Archive for the ‘Mike Inouye’ Category

The Inouye Old School House Party

January 7, 2009

Mike Inouye:
Mike InouyeI think I’m old fashioned.


My son’s birthday was at the end of December and we had, amongst other family festivities, a small party with a few of his more frequent playmates… Strike that, he’s just turned three and at that age they don’t play WITH each other so much as NEAR each other. I guess they’re more like “other kids he plays AROUND.”

No matter.

My wife and I threw him a little party where the kids made their own pizzas, even choosing the toppings they wanted (or didn’t want, as you see from these pictures).


After the pizzas were cooked and NOT eaten, and the juice/punch fueled kiddies had filled their tummies with Goldfish crackers, cake and ice cream instead, they escaped to the play area for another hour of playing near each other.

No fights, no crying… it was a GREAT party.

Later, we got a message from one of our friends sharing some pictures and letting us know how much she enjoyed coming to an “old fashioned” birthday party that someone actually had at their house. (After thinking about it, we realized in his scant three years of party-going he’d celebrated birthdays at Gymboree, KidsPark, Pump It Up and a number of other pretty big shindigs at parks around the Bay Area.)

Our pizza party was not intended to be any sort of counter-culture statement. In fact, we thought it was actually kind of lazy of us. It does, however, seem to be a bit different than the type of suggestion you find as a result of a simple web search for “kids birthday party”. (Click here to see some results.)

Imagine that: we managed to have a cool birthday party, one that was not the same old thing, by having the same old “home” party I used to have when I was a kid.

So, the party was old fashioned… which made it new fashioned…

I hope that doesn’t cause some sort of infinite loop or weird rift in the time-space continuum.

I think I’m old fashioned.


Mike Inouye
Pizza Party Animal
NBC Bay Area Traffic Anchor


What Happened to Thanksgiving?!

November 21, 2008

Mike Inouye:
Mike InouyeOn November 1st, the day after Halloween, my son and I were talking about how the nearby pumpkin patch would be gone shortly and we would not be talking about Jack O’Lanterns, candy corn or “trick-or-treating” much longer.

With the curiosity that is a nearly-three-year-old, he asked “What comes next, Daddy?”

“Well,” I thought, “Next is Thanksgiving. You’ll see some pictures of turkeys and lots of things with leaves that are orange, yellow and red.”


Daddy was wrong.

We went directly from candy corn to candy canes… completely skipped the candied yams. (That’s according to retailers, anyway.)

Apparently, this year, we don’t have Thanksgiving.

In fact, Brent, being as observant as any other toddler, even noted the start of the Christmas marketing machine BACK IN SEPTEMBER!!!

I guess we should be grateful we had Halloween at all. 😉

Whether or not we have Thanksgiving in the stores, though, for some reason there are always turkey and cranberry sandwiches through the end of November at the Inouye house.

Happy Holidays, wherever in this season you may be!

Mike Inouye
NBC Bay Area Traffic Anchor

Trivia Challenged

November 6, 2008

Mike Inouye:
Mike InouyePie wedges.

That’s what I think of when I hear “trivia,” and the image of “Trivial Pursuit” pops into my head.

For the uninitiated:
“Trivial Pursuit” is a game in which players gain one piece (which resembles a wedge of pie) for each of the categories in which a question is answered correctly. The first player to answer correctly for all 6 categories is the winner.

This coming Saturday night (November 8, 2008), I’ll be the emcee for the Junior League of San Jose‘s inaugural Silicon Valley Trivia Challenge at the Tech Museum in San Jose. This is a team competition held as a fundraiser for the JLSJ and their worthy causes.

Though I love trivia and trivia games, I was always especially weak in the Sports category. Other areas can use a lot of improvement as well. That’s why I could have used a team aspect to my Trivial Pursuit bouts in years past. I think the Morning Team would have be a great ensemble. Well rounded; expertise in areas of politics, business, technology, science and pop culture… Hmmm… maybe we should compete next year.

