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In Hawai'i 4/28 to 5/26  (29 days - 430 total)

This will be a first: I usually enter these accounts after the fact, going back to look at notes and letters sent home during our stay. But this time, I am going to enter it straight into the website while we are away. To separate the entries, I will indicate the date of the entry.

May 3rd, 2014

It is our sixth day here in Hawai'i, on the Island of Hawai'i, locally known as the Big Island. We were picked up early Monday morning by a driver and taken to the Oakland Airport where we boarded a Boeing 737 stretch owned by Alaskan Airlines and five hours and five minutes later we landed in Kona, Hawai'i.

Our first sighting of Hawai'i is poking up through the clouds, directly to the south of us. The highest mountain in the world... if you measure from it's base, which is the bottom of the ocean. Only 13,000 plus change above sea level, is Mauna Kea with the white specks on top which are a dozen international observatories. Another one, the world's largest, is scheduled to be built very soon. The USA and another country are splitting the costs on that one. This is probably the bluest Blue Hawai'i that you will ever see. We are westbound headed to Kona Airport (KOA). The spots you see are not on my lens... they are on the window of the aircraft. They frown on my opening the window to take this shot. :-)

A small course correction and we are turning south-west and crossing over the furthest northern part of the island. The town of Hawi (Haw - Vee) is below us. Once a large sugar cane growing area it was almost a ghost town after all of the sugar cane and pineapple went to the Philippines, until a decade or two ago people started building up the tiny town and it is now visited regularly by locals and tourists alike.

A little further south and we see the Kohala coast. The Brown's home is toward the left, near the cloud bank. At 2,100 feet elevation it looks out over this bay. The white protrusion along the coast is filled in to allow more area for the Kawaihae (Kah - wah - ee - haw - ay - ee) Shipping Harbor, where many of the ships come in to deliver and pick up freight. Mauna Kea is still in the distance, we are dropping down along the west of the mountain at this time.

It was an uneventful flight except for the fact that I was reading a book on Rosalee's e-reader titled: "Heaven Is For Real", written by the father of a 4 year old boy with a serious medical condition that required surgery to correct. The doctors gave him little chance of survival before surgery but he pulled through, amazing everyone. The 'fun' part of the book was that for the following year the boy continued to talk about events that happened before he was born, and never was told about. When asked how he knew these things he said that he had been in Heaven while he was in surgery and met the people he talked about. His dad is a pastor at a church and knows scripture fairly well, and when he asked questions about Heaven, the boy described it as it has been told in scriptures. Mom and dad said that at the age of four, the boy has heard very little scripture about Heaven.

Seeing the family go through the tribulations of the ill child, and the mother reliving the loss of the boy's sister who died before delivery was very emotional, and I have to say I wetted a few napkins reading the book.

I have believed in the existence of God and of Heaven for quite a while now, but some things just don't quite hit you deeply until something comes along to shake you. The boy described meeting his great grandfather, whom he never knew, and his sister, whom he was never told about. I could not help but think about the fact that I had a sister that I never met, and the thought of my meeting her one day just set a little closer to my heart. On top of that, I know that my mother always talked about seeing her baby girl again one day. I could not hold my emotions when I thought about the possibility that she is with her as I read that book. And my brother and dad are with them as well. And I'm tearing up as I write this so I had best move on.

It was a good flight, and Donna met us at the airport with a couple of leis and a big hug. On the drive 'home' we had a good catch-up chat and discussed the recent loss of her own beloved mom which we also were missing. It will be a little less sunny in Hawai'i this time, with our sweet Miss Clyde now gone.

As we drove into "the Ranch" where the Brown's live (the gated community where they live is called Kohala Ranch), we were delighted to see what is usually straw-yellow hills actually tinted with a bit of green from heavier than usual rains. The annual average of rainfall in this location is around ten inches. Not what you expect to hear/see when Hawai'i is the subject. Twenty miles from here, around the mountain, it is one hundred ten inches a year. Major difference. Anyway, as I type this, the rainfall from July first last year to today is 16.29 inches, and we had some rain today.

