I drove O’Lena to her Vet appointment where she got her second ultrasound. This time her bladder was easier to see.

It does look like a tumor there but not blocking things. That is a good thing. However the Vet believes it is growing and will soon block her from urinating. I am to keep her on the meds and if I see blood to increase them.

When I asked the Vet about O’Lenas activity level, which is quite high, she suggested it was due to the reasonably powerful NSAID (pain med) she is on.

When I asked about a time frame the Vet was of course reluctant to be pinned down as we don’t know if the tumor is cancerous, but she estimated 6 months.

You see, that is the problem with pets. They can’t tell us they feel sick, we have to watch for it. The converse is that we can’t tell an animal what is going on. They just live in blissful ignorance. We just ahve to love them even more and hope that they understand.

Yesterday I was at a local historic church where I worked with the security cameras. I think I found the issue and they seem (knock on wood) to be behaving today.

Then it was off to Costco to get groceries with my rebate check. I also gassed up the truck for my Thursday trip. I bought some frozen foods, ice cream sticks, salad and some mango juice. Turns out I am not a big fan of mango juice but mangoes are good in the frozen fruit packages.

I went to a neighbors house today and worked on his garage door openers and his gate.  The garage door openers may have aged components that caused the frequency to shift a bit. I don’t have tools to check that and he is ordering a couple of new remotes.

The gate has been a problem for quite some time. There is no one on island (or nearby) that can work on it. There was some relay chatter and the arm was not raising nor lowering when it was supposed to. I may have fixed it with some contact burnishing and a slight readjustment of one contact.

Then tonight I updated a website for a non-profit. They have been updating member information via paper and a spreadsheet and the website was fairly generic. I have added a membership system, added the ability fort them to update their info online and pay for their renewal if they want. There is a calendar which has specific information if they are a member and logged in. It all seems to be working fine today, however yesterday I had an issue which required reloading things from the day before.

It was raining this afternoon so I didn’t get a chance to take everything back out of the truck. I need to take O’Lena back up county to the Vet where she will have another ultrasound. She seems fine, but if she has a tumor, it may be a rally before the decline. She is 9 and 1/2 years old and far too young to have the issues she may have. MY male dog is years older and his issue is common in older large dogs. He has lipomas, which are fatty benign growths. Since they are not effecting his mobility we are leaving them alone. Still, it is disconcerting to see lumps along his frame. Both dogs sleep a lot, but then again, sop do I. This may be because they seem to want to go in and out multiple times over night.


I drove O’Lena to the Vet on Monday, Oct 14th. As I said, this Vet is over an hour 15 minutes away, as they were the only ones who could do an ultrasound quickly. The ultrasound showed perhaps a collapsed bladder and bladder stones. They sent the bloodwork off and I called Thursday for the results.

There were some degenerative cells but no bacteria.

The Vet still suspects a tumor because shes aw a white mass in the ultrasound.

When you have a dog that may have cancer, and is only peeing blood and the Vet tells you that the medicine they have may only prolong her life a few months (if she has a cancerous tumor), you take it seriously, even if hey don’t have all the data in yet. After a few horrible days of caring for her, you pray and you hug and you cry. You do some research to find costs for cremation.

So with O’Lena on an antibiotic and acidifier and now a NASAID, it only took about 3 days and I see no blood in the urine and the flow is like it used to be, strong and no stopping and starting! I understand that I am still not out of the woods yet.

The Vet wants another ultrasound and I was not able to schedule one locally, so it is back up north sometime this coming week. She also said she is hoping for a fuller bladder. Ahhh? Let’s see, more than an hour in the truck with a dog and not letting her out to pee, then stopping at the Vet, taking her out of the truck and trying to get her not to pee… Hmmm. I may have to drive most of the way up there and give her a bit of salted pork or something, giving her a large drink of water and haul-ass off the the Vet office.

So I am cautiously optimistic.

O’Lena is as active as she has been, especially considering she is a Labrador and they love food. She has her appetite and is not showing any symptoms of any illness now.

It may be the sunlight before the storm or the mass the Vet saw may be something else. I hope to know something more this week.

I noticed that my female Labrador O’Lena had some blood in her urine. At first I thought it was her being in season but then determined she was not.

I took a sample (it is difficult walking behind a dog at 5:30am to get one by the way). Then I determined that the mobile Vet was not available until Friday. I was able to get another sample and rushed it and the dog up to the location of the mobile Vet. She did an exam and said she would check the sample later in the day.

