Friday, July 31, 2009

UH Football Coach’s Homophobic Slur

Greg McMackin, the University of Hawaii Warrior football coach who succeeded June Jones, is waking up every morning with a serious taste of toejam in his mouth.

Coach McMackin unthinkingly used the podium at the Western Athletic Conference’s football media preview to describe the University of Notre Dame’s pre-game dance as “this little faggot dance.” Then to make things worse, he tried to backtrack, uttering the pejorative twice more as he implored the journalists in attendance not to use that quote.

As a former journalist myself, I can tell you that the worst thing ever tell a journalist is not to use something. That almost always guarantees your quote will be used.

And used, it was. And rightly so. Anytime a public person (especially one who is the highest-paid public worker in the State of Hawaii) utters something stupid, it can be considered fair game.

Many are defending Coach McMackin, basically saying he is the salt of the Earth and they are surprised to hear the word come out of his mouth. But like others who are weighing in on the issue, I am less forgiving. Whenever someone commits such an egregious faux pas, he may not be overtly prejudiced, but certainly the bias lingers deep within him.

I sympathize with him. But, I fear his days as a football coach at the University of Hawaii are numbered. As they should be.

Lesson to be learned by anyone who says anything in public: Put your brain in gear before putting your mouth in motion.

Thursday, July 30, 2009

Warehouse 13

"Warehouse 13" is a new Tuesday night series on Syfy (formerly the SciFi Channel), that's caught my fancy.

The premise is simple. There is an underground warehouse in the desert where the US Secret Service stores all kinds of trouble-making artifacts (the paranormal kind of trouble). Remember the huge warehouse at the end of “Indiana Jones and the Lost Ark”? Warehouse 13 apparently is THAT warehouse – a much, much larger version of that one, however.

It's tended over by a scruffy agent named "Artie," whose boss is a gruffly stern lady named "Mrs. Frederick"). Artie sends agents Pete and Myka to various places when he detects these activity patterns.

Pete (Eddie McClintock) and Myka (Joanne Kelly) are a hoot of a team. He's got the temperament of a kid but can piece things together amazingly, she's a control freak and compulsive personality. They operate in a somewhat unorthodox manner, and were pulled off their regular jobs protecting the President. Together they are an impressive team who can figure almost anything out. They occasionally manage to subtly display quite a range of facial expressions that have me falling off the chair with laughter.

You should see the warehouse. It's acres of underground space filled to the brim with stuff. Artie (Saul Rubineck) knows where everything is, the history of everything in there, and what the artifacts do.

If you’re a sci-fi fan (or not), you should check it out. Good entertainment. Good, good entertainment. Previous episodes can be viewed at Or you can wait until they have a Warehouse 13 marathon. But I wouldn’t wait if I were you.

Wednesday, July 29, 2009

Ye-e-ellow Bird, Up High in ...

It’s not the “yellow bird” made famous by the song of the same name, popularized in Hawaii and beyond by Arthur Lyman. That was a yellow macaw from Jamaica.

During our visit to the Waikiki Natatorium yesterday, I wandered away from the wife to snap a Pinchy picture at the monument honoring the 101 soldiers from Hawaii who were killed in World War I. As I returned to her, she waved frantically to me and pointed up into the tree.

There it was – the yellow bird in the picture above. Neither of us had ever seen one like it and it was so darned cooperative, no more than two feet away from my camera, allowing me to snap that close-up.

The occasion reminded me of the time I saw a Common Wax-Eye for the first time at Magic Island (posted a while back), and had to ask for help in identifying it. I got lucky this time, after only 5 minutes of Googling when I got home.

It’s a Yellow-Fronted Canary. A canary? Who knew! Its scientific name is Serinus mozambicus. It’s a member of the finch family, introduced to Oahu around 1964, and has been established on Oahu, particularly in Waikiki at Kapi'olani Park (right across the street from where we were).

How ‘bout that!

