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November 25, 2004

Goin' back to Cali, Cali...

Yes, L.L. has inspired me. After a 5 hour flight to L.A. from Honolulu and then an 11 hour drive to Sacramento I am about strolled out.

I thought I would do a down and dirty post so both my readers would have something to sustain themselves till I get back. Nothing much to say now because the triptopan is kicking in. I leave you with a sunset shot of the Golden Gate.

November 19, 2004

It's the liberalism, stupid

Fantastic article; I could not have said it better myslef. It makes me feel good when I read someone's blog and they have written, almost ver batim, something that I have said or written myself.

Long Winded

After reading over my site I have come to the conclusion that I am extremely long winded. I mean, even I get bored reading my own posts after a while so I can imagine how long readers stay on my blog.

I will make an early New Years resolution to make my posts shorter so it is less tiring on both my readers. So, in honor of this new resolution I will post a shot that had me rolling on the floor. This fisherman gets inked by a squid as it is pulled out of the water. Classic.

November 17, 2004

Marine Shoots Iraqi Insurgent!

Say it isn't so!

Although I enjoy seeing Iraqi insurgents get their heads blown off I have to object to NBC's airing of this incident. I don not object out of supressing free speech but at the aftermath from the Muslim community that followed the airing.

Although I believe this Marine was is the right some Muslims are now harboring some (more?) anit-American sentiment. The Iraqi was killed inside a mosque, a Muslim holy place, after he was shooting at our forces. Where is the anti-insurgent outrage from the Muslim community when these holy places are used as chicken shit hideouts for the Muslim extremists?

Did NBC even think about the recoil from this airing or was it perceived as just another nail in the coffin of the Bush Administration's decision to invade this despoticly ruled country? I am beginning to wonder if the cronyism in the media is catching up to Saddam's level?

If you would like to read about the invasion from the camera man who shot the footage then please visit his blog. Yes, this freelancer videographer has time to keep up with his blog! His name is Kevin Sites and his coverage of the Fallujah invasion starts on his November 10th entry. Read it HERE

Unrelated blather section:
I also found this cartoon that really drives home the argument that Bush knew about September 11 before it happened. The really funny thing is that the Bush bashers just can't let it go.

November 16, 2004

SWG Geek Out #1 *edited for brevity*

For all my friends on SWG whom I play with (too much as far as my wife is concerned!) here is the site about my character.

To those of you who have no clue as to what I am talking about let me fill you in as much as you care to be. Star Wars Galaxies (SWG) is referred to as a Massive Multi Online Player Game, or MMOPG. What does this mean? It means that this is't some solitaire game that can be played and paused at will. There is no PAUSE button on SWG and most of the "people" walking around oin the game are actual people somehwere in the world playing the same game you are. The are non-player characters (NPC) that do add to the atmosphere of the game and some can be attacked and some can't.

This will not be a technical breakdown of the game as most people who do not play won't give a crap. The people that do play don't want to read about it either. So here are the cold hard facts about my character, Smitser.

Faction: Rebel

Current Profession: Master Doctor, Teras Kasi Artist (Martial Arts profession)
Mastered Professions: Droid Engineer, Scout, Brawler, Smuggler, Medic, Merchant, Swordsman, Combat Medic, Pikeman, Squad Leader

The whole path to becoming a Jedi (why would you play SWG and not want to be a Jedi?) has been changed and now is an involved and well thought out process. It used to be a a mysterious grind of 5 professions that would unlock the Force. The developers finally made it a quest based system that is more in line with what a Jedi does. I don't recall Obi-wan making Luke grind out a Chef profession before attaining Padawan status.

Anyway, there are many phases to this Jedi grind and I am on a low tier. I am doing the village quests and need to unlock 5 more blocks to reach the Jedi trials. Of course before doing the trails I need to kill a Jedi buttwipe named Mellichae. This usualy take a lot of people because of the difficulty of the mission.

So how much longer until I get to this dude? Hereis the breakdown. Still awake?

I need 450,000 Jedi experience points (JXP) to finish my last block in the current tree I am working on. Three down, one to go then I have 4 more blocks in a new tree. Each tree is related to a specific skill. Right now I am working on completing the Melee Speed tree. Each block gives progressive speed bonuses to my fighting skills.

