My Fate is Sealed! was Originally Posted on August 22, 2003 by

:D Minutes ago I booked my one-way ticket from Atlanta to Hawaii. That means that on September 28th, I will have to be ready to move.

The house will have to be on the market, I will have figured out what to do with the few antiques I have and contracted for someone to sell my furniture after I have a contract on the house.

This has been a long time coming and is not quite time yet. However, I booked a first class seat (on sale of course) and will get a TON of frequent flier miles for the trip.

Soon I will be posting a link to pictures about my new town (and a small town it is). I go from 6 lane interstates to small winding roads. I go from people honking and beeping, to people waving at you to cut in front of them in traffic!

I’ll be in town in time for the world famous Ironman Competition (not that I am going to be in it).

The pace should pick up right until I move, then slack way off as I get settled out there. Then I can start the project where I plant 2,000 caffee plants.

WHAT THE HELL DID I GET MYSELF INTO? :-)

Last Supper was Originally Posted on August 14, 2003 by

Last night I decided to treat myself to a steak. For most, that is not a momentous occasion, but for me, last night, is was to be.

I have taken most of the pots, pans, dishes, glasses and silverwear out of the cupboards and gotten them ready for sale. I have also been eating Chinese food so much lately that they are giving me that look. You kow the look, like when you order something and walk away from the counter, then come back 5 minutes later for something you forgot? THAT LOOK, except that it is two days later and they are thinking I’m nuts!

On my way out to dinner I stopped by the neighbors to drop a book called “So You Want To Move To Hawaii”. They had mentioned the possibility and I had the book. I hadn’t expected to stop for long, but they invited me in for a minute and it turned out that we talked for at least half an hour. As I finally got in the car, I saw it was just after 9pm and wondered the whole time heading towards Ryan’s, if they would be open.

The sign says they close at 9:30 so I slipped in and ordered a steak and the salad bar. I figured I could get a couple trips to the salad bar in and not have to eat for a few days :D

There were few of us there and I sat next to a family and close to the food. The husband was wearing a jacket and emblazoned on the back was the name of my old company. It tuns out I used to work with him and his wife and that he has recently heard that his job *may* be going away. The company has been drastically downsizing and changing their business focus.

I mentioned my upcoming move and talked more than they wanted to hear about the islands. I get so carried away and can’t stop. All the caffeine I had didn’t help either :D

So much for my dinner. I talked so much I just barely finished my steak and my one trip to the salad bar.

I have to admit, by the prices I have seen, land can be inexpensive on the Big Island. I have seen 1 acre lots with a view of the Pacific for $1,000 to $2,000. There ARE some drawbacks to some of the lots, but there can be some bargains out there. There are also some house deals and deals on farms.

For someone who has to (or wants to) start over, and for someone tired of the rat race in a large city, paradise *might* be an option. Two miles from me are dolphin. I have farms all around me. There is a definate lack of hustle and bustle. One person I know who just moved there from Boston is talking about how she has to get used to people stopping in the middle of the road to change drivers or “talk story” with someone walking by. People wave you into traffic in front of them and rarely, very rarely, do you ever hear a car horn. People in Hawaii don’t use that blaring noise when an “Aloha” or “Howzit brudda” will do. The “shaka” is seen often. Shaka is when you make a fist and hold your thumb and pinky extended and move your hand horizontally. It means “take it easy” or “everyting all right brudda”.

My mission is not necessarily to get everyone I meet to move to Hawaii, but at least let them know that many of the things they have been told are not correct. You CAN buy land in Hawaii, although part of the United States it is also a world apart, and you do NOT have to pay alot to visit or live there. People go on a vacation, pay too much and eat out every night at a restaurant. Of course eating out can be expensive, but most locals don’t go to the best steak house in town every night. Most locals don’t pay to get on a boat and see dolphins, they go out on their neighbors boat. Most locals don’t go shopping at the little trendy stores along the waterfront, they buy their swimsuits at Wal-Mart or COSTCO.

See? Life IS different in Hawaii :D

Are you confused yet? was Originally Posted on August 13, 2003 by

Over the weekend I decided to look into cheap long distance out in Hawaii. Many people use cell phones and that is always a possibility for me. On an island as large as Hawaii itself (90 miles by 90 miles) it is easy to be an hours drive from other people you are meeting, etc.

However, I also wanted to solve my business and toll free problems. My toll free business number is something like 6 cents a minute between the 48 mainland states and jumps up to 15 cents a minute inbound to Hawaii. Hawaii TO Hawaii is even higher!

