Why Do People Hate The DMV?

Why do people hate the DMV? Because there is no “ALOHA”!

Yes, it is possible to get great service from the Department of Motor Vehicles, although your mileage may differ!

We do things a bit differently here in the islands. Take the DMV on the BIg Island.

They built a big now government complex to move DMV and property tax and so on into one complex. They thought ahead though.

Our DMV is in part of the complex with a waiting room outside. The weather allows us to do that.

The Courtyard and Waiting Area

The Waiting Area

There are picnic-style tables there, however I didn’t take photos as people were sitting at them and I didn’t want to intrude.

You first line up at a kiosk with a “triage-type” helper. She asks why you are there, ensures you have the correct paperwork and if so, hands you a number. Numbers are called out of order for various reasons. D-17 is a drivers slip where M-12 might be a registration, etc.

You wait at a table (or talk on your cell, etc) until your number is called over the P.A. There is also a TV monitor with the last few numbers called so that you can see if you missed the announcement.

It is OK to sit on the floor or use your cellphone!

The Monitor With Recent Numbers Called

You are directed to a window either outside or inside to complete your transaction.

So the other day I went to renew my license. IN other states it expired on the last day of the month, here it actually expires on your birthday. Still, they said that even though I was a week late, there was no fine or extra charge (I guess I would have only gotten a ticket or warning if stopped).

The triage person said I needed proof I was a resident (I had a utility bill), two photo IDs (I had a passport and my old license) and cash or check. The issue came up that my utility bill and license show my PO Box. This is because there is no mail service to my house and generally we don’t use street addresses in my area. She said I needed proof of my SS number and proof of my actual physical address. She suggested I just go to the property tax office and get a coy of my tax bill. That took all of 7 minutes.

I was about to drive home (30 minutes away) to get my SS card from the safe when I spotted my Medicare card and my SS number on it. She said that was acceptable and I was issued a number to wait.

IN a short while they called my number and I went inside. The last time my eyes were tested, I had some kind of peripheral vision issue and they placed a restriction on my license that I had to have side mirrors :-0 ??? OK, what car doesn’t have side mirrors nowadays? Anyway this time they tested my eyes and I passed completely and the restriction was lifted.

The whole time I was treated with respect and friendly “aloha”.

Total time to get the license from start to finish including the side trip to the property tax office was 1 hour!

Is your DMV in a building this nice?

Dedication and Blessing Ceremony

Posted in blog

Neighbors

Yesterday I worked on a laptop, trying to recover it for a neighbor. Another neighbor needed a place to put 2 storage sheds so I cleared room for him. Then the neighbor down the road had flipped his tractor on its side, so he drove me to where mine was and we brought it back and I righted his. Then another neighbor needed a ride to the airport so I dropped the laptop off on the way. So all in all, a pretty quiet day.

Posted in blog

What’s Going On?

Well, I had another birthday which was quiet and pretty uneventful.

I have taken Koa around to the Vets and it appears his growth is a lipoma (fatty growth) common in Labradors. At this point we are waiting to see.

I have been working primarily at my friends coffee farm as it has a lot of coffee and need a lot of work. I was able to get a crew of pickers and they are getting lots of cherry off the trees. I expect to have lots of coffee to sell very soon, so keep checking. It will be sometime in November.

I took the tractor up to a neighbors farm to help him get ready for his property inspection. I mowed a lot of area and just as I finished, I slid into a hole and had to be pulled out. That is scary!

Yesterday we had a lot of rain. A lot is defined as about 4.5″ and most came in a 2 hour period! Maui, a nearby island, lost power for a while. Here on the Big Island we had some roads closed due to standing water.

I bought an echo from Amazon and really like it. Mostly I set reminders, alarms and add items to my shopping list (“Alexa, add shaving cream to my shopping list”) and I also listen to a lot of music (“Alexa, play music from the 1960’s”).

I also have fun trying questions and seeing if she knows the answer.

At the moment I am headed over to meet the pickers for another fun-filled day!

Posted in blog

Thank Goodness I’m Old

Most people would not look forward to getting old, and most of those would not look forward to beyond getting old.

I am glad that I am approaching the end of my life. Why? Because the world is getting worse and most people either don’t realize it or they don’t care.

Our way of life has changed considerably since I was young. It is difficult and dangerous for kids to walk through their neighborhood or attend public school. They may even have to go through metal detectors and have security guards there.

People so rely upon credit cards to live that now that a credit bureau has improperly handled peoples data, a majority of the public now is in danger of ID or monetary theft.

