Sunday, October 19, 2014

Where Hawaii Ranks 29

Mostly good news this time, with just one ranking in the bad-news category.

Most Diverse Colleges in U.S. (USA Today, 2014) 
  3. Stanford University, Stanford, CA
  5. Pomona College, Claremont, CA 

Most Affordable (Cheapest) Public Colleges and Universities in the Western U.S. (, 2014) 
  1. California State University – Long Beach ($8,169 typical price tag for one year)
  2. University of Washington ($9,559)
  3. San Diego State University ($9,856)
  4. San Jose State University ($11,138)

Most Affordable (Cheapest) Private Colleges and Universities in the Western U.S. (, 2014) 
  1. University of the West (Rosemead, CA) ($8,017 typical price tag for one year)
  2. Brigham Young University – Idaho (Rexburg, ID) ($8,148)
  3. Heritage University (Toppenish, WA) ($10,660)
  5. Soka University of America (Aliso Viejo, CA) ($13,065) 

Highest Women's Ranking: Workplace Environment, Education & Health, Political Empowerment (, 2014) 
  2. New York
  3. Maryland
  4. Maine
  5. Nevada 

Highest Rate of Homelessness (U.S. Dept. of Housing and Urban Development, 2013) 
  1. HAWAII (465 per 100,000 population)
  2. New York (399)
  3. California (367)
  4. Oregon (360)
  5. Nevada (312)

Friday, October 17, 2014

No Goo in My Inner GPS

I recently had to do a drug store run at Long's/CVS in Manoa, coupled with a supermarket grocery run at Safeway Beretania. I did the food scrounge first, and emptied out my trunkload of groceries at home before heading off to Long's Drugs.

On the list that the wife gave me was Goo Gone. It's that liquid that dissolves sticky stuff from surfaces, skin, clothes, jars, etc. My son had borrowed the bottle we had, and never returned it.

So anyway, I got to Long's, found everything else on the "on sale" list, and proceeded to search for the Goo Gone. I went up and down the aisles, haphazardly at first, using my inner sense to determine where the hell it would be stocked.

I found Shoe Goo, I found Goop. But no Goo Gone.

So I renewed my search in a more organized manner. Up and down each aisle, no matter what was on display: Greeting cards, local food products, first-aid stuff, cosmetics ... because one never knows what logic hides in the minds of people setting up displays.

A half-hour later, still no luck.

Finally, I went up to a store employee sticking shelves and told him what I was looking for. He looked at me bemusedly, turned slightly to his left, and pointed. There, on the top shelf of the "cleaner" section was the Goo Gone, in squirt bottles and spray bottles.

Can you say, "Felt stupid"?

Wednesday, October 15, 2014

Phone Pix 32: Fish Market

We had a $25 gift certificate to Tamashiro Fish Market recently, so we used it to buy a pound of sashimi (raw tuna). Yep, it cost that much, but it was top grade ahi (yellow tail), so I can't complain.

Of course, we bought more than that, and while I was wandering around the market, I snapped a bunch of pictures of their offerings with my phone camera. After all, I don't go there very often and had to take advantage of the situation.

My pix, all taken on July 28, 2014:

Green Ogo (Seaweed)

Samoan Crabs

Uhu (Parrot Fish)

Akule  (Big Eye Scad)

Aku (Skipjack Tuna)

Manila Clams

High-Grade Ahi

Shellfish Poke (Raw Salad)

Ahi Poke (Raw Salad)

Fresh Pineapple

Bento Snacks

Local Pumpkins

Monday, October 13, 2014

Is It Time Yet?

My grandson is taking tae kwon do lessons on Saturdays, and has earned a little red stripe at the end of his belt signifying he has completed the seven lessons in the first levels. Fast forward several weeks and he's showing me a new belt with a yellow stripe going all around the length of the belt.

It's something he's proud of, and that pride is catching. If he's proud, his parents are proud; if he and his parents are proud, then his grandparents are proud.

It's fun watching the kids go through their exercises, and it's definitely amusing to watch the instructors trying to keep the 5-7 year-old boys and girls in focus. I'd compare it to trying to herd a bunch of cats whose attentions wander. You can't keep a kid from turning around and looking for a parent.

Inevitably, there are a couple of first-timers who're not so sure they want to be there, refusing to join the group and sitting on the side, with not-so-happy frightened looks on their faces, tightly clinging to their parents. But they'll come around ... or maybe not.

And then, there was this little exchange near the end of the last sessions I watched: 
  • Instructor: "Okay, next we'll practice (yaddah, yaddah, yaddah) ... low block with front kick."
  • Kid Student: "And then we go home?"
  • Parents: (Laughter, laughter, laughter) 

And yes. After that, everybody went home.

