By GEORGE YOSHINAGA
Recently when the top news story was about the wildfire in Ventura County, I expressed concern about an old friend, George Wakiji, who lives in Camarillo, which was in the fire area.
Well, much to my relief, George sent me the following email:
“Dear Horse, thank you for your concern over the recent fire in our area. Fortunately for us, the fire was on the south side of Highway 101, which divides Camarillo. We live on the north side of the 101, so we were not affected by the fire. The closest it got was about 5 miles to the south of us near California State University Channel Islands.
“Well, thanks again for thinking about us, it is appreciated.”
Happy to hear you escaped the flames, George. Thanks for letting me know.
When I receive emails from friends and readers on my computer, I think of all the modern-day inventions that have made life so much simpler for us.
When I think back to the days when we used manual typewriters, before the electric ones took their place, I often wonder: What is the greatest invention of the modern era?
Cell phone? Credit cards? Frozen foods?
And the list can go on and on.
This will probably surprise most of you, but for me, my favorite is the TV remote control.
With the press of a button, you can change channels, make the sound louder or softer, and best of all, turn the TV on or off.
Why is this my favorite?
Well for those who watch TV, it’s well known that all of our favorite programs, from a Dodgers game to a popular game show, are ruined by commercials.
So now, since I counted the number of commercials during a break in the program, and the amount of time each break lasts, I click the button on my remote and turn off the TV.
Then when my watch indicates that a minute and 15 seconds has passed, I turn the TV back on and enjoy the game or other programs.
I’m sure the advertisers won’t be pleased if they read this piece, but hey, maybe they can rethink the way they present so many commercials on TV.
I know making money is what TV is all about, but it’s being overdone in recent times.
The State of California is contemplating changing the blood alcohol level for DUI drivers from .08 percent to .05 percent.
Needless to say, there is the usual pro and con on the issue of drinking and driving.
Those opposed to the change say that a person who has a glass of beer will register a .05 percent blood alcohol level.
Well, if one glass of beer can affect a driver, what’s the problem?
At any rate, according to a San Francisco newspaper columnist, DUI drivers don’t cause as many accidents as those who have no driver’s license.
So who comprises the no-driver license group?
Illegal immigrants who need automobiles to drive to work or transport their children to school.
So the question might be: Who is more dangerous, a drunk driver or an illegal immigrant without a driver’s license?
Will we ever find the answer to such a question?
I’m afraid not.
This segment of my column today should be the lead-off, but since I write at various parts of the day, some things that should be featured have to be tossed in a little later.
Well, maybe I can ask Editor Gwen to move it up to the top.
I guess I’ll find out when I get the Saturday issue of The Rafu.
At any rate, it’s about my expressing my deep thanks to Mayor Paul Tanaka and his City Council members for adjourning the May 14 City Council meeting in memory of my son Robin, who passed away recently.
It was a touching move by the Gardena leaders and I can’t find all the words to thank them on behalf of my wife and other three sons.
It makes me proud to be a resident of Gardena for 58 years.
Yes, as I write this, the Dodgers game is on TV, but since I got started writing late, I am missing the telecast.
But I am kept up on the progress because my wife pokes her head in the doorway to my “office” and keeps me up to speed after each inning.
As of now, the Dodgers are leading by one run, which, knowing the local club, isn’t enough to ensure a win.
Hopefully, I can finish up with my writing in another 20 minutes so I can get to our TV set.
Whoa. My wife just poked her head in again and said, “We’re winning 2 to 0 now.”
Guess the Nattos (oops, I mean the Dodgers) might win their third game in the last four.
A little more on sports.
I guess I should expect to hear from readers who want my opinion on O.J. Simpson’s move for a new trial. He has spent four years in prison already.
Since I was involved in football, in addition to newspapering, I did get a chance to meet O.J. and he struck me as a normal guy, not a sports superhero.
If what he claims is true, I think he deserves a new trial.
Heck, even though he was convicted of robbery, it seemed like the case drew so much attention that after the first trial, the judge had no choice but to send him to prison.
