Archive for July, 2012

Me of Little Faith

Tuesday, July 17th, 2012

So I’m trying to figure out how to add a “Featured Posts” widget to this blog…and blowing up everything in sight as a result. That’s probably in no small part related to my near complete and total WordPress ignorance. Need me to do anything beyond type in some words and maybe add a picture? Hello, Disaster!

ebola virus image

Looking at this image of the ebola virus makes me feel better about my computer virus(es).

Even the thought of changing the the look and feel of this blog – something I very much would like to do one of these days – fills me with a paralyzing fear.  It’s not that it couldn’t be done, it’s just that it’s extraordinarily unlikely to be successfully done by me. Hell, every time I get an email from my host informing me that they’ll be doing an update to my server, I feel a little bit like puking.

It doesn’t help that I’m murder on computers themselves, either. Currently the one I’m writing you from has the blog looking like a total disaster. Happily, that’s not the case out in the “real” world, just the little electronic bubble I live in. If it isn’t the internet, it’s the functionality: my MacBook made it about four days beyond its warranty before it decided to go crazy. My backup (and two years newer) PC isn’t doing much better.

Case in point: my recent infection with a (variety of?) virus and malware stuff. I don’t know how this happened except that I think using a Mac for a while made me forgot how easily PCs get infected. Maybe it’s expressly my fault, but I’ve decided to blame the universe in more of a “that’s how the cookie crumbles” shoulder shrug kind of way.

Intriguing. The cold virus looks far more menacing than deadly Mr. Ebola over there.

Anyway, as far as my issues, I have two things plaguing me simultaneously: sometimes I am headed for a page – say, AirBNB – and my computer sends me to some other web page (semi-related, oddly enough) like Homeaway instead. I hit “back,” try it again, and everything is fine. In other words, I’ve gotten to used to it.

The other new “feature” (virus) is a small box in the corner of my open web pages that features a VERY annoying (gets in my way on purpose) ad trying to sell me US Citizenship or dating services or a Samsung Galaxy phone. “Why?” you might ask. Beats the hell out of me. Again: cookie, crumble, c’est la vie, can’t beat ‘em, join ‘em, etc..

Don’t get me wrong; I’ve tried to fix this. Antivirus software is already installed on this computer. In fact, McAfee was running when the whole mess started. (Chances that I will renew my McAfee subscription now: zero.) I’ve done countless Google searches – “Annoying ad on bottom of webpage trying to sell me a partner tracker or a free dictionary toolbar…sometimes” – without much success.

I’ve read geek blogs and nerd rants and discussion pages I could barely understand. I’ve downloaded Spybot Search and Destroy, TDSS Killer, MalwareBytes, RKill, and a funny kitten video from YouTube. Nothing works.

I throw in the towel. I may as well just go ahead and apply for US Citizenship and “Ask Tech Support Now!” (the ad taunting me currently).

I surrender, annoying ad box occasionally taunting me from the corner of my webpage.

The terrorists have won.


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My new dog

Sunday, July 15th, 2012

Well, not really. Or maybe. I would do it if he was brought to Hawaii…although all kinds of circumstantial issues (would he and Dozer fight? Is he respectful of cats? Do I really have time to do twice as many walks every day, because God knows I couldn’t handle two of them on a leash at the same time: Dozer and I are almost matched pound for pound as it is) crop up when I imagine it.

Doesn’t he look almost exactly like Dozer in this picture? It’s crazy.

What the hell am I talking about?

Well, some smart animal lover has “friended” me via Facebook on behalf of a Malamute named Billee that’s been living in a kennel in South Korea for almost a year. Billee (bad name: I’m changing it to Chewie, as in Chewbaca) looks almost exactly like my Dozer, and the idea of this animal living in a kennel where a) it gets up to 104 and he can die of heatstroke or b) he could be adopted by someone who intends to eat him literally makes me cry.

Apparently they don’t do large breed dogs there – Pomeranians and Chihuahuas are more the norm – so the odds that he’ll be adopted by someone as a pet are next to zero. Odds that he’ll be adopted, tortured (they believe extra adrenaline in the system at the time of death makes the meat taste better) and cooked?: Higher than I care to think about.


He’s hairier than Dozer, though. And a little bit darker it looks like.

In fact, I can’t really look at the Facebook page because it gets me every single time, but in the hopes that someone out there is an airline employee or happens to have a trip from South Korea to the US planned in the next few months (airline regulations state he can’t fly until mid-September because of the heat), would you let me know?

