Friday, February 23, 2024

Friday 5 for February 23: Noms


Questions from Scrivener's Friday 5 blog.

1. What’s the strangest food you’ve eaten out of a can?

The usual canned foods I eat are tuna and sardines. Once in a blue moon spam or corned beef. I can't think of anything strange. When it comes to food I tend to go with what is familiar. I am not adventureous.

2. What food most recently made you ill?

I can't think of anything recent. As for something years ago, the only thing I remember are the runs as if my stomach was being pumped. Mamacita's pasta... lovely... gross.

It was most likely spaghetti years ago from Mamacita (I think that is the name) of the Ala Moana Center Food Court complex, which recently closed... for good... After getting sick from their awful food, I never went there again.

3. What movie makes you really want to eat?

Here at home anything that is longer than a half hour on streaming will get me to go back and forth to the fridge or pantry. Most recently it was the movie Tetris on Apple TV before my free subscription ran out. It's a good movie about the development and marketing of the popular computer game Tetris. Developed in the old Soviet Union, sold and pirated on PCs and how it got to the Nintendo Game Boy during the transition of the old Soviet Union into the "new" Russia. Good movie.

4. What haven’t you eaten in a really, really long time?

My Mom's Thanksgiving stuffing and macaroni potato salad. It is something I will never ever eat again considering Mom passed away in 2015 and stopped cooking about two years before that. I miss Mom.

5. What did you most recently eat in a moving vehicle?

My commute to anywhere is generally short, so I can't remember what I recently ate. In the past I've eaten burgers and fries after ordering them through the drive-thru.

Friday, February 9, 2024

Friday 5 for February 9: Insert coin

From Scrivener's Friday 5:

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!

1. How do you feel about vending machine food?

Candy, potato chips and other junk foods are the highlight of most vending machine food fare. My feelings about them? Is this all there is? They are expensive! Cheaper at the supermarket for better food. It is a good thing none are near me.

2. Where on this planet is the vending machine you’ve given the most money?

My bank ATM machine when I make deposits to my own account(s).

3. Have you ever purchased a non-food, non-beverage item from a vending machine?

Yes.... Money! A Bank ATM vends cash when after you insert your bank debit card or any credit card.... in denominations of $20 usually. I only use my debit card for these at my own bank. Don't want to pay for the fees for using my card in some bank that I don't belong to.

Another type of vending machine I used a long time ago is a Jukebox...where you could play a recorded song on a 45 rpm record for about a dime back in my kid days, and a quarter later... long before the Walkman, iPod and other personal music audio devices.

And of course who can forget a payphone? I've used these off and on more than 35 years ago. There are still a few of them around, though the best ones can be found in posh hotels and at big international airports.

4. Where’s the nearest vending machine right now, and what would you get from it if you were to go immediately?

There is a Coca Cola machine four floors down in the building I live in.

5. What would you like to see in a vending machine?

Free money with no fees.

Sunday, February 4, 2024

Friday 5 for February 2: Mayday! Mayday!

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!

1. What does it take to make your way in the world today?

Staying focused (which is not easy), keeping myself safe and avoiding risk, being on time and know where I am going. Planning ahead if it is a destination I don't normally go to... Also keeping costs to a minimum if at all possible... Avoiding high priced events, venues and activities.

2. Where do you go to take a break from all your worries?

Can't really escape all he worries, but sometimes to the beach to catch the sunrise or sunset... somewhere in the country if I am so motivated... or else the easy way is to bury myself in recorded music.

3. Where does everybody knows your name and they’re always glad you came? (or where did everybody know your name and were always glad you came?)

Family reunions or more usual, at a funeral for a family member. As you age you end up going to more funerals until your life ends.

4. Which no-longer-in-business establishments are you nostalgic for, and is nostalgia generally a positive or negative emotion?

  • Tower Records
  • Woolworth
  • Kress Store (Downtown Hilo / Kai'ko Mall)
  • JC Penney's (dept store closed all locatons in Hawaii)
  • DJ's Sound City (record store)
  • The Record Museum
  • Records Hawa
  • Computer City
  • Comp USA
  • Patti's Chinese Kitchen
  • The original Jelly's Records and Books
  • Froggies (records and books)
  • Dairy Queen of Honokaa
  • Hamakua Fountain
  • Waikiki #1 #2 and #3 Theaters
  • Cinerama Theater
  • Honolulu Weekly (free newspaper)
  • Project 3 LTD (Hilo record store)
  • MJS Music (Hilo record store)
  • Interlude Music (record store + books)
  • TKS / T. Kaneshiro Store (Honokaa HI)
  • Ujiki Store (Honokaa HI)
  • KKUA radio 69 on the AM dial
  • KPOI 1380 AM radio
  • KPOI 97.5 FM (98 Rock) - various other rock formats
  • Radio Free Hawaii 102.7 FM
  • Muxtape
  • Power Computing (Mac clone maker)
  • Be Inc. (BeOS)
  • Jaiku (social media website)
  • Modern Photography magazine
  • MacAddict magazine
  • MacUser magazine
I'm sure there are more than I could mention. May all those businesses and their generally affordable prices and merchandise rest in special places in our memories.

