Entries Tagged as 'Shopping'

From One Tropical Paradise to Another

Water fountain

I know I’ve talked about this place elsewhere, but not here.  Tsk!  This little post has been sitting in draft form for quite some time.

We were having lunch at Zippy’s in the Koko Marina Shopping Center and the name of this cute little store caught our attention. Of course the big “SALE” sign in red lettering was helpful too!

When we were done eating we decided to be nosy and go check it out.  I’m glad we did because I have a passion for wood grain and there was a lot of it inside!

Entrance to Bali Pacific Trading

Brian Ikeda, the store’s owner, is seen here sharing information about the store, telling visitors about the products, and talking about the numerous buying trips taken to Indonesia to purchase all of the merchandise that this little store has to offer.

A view of the inside of the Bali Pacific Trading store in Hawaii Kai

There were some unusual items that, while somewhat familiar, had a different overall ambiance to them than what we’re used to.  There was an uncanny similarity to what one might associate with the Philippines.  But then there was a sense of made in Hawaii there too.  The best part was that all items are made in Indonesia, hence the name Bali Pacific Trading.

Bali Pacific Trading's surfer While just simple wood is a definite draw for me, the quality of the wood furnishings we found was very apparent and the different pieces of furniture were very attractive.

I thought this guy on the right was fun and Mr. Ikeda said that the kids love him too.  I’ve never seen a surfer quite like that one.  🙂

I got a kick out of it with the straw skirt and hair to match.  Like I said, you would think we would find something like that right here in Honolulu but I’ll be darned if this charming fellow wasn’t made in Indonesia as well!  What a crack up!  He looks a little ticked off — like he just missed his wave.

If you stop by the store on a Sunday, give my best to Brian and have fun checking out the textures of all of those home and garden products.  The prices are very reasonable and it’s safe to say that you will be pleasantly surprised.

Bali-Pacific Trading Co.
Koko Marina Shopping Center
Suite G-102A
Honolulu, Hawai’i
Phone: (808) 396-9959

A Shattering Experience

We all know how to find someone to help us repair things and we can figure out pretty easily how to get various materials — a piece of wood, a sheet of drywall, some sheet rock, a roll of screen, etc., etc.  But, where do you get a piece of glass that’s not for your car?

Mom’s tenants messed up her house pretty badly. One thing they did was remove the air conditioner and leave a gaping hole in the window, with no covering whatsoever. Okay, we’ll just cover that with a piece of glass.  That sounds good, don’t you think?  Good luck!

I know the size I need.  “No it’s not for my car. I just need a piece of glass. Do you have any?”

“No, we don’t do that.”

“Can you cut this to fit?”

“No, we don’t do that anymore, we got rid of that equipment.”

Auto glass? Yes. Shower doors? Yes. Jalousie windows? Sure. A piece of glass cut to the size I want? Hell no! “But it’s such a small thing; why won’t anybody help me?!? Aaargh!”

Pearl City Glass sign

Breathe. Pearl City Glass Shop to the rescue! Hooray!  A huge “Mahalo!” goes out to Ace Auto Glass on Ward Avenue for that recommendation!

The sound of breaking glass makes me cringe and the sight of broken glass is not much better — I hear danger and see pain. When I take bottles or cans to a recycling location I can’t stand the sound of the beer bottles being dropped off. I stand back and wait for that person to be done and for the sound to stop. Clearly, glass and I are not the best of friends.  I love to look at it but I don’t like to mess with it.  Glass belongs stationary or framed in some way. I also prefer keeping my blood on the inside of my veins. If there’s a way for me to cut myself, trust me, I will find it!

Glass cutting in action

The staff at Pearl City Glass Shop is very comfortable and skilled at working with this stuff. No matter the size or the reason, if you need glass and you need it cut to fit, Pearl City Glass Shop is there to help.  Oh, and if you think you’re stuck with whatever size mirror you are able to find in the department stores, think again — Pearl City Glass Shop can cut one any size you want!

