Monday, December 26, 2011

Stop Server Abuse

We were at a restaurant having dinner recently with friends. A nearby table had a noisy group of people who were having fun singing Christmas carols. They were also very demanding on the waitress. They finally left singing and dancing out of the restaurant.
I'm sure they paid a large check. the waitress continued working at the other tables. Our friend noticed that she was in tears. He asked her what happened.
She told him that the group left no tip. Nothing at all. Our friend felt so sympathetic that he gave her an extra tip to compensate for that unthinking bunch of people. Those people were Americans.
According to a recent report, almost 3,000 workers in Maui county have their primary occupation working as a waiter or waitress. This does not include the many workers who work second jobs in this occupation and depend upon tips for subsistence.
Stop server abuse - tip generously!
Blackie Gadarian
(Letter published in Maui News Dec.14, 2011, and Lahaina News Dec. 22, 2011

Monday, September 26, 2011

Haircuts at Sea

I was on the aircraft carrier Nassau during World War II. It was a smaller carrier, called a jeep carrier. On a ship of 900 men there were no barbers. No one volunteered.
Our executive officer made a rule: anyone put on report for a wrongdoing would have to be the ship's barber for a month. Each month's barber had a different version of what a haircut should be. They were even ruining my butch haircut.
The sailors could hardly wait to go ashore to get a decent haircut. . . among other things.

Sunday, August 28, 2011

Strollers a nuisance on planes

Some of us have noticed modern-day baby strollers at the airport or various public places. Baby strollers are getting as large as Volkswagens. They seem to be large enough to have stereos, auto-bottle feeders, cell phones, diaper containers, toy boxes and room for a friend.

We can live with them most of the time, except when frantic parents find out the stroller won't fit in an airplane. They clog the entrance to the plane, then end up stuffing the content of the stroller in the compartment over our heads. It's like stuffing a marshmallow into a ketchup bottle.

My solution: have certain airplanes for adults only. I'll even pay extra for that.

(Letter published in the Maui News March 22, 2010 and Lahaina News March 25, 2010)

Friday, August 26, 2011

Ships at Sea in Storms

Regarding US Navy ships headed to sea ahead of Hurricane Irene: It is safer at sea than near shore due to storm surge and wave damage.

However, during WWII our fleet got caught in a typhoon off New Guinea in 137 knot winds. Two ships turned over and sunk.

I was almost lost off our carrier the Nassau (CVE-16). I was trying to tie airplanes down on the flight deck. I fell over the side and landed in the cargo net.

It was always exciting on the flight deck.

Saturday, August 20, 2011

Nothing is Free

We are all aware that airlines are charging for any little service that was previously offered free.

Of course, hotels are doing it also.

As far as I know, restaurants haven't started charging for napkins yet. But they will.

The crowning blow was while traveling, I ordered my favorite drink, vodka on ice, at a hotel bar. They charged me $1 more for the ice.

It's more than a drinking man can bear.

Blackie Gadarian
(Letter published in the Maui News Aug.13, 2011, and Lahaina News Aug. 18, 2011)

Thursday, August 4, 2011

Fancy signs, dim lighting can lead to confusion

As we get older, little things become large obstacles when we go out for dining or cocktails.

The doors leading to the men's and women's restrooms were obvious in the past. But now artists have exhibited their talents by making the doors works of art rather than simple signs.

Then the entrance is in a dim light as well. After a meal or drink, barging into the restroom can be embarrassing.

Ladies, if you find me in the wrong place, it's not my fault. I say, "When you gotta go, you gotta go."

Blackie Gadarian.
(Letter published in The Maui News July 22, 2011 and Lahaina News July 28, 2011.)

Wednesday, July 27, 2011

Why are things always stuck together?

It happens all the time. You reach into the closet for a clothes hanger. Instead of one, you get a bunch stuck together. There they are, stuck on clothing or in a clump on the floor.

Then you go to the market. You take a shopping cart. But the cart is stuck to one or two other carts.

You might imagine that clothes hangers and shopping carts stick together as they do because they are mating.

