Entries Tagged as 'Business'

STRIKE! Perhaps this will send a message…

… if enough people participate.  You might be surprised at how many people/sites that will be participating.  Here is the scoop:

January 18th is going to be amazing. Sites are striking in all different ways, but they are united by this: do the biggest thing you possibly can, and drive contacts to Congress. Put this on your site or automate it by putting this JS into your header, which will start the blackout at 8AM EST and end at 8PM EST.

Websites: How to Strike

  1. Black out your website for 12 hours with this page’s HTML, or by putting this Javascript into your site’s theme. Tucows is doing this and so is BoingBoing.
  2. Other people have made tools to strike. Some other ways to strike:
  3. Don’t be silent that day. Tweet all day from your official company account (#SOPASTRIKE) and share news on sites like reddit. You will get much love in return from your users, and the bigger the action you do, the more love you will be feeling 🙂 – You can follow us on twitter for news as the strike gets closer. If you are really feeling shy, you can blackout your site logo / add STOP SOPA messages wherever you can.

Everyone: Prepare to Strike

  1. If you have a Twitter account, tweet about the #SOPASTRIKE and ask your followers to get ready. You can follow us on twitter for news as the strike gets closer. Go to Blackout SOPA to add ‘STOP SOPA’ to your Twitter image.
  2. Post this SOPA Strike page to your Facebook account by clicking here.
  3. Get ready for January 18th! Email and tweet at your friends, tell them to tell everyone about the strike. When the day comes, call Congress, tweet like crazy (#SOPASTRIKE), and help the strike appear everywhere!

On Jan 24th, Congress will vote to pass internet censorship in the Senate, even though the vast majority of Americans are opposed. We need to kill the bill – PIPA in the Senate and SOPA in the House – to protect our rights to free speech, privacy, and prosperity. We need internet companies to follow Reddit’s lead and stand up for the web, as we internet users are doing every day.

Um, that’s tomorrow gang.  So, if your favorite site is down, now you know why!  Follow the links and send your protests!  Tell Congress NOT to mess with OUR Internet!   

Is it open season on O’ahu’s bloggers?

It certainly seems to be open season on our health!  Oddly enough, separate and apart from each other, we have had unexpected health issues catch several of us by surprise.  I put off sharing mine to see where things were going to go but when I saw the other ladies having issues too, it seemed that now might be a good time.

In keeping with the theme of this blog, I will tell you a bit about my drama and then share my take on the wonderful local businesses that helped me get through the beginnings of what will be an ongoing battle.  A few regular readers may remember this horrible post about my bloody incident.  Yes, I tripped and fell but the reality is that my left foot wasn’t fast enough to recover and catch itself, and the rest of me before it was too late.

Apparently I have “Drop Foot” (or “Foot Drop” — I’ve seen it called both) that causes my foot to not snap back the way it is supposed to when I walk.  Hence I trip a lot.  Those five stitches from that bloody incident were the last straw.  I did a Google search to find out what runners do if they have drop foot.  Sure enough, I am not alone.

Allard USA lets you “Get Your Life Back!Several people spoke of an AFO (ankle foot orthosis) device called “Toe Off” made by Allard USA.  Exciting news!  I made a long distance call to their offices and they told me all about it.  They then told me they couldn’t sell it to me directly.  I would have to work through a company that works on orthotics and prosthetics since they do not sell these things retail. Irritating, yes, but they do that to be sure you get fitted correctly.

This little darling that helps you “Get Your Life Back” is actually manufactured in Sweden.  Hey, they have mountains to climb over there!  One of their flyers actually shows a gentleman wearing this while mountain climbing.  I can run with this, too!  Right?  Allard says yes you can.

Okay, so who do I know in Honolulu?   Where do I go?  Mom always depended heavily on CR Newton so that name was very familiar to me.  While they do have a reputation for being a bit pricey, they also know what they’re doing!

The side of a van makes the best advertisement!

The conversation went something like this:

“Yes, you can get one through us.  Do you have a prescription?”

