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.


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

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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!

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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.

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Washington DC Was A Novel Place To Live

Decades ago I lived in the Washington DC area in places such as Arlington, Fairfax, McLean in Virginia and then in Gaithersburg and Mount Airy Maryland.

My Dad worked for a real estate company which was well-known and respected. The wife was a well-known seer into the future and met with a couple of the Presidential families.

Another real estate concern my Dad worked for was in McLean near the Kennedy compound. One of the Kennedy kids came by often to visit the bosses son.

John Glenn lived nearby and had his phone number still in the book. I called once after his flight and asked about it. Seems the number disappeared from the book soon thereafter.

I was a Ham Radio Operator and once did a demo at the Gaithersburg Fairgounds for the Boy Scouts. I took a handheld walkie-talkie with a touchtone pad on it, (we didn’t have cheap commercial cellphones yet) and I made a phone call. That was not the exciting part. The phone call went from our repeater in  Rockville Maryland to Comsat Labs up the road from me. There the call was patched into the upling to the orbiting Anik satellite. The satellite was undergoing testing beoe being placed into service so I was the only person on that massive orbiting satellite. The call was then routed back down to Comsat, back to the repeater by phone and sent back to my handheld by radio. My explanation was that in an emergency, we could find a way to make a communication possible anywhere in the world. Aniks’ signal was Alaska and Canada I think, but you get the idea. From just a walkie-talkie we could provide communications.

That idea was made more interesting when most Shuttle Astronauts were licensed Hams and there were Ham setups at schools whereby students in a classroom could talk to an astronaut who was passing overhead.

I once visited the Garber facility where the National Air and Space Museum restored planes. I was within feet of the Enola Gay while it was being readied for display. Another plabe there was one of Howard Hughes. My Uncle was a Ham and supplied weather reports to Hughes on his round-the-world flight. My Uncle said they were friends.

Outside Gaithersburg I also got a chance to go into an underground center further out in the country. It was the location not widely known to the public. There was a giant parking lot in the middle of nowhere and in the center, a small building which looked like it could hold 20 or 40 people. There was a spiral stairway down to the center. There were bunk beds and food supplies. The toilets and sinks had flexible hoses to ensue that any movement would not rupture pipes. This was not for earthquakes, it was for nuclear war. You see, we were on the ‘radar’ so to speak for a nuclear strike. Those map of books you might buy for your city are different from the ones in DC. There were concentric circles on the maps emanating from the zero milestone (just outside the White House). It kinda told you if you knew what it was for, how likely you were to live after a nuclear blast.

When I lived in Gaithersburg Maryland there was a Nike Missle silo in the back yard. It had been decommissioned though.

There are various places for politicians to hide underground in case of an attack.

I used to be a Net Control Operator for the Ham Radio group RACES who worked with Civil Defense. While not government we did provide a communications link between services which they lacked. When Air Florida crashed into the Pacific, Ham were on their way to help provide inter-agency communications but were stopped short. The subway which would have allowed us to get there was closed because of ice on the tracks.

When I was quite young I used to spend many days over the weekend or during the summer downtown. Often visiting the museums I was quite familiar with the various Smithsonian museums. Little did I realize that years later I would be part of an exhibit at the Smithsonian. We were providing communications for a Cherry Blossom Parade and I was Net Control. I was sitting at the Smithsonian Ham Radio booth behind glass and within sight of Archie Bunkers chair.

When I lived in Mt Airy Maryland I often traveled north near Mt Weather (another underground city). My house was on the flight path between DC and Camp David. I could watch the President leave DC in a helicopter and minutes later see it and the attending ones pass overhead.

As you can see, it was an interesting time. It also seems as though many of the experiences involved aircraft.



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Sunday, Monday, Happy Days

No it’s not the theme for a weekly TV show with the Cunninghams and the Fonz. With thousands of blog entries it is difficult to come up with titles that are unique and not just a number or a date.

Today is Sunday so let’s see what is happening in my corner of the world.

On Friday we had our pot luck again at two-step, the snorkeling spot near the ‘Place of Refuge’. I had been up at a farm nearby and didn’t want to head all the way into town to Costco or the supermarket, so I decided to shop closer to home. Some weeks I take a baked item sometimes a desert, it just depends upon my mood at the moment. So Friday I went to Choicemart Supermarket and decided upon pie, blueberry pie. Whether it is made locally or not I didn’t check, but it did turn out to be a big hit.