This is the view to the north from the Guest Room Lanai. Mount Hale'a'kala on Maui would be out there on the horizon were it not a bit overcast. Below is a view to the south from the Master Bedroom Lanai. The crest of Mauna Kea is buried in those clouds just above that little standing of trees.

Dennis had a few small projects waiting for me, but neither he nor I could locate the small electric meter I brought to him  a few years back (to make it easier to do his projects). I will look deeper over the next few weeks.

I have a couple of projects possibly waiting... the Palace in Kona has a music box I have talked about in previous visits. I worked on it to get it to run again. If you don't remember, it is a large cylinder music box that plays five different songs and was given to the Crown Princess Kaiulani by Robert Lewis Stevenson on one of his visits. She was in her teens and he became very fond of her. She enjoyed writing and he would critique her work. I have a meeting with the ladies that run the palace to see if I can bring the box to the Brown's home and do more work on it. Many of the tens of thousands of pins on the cylinder have been bent and now that it runs, the music is really messy. I have a tool to correct that... but it takes a lot of time, and I can't be running to Kona (45 minutes) again and again, plus they have no place to work there.

The puppies were glad to see us... they didn't eat our legs or bark more than a few moments. That is good. LOL. It has been 18 months since they have seen us. They are a bit older... more mature. The Brown's have been working on their barking. I believe they also remember that we are 'those-people-that-don't-like-us-to-bark', and after the Brown's left on their voyage, they really do show patterns we remember them having with us the last time we were here. The proof will be the first night when we go to bed in the Master Bedroom, where the dogs also sleep. The Brown's tell us that the dogs sleep on the bed with them, and are concerned that they will bother us. Last visit, the dogs remembered that we were 'those-people-that-don't-let-us-sleep-on-the-bed' and never gave us any trouble. So... the first night we slept in there, Rajah was on his bed, Rufus was on a low chest at the foot of the bed while Rosalee turned down the bed. When she turned out the light, Rufus 'tested' her by placing one foot on the bed... and waited. She told him "no, you have to sleep in your own bed". She heard four paws hit the hardwood floor and then four more and the dogs went out to the Living Room and got on the couch next to me. They have not tested us since. These are very intelligent dogs... and they have better memories than we do that is for sure. LOL.

We are 'Home'. That rainbow went from sea shore to sea shore. I did not have a wide enough lens to get it all in.

Dennis has pulled more of his plantings out to cut down the watering he has to do. It is not a matter of work, as he has a sprinkler system with something like 18 stations, but it is the expense. Water comes from wells and there is not a lot of subterranean water-bearing soil on an island of lava. So it is expensive. He told me he has turned the sprinkler system off for the last few months, and his water bill is tiny. We will have to take care to turn it on if it starts to get dry. Yesterday we got 1.20 inches of rain in less than an hour and a half, so we are ok for a few more days.

The Brown's have done a lot of work on the house. To our eyes it was a lovely home already, but after nearly 18 years they likely desire some changes. Donna has a new kitchen with all new appliances, new darker cabinets, but the layout is pretty much similar to what they had before. They have done more wood flooring (hallway, previous exercise room, Master Bedroom) which matches the Living Room. They also added new cabinets on the Dining Room side of the Kitchen counter.

A new 'alabaster' light hangs over the Dining Room. We expected to see that as we tried to buy it for her last trip over. A store they frequented was closing out before they were to return. They stayed open a little longer and Donna talked them out of it... and a few more things as well.

We are getting to expect the entertainment center to change each time we come over. We were not disappointed. LOL. The new Panasonic is as wide as a billboard, and the controls are somewhat simpler to operate. Plus there is an option to watch either Satellite feed or Cable feed, so when their pre-programmed recorder takes over we can still watch by switching to the Cable feed. Both feeds seem to have pretty much the same things to watch. At least they both have things that we enjoy watching. Dennis said to push the red button and we get Netflix which is pre-paid, so it is unlimited viewing. I have used it a couple of times. Cool!

The new wider screen required a newer piece of furniture so they put in a nice set of cabinets that match the Kitchen cabinets. They look very nice. Also, they put new cabinets (matching the Kitchen cabinets) in the Guest Bathroom as well as the Master Bathroom.

