Archive for June, 2008

Hawaii Real Estate Agents on the Rise

June 16, 2008

Last night, I went home for a Father’s Day dinner with the fam. As soon as I stepped in the door to greet the ‘rents, my dad rushed me. I thought he was coming in for a touching hug, but instead, he greeted me with the Business section of the Advertiser that read “Agents on the Rise in Hawaii’s Real Estate Market.” How rude!

You see, the day before, I had just completed 60 intense hours of real estate edumacation, by way of Abe Lee Seminars, and aced my final exam. OK, so it wasn’t really intense (Abe’s an excellent/entertaining/engaging teacher), and I didn’t really ace the exam (85%-ish), but the point is, pops was happy for and proud of me and wanted me to see the great news in the paper.

Abe Lee Seminars
Just moments before the moment of truth!

Great news, depending on how you look at it I guess. With the market cooling down like is has been, one can be a pessimist and see it as increased competition now (More agents to less homes being bought). You can also look at it on the flipside. Since the market is cooling down (FINALLY!), it’s only a matter of time before prices drop and people start buying again.

Real Estate has always been an interest of mine. Back in the day, pops had a license and owned several properties and I was always interested in what he did. At 30 something, I’m now on my second property (flipped the first one), which is not too shabby I think, especially with the prices in this crazy Hawaii market. I’m only half way there though, as I still have to take and pass the State exam.

What am I going to do once I pass the State exam? Who knows. I currently have an excellent job, working with unbeatable people, so it’ll be a nice-to-have, in my back pocket for now. What I do like is that when I start building out my real estate portfolio, I won’t have to pay some schmuck his/her commission. That schmuck will be me! 😛

Talk to me!
* Gimme some love! Aren’t you proud of me? 😛
* Do you think the market will maintain, crash or creep back up?
* Hawaii Real Estate: good or bad?
* Hawaii Real Estate Agents: good or bad?
* Think I’ll make a good agent in my second life?

P.S. No fo-get to tune in tomorrow for the answer to June 13th’s Wea Dis!
P.P.S. Goooooooo Celtics! 8)

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Wea Dis? – 06/13/08

June 13, 2008

OK, I’ve finally truncated the grossly extended name of “Where In the World is Edward Sugimoto” to “Wea Dis?” I hope it’s descriptive enough. Basically, the rules are the same. Spock out da zoomed in pict-cha below, guess where in Hawaii it stay, and post your guesses in the comment area below l’dat. I’m auto-posting this early on a Friday, in hopes that one of you will get it sometime through the weekend before my auto-post answer comes out on Monday. My prediction is that it’ll be a lot easier than the last two. Good luck yo! 🙂


As usual, this is somewhere in Honolulu, HI, Oahu.

Hulkamania Running Wild!

June 12, 2008

What happened to the Hogans? They’re literally falling apart right before our very eyes.

First, Hulk Hogan and his wife Linda Bollea stop filming of their hit show “Hogan Knows Best” due to marital issues.

Then, son Nick is sent to the slammer after causing an accident that left his friend critically injured.

Then, Linda officially files for divorce (which some believe may be an effort to split the family’s assets from a lawsuit stemming from the accident).

Then, Linda wants Hulk jailed for not paying his share of a $4.2 million Las Vegas condo.

Now, Linda is supposedly dating a 19 year old teen!!

WHAT THE!!!???

I’m just waiting for some crazy news on Brooke.

I hope everything works out for them, but Hulkamania is not looking too good so far…

P.S. The bright side, at least for the rest of us, is that we just came back from a Kamehameha Day vacation and it’s one more day ’til TGIF! 🙂

Talk to me:

  • Were you a fan of Hogan Knows Best?
  • Do you care what’s happening with the Hogan family?
  • Do you think Linda is to blame for most of this?
  • BOS 2-1 over LA. Holla!

The King of Online Travel

June 10, 2008

It’s official. I am the King of Online Travel.

OK, so it’s a meaningless title cause it’s self proclaimed and nobody really cares, but I just got the sickest deal for a weekend trip to San Jose – that I booked for a good friend’s wedding (Congrats Tom!) – and I just want to gloat a bit. *grin*

Usually, I’m not too concerned about saving a few dollahz here and there if it means getting a trip that perfectly fits the ol’ schedule, but, unfortunately, due to my limited amount of resources and vacation days for 08 (on account of the big dance and honeymoon of my own), I’m in a bit of a squeeze… So saving money and preserving vacation days is the number one priority at this point.

For the last week or so, I’ve been scouring dem online travel sites for the cheapest, fastest, dirtiest flights I could find. OK, not dirty, but you know what I mean yo. Making things a little more complicated/challenging was the coordination around the other friends’ varying schedules (most of them are going up in advance and making a vacation out of it… LUCKY!), in addition to around the wedding schedule. My friend Glenn and I have been in constant contact with one another on the almost stock-market-like volatility of the ever-changing airfare prices.

