Looking Back on 2014

2014 goodbye


Wow – where did 2014 go?  Time flies so fast nowadays.   But before we kiss 2014 good-bye, let’s take a look back.


2014 had it’s ups and downs.  But I don’t want to focus on the negatives.


One of my highlights was a summer tour to Hokkaido that we took with my in-laws.  I’ve yet to sort the pictures but hope to share some of those memories with you some time soon.  That was my first time abroad.  I want to go back when there’s snow.


I  got a new car.  Actually, it’s about 8 years old – but it’s new to me!  My old car’s “Check Engine” light kept going off and on intermittently.


Paula started a new job working for Scarlet Aviles – audiologist.  If any of you MLCers need to get your hearing checked or if you know someone who does, let me know and I have Paula set up an appointment for you.  They carry the Apple hearing aid.  You can control it with your iPhone, and soon to be released – Apple Watch.


Visited our deposits in Vegas a couple of times.  The last time was during Thanksgiving.  We were at the downtown outdoor Premium Outlet mall which was opened all night.  Shopping at 2:30 in the morning in 42° weather.  Should’ve brought gloves.  But I would definitely do it again!


Bought more shoes.  And jeans.  And jackets.


Saw Ige’s Restaurant and 19th Puka close.  As well did Pietro’s.


Saw H&M open.  Waiting for Uniqlo and Ikea to come to this islands.


Said good-bye to a dear friend that I used to work with – and a great saxophone player.


Got a new iPhone.


Lost more hair.


Didn’t lose any weight.  But then I didn’t gain anymore either.


Dressed up as a Manapua man and an In-N-Out Burger worker for Halloween.


Overall 2014 was okay.   I learned a lot.  Had crap dished out at me, but remained resilient with the support of friends and family members.  And how Rob@96744 was able to connect me with this great job that I have, I was able to pay-it-forward and hook up a dear friend with a great job too.  That sure felt good.


How was 2014 to you?

31 Responses to “Looking Back on 2014”

  1. LINDA KATO says:

    @Mark Shelby, sorry to hear about the loss of 3 of your family members. May 2015 bring you good health and happiness and bring happier news for you!

  2. Mark Shelby says:

    Songs always remind me of my good old days. Especially on New Years Eve.

    So here is one of my good old favorites for you my friends.

    ‘Dream Weaver’ Live w- Gary Wright & Ringo Starr and His All starr Band

    The song starts at Min: 1:52

    What an awesome group of good old rock stars!

    Gary Wright was one of my favorites in the 1970’s!

    Here’s to Dreaming good things for 2015!

  3. Mark Shelby says:

    God Bless You…..dihudfan! Carry on!

  4. dihudfan says:

    Haven’t had the time to read this blog… sorry, will definitely do it soon… just wanted to Wish Everyone a really Happy and Healthy New Years!!! See you next year….

  5. Mark Shelby says:

    Hows da fireworks tonight? Remember back in the 1960’s, 1970’s when the gunpowder smoke would be so bad you could hardly see? And your dogs and cats would go nuts!

  6. Mark Shelby says:

    Thank you khs68…

    Happy New Year Everyone!

    Remember the good old days of the early 1970’s when everyone would head down to Waikiki for New Years Eve?

    There would be so many people that the overflow of people would fill Kalakaua Ave. and shut the street down! We always had anticipation for when the Kalakaua Ave. would shut down! It would be one massive impromptu NYE block party! So Fun!

    Have an awesome 2015 Everyone!


  7. khs68 says:

    @Mark Shelby: So sorry for the loss of your family members. They say it always happens in threes. This year, I lost my dad, my husband’s uncle and my good friend’s dad. They’ve all gone ahead to a better place.

  8. 4G says:

    Remember Sea Monkeys? Here’s more than you ever cared to know about them:

  9. Mark Shelby says:

    Sad year for me. Three extended family members passed away this year. These are all on my Mom’s side from Minnesota.

    My Mom’s oldest sister Aunt Ruby. She was 92 and lived a very good long kind life.

    Then her daughter Christine, my cousin. Just 62 y/o. Died from Mursa in the hospital after a neck operation. Now that’s horrible!

