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Friday, February 16, 2018

Friday 5 for February 16: Dog


Kung Hee Fat Choy. Happy Chinese New Year. It's the Year of the Dog. That all said I am a Cat Person. Why is there no Year of the Cat? Except of course for that Al Stewart song.... I have never liked dogs very much.

Here are the answers to this week's Friday 5:

1. What doglike traits do you possess?

I tend to be loyal to people who are good to me. My friends and relatives. The ones that I feel the closest too.

2. What’s your favorite dog movie?

I can't think of too many dog movies that I like. Just off the top of my mind... The old Walt Disney black and white movie, The Shaggy Dog which starred Fred MacMurray and Jean Hagen. It's about a teenager who turns into a dog! Too goofy.

3. When did you last have a hot dog?

Probably a long time ago now, way before December 2015. Hot dogs and other "compressed meats" contain too much salt and fat. I have been told since I was diagnosed with hypertension to avoid salty, fatty foods. So hot dogs is one.

4. Who is (or was) a good celebrity dog?

From my childhood:

1. Lassie 2. Jed Clampett's dog on The Beverly Hillbillies show who pretty much just laid on the cement.

5. What are you doing for chow this weekend?

Eating the usual, bland unsalted foods.

I like cats better. Cats!

Hello Kitty

Are you a dog or cat person? (links to an online quiz)

As I said, I am a cat person: "You are a cat person! You are largely independent, you have strong opinions, and you are not afraid to share them. You know exactly what you like, and while your views may not always go with the grain, they are yours, darn it, and thats all that matters. Unlike your dog person counterpart, you are more than okay being by yourself. In fact, you quite enjoy it sometimes."

Friday, February 9, 2018

Friday 5 for February 9: Rock It

From Scrivener's Friday 5 blog...

1. What’s your favorite instrumental hit song?

  1. Hawaii Five-0 by The Ventures. Written by Mort Stevens, this is probably the ultimate instrumental hit song and TV theme ever. The single went to #4 on the Billboard Hot 100 in 1969. Since that time it seems like every high school and college band has played the song. It is well known, so well liked that it just had to be used again when the TV series was rebooted in 2010. I remember playing this when I was in our school band.
  2. Main Title Theme From Star Wars (John Williams composer/ London Symphony Orchestra recording) - This was released as a single in 1977 and peaked at #10 on the Billboard Hot 100 that year while a disco mashup by Meco went all the way to #1. This is probably the most well known movie theme of all time.
  3. Peter Gunn Theme by Henry Mancini - This record went to #8 on the Billboard Hot 100 in 1959. We played this in band when I was in high school more than 10 years after it was a hit. More people know Henry Mancini as the writer of the “Pink Panther” theme. I just like this song better.
  4. Theme From “The Endless Summer” -  The  Sandals - This came out in 1966 and was the music used in the legendary surf movie documentary of the same title. Two surfers travel the world looking for “the perfect wave”.
  5. Theme From “Miami Vice” - Jan Hammer - This was the last instrumental song to peak at #1 on the Billboard Hot 100. The year was 1985. The  TV show was one of the most successful of the 1980s. The music  just screams 1980s pop music excess…. Keyboards, synths, a strong danceable backbeat. What’s not to like?

2. What’s a good movie with rockets in in it?

I guess we have to define what a rocket is because I almost would like to pick Star Wars and The Empire Strikes Back as my top 2 favorite movies (of all time) with rockets in them. But alas, there are no rockets in those movies even though they are space / sci fi oriented. All the space vehicles are spaceships and whether or not they use basic rocketry I don’t really know. I guess this would apply to all of the Star Trek movies and many others of similar types.

So going with the definition of a traditional rocket that uses a chemical substance self contained in a tube (whether it be liquid or solid fuel), then the following movies are my favorites:

  1. Apollo 13 - Yes, the Tom Hanks movie that came out in 1995 is my favorite movie that has a rocket in it. Actually a big 3 stage Saturn V rocket booster, an exploded rocket command / service module and a stubby little rocket (Lunar Module Aquarius) that went beyond its design capacity and returned the crippled spaceship and its three astronauts back to Earth after the accident on the way to the moon. A true story of course, well acted and fairly close to the book Lost Moon written by Apollo 13 astronaut commander Jim Lovell. A must see for everyone. Failure is not an option and these people licked a major problem…. 
  2. October Sky: Another true story set in the 1950s about some kids who built model rockets and in later life ended up working in the aerospace industry. It’s been a few years since I saw this movie, and forgot most of the plot. I have it on DVD,  and it is time for a re-watch. It is one of those types of movies that make you feel good at the final outcome of the story.
  3. The Martian: Great movie about an astronaut stuck on Mars and the world’s attempt to save him more than 400+ days later. The movie haas a rocket that blows up, rockets that land and take off. SciFi set in this century, fairly close to what could become a reality. The book was great too. Read that before I saw the movie. Was kind of like reading a long, day by day blog.
  4. The Right Stuff: From 1983 a sprawling yarn about the test pilots and early astronauts of the Project Mercury program who pioneered space travel for the United States. Lots of rockets in this movie. X1, X15 rocket plane; Redstone, Atlas rockets.
  5. Marooned: From 1969 comes this science fiction story about an Apollo capsule stuck in earth orbit with its oxygen running out after undocking from a Skylab space station. The race is on to rescue the astronauts. The U.S. launches a spacecraft similar to the conceptual “Dyna Soar” space plane on top of a Titan III rocket to save the doomed crew.
And while we are on the subject of rockets, how many of you watched Space X’s launch of Falcon Heavy this past week and the Tesla that is now in a long solar orbit that will take it to the asteroid belt?

3. In 1977, Voyager I took off on its very long journey, loaded with two golden records containing sounds meant “to portray the diversity of life and culture on Earth, and are intended for any intelligent extraterrestrial life form, or for future humans, who may find them,” according to Wikipedia.  The contents were chosen by a committee chaired by Carl Sagan, but if Dr. Sagan called you today (you know, from beyond) and said there was room for ten more minutes of music and he was letting you choose it, what would you fill the ten minutes with?

NASA was lucky that CDs were not invented at the time of the Voyager launches. If they were a CD or DVD would have been included. That said given the issues of CD Rot, it is a good thing this did not happen. I don’t know about later probes but perhaps if they continue the same practice they can just include music and data on an SSD card or chip.
So in an effort to fill the 10 more minutes with music, here are the songs I would choose (tested out with my iTunes for time allowance).

  1. (I Can’t Get) No Satisfaction - The Rolling Stones (3:44) - This is a great song to accompany Chuck Berry’s “Johnny B. Goode” already included. 
  2. I Want to Hold Your Hand -  The Beatles (2:25) - why no Beatles is beyond me.
  3. Somewhere Over the Rainbow - Israel Kamakawiwo’ole (3:34) - Voyager 1 has long left the world of rainbows and humans. Only fitting to have this song onboard. (Would probably have to use the Judy Garland version if this were in 1977 as the IZ version was not recorded until the 1990s.)

Total playing time for  the three songs: 9:03

4. What’s something you know about constellations?

  1. They are far away
  2. The planets move in and out of them with regularity
  3. Mostly composed of stars, some of which may have their own solar systems
  4. The nearest star to earth (besides the sun at 93 million miles) is Alpha Centauri which is like 4.3 light years away.
  5. I have a hard time making them out unless I have a chart.
5. When did you last spend time in a rocking chair?

On the second floor of the new International Marketplace in Waikiki (Honolulu) there are rocking chairs where you can sit, relax and use up all that free wifi they have over there. I’ve gone there a few times in the past year. Nice.

Friday, February 2, 2018

Friday 5 for February 2: Groundhog Day

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

1. What’s your favorite Bill Murray performance?

I have never seen the movie Groundhog Day in its entirety. Seen pieces of it here and there, but never the whole movie. Fact is  I can't recall too many movies that I have seen with Bill Murray in them. I know he's made a lot of movies, just not aware of them or his characters, except the one he played in Ghostbusters... that's what I remember and I don't even remember the character's name (or any of their names) in that movie! Terrible huh?

I recently saw a movie where he was like this old guy at the end of the movie that was on this island or something. Maybe it was the Stepford Wives (2004) remake or something that I recently saw online.

2. What’s been a highlight of your winter so far?

Fairly good weather. This is Hawaii. Otherwise nothing so significant has occurred that I can call a highlight.

3. What’s there to look forward to in the next six weeks?

Colonoscopy? Ugh!

4. Too early for flapjacks?

Not really if we're talking about pancakes.


5. If someone in a bar asks to buy you a drink (and let’s just say for the sake of the question you are amenable), what do you order?

