Saturday, August 31, 2013

Smart Phone Pictures 3

Here's another group of smart phone pictures that didn't make it into a blog article. Some pictures, particularly those of hardware and other inanimate objects, look better in grayscale than in full color.

So that's what I did with these. I converted to black and white grayscale. They look pretty neat that way, don't they?

Drain Pipe Near Diagnostic Labs, Aug. 5, 2013

On-Off Handle on Stone Wall at Home, Aug. 8, 2013

Rock Lichen in My Backyard, Aug. 8, 2013

Zippy's McCully Waiting Bench, Aug. 12, 2013

Right-Handed Maneki Neko Cat, Aug. 20, 2013

Left-Handed Maneki Neko Cat, Aug. 20, 2013

Friday, August 30, 2013

Two Kinds of People

There are two kinds of people in this world. Those who think farts are funny, and those who don't.

I'm in the first group. I think they're hilarious. Maybe I should start a fart blog. Nah, I'm sure others have already done that.

Cheese, anyone?

Thursday, August 29, 2013

USC Football is Back

I’ve been waiting eight months for tonight – the first game of the University of Southern California Trojan’s 2013 football season. Last year, the Trojans started the season ranked #1 in the preseason polls, which of course, I knew would not hold up, despite my unwavering support for USC.
Sure enough, my alma mater wound up diving out of the Top 25 following losses to UCLA (unforgivable), Notre Dame (unforgivable), and (good lord) Georgia Tech in the Sun Bowl on New Year’s Eve. It was Coach Lane Kiffin’s worst record (7-5) of his USC head coaching career.
Wittek (l) and Kessler
Worse yet, to start the 2013 season, he can’t make up his mind who this year’s #1 quarterback will be – returning sophomore Max Wittek, who had to fill in for an injured Matt Barkley at the end of the 2012 season, or redshirt sophomore Cody Kessler, a nationally top-ranked quarterback while in high school.
All-American and 2012 Heisman Trophy finalist Marqise Lee, the best receiver in the Pac-12 and possibly the nation, is back after winning the Biletnikoff Award as the nation’s top receiver.
Senior Silas Redd, the outstanding runner who transferred from Penn State last year, is back. Redd, however, did not make the trip to Hawaii because he’s still recuperating from knee surgery in the spring. Neither will junior D.J. Morgan, the Trojans’ starting tailback, because of an undisclosed injury.
Other names of note: The Hawaii offensive line will have to contend with Hayes Pullard and Leonard Williams. Their defensive line and secondary will have to contend with tight ends Xavier Grimble and Randall Telfer.
I hate to use the term, “rebuilding,” but with a new quarterback, whoever he may turn out to be, and a revamped defense, 2013 will be just that.
But then again, in college football, isn’t every season a rebuilding season?
USC over Hawaii by 20. Fight on!

Wednesday, August 28, 2013

Need Will Find a Way

I saw this trash bin outside the Central Pacific Bank on the corner of Ward Avenue and Queen Street, while parked and waiting for the wife to cash a check inside.

See the arrow and inset in the upper left? That's a lock. They locked a bar over the bin covers to keep people from throwing their trash into the bin.

Well, you know that won't stop people. (1) See how the left cover is bent upward so small pieces of rubbish can be slipped outside? (2) See how someone just disregarded the lock in the first place and tossed a plastic bag on top?

I tell you, when access is denied, people can find a way to meet their needs.

Tuesday, August 27, 2013

The Adventures of Robin Hood

Robin Hood, Robin Hood, riding through the glen,
Robin Hood, Robin Hood, with his band of men.
Feared by the bad, roved by the good,
Robin Hood, Robin Hood, Robin Hood.

He called the greatest archers to a tavern on the green,
They vowed to help the people of the king.

They handled all the trouble on the English country scene,
And still found plenty of time to sing.

