Brief asides


POSTED: Thursday, August 20, 2009


Soldiers' return puts things in perspective

It was heartwarming to see the happy homecoming for some 200 Hawaii National Guardsmen earlier this week at Kalaeloa. The group was the first among the Guard's 29th Infantry Brigade Combat Team of 1,500 Hawaii civilian soldiers due to return this week.

The brigade provided security for convoys from Kuwait to Baghdad during its 10-month deployment to Kuwait.

In the years since the battles in the Middle East began, troops from Hawaii have been coming and going to training camps and war zones. Most have returned safely, much to the relief of loved ones — but some have not, heroes killed in the line of duty.

Yes, these are tough economic times. But seeing babies and parents reunited, families and friends back together after a perilous months-long mission puts things into perspective. Those are the truly tough times.



Victory gardens of vice

Some smokers, fed up with high taxes on tobacco products, are taking the leaves into their own hands.

Or gardens, as the case may be.

Home-grown tobacco gardens are sprouting up around the country, as smokers try to gain an economical edge on the high price of smokes.

But the green gardens of nicotine aren't for novices. According to an Associated Press story, the seeds are difficult to propagate, and once the plants reach maturity, there's still the drying and rolling process to deal with. Such obstacles could make even the most cost-hardy intentions go, well, up in smoke.