Tuesday, November 30, 2010

Slugging It Out

Hawaii imports most of its Christmas trees from the Pacific Northwest, primarily Washington and Oregon, and we start seeing them on sale right after Thanksgiving.
Although the cut trees are sealed tightly in refrigerated containers, there are still some little critters that so hanker for a holiday in Hawaii that they snitch a ride here.
Every once in a while the State agriculture inspectors find something that has them shivering in their rubber boots. Sometimes it’s yellow-jacket wasps, sometimes it’s spiders, sometimes it’s bugs. This year, it’s slugs.
Yes … S-L-U-G-S … those slimy homeless snails that leave wet-snot trails wherever they go.
As we speak, the inspectors are trying to identify the slug species. If they’re bad boys, then there are two options: Either tree-filled containers (and the trees) that they were found in will be re-sealed and shipped back from whence they came, or the each of the trees will have to be treated individually by the Department of Agriculture. Either option is going to be expensive for the wholesalers.
It’s amazing what a spot-check of one or two trees per opened container will find.

Monday, November 29, 2010

Something’s Just Not Right with George

Just got a new entry in the “Where’s George” $1 bill tracking report, and something’s a little fishy.
A new entry has been posted after San Jose, two days before he had turned up in Boulder, Colorado. The same user had possession of the bill at a different location, reporting it in Cherry Hill, New Jersey, and noting that “It was change, good condition.”
I last reported George had been found in Springfield, Illinois. Nine days later, he turned up in Osseo, Minnesota (comment: “I got the bill from my friend because he owed me some money”), and then four hours later was reported in Charlton, Massachusetts (comment: “I was walking down a street in Charlton [ Bond Road], I picked it up”).
What makes me suspicious are the comments. All begin with “I” and are written in the same style. And the bill has been found on the ground, at a bus stop, and under a windshield wiper. Perhaps someone is playing a game?
Stay tuned.

Sunday, November 28, 2010

Going from Bad to Worse

Football at the University of Southern California took a big hit this past summer when it was saddled with NCAA probation and various penalties that will continue to cripple the team for a few years to come.
We’ve been through times like this in the past, but have managed to get through the rough years and return to the glory days of old – winning PAC-10 championships, playing in national bowl games, and even winning a couple of national championships since I graduated from there.
Through it all, when the losses were piling up, we always looked to two games that would determine whether we’ve had a successful season or not, no matter how many losses we registered: Notre Dame and UCLA.
The Notre Dame game is the best known intersectional rivalry game in collegiate football. The first USC game I ever attended was in 1964, when USC upset the mighty Fighting Irish.
The UCLA game is the best cross-town college rivalry game in collegiate football. The winner owns Los Angeles for another year. Often, the PAC-10 championship (and recently, the BCS championship game) was on the line.
We lost to Notre Dame yesterday, 20-16. Our season has officially gone from bad to worse. And if we lose to UCLA on Saturday, we can officially consider the 2010 football season … horrible.
But we’re Trojans, so we … FIGHT ON!

Saturday, November 27, 2010

See You Lay-dah

I may have mentioned this before, but people of a certain demographic in Hawaii tend to emulate people from Massachusetts in their pronunciation of the suffix “er.”
“Er” becomes “ah.” As in “the-a-tah” (theater), except they’ll also pronounce the “th” as “d” and the “tah” as “dah” … say “tee-ay-dah”).
Maybe it’s their Japanese genes. It could be in the DNA. Japanese nationals have a difficult time rounding out the “ers” in when they speak English.
Our tour driver in Japan mentioned this to us when we visited the Mikimoto Pearls farm: “I cannot pronounce the name correctly in English. I say parl.”
I’ve noticed that locally too. But it’s not just the older Americans of Japanese ancestry; it’s the “locals” as well, generally of the lower socio-economic demographics.
I’m just saying.

Friday, November 26, 2010

Holiday Weight Gain

If you’re like me, you over-indulged during Thanksgiving lunch and dinner yesterday, will over-indulge at Christmas, over-indulge at New Years, and generally over-indulge during the breaks between the holidays.
Therefore, is the November through January period when we average people gain the most weight?
What would you guess is the average weight gain in America? Four pounds? Five pounds? Seven pounds? More?
Well now … according to the National Institute of Health (and with a department name like THAT, their word must be gospel, right?), the average American gains … ONE pound over the holidays.
Yep. One pound. Uno poundo. Sixteen ounces. Seize onces. Sedici once.
They’ve got all kinds of hints how not to gain that pound, but heck, only one pound this year? Considering how much I really thought I’d be gaining? One pound doesn’t sound so bad.
But wait! What if somebody doesn’t gain anything at all? What if TWO people don’t gain anything at all? Does that mean I’ll gain three pounds to keep the average at one pound?
What’s a fella to do? Just WHAT’S a fella to DO?

