Friday, December 31, 2021

Friday 5 for December 31: Obligatory

Friday 5 for December 31: Obligatory — Last one of the year from Scrivener. Never doing this again for the rest of the year.

1. In 2021, who made you laugh?

My friend and nearly constant companion Lisa. We've had ups and downs over the past year but sometimes we can erupt into a good laugh on some pretty goofy stuff.

2. What was a pleasant surprise?

Being asked to come back to work this coming season starting on January 3, 2022.

3. How have you grown? - Older


This has been my song for 2021. There are no songs for 65 so I will soon be living beyond that.

4. What do you forgive yourself for?

I hope for being angry at times. Sorry.

5. * If you were to get a tattoo to represent the year, what would it be and where would you put it?

* Just answer it! It’s a fun question!

First of all I am NOT a fan of tattoos and don't have any on me. I am happy with the skin God gave me and I don't need to deface it with art that many think is forever. Nope, never going there. That said, and since this is supposed to be a fun question....

Oh I know.. U.S. Congressperson Alexandria Ocasio-Cortez just near my asshole. You asked and that is what you got. There! All for fun. Right?

Happy New Year!

Friday, December 24, 2021

Friday 5 for December 24: Brainstorming

Merry Christmas! And now to answer the weekly Friday 5 questions.

1. If you owned a new professional sports team (pick any sport!), what would you name it, and what be its team colors?

Out here in Hawaii, owning a professional sports team is totally unfeasible for maybe the exception of one type... Minor League Baseball. In order for that to be successful, there has to be 1. fans willing to come to a small ball field to watch games all the time 2. connection to a MLB team preferably on the West Coast 3. A good radio and streaming TV contract rights 4. Ability to probably have to pay for competing teams to fly over and stay in Hawaii for each game 5. and last but not least a good small stadium that has plenty of parking and near the metropolitan area where some people could walk to the games for a day/night of viewing.

Cue up the old Honolulu Stadium. This was a reality back in the day and that team was called the Hawaii Islanders. It was for more part very successful in urban Honolulu at the small rickety wooden facility. 

The team pretty much went back north after the forced move to Aloha Stadium and probably the increased costs, distance, etc. from their fan base. 

So yes, in an ideal, and somewhat nostalgic way, a revival of the Hawaii Islanders baseball franchise could be doable. Heck they could even elect to play at 4 or 5 home "stadiums".... Honolulu U.H. stadium (with a good rental agreement as to not interfere with the UH team in scheduling) , Maui, Hilo, Kona and maybe Kauai, though the population there may be too small.

It could be something worth looking into as long as they do not have to play at a large overpriced, costly and as of yet unbuilt Aloha Stadium replacement.

All in all this would be a super expensive venture that has a huge share of risk.

Answer: Minor League Baseball team, Hawaii Islanders (revival) depending on who owns the right to that name.

2. If you owned a new restaurant, what would you name it, and what kind of cuisine would it serve?

Restaurants are the most mortal business anyone can take a risk at starting and running. Most restaurants go out of business in a very short time unless they have some kind of unique selling point. I for one would never go into this business. I am not passionate about cooking or even eating out, given COVID-19 and all the regulatory crap that goes along with it. Plus restaurants are so highly regulated I have to ask myself is it worth the time and money?

That said, the cheapest thing I could think of coming up with is a shaved ice stand with just a minimum offering, a tiny space or a mobile set-up. Mel's Shaved Ice and Cheap Snacks

3. If you owned a little independent retail shop, what would you name it, and what would it sell?

A record and CD music store that sold used music including vinyl, CDs, tapes and maybe some videos. It is a big risky kind of business to go into since it requires a lot of inventory, with most not selling very quickly. Plus the competition from digital and online streaming is huge... so a store such as this would be a very niche operation. 

We have two record stores that I know of in this city and maybe that is enough. The market for physical music media is not that huge.

Name? Desert Island Discs? I dunno.

4. If you launched a charity, what would be its cause?

There needs to be a charity for those people with serious long-term body injuries or conditions, who live below the poverty line, and cannot afford to pay for needed surgery to correct their condition. Is there such a charity where people in need can be funded for major surgery that Medicare nor Medicaid are willing to fund? 

