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Friday, May 22, 2015


I've now been at 15 Craigside, an Arcadia linked (same United Church of Christ ownership) seniors residence community, for a year.  The predecessor to the UCC was the first to bring Christianity to Hawaii in 1819.  The leader was Hiram Bingham (right), who designed Kawaiahao Church and served as the first pastor.  His grandson, Hiram Bingham III, discovered Machu Picchu. I might add that Asa Thurston (religious partner of HB I), from Yale,  had a greater influence on the fate of Hawaii, as son Lorrin was the lead insurgent of the 1893 overthrow of the Hawaiian Kingdom, while great-great grandson, Thurston Twig-Smith,  a mechanical engineer from Yale, owned the Honolulu Advertiser, later becoming a philanthropist and apologist for the 1893 overthrow.

The church ownership, plus long term success of Arcadia, which has now functioned for 48 years, provides a kind of cocoon-like confidence that life at 15 Craigside will be secure for the rest of my life.  For a $400,000 entrance fee and $4000/month, they will take care of me until the end, even if I run out of money.  Note that other retirement residences, like the Plaza family of assisted living centers, basically kick you out when you need higher care.  We have a full floor set aside for the final phase of your life.  Arcadia has two, one focused on dementia.

In general (yes, of course you can't read it, but click on the spectrum and see the difference):

15 Craigside sort of covers several bubbles, but more specifically, we have:
  • Three nutritious meals per day
  • Maid service (weekly, including re-making bed and changing sheets and towels)
  • Cable TV ready (but I order from Oceanic because there are limitations here)
  • Utilities
  • Maintenance
  • Security (receptionist checking people in 24 hours/day and cameras everywhere)
  • 24-hour emergency care accessed by a call system in the apartment
  • Five free days in the boarder rooms of the Healthcare Center for each separately diagnosed illness
  • A resident outpatient clinic staffed by a licensed nurse for residents needing non-emergency care such as taking blood pressure, giving eye drops, and discussing individual health concerns and issues
  • A wellness center in 15 Craigside’s lower level with a swimming pool for lap swimming and aqua-exercise with scheduled programs, nutritional advice, health profile assessments, and exercise machines
  • Meal tray service in one’s apartment for up to five days without charge for each diagnosed infection and upon returning from hospitalization
  • Assistance from the nursing staff, in the event of an emergency, to call physicians, family, and an ambulance if necessary
  • State-licensed, required functional assessments by a GNP
  • Social services
  • Chaplain
  • Post office box
  • Beauty shop/barber
Life at 15 Craigside for most is just like any condo apartment,  except that we have a plethora of managed activity options.  Just today, for example:
  • Osteoporosis
  • Advanced Strength Training
  • Total Body Fitness
  • Jarrett Middle School Band (we even get the Royal Hawaii Band to come here, and the leader is Clark Bright--in the green shirt--who once worked for me at the University of Hawaii)
  • Tai Chi 
  • Wii! (not sure what this is)
  • Circuit Training (also not sure what this is)
  • Bridge Game (I sometimes join them)
  • Excursion to Aiea Bowl (later today, and the only activity I will be partaking in today--basically, our shuttle takes us there and picks us up)
  • Brain Games (your guess is as good as mine)
  • AF Aqua (something to do with exercising in our pool)
  • Line Dancing (I just yesterday at the dinner table mentioned that there are two things I will not do here--bingo and line dancing, with a couple of derogatory comments--and the line dancing leader was sitting next to me)
Let me start my day with a composite of an average Wednesday, when I walked to Marukame in town for a bowl of udon:

I then walked nine holes at the Ala Wai Golf course, where I visited Pearl's Gold Tree:

I then came home and took a bath.  Yes, I finally got a bath tub installed last week:

Note that neat shelf I installed in the corner to hold my drink.

For dinner I fried a piece of $58/pound Miyazaki beef on my lanai:

Admire the abundant sashimi and bottle of Stanford Cabernet Sauvignon.  In particulay, I saw that there was a photo of the Old Chem Building, where I took all my chemical engineering courses when I was there.  

You would have thought this structure would have been torn down by now...but no, I read on the back of the bottle that the internals are being readied for a 2016 opening of an array of state-of-the-art science laboratories.  The wordsmith also indicated this Nadia Cardinal Cuvee hints of wild blackberry, chocolate, and salty sea air, underscored by rich cedar with firm, yet supple, tannins.  Sure.  Anyway, below my authentic Japanese wagyu steak dish, which was awesome:

You ask, if they provide three meals a day, plus 10AM snacks and fruits, and afternoon coffee/tea, why am I cooking my own meal?  I have so little time left and I want to optimize my life.  Yes, I do waste a lot of money by skipping meals here.  However, as I am now the new chairman of the dining committee, and am on a quest to enhance the cuisine, I will more frequently eat in our dining room over then next year or two.

After our two-hour dinner last Thursday with a regular group of colleagues, I just made it to our Tuesday-Thursday-Saturday night poker group:

The poker commish is Henry (in red), who tolerates the wild games Howard (left) and I invent.  Last night I actually created two new adventures having to do with crosses, elevators, baseball, two-eyed picture card being jokers and so on.  My astonishment is that these efforts, where I have no pre-thought, actually turn out to be viable.  Henry goes to the Waialae Country Club every Monday to poker with ten friends, and they only play the same five card stud.  A lot of fun with this group at 15 Craigside.

So that brings me back to today, where my schedule forced me to skip lunch.  Then, on to Aiea Bowl.  This could well have been the most pathetic exhibition of bowling in the history of this sport, for no one hit triple digits.  Even those small children, as young as four, had higher scores.  However, they were using that ramp system and had borders to prevent gutter balls.  In 1970 there were 28 bowling alleys in Honolulu.  Today, seven, with four related to the military.  Ken, Francis, Eric (president of 15 C Association) and Pepper, who felt compelled to take my photo:

I spent $15 for a take-out ox-tail soup, a specialty of this bowling alley:

The meal was enhanced with a Kirin beer and a jigger of Excelsior (into the broth).  Most don't realize that Johnny Walker has more than colors.  Reading the words on the bottle:

The rarest stocks have been double matured to create a Scotch Whiskey of unsurpassed richness and velvet smoothness.  LIMITED RELEASE:  Anno MCMXCVII (1997).

The above was actually a composite of two days in my life at 15 Craigside, but actions been non-stop, for, as of this moment, I have not yet had the time to read three days of the delivered Honolulu Star Advertiser.  I show I'll Be Me, the story of Glen Campbell, for that is our movie for tomorrow.  Rotten Tomatoes reviewers gave it an extraordinary 100% rating, with a 96% audience like.  (Well, I went down to the theater on Saturday, and learned Glen, and his bout with Alzheimer's will be shown next week.)

Nothing to be concerned about, but there is the potential for an ocean storm south and east of Hawaii.

Actually, there are two disturbances.  Hurricane preparedness week begins in two days.  An active year is projected because of  El Nino.  The below table is only for the North-East Pacific between the West Coast of North American and Hawaii (SMN is the Mexican Servicio Meteorologic Nacional):

Predictions of tropical activity in the 2015 season
Average (1981–2010)[1]
Record high activity271610[2]
Record low activity830[2]
SMNApril 10, 201519114


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