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Sunday, November 19, 2017

Friday 5 for November 17: Makin’ It

From Scrivener's weekly Friday 5 blog comes these questions:



1. What skill seems like it would be really fun to learn?


Learning how to play the piano or guitar may be fun. I can read music on the treble clef side after I learned how to play the trumpet in high school. I'd probably have trouble figuring out the bass clef side. I'm also not very good a finger picking on a ukulele, so doing that on guitar may be difficult.


Other than that, perhaps learning how to fly an airplane may be fun, but could be very expensive.

2. Which of the winter Olympic sports would you love to compete in?


I really suck at all sports to a point that for most of my life I just avoided any kind of partipation in sports except for photographing some sporting events or watching a few on TV or in person.


That said I don't have any interest in winter sports and have never watched the winter Olympics on TV. We have no snow in 95% of the places here in Hawaii, which means there is no cultural connection that I know of to any winter sports.


However after going through a list of sports played in the Winter Olympics, the only one that I would be even remotely interested in is Curling. Why? Because I first saw it when I was a kid on The Beatles 1965 movie “Help!


I thought that was one of the goofiest things I saw grown ups play…. sweeping some big kettle like stone on the ice from one place to another. Of course the scene in that Beatles movie was meant to be funny I think, hence my thought of the sport being one step up from silly.


And this is an Olympic sport? Who'd have known!

3. What fun craft did you make when you were a kid, in school or at camp or somewhere else?


In middle school I took a semester of woodworking class. This was way back in around 1971. I created a dog figurine door stop and a double horse napkin holder (see photo above).


4. If everyone in the world is the best in the world at some very specific thing, what are you most likely the best at?


I was very good at setting type copy on the Itek Quadritek 1200 to 2400 series of phototypesetting machines. It was a computerized system that the operator had to use codes to set all kinds of parameters to get copy out. I was very good in creating forms on this expensive device without having the benefit of having a WYSIWYG graphical user interface. It was all green screen text with codes to set attributes to each action of copy or graphics that the end user wanted to create. Granted for its time this system was complicated to use if you dived into the deep end. The tagging system was a precursor to mark-up languages we have today, such as HTML.


After personal computers became popular, namely the Macintosh platform, publishers and everyone else including myself moved on to these which were far superior in their capabilities and whole lot cheaper than the old stuff from the 1970s and early 1980s.


5. What’s something you own that was handmade by someone you know?

I have a handful of examples of crochet pieces that my grandmother, Mary Pawela Ah Ching created when she was alive. (1901 - 1987)





Friday, November 10, 2017

Friday 5 for November 10: Space

Just The Moon


1. Of all the spaces in your residence, which is most powerfully your space?

All of it. I own and live in my small studio apartment which is essentially just one room combined with all the amenities except the bathroom and closet which are separate. That said, the living area is the most immediate of the “powerful”.

2. What’s the most spacious space in your everyday life? 

The great, urban outdoors and once in a blue moon the outdoors in the countryside or on another island if I choose to travel.

3. What’s a good song about space?

There’s plenty and here are my top 10:
  1. Space Oddity - David Bowie - one of the most iconic “space” songs out there.
  2. Main Theme From ‘Star Wars’ - John Williams / London Symphony Orchestra
  3. Rocket Man - Elton John
  4. Major Tom - Shiny Toy Guns - One of the few remakes I like better than the original.
  5. Theme From ‘Babylon 5’ (Season 5) - Christopher Franke
  6. Across the Universe - The Beatles
  7. Space Cowboy - Steve Miller Band
  8. Theme From ‘Star Trek: The Next Generation’ - Alexander Courage / Jerry Goldsmith
  9. Man on the Moon - R.E.M.
  10. Blue Danube Waltz - Strauss / MGM Orchestra from ‘2001: A Space Odyssey’.

If you haven’t heard the above songs before, just search YouTube. There are videos and audios of every one of these. I would link them to this post, but unfortunately my main internet is down and I am posting this using my cell phone data stream.

4. What’s under your bed?

I have 2 flat storage bins containing various computer cables with add on accessories, and another with my old iBook G3 laptop and a small PC Notebook. Both have issues, both may be fixable. There is another small container with audio cables.

My New MacBook Pro

5. What are your thoughts on typing one space or two spaces after sentences.

When I first learned how to type on manual typewriters it was two spaces at the end of a sentence before the start of a new sentence. This works today only if you are using a TYPEWRITER with monospaced fonts. Other than that, NO NO NO!

In 1977 at my college’s publications department I was taught that on our then new, state of the art Itek Quadritek 1200 photo typesetting computer, that it was only a single space at the end of the sentence because of the use of proportional fonts even in those very early days of computerized typesetting. From that point on, I ingrained that mantra to all electronic, computerized keyboards I have used throughout my life. SINGLE SPACE AT THE END OF A SENTENCE BEFORE THE START OF THE NEXT.... works all the time with Macs, PCs, Chromebooks, smartphones, tablets and anything else that uses proportional fonts (which is just about everything). It is the mantra! Get with the program you double space Luddites!

And while I’m at it, do not underline text. That is what italics are for.




Friday, October 13, 2017

Friday 5 for October 13: Dear Old Golden Rule Days

1. When did you last raise your hand to be called upon, to get someones attention, or in response to a how many of you question? Or heck, for any reason at all?

Last Friday, October 6. We had a building meeting to address issues with the pipe re-construction project. Raised my hand several times to ask questions.

2. When did you last have to do anything akin to homework?

Currently looking into how to use Constant Contact email software. Also trying to figure out Live POS computer system closing details.

3. When did you and your friends last go outside to play?

I occasionally go on walks with my friend Lisa.

4. How’s your penmanship nowadays?

It is basically good. What do you think?