Blackie Gadarian -
(Letter published in The Maui News June 10, 2010)

Sunday, July 17, 2011

Tired of Whiny Guests

Here on Maui, we are usually happy to have friends and relatives visit - until we meet them for lunch.

All we hear from them are complaints about the trip, such as: "They changed our seats." "They refused to put my stroller on the plane." "The food was awful." "The flight was late." "They lost our baggage."

We have to endure these stories because we think they are buying lunch. Instead, we get stuck with the check.

It seems people fly over here just to have us suffer listening to their tales of suffering.

Blackie Gadarian - Lahaina

(Letter published in The Maui News July 5, 2011, and Lahaina News July 14, 2011)

Thursday, July 14, 2011

Support our local West Maui printing company

The best place in Maui for your printing needs is Island Printing & Imaging on Limahana Place in Lahaina. See owner Pam Webb for friendly, efficient and good service. Call (808) 661-8849. If she can't help you, you are beyond help. Maui Blackie Gadarian

Monday, July 11, 2011

All my friends are behind bars

My motto as a professional bar patron: All my friends are behind bars.

Wednesday, June 29, 2011

Every Time I See You, You're in a Bar

For a real bar experience in Lahaina, forget the fancy tourist places and go to the Sly Mongoose bar. Look at the pictures of Maui Blackie on the wall and ask for Donna - she's the best bartender in town. She doesn't short you on drinks, and she's entertaining too. Humble Blackie

Saturday, June 18, 2011

Blackie and Sara's Anniversary Today

Sara and I were married June 18, 1960. After 51 years of marriage, we're still laughing.

Thursday, June 16, 2011

Live for Today

Many reports I hear on TV are meant to cause me concern.

Social Security will be broke in 2025. Medicare will be broke in 2021. Polar ice will melt by 2030 and the world will be under water.

There is nothing I can do about it since I'm almost 90 years old.

I won't be here.

I'm living for today. How about you?

(Letter published in The Maui News June 4, 2011, and Lahaina News June 9, 2011

Friday, May 13, 2011

No Shortage of Lawyers

Everyone living on Maui must put up with shortages. We realize we live on an island. We are supplied with almost everything from elsewhere. We have to depend on Honolulu and the Mainland for many services and necessities.

It's refreshing to know that it only takes a local call to get a lawyer. We are blessed with having 58 pages of them listed in the phone book.

We don't have to import lawyers as we do everything else. So if you need one, take your pick.

(Letter published in The Maui News April 25, 2011, and Lahaina News April 28, 2011)

Saturday, April 2, 2011

Whale Egg (Megaptera Ovum) This rare specimen of a whale egg shell was removed from the bottom of the Kealaikahiki Channel by the U.S. Cetacean Research Society. The embryo died before birth due to lack of attention from its mother. The embryo has been removed from the shell for scientific analysis. Whale eggs can be found in the deep caves in channels between the Hawaiian Islands. Whale eggs have been hunted by sme humans who consider the embryo liver a delicacy. According to International Agreement, whale eggs can be observed by research submarines, but are not to be disturbed unless it is verified that the egg has been abandoned by its mother. The mother of this egg was killed February, 1989, by a trans-Pacific tugboat. The tugboat captain was charged with negligence, piloting under the influence of alcohol, but was later released due to lack of corroborating evidence.

Thursday, March 24, 2011

What's inside is what matters

Through the years, men have changed their hair to have various styles. The fashion has gone from crew cuts to long hair to no hair.

Mustaches have been around a long time, even though some say a mustache hides a weak upper lip.

Currently, various types of beards are in fashion. Most are adornments. Many take a lot of care.

Some say beards are worn to make you appear knowledgeable and learned. Other tailored beards are to make you look upscale. Sloppy beards are just sloppy.

My view is that it doesn't matter how you groom your head - it's what's inside your head that counts.

(Letter published in The Maui News March 21, 2011 and Lahaina News March 24, 2011)

Sunday, March 20, 2011

What can you say?

How often do married men hear their wives make statements such as, "You're not going to do that, are you?"

Or "You aren't going to wear that again, are you?"

