Tuesday, March 31, 2009

A Charlie Brown Moment

In the whimsical world of Peanuts, kites are always catching on trees. Like Lucy yanking the football away from Charlie before he can kick it, the object of wafty-breeze aeronautics is often a bane to the gang’s existence.

On our walk in Waterfront Park yesterday, I spotted this instance where reality paid a visit to comic-ville. And now there’s some kid and maybe a couple of parents who will always have something to remember about their day at the park on a windy day in March.

Nice panda kites, huh?

Monday, March 30, 2009

‘Gypsy’

I’m going to share with you some wandering thoughts about the Diamond Head Theater’s production of “Gypsy,” the story of Gypsy Rose Lee and her mother Rose.

First of all, it’s an okay production. Nothing really special about it, evidenced by the lack of a prolonged standing ovation by the audience when it was over, and the paucity of theater-goers who stayed behind to talk to the actors afterwards.

Almost everything before the intermission didn’t excite me, especially the vaudeville performances by the children, which went on and on, over and over again as the costumes changed and the children aged.

The three aging strippers early in the second half finally perked me up when they performed their bump and grind rendition of “You Gotta Get a Gimmick.” Mazeppa (Cathy Foy-Mahi) was excellent. I liked Candes Meijide Gentry as Louise, later to become Gypsy Rose Lee. Now that young woman has talent. More on these two later.

I thought that although Shari Lynn turned in a semi-powerful performance as Mama Rose, she just wasn’t quite able to grab onto me and pull me into the early acts.

The songs themselves are quite memorable, as a few of them have become standards. You remember "Everything's Coming Up Roses," "Let Me Entertain You," "Together Wherever We Go," and the Johnny Mathis hit, "Small World."

Back to the two I mentioned earlier: Cathy Foy-Mahi became Miss Hawaii the year I was Honolulu Jaycees president and our chapter sponsored the Miss Hawaii Pageant, so I got to know her a little. About 10 years ago, when Candes Meijide Gentry was Miss Hawaii, my client and I took her to the Big Island to visit and entertain at a long-term care hospital. She was younger then, and a lovely representative of our state.

Finally, a group of Red Hat Society women sat near us and had a ball. They alone were worth the price of admission.

Check this out:

The little monkey? That’s Heart-Throb Pinchy, my new pet.

Sunday, March 29, 2009

Rejoicing!

My love gave me her heart today;
It rested in my lasting touch
And filled my smile; I felt it weigh
Within my hand’s abiding clutch.
Luminescent scarlet glowed;
It sparkled, shimmered flecks of light,
A countenance at once bestowed
Mere symphony of thoughts so right.

My love gave me her heart today;
She gave it with conditions none.
I press it to my chest and pray
Iit will remain when day is done.
The heat it gives will warm my own
And banish all that interfere,
No longer she or I alone
Shall tread the paths that will appear.

My love gave me her heart today;
She touched her lips upon my cheek,
Her hand caressed, a warm display
Of kindness, caring so unique.
It’s endless, oh this joy I feel,
It leaps, it dances, and it sings!
My beaming smile cannot conceal
The happiness her gift it brings.

My love gave me her heart today …

I wrote this in 2003 when I was in a happy mood.

Friday, March 27, 2009

No Trains, No Planes … AUTOMOBILES!

The first thing I noticed when I walked into the annual FHB Auto Show at the convention center today was the new car smell – hundreds of new cars in the same place guarantees a glorious new-car smell greeting.

The second thing I noticed as I began walking around is how much most of the new cars look alike. No matter the maker, the sedans all look alike, the SUVs all look alike, the hybrids all look alike, and the sports cars all look alike.

There were Cooper Minis, of course, and Chevy HHLs. But no concept cars like the ones I saw at the last car show I attended in Anaheim about ten years ago.

I bypassed most of the tables with computers on them; all they want is your contact information in exchange for a little gift. Okay, I lied, I got a shopping bag from the Chevy people, and used it to carry some of the information I picked up.

Since I’m not really in the market for a new car, I didn’t spend a heck of a lot of time checking out the new models. Instead, I headed for the car club exhibits – antique cars for one, and Volkswagens for another.

The show runs through Sunday, but I’ve had enough and don't plan on going back. I took a few pictures, but here’s what really impressed me:

Antiques Galore!

Volkswagens Galore!

Tuesday, March 24, 2009

Rainbow Falls Birdie

I re-discovered this picture today. It was in a computer folder I had used to download my recent Kona-Hilo trip pictures into.

It’s a house finch, but it wasn’t in a house when I saw it. The little bird was sitting on a wall at Rainbow Falls, admiring the view just as we were. And it was nice enough to hold still so I could snap its pic.

Wanna see what the birdie and I were looking at? Here …

Monday, March 23, 2009

A Beautiful Day in Early Spring

It’s spring! And a group of fun kayaky sailboats were giving a little parade today at the edge of the Honolulu Yacht Harbor – a colorful visual interlude on a beautiful Hawaiian day.

