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There is some snark in this diary title! Unfortunately, that would be the yippee part, not the moving to Florida part.

Yes, after 12 wonderful years as resident of Hawaii, right on the edge of Waikiki, we're moving to Green Cove Springs, Florida, wherever that is. Or, at least my mail is. We never plan on setting foot in that place!

Why you ask? Well, it's been an interesting past couple of weeks. Last month, the man who owns and runs the personal mailbox company and has been handling our mail for the past 12 years passed away. He was a wonderful man and we miss him very much. When we took off cruising again, about 4 years ago, he was the one who forwarded our mail to us, consolidated online purchases of boat parts and forwarded those packages to whatever strange location we happened to be in at the moment. He deposited what few checks we receive into our bank account. He also scanned our annual US Coast Guard Vessel Documentation Certificate(more on this in another post when I can write about it and not break my keyboard) and emailed us a copy as soon as it arrived. Needless to say, he was a pretty important person in our lives.

I don't know the particular circumstances, but I was in contact with his son who was running the business after his passing and things seemed to be going well. At least for a couple of weeks. Then all hell apparently broke loose! The US Postal Service became involved, there was some kind of issue with the lease on the property. I'm not sure which it was, requirements of the US Postal Service or the lease problem, but his son notified me that he was being forced to close the business and I had 5 days to get another service. How lovely!! I'm in Malaysia and given 5 days notice to change my US address before mail starts being returned!

Why Green Cove Springs you ask? I learned a long time ago that a professional mail service is the only way to go if you happen to be sailing around the world or travelling out of the country. Every cruiser forum I ever read advised not to have any family members handle your mail and the horror stories from other cruisers whose family members turned out to be flakes, seemed never ending. Not one to always take the advice of others, I made the mistake of letting my mother handle our mail. She all but demanded we give her that task.

Some mistakes are better learned the hard way. You never forget them! My mother became upset over some trivial nonsense with my wife and didn't like the way I responded to it. So, while we were on our way to Hawaii from New Zealand, she decided to return all of our mail as undeliverable! Banks and credit card companies take this very seriously!! The very first thing they do is cancel your debit and credit cards. I found this out when we arrived in Christmas Island in the country of Kiribati. Needing to purchase fuel to get us the rest of the way to Hawaii, I discovered that none of my debit or credit cards work. I called 2 of the companies, not an easy task from a place like Christmas Island, they both had the same response, "Your statement came back as undeliverable and we'll be happy to reinstate your cards as soon as you give us a new, valid mailing address."

We scrounged around the boat, going through the underwear drawers, the navigation station and other places we might have inadvertently left some cash. With the cash we had on hand, and what we managed to find laying around the boat, we had enough to purchase our fuel, but would be arriving in Hawaii with the change in our pockets. We never, ever do this, but we had been waiting for parts in American Samoa and forget to make one last stop at the ATM before leaving.

Upon arriving in Hawaii, virtually penniless, I hoped there was somewhere I could at least get a checked cashed. Fortunately, my bank had a branch in Honolulu so I cashed a check and set off looking for a personal mailbox who could provide the specialized services a cruiser relies on.

Now back to Green Cove Springs. There is a company there that caters to the needs of cruisers, RV'ers and other travelers who need specialized mail forwarding services. They have been around for decades and I was aware of them before we left California in 1999, but mom convinced me otherwise. And boy did she take care of things! I thought about them again when we arrived in Hawaii, but was desperate for access to my debit and credit cards and decided to go with a local option. It was great while it lasted, but this time I'm doing it right. Only took me 15 years to finally figure it out!! In fact, this company is so popular with cruisers that at a recent convention of the South Seas Cruising Association one of the speakers asked, "How many of you live at 411 Walnut Street?" Half of the attendees raised their hands!

So off to Florida we go!!

First, let me assure you, I'm not at all happy of becoming a resident of Florida. Fortunately, I have no plans to ever step foot in the state. Let's see what I've lost in this move...

We've traded the Aloha Spirit for Stand Your Ground laws.

We've traded Governor David Ige for Governor Rick Scott.

We've traded Senator Brian Schatz for Marco Rubio.

We've traded Rep. Mark Takai for Ted Yoho.

