Saturday, October 31, 2009

A Saturday Night's Rant

Something that always bugs me to no end is when drivers parked on the side of the road keep their driver's side door swung in the fully open position while they're busy powdering their noses or whatever, the drivers are not oblivious, nor wearing a string bikini, they're fully conscious of the situation. Cars are passing on the driver side and it would make more sense if they did their navel gazing instead on the passenger side of the car next to the sidewalk which is obviously a whole lot safer instead of posing as an unnecessary distraction to other vehicles if not a potential traffic hazard I double dare you to side swipe me which would indeed alter their private universe. Most roads are designed to leave enough room within the width of a lane and still provide a buffer zone for parked cars on the same side of the road. In some instances, there's enough left-over room to strip off a bicycle lane. Tonight, same door-wide-open scenario, on a side street, in Waikiki, the driver is sitted in his car tying his shoe laces with his feet sticking out at a 90° angle to the street.

With Real Peanut Butter

4 for a dollar at Long's Drugs (CVS).

(more later) Today went back to the same Long's Drugs for the same reasons that pilgrims flock to Mecca. Alas, it was now 2-for-a-dollar.

Friday, October 30, 2009

Did you hear Hillary lambast the Pakistani government for dragging their feet in apprehending Al Queda?  "I find it hard to believe that nobody in your government knows where they are and couldn't get them if they really wanted to."

FedEx Friday

*All shipments displayed in local time for the location

Oct 30, 2009 10:29 am Honolulu HI, Delivered Left at front door. (Signature Service not requested)

Oct 29, 2009 2:07 am Honolulu, HI, Customer not available or business closed

Oct 28, 2009 2:10 am Honolulu, HI, Customer not available or business closed

Well, FedEx came through for me, again. The past 2-days I wasn't around when they attempted to deliver my parcel, however, this morning they plopped my package right on my apartment's doormat, door-to-door service, if ever. Our apartment building has a keyed front entrance. The FedEx delivery person musta followed somebody in because, as far as I know, they don't have an entrance key to our apartment building. Perhaps, a school kid let them in on this our State's second day of Furlough Fridays with public schools off. That's not necessarily a good thing unless the kid is practicing to be a doorman.

FedEx Ground, the shipping method that I selected, there's also FedEx Express, usually delivers until 7pm when most people are already back home from work which is why I prefer having items bought online shipped through them, but perhaps a different delivery person is temporarily filling in. At least in our neighborhood, the FedEx Ground people own and operate their FedEx trucks and the way I understood it, FedEx essentially farms out the work to these independents drivers. Better service that way. They even delivery on Saturdays. Beware postmen. Goodbye, postman.

Wednesday, October 28, 2009

Late Wednesday

more here.

Why do They Label Bay Leaves as "Whole" Leaves, When That's the Only Way They Sell Them?

The big news of the day by far is that I remembered to buy some bay leaves while I was at the grocery store. Finally. Just kept forgeting to buy the bay leaves for weeks already, for reasons that escape me. And you know what....I even found second bottle of bay leaves stashed inside a paper bag of groceries that I hadn't bothered to unpack when I tossed the bag into the pantry. That was last week? The week before last week? Dunno. In the present tense, I honestly haven't the slightest recollection that I ever purchased the previous bottle of bay leaves, but I must have.

Tuesday, October 27, 2009

Healthy Tuesday

Tonight's topic: Health care reform would prohibit insurance providers from denying people coverage based on pre-existing medical conditions. Say for example you had two penises, four balls, and walked around loopsided, and the likelihood of you sitting on your genitals by mistake, was deemed more of a health risk than that to the average person in the eyes of the health care insurance industry who would be liable for the medical expenses. Under the new ground rules, it would be illegal for health care insurers to deny you coverage based on a pre-existing, and subsequently tagging specific genes as high risk in their hidden data banks would be a moot point. No more work for the health insurer's shadow divisions, and that might even be a good thing.

