When I pause to visit reality (versus living in the past), I think about how life has changed since small-kid-time.  And in my lifetime – so far – I’d have to say that the internet has made the biggest impact in my lifetime.  I mean, without the internet – this blog wouldn’t exist!


And I try to think back at my parent’s generation – what things made the biggest impact in their lifetime?  Was it the TV?  Maybe not just for entertainment purposes, but also for informational purposes.  It was how they received news of what was happening.  Not just locally, but from throughout the world – albeit a day later.  And TV shows were a week later!  Remember watching all the Christmas episodes during new year’s week?  It was hard to get into the Christmas episodes a week after the holiday passed.


Or was it the automobile?  Did you know that Ala Moana Center was created because of the automobile?  Before cars became popular, everyone used public transportation.  That meant catching the trolleys in to downtown to do the shopping.  Then with the introduction of cars, parking spaces were now a necessity – which downtown didn’t have.  Thus, Ala Moana Center was created with over 1,000 parking spaces.  And downtown was no longer the shopping mecca.


And the introduction of cars also allowed for suburbs.  Kaimuki was where a lot of our parent’s generation settled down at.  Why?  Because that was the end of the trolley line.  That was the suburbs back in the day.  But then when mostly every family had a car – far away suburbs like Kailua, Pearl City, and Hawaii Kai were born.


When our grandparents immigrated here, they came via ship.  Then air travel became available, but it was expensive – relative to what our grandparents and even parents earned.  Maybe we took one or two family vacations to the neighbor islands via propeller airplane.  Then later, the jet airplane was made available and that allowed some of the lucky ones to go to Disneyland.  But because of the cost of flying, I don’t think air travel had that big of an impact.


What else could’ve been something that changed the lives of our parent’s generation?  The automatic washing machine?  The refrigerator?   Statehood!  I’m sure the attack of Pearl Harbor was an event that really stood out to them.  And then followed by the war.  But that was more of an event versus progress.


How about for our generation?


I know that the surf-leash changed the way people surfed.  Before the invention of the surf-leash, we wanted to keep our rides under control so as to avoid the long swim in to retrieve our surfboard.  But once the surf-leash was invented – just try any kine.  After you wipe out, no worries – you board will be right there next to you.  But on the other-hand, it kind of lost some of the finesse of surfing – like the controlled kick-out.  Nowadays, they just fall off their board.


How about cable TV?  That had a big impact on our generation.  Gone were the days of having just three TV stations to choose from.  Or watching cartoons only on Saturday mornings – and weekday afternoons.  Cable allow us to watch cartoons 24/7 if we wanted to.  Cable brought us M-TV where we were able to not just listen to music, but to watch it too!  And we could choose to watch anything and everything (almost) on TV – at all hours of the day.  From sitcoms to soap-operas to reality shows to 1/2 hour commercials to music videos to cooking shows to shopping networks to dirty movies.


And then came along the cellular telephone.  Although it appeared pretty much after-our-time.  I mean, to really impact our lives as most of us were settled down by then.  I’m kinda happy that instant communication wasn’t available to us as we were growing up.  It sorta takes away some of the mystique of knowing who was doing what and where.  In our day, we could easily lay-low without being found except by our closest of friends.


But I have to say that the internet had made thee biggest impact on our generation so far.  Our kids generation, not so much as they pretty much grew up with information available at their fingertips.  If not via the internet, then via software on our old, expensive, clunky PCs.  And our parent’s generation – well, a lot of them are intimidated by the internet – and would prefer to do things the old fashioned way.


But our generation had to look up phone numbers in a phone book.  Find out the definition of words from a dictionary.  Go the to library and read books to do our research papers.  Or at least (like me) copy it out of our encyclopedias.  If we wanted to know what the weather was going to be like, we waited until the weather report at the end of the news.  Surf reports – listen for Town & Country’s Guy Hagi or Clyde Matsusaka on the radio.  To check the hours of a business meant calling and asking.  Wanted to know how good a place was to eat – you asked your friends.  And if you wanted to play the stock market – you woke up at 3:00AM to watch the ticker tape scroll across the bottom of the cable channel, them call your stock broker to buy or sell some shares.


