Good Night and Good Morning

15 September 2014
Reprinted from March 23, 2009



Moon Sun


Are you a Night person or a Morning person?


Sometimes your job dictates when you go to sleep and when you wake up, but I think everyone has a built in clock that identifies whether they are a morning person or a night person.


First of all, let’s clarify the titles – in general terms.


A morning person is one of those people that wakes up when the sun comes up.  They open their eyes and “bing”, they’re up and ready to go.  But on the other side of the coin, they’re struggling to watch the K5 News at Nine.  Joe Moore at 10:00, forget it.


A night person is one of those people who not only stays up to watch Joe Moore at 10:00, but the K5 News at Nine rebroadcast at 11:30.  And the hardcore night owls even watch the 1:30 AM rebroadcast of the K5 News at Nine.  But the flip side of their coin – they only buy alarm clocks that come with a snooze button.


My friend Ryan is a morning person.  Coming home from socials or nightclubs, he’d be passed out in the car before we’d even reach the Pali tunnels.  Once he even fell asleep mid-sentence!  But by the time we’d just be starting out our surf day, he’d be back home already from an early morning surf session out on the North Shore.


Me, I’m definitely a night person.  An early night for me is maybe 11:00.  Usually, my head hits the pillow around midnight.  But come morning – I’m dragging.  My alarm goes off at 6:10 AM when I hit the snooze button.  Then again at 6:15.  And 6:20.  And I’m finally out of bed at 6:25.  I brush my teeth, shave, and make a pot of coffee in my sleep.  This being my Monday through Friday routine.


Come the weekends – I’m up somewhere between 9:00 and 10:00, mostly because my back starts to hurt.


Luckily, Paula is a night person too.  But she gets up before me on the weekends to feed the dogs and start the coffee.  My favorite line to her is “Wake me up when the coffee’s ready”.  But that’s just the weekends.  Weekdays, I’m the one going back to the bedroom telling her “7:15!”.


When I think about it, I’ve always been a night person.  When my mom used to wake me up at 7:00 to get ready for school, I used to get out of bed and walk directly to the couch and lie down again.  She’d ask me “What do you want for breakfast?” and I’d answer “I don’t know“.  She reply with “Do you want eggs?” and I’d answer “No“.  She’d ask “Do you want toast?” and again I’d answer “No“.  Then she’d ask “Do you want cereal?” and yet again I’d answer “No“.  Then she’d say “Sorry boy-san, but I can’t help you” and I’d mumble “But I’m hungry“.


What a rotten kid, yeah?


Most times I’d just skip breakfast.  I guess what I really was hungry for was sleep.


So how is it that when I sleep-walk outside to get the morning Honolulu Advertiser, I see all these retired folks out for their morning walks.  Don’t tell me they’re all morning people.


I remember reading someplace that the older we get, the less sleep we need.  So since retirees are older people, then it must be that they need less sleep, thus they wake up earlier, and that’s why I see them walking and talking and laughing during their morning walks.  And they look at me and see a sleep-walking zombie, still in pajamas, getting his morning newspaper.


I wonder if I’ll be walking around the neighborhood that early in the morning when I become of retirement age – or will I be still be hitting that damn snooze button 4 or 5 times before I decide to just turn off the alarm and sleep until my back hurts.


Now, take Ocean Lover.  He’s definitely a morning person.  He gets more done before I wake up than I’ll get done in the whole day!  And there’s nothing wrong with that.  In fact, the few times that I did have to wake up early on a weekend felt good that I had accomplished so much with still a full day ahead of me.


I remember one Saturday that I had to take daughter #1 to the Ala Moana hotel by 8:30 AM, then I headed to Ala Moana shopping center.  The stores weren’t even open yet!  But the air was so fresh, the mall still wet from a washing and everything seemed so clean and brand new – like the start of a brand new day.  I must admit, it was very refreshing.


