Wednesday, October 31, 2012

A Night of Remembrance

I watched a television program last night – an ESPN “30 for 30” presentation called “Ghosts of Ole Miss,” and it reminded me of where I was and what I was doing during the period covered by the documentary.

“Ghosts of Ole Miss” is about the integration of the University of Mississippi in September 1962 by James Meredith, 29, the first African-American to enroll and attend the university. It is also about the almost-forgotten 1962 Rebels football team that won the National Championship that year. The feature was written and narrated by Wright Thompson, who personally witnessed some of the events.
Alabama’s segregationist Gov. Ross Barnett had pledged that no black person would ever attend Mississippi while he was governor. President John F. Kennedy and Atty. Gen. Robert F. Kennedy were equally determined that Meredith was going to enroll.
It was the State of Mississippi residents and students against the United States of America Army and the National Guard. It was the Civil War all over again, complete with fixed bayonets. There were fires in the night, clouds of tear gas, horrific injuries from gunfire and beatings, even deaths, during the face down. It was a war zone.
The early ‘60s were a shameful period in American history, with continued horrible segregation and treatment of African Americans. Being a freshman at the University of Hawaii in a state where races lived in harmony, it was hard to fathom how such hatred could exist. But exist, it did.
James Meredith persevered, and there was talk of closing the university. But the 1962 Mississippi football team – the Ole Miss Rebels – gave everyone a reason not to close the school. It kept on winning and was a source of pride to Mississippians. They beat Arkansas in the Jan 1, 1963, Sugar Bowl, finishing the season undefeated, the first-ever Ole Miss team to do so. They won the National Championship, but were somewhat disdained, thanks to national disgust over the way Meredith was treated.

This year, on the 50th anniversary of their accomplishment, they got their due recognition by the students. Good for them.
Back in 1962, over at the University of Hawaii, residents of my dormitory – Atherton YMCA House – were simply appalled. We wanted to do something, and the best we could come up with was the writing of letters to James Meredith supporting his cause and encouraging him onward.
The Associated Students of the University of Hawaii wanted to send a delegation to Mississippi to observe the situation, but they were denied the funds in an overwhelming vote. Hence, the letter-writing campaign.
I wrote a letter – a couple of handwritten pages – talking about how difficult it was for me to imagine what he was going through, since although I am in an ethnic minority, I didn’t experience anything close to what he was going through. My letter was one of those chosen to represent A-House and to be sent to Mississippi. It was a good feeling.
Did he ever get the letter? I have no idea. I do know he got tons of hate mail calling him everything in the book, all the racial slurs and expletives you can imagine. So maybe the letters of support weren’t really read. I hope they were.
It was painful to watch “Ghosts of Ole Miss,” even for someone who spent that year thousands of miles to the west, separated from Ole Miss by an ocean and three-quarters of a continent.
If you get a chance to see a rerun of the program on ESPN, do so. It’s not really a sports story, it’s a story about our nation and its continual growing pains. Watch it. Especially if you are too young to remember the events of 1962. It’ll be worth your while.