Thursday evening we went down to Kawaihae shipping port (Kah - wah - ee - haw - ay) about ten miles away and tried a new restaurant Donna told us about. When Kent and Linda were here a few years ago we ate breakfast there. It was the first time I had actually had Eggs Benedict. They are now called Plantation Grill and we tried (sampled) their fish tacos which are fabulous. They use Mahi Mahi (Maw - Hee  Maw - Hee), and it is thick and tender and flakey and wonderful. For dinner I had Fish & Chips with the fish made again from Mahi Mahi and it was like some of the best Fish & Chips I have had. Some day I hope to try some in England so I can find out what they are really supposed to taste like. Rosalee had Shrimp Fettuccini and we were both delighted. They told us that Wednesday nights are Lobster nights and Friday nights are Crab nights... we will be back.

Rosalee's niece Andi and her husband Ed are scheduled to join us for a bit on the twelfth of May so I'm sure we can talk them into checking this place out on one of those nights. I was checking out their room yesterday and noticed that the new screen door on the Lanai was not working well and it jumped out of the track when I tried to open it. I turned it up and noticed that there was one wheel broken on the bottom and one on the top that was broken... two for two. So next trip into town I will see if I can locate a couple of wheels for it.

No critters to report yet... at least inside the house. Outside we are seeing some large black beetles that we seldom usually see... maybe one or two... but not this time. There are several on the front step almost each time we walk out there. The small fish pond has nearly one hundred of them floating on the surface, with a few actually moving. Donna said that they are "Dung Beetles" but they are larger than any we have seen. But hey... they IS Hawai'i so who knows? LOL They certainly are no trouble. They move about slowly and most seem to be on their backs with legs in the air on their last throws. I guess there is not enough 'dung' for them. That sounds like it is a good thing. LOL

There are no open range cows in 'the Ranch' so far. They have a lot of grass up in the higher parts of the mountain I hear, and it may be a while before they come down here. Most likely when it gets warmer and drier.

.May 7th, 2014

We have been taking care of some of our scheduled jobs here.

HEDGE TRIMMER: Dennis had some concerns with a gas-powered hedge trimmer. He said that once running, the switch on the handle would not turn the machine OFF and to kill it you had to let it run out of fuel. The way it works, a wire comes from the ignition system down through the handle down to the switch and then back up through the handle to a grounded connection. Turning the switch to STOP should ground out the ignition and it would stop. I discovered both the wire going to ground was broken as well as the wire coming from the ignition system to the switch. No way to make it stop, other than to ground the wire coming from the ignition system temporarily to the engine case. Job done.

P.S. The gardener used the trimmer and said that it worked fine and dandy.

CHAIN SAW: Dennis has a nice, small chain saw that he said has trouble keeping the chain on. Upon looking it over, nothing looked obvious, so I took off the two bolts holding the chain bar to the saw motor and took that part off. I did notice that the bar was upside down, but that is how you get more (longer) life from the bar if it is used up. I doubt that his saw is used enough to warrant that so I cleaned everything up and re-installed it, adjusted the chain tension, and fired it up. The chain stayed on. I took it out back and cut a six inch log that was in the burn pile and ugh! That was the dullest chain I have ever used. But the chain stayed on. I put it away and moved on. The next morning something was gnawing at me so I went out and looked at the chain saw once more. I'm gonna tell a secret on me... I put the chain on backwards. LOL. No WONDER it was dull. I turned the chain around the right way, re-adjusted it, and it cut through the same log like it was hot butter. And it stayed on. I did notice, however, when I put it on, the chain seemed to prefer to get stuck on the outer side of the drive sprocket, which is way out of line for the chain bar, and THAT could very well cause the chain to jump off the bar. I  believe that was the cause for the problem. Job done.

