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Archive Page: Winter 2003


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((Back To Current))

Unmentioned Highlights From Previous Quarter

Spent some time sharing with the new discussion group-- the ''Black Forums'' at ''Blacknet UK'' --on a semi-regular basis, but have been pulling back considerably, especially since the new work schedule. But the folks who frequent that site cause me to lose more faith in the so-called ''black community,'' for getting them all together like that in a ''common'' element has shown me that you don't have to be ''Whitey'' to be a racist paranoid bigot! To these folks, anything non-black is either the enemy or a potential enemy ... this includes all of us 'endlessly breeding' 'racially watered-down' 'impure' ''mixed races'' whose whole agenda is to ''create more of our kind'' by increasing ''our'' numbers, thereby threatening to breed out ''their kind'' or to lessen the numbers of members of those of ''racial purity,'' NEVER MIND THE FACT that there is NO SUCH THING as an all-inclusive ''mixed race'' race, as everyone of mixed backgrounds are NOT all products of the same racial ''mixtures'' and thereby do not consider ourselves part of some amalgamous ''whole'' or separate racial class. Alas, there's no teaching ignorance.

Also received my latest shipment of DVDs a few days ago -- two more from Japan I had always been somewhat curious about, and two additional ''horror'' titles from Thailand. After reading mostly negative reviews of nearly all of the discs in this shipment (the exception being Nakata [''Ring''] Hideo's ''Dark Water'' [''Honogurai Mizu no Soko Kara''], a film which actually left me feeling cheated by the ''gotta have saccharine closure'' ending) I'm left wondering, ''Just what the hell do 'Western Audiences' want? What don't they understand? Is it just mental laziness & impatience?'' Because, I swear, I just can't quite see any real validity to their critical assassinations.

December 1, 2003 (Monday)
23:45, Hawaii Standard Time.

This entry into the journal came VERY VERY VERY CLOSE to introducing a ''new addition'' to my ''family,'' Super Big Time!!! I came extremely close to riding back to the apartment this afternoon on a brand new MOTORCYCLE ... not so much because I ''wanted'' one, but because 'The Bitch' has had her day in court, and 'judgment' has been passed! That stress-inducing bitch of a money drain, 2001 Honda ''Reflex'' I adopted is SO F*ĘKING OUT OF HERE!!!!!

This morning, just past Midnight, she has fucked over me for the very last time with regards to this whole ''battery draining'' issue! This time she decided to play this crappy little game of hers not only in the Salt Lake district, where I had to push her heavy ass up that steep incline of Ala Napunani Street in the HEAVIEST DAMNED RAINSTORM OF THE YEAR... each step infuriating me while getting soaked to the bone.

Rather than pushing the cursed thing the full four miles back to the Downtown area, I pulled into the parking lot of our main office and asked for permission to leave her parked until later today to allow me a chance to get this battery recharged when the cycle shops open. Then I had to walk the rest of the way back to the apartment lugging all of the personal effects I had crammed into the spiteful bitch. Needless to say, I was not at all happy and smiling when I got back... and that sorry assed white haired security officer that watches our place is always so wrapped up in himself he couldn't even help out by simply opening the main door so I would not have to keep digging through all of this junk to get to my keys, but rather found it more important to sit on his ass singing ''Why Must I Be A Teenager In Love'' (I am so close to reporting his behavior).

I never even got any sleep prior to my heading out again. My original plan was to pedal down to ''Cycle Sports'' Iwilei to charge the battery and talk about trading in ''Cruella'' for a small Suzuki or some kind of scooter model, but I had totally forgotten that they stay closed on Mondays, so I ended up pedaling down Nimitz Highway again and had the battery charged at ''Cycle City'' Kawasaki/Harley. (Side Note: Upon arrival I discovered that the former mechanic at the Honda/Yamaha dealership in Waipahu, where I purchased this disaster and her predecessor, had transferred to this location. I had always wondered what had become of him.)

So since I was there, I gave them first option to try to sell me something. I was still looking at all of the different scooters-- large and small --that they had to offer (mostly Italian jobs), most of which actually ''looked'' quite nice, but I found them to be much too bulky and awkward. The high-pressure salesperson I was negotiating with (and when I say ''High-Pressure,'' I mean this guy was actually trying to hold my registration documents HOSTAGE to prevent me from heading down the road to find out what I could at [nobody's friend] ''South Seas Honda,'' et al) was trying to sell me on-- and almost persuading me --the Kawasaki ''Ninja 250,'' but that idea hit major snags when I called my insurance company to try to get a quote adjustment and they hit me with a number well over twice what I'm paying now.

When I finally managed to break free and venture down the road a bit, I received something of a shock -- it turns out that what I had originally given up for the two-wheeled disaster I'm riding now, the Honda ''Helix,'' which was supposedly ''discontinued'' the same year I took on the troubles I'm enduring now, is back in production ... AND for the same MSRP as the '99 and '01 models. And apparently there's plenty of them, for now they are out in at least six (6) different colors for '04. I got what information I could from them and had intended to head out to Waipahu as a return customer and find out how much better they'd be willing to go with me, but I was just so dogged tired that I was babbling like a little child who had never gotten any attention in his life, so I just headed straight back to this semi-''comfort zone'' of mine and just killed -- I was so tired that I had completely forgotten that I had intended to return to the Kawasaki dealership and (ahem) ''inform'' them of my discovery that the Helix is back in operation, since I had made it clear that if I could come across a used '01 model I'd probably jump on it without thinking about it too much.

What I had hoped would be a sort of mini celebration for having survived my first week of work at the new site turned instead into all of the physical, mental stresses mentioned above. And after all of that stress and ambivalence about severing the umbilical of this on-going abusive relationship, the ride back to the apartment all but convinced me that I would be doing the right thing by ditching this bitch.