Saturday, October 11, 2014

Questionable Fixes 4

I'll close out this series with two themes: Cool, and Seats. By the way, these and the previous pictures were posted by Matt Buco on Just thought I'd give him some credit.

Cool Fixes (Fans and 'Fridges):

Seat Fixes (Where We Plant Our Butts):

I don't know about you, but I think these are quite inventive, myself.

Thursday, October 9, 2014

My Slug Mummy

A-a-a-and since we talked about dead people in my last post, here's a dead slug.

Not just any dead slug, mind you, but a mummified one that I created with a little bit of salt.

See, I went outside to read in my chair, and spotted a large brownish-black slug sliming its way across the lanai/driveway pavement. So I went back inside and brought out some salt, and as I usually do when I find slugs, poured some salt on this one.

It began to ooze liquid (as they usually do), then shrank until it could do no more. Eventually the liquid evaporated, or whatever it is that slug plasma does, and the remains ... er, remained.

Days later ... weeks later ... a month later, and it was still there, looking just the way it does in the picture. The ants didn't want it, the lizards didn't want it. But I found it interesting to watch its preservation process.

I'm such a nerdy dork that way.

Tuesday, October 7, 2014

The Zombie Apocalypse Store

The last time I was in Las Vegas, driving on Charleston to the Red Rock Casino where I was to spend the next few nights, I passed the Zombie Apocalypse Store at the corner of Charleston and Polaris.

I wanted to get to the hotel without stopping, so I snapped a picture through my windshield, fully expecting to return here and check it out.

Well, zombie memory that I have, I forgot. So I'm just going to have to check it out the next time I go there.

Stay tuned!

Sunday, October 5, 2014

Hilo Days: I Loved Those Stories

Here’s another remembrance from my childhood days, one that illustrates very simply how reading to one’s kids will make a big difference in their lives. It’s from my Hilo Days website, which is long gone, unfortunately.

Stories – 
A Tradition

Did I tell you Obachan used to tell me stories?  She told me all those famous Japanese folk tales.

There were quite a few, but the one that I remember most was "Momotaro, The Peach Boy."

It's a great story, especially the part where Momotaro fights the Oni (ogre) with his friends (monkey, dog, eagle, and maybe another animal – memory fails).

I remember lying in bed listening to Obachan tell those tales, thinking how great it would be to be Momotaro, to be born from a peach, to have such heroic friends and adventures, and to fearlessly defeat the evil devils.

And then Mom would also tell me stories. She told me those neat children's stories, and used to recite Eugene Field poetry. I especially remembered and loved "Peter Rabbit" and "Winken, Blinken and Nod."

Mom says she used to take me shopping with her and that I'd recite "Winken, Blinken and Nod" to anyone in the store who would listen. Wow. How embarrassing to find out later in life that I was strange enough to actually do that.

I really enjoyed the stories. They were great. Later on, when I became a dad, I made it a point to read to my two sons. Especially during Christmas. We always had a tradition of reading a whole bunch of stories on Christmas Eve — "The Night Before Christmas,"  "Babar Meets Father Christmas," "How the Grinch Stole Christmas," and stories like that.

Remember now, those were the days when we didn't have television. Radio was the only mass electronic medium available, and no one could afford to go to movies every night. So story-telling (or story-listening) was a significant part of our lives.

Friday, October 3, 2014

Preflight Mitigation

During our most recent return flight on Hawaiian Airlines Comfort Class from California to Honolulu, the wife, my daughter-in-law, my grandson and I found little bags of candy on our seats. I thought to myself, oh how nice of the airlines to do that for us.

Then, my daughter-in-law pointed out there was a message inside the bag and that the candies were compliments of a family seated in the row behind us.

It turns out that a little 4-1/2 month old baby was taking her first plane trip with her parents. So the parents gave those of us seated near them this bag of candy to mitigate the possible damage to our eardrums should little Jeevan begin wailing in discomfort.

They even enclosed a pair of ear plugs in each package. Good thing, because the baby did begin crying during the flight.

But I couldn't complain when they'd been so thoughtful and considerate aforehand.

Wednesday, October 1, 2014

Phone Pix 31: Pagoda Floating Restaurant

I make fun of the Pagoda Floating Restaurant every chance I get, but I have to admit, there are some nice scenes to photograph with my mobile phone camera before and after brunch.

These were taken the last time I ate there in March.

Koi, Pagoda Floating Restaurant, March 9, 2014

Mini-Pagoda, Pagoda Floating Restaurant, March 9, 2014

Pond Walkway, Pagoda Floating Restaurant, March 9, 2014

Mini-Cascade, Pagoda Floating Restaurant, March 9, 2014

Stream, Pagoda Floating Restaurant, March 9, 2014

Old Tree Stump, Pagoda Floating Restaurant, March 9, 2014