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As promised, this is Part II of the yearly house inspection list, addressing the interior of your home.

LOOK for loose hinges and doorknobs.
CHECK the floor for popped nails, loose boards, loose tiles and springy or squeaky spots that could be a sign of joist trouble.
LOOK at ceilings for stains, which could indicate a roof or plumbing leak.
MAKE sure ceilings and floors are not sagging or cracked in new places, which might mean a bigger problem causing a shift in the house. Look above doors for cracks.
CHECK walls for popped screws and nails on drywall or new cracks in plaster.
CHECK around ceiling fans to be sure they are well secured to the ceiling and not working their way loose.
TEST all smoke detectors and replace batteries immediately if not working.

LOOK for signs of leaks in all exposed pipes and in areas where pipes run through the walls or foundation.
LOOK for signs of corrosion which could indicate a problem with the water or with the pipe itself. Watch for green stains around brass and copper fittings and on shutoff valves, a sign of either corrosion or electrolysis caused by mismatched metals. This will cause leaks and bad connections if left uncorrected.
CHECK the water pressure. Low pressure could mean a problem with the line or just sediment buildup in the faucet aerator or shower head.
CHECK drains for speed of drainage-a slow drain may have a clog or a blocked vent pipe. Look for a full swirling drain; bubbling drains are a sign of a problem.
FLUSH the toilets to make sure they operate properly. Open their tanks and look for worn out parts.
WATCH out for cracked tiles in the shower area or around sinks. Tap on tiles, looking for loose or hollow ones, which could be masking rotted backerboard behind them.
CHECK the state of the tub and shower caulking to see if its time to replace it.
LOOK for evidence of mildew where water has a chance to stand for longer periods. MANIPULATE the toilet base to be sure it does not rock, which might mean a leak has damaged the floor around it.
LOOK for cracks on the toilet tank or bowl or on sinks.
SLIDE shower doors to check for sticking, rust or obstructions. Examine the gaskets around the door glass for gaps and tears.
TURN on the shower and bath faucets and check for leaks around handles and valves. Are they easy to use or harder to turn off and on?
UNSCREW the shower head and look for collected sediment in it that could be lowering the water pressure.
EXAMINE vent fans for obstructions or dust. Turn them on: If it sounds really loud, the bearings may be worn out or a flapper may have gotten stuck.
CHECK dryer vents for tears. Vacuum or brush out lint in hose and around lint screen inside unit. Look for lint around the floor or on the wall, indicating a clog in the vent hose.
CHECK washer hoses for signs of aging (cracks or brittleness) or leaks.

CHECK trees around the house to be sure they are not threatening wires.
OPEN the electrical panel and look for new scorch marks around breakers or fuses. Also, check outlets for scorch marks, which could be a sign of loose and sparking wires.
LOOK for loose outlets covers, receptacles and loose boxes which may have to be refastened to the studs while the power is turned off.
TEST all GFCI outlets by plugging in a lamp and then hitting the test and reset buttons to see if it turns the light off and then on again.
GO around with an electrical tester (or lamp) to make sure all outlets work.

LOOK around the attic space during daylight hours, with the lights turned off. Look for holes in the roofing that let light in.
KEEP an eye out for signs of animal activity or entry points for animals.
CHECK around vents and gaps. Look at fan motors for frayed wiring or loose screws.
EXAMINE joists and rafters for structural damage.

TEST the drainage of the sink and look for signs of leaks on the faucet.
LOOK at all cabinet doors and drawers to make sure they open and close properly. Check for loose hinges or sticking drawer slides.
TURN on the disposal and listen for signs of obstructions or problems with the motor.
MAKE sure gas stoves give off an even blue flame. Try all the stove burners to be sure they turn on quickly and properly, without sparking or bursts of flame.
CHECK glass top stoves for cracks.
CHECK the oven door gasket for signs of wear and tear.
OPEN the dishwasher and spin and lift the washer arm by hand to make sure it isn’t stuck. Check that nothing has dislodged the drain hose; it should arc up to prevent backwash from the drain into the dishwasher.
LOOK for signs of leaking under and around the dishwasher.