With so many scammers out there, we are unable to open email or answer the telephone without the real possibility of a scammer on the other end.

Our personal information is at risk even without the credit bureaus involved.

Casinos use facial recognition to identify certain customers. It is not just casinos because stores also use this technology. (https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=nLNHAiST1eQ) Neither tell you that by entering the store, your data is being collected and stored. Some cites around the world have cameras trained on streets to reduce crime. They can zoom in on anyone. (https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=K4u4Dpl6NKk)

Prior to the Atlanta Olympics, many intersections were fitted with video camera. From my home to work (a 30 to 40 minute drive) I could be tracked by perhaps over 50 cameras. The current total of Atlanta cameras is 1600! (http://www.trafficcameras.com/70)

Browsing the internet now involves stores and websites tracking where you have been and what you do. Some data is generic such as screen size, however other data and preferences are used to target ads to you.

On Amazon,suggestions for other products are based upon a purchase or search. It is next to impossible to clear those suggestions. Searching for a book about how to support athletic teams starts product ads for athletic supporters.

Watching a movie or TV show online or through streaming services starts suggestions for similar shows, as they too save your viewing habits.

If a hacker were to be able to get into your online account, they might see that you watch a particular comedy show and then send a phishing email about that show.

Someone could hack your Google account and see what times you leave the house with your cellphone, thus knowing when to break in your home unimpeded.

Our loss of freedom and our loss of privacy is troubling and most people seem to be indifferent. We have stopped being religious, and we have stopped being respectful of our leaders, of our flag and of our country. We are allowing others to control our destiny and for that I am troubled. We ignore those who break our laws. If some faction riots, we rebuild their neighborhood. We forget that freedom of speech also means a freedom to not have to listen.

Perhaps I am getting jaded in my old age, but with age comes the ability to have seen change and to be able to evaluate it.

Not all change is good.

Posted in blog

The Slippery Slope

I made a comment on Facebook a while back and got some comments that showed people didn’t understand where I was coming from. That topic concerned the removal of Confederate monuments.

First, understand that I was born in the North and lived in the north off and on for a good portion of my early life. Then I moved south to the DC area, Kentucky and finally Georgia. I am no more partial to the South as I am to the North, both having been a part of my life.

I have visited battlefields in the North and South but am not an expert in skirmishes or battles and know little about the reasons of each.

Yet, I still feel that the removal of monuments to participants of the North or South is wrong. Let me explain why.

Decades ago when the Internet was young, I used to run a computer bulletin board system from my house. That system allowed people to send and receive electronic mail (email) and to participate in forums. Those emails and forums were copied worldwide by myself and other BBS owners. As you can imagine, there were times that we might see a message that we might disagree with, or was a major issue brewing. Some BBS owners began to monitor the forums that they hosted and began removing messages that they found offensive. They censored messages.

You might agree that if you are carrying a forum and people post things that you don’t agree with, then you have the right to remove them. That becomes a problem. If that forum is carried on hundreds of systems and each owner of that system deletes messages they find offensive, there might be nothing left in the forums.

Even if you find fault with the above, keep in mind what we owners soon found out. If we started deleting messages, we were moderating the forum. That meant we were reading messages, evaluating them and taking action. That also meant that we were now responsible for the content of the forum and could be taken to task for content of anything left.

Another example. My Mother was in an apartment building with other elderly people. They had a system in the lobby whereby each apartment resident, when they checked their mail each day, would flip an indicator over, showing that they had been active that day (active meaning they were alive). If a person was not able to get downstairs, but a neighbor had contacted them that day, the neighbor would flip the tag. If a tag was not flipped, the front desk could see and send someone to check on that persons welfare. That all came crashing down when it was decided that by having the board in the first place, the front office staff, and the apartment owner, were now responsible for checking on peoples welfare, rather than just offering a helpful way for neighbors to check on neighbors. The board came down.

Good intentions often create a slippery slope.

The issue of removing statues comes to mind. Someone or some group decided to have monuments or statues removed because they don’t like what it stands for. In this case, Confederate statues. Then you begin to think, OK so what does that encompass? Just Confederates? Slave Owners? People who supported slaves? If the slaves were brought over in U.S. ships, what about boycotting companies related to the owners? What about Africans who sold their own people into slavery and sent them away? What about the old Southern Democrats who create the KKK? What about the streets named after Robert E. Lee? What about high schools and roads named after these people. What about parks?

A sportscaster with the last name of Lee was pulled from a broadcast because of his last name to ease potential problems. That he was Chinese didn’t come into play.

