Friday, September 10, 2021

Friday 5 for September 10: Wolf!

Scrivener's weekly Friday 5 questions. Let's see how this goes. 
1. When are you the tortoise, and when are you the hare? 

I usually plod along with what I am doing, sometimes coming out ahead and sometimes behind. I am not very fast as I age. I wasn't fast when I was young either.

 2. When are you the grasshopper, and when are you the ants? 

I stock up on key items such as toilet paper, canned foods; stuff for emergencies. With a small place it is hard to keep much stuff stored.

3. When were you the lion, and when were you the mouse? 

I can roar like a lion when I am angry and sometimes I do get stuck. I have been known to be helpful to people I like.
4. Are you more like the town mouse or the country mouse? 

Even though I grew up in the country during the early years of my life, I can be considered more of a townie today. I love the convenience of being able to get food and other stuff when I like, even though danger is greater today as you have to avoid groups and standing near people due to COVID-19. Ugh!

I do like simple meals as they tend to be cheaper. I am not much of a gourmet food buyer since those types of foods are expensive, even if you have to make them. 

5. Which fable told in your childhood has resonated with you through the years?

I don't know if it is a fable, but I always liked Hans Christian Andersen's The Ugly Duckling. ,

Friday, September 3, 2021

Catching Up With the Last Two Friday Fives

From Scrivener's weekly Friday 5 blog are these questions and these questions:


1. What did you do too much of this week?

Spent too much time watching YouTube (mostly music videos) and other streaming video sites. I stay at home, away from maddening, potentially COVID diseased crowds.

2. What did you not do enough of this week?

Clean my house. I need to get rid of excess stuff, clutter.

I hate these big ass cockroaches.

3. What surprised you this week?

An intrusive, invasive, B52 sized cockroach that trespassed into my living area the other night. Could not do anything else until that bastard was cornered and killed. I hate when they fly. Ugh! Disgusting creatures.

4. What elated you this week?

Nothing really. I don't get excited about much these days. 

5. What happened this week that’ll lead to something good next week?

Nothing significant that I can think of. I will eat, sleep, do stuff (hopefully) and repeat the cycle over again the following day. Being thankful that I did wake up to see another day, everyday is a good thing.

I have plenty of cameras in my collection.


1. What item do you own more than one of, while most people own exactly one?

I have plenty of cameras, flashes and other photography gear. Most people today who are not photographers, are satisfied using just their smartphone as a camera.

2. What item do you own none of, while most people own exactly one?

I haven't had a TV since my CRT one died in 2011. That is the same year I cut my cable cord. I now just stream everything that is TV or video related of my Mac and Chromebook computers, and occasionally a smartphone. 

I certainly don't have a CABLE TV subscription either. I subscribed to cable TV in 1984 and discontinued in 2011 when more streaming options became available. Plus the price of the standard TV package went up annually and frankly most of the channels offered in that bundle were ones I never watched like CNN, Lifetime, all sports, shopping, and music channels that morphed into stupid reality TV show channels. Why pay for crap you don't watch? 

So streaming via the internet became a good option even in 2011 when the only options were plain old YouTube (which was free) and for me Amazon Prime video which just came with Amazon Prime. So there.

Over the years many new, free streaming TV options have showed up and I use them all from time to time. When I am not paying for channels I don't watch I don't care.

PLUTO TV is the best FREE streaming option since they have close to 300 live channels on various subjects and genres. I like the news channels, some of the older show channels like all Star Trek The Next Generation. Other free streaming options I like include TUBI TV, Peacock (their free tier), the free YouTube service (grand-daddy of video streaming), and many others.

I'm still trying to figure out how to get free over the air TV signals on my computer without having to buy expensive gear. I guess I could buy a TV for that, but I don't want a smart TV with built in apps... just a dumb TV with a tuner that can get free over the air digital signals.

I also subscribe to two services: Amazon Prime (long time), Hulu ($2/mo. special to the end of November) and Apple TV (free one year promotion through T-Mobile). 

  1. 3. Among stuff you own, what item is most likely to be borrowed by an acquaintance?
Bluetooth speaker.

4. What item are you most likely to borrow from an acquaintance?


5. What did you most recently purchase and not use?

At this point in time, everything I recently purchased has been put into use.

