Howzit Howard

Warning: Howard Dicus thinks for himself and is hard to pigeonhole in our partisan world. Despite blogging, he's been known to spell words properly and use reasonably good grammar. But, more in the blogging spirit, you never know what we'll write about next.


Local ownership is better: the Sports Authority example

No one bid for the full Sports Authority chain at the recent liquidation auction on the mainland. No one wanted 463 struggling stores. No one wanted even to snap up 463 struggling stores in order to close the 200 weakest ones and refresh the rest. Sports Authority has now told…


Energy conservation… in Saudi Arabia

Riyadh, capital of Saudi Arabia. “That’s like carrying coals to Newcastle.” Ever hear that? It was a common phrase for generations when coal was king. Newcastle was a great mining center. The phrase, synonymous with unnecessary or ill-advised endeavor, was a British cousin to the American phrase about the salesman…


Music Post: More music by living composers

Composer Paul McCartney. Gene Schiller, whose show “Morning Café” obliges him to come up with five times as many show themes as I do, has several recurring themes that I look forward to on my drive home from the TV station, including “Classics of Chamber Music,” “Mostly Baroque,” and “Film…


Music Post: Stories Behind the Great Classics

Did an older brother cause Bach to go blind? Was Handel ever in trouble with King George? Probably not, but these are just two of the many great legends behind classical music. And some of the stories are actually true. Okay, not the one about Salieri, but some of them….


What they’re saying about the Donald overseas

The Economist is a British magazine that covers the world from an economic point of view. It is not anti-American but British views of America break through from time to time. And its writers and reporters spend enough time covering Europe and Asia to view America from afar, as it…


Makana makes his public debut

Our dog Makana, now seven months old, will be part of a show-and-tell display today at the Oahu Veterans Center, and the “Sunrise” team has decided to send me and photographer Ben Mercier so we can show the dog on television tomorrow or whenever. This will effectively be his coming…


Music Post: Jazzed-up classics other than Bach

The genre of jazzed-up classical music really took off in 1963, when, at almost the same time, two French ensembles began releasing albums of jazzed-up Bach. “Bach’s Greatest Hits” featured the Swingle Singers, a Paris group even if led by Alabama-born Ward Swingle. “Play Bach” was recorded by the Jacques…


Music Post: The human voice as an instrumental choice

The closest I come to playing an instrument is my own voice, having sung with my five siblings as a child, so it is a curious thing that I tend not to enjoy vocal music as much as instrumental music. Furthermore, when I do appreciate vocals, it is often because…

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Ask your doctor about drug commercials

Steve Uyehara, Dan Cooke and I have something in common: we’ve married smart women who enrich our lives with their wit. We talk about that a lot, and a running theme is how Liz, Kehau and Bernadette talk back to the TV, something which is often more entertaining than what’s…


Music Post: “Concerto for Orchestra,” but not by Bartok

Bela Bartok was dying of leukemia when Serge Koussevitsky, music director of the Boston Symphony, presented him with a commission for a new work. Bartok tried to refuse it, correctly guessing that it was an act of charity, but Koussevitsky gave him a song and dance about how his foundation…