I was looking for another photo and came across a few I had forgotten about. In 2002 the Collings Foundation flew several WWII aircraft into Tucson International Airport and provided tours.

B-17 Nine-O-Nine
B-17 Nine-O-Nine

Each year the foundation took a few aircraft and toured the country, allowing visitors to tour the aircraft and for a more substantial donation provide sightseeing flights. For those who simply toured the aircraft on the ground they allowed something special, allowing guests to climb through the aircraft and see the inside.

As the airport was just a few minutes from work I had to take advantage of this opportunity. Deb met me for lunch and we headed over together to see the aircraft.

Continue reading “Nine-O-Nine”

SARS-CoV-2 Negative

For now.

SARS-CoV-2 Test Results. Negative... This time.
SARS-CoV-2 Test Results. Negative… This time.

All last week I was suffering mild respiratory symptoms… Sore throat, stuffy and hoarse, mild muscle aches. Of course one immediately considers the worst case, that somehow despite being careful I had contracted COVID-19.

Not out of the realm of possibility, after a long summer of almost no cases our island has had a rash of infections over the last few weeks including a few deaths. The virus is clearly here and in the community.

I got swabbed on Saturday, and after a weekend of wondering I finally got the results on Weds evening.

Oddly enough I found the result while on the phone with my parents. I had told them about the symptoms and testing a few days earlier and they were calling back to hear the results. While I had not gotten an email notifying me of results, I checked the lab web portal anyway while on the phone. Two simple words… Not Detected.

All clear… This time.

While that was a relief to me and my parents they passed on family news.. My brother has tested positive and is now quarantined for a few weeks. While he has shown no symptoms and is fine, I am glad to hear he is taking the diagnoses seriously.

Hurricane Morning

Arousing a bit before sunrise I lay abed and remembered… Isn’t there supposed to be a hurricane?

Hurricane Douglas from Windy on 26 July, 2020
Hurricane Douglas windspeeds from Windy on 26 July, 2020

Um? No wind. No rain.

As I read the morning news I listened to a light rain start, even now an hour later it is still just a soft light rain, not enough for me to stop watering the plants yet.

Hurricane Douglas is centered about 70 miles northeast right now, just off the Hamakua Coast. It appears that Hawaii Island will be spared any real hurricane conditions. Quite a change from forecasts a couple days ago that predicted a direct strike.

Maui, Oahu, and Kauai may see much more of this storm, otherwise it is a very quiet Sunday here in Kohala.

Update: It is now late afternoon… No rain beyond that bit of light rain in the morning, no wind. It has actually been eerily calm all day.

First Storm of the Season

Here we go again.

Hurricane Douglas approaches the islands, GEOS West infrared image at noon, 25 July, 2020
Hurricane Douglas approaches the islands, GEOS West infrared image at noon, 25 July, 2020

Hurricane Douglas is the first hurricane to threaten the islands this season. The storm was a strong category 3 but has weakened a bit. It still packs 100mph winds and is expected to remain a hurricane as it passes.

Fortunately the path has shifted to the north slightly over the last 24 hours. The storm is now expected to miss the islands by a bit. Not by much, but enough to avoid hurricane force winds making landfall.

What we do expect is tropical storm force winds and heavy rain. We are ready for the winds, I secured everything yesterday. The rain? We could use some rain. The best outcome would be a day of good soaking rains on our side of the island.

Yet Another Leak

The joys of home ownership continue, but at least not our house this time.

A split PVC fitting sprays water from the house main water supply line.
A split PVC fitting sprays water from the house main water supply line.

Walking alongside the house I hear running water so I stop and listen. The sound is obviously a bad leak somewhere, but the sound is not coming from our house. Rather it is the other side of the hedge, under Bill and Gail’s house!

I push through the oleander hedge and listen again, yup… a leak.

Walking around I find Gail home and tell her about the leak. I crawl under their lanai to find a small muddy swamp and the leak right where the main line comes in from the street. Fortunately Bill is in already Kona, a few phone calls and a visit to Lowes and he is headed home with the right part for the fix.

It takes Bill and I ten minutes to make the fix, cutting the PVC, screwing in a new fitting, gluing the old line into the new fitting right where the PVC line from the street changes to copper for the house. Bill hands me parts while I play in the mud. We spend more time chatting than making the fix, waiting for the PVC glue to cure before applying pressure to test.

No problem with the repair, it was done right from the start. A problem solved and a good start to the day.

Banana Patch MkII

Back in February it was necessary to perform a distasteful deed… I cut down all of my bananas and used herbicide to kill as much of the root mat as possible. The reason? The plants had been infected with Banana Bunchy Top Virus.

The back yard banana patch has been leveled
The back yard banana patch has been leveled

The virus stunts the growth of the each stalk, with the leaves becoming dwarfed and bunched up at the top giving rise to the virus common name. Nothing to do but to kill the entire clump, wait a while and start over.

That wait is ending. Over the last week I have dug out the banana patch and prepared it to be a productive bed again.

To this end I have dug a small pit where the old patch was located. About twelve feet by eight, and about 18″ deep. This will be the new banana patch.

Continue reading “Banana Patch MkII”

Fixing a Hole Where the Rain Comes In

A leak in my wife’s sewing room? She is not happy with water dripping on her sewing machine.

Removing shingles and fixing  a leak under the solar hot water panels
Removing shingles and fixing a leak under the solar hot water panels

The leak is right under the solar hot water panels. Hmmm, is one of the mounting points leaking? This might be a PITA to fix.

Getting up on the roof and inspecting reveals this is not likely the case, there is another likely cause… ants. Just under the panel I find that a few shingles are in bad shape, and there are Hawaiian carpenter ants scurrying about when I break away a bit of the failed shingle.

It appears that the cooler environment under the solar panels was to the ants liking and they moved in. A downside to solar panels I had not considered.

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Mango Season

Mango season is here! We have been eating ripe mangoes for a few weeks now. Mango on ceral, mango smoothies, and a whole dryer load packed up and sent to my mango loving mother in Oregon.

For some reason the fruit on our big tree seems to have come from two different sets, with the first fruit ripening almost a month ago and the majority of the fruit just coming on now after a lull.

Not a huge crop this year, but plenty for our needs. We will be eating mango for a while longer.

A breakfast of granola topped with plenty of fresh mango
A breakfast of granola topped with plenty of fresh mango


Being home for a while has let me finish up the ongoing landscaping project in the back yard. The last earth moving is in process with the area taking on the final configuration, just stacking rocks and some more planting to do.

Also need to get more mulch from the county green waste facility, at least three trailer loads.

New landscaping in the back yard begins to look complete...
New landscaping in the back yard begins to look complete…

More Vehicle Maintenance

Along with the sway bar links there was an EGR valve in that box of parts that arrived a couple weeks ago. This weekend that valve was replaced.

Replacing an EGR valve on the 2006 Explorer
Replacing an EGR valve on the 2006 Explorer

Again I hit the YouTube auto manual before doing the job in order to size up exactly what would be needed. Ouch! That does not look fun. Indeed the videos made it look like a real knuckle buster to get out.

In one video the mechanic has to pound away with a mallet and breaks a 10mm socket in the process of removing the valve body bolts.

Continue reading “More Vehicle Maintenance”