Thursday, November 25, 2010

Where Hawaii Ranks 2

Here are a few more lists that show where Hawaii ranks in various categories. The one that bothers me is the last one. We are … du-u-umb!
Lowest Rate of Gun Deaths (Violence Policy Center, 2007)
1.  HAWAII (2.82 per 100,000)
2.  Rhode Island (3.51)
3.  Massachusetts (3.63)
4.  Connecticut (4.27)
5.  New York (5.07)
Credit Card Debt, (Credit Karma, 2010)
1.  HAWAII ($9,296 per capita)
2.  Colorado ($9,177)
3.  Arkansas ($9,109)
4.  New Jersey ($8,916)
5.  Connecticut ($8,897)
Mortgage Debt (Credit Karma, 2010)
1.  California ($334,120)
2.  HAWAII ($314,721)
3.  Maryland ($241,136)
4.  New Jersey ($234,629)
5.  Washington ($228,925)
Decrease in Credit Card Debt (Credit Karma, 2010)
1.  Wisconsin (28%)
2.  HAWAII (13%)
3.  Idaho (13%)
4.  Nevada (12%)
5.  Oregon (11%)
Best Educated State (Morgan Quinto Press, 2007)
  1. Vermont (Index: 17.58)
  2. Connecticut (15.88)
  3. Massachusetts (14.48)
  4. New Jersey (12.55)
  5. Maine (9.33)
   42. HAWAII (-9.67)

Wednesday, November 24, 2010

Cat Nap Cat

The wife and I went into Chinatown yesterday to get some fruits and veggies for Thanksgiving lunch and dinner.
The first place we visited was Wing Cheong Produce Market. They didn’t have what she was looking for, but I found something interesting.
A cute little kitty cat was taking a nap among some of the displayed packages. According to the wife, she’s seen that cat there before, and each time she did, it was sleeping.
All the hubbub and bustle of the open street mall didn’t make any difference to the cat. It just snoozed and snoozed and snoozed. I was tempted to wake it up, but decided to let the cat nap its cat nap.
I had to use my cell phone camera … that’ll teach me to make sure I have my digital camera with me at all times.
Now I’m getting sleepy myself.

Tuesday, November 23, 2010

Ummm, Really?

It must be true. UPI news service said it is, so it must be true.
A bunch of Ashburton elementary school kids apparently flung a potato into the air and it went 17 miles into space before it finally fell to the earth.
Well, they didn’t actually throw it. According to Hilary Gibbard of Landscove Village Primary School in England, her students attached the pomme de terre to a weather balloon. Then they launched it in a soda bottle space capsule.
And that’s not all. Obviously getting into the Christmas season a bit early, the children dressed up the potato as Santa Claus. Imagine that … a Santa Spud.
The balloon popped about 19,000 feet high, and Mr. Santa Potato Head made a lengthy descent, landing 140 miles away in a … (and I find this a bit difficult to swallow) … Christmas tree farm. I wonder how mashed it was, or if it only suffered a few chips.
Anyway, that’s all the exciting news I could take yesterday.
Santa Spud indeed!

Monday, November 22, 2010

A Johnny Shock

See, there was this woman sitting on the throne when something happened that almost scared the crap out of her.
Right in the middle of doing her business, she looked up and saw … a clown. Yep, a clown. More precisely, a man wearing a clown mask and wielding a knife.
The 70-year-old Akron, Ohio, woman – Jacqueline Cutright – told police that the man, later identified as 20-year-old Cory Buckley, had entered her house through a basement window.
After their … er … unpleasant two-hour encounter, Buckley fled the scene with $28 in cash, about $1,000 in costume jewelry, and her Ford Escort. But as a crook (and a driver), Buckley stunk. He crashed the car and after crawling out a window, confessed what he had done.
According to Ms. Cutright, she “thought about doing ninja stuff to him,” but having second thoughts, just “sat there on the lid.” I think she should have stood up and let the toilet fumes overpower the guy.
I kid you not!

