Monday, February 28, 2011

Never Mind the Higher Oil Prices

According to the US Department of Agriculture, the price of corn is up 88%, and wheat is up 76%, from 12 months ago. Ethanol production consumes 40% of US corn, so I expect corn prices to rise, though not necessarily as much as it has, but rise regardlessly. But wheat?

Sunday, February 27, 2011

Bill of Landing

Essential Items

I was at Radio Shack and saw these cable clips on the shelves for $5, so I decided on the spot that it was something that I should buy. Something I should buy. Okay I said that already. But it does ring a familiar note, doesn't it. Originally, I went to Radio Shack to pick up some electrical terminals. However somewhat like Jack and the Beanstock, I put these cable clips into my shopping basket. When the cashier rung up the cable clips, they were $7+ for the set. So I mentioned to the cashier that they were $5 on the rack just a minute ago. So, she walks over to the rack and finds that indeed cable clips are $5. But then she claims that she has to adhere to the official price $7 showing on her computer screen. "Even though the price is marked as $5?" I asked. "Ah huh," she responds. Obviously, having already spent at least $20 billion at this particular Radio Shack doesn't carry a lot of clout with the cashier. Neither does being an undercover corporate spy for Radio Shack checking up on the level of customer service impress her. I believe if the price for a given item is under stated on a sales flyer, than the store is legally bound to honor the posted price, but not in-store mistakes.

Anyways, I decided to not buy the $7 cable clips. Went on the Internet and saw they were selling the same cable clips, 6 per set, for $10 with shipping. Darn, that was a good deal at Radio Shack. However, upon further scrutiny, I found another online retailer that was way below everybody else's price. $2.90 per set of cable clips with free shipping to boot. Available here, however the price has already gone up and no free shipping anymore.

Friday, February 25, 2011

Shingles? I'll Have to Look it Up.

Well I don't quite know what or for that matter particularly wanna know what shingles are, but an educated guess would be flakes on the skin by virtue that shingles adorn the exterior of a house and since I'm a carpenter. What confused me is that I mixed up "shingles" with "rickets." Chi Chi Rodríguez had rickets. Said he had the disease on an interview many years ago but he never explained what it was then, so til today I still don't know what rickets is. Just something that wasn't fashionable. All things considered, there are more words in the vocabulary that you don't know the meaning of, than there are words that you do know the meaning of, even if you tally in all those words that you been forget the meaning of by now. As you probably realized, it's late. But thanks nonetheless for stopping by.

I've been kinda busy to keep up with posting lately. NOT posting. How in tarnation do you describe a negative entity without manufacturing nonsense. For example donut, you don't describe the middle of the donut since that part is simply not there. You talk of donuts in terms of the substance that you are able to chew. Suffice it as there is this, and there is that, as in, when the opportunity did afford itself to hammer out a post, I actually been forget what I had jotted down mentally for a post. Btw, 90-proof Pulitzer material. Nobel, the same year. It's still there inside the brain, analogous to the things that get posted on the Internet, it'll be there forever. Existentialism. A word that once instilled my very being with the grandest of expectations. Then I found out that existentialism meant nothingness, or the belief that existence wasn't real, or something along those lines, or those bleeping philosophers really threw me a curve.

Tuesday, February 15, 2011

Sunday, February 13, 2011

Saturday's Barbershop

Yesterday, my barber gave me these personalized pens in celebration of her grand re-opening.  Cookies, too, and can soda. I've only been going to her for a year-and-a-half. My old barber retired and left his clientèle on their own. I say left on their own because most barbershops nowadays are stylists. Do they know how to cut hair. Not necessarily, but they can "style" your hair, and charge a higher rate for an inferior job. Anyways, last year the property owner gave my present barber notice that they would be expanding their adjacent offices and needed her floorspace. Fortunately she was able to find a retail space two buildings away on the same street. Yes, fortunately for everyone.

More Egypt....

Obama couldn’t very well come out against the protesters; they embodied the values which, in his Cairo speech [Jun 4, 2009], he claimed the United States would always support.

