We went to Kawamoto indoor Pool this morning to do some water walking. It is a great place for water walking since the 50x25 yard pool is huge and except at opening time in the morning and at lunch time, it is mostly empty.
While packing up to leave BJ Penn, a celebrity in Hilo, arrived with a large group of other MMA fighters.
TWEETUP IN HILO
The monthly Hilo BIIS (Big Island Internet Society) meeting had a record crowd at Big Island Pizza.
Food was provided by Big Island Pizza!
CHANGING HILO WAL-MART
Strange things are happening at Hilo's Wal-mart. They are tearing out the old aisles and making them wider with upscale displays. They are installing rows of freezers and removing checkout stands.
In the middle of the aisles, there are stacks of cheap spam and ramen. Perhaps they are dumping inventory, perhaps they are going to fill the new empty spaces with spam.
This is apparently part of Wal-mart's national store remodeling called "Project Impact". Its purpose, according to a Time Magazine article, is to crush the competition by having cleaner, less cluttered stores, friendlier customer service, and adding products in categories where the competition can be taken out.
From our perspective, the new layout has increased the length of the checkout lines, reduced product selection in the categories that we buy at their store, increased the prices, and made Walmart even more of a painful shopping experience. We will be spending more time in Hilo's Cost-U-Less to get the low prices we used to get at Wal-mart.
WRITER'S CONFERENCE IN HAWAII
The Hawaii Writer's Conference was held in Oahu. Previously it was always held in Maui. The morning Opening Ceremony featured an incredible display of Hawaiian talent.
The founders of the Conference, John and Shannon Tullius, introduced the event.
The Lt. Govenor of Hawaii, Duke Aiona welcomed the crowd.
The Kanaka'ole family (from Hilo) did the opening chant.
Kaumakaiwa Kanaka'ole, his grandmother Dr.Pualani Kanahele, and his mother Kekuhi Kanaka'ole participated in the chant.
Kaumakaiwa Kanaka'ole then performed his own songs.
Kanaka'ole was followed by Kealoha, founder of HawaiiSlam, a sort of Hawaiian version of Rap.
Makana gave an amazing performance of slack key guitar and later Kanaka'ole joined him to dance.
The opening ceremonies were complete.
Mitch Albom gave the Keynote about his newly published book Have a Little Faith. Mitch is known for his best sellers: The Five People you Meet in Heaven and Tuesdays with Morrie.