Colt Brennan, dead at 37

May 13, 2021

I was saddened to hear that Colt Brennan died of a drug overdose (Fentanyl) in California at the age of 37. So unbelievably young. People in Hawaii and the mainland are reeling from the shocking news. He had been at a rehabilitation facility for medical issues, but left for some reason. He was found unconscious in a hotel last week and died at a hospital in California last Monday, surrounded by his family.

Colt was a famous quarterback on the University of Hawaii Warrior Football Team. He led his team to victory in all 12 games during the 2007 football season. He also led the team to victory in the WAC Championship game. Because of this successful season, the team was invited to play in the Sugar Bowl in New Orleans in January 2008. Unfortunately, they lost to Georgia.

Colt placed third in the Heisman Trophy competition in December 2007.

Colt was drafted in the 6th round in the NFL draft by Washington, but was released two years later. He then joined the Oakland Raiders, but was released after one month.

In 2010, he was involved in a horrific car accident and suffered traumatic injuries to his brain and body. These injuries probably led to his downfall. He had substance abuse problems as well as legal troubles involving intoxication. He also had problems with walking and had to use a cane or wheelchair to get around.

It was because of Colt Brennan and June Jones (the UH football head coach) that I personally became interested in UH football. Normally, I am not interested in sports. But, because of Colt and Jones, I fell head over heels in love with UH football. Now that Colt is dead and Jones is no longer the coach, I have lost interest. Somehow, the charisma and the magic are missing, and because of that, I find the sport absolutely boring.

This is my photo of Colt Brennan, signing autographs for UH fans at Aloha Stadium prior to the Spring Scrimmage in 2007:

This is the WAC championship ring, won in 2007. I tried it on for fun at a meeting with the coach and other UH fans. Note how big the ring is compared to my wedding ring:

This is a framed photo of Colt, wearing the NFL Washington uniform. This photo hangs on the Wall of Fame in the Stan Sheriff Center Athletic Department at the University of Hawaii:

Aloha, Colt. Thanks for the memories!

Chart House: May 2021

May 11, 2021

David and I celebrated Mother’s Day at the Chart House, which is located opposite the Ala Wai Boat Harbor. Validated parking costs $5.00, and the lot is located next to the restaurant:

Photo of Chart House Waikiki - Honolulu, HI, United States

Here we are, seated at a table next to the window. The restaurant is open air:

There was a Mother’s Day Special, costing $69 per person for a four course meal. Plus tax and gratuity, of course. The food was excellent.

We started with complimentary dark bread and butter:

Lobster bisque, garnished with lobster, shrimp, and chives:

Caesar’s salad:

David ordered the Surf and Turf (Filet mignon and lobster tail):

I ordered the Chilean sea bass with crab leg:

For dessert, I had the Key lime pie:

David had the Chocolate lava cake with ice cream (not pictured).

All in all, we had a good time. The restaurant was packed with people. I assume that they were seated according to the law, with social distancing. But, it was hard to tell.

But, hey, David and I are vaccinated. We had to use our mask inside the restaurant until we were seated at our table.

Father’s Day is coming up in June.

Stay tuned.

Mother’s Day 2021

May 9, 2021

Maria, Julia and Rylan came by yesterday to present me with a pot of red anthuriums. Beautiful gift for Mother’s Day! Thank you so much, family.

I expect Lisa to call me from the mainland later in the day to wish me a Happy Mother’s Day, too.

Maria and her family have other plans today, so David and I will be having dinner at the Chart House next to the Ala Wai Boat Harbor. It will be lovely.

Expect photos of the dinner on Tuesday.


Giant Monstera

May 7, 2021

Our landscapers came by last week to clean up our yard. They did a great job.

One of the things they tackled was the giant monstera, which was overgrown with decaying leaves.

The giant monstera is really huge. It is larger than the usual potted monstera grown inside your home.

The monstera grows well in a tropical, humid environment like Hawaii.

There are 51 varieties.

This is what the leaf looks like compared to the human hand:

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This is how it looks in my backyard:

The root system looks like a snake, doesn’t it?

