Saturday, November 29, 2014

Papa Burn

Here's something you don't see in Hawaii: Black Bear Diner's Papa Burn Habanero hot sauce in a bottle.

I've been to many a Black Bear Diner, but the first time I tried their hot sauce was last year when I visited my grandson in the Bay Area of California.

"Papa Burn" sounded good, so I poured some on my omelet. Lordie, I should have "sprinkled" it on my omelet. That bugger was hot. Not oppressively hot, unless one over-applied ... which I did.

I teared up so much and had to take my baseball cap off before it sogged up with sweat. It was then that I learned they have three degrees of hot sauce: Papa Burn (my day's nemesis), Mama Burn, and Baby Burn.

I should have started off with the Baby Burn, ya think?

Thursday, November 27, 2014

Something To Be Thankful For …

Today is Thanksgiving, and it’s a day to be thankful. So here’s something a bit timely but out of left field. Be thankful you can afford to have a nice Christmas tree this year.

Christmas trees are scheduled to go on sale this Saturday in Hawaii (and I think I saw a story about one lot that’s already opened).

That brings to mind TV’s “A Charlie Brown Christmas.” I actually find it a bit boring in my dotage, but there’s one image that sticks with me always. His Christmas tree. It’s become a Christmas icon representing a Christmas full of nothing a loner gets on the holiday.

You can make your own, you know. Just get a single branch, add a few tinsels and one or two cracked scrawngy decorations, and voila – your Charlie Brown Christmas tree.

Or, you can drive on down to Honolulu Airport and decorate this palm tree gracing the cell phone waiting lot.

Wouldn’t it be a hoot to find it decorated sometimes in the coming month? I’d be thankful for that.

Tuesday, November 25, 2014

Expensive Bike Lane

Late last year, the City and County of Honolu, in their all-knowing wisdom, decided to install the "King Street Cycle Track," removing the left lane from automobile traffic and parking, and blocking it off for use by bicyclers.

They're progressing, and the green lane is moving inexorably from downtown Honolulu to the Moiliili area of town (a two-mile stretch).

How much will it cost? $100,000. Not much by current purchasing standards, but still a hefty sum when you consider the inconvenience to drivers during rush hour.

Already the deleted lane has resulted in heavier traffic in the remaining lanes. How do I know this? Because I'm been there at various hours of the day.

All I can say is, I hope to see that lane full of bicyclists, the only way I consider the cost and inconvenience to ME as worthwhile.

So ... get out your damned bikes and ride to town.

Sunday, November 23, 2014

Miwok Beach

During one of our trips to California last year, we wanted to stop by Spud Point Crab Company in Bodega Bay to try some of their famous clam chowder and crab sandwiches.

Well ... my iPad GPS got it all wrong and instead of turning on the correct street, we continued on California 1 until we reached a long stretch of sandy beach -- Miwok Beach. It was a good place to turn around and start over.

It was indeed serendipity, for I discovered the beautiful beach by accident. I couldn't get to the beach itself because it was a ways down the cliff, but I was able to take quite a few pictures.

Here's my favorite one:

It's a panoramic shot and if you click on it, you should get a much larger picture.

Sometimes it pays to get lost, no?

Friday, November 21, 2014

Where Hawaii Ranks 31

Sometimes Hawaii can’t buy a good ranking. The first four are bad enough, but check out the last one.

Least-Fair State and Local Tax Systems (WalletHub, 2014)
  1. Washington
  3. Arkansas
  4. Illinois
  5. Florida

Most Over-Taxed Middle Class (WalletHub, 2014)
  1. Arkansas
  2. New York
  4. Mississippi
  5. Kentucky

Most Over-Taxed Poor, Bottom 20% (WalletHub, 2014)
  1. Washington
  2. Illinois
  3. Florida
  5. Arizona

Worst Airports in North America (, 2014)
  1. New York City La Guardia (LGA)
  2. Los Angeles International (LAX)
  4. Newark Liberty International (EWR)
  5. New York City JFK International (JFK)

Most Appetizing City for Zombies (Trulia, 2014)
  2. New York, NY
  3. Newark, NJ
  4. Boston, MA
  5. Washington, DC

Wednesday, November 19, 2014

Happy Belated Birthday, Wizard

On Monday, several comic strips paid homage to The Wizard of Id, a humorous and entertaining comic strip that celebrated its 50th anniversary on Monday.