I am 3/4 complete with the required 450,000 JXP but it is a little more difficult than that to accumulate. For every creature I kill I get Unarmed Combat XP. This XP must be converted to Jedi XP at a 30:1 ratio. They don't make it easy do they?

I don't play everyday and I estimate that I will be ready for the trial in about 2 months.

Still awake? I don't blame you. So, the rest of these posts about SWG won't be AS boring as thisone. I just wanted to give a little background. Here is one of the first screenshots I took. This is what my self-made character looks like. It was taken while I was wandering around Mos Entha.

May the Force be with you!

Kickin that ass

So, let me rehash the things that absolutely and consistently kick people's asses out here in Hawaii:

1) Driving.
For a state with so much "aloha" you would never know it when driving on the streets and highways. This item can take up much space on a blog and deserves its own post.

2) Talking intelligently.
Not all people talk like unintelligable simeans but I do refer you to my post concerning pidgen speak.

3) Planning.
See my post of just one example this state government failed to plan and planned to fail on- the 5 cent deposit.

4) Wind.
Yes wind. The last 3 days the winds have reached 30+ mph here on Ala Ilima St. Last night on the news I watched repairmen frantically trying to fix downed power lines. Power lines collapsed not only because of the strong winds but also because of the debris that fell on them. Looking at some of the lines it is obvious why they failed. They are surrounded and sometimes even run through huge trees. One of the guys interviewed said they havn't had winds like this "in a long time" so they weren't prepared to deal with the aftermath.

Look, douche bags, it doesn't take that much foresight to know if trees are trimmed to allow power lines to run through them that the chances of the lines collapsing increase significantly.

A coworker of mine is a commissioned police officer with the HPD. Granted, he is part of the Handicapped Driver Placard Enforcement Division and can only give out citations to assholes who park in blue parking stalls but his job brings him in close proximity of the ridiculousness of people who live here.

He was told by his boss that someone complained about recieving a ticket for illigally parking in a handicapped stall at the airport Post Office because he/she felt like they were being "stalked". That is the exact terminology the officer used.

My friend told his boss that he wasn't "stalking" anyone but sits in front of the Post Office and waits for people to illegaly park there. That's not stalking it is observing. Even the officer had to concede to that logic but still told my friend to "walk around". My friend then added, "So when I get stopped by an officer who is catching speeders with a radar gun I can protest that I was being stalked?"

The officer had no comment.

I find that when people are faced with logic and probing question here in the Aloha State that they freeze up; they obviously aren't used to people accepting lame answers and half baked explanations. My previous 'My 5 Cents' post shows more examples.

I have decided that for prosperity's sake I will keep periodic track on this blog of my Star Wars Galxies progress towards becoming a Jedi.

Dorky? Yes.

Necessary? Absolutely not.

Interesting in the least? Only if you think a toenail collection is interesting.


November 15, 2004

The Amarathine Quest

I just want to send a shout out to my blog readers (both of them) and apologize for the lack of posting in recent weeks. I have been involved with some non-political endeavors, of which I enjoy immensely, and haven’t had much time to the research needed to prepare an intelligent political commentary.

I hate doing political commentary and I am in no way qualified to make such posts. “Commentary” is probably a misnomer. “Blunt opinionated rants” is probably more accurate.

I have gotten some attention from a fellow blogger in NYC. I have mentioned Andy before and we enjoy an online friendship based on opposing ideas and complimentary interests. As much as I hate attention from people (cue wife rolling her eyes) I have been a celebrity of sorts on Andy’s blog.

Except for our political views we get along nicely and even though the posts get a little heightened sometimes it is only because we both strongly feel our political ideals are better for ourselves and possible for the country. Sarcasm, cheap shots, and insinuating tones aside, we have kept to a civil repoire and the ad hominem attacks have been eliminated. For this I respect Andy.

I do feel the need to share a rather lengthy post he made of which I am the focus. I had made some comments about an earlier post Andy made concerning the “Mission Accomplished” banner in the background of President Bush’s speech aboard the aircraft carrier Lincoln on May 1, 2003.

Although Andy took my comments and attempted to debunk them one at a time I will not make the same kind of post. It is too laborious on the reader and if you are interested in reading the original post then please click HERE

The opening debunk consists of the “Mission Accomplished” banner behind the president as he spoke on the deck of the Lincoln in May 2003. Baseline argument for the Dems is that the White House fabricated the whole thing as a propaganda stunt for his reelection. Although I did post a post-speech quote from the President clarifying his remarks Andy goes one step further and cites the actual speech the president gave on the carrier. I was glad he did because at his attempt to slam dunk me with “facts” he hit the rim and gave himself a black eye.