If you want to come out and join us for a fun evening of friendly competition, I’d love to see you there.

Word on the street is that there’ll be delicious food as well.

Perhaps I’ll get a pie wedge after all. 😉

Mike Inouye
Non-Trivial Traffic Anchor
NBC Bay Area

Pumpkin Jam

October 29, 2008

Mike Inouye:
Mike InouyeLocals know that Half Moon Bay is a lovely place for a weekend trip but the ONE weekend you DON’T want to head “over the hill” is that which is the Half Moon Bay Pumpkin Festival. Rivaling the size and celebrity of the record-making gourds are the size and celebrity of the traffic on Hwy. 92 heading toward the coastal town during this season.

My buddy called up and asked if we wanted take the kids to the pumpkin patch and it turned out that the weekend which worked well for both of our families was none other than that which was not to be spoken. Though not big fans of traffic jams we still opted to make the trip vowing to meet early to avoid as much of the backup as possible.

For many, 8:30 a.m. on a Sunday is early.

For the morning traffic guy… it’s still early. 😉

Even at that time of the morning, the slowdown had started. A single stream of cars filed down the grade past the iconic farms; Lemos Farm to the north and Pastorino Farms to the south.

We found a spot in the lot and headed for the fun.

We got in line for the train.
We got in line for the hayride on the jack o’lantern truck.
We got in line for the cookies.
We got in line to get food for the goats.
We got in line to NOT ride the ponies.(bad idea)
…and then we got in line for the drive home.

What a fun time we had at the pumpkin patch. We had so much fun, in fact, we didn’t have a chance to buy pumpkins.

Don’t worry, we took care of that the following weekend.

Mike Inouye
NBC Bay Area Traffic Anchor

We Got Spirit

October 6, 2008

Mike Inouye:
Mike InouyeThis past weekend it was my honor to be one of the emcees for the entertainment stage at the 2nd Annual Spirit of Japantown Festival in San Jose, CA. I have a long history with the area, born in San Jose and with family having run a number of businesses in Japantown including a dry cleaners, a grocery store, and a manju shop.

This festival is part of an effort to keep the community at large aware of how very alive the micro-community of Japantown is with it’s tradition, culture and history. AlthoughJapantown has been around for nearly 120 years, not many are aware that this is one of only THREE remaining Japantowns in the entire country.

This festival is part of an effort to keep the community at large aware of how very alive the micro-community of Japantown is with its tradition, culture and history. Though this year’s festival had a bit of a rough start (overnight showers continuing thru about noon,) but even then, there were a number of people at the outdoor festival but once that sun broke thru, the streets really filled up.

It was good to see that there is still plenty of spirit for Japantown, rain or shine.

If you’re ever in the neighborhood, or you need an reason to get to the neighborhood… lunch. Maybe I’ll see you there.

Mike Inouye
NBC Bay Area
Spirited Traffic Anchor

Context and Cake

September 8, 2008

Mike Inouye:
Mike Inouye“At work, the person who last celebrated their birthday is responsible for getting the cake for the next person’s birthday.”

So began the story from a friend living and working in San Francisco.

When it came time to celebrate a colleague’s birthday in late June, the person who went out to get the cake ended up getting a quick news update as well.

In an effort to get a cheery cake that everyone would like, the purchaser (whose identity I’ve been asked to conceal) opted for the cake she thought would appeal to the widest audience.

It had chocolate frosting.

It was decorated with bright, cheery colors.

It had the number 66 on the top which was presumed to be some sort of lucky number. Not unreasonable as we know from the lucky number 8 being so prevalent during the course of the Beijing Olympics.

Whatever the case, there were a few similarly decorated cakes pre-made in the bakery case.

The purchase was made.

Later, at the party, the group had gathered and was warming up for their own special rendition of the “Happy Birthday” song… enter the cake box and the awkward pause. (see the pic)

Colorful decorations? Those were meant to be “Pride Flags”.