The Vet suggested an ultrasound ASAP and I called the local Vets with offices in the order of suggestion. The first choice said they could schedule an ultrasound next Friday. The second said Wednesday. I called one on the other side of the island and they said they don’t do ultrasounds and send people to the Vet here who said 1 week. I then called the Vet up county (an hour and a half

That night I got a text that it looks like an infection/bladder stones and she would get a prescription ready. Unfortunately I did not see her text until Sunday afternoon, so I am a day and half behind on the medicine.


On a farm, one day blends into another. There are some weekly events I am involved with,, but I can miss some of them when I get involved in other things.

For example, the mobile Vet is available Friday and Sunday mornings.

Our local trash transfer station is open Tuesday, Friday and Sunday.

I participate in Internet radio shows Tuesday, Thursday and Friday mornings at 6am to 8am each day.

Friday nights there is a pot luck at 5pm or so until after sunset. Sometimes I have nothing to take so on Thursday I head into town to get something. The easiest thing is for me to get a couple cans of chili and take that with or without rice. Sometimes, if I got into town on Friday afternoon I’ll get a Costco rotisserie chicken and take that. If I have time I’ll make spaghetti or macaroni and cheese.

The dogs seem to want to go out at 5:30am before it is really light out. At about 6am and maybe 6pm or so each day there *may* be a wild pig on the property. If I have the dogs out in the morning I have to have buzz collars on them and I walk with a piece of conduit. They dogs ran towards the pig one morning and I was able to scare it off and keep them with me, but they are not on leashes.

It seems as if when I order things by Amazon, they are set to arrive on Saturday. The PO promises to have items up and ready for pickup by 2:30pm but on Saturday they close at noon. That is not as bad as the other PO that doesn’t open on Saturday at all. So if an item comes in on Saturday, the clerk may put it in a lock box outside and put a key in my box. That’s great. However, they may also put a yellow card in the box, requiring me to go inside, which on Saturdays means the item has arrived but I have to wait until Monday to get it.

So I am constantly juggling things because of days.

This week I had to stay out of Kona because of the Ironman race. There were many thousands of extra people there and roads were blocked (and I hear not in the most efficient way for locals to get around). Still I understand the race may have brought in $30 million in revenue. That includes every hotel and resort room filled, all rental cars taken, all B&B’s taken, food, souvenirs and so on. It really is a big deal here which keeps many locals far from town on this past weekend. There were over 2,000 racers, then there are their family, friends, support people, race officials, race volunteers along the route, police and rescue people, support like bicycle repair people, vendors, people selling t-shirts and race items, the press, helicopters and boats. It really is packed with people. This year they forecast heavy rain up mountain and the possibility of flooding the day before the race. Anyway, it is grueling for the participants and the residents alike.

So in the morning I have to stop by the PO and get my lost keys, take the dog up-county to the Vet and am unsure if she will be coming back with me or staying there a while. I need to pick up fan belts for the tractor mower and get dog food and that will be based upon whether they keep O’Lena or not. I do have to drive home to take care of Koa the other Labrador staying home.

I only have frozen pizza and a few things to eat here at home, and can’t do much shopping if O’Lena is in the truck. So I’ll juggle things. I guess I could just go out food shopping afterwards. I only have a couple days of dog food left, so I do have to go soon.

So as you can see, holidays and Birthdays are not a big deal for me anymore. I spend my time doing other things.

On the 4th of July and News Years Eve I stay home. The dogs dislike the noise, so I get them in the bed room, turn on the air conditioner (it helps with their panting), put on some music and comfort them.

I am in a rural location and do not have Trick or Treaters. It is common here for kids to have places where family and kids can get-together for a Halloween costume event and party.

The dogs seem to want to go out and come in multiple timed over the evening, sometimes just to lie on the lanai/porch. That would be fine if they didn’t bark to come back in a half hour later. They bark to go out and bark to come in. Oftentimes one wants out when the other wants in. It is not unusual for me to take a nap at 8:30pm and be woken up to let a dog out only to find that it is only 10:30pm.

O’lena just barked to go out. She got fed 1/2 hour ago and had been out for hours. Koa decide he also wanted to go out so bath are out there. It is too early for their 6pm pig alert so maybe I can take a nap before cleaning out the truck. Cross your fingers.

