Small-Kid-Time Neighbors

29 January 2015



While watching Soko Ga Shiritai the other night, the hosts were traveling around rural Japan as they often do and they went into a country home.  There, was this girl in the house – maybe 8 years old – and the host asked the obaasan there whether the little girl was the her granddaughter.  She replied that no, it was just the neighbor’s little girl.  The thing was – there weren’t any other children at the house that she was playing with.  She was just there to keep the obaasan company.  The obaasan said “She’s a good girl” as she patted her on her knee (they were sitting Japanese style on the floor).


That reminded me of small-kid-time how we always felt welcomed in our neighbor’s yards.  Okay, maybe not ALL the neighbors.  Some we kept away from.  But most of the ones in the neighborhood were like our aunties.


I remember the Correias who next door to us.  They didn’t have any children but Mrs. Correia invited us into her house and sometimes made a snack for us.  That was the first time I ever tasted toasted Portuguese sweet bread with butter.  Was so ono.  Had to tell mom to go out immediately and get some sweet bread!


Then on the other end of the block was the DeRamos’.  They had a couple of boys who were my older brothers ages.  Sometimes I’d walk over to their house, open the front gate and just let myself in.  I’d walk through the carport into the patio in the back, sit on the couch and play with their dog, Loa.  She liked to be scratched just above her tail and it would make her leg bounce up and down.  Sometimes, Mrs. DeRamos would her the chattering of Loa’s dog license and come look out the window to say hi to me.  When I was done playing with the dog, I’d just let myself out again.


And then there were the Kikuchis who’s back yard was the Kawainui marsh – which we referred to as “the swamp’.  Whenever we wanted to go play in the swamp, we’d just simply walk through the Kikuchi’s yard like it was our own.  Sometimes Mrs. Kikuchi would be hanging laundry and we’d say “Hi, Mrs. Kikuchi” as we paraded through the yard.


The best was when Mr. Abbes who lived right next door to the Kikuchis – would burn rubbish in a big 55-gallon drum in the corner of his yard.  Since the smoke would blow over the swamp, it wasn’t a problem.  And if the timing was right – I’d get to watch him burn is dried out Christmas tree.  Vooosh!  Up in flames in just a few seconds.  The thing I remember about Mr. Abbes was his handlebar mustache.


So watching the episode of Soko Ga Shiritai and seeing the neighbor girl at the obaachan’s house reminded me of the old days – when people could be trusted – and we were always welcomed into anyone’s yard without first having to ask permission.  I miss those days…


What was small-kid-time like in your neighborhood?  Did you always feel welcomed in certain homes and would simply invited your self over to play with their dog, or on their swing set maybe?  Or use it like a shortcut maybe?  Or possibly they may have had a big tree that was fun to climb.  And had fruit!  Or did you have one of those homes where everyone felt welcomed to and your house was the gathering place?  Share your Neighbors stories with us.

Reprinted from May 4th, 2009


Time to get the brain going as we start off a new work week, so let’s play a game.


List songs, artists or bands that contain a color in it’s name.


For example:

  • Moody Blues (band name)
  • Don’t It Make My Brown Eyes Blue (song title *bonus – 2 colors )
  • Barry White (artist)


You get the idea.


*if you’re not sure the name has already been listed, (edited) hit the cntl+F (command+F on Macs) to pull up the Find utility to see if it’s already been listed.  don’t worry about it and go ahead and list it.


Have Fun!

On my previous post Do You Remember… Typing Class, keoni suggested this topic about our first computers or exposure to computers.


For me, this was my first home computer.


Computer PS2


I believe I paid around $1,800 for it – from Costco.  It came with 2 MB of memory.  I immediately went out to Memco and purchases another 2 MB of memory for $200.  I was cookin’!  And I believe it was running Windows/98.  Today, I have an iMac with 4 GB of memory.  That’s 4,000 MB of memory compared to 4 MB on my very first computer.