Fort Bragg is named after the Confederate General.

What about all these places? https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/List_of_U.S._counties_named_after_prominent_Confederate_historical_figures

See how the slippery slope starts?

Some things start out with good in intentions but can quickly become mired in issues.

The $15 minimum wage comes to mind. To help people have money to live on, the suggestion has been made to raise the minimum wage. All that does is add to inflation, but people ignore that fact. It would serve the same goal to find ways to reduce costs rather than increase wages. If everyone making less than $15 an hour magically made $15 a hour, what happens to the people performing harder or more technical jobs who were currently making $15 an hour? They are going to want more money because they are doing more and deserve more. So the whole pay scale gets pushed up. Many of the companies employing these people will charge more for their goods (to make the same profit) and that adds to inflation. Yes, there are some cases where towns have raised pay rates without this happening, but I say to wait!

Once they burned books because people felt they were evil or sexual or whatever. The idea was that if there was no book about the subject, it would go away.

Trying to hide something because you don’t agree, does not make the discussion go away. Sometimes it makes it more in the forefront.

Those who cannot remember the past are condemned to repeat it.

If you are a schoolteacher, you might place a list of commonly misspelled words on the wall as a reminder to the students.

The Ten Commandments are a reminder of all the things the church wants ou to think about.

While some may consider Confederate monuments as wrong, they ARE a reminder of a troubling time in our past and a war not to be forgotten.

 

 

 

Posted in blog

The Highs and Lows Of Weather

WEATHER NERDS: I noticed something when I started looking at my weather data. The air pressure was changing in an odd way. As you know, barometric pressure changes when storms approach. Here in Hawaii we are in the middle of the pacific, close to the equator and our pressure does not change much unless there is a storm brewing. I was seeing a rhythmic wave twice a day. Take a look at my station and click the left button to go back day by day.
 
https://www.wunderground.com/personal-weather-station/dashboard?ID=KHICAPTA15#history/s20170831/e20170831/mdaily
 
There is a low at about 4am and 4pm and a high about 10am and 10 pm. Our pressure does not change all that much during the day, fro example 29.00 to 29.06 which isn’t much at all.
 
It seems some scientist also noticed this and wondered why. Here is their reasoning: https://www.sciencedaily.com/releases/2008/12/081203092437.htm
Posted in blog

The Highs and Lows Of Life

So it has been quite a year so far.

My tractor had some real problems requiring thousands of dollars worth of repairs. When it is out of service grass and weeds grow at such a fast rate that I get overwhelmed with the effect that I usually have to pay hundreds in weed whacking costs to get the weeds removed. I have tried to keep from using Roundup but will have to on occasion now.

Over the past year or so I have been managing a neighbors farm while he and his wife transition to the island. That is overwhelming me too. There have been a few people there who have paid rent and or offset rent with work around the farm. If they pay rather than work, I have to find someone to work and pay them, thus doubling my work. What would work better is someone who does the work and stays for free. The owners are due back before the end of the year to live here permanently.

I am continuing to work on websites for neighbors and friends. I hardly charge them anything and may have to modify that in the future. In some cases I do a trade out for something, but it is not on a direct basis. In one case I run a domain for a volunteer organization which a friend is a member of. He lent me a mini refrigerator that one of the renters of the farm I am managing for that friend above is using. It all works out in a loose web of neighborly help.

I promised the lessor that I would repair the roof or take down the garage. It seems to want to come down itself. I and scheduling a time to have a couple of neighbors here to help. One neighbor suggested that I burn all the wood, but I don’t know that I want to do that. I’ll have to fix the garage canopy that got destroyed in the last storm so my tractor will be out of the weather. Maybe I’ll move it under the house instead. I don’t know. That may be a decision for another day.

I ordered a file cabinet online and was going to pick it up at the OfficeMax store in Kona. The order was cancelled the next day as they were out of stock. The manager ordered one from the Hilo store (across the island) but it missed a couple of the trucks that traverse the island. I went to the Kona store on Thursday and it was there. They also had a wooded lateral file cabinet at greatly reduced price which I also bought. I have lots of filing to do and am in the process of changing how I have filed everything. These cabinet should help me separate personal from farm from website paperwork.

I bought a couple bluetooth speakers from Amazon one each for myself and a neighbor. We are both happy with them. Then the other day I bought a bluetooth USB dongle for my computers. This will allow me to stream music to the bluetooth speak which I can carry about the house. Sometimes I want to lie in the bathtub and listen to music and my wifi for the tablet doesn’t work well in there.

