Tuesday, November 30, 2010

Happy Holidays

JibJab eCards

Life Is Wonderful Although Strange At Times.....

Personalize funny videos and birthday eCards at JibJab!

What's Life With No Humor? The Main Thing Is To Have Hun!

JibJab eCards

Sunday, November 28, 2010

Maui's Most Talented Sons, Willie K and Eric Gilliom have what is sure to be a Historic Hit Movie Get A Job!

Oh My Gosh!

This Movie "Get A Job! with Maui's most talented Son's is way over the top! Willie K Kahaialii and Eric Gilliom, along with so many familiar and famous Hawaii people, just show's once again the extreme and often over-looked, talent that is part of Hawaii.

I can't imagine that this wouldn't go National and win some awards.

Here just one clip. This is previewing Today, November 28, 2010 at the Maui Arts and Cultural Center. Expect to see a whole lot more on this.

I had wondered about this since first driving past and noticing Willy dressed as a Pineapple, I figured it had to be Eric, but Hey all Bananas look alike right! I thought it was a commercial. 

What a great show. Pass it around. Leave me comments.

Just a little brightness to fill some space.

The view of Pauwela Bay looking towards Shark Hole and the Lighthouse with Farmer extraordinaire, Mr. Alex Bode.

Monday, November 15, 2010

Maui Body & Soil Health Conference Sponsored By The Maui Aloha Aina Association Is Just Around The Corner

With the Maui Aloha Aina's annual Maui Body & Soil Health Conference coming up on January 14,15,and 16, there is not much time left to sign up and purchase your registration for this highly popular event. Sign up here!

Being the 10th annual conference Maui Aloha Aina Association has decided to add a third day and even more valuable information and expert speakers. All of the speakers could easily take up a few pages to just highlight their expertise ands accomplishments alone.

JUST ADDED to the Maui Body and Soil Health Conference as a PRE-CONFERENCE BONUS!!!

Peter HirstNew England Bio-Char- Adam Retort Bio-Char Workshop/ Demonstration

Peter Hirst will be brought in to train Mauians on building & operating an “Adam Retort” Bio Char facility during a pre-conference workshop, while also presenting during the three days at Body & Soil on the Pyrolysis process.

This will be the FIRST Adam Retort Facility in the state, with the intention of having them built in every agricultural district on Maui and throughout the State of Hawaii.

This being said, I am hoping to highlight each person in separate blog posts. In no particular order, but because my research into producing energy from various technologies has led me back to the Adam Retort and the foremost authority on this technology, I will start with Peter Hirst of New England BioChar.

Peter Hirst's company has purchased the American rights to build the Adam Retort, a design that Chris Adam put in to use in places like Niger, India, Burundi and Peru.

Chris Adam of Adam and Associates won a Silver Award in the Focus Energy 2006.
Here is an excerpt written by Chris Adam and can be found here.

"Last October I installed for the first time in Europe a unit of the "adam-retort" a more environmentally friendly low-cost charcoal production system for bio mass.
The "adam-retort" was developed in East Africa and India and normally this adapted technology is not dropping "North".

See: http://stoves.bioenergylists.org/en/adamretort

A German farmer who is doing casually traditional charcoal production is fond of the low-cost retort system.

His main argument is that he can now handle the unit alone, without the help of other colleagues.
Before when occasionally traditional charcoal burning was done, a team of 4 workers had to be organized to load and unload the earth mount kiln and to organize a 24 hour surveillance shift over 5 days!
Stress and personal resentments developed within the group.

Now, whenever the farmer has some time left, he can start carbonization alone, whenever he needs to make a break, he can safely stall the process and take it up the next day.

He gets about 220kg of good charcoal from beech wood, plus some additional charcoal fines per batch.
the wood chamber volume takes about 3m³ of wood or biomass.
He can make 3 batches per week.

Apart from this, another unit was build by a farmer in Turkey. The farmer was already doing traditional charcoal making.
He build the retort unit accordingly to a manual with photos, text and construction drawings and most important with technical backstopping done by myself per sms from Kenya.
Its delicate to introduce by distance such relatively complex unit.
The main problem is that as long, as i did not see what he was building, his construction might differ from the one which should be supposed to be and we might not speak about the same technical arrangements.

But anyhow its a step further to produce charcoal from wood or other biomass with half of the wood needed and up 75% less harmful emissions- compared with traditional carbonization.
Other retort units are planed to be build for Zambia, Kenya, Lebanon and Mexico.
Chris Adam"

More on Chris Adam's Retort can be found at http://www.biocoal.org/3.html.

Courtesy of http://www.biocoal.org/3.html.

"Did You know:
CHARCOAL from RETORT SYSTEMS can often serve as a replacement for fossil fuels,
thereby having a neutral effect on CO² exchanges.
This makes a significant positive contribution to the preservation of our environment!
Also using charcoal to improve soils for agriculture (bio char) becomes more and more important

Advantages of the "adam-retort":

1) High economy and better efficiency of approx. 35% to 45% (Instead of about 18% efficiency compared to the traditional systems; calculated from dry weight).

2) Recycling and clean combustion of the pyrolysis gas during the 2nd phase of operation (retort-system) results in a low-emission of carbon monoxides during the charcoal production! The effective carbonization of the biomass takes only 10 hours.
A retort system reduces the emission of harmful volatiles into the atmosphere to about up to 75%! (Compared to a traditional earth-mount kiln).

