Saturday, June 30, 2012

Frowns v. Smiles

Which Hurts More?
I’m sure you’ve heard that it takes more muscles to frown than it does to smile. I’ve heard “13 to smile and 33 to frown,” “10 muscles to smile and 100 to frown,” “four to smile and 64 to frown,” even “one muscle to smile and 37 muscles to frown.”

Whatever the correct figures, the fact is that nobody has ever done an accurate count. The purpose of the aphorisms is actually to say that smiling makes one feel better than frowning does.

Have you ever tried walking around all day with a smile on your face? It’s tiring and your cheeks will begin hurting. Smiling is unnatural. But if you let your face relax, it droops down into a natural mini-frown. And after a day of that, do you think your cheeks will hurt? Heck no.

Consequently, this is my conclusion: Smiling tires you out; natural frowns do not.

So there.

Friday, June 29, 2012

Post-Dentist Breakfast

Take a tip from me. If you go to the dentist in the morning and get an anesthetic injection to numb the area s/he’ll be working on, wait until the numbness goes away before eating breakfast.

I visited Dr. Wendy Wakai (an excellent dentist, by the way) yesterday and had a filling replaced, and since it was a morning appointment, I skipped breakfast, figuring the wife and I could go out for an early meal afterwards.
The left sides of my upper lip and tongue were numb, but I figured, what the hell, I can eat on the right side, and if things dribbled out of my left side, I could make fun of myself … like that old stage routine that Bill Cosby is well-known for.
So I’m kinda munching on my chili omelet at Zippy’s, using only the right side of my mouth, when I sensed some tough gristle on the left side. I didn’t want to chew it up, but I did bite on it. It kind of felt like I was chewing on a piece of rubber. It happened again. And again. Surely, the chili couldn’t have contained that much gristle.
You know what it was? My lower lip. See? à
That activated my “Be Careful” button. For the rest of my meal, I held the left side of my lower lip down with my finger. Have you ever tried eating that way? It’s not easy. But it is funny. The wife kept laughing at me, saying I look like my grandson does when he sticks his lower lip out before he starts crying.
Around that time, I noticed that I couldn’t really taste my food either. Food has to travel around the mouth, touching all parts of the tongue and being chewed on both the right and left sides to taste good. Otherwise it’s a totally incomplete experience. But at least I didn’t dribble my coffee.
For the first time in a long time, I brought at least half of my meal home to be reheated and eaten later when my lip and tongue were no longer numb.
Unfortunately, that’s when the bite marks on my lower lip started first to tingle, then to hurt.
I have to go back to the dentist today so she can work on another tooth, but I tell you what … this time I’m waiting until the numbness is completely gone before I eat anything.

Thursday, June 28, 2012

Park Your Pooch

There's a pretty nice shopping mall at Green Valley Ranch Resort in Henderson, Nevada, just east of the Las Vegas Strip, called "The District."

It's almost like being on a street with shops on either side. And guess what? Dogs are welcome there. In fact, they've got these little pooch parks set up where you can "curb" your dog when it feels the need to park some poop.

They provide poop bags and even a tree. And if your cat wants to dig around and do its stuff, I guess it can do that, for they have some large gravel on the ground. Although ... I really don't recommend that.

Have I written about this before? I may have. But what the heck, it's a good thing. Me? I've parked my dogs on the bench right next to the pooch park.

Wednesday, June 27, 2012

My Healing Knees

Remember when my knees were severely skinned nearly 13 weeks ago when I tripped at the movies? That was March 28 (I believe). They sure took a beating, but thankfully, there were no broken bones, just two large strawberries.

Well, they're healing very nicely, thank you for asking. The only thing is I've got what looks like two permanent bruises where the scabs used to be, and it doesn't look like they're going to disappear anytime soon.

Which doesn't really bother me, I think they give my legs some character when I wear my shorts. Sort of a manly disfigurement, if you may. Plus it no longer hurts when I genuflect.

