Category Archives: Automotive

Sweet Talk

I got a text from Daughter Sunday letting me know she talked her way out of a speeding ticket. She said she was only going 10 mph over the speed limit. I told her she needed to slow down.

I don’t know how she does it, but this is about the fifth or sixth ticket she has talked her way out of. I have only had one speeding ticket in my life, only going about 5 mph over the limit in town, and the police officer had no trouble citing me.

Husband got several speeding tickets from the Dunn County Sherriff and Tribal police driving back from the Reservation. The Tribal tickets were never reported to the State, so he didn’t get points on his license for them.

The Highway Patrol in western Minnesota often cite people who don’t notice that the speed limit changes when you cross the Dakota borders into Minnesota, and assume they can still drive Dakota speeds. Our governor just vetoed a bill that would have increased the speed limit to 80 in ND. People drive that speed here anyway, so it wouldn’t have made much of a difference for him to sign the bill.

Every talked your way out a ticket? What is the fastest you ever drove? Why were you going that fast?

Grand Travel Plans

We are planning a trip the end of May to visit Husband’s sister and brother-in-law in eastern Wisconsin. We will drive, and will spend about three days there. It is 700 miles one-way from us, so that means one night on the road there and back. I don’t like driving more than 500 miles in a day. We also plan to visit Son and Daughter-in- Law in Brookings on the return trip. We will leave the Tuesday after Memorial Day and return the following Monday.

Husband is a hopeful traveler who likes to make elaborate but unrealistic plans of what we can do while on the road. When we were moving to North Dakota from Indiana after Husband finished his psychology internship, he insisted that we meet up with some Canadian friends of ours who were driving east from Manitoba to Ontario the same days we were driving west. We met up in a campground somewhere in the Upper Peninsula of Michigan. It really wasn’t a very direct route, and our visit was extremely short, perhaps an hour or so, but it was really important to Husband that we see our friends.

I don’t know why I was surprised last Monday as we were finalizing our travel plans to Wisconsin that Husband was trying to figure out how we could find a way to visit Baboons in the Twin Cities as well as my third cousin TJ in St. Peter without lengthening our trip. While I would love to visit everyone, the logistics as well as the limited time we have made such plans pretty impossible. I appreciate Husband’s sweet consideration for me and my friends, but sometimes he wants to do too much.

When do you try to do too much? Do you prefer to mosey or get to your destination?

Scared Silly

Scared the bleep out of myself last week.  Just running a couple of errands including a trip to the library for a drop-off and a pick-up.  At this time of year I usually wear a sweatshirt for errands, leaving the coat at home.  After all, just going from house to car, car to library, etc.  A creature of habit, I normally lock the car then put the keys in the pocket of my sweatshirt. 

When I came out of the library I reached into my pocket and… no keys.  I dug down in the pocket then re-traced my steps, thinking that maybe I set them down on the shelf when I was pulling out my holds.  Nope.  Walked back outside to the drop-off box to see if I dropped them there.  Nope.  Stood next to my car for a few minutes (of course, this was a day it was drizzling/sleeting a bit) trying to visualize if I’d had my keys in my hand when I put the book through the drop-off slot.  I didn’t think so.   I headed back into the library to see if maybe in the short time I’d been inside, someone had found the keys and turned them into a librarian.  At least I had my phone and YA was working at home that day so she could have brought me the spare key, but I was already starting to feel the loss of the keychain which my father gave me decades ago. 

As I was about to open the library door, my hand brushed against my pant leg.  The keys were in the pocket of my sweatpants!  It’s still a little unbelievable to me.  I only have two pairs of sweatpants that even have pockets so I never think about having pockets.  I can’t imagine WHY I put the keys in the pants’ pocket instead of the sweatshirt.  But I was unbelievably relieved to find them, not have to embarrass myself in front of the library staff and especially not in front of YA!

Tell me about a time you’ve scared the bejeepers out of yourself?

Getting There

The weekend Farm Report comes to us from Ben.

A little more snow came down, some rain too, which means a lotta mud. But a lot of snow has melted, and the Red Wing Blackbirds are back, and I’d expect to hear Killdeer anytime, and it could be spring any day now.

Will you smell it first or see it first?

There’s a road coming up out of Rochester that the old timers call ‘Guysinger Hill’. Must have been Guysingers living there at some point. It’s a 3/4-mile uphill curved road and one of the main routes out of the NE side of town. If you’ve been in Rochester less than 30 years, you probably don’t know it by that name.

