Monday, February 28, 2011

A Big Ship

The Golden Princess
Every now and then, drivers along Nimitz Boulevard slow their cars to gaze at one of the huge cruise ships berthed at Honolulu Harbor.

Just the other day, the “Golden Princess” was in town, completely dominating Pier 11 next to the Aloha Tower Marketplace. It’s one of five Princess Cruises ships that will visit the islands this year.

It’s a huge bugger, with six dining rooms and another half-dozen casual eateries, 1,300 cabins, a 2,600-passenger capacity served by a crew of 1,100. It’s the length of more than three football fields and weighs 109,000 tons.

That’s pretty big … a whole lotta ship.

Sunday, February 27, 2011

2011 Hawaii Collectors’ Expo

The wife and I took in the 21st annual Hawaii Collectors’ Expo yesterday at the Neal Blaisdell Center Galleria exhibition hall near downtown Honolulu. In past years, I’ve set up at the show, selling stamps and other philatelic collectibles.
So naturally we bumped into a lot of people we know there, including one of Hawaii’s most famous collectors … my friend Gerald Kwock.

 Gerald Kwock
You name it, he collects it – old aloha shirts, records, high school albums, marbles, Hawaiiana, stamps, coins, postcards, commercial laundry hangers, bottles, milk caps … why, I’ve even seen him displaying and selling an old fishing net with those green Japanese glass floats. It’s always good to catch up with Gerald.

And it’s fun to wander the aisles and see what’s being sold. It’s amazing, the variety of items. And what’s more amazing is that people buy the stuff.

We collectors are a breed apart, that’s for sure.

A few of the photos I took at the show:
One of the Many Aisles

Nicely Presented "Stuff"

Hawaiiana "Kitsch"

Antique Bottles

Commercial Laundry Hangers
The Collectors’ Expo continues today, 11 a.m. to 5 p.m. Be there, or be square.

Saturday, February 26, 2011

Random Musings 7

Y’know, I think I figured out why older people are better at crossword puzzles than youngsters. It’s because we know so many cross words.
* * * * *
I have a hard time napping. I think it’s my subconscious telling me not to nap or I’ll sleep through my 15 minutes of fame.
* * * * *
When the wife’s insistent jabbering kept getting on my nerves, I wondered … What if I put Preparation H into her toothpaste tube? Would it shrink her mouth?
* * * * *
I plan to buy a coloring book app for my e-book reader, but first I have to figure out how to clean the screen after I’m done coloring a picture. I don’t want to ruin the screen, you see.
* * * * *
To some people, marriage is like a hot bath … after a while, it’s not so hot. But not me, oh no, not me.

Friday, February 25, 2011


What’s guy to do? The astronomers trumped the astrologers and changed the Zodiac around. Consequently, I am no longer a Libran but have been relegated to the ranks of the Virgins.
And that is all well and good.
Except that …
According to my horoscope in this morning’s newspaper, as a Virgin, today I’m supposed to “Take another person’s opinions with a grain of salt.” As a Libran, however, I am told to “Listen to what’s happening with a friend.”
Totally diametrically opposed to each other. And that’s just plain stupid.
So, my dilemma – should I deign to accept it” Do I still rely on the old Zodiac? Or cast it away and align myself with the new Zodiac?
See? This is why I don’t read the daily “horror-scopes” any more.

Thursday, February 24, 2011

A Grateful Sign

So the wife and I were walking through a little shopping area called City Square in lower Kalihi when she pointed up to a sign and said, “Look! Thang II.”
Highly respectful of her observations, I looked up at the sign, turned to her, and said, “You’re welcome!”
The doctor says the red handprint on my cheek should go away in a couple of days.

Wednesday, February 23, 2011

Gone, But Not Forgotten

Installed on the railing separating the New Otani Kaimana Beach Hotel’s outdoor restaurant, The Hau Tree Lanai, from Sans Souci Beach is this simple plaque honoring of all things – a hamburger stand (specifically, the Kaimana Beach Hamburger Stand).
Hamburger Stand Memorial Plaque
In 1983, the hotel was ordered to remove a small hamburger stand it operated at the spot for the convenience of beach-goers and guests who wanted something to nibble on between forays into the water. The stand apparently violated zoning laws.
More than 5,000 people signed a petition supporting the stand, newspapers wrote editorials, readers wrote letters to the editor, and politicians stuck their noses in (they knew a good publicity battle when they saw one).
Alas, the hotel lost its final appeal two years later, and in 1985, the stand was removed.
All that remains now of the hamburger stand is the fading memory of old-timers, and this corroding plaque.