Or "You're not going to make a fool of yourself again, are you?"

Any answer to those questions would provoke an argument.

There must be something we can say . . . but what?

(Letter in The Maui News Aug.16, 2007, and Lahaina News Aug.23, 2007)

On Aug.19,2007, David Olsten of Wailuku wrote the following:

This is a response to Blackie Gadarian's August 16 letter:
Blackie, the answer is "Yes, dear".

Sunday, March 13, 2011

Come to Maui to Fail Again

When you have dropped out from everywhere else, come to Maui to fail again.

Saturday, March 12, 2011

Which is worse - insurance companies or lawyers?

Sign posted by Blackie at Blackie's Bar Lahaina 1981-1995.

Believe a gecko?

That cartoon gecko is everywhere on TV insisting we buy insurance on his advice.

I wonder how many of us are falling for this advertising gimmick.

Then again, some people may be dumb enough to think that getting advice from a gecko is better than getting advice from an insurance agent.

(Letter published in The Maui News Aug.4, 2007, Lahaina News Aug.16, 2007)

Monday, March 7, 2011

Who guards the guards?

These days we see more and more security guards, store guards, airport guards, border guards, school guards, etc. are being employed by industry and government.

It seems that eventually half of the citizens will have jobs watching the other half. Who is guarding all those guards?

(Letter published in The Maui News July 4, 2007, and Lahaina News July 26, 2007)

Wednesday, March 2, 2011

What is "homemade"?

There's always a day when you decide to go out to a restaurant instead of eating at home.

When you look at a menu, you invariably see offerings such as "homemade meat loaf", "home fries", homemade soup", "homemade apple pie", etc.

This brings up questions: What really is "homemade" food? And why did you go out to eat when "homemade" is at home?

(Letter published in The Maui News June 19, 2007 and Lahaina News July 5, 2007)

Friday, February 25, 2011

Mundane house fixture reassuring in troubled world

With all the troubles of the world, we can always be sure of a few things in life. One of the things we take for granted are doorknobs. They are invaluable.

Some of think they are only for opening doors. Where else can we hang a shirt, pants, towels, laundry, etc.? My wife keeps telling me to put things on hangers or hooks, but doorknobs are handy.

So the next time you lose faith in the world, remember you'll always have the doorknobs. Hooray for doorknobs!

(Letter published in The Maui News May 6, 2007, and Lahaina News May 10, 2007)

Wednesday, February 23, 2011

Avoid enemies while shopping

Some days are going to turn out badly. You go to the market, take a cart and head for one end to begin shopping. You meet a person you have disliked and avoided for years, and vice versa. You exchange embarrassed smiles and an insincere hello.

Of course, you keep crossing paths with that person when you go up and down the aisles. And the final embarrassment: You end up standing behind the person at the check stand.

Next time you shop, you might start shopping at the other end of the market. But then the person you are trying to avoid will think of doing the same thing. You can't win.

Letter published in The Maui News Aug.27, 2006, and Lahaina News Nov.9, 2006)

Friday, February 18, 2011

Give it a fancy label and shoppers pay extra

I am amazed at the gullibility of some shoppers at the market. They carefully read and compare product labels and believe what they read. Each brand claims to be new, improved or different and better than the others.

I propose a test for marketing eggs. They could be separated in different displays titled "frying eggs", "boiling eggs", and "poaching eggs". Each category would be accompanied by detailed cooking instructions and prices.

I am sure many people would pay more to get a "special" kind of eggs.

Those who believe everything they read have joined the ranks of the suckers born every minute.

(Letter published in The Maui News March 16, 2006)

Monday, February 14, 2011

Food prices depend on where you buy groceries

I met a lady shopping at the market recently. She was complaining that food prices are exorbitant on Maui. I asked her where she was from. The answer: North Platte, Nebraska.

I suggested that she should promote tourism to North Platte because food prices there are so low. I don't know if tourists will flock to North Platte because of low food prices, but I do know tourists are here despite the prices.

(Letter published in The Maui News Dec. 30, 2005, and Lahaina News Jan.5, 2005)

Thursday, February 10, 2011

What will be gleaned from our garbage?