Same with ‘Samples Hill’, ‘Signal Hill’, or the other colloquial names.

Back in 1983 or ‘84, I was coming home after a cast party and there had been 5” of wet snow and it was all I could manage to get up Guysinger in grandmas ‘67 Plymouth Valiant.

Rear wheel drive you know.
It was late at night, and I was going as fast as I dared when I hit the bottom of the hill. Lost speed the whole way up, and when I finally reached the top, the car was barely crawling, my white knuckles grasping the wheel. At the time there wasn’t a more direct route to our house. There were other roads several miles out of my way and those roads had their own hills. (Rochester was built in a bowl: that’s why the flooding can be so devastating.)

Now days there are several other routes home, but I still often take Guysinger hill. And on snowy days, usually when following someone in the snow driving slower than me as happen last week, I think about that scary night in 1983.

Last week I posted a photo of the junk drawers in the shed. I was in those drawers trying to find some hydraulic fittings.

I’m making some hoses to plug into the hydraulics from the loader, which are in the middle of the tractor, so that I can have a third hydraulic at the back of the tractor for the tilt function on my rear blade. I figured this would be easy. Couple 8-foot hoses, couple connectors, Budda Bing Budda Boom, Bobs your uncle.

Well first, Fleet Farm didn’t have two, 8-foot,1/2-inch hydraulic hoses. Nor did they have the right  combination of 1/2-inch couplers (The male and female end. There are different kinds of couplers too; pipe thread, and ‘O-ring’ and I think something else I don’t know what it’s called) They did have two, 3/8-inch, 6-foot hydraulic hoses and I decided maybe I could make that work. Found a couple 3/8-inch male and female ends that I needed and got home to discover 6 feet was too short. Back the next day to Fleet Farm, and got two, 2’ foot hydraulic hoses, and a couple unions to attach the two hoses together. Built the first hose and got it in place, the next day built the second hose and realized I put the wrong ends on the one end. A hydraulic hose, like an extension cord, typically has a male and a female end. But because this was special, and I was trying to make it do something unusual, I need two female ends. I was feeling pretty stupid about this point; it should have been obvious to me.

When I start back at the college in the fall, it always takes me a while to get back in the swing of things in the shop. I feel like I’ve forgotten how to cut a board. Measure four times, cut five.

That’s what I felt like here, I forgot how to farm. Plus I just felt dumb that I didn’t realize some of these things in the first place. The next day I was up at John Deere and I bought the 1/2-inch correct ends. Took the hoses back out, swapped the ends, got them back in place, hooked them up to the loader connections, went back to plug-in the blade and, I realize a 1/2-inch male plug on the blade will not plug into a 3/8-inch female connector on the hose.

You would think I’d know that.

You would think I would’ve realized, 3/8 is not the same as 1/2. I know this. I know that 3/8-inch is not 1/2-inch. Why that didn’t dawn on me sooner, I don’t know. I was just so excited that I was creating this. I was being inventive, and problem-solving. And blinded by my creativity.



So. I can buy a 3/8 to 1/2 adapter and use the 3/8-inch inch male ends I bought in the first place and change the half inch ends on the blade the 3/8, or I can buy two more female 1/2-inch ends and the 1/2 to 3/8 adapters and change the ends on the new hoses. Jeepers creepers. I’m not sure I’m smart enough to be a farmer yet.

This reminds me of replacing a window screen last summer. Took me three trips to the hardware store to get that mostly right. A friend kept telling me I could have taken it to the hardware store, and had them do it, and it would have cost less and been done right the first time. Right, but this way I learned something.

What I’m learning about hydraulic hoses on this project is that I really need to think it though more.

What have you overlooked lately? When’s the last time you were on a swing? Board, tire, or rope?

Vanity Plates

AP Photo/Robert F. Bukaty

I read a funny story online a couple of days ago.  Apparently the State of Maine has recalled 274 license plates because they were deemed inappropriate.  “How did they GET these inappropriate plates in the first place?” you may ask.  I certainly did.

Until the last few years Maine has been one of the few states that didn’t seriously police their vanity plate program.  In fact about 7 years back, they did away with the review process for vanity plates.  If you asked for it and it wasn’t taken (and you were willing to cough up the fee), it was yours.  As you can imagine, some very interesting plates were issued.  VERY interesting.

