Saturday, December 27, 2008

Thank You, Al Gore

Well, my last post was about the cold, cold temps we were suffering through. NOT ANY MORE!!!

The current temperature is 56 DEGREES!!! YUP, in the last 24 hours, a warm front moved up from the south and we're being dumped on by rain from thunderstorms. Most of the local area around our neighborhood is flooded.

There's a big retention pond at the end of our side street and it's up to the top and overflowing. The houses across the street were flooded this morning and the Clarendon Hills Fire Department was there pumping out the water.

I tried to get to our favorite bakery this morning for fresh donuts, but couldn't get down the major streets as the intersections were in 2-3 feet of water. I was following a Ford Explorer and got through one "pond" but when the water went over his BUMPERS, I made a u-turn and took a different route.

Our family room flooded, AGAIN. Of course, as we had just put in two new area rugs. Still, my brother rolled them up before they got soaked. It's drying out now. Thanks, G.

The Chicago area may set all time HIGH temperature records for today. Some places downstate are in the 70s already!

SO, after all my criticism of him, I do want to thank AlGore and his Global Warming for this tropical respite in the middle of our winter. THANKS, AL.

Now to go and buy some carbon offsets...

Hey, Bears pulled out that Packers game. Too bad. Now they still think they're going to make the playoffs...yeah, right.

Oh, and condolences to our Hawaii Warriors football team and the loss to NotreDame. Charlie Weiss and Jimmy Clausen should send UH champagne and roses for saving BOTH of their jobs. Still, I think the Irish over-achieved at 6-6. They're really NOT that good.

Now with a year with a new coach, coaching staff and players, UH should be set up for next year. Maybe back to the WAC Championship. GO WARRIORS!

Make sure you go read Steven Tsai's Blog at the Advertiser online. It's da bestest...

Dat's all folks! Gotta go dry stuff off...

A hui hou...

Monday, December 22, 2008

Cold? Cold? You can't handle the cold...

Whoo whee...on our way to 29 tomorrow. Time for shorts and flipflops...which we called "rubba slippas" in Hawaii...where our Prez-Elect is sunning himself on da beach.

I wish him nothing but the best and hope he rests up for the struggles he will face starting next month. Yeah, it's the most powerful jobin the western world, but I don't envy anyone having that job. Just look at how GeorgeW aged in his 8 years.

BTW, there was a "big story" today reported by FOX News about how President and Mrs. Bush would privately and quietly visit the wounded troops and the families of those fallen. Well, I've been reading some of the MilBlogs over the past few years that were written by some of those guys and occasionally they'd mention a visit by a "very special VIP" to Walter Reed Hospital. No publicity, just kind words, hugs and comfort.

Whatever you think about the President and "his" war, I do respect the man and would not want to have had to make the decisions he's had to make over the last 8 years. God Bless President and Mrs. Bush.

OK, on to more mundane things.

Late 2nd Quarter and it looks like Green Bay is going to put da Bears out of their misery. Just sayin'...

More snow tomorrow. Some places around here could get up to a FOOT of snow. Where da heck is AlGore and his friggin' Global Warming when you REALLY neeeeed it???? Jeez...

Christmas in a few days. We don't do much here. No big gifts, or small ones. Just family and food and quiet reflection. Trying to remember those no longer with us and hoping and praying that all our ohana (that's extended family)will have a happy and holy holiday.

So to those who read this, if anyone does, Merry Christmas. Try to remember Whose birthday this is and the REAL reason we celebrate the Light in this time of darkness and cold and look forward to the warmth and rebirth of the coming Spring.

Mele Kalikimaka me ka Hau'oli Makahiki Hou

A hui hou...

Monday, December 8, 2008

Ok, back for a minute... UPDATED

I'm glad no one is reading this blog, so no one misses it when I get lazy and don't write anything.

Sooo...good news...I'M EMPLOYED!!! Yes, after more than TWO YEARS, I got a job. Tech writer for a VA project. Gotta drive...but the commute should be short...11 miles from da house. So, good for me.

Now to save up all da pennies to go back home next year! Oh, Uncle Lyle, we going par-tay and grind. Can't wait.

So to all of you who may be having tough times, keep on keeping on. Don't give up. Just believe in our Creator and his wisdom and persevere. You CAN do it. Believe.

Hey, even UH went undefeated last year...Sugar Bowl no count...was this year.

God Bless and Merry Christmas and Happy New Year.

Hey, for a look/taste of what my Hawaii hometown/island is like now, go to these two blogs I found today:

Damon Tucker's blog is really a good one.

Big Island Video News has high quality video of the happenings on the island. If you want a taste of how Hawaiians go about confrontations with authority, watch the video "KAWAA Standoff" - it's the top video on the right side of the home page...very educational.

A hui hou...

Monday, October 13, 2008

Another year older and DEEPER in debt...

So, yesterday was my NN-th you don't get to know what the number is, as it scares me to know that I'm THAT old.

Went to dim sum yesterday for my birthday lunch. Mmmmm, so good, but I are waaaaay toooo much. Char siu bao, pot stickers, sticky rice in lotus leaf, char siu noodle, siu mai and many others.

We brought home some leftovers. You know the leftover rule, right? You bring home the leftovers, put them in the fridge for three days and then throw them out.

Also talked to younger son in NYNY when he called to wish the old man (me) a happy birthday.


I really don't want this blog to turn into a political screed, but I just gotta say this: I don't like EITHER presidential candidate. WHERE IS THE LEADERSHIP? I find NONE in either man. Sorry...

I MAY wind up voting for McCain simply because Obama SCARES THE HELL out of me! Now it looks like Obama will we will be living in "interesting" times...

Palin trumps Biden, but I don't think that will make a difference. McCain seems to want to be a Democrat and has campaigned like one.


Ok, I worked in the securities trading industry for only 5 years ('01-'06) but, guys, WE SAW THIS CRASH COMING FOR YEARS. If you knew anything about the mortgage industry or the stock market or the credit industry, you saw this coming.

Two rules: NEVER lend money to someone who can't pay it back; and two, the stock market can go up OR DOWN. I believe that in the short term, the stock market has the same odds/risk as does gambling in Las Vegas. Long term, people, long term...

Congress (BOTH PARTIES) created this mortgage crisis by requiring FannieMae/FreddieMac to make loans that the borrowers could not repay. Then CONGRESS is considered the solution to the crisis THAT THEY CREATED? OMG, OMG, ZOMG...

My older son is trying to convince me that we need 30 acres and a cow. Well, I don't believe it's that bad, but the creeping socialism that has been pushed by our politicians for YEARS (yup, this didn't happen overnight, no matter what the MSMedia says) has come to maturity. This economy will NEVER be the same. Get used to it. Those that can adapt will survive.

Another solution, which I find really appealing is "Going John Galt." Go read Dr. Helen's blog from yesterday AND go read Atlas Shrugged by Ayn Rand.

So the world is not ending, not yet. I'm amused at how people are now "living within their means" as if this was something they JUST discovered. Wow. Just keep breathing and things will be OK...if you can roll with the punches and adapt.


Bears suck...enough said


Help...will write for money... The job search continues, but at my age (see birthday above) it's difficult. Also it's the economy, stoopid. Hmmmm...going "John Galt" seems really attractive.

So, don't despair, just roll with the punches and try to adapt. Remember, like Annie says, "The sun'll come up tomorrow, bet your bottom dollar..." Ooops, I guess we all bet our bottom dollars...

A hui hou...

Wednesday, September 17, 2008

Wednesday Wanderings...

Hurricane Ike

Galveston is decimated...Houston has (a) problem...well, more than one. We got flooded here in Illinois.

Hurricanes that come ashore in the Gulf usually follow the Mississippi then the Ohio River Valley then the Great Lakes. We feel the effects in heavy rain and flooding.

Woke up on Saturday to a wet family room. Towels and ShopVac took care of the water. Lost some magazines and books and the area rug. Minor, compared to the awful damage in Texas.

