Wednesday, January 27, 2010

State of Union

Just finished watching the President's State of the Union address and I have a couple of questions and one observation.

My observation:

Nancy Pelosi must have watched the tape of the last time she sat behind the President while he gave a speech. The last time I could not even listen to the President because she was so twitchy behind him. Tonight about all she did was lick her lips alot, a huge improvement.

My questions:

1. Will the don't ask don't tell policy in the military actually be repealed?

2. Who in the hell is in charge of the seating plan at these things? How in world did Al Franken get a seat right behind all the military brass?

Sunday, January 17, 2010

Freely and without fear

In yesterday's Chronicle was a story about the on going fight for marriage between people that love each other. The U.S. Supreme Court is debating whether to allow the broadcast on the internet of the court proceedings in San Francisco.

The citizens who support traditional (whatever that really means) marriage want to remain anonymous because they fear harassment from gay rights supporters. That they seek to protect the rights of citizens who want to speak freely and without fear, so that their neighbors, friends and family don't know for sure that they are bigots and hateful.

And the blurb right above this article? In South Bend, Indiana the independent student newspaper for Notre Dame and Saint Mary's College apologized for and offensive cartoon about "how to turn a fruit into a vegetable? With a baseball bat."

I ask, who should live in fear?

Tuesday, January 12, 2010

Good Dutch People

Miep Gies died two days ago, not a name that most of us know. She was a co-worker and friend of Otto Franks, who most of us know as the father of Anne Frank. Miep helped hide Anne and her family and another family, the van Pels. They all hid in fear for 25 months before they were turned in by an informer and taken away, only Otto returned after the war.

Miep and her husband Jan, victor Kugler, Johannes Kleiman, Bep Voskuijl and her father Johannes brought food, news, clothing everything they needed to survive in their hiding place. After the Franks and van Pels were taken away Miep found Anne's papers and stashed them away. When Otto returned he was taken in by Miep and Jan and Miep returned Anne's papers to him. That was all he had left of his family. Those notes of the 25 months became the best selling Diary of a Young Girl, if you have never read it, get it and read it.

Miep wrote that she was not a hero, but stood at the end of the long, long line of good Dutch people who did what I did and more during those dark and terrible times.

I feel that hero is a really overused word, but Miep fits the definition in my book. I think she is wrong, I think there was a long line of Dutch people (and others) that stood by and did nothing. She and the others put their own lives on the line and some of them paid with their lives. Miep lived a long life and she tried to make life better for a small group of people and for 25 months she succeeded.

Thursday, January 7, 2010


Did you know that Hawaii has the only royal palace in the United States? Yes, indeed. Iolani Palace. The official residence of King Kalakaua and is successor and sister Queen Lili'uokalani (say that three time fast). They make you put on little booties over your shoes so I was expecting great floors and I was not disappointed. The woodwork, the doors, the door hinges, the workmanship was breath taking. In the palace is the prison chamber of Queen Lili'uokalanie. Where she was held for 8 months after her government was overthrown backed by the US government.

Did you know that the Hawaiin language has only 13 letters?

Here is today's picture from my window:

The weather people say the trade winds are back today, cooler winds and clearer sky's the result.

Wednesday, January 6, 2010


Last night I was taken to HALE a modern macrobiotic restaurant in Honolulu. It was the best meal I have had in months. We had veggie gyoza dumplings that came with a dakon radish red wine vinegar dipping sauce that was out of this world. Grilled Lotus Roots with wasabi veggie mayonnaise. OK the lotus roots were pretty boring without the wasabi dipping sauce.

For a main course I had kuruma-fu cutlet with apple miso sa
uce. It is a meat substitute and it looked very similar to fried chicken but better. They ask if you want this toasted sesame seed salt mixture on your brown rice - it turned the plain brown rice to a little bit of greatness. The miso soup? The best I have ever had.

I have two more nights here and I just might be going back. If you come to Honolulu visit this place, even a non vegan or non vegetarian will be impressed.

I just finished the brownie I brought home last night - yummy.

Today's picture. Same window and same view. It is currently raining this morning, but still warm.

Tuesday, January 5, 2010

Another day

Well, my first day in Hawaii ended on a good note. I did not forget the battery to the laptop, it was just not in the laptop properly.

Today is overcast and they are anticipating 40 foot waves on the north shore. 40 foot waves! And they have people that surf them. Sounds a little crazy to me, but...

The view of the mountains in the morning from my window.


Monday, January 4, 2010

One of those days

OK, so I am in Hawaii, right. What could go wrong?


Woke up and took a shower, plugged in the hotel supplied blow dryer and started drying my hair. Sparks and flames come out of the electrical outlet. I quickly turn off the dryer and unplug it safely, of course. I call downstairs to tell them about this event and they tell me they will send someone up to look into it.