Tuesday, October 30, 2012

Tsunami Warning After-Thoughts

October 27, 2012 Queen Charlotte Fault Earthquake
Predicted Tsunami Wave Amplication (Energy)
National Oceanographic and Atmospheric Agency
Having had some time to reflect on the "non-tsunami" warning we experienced in Honolulu this past Saturday night, here are some of my thoughts.
First of all, it definitely was NOT a non-event. It was important and necessary that everybody take all the precautions required to prevent a potential disaster. There are two reasons to err on the side of caution. One is actual: What if a tsunami actually did hit? The other is a bit more prosaic: Protect your legal ass.
If tsunami did hit, then lives would have been saved. Of that, there is no question. And, if a tsunami did hit and the state and city governments, and private businesses and organizations, chose to ignore the danger, then there will be lawsuits galore and a lot of people would go to jail. That’s the “protect your legal ass” part.
Okay, having established all that, here are some other thoughts:
Honolulu took another big economic hit on Saturday night. It was the Saturday before Halloween, and Waikiki was planning on a hopping good time. Tourists would be spending money, the banquet rooms were booked and prepped with food and entertainment for the dozens of private parties and gatherings of all sorts. Someday soon, someone is going to come up with a dollar figure, and I betcha it’s going to be staggering.
Something has to be done about the traffic jams resulting from the warning. As it is, there aren’t and adequate number of routes out of Waikiki, especially when we not only have vehicles leaving, but vehicles entering as well to pick up people who’d be stranded when their Saturday night social functions shut down unexpectedly.
Ewa Beach is no better. We saw that on the television coverage.
I’m not a tourist in Waikiki, so I don’t know if the rooms have any tsunami education information. I’m not just talking about inundation zones and evacuations, I’m also talking about the very nature of the waves (or more appropriately, surges) that could hit. A tsunami isn’t a normal wave; it doesn’t just hit and pass. Think of it as a raised shelf of water that goes on and on and on.
Tourist imagination must have been running wild. They must have been scared to death. That’s because the local television and radio stations only concentrate on the “get to safe ground” fast message. They don’t talk about the improbability of a tsunami from the east actually inundating Waikiki. To think that borders on ludicrous. They need to be told this and calmed, yet urged to take the evacuations seriously, because … well, because nothing is certain and one just never knows.
I wish local television would prepare appropriate coverage now so they don’t concentrate solely on Waikiki. Nothing’s going to happen there. Use the traffic cams in Waikiki as necessary, but do something now to ensure proper cameras and lighting are set up in Kahului, Maui, and Hilo on the Big Island, where inundation is much more likely and serious.
And don’t give the excuse that the lateness of the warning didn’t give enough time last weekend. There should have been emergency coverage planning already in the works. And I always believe that where there’s a will, there’s a way. Something could have been done to give us adequate coverage in the neighbor islands.
People are stupid … the locals rush to the stores and stock up on four things: Rice, Spam, batteries and toilet paper. Especially toilet paper. This reaction is a throwback to the days of the shipping strikes, when all of Hawaii’s goods arrived via ships. Who of us who lived in Hawaii during the ‘50s-‘70s doesn’t remember shortages? But that’s not going to happen today.
For a hurricane, yes. Make sure you’re stocked, but not at the last moment. Make sure you’re ALWAYS stocked. The panic buying reported on Saturday night made me shake my head in disgust.
People are stupid … television coverage showed people going down to the beach in Waikiki. Okay, sure. I know it’s unlikely that they’d be swamped by a tsunami. But they are showing a tremendous amount of irresponsibility, to themselves, to their families, and to others who might be encouraged by their stupid actions.
During the devastating Hilo tsunamis of 1946 and 1960, people died because they went seaside and walked along the exposed reefs to pick up fish stranded when the water receded. People also died when they ignored or missed the warning sirens.
There’s not much anyone can do to stop the effects of a tsunami, economically or otherwise, but that doesn’t mean we can’t take the hits and come back strong. And we can’t do that unless we heed the warnings and do the right things.
So much for that … until the next time. Then, I’ll watch the whole thing happen all over again on the local news.

Monday, October 29, 2012

It's the Great Pumpkin!

It's almost Halloween, and the Great Pumpkin is making its annual appearance ... I saw it at Whole Foods the other day, standing guard over a flock of pumpkins outside the supermarket.

Are you ready, Linus?

Sunday, October 28, 2012

Season's Best Craft Fair

Every year, I participate in an ornament exchange with chat friends who frequent a bulletin board that I visit daily. Yesterday, my USC Trojans lost to the University of Arizona, and you know what they say: When you’re down in the dumps, go shopping. So that’s what I did.
I thought I’d get my exchange box completed early, so I went to the Season’s Best Craft Fair at the Blaisdell Exhibition Hall – a three-day affair with more than 200 vendors – in hopes that I’d find a Christmas ornament that I could send to my exchange partner.
Well, it wasn’t as I expected. There weren’t many Hawaii-made ornament booths there. Oh, there were tee-shirt and quilt and jewelry vendors, but nothing quite Christmassy (guess it was a little too early in the season). However, I did find something for my exchange box, so all in all, the day’s venture was a success.
If you want to go, you’d better hurry, the show closes today. Then, you’ll have to check out the holiday and gift fairs at the local schools. I can skip those this year, because my ornament exchange shopping is done.
There were some neat offerings, so I was able to record quite a few pictures of some unusual gifts. Here are a few of the pictures I took. Enjoy.
Fabric Leis
Hand-made Quilts
Kiddie Tee Shirts
Chinese Good Luck Shirts
Candy Wrapper Handbags

Saturday, October 27, 2012

Credit Card Parking Meters

About four months ago, the City and County of Honolulu activated its first credit card parking meters on downtown streets. I finally saw one last week, and even got to use it.

