Friday, June 26, 2020

Friday 5 for June 26: Tubular

1. What’s your least favorite episode of your favorite television program?

Babylon 5”, is one of my all time favorite TV shows ever. But just like any other show it did have a few dog episodes. The one that I don’t like is an episode called “Grey 17 is Missing”. It is about a big monster that lives an area of the space station called “down below” . Robert Englund, most well known for playing Freddy Kruger on the “Nightmare on Elm Street” movies played an eccentric leader with a small band of followers. I like Englund’s performance on the old TV series “V” that ran from 1983 to 1984.

Babylon 5 is available for purchase from Amazon or streams for free on Comet TV and STIRR.

2. Across its series run, in what way did a favorite television program get worse?

Babylon 5” ran for five seasons and completed most of its pre-planned story arc. However the show was almost going to be cancelled during the fourth season. As a result a bunch of episodes that would close out the story was squeezed into Season 4 making it a blockbuster season. However after they got a 5th season, the writers and producers had to come up with additional content to finish the story out. The middle third of the 5th season spent too much time on a sub-arc dealing with rouge telepaths that were held up at the station. Don’t get me wrong, “Babylon 5” was still a great series. It is just that the 5th season was weaker than the previous 3 seasons (2 - 4) and matters were not helped when one of the key actors left the series at the end of the fourth year.

The X Files” which I loved got worse from Season 7 onward. Cast changes and the storyline got tired. By the first end of the series in year 9, I wasn’t watching it very much.

3. Among television programs you like very much, which ended far too soon?

FIREFLY… It was one of the greatest space adventures that was cancelled way too soon! Ugh!!!! The show ran for only 13 episodes. They released a movie called “Serenity” to wrap up loose ends. That was OK.

4. Among television programs you like very much, which dragged on for too long?

The X Files - see #2 above

5. What are some lines of dialogue you love from a favorite television program?

The exchange of dialogue between Mr. Morden and Centauri attaché Vir Kotto when Morden asks him “What do you want”? Babylon 5 fans love this exchange and later to see Vir’s wish come true.

6. My Bonus List: Top 10 TV Shows (Changes from time to time) - Yes I mostly like science fiction.
  1. Babylon 5
  2. Breaking Bad
  3. Star Trek The Next Generation
  4. The X Files
  5. Firefly
  6. Fringe
  7. Tales From the Loop
  8. Battlestar Galactica (re-imagined)
  9. Star Trek (classic)
  10. Star Trek Deep Space 9

Saturday, June 20, 2020

Friday 5 for June 19: Under lock and key

This week's Friday 5 - Under lock and key. Yep. Welcome to our dystopian world where government overregulation has crept deeper into our lives and taken away many of our personal freedoms, thanks to COVID-19. What a bummer. Questions are from Scrivener as usual on this blog.

1. What’s your mask situation like?

My current inventory consists of 10 cloth type masks that sell for $5.99 a pack at Don Quijote. These are just those light blue generic types, which I have found last quite a while. You can hand wash them and let them dry in the sun. Use them again and again. Yes, I am cheap.

These are government mandated fashions. Why should I spend too much money on this crap when it doesn't really protect me.

I have two colorful cloth masks given to me by a friend. Thanks Sandra C. I am saving the one I have for myself and gave the other to my friend. The second set of masks was given to me by someone that work in the organization that I do their website for. I got two patriotic masks with the American flag and an eagle on them. Haven't used them unless I go to something that deserves me to be seen in them.

I had two black cloth masks that I first bought when this whole mess started for $5 each. They were nice. One thing that I have found is that the elastic straps on these masks break easily. Both of mine broke and I no longer use those masks. I refuse to buy anymore expensive masks if the straps are the weak point.

I also have two N95 masks that someone else gave me several months ago when this whole crisis was in its infancy. I dare not wear those in public. There may be people out there who chastise individuals who wear N95s because "we are denying healthcare workers from getting one"..... bull-crap.

A cottage industry has developed because of this government mandate, with individuals as well as small and large businesses selling masks, most starting at $5 to $6 each. High end ones go for a lot more. No thanks.

