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Friday, September 1, 2017


My most important decisions seem to be made impetuously.  And I have finally realized why.

I met Pearl in September, and we were married in December.  My previous home was a spot decision, for I was still working in the U.S. Senate and came home to quickly purchase something for our return.  The morning my real estate agent showed me around, he indicated that a rather unusual penthouse was just made available, and would I like to see it?  Turned out one of the co-owners of the building had a spat with the rest of the group and he suddenly just offered his apartment for sale.  It was love at first sight when I saw it.  My neighbors somehow were linked to the ownership, and were people like Aaron Placourakis (went on to own a bunch of restaurants), Stevenson Higa (art gallery), Donald Johanos (symphony conductor), Harry/Emma Myers (Waikiki hotel), etc.  Then, my recent decision to totally change my lifestyle for permanence at 15 Craigside was also swift:
  • I saw this building coming up for several years in the adjacent lot, so one day decided to drop by on a Saturday for no particular reason.
  • I had not looked into any seniors community on the island.
  • However, after only a few minutes at 15 Craigside, they indicated that an apartment which had never been lived in was suddenly made available that very hour.  I looked at it and said to myself, if I happened to be the first person to sign up when the place was first made available, this was the one I would have picked.
  • So 20-minutes into a lark I signed a $20,000 check for my final home.
These monumental spur of the moment decisions resulted in:
  • A marriage that lasted 47 years, and the reason for the hasty decision was something called love.
  • Life in Craigside was for 32 years, and, again, it was love.
  • I'm now in Year 3 of what I hope will continue for another 30 years, but this time, it's more like like.
So yesterday I went for an oil change at Pacific Honda.  Turned out it took longer because a mandatory recall defect needed to be corrected.  Having a lot of time, I thus walked into the showroom and told the salesperson that, as a promise to a friend, I needed to first see the latest Toyota Prius before I made my decision at Honda.  

I had two other more probable options:
  • Keep my current 10-year old Honda Fit until it finally broke down.
  • Quit driving for good.
There was absolutely no real need to buy a new car, for this old gray pal ran well.  The only problem was that there was no camera in the reverse mode, and backing up in parking lots worried me.

Similar to my 15 Craigside opportunity, it turned out that Pacific Honda's computer had just found an automatic 2017 Fit, just what I wanted.  This was the last one available, and would probably have been bought that day because it's so popular.  The 2018's had come in and were more expensive.

As happens at car dealerships, negotiations became an interesting game:
  • I first asked William what would be the lowest possible amount I would pay after trading-in my car.  
  • When they brought back the balance sheet, the cost was $27,000 (the grand sum when they add everything like taxes, handling, mistakes, 10-year insurance, etc), minus $3000 for my old car, or $24,000.
  • So I  began some bargaining, as I thought the 3-year warranty was sufficient, the leather seats were unnecessary (but that was just another mistake by their computer) and assorted other stuff I didn't what about $22,000?
  • He had to go see his manager.
  • While waiting, I had a second gambit.  Ask for an even lower price, I would forget about Toyata, and I would just write them a $20,000 check.
  • Of course he had to go back to check with his manager.  
  • But while he was away, I thought, why not use my Mile-Plus VISA card and get 20,000 miles. 
  • So when he came back I asked, and he had to see his manager again.
  • The manager returned instead and said the VISA assessment was around $500, and they were at the lowest level they could go.  
  • So I quickly said, why don't we split that difference and we can forget about a credit card.  I'll write a check for $19,750.  
  • The manager had to check with his superior...and they essentially said okay.
The whole process is designed to make the customer happy at the end, plus they appeared sincere about wanting to keep me in the family.  Maybe I should have been more demanding.  In any case, they seemed satisfied, and I was happy.

While they were preparing the car, I walked a block away and saw for the first time in the Remington Building about a dozen international eating places.  I selected Catina, an Italian outlet, and ordered a Spaghetti Agli Oglio with anchovies, plus garlic bread.  I only paid $8.50 for this:

Okay, but some basil leaves and a slice of raw onion would have been better.  I then went back to shift all my stuff from old to new car.  Ten years later, the 2017 version looks almost exactly like my 2007 model.  

Turned out William also went to McKinley High School, this was his first month on the job, and, until I appeared, he was up to 11 sales in August.  Being the final day of the month, my order brought him up to a full dozen, raising him to a special achievement category which he clearly appreciated.  Everybody's happy!

While I might wear a shirt that says Don't Worry Be Happy, I rarely, actually, act with any haste, but on those occasions when I have, that's the key word.  Every time I made a quick monumental decision, it was to enhance my happiness...and every one was of life-determining consequence.

Hurricane Harvey is now only bringing some moisture to the midwest and northeast.  However, there are four more ocean storms:

Hurricane Irma is now at 110 MPH and looks to be heading for islands of the Caribbean:

There is a new one, Typhoon Banyu at 90 MPH, located sufficiently east of Japan and projected to keep moving parallel to the northeast:


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