December 6, 2003 (Saturday)
01:35, Hawaii Standard Time.

Well... the ''Evil Little Bitch'' has gone and done it to me AGAIN!!! Less than a week and a charged battery later, the same damned thing in the same damned place and the same damned way has me now on a mission from hell regarding this red lemon! The only thing that made it different this time around was that it did not rain nearly as severely on me as it did Monday, and this time I was spared walking all of the way back to the apartment as I asked for a ride back to town from one of the other employees who was returning home being that he was at the end of his own workshift. This morning onward is going to be so damned busy because of trying to rectify this bullshit that I am probably not going to be able to make it in to work later tonight.

* Update - (12:00):
Just came back a little while ago from taking the battery in to ''Cycle Sports'' Suzuki to get recharged again, and while there I took the opportunity to test ride that 650 ''Burgman'' ... very smooth ride (except for the clutch that won't immediately disengage when releasing the throttle), not terribly difficult to handle, yet not exactly the most comfortable operator seating though still outrageously better than most -- but by far it's most unwelcome characteristic: its PRICE ($8600 quoted to me, ''out-the-door,'' before any ''trade-ins'' which would probably only squeeze out maybe ...BIG maybe... $2300).

December 7, 2003 (Sunday)
02:15, Hawaii Standard Time.

I did not have time to include another update from yesterday, especially once I was reminded by several recorded messages on my telephone answering machine that I was close to two hours overdue for my work assignment, as I forgot that I go in earlier on the weekends ... and the B.S. this motorcycle of mine has been putting me through certainly did not help matters any.

Prior to having to make that mad dash to work I had pedaled out to our office parking lot with the newly charged battery, left the bicycle on site, as I did on Monday afternoon (forgetting to bring my lock again), and rode ''Miss Attitude'' to the Kawasaki dealership to give them a chance to look over the little red bitch and give me a chance to test ride the 250 ''Ninja'' the sales rep was trying to interest me in, but he related to me that his manager would not let the shop staff look over the ''Reflex'' nor allow me to test ride anything unless I was planning to be committed to purchasing something right then and there. Needless to say, this instantly scratched the ''Cycle City'' Kawasaki/Harley dealership off my wish list. After that dose of humiliation, I rode the motorized little monster back to the apartment where I dropped it off and covered it up for an indefinite period ... AFTER completely disconnecting the battery from any part of the electrical system. I then rode the other bicycle to work, riding both of them back to the apartment side-by-side as I had also done Monday evening.

December 8, 2003 (Monday)
01:40, Hawaii Standard Time.

From about the time I arrived to work to just about an hour prior to the end of my workshift we got hit with a major-sized storm with some thunderstorm activity. I figured the intersection at Ahua & Kilihau Streets would be flooded, but I had absolutely idea HOW flooded! -- several cars parked along the roadside were literally half-covered with water. I called our company office after returning from work to inquire about it, since they're a block further down mauka on the corner of Awa'awaloa Street, and they said they were flooded -- which is going to ''eff'' things up for me, since my plan was to go in later this morning to pick up my latest paycheck as well as discuss new options with my motorcycle insurance company which stays on Pa'a Street.

* Update - (21:20):
Bicycled out to the Salt Lake business district off Nimitz Highway just before noon to pick-up my paycheck (which now shows a significant cut in pay, all thanks to my inability and refusal to kiss ass where not deemed appropriate) and to discuss my possible insurance readjustment rates as pre-planned. Evidence from riding through the area showed that almost the entire area had been flooded over. The folks at the office said that the office was not only flooded, but the parking area was waist deep in water. It appeared that pretty much everything East of Mapunapuna Street and North of Kilihau Street had been submerged to some greater degree. Businesses were still trying to sweep up all of the muddy mess.

The initial insurance quotes for the ''Ninja 250'' were pretty much correct, but my huge disappointment was that the rates for the ''Burgman'' were no better -- they wanted close to $700 to cover the Suzuki. Distraught with these bits of information, I headed back to the apartment to hook the battery back up to the ''Reflex'' and headed out to Waipahu intent on working out a deal with the '04 ''Helix.'' I was heart-crushed because, due in no small part to my treatment by the Kawasaki dealership, I had pretty much made up my mind to take the ''giant leap of faith,'' as it were, and put myself in debt for at least a year and a half to two years by trying to work out a deal with the Suzuki dealership for the ''Burger King,'' until I got hit with that insurance quote.

The only Helix model both dealerships had on hand were in a bright yellow, and I decided I did not want to wait until February to receive a 'special order' white edition. Waipahu credited me a $2600 trade-in and negotiated a balance of just under $3200 -- at least $500 better than what ''South Seas'' was ready to offer me, but which still puts me in debt to my credit card issuer (...but at a fixed 2% promotional APR, which shouldn't hurt TOO badly).

To tell you the truth, I'm already missing the Reflex something fierce! I never realized until now just how much I really did relate to that bike. Of course, I never wanted to rid myself of it in the first place, but since she kept giving me nothing but attitude for nearly the entire time that I'd owned it, it was well past due time for me to ''Ditch That Bitch!''

I suspect the wheels are out of alignment, but I'm hoping that this was only due to the wind and my trying to readjust to the feel of it. I really miss the engine power of the Reflex, as well as the back rest. The low seating really does not bother so much anymore.

December 21, 2003 (Sunday)
((Previous Week In Review))

Picked up my personalized licence plate Friday  (Dec. 19)  before going in to work. Already I've managed to put close to 200 miles on that damned motorcycle, and I haven't even gone anywhere hardly ... and now the owner's manual has readjusted the ''oil change'' frequency from every 2000 miles to every  1,200???? On top of all of my OTHER expenses?

Caught Coscarelli's ''Bubba Ho-Tep'' yesterday  (Dec. 20)  before going in to work. It was indeed ...  different  (and surprisingly quite enjoyable, I might add).