Friday, August 13, 2021

Friday 5 for August 13: Scattergories Part 11!

This year I am going to do the one different letter per question method as generated by that Random Letter Generator, which I am kind of surprised is still in business for more than ten years. Most certainly the guy hosting that is not making any money on it... oh well... let's roll with this Mr. Scrivener..... My letters are in the graphic above and text below.


1. What’s something that recently exceeded your expectations?

C - COVID-19... and how it has gone from bad to worst. Our dystopian world continues with new proposals on dividing and conquering the placid population here. This is all due because of the new Delta variant of the virus. I guess we are all doomed to either obey or die. Often I think it is cheaper to die.

2. What snack from your childhood would you love to have right now?

T - Starting with that letter it would be a THREE MUSKETEERS chocolate candy bar.

3. What ailment do you suffer from?

W - Worries about all kinds of stuff. Life is stressful.

4. Which musical artist would be fun to hang out with?

F - Fleetwood Mac. I have no idea what that would be like. They always have tension within that group. I did meet Mick Fleetwood and hung with him and Steven Tyler for a few minutes way back in 2013. 

5. What’s something you’re looking forward to this weekend?

U - Uninterrupted video streaming of a movie or TV show I want to watch or uninterrupted sleep are things to look forward to.

OK until Scattergories next year have a great C T W F U day!

Friday, August 6, 2021

Friday 5 for August 6: Make it simple to last your whole life long

The five questions are garnered from Scriveners weekly Friday 5 blog.

1. What kiddie song do you still like as a grownup?

As I get older, I like this well known kiddie song less and less for every year that I age... roll the drum please...

1. HAPPY BIRTHDAY TO YOU - Various Artists: It's probably the most sung and most popular song ever.

2. C is For Cookie - Cookie Monster / Sesame Street*

3. Yellow Submarine - The Beatles (Paul McCartney said it is a children's song)

4. The Hokey Pokey - Various artists first version by Ray Anthony

5. The Chipmunk Song (Christmas Time is Here) - The Chipmunks (David Seville)

6. Sing - The Carpenters

7. Jingle Bells - Various artists over the years.

8. The Bunny Hop - Ray Anthony / various artists for kids

9. Itsy Bitsy Spider - Various Artists / Carly Simon

10. Puff the Magic Dragon - Original by Peter, Paul & Mary

I was already too old when Sesame Street with all The Muppets premiered on TV... but I am familiar with the songs since my younger sister and brother watched it. Cookie Monster was and still is my favorite character on that series.

Click on the link below to get a short sample of all the songs on this list, or click on the graphic to listen to the entire list on Spotify.

2. When did a new* song most recently* get you excited?

There's plenty. I keep a blog of my Current Top 20 songs at this link. But for this week only, debuting at #15 on my chart is the kids punk rock band The Linda Lindas and "OH!". It's a shallow but fun song with all the right hooks in my book.

I participate on a message board system where other users publish their weekly charts of current songs. Fun stuff... I've been off and on through the years.

3. What song were you introduced to via television ad or as background in a movie or TV show?

Most influential song introduced to me when I first saw the movie? Of course it has to be STAR WARS, the opening theme by John Williams and the London Symphony Orchestra. From the time I first heard it back in 1977, I said to myself, this is a GREAT song along with a GREAT score that clearly delineates the difference between good and evil. I mean Darth Vader had his own theme going which carried through the entire series, as well as Princess Leia and the other characters we all learned about in one of the most enduring movie series ever.

Every time that theme starts I can always reflect to when I first saw the original Star Wars back in the day for many times at Honolulu's Cinerama Theater from 1977 to 1978. Movies back then only cost $3.50 to see. Great times!

My second most favorite movie song has got to be THEME FROM JAWS also by John Williams. Lately I thought about taking a big boombox to the beach and playing this song. That would be funny.

The best TV theme song of all time is HAWAII FIVE-0 by Mort Stevens. The Ventures took this song to #4 on the Billboard Hot 100 in 1969. When I was going to high school we played it for school band. It remains a very popular marching and pep song at ball games in Hawaii and elsewhere.

My second favorite TV theme song is THEME FROM MIAMI VICE by Jan Hammer. That record is the last instrumental song to top the Billboard Hot 100 at #1. This was way back in 1985.

