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Off Track: 11 Hawai‘i General Stores You Must Visit

Eugene Kim photograph from flickr

From the Honolulu Magazine website

Butter mochi and spam musubi on the counter, still warm in the plastic wrapper. Fresh poke mixed before your eyes. Curious house specialties, local products of wit and whimsy … You’ve got to love Hawai‘i’s hole-in-the-wall general stores.

Humble to the point of ramshackle, they’ve earned a place in our hearts for all those drive-around-the-island days of our youth, when we were starving and pooled damp dollar bills for a picnic spread on the overheated hood of a Toyota.

Sometimes, though, “you don’t know what you’ve got till it’s gone,” as Joni Mitchell reminded us. So when’s the last time you hugged Fort Ruger Market, Ching’s or Kahuku Superette? Isn’t it time you went back?

With that in mind—and hoping you can go home again—the HONOLULU team hit the road for a tasting tour. Our criteria were strict: groceries with grinds (aka no TP, no rating); some kind of food special that earned the hype; and, of course, local to the max. Some of our old favorites no longer exist; perhaps, overwhelmed by competition, they threw in the towel. But jewels in the rough abound, as you’ll see in these pages:

10 Things You’ll Spend More on in Retirement

From the Kiplinger website

You may not realize it, but you’re already practicing retirement, even if your real retirement is years away.

Many of us have been working remotely over the last year, tucked away at home because of the pandemic. Except for the part where you’re actually working, life has changed much as it does for retirees.

So take a step back and ask yourself: How’s the spending coming on this retirement test drive?

Because before you can determine how much you need to save for a fulfilling retirement (and you should), you first need to know how much you will spend in retirement.

Financial planners have traditionally estimated that retirees need 80% or more of preretirement income to maintain their standard of living, though individual situations vary greatly. Another data point: According to the latest Bureau of Labor Statistics’ annual survey on consumer spending, the average retired household spends 25% less than the average working household each year.

That said, retired households do spend more than working households on many items, including big-ticket expenses such as health care and travel. Here’s a look at 10 budget categories where retirees are likely to spend more.

10 Things You’ll Spend Less on in Retirement

From the Kiplinger website

A popular retirement guideline suggests retirees need 80% of their preretirement income to make ends meet, and some experts encourage saving even more to avoid running out of money. Facing such daunting goals, 53% of preretirees say they plan on working past age 65 to ensure that they have enough money, according to the Transamerica Center for Retirement Studies.

But the 80% rule isn’t for everybody, and it may lead to inflated savings goals that cause undue anxiety as you plan for retirement. Consumer spending actually decreases — significantly — as you age. Data from the Bureau of Labor Statistics shows the average retired household spends 25% less than the average working household.

In order to know how much you need to save for retirement, it’s important to know what your spending will look like once you actually retire. Here’s a little pep talk: You’ve actually been practicing for retirement for the last year if you’ve been locked down this entire time.

Now, consider these 10 budget line items on which you’ll likely spend less in retirement.

Off Track: Lightning Strikes Up

Credit: International Gemini Observatory / NOIRLab / NSF /AURA / A. Smith

From the NOIRLab website

A webcam atop Maunakea in Hawaii captured a singular moment: Upward-shooting red sprite & blue jet lightning to the right, the Gemini North observatory to the left, the handle of the Big Dipper in the distance. 

The telescopes at Maunakea sit calmly beneath a sky filled with extraordinary light. Amongst these telescopes is Gemini North, the northern member of the international Gemini Observatory, a Program of NSF’s NOIRLab. Gemini North sits at an altitude of around 4200 meters (13,800 feet). Not only does this altitude facilitate world-class astronomical observations, but Gemini North’s nighttime Cloud Cams were able to capture the extraordinary light phenomena seen on the right side of the image.

The column of blue and red lights surrounded by a bright blaze of white light appears so otherworldly that it looks like it must be a special effect. This breathtaking image, however, is entirely real. It features two lightning phenomena: a red sprite and a blue jet.

Red sprites and blue jets are distinctive because of their colors, and also the direction in which they strike. As you can see in this image, the red and blue lights are shooting up from the top of the cloud deck, and are striking out towards space, instead of down towards the Earth. It is extremely rare to capture these phenomena on camera and even more so from this unique perspective.


National Science Foundation’s NOIRLab (National Optical-Infrared Astronomy Research Laboratory) is the preeminent US national center for ground-based, nighttime optical and infrared astronomy. The Association of Universities for Research in Astronomy, Inc. (AURA) operates these facilities and NSF’s NOIRLab under a cooperative agreement with the National Science Foundation (NSF).

Air Force approves wave of uniform changes — including shorts for maintainers

U.S. Air Force photograph

From the Air Force Times website

The Air Force has authorized a slew of new uniform changes — including allowing maintainers to wear shorts during warm weather across the entire force.

“These options came directly from feedback from the field through the virtual uniform board and feedback from commands in the field,” Lt. Gen. Brian Kelly, Air Force deputy chief of staff for manpower, personnel, and services, said in an Air Force news release.

“We appreciated the feedback we received from airmen and the opportunity to hear their concerns and ideas,” Kelly said. “Not all of the ideas fit within our standards or culture, but many do and provided us an opportunity to provide options for our airmen.”