Hey, where are the major news networks? No "Blame Bush" opportunity this time so I guess they're not interested. Just wondering.

If you read this blog...and who something to help out. Although, this time, with Federal, State and Local cooperation, it seems that help is on the way. But make a contribution if you can.

Other Stuff

Cubs now have a nine-game lead. Hmmmm...could they actually make the post-season?

Bears...oh God, not today...they're still da Bears.

Nah, I got nothing more...

A hui hou...

Monday, September 1, 2008

No Labor on Labor Day...whew...

Well, Summer is over, officially. It went by really quickly. Hmmm...some thoughts:

Cubs still in first place! Wow. Of course, they're da Cubs, so don't relax yet. There's still enough time for them to fold, choke, etc. Zambrano has a "tired" arm? Oh, oh. Sabathia pitches a no-hitter? Yeah, he really did. That play was chicken shit as far as the scoring. It WAS a no-hitter. He's going to make millions and millions with the Yankees next year.

Bears...nah, never mind.

Woo hoo...Colt Brennan officially on the Redskins 53-man roster. QB of the future...why can't the Bears EVER get someone like that. Oh, wait, THEY DID. Caleb Hanie looked really good for a rookie. Now if they just DEVELOP him, he'll be a really good QB, better than Rex or Orton.

With Chris Simms out there, will Jerry "I'm Not A Judge of Talent" Angelo waive Rex and pick up Simms? Nope. JA can't make those logical, common sense decisions.

Davone Bess made the Dolphins roster. Another Hawaii player in the pros. Good for him. I think he'll do alright with the Phins. Now if they just pick up Ashlie Lelie...

Fresno State vs Rutgers today. FatCity will play UH later this year and is supposed to contend for the WAC championship along with Boise State. Let's see how good they are. Although, I think this is a down year for Rutgers. Another team that comes and goes in the polls. It's tough to build and maintain a football program that can contend with the big football factories.

OK, lunch time.

Last day of the UH Football Blog "lifeboat." Tomorrow, things MAY be back to normal.

A hui hou...

Saturday, August 30, 2008

OK, take a deeeeep breath...(Updated)

Florida 56, University of Hawaii 10. Enough said.

Well, hope da Warriors do not get too down. Hey, many people pick Florida to get to Number 1 this year. And how many other WAC schools have played Georgia and Florida back-to-back? And, last year, really, Georgia should have played USC for the National, really. Ohio State and LSU? OH, PLUUUU-EEESE! BCS = Big Crappy Selection.


Barbecue chicken tonight. Original recipe. Soak in soy, mirin, sherry and a dash of rice wine vinegar. Then grill and then make glaze with guava preserves. MMmmmmmm. Sounds ono...hope it turns out OK. Yes, serve with rice.

OK, laters...I got to get back to FOOTBALL... You know what sucks, we're not getting the USC-Virginia game. WHAT? Supposed to be on ESPN2, but there's just a scoreboard show going on. We get Oklahoma State vs Washington, WHO CARES?

A hui hou...


Looks like another former Hawai'i player is gone from the NFL, at least temporarily. Leonard Peters was cut from the Bears last night.

Friday, August 29, 2008

Oh, What a Night...

FOOTBALL and stuff

So, da Bears FINALLY won a preseason game. Oh, great, raise our hopes before dashing them during the first weeks of the regular season...really, 5-11 would be a good year for da Bears.

Rex Grossman looked good last night, but then he always performs well when he's not under any sort of pressure/stress. Put him under stress and Bad Rex shows up and tosses the ball to the other guys.

Caleb Henie looks really good. I hope the Bears keep him and develop him...oh for a Jim Zorn-like coach. Henie could be a good QB for the Bears future.

Saw a little of the Redskins-Jag-u-wires game. Whoo boy, Jacksonville is going to be really good this year. Jack Del Rio, one of my favorite coaches, has done a really fine job building that team up to where it is now. Garrard is a good QB, and they have a nice running game.

Colt was good last night, but then he was playing with the 2nd and 3rd teamers. Gotta see who they have to cut, by tomorrow, I think. He's good enough to be the 3rd QB, but whether that's practice squad or on the team remains to be seen. He will be their starter in a few years, guarantee...

College football also started. Good to see the 'ol Ball Coach win his opener against NCState. I love to see Spurrier get all upset when his team screws up or doesn't perform. Fun to watch.

OH, and when I went to bed, the Cubs were behind 4-1. Imagine my surprise this AM when I woke up to find that they had beaten the Phillies 6-4. Aramis Ramirez had the "game winning" hit, a grand slam. Wow. They may actually make the playoffs. But then, you have to remember that they're the Cubbies and they WILL BREAK YOUR HEART!!! And THAT'S a guarantee.


Go read Serious Eats today. There's an article by Ed Levine about the Slow Food Nation get-together in SF. The part that struck a chord with me was the slowly disappearing individual food producers. Seems they're quitting the food business because they are getting old and retiring, the kids don't want to take over the business, food tastes are changing and they can't/won't keep up, etc.

This is exactly what's happening "back home" in Hawaii. You see, after WWII (da big one), many families started up family food businesses to support themselves, build a better life for their kids, you know, the American Dream.

Now, most of these folks are old and retiring. Their kids are usually college educated and not interested in working the long, hard hours their folks did to make money, and, they probably have better paying jobs than what they could earn running the family business.

As a result, some "historic" food places have closed, including some "local style" plate lunch places, Chinese bakeries that produced one-of-a-kind candies and pastries, and other food vendors.

In one case that I read about in the Honolulu newspapers online, the lady who owned the little plate lunch place said that she didn't want her kids to have to work like she did, and that she worked so hard so that they would not have to take over the business.

Sadly, Hawaii is becoming more "homogenized." Olive Garden, Cheesecake Factory, and the ubiquitous Morton's and Ruth Chris' steakhouses are the norm. More kids eat fast food burgers than the old style okazu-ya plate lunches which were one step away from your mom's home-cooking...and they were probably more nutritious meals, too.

I've got my mom's old composition book full of her hand-written recipes and recipes that she cut out of the local newspapers. I've also got some of the old Women's Club cookbooks that are compilations of local women's recipes. I actually started writing a "cookbook", but soon realized that only celebrities and celebrity chefs get published. My hope now is to finish it and give it to my kids, so that some of the old style local food survives into another generation. My contribution to the Slow Food Nation movement.

Still, it's really sad to realize every time we go back to visit, that fewer and fewer of the food places that we grew up with will be there, waiting for us. Ah, where have you gone Hon Kung, with your Crispy Gau Gee Mein with Medium Fried Noodles, Shrimp Canton, Manapua and Fried Rice? Where are you now, Wong's Okazuya, with your long rice, teriyaki beef, musubi, mac salad, and vegetable tempura? Where are you Patti's Chinese Kitchen, with your pot roast pork, char siu with tofu, chow mein noodles and moon cake? Where are you...

A hui hou...

Thursday, August 28, 2008

Are You Ready...

WOOOOOO HOOOOOO!!!!! Football begins tonight! College football starts, finally! A short (12 weeks) season, but oh so sweet. I think I like the college game better than the pros...more emotion, more upsets, more unexpected...can you say Appalachian State...I bet Michigan remembers them...ha, ha, ha.

AND, unless the local CBS station panders to the locals, we'll get to see the Redskins (Go Colt!) against the Jacksonvillilans. I bet they preempt the game for Obama's coronation speech at the "temple of the new god" tonight.

Did you see that thing at Invesco Field where he's supposed to "accept" the nomination. How imperial, now messianic, how so totally arrogant and condescending. That's our Barry!!!

Of course, your Chicago Bears end the preseason futility against the Cleveland Brownies. Hope no one gets hurt. Man, 5-11 will be a good season this year. I tell ya, da Bears will NEVER win the Sooper Bowl until they BRING BACK THE CHEERLEADERS. I KNEW they would lose the SB a few years back because of this obvious oversight. The Football Gods (bow head) DEMAND cheerbabes for all successful teams. Where have you gone Honey Bears.

