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Sunday, July 31, 2016

TAFISA - Trim and Fitness International Sports for All.

Aloha Everyone
According to researchers in the health industry, "the world is facing a physical inactivity crisis of epidemic proportions that is bankrupting economies and decimating human potential." 
The TAFISA Walking Day, founded in 1991, encourages public and open spaces as safe and friendly areas for people to walk.
The 2016 TAFISA World Walking Day is October 1st and 2nd. This year's event, the organizers are planning a fully integrated program for participants. Aside from walking, they are also inviting other activities like bicycles, skates, rollers, etc,. The goal is to integrate physical activity into the everyday life of people that is "Designed to Move."

It would be wonderful to be able to participate in the 2016 TAFISA World Walking. J.J. and I look forward to joining other walkers wherever we might be in early October.
Aloha -- Cathi

Saturday, July 30, 2016

Wisdoms And Teachings From Kung Fu TV Series

Aloha Everyone,

Some of you might remember the adventures of a Shaolin monk and martial-arts expert Caine who fled China. Caine's wandering takes him to the Old West America, defending the helpless and fighting their enemies.  

This television drama series became one of the most popular television programs of the early 1970's. It made David Carradine a household name.

J.J. is an ardent fan of this series. In addition to seeing excellent martial arts, the program also imparted wisdoms through two masters, Master Po and Master Kan.  Here are a few examples:

1). Caine: "Is it good to seek the past, Master Po? Does it not rob the present?"
Master Po: "If a man dwells on the past, then he robs the present. But if a man ignores the past, he may rob the future. The seeds of our destiny are nurtured by the roots of our past."

2). "
Seek not to know the answers, but to understand the questions.
--Master Po:

3). "Sometimes a stranger known to us for moments can spark our souls to kinship for eternity."

--Master Kan:

4). "Be nothing, and you will have everything to give to others." – Master Po

5). "Avoid rather than check. Check rather than hurt. Hurt rather than maim. Maim rather than kill. For all life is precious and cannot be replaced." – Master Kan

6). "To suppress a truth is to give it force beyond endurance." — Master Kan
7). "Yet, it is eyes which blind the man." — Master Po

8). "Because a man can see, he does not look." — Master Po

Aloha -- Cathi

Friday, July 29, 2016

Unforgettable Humanust, Rokusuke Ei

Aloha Everyone,
This morning J.J. and I caught the NHK World News focus on late Rokusuke Ei, a Japanese lyricist, composer, author, essayist, and television personality. What we found fascinating was Ei traveled over 300 days every year from northern to southern Japan. Usually traveling independently, Ei maintained handwritten notebooks of his experiences which he incorporated into his songs, essays and other works.

A graduate from the prestigious Waseda University, Ei helped establish the post war mass culture of Japan. Some credit Ei for changing the concept of culture. He was a humanist.
Among Ei's works which achieved international fame is the lyrics to the song "Ue o Muite Arukō", known outside of Japan as "Sukiyaki". It was sang by Kyu Sakamoto.
Son of a Buddhist priest, Ei died on July 7, 2016 at the age of 83.
Aloha -- Cathi

Thursday, July 28, 2016

It's Sizzling Summer!

Aloha Everyone

As you can see from today's weather map of the United States, the Southern California is not the only place we are feeling the summer heat.

Rather than complain about global warming, please enjoy these summer quotes:

"Deep summer is when laziness finds respectability." 
-- Sam Keen

"Ah, summer, what power you have to make us suffer and like it."
-- Russell Baker

"Summer is the annual permission slip to be lazy. To do nothing and have it count for something. To lie in the grass and count the stars. To sit on a branch and study the clouds." 
 -- Regina Brett

"People don't notice whether it's winter or summer when they're happy."
-- Anton Chekhov

Aloha -- Cathi

Wednesday, July 27, 2016

Towns, Cities and States of Spanish Origin

Aloha Everyone,

L.A. or Los Angeles is the most populous city in California. The real name is "El Pueblo de Nuestra Señora la Reina de los Ángeles del Río de Porciúncula," (The Town of Our Lady the Queen of the Angels on the River Porciúncula).

According to historians, the name California originated from the Spanish conquistadors, after Califia, a mythical island paradise described in Las Serges de Esplandian by Garcia Ordonez de Montalvo.  

California, like its neighboring states of New Mexico, Nevada Arizona plus Texas were a former Spanish colony and, later, under Mexican sovereignty.  Therefore it is very common to find names with Spanish origins.

Here are some city, town and street names of Spanish origin we came across as we travelled on CA-14.

Aloha -- Cathi

Tuesday, July 26, 2016

Dim Sum Lunch

Aloha Everyone,

J.J. told me that he has been dreaming of having a great Chinese Dim Sum lunch since we were in Carson City.  

So today we went back to Szechuan Seafood Restaurant located in Lomita. We've dined at this place a few times and wasn't expecting any surprises.  

However, when J.J. ordered their new dish of shrimp over tofu, it was delightful and excellent. It quickly won my approval, a self proclaimed lover and connoisseur of tofu dishes.  

It's time for us to get new license tags for Honu. We had a cashier's check issued by our bank and sent via Priority Mail to our mail forwarding service company in Box Elder, South Dakota. We will ask them to hold it for us until we swing by to pick the new tag up sometime early next month.

The major forest fires in California -- Sand Fire in Santa Clarita has already consumed 37,000 acres and 19,000 acres Soberanes near Big Sur has forced several California state park closures.  