Tell me about it or someone or group with deep pockets, please start one. Thank you.

5. What kind of recreation is sorely lacking in your town?

Over the years Hawaii has seen the decline or elimination of the following:

  • Ice Skating Ring
  • Bowling Alleys
  • Slot Car Racing
  • Drag Racing Park
  • Sanctioned Motocross area
  • Dumpster Diving (a joke!)

Friday, December 17, 2021

Friday 5 for December 17: Are you prepositioning me?

Here are my answers to the latest Friday 5 blog entry.

1. When did you recently do something on the sly?

If I had to tell anyone, it would not be "on the sly". Pleading the 5th and moving on.

2. Which of your plans for the coming week is still up in the air?

All of them. I live mostly day to day, though I have a plan that will be in motion come January 3. This coming week... nah....

3. What’s happening across the street?

Noise. Big trucks honking their horns, driving to the loading bay area at the nearby supermarket discount store. Directly across the street, cars and other vehicles are passing by, a homeless person is lying on the sidewalk, with birds occasionally chirping. 

4. What have you heard recently through the grapevine?

Um... three versions of this song....

1. Gladys Knight & the Pips 2. Marvin Gaye 3. Creedence Clearwater Revival

5. What kinds of videos on YouTube are likeliest to send you down the rabbit hole?

I love YouTube mainly because it is FREE and has all kinds of short and long subject videos. Surely most of it is not high brow television, but there are a lot of good stuff to be viewed there. And all of it is FREE... no subscription fees required except for your internet service.

Oh and if you are annoyed by ads, on a Mac computer just use an ad blocker. 99% of the ads are gone.  That said the Top 10 video subjects that pull me down the rabbit hole:

1. MUSIC - Whether it is the latest music videos, audio of albums I am thinking of getting or looking up old and obscure music, this is the place to be. Plus there are a ton of full on concert films, concert video clips and documentaries, opinion pieces and everything else about music artists, genres, history, technology, etc. 

2. PLANE CRASH VIDEOS - A morbid but fascinating subject. There are several people posting air crash videos and the most interesting ones are those that give you the outcome of the crash investigation as to why that aircraft went down.

3. TECH NEWS and VIEWS - If you are into tech of all types, YouTube has everything. The entire TWIT slate of podcasts and live video stream here for free. Learn a lot about your Mac, iPhone, Android, Windows, Linux, Google and a whole lot more not only on the TWIT channels but also from others. Smartphone videos, internet privacy, dumb phones, old computers, old handheld video games, record players, cassette recorders, TV antennas, cord-cutting are all great subjects for tech news, views, instructional videos. Yay!

4. FOX NEWS CLIPS - Since I don't have cable and am to "pake" to subscribe to any news service, I watch the clips Fox News post to YouTube just to see what Ann Colter, Sean Hannity or my other favorite commentators have to say about the current stupidity in our nation.

4a. STOSSEL - Gotta love John Stossel's videos.... love most of his practical ideas.

5. NEWS in GENERAL - I can also watch live streaming from ABC, NBC and CBS on YouTube... big tornado or other storm hits, you go here and jump from channel to channel... terrorists, war, disasters, political crap live from wherever, yep... you can count on the live feeds from the news networks here... This also includes SKYNEWS, BLOMBERG, The Weather Channel, etc. Good for cheap news junkies (not to forget that a lot of this stuff also streams for free on Pluto TV).

5a: Our local news channels have clips and occasional live feeds. KHON TV, Hawaii News Now, Big Island Video News, Hawaii State Legislature, etc.

6. SPACE - NASA TV, SPACE X and more. IF you love stuff about outer space... well you can watch it all here. Live launches and splashdowns, activities on the space station, views from the space station (24-7 live), planetary exploration, Mars, opinions, history, the future, etc.