Still, get-well-soon cards and gifts are graciously accepted.

Tuesday, June 26, 2012

Neologisms 1

A neologism is a newly coined word that hasn’t quite made it into common usage. The word “neologism” itself was coined in 1772 and is borrowed from the French (néologisme, coined in 1734).
The Washington Post sponsors an annual neologism contest, encouraging its readers to submit new meanings for words we use in everyday language.
Among the winners:
·         Coffee (n.), the person upon whom one coughs.
·         Flabbergasted (adj.), appalled over how much weight you have gained.
·         Abdicate (v.), to give up all hope of ever having a flat stomach.
·         Esplanade (v.), to attempt an explanation while drunk.
·         Willy-nilly (adj.), impotent.
·         Negligent (adj.), describes a condition in which you absentmindedly answer the door in your nightgown.
·         Lymph (v.), to walk with a lisp.
·         Gargoyle (n.), olive-flavored mouthwash.
I don’t know why, but these just cracked me up. Thanks to my good friend Beverly for turning me on to these. More at a later date.

Monday, June 25, 2012

A Lighter Shade of Pale

We all know that anoles (also known as American chameleons) change color to aid their camouflage efforts. I’ve seen everything from green to brown to almost black.
But I don’t think I’ve ever seen a very tan anole. (Hey! “Tan anole”! Sounds like our senior U.S. senator, Dan Inouye! … never mind.) Not until recently.
I’ve been bringing my camera outside with me whenever I sit in my director’s lounge hair and read, because one day, an anole jumped onto my shoulder from the adjacent table, and I had no way to record the event. How cool would it have been to snap a picture of a lizard on my shoulder.
But I’m never ready for such occasions. A dove once flew up behind me and perched on my head. Did I have a camera ready? No.
Ah, but I digress. So I did have a camera when a very light tan anole sat there on the chair looking up at me. He (she?) even let me get close enough to snap a nice picture.
See? à

Sunday, June 24, 2012

Slugs and Slime

A Recent Slug Slime Trail in Our Driveway
We’ve got slugs around the house. And that’s just killing the wife, who has gone on slug-hunting expeditions in the early evening.

She gathers  them up and puts them in a pile, then throws salt on them, reveling in the way they squirm, exude their slime and shrivel up into a puddle of liquid. It’s something I learned a long time ago when I was a kid. Salt kills slugs.
If you don’t get rid of them, they leave their slime trails all over the place. Worse yet, they munch on plants. That’s what gets to the wife – the way they make meals out of her orchid plants.
I don’t blame her … they are ooky little creatures.

Saturday, June 23, 2012

Crab Legs

Do you like crab legs? Poured out on a newspaper-covered wooden table outside, steam rising from the just-boiled crustacean appendages?
I can take them or leave them. The thing is, it’s too much work to crack the shells and dig out the meat. Sure, it’s sweet and tasty, but I’m kind of a lazy guy. I prefer to have my crab meat already shelled. The problem with that, however, is the fun of it is gone.
I’ve had a lot of crab legs in my day, and have the finger scars to prove it. It’s nigh impossible to shell and eat crab legs without jabbing or cutting yourself at least once. And lemme tell you, crab juice in an open cut isn’t fun (‘cause it’s a salty juice and we all know what happens when you put salt on a wound).
However … if you’d like to come over and bash some crab legs for me with a wooden mallet, you’re perfectly welcome to. But you gotta take the shells off too, y’know.
And don’t forget to bring the sauce. Something better than just mayonnaise and ketchup, please.

