In my previous column I wrote about the dinner party hosted by Boyd Properties of Las Vegas (The California, Fremont and Main Street). It’s called a “mahalo” party. “Mahalo” in Hawaiian is defined as “thank you.”

Boyd invites their high-roller patrons each year in December to say “thank you” to them. I’m not a high roller, but I am invited probably because I belong to the media.

The “mahalo” party is held in Anaheim at the Sheraton Hotel, which is located next to Disneyland.

At most dinner parties, the guests are assigned seats. At the “mahalo” dinner, it’s first-come, first served.

Since my wife and I usually go early, we can pick the table we want, usually the one nearest to the exit door so we can be the first to get out of the dinning room. Since people can pick any table they want, we usually end up with all ten seats taken by Japanese American guests.

This year, after we grabbed our seats, the other eight were taken by Japanese American guests.

Most of the Caucasian guests just walk by the table where we are sitting, so we end up with all JAs.

This year, four of the JAs were formerly from Hawaii, now living in the Los Angeles area. They were from Maui, so since my wife is a former Maui resident, they had a lot to chat about.

In listening to their chatter, I learned that those folks from the Islands who move to the Mainland do so because they feel they have more opportunities here than back in Maui.

Yes, since they are now residents of California, they subscribe to The Rafu to keep up with what’s going on in the JA community. So when they see “George Yoshinaga” on my name tag, I’m always asked, “Are you the Horse?”

I try to be humorous and respond, “Do I look like a horse?” I’m glad they don’t respond, “No, you smell like a horse.”

The Boyd affair, as usual, was enjoyable, even though I didn’t win one of the door prizes they raffled off.

Most of the door prizes were cash, with the top one being $500 in an envelope.

Oh well, if I can’t hit the jackpot at the 25-cent slot machines at The Cal, I guess not winning a $500 door prize is to be expected.

Most of those in attendance were Japanese Americans, so we kind of felt “at home.”

Of course, since most of them are high rollers, we didn’t know any of them.

In fact, the only JAs we met that we knew were Al and Pauline Morita. They are very active at Boyd Properties.

By the way, while we were chatting about Vegas, a subsidiary of Greyhound Bus Co. is providing discount bus service to Vegas.

Guess what the service is charging?

Would you believe bus rides at $1 with daily round trips and three round trips a day on weekends?

You read it right. ONE DOLLAR a ride!

Gee, maybe I won’t have to look for someone to drive my car on my trip to Vegas.

The BoltBus vehicles have fewer seats for greater leg room, plus free wi-fi service, and the company offers a loyalty program that rewards customers with a free one-way trip for every eight purchased. Tickets start at $1 plus a $5 booking fee, with the highest fares based on market demands.

Buses depart from the Greyhound terminal, 200 S. Main St. in Downtown L.A.

Weekend departures for the five-hour trip are 9 a.m., 2:30 p.m. and 5:45 p.m. with single midweek trips at 5: 30 p.m. Buses arrive in Vegas at 3 p.m. midweek and 12:15 p.m., 3 p.m. and 9 p.m. on weekends.

With prices like that, I’m sure it won’t be easy to get a reservation. Maybe I’ll give it a try and if I’m successful, I can write about my experience.


I like daikon, so when reader James Yokota emailed me the following, I decided I’d use it in my column because I’m sure most of you might also find it educational. He writes:

“I don’t profess to know everything that is supposed to be good for my health and mind but when I have a question, I look it up and do my own mini-research to formulate a decision.

“Thanks to the Internet and email, I also receive information which may be beneficial to me. But in this case, I don’t have to research what is in the following email. I don’t know or understand how enzymes work in this case or what kind of dangerous chemicals are inhibited by daikon, and I don’t care. I have eaten daikon all of my life and I like it.

“The only thing I don’t like about the effects of daikon is it makes me gassy — in other words, it makes me you-know-what. You know, the stinky smelly kind. But daikon sure tastes good — especially takuwan.”

Read on and enjoy the following from the Dec. 4, 2013 Yomiuri Shimbun.

“Nerima daikon radishes hang like a white curtain in Nerima Ward, Tokyo.

“The radishes are 60 to 80 centimeters long and weigh up to two kilograms each.

“Farmers begin hanging radishes up to dry when the humidity is low and there is a cold, dry wind. After about 10 days, the radishes are pickled.

“Raw daikon is used throughout Japan to complement the taste of oily or raw foods and more important, to aid in their digestion. Laboratory analysis has shown that the juice from raw daikon is abundant in digestive enzymes similar to those found in the human digestive tact. These enzymes — diastase, amylase and esterase — help break down complex carbohydrates, fat and proteins into their assimilable components.