“When I get older losing my hair
Many years from now
Will you still be sending me a Valentine
Birthday greetings bottle of wine”

That was the un-comforting thought many years ago. I am way past 64 now and another birthday is approaching. I don’t really celebrate birthdays or other holidays. It is not that I am a Grinch or curmudgeon, rather I am tired.

I used to blog way more often and at times up to perhaps 3 entries a day, especially when I was blogging on a site where people responded. When that site went down multiple times for extended periods, I recovered all of my posts, reformatted them and posted them here. I guess there are still things to blog about, but they seem less important as you will see.

I had some help getting my coffee trees weed whacked and fertilized, but now am having problems getting the cherry picked. I have a very limited amount of parchment stored but nowhere near what I could have. I have cherry turning to ‘raisin’ on the trees. When I did some picking on my own a few days back, I didn’t have enough in the bucket to get it pulped. Still, it was good to get the stuff off my trees.

I have a couple years to get my farm into ‘full production’. I lease the land and the lessor has some requirements I must fulfill. I will be replanting coffee to fill out that half of the property and I am not sure what I will do in the orchard. I can replant some damaged or missing trees, but without someone managing things, I’m afraid things will get out of hand.

I was using the tractor to mow some weeds and saw that some of the late mangoes were ready to pick. As I reached up to see the firmness of one, I got stung on my left hand and left shoulder. Twelve hours late my hand is still a bit swollen and sore. There were no stingers I could find, so that limits what stung me. I was asked if it was wasps or yellow jackets but you know, I didn’t stick around to investigate. As I reflect, maybe planting coffee in the orchard instead of more fruit has some merit. Arabica coffee is self pollinating 🙂

Some of the farms nearby have ‘Woofers’, workers who trade work for a place to stay. They might have food thrown in or other options depending upon the farm and numbers of hours worked. In some cases they get paid if they work past a certain number of hours. I don’t have that option yet. I have a room downstairs that that the previous tenant used as a bedroom I think. I have storage there and a deep freezer. It needs a better floor as the carpet is damaged and the bathroom needs with and a shower installed. I would have to move the washer and dryer to a better location, perhaps the other storage area. That location needs a lot of work. There is also room to put in a living room or make it the bedroom. These ideas all take money. Currently I am living of Social Security and have taken bits and pieces out of my IRA. In a year and a half I will be required to start taking money out due to the minimum distribution requirements.

I have been installing security cameras at various locations for neighbors. The systems are relatively cheap but come with a few nagging issues. A local church has some wifi cameras which seem to go off at times and I will be upgrading the camera software in the hopes that fixes it. It may be that there are power issues and the cameras are not recovering from it.

I am still helping a few neighbors with VOIP internet phone service. IN fact in two cases I am resorting to old equipment which allows them to continue to use the local telephone company phone line but route calls through an automated assistant to answer calls and also to route all outbound calls through the service to keep costs down.This arrangement allows them to still keep their legacy 911 service and not have to switch their main telephone number to VOIP. In one case, the company has slow internet, fast enough to use for long distance, but not reliable enough for a business who needs dependable telephone service.

I have converted many of the websites I manage over to WordPress. In some cases the owners have started managing them themselves.In most other cases the sites are static and not updated, so it is just bringing the sites into an updated look and made easier to manage. In two other cases, the owners I think are dragging their feet not realizing that once I set up the website in WordPress, their job is easy. Adding text is similar to using a word processor like Word or a spreadsheet like Excel where they can put items in a row or column. All the heavy lifting has been done for them.

There is a local volunteer group who welcomes visitors to the island, primarily at the pier and I have been managing their website. I had been asked a few times if I wanted to be on the Board of Directors and have declined. Then I got a call from a friend on the Board who told me he had an emergency. They are trying to change the tax classification of the organization and needs two more board members in the next 24 hours to file his paperwork. I agreed and pulled in another neighbor. Our first official board meeting is Thursday in town. Thursday is also the first day which officials will begin closing streets in town. You may know that the Kona Ironman is Saturday the 12th. They need to make room for the athletes, friends, support services and press.

“The IRONMAN World Championship centers on the dedication and courage exhibited by participants who demonstrate the IRONMAN mantra that ANYTHING IS POSSIBLE.® On October 12th, over 2,000 athletes will embark on a 140.6-mile journey that presents the ultimate test of body, mind and spirit to earn the title of IRONMAN.”

