On The Road Again!

pink-flower.jpg
floating-market.jpg

angkor-wat-sunrise.jpg

I always loved that Willie Nelson song, but more than the verse, I love to travel.

“Get Your Motor Running”

I like that song too. Maybe I was Born to Be Wild! So we’re off again. To SE Asia this time.

Originally we were headed for just Vietnam but you pretty much have to go through Bangkok to get there (that is if the airport reopens !#$&*!) and all those countries (Thailand, Cambodia and Vietnam) are so close we ended up planning a circle route touching on them all but spending the majority of our time in Vietnam.

A big circle I might add. Honolulu – Japan where we overnight to regroup before proceeding on to Bangkok for 3 days, next embarcing on Hanoi in North Vietnam. We’ll work our way down south stopping a 2-3 spots along the way eventually ending up in Ho Chi Minh City (formerly known as Saigon), from HCMC to Siem Reap in Cambodia to visit Angkor Wat.

Angkor Wat, a UNESCO World Heritage Center, is a centuries old temple complex whose construction spanned 4 centuries! I can’t wait and will report back after I’ve seen these wonderful places live and in person.

Aloha, “Mikie”

Mikie Likes It LLC
Realtor Referrals

Michelle Kerr
(Principal Broker/Owner)

Phone: (808) 896-1943
eMail: Mike@MikeSells.com
website: MikeSells.com

Detroit, Housing Experts & Grocers Too

I noticed something interesting in the paper this morning in the food adverts. You know the insert that comes on Tuesday showing all the stuff that’s going to be on sale starting tomorrow. How many times I’ve caught myself in the checkout line handing my coupons to the cashier a day before the special -ugh, not again. Why do they do that?

But what struck me as bizarre was a coupon special for Cool Whip. Four tubs of Cool Whip for $5. Turning the page I noticed a similar one for Philly cream cheese; 4 for $6 or whatever it was. I mean, I don’t know about you but Cool Whip and Philadelphia Cream Cheese just don’t seem to be things most people want to stock up on these days.  cool-whip.jpg

I understand they need to move stock, but these are times that call for loaves of bread or jugs of milk on special. That’s what people want and need. It’s like offering free gas for a year to entice you to buy that guzzler car, OR PRE-PAID MAINTENANCE FEES IF YOU’LL JUST TAKE THIS CONDO OFF OUR HANDS.

You see, it’s no longer about the enticements, we’re down to the hardtack here. Detroit should not get more federal dollars to keep doing the same thing inefficiently at an ungodly price. My husband is from Detroit (see It’s A Guy Thing), he put himself through college working in the Ford Mustang plant. He said then, and that was donkey’s years ago,

“You could train a monkey to do most of those jobs with fewer call-backs and for a lot less money.”

Of course turning back the albatross is the conundrum. Detroit has to now figure out how to make reliable cars that people want to buy and do it at a profit (there’s a concept), just like developers need to create housing more sustainable, functional and far less costly and yes, the whole mega pharma/corporate/food formula needs to be revamped. You can’t keep picking food before it’s ripe, transporting it miles and miles away wrapped in expensive nonbiodegradable packaging. It too expensive, what fewer and fewer people want and it’s proving inefficient too (remember those beef recalls and what about the bad lettuce or was it peppers?). You get my point, we’ve got to THINK LOCAL!

I admit I don’t know the answer. I do know this is the CHANGE WE NEED.

Aloha, “Mikie”

Mikie Likes It LLC
Realtor Referrals

Michelle Kerr
(Principal Broker/Owner)

Waikoloa, Hawaii
Phone: (808) 896-1943
eMail: Mike@MikeSells.com
website: MikeSells.com

Trouble Brewing Over Electric Rates

It’s a problem when you have a virtual monopoly and an inefficient Public Utilities Commission to boot. Being an island in a small group of islands further away from any other land mass than possibly anywhere else in the world does foster some problems and not just with electric service. (I know, I shouldn’t say things like this, but hey I gotta be honest. It’s that old paradise tax again, and even though it’s my choice, I can still “witch” about it.)

The old phone company, Hawaiian Tel had as their slogan, “Beyond the Call” but the reality most customers experienced was far short of the call.

When I opened my new RE/MAX franchise in Waimea about twelve years ago we’d planned the transition down to a T, with every possible contingency in mind, or so I thought. The phone installation was scheduled for Friday afternoon, but long story short I knew I was in trouble when the installer showed up (late as usual), took one look at our phone system and said he was not familiar with that type and didn’t know why they sent him to install it.

Yikes! There I was. The best laid plans out the window. To be fair, the installer really dug in and tried his best to make my system work. I don’t know how much overtime he got, but it was after dark when he finally left.  He was able to jury rig it so we could receive calls, we just couldn’t call out. Sweet. We did survive (with extensions brought in from home so we could call out) until they properly installed the system about a week later, but if I didn’t lose a few years off my life, I know it did contribute to my grey hair! . . . ;o).

Anyway, the monopoly getting under most people’s skin these days is HELCO. To raise rates they must get the nod from the PUC, but they are able to add surcharges for fuel and non-fuel costs and there’s the rub. Going to the HELCO website in researching this blog post I tried to get a simple kwh rate, but it was impossible.

After flipping through page after page which all seemed to refer to other sources, I still could not get a figure and I think this is intentional, but the bottom line with all add-ons and surcharges for my 2-person household my electric cost for a month was $0.46/kilowatt hour. Ten months ago it was 34.9 cents/kwh, a sizable jump in less that a year. Most recently we have seen pleas in the news from Cathy Barrett of Kailua Candy Company who has had to let go 25% of her staff and reduce remaining staff hours by 20% to help pay their electric bill saying:

“Our bill monthly is more than our lease rent on our 6,000 sf property.”

Residential customers are screaming too and even with Governor Lingle’s energy goals, we’ve got a long way to go!

Aloha, “Mikie”

Mikie Likes It LLC
Realtor Referrals

Michelle “Mike” Kerr
(Principal Broker/Owner)

Waikoloa, Hawaii
Phone: (808) 896-1943
eMail: Mike@MikeSells.com
website: MikeSells.com