Good Ramen Shops

28 July 2014

My friend Robin, whose daughter has taken a liking to ramen, wanted to know which ramen shops to recommend.  Specifically, in the Keeaumoku area if possible.


For me, I’m not a big ramen fan – and that’s why I’m throwing it out to you MLCers.


But when the need strikes, my go-to place is Taiyo Ramen, located on the corner of Piikoi and Kona St. tucked away in the corner.



Only problem at Taiyo Ramen is whether to eat the ramen or the kim-chee fried rice!  I hardly ever get passed the kim-chee fried rice.  And da buggah is HOT!


Anyone remember the original Taiyo Ramen location?

Who remembers where this was located?


Ramen is another one of those “We didn’t have growing up” things that I constantly tell my daughters.  We had saimin houses!


But I remember when I first started dating Paula, she took me to eat at Dai-ryu Ramen located across Washington Intermediate School, next to Baskin Robbins.  That was my first taste of ramen and since something different than saimin, I enjoyed it.  But not too long later, they shut down.


I was excited to see that they reopened a few years ago at Kapalama Shopping Center, but it wasn’t the same.  Not like I remembered it back at the old Washington Intermediate School location.  Different owners.


Since then, we’ve tried a few different ramen places: Tai Sei Ramen across the police station on Beretania.  That was pretty good.  And Goma Ichi Ramen on Keeaumoku.  You know how I love my sesame seed oil!  I’d go there again.  I remember going to Goma Tei Ramen in Ala Moana Center once, but I don’t remember how it was.  I may need to go again soon.


Lately, Paula has had this thing for tonkotsu ramen.  Not tonkatsu ramen, but tonkotsu ramen.  It has a thicker broth with a pork bone soup base.  There are a couple of places that have it but it’s pretty expensive.  However, if you’re in Las Vegas, check out Monta Ramen.  Not only are their prices good, but they have specials too – like squid-ink ramen.  Paula likes that one.  Me, I’ll stick with the spicy ramen.  Wait, last time I had the spicy ramen, my stomach didn’t like it.


You know, I really should give ramen another try.  Maybe I’ve just been ordering the wrong kine.  Shoyu ramen?  Miso ramen? Tonkotsu ramen?


What say you when it comes to ramen?

Sunday Afternoons

24 July 2014

Sunset over the Ko'olau mountain range from Kane'ohe, HI.

Growing up on the windward side, this is how we’d often seen the late afternoons.   The sun shining it rays up above the Koolau mountain range, signifying another end to the day.


Sunday Afternoons were the complete opposite of Saturday Mornings.  Instead of happy-happy, joy-joy that the weekend was beginning, Sunday Afternoons meant that the weekend was closing and I had to dread another week (which felt like a month) of school until the next happy-happy, joy-joy feeling.


I remember that when I started working, Sunday was my only day off and after church, I’d catch the bus to Ala Moana Center to meet up with a girl that I was seeing.  Then after spending the day together and came 4:00 – which is when the mall used to close on Sundays – we’d say our good-byes and I’d catch the bus back home.  I recall going though the downtown area and seeing the streets deserted.  Such a difference than the hustle and bustle of Saturday Morning.  And as the bus would head up into Nuuanu, the late afternoon rains would start falling – making sure that Nuuanu remained green.


Then when I finally got home, I remember falling onto my bed and passing out in a matter of seconds.  Then about an hour later, I’d hear the familiar closing theme from Let’s Go Fishing playing on the TV – that was my cue to wake up because I’d been sleeping for an hour.


Sometimes my brother and his family would come over for Sunday dinner or we’d go over to his house to celebrate one of my niece’s birthdays or a holiday dinner.  Then it was time to come home and get ready for another month (week) of school.


Later when we had cars – Sunday was our surf day.  My best memories was after a day of surfing on the North shore, the ride back home to Kailua.  Naturally, we’d be coming back on the Windward route.  Cecilio and Kapono’s first album would be playing on the tape deck.  The drive back was nice and cool in the shadows of the Koolau mountain range.  The winding road made it so simple to fall asleep – but that wouldn’t be fair for the driver.  Nor safe.  So we stayed away singing to C&K tunes.


