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Monday, May 21, 2018

DAY 19: Puna Geothermal Venture Facility Threatened

Oh, oh.  DAY 19 of the Puna Eruption and a finger of lava from fissure 22 is now approaching the Puna Geothermal Venture facility:

A Hawaii County Civil Defense spokeswoman said the flow from fissure 22 next to the PGV site broke out on its northwest side, and “there’s very active fountaining.”

The flow last night was approaching the well pad at PGV, but had stalled at a berm on the property, said county spokeswoman Janet Snyder (right).

The following map shows where Highway 137 was crossed as the lava entered the Pacific Ocean.  The latest:

"I think we're moving into phase two and that's where we're going to see increased activity, potentially higher fountains, more lava flows. Much more dynamic situation than before," geologist Dr. Carolyn Parcheta told CBS News.


A friend, Dan Bent, who worked with the author, passed on to me Hawaii Lawyer, by James H. Case.  The Star Advertiser had a nice write-up a week ago.  What a life.  I did not realize how influential he was.  I too worked for the sugar industry and now better appreciate what happened.  His brother Bill helped me a lot when I was at C. Brewer.

I was also acquainted with Jim Case's son, Ed, for we both worked for Senator Spark Matsunaga at around the same time forty years ago.  Ed later became a U. S. Congressman.

I leave you with one quote from the book:

Luck is essential in the games of bridge and poker and it has a role in the practice of law.   A lot of life is luck, isn't it?  But the thing about luck, like opportunity, is you don't exactly know when it'll come along but you can open the door to let it in when it does.  When that work happened along I had assembled the tools to do it.

Well, I continue to eat, and yesterday had lunch at Sushi King.  Zaru Soba and Salmon Kama (collar), with hot sake and cold beer:

What a meal.  Then went to the final University of Hawaii baseball game of the year at home, against Long Beach State.  We won.  Shower trees are now blooming all over the Manoa Campus.


Sunday, May 20, 2018


DAY 18 of the Puna eruption featured lava flows crossing Highway 137 and into the ocean.  There is now a new danger:  LAZE, which is a more potent haze caused by lava, which turns the marine steam into hydrochloric acid laced with fine particles of glass.

There are now 23 fissures, 44 destroyed structures and one injury.  A man on a third-floor balcony had his leg shattered from shin to foot when  hit by a lava spatter.  The molten rock is at 2,000 F.  With lava fountains several hundred feet high and ash plumes up to 30,000 feet, it's actually remarkable that he is the only casualty thus far.


On the island of Oahu, residents of 15 Craigside had two outings yesterday.  In the morning, the Photo Club went to Chinatown, and later that evening, four neighboring families on the 12th floor had dinner at Senia.

Kekaulike Mall is the walkway between Oahu Market and Mauna Kea Marketplace.  It was nearly six years ago that I posted on Chinatown Honolulu.  Nothing has changed.

A few of us were scouting around for tamarind and mangosteen, but these exotic fruits seem now not to be on sale.

But have you ever had a jack fruit?

Interestingly enough, of all that volume, just the small layer outside each seed is eaten.  Fully 95% of the fruit is discarded.

I love lychee, but am wary of overripe guava.  Clearly, if yellow guava can have worms, they must just be smaller and growing up when the fruit is  half-ripe.

This has to be high on any list of worst foods to eat, but the crispy skin of roast pork is heavenly:

But I'm not into pigs' feet, nor head.

The interesting thing about this photo is the reflection, where you see things, both real and imagined.

At one time I chaired a 15 Craigside committee that featured dining out at Honolulu's top restaurants.  Our first was to Hy's Steakhouse more than three years ago and we went to more than a dozen places.  Well, I have given up all my chairmanships, and these night out adventures seem now to be limited to four adjacent neighbors on the 12th floor.  Vintage Cave (left) was one our expeditions, and so was La Mer below:

Last night we went to Senia, adjacent to Honolulu Chinatown.  And if you wondering, I did not wear my Thai blue sportscoat.

See those seats facing the kitchen?  It would have cost us $185 each to sit there, plus wine and other extras.

This is otherwise a so-called family-style fusion restaurant, where you are encouraged to share dishes.  The co-chefs are Chris Kajioka (from Hawaii) and Anthony Rush (from the UK), former employees of Per Se.  Kajioka also once worked at French Laundry and Vintage Cave.  In the middle as the hostess is Katherine Nomura Rush (from Los Angeles, and wife of Anthony):

So we ordered an excellent ahi poke on bread, and two orders of bone marrow, raw hamachi and scallops, plus one main entre, an Idaho wagyu rib barbeque, with the cheapest red wine, a Cabernet Sauvignon at $60/bottle:

We asked for some rice or potato to go with the beef, and, after a long while, some mushrooms and fancy potato concoction came.  Frankly, everything was tasty and artsy.  The service was friendly, but a bit compulsive.  There is a pervading superiority complex sense, for Senia is so popular that your credit card number is taken for tables of six or more, with the admonition that if one person does not show up, there will be a charge for $100 (I need to check on this as to exactly how much).  Then, the bill at the end automatically adds a 20% tip.  With one bottle of wine and tax, the cost was just about $500, not bad, actually, for the cuisine and setting.  Vintage Cave cost $2000 for five diners, and I was allowed to bring my own wines.  There is no parking, so the best option was one of the municipal or private lots.  To our surprise, the total cost was $2, but you got to wonder about safety at night in this part of Honolulu.

At the end, we were supersaturated with food, so instead of coffee and dessert, we decided to return to the 15 Craigside Dining Room, where we had coffee / tea and pecan pie / ice cream.  Senia would have charged us at least an additional $100 for this conclusion.  15 Craigside?  Free.