December 22, 2003 (Monday)
10:35, Hawaii Standard Time.

Just got off the phone with a local claims representative from my insurance company about an hour ago, regarding the damage sustained to my motorcycle yesterday evening. Yep... already!

A somewhat regular visitor at my worksite decided to back her 2003  ''Mini Cooper''  into the parking space my bright yellow motorscooter was already occupying. (Of course, my big question is: How do you  ''back into''  a parking space and ''not see'' another vehicle occupying the space you intend to park into yourself when you of necessity initially have to pass over said parking space, which permits you to see ahead of time that another vehicle is taking up the space?) Anyway, she backed into my motorcycle, knocking it over to the ground, putting some relatively minor but still unsightly scratch marks on the fairing, skirting and trunk portions, with a few other barely noticeable minor scratches to the mirror and braking lever. Such damage is far from ''minor,'' however, when: (1) The motorcycle was just one day shy of being TWO WEEKS OLD and was, up to this point, in pristine condition; (2) I had not even had a chance to pay off the balance of my insurance premium adjustment for transferring the policy over from the previous motorcycle before this damage occurred; (3) I had planned on taking it over to the Suzuki dealership tomorrow in it's original near-flawless condition in hopes of negotiating a trade-in with the  ''Burgman 650'' ... regardless of the expense; (4... and most importantly) I was not responsible for putting the damage there myself.

Even though the young lady was cooperative and forthcoming about the incident (which was very fortunate, since I was not there at the time to witness the event as it occurred), she  was  trying her best to convince me to postpone reporting the incident or, from what I was perceiving, to simply overlook the entire infraction altogether based upon the ''relatively minor'' visible damage forementioned. But because of the four points I've just enumerated, not to mention that there could also be some underlying ''unseen'' damage which might have also taken place, I could not simply turn a blind eye or let any time go by before reporting the incident from the site of the occurrence while both parties were there on the scene and able to observe the damage & exchange information. Part of her attempt to dissuade me from filing an immediate report (or any report) to our insurance company, apart from what I felt was her trying to utilize the ''cuteness factor'' to her advantage, was to mention that her vehicle cost her $25,000 -- which means what, exactly, I haven't a dog-damned clue, but it was not going over too well with me to claim that I could or should somehow be able to absorb the loss & damages when she's the one who hit MY $#!t and the only ''damage'' sustained by her vehicle which struck mine was a little scuff mark on her bumper which she simply wiped off with her thumb.

Even through all of this, though, nothing about the incident really bothered me until after she shared her information with the claims reporter (we were both covered by the same insurance provider, so we were able to report the incident with a single cell phone call). After she had hung up, she made the following accusatory ''parting remark'': ''Thanks to you, my premiums are going up.'' (...well,  excuse me, dear, for crashing into your moving automobile with my parked motorcycle... why the hell didn't I watch where you were going?)

December 24, 2003 (Wednesday)
02:00, Hawaii Standard Time.

Got a  relatively  early start yesterday morning to try catching up on & taking care of all of the incidentals I was originally supposed to have taken care of Monday. Even so, I still managed to get a late enough start that several items once again got pushed aside.

My major worry, of course-- being the insurance field rep's inspection and the originally planned subsequent negotiation with the folks at ''Cycle Sports Iwilei'' regarding a ''trade-in'' for my now  slightly  damaged 2004  ''Helix'' --resulted in my riding home later that evening with a dark metallic blue  ''Burgman'' ... with one minor twist: The  ''Burgman 650'' they had on display at the time of my shopping around had since been sold, but unbeknownst to me (and probably to them, too) was that they would also be receiving a new shipment of Burgmans somewhere within that same short time period, so when I went in today they told me that they had since gotten another  ''650''  which was still ''in the box,'' while on the showroom floor were two  ''400'' versions of the ''same'' model.

Although I liked that the blue color used on one of the cycles gave it the appearance of an almost solid black, which I would have loved, the silver version seemed to stand out more -- the assault of the ''two tone'' effect of the silver outer body work and the black ''riding'' area. But it wasn't until I had actually gotten the blue one outside for a test ride (since it was the only one of the two which had actually been set up to be operational at that time) and out of the showroom's fluorescent lighting into God's natural lighting that the color actually began making an impact on me, until I gradually changed my mind and decided against the silver version in favor of the blue model.

Unlike the ''650,'' the ''400'' uses analog speed/tach & gauges instead of the LCD digital displays -- but actually that's quite okay, and though it was nice to ride around with such a display for a short time again on the replacement ''Helix,'' such a frilly item really shall not be sorely missed... ESPECIALLY since the ''Burgman's'' analog displays do not suffer from any of the same deficiencies I have complained about on the ''Reflex'' (see the ''Helix vs. Reflex'' Special Page) I'm not all that nuts about the headlamp design on the ''400'' as compared to the ''650,'' but they are more than adequate, outperforming those on both the ''Helix'' and the ''Reflex.'' The ''bar mounted'' mirrors on the ''400'' are such that it doesn't matter much to me that they are not ''faring mounted'' as they are on the ''650'' and the ''Helix.'' But gone also are the plethora of gimmicky and needless gadgets of the ''400's'' big sister ... it's just a ''hop on it and go'' motorbike, no excess & potentially costly repair prone junkage. I must honestly admit, however, that I do not really like that passenger ''back rest'' on the ''400,'' which I think would actually look a lot better on the larger model -- maybe I can find a way to remove it.