5. Among stuff you periodically eat, what reminds you most of your lunches in the school cafeteria?

Curry hamburger stew and rice (haven't eaten this in a long time since it has a high salt content). This is the only dish other than certain types of pizza and hamburger sandwiches that may come to mind in comparison to what we had for school lunch back in the day. I also don't eat these foods on a regular basis due to high salt and fat content. Gotta keep that blood pressure in check! :D


Friday, October 6, 2017

Friday 5 for October 6: Nonstrosity

From Scrivener's weekly Friday 5....

1. What’s a good movie for October that has nothing to do with monsters or Halloween?



For me anytime of the month is great for watching classic science fiction movies such as "Star Wars", "Star Trek" and legions of others. Of course several do have monsters. So to not include anything remotely connected to monsters or sci-fi, I consulted this list (http://www.townandcountrymag.com/leisure/arts-and-culture/reviews/g844/classic-fall-movies/) for a few suggestions. Two that come to mind that fit the fall / October season for me that I like are "Rudy" (the football movie) and one of your favorites, "The Breakfast Club".

2. What’s a good couple of songs for October that have nothing to do with monsters or Halloween?



At the top of my stack would be John Lennon's "Imagine". Why? Lennon was born on October 9, 1940. The song also hit its peak on the charts and radio airplay in the fall of 1971. Other songs that I associate with October that are non-Halloween include:

* Where Evil Grows - The Poppy Family (1971)
* Everything is Coming Our Way - Santana (1972)
* Straight On - Heart (1978)
* Magic - The Cars (1984)
* Desert Moon - Dennis DeYoung (1984)
* Like The Weather - 10,000 Maniacs (1987)

3. What are some reasons to love October?

Generally I don't "love" a month over any other. Whatever comes around in a given month, goes around, only to come back next year. Perhaps the thing I like the most about October which is not unique to that month alone, is that it is one of 7 months that have 31 days in it. So it gives you a slightly longer time before you have to pay next month's bills.

4. Radio stations sometimes call this month Rocktober, doing special playlists or giveaways in celebration of rock music. What would be a better rhyming name for this month, and how might it be celebrated?

Mustangs & More in Kailua

How about "Cartober", a month to celebrate the automobile! The obvious way to celebrate is to have car shows all around the nation on a specific day and a national weekend to go out and drive your car for a leisurely ride.

5. What would be a good holiday to establish in October for those U.S. states not commemorating Columbus Day?

From the National Day Calendar website here are suggested October holidays that I would consider adopting for states not commemorating Columbus Day.



October 5 - National Get Funky Day (just missed that one)
October 9 - National Pro-Life Cupcake Day
October 15 - National I Love Lucy Day
October 18 - National Chocolate Cupcake Day
October 23 - iPod Day
October 28 - National Chocolate Day
October 29 - National Cat Day

Hello Poof!

Friday, September 29, 2017

Friday 5 for September 29: Pay Day

Granted

From Scrivener's weekly Friday 5:

1. From whom did you receive your first real paycheck?

Village Pharmacy in 1976. So very long ago. Store no longer exists.

2. Among board games involving the exchange of money, which have you enjoyed most?

Monopoly

3. PayDay is the name of a candy bar consisting of salted peanuts rolled in caramel surrounding a firm, nougat-like center. How does it sound to you if you haven’t tried it, and how do you like it if you have? Is there a similar candy bar you like better?

Never had one. Can't eat too much sweets, borderline diabetic.

4. When did you last do something nice for yourself just because it was pay day?

Nothing recently. Paycheck is too small. Have to use that for living expenses.

5. What person with the surname Day are you most familiar with?

Beside the two mentioned on the linked list (Daniel Day Lewis, Sandra Day O'Conner) I know no one personally with the surname Day. The other celebrity that I know with a name sounding exactly like "Day" is Susan Dey, actress who was in the TV series, The Partridge Family in the 1970s and L.A. Law in the 1980s - early 1990s.





Friday, September 22, 2017

Friday 5 for September 22: I Don’t Get It Either



Scrivener's Friday 5: Questions inspired by stuff I don’t get.

1. Twitch is an enormously popular livestreaming platform mostly for watching people play video games. It has more than 1.5 million broadcasters and more than one million visitors per month, and Amazon acquired it for nearly a billion dollars in 2014. Which of your computer activities would you livestream if there were a way to make some money doing it?

I was almost going to answer this as totally “none” but after thinking about the EDM answer below, why not stream the creation of a real time EDM mix? I don’t know if there’d be money in this, but barring the RIAA, it could be tried I guess.

2. EDM (electronic dance music) is usually performed by DJs on stage in front of audiences, playing tracks they’ve mixed, right off their laptops. If you were a push-button DJ playing your tunes in a club, what would be your opening and closing songs, assuming everyone’s there because they’re into whatever sounds you’re into?

I’d probably start out with “Hello” by Martin Sloveig & Dragonette and finish with some kind of EDM mash up of The Doors’ and The Beatles’ “The End” with a whole pile of stuff in-between.

How’s that? I’ve messed with this stuff on my Mac using Virtual DJ Home and “songs” off of Soundcloud, Jamendo and my own tracks on iTunes. Been awhile since I done one. There are way too many EDM songs and mixes out there to keep up with the stuff. Plus you kind of have to be in the mood and make time to do a mix… not to mention be confident enough that you are not going to mess it up!

3. What’s a good Adele song, and why is Adele so popular?

I have no idea why she is so popular, but I have to guess her music appeals to a wide demographic. Teen and college age girls, middle aged and older people like myself. Her music gets played on “top 40 CHR” radio as well as “Adult Contemporary”, “Soft Rock” and even some “Alternative” formats. So her appeal must be wide enough to cut across the age and demo barrier. Furthermore I think the critics and her peers love her. She’s got a bunch of Grammy Awards.  Plus her three albums are just like numbers corresponding to her age I think…. 19….. 21….. 25. I have 2 of 3 albums.

That all said my top 5 Adele songs:

1. Hello
2. Rumour Has It
3. Send My Love (To Your New Lover)
4. Rolling in the Deep
5. Water Under the Bridge

Don’t ask me why I like the songs. They’re pretty good IMO and I have played them many times.

