ROAD WARNINGS: A HUMP, A BUMP, A DIP

Just asking…

Is it just me or are you noticing the frequency of new signage on our highways and byways.

I’m talking about newish and plentiful signs that warn drivers to be cautious and keep foot on brakes.

And it’s a matter of gradations:

  • HUMP. Sort of like a warning that there will be a large bump on the road.
  • BUMP. OK, perhaps this is a signal that there will be an uppity element, maybe less so that a hump
  • DIP. Hmmm, like a slight discrepancy on the paving of the word. Not as worrisome or wobbly like a bump or a hump.
  • UNEVEN SURFACE (OR ROAD). Golly, that’s applicable to all the freeways and side streets that are worn out and awaiting fixing.

I believe you see all of the above east-bound on the H-1, from the Makiki area to the University Avenue.

The stretch of Kalanianaole Hwy., from Waimanalo heading to Kaneohe, has its share of  hump-bumpy warnings. There are some HUMP warnings painted on the road, near the school zones, and you need to chill unless you’ve got a sturdy truck.

On the other side of the island, Kamehameha Highway from Aiea east-bound to Pearl Harbor boast a few on-road hump warnings, too. Sedans and SVUs need to heed these little mounds.

The worst of these humps/ bumps might be at the Hilton Hawaiian Village resort, whose entrance and exit have the highest humps or bumps, and speeding would be manic. Methinks the small mountains of tar should be ID’d for what it is: Hilton Hills. After the first ascent over the first hill, you need to keep your seat belts on, put foot on the brakes, and Go. Slow. Otherise, you’ll ruin your tires or chassis.

Yikes!

SPECTRUM SERVICE IS OFTEN IFFY

Just asking…

If you’re a Spectrum subscriber, have you noticed the frequency of issues that leave you without wi-fi, meaning no iPhone or computer service, and the loss of regular TV and streaming service?

It just happens so darn often.

Yesterday, there was no service from mid-morning. A call resulted in a message that there were problems in our area (Hawaii Kai).  Several hours later, the message was that power problems were in multiple communities.

Asked for a call-back, when repairs were done; follow-up message indicated service was restored. Not so.

Another call had to be made, since TV service was restored, but not with computer access.

Incoming emails apparently were stored, but no access till the whole system was up and running.

You’re a captive audience, so you need patience. And while you might be prisoner for half-a-day without service, you don’t get credit and a rate deduction in your monthly bill

STILL GET A BARBER’S HAIRCUT?

Just asking…

Does anyone go to a barber anymore?

Barber shops are an endangered species, since most men these days have their hair cut, styled and body-waved at a salon than traditional barber shop.

I remember my small-kid-type visits to a barber shop, a four-or-so chaired facility, on the left side of the old Liliha Theatre on Liliha Street. There was a box office in the center of the theater lobby, and some kind of retailer occupied the right side.

The barbers I went to were of Filipino ancestry; I don’t recall how much a basic cut was, but likely more than $1. That’s why that ol’ “shave and a haircut, two bits” refrain was born,  the “two bits” meaning  25 cents or a quarter. Those were the days.

 The  basic cut included a hair wash, with the barber using both a pair of scissors or one of those classic barber shears to trim.  And if there was hair around the neck, the cutter used a brush and some baby power to finish the session.

At a very young, say 3 or 4 years old, I think I sat on a “booster” seat  in the hair chair to get to a certain height.

As I got older, I sat in the actual seat, got wrapped with a white sheet to shield me from the hair cuttings, and had one of those shavers to finish by sideburns.

I had a left-side parting with straight hair; the trim was basic; when I was in high school, I had kind of a buzz cut to conform to ROTC protocols. And no hair around the ears;  had to be cut or shaved, like a fender over a wheel.

There were many elderly barbers, male and female, and if you liked yours, you were a regular for years. I remember the comforting hot towel wrapped around your face, when you were nearly done.

Some of those barber chairs were exquisite furniture, with armrests, cushiony seats, and the chair with foot rests, could be fully reclined, too, if your cutter so decided.

Nowadays my stylist of more than four decades, washes, shampoos, trims, and body-waves. About 20 years ago, as the black hair started turning grey and white, I had a dye job, too—too messy and unnecessary so the salt-and-pepper look is a matter of  choice. My body waves – during every other visit, perhaps in four- or five-week intervals, cost $75-nowadays, tip not included. Somewhere along the way, those old-fashioned hair dryers were dismissed, but I recall sitting next to a woman getting her locks curled and dried, too. Is this gizmo still utilized?

Of course, you’d add a trip for your stylist.

A CONSTANT CREDIT CARD HEADACHE

Just asking…

Have you had to deal with a credit card that has been compromised?

To restate: has someone hacked your account and logged expenses that weren’t yours?

I’ve had a succession of these irritable moments, when I received a text message and a phone call that a rat was apparently at work.

My Hawaiian Airlines Master Card, I was told, likely was compromised. Bless the watcher/whistleblower, who flagged one charge and was right.  A sum – not mine – was logged  from Florida and thank Lord someone sniffed this foul play.

But three times, over two years? Humbug, yeah?

This incident required the termination of the victimized card and  a new replacement card; the result is that sites where I have automatic charges had to be informed and this card was immediately halted.

A replacement with a new number arrived via express mail, so now it’s business as usual.

But applause, to the scrutinizers, for sniffing out a crook. They are unsung heroes.

WHEN DID COVER STOCK PAPER PRICES SOAR?

Just asking…

Have you noticed the surge in cost of vellum or cover stock, a staple in paper crafts?

As a card-maker hobbyist, I’ve been using the vellum paper for decades. It’s got more body and stiffness than the everyday document “typewriter paper,” what you commonly use in your copier.

Back in the day, a ream (250 sheets, 67 lbs.) cost under $5 a ream, then periodically became more expensive over the past four decades.

Springhill cover stock paper.

It was more than three years ago, prior to the start of the COVID pandemic, that I bought my last ream of plain white vellum paper. If you’re a hobbyist, you know that these cover stock paper comes in a range of colors, from pastel pink and blue, to yellow and green, and even tonier hues of orchid or peach.

Prices have been gradually escalating, like everything else, to $16 and $18 a ream…the last time I purchased several reams.

But ouch! When I visited Fisher’s the other day, the price tag was more than doubled, to $30-plus for a ream for the Springhill brand, the one I usually bought. For red, and dark colors like purple and garden green, I had to purchase another brand at Office Depot that was always costlier.

At Fisher, I located another brand, Hammermill, for under $19, so purchased that.

But I wanted to find out what comparison costs were at Office Depot and not surprisingly, the price tags were over $30 for cover stock and even standard copier paper.

It might be cheaper to shop at Amazon, which sells the Springhill product for $16.34.

Besides card-making, I need the vellum paper to create mounting labels for the holiday pins I make.

Just wondered if anyone else has encountered the soaring cost of paper.