    The latest, my cousin Tim passed away the day after Christmas. Just a few days ago. The son of my Mom’s youngest sister. Tim was only 57. And died suddenly. No explanation.

    Life is swiftly becoming not the same. And I don’t like it.

    But with each passing… makes Life more Precious! So be sure to hug your friends every day and tell them you love and appreciate them!

  10. LINDA KATO says:

    @Seawalker: Thank you for the Cosco tips…. I didn’t know ALL of THAT! Thank you! We’ve been thinking of getting a membership there since they treat their employees much better than at Sam’s Club/Wal-Mart!

    @4G: Nice to hear you had an uneventful year…. no major illnesses so that’s good. I have been providing emotional support to many of my friends battling cancer…. wish we could find a cure for it within our lifetime! If we have good health, we have everything! Glucosamine 1500 mg per day helps our joint issues. It does help to keep our weight down…. I’m still working on that too…. problem is I love to eat! 😆

    Nice to hear from everyone ❗ Keep Happy and Healthy ❗ 😀

  11. Mark'75 says:

    @khs68: Thank you!

  12. khs68 says:

    Angelo’s should go into the Golden Duck space across from Kahala Mall. Auntie Pasto’s was supposed to come to the Aina Haina shopping center, but something must’ve happened because the “for lease” sign is up again.

  13. khs68 says:

    @Mark’75 – I’m glad to hear you’re fine and dandy! Must’ve been quite a scare. But nice guys like you are always blessed with a guardian angel!

  14. sally says:

    Happy New Year.

  15. Rodney says:

    The Kaimuki Grill is a small place. We had a couple of blog parties there.

  16. 4G says:

    We saw Pietro’s close in 2014. Looks like we will see it reopen in 2015? From Honolulu Magazine:

    Angelo Pietro Honolulu

    The Japanese-Italian eatery, whose Ala Moana location closed earlier this year, will reopen this spring on 12th Avenue in Kaimukī with new menu items. The space’s former tenant, Kaimukī Grill, has moved into the snack business with a line of jerky called Aloha Edibles. 1108 12th Ave., Suite C, 941-0555.

  17. 4G says:

    BTW – 3M plastic tape works wonders at things like covering “Check Engine” lights and LED’s on electronics. 😉

    They come in colors and can be removed without leaving behind adhesive residue.

  18. 4G says:

    @Seawalker – thanks for them Costco “facts”. 😉

    As I look back on the past calendar year, no particular thing, on a personal level, jumps out at me to “highlight”. That doesn’t mean it hasn’t been a “good” year (whatever that is), it’s just that it was rather uneventful. Uneventful is good, too. 🙂

    For me, things have been relatively stable, though not stagnant, this past year. What strikes me is how quickly the year seems to have passed. I am hopeful that this is the last Christmas shopping season we will have to endure (or, in my case, avoid) Ala Moana Shopping Center during Christmas for a while. Man, the parking there really blows – even in non-peak times! Thank goodness I was able to avoid the shopping peaks this entire holiday season . . . . I remember having to take my daughter there last year, on the last weekend before Christmas. That was pretty nuts.

    I was serious about my comment on Malaysia Airlines flight 370. It is an event from this past calendar year (I think? LOL) and it kind of bugs me.

    I’ve picked up at least one significant new ache. Man, there’s something about joints . . . . Now it’s hips. LOL – used to be that the left-side would be irksome. Now the right-side is starting to act up, too! Dang! The glucosamine that seemed to have been helping with the knees over the last couple of years seems to be getting less effective over time – or, the joints are just getting worse. I tried a new knee support/wrap at basketball this last time out – the jury is still out as to how effective it is. I think it will take a couple more sessions to know better.

    Vision, hearing, hairline and joints continue to degrade. Maintaining weight continues to be a challenge. No surprise there . . . . LOL. I guess it doesn’t help that I made an “Old Year Resolution” last week that I’m not going to do any exercises during the week during the last two-weeks of this year. “You deserve a break today . . .” LOL.

