Monthly Archive for May, 2009


The AE86 Corolla has a cracked manifold (like almost every other stock one) and it was causing me to catch some buzz when I drove it around last Saturday. So I decided to attempt to weld the hunk of cast iron. I’d done it before for practice on a different cracked manifold, and it’ll be a good test of the new fancy electro helmet! First things first, I have to take it out. No problem, I figured, having done it number of times with the FX. Pulled out the trusty can of Kroil and gave all the nuts and bolts a good squirt. Fzzzt…. Ooops, there goes the last of the propelant. Oh yeah, RWD layout is different. Fortunately they all are pretty loose (although makes me wonder about others), except one nut on the backside of the manifold to downpipe junction. It’s a long stud so requires a deep socket, but is angled in such a way that the socket can’t fit on it. WTF? Toyota is usually pretty good about not designing things like this. And there is too much stuff all round to fit a open end in. Eventually undoing all the rest, wiggling things around, I barely fit a wrench in there, and again it’s loose so after much contorting get it out. Took much longer than expected, too late to grind and weld, oh well, guess I’ll have a beer. Prob gonna have to disconnect the steering shaft when I reinstall, what a PIA.

Share the road, with your bumper!

I like that, car with Share The Road with bicyclist and pedestrians bumper sticker making left at intersection with left on green arrow only, but light is red, pedestrian crossing street had to motion and hold out hand for car to stop. And then car continues on as soon as pedestrian is out of way. Oh, and I caught up with that car at the next red light.


Edible Briefs – Queen Bee Lounge Revisited

queen_bee_vealI was a little apprehensive revisiting this place so soon after the mummifying experience last time, but this is where the office was picking up food, so the die was cast.  I took a chance on the “Veal”, and was pleasantly surprised with two giant breaded ground veal patties, reminiscent of the ones that were available at the cafeterias in the UH system in the days before SoDexHo.  The rice was good (B), the macaroni salad was a little runny (C) but tasted fine (especially after dumping some El Yucateco Habanero hot sauce on it!), and the entree and gravy was good (B-).  The veal patties appear to be some pre-made third-party product that they deep fry.  Mine (and actually everyone else’s food like chicken katsu) was a little on the dark/overcooked side as appearances go, but the flavor was fine – it just looked burnt.  Maybe this is an oil issue.  I usually opt for brown rice and tossed salad on plate lunches, but I am not sure if these are offered at Queen Bee.  The veal was placed over some chopped cabbage, mostly to catch any remaining frying oil, but that was like vegetables… Continue reading ‘Edible Briefs – Queen Bee Lounge Revisited’

Heat Wave

Heavy, sudden, and random storm showers blanketed the island starting late Thursday morning. I kept an eye on the mountains and webcameras, but Tantalus remained clear into the afternoon, so the ride was on. JT called me as I was rolling out, saying he couldn’t make it, leaving Ckucke, Kevyn, Root, and I to suffer through the sweltering, windless climb. The cold start brought on the burn rather quickly, but with the fortification of Amino Vital, I was able to get more work out of my muscles, and got to the top in under 40-minutes. Having been without it on three hard rides, I could feel the difference. The Memorial Day weekend got my diurnal rhythms all thrown off by a day, so my body expected a rest day but got punishment instead. I don’t know what I did earlier in the week to cause it, but I had no strength in my arms, so when I did any standing climbs, I had difficulty keeping the bike in line. It didn’t help any that I had a salty, heavy lunch and a good case of water retention to drag me down. There wasn’t any active rain, but the pavement was wet after the bridge. After making “Aloha” with Trek-guy, Kenny, and Nancy at the top, we took the Roundtop Drive way down.  Other than them anda handful of other people, the mountain was deserted.  Wetness and burnt-out muscles kept the descent speeds down to whatever gravity could incite.

D = 16.35 km (10.16-miles), Vavr = 18.4 km/h (11.4-mph), Vmax = 64.6 km/h (40.0-mph), T = 53-minutes (39-minutes up, 14-minutes down)

Share the Road, with your bumper!

I like that, car with Share The Road with bicyclist and pedestrians bumper sticker making left at intersection with left on green arrow only, but light is red, pedestrian crossing street had to motion and hold out hand for car to stop. And then car continues on as soon as pedestrian is out of way. Oh, and I caught up with that car at the next red light.