MOWER: The famous mower. I have spent some hours working on this guy over the years. I sure enjoy driving it and mowing the lawn with it though. Dennis said the gardener will mow the lawn when he comes if I don't want to do it, but I enjoy doing it. So if the gardener  comes on Friday, I will mow Thursday and then he won't mow. Dennis has other things for the gardener. Now, if he ever shows... it was raining last Friday and he did not come, but he has not shown all week. It is Wednesday night and it is raining again.... half an inch so far... so it may be too wet to mow tomorrow. I will check it. Anyway, Dennis started up the mower before he left to show me that it was working. The battery barely turned it over, but it started. I fired it up a couple days ago and it started right up but the battery was weak. So I backed it over to the corner of the garage that has the charger and hooked it up. It will charge until I need to use it.

SCREEN DOOR: The guest bedroom has a small lanai that looks to the north, and on a clear day Mount Hale'a'kala on Maui is clearly visible. Several years ago the Browns placed a second sliding glass door at the outside edge of the lanai floor, which allows the lanai to be part of the bedroom. It makes it nicer, and that is the bedroom Donna's mom used a lot, so it helped her out. This is the screen that had two broken wheels, so I tried the Ace Hardware in Waimea and... Bingo! I got them in yesterday and it is working again. Unexpected job done.

The Gridley class of '59, Ken's graduating class, is planning a week-long cruise in June to Alaska and a dinner in September. I have set up a website for the group, thanks to Ed Myers' help and great assistance... plus his work place hosts the site on their computer. Yesterday I worked on that for most of the day. I built a worksheet with names of: ___those we have sent notice of the dinner by e-mail, ___those we have not sent e-mail and may have to be snail mail or phone, and ___those that have pre-deceased us. It is fun doing that work, but it can be time consuming. Like what do we have that has to be done in Hawai'i? LOL

I mentioned that I have been trying to arrange to work on the Crown Princess Kaiulani (Kah - ee - oo - law - knee) music box. The box is pictured and discussed at the end of [Kohala 2010 Fall] on this site if you wish to review. The cylinder is 19 inches wide and has tens of thousands of pins sticking up that pluck the notes on the comb of the music box, but many are bent and need corrected to make it play better. Rosalee and I had a meeting with the lady that runs the Hulihe'e Palace in Kailua-Kona (Hoo - lee - hay - ay) today, where the box is displayed. They had it boxed and packed in a huge cooler for us to pick up. We had to sign away our Fortune, our Estate, and our First Born to take it home with us, but I am delighted that they allowed us to do it. That is a very precious item to them and their history after all. We were rather nervous driving home with it.

We put it in Donna's office (one of the bedrooms) where it is out of the way and has plenty of light, so I don't go blind looking at all of those pins. After working on it for a while, I discovered that every single pin has been bent out of alignment and must be straightened. (sigh) We have it for several weeks... I think it will take me that long.

We have keys to lock that room and shades to pull, so hopefully it will be secure there while we are in town or asleep. Nervous time here.

May 18th, 2014

I had success in the search for the electrical tester meter. It was in a large, plastic carry case for a power tool... no idea why. I just started looking in anything large enough to hide it and I found it. So, I headed for the electrical job waiting for me. An outlet in the kitchen had a new outlet two feet away from it, but Dennis said neither of them worked now. The old one used to work... ?? I opened it all up and found that first of all, the original box now has a GFCI installed, but the LINE wires were connected to the LOAD side of the GFCI, and vise versa. I fixed that, and was able to determine that the new box was indeed connected to the original box, but no power was in the outlet.

I checked the wires coming into the original box and there was 120 volts between the black wire and ground, but between the black and the white there was no voltage. I traced these two wires back to the main electrical distribution panel and black, white, and ground wires were all connected and making contact, but somehow the white wire does not make it all the way... at least electrically. That job will have to be the responsibility of the electrician that wired that system. He can dig that one out of the walls. So... job postponed.

I was able to get one lawn mowing in, between the rains. The mower worked well. We had to get things looking spiffy because... company is coming.

ALOHA from The Big Island of Hawai'i

Ed and Andi Myers are here. Andi is Rosalee's niece, and this is where they came from their plane at the Kailua-Kona Airport on May 11th.

We went on down into Kailua-Kona which is 8 miles south of the airport and had a nice lunch at a restaurant named the Kona Canoe Club. We drove back to the house to get the Myers settled in.