Friday, June 22, 2012

Antique Slot Machines

As I was walking around the Golden Gate Casino at the west end of Fremont Street in Las Vegas, I happened upon some antique slot machines that were on display.
These are the original one-armed bandits of the ‘40s and ‘50s, with slots for pennies and nickels, and for the big-time gamblers, silver dollars. The payoffs were small by today’s standards, but substantial for the time. The largest one I saw was $1,000 for three bars.
What a big difference from today’s slot machines. The antiques played no music, the symbols were actually on real rolls, and you had to pull the handle to activate it. In fact, the pull was quite hard as the handle actually worked gears. None of this fake electronic circuit stuff they use today.
I remember some of these; well, not these really old smaller ones, but somewhat larger ones that took nickels. The first time I went to Vegas, that’s what I played – the nickel slots. No quarters for me, I only brought $20 with me to gamble in the late-‘60s.
Nice display of nostalgia! It brought back memories.

Thursday, June 21, 2012

Oh Yummy (?)

A friend posted this picture on Facebook last week and I swiped it, because something like this just can’t go without additional left-field comment.

I wonder if Rachel Ray burned her cookies when she saw this magazine on the stand? Don’t you just love the teaser on the cover? The subheadline especially?
Rachel Ray finds inspiration in cooking her family and her dog.
Ahem. Wait. Although I can understand that sometimes we wish we could boil siblings in oil, and after all, we do boil/fry/steam (hot) dogs, I really don’t think she cooks them for inspiration, do you?
Oh my, wanna write the magazine and sell them a couple of commas really cheap?
At least the magazine was complimentary and nobody had to pay to read the article.
I kid you not!

Wednesday, June 20, 2012

X is Back in Town

Fore! Grab your humongous golf club and join me at Pearl Harbor. No, not Pearl Harbor Country Club – the actual Pearl Harbor.
The X Radar ship is back in town. It’s docked at Pearl Harbor again for crew rotation, which it undergoes periodically. And no again, it’s not a golf ball. It’s a $1-billion ballistic missile tracker, the SBX, which stands for Sea-Based X-Band Radar.
The converted former oil-rig floating structure is now on limited test and operations status, according to the U.S. Missile Defense Agency.
I photographed it from my son’s Pearl City lanai this past weekend on Father's Day. If you’ve got the time and means, check it out close-up. Now’s your chance.

Tuesday, June 19, 2012

Nerds at Brunch

The last time I was in Las Vegas, I had brunch at the Garden Court Buffet in downtown’s Main Street Casino. Sitting at the table next to us were seven college-age kids that reminded me of the movie, Revenge of the Nerds.
It was a near-stereotypical gathering of nerd types:
·         A pale, overweight girl with long red hair, dark eye makeup and red lips.
·         A Jack Blackish non-top talking guy with dark horn-rimmed glasses and a beard and mustache, wearing a white tee-shirt.
·         A girl with long reddish auburn hair and a tattooed shoulder.
·         A young man with a messy top-bushy head of hair, wearing a Freddy Krueger wide-striped shirt, with a self-tattoo on his upper left arm.
·         A fairly normal pony-tailed brunette with colorful rimmed shades perched on top of her head.
·         A stringy-haired Hispanic guy in a dark-brown tank top, also sporting self-tattoos.
·         A quiet musing guy with long hair, dressed all-in-black, shoulders hunched, and a bandolier belt hanging from his hips.
They were carrying on a pseudo-intellectual conversation about meaning of life that segued into listing words that rhyme with "agony" or was it "baloney"? Whatever. I was tempted to butt in and offer "nerdispamolagony" but figured they would be offended.
Besides, they soon all started playing with their smart phones.
So suave guy that I am – dressed in a dark golf-polo shirt with a few bleach spots on the back, wrinkled navy cargo shorts, faded Tommy Bahamas cap, and busted-up running Striders – I decided I was no better than they were, whipped out my own smart phone and checked my Facebook page.
Nerds of the world, UNITE!

Monday, June 18, 2012

It's Farther Not Further

It's ubiquitous… the misuse of the word “further.” The wife says it all the time when she means to say “farther.” I see it in television commercials, read it in magazines, hear it in conversation all the time.