Sunday, November 21, 2010

At Close of Night

At Close of Night
By Craig Miyamoto, c. 2005

I talk with you at close of night
As Sandman beckons you,
It fills my heart with happiness
And pleasant deja vu.

The words are few, though meaningful,
They mostly come from me,
But in my heart I know you hear,
On this we shall agree.

I cannot emphasize enough
How having you appear,
Gives me unbridled happiness
To see my darling dear.

There is a glowing deep inside
That grows each passing day,
And brightens up considerably
Our togetherness bouquet.

You are the flower of my life,
You are my kitten sweet,
You are the dew of morning light,
My fairy love complete.

I gift to you my evening talk
Whenever I’m with you
For thee I love, my dearest one,
Our joy we doth renew.

(I don’t remember when I wrote this poem, but it must have been about five years ago, probably one day when I was a reflective mood.)

Saturday, November 20, 2010

That George Really Gets Around

I got another “Where’s George” $1 bill update yesterday, just four days after he was found at a bus stop in Boulder, Colorado. This time, he turned up in Springfield, Illinois.

According to the user’s note, “I was walking to my car from County Market and found it stuck under my windshield wiper. Someone must of (sic) put it there just for fun. LOL.”
The "Where's George" $1 Bill
So … George started out in Honolulu, Hawaii, and then turned up on the East Coast in Wilton, New Hampshire. His next stop was in Clendenin, West Virginia. He then moved westward, surfacing in Dayton, Ohio, before going west again, clear across the country to San Jose, California. 

He hopped on a bus, traveling eastward and was left at a bus stop in Boulder, Colorado. Did he take another bus ride after that? Maybe, because he then ended up in Springfield, Illinois.
According to his statistics, George has traveled 9,584 miles in nearly two years. That’s an average of 13 miles a day.

Friday, November 19, 2010

Random Musings 2

Something I would never, ever tell the wife: “Honey, I didn’t know what true happiness was, until we got married … and then it was too late.”
* * * * *
Wouldn’t it be disturbing to climb all the way up to the top of a mountain so you can consult with the wise old man of the mountains, only to find out he’d developed a fear of heights and now lived at the bottom?
* * * * *
I was thinking during my hair cut this week that I should have saved all my cut hair when I was young so I could reuse it now that my hair is thin and I’m getting balder by the day.
* * * * *
Wouldn’t all the Elvis impersonators would be out of a job if he turned out to be alive? Of course, they could still impersonate him if they wanted to, except that they’d be making fun of an 85-year-old man and that ain’t nice, is it?
* * * * *
Could it be possible that if a grasshopper farts on a dried lawn, the grass will turn green?

Thursday, November 18, 2010

Well, Oh Yeah?

I’d be kinda ticked off myself, but I don’t think I’d spend 4 hours on the plane, refusing to come out, if it had to land in a different country.
So … let’s back up a little.
Ryanair had a bunch of French tourists on board, who were returning home after spending holidays in Morocco. The flight on Tuesday left 3 hours after its scheduled departure from Morocco, and by the time they approached Beauvais, which is near Paris, the airport had already closed.
Consequently, they diverted to Liege, Belgium. Well, the passengers were majorly ticked off and refused to deplane, even after all of the crew had left. This despite the fact that they had no water, and the toilets were locked.
Talk about cutting off your nose to spite your face.
The 100+ French passengers eventually got off the plane (four hours later, remember?) and were put on buses that took them to their original destination.
Me? I would have gotten off long before that.

Wednesday, November 17, 2010

George Is in Colorado Now

The "Where's George?" $1 Bill
My George Washington $1 bill must have gone through some rough times since he was last reported to be in San Jose, “slightly wrinkled.”
I got another notification the other day that he has surfaced in Boulder, Colorado. The finder noted on the “Where’s George” Tracking website that he was found at a bus stop, 39 days later.
That means he somehow wound his way (apparently via bus) 920 miles.
Who knows where he’s been, and what he’s done, and what he’s paid for in the past month or so. But we do know that he’s traveled 8,758 miles in all. You can check out his route at http://www.wheresgeorge.com/report.php?key=acf55b98d306eb34cb46396643500484a68f4faeb29fe274.