I spent a bunch of hours on the music box, straightening the pins on the cylinder. This is what I was facing:

The large drum on the left with gear teeth around it houses the mainspring that drives everything. The part on the lower right quarter that looks like a comb is called the... um... Comb. :-)  That makes the music, when the tiny point at the upper end is lifted and released (plucked) by the pins on the large cylinder... upper right. You can see the tiny pins, and you can also see that some of them are headed in other directions than straight toward the comb. My goal was to straighten each pin that was bent. To complicate things, the cylinder actually plays five songs as it rotates five times. A cam shifts that cylinder to the right, to five distinct positions, and all five positions occur in the distance you can see between any two 'teeth' tips of the comb. Five distinct positions within possibly a sixteenth of an inch.

Any pin that is bent to the side one fifth of one sixteenth of one inch... or about 1/80th of an inch or 0.0125"... will play the note of the next selection during the playing of the first selection. The melodies are not very pleasant.

During past decades steel was made in many ways, and sometimes the steel they used on the pins were very brittle, making them susceptible to breaking off if they are bent. Some break at first impact. Some break the second time... when they are being straightened, and some straighten out ok. I am sure they are easier to break the next time they are bent. Some pins are bent almost completely over. Those are extremely likely to break when straightened. Some years of manufacture the steel was softer and more favorable to being straightened without breaking. It appears that late 1800's when this box was made, they used the more brittle steel for the pins.

My purpose to attempt this job was to make the box sound prettier when it played. It has the capability to sound elegant and majestic. But, if straightening the pins will just break them off, nothing is accomplished by my attempt. So, sadly, I will cease my work on the box and return it to the Hulihe'e Palace in Kona.

The ladies that run the Palace were very appreciative of the attempt, and now they are aware of what it needs. I suggested that should they have a benefactor stop by with a couple of thousand dollars to help them out, the cylinder could be completely re-pinned to the same melodies, but the cylinder would have to be sent to specialists on the mainland or in Europe. I offered to do the labor to remove and re-install the cylinder should they attempt that task. So, I guess this job can be considered 'attempted and postponed'.

Ed and Andi have been to the Big Island several times, and have been to Hilo as well as down to see Kilauea, so we concentrated on the north end of our island. They did express an interest in learning more about the Waipio Valley. Rosalee and I took our first trip down into the valley during our Fall 2009 visit, and Kent and Linda joined us on that trip. You can look back there to read about that and see the images taken. I took a few more images this time that I can share.

With the extra rainfall Hawai'i is getting this winter, the young woman that took us around the floor of the valley (she lives down there) indicated that she had seen at least seven different waterfalls dropping into the valley. I was delighted to see the Hi'ilawe Falls (He - ee - lah - way) because there was a second falls flowing.

A few decades ago, the falls on the left was diverted at the top to supply water to the sugar cane that was being grown in the area, closing off that flow of water completely. However, with the extra rainfall, it was again flowing when we were there. I'm sure it is only during extra-wet times that it flows.

We took Ed and Andi over to Honoka'a (Ho - no - kah - ah) about twenty miles from the house, on the Eastern side of Kohala mountain, where we went through some pretty heavy rain. But we were forced to do that because that is the only way we can let them experience the famous Malasada... just like it sounds. It is Portuguese and is basically a pillow about three inches by four inches by an inch and a half thick. It is made like the old "Spud-nuts" or "raised donuts" are made... light and fluffy and a taste to die for, with confectioner's sugar on the outside, of course. They make them right there in full view. Not something one should make a habit of enjoying, although it would certainly be very easy. You can ask them to inject creams and jellies and goodies if you like. Me? I like my Malasada straight.