I'll just have a glass of water. I don't drink. Sorry.

Monday, January 29, 2018

Friday 5 for January 26: Returns

It's Monday and I have to say "Happy Returns" to Scrivener's Friday 5 site after a major hack occurred there. In catching up with my own answer blog here, these are my responses to the January 26 post:

1. What was the last item you returned or exchanged at a store?

Recently I can't think of anything significant. I have returned food items because they were prepared wrong (eat out) or had an expired pull date (super market). The one that comes to mind which is also not that significant many years ago, is a CD of "The John Lennon Collection". When I opened the CD, it was labeled correctly but the music on it was like totally wrong. Since the CD was a brand new purchase (I tend to buy a lot of used CDs and vinyl) I took it back to the record store, told them to play it and they were also surprised to learn it was somebody else (can't remember what it was but the music was not even rock).... The store Scriv? Records Hawaii... so that was long ago.

2. When did you last leave the house and then turn right back around and go back inside?

Often. I walk down the hall to the elevator in my building and suddenly before I step in, I think... "did I lock the door", "is the refrigerator door properly closed", "did I turn off the stereo, lights, stove...." "do I have my driver's license, wallet, debit card," "I forgot Lisa's whatever it is I was supposed to take to her," "oh shucks, I forgot my tripod", "I need that extra battery for the camera", "I should take the junk cell phone with me because it is raining", etc.... so yes, way too many times.

3. What’s the latest you’ve ever returned a library book?

Ask me about the library book... well not really, but magazine that I never returned... Popular Science I think from way back in 1969! The library was on a paper system so that mag is not even tracked today. I think that magazine is long gone... yes, back in the 1960s and 70s the local public library (in Honokaa) would let you borrow magazines. I don't think we can do that today.

As far as books go, it has varied from a few days to weeks. My current unpaid fine is around $4 so not that much.

4. What location among places you’ve traveled would you most like to see again?

Hawaii Volcanoes National Park

I haven't travelled much. I haven't been to the Big Island of Hawaii now in over a year, so that would be my #1 travel destination mainly because my sister still lives there. I also love driving around the island and going to see the volcano, ranch lands, waterfalls, flowers, beaches, etc.

I have been financially struggling lately so the cost of an airplane ticket is currently beyond me.

Hanalei Valley

As for other places I've been, Kauai and Maui are good for starters and so would the few other places I have seen on the U.S. mainland and Canada that I visited way too long ago would be worthwhile, all of the above to just take new, updated photos of the places.

Just going out of Honolulu and into Kailua, the North Shore or Waianae would be a photographic adventure for me as none requires expensive flying, lodging and ticketing.

5. What’s an unlikely movie sequel you’d like to see?

Gee.... first on my list....

1. Serenity 2 - OK, yes I liked Firefly and if they can't revive the series might as well make a sequel movie to the original "Serenity" which was a sequel to Firefly.

2. Invasion: The Movie - One of several failed scifi TV series from the 2000s decade that deserves at least a made for TV movie to wrap up the storyline.

3. Revolution: The Movie - Another failed TV series from NBC that should wrap up its story with a movie too. I hate cliffhangers that are left hanging forever because the series got cancelled. Maybe that is why I watch less TV these days....

4. The Pod People: Hey what about a sequel to the 1978 version of "Invasion of the Body Snatchers". Donald Sutherland is still alive.... yes, he was fingered by Nancy (Veronica Cartright) who became a pod person... Veronica is still alive.... a few other cast members are alive... come up with a new story like oh... the last humans still trying to stay human despite a world dominated by Pod People some 45 years later.

5. Soylent Green 2: In the end of the movie, Charlton Heston's character shouts out "Soylent Green is People".... so what is the reaction to that? What do the people do years later? Actually this one would be good to remake again if it isn't in the works already....

So there... 5 of them... yes, I like science fiction... now if you ask what movies would you like to change the ending to, I could start with this one....

1968's "Romeo and Juliet"... have Romeo stop on the way when he spots the Friar watering his jackass on the road to the crypt... Had the guy said "Hey Romeo, the whole thing is a scam to save you and Juliet,".... then the tragic results would not have happened. I get frustrated every time I see that scene in the movie... yes, I know it's Shakespeare and you shouldn't mess with that, but hey, all of his stuff is in the public domain. Why not?