You know that story, right? That the old prude Virginia McCaskey disbanded the cheer squad (The Honey Bears) because she wanted "...a more family-oriented atmosphere" at Soldier Field. Hoo boy, that old broad was never in the end zones, so I hear. Those were definitely NOT "family friendly" places. Yeah, I guess drinking beer and swearing at the top of your lungs at the opponents is "family friendly." Go figure.

And, finally, Saturday, the University of Hawaii plays Florida in da Swamp. What will happen, will happen, but I hope UH plays well and knocks Tim Tebow down a few times. If they do manage the upset, how sweet it will be.

UH gets no respect from the East Coast sportswriters, especially the idiots on ESPN. But then, few Western teams do get any respect from them. I guess they can't stay up late to see the western games, poor babies.

Have been posting on the UH football "lifeboat" blog. Great place, nice people. Go read it. Just click on the link in the previous sentence, silly.

OK, now lunch, movie (Netflix on my laptop) and then job hunting.

A hui hou...

Tuesday, August 26, 2008

Bad Blogger...(ah, me)

So, I've been neglecting this poor blog. It's been so lonely, here all by itself in the big, cold intarweb...hey, if a blog fell on the internet and no one read it, would it make a sound???? Nah, probably not.

Well, I've taken over the bill paying duties of the household. BW or SWMBO had a meltdown and so I fell on my sword and said I'd do it. Then we spent an hour going over her complicated, intricate system of Quicken, Excel spreadsheet, online bill paying...OMG (as Paris would text).

I took notes...remember I'm a failed or fallen-away technical writer...or is that in "forced retirement?" Today I will recreate the wheel and make the whole process simpler...because, as many will tell you, I am a simple man...or is that simple-minded man? Who cares...

Can you tell I LOVE ellipses?

Older son is home from his sabbatical in Las Vegas. Got his old job back and starts next week.

Oh, went to Airventure 2008 or Oshkosh as I call it. Got lots of pictures, but too lazy to put them up here. NO one read this tripe anyway so why bother?


What can I say? What can anyone say? Does a convention really matter anymore? Other than the participants, does anyone REALLY care?

Don't we know who the principals are by now? Are we going to learn anything new? At one time the convention REALLY chose the nominee. Now, they're just propaganda for the party.

I see that Michelle Ma Belle Obama said "God Bless America." Did she throw up in her mouth a little when she said it? I bet she did. What a good little actress. They've really kept her shut up for the last few months. Wow. She must be going to get SOMETHING BIG for doing that.

I really feel for her. She's this successful, outspoken woman who suddenly has to be like this little goody two-shoes and be "the right stuff" wife to the candidate. Politics, huh? Subverts us all eventually.

I grew up in Hawaii and went to a different private school than the Democrat nominee...Barry O... Full disclosure: it was St. Louis High School. Just the last two years. I really consider my outer island school, St. Joseph in Hilo as MY school, even if I didn't grad.

Anyhoo, the school that BarryO went to, Punahou, produces just the kinds of grads that he is: arrogant, condescending, and feeling superior to all. But, in the end, they're kinda ignorant of real life. Hmmmmm, sound familiar? Oh well.


So, anyone looking for an old, I mean mature, "retired" technical writer. Lots of IT experience. Hard worker, mature (very mature), self-starter (what DOES that mean?), plays, uh, works well with others...yada, yada, yada...


Will follow the University of Hawaii...of course, and also the Washinton Redskins (Colt Brennan) and Miami Dolphins (Davone Bess) this year.

UH has a VERY tough first game on Saturday against Florida. Some ESPN jerks picking FLA to surpass Georgia for Numbah know, Tim Teeebow is a GOD!!! Well, I expect they must roll over UH or people will start talking. I would just like to see the UH win that game. (PS. ESPN has NO respect for UH, at all, if you haven't noticed). Just once, I'd like to see them beat the big dog...auwe...Nevah geev try, just DO.

Colt Brennan played well this preseason. Hope his sticks with the 'Skins. He'll be a good QB down the road. Wish the Bears had him...oh, wait, yeah, he might be a GOOD QB, so the Bears would not be interested...hey Jerry Angelo, got another QB somewhere...anywhere.

Da Bears...nevah mind...

Pau already.


This week Steven Tsai, the blogmeister extraordinaire of the Honolulu Advertiser, is not blogging in support of labor unions at the paper. The HA is going through layoffs and other 'bad stuff' right now.

Sooooo, there's a "lifeboat" blog where all the crazy UH supporters, the Tsai-kos, are blogging. GO VISIT OR LURK AND READ ALL THE GOOD STUFF ABOUT UH FOOTBALL.

Tsai-ko link to lifeboat blog

OK, now really pau.

A hui hou...

Wednesday, July 30, 2008

Oshkosh Bound...

Well, if everything goes OK, we should be on the flightline at OSH AirVenture on Friday morning.

We're driving...not a long trip from here, about 180 miles each way, a three hour tour...and should leave the house around 4:00AM and stop for breakfast along the way.

Last time we went was a couple of days before my stroke...and when I found out I was a diabetic. Sooooo, it's an emotional time for me. When we were there the last time, I wondered why it was so difficult for me to walk around. I just felt "off" and not normal. Well, a few days later, I found out why. Hope this time is very different.

I just have two "must sees:" one, is the Boeing 40B; the other is the LSA "Mall." Anything else is "gravy." (Hmmm, so many quotes.)

I'll just take it easy and see how much walking I can do. I've been walking every day from home to Clarendon Hills village and back to get fit enough to walk around up there. In fact, when I'm done with this post, I'm off on my walk as it's getting REALLY HOT around here. Mid to high 80's today with 90's on the weekend. Well, it IS the first weekend of August, after all.

I plan to take and post as many pictures as I can. So we'll see how that works out.

Read on the EAA website in the article about the WhiteKnight2 rollout at Mojave Spaceport that they plan on taking WK2 to AirVenture next year (2009) and that at some later date to launch a suborbital flight during AirVenture...maybe 2010? FUN! Gotta plan to be there...along with several hundred thousand of my closest friends.

I got nothing else to say...gotta walk.

A hui hou...

Sunday, July 13, 2008

Dis 'n Dat

After a few days of severe thunderstorms, the weather calmed down today. It's one of those days you do NOT tell anyone about. You know, da midwest is "hot...humid...sticky" during the summer. Weather stinks, yah? But today is one of those days we think about in the dead of know, don'tcha mid-western-ites...when the wind is howling at 30mph and the wind chill temp is...well, so low it doesn't matter...when you step outside, it's not cold...but your skin starts burning. Yeah, on days like that we remember days like today.

SOOOOOOO different from the land of my birth...Hawaii. MUST. GO. BACK. SOON!!! Well, with the cost of airline tickets going up with the price of fuel, I have a LOT of saving to do.

Like I said a while ago...anybody need an experienced writer/editor with 20 years tech writing in Information Technology/software development? Please...anyone, anyone...Bueller...Bueller???


Am reading "1421: The Year China Discovered America" by Gavin Menzies Really intriguing...theory of a retired British naval officer (submarines) who uses the first world maps to show that the great Chinese treasure fleets of the 15th century could have circled the world and made landfall in South America, discovered the Straits of Magellan waaaay before Magellan, visited and mapped Australia, Antarctica and other places along the way. A very good, detailed read, not to be "skimmed." He lays out his theory and proofs and is very convincing. There is a website with more and updated information. Very good Summer read.

PS: He also has another book "1434: The Year a Magnificent Chinese Fleet Sailed to Italy and Ignited the Renaissance." Wow...gotta read THAT one, too.