Of course, I was only going to be in the parking space for a few minutes as I waited for the wife to run an errand, so I didn't use my credit card for the measly 25-cent charge. But it was interesting to see and use.

We are rapidly fulfilling that long-time prediction that we're becoming a cashless society. I remember maybe 12-15 years ago when I was staying in downtown San Francisco and dropped by a fast-food chain for a snack (I forget which one). I could have swiped a credit card for my purchase if I wanted to. Of course, I didn't want to at the time.

Today, maybe I'd do otherwise. After all, I charge as little as 99 cents for an iTunes app purchase on my iPad, or an ebook on So a small credit card charge is beginning to make more and more sense as it's easier to pay a credit card balance off all at once, than keep digging cash out of one's pockets.

But, where do I draw the line? Certainly not at a quarter.

Friday, October 26, 2012

Happy Belated 4th Anniversary

An anniversary of sorts slipped by me a month and a half ago. Four years ago on Sept. 9, 2008, I posted my very first Left Field Wander blog entry – “Mowing the Lawn." It wasn’t very popular and as of today, has enjoyed only one visitor and reader ... me.

Since then, however, there have been 1,294 entries/posts as of today. In all, Left Field Wander has had a total of 93,028 visitors, an average of about 72 views per entry. That’s not bad. Everything I’ve read says a successful blog enjoys at least 25 visitors per entry.
The most popular post to date is “Japanese Tsunami Videos” (April 18, 2011) with 2,632 readers. That far outpaces the second-highest entry, "’Alouette’ is a Mean Song,” posted on March 18 of this year with 792 visitors.
Thank you for your continued readership; it makes writing Left Field Wander all worthwhile. I do write it primarily for myself, but it’s good to know others are enjoying it as well.

Thursday, October 25, 2012

Random Musings 19

What if a spider is born technically challenged? Would another spider have to build her website for her?

* * * * *
How come so many of my shirts have an extra button at the bottom?
* * * * *
Why would someone write a book on how not to procrastinate? Who’s going to read it? A procrastinator?
* * * * *
Why do they want us to wear loose-fitting clothes when we exercise? If I had loose-fitting clothes, why would I want to exercise?
* * * * *
Remember how Mom used to tell you not to put sharp things in your mouth, and then she took you to the dentist?

Wednesday, October 24, 2012

My Baloney Has a First Name

I betcha you didn’t know today is National Bologna Day in the U.S. Don’t feel bad, neither did I. And if it weren’t for a kitchen conversation between Dagwood Bumstead and his neighbor, Herb Woodley, I could have gone another year in the dark.

It’s O-S-C-A-R.
Did you know that more than 800 million pounds of bologna (aka “baloney”) are ingested by us Americans every year? That works out to more than two and a half pounds per person annually.
My baloney has a second name,
One of my favorite memories of baloney is going to a special sale day at Pick ‘n Pay Supermarket in downtown Hilo sometime circa 1959-1960. They were giving free baloney sandwiches … nothing but a slice of baloney between two slices of soft, white Love's Bread, smeared with yellow mustard. Boy, was that delicious.
It’s M-A-Y-E-R.
Then, when I was going to college in Los Angeles, we used to frequent the little deli/market store just down the street, where the guy would slice baloney for you. I’d always ask him to make big slices, about a half-inch thick. Nothing like fried baloney and eggs in the morning!
Oscar Mayer has a way with B-O-L-O-G-N-A!
And that ain’t no baloney.

Tuesday, October 23, 2012


I thought about something one day as I sucked on a Ricola Sugar-Free Lemon Honey Herb lozenge to alleviate a brief spell of coughing.