5. Which television shows have great opening theme songs with opening title sequences?

My Top 10

  1. Hawaii Five-0 (1968 - 1980 original series)
  2. Miami Vice (Jan Hammer)
  3. Crime Story ("Runaway" by Del Shannon)
  4. Star Trek The Next Generation
  5. Babylon 5 (5 different theme variations for each of the 5 years)
  6. The X Files
  7. The Avengers (British TV series 1960s)
  8. Mission Impossible
  9. Gilligan's Island
  10. Cheers
More for the songs but the opening video clips are mostly memorable.

Sunday, January 28, 2024

Friday 5 for January 26: On the right tracks

Another Friday 5 question group on music... Late but could not pass this one up.

1. Which obscure song is better than well-known songs by the same artist?

There are plenty... but for now I will go with Paul McCartney. Here is a guy that goes all the way back to the 1960s and most well known for being one  of the four Beatles. However his career continued moving forward from the 1970s til today. Over those decades he has churned out many memorable and popular tracks on his own, as well as with his next group, Wings. That said, here are my Top 5+5 "obscure" hits by Paul McCartney.

  • 1. I'll Give You A Ring (1982)
  • 2. Ou Est le Soleil (1989)
  • 3. Temporary Secretary (1980)
  • 4. Seize the Day (2020)
  • 5. Country Dreamer (Paul McCartney & Wings - 1973)
  • 6. Frozen Jap (1980)
  • 7. Sing the Changes (The Firemen - 2008)
  • 8. Daytime Nighttime Suffering (Paul McCartney & Wings - 1979)
  • 9. Sally G (Paul McCartney & Wings - 1974)
  • 10. The Mess (Live - Paul McCartney & Wings - 1973)

2. What are some no-skip albums, albums whose tracks are all great to listen to?

Not counting compilations and boxed sets, here are my favorites:

  • 1. Rumours - Fleetwood Mac (1977)
  • 2. Ring - The Connells (1993)
  • 3. Let It Be - The Beatles (1970/2021 Deluxe)
  • 4. Goodbye Yellow Brick Road - Elton John (1973)
  • 5. Revolver - The Beatles (1966)
  • 6. Cannibal Courtship - Dengue Fever (2011)
  • 7. Deleted Scenes from the Cutting Room Floor - Caro Emerald (2010)
  • 8. A Hard Days' Night - The Beatles (1964)
  • 9. Band on the Run - Paul McCartney & Wings (1973)
  • 10. Sgt. Pepper's Lonely Hearts Club Band - The Beatles (1967)

Many others would also be on this list. The most recent album that I love all tracks:

  • Hackney Diamonds - The Rolling Stones (2023)

3. Which album didn’t do it for you at first, but became a favorite after repeated listens?

  • Divinely Uninspired to a Hellish Extent - Lewis Capaldi (2019)

4. Which album is best listened to at night?

I like listening to the following albums by Enya to put me to sleep:

  • Watermark
  • Shepherd Moons
  • The Memory of Trees
  • Amarantine

5. Which album is best listened to in a car?

I don't listen to albums in the car since my commute is short.

That said, I figure the main reason to listen to an album in the car is to keep you up and not fall asleep while driving... so here goes....

  • Fleetwood Mac - Rumours
  • The Connells - Ring
  • The Raveonettes - In And Out of Control
  • The Raveonettes - Pretty in Black
  • The Rolling Stones - Hackney Diamonds
  • AC/DC - Power Up

Wednesday, January 24, 2024

Friday 5 for January 19: Random topic generator

 From Scrivener's Friday 5 blog, here are the questions and answers nearly a week late.

1. How much experience do you have with tobacco?

Personally ZERO - and all instances that I ran into damn tobacco smoke have been NEGATIVE. Stinky. Awful. Foul. Why burn good money on this crap????

2. What have you made with wood?

When I was in middle school I made a wooden napkin holder and doorstop for woodshop class. I have a picture of those somewhere... can't find it now.