Pain, Pennance, and Ritual Bloodletting in the Church of the Eternal Burn

The long Memorial Day weekend called for a ride, but many of the regular MTB crew were off-island or otherwise unavailable, leaving Ckucke, Root, and I to carry the torch and get some trail time. The weather forecast called for the chance of rain on Saturday, but good weather for Sunday and Monday. We decided on doing the Wailuna circuit on Sunday. The predicted rains didn’t come until after long after sunset, but early Sunday morning was perfectly clear. By ride time, some disconcertingly heavy clouds had closed in, but we were “go” unless the sky really opened up and all kinds of unpleasantness broke loose. The rain held off, but the heat and humidity were definitely turned way up the dial. The road climb felt more brutal than last week, and the dirt climb went far slower. I was not feeling on the game. I hadn’t downed excessive beers the night before, but I felt hungover, and my guts were unsettled. My legs weren’t sore, but the burn came on really fast and the power level was just not there. Root was feeling the heat. The trail conditions were outstanding: The rain had stiffened up what had been a loose surface the weekend before. Continue reading ‘Pain, Pennance, and Ritual Bloodletting in the Church of the Eternal Burn’

Do the Authentic Dew

md_throwbackMmm… Mata natsukashii aji desu! This time it’s the pure “Throwback” version of Mountain Dew, complete with retro can graphics. Like the Pepsi Throwback, this one uses real sugar instead of HFCS, so the flavor is deeper and richer. The citrus flavor is in the forefront once more! Again, to be clear, it isn’t sweeter with real sugar: The flavor is simply better. Ckucke called me from Sam’s Club to ask me about it, and got me a case while he was at it. It’ll be pretty hard to go back to the regular HFCS stuff after this twelve-pack is gone!

Price varies – in this case around $4 USD for the 12-pack

Highly recommended!

Four out of four grinning monkeys

Astronaut Chicharrones

Our Saturday night culinary (mis)adventure this week kicked off with this:p1010333

Pork rinds for the new age, microwave speed for hot crispy pork skin goodness right at your table! Just like microwave popcorn it comes with brown bag containing the trippy little pork rind nodules. Zap (decided not to say “nuke” in deference to current events in DPRK) in microwave for between 1:30 to 2:00. I was told to be very vigilant in watching bag and stopping it as soon as it stopped expanding. The rinds go from crispy yummyness to carbon lumps and annoying entire office building in a matter of seconds.

Verdict from all the boys? Two thumbs up all around! Sorry, no pics of the finished product, we ate it all that fast! Oh wait, found it. p1010337And if you look at the nutritional info, it doesn’t look all that bad. Just doing our part to support the pork industry from the misinformed masses panic over swine flu. Thursday Dave did pork adobo lunch, and then his pork trio dinner at Los Chaps, I had chili verde pork, and I just made Japanese style nibuta.

Anyway, 4 out of 4 swine snacking monkeys.

Other pics of the night’s meat fest.

Edible Briefs – Kikuya

Dropped by Kikuya in Kaneohe for dinner tonight. Hidden away in a light industrial area on Kahukipa Street, the parking here is limited day and night. We lucked out and got the space right in front. I got the #2 dinner specialsashimi, tempura, and salmon shioyaki. All meals come with miso-shiru and namazuke. Rice comes family-style serve yourself with chawan and an ohitsu, arriving along with a pot of genmai-cha and teacups . The miso and namazuke were both fine (C), and the sashimi was cut from good quality fish (B+). The salmon was large in plan area, but thin. It was seasoned fine, and of good quality origin (B). I’m still not exactly certain how it was cooked, since the surface looked more fried than grilled. The tempura was crispy and not oily at all (B). There were two long beans, a carrot and Japanese eggplant slice, and two shrimp. The shrimp were on the small size. The dipping sauce was a little on the sweet side for my tastes. There was a little scoop of potato salad (C-) and some salad greens with thousand island dressing (C+) to garnish the plate. Not bad. Probably the best Japanese food on the Windward side. Continue reading ‘Edible Briefs – Kikuya’

Edible Briefs – Queen Bee Lounge

queen_bee_loco_mocoWTF!? Tsukenjo’s was closed today. Did they take an extra day off to make Memorial Day weekend 4 days? Just across the street makai was Queen Bee Lounge. A bar at night, they serve plate lunches at midday. I got the Loco Moco for $6 USD. There was a pile of food in the heavy lunch. A full layer of rice lined the plate, and was topped with two hamburger patties, two nicely fried eggs, and lots of brown gravy. The traditional scoop of macaroni salad rounded out the plate. I was positive on the initial bite. The meat was actually spiced! The gravy had a good peppercorn note. Halfway through, my tongue started to hurt from the saltiness. I think this would be perfect for Fabio, but it was too salty for me and my low-sodium-diet-habituated-physiology. My coworker had the same experience with her breaded fried pork chops – tasty, but salty. I wish I could rate them better, since the ingredient quality was good and the preparation (other than the salt) was good. Continue reading ‘Edible Briefs – Queen Bee Lounge’