Monday, June 17, 2019

Funny Pregnancy Q & A

I saw these on Facebook awhile back and nearly fell down laughing. You may already have seen them there (or even elsewhere).

But just in case you haven’t, here are some often-asked pregnancy questions with appropriate (albeit irreverent) responses.

Should I have a baby after 35?
No … 35 children is enough.

I’m two months pregnant. When will my baby move?
With any luck, right after he finishes college.

Our baby was born last week. When will my wife feel and act normal again?
When the kids are in college.

What’s the most reliable method to determine a baby’s sex?

I was told it’s not pain I’ll feel during labor, but pressure. Is this right?
Yes. Just like a tornado might be called an “air current.”

Is there any reason I have to be in the delivery room while my wife is in labor?
Not unless the word “alimony” means anything to you.

Is there anything I should avoid while recovering from childbirth?
Yes. Pregnancy.

Do I have to have a baby shower?
Not if you change the baby’s diaper very quickly.

My wife is five months pregnant and so moody that she’s sometimes borderline irrational.
So … what’s your question?

Monday, May 20, 2019

Where Hawaii Ranks 50

It may be expensive to live in Hawaii, and our driving situation sucks, but all in all, people who live here still fare well.

Highest Overall Well-Being (Gallup, 2019)
  1. HAWAII (64.6 well-being index score)
  2. Wyoming (64.2)
  3. Alaska (63.9)
  4. Montana (63.5)
  5. (Tie) Utah and Colorado (63.4 each)

Worst States with Failing Infrastructure (24/7 Wall St., 2017) 
  2. Rhode Island
  3. West Virginia 
  4. Connecticut
  5. Pennsylvania 
Angriest Drivers in the Nation (insuranceQuotes, 2017) 
  1. HAWAII (5,872 Instagram posts about road rage)
  2. California (3,506)
  3. New York (2,200)
  4. New Jersey (2,129)
  5. Nevada (2,004)
States with Least Miserable Winters (Thrillist Travel, 2017)

  2. Arizona
  3. California
  4. Colorado
  5. Florida
Healthiest States in the Nation (United Health Foundation, 2017)

  1. Massachusetts
  3. Vermont
  4. Utah
  5. Connecticut

Tuesday, April 23, 2019

Helpful Adjective Order

I don’t remember where I saw this, probably on Facebook, but it was interesting—something about a young J.R.R. Tolkien being taught a valuable grammatical lesson by his mother, Mabel Tolkien.

To wit: Adjectives in English modifying a noun absolutely must abide by a certain order: 
  1. Opinion
  2. Size
  3. Age
  4. Shape
  5. Color
  6. Origin
  7. Material
  8. Purpose
  9. NOUN

Example: “Cute little old rectangular green French silver whittling knife.” Mess with the word order and you sound ridiculous.

All of us English speakers use that list, but usually can’t write it out off the top of our heads.

Back to young Tolkien. When he was 7, he wrote “green great dragon.” But because size comes before color, he was incorrect. According to mother Mabel, it should have been “great green dragon.”

You know who JRR Tolkien was, don’t you? He wrote the iconic fantasy geeks, “The Hobbit,” and “Lord of the Rings,” on which the Blockbuster movies were based.

Mother knows best. Yes she does. Now go back to what you were doing before I rudely interrupted.

Friday, March 22, 2019

Hilo Days: Was the Gangster’s Car Real?

A memory imprinted indelibly in my mind is when I paid a dime to see notorious Chicago gangster Al Capone’s car. I wrote about it in my long-gone blog, Hilo Days. But I did keep the post on file. Enjoy!

Al Capone’s Car

At least once a year, the E.K. Fernandez Carnival would come to town for a couple of weeks.

It situated all over the place, but generally near the present Hilo Civic Auditorium, or at St. Joseph's School, about a half-mile away from Obachan's house.

Invariably, it rained. One of Dad's favorite saying was that whenever E.K. Fernandez comes to town, it was going to rain. Come to think of it, I heard that a lot in those days. I believed it too, until I realized that no matter who came to town, it was going to rain. Hilo simply was the rain capital of the world.

One year, Obachan told me that Al Capone's (she pronounced it "Capo-nay's") gangster car was going to be displayed at the carnival. I think it was Walter J. and I who walked to St. Joseph's, and paid our dime to see the historic car.

It was an old '30s sedan, with bullet-proof windows. The man showed us where the bullets had bounced off the windows, leaving little marks.

We gasped at the bullet holes in the fenders. We gasped at the little holes where Al Capone's tommy guns stuck out. We gasped at everything.

The car was probably fake.

Thursday, March 7, 2019

Idyllic Song Lyrics

Back in, oh I guess it was 1966, when our little group was putting together a folk-singing trio, I dabbled in a bit of song writing. I didn’t get very far, but I did manage to complete one that we ended up performing at the South Pasadena (CA) Music Festival a couple of years later.