Tuesday, November 16, 2010

May I Recommend …

It’s been getting more and more creepy in Japan as time goes by.
First they introduced robot dogs, then cyber-humans that react during a conversation with you, and now it’s vending machines that read your face and recommend drinks.
A railway firm – JR East Company – gave it some serious thought and through its subsidiary (JR East Water Business Company), developed vending machines that use large screens with sensors.
The machines scan your characteristics as you approach, using facial recognition software to determine your gender and approximate age. Then, depending on the temperature and time of day, it will suggest a beverage for you to purchase.
For example, it generally offers a coffee drink to males, unless you’re in your 50s. In that case, the recommendation is more likely to be green tea. Younger women will be offered a tea drink or a sweetened drink.
One machine tested at a Tokyo train station produced triple the sales of a regular vending machine. By early 2011, more will be added (including five more at Central Tokyo Station). By spring 2012, about 500 of these vending machines will be in service at major Tokyo stations.
I kid you not!
Creepy …  a can of coffee for you, sir? How ‘bout a lovely can of iced tea for you, ma’am?

Monday, November 15, 2010

Windows of Gold

This is a story I told my students when the time was right. It’s not original. You may have heard it before, or read the poem of the same name.
*  *  *  *  *

Windows of Gold
A young man once lived in a valley. The people there were a simple sort, living off the land and not wanting for much. But they would always look upward as they traveled to and fro in the valley. For high above them, near the mountain’s eastern slope, was a large white house.
The house was a source of inspiration for the youngster. Whenever he walked along the road, he’d gaze upward in wonder. It was practically a mansion, the boy thought, and the people who lived there must be richer than anyone he’d ever met. He was particularly awed by the golden windows that gleamed down upon him.
Gold. Brilliant, yellow gold. The boy wanted so much to peer into those windows and see what riches were hidden there.
One day, he made up his mind and hiked up the long trail leading to the top of the mountain. He climbed and climbed, barking shins and skinning knees, pausing for resting breath occasionally. The boy stepped and trod, single-minded in his purpose: Reach the house, reach those windows of gold.
At long last, he reached the house at the top of the mountain, the house with the windows of gold. Gasping for air and bent nearly double from exhaustion, he turned the final corner.
The youngster’s eyes opened wide, his mouth dropped, and he gasped as the burning breath escaped his heaving lungs.
The windows! There they were. But they weren’t gold. They were glass. Plain, ordinary glass. Clear, transparent glass. How can that be, he thought. For years he’d yearned to look upon the windows of gold. But where was the gold?
Peering into the windows, expecting great treasures, he saw ordinary things – chairs, tables, lamps, cases, books, vases. No chains of silver, no polished gems, no golden coins. He was so sure he’d see magnificent and valuable possessions; instead he saw nothing special.
Disappointed and on the verge of tears, he trudged slowly back home, his pace reflecting how sad he was that there were no windows of gold.
His father, who’d missed him earlier, came running as the boy neared home, embracing him warmly. “Where have you been?” his father asked, “What have you been doing?”
With eyes lowered in embarrassment, the boy said he’d hiked the steep trail up to the mansion at the top of the mountain, the one with windows of gold. He spoke of his disappointment on discovering they were ordinary glass, and that everything inside was just as ordinary.
With kindness in his eyes and a smile in his heart, the father put his hands on his son’s shoulders, turned him and said, “Look up there again, son.”
The boy turned and looked. Lo and behold, he saw windows of gold. He gasped in amazement. “But, but how can that be? I was up there! There were no windows of gold!”
“It’s the sun,” his father gently explained. “It’s God’s sunlight that gives the windows their golden hue. It’s the beauty of the sunset, my son. It’s God’s gift to us.”
The boy leaned against his father, satisfied at last, and thinking that his father was the smartest man in the world. And indeed, he was.
*  *  *  *  *
The lesson to be learned, I suppose, is tht sometimes it’s not what is really there that inspires a person, but what one perceives them to be. Every one of us has windows that look like gold to others.
You need to be satisfied with what you have, but you should always strive to be better. Then, and only then, will others look upon you with envy … because YOU will be the one with the windows of gold.