Tuesday, July 28, 2009

You Said What?

Here’s something interesting about how Hawaii speaks, and how you can pick out Hawaii people in a crowd. Long-time local residents (okay, okay, OLD people) often transpose words in familiar phrases.

When I was growing up in Hilo, we kids bought a lot of shaved ice at neighborhood mom and pop stores. Y’know, sno-cones. We’d run into the store, pull out our nickel, and ask for an “ice shave” instead of “shaved ice.” We all did it. And the older generation still does.

When I’m in Las Vegas, I often have breakfast at the California Hotel’s Market Street Café counter. A lot of Hawaii residents stay at the Cal because of their terrific marketing in Hawaii. You can pick them out in a flash when they order eggs for breakfast. They will ask for “easy over” instead of “over easy.”

Oh, oh … and the Guinness Book of World Records? Over here it’s often called the “Guinness World Book of Records.”

I don’t know exactly what causes this. Maybe living in paradise promotes “word dyslexia”?

Monday, July 27, 2009

The World’s Longest Yard Sale

You say you feel like rummaging through other people’s castoffs? You say you’re dying to take a road trip this summer? You say you’re available on Aug. 6-9?

Well have I got just what you’re looking for – The 22nd annual 127 Corridor Sale.

Also known as the World’s Longest Yard Sale, it stretches northward through five states from Gadsden, Alabama, to West Unity, Ohio. It’s 654 miles long, to be exact, following the route of US 127. Your jumping-off point can be Noccalula Falls Park in Gadsden, Alabama, for a south-to-north trek, or just north of West Unity, Ohio (near the Michigan border) for a north-south expedition.

Here’s your chance to fill your trunk or rental trailer with used (and new) “anythings” from more than 4,000 participating vendors. And while you’re at it, you might as well enjoy the hundreds of tourist attractions and eateries along the way, such as:

Alabama: Lookout Mountain, Noccalula Falls Historic Gorge Trail, Little River Canyon Natural Preserve, DeSoto State Park, ancient trails, botanic gardens and camping.

Georgia: Randy’s Restaurant, Cloudland Canyon State Park, waterfalls and hiking.

Tennessee: Chattanooga (the choo choo!), Lookout Mountain, Rock City, the Johnson family dairy farm with its Cookie Jar Café, Pickett State Park, biking, paddling, and fishing.

Kentucky: Melton’s Deli, Burke’s Bakery, Buffalo Trace Distillery, and a selection of bourbon at Capital Cellars.

Ohio: Independence Dam State Park, barbecue ribs at Scotty’s Club, and the antique bar at Kissner’s Restaurant.

You’ll probably want to drive a big car. You’ll need plenty of room to transport all the antiques, knickknacks and whatevers that you buy. Bring sunscreen and sunglasses (it’s summer in the deep south). Bring toilet paper (you may have to rely on park facilities and that’s always chancy). Get up early and be on the road early in the day so you can visit as many vendors as possible. Bring cash or stop at ATMs along the way.

Finally, book your hotel/motel rooms NOW. They fill up quickly. After all, this IS a huge event.

For more information:

Ready? Caravan HO-O-O-O-O!

Sunday, July 26, 2009

Ahhh … The Inventiveness of Youth!

Every so often, you are introduced to something new – something you never thought of before in your life.

Today, 8-year-old Jeff, a visitor to our fair state from San Jose, showed me a creation he’d put together for dessert at the Pagoda Floating Restaurant Sunday buffet.

Are you ready for this? It’s a Portuguese sausage sundae. A slice of spicy local Hawaiian breakfast sausage nestled nicely into a cup of soft iced milk and chocolate sauce.

Never saw THAT before in my life. And I doubt that I ever will again. But hey, I remember a guy who ate his ice cream with ketchup. To each his own, I always say.