Very small cut of glass

They’re located in one of those places that you pass all the time but never really see, or try not to.  You can find them at 659 Kamehameha Hwy in Pearl City, between the Sears Distribution Center and Leeward Community College.  If you still can’t find it, call them and they’ll tell you how to get there!

Something so small was so stressful.  Did I mention that Mom’s house is about 33 miles outside of town and gas prices hadn’t gone down yet?  “Ka-ching!”  One more huge “Mahalo!” goes out to Pearl City Glass Shop for saving the day and for solving an otherwise impossible problem.  Thanks you guys!

Pearl City Glass Shop, Inc.
659 Kamehameha Hwy
Pearl City, HI 96782

Phone: 808-456-4502

New Year Carnival of Aloha Reminder!

Decorated Christmas Tree

Okay, December just went way too fast!  It was like watching water go down the drain — the last part just goes, “sluuuurp,” and then it’s all gone!   

The deadline for the first 2009 Carnival of Aloha was actually today, BUT, I’ve extended it until Friday the 2nd.  🙂  I’m falling behind big time and, with the holiday season and all, I’m guessing that some of you guys are too!

Have a wonderful, safe and happy New Year celebration this evening and when you’re recovering from it all tomorrow, submit a post for the Carnival!  If you like, send in your favorite post of 2008 — just be sure to let me know that’s what you’re doing in the comments so I can make a note of it!

Mahalo to Richard Tajiri’s Christmas Hawaii for a picture-perfect tree that I almost didn’t want to decorate.  But, I did!  I’m hoping that I can be supportive of them at the start of the holiday season next year.

We Take So Much for Granted!

On Friday night we lost power.  We all lost power.  The entire island of Oahu was without power!  No lights, no air conditioners, no hot water, no traffic lights, no stores, no televisions — you get the picture.  Even the surviving radio stations fell off the air a couple of times.

Hawaiian Electric Company logo

Poor HECO (Hawaiian Electric Company), they were up and at it all night long.  There were a few strokes of lightening that seemed a little too close for comfort and we’re thinking may have actually hit some power lines.  That part, i.e. the cause, is still under investigation.  Apparently, our power system is set up to shut itself down to protect the system from frying when something goes wrong.  We all have to admit, it’s a lot better to be off line for a few hours than for a few days!  Ugh! 

Some places were back up and functioning in nine hours or less but it wasn’t until seventeen hours later that we had power back in our building.  There were still “pockets” of people without power. Two garbage bags of now-dangerous-to-eat groceries went out in the trash.  Thank goodness for Costco — at least we can replace our damaged goods relatively easily.  The financial part is not always so easy.   

Roughing it can be fun but it does get old rather quickly.  I had forgotten how a cold shower feels!  Brrrrr!  But, the house was kind of hot so it was okay.  Of course I then ended up outside in the rain right after that and the wind was nippy. 

After getting the call from home that our power was back on, I did see a HECO truck, one of many, driving around and my heart went out to them.  They looked so tired.  I waved and they waved back.  Albeit not a very safe job, it was probably still preferable to being one of the HECO operators taking phone calls from angry people still without power.

All of that being said, we had good company!  Our darling President-elect was with us for the party.  Relax, the Obama family was just fine.  They ended up with two generators and, I’ll wager, a lot of soggy reporters. 

I had to laugh at the CBS News’ coverage of  the paparazzi media —  Barack and the kids actually managed to run away from them!  Naughty, naughty. I shouldn’t laugh I suppose but I just can’t help it!  🙂  While CBS covered the Obamas, the Associated Press covered our power story quickly and summed it up quite nicely. 

We’re okay now, except HECO has to find and define the cause. But, let’s talk about natural energy, shall we?   Of course, we had very little sun and not very much wind either.  You can’t store Mother Nature can you?  Did I mention that we take so much for granted?

Do You Have the Time?

Do you need help keeping track of time? The Clock Collection has many different methods of keeping track of the hours in a day.

