Just asking…

Are you eligible and if so, have you had your third Covid shot?

Received my “booster” shot yesterday, at Longs Hawaii Kai. I qualified for one, due to age and medical pre-conditions.

So, how’d it go? Quickly, with no pain when the shot was administered. Had my earlier two shots six months ago.

Tips: Call your pharmacy or doctor, to determine if the shot you need is available; the serum must be compatible to your earlier vaccinations: Moderna, Pfizer, Johnson & Johnson. Walk-ins acceptable; you’ll need to fill out a form; your temperature will be taken, so if you feel feverish, go another day when you’re OK.

Bring: Your previously issued Covid vaxx card; the third shot will be logged onto it as documentation of the procedure.

Aftermath: My left arm, notably the area where the shot was given, aches this morning. Hopefully, no other side effects.


It started with an email:

“I was surprised you didn’t own WayneHarada.com. I’m also surprised it’s still available! Let me know if you want to pick it up, I can set it up for you, free. It never hurts to have a space you own on the web to post or at least archive your independent writing.

Either way, keep doing what you love, we love you for it!”

Ryan Kawailani Ozawa at Rainbow Falls

The dude asking me about my establishing my own website was Ryan Kawailani Ozawa, a technologist who was the last of three who–over the past decade or so– suggested I should launch my own site. I’ve declined mostly because I was retired as a life-long journalist and turned to Facebook to post reviews, share entertainment and other chatter, and communicate with former friends and new followers as I began enjoying retirement and the uncertainty of unemployment.

When I exited the Honolulu Advertiser in 2008, I was invited to continue to write my “Show Biz” column for nearly a dozen more years. It was an easy commitment at a livable pace —  a column every Sunday – posted from anywhere, home or a trip abroad. Tuesday was the deadline day.

In March 2019, however, the paper terminated the column under crude and deceptive means, abandoning me in what they claimed was part of the pandemic cutbacks of freelancers… which was untrue since freelancers still populate the paper; I was one of only two terminations, but I appreciated the freedom but was not yet convinced my own website was a destination.

Facebook and beyond

Facebook has served me well. I post, followers respond. Many are ex-colleagues and longtime friends; but strangers have become “friends,” all virtual.

Ozawa was genuine in his email, and if WayneHarada.com was up for grabs and he did the snagging, I figured why not?

If he had faith in me, I thought I should reciprocate.

The timing was not ideal, however, since I was recuperating from minor back surgery to address an alternative to pain management for a sustaining lower back issue.

Clearly, I am not a techie, doing things as simply as possible, so I had to go on a fast track of learning.

With Ozawa as a mentor, I made the leap. He set up the initial perimeters and I had to learn the ropes without a manual, so this has been an educational journey, too.

I informed him that  a May 10 launch would be ideal, since I was doing “test” posts, some winding up on Facebook, too, but others confined to wayneharada.com.

The kick-off date became moot, since Ozawa turned on the switch much earlier in May.

As he suggested, the Show Biz column now exclusively runs at my site.

Generous, gentle guru

Ozawa has been a generous and gentle guru, providing kokua and tips on how to manage a site.

In repeated email exchanges, I pose questions, he provides solutions.

I’ve not met him face-to-face for Q&As; he prefers email.

I provided my cell number; he still prefers email. I still don’t have his number, so I email. Constantly. My Qs  might seem dumb to him, but the mentor has been patient and persistent, sharing support with a cool demeanor.

Sample exchange: Since I’ve been cross promoting my site on Facebook, Ozawa provided this advice:

“What you want to be sure to do is, every time you mention WayneHarada.com, is include a full link to the site: https://www.wayneharada.com — with the “https://www.” part — so that people have something to click to go directly to your site.”

Logical, of course, but how would I know that – without the tip he provides. I never quite understood why the https://www precede was vital.

A journalistic background

Yes, I’m flattered that he’s put up with me, and continues to do so, but it feels  somewhat like a phantom relationship. He’s there, but not there, if you get my drift.

And he won’t allow me to reimburse him for paying for the website.

Ozawa also has become a contributor of tidbits  for my column. So his savvy and voluntary “service” has been invaluable. He’s also approached and helped others, to some degree.

Then there was a confession:

“Yes, I have a habit of helping writers I admire start publishing independently online. Not all are as lucky as you to have their website domain name available, which is why I was a little more excited to contact you! I have a journalism degree but never had the guts to work in media, but I give lots of credit to those who do… and given the tumult in the industry, it’s important to me that great storytellers can still have their voices heard.”