4. The Walking Dead?

Oh I was a “Walking Dead” on the morning I had my heart attack. I was in pain, walked back to the car and called an ambulance. Help!

Never watched the TV show, cut my cable cord years ago.

5. Every generation seems to arrive at a “They don’t write ’em like that anymore” attitude. Why does it seem like most middle-aged people lose interest in new music?

A verse right out of the Greg Kihn Band’s “The Break-up Song”... heh… Why do middle age people lose interest in new music? Well since I am a bit beyond middle age I think, and was part of the walking dead (in the question above) I may be able to offer this speculative answer:

It’s generational. The succeeding generations are seeking their own type of music and would rather disassociate themselves from the music their parents liked, especially during the teen and college aged years. They found their own music. They are going to stick to it, nurture it and cherish it in the years to come.

Funny thing about that, as they age, they hold on dearly to the music they grew up with and when their kids start listening to weird crap, the former youngsters who are now the parents and near retirement, hold on to the music that they associate with memories of their life just as dearly as the generation before.

It gets to a point that “hey I don’t want to listen to that rap crap you’re into” and they stick to familiar stuff like The Beatles and Led Zeppelin. Imagine this: A lot of senior citizens have now grown up on rock n roll.

Their ranks will get larger as The Rolling Stones generation of baby boomers age and stay in rest homes, still trying to rock out to Mick Jagger but excluding modern artists like Justin Beiber, Taylor Swift, Kendrick Lamar and others. Am I making any sense here?

I kind of consider myself sort of the exception as I have incorporated some of the newer artists into my music collection and playlists I often create on my iTunes and Google Play Music.

My Old Radio

Perhaps older people just don’t want to “discover” new music, because the way we used to do music discovery was mainly through the radio. Today radio is targeted for younger people and skews heavily toward the “Urban Contemporary” format meaning that you will get way too much hip hop music… which to people of my generation is like, no dice… not for long stretches of the broadcast day.

So we turn to more melodic formats such as “adult contemporary” (which lately is skewing more towards a CHR 1990s plus demo), “classic rock” and “oldies”. One thing about “oldies” is that oldies radio doesn’t play much 1950s and 1960s rock n roll since a lot of people in those demos are not listening to the radio. Stations can still make some money on 70s and 80s music though not as big as before.

Younger people are more foolish spenders so advertisers rather reach them than the reserved adults who don’t spend as much. Hence more hip hop music.

Variety is still the spice of life. I jump from format to format with streaming services such as the free Accuradio site just to listen to music that is different. They have a wide selection of music formats and eras you can listen to. Check it out.

I’ve rambled on too much here… Bottom line is that old fuddy duddies will mostly stick to the music they grew up with to the exclusion of trying something new. It probably gets to the point where the new music of today is just “noise”.



Thursday, September 14, 2017

Friday 5 for September 15: What Ails ‘Ya

From Scrivener's Friday 5 - What Ails Ya.... oh boy.

1. How do you treat a bad case of the Mondays?

Since I work mostly at nights now, Mondays are usually not bad. I already had off for the day and by the time work comes around, I don't have a Monday blah.


2. How do you fight off a case of the blahs?

Sleep in or listen to music if I can.

3. How do you deal with a bad hair day?

If it is still long I comb it down. Otherwise it is manageably short when I can afford a haircut. Any guys cut their own hair?

4. What’s your strategy for FOMO?

I've seen this acronym before. Had to look it up. There is a Wikipedia entry for this:

"Fear of missing out or FoMO is "a pervasive apprehension that others might be having rewarding experiences from which one is absent". This social anxiety is characterized by "a desire to stay continually connected with what others are doing". "

I don't get anxious about missing out on things I see people post about on social media websites. So what if I don't eat a fancy meal, travel to an exotic place, buy the latest expensive iPhone or whatever. Most of the things people do cost a lot of money that I don't have or don't want to spend. I do hit that like button if they take a nice picture of a place or something.

I get more anxious about how much government recklessly spends our money, taxes us, builds stupid things like elevated rail on a small island, or advances a leftist, liberal agenda. Ugh!

5. How prone are you to Instagram envy?

Not at all. I stopped using Instagram the day they said "we own your photos and can use them for promotional purposes without compensation" a few years ago. I yanked all of my posts and discontinued my account.

Last year I rejoined under a different user name but haven't posted anything since 1. I don't use the app and 2. I only have about 4 to 8 followers. I am happy not to be an active Instagram user. I only check it once in a while via the website and you can't post anything that way.

I also don't do Snapchat, and Facebook messenger. Ugh!




Friday, September 8, 2017

Friday 5 for September 8: Consumption





The following questions come from Scrivener's weekly Friday 5 blog.

1. What is your paper towel consumption like?

I go through one standard roll about every 5 to 6 weeks.

2. What condiment do you use most often?



Since I am not supposed to consume too much salt, Pepper is my #1 go to condiment. Also use other condiments from the Mrs. Dash family of seasonings. Pepper is the new salt! BTW, seasonings are about as close as I get to regularly consuming a "condiment". I rarely do ketchup, mayonnaise, salad dressing, etc. since much of these things have a salt content.

3. What is your sticky note consumption like?

I'm not a post-it notes type of person. I usually just keep rough notes on scraps of paper on my desk which are usually the backs of sales receipts and bank ATM statements. If the note is very important I either re-transcribe them on the computer and save them in Google Keep or Evernote. If I am feeling lazy or not readily available to access my computer or connected device and don't want to lose the paper scrap? I take a picture of the note, save it to Google Photos in my album called notes and stuff.

I also have a small white board (photo below) that I can write notes on. If I want to keep the note, I take a picture of it.



Granted the three computer methods are not that efficient since notes could exist anywhere among the three. But at least they won't get lost.

The main reason why I don't use post it and other sticky notes is that I can get by using what I have for free instead of buying these expensive, throwaway sticky note pads.