But when Morgan Freeman uses it at least once in every episode of his popular Science Channel series, “Through the Wormhole,” then something has to be said. I mean, all those intelligent people in the world (and I humbly include myself) who watch the program have to be disappointed.
How can a science program host maintain his credibility when he can’t even master the English language? How, I ask you?
Okay. I’m going to say this one more time: “Further” is not the same as “farther.”
Further does not indicate distance. Farther does. Anytime you want to indicate physical distance, use farther. When you want to refer to “promoting” or “encouraging,” use further. Further is a matter of degree; farther is a matter of actual, measurable distance.
Simple way to remember: Farther contains the word “far,” which is an indication of distance.

If I'm a longer distance from a point than you and your friends, I'm farthest. If I'm a longer distance from you only, I'm farther. If I'm a long distance away, you can say I'm far. Now ... substitute "further." If I'm furthest, then I can be further, then I should be "fur"? Gimme a break.
Anytime you feel compelled to say “further,” say “farther” instead. You stand a better chance of being right. In my experience, farther is the correct choice 90% of the time. Use “further” as a verb and you can’t go wrong.
So, follow my advice and further your knowledge of the difference. You’re sure to go farther. Besides, I'm tired of yelling "Farther! Farther!" to Morgan Freeman on the television screen.

Sunday, June 17, 2012

Hilo Days: Remembering Dad

Today being Father's Day, I thought I'd run one of the stories from my old "Hilo Days" website. Dad (Robert Mitsuo Miyamoto, M.D.) played an important role in my growing up, and I always remember him on Father's Day.

Global Disaster

I used to have a little globe of the Earth that showed the world and political divisions as it existed in the early '50s. I guess there were countries like the Bechuanaland Protectorate, French Somaliland, Ceylon and Indo-China on it.

Those names don't exist anymore. They sort of went the way of my youth. Bechuanaland became Botswana, French Somaliland became Afars and Issas, Ceylon became Sri Lanka, and Indo-China became Cambodia, Laos and Vietnam.

Anyway, the thing I remember about this globe was that one day, Dad really put a scare into me. He placed the globe in the middle of the kitchen table and said he was going to make a dark cloud appear over our house. Dad located the Hawaiian Islands and slowly passed his hand over the globe.

Slowly, slowly, his hand neared Hawaii. A second later, it covered Hawaii. A second later, it got dark outside. For a moment, but it did get darker outside as a cloud actually passed over the house.

Shook me up. Today, I wonder if it shook up Dad too. Maybe he didn't know he had the power.

Saturday, June 16, 2012

QR Codes and Milk Cartons

A couple of months ago, I read an article about missing kids’ pictures being incorporated into QR codes that you scan from newspapers, posters, television images, even products you buy.
You know what QR codes are, don’t you? They look like this à
Anyway, remember when missing kids’ pictures used to be printed on milk cartons? Good awareness idea since most of us buy milk at some point, but the problem is, who carries a milk carton around with them, and who doesn’t throw them away when they’re empty?
QR codes, on the other hand, can hang around for a long time on your mobile phone. All that’s required is a smart phone and a free app that you can download.
It’s like carrying a “Missing Kid Poster” around with you. A bunch of them.
Good idea.

Friday, June 15, 2012

In My Mind's Eye

Okay, Earl's got me beat. I've never been to any of those places in my mind ... except the store, and even then I got so carried away that I forgot to buy the milk.

Thursday, June 14, 2012

Farmers’ Markets: No Comparison

Blossom Hill Farmers' Market Entrance
There’s such a difference between the farmers’ markets I’ve been to in Hawaii and the ones I’ve stopped at on the mainland.