“Gonna be a Sunday party in the country, it can be a lifetime party – you and me”


When we finally got back to my friend’s house where all our cars were parked, we’d hang out for a while.  My friend (Shoyu Burner) had one of those houses that was very warm and inviting.  One of those homes where everyone hung out.  It was a simple house, and in the back was just an open concrete area with a few weather-beaten Adorondack chairs.  Those chairs were so comfortable.  Sitting in the cool early evening air while the sky turns from blue to orange to violet.  The tall coconut trees swaying in the distance.  After all, this was in Coconut Grove.  And we’d be all laid-back, burned out from a full day of surfing.


Sometimes, we’d fire up the charcoal grill and cook up anything we could find.  I remember when Shoyu Burner and his brother came out from the kitchen with some chicken that they threw on the grill.  The chicken tasted so good right off the hibachi.  I asked them what was on this chicken.  That was my first taste of Lemon-Pepper.


Of course, once we turned 18 years old – then the “beer colas” came out and it got really laid back.  One of the neatest things was that it was under the open sky.  A simple patio in the back yard – open to all the elements.  The cool breeze, the changing colors of the sky, the twinkling of the first star.  And because it was so outdoors, once it got too dark – we all went home.


By then, we were either finishing up college or working already.  It meant that it was time to get ready for another week of hard work.


Sunday Afternoons turning into Sunday night.  It was so depressing for me because I hated going to school.  Watching the Wonderful World of Disney and the Ed Sullivan Show meant that the weekend was coming to an end.  Then seeing Carol Burnette tug on her earlobe signified that the weekend was officially over and it was time to say good-night.


What are your Sunday Afternoon memories?

Saturday Mornings

21 July 2014



First, to get you into the Saturday Morning groove

Oh what great Saturday Morning memories.  After going to school for 5 days straight – which felt like a whole month to me – I cherished my Saturday Mornings.  It was the start of the weekend.  Two days off to play before another month (week) of school.


I remember Saturday morning cartoons.  On weekdays, you could watch cartoons until 8:00 AM and then pau.  Sunday didn’t have cartoons at all!  But Saturday mornings, there were cartoons until almost noon!  I could waste half my day watching cartoons.  But I usually had enough by about 9:30AM.


During little league season, Saturday mornings meant preparing for that day’s game.  The worst was when we had to play the last game of the day – around 4:00.  Can’t play much during the day because you’re trying to preserve your energy for the game.  And the first game of the day was killers too.  8:00AM in the morning -  the grass was still wet from the morning dew.  It was the 10:00 mid-morning game that was the best.  Nice and bright but not too hot.  And after the game was lunch time.  Our team mother would give us a ticket to get a hot-dog and a cup of soda from the little trailer.  Man, that hot-dog tasted so good.  And the cold Pepsi with no ice went down so fast – just enough to start feeling the burn in the throat.


Later on when we were older, Saturday morning meant catching the bus from Kailua to Ala Moana Center.  But first, we’d have to transfer on Bishop Street.  The morning air was still crisp as the music played out of the loud speaker at The Music Box store on Union mall.  The bus ride to town was about a 40-minute ride as we’d watch other Kailua girls getting on the bus to head to Ala Moana too.


I remember when I was younger and my dad would schedule car repairs at Ala Moana Sears.  We’d get there early – to get his car in early – before the mall even opened.  Then we’d go walk over to Magic Island and mess around at the water’s edge on the rocks.  The air would have that familiar salt water ocean smell.  And the morning sun would be slowing warming up the sandy beach.  And that early in the morning, the ocean was like a sheet of glass.  Everything smelled so fresh.


One more Saturday morning memory.  When I started surfing, we’d go to “Shorebreak” early in the morning – like before the sun came up.  Sitting in the water on our boards as the sun was coming up over the horizon.  The waves were smooth as silk.  One think that I can remember was freezing my n*ts off as I was riding my bicycle to the beach in the dark of the morning.  And when we’d get to the shoreline, I could actually feel the warmth of the water at my feet – because the temperature of the water was warmer than the morning air.  It was so surreal.