4. What’s your coin jar setup?

1 jar for Quarters, 1 jar for dimes and nickels and 1 jar for pennies. When they fill up I take em to Coinstar and change them for cash bills. The downside to that is that Coinstar does take a cut. However if I have too much loose change it gets to be a humbug to count them all.... especially pennies.

Quarters I mostly keep since I have to gamble on the coin slot machines (known as washers and dryers) in my building to do laundry! Don't you just hate it when you dump a bunch of quarters in the dryer and your clothes don't completely dry on the first cycle! Errrrrrrr.....

5. What’s something you’ve purchased recently that was lower in price than usual?

Don Quijote had a vendor outside selling donut hole sized Andagi (Japanese malasada) in a bag of 4 for a dollar the other day.

I go to the HMSA Farmer's Market to buy a bag of 4 lemons for $2 and a bag of 4 or 5 onions for $2. The other Farmer's Market at Kaiser Pemanente at Pensacola have onion bags for sale at $1.50.

Friday, September 1, 2017

Friday 5 for September 1: Sandwich or Nah?

"Hello, and welcome to this week’s Friday 5! Please copy these questions to your webspace. Answer the questions there; then leave a comment below so we’ll all know where to check out your responses. Please don’t forget to link us from your website!"

Before we get started let's put in the definition of what a sandwich is. From the Merriam-Webster Dictionary the definition of sandwich is:

a :  two or more slices of bread or a split roll having a filling in between
b :  one slice of bread covered with food

Furthermore Wikipedia gets a more elaborate on the word with photos and everything else.

Simply, Lunch

1. Why is or isn’t a hot dog a sandwich?

A hot dog is a sandwich. You got your wiener / sausage sandwiched between two buns which is usually made out of the same stuff as bread.

2. Why is or isn’t a hamburger a sandwich?

Lunch Today

Again a hamburger is a sandwich because it consists of a patty or patties sandwiched between two (or more) slices of bread and/or buns, plus all the other stuff in-between. Shown above is a home made burger that I cooked up for lunch with a macaroni salad and juice some years back. Mmmm... yummy!

3. Why is or isn’t a wrap a sandwich?

In a most casual way I consider it a sandwich though we are stretching it since it is a single wrap rolled with the meat and other goodies sandwiched in-between.

4. Why are or aren’t Oreos and ice cream sandwiches sandwiches?

Creative Dessert


Getting further from the definition above, Oreos and ice cream sandwiches are technically not sandwiches. However marketers have done a great job as defining them as sandwiches... mostly the ice cream people... When I go to a place and see "ice cream sandwich" I know exactly what they are talking about. Frozen treat dessert between two slices of crispy (supposed to be) cookie/cracker layers.

Ditto for Oreos, because the white cream (or whatever other color they are selling) is sandwiched between the 2 chocolate cookies.

So while not strictly sandwiches, I will go with the marketing hype that describe these foods as sandwiches in their own right.

When you think about it, using the term sandwich seems to be "anything placed between two items front and back, top and bottom"....

You got sandwich boards... you know those advertising signs that stand up as an A-shaped tent or worn by people passing out flyers on the street.

A car wreck can be "sandwiched" as one vehicle between two other vehicles or between one vehicle and a solid object such as a wall.

5. Why does or doesn’t listening to an audio book count as reading the book?

To me an audio book is the same as reading a regular book or ebook. The content for the most part are the same for the printed book as it is for an audio book. The only thing you miss in an audio book are photos and graphics since those cannot be presented within an audio format.

Whether you read the text yourself or listen to it and get the message or story being conveyed in the book, then it counts as "reading the book."

I have a friend who has poor eye sight. She is a prolific reader. In recent years she has read hundreds of books that she either borrowed from the State Library for the Deaf and Blind or through her subscription from Audible. Traditional print books are marketed as such... the audio edition of the book.

What's For Lunch?
Ba Le Sandwich is one of my favorites.

Friday, August 25, 2017

Friday 5 for August 25: Five of Whatever

From Scrivener's Friday 5 blog:

Waimanalo Beach Park

1. How tidy are your kitchen cabinets?

Not too much food, so it is not very messy. I have plates, cups and a few other things in the other cabinet.

2. What’s an art project you did in school that you remember fondly?

In "Summer Fun" classes way back in 1965 we did two wood pieces that I still have back home on the Big Island of Hawaii. I think I may also have a ceramic truck and ash tray we made in 5th grade. Gotta look for that. Took photography in college, learned how to do black and white processing and still have plenty of my negatives and contact sheets. Slowly scanning those old negatives in to digital.

3. What’s the best thing you ate on your most recent trip?

Probably some cake & ice cream at my sister's place back in February since it was around her birthday.

4. What’s the dumbest non-political thing you’ve seen lately?

RAIL... oh that's political.... sorry I can't shake that one since it is the biggest, most expensive and stupidest mistake of the century still costing us way too much money and creates more problems than it solves.

Other than that I can't think of anything else.

5. What’s soemthing in your home that’s lasted longer than you expected?

I tend to buy or keep things that will last a long time. I hate built in obsolescence. That said here are photos of some old things that have lasted a long time in my home:

Kodak Brownie Hawkeye Flash

Above: I bought this 1950s era Kodak Brownie Hawkeye flash camera at the Salvation Army store in Honolulu for $4 back in 1979. It still works and I currently have a roll of old 620 film in it. Below is the 1960s era Minolta SRT-101 35 mm SLR camera that I've owned since buying it used in 1978 for $70. I have taken many pictures with it through my college years, and even use it from time to time today. I have since massed a small collection of manual focus Minolta 35 mm SLR film cameras over the years.

Minolta SRT 101

My Realistic Mixer

One of the best things I ever bought brand new is this Realistic 4 channel stereo mixer. I've had this thing since 1985 and it still works just fine today. There are a couple of things wrong with it... the headphone monitor output seems to have lost it, and one of the knobs broke off when something hit it in 2016.

Tape Deck

This is probably the last of the 5 or so stereo cassette tape decks that I have owned over the years. This one still works and I should use it more often to transfer the content of some of my cassettes over to a digital format before the belts inevitably break someday.