Aside from an uninformed remark about carriers having a print shop (and they do but it isn’t a Kinko’s. It is a DOD service with squids doing the printing) the sign was indeed printed by the White House by request of the Navy and hung across the sail of the carrier by sailors. Bush admitted that his administration had something to do with the banner:

"I know it was attributed somehow to some ingenious advance man from my staff -- they weren't that ingenious, by the way” SOURCE

So what’s the big hullabaloo about? This same sort of thing happens when our boats pull into Pearl Harbor after a deployment. As we pull into the sheltered water of the channel a small boat meets us with a huge lei. The lei is placed around our sail as a sign of “mission accomplished”.

It is amusing how the Dems take Bush’s statement concerning the “end of major operations in Iraq” as a bravado for the end of ALL operations in Iraq. Bush made these comments a few paragraphs later when he said:

”We have difficult work to do in Iraq.”
“The transition from dictatorship to democracy will take time, but it is worth every effort”.

It is just this type of self-serving editing that is used to whitewater, err, whitewash the truth. What is funny about the quotes Andy cites is the fact that the next sequential paragraph of his contradicts the former.

He quotes Bush:
"Major combat operations in Iraq have ended. In the battle of Iraq, the United States and our allies have prevailed."

Then quotes Bush again:
"The battle of Iraq is one victory in a war on terror that began on September the 11, 2001 -- and still goes on."

If you read his post he states that it is “obvious” that Bush used his mission accomplished statement as an “absolutely unequivocal declaration of final victory, there's no other way to read that.”
Ah, I see. It is ok to speculate what the president says or means when it compliments a case against him.

Now, I do have some grinding to do in SWG so I will leave with just a few more remarks. I do intend to finish this deconstruction of Andy’s synopsis but I have to give the other reader of my blog a break and get back to what this blog started out to do- bitch and complain about the inconsiderate and insane asshole that live on my street.

Andy quotes Bush:
"Major combat operations in Iraq have ended. In the battle of Iraq, the United States and our allies have prevailed."

True statement. Hussein was overthrown and MAJOR combat operations ended. Mission accomplished!

Andy quotes Bush:
"The battle of Iraq is one victory in a war on terror that began on September the 11, 2001 -- and still goes on."

And then says:
Unfortunately, as shown by the results of the election, 48% of America fails to see the connection between Iraq and September 11. That might have something to do with the government's own commission reporting that there was no relationship between Iraq and al Qaeda.

September 11th began the war on terrorism. Hussein harbored Taliban, the Taliban is responsible for terrorism, hence the war on terrorism in Iraq. He didn't say there were any links but that the date of September 11th started our war on those who would do us harm. Instead of putting off doing something about these terrorists like so many of his predecessors, Bush finally said enough is enough. We'll take it to them instead of another tragic loss of life on our soil.

Number of terrorist attacks on U.S. soil since September 11: 0

But to quell the doubts as to whether Saddam had links to al-Qaeda I submit this SOURCE. All the Michael Moore books and conspiracy theories won't change my mind.

Like I said, I have some grinding to do. I will continue this post with some hard hitting analysis on some “facts” Andy has discovered. His biggest revelation, and easiest to rebuke, is that there aren’t any WMD’s in Iraq. What?? No way! Besides the thousands of dead Kurds in mass graves in Iraq I will provide some insight to this tiring broken .mp3 (who still uses records??) hokum the Dems continue to politick.

The pursuit of Jedi awaits!

November 11, 2004

A day in Waikiki

Every month or so I take the family down to Waikiki and we just people watch. The leviathon of tourism commerce is always around us as we walk down Kalakaua Ave. and the street is bustling on both sides with scurrying locals and tourists alike. The air smells of sun screen, perfume, ocean spray, restaurant food, and chlorine (there are tons of fountains in Waikiki). There is also the occasional stench that invokes a memory of walking down the streets of Pusan, Korea. Those are few, however, and always offend my olfactory when we pass an alley next to a big hotel.

Waikiki is a great place in moderation but it lost its luster 10 years ago for me. It is crowded like any other big city and has the same problems big cities have. Although there are few cities in the U.S. where surfers walk around barefoot with their boards wearing the absolute minimum apparel enabling them to enter an ABC store for food and drink.