Here on the mainland I use BigZoo (bigzoo.com) for my long distance. They charge 75 cents a month and either 2.9 cents or 3.9 cents a minute depending whether you have a BigZoo number in your city or have to call their 800# instead. This is cheaper than the 10-10-987 they advertise on TV. However, 10-10 numbers you use on a call by call basis. I signed up with bigZoo and funded my account with $5 the first time to see how well it workd and used it ever since. I have been very happy with Big Zoo, but they charge too much to call Hawaii and they don’t work FROM Hawaii (as many systems don’t) because of the call costs from islands to the mainland.

After a lot of research, I stumbled on a company called Packet8.Net. They offer a terminal adapter that you connect to your computer line (high speed preferred) and will let you make unlimited calls for $20 a month. They offer international rates, but at this point, I don’t call internationally, so I can’t tell if they are cheaper there than other services. I also get unlimited inbound calls. I had a choice of many cities to “host” my inbound telephone number. Although I know lots of people here in Atlanta, I chose a daytona beach Florida number so that my family can call me in Hawaii as a local Daytona call and they pay nothing. Otherwise, they would have had to still pay a long distance call from Daytona Beach to Atlanta, if I had chosen the number here.

I know, it gets a bit complex :D and now on the the toll free number. Rather than pay 15 cents a minute to send those calls to Hawai directly, I only have to spend 6 cents a minute and send them to (drum roll) Daytona Beach! I’ll let Packet8 ship them to me in Hawaii for, oh I don’t know, let me think… the $20 a month that I am already paying!!!

So to review, if I have a local number in Hawaii, they can call me on that directly. That phone might just be a cell phone but will be seperate from everything else.

If they call my toll free number (hosted in Canada somewhere). It will be forwarded to a number in Daytona Beach Florida.

The telephone number in Florida, is just that. A number with no phone, that accepts calls, digitizes the voice, ships it to Hawaii via the internet, gets sent through verizon and/or a cable TV company (if I have a cable modem) to a box sitting next to my computer. That box has a phone plugged into it and it rings. If that phone is a cordless phone, the phone on my belt, out on the tractor will ring. technology at it’s finest! Of course, if I’m out swimming with the dolphin, some voice mail system in Canada takes the message!

Now I am just waiting for the terminal unit (phone unit) to arrive so I can test it here in Atlanta. If it doesn’t work well here, it will work even less in Hawaii. However, I hear good things about the company.

My main reasons for choosing this over some type of MCI neighborhood deal is that my family can call me free and I save on every toll free call I receive. My toll free number is only $2 a month and as I said above, 6 cents a minute around the mainland.

Of course, since this system REQUIRES an “always on” connection for my phone, that also means that I HAVE to have an internet connection for my house AND that connection is a business expense…

Well, enough technical talk. My friends are in Tunica, Mississippi this weekend without me, gambling. I opted not to take this side trip so I could continue with my house and packing. Having been to bed early last night, I woke up at 4am and decided to start going throught the kitchen. I am pulling everything that is not nailed down, into another spot for the next yard sale. It may be the “Mother” of all yard sales because I am running out of time. I will be selling most of the pots, pans, place, glasses, the can opener, mixed, and so on. I can make a trip to COSTCO and pick up plastic stuff to use in the meantime.

I also need to get rid of most on the incidental furniture and things. The house needs to look uncluttered when it is for sale. many people make the mistake of leaving every personal item and stitch of clothing and book in the house and try to sell it. A prospective buyer looks at the sellers photos and furnishing and has a difficult time seeing what it would look like if it was their house. Instead, I think that if you remove most things, they look at the blank spot on the wall and start thinking “I have a painting that would fill this spot nicely”.

You do not sell everything in the place and show a home completely empty. That seems to tell the seller that you have moved, all maintenence has stopped on the house and that you probably HAVE to sell this house quickly to avoid paing for two places. You may also be desparate to sell and they may offer you a lot less for the house. I think you want the house to look as though you COULD move if you got the right price, don’t need too long to move things out, the house is uncluttered and you are keeping it up.

Of course, it also helps NOT to be actually living in the house at the time :-) Nothing worse than having to run out of the shower, clean it, get dressed and disappear when you get a last minute call that a realator has a “hot prospect” that would like to see the house…

I believe that I will end up getting the house ready to show in a couple weeks, put it on the market and move to Hawaii. All the personal items will be shipped and what is left in the house can be sold in an “Estate Sale” and they can just send me a check. It is easier for me to find a place to stay in Hawaii until closing out there, than try to keep this place clean while waiting on an offer.

A grueling few weeks was Originally Posted on August 9, 2003 by

:shock: well, the gutters are up and the house is in pretty good shape outside. Inside is another story. No matter how much I try, I always seem to be a month away from being able to list the house.