....[However] even as Obama increased the pressure on Mubarak to stand down, he refused to side with the demonstrators....and insisted that Washington would not interfere in the question of who rules Egypt.

But in the eyes of the demonstrators, the US could hardly pretend to be neutral: the tear gas canisters fired at them were labeled ‘Made in America’, as were the F-16s monitoring them from the sky. In calling for something more than a ‘managed’ transition under military rule, the demonstrators in Egypt were defying not just Mubarak but the US.

Mubarak, when he stands down, is not likely to be missed by many people in Egypt....but he will be missed in Washington and, above all, in Tel Aviv....Egyptian foreign policy would be set in Cairo rather than in Washington and Tel Aviv.

Adam Shatz | London Review of Books

I care about democratic values, but they are worse than useless in societies that have no tradition or respect for minority rights. What we want for Egypt is what we have ourselves. This, though, is an identity crisis. We are not them.

Richard Cohen | Washington Post

Friday, February 11, 2011

The Best Mubarak Eulogy, Yet.

"Mubarak and his family were seen leaving the presidential palace with their bags."

"Of course, they weren't carrying their own bags."

Even if the lowest estimate ($25-75 Billion) of Mubarak's wealth is true, that'll still rank him in the Top 10 wealthiest individuals in the world. Not too shabby. Even people like you and me with a single billion dollars stashed in our mattresses don't carry our own bags. Definitely a top 10 wealthiest person on the planet wouldn't either. I imagine.

Happy Aloha Friday. Today is indeed a Happy Aloha Friday for the Egyptians. What happens to them from here is anybody's guess. I'm not pessimistic about Egypt's future why with Facebook and Tweeter there to keep a watchful eye on a new Egyptian gov't. That's not an exaggeration of the raw power of the social network. In an interview on CNN, an activist who was detained was asked by a CNN reporter, "Tunisia, Egypt....what's next?" and the activist's answer was an immediate, "Ask Facebook." That's saying a lot about the power of Facebook from an activist who was at the epicenter. You hear quips on the news about Facebook's influence on the Egypt revolution, but it sounds more like the media's cliché du jour than an outright fact. It's almost scary when you realize the awesome power of social networking. Last night there was a fireworks display in Waikiki. This is not to be confused with the weekly Friday night fireworks show. Was it a celebration of the Egyptians' victory? I searched online everywhere and absolutely nothing was written about last night's fireworks or what it was commemorating. Egypt and Hawaii are 12-hours difference. Feb. 11 will be of course Egypt Day here there ever after.

The irony of the pyramids in the light of the Egypt Revolution is that the pyramids served only the needs of a single dead human being, whereas the building that I happen to be working on being in the construction trade would provide living quarters for hundreds of living people, even Egyptians. Even taking into account the antiquity value of the pyramids, it ain't the most apple pie a symbol of freedom. Thus if the Egyptians had any energy left they should bulldoze the pyramids. But that's strictly with me. Here's the gist. Hillary said something along the likes that the US will be there to guide the Egyptian people through the days ahead. That had ugly american written all over it like this tribe of sand dwellers don't have the wherewithal to manage their own national affairs.

Hosni Mubarak $25-75 Billion

Alex O'Loughlin (Steve McGarrett) $100,000 per episode

Charlie Sheen $1.25 million per episode

Oprah Winfrey $315 million per year

Judge Judy $45 million per year

Of this bunch, only Judge Judy is fully deserving of her salary. No special guests or scripts on her show in comparison with David Letterman (The Late Show) $28 million, and Jay Leno (The Tonight Show) $25 million.

Monday, February 7, 2011

Today's All-in-One's and Terabytes

It's been a while since I looked at the latest computers on the market, but computers with 1 terabytes hard drives! When did this happen. And, who needs that much memory to begin with? To my knowledge, a "terabyte" is a trillion bites. Apparently a trillion is the new gigillion. I'm aware that computer manufacturers must simply be keeping up with their competitors, but it still strikes me as overkill. Meanwhile, my five year old computer came with a 500-gigabyte hard drive which still has 91 percent of it's memory cells empty. Which brooches the question, how many gigs are on today's SD card?