What’s the active ingredient in many over-the-counter cough drops and lozenges? Menthol – primarily manufactured from peppermint, a hybrid cross between watermint and spearmint.
You’ll find menthol listed in a bunch of off-the-shelf brands – e.g., Vicks, Burt’s bees, Ricola, CVS, Hall’s, Ludens.
What is it that makes some cigarette smoke cool to the throat and lungs when you inhale? Menthol. Which, by the way, does inhibit nicotine metabolism, believe it or not.
No wonder menthol cigarettes were touted and advertised as healthier than regular cigarettes in the 1950s. Remember Salem? Newports? Marboro Menthol? Surely you’ve heard of Kool.
It’s funny that what’s good for the throat is also bad for the throat.

Monday, October 22, 2012

48th Annual Food and New Products Show

My memory may be failing me, but wasn’t the Food and New Products Show larger last year? If I recall correctly, the booths occupied not only the Neal Blaisdell Exhibition Hall, but the Arena as well.

Ah well, be that as it may, this year’s show was interesting anyway. The wife and I received a couple of complimentary admission tickets from Vacations Hawaii when I booked my next Las Vegas trip and walked into their office at just the right time.
I don’t know exactly how many vendors and exhibitors had set up, but it had to be at least a couple of hundred – everything from plate lunches to local-made food products, from clothing to rail transportation proponents, from jewelry to pet products, from you name it to you name it.
One of the things I did was talk to a few vendors to ask them how they were doing at the show. The general consensus was that they all did “okay.” Not great, not bad, but okay. Interesting, as it gives a clue in microcosm of what the state’s economy is looking like at the moment.
The first booth I visited was a nursery, with an unusual flower on display. People were crowded around looking at the Lime Puff flower (Schaueria calycotricha), which grows on a three-foot tall shrub and is used in Hawaiian lei-making.
I thought about buying one, but it was the first booth of hundreds we’d planned to visit and I couldn’t feature myself walking around the exhibition hall carrying a potted plant, so I decided to return before we left. Guess what? I forgot to return. Oh well, no big deal.

The next booth that drew my attention was one selling bottled and jarred Hawaiian salts. These salts were harvested from local salt farms and from deep waters along the Big Island’s Kona Coast. They are beautiful salts – maroon red , cloud white, lava black and bamboo leaf gray-green. Nice names, huh? I made those up myself.

A heavenly aroma wafted around the aisle, sent our way by some women cooking teriyaki samples in their booth. I had previously decided not to sample too many foods – a stupid decision, I know, but intentions were good. Besides, if I tried something and liked it, chances are I'd buy it, and I didn't want to walk out of there carrying 25 pounds of stuff. 
One of the hottest booths (hot as in spicy) was one selling various local chili pepper waters. You know, the kind you find in bottles at restaurant tables, sometimes without labels, sometimes orange, sometimes red, but all the time hot and spicy enough to raise blisters on your tongue. Well, they had bottles of the stuff.
I’m not exactly a wimp when it comes to hot stuff, but I do know my limitations, so I definitely did not sample any of these.
My favorite booth was one that was selling something called “Wee-n-See.” It’s a little pad that you float in the toilet and coax your young child to pee (er, "wee") on it. When the kid does that, the blue pad turns color – a kind of burnt orange – and a picture appears.
I chastised myself later for not picking up a brochure describing the “whys” of the product. So I had to check it out online when I got home. When the child pees (er, "wees") on the floating pad, a picture appears as a reward. See, it’s used for toilet training. Proper pee produces picture. Aim well and you will be rewarded.
My astute observation: "It gives the kid something to aim for in life." That brought down the house. Everybody (a crowd of four) standing there laughed. I should charge admission, no?

Sunday, October 21, 2012

Things the Wife Forbids Me to Do

1. Get the Newspaper in the Morning: The wife doesn’t like it when I leave the front door open while I trudge down the driveway to pick up the morning paper. She says leaving the door open lets the flies in; or worse, it’ll let rats and mice come into the house.