How about you?  Are you a morning person or a night person?  Were you always that type of person from when you were little or did you change over the years?  Do you think when you become of retirement age that you’ll be walking around the neighborhood or SUP’ing with NKHEA at the same time the sun just starts to rise?  Or will you still be up late watching Korean dramas, commenting on blogs, or reading your favorite books, then sleeping in late?





THIS SATURDAY!  Call me or email me if you want tickets.  It’s going to be an awesome night.


20140920 Blaisdell Nights

Thursday 3 – Favorite 3

11 September 2014

What are your Favorite 3?


  • What are your 3 favorite dishes?
  • What are your 3 favorite travel destinations?
  • What are your 3 favorite ____


I left the last one for you to fill in the blank.  Remember, you can always answer the questions more than once.  Well, in this case – more that 3 times.


Here’s my replies:


  • What are your 3 favorite dishes?
    • Italian pasta.  Like Chicken Paesano at Paesano’s, of course.  Especially because this dish has capers, olives, and chopped peperocini.  And of course chunks of garlic cooked in a white wine oil sauce.  I can do without the mushrooms…Chicken Paesano
    • Korean food: Kim chee, jhun, big bone kalbi (like how my dad used to make it), kkakdugi kim chee, kim chee chige, duk, bi bim kook su, taegu, bul go gi (like how my mom used to make it), jungjorim (or what we used to call “chaung ji roong”).
    • Pastries.   Nothing beats a cool custard pie.  Or a custard danish.  Or a Rainbow cake.  Or a Dream cake.  Or orange chiffon cake.  Or a coco-puff with a lot of chantilly.  Or hot apple pie ala mode.  Apple Napples.  Long John.  Sweet bread. Bread pudding.  I always thought that you went to a bakery to get breakfast, right?  So that meant to me that anything that a bakery sold was a breakfast item.  So for me to eat a slice of cake or pie for breakfast was absolutely normal.


  • What are your 3 favorite travel destinations?
    • Las Vegas
    • San Francisco
    • Japan


  • What are your 3 favorite ____
    … places that I worked.

    • The Bus
    • The Honolulu Advertiser
    • Hawaiian Dredging & Construction.


Okay, those are my replies.  I may add more in the comments as I think of more; 3 favorite _______.  List your 3 favorites too!




It’s almost here.  Call me for tickets!

20140920 Blaisdell Nights


Late Night Eateries

8 September 2014

Remember when we were young – and we could eat anything we wanted, any time we wanted – and didn’t have to worry about weight gain, or heartburn, or acid reflux, or weird dreams?


A night out with the guys usually to a Chinese Kung Fu movie or to the pool hall or where-ever always ended up at someplace to eat.


We loved Jack-in-the-Box.  The one on King and McCully – especially because we knew Emily who worked there.  The usual for us was; 3 tacos with extra sauce, onion rings, and a soda.  Once in a while, someone would switch it up and order a Breakfast Jack or Moby Jack.


After catching a Chinese movie in downtown, we’d hit King Street and head over to Washinton Saimin for their bul-go-gi plate.  Bul-go-gi, fresh off the grill and laid over a bed of rice.  Kim-Chee on the side was a must.  After eating, because we’d have to park on King Street, we used to slowly walk back to the car and check out the pictures at McKinley Photo.  Or was that Ace Photo?


Sometimes if we were in the mood, we’d head over to Kalihi side and hit the saimin joints: Palace Saimin, Saimin House, or Hall Saimin.  Remember when Saimin House was next to Tamashiro market?  There was the soda factory right next door and they had a soda machine right outside.  The kind that you slip in your 50¢ and pull out the bottled soda of your choice.  Then you could take it right in to Saimin House to enjoy with your meal.  When pau, you would take the empty bottle out of the saimin joint and put it in the wooden soda bottle rack that was next to the soda machine.  And nobody stole the bottles.


