Bells in a lei

The most awesome dog in the world (yeah, what all moms think) – Three Bells is the official “Coconut Girl” who this blog is named after! A malamute chow chow who would never play fetch on da beach with anything except coconuts – and they were usually bigger than her head. She is going to have to get another round of tests and likely surgery. And because we are outer-island it entails traveling back to Oahu and all those extra expenses. So far we’re at about $16,000 for the vet visits (four different vets – usually about 2-4 times a week since November), surgery, medical supplies, medicine, and supplements. The first surgery alone was over $9,000 and since we have no idea what went wrong last time (the chylothorax was fixed, but she is now leaking serum into her chest cavity and swelling with edema), s0 we are just trying to be prepared. If you have a minute, check out her GoFundMe page – there are lots of new awesomesauce rewards, like organic sunscreen, polarized sunglasses, and more. If can, can. If not, say a prayer! Her next doctor visit is Saturday…. We hope to get her back to the beach and on her paddleboard soon! Mahalo nui loa.


Hawaii Winter Heating ToasterDon’t laugh at us when we complain, it gets cold in Hawai’i.

Not ice blistering Alaska cold, but cold all the same.

Before you call us pussies, let me explain. In Hawai’i, most houses are semi-contained. Many places here have either no windows or some windows, and the rest is screened in. There’s no heat, and rarely air conditioning. So whatever the temperature is outside, is what the temperature is inside.

So while the rest of the world would have their thermostats moderating something around 65°, we’re getting nice moist chilled air swooping off the mountains below 50° nighttime through the early morning.

The past few days I’ve had to resort to toaster hand warming, running the oven and opening the door, using the still-hot saucepan (after making rice) on my belly and bones, hot showers, foot soaks, jogging in place, ThermaCare neck warmers taped on the back, wool socks and hoodies, and even stuffing my Malamute / Chow Chow under the covers, to no avail. In a few hours I’ll be in shorts and a t-shirt, and the rest of the freezing world will be jealous, but until then….

While we’re on the topic, every year on weather modification sites you will see posts about snow here. To be clear, before there were airplanes, there’s been snow on the tops of Mauna Kea and Mauna Loa. That doesn’t discount “geoengineering” by any means, nor does it discount the fact that even those not living near the tops of volcanos are shivering.

I might even have to bust out my long sleeve 2mil wet suit top today for our current brisk ocean temp of 75.7 – what, don’t laugh!

Help Save Three Bells Go Fund Me Hawaii Dog

Coconut Girl Wireless was named after my love, my life, my everything Malamute Chow Chow grrl dog Three Bells (though I always say I’m her dog). She’d look at you sideways if you threw a stick and expected her to fetch it – the only thing she’d ever fetch were coconuts! She’d run around the beach with coco’s twice the size of her head.

About two months ago she started coughing and gagging. I thought she had a doggie cold / kennel cough and was waiting for it to pass, but it only got worse. It ended up being Idiopathic Chylothorax, a not very common condition in dogs (it’s more typical in young small or over-weight large dogs). It was possibly caused by an injury or perhaps a fungus. Without getting into too much detail it causes the lymphatic fluid to fill her cheat cavity until her lungs partially collapse and she isn’t able to breath. We have to knock her out and drain her (half a gallon of fluid) but it only lasts a week until she’s uncomfortable again. We tried a diet change to low fat foods and many supplements without much success, and we need to act fast or it can cause fibrosis of the pericardium. She’s more weak after each draining, and the prognosis without surgery is not good.

Bells hob-nobs with local surf stars like Bethany Hamilton

Bells hob-nobs with local surf stars like Bethany Hamilton

Bells needs a Thoractic Duct Ligation, Pericardectomy and will have a tube inserted to help drain her chest cavity, which will cost around $7-8,000, not including other diagnostics (X-Rays, ultrasound, echocardiogram, testing of the fluids…). We’ve already spent thousands, but because this happened so quickly – and they offer no payment plan – we just weren’t prepared. Because there are no surgeons who can perform this on Kauai, we had to fly her to Oahu, (and all that entails).