Then after surfing for what felt like all morning, I’d ride my bike home with my board and take a shower, then come out of the bathroom to find out that it was only 9:00 in the morning!  I thought the day was half over, but instead – it was just the beginning of another Saturday Morning.


What are your Saturday Morning memories?

RIP Archie Andrews

17 July 2014

What?  Archie is going to take a bullet for his gay best friend.  What happened to mellow Riverdale and Pop’s malt shop?  Since when were guns introduced?  And sexual orientation?


Okay, I just did some poking around and here’s what I found:


A heroic demise for iconic comic book character

We all knew Archie Andrews would die one day, but now we know he’ll die a hero, taking a bullet for his gay best friend.


The beloved comic book icon will meet his glorious end in Wednesday’s installment of Life with Archie when he tries to stop an assassination attempt on Kevin Keller, the first openly gay character in Archie Comics. Archie’s impending doom was first announced in April.


“He dies heroically. He dies selflessly. He dies in the manner that epitomizes not only the best of Riverdale but the best of all of us,” Archie Comics publisher and co-CEO Jon Goldwater told The Associated Press. “It’s what Archie has come to represent over the past almost 75 years.”


Keller’s character was introduced to the series in 2010 in the Archie spin-off Veronica. He’s now a married military veteran and senator who is pushing for more gun control in Riverdale. Goldwater won’t say much about the assassin, but hints that he’s a stalker-type figure.


Goldwater also said the decision to have Archie die saving Keller—as opposed to longstanding pals Betty or Veronica—was a strategic way to make sure Archie’s death was about the future of Riverdale, not the past. “Metaphorically, by saving Kevin, a new Riverdale is born,” he said.


“Archie is not a superhero like all the rest of the comic book characters,” Goldwater added. “He’s human. He’s a person. When you wound him, he bleeds. He knows that. If anything, I think his death is more impactful because of that.”


Looks like Archie comics has become graphic novels.  Not quite like the Archie comics I used to read.  But then again, I haven’t kept up for the past 30 years or so.  I suppose the writers had to keep up with the times in order to appeal to the new readers.  So does all the Archie characters carry smart-phones now?  And Skype and Face-Time to keep in touch?  And Facebook to find out who’s at the malt shop?  Or do they now hang out at a coffee house because it has free wi-fi?


But this is Midlife Crisis where the memories live on.  And we remember the original Archie’s gang.


I found this chart of characters.  I’m thinking that the ones towards the bottom are from the newer Archie comics.  But how many do you remember and can actually name?  No cheating and Googling it now.



Here’s the ones that I remember:

  • A1 – Archie Andrews
  • B1 – Betty Copper
  • C1 – Veronica Lodge or Ronnie
  • D1 – Jughead Jones
  • E1 – Reggie Mantle
  • F1 – Midge?
  • A2 – Dilton Doily
  • B2 – Ethel?
  • C2 – Moose ____?
  • A3 – Mr. Lodge  (first name?)
  • B3 – Mr. Weatherbee
  • C3 – Miss Grundy
  • B4 – Pops
  • C4 – Hot Dog?
  • E4 – Coach Kleats
  • E6 – Josie from Josie and the Pussycats

A5 – wasn’t that the cafeteria lady?
B5 – Janitor?


Okay, help me out here.  And if you give up, share your Archie and Riverdale memories with us.  It’ll be a Celebration of Life for the memory of Archie Andrews.




Blaisdell Nights coming up in September 20.  Keep the date open!

20140920 Blaisdell Nights


And following that – Disguise: Haunting, Halloween Party on October 4th


MLC Milestones

14 July 2014

Thanks for this fun topic idea, KAN!


