Friday, December 19, 2014

A Random Conversation

(Let me tell you about a conversation I overheard at Honolulu International Airport in the Vacations Hawaii boarding area between an old [say, 80s] local Hawaii Chinese man, hereafter referred to as "Husband," and his travel companion, an equally old Chinese woman we'll call "Wife.")

Wife: You baddah put on one jacket, (name indecipherable) w'en call and said was cold in Vegas. Like sixtay. You w'en bring um, o' what?

Husband: You t'ink me stupedd, o' what? A-course I w'en bring one jacket. Stay in my carray-on bag. I know stay cold in Vegas.

Wife: She said stay inna sixtays so you baddah wear um, 'kay? (Louder) SIXTAYS!

Husband: I know dat! Stay inna sixtays. I know dat! I get my jacket and shoes in my carray-on, okay?

Wife: Well, you baddah, 'cause she said was inna sixtays.

(I couldn't stand it. I looked up the current temperature on my iPad – it was 51° going down to a low of 39° in Las Vegas – and showed the screen to them. They gasped at how cold it was, and continued their conversation.)

Wife: You baddah put on one jacket, da guy said stay cold in Vegas. Like feeftay.

Husband: Lee-me 'lone. I know stay cold! I get my jacket and shoes!

Wife: You baddah! Going down to turday.

(I went back to my seat, shaking my head and vowing to mind my own business from then on. Old Hawaii locals crack me up.)

Wednesday, December 17, 2014

King Street Bike Lane Revisited

Remember when I posted this picture on Nov. 25th and said I sure hoped I'd see a lot of bikers using the new bike lane?

I saw a couple recently. One 'way down the way during the afternoon rush hour traffic, and one crossing in front of me at a stop light as we were going to a local restaurant to have dinner. And that last one continued riding on the sidewalk, not the bike lane; but I'll count him anyway.

Yippee. That's $100,000 (what it cost), divided by 2. So far, $50,000 per biker in my eyes.

Like I said back then, a whole lotta bikers have to use the grand experiment for it to be successful.

Monday, December 15, 2014

Phone Pix 36: Slightly Early Christmas

Last Christmas, I had to take the wife for an MRI at Kuakini Medical Center, and while I was waiting, I wandered into the Gift Shop, where I snapped a few phone-cam photographs of their Christmas stuff on sale.

It was a bit early for the Yuletide items to be out - Dec. 2, 2013 - but as you can figure out, there's a reason for that. And I'm not talking about copying what's going on in the commercial world.

Here you are ... enjoy the season!

Christmas is only 10 days away!

Saturday, December 13, 2014

Advancements in Technology Can Confuse

About a week ago, the wife and I visited the Ala Moana Pacific Building to make reservations for a trip to Las Vegas at the Vacations Hawaii office.

It's been a while since I went there in person, and it was interesting and a bit exciting to see that the building had upgraded its elevator system.

Instead of just pressing the usual button and waiting to see which car arrived first, you now have to (1) pick your floor, and (2) wait for an assigned car to open for you.

That sounds simple enough, once you've read the instructions. I repeat ... ONCE YOU'VE READ THE INSTRUCTIONS. Well, I didn't read the instructions and got all confused, punching button images. Confused? You have to remember my brain is turning to much with old age.

Now ... what were we talking about? Oh yeah. Elevators.

Good thing there was someone there to tell me what to do.

Coming back down was another story. I knew what to do, so I poked the "1" image. The trouble is, I had to get off on the 7th floor and take the escalator down to the parking deck. The elevator stopped on the 7th floor and would go no farther. After I got out and walked around in circles in front of the elevator doors a few times, the wife recognized one of the stores and we found our way back to the car.

Ain't technology wonderful?

Thursday, December 11, 2014

De Nombreuses Ventes de Garage!

Loosely translated, "That's a helluva lotta yard sales!"

Check out all the homemade yard and garage sale signs posted on an overpass pillar near Honolulu International Airport.

It makes sense, actually, for them to be posted in that particular area. Just on the other side of the freeway from the airport is a big ol' military housing complex. And with the ever-constant rotations being inflicted on the military families, there's always a lot of movement in and out of the place.

I'm sure some of the families would rather hang around in Hawaii. Hopefully, none of them has been reassigned to the North Pole.

Tuesday, December 9, 2014

Where Hawaii Ranks 32

Thought you’d be interested in the first one, since it’s almost Christmas.

