Friday, February 29, 2008

Nicest Hula Dancing Yet

An Absence of Panhandlers in Honolulu

My Mom made an interesting observation yesterday: There are no panhandlers here. Oh, there are more than a few homeless people around, but not one of them has asked us for money or bothered us in any way.

This is a dramatic contrast from Vancouver, where locals and tourists alike are hassled on a seemingly continuous basis by and endless stream of lost souls and/or con men.

I wonder why this difference exists?

Blog from Afghanistan

A good friend of mine referred me to this blog, of a friend of his. It's a fascinating read and has some incredible photos.

Canadian Visitors to Hawaii Up 27%

Thursday, February 28, 2008

Rainbow Drive-In

This evening my Mom and I decided to try the Rainbow Drive-In for dinner. She had the Chili plate and I had the Hamburger Patty with gravy. Both were VERY good!!

But what made the experience especially memorable was that a gentleman named Ted Takata asked if he could sit at our table (it was very crowded). Of course we said yes. What we didn't realize was that we were about to meet an incredibly interesting person with a diverse past.

He's of Japanese-American descent, has 2 little granddaughters that he's very proud of, and is a realtor here in town. He was in the U.S. Army after WW2, spending much time in Germany.

Ted was on his way home after body boarding (not surfing but those smaller styrofoam boards).

Interesting, interesting fellow and a great example of the friendliness here in Hawaii!

Wednesday, February 27, 2008

PhotoSynth Demo at TED

Photosynth, software, under development by Microsoft, is absolutely incredible:

It's potential for the future is even more amazing!

The 2 Hottest Videos on YouTube Right Now

Funny, but not for kids:

Catching Up

With so many photos to go through, I've been a little slow to post on here but I've now made some good headway on that front. To see the start of my Hawaii trip click here. To see the first of my many USS Arizona Memorial posts click here. In both cases, just click on "Newer Post" at the bottom left to move forward to the next one.

Tuesday, February 26, 2008

Geographically Challenged Hawaiians

When I used to live in Victoria I met a young woman (early 20's) working at a Starbucks in the posh neighbourhood of Oak Bay. She mentioned to me that she had never been off of Vancouver Island - not even once. To say I found this strange would be the understatement of the decade.

Fast forward to today. Many people working here have asked where we're from. Whenever I've said just "Vancouver" I received a puzzled look. Twice there would be a pause and then they'd ask, "Vancouver, Washington?" My response was always the same: "No, the real Vancouver!" A bit snobbish, I know, but it was intended in a playful way.

Today our waitress at lunch was a delightful young woman, in her early to mid-20's. She had no idea where Vancouver was and when I asked her where she thought it might be, she said, "Near the Hoover Dam?" In her defense, she gets airsick on planes and so rarely travels by plane. Still, don't most people know approximately where the major cities in North America are? Apparently not all.

Sunday, February 24, 2008

The 80th Oscars: Whoop De Doo

I watched the Oscars tonight. Didn't have much of a choice with my Mom here. Is it just me, or are these Hollywood "glitterati" more irrelevant than ever? There was so much self importance in the room, yet so little importance in the real world. I realize that the masses, whose lives seem to revolve around Britney Spears, will be absolutely enthralled with this show but beyond those IQ/Life challenged folks, is there any real interest anymore?

Amazing Sushi, and at 50% Off No Less!

After hearing several recommendations, we decided to try Sansei Sushi, in the Marriot Hotel on Kalakauau. If you line up by 4:45pm on Sunday or Monday afternoon and can get in to order by 6:00pm then you will get 50% off of many of their offerings.

This restaurant is reported to be one of the top 8 sushi places in the United States. They didn't disappoint! I had never had sushi this tasty before. It was fresh and absolutely delicious!

Here's a short video of our sushi chef, Francis, working his magic.

Stormy Weather

The weather has generally been exceptional but once in a while, for no more than a few hours, Waikiki gets storms like this:

The Magnificent Royal Hawaiian Band

Honolulu has revealed itself to be full of surprises. Today was no exception. My Mom read that the Royal Hawaiian Band would be appearing at the Royal Hawaiian Hotel. So we strolled over and attended the performance. It was a great performance and quite a contrast to the torrential rain outside.

Incidentally, the beautiful woman in the yellow dress is no other than Denby Dung, Miss Hawaii 2001.

Hillary Clinton, A Footnote In History

In his usual humorous way, Mark Steyn chimes in on why Hillary Clinton upcoming loss is inevitable.

Saturday, February 23, 2008

Funny Quote

In every crowd you'll find some old guy who says: "I've been a devout socialist all my life. I just don't understand why I can't get ahead!"

A Little More Hula Dancing

I'm most fascinated with the entire art of hula dancing. This evening there was another wonderful example of this dancing.

Waikiki Sunset

Most every evening here is a thing of beauty. This one was no exception.

Scenes From Around Waikiki

This is the view while we wait for the elevator down from our floor. As you can see, Waikiki is very densely populated place.
I found this very distinguished looking man to be most intriguing. Even the handle of his cane had a very extravagantly carved handle.

Honolulu Flea Market

Everyone who knows me knows that I H-A-T-E shopping. I think it's a completely useless activity, pointless to the extreme. But I also realize that the fairer sex seems to love it. So once in a while I will make an exception. But I've now reached a new low. I actually agreed to pay $1.00 to go shopping with my Mom at the "famous" flea market.

As I expected, it was the same old junk that's sold by every other vendor on every 2nd street in Waikiki. Here are my photos that tell the tale.