And of course – Zippys.  Or as we called it, “Zip’s”.  We could pound a Zip-pac with no problem.  Or the chili-frank plate.  Or if we were eating in the Saimin-Lanai, we could order a Zip-min – while playing songs on the jukebox.  Ho, felt so grown up eating in the restaurant part.  Usually, the restaurant was saved for dates.  Which leads me to places to eat on a date.


After a movie or a concert or where ever we used to go on dates, we tried to eat at different places than the ones we went to with the boys.  Maybe because we were afraid that we might see them and they’ll embarrass us in front of our date.  As I mentioned, the Saimin-Lanai was usually reserved for eating with a date.  Because kinda tacky ordering at the window, then carrying your food to your date while she waits for you on the laminated wooden tables outside, then eating out of the paper lunch plate box, yeah?



I remember other places I used to go to eat on dates.  Would you believe Farrell’s Ice Cream Parlor?  Yup, the Ala Moana one.  Sometime, you just wanted dessert instead of a meal.  Or Farrell’s had burger platters too.  Went well with an Orange or Rootbeer Freeze.  Reminds me of another place.


KC Drive In!  I don’t know about you folks, but in high school I always made sure that my car had a bench front seat.  You know, so my girl could sit right next to me.  Cut Seat as they call it on Maui.  Broke Seat if you’re from Kauai.  I don’t know if we had a name for that on Oahu.  But having your date sit right next to you made car-hop service convenient.  The fries went on the dashboard and the drinks stayed on the tray (no built-in cup holders back in those days), and waffle dogs weren’t that messy to eat.  I remember to this day some words of advice that my friend told me (from experience); Never order hot saimin at the car-hop.  The bowl is too hot to hold – so you end up eating off the tray with your head out the window.


How about coffee houses?  I remember that we used to go to Wailana Coffee Shop with dates.  That was a bit more fancy so it was saved for special dates – like after the Junior Achievement banquet or proms.  I regret that I didn’t visit other coffee shops – like all the Spencecliff ones like Tops or Coco’s.  Anyone remember where Popo’s Coffee Shop was?




Where else did we go?  Pizza joints.  Shakey’s or Chico’s Pizza.


What late-night eateries did you patronize?  Either with your friends just hanging out or on a date?  I know there are a lot more places that we went to.  Help me remember them!




It’s just 2 weeks away.  Selling out fast!  It’s going to be awesome.  I’m telling you!  Maybe we can go eat after.

20140920 Blaisdell Nights



If you’re only hearing about it now, you’re too late.  Angelo Peitro restaurant served it’s last meal on Sunday.  If it’s any consolation – their dressings will still be available in the local markets.




Word is is that “Peitro’s” (as we call it) is looking for a new location to open up.  But then if you held your breath waiting for Patti’s Chinese Kitchen to reopen – you’d have suffocated by now.


Since 1992 “Pietro’s” has been serving what I call, Japanese style pasta.  One of my favorite appetizers was the raw potato salad.  When eaten with their famous salad dressings, there was usually not enough to go around – so we always ordered two.


20000427 FTR Angelo Pietro's raw potato salad. Photo by Kathryn Bender
The only dilemma was deciding which dressing to use.  They are all ono!


My favorite entree there was the Takana/bacon/(sans)mushrooms dish.



For those unfamiliar with it – Takana is a pickled Japanese mustard cabbage.  I love mustard cabbage.  And I love bacon!  Pass on the mushrooms…


I remember one time that we went there, the Takana was off the menu.  I was so bummed!  As I guess many others were because it was revived soon after.  Paula used to get the Eggplant with spicy ground beef.  That one was onolicious too!




Hungry yet?  I am.


I really hope that Angelo Pietro does find a new location and keeps their most popular dishes.  I’m already missing it.


Was Pietro’s a favorite of yours?  If so, what was your favorite dish?  Did you try the raw potato salad?  Which of their dressing do you like the most?  If you could pick a location for a new Pietro’s, where would you choose?


MLC test: Who can remember where Angelo Pietro’s was before they moved to the current location next to Shokudo?  No fair looking it up!