Logic doesn’t faze her. I keep telling her rats and mice come out at night, but it makes no difference.
The reason I leave the front door ajar is because I’ve accidentally locked myself out in the past. I’d have to walk around the back, pound on the bedroom window and have her get out of bed and open the door. Again, this logic fails to impress her.
2. Clean Out the Refrigerator: We have enough little bowls with tiny bits of weeks-old leftovers stacked on top of mayonnaise and miso jars. There are bottles of dressing and sauce in the back of the top shelf that we haven’t seen in years. I’ve lost jars of jams in there. Don’t even get me started on my jar of peperonata.
You should see some of the expiration dates on these things. The wife doesn’t want me to clean it out because the stuff is still good and someone will eat it. My question is always: “Who and when?”
3. Straighten the House: My idea of straightening the house is to sweep all the stuff off of the flat surfaces above floor level into a box and throw the box into the trash bin. My philosophy is that if you haven’t used something for six months, it’ll just sit there for years because … well, because the wife doesn’t throw things away.
Sure, things get put in boxes when we expect company, then get shoved into the bedrooms until the guests leave. Out they come again. The wife has a bad case of pack rat syndrome. Everything has a use, everything is valuable – even her Korean drama video tapes (of which she has hundreds), and which she never watches and will never watch again.
The wife … she drives me nuts sometimes.

Saturday, October 20, 2012

A Humorous Door Sign

I love restaurants owners who aren't too proud to act silly every now and then. That's why this sign above the entrance to Pablo's Cantina in Ward Centre had me giggling uncontrollably.

"Members & Non-Members Only"? What a hoot! "Open Since 1059"? Bwahahaha!

Well, they may have been open since 1059, but they have closed. Maybe they shouldn't have restricted their patronage, huh? LOL.

Friday, October 19, 2012

It's Not It's, It's Its

I saw this ad in an inflight magazine on one of my flights to Las Vegas this year. It's an advertisement for Merriman's restaurants, touting the regional cuisine of Peter Merriman, one of the genre's originators.

It's a pretty nice ad, but you know how grammatical errors and incorrect word choices just wave me down and slap me across the face. The only word that caught my attention almost immediately was the word "It's" in the second subhead.

"Discover not just it's beauty but Hawaii's flavor" ... of course, it should be "its." What they're saying is you should "discover not just it is beauty," which absolutely doesn't make sense at all.

I don't know who does Merriman's advertising, but I'm available for proofreading at a very reasonable price.

Thursday, October 18, 2012

Really, Really Crabby

Meet Crabby, the epitome of the word "crab." This huge fellow was stuck in a tank at the Dynasty Seafood Restaurant in Cupertino where we went for a dim sum lunch one Sunday while visiting family in San Jose.

He didn't look all that happy, and I pity the fool who has to fish him out of the tank if somebody orders crab with black bean sauce. Crabby measured a good three-feet from claw tip to claw tip (more than four of my hand-spans), and you should have seen the look he gave me as I placed my hand on the glass.

I didn't ask what kind of crab he was because the waiters and staff were all running around trying to service the overflow crowd. Plus, they were all speaking Chinese and the only Chinese words I know describe food that I've had. But I can tell he's not a spider crab, or a king crab, or a spiny crab, because I looked up pictures of them on Google.

But he's definitely a cold salt water crab. Heck, if I were that cold and salty and ugly, I'd be crabby too.

I kid you not.

Wednesday, October 17, 2012

I Give Up. What's a Tomaote?

The last time I was in Las Vegas, I had dinner at d.vino's in the Monte Carlo Hotel & Casino. Outside the restaurant was one of those interactive LED posters with their menus (I love those things, by the way).

Because I'm the way I am, one word immediately caught my eye ... "Tomaotes" (in the phrase "Heirloom Tomaotes") What the heck is a tomaote? Was it a misspelling of "tomato"? Or was it a non-English word that meant tomatoes? Of course, I took a picture, so I could make fun of it later on, because that's just the way I am.

And then, on the printed menu they gave me at the table, there it was again. Tomaotes. Maybe it's the Italian word for tomato, I thought. When I got home, I tried Google Translate. Nope. Then I tried Babelfish. Nope again. No such word in any language. I did a Google Search, then a Bing Search. Nope, nope.

The search engines kept substituting "tomaote" for "tomato." When I insisted the searches look for the word "tomaote," They returned all the previous "tomato" results, but with the word "tomato" changed to "tomaote." So obviously, nobody but the d.vino people knows what the hell a "tomaote" is.

I think I give up.

Tuesday, October 16, 2012

Where Hawaii Ranks 15

There’s something quite memorable about living in Hawaii. We’re either at the top or bottom of lists, good or bad. You win some, you lose some, I guess.

