Did the Cooking Channel pick the right spots?

By October 13, 2011 Food

On Tuesday the Cooking Channel’s popular Food(ography) show turn its spotlight on Hawaii.

The show — which re-broadcasts at 11 p.m. Oct. 16 and 8 a.m. Oct. 23 — explores how people and societies are shaped by food, to tell the story and passion behind each dish. The network visited just Oahu and Big Island eateries.

So here’s the lineup:

• An award-winning Mai Tai prepared by star mixologist Christian Self at the Modern Honolulu (formerly the Waikiki EDITION hotel
• A visit to the award-winning Alan Wong’s Restaurant
• A kitchen visit with chef Ed Kenney of town (pictured above)
• Plate lunch from Helena’s Hawaiian Food
• A visit to Paradise Cove Luau
• Farm-raised Wagyu beef from Merriman’s Restaurant in Waimea
• A “seafood odyssey” at Mauna Kea Beach Hotel’s Manta & Pavilion Wine Bar

Other eateries that were pitched to the network:

KCC Farmer’s Market
• Two Ladies Kitchen
• Hilo Bay Sugar Shack
The Coffee Shack
• Big Island Grill
• Pine Tree Cafe

Now, looking at what was aired, I have a few suggestions.

If the show is focused on the culture of food, I don’t see how a commercialized luau show or a Mai Tai would fit into that.

So if you had to pick 10 restaurants on Oahu and the Big Island that should have been featured on the Cooking Channel, which would you pick?

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Great Debate: public vs. private schools

By October 12, 2011 Musings, The Daily Dish

Now that my friends are having kids — and those kids are growing up fast! — the question has often come up:

“What school should I send my kids to?”

Translation for some: “Should I take out a second mortgage, move in with my in-laws and find a second job to pay for private school tuition?”

Parents — and potential parents, like me — have strong opinions about where they’re going to send their kids.

Most private school graduates will tout the benefits of their pricey education, pointing at smaller classrooms, more challenging curriculum, better facilities, more support and opportunities, and a strong network of alumni that will undoubtedly help their children well after they graduate from high school.

But talk to public school graduates — or survivors — and they’ll have different opinions about education. They’ll talk about an environment that fosters individuality and socialization, less pressure to keep up with uber-rich classmates, dedicated teachers, and the belief in the concept of, “You get out what you put in.”

There are no guarantees that a private school education will lead to a more successful person. And vice versa. Sure, I have friends who went to Punahou and Iolani and are now lawyers, doctors and business owners. But I know public school graduates who are those, too, and went from, say, Roosevelt High School to Ivy League schools.

So what’s the problem?

Cost.

Tuition for Punahou, for example, is $18,450 for the 2011-2012 school year. That’s more than most colleges. And if you start paying that tuition for a child in Kindergarden and, assuming that tuition never goes up, you’ll pay $239,850 in just tuition by graduation. (Iolani’s tuition is $16,900.)

It’s more at boarding schools like Hawaii Preparatory Academy on the Big Island. Tuition for high school is $20,800 — it’s less for other grade levels — with an additional $41,200 for boarding costs.

Those costs add up.

But to be fair, most Hawaii’s independent schools charge less than $9,000 per year for tuition. But that’s still more than some folks can afford — and a public school education is the only option they have.

But when you do have an option, what do you do?

What would you do?

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Bungee jumping: I’ll pass

By October 11, 2011 #CatTravels, Musings, The Daily Dish

I consider myself pretty adventurous.

I’ll try almost anything, from interesting appetizers to funky nail polish to inverted roller coasters (though I’ll do that only once).

But there are a few things I won’t do. Never. Not even if you paid me.

One of those things is bungee jumping.

I can’t see the fun in jumping — willingly! — from a bridge or crane or some unsafe structure with just an elastic cord strapped to my ankles. What’s the thrill is free-falling into a gorge, staring death in the face, then flying back upwards, then back down again, until the energy dissipates — and you’re lower back and neck are permanently tweaked.

No. I won’t do it.

And yeah, I saw that woman — Frances Gabe, a colon cancer survivor — who celebrated her 91st birthday with a bungee jump at the Big Fresno Fair yesterday. But even she admits it’s not for everyone.

And it’s certainly not for me.

Is there something you absolutely will not do, not even for money?

***

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Relationship status: ‘It’s complicated’

By October 10, 2011 Musings, The Daily Dish

The first thing on my girlfriend’s list of things to do once she got married?

Change her Facebook status.

And I don’t mean after her honeymoon. She updated her status as soon as she left the altar. She was still in her wedding dress.

It’s interesting how often — and how much — we broadcast our personal lives across the very public networks of social media.

As soon as people get engaged or break up or get married — or now, get divorced — they change their relationship status on Facebook as a way to tell the world, “Hey! Look! See what just happened!”

I get that you want to publish accurate and up-to-date information online. I’m a journalist, I can respect that. And I even get the need to broadcast to people in your network that you’re engaged or married.

But break-ups? In Facebook? On Twitter? That just seems, well, tacky.

I witnessed the awkward break-up of a couple on Twitter once. It started by one person “unfollowing” the other. And all hell broke loose.

And I’ve heard from friend who say their new significant others urged — if not outright pestered and pressured — them to change their Facebook status immediately. If not, that meant they were hiding the relationship, they didn’t really love them, they weren’t committed — and that led to an entire night of useless arguing.

There are more than 800 million active Facebook users, most of whom indicate some kind of relationship status, which can now range from single to in a domestic partnership.

And there’s even an app — the Facebook Breakup Notifier, which was released in February — that helps people keep taps on potential partners. You can choose the friends whose relationship status you’d like to track. (Like old boyfriends, recent flings, that crush you had in high school.) And when his relationship status changes to “single,” you pounce.

“You like someone. They’re in a relationship. Be the first to know when they’re out of it,” promises the app’s website.

It’s a weird world we live in. Can anyone explain it to me?

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Postcards: Derek’s doing fine!

By October 9, 2011 Postcards

Everyone’s asking, “How’s Derek doing?” Well, he’s doing well — as you can see. He’s standing here in front of Lake Mendota, the northernmost and largest of the four lakes near the University of Wisconsin at Madison.

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