I was totally unaware of the anniversary, so I'm late in extending my best wishes to Johnny Hart, Brant Parker and his son, Jeff, who've entertained us for decades.

Here are the comic strips that appeared in my Monday morning newspaper:


Dennis the Menace

Mother Goose and Grimm

The only thing bugging me is that the Honolulu Star-Advertiser does not run the weekday strips of The Wizard of Id.

Monday, November 17, 2014

Did You Know?

Here are a few facts I bet you didn't know:

  • Your shoes are the first thing people subconsciously notice about you. Wear nice shoes. 
  • If you sit for more than 11 hours a day, there's a 50% chance you'll die within the next three years. 
  • There are at least six people in the world who look exactly like you. There's a 9% chance that you'll meet one of them in your lifetime. 
  • Sleeping without a pillow reduces back pain and keeps your spine stronger. 
  • A person’s height is determined by the father, and his or her weight is determined by the mother. 
  • If a part of your body "falls asleep," you can almost always "wake it up" by shaking your head.
  • There are three things the human brain cannot resist noticing: Food, attractive people and danger. 
  • Right-handed people tend to chew food on their right side. 
  • Putting dry tea bags in gym bags or smelly shoes will absorb the unpleasant odor.
I kid you not.

Saturday, November 15, 2014

Phone Pix 34: The Color of Autumn

And the color is ... Orange!

You can tell when fall is at your doorstep when the color orange invades the shelf space at the local stores ... gently insinuating itself among the Halloween masks and decorations, then bursting forth in full glory on November first.

Here's what I found when I went phone-pixing this year:

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

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

Long's Manoa, Sept. 3, 2014

Long's Manoa, Sept. 3, 2014

Long's Manoa, Sept. 3, 2014

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

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

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

Thursday, November 13, 2014

Let Me Fix That for You 2

I can't stand it. Let me fix that! Let me fix that! Let me fix that! Please ... let me fix that for you.

Tuesday, November 11, 2014

Honolulu Airport Relocated Cell Lot Found

Remember a while back I tried to park at the old cell phone lot at Honolulu International Airport and discovered that it was closed? That was when my grandson and his mom were with me to pick up his father in August.

We ended driving around all over the place just to kill time. Remember?

Well, I found the cell lot when I picked up my other son at the airport. It's along Nimitz Highway, in what used to be a side road. Gotta say it's pretty handy, but not well-publicized. In fact, unless you know where it is, you'd have a small adventure trying to find it.

Anyway, here are a few pictures to prove I found it:

Sunday, November 9, 2014

Where Hawaii Ranks 30

Here are five categories in which Hawaii leads. Mostly not so good, except for the last one.

Worst States to Make a Living (Forbes, 2014)
  2. New York
  3. Mississippi
  4. Rhode Island
  5. Connecticut

Most Dangerous State for Older (65+) Pedestrians (Smart Growth America, 2014)
  1. HAWAII (6.81 deaths per 100,000 adults)
  2. California (5.03)
  3. New York (4.94)
  4. Washington, DC (4.47)
  5. Florida (3.92)

Most Dangerous State for Older (75+) Pedestrians (Smart Growth America, 2014)
  1. HAWAII (9.75 deaths per 100,000 adults)
  2. California (6.40)
  3. New York (6.02)
  4. Nevada (4.76)
  5. Florida (4.73)

Most Expensive State to Live In (USA Today, 2014)
  1. HAWAII ($122,000 annual salary required to live comfortably)
  2. Washington, DC ($105,000)
  3. New York ($100,000)
  4. Alaska
  5. New Jersey

Least Likely to Hit a Deer with Car (State Farm, 2014)
  1. HAWAII (1 IN 10,281)
  2. Arizona (1 in 1,238)
  3. Nevada (1 in 1,092
  4. California (1 in 970)
  5. Florida (1 in 938)

Friday, November 7, 2014

Hawaii Sets a Record … Again

First, some statistics:
  • Hawaii’s population: 1,404,054 (July 1, 2013, US Census Bureau)
  • Eligible voters (age 18+): 79.1% (1,110,606)
  • Registered voters: 706,890
  • Percent of residents 18+ registered to vote: 63%
  • Voter turnout on Nov. 4, 2014: 369,554 (52.3%), the lowest voter turnout percentage ever, since statehood in 1959.

