Monday, January 16, 2023

All Good Things....

 Well, Campers, while I normally write my Monday missives on Sunday, this particular one is being written and posted on Saturday.  So, if something particularly newsworthy occurred on this past weekend (Say...Sarge gives us all a raise) that won't be reported until next week.  One can hope!

Why, you may ask?  Well, the juvat personnel delivery vehicle, and driver, have been contracted by Little Juvat to transport him to Austin Bergstrom Airport for his return flight to Honk Honk.  Since the flight is being done on the Government's dime and they are notoriously noted for being extremely frugal with spending (/sarc), this trip should only take him 35 to 36 hours in transit.

So, he's got that to look forward to.

On the serious side, it has been fabulous having the family able to get together on a more regular basis this past several months. And... Having the entire family sitting around the table eating dinner and telling stories, now, THAT was great.

The complications associated with the birth of our second granddaughter at 27 weeks notwithstanding, a lot of family bonding took place to help deal with that.  She's still on a breathing machine and also still has a feeding tube in use, but, she is taking more bottle and breast milk.

So...Progress.   Now that also is great! 

For the next couple of weeks, LJW and LJD will be staying in the guest room in our house.  The various equipment attachments can require more than two hands to handle, so having those extra hands immediately available is advised.  Once the tubes are no longer required, we'll re-evaluate quarters.

One of the other beneficial aspects of having Little Juvat home was help with various projects.  Having a physical equipment IT expert available was extremely advantageous.  Especially if he he was somewhat bored and needed some project to take his mind off "Things".

As many of you are aware, we live out in the country about 10 miles from the nearest town.  Which makes internet access, well, problematic.  We have had a wireless connection from one of the providers in town for several years.  The best they could do was about 4-5 Mbps.  OK-not great.  Streaming video AKA TV was "not optimum".  Little J got involved and....

Yeah, we're up with Elon and his gang.  So far this has been fabulous.  But, Little J went one step further.  Since we've also got two guest houses, he planned out the equipment requirements needed to broadcast our signal to them.  (Yes, Beans, I wrote the check).  We hired a wiring guy to do the cabling for the houses and get up on the roof and attach the antennas.  (Money is less important than no broken bones.) 

End Result?  Our guests have similar bandwidth access numbers.  Happier guests = Better Reviews=More know what.

We're very happy with that project and couldn't have done it without him.  Speaking of projects, a while ago I had posted a couple of columns about the Christmas project I was building for Mrs. J.  I even promised pictures.  So....

 Mrs. J had asked me to make her a new desk.  The one she had was a roll top handed down from my Dad who'd bought it when he went to University of Oklahoma in the 60's.  She wanted something a little bit "more modern".  So, having always wanted to try this technique.

I decided on a "River Table".  Learned a lot from the project, not the least of which is...

Some sanding is involved.

But, after sanding and polishing.

Not too bad, if I do say so myself!

Unfortunately, when filling in gaps on the bottom, some Epoxy Resin migrated its way to the top, so the current stage of the project is...

You guessed it, more sanding and then more polishing.  I have high hopes of completion by the End of the Month.  Mrs J. did give me Papal Dispensation to spend time with Family while they were in town instead of by myself in the workshop.  So.  I've got had that going for me.  

But, I don't have to plan what I'm going to be doing this next week. So...I've got that going for me.

On a final note, last week's post had an excellent comment, albeit from an anonymous source, which contained several excellent suggestions on how to improve Estate Plan Execution between generations.  Suffice it to say, the discussion after dinner with MBD and Little J about "Things" and our "Plans" while somber was well received.  I've contacted our Attorney, CPA and Financial Advisor and explained what we wanted record wise from them.  All were very happy to provide (We know them personally as well as professionally) and offered a few other good suggestions.  Trustee Identification Number being one.  This will help the Executor handle financial transactions (e.g. Mortgage payements and other bills) while the Trust is being settled.  Something to consider.  More to follow as I get into the execution of those suggestions.

That's all for now.  Gotta make the Austin Run.  Mrs. J only authorized me 15 swear words.  That is likely to make the trip quite difficult.

Peace out, y'all.  