Saturday, July 25, 2009

It Was a Biggie Bug Day

I’d been meaning to drive over to Pearlridge Shopping Center and check out the animated giant bug display in the uptown and downtown malls, and yesterday was the day. The wife and I piled into the car and moseyed on over there to gander a peek.

I have to say I was impressed with the displays; Pinchy was impressed, and Diana tolerated my enthusiasm, primarily because I think she just wanted to get out of the house. No matter … I had a good time.

Whenever I take Pinchy photos, I get a mixed reaction. Most of the time, people either just ignore me, or don’t notice. Once in a while, someone gets a kick out of it. Yesterday, I had kids staring at me throughout the excursion. I could just imagine them telling their moms afterwards: “Get me one of those furry little monkeys that sit on the finger, Mommy … please? Please? Please?”

I’ll be running more of the giant insect pictures on Pinchy’s website in the days to come. In fact, there’s one there already.

So … mission accomplished. But y’know, I understand there’s a similar display over at the Bishop Museum. I wonder if wifey would like to accompany me on THAT little safari? I know Pinchy would … in a heartbeat.

Thursday, July 23, 2009

The Big Dark Moth

There was a note on the living room TV set this morning: “Diana, call mother.” What my mother-in-law wanted to tell my wife was that there was a big moth in my brother-in-law’s room, and could she please get rid of it.

Naturally, being the ‘faidy cat that she is, my wife headed upstairs with a broom and a dustpan, with the intention of sweeping/chasing the moth through the house to an open lanai door, where hopefully it would fly out.

Knowing that she would be upstairs forever, I walked up, saw the moth on the wall, reached for it and gently caught it in my hand. I took it to the lanai and released it. Now what was so hard about THAT? Quick action, problem solved.

We have several of these moths around the house, mostly hanging out in the dark garage. They can be quite startling when they are disturbed and inadvertently head straight for your face. But of course, we all know they are harmless.

This particular species is commonly called a “Black Witch” (Ascalapha odorata), a bat-like moth in the family Noctuidae. In some Latin American countries, they are regarded as harbingers of death. In Hawaii, they are so far reported only on Oahu. Black Witches can attain a wing span of up to 6.5 inches, about the size of ours.

On closer inspection, the moth’s wing markings were spectacular. What a beautiful way to start the day.

Wednesday, July 22, 2009

Talk About a Screw-Up

How’d you like to go in for a routine laparoscopic gall bladder surgery and end up losing both your legs? That’s what happened in California earlier this month.

Airman First Class Colton Read went in for the surgery at Travis Air Force Base’s David Grant Medical Center, expecting to get in, get it done, and get out.

No such luck. Things went terribly wrong. During the July 9 procedure, the doctors hit an aorta that carries blood from the heart to other parts of the body. They tried to fix it, but Airman Read’s circulation was severely impaired.

They rushed him to UC Davis Medical Center in Sacramento where they had to amputate his legs. Since then, he’s gone through ten surgeries. Authorities are investigating the case.

And you know what? He still hasn’t had his gall bladder removed.

Tuesday, July 21, 2009

Germiest Tourist Attractions

You know how Americans have a propensity to create lists? Well here’s one for you, if you’re planning to travel this summer.

Where are the “germiest” tourist attractions in the world? TripAdvisor just published a list. The Top 5:

· St. Mark’s Square, Venice, Italy: Pigeons, pigeons, pigeons.
· Blarney Stone, Blarney, Ireland: More than 400,000 kissed the stone last year.
· Market Theater Gum Wall, Seattle, Washington: Millions of multi-colored old chewing gum, several inches thick, 15 feet high.
· Grauman’s Chinese Theater, Hollywood, California. Stars’ hand and foot impressions touched by 4.5 million people a year.
· Oscar Wilde’s Tomb, Paris, France: Lipstick marks from worldwide tourists honoring his literary genius.

If you visit these places and want to indulge, make sure you brush your teeth, bring sanitizers, wash your hands, and spray Lysol on yourself afterwards.