I have been tired of late; I had thought mostly from life itself. It also seems that my blood pressure was somewhat low. After my heart surgery they changed my medicine and I guess for the better. I had been taking a ‘water pill’ which helps you eliminate from the kidneys. It seemed to lower my blood pressure too, however at the initial dose, I was in the restroom more than necessary. We halved that dosage over the years. My new blood pressure medicine is based upon the same chemical in pit viper venom. After the surgery I was taking 20 mg and if I bent over felt like I was going to pass out. That was changed almost instantly to 10 mg (half a pill). That was working fine but my pressure was still low. The other morning when it was time to take my daily dosage, my pressure was already low (like 100/70). The doctor suggested that I stop the water pill and see how it goes, I will admit that when my pressure is up higher, like 120 or 130, I am not as tired.

My Brother In Law passed away suddenly less than a year ago. My nieces partner died in a traffic accident in July. July was also a bad month as my Mom passed away at aged 96.

My dog Koa had a couple of lumps which are usually fatty growths common inb Labradors. I had taken him to a neighborhood Vet (a mobile Vet) and she operated to remove them. The first was easy but the second was larger and under the muscle. She had to close without removing that one because she was not prepared to go that deeply and get under he muscle without an ultrasound. I took him up to the Vet in Waimea who had seen him before and they did an ultrasound there and are pretty sure the lump is in the cavity and not attached to any organ. Because there may be mesh needed to place in there if the mass is large and attached in certain ways, I have to schedule a biopsy and operation with a Vet able to do that. The Vet in Waimea didn’t have mesh on hand and the local neighbor Vet has never used mesh. So it will be a 4rd Vet that will have to do the operation. Still, it is my buddy Koadog (as I call him) and it needs to be done. O’lena the yellow female keeps looking at me wondering why Koa gets to keep going on trips in the truck. She just has no clue!

So it is after 2am now and I will head BACK to bed. The dogs decided to go out and woke me up to let them. Just after they came in it started to pour for a few minutes.

 

 

 

Posted in blog

Wilma Shultise (1921 – 2017)

My Mom’s health has been declining over the years and finally passed away today. She was 96 and will be missed.

My family is creating a tribute webpage for her and it is in progress.

Wilma

More photos and stories will be added as they come in.

 

In Daytona Beach

 

Race for the Cure – Cancer Run. She was 1st in her class. Well, actually she was the only one in her class AND was the oldest to participate!

 

 

 

Standing next to a tiki on her trip to the Big Island

Posted in blog

Fast Food And The Elephant In The Room

You see the ads with giant sandwiches but when you get your order the sandwich looks like an elephant sat on it.

I went to Jack In The Box, a fast food outlet here which advertises a giant sandwich. Imagine my surprise when I got it. Keep in mind that it is messy and comes wrapped in a piece of wrapper inside a box.

Still, I think I got what I ordered. The top photo is of their bacon version but you get the idea… no elephant sat here!

Posted in blog

Hair Today, Gone Tomorrow

At the time, people would have considered it risky.

In the late 80’s I was starting to lose my hair. I heard about a drug trial for a product the company thought would grow hair. At the time, this was as crazy an idea as someone telling you they could guarantee you could go into a casino and come out a millionaire an hour later. There had always been baldness cures and they were all scams. Nothing was ever found to grow hair.

The drug was a high blood pressure medicine that had what people called a “werewolf effect” in that clumps of hair might grow in various parts of your body. They felt that if the drug was used topically (on the skin) it might just grow hair. Since it was already approved for internal use, the concern was whether it would cause issues with blood pressure if used externally.

I and hundreds of others went to the discussion they had an NIH in the DC area and listened to the talk. It sounded real and viable. I did not participate because they said that my hair was too light in color and thus, too hard to count hairs in their periodic medical test.

I spoke with a guy who medical background and he said that everything I had heard was correct. I decided to buy stock in the company (Upjohn) and encouraged everyone I knew to “mortgage the house” and buy stock. Within a very short time, word got out and the stock started going up. Within 9 months I had tripled my investment. I sold my stock just before the FDA announcement as to whether the product would be approved for external use. The stock went up a bit more before profit-takers sold it. Thus I got out at just the right time. You see, if the product was not approved, the stock would drop, otherwise I figured it would drop because people like me would sell to take their profit. I was right.

Of course you know that the product was approved and Minoxidil is now marketed as Rogaine.

Posted in blog

Archives

1

Plugin for Social Media by Acurax Wordpress Design Studio