Looking back, my very first exposure to computers was in the 12th grade.  Mrs. Loo was my business teacher and she also taught a one-semester course called Data Processing.  She talked me out of architecture as a career and said that I should go into computers instead.  That was some of the best advice I received.  Thanks Mrs. Loo!


In our Data Processing class, we actually had 2 keypunch machines.

Computer Keypunch


… in which we used


Computer 8080 Card

80/80 keypunch cards


Mrs. Loo taught us BASIC programming concepts and she even had us punch a small BASIC program on the keypunch machine.  She then took the cards to a data center and had the printouts brought back to us showing us that we had written our first computer program.  But then she said that one of the innocent girl’s program had a comment printed that said “Mrs. Loo is a dork”.  Mrs. Loo knew exactly who set up the girl.  It was the smart-ass kid in the class who acted like he knew all about computers.  He did himself in.


Then at Kapiolani Community College – PENSACOLA campus, I majored in Data Processing (DP), later called ICS.  We had an IBM System/3 computer.


Computer IBM S3

See that blue thing the girl is holding?  That was the removable disk.  There was also a fixed disk that contained the computer’s operating system.  It read in the program cards first, followed by the data cards.  Then printed out your report.  Notice that there’s no screen?  That “typewriter” behind the girl was the computer console.  Error replies were entered by turning the dials on the central processing unit (CPU).


My first computer job as a part-time computer operator had me working on an IBM System/34


Computer IBM_System34

At least this one had a CRT monitor for a console.  Check out the line printer.  That thing used to vibrate like a washing machine!  But it was fast!


I continued on programming in RPG language on an IBM System/36, then on to an IBM AS/400 – later renamed an I-Series.  But while I was spending my time fixing legacy code, the industry switched from main-frame computers to client-server systems.  I became obsolete.  Or specialized – depending on how you look at it.  LOL


But all the concepts and knowledge that I gained over my career, I contribute today as an Analyst.  I kinda miss the programming part, especially the debugging.  It was like a huge logic puzzle to me.  And when I’d start digging into the code, I would get entrenched in it and would have notes written all over the program printout hunting down the problem.  And when I found it – the imaginary light bulb above my head lit up.  The puzzle was conquered.


What’s your computer story?  Do you remember you first computer?  Today, are you a Windows or Mac person?  Thanks for the blog idea, @keoni.


Think any of today’s kids know what this is for?


Typing eraser


Do they even teach typing anymore?  I suppose there isn’t a need as kids enter school knowing how to work a computer – which means that they already know how to type.


I remember typing class.


typing class


Kalaheo Intermediate School – 8th Grade.  3rd period.  Mrs. Takamori.  Room A-something.  It was in A building right next to the stairwell that all the mokes used to hang out and smoke.


Just like the picture above, we each had an electric typewriter on our desk.  The teacher used to teach us which fingers to use on which characters.  We would start off with the ASDF keys as that’s where your fingers were supposed to start.  We would start out slow with getting used to just the A and S keys.  After a few times trying, Mrs. Takamori would put on a record that had a slow tempo and we would follow along as we hit the A and S keys.


To this day, I still remember the tune.  And right at the end of the tune, the guy on the record would say “And, Stop”.  Of course we didn’t have homework for that class as not everyone owned a typewriter at home.  And it was only for one quarter of the 8th grade school year.  But I must admit that learning the basics of typing – like where to rest your fingers and which fingers to use for which keys – did help when I started working with keypunch machines.  Then later when I started working with computer terminals.  And even to this day while I type out this blog.


Do you remember taking Typing class?  Did it help you later in life when computers became an everyday part of life?  Or do you type with just one or two fingers?  I used to work with another Programmer who typed with just 4 fingers total.  Drove me nuts!  What grade did you take typing?  Bonus points if you can remember the teacher’s name.

Reprinted from April 16th, 2010


Yesterday, Braddah Lance of the Wassap Wit Dat! blog was talking about Rubbah Slippahs.