The lucky “number 66” was actually two Mars symbols.

The news update? Same-sex marriages had just been legalized (again) in California.

The multi-cultural group of colleagues had a fun time discussing the cultural significance of these icons.

Culture, current events and cake. What could be better?

Remember, stick with our morning news and you’ll always get the right cake.

Make mine carrot cake…

Mike Inouye
NBC Bay Area Traffic

More Air Time

July 28, 2008

Mike InouyeSo, Brent writes about S’mores and, while I don’t have a special family recipes or secrets for preparation, it did take me to thoughts of marshmallows in general. (Many things, you’ll find, take me to thoughts of marshmallows in general. See “Shout Out to my Peeps” from last March.)

For S’mores you want to get the marshmallows heated enough to smoosh. That’s fine if you’re cooking with them but plain?

I like my marshmallows “aired out” a bit. Leave the package open for a day or just dump some into a bowl and let ’em be.

Some call them stale marshmallows but I like them that way. I find it adds a bit of toothiness to the cloudlike confection. If you don’t have the toothiness, how do you even know you’re eating anything of substance at all?

What about other foodstuff? Cheetos, of which I am famously fond… I like them a little “moister” than they come out of the bag. How to you get them to have the right bite? Air ’em out.

Stews and soups? Love to make them, and love to serve them steaming hot. However, I leave my bowl undisturbed as the flavors mature and the smells waft into to the air. As the steam dies down, the flavor seems to rise. I enjoy my food closer to room temperature than cooking temps it would seem.


I love to cook so this may be due to the fact that I usually serve my food at the same time I serve everyone else sitting at the table. As a result, my plate sits around and waits for me to arrive. It works out, though, ‘cuz I like to serve the food up hot but don’t like to eat it that way. Go figure.

Also interesting; this is in direct conflict with my role here as the Traffic Anchor where I don’t like my reports to be stale, the commute would suffer.

Commuters don’t need more suffering.

My reports are hot off the grill… but they could always use a little more air time. 😉

Mike Inouye
NBC Bay Area
Room Temperature Traffic Anchor

Note to those for whom I’ve cooked:
I try to keep everything well within the safety guidelines as suggested by the U.S. Department of Agriculture (USDA) with regard to food safety

Note to Brent:
Back on the S’mores tip, there is an invention (dare I drift onto Scott McGrew’s turf and say “gadget”) that he might find interesting. Check out this 21st Century S’mores maker.

Boom Goes the Dyna-Mike

July 3, 2008

This week will end with a BANG.

The big fireworks spectacular at the San Jose America Festival will be hosted on NBC11 by Brent and Laura Friday at 9PM. The kids and I will be tuning in to see it in High Def for the first time this year but this will be the second time in recent weeks that, amidst the thundering BOOMs, I’ll be smiling from ear to ringing ear.

I have long been a fan of the Japanese taiko drum. Though an ancient instrument, the ensemble style of performance enjoyed today has really evolved here in the States. Pioneered by groups in Los Angeles, San Francisco and this group in San Jose, Taiko got a real rebirth in none other than California.

In truth, years ago I had entertained the idea of auditioning for SJT (a TWO YEAR process) but was cut short as my professional comedy career took me across town to ComedySportz (watch for an upcoming blog.)

Even so, all these many years later, I finally got to fulfill my dream of performing with these talented musicians in their 35th anniversary celebration. Well, perhaps “performing with” is too strong of a phrase. “I was on stage at the same time as them” is more accurate.

No… let’s keep the “performed with” sentiment ‘cuz then you can fully enjoy this next bit of story.

Not only did I get on stage with SJ Taiko, I actually performed along with San Jose City Council Member Sam Liccardo (in the dark suit), San Jose Mayor Chuck Reed (in the suit similar to mine) and California State Assembly Speaker Pro Tempore (in the red blazer) Sally Lieber.

