Archive for September 2006

Beware: Romano’s Macaroni Grill at Ala Moana (UPDATED)

Friday, September 29th, 2006

I love Italian food. It’s perfect fare for a carbo-loading marathoner. My friend Eric and I discovered Romano’s Macaroni Grill on a trip to Portland, Oregon in July 2004. The chain eventually opened a new location at Ala Moana Center in Honolulu, and I ate there last year with my mother and was very satisfied.

So imagine my surprise when I found out that Eric appeared to have gotten substandard spaghetti from the Honolulu location on his birthday. He is pissed. How pissed? This pissed. And reading about it is pissing me off too. Three delayed meals, he and a guest probably having suffered food poisoning, and totally inattentive service…totally unacceptable.

For my part, although I was not there when said party occurred, I stand by my friend and say that Romano’s Macaroni Grill will not get one more lira from me either until he gets a satisfactory outcome. And I encourage anyone here to boycott them also and strike a blow for better customer service.

Update 10/11/06: Eric got a letter from the president of the company that appears to have satisfied him. Seeing is believing, though. I’ll probably go on a field visit one day to see the results.

Primary Election 2006

Saturday, September 23rd, 2006

10:48 p.m. Ed Case will probably wait for another printout before calling it quits. Akaka is singing “Hawaiian Lullaby.” Personally, I’m glad he’s Senator, ’cause he wouldn’t make it as a singer in Waikiki. KITV pundit Daryl Huff is saying that areas still outstanding in the 2nd printout are probably strong traditional Democratic (read: Akaka) areas. He’s ready to call it.

10:39 p.m. Sen. Akaka arrives at his HQ. His remarks indicate that he’s not yet claiming victory. He credits Sen. Inouye and Honolulu Mayor Mufi Hannemann for their support and help.

10:37 p.m. Second printout is in. Akaka still in the lead, 55% to 45%. 2nd CD GOP: Bob Hogue still leads, 46.7% to 43.2%. Dems: Hirono still leads with 23%, but Hanabusa gets 18%. Iwase leads 49% to 17% over Aila.

10:13 p.m. KITV is reporting that the 2nd printout is being audited.

10:05 p.m. One more thing to note in the 2nd Congressional race: while Mazie Hirono leads statewide, Colleen Hanabusa is currently carrying Oahu. Can’t count anyone out yet.

9:51 p.m. Still waiting for the 2nd printout. KITV is saying that the election folks are making duplicates as they spoke. Keeping the media hungry, I guess. The 2nd printout will include 159 of the 353 precincts, mostly likely not including the west side of the Big Island, the Waianae Coast, and the North Shore (due to driving distance).

9:35 p.m. A few close races on the 1st printout while waiting for the second:

House 25 – D
BELATTI, Della Au 752 36.4%
STEELQUIST, John A. 725 35.1%
TURBEVILLE, Joy Matsuda 289 14.0%

House 44 – D
KAHIKINA, Michael P. 417 49.9%
REZENTES, Cynthia K.L. 355 42.5%

House 49 – R
ELISON, Minoo 158 39.2%
ZUTTERMEISTER, Kurt D.H. 148 36.7%

9:15 p.m. Another interesting race for the Windward seat on the Board of Education (my district):

PENEBACKER, John R. 34,945 51.0%
DeREGO, Kris 7,424 10.8%
VIERLING, Paul 4,651 6.8%

Says the Honolulu Advertiser in its rescission of its earlier endorsement of DeRego:

Kris DeRego, a Windward O’ahu candidate for the state Board of Education, last year admitted to his former boss that he had stolen money and wine from a liquor store where he briefly worked.

DeRego partly denied the theft allegations yesterday and said he had made a written admission last year to quickly resolve a dispute and avoid legal costs. He said he had also paid restitution and forfeited numerous bottles of expensive wines to the store.

“No theft has occurred, if for no other reason than because I paid full restitution for everything that was requested by the store,” DeRego said.

Kinda like saying one shouldn’t be charged for assault because he took his victim to the hospital.

At this point, if this trend continues, DeRego would still end up on the general ballot, unless Paul Vierling picks up some votes that would have gone to DeRego.

8:40 p.m. One notable race is House 28:

RHOADS, Karl (D) 801 58.0%
HARBIN, Bev (D) 215 15.6%
MIDDLETON, Carlton N. (D) 143 10.4%

Looks like Bev Harbin, who was the poster child for stick-to-itiveness or just plain stubborn muleheadedness, and who managed to alienate just about every politico in Hawaii and ended up being a politican without a party, is crashing and burning tonight. Note to Gov. Lingle: Next time, check to make sure your candidate hasn’t passed bad checks BEFORE you appoint her.

One to look at that may have future implications, and that we should watch closely, is the Republican U.S. Senate race:

COFFEE, Jerry 3,853 33.4%
BEATTY, Mark 1,913 16.6%
COLLINS, Chas. (Akacase) 921 8.0%
FRIEDHEIM, Jay 761 6.6%
TATAII, Steve 503 4.4%
PIRKOWSKI, Edward (Eddie) 478 4.1%

Lingle had been asking Republican voters to have a cup of Coffee (never mind that he withdrew to have heart surgery), and it looks like they listened. If Coffee keeps his lead, the GOP can then handpick their candidate to face Akaka. Maybe the loser in the U.S. House 2 GOP race may have a second chance. Stay tuned.

8:00 p.m. It looks like a long night. Bob Hogue is using his sports metaphors, still in the first quarter, and they “made a drive down the field and scored a TD.” They’re ahead, 3,000 to 2,500, but it’s still a close race with only absentee votes.

Daryl Huff on KITV says that Akaka has been winning every island including Oahu, which he says is crucial for a Case victory, as he won during the 2002 gubernatorial race. That he’s losing Oahu means that it would be difficult for Case. On the other hand, the GOP turnout is low, which means that there may be significant crossover. He doesn’t want to count Ed Case out. I think he’s right.

Printout #2 is expected about 9:30 p.m.

7:44 p.m. First printout is in. Akaka is ahead, 56% to 44%. Mazie Hirono leads the Dems in 2nd district Congress. Hogue leads GOP in 2nd district Congress. Iwase leads Dem primary for governor.

7:42 p.m. Some glitches, not all polls closed yet. Still waiting.

7:36 p.m. All polls are closed. Waiting for first printout.

7:03 p.m. Still waiting for the first printout. Right now on KHON Ed Case is addressing his campaign supporters, recognizing his supporters (first of whom was his wife Audrey), and taking credit for “giving the voters a real choice.” He called Akaka “a good, decent and honorable man,” and pledging his support should Akaka win. Is it just me, or does that sound like a concession speech, even before the first printout comes out?

Looking back, it’s been a rough campaign. The marquee campaign has turned especially nasty and divisive the last few days.

There are 13 polling places still open right now, so the printout should come out anytime now.

Five Years Later, Part 2: Blurring the Line Between Movies and Reality

Monday, September 11th, 2006

This excerpted entry was originally written on September 12, 2001. The kinesthetic side of me just had to get its hands around the whole thing, so what follows in this entry may seem kinda disturbing but was part of my dealing with the whole disaster. Apparently, though, I wasn’t alone.

Five Years Later, Part 1: Ashes, Ashes, All Fall Down

Monday, September 11th, 2006

The following is a reprint of a journal/blog entry I made in the late evening of September 11, 2001 in my old hand-edited journal. Five years later, I re-read this entry and some of the other entries I made in that timeframe and they brought back memories. In a later entry (when I get my thoughts together) I’ll comment more on this entry and others.