Monday, March 17, 2008

Hoppy Easter

My first stop-motion video!

Sunday, March 16, 2008

We could stand to lose a few

Maybe weighing body parts separately will make a difference. Rocky starts with his head.

Monday, December 24, 2007

So this is Christmas (Eve)

quickie by John Lennon and Rocky Raccoon

Kind of hard to tell with the balmy weather gently blowing the palm trees. But Rocky knows and sends wishes via his quickie slide show in hopes that Santa is good to all of you tomorrow.

Quicktime         |         WMV

Saturday, December 22, 2007


Rocky Raccoon shares a brief morning-to-night holiday greeting, set to the piano version of "How I Disappear" by My Chemical Romance. That was the most amazing concert last week, experienced from the very first row pressed against the railing. Even the security guy who busted me was cool. After he took me outside and made me supposedly delete my pictures, he let me follow him closely through the frenzied crowd back to the front, a safe distance from the pit where people were being seriously injured.

Quicktime        |         WMV

Where did the last few months go?

You could never tell by my increasingly infrequent posts, but 2007 was probably was one of the best years in recent memory. Briefly:

October: Having the family back together, since my brother got married and moved back
June: Visiting another country again -- Canada counts, right?
Later June: Being one of the first on the island to own an iPhone
November: Getting the most beautiful Christmas tree (at a discount!!) that Rocky Raccoon and I have ever had
December: Surviving and having the best time at the My Chemical Romance concert
All year: Owning Apple stock has been verrrry rewarding

Monday, October 01, 2007

Free money

Interest rates have dropped, including those great online checking/savings accounts. But that doesn't mean you should pass them by. ING is again offering $25 when you open a new savings account with no minimum or fees.

(I got my reference code for the promotion when I ordered something from Codes can be found online...)

Saturday, September 08, 2007

No, I'm not mad; yes, I will get the $100 credit

Phone brouhaha

Since news of the iPhone price slash on Wednesday ($200 discount for the 8GB model in just two months!) people have been asking me if I had heard about it (yes, I followed it in real time the day it transpired), and more recently if I received my $100 (no, details of the credit will come out next week). Since I'm the only Mac advocate and iPhone owner most of them know, they ask for my take on it.

I'm actually surprised Steve-o capitulated a coupla days later and offered all early adopters a $100 credit. That totally makes up for how I felt when my 4GB iPhone suddenly became obsolete, and its remaining stock is being sold off for $299 ( I bought it for $399*). Of course, if I had purchased the $499* 8GB (non-obsolete) iPhone I'd be out $100...but I didn't. Hah.

I'm not sure if he meant all along to "apologize" and make kissie-kissie to his most loyal customers, because when asked about the dramatic price drop, he initially claimed, "That's (just) technology". Perhaps the ensuing complaints/hate mail really did get to him, compelling him to yield to the masses...but I kinda think not. It probably was all in the grand Steve-o scheme o' things.

I went out with friends tonight and as I was asked again about the iPhone news, one of them remarked, "That's OK, she's a shareholder." I never thought of it that way. I do check how AAPL stock is doing (131.77 as of Friday, down from a high of 143 a few weeks ago, I think -- but hey, the entire stock market has taken a hit). I bought shares at at around $18 for a purely emotional reason: I've always loved my Macs. Hardly anyone would've purchased Apple stock at the time, and it's performed waaay beyond anyone's wildest dreams. While it delights me, from a practical standpoint, I don't really care since I'll never sell. At least, that's what I've been saying all these years...

The $100 credit will come in handy eventually, but we have yet to hear details. Since I pretty much have all I want that's offered at the Store, I might just blow it on iTunes gift cards. . You won't see me getting any of the new iPods, that's for sure. My Classic U2 iPod serves me fine as my home sound system player.

Below are new iPods, fresh from the vault (not yet on display on the floor), at the Apple Store I visited the other night.

* OOPS: I stand corrected, thanks to reader/friend Willy. Evidently I don't know what I'm talking about. I was off by $100 in how much the original iPhones cost. 4GB was $499 and 8GB was $599. OK, so the $100 credit might not be such a great deal, but again, it was unexpected, and obviously I don't care all that much or I'd know how much I paid for the thing, so people, stop asking me!