We completed the song to a grand ovation, then launched into our rousing encore number, If I Had a Hammer. Visit my song with me ...

The Beauty of My Land

Waving wheat in fields of gold,
Mighty rivers, truths untold.
On the hillside, look below and see
The beauty of my land.
Oh, come and take my hand,
Come and see her majesty so grand.

Fortunately, I had committed that first verse to memory. There were a few more, a requirement for public performance. Unfortunately, I had typed them out on my portable typewriter and saved in a file folder when the wife and I returned to Hawaii in 1972.

(It’s tragic that we had no personal desktops, laptops, tablets, iPads, or mobile phones with digital storage in those days. They were still many decades away.)

The song turned into “wayward socks,” you know the ones that enter a washing machine and/or dryer, never to be seen again. Despite my recent intensive search in all possible places the lyric sheet might have been hiding, it’s disappeared.

Perhaps someday, I’ll have the energy and inclination to complete the song with new lyrics.

Wednesday, February 6, 2019

Acquired Accents

It’s a matter of life, we all take on the local accent of the area where we grew up or lived in for a substantial period of time.

Where we went to college, for example. Or where we relocated for our longtime employment.

Well, let me tell you, I recently unintentionally acquired some language inflection (accent) changes from—get this—television series on Amazon Prime Video and Netflix.

During my recent Facebook break, I watched 78 episodes (6 seasons), of “Justified,” set in Harlan County, Kentucky. After the first season, I noticed a Southern inflection in my speech. As might be expected, it intensified as the series progressed.

Even in mah wrahting, I stahted using “y’all,” “yondah,” “precious” and “bless” moah than ah used tah . And when ah rehd thangs, ah mentahly sounded lack a true Suthnah.

Any thoughts of growing out of it were dashed when I started binge-watching “The Closer” (7 seasons, 109 episodes), whose principal character moved from Atlanta to become Deputy Chief of LAPD’s Priority Murder Squad.

And she has one helluva Southern accent.

I had the same experience when I binged on a few British detective drama series (e.g., “Midsomer Murders,” 20 seasons, 122 episodes; “Broadchurch,” 3 seasons, 24 episodes).

Result? A bit of an English ahccent. I stahted dropping my “r’s,” saying “Jawj” when I meant “George.” It made me wahnt t’open a can-a beah. I started wokking the flaw.

I guess the English and Southern accents have become permanent parts of my language now. And maybe it’s not such a bad thing.

Thankfully, I don’t speak pidgin English with a Hawaii accent anymore. Got rid-a DAT buggah when I relocated to Los Angeles in the mid-‘60s.

Thursday, January 3, 2019

Where Hawaii Ranks 49

It’s been a while since I’ve compiled a small list of Hawaii rankings.

Greatest Decrease of Veteran Homelessness (Statista, 2018)
  1. Nevada (87.8% decrease)
  2. Ohio (25.4%)
  3. HAWAII (24.3%)
  4. South Carolina (23.1%)
  5. South Dakota (21.8%)
Best States for Women’s Rights (WalletHub, 2017)
  1. New York
  2. Minnesota
  3. Maine
  4. Nevada
Smallest Work-Hour Gap, Men-Women (WalletHub, 2017)
  1. Nevada
  2. Maryland
  3. Florida
  4. Delaware
Largest Islands in the United States
  1. HAWAII, HI (4,021 sq. mi.)
  2. Kodak Island, AK (3,588)
  3. Prince of Wales, AK (2,577)
  4. Chichagof Island, AK (2,080)
  5. St. Lawrence Island, AK (1,983)
States With The Most Active Volcanos
  1. Alaska (141)
  2. California (18)
  3. Oregon (17)
  4. Washington (7)
  5. HAWAII (5)

Sunday, December 23, 2018

Hilo Days: The Summer of ‘52

Every summer was an adventure—some fun, some not so fun—when I expanded my little world. I wrote about the summer of 1952 in my old website, Hilo Days (now defunct). I'm reposting it here for you s you can reminisce about your good ol' days ... and laugh at me.

My Super Tricycle

Santa was good to me that year [1951]. And good thing too, because during the summer vacation that followed, that rat Michael broke the news that there was no such person as Santa Claus.

I got this real neat tricycle that was big. I mean it was about three feet tall, and about four feet long with pedals and a chain-drive that made it a cross between a kiddie tricycle and a full-fledged two-wheeler.

I'd join the neighborhood kids pedaling up and down the street—up the hill and down again—always about 50 yards behind, sucking up their dust. Of course I got no respect from those with two-wheelers, but I was the envy of all the ones who had no wheels at all—Reggie, Michael, Laureen and Billy Boy.

One day I smashed into a junk pile at the bottom of our driveway and flushed out a big rat. The kids reacted in one of two ways. Half the kids screamed and ran away, and the other half joined me as I picked up rocks and started pelting the poor creature.

I was pretty brave until Michael informed me that all rats have this bug that carries a disease and if you get too close, it would jump on you (the bug would) and bite you until you die. I believed him.