Performance, of course, is another story. It seems to me that the ''400'' has a considerably harder time ''weaving'' and such maneuvers, but overall the ride is almost comparable to the ''650,'' and in some cases I'd say even better -- even in light of the fact that it houses only a single cylinder engine to the larger version's twin-cylinders. I love the way it handles on corners. Everything's nice and smooth, especially in the ''off-throttle'' cruising department -- gone in the ''400'' is that annoying & unnerving ''engine braking'' feature of the ''650.'' As the ''Reflex'' kicks the ass of the ''Helix'' performance-wise, so, too, does the ''Whopper Jr.'' put the ''Reflex'' to head-hanging shame. (''Whopper Jr.'' is sort of my own little play-on-words for the ''400'' model, which is based upon the fact that the 650 Burgman is affectionately referred to by its adherents and adoring fans as the ''Burger King.'')

My biggest complaint about anything related to the 400 Burgman's appearance and/or performance is the  completely  inaudible directional indicators, as compared to ''Reflex's''  barely  audible operation. I was to learn later in the night, however, after having cleaned her up real nice and taken her out & about town for a bit of a ''break in'' joyride, that due to the way the dash displays are configured this really does not pose much of a problem for ''nighttime'' riding ... it's during the ''daylight'' hours where I am going to have to pay the closest attention to their operation by making sure I'm switching them off when I should.

(Despite my overall satisfaction with this purchase... thus far, at least ...it's still that much more money being shelled out, and that much more of a hassle transferring titles, tags, insurance policies, etc., to where, in the end, I could have done much better just purchasing the thing outright from the very beginning... but, as revealed earlier relating to all of this headache, I was in what was pretty much an ''emergency'' situation and I did not really have these options available to me at the time before I decided to ride home on the ''Bumblebee'' Helix.)

So now, for about the last couple of hours, after my little joyride, I've been trying to get things reorganized in this apartment -- especially all of my various documentations that are in need of resorting and/or restructuring, which all instantly went completely to hell as a result of the infuriating antics of that ''red lemon'' I had to cut off from around my neck. (Speaking of the 'Bitch in the Ditch,' the Waipahu dealership already managed to sell it off onto somebody. I regret that someone else has had to inherit my misery, but perhaps now, once he begins experiencing his own problems with the soul-draining electrical system and has to start bringing it in himself in an attempt to determine the cause(s) as I did, hopefully the repair shops would finally realize that there has always been a problem with that particular machine, as I have been saying since I can't remember when.)

December 26, 2004 (Thursday)
01:25, Hawaii Standard Time.

Rode both bicycles to work last night, taking advantage of the reasonably calm & sparse holiday traffic, so that there could be a bicycle on location whenever I worked on my assigned days, regardless of whether or not the company supplied bicycle is stationed at the work site or not.

But often, whenever I make considerable preparations for later conveniences like that I usually get hit with some ''surprise'' which chastises me for making yet another embarrassing assumption. I knew it was probably unlikely that the company issued work bicycle would be on site yet, so that would not have been it. But sure enough, it popped its sinister little head up right as my work shift was ending in the form of a busy-body old lady with an ugly little rat of a black dog trying to fuck with my mind ... you know the types, the ones who are always on some sort of a mission to exert whatever control or influence over whomever they can because they're old and alone and have nothing better to do than to make someone else's existence miserable. I'm thinking that her needling, nagging, grilling and threatening are going to be just the drip that causes the tub of my patience to overflow, so I'm about set to request a transfer to a different site before any of those crusty old piss pots wind up doing it for me. I say it's better to beat them to the punch and deny them their gloating.

December 28, 2003 (Sunday)
03:15, Hawaii Standard Time.

Once again, my weird work schedule being what it is, I went into work two hours late last night (because on the weekends I am supposed to go in two hours  earlier  than normal schedule), so in order to make up a little of the time lost (and do a little penance) I agreed to cover four hours (22:00-02:00) at another Hawaii Kai site, way up on Lunalilo Home Road, since the regularly scheduled guy for that location would not be coming in to work due to a gamily emergency. As it would turn out, the town homes I was being asked to go to were the very ones where the former resident manager of the condominiums at my previous Hawaii Kai site had accepted employment from. It was nice in another way, too, since I was hoping to find out where he was eventually and ask if he could be used as an employment reference.

The work night, however, was a different story altogether. It downpoured like something nasty almost the entire time I was there, which had its ''good'' point in the fact that I really did not have to be responsible for too terribly much as a result.

December 31, 2003 (Wednesday)
16:45, Hawaii Standard Time.

Have been suffering since Monday morning from what was (is) probably some mildish form of influenza: I had to endure two days of mild but constant headache, body chills, muscle cramps and a lethargic hazy mental state. I still have some muscle strain in my eyes and the lymph nodes in my groin are swollen along with a huge itchy swelling on the underside of the penis shaft just behind the glans. Though I still do not quite feel up to it, at least I am not incapacitated to the point of not being able to go into work tonight.

January 1, 2004 (Thursday)
16:45, Hawaii Standard Time.

Well... a couple of hours before leaving work at the end of my shift this morning I've come to realize what is going on in my genital areas -- it's an outbreak of that blatantly quiet but always stealthily lurking Herpes virus I received as a gift about a decade and a half ago from the woman I eventually married even after the fact. The swollen lymph nodes  should  have been the clue, but because of whatever it was my body was fighting off I simply assumed that they were both somehow related to the same thing. It wasn't until I noticed the scabbed over sore right at the opening of my urethra that I finally made the connection. Having not had an outbreak literally in  years,  the monster decided to remind me that I have not achieved any sort of a miraculous immunity to the thing, and I think it used whatever sickness I was fighting these past few days-- as well as taking advantage of this really miserable weather we've been experiencing almost continuously these last few weeks --as a convenient ''trigger'' to come back and haunt me.

The ride back home just past midnight this morning was a most unique experience (the understatement of the year) -- the air from about the Salt Lake business district to just past Kalihi Street was so thick with smoke from all of the fireworking that was going on that one could literally not see a block ahead, and riding with bright headlights only gave illumination to whatever road signs were ahead... in fact, headlights from oncoming vehicles were barely even visible! I drove through the areas (35 MPH speed zones) at a snail's pace of barely 20 MPH (25, if I was daring).