Maine decided it had gotten out of hand, so now they have re-instituted a review policy AND recalled 274 plates that crossed their new, arbitrary line.  Including the one in the photo above.  The family with the plate are vegan.  It’s hard to tell in the photo but there are other tofu- and vegan-related stickers on the car.  But because the word tofu ends in FU and the phrase is “suggestive”, Maine says they can’t drive around town with this plate on their car.  They appealed and lost their case.  In fact, no one who has appealed has gotten their questionable plates restored.  The next step is to file suit in the Maine Supreme Court but nobody has gone that far yet. 

Seems like a big kerfuffle for me after being a vegetarian for 50+ years, I would certainly read it correctly.  Part of me thinks so what if somebody has a blatantly foul license plate and part of me thinks I might not be too happy to stuck in traffic behind someone with a racist or outright pornographic plate.  Aah, the dilemmas of our modern age.

If you had to design your own license plates (no cost to you), what would you want on them?


The weekend Farm Report is from Ben.

Last week was all about the snow,

We started off this week with rain on Monday. Rain on a snow packed gravel road just makes ice, so there was a lot of phone calls between the township officials. Most of the residents know the county, whom we contract for snow removal and road maintenance, is working on it, but they will sometimes send a note just to make sure we know a certain road is an ice rink. And a few roads are more trouble than others. We all managed and in a few hours they were better.

When I was moving snow last week, I forgot to make a path from the back door of the chicken coop over to the building with the feed. I did that in the rain Monday morning because the chickens needed more feed. And I then went up the driveway and tried to scrape off some ice. I sanded the corners and had to take a moment to be grateful, again, for the things I can do this year that I was not doing a year or six months ago. I picked up and threw a bag of feed on my shoulder and I carried buckets of corn. A year ago, I had the shoulder surgery and couldn’t do any of that. I walked through the snow and I spread out sand; six months ago I was barely able to walk or keep my balance and I certainly would not have been walking on an uneven surface. 

Chickens are doing really well, we’re getting somewhere between 18 and 24 eggs per day. Thanks to Tim, I was able to move a few dozen and someone at the college took a few dozen. I think I moved 16 dozen eggs one day.

We still have the two ducks. Plus, some wild ones that come in for corn.

It’s very interesting to us, the pheasants are not afraid of the vehicles; the tractor or the gator or a car and they will just stand there and watch us go by. But I step out of the house 75 yards away and they flee.

I’m not sure if you can consider an inch of snow being ‘March coming in like a lion’, it’s March, it’s going to do whatever it does. There are basketball tournaments and they used to say there was always a snowstorm during tournaments. That doesn’t prove so true anymore, so we’ll just see what it is. But the snow is melting. Even after that freezing rain on Monday, by Monday afternoon a lot of ice had melted on the road. We talk about our long driveway, but most of the time it’s just the first 300 yards from the house that’s a problem. Those are the two corners going uphill to get out of our yard. If you can get around those two corners you can probably make it. The rest of the road is still curvy and uphill, but it’s open and in the sun, and doesn’t usually drift too bad, knock-on wood, famous last words, your mileage may vary, certain weather conditions apply.

When I was a kid, I had a rail sled. Technically, I still have it, it’s hanging in the garage.

When I was a kid I used a rail sled. At some point when I was a kid dad re- did a lot of the driveway so it wouldn’t drift so bad. But prior to that, there was these two corners that had banks on the sides. I would take this rail sled up above the second corner and get a run at it and I could make both corners, come around below the house and ride that sled all the way down to the barn. It was like a luge run! That was the coolest thing ever. My brother talks about it too. But if the road got too slippery, well then we couldn’t get out with the car. (rear wheel drive you know back then) and dad spread manure on the road and that kind of messed up the luge run. Seriously, manure. Why buy salt, we have this and it’s free and it needs to be spread every day anyway. Once it started to melt in the spring mom complained a bit.

Manure spreader designs changed over the years. They used to have multiple beaters in the back and you got a nice even spread. Then they went to a single beater design, and you got a lot more clumps. Designs changed again to go to vertical beaters or side discharge and of course the whole way of farming has changed enough that it all had to change with it. Manure is a good fertilizer and there’s a lot of value to it and it’s taking very seriously nowadays.  There’s a lot of recordkeeping involved, and there are only certain conditions under which it can be applied. I’m not up on all the rules anymore, but I’m not sure I would be allowed to surface spread in the winter on a hillside. Runoff and erosion, you know, the farmers take that seriously too.