But now – it’s all at our fingertips.  Instant!  We can read about what our friends were doing 10 minutes ago and where they’re partying at – instead of hearing about it the next day.  We can buy dog food without even going to the pet store.  And it’ll magically appear at our doorstep in just a couple of days.  We can learn how to fix an appliance ourselves – without having to call the Maytag repair man.  And we save a bundle of money too.  Want to hear a special song?  No need to call the KKUA request line and wait for the DJ to play it.  Just look for it on one of the many music sites.  Want to warn the neighbors about strangers lurking in the neighborhood?  No need talk to the neighbor over the fence – just post ‘um on the Stolen Stuff Hawaii Facebook page.


Anyone care to guess what might be the biggest change for future generations?  I’m guessing driver-less cars.  Then what, pilot-less airplanes?


What’s your take on this?  What do you think was the biggest change for our generation?  How about for our parent’s generation?  What were some other advancements that changed our ways?  The compact disc?  Mp3 music?  Electronic banking? Preservatives and food additives?  The personal computer?  What do you think?



Previously, we touched upon local slogans and jingles from yesteryear.  Now let’s see how many National ones we can remember.  Just recently in the news was that the local Chevron is being bought out by Texaco.




I remember when Texaco used to be here before.  There was one in Kailua right next to Kress.  And since we’re talking about National slogans and jingles – anyone remember;
“You can trust your car to the man who wears the star,
The big bright Texaco starrrrrrr!”


Here’ s few more national slogans:


“Where’s the beef?” – Wendy’s


I’d rather fight than switch” – Tareyton Cigarettes”


“The ooooonly way to fly” – Western Airlines


“Fly the friendly skies of United” – United Airlines


“Come to where the flavor is” – Marlboro Cigarettes


“From the land of sky blue water…” – Hamms Beer


“Who wears short shorts,
We wear short shorts,
If you dare wear short shorts,
Nair for short shorts.”


“It’s finger lickin’ good” – Kentucky Fried Chicken


“Sometimes you feel like a nut,
Sometimes you don’t,
Almond Joy has nuts,
Mounds don’t”


“You deserve a break today,
So get up and get away,
To McDonalds…”


And my all time favorite jingle:

Peace out.


Ok, what National slogans and jingles do you remember?

I’m sure you’re all familiar with that slogan – Lex Brodie’s of course.  But what other local slogans do you recall?  (Later on we’ll touch on National slogans).  But first, a little test to see if you can fill in the blanks and/or name the companies.


“Hi, I’m Didi Ah Yo, and away we go!” (Creative Holidays)


Aloja and Majalo (Bank of Hawaii)


“If you are not buying your diamonds from the House of Adler, you are paying too much”


Remember this introduction?: “Hi – my name-ah Lee Chang, president of-ah Atlas Building Materials


You’ll always find the very best at Longs


“Go now Hawaii, Why pay more?” (Consumer Tire Warehouse)


“Or my name ain’t Josephine” (A furniture retailer)


Holiday Mart, Holiday Mart! Shop at Holiday Mart, it’s smart!


Harry & Myra (Bank of Hawaii)


Let’s all go to Fisher Hawaii, Mapunapuna Pa’a street store


Hi!  I’m Skippy from Aurora Lighting


Security Diamonds and Conrad Jewelers – Located on the two busiest corners of Ala Moana Center


Call now, for sure! (Kalani from Ponderosa Pines)


(going by my MCL memory here)
“There’s Sunstar, strawberry,
There’s Sunstar, banana,
With less foaming action and more cleaning power children like,


Where your money… Grows (Territoral Island Federal Saving & Loan? (Thanks 4G))


Kenny’s, at the Kam Shopping Center in Kalihiiiii.


(going by my MLC memory once again)
Sung to the tune of “There’s No Business Like Show Business”
“There’s no business like Shaw business,
Like Shaw business, you know
(something, something, something)
So go buy at Don Shaw!


Got them all?  What other local company slogans do you recall?


A little story: I remember Schuman Carriage had a nice jingle with a female singer that had a beautiful voice.  I liked it so much that I actually called the company to ask who was singing it.  They told me that it was probably some mainland firm that specializes in recording commercials.  I thought maybe it was a local girl singing it.  Wish I could find that jingle.


I also remember that The Shoppe had a nice song too in it’s commercial.  That song later became a big local hit.  “Naturally” by Kalapana.


Anyway, here’s a little something to help jog your memory.

* sigh * – This jingle takes me back to small-kid-time.


Sorry, I don’t have a new post.  Tax time has crept up on me once again.  I did get to loading the TurboTax software on my computer.  Now I just need to organize all the tax forms and get ready to input them.  And then do my daughters.  And then help my father-in-law do his.  And then help him do my brother-in-laws.