Made a KalBi (Korean short ribs) recipe on Friday on the Weber. OMG!!! A great recipe and a keeper. I'll post it soon. Must give props to the website where I found it. Now I just have to look it up. Wait...wait...OK, here it is: the recipe is from the blog, "The House of Annie." Go HERE. It's the recipe, "Killer Kalbi Recipe" from Wednesday, July 09, 2008.

GO TRY IT, especially if you're an ex-pat from Hawaii and miss da kine plate lunch. I made my mac salad to go with it and it reminded me so much of home. I guess I'm a little homesick right now. Auwe...gotta save for da trip.

OK, enough said. I gotta go and give myself my first of two pre-dinner injections...diabetic, you know. But ooooh, leftover kalbi for dinner...AND leftover mac salad. Ono kine ginds, as we used to say.

A hui hou...

Tuesday, July 8, 2008

Updating Previous Post...

According to comments on Mojave Skies, the SS2 pics are 6 months old! Better late than never. Hey, at my age, I'm a little slow.

I do have Virgin Galactic in my bookmarks, so I guess I need to pay closer attention to their site.

The Beautiful Wife got her day off of work so we can go to Oshkosh (AirVenture) at the end of the month. Of course, that depends on how I'm feeling.

Been walking almost every day to see if I can make it walking around OSH. Actually thought of getting one of those motorized rider-thingys...when I mention to the BW, she said, "..funny, I was thinking if you should get one." Of course, that would be admitting that I'm not the man I was, but then, just getting up and down the stairs at home is sometimes difficult. We'll see. GOD, I hate getting old.

A hui hou...

Sunday, July 6, 2008

SpaceShip2 Photos

An aviation blog that I found a few weeks ago has posted photos of SpaceShip 2 being built. Virgin Galactic released the photos. Check out Mojave skies at Mojave Skies. The last photo shows aviation legend, Burt Rutan, sitting in the under-construction fuselage. Boy is it big! Wish I had da money to buy a ticket!

PS. If you're really interested in the Mojave Airport (Spaceport), this photo blog is updated daily, I think, and has really great aviation information about the goings on at Mojave. One SAD entry was about the old DC-9-50s from Hawaiian Airlines (I probably flew on more than one of them, back in the day) and their trip to the scrapman.

Check it out! A great site on the internet.

A hui hou...

Still Here...

Well, I'm still here, even if no one else is.

I'm thinking of starting a new blog devoted exclusively to food...a passion of mine. More on that later. But this blog is so...unfocused. I need to tighten the focus and DO something with it.

Today is July 6th, the last day of the 4th of July weekend. Tomorrow is the start of the mid-Summer period. It's all downhill to Fall from here. Before you know it, Labor Day will be here (and gone) and Fall will upon us. (Sighs). Time really does go by faster when you get old-er.

NEWS of the DAY (or Week)

More success in Iraq which is ignored by the Drive-Bys in the MSM. No surprise there.

Cubs beginning their "July Good-By?" Kerry Woods gave up 3 runs in the bottom of the 9th inning last night and the Cards won. I'm picking the Cards to win the Central.'s the Cubs we're talking know, 100 Years of Futility.

NASCAR sucks. Toyota is beginning their dominance of the sport because...of the MONEY! When will people learn that MONEY=SUCCESS in professional sports. Look at the results and Toyota will probably win the mfgr's championships in Nationwide (Busch) AND Sprint Cup this year. And, Kyle Busch seems to have the inside track to the Driver's Championship. Yup...Money Talks...(as an old song says). With the Auto Industry heading for tough times, I just don't think the American Mfgrs. can keep up with Toyota.


Last week of July is the EAA Oshkosh Fly-In, now called (in true "corporate style") AirVenture. Hope to drive up and spend a day just walking and looking. Even though my flying days are truly over, I still like the hardware.

OK, that's enough for this time. Keep your eyes open for a new blog...maybe.

Hey, anybody looking for a freelance writer/editor with 20+ years experience as a Technical Writer? I need da work...

A hui hou...

Saturday, May 3, 2008

WHAT! It's MAY already!!!!!!

It's just that kind of day (Wink in a typical pose).

Enough exclamation points already...

OK, I've really got nothing to blog about... How about politics? OH PULEEEZE, NO. Religion? Nah. Ok, I got nothing.


Well, there's always food to talk about. If you like food, go to Tastespotting. A web page full of photos of food. WOW.

Click on a picture and you go to the website.

Today, I clicked on a photo of Chinese Roast Chicken and Coriander Rice and went to a wonderful site: Soy and Pepper. Great recipes from a home cook originally from Singapore now living in the UK. Am going to try the recipe tonight.

Tastespotting has really filled up my Food Blog favorite bookmarks. GO TO IT.


Still working on Ruhlman's Making of a Chef and The Numbers Behind Numbers. Bleech...not in the mood to read.


Strong storms around here yesterday. It actually snowed in Schaumberg this past week. Thanks to AlGore the Boreacle for "Global Warming." Yeah. Right.

Cubs starting their June Swoon early this year. Oh, yeah...THIS is the year (the 100th year of futility) that they were "supposed" to go the World Serious. Remember Charlie Brown and Lucy and the football...yeah, something like that.

Sports Related...Colt Brennan of the Hawaii Warriors football team, the ONLY Div1 UNDEFEATED team last year went to the Wash Redskins in the 6th round of the draft. Hope he does well and sticks it to the ESPN football pundits. Hawaii gets NO respect from them.

OH, today is SPAM JAM in Honolulu. (SIGH...) SOMEDAY I will make it there. A whole day devoted to SPAM. What more could any HiloBoy want? Well, maybe some rice and mac salad, too, nah?

Sunday, April 20, 2008

Spring Feeeevah...

Congrats to Danica Patrick on being the first woman to win an Indy Car race...and thanks to those who came before: Janet Guthrie, Lynn St. James, Sarah Fisher (who's STILL around) and any other I have missed.


One of my Hawaii food blogs, The Tasty Island, just finished a couple of posts about a place from my past: St. Louis Deli and Drive Inn. I used to go to St. Louis High School which is right across the street from the deli/drive inn and would walk past the place after school.

In fact, one of my classmates, PeterD, would pop into the deli and pick up some gobo...which is burdock root. It was cooked in a sweet soy broth and really tasty.

Glad to see that one of the old-time, "local" places is still around with so many going out of business. The pictures on the blog were enough to make me wish I could just drive over there and get a plate lunch. Sigh...

Another shout out for the Artisan Bread in Five Minutes a Day cookbook. The olive oil flatbread recipe is fantastic. Easy to make and oh so good. GO. BUY. THE. BOOK.

BBQ-ing today. Hamburgers. Must go and make mac salad to go with.


Just Finished: Feynman's Rainbow. If you don't know who Richard P. Feynman is/was, then Google him. In short, he was a physicist/teacher/writer/character who was brilliant and eccentric and taught at Cal Tech, the MIT of the West Coast. Oh, yeah, he won the Nobel Prize, too. Beautiful book by a colleague who knew him. A really different look at science and creativity.

Just Started: The Making of a Chef. Michael Ruhlman's first book about chefs and the chef's life. I read the second and third before this one...OK, OK, I was waiting for the paperback version. Go to Ruhlman's blog for really fantastic writing on today's food world and the foodies and chefs that inhabit it...and links to other really great food writers.

ALSO (I can't just read ONE book at a time): The Western Way of War, Victor Davis Hanson. Hanson is a farmer in California's central valley and is a Professor of Classics at Cal State Fresno. His books explore the relationships between the philosopy and war-making of the Greeks and how their approach to warfare and agriculture led to our modern ways of fighting. He also writes occasionally for

STILL TRYING TO FINISH: The Numbers Behind NUMB3RS. About the background math used in the TV show NUMB3RS. Fascinating and informative. Led me to the Feynman books.

So, are the Cubs for real or is this just another year when they will break our hearts???

A hui hou...

Wednesday, April 9, 2008

Some Thoughts...

The photo is from Saturday...a nice Spring day around here...OK, it's a retention pond, but still...