I kid you not.

Monday, July 20, 2009

A Mega-Dose of Beauty

Have you watched CNN’s Headline News lately during Hawaii’s morning hours? If you can honestly say “Yes,” then you haven’t really. It’s not called Headline News any longer. They call themselves “HLN.” Acronyms rule, after all.

But that’s not what I wanted to talk about today. Today, I just want to mention some of HNL’s beautiful women.

If I am up after midnight, I watch “Morning Express” with Robin Meade. She’s one of the beautiful female anchors who grace the airwaves (I mean, “cable wires”) in the morning.

I watched her from midnight to 12:30 this morning before falling asleep. Then when I woke up, another beauty – Susan Hendricks – was filling in for the beautiful anchor Christie Paul.

Did I miss Christie today? Nope, she came on next, filling in for Chuck Roberts.

The regular rotation seems to be Christie Paul, followed by Chuck Roberts, and back to Christie Paul. Susan Hendricks anchors weekend news. If either Christie or Chuck is off, Susan jumps in. Apparently Chuck was off today, so Christie took his slot, and Susan filled in for her.

Once in a while, Richelle Carey substitutes. She’s also a nice one to wake up to.

The good-looking Jennifer Westhoven presents the money/financial picture on Morning Express. I started paying more attention to money matters when she started.

And finally, the beautiful Carrie Lee used to do money news during Christie Paul’s and Chuck Robert’s newscasts, but she doesn’t come on any longer (I wonder why?).

Some days, waking up in the morning can be so delightful.

Sunday, July 19, 2009

Dancing Behind the Moon

I don’t quite remember who first told me about this, but it has always stuck with me. And, I eventually took some creative license and embellished it a little, for the sake of making it a bit more interesting. It never fails to touch hearts and elicit comments when I tell the story at a funeral or memorial.

There is a legend, it is said, that sometimes when loved ones pass on, they don’t necessarily ascend to heaven immediately. Instead, they pause to join with others behind the moon. The others are those who also recently passed away, but the group might include their loved ones who have left the earth ahead of them.

Those who were musicians on earth pick up their instruments and provide some heavenly music, inspiring a rhythm that starts feet tapping, heads bobbing, and fingers snapping. Before you know it, everyone becomes an instant friend and begins dancing.

These “moon dances” are more likely to occur during summer nights when there is a full moon in the sky. The air is sultry and warm, the intoxicating scent of flowers fills the air, the twinkling of fireflies rivals the twinkling of the stars, and clouds meander over the face of the moon. If you listen carefully, you can hear the music and the laughter barely audible in the night air, revealing themselves between the whishing of the night wind through the leaves.

And should you peer at the moon, you might discern movement along its perimeter. The phenomenon just might lead one to surmise that it’s the silhouettes of the recently deceased, who are dancing to their hearts’ content until such time as they are called for their final ascent through the pearly gates.

So … know this … that on a warm summer’s night, when the air is heavy with mist, when the cloying aroma of gardenias or magnolias invades your senses, and you hear music from the heavens and the sound of happy voices, it’s nothing to be concerned about or feared as unknown. Rather, you should smile, for it is an occasion to be happy and grateful.

It’s just your loved ones and their friends … dancing behind the moon.

Saturday, July 18, 2009

Kaimuki Orchid Society 2009

I missed out on a chance to see orchids on display by the Ewa Orchid Club last week because I had already committed to set up at our stamp-coin dealers’ monthly bourse on Saturday.

So I was particularly pleased that the Kaimuki Orchid Society had scheduled THEIR show for this weekend. The original plan was for the wife and me to head on over the Kalani High School on Friday after we’d done our Costco shopping, but it was so hot and by the time we got home, we were both pooped out.

This morning dawned nice and cool, with a bit of a drizzle (at the cusp of Manoa Valley, we call it “Manoa Mist”), promising a nice day in store for us.