In Hawaii, most of them are simply produce markets where the vendors bring in a wide variety of fruits and vegetables, 99% of which they didn’t grow themselves; most of which they purchased from a wholesaler to sell to the public. The Manoa Farmers’ Market at Manoa Marketplace, open Tuesday, Thursday and Sunday morning, is a prime example.
On the mainland, however, the ones I’ve been to feature booths by actual farms and/or food producers that sell their own products – for example, one might sell only leafy greens, one might feature tomatoes, one might make kettle corn on the spot, one might be selling citrus, one might be offering jams and jellies from its own private label.
Two great ones that I’ve been to in California are the Ferry Plaza Farmers Market at San Francisco’s Embarcadero (I’ve run pictures from this one before) that’s open every day except Saturday, and a smaller one near my son’s home in San Jose – the Blossom Hill Farmers Market on Sunday mornings.
On our last trip to San Jose in late April, we spent a couple of hours wandering the Blossom Hill gathering:
Farm-Fresh Multi-Colored Eggs

Huge, Sweet Baskets of Strawberries

Succulent Young Zucchini

Just-Picked Vine-Ripened Tomatoes

Root Vegetables of All Kinds

Kettle Corn Made on the Spot

Live Entertainment by Aprylle Gilbert
Now THAT’S a farmers’ market.

Wednesday, June 13, 2012

Head-Scratcher Signs

During my April trip to San Jose, I came across a few signs that made me scratch my head and go, “Huh?” You gotta wonder, what were these people thinking? And, did they ever get out of grade school?
I mean, what does a one think when s/he sees a sign  like this one? à
From what I gather, the freeway off-ramp will be closed from Monday, April 0 through Thursday April … what? According to my warped logic, that means the off-ramp will never be closed. Because there’s no such day as April 0, Monday or otherwise.
And what does “Thursday April” mean? Does it mean that there are seven Aprils in a year? Like Monday April, Tuesday April, Wednesday … I think you get the idea. Obviously, whoever put the sign up doesn’t.
ß How ‘bout this one? Just what the heck is a “rance”? And why does it cost so much? I looked up “rance.” It’s a Japanese role-playing video game. Is $7.99 a fair price to pay for a rance? I would think it would cost much more than that, what with the cost of electronic games these days.
Although … the price of the games does seem to be coming down. Hmmmm, I think I’m losing it.
Oh, one more. While driving on Camden Avenue in San Jose, I saw a hand-made sign that read:  "Japanese mapes left on Aylshire." I don’t know what a “mape” is, and I don’t know if the sign indicates you can find them if you turn left on Aylshire, or that the mapes were LEFT alongside the road on Aylshire Street.
I couldn't take a picture because I was driving and my camera was in my back pocket, which was secured by a velcro closure. Shucks.
I wonder what they meant by “mapes”? Google doesn’t find anything, so I can only surmise that the sign-poster meant to write “maps,” or “maples.” You pick. I give up.
I think I’m overthinking again. Ya think?

Tuesday, June 12, 2012

A Nice Welcome Back

About a month ago, I received a $25-off coupon in the mail from Lawry’s The Prime Rib Restaurant asking why they hadn’t seen me in a long time – 18 months, in fact.

The truth is, as a member of their VIP Club, I have eaten at their Las Vegas restaurant as often as possible, but sometimes it just doesn’t fit into the schedule. You see, it has a lot to do with whether or not I’m alone, or with the wife or other members of the family.
I didn’t realize it’d been that long since I’d been there, so last month, when I took my brother-in-law to Las Vegas, I made it a point to revisit their fine establishment and avail myself of their generous offer.
It was like coming home again. Nothing much changes at Lawry’s The Prime Rib. Same wonderful ambiance, same wonderful wait staff, same wonderful service, and most importantly, the same wonderful food. I’ve said it before and I’ll say it again, Lawry’s consistently has the best prime rib steaks I’ve ever had … ever.
Miss Fasano
We were served by Miss (Dionne) Fasano, who came to Las Vegas 22 years ago from her home town of Cicero, Illinois and has been working at Lawry’s for 11 and a half years. We hit it off fine, especially when I told her I was born in Joliet, Illinois, and that we were from Hawaii. As luck may have it, she was serving another party from Hawaii just across the room.

