I wrote this years ago. I probably published it years ago. It was in my ‘drafts’ folder. Here you go.

It was worth the listing fee to be the first person in history to use an Ebay ad as a blog. Somewhere in here there is a beautiful home and potential B&B for sale as well. In the safest place on earth.

I have cleared up some confusion about insurance, volcanoes, hurricanes and dissed the government. What more can you ask? I have observed people for sixty years. Most folks are basically nice….but some of them….well, ‘clueless’ is too impolite a word; ‘dumb’ is too pointed, so maybe I can say they don’t necessarily have a well-developed sense of situational awareness. Some don’t even seem to be from this planet. But life is a lot of fun here. For instance, we see a lot of Botox and we keep a few fresh jokes on hand to test Botox suspects. If you tell a really great joke and they go “Snark, snark”, but their face doesn’t move, you just won a buck. Here is some Hollywood gossip from a recent personal observation: Reba McEntire doesn’t have a face full of Botox and she’s a darn nice person, in person.

I used to try and explain risk management. It is a simple fact of life that homeowner’s insurance does not cover earthquakes, landslides or flood. If one of those is involved, you are not insured. Period. But there isn’t much you can do; people simply won’t believe their insurance doesn’t cover everything. So I let it go and we discuss the local culture. “Is the food here any good?” It will be today, Ma’am. The animal shelter just made a delivery. “Do I need sunscreen in Hawaii?” No, Sir. The ultraviolet exposure index is only eleven or twelve. And it’s cloudy anyway. “How long does it take to drive to Honolulu from Hilo?” Ummm…..let’s see…..it’s over three hundred miles. I’d plan a whole day for it. “Is it going to rain?” RAIN! IN HILO?!?! Fugeddaboudit! “And by the way, here’s your sign. Wear it while you are in Hawaii, please! It’ll save everyone a lot of time.”

If your mainland (or any) home is within a declared disaster area, you will have the great pleasure of dealing with FEMA, AKA ‘The Disaster Agency’. The Peter Principle says anything that can possibly go wrong will. The Government, and I am tempted to call it the Bush Principle, has worked through that. They are able to take normal, commonplace, everyday activities and turn them into complete disasters. But only after they have made absolutely sure that there is no possible way the problem they created can ever be mitigated. New Orleans is in more danger now than when FEMA got there. The BEST you can hope for from them is a complete IRS audit because five minutes after FEMA gets your name, the IRS knows you have lost all your receipts. They don’t target people that way? OH, YES THEY DO!

See, FEMA is part of Homeland Security, the biggest…….er… the second biggest joke of the century. The same Homeland Security that makes you take off your shoes in the airport to see if they are stuffed with explosives and blasting caps. Not surprisingly, THEY HAVE NEVER FOUND ANY! I am sure explosive shoes would be a huge problem if they didn’t check. The things Richard Reid (the ‘shoe bomber’) was wearing looked like overstuffed chunks of pizza dough with fuses hanging out. He was also ratty, unshaven and acting psychotic. No wonder he got through security. They probably thought he was Keith Richards.

But look where they want you to walk barefoot. The airport security line floor? There are bloody scabs, body fluids, AIDS, Ebola, H5E1, flesh-eating virus, drug-resistant staph superbugs, every STD in the world, tuberculosis, worms, parasites, little bugs hopping off people…hey, for all I know that guy just ahead of me has a pocket full of anthrax spores or smallpox and is dribbling it onto the floor. But no, we are looking for explosives in footwear….and not enough to damage an aircraft. At best the idiot might burn a few of his toes. So they want me to take off my shoes, walk through that sewer and then use my hands to put my shoes back on over whatever I just stepped in so I can take it home and and share it with my family? Not a chance, pal. I’m not checking in to a Supermax prison. I’m the one the government says they are protecting, but I feel more like a criminal and I’m not going to walk in a sewer. So I either wear disposable surgical scrubs or paint my feet with latex and let them peel it off in the strip-search room while they are running the latex through the explosives sniffer (no, I am not kidding). While people out in the line are trying to get their shoes off, their kids are crawling on the floor putting sticky lumps of hair in their mouth. GAAAAAAAAA!

Making people take off their shoes in airports is probably the best possible vector for spreading a pandemic or helping a terrorist attack and we are doing it to ourselves. The most ridiculous bit is that one trained profiler asking each passenger two or three questions and one trained security staffer who shoots the ones who don’t answer correctly could stop 99.9 % of potential problems without ever inconveniencing anyone. Instead, the most unemployable people available are hired to perform a task for which they have no expertise, no grasp of the technology involved, and no interest in what they are doing. So they confiscate your water bottle. That’s not security. It is not even a good pretense. It’s just a show the government puts on so you think they are actually doing something. They aren’t. There is no such thing as airport security. I am really tempted to write a book and lay all of this out. It’s a farce. They know it, you know it, I know it. Any serious engineering team can beat any security system or smuggle anything at all in or out of the country. It’s just not that complicated. How would they find liquid explosive breast implants? Their newest idea is a lot better though, because I do feel much safer knowing there is probably a senator or congressman in the next bathroom stall watching out for me.