  1. That desktop is incredible! Nice work!

    1. Thanks, Sarge. I was pretty happy with it and enthused about completion in time for Christmas. Got in a touch of a hurry and....
      Gonna start re-working the far side of the top in that picture where the epoxy came around the corner. The restock of high grit sanding discs is due to day. Surprisingly, the epoxy dust provides a pretty good example of what I'll look like when completely gray.

  2. When you need to "improve Estate Plan Execution between generations".... you've done a good job with your finances!

    1. Rob,
      You're right, but having been through the episode with both my and Mrs J's father, I've got a pretty good idea of the ramifications. And both of them were very meticulous in their "plan". Whatever will be, will be. But, as much as possible, I'd like to reduce the stress.

    2. Yes, Estate Planning. For my circumstances, an Estate Lawyer suggested a "Revokable Living Trust" (meaning I can alter it or bail out while living). All my assets are technically not my own but the Trust's (day to day it is transparent I pay bills, taxes, etc.). But if dead or incapacitated, two other (trusted) Trustees have the same power to act on paying bills and handling affairs. My will does not have to go through probate (and taxes)

    3. Don,
      Yep, that's what we have also. I think it's still the best option, but am going to discuss it with the pro's to make sure and make sure that what we want to happen is what will happen. But all the advantages you list are correct. Thanks, I dug the original out, just to make sure. That alone was worth the effort.

  3. Improved connectivity and speed, not too shabby and that table, sweet! Helped to have all hands-on deck for the littlest one, eh?

    1. Nylon,
      He powered it on and as soon as I got the go signal, downloaded a movie. Probably wasn't 10 seconds before it started. He downloaded all the Star Wars and subsequent follow on sequels Saturday to be able to watch while traveling. Didn't take long. Just as an FYI, right now I've got what starLink calls "Best Effort" connectivity. Since their satellite network isn't fully populated yet, they warned us of the potential for "less than full bandwidth" downloads occasionally. We've experienced a few of them so far.

      The worst of them is FAR better than the best of our previous provider. So...We've got that going for us.

      Highly recommend.

  4. Crusty Old TV Tech here. In the 70's, the sign of a prosperous East Texas homestead was a C-Band TVRO dish out back (and a Shelbygas butane tank next to it). Nowadays, it's a Starlink flat-panel array I would guess. Will be interesting to see how stable the link is with weather, since it's K-band.

    1. COTT,
      Haven't had any significant weather since install, but what little we had was unnoticeable. We'll keep you informed. It's still "Winter in Texas", so all bets are off.
      I do remember those dishes while I was in Lubbock. Yeah, jealousy was high for us broke college kids.

    2. So Starlink uses the Ku band, which is immensely more forgiving of "rain fade" aka atmospheric interference than Ka band.

  5. I will echo Sarge. Awesome work indeed

    1. JiP,
      Thanks, However, "And miles to go before I sleep" is roaming round my head.

  6. After a long visit, it must be tough to turn them loose again. I know I hated to leave my folks after a long visit. We had a couple of those during college. Having room for LJW&D is a blessing, too. Well done.

    That table looks grand!! and getting Starlink is pretty cool too. A little of the Jetson's is coming to pass in F-burg.

    1. STxAR,
      Yeah the trip to ABI started out pretty quiet for Little J and I. About Stonewall, I asked him if he was ok. He said "I didn't think leaving would be this hard." I responded, "It always is, welcome to being a Dad and Husband."
      We had some interesting discussions for the remainder of the trip.

      Thanks, still got a bit of work to do, but "End in sight" is starting to appear.

  7. Ah, the wonders of traveling to Honk Honk. Nighean Gheal had her own set of adventures getting there - I cannot believe that flight can be accomplished in less that 24 hours given everything (but her stories of trying to get to Milan were worse. Never use Turkish Airlines. End of Statement). Good luck to him.

    How wonderful you got to spend time with everyone. We had a much smaller version of that this Christmas (no grandchildren of course) which while equally unexpected, was equally welcome.

    Starlink makes me jealous. One issue here at The Ranch is our Interweb is just this side of two cans and a string - and the fact you can broadcast it? That makes for even more interesting possibilities.

    Good work on the "preparations" (as if you need my huzzah there). One thing I would recommend, based on recent experience, is have your letters of Power of Attorney in physical and scanned in/pdf form. Amazing how often you will need those.