Archeologists 1000 years from now are going to study our civilization by digging through our trash. They will expect to find treasures. Instead, they will find a lot of broken refrigerators, microwaves, TVs, baby strollers, etc.

I don't know what conclusions they will make, but they will probably be disappointed. It will serve them right for digging into our trash.

(Letter published in The Maui News March 15, 2005, and Lahaina News March 24, 2005)

Thursday, February 3, 2011

Reactions to Letters about Sara's Cooking

A Tip for Preserving Domestic Tranquility

"The humorous missives from a Dec.25 letter writer are always entertaining and his wife's letter Jan.3 is no exception. After 50 years of marriage, she suggested that if her husband wanted Armenian dinners he should have married an Armenian.

In the interest of preserving domestic tranquility, maybe he should work longer and harder to afford an Armenian cook."

(Letter in The Maui News Friday Jan.7, 2011 from David L. Florence, Haiku, Maui)

Husband Should Cook Dinner Himself

"Like many others on Maui, I'm sure, it has been very fun reading the tit-for-tat repartee between husband and wife regarding his longing for home-cooked Armenian dinners.

But here's my question: Rather than bemoaning the lack thereof or taking his wife's advice by doing a 50 years ago redo and marrying an Armenian, or taking the advice of an Upcountry sympathizer by working harder to afford hiring an Armenian cook, why can't the disenchanted husband cook an Armenian dinner himself - for two?"

(Letter in The Maui News Friday, Jan.14, 2011 from Mary Lawrence, Kihei, Maui)

Saturday, January 22, 2011

Photos could help find baggage, family

Many of us who travel check our bags in at the airlines and wonder if we will ever see them again.

One way to help yourself is to take photographs of all your bags. If your bags get lost in foreign countries, you will be able to show pictures instead of trying to describe them.

You should take photos of your family too, so that you can find them if they get lost. That is, if you want your family back.

However, it won't do you any good if you put the photos in the bags you check in.

Blackie Gadarian

(Letter published in The Maui News Mar.15, 2005, Lahaina News Mar.24, 2005, )

Monday, January 17, 2011

Sara's response to Blackie's letter about cooking

I have to answer my husband's December 25 letter of accusations about my poor cooking skills.

For many years after we married, he ate my cooking consisting of meatloaf, spaghetti, beef stew, etc., even though they never came out the same way each time.

He gave me an Armenian cookbook and asked me to cook the recipes. During the 50 years we have been married, I have tried to cook these strange Armenian recipes, but to no avail.

I have given up. If he wants an Armenian dinner, he should have married an Armenian.

Sara Gadarian

(Letter published in The Maui News Jan.3, 2011 and Lahaina News Jan.13, 2011)

Prepared dishes have saved marriage

Food was not on my agenda when I married Sara 50 years ago. Since then, Sara demonstrated that cooking is not one of her better points. She kept trying with many disastrous results.

In recent years, supermarkets and warehouse clubs have come to town with their freezers and shelves full of wonderful prepared dishes I haven't seen for years.

Sara is preparing the good things from the instructions on the package. The markets have saved our marriage.

Bless the markets.

Blackie Gadarian

(Letter published in The Maui News Dec.25, 2010 and Lahaina News Dec. 30, 2010)

Thursday, January 13, 2011

Being Forced to Exercise

I have noticed many couples jogging or fast-walking together in our neighborhoods. One person is leading the way, and the other person is trying to keep up.

From the looks on their faces, I can guess that one person is forcing the other person to do this exercise. I sympathize with the person being forced to exercise.

Humble Blackie Gadarian

(Letter published in The Maui News February 21, 2005 and Lahaina News March 3, 2005)

Saturday, January 1, 2011

A Benefit of Inflation

We are being told that there is no inflation. However, everyday things we buy are in smaller packages, and the price is higher.

But then higher prices mean that we can't afford to buy things.

The less we are able to buy, the more we go without.

It's one way to go on a diet.

(Letter published in The Maui News November 30, 2010, and Lahaina News December 23, 2010)