Government is forcing me under penalty of being fined to wear a mask. After my two initial masks broke, I decided no thanks to any pricey masks unless I can find one that looks this:

2. In what way is your life better today than a few months ago?

Up until recently it was nice to drive on the streets without too much traffic on the roads. Now that things are opening up again, traffic is spiking up to near normal levels. Other than that, nothing else is better.

3. What do you miss from normal living?

Let's see if I can come up with a top 10 list to this one....

  1. Being everywhere mask free. Duh????
  2. Going to work
  3. The monthly sidewalk sale for cheap records and CDs at Idea's Books and Music.
  4. Eating inside a restaurant
  5. Meeting my friends for lunch, even though I hardly did that.
  6. Be worry free about touching things or brushing up against people who may be carrying the COVID-19 virus. 
  7. I hate those places that require a temp check before entering. So far I am avoiding them.
  8. I cannot go to the Big Island of Hawaii without a) subjecting myself to quarantine (up to June 15) and now b) having to fill out some stupid disclosure form before traveling and then submitting it to the government so that they may contact trace you. Ugh! Plus wearing masks in planes, airports, etc. suck.  So sorry Southwest and Hawaiian Airlines.... I am not flying until everything about that process reverts to normal pre-COVID19 levels.
  9. Going to scenic points to take photos. Currently most of them are still closed I think.
  10. Freedoms we had before this mess started.

4. When this is over, what will be your major takeaway?

Will the COVID-19 crisis ever get over? Hawaii is spiking up again since more businesses and socialization opportunities have reopened. Could the state and the rest of the nation go back into lockdown mode later this year during the fall and winter months? We are half way now to a year with this thing.

Perhaps the major takeaway could be to change the leadership of our local government through the elections coming up this year.

Buy a dumb burner phone.

5. What are your feelings about getting back out there sooner, rather than later?

Just be careful. Avoid gathering with large groups in the same place for a length of time.... perhaps 10 minutes or longer. Good thing for me is that I am not a group type of person. I don't go to movies, concerts or other large gatherings mainly due to cost, so avoiding these will be easy.

Surely though, the state should open up to tourism again since no matter what everyone says, it will bring the economy back since there are so many people unemployed and many businesses dying on the vine.

Thursday, June 18, 2020

Friday 5: Aa Bb Cc Dd Ed Ff Gg Hh and a Few More....

All questions from the Friday 5 website. Been a while but here goes...

Friday 5 for June 12: A B C D E F G H.... whatever.

1. When did you last do something resembling a book report?

What would resemble a book report in my life today? Hmmm... nothing I can think of.... Have read a few books but haven't done a book review or report on them... OK I did one short one for an Audible book that I listened to recently. Just never posted it yet. Heh.

2. What was your most recent art project?

I made this banner for the Assistance League of Hawaii website. I have been doing their site since 2018.

Assistance League of Hawaii (ALH)

3. When were you last called upon to do show & tell?

While I was marketing director for ALH, I occasionally had to give a short report to the monthly meeting.

4. When did you last feel like someone playing hide and seek?

This occurs almost daily.... I cannot find my wallet. I cannot find my keys.... Where is my mask?..... I can't remember where I put the phone.... where is the scissors, my comb, the batteries for the camera flash.... ugh... It's a pain being forgetful and living with some clutter.

5. When did you last have some milk and/or cookies?

Cookies - last time was in March at work.
Milk - I rarely ever buy or drink milk.
Milk and cookies combined? Perhaps when I was a kid.

I'm gonna answer a few of the questions from recent ones I missed.

June 5: Question #5 - What’s recently been a thorn in your side?

For the longest time RAIL has been a huge thorn... no not thorn... NAIL on my side??? Sick of paying for it and watch my property tax assessment climb in recent years because I live near the end of the rail line and TDI development zone! Ugh... Rail is costing us more than just the horrible GE tax increase... our property taxes are going up because of rail and people on the neighbor islands are also paying for it now. IT is such a fuck-up. I hate rail. I think I would rather die.

June 5 bonus question:  What album has a flawless B side?