Best TV ad song that I remember:

I'd Like to Teach The World to Sing - Coca Cola (1971) - The New Seekers made this a top 20 hit back in 1972.

4. Which song’s opening lyric do you especially love?

When I was a kid the one song that caught me was "Sweet Nothins'" by Brenda Lee and the sexy, spoken word opener.... "Aha Honey... All Right" and then the song starts,"My baby whispers in my ear... ooh Sweet Nothins'"... This song was so gutsy at that time for my childhood ears (released in late 1959).  

It went to #4 on the Billboard Hot 100 in early 1960. I love the entire album this. song is on, Brenda Lee. Been loving Brenda Lee's music ever since.

Back when I was in college my room mate and I would always laugh at the beginning of this song: "Sucking wind.. slipping down the back road once again..." The title of the song is "Over the Hill" and it is on singer/guitarist John Stewart's most famous album Bombs Away Dream Babies, which features both Stevie Nicks and Lindsey Buckingham of Fleetwood Mac. This album came out in 1978. Nicks and Buckingham were busy after 1977's Rumours working on albums for their friends. These include Not Shy by Walter Egan and French Kiss by former Fleetwood Mac singer and guitarist, Bob Welch.

After all of this they re-grouped as Fleetwood Mac to record Tusk. Oh and they were also on tour in 1977, which included a concert at Honolulu's Blaisdell Center that I went to that December.

5. With which five songs would you begin a weekend-themed playlist?

I have hundreds if not thousands of playlists spread out over a number of devices (iPods, Mac computers, 4 Android phones (only one has active service), and Alcatel flip phone (not bad for a $20 MP3 player that can hold 32 gigs of music on a micro SD card... whop your jaws Apple!), various online services (YouTube Music, Spotify, Amazon Prime and, and about 100 cassettes that I still have in my home, most all mixed tapes made in the 1980s and 1990s.

So I have a playlist for any mood, any kind of music genre, and era that I want listen to all of the day and night, every week, month and year... oh boy.

That all said, I have no specific list for this weekend.

Here... sample or listen to my Spotify list of this week's Current Top 20 Hits according to Mel... These playlists are mostly rap and hip hop free zone. Enjoy.

Friday, July 23, 2021

Friday 5 for July 23: Eyes on the prize


The following questions are taken from its usual source. You can view them here.

1. What gadget did you most recently obtain, and which gadget do you have your eyes on?

Recently bought: Google Pixel 4a smartphone. I am mostly pleased with it, especially the camera and the fact it did not come with carrier installed bloatware that you can't remove. It's not an iPhone and it will never be. But for a mid range Google phone, I think it is excellent. Plus it is way more affordable than an iPhone and many other so called "flagship" phones in the Android universe that most people buy just to make a fashion statement or be trendy. I expect this Pixel 4a phone to last at least 5 years and hopefully push on to 10. The one thing I hate is the built in battery that has made this phone and all devices with built in batteries that users cannot easily replace, doomed to failure. Sad.

I always have my eyes on various gadgets, most of which I can't afford. I could probably use a new MacOS desktop computer (looking mostly at the Mac Mini) and a newer Chromebook. 

2. What business establishment did you most recently visit for the first time, and which do you have your eyes on?

I rarely venture out to "visit" new businesses unless I have a pressing need to do so. But for the most part, in my set routine world of searching for the cheapest bargains and avoiding any exposure to the public in general (thanks COVID-19), there is no incentive for me to "explore". 

I am contently happy to shop at the same places, for routine stuff that I usually buy... which means Don Quijote store for groceries, Target, Walmart, Longs Drug and occasionally Foodland Farms, Times Supermarket and Safeway. Most of my purchases revolve around eating and replenishing household items like soap and toilet paper.

I stopped eating out at any restaurant and I rarely get take out from them either. Thanks COVID-19. 

So in that department, I haven't been to anyplace "new". I bought my previously mentioned Pixel phone from Amazon. That is where I go lately to get those once in a while things that I want.

I used to love to go to record and book stores to browse and often purchase (especially records and CDs)... However with the advent of COVID-19 and some record stores (we only have 2 that I know of) placing restrictions on entry, it is safe to say I haven't been record shopping since the last sidewalk sale at Ideas Books & Music since February 2020.