Tuesday, February 22, 2011

It’s in the Bag

When I was in high school, one of my summer jobs was being a bag boy at Pick and Pay Supermarket in Hilo.
Baggers these days have it so easy. All they do is put the stuff in bags (paper or plastic or customer bags), load ‘em in carts, and the customers wheel the carts out to their cars.
Why in my day, we actually carried the stuff out. The store was on an unpaved lot, so we baggers had to carry the customers’ purchases out to their cars. Believe me, it was hard work, often requiring more than one trip back to the checkout counter.
There were no plastic bags with handles, and I don't recall there being brown paper grocery bags either. What we used were cartons small, big and medium-sized  –  that the canned goods came in.
But y’know, it was good, all good. We got our exercise and got to know the customers. Some of them actually tipped us a dime (those were the days when a dime could buy you a doughnut or a comic book, so the tip was appreciated).
I bring all this up because last week, a young lady named Krystal Smith from Burlington, Vermont, because America’s top grocery bagger. The 24-year-old won the Golden Grocery Bag trophy at the National Best Bagger Championship in Las Vegas.
The big prize (in addition to bragging rights and a huge trophy) was a $10,000 check from ConAgra Foods, the competition’s organizers.
It only took her 38 seconds to stuff the stuff in paper bags.
I would have tipped her a dime too!

Monday, February 21, 2011

Aloha Koi Show III

There were a couple of other things going on at the Aloha Koi Show this past weekend, one of which on the surface didn’t seem to have a thing to do with the beautiful nishikigoi fish on display.

Kids were given the opportunity of learning how to fold paper into representations of koi – the Japanese art of origami. The technique they used at the koi show was very simple and not very difficult for little hands to create.

Also on display were some bonsai plants that actually are relevant to koi culture. Many koi enthusiasts work as hard on their ponds as they do raising their fish, and the bonsai lend an authentic air to pond landscaping.

You got a lot for your money at the koi show … because the price of admission was the regular price for the aquarium itself. The koi show was an extra added attraction.
Can’t wait for next year? Join the Aloha Koi Appreciation Society. They’re online.

Sunday, February 20, 2011

Aloha Koi Show II

We almost didn’t get to see the Aloha Koi Appreciation Society Show at the Waikiki Aquarium.
There was another event going on just down the street – some kind of art fest – and parking was mighty scarce along Kalakaua, all the way from the turn up Kapahulu Street to the Queen Kapiolani Fountain.
Luckily we’d planned on having breakfast first at the New Otani Kaimana Beach Hotel’s Hala Tree Terrace restaurant, so we valet parked at the hotel and then walked over to the aquarium.

Holy mackerel, what a long line snaked onto the sidewalk. People galore – young couples, older couples, kids, tourists, locals, babies in strollers, you name it, they were there in front of us. The consequence? We stood in the sun for about 20 minutes slowly making our way to Nirvana – the air-conditioned entrance.
Anyway, that broiling adventure aside, the koi show gave us a chance to see some beautiful fish, some of which I’m sure were valued in the thousands of dollars. They were giving away raffle tickets for koi fish prizes, but we missed the morning one and didn’t want to hang around four hours for the afternoon drawing (you had to be present to win).
Several of the fish were up for auction, but again, we didn’t participate. Besides, we don’t have a koi pond and I’m not about to start one up. Koi raising is like golf. Once you get started, you can’t stop and are constantly spending more money on improvements. Golf clubs, koi … same thing.
I did take a couple of dozen pictures. Here are a few:

The show continues today, 9 a.m. to 2 p.m. at the Waikiki Aquarium. Go early, or go late … that’s the only way you’ll find parking. Or, have breakfast or lunch at the New Otani Kaimana Beach Hotel first and take advantage of their valet parking.