Dinner was great. We were able to get an early seating at 6:15 p.m. on a Thursday night, and got out of there before a huge party took over the restaurant for the rest of the night. Just goes to show how popular the place is. My guess is that it was a corporate dinner of some sort – maybe a company or organization having a convention/conference function.
We had prime rib, of course. Plus jumbo shrimp cocktail, creamed spinach, creamed corn, baked potato, mashed potatoes, Yorkshire pudding, the famous spinning salad, steamed asparagus, hot green tea, cold ginger-peach tea, and crème brulee.
Sound like enough? It was. Too much, in fact. But boy, was it good. What a wonderful welcome-back dinner.
And if you were wondering, yes, I dribbled some au jus on the front of my clean shirt.

Monday, June 11, 2012

More Laura Calder Shows

The Cooking Channel is running “new” episodes of Laura Calder’s wonderful cooking show, French Food at Home, and I’m enjoying watching them in the morning. Sometimes they broadcast ‘wa-a-ay early in the morning (Hawaii time), but that’s okay, that’s why I have a DVR.
I’m still on the lookout for the Chefography episode featuring Ms Calder, and have programmed my DVR for all future Chefographies, regardless of whether they’re new or repeats. I ain’t gonna miss it when it shows again.
Because of her promotion of French cuisine, she was made a chevalier in France’s National Order of Agricultural Merit late last year.
Ms Calder has such a natural, refreshing way about her, with mannerisms and colloquialisms that delight and make her a part of the family. She’s a natural talent, appearing very comfortable before the camera.
I know she travels a lot, and perhaps she can do a series in which she brings French cooking to homes she visits during her travels.
One can only hope.

Sunday, June 10, 2012

Grade-Level Speaking

Of Hawaii’s four members of Congress, who do you think speaks most intelligently?
Sen. Akaka: First
A recent analysis by the Sunlight Foundation in Washington, D.C. turns the spotlight on U.S. Sen. Daniel Akaka, soon to be retired. According to the Sunlight group, Sen. Akaka is in the top five Congressional members.
He speaks at a college sophomore level.
Next comes U.S. Sen. Daniel Inouye, who speaks at a college freshman level.
Rep. Hanabusa: Last
U.S. Rep. Mazie Hirono speaks at a high school senior level, and U.S. Rep. Colleen Hanabusa comes in last, speaking at the level of a high school freshman.
Guess we know who paid the most attention in English and diction classes, or at least, who’s had more experience with public speaking, don’t we?
For comparison, Pres. Barack Obama’s State of the Union address this year was at the eighth-grade level, which is about the same as the typical American.
And if most people can’t understand what the U.S. Constitution says and what it stands for, that’s because it’s written at a master’s degree level. No wonder Americans have trouble respecting the rights of their fellow citizens.

Saturday, June 9, 2012

You’re a Fathead – One Dollar Please

Yesterday, I paid a buck for someone to call me a “fathead.” But it’s not as bad as it sounds.
A couple of weeks ago, I noticed a soft lump about as large as a quarter under the hair and skin on the back of my head, an inch or so from the top. Yesterday, I went to the doctor to get it checked out.
I was thinking he would lance it and drain out whatever was in there – plasma, pus, fluid, blood, perhaps some of my brains – sew it back up and I’d be outta there in oh, say a half-hour or so.
No such luck. He said I have a “lipoma,” aka a fatty tumor that would continue getting larger until it’s perhaps the diameter of a baseball (hence the “fathead” designation). So I’d have to have a surgeon take care of it. The earliest appointment I could get with one of the two surgeons he recommended was next Friday afternoon.
So I have to walk around with a fatty lump on the back of my head for a week. Since it’s under the hair, I think I’ll get a haircut next Thursday to facilitate matters. I’ll need to advise the barber to be a little extra careful around the lipoma or he’s gonna have a messy set of clippers after he’s done. Ewww.
The wife, who always wants to accompany me on visits like this (I think she has a hidden fascination with watching oozing stuff coming out of my head), asked the doctor what causes it. Before he could answer, I tossed in my opinion, that when the wife talks too much, the head cracks a little and the brain oozes out.
Doc did an “ay-yi-yi” and walked out chuckling. The wife just glared at me.
Oh, the dollar? That was the cost of parking.