Top photo: My 1993 Toyota Corolla which I bought used in 2000 is still runs with only 101,200+ miles on it. I drove it from Honolulu to Waimanalo Park just the other day to catch some sunrise and beach photos.

Other old things I have around my home which are over 10 years old now include: Power Mac G4 tower computer, Macintosh Plus computer, many vinyl records, cassette tapes, and even CDs, old photos, negatives, cups, plates, an old pot, and a Sears Kenmore refrigerator.





Friday, August 18, 2017

Friday 5 for August 18: Homecoming

Happy Hawaii Statehood Day! :D

I haven't seen any Spiderman movie since Spiderman 3 with Toby Maguire in the lead role from 2007. Questions from Scrivener's Friday 5 blog.

Police Action

1. What’s the crime like in your neighborhood?

July 2017 HPD report to Ala Moana Neighborhood Board #11:

- Honolulu Police Department (HPD) – A sergeant reported the following:

• June 2017/May 2017 Statistics – There were 14/24 motor vehicle thefts, 11/7 burglaries, 169/158 thefts, 33/34 UEMVs (unauthorized entry into motor vehicles), 16/24 assaults, 3/5 sexual assaults, 1/0 graffiti incidents, and 13/21 drug offenses. Total calls for service were 5,754/6,177.

• Business Security Tips – Tips included installing a video security system, having address numbers visible from the street, and knowing the neighbors to watch out for each other.

Don Quijote – Ammons reported that a resident e-mailed him about loud noise and possible criminal activities at the laundry mat. HPD is aware of the situation and he will follow up with the Third (3rd) Watch.

2. If you could have attended one of those high schools with a specific academic focus, such as performing arts, studio arts, sustainability, science and technology, international languages and diplomacy, or some option you thought of yourself, which would you have chosen when you were thirteen?

Business and Technology - unfortunately they did not teach much of that in the government school system back in the day.... though I hear it may be worst now....

3. What was memorable about a party you remember from high school?

After our senior year dance we stayed at the hotel in Kona. We had some crazy party in the room and I remember calling one of our goofy teachers in the middle of the night (like 2AM in the morning) asking if his refrigerator was running. We were also jumping from bed to bed, playing loud music on the cassette player, eating and throwing chicken bones off the balcony of our 4th floor room or something. It was a long time ago. We were still stupid kids.

4. Which of your older relatives is (or was) the handsomest or prettiest?

My cousin Dorian was Miss Aloha Hawaii in 1972 and was first runner up in the Miss Hawaii pageant. Her talent was dancing the hula to the 1960s novelty song "Puka Puka Pants" that was recorded by JoAnn Campbell. She is a few years older than me.

5. What was homecoming like at your high school? How did you feel about it?

Homecoming was a big thing in small town Honokaa where only one government school serviced the entire area consisting of Honokaa, Waimea, Kukuihaele, Kapulena and Paauilo. Homecoming week consisted of something happening on campus daily for 5 days that led to the big football game of the season. We had like pep rallies, movies, intramurals and one year a gigantic water balloon fight. We also had a bonfire the night before the game and also a parade. Highlight for each class was to build a float and have it parade through town following the 2 bands from the community... the Honokaa County Band and the Honokaa High School Band. I was in the band. And then the big football game which as far as I can remember, our school always lost until 1973 and 1974, in which both years Honokaa was the Big Island Insterscholastic League (BIIF) champions. Honokaa's Class of 1975 which I was part seemed to win several of those parade float trophies or whatever as well as the pep rally stuff... probably because for our small school, we had one of the bigger classes at the time.

When the school turned 100 years old there was a large homecoming parade of a sort where a lot of the older classes showed up for still a special celebration. Some photos from that are shown below.

Honokaa town is laid out in such a way that it was always good to have a parade go through it.


The July 2000 Honokaa School Millennium Parade. Photos by Mel.



Friday, August 11, 2017

Friday 5 for August 11: Scattergories Part 7!

Japan Airlines Boeing 787-8 JA829J

What random letter was generated by the online random-letter generator (this doesn’t really count as one of your five questions)?

Questions from Scrivener's Friday 5 blog.

1. What’s something gross whose name begins with the letter? 

Some types of WORMS are gross, like um... MAGGOTS eating decaying, dead flesh. That whole scenario is gross.

2. What’s something crunchy whose name begins with the letter? 

* Waffles

 3. What’s something (or who is someone) you wouldn’t mind hugging whose name begins with the letter?

There are only 3 people in my Google Contacts list that start with W. I don't want to hug anyone on that portion of the list.

4. What’s something whose name begins with the letter and can be found on a passenger airplane?

  Hawaiian Airlines Boeing 717-200Wings

5. What’s something (whose name begins with the letter) you could purchase at a hardware store?

Wheelbarrow
Weed Whacker
Window Frames
Window Shutters
Windows
Wastebaskets
Wiring
Washers

Friday, August 4, 2017

Friday 5 for August 4: In Your Head! In Your Head!

The questions are taken from Scrivener's weekly Friday 5.

1. Which mythical monster would you most enjoy discovering (first- or second-hand) is real?

Loch Ness Monster - If it is real it is best that it stays in its lake in the U.K. and not be a menace to seagoing transport. Would love to see concrete, scientific proof that this beast exists. A series of great photos and videos would do the trick. Come on people in the U.K. Where are those GoPro cameras flying over Loch Ness trying to get images of the elusive beast.

2. When did you last exhibit monstrous behavior?

When I lost a 48 page legal document I was typing in the computer many years ago after the power cut out for a minute! Lesson learned: save your work as you go along.

3. What do you think of monster trucks?

I would not buy an expensive toy like that. It's fine for people who have disposable income and like that kind of vehicle to crush other vehicles. If the owners are doing it for a show and deriving income from said truck(s), then it is totally fine with me. I just would not own one myself.

