Great Debate: squeezing your toothpaste

Great Debate: squeezing your toothpaste

The other day I was talking with the Okami family who owns KoAloha Ukulele.

I thought the conversation would hover around music and ukuleles.

No. We started talking about toothpaste tubes. More specifically, how to squeeze them.

You see, Alvin Okami, the founder of KoAloha, is also an inventor. He designed what’s now the Tube Press (shown above), which helps you squeeze every last bit of toothpaste out of any tube. (While he doesn’t own the patent anymore, his name is still on there as inventor. Cool, right?)

I brought it up with friends — including my boyfriend — and I was surprised by the reaction. Apparently, it’s annoying — really annoying, if you ask the right people — if you don’t squeeze the toothpaste tube from the bottom.

“What’s wrong with you?” one of my friends asked me, when I admitted I don’t always squeeze the tube the “right” way. “You’re a mid-tube squeezer!”

Is it that bad? I mean, aren’t there worse habits to get upset over?

It must be annoying enough that folks are designing all kinds of tools and gadgets — from the Squeezit Tube Squeezer to the EZ Squeeze Tube — to remedy the situation.

So I’m throwing it out there: does it matter how someone squeezes out toothpaste? Are we talking dealbreaker here?

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Today’s happy shot

Derek snapped this shot this morning: a rainbow over Waimanalo


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Cat Chat: Rainbow’s turns 50

Cat Chat: Rainbow’s turns 50

In 1961 Seiju and Ayako Ifuku took a risk and opened Rainbow Drive-In on the corner of Kapahulu and Kanaina avenues just outside Waikiki.

They served 50-cent chili and rice plates and $1 barbecue steak plate lunches, along with 25-cent hamburgers and 14-cent french fries.

It was an instant hit with residents, many of whom hit the drive-in after spending the day at the beach. (There’s really nothing like eating a barbecue pork or chicken cutlet plate lunch after a few hours in the surf.)

And now, 50 years later, the iconic eatery in Kapahulu is known the world over. It’s been featured on national TV — including a recent episode of the Food Network’s “Diners, Drive-Ins and Dives” — and in magazines around the world. No trip to Oahu is complete without stopping at Rainbow’s for one of its chili plates, fried rice or slush floats.

We stopped by — and ate, of course — to talk to co-owner Jim Gusukuma about the drive-in’s history and plans to celebrate its golden anniversary. (And it involves a menu with prices from 1961.)

Here’s what he had to say:

Rainbow Drive-In’s 50th Anniversary Menu

June 18, 7 a.m.-1 p.m.: Fried rice, $1
July 16, 10 a.m.-5 p.m.: Hot dog and a drink, 25 cents
Aug. 14, 10 a.m.-5 p.m.: Hamburger, 25 cents
Sept. 17, 5 p.m.-9 p.m.: Saimin, 25 cents
Oct. 16, 11 a.m.-7 p.m.: Chili plate, $1

Next up: Surf movie night at 6 p.m. Saturday at Hawaiian South Shore, 320 Ward Ave. Rainbow Drive-In will be serving poke bowls ($6), saimin ($3), chili bowls ($3), barbecue beef or chicken sticks ($2 each) and barbecue beef or chicken stick bowls ($6).

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Regal Bakery: not your ordinary donuts

Regal Bakery: not your ordinary donuts

There aren’t many bakeries in Hawaii where you can find blueberry cream cheese donuts with a white chiffon crumb topping or red velvet cake donuts with a creamy cream cheese icing.

But you can find these flavors — and more — at Regal Bakery, which opened in April near the airport.

It’s probably the only stand-alone donut shop on Oahu now and the only one I know of selling such unique flavors as peppermint-iced cake donuts and guava-glazed yeast donuts covered with toasted macadamia nuts.

I mean, who does that?

Jessie Salvador does. He’s the 34-year-old manager and mastermind who comes up with these interesting flavors, including the flavors of the month. (In June it’ll be a rocky road donut; in July a blueberry-raspberry version with white chocolate icing.) And this Friday — National Donut Day, if you didn’t have that marked in your calendar — you can get one free donut when you visit the shop.

“I think timing was everything,” said Salvador, who has been working at Regal Foods (the shop’s parent company) for four years and has been in food service for 16. “We decided to do a donut shop because other bakeries were shutting down.”

His interesting spin on donuts — the flavors, the decorations — has lured a steady stream of customers, all eager to try something new. It’s no Krispy Kreme — which I find on the overly sweet side, anyway — but these donuts can stand on their own. And when you visit, try the apple fritter and old-fashioned donuts, too. Trust me, these are worth the drive to the airport.

Here’s what his shop has to offer:

Outside Regal Foods

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Regal Foods is the parent company of the bakery. It also runs Island Manapua and the Pizza Shop. So folks have been coming here for takeout lunch — now there are donuts, too.

Regal Bakery, 3040 Ualena St. Hours: 5:30 a.m.-1:30 p.m. Monday through Friday, 8 a.m.-2 p.m. Saturday. Phone: (808) 834-4423

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Oahu: Biking along Pearl Harbor

Oahu: Biking along Pearl Harbor

Most people don’t realize there’s a bike path that runs from the Halawa landing near the USS Arizona Memorial Visitor’s Center and ends in Waipahu.

But it’s there. And it’s definitely a hidden gem in Central Oahu.

I first heard about it when I was a reporter covering the area. The Friends of the Pearl Harbor Historic Trail had envisioned a multi-use shoreline path that would run 18.6 miles from Halawa Landing to Nanakuli. The goal was to reinvigorate the community, upgrade the existing path, improve the environment, and create economic opportunities for area businesses. Maybe the old railway could reopen and take visitors along the coastline, stopping at various shops and eateries in the area.

It was a great goal — but expensive and not a high-priority project for the state. I’m not sure what’s happened to the plan.

So we decided to bike down the path over the weekend, just to see what it was like. And honestly, we were pleasantly surprised.

Here’s what our bike ride looked like:

Ready to roll

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Even though the trail officially starts at the Halawa Landing, we parked at Blaisdell Park to ride our bikes toward Waipahu.

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