Thankfully, my right heel finally felt good enough for us to resume our Monday walks. Today we did the Magic Island circle because it’s basically flat and there’s always a lot to see there.

Ala Moana Beach seemed quite empty, despite it being the start of spring break. You know what was lacking? Lots of tourists. Guess it’s a testament to how badly Waikiki (just down the street) is doing this year.

I enjoy discovering things on our walks. Remember the time I first spotted the common waxwings? Today I noticed a pair building a nest in one of the low trees. We watched them for a while, and I even took a phone pic or three that didn’t do their efforts justice (so I deleted the pix).

We also saw a flock of about 25 Java finches grazing for seeds on the lawn; they erupted in a flurry of feathers when we approached.

It’s spring! I can tell.

Friday, March 20, 2009

A Sweater is Sweeter

… especially today, March 20.

Today is “Won’t You Be My Neighbor” Day, honoring Fred Rogers (“Mr. Rogers’ Neighborhood”), on what would have been his 81st birthday.

Family Communications in Pittsburgh, which was created by Mr. Rogers, wants his birthday to become an annual community service tradition, and to encourage neighborly acts of kindness.

They’d like you to wear a sweater today. It’s chilly outside, so do it.

Thursday, March 19, 2009

A Beautiful Case of Boils

No, not THAT kind of boils … but rather, a stream phenomenon that LOOKS like boiling water in a pot – so much so, in fact, that they named the Hilo attraction “Boiling Pots.”

This was one of the sights that we visited during our recent trip to Hilo. The wife had never seen it, so I thought it a good time to show her a little bit of Hawaii’s wonders.

When it rains a lot, the river swells and the waters rush into huge depressions in the river bed, churning violently, giving the appearance of boiling water.

It’s pretty dangerous, and every year, one or more people drown when they fall into the water. It’s their own fault. The viewing area is high above the river and there are signs warning of the danger. Still, as you can see from the picture, people ignore or disregard the warnings and climb down for a close-up view.

If you haven’t seen it, I recommend you take a side trip there. The area is absolutely beautiful.

Just go up Waianuenue Street (on the way to Hilo Medical Center), and look for Peepee Falls Street. Yep, you read that right. But it’s not pronounced the way you think it is. It’s pronounced “peh-eh peh-eh.” Got that? Good. I’d hate to have you ask a local where you can find Peepee Falls; I’d hear the laughter all the way over in Honolulu.

Wednesday, March 18, 2009

That's One Beeeg Feeesh!

Not much more I can add about this picture. The fish is on display in the exhibition hall area of the King Kamehameha Kona Beach Hotel where we stayed for a night.

The hotel employee who saw me taking the picture stopped and commented, "Dat's one beeeg feeesh, no?"

Yeah! It is.

Tuesday, March 17, 2009

Historic Hawaiian Stones

This past weekend was spent on the Big Island of Hawaii – the wedding of a cousin’s son in Kona, and a revisiting of Hilo, my old hometown.

In addition to driving around to view my old schools, familiar neighborhoods, former houses I’ve lived in, and some of the natural attractions such as Rainbow Falls and Boiling Pots, I stopped at the Hilo Library to take some pictures of two historic Hawaiian stones that have been on display since before I was a barefooted kid in Hilo.

The stone on the left is the more famous of the two. The Naha Stone, which weighs a little more than three and a half tons (7,056 pounds to be exact), was used as a test of strength by royalty. According to ancient legends, anyone who could move the stone would be destined to conquer and unite the Hawaiian Islands.

A 14-year-old boy, who would later be known as King Kamehameha the Great, moved the stone and grew up to fulfill his destiny as king of the islands.

The smaller of the two is the Pinao Stone. It is thought to have guarded the entrance of ancient Pinao Temple, which once stood at the site of the Hilo Library.

I’ve never failed to be impressed at these monoliths. And no, try as I might, I have never been able to move the Naha Stone.

Friday, March 13, 2009

Annoying Little @#$%^ Kid

Two young mothers brought their kids to the horrific movie I saw today. "The Last House on the Left," originally directed in 1972 by horror master Wes Craven, and remade for today's audience, is a graphic horrid shocker, heavy in sexuality, torture and gore.


It's not a great movie by any means. But the most shocking thing is that the mothers would bring their children to see it. Unfortunately, they sat behind me.


One child was a babe-in-arms, so I guess it's "no harm, no foul," as far as that kid is concerned. But the other child was about 4 years old and as restless as cat on a hot tin roof.


The kid babbled on and on during the movie, the mom repositioned his stroller often, bumping the back of my chair, pulling her son back into her lap and whispering, "Shhhh shhhh."


Now, I'm a pretty tolerant guy, but about 15 minutes into the movie, when the kid tossed his plastic milk bottle up in the air and it hit my foot, I'd had enough.


I stood up, turned around, grunted out a "Jeez, lady," and changed my seat.


"Sorry, sorry, I'm so sorry" ... yeah, right.

Thursday, March 12, 2009

I'm a Twit!

... or whatever you call people who send quickie messages (tweets) on Twitter.