Actually, I can’t complain.  My FIL did our taxes for 25 years – even after he was retired.  And he did them the old fashioned way – yup, with long form, pencil, and calculator.



With tax software – it’s pretty easy.  Yeah, there’s times when I question what to put in, and there’s times that I question whether I’m losing out on something.  But the sooner it’s pau, the better.


What I don’t understand is why the State of Hawaii charges us to file our taxes electronically?  You’d think that they should encourage it, maybe even reward us for filing it electronically – as it’s that much less that their workers have to input from paper forms.  Wait a minute… do you think that the State discourages electronic filing because it’ll take work away from their employees?  How lame is that?  It’ll free up their time to do other things.


Anyway, I need to dig up all my forms, sort them out, and get ready to input them into my computer.  So because of that, there won’t be a blog entry.  Because, you know… I don’t want to be posting from prison.


How about you?  Pau already?  Filed an extension?  Do you do your own or give them to an accountant?  Do you use TurboTax or some other software?  Or if you just refuse to file – please don’t mention it here.  I leave the comments open to anything tax related.  Jokes, songs, tips, lies, how to cheat the system, how to dig a tunnel out of jail…


Thursday 3 – Air-Band

31 March 2016

Remember when we were in high school and we had a full car coming from a social or just cruisin’ around town?  And suddenly KKUA played a upbeat rockin’ song on the radio?  Something like this:



And suddenly everyone in the car became a band member.  An air-band member.


Because I was driving – I had first crack to pick my air-instrument of choice.  And that was the
air-guitar player.




Ryan, he was the air-drummer.  And someone in the back seat would be the air-keyboard player as they would use the top of the front (bench) seat as their air-keyboard.  Or the front seat passenger would use the dashboard as their air-keyboard.


Sometimes we’d have multiple air-drummers or air-guitar players.  Jon was known to suddenly – out of the blue – belt out a line in the middle of a song.  And we have our air-singer!  And if it was a song with a lot of horns, we’d get an air-trumpet player.  Funny, no one stepped up to play air-sax or air-trombone.  And an air-bass player was unheard of.  Sorry Dayton.  Bass players get no respect.


So, here’s my Thursday 3 Air-Band questions:

  1. What was your air-instrument of choice?
  2. Did you used to air-play to songs in private?  With the stereo blasting in your bedroom?  In front of a mirror?  No lie!
  3. Name me some of you favorite songs that you air-played to.


Here’s my replies:

  1. What was your air-instrument of choice?
    Guitar of course.
  2. Did you used to air-play to songs in private?  With the stereo blasting in your bedroom?  In front of a mirror?  No lie!
    Yes, I admit it.  There was a time that I worked in the evenings so during the mid-day when no one was home – including the neighbors – I used to throw on my favorite LPs, crank up the stereo and air-guitar in front of the mirror until I broke out in a sweat.  But hey!  They were long songs!  And it was hot in the middle of the day!
  3. Name me some of you favorite songs that you air-played to.
    Foreplay/Long Time by Boston
    Jukebox Hero by Foreigner
    Intruder/Pretty Woman by Van Halen
    157 Riverside Avenue by REO Speedwagon
    Europa by Santana

Okay, those are my replies.  Let’s hear yours!  But if you don’t want to admit to it, I understand.  Maybe list some songs that gets you rockin’ so much that you might air-play to.


* Apologies to all the real musicians out there.

Music Time – Rock Star

28 March 2016

If you could be a rock star (or pop star, or jazz star, or vocalist star, etc.) who would you choose to be?


Me, I’d like to be Keith Richards of the Rolling Stones.




I didn’t say I wanted to look like him!  But I’d love to play guitar next to the famous Mick Jagger – strutting around the stage, dipping, jumping, and getting all mental with my ax.


Plus, I’d get to wear all the cool (weird) clothes and wouldn’t feel out of place.  But first, I need to learn how to flick my guitar picks out into the audience.


Anyway, there are quite a number of songs written about being a rock star, or being on the road, or playing in huge arenas, or just making it to the top.  Go ahead and list the songs you can think of about being a rock star.  You can list the line(s) in the song that talk about it.  Here’s what I came up with:


“Johnny looked around and said ‘Well I made the big time at last'”.


“And I can make all the stadiums rock”


“Say, here I am – on the road again, there I am – up on the stage, here I go – playing star again, there I go – turn the page”


“And that one guitar made his whole life change, now he needs to keep on rockin’, just can’t stop, gotta keep on rockin’, that boy has got to stay on top”.