Waiting for the repairman to show up and finish repairing our NEW clothes dryer. He replaced the "coils" and gas valve yesterday and, after calling his tech manager, said he would come back today to replace the "burner." This on a NEW dryer. I think if he replaced the motor, then only the cabinet and controls would be original.

See, this dryer is from a reputable company/store and is a brand that we've purchased in the past and had little to no trouble with for MANY years. What gives???

Sweet Home Hawaii:

Well, the agony continues for the birthplace. Aloha Airlines finally gave up the ghost last week after 61 years. Just the latest in Hawaii businesses that have packed it in over the last year or so.

Then ATA goes belly-up. As of yesterday, there were still several THOUSAND people looking for trips back to the mainland. Auwe...what next?

The latest local food business to close was Tropic Fish and Vegetable Market at Ward Farmers Market. This place was there for decades. I remember going in there to buy "local" food items that were not available at local markets.

Fresh veg and fish always knows?? The "homoginization (??)" of Hawaii continues. I think I wrote here that a local fave spot at Ala Moana Center, Patty's Chinese Kitchen, which was there when I was in high school (that was during the age of dinosaurs), closed, in part to the competition from...are you ready...Panda Express!!!

Folks, there was NO comparison. Local, unique Chinese items vs "MALL food" Chinese. Yet, as an article in a Honolulu paper put it, most tourists want places they are familiar with (I call it the "McDonald's effect" matter which one you go into in the world, you know what to expect), so passed Patty's for Panda. Ugh!


Mmmmmmm...Kirschbaum's Bakery...BAD place, BAD place.

Barbeque weather made an appearance this past weekend. BTW, today it's rainy and cold. SNOW showers expected by Saturday. Gotta love Chicagoland in the Spring.

Anyhow, made huli-huli chicken on the barbie. Yummmmmy. Can't replace that smokey taste you get from hardwood charcoal. AND...DON'T USE LIGHTER FLUID. Go get a "chimney starter" that uses newspapers to get the charcoal going. NO BAD TASTE.

Tomorrow, flatbread from Artisan Bread in Five Minutes a Day. Go buy the book.

OK...that's all folks.

A hui hou...

Tuesday, March 18, 2008

Post-weekend depression...

So, city-dwellers, are you now looking up at those construction cranes more often as you walk through your city? One story said that there are more than 250 (!!!) in NYNY alone. LOOK's a's a plane...nope, it's a crane...RUN, RUN LIKE THE WIND...and watch out for those taxi cabs.


OK, the F1 race was more like NASCAR. Whoo boy, those guys just couldn't get through the first lap. Patience...patience... Was THRILLED to see Lewis Hamilton drive away with it. I'm one of those few who thought he was kinda screwed out of the championship last year by Alonzo and Ferrari (conspiracy theory here)...sorry tufosi but I LOVE it when the red prancing horse stumbles.

NASCAR was boring. Jeez...just watch the last 10 laps. That's where all the action is. Jeff Burton is one of the low-key, "nice guys" in the sport. Had his whole family with him on SpeedTV's "Victory Lane" wrapup show. Nice.

AND, finally...ALMS' 12 Hours of Sebring: the timing was WEIRD. Missed the beginning AND the end! Screwy TV scheduling, I guess. But, even this race was unique as the "All-Powerful" Audi turbo-diesel's DIDN'T win! Go figure. AND, the overall winner...first across the line...was a P2 car! A supposedly lower-powered, slower car.

OK, enough carguy stuff.


OMG, I am so priviledged. I got an email response from one of my FAVORITE food bloggers, Jaden Hair of Steamy Kitchen. Been commenting on her blog and got a response.

Actually, it's one of the best blogs for me. I love Asian-style cooking/recipes and hers are really tasty and fairly easy to do. She also has a funny, irreverant writing style. Easy to read, informative and VERY entertaining. GO READ HER:

She also takes FABUOUS photographs, so the blog is very nicely illustrated. The food LOOKS so good that you just have to make it.

Braised chicken tonight; meatballs tomorrow night. Nothing special.


Did you see HBO's production of "John Adams?" It's a dramatization of David McCullough's book of the same name. WTF???


First, I like Paul Giamatti as an actor and admire his work. But, for me, he is just HORRIBLY miscast as a late-18th century Boston lawyer. DOES. NOT. WORK. Adams was a medium sized portly man, and so, body-wise, Giamatti fits the part. BUT, I just can't get past his looks...NY Italian, yes...NE Bostonian, NOOOOOOOOO.

Now Laura Linney as Abigail Adams. NO. READ THE BOOK. Abigail is described as "...a little over 5 feet tall, with dark hair and bright shining eyes..." Not a tall slender blonde.

I SHOULDN'T have read the book. Reality intrudes into TV drama, I guess.

Also, the first episode makes it seem that Adams was a reluctant supporter of the move to independence. Ummmm, the book shows clearly, in the first chapter, that Adams supported liberty for years before the first big dramatic incident, the Boston Massacre (1770). He was well-known for an article he wrote in support of individual rights and liberty.

Oh, well, it's only TV...except that I've heard so many media types raving over this show, and it's just not that good... READ THE BOOK!!! PLEASE....

OK, end of rant.

Spring may be here really. Although last night when I went to pick up the BW at the train station it was SNOWING. Didn't really stick, and it was more like sleet, but still...ENOUGH ALREADY.

A hui hou...

Friday, March 14, 2008

Bread and racing...

OK, so I tried the sandwich bread recipe from Artisan Bread in Five Minutes A Day. Mmmmmmmm...go get this book, clear out space in your fridge, make ANY of the recipes and enjoy fresh bread daily.

It REALLY is easy, and the bread is just about as good as the white bread from The Bread Bible...which takes a whole day to make. SO, GO DO IT!!!

OK, for us carguys, this is a great racing weekend. First, ALMS (American LeMans Series) 12 Hours of Sebring on Saturday. Formula 1 in Australia for their first race...quals tonight at 11 PM EDT, race tomorrow night at same time, I think...that time/day difference is so screwy. And, of course, NASCAR is Bristol this weekend with Nationwide tomorrow and Sprint on Sunday. Whew...and I have a 52-inch HDTV with cable...OH. MY. GOODNESS.

FINALLY, the temps are in the 50s...but don't get too cocky, as tomorrow the forecast is for "...cold, windy and mid-30s." SUCKS...but NO SNOW. Thank you, thank you, thank you...


Panko-crusted tilapia tonight for dinner. Steam/sauteed broccoli and cauliflower and steamed rice. Oh, and another loaf of the Artisan bread. Yummy!

You know, when I was a kid growing up in Hawaii, tilapia was "trash" fish. No one ate it although it was easily caught. It tasted awful. How times have changed.

One of these days, I have to try the Kona farm-raised fish, the Kona Kampachi. Supposed to be reallly good, but, whoo whee...some kind of expensive.

I was going for the pan-roased halibut, "...fresh caught off Alaska..." according to the sign in Whole Paycheck, I mean Foods, today, but at nearly $25 a pound, tilapia is a much better deal.


Both sons are in NYNY (a town so nice they named it twice). Elder Son is visiting Younger Son for a week. I envy them. NYNY should be nice this weekend. Oh, the restaurants!!!

OK, enough. Gotta go make bread.

A hui hou...

Monday, March 10, 2008

Monday, Monday...

Spent the weekend in St. Charles with the beautiful wife. Just a get-away kind of weekend. Dragged through some antique stores...they sell antiques, not that the stores were...oh, you know what I mean.

Just before we pulled into the municipal parking lot, BW noticed that the main street, called Main Street, was being lined with portable chairs. Come to find out, as we parked next to a gentleman in a kilt, that last Saturday St. Charles celebrated St. Patrick's Day...yup, had their parade.