What are some MLC Milestones that you can think of…


  • Joining AARP (or at least getting their mailers)
  • Buying McDonalds Senior Coffee
  • Qualifying for Ross’ Senior Discount
  • Getting your first colonoscopy.  Or second.  Or third.
  • Reviewing pension payouts plans
  • Moving investments from Aggressive to Moderate/Conservative funds
  • When my barber says “I’m not going to thin out the top – it’s already thin” – WHAT!?!
  • Selecting a car based on comfort and not handling
  • Your favorite radio station is the “Oldies” station
  • You hold the railing when you go down stairs (I know I do!)
  • You recognize a Cherry Blossom contestant that’s your friend’s daughter
  • CD’s you buy are copies of LPs that you used to have


  • You fall asleep before the 10 o’clock news finishes
  • Waking up in the middle of the night to pee.  Twice.
  • Becoming a grandparent
  • You read the Midlife Crisis Hawaii blog :wink:


Okay, you get the idea.  What are some MLC Milestones that you can think of.  Or perhaps you’ve already come across?


Thursday 3 – Random

10 July 2014

Totally random thoughts…


  1. If you had to move to another state other than Hawaii, what state would you live in?  Why?
  2. How many pairs of shoes do you own?  Elaborate please.
  3. Tell a joke.


Okay, here’s my replies:


  1. If you had to move to another state other than Hawaii, what state would you live in?  Why?
    I think I would choose Washington state.  I like cold – and Washington state gets pretty cold.  Lots of Hawaii transplants live there.  Everything is green and fresh.  Pakalolo is legal.
  2. How many pairs of shoes do you own?  Elaborate please.
    Wait, gotta check…
    35 pairs of which 9 are boots – Western boots.  Mostly “Ropers”.  About 3 pairs of athletic shoes.  About 5 or 6 pairs of utility or hiking style (high top) shoes.  And the rest are casual and dress shoes.  Oh, 1 pair are Heelys.Heelys
  3. Tell a joke.
    An old Italian Mafia Don is dying and he calls his grandson to his bed!“Lissin-a me. I wanna for you to taka my chrome plated 38 revolver so you will always remember me.”“But grandpa, I really don’t lika guns. Howzabout you leava me your Rolex watch instead?”“Shuddup an lissin. Somma day you gonna runna da business….. you gonna have a beautifula wife, lotsa money, a biga home and maybe; a couple a bambinos.”“Somma day you gonna comma home and maybe find you wife inna bed with another man. Whadda you gonna do then……. pointa to you watch and say “Times up”?”


Okay, your turn to answer the Thursday 3 – Random questions.

Independence Days

7 July 2014

Since Independence Day just passed…


Do you remember when you became independent?  Whether it was to dorm for college or just find a place of your own.  When you had the freedom to come and go when you wanted?


For me, I don’t really have much to contribute to this topic because I never really did live on my own.  When I was going through college, I was living at home – just me and my mom.  And it remained that way for a few years after while I was just working full time – until I got married.


So I never did have to experience cooking for myself or washing my own clothes or paying for the monthly utilities or cleaning the shower and toilet.


But then again, I didn’t have the freedom to have all my friends come over to party all the time.


On the other hand, I didn’t have to worry about all my friends coming over to party all the time.  :wink:


I say this because one of my friends had the best of both worlds.  He lived at home but he had a separate living quarters in the back of his house.  So we used to go over there almost every night to party.  Leaving his place like at two in the morning, wasted and tripping around the driveway – trying not to make too much noise.  So it was like he had his own pad – but just went to the main house to eat, get his laundry washed, etc.  He had it made.


So what was it like living on your own for the first time – always wondering what you were going to eat…




Share your independence stories.  What was it like having a place of your own?  Lonely?  Peaceful?  Party-Central?  What about laundry?  Did you have to share a washer/dryer or even go to a laundromat?  Or were you lucky enough to have your own washer/dryer?  And what about buying dishes, utensils, pots, etc. for the first time?  Tell me what I was missing.  Or not missing.


Head Shop


An article from early last year…


Hawaii’s Natural High, once a head shop for smokers of all kinds, must move out of its home of 33 years before April 1, 2013.


Its longtime advertising slogan, “Rocking for over 20 years and still rolling,” could be seen as a winking reference to its hazy beginnings as a retailer of marijuana smoking accessories.