4. If you like monster movies, what’s a monster movie you dislike? And if you dislike them, what’s a monster movie you like?

Monster movies I dislike: Probably most slasher type of movies - Friday the 13th, etc.

Monster movies I like:



1. ALIENS (the second in the series was the best, and perhaps greatest monster movie of all time).

2. THE FLY (1986 version with Jeff Goldblum)

3. BEAST FROM 20,000 FATHOMS - Classic 1953 Ray Harryhausen stop motion animated movie that inspired all of the big dinosaur movies that followed.

4. NIGHT OF THE LIVING DEAD (1968) - The original, low budget, black & white movie foreshadowed all of the zombie movies that followed. This is a good movie made on a shoestring budget.

5. GODZILLA, MOTHRA - The Japanese Toho productions made monster movies fun. Especially the ones with people in rubber suits dressed as gigantic monsters.

Honorable Mentions - MONSTER IN THE CLOSET (1978), CARRIE (1976), KING KONG (1933).



5. What song about a monster (or with the word monster in the title) do you really like?

My top 5 monster songs:

1. Zombie - The Cranberries
2. Monsters and Angels - Voice of the Beehive
3. Werewolves of London - Warren Zevon
4. Frankenstein - Edger Winter Group
5. The Monster Mash - Bobby "Boris" Pickett



Friday, July 28, 2017

Friday 5 for July 29: Off Balance


The following questions were posted to Scrivener's Friday 5 page.

1. What most recently made you giddy?

Nothing recently. My life is fairly mundane. I don't get giddily excited about anything. Things just happen. They may be good or they may be bad. Sometimes we never know.

2. What most recently left you agog?

The Diamond Head Lighthouse is celebrating their 100th anniversary this year and the U.S. Coast Guard is going to have an open house next month. Most certainly want to check this out. Prior to that, maybe going to my last rock concert to see Ringo Starr.

3. What most recently left you aghast?

My paycheck?

4. What in your life is the most higgledy-piggledy?

I would have to phrase that as "was" because for many years I was mired in household clutter. Had to get it all cleaned out last year. I sold or donated many books, records, tapes and CDs. I regret getting rid of several LPs.

5. What was your week a mish-mash of?

Scheduling.



Koyaanisqatsi: Life Out of Balance - trippy old film from 1982 that is compressed into 5 minutes here.

Friday, July 21, 2017

Friday 5 for July 21: Let’s Get Physical

Questions from Scrivener's Friday 5 site.


1. How confidently could you turn a cartwheel right now? 

ZERO. I am too old to be doing this kind of stuff. Don't want to break a bone anytime soon.

2. How (physically) flexible are you?

Basically I am a walking stiff. ZERO.

3. How are your Frisbee-throwing skills?

Haven't thrown one in decades so I would have to rate it at a ZERO.

4. Which carnival game do you have the best shot at winning?

Never played carnival games because it is a way for them to take away more of your money in the hope that you may win something, usually useless like a stuffed animal. ZERO.

5. How good are you at toss-the-paper-in-the-wastebasket?

Fair. I sometime can get 2 points depending on how far away I am.

Thinking about this song right now:



Friday, July 14, 2017

Friday 5 for July 14: Mornings Are for Coffee and Contemplation

From Scrivener's Friday 5 blog:

"In honor of Barb somehow getting an Emmy nomination (look it up if you don’t know and you’re curious), five questions."

First of all who the heck is Barb? Never heard of her. Looked up Emmy nominations here: http://variety.com/2017/tv/news/2017-emmy-nominees-list-nominations-1202494465/ - Saw no mention of this person. Plus I haven't seen any of the TV shows nominated except for the first year of Better Call Saul on some pirate website. Because I am such a cheap ass and cut my cable years ago and watch mostly YouTube and free stuff that is old on free streaming channels, I don't keep up with current TV except for local and Fox News.

1. Why are waffles better than pancakes?

Waffles have ridges and they are far more crispier than flat pancakes.


2. What’s something you remember about being 11?

Eleven was 1969. The most significant thing I remember was watching the first lunar landing and moonwalk by the astronauts of Apollo 11.... all on a colorful, grainy, black and white TV... using an antenna because in those days there was no cable.

3. What experience do you have with role-playing games such as Dungeons and Dragons?

None. I can't remember doing a role playing game ever. Just another personification of I not being a serious gamer beyond a 5 minute Nintendo app that can kill me in less time than that.

4. How do you feel about carnival rides that make you go upside-down?

Nauseous.... avoid at all costs... which is easy since 1. I rarely ever go to carnivals and 2. all rides are outrageously expensive.

5. You’ve seen Matthew Modine in more films than you realize (which he famously admitted during his opening monologue when he hosted Saturday Night Live in 1988) (filmography here). Which have you seen, and which was the best?

After looking at the filmography list, the only movies I've seen with this guy in it were the following:

Full Metal Jacket
Memphis Belle
Men in Black

I don't remember the Modine characters very well in any of those movies.

Out of the three movies, I remember Full Metal Jacket the most due to the basic training section of the story which were ultra memorable because of the conflict between the drill sergeant and the bumbling Private "Pyle". Intense. The movie then falls apart during the Vietnam War portion because it did not look like a tropical jungle or environment. Found out later that the film was shot entirely in the U.K.... not exactly a tropical place. Fail.

Memphis Belle I remember because the crew of the B-17 bomber were all shot to hell but they still made it back to base after the bombing run. Modine's plane was shot down and he died. Heh. ☺

Don't remember anything about his role in Men In Black. Was not really impressed with that movie at all.... I don't take too well to comedy in scifi.

From the three movies mentioned above, Full Metal Jacket is the best but not because of Modine.




Friday, July 7, 2017

Friday 5 for July 7: Grabby


Questions from Scivener's weekly Friday 5 blog.

1. There’s a convenience store nearby and you have a small case of the munchies. What do you grab?

Lately a granola bar like the one pictured above.

2. You’re about to get on a plane and someone just stole all your reading material, but there’s a newsstand nearby. What magazine (of likely available titles) do you grab?