Now, it was 25 degrees with snow flurries and snow showers. Those were some COLD Irish in that parade. Must have spent the rest of the day in one of the many Irish pubs in the downtown area. Anyhoo, lots of pipe and drum groups, dance groups and Irish social groups. Nice parade...but, whoo, the weather.


Am I the only NASCAR fan to think, "Toyota wins...everyone else loses?" Am I just too cynical and negative to believe that in 4 or 5 years Toyota will be the ONLY manufacturer in stock car racing? Hmmm... Well, the IRL (Indy Racing League) is down to a couple of chassis manufacturers and ONE engine supplier. Indy 500 anyone?


Just got the book, Artisan Bread in Five Minutes a Day. I'll have to try their recipes and see how they taste. I use The Bread Bible to make bread, but it takes ALL day to make two loaves. If this works, you can make bread in a very short time.

The authors have a great variety of breads, but I'll start with their basic recipe to see how it tastes. I'll document the results.

Last batch of homemade kimchi is really good. I use regular cabbage, instead of the Napa that is usually used(???). Goes soooooo goooood with homemade fried rice.


Am reading The Numbers Behind Numb3rs, about the mathmatics used in the CBS tv show, Numb3ers. The main math guy behind the show is a math prof at Cal Tech. Very interesting book. He uses actual episodes from the show and explains the math used in solving the crime.

Of course, some dramatic license is used, such as shrinking the time that would be needed to actually do the math so that the crime can be solved in a timely manner, but then, it IS a tv show. Definitely recommend it.


It's getting WARMER!!! Whoo hoo...maybe Spring IS on the way...hope, hope...

A hui hou...

Monday, February 25, 2008

Today's Random Thoughts...

Two of my favorite blogs are Michelle Malkin and Hot Air...and yes, they're related. I read them every day. So I was a little sad to learn that Bryan Preston of Hot Air is leaving. BUT, on the plus side, Ed Morrisey of Captain's Quarters is joining the gang at Hot Air. So the universe is back in balance.

Besides, Bryan left to go to the Laura Ingraham radio show. Gee, are ALL conservative women smart AND beautiful...hmmmm...Laura, MM, MKH (aka 'the Hammer)...I could go on.

ANOTHER winter storm is about to hit here. Anywhere from 3 to 9 inches of snow...depending on where you are. Great. It isn't Global Warming, it's another ICE AGE.


Well, it certainly DOES rain in Southern California. Finally got in the races today. Very small crowd at the track. SoCal seems to be the "black hole" for sports. They can't even keep an NFL team there. Wonder if demographics have know different ethnic makeup???


As a Hawaiian ex-pat, I follow Univ of Hawaii sports, especially football. What a great year! Undefeated. But, then reality...the Sugar Bawl. Whoof. Talk about a letdown. Then head coach June Jones leaves for SMU. Second Whoof.

But, things got better. Great choice for new coach (Greg McMackin, the DCoordinator). Great recruiting with some good prospects. Good hires for assistants.

SO, I followed the NFL combine in Indianapolis this weekend as some UH players were there. Colt Brennan (QB) trying to overcome the SB loss, poor performance in Senior Bowl, etc. He did very well, winning the accuracy drill.

BUT, it seems that ESPN and pundits are down on the kid. Huh? I guess if UH was in a "real " conference, like the Pac-10, Big-10 SEC, etc, he would have gotten a break. But it seems that the pundits really want to put the guy down, constantly complaining about the 'weak' schedule (anybody else go undefeated???) and that CB is a 'system' QB.

I don't know the root of all the negative comments, but UH is at a disadvantage in the WAC and playing most games after the East Coast pundits have gone to bed. But still, I hope that CB succeeds and proves them wrong. Hey, they haven't been right about much up till now, huh? END OF RANT.


Make Kau Yuk for the second time yesterday. Turned out much better than the first time. Oh, it's red-cooked (braised) pork belly. WAS good. Reminded me of buying it at Patti's Chinese Kitchen in Ala Moana Shopping Center. Sadly, Patti's is closing. Yet ANOTHER old time, "local" place that is quitting business. Fond memories of eating there with the beautiful wife and number-one son...who loved the Char Siu (BBQ pork) and tofu dish.

There's a pic of the first Kau Yuk below.

OK, enough. Must get some sleep as I will probably be using the snowblower first thing in the morning to clear the driveway to get the BW to the train.

A hui hou...

Friday, February 22, 2008

Zippy Saimmmmmmmin...

Saimin is a "local" Japanese-style noodle soup that is a staple in Hawaii. I didn't have it growing up in Hilo on the Big Island of Hawaii. There, the closest dish was the udon that my dad would go and get from a little grocery store/shave ice/udon shop. He'd take a Revereware saucepan and bring it back full of udon broth and thick noodles. My mom would make scrambled egg and shred it to put in the soup with fresh sliced green onions. we say...

Well, after we moved to Honolulu, I discovered saimin. Thin noodles, yummy broth with a slice of fishcake, some slices of char siu (bbq pork) and green onions. You got saimin mainly in Chinese restaurants. Variants included wonton min, with boiled, pork-filled wontons added to the basic noodles/char siu/fishcake. Oh so good... It was our usual snack after a night out at the movies or football/basketball games. AH, those nights at the Golden Duck... Really ono...and cheap!

Well, I just finished a saimin for lunch. No, not take out from a restaurant, but made from noodles and soup base shipped out from Honolulu. You see, the intarweb is a wonderful thing.

A local restaurant chain, Zippys, has a website with a shopping page. You can get Hawaiian food (lau lau, poi, kalua pork), Zippy's favorites (their famous chili and soups) or other local foods. Perishable items are frozen before shipping.

One item you can buy is an eight-pack of frozen fresh saimin noodles with eight packets of S&S saimin broth. All you have to do is boil up the noodles, make the broth and then toss in your favorite condiments: SPAM, scrambled egg, fishcake, green onions, etc. They also provide frozen wontons for those of you that want a wonton min.

Of course, this is Friday and Lent, so I made mine meatless, with two kinds of fishcake and green onions. It was really good...ooops, I mean ono.

I've got one packet of noodles and broth left, so I have to order some more online soon. This time I think I'll also get a "local" favorite: Saloom pilot crackers. I used to LIVE on them when I was a kid in Hilo.

Too bad that Hilo Macaroni Factory is now gone, closed because the 80-year old equipment couldn't be modernized to increase production. But Diamond Bakery crackers are an acceptable substitute and can be ordered from the Diamond Bakery website or from Zippys.

Last time I ordered from Zippys, I received TWO phone calls from a very nice lady, who was making sure the order was correct and, later after the box arrived, that everything was OK. Very good customer service and one reason I will be ordering from them in the future.

Our local Mitsuwa Marketplace carries Aloha Shoyu from time to time, but the last three time I went in there wasn't any. SO, I either have to order online or just keep waiting...I think I'll order online.

Although there are many great Asian restaurants in the Chicagoland area, the stuff just doesn't taste like the food in Hawaii. Thank goodness for the intarweb...


California this weekend. They renamed the California Speedway; now it's "The Auto Club Speedway of Southern California." Whew... More $$$$$$$ for NASCAR.

Nice article on about Ryan Newman's wife, Krissie. Seems she's a really nice, down-to-earth young lady, and a great role model (hate that term). That's one of the attractions of NASCAR...they seem to be "real" people and not at all like some Britney's or Lindsay's that are slutting around...did I say that out loud? Anyhow, go read the article.


I've been a flying nut all my life, from the time my dad would take us to watch the airplanes land at the airport to my stint in aviation in the military, to my attempts to get a pilot's license (failed).

Recently the FAA and EAA got together and came up with a new class the Light Sport Pilot/Light Sport Airplane. Just need a driver's license and no medical to learn to fly. BUT...

...THE LSA AIRCRAFT COST OVER $80,000. This, for a two-seat, daytime only, short ranged, SLOW airplane. One I really drooled over, the RANS S-19 starts at $110,000!!! For that kind of money, I can buy a Saleen Mustang or a ZO-1 Corvette AND have money left over. OK, rant over.