“No.  Why, do I need one?”

“No but you’ll have to pay for it out of pocket otherwise.”

Long story short, my medical coverage has no DME (durable medical equipment) rider so I was on my own.  “Okay, how much?”  I braced myself for what I assumed would be a 3 or 4 hundred dollar quote.  It turned out to be about three times that amount.  Gulp!

I know what you’re thinking but, knowing that this was going to be my own out-of-pocket expense, CR Newton matched the lower price of a competitor.  “Really?”  Did I cry when I heard that?  You bet!

I got my Bluerocker Toe Off!

So, I got it!  Randy at CR Newton got the Toe Off over here, fitted it for me, and tweaked it for me about a week later.  He kept in contact with me and asked that I call him and report on any developments, problems, etc.  He asked that I keep him informed. 

Sending out a huge “Mahalo!” to CR Newton and Randy Pang for their assistance with this, er, development.

Now I wear it almost every day and I have gone running with it.  The Great Aloha Run is going to be very interesting this year.  Last year I could barely make it back to my car, the pain was so severe.  I have an appointment with a therapist who is in the know about these things over at Kaiser right after Christmas.

Not the prettiest fashion statement but who cares?I sort of need to teach myself how to walk correctly again.  Sigh.  My body was compensating too much and has taken on very bad, pain-inflicting habits.  

Okay, so this device is not the greatest fashion statement but when you need to walk without cracking your head open or causing other related leg injuries, it really doesn’t matter!  For this, vanity flies right out the window!

I decided to share this because two other local bloggers have run into even scarier health issues where vanity is the least of their worries.

Gigi over at Gigi-Hawaii says, Enough of this Sad Story! Gigi, like me, is dealing with a uncooperative nervous system.  We’re irritated, no doubt about that, but we are fighting arduously against this nonsense to maintain both our lifestyle as well as our quality of life, no matter what!

Kay, in her Musings, says it’s One of Those Days as she deals with the threat of one of my worse nightmares.  “At least let me keep the one beautiful body part that I have?!?”  There goes the vanity thing again, sorry.  The reality is, I don’t like those call backs to the doctor’s office and I don’t think Kay does either!

Gigi and Kay, I will keep both of you in my prayers and, no matter what, we will keep “talking” until our fingers stop working!  There’s hope on our highways too!

Keyboard where blogging happens.

We should check in on each other from time to time and see how we’re doing — hold cyber hands and hope that it all stops here!  

I know, Gigi, that we have residual left overs from these things but I want them to stop here and not get any worse, and maybe even get a little better!   Please?

We bloggers need to get out there and share our island’s fun and craziness, therefore, we need to be healthy and mobile!  NO MORE DRAMA!  Come on ladies, let’s get our lives back!

Butternut Squash and Curry Corn Chowder with Beans

Sounds gross, I know, but it is sooo good!  I know, now you’re looking at the picture below and thinking, “How on earth am I supposed to cut that thing?”  Costco has it all pre-cut and wrapped in plastic but then again, your squash will not be as fresh as it would be if you cut it yourself.

Butternut Squash — you can cook this thing!

Trust me; the Costco route was looking really good to me, until I saw this video on YouTube:

A vegetable peeler?  No way!  Way.  Amazing — it works quite nicely.  The spaghetti squash is much harder to cut than the butternut variety!  Besides, the perfect recipe for spaghetti squash has not hit me yet. These “winter” squash could not have come across my radar at a better time — advent lent starts a few days after Thanksgiving and this recipe is vegan!

What follow are the recipe, the instructions, and some helpful suggestions.  You may never buy corn chowder from anyone else again!