Plus Olivia Hussey was such a beautiful babe when I was like only 12 or 13 upon seeing this movie.... probably the first time I saw a boob in the movies....

Sunday, December 31, 2017

Catching Up With the Last of the 2017 Friday 5's

Placeholder text in here. Will be back to enter and edit.

Friday, December 8, 2017

Friday 5 for December 8: It’s Electric

From Scrivener's Friday 5 site... It's electric.... yep...

Hot Wired

1. What’s the dumbest thing you’ve ever done with electricity?

Back in the 1990s I connected the wrong power adapter to a portable CD player that someone gave me. Duh. I guess the voltage did not match. The moment I plugged it in and turned on the player, a sickening puff of light white smoke emerged and the player was promptly fried. Oh well.

2. How did you last pass the time when your residence was without power for at least a few hours?

Since I live 8 floors up I either just stay at home until the power comes back on, read a book if it is not dark or if it is, look for batteries and turn on my flashlights. Then I listen to the radio. Oh, and I use my landline phone to see if other people have power who also have landline phones. Most of the time the outage is in one small area which means other people do have electricity. Whatever.

3. Around how many AA and AAA batteries do you have on standby?

I have 4 sets of rechargeable AA & AAA lithium batteries that I use mainly for cameras and gear that require them. I sometimes swap into other devices such as a portable radio. I also have dozens of spare alkaline batteries around just to be prepared for like a power outage of something. I have to be able to at least play a radio and use a camera during an outage situation. I also have cameras and other devices that use proprietary batteries and some devices with built in batteries, that I generally despise since it is the manufacturer's way of forcing obsolescence on consumers... don't get me started on built in batteries. I generally hate them because they are not easily replaceable. A crime when I open my drawer and look at my 6 older iPods that I can't use as portable devices unless plugged into a power outlet. I mean the devices work just as fine as they did when I first bought them... but because the built in batteries don't hold a charge I feel that I was cheated by Apple. That is why in recent years my enthusiasm for Apple is not as great as it used to be.

4. How do you feel about lightning?

Film it! I try.... I like it... and thunder... it's something different.

5. When did you last dance the Electric Slide, and if you’ve never done it, what’s the closest you’ve come to dancing the Electric Slide?

Heaven's no. I suck at dancing and as a former school dance DJ I played the song only once in 1994, more than a decade after I did my last school dance, this time at a party at a church function on the Big Island. That was the last time I did a public DJ stint.

I do have a digital copy of the song in my iTunes library and is played about as many times (rarely) as the "Macarena". Heh.

Friday, December 1, 2017

Friday 5 for December 1: Lady Bird

"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."

"Five questions inspired by the new Greta Gerwig film Lady Bird, which I recommend."

One quick comment here. Movies  are so expensive at the theater these days. It is far more cheaper to wait for a DVD or streaming release. There is only one movie I plan to see in the theater this year, and that would be the new Star Wars: The Last Jedi.

1. What was moving out of your parents’ home like?

Easy though I still have a few things (like record albums) in my parents' former home which is now my sister's.

2. What makes popular kids in high school popular, and how were you like or unlike them?

Been many decades since I been in high school, but I would venture to guess popularity reigns in whether or not you are in the correct peer group or participate in something popular like band or sports. I hung out with some of the more nerdy kids, though we had no computers back in the day. We caught our thrills playing chess, checkers, Stratego or with the then new finagled "calculator". I was one of the first kids to get one back in 1973.

3. When you were in high school, where in the neighborhood did schoolmates hang out?

During recess we kind of hung around in the library and talked too much. After school some kids hung out at friend's homes and stuff. Other kids hung out at the local Dairy Queen drive in or the convenience store. I have to idea where the tough kids and druggies hung out as I was not in those groups.

4. What was learning to drive like?

My Dad helped my "tutu man" work on his ranch when we were very young. I learned to drive up in the ranch at the age of 10. The vehicle? 1960 Willys Jeep pick-up. When I became of legal age I learned on my Mom's 1972 Chevelle. Back in the day there was no requirement to take driver's education. My parents taught me well. To this very day, more than 40 years later, I have never gotten a speeding ticket or into an accident.  (Photo 1972 Chevrolet Chevelle on Wikipedia)

5. What were your most difficult and least difficult subjects in high school?

Most difficult - Mathematics (Algebra, Geometry, etc).... P.E. - I sucked at all sports.

Least difficult - History, Art, Music, Reading, English, Writing, Civics