We kind of like it.

It’s an interesting plant. Very unusual. Not your usual ornamental plant.

We inherited it from the previous owner of this house.

I think we’ll keep this thing in our backyard for now.

After all, what else could we possibly grow there?

Another win for Julia

May 5, 2021

My 13 year old granddaughter, Julia, participated in the Hawaii State Cup soccer tournament on Maui last weekend. The field was located near Wailuku. Her team, the Rush, won the Cup.

There were four teams. The tournament was held over three days, one game per day. The championship game was held on the third day. We are just thrilled that the Rush got the trophy.

This is quite an achievement. All her hard work training with her father during the year paid off.

Julia has been playing soccer since she was only 4 years old. Her goal right now is to get on the high school soccer team next fall. She will be a freshman.

Congratulations, Julia! It’s another feather in your cap.

Way to go, Julia!!!

We are so proud of you.

Keep up the good work.

Dancing at the Palladium

May 3, 2021

Back in the 1990s, David and I joined the Hawaii Ballroom Dance Association. We took weekly classes at a public school cafeteria, learning the fox trot, rumba, salsa, cha cha, waltz, mambo, tango, and swing.

My favorite was the fox trot, mainly because I loved fox trot music. Oh, how I loved the fox trot!

The fox trot consists of 4 steps per measure: Slow Slow Quick Quick / Slow Slow Quick Quick.

Typical fox trot music consists of songs by the late Frank Sinatra: “Fly Me to the Moon,” “The Way You Look Tonight,” “I’ve Got the World on a String,” and “New York, New York.”

Once a month, we drove to the Palladium, located on the Ala Wai Golf Course. It was open to ballroom dancers from all over the island.

The Palladium measured 11,000 square feet, and the floor was made of eucalyptus. It was a gorgeous ballroom. Someone played CDs over an excellent sound system. The music filled the air as we danced the evening away.

We wore pretty dresses and high heels. The men wore a nice shirt, long pants, and leather shoes.

We had a blast!

After fifteen years of dancing, we stopped, because we had problems with our knees and feet. We were diagnosed with osteoarthritis.

So, we no longer dance. Alas!

Here we are, dancing the swing during the 1990s at a New Year’s Eve Ball at a hotel in Waikiki:

This is inside the Palladium, located on the Ala Wai Golf Course. Note the beautiful eucalyptus floor:

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This is the Ala Wai Golf Course in the background and the Ala Wai Canal in the foreground:

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At the present time, the Palladium is closed, and dance classes have been cancelled due to the pandemic.

Dancing is one of the few recreational activities you can do as a couple.

How I wish I were young and in better health, so that I could dance again!

Cordless stick vacuum cleaner

May 1, 2021

We were tired of using our two vacuum cleaners with cords that plug into electric sockets in the wall. What a hassle for light spot cleaning.

So, we bought a Koxx Bass cordless stick vacuum cleaner from Amazon for $134.99 minus $15.00 with the coupon, which amounted to $119.99 with Prime free shipping. What a bargain!

It is made in China, and so far, we are very pleased with it.

It is lightweight, has 3 speed modes, comes with LED headlights, and is battery powered. It uses 265 watts, charges for 4 hours, and runs for a good 30 minutes before it has to be recharged. We keep it plugged in when not in use.

Of course, we still use the upright and cannister cleaners for regular deep cleaning, but this cordless Koxx Bass stick vacuum cleaner is great for spot cleaning, especially in the porch, kitchen, and dining areas.

It also comes with two attachments for crevices, computer keyboards, and drapes. You can shorten the poles and use it as a hand vac. Great for the car.

Just wonderful! We recommend it highly.

My recipe in the newspaper

April 29, 2021

My recipe for orange-stuffed Cornish game hens was published in the local newspaper, Honolulu Star-Advertiser, in the Crave section yesterday.

It is quite an honor, as they don’t always publish your recipe. They test it first in their kitchen, submit the food to the editors, and then, when approved by the editors, they have a staff photographer take a picture of the food. Then, they publish their story about you and your recipe.