We headed out a little early so we could have breakfast. I tried to find a new place to have breakfast in the East Honolulu area, but to no avail, so we went to Zippy’s near Kahala Mall, which sufficed.

After breakfast, we were only a hop, skip and a jump from Kalani High – a most convenient and pleasant surprise.

We got there after the show had been opened for a couple of hours and parking was at a premium. Luckily, someone pulled out just as I had dropped the wife near the entrance so she wouldn’t have to walk far with me if I had to park at a distance. The space I chanced on was only a hundred feet or so from the entrance.

This orchid show reminded me of stamp shows – exhibits in the middle, surrounded by vendors on all sides, all of whom seemed to be doing brisk business. At one end of the gymnasium was a display of bonsai trees being exhibited by the Rainbow Bonsai Club.

I took a few dozen pictures of some of the most unusual and beautiful orchids I’ve ever seen. Here are a few:

The show continues on Sunday. It apparently is a labor of family love – the Kobayashi family. Ralph is chairman, Grace is secretary, Amie is cashier, and Jason is the photographer. Ralph also was vendor contact, Grace was in charge of information, hosts and hostesses, and both Ralph and Grace chaired the workshops and educational displays.

I like that.

Friday, July 17, 2009

Uncle’s Fish Market & Grill

The wife and I had lunch today at Uncle's, located at Pier 38 in Honolulu. You can get there by heading Ewa on Nimitz, then instead of turning right on Alakawa to get to Costco, turn left.

I was hoping to write the place up in my “A Place for My Taste” blog, but it doesn’t meet the criterion of having table service. You have to step to the counter, order your food, and wait for them to page you so you can pick it up and take it to your table.

Consequently, I thought I’d write about Uncle’s here, since I didn’t want to waste a nice picture I took of the interior. And that’s too bad, actually, because the food is pretty good.

The place is total “oceanarium” without the actual water and real fish swimming around. They have a couple of flat screens that were showing dvds of ocean fishing. Uncle’s features bar entertainment on weekends. They have varied hours, closing early on week nights and later on the weekends. They do NOT stay open until the wee hours of the morning.

Apparently, a lot of people know about Uncle’s because it was busy during lunch today.

They have the usual fish and chips, fish tacos, fish sandwiches, seafood salads, chowder, raw oysters, poke, and a number of fresh fish entrées – Ahi belly, Atlantic salmon, mahimahi, opakapaka, plus scallops, steak and lobsters. Pasta? Yep – seafood pasta, and clams linguini.

I had a “Big Uncle’s Combo Fish and Chips,” which featured shrimp, calamari, and ono (wahoo, or bonefish), with french fries and cole slaw. They provided both tartar sauce and cocktail sauce with the basket. The food was very good, particularly the large strips of tender, flavorful calamari.

The wife stole some of my food, and also ordered Manhattan seafood chowder for herself. I sampled the soup but didn’t care for it – it tasted good, but it wasn’t chowder. It was more like a minestrone vegetable soup with chunks of fish in it. Tasty, but not chowder.

I did see lobster tacos on the menu. Maybe I’ll try that, should we go back. I think we’ll go back. Yep, I think we will.

(P.S. You can call or fax ahead and they’ll have your order ready for pickup when you get there.)

Uncle’s Fish Market & Grill: 1135 N. Nimitz Hwy. at Pier 38. (808) 275-0063.

Thursday, July 16, 2009

Not San Fran Prisco, Silly

“Oh look,” the wife said as she gazed out to sea during our most recent walk at Waterfront Park. “Does it say ‘Frisco’ on the side of that ship?"

The ship was so far out that I couldn’t make out the word. So I took a high-res pic with my digital camera and magnified the preview image in-camera. The word on the side of the ship was “Prisco.”

“Aha,” I said jokingly, “somebody misspelled ‘Frisco’!” Silly me.