7. DUST - Occasionally I love watching the DUST channel full of short, interesting science fiction stories.

8. MOVIES - If you know where to look on YouTube there are free streaming movies. Some fairly well known, others classics and many obscurities + public domain films. YouTube itself has its own free streaming movies (with commercials) as well as pay option movies. But there are others putting movies up that you can watch for free. Can't say they are legit or not, but they are there.

9. DISASTERS - Shipwrecks, earthquakes, volcano eruptions, terrorism, fires, storms, current and historic. I can start on one and never end... go from Titanic to possible calamity that may explode at Yellowstone... and speculative video on the end of the world and when our sun becomes a red giant 5 billion years from now... or was it 5 million? Oh well....

10. And everything else... YouTube bloggers, families, wildlife, animals, cats, dogs, car crashes, Hawaii, stupidity, you name it... it's there. YouTube!

Friday, December 3, 2021

Friday 5 for December 3: The work of the child

"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 musical instruments have you played?

- Played trumpet in middle and high school band.

- Play ukulele... have played since I was around 9... not very good at it.

- Dabbled in piano. Can get by... but not good and I don't have a piano at this time though the electric keyboard I have at my place, I don't know if it works. Belongs to my friend Lisa.

- Dabbled in some percussion type instruments... maracas, tamborine, kalimba

- Mac Plus computer: translated a song I wrote in college to the Mac using a very crude software in 1990. Converted that to mp3 and you can listen to it here.

2. When do you play with your food?

I made pancakes several years ago shaped like some of the Hawaiian islands.

3. What’s your favorite stage play?

I haven't seen many stage plays. That said, back in 2017 I won tickets to see Diamond Head Theater's production of Mamma Mia... I thought it was good and I like the music of ABBA... so that had a lot going for it. 

Saw South Pacific and Bye, Bye Birdie as college productions. Loaned the Birdie cast an old camera for a scene with the press in it.

In 1974 when I went to New York City for a few days, we got to see a relatively unknown Broadway musical called GREASE. I still have the souvenir booklet for that. Some of the photos are included at the top of this post. The musical is different from the movie that came after as new songs were added to the film version in 1978.

4. What games do you play on your phone?

I don't consider myself a hardcore gamer since I don't play any of those big games that seem to last forever and asks you for more money. Ugh! However I like simple casual games that I can play for a few minutes, die and then play again later.

I have four functioning cell phones of which only two have official service. The other two are wifi only and are used only at home. The Samsung can still make wifi phone calls but the Alcatel with its very aged Android 2.7 can only do rudimentary internet, play simple games and of course doubles as a music player.

Android Phone #1 Pixel 4a (Android 11) - None

Android Phone #2 Samsung Galaxy J7 (Android 7) - None

Android Phone #3 Alcatel 960 - Solitaire, Block Puzzle, Mahjong, Tick Tack Toe, Old Mac Plus System 6 games using MiniVMac emulator for Android 2.7 - Stratego, Accordian, Box Em, Brickles, Cairo Shootout, Shufflepuck Cafe, Star Roids, Surgery, Mac Pork Barrell, Mombasa, MacBugs, Wheel 1.0, Stuntcopter, Battleship, Roe, Hangman 5.0, Artillery 1.5, Balloon, Shuttle 88, Tetris

Kai OS Basic Phone - Alcatel Smartflip - There are a ton of games on the Kai OS ecosystem, all simple game apps geared toward basic phones. I have a handful of them including Snake, Mahjong, Tetris-X, Endless Aliens (Galaxian clone), Fart, Fart Pads


Apple iOS iPad Mini - Someone gave this to me in 2019. It's a 2012 iPad Mini that has been largely marginalized by Apple with very little app support. I hate Apple for making things obsolete so fast, especially when devices still work. 

On my iPad I have the following game apps: 

Airplane Fly Hawaii - used to be my favorite game until I conquered all of the levels acquiring every plane they have in the fleet after many successful flights and landings. Sadly the game is no longer supported by the publisher, so there are no updates for any system. I used to run this on my Samsung J7 phone, but since it only has limited space for apps, I deleted that and all other games and just went with core apps that I needed.

