(Published Oct. 11, 2014)

Yeah, I missed being in Vegas with my sister the past three days because my driver suddenly couldn’t take us there. So we chatted on our cell phones.

My sister, in case some of you may not know, lives in the San Jose area and visits Vegas about once a month.

Since I can’t make it to San Jose, she usually looks forward to spending a few days with me in Vegas.

Although she loves Vegas, she’s not someone I can call a “casino patron.” Yeah, she likes to gamble but her thinking on playing in the casino is a lot different than most Vegas visitors. She’s not looking to get rich and she’s not trying to donate to the casino gaming tables.

Her thinking is always to go home with the money you brought with you on the trip. Hey, this sounds simple, but it ain’t.

Most people go to Vegas to pad their wallets (or purse), which as we all know, isn’t that simple.

Oh well, we are arranging to get together at the end of this month.

Hopefully, my driver will be ready to go when I set my travel schedule.


A reader called to chat with me on the phone the other day. He said he’s been following me since my days with the weekly Crossroads. Man, that’s a long time ago.

After I left Crossroads, I was with The Shin Nichi Bei and then The Kashu Mainichi. That’s going back over 50 years.

At any rate, the phone caller said he hoped I don’t retire from writing.

Well, as I frequently mention, I’m no longer a “spring chicken.” Maybe more of an “old goat.”

I guess a lot of the followers of my chatter are from my generation, which means we are all “old fogies.”

Come to think about it, the reader is right. There aren’t too many old journalists around these days.

I guess I was always considered being among the “younger ones,” and you all know how old I am. As the Japanese might put it, I’m an “oji-san.”

My friends in Japan, when they hear I am still working, get shook up.

That’s because in Japan, the retirement age is a lot younger than for those of us in the U.S.

Well, I don’t consider writing a column as “work.” I enjoy it and hope to keep pounding away on the keyboard until the Rafu officials tell me, “Don’t let the door hit you on the way out.”


If most of you are like me, you spend a lot of time in the evening watching TV, be it sporting events or old movies.

For those of you who are TV fans, have you ever considered what you might do if you didn’t have a TV set in your living room?

That’s the situation I am in right now.

Our TV set must be at least 10 years old, but I never gave it much thought until the other night when the set went dark. I tried several things in hopes of getting it back, but nothing worked.

So I called my friend, a TV expert, and told him what happened. He said, “Looks to me like the thing has blown out. I’ll be over to check it out.”

In an hour or so, he arrived. After checking it out, he said, “Hate to say this, but your TV set is gone. You’ll have to get a new one. I’ll order it for you. But it’s going to be about three days before I can install it.”

Wow! Three days without a TV set! I can’t imagine what it’s going to be like.

I guess we take things like a TV for granted and when we lose it, we suddenly realize how much we rely on it for our entertainment.

Oh well, maybe I’ll just write a longer column, which will take up more of my time.

Yeah, I know when the editorial staff reads the foregoing sentence, they’ll all scream, “Oh my gosh, no.”

Well, I’ll have a lot of extra time on my hands so what else can I do but pound away on the keyboard of my computer?

By the way, I wonder how many of the readers have been faced with a similar situation. That is, losing the TV set.

I guess in this day and age, when TV is part of our everyday life, we don’t even think about how things would be if we didn’t have a set in our house.

Oh well.


I guess if my kids were not grown-ups with their own families, I would be more concerned. But since they are all adults, this talk about the L.A. County Health Department’s preparation for the Ebola outbreak doesn’t affect me too much. But everyone is asking, how well is Los Angeles prepared to the outbreak of the Ebola virus?

Public health officials across the country and here in Los Angeles are taking steps to ensure the virus does not spread.

Jeffrey Gunzenhauser, director of the L.A. County Department of Public Health, said, “I really would like to assure the residents that we are prepared and that they are safe.”

County health officials told the Board of Supervisors, headed by Mike Antonovich, that L.A. County can safely isolate and track any case of Ebola. It all depends on people coming forward if they are ill or have concerns they were exposed.

Some worry that not everyone might come forward.

Supervisor Antonovich said, “We have an open border. We have millions who come here illegally. There’s no health check, so we don’t know what their condition is.”

County officials say they continue to learn about the illness from what is happening in other places. They insist they have all the safeguards in place. They just hope they’ll never have to use them.


I would guess that those who live in Southern California would rate its beaches as No. 1 in the U.S. Well, according to the latest survey, that would be wrong. The title of No. 1 beaches goes to Honolulu.

I’m sure not too many would be surprised by this, but others might say that beaches in California are equal to those anywhere else.

Honolulu is also ranked second in weather. That would be acceptable.

So, you also want to drink coffee while visiting Honolulu beaches?

Well, the same survey that gave the Island beaches their high ranking places Honolulu coffee in 19th place.

I’m not sure how they figured out one coffee being better than another. But 19th place for Honolulu coffee?

If you are driving in Honolulu, you should know that the city ranks very low in terms of traffic. I can understand that.

Having rented cars when I visited Honolulu, I sensed that drivers there were not very good behind the wheel or didn’t care what other drivers thought about their driving skills.

When I rented a car and drove around Honolulu, I encountered problems with other drivers constantly and in most cases, the drivers would end up giving me the middle finger as they uttered some unprintable words.

Give me the Harbor Freeway at rush hour any time.


Oh yeah, I hear quite often that many Nisei retirees are looking to move to Las Vegas, which means probably that they will be looking to buy a house in which to live.

We know there was a time when home prices in Vegas were really high. According to a story I read in one of the local publications, this isn’t so anymore.

Single-family homes in most Vegas areas are now priced at $169,000. That’s a pretty good price compared to, say, three years ago.

I know one Nisei family who bought a single-family house in Vegas and moved there about five years ago. They paid about $350,000.

Maybe if I go to Vegas and hit the jackpot, I’ll consider paying a mere $169,000 for a house. Heh, heh.


I guess I’ll close out today’s chatting with the coming election next month.

One of the races is for a State Assembly seat. The favorite in the race is incumbent Al Muratsuchi.

Being a Japanese American, a reader asked me why I haven’t mentioned Muratsuchi in my column. He’s right. I haven’t. I guess it’s because the race for the State Assembly isn’t that big a deal. However, since a JA is involved, maybe I’m wrong.

At any rate, someone might have told Muratsuchi that “one of the columnists for The Rafu, who writes twice week, hasn’t mentioned one word about your campaign.”

Why do I say that? I recently received three news releases on the candidate.

So maybe at least once before the election, I’ll devote a whole column to Muratsuchi.

At any rate, good luck to him in his bid to keep his Assembly seat. It’s always nice to have a JA elected to a high office.

George Yoshinaga writes from Gardena. Opinions expressed in this column are not necessarily those of The Rafu Shimpo.



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