Saturday, February 19, 2011

Aloha Koi Show I

I know what I’m going to be doing today. I’m going to the Waikiki Aquarium to check out the beautiful koi (colorful carp) at the 4th annual Aloha Koi Appreciation Society International Show.
This year, the show is being held today and tomorrow in conjunction with the 5th annual Japan Nishikigoi Expo.
The Japanese have perfected koi raising and breeding to an art form, creating beautiful specimens that sometimes reach values in the thousands of dollars. The origin of Nishikigoi goes back a couple of centuries when the black carp mutated and produced colored offspring. These colorful fish were then selectively bred until they eventually evolved into koi.
It’s always exciting to view the veritable rainbow of koi swimming amongst each other in the same pond.
I can’t wait. I’ll take some pictures and hopefully they’ll be of good quality so I can post them in the blog tomorrow.
4th Annual Aloha Koi Appreciation Society Show
5th Annual Japan Nishikigoi Expo

Waikiki Aquarium
2777 Kalakaua Avenue, Honolulu, HI
9 a.m. to 5 p.m. Saturday, February 19
9 a.m. to 2 p.m. Sunday, February 20

Complete Schedule:

Friday, February 18, 2011

Orange Juice

Orange Display at Whole Foods Market
You know what I haven’t had in a long time? Freshly squeezed orange juice.
We found some at Whole Foods Market the last time we went to their Kahala store, but it wasn’t that good – very sour.
To me, freshly squeezed OJ should taste like a sweet orange. Not heavy, not sour, not bitter … just sweet with some pulp in it. The store-bought, pre-bottled or pre-packaged orange juices just don’t cut it.
I want the good stuff.
When we were in San Jose, we’d drive a bit out of our way to Lunardi’s Market in Los Gatos and pick up a quart of the good stuff. But we’re not in San Jose now and I miss it.
Some of the best OJ I’ve had has been at the Black Bear Diner in Las Vegas (oh, and the Bullhead City, Arizona location as well). They squeeze their juice in the dining room, in full view of their customers. The last time I was there, I sat near the machine and watched the lady go through a case of oranges.
Now THAT’S the way orange juice should be made. You can’t find that in restaurants here in Hawaii.
I think I may have to start squeezing my own.

Thursday, February 17, 2011

Amazing Speed/Time Facts

I was amazed to learn a few things about speed the other day. Not that it’s amazing to learn something, but that it’s amazing that certain things are true.
For example, I didn’t know that a “jiffy” was an actual measurement of time. It’s true, no kidding. A “jiffy,” you see, if 1/100th of a second long. So if you say you’ll be “back in a jiffy,” you’d better have the super speed power of Superman. And remember, “Back in a jiffy” means you’ll have to be 100 times faster than “Back in a second.”
And since we’re talking about time, I also didn’t know that a goldfish can only remember something for three seconds (300 jiffies, apparently). No wonder my goldfish are always swimming around aimlessly sucking little pebbles off the bottom of their bowl. They can’t remember if they’ve been there or not.
And finally, here’s something you really need to know about speed:
The fastest possible speed at which energy or information can travel, according to special relativity, is the speed of light in vacuum c = 299,792,458 meters per second, approximately 1079 million kilometers per hour (671,000,000 mph). Matter cannot quite reach the speed of light, as this would require an infinite amount of energy.
Betcha didn’t know that.

Wednesday, February 16, 2011

Westminster Part II

It’s over. The 135th Westminster Kennel Club Dog Show has crowned its most recent winner of the Best in Show award – a Scottish Deerhound named Foxcliffe Hickory Wind (aka “Hickory”).
Hickory is a beautiful dog (check out that hair!) and although I wish we’d had a Uno repeat with a beagle, what can I say. Dog show judging is extremely subjective and the Best in Show judge has infinitely better knowledge of all dog breeds than I do.
To me, dogs are like wine. I like what I like, and that’s that.
Anyway, I was pleased to hear that Hickory’s handler, Angela Lloyd, is a former winner of the Junior Showmanship Award. Just goes to show, if you are passionate about something, you learn all you can, do your very best, and eventually you reach the top.
For the record, here are the winners of the final night’s competition:
  • Sporting: Casablanca’s Thrilling Seduction (Black Cocker Spaniel)
  • Working: Aviators Luck Be A Lady (Portuguese Water Dog)
  • Terrier: Slyfox Sneak’s A Peek (Smooth Terrier)
It was great watching the beautiful doggies strut their stuff. I can’t wait for next year’s show.