1 Tbsp olive oil
1 Tbsp vegetable oil
6 cups butternut squash (1 average size squash), peeled, seeded and chopped into one-inch cubes
1 large onion, chopped
1 small bag of fresh frozen corn (12 oz), defrosted
2 tsp curry powder
garlic salt and ground pepper
2 cans vegetable broth (14.5 oz)
1 1/2 cups coconut milk
1 can white beans (16 oz), drained


1.  Get out your 5 quart pot and heat the oil over medium heat.  You can substitute all vegetable oil if you are on a Lenten fast that restricts the intake of olive oil.  Add the squash and the onion.  Cook until the onion starts to soften (about 5 or 6 minutes) and add the corn and curry powder.

2.  Salt and pepper to taste.  I prefer Lawry’s garlic salt and cracked or large-grind pepper.  Be sure you do this now or you may end up putting just a little bit too much pepper.  You can always add more later.  If you think you smell sugar at this point, you are smelling the aroma of the cooking squash — butternut squash is apparently one of the sweeter squash.

3.  Add two cans of broth and simmer for about 25 or 30 minutes until squash is tender.  After about 20 minutes, add your can of white beans and continue cooking for the remaining five or ten minutes.

4.  Remove half of the soup from the pot and place in a blender and blend until creamy and not lumpy.  Please use caution and be careful when blending hot liquid like this.  Be sure the blender cover is on correctly and securely.  If you use the lowest setting on your blender, it will still blend!

5.  Once the soup is smooth, return it to the pot with the rest of the soup.  The beans may have melted but they have added body and bulk to the soup in the process.  If you have a passion for the feel of beans when you eat, you can start with dried white beans like Great Northern instead of the canned beans.  After recombining the soup, add the coconut milk and continue to heat but do not boil.

After the fun of dealing with these new ingredients and the peculiar preparation procedures, the photo below shows you what you get.  Yummy!

Butternut Squash and Curry Corn Chowder with Beans

This soup keeps well in the refrigerator so don’t worry if it makes you too full too fast.  It should.  You might want to try adding some whole wheat toast with margarine, instead of crackers, to eat along with your nice warm chowder.

As I mentioned above, you may never buy corn chowder again because you will know that yours is better.  There are few things that I make where I will only eat my own cooking.  While this is rare and a very small number, this recipe is trying really hard to add itself to that list!

In Honolulu you can find all of the ingredients you need for this recipe at Safeway Stores and Times Supermarkets.

Be Still My Heart! (I seriously need to get a life.)

With all of the businesses closing around town and in key places like Aloha Tower Marketplace (which we will talk more about a little later), it is always heart-warming to see a new one about to open.

I knew this little place on Bishop Street was under construction but I didn’t know what they would be opening.  My co-workers saw the signs before I did and one of them said, “Evelyn’s gonna be happy!”  Sure enough, they were very right!

A new business is under construction!

Just in case you have not been able to make out the logo on those signs in the window, let me see if I can help you with that… just a little bit.

This is where I say, “Be still my heart!”  What can I say?  You may think that I must be losing it but let me tell you, there were at least two other stunned people who were saying, “7-11?  Right on!”

A new 7-11 in Downtown Honolulu!This is an exciting event for me!  I can’t help it.  This is one of my business favorites!  If you could see my bank account statement, the list of charges would look something like this:

7 Eleven
Longs Drugs
Safeway Store
7 Eleven
Safeway Store
ATM Withdrawal
7 Eleven
Zippy’s Rest
Longs Drugs
Safeway Store
7 Eleven
Fresh Cafe

Well, something like that anyway.  You get the point.  If you work in Downtown Honolulu and did not know about this until now, then you should be excited too!

Finally! Downtown Honolulu has been needing a 7-11 Store for a very, very long time. Life is good!  I already know what I’m going to buy, just because I can!   Work life just got better!

Serving Hot Dogs with Aloha

While looking on Google Maps a few months ago, just to see what the King Kamehameha Statue looked like, I saw something I never expected to see.  I found the statue, yes, but there was something else in the picture that I thought would be fun to write about.  “Hey, that’s the little hotdog stand!”

Of course now I’m going to always think of them as Google-dogs.  The gang that serves those yummy hotdogs is always friendly and always smiling.  They are usually positioned just off to the side of the statue where the tour buses stop for visitors to see the King Kamehameha statue, Ali’iolani Hale, and/or Iolani Palace.