There are generally two types of local citizens during Ironman week. Those who help at the race and those of us who avoid town for the week. Imagine that you live in house with couple of family members. Then all of a sudden, a large wedding and reception are planned for next week. This is the same thing; our small town over run with people, all hotels booked, no rental cars to be had and so on. Still, they add a lot of money to out economy so I can’t complain too much. I don’t see Gordon Ramsay (the chef) in the race this year. He did participate a couple years back but believe he had an injury the next year. Someone I worked with years ago is also not on the participant list. Years ago I thought about volunteering as a helper for the race, but then a couple medical issues made me rethink that. Now I am content to watch a bit of it live-streamed on the internet.

My two Labradors continue to wake me up multiple times in the middle of the night. Because of that I tend to go to bed early, expecting to be up and back to sleep multiple times. Tonight was no exception being woken up by each dog to go out while the other won’t budge. Then an hour later they switch places. If I leave them outside they will bark (not constantly but a yelp every so often), so that is not really an option.

The female Lab O’lena needs to be spayed and that will cause some issues because during her recovery she will have issues getting up and down stairs. If I had that room downstairs fixed up… The alternative is to let her stay on the lanai/porch upstairs and just clean up after her. That way she can come back inside into the bedroom rather than be outside all night.

Just as I wrote that, O’lena barked to go out. Sigh!

Kona my male Lab is getting on in years and having a slight issue with the stairs. I am not sure if it his eyesight but I am sure his hips bother him a bit. Still, he loves running for a stick so I know he is not in pain yet.

Costco get in their new supply of sweet potatoes and I will be cooking them for the next week. I was going to have some for dinner but that early sleep thing came up! Now it is midnight and I am think that I could crank up the Instantpot and have some sweet potatoes but that will wait for tomorrow.

Speaking of tomorrow, I will be getting up at 5:30am to take the dogs out and then listen to the Internet Radio Station called Riviera.FM. I have participated in some of the shows for I guess 7 years. Tomorrow Adrian plays Rock and Country music for 2 hours. Then Thursday from 6am to 8am Hawaii time he plays various songs. Also included in the mix is a reading of listeners memories. He recently asked us to email him with the names of famous people we have met. In my case he mentioned a few last Thursday and will do that over a couple of shows. It turns out I have met quite a few famous people over the years.

Here is a partial list:

  • As a young child I met Jackie Gleason, the TV star and comedian. We were eating at a famous Chinese restaurant in New York called Ruby Foo’s. Jackie had just finished taping an episode of “The Honeymooners” TV show and was there for dinner.
  • Also as a child we were eating dinner in a local restaurant in New Jersey and the musician at the piano was Liberace and we got his autograph. More than a signature, he also drew a piano with his candle-opera on it.
  • While working at a restaurant along the Garden State Parkway, Rose Marie and Morey Amsterdam stopped by. They were famous for their roles on the Dick VanDyke TV show and were on their way to do a show at a casino in Atlantic City.
  • While working for a place which made Ham Radio equipment I looked up to see Barry Goldwater (U.S. politician).
  • Speaking of politicians, I met Teddy Kennedy and George McGovern an event at the Kennedy Center (of all places).
  • I interviewed Rick Nelson a few years before his death.
  • At a radio programming conference in Nashville, I met the actor and musician Kris Kristofferson and Roger Miller. Roger Miller owned a ‘motor inn’ there.
  • One of the Statler Brothers and one guy from the Original Drifters came by the radio station where I worked. That radio station was a contender for use in the recent movie Coal Miners Daughter but the station was too new-looking, so they used another radio station down the road.
  • I went to high school with the son of famous football player Sam Huff.
  • I have met many of the stars from various Star Trek TV shows, a few from Lost in Space (the early TV series), Kenny Baker who played R2-D2 in Star Wars.