Tuesday, February 15, 2011

Westminster Part I

Not that anybody cares, and if you do, you probably already know this, but it’s time for the annual doggie do presented annually by the Westminster Kennel Club. Yep, the pooches are parading at Madison Square Garden again.
Four group winners were selected last night, with the final three groups slated to compete tonight.
A Scottish Deerhound (Foxcliffe Hickory Wind) was named Best Hound, a Pekingese (which resembles a hairy slug) named Palacegarden Malachy won the Toy group, Best Non-Sporting group winner was Vaje’s Miss Jane Hathaway (a wrinkle-faced Chinese Shar-Pei), and the hairy-faced Tolkien Raintree Mister Baggins (a Bearded Collie) won the Herding group.
Coverage was a bit unusual in Hawaii. I actually got to watch the second half first on CNBC because it was carried live. The early portion of the broadcast was on USA Network, which was shown later. See, the broadcast is delayed two hours in California, and then further delayed for Hawaii.
I hate that. I want to see live coverage.
Anyway … my favorite breed, the Beagle, came in second in the hound group, so it’s out of the competition. It was a 15-inch Beagle, not to be confused with the 13-inch Beagle. You may recall that Uno, a 15-inch Beagle, won Best of Show in 2008.
Tonight’s competition will pit the Best of Breeds in the final three groups – Sporting, Working and Terrier. Then, all seven group champions will vie for the coveted “Best of Show” title.
You can bet I’ll be watching, even though I will already have found out who the winner was, thanks to the Internet.

Monday, February 14, 2011

Final Season of 24

I’ve been watching my “24” Season Eight (the final season that ended on May 24, 2010) set of DVDs the past few days in a mini-marathon of heart-stopping action.
As usual, circumstances have plunged Jack Bauer back into the government’s Counter-Terrorism Unit (CTU), forcing him once again to postpone his personal life for the good of the country. What a guy. WHAT a guy!
I’ve still got one more disk to go (four more episodes) before I can call an end to the marathon, but I can’t give you a synopsis thus far because I don’t know how it’s going to end. So far there have been at least three logical endings, but each time, something else pops up – typical of 24!
The only comment I’ve got so far, until the last DVD is played is … Can you believe Chloe O’Brian (Mary Lyn Rajskub) is head of CTU? What? No! Yes!

Sunday, February 13, 2011

Machine Gunning

Have you ever fired a machine gun? I betcha 99.9% of the people who read this (and probably 99.999% of the world population) never did.
Me ... vs. Osama Bin Laden
I never did, until I saw an ad in a Las Vegas magazine advertising The Gun Store. You pay your money and you get to fire a machine gun, taking out your frustrations on a paper target in a safe and controlled environment.
They’ve got 14 machine guns, 13 semi-automatic rifles, and 16 handguns you can fire, just to get that urge out of your system.
I opted for the “World War II” package and got to fire two semi-automatic machine guns – a Thompson (50 rounds), an MP 40 (25 rounds), and a 1911 .45 automatic pistol (20 rounds). Plus, they gave me a t-shirt when I was done.
For me, it was a once-in-a-lifetime experience, as I don’t see myself doing this again. Even with the magazine ad discount, it did cost me over a hundred dollars. But I wouldn’t have traded that experience for the world.
My instructor Tom gave me the lowdown on the weapons and taught me how to hold, aim and fire. I’m not saying I’ve lost my fear of firearms, but at least I know what it’s like to fire one … or three, for that matter.

Saturday, February 12, 2011

The Toilet Sign

Bathroom humor can be quite … well, humorous.
Case in point, the sign I saw over a urinal the other day. It makes its point(s) in a way that doesn’t really offend.
But laughing doesn’t help when they tell you to AIM! I confess, that was hard to do.
But I did my part. I aimed the hell out of my ... participation.