Otherwise the usual suspects - Mahjong, Solitaire, Checkers and 94 Seconds, the latter of which is a timed trivia letter matching game. I used to do that one on my old iPod Touch that has since died (I hate non-removable batteries).

Nintendo DSi - This is one of my favorite gaming devices, not because I am a hardcore gamer. Way back before I owned a cell phone, I used this as a portable internet device. You could access websites with the built in Opera web browser on open wifi networks, including my own at home. Over the years as the web became more secure, the Opera browser which was built in was not supported after Nintendo deprecated the platform around 2016. I bought this device brand new back in 2009. I don't appreciate the short term shelf life of official support.

That all said, the games that I did buy online as well as a handful of cartridge games all work fine to this very day. Plus the thing has a rudimentary camera system, can play music files and supports SD card external storage. It makes a good music player and cheap ass camera with weird and goofy effects that still work via software.

The games I have for this thing range from something called Club Games, which a suite of many, simple games such as checkers, chess, mahjong, bowling, darts and too many card games to remember. Other cartridge games I own include Cats, a Las Vegas suite of games and one of old Atari games. Plus the few titles I did download from Nintendo when the platform was still supported: Stratego, Sudoku, a better Mahjong with good graphics, Absolute Brickbuster, Aura-Aura Climber, Pictobits, and Zelda Four Star edition which is the closest I get to one of those never ending role playing games... ugh.

The nice thing about the Nintendo DSi is that it still works. I can still do some web browsing with it as long as the site is text only... think a lot of old Gopher servers. Heh.

Bottom line is that I am not good in any of the games save for a very few. But they end up as being fun, short-term distractions.

If you have an old, out of commission cell phone just sitting around in a drawer, it is a good idea to put it into a secondary use, such as a games platform or a music player.

5. When did you recently play it by ear?

There have been a few times when I had to "play it by ear"... a few times at my seasonal workplace in the State Capitol comes to mind. Other times when I had to improvise something and wasn't sure if anything would work re: see if that old PC laptop works. Junk like that.

Games on my Nintendo DSi and the Mac emulator on my old 3G Alcatel 960C smartphone.

Sunday, November 28, 2021

November 2021 - Catching Up With A Couple of Friday 5s

Haven't done these in a few weeks, so here are answers to the last 10 questions of the Friday 5 series for the most recent two weeks.

Friday 5 for November 26: Everything but Yul Brynner

I don't know what the late Yul Brynner has to do with this... he was the bald actor who played heroic and tragic roles in film throughout the years. I remember him most for playing the Egyptian pharaoh Ramses in the movie The Ten Commandments which came out long ago in 1956.

That said, here goes with the first question and answer batch.

1. How have you recently kept yourself in check?

Stay home and not going out has been my mantra in nearly two years, all due to COVID-19. I avoid eating out at restaurants and generally don't socialize in large group situations so as not to get the virus and keep my household from becoming sick. Ugh! I hate masks and most of all those intrusive, privacy compromising "show us your papers" vaccine passport requirements. I also haven't flown on a plane since 2019 because of the close proximity to passengers who 99% of the time are total strangers and unpredictable. Plus you have to wear a mask while in flight and at the airport. Plus I hate the digital COVID-19 verification process mandated by the Socialist State of Hawaii. No state apps allowed on my device. Ugh! Life sucks. What happened to our freedoms? More will be taken away with the new Omicron variant of COVID-19 now running rampant.. ugh. More control of the people by totalitarian central governments.

2. What’s the closest thing to a castle you’ve been in?

Um... oh... yeah... there is one at Disneyland which as I recall was some kind of gift shop and restaurant... The last time I went to Disneyland in Anaheim CA was way back in 1980.

3. What were the circumstances the last time you were hoarse?

I haven't had this condition in decades which is a good thing.

4. What’s your favorite song by Queen?

Oh Freddy, this is a hard one... hmmm... OK I have a top 10 Queen list... let's see.