Continue reading

Thanks to Gordon Lau for submitting this article to Retiree News

The Minuteman Minute: Normandy Helmet

From the National Guard Association of the United States website

Museum Director Anne Armstrong shares the history of the Normandy Helmet, currently on display in the National Guard Memorial Museum in Washington D.C.

On D-Day, June 6, 1944, the 29th Infantry Division (VA, MD, DC) was part of the Allied coalition that stormed the beaches of Normandy and effectively broke the back of the German occupation of France. This helmet was part of the protective gear worn by a Guard soldier that fateful day.

Click to begin watching

Medical myths: All about multiple sclerosis

Diego Sabogal photograph from the article

From the Medical News Today website

Multiple sclerosis (MS) is a chronic disease that affects the brain and spinal cord. It is a lifelong condition that causes neurological disabilities and a wide range of symptoms.

Globally, in 2016, MS affected an estimated 2.2 million people.

It is immune-mediated, and most experts believe that it is an autoimmune disease. In a person with MS, the immune system attacks myelin, the protective sheath substance that covers nerve fibers. This causes communication problems between the brain and the rest of the body.

Learn more

Check Six – 1968: Hickam AFB Flightline

Garrett Lozier posted this on the Remember Oahu from the Past Facebook page

This was taken around 1968 – 69. Back then Hickam AFB was a beehive of activity with aircraft of all types and sizes going to or coming from Southeast Asia. So many birds in on this day that they were being parked on taxiways! Much of this flight line in the background doesn’t exist anymore; housing areas and other facilities have replaced it.

The Best Mindset for Helping an Aging Parent

From the nextavenue website

We call it the big uh-oh: You’re concerned about your older parent and unsure what to do next. It can dawn slowly or happen fast with a single life-changing event. Is your mom or dad still safe living alone? Is their bad driving putting others at risk? Is it just forgetfulness or could it be Alzheimer’s? Why won’t they listen to your suggestions?

Whatever your parent’s mental capacity and whatever the legal tools at your disposal, an ongoing struggle will be how to help your parent while preserving his or her autonomy and dignity as much as possible.

Learn more

Check Six: March 1958 Kūkā‘ilimoku

The Kūkā‘ilimoku is the official e-newsletter of the 154th Wing, Hawai’i Air National Guard. The first issue came in September 1957 and continues as an e-newsletter today. 

Today we feature the March 1958 Kūkā‘ilimoku issue. This issue includes the following stories:

* What Is It? contest

* 199th Fighter Squadron pilots qualify in the F-86L Sabre Interceptor

* Aloha Motors donates a vehicle to the 199th Fighter Squadron motor pool

* Promotions: including George Shibuya, James Yamamoto

Review the entire March 1958 Kūkā‘ilimoku issue

Low-Fat Vegan Diet Is Better Than Mediterranean Diet for Weight Loss, Study Suggests

From the Everyday Health website

If your weight loss efforts have stalled on the Mediterranean diet, you may have an easier time shedding those excess pounds by going vegan and cutting out all animal products instead of continuing to eat lean poultry and fish.

In a study published in February 2021 in the Journal of the American College of Nutrition, people who followed a low-fat vegan diet lost an average of 6.0 kilograms (13.2 pounds) over 16 weeks. But when these same people followed a Mediterranean diet for the same amount of time, they typically didn’t lose weight.

“Because the Mediterranean diet is often touted for weight loss, it was surprising to see that participants experienced very small changes — if any at all — when it came to their weight on this diet,” says the study’s senior author, Hana Kahleova, MD, PhD, the director of clinical research at the Physicians Committee for Responsible Medicine in Washington, DC.

Learn more

SIM Swapping. Scammers are taking over our smartphones…and text messages too!

Graphic from this article

From the What is My IP Address website

Did you know that through a dirty trick called SIM swapping, a scammer could take over your phone? Worse yet, with some additional information about you, do major damage to your finances, your identity, and your life?

Here’s more bad news. Your phone stays in your possession during the “heist.” That means you might not realize it right away, and by the time you do and start to wonder what’s going on, it might be too late to stop them.

This isn’t hype or over exaggeration—fact is, it’s a serious type of crime that’s on the rise in U.S.—the FBI and Justice Department are warning citizens to be aware of SIM swapping and start paying attention to their phone numbers.

Learn more

Check Six: March 1966 Kūkā‘ilimoku

The Kūkā‘ilimoku is the official e-newsletter of the 154th Wing, Hawaii Air National Guard. The first issue came in September 1957 and continues as an e-newsletter today. 

Today we feature the March 1966 Kūkā‘ilimoku issue. This issue includes the following stories:

* Imu rocks headed to Washington DC

* Theodore D. Hussey become the Royal Guard Kapena Moku

* Promotions: including Glendon Nunes, James Akamine, Arthur Takayama

Review the entire March 1966 Kūkā‘ilimoku issue


Webmaster Comment: There is another set of emu rocks at McGhee Tyson ANGB in Tennessee. These rocks were flown there by numerous ANG KC-97s and KC-135s. Hawaii Guardmembers hosted several luaus over the years at Business and Industry Days at the base.