“We just pass the time in our hotel rooms, and wander ’round backstage,
Till the lights come up and we hear that crowd, and we remember why we came”


“Maybe someday your name will be in lights, saying ‘Johnny B. Goode tonight’.”


That’s all I’ve got.  Can you think of any other “rock star” songs?  This is a toughie!

Or “Ice Shave” for you Big Islanders.  😉


This past weekend at the new Nordstrom in Ala Moana Center, Island Snow was giving out free shave ice to promote their shirts that they were selling there.  I remember back when I was in high school, Robby Burn’s Local Motion surf shop had just opened up in Kailua.  Of course, being a surf-rat – I used to hang out over there.  A guy who was working there was still going to UH at the time.  I remember his name – James Kodama – and he had an old vintage Porsche.  In it’s original blue paint.


I’m guess that James majored in Business because soon after, James opened up Island Snow.  I’m trying to remember if it was in the same complex as Local Motion.  I don’t believe so because the Little Chef was right next door.  A little hole-in-the-wall place where one could get comfort food lunches.  I enjoyed the corned beef (canned kine) and onions plate.  I think Island Snow opened in the exact same location that it is now – the old Foodland building by Kailua Beach.


But getting to the topic on hand.



Good ol’ Hawaiian kine shave ice.  Maybe I’m a purist, but I like my shave ice in the cone shaped cup.  Not a bowl or soda cup and no cup holder.  And I can do without the “snow cap” condensed milk or li-hing powder on it.  Ice cream or azuki beans on the bottom is okay.  And if I really wanted to be hard-core – one of the flavors HAS TO be strawberry.


I remember when we used to go to the Japanese school picnics at Kailua Beach park.  After the burlap bag races and the three-man geta races, we’d head to the shave ice table.  Free shave ice!  Only had strawberry flavor but that was fine with me.  Maybe that’s why I like strawberry shave ice – it reminds me of the old picnics.


When we were small and my dad would take us to the beach, the ride home always meant a stop at the Kuulei Malt Shop to get shave ice.  My dad would always take the shave ice first, pat down the big top of it so it was manageable for us and teach us how to eat it with our body tilted forward so when we drop – it doesn’t get on our feet.  And I remember the shave ice machine there.  It was very old school with the belt driven wheel and the motor on top.  Looked something like this.


Shave Ice machine vintage


Later when we were older, after surfing we’d sometimes stop at the little mom-n-pop store on School Street by Nuuanu.  Not to be confused with B&S Store – now known as Shimazu’s.  But that store close to Nuuanu was torn down and replaced by the 7-11 store.


Shimazu shave ice is still there and doing well.  We stop by there every now and then.  The size small is huge.  The large is even bigger.  And the “Larry”, well… let’s just say that it’s about as big as your head.


We tried Waiola in Moili’ili area but wasn’t that good.  The bottom of our shave ice was “dry” and we had to ask them to put more syrup.


I heard that the Korean lady’s one in Waikele – next to Sports Authority is super ono.


You know, to me what makes shave ice good – of course, besides how fine the ice is – are the syrups.  The flavor is all in the syrups.  Some places stick to the standard flavors while others have all kines of exotic flavors.  All those weird flavors kind of loses the essence of shave ice, IMHO.


At the old Ala Moana Farmers Market,  Stanley’s Chicken Market used to sell ono shave ice.  Their syrups were so flavorful!  And sitting in the hot Honolulu afternoon sun eating shave ice was the best.  I really miss Stanley’s.


Shave Ice Pouring Flavors


What other shave ice places can you remember?


Shave ice from John’s Store in Puunui is just a memory.  The building was demolished earlier this year.


I remember the yellow Tat’s Shave Ice truck that used to park in Kokokahi YWCA in Kaneohe.  That was one of Paula’s favorites.


And of course, there’s Matsumoto’s and Aoki’s in Haleiwa.


What other small-kid-time shave ice places do you remember going to?  What were your favorite shave ice flavors?  Are you a purist or do you go for all the add-ons?  Do you know of any secret hole-in-the-wall shave ice shops that you’d like to share?  Maybe like Your Kitchen on 10th Ave.?  Share your shave ice (or ice shave) memories.

Originally posted on 7/11/13.




Do you remember the neighborhood okazuya?  Or maybe the one close to your school or work?