Many sections of the state are suffering 3-digit temperatures, much higher than the average. Additionally, air quality is compromised and people are urged to remain indoors and hydrated.

Our continued thoughts and prayers go to the victims and residents in these ravaged areas.

Aloha -- Cathi

Monday, July 25, 2016

Volcanoes of California

Aloha Everyone,
Approaching Independence, the vast field of ancient lava flows always captivate our attention. The Mono-Inyo Craters are lava flows and volcanic craters in Mono County. This volcanic chain stretches 25 miles beginning from the northwest shore of Mono Lake to the south of Mammoth Mountains.

Mammoth Mountain was formed as a result of multiple eruptions that occurred from 40,000 to 60,000 years ago. Most recent activity which happened about 250 years ago is the uplift of Paoha Island in Mono Lake.

As we drove alongside the black lava flows, red cones covered vast sections of landscape, it is not difficult to imagine powerful explosions and the flow of magma that formed the mountains.

While today the snow-capped mountains appear serene and safe, in 1980, a series of earthquakes indicated to volcanologists renewed activity in the area.

Mammoth still produces  hazardous volcanic gasses killing trees and causing ski patrol fatalities as recent as in 2006.
Aloha -- Cathi

Sunday, July 24, 2016

Harvesting Fruits In My Mother's Garden

Aloha Everyone,

With help from her gardeners, my Mother is able to maintain a variety of seasonal fruits trees and vegetable plants in her garden.

This morning I helped her harvest some grapes, tomatoes, eggplants and peppers.

Her delicious sweet Kyoho grapes, a cross between the Japanese Ishiharawase and Centennial grape varieties. Similar to Concord, Kyoho is an easy to peel slip-skin, meaning that the skin is easily separated from the fruit. 

My Mother initially acquired 3 young vines in Fresno about 10 years ago.  Depending on the weather, the vines gives ripe fruits in late July to early August. Brown lunch bags are placed over the fruits along with fish nets to discourage birds and squirrels from taking bites.

This type of chili pepper is sometime referred to as the "surprise pepper".  This is because a usually mild pepper plant could produce one or two sharp, spicy pepper.

Aloha -- Cathi

Saturday, July 23, 2016

Mojave Desert & Witnessing The Forest Fires On CA-14.

Aloha Everyone,

Up at 5:00 am. Too hot to sleep so by 7:10 we were on the road. Today's expected high is 102 degrees Fahrenheit.

J.J. and I usually take I-5 but for a change of scenery, we decided on California State Route 14. It is is a north–south state highway traversing the Mojave Desert with the southern portion assigned as the Antelope Valley Freeway.

Mojave is an arid area that covers a section of the southeastern part of the state. It is interesting to note that one can discern the boundaries of the Mojave Desert by the appearance of Joshua Trees. These unique and easily identifiable trees are considered an indicator for the desert that is the driest part of North America.

Our enjoyment of the Red Rock Canyon State Park was short lived as we approached the towns of Agua Dulce and Acton. We drove through a dense haze which.became heavy smoke. At times, plumes rising from the mountain ranges appeared like some prehistoric volcanic eruption.

The haze followed us all the way back beyond Long Beach. We are pained to learn of the loss of lives, livestock, homes while the fires continue to rage.

Aloha -- Cathi

Friday, July 22, 2016

Drive Back To California

Aloha Everyone,

Topaz Lake straddles Nevada and California. This is where we also go through the California Agricultute inspection. When asked if we have any fruits and if yes what kind, I always reply honestly: apples, avocados, blueberries and prunes. What California does not permit is any kind of citrus.

On CA 395 South, a section of the stretch along Mono Lake, we saw restoration work progressing after the forest fire which occurred nearly 6 weeks ago.

Our initial destination was one of the campgrounds in Mammoth Lake. I believe there are over a dozen. After checking three located in the center of town, J.J. and I decided to skip Mammoth this time  Being a summer weekend, there were so many people. Without reservations, there were no vacancy.

We modified our destination to a familiar RV park in Lone Pine.

The good news is there was one space for Honu with hookups which means we can run our air conditioner at full blast. Outside temperature was 103F.

To my friends who are fishermen, this photo is for you.

Aloha -- Cathi

Thursday, July 21, 2016

Seeds, Glorious Seeds!!!

Aloha Everyone,

Looking for healthy snacks that is alternative to nuts, yogurt, cottage cheese and fruits, I am exploring seeds that would keep me satisfied and that are nutritious. 

Sunflower seeds have a very high oil content and one of the main sources of polyunsaturated oil. They come either shelled or in shell.

Quinoa, often described as a "superfood" is full of protein, fiber, various vitamins and minerals. It is not a grain but seed native to Peru. Quinoa is related to beets, chard and spinach. Quinoa is also gluten-free. 

Chia seeds are native to Mexico and Guatemala. They are a concentrated food containing healthy omega-3 fatty acids, carbohydrates, protein, fiber. Some ancient culture thought eating food made of Chai seeds or consuming it in a drink form would give them strength, power and energy.
Hemp seeds have high fiber content, high in magnesium, mineral that helps with relaxation, blood sugar control, blood pressure, and potentially osteoporosis.

(Nutritional information source: 
Trust me I am happy whenever we have a basket of fruits in Honu. However I plan to sprinkle these nutty tasting power seeds to balance my diet.
Aloha -- Cathi