Entries from September 2005

September 29, 2005

SimFlame Flicker Lights

Filed under: Perfect Tiki Bar,Shopping,Tiki — Humuhumu @ 2:24 pm

In “Pefect Tiki Bar: The Lighting,” I briefly touched on how to make light bulbs look like flame:

Flame-look flicker bulbs can be purchased, but their wattage is so low that they really are not useful for light at all. Disneyland uses special trickery to allow bulbs of any sort to flicker like flame. The electrical controls can be expensive, but someone who knows what they’re doing can tackle the project for under a hundred dollars.

I’ve learned of an electrical control called SimFlame that can be purchased for just over a hundred dollars, and it is essentially three control boxes in one: one box will control three bulbs (up to 100 watts each), with each one getting a different flame pattern. That’s important, because if you have more than one bulb controlled by only one source of “flicker,” then the bulbs look more like they’re throbbing. That can look great if the effect you’re shooting for is a room lit by a rusty old generator, but it looks a little creepy if you’re trying to make it look like fire. I don’t have one of these control boxes yet myself, but the website has video of them in action, and they look very promising.

September 28, 2005

Tiki Search in Rollyo

Filed under: Tiki — Humuhumu @ 4:48 pm

I’ve created a tiki “searchroll” on a new site called Rollyo. It lets you search multiple tiki reference websites — Tiki Central, Critiki, Ooga-Mooga, Tiki News mailing list archives, and this site — all in one place. It uses Yahoo! Search; I’ve come to prefer Yahoo! and MSN searches more than Google’s search lately. Rollyo is pretty new, and they’re still working on some of the features. They’re planning on creating a searchbox that I could add here on Humu Kon Tiki, but it’s not available yet. I can’t figure out how to link directly to the searchroll yet, so for now I’ve linked to my profile on Rollyo, which has a link to the searchroll.

If I decide it’s not sucky, I’ll add it to the side bar.

Update: Humu Kon Tiki reader Steef passed along the link that takes you directly to the Tiki Search in Rollyo. Thanks, Steef!

Kon-Tiki Sails Again

Filed under: News,Tiki — Humuhumu @ 1:25 pm
Members of the Tangaroa Expedition - photo from Kon-Tiki Museum
Members of the Tangaroa Expedition, photo from Kon-Tiki Museum

A group of explorers plan to recreate the dramatic expedition that launched Thor Heyerdahl’s adventurous career — they plan to float across the Pacific Ocean from Peru to Polynesia on a simple balsawood raft. Thor Heyerdahl’s raft was named, of course, the Kon-Tiki; this new raft will be named Tangaroa, for the fishing god. This latest expedition was originally planned for the beginning of 2005 and was postponed after last year’s tsunami complicated fundraising efforts; the launch is now planned for April 28, 2006. The team is led by Torgeir Sæverud Higraff, 31, a journalist and teacher. Thor Heyerdahl’s grandson, Olav Heyerdahl, will also be on the raft. The 28-year-old will lead the efforts to construct the balsawood raft in Peru. The two will be joined by Anders Berg, Inge Meløy, and Dag Oppen-Berntsen, and they hope to add a sixth crew member from Peru. The expedition is reported to cost $900,000, with funding coming from the Norwegian Environment Industry and various sponsors, and is endorsed and supported by the Kon-Tiki Museum in Oslo and the Heyerdahl family. While the team wants to keep true to the primitive spirit of the adventure by keeping the raft simple, there will be some modern equipment on board, including solar panels and a satellite connection for Internet updates.

September 27, 2005

September’s Last Thursday East Bay Tiki Gathering

Filed under: Events,San Francisco,Tiki,Trader Vic's — Humuhumu @ 4:35 pm
Tiki at Emeryville Trader Vic's
Tiki at Emeryville Trader Vic’s

This coming Thursday, September 29, will be the latest of the monthly Last Thursday tiki gatherings on the East Bay of San Francisco. The group meets first at Trader Vic’s in Emeryville around 7 p.m., then the troops advance to the Conga Lounge in Oakland at around 9:30 p.m., staying until close. This month, Trader Vic’s is offering our group a drink special on Tonga Punch ($6), and the Conga Lounge is offering a discount on their Gilligan’s Island drink and appetizers. Conga Lounge has arranged for a bit of live music for us, featuring “Makers” Mike from Project:Pimento and Apocalypso Now. The group is small and very friendly, it’s a great opportunity for new people to come out and get to know other tikiphiles. Ikitnrev will be jetting into the Bay Area earlier that day from the east coast, and he’ll try to join us.