KTCA, Twin Cities Public Television, used to show “Matinee at the Bijou“ at noon on weekdays and sometimes at lunch when dad and I were in the house we’d watch the movie. I remember seeing a black and white Army movie, all I can remember is this bit: a man jumps out of the back of the army truck and lands in a puddle, and he says to the driver “You couldn’t find a dry spot?” and the driver says, “Man. This is a dry spot!” No idea what movie it was. I’ve tried looking for that quote without luck. Why do I remember that?? It had to be 40 years ago. Anyone know the movie? 

These blogs. Some days I just start typing and I don’t know when to stop.
Don’t ask me about stage lighting. I forget to breathe when you get me going on stage lighting.


Another Week, Another Snowstorm

The weekend Farm Report comes to us from Ben.

We got a good 6 to 8 inches Wednesday night into Thursday. They were predicting that, so I unhooked the rear blade and hooked the snowblower on the tractor on Tuesday. I hadn’t used the blower this year, so I had to put the hydraulic cylinder on it to rotate the spout, check the oil, grease the power takeoff shaft, and I was fairly impressed with myself that I could get in amongst the linkage and frame and get the power takeoff shift connected to the tractor. I would not have been able to do that last summer. BULLY FOR ME!  

It was kind of fun to blow snow again, I do things a little different with the blower than I do with the blade and it’s just been the last few years that I started using a blade for snow, so the skills for this came back pretty quick. I remembered it would be slower, but I forgot how much it makes my neck hurt because I’m looking over my right shoulder to do it. The seat swivels a bit, and I sit as sideways as I can, but it’s still looking over my shoulder. My next tractor will have heated mirrors so they stay clean. Or maybe my next tractor will have a blower on the front!

Kelly took some video of me, and I put my first video on YouTube.

One day I had to stop at Fleet Farm as I was looking for insulated winter boots. I found them over in the ice fishing section. You all know I’m not much of a sportsman so I don’t think I’ve ever walked through that area before. It was a little bit fascinating!

I found some boots; they’re keeping my feet much warmer than the plain rubber boots I had been wearing.

Then I went to Menards and walked around there for a while. After that, I had a meeting on the far end of the college campus, and by the time I got home I was pooped out. Nothing hurt! Just pooped out.

Kelly counted 17 pheasants in the yard one morning. The most we’ve ever had, and I love seeing them. I have one neighbor that always asks if he can pheasant hunt and I always tell him no.

My chickens from last spring are just coming into their peak. It’s not unusual to get 16 or 20 eggs a day lately. If anybody was up for a road trip again for eggs, this would be a good time. Although we should wait for the driveway to get better than glare ice.

After that rain we got on Monday, our yard and driveway became pretty slick. It’s been packed snow all winter, not thick, just a half-inch maybe, but that’s what rain does to it. I went to a meeting Monday night. I was impressed that I was even able to get out. Years of practice I told Kelly. After I got home, I used the loader and tried to scrape the ice on the hills and corners on the driveway. It didn’t do much, but it did rough it up a bit and that helps.

I went out to do chores while it was raining on Monday, I tried Kelly‘s yak traks, but they didn’t fit my boots, and I lost them on about the third step. Again, I’ve been doing this for years, I know how to aim for the gravel or bare ground or walk through the snow. Once I got to the feed room, I threw out a bunch of corn, and that gives some traction. Then I carried a bucket with me and scattered corn in front of me to make a path to walk on. A win for the crows and chickens and ducks, and a win for me.

I remember an old movie called Angel In My Pocket, Andy Griffith and a host of character actors that you would recognize. It came out in 1969, and a gentleman playing the church caretaker, Parker Fennelly, reminds me of my grandfather Hain. That was the only movie I was able to watch this week. I couldn’t find it online anywhere so I ordered the movie off eBay and it came from Australia. Spent a week in customs in Chicago. It a long way for some entertainment, but I really enjoy this movie and it makes me think of Grandpa.

I was filling the birdfeeders one day, and I love the fact that the chickadees don’t even wait for me to finish, and they don’t appear to be very scared. I was standing right there filling things and they just come and sit on the birdfeeder.

And here’s Humphrey breaking the corn cob into bits.  PHOTOS

Do you, or did your family do home movies?