Who buys magazines these days? They cost at least $5 a pop not the $2 of years gone by. The internet has free stuff you can read, but of course the damn thing don't work on many flights. Of course you can always download a book or PDF file of some sort to read on your device. Or maybe even listen to a podcast. Plenty of stuff to keep you entertained and informed while on a plane.

3. On a regular work day, where do you grab lunch and what do you get if you don’t bring a lunch from home?

I don't have much time for lunch, so the granola bar (above) is a substitute.

4. Instead of a lunch, you decide you need a quick nap during your workday. Where can you grab 40 winks?

We'd be fired if we slept on the job. :O

5. How close to your head is your cell phone when you’re asleep in bed?

Today's smart phones are pretty much internet access devices and digital cameras more than they are a phone, so yeah, they are close by so you can get news, information or entertainment. Mine is on the night table connected to a long charging cable.

Unboxing Samsung Galaxy J7

I purposely leave the damn thing at home when I don't want to be bothered. For emergency use I do carry around an out of commission Alcatel phone that can still do emergency 911 calls.

Friday, June 30, 2017

Friday 5 for June 30: Shape of Things to Come






















The M House by Melvin Ah Ching © 2017

Questions from Scivener's Friday 5 blog.

1. What shape is your mood today?

Moods change through the day. As of this morning, my mood is reservedly optimistic. Got the day off, jury duty was postponed.

2. What snack comes in a fun shape?

Animal Crackers.

3. Someone’s building your dream house, but it has to be in the shape of a letter of the alphabet.  Which letter do you choose?

A B C D E F G H I J K L M N O P Q R S T U V W X Y Z

The letter M would be the shape of my house (see picture above). Both the upper and lower case letter "M" use up the most space of any letter form. Therefore they seem to be a stable design to use in a possible construction of a dwelling. The letters A, D, L, N and Z may also be stable enough. A has proven itself since there are plenty of A shaped dwellings around.

4. What’s a great song with a shape in its title or lyrics?


Off the top of my head is the British bubblegum hit from 2007 called "Pull Shapes" by The Pipettes. Otherwise there is the #1 hit from earlier this year called "Shape of You" by Ed Sheeran which is a pretty good song.

5. What’s something in your line of sight that can reasonably be called blob-shaped?

Crumpled up tissue..... clouds outside my window.

Friday, June 23, 2017

Friday 5 for June 23: Don’t Go There

The following questions are from Scrivener's Friday 5 blog.

Shark Warning

1. Where were you forbidden (or too frightened) to go when you were growing up, and why?

Riding our bikes out of our neighborhood was one of the rules imposed by our parents. Why? The highway was just above the neighborhood road. Cars travel more than 55 mph on that highway. Parents feared that we would be hurt or killed by a speeding motorist.

2. What’s the naughtiest thing you’ve done in the past couple of years?

Why anyone would admit to this is beyond me. Pass.

3. Under what circumstances have you gone into a place you knew you weren’t supposed to enter?

Probably to take a picture of something that I wasn't allowed to photograph. The Don Quijote store used to have a sign up in their entrance saying "no photography". I have taken pictures in there with a series of small cameras over the years. Lately I haven't seen the sign.

Don Quijote Store

4. Which aisle in your supermarket do you just about never go down?

Feminine hygiene products and cosmetics sections at the Don Quijote store. They sell a mix of groceries, fresh food, prepared meals, clothing, pharmaceuticals, hardware, electronics, home cleaning products, men's and women's ware, and much, much more.

5. Not counting traffic situations, when did you last willfully disobey something you read on a sign?

Who has not fed the birds in a park? There is a bird feeding ban in Hawaii but a lot of people ignore it. The law is rarely enforced.

Illegal

If you ever have a chance to take a walk in Waikiki, you will notice plenty of signs prohibiting you from skateboarding, bird feeding or being at the park after certain hours among a number of things.

  Use of Deadly Force
This sign is located in Waikiki next to a site protecting Hawaiian remains or "Iw'i". Question is, what kind of deadly force and is it legal? Are the entities who set this place up and erected this sign legally able to kill a trespasser on site? I find it highly unlikely and against the law.

Tuesday, June 20, 2017

Friday 5 for June 16: Questions Created Very Quickly Late Friday Morning

And answered on TUESDAY! ☺ From Scrivener's Friday 5 Blog.



1. What are you reading?

"Closer to the Light: Learning From the Near Death Experiences of Children" - by Melvin Morse, M.D.

2. What are you listening to?

Latest turntable spin: The Moody Blues "This is The Moody Blues" 2 LP compilation on Threshold Records

Latest digital spin: Elton John "Caribou" album from 1974.

3. Anything amusing or strange happen to you recently?

I woke up! :)

4. What’s cookin’?

Leftover sauteed skinless, boneless chicken thighs with mixed vegetables + rice from yesterday.

5. What was your contribution to your most recent potluck?

I can't remember when I last went to one.




Friday, June 2, 2017

Friday 5 for June 2: Straight No Chaser

From Scrivener's Friday 5 blog....


1. What keeps you on the straight and narrow?

Thinking about the consequences on the choices we make in life keeps me on the "straight and narrow". A large part of this is in relation to whether following the laws and rules of society, and how much everything is going to cost me in terms of real money. A lot of decisions I make is based on how much money I am willing to spend while others are based on how much the unintentional cost in dollars would be if I strayed off course.

2. Who in your life is a real straight shooter?

My parents but they are now both deceased. So next is my sister. These are the people that I have trusted over many years to be straight with me.

3. How straight are your teeth and hair?

Teeth straight enough to allow for mostly proper chewing. Hair is thinning on the top.

4. What’s a good song with the word straight in its lyrics or title?

The first song that comes to mind is "Straight On" by Heart because I remember dancing to this with Darla back in 1978.

5. What’s something that needs straightening?

My life always need to be improved one way or another. It's never ending.