In Kailua, we had 1 okazuya – Kuulei Delicatessen.  I remember when my brother Terry used to work at Windward Volkswagen during the summer.  Every once in a while I’d see his car pull into the garage at home around lunch time and he’d carry that familiar off-white paper wrapped plate held together with a rubber band and a hashi neatly tucked into the fold of the paper.


Okazuya Plate Wrapped


He’d kick off his shoes and head into the house and I’d be following him like his shadow.  As he turned on the TV and settled into the recliner – I’d be sitting on the couch just to the side and a little bit behind him.


And watch him eat.


Kinda like how the dog sits at your feet and watches you eat hoping for any little piece of food to fall to the floor.  Every once in a while when his eyes were too big for his stomach, he’d pass on a piece of fried chicken or half of a vegetable tempura to me.  But most times I’d watch as he finishes up, puts his hashi in the middle of the paper plate and rolls up the plate with the paper wrapper and throw it in the trash.


I couldn’t wait until I could afford to go to Kuulei Delicatessen and get my own okazuya plate!


Then I started working and I could afford it.  I went into the okazuya and ordered all the good stuff!  Fried chicken, musubi, hash patty, vegetable tempura, shrimp tempura – not one, but two! – chow-fun, shoyu hot dog, and one cone sushi.  Ho, almost 8 bucks!  And that was back in the 70’s!


But I ceremoniously removed the hashi and rolled off the rubber band.  I opened up that 5 lb. plate of food and savored every single bite.  Because I could.


There’s just something special about okazuya’s.  Where else can places get away with leaving food sitting in the front window – without heating pans – and get away with customers wiping out the grinds by 11:00 AM?  Only at an okazuya.


I remember when I worked on Kaheka Street.  As I turned into the parking lot just off King Street (across the original Arirang), I could see customers of Ethel’s Delicatessen getting into their car with that oh-so-familiar wrapped paper plate.  And when I used to see the parking lot attendant scarfing down his plate at 8 o’clock in the morning – memories came rushing back of those summer days when my brother used to eat his okazu at home and I’d be sitting and watching with puppy dog eyes.


Do you remember your neighborhood okazuyas?  What were some of your favorite dishes?


Only recently I started to like kinpira or seasoned gobo.  I guess in my older age, I’m not so keen on the tempuras anymore.  A bit too oily for me.  Inari or cone sushi – winnahs!  Chow-fun, fried chicken, hash patty – all solid!  And it’s so easy to forget the potato/macaroni salad that’s kept in the refrigerator because my eyes would be too busy scoping out everything laid out in front of me – only glancing back at the plate to see how much room is left.


Okay, bus’ out your okazuya memories.  Did you have favorite okazuyas?  Remember the dishes?  What was the name of your neighborhood okazuya(s)?  What were/are some of your favorite delicatessens?

Fair is Fair

7 March 2016

I first learn via social media that this past Saturday night, Kahala Mall held a GNO.  Well, that’s what @HNL2LAS referred to it as.  After asking my daughter what GNO was, she said that it had nothing to do when crops.  It stood for Girls Night Out.


More specifically, it was called Unlock Your Style. (Click on it for a link)  I think it had to do with the fact that Girl’s Day (3/3) was this past Thursday.


Oh boy, I can’t wait for Boy’s Day to come (5/5).  And since this is MLC, I suggest that Kalaha Mall bring back:


Kahala Mall Stag Nite


Hey – fair is fair, right?  😉

Mahalo to @4G for sharing this link to the KHON2 story about the new Japan Village Walk by Shirokiya.




The new Japan Village Walk is slated to open on June 1st.  And the old Yataimura in Shirokiya is slated to close on March 31st.  So that means that for April and May – no beer garden with Japanese food for pupu.  But here’s a sneak preview of the floor plan of the Japan Village Walk.




I see that the KZOO radio station has it’s spot in the bottom left corner.  And the bakery right next to it.  Now, looking at the compass, it looks as though the entrances to the left are on the Piikoi street side of the complex.  Hmm… I wonder if this place is going to be where the Sears automotive repair shop used to be?  I know that Foodland’s Farms is going to be directly beneath the relocated Nordstrom – which is scheduled to open in less than 2 weeks – Nordstrom, that is.  Foodland will open sometime this summer.


Ala Moana Piikoi


But getting back to Shirokiya’s Japan Village Walk, I was hoping that maybe some of the little areas surrounding all the food kiosks might be small shops with Japanese goods other than foods.  But it doesn’t look that way.


Aw, well.  You have about one month left to take in Shirokiya and snap photos of what once was.  Maybe I’ll see you there…