I personally don't feel it's 100 percent fair that health care insurance providers are mandated to cover people with serious pre-existing conditions through diseases that have a proven track record of relapsing, however, in the bigger picture, it's all a backlash in reaction to the health industry seedy practice of frisking a patient's original application to uncover techical errors and renage on their obligations after the patient is diagnosed with a serious illness. The patient failed to disclose that he/she had a pimple on their okole, etc. Therefore, we are sad to inform you that your policy is null and void, and well, you're on your own. That having been said, a health industry expert noted, "What's keeping a person from belatedly applying for health insurance only after he/she has been diagnosed with a serious illness that requires expensive medical treatment?" Well, I guess health insurers should be held liable for the tab of catasthrophic illnesses only after the 6th month into an individual's policy, or something la dat.

In Theory and Practice

One of my favorite ways to relax and recharge up the batteries is to parse over political cartoons in newspapers' op-ed sections. They're instructional in how to get an idea across to the reader with the least amount of words as is humanly possible which I might even find useful expounding on the revolutionary ideas that I blog about. At least in theory, at least. Opps, two extra words. Have to keep working at it.

Monday, October 26, 2009

Free KFC Grilled Chicken

If you weren't aware, your friendly neighborhood Kentucky Fried Chicken outlet is offering a piece of their "grilled" chicken FREE for the asking, today. At least you won't be thinking in the back of your mind whether the next shift bothered to put new oil in the deep fryer being that the promo chicken is grilled. If you eat as much KFC as I use to you'd know the meaning of that. Either they didn't rinse off the chicken after thawing it out, or, or, something tasted plain rancid about the fried chicken, and it wasn't from the eleven herbs and spices.

Sunday, October 25, 2009

Star Market

Being an isomniac I frequently ride up to Star Market in Moiliili from Waikiki between 2am to 4am in the early morning hours to get a few stuff. I always asked the girl at the checkout, "when you guy's last day?" "Next month, next month," was always the obligatory reply. Then the next month came and the next month went. But tomorrow it all ends for Star Market .... "stahh makit."

Friday, October 23, 2009

More on Furlough Fridays

I don't know about you, but I'm disappointed with the relatively low number of teachers who bothered to show up at today's Furlough Fridays protest rally at the state capitol. The news put the number of protesters at 800, however since several hundred of the demonstrators were keikis (kids) and non-teacher parents, the actual count of teachers would fall in the 500-600 range. That's out of more than 9,000(?) public school teachers on the island? Even with the national news media covering Furlough Fridays?

Speaking of national news coverage, ABC News characterized Furlough Fridays as a ploy by Hawaii teachers to preserve their jobs. In the same breath they insist the better option would be to assign teachers more students per classroom, and fire excess teachers. This is the kinda stuff the nation is hearing from these know-it-alls who in ancient days the Hawaiians would have tossed into an active volcano as a token of hospitality. Ridiculous.

All 8 Megapixels of It

While I was standing in line at Long's Drugs at Kahala Mall, my camera fell off my belt while I was searching for loose change in my pants pocket, but unfortunately, I didn't even hear it plop on the floor probably because the camera was still in it's soft case. This lady in line in front of me decides to get herself another package of shrimp chips, ®Yick Lung brand, of course. She said something to me about it, and I mimed that I'll only reserve her spot in line for the next 20-minutes. Then the meter runs out. Even on an Aloha Friday. Meanwhile I had spotted dried apricots on a nearby rack which were on sale. So, I went take a look only to find that the apricots were the 6-oz package size, and even for $2.00, it wasn't worth buying, unless the apricots were individually hand dipped in chocolate. However, I am getting hungry for dried apricots of all things.

Anyways, I returned back in line and this girl next in line, behind me, is picking up my camera. I said, "that's mine." She hands me back my camera. Then after a 47 ½ seconds delay, I said, "thanks." She looked back at me with an expression that exuded, "like, yeh....a thankyou was in order." See, I had sensed that she was suspicious that I might not really be the rightful owner of "my" camera, so I thought it wiser to pause before thanking her long enough for her to realize that the items on the checkout conveyor belt in front of her things were mine, therefore it's more than plausable that the camera she found on the floor space that I was now standing on also belonged to me. It would have been pretentious of me, for example, to inform her that I'm the executive producer of Lost and was just taking a break from a shoot. And aren't you so glad to have met me and so forth.  

Protests on First of "Furlough Fridays"

While teachers are furloughed, 2,280 cafeteria workers, custodians, electricians, masons and other laborers will be working at public schools with empty classrooms because apparently nobody had the forethought that balancing the state budget would work even better if those on-campus workers were included in the happy aloha friday furloughs. Those workers belong to different unions. That wasn't something new. I don't blame the teachers if they're pissed off about the disparity. The venue for the protest rally will be in front of the state capitol building, and I read in the newspaper that out-of-work school bus drivers will be shuttling protesters to the capitol for free on what otherwise would have been empty school buses sitting idle.