If he can prove his point, we might see O.J. back on the street, which wouldn’t be such a bad thing.
Speaking of happenings in Las Vegas (where O.J. is being tried), those of you who might be considering buying a house and moving there should know that following a lengthy period of falling home prices, things are going the opposite direction now.
Million-dollar homes are now becoming the rule rather than the exception.
I chatted with a couple of Nisei who did move there about eight years ago and they told me, “Yes, we paid quite a bit for our house and the prices began to fall, so things didn’t look good, but now it’s going back to the old days, so we’re not too concerned about our property value.”
I guess if I were younger, I might consider selling my place in Gardena and making a move to Vegas.
By the way, those of you who drive on Highway 15 to Vegas, be alerted that the Nevada Highway Patrol is going to crack down on motorists who speed on the main highway into the city.
I know when I used to drive on 15 and near the city, the speed limit was 55, but when I was driving at 65 mph, cars with California license plates were shooting by me like I was standing still.
Yet, I never saw a single car being pulled over for speeding.
Ditto for cars cutting in and out of traffic. None of them are ever stopped.
But no more, according to the latest media report.
If you speed or cut in and out of traffic, you’re going to get a ticket.
And the fine isn’t a quarter-slot machine price.
So beware, Angelenos motoring to Sin City.
Supervisor Mike Antonovich emailed me an interesting note.
It read, “When someone uses a bomb as a weapon, all the attention is on the bomber. However, when one uses a gun, all the emphasis is on the gun.”
Interesting, isn’t it?
Well, I took a short break and watched the Dodgers game because my wife went to the kitchen to do some housework and I didn’t know how the game was going.
It was the bottom of the fifth inning and the score was 2-0 in favor of the Dodgers, so I headed back to my computer because I knew I had about half a page more to fill.
When I work late as I am tonight, I usually end up hungry.
I’m not much of a cook, so I am glad that most fast-food chain restaurants like McDonald’s are open 24 hours.
Maybe a Big Mac at 10:30 in the evening isn’t much of a dinner, but at that hour it’s better than natto and a bowl of rice.
Of course, if I wanted to eat out and not bring home take-out food, I can always go to Carrows or Denny’s.
At Denny’s my favorite is the 2-4-6-8 menu.
It’s mainly a breakfast offering.
When I do go to Denny’s at that hour, I consume their special, which consists of two pancakes, two sausages, two scrambled eggs and hash browns. And coffee is included.
It seems like a lot of food, but it’s not. If you’re up late and hungry, give the 8 a try. I think you’ll enjoy it.
Yes the 8 indicates that the price is eight bucks.
Well, it’s time to make people laugh, especially you Nisei golf lovers. Try these:
The greens are so fast, I have to hold my putter over the ball and hit it with the shadow.
I was three over today: One over a house, one over a patio and one over a swimming pool.
Actually, the only time I ever took out a one-iron was to kill a tarantula and I took a 7 to do that.
The only sure rule in golf: He who has the fastest cart never had to play the bad lie.
Sex and golf are the two things you can enjoy even if you’re not good at them.
After all these years, it’s still embarrassing for me to play on an American golf tour. Like the time I asked my caddie for a sand wedge and he came back ten minutes later with a ham on rye.
Swing hard, in case you hit it.
Give me golf clubs, fresh air and a beautiful partner and you can keep the clubs and fresh air.
The uglier a man’s legs are, the better he plays golf.
I never pray on a golf course. Actually, the Lord answers my prayers everywhere except on the course.
While playing golf today, I hit two good balls. I stepped on a rake.
If you think it’s hard to meet new people, try picking up the wrong ball.
I’m not saying my golf game went bad, but if I grew tomatoes, they’d come up sliced.
Professional golf is the only sport where if you win 20% of the time, you’re the best.
George Yoshinaga writes from Gardena and may be reached via email. Opinions expressed in this column are not necessarily those of The Rafu Shimpo.