A couple of people posted about the old – for lack of a better name – Criss-Cross slippers that our uncles and some of our dads used to wear.  You know the ones I’m talking about right?


Slipper Criss_Cross Mens
Photo courtesy of Kahili Sandals


I remember mostly seeing the brown colored ones.  Maybe because it was from the uncles who lived in the Pearl City / Aiea side area where there was a lot of red dirt – and the brown ones don’t show the dirt too much.


Being a kid, I had to try them on.  I couldn’t quite figure out how to wear them until I saw one of the old men wearing them.  The secret is: the baby toe supposed to stick out.


So when I was in high school, I bought me a pair.


I just couldn’t get used to the feeling of having my baby toe sticking out.  Maybe the trick was that I was supposed to “shuffle” with those on – and not try to walk like I was wearing rubber slippers.  Plus, when they’re brand new, they’re really stiff.  And the criss cross strap started cutting into the top of my feet.


I suppose like all new slippers, there is a “break in” period.  But I gave up on them.


I never did see those kind of slippers around anymore.  You’d think that if anyplace would carry them, it’d be The Slipper House at Ala Moana.  Nope.


Then about a year ago, I found some.  Not at The Slipper House, but at Shirokiya.  Just like the ones in the picture, they were Kahili brand.  But didn’t have my size or I would’ve bought a pair – just for old times sake.


And you know what Shirokiya also has?  Tatami slippers.  Or as someone mentioned in Braddah Lance’s comments – Jap Slaps.  (yeah, I know.  It’s not PC).


So, since the uncles all wore the Criss-Cross slippers, what did the aunties wear?


Slippers Women
Photo courtesy of Kahili Sandals


Brings back memories, eh?


Do you remember your uncles and aunties wearing Kahili slippers?  I’m sure you saw them on the steps during poker night.  Did you try them on?  Don’t lie now.


* Slippers are available at Maile Sandals Hawaii

Remember when you guys couldn’t wait until you were old enough to shave?  After watching your dad plaster his face with Rise Menthol or Barbosal shave cream, then run his trusty shaver across his face, paving a pathway of skin though the white snow-looking shave cream.


It was 9th grade.  A Friday night dance night.  I decided that it was time.  After taking a shower, I busted out my dad’s shave cream, slathered it all around my face, and took his trusty Gillette razor and shaved for the first time.  After meeting up with my friends, as we were walking to the intermediate school dance – I revealed to them that I shaved.  One of my friends said to me “Oh, I was wondering what all those little pieces of toilet paper all over your face was”.


Shaving nicks


In hindsight, I guess I should’ve practiced first.


That Christmas, Santa brought me my own Gillette Trac II razor.

Shaving Gillette Trac II Razor


This was a big advance in technology compared to my dad’s double-edge razor – where you had to take apart the razor and flip the blade around without cutting your fingers.  Nope.  This was Twin-Blade technology.  Press the two little buttons and drop your blade cartridge right into the rubbish can.  Then simply snap on the new cartridge right from the blade pack.  Don’t even have to touch the metal blades.  Later, I graduated to the new and improved Trac II with the pivoting heads.  Woo hoo.


But for the longest time, I kept using Rise Menthol shaving cream – just like my dad used.


Then, before the word “Metro-sexual” was even coined – I experimented.  I went up to the cosmetics department in Liberty House – specifically the Clinique counter – and bought a bottle of Clinique Men’s Shaving Gel.  I liked it as it gave me a closer shave than the drugstore shave cream.  And it helped Paula score free stuff when Clinique ran the Free Gift with Purchase promos.


Then I tried using The Body Shop’s men’s shave cream.  I loved it.  It helped the razor glide nicely and kept my face lubricated for the second, third, and forth passes because, you know – I’m half Okinawan.  But then they changed the formula.  And the new Maca Root formula doesn’t seem to have enough lubrication for me.