Friday, February 11, 2011

Zebra Dove Courting

The Zebra Doves that visit our driveway often participate in courting activity, walk-chasing each other, and “bow coo-ing.” The coo-er chases, and the coo-ee walks away.
Which … got me curious. To my eyes, both male and female Zebra Doves are identical. So how do male doves know they’re bow-cooing to a female dove and not another male?
As it turns out, there’s a 10-point checklist that one can use to determine the sex of a Zebra Dove:
1.  Iris - the male dove iris rings are smaller and lighter than female
2.  Plumage coloration - feather color is also different. Male heads have lighter feathers (light grayish compared to the female’ brownish cast).
3.  Physical Size - males are usually larger.
4.  Voice - Males are usually much more vocal. Females have a higher pitched voice.
5.  Bow Coo - Males will do bow coos; females almost never bow-coo.
6.  Male bird legs are thicker and longer.
7.  Females have a wider space pubic bone than males.
8.  Male doves have a broad chest.
9.  Male dove have a bigger, broad head; females have smaller, rounder heads.
10.  Male doves are aggressive towards other males .
Now … my question is, does the male Zebra Dove carry the 10-point checklist inside his tiny little brain, and when he’s in a courting mood, does he look back and forth between his list and his potential paramour, silently ticking off the points one by one?
Just imagine his silent conversation with himself: How’s its iris. Smaller than mine? Yep. How ‘bout the feathers – lighter on top than mine? Yep. I’m bigger, so that’s good. Not much cooing, so it looks like it’s a girl. Lemme bow-coo. Was there a return bow-coo? Nope. Good. Hey, my legs are thicker and longer. Most definitely looking like a girl …
Oh lawdie, help me.

Thursday, February 10, 2011

Pickles and Waffles

Click on picture for larger, easier-to-read image

I WILL not think of waffles. I will NOT think of waffles. I will not THINK of waffles.
*Sigh* I think I’ll go out for waffles this morning.

Wednesday, February 9, 2011

Baby Safety Night

Remember when pop star Britney Spears was photographed driving with her baby son sitting in her lap? Boy, she took a lotta heat over that in February 2006.
Well, just about that time, the Newark Jersey Bears, a New Jersey member of the Canadian American Association of Professional Baseball, decided to use her as a bad example. On Friday, Aug. 4, 2006, the Bears hosted “Britney Spears Baby Safety Night.”
Any fan who dressed like a baby, or brought an actual baby, or just a baby toy, got in free. All of the fans got a brochure on baby carrier safety, and got a chance to win a free car seat from the Automobile Association of America.

Originally a member of the Atlantic League of Professional Baseball, the Bears are not affiliated with Major League Baseball.
I love minor league baseball promotions!

Tuesday, February 8, 2011


Okay, okay, I know this is a picture of a Zebra Dove and not a pigeon, but I couldn’t help it.
One of the birds that frequents our driveway whenever we toss leftover rice there for them is this one with the funny left foot that points inward.
The deformity doesn’t seem to hinder it from doing what it wants to do, although it does walk a little funny with a little stumbling motion every now and then.
And, it does seem to be a loner. But at least the other doves leave it alone.
Pigeon-toed, indeed.

Monday, February 7, 2011

Random Musings 6

I was wondering … how come modern teen vampires have perfect hair when they can’t see their reflection in the mirror?
* * * * *
Watching a kiddy dinosaur cartoon the other day, I was struck by a thought – how come the female cartoon dinos didn’t have boobs or belly buttons?
* * * * *
Is daydreaming during the night acceptable? And what do you call nightmares you get when you’re taking a nap during the day?
* * * * *
Hmmmm. Why do they call it a “fast” when you purposely don’t eat? Doesn’t not eating make you slower mentally and physically?
* * * * *
I’ve always wanted to ask a doctor before heading into surgery what his final grade was in his last surgery course. Wouldn’t you want to know if s/he didn’t ace the class?

Sunday, February 6, 2011

Poor Little Doggie!

And this is why poi dogs are glad it doesn’t get freezing cold in Hawaii.

Saturday, February 5, 2011

Punahou Carnival

It’s that time of year again. The annual Punahou School Carnival, right down the street from us, always heralds jammed side streets and late-night noise.
One of the most popular events on Oahu, the carnival is the epitome of high school hijinks and fun – a huge rummage sale, lots of local foods, games galore designed to separate your money from your wallet, and a passel of E.K. Fernandez rides and games.
Take away the carnival, and you take away one of the islands’ largest fund-raising efforts, good income from vendors, and a sizable chunk of profit from the Fernandez carnival activities.
I used to go to the carnival, it’s only a short walk down the street. The problem is that it’s all downhill – a steep downhill. Which in itself is fine, except that the walk back is all uphill – a steep (really steep) uphill. No stroll in the dark, that’s for sure. It’s a hike.
And our residential street is always crowded. It started yesterday before noon and won’t abate until around midnight tonight. The cars creep onto our lawn (we used to have a yard-sprinkler system that was crushed years ago), and in the morning, there are empty soda pop and beer cans all over the yard.
It’s not my favorite time of year, that’s for sure.