* * * * *
'Way back in the late '50s, when I was still in junior high school, I used to spend quite a bit of time watching television on our brand-new set in its blond cabinet with state-of-the-art black-and-white square picture. 
One of my favorite programs was The Adventures of Robin Hood, a series of 143 episodes starring Richard Greene as Robin of Locksley, and Alan Wheatley as the Sheriff of Nottingham. Archie Duncan (Inspector Lestrade in the 1954 Sherlock Holmes series) played Little John, Bernadette O'Farrell and Patricia Driscoll played Lady Marian "Maid Marian" Fitzwalter, and Alexander Gauge was Friar Tuck.
A couple of months ago, I bought a DVD set of 26 selected episodes that covered the origin of Robin Hood, his first encounter with the Sheriff of Nottingham, how Little John came to join his merry band, how Friar Tuck became a valued ally, and his acquaintance with Maid Marian. 
Very entertaining and nostalgic stuff indeed. I'm still singing that blasted theme song.

Monday, August 26, 2013

Hooked on Wine

Nothing really important about this picture, but I saw these bottles at R. Field Wine Co. in Foodland next to the Mormon Church near Beretania and Punahou Streets. Which in itself is quite ironic (selling wine next door to the Mormons, who disdain alcohol and caffeine of any kind).

I just thought the label on these bottles of pinot noir was amusing. Nope, didn't really pay attention to what winery bottled the wine. Nope, I didn't turn a bottle over to find out either. And I don't know how much a bottle costs.

I just liked the label. So there.

Sunday, August 25, 2013

Bad Jobs: Roadway Blues

The boss gave the worker just one job to do – just ONE! And look what happened. Drivers will be confused, causing accidents, and pedestrians will be standing on their heads trying to figure out what the worker meant.

I’m telling you, people actually get paid to do this work, and chances are, nobody fired them:


Saturday, August 24, 2013

Who Do You Think You Are? Chris O'Donnell

I've started watching this season's TLC's series of "Who Do You Think You Are?" that runs on Tuesday nights, and find it very interesting and touching.

Celebrities seek out information about their ancestors and dig up enlightening facts that make their own history so much more meaningful. This season (4), I've watched episodes featuring Christina Applegate (very touching indeed), Kelly Clarkson, Chelsea Handler (I had no idea who she is), Zooey Deschanel, and Chris O'Donnell (more about him later).

Upcoming are Cindy Crawford, Trish Yearwood, and Jim Parsons (I have no idea who he is).

Anyway, back to Chris O'Connell. The dude is 43 years old, and what he doesn't know about U.S. history is appalling. I think it was his great-great-great-great grandfather who was stationed at Ft. McHenry in Baltimore during the War of 1812.

O'Donnell visited the site and had to learn from the guide there about the siege by the Royal Navy that ended in a victory by the Americans simply because the British ran out of cannon shells and didn't want to risk coming within range of the American cannon.

I knew that, because I remember stuff from my American history class in high school.

He also didn't know that Francis Scott Key, impressed by the large U.S. Flag that was raised in place of the regular U.S. Flag, wrote a poem that turned out to become our National Anthem. I swear, O'Donnell was shocked. It was a huge revelation to him that his ancestor was present at the event that inspired our National Anthem.

C'mon! Everybody should know that history ... especially if he's in his 40's, no?

Friday, August 23, 2013

Costco ... Aargh!

Have I mentioned before that I hate going to Costco? I'm sure I have, but let me reiterate: I hate going to Costco.

Forget the fact that when one buys stuff in bulk, it turns out to be cheaper per item. And forget the fact that they carry stuff that I like. See, if I buy it in bulk, the work is only beginning. I need to break bulk when I get home, and that means breaking out the FoodSaver, which I bought from Costco, by the way.

Some things (like cereal), it just does not pay to buy in bulk if one doesn't have kids or eat a lot of cereal. I like cereal every now and then (like once a month or so). But a while back, I bought this humongous box of Frosted Mini-Wheats. I broke it up into six smaller FoodSaver bags, gave some away, stored the rest and kept some in a Ziplok bag. It took me six months to consume what was in the Ziplok.