Hey, local weathermen are predicting a "warming" spell...yeah, that's right, we should get to......40 degrees!!!! Woo hoo...please, where is Spring...huh??? Where is, help...

A hui hou...

Tuesday, February 19, 2008

As I Was Saying...

Ok, let's get caught up, as it's been a few days:


Daytona 500...WHOOOOO WHEEEEE!!!! At least Toyota didn't win 'The Great AMERICAN Race.' Sorry, but I just think Toyota will be the death of American manufacturers in's all about the MONEY $$$$$$$.

Anyhoo, congrats to a legend in American motorsports, Roger Penske, and to Flyin' Ryan Newman and the Dodge boys for the victory. AND, a big tip o' the hat to Kurt Busch for the push that won the race.

Felt really weird not rooting for my old fave, Smoke, aka Tony Stewart. But, hey, it's a TOYOTA...geez.


Mmmmmmade kimchee over the weekend. Living in Hawaii in the 80's, I'd get the cucumber or regular cabbage kimchee in bottles from Star or Times Supermarkets. Now, all you can get is the Bok Choy or Chinese Cabbage versions. So, with a little help from NOH's KimChee mix, I can have my cucumber/daikon or cabbage kimchee. Made the cabbage version and enjoyed it last night with Huli Huli Chicken:

Preheat oven to 350 degrees. Line a baking sheet with aluminum foil (for easy cleanup).

Make the sauce by combining the following in a small bowl:

1/3 cup EACH catsup and shoyu
1/2 cup brown sugar
3 TBSP dry sherry
1 'finger/thumb' fresh ginger, finely minced
1 clove garlic, finely minced
2 stalks green onion, finely sliced

6-8 chicken thighs, bone-in and skin-on

Season chicken thighs with salt, pepper and granulated garlic.

Lightly oil foil. Place thighs on foil and brush both sides with sauce, ending up with the thighs skin-side up. Use all the sauce.

Bake for 35-40 minutes.

Serve with steamed white rice and homemade kimchee. Mmmmmmm, ohso ono...


In the car this morning, taking The Beautiful Wife to the train, the outside temp was...5 DEGREES!!! It's the MIDDLE of February, for God's sake. OK, enough of this 'global warming.' I'm about ready to sue AlGore for NOT delivering WARMING...get it??? What do I have to do???

Ok, that's all folks.

A hui hou...

Thursday, February 14, 2008

Not Again...

Was going to post about NASCAR Gatorade Duels today...but the tragedy at Northern Illinois just overrode anything.

DeKalb is not that far from here.

Thing is, today is Valentine's Day and it was the first day in a long while that had decent weather: warm (near 40) and snow.

So, if you're so inclined, say a prayer or two for the victims of this despicable act, and their families, friends and loved ones. And also for all the students at Northern. College is supposed to be a time of exploring, learning, trying new things, meeting new (and hopefully lifelong) friends. Then this happens...

And if you were wondering, yup, it was a "gun-free zone."

A hui hou...

Wednesday, February 13, 2008

Kau Yuk...Braised Pork Belly...Mmmmmm

Long.Time.Ago...we used to go to Patti's Chinese Kitchen at the Ala Moana Shopping Center for a plate lunch. My beautiful wife loved their fried rice and manapua (char siu bao). My son loved the char siu with tofu and could eat a whole order by, he was 4 years old at the time.

My favorite was kau yuk; red braised pork belly. Rich, luscious, fatty...mmmmmmm. Well, I just read recently in the Honolulu newspapers online that Patti's at Ala Moana is closing. Dwindling business, changing tastes, higher rents (and the new nearby Panda Express) all contributed to the owner's throwing in the towel after decades. A sad day.

Too many 'local' businesses, especially the local 'plate lunch' places are going out of business. Many started after World War II as a means of providing the American dream to many returning local servicemen and their wives. That generation is now past retirement age, and many of their kids are now doctors, lawyers and teachers and working 12 to 18 hours a day preparing food and making a very small profit are simply not attractive to the younger generation.

In fact, one owner said that she didn't want her kids to take over her business. "It's a hard life," she said. She and her husband had worked hard for years to provide the opportunities for a better life for her kids, and she just didn't want them to have to go through what she had. I decided to make kau yuk. I tried a 'traditional' recipe a few weeks ago and it came out garbage. More like kau yuk jerky. The pork belly was too thinly sliced, more like bacon. This time I got some nice thick slices.

I found a 'shortcut' recipe on a Hawaiian food recipe site and used it. The KEY ingredient is a package mix (OMG, am I turning in to Sandra Lee????? NOOOOOOOOO...).

NOH makes a line of packaged, powdered mixes for a variety of local (Hawaiian) dishes...from KimChee, to Korean Barbeque, to Adobo.

BTW, the picture shows some of the pork sliced and just before I poured the sauce over it.

"Quick" Kau Yuk

One package NOH Char Siu (Barbeque Pork) Mix
1 1/2 cup water
One large 'finger' of ginger sliced into 1/8 inch thick slices
Four green onions slice into 3-inch pieces
3 lbs pork belly

Mix the Char Siu mix with the water. Add the ginger slices.

Brown the pork belly in some peanut oil in a heavy pot, like a dutch oven. I cut the pork belly into 4-inch long pieces so it would cook quicker.

Remove the oil from the pot. Place the pork belly pieces in one layer in the pot. Pour the sauce/marinade over the pork belly pieces. Add the green onion pieces. Bring to a simmer and cook for 1.5 hours or until very tender.

Remove the pork from the pot. Degrease the sauce as there will be a LOT of fat rendered.

In the dutch oven or another pot, bring the degreased sauce to a boil and reduce until the sauce thickens and becomes syrup-like.

Slice the pork belly into 1/2-inch thick slices. Pour sauce over.

You will NEED to eat this with a LOT of steamed rice as the meat will be fatty and VERY rich. I could only eat three or four pieces. A nice steamed green vegetable, such as Chinese broccoli (choy sum?), goes nicely with this dish.

SPORTS: Sorry, but if I NEVER hear about Roger Clemens again in my life, I will be VERY, VERY happy. Arrrrgggghhhh...ENOUGH already.

NASCAR: Getting closer to the Daytona 500. Gatorade Duels are tomorrow, final practice is Friday and then the race on Sunday. Whooopeeee...can't wait. You heard it here first...with the new car and all the changes, my prediction (W.A.G.) is that someone unexpected will win the race. Hmmmmm...who could that be????

POLITICS: Hey, did you know that there's some election going on? Anybody interesting running? Hmmmm...maybe I should be more interested...NAH...

A hui hou...

Tuesday, February 12, 2008

Oh my aching...

It snowed last night...again. Went out at '0-dark-thirty' this morning to see if I had to drag out the snowblower (again) and clear the driveway (again) to get the beautiful wife to the train.

Surprise! Just a light dusting of snow that came off the car (our trusty HHR) easily.

SO I walked down to the end of the driveway to see if the village snowplows had built up a berm where the driveway meets the street. No...again, very good.

So I start walking back to the garage and WHAM!!! Just as I get to where my brother's car is parked, my feet go one way, my butt goes another and I'm on my back, looking up at the trees.

You see, that light dusting of snow was covering a patch of ICE. So I did the 'old man's flip' and landed on my okole (that's Hawaiian for glute).

I crawled over to my brother's car, grabbed the hood and stood up.

Hmmmm...nothing seemed broken. But when I flexed my right hand...owwwwww. I guess I jammed my thumb when I fell. You're NEVER supposed to try to break you fall by putting your hand out, because then you break your wrist.

Well, I don't think anything is broken, but I have felt more sore spots as the morning has gone on.

Just another sign that I'm finally getting...oh no...OLD. Oh, well, I guess that just means I have Senior Discounts to look forward to.

