Sigh!

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.

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