I think I'm going to be sick!! On the bright side, my vote in the future might have more impact that it would in Hawaii. In Hawaii the democrats usually win and my vote there has never mattered much. Perhaps with 2 more votes being cast against candidates we despise, we can help turn Florida blue!! We can't wait to vote against every one of them!

So all of you Florida residents out there, welcome us to your state!!

Aloha and Mahalo Hawaii! I will miss you! Although my mail will now go to Florida, my home and heart will always be in Hawaii!

Discuss

Sat Apr 11, 2015 at 08:38 AM PDT

Anyone Home?

by reflectionsv37

The lights are on. I hear something on the television. Car is in the driveway. I hear the dogs barking.

Where is everyone?

Discuss

This arrived in my email this morning and it gave me a good laugh so I thought I'd pass it on for a little light hearted humor before everyone goes to vote in the morning. Somehow it seems appropriate.

I suspect many of you may have seen this before, to you I apologize for wasting this space. Aside from requests for money, I don't receive much in the way of political emails anymore so I'm no longer sure what has already been passed around. Enjoy!

While walking down the street one day a Corrupt Senator (that may be redundant) was tragically hit by a car and died.

His soul arrives in heaven and is met by St. Peter at the entrance.

"Welcome to heaven," says St.. Peter.. "Before you settle in, it seems there is a problem. We seldom see a high official around these parts, you see, so we're not sure what to do with you.."

"No problem, just let me in," says the Senator.

"Well, I'd like to, but I have orders from the higher ups. What we'll do is have you spend one day in hell and one in heaven. Then you can choose where to spend eternity."

"Really?, I've made up my mind. I want to be in heaven," says the Senator.

"I'm sorry, but we have our rules."

And with that, St. Peter escorts him to the elevator and he goes down, down, down to hell.

The doors open and he finds himself in the middle of a green golf course.

In the distance is a clubhouse and standing in front of it are all his friends and other politicians who had worked with him.

Everyone is very happy and in evening dress. They run to greet him, shake his hand, and reminisce about the good times they had while getting rich at the expense of the people.

They played a friendly game of golf and then dine on lobster, caviar and the finest wines and champagne.

Also present is the devil, who really is a very friendly guy who is having a good time dancing and telling jokes.

They are all having such a good time that before the Senator realizes it, it is time to go.

Everyone gives him a hearty farewell and waves while the elevator rises.

The elevator goes up, up, up and the door reopens in heaven where St. Peter is waiting for him, "Now it's time to visit heaven..."

So, 24 hours passed with the Senator joining a group of contented souls moving from cloud to cloud, playing the harp and singing. They have a good time and, before he realizes it, the 24 hours have gone by and St. Peter returns.

"Well, then, you've spent a day in hell and another in heaven. Now choose
your eternity."

The Senator reflects for a minute, then he answers: "Well, I would never have said it before, I mean heaven has been delightful, but I think I would be better off in hell."

So St. Peter escorts him to the elevator and he goes down, down, down to
hell...

Now the doors of the elevator open and he's in the middle of a barren land covered with waste and garbage.

He sees all his friends, dressed in rags, picking up the trash and putting it in black bags as more trash falls to the ground.

The devil comes over to him and puts his arm around his shoulders.

"I don't understand," stammers the Senator. "Yesterday I was here and there was a golf course and clubhouse, and we ate lobster and caviar, drank champagne, and danced and had a great time. Now there's just a wasteland full of garbage and my friends look miserable. What happened?"

The devil smiles at him and says,

"Yesterday we were campaigning,

Today, you voted.."

Vote wisely tomorrow!!

I'll actually be happy to have this whole election over with so I no longer have 25 emails in my inbox everyday asking me for money. In the meantime, I'll probably find it difficult to get to sleep tonight wondering about tomorrows outcome.

As some of you know, I'm currently in Malaysia which makes it a little easier to follow the election results. The first polls close at 7:00AM Malaysia time so I'm hoping to hear that Alison Grimes is the next Senator from Kentucky while enjoying my first cup of coffee in the morning. Knowing I will never have to hear from Mitch McConnell again would be a great way to start the day!!

I'll check in again tonight before bed to see how big the lines are at the polling locations.

Have a great day voting and take a friend with you!!! And take a few pictures too!

GOTV!!!

Poll

Last time! Do we hold or lose control of the Senate?