So that’s the saga on how a retired journalist was thrust into launching his own website.

Write on!


Yikes, hate to admit it, but I slipped and fell in the bathtub the other day.

I landed on my spine precisely where some wires were inserted a few weeks back (yes, on my spine, just under the skin) as part of a neurostimulation therapy to ease my, um, back pain.

Stats show that bathrooms are slippery and cause spills and falls, so caution is mandatory.

The spill was avoidable; I was trying to get window curtains removed (for window-cleaning) when a stepstool glided in the tub (I wasn’t bathing) and whammo, I fell and hit my back.

Yes, it hurt – for about two days. My wife was there, watching helplessly, and furious that I wasn’t cautious.

No, I didn’t  bleed nor bruise. Luckily, the fall wasn’t damaging (I hope) to the wires inside me.

But my ego was hurt. I plead recklessness. I felt stupid.

Both my bathrooms have grab bar handles for ease in and out of the tub or shower stall. But bathroom surfaces are slippery, and risks of slipping are high.

Not surprisingly, statistics from NewsUSA – based on findings from the National Institute of Aging – cite that slippery surfaces are the common culprit and that a third of senior citizens over age 65 slip annually, with 80 per cent of mishaps occurring in the bathroom.

Of visits to the ER,  more than 60 per cent of injuries are linked to the bathroom, and 50 percent of deaths are caused from bathroom falls.

So the stats say it all. Bathrooms. Are. Dangerous.

No one falls intentionally, and yes, most spills are accidental. Like mine.

I haven’t yet told my pain management doctor yet, but will, when I return in June for a follow-up visit.

And yes, I expect a lecture then.


Jane Kurahara and Claire Sato at Gyotaku King St.
Vi and Wayne Harada
Butterfish teishoku

So remember that library association voluntary award that I won a few weeks back? Retired librarians Jane Kurahara and Claire Sato (top photo) hosted a celebration luncheon today (May 23) for me and my wife Violet Harada (middle photo), at Gyotaku Restaurant on King St. Claire, a crafts devotee, created fabric boxes containing pistachios (in foreground), and while the other three ordered senior bento lunches, I feasted on my favorite there: the butterfish teishoku (above photo). Arigato, gang! So oishee…


Remember when I discussed my recent experiences regarding surgery for my perennial lower back pain?

I feel the urgency to bring you up to snuff on my journey to wellness.

Simply put: You can’t achieve wellness without health insurance. As a senior citizen, I have Medicare coverage, with HMSA as my secondary insurance, and boy, am I lucky.

My procedure, if you recall, involved minor surgery to implant a battery in my left butt, and wires on my spine, to embrace the technology of neurostimulation to address the sore back.

It’s working, thank God, since my pain management doctor, Dr. Jeffrey Loh at Queen’s Medical Center, implanted the battery and wires as an alternate means to reduce my pain levels.

Yes, the bionic implants let my brain know that the aches are, well, decreasing.

But here’s the thing: Surgery costs.  A lot. Plenty, in fact.

Insurance will be covering most of the fees.

I won’t admit what the final bill is, since I’ve yet to receive one, but a preliminary “statement” from Queen’s — outlining sums for all elements of the surgery — was astonishing.

I could have bought perhaps three or four brand new mid-range cars, in cash. Or, if I went the luxury auto route, I might have been able to possibly secure two new cars.

The statement was a wake-up call. I never discussed the anticipated cost with my surgeon, but I knew insurance would provide courage. I did not expect the costliness of the procedure — part of the Same Day Surgery service, where I was admitted to Queen’s mid-afternoon, prepped for the incisions, and nursed in both the pre- and post-surgery process.

The statement broke down the charges for the procedure, for pharmacy fees, for OR charges, for other supplies and for anesthesia.

I’m not complaining but I am so appreciative of the medical plan, which covers all costs, including medication,  hopefully making my co-payment minimal.

I had supportive, wonderful nurses, before and after the surgery, and I thank Dr. Loh, for his guidance and his service.

I will always remember my few hours at Queen’s, notably for a photo of myself wearing the requisite blue shower-like cap, to keep the hair in place during the procedure. My cousin quipped, after seeing me becapped: “Everything’s better with blue bonnet on it.”

It was sorta the sonnet of this experience.

But one curiosity of the prelim statement. It had a charge listed as my co-pay. For $1. No zeroes. A buck. Can you imagine this?