$1,000s… Merrcy!
$900s… Blah!
$600s… Interesting.
$500s… Woah, should I book?

No ways! I wanna hold out for another day!

Finally, today, $444.93 son! I am da man!

Instead of ending this blog here and making you feel like you’ve wasted 5 minutes of your life that you can never get back, I’ll turn this into a helpful and productive post that you will look back upon and not hate, but appreciate. 🙂

Ed’s helpful tips to becoming your own King or Queen of Travel:

  • So, I always start off at the multiple listing service/consolidator sites to get a feel at what’s out there. You know the Expedias and the Travelocitys of the world.
  • Then, I look at the cheapest carrier and go directly to their web site to see if they have similar, cheaper or special rates. Sometimes they do, sometimes they don’t, depending on the deal they cut with the sites above.
  • Most times, booking online is cheaper than calling their customer service lines, so plan on that (buying online).
  • If you haven’t already, sign up for their frequent flier or preferred member clubs. Most times it’s free and you’ll earn miles and sometimes you’ll even get a break on airfare.
  • SHOP AROUND! The same exact flight you see on one site will be a totally different price on another site.
  • Timing! Sometimes prices change daily or even multiple times a day, even on the same web site. If you’re into gambling, wait a bit and see if you can time it to get a cheaper price. If you like to really gamble (which I don’t recommend), wait ’til the very last minute as airlines and vendors will offer “Last Minute Deals” for the inventory that hasn’t been sold. You can often get big discounts.
  • If you’re planning a vacation way in advance, you might want to consider signing up for the individual airlines or travel partners’ web site newsletters. I hate junk mail, so I don’t, but they will send you e-specials as they come out. You can even set some to notify you based on your travel preferences.

I think that’s about it. There are tons of sites out there, but here’s a short list of the ones I use.

Partner/Consolidator Sites:

Airlines (direct):

Other:

Hope this helped! Post some of your tricks to booking cheap travel below!

Rockin’ It At Doraku

June 9, 2008

So your boy turned another year older in the 30s block this weekend. Hold the applause (or laughter). To celebrate, the peeps took me out to the new, funky sushi joint in Waikiki called Doraku Sushi. Since this is a blog, I won’t get too into reviewing the place in detail (with all the sake, I don’t remember much anyway :P). Instead, I’ll show you some pics of the eats, which is what y’all wanna see anyway right? So here we go!

Seared Tuna with Asian Salsa - Tuna tataki with Doraku signature sauce, mango, Ka ware, tomato, red onion, Ponzu ($12.95)
Seared Tuna with Asian Salsa – Tuna tataki with Doraku signature sauce, mango, Ka ware, tomato, red onion, Ponzu ($12.95)

Salmon Carpaccio - Served with creamy ginger sauce ($9.25)
Salmon Carpaccio – Served with creamy ginger sauce ($9.25)

Doraku Roll - Lobster, kanikama, cream cheese, tempura fried served with red and black caviar, scallion and spicy cream sauce ($12.95)
Doraku Roll – Lobster, kanikama, cream cheese, tempura fried served with red and black caviar, scallion and spicy cream sauce ($12.95)

Kanpai!
Kanpai!

Talk to me!
* Have you been to Doraku?
* What did you think?
* Do the photos look yums!
* Do we look drunk yet? 😛

Come Meet BJ Penn!

June 5, 2008

In other news, UFC Lightweight Champ BJ Penn will be meeting and greeting his fans around town this Saturday, June 7th. Go down and send him some Aloha at one of the following locations yo!

Saturday, June 7, 2008

  • 2:30PM-4PM at Town & Country Surf in Windward Mall
  • 4:30PM-6PM at Town & Country Surf in Pearlridge Center (Uptown)
  • 7PM-8:30PM at Blue Hawaii Surf in Kalihi (1216 Kaumualii Street)

Come Meet BJ Penn!
Mahalo Philip Pendleton!

Celtics vs. Lakers Returns!

June 5, 2008

Today at 3PM HST on KITV, the Boston Celtics will meet up with the Los Angeles Lakers for a record 11th time in NBA Finals History! Collectively, the two teams have participated in 47 of the 61 championship games! That’s 77% folks. Wowzahs!

Since the trade of Pau Gasol to L.A. and Kevin Garnett (and Ray Allen) to Boston, the old school cats like me had a little tickling in the tummy with the possibilities of this reminiscent matchup. But, never, in our wildest dreams, did we imagine that such a series could come to fruition.

And though Kobe vs. Allen/Pierce or Gasol vs. KG doesn’t quite have the same ring as Magic vs. Bird, you would hope that this series would at least live up to part of the legacy that these two teams have created.