Bells loves her paddleboard cruises up Kauai rivers

Bells loves her paddleboard cruises up Kauai rivers

The success rate for these surgeries is now around 80%, so if all goes well we’re hoping she can get back soon to what she loves most: swimming, stand-up paddleboarding, making people smile, and playing with kids on the beach!

We started a fundraiser to help with her bills. If you can help, it will be greatly appreciated. Include your address on our GoFundMe page http://www.gofundme.com/Help-Save-Three-Bells and we’ll send you some CoconutGirlWireless stickers! Mahalo nui loa for your kokua.

p.s. If anyone in Hawaii has an furry friend with Chylothorax feel free to contact us, so we can share our experience and hopefully save you time (it was a long road trying to figure this out!). Gentle Vets in Hawai’i Kai on Oahu (thanks Dr. Edhlund!) has a visiting board certified surgeon, Dr. Peter Vogel, VMD, Diplomate, who has 23 years experience and is very familiar with this type of surgery. Mahalo as well to our local barefoot country doc Scott Sims, for diagnosing Bells and relieving her symptoms; and Dr. Basko for helping with diet and nutrition issues.

bells swim2

TEPCO Fuel Removal Arcade Game

Step right up! Try your luck! No, that’s not carnie cant, it’s TEPCO yakuza-ing in more inexperienced workers with inadequate compensation to risk their lives to perform jobs that will affect all of Japan… and beyond. 1,533 fuels rods are to be removed from Unit 4’s unstable spent fuel pool (no word on how they will remove the damaged rods) – and they’ve already started with some of the 200 unused rods, i.e. a practice run. Considering TEPCO has done little right, even in covering up their blunders, it’s interesting the world is expected to simply watch and wait. Some are asking, is this a set-up for inevitable failure? Others are asking, is it even really happening? (TEPCO had been showing off this pristine fuel pool that we’re supposed to believe is Unit 4, even though it had reportedly been devastated.) If sociopaths, psychopaths, and narcissists ruled the world *ahem*, it might look something like this mess. Anyway, we utilized only a tiny bit of creative license in our artistic rendering: TEPCO’s Criticality Claw Crane Arcade Game. Step right up! Try your luck! Prizes stuffed with radionuclides – everyone’s a winner! File this under #ScaryAssShit

art by Kerin Morataya; concept Darby Romeo

While biotech keeps activists distracted, corporate America BFF Prez-Obummer is hoping to fast-track one of those evils with elephantitis, The Trans Pacific Partnership (maybe another New Year’s present!). Wikileaks released the draft text here and stated in their press release: “If instituted, the TPP’s [Intellectual Property] regime would trample over individual rights and free expression, as well as ride roughshod over the intellectual and creative commons. If you read, write, publish, think, listen, dance, sing or invent; if you farm or consume food; if you’re ill now or might one day be ill, the TPP has you in its crosshairs.” Oh, is that all. Nah, The TPP is the just the aperitif to the equally secretive US-EU pact TTIP (Transatlantic Trade and Investment Partnership). TPP and TTIP will cover more than 60 per cent of global GDP (both pacts exclude China).

We noticed Firsthand Weather call this out on their Facebook page this morning (sorry, NWS, they’re more often right). NOAA’s National Weather Service in Anchorage, Alaska making a plea, hidden between the creative forecast: “Please Pay Us.” Knew something was fishy when they incorporated the word “amalgamating”! (We’ll discuss their old school need for ALL CAPS at another time). Love it! #GovernmentShutdown

National Weather Serivce logo Alaska National Weather Service Government Shutdown

No lie, everyone’s affected by the government shutdown. The Hawai’i Surf Collaborative Forecast has been suspended until appropriations have been restored. (It’s moments like these that we’re glad we have forecaster Pat Caldwell’s personal email).

Government Shutdown Surf Report

For safety purposes, they will be updating and maintaining the daily Surf Zone updates, Tides & Currents, as well as the National Buoy Center (at least the buoys that still work) – not that tourists ever pay attention to the warnings.


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