Okay, the Blaisdell Nights gig is just a couple of weeks away.  It’s going to be sold out, but I do have a few tickets left on my table.  Let me know if you’d like to join us on September 20th.

20140920 Blaisdell Nights

Happy Labor Day

1 September 2014



Labor Day, the first Monday in September, is a creation of the labor movement and is dedicated to the social and economic achievements of American workers. It constitutes a yearly national tribute to the contributions workers have made to the strength, prosperity, and well-being of our country.


What does Labor Day mean to you?


To me, it means THREE DAY WEEKEND!  And in a sense, it also means the end of summer to me.  It must be from us MLCers small-kid-time upbringing when Labor Day meant that school was going to start on the following day.  That’s not how it is anymore and I kinda feel sorry for today’s kids who have to start school so early in the summer.


So I use Labor Day to mark the turning point from Summer to Fall (technically, Fall starts on 9/22).  I’m looking forward to the colder climate for places to visit in the upcoming months.


I suppose we should use Labor Day to look back at all the jobs we’ve worked at during our lifetimes and see how far we’ve come.  I started out cleaning our church once a week for $50 a month.  Then I got my first “real” job as a lot-boy earning $2 an hour.  I consider it a “real” job because I had to punch in and out on a real time-card and I had taxes taken out from my earnings.


I’ve come a long way since then – as I think we all have.  From working part-time at a family or friend’s store or working the summer jobs at the cannery to living the 8:00AM – 5:00PM grind (5:00AM to 8:00PM if you live Leeward side and worked in town).


What does Labor Day mean to you?  Memories of going back to school.  Memories of waking up to go to work (for you retirees).  Memories of your old jobs.  The ones that you loved the most.  The ones that your hated the most.  Share your “labor” memories with us.


*SPEAKING OF WHICH – an editor of a major Hawaii magazine asked me whether any of the MLCers out there would be willing to share their “working cannery” stories for an upcoming feature.  You can be anonymous or you can have your name printed in the magazine if your story is used.  Email me your stories along with or without your name.  It’s open to everyone here – even those who don’t post comments but might have stories to share.  Let’s say – by September 10, 2014.  No shame!  You can be famous!  No need be fancy.  The more local the better.  And submit more than one story if you remember more later!  Stories such as: Working “the line” as a trimmer.  Jamming the Ginaca machines.  The lunch room.  The socializing.  The mean ladies.  The first aid center.  The smell of cooking pineapple.  Catching bus to/from work.  And if you were lucky enough to “pick pineapple” – share your stories about working in the fields.  Maybe at night.  Sleeping in the dormitories.  Working alongside the mainland kids in the fields.  Give it a go!

Can you think of some buildings that are still around – but not the businesses that your remember?


Sometimes, I’d like to be able to return to these old places that I used to pass by or even had spent time there.  Like your old elementary school.  Schools are one thing that hardly change.  It may be spruced up a bit and perhaps the colors of the building changed – but the overall structure is still the same as your remember it – after all these years.


Sometimes, the structure is still there – but not the business as you remember.


Here’s one to share.  Maybe a number of you will recognize it and the business that once stood there.


Point After Now
Anyone know what business was here?


Pan Am Building.  It still says PAN AMERICAN on it.

Pan Am Building


McCully Chop Sui – The sign and the building is still there

McCully Chop Sui


Ala Moana street level – the ceiling is still the same.  That’s about all.


Anyone remember the old KPOI studio?

KPOI Studios



Here’s yet another one – Toppe Ada Shoppe

Toppe Ada Shoppe
Actually, this building is gone.  This is an older picture from Google Earth.  I just wanted to include it for posterity.


What other buildings are still around – but not the business that you remember?  Sometimes it’s nice to just walk around an old familiar building and reminisce of how that building was a part of your life. Like your old Japanese school.


Mom ‘n Pop Stores

25 August 2014

They are getting harder and harder to find.