We also made it up to the north end of the island, only fifteen miles from the house, to the tiny town of Hawi (Hah - vee) where we had lunch at the Bamboo Restaurant. Rosalee and I have eaten there several times before, and enjoyed it. It is another of Clyde's suggestions that she shared with us some years ago. On the way out Andi could not pass up taking this image:

We saw nothing like this, but I'm a bit puzzled as to how I walked in, sat at a table next to this post, and walked out without seeing this sign. I must be getting old. LOL

Last week we took a lazy day and hung around the house to be here when Lowe's showed up to correct an installation job they have been trying to complete. D&D had a lot of new shades and valances installed, but some were incorrectly sized. So, being a rainy day anyway, it was fine for us. After the installer was here for a couple of hours he had to bundle up the new ones and take them back. Every one of them were the wrong size. Like ten inches wrong, not just 'kinda' wrong. This was the third time they were measured... he measured them last time and his boss came out and she measured them as well... still the jobber that made them could not get it right. Donna tells me this is try number three. Well, we met a nice guy anyway. He felt so badly for the Brown's. It was certainly not his fault.

I have not done a second mowing of the lawns once since we have been here. Not sure why it is not growing up past our ears, because I always mow every week. I will mow again the day before D&D return. The place looks so nice with the lawns all spiffed up. We are just short of 19 inches of rain this year, as of today. The sprinklers usually run a lot to keep things green here, but they have not been turned on for three months. And everything is still green.

We had to stop by Plantation Grill Wednesday evening to partake of their Lobster Special. It was a very large lobster, and we had one of the fabulous Mahi Mahi taco to go with it. We also shared some delicious Lobster/Crab chowder that was fabulous. No wonder we have to start our diet early.

May 20th, 2014

We dropped Andi and Ed off at the airport yesterday. It was a lot of fun having them here. We enjoyed sharing "our island" with them. Sad to see them leave, but looking forward to getting back to something more sensible for meals. LOL

I have had the clock running that I picked up from Susan Harris, the lady in Waimea that contacted me through e-mail to see if I would look at the clock. I looked at it last trip over, and could not find the 'smoking gun' that was not only causing the chime to stop but it was forcing the clock to stop as well.

It is a wall clock about five feet tall, and when Susan moved over here from Fresno, CA, the preceding year, the moisture in the air made the door on the clock case swell and bind. It was almost impossible to close and re-open the case.

This time over, we brought the complete clock to the Brown's home and Ed and I fixed the case. Last year, I had to spend some time getting the clock into 'beat' so it would run, and then there was little time left to find the problem and fix it. This year I have just the movement mounted on a board attached to the Kitchen cabinet counter top (on the Dining Room side, out of the way... sorta) and that allows me to hang the weights, the pendulum, and run it without the case. It ran 24 hours fine. I found a gadget that was installed to keep the cables straight on the drum that drives the chimes dislodged from it's location and put that in place. Then it ran and chimed. Cool! But I remember seeing something potentially wrong with the movement the last time, but I cannot for the life of me remember what that was.

The next morning, when I checked the clock, it was no longer running. Oops. After running (chiming on cue) a whole day, the original problem showed up. The drum that hangs the cable that holds the five pound weight to drive the chimes was goofy, and it not only bound up the chiming cable, it spread out and wedged against a wheel (gear). and that stopped the time gear train. Finally! The smoking gun... but how to fix it? Well...

"This Is The Way We Fix The Clock, Fix The Clock, Fix The Clock... This Is The Way We Fix The Clock........ "

Yes, it makes me just as nervous as it does you, just looking at it. The problem was that the drum and arbor upon which the cable that supports the striking (chiming) weight was bent from damage way back when. It got worse with time and finally got to where it would allow the cable to slip down between two parts, spreading the drum and forcing it against another wheel (gear).









The arbor (shaft) on the left is the part that you turn when you wind up the clock. On the left side of the large wheel that is on the arbor (shaft) is the small plate with two holes that goes on the shaft, and the drum slips on the shaft after that. Missing in this view (on the left) is the part in the image on the right. It fits on top of the drum. See another plate under the drum that looks like the one in the picture on the right? Two plates and the drum go together... like an Oreo cookie... and the two long screws behind the arbor hold all four pieces together. Spacers go between the two round plates with nine holes in them, so the screws will not cave in the two plates.

Notice how the plate on the right is depressed more than usual in the center hole to the left of center. That allowed the plate to get wider than the drum should be, and the cable that holds the weight winds up on that Oreo cookie. With that bend in the plate, the cable could slip between the center of the drum and the plate, and the weight would force them apart, wedging it against the adjacent wheel (not shown). I explained that so that I can review this the next time there is a problem, because I will likely forget what I did... again. LOL.