Friday, June 8, 2012

Random Musings 16

I wonder if I could stop paying attention to what the wife is rambling on about if I tell her I’m a fast listener and stopped listening before she finished talking?
* * * * *
The newspaper said teen births are down in this country. That’s a good thing, right? I mean, wouldn’t it be downright uncomfortable to give birth to a 13-year-old child?
* * * * *
What happens if you’re told to get to the end of the line and somebody’s already there?
* * * * *
Is a duct tapeworm harder to get rid of than a regular ol’ tapeworm?
* * * * *
I wonder if yesterday was a good day … I wasn’t paying attention.

Thursday, June 7, 2012

An Airport Mystery

As our plane taxied away from the gate at Honolulu International Airport at 11 a.m. Wednesday, May 23, a small fleet of yellow fire trucks came speeding down the tarmac, positioning themselves behind a Delta Airlines jet that had just parked at the gate.

The people on our side of the plane (including me) all were curious about the incident, but as we watched, all the fire personnel did was stand there on alert. There was no hustle and/or bustle by the ground crew, so obviously no one on the plane was in immediate danger.

Or were they? Was there something going on there that we couldn't see? I would have checked the TV news that night, but y'know, I wasn't going to be in Hawaii.

When I got to Vegas and checked into the hotel, I whipped out my iPad and did a 'net search. Nothing. Nothing for two days. When I got home a few days later, I did another search using the more comprehensive resources on my desktop. Still nothing.

A mystery ... I guess I'll never know.

Wednesday, June 6, 2012

Janet Air Redux

Remember last year when I wrote about Janet Air and how intriguing it was to try and get pictures of the jets with the red fuselage stripe? I ended up driving along a side road adjacent to the airport and getting some fuzzy pictures.

On my way back from Las Vegas last week, I looked out our jetliner's window and saw a bunch of Janet Air jets all parked in position in front of the Mandalay Bay. Wow, talk about lucking out.

Anyway, I thought it would be nice to show you a better picture of that mysterious airline that transports Area 51 workers to and from Las Vegas. Once of these days, I'm going to have to try and wrangle a seat on one of those flights.

Wanna join me?

Tuesday, June 5, 2012

Oxymoronic Signs

I recently saw two examples of oxymoronic signs using words that cancel each other out.

The first was at the Primm Valley turnoff heading south on U.S. Interstate 15 to Los Angeles at the state line between California and Nevada. It was a marquee for Buffalo Bill's Resort and Casino, something like "Mini Maxi Breakfast!"

I was driving, of course, so I couldn't reach into my back pocket for my camera. But maybe if you take the turnoff, it'll still be there.

The second was a poster at Dairy Queen in the Westfield Oakridge Mall in San Jose. Here ... take a look -->

Have YOU ever experienced a frozen hot chocolate? Hey, if you burn your mouth, at least you can cool it off instantly! How 'bout that.

I wonder who spends their time thinking up phrases like these?

Monday, June 4, 2012

First-Class Meal: Omni International Air

Yesterday, I told you about a good experience I had in Hawaiian Airlines' first-class section. Here's another experience, this time it's about my Vacations Hawaii trip in Omni International Air's first-class section.