  1. Another One Bites the Dust
  2. Bohemian Rhapsody
  3. You're My Best Friend
  4. 39
  5. Radio GaGa
  6. Death on Two Legs
  7. Crazy Little Thing Called Love
  8. I'm in Love With My Car
  9. We Will Rock You / We Are The Champions
  10. I Want to Break Free

5. For what will you likely pay a king’s ransom in the near future?

Some debts. Ugh.

OK, that's it for the most current one. Since there were some music related questions to the moon topic here goes for that one...

November 19 - Friday 5 for November 19: La luna

1. What’s your favorite thing about Mondays?

5:00 p.m. and anytime after that which takes me to Tuesday. 

2. What song is most likely to make you shake your booty?

I am not a dancing type of person and I don't shake my booty in public or even at home However in my former life of being a disco DJ back for a few gigs in the 1970s, I played a lot of booty shaking music back then. Among those booty shaking songs of the disco era, there is the obvious "Shake Shake Shake Your Booty" by K.C. and the Sunshine Band. The Commodores "Brick House" and the Village People's "YMCA" also brought a lot of people out to the dance floor.

3. When did you feel eclipsed by someone else?

Many times by people I won't mention. But then it is my nature to be within the confines of the shadows... though I think astronomical eclipses are really cool... both lunar and solar.

4. When were you most recently over the moon?

Watching the movie Apollo 13 got me to go around the moon, and when I was a kid I watched the Apollo 8 moon orbit mission in 1968 and the Apollo 11 moon landing in 1969 and most of the subsequent moon flights to 1972.... all from the safe confines of the TV set or twice at the movies for Apollo 13.

5. What are some great songs with moon in the title or lyrics? 

OK, this warrants another top 10 list... Top 10 Moon songs... just making this up as I go... I probably will forget a few that I may regret later....

  1. Bad Moon Rising - Creedence Clearwater Revival
  2. Moonshadow - Cat Stevens
  3. Man on the Moon - R.E.M.
  4. Hollow Moon (Bad Wolf) - AWOLNATION
  5. To The Moon and Back - Savage Garden
  6. Harvest Moon - Neil Young
  7. Moondance - Van Morrison
  8. Fly Me To The Moon - Frank Sinatra
  9. Sisters of the Moon - Fleetwood Mac
  10. Moonlight Feels Right - Starbuck

Saturday, October 16, 2021

Friday 5 for October 15: We learned more from a three-minute record, baby - Long Reply at the End

 Friday 5 for October 15: We learned more from a three-minute record, baby: From Scrivener's weekly Friday 5 blog.

1. Who needs you? 

My special friend Lisa who is disabled, always needs me. I try to care for her best as I can within my limited resources.

2. Who runs to you?

I don't have pets or kids, and it is good that no one runs to me. I usually run from people that I want to avoid.

3. Who forgets you?

I wish some people would forget about me. I know others have, and that is a good thing. I generally like to be under the radar.

4. Who keeps you hangin’ on?

See #1.

5. Who’s watching you? 

This is a huge question with a song that is more timely today than ever. It's not only "who" is watching you, but "what" is also watching you. 

Your smartphone is tracking your every move online and even in the physical world. It can be an iOS device or an Android or something else. The darn things are spying on you. 

Installed apps, the operating system, the internet, the entities behind the apps you install and your cell phone service provider are all watching you... tracking EVERYTHING you do on that cell phone and often when you are not on it. It's creepy.

I reluctantly became a cell phone owner in 2014 and have owned at least 4 phones over the past seven years. Currently two of them have active service, one is semi active as a wifi only device, the others are less functional due to their older operating systems and fading 3G technology. Still to some degree, all have the power to track you through bluetooth, wifi, cell phone data, GPS and tower triangulation.

Law enforcement and many governments like the fact that most people carry a cell phone everywhere they go. Commit a crime? First thing law enforcement checks is your cell phone and social media accounts. Government? Lately with COVID-19 they want you to voluntarily install apps to "keep safe". From what? Don't! Even though they say they don't track you... never trust the government.

Then there is the private sector. All the big tech players love it when you use their phones, apps and operating systems. We are talking about Google, Apple, Facebook, Twitter, Amazon and thousands of other entities that use the "free" apps to track you. They want to learn about your whereabouts, online browsing habits, what you buy, what you engage in, etc., etc., etc. Just thinking about it is overwhelming.