If you are wondering where the spring is to wind up and drive the clock... there is none. This is not a spring-wound clock, but a weight-driven clock. When weights are used they are hung on a chain or a cable. This clock uses cables, and they wind around that large drum in the picture on the left. The cable is removed in this picture. That cable is the one that wedges the drum and disk apart.

I flattened down that extra depression and reassembled the drum assembly, then reassembled the clock movement. This is not an antique clock, but without this type of a repair it would require a new replacement movement for the clock, and that is not an option. $$$ :-)


















As you can see, it did go back together. It is running again, and striking very nicely. The cage in front of the clock is to keep little doggie noses out of the works. I want to run it in, to check if it is fast or slow. Susan will be able to fine tune it when it is at its home. On the right is a side view of the movement, viewing the left side. You can just barely see the white face and black hands to the right, and the white arrows are pointing to the center of that drum and arbor that was just repaired. You can see the cable wound around it, and the brass pulleys that are below the movement. Hopefully, we have found the problem and it will serve Susan for a good long time.

Last evening we ran a load of clothes in Donna's washer, and it has all of that electronic stuff. A front load Maytag, it is likely the age of the house. Anyway, it stopped and beeped at us with an error code of "E3" showing. I hit Google to find out what I could, and basically everyone indicated one of three things... bad connection in motor wiring harness, bad motor, or bad main circuit board. All of those are not good news $$$.

After an hour of research, I suggested Rosalee try a different 'cycle' to wash the clothes that were still in the machine, and it did complete the cycle. Yeah! So, this morning, she put in another load and tried it on the 'normal' cycle that she usually uses, and we got all the way! Super Yeah! As I started typing this paragraph, Susan's clock struck three o'clock, and the washer announced itself as having finished a second load today. Now THAT is a Very Super Yeah! And an AMEN!

May 24th, 2014

...and she is home!

The clock has run for two days straight without fail, far less than the week or two that I prefer to test a newly serviced clock, but our time in Paradise is running out. Rosalee and I returned it to Susan's home, where we hung it back on the wall. It ran and chimed for a full hour before we left, so hopefully it will continue on.

Note to self: Bring lubricant and check the clock on next visit. I foolishly left home without having special lubricant in my pack of clock tools and materials that I frequently bring to the Islands.

The door had swollen after Susan moved here from Fresno, due, most likely, to the higher humidity in Waimea where she lives. Ed and I removed the door and planed down the top and bottom of the door about 1/32" and re-treated it with a couple coats of clear poly finish to seal it up from the moisture. Now the door can easily open and close.

Susan told us before, and I had forgotten, but we talked about it again and it appears that when she moved here from Fresno, a gentleman helping her to move in hung the clock badly, and when she hung the heavy weights it came down. Susan took some of the energy of the fall but the case was broken. That has to be the reason for the drum being messed up. Just the empty case weighs nearly fifty pounds, so the painter installed a more secure attachment bolt on the wall to support the clock.

When Ed and Andi were here, we stopped down at the Waikoloa Village Shopping Center where there is an upscale ABC Store. If you are familiar with Hawai'i, you know that there is an ABC Store on nearly every corner, and it is a sort of Hawaiian version of the Seven-Eleven stores in the mainland. Just a bit of a convenience store. This one has some high-dollar condominiums surrounding it so they made it a little bit better than the others. I snapped a couple of shots of the displays in the store:


Now if you want a loaf of bread in the somewhat restricted area they will have a couple different selections. But if you want Band-Aids... they have thirteen different patterned Band-Aids. I actually found the "normal" Band-Aid boxes in another location.

The image below shows another five foot wide display full of... Golf Balls. They do have a course in the area, but these are all fancy packages and the balls are all engraved with the layout of the Hawaiian Islands on each ball (like that seen on the larger boxes, upper left in the image). We thought that they were boxes of candy. I'm having trouble imagining the Kahuna on the golf links that reaches into his bag of clubs and pulls out the box of Sponge Bob Square Pants golf balls. LOL.