Now I know many of us Hawaii peeps are hard core Laker fans, I’m gonna ostracize myself by going Boston on this one folks. Besides the fact that I can’t stand Kobe (no matter how talented I know he is), and even though I know Boston-area fans have been spoiled with the likes of the Patriots and Red Sox, I think Garnett, Pierce and Allen deserve their championship ring. They’re on their last legs and may be retiring soon. What do you think?

So in appreciation of this series, I downloaded KG and Kobe’s faces from the NBA’s “There Can Only Be One” micro-site, to create my own collage like the TV commercials you’ve been seeing. Enjoy!

Kobe vs. KG
Kobe vs. KG

The true dream matchup would actually be me against the real “best” player in the world: LeBron James! *grin*

LeBron vs. Ed
World Wide EdBron

Los Angeles Lakers at Boston Celtics – Game 1 from Banknorth Garden
3PM HST on Oceanic Time Warner Cable’s KITV (0006) or HD KITV (1006). Countdown starts at 2:30PM.

Obama-Rama

June 4, 2008

Now I know politics is a touchy subject for many so I’ll tread softly on this one. And besides that, you’re probably thinking “What is this mma jokester doing talking about something he barely knows anything about.”

Good point.

Alls I know is that one of Hawaii’s own, Barack Obama made history yesterday when he became the first African-American to head a ticket of a major political party, after beating out the favored Senator Hillary Clinton. And you know what, I’m proud of dat!

Obama, as most of you know, was born right here in Hawaii. He is a 1979 graduate of Punahou School and still has family here in the islands. Beyond that, I admittedly don’t know much more about him other than the factual stuff most people already know (Harvard Law School graduate, married to Michelle, two daughters, Illinois Senator, has a MySpace, etc. You know, the important stuff. 😛 ).

What I do know is that he has that Presidential air about him. That confidence, that natural leadership, that something that you can’t quite put your finger on, but you know you like and want in a future leader. You know, that “je ne sais quoi.” Bill Clinton to me, also had that vibe (not sure if that’s a good comparison or bad… hehe!). There’s also a general “cool” or “it” factor in him that I’m sure many of us find intriguing as well.

OK, I’ll stop it there before it gets too political up in hurr. I’m just a regular dude making observations yo.


In other news, former BYU and Philadelphia Eagles’ standout kick returner Vai Sikahema (incidentally married to a Kahuku woman) accepted former MLB player Jose Canseco’s $5,000 celebrity boxing challenge, which will take place on July 12th in Atlantic City. Apparently, Jose has been running his mouth about how much experience he has in martial arts and that a boxer cannot beat him. Vai is at an obvious size disadvantage, but was a former Golden Gloves competitor.

Talk to me!
* Obama or McCain?
* What do you think of Hillary Clinton as a possible choice for Vice President?
* Who do you think will win in the boxing matchup between Jose Canseco or Vai Sikahema (they will be using head gear and 14 oz. gloves)?
* Would you even be interested in watching it?
* Jose Canseco is apparently getting into MMA as well. Do you think he’ll do well, or is he just a circus act?

What Happened to Kimbo!?

June 2, 2008

On Saturday, I, oh, only spoke of the biggest night in Mixed Martial Arts history, when MMA finally went prime time to the masses on network television. Problem was, I had a previous engagement (benefit dinner). D’oh! So I set my trusty DVR to record the blessed event, and even recorded half an hour of the news that followed in case it went long. That’s an extra half an hour of buffer zone yo!

At the dinner, I frantically looked up the results of the fights on my phone and read that there was some controversy in the Slice/Thompson fight. I salivated even more at the fact of coming home to watch it with my own two eyes. So I get home and study my Real Estate book for a couple chapters (highly recommend Abe Lee Seminars by the way) and decide to reward myself with the fight. I “Skip to end” and rewind.

WHAT THE!

They’re still on the Lawler/Smith fight. I’ll watch that later. So I fire up the 1/2 of buffer recording and start to get upset. Knowing it went three rounds, the meter on my bar was quickly approaching the end by the time the first round started.

!#$%

It got cut off! I couldn’t even watch the most anticipated fight on this historic MMA card. Double D’oh! I’ve since frantically searched all channels at all times for a re-airing, but didn’t find anything. If anyone wants to invite me to their house to re-watch it, let me know. LOL! I can’t believe I missed it. I wanted to see the controversial tap dammit.

What was even more amusing was how outspoken UFC President Dana White talked smack on ESPN about his rival organization, saying “What happened on CBS was horrendous.” Check it out.

