Archive for January, 2006

Star Bulletin Rock Showcase

If you were unfortunate enough to miss out on last night’s Star-Bulletin Rock Showcase, I’m posting some photos from this first-time event. There were 6 bands that played at Anna Bannana’s. A very fun time indeed! Bands were (in order of stage time): Honolulu Blue Devils, The Crud, Mad Theory, Malcongnitas, Ekto Gamat, and MVA. Each band has a connection with the Star-Bulletin. Some band members are employees, one is Corky’s (the cartoon guy) kid, and some work for Midweek or the Military newspaper. Much talent within the SB community!

There are more pics in the extended entry. (Unfortunately photos of some of the bands did not turn out well. So I’m short 2…)
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Rally For Life

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Yesterday’s annual Hawaii Right for Life rally and march attracted hundreds of people to the grounds of the State Capitol to protest against the ruling of the Roe vs. Wade court case that paved the way for legalized abortions. Life is precious and our sacred children should never be killed, even before they are born.

The rally and march at the capitol was a peaceful, reflective and sometimes prayerful event. Attendees listened to a procession of speakers and political leaders who support life and legislation for life. Several bills are being proposed this legislative session to enhance the rights of the unborn and those whose lives are threatened.

Life is a gift from God. Don’t take it away before it happens.

  • Hawaii Right to Life website
  • Hakone.

    H01.JPGCenturies ago, I had this horribly cute boyfriend named Tom. Tom was a Japanese Lit major at UH & worked nights at a very exclusive Japanese restaurant in the Prince hotel called Hakone, from which, he once boasted, he regularly took home several hundred dollars in tips per night from waiting on Japanese celebrities & millionaires. His mother, who owned a sushi bar called Sawa at the time, was a fabulous cook, serving us meals of several small dishes on trays while we watched Northern Exposure, but Tom took me out to eat Japanese food as well. It was with Tom that I developed a love for zaru soba & zaru udon at late night noodle houses (not Sanoya’s.) & that I learned what a Kaiseki was, although I never stepped foot inside Hakone so never experienced one.

    I still haven’t. We went to Hakone for shabu shabu.
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    Noooooo

    I’m devastated. Borders in Honolulu is converting their in-store cafes into little Starbucks. I like the Borders cafes. I go there all the time. They actually have half-decent food there. Plus, it’s not Starbucks. I would flee to Barnes & Nobles except they converted to Starbucks a few years ago too. I’m not jumping on the anti-Starbucks bandwagon either. I used to work for a very good coffee house. In truth, the coffee at Borders isn’t that great either, but IMHO it still tastes better than the sugar bombs they sell at Starbucks. There are very few good coffee houses left in Honolulu. Many of them attempt to do coffee the Starbucks way, which bums me out. I think it has to do with the way espresso drinks are marketed now. It’s all about caffeine and temporary energy to go than flavor and presentation. You see it all the time – espresso drinks made with ultra expensive “premium beans” masked by massive amounts of sugar, milk and various flavors like chocolate and caramel. Come on. Premium beans? Espresso has traditionally been the reject beans. You can take just about anything and roast it to death and you get espresso. You can’t taste the difference, and that was the whole point. It’s not a gourmet bean, but it’s the starting point for a great drink. Don’t pay more for gourmet expresso beans! However, you can make great coffee from espresso, but a large part of it used to be the presentation. How else could you justify charging $3 for a cup of coffee? That used to be considered outrageous. I had to work to sell espresso because no one could understand why they should pay so much. But the whole idea was to provide something of an experience, not just coffee and streamed milk. For instance, I used to be very into latte art. If you got coffee from me, you got something just a little bit cooler than you might have expected. To see a triple cappuccino unceremoniously dumped into a paper cup then given to me over the counter as someone shouts my name makes me hate coffee just a little bit more every day. Ugh. I hate you Starbucks.

    Hawaii State Legislature Opens

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    Yesterday marked the opening of the Hawaii State Legislature for 2006. The traditionally colorful and pompous opening day sessions in both the house and senate were filled with entertainment and pontificating political speeches. I attended the session in the State Senate.