Although Waikiki Beach is one of the most famous in the world it is, in my opinion, one of the shittiest beaches on the island. The “sand” is actually pulverized concrete and tears the bottom of my feet up as I walk on it. My parents who were out here a few weeks ago also commented on this. In fact, after 2 days in Waikiki they were more than ready to get out and see some other parts of the island.

Waikiki is a gathering place for old and young, sane and insane, clean and filthy, tourist and local. The waves in Waikiki are some of the smoothest and easy rolling of the islands and are the stomping ground of novice and seasoned surfers alike. In fact, on a few pictures I feature people in the middle of surfing lessons. The long board is definitely a must for beginning surfers who want to quickly experience the thrill.

Waikiki offers something for everyone. There is a park with tables imprinted with a checkerboard pattern and there is always a chess or checkers tournament going on. You won’t find the tournaments featured or advertised as they are held among the regulars and bragging rights reign as the grand prize. Under the same pavilion can be found people playing bridge or groups just sitting and enjoying the day.

This time of year provides a special treat because about 2 weeks before Halloween Waikiki starts to put up its Christmas decorations. Only in Hawaii can you see Santa commanding a team (pod?) of dolphins.

I do enjoy a leisurely 2-hour stroll down Kalakaua but I think I have had my fix for the month. I’ll probably head down again around Christmas time when the Kalikimaka is in full swing.

November 8, 2004

My 5-cents

So, Hawaii finally figured out that by charging and reimbursing consumers a nickel for every can bought would help reduce refuse in the landfills.

Welcome to the '70's, Hawaii.

For an island state I would think this should have been figured out a long time ago. I wasn’t even aware of this new deposit program until today when a friend of mine brought it up while talking about other political agendas. My wife knew about it only because she happened to read a little white card at the checkout counter explaining the 5-cent charge on selected cans and bottles.

What I find appalling is that the redemption centers aren’t even scheduled to go into effect until January 1, 2005. I’ll touch more on this later.

On October 31, 2004 the Honolulu Advertiser had a story about the new Deposit Beverage Container Program. I found several statements in the article of noteworthy mention.

"No matter how you do it, there's going to be issues at first," said Jeff Mikulina, Sierra Club Hawai'i director and a key proponent for the measure.

I would have to disagree with this statement on the grounds that this is the mentality of the people who are in charge of state programs and such here in HI. They think it will be screwed up at first, and with good cause, because every other program they try to implement has start-up problems.

After 12 years of seeing this “beta” way of thinking in Hawaii I could come up with a whole list of programs or initiatives that started knowing they were going to fail or have major issues beforehand. But hey, why start off with a good product when you can just fix it as you go? Bill Gates operates that way so why can’t the state of Hawaii?

Some businesses expect the worst, saying that customers will not understand why they can't redeem their bottles and cans right away.”

This is true. People will wonder why they are being charged and extra $1.44 per case when they won’t be able to redeem their deposit until January 1, 2005.

”Merchants have complained that the public needs more time to learn about the new law, and proponents have said the state waited too long to begin the education effort.”

So are stores just now realizing that a lot of people that shop there are freakin stupid? More time to learn about the law? How much time does it take to say:

“Hey, you are being charged a nickel per can extra now. Bring back the empties and you’ll get the nickel back. This keeps cans and shit out of our landfills. It’s good for the environment.”

Yeah, I can see where the merchants will really have to go out of their way to ensure people understand this law. For crying out loud assholes this isn’t some new Section 179 tax law that affects small business maximum deductions. It’s a nickel a can people. Put up some freakin signs that people can read. And try putting them in the soda isle. Here is an example of the “education” process for this program. CHART Although I applaud the efforts of using pretty pictures in the chart, people here have a hard time reading traffic signs. This chart is way over their heads.

I made a few phone calls today when I got home from work about the program and I ended up more pissed off. First I called the Pearl Harbor Navy Exchange “Customer Service” and after finally getting someone that didn’t speak broken English was transferred to another number. It rang and rang and rang…. Got transferred to the CS department again and after 3 times of getting rerouted to the welcome menu I hung up. Why didn’t this surprise me?