He may have been stretching the truth a little bit, but I believed him. I don't know why. He was a couple of years younger than I was. In retrospect, he must have been talking about the plague.

There was one time I had a hard time believing him. We were sitting on the front steps of my house during the summer of 1952, when out of the clear blue sky he asked if I believed in Santa Claus. Of course, I said. Well, he said, there's no such person. Santa Claus is your daddy.

Talk about being crushed! I called him a fricking liar, and all the small-boy swear words I knew. The nerve of that little twerp telling me there's no such thing as Santa Claus. Boy! I never realized at the time what a wise kid Michael was. I never broached the subject with Mom and Dad; I guess I was afraid of what their answer would be.

I was beginning to grow up and I think I made giant strides in that direction during the summer of '52.

Saturday, December 8, 2018

California Munching

Whenever we visited family in the East Bay Area, we made it a point to eat breakfast (and sometimes lunch) out when our grandson was in school and his parents were at work. I’m continuing that tradition. It’s a good one.

Here’s what I ordered on my most recent California vacation:

Bill’s Cafe, Fremont: Chorizo Omelet (Mexican chorizo, avocado, onions, cheddar cheese) with freshly made salsa, hash browns, and 12” flour tortilla

Classic ‘50s Diner, Fremont: Three-Egg Texas Chili and Cheddar Cheese Omelet with onions, potatoes and rye toast

Dina’s Family Restaurant, Fremont: Pork Chops and Eggs with hash browns and wheat toast

Wake Up America G-T, Newark: Salmon Benedict with fresh fruit and country potatoes

Mil’s Diner, Milpitas: Country Fried Steak and 3 Eggs Special, with country gravy, hash browns and toast

Dino’s Family Restaurant, Fremont: New York Steak and Eggs with country potatoes and toast

Jack’s Restaurant and Bar, Newark: Bananas Foster French Toast with LinguiƧa Sausage

Panera Bread, Fremont: Ham, Cheese and Roasted Tomato with Over-Easy Egg breakfast sandwich, and Seasonal Fruit Cup

The Country Way, Fremont: Hamburger Patty and Eggs with country potatoes and sourdough toast

Black Bear Diner, Fremont: Shasta Scramble (avocado, spinach, tomato, onion, bell pepper and jack cheese) with fresh fruit and a biscuit

Bill’s Cafe, Fremont: Mexicali Benedict (pulled pork carnitas, avocado, tomatoes and freshly made salsa) with country potatoes

Dino’s Family Restaurant, Fremont: Pancakes with fresh strawberries and a side of linguiƧa sausage

* * * * *
A few times, I had lunch out:

Local Cafe, Cupertino: Fish Ball Noodle Soup with Honey Lemon Iced Tea

Scoma’s, San Francisco: Fried Combo Platter (sea scallops, prawns, sole fish sticks). Condiments (l-r): ketchup, cocktail sauce, tartar sauce, pickles

The Trident, Sausalito: The Trident Cioppino (salmon, crab legs, prawns, calamari, mussels, clams, vegetables, tomato broth) and Garlic Bread. Plus (below), "Breakfast Appetizer" ... Deviled Eggs with Bacon

Tuesday, November 13, 2018

LBJ (2017)

In this election year, it seemed the timely to watch Woody Harrelson’s outstanding portrayal of President Lyndon Baines Johnson in the 2017 film, LBJ.

Fortunately, it was available for viewing on Amazon Prime Video without any additional fee.

If you didn’t know Harrelson was the principal character, you’d never recognize him. His features were amazingly changed to resemble Johnson, and his voice alone would convince you that he was the real thing. It's Quite a departure from his days as Woodrow Huckleberry Tiberiius "Woody" Boyd on Cheers.

If you are unfamiliar with LBJ, who adopted the “initials” identification early in his political career to emanate the revered FDR (Franklin Delano Roosevelt), know that he was one of the most powerful senators and U.S. Presidents in American history.

He was chosen by John Fitzgerald Kennedy (JFK) to be his 1960 running mate. Although, he was hampered by a huge and aggravating ego, and dissatisfaction with playing second fiddle to the charismatic Kennedys. After the Kennedy assassination, he overcame resentment of the Kennedy clan, and persevered a path to greatness.

LBJ was largely responsible for the passage of the 1964 Civil Rights bill that essentially changed the face of America. The Civil Rights Act ended public segregation and banned employment discrimination on the basis of race, color, religion, sex, or national origin.

Eventually, however, his image was tarnished by decisions to expand the Vietnam War, and shockingly, LBJ became the last sitting President not to seek re-election: “Accordingly, I shall not seek, and I will not accept, the nomination of my party for another term as your President.”

Personally, I was vocally anti-war during his tenure, as were many college students, and vilified him. But I still respected his office and have come to respect the man as I matured during the years. The film LBJ helped heal me.

I’d say more, but you really should watch the film.