Tag Archives: Hawaii

Reboot 2019 | Are You Happy Now?

Sunrise 1-26-2019

It’s time to once again RE-BOOT this blog after months of neglect. Heh… I’ve been kind of being a little slack in my life too. Have had to cope with some life changes…. again, though none of them bad. May blog about that at a later time.

Just want to say “Happy New Year” to the few readers who may be monitoring this blog and to anyone who stumbles in. December 30, 2018 marked the third year since my surgery back in 2015. I am still here and happy to be alive.

In an effort to make this blog regular and relevant again I am going to be posting answers to questions from an Android app that I just downloaded yesterday. It is called Questions Diary and every day you are supposed to answer a question about yourself. The answer is saved to your device and at the end of one year, the app is supposed to ask the same questions again…. so let’s start… here is the first question.

Today is Saturday, January 26, 2019,

Are You Happy Now?

Pedometer Image

Some of the recorded walk steps from this morning with the Pedometer app running on my low end Alcatel device. The count is only for the return trip back to my home.

Generally speaking, I am “happy”. Happiness is relative, fleeting at times. One surely can’t be happy all of the time. Life is filled with setbacks. These can happen frequently…. death in the family. loss of a job, financial struggles and more.

Still I try to maintain some level of happiness by being with or talking to friends and relatives. Engaging in hobbies or taking short trips makes me happy. I am most happy when I am out observing my world and documenting it through photography and video.

Distracting myself is a way for me to maintain some level of happiness.

With this first post, this hopefully is the start of something new and consistent. Otherwise here are a couple of other pictures:

The path on Magic Island

The walking path on Magic Island, Ala Moana Beach Park, Honolulu HI.


Hawaii’s Glimpse at the Great American Solar Eclipse

Starting with this post, Bypass Avenue will expand to cover some of my personal commentaries about non-health related items such as the solar eclipse which occurred yesterday. This post also appears at my Hawaii Files Blog site.

Today's Solar Eclipse

By Melvin Ah Ching, Editor & Publisher, The Hawaii Files Blog

As solar eclipses go, yesterday’s partial one in Honolulu was adequately good. The Great American Solar Eclipse of 2017 was a huge phenomena and event throughout the continental United States as the path of totality traveled eastward in a narrow 70 mile wide band from the Oregon coast to the tip of South Carolina. Much of the continent had a good partial eclipse that covered most of the sun.

In a solar eclipse, the moon’s shadow blots out the sunlight as it passes between the sun and the Earth. During totality that shadow blocks out nearly all sunlight except for a narrow band around the perimeter that creates a remarkable and unforgettable view. Solar eclipses are rare occurrences that track within small and varied regions of Earth’s surface. Within the eclipse’s band, many areas get a partial eclipse while totality only occurs within a smaller zone.

Millions of people on the U.S. continent witnessed and captured images of the eclipse going into and out of totality including the 2 minute long phase of full shadowed coverage.

In Honolulu, my friend Lisa Davidson and I awoke early and trekked to the Waialae Kahala Beach Park an hour before sunrise to secure a good viewing spot that I scoped out the day before. Anticipating the eclipse, which started near Hawaii, Lisa and I both photographed the changing light around us as night receded into the new day. The rising sun was going to be in the eclipse process. I had to be prepared for that.

I had three cameras with me including my Canon 600D SLR with a 300mm lens set up on a tripod, Fujifilm HS10 EVF with a wide to long built in zoom lens, and a Samsung smart phone that can also do pictures. Lisa had her trusty little Samsung that she used to catch the “feel” of the moments. We both had protective eclipse viewers that I got last year from Bishop Museum. I used the 58mm screw on sun filter for the cameras to get eclipse images.

We were set. We waited. Talked. Photographed. The sunrise was pretty, but the clouds were getting in the way. I was wondering if the clouds would pre-empt my eclipse view.

Eclipse times for Hawaii from timeanddate.com.

Sunrise in Honolulu was at 6:11 am. Moonrise was 2 minutes earlier at 6:09am. The eclipse began at 5:50am before the sun rose. Everything was in motion for a good eclipse except for the clouds.

It was not until 7:16 am that I caught my first fleeting glimpse of the sun poking through the clouds. I fired the Canon for a continuous burst of images as the clouds slowly broke and the sun revealed its new face for a few moments. And then the clouds rolled back in.

I got a few images but I wanted more. My wish came true as the clouds slowly blew away and the eclipsed sun appeared again as I fired more frames off with the camera. I got my 20% or probably a little less than that. It was better than nothing and certainly better than the 10% that I got during last year’s eclipse from Magic Island.

I snapped more photos in the next 15 minutes of the waning spectacle.

Lisa was thrilled as she was able to see the eclipse through my camera’s LCD screen and the protective filters that allowed us to view the show with our own eyes. She was very thankful that I shared these moments with her.

By 7:30 in the morning the eclipse was over. The sun was out, the day was bright and life would continue as it always does.

It turns out that this year’s solar eclipse is the last one to be visible in Hawaii until April 8, 2024, when another total eclipse will be viewable in the continental United States. The next total solar eclipse occurs in the southeastern Pacific Ocean and over the South American countries of Chile and Argentina on July 2, 2019.

Photos by Mel unless indicated.

Today's Solare EclipseThis is one of the best shots I got of yesterday’s solar eclipse. Investing in a screw on solar lens filter is worth the money!

Sunlit Clouds Over Koko HeadThe beautiful but sunlight blocking clouds over Koko Head.