The hotdog vendors talking to visitors.

I think they should be marked as part of the tourist industry — they are, after all, there to greet the tour-bus passengers who are either curious or just plain hungry.  I just thought it was the coolest story to let them know that they’re “on the map!”

Tour bus pulled up just behind the hotdog stand.

“So you saw us on Google huh?”

“Yep!  Sure did!”

Kind of makes it sound like they’re a pretty permanent fixture there!  Well, yes and no.

There is the story about the meter maid.  You know the parking Gestapo — the ones who put those $25 tickets under your windshield?  Well that’s how much those tickets used to be.  Who KNOWS how much they are now!  I don’t plan on letting any meters expire to find out.  A quarter in one of those darn meters doesn’t even get you very many minutes anymore!  I’m just saying.

Anyway, one day I saw my little Google hotdog friends parked on the opposite side of the street.  Apparently they were told to move across the street and pay the meter.  What??? But, you’re on Google Maps, they can’t make you move!  What’s wrong with them?!?

The hot dog fixings ready to be added to your hot dog.

Okay, okay — I know that sounds a little silly but they were actually told to move across the street and pay the meter.  Sigh.

So, we just need to be sure we keep buying hotdogs so they can pay those dumb meters.

I mean, seriously, there are enough lunch wagons paying those meters and enough vehicles paying them when the lunch wagons are gone!  Even though I found it a little irritating, the hotdog people took it in stride and moved calmly and quietly across the street and paid the meter.  We all would have done that too, but probably not quite so quietly — I wouldn’t have been so quiet about it!

Small Honolulu Rant: “Then I’ll complain for you!” I said.  So this is my complaint!  So there!

Mom has a hot dog and a Pepsi!

You will be happy to know that it doesn’t hurt the flavor of the hotdogs to be on the other side of the street.  Thank goodness they serve sodas and nice cold water too!  Mom has always got to have her Pepsi — that’s a must!  I, on the other hand, always appreciate a nice, made-to-order, sloppy hotdog!

Mayo, mustard and onions make a great hotdog!

In spite of their Google claim-to-fame, they do move around so you may run into these Google dogs in the heart of Downtown Honolulu during First Fridays or in other places during other forms of Downtown festivities!  They are entrepreneurs who feed people — sounds good to me!  Besides, hot dogs are always better when served with a little Aloha!

Borders Books & Music: Still in Trouble!

I may be part of a shrinking minority but I have to admit it, Borders has always been and continues to be my favorite book store.  My mother and I spent hours in the Borders store at Ward Center almost every Sunday.  While their online presence has never measured up to that of bn.com (Barnes & Noble) or Amazon, except when Borders and Amazon were linked at the hip, that wonderful brick and mortar store was, for me anyway, all that!  It still is.

Borders book store at Ward Center

I had no idea just how bad things have gotten for them in recent months.  On Monday, January 17th, Borders laid off another 45 people and, according to MarketWatch.com, the Wall Street Journal shared the news that Borders “hired bankruptcy and restructuring lawyers while continuing in talks to secure a $500 million credit line.”

While I like the idea of them getting a credit line to get back on their feet, I’m a little worried about who will actually be willing or able to extend them that kind of credit.  More importantly, have they polished up their business model enough to qualify?

Signs telling of sales and discounts on books

We all like to see these great signs of sales and discounts to be had but not because the business is ready to collapse.  Yes, there has been talk of bankruptcy. The same friends that alerted me to the problem-plagued condition of the store spoke of customer service problems.  I know this is true because I have run into this myself.

In early 2007, although I thought it was longer ago than that, Borders severed its ties with Amazon.  At the time, analysts thought Amazon would lose a lot of money.  Some consumers saw it going the other way.  The consumers were right.  Amazon is as strong as ever, maybe stronger.  Borders was and still is in trouble.

