Even Chickens Ride the Bus on the Big Island

I just noticed this tweet that came in earlier.

Chicken on Bus

"Even Chickens Ride the Bus on the Big Island"

NEW Missile Defense System Deployed to Hawaii for North Korea Threat

U.S. Defense Secretary Robert Gates says he has ordered the deployment of a new missile defense system to respond to any North Korean missile launch that threatens Hawaii. Meanwhile, an official also says the U.S. Navy is prepared to try to stop North Korean ships suspected of carrying weapons banned by a new United Nations Security Council resolution.


County Council “Coup” Meeting Airdates

Council Meetings on TV

10 Hot Dogs and 8 Buns… WTF?

So I’m grocery shopping today for my son’s birthday party this weekend and I have to get Hot dog buns for 2 packs of hot dogs.

I’ve always wondered why hot dogs come in a 10 pack, but the buns come in an 8 pack.

10 dogs 8 buns

So now that I have the internet easily available to me, and I’ve run across  this in my mind today… I looked up the answer to this age old question.

Why do Hot Dogs come in a 10 pack but the Buns come in a 8 pack?

Cecil Adams over at The Straight Dope had the following answer:

Nobody at any of the major hot dog companies can offer a convincing rationale for why things are packaged the way they are. Nonetheless, by a system of anthropological inquiry not unlike Margaret Mead’s researches among the Samoans, I have been able to construct the following hypothesis: you get ten hot dogs and eight buns per package because meat packers like things that come in pounds and bakers hate things that come in tens.

The meat-packing side of this is easiest to understand. Your standard-issue hot dog, a product that generations of consumers have found to be convenient, comes ten to the pound. Jumbo hot dogs come eight to the pound, and occasionally you’ll see some symptom of wretched excess that comes four to the pound. If you’ve got 10,000 pounds of hot dogs, therefore, you know you’ve got 10,000 packages. A few packers deviate from this rule and give you, say, eight standard dogs per 12-ounce package, but they’re in the minority.

The situation with bakers is a bit murkier. Here are some of the “explanations” you’ll hear: (1) We do it that way because everybody else does. If we started doing ten to the package we’d have to charge more, consumers wouldn’t notice they were getting more, and we’d lose business. Fine, but why did the first guy start packing eight? (2) There is something inherent in baking tray or oven design that makes ten impractical to produce. Not true. Continental Baking, maker of the Wonder brand and one of the largest companies in the industry, sells both eight-packs and ten-packs, depending on “consumer preferences and local market conditions.” What this means is that if enough people want ten-packs and everybody else is selling them, Continental will too. St. Louis, for one, is said to be a big ten-pack town. (3) Ten-packs are a clumsy shape and tend to get broken up when they’re tossed around on supermarket shelves. This is close to the truth, I think (see below), but obviously not that close, since Continental somehow manages to cope.

The true explanation, in my opinion, is that bakers just don’t like tens. They prefer dozens, or more generally, multiples of three and four, notably four, six, eight, and twelve. These quantities lend themselves to compact packaging–three rows of four, two rows of three, two slabs of two by two (e.g., hamburger buns), and so on. Ten lends itself only to one row of ten or two rows of five, which are seldom compact shapes. Therefore, the baking mind-set–and here’s where we start getting into anthropology–is such that you instinctively regard ten as an unwieldy number. When the pioneers of bun baking were trying to figure out how to package their product, they probably figured what the hey, eight makes a squarish package, so that’s what we’ll go with, without even considering the unique circumstances that made ten more appropriate. The situation has been allowed to continue because the Teeming Millions meekly submit to it. Oscar Mayer says that of the 50,000 or so consumer letters they get each year, only 10 or 15 complain about the hot dog/bun mismatch.

There are a few cynics, some of them employed in this office, who do not buy the preceding analysis, and indeed regard it with something approaching scorn. I pray for these people every night. Some of us, I guess, are capable of daring leaps of imagination; the rest, sadly, just pick nits.

Senator Daniel K. Inouye at the Groundbreaking for National Japanese American Memorial to Patriotism


Six Great Spots on the Big Island

My Hawaiian Home blog writer Devany Vickery-Davidson asks this question on Aloha Friday:

…What is your favorite spot on the Big Island?

So I thought I’d give her 6 spots posted by an LA Times travel writer with some video behind the spots:

LATimes travel writer Chris Reynolds hits six top spots on Hawaii’s big island, including a fuming volcano, a roaring waterfall and a cooking pig.


Lincoln Ashida: “What is the Legal Difference Between a Voter Initiative and an Ordinance?”

From the Desk of Lincoln Ashida:

Lincoln serious

During the recent lively Hawai‘i County Council debate concerning the two-year suspension of payments into the Public Access, Open Space and Natural Resources Preservation Fund, a question asked was whether voter initiatives enjoy greater legal recognition and protection than ordinances passed by the Council.  This question was asked in the context of arguments made that voter initiatives should not be subject to amendment by the County’s legislative body.

The short answer is there is no legal difference.  Voter initiatives once passed, become ordinances with no greater or less recognition than ordinances (laws) passed by our Council.  This means they are subject to amendment and repeal or other modification as any other local law.

In the 2008 general election our Hawai‘i County Charter was amended to provide voter initiatives that become ordinances cannot be amended unless there is a two-thirds vote of the Council.  This amendment applies to voter initiatives passed after the 2008 general election, so it did not apply to the amendments made by the Council to the Public Access, Open Space and Natural Resources Preservation Fund ordinance.  However, the 2008 amendment to the Charter makes clear the will of the voters is to extend greater recognition and protection to voter initiatives compared to Council-passed ordinances.  This is a positive step in our democratic process that affords our voters an active role in public policy formulation at the County government level.

For those in County government responsible for overseeing our public elections, this means even greater care must be deployed in ensuring proper information is provided to the public.  From distributing public information reciting “pros and cons” to crafting neutral ballot language, voter education is critical.  Luckily, our County is blessed with a very effective County Clerk and a very efficient Elections Division.  As the opportunity for greater public involvement in the County government process grows, our County legislative branch is up to the challenge of ensuring all members of our island community are informed.

As ever, if you have any comments or questions on the above or any matter, please feel free to email our office at Lashida@co.hawaii.hi.us, or call me at (808) 961-8304, extension 118.  This message was posted on June 16, 2009, at 10:20 a.m.