In essence, I spent what it cost for the whole box just to have a few servings of cereal. Didn't pay off in the least.

What I hate about going to Costco is (1) finding parking, (2) pushing a cart that weighs a ton around the warehouse, (3) hearing so many things call out my name, (4) standing in a long line in a checkout area that has a dozen long lines, (5) loading all the stuff into the car, and then (6) unloading it when I get home.

I hurt myself often. Like this week, when we went, I strained my back loading/unloading the wagon, and loading/unloading the car, with a case of Coke Zero, two cases of Sunny Delight, a case of the tall Arizona Tea cans, a case of Hawaiian Sun fruit juices, and a humongous case-and-a-half case of Kirkland water.

Not to mention all the meats and other stuff that the wife kept tossing into the wagon.

I've been trying to consolidate our prescription pick-ups so I don't have to keep going back to Costco every week (sometimes twice a week). Mostly that's been working, but every now and then I get trapped into making a special trip just for someone's prescriptions that have run out. Sure, I call it in, but one has to go there to pick it up.

And when I have a new prescription renewal slip for someone, that's the worse. I am trapped into wandering around Costco for a half-hour to 45 minutes while I wait for it to be filled.

The worst thing about my Costco experience this week? I forgot to use the annual 2% rebate that they sent me last week. Damn!

Thursday, August 22, 2013

Chinatown Marketplace: Seafood

The wife and I stopped by the Chinatown Marketplace on Dillingham again for a couple dozen eggs from Ka Lei Eggs. We like that location because it's interesting to walk around inside the farmer's market there.

In fact, we haven't been to Ka Lei's Kalihi or Kaimuki locations in quite a while. Gotta do something about that, no?

It was nice and cool inside so my wandering was quite comfortable. I took particular note of the seafood laid out so nicely on ice, just waiting to be picked up and packaged for someone's dinner.

I noticed some of the seafood had been frozen, but most looked pretty fresh, caught very recently. All the eyes were clear, and the fish especially did not have any nose-wrinkling fishy smells. If I were in the market to buy fish, I would, but I'm lazy, as you know, and scaling, cleaning and fileting fish just isn't in my culinary repertoire.

But I did have my phone, so I took a bunch of sea creature pictures:

"Uhu" (Parrot fish)
Calamari (Squid)
Moano (Manybar Goatfish)
The pink fish on the right with the big eyes? It's not a moano.
Live Catfish (They were flopping around)
Na'ena'a (Orange Spot Wrasse)
Frozen Shrimp
White Crab

Wednesday, August 21, 2013

Smart Phone Pictures 2

Here's another mix of pictures that I've taken with my smart phone, with all the best intentions of using them to illustrate a Wandering blog post someday. I've dumped so many pictures over the years, and kept just a few.

I searched my files and found these. Since they're superfluous and I need to clear out my folders, I'll share them with you. I'll post more at a later date.

Thanksgiving at Karen's House, Nov. 23, 2003

Fremont Street Neon Museum Sign, Feb. 6, 2012
Black Witch Moth, Feb. 26, 2012

Frittata in Oven, June 6, 2012

Dented Rental Car, Las Vegas, Dec. 17, 2012

Brown Anole on Tangerine Tree, April 12, 2013

Tuesday, August 20, 2013

Foodland’s QueVision Screen

As I was grocery shopping with the wife the other day, I noticed a flat-screen monitor situated near the front entrance of the Beretania Street Foodland Supermarket. It had three circles with numbers in the middle of each.
It’s called QueVision, with military infrared cameras above store entrances and cash registers. The circle on the left tells the employees (and customers as well) how many checkout lanes are currently open. Then in the right-side circle, an estimate of how many will be needed in the next 30 minutes is shown.
I think the large center circle lets you know how many of the checkouts are currently being used (I couldn't find any information on the Web on this one). The goal is, of course, to reduce the amount of time customers have to wait at the checkout counter.
I did some research, and it seems that checkout people at some mainland supermarkets aren’t very happy with it because it instills panic in the store managers and pulls employees away from their other duties.
I wonder how Foodland’s checkout employees feel about the system. I’ll ask some the next time I’m there.

