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12/17/2014 It's always something

I started yesterday with a long, though still reasonable, list of things I needed to get done. And I finished them all. Only problem is that I ran into some computer issues which slowed me down a lot so I had to stay up late to finish things. Honestly, I'm still not sure if I got the problem fixed. It's working right now, but the question is whether it'll stay that way or not. Anyway, as a result, I didn't have enough time to finish writing about my favorite bubble tea places, so that'll have to wait.

So why did I have so much to do now that I'm on break? Well, being on break means I don't have any classes to teach, but I still have assorted projects (like Aurora's Nightmare) and side jobs to do. Not to mention errands and chores (a house requires a bit more work than an apartment). Also, Connie liked it here so much that she's returning today for a combination vacation and job hunt and I wanted to get a lot of assorted things finished before her arrival. Though this time around we'll both be doing a bit more work than her last visit (her with her job search and me with Aurora's Nightmare and some other stuff). It'll still be a lot of fun though.

Happy Chanukah and I'll see you Friday!


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12/15/2014 Tea time

Well, the semester is over! Though I've still got a few busy days ahead for other reasons. Anyway, it's travelogue time.

Random Hawaii Comment: Bubble Tea
If you're looking for a non-alcoholic drink in Hawaii (or at least on Oahu), you've got a few options. Naturally, there's plenty of Starbucks around (along with a couple of similar chains), as well as Jamba Juice and a few local smoothie places. But there's another type of drink that's just as popular, bubble tea.
If you're not familiar with bubble tea, it's tea (usually black, but there are plenty of other kinds as well) with boba (chewy little tapioca balls or bubbles) inside. The most common kind is milk tea (think an ice tea latte), often with some kind of add-in such as coconut or strawberry flavor. But, if you don't want milk, fruit teas are pretty common as well. And, just to mix things up a bit more, some bubble tea shops also offer smoothies (though I'd recommend getting them without the boba) and/or frappuccino style teas.
Outside of a few staples, menus vary wildly from place to place. Also, some tea shops let you customize your drink, offering different kinds of bubbles (small boba, large boba, flavored jelly, no bubbles, etc.), letting you choose how much ice and sugar you want, and the like.
So, why is bubble tea so popular here? While I've seen the odd shop here and there around the mainland US, it certainly hasn't caught on there in any big way. In fact, I bet this is the first a lot of you are hearing about it. But there's one thing Oahu has that most of the US doesn't, an extremely strong Asian influence. Now, I've never seen bubble tea in Japan, but there were a lot of bubble tea places in China. At least around the Shanghai and Nanjing areas, they were rather uncommon in Beijing. So, for the time being, I'm assuming bubble tea was brought over here from China. To further support that theory, quite a lot of the tea places around here are run by Chinese people (or maybe Taiwanese). Though I suppose it could have come to China from another area (Thailand maybe?)...

Anyway, next time I'll talk a bit about my favorite bubble tea places here on the island.


12/12/2014 Titles

Vote with the TWC button to see this week's bonus comic!

You know, whenever it comes time to name a new Pebble Version strip, I worry that I might have used the same name before. I mean, with over 1700 strips, I really can't say I remember every name I've used in the past. I suppose I could do a search every time... Oh well, I suppose it doesn't matter too much.

I did have a restaurant review and travelogue entry planned for today, but I think they'll have to wait until next week. For one reason or another, I've been up late every night this week and it's catching up to me. Ah well, grading and commencement will be taking place this weekend, after which I'm officially on winter break, so that'll calm things down quite a bit.

See you then!


Pokémon and all related images and trademarks are copyrighted by Nintendo, one of my favorite games companies who would certainly never waste their time by trying to sue me. Especially since I'm protected under the Fair Use Rule of the United States Copyright Act of 1976. Aside from that the actual site content is copyrighted by me, Josiah Lebowitz 2003.