Sunday, November 14, 2010

Nohelani Craft Fair

A couple of weeks ago, on my way to Manoa Marketplace, I saw a fence sign at Nohelani School announcing a craft fair on Saturday, Nov. 13.
That was yesterday, and having nothing better do, I thought I’d drive over and check it out. The wife came along with me, and we both rather anticipated a small event in the school cafetorium where other events such as plant sales are held.
Were we surprised. It was a biggie. The first indication was the heavy traffic (not helped by the electric company doing something with a telephone on the main street and diverting two traffic lanes into one). The second indication was the lack of parking on the street, coupled by the closed parking lot in front of the school.
Orange-vested volunteers were directing visitors to the school’s ball field, which was quite filled with cars. It turns out the Nohelani Craft Fair kind of kicks off the holiday craft season, with dozens upon dozens of booths set up on the grounds.
We spent a couple of hours there (not to mention beaucoup bucks), and even found three of my high school classmates wandering around and spending THEIR money – Beryl, I had seen in August at the Made in Hawaii Festival (remember I wrote about it?). But Irene and Nani, I hadn’t seen in years. I think the last time I saw them was at a high school reunion in (I think) 2005.
You know me … I took a bunch of pictures:
The Wife ... Buying Buns

Pidgin Tees

Decorative Plantings

Snack-Themed Tees
I even took a small video of my classmates and the wife jawing away while my feet hurt:

It was a good day.

Saturday, November 13, 2010

Why Write? Why Not Just Type?

Bill Keane’s Family Circus cartoon today brings up something people have been talking about lately – handwriting.
Given a choice, I think I’d rather type my words than handwrite them. My elementary school teachers used to love my handwriting, but as the years progressed, it got worse and worse. Actually, that didn’t happen until I was well into my 30s.
My signature was very legible until I had to sign 1,000 certificates of appreciation. From then on, my handwriting went to hell in a hand basket. Today, if someone else had to read my writing, they’d fail miserably. Unless I print. I must say my printing is okay.
Still, given a choice, being a former journalist and writer who has used everything from manual typewriters to computers to personal data assistants to mobile phones, I’d rather type.
People are even debating over whether or not schools should continue to teach cursive writing – you know, script … letters that connect with each other. But that argument becomes moot if handwriting itself were eliminated all together.
Nonetheless, I say … continue teaching handwriting. Who knows when a disaster will strike and there will be no electricity or even batteries around to power electronics. Speed writing will once again be relegated to manual typewriters … that is, until they all break down and run out of ribbons because in an electricity-dependent world, nobody will be able to make them.
Handwriting is a connection to our heritage. It’s elegant, it’s cheap, and it’s dependable.
Write on!

Friday, November 12, 2010

Slide Rules

Relics of the Past
Have you ever used a slide rule? Have you ever HAD a slide rule? Have you ever SEEN a slide rule? Have you ever HEARD of a slide rule? Do you even know what a slide rule is?
Your age probably determines whether or not you answer “Yes” to one or more of these questions.
When I was in high school, many of us learned how to use a slide rule (known colloquially as a “slipstick”) whenever we had to make mathematical calculations. You see, we were deprived. There were no such things as calculators, not to mention computers.
Oh, there were adding machines, but those couldn’t do much more than add or subtract. It wasn’t until I went to college that pocket calculators came about, but those cost around $25 apiece and couldn’t do much more than add and subtract, multiply and divide.
Then, sometime around the mid-70s, somebody invented the scientific calculator that could do all kinds of mathematical functions and slide rules went the way of automobile running boards, manual typewriters, and ice boxes. Down with finger power, up with batteries. Analog was on its way out, digital was on its way in.
I had a pretty good slide rule. Most were made of mahogany or boxwood and some had steel slides. Some of the best were made of bamboo. Some were aluminum. Mine was an economy model made of plastic.
We all carried one around to use in physics class and they were allowed during exams. When pocket calculators became prevalent, the calculators were banned during tests, so the slide rules prevailed.
Slide rules were awesome. You could do multiplication and division, roots and powers, trigonometry, logarithms and exponentials, and … basic addition and subtraction if you really wanted to. Although most were linear like regular rulers, they did make circular slide rules. Come to think of it, slide rules pretty much defined nerdism, not unlike plastic pocket protectors.
That picture at the top of this blog entry? It’s a bunch of vintage slide rules on sale at the most recent collector’s show I attended. They were priced from $50 to $500, depending on size and manufacturer. I was tempted to bring mine down (yes, I still have it) and ask the guy in the booth how much he’d pay for mine.
Nah. I’m keeping mine. Who knows? Someday electricity may fail for good, batteries will run out for good, and people will have to pay me to do their calculations for them.