75%24 votes
25%8 votes

| 32 votes | Vote | Results

Discuss

I've been keeping an eye on our friend Jim Wright over at Stonekettle Station. He has produced some incredible pieces of writing lately and todays post is another! He pretty much rips the republicans up one side and down the other with a more honest evaluation of the current state of the Republican party than I've read just about anywhere.

You could have read, and probably have read much of it right here, but Jim's words and wit, add a special touch to the sledge hammer that he uses to brutally define the Republican party as it exists today.

I'll give you just a small tease!

Honestly, if Obama came out in favor of electricity and running water republicans would squat in the dark, shit on their own shoes, and call it liberty.
Now head on over to Stonekettle Station and read the whole thing for yourself. Hope you enjoy it as much as I did!

As he says on his website "Don't just embrace the crazy, sidle up next to it and lick its ear." This saying sums up his current post! LOL!!!

Discuss

According to Talking Points Memo

“I have complete faith and confidence in Scott,” Christie said, according to The Bergen Record, adding: “I believe he has great integrity.”

Christie made the comments in New Hampshire, where he attended a campaign event and endorsed Walt Havenstein in the state's Republican gubernatorial primary. According to the Record, Christie said he spoke with Walker on Friday, and plans to campaign with him this year.

I have no reason to explain why, but the lyrics to an old Bob Dylan song, made even more famous by Jimi Hendrix immediately came to mind. All Along the Watchtower, but the words were different!

There must be some kind of way outta here
Said Chris Christie to the thief
There's too much confusion
I can't get no relief

Business men, they pay my bills
Low wage workers dig my earth
None were level on the mind
Nobody up at his word
Hey, hey

No reason to get excited
Scott Walker kindly spoke
There are many here among us
Who feel that courts are but a joke
But you and I, we've been through that
And this is not our fate
So let us stop talkin' jail terms now
The hour's getting late, hey

All along the watchtower
The staffers kept the view
While all the women came and went
Barefoot teachers, too
Outside in the cold distance
A DA started to growl
Attorneys were approaching
And the two began to howl!!!

It's late here in Malaysia. Have a good day everyone!
Discuss

your days are coming to an end!

I'll bet Mitch McConnel never saw this one coming! From TPM comes this little piece, Cockfighting Fans Swear Revenge Against Mitch McConnell.

Can Mitch McConnel afford to lose these voters?
Hillbilly cockfighters

While I could probably include some rather unpleasant snark and make a cockery of McConnell, I'll resist the temptation and try to stay focused on the story as presented.

A group associated with cockfighting in Kentucky is promising political retribution against Senate Minority Leader Mitch McConnell for his vote in favor of the farm bill last month, the Lexington Herald-Leader reported.

"This will destroy Mitch McConnell in Kentucky," Craig Davis, president of the United Gamefowl Breeders Association, told the newspaper.

I imagine if someone had video of McConnell engaging in a cock fight, that probably would destroy him! Oops, I degress, back to the story...
The bill made attending a cockfighting event a federal misdemeanor, punishable by up to a year in prison and a $100,000 fine.

Davis, who confronted McConnell with hundreds of other "cockfighting enthusiasts" at a Monday event, said he could move "as many as 60,000 votes" if McConnell doesn't address the issue.

Wow!! 60,000 cockfighters in Kentucky? Who knew?

Over the fold we go...

Continue Reading

While reading the diary Port Authority Chief Samson Says He Might Resign in Wake of Bridgegate by ericlewis0, I noticed a very unusual paragraph in the associated New York Times Article.

In fact, Mr. Foye did not have to distance himself from the bridge issue; supervisors of operations at the bridge had been told by Christie political operatives that they were specifically not to inform Mr. Foye of the lane shutdowns.
Bold mine.

I found this paragraph interesting for a number of reasons. After the release of Patrick Foye's email that demanded the reopening of the Fort Lee access lanes, there has been much speculation as to whether Patrick Foye actually knew beforehand that the lanes were going to be shut down. Many have suspected, based on the tone of his email, that the Executive Director of the Port Authority had been kept in the dark about these lane closures.

If this paragraph in the New York Times article is correct, then we have our answer and this could be huge.

Follow me over the funny looking traffic sign for my thoughts on this.