So what do I do? I can't totally eliminate tracking as long as I carry some cell phone or another. Since my heart attack in 2015, I feel I should at least carry one phone that can do at least 911. All phones that are 4G LTE can call 911 whether they have cell service or not. Older 3G and 2G phones can still do 911 but their days are number as the major cell phone service providers will turn off the older networks by next year.

So minimally I carry my Alcatel flip phone with me. It is 4G LTE with limited internet functionality running on KaiOS, a fork of the now defunct FirefoxOS. Kai OS is a popular low cost cell operating system found in many third world countries. A few of the devices are available in the U.S. What attracted me to KaiOS was the low price for the device ($20 at target) and low price for the Tracfone service (approx. $22 a month for unlimited talk and text with bankable data of 1GB per month). Upon getting this phone, I cut my landline which cost about $35 a month with taxes and fees.

Most of the KaiOS apps are vary limited, web based extensions. Many are not mainstream for the model of phone I have. Their tracking is very limited. None of the Hawaii government apps can work on my phone. That is good. I installed only a small handful of third party apps on this device that mostly handle podcasts, internet radio streams, offline games, and an RSS reader. It also has a built in FM radio that does not require any data stream since it just picks up signals from local towers. The phone came pre-installed with a lousy web browser, utility apps, calculator and note taker. The worst thing about the phone is T9 texting and anything else you have to type with a 9 function keyboard.

I do have two smartphones... one is the Pixel 4a which I bought mainly for its camera functions and the fact that I can still use Google Photos for free with any image I shoot with the camera / phone. Plus it is a modern smartphone with 4G LTE and does everything all other smartphones can do. I don't do any banking or online purchases with this thing. None of those types of apps reside on the phone. Since the phone was unlocked and not tied to any carrier, it only came with core Google apps, many of which I deleted. I try to keep third party app installations at a minimum. No games. No social media apps. Most social media can be browsed using Chrome or my favorite browser, Duck Duck Go. Definitely no government apps installed here. At the current time this phone is connected to T-Mobile on a shared senior plan.

My third cell phone is the Samsung Galaxy J7 that I recently retired from active service. It is now a stay at home only, wifi device where I still have several third party apps installed such as Pluto TV, Prime Video, YouTube Music, Spotify, Audible, Stitcher and several others. Since this phone goes nowhere now, I think it is relatively safe enough to use those types of apps. If I do take it out, it can at least call 911 when needed, and with a couple of wifi only phone apps, I can do a phone call if I can find free wifi. I do no banking or online purchases with this.

That is where my Mac and Chromebook comes in. These devices stay at home 99% of the time and I do most of my computing on that. Sadly all of the concerns I have with phones, privacy and tracking apply to computers.

As long as we are hooked up to the internet in some way, we are always being watched, tracked, nearly all day and all of the time. Someday when I can be more settled, I'd like to once again be cell phone free. Perhaps someday I will turn off T-Mobile and just use a dumb-phone as my main and only mobile device.


Friday, October 1, 2021

Friday 5 for October 1: Accessory to cinema

"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’s your favorite weapon in a movie?

I have a top 5:

  1. Death Star - Star Wars - annihilate entire planets. Yay!
  2. Borg Cube - Star Trek TNG movies - similar as above
  3. Photon Torpedoes - For smaller scale combat, Star Trek movies
  4. Phasers - multiple settings - stun, kill, whatever - Star Trek movies
  5. Guns of all types - generally deadly, in many movies

Under consideration - Bombs, nuclear warheads, etc. - fairly obsolete when you can blow an entire planet up with a Death Star. But the force and good luck can destroy a Death Star... so it is what it is.

2. What’s your favorite car in a movie?

Again another top 5.

  1. Batmobile - varies as to which movie it's in. Some were cool, others were not.
  2. 1982 DeLorean - The only car used in time travel "Back to the Future" movies
  3. Aston Martin - old car in old James Bond movies from 1962 to 1964.
  4. Herbie - VW Beetle in the "Love Bug" comedy movies
  5. 1970 Dodge Challenger - in movie "Vanishing Point"... Boom!