And speaking of overkill... when in Waimea, there is no doubt it is heavily influenced by the local cowboys, what with what  was at one time the largest cattle ranch in the US (over half a million acres of land under control), and the Parker Ranch Shopping Center that was named for the ranch. But across the street from that shopping center, in front of the OTHER shopping center in town, we find this:

That is one big hombre that fills that shoe. Cowboys here are referred to as Paniolos. When cattle first were introduced in the islands, they were a gift from one king to another, and they were allowed to roam freely and were considered Kapu... forbidden to anyone. Later kings decided the cows were too wild and literally were a threat to life, limb, and garden spots. So a young (19 years old) man named Parker sailed into town and jumped ship. He owned a rifle and shells, and after he gained the blessing of the king, he was allowed to control the cows... which means hunt them for leather and meat. He turned that into a career and new industry for the islands and they had to hire handlers for the cattle. No one on the islands knew how to do that, let alone how to ride those things someone brought in called horses. So the ranch hands that handled the cattle were brought in from "Espanola", but the Hawaiian people had trouble pronouncing the "Es" part, and the new people were just called "Paniolos".

Mother used to tell Cody and I (when we put off doing things): "Are you waiting until the cows come home". We never understood that because our cows never left home. We figured she meant 'home' to be the barn. With all of the rain we have had here this year, the upper fields in the mountains have been heavy with grass so the cows that normally have free-range grazing in the Kohala Ranch area have not been brought in yet. Well, this morning, when we woke up, this is what we saw outside the bedroom window:

Mom, The Cows Have Come Home

We pick up the Brown's at the airport tomorrow evening late. They will likely be glad to be home. On this trip they did a lot of flying, train raiding, bus riding, and cruising. They likely will be glad to be home as well. We should be winging our way back to Pleasanton Monday afternoon.

This stay has been one of the more interesting times we have been here. We have not seen one scorpion or centipede (yet) and have seen very few geckoes. We did have a lot of large black dung beetles and many gnats that invade us in the evening to be by our lights. You have to cover your drink or they fall into it.

Donna has a blender she said would make my frozen berry/banana/almond milk smoothies, but the rubber drive coupling that drives the blade in the bottom of the jar was showing that it was starting to come apart. I checked online and there were more than fifty different couplings that all looked alike but all had different order numbers, and none of them fit the model number of Donna's machine. So I gave up on the smoothies, but they are pretty much the most crucial part of my diet plan I am trying to maintain. So we picked up a new blender to contribute to the household. It worked so well and so quickly Rosalee thought that I must have broken the new one because it was not making noise long enough to do the job she thought.

It has been a 'normal' trip to "the ranch" in that there were things waiting to be fixed and things that needed fixing after we got here, but abnormal with the rains and the green pastures. But, as usual, it has been fun, and never a day goes by without some kind of excitement.

I asked Rajah if he were excited about mom and dad coming home. He was clearly overjoyed about it:

The day we went to the airport to pick up Donna and Dennis, we ran across some activity along the road in the gated community. There were a couple of Francolin birds and a bunch of little ones, and then along with them we saw this little guy.

This little suckling pig was all alone, but you can bet that momma was somewhere near. And I would not want to be walking with her in the area. Over the six years we have been coming to this area we have only once seen a wild hog, and it was pretty quick to leave our sight. It was in this same area, more or less, and it was adult size. This little guy was quite quick. I'm sure I would never be able to catch up with it.

Winging our way home, as we leave the Sandwich Islands I look over our port wing and can see Mount Haleakala on Maui (Haw - lay - aw - kaw - law). It is just over ten thousand feet elevation at the tallest peak. It is known for its incredibly large caldera that is seven miles wide and half a mile deep. We are told to view the sunrise from the top is to die for. It is a lengthy drive to get to the top so on would have to start rather early. We were seeing sunlight as early as 0530 this month.

It was great getting back to our "home in the islands" and getting our "Doggie Fix" after a longer than usual period of time. We did miss our dear Miss Clyde very much. We thought of her constantly. We visited several of the great "holes in the wall" places that she introduced us to. They are still good places to eat. Rest In Peace Dear Clyde.



















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