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.