So I'm just getting settled into the new Cafe couch here on our new Staradvertiser.com server, and I figured I'd throw you guys a "Best of 2012" from some of my archives this past year.
From going aboard the USS Nimitz and getting catapulted off, to diving with hammerhead sharks without a cage, I'd say I had a very fun year. Of course, there was the "wonder blunder," the tight mayoral race that saw Peter Carlisle on the losing end. And I got to go to Los Angeles to cover USC Football AND the Dodgers (who don't have Shane Victorino anymore). All in all, an amazing year full of highs and lows. So, pull up a chair, relax, and enjoy the Aperture Cafe!
Five-year-old Maika Sack points up to a vine she wants to swing on while spending time with her father Ric (not pictured) on Monday, March 19, 2012 at Ala Moana Beach Park in Kakaako. Maika and her father Ric were spending their last afternoon in the sun before flying back home to British Columbia later that evening. (Jamm Aquino/Honolulu Star-Advertiser).
A horse grazes under a vivid low rainbow on Monday, July 16, 2012 near Kawailoa on Oahu's North Shore. (Jamm Aquino/The Honolulu Star-Advertiser).
St. Louis' Pali Galdeira, top, soars while team mate Micah Todd, right, combines to break up a pass intended for Pac-Five's Tsubasa Brennan, back, during first-half action of an ILH Football game between the St. Louis Crusaders and the Pac-Five Wolf Pack on Saturday, Oct. 6, 2012 at Aloha Stadium in Halawa. (The Honolulu Star-Advertiser/Jamm Aquino).
Kalaheo's Derick Morgan grabs the ball away from McKinley's Jace Bolosan during first-half action of the HHSAA Boys Division II Basketball Championship between the McKinley Tigers and the Kalaheo Mustangs on Saturday, February 25, 2012 at Blaisdell Center in Honolulu. (Jamm Aquino/Honolulu Star-Advertiser).
A pinwheel motif by artist Mark Hastert during a preview of the 2012 Printmakers' Gallery on Tuesday, Feb. 21, 2012 at the Academy Art Center in downtown Honolulu. (Jamm Aquino/Honolulu Star-Advertiser).
**Dec. 24, 2012** I like to think outside the box a lot, and I felt that this slow-panned photo really showcased the power and windup of Los Angeles Dodgers' pitcher Clayton Kershaw as he delivers in the top of the first inning of a Major League Baseball game between the Los Angeles Dodgers and the Arizona Diamondbacks on Thursday, August 30, 2012 at Dodger Stadium in Los Angeles. (Jamm Aquino/The Honolulu Star-Advertiser).
**Dec. 24, 2012** In what was perhaps one of the most controversial blunders of the year for the city of Honolulu, I chose this photo because I felt it represented the mood of the whole affair--secrets being kept from one another. UH president MRC Greenwood, left, whispers to Board of Regents chair Eric Martinson as Senators Sam Slom, back, and Donna Mercado Kim whisper amongst themselves after a Senate-run hearing and investigation about the cancelled Stevie Wonder concert on Monday, Sept. 24, 2012 at the State Capitol Senate room 211 in Honolulu. (The Honolulu Star-Advertiser/Jamm Aquino).
**Dec. 24, 2012** This is just an unusual instance when a fast shutter speed gives a millisecond window into something unique and ethereal--something I always try for but seldom get in sports photography. The eye of Kamehameha Maui player Makamae Palos is seen through a wall of water during a girls HHSAA water polo match between the Kaiser Cougars and the Kamehameha Maui Warriors on Wednesday, May 2, 2012 at UH Manoa's Aquatic Complex. Kaiser won 6-3. (Jamm Aquino/The Honolulu Star-Advertiser).
**Dec. 24, 2012**--Sometimes, covering a spot news assignment requires you to look the other way from the obvious for a picture. I chose this because of its irony in the beauty of a Hawaii sunset coupled with the almost stage-like police and fire strobe lights illuminating the onlookers. Firefighters battle a housefire on Wednesday, February 8, 2012 along Likini Street in Salt Lake / Aliamanu. The cause of the blaze was under investigation, and at the time, it was not known if there were any injuries or casualties. (Jamm Aquino/Honolulu Star-Advertiser).
George Kahumoku, Jr. has an intimate moment with Bella, one of the goats he and his wife Nancy hand raised, on the Kahumoku farm on Wednesday, January 25, 2012 in Kahakuloa on the island of Maui, Hawaii. (Jamm Aquino/Honolulu Star-Advertiser).
The main atrium is seen aboard the Disney cruiseliner Wonder on Sunday, May 6, 2012 at Honolulu Harbor. The Wonder, which is in Hawaii on its maiden voyage to the islands, heads to Kauai late Sunday evening. (Jamm Aquino/The Honolulu Star-Advertiser).
Scalloped hammerhead sharks at Sea Life Park's new Shark Trek on Wednesday, June 6, 2012 at Sea Life Park in Waimanalo. (Jamm Aquino/The Honolulu Star-Advertiser).
An F/A-18 Hornet launches from the catapult aboard the USS Nimitz aircraft carrier on Wednesday, July 18, 2012 off Oahu. (Jamm Aquino/The Honolulu Star-Advertiser).
Honolulu Police investigate the scene after a fatal collision involving a motorcycle rider and a grey Ford pickup on Sunday, Sept. 9, 2012 along Kapolei Parkway in Kapolei. The motorcyclist was pronounced dead at the scene, while the driver of the pickup, who was unhurt, remained on the scene for police investigators. (Jamm Aquino/The Honolulu Star-Advertiser).
From left, Honolulu Mayor Peter Carlisle, mayoral candidates Ben Cayetano, and Kirk Caldwell moments before a televised Honolulu Mayoral debate on Wednesday, July 11, 2012 at the KITV studios in Honolulu. (Jamm Aquino/The Honolulu Star-Advertiser).
His Holiness the Dalai Lama greets 12th graders from the Kamehameha Schools Concert Glee during a welcoming ceremony on Friday, April 13, 2012 at the Kahala Hotel in Honolulu. (Jamm Aquino/The Honolulu Star-Advertiser).
Honolulu mayoral incumbent Peter Carlisle addresses his supporters after conceding to his opponents at his campaign headquarters on Saturday, August 11, 2012 in Kakaako. (Jamm Aquino/The Honolulu Star-Advertiser).
Members of the US Navy and US Marine Corps Honor Guard retire the old American flag during the USS Arizona Memorial's 50th Anniversary Commemoration on Sunday, May 27, 2012 at the USS Arizona Memorial in Pearl Harbor. (Jamm Aquino/The Honolulu Star-Advertiser).
The Blue Angels prepare to take off during the 2012 Kaneohe Air Show on Saturday, Sept. 29, 2012 at Kaneohe MCAS in Kaneohe. (The Honolulu Star-Advertiser/Jamm Aquino).
Hundreds of photographs taken by staff members line the ceiling, one of the many art exhibits by local artists that adorn both the interior and exterior of the DFS Galleria of shops on Monday, November 26, 2012 in Waikiki. (The Honolulu Star-Advertiser/Jamm Aquino).
Beachgoers are seen at the beach area fronting the Hilton Hawaiian Village on Monday, Oct. 15, 2012 in Waikiki. (The Honolulu Star-Advertiser/Jamm Aquino).