So, this is my recipe:

2 Cornish game hens, defrosted

1 teaspoon salt

1 unpeeled orange, cut into 8 wedges

2 tablespoons ranch dressing

Heat oven to 350F. Line a baking pan with foil.

Pat each hen dry with paper towels. Sprinkle salt inside and outside bird. Insert as many orange wedges as will fit in cavity. Place both hens in prepared pan, breast side up. Cook 1 hour and 15 minutes.

Place each hen on a plate; garnish with any remaining orange wedges. Drizzle hens with ranch dressing and serve hot, with salad greens. Serves 2.

This is how the story looked in the newspaper:

Hurrah for Gigi-Hawaii!!!

Lunch with Hollis and Ethel

April 27, 2021

Yesterday, we invited Hollis and Ethel over for lunch. Ethel is my father’s brother’s daughter, and Hollis is her husband. They are 92 years old and have been married for 68 years.

Ethel is a retired opera singer with a Bachelor’s degree in Music. Hollis has a BA in History and an MA in Divinity. He is a retired Episcopal minister.

They have three children, seven grandchildren, and several great grandchildren. Yes, they have a large extended family. Most of them reside on the mainland.

Hollis and Ethel also are world travelers. I believe they have visited more countries than I have.

I served stir-fried shrimp with zucchini and onions, brown rice, romaine lettuce salad with dressings on the side, and crescent rolls. Dessert consisted of Milano mint chocolate cookies. No alcohol, just water.

It was all very good and tasty. A light lunch, nothing heavy.

After our meal, we retired to the living room to relax.

We conversed for four hours, and when they were ready to leave, we felt that we all had gotten to know each other better.

It was a wonderful afternoon with family.

Oahu, Hawaii

April 25, 2021

I live on the island of Oahu in the middle of the Pacific Ocean. I was born and raised here. Oahu is the third largest of the Hawaiian island chain, and it is home to roughly 1 million people, about 2/3 of the population of the state of Hawaii. The capital is on Oahu’s southeast coast.

I have been to all of the main islands of Hawaii, including Maui, Molokai, Lanai, Kauai, the Big Island, and Oahu. I have never been to Niihau and Kahoolawe, neither of which is accessible to outsiders. There are good things to say about all of the islands, but I prefer to live on Oahu, because my family resides here, and there are more interesting cultural activities available here.

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The University of Hawaii at Manoa (where I graduated, BA Sociology 1968):

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The Blaisdell Concert Hall (where I attend the opera and symphony concerts):

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The Honolulu Museum of Art (excellent Asian exhibits among other items):

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Bishop Musueum (Hawaiian artifacts):

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The Polynesian Cultural Center (Villages of various islands of Polynesia. I especially enjoyed the Samoan village when I visited the center):

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The State Capitol:

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Iolani Palace (where Hawaiian royalty resided):

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Surfing lessons at Waikiki Beach ($94):

Valley of the Temples (Buddhist):

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Honolulu Zoo:

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Waikiki Aquarium:

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USS Arizona Memorial (where the sunken ships from the Pearl Harbor attack in 1941 are located):

Diamond Head Crater (Hiking):

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Ziplining at Kualoa Ranch:

The zip Line was a blast . 
Our crew from the truck driver to the three very qualified and friendly zip line operators were fantastic.
Be warned if you come hungry and go to the on-site restaurant the portions are huge,
Especially the pancakes!

Ala Moana Beach Park (great place to picnic and swim):

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Manoa Falls (I grew up in Manoa):

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Shark Cage Diving ($135):

One of the best experiences of my life. It was a very quick ride out to the cage and once we got there, the sharks came fairly quickly. You feel very safe inside the cage and the plexiglas lets you see so much. I'd definitely do it again the next time I'm in Hawaii.

Waimea Bay:

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There are so many other places to see and things to do on Oahu. It is for this reason that this island is called “The Gathering Place.” We all love to gather here and have a good time.