Showing posts from May, 2018

Starbucks will close for a conversation on race and bias. Will it make a difference?

I admit it, I spend a lot of time in Starbucks.  When I'm in Honolulu, I tend to wake up about 6, and walk a third of a mile up the valley to the Manoa Starbucks.  There, I get a coffee and a Honolulu Star-Advertiser newspaper, catch up on local and global events, check out the tide tables, then get out the computer to begin with the emails and do some writing.  The clientele is primarily people of Asian descent, which makes sense, since 50%+ of the population of the valley is... people of Asian descent!  

The majority of people of Asian descent report Japanese ancestry, with Chinese and Filipino ancestry rounding out the top three.

The Manoa Starbucks fills in the morning with faculty and students from the University of Hawaii, students from St. Francis School and Mid-Pacific Institute, dog-walkers, locals finishing their morning runs and walks, neighbors, firefighters from the station next door, a few homeless men and women, and people waiting for the bus downtown, to name just a …

The politics of non-alcoholic beer - a continuing saga of misinformation

When our number 1 son, Wesley, left for college in 2011, we were pretty sure we gave him the skills to avoid the "Animal House" style of binge drinking.  Except for 1 or 2 times over 4 years (that he admitted), I think we were successful.

At the University of Utah, as with all state colleges and universities in Utah, there is a policy that prohibits drinking on campus:

"Under University policy, students are subject to discipline for use, possession, or distribution of alcoholic beverages of any type on University premises except as expressly permitted by law and University regulations."

The regulations for the dorms are even more specific:

"The University of Utah is a dry campus. Use, possession or distribution of alcoholic beverages of any type, including beer, on University premises is prohibited except as expressly permitted by law and University regulations. This includes empty alcohol containers, as well as alcohol paraphernalia, such as, but not limited to, …

Signage, chapter 2

The main purpose of signs is to communicate, to send a message.  Here are some recent messages!

Refried Beans on the Celebrity Solstice, redux

I've written about my difficulty in getting a response from the crew of the Celebrity Solstice about the ingredients in their refried beans.  It was a simple question.  Do the refried beans served in the Oceanside Cafe almost daily contain lard or other animal products?  This is a big deal to vegans and vegetarians, as well as for people with religious prohibitions against eating pork.

The answer is right on the ingredient label, or in the recipe if they make their refried beans from scratch.  Instead of looking, however, multiple chefs and shift supervisors would promise to "get back to me."  They never did.

On my return to Utah, I sent a note to an email address ( I found for "post cruise comments." I wrote, "I've just completed my cruise on the Solstice, traveling from Sydney to Honolulu. Throughout this 19 day cruise, we had a heck of a time trying to get the ingredient list for refried beans served almost every day…

Returning to a brown, green, and white spot on a blue planet

For the past 5 months, I've spent the majority of my time on or near the ocean.  We've returned to Utah, and these first 2 weeks have resulted in me getting reacquainted with this part of the world.  In the future, I'll be discussing how my actions in Utah affect the oceans of the world.  For now, however, I just want to be present in the high desert.

Flying into the Salt Lake International Airport reminded me that winter was slowly withdrawing from northern Utah.  The Wasatch Range (the western edge of the greater Rocky Mountains) still is snow-covered, and the color brown predominates.  As the snow melts and temperatures rise, the mountains should green up for a few months.

In Cache Valley, our first week back was beautiful, with fruit trees in full blossom and the tulips kissing the sky.  Daytime temperatures were in the 70s and 80s (F; 21-25 degrees C).  It was definitely shorts weather.  I checked out our lawn water sprinkler system, and mowed the grass twice.

One week l…