I googled “Prisco ship Hawaii” when I got home, and discovered that the ship is a medium-sized tanker built by Hyundai Heavy Industries for the Primorsk Shipping Corporation, and is being used to transport oil to the islands.

It’s under a three-year lease to Tesoro, and made its first call to Hawaii in February 2008.

The things you learn just by looking out to sea during a Monday walk in the park with your wife.

Wednesday, July 15, 2009

A Woozy Glass of Water

When I was in Las Vegas about a month ago, we had dinner at Ming’s Garden in Harrah’s Hotel & Casino. Before our appetizers were served, the waiter brought us a couple of glasses of water.

I almost leaned over too much to the left and nearly fell off my chair. My elbow slipped off the table, and my eyes were rolling around in their sockets.

You see, my glass of water was completely out of perpendicular. It was warped. I mean SERIOUSLY warped.

After a while, when I got used to the idea of my warped glass of water, I began thinking it was pretty cool. After all, how many people can say their water bowed to them?

Have you ever seen anything like it?

Tuesday, July 14, 2009

Didn’t I Tell You?

Two days ago I heaped praise upon the Halekulani for the magnificent job they did with my niece’s wedding on Sunday, as well as my son’s wedding reception last year.

As if on cue, Travel + Leisure today announced that its readers had selected the Halekulani the #1 resort in Hawaii, in its 14th annual World’s Best Awards readers’ survey.

Congratulations to the Halekulani. The #1 ranking will be featured in the magazine’s August issue, due out on the stands next week, on Friday, July 24.

Didn’t I tell you they were tops?

Monday, July 13, 2009

‘Chopsticks’ in London?

If you are visiting London soon and are a bit of a piano artist, you might look for one of the 30 pianos being installed in and around the streets of London.

Piano companies are providing the instruments to “Sing London,” and they afford a place for piano players to take a seat and plink away to their hearts’ content.

Visiting the mayor’s office at London’s City Hall? You can whack out a tune on a Baldwin upright marked with the logo, “Play Me, I’m Yours.”

Ever have the desire to give a concert in Leicester Square? Or how ‘bout a recital near the Bank of England? There’s one for you to play at both locations. Impromptu play is encouraged, and more-accomplished pianists are invited to showcase performances at the other 27 sited.

And if you’re not sure what you want to play, a songbook is attached to each piano.

So … practice your “Chopsticks” and I’ll see you in London!

Sunday, July 12, 2009

Hats Off to the Halekulani

The family gathered today for the wedding of my niece Lori Ann and her fiancé William at the Halekulani Hotel.

What a beautiful setting for a wedding. You may recall that my #2 son Carleton and his wife Betty had their wedding reception there last year, and that the family gathered there for my retirement luncheon a few years ago.

The Halekulani never fails to impress me with its professional and detail-oriented staff, exemplary ambiance, and splendid food. When the subject of selecting a Sunday buffet comes up, I'm the first to suggest the Halekulani. I have never been disappointed at any function I’ve attended at this magnificent hotel.

They did another terrific job today. Just thought I’d let you know that.

Hats off to the Halekulani!

Friday, July 10, 2009

Dip Your Skinnies

If you have nothing to do tomorrow (Saturday, July 11, 2009), have I got a suggestion for you.

You can become part of a record-breaking crowd aspiring to set a Guinness World Record for the largest number of people who go swimming wearing nothing but the clothes Mother Nature provided them when they were born.

Skinny dipping!

Approximately 240 clubs in the US that are registered with the American Association for Nude Recreation will be participating, and are encouraging people to drop on by at 12 noon local in each time zone, leave their inhibitions at the door and their clothes in the locker room, and take the plunge with them.

Good thing it wasn’t scheduled in the winter. No previous experience is required, and by the way, you need to bring a photo ID.

Interested? Call the American Association for Nude Recreation at … get this … 1-800-TRY-NUDE.

I kid you not!

Thursday, July 9, 2009

Curds and … Why?