Worst Rush Hour Corridors (INTRIX, Inc, 2012)
1.       HONOLULU, HI (58 hours wasted annually in traffic)
2.       New York, NY (57)
3.       Los Angeles, CA (56)
4.       San Francisco, CA (48)
5.       Bridgeport, CT (42)
Most Female-Friendly (iVillage, NBC Universal)
1.       Connecticut
2.       HAWAII
3.       Maryland
4.       Massachusetts
5.       California
Most Expensive U.S. Cities , Evening Out (TripAdvisor, 2012)
1.       New York, NY ($456.50, two nights at 4-star hotel, dinner, cocktails, dinner taxi)
2.       Boston, MA ($450.27)
3.       San Francisco, CA ($429.28)
4.       Washington, DC ($413.66)
5.       HONOLULU, HI ($398.23)
U.S. Airports with Highest Pandemic-Spreading Potential (Massachusetts Institute of Technology, 2012)
1.       New York John F. Kennedy
2.       Los Angeles
3.       HONOLULU
4.       San Francisco
5.       Newark Liberty
Lowest Obesity Rates (Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, 2011)
1.       Colorado (20.7%)
2.       HAWAII (21.8%)
3.       Massachusetts (22.7%)
4.       (Tie) Washington DC and New Jersey (23.7%)

Monday, October 15, 2012

Laundrimat? LAUNDRIMAT?!

I came across this strip mall sign while driving down Tropicana Boulevard in Las Vegas as I neared Henderson, on my way to Boulder Highway. 

It's a pretty nice sign, I have to admit, very modern and clean-looking, with the current temperature lit up in red. I was at a stoplight, so I had a chance to peruse the establishments at my leisure, when what did I see but a misspelled word. 

It’s "LAUNDRIMAT" (under the "104˚F" and "RUMRUNNER" listings). 

I mean, didn't someone proofread it during planning, during the sign construction, and afterwards? Sure, they do laundry, but even then, "laundry" isn't spelled "laundri," is it? (Or did somebody change the rules while I wasn't paying attention?) 

Good grief. But y'know, in a way I'm glad they didn't correct it. Now I have something to make fun of in my blog.

Sunday, October 14, 2012

Inconsiderate Buttheads

The valet area at the Monte Carlo Hotel & Casino in Las Vegas is pretty attractive, what with planters and greenery and even a separate enclosed air-conditioned area where you can wait for your car in comfort, avoiding the 100+˚ hellish heat outside.

And so, it’s pretty disgusting when a few inconsiderate buttheads use the planters to extinguish their stinky cigarettes when the valets drive up with their cars.
I mean, they don’t mind stinking up the air around the others waiting for cars, and they don’t mind trashing up the planters with their butts, but Heaven forbid they should stink up the insides of their precious cars … the asses.
There ought-a be a law.

Saturday, October 13, 2012

Hair ... What Did I Do to Deserve This?

So whom do I make an appointment to see if I have a complaint about the status of hair in men as we grow older?

Why do we lose the hair on our heads, while the hair in our nose, on our ears and eyebrows, on our face, and all over the rest of our body grows longer and bushier and whiter and curlier and coarser and ... and ... aargh!

Friday, October 12, 2012

Pearlridge Center ‘Canstruction’

It’s been a couple of years since I made it a point to check out the annual “Canstruction” competition and exhibit at Pearlridge Shopping Center, so the wife and I took a little drive out to Aiea yesterday just for the heck of it.

Sponsored by the American Institute of Architects, Hawaii Chapter, this is the seventh year that teams put together structures with cans of food, with winners advancing to the international level.  The sculptures were put together on Oct. 6, and the public can vote for their favorite (1 can of food = 1 vote) until Sunday, Oct. 21.
On that day, the structures will be taken down and the cans of food donated to the Hawaii Foodbank. According to AIA, the past six years have seen more than 204,000 pounds of food contributed (equaling more than 160,000 meals for the hungry.
Yep, that’s what they say on their website.
Anyway, we wandered around and took pictures. I have to say some of the structures looked pretty good. It wasn’t as much fun as the last time I went, for some reason … maybe the novelty of the thing has worn off with me. Maybe I’ve become more curmudgeony (curmudgeonier?) over the past couple of years.
Here are a half-dozen of the 14 entries:

Winner, Juror's Favorite Award
“CANmehameha: Hawaii’s Original Superhero"
Winner, Best Meal Award
“Hosing Down the Flames of Hunger”
By Hawaiian Dredging Construction Company

Winner, Best Use of Labels Award
“We Can 1UP Hunger”
By Group 70 International Inc.