Friday, May 12, 2017

Friday 5 for May 12: Guestimation


Hilo Seaside Hotel
Photo: Hilo Seaside Hotel, July 2016.

Questions from Scrivener's Friday 5 blog:

1. How well do you adjust to sleeping in an unfamiliar place?

It depends where it is. Some places about the same, others just toss and turn or stay up all night. Helps if I have music, talk radio or a podcast to put me to sleep.

2. When were you recently someone’s guest, and when were you recently someone’s host?

Someone's guest: Probably six weeks ago.
Someone's host: Last October, 2016.

3. What’s the ickiest place where you’ve ever showered or bathed?

Haven't gone to an icky place in decades, but if I can recall, public beach showers are pretty gross. The ones in the high school locker room were slimy. It's a good thing I am not in high school anymore.

4. What’s something you don’t need but insist on taking when you travel?

Computer, music player, radio, more than 1 camera..... all of the electronic stuff that keeps me happy.

5. Who’s got a comfy couch?

I don't own a couch, my place is too small. I can't say that I have sat on many couches in recent years except for a hotel last year. Don't remember it being "comfy".




Friday, May 5, 2017

Friday 5 for May 5: Over/Under

Hello, and welcome to this week’s Friday 5!  Please copy these questions to your website.  Answer the questions there; then leave a comment below so we’ll all know where to check out your responses. Please don’t forget to link us from your website!



1. What’s a film you consider overrated, and what’s a related or similar film you consider underrated?

Overrated:

1. Avatar - (2009) from James Cameron - the movie is very pretty visual experience, the sci-fi somewhat passable but the message is so anti-corporate. Big corporations exist to pummel and pillage. Sad. You know if corporations did not exist we would not have many of the wonders we take for granted today... cars, cell phones, computers, department stores, canned food, etc. Corporations make these and many other things. Corporations employ people. There is nothing wrong with corporations.

2. Blair Witch Project (1999) - There was a ton of media buzz singing praises for this film, which is essentially some idiots getting lost in a forest for a couple of nights and recording it all with a hand held camera. Today this movie is just too long, too shakey to sit through. If I want shaky crappy video I can watch shorter, crappy films of the same ilk or worst on YouTube.

3. Alien (1979) - It's a good movie, but I found it to be boringly long. I mean after the darn thing pops out of the poor guy's chest, you know everyone will eventually buy the farm except Ripley who survives to live on in the better Aliens 2 movie... more action.

Underrated:

Hillary's America by Dinesh D'Souza (2016) - A scary documentary on what could have happened to our country had Crooked Hillary won the presidential election. I love this movie as well as D'Souza's 2012 movie 2016: Obama's America. As most know D'Souza is an immigrant from India who has written a number of books from the conservative point of view.

Gigantic Expensive Mistake

2. What’s overrated about the area in which you live, and what’s underrated about it?

Honolulu - Overrated:

RAIL - Politicians are spending way too much tax money to build this elevated rail that they say will solve transportation problems. But we have all known for the longest time that rail is a development vehicle to enhance the pocketbooks of developers, well connected construction contractors and union labor.

In the meantime the legislature and the city council are scrambling to find ways to take more and more of our tax dollars to pay for this thing which currently costs $10 billion to build with estimates going higher to at least $13 billion. The project is billions of dollars short.

This has been a pain for more than 20 years. Rail should have never been built. This should have never become a priority for the City & County of Honolulu. Rail is the biggest and most expensive mistake ever unleashed upon the taxpayers in Hawaii... and you too, if you are a tourist.

Honolulu / Hawaii - Underrated: Can't think of much that is underrated in Honolulu or in Hawaii. An article titled "11 Amazing Underrated Places in Hawaii" singles out the Halona Blowhole on Oahu, Iao Valley State Park (when it is not flooded), and Ahalanui Hot Pond on the island of Hawaii.

3. Whose talent or skill is overrated, and whose is underrated?

Can't help but zeroing on Presidents 44 and 45 for this one.

Overrated: Former President Barack Obama. Not much to say except I am happy his term is over.

Underrated: President Donald Trump - He's doing a good job so far to "Make America Great Again".

4. What item in the supermarket is overrated, and what’s underrated?

Overrated: Organic foods. Why pay more money for this stuff when regular food of the same stuff costs less? When we eat the food the body breaks it down to whatever it needs with the rest being expelled at #2. It's all the same at the trailing end.

Runner up to overrated: Bans on plastic bags. Ugh! I love plastic bags. They are so versatile.

Underrated: Parking. Every good retail store including supermarkets have plentiful free parking. We take this for granted, but I am always thankful that my favorite supermarket has lots of free parking so that when you buy stuff you can load and drive it home in your vehicle.

5. What’s utterly terrific except for one or two things?

Macintosh Computers and iOS devices: What's terrific about them? Mainly the operating systems are very well thought out. I have been a Mac user since 1988 and have lived through many incarnations of Mac OS. All have been mostly great. While I don't use iOS much these days, it is still a very good operating system.

The app ecosystem on Apple devices are good too. Most apps that I use are well thought out and function as intended.

That said, there are a couple of things I don't like about Apple products.

1. Built in batteries that cannot be replaced. This is leads to forced obsolescence which I hate. How many of you own iPods, iPhones and other, older iOS devices that are just sitting in drawers because their built in, non-replaceable batteries do not hold a charge beyond a few minutes? This totally defeats the portability purpose of these devices, when in many cases they work perfectly fine while connected to a power source!

That is one reason when I finally got a cell phone, I opted for an Android device that has a replaceable battery.

2. Un-replaceable batteries have also crept into Macintosh computers. This mantra has also crept into non-Apple devices too like Chromebooks. Sad.

When I buy something that is so expensive ($100 or more in my book), I expect that thing to last a long time. Ten years has always been my golden yardstick for expensive items. Has to last. Sadly these days way too many devices are just designed to become obsolete in 3 to 4 years and you have to throw it away. That is a crime considering the amount of money you have to pay for them.

Ugh!