Supposed to get the TV fixed today. Geek Squad to the rescue. Interesting problem: it turns itself on and off and changes the volume at random. Great, a possessed that what HD is all about???

No food today, but maybe a lamb roast with pitas tomorrow.

A hui hou...

Monday, February 11, 2008

Monday...'Nuff Said

This morning while I was taking my beautiful wife to the train, the outdoor temp indicator in the car started at 1 degree...but soon fell to -1. Yeah, I guess it's COLD. And, hey, 3-5 inches of snow is expected later today. WHY did we leave Hawaii???

Tonight for dinner: Kalua and Cabbage. That's a "leftovers" dinner. The original was Oven Roasted Kalua Pork...mmmmm. Took me a while to get the recipe right.

3-3.5 lb pork shoulder or 'Boston Butt'
Kosher or Hawaiian salt
Liquid smoke...preferably mesquite "flavor"
Freshly ground pepper
'Black' Shoyu (has lots of molasses in it)
Granulated garlic (also known as garlic powder)
Heavy Duty Aluminum Foil

Preheat oven to 325 degrees.

Unroll 4-5 pieces of the aluminum foil. Make sure it's large enough to wrap the roast completely and tightly. Stack the foil sheets.

Place the roast in the middle of the top sheet of foil.

Sprinkle salt over and under roast. Use 3-6 tablespoons of salt. Yes, that much IS necessary.

Sprinkle 4-6 teaspoons of liquid smoke. I generally 'eyeball' this.

Sprinkle shoyu and dark shoyu over roast. Maybe one tablespoon each

Sprinkle a couple of teaspoons of granulated garlic. Grind fresh pepper over roast.

Fold up foil around the roast and crimp first sheet to seal tightly. Rotate roast 90 degrees on second sheet and fold up foil and crimp to seal. Repeat with all sheets of foil.

Place foil-wrapped roast in roasting pan. Fill pan with water a couple of inches up the side of the foil-wrapped roast. Place in oven. Roast for 5 hours. Replenish water as necessary. Turn oven off and let roast sit in oven for another hour, for 6 hours total.

Remove from oven and let cool. Discard any water left in roasting pan.

I usually unwrap the roast as it sits in the roasting pan. There will be a LOT of liquid in the foil. SAVE THIS LIQUID!!! I usually pour off the liquid into a large measuring cup (4 cups).

SHRED the roast with two forks. Put the shredded meat into a storage container with a lid.

Degrease the liquid. There WILL be a lot of grease on the top of the liquid. You DON'T want the grease.

Pour the de-greased liquid over the shredded meat in the storage container. You can eat it now... jor refrigerate it and reheat later.

We had ours with some poi we got from Hawaii...a local restaurant chain named Zippys has a GREAT online shopping page on their website. I get the poi from them and also frozen fresh saimin. More on that later.

So...tonight, leftover kalua with cabbage and steamed rice. Now if I only had made some of my kimchee to go with...

NASCAR is back! Daytona 500 next week. HD on Fox...whoopeee!! SPEED-TV is SUPPOSED to be broadcasting in HD, but not on my cable system. Must call Comcast (ugh!) and find out why.

Am I the ONLY person who could care less if Roger Clemens actually used performance-enhancing drugs? I really can't get excited about yet ANOTHER privileged, rich professional athlete who may or may not have used some banned/controlled substance to 'enhance' his performance. Yeah, gotta tell the kids NOT to do it, as it could screw up your body/life, etc. But really...I just DON'T CARE anymore.

OK, gotta do some grocery shopping before the NEXT snowstorm hits this afternoon. Hope the snowblower starts up tomorrow morning.


Friday, February 8, 2008

First Friday

So, it's the first Friday of Lent. No meat...

So here's what I did for lunch (see the picture):

Cheesy Tomato Bread

2 slices Italian Bread (French works OK, too)
Monterey Jack Cheese
Thinly sliced onion
Finely diced red bell pepper
Parmaggiano Reggiano cheese
4 slices tomato
Chiffonade fresh basil leaves

Spread the bread slices with butter. Sprinkle granulated garlic (garlic powder) over. Grind some fresh pepper on. Grate Jack much is up to you. Spread onions on cheese. Add more garlic and pepper. Cover the onion with more Jack cheese. Sprinkle diced bell pepper. More garlic. Cover with Parmaggiano. Broil in toaster oven to melt and brown cheese.

Put tomato slices on toasted cheese bread. Sprinkle with salt and pepper. Sprinkle with chiffonaded (??) basil. Enjoy.

A meatless lunch, just right for a Lenten Friday.

HOORAY!!! NASCAR starts tomorrow. Bud Shootout tomorrow night. ARCA race before that. SPEED-TV is Hi-Def, FINALLY!!

Ok, before you put that "redneck" label on me, I gotta tell you that the first "stock car" race I attended was at the old State Fairgrounds in Hilo, on the Big Island of Hawaii, in the 1950's. Yeah, we had cars back then. Been a fan of auto racing ever since: NASCAR, Formula1, ALMS, Rolex Sports Cars, etc. Everything but drag racing for some reason. And now in Hi-Def. Just need to get the TV fixed...drat!

Halibut for dinner tonight. Very expensive, but worth it...well, it better be worth it.

READING: The Modern Researcher, Fifth Ed., by Jacques Barzun and Henry G. Graff. Barzun is, as you know, the eminent French-born historian of ideas and culture. A great book. Now all I need to do is start my own research business...hmmmm, information broker...information consultant. Soon, sooon...

A hui hou...

Wednesday, February 6, 2008


What, you say, are malasadas? Well, roughly translated, mala-sada means "bad dough." Malasadas are Portuguese doughnuts. See the picture above.

Growing up on the Big Island of Hawaii, we had these doughnuts on Shrove (or Fat) Tuesday, the day before Ash Wednesday.

You see, malasadas are supposed to be the last sweet consumed before Lent begins. During Lent, you were supposed to fast and abstain from meat on Wednesdays and Fridays. Now, it's just observed on Ash Wednesday and all Fridays during Lent.

We actually made the malasadas on Sunday, but the first batch wasn't very good. We put about half the dough in the fridge and made the rest last night. Well, the long rising period of the second batch did the trick. That, and making them very small.

They turned out very nice, indeed. And they reheat very nicely...25 seconds in the microwave does the trick.

Now, back to Letter of Intent know what that is, right? When the high school football players sign their letter of intent to attend a certain university. No? Am I the only one? Hmmmm...

Oh, and today, I'm making Oven Roasted Kalua Pork....mmmmmm. Got some poi to go with it, too. Yum-o....OMG, I just Rachel Ray-ed...I'm so ashamed... Where is Tony Bourdain when you need him???

A hui hou...

Tuesday, February 5, 2008

I'm Baaaaack...

Whew, was that a tough end of 2007 and beginning of 2008. But after much stuff under the bridge...don't ask...I'm back and better than ever.

And what better day than SUPER TUESDAY...the day that we poor unwashed get to vote for the politician that we can actually know, it's hard to hold your nose while voting...but after soooooo maaaaany elections doing it, you get pretty good at it.


How about that Super Bowl, huh??? Didn't have a dog in the fight, but was nice to see Eli silence the big mouths. Actually, before the game started, my son and I agreed that the perfect ending would be for Eli to lead the winning drive with 2 minutes left... Well, TB still has Giselle...not bad.

We're expecting a BIG snow storm tonight-tomorrow. As much as 5 to 12 inches or more. Fun. At least the snowblower works. Still, I have to clear the driveway before 6:20 AM to get the beautiful wife to the train.

So, I should be posting more regularly from now on. And, if ANYONE, is reading this stuff, here's what you can look forward to: Recipes (yes, cooking is a hobby; I've been the family cook for 25+ years); motorsports (a lifelong vice); football (great timing, huh, as the last real game was last Sunday; but college football declaration day is tomorrow...GO UH WARRIORS); and other stuff that comes up.

So, sit back and read up.

A hui hou...