Again, this list is a guide to follow to troubleshoot any potential problem you may encounter with your home. Hopefully, as you become more familiar with it, you will know what signs to look for and perhaps take steps prevent major and costly house repairs.


I was recently shopping in a Chinatown market when I saw (opposite the frozen chicken feet stall) the sign for Maguro Brothers. Maguro means “blue fin tuna.” I realized I must have walked by that place numerous times, so being a fan of Japanese seafood, I ventured in. It is tucked away in a small corner of a large market on Kekaulike Street. The decor is very simple with only 5 tables. Most folks come by for takeout. The chalkboard declares the menu items of the day.

They have excellent sashimi grade tuna and you can order platters for any occasion. Poke is popular now throughout the United States and you get only the freshest and highest quality poke here. However, on that day, I was not in the mood for poke! I had oysters from the Northwest, which were delicious and briny like those from the East Coast of the mainland. I also had a tasty Hamachi Kama (grilled fish head.) You certainly can tell that I am now a native of Hawaii! Finally, I had the best uni(sea urchin) that I have had since I last visited Tokyo. They also have donburi sets with different fish dishes over rice. As it happens, rice is not my favorite carbohydrate unless it is transformed into sake!

The dishes are presented in such a way that the woman beside wanted to photograph my meal to show her boyfriend!
The brothers, Junichiro and Ryojiro Tsuchiya and their staff are most friendly and accommodating
Maguro Brothers is open for lunch 8 am to 3 pm, Monday thru Saturday. Parking is on the street or in a nearby municipal lot.

1039 KeKaulike Street #113
Phone: (808) 259-7100 (a good idea for large orders and platters)




It is time for the Punahou Carnival, an event for the whole family. There will be great rides and food for all. The adults will love the live entertainment and the opportunity to purchase artworks from Hawaii’s best artisans. The carnival is February 2nd and 3rd from 11 am to 11 pm.

There will be a celebration of the Chinese New Year at the Chinese Cultural Plaza on Beretania Street, Friday, February 9th from 5 pm to 10 pm and on Saturday February 10th from 10 am to 10 pm. Expect food and craft booths and lots of entertainment, including lion and dragon dances. This year is the Year of the Dog.

The first Pacific Rim Cup, an international soccer tournament, is scheduled for February 8th through February 10th at Aloha Stadium.

Ukulele Picnic in Hawaii will be held in Kakaako on February 10th and 11th. There will be games, hula and music from international players all day long on two different stages. Sounds like fun………….call 389-2890 for more information.

Lace up your shoes for the Great Aloha Run on February 19th. This is a fun run for anyone who loves a crowd! Expect at least 20,000 people on the course from Aloha Tower to Aloha Stadium. Check out their website: to signup and get more information.


If you enjoy dancing, the Sheraton Waikiki Resort is hosting the Salsa and Bachata Congress in Hawaii Event from January 31st thru February 4th. This includes dance workshops, including kizomba and zouk, and live performances from professional dancers.

Hawaii Opera Theatre presents Donizetti’s, “The Daughter of the Regiment” on February 9th.

Great Aloha Sports, Health and Fitness Expo at the Blaisdell Exhibition Hall is a good event to get your game on before the Aloha Run on the 19th! It is held February 16th from 4 pm to 9 pm, February 17th from 9 am to 7 pm and February 18th from 9 am to 5 pm. Active duty and dependents $2.50 with ID, senior citizens 65 and over FREE as well as children under 12.

Hawaii Symphony Orchestra will present pianist, Lang Lang, at the Blaisdell Concert Hall. He will be performing Gershwin’s, “Rhapsody in Blue” on February 18th.

The 11th Annual Koi Show will be held at the Waikiki Aquarium on February 17th and 18th. There will be educational seminars from Japanese koi experts along with displays and exhibits.

The Hawaii Opera Theatre will be presenting SOL3 MIO on Sunday, February 25th. Contact Allison at 596-7858 for more information.

Kind regards,
Cathy, Mary and Jeff