Tuesday, September 04, 2007

We'll be first - Apple Event

7:00AM - Hawaii
10:00AM - Pacific
11:00AM - Mountain
12:00PM - Central
1:00PM - Eastern
5:00PM - GMT
6:00PM - London
7:00PM - Paris
2:00AM - Tokyo (September 6th)

Pretty sure a new touchscreen iPod will be unveiled, but what's up with the rumor of Apple adopting the social circle concept?

Monday, September 03, 2007

End of summer stuff

Today I viewed some of my cousin's pics she put on PhotoShow, so I figured since I had to create an account to view 'em, I might as well throw up some of my own from this summer. *sigh* Never got around to formally putting them on Flickr or on a webpage. The most tedious part is going thru hundreds (if not more!), watermarking, and editing here's a snippet:

Make a PhotoShow Full Size

Sunday, September 02, 2007

Fun with camera phones

At my last chiro visit, the typical Hawaii sun-showers cleared and I mentioned how I'd been taking rainbow pics with my iPhone while driving. Dr. Dan told me how earlier that day he grabbed his iPhone and took pictures of his hand "holding" a rainbow from his 16th floor office, and insisted I take a similar shot with my iPhone.

Saturday, September 01, 2007

Wanna fly?

Google now has flight simulators

Google Earth is amazing, but now with Sky, it's..hmmyeah, out of this world! Great for educational applications, if not for the general coolness factor. (Check out the galaxies!)

They've recently unveiled their newest feature. Fighter pilot wannabes should check out Google's flight simulator using virtual F-16s and SR-22s.

About a month ago, some of us were lucky enough to tour an Air Force base. A portion was about F-15s and soon-to-be F-22s. It was pretty exciting, even though security was tight during that part of the tour and were told that if we crossed certain lines we could be shot by an overly-anxious 18-year-old.

(That's me on the right climbing up to the cockpit.)

Friday, August 31, 2007

The Eagles' new CD

It's only taken 28 years ("Hell Freezes Over" doesn't count)
Double CD with 20 tracks to debut October 30th.
New tour starts October 18 (as they open the brand new Nokia Theatre in LA).

I was hoping to take in at least one of the six concerts in LA, but the timing isn't right. They'll probably make another round that I can hook up with, just hope it doesn't take them another 28 years. 28 + 60 yrs old = too tired to rock.

Love the Eagles, but don't really care for the appropriately-titled "How Long", the only song they've released so far. It's a 30-yr-old cover of a JD Souther country-rock song, but it was nice to see a video of it a couple of days later.

Sunday, August 26, 2007

I'm conflicted

Whole Foods to open in Hawaii

As much as I was looking forward to Whole Foods finally coming to our little rocks (four stores will eventually be built on two islands), I'm sad that there have to be casualties in its wake, particularly at the location nearest to where I live.

Some of our favorite eateries will be booted from their long-time space in the mall, not because WF will be taking over their space, but because the mall management deemed them unworthy of the clientele WF will garner. Many of us who frequent that mall in an upscale neighborhood feel that's a huge mistake. One of our favorite restaurants is a perfect fit for WF because of its healthy offerings, but perhaps it's probably considered too "local" in that it serves most of the meals in "plate lunch" style (but with healthier options). My parents go there regularly and share fruit from their garden with the workers who've become their friends. (My dad made one of them cry the other day when he said that was probably the last time they'd come by with starfruit and guava.) Another place that'll soon be a mere memory after over 20 years at the mall is a very decent Chinese restaurant (lots of vegetarian dishes, not your usual crappy, oily, unhealthy fare), with really nice owners and workers. I had dinner there last night, and plan to at least a couple more times before they have to close.

Another site of a soon-to-be WF market has been plagued by rediscoveries of ancient Hawaiian remains, but has finally received the go-ahead the other day to relocate them and continue construction. Huge controversy surrounds that location. Might be a sign.

Most local folks don't know what WF is like, but are already developing a bad taste for it. I have no doubt that Whole Foods Market will do well in Hawaii, even though prices are likely to be even higher than in their (very pricey) branches on the mainland, and will shock the sh*t out of Hawaii shoppers. I do think four stores is about two too many, though. Basically, it comes down to theCostco/Walmart/K-Mart/California Pizza Kitchen/Starbucks syndrome. Anything new and big does great in Hawaii, out-perfoming Mainland equivalents. OMG, the only Krispy Kreme in the islands (on Maui) is ultra-popular and ships 'em in to other islands for fundraisers and parties. It's just doughnuts and it's just amazing.

It's just because we're so desperate.

Wednesday, July 25, 2007

Just another Hawaii

Isn't his what we're known for -- traffic and rainbows?