Monday, August 19, 2013

Ironic Mango Peckings

Remember a while back when I told you how the wife was picking those blasted cloyingly perfumy Pirie mangoes before they actually were fully ripe?

Her goal is to keep the mangoes away from the birds, the white-eye mejiro and the red-vented and red-crested bulbuls in particular.

She had picked a particularly nice one the other day, and put it on the table next to where I sit outside when I'm reading. Left it overnight. Which, it turned out, was just one night too long.

The next day, the mango was half-eaten. It had been peeled, the skin scattered around the fruit, and most of the inner flesh consumed by a bird or birds. What kind, nobody knows, but I suspect it's the aforementioned mejiro or bulbuls.

I had a good laugh, as I wasn't looking forward to sitting there with an overly sweet mango by my side. Which the wife didn't appreciate. She made me clean up the mess.

Sunday, August 18, 2013

Have a Drop of ...

Just outside the Diagnostic Lab facility I told you about yesterday, I saw a metal lock box with a red biohazard logo that caught my eye.

That piqued my curiosity so I went over to see what it was. It was a box to drop off blood and urine specimens when the lab was closed. I'm sure this was meant only for authorized people, and not for the hoi polloi like me.

Still, I wonder how much they would appreciate it (or not) if I left some blood and urine specimens in the box for them. Except I don't have appropriate containers. Would that matter, you think?

Good grief. I need help.

Saturday, August 17, 2013

A Visit to the Vampire Lady

Every three months, I visit Diagnostic Laboratory Services for a little date with the Vampire Lady. It's my quarterly blood-letting that precedes my quarterly checkup with my internist.

The Vampire Lady's name is Hong, and she's the best blood-drawing technician I've ever had.

She knows how to find the little tiny veins on the wife's and mother-in-law's arms; when others draw the blood, they have to do several pokes before they get it right.

Anyway, I'm usually in and out in less than five minutes, thanks to Hong.

In fact, the last time I was there, I barely had enough time to snap my self-portrait in the convex reflecting dome in front of my booth before she whisked in and sucked out my blood.

Very efficient indeed!

Friday, August 16, 2013

Funny (To Us) Signs from India 2

English-speaking people in/from India have some of the most precise diction I've ever heard. Unfortunately, they often spell phonetically, which makes for some humorous reading.

Here's a second set of signs from India that I'm sure sounds okay to them, but ...


More at a later date.

Thursday, August 15, 2013

Dog House for Rent

Photo by Craig, on Kaheka near Kanunu
Dog House for Rent: Near bus stop, large grocery/department store, restaurant. Comfortable two-story building (duplex), wall to wall carpeting. Outdoor plumbing, close to fire hydrant and light pole handy for 24-hour relief. Call Bowser Boy, (808) DOG-HOME.

Wednesday, August 14, 2013

Actually, Grandpa ...

When my grandson visited us in June, he brought hand-crafted gifts for the wife and me that he had made himself.

"Actually, Grandpa, it was daddy," the kid confessed. (I'm amazed that he qualified his sentence with the word, "actually." He's only 4, and I mean, how many kids talk that way anyway?)

"Ohh, you mean he helped you?"

"Yes!" he replied excitedly, "He helped me with the hard parts."

Lest you think the little flower dish he gave Grandma and the Angry Bird "piggy" bank he gave me were constructed in his little hands, they weren't.

They went to one of those craft stores where you pick an object, paint it, and they finish it up for you.

My grandson has a hard time not letting secrets slip. When we had talked on FaceTime, he did mention he had a surprise for me and the wife.

Kids. Ya gotta love 'em.