Friday, October 31, 2014

Phone Pix 33: Happy Halloween!

If it's Halloween, then Thanksgiving and Christmas must be right around the coroner ... er, corner.

Stores sure do get into the spirit (get it?), enticing me to whip out my phone cam and click away.

Here's what I got this year:

Masks, Long's Manoa, Sept. 3, 2014

Death Army, Long's Manoa, Sept. 3, 2014

Trick or Treat Candy, Long's Kamehameha Shopping Center, Sept. 10, 2014

Disney Trick or Treaters, Long's Kamehameha Shopping Center, Sept. 10, 2014

Goblins, Long's Kamehameha Shopping Center, Sept. 10, 2014

Witches' Shoes, Long's Kamehameha Shopping Center, Sept. 10, 2014

Alien Mask, Long's Manoa, Sept. 19, 2014

Skeleton Country Hick, Long's Manoa, Sept. 19, 2014

Door Sign, Safeway Manoa, Oct. 5, 2014

Corner Decor, Doctor's Office, Oct. 11, 2014

Wednesday, October 29, 2014

Chicken Drink

We ran across this unusual (at least to us Americans) drink while meandering around 99 Ranch Market in Fremont on our last visit there.

"Essence of Chicken Drink" ... I was almost curious enough to try it. But not if I had to buy a big box of the stuff. I mean, what if I didn't like it? I'd be tossing five bottles down the drain. Even the offer of a free cup didn't tempt me enough.

Still, I'm wondering what it tastes like. Chicken broth? Or does it taste like a chicken smells? Eww.

I wish they were selling individual bottles so I could buy one. Who knows? If it tastes fowl and not foul, I just might like it.

Monday, October 27, 2014

Kee Wah Bakery

While visiting family in Fremont, we took a drive one day to the San Jose area for haircuts (my grandson and me), and on the way back, stopped by Kee Wah Bakery in Milpitas.

The Silicon Valley bakery is part of the Hong Kong Kee Wah chain that specializes in moon cakes, with its American bakeries located in areas with substantial Chinese populations.

We bought some snacky stuff, including some delicious moon cakes to take back to Hawaii. Brought back some photo memories as well:

Can't wait to go back!

Saturday, October 25, 2014

Familiar Senior Moment

I love the Pickles comic strip, it so reflects real life according to the wife and me.

Thursday, October 23, 2014

Hospital-Blocked Downloads

This was interesting. Recently, I was sitting in the Queen's Medical Center waiting room so I could visit someone in the hospital. Naturally, I had my iPad with me to while away the time.

They had free wifi service, so I logged on to it, flexed my keyboard finger, and settled back to do some web surfing.

I thought I'd check the comments on one of my blogs, but when I tried to pull it up, this screen appeared:

Blogs, Personal Sites Blocked

I can understand this. Why should the medical center spend its download allotment on personal stuff? I think it's more for the employees, who shouldn't be reading personal stuff online on the job.

Everything else I pulled up came onscreen. So no problem.

Then, I thought I'd play some Solitaire. Now, with each new game I start, the game downloads a sponsor's ad from the 'net that I have to lay my eyes on before I can play a new hand. That's reasonable, and besides, I just click out of it right away.

But instead of the ads, this screen appeared:

Advertising is Blocked
That makes sense too. The only thing is, some ads came up, some were blocked. I wonder who made the decision as to what ads are "objectionable"? If I recall all of Solitaire's ads were pretty innocuous. But then, who am I to say what's objectionable to others?

Interesting, huh?

Tuesday, October 21, 2014

Food Name Failures 3

If you went shopping and saw these products on the shelves (or hanging on racks, as the case may be), would you buy them?

I know I would hesitate. No, I would quickly whip out my phone-cam and snap off a few. Because things like these should be recorded for posterity.

Therefore, for posterity, here are some food product name failures (at least in America), the last in my picture collection:

Sunday, October 19, 2014

Where Hawaii Ranks 29

Mostly good news this time, with just one ranking in the bad-news category.

Most Diverse Colleges in U.S. (USA Today, 2014) 
  3. Stanford University, Stanford, CA
  5. Pomona College, Claremont, CA 

Most Affordable (Cheapest) Public Colleges and Universities in the Western U.S. (, 2014) 
  1. California State University – Long Beach ($8,169 typical price tag for one year)
  2. University of Washington ($9,559)
  3. San Diego State University ($9,856)
  4. San Jose State University ($11,138)

Most Affordable (Cheapest) Private Colleges and Universities in the Western U.S. (, 2014) 
  1. University of the West (Rosemead, CA) ($8,017 typical price tag for one year)
  2. Brigham Young University – Idaho (Rexburg, ID) ($8,148)
  3. Heritage University (Toppenish, WA) ($10,660)
  5. Soka University of America (Aliso Viejo, CA) ($13,065) 

Highest Women's Ranking: Workplace Environment, Education & Health, Political Empowerment (, 2014) 
  2. New York
  3. Maryland
  4. Maine
  5. Nevada 

Highest Rate of Homelessness (U.S. Dept. of Housing and Urban Development, 2013) 
  1. HAWAII (465 per 100,000 population)
  2. New York (399)
  3. California (367)
  4. Oregon (360)
  5. Nevada (312)

Friday, October 17, 2014

No Goo in My Inner GPS

I recently had to do a drug store run at Long's/CVS in Manoa, coupled with a supermarket grocery run at Safeway Beretania. I did the food scrounge first, and emptied out my trunkload of groceries at home before heading off to Long's Drugs.

