
fleet very carefully placed at one twentieth the cost of rail. The Rail would be
superfluous and the entire island would benefit. But the Big Big Bucks would
not be there and it's the money, Sonny.

Bus rapid transit originated in South America, and is spreading throughout the world. Much less expensive than rail and easier to install. Much more efficient than rail. The maintenance crews in every city are already in place. And in Honolulu we already have one of the best bus maintenance crews in the Pacific.


At the moment, the most advance BRT systems in the world can be found in places like Curitiba, Brazil and Bogota, Colombia. You will never see a rail system in South America. Bus fabricators are building bigger and better buildings and will export to the US. Maybe to the neighbor islands now that they know about the Rail Disaster on Oahu.

Pub's Side Note: "In Hawaii, dance blogs are enabling hundreds of dancers to express their opinions with reduced political risk simply because of the sheer number of like-minded opinions online. Facing these independent voices, the old clique machine starts to crumble."