January 3, 2004 (Saturday)
11:05, Hawaii Standard Time.

You know ''God'' is real when every bad thing that happens to you and around you gives ample evidence that the ''Devil'' is real! That's my unyielding point of view, judging from just how many timely...  ''coincidences'' ...seem to have ''randomly'' ''just happened'' ''all of a sudden'' over the last month. Add to this lengthy list last night's little supposed ''accidents'' which occurred at work. After arriving to the jobsite late because of having to ride through another heavy rainstorm in even heavier backed-up traffic, I got treated to an earful of malfunctioning alarms which simply would not be shut off and thus blared through the entire night. Then, later on, while it's still raining and starting to get colder, not only does the ''master access'' key on the key ring I'm entrusted with break off inside the trash room door, but the  duplicate  key which we use to unlock the room which we share with the maintenance crew (so we can store our own work equipment there, including the aforementioned key ring), which  normally  resides in a lockbox outside, and which could have been used to get me out of this tar baby, I had left sitting on one of the tables inside the room -- along with my jacket, my helmet, my rain gear, and LITERALLY EVERYTHING I had (to date) related to my motorcycle: temporary registration, recent insurance information, inspection, sales receipts, etc., everything except my driver's license, which I was smart enough to keep in my pants pocket along with the other associated items in my wallet. And to make matters from worse to worst, there was NO WAY to contact the resident manager of the property because (get this) he was not on property and had recently had his cellular number changed and had not given it, so I had to check back and forth during the ''light'' breaks in the rain to knock on his door to find out when or if he had returned to home base. I finally decided to leave a handwritten note on his door, and he got around to helping me out just before the end of my shift,  which never ended,  because the person who was supposed to take over for me to cover the overnight shift never showed (reason not fully known), and for a while it seemed as if I might have to trudge on through part of the  third  shift as well.

I stopped off at ''Lex Brodie's'' here on Queen Street for exactly one gallon of gasoline, so I can get some kind of clue as to what kind of gas milage this Burgman gets, before returning to the apartment to wash the motorcycle of all of the crud it had collected over the past week as a result of all this monsoon-like weather we've been experiencing... but not before coming indoors to find a new message waiting for me on my answering machine asking me if I can cover 22:00-02:00 back out at Hawaii Kai again tonight, not only expecting me to come back to work at my scheduled site in Salt Lake later that evening, but also  (oh, surprise, surprise...) ''coinciding''  with the date I've set aside to begin attending religious services again. Now I'm suspecting that my ''Burgman's'' motorcycle battery will start ''playing dead'' too.

Happy New Year.

January 4, 2004 (Sunday)
15:00, Hawaii Standard Time.

Well... as I should have known, I used my ''tiredness'' this morning to put off yet again the reactivation of my religious meeting attendance. I used the extra time later to try reorganizing the apartment to get it back to at least the level of cleanliness and orderliness it was at prior to the attack of ''Hell Month'' over these last six weeks or so.

January 8, 2004 (Thursday)
16:30, Hawaii Standard Time.

Stopped by after work this morning to check on my boy Ike at ''Sam Sung Plaza.'' He's still working himself crazy trying to come up with as many way to make that money as he can conjure up. I'm beginning to wonder if the man might not be manic depressive, since he claims to involve himself in so much.

I voted on and downloaded my favorite  ''anti-Bush''  30-second campaign video ads which were submitted as part of a contest being sponsored by ''MoveOn.org''.

January 12, 2004 (Monday)
22:40, Hawaii Standard Time.

Yep... just  more  of those curious little ''coincidences'' ... this time I deliberately put off taking care of some personal business around town just so I could be around to catch the live internet broadcast of the ''Bush In 30 Seconds'' presentation/awards program sponsored by ''MoveOn.org,'' but wouldn't you know the connection kept getting ((ahem)) "lost" or ''shut down'' -- and ALWAYS at key & crucial moments of the netcast, particularly whenever the ''ads'' were being replayed for the audience. Uh-huh... just another one of those ''coincidences.'' So now I've got to cover all of that other junk tomorrow morning.

January 15, 2004 (Thursday)
02:50, Hawaii Standard Time.

Went in to work last night with a major cramping pain in my left calf so near incapacitating that considered not going in to work ... and I have absolutely no idea what's causing it (if I slammed the back of my leg on the bicycle pedal during all of running around I was doing Tuesday afternoon trying to track down my personalized license plate-- which I finally did locate but am unable to reclaim on my own --I probably would have attributed the pain to that, but I never hit my leg against anything between then and when I woke up yesterday).

But that wasn't enough: I also had to stay over late first because my reliever for the next workshift called in to say he'd be an hour and a half late, then I had to spend another half-hour writing out a report concerning some drunk-@$$ muthurphukkur I had to try dealing with, so I've just now gotten back inside some twenty minutes or so ago and I pretty much went straight to work trying to finish cleaning the oven.

January 18, 2004 (Sunday)
14:30, Hawaii Standard Time.

Learned two very disturbing things at work last night: (1)- The  ''Art House''  Theatre at ''Restaurant Row''-- as are  all  the theatres in the ''Wallace'' chain on O'ahu --is converting into a ''second run'' cut-rate venue... and (2)- ''Baby Doc'' Bush is diverting NASA funding which will result in NASA allowing the Hubble Space Telescope to degrade and fall into disuse.

January 19, 2004 (Monday)
23:40, Hawaii Standard Time.