    I don’t get the falling gas prices. Though I, personally, like the lower prices, I don’t like the negative impact they tend to have on alternative energy efforts. I am glad to see some action on the fuel cell (for cars) front. I am NOT looking forward to more huge a** trucks and SUV’s on the road . . . .

    Ukraine, Russia, ISIS (ISIL?), racial tension, the Middle East, North Korea, China, natural disasters, etc. – they all seem so overwhelming. All of the “negative” news stories sure make it seem that the world is going down the toilet, no? LOL – or, is it just that we have so much more access to timely information?

    Over the last couple of months, I have, somehow, gotten caught up in the Thermo Flask craze. I guess it helps to have a college-aged kid . . . . . It started innocently enough – a perceived need for just a (sealed) container for water at my desk. For some reason, I was attracted to the wide mouth versions – likely because of the many more options available there, in comparison to the narrow mouth model. I ended up with the 18 ounce model, got a flip-top cap and paracord “handle” for it, only to determine that it was a little too large for its intended purpose.

    What with Christmas-time and all, the shops that stock Thermo Flask and are convenient for me were out of the 12 ounce (narrow neck) model, but I found one this past weekend. So, I implemented it just yesterday. I have taken the 18 ounce model and have replaced my Tiger coffee thermos – the cover I had made for it has gotten pretty ratty and is in need of replacement. I was not looking forward to hunting down the pattern I made for it several years ago, or re-drafting a pattern, finding appropriate “cover” material for it, hauling out the sewing machine, yada, yada, yada . . . . Replacing the whole kitten caboodle is a path of lesser resistance. Time will tell if this will be a lasting solution.

    The powder paint finish of the Thermo Flask is pretty interesting – we’ll see how tough it is in standing up to daily bumps, scrapes and general usage. I had also been told that it does a really good job as a “thermos” – so, we’ll see.

    Today is the first day I will get firsthand experience with its thermal/insulating properties – for the Thermo Flask I’m using to store my coffee. LOL – the water I keep at my desk is just room temperature . . . .

  19. Mark'75 says:

    @Seawalker: Neat stuff about Costco, thanks!

  20. Seawalker says:

    @LK – Long time, no? 2014 was fine. For me, the highlight was going up to the mainland for a wedding. It was a shotgun trip, but the smiles we encountered will last thru next year. Have my share of ailments too. You are so right about having your health. Other than feeling overworked and underpaid, life is a blessing. For what we don’t have, the true gift is how much we can do without.

    Here’s some facts about Costco for you MLCers.

    26 Life-Changing Things You Need To Know About Costco

    1. In most states, you don’t actually have to be a member to buy booze.

    If the liquor store is a separate entrance, you can walk right in. If it’s inside the store, just go to the customer service desk and ask for a “Temporary Alcohol Shopping Pass” which will let you buy (only) booze.

    2. Kirkland is the store’s name brand, which is usually the best deal.

    These products are a a kind of “private label” and often made in the same factories as higher brands. It’s rumored that Jim Beam makes the bourbon and Grey Goose makes the vodka.

    3. Costco has a travel program with discounted trips to places like Hawaii, Las Vegas, Disney World, and Europe.

    4. Some of the best deals are bulk movie tickets and gift cards for other locations.

    5. Technically, Costco is one of the largest pizza chains in the country.

    Though no one would call it that, with more than 400 stores, it’s only slightly behind CiCi’s and Chuck E. Cheese.

    6. Many stores have a pizza hotline that’s just for pizza orders.

    7. Costco is also the largest importer of fine French wines in the U.S.

    8. They sell four times as many hot dogs as all Major League Baseball stadiums combined.

    9. The price for a hot dog and soda has been $1.50 for almost 30 years, and they don’t plan on raising it.

    10. You can get a refund of your membership price at any time.

    No questions asked.

    11. There’s no limit on samples.

    12. Members also get discounts on large items. Like cars. And boats. And caskets.

    Among other strange things.

    13. Non-members can get Costco groceries delivered to their home using Instacart.

    So you can get an 87-pack of toilet paper and not even have to carry it home yourself.

    The app-based service currently operates in Atlanta, Austin, Boston, Chicago, Denver, Los Angeles, New York City, Philadelphia, San Francisco Bay Area, Seattle, and Washington D.C.