Gift Clocks

There’s a multitude of clocks for your table, bedside or desktop.

Wall ClocksNo room on your table tops? How about hanging one on the wall?

We all know that a person can never have too many clocks!

If the wall’s no good for your decor either, how about a classic grandfather clock?

There’s nothing like the Big Ben sound to sing you to sleep or to chime you out the door in the morning!

The Clock Collection

Mei Whei Wu has been specializing in these time-keeping antiques, and their repair, since 1981.

Clocks Sensitivity 101

Here Mei is seen explaining the difference between the time-keeping functions of the grandfather clock and the cuckoo clock. Their weights and timing are not as alike as you might think. They function somewhat differently but their inner workings are equally delicate.

Cabinet Repairs

The Clock Collection not only repairs the internal workings of the clocks but the cabinetry as well.

Clockwork Repairs

As you can see, several people rely on the handi-work of The Clock Collection to repair their darling time pieces.

Our cuckoo clock safely back home

So, do you have the time? I do!

Here’s our darling cuckoo back at home — safe and sound and running happily and efficiently again. It hangs on the wall happily tick-tocking after just a little bit of TLC from Mei and her staff.

Thanks, Mei!

The Clock Collection
762 Kapiolani Blvd
Honolulu, HI 96813
(808) 596-8127

Great Aloha Run Reminder and Runner’s Warning


GAR LogoIt’s getting closer! Sports, Health & Fitness Expo 2008 at the Neal S. Blaisdell Center Exhibition Hall. This is where you need to go to pick up your packets and participate in some of the things they’ve got going on there. Fun stuff! If you haven’t registered yet, this is your last chance!

The Great Aloha Run is on Monday, President’s Day! That’s this Monday! If you haven’t made up your mind yet, go to the Expo and see if it helps you decide! Come on — join the community and have some fun, get some sun and get some exhaustion exercise.

Seriously, it’s fun and very rewarding! I promise! Okay, so now where’s the warning?


While looking forward to this event I have been a little apprehensive. I was trying to figure out why my leg was having so much trouble “getting it together!” I’ve been thinking about a possible cause for a few weeks now but thought I was just crazy. Last night, I finally decided to look it up.

Well, I found one site having a discussion about my exact concern, another site talking about a clinical trial and then, ultimately, WebMD talking about the side effects of Albuterol — pain in the knees and week muscles. OMG! One of the sites I found even used the word dystrophies.

Some time back I attempted a half marathon and I mentioned in a post that my leg pretty much quit on me. Well, I inhaled a little more than usual before the start of that event, because I needed “all the help” I could get! Regular readers might remember the end of this story? I fell — same leg, same symptoms. Now I have a lump and a scar on my brow to show for it.

Trust me, I’m going to have a discussion about this with the asthma/respiratory doctor, soon! But, for now, runners and other sports enthusiasts who think this sounds familiar, be aware. Carry it in case of emergency, of course!!! But, if you don’t need it, why use it? Be careful and talk to your doctor, please?

I would label this a Honolulu Rant but I have nobody to really blame. It is, I think, something that has only come to light recently. I’m angry that this happened to me, excited about sharing the news because I know a lot of people use Albuterol and I’m relieved that it’s not my body falling apart or my old age that’s to blame!

Come join the community, have fun and stay safe!

What Do Virginia Slims and VistaPrint Have in Common?

I may be dating myself with this, or at least my longevity on the Internet, but, I remember the company, VistaPrint, from days gone by. They made business cards for free a very long time ago. Now that’s a marketing technique from the past. Well, it must have worked at some level because, man, you should see them now! They’re offering all kinds of things to put your logo or picture on… a lot more than business cards!

The thing that caught my eye and started my mind thinking was the custom postcards. I couldn’t help but think we could use our photos (the good ones of course) to make postcards unique to our blogs, our islands, our cultures, events, whatever, that are not available anywhere else. Then, we can use them for just about any purpose — for sending holiday wishes, reminders, notices, all kinds of things!