The good thing about that is I have spent way less money on physical music media, though I miss browsing through stacks of used records or CDs and finding a stupidly priced album that I know should be selling for more. It's cool to find some kind of radio promo or compilation album for only a dollar.

That all said, for some reason I look forward to visiting both Hungry Ear and Ideas Books and Music sometime in the future. Granted these are not new businesses, but they are around.

Oh yeah, I did hear the Friends of the Library are operating a temporary music store somewhere in the Ward area too, though it could be closed if and when I get around to going into that area.

3. What movie did you most recently see, and which do you you have your eyes on?

I watch all my movies streaming on one of the following services:

  • a. Amazon Prime 
  • b. Hulu (I have their year-long $2 deal until November)
  • c. Tubi TV

Movies at the theater are totally out for me, due to high ticket prices and COVID-19. The last movie I saw at the theater was the Star Wars movie The Rise of Skywalker.

The last "new" movie I saw was on Amazon Prime: Sound of Metal - a tale of a hard rock metal band drummer who goes deaf. It was nominated for an Oscar this past year.

I also completed watching The Beatles Eight Days A Week on Hulu, a 2014 documentary by director Ron Howard that chronicled the band's touring years and the rooftop concert of 1968.

I haven't yet made time to watch Amazon Prime's The Tomorrow War. It is on my list of hundreds of movies that I bookmarked on that service to watch at some later time. I don't know when, but I will get around to it. 

I am also looking forward to watching the latest incarnation of Dune, though I am not too optimistic that I will watch that anytime close to its October 2021 release date. I'd either have to pay big bucks to watch it in a movie theater or fork over one month worth of big bucks to HBO Max to get it online in its first run. Since other productions of Dune never measured up to the book, I think I may be able to wait this release out until a much later date on a cheaper streaming platform.

At the current time I watch more TV series on streaming services, the long form ones with many episodes that all tell a larger story. Just finished Fringe at Amazon Prime/IMDB-TV and am in progress on the following:

The Handmaid's Tale - Hulu, trying to slowly binge through this before my subscription expires at the $2 price. Last episode was Season 2 Episode 5. This is a leftist dystopian sci-fi story. If something like this happened in real life, it will be the extreme left, communists, or Islamic fanatics that will ruin our country.

The Expanse - Slowly going through this one, currently on Season 2 - Amazon Prime.

321 McCartney - Hulu, six part interview series with Sir Paul and record producer Rick Rubin. Last viewed Episode 3.

Debris - Peacock or Hulu: NBC sci-fi TV series that was new this year and also cancelled this year. I'm at episode 6 and I think it has either 10 or 13 episodes.

4. What reading material did you most recently consume, and which do you have your eyes on?

I probably need a definition for "reading material". 

I read a lot of "stuff", mostly online at various websites and blogs ranging in subjects from tech to politics and a whole lot more. Just this morning I read this article: I Repeat - AM Radio is Dead, which to me is a sad commentary on the cheapest form of free entertainment we can get... the radio. AM radio is in decline sad to note, but FM is still around. I regularly listen to both AM & FM radio.

Books: I guess on a higher level you probably mean books. OK, lately I haven't read many "books", though I have and am listening to several audio books. Most recent book I completed was Project Hail Mary by Andy Weir. It's a good science fiction novel. You must like spiders. 😀

Currently still listening to the ever sprawling Dune by Frank Herbert, a book that I read in paperback form in the late 1970s. It is so much fun to catch up with the world Arrakis once more and all the kingdom building going on there. All hail to Muad'Dib. All hopes for a good movie adaptation of this book later this year.

Just acquired: American Marxism by talk radio show host Mark Levin. I will probably plow through this one before I finish Dune. 😄

5. Which current event has been of greatest interest to you this week, and which do you think will grab your attention next week?

Current event? I'm keeping up with local news surrounding the horribly expensive Honolulu Rail project that is billions of dollars over budget, the ongoing Michael Miske organized crime case and the on and off again criminal case surrounding Honolulu's former police chief and former deputy prosecutor wife Louis and Katherine Kealoha.

Future event? Next year's congressional elections, local elections, rail... probably not next week, though rail seems to come up every week here since the $12.4 billion shortfall continues to grow and the whole mess continues to be mismanaged and costing all of us more money. Ugh!

Friday, July 16, 2021

Friday 5 for July 16: Everything in its place + chips

Back from a short hiatus, here is this week's Friday 5 from Scrivener.

