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Wednesday, November 23, 2016

SOME SIMPLE THANKFUL PLEASURES

Around this time each year turkeys go on sale for ridiculously low prices.  At Foodland in Honolulu you can pick up a 12-15.99 pound bird for FREE, with something called a My Rewards coupon (given to you when you accumulate 250 points--which must be $250 dollars).  I'm now a Thanksgiving expert, for The Huffington Post published my article on HOW TO ROAST A TURKEY.  I was tempted to pick up a frozen turkey this year and donate it to some organization, as 15 Craigside has an annual Thanksgiving feast, featuring real turkey, which I won't be able to enjoy again because I have been invited out to a friend's home.

Foodland has a local history, for Sully Sullivan, who came to Hawaii from Ireland, opened his first market at Market City in 1948.  It is the largest locally owned supermarket chain in the state with 33 on four islands.  The other local big one is Times Supermarkets.

Foodland Farms, their flagship operation at the rebuilt end of Ala Moana Shopping Center, just opened in August.  It's large and especially features take-out food, with an R. Field (their Beretania market just sent me an e-mail today asking me to pick up my 54 bottles of Stanford wines) Wine Bar serving high end appetizers and wine, a European-style rotisserie, upgraded bakery, major poke (marinated Hawaiian chunks of raw fish) station and HI (symbol for Hawaii) Steaks.  Here are a few views beginning with the Shirokiya Japan Village Walk across the parking lot:

I bought a 12 pack of Mickey's for $10.99.  I have leaned towards this particular beer because, first, you can shield it at, say, Magic Island when I have my bento with Diamond Head, and the bottle does not cover the straw, which should convince any person of authority, for it is illegal to drink alcohol beverages at Hawaii public parks.  I mean, who drinks beer with a straw.  Second, I almost never can finish the whole bottle anyway,  so I cap it for future use.  Today is my golf day so I had a large and simple breakfast of ham/eggs, grilled onions, rice, pickled ginger, my home-made tsukemono, Mickey's and ounce of hot sake:


As I drank only a third of that beer, with one ounce of sake, these drinks cost way  less than a dollar.  Okay, those were a few local simple thankful pleasures.

Nationally, the stock market has been breaking records since Donald Trump's victory.  How long can this go on before people realize what will happen next?  But this is a simple thankful pleasure because both the China and Japan markets are a shadow of their past.  The Japan Nikkei, for example, was up to 38,957 in 1990, and today was 18,163.  But it's worse than that, for the real value of 1990 dollars today is between 64,000 and 118,000, depending on your parameter of comparison.  The Shanghai stock exchange in 2007 was up to 6,124, and closed today at 3255.  The Dow will today again break it's all-time record of 19,024.

Globally, one of the items in the right column shows that the price of oil today remains below $50/barrel.  Click on the 5y icon and you can see that for the past two years now petroleum has been at half what it was (more than $100/barrel for several years).  Why is this a simple thankful pleasure?  Our economy is booming mostly because of this cut-rate price of energy.  It will jump someday, of course, and then will follow, as occurred in the early 80's and again in 2008, a painful recession.

Tomorrow I will report on my 15 Craigside Photography Club assignment for this month:  WHAT ARE YOU THANKFUL FOR?  We meet on Sunday, December 4, and our mentor, Scott, from the Honolulu Museum of Art, shows our photos and comments on them.  Earlier this month when I was on my Fall Food and Foliage Fantasy, the Club invited the equivalent Arcadia club to our gathering.  I donated the champagne.

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