Sometimes I can feel a tummy-hungry rumble in the mid-afternoon. Yesterday was one of those days when I felt like a bowl of raisin bran cereal. Raisin bran is great – lots of fiber, natural sweetness, nutritious and filling.

I had just one medium-sized serving left in the cereal box, so I transferred that precious stuff to a bowl and dove into the fridge for some soy milk. I found a carton of Silk soy milk that I’d bought a week or so ago, opened the spout and gave it a whiff.

Ewwwww! It smelled bad, so I dumped it down the drain, clumps and all.

Then I remembered I had bought a hermetically sealed plastic bottle of Mrs. Chang’s soy milk. Surely it must still be okay, despite it being bought several weeks ago. The plastic cap was terribly tight and difficult to open, but I finally perservered.

Ewwwww! The liquid had turned to … tofu! I recapped it and tossed it in the rubbish.

I was running out of options here. Digging around in the fridge, I saw two cartons of skim milk. I HATE skim milk, but I was hungry and wanted my raisin bran.

The first carton was already open and had an expiration date of July 7, so I spread open the spout and took a whiff.

Ewwwww! It smelled like someone had dropped a cup of vinegar in there. Down the drain it went.

Three strikes and you’re out, right? Nope. I had one more chance. The other carton of skim milk (did I mention that I hate skim milk?) had an expiry date of July 18, so I figured that was safe, and poured the milk into my bowl.

Cottage cheese curds tumbled out, contaminating my bowl of raisin bran with a smelly transparent light-blue liquid.


I gave up, dumped the whole thing into the garbage disposal, and got myself an apple instead. I should have done that in the first place, but I really wanted a bowl of raisin bran!

Wednesday, July 8, 2009

Spam Hotdogs

Spam hotdogs? SPAM HOTDOGS!? What the heck are those?

They’re Spam, that wonderful Hormel pork product all rolled up into hotdogs and residing innocently in your local supermarket deli case just waiting for you to take them home.

I came across these for the first time last Saturday while doing my grocery shopping for dinner (Saturday is the only time I cook dinner for the family and the Safeway jaunt is one of the highlights of my week … okay, okay, but just remember, I’m retired and have nothing better to do).

I had to try them. And you know what? They’re pretty good. Not real salty like Spam in the can, and not extra greasy as you’d expect. They have a nice, mild flavor that goes well with scrambled eggs.

They are on my “recommended list” now. But then again, remember that I’m the one who likes teriyaki beef tongue.

Tuesday, July 7, 2009

Some Morning Thoughts

It’s a little early in the morning for me to do much deep thinking, but here are a couple of thoughts that I just felt like sharing:

Too Much Michael Jackson

Enough, already. This morning, I turned on the TV, wanting to get my morning dose of the news. Instead, all I got was the Michael Jackson memorial – on 13 different stations, including the one with my favorite local morning news program.

As I’ve said before, no disrespect is intended but can we all just move on?

Fans Protest AC Milan’s Sale of Kaka

That’s an actual headline in this morning’s Honolulu Advertiser sports section. Not being a soccer aficionado, I thought it meant that Mr. A.C. Milan’s fans were furious at him for selling his doo doo.

The story itself cleared it up. Supporters of the professional soccer team AC Milan are angry that the club sold their star – Ricardo Izecson dos Santos Leite (nicknamed “Kaka”) – for $92 million, and tossed smoke bombs and fire crackers during the team’s first preseason training camp session.

I don’t know who Kaka is, but if I were him, I’d seriously consider changing my nickname.

Monday, July 6, 2009

Ever Have One of Those Mornings?

I had a doc’s appointment today at 9:15 a.m. Usually when I am aware of the appointment the next day, I can fall asleep fairly early and wake up early enough to at least check my emails before dressing for the appointment.

Last night, however, I started watching Season 7 of “24,” and got hooked. I couldn’t stop until I’d seen seven episodes, so I was up until after midnight, which normally wouldn’t be a problem.