Insurance is a brilliant concept. It is sold as ‘protection’ but it isn’t. It doesn’t ‘protect’ you. An insurance company is like a casino. You place a wager that your house is going to burn down or you are going to die and they cover the bet because you are betting against YOURSELF. Friend, whenever you bet against yourself, it’s a sucker bet. You can’t win unless you lose everything you own or die. And then you will discover you are either not insured at all (earthquake, etc.) or underinsured, or you can’t prove your loss. They won’t reimburse the amount of the coverage you are paying for. They will only pay the amount of loss you can PROVE. No matter how much insurance you think you have, you don’t. if your home burns down, it isn’t enough, and it isn’t going to make things right or restore any sense of normalcy. Things will never be ‘normal’ again. And your family will hate you for being an idiot. I used to see commercials from a well known baby food company trying to sell toddler insurance to start protecting your baby early. Protect, hell, the policy only pays if the baby dies.

“It’s all right, Dear! We’re insured.” Think about it. You aren’t. The insurance company might replace the walls but the new, empty house is going to smell like wet ashes for years…..or a barbeque pit if no one got home before little Fluffy went up like a Roman candle! Poor thing, scrabbling at the wall until…

Insurance can’t restore a lifetime of memories and personal effects or the kids pictures…all the family keepsakes and heirlooms things that make your life ‘yours’… all the stuff you saved; your grandmother’s wedding ring, the first pair of shoes, family heirlooms, pictures, diplomas….everything. Gone forever. Your personal things, your favorite things, the one-of-a-kind things. You can get on with your life but you can never get back what you lost. And you have usually lost everything. The insurance company can’t take you back in time to re-live those special moments or the thousands of memories of the vacations and the graduations and the weddings. Or the treasures hidden under your bed. It’s not the house you want to save. It’s the contents. In California you can’t do that; there isn’t time. In Hawaii, there is. You can always get another house. People move all the time. What you can’t replace are the things which make it your home. That’s the point. Not the dollar amount of your insurance. That figure is meaningless.

SoCal burns down every five years or so and destroys thousands of homes and everything in them. Lava comes through Hawaii every thousand years and destroys five homes. But not the contents (unless you didn’t bother to move them, figuring you will get new stuff. But then you are negligent and…no insurance). And there is another astounding fact about Hawaii: Rainforests don’t burn.

A lot of people lose interest in this home when they realize the island is volcanic (like ALL islands, California, Washington and most of the rest of the earth) and I tell them there is a volcano insurance cap of 100K on the house. Many of those same people live and own…or….owned, until they burned down, homes in Southern California where there are more active volcanoes than in Hawaii and a hundred times more earthquakes. Maybe that last Botox shot went a little too deep. The San Andreas fault runs right down the length of the state and NO ONE in California has earthquake insurance but everyone thinks they do. Earthquakes are an excluded risk on EVERY insurance policy. But insurance DOES cover….volcanoes.

Hurricanes: Almost the entire eastern seaboard of the U.S. is at or below sea level. There is nothing to stop a hurricane from coming ashore anywhere, anytime and doing huge amounts of damage. Hurricanes are made of wind. The Big Island is made of rock. Over 4,000 square miles in area and almost 14,000 feet high in two places. It’s the biggest rock in the world. Bigger than Mount Everest. Wind doesn’t bother us. Hurricanes simply disintegrate if they get too close. This island has never been hit by a hurricane. 500 foot tidal wave? The west coast is gone. The Big Island will survive.

Volcanoes: MILLIONS of people a year come to see our volcanoes since Mark Twain wrote about them in the 1800s. They are not explosive volcanoes, they are mild and beautiful. And the lava flows about one mile an hour when it flows. Kilauea has been erupting since 1983. It’s one of our main tourist attractions. It’s not dangerous. Most of the world’s premiere astronomical observatories are on top of Mauna Kea. There has been a volcano observatory on top of Mauna Loa since the 1800s watching Mauna Loa and Kilauea. It’s still there. Same place. No one in modern history has ever died from a volcano here, although once a tourist went and stood exactly where he was told not to stand and fell through a skylight into a lava tube. Made a “pssssst’ noise and a little puff of steam, that’s about it. Happened so fast he didn’t have time to say “OH, SH……”.

This home is at the edge of a narrow area of land called Lava Zone 1. It is insured but, because it is just inside Lava Zone 1, there is a volcano damage insurance cap on the dwelling for $100,000. Lava did come through this area, before Columbus discovered America but , if it happened again, you would have a week or two to make arrangements to move your possessions and even the house. And that, my friends, is unique in the world. It will never get too cold here, or too hot, and you can’t starve. It’s impossible. Food falls off the trees all year long and grilled rat isn’t so bad once you get used to munching on the tiny little feet. But some people prefer beef or fish and we have the largest privately owned cattle ranch in America on this island. Parker Ranch. There is fresh fish local every day and lobster in season. So, logically, moving to Hawaii tomorrow is the best possible survival technique there is!