What To Watch
Catching a live video stream while waiting for clouds to depart.

Monday Morning SunriseThe beautiful Hawaiian sunrise and clouds blocked the sun for nearly 40 minutes after the eclipse began.

Streaming From OregonWatching a live stream from Oregon as we waited out the clouds.

Today's Solar EclipseYou can get a decent shot out of your cell phone camera if you put one of those protective eye safety filters in front of your camera lens. Lisa did that and it got her this picture with the tiny sun chopped slightly to the bottom left.

Eclipse 2017 - 1Solar eclipse view from Ontario, Canada. Keith Watson Photography.

2017 Aug. 21 ~ The Diamond Ring - total solar eclipseTotality, August 21, 2017 – Kansas, United States. Michael Watson, photographer.

2017 Total Solar Eclipse - ISS TransitInternational Space Station in transit ahead of the moon. NASA. You can also see sunspots in this excellent photo.

KHON TV’s McKenna Maduli reports on the eclipse from Waialae Kahala Beach park not too far away from where we were. There are 3 clips embedded in this video composite.

Additional Links:

Bypass Avenue: Heart Attack!

The First Sunrise of 2016

I was lucky to see the first sunrise of 2016 on January 1. Thanks to the medical staff at Kaiser for saving my life and letting this happen. This is not the best sunrise picture I ever took, but perhaps the most memorable as I got this 2 days after my bypass surgery taken from the balcony area of Kaiser Moanalua hospital.

For many years one of the things that I have done was wake up early on the first day of the new year to get photograph of the first sunrise of the year. Capturing the first sunrise of 2016 almost did not happen.


On the morning of December 26, 2015 I woke up at around 5:45 am. Got out of bed, got in the car and drove to Ala Moana Beach Park, Magic Island to do a walk around the area and perhaps take a photo of the setting full moon that I missed on Christmas Day night.

Camera in hand, I started my walk just fine for about 20 yards. I was on the paved Magic Island jogging trail when I kind of felt my chest tighten and heighten in pain. The level of pain was not very great. I continued walking for a few more feet when I decided this doesn’t feel normal.

I did an about face and slowly walked back to my car. I found it kind of astounding that I was also running out of breath. I had only awoken about 45 minutes before this happened. “Am I having a heart attack” I silently asked myself as I struggled a few more yards to get back to my car.

I got there and immediately turned on my cell phone. I was kind of debating whether or not to call 911 or simply drive the car home and rest in my apartment. By the way I am one of the last persons on earth to have bought a cell phone. This occurred in March of 2014. I did not tell anyone about my cell phone or its number except to a few close relatives and friends. Little did I know that the cell phone would be instrumental in saving my life.

While seated in the car, I called my friend Lisa. As I vaguely recall now, her line was busy. So I waited for a few moments, still in some mild pain. I decided against driving home and instead called 911. Here in Honolulu the 911 operator asks if you want police, fire or ambulance. I said “ambulance”. They switched me over to the ambulance dispatcher. The person on the other side told me to stay in the car and turn on its emergency flashers.

Ambulance on the street

The ambulance took 20 minutes to get to where I was. File photo by Mel.

The ambulance took 20 minutes to get to where I was. Parked car, emergency flashers on, parking lot. The nearest ambulance place is about 2 miles from Magic Island. Why did it take so long? If my heart attack was massive, I probably would have been dead before they arrived.

While waiting for the ambulance to arrive, I did call Lisa again. I vaguely remember any conversation I had with her, but I think for the most part she asked me to stay calm and don’t panic.

EMS’s ambulance finally arrived. They opened the back door of the ambulance and surprisingly I could walk out of my car and sit in the gurney. Before I did that I made sure my car was secured. Turned off the flashers, got my stuff (cell phone, camera, wallet, bag). I locked the doors.

The paramedics loaded me onto the ambulance after I sat in the gurney. They laid me down, stuck an IV needle in me, hooked me up to a blood pressure and oxygen machine, an EKG reader and who knows what else. I was also given a nitroglycerin pill that I had to hold under my tongue until it dissolved.

The paramedics also asked me a lot of health questions, including whether or not I drink or smoke, to which my answers were in the negative. I was conscious for the whole ride on the ambulance… from Magic Island to Kaiser Moanalua Hospital near the Salt Lake area of Honolulu / Pearl City-Aiea.

The ambulance arrived at the Kaiser Moanalua Emergency Room in about 20 minutes from my pickup. Since it was an early Saturday morning, there was no traffic on the H1 freeway.


Kaiser Moanalua

Kaiser’s Moanalua Hospital. File photo by Mel.

By the time I got to the Emergency Room, I was feeling a little better. I think the nitro kind of help relieve my heart attack stress.

Anyways I was wheeled in and transferred to one of the emergency rooms. Nurses promptly hooked me up to a number of machines, had some kind of IV going and there I was. Heart attack victim laying on a bed, high tech machines reading out numbers and making strange little beeping noises that were relayed to the main desk I think informing the nurses that I was still alive.

While at the emergency room they ran a series of blood tests. They also gave me something to swallow to check if it was a bad case of heartburn. Turned out it wasn’t. After about an hour the blood test results were returned and the emergency room doctors determined that I had a “moderate heart attack”.

Therefore I was admitted and wheeled out of the emergency room and on to the third floor which is part of the cardio telemetry area of the hospital. The hospital would take good care of me from this point going forward.

After several days and a big operation (which will be covered in the next post), I would be able to see my first sunrise of 2016.


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