This morning, I sleepily opened my eyes and checked the time. 8:45! I had to be at the doc’s office in a half hour so I only had time to brush my teeth and shave.

Usually, I like to lounge around in bed for an hour or so after awakening, and watch about 20 minutes of the Regis and Kelly morning show. That didn’t happen today, and that’s messed up my body clock.

I’m probably going to be drowsy for the rest of the day, and that’s not good because I have to watch more episodes of “24” without falling asleep. Guess I'll have to just see how it turns out.

Sunday, July 5, 2009

Prank Missile

We’ve all heard the saber-rattling that North Korea is doing and are rather concerned about the fact that their missile tests are sent in Hawaii’s general direction.

Well somebody did something about it, injecting a little levity into the situation and erecting a 20-foot tall fake missile on an Oahu North Shore beach. He didn’t do too bad a job of it. It’s a pretty nice piece of work.

And it’s no cardboard job either. That fake missile is made out of metal.

My only question is, did anybody check the slant and correlate it to a proper trajectory that would indicate that it could have come from the direction of Korea?

Now THAT would be something.

Saturday, July 4, 2009

Fireworks Celebration

Hawaii is a little different than the rest of the United States.

We do celebrate Independence Day with fireworks displays, and they are pretty spectacular. However, the big fireworks holiday here is New Year’s Eve, primarily because of the large Asian influence instilled by the 19th Century Japanese and Chinese immigrants.

Hawaii can be compared to a warzone on New Year’s Eve. The images we saw on television of the bombing of Baghdad at the onset of the Iraq war cannot come close to comparing what it was like when Hawaii welcomed in Y2K.

Still, the Fourth of July aerials launched from Ala Moana Beach Park are truly spectacular, especially when watched with the radio turned to the station that provides patriotic music synchronized to the “bombs bursting in air.”

Thursday, July 2, 2009

So Bad, But Entertaining

When I was nosing around T.J. Maxx in San Jose a couple of weeks ago, I came upon their bargain DVD rack, where I saw a set called the “SCI-FI Collection” containing two DVDs of black-and-white “classic” films. I bought it.

Volume 10 (somehow I never in my life have run across Volumes 1-9) contained two “classic” sci-fi movies – “Battle Beyond the Sun” and “Assignment: Outer Space.” Volume 11 contained two more “classics” – “Atom Age Vampire” and “The Atomic Brain.”

I actually had seen one of these before. I remember going to a theater in the ‘60s and watching “Battle Beyond the Sun.” It’s a Russian movie with dubbed-in English dialog. The space ship’s logo kind of shimmers, giving away the fact that they digitally replaced Cyrillic words with a non-Russian name.

The acting in all these was so bad that it was funny. Instead of becoming bored to tears (and no one would ever blame me for that), I found myself smiling and chuckling.

I won’t bore you with details on plots. Suffice to say that the screenwriters sure were reaching when they were writing the screenplays. Production-wise, the pacing was bad, the lighting was horrible, the editing left a lot to be desired, and the special effects were absolutely hilarious or non-existent.

You’ll notice I have been putting the word “classic” in quotes. That’s THEIR choice of words, not mine. Old, yes. Classic, no.

But y’know what? The entire set cost me only $3.99. I think I got at least triple my money’s worth of off-the-wall entertainment that I didn’t quite expect.

Sometimes, things just work out that way. (Hmmm, I wonder where I can find Volumes 1-9 …)

Wednesday, July 1, 2009

In Case You Didn’t Know

Just in case you didn’t know what was happening in the world today, here are a couple of tidbits I picked up this morning watching the news:

1. Maria Chapur is in hiding.
2. Debbie Rowe will get nothing.
3. Melissa Rycroft is engaged.

If you don’t recognize these names, join the club.

I guess the world will get along fine without me finding out more, and telling you about them.

Re, these three women, ask me if I care. Go on, ask me.