Wall Street reminds me of Balloon Boy

Thursday, October 22, 2009

Then There Is This

50¢ for a loaf of bread today at Long's Drugs (CVS). Unfortunately, only a single loaf would fit in my saddlebags. Huge loss. The cashier said that the store had a close out on the bread. Which started my wondering what do grocery stores do with all their unsold vegetables and fruits. About 11pm, I realized that I didn't have anything to make a late night sandwich with, except a can of Planter's peanuts that I also bought on sale today, until, oh yeah, I also bought ®Spam from the same store .... ®Spam sandwich, why not.

Look at em and Weep

Wednesday, October 21, 2009

Open 24 Hours Except on Furlough Fridays

There once was a Jack-in-the-Box located across from the beach that was open all night long, but it closed up a year or two already, and I surmise that McDonald's, which is located a block away from Jack's former location, has risen to the occasion and decided to fill the late night slot. Obviously, McDonald's won't provide room service and deliver to your hotel suit, but for the price, it's worth the walk over for some french fries if you're stricken with the late night munchies, for visitors and for Waikiki people alike. At least the extended hours provides work that wouldn't have been there before. State workers just agreed to having 2 "furlough fridays" per month, I believe the last 2 Fridays of the month, part of the governor's emergency solution to balance the budget much alike the teachers' furlough fridays package.

In 2006, the State enjoyed a $600 million surplus. How the pendulum has swung as night follows day. Again boom is followed by bust. Just trying to be dramatic. I know the hotels are doing a brisk business as we speak. I was working on a hotel room the other night and things weren't going nowhere. So I went to the front desk and inquired of the nice people on duty there whether the room was open tomorrow, however they replied that all of their rooms are sold out and that includes the particular room that I happened to be working on, so better me kick it in gear, instead of my standby plan of leaving all my tools in the room, and finishing up "tomorrow." Whoops. So I ended up pounding away until almost 8 o'clock that night. While hotel occupancy might be temporarily up, that's more due to the deals available. Da kind visitors it brings with it spend 17 percent less in stores and restaurants than the usual guests.

No Child Left Behind

"180 school days minus 17 furlough days equals failure"

This Friday marks the first day of "furloughs fridays" with no school for 2 Fridays per month. If this keeps up you could not in good conscience present a kid with a bona fide high school diploma after the completion of 12-years, at least from a public school. 17-days absent from school per year, multiplied by 12 grade years, amounts to over a year of skipping school. In that sense, you would need to tack on an additional year of primary education to equalize the instruction hours received in the former 12 school years schedule, and graduation should fall more fittingly after the completion of the 13th academic year.

Tuesday, October 20, 2009

Tuesday's Day in the Life

I bumped into Prince Kuhio while I was strolling along the beach, about 5 o'clock, on a late wet Tuesday afternoon. If it's anything note worthy, Prince Kuhio bequeated Waikiki Beach to the general public. 

....60¢ for a can of Pepsi at a soda machine for hotel employees. Even took a picture of it as proof of purchase. A can of soda is usually at least 75¢ just about everywhere else that I'm personally aware of. Yeh, I go around checking prices on soda machines that are tucked in nooks and crannies islandwide. Almost started a blog on the very subject, and I still may. Say I'm on a date, take her to my secret soda machine, and while we're at it, "Honey, Long's Drugs has a sale on potato sticks." Soda and potato sticks, who could desire anything more for a night out on the town. I'll stress that candle light and wine are so overated. Even if it includes a dinner that isn't presented on a paper plate with plastic utensils wrapped in a paper napkin. Joking. I repeat, "I was just joking." Anyways, I remember, or simply can't forget, this restaurant review written about the restaurant that's located on the top of the EiffelTower, Maxim's (?), where the reviewer noted something along the lines, " dine at Maxim's will stand as the biggest thrill of your life....until presented with the bill."

Monday, October 19, 2009

Monday Musings

You want sheets with the room, then reserve the presidential suite....

The thing that I noticed right off was the gas tank. Sorta resembles a gas tank on a motorbike.