Hawaii has too many cars on too few roadways, so gridlock isn't unusual. But it gives drivers time to take pictures, which I saw others do as we crawled along -- but didn't see any others snapping them on iPhones!

Wednesday, July 11, 2007

More ways to squander the summer

Other than fiddling w/my iPhone

Summer vacation ends (and school starts for teachers) in exactly two weeks. So you'd think I'd be making the most of it, soaking up the sun, gettin' things done -- but nope.

Here's what I made today out of recycled floppy disks and the back side of calendar pages. I mean, do you know ANYONE who uses either of those? I guess I could count it toward my little effort of going green. Want to try your hand at it? Here are more ways to recycle floppy disks.


I took a look at my stash of never-to-be-used-again floppy disks and figure I might be set for Christmas gifts this year!

PS: To friends who actually bother to read my blog -- you know I'm kidding...

Sunday, July 01, 2007

Got mine!

Apple iPhone

I really didn't want to be in line for more than a few hours, but since I heard that people had lined up early Friday morning (but no females, according to my mother who was at the mall at that time), I decided head out just after 1:00 pm. I know, nothing like the crazies who had camped out in Chicago on Monday, but this is Hawaii where we're laid-back and don't have as many iPhone/Apple fanatics.

I packed a lunch of fruit, carrot sticks, trail mix, bars, and water; grabbed a chair and cushion, and took along my iPod, a paperback, and a bunch of sudoku puzzles. I like to be prepared. There were fewer than 50 people ahead of me, and we were told we were in a good place in line, meaning the store would have enough iPhones for all of us. I should hope so.

Apple employees cruised through the mall to answer what questions they could, passed out bottles of SmartWater, and, toward the end, even served Starbucks coffee and tea! We wondered if that was part of the Genius' job description.

As the clock ticked closer to the i-Hour of 6:00 pm, people were getting pretty tired and achey from sitting on the floor. Earlier on a guy two spaces away left to watch "Live Free, Die Hard" for a couple of hours. Various mall security came by to tell me I wasn't allowed to sit on my chair, even though I told them my chiro said I needed to. This nonsensical outburst of pseudo authority upset my line-mates, but I didn't want to make a scene, and gave it up toward the end. I just went to my happy place with My Chemical Romance and Butch Walker on my iPod.

At 6:00 pm the line moved forward, but it was almost anti-climactic. This was the first time I wasn't within the first 20 (as I had been at the early morning Apple Store openings and OS X unveilings), and I actually was in line longer.

Those of you who I'd never pay full price if I could help it would be proud: I purchased my iPhone with two Apple Store gift cards, saving over $200!

Love it, love it, love it. Web pages load slowly on AT&T's EDGE network, but, hey, I never was able to surf the web, check email, play w/Google Maps, watch YouTube videos, etc., on my phone before, so I'm thrilled.

One definite drawback: it's a time-sucker. I've been spending waaay too long fiddling with it than I should, but I'm on summer vacation!


Thursday, June 28, 2007

See ya in line

I finally decided that I'd take the plunge, stand in line with the masses, be one with the hype, and get my new iPhone tomorrow. I normally wouldn't spend the money or take the risk on a first-generation appliance, but my current phone is literally falling apart (dropped it a few weeks ago and broke the hinge -- see below), and I have over $200 in Apple Store gift cards to spend. I see it as a sign.

This is turning out to be a pretty good (albeit pricey) summer. Just got back from Vancouver and LA, saw The Police in concert, and tomorrow -- an iPhone!

Tuesday, June 05, 2007

Today's bank freebie

Not quite as cool as getting a free iPod Nano and cashing it in for over $150 at the Apple Store, but this latest toy is pretty nifty. Non-battery-operated crank LED emergency flashlight w/radio, cell phone charger, and siren. For free, well, for opening a cheapie basic checking acct that I will never use and will close as soon as I'm able (increased from 90 days to 180 days, but I don't care).

Ooh, Christmas gifts ;) Wonder how many cheapie checking accounts they'll let me open!

Sunday, June 03, 2007

iPhone to debut June 29th

Whew, when they said "late June", they really meant it. Initially it was supposed to go on sale June 11th, then sometime in late June, but at least today we know for sure.

I'll be back from my trip by then, and if I work it right, I might talk my way into being hired at the Apple Store before it's unveiled!