The answer to this one is simple... any compilation "Greatest Hits" album all have good B-sides that equal the A-side... However in this day and age how many people actually play vinyl records or cassettes and have to flip the thing over to play a B-side?

You don't have to do that if you listen to CDs or MP3 albums... Everything is on the A side.

That all said... let me give this one some thought.... my top 5 albums with great B-sides that at least equal the A-side...

1. Sgt. Pepper's Lonely Hearts Club Band - The Beatles
2. Rumours - Fleetwood Mac
3. Goodbye Yellow Brick Road - Elton John (Sides A, B and D are great, C is good too but not as strong as A B D. It was a 2 disc set)
4. Band on the Run - Paul McCartney & Wings
5. Fleetwood Mac - Fleetwood Mac

On all five of these, I have the vinyl record versions that you have to flip over to the B-side to listen to the rest.

May 29: Un_____able

1. What’s a movie you once liked but is now unwatchable?

Being a lifelong scifi movie fan, there are plenty of movies I watched when I was a kid that have not stood the test of time when measured with today's standards. So here's a quick and dirty list:

- Battle of the Worlds
- Dark Star
- Battle Beyond the Stars
- Damnation Alley
- Reptilicus
- Battlestar Galactica (1978 TV movie & original series)

2. What’s a song you once liked but is now unlistenable?

Sussudio - Phil Collins

3. What’s a book you once liked but is now unreadable?

Dune by Frank Herbert.... still love it but won't read it again because it is way too long.

4. What’s something you once found unbelievable but whose truth is now undeniable?

None that I can think of. If it was unbelievable then, it is still unbelievable now. OK... the Earth is not flat... hah! Photos have proven it is round.

5. What’s something you once found tasty but is now unpalatable?

Can't think of any. Foods I initially liked, I still like today.

Friday, May 15, 2020

Friday 5 for May 8: Getting it back together

The following questions are from the weekly Friday 5 website.
It's been a few weeks since I last answered one of these... So here goes. Oh... this is last week's one... OK. I'm good with that. Today is May 15.

1. What instrument in an orchestra would you least like to play professionally?

Probably several: Tuba, Baritone and just about anything else that requires me to read the bass clef notes. I played trumpet in high school, so I can read all of the treble clef notes. Trumpets always got most of the good parts to play in band.

2. How long would it take you to find a rubber band wherever you are now?

Discounting the time it took me to take the photo above, it would be just a few seconds. I keep stuff like that in a plastic drawer on my otherwise messy desk.

3. In your area, what’s the name of a local band you like?

I don't know any current bands locally, but in order my top 5 from decades ago....

  1. The Sweet Marie
  2. Kalapana
  3. Rubber Soul (Beatles cover band)
  4. Shnazz
  5. Peter Moon Band
4. How good was your high school band?

Honokaa School Band - 1970
I went to a small school in Honokaa Hawaii. Long before the Honokaa Jazz Band came into prominence (winning a Grammy Award in 2011), I was part of Howard Oshiro's Honokaa Marching Band. This was mainly in the 8th grade. We had a good band then of about 50 members. Our 8th grade band was the high school band since the older kids (especially the guys) preferred to play football and other sports.

After our class moved up to the 9th and 10th grade, the band just kind of fell apart as younger kids did not play as we did back then. The older kids went to play sports.  Sad. I liked band because it was a free way to get into the ball games, travel around the island, skip out of class on occasion because we had to play at some concert or something... It was fun... I played trumpet.

The band played everything from traditional marches, some classical (we butchered "The Great Gates of Kiev"), movie themes ("Exodus"), TV show themes ("Hawaii Five-O', "Peter Gunn," and "Hogans Heroes March") and a lot of Herb Alpert and the Tiijuana Brass and Chicago songs. Fun times from back in the day.

5. Of bands whose names are listed like Joan Jett and the Blackhearts or Neil Young and Crazy Horse, who’s got the best name?

Good question never occurred to think of that.... Hmmm... consulting my gigantic iTunes playlist.