On the list that the wife gave me was Goo Gone. It's that liquid that dissolves sticky stuff from surfaces, skin, clothes, jars, etc. My son had borrowed the bottle we had, and never returned it.

So anyway, I got to Long's, found everything else on the "on sale" list, and proceeded to search for the Goo Gone. I went up and down the aisles, haphazardly at first, using my inner sense to determine where the hell it would be stocked.

I found Shoe Goo, I found Goop. But no Goo Gone.

So I renewed my search in a more organized manner. Up and down each aisle, no matter what was on display: Greeting cards, local food products, first-aid stuff, cosmetics ... because one never knows what logic hides in the minds of people setting up displays.

A half-hour later, still no luck.

Finally, I went up to a store employee sticking shelves and told him what I was looking for. He looked at me bemusedly, turned slightly to his left, and pointed. There, on the top shelf of the "cleaner" section was the Goo Gone, in squirt bottles and spray bottles.

Can you say, "Felt stupid"?

Wednesday, October 15, 2014

Phone Pix 32: Fish Market

We had a $25 gift certificate to Tamashiro Fish Market recently, so we used it to buy a pound of sashimi (raw tuna). Yep, it cost that much, but it was top grade ahi (yellow tail), so I can't complain.

Of course, we bought more than that, and while I was wandering around the market, I snapped a bunch of pictures of their offerings with my phone camera. After all, I don't go there very often and had to take advantage of the situation.

My pix, all taken on July 28, 2014:

Green Ogo (Seaweed)

Samoan Crabs

Uhu (Parrot Fish)

Akule  (Big Eye Scad)

Aku (Skipjack Tuna)

Manila Clams

High-Grade Ahi

Shellfish Poke (Raw Salad)

Ahi Poke (Raw Salad)

Fresh Pineapple

Bento Snacks

Local Pumpkins

Monday, October 13, 2014

Is It Time Yet?

My grandson is taking tae kwon do lessons on Saturdays, and has earned a little red stripe at the end of his belt signifying he has completed the seven lessons in the first levels. Fast forward several weeks and he's showing me a new belt with a yellow stripe going all around the length of the belt.

It's something he's proud of, and that pride is catching. If he's proud, his parents are proud; if he and his parents are proud, then his grandparents are proud.

It's fun watching the kids go through their exercises, and it's definitely amusing to watch the instructors trying to keep the 5-7 year-old boys and girls in focus. I'd compare it to trying to herd a bunch of cats whose attentions wander. You can't keep a kid from turning around and looking for a parent.

Inevitably, there are a couple of first-timers who're not so sure they want to be there, refusing to join the group and sitting on the side, with not-so-happy frightened looks on their faces, tightly clinging to their parents. But they'll come around ... or maybe not.

And then, there was this little exchange near the end of the last sessions I watched: 
  • Instructor: "Okay, next we'll practice (yaddah, yaddah, yaddah) ... low block with front kick."
  • Kid Student: "And then we go home?"
  • Parents: (Laughter, laughter, laughter) 

And yes. After that, everybody went home.

Saturday, October 11, 2014

Questionable Fixes 4

I'll close out this series with two themes: Cool, and Seats. By the way, these and the previous pictures were posted by Matt Buco on Just thought I'd give him some credit.

Cool Fixes (Fans and 'Fridges):

Seat Fixes (Where We Plant Our Butts):

I don't know about you, but I think these are quite inventive, myself.

Thursday, October 9, 2014

My Slug Mummy

A-a-a-and since we talked about dead people in my last post, here's a dead slug.

Not just any dead slug, mind you, but a mummified one that I created with a little bit of salt.

See, I went outside to read in my chair, and spotted a large brownish-black slug sliming its way across the lanai/driveway pavement. So I went back inside and brought out some salt, and as I usually do when I find slugs, poured some salt on this one.

It began to ooze liquid (as they usually do), then shrank until it could do no more. Eventually the liquid evaporated, or whatever it is that slug plasma does, and the remains ... er, remained.

Days later ... weeks later ... a month later, and it was still there, looking just the way it does in the picture. The ants didn't want it, the lizards didn't want it. But I found it interesting to watch its preservation process.

I'm such a nerdy dork that way.

Tuesday, October 7, 2014

The Zombie Apocalypse Store

The last time I was in Las Vegas, driving on Charleston to the Red Rock Casino where I was to spend the next few nights, I passed the Zombie Apocalypse Store at the corner of Charleston and Polaris.

I wanted to get to the hotel without stopping, so I snapped a picture through my windshield, fully expecting to return here and check it out.

Well, zombie memory that I have, I forgot. So I'm just going to have to check it out the next time I go there.

Stay tuned!