Saturday, June 02, 2007

How to get noticed an an Apple Store

Back in August I blogged about applying for a "Mac Specialist" position in the yet-to-be-built Apple Store at my nearby mall. Something about "spreading the love" appealed to me. I didn't submit my application until November, thinking I could work there during the holidays, but the store didn't open until February. While I was happy to be one of the first in line on Opening Day, I never was contacted regarding my application..until last week.

I mostly want to work there for their t-shirts, but in the meantime I found one I really like from I happened to wear last night when I stopped by my nearby Apple Store, and caught the eye of a couple of Mac Specialists who admired it. I asked them how they liked working there because I finally got a call last week to come in for an interview in a few days if I was still interested. (I wasn't able to schedule an interview at the time, and will be out of town for a couple of weeks, but might see if they're still hiring when I return.

They encouraged me to go for it, and were more than forthcoming with information as we stood around and chatted for at least 20 minutes. They even learned to hit "Escape" when the default screensavers kicked in, revealing my cat's iPod webpage that I had set on a bunch of iMacs.

So..if Apple will have me when I return (they'll have already hired for the summer by then), I think I'll give it a shot. The two that I chatted with seemed to think I'm just what the store is looking for.

By the time I return from my trip, the iPhone will have debuted, and an employee discount would come in handy just about then!

Sunday, April 29, 2007

I've been AWOL

Aside from the occasional postings about my cat, clothes, and concerts, I guess it's taken me this long to realize I really don't have all that much to say. A focus would've helped, but ohwell.

Life and work kind of get in the way. There've been changes, and I've realized I need to roll and grow with them.

Going analog might not be a bad thing. Bought a moleskine notebook recently and modded it a bit:


Thursday, April 19, 2007

Frugal domain renewal

A few of my domain names were up for renewal, but I couldn't see paying full price. I crave discounts, and I refuse to participate in the slight-of-hand mumble-jumble that entails buying super-cheap names from one company and purchasing DNS services from another; I'd rather have it all under one roof.

So tonight I went to the site that my domains are registered under and removed the private registration option that I had paid for when I first registered them. When I refreshed the page, the price for new private registration (as opposed to renewals) was on sale for $2 less, so I re-purchased them. Then I searched the web for promo codes, and was surprised how easily I found some. I decided to use one that would reduce my domain name renewals themselves a couple of bucks less each, and renewed each for a couple of years, saving a decent amount of cash in a single transaction!

Friday, April 13, 2007

Triskaidekaphobia - not

Happy Friday the 13th
I'm definitely not superstitious, but today was another opportunity to wear yet another one of my off-beat t-shirts. Most people didn't get it :(


Saturday, March 24, 2007

And then I blew it

So much for trying to save my pennies. I saw this Custo t-shirt yesterday and while it cost more than any other item of clothing I own, I had to have it =^.^=


Thursday, March 22, 2007

Movin' my pennies around

I wanted to look for a new deal, somewhere I could park some money and get a freebie in return (like I did w/the iPod nano in Oct.), with a very decent interest rate, of course. Not one to rest on my lowly teacher-income laurels when it comes to penny-pinching, I hopped on the task today.

I gave up on the freebie search, but discovered that HSBC Direct has a 6% promotion through the end of April. To take full advantage and throw enough $ in it, I'd have to move some of my other pennies around, dust off some idle financial resources..and take a deep breath.

While I was at it, I took actions to get my free online bill paying (can't live w/o that) through another one of my accts, and moved maturing CDs (no, not the musical kind) around to take advantage of higher rates. Other changes are in the works.

Also filled up my tank using a 5¢-off-per-gallon coupon while I was in the penny-saving mode.

My unsolicited advice: Take advantage of the HSBC offer while you can!


Trapped in Starbucks

There could be worse things than this


Wednesday, February 14, 2007

Happy V-Day

My brother's moving back home, and I've been tossing stuff from my old bedroom in my parents' house so he can use that as his weight room. One of the things I saved was a 45 rpm record from 1989 of U2's "All I Want is You".

I've always loved U2, just didn't know from how far back. Take a listen..perfect for Valentine's Day.


Saturday, February 10, 2007

Opening Day

Apple Store #2

Arrived a few hours early sporting my original iPod t-shirt and was among the first 20 in line for the opening of the new Apple Store in Kahala Mall. Years ago when our first Apple Store opened, I snagged pretty much the same place in line. The first guy arrived today around 3:00 am, but spent a couple of lonely hours alone for the honor.