Yikes! There are dozens of them... my categorized favorites:

Best Band of All Time
  • Paul McCartney and Wings - Love all their music.
Best Band of the 1950s
  • Bill Haley and The Comets - they kind of started it.
  • Dion and The Belmonts
  • Buddy Holly and The Crickets
Best Band of the 1960s - Plenty to choose from... hmmm...
  • Tommy James and The Shondells
  • Sam the Sham and The Pharoahs
  • The Mamas and the Papas
Best R and B Groups
  • Diana Ross and the Supremes
  • Gladys Knight and the Pips
  • Harold Melvin and the Bluenotes 
  • Junior Walker and the Allstars
Best 70s Dance Band
  • KC and the Sunshine Band - I played nearly all of their music when I did stints as a disco DJ. "Shake Shake Shake Your Booty"
  • Runner-up - Kool and the Gang - "Celebration"
Best Band of the 1970s
  • Paul McCartney and Wings
Best Band of the 1980s
  • Joan Jett and the Blackhearts
  • Tom Petty and The Heartbreakers
Best Band of the 1990s
  • Siouxsie and the Banshees - weird first name spelling, they started in the 1980s but still made music in the 1990s.
Today's Music
  • Fitz and the Tantrums
  • Ivan and Alyosha
  • Mumford and Sons - sounds like a law firm name. 
Best Goofy Name
  • Yolanda Be Cool and Dcup - "We No Speak Americano"

I probably missed some of them... whatever....

Sunday, April 12, 2020

Friday 5 for April 10: Excitement in the domicile

The following questions are from Scrivener's Weekly Friday 5 site.

I guess most of the questions these days address our stay at home lives. Thanks #COVID19.

1. In what way have you recently been naughty?

Generally I am a law abiding citizen, so the chances of me doing anything serious naughty is next to slim. This morning I did take a walk to a closed park and only ventured on the extreme edge of the park, mainly to take pictures of the "PARK CLOSED" signs.

You don't want to venture out these days for much in Hawaii because you risk being caught and fined up to $5,000 and/or jail time. Um... no thanks. I'll just mostly stay home.

2. What’s the closest you’ve been to death-defying these past few weeks?
  • Forgetting to wash my hands sometimes.
  • Forgetting to dodge the unstable and unclean homeless people when I'm out in public. Don't want to catch #COVID19.
  • Just going out of the house can be death defying with all the COVID-19 viruses out there.

3. What temptations have you recently resisted?

I so want to drive and walk into Waikiki just to take photos of the abandoned roads, closed stores, hotels and beaches. This would probably be safe to do in a car, but since I am mostly the only one driving and riding in my car, I don't think I can get decent pictures while driving. Plus it is dangerous to do that, and also breaks the "using a device while driving" statute. It would be easier to do if someone else drove and I just shot pictures. Hmmmm....

4. What’s something you wish you didn’t recently see?

On my early morning walk this week, I was treated to a ghastly sight! Right there on South King Street in plain site, near a small tree.... was... get ready for this.....

A GREAT BIG HUMAN TURD! Oh yuck It was about 10 inches long and it looked like to be 2 inches thick... It was dark brown and a few flies were buzzing around it. How disgusting! Luckily I did not take any pictures of that. The next day as I walked down the same street, it was gone. Somebody cleaned it up.

5. What behavior from others are you excusing nowadays?

When people actively avoid me when I am oncoming. Good. We are all potentially contaminated.

Friday, March 20, 2020

Friday 5 for March 20: Healthy sequestration?

As the COVID-19 Pandemic continues, we have this wonderful set of questions on self sequestration. Thanks Scrivener.

1. In the next seven days, what’s something you’ll do for your mental health?

Take some herbal medicine that my friend Lisa has given me. Listen to some audio books, meditation podcasts and new age music to make me fall asleep.

2. In the next seven days, what’s something you’ll do to feel connected?

Talk and listen to Lisa more closely. Also talk to my sister, friends and other people on the phone.... and connect to my other friends, relatives and acquaintances through the usual virtual apps... Facebook, Twitter, Instagram, Google Voice, etc. It is good to be connected on a personal level to people as well as being connected to media news on COVID-19 updates and er... um... the government... and industry.