Costliest U.S. Cities to Celebrate Christmas (, 2014, website )
  1. Manhattan, New York, NY ($1,293.93)
  2. HILO, HI  ($1,172.02) (Honolulu, HI, is #10 at $1,037.62)
  3. Brooklyn, New York, NY ($1,120.99)
  4. Boston, MA ($1,104.88)
  5. Stamford, CT ($1,101.79) 
Warmest U.S. Tourist Destinations in December (Current Results, 2014)
  2. Everglades National Park, FL (82°F)
  3. Anaheim/Disneyland, CA (70°F)
  4. Yuma, AZ (69°F)
  5. Rio Grand Village, Big Bend Park, TX (71°F)
Lowest Gun Death Rates (Violence Policy Center, 2014)
  1. Rhode Island (3.14 per 100,000 residents)
  2. HAWAII (3.56)
  3. Massachusetts (3.84)
  4. New York (5.11) New Jersey (5.46)
  5. New Jersey (5.46)
Highest Justice Index: How Well Courts Serve Disadvantaged (National Center for Access to Justice, 2014)
  1. Washington, DC (80.9 score out of 100)
  2. Connecticut (73.4)
  3. HAWAII (69.9)
  4. Minnesota (69.4)
  5. New York (67.4)
Worst State for Business (CNBC, 2014)
Based on economy, infrastructure, workforce, quality of life, technology and innovation, business friendliness, education, cost of living, and access to capital
  1. Rhode Island
  3. West Virginia
  4. Alaska
  5. Connecticut

Sunday, December 7, 2014

Random Musings 25

What does one do when one wants a 10-gallon hat but has an 11-gallon head?

* * * * *

If one has only so many meals left in life, shouldn’t one enjoy each meal and try not to fall behind?

* * * * *

When a dog sniffs a fire hydrant, tree, or telephone pole, is it checking its social media?

* * * * *

Those little voices in my head – could they be the fleas planning their next attack? Do you think I need to wash my hair again?

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Don’t you wish our lives had remote controls so we wouldn’t have to get up and do it ourselves?

Friday, December 5, 2014

Hilo Days: The Perfect Incentive

There are both upsides and downsides to being the son of a doctor. Most are upsides, but there is one downside in particular that I will never forget. From my former Hilo Days website, here's what I'm talking about.

Hilo Days: The Injections

Dad was a doctor. You already know that. It was okay. The family always got a lot of respect, and we got a lot of kids named after us.

But there was a down side. First of all, we could never fake sickness just to stay out of school. Dad knew all the tricks. Worst of all, Dad always had a supply of those dreaded hypodermic injections waiting in his ever-present black bag.

Our booster shots were always up-to-date – without fail. One good thing was we never had to leave the house and torture ourselves in a doctor's crowded waiting room, endlessly waiting for the inevitable words: "This won't hurt a bit."

I remember sitting down many times at the kitchen table at Obachan's house and being presented with some options:

  • "You're feeling sick? I'm going to have to give you an injection!" I went to school.
  • "You better listen to your mom, or I'm going to give you an injection!" I listened to Mom.
  • "You better eat your liver, or I'm going to give you an injection!" I ate my liver (but I hate it to this day).
  • "You better stop teasing your sister, or I'm going to give you two injections!" I was an angel.

You get the idea.

Wednesday, December 3, 2014

Opt In, Yes ... Opt Out, No

Recently, Oceanic Time Warner Cable sent me a "Mahalo" card offering me a gift for 12 months - a free subscription to their EPIX movie channel.

Normally, as a movie lover, I'd jump at the chance. I watched several movies during their initial free promotional period, but then didn't subscribe. Ah, but wait. As the saying goes, "Nothing is free." And sure as tooting, when you read the fine print on the back of the card carefully, you find this:
After promotional periods, regular rates will apply. You may cancel at anytime by calling 643-2337.
Their hope, of course, is either (1) I will be so hooked on the channel that I won't want to cancel, or (2) I will completely forget that I can cancel at any time. Either way, more revenue for them, not that there's anything wrong about that.

Personally, I don't like "opt-out" agreements. I'd rather be able to "opt-in," to make my own conscious choice when I decide to do something.

I have until Jan. 15, 2015 to make up my mind, but it's already made up.

Thank you very much, Oceanic, but I think I'll pass on this great offer.

Monday, December 1, 2014

Phone Pix 35: A Variety of Subjects

A lot of phone pictures that don't quite fit into a theme have accumulated in my miscellaneous folder this past year or so. It's time I started clearing out the file and share them with you.


Berth 35 Honolulu Waterfront, March 20, 2013, Honolulu, HI

Costco Caution Flag, Aug. 20, 2013, Honolulu, HI

Camaro Giveaway Prize, Red Rock Resort, Sept. 3, 2013, Las Vegas, NV

Encore Hotel Mini Bar, Sept. 4, 2013, Las Vegas, NV

'Sky Dancers' Sculpture by Aristides Demetrios, Pacific Commons
Sept. 21, 2013, Fremont, CA

Bodega Bay Wharf Gift Shop, Sept. 24, 2013, Bodega Bay, CA

Pueblo Story Tellers, Indian Gift Shop, Dec. 12, 2013, Las Vegas, NV

Gnarly Tree Trunk, May 15, 2014, Aiea, HI

Fry's Electronics Checkout, May 20, 2014, Las Vegas, NV

Palm, Honpa Hongwanji, July 24, 2014, Honolulu, HI