Had planned on going to the main office to visit our accounts manager early this morning, but I did not wake up until after 10:00, so I decided to call. When I could not reach him I proceeded to give the motorcycle a good washdown (and, of course, no sooner than I was in the process of completing the ''drying off'' phase that it began raining, requiring me to go through the drying process all over again later). I called our manager again sometime during the eleven o'clock hour and expressed to him not only my displeasure with working at this latest account due to the fact that the chains of communication were severely severed, which resulted in all sorts of problems in and of itself, but also the fact that due to a large number of workers being found caught in a number of embarrassing situations-- sleeping on the job (one of whom even getting photographed in the act), getting into verbal spats with the clientele, or, in several instances, no one showing up at work at all --I was receiving words of forewarning from several members of our clientele who were keeping tabs on these things and watching the progress of the 'response & solution' aspects of the whole situation that our company was ''very soon'' to be cut off from our contract early, and because of having advance warning of this knowledge, as well as in response to all I had seen, heard and experienced at the account site, I was making a request to be transferred from that location at the  very earliest possible convenience (i.e., ''immediately'')! Our account manager informed me that he had just received the call giving the us the deathstroke just 15 minutes prior to receiving my call.

I was too tired to do much of anything else, just listened to several downloaded Liberal talk radio programs, posted a lighthearted/humorous piece at ''BlackNet UK'' (where one particular ''true to black''  'bruth-ah'  has resorted to name calling and ad hominem attacks toward several of us who embrace our mixed race composition, those who are of racially/ethnically mixed backgrounds who, for whatever reasons, consider themselves ''black,'' and/or those of us who see no fault with so-called ''interracial'' relationships), then I went to sleep off the dragged down feeling.

January27, 2004 (Tuesday)
18:40, Hawaii Standard Time.

Got another late start to go take care of my multiple financial obligations which I put off doing yesterday due to another bout of mysterious illness when came on after being stuck at work for a back-to-back double workshift Sunday Night / Monday Morning. Picked up my checks and W-2s at the main office, discussed their efforts to re-establish me somewhere else before our contract deadline expires Sunday, then paid the balance on my motorcycle insurance (right as the new billing period statement was sent, curiously enough). I didn't have the time that I would have had (had I left earlier like I should have done) to cash the checks, pay off the telephone/DSL bills and renew my P.O. Box. Gave the motorcycle a thorough washdown upon returning to the apartment, which had somehow gotten super dirty & dingy  despite  the fact that all of the buckets of constant rain that was  supposed  to have endured throughout the entire weekend onward into Monday NEVER materialized except for an occasional ''light-&-sound'' show and a small few haphazard & short lived insignificant showers.

Early-early this morning the built-in speakers on my ''G3'' iMac began cancelling out and are now almost completely inoperable. I don't know if this was something that was already in the works prior to this or if the downloaded ''Tetris'' game I transfered over from the ''G4'' to test out before installation was responsible, because it began occurring once I loaded the game and began playing -- and since I have no compatible external speakers to connect to it, I cannot be sure if it is an internal/software problem of if it is specifically hardware related.

February 2, 2004 (Monday)
23:55, Hawaii Standard Time.

I was feeling ill and unwilling to go into work last night, so I called in to ask for someone else to cover what would have been my last night at the worksite anyway, and I was pretty much out of it until close to midnight. I tried to use some of that time to organize my document clutter before it gets out of hand again. I also made my first ''minimum payment'' on my credit card balance online sometime during this time, I then went back to sleep sometime around 4 a.m. until early this afternoon. Not surprisingly, I received no call from the office this morning with information about a new worksite location for me; what does surprise me somewhat is that I likewise received no call from anyone to ''cover'' someone else's shift tonight.

Spent the last few hours working on the format for the information I'll be including on ''eBay'' in a further attempt to unburden myself from under these extra DVDs I've been trying to rid myself of.

Tomorrow, unless I'm placed at a worksite, I'm going to try to find out about my personalized license plate (again), maybe sit in on a matinee, then head out to my former worksites and start gathering names & numbers for my ''employment references.''

February 3, 2004 (Tuesday)
21:25, Hawaii Standard Time.

Went to the office later in the morning to inquire about why I hadn't been called for work; turns out that they expected me to bring them a ''doctor's 'return-to-work' permission slip'' for Sunday's illness which did not require any visits to the doctor's office. I pretty much gave them the lowdown that had I gone into work that night, rather than asking seven hours in advance to have someone else cover the shift for me, I simply would have hidden off somewhere and slept it off ... effectively equivalent to my not showing up at all.

Prior to visiting the office I stopped by the Suzuki dealership to check up again on the status of reclaiming my personalized license plate, and again I was told to wait  another  week. There were two more blue  ''Burgman 400s''  and a blue  ''650''  on display. I took a quick look & sit down on the  ''650''  (which really doesn't seem all that much bigger than the ''Jr.'') and concluded that all-in-all I probably did make the better decision by choosing the  400. I did not bother to notice if the  ''Bumblebee''  (the  ''Helix''  I traded in) was still in the showroom or not.

On the ride back to town I had intended to put down my six dollar coins for the movie,  ''Lost In Translation,''  but I confused the showtime for Consolodated's ''Ward 16'' theatre with that of Signature's ''Dole Cannery Row'' 18-plex, so I opted instead to ride the Pali to Kailua, but stopping off at the ''Old Pali Road'' overlook revealed that the Windward side was being blanketed in rain, so I returned to town, stopping by the ''main branch office'' of  Jehovah's Witnesses  to get an update on the weekend meeting times so I can make efforts to start reattending services. I then stopped by the ''Yummy Korean BBQ'' close by before returning to the apartment complex to give the motorcycle another good washing.

I changed my mind about going out to Hawaii Kai to petition job references from the folks I used to work for there. I instead determined that a few ''select'' names would better suffice.

February 4, 2004 (Wednesday)
17:15, Hawaii Standard Time.