How’s that for a kickin’ house band?!

I guess I did okay, both as the event MC and on the drums because they really did ask me to take a picture with them all at the end of their AMAZING performance. It was an honor just to stand there with them.

Come to think of it, they’ll be performing at the America Festival on Friday as well, scheduled at 2:15PM.

I am also excited for their upcoming two hour concert in September. I’ll probably take my son too, since he’s enjoyed hearing them in the past. Something we can share, from our shared heritage, and then take home to practice together on our pots and pans. 🙂

Mike Inouye
NBC11 Traffic Beat

PS. In case you were wondering, the title of this blog is a variation on a phrase made famous by this college sportscaster who in turn was made famous when his Ball State TV broadcast caught the attention of Ball State Alum David Letterman, who interviewed him on his show. (Go here and search the transcript for “Boom Goes the Dynamite”.)

Ditto, Bob

June 17, 2008

Mike InouyeLast Friday I heard the team chatting on-air about the Bob Redell’s blog entry (yes, I watch nearly every morning even out on paternity leave) and checked it out as soon as I was able to jump online Friday morning.

Thanks for the props, Bob, and you’re doing an outstanding job running with things and allowing me to be at home tending to the homefront as we adjust to the new addition to our squad.

I also want to say “ditto, Bob” on the feelings he’s had getting up to speed in the traffic gig. I’ve experienced a similar two weeks getting up to speed on the homefront.

Just after I called in on the morning show when our second child was born, Bob said that having two kids isn’t twice as much work as one, it’s more like twenty times more work.

He should know. Bob’s got a beautiful family with two kids and has been managing wonderfully for years. While he gets the feel for the joys and challenges of doing something I’ve become comfortable doing, I’m here at home trying desperately to get a feel for the joys and challenges of being a dad of two, like him.

Sunday was my first Father’s Day as a Double Daddy. We’re just getting over one major hump, getting sleep wedged in between a toddler’s schedule and a newborn’s lack of one.

I’ll try and drop y’all another line soon.

Mike “One Swaddler, One Toddler” Inouye
NBC11 Traffic Anchor

Mike Check. 1, 2, 3…

June 2, 2008

Mike InouyeMy name is “Mike.”

Well, legally my name is “Michael” but I’ve gone by “Mike” for quite some time.

In Mrs. Lowe’s first grade class at Frank L. Huff Elementary School in Mtn. View I shared the class with two other “Mikes.” Mrs. Lowe is still teaching at the school (Hi, Mrs. Lowe!) and I’m still sharing the day with two other “Mikes.”

It’s important to note that while we only have five people who are regularly seen on the air from our studio (the other reporters are usually at remote locations) we have a number of colleagues who are getting the shows written, edited, produced and on the air. Amongst those many are two other guys with whom I share a given name. So, in total, there were three Mikes in the studio last week. Oh, and in my former role here at the station I worked in a two-man department where the only other guy was also named Mike. Go figure.

An interesting side note: When people can’t remember my name I am most often mistaken for a “Steve”. I don’t know why. I guess I look like a “Steve.”

Go into any restaurant, or a theater before the show, and yell “Hey Mike!” You should have just enough time to do a quick head count of those who thought you were calling them, before you’re escorted out by management. I’d wager you’d count a handful.

When checking the Social Security Administration website you can see that “Michael” was the second most popular male name for 2007. In fact, in the last fifty years it hasn’t been lower than second place according to those records. I guess my chances of continuing to work with another “Mike” aren’t getting any slimmer. Not that I mind but if I don’t happen to answer you the first time you call my name, please understand that I’m blocking out many of the “Hey Mikes” I hear out of necessity.

Of course that reasoning doesn’t fly so well when it’s just me and my wife in the room and the TV is on…

Separate discussion. 😉

Mike-of-Three Inouye
… or Steve.
NBC11 Traffic Anchor