Sunday, October 18, 2009

Saturday, October 17, 2009

Photograph Your Tea Cup Day

It took me 2500-hours to photograph my tea cup on the lanai railing to commemorate Fall. Today's winds were bustling. The top surface of the railing is beveled. The bottom of the tea cup is shimmed up on its lower side. Definitely next year's Nobel prize for physics. (more later)

Friday, October 16, 2009

Grooming Wagon

I passed this van on Kahala Ave. on my way to Makapu Pt/SeaLife Park today. On my way back it was still parked in the same spot and I decided to take a photo of it. Beyond that, I probably wouldn't be able to afford their services. Should the occasion ever arise that you want to pamper your dog with a shampoo and a manicure, LOL. Apparently, the outfit drives over to your neighborhood, and they might even accept walk-ins by pooches whose owners just happened to notice the doogie van parked down the street from them.

Thursday, October 15, 2009

Thursday's Memo keeps slipping my mind to pick up some bay leaves while at the grocery store on numerous occasions. I'm out of bay leaves. Still out of bay leaves. The crux of tonight's story is that this forgetfulness always happens when I find myself out of bay leaves. Takes a week. Occasionally, several weeks, before I eventually remember to replenish the stock. Dunno. The strange thing is that it doesn't happen with other herbs and spices after I've run out of those kitchen essentials, yet, since I use bay leaves with just about everything and anything that you can fry, kalua, sautee or scorch on a gas stove, perhaps it's the product of a mental mechanism to ration my intake of bay leaves, this forgetfulness.

Balloon Boy

What are little boys made of?
"Snips and snails, and puppy dogs tails
That's what little boys are made of !"

What are little girls made of?
"Sugar and spice and all things nice
That's what little girls are made of!"

That having been said, I bet that Falcon Heene hadn't the faintest idea that he was the center of attention in today's biggest news story about a runaway helium balloon and a missing boy .... being that while the search was under way, Falcon was hiding in a cardboard box in the attic watching TV or something supposedly fearing for his fanny. They said that even Al-Jazeera followed the drama live. Use to be kids flew kites. I guess kites are so yesterday. At any rate, entrepreneurs are already busy cashing in on the phenomenon.

Wednesday, October 14, 2009

Wednesday Less

....this is how the weather's been throughout most part of the day, kinda iffy. Not even a single drop of rain yet, but seemingly about to pour buckets at any moment.

There's this mime that's existed on the blogosphere for several years already, titled "Wordless Wednesday," whereupon participating bloggers simply paste a photo or two for their Wednesday's post and caption it with a few words, or as the original WW formula dictated, with no words at all, and over the years, the mime has developed into a popular theme. Obviously, for WW participants, writers block does not exist on Wednesdays in perpetuity. So, if you've ever found yourself at a lost for words for a post and it also happens to be on a Wednesday, then that's the solution. Upload a picture, done. However, photos are the norm on posts everyday of the week in this era of the blogging. That is, it's arguably more worthy of a task to have instead a "Photo-less Wednesday." Or, "Picture-less Wednesday." That'll screw things up. I happened upon a post today by Diane Ako, KHNL morning news anchor, that didn't have any pics accompanying it, but nonetheless, the irony is that it simply leaves the reader instead of the writer "wordless," and gave an entire different meaning to Wordless Wednesdays, yikes.  At least it did me. Here.

As all of my 5 loyal readers already know, I've been making my very own cigarettes at home. In the box above, there are 200 empty cigarette tubes which is the same number of cigarettes that there are in a carton of cigarettes. *"Quit smoking" .... I heard that. FYI, I'm contemplating switching to smokeless cigarettes, but I've found that there are many models of smokeless cigarettes available on the market today by different manufacturers all anxious to cash in on the new trend.  I haven't decided on which particular smokeless cigarette is the best, starter kits cost $70 on sale, $100 regular price, so taste-tasting the various brands gets expensive. Plus, I still have a stash of raw tobacco leftover, and I minus well use that up. I ran out of empty tubes, so I had to buy some more in order to use up the tobacco. And that's all for the evening news. Well, a little more.