Hawaii’s Natural High was known for selling smoking accessories even after sales of such merchandise became illegal, “but there’s so many more smoke shops out there (now) that are far more blatant than us,” he said.


His merchandise mix now is focused more on “tie-dyes (T-shirts) and rock ‘n’ roll stuff,” including posters, tapestries, hats, buttons, stickers, incense, magnets “and a whole lot of Bob Marley stuff,” he said.



I remember “head shops”.  A popular one in Kailua that lasted for a long time was Mescalitos.  They had bongs, pipes, papers, incense, oils, tapestries, sandals, black light posters, lighters, pins, patches, gauze clothing, peasant tops, hobo bags, dark glasses, rolling machines, roach clips… you name it – they had it.


I remember wandering in there and checking out the wares.  The workers took one look at me and didn’t even bother asking me if I needed help – because I was such a clean-cut kid.  he, he.


There was another one in Kailua that my oldest brother used to go to.  It was called One Step Beyond.  It didn’t last for too long, but it was thee place to be if you were a hippie.  I believe my brother bought a pair of blue tinted glasses that looked like the kind that John Lennon used to wear.  And incense sticks.  Gotta have patchouli incense.


I vaguely remember another head shop across Ala Moana Center where Records Hawaii and Stone-Free Waterbeds used to be.  Can’t seem to recall the name.  Anyone remember?  Or maybe it was just a section in Jellys.


I’m sure just about every town in Hawaii had a head shop back in the day.  I think Wahiawa had a few because you know; North Shore, surfers, hippies, etc.


Even some of the more liberal mom-n-pop stores had a display with pipes, bongs, and rolling papers.  And most liquor stores had a section for paraphernalia – and High Times magazine.


What “head shops” do you remember?  How about the ones in your neighborhood?  Share your head shop memories with us.

Did you used to buy posters when you were growing up in the 60′s and 70′s?


I remember going to Holiday Mart’s record department and checking out the posters on the big poster rack.  It looked something like this.


Poster Rack


I especially loved black-light posters but I never could afford a black-light so it was a waste of money buying them.  But I bought them anyway.


I remember one that I had was a ghost ship on black velvet paper.  Looked something like this:

Poster ghost ship


And of course, I had to have the Keep on Truckin’ poster:


Poster Keep on Truckin


Had the girls too:

Poster Farrah_Fawcett



Poster cheryl-ladd


I thought this one was pretty cool – so I bought it:

Poster Woman's Lib


And here’s one that I had posted on the back of our bathroom door – which was directly across the toilet.  You couldn’t help but read it every time you sat down.  * Be sure to read the last step

Poster Nuclear Bomb


How many of you had this classic poster hanging up in your room?

Poster Endless Summer


I know I had a lot more posters.  These are just some of the ones I remember.  IIRC, they were $2 each.


Anyone remember the black-light room at DJ’s Sound City at Ala Moana Center?  That was a cool place to check out posters.  And Records Hawaii had quite a collection of posters too.


Did you used to buy posters back in the day and put them up in your room?  Where was your favorite place to buy them?  What kind did you buy?  Black-light posters, sports action posters, celebrities, surfing, etc.?  Share your poster memories with us.


Since we’re doing lists this week – how about a list of Sidekicks.


Sidekick: A close companion who is generally regarded as subordinate to the one he accompanies.


Xena and Gabrielle

Xena and Gabrielle
I was a big fan of Xena: Warrior Princess.  Not so much Gabrielle.  My favorite villain was Callisto


Batman and Robin
batman and robin
I remember watching Batman.  It came on at 6:30 PM.  Can’t remember which day of the week.


Gumby and Pokey

Of course, I had a Gumby and Pokey toy.  Played with it until the copper wire broke through Gumby’s skin.  LOL


Here’s a few more Sidekicks to get your started:


  • Checkers and Pogo
  • Yogi Bear and Booboo
  • Princess Knight and Choppy
  • Spinner and Paddlefoot


And go ahead and list your memories of the Master/Sidekick.  Again, don’t worry about repeating what someone else might have previously posted.