3) Low investment costs of about ~500Euroand a simple construction with locally available materials. (Costs were about 300 Euro in Kenya in 2004, but now with raising steel prices costs increased...) .

4) About 3m3 of biomass (corresponding to approx. 600kg to 900kg wood, coconut shells, compacted saw-dust briquettes, etc., dry weight, water not counted, or ~1-1,5 tons of wet wood) can be converted to up to 350kg of charcoal per batch. Per week about 3 batches of biomass can be carbonized which is corresponding to about ~1 ton of charcoal per week and unit.

5) An effective 30 hour total production cycle (known as batch) and a simple operation of the plant result in an increased income for its operators. The right system to be used at forest projects, sustainable energy-wood plantations and charcoal makers in rural areas or for semi-industrial production.

6) Only waste wood or residual biomass needs to be burnt (~50kg) in a separate fire box to dry and heat the wood and initiate the carbonization process during the 1st phase.

7) With an extended version the famous "white charcoal" should be possible to be produced? This is an adapted Japanese technology to produce high quality and strong charcoal.
Also the production of "wood vinegar" is possible during the 1st phase of operation."

perspective drawing of the "adam-retort"


Sunday, November 14, 2010

Your Leadership is Inspiring

Those that lead through fear, never really have someone on their side, at least not willingly. When one leads using fear as a motivational tool, it is because they are fearful themselves and believe they need to make other fear them. The then live with the fear that the very ones that follow through fear, may one day rise up and rebel against the source of their fear. A leader that rules by fear, must have a hard time sleeping with one eye open at all times.

Personalize funny videos and birthday eCards at JibJab!

Saturday, November 13, 2010

Maui, Home of the Last Place on Earth to see "Hawaiian Snow."

For many decades Hawaii was home to what was referred to as "Hawaiian Snow." 

The many sugar operations throughout the state of Hawaii were home to a host of companies that raised and produced sugar. Now in the year 2010, there remains only one operation in Hawaii. The plantation owned by HC&S, Hawaiian Commercial  & Sugar, is the last remaining company to grow and produce sugar in Hawaii.

Hawaii was once the home to dozens of different sugar plantations. Maui's sugar history  began back  when Claus Spreckles saw an opportunity to create a sugar plantation. The plantation quickly became quite profitable. Claus Spreckles, who had already become quite successful in the San Francisco area for his developments, see the story at Ancestory.com   for more. 

Manteca, California, was the home for many years to Claus Sprekeles beet sugar refinery, and served for decades as a ripe-smelling way point on the road to Yosemite, at the crossroads of state Highways 99 and 120. See the article at sfgate.com.

Today the Hawaiian Commercial and Sugar (HC&S) plantation is the last remnant of the Claus Spreckles plantations, the other plantations such as Wailuku Sugar and Pioneer Mill, have closed down their operations  years ago.

So the phenomenon known locally as "Hawaiian Snow" is when the  sugar ashes from the burning cane fields rise up in a cloud of smoke resembling a nuclear explosion, and slowly drift down wind and as it cools, the ashes descend on the various down wind communities and blanket the cars, sidewalks and houses with the remnants of the sugar field. While many object to the burning of the cane fields, it has been part of Maui's history and an important part of keeping the last sugar plantation solvent.

While the cane ash raining down on Maui in the crisp cool air of a clear November morning is not unusual for the residents of Maui, it's a novelty for the visitors, as is the 3am cane fields burning. It's actually quite spectacular to watch.

Maybe the "Hawaiian Snow" should be renamed to "Maui Snow" to be more accurate.

Please feel free to add comments on your experiences with "Hawaiian Snow" or sugar plantations in general. I'm sure there are many stories just waiting for an audience.



Thursday, November 11, 2010

On this Veteran's Day I am reminded of some Maui history that is equally important as fighting a war and should not be forgotten.

The people of Maui that remained at home during WWII were fighting their own battles. With so many military men living on Maui and so many of Maui's people of Japanese descent taken from their homes and shipped of to internment camps, it fell to the rest of the people of Maui that remained to carry the load.

One such load was the feeding of Maui's people and the then thousands of servicemen stationed on Maui, within the State and traveling through Hawaii to other locations around the pacific.

The Aloha and determination of Maui's people reflected what made Maui No Ka Oi.

With so many mouths to feed, the people of Maui became farmers. They learned from each other, were taught by people the Military brought in and before long every yard and spare plot of land was planted and soon began yielding  more than Maui needed. They produced enough food through farming, ranching and dairy farms that they supplied Maui and most of Oahu's need for fresh, locally grown food.

This was done at a time when resources and infrastructure were at a minimum. The work was done mostly through the efforts of hand laboring in the soil, hand watering, and hand harvesting.

Food was prepared in community soup kitchens as neighbors endeavored to feed and support each other. The communities were brought together and developed a one people attitude despite the variety of races and cultural backgrounds. Racism, especially towards people of Asian descent was still present, but somehow mostly over looked as people leaned on, and supported each other.

There may have been many communities that were similar to Maui, but Maui was truly No Ka Oi and still is.

On this day of remembrance for those that fought so hard to give us what we had, it was not just given to them, we owe it to them, ourselves and our future generations, to not let the sense of community, and the lessons of the past go to waste. The ability to remain united in a common goal is our heritage and will be the heritage of those that follow. It's all in our hands.

I hope all are enjoying and giving thanks for what we have on this Veteran's Day of 2011.