Here's a closeup shot of an empty tube ready to be filled with tobacco. Being that a pack of cigarettes sell for $7 locally, it's well worth the effort to make your own which breaks down to 11.7674¢ per individual cigarette. Every fraction of a penny counts in today's down economy. Talk about a down economy, there's this entrepreneur doing body and fender work on a van parked on the Ala Wai below my apartment. You can hear him pounding out the dings and dents. The van just happens to belong to a person who lives in our apartment building. The owner usually parks his van in the basement garage in a parking stall nearby my motorbike. The other day, I overheard him bartering with the body and fender man on the price while I was polishing my bike. To say the least, it's getting kinda noisy, all that pounding out the dents on the van.

Another close-up shot of an empty tube.

Saturday, October 10, 2009

No Motorized Watercrafts Allowed

....they had another sewage spill into the Ala Wai and obviously, "The public is advised to stay out of the area until further notice." The operators of these motorized boats, that shouldn't be where they are, they make like they're some kind commodore plying the seven seas. Or, Humphrey Bogart on the African Queen. Not exaggerating. I'm not sure on the official reason behind why the Ala Wai canal is off limits to motorized watercrafts, whether it's because the wakes from a passing boat would disrupt the lives of the municipal ducks, causing the ducks to bob up and down like corks. Or, whether it's just to prevent collisions with kayaks and canoes using Honolulu's grand canal on non-sewage spill days. It might be because the wakes of motorized boats would accelerate the errosion of the shoreline. That might be it.

Thursday, October 8, 2009

Thursday's Melt

I don't know what part of the island you live on, but on this side it was very humid today. Tonight is humid too. Might last all week. How do you spell relief? One of my remedies is to munch on a bag of frozen peas and carrots straight out of the freezer. You might prefer soy beans. Meanwhile, the air conditoner doesn't work as well as it should. And why should it? Insofar as our building the rule is that air conditioners must be installed on the bottom, not the top of an exterior wall like the way most every other building that I know of has it. In the process, hot air from the air conditioner's exhaust pipes rises from near floor level and while it's rising, hugging the picture window and jalousies, a volume of radiant heat seeps back into the apartment. Then the air conditioner has to work even harder to cool the regenerated heat. Obviously, this would not be so if the air conditioners were placed at a higher room elevation. Imbeciles. As we speak, there's nothing left to do but to drink hot tea. To open up the pores and release heat. Not to get too techical, tonight's post might be interpreted as a rant. There's nothing on the radar to rave about.  However, in the midst of the humidity, ranting opens up the pores more than raving. What sustains my spirits is the lingering memory of last year's cold winter, when the temperatures decended into lower 70° for days on end. I'll take high humidity any day over cold weather.

Red Wings

I had to buy new shoes because the soles on the bottom of my old shoes were just about worn out. Much of it is from dragging my shoes to brake when slowing to a stop at a traffic light while on my bike. If I had continued to wear my old shoes, than I won't be able to re-sole the shoes because there wouldn't be enough left on the bottom of the shoe to glue on a new sole. Boy, this is getting exciting. Wanna hear what I had for breakfast, too? At any rate, the top of the old shoe was in dire shape as well from the shifter pedal, one down, four up. The up motion eventually results in this....

kinda matches my puka pants. Hey, those are work pants.

Wednesday, October 7, 2009

Tsunami advisory issued for Hawaii

what's with all these earthquakes recently, at least, the larger than normal ones in the Pacific? " If a tsunami was generated the first waves would not reach Hawaii until 6:50 p.m."

*Tsunami watch for Hawaii canceled

however, when's the next earthquake that might trigger a tidal wave? The reason that I pose the question is that I happen to park my 2 motorbikes in my apartment building's basement garage and at the moment they're not hermetically sealed off against severe flooding resulting from a sustained rise in the ocean level, and other seemingly unrelated things like these that a tsunami watch brings to mind. The Ala Wai canal that I live adjacent to, which empties into the ocean nearby, would overflow it's banks too after a slight delay, so I'll get hit by rising tides from both sides. Yeah, I could simply plug the exhaust pipes and carburetor ports on my bikes, batten down the hatches, so to speak. However, should I keep them plugged under the trepidation that the "next" earthquake might occur with more frequency? Meanwhile, hotels in Waikiki, on beach front property, and within the outline of a tsunami's inundation zone, are built on stilts to allow a tidal surge to flow through their basements as opposed to weathering the brunt of a giant wave like an inadvertant break water. That said, most storefronts and Jack-in-the-Box's in Waikiki town ply their trade on ground level, and they musta been holding their okoles with the latest tsunami warning.