Just earlier this year, KITV did a Where You Live piece featuring John’s Grocery.  Or where we know it more as John’s Store.

See the feature here:


In 1926, the store opened up as Puunui Market.

John's Store 1926


Here’s a picture of what it looked like in 1985, just a couple years after it changed owners.

John's Store 1985


But the new owner spruced it up and give it the bright yellow coat of paint – but still kept it with that rustic Mom ‘n Pop store look.

John's Store Today


And of course when you see benches in front of one of these tiny stores, it can only mean one thing;

John's Store Shave Ice
Yup, shave ice.


There’s just something special about a mom ‘n pop store.  Maybe it’s the plain unfinished concrete floor, or the racks with just a couple/few cans of this and that.  Or it’s that certain laundry detergent fragrance mixed together with the smell of the wooden building.  And no air conditioning of course.

John's Store Inside


And the candy rack!  Nothing beats a Mom ‘n Pop store candy rack.

John's Store Candy Rack


But alas, nothing lasts forever…  Not six months after John’s store was featured on KITV’s Where You Live, there was another report done about how John’s store will be up for sale.  John’s store will probably just become another piece of history.

See here for the follow up story:


In Kailua, we really didn’t have any Mom ‘n Pop stores – in the real sense of a little store smack dab in the middle of a neighborhood.  About the closet we had to a Mom ‘n Pop store was the Kuulei Malt Shop which was located in a row of stores in Kailua Town.  It was our shave ice stop after coming home from the beach.  And I distinctively remember their candy rack against the back wall.


One Mom ‘n Pop store that I remember and is still around today is Ruger Market.  I used to stop in there for their boiled peanuts and Icee.  This was way before they became air conditioned.  And their stew bowl.  Broke da mout.  I gotta make it a point to stop by for their stew.


And another Kapahulu Mom ‘n Pop store that I remember was the Campbell Stop and Shop on Campbell Avenue.


Here’s one that I remember that was located in the middle of a neighborhood on Laimi street in Nuuanu.  We used to go there after surfing and skateboarding to cool down with ice cream or soda.  It’s been closed for a long time, but you can still see the bench out in front.  I can only guess that it was called Laimi Market.

Mom n Pop Laimi


What Mom ‘n Pop stores do you remember? Some are still around today.  Some, just the building with stories to tell.



Do you have your costume ready?


Damn Mosquito!

21 August 2014

A coworker was sharing with me the other day how a mosquito decided to attack her at 2 something in the morning.  That got me thinking of how I used to battle a mosquito in the room.


There was nothing worse than climbing into bed and just about to nod off into la-la land and hearing that faint, high-pitched buzzing sound getting closer and closer.  I would listen to it until it sounded like it was right on my ear.  And when the buzzing stoped – which I took as a sign that the mosquito landed – I’d slap the side my ear hoping to kill that bastard.


Then I wouldn’t hear anything for a bit – maybe because I whacked my ear a bit too hard – and thought that I had killed it.


Then about a minute later, I’d hear that faint buzzing again and we’d repeat the whole dance all over again.


It just dawned on me that maybe the mosquito wasn’t even close to my ear.  I just assumed it was because that buzzing was so DAMN LOUD!


Anyway, after the second swat, I told myself that if I hear it again, I’m going to have to get out of bed and take drastic measures.  Sure enough, I can hear that buzzing getting closer and closer like a dive-bomber swooping in for a meal.
That’s it!  Time to bring out the big guns.  I walk out to the kitchen (making sure I close the bedroom door behind me so he doesn’t escape), and I reach for the:




Good ol’ Johnston’s HADABUG.  I slip back into my room, unload a generous amount of HADABUG around my room, step out with the door closed behind me as I return the HADABUG back to the kitchen.


By the time I get back to my room, it’s all peaceful once again.  A bit chemical smelling – but no buzzing mosquito.  HADABUG has never let me down when it came to getting rid of a mosquito.  And growing up 2 houses away from the Kawainui marsh, aka “da swamp” – we had our share of mosquitoes, let me tell you!