Honorable Mention
“Hulk Can Smash Hunger”
By Ushijima Architects
"Captain Ameri-CAN Hawaii's Hunger Avenger"
By Pankow
"Everyone CAN Be a Hero"

Thursday, October 11, 2012

Misplaced Price Tags

Sometimes it becomes apparent that the store clerk didn’t pay attention to where s/he was placing the price tags on items for sale …

Or maybe s/he was?
Whatever. It all results in funny stuff (by the way, you might want to cover the kids’ eyes on some of these if they’re with you). No offense intended, none implied.

I kid you not. More at another time.

Wednesday, October 10, 2012

National Depression Screening Day

Just thought I’d mention that tomorrow, Oct. 11, is National Depression Screening Day – not an enjoyable topic to talk about, unless you’re one of the nearly 3% of American men and up to 40% of American women who suffer from depression at some time in their lives.

Did you know that four times as many men as women die by suicide in the United States? Did you know that as many as 1 out of 7 women become depressed after their child is born? Did you know that Latinos suffer from depression more than any other ethnic group? And did you know that as many as 2% of young school children and 4% of teenagers have major depression issues?
What are the symptoms? Difficulty concentrating, fatigue, feelings of guilt or hopelessness, insomnia, irritability, loss of interest in activities that used to be pleasurable, persistent aches and pains, overeating or appetite loss, sadness, an empty feeling, thoughts of suicide.
There’s more, but you can get all the information you need at:
As for me, having displayed none of the symptoms today, I’ll observe National Depression Screening Day tomorrow by checking out all the window screens in my house for dents. A depressing thought, no?

Tuesday, October 9, 2012

Fall's Here

Yesterday, I talked about finding a “sign” of the upcoming holiday season while messing around in Las Vegas.

Today, you can gaze upon another sign of the upcoming season – a pile of pumpkins, gourds and melons. This picture was taken at the Safeway we patronize when we’re in San Jose, but it’s system-wide. We saw a display just like it at our local Honolulu Safeway on Beretania Street.

It’s Fall, it’s Fall … so harvest away, my friends.

Monday, October 8, 2012

Pre-Seasonal Reminder

Here's a little picture to remind you that the holidays are just around the corner. Little pine cones sitting upright on the gravel at Floyd Lamb Park in Las Vegas.

It's rather ironic that they resemble Christmas trees and that the picture was taken in 110+ degree weather.

Pine cones = Fall. Just imagine if the pine cones were green and the gravel was white. What we'd have then is this: Pine cone shapes = evergreens = Winter = Christmas.

It's a little too early to think of Christmas, but after all, it IS October, and it IS Fall. Which means Halloween is a few weeks away, Thanksgiving is a couple of months away, and once that happens, Christmas can't be that far behind.

Don't you love these unexpected reminders of happy family times ahead?

Sunday, October 7, 2012

King Tut’s Tomb (Replica Version)

The Las Vegas Natural History Museum is always fun to visit. It’s not very large and I find it difficult to tire myself out wandering among the exhibits.
When I had the chance to see the “King Tut’s Treasures” exhibition in San Francisco, I passed it up for various reasons, so I had to satisfy myself with the Las Vegas museum’s display of replicas.
It’s actually part of the Treasures of Egypt permanent exhibit, and you’ll have to rely on a little sign to help you find the way there.
The replicas are pretty darned good, presenting several of the tomb’s best-known pieces – King Tut’s sarcophagus, his Golden Throne, war chariots, and his Golden Shrine. The replicas are one of two sets authorized by the Egyptian Ministry of Antiquities, so you know they’re accurate representations.
I took a lot of photographs; here are a few to whet your appetite: 
Tutankhamun's Sarcophagus
Golden Cobra
King Tut's Necklaces
King Tut on a Leopard
The 9-Year-Old King
Visit the place next time you’re in Las Vegas and stay away from the slot machines for an hour or two. The museum is located north of downtown, past Fremont Street, next to Cashman Field, on Las Vegas Boulevard (“The Strip”).