Vista Print has taken things a step further at this point — they will even take a mailing list that you provide, and mail the cards for you! This may not work very well for holiday greetings to family and friends, but it sure works for business marketing and fund raising organizations!

I’m trying to date them but I really don’t remember exactly when they appeared. They may have come on the scene about the same time that eBay did. Yeah, I remember that too. My desire for my own identity makes me lean towards products like this. I think the bloggers and online businesses that are offering, or have offered, their t-shirts for sale or as gifts. I think that is so cool! Yeah, they do that too. Anyway, to answer the title question and hopefully not date myself even more in the process, “they’ve come a long way baby!” Now if I can just design a logo or come up with the perfect picture…

Greek Marina at Koko Marina

We were in the mood for Greek food the other day so we decided to go to the place with the easiest access. The Greek Marina in Hawaii Kai is easy to find, easy to park, easy to get into and comfortably unpretentious.


I have a passion for moussaka and my mind focuses on it as soon as Greek food is the topic of conversation.  So, since I was focused there, that’s what was for lunch!

Moussaka is a dish of eggplant and hamburger that is to-die-for delicious. This one was not the best they’ve ever made but it was still good. It was… missing something but we couldn’t quite figure out what. Oh well. The salad as good as always but it can always have more feta cheese!

I do love those Kalamata olives! They are an acquired taste but they’re almost a necessary condiment when eating Mediterranean foods. I don’t know, they’re just a culinary must-have!

Cheese, or the lack thereof, is always the problem with spanakopita (spinach with feta cheese baked in dough), which is another thing that I should have ordered. I’ll just have to order some next time. There’s a good reason to go back!

The Kitchen

There’s a little window into the kitchen where the waiters and waitresses pick up the plates of food to be served to their patrons. I couldn’t resist that photo opportunity!

Grape Leaves

These are grape leaves that the chef has separated with slices of tomato and cucumber. I like grape leaves very much but I haven’t tried theirs yet. There’s reason number two to go back!


Hummus is also something I like but I’m not too worried about not having tried any. What I am irritated with myself about is my failure to try their baba ghanouj — a roasted eggplant dip that I absolutely love! There’s a restaurant in downtown Honolulu that makes some really awesome baba ghanouj and I really wanted to compare the Greek Marina’s to theirs. There’s reason number three to go back!

Since we’re talking about Greek food, I guess I should mention that they also have souvlaki. I have very little interest in souvlaki because it’s not exotic enough, or not definitively Greek enough, for me! What is it? Well, to me, it’s nothing more than your choice of meat (usually lamb or chicken) on a shish kabob. It is well marinated, but I always look for things that I cannot get elsewhere!


Now for dessert! Most people are familiar with baklava and this one looks like it was loaded with pistachios! I didn’t try it, but Mom, who is the biggest critic of bad baklava, says it was delicious.

Greek Isle Wall

This mural covers most of one of the walls in the restaurant. It is a very representative mural of the Greek Isle of Santorini. What a beautiful place — so fresh looking in its blue and white buildings and surrounded by the beautiful blue ocean! Picture perfect for sure.


The service was great and our waitress was very sweet and patient. The staff were all very good about humoring me with my picture taking.

Greek Marina
7192 Kalanianaole Hwy. E-126
Honolulu, Hawaii 96825
Phone: (808) 396-8441

You can find out more about Koko Marina here and, after you eat, you can walk around a bit and look at some of the other shops and businesses. Koko Marina calls itself, “The last stop on the way to Hanauma Bay.” I had to think about that statement for a bit and, you know, I think they’re right. I’ll talk about Hanauma Bay in the not-too-distant future, I promise! 🙂

Having a Bad Hair Life

Remember “Psssst!” — the hair-care product that you could use when your were pressed for time and your hair was an oily disaster? I don’t remember which company made it or what brand it was. It came in a purple, pink and white spray can, if my memory serves me correctly. Unfortunately, my memory would have to serve me correctly because they don’t sell it anymore and haven’t for a very long time!