In a completely unrelated conversation with Amazon’s Kindle-support staff on Tuesday morning, while responding positively to a “How Did We Do” survey Amazon sent me via email, I asked them to light a candle for Borders.  Seriously!  I did!  I told them that Borders is not as much their competition as they are their helper.

I know, you think I’m nuts but think about it — Borders helps us to be able to smell, touch, and feel those books we are going to download on to our Kindles, or whatever eReader floats your boat.  I don’t think Borders would really appreciate that comment but it’s true.

Mall entrance to Borders at Pearlridge Shopping Center

There are still books not available for Kindle download and there are still bibliophiles, self included, who are not willing to give up the ability to walk through those wonderful glass doors and enter that colorful room filled with the scent of new books!  See, the need and desire for a good bookstore is still there.

Bargain books at Borders, Pearlridge

We need to have access to a place where we can hang out in comfort, a place with good books to experience, and a place equipped with quality staff  that knows what it is they are selling!  This is not a 7-11 Store — the staff at Borders needs to have just a little more expertise and they need to have a more cater-to-the-customer mentality.

Perhaps the affiliation with Amazon is one that Borders could, and maybe should, examine once again.  Arrogance and professional jealousy on both sides will probably not let that happen.  I think it would be a good idea but experts like Mary Gotaas at IBISWorld think this was one of their mistakes.

I disagree that their connection with Amazon was a bad thing but I do agree that their development of a signature eReader was way, way too slow in coming!  Can they catch up with the Amazon’s Kindle and Barnes & Noble’s Nook?  Unless they can come up with some fantastic new development I think they will remain well behind in that arena.eReaders one sale at Borders

Of course they could figure out a way to sell books that are compatible with both of those lead eReaders and sell those on Borders.com, with competitive pricing!  That would be great for consumers, if Borders has not already alienated publishers so much that those publishers would never entertain any such newfangled notion.

They should, they could, perhaps they might, it would be a good idea if — I can go on all day.  In short, I’m hoping that Borders will be able to pull a rabbit out of a hat, or something, and get their book-seller feet back on the ground!  Come on you guys, you’re making me really nervous!

Getting a safety check is easy, right?

You’re not half as tired of reading about my car as I am of writing about it, or paying for it!  But, I have a few reasons for telling you this one so just bear with me.  I needed a safety check.  No problem, right?  Right blinker, left blinker, wipers, horn, etc.  They all work, “here’s you sticker.”   That’s how it usually goes, right?  Wrong!

It’s not that easy when the safety check is done correctly.  Apparently, what I just described is how some not-so-thorough businesses have managed to get themselves shut down — they have not been abiding by the rules.  I honestly didn’t know there was supposed to be more than blinkers and horns, etc.

See, I thought I would go to my Flagship friends because they have been so good to me.  It’s just a few dollars for a safety check but I want to support my favorite businesses when I can.  So, off we go to Waipio!

My too efficient friends are here at Waipio Flagship.

How was I supposed to know they are so damn efficient and anally accurate???  After two hours (they were busy) I was beginning to get mildly irritated.  Thoughts like, “Just gimme my sticker!” were running through my head.  Nope, not doing it.

They were looking under the hood, which I thought was strange, so I asked them, “What’s the problem?  You guys are making me nervous.”  Apparently my battery wasn’t tied down firmly because the tray it sits on was broken.  So? What does that have to do with anything?  I’m thinking: “What’s it to you?!?”  I did say, “You’re kidding, right?”  Then I got the scare tactic, albeit probably accurate.  Again with the accurate.

“You know those car fires on the freeway you hear about?”


“80% of the time those are probably because of the battery.”

He continued about sparks blah, blah, and unstable batteries, etc., etc.  Okay, okay, I get it.  “If I go get the tray will you guys put it on for me?”  Sure, they would do that.  Off I go to Checkers Auto Parts to get one.  When I asked for the tray the guy behind the counter grinned and asked, “Safety check time?”  Ahhh, this is not new.  New to me, but not new.