Fortified by a yummy Starbucks Cinnamon Dolce (no fat, no whip), the morning newspaper, my U2 iPod, and the company of fellow Apple fans, I waited out the hours chatting with and taking pictures of other MacNuts. The obligatory Hawaiian blessing and dances provided a break in the monotony.

Attempts by employees to rouse the crowd (which eventually wrapped around the inside of the mall) were semi-successful, though everyone was a good sport and played along. I was among the first to enter when the doors opened, grabbed my freebie way-too-large XL Apple Store t-shirt (with "Kahala" printed on it), high-fived the employees who greeted us, then stepped aside to take more pictures.

I'd say the highlight was setting as many computers as I could to Rocky's iPod ad I made years ago, and watching the reactions.


Friday, February 09, 2007

They're getting ready

Apple Store opens tomorrow

The long-awaited/long-delayed (kind of like this blog, heh) Apple Store at Kahala Mall will finally open tomorrow. I stopped by this afternoon and observed ast-minute preparations that included mopping the floors and shampooing the carpet in front of the store. The gate was opened a bit and employees and workers could be seen hustling about.

A security guard started giving me dirty looks as I took pictures, and a few Apple fans stopped to chat as I snapped away. iPods, MacBooks, MacBook Pro laptops, and iMacs were displayed, but I spotted just one Mac Pro. They probably hadn't brought out everything yet.

I'll be in line bright and early tomorrow morning to get my t-shirt and other goodies. Grand prize is their "Digital Lifestyle Collection", worth $2,574. Since they never did hire me as a Mac Specialist, I'm eligible for the drawing!


Tuesday, January 02, 2007

Tuesday, December 26, 2006

Holiday videos

starring Rocky

Rocky's Christmas wish did come true: he got to roll around, eat grass, and hunt lizards in the yard, but it still seemed as if he was waiting for someone.

Quicktime | WMV

He liked the cat-related gifts the best.

Quicktime | WMV

Tuesday, December 19, 2006

'Tis the season to be late

Rocky's card

Ordered Christmas stamps online a week ago, but they haven't arrived yet, so I have no idea when I'll get those out. We finally got our tree yesterday, but not in time to include a picture of it in the card -- that we can't send out yet, anyway.

Forget stamps, here's the card below!

rocky's card 2006

Sunday, December 10, 2006

U2's last night, last night

End of Vertigo Tour

  1. another concert t-shirt to add to my collection
  2. closest I could get to the floor
  3. GA area filling up
  4. screen during 'One'
  5. Eddie Vedder grabbing Bono for a hug
  6. screen during 'Windows of the Skies'
Surprises were during the encores: Billie Joe of Green Day joining Bono for "The Saints Are Coming", Pearl Jam/U2 together for "Rockin' in the Free World", and "All I Want is You" as their final song instead of the expected "Bad/40". After all, last night was the finale of their nearly two-year tour, and while I do love the song, it wasn't a big ending, and not the best choice.

Early on in the show an arena worker saw me scribbling updates to my projected setlist (I like to go prepared) and called me over to show me the official one, which I immediately asked for, and said he'd give it to me just before the first encore. A few songs later I heard, "Senorita, Senorita", and ignored it 'til I realized he was calling me. (Didn't expect to be called that in Hawaii!) He said that he no longer need it, but that it was "top secret" and I was to show it to no one. I nodded solemnly, thanked him, and wondered if he was serious.

It was a great show, and I had a good time. Would've loved to be on the floor, up close, or at least surrounded by party people dancing it up, but the section I was in was pretty tame, probably because our corner wasn't full. That didn't stop me from singing and dancing, but I did feel a little left out of the party.

EDIT (whine), 4 hrs later:

I left the place feeling like I walked out of a movie that I knew was of good quality, but if asked about how I liked it, I knew I couldn't give it top marks, but wouldn't quite be able to explain why. Had a nagging feeling all day, but now I finally think I know the reason. I need to participate fully at a concert to really enjoy it, and this was one I was particularly looking forward to.. I've liked them for decades, know they're more than just their music, have most of their stuff, bought the special edition U2 ipod only because of them, etc., etc. I'm probably more bummed than I should be that I wasn't able to get more into it than I did. But what could I do? The vibe isn't quite the same when you're on your own.

I'd like a second chance. Another concert with another last song (I love 'All I Want Is You', but it's not 'Bad'/'40').

Saturday, December 09, 2006

One life, One love, One concert

The long-awaited, once-postponed, last-show-of the Vertigo Tour takes place tonight!!