My 1st weekend of yard sales brought in about $6.50 which didn’t even cover the signs. Later, when I decided to put a “Yard Sale” ad in the Atlanta Paper, I found out their price and changed my mind. 7 lines for 4 days costs $70! Yikes!

My third sale was just completed today and I made $100 or so. Certainly not as much as I hoped, but there were few expensive items and no furniture I was selling, just “stuff”.

Now I have to just set aside a couple piles of things, those I take to Hawaii (and that will be a small pile), stuff to give away and everything else. I am even creating a box of things I have to address before I move. This includes services to cancel, addresses to change, etc. I can sell all my dishes and glasses and make do with paper and plastic.

I have contacted an antique dealer about a few of the things I wanted appraised, but have not heard back. Time to look for another dealer! I can’t wait for people to get around to things as I have been doing all the foot dragging that is needed.

I lost last weekend’s possibility for a yard sale, as I was in Daytona Beach Florida. Most of my family came for Disney World and I had a chance to see them all in one place!

The online chat room for people who love Kona Hawaii is great. There are people there who already live on the island and offer answers to such questions as “which internet provider and/or cellphone company should I use”?

Also, I have been watching the Discovery Channel and like it, but I am so tired of the “Shark Week” commercials. I’m not all that thrilled with sharks and certainly don’t need to be reminded of them. About 2 miles down the road from my new place is where the spinner dolphin, well, spin. I’d love to get in the water with them, but I need to get over these silly fears of their “neighbors” :-)

Aloha for now!

Getting closer was Originally Posted on July 17, 2003 by

I called a guy who could install gutters on my house, and he quoted me a price which was a lot more expensive than I expected. While I was investigating yard sales last week, I was handed the name of someone who might be cheaper. They guy quoted me a more reasonable price and I hired him. The gutters get fixed soon!

This Saturday I have my first ever yard sale. I will only be out there for a few hours because I found a get-together I want to attend on Saturday afternoon. The group is the Atlanta offshoot of KonaWeb, an online community whose roots are in Kona on the Big Island, yet have members all over. Many of these non Hawaiian Residents are in the process of moving to Hawaii, or want to move and have not yet found the way! The meeting will be a little piece of Hawaii, right here in Atlanta!

You may not realize it, but there are few places here in the south to find people who love Hawaii as much as I do. In the past 10 years I have only heard of three Hawaiian themed things happening here. Twice, famous Hawiiaan musicians showed up for concerts and once the Hawaiian Convention and Visitors Bureau had a road trip at Perimeter Mall. None of these events were well publicised and I heard about all 3 through the “coconut wireless”, kinda the unofficial newsgroup, email and word of mouth transmission medium :-)

Aloha for now!

Does “almost” mean almost? was Originally Posted on July 9, 2003 by

In my last entry I said I was almost done fixing up the outside of the house. Those who know me well may say that “almost” in my case, could be close to forever ;-)

I also mentioned wanting to get in line to try for the 99 cent TV. Well, I got there at 4am only to find that they already had 23 people signed up on the list at midnight. They only had 9 TV’s to sell at that price. I still stood there until they opened and almost got crushed. At 9am there were *hundreds* of people lined up and the crown, which had been homey and friendly until then, was groing so large that it was unmanageable. There was only 1 security guard! When they opened the door, people began to rush in, even after we hollered for them to go slowly, and started crushing people in their way. Quite a dangerous situation, all for a discount store where everything is 99 cents. All in all, I spent about $6.

I finally received the quote to install gutters and downspouts. I had already removed the old gutters, replaced rotted wood, primed and painted where they would go, and just expected to have new metal installed. Even after all these things I’ve done to reduce the cost, they quoted me over $1300! I may be naive, but with a trip to Home Depot (a home construction type supply store), I believe the parts will cost me a few hundred dollars and a days worth of work on my part. I’ll get another estime, but at this rate, looks like I’ll do it myself. Even with a hospital bill for falling off the ladder, I hope to get by cheaper :-)

I ran around and found some “bankers boxes” (small storage boxes for papers, etc) and have labeled them “Yard Sale”, “Computer Show”, “Save” and “Giveaway”. I am starting to fill them up and then can price the things I will sell. I am also cleaning out the garage so I can stage the items and just open the door and begin selling.
I’m not sure how I will sell the cars and good furniture. The house will sell batter with furniture, but I also want to move as soon as the house is on the market. Even if I don’t own the coffee farm, I would rather be sitting in Hawaii waiting on the closing than sitting here in the Georgia heat and humidity!