Also at the pot luck, two neighbors came for their last appearance (at least for quite some time). Someone made an offer on their farm which they could not refuse. So although they will still be working with local customers of theirs, they will be moving to the mainland. I am not sue that the family who bought their farm has the ability or desire to farm it, but time will tell.

I have been working with another farm to figure out a way to place and get data from a weather station located far from the conveniences of electricity and internet. There is a cell tower nearby but the signal does not go up the mountain from there, only down. There are few if any people living up the mountain.

I have also been helping with a Mailchimp emailing that will be going out soon.

Another neighbor asked me to help find ink for his printer and I was able to order if from HP with my discount. It arrived Fedex Monday.

I ordered a wifi security camera system which should come Tuesday. I will immediately demo it for a neighbor and if it does what it purports, they will immediately order a system too.

On my trip into town yesterday I bought the brake shoes for the rear of my truck. Somehow I misread their website and was ready to pay $50 or more for the shoes, but after discounts (and the refund from an old car battery I found) I think I ended up paying $15. I need one last item before I replace those shoes. Hopefully that will stop the squeak I hear when I make a sharp turn.

I have been selling coffee from my neighbors farm and it had a slight sharpness to it. Upon getting a recommendation from a roaster, I decided to test roast it as a medium roast and the sharpness went away. I’m now selling out of what dark roast I have and can get to a medium roast. That farm has a ‘boatload’ of coffee coming in and I am working to keep it in shape until the owner returns.

I have a guy weed whacking over there and although he has tried to be careful, he has gone through 2 saw blades in a couple days. I go through them in a couple weeks at my farm. I just ordered 10 more and they will be a week or so before they arrive.

I am still waiting for my tractor parts to arrive. They should ship any day now; having been held awaiting one part I guess to be manufactured. There may have been some damage to the steering assembly and the mechanic is checking that to see if I just need a new seal. Seems leaking hydraulic fluid when you turn the steering wheel is a bad thing 🙂

I’m still waiting on my solar panels to be shipped; no word yet.

I have been spending quite a bit of money the past month or two so it may be time to dip in the till, so to speak. I have not removed any money from my retirement funds in the past couple of years, but now may be the time.

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Getting Another Break?

After doing the front brake pads, calipers and discs, I noticed a funny noise coming from the back when making a sharp left turn.

I pulled one side of the rear wheel off and although the one brake shoe is pretty worn, I see no major issue. It can wait a couple weeks although I’ll get to it sooner. I may try to pull the other side today and look, but it is difficult finding a safe, smooth place to put the jacks and stands. I wish I had a concrete pad here. The concrete company might have trouble getting to the house with their big truck. However, I might put a pad up at the top. I could use a solar panel or two there and some type of roof that could direct rainwater into one of the upper tanks.

Just a thought if I get a bit more time.

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No Lunch!

This Forbes item says “As I Predicted, Seattle’s Minimum Wage Rise Is Reducing Employment” and says that yes, Seattle businesses have not shut down BUT other effects are happening due to minimum wage increases.

It describes my feeling that many people do not look at all aspects of a problem, rather they just hear a good talking point and go with it.

In a simple example, there is an electronics equation I=E/R which means the current in a circuit equals the voltage divided by the resistance. If the current (the left side of the equation) goes up, then either the voltage increased of the resistance decreased. If you increase the resistance without a change in the voltage, the current will decrease.

What the Forbes article says is that by raising the minimum wage, yes the businesses are still viable, BUT they are not employing as many people, or they have cut back on hours. Actions have consequences (reactions).

It reminds me of people who think this is a thing called “Free Shipping”. I cannot find a single company who will carry goods across the country for free, let along across the street. There is a cost for most everything. Free Shipping is nothing more than eliminating a line item on an invoice and shifting the cost elsewhere. Those infomercials do it. They offer an item AND free shipping, but if you act now, they will include another item for pennies if you pay shipping and handling. The shipping and handling charge is the recovery of the discount on the second item. If they can ship the first item for free, why can’t the second one go in the same free box? It can’t because there is (ready for it?) NO FREE SHIPPING.

So if wages go up, hours or number of workers goes down or prices go up. Why doesn’t profit go down? Seems you don’t own a business do you? Large companies owe it to stockholders, small Mom and Pop business owe it to their families to stay in business and pay the bills.

TINSTAAFL. “There is no such thing as a free lunch”.

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More Brakes

I finished putting pads and rotors on the truck but did not replace the calipers. Today I replaced the passengers side and all went smoothly. I just have to double check the brake fluid for drips, etc.