I've been sick for most of the week, but am getting better and will be dragging my butt to the Aloha Stadium, decked out in my red INSPI(RED) shirt (along with gazillions of others) for what is probably my only chance to see probably the greatest band in the world.

Fans have been flying in from all over the world, and many with GA tickets camped out since Thursday for their chance to get in the ellipse when gates open at 5 pm today. I'll be comfortably ensconced in my reserved seat with my kleenex and cough drops.

After Rocko and the Devils (U2's stage manager's band) and Pearl Jam (you know who they are), U2 should hit the stage at around 9 pm, probably opening with 'City of Blinding Lights'. Imagine all all those panels below lit's gonna be more than incredible.

The main stage for the U2 concert was flown in on three 747 cargo jets from Tokyo and has been erected at Aloha Stadium for today's concert. This will be U2's only outdoor performance in the United States during the Vertigo tour, as well as the final stop on this year's world tour.

Sunday, November 26, 2006

Should I??

MacWorld Expo 2006

The last (and only) MacWorld Expo SF I attended was in January 1999. I remember that when I wasn't freezing, I was loving it. I finally found the dusty ol' website we made for that trip. Here's one of the photos:

I have the almost-opportunity to attend it again. Our school vacation has been extended to three weeks, but it ends a little short since MacWorld would start a couple of days before the of our winter break and extend beyond. I could burn a personal day off to fly back from SF, but I'd start work a day after everyone else. Normally that wouldn't be so bad, but since we'll be having a whole three weeks off (for the first time ever), wouldn't it seem that I could at least get my butt back in time?

Tuesday, November 21, 2006

Happy T-giving

Rocky Raccoon's reasons to be thankful this Thanksgiving and the many more in his 7 or so remaining lives:
  • people who take in pitiful strays
  • compassionate vets who give those people discounts
  • safe places to take naps
  • kitty massages
  • grass
  • silly people who take his picture for holiday greetings

Sunday, November 12, 2006


It's been bugging me ever since I saw that beautiful green lizard with red spots that was indulging in Leona's chocolate candy (see entry below) while we indulged ourselves in the Pinot Grigio I brought over.

I've never seen one like that, and I'm jealous. All I have are those oogly-ish dinosaurs that have taken over our yard (fodder for many pictures on this blog because they're display STRANGE behavior), but they're definitely not beautiful. I miss our lovely, sleek, green anole lizards that they killed off, and when I saw Leona's new kind of lizard, I got all excited. I had to find out what it was, and closest I can find is this one who was spotted in parts of our islands, on the left below. He's gotta be a relative of "Liz", but perhaps he's a male and she's a smaller, more delicate-looking, and less-decorated female. The guy on the left can grow up to 12" long, though. Kind of big to be munching on your chocolates.

Day gecko <---------------> Leona's Liz

Saturday, November 11, 2006

Leona's lizard

That's a piece of foil-covered chocolate candy that "Liz" is eating!

Click image to view slideshow

Tuesday, November 07, 2006

Beautiful day... Japan??

It was a gorgeous day. The tradewinds were back, making 85 degrees feel like 85 degrees instead of the 99 it's felt like the past few days. I had Election Day off, so caught up on errands. Safety-checked & oil-changed the car, then got my glasses adjusted, checks cashed, goodies purchased, and voted.

Took my camera along, as usual. The best shot of the day was a reproduction of the torii gate in Miyajima, Japan. But instead of "floating" in the water, it sits in a little triangular section of land between Jiffy Lube and my optometrist's office. Below it is the picture I took of the original torii gate when I visited Japan back in 2001.



Saturday, November 04, 2006

An INSPI(RED) night at Aloha Stadium

35 days from now


At least U2 rescheduled their Honolulu concert, originally scheduled for April. The Rolling Stones flat-out cancelled their November 22nd show for Honolulu, postponing some of their other dates, and pushing up LA in what was supposed to be our date. Adding insult to injury, Ticketbastard won't refund the $3.75 processing fee for tickets that were purchased online. I wasn't sure if I'd be able to stand listening to George Thorogood as the opening act, and now I don't have to worry about that.

Looking ahead, I already know what I'll be wearing to the U2 concert on December 9 -- the same thing hundreds, if not thousands, of others will be wearing -- my (PRODUCT) RED INSPI(RED) t-shirt to show support for Bono's Global Fund initiative.