Oh, I also moved to using a brush to apply my shave cream.  It’s less messy than using your fingers.  And I can use the brush to apply more shave cream for a second pass on those tuff areas.  BTW FOLKS – JUST TO MAKE IT CLEAR, I’M TALKING ABOUT SHAVING MY FACE!


And I’ve resigned myself to using disposable razors.  The Gillette Custom Plus razor.

Shaving Gillette Custom Plus

Besides the price of razor cartridges going up and up and up, that and stretching each cartridge to last 15 days – I was getting pretty busted up.  So I figured that with this pack of 52 disposable razor – I’d have a brand new razor every Monday morning for a whole year!


But back to my shaving cream dilemma.  Ever since The Body Shop changed their shave cream formula, I’ve been searching for the perfect shave cream.  Some of you on Facebook might have already replied to my call for help.


I’ve tried using The Art of Shaving (Sandalwood) and it’s okay but not quite what I was looking for.  What’s good is that it comes in a tub so I can use my brush.  I’ve tried a sample of Blade Runner by Origins but I don’t like the cool mint/menthol feeling.  The same goes for Kiehl’s White Eagle and Lite Flight shave creams.  The Blue Eagle is without the menthol, but it still doesn’t have enough lubricants.


Bath and Body Works Ocean shave cream – too thick.

Jack Black’s Beard Lube – Good stuff for wet/dry electric shavers.


I just got a sample of Jack Black’s Supreme Cream Triple Cushion Shave Lather and will be trying that out this week.  What’s good is that it comes in a tub so it can easily be used with a brush.


I also have samples from LushD’ Fluff shave soap and Prince shave cream.  @sally had mentioned Lush’s Dirty shave cream – but the guy in the store said that it doesn’t have what I’m looking for – lubrication.


So my search for the right shave cream continues.  I’m hoping that the Jack Black shave lather will be what I’m looking for.  I’ve read about Lab Series and that they too changed their formula and people liked the old stuff better.


Has anyone tried the Dollar Shave Club?  That’s the one where you join and they will automatically send you 4 or 5 razors a month (depending on the grade of razor).  And you can also have them automatically send you shave butter (not shave cream), and other shaving products.


Maybe the emphasis should be on the razor and not so much on the shave cream?  I’ve tried pre-shave oils.  Post-shave healers.  But I think it’s all to do with the shave cream.


And for the female MCLers – you don’t have to be left out of the conversation.  Women are shaving their faces too.  See: Why Women Shaving Their Faces Is Now a Thing




Let’s have some fun.


You Know You’re MLC If:


  • You were in a Social Club

Club Card Collage


  • You’ve been to the Termite Palace (Honolulu Stadium)
  • You remember the San Francisco Rag Shop in Ala Moana Center
  • You know who Gerry Lopez is
  • You had an 8-Track tape player in your car
  • You remember driving down Hotel street and passing The Glades
  • You remember Prince Hanalei
  • A pack of cigarettes was only 75¢ at the Coin Power service stations
  • There were paipo boards instead of Boogie boards
  • Girls used to sew their own clothes
  • Most homes had only one TV – lucky if it was color
  • You worked cannery
  • School lunch was a quarter


You get it, right?




My How Times Have Changed

5 January 2015

Remember when it took forever for Christmas morning to arrive?

Now, it comes too soon.  Christmas shopping is done just in the Nick of time.

My how times have changed.


Remember the toys we got on Christmas that didn’t come with batteries?  And every store was closed on Christmas day so we had to wait until the next day?  Or steal the batteries out of the flashlights or transistor radios?

Now, because we buy the 200 pack of batteries from Costco or Sam’s – we’re never out of batteries.  Plus, 7-11 is always open.

My how times have changed.


Remember when our nights used to begin around 10:00 PM and end just before sunrise?

Now, we’re lucky if we can stay awake for the 10:00 PM news.

My how times have changed.


Remember when we used to look through encyclopedias or go to the library to research our school reports?