Soon I’ll do the other side.

I will hopefully be able to wait for help before looking at the back ones. Without a concrete floor and better jack, this becomes more difficult than desired.

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Trouble Doesn’t Just Come In 3’s

I have not posted the first 3 items here, but feel I must. All within a week or so.

I took a neighbor to the airport Wednesday and on the way we noticed that there was a noise from the passenger side wheel. The brake rotor was scored, so I went to O’Reillys to get parts. They had to order them from the Hilo store and were delivered yesterday.

Also yesterday I had to disassemble that side to measure the disc brake pad, then put it all back together to drive to town to pick up the parts. On the way home it started raining so the project is scheduled for this morning. I’ll have to replace rotors on both sides and the brake pads too. The most time-consuming part is getting the jack in the right position because I don’t have a concrete area on the farm to steady things.

UPDATE: All done. the second side took all of an hour including a break.

SIGH! Now I have tractor problems. The whole front wheel base came off. It looks as though 4 bolts are gone. Two of which may not have ever been on there, but I can’t see yet.

Unlike a lawn mower, this cannot be easily raised. I used the front end loaded to lift the front up, but the wheel base is very heavy! MY neighbor has a tractor I can use to help lift, once I decide how I will tackle this.

As you can see, I’m in tall grass and that front wheel is about a yard too far to the back.

Update: I got one tire off and it is starting to rain. Tomorrow I’ll get another jack and get the second tire off. Then I should be able to list the front axle up and get it attached. There is a part I may need but won’t know until tomorrow.

Image may contain: shoes
Then I lost a filling. We are up to 3 now.
Today is Wednesday.Rather than take a chance on using another tractor to lift mine, I went into town to get a few parts.

First stop was Ace Hardware. I needed 4 bolts and washers. What I thought would be a quick trip was excruciatingly slow because some guy was standing eight where my parts were and he was opening every drawer and looking at every screw and bolt. I decided to head on over to the tool section for a screw extractor and decided that I would wait on that purchase. Then back to the bolts and the guy was gone. I found the closest ones to what I need but there were no bags handy. At Ace you put the items in a bag, mark the bag with a part number, quantity and price and head to the register.

Finally at the register we could not find my Ace Rewards card. I gad placed it on the counter barcode up and it blended into the sign taped to the counter.

Next was Lowes. There is a special bracket used to top off a 4×4 post so I got that and a flat top to use as the bottom. I will cap both ends uf a 4×4 and use it and a jack to list the one side of the tractor up an inch so I can free a wheel. I got those and some screws and headed to self checkout which freed up. I scanned two of the three items but the third would not scan. The assistant tried, then took it to her station, then to another station and finally scanned it and came up with a price. I had a $100 bill I wanted to cash so I slid it into the machine. I got change out but then, like a broken slot machine, popped up a message that it was out of $5 bills. Since it had already started to pay me, the cashier called a supervisor. When she checked, it was out of money and had the cashier pay be from her till.

Then off to Costco because I wanted a salad and a few things. I saw a new item. For $16 you get like a chicken and a half or maybe it was 3 smaller ones, mac salad and green beans in the cold case. It was a nice big dinner for 2 or 3 people.

Unfortunately I have no room in the fridge or that much. I grabbed M&M’s cookies, breakfast drink mix and a bottle of gin (generic by the way, for medicinal purposes only). The line for a Caesar salad was 25 people long so I headed out.

On to Safeway for tonic water and soda. I used the self-checkout and it missed one of my soda bottles (probably because I scanned too fast). The clerk had to reset it and then again come over to reset it so I could pay.

I drive towards home and decided to get a sub at Subway. As I neared the place my brakes started squealing. These are the ones I just replaced and have been working. I could not see any problem and I may have left the emergency brake slightly on. Anyway into Subway and the girl was on her first day. I didn’t say anything when I only got half the lettuce because her boss was hovering nearby and she was nervous. We have all had a first day at a job!

On the way home, the brakes didn’t act up so who knows?
I got home, put the items away and grabbed the cordless saw and drill. Pulling the trigger was met with dead silence. The battery was dead. I pulled out the charger and it is not lighting up.

It is staring to sprinkle out, so the day is done.

Thank goodness there is nothing hard about opening that bottle of gin!

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So I took an online Myers-Briggs test. It says of me:


INTP – You are eternally condemned to researching an extremely vapid topic using wildly inaccurate methods, mostly involving interviewing people who have no idea what they’re talking about.

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