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If there is any email in the Bridgefest pile that is more damaging than Bridget's one liner, this exchange has to be the one!

I've seen snippets of this posted here, but reading the entire exchange seems to make it so much more damaging. I can't wait to hear the testimony from Bridget Kelly and Patrick Foye! And at some point I'm sure someone is going to ask Bill Baroni, why there couldn't be any public discourse?

Does anyone know who Robert Durando is? I don't think I've heard that name brought up before. Looks like he was the one that restored the traffic lanes.

  Bridgegate emails revealed by New York Post

Stock up on popcorn everyone! This is just getting started!!

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This diary was originally published after the election in November of 2006 with the title Electronic Voting and the Myth of the Voter Verified Paper Trail.

With the election season currently in full force and the fact that some of Romney's relatives and associates are owners of electronic voting machine companies, I thought it might be worth reposting this diary. I haven't heard many complaints this season that voting machines are incorrectly flipping votes which were so common in 2004, but some might be interested to know just how easy it is to program a computer to do anything one would like. Even swinging votes to sway an election. Although this was written 6 years ago, little has been done during that time to remove these machines from our elections. And, we still haven't been able to view that "proprietary" source code to know what these machines are actually doing. If you have the option, I suggest you ask for a paper ballot!

Electronic touch screen voting has generated a great deal of interest and speculation on this site. Most are concerned the machines can be manipulated, hacked, votes changed, and there is plenty of circumstantial evidence to back those claims. We have good reason to worry!

I've spent a great deal of time thinking about our electronic voting machines. I've also spent a good deal of time thinking about how I would design and implement a voting system that could alter or manipulate the results of an election. I make no claims that Diebold, or any other manufacturers software works, as I'll describe. But I will say, what I'm about to present is 100% feasible, would be very easy to program, implement, and, if it was your desire to alter the results of an election, why a computer and touch screen monitor is a great choice. With or without a paper trail!

If I've peeked your interest, follow me over the fold for some programming lessons and some possible explanations to common questions, complete with user interaction!

Continue Reading

Wait until you see today's headline at NBC News... NYPD confirms: All bystanders in Empire State attack hit by police bullets.

First paragraph:

All nine people wounded during a dramatic confrontation between police and a gunman outside the Empire State Building were struck by bullets fired by the two officers, police said Saturday, citing ballistics evidence.
I guess some would just call this collateral damages.

But wait, it gets worse!

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There's nothing misleading about that headline! Yes! Last Friday, I cast my vote for the President of the United States, Senator for Hawaii and Representative for my district in Hawaii. And that's pretty amazing since the primary in Hawaii hasn't even taken place yet!

No, I didn't commit voter fraud, but I'm sure there will be republicans who would like to try and suppress my vote if they knew how easy it was for me to cast that ballot!

You see, I'm an American citizen living abroad so there are some procedures in place to make sure I can cast my vote, and, that my vote actually counts.

Follow me over the curly thing and I'll explain how.

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Just a little late night diversion for those that so enthusiastically enjoyed our first cruising and sailing diary the other night, Cruising Adventures - The Island of Tanna, Vanuatu and Mt. Yasur Volcano  For photos and video of why we do what we do, you can click there and see the wonderful part of the cruising adventures. Below, you'll find another side of the story!

When we are underway, it's important that people know where you are. At least it is if you have a problem and you hope someone will come looking for you if you don't show up or are not heard from for a few days. Daily, I try to send out a report to family and close friends so they know where we are, how fast we are going and what direction we are going. If something were to happen, at least someone would know where we were when we last able to make contact. This would be valuable information in the event we had to ever activate our EPIRB, a satellite emergency beacon. The EPIRB is registered with the Coast Guard and if it is ever activated, the Coast Guard will immediately make contact with the person we have designated, which would be one of our family members. Daily reports also alert our family members to possibly contact the Coast Guard if we have not been heard from in a few days.

As I mentioned in the previous diary, we had a really rough trip from the Marshall Islands to Vanuatu. It was so rough at times, that it was difficult to even find a way to eat and I went for over 48 hours without making one of our daily reports.

I was just checking my daily reports to check a date and came across the report after not reporting in for over 2 days. I thought it might show the other side of cruising across the oceans of the world. Believe me, it's not always beautiful sunsets, dancing dolphins and cold margaritas!

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