Shipping him as cargo costs about $3500, but if he went as oversize luggage on someone’s ticket, it’s only about $1000. They’ve already raised a few hundred dollars – there would be no obligation or responsibility to the traveler except to check in with him at the airport, clearly with the help AMAL (American Malamute Assistance League: a great organization. Malamutes are pains in the ass and if they aren’t raised by tough, well-trained owners, they can be monsters. Seriously. Don’t get me started on what it took to turn my dog into what he is today. My mother witnessed his puppy-hood and dubbed him “Devil Dog.” He was. I love Dozer to pieces, but it’s not a breed I would recommend to most people.)


AND he swims! Perfect!

All the same, I’ve already raised one Devil Dog and I have a Devil Dog-proof house, so I know what it takes. So if that person who can life flight Chewie out of South Korea happens to be coming to Maui? Well, I’d be willing to give it a shot.

Dozer is great with other dogs and so long as Chewie doesn’t have a taste for cats, I’d be willing to add him to the menagerie permanently. He’s already gotten a dose of heat (not that it gets to 104 here) and clearly he likes the water. Plus, look at that sweet face! ***Swoon!***


Poor Foof may never forgive me, but maybe down the line I can even up the numbers and add a couple more tough as nails Himalayans and let the gang wars begin. Why not? Chaos is fun!



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Another one bites the dust

Saturday, July 14th, 2012

Monkeypod Kitchen in Wailea, Some Menu Changes

August 1st, 2012

Vanessa Wolf is a former head chef, previously working in Portland, Oregon. She offers her blunt assessments in the interests of honesty and improving Maui’s culinary scene.

By Vanessa Wolf

kale salad-monkeypod

The Kale and Macadamia Nuts salad from Monkeypod Kitchen. Photo by Vanessa Wolf.

Peter Merriman’s Monkeypod Kitchen in Wailea offers a broad menu “dedicated to handcrafted food, drink, and merrymaking.”

Eager to partake in the culinary party, the first item on board was the Crispy Rock Shrimp and Calamari ($13.95). This is an enjoyable appetizer that, until recently, was exactly what one would expect.

However, they just changed the menu, and those who don’t tend to read the fine print might be surprised to find that what they expected to be a piece of seafood is actually a battered and deep fried chunk of pineapple. Points for creativity, but it was both unexpected and not particularly appetizing (and there was a lot of it). The buttermilk aioli, however, was…

Want to know? Follow this link.

I also updated my freelancing website: vanessa wolf

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The thin, ink-colored line

Friday, July 13th, 2012

Although not remotely at the point of making a living off my creative efforts, I’m clearly still willing to embrace my snobby inner artiste from time to time. Although I’m not exactly proud of this, I have to forgive myself. Don’t get me wrong, it was bound to happen: the conflict between commerce and art has gone on as long as there has been commerce around to place (perceived) value on all the art.

Nonetheless, it occurs to me that perhaps I’ve been looking at this all wrong: I am proud of this blog, but it’s hardly a Faulkner novel. Moreover, in all my clamoring for blog fodder, I have overlooked a golden opportunity to blog about something I might not have come up with on my own, and do it with panache.

Have no fear: I will still cover totally random and hopefully amusing subjects of my own inspiration, but they will be peppered by the occasional remunerated ideas of others. Similarly, now that I am unabashedly embracing the free market system, I feel inclined to offer you a deal of your own. Get in on the ground floor: PayPal me $100, and I will write about ANYTHING you request and within one week.

Show me the money. I double dog dare you. ;)

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The Cherry Popper

Thursday, July 12th, 2012

Bubba’s Gourmet Dog Shack – Beach Snacking

By Vanessa Wolf

Bubba’s Gourmet Dog Shack. Photo by Vanessa Wolf.

It would have been so nice if the hype were true.

There is a certain distinctive pleasure to introducing the world to a hidden gem. Mostly – let’s get real – the thought of biting into a pork and pineapple corn dog was equally, if not more, irresistible.

Driven by visions of tropical corn doggy goodness, Bubba’s Gourmet Dog Shack, an allegedly magical food cart regularly parked in the general vicinity of Big Beach, became the dining destination. Blame it all on Yelp: with the unanimously positive reviews online, Bubba’s Gourmet Dog Shack promised to be a real treat. The affable owner has been running it for two and a half years, and the bright red shiny truck beckoned from a distance like a siren’s song.

Sadly, the pork and pineapple corndog referenced online no longer exists or maybe never did. This is a particular shame

A Bubba’s chicken pineapple hot dog. Photo by Vanessa Wolf.

as the cook has a real way with the deep fryer… Want to read the rest? CLICK ON THIS.

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