Received the call from the motorcycle dealership saying they had my personalized license plate, which I picked up later in the afternoon. (The  ''Helix''  has indeed been sold to a happy customer, but this now leaves me in a sort of a dilemma in regard to my ''insurance payout'' check, since the motorcycle was still in need of the minor repairs it was awaiting, and, to my knowledge, the ordered parts still have not arrived. I also spent more time going over the  ''Burgman 650''  and came to the conclusion that I did indeed make the better choice by going with the  ''Whopper, Jr.''  instead.)

In contrast, the ''follow-up'' call I was expecting to receive to confirm, or not, tonight's work assignment was not forthcoming, so I had to call myself, as usual.

February 5, 2004 (Thursday)
21:50, Hawaii Standard Time.

Was stationed at the National Marine Fisheries / National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration Facilities at Kewalo Basin last night to cover on what I learned was pretty much an ''open day'' that sort of floats by itself apart from the remaining six nights which are covered by other individuals on a regular schedule. (Our company goes out of its way to avoid paying overtime, even if it includes disruptive and nonsensical scheduling.) It was a nice enough spot to be placed at,  despite  the cursed mosquitoes. I had not known prior to being sent out there that the NOAA was part of the Commerce Department.

There were several marine life quarantine/recovery tanks on the site. In one such tank was a couple of green turtles which were said to be suffering from some sort of fatal tumor disease I had previously not heard of called  fibropapilloma,  which affects sea turtles here and other parts of the Pacific, as well as Florida and which, presently, has no known cause or cure.

After my scheduled shift had ended this morning I pedaled out to Ke'eaumoku Street to check up with Ike (who was not at his post last week) and spent about an hour talking his ear off.

Called into the main office this afternoon, since nobody bothered to call this morning, of course, and Lisa confirmed me for tomorrow night's  ''Sunset on the Beach''  event, then informed me that one of the regulars at Kewalo would be going on vacation for the next couple of weeks which could ''possibly'' become a regular assignment, should the regular person decide to take an extended time off after the end of his scheduled return (which, from what was explained to me, is something of a common habit with the individual).

Left the apartment early in the evening to drop off my State Income Tax returns (having telephoned my Federal return information earlier), dropping the letter I finished writing to my mother at work into the post office collection bin along the way, I then went down to IHS (the men's homeless mission) to donate several of the extra pieces of travel bags & tote bags I had no foreseeable need of, including the large green one my mother sent to me a couple of years ago. Back into the apartment I updated my ebay information so I can try to sell this junk I'm wanting to get rid of (I've decided to wait until Sunday before posting the information, so that the auction closing could coincide with my ''day off'').

February 7, 2004 (Saturday)
23:30, Hawaii Standard Time.

My planned motorcycle excursion along the island shoreline (to the degree possible) was an exercise in failure from early on, beginning with my decision to delay going out earlier in the morning until the afternoon, then only after mounting my personalize license plate and getting my related carrying papers in order, etc.

Upon arriving in Kailua (and already expecting to get disoriented), it turned out that the maps I was relying on (those published in our local ''Yellow Pages'') had misidentified several street names and routes, so I ended up getting diverted through Lanikai ...  after  it started raining (it was 16:00 by the time I stopped off at the Aikahi Shopping Center. It rained off and on between Kailua and a bit before Kualoa Ranch: the ride along Kaneohe Bay Dr. as well as through most of the windward coast was dark, gloomy and cold due to the overcast.

It was getting very close to sunset by the time I arrived at road's end near Kaena Point in Mokuleia, so I tried to use whatever sunlight was still available to snap off the first couple of digital photos I've taken of the ''Princess'' since trading the ''Bumblebee'' in for her. Then, after narrowly missing several SEVERE (and very DEEP) potholes on the mauka side of the road as I was starting to leave, I ventured onto the roads past the cane fields, intent on continuing the journey onward to the Waianae coast (despite the fast approaching darkness), but I got caught in a downpour significant enough to cancel out nearly all of my visibility (not to mention soak me to the bone)... and because of this very real danger (compounded with the fact that the maps I was working with were still virtually indecipherable) I decided to cut the trip short and swing on back to the apartment, where I washed the motorcycle down again from all of the rain-induced grime she got splattered with.

February 10, 2004 (Tuesday)
20:15, Hawaii Standard Time.

The scheduler at the office never informed me that the schedule they have me covering for the next couple of weeks was not consistent, so when I went in to work tonight for what I thought was to be my shift I was informed that I was scheduled to come in four hours later and work an overnight shift. At first I tried to convince the person at the office desk that she was mistaken, because the person they claimed was scheduled for what I thought was my shift was not present, but he did show up about 20 minutes later, so I left.

On the way back to the apartment I noticed that the ''Dream Cruises'' boat had docked and was shutting down for the night. I asked one of the deck hands if Yumi was on board, and he informed me that Yumi had not worked for the cruise ship for about a month and he was not aware if she returned to her home country of Denmark or where she went to.

February 14, 2004 (Saturday)
16:55, Hawaii Standard Time.

Last evening at work I re-read the letter I received in my P.O. Box earlier in the week from my mother, and the information about my grandfather's cancer really just began to sink in. Throughout my workshift I kept giving serious thought and consideration to either leaving Hawaii altogether just to be nearby (despite the fact that the thought of living back in that Confederacy hellhole totally sickens me) or to arrange some sort way where I could spend at least a couple of months in the area to help out and be a support. Either way, my current financial difficulties would make either option exceedingly burdensome & stressful.

February 15, 2004 (Sunday)
02:05, Hawaii Standard Time.

Something was telling me to take the bicycle out to the worksite last night. Instead of listening to my subconscious warning siren (as usual) I went ahead and decided to ride the motorcycle to work (mistake #1), but instead of going the usual route via King Street I decided to loop onto Ala Moana Boulevard (mistake #2) which was so backed up (at least as far back as KMart, and probably as far back as Pacific Street) that I spent well over a half-hour in traffic just trying to get from River Street to Ward Avenue -- a trip which, even having to have dealt with traffic signals, would have taken less than 15 minutes on bicycle.