Back to Flagship with the tray and yet more waiting time.  Soon I was informed that the tray would not fit.  What?!?  The original tray has a funky shape so the generic tray wouldn’t fit.  Flagship gave me a temporary safety check — they were not going to let go of the sticker.  My car wasn’t “safe.”

Next step, call Toyota and ask if they have a battery tray for a 1992, blah, blah, blah.  “We don’t have any of those.”  A loud buzzer sounds in my head — WRONG ANSWER!  In typical Toyota fashion, this was a specialty item for a car that thinks it’s special.  She’s a brat!  What can I say?  Next move, call the junk yards.  After three junk yards I was out of luck and thoroughly disgusted.

This is an entire day gone — a day I will never get back!  A day wasted on a frickin’ safety check.  I just want to go home!  Stupid battery!  Flagship had to charge it for me at least two, maybe three, times because it kept going dead.

Wait, about that commercial — battery, battery, Battery Bill!  If they can’t fix it, nobody can!  They did.  That battery is not moving anymore.  At all!  This is why commercials with jingles are essential.  Okay, now I’ll go back on Saturday and get my permanent sticker.

Saturday morning comes and, “What do you mean you’re out of stickers?”  Apparently everybody else wanted their safety checks from them too.  What’s that?  Kapolei had no stickers or safety check person on deck.  “But our Wahiawa location has stickers.”  Wahiawa? I don’t know Wahiawa.  I’ll get lost.

I found it.  Apparently, it seemed, Waipio had already called them and given them the heads up.

The Wahiawa location of Flagship FastLube

You can’t say they are in the boonies.  They are in Wahiawa.  You can say that Wahiawa is in the boonies!  I have to admit that it was peaceful and very laid back there.

Another little building is the Customer Lounge!

This location was definitely big on customer comfort!  This customer lounge was air conditioned.

Inside the Wahiawa Flagship’s Customer Lounge

There were tall bar-stool-type chairs.

Coffee bar inside the Customer Lounge

There was coffee, a microwave, and a telephone — what else do you need?  I could get comfortable here! I didn’t need to get comfortable.  I got my sticker!

Check your battery trays, please!  Make sure those batteries are secure!  If you got your sticker and your battery is moving all over the place, you might want to think about changing establishments.  Be safe!

I will have NO MORE CAR PROBLEMS until next October! If I do, I just won’t tell you guys about it.  I’m not going to tell you that the front bumper of my car fell off.  Well, unless it leads to something interesting.

Kudos to Waipio Flagship FastLube for being fuss budgets about the Safety Check rules!  I can say that now — now that I’m done being irritated.  After all my annoyance it dawned on me that they may have saved my life.  Did I say that Flagship is a great place to take your car?  But, they’re still not on Facebook.

I made it to Wahiawa and got my sticker.  I was also able to get over and see something that I have been waiting to get to for quite some time.  But, that’s for another post.  A shorter one.  Coming Soon! 

Flagship FastLube

My poor car has had an ordeal or two recently but it always appreciates a nice oil change, complete with clean air filter and topped-off fluids!  Flagship FastLube in Waipio was a place that I stumbled on by accident (probably because I was hanging out at Mililani cemetery, or Costco which is right next door).

For only $39.95 they will change your oil, change your oil filter, top-off your other fluids (water, transmission fluid, brake fluid, etc.), check the air in your tires, check the belts and hoses, and the list goes on. They were so efficient, friendly and trustworthy, that I made sure to return a few months later for another go ’round!

Fortunately for us (me and my car) we were right on time so there was no sludge in the engine or anything like that. Flagship changed the oil while I waited over at Seattle’s Best coffee shop a door or two away and then we were off and “on the road again!”

Don’t even let me start talking about what I have experienced or the things I have seen happen to other car owners when dealing with oil changes done by other companies.  I was skittish when I went to Flagship for the first time because they were new and unknown to me.  Now, I wouldn’t go anywhere else.  I also wouldn’t recommend anyone else!

