Thursday, July 31, 2014

Food Name Failures 1

It's incredibly unbelieving how companies come up with a trademark brand name. I can just see a committee of people huddled around a table discarding card after card of suggested names and/or catch-phrases until one grabs everybody's attention and imagination, and is declared the winner.

And so, a new product is born. Doomed, unfortunately, for an early demise if the consumer has anything to say about it.

Check out what what these committees came up with:

I have more,you'll see them another time.

Tuesday, July 29, 2014

Round, Round, Git Around

While driving to the Chinatown Marketplace in Kalihi, I saw some homeless tents set up next to the river. One can't help but feel for these unfortunates who can't afford a home or even the rent on a small apartment.

However, they still need to get to and from work. So the occupant of the red tent uses his motorcycle. Does it seem odd that a homeless person might still own a motorcycle?

It might, but not to me. I find it a bit inspirational.

Sunday, July 27, 2014

Questionable Fixes 2

Okay then ... here are a few more pictures that I found on (poster credit: Matt Buco). This time, it's bathroom fixes. It's amazing what some tape will do. And, how 'bout that multi-tasking drain thingy.

More to come later on.

Friday, July 25, 2014

Right on Cue

I usually don’t read the full-page ads that I find in my morning paper. You know, the colorful ones touting gold purchasing, or furniture, or coins. I just remove the sheet and don’t even look on the back because I know there’ll be another full-page ad there.

So it rather surprised me the other day when I turned the front page and my eyes went right to the word “que” (circled in the picture). I have magic eyes. If there’s a typo, grammatical error, or wrong word on a page, they’ll zoom right in on it.

There is no such a word as que. There IS a ’que (preceded by an apostrophe) that’s defined on as “barbecue” (chiefly in California). If that’s what they meant, then is the reader being encouraged to laugh while sitting on a barbecue?

Or did the ad writers mean queue, as in standing in line? If so, is the reader advised to laugh at jokes while standing in line?

Family Hearing Aid Center (“33 Years of Service, 6 Locations to Serve”) spent a lot of money to purchase the ad space in the Honolulu Star-Advertiser. You’d think Randy, the company’s leader, would have at least taken a look at the final proof before the ad ran, and if so, you would think he’d catch the error.
Maybe he doesn’t need one of his Lyric 3 hearing aids; maybe he needs a pair of eyeglasses?

Poor guy. I’m so embarrassed for him.

Wednesday, July 23, 2014

Knick Knack Paddy Wack

... Give the dog a bone.

Chris Carpenter just cracks me up.

Monday, July 21, 2014

Funny, Tennessee Doesn't Look Like That

I was watching the Travel Channel recently and hung around to watch a program about barbecue. Can't remember exactly what the show was called, unfortunately.

Anyway, one of the featured BBQ restaurants was Central BBQ in Memphis, Tennessee. That's the owner (or maybe it was the show's host) outside with the restaurant's sign.

But that's not what I wanted to show you.

Look at this graphic. It shows the host (hey, he's got a hat like the guy in the other picture, so that guy must be the host) driving toward Memphis, Tennessee. The problem is, he's in Kentucky and Kentucky is labeled "Tennessee."

That's Tennessee below Kentucky (the colored area). Methinks the show's producers, graphic artists, editors and whoever must have all flunked U.S. Geography 101.

Saturday, July 19, 2014

Snow in Them Thar Hills

On my recent trip to Las Vegas, I had a long layover in Salt Lake City Airport, something I really wasn't looking forward to, but it meant getting a bargain airfare, so it was all to the good.

I was particularly impressed that although it was summer, there was snow on the mountains. Not a lot, unless you were in the snow, of course, but a significant amount. And it did make a pretty sight from Gate C13.

No wonder it was chilly.

Thursday, July 17, 2014

An Un'Sightly' Headline

What would I ever do without the Honolulu Star-Advertiser? They're always good for a tsk-tsk shaking of the head every now and then.

Their latest boo-boo? On Tuesday just past, they used the word "sites" in a headline when they should have used "sights." That's the headline writer's fault (again).

I do feel sorry for the columnist, Michael Tsai, whose writing I do enjoy. And I feel really sorry for model Zoe Cipres, the featured subject of the story. Now the clipping to paste in her scrapbook really is tainted.

Of course, the headline would make sense in a creative sort of way if Zoe had some websites that she's focusing on acting.

But as far as I know (because I read the column), she doesn't.

Tuesday, July 15, 2014

Phone Pix 27: Airports

Whenever I travel, especially when I depart/arrive/connect at airports, I like to take pictures with my smart phone. If I remember, that is. One has to battle travel fatigue, and sometimes the brain just doesn't function the way one wants it to.

Still, when I do remember, I snap away.