The first Farm Report of 2023 comes to us from Ben.

I’m happy to report my 1940’s radio station is back on XM radio, thank goodness.

We seem to have picked up some extra ducks; there’s 14 now. And there’s more either female or younger pheasants coming in for chicken corn. I sure wish Steve was here to clarify those things for me. One day I watched our dog Bailey walk right past a pheasant and neither one paid any attention to the other. I understand Bailey ignoring the pheasant, I’m surprised the pheasant ignored Bailey. 

I am finally driving again. I park my car over in the old machine shed and there’s a lot of sparrows in there. A night or two isn’t bad. But I parked for two weeks, I had bought a tarp and some cheap bungee cords back in January when I knew I was having shoulder surgery, but the car actually sat out that whole time. This time, when we got it out, it was evident I should’ve had a bigger tarp. The hood, front windshield, and most of the roof was OK, the back window and sides were pretty disgusting. And they were really cheap bungee cords, there’s no stretch left in them. The tarp will still be good… once it’s cleaned off.

I’m back in the tractor! There was a minor mishap trying to move snow one day. It was wet and heavy, and we were trying to go the other direction and, well, one thing led to another, and pretty soon we were in the fence. I told Kelly, I’ve run into a lot of things, broken some fences, dented some steel siding, and broke some stuff; that’s just how you learn. Didn’t damage anything on the tractor, and the fence can be fixed. A few days later trying to cut down the snowbanks, I snagged the fence a couple more times with the blade. Just loosened the fence a little bit. There’s a bit of a learning curve to this that I’m still getting back. I move a lot of sod before the ground freezes. (For the record, Kelly hardly picked up any sod. Somehow, I’m still picking up sod.) And I may have re-arranged our fire pit a little bit. Oops.  

We have some pretty good banks on the sides of the road.

That’s the issue with using a blade and not a blower. If I’m up to it, one of these days I’ll hook the blower up and use that to cut the banks down. Unless they melt first. On the township level we have the county Highway Department clear our snow. After the first couple snows and the county trucks clearing the roads, we get some complaints about road rock being thrown into people’s yards. Well, that’s pretty hard to avoid on these first snowfalls. The next complaint is about the snow – or the plow- hitting mailboxes. To avoid those mishaps, a few years ago the county replaced all the mailboxes on county roads with swiveling pipe stands. When the plow or heavy snow hits the mailbox, it swivels out of the way. Seems like a good plan. Except when there’s mail in the box. Then it’s like ‘Crack-the-whip’ and the door pops open and the mail sails off into the ditch. I stood on the edge of the road looking at the open mailboxes (both ours and our neighbors) and looked at the mail down there by the pine tree and thought, “maybe, I can get down there.” Nope, one step into the deep snow and I knew my knew knee wasn’t up to it. Kelly had to go rescue it. And it turned out it was all our neighbors mail.

It was 2 1/2 weeks before I put real pants on again, and three weeks to the day before I wore real shoes again. I’m doing stairs, and I can just barely get the left foot up on my right knee to put my socks on! Making progress!

Movies this week have been Monty Python and the Holy Grail, (because it showed up on Netflix so how could I not?) So many quotable lines! The one I use on daughter often is when trying to wake her up in the mornings. I tell her I’ll come back and “…taunt you a second a-time-a!”

And Ferris Buellers Day Off. And The Big Lebowski. I saw part of The English Patient on TV one night. Thumbs up or down for that one? I remember liking the book. 

I got the book ‘Wild Pork and Watercress’ by Barry Crump for Christmas; read that in 2 days. Saw the movie adaptation last summer, Hunt for the Wilderpeople and liked that. Then the book. As usual, the book was better. 

Kelly’s car had more miles last year. Probably from driving me around all summer. My car and truck had less miles of course, and all the tractors had less hours. I didn’t do my own fertilizer last year so that accounted for some less. And I only had half as much straw to bale as usual, so that was less hours. The big tractor, doing the heavy tillage, had 37 hours. My other one, the one I use for planting, baling, blowing snow, and mowing, that one had 113 hours. The gator, being our first full year with it, had 468 hours and 455 miles. Since that was my main mode of transportation for a couple months, it did add up. 

Speaking of airplanes and deserts, (The English Patient), Anyone seen ‘The Little Prince’ at the Guthrie? How is it?