There are also some very quiet but helpful things that they do, too.  If they see something wrong, they’ll tell you.  The reminder sticker that they place in a quiet corner of your windshield never fades and you can still read it no matter how old it gets — the ink does not smear!  I can always tell exactly how many miles I have to go before it’s time to change the oil again.

Since I don’t use my car an awful lot, it was actually several months before it was time to return for another oil change.  By that time, other things had started to go wrong.  The battery cables were loose and required a shake now and then.  It is not good to have your car die on you at the most inopportune times.  A dead engine at a traffic light in Kalihi, at night, is BAD news when the light turns green and you have to jump out and shake the cables!

Flagship FastLube in Mililani (Waipio)

Flagship tightened those cables without even blinking.  I asked if they could, and they did.  While completely unrelated to an oil change, there were no questions, and there was no charge.  All done.  On the road again without having to pop the hood!

Life is good when you have things to do and you can rely on your car.  Then there comes a time when you’re pressed for time and end up in Kalaeloa with a nail in your tire!  Great!  I’m at least three miles away from anything or anyplace with an air hose or a service station.  My car and I take a risk and make it to Kapolei before the last remaining air runs out of our now almost-to-the-rim flat tire.  At least it wasn’t one of my two new tires.

Whew, we made it!  Service stations with air hoses!   Since there were no mechanics to fix anything, the only thing left to do was fill up the tire with air and fly to Waipahu in search of an open tire place, or something.  I’m trying to stay calm as I only have about 30 minutes to fix this flat and get to Mililani Town Center which was at least 15 or 20 minutes away.

Wait!  I see a place with people working on cars!  There were a lot of cars and the line was long.  I told the young woman behind the counter about my predicament.  I asked her if they fixed flats and she confirmed that for me.  Then I asked her how long it would take.  She went to check if they could help me with my time predicament.  Yep!  They took me right away.

Kapolei Flagship FastLube

Of course while I’m waiting I have to take pictures of this new and wonderful place that is helping me.  It was only then, that I noticed the word “Flagship.” Now I’m excited!

Kapolei Flagship FastLube fixing the flat!“Don’t you have a location in Mililani?  You know, by Costco?”

“In Waipio?  Yeah.”

“Really?  You guys are my company, you change my oil!  I didn’t know you had a place in Kapolei!  Maybe I’m in your computer!”

I think I was but now I don’t remember.  Irrelevant.  I paid about $20 and was on my way to Mililani in no time!  I even got there ahead of schedule!

The Flagship mantraThe little sign you see to the right was found at the Kapolei location of Flagship.  If that’s their mantra, I can certainly go with that!  Yep, it’s on their website too!  You will also find their other available locations listed there as well.

I was hoping to find them on Facebook but they’re not there, yet.  We have to work on this!  I told them that Lex Brodie’s is there so they should be too!

Thanks, Flagship, for keeping my old girl reliable! Please, Beanie (that’s the car), no more drama for a while?  Flagship has successfully added itself to my list of darling companies!

Business or Monkey Business?

I’ve figured out why I grumble so much — because people keep giving me reasons to bitch about stuff!  If you work in a business district, there are a lot of little shops around that carry some of the necessities of the working class.

What happens if something simple happens, like getting a run in your nylons?  You go get another pair — if you can find one!   There are a lot of little places to look.

Pacific Sundries convenience store at Davies Pacific Center

We shop at these places to find things we need or because we’re hungry and they sell little snacks.  If you have a headache, most of them carry little packets of our well-known drugs — Tylenol, Advil, Excedrin and a host of others.  They carry all kinds of things.  Pacific Sundries doesn’t carry nylons anymore.

Bishop Pantry at Pacific Guardian Center

Let’s go across the street.  More convenience, more drinks, and more food.  Some places, like Bishop Pantry, even make sushi for you while you wait!   See?  We’re well cared for because we can’t run home to fix stuff.   But, Bishop Pantry doesn’t sell nylons anymore.

So much for convenience!  I would think that, in a business district, this would be an automatic!  Nope.

