Archive for June, 2005

Jake Eat World

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Photo from Jake’s Official Web Site

Listening to Jake Shimabukuro being interviewed on The World. Jake is sharing the aloha and promoting his tour with that Jimmy Buffet guy. Not bad, eh?

The World podcasts. I will post a link to the show when it goes up.

UPDATE: The link is up. The World:Global Hit (29 June 2005) or The World:29 June 2005. Enjoy!

Maria Bonica’s

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Working in downtown Honolulu is great. You don’t have to walk far to feel like you are taking a walk on the wild side. Although I will admit, taking a walk down Hotel Street was a lot wilder a few years back. Now it is getting a real face lift. There are some great hole in the wall restaurants popping up all along Hotel Street. This Mexican restaurant just opened a couple of weeks ago. The food was good and the atmosphere just a tad bit edgy. While we were ordering, a police officer was removing something with his rubber gloves. I didn’t ask.

Rice Eyes

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I live in America and I’m an American. I happen to have black hair, narrow brown eyes, dark skin, and one of those Asian noses that doesn’t seem to have a nosebridge. There’s no reason for me to think this is unusual, because at least half of the Americans I see every day have similar features.

Half of the Americans I see in everyday life, that is. If I should happen to pick up a magazine or to turn on the television, that fraction quickly drops to well below the national norm. You’d never guess by reading a magazine or watching prime-time television that ten percent of Americans is of Asian descent.
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Aloha from Gnomedex

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Doing the fanboy thing at Gnomedex stalking the cool and famous. And just about the coolest and famousest is Todd Cochrane. Hawai

Kauai Chickens

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Last month I spent a few days on the island of Kauai. It was a short vacation-business trip of which I had only one day to sight see.

One of the unusual things I encountered on a trip up to Waialua Falls were chickens. I did not think twice about them, even though there a small group of them were at the lookout area. I thought, “this is kind of funny… no one living close by and here are some nice looking chickens and a rooster.”

There were more free chickens further north and the next day I spotted another group of chickens running around the parking lot area and the tropical foilage of the Kauai Marriott Resort hotel.

I found out that the chicken population on Kauai grew after 1992’s Hurricane Iniki struck the island. That hurricane caused millions of dollars of damage and nearly killed the economy there. Because of the damage, a lot of domestic chickens escaped and could not be found. Apparently those chickens did well as they fled civilization, reproduced and made homes in the wild.

Without many natural predators like the mongoose which are plentiful on all the islands except Kauai, it is no wonder that the feral chicken population on the island has grown. Certainly one of the unexpected sites you will see if you visit the beautiful garden island.

Oh boy, Obon.

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Obon festivals sure have changed. We visited the Kona Hongwanji Mission festival last night. First, I cannot find andagi anywhere! Then there is that whole grannies doing the Electric Slide thing. I do like Beautiful Sunday but Achy Breaky Heart?!? The final straw came when pom pom dancers bounced around to Fukushima Ondo.

Reverend Mary Beth Nakade
explains – “The word bon comes from the Japanese word urabon which is a transliteration of the Sankrit ullambana, which means “hanging upside down,” a metaphor for the suffering that one experiences in the world of hunger and desire. At the time of Obon, food offerings are placed on Buddhist altars and charity is practiced in order to relieve the pain and suffering of others.”

“When we dance to the music and to the rhythms of the taiko drums, we dance joyfully for the sake of all of our friends, family members, and ancestors. Obon is a celebration of the oneness of all life and all peoples. It is about love, harmony, and community.”

Okay, put that way I can see where pom pom dancers fit in. I still miss the andagi though…

Feed me!

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A few days ago I reviewed ShakaNet’s wifi service at the Honolulu Airport. I found it easy to connect to with speeds fast enough for a mostly stutter free iChat video chat – mostly. At around 5 USD for a couple of hours it was okay in a pinch. Today, I stoppped by to use their internet kiosk. You see them near the interisland terminals. I had about an hour and a half till my flight and did not want to deal with taking out and setting up my laptop. I drop a five in the kiosk. Nothing… Just the error message shown above. To make matters worse – no number to call or instructions on how to get a refund. The only thing that worked was the display that showed how much time I had left. It continued to countdown with no way of logging out or saving the remainder. Do yourself a favor and avoid these kiosks. Besides the flaky nature of these things, the poor customer service should not be rewarded.

Bad Signs

I saw this car in Kalihi, down near Diner’s Drive-In yesterday and couldn’t believe it. I didn’t snap a picture of it because everyone eating outside Diner’s was huge and mean-looking. When I saw the car again today in exactly the same parking stall, I figured it meant I needed to snap it.

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It’s not a good picture, but it is a hand-written sign (on what looks like the inside of a cigarette carton, but I couldn’t be sure) saying, “Caution: Baby on Board.”

What the heck? Somebody’s driving a child around with this much of the rear window obstructed with a sign asking others to be careful? I always thought those Baby On Board signs were stupid, but I take it back. This is stupid.
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*bleah*

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Went to Dave & Busters for dinner the other night. I used to love their fish & LBC sauce, but late last year they updated their menu to feature tilapia. Ok, is anyone else just grossed out by this? Yes, I know tilapia is sold all over the mainland as “sunfish,” but this is Hawaii…and they’re calling it tilapia. Like, the fish that lives in the Ala Wai. The fish that lives in cane field streams with all the run off. The fish that ate your loogies when you spit in the water as kids. Yup, that tilapia. When I think of tilapia, I think pilau. I know they’re raised in a totally different environment, and I know some MBA* on the mainland probably figured a fancy name justifies charging $15 for the plate, but I grew up with a totally different connotation of the name. I don’t order the fish & LBC sauce anymore. I just…can’t. =( I’m so bummed.

*MBA’s are the same people that are banking that we don’t know that aiole is mayonaise.

Housing 101

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The Honolulu Advertiser reports on the continuing housing crunch facing UH students. It is only going to get worse. Part of my day job is assisting hospitals to recruit and retain health workers. But, when you have physicians complaining that housing costs are too high you can imagine the challenges facing a young radiology technician.

A quick scan of craigslist shows how nutty our housing situation is. Is any of this making you rethink living here? What is your tolerance for excessive paradise taxation?

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