Did you play Dodge Ball in School? What was the most terrifying playground equipments?

The Rental

When we were planning our trip to Hawaii, we were using “award credits” from our company.  YA had quite a few and I had a small fortune, all of which had to be used within a certain amount of time after my retirement before I would lose them.  This made it easy to plan things that would have seemed atrociously expensive if it were coming out of my checking account (and have I mentioned how expensive everything is in Hawaii).  

Adding a rental car on Maui was a no-brainer.  It’s a 45-minute drive from the airport area to the two major resorts areas (Lahaina/Ka’anapali in one direction, Wailea in the other).  Even getting around once you are in the resort areas isn’t all that easy.  No sidewalks, no buses, a few rare shuttles and extremely expensive Ubers. As YA was scrolling through rental cars on the award credit site, she was looking for small, inexpensive models.  When I said “get a convertible” she just about fell off the bed.  When did her mother EVER advocate for something more expensive?  But there is backstory.

I’ve been is the islands many times over the past 30 years for work.  Yes, work.  And my job, even in paradisical places like Maui, was work.  Early on, I decided that one of the ways I would take care of myself was a convertible.  Usually it turned out to be cheaper than private transfers but while I used that as my “excuse”, the main reason was that for the day or so that I had on my own before clients showed up, I had the sun on my face and the wind in my hair.  In addition, Maui (and the Big Island) are fabulous for someone who is directionally challenged… so few roads!

When we got to the rental car center at the Maui airport, they sent us down to the big parking lot, saying “turn right and pick your convertible”.  There were three to choose from, all three white Ford Mustangs.  Easy peasy, right?  The two gals who had met us, helped get the luggage into the first car and said their goodbyes.  YA was hanging back as I got into the driver’s seat and then suggested that we “look at the other cars”.  I’m not at my best on travel days and I certainly didn’t see what there was to look at; they all looked identical to me.  She was adamant however and after poking through all three models, she announced that the farthest one was bigger inside and had leather seats.  Despite some whining on my part, I let her move the luggage to the bigger/leather interior.  I figured if the rental car company didn’t care which one we took, I shouldn’t care either.

I can’t tell you if this was a better car but it made YA happy and as we rounded the first hill on the West Maui Mountain Highway, coming upon the sun shining on the water, it made me happy as well.  This is why you want a convertible on Maui:

How do you keep your hair from getting mussed with the windows open or the top down?

Who Knew?

People ask me a lot about my opinion of Hawaii. I suppose I do know more about our 50th state that the average person.   By luck of the draw I had almost 25 programs to Hawaii during my years in the travel industry.  I didn’t travel on all these programs but I have been to the islands a whooping 17 times, most of those times to Maui. 

What I tell people about Hawaii is that every island has a different topography and a different personality.  I usually talk about the difference between Hawai’I (the Big Island) and Kauai.  The Big Island is the largest, the youngest and the most volcanic.  If you haven’t been to Hawaii, then the picture you probably have in your mind is Kauai.  It is much older and encompasses the lush green image we all carry around.

But I don’t talk about Oahu very much; Unbelievably with all my Hawaii programs, I never had a program on Oahu.  No particular reason, just luck of the draw.  This means that almost every time I have been on Oahu, it’s because I’m in the Honolulu Airport, transferring to an interisland flight.  While my brain knows what Honolulu and Oahu are about, it was still a surprise to be there for three days.

We stayed in the Waikiki area because we didn’t have a car so needed to be in a walkable part of the city.  This is part of Oahu that has earned the name “concrete jungle”.  It is block after block of tall buildings, very high end shops and restaurants and traffic.  It could almost be any big city IF you can ignore the beautiful blue sky and warm weather as well as the folks on the streets.  It’s an amazing amalgam of business folks, obvious tourist (YA and I) and the huge number of surfers and counter-culture types.  Waikiki is right on the water so you can walk along the main thoroughfare and look right onto sandy beach and blue waters.  There is even a zoo (who knew)… we were actually able to walk there as well. 

One fun thing we saw in Honolulu that I’ve never seen on other islands – people putting leis on statues.  Most of the statues along Kalakaua Avenue and Beach each have at least 10-12 leis placed around their necks; all the leis are in various stages of decay, so it’s clear that people are adding them, not some program of prettification by the city.

So now I have good experience to describe Oahu and Honolulu the next time someone asked me about the islands.

Tell me about a place that surprised you.