February 18, 2004 (Wednesday)
22:00, Hawaii Standard Time.

Bummer of a day. Not only was I tired & unmotivated (again) to reorganize this apartment and take care of some monitary-related activities, but I was disappointed with the results of my eBay ''for sale'' listings, selling off only three DVDs -- two of which not even being among the ones I really expected to sell, all of them receiving unimpressive bids, and the one I did have higher hopes for (the extra  ''Urusei Yatsura'' TV Series  unopened disc) received the ''winning bid'' from someone in Canada, which is likely to either screw-up the ''shipping costs'' or result in my having to relist it and emphasizing the ''ships in the U.S. only'' clause.

While struggling with that online garbage I received a call from the main office asking me if I had taken the keys home with me because the guy covering for tonight could not get inside the facility, so I had to run out there and back (via Waikiki, where I was amazed at the meteoric increase of ''street performers''-- particularly the ''mime-types'' --along Kalakaua Avenue).

February 20, 2004 (Friday)
16:20, Hawaii Standard Time.

Did some major running around today to pick-up & cash/deposit four checks (including the insurance settlement check, since it seems pretty much iffy now whether the Honda dealership placed the order for the  Helix  replacement parts ... and even if they did, the folks at the Suzuki dealership have long since sold the cycle), cover my insurance for next year, mail off the two DVDs that sold (having informed the Canadian buyer of the  ''Urusei Yatsura''  DVD my intent to relist the item), purchase a new weather cover for my motorcycle, then inform the eBay winning bidders that their DVDs had been sent with their delivery confirmation numbers.

February 22, 2004 (Sunday)
01:40, Hawaii Standard Time.

On the way to work last night found the entire block's length of Hotel Street between Smith Street and Nu'uanu Avenue taped off by police with a plethora of fire engines strobing within, so I had to detour onto King Street. At the crossroads of King and Nu'uanu Streets I asked the officer who was blocking off mauka-bound access onto Nu'uanu Street what the situation was, he explained that one of the buildings had caught fire. (I also used the opportunity to inquire about why Pauahi Street between Maunakea and River Streets were taped off Friday morning around 1:30 a.m., to which he explained that there had been a bomb threat in the area.) So on the way back from work this morning I just had to get  niele  ("nosy") and try to get a look at the damage. It turned out that the establishment thus affected was the ''Risque/Esquire Theatres'' -- the last remaining ''porn shop'' in Chinatown! ... which explained why all of Hotel Street was virtually deserted this morning (and that's not just a statement of exaggeration). I'm sorry if the fire damaged any of the other surrounding establishments, but I say it could not have happened to a better place.

February 23, 2004 (Monday)
01:10, Hawaii Standard Time.

Decided to sleep in yesterday. Had I known that I was going to be called ''not to go in'' to work last night (meaning the guy whose vacation work days I've been covering has returned to resume his regular schedule) I definitely would have attended religious services, which I had finally begun to reestablish as a regular habit at the start of this month.

Trying to use some of this off-time to get my computer files as reasonably structured as I can to prepare  both  ''iMacs'' for another complete scrubbing & reformatting -- this time with the intent of making both machines as  identical  as possible, rather than having the two running ''independently'' of each other. The ''plan'' is to make it easier for file back-ups as well as using the G3 to continue testing software compatibilities, but with the advantage of housing all the same programs to test for any possible ''conflict'' issues which may present themselves. Of course, I also hope to learn if reformatting the G3 will by any chance restore the operation of the built-in speaker system (which, if it does, will tell me that the ''Tetris'' game download was responsible for ruining its function), or if the system is just shot.

In trying to locate specific information in the  ''InfraRed''  archives I had to correct some HTML code which was causing Internet Explorer Version 5.1 (of course) to display improperly, but I found that I had inadvertently forgot to include on the webpage information about the December flood which I did archive in my back-up AppleWorks text documents.

* Update - (16:25):
Things just go from bad to worst.... Just as I was pretty much nearing the ''completion'' stage of my document restructuring this morning, Internet Explorer became ''damaged'' and trashed my settings, so I spent several hours this afternoon matching my preferences/settings ''snapshots'' against the ''restored'' application information and trying to match up (to the best of my ability ... manually) the ''file helper'' applications. (Surprisingly, all of my Web ''bookmarks'' were left intact, and the desktop icons still launched.)

And as if to complicate matters, I couldn't get back on line (in either OS9 or OSX, even after several unplugs, shutdowns & restarts), so I began thinking that the browser crash might have canceled out my internet settings. But as I was on hold to  Verizon  online tech support for what their automated system said would be for about a half-hour, the internet functions kicked in again.

During these headaches, the people at the office called me to remind me not to come in to work tonight, discussed a new ''regular'' schedule they've worked out for me, then called me back to ask me to show up at Kewalo again tonight, then, when I called back to confirm, said they had found someone else to cover tonight at Kewalo in my place.

February 25, 2004 (Wednesday)
14:30, Hawaii Standard Time.

After working off and on through at least 12-18 hours from yesterday afternoon into pre-dawn this morning on transferring & taking new snapshots of my system/application/preference files, I find out that the new schedule I was expected to start tomorrow evening was bumped up a day earlier without my foreknowledge, and I'm just about out of it.

February 26, 2004 (Thursday)
07:30, Hawaii Standard Time.

Last night's work schedule was 12-hours-long, and with the limited amount of rest, compounded by sore feet & cramped legs from doing so much walking on the jobsite, plus a headache and some digestive problems, I literally had to lie down in a couple of hidden places in order to rest it off just so I can make it to the end of the work shift.


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