Thursday, November 11, 2010

Reddish (Not Radish) Crab

We were walking next to the sea wall at Kakaako Waterfront Park the other day when I spotted what looked like a reddish crab scrambling over the rocks.
But wait, I thought, we don’t have any red crabs in Hawaii, so we? As we went in for a closer look, the answer became evident. Especially when I noticed that the crab in question had only four legs.
Four-Legged Reddish Crab
I am surmising that one of two things happened. Either the crab crawled out of the crevices and died, allowing the sun to bake its shell red. Or, somebody put a boiled crab there.

Still, questions remain … why only four legs? Did some disaster befall the crab before it died? Or if someone put it there, did they pull off and eat the claws and other legs?
Sometimes, mysteries like this just aren’t meant to be solved.

Wednesday, November 10, 2010

He Don’t Get No Respect

No, I’m not talking about Rodney Dangerfield. I’m talking about NFL end Terrell Owens (aka “TO).

Back in 2006, when TO was playing for the Philadelphia Eagles (by the way, what team IS he playing for this year, anyway?), the Atlantic City (New Jersey) Surf of the Can-Am League was so desperate to beef up its attendance that it had a promotion called “Terrell Owens Unappreciation Night.”
It was a gas! Well, ersatz gas, that is.
See, the team gave away Whoopee Cushions to its fans that night, poopoo-pillows with a picture of Owens on them.
Plus, hot dogs were 81¢ in “honor” of Owens’ uniform number. Anybody who turned in Owens memorabilia was given two free seats. Any merchandise turned in was burned after the game.
I’m not sure how many fans showed up, or if they gave away all of those Whoopees, but I wonder if the stadium rocked so loudly with the gas-attack noises that the fans couldn’t hear the ump call balls and strikes.
Owens couldn’t help the Surf. Three years later, they folded up and left town. They couldn’t attract fans away from the casinos, which were just a few blocks away.
I just love minor league baseball promotions.

Tuesday, November 9, 2010

Parachuting Mice

The island of Guam, the U.S. territory situated out there in the Pacific Ocean, has a problem with brown tree snakes. You probably know that already.
And, those nasty snakes have been munching away on forest bird eggs, causing the island’s avian population to plummet into oblivion. You probably already knew that as well.
The U.S. Dept. of Agriculture has been trying to fight this accidental serpentine invasion for more than a half century. You may not have known that.
Recently, DOA has been trying something quite innovative. And THIS I’m sure you haven’t heard of.
Take a bunch of dead mice, stuff them with acetaminophen (generic Tylenol) , and parachute them down where the brown snake populations are quite large. Hopefully, the “mouse-tacular” tidbits will get caught in trees where the snakes proliferate, and provide a tasty lunch for the slithering buggers.
The concoction kills the snakes, and apparently, it’s working. A pilot study using radio-transmitters in some of the mice shows the snakes are starting to take the bait.
Using “Tylenol-like” to fight the snake headache. Now THAT’S using one’s noggin.
I kid you not!

Monday, November 8, 2010

Misconstrued Deception?

The wife and I had a couple of doctor visits scheduled today, both in a local medical center’s physician office building. Between appointments, we decided to have breakfast at the hospital’s cafeteria.
For my morning beverage, I took a chance on a bottled orange-mango (with mangosteen) drink that was identified as being “Just a tad sweet.”
The first thing I noticed when we sat down was the bottom part had a hollow indentation, reminding me of a champagne bottle. The next thing I noticed was the name of the beverage company – Honest Ade (y’know, a take-off on “Honest Abe” Lincoln).
That sent me into a little swirl of perplexing uncertainty. If you look at the picture, it looks as though the bottle is full all the way to the bottom, when in reality, that last inch or so merely reflects the color of the juice above it.
Sooo, I mentioned to the wife, is the “Honest” part of their name just a deflection? Are they in reality deceiving us into thinking we’re getting a larger bottle of fruit drink than we really are? And if so, aren’t they being a bit DIS-honest?
That’s when I took the picture. I was going to write about it and make horrible fun of them.
Then, I turned the bottle around, and this is what I saw – a printed-on facsimile of a Post-It note explaining the “funky dome underneath.” They talk about how environmentally friendly the bottle is – 22% lighter while still holding the same amount of juice as their older bottles.

Smooth move, Honest Ade! They KNEW I was going to buy one of their bottled juices one day and were well-prepared to preempt my sarcastic comments.