    14. You can shop without a membership using the Costco Cash Card.

    The cards do have to be purchased by Costco members, but anyone can shop using them.

    15. Non-members can also use the pharmacy, which is the cheapest place to get generic drugs.

    Federal regulations require these services be available to everyone. This also includes mail-order prescriptions and vision centers.

    16. Meat is often one of the best grocery deals in the store, and can last for a long time when frozen.

    17. The plainer the display, the better the price.

    The best deals are often just on pallets in the middle of the store. Those displays are less work for the store, which often equates to deeper discounts for the customers.

    18. Costco offers many personal finance services, including personalized checks.

    In case your 7-year-old wants to start paying you rent.

    19. You can get your printer ink refilled for only $7.50.

    20. The “secret price code” that’s been going aroundisn’t always accurate.

    While items that end in .00 and .07 are technically markdowns, they’re not necessarily better deals than those ending in .99 or anything else.

    The asterisk on a tag does mean it’s been deleted from stock and won’t be reordered, but this also applies to holiday items that just won’t be reordered until the next year.

    21. The store has big closeout sales after the holidays, but that’s not the only time.

    They also clear inventory at the end of every season, when they put things like patio tables and other big items on mega sale to make room.

    22. Costco employees are some of the best paid in the retail industry.

    The average rate for employees is $20.89 an hour, and 90% of employees take advantage of the company health care.

    23. They move necessities like lightbulbs and toilet paper around the store on purpose.

    That way you’ll have to go past lots of other things to get there, even if you’re a regular. They call it a “treasure hunt.”

    24. They provide free tech support for all electronics purchased in the store.

    25. According to IMDB, that pie from American Pie was purchased at Costco.

    Universal Pictures

    26. Most importantly, THIS is the secret to the Costco pizzas.

    A pizza robot, of course.

  21. LINDA KATO says:

    @Seawalker…. nice to hear from you ❗ So how was your 2014 ❓

  22. Seawalker says:

    “I got a new car. Actually, it’s about 8 years old – but it’s new to me! My old car’s “Check Engine” light kept going off and on intermittently.”

    Wow @Rod, does that mean we can address you now as HOT ROD?!?! 😉 😀 😆

  23. LINDA KATO says:

    Hi 4G: so how did your 2014 go ❓

    OT: Yes, I too would like to know how an airplane can disappear in this age of technology?!

    Have a great day everyone ❗ 😀

  24. 4G says:

    I sure would like to know what happened to Malaysia Arilines flight 370 . . . .

    I hope there is more information shortly on AirAsia flight 8501.

  25. 4G says:

    @LK – wow; quite a year! Glad you finally got your PV installed – quite a savings! 🙂

  26. Mark'75 says:

    Thanks LK!

  27. LINDA KATO says:

    Mark’75: Thank goodness your rectal cancer was detected early and action taken to remove it. Blessings for a complete recovery and better health in 2015!

    Zippy’s had my picture on their monitor for a whole MONTH! Now every time I go to Zippy’s everyone knows my name! LOL! We have already used $1,500.00 in gift cards so you can tell we ate there often….. that bought us a lot of meals ❗ 🙂

  28. Mark'75 says:

    Hey LK, saw your picture at Zippy’s…WINNAH, WINNAH ❗ 🙂

  29. Mark'75 says:

    The timely detection of rectal cancer and its removal at an early stage turned out to be my highlight of the year. Scariest part of it was first, not knowing it was happening, and second, not knowing how bad it was until I knew it had not yet begun to spread. Definitely looking forward to 2015!