Tiki Central Now Has RSS Feeds

Filed under: News,Tiki — Humuhumu @ 4:14 pm

Hanford Lemoore has added RSS feeds to Tiki Central. General Tiki, Locating Tiki, Tiki Events, Collecting Tiki, Tiki Marketplace, Tiki Drinks & Food, Tiki Music, Beyond Tiki and Bilge each have their own separate feed. The feed shows which threads were most recently posted to, and by whom. This is Tiki Central’s first foray into RSS, and Lemoore may refine how the RSS feed works or add additional ones in the future.

Mr. Bali Hai’s Tiki Pinball Fortune

Filed under: Art,Tiki — Humuhumu @ 10:48 am
Bali Hi Pinball Machine
Bali Hi Pinball Machine

Mr. Bali Hai, who keeps an excellent blog called The Eye of the Goof, has long desired a pinball machine for his in-the-works home tiki bar. Through a tip, he learned of a 1973 Bally pinball machine called “Bali Hi.” The back imagery is perhaps more Thai/Asian than Polynesian, but it has a very exotic look to it, and clearly this was the pinball machine for Mr. Bali Hai. It’s a rare machine — only 80 were produced — but amazingly Mr. Bali Hai was able to track one down in excellent condition. He’ll be making a 1,400 mile round trip journey to Cleveland, Ohio bring this beautiful beast to its new home in Western Wisconsin. A fellow named Wolfgang, from Hamburg, Germany, was inspired by Mr. Bali Hai’s pinball find to create some artwork send him a pic of a piece he’d created a few years ago for a fictional tiki pinball game with a similar graphic design.

September 26, 2005

Rare Severed Head & Voodoo Tumbler on eBay

Filed under: Ooga-Mooga,Shopping,Tiki,Trader Vic's — Humuhumu @ 6:13 pm
Voodoo Tumbler from the collection of Doctor Z
Voodoo Tumbler from
the collection of Doctor Z

This week has seen some rarer-than-hen’s-teeth mugs surface, and predictiably go for big bucks. Just now, a Ren Clark Severed Head mug closed on eBay for a jaw-dropping $1,325. This unusual mug caught most collectors’ eyes in the Book of Tiki. Sven Kirsten has made it known he yearns to find a candid photo of a diner at Ren Clark’s Polynesian Village drinking out of one of these mugs — preferably a woman with a beehive hairdo. Also up for auction is a rare Trader Vic’s glass, the Voodoo Tumbler that was used for serving Voodoo Grog. This specimen from the collection of Doctor Z is in excellent condition, with its golden tiki masks well defined all around the outside of the glass. The Voodoo Grog auction closes Tuesday, October 4.

Visit to the Hedley Homestead

Filed under: History,Los Angeles,People,Tiki — Humuhumu @ 12:14 pm
Site of Hedley Home -- photo by Sabu the Coconut Boy
Site of Hedley Home, photo by Sabu the Coconut Boy

In San Pedro, just south of Los Angeles, an unusual man named Eli Hedley created the aesthetic we now know today as the “beachcomber” look. Hedley had been a grocer in Oklahoma, when the Depression sent him and his family west in search of a better life. They found it on the beaches of Southern California. Hedley, with the help of his wife and daughters, found ways to use items found on the beach — glass, shells, nautical equipment — and turn them into housewares and decorations. They built a home at White Point half out of driftwood, and they started selling their unique housewares to the department stores in the area. Hedley quickly made a name for himself, and in time he was outfitting bars, restaurants and hotels with his beachcomber pieces — he even created the massive moai for the Stardust’s Aku Aku in Las Vegas. Hedley became a decorator to the stars, too, and it was not unusual for Hollywood celebrities to escape to the Hedley home at White Point now and then. Hedley even became part of Disneyland, when Walt Disney asked him to help decorate Adventurland; for years he operated the Island Trade Store, where the Bazaar is today.