I forgot to send him a few others. One neighbor along with me and a few others formed the Kona Coffee Farmers Association. Nancy Griffith was a well-known sailor and she and her family have been featured in the documentary “Following Seas” which can be seen on Amazon Prime. The documentary includes much footage that she took on their 3 round-the-world trips. When you watch the documentary you will be amazed at all the things which happen. https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=BsYDHlTAOU0

Also not included was that one of the coaches at my high school was Fletcher Arritt, the winning-most high school basketball coach. For those who like stats, from 1970 to 2012, Arritt taught biology, directed FUMA’s postgraduate team to an 890-283 record, and sent more than 200 players to Division I programs. Many went on to play in the NBA.  His documentary is called “The Passing Game”. https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=PHRxEcMF3L0

Then on Fridays from 6am to 8am Hawaii time I participate in the radio show called “Hit or Miss”. A few presenters in their studio and we listeners around the world are jury for the question “Would this song from long ago, if released today, would it be a hit or a miss?”.  Along with the music, Riviera.FM salutes the pirate radio stations of the day back then. England was controlled by government regulations and radio stations who would not play rock and roll. Some pirate stations were on ships offshore in International waters and beamed their signals to eager teens who were tired of stuffy classical music. https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Pirate_radio_in_the_United_Kingdom. Eventually, rock and roll flourished and the government relented.

So as you can see, noting really earth shattering or exciting happening out here. Just more of the same.


I had two problems with my tractor a while back. A hydraulic line broke which stopped me pretty quickly and while investigating that, found what was causing a ticking sound. Neither repair is cheap.

The tractor uses hydraulic fluid to operate many things, such as the front loader (a large scoop), the rear deck for the flail mower and so on. When looking for the leak I found the drive shaft hanging loose. This is a small rod that goes from the front of the tractor to the the rear and allows me to get into 4-wheel drive. With it hanging loose, I can only use the two back tires to drive. That normally would be fine, but there are places on my farm where I need the front wheels under power also.

The hydraulic line problem was about $500 and I know that the 4-wheel drive issue is going to cost about $1500, because I had the same thing replaced 2 years ago. (SIGH).

I have been fighting weeds for months now. We have had so much rain and along with it the good and the bad. It is helping distribute the fertilizer and making the coffee trees grow, however rain and fertilizer also encourage grass and weed to grow. The trees are starting to look a lot better and there is coffee cherry on the trees which is ripening. It looks like picking will start soon. I know some neighbors are already picking and processing their cherry so it looks like hot coffee (or cold if you prefer) is in our near future.

I am installing security cameras at a famous church nearby. After many decades all of a sudden they have had some breakins recently. A small collection box was taken, although it could only have held change, so were they desperate? Also there was an attempt to pry open a metal collection box. It may be the homeless people who appeared at a site nearby not long before this started happening. One concern is how to mound some of the cameras as this is a historic site and we have to be careful. The church was built and painted by hand over 120 years ago.

I was supposed to stop by the church yesterday to do a bit more of the install but needed parts from town. So late yesterday I drove the 20 miles to town and could not find my wallet. It would be a waste to be in town and not be able to get these parts. I called a neighbor who was working up there but he had already left town. I headed back towards home and stopped halfway there at a neighbors farm (the ones processing the coffee cherry). As I approached I realized I did have my wallet with me. SIGH! I watched them pulp some cherry and their Farm Manager was ready to head home. Since he had skipped lunch he was agreeable to dinner. So it was back to Kona and a stop by Denny’s. After dinner I made a quick run through Walmart for a couple of items and then headed to Lowes for the last of the parts, only to find them closed. I could swear they were open until 10pm but it appears 9pm is their closing tim. SIGH!

One of my computer services customers wants a formal agreement to document what I am doing for them. It makes sense as they are trying to keep costs low and their charter requires it. I have taken a basic services agreement from the Internet and am making changes to it. It is very legal and much of it does not cover what I do. Generally, I resell hosting and email services and in their case charge them pretty much what it costs me. They employ a management company to pay bills and I will move their account from one I pay on their behalf to one where the management company will pay directly. This changes their pricing from wholesale to retail, but still will be quite reasonable in cost as it only increases their cost a few dollars a year.

I have a few other installations where I need to offload web design and maintenance functions to someone else. I am trying to push more of these things to the customers or someone else to manage. I have attended three local WordPress gatherings and I appear to be the only attendee. However, I have been given contact information for someone who may work out.

Another neighbor has been getting many irritating calls on his phone, which I assume are telemarketers and so on. I created a list of his recent calls and will sit down with him and see if we can find patters to eliminate them.