Tuesday, October 31, 2006

Good deal

Thanks, Apple!

• Open bank account
• Get 2GB iPod nano as free gift
• Exchange at the Apple Store for gift card (value: $149 + tax)


Monday, October 30, 2006

Halloween Greetings from Rocky Raccoon

Night of the evil Maine Coon

You can see fear in the little black cat's eyes!


click to view slide show

Monday, October 16, 2006

Earthquakes rock. duh.

6.7 and 6.0 magnitude

My second floor bedroom wall is up against the corrugated-metal garage roof, and the incessant drumming from heavy rain at 2:00 AM was so damn LOUD that I gave up trying to sleep. I read for a while, then decided to clean off my dresser and organize some drawers instead. Very strange behavior for me. Gotta admit, I was a little nervous and was just hoping it just wouldn't flood again like it did in April.

Eventually the rain subsided so fell back in bed and enjoyed a really peaceful nap (after all, I had finally cleaned off my dresser and drawers!) . The next time I opened my eyes I was delighted to find that it was almost 7:00, later than I ever get up, and that Rocky Raccoon had actually let me sleep past 5:30 on a Sunday for once! He noticed I was awake, so ran on up to go though his usual morning routine (licked my hands, feet, and especially top of my head) until I had enough and I made him go back to his towels at the foot of the bed.

A couple of minutes later a huge convoy rolled through the yard. Or a plane lost altitude as it flew overhead. Or a crazy-ass tornado circled the house. Or maybe it was just a herd of very lost buffalo.

I sat up, looked at the cat, who was dozing obliviously at the foot of the bed, and called out to him. Only then did he sit up straight and look around, wondering what those very noisy buffalo were doing in our yard. I couldn't wait for him to figure it out, so I ran to the doorway and did what they say to do, though I feared the old house might crumble, bringing me and the door jamb crashing to the ground floor.

The quake hit at 7:08 AM on a Sunday, probably the best day and time possible. It caused very little damage on Oahu, though the island-wide power outage was a real inconvenience, especially for tourists and those low on gas who, for some reason, needed to be on the road. Long lines formed at the few stores and gas stations that were able to remain open, but I couldn't really understand why. It was DAYLIGHT, for goodness sake, the rain had temporarily abated, so why were ice, batteries, water, and beer in such demand and being sold out so quickly?? Sheesh, don't people keep a stash? (yeah, I do, but replace "beer" with "wine".)

The Big Island of Hawaii, where the quakes were nearest, suffered much damage, but, amazingly, reported few injuries and no fatalities. A teeny little four-inch tsunami (tidal wave) was generated.

Oahu regained power slowly and methodically, and I got power back about 11.5 hours later, just as it was getting dark. I was kind of bummed because I had set out candles in most rooms and was prepared to rough it out, at least until the next morning when I had to use my blow dryer and curling iron.

I heard that TV news reports (which I couldn't view) made it seem that a catastrophic disaster had befallen our little islands. Yes, the Big Island of Hawaii sustained a lot of structural and property damage, and roadways were closed and are now in need of repair. But some other islands barely felt anything, and never even lost electrical power. I don't know what CNN and Fox showed, but I can guess. After all, they would only be sent the most dramatic shots to broadcast, and who would want to hear about folks who took advantage of their "down" time catching up on reading, cleaning their houses, brushing their cats, and playing old board games with their kids?

It could have been so much worse. As it was, Mother Nature considerately waited until the sun was up, kids weren't in school, and most people home so could take care of their cats and kids. After the initial surprise and shock, most of us probably were able to reflect, slow down, and appreciate what we have. It would've been hard to not think of other recent disasters. Hawaii definitely can be a paradise.

Sunday, September 24, 2006

Blockbuster boo-boo

I don't watch much TV and only discovered my cable was out and the actual wire need to be replaced when I tried to catch season pilots the other week. I probably wouldn't watch DVDs at all if I hadn't won a player in a drawing a couple of years ago (then had to get a new TV that could play the thing).

But I love freebies and decided to take advantage of Blockbuster's free one month online trial. In addition to unlimited online rentals, I get four coupons for free in-store rentals. So yesterday I signed up, printed the first coupon, and went to my local Blockbuster that I hadn't been to in over a year. Didn't even have my card, but that didn't matter. Picked out "The Producers", took it to the counter, and got my freebie.