Now, what it means:
  • About a third (32.9%) of the eligible voters (age 18+) in Hawaii voted.
  • A mere one-fourth (26.3%) of Hawaii’s population made decisions that affect the entire state.

This is disgusting, and it’s getting worse.

What did that mean for the governor’s race? The final results:
  • Democrat David Ige (our first governor with a very noticeable Hawaii accent): 181,065 votes (49.45%)
  • Republican Duke Aiona: 135,742 votes (37.08%)
  • Independent Mufi Hannemann: 42,925 votes (11.72%)
  • Libertarian Jeff David: 6,393 votes (1.75%)

Now, what THIS means is that David Ige was elected by a mere 16.3% of Hawaii’s 1,110,606 eligible voters. It’s like picking six adults in Hawaii at random, and appointing one to vote; the candidate s/he chooses wins the governorship. Are the other five of you going to be happy with that? I think not.

The solution? I don’t know … better candidates? (We certainly could benefit from that.) More competition? (We really need a strong two-party system in Hawaii.) Fewer nasty negative ads? (Good luck with that one.) Online voting? (But why make it so easy?) Distribution of a “give a damn” vaccine? (Hey, don’t laugh, it might work.) I don’t know.

But it’s enough to make one give up and not vote anymore. Now THAT’S something to think about before the next election in two years. It will be 50 years since I first voted in 1966. Perhaps it’s a good time to quit.

Wednesday, November 5, 2014

Chinese Restaurant Aquarium

Since I caught up with one set of pictures the other day that came from our April vacation to the Bay Area, I might as well show you these, taken at the Asian Pearl Restaurant in Fremont during the aforementioned trip.

No big deal, they're just pictures of seafood swimming around in waiting tanks ... waiting for what? Why, waiting for a diner to step up, point to one and say (in Chinese, of course), "That's the one I want for dinner."

Hmmm, I wonder if these particular fish and shellfish are still there? Or are they long gone and forgotten by now?

In memorium:

Black Bass

Cabezon Cod

Coral Prawns


Monday, November 3, 2014

Hawaiian Airlines (April) First Class

One problem I have with writing a regular occasional blog (how's that for an oxymoron?) is that I sometimes forget to write on a timely basis. The pictures I take often languish away in a folder in a folder in a folder until they're stumbled upon.

That's what happened with pictures taken on Hawaiian Airlines as the wife and I returned from Oakland to Honolulu. Mind you, between then and now, we went on another trip to visit family, seated in Comfort Class, which I had occasion to write about.

So ... at the time, I wanted to tell you about our inflight movie iPad. Yep, they provided each of us with an iPad loaded up with all the movies they were offering, as well as games and other entertainment. The only time I turned mine on was to take the above picture; wasn't interested in the other stuff as I had my own personal iPad loaded with stuff I liked.

But we did have a nice lunch (I have to tell you I don't remember who had what.):

Appetizer: Mesculun Greens
with bay shrimp and dressing

Appetizer: Chopped Chicken Lettuce Wraps
with scallion, cilantro (eww) and fresh lime juice

Main Course: Sous Vide Short Ribs
with demi-glace, mashed potatoes, asparagus and carrot

Main Course: Stir Fry Tofu
with haricot vert, cashew nuts and steamed rice

Dessert: Lilikoi (passion fruit) Cheesecake
There, now aren't you glad I found these?

Saturday, November 1, 2014

New Barber

I’ve begun patronizing a new barbershop. With all the construction going on at Ala Moana Center, it’s become exceedingly humbug to continue getting haircuts at Thom’s.

Kojak Craig
I went to Manoa Barber Shop yesterday for the first time in a couple of decades; it’s been at least 25 years since I've been there. The owner is Ayako Morikuni; her shop is near Manoa Marketplace, where the Safeway and Long’s Drug Store (where the wife and I often shop) are located.

My hair is easy to cut – I just asked for a #1, the barber whipped out her clipper, snapped on the #1 thingie and buzzed away. I’ve started doing this several years ago when it became apparent that I wasn’t growing a large-enough crop on the top of my head to make “just a trim” worthwhile.

I like this lady barber. She talks about things that interest me, she uses a hot towel to wipe my shorn head afterwards, she gives my shoulders a hand-vibrator massage, and she’s also not too expensive (not that it makes any matter).

Plus, it’s right up the street from where I live. Now, why didn’t I start doing this earlier? Silly creature of habit.