Monday, December 8, 2014

Mail Service Disruption in Hawaii

Living in Hawaii is always an adventure and this week it was the sudden lost of our US mail service.

When we moved to a remote part of the Kohala Coast  three years ago, we were surprised at how little mail was being delivered to our condo complex.  Only a dozen or so letters a day and a few packages were delivered most days to over a hundred units in our complex. This was in sharp contrast to the overfilled mail truck in our previous condo complex in Kona that kept the mailman busy for hours stuffing boxes.  We decided it was related to the unoccupied state of most of the units during the year.   At Christmastime the number of packages would always increase as the condos filled with their owners and vacation renters.

Since we regularly order from Amazon Prime, we quickly became familiar with the local carrier who was a contractor in an unmarked van rather than a postal worker.  Starting about a year ago, when Amazon’s Prime service with free shipping became more popular, we noticed a surge in the number of packages he had to deliver.  The rural carrier’s job lost its luster as his work day dragged out and he spent hours moving boxes.  Many times he would dig through the back of his van stuffed with hundreds of boxes looking for ours.  Most of the boxes were from Amazon and marked Prime or from some other retail outlet.  As shopping online increased in popularity our rural mail carrier became more and more miserable.

Last week were notified that our contract carrier quit and that mail service along the Kohala coast would be limited until they found a replacement.  We have had no mail pick up and sporadic deliveries of boxes by post office trucks.  Our location is about an hour round trip to the Kamuela post office. 

For us, and apparently many other people in our complex, being able to order products online with free shipping significantly lowers the cost of living in Hawaii and adds to the quality of life.  It turns out that having viable US post office services that can deal with massive numbers of packages, particularly during the Christmas season, is an important piece of living remotely in Hawaii.

Thursday, November 27, 2014

Your Ideal Hawaii 2015 Day Planner

Every year we use to hunt for a day planner to keep track of our goals, events, daily to-do lists, and record the food we ate.  Although some day planners were close to what we were looking for, none provided everything we wanted and we were frustrated by their high cost.  Two years ago, we started to published our own day planner with all the tools we needed to set goals and keep track of our progress every day and month during the year.  If you are looking for a day planner for 2015, consider Your Ideal Hawaii Day Planner 2015, available now on Amazon for $5.99.

We tend to get more of the things we appreciate, so the front of the Hawaii-themed Day Planner has a page to list the things you appreciate to refer to every day.  Each day in the Planner has space to track food eaten, calories, and your daily weight, which we have found keeps us achieving our weight and health goals. Each week has a space write down your insights, which we find helpful to refer to later, sometimes years later.  We also record the events of the world and important happenings in our life in our Day Planner.

Your Ideal Hawaii Day Planner 2015  is a 9”x 6” paperback book that is sturdy and easy to carry. The front cover has a picture of a beautiful red Lehua flower from Hawaii’s native Ohia trees. The 150 pages in the interior are black and white.   The 2015 Day Planner has all the Federal holidays as well as unique holidays and special days celebrated in Hawaii.

At the front of the Planner are pages for writing your Goals for the year, what you are Thankful for, your Choices for the upcoming year, and your Plans for where you want to spend your time in 2015.  Each month has an overview calendar with a section on the side for writing monthly Goals, Health Choices, Appreciations, Projects, Adventures, and Events.  Each monthly calendar is followed by two pages for each week to plan and record each day. 

Overview calendars for December 2014 and January 2016 are also included.  At the back of the Planner are pages to record your 2015 Accomplishments and make Plans for 2016.  You can look inside the day planner on Amazon here.

If you are looking for a great Day Planner for 2015 for yourself or someone else, give this one a try and let us know how it works for you.

Friday, November 21, 2014

Year of the Wood Sheep 2015

2015 Wood Sheep
It is time for our annual predictions based on the Chinese lunar calendar for 2015 Year of the Wood Sheep.  As we predicted, the current 2014 Wood Horse year has been fast paced, with explosive energy, expansionism, military power, economic change and chaos.  There are a couple more months of the Horse year ahead before the Sheep brings some calm to the global chaos and slows down the pace on February 19, 2015.  The Sheep is more stable than the Horse and prefers diplomacy and harmony to the Horse’s confrontation and demands for justice.

We find it useful to review what happened 60 years ago, during the last Wood Sheep year, to see how events may relate to today’s world.   The last Wood Sheep year, in 1955, was a year of many firsts in US consumerism. Disneyland opened, McDonalds opened, the Scrabble game and Lego came to market. New popular TV shows were introduced including the Johnny Carson Show, Gunsmoke, Lawrence Welk Show, Honeymooners, Alfred Hitchcock Presents, Millionaire, and the Mickey Mouse Club.

Sheep years are known for diplomacy and during 1955 numerous treaties were signed including the Warsaw pact, USSR peace treaty with France and Great Britain, Turkey and Iraq defense alliance, British military treaty with Iraq, Belgrade declaration, South East Asia Collective Defense Treaty, and Egypt and Saudi Arabia defense treaty.  The Israel government was formed by David Ben-Gurion, the West European Union was established, and the Vienna Treaty restored Austria's independence.

The US and USSR performed nuclear tests and President Eisenhower’s “Operation Alert” exercise assessed the US readiness for a nuclear attack.  The first atomic generated power was used by towns in the US, the Atomic clock was developed, and the first nuclear powered submarine was tested. The military demonstrated self-guided missiles and the first seagoing oil drill rig went into service.

Politics in the US changed dramatically with the start of the civil rights movement after the arrest of Rosa Parks and other African Americans for resisting bus segregation in the Southern US.

On the economic front, the minimum wage was raised from 75 cents to $1 and GM became the first US corporation to make over $1Billion in a year in 1955.

The last Sheep Year in 2003, a water Sheep, was focused on the Iraq war and overthrow of Saddam Hussein.  It was also the year the Department of Homeland Security was formed.

Although Sheep avoid conflict and are quiet and calm, some of the previous Horse year storms will still be raging during the Sheep year.  Unfortunately, Chinese astrologers warn of the flying star of hostility and violence being prominent in 2015.  Conflicts around the world may increase and escalate.  Hostilities may overtake the benefits of the sheep year for some people. 

Sheep like to spend money and love being part of the crowd.  So expect some financial improvement in the economy and more focus on consumerism.  Some people will find it a great year to generate wealth.  Although most of the news is good for relationships, commerce, and wealth during the Sheep year, be careful of misunderstandings and hostility in your environment and the world in 2015.

If you are looking for a 2015 day planner – check out Your Ideal Hawaii Day Planner for 2015.