3. In the next seven days, what’s something you’ll do to relax?

A. Sleep more
B. Hopefully find time to walk around where places are still open and allowed.
C. Take pictures of stuff.
D. Listen to music
E. Watch useless videos and online movies/TV shows.
F. Listen to audio books and podcasts
G. Read stuff - books maybe... online news and stuff.

4. In the next seven days, what’s something you’ll do to make yourself laugh?

Make up stupid songs to sing for Lisa.

5. In the next seven days, what’s something you’ll do to flex your creativity?

Work at home on stuff my boss sends me and expects me to do.

Update ALH website and Facebook page. Set up the April newsletter.

For my own sake... take pictures of stuff if I can or want to.

Perhaps write something on my blogs... update my genealogy stuff...

Finish writing my will... er... is that fun or creative? No.

Saturday, March 14, 2020

Friday 5 for March 13: Social Distancing

We're doomed.

1. In what ways have recent events altered your everyday life or your plans?

I'm buying more toilet paper, stocking up pack by pack on separate one purchase trips to Don Quijote after buying some bulk packs at WalMart before they ran out. Been stocking up on some other items such as soap.

2. Where’s a good place to dine out if you want to practice comfortable social distancing?

Anywhere that has a drive through window or take out. Spend as minimal time as possible in a crowded venue. Best to stay home and be isolated even if you are not sick. Better to be safe than sorry.

3. How’s your mood lately?

As usual always pessimistic. More so now that we have this COVID-19 virus running rampant. But I've been extremely pessimistic ever since July 11, 2005 when the rail tax became law without the Governor's signature. Now look what we have. A horrible rail that costs way too much money and a virus that will cost us even more money in terms of lost revenue (for state and county) and possibly more taxes and costs thrown at us somewhere down the road. It is definitely no-win situation.

4. If you’re forced to isolate at home for a couple of weeks, what would be your primary source of entertainment?

Nothing much different... spend a lot of time on the computer doing stuff, surfing the internet, streaming music and videos, downloading stuff.

5. How do you think you’d be able to handle two weeks of isolation at home, assuming whoever you live with (if anyone) would do the same?

Probably difficult because I would have to be very careful about exposing her to the virus since she has a weak immune system. One of us would probably have to move out on a temporary basis.

We're doomed. Watch Life After People.

Saturday, February 29, 2020

Friday 5 for February 28, 2020: Together Alone

Today is LEAP DAY Saturday, February 29, 2020.
Here are my answers to this week's Friday 5....

1. What’s something you can’t do alone?

I do most stuff alone... though I guess I would have to say I need a dentist to drill my teeth and fill a cavity. That can't be done alone... or um... if you have a heart attack, fixing it can't be done alone. You need a doctor and paramedics to help you out.

2. What’s something you can’t do if people around you are making noise?

Watching a movie for the first time. I hate outside noise, interruptions or distractions from the movie.

3. What’s something you can’t do in complete silence?

Play music on my record player and other devices.

4. What’s something you can only do at home?

Play my vinyl records. Can't really take them to play at another place unless I am invited to spin a record on someone else's turntable.

5. What’s something you wish you didn’t need help with?

Taxes. Ugh.

Monday, January 20, 2020

Friday 5 for January 17: Master of your domain

Happy New Year Three+ Weeks in. It's Monday and here are my answers to this past weekend's Friday 5.

1. What are the areas of your expertise?

Basic skills: Breathing, sleeping, eating, consuming stuff.

Special skills: Photography, Mac and Chrome OS computers, typesetting (from long ago), layout and design, blogging, writing and editing (though I am always in a rush and am sometimes careless), navigating and explaining the quagmire of the Hawaii State Legislative process, complaining, pop music knowledge, old technology. Ha!

2. What are you territorial about?

My home. I live in a place with a good security system. I also hate spam email and junk phone calls, so I am quite territorial about phone numbers and email addresses.

3. What’s a bit of specific wisdom from your field that could apply to life in general?

Try to be patient and let things slowly develop if there is time. Be early, never be late.

4. How big or small is your personal space bubble?

At least 5 feet. Most of the time I am miles away from things I don't like.

5. What are your current emotional and mental states?

I'm ok.