1. What is the least organized area of your daily life?

Generally my house (again), all kinds of paper and some mail to sort... those are just the physical stuff. I still need to sort out my life which is always being sorted out.

2. What is the most organized area of your daily life?

1. Record collection (LPs / 45s are unsorted but I scaled down that collection)

2. CDs

3. Cassettes

4. DVDs & digital video collection

5. Books - regular books and audio books

6. Most of my photos are organized between multiple hard drives and Google photos. Just started to use Amazon photos as a new organizer for some photos since June 2021.

7. MP3 music files - sorted on hard drives into playlists as well as backed up (for free) to YouTube Music, which sadly succeeded Google Play Music which I used for many years. Google Play Music was better than YouTube Music.

3. How well do you handle disruptions of your routines?

Not very well. I like my set routine. It takes me awhile to adjust to change. What I hate the most is if I am watching a TV show or movie, and I get interrupted during that program, especially if it is something I am watching for the first time.

4. How do you respond to unexpected blocks of unstructured time?

I'm ok being unstructured. I just do whatever is.

5. How structured is your time this weekend? 

Nothing planned so I would say not very structured.


Taking on last week's Friday 5 on "Chip Chat"....

1. What’s got you feeling chipper these days?


The world is still dystopian. I avoid most crowds and large social gatherings... but then I am not a crowd person to begin with unless I have to... like photograph some event or something.

2. About what did you decide to let the chips fall where they may?

Some personal decisions I made which shall not be disclosed here.

3. What are you chipping away at?

Very slowly writing the story of my life, which for several decades I would consider "dull", but it is still my life. I am doing something that perhaps could be considered a memoir. Currently I am uploading some of the completed stuff to a site called Family Search where you can write stuff about your relatives who have passed on. 

I decided to fill in the information on my own life before I die. I get a chance to control what I want said about my life before someone else messes it up. The nice thing about the Family Search site (which is a huge genealogy database), is that you I can upload and write stuff about myself, and it all remains private until after I die.

I'd like to also publish some kind of book about the back stories of some of the photos I've taken over the years.

4. What potato chips did you most recently consume?

I think about a month and a half ago I had a bag of Lays potato chips. I am not supposed to eat potato chips. Too much salt and oil.

5. When did you most recently toss your cookies?

PUKE is so pleasant. I can't remember the last time I PUKED. I think it was many years ago when I had a case of bad flu or something.

Otherwise I routinely clean out the cookies from the web browsers I use on my various devices. These cookies are more evil than vomit.

Friday, July 2, 2021

Friday 5 for July 2: Touched By Your Presents Dear

 Touched by Your Presence Dear - Blondie - OK so it is not presents.. heh.

This week's Friday 5 questions from Scrivener....

1. For what ability do you seem to have a natural gift?

I think I have a good sense of timing. I am keenly aware of deadlines and when I should be at a certain point at a certain time of the process, like making it to the airport in good time to beat the raging crowd at the TSA checkpoint and settle in the waiting area early before all the chaos that precedes the boarding of a typical flight begins. 

I hate being late for an appointment.

2. What’s pretty good about the present moment?

Peace, solace, quiet. I'm at home, on the computer.

3. What nearby, everyday object would be a good symbolic bequest to someone in your life?

Looking for someone to donate my entire record and CD collection to after my death. 

4. What recognitions, large or small, have been bestowed upon you?

I was honored about 2 years ago for being an "unsung hero" of the year for Assistance League of Hawaii. They make awards to volunteers who excel in doing work that is largely behind the scenes. In my case I completely revamped their website and moved the content from an old server to a new one using Wordpress.

5. What was your most recent charitable donation?

I am a regular member volunteer contributor to Assistance League of Hawaii, Since their thrift shop is within walking distance to my home, I was recruited about 7 years ago by a photographer friend to help him sort out donated cameras and prep them for resale at their thrift shop. After he moved out of state I took over the camera inspection and prep duties and still do that today.

Over the years I got more involved with them, to the point where today I am their newsletter editor, photographer and website administrator. I worked on a minor update to the website today. I also post to their Facebook and Twitter pages. I am part of the marketing team.

Assistance League of Hawaii is always looking for donors and volunteers. You can find out more on our website.