Flight Information Display, Honolulu International Airport (HNL)
Honolulu, HI, Sept. 1, 2013

Welcome Sign, McCarran International Airport, Las Vegas, NV, Sept. 2, 2013

Club LAS Snack Area, McCarran International Airport (LAS)
Las Vegas, NV, Sept. 6, 2014

Departure Gate, Honolulu International Airport (HNL)
Honolulu, HI, Sept. 19, 2014

Display Case, Maui Airport Concourse (OGG), Kahului, HI, Sept. 19, 2013

Complimentary Power Station, Norman Mineta International Airport (SLC)
San Jose, CA, Sept. 30, 2013

Sunday, July 13, 2014

Hilo Days: The Mickey Mouse Club

Ah, great memories, going to the kiddie movies at the Palace Theater every Saturday morning while growing up in Hilo. This story appeared in my old Hilo Days website, and has been borrowed and run in other websites devoted to Hilo.


The Mickey Mouse Club.  It was the biggest weekly event that we kids looked forward to in Hilo.  Of course, when we moved to Ekaha Street in 1950, we didn't have television, so we couldn't participate vicariously in the television Mickey Mouse show.

But we did have our small town version.

Every Saturday morning, hundreds of kids would converge on the Palace Theater, just up Haili Street from the Standard Drug Store.  And for just ten cents ("one thin dime, one tenth of a dollar"), we would spend the next three hours in a world of fantasy.

The program would start with contests — yoyo, singing, dance, riddles — contests of any and every variety.  Next would come the sing-alongs where we'd follow the bouncing ball on the magical screen.  By this time, excitement was building to a point where we couldn't wait any more for the cartoons to start.

When the cartoons began, we kids brought the house down with our "Yays" and whistles.  Donald Duck's face would fill the screen, heralding a string of three to five Disney cartoons.  These were followed by a chapter of Captain Marvel, or Superman, or Cochise, or Flash Gordon.  Then, we had a Three Stooges short or two, followed by the feature film — usually a cowboy movie starring Hopalong Cassidy, Roy Rogers, Gene Autry, or the Three Mesquiteers.

Everything was in black and white (except for the cartoons), and we had no wide screen then.  It didn't matter.

It was great.  Most of the kids would bring 15 cents, enough for the movie and a small package of crack seed (li hing mui is still my favorite).

Of course, I usually had a quarter, so I could buy a 10-cent bag of popcorn in addition to my crack seed.  Interestingly, they didn't let you bring your soda into the theater.  You had to drink it outside and throw the cup away before you entered.

Once a year they'd have a big Mickey Mouse birthday party.  For the same dime, you'd get (in addition to all the aforementioned contests, sing-alongs, cartoons, serials, comedy shorts, and cowboy feature) a cup of Dairymen's vanilla ice cream, an eight-ounce bottle of Coke, and a comic book.  And they still managed to squeeze everything into three hours.

We'd go to these things religiously.  Our regular seats were the ones in the back of the front section (I guess it was about the 15th row).

The chairs there weren't the regular fold-up theater seats.  They were wicker chairs — big ones.  We'd get there early, claim the chairs, throw popcorn or crack seed seeds on the people in front of us, and generally harass the usherettes.

One of our favorite forms of harassment was to continually ask the usherettes what time it was, and how much longer we had to wait before the movie started.  Another was to call her over and tell her we'd dropped something under our seat, and could she please shine her flashlight there so we could see.

I went to the Saturday morning shows all the way through elementary school.  We didn't even have to make plans, or have someone to go with.  All I had to do was catch the bus or walk to the theater, and guaranteed, there'd be someone there I knew.  Of course, when I was a small kid, we used to go in neighborhood bunches.

Then, competition sprang up.  The Mamo Theater, which was located on the infamous Mamo Street (home of pool halls and Filipino Cadillacs), started a "Bugs Bunny Club."  It was essentially the same thing, except they showed Warner Brothers cartoons, gave us comics every Saturday, and let us take our drinks into the theater.

At first, the Mamo Theater went head-to-head with the Palace.  They did fairly well because the concept and program was new, but eventually everybody went back to the Palace.  To regain their lost audience, the Mamo moved its kiddie program to the noon hour, then later gave up altogether
The Mickey Mouse Club programs continued for years, even when I graduated from high school and left for college.  But it went downhill with the advent of television.  And I guess all the black and white cowboys died off and weren't replaced.

When I was home for Christmas the first year of college, I passed by the Palace Theater and saw the promo billboard on the sidewalk.  "Mickey Mouse Club 9:00 A.M. Saturday," it read, "The Sins of Babylon."

The Sins of Babylon?

Friday, July 11, 2014

A Siamese Cherry

Check out this Rainier Cherry that came in a clear plastic box I got at Costco recently.

There must be a scientific word for this phenomenon, but in my limited capacity as a fruit phenomenon-ist, I've decided to call it a Siamese Rainier Cherry in honor of Chang and Eng.

You know who Chang and Eng were, don't you? If not, Google it.

The funny thing about this cherry picture is that if you turn it upside down, it looks like the butt of someone who's sat on a stick. And that's no laughing matter.

Okay, I take that back, it is a laughing matter, with apologies to Chang and Eng.

Wednesday, July 9, 2014

Blueberry Hill Family Restaurant

During my most recent trip to Las Vegas, I ate at a coffee shop that the locals patronize – Blueberry Hill Family Restaurant on Decatur, the very first “local-favorite” restaurant I ever ate at in Las Vegas.