I got online and called the Recycle Hawaii office. Here is an excerpt form their home page:

Recycle Hawai`i is a 501(c)3 non-profit educational organization serving Hawai`i Island. We currently offer free public recycling educational services on behalf of the County of Hawai`i, the State Department of Health, and our contributors.

The mission of Recycle Hawai`i is to promote resource awareness and recycling on the Island of Hawai'i. To achieve this, we educate and inform people about environmentally sound resource management and recycling opportunities for a more sustainable future.

Sounded good to me so I called the number at the bottom of the page to inquire about the program. Admittedly, it was a setup. I asked where the redemption centers are and this is the response I got:

”Oh, this is the information line. Let me get your number and our main office will call you back.”

Let me get this straight, the INFORMATION LINE can’t give me any answers on the program? Who the hell can, then? This state really pisses me off sometimes. She gave me another number to the Main office and after talking to the guy for 5 minutes I found out that I had been given the number to Recycle Hawaii on the Big Island. I guess none of the offices here on Oahu would have had the answers I was looking for.

Incidentally, here is a picture of a woman educating people here in Hawaii about the importance of recycling. She is using a satanic looking puppet that would make Martha Stewart puke even though the puppet was made strictly from recycled material.

I called the Department of Health who is spearheading the whole process including the advertising campaign. I was immediately referred to the Solid/Hazardous Waste division. Thank you, Marilyn, for giving me the same useless and damning information Recycle Hawaii gave me.

Here is the program in a nutshell:

  • Each can comes with a 5-cent deposit charge and 1-cent bottling fee.

  • The deposit is refundable but the bottling fee isn't.

  • You will be able to redeem the deposit but only on January 1, 2005 when the redemption centers will be in place.

  • There is a two month gap in the program so that the nickels can be collected prior to the actual startup date so that these nickels can actually help pay for the redemption centers.

  • Store your cans for two months if you want your deposit back.

  • You will only get your deposit back for cans that are stamped with the deposit notice.

  • There are no cans that are currently stamped with the notice.

  • Bottling companies need more money and time to stamp their bottles and cans.

  • I have two chances of shortly getting a nickel reimbursement: slim and none.

  • Nobody knows about this bullshit because the state is going to wait until the last minute to try and educate people about the new container law.

Why, oh why, is everything so hard on this island? Although Hawaii is only the 11th state to have this program in place, there 10 other states that successfully initiated the same program or have at least worked out the bugs. Massachusetts was the last state to implement this program and that was in 1983! I think they might have the bugs worked out by now, Hawaii. Why don’t you freakin talk to them and find out how they did it? Why must every new program be compared to a monkey screwing a football?

I know the answer- because the legislators for Hawaii were, unfortunately, raised here. Forget global perspective, try a national perspective. Try looking east to find solutions and by East I don’t mean “Far East”. I mean east as in, “Hey there are 48 states over there that might be able to help you out.”


And if the program’s piss poor planning isn’t enough, there’s the slogan for the program. Leave it to this state to incorporate some stupid Hawaiian word (see my post below on Hawaiian words in funded programs) in its program.

"It’s good for you. It’s good for the aina”

In case your Hawaiian is a little rusty or you have the I.Q. of a potato and can’t figure out what it means in the context of this post, “aina” means land. Standing on its own, however, that sentence could easily be misinterpreted as a slogan for a yeast infection cream or something similar.

Until next time, aloha!

November 4, 2004

Stone Status

So for all of you interested in my kidney stones (see earlier post for pictures) I have a final update. This morning I passed the fourth one and although it was only 1/5 of the size of the behemoth I passed the other day my urethra still sent a clear message that it was not happy about it.

I am all pooped out on politics and I hope it will a long time before I post another commentary. It is just such a chore to talk about someting that is heartfelt and strongly defended by both sides. It is hard to change a mentality when both sides truly believe they are right. It very tiring on the mind to be sure.

I was watching Jon Stewart tonight and, unlike most people, not to gain any insight into a relevant topic of choice. I view that show as entertainment only but I have read many blogs that herald the political insight of that show. People, that is like me watching the Teletubbies to gain insight into art of special effects.

One thing that Stewart said, that probably made the liberals who watch his show ejaculate with the pleaure of using this line on their Republican Christian friends, was (paraphrased) "Why do the Christian Republicans use the word 'liberal elitists' when they think they are the only ones going to heaven?"