Hedley’s grandson, Bamboo Ben, continues his family’s tradition with his store on Beach Boulevard in Huntington Beach. Bamboo Ben had related how to visit the site of the home his mother and aunts grew up in, and Sabu the Coconut Boy recently paid a visit, camera in hand.

Honolulu Restaurant Lives On — Sort Of

Filed under: Shopping,Tiki,Washington, D.C. — Humuhumu @ 11:18 am
Honolulu 2 -- photo by ikitnrev
Honolulu 2, photo by ikitnrev

For more than 25 years, the Honolulu Restaurant in Alexandria, Virginia was a much-beloved Polynesian oasis for those in the Washington, D.C. area. Honolulu was owned by David and Anna Chan; David had been a bartender at the Washington, D.C. Trader Vic’s. Honolulu remained popular right to the end in April 2004, when its closure was forced by a highway development project. The Chans have moved on to their Internet-based business, Time2Tiki, where they sell bottled versions of the sauces and drink mixes that are missed by the Honolulu’s many regulars.

Ikitnrev was invited to the opening party of Honolulu II — this is not a re-opening of the Honolulu Restaurant, but rather a private space created by longtime customers who simply missed the Honolulu too much. These folks were able to acquire some pieces of the Honolulu, including murals, booths, and tiki decor (Tiki Centralites Ikitnrev and Sabina were also able to take in some artifacts from the Honolulu during its closing auction). In creating this private tribute to the Honolulu, the owners tried to stay as faithful to the original as possible, right down to mimicking the layout. Ikitnrev has posted pictures and a description of this unique hideaway on Tiki Central.

September 23, 2005

Tiki tOny Begins Mug Production

Filed under: Art,News,People,Tiki — Humuhumu @ 1:55 pm
Fatutu by Tiki tOny
Fatutu by Tiki tOny

Ventura-based tiki artist and carver Tiki tOny has begun production of his own line of tiki mugs. Tony has his own, instantly recognizable style, playful without being overly cartoony, and he’s able to translate it into many mediums. His first mug design was for the Tabou Tiki Room in Berlin. His new, second design, called Fatutu, marks Tiki tOny’s first foray into producing mugs himself. The production run will be limited to under 100. Tony hopes to have the first dozen mugs ready before Hukilau in early October.

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About Humuhumu
Humuhumu is the creator of several tiki websites. She is a designer and programmer based out of San Francisco.

- Website Design and Programming

- A Worldwide Guide to Tiki Bars & Polynesian Restaurants

- Tiki Mugs & More: Track & View Collections




Arkiva Tropika
Mimi Payne’s massive Polynesian Pop collection

Barefoot Bloggin’
A surfin’, ukein’, freewheelin’ monkey boy

Beachbum Berry
Author of Grog Log and Intoxica!, and one of my dearest drinkin’ buddies

Blog from the user interface designer extraordinaire

Worldwide Guide to Tiki Bars & Polynesian Restaurants

Dumb Angel
A look at the 1960s Los Angeles mod, pop, surf, and music scene

Eye of the Goof
Pop culture with a tiki tinge

Forbidden Island
My Wednesday hangout, the Bay Area’s best tiki bar

Humuhumu’s Life in Photos
Pictures of my adventures

I build websites

Junkyard Clubhouse
Random interesting things from Humuhumu & Hanford Lemoore

Kevin Kidney
Kevin loves tiki, I love Kevin, you will too

Tiki links galore

Mai Tai Online
Montreal-based tiki ‘zine

Tiki Mug Collection Organizer

The Jab
Follow the way of the jab

Tiki Bar TV
Public Access meets Modern Drunkard

Tiki Central
Community forums

Tiki Magazine
Periodical publication covering the wide world of Tiki

Tiki Talk
Hot Lava’s Tiki Blog