Now, Google.

My how times have changed.


Remember when about the baddest word in a song was “muthah” as in “They say that cat Shaft is a baaaaad muthah“?

Now, music isn’t only vulgar, the lyrics are very disturbing.

My how times have changed.


Remember how we used to be invited into people homes for socials?

Now, you can’t trust having strangers in your home thinking that they may be casing the place for a future burglary.

My how times have changed.


Remember how people used to smoke in the office, in department stores, on airplanes?

Now they have to stand on the street corner to smoke.

My how times have changed.


Remember how girls used to buy patterns and material and sew their own clothes?

Now it’s more convenient to just buy clothes.  And not that much more expensive.

My how times have changed.


Remember when we needed to drill a hole and used this?

Now we use this:

My how times have changed.


Remember when Ala Moana Center was for the locals?

Now it’s mostly for the tourist.

My how times have changed.


Remember when we used to get scolding for talking on the phone for too long?

Now everyone has their own phone with unlimited talk-time.

My how times have changed.


Remember how we used to record music on 60-minute and 90-minute cassette tapes?

Now we plug in our mp3 players or phones for hours and hours of music.

My how times have changed.


Remember how we were so self-conscious about how we would look – that we often passed up good fun just to not “make-A”?

Now – we don’t care!

My how times have changed!


Welcome to 2015

1 January 2015




Wishing everyone out there a healthy and safe 2015.  May 2015 be a prosperous year for you (Prosperity is more than just the accumulation of material wealth, it is also the joy of everyday life and the prospect of an even better life in the future.)


Anyone want to list their 2015 new year resolution(s)?  Any goals for 2015?  Eat healthier?  Get more exercise?  Visit a distant land?  Buy a new car?  Invest in stocks, bonds, or mutual funds?  Take up a new hobby?  Learn a new skill?


Blog ideas for the upcoming year?  Maybe a MLC facelift?  :wink:


Whatever you do – be safe.  We’ve made it this far.  Let’s keep it going.

Looking Back on 2014

29 December 2014

2014 goodbye


Wow – where did 2014 go?  Time flies so fast nowadays.   But before we kiss 2014 good-bye, let’s take a look back.


2014 had it’s ups and downs.  But I don’t want to focus on the negatives.


One of my highlights was a summer tour to Hokkaido that we took with my in-laws.  I’ve yet to sort the pictures but hope to share some of those memories with you some time soon.  That was my first time abroad.  I want to go back when there’s snow.


I  got a new car.  Actually, it’s about 8 years old – but it’s new to me!  My old car’s “Check Engine” light kept going off and on intermittently.


Paula started a new job working for Scarlet Aviles – audiologist.  If any of you MLCers need to get your hearing checked or if you know someone who does, let me know and I have Paula set up an appointment for you.  They carry the Apple hearing aid.  You can control it with your iPhone, and soon to be released – Apple Watch.


Visited our deposits in Vegas a couple of times.  The last time was during Thanksgiving.  We were at the downtown outdoor Premium Outlet mall which was opened all night.  Shopping at 2:30 in the morning in 42° weather.  Should’ve brought gloves.  But I would definitely do it again!


Bought more shoes.  And jeans.  And jackets.


Saw Ige’s Restaurant and 19th Puka close.  As well did Pietro’s.


Saw H&M open.  Waiting for Uniqlo and Ikea to come to this islands.


Said good-bye to a dear friend that I used to work with – and a great saxophone player.


Got a new iPhone.


Lost more hair.


Didn’t lose any weight.  But then I didn’t gain anymore either.


Dressed up as a Manapua man and an In-N-Out Burger worker for Halloween.


Overall 2014 was okay.   I learned a lot.  Had crap dished out at me, but remained resilient with the support of friends and family members.  And how Rob@96744 was able to connect me with this great job that I have, I was able to pay-it-forward and hook up a dear friend with a great job too.  That sure felt good.


How was 2014 to you?