At first I thought that was a very good point and almost panicked trying to figure out a good rebuttal. I was interrupted by his guest William Kristol, editor of The Weekly Standard, who said something to the effect, "Well, I'm Jewish I have my own views on that." Of course Stewart slid into a non-chalant backtrack of "I believe in good food. Don't our people really know how to eat?" Nice try John.

I think that there is a difference between Christians spreading their faith and "elitist" Democrats who think their programs are the only thing that will help America. And what about the Christian Democrats? Are they immune to bringing people to their faith without being considered "elitists"?

Bringing a person to Christianity has a positive influence in their life. Democrats fighting for more government programs that, in the end, hurt America is not an accurate parallel. I don't even think Stewart believes what he said but since he is obviously bitter that Bush won and his "Prelude to a Recount" show didn't happen he has all this material he has to get rid of.

Don't get me wrong, I love that show and John Stewart is smart guy with intelligent and thought provoking comments. I just think he "Dixie Chicks"-it and uses his show to send little jabs in his favor. His audience is overwhelmingly liberal because he gets the praise and affirmation he needs after he makes his comments.

So there goes my NOT making a commentary tonight. Although it wasn't political I guess, just social perhaps? So I do apologize to the readers of my blog (both of you), and promise to keep with the content you wait on pins and needles to read- my kidney stones, jackasses who make my life hell on my street, and the random assholes who entertain me with their stupidity. Aloha!

November 3, 2004

Sigh of relief

That is an understatement. I am talking of course about my kidney stone I passed with my morning piss although the same type of relief was also felt when my wife came in this morning and woke me up with “Kerry 252; Bush 274”.

I listened to the talk radio this morning and the Conservative speakers were very humble and not gloating that Bush did win. I wonder if Kerry supporters would have reciprocated. There is something to this win far more important than just “My guy won. Hooray!” It falls into a much deeper category than the same feeling one gets when their team wins the Super Bowl. The American people sent a clear message to the Democrats and the leftists out there: We don’t like your ideas. Although your liberal mentality may have a hold on the media and movie stars it is not as popular as you would have us think.

I thank the leftist judges in Massachusetts, Kerry’s home state, who ruled against the teachers who were sued because their students thanked God for their teachers, parents, and schools. I thank the judges who rule against having the Ten Commandments remain in public places because it is a violation of a few people’s rights. Well, all you liberals just got your due. The majority of the United States is offended that you are offended and we fought back.

Liberal ideals were rejected. A man who spent his entire political career for a generation defaming and wiping his ass on the Vietnam Veterans was rejected. A man who marries into money to further his political agenda was rejected. A woman who makes the Wicked With of the North look like Betty Boop was rejected. A man who spent his professional career suing doctors was rejected. A political party that uses words like “help the poor”, “caring for people”, “government generosity”, and all those other nice words was rejected. These people were rejected because, although they have a lot of people brainwashed, there are more people in America who love liberty and freedom and voted in a President who will keep this nation safe.

No recounts, no shifty lawyers from either side muscling for an advantage. It was a fair win. Even with the Electoral College in the shitcan, where it should be, the popular vote was clear.

I listened to Kerry’s concession speech. He still bounces around like Tigger on crystal meth.

"I'm going to fight on for the people and the principles that I've stood for,"
Does this mean you will actually show up to vote on issues now that you aren’t running for President?

“We are required now to work together for the good of our country. In the days ahead, we must find common cause, we must join in common effort, without remorse or recrimination, without anger or rancour.”
Such a shame Senator that you have to rebuild what you‘ve worked so hard to destroy these last 7 months.

“Now more than ever, with our soldiers in harm's way, we must stand together and succeed in Iraq and win the war on terror.”
How did you plan on doing this, Senator Kerry, when you pledged to start bringing home troops in January?

You didn’t fool us this time like you did with two consecutive terms with Clinton. We are smarter and September 11th made us that way. We know better now.
It is a shame that so many people voted against Bush and not for Kerry. It is a shame that so many people bought into the sloganeering and parroting of liberal haranguers. Even in CA where Kerry won there were a big percentage of voters who voted Bush. Even in the state where Hollywood “activism” provides REAL entertainment there were a great many people who were not star struck and voted for the better man.