I get up early three mornings a week to participate in radio shows originating in the U.K.. I think I described this before but if not, here is the background. I helped build a high school radio station (actually building the transmitter and audio board) and was a DJ. Then I worked at a radio station in Kentucky as a DJ, recorded commercials and at one point was the Program Manager deciding what music would be played, etc. I was also a big fan of the comedy TV show “Fawlty Towers” starring John Cleese. His fictitious hotel was in Torquay (https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Fawlty_Towers). When I performed a search for the keywords “Torquay” and “radio” an entry came up for RIVIERA.FM, an Internet radio station. They were playing music from the 50’s, 60’s and 70’s among others. That was the type of music I had been playing so I tuned it. One show was suggesting people call in. Now normally I would not make an overseas telephone call just to say “Hi” but I had a VOIP service (Internet telephone service) and a call to the U.K. would cost me a half cent per minute. I think I can afford that kind of call. After a call or two (I think they finally realized I would not curse over their station) they asked if they could speak with me on the iar. I agreed and was interviewed twice. I soon became part of their weekly shows.

Tuesday and Thursday mornings I supply the occasional weather report from here and interject facts and some jokes or views. I am their furthest listener being about halfway around the world. There are few other people two time zones either side of me, so my claim as “furthest” is pretty safe. On Friday mornings my participation is with a show they call “Hit Or Miss” wherein they play music and people in the studio and us listeners vote upon whether the song would be a hit today if it was released now. We are the jury of the decision. It is a fun exercise to participate in or just to listen to the music.

So that is pretty much what is happening out here now.

Decades ago I worked with two Public TV stations. They collected items from local businesses and sold them at auction over the TV station. Dubbed the “Great TV Auction” the funds helped fund the stations activities in addition to pledge drives, but was lots more entertaining. This event could last 4 or more hours a night for 10 days in a row.
Items included such donations as furniture, a car from a dealership, vacations, hobby courses, paintings and so on. The items hopefully showcased the business who donated them and an encouragement for viewers to learn about local businesses and perhaps stop on by.
The donor received free advertising of their business, the winning bidder got a great deal (in some cases an excellent deal) and the station got the money. All in all, a three-way win. The FCC looked the other way as the public loved this way of funding the station.
A few items were novel.
A local politician offered his services as a bartender and a local frat house won that one! A bank offered 1 days interest on a million dollars (meant to have people call and find the interest rate to help them bid). A political sex scandal involved a U.S. Rep and his secretary Elizabeth Ray. She donated a pair of her hot pants.
Some soap operas offered autographed scrips of an episode.
One manufacturer called and asked if we could use some manufactured fireplace logs (you know, the kind that you buy in the stores, wrapped in paper). When the stations said “Sure” they soon found a tractor trailer parked in their lot filled with these things!
Another item was a small glass bowl with a small tube of aroma which could be used in places with odors. They didn’t really catch on until one woman suggested we call them ‘smelly bowls” and they flew off the shelves.
Having DJ experience, I did some on-the-air electioneering. If they needed someone to help dress the tables before they went on the air, I was there. I also answered telephones taking bids.
One year an Engineer came up to me and asked if I was a Ham radio operator. I said yes and he asked if I ever used a TV camera. I said I had a small VCR camera at home. He took me over to one of those big pedestal-mounted cameras and showed me how it worked. I thought it was just a nice thing to show me until it sunk in.After 5 minutes of playing at being a cameraman he put a headset on me and said, “You are camera 3. The Director will tell you what to do, when your camera is live, don’t move it, unless told to. We go live in 10 minutes!”. That year we were simulcast by every TV station in the DC/Baltimore market. For 2 hours you could not change channels without getting the TV auction. That was exciting enough but more so for the poor Ham Radio guy assigned to Camera 3! Imagine having your work (and any mistakes) seen my millions of people!
As the years passed, I also wrote and managed a complete computer inventory system. I was self-taught on systems and had never written a complete software package, yet with just a few improvements over time, this system worked for almost a decade and was invaluable in tracking items as they were received, bid upon and picked up. Reports included percentage of retail the station received.
The station along with its sister station were well regarded and one of the two stations hosted the first year of the Bob Ross Joy of Painting series. I never met Bob believe we auctioned off one of his paintings.
Being in the DC area we had our share of Redskins, politicians and personalities. One was Willard Scott, known to many as a local radio/TV personality, NBC weatherman and in earlier years local Bozo the Clown and the original Ronald McDonald!
Finally, the station management decided to close down te yearly show. It was a lot of preparation, hard to gather 100 volunteers each night for ten nights and just lots of scheduling and coordination items. I suggested that rather than hordes of people and products, maybe just have an hour show every night with items, in a lot smaller production. I remember the Manager says “Nobody is going to tune in every night to shop…” The very next year, the Home Shopping Network started. Seems I was on to something 🙂
For those of you who watched the show or for those who enjoyed the story, here is a place-card which started the show.
Here is an old TV Promo: https://youtu.be/-mumJMD2XMc

Has it been a month since my last posting? Yes! There were times where I posted updates daily and sometimes a few entries a day. Those days appear to be long ago and far away.