It's an interesting concept, sending short 140-character-max messages to whomever is interested in you, answering the age-old question, "Wazzup?" (or rather, "What are you doing now?")

I've heard so much about this phenomenon and its explosive exponential growth and am curious. What I'm really curious about is how the Twitter people are going to make money on this thing.

So ... tweet me! I'm "@LeftFieldWander" and if you're not a member, you can join up free at Twitter.com.

Tuesday, March 10, 2009

But Would Kisses Taste Better?

I saw a little “green” segment on TV this morning that said something like this: “If one in five lipstick wearers switched to plant-based lip color, annual petroleum consumption would decrease by more than 825,000 pounds.”

That’s a lotta grease!

Hmmmm, I love the taste of corn. I wonder if they could make corn-flavored lipstick using natural ingredients?

Yum!

Sunday, March 8, 2009

My Summer Mist

How gentle doth she kiss my cheek and moisten to the touch,
Creeping close to filter through and rest on forest floor.
She whispers with a touch of silk, beyond my eager ears,
A song of love sought long ago with questions to explore.

With shuffling and slackened pace, I feel my summer mist
Reflect the light from higher up to bring her beauty nigh.
She reaches out and kisses me until she feels me quiver,
Then touches fingertips of love upon my sleepy eyes.

A rainbow arcs across the branch to herald her approach
I lift my face to welcome her, inviting warmth of kiss.
Embracing thought, emotions deep, there is no other one
Refreshing thirst, reliving life – my lovely summer mist.

I wrote this poem in March 2006 on a chilly and rainy day, and experimented with rhyming just the second and fourth lines of each stanza.

Friday, March 6, 2009

What is Going On in the World?

So you go to this Hong Kong restaurant, and you sit on a toilet seat. Your table has a glass top with a sink under it. Your meal is served in a mini-toilet bowl. Your drinks come in a plastic “take it home with you” urinal. And your dessert arrives in a squat toilet bowl.

It’s not a nightmare, it’s not a joke. It’s the Modern Toilet restaurant that’s spreading into China and other Asian countries. Rather appropriate in China, however. It seems the Chinese invented the toilet during the Western Han Dynasty.

Poop-shaped lights, and curry served on toilet-shaped plates? Ewwwwwwwwww. There’s more to this story, but I think I’ll stop right here. I seem to have lost my appetite.

I kid you not.

Thursday, March 5, 2009

Maybe It Just Wanted a Change of Scenery?

I saw this on HLN this morning and just HAD to find out more details *shudder* …

Gordon and Ilda Parratt got the scare of their lives yesterday when a they found a hitchhiker in their car. The Parratts were driving through Kruger National Park in South Africa when he felt a insect on his leg. When he leaned down to brush it away he saw a Mozambique Spitting Cobra staring back up at him.

He didn’t panic but told his wife that they had a passenger in the car. Ilda took one look and put her feet up on the dashboard. Cool as a cucumber, Gordon continued driving, eventually reaching a reptile park. They emptied the car but couldn’t find the snake.

The staff told them to leave the car and find another way home. No way, he told them, so the Parratts accepted some stretch plaster that they could use as a tourniquet in case the snake bit one of them and continued on their way.

Several times during the drive, the snake reappeared and wound itself around Gordon’s leg. Each time the snake appeared, it was not convenient to stop as they were on an expressway. And when they did manage to stop, the snake would disappear.

Eventually they were able to inquire about a snake expert, found Hein Geldenhuys, and drove to his house. Geldenhuys searched for, found and safely removed the snake, which began spitting venom all over the place.

The expert, of course, was more concerned about the condition of the snake (an “oom”) than he was about the Parratts.

I kid you not.

Wednesday, March 4, 2009

So Much for Sentimentality

If you’re not going to play by the rules, don’t carry evidence against you in your luggage.

During a routine questioning at Manchester Airport, a 40-year-old Mexican chef told London airport officials that he was visiting Britain to see a friend who was opening a restaurant in the area, and that he would only be staying a few days.

Unfortunately for him, the routine procedure also called for a luggage inspection where officials found a card from his church wishing him luck in his “new life” in the United Kingdom. Upon further questioning, he told them he was going to work there illegally and if he liked it there, was going to bring his family there from America.

Busted!

My question is, why does Mexican NATIONAL who’s living in America (legally, I hope) want to enter England illegally? Why doesn't he go through proper channels?

Monday, March 2, 2009

Same Ol' Same Ol'

Well, I survived another outing at the Pagoda Floating Restaurant in Honolulu.


This time, it was to celebrate the birthdays of my two brothers-in-law and my mother-in-law, whose birthdays fall within the first four days of March.


The family went ahead to be seated while I parked the car and when I went in to find them, I had to shake my head in "here we go again" fashion.


The buffet items were exactly the same as the last time we'd been there. Exactly.


And, the family was seated at the exact same table we dined at the last time we were there. Exactly.


Finally, the food tasted the same as it always does. Exactly.


Same ol', same ol'. Jeez!