I could gloat very easily but I won’t do that because I would not enjoy the same from the Kerry supporters had he won. But every time I see a Kerry supporter I can’t help but to think of that laugh that one kid on The Simpson’s has. But don’t fret my liberal friends. I think Paris is throwing a pity party for all of you and I hear the guest speakers will be Arafat, Castro, a video cast by Hussein, Al-sadr, and the crazy asshole from North Korea. And don't worry all you Democrats; Hillary will probably be running in 2008.

I know it does no good to argue politics any more than arguing religion. They are both rooted in a deep personal conviction. I can only hope that, like in religion, after some serious soul searching, the liberals will see the folly in their party’s views. That their party has no real foundation of ideas but a reactive bandwagon of false hope they as desperately try snare people along for the ride.

To my new friend Andy in NYC who supported Kerry I extend a sincere handshake by written word. Thank you for intelligent conversation involving politics. I hope we can continue to satay in touch.

Oh, for those of you who have never seen a kidney or know the joy of passing one, here is my 5mm souvenier from my kidney. I affectionatly refer to it as "Kenny the Kidney Stone". Please click for a larger, more disturbing image.

Kenny 1

Kenny 2

God bless America.

November 2, 2004

Geevum awready

After all, Clinton had good intentions, right?

So I just watched my wife go into the polls and cast her vote; something I have not been able to do in person for the last 4 presidential elections. As a resident of Florida, yes, I know, I have only been able to do absentee ballots. I have no idea where my ballot ended up and I don’t think I want to.

It was inspiring to see people actually making a line at the Aliamanu Middle School to vote since only 39% of the registered voters even bothered to get their asses out and vote for the Primary this year. Less than 22% of voters between 22 and 30 even bothered to vote in that same election. Source
Sad, sad, state of affairs for this island state. It truly is the minority that picks the leaders of Hawaii. I call it apathy, some call it laziness, but whatever the reason Hawaii just doesn’t get out to vote. It is a Democrat state for the most part even though last election Linda Lingle (Rep) won the race for Governor. I guess even the apathetic voters got off their asses to vote out the last crooked Governor.

There are over 300,000 military on this island and I would venture to say the election outcomes would be very different if the military that are registered in other states actually voted here. I don’t want to pay the state of Hawaii any state tax so I keep my Florida status. Maybe if I had kids in school out here it would be different and I would register here. The majority of the military, in my opinion, is pro-Bush and I know that it would be reflected in the polls.

The future of America is their hands. And that guy’s pants are seriously up his ass.

So I am not going to jump up on a stump and harp about the dangers of voting for either candidate. It is pretty much over now. Anyone who is still undecided at this point should be horsewhipped and have his or her registration card burned. They obviously don’t have the mental capacity to make an intelligent choice anyway if they just can’t figure out who to vote for at this point in the game.

Here is an interesting article in the local paper about the voting situation here. People are just freakin clueless: Source

“I’ll vote for Bush because I hear my parents talk about him”. Great, let your parents think for you.

“I’ll vote for Kerry because I don’t ‘like’ Bush”. That’s a great political stance to have. She must have some pretty deep political precepts to come up with that observational analysis.

“I don’t vote because it doesn’t matter”. What an assclown. Tell that to the people who win their states by less than 400 votes.

I believe there is another thing that keeps people from voting here and that is the time difference we have from the West Coast. A few days ago we shifted 2 hours behind CA. That is 5 hours behind the East Coast now and when news stations start reporting premature victories I think that influences the people here to not go out and vote thinking the other guy already won. People here look for an excuse not to get off their asses anyway so this is a great reason for them to stay put.

Something else that kind of bothered me was that I read the instructions and criteria for voting here in Hawaii and they were written in English, Japanese, and Tagalog. Now if someone can’t even read English names to vote on then why are he or she even voting in the first place? It really makes me wonder how much they know about the candidates.

“I tink Kewwy look stupid. Too much Botox. I vote Bush”.

But then again, nothing says you have to know the official language of this great country to live, work, and vote here. I guess if I was living in Japan and didn’t know Japanese I would not expect anyone to dumb down their language skills so the stupid American who can’t even understand the candidates when they speak would be able to read the names on the ballot.

“Hmm, this guy has the last name of a motorcycle I used to ride. I’ll vote for him”

Oh well, there really isn’t much any of us can do now except wait and see who will be the next 4 year piƱata.