Another thing, "all-in-one" computers like the one in the photo above? I saw some of the earlier forerunners on the display shelf a few years ago, but I never thought that all-in-one's would gain in popularity. Except for the separate keyboards, essentially, all-in-one's are bulkier laptops. I guess it's easier to move with you from the living room to the backyard pool. You won't have to ask the butler anymore because of the portability.

In tv news, since that's about all I watch on tv asides from tonight's Hawaii Five-O, the reason Mr. Mubarak doesn't bag out of Egypt is for a less mundane reason, that is, he doesn't know where to go. For example, is the US going to welcome him here? I don't think so. But between you and me, how about Hawaii? The soon to be deposed pharaoh is worth between $25-75 billion, thus Mubarak agrees to pay for Honolulu's $5.4 billion light rail, and the rest as they say is history. On the very top of Mubarak agenda, is positioning a successor, one that agrees to suppress any movement by Egyptians in the future to try him for past deeds during his political afterlife. Sorta like Nixon hand picking Gerald Ford as his replacement. Ford later pardoned Nixon.

Sunday, February 6, 2011

Saturday, February 5, 2011

Friday, February 4, 2011

Things are Looking Up

I hadn't noticed the extent of the speckles during the daylight hours, but after dark, the living room light revealed its full glitter. For no particular reason, I happened to look up, and whoa, the freakin whiteout at the top of the glass door. Happy Aloha Friday, btw. And welcome to today's post, Speckles Part II, the sequel. This bares reiterating, "Do not spray paint a high rise building in the trade winds." As you see 2 photos below, Spray Paint Man left his signature on the masterpiece. It might be worth something someday. It's worth a lot today. Judging by the wipe marks somebody was fully cognizant of the screw up, but just leave em already, who gonna notice?" For all I know, the painting company might have a policy to follow up with a clean-up round after all the painting is done, all floors at once instead of piece meal. They had a wash crew last week to prep the walls. There's a clean up crew at every construction job that I, myself, ever worked as part of the routine. Why be cynical. I mean, really, what's the odds the fine folks will skip town instead of ante up and cut into their profits.

Thursday, February 3, 2011


This is the view today looking out my lanai's glass door (lanai=balcony). Those are not spots before your eyeballs nor from lint on my camera lens. Those tiny white specks are what they are....tiny white specks. Of paint, I might add. The painters started painting the building, ah I said painting, but I suspect that they're spraying the building instead. I wasn't around when they started yesterday. You cannot spray a high rise in Waikiki. The trade winds will blow the atomized paint particles every which way as evidenced by the millions of tiny white specks sticking to the glass on my lanai door soon to be sunbaked for extra adhesion. The only proper method would be to mask off all the windows and jalousies that is if the painting contractor had 10 miles of masking tape with him.

I'm not at all 100 percent sure whether the building management were fully aware that the painting contractor would be spraying the building. Or any sound reason why they would allow spraying. First of all, spraying leaves a thin coat of armor barely the thickness of sheet of paper if that at all. Now, it's not beyond painting contractors to incorporate ludicrous claims in their sales pitch that they use special formula paint with steroids mixed in for spraying. To paint that bridge I'll sell them. After a tab for the clean up thrown in. The last time the building was painted, the painters rolled the building slopping on a thick layer of paint that sagged from its own weight in some sections.

Every square inch of my lanai has been speckled like this from the overspray.

Tuesday, February 1, 2011

Logitech MX1000 Wireless Mouse

This was the best mouse I have ever used, bar none, and I've been through quite a few mouses. 20 million right-clicks and many left-clicks at least in total. The main reason I extoll so nostalgic about Best Mouse asides from having many late night conversations with the rodent, is that ergonomically it had a large enough ledge to rest your thumb on. Another reason was the number of extra buttons to program routine commands that are usually done on the keyboard. Unfortunately the manufacturer discontinued this particular model. I happened to search online for the same mouse and stumbled upon a few that were advertised as *new*. That made me happy. Alas, twas' but for a fleeting moment. The sellers were asking $200 for Mr. Best Mouse. Still speechless.