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April 2010

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Kawaii Kon 2010

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Well, another Kawaii Kon, Hawaii’s own anime convention, has once again passed, in all its geeky glory. I was actually fortunate enough to have one of my photos from last year’s Kon on the cover of Metromix with a few additional photos accompanying the article!

Webcam shot of me with my second Metromix cover!

The guy wearing black on the cover actually came and found me during this year’s Kon to thank me for having the photo published. Apparently he’s a teacher on the Big Island, and several of his students brought the paper in to show him they’d seen his picture! Fun times.

While I’ve been going to the Kon since 2007, Ed’s first year of going was last year’s 2009 convention, during which he can actually remember seeing me in costume.

In costume as Rinoa from Final Fantasy VIII. Gun not related. Kawaii Kon 2009.

I, on the other hand, have no recollection of seeing him, but that’s probably because he wasn’t in costume himself! But, this year, circumstances found me costume-less myself, and so I settled for photographing others over the weekend, especially my friend from Maui, Caleb, whose Star Wars inspired Mandalorian armor is always a huge hit at Kon.

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Adventures on the USS Chung-Hoon

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Thanks to my Twitter connections, I was lucky enough to be one of the blogger/tweeter/photographers…well, ‘New Media People’, to be invited by the US Pacific Command’s Public Affairs to the Navy’s Family Cruise day on the USS Chung-Hoon. It was great to share this adventure with my fellow social media people, including Damon Tucker (Who has an amazing detailed blogpost about our day), Kaimana Pine, Burt Lum, Christie Shimabuku, and Shauna Goya.

The day began with meeting up at the Nimitz Gate of Pearl Harbor.  Once we got to the docks, we walked around a bit, taking photos of the other ships, including the USS Port Royal.

Finally, we approached the ship we were sailing on for the day, the USS Chung-Hoon, named Rear Admiral Gordon Pai’ea Chung-Hoon, whose Hawaiian ancestry gives this ship a special connection with our state.

After boarding, we were were taken on a tour of the ship led by one of the junior officers. He showed us all over the ship, down steep stairs, through hatches, and even in the command center (where we were not allowed to take photos, unfortunately.

Then, we got some demonstrations of the equipment and weapons kept on board.  I got to hold a shotgun, which made all my little FPS gamer dreams come true! (Photo of me with gun courtesy of Burt Lum of Bytemarks.Org!)

Afterward, we checked out the aft of the ship, where some sailors were beginning to prepare lunch, but we left as a promotion ceremony was beginning.

We continued touring around the outside of the ship before making our way to lunch. After lunch, we were fortunate to witness a re-enlistment ceremony.

Finally, we got to meet the ship’s captain, Commander Michael McCartney, who talked to us about the ship’s history and connections to Hawaii, as well as some of the humanitarian projects his crew partakes in while deployed, while we made our way back into Pearl Harbor. On our way in, we passed a submarine that saluted our ship because it outranked theirs. Before we left the ship, the commander presented each of us with a challenge coin!

Though I am marrying an Army man in July, my brother is in the Navy, so it was fun to learn more about that branch of the military. I’d like to thank all involved for giving me this unique opportunity to photograph something like this, and I look forward to the next tweetup of the newly-named #808MilTweeps!

To see more of my photographs from this day, check out the SmugMug Gallery.