November 1, 2004

Tow me a line

So the Civil Disaster alarm is going off and I just got back from the bathroom. Kidney Stone update: still in there. I am getting really tired of urinating through a funnel with a screen on the bottom of it. This last trip was especially fun since my 18 month old decided to bring his half-eaten PB&J sandwich into the bathroom and sit on the rug in front of me. This is not really a picnic event but he was intent on staying. I wonder how warped he will be thinking that this is a normal way to relieve oneself.

A few nights ago the stone decided to wake me up because it was lonely down there in my ureter all by itself. The accompanying UTI was all I could take so I was pacing in the living room in a cold sweat when I heard a diesel engine running outside my lanai door.

It was 1:09 a.m. and a tow truck had a white car jacked up and the driver was putting the last minute touches on the hitch. This is impressive to me because it didn’t take him long to get this done since all cars must be out of the guest parking stalls by 1:00 a.m. Also, locals are not historically known for doing anything fast- walking, driving, filling out a DMV form, writing a check, etc.

Personally, I think tow truck companies are a crooked business. Minus the actual towing of disabled vehicles these companies prey on illegally parked cars. How dare they. Actually, what really pisses me off is the sneakiness and clandestine manner in which they hook up these vehicles but will willingly drop for a small “unhook fee” of $50. I’m sure that goes right into the beer fund of the truck driver. I digress.

The video at the end of this post pretty much shows how a towing goes for those of you who haven’t had the pleasure of arriving at where you last parked your car and found that it was no longer there. There were two drivers this particular night. Since all visitors who park their cars in guest parking must register at the security desk why were these cars towed?

1) They didn’t register their vehicle or apartment they were visiting; or
2) They were called by security but blew the phone call off
3) Security never made the phone call

Now, even if the visitor didn’t register the vehicle there is still a sign warning of the 1:00 a.m. deadline. The sign is in plain view at an appropriate height unlike some of these parking lots in cahoots with the towing companies. I remember seeing a Dateline special where a night club had its “No Parking” signs in the empty gravel lot next to the establishment- 13 feet above the lot written on a sign so small a person would have had a hard time reading if it was at eye level to begin with. The undercover camera showed some guys that were really talented. They must have worked the pits at a NASCAR race because they had those cars on the lift and out the lot in minutes.

I guess the reason I have such a boner with towing companies is because my truck was towed from a place with a dubious sign when I spent the night at my girlfriend’s apartment in Waikiki. Twenty feet away from where I was parked was a sign on a chain going across the “driveway” of which I was blocking. Could have fooled me, and they did. Apparently when the trash truck came to get the garbage my truck was blocking the way. My truck was towed to downtown Honolulu and after paying $135 I got it out of the lot. Adding insult to injury was the pink copy of a parking ticket. I took a photo of the “sign” and sent it to the judge as a contested ticket. He was gracious enough to drop the $45 charge but I still had to pay a $15 administration fee. I love Hawaii legislature.

On a related note, however, to this apartment complex I had my motorcycle towed from my stall. The new resident manager said he had been trying to contact me for months because he could find no record of my parking stall payment. He explained this to me after I barged into his office demanding to know why I had just paid $50 for tow truck guy at the bottom of the ramp leading into our parking garage. Imagine my surprise to drive around the corner and see a motorcycle on the forks of a tow truck. I thought, “Damn, poor asshole. That sucks.” Then I recognized the saddlebags and I let out a string of expletives that only a sailor could muster. To his credit the driver was very understanding about the whole thing and took good care of my bike as he strapped it on the forks. Apparently, from the story of the new resident manager, the old resident manager was sort of a crook. He took my money and never wrote it down and never gave me a receipt. I paid in cash so I was pretty much assed out the money. He made a habit out of doing this sort of thing with other residents too.

Anyway, there were two cars towed from the apartment complex. One car, however, was flagged down by the owner’s boyfriend as it rolled past the apartment complex. The owner was in tears and had to go back inside to get the rest of the money for the “unhook fee”. While the driver was waiting for the owner to return he was pointing to the car like he was explaining how he hooked it up. I don’t think the boyfriend gives a shit about the tow truck driver’s handiwork at this point. He just wants the car back so he can get back upstairs with his girlfriend. She came back about 5 minutes later and handed the boyfriend the money who in turn gave it to the driver who, without missing a beat, shoved it into his pants pocket. Cha-ching! Dinner and a movie.

The last few seconds of the clip show the guy trying to console his girlfriend as the tow truck drives off