Friday, February 4, 2011

What? No Basil?

Caprese lovers, start hoarding your fresh basil! Hawaii is in the midst of a basil crisis!
A nasty fungus known as “basil downy mildew” has infested practically the state’s entire sweet basil crop, and is continuing to spread rapidly. It’s the first time this has happened in Hawaii, and farmers are stepping up their efforts to stem the tide.
Peronospora belbahrii thrives in cool weather and heavy rain, two weather conditions that Oahu has been experiencing lately.

The pathogen gloms onto the underside of basil leaves and creates a mess of black or brown spores. The leaves can’t take it, and turn yellow or dark before dying.
Supermarkets are addressing the shortage by importing more of the green stuff, but prices have risen as a result of the local attack. Soon, it is predicted, hotels and restaurants that buy basil in large quantities will begin to feel the pinch.
Damn! I may have to postpone making caprese salad – sliced tomatoes alternating with mozzarella cheese and basil leaves, lightly salted and dressed with olive oil and balsamic vinegar.
Maybe I need to go back to the ubiquitous potato-macaroni salad that Hawaii is so famous for.

Thursday, February 3, 2011

Can’t Stop! Can’t Stop!

Driving past the residence of the University of Hawaii’s president the other day, I came across this stop sign.  It’s a good example of semi-academic graffiti that can be found at and around any college campus, anywhere in the world.
Maybe (if you’ll notice the difference in writing style), the original graffito included the words, “Making Sense,” written under “Stop,” resulting in the phrase, “Stop Making Sense.”
Then, perhaps offended by that, someone added the word “Can’t” above the phrase, completely changing its meaning. “Can’t Stop Making Sense” … ah me, is that so bad? Nope, it’s better than “Stop Making Sense.”
Or … maybe the original graffiti person DID write “Can’t” first, to make the sign read “Can’t Stop.” And then, perhaps, someone added “Making Sense” under it.
And yet … there’s something less revolutionary and cynical about the sign now. I wonder what else will be written on it in the days ahead?

Wednesday, February 2, 2011

Rabbit in the Moon

Tomorrow, February 3, marks the start of the Lunar New Year; the rabbit is being honored this year, which reminds me of an interesting and charming Japanese folk tale.
When you look at the moon, do you see a rabbit? What Americans normally refer to as the “Man in the Moon” looks like a rabbit to East Asians (particularly Koreans and Japanese).
The story goes something like this:
A long, long time ago, four animals – a monkey, an otter, a jackal and a rabbit – got together and resolved to be charitable the next time a full moon appeared in the night sky. Soon, they got their chance when an old man happened by and begged for food.
The man built a fire as the animals instructed. Then the monkey ran off and gathered some fruit, which he gave to the man. The otter raced to a nearby river and caught some fish for the old man. The jackal stole a lizard and a pot of milk curd to add to the meal.
Because he only knew how to gather grass, which he knew the old man wouldn’t find tasty or nourishing, the rabbit instead made the ultimate sacrifice, throwing himself on the fire and offering himself as a meal.
Touched by the rabbit’s sacrifice, the old man revealed his true identity, that of Sakra, lord of the devas (gods/deities) and ruler of Heaven. To honor the rabbit, he drew its likeness on the moon for all to see and admire.
Look up the next time there’s a full moon and check out the rabbit.

Tuesday, February 1, 2011

It’s Nearly Setsubun!

I’m posting this a couple of days early so you’ll have time to prepare. Thursday, February 3, is not only the start of the Lunar New Year, it’s the eve of Spring in Asia. So what should you do on this auspicious day?
According to ancient custom, you should scatter roasted soybeans throughout your house, and throw some out your front windows for good measure. Why do this? You do it to chase away the ogres (called “oni” in Japan) who can gain access into your home when the seasons change. So … you throw soybeans at them, trying to hit their eyes so they will run away.
It’s a three-step process:
First, throw beans out the windows, at the same time shouting “Oni WA soto!” (Out with the ogres!).
Second, scatter beans in your rooms and shout, “Fuku WA uochi!” (In with good fortune!).
Finally … pick up your age in beans and munch on them. They’ll give you good luck during the coming year.
Aren’t customs fun? Now … go buy those soybeans before Thursday passes and you’re confronted by all those bad ogres.