Thursday, March 18, 2010

Wednesday, March 17, 2010

New Pipes

FedEx delivered my motorbike exhaust pipes at 8pm tonight. A little too late to attach them to the bike. Tomorrow, perhaps. As I was saying in an earlier post, the new pipes will be a lot louder to better alert vehicles that I'm in their proximity, and not to merge erratically into my lane. "Loud pipes, saves lives," is the slogan. Wouldn't place all my bets on that alone though. However, just suppose that a day or two from now, someone driving in the very next lane was able to hear my new pipes an instant before he would have otherwise merged blindly into my lane. But driver didn't. It sure would save me wear and tear on my brake pads from screeching to an emergency stop.

Sunday, March 14, 2010

Honolulu Festival Parade

Here's some pics from tonight's Honolulu Festival Parade in Waikiki which culminates the annual Friday-to-Sunday Honolulu Festival, itself. "The Honolulu Festival is Hawaii's premier cultural event, promoting understanding, economic cooperation and ethnic harmony between the people of Hawaii and the Pacific Rim region."

Friday, March 12, 2010

Sales Flyers

This post disappeared for a 24-hours period because I hit the "save now" button on my editor page after I added something to it. Apparently, hitting the "save now" button on an entry that has already been posted ("published") yanks the previously published portion of the post from view in the same motion. Operator error. I gather that this is similar to the mental process that leads to forgetting items on your to do list, which I'll leave the expounding and extrapolating on the topic to your own I know just what you mean. Or perhaps, you don't and WTF is he talking about. At any rate, each and every week Longs Drugs bulk mails the sales flyers in the photo above to residents islandwide and this week hasn't been the exception. I still don't understand why it is that Longs doesn't mass email the same sales bulletin to residents who have inboxes. Office depot does just that and the digital copy duplicates the paper version of their weekly sales pamphlet found in Office Depot stores, and they don't incur postage on emails. But it must work for Longs, otherwise they just wouldn't be doing it, with all the trees for paper that they're personally responsible for toppling in the Brazilian rain forest. Sales at Longs Drugs starts on Sundays. In that sense, it's wiser to not buy an item at Longs on Saturday because if what you purchased on Saturday is on sale the following day on Sunday, you'd be a day late and a dollar short. Just couldn't resist that. Pundit.

(more later)

Wednesday, March 10, 2010

James Sikes and his accelerated 2008 Toyota Prius

You think there's something fishy with the Sikes' sudden acceleration story while he was driving his Prius? Toyota has already been warning drivers of their cars for weeks to shift into neutral if their gas pedals get stuck, and just about every news story reporting sudden acceleration tragedies have been followed up with an advisory to shift into neutral in the event of a similar emergency. Yet, for reasons of his own, Sikes refused to do just that, even after both the 911 operator that answered his emergency call, and the dispatched California Highway Patrol officer driving in the next lane instructed him to do so. The CHP officer even used a megaphone. By his own account, Sikes had the presence of mind to reach down and grab the stuck gas pedal and try to pry it up with his free hand even as his car was wildly accelerating to speeds reaching 94 mph. Perhaps, there's more to the story, and perhaps there ain't.

Sikes, a real estate agent, said he was passing another car when the accelerator stuck and eventually reached 94 mph.

During the two 911 calls, Sikes ignored many of the dispatcher's questions, saying later that he had to put his phone on the seat to keep his hands on the wheel.

Leighann Parks, a 24-year-old dispatcher, repeatedly told him to throw the car into neutral but got no answers.

"He was very emotional, you could tell on the line he was panicked," Parks told reporters outside the CHP's El Cajon office. "I could only imagine being in his shoes and being that stressed."

Officer Neibert told Sikes after the CHP caught up with him to shift to neutral but the driver shook his head no. Sikes told reporters he didn't go into neutral because he worried the car would flip.


Tuesday, March 9, 2010

Tuesday's Pipes

A female member of the same motorbike forum I'm into on the Internet posted the above photo of her new exhaust pipes that she installed on her bike. I looked, I saw, and I went buy the same kind exhaust pipes online which the retailer was offering for a $60 discount plus free shipping. Mind you, the new pipes are not bling, it's in the interest of safety. My Shadow 600 is quiet. Nice for the neighbors. Bad for my own safety. It's difficult for drivers to see the thin profile of an approaching motorbike from the front. As a safety measure, loud pipes makes a motorbike more conspicuous.

Have no idea how brick-and-mortar stores will be able to survive with the deals being offered today on the Web for the same product. Just between you and me and the pixels on my monitor screen, I honestly don't really care. The only advantage real life stores have going for them over the virtual marketplace is the personal touch. Being that the concept of "service" has generally diminished into a troublesome after thought, I'll take my money elsewhere whenever opportunity offers me a better deal a click away of which there are many. Voodoo economics? Sticking needles into a doll or effigy, except with clicks in place of needles?

Monday, March 8, 2010

Nash done as UH basketball coach

Are they serious? The state just imposed parking fees at the Pali Lookout this past Friday with negative fanfare. Then two days later, the university fires Nash at the cost of $240,000 that he is due for the incompleted final season under the terms of his contract, all the while, the state is broke ass and the professors, themselves, at UH have agreed to pay cuts. In all likelihood, the replacement basketball coach will probably make at least the same $240,000. Next year, then, we're talking about almost a half million in total dollars to pay for the head basketball coach's salary at the university factoring in Nash's severance payout. This amounts to the basketball equivalent of double-dribbling, economically speaking.