    There Senate President Robert Bunda sounded like a Republican as he indicated that the voter-citizens should get tax breaks and at least a portion of the nearly $600 million tax surplus back. He said a few things about putting aside petty politics between parties and within them, making a reference to the 10-10 leadership tie among the majority senators.
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    Kung Hee Fat Choy

    Lion Dance
    For the next couple of weeks building up to Chinese New Year on Jan. 29th there will be celebrations like this taking place all over Honolulu. There was a well attended lion dance tonight at the Honolulu Academy of Arts. It’s always a kick watching the people, especially the women, give good luck offerings to the lion. I think sometimes the lion grabs their hand and doesn’t let go. This good natured young lady took it all in stride.

    Miyako

    M01.JPG M10.JPGThis is getting posted up a bit delayed, because I just couldn’t figure out what to do about my photos. No doubt this is due to the presence of an actual photographer. I think my camera got intimidated.

    My friend Brad contacted me to say that his friend, who was the pickiest person he knew when it came to Japanese food, had said good things about Miyako in the New Otani Hotel. He said that shabu shabu was served. What else could I say in response to that but, “When?”
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    The Gas Cap

    The gas cap is in the news again today. Hawaii has a state enforced cap on the wholesale price of gasoline. Governor Linda Lingle wants to remove it, while the state legislators want to keep it. The legislation was enabled because gas prices in Hawaii are typically the highest in the nation, and prices never seem to fall at local pumps even when they do on the mainland. Specifics of how the Hawaii gas cap works can be found here. The Public Utilties Commission publishes the weekly gas cap a few days before it goes into effect for the next week, and the local media picks up on it. We have “gas watch” pieces in all the newspapers, TV and radio. Proponents assert that the cap is necessary to shield the consumers from price gouging. Opponents fire right back with arguments that competition within the free market naturally provides the best prices. Here’s the rub: no one really knows how well it’s actually working. Both sides continually trot out study after study after study to prove that their stance on the matter is the “right” one. People ask me all the time what I think about the gas cap (it’s a popular topic here), and I used to say it’s worth a shot because obviously the yap yap yap theoretical economic arguments being waged in the state legislature have not conclusively proved anything. We might as well try it right? It’s not like things can get much worse.

    Well guess what? It has. I was looking in the paper and saw a small headline about how gas is going to go up 14 cents next week! OMG! Then I hear about it on the radio. OMG! Then I see it on TV…you get the picture. I realized yesterday that I’m just tired of hearing about it. I’m thinking that the real cost of the gas cap is the fact that it’s just one more piece of crap thing that I have to hear/see/think about in my already too-complicated life. You can’t escape it. If it were invisible, I wouldn’t care – but I just can’t see the media suddenly deciding to not report on it anymore. People are actually planning gas strategy games. It’s old. It’s tired. I’m sick of it. Get rid of it. Even if it saves me a few bucks every week, I’d honestly pay that to never have to hear about it again.

    Hawaiian Food – what makes it sooo good?

    A girlfriend looking for catering for her May celebration – called inquiring about “ono” Hawaiian caterers. A rattled a few that I’ve experienced…Akau’s Hui, Maruju Market, Haili’s, Helena’s…but it dawned on me that there is a great diaspora of “Hawaiian” caterers out there – with their fare ranging from traditionally prepared imu kalua pua’a…to the oven-roasted liquid smoke version. Both can be flavorful – but you can tell the difference. Not all squid luau, chicken long rice, or lomilomi salmon’s are created equally either. So what makes it good? I think like wine – it’s up to you. Depends what you like…what’s your “ono” factor?

    In the tradition of YO.

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    I knew it was only a matter of time before someone removed the “N” from a Nissan Titan to create the Nissan Tita. I saw that within weeks of the Titan being released. Cutting up and moving the letters off a Nissan Frontier is a bit more original, but sadly, still does not elevate the truck – and truck owner – into the realm of “cool.” There has been only one time in recorded history that badge hacking has ever been cool: when the pickup truck from Toy Story had “yo” on the tailgate. That was funny. (But don’t try it. Then it’s not funny.)

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