Sunday, November 7, 2010

Oh! That Reminds Me …

There’s not much I can add in the way of cogent commentary to this Sunday newspaper cartoon (it’s pretty self-explanatory), except to say it reminds me that I need to schedule a colonoscopy with my gastro-doc pretty soon.

Saturday, November 6, 2010

Priddy Puddy Tat

This, believe it or not, is a homeless feral cat, one of hundreds that make their home in parks throughout the island.
Handsome thing, isn’t it? Sleek well-kept coat, apparently well-fed.
All thanks for that go to the Waterfront Park “cat lady” who provides canned tuna and fresh water to the kitties that roam around in the park.
Heck, that cat looks healthier than I do!

Friday, November 5, 2010

Check Safety

It pays to read the free magazines that are sent to you. Just last night I read Costco’s monthly mag and learned more about checks.
Seven of the nine steps they advised were familiar with me, but I didn’t know (or have never thought about before) a couple:
1. Should (Heaven forbid) your home be burglarized, make sure none of your unused checks was stolen. Don’t just count your checkbooks, leaf through them to make sure they’re all there.
According to authorities, thieves sometimes take one or two checks from the middle or back of the books, something you won’t discover until it’s too late.
2. Use a gel pen (e.g., Vista Secure Gel Pen, Uni-Ball 207, Pentel HyperG) for check writing. These pens have special ink that has particles of color in it.
The color becomes trapped in the check paper, making it extremely difficult to wash off or alter the writing.
See? These are great tips. Use ‘em. I will.

Thursday, November 4, 2010

Eating Don’ts

Do you suffer from iron deficiency? If so, here are some food combinations to avoid:
Do you have a cup of coffee with your breakfast cereal?
Don’t do that. The tannins in the coffee block your body’s ability to take in iron from plant foods such as cereal, bread and pasta.
Do you ask for cheese on your hamburger sandwich?
Don’t do that. There’s calcium in the cheese that attaches to the iron in animal protein and prevents it from being absorbed by your body.
Do you love a glass of red wine with your pasta?
Don’t do that. There are iron-binding polyphenols in red wine that prevent iron from being absorbed. You can counter that by adding veggies rich in vitamin C, such as fresh tomatoes or peppers, to your pasta.
Are you using soy butter on your bread?
Don’t do that. Soy beans contain phytates, which interfere with iron absorption. When you eat bread with soy butter, you only take in 2% of the soybean’s iron.
A reduction in iron absorption invariably leads to a decrease in energy and can even lead to illness. Aren’t you lucky that I read an article on this while waiting at the doctor’s office this morning? To be forewarned is to be forearmed.

Wednesday, November 3, 2010

Random Musings 1

I was quite disappointed the other day, as you might imagine. See, I took a mind-reading course, but the instructor suggested that I drop out and save my money when I flunked the practice exercise (I had trouble reading my own mind).
* * * * *
I was wondering why the wife was staring at the small concrete mixer, so I asked her. She said it was like watching me eat. I wonder what she meant by that?
* * * * *
One morning, I laughed while reading the comic pages and milk squirted out of my nostrils, causing me to sneeze and make a funny face. Does that mean I'm laugh-nose intolerant?
* * * * *
Hmmm … do you think if I threw some spinach into a big mass of krill, and a whale came by to feed, that the spinach would get stuck in its baleen?
* * * * *
The wife went to the beauty shop; she said if she died suddenly, she wanted to look pretty. I almost told she didn’t have to as she was already prettier than a toad, but I bit my tongue.

Tuesday, November 2, 2010

First Christmas Commercial

I saw my first Christmas commercial today on The Cooking Channel, right smack dab in the middle of Roger Mooking’s Everyday Exotic show.
Considering I saw my first Christmas products display in late August, maybe early November isn’t too bad. It’s so early that I couldn’t even find a copy of the commercial on YouTube to show you. Even the picture that follows is from last year’s holiday products selection.
But can you imagine that? A Christmas commercial for Glade products before anybody’s getting real serious about Thanksgiving?
Guess S.C. Johnson & Son, Inc. felt we needed some uplifting relief after all those horrid election commercials the candidates and political parties have been foisting on us.

Monday, November 1, 2010

The Philosophy of Pencil Sharpening

Grandpa Earl is smart, using pencil sharpening as an analogy to explain a philosophy of life. The thing is, Grandson Nelson has a knack for cutting to the chase.

I love the comic strip Pickles. Click on the picture; it'll enlarge so it's easier to read.