True, Nash had a shabby 10-20 season with a 34-56 overall record during his tenure. While this would reasonably call for coach Nash's firing in normal times, the last I checked, we're still in the midst of a recession far off from the sound of the final buzzer, as of such, the state does not have the luxury of replacing a poorly performing copying machine in an office building, much less, even entertaining the notion of ejecting a state employee whom is compensated by the tune of $240,000. To begin with, the lopsided severance terms of practically all of the coaches' contracts at UH are ridiculous. Also, I highly doubt that any new coach could turnaround UH's basketball team's dismal win-lost record during a single season or remotely put UH on the basketball map, so retaining Nash for the final year of his contract should have been a non-brainer.

Remarks by the President on Health Insurance Reform

Well, it is great to be back here in the Keystone State. It's even better to be out of Washington, D.C. (Laughter.) First of all, the people of D.C. are wonderful. They're nice people, they're good people, love the city, the monuments, everything. But when you’re in Washington, folks respond to every issue, every decision, every debate, no matter how important it is, with the same question: What does this mean for the next election? (Laughter.) What does it mean for your poll numbers? Is this good for the Democrats or good for the Republicans? Who won the news cycle?

Since about the only tv that I watch is cable news stations like Fox News, MSNBC, CNN, PBS, I thought that the following quip by Obama on political pundits was quite appropriate.

....And you’ve seen all the pundits pontificating and talking over each other on the cable shows, and they’re yelling and shouting. They can’t help themselves. That’s what they do.

Pundit's motto....under the preponderance of evidence to the contrary, immediately and vehemently deny and denounce your opponent's point by rattling off a salvo of b.s. to the degree that the institution of truth, itself, is held in contempt of kangaroo court. This will leave the opposing party tasked with explaining why they do not indeed owe you damages for undue stress and aggravation.

Saturday, March 6, 2010

All Along The Watchtower

It's been extra windy the past two days. And the wind begins to howl Mary. Jimmy Hendrix. Actually, Dylan wrote the lyrics and recorded the song himself, but Hendrix took it to a new level. At any rate, our windy days have been a fitting inauguration of the parking fees that the state started imposing yesterday on visitors (non-residents) taking in the view at the Pali Lookout. The Pali Lookout is famous for it's severe winds (see photo). The scenic view from the Pali (cliffs) is secondary. The state is so hard up for cash, that they'll tax anything that moves. 900,000 people visit the Pali Lookout per year. Some jump off the edge. Now, if you jump, you pay a tax in addition to the parking fees. If you decide to fly a kite, another surcharge.

The parking fee at the Pali Lookout will be wavered for locals. Only non-residents will be assessed the toll. This disparity has generated a fair amount of controversy. Again, the state is desperately in need of new means of revenue. Lyrics from tonight's theme song ....“There must be some kind of way out of here [recession], Said the joker to the thief [state].” More than a few have professed that the Pali fee is sending the wrong type of message to Hawaii's bread and butter visitors. For the same price of a 4-day stay in Hawaii nei, the same visitors could just as well spend a week aboard a cruise ship visiting Mexico, meals included. Meanwhile, if the driver of the car at the Pali happens to be local, the parking fee is wavered, irregardless of the occupants. Other than that, the Pali has now been officially designated a pay-per-view venue in perpetuity. That might be to the chagrin of an out-of-state visitor who happened to have been born and raised in Hawaii now living in another state, and can't present a Hawaii state picture ID to the gate keeper. There are fees to enter Diamond Head crater ($5 per vehicle or $1 per walk-in visitor), but not all of the monies goes to the upkeep of the Diamond Head Park itself. Of the $700,000 in fees collected in 2009 at Diamond Head, only $300,000 went to the park. That's less than 50 percent. Visitors already pay a compulsory 8.25 percent hotel room tax levied to undo their footprints on the aina dubbed the Transient Accommodation Tax. "Transient accommodation?" Also, at the Pali Lookout, generally people just park, peer over the railing, take picture and drive off to other points in their itinerary. No more than 20-minutes which would seem to be a perk inclusive in the overall transient accommodation package.

Friday, March 5, 2010

And Other Than That

Happy Aloha Friday night. Meanwhile, last night, I ordered $200 worth of energy bars online for my motorbikes. "$200" and you're entitled to free shipping, you see. Financial genius. Free shipping. Do the math. Financial genius added to free shipping and what do you got? I'll be remiss not to note that $200 was enough to buy two items. At any rate, the motorcycle parts company is always mailing me their latest catalogs. While I was busy ordering from the company's website, I just happened to glance down at their catalog which I had on my desk, and noticed on the front cover a $25 coupon waving at me. I typed in #176 and true to their word, they deducted $25 from my bill. Getting off topic, but have you ever bought a bottle of anything at the store, and forgot to remind the clerk to peel off the discount coupon on the aforementioned bottle? Then while you're unpacking your sundries at home you realized that the coupon is still on the same bottle and you hadn't received the discount that induced you to purchase the item to begin with.

Monday, March 1, 2010