Saturday, May 19, 2018

DAY 17: Puna Eruption

The lava is now more fluid and should begin to further spread throughout the region.  It is appearing that this current activity is beginning to more and more look like the 1955 Kapoho eruption, which had 24 fissures and covered more than ten times the lava flow of today.

I yesterday went golfing with my next door neighbor John, and on the way home we stopped by J-Shop, where I bought a thin slice of Japanese wagyu beef, a small chunk of Hawaiian ahi (yellow-fin tuna--and that purplish vegetable is myoga) and some mushrooms.

It seems improper to report on the unfolding tragedy on the east side of the Big Island while continuing my hedonistic lifestyle, and I've thought about this.  But yesterday was a day of celebration for me, so I'll compromise by skipping the details.  However, I will mention that the four neighbors on the 12th floor of 15 Craigside will be dining at Senia tonight, which is a hint of the posting tomorrow.


Friday, May 18, 2018

Day 16: Now Up to 22 Fissures

Read about the latest Kilauea volcanic eruption in Volcano Discovery.  Fissure #21 has opened near all those Leilani Estate cracks.  Gas emissions remain dangerous and no end is in sight.  Whoops, #22 just opened up this morning.
Well, life must go on, so for lunch yesterday I went to Mandalay for Shanghai Soup Dumplings (SSD) and Dried Scallop Soup, mainly because the latter was featured in the Dining Out section of the Star Advertiser Frankly, I was disappointed.  First, they were not serving the SSDs that day.  Second, service was terrible.  Third, the scallop soup was watery without any character.  Fourth, featuring of a dish does not mean there is any drop in price.  

I thus substituted scallop and spinach dumpling.  The following, although I brought my own bottle of cognac, cost me me $30 with tax and little tip:

I'm golfing this morning, so I had a hearty Japanese breakfast, mostly from the dining room of 15 Craigside.  The green onions in the miso soup came from my herb garden:


Thursday, May 17, 2018

RONAN FARROW...Perfection?

We are now into the third week of the current Kilauea eruption, which is a continuation of what started more than 35 years ago.  Apparently, there was no 21st fissure, but 34 earthquakes have occurred during the past 24 hours, and, at 4:15 this morning, a loud explosion at Halemaumau Crater, sending a plume up to around 30,000 feet.  In 1924 Kilauea experienced a phreatic explosion, tossing 16,000 pound rocks a kilometer (1093 yards) away.  USGS volcano scientists keep saying that the worst is yet to come.

When this plume was only 12,000 feet high yesterday, with trade winds, only the Kau region and parts west got the brunt of the air pollution.  However, mid-level winds over the Big Island move from south to north, so now Hilo and the Hamakua Coast are being alerted for ash and other fallout.  Yet, here is the following Air Quality Index for Hawaii as of 8AM this morning:

Green is good and yellow is moderate.  But PM 2.5 means particulates 2.5 micrometers and smaller.  The affected eruption air pollution warning zones wrap around the Big Island from North Kona through the Hawaii Volcanoes National Park up east and north to Hilo to Kohala.  If I find the official map I'll later show it here.

Earthquakes also caused cracks near the entrance of the Hawaii Volcanoes National Park in the only road connecting Hilo to Naalehu and Pahala, where I lived for five years.  I recall floods then closing this Belt Highway.  But it was passable after a day or so.  If a fissure forms over the road, that would be a calamity.


A month ago I was watching Fareed Zakaria interview someone named Ronan Farrow on his new book, War on Peace, and was impressed.  A young writer who seemed to know a lot about a range of subjects.

He this year won a Pulitzer in an article for The New Yorker with The New York Times, for courageously exhuming what became the end of Harvey Weinstein, initiating the #MeToo movement.  On May 7, his article with Jane Mayer brought down New York State Attorney General Eric Schneiderman for abusing four women.

Soon to come, his new book, Catch and Kill, to report on the darker details of harassment and abuse.  That title is a term used in journalism when someone with higher influence can bury a story.  Weinstein was one who did, and Donald Trump for sure.

So who is Ronan Farrow?  His mother is Mia Farrow.  Father?  Woody Allen, probably.  Mostly in spite, I suppose, Mia has hinted that the real father might be Frank Sinatra.  No genetic test has been run, but Ronan joked:  Listen, we're all possibly Frank Sinatra's son.  In any case, he doesn't today communicate with Woody.

Farrow's full name begins with Satchel Ronan O'Sullivan, for Satchel Paige (famed black pitcher) and his grandmother, actress Maureen O'Sullivan.  Said The New York Post, Ronan has Woody's wit and Sinatra's charm.

He graduated from Bard College in philosophy at the age of 15, immediately entered Yale School, got his J.D., and was admitted to the New York bar.  So he's also a lawyer.

His mother served as a UNICEF Goodwill Ambassador, so he travelled with her throughout Africa.  He joined the Obama administration and dealt with Afghanistan and Pakistan under Richard Holbrooke.  He served as Secretary of State Hillary Clinton's Special advisor for Global Youth Issues.

He then became a Rhodes Scholar at Oxford, but left to write for all the top foreign policy magazines and hosted a television program on MSNBC.  He has voiced English-language characters in two Japanese animated films, From up on Poppy Hill and The Wind Rises.

He lives with Jon Lovett.  Ronan was recognized by the Point Foundation

Ronan Farrow certainly had a tumultuous upbringing and flaws within his family.  But there is no standard of perfection when it comes to a human life.  He could well be more perfect than most.  However, it all depends on what you consider to be ideal.  We are all different in assorted ways.  Soon, my posting on Who am I?.