I remember when we used to go to Kailua Drive In theater, my dad used to bust out the mosquito punk.


mosquito coil


And not just any kine.  He had the good stuff!


Mosquito Coil box


My dad would light it up and put it on the middle hump in the front seat of the car.  As my friend said “That couldn’t have been good – burning that stuff in an enclosed area”.  Luckily, I always had to sit in the back seat so I didn’t inhale too much of that stuff.


And who remembers this!


Mosquito Truck
Special thanks to OceanLover for this picture.


I remember when we could hear that pffft, pffft, sound of the “mosquito man” coming around our neighborhood somewhere around the 7 o’clock hour.  We’d have to quickly close all our windows – while we watched with envy – all the other neighborhood kids riding their bikes or running behind the truck while dancing in the smoke.


Talking about “That couldn’t have been good” – that was DDT that they were playing in.  DDT!  A banned pesticide.  It is colorless and almost odorless, but I remember the smell.  It was probably the oil mixture that they used to create the smoke to disperse the pesticide.


I wonder how those neighborhood kids are today…


How do you deal with mosquitoes?  Have any good mosquito stories to share?  Or maybe you’re one of those who mosquitoes just don’t bother.  Lucky you.

It’s about that time for a music entry.  I’m looking for names of foreign cities, countries, provinces, etc.  Whether in the song title, lyrics, or band name.  It’s not necessary to list a link to the song, but if you want – that’s cool with me.  And no problem if you list something that someone else had already listed.


So, let’s get the ball rolling record playing:


China Girl – Davie Bowie


Guantanamera – The Sandpipers.  Okay, it’s a bit of a stretch, but the song is actually about a girl from Guantanamo.  But mostly, I like the part where the girl is singing back up while the guy translates the poem that this song was based off of.  What parody song was this tune used for?

Cherokee Nation – Paul Revere and the Raiders
“And all the beads we made by hand,
Are nowadays made in Japan


Back in the USSR – The Beatles


London Bridges is Falling Down – Nursery Rhymes


I Feel Like I’m Fixin’ To Die Rag – Country Joe McDonald and the Fish
“And it’s one, two, three,
What are we fighting for ?
Don’t ask me, I don’t give a damn,
Next stop is Vietnam


I’d Really Love to See You Tonight – England Dan and John Ford Coley


I Am A Very Stylish Girl – Dimitri From Paris


Harajuku Girls – Gwen Stefani


You Belong To Me – The Duprees
“See the marketplace in old Algiers,
Send me photographs and souvenirs”


Gangnam Style – PSY (Featuring Hyuna)

Okay, start thinking Foreign.

Robin McLaurin Williams (July 21, 1951 – August 11, 2014)


I’m sure that you’ve all heard that Robin Williams passed away on Monday.  According to his publicist, Robin was battling severe depression of late and unfortunately, he took his own life.  But we’re not here to ask why.  Or to say would’ve, could’ve, should’ve.  Let’s honor him by remember all the laughs he brought us.


I wasn’t a big Mork & Mindy fan.  But watching his stand-up comedy routine made me an instant fan of Robin Williams.  His witty and quick humor was something else.  And he seemed to enjoy that quick pace.  That was what worked for him.  And it kept us laughing.


I wanted to share a few favorite clips of mine.  But first, here’s a little montage of Robin Williams




Here’s one of his classic skits about how the Scottish invented Golf.   NSFW (not much of his comedy is SFW)


And here’s a little X-Rated skit



And finally, this was my real first taste of Robin Williams’ comedy.  I believe I had this album at one time.  My favorite clip is at the 2:35 mark when Robin Williams does a Nadia Comaneci impersonation.

I’m going to miss Robin Williams.  I feel like I had a special connection with him as we both shared the same birthdays.

Rest in peace Robin Williams and thanks for all the laughs.  You are a legend.