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Saturday, July 1, 2017

SOME PAIN AND A LOT OF PLEASURE

Nothing to do with masochism, but, really, no one lives a perfect life.  Donald Trump, billionaire and the most powerful man in the world, must truly be pained.  My recent global adventure was most satisfying, but I did bite my tongue at a meal once and suffered a minimal hangnail.  Both painful, but you need to overcome these obstacles to good life.  At least I didn't lose my wallet and tooth, and suffer from food poisoning, all which occurred in my 2015 Global Around the World Adventure.

I've honed my current existence to a lifestyle featuring sleep (now 6-8 hours/night, versus 5-7 before moving into 15 Craigside), exercise and optimal nutrition.  I'll soon review both, but now more contradictions:  fruits (too much fructose, which is terrible for your body) and nuts (too much Omega-6 fatty acids, which contributes to heart disease--more than half those who die suffer from this ailment) are now not so good for you.  But, anyway, as I'm soon to go, I probably too often enjoy too much of the finest cuisine.

Which leads me to the subject of today:  some pain and a lot of pleasure, which is my current lifestyle.  For example, yesterday I walked 18 holes at the Ala Wai Golf course, 5.6 miles over 4.5 hours in the very hot sun.  Incidentally, what a coincidence, but I have an odometer on my golf watch, and the trip (in my car) home was also 5.6 miles.  I thanked my body for finishing this ordeal, which I do twice/week so I can eat and drink what I want.  But the pain!  I hurt all over when I woke up this morning.  Was the golf pleasurable?  Not really, for I also managed to lose six golf balls.  The positive in these disasters is that those Walmart Nitro golf balls cost only $5/dozen, so the total loss was $2.50.  If I had used Titlist Pro-V's, that would have amounted to $24.

Then for dinner last night the 15 Craigside poker gang went to Happy Days Chinese Restaurant, rated  by Hawaii's Best 2017 as serving the best Chinese Food.  

Tuesday, Thursday and Saturday nights from 7-9:30 eight players pay $5 for 50 chips.  If you run out, then you need to buy more.  The "house" collects five chips (50 cents) at the end of every hand, usually accumulating from $15-$20/night.  Thus, if you lose $2-$3 you have pretty much broken even.  In six months the pot has something close to $1500, which is applied to these dinners.

A few photos:


This is a very large restaurant, but aside from our special side room, we did not see too many people eating dinner here last night.  We did have a lot to drink, mostly due to contributions from Henry's (below, top person, who is the 15C Poker Commissioner and planned the evening) daughter for the wines and Cardhu Scotch, with George and Marge:


The group numbered 18:


We started with melon soup:


I brought the bottle of Johnny Walker Double Black, which is poured into the soup.  That's the Cardhu (which I took home half full) over ice in the wine glass.  Back in those days when DUI's were not much of a danger, every major Chinese banquet featured a bottle of scotch, with the absolute best being Johnny Walker Black Label.  Double Black is a smokier version of the original.  

Here I've mininimized the size of the Peking Duck photos because they were out of focus.  PD I place up there with caviar, foie gras and truffles.  Every so often I drop by Happy Days and order half a duck, which is much too much for me, but the remains end up as soup.

Next was what looked like hamburger over broccoli, but were oysters rolls;


Perhaps the highlight of the meal was a combination of abalone, mushrooms and choy sum:


I loved the cold ginger chicken, which, with the above, I took home as leftovers, for I plan to enhance them with what I yet do not know for lunch today:


Finally, shrimp and Howard's Kumu head.


Fish is the final dish of a Chinese banquet, and Kumu is a very special local fish.  Here is a photo:


What was the pain from the great meal above?  When I woke up this morning I was hung over.  But with this pain came a lot of pleasure.

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