Here is a recent update:

I chipped a tooth Tuesday and since I was in town and not near my documents with names and phone numbers, I stopped by the dentist office. They made an appointment for me today at 10am.
The front of one of my front teeth came off and I am thinking this was a crown of some sort to cover the already shipped surface.
Although I know it won’t be too expensive, it just adds to the outlay of money I’ll make this month as I have tractor repairs scheduled also. They will be in the $1,000 range at least.
See how exciting my life is? Some of you were waiting for the latest and now are probably wondering if you have been wasting your time in anticipation.
Yes, there is much going on, however is it exciting enough to post?
The drivers window in my truck is broken. The glass part has separated from the channel which raises it up and down. I made a fix a couple of months ago but it was temporary. I now need to open the door back up and make a permanent fix.
There have been workers diligently weed whacking the farm (primarily the coffee part). I use the tractor to mow between the rows and they take care of the grass between the trees. The fruit orchard is another issue. Most of the area is mowed but I have been weeding near the trees myself. With so much rain lately, weeds and grass are almost out of control. Now with the tractor out of commission for a while, it can only get worse. The current tractor issue is two fold. First I have a hydraulic line leak. That part is on order and will get me back to mowing fairly quickly. The second issue is that I have broken the pinion which drives the front wheels in four wheel drive. That will cost $1,000 or so to fix. The good thing is that I can still use the tractor to mow in two wheel drive and push that repair off a few weeks to a few months. I just have to be careful driving in certain areas on the farm.
The workers also have helped by fertilizing and spraying my coffee trees. It is a trade-out of sorts as their team has borrowed my ATV to help them on a larger farm and they are helping me on mine. If it is just me doing the work here, the ATV helps as I move fertilizer around the farm with it and also use the attached sprayer to spray the trees. These workers can walk and do that work quickly on their own without the ATV. So it just works out as a trade-out for me and them.
A local church has had a few security issues so I am installing security cameras for them. This church is a well-known attraction well over 100 years old. Recent issues started not long after some homeless people moved into a nearby area. 100 years of no problems, then three break-ins in as many months.
After a successful 50th High School Reunion thsi past May, I am not helping the next years 50th planners on their own website.
Speaking of websites, a local farmer asked for help with his website and sales. He or a worker goes to farmers markets on the island to sell his jams, jellies and spreads, all made with local ingredients. The items are great but a bit expensive. I looked at his website and there was not much to do to it as it already does almost all of what he needs. He wants some Social Media work to get more people to the site. I don’t do a lot of that type of work, so sent a friend his information. The other issue is a bit perplexing. He wants to increase traffic to his site but does not really want others to sell his product. A local farm who has a lot of foot traffic in the farm store offered to buy his items at wholesale and sell a lot. He declined. They then offered to buy at retail and resell the items and he declined. The farm store would have marked the items up quite a bit but would have no problem selling his stuff. He just doesn’t want that to happen, so it won’t. I can understand the idea of not wanting to sell at a wholesale price, but having someone buy at retail and resell can make sense; especially when he has to travel hours to sell at a farmers market on the other side of the island.
Contrast his case with the guy on Shark Tank, the TV show where inventors try to get investors in the business. One guy had a product which he sold on  his his website and had great sales. When the investors quizzed him, his goal was to use the investment to sell at places like Costco and Walmart. They could not get him to understand that by going from the E-commerce online business which was doing great to a store model was counter-productive. It seemed like ego that he wanted to see his product in stores. The problem is he would immediately give up half his profit or more to the store and their distributors and shelf stockers. Also he would now be showcased next to another similar product. A better solution would be for him to revise the website and get more traffic thus keeping all of the profit in house. There is a good book called “The Walmart Effect” which gives insight into retail especially with their stores. The tout “Lower Prices Everyday” and it is true. They will keep asking suppliers to drop their prices, in some cases so low that the producers may have to start sending production overseas. This article by the same author describes this in more detail. https://www.fastcompany.com/54763/man-who-said-no-wal-mart
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