  30. LINDA KATO says:

    For us 2014 has been an incredibly LUCKY year ❗ I won LOTS of MOOLA in LAS VEGAS, again ❗ We’ve been going to VEGAS regularly for the past 7 years. Last year we visited 5 times and this year 4 times. I was incredulously LUCKY EVERY time we visit there! Each time, I learn new things, practice it, and get LUCKY! I share my winnings with our 2 broke college students and with my family and with my 2 friends battling lung cancer and treatments. When I help others, the good I do comes back to me again and again. The old adage, “what goes around comes around” works for me. I also WIN here in Hawaii! I enter the Zippy’s contests every month. I was their grand prize winner in April 2014. I won $1,000.00 in Zippy’s gift cards and $1,000.00 in City Mill gift cards. In November I won another $500.00 in Zippy’s gift cards for answering their survey for each receipt we receive from Zippy’s. Reason we eat at Zippy’s almost every day! I met a lady in Vegas while playing KENO (now my favorite game) since I have literally won thousands of dollars on my favorite numbers. This lady and her hubby dines at Zippy’s often too and we share Vegas secrets. I have been given new Vegas secrets from 3 people since our last trip in October 2014 so am anxious to go on our next trip in February 2015 to try them all ❗ 😀 I have 4 ….. 1099’s for Uncle Sam in 2014 ….. that’s how LUCKY I was ❗

    We waited 1 year for HECO (Hawaiian Electric) to approve our 30 PV panels which we had installed on 11/4/2014. For my first full month of sun power, my electric bill was $17.43, down from $700.00 per month! LUCKY, LUCKY, LUCKY! That is a HUGE savings for us per month! So happy to be saving on our electric bill EVERY month now and this will also help our taxes since we are due a huge tax refund from the Federal & State tax returns for having the PV system installed….. to pay off half of our system. It should take us about 2 years to pay the system off entirely which is nice!

    Our older son who is in the Hawaii Army National Guard returned from serving a year of active military duty in Afghanistan this year without any injuries. We are enjoying his presence for the holidays this year. He was born on 1/1/1983. We will be celebrating his birthday at Cattle Co. in a few days.

    Yesterday our 27 year old daughter became engaged to her boyfriend of 8 years. They both grew up in Hawaii but met while attending college at Creighton University in Omaha, Nebraska. They both reside in Las Vegas, Nevada in a house twice the size of ours. They are renting their cousin’s home…. it is a mansion! They are part of the reason we visit Vegas so often.

    We completed the renovation of our home in 2014, all of our bathroom fixtures from the tub to the shower, all plumbing, sinks, toilets, floors, wallpaper, lighting fixtures are all brand new in both bathrooms, our kitchen and our outside sink. We only re-did the wallpaper in the master bedroom. It is an expensive project so we are doing a few rooms at a time. Eventually all the rooms will have new wallpaper again. This was once a model home so having the original wallpaper last 25 years is quite long!

    That’s a lot to be grateful for in one year! We have so much to do in our retirement after having been retired for more than 4 years now I don’t know how we did all of our projects and worked too! LOL! EVERY day is special and we enjoy each other’s company. As soon as my two broke college students graduate from college and get employed, I will transfer their payments of their iphones to them and I will buy my very own iphone…. hope I can figure out how to use one! I’ll save my wishes for the new year for another blog.

    It’s been an incredibly LUCKY and HEALTHY 2014 for hubby and I. If you have your HEALTH…. you have EVERYTHING!

    Thank you for continuing this MLC blog, Rod.

    Enjoy the last few days of 2014 ❗ 😀 Have a great day everyone ❗ 😀

  31. LINDA KATO says:

    Good morning, MLCer’s ❗ Happy Monday ❗ 😀

    Have a great day ❗ 😀

    @Rod: sounds as though you had a great 2014 ❗ You had to get PASSPORTS to visit Japan ❗ THAT was a project in itself ❗ We got our very first passports this year since we plan to take an Alaskan cruise in the near future and a passport is required to visit Canada today. Happy to hear you were able to visit Hokkaido! That must have been a wonderful new adventure for you! Can’t wait to see pictures!

    FYI: Check engine light is always ON in our old Toyota Camrys. Saiki Motors checked everything possible and all is ok. Told us to put a matchbook over the light so we wouldn’t see it…. problem solved! LOL!

    Hope your pre-owned 8 year old car doesn’t give you any mechanical problems. We paid $2k for our 1994 Toyota Camry a couple of years ago, was told it was completely rebuilt under the hood and should not have any problems…. it has been in the shop more than on the road and is in the shop again today since it keeps stopping on the road…. time to donate this one to “Kidney Cars”….. reason I don’t like to purchase an old pre-owned car!

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