Moving Slowly… was Originally Posted on June 27, 2003 by

I am almost finished fixing up the outside of my current house by replacing trim, painting and doing shutters. With all the rain we had last week, then a few dry days in a row, I was on a roll.

That was, until today (Friday). The forecast called for rain Friday and I even checked the Regional RADAR, and yup, it was almost here, so I stayed in. Paint doesn’t dry well once it gets wet :-) The problem is, it never rained! I wasted a day and I don’t have many free days left to finish up.

I [i]was[/i] able to sucessfully add mine and my Mom’s phone number to the U.S. National Do Not Call list. That should stop the majority of telemarketers calls. Since I am moving soon, I don’t really care about my current number, but added it just “because I can”! :-) To add yours, go to http://www.donotcall.gov. If they call you after the list is active, the company gets fined something like $11,000 per call!

I heard a story about telemarketers that is supposed to be true. They were having a convention in a hotel and one guy found out which floor they were staying on. At like 3am he proceeded to call each room. When the sleeping telemarketer complained that he woke them up, the caller said “Now you know how WE feel”! If the story is not true, it is a shame :-)

In a few hours I am off to a computer show (not that I need anything, but it will be my last computer show on the mainland). The Big Island has few consumer computers, let alone, roaming computer shows going town to town (like the circus)!

After the show I’ll head down near my old office to have dinner with friends. Many of us left the old company a year ago and decided to get together and have a few drinks and some food. I may not see many of these people again either. It does get a bit sad to think about that, but I have moved every few years, all my life. I’m used to leaving and then only talking to people a few times on the phone, or maybe getting a card. There have been many times people have said “We will keep in touch”, yet they forget or lose the information. The internet makes it somewhat easier to find people though, so I look and sometimes find.

Here is a thought: If people really could travel through time to the past, and our future was further out than say, 20 years from now, we would currently be overrun with time travelers. I cannot believe that many people would be able to keep time travel a secret and we would all know about it now. Thus, time travel to the past in NOT possible. Your mileage may differ :-)

Fixing Up was Originally Posted on June 25, 2003 by

I have been very busy in the past few weeks, setting up the web site, getting a toll-free telephone number, making business cards, designing coffee labels and other items directly related to the selling of coffee. Yet to be done are such mundane things as getting a post office box, a business license, registering the farm and coffee names and getting credit card billing in place. It is indeed, quite a job!

I am awaiting the date for closing on the farm and will have my current house in Georgia on the market fairly soon I hope.

The farm needs some work, both on the property and on the house and I have promised the Bishop Trust (the Leaseholder of this particular property) that I would perform this work immediately after taking possession.. There is some weeding and grading to be done and I want to remove 2 acres of macadamia nut trees to make room for coffee. The house also needs a couple of items brought up to code.

I have had some requests for green (unroasted) beans and that is an easy request to fulfill. Farms can always sell unroasted beans if they want.

I also have been thinking about what roast would be good for the beans I’ll be selling. There are a number of roasts which are popular and I will experiment to see which ones bring the most repeat business. Naturally, a large order can be roasted to the buyers’ taste!

Those who know me, know that this journey to Hawaii has been my dream for quite some time! There are stories of people who “hear the calling” of the islands and want to come back. Then there are those like me, who become obsessed with going back and every waking moment is spent thinking or dreaming about the islands. As you can see at my site MyHawaiianSite, I really do love the islands!

The Dream was Originally Posted on June 25, 2003 by

[b]The dream is becoming a reality![/b]

Six years ago I traveled to the Hawaiian Islands and decided that is where I wanted to live. Now I am able to make the move. I am purchasing 8.72 acres in the Kona district of the Big Island of Hawaii and as you know, the main product of that region is Kona Coffee. My farm will produce both macadamia nuts and coffee.

I will plant coffee, some fruit trees and fix up the existing house (which needs some work). I will also be building some equipment so that I can do some of the bean processing on site and keep the costs down. Currently I am designing coffee labels, getting my business license, tax forms and property paperwork in line and hope to settle in the next couple of months. Soon thereafter, I can begin offering the first range of products. The toll-free number is installed and tested and as you can see, the domain, http://www.itskona.com is in place.

I hope to have items for sale in the next few months. Thank goodness I no longer have a full-time job! :-)

The hard part of this whole process is selling everything I own (well, all but my servers and Hawaiian shirts)! It costs so much to ship things from Atlanta to California, THEN put them in a container onboard ship to send to Hawaii, then offload them onto another moving van and send them to my farm. Thus, I will sell it all before I go.

It turns out that the house I am getting, already has furniture in it, although it is pretty well worn. At least I have a bed an TV until I can redecorate :-)

Farm Fun was Originally Posted on

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