“The enzymatic action of daikon juice has gained the attention of scientists in Japan. At Tokyo’s College of Pharmacy, researchers have discovered that daikon juice actually inhibits the formation of dangerous chemicals in the body.

“Nitrosamines, a type of carcinogen, can form in the stomach from chemicals present in both natural and processed foods. Daikon juice contains substances identified as phenolic compounds that can block this potentially dangerous reaction. Thus, a diet including raw daikon may reduce the risk of cancer.

“Daikon has also been shown to be effective as a diuretic and decongestant.

“As a diuretic, raw daikon promotes the discharge of excess water by the kidney. The result is increased urination and gradual reduction of the swelling condition known as edema. As a decongestant, the enzymes in daikon juice seem to help dissolve mucus and phlegm in the respiratory system and facilitate their discharge from the body.

“Daikon is high in vitamin C and folacin. Like its relatives broccoli, cabbage and kale, daikon is a cruciferous vegetable that offers cancer-protecting potential.

“A few drops of soy sauce and a tablespoon of grated daikon is a macrobiotic treatment for helping the body discharge old animal protein and fats.

“Cooking daikon with a kombu broth is said to help the body eliminate excess dairy products. A tea brewed from daikon, shiitake and kombu has been used to reduce fever.”

So, there you have it. Please pass the daikon.


I was sitting on our front porch as I often write that I do, when a friend driving by saw me. He made a U-turn and stopped n front of our house.

“Hey, Horse,” he hollered, “don’t you have anything better to do?”

I yelled back, “Hey, at my age, what else is there I can do?”

He walked to the porch and we chatted.

“So what’s new with you?” I asked.

He laughed and said, “I just stopped by the liquor store up the street and bought ten tickets for the U.S. lottery. You know the prize is up to $500 million.”

So I laughed. “What are you going to do if you win $500 million?” I asked.

A puzzled look came over his face. “Gee, I guess I never gave that much thought. It just sounded good to win that kind of money.”

He then asked, “What about you? Do you buy any tickets?”

I responded, “Yes, but it’s only the California lottery. It’s up to $50 million this week and I wouldn’t know what to do if I won even that amount.”

That ended our conversation on lotteries.

After he left, I began to ask myself, “Hey, what would I do if I won the Cal lottery and the $50 million first prize?”

Heck, I couldn’t spend that kind of money even in Vegas.

So, maybe I’ll give up wasting the $5 that I spend on the Cal lottery. That’s how many tickets I buy each week.

I wonder how many other people are like me. We keep buying tickets and never give much thought of what we would do if we did win that kind of money.

Oh well, I guess as the Japanese might say, “It’s just tanoshimi.”

What the heck. I’ll never win anyway.

I can’t hit a jackpot on a quarter slot machine in Vegas, so what makes me think I can win $50 million in the California lottery?


We often hear of female blonde jokes. What about blonde men? Try these:

• Two blonde men find three grenades and they decide to take them to a police station. One asks, “What if one of them explodes before we get there?” The other says, “We’ll lie and say we found only two.”

• A blonde man is driving home, drunk as a skunk. Suddenly he has to swerve to avoid a tree, then another, then another. He gets pulled over and he tells the cop about all the trees in the road. The cop says, “That’s just your air freshener swinging about.”

• A blonde man’s dog is missing and he is frantic. His wife says, “Why don’t you run an ad in the newspaper?” He does, but weeks later the dog is still missing. “What did you put in the ad?” his wife asks. He replies, “Here boy.”

• A blonde man is in the bathroom and his wife shouts, “Did you find the shampoo? He answers, “Yes, but I’m not sure what to do. It’s for dry hair and I just wet mine.”

• A blonde man goes to the veterinarian with his goldfish. “I think it’s got epilepsy,” he tells the vet. The vet takes a look and says, “It seems calm enough to me.” The blonde man says, “Well, I haven’t taken it out of the bowl yet.”

• A blonde main spies a letter lying on his doormat. It says on the envelope, “Do Not Bend.” He spends the next two hours trying to figure out how to pick it up.

• A blonde man is in jail. A guard looks in his cell and sees him hanging by his feet. “Just what are you doing?” he asks. “Hanging myself,” the blonde replies. “It should be around your neck,” says the guard. “I tried that,” the man replies, “but then I couldn’t breathe.”

• A tourist asks a blonde man, “Why do scuba drivers always fall backwards off their boats?” To which the man replies, “If they fell forward, they’ll still be in the boats.”

(Maggie’s comment: Wow, Mr. Y., typing these blonde men’s jokes was real fun. I’m still laughing).

George Yoshinaga  writes from Gardena and may be reached via email at horsesmouth2000@hotmail.com. Opinions expressed in this column are not necessarily those of** The Rafu Shimpo.


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