I have looked and I have called around many times but, unless you want to use foot powder or baby powder in your hair, you’re stuck. I’m stuck. There have been so many times that I’ve wished I had a bottle of that stuff! It’s one of the downfalls of having straight hair. If I could just get my hands on some of that stuff, I would keep one at home, one at work, one in the car and a small one in my purse!

I did find this…

Spray Powder Shampoo - for Brunette Shades

Spray Powder Shampoo – for Brunette Shades

Salon Grafix Spray Powder Shampoo, with its color match formula, is perfect for cleansing and refreshing your hair between normal shampoos or when you are on the go.
• Easily brushes off
• Leaves hair revitalized
• No white powder
• No oil residue
• Clean and shiny hair

Of course they have them for black, blonde and silver shades too.

I got so excited when I saw this “shampoo!” Then I saw the list of stores that sell their products. It’s a long list of businesses! I scrolled down the page and look who was on the list: Longs Drugs, Safeway, K-Mart, Wal-Mart and Walgreens (you guys do remember we have one of those now too, right?). Five of our stores! We’ve got it made!

I’m calling. So far, I’m batting zero. The only product I’ve been able to find is the Salon Grafix hairspray. What I really want is this dry shampoo! “Well,” I thought, “I’ll just order it online.” No shipping to Alaska and Hawaii. For our readers outside the State of Hawaii, this is one of the costs of living in paradise. It happens a lot more often than you think. Just don’t ask me why.

Hey, I tried. The best part of their online ordering was that it went directly into PayPal! That was another benefit. But, no shipping. I know, you guys can order it and send me some! 🙂

In the mean time, I’ve printed out several copies of the page to take to the participating stores that I frequent to see if they can find a way to bring it in. I’ll keep you guys posted and let you know who steps up to the plate with their customer service! I’m an easy sell for three bottles right off the top!

After working all day and suddenly being told you’re going somewhere, wouldn’t it be nice to quickly look like you just got out of the shower and gotten done with the blow dryer? Or, better yet, to make people think you look that good all the time?!? I know I need all the help I can get! 🙂

Missing the Christmas Lights Already

LED lights in 7-11For those whose churches are on the Julian calendar (aka the old calendar), December 25th was actually celebrated on Monday, January 7th. It was nice to walk into the Moiliili 7-11 and still see little Christmas trees still on their counter.

The little trees were actually made out of LED lights. I have been admiring these lights for a long time. Unfortunately, the picture doesn’t even come close to how beautiful those little lights were sitting on the counter! I thanked them for still having them up. They think I’m crazy but, so what else is new?!? 🙂

Those lights are actually safer and more durable than the incandescent lights we’re used to. They also won’t break into sharp pieces of glass when your kitty decides to bite them. I’ve been most impressed by the other safety feature — they don’t get too hot. At least that way they won’t set dry trees on fire so easily!

In spite of the fact that they’re cooler to the touch, they’re still brighter than the kind we’re used to. Here’s a better example of what they really look like. The picture I took doesn’t show that brightness very well but do keep in mind that they were still beautiful, even in a fully lit 7-11 store! Those lights would be cool to line a walkway. Sometimes I wish I had a house just for reasons like this. I wouldn’t pound them with a hammer the way I saw someone doing on television — they’re not cheap — but I wouldn’t worry about driving over them in a driveway either!

Maybe the hallway at home would be an option… so we don’t step on something in the middle of the night. Of course if they’re that durable, it would hurt a lot to step on them in the middle of the night. I spoke too soon… we could get some of the rope light variety with “durable, flexible” plastic covering. I wonder how thick that plastic coating is. Of course if they’re lit, why would I step on them? I like the blue ones! They look so serene and restful. I would like to have that kind of color cast in the room and hallway overnight. They last longer and use less electricity too. I think they would pay for themselves in no time! Cool gift idea for anyone with a house — not only for the holidays but for added safety.