A week or so ago, I hosted my brother-in-law to a vacation in Las Vegas, and in order to make the trip as comfortable as possible for him, I booked us in first-class, taking advantage of the great package offered by Vacations Hawaii: Round-trip air, hotel room, meals and transfers for a very reasonable price. Plus the cost of the upgrade.
On the way over, they served us grilled chicken on a stick – three nice skewers, tender, moist, very tasty, very nicely done by the catering contractor in Honolulu. It was right up there with some of the better airline food I’ve had. My brother-in-law was impressed as well.
It was a different story on the return trip. Vacations Hawaii really should fire their Las Vegas-based catering contractor and get someone better. It was the worst first-class meal I’ve ever had in my entire life, and believe me, I’ve had quite a few.
They called it “Country-Fried Steak.” I could have had their Chicken with Mushroom Sauce, but that choice was gone by the time they got to us.
Here … take a look at the meal they gave me:
This is Chicken-Fried Steak?
Chicken-fried steak, my ass. It looked like an over-cooked 2.5-square-inch piece of cube steak breaded and chopped up with a dark gravy. It tasted horrible. I was expecting a golden-brown piece of meat, crispy on the outside and tender on the inside, smothered in white country gravy. Instead, it was mostly over-cooked breading chunks.

Ewww. I only took a couple of bites, then turned the rest in. I complained to the stewardess. She said make sure I complain to the Vacations Hawaii representative on board. I complained to the representative. She said she’d forward my complaint, but that I should call the office or write a letter to the Vacations Hawaii management.
I did just that.

Sunday, June 3, 2012

First-Class Meal: Hawaiian Air

The last time we went to San Jose, the wife and I decided to upgrade to first class seats. It’s always more comfortable there, the seats are wider and plusher, there’s more personal attention, there are no screaming/crying children kicking the back of your seat … and the food is much better.
Our meal was created by award-winning Chef Chai Chaowasaree, who owns Chai’s Island Bistro and Singha Thai Cuisine. So naturally, the meal was interesting. And so well-presented too.
On the way to San Jose, each of us had three choices from a list of five selections: assorted cheeses, crispy wonton tacos, Hawaiian-style chicken, a grilled fresh catch, and spinach gnocci. Plus dessert. On the way back, the choices changed a little to include a pate, chicken with sweet red peppers, and cannelloni.
I’d show you pictures of our Honolulu-San Jose meal, but I’d forgotten to take my camera out of my carryon and when they brought our meals, I was trapped in my seat. However, I did photograph both our trays on the way home:
The Wife's Meal

My Meal
And we can’t forget the dessert – a smooth and creamy lemon cheesecake.

Gotta hand it to Hawaiian Airlines, they know how to treat their first-class passengers well.

Saturday, June 2, 2012

Mini-Vroom Vroom!

I wish I had a little electric car like this boy's when I was a kid.

This young lad was having the time of his life, driving his yellow sports car, following his dad as they left the Blossom Hill Farmer's Market in San Jose. I tell ya, I was kind of jealous.

Wish I had one of those when I was a kid.

I don't think they even made them in those days; most of the kiddie cars were pedal-pushers..But what the heck, that was so long ago ... the dinosaurs had just died out and we were all marveling at that new invention to hit the market y'know ... dirt.

Lucky kid.

Friday, June 1, 2012

Jalapeño Honey Mustard

A recent conversation that took place in the left field of my wandering mind:
Buzzy Bee: I had some jalapeño pepper plant pollen for dinner last night, with some iced jalapeño nectar.
Honey Bee: You don't say. I've never had jalapeño pepper plant nectar before. What's it taste like?
Buzzy: It's good, but spicy. Real hot. It gave me an upset stomach and I had trouble sleeping last night.
Honey: I was about to mention ... You look pretty green around your spiracles.
Buzzy: I don't feel too good. I think I'm gonna throw up some bee barf.
Honey: Well you'd better head over to the mouth-to-mouth transfer section right away; waste not, want not!
Buzzy: Urp! See ya! Urp!
And that's how Jalapeño Honey Mustard was invented.
The end.