It’s been a while since I’d been to this particular location (they have five restaurants in the Las Vegas area); the last one I was at was on Flamingo, where the wife and I used to have breakfast before catching our flight home, because it was the closest to the airport.

The breakfasts used to be pretty cheap, as low as $5 for one of those standard eggs and potatoes with some breakfast meat and a cup of Java. They’ve changed their menu a bit, and the prices are a little higher, but it’s still a friendly place to go.

When I go alone, I shimmy up to the counter instead of waiting for a table. The counter waitress, whoever she may be, is usually very friendly and flirty. They always call you “dear” and “honey” there, which is kind of nice because it just comes naturally to them. Not forced or artificial at all.

Nothing much has change in the last 2-3 years since I last ate there, except a couple of the waitresses who I recognized looked a little older.

In case you’re wondering, I had smoked sausage and eggs, plus three pancakes of the humongoid variety. No pic because I’ve already written about the place in my “Place for My Taste” blog.

Monday, July 7, 2014

Questionable Fixes 1

I found these pictures on posted by someone named Matt Buco of actual repairs that people made to things that were broken. Some are quite ingenious, I think. Others ... well, what can I say.

No descriptions are necessary. The pictures just make you laugh and laugh and shake your head.

I kid you not!

More to come in the weeks ahead.

Saturday, July 5, 2014

Cleopatra is Back

Remember Cleopatra, the spotted dove that I named a few years ago because of its eyes that reminded me of the Egyptian queen? Well, she's back.

Actually, she never left. And actually, I don't know if it's the same bird. And even more actually, I don't know if Cleopatra is a female or a male. But who cares? That's the name I gave it anyway.

I'd taken a vacation from reading during the months of December 2013 to the end of May 2014, so I didn't go outside to my comfy beach chair to read during the day. And, as I used to bring something to feed the birds, they didn't get anything from me for a long time.

So when I began sitting outside again, munching on crackers and drinking my hot green tea, Cleopatra renewed her visits, flying down and walking around near me, looking at me with pleading eyes. Naturally, I succumbed and started feeding her. Once in a while, she'll hop on my foot rest.

The other day, she hopped on the chair next to me and leaned over to see what I was doing. I reached over and stuck my finger out, snapping a picture on my iPad as I asked her (out loud) to pull my finger. She looked at the finger, looked in my eyes, and strutted off a little annoyed, it appeared.

So I did the only thing I could do. I gave her more of my cracker.

Thursday, July 3, 2014

My Latest Las Vegas Car Rental

My most recent May car rental in Las Vegas sure went better than the flat-tire episode in Fremont in April.

Although, I must say I was surprised when I saw the car they assigned me. I'd ordered the usual - a compact, not only for the cost, but for ease of driving. So when they brought me a red Dodge High Caravan, I had some misgivings.

First, let me say that I like renting red cars. It makes it so much easier to spot the rented car in a parking lot ... how often have I wandered about looking for a blue or gray or black rental? Many times.

Anyway, the High Caravan sure felt solid and chunky, and it took a little bit of getting used to. For one thing, getting out of the car was a bit difficult because there's no running board and it's one helluva long step to the ground. I'm no spring rooster anymore, and it's tough to drop to the ground (I fear for my toes and ankles, to tell the truth).

The van had some neat features. For one thing, the key. What key? There's no traditional key with a jagged metal thingie sticking out that you shove into the ignition hole. No sirree. This one had a USB-type projection that fit into the ignition. The first time I had to insert the key, I was totally confused for a minute or so, until I figured it out.

I didn't have to insert the key when I picked up the car, and I didn't have to insert the key when the hotel valet got the car for me. But I did have to insert the key after I left Fry's Electronics, where I went after I drove out of the hotel's valet area. Yep, that was confusing.

The gear shift isn't on the steering column; neither is it in a console to the right of the driver. It's stuck there on the dashboard, reminiscent of our old 1960 Buick that had a push-button transmission control on the left-side of the dashboard. The more things change ...

It felt a little weird, but what the heck, I got used to it. At least I got to test-drive a brand-new Dodge High Caravan.

Tuesday, July 1, 2014

Phone Pix 26: Supermarket Shelf Displays

Every now and then, some of the food on the shelves of supermarkets catches my eye and I feel compelled to take a picture of the display. Not that it's necessarily attractive or anything; it just looks good.

But, more times than not, I feel like buying some of the stuff I photograph. That can be dangerous. Not to mention expensive. So here we go:

Beretania Safeway, Honolulu, HI, Aug. 30, 2013

R. Field, Foodland Supermarket, Honolulu, HI, Feb. 7, 2014

R. Field, Foodland Supermarket, Honolulu, HI, Feb. 7, 2014

Times Beretania, Honolulu, HI, March 19, 2014

Times Beretania, Honolulu, HI, March 19, 2014

Times Beretania, Honolulu, HI, March 19, 2014

Times Beretania, Honolulu, HI, March 19, 2014

Times Beretania, Honolulu, HI, March 19, 2014