I did notice the yellow tab in the case when I plucked it off the shelf, but forgot about it as the kid at the register rang me up ($0.00) then added my $1 Boys and Girls Club of America donation. Only when I got home did I realize the tab was still in, and I couldn't open the case.

A call to the store gave me the permission to break in to it, since there'd be no way I'd be able to remove the tab that ran along the entire length of the right side of the case. (Yes, sidster, you're right, it takes super-strong magnets to remove it.) The operation was successful, the patient had its spine slit open, and the DVD was freed.

So was the movie worth all that trouble? I didn't even get to finish watching it because I gave up after being interrupted twice by phone calls.


Monday, September 18, 2006

More Butch

SF & Anaheim concerts

Butch Walker continues to tour, but I'm only able to catch him when he stops in California. Two of his best shows were in SF and Anaheim, and I was lucky enough to be a part of the experience!

Take a look at my googlepage for more pictures.


Brief trip, briefer synopsis

I've lamented before how the hardest part about returning from a trip is going through all the pictures and deciding which ones to use. I took the easy way out this time:


Saturday, September 16, 2006

Last Flight Out

yeah, that's the title of a Butch Walker song

I saw Butch Walker and his new band in SF and Anaheim last week, and took four planes going there and back. My suitcase barely made it under the limit, and my contact solution was confiscated (even though saline solution is permitted, according to the TSA site). I missed being able to carry on bottled water, but was able to get enough to drink on the first three flights. For some reason, the leg from LA to Hawaii was a dehydration flight, but at least Hawaiian Airlines still feeds its passengers.

Some delightful and not-so-delightful insights about airports, especially when traveling alone:

Good: Discovering the airport carries Starbucks' new Pumpkin Spice
Bad: Being forced to consume the entire grande coffee before boarding the plane
Definitely good: Sitting close to the rear of the plane and being able to tell easily when there's no line for the bathroom

Not-so-bad: Not knowing what kind of person you'll get as a seatmate
Good: Being asked to trade seats w/a person who's allergic to cats, getting to sit near the cat, and receiving complementary headset to watch a movie I actually wanted to see

Not-so-bad: Getting the attention of a cute little drug-sniffing beagle who was interested in the catnip in my carry-on bag
Bad: Breaking a nail while wrestling my 46.6 lb suitcase off the conveyer belt
Good: Warning guys who were blocking my way that I might knock them over (and break a nail) when I grab my bag -- and having them grab it for me instead

Good: Experiencing pleasant counter people and lack of crowds on 9/11
Bad: Tolerating TSA security newbies practicing on me "so they know that I know what to do"* on 9/11

* TSA agent trying to show that she knew what she was doing (after I was deafened and puffed in the chemical-detecting booth, and before she frisked and patted me down)

Tuesday, August 01, 2006

Get paid to spread the love

Get your mind out of the gutter.

It was officially announced that an Apple Store will be opening at the mall near my home, and Mac Specialists (otherwise known as sales flunkies) are currently being hired to "Get paid to spread the love". I think I could do that.

Apple's website didn't seem to list the soon-to-be store yet, but craigslist did and, according to the description, I might just fit the bill:

• You get excited about the latest and greatest and can not wait to share with everyone - Yep, even when they don't want to hear it
• You love Apple technology and are ready to inspire a whole new generation Apple addicts - ooh yeah! Like putty in my hands!
• You can translate “techno-speak” into layman’s terms - Do that on a daily basis at work, but with PCs (eww)

According to Apple, it's an opportunity "To delight. Impress. Advise. Engage. Inspire."

I've been told before that I should work there, especially after I helped several people to purchase their computers/iPods, even walking them through it in person.

I'd like to say I'd do it for the passion, but in reality retail sucks, the Apple/Mac-related training probably is minimal (they bank on their "specialists" coming in with prior knowledge) and one such "specialist" told me the pay was around $8/hr. Employee discounts are what I'd hang in for, especially if it increases w/the number of purchases made. Ooh, I'd get to keep the employee t-shirts, won't I?

Just for kicks I think I'll email the contact person.

Thursday, July 20, 2006


One of the hardest parts about returning from a trip is looking through the hundreds of pictures I've taken. I was in Portland and Los Angeles the past couple of weeks and got to take some pretty cool shots, but decided to sort out only my favorite ones tonight.

Some of you might know how I love to play with snakes and have been deprived of the pleasure because Hawaii has none, with the exception of a sad little legless worm. I haven't had the chance to handle them in years, so this was definitely the highlight of the whole trip.

view slideshow