3. What do you think of farmers markets in your area?

I rarely go, though when I do go I like looking around and buying some fresh veggies and fruit. Some of these markets also sell too many non-farm produced trinkets which I never buy.

4. What’s a good movie, novel, or TV show containing a shipwreck?

While the fictional love story is basically crap, the re-creation of the sinking of the Titanic is great... Gotta love the special effects of that sinking in the movie.

Other great shipwreck movies:

  • The Poseidon Adventure (1972)
  • Mysterious Island (1961)
  • The Final Countdown (1980) - what if a massive shipwreck event could be prevented....

And the ultimate shipwreck TV series.... Gilligan's Island... a silly but classic TV show of all time.

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

Here are a few quick titles...

  • Magical Mystery Tour - The Beatles
  • Magic - The Cars
  • You Can Do Magic - America
  • Magic - Olivia Newton John
  • Magic's In the Dancing - Lighthouse
  • Black Magic Woman - Fleetwood Mac; famously covered by Santana

Friday, January 12, 2024

Friday 5 January 12: Stolen 5

1.What do you drink in the morning?

Water is the only thing I drink 98% of the time during my day. Since I have to take my morning medications, I almost 100% take them with water.

2. What was the last song you heard?

This changes by the minute or at the most a few hours. Except when I am at work, I always have some music playing. Right now that song is "The River" by the fictional rock band Daisy Jones & The Six from the Amazon Prime TV series of the same name. This is what I was listening to when I was typing up the responses for this blog on Google Docs a few hours ago.

You can keep up to date on what I last listened to by checking out my Last FM profile:

I love music, music genres, lists and tracking the songs I listen to through a process called "scrobbling" at the Last FM website. I also publish music charts on my blog and at the M4B Personal Charts site online where chart geeks hang out.

M4B Charts Website - my username there is macprohawaii.

Mel's Current Top 20 chart page - This is an old school web page that I have continually published since 1999.

Mel's Music Blog - charts, music streams, opinions, videos… lots of pop rock and oldies stuff here.

My current most favorite song since September 2023 is "Angry" by The Rolling Stones. It is quite surprising that these three remaining 80 year old guys can still rock it along with their much younger back-up musicians. So in the end of my most recent scrobbles, you'll find "Angry" as the song I last played.

3. What are your feelings about ghosts?

The day I see and photograph one I'll believe it. Currently: No.

4. How do you feel about camping?

Inconvenient but could be fun. The last time I camped out was on July 11, 1991. I slept in a car waiting for a total solar eclipse to occur early the next morning.

5. What are your thoughts on showers vs. baths?

Showers are quicker. Both can be fun if you can do something creative with them. But for the most part I'm in a hurry and have to move on.

These questions and more are posted on Scrivener's Blog.

Saturday, January 6, 2024

Friday 5 for January 5: Touch that dial

The following questions come from the weekly Friday 5 blog. Scrivener says, "Please feel free to define TV anyway you wish." - For me TV is well, TV, computer, tablet and smart phone. Mostly I watch TV on my Mac.

BTW, when was the last time you saw a TV with a dial on it?

1. What’s the most boring thing on TV?

Too much to mention. There are so many boring things on TV, but I would guess a test pattern, snow (on old analog TV sets) and the blue screen of death are probably the most boring things on TV. I mean a test pattern. How long can you stand watching this:

2. What’s the most enlightening thing on TV?

Nothing is really enlightening on TV. Perhaps if you are of faith there may be some types of religious programs that you might find enlightening.

3. What’s the most comforting thing on TV?

Free streaming from YouTube, Pluto TV, TUBI TV and other streamers... plus TV stations that you can catch for FREE using an antenna. It is comforting to know that despite annoying ads, a lot of content is available and you don't have to spend a single penny to get no subscription fees. All the free streams are good for background noise while you do something else. My favorites are music mixes and Airline Videos.

4. What’s the tawdriest thing on TV?

Currently any press conference coming out of The White House.

5. What’s the most thrilling thing on TV?

That changes a lot from time to time. Thrilling can be anything from rocket launches, Dragon spaceflight, Starship, Falcon 9, Falcon Super Heavy, etc. (think Space X) to science fiction TV shows and movies that I watch over and over again: Babylon 5, Star Trek (various), Star Wars, The Expanse, The X Files, The Twilight Zone, The Outer Limits; anything in space and sci-fi oriented. I also like the Taylor Sheridan produced shows, many which I have yet to watch.... think Yellowstone and several spin-offs.

A lot of Space X content streams live on YouTube and NASA TV. All free of charge. Yay!