Aloha! My name is Seth; I am an attorney, photojournalist and blogger in Honolulu, Hawaii.
As a Photojournalist, I humbly attempt to capture candid moments of life and human nature, truthfully and honestly. Looking through the lens should always result in seeing life with greater clarity, and helping others to do the same.
As a blogger, my occasional Musings explores life in the Pacific Rim through storytelling, photo essays, economic and scientific musings, and more.
The world is a fascinating place, full of wonderful people, extraordinary cuisines, and delightfully diverse cultures and traditions. Great stories surround us. My blogging journey is an attempt to capture just a few. Find out more about me.
Thanks for stopping by and spending a part of your day with me. Feel free to contact me with any comments or inquiries, and be sure to join my free eMusings mail list to receive updates whenever a a new post goes live. Cheers!
Any reference to Bali typically conjures images of picturesque sunsets, stunning waterfalls, and world-class waves that would stoke any surfer. But while the natural beauty of Bali initially captures our attention, its people and culture add the richness and vibrancy that make this island stand apart from any other destination on earth.
This Photo Essay documents my recent travels to Bali, focusing on the roads less traveled and exploring the culture of this incredible island and the people that make it so uniquely special.
In my previous post, we set off on our caffeinated caravan by heading to Sumatra, where I enjoyed the wonderful hospitality of Long Coffee & Roastery and got an insider glimpse at the small farm enterprises that collectively make Indonesia a legendary coffee destination.
In this post, we explore another coffee product that famously finds its home in the Indonesian archipelago: Kopi Luwak (or “luak”). No coffee has a more distinct methodology or cultish intrigue than Kopi Luwak. And with a price tag often surpassing hundreds of dollars per pound, it is often cited as the rarest and most expensive coffee in the world.
Why the fanatic fascination? Let’s find out …
Coffee is the kickstarter for many American mornings. But as any local Starbucks will confirm, sugar, soy, and syrups too often tragically trump origin or varietal in the coffee selection routine. The sweetener is mightier than the bean. [Insert Frowny Face].
Time to change that mocha mindset. Coffee is far more complex, fascinating, and tasty than our local cafés serving sugary swill may let on. It is a global enterprise with regional varietals, methods, and characteristics that offer deliciously unique experiences in every cup. The bean is mightier than the sweetener! [Insert Happy Face]. I see a coup brewing to take back our beloved joe. Viva la café revolución!
The revolution can start right here in the Asia Pacific, which is home to some of the largest and most prestigious coffee-producing regions in the world. In a new and occasional series, coffee shall be our caffeinated caravan to cafés and farms across the Pacific Rim.
Most tourists to Indonesia flock to the azure blue waters and sandy beaches of Bali and Lombok, its most famous islands. There is much in this vibrant and diverse country, however, that extends beyond the wandering eyes of the outside world. It is amongst the Indonesian roads less traveled that I have found the most rich and rewarding experiences.
Welcome to Lubuklinggau …
We encounter countless strangers in our daily commutes to work, the gym, to restaurants and pubs. On most occasions, we pass them by without notice. We are too busy, too shy, or simply don't care.
But what if we didn't? What if instead we made an effort to see, to smile, or even engage in conversation? What would we see, and would it change us?
My Indonesian street odysseys were the perfect environments to explore these musings.
In Hawaii, surfing is huge. I mean, really huge. It is a vibrant community and fascinating culture. There is no better manifestation of this culture than the annual Kailua Shorebreak Classic, a free keiki (kids) surf competition held in memorial of four beloved surfers and watermen. The event is always awash with camaraderie, adventure, and spirit.
On Saturday, October 20, 2018, the Shorebreak Classic is back. Grommets of all sizes will descend upon Kalama Beach Park in Kailua for the competition's fourteenth year. Time to get your surf on.
In anticipation of the event, I explore the Shorebreak Classic, it’s wonderful community, and the ocean that brings it together. Get caught up in this amazing story, and then experience it for yourself next Saturday!