No.  Come on now.  No way!  They may not have ladies nylons in a business district, aka pantyhose by Leggs or Hanes, but you better believe they’ve got four or five different kinds of condoms!  You have got to be frickin’ kidding me!  My co-workers thought this was pretty hilarious.  “They carry what sells!”

Checking the shelves and finding the unexpected

Now I’m irritated with these shops and with myself.  I ended up going to the one place I should have gone to in the first place.  A place that’s tried and true, and always dependable — Longs Drugs.  Yeah, they have prophylactics too but they also have pantyhose, dammit!  In addition, they have everything else you will find in a drug store, in a convenience store, and just about anywhere else you might need to go!

Well, ladies, here is my advice:  stick to what you know works!

Downtown Longs Drugs on Bishop and Fort Streets

I went where I should have gone from the beginning!  “Make Longs a part of you day!”  OMG!

Now, About That Tire!

When I told the story about my new cell phone and the horrendous road hazard in Mililani that trashed my tire, I ended the post saying,

What about the car?  What happened to the tire? That will be part four of this long story.  One thing just leads to another!

So, here is Part Four!  I really do need to wrap up this automotive drama some time!  The wonderful photo below shows the lovely hole made in my tire by that curb in the middle of the street.  I told my daughter-in-law that I was going to put her nails on the Internet.

Tire with a gaping hole in it!

Well, maybe it’s time for me to buy a new set of tires for my car anyway.  I was thinking it would be about $200 or so.  Apparently I was living in the dark ages!  I called around and had more people laugh at me than I care to mention.  I called five different places, at least.  They all said that I need to be thinking of at least twice that amount.  At least!

Finally I asked, “What if I only get two tires?”   Two places gave me the same price but there was still one problem.  Trust.  I was still having people issues at that point and not trusting anyone who says they will help me with my car.  Best advice?  Go with who and what you know!

Lex Brodie’s on Queen Street

Lex Brodie’s helped me once before when I was in a bad spot.  This time was no exception.   They made it affordable and they gave me, and my car, the attention that we needed!  They switched my tires around, keeping the best two to go with my two new ones, and they put my spare back where it goes and took care of the disposal of that lovely, destroyed tire.

Receipt for tires that got my car safely back on the road.

I dropped it off in the morning and picked it up after work.  Done.  “Okay,” you say, “they did what they were supposed to do.”  You might be thinking, “that’s their job,” or “it’s what they do!”  Blah, blah, blah.  Yeah, but they did it with their own brand of some much-needed TLC.

Pile of tires waiting for disposal.I looked at the pile of tires and wondered how many stories there were to tell about what happened to them and why.  The stories that tires could tell, oh my!

I did put in a phone call to the Department of Transportation (D.O.T.) but I never received a call back.  It’s over now.  I’m okay and so is my car.

Time passes and things happen.  I have even forgiven the D.O.T. because, in case you missed this on the news, when a woman was struck by her own vehicle when trying to stop the thieves from taking it in the parking lot of Barnes & Noble, D.O.T. was there.

I was a witness and it was an emotional experience to be sure — a lot of emotions.  There was fear, worry, shock, concern, sorrow, and of course, ANGER!  When you’re rattled that way, the Honolulu Police Department and the Department of Transportation bring the feeling of safety and help your nerves settle down.

The lady is better now.  Her car has been found but, as far as I know, they have not found the perpetrators yet.  Sigh.  I just went there to get a book!  I said to the other witnesses that it had, “better be the best book I’ve ever read!”

It was a good book, I bought it to link it up with Bloggers Unite and their highlighting of World Suicide Prevention Day.  I thought I was being clever.  I wrote about the book here.  “Thirteen Reasons Why” by Jay Asher.  Good and fast read.  Not “the best book I’ve ever read” but it was pretty darn good!  I hated the experience of witnessing that accident, but I’m glad I was there for that poor woman.  Mahalo to HPD and D.O.T. for being there and to Barnes & Noble for holding on to what may have been the only copy of that book left on the island.