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.

Saturday, June 26, 2021

Friday 5 for June 25: ℞

Scrivener's Friday 5 questions of the week.... Rx..

1. What’s your prescription for a case of Weekend Uncertainties?

Deny it all, listen to music, read or watch videos all day.

2. What’s your prescription for a persistent case of Restless Munchies Syndrome?

Eat something or at least drink water.

3. What’s your prescription for Streamer’s Indecision?

Keep on adding more movies and TV shows to the watchlists I have on Amazon Prime Video, Hulu, and TUBI-TV. After that go to YouTube and watch short videos of just about anything, discover someone's new channel there and add that to my long list of subscriptions or add videos the hundreds of playlists I keep there. Many, many music videos, aviation videos, automotive videos, computers, Android, record collecting and other stuff. So much indecision.

And then I go watch something on some other free streaming service that I don't always view. Hello Pluto TV, Roku Channel, Crackle and Shout Factory. Heh.

There's audio, and while I pay for almost none of it, I do have massive playlists and stations on Spotify, YouTube Music, Accuradio, Tuned-In, Pandora, iHeartRadio, Stitcher and Audible. Time to listen to another good book or an episode of Classic American Top 40 with Casey Kasem. Yay!

4. What’s your prescription for a hypersensitive Get Off My Lawn reflex?

I live in a condo, so I have no lawn to shoosh people or stray animals from. Simple! Now I just hope my aging multi-story building does not decide to crash down on me in a big pile of concrete and steel. Ugh!

5. What’s your prescription for an inflamed FOMO?

I don't really have a fear of missing out on anything. I am not that much of an "experience" or "thrill-seeker" type of person. I am just happy to be an observer with my camera or at my computer doing stuff or watching a video.

Sunday, June 20, 2021

Friday 5 for June 18: Heights


I thought this week's Friday 5 was going to be about aviation or flying... hmm... Heights... somewhat of a disconnect here.

1. What’s the best non-animated movie musical you’ve seen in the past several years? 

Non-animated movie musical? Haven't seen any in recent years but from my old age and long ago movie list I compiled this Top 5 + 5.... all of them OLD. Sorry.. nothing recent. I don't go to the movies or buy new DVDs anymore.

Just to keep the heights, here are my Top 5 + 5.

1. Grease (1978) - John Travolta & Olivia Newton-John

2. A Hard Day's Night (1964) - The Beatles!

3. That Thing You Do! (1996) - The Wonders!!!!

4. The Sound of Music (1965) - Julie Andrews

5. Blue Hawaii (1961) - Elvis!!!!

6. Help! (1965) - The Beatles!

7. Footloose (1984) - ok nobody sings but a lot of good music & dancing in it.

8. Dirty Dancing (1987) - same reason as #7

9. Mary Poppins (1964) - cheating here; there are a few spots of animation.

10. Singing in the Rain (1951) - Gene Kelly

2. How are you most likely to pass the time during a lengthy blackout?

A blackout would definitely be a low point with no electricity. Ugh!

Top 5 things I would do:

1. Sleep (mostly if it is night time already)

2. Look for all the batteries 

3. Listen to the radio - search for news why power is out

4. Call or text someone if cell towers are working. In this instance I would really miss the landline that I discontinued a couple of years ago.

5. Read (if it is daytime. Not good to read if lighting is bad and you want to save on batteries).

3. When were you last in a swimming pool?

Walked by one recently, did not go in. Underwater is pretty low.

4. What do you remember fondly about the neighborhood where you grew up?

OK... one thing... all of use kids used to ride our bikes around our yard and up and down the neighborhood road. When the paved the road, they first laid a foundation of crushed coral over the old road. They paved it over and later we learned that you could use coral rocks to draw lines and pictures on the road. Next thing we had hopscotch squares drawn on the road and also white lines to mark the lanes on where we would ride our bikes. I was between the ages of 7 and 12 at this time.

5. What language did you study in school, and what’s something you remember how to say?

One  year of Spanish because I think it was required... The only things I kind of remember are:


"Como estas?"

"No comprende espaneol."

And that's the lowdown on "heights." Adios!

Saturday, May 29, 2021

Friday 5 for May 28: Aha!

The following questions are taken from its usual source... The Friday 5 blog.

 1. When did you most recently find money?

Last week I found a penny on the ground. Picked it up and kept it. How many of you see pennies on the ground but don't bother to pick it up? 

2. When have you lost something and got it back because someone submitted it to a lost-and-found?

I thought I lost my wallet last month, but it turned out to be in my car after calling the "lost and found" department. Oh well. Better there than being permanently lost!

3. What did you discover about yourself at your favorite place of employment?

There is always someone that will take your place. You can be dropped just like that, on a whim because your supervisor may no longer likes you.

4. What was the last thing you peeled? Orange, last week.

5. What was the most recent gift you unwrapped? High end shampoo block.

Since this topic title came up, this band and their famous song has been on my mind....

Friday, May 21, 2021

Friday 5 for May 21: Watch your phraseology

I haven't done one of these in several weeks. So here is the one for May 21. Questions from Scrivener's Friday 5 blog.

1. With whom did you most recently exchange words?

Yesterday with my friend Lisa regarding rewinding an audio book back 30 seconds twice. Errr.

2. Which of your weekend activities will feel like your sentence for a crime?

Laundry... been putting that off for a few weeks now. Running out of you know... need renewal, a new wash and dry. Quarters... ugh.

3. What have you loved or hated upon reading its first paragraph?

Hate: Tax form instructions or instructions for other kinds of bureaucratic government forms. Working at the State Legislature also forced me to read a number of bills and resolutions. Most of them are simply awful.

Like: I will probably pour through the instructions of my new Google Pixel 4a phone that I am supposed to get this week (through Amazon). 

Liked but not read: Project Hail Mary - I just completed this Andy Weir audio book. The story revolves around a lone astronaut stuck light years away from home who has to make some tough decisions. If you liked The Martian, then you may like this one too. The premise is similar but the setting and story is very different.

4. In the story of your life, what will be the title of the chapter beginning tomorrow?

"The Dystopian Unknown Continues".

5. What are the best and worst books you were assigned to read in school?

Best - For some reason I still remember enjoy reading the book Siddhartha by Hermann Hessee. Can't remember all of the plot points but it was a study of the deep contrast of class structure that prevailed in India. Interesting.

While this was not assigned reading, I also read The Communist Manifesto by Karl Marx in 9th grade or so. I was just curious as to what communism was all about. After reading that mess, I decided that is not for me. Nope. I think I did a book report on it.

Worst? I hate to say, William Shakespeare's Julius Caesar. I found it to be mostly too long, and for me it was hard to get by the use of the language of Shakespeare's time. I knew it was supposed to be good, but I never got into it.  Watching a movie helped.

Romeo & Juliet had its moments of difficulty but I think watching the movie first and then reading the book helped a lot. Gotta love the 1968 Franco Zeffirelli version of the famed, tragic story. It is the defining R&J movie for me.

Elementary school books were more fun to read... My Little Red Story Book, The Little White House, On Cherry Street and We Are Neighbors are school readers that I still remember with some fondness. I shudder to think what school kids of today are using as school readers....

Here's a very dated, behind the scenes clip on the production of the 1968 Romeo & Juliet movie.