See you on the beach.
After eighteen months of the wine blog experimentation, I am sincerely grateful for my loyal and wonderful readership. Many thanks for your enthusiasm in reading my blog and for tolerating my dry Irish wit, wonkish tendencies and nonsensical banter. Thanks for journeying with me.
After much thought and reflection, Musings by the Glass will hereafter set a new course. The new expedition is not entirely uncharted. Some aspects will feel familiar. Others, however, may not.
I want to briefly explain the new focus for Musings. And to enhance your reading pleasure, I provide a few photos ... of monkeys. Because whimsical monkeys are fun.
In my inaugural Visual Musings, A Cambodian Retrospective, I explained how images can often convey emotion and invite reflection in ways that words cannot. Looking through the lens should always result in seeing life with greater clarity, and helping others to do the same. With that motive, Visual Musings was devised to offer themed photo essays of place, purpose or narrative.
In this installment, nature is in the spotlight as I offer a few images of the breathtaking summit of Haleakalā, a dormant volcano on the Island of Maui. Steeped in ancient geological history and Hawaiian culture, it is a rich, dynamic and compelling world ten thousand feet above our own. May Haleakalā inspire you to enjoy and experience the wonder of our natural world and reflect on its power, beauty and mystery.
Bonne fête nationale! We have come upon the one day in my annual calendar on which I painstakingly pretend to possess a modicum of French zealotry. And whether it’s commemorating the storming of the Bastille (vive la révolution!) or gleeful anticipation for tomorrow’s World Cup Final (I salute anyone who had France vs. Croatia in their finals bracket), there is much to celebrate. Frenzied Francophiles unite!
In true French fashion, celebrations are only complete with a perpetual pour of high quality vin (admittedly, this is one thing the French get right), and I never miss an opportunity to join my besotted brethren for a tasty beverage. Thus, a metaphorical meandering through the vineyards of France is an appropriate endeavor for a dollop of frivolity on France's famed holiday.
French wine labels and foreign terminology, however, can leave a typical Yank harboring occasional French fanaticism somewhat befuddled in the grocery aisle. Whereas most wine labels in the United States are varietal specific (e.g., Cabernet Sauvignon, Merlot, Chardonnay, etc.), France designations are primarily regional.
Fear not! French bottles are packed with useful information that allows you to procure a great bottle with ease. Admittedly, this requires some regional knowledge and exploration of the many designated appellation d'origine contrôlées (or AOCs) of France. Every AOC is an indicator of the wine’s quality, style, varietals used, and more. Armed with a smattering of regional knowledge and only a few label-navigation tips, you can be drinking with confidence.
One of the most exciting aspects of the wine world is its tremendous breadth and diversity. With more than 5,000 identified vitis vinifera varietals, there is no scarcity of exploratory adventures. Of course, only a small fraction of these varietals can be found at your local wine shop, but nonetheless, if you exclusively procure Merlot and Cabernet, your vino consumption is tragically incomplete. Fear not; embrace the vinous underdogs! To commence the wine fridge expansion endeavor, I'll volunteer one example just in time for the summer barbie ...
I am, as the title foretells, talking about the wonderful yet largely forgotten varietal, Carménère (pronounced "car-men-nair"). It carries less notoriety than its distant cousins, Cabernet Franc, Cabernet Sauvignon and Merlot, yet it shares a similarly delightful profile and is extraordinarily food friendly. As a bonus, Carménère boasts a fascinating journey from the Old World to the New, from extinction to rebirth, from unwanted to celebrated. Everyone loves an intriguing narrative, and Carménère has a story to tell.
So toss a few charcoal briquettes in the grill, break out the red wine glasses, and let us toast to Carménère as we grill a fine summer smorgasbord. A story to whet the appetite, and a tasty pairing to quell it.
Join the Adventure!
Adventures are always better with companions, so please join my expedition and let's learn and explore the amazing Pacific Rim together!