I want to live a few years in the Pacific Northwest. To sit by a stream trying to hook a brook trout with a fly rig…..or just pretend to fish, drink a few cold beers and listen to the birds is starting to appeal to me. If you have cash or a free-and-clear all-season home on some wooded acreage with a trout stream or two up in the wilds somewhere, even off the grid is fine, give me a call. Maybe we can work something out.

Hawaii is a very liberal state. You can go to a doctor and get a prescription for marijuana and you can grow enough for yourself and two friends…supposedly they also have prescriptions. But it’s not a firearm-friendly state. Even retired Hawaii police officers can’t carry concealed firearms here. Of course we have almost no crime, but we still have the Second Amendment. As luck would have it, I still believe everyone has the absolute right to protect themselves and their property. So the bottom line is that I am going back to a pro-gun state where people aren’t afraid of psychotic high school kids in long coats. in 95% of these cases, everyone knows in advance the suspects are nutloafs, but no one does anything. After the little creeps execute victims they KNOW can’t fight back, someone blames it on the gun, but if he didn’t have one he’d do it with a can of gas. Hey kid. Pull that 9mm out in a free carry state instead in a room full of unarmed, pampered, liberal students and see what happens. You just declared yourself to be an adult and initiated a gunfight. Don’t be surprised if people don’t just cower in fear until you walk up and shoot them. Most Americans won’t do that. About ten MILLION of us will demonstrate proper tactical shooting skills for you right on the spot.

People here are still building as fast as they can because the next wave of forty-niners from California is coming again, just like they did after the 2003 fire. Are they building new houses in Lava Zone 1? Of course. You can look it up on the county website. Forest fires, floods and the San Andreas fault are problems we don’t have. This house is still here, still safe, still peaceful. But it’s not as quiet at night anymore. The frogs are singing their song. A lot of people can’t hear them, but they are getting too loud for me. Then again, a new warning just went on Viagra bottles that taking it can make you go deaf, so most of you baby boomers could live here, no problem.

I’ll admit the insurance is high. About two bucks a day. But the property tax is ……….wait for it……….. less than $100 a year. And hey!

You can keep the sign. 🙂

Oh….what about the house? I suppose I ought to put in a few particulars. I’m sending a camera crew out to do a shoot of the place. When it is cut and edited, I’ll put it on the Internet somewhere, but I told them no rush.

This property abuts a private land trust. The adjacent lot is for sale. We have no heating or cooling bills but we have cable and Dish TV and high speed Internet.

The property includes lemon, tangerine, fig, avocado, papaya, passion fruit, coconut, breadfruit (ulu) and guava. There is a lava rock wall and locking gate. Mail delivery, paved streets. There is a 16,000 gallon concrete catchment system and it’s overflowing. We get a lot of rain here.

Inclusive in the sale of the property: A 4 month old $1800.00 riding mower with extended warranty, second riding mower with trailer hitch and street legal trailer, 15 gallon sprayer operated on and from new riding mower, 7.5 hp chipper/shredder, three year old top of the line oven, two similar refrigerators, washer, dryer, a new “whole house” Bosch Aqua Star water heater, 2 weed-eaters, 2 back pack Solo sprayers and miscellaneous gardening tools. The two car garage has a concrete floored attached storage shed 10’x16′ filled with miscellaneous lumber and the attached screened 12 x 20 concrete floored addition is accessible through an interior 40″ wide door; perfect for wood working. House also has a triple osmosis filtration system and additional under house filters. There are three independent garden sheds on the property. Two sheds are 8’x11′ and one is 6′ x 8′ allowing for waterproof storage of all lawn and garden equipment and additional storage. There is a highly prized Sandalwood tree on the property line also old growth. This home and property are free and clear, not on lease land. Complete title will transfer. Want more pictures? Yours for the asking!

The mapquest map is accurate; you can see that the property backs to a private trust. Sperling’s Best places has demographics here: http://www.bestplaces.net/city/Leilani_Estates_HI-51544562000.aspx although they are not representative of the average home price in this particular neighborhood which is in the high 300s to mid 400s. This is the third most popular area on the Big Island, the other two being Hilo and Kailua-Kona, our two largest cities. But the prices and weather are better here. http://www.trulia.com/home_prices/Hawaii/Hawaii_County-heat_map/

You can find out almost anything you want to know from the official local source: The county government. http://co.hawaii.hi.us/

We are in the Puna district of Hawaii County, the fastest growing area in the state because real estate is still undervalued. We have property booms every few years and they will continue as long as the earth exists. Thanks for visiting!