Talk to me:
* Are you a Kimbo fan? Do you think he needs to be tested more on the ground and deeper into the rounds (cardio) to legitimize his game?
* Do you think EliteXC is using Kimbo strictly as a marketing tool? Shouldn’t they put him up against good comp soon already?
* Is Brett Rogers hating’ (jealous of Kimbo’s coverage) or does he have a point?
* What do you think of Dana White? Love ’em? Hate ’em?
* How ’bout that Faber vs. Pulver fight eh? I gots new found respect for Pulver man!

Pho Fantasy – A Tour of Hawaii’s Favorite Pho Restaurants

June 1, 2008

One of the greatest things about living in Hawaii is the multi-cultural nature of just about everything. From families to friendships to food, we were born and raised in a place that taught us how to appreciate each other’s differences.

Nowhere is that more apparent in the cuisine we consume on a daily basis. Where else can you go to a potluck bbq/party and sample everything from around the world, from sushi, chow mein, kalbi, lumpia, to summer rolls?

Recently, we had the urge to grind the Vietnamese noodle delicacy called Pho (loosely pronounced “Fah”). Rather than board the first flight to Ho Chi Minh City, all we did was jump in the G-ride and drive to three popular stops on Oahu: Super Pho, Pho One, and Pho To-Chau.

Conveniently located off Waialae Avenue in Kaimuki, Super Pho is a quick and easy way to get your Pho phix (fix). They stand alone for the best Pho in a town brimming with great places to eat (apologies to Hale Vietnam fans).

Beef Pho from Super Pho
Beef Pho from Super Pho

I’ve actually been here enough to even venture away from their signature pho.

Summer Rolls from Super Pho
Summer Rolls from Super Pho

Combination Plate from Super Pho
Combination Plate from Super Pho

Needless to say, the pho is a must have.

Super Pho
3538 Waialae Ave
Honolulu, HI 96805 (map)
(808) 735-9989

Another convenient place to get your pho phix is Pho One, off Kapiolani. They have an odd parking situation (shares it with an apartment building above), but once you get settled in, you feel comfortable, and ready for some pho action.

Pho One Sign
Pho One Sign

And then it comes!

Beef Pho from Pho One
Beef Pho from Pho One

YUM!

Pho One
1617 Kapiolani Blvd
Honolulu, HI 96814 (map)
(808) 955-3438
Open 9AM-10PM Daily

Probably the most inconvenient, but popular of the three is our next stop: Pho To-Chau Vietnamese Restaurant, deriving its name from the mother and father founders of the restaurant. Inconvenient as it may be (located off River Street on the very edge of Chinatown), they have a loyal following and always attracts a monstah line.

Line Outside Pho To-Chau
Line Outside Pho To-Chau

With reasonable prices ($6.50 for the extra large bowl) and a simple approach to ordering (just pick your size and contents), it’s easy to see why.

Pho To-Chau Menu
Pho To-Chau Menu

Since we had to wait in line for quite some time (even at 10:15AM!), we decided to make the most of our visit. We ordered their popular Café Sua Nong Hoac Da (French filtered Coffee with Condensed Milk) and So-Da Chanh Duong (Lemonade with Soda Water) to go along with our $3.75 Shrimp Rolls.

Café Sua Nong Hoac Da (French filtered Coffee with Condensed Milk) - $2.75 goes from this...
Café Sua Nong Hoac Da (French filtered Coffee with Condensed Milk) – $2.75 goes from this…

to this...
to this…

to this.
to this.

So-Da Chanh Duong (Lemonade with Soda Water) - $2.25
So-Da Chanh Duong (Lemonade with Soda Water) – $2.25

Shrimp Rolls (Shrimp, Pork, Fresh Herbs, Vermicelli Rolled in Rice Paper - Special Sauce) - $3.75
Shrimp Rolls (Shrimp, Pork, Fresh Herbs, Vermicelli Rolled in Rice Paper – Special Sauce) – $3.75

And then it was time. *duh-duh-DUH!* Time to have a taste of what this hype was all about. It didn’t disappoint.

X-Large Tai Gau Gan Sach Bowl (#10 - Rare Steak, Well-cooked Flank, Tendon, Tripe - $6.50)
X-Large Tai Gau Gan Sach Bowl (#10 – Rare Steak, Well-cooked Flank, Tendon, Tripe – $6.50)

Medium Pho Tai Bowl (#1 - Rare Steak Only - $5.50)
Medium Pho Tai Bowl (#1 – Rare Steak Only – $5.50)

Though everything was good, as expected, I’m not quite sure if it was finding-parking-in-Chinatown-and-waiting-in-a-long-line good, you know? I’d much rather conveniently stroll into Super Pho to get my phill. Ya pheel me?

Either way, I hope you enjoyed the Pho tour of Hawaii. Next up: Kalbi? 🙂

Pho To-Chau Vietnamese Restaurant
1007 River Street
Honolulu, HI 96817 (map)
(808) 533-4549
Open 8:30AM-2:30PM Daily