Tomorrow is the eighth anniversary of the Afghanistan war. Washington, DC. President Obama is being besieged with advice and warnings. At a bipartisan meeting on Tuesday at the White House with Congressional leaders, Obama seemed to indicate that he’s punting on whether or not to send another 40,000 troops that General Stanley McChrystal is demanding .... in addition to the 60,000 already based in Afghanistan.

Even if some Democrats want to bail out of Afghanistan and some Republicans think success can be earned with crushing force, the sad fact is that there will likely be many more anniversaries of the Afghanistan war before America can extricate itself.

Jacob Heilbrunn, senior editor at The National Interest.

Obama is in a damned if he do, damned if he don't, conundrum on whether to escalate the Afghanistan War. Know what's incredible, without even a single fighter jet or attack helicopter, the Taliban has managed to gain ground against the world's most well trained army. Like most people, I'm confused over "Taliban" and "al Queda" as far as who the enemy is that the US military is trying to eliminate in Afghanistan. Last I heard, al Queda has a different zip code. Still, you would think that half of the 40,000 more troops the General McChrystal requested would come from US allies. But I suspect that other nations won't contribute more troops to the Afghanistan War under a similar rationale that was used to promote the Iraqi War. "We fight terrorists in Iraq, so that we won't have to fight them at home." Instead, if the US is left to fight the "terrorists" alone in Afghanistan, then in the future, terrorists will plan retaliatory attacks against the US homeland, instead of launching terrorist attacks in Europe. And who would want that.

Tuesday, October 6, 2009

Monday, October 5, 2009

Food Bloggers Have Killed off Gourmet Magazine

With the millions of food bloggers reviewing restaurants and lunch trucks, or exulting about the masterpieces they roasted and baked in the home oven, Gourmet Magazine has gone the way of dinosaurs. Do foodies have the least amount of remorse?

Sunday, October 4, 2009

Saturday, October 3, 2009

Without Border and With Border

Hawaiian Eye

In the interest of saving people's eyesight, I've enlarged the size of the text on my posts. Problem was the spacing between the lines also increased proportionally, to a distance, at least to me, too much was read between the lines. Naturally, the next step was to reduce the line spacing from 1.6em to 1.4em, nevermind. I also decided to eliminate the irritating default border that Blogger frames around photos. If a need ever arises for a border around a photo, adding .... "border: 1px solid black;".... to a photo's image-code will give the photo its desired border, and sway the Olympic Committee to hold the next Olympics in the US.

Friday, October 2, 2009

Iron Horse on a Friday

T'was a nice Happy Aloha Friday to take Iron Horse around Makapu, spin around at Sea Life Park, return back to town via the same route, making the most of the winding road along the rugged shoreline. The photo is at Sandy Beach. If you weren't already aware, I author a blog. Thus, it's imperative that I take a picture of Iron Horse in full repose or whatever professional photographers term it, I'll look it up later, to paste on my webpage. All the people passing on the highway were thinking out loud, "Hey isn't that RONW?" Almost famous, if you may. Just kidding. Seriously. Nobody waved. things would have it, a two-wheeler, with Koko Head crater's caldera as a backdrop. If you're ever seen bikers give abbreviated waves to other passing bikers, that's the international sign language for "ride safe." Not, "how are you?" It's a highly regarded ritual with a warning and friendly reminder.... otherwise, you crash and die. You only die once.  

Koko Head crater from last week's post. I'll get there someday.

Koko Head crater from this week's post. There.

Messenger of

I imagine that text-er's would prefer it termed driving while texting, with driving the ancilliary action. That is, they're always texting some person or the other. They just also happened to be driving at that given moment. Fortunately or unfortunately, its the deed, not the words that matter. Myself, I do feel significantly safer in traffic ever since the State banned handheld cellphone use along with text messaging while operating a vehicle. Minus well share a ride, then? Not even. So, this driver hears his phone ring. Must be important. Picks up. "This is your Sprint provider with an urgent message.... you are pass due on your bill." Also, I'm way behind everbody in designating different ring tones to ID known parties. How advanced are those software that use to translate your voice into text? They're able to recognize brain waves by now?