Monthly Archive for June, 2009

Goodbye, One Hour of My Life…

I just spent one hour waiting for my prescriptions at Long’s.  I guess this is what we can expect after the CVS takeover.  The “refill-by-phone” interface is better now under CVS, but the system breaks down on the human side of the equation.  I still do find it a little difficult to believe that things got so unimaginably busy today that they didn’t have the opportunity to pull my two simple, common prescriptions before the 17:30 ETA that the phone machine quoted me.  There is a reason I call the prescription in – so I don’t have to waste an hour of my life sitting in an infecto-pandemic chair.  WTF?!


RWS Service

rws_teethrws_handleTwo weekends ago, I stripped out the handle on the front RWS thru-bolt on my DT-Swiss 240 front hub. Everything was tight enough for the ride, but I had to switch the good rear handle over to the front in order to remove the front wheel so the bike would fit in the FJ80. I emailed DT on Saturday night, they passed my message along to DT-USA, and by Monday morning Hawaii-time, I had a response! After confirmation as to which skewer it was, David over at DT-USA’s Colorado office put a new handle in the mail for me. It arrived on Thursday morning and I was good to go for the weekend ride! Now that’s great after-purchase service! Jeff has had extremely good results from DT-Swiss service-wise on previous occasions also. Not only do they make exceptionally good products, they back them up with great follow-up service.

Four out of four customer service monkeys

Milk is a Good Ride Substitute

The group fell apart on Thursday and the weather wasn’t conducive anyway, so there was no Tantalus ride.  The weather on Friday afternoon was questionable also, so I sat it out again.  After finding myself on the somewhat nostalgic J-pop section of the song rotation on the car MP3 player,  I used the bike down-time to go and rewatch my region-2 Anzai Hiroko Resolution and R DVD’s, and the Deeps Visual Diary DVD.  Mmm… milk!  Next week it’ll probably be all my MAX DVD’s.


Into Darkness

Wednesday was clear on the Windward side, so I went for an easy spin to get the cobwebs out of the head and the sluggishness out of the legs in preparation for Thursday’s Tantalus ride. Again, I kept it easy so as not to wreck anything prior to the “real” ride. I played around with the rebound settings on the fork and rear damper to dial in the handling a little more. As is almost mandatory, as soon as I started riding, the sun went into hiding behind thick clouds, shadowing where I was, but still shining brightly down the hill and out into the bay.

D = 12.91 km (8.02-miles), Vavr = 16.1 km/h (10.0-mph), Vmax = 37.3 km/h (23.2-mph), T = 48-minutes

Bone Collector

I got stuck in heavy traffic on Thursday, so by the time I got to the top of St. Louis, Root had called Ckucke to say that he was on the way. We waited for him to show, so we would have a complete crew for the full descent. We dropped Upper Dumps through the stunt garden, then climbed out to mainline. Someone had recently gone and chainsawed the perpendicular logs out of the escape route to make the ride up to the inner loop easier. Good job! Turning off onto Taco jumps and continuing across mainline to the rock drop, we switchbacked down to the rock waterfall to agave. Backtracking up to the second switchback sortie, we rode down behind the water tank then connected to the trail above the concrete road to the exit trail. While recovering at the concrete road, JT found a mongoose skull. We rode out to the street then decided to go over to UH for some urban riding. We happened to run into Fabio in the Marine Sciences building courtyard on the way to Kuykendall wall. Continue reading ‘Bone Collector’

Cadaverous Cavorting

The days running up to the weekend grew steadily more and more rainy. It rained hard on Thursday night through Friday morning, but the trades brought blue skies by midday. If this weather held, we would be good for a revisit to the Luana Perimeter trail, but Friday evening brought more heavy rains. In retrospect, conditions might have actually been okay, but on Saturday morning I called Chris and Root and we made the switch to the alternate venue. Ckucke was out camping; JT had a car show to attend; and Jeff, who amazingly expressed interest in riding a bike once again, bowed out at the last minute. Continue reading ‘Cadaverous Cavorting’

Beer Is Good – Hokkaido Beer Pirkawakka Stout

pirka_stout_frontpirka_stout_colorThis Stout from Hokkaido Beer Pirkawakka brewery in Chitose, South of Sapporo, is a thickly rich example of the variety. The aroma is mildly hoppy, and the flavor malty, with an almost chewy mouthfeel. Since Guinness is the base standard by which other stouts are often judged, let me compare the two. Being in a non-widgeted can, this stout is slightly carbonated so it can form a head, not unlike the Guinness Original Extra Stout. Similarly, there is the associated bitter, dryness from the carbonation, and less of the creaminess of the nitrogen enriched Guinness Draught. When poured, it forms a 15mm head, but beyond that, there is no “bubbling” from the light carbonation. The color is almost opaque dark chocolate. The chosen hops are more bitter than flowery, so like Guinness, the dark roasted malt flavor takes the forefront. The initial taste is smoky, with a malty middle with a bitter back-throat undertone, with a unbelievably smooth, sweeter malty finish. The taste is generally more bitter when cold, and more sweet as the temperature rises. Insofar as Japanese Stouts go, this is the best I’ve experienced, although this is a more uncommon variety amongst Japanese brewers. Compared to the most recent example that I tried, Kirin Stout, this one is significantly better. I would rank this one closer to the Irish Beamish, Guinness, or Murphy’s counterparts. This is a delicious, well-balanced stout. After this and the Pirkawakka Pilsner, I have become thoroughly impressed by Pirkawakka brewery! Continue reading ‘Beer Is Good – Hokkaido Beer Pirkawakka Stout’

Beer Is Good – Sierra Nevada 2009 Bigfoot Barleywine-Style Ale

bigfoot_frontbigfoot_colorBarleywines are strong ales with origins tracing back to 19th century England. They have generally higher alcohol contents than standard ales. The convoluted rules of the US BATFE require that barleywines sold in the USDM be labeled as “barleywine-style ales” since consumers would be confused by the word “wine” and think grapes were somehow involved. The color of this example is a dark honey amber. To go with this appearance, the aroma is slightly smoky with a hint of passionfruit. The flavor also reflects these attributes. The initial taste is on the sweet, fruity side from the hopping. There is a thick, smoky, molasses quality that fills the mouth in the middle, fading to a bitter finish. If you’ve ever experienced a Sam Adams Triple Bock, this has a similar flavor, but it is nowhere near as syrupy. Continue reading ‘Beer Is Good – Sierra Nevada 2009 Bigfoot Barleywine-Style Ale’


Dang it, home PC went kaput last night. Been flaky for a while, finally gave up. Tried getting into windows recovery, no goo. Boots far enough to ask if you want to run the recovery. Wonder if i can find a XP machine locally.



With the soon to come cell phone ban during driving, we’ve been talking about the other stupid things we’ve seen people doing while driving. I’ve seen someone reading a news paper, someone curling eyelashes, Risu witnessed someone eating a bowl of cereal. About a week ago I saw someone trimming his toenails! So what about all these people?