3. What’s your favorite cat or dog in a movie?

I don't know... maybe Soylents red, blue, yellow, brown... but not green. In 2022 the earth was overpopulated, food was in short supply. The Soylent company sold all of these snack crackers of different colors. Quite likely pets were repackaged as crackers.... and of course you know what "Soylent Green" was!!!! Muhahahaha!

I like cats but they don't make many cat movies that I can remember. Dogs... ugh!

4. Who’s your favorite sidekick in a movie?

R2D2, the little droid that could... and even fly!!! Most of the Star Wars movies.

5. What’s your favorite painting or sculpture in a movie?

I can't think of any except for the Stay Puft Marshmellow Man in "Ghostbusters."

Saturday, September 25, 2021

Friday 5 for September 24: Gripe session

Rainbows are way too overrated! 

The questions, as usual comes from Scrivener's Friday 5 Blog. Check it out.

OK... the negativity built up as I answered these questions. You have been warned. After all the topic is about "gripes". I'm full of 'em. Train!!!!!

1. What complaints do you have about this weekend?

Laundry and it's always too short.

2. What are your grievances with yourself?

Too many to list here. Plus you know, it is personal. Sometime don't you think these questions are mining our personal information? Hopefully none of you are into data harvesting. Be selective of which questions or even Friday 5's to post to. The host is probably not data harvesting but our answers are out there. There could be bots mining our information. 

Google, Facebook, Apple, Twitter, the government. We are products to be sold to the highest bidder... whatever. Makes you want to go back to the analog age. Paper, pencils, pens, typewriters and ugh.. underlining text!!!! Plus no internet. Heh.

3. What are your objections to rainbows, flowers, and puppies?

Too rosy, sappy, and disappointing; especially that legendary pot of gold at the end of the rainbow that have been elusive for all our lives! Today these objects are used for marketing kids stuff like My Little Pony. Oh.. and I am not a fan of dogs. Don't get me started on that.

4. What are your criticisms about your domicile?

Rules that I don't want to reiterate here. If you live in a building or community governed by Home Owners Association rules, be prepared for surprises. HOA boards are generally rigid and inflexible. 

5. What’s your beef with excessively negative people?

None because generally I am kind of negative myself. I am not one that is optimistic filled with visions of rainbows, flowers and most of all puppies. Yes I take photos of rainbows and flowers, and generally they make you feel good. Most of the time, flowers are pretty but when they dry up... well they are not photogenic at all. 

Puppies? They grow up to be dogs that require way too much attention, maintenance and cleaning up of their poo. Some of the aggressive dogs snarl, bark and may bite you. Plus I hate owners who feel they can just waltz into some retail establishment with their mutt, especially when you can clearly see that they are not a "service animal." 

Stores need to ENFORCE their no pets policy. 

Also did you know dogs and other pets are prohibited from Ala Moana Beach Park? You know dogs... they poo... and maybe in the sand??? Ugh. Why aren't the rules about animals not enforced???? 

All photos in this post Copyright 2021 Melvin Ah Ching Photos.

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.

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.

Sunday, April 25, 2021

Friday 5 for April 23: Re:

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

1. What’s due for renewal? 

In the coming months...

  • Car Registration & Safety Check (ugh)
  • Amazon Prime
  • Dreamhost

2. When did you most recently replace something good with something inferior?

It wasn't recent. I had to replace my old Sony receiver with something less than stellar. May the STR AV560 rest in peace (2012). 😞 

3. What statement did you recently have to recant?

Can't think of anything significant in recent weeks or months.

4. What’s refreshed you this week?

Food usually, but that is nothing new. I had a really great pumpkin custard pie thing from Foodland this weekend. Was very good.

5. What’s a fond memory you have of elementary school recess?

That was eons ago... hmm... I think in the third grade when the crush I had kissed me on the ear... not mentioning any names here. Everyone's grown old and moved on many, many, many moons ago.