Next, I go downstairs and use the ATM in the lobby, hop in a cab and go to the office. I get to the office and realize that I have left my ATM card in the machine back at the hotel. So I call the hotel and speak to the assistant manager, he tells me to call back in a few minutes. I call back and he tells me that there is no card in the machine. But, not to worry, the machine will eat a card that has been in the machine too long. So I call my beloved and tell her my happy news and she gives me the 800 number to call. I call the number and get a verizon conference call operator. I call my beloved back and get the correct number and call. I am able to cancel my card (only my card - not my partners card, right?). If I want to have them send me a replacement card I will need to answer a couple of questions to confirm my identity. Sounds like a good idea. The questions: What is my account number and what is the date and amount of the last deposit? Um, I am out of town, I don't have any of that information here with me. Well, I'll just have to call back. OK.

I get thru the day of a new phone system install without any major problems and head back to the hotel. I call down to the front desk to make sure they sent someone up to look at the outlet in the bathroom. A couple of minutes goes by and a nice lady shows up at my door with a blow dryer. No, you misunderstood. The outlet in the bathroom sparked and flamed this morning when I used the blow dryer. OH, let me call down and tell them. So she gets on the phone and calls engineering and a guy comes up a few minutes later. He looks at the plug, plugs in the hairdryer and says everything is fine. I ask, it's fine? Yes, yes, fine. OK, as long as I don't burn the place down. I'll let you know tomorrow.

Then out for dinner. At little sushi place near the hotel.

Waiter1: Would you like something to drink?
Me: Yes. Ice tea, please.
Waiter1: We don't have any ice tea.
Sushi Chef leaning over the sushi bar: Just take some tea and put some ice in it.
Waiter1: Oh, ok.
Waiter2: We only have oulong tea.
Me: That is fine.
Waiter2: We don't have any sweetner.
Me: that's ok
Waiter1: We don't have any oulong, will green tea do?
Me: Do you have any water?
Waiter1: Yes.
Me: I'll have ice water.
Waiter1: Ready to order?
Me: Yes, I'll have vegetable tempura and can i get sushi with no fish, avacado maki or something like that?
Waiter1: You will have to ask the Sushi chef about that.
Me: OK.
A couple of minutes later:
Sushi chef: Have you ordered?
Me: yes, but the waiter said I have to ask you for something. Can I get something without fish. Just with avacado or vegetables only?
Sushi chef: Avacado and crab maybe?
Me: No, crab, no fish. Just avacado or veggies?
Sushi chef: OK
I get my veggie tempura and my veggie sushi. It is all quite good.
Waiter1: Are you done?
Me: Yes, can I have my check, please.
He brings me my check and I call him back.
Me: I don't think this is my check.
Waiter1: Why?
Me: Well its for $74 and all I had was...
Waiter1 confirs with Waiter2 and they both confir with the Sushi chef who looks at them like they are both idiots and tells them the check they gave me was for the party of 5 at the table over there. So they redo my check, I pay and I leave.

I am back at my hotel where the attorney that I brought a new laptop with me for calls to tell me I forgot the damn battery for it.
Oh, thankfully tomorrow is another day.

Sunday, January 3, 2010

Flying the friendly skies

Well this morning I took the new TSA security warnings very seriously and arrived earlier than usual for a domestic flight. I got checked in, thru security and at my gate with about 2 and half hours before my flight was due to take off. So much for that extra security they said to be aware of.

So, I sat at my gate (82) reading at some point I looked at the people around me. I thought wow, these people sure don't look like they are going to Hawaii. They had boots and coats and looked ready for cold weather. So, being the smart traveler that I am I thought I should check the departure gate screen. Sure enough, my flight had been changed to gate 86 and these poor souls around me were bound for Chicago.

Finally arrived in Hawaii and was confronted by the age old question - what the hell to women do in a bathroom stall? Got off the plane and headed for the nearest ladies room. It had three stalls, yes three. There were two were two girls ahead of me and I thought OK this won't be bad. Well stall number one opens up and first girl goes in. Then stall number one opens up and next girl goes in. Then stall number one opens up and I go in. I see stall number three being vacated as I go into stall number one. Then I come in and stall number two is still in use and still occupied by the original person as I walk out the door. Quickly!

Saturday, January 2, 2010

Hell Boy!

Hell Yes. I love these movies. I am watching Hellboy II = the Golden Army right now.

I just love Ron Perlman. Actually I think I like Ron Perlman dressed up as something else. Remember Beauty and the Beast? Not only Linda Hamilton (Yum) but Ron Perlman as the Beast. I had a big crush on them both. The crush on Linda makes sense, but what does the crush on the Beast mean?

And what is up liking Hellboy? I mean who does not want to hang out with a cigar swilling, cat loving red guy with a big rock hand?

Of course, one should be very afraid of the girlfriend that can burst into flames.

Happy New Year

For those of you that read my blog, I hope that the coming year is the best year ever. Remember, your year depends a lot on you. Be present and help make it the best.

For those of you that don't read my blog