    I am excited to see the desk in finished form.

    Less than 15 swear words driving in any urban environment is, I believe, almost an impossibility.

    1. THBB,
      He's asleep in the Frankfurt United Premier lounge as we speak. (I guess traveling commercial around the world and back generates a fair amount of mileage privileges ) There are, unfortunately, a lot of "Turkish Airlines" to avoid nowadays. Southwest anyone?
      Yeah, Christmas was fabulous, Family is the best gift possible.
      I'd look into Starlink and it's availability in your area. It took about 3 -4 months after we signed up to get to the top of the installation list, but the service makes it totally worthwhile.
      Yep, all three of my advisor/friends said the same thing. My intention, as my anonymous advisor recommended, together a letter explaining in plain English what Mrs. J and I want to happen, who to talk to first, their contact information and copies of the actual documents, both printed and electronic in a certified mail envelope and mail it to them. Then next visit, sit down with them and walk through it to answer any questions or explain better. They can then use those documents to make notes, which we would initial, for future use. Yes, not completely legal, but useful in better explaining our wishes to the experts.
      Re: The desk in finished form. SO AM I! ;-)
      15 swear words. Good enough for The 'Burg to Dripping Springs. Woefully inadequate from there to the Airport.

  8. All the way to Austin? Wouldn't San Antonio be closer? Maybe it's not a big enough of an airport I suppose. Although while San Antonio may not be the biggest airport, it is not some backwoods terminal either.

    I may want to talk to you about that trust issue at some time in the future.

    Did you ever see video of a 747 on approach to the old airport in Honk honk? Pretty cool to see such a big plane making 45° angle of bank turn over downtown.

    1. Tuna,
      Nah, the distances are about the same (with the same amount of construction). And you know the way the gummint works for us nobody people. Cheapest fare, most enroute plane changes, longest layovers as well as longest possible flight path. Because nobody who can pay for other options takes those. So...
      Did I ever see the 747 video. Does looking out the window as it's being done count? First visit to HK a long long time ago...when I was fearless.
      Re:Trust Issues. Tuna, you've just got to release your fears and go with the force.
      On a more serious note, you know how to get hold of me. Anytime.

  9. History just keeps rolling on and folks don't really notice it because that, fill in your favorite disaster, won't happen to them. Guys and gals should all have wills before leaving home. That's a Mom and Pop influence that is frequently ignored.

    Depending on how large an estate you have, you don't have to be filled up with paperwork. Have one of your kids on the primary bank account. If you kick off unexpectedly, there are no restrictions on moving money. Put one of your kids on the house mortgage and again, there is no break in continuity. If you are one of the few get out of debt and stay out of debt families, it is even easier.

    Wills shouldn't be shhhhh super secret documents. Let everyone in the family know what's what so there aren't any squabbles or troubles and if there are multiple copies in different locations, there isn't the problem of the lost will. Also, if you live in a state with mandatory probate, pay an attorney to figure out the least painful exit plan.

    Years ago, a grumpy Air Force pilot did not pay attention to the Dash One warnings and crashed. The commanders and the chaplain showed up at the wife's front door. Because the commander was a typical AF bull colonel, neither he nor the squadron commander knew that this pilot had divorced his wife and family for a California fluff. He didn't update his will or his insurance paperwork. Upon hearing of his untimely passing, the wife started dancing and the bosses just got up and left because they didn't really know the situation. The rest of us thought that his failing to update paperwork was a good thing because everything went to his ex and kids.

    Estate planning isn't hard. Just do get it done.


    1. Dave,
      Sounds like the Guy upstairs took care of things. I'd have been on your side of thinking in that incident.

      I'm not sure if it was AF Policy or whether it was our Squadron CC's requirement, but having a will was a in-processing requirement. Gave me a bit of "motivation" to get it done. After that, it's pretty easy to keep it up to speed. I'm pretty sure that part is in good shape. The Trust and Investments should be also, although we need to think through Grandkids.
      Having a kid as a primary seems like a pretty good idea. Not that I don't trust you, but I think I'm going to run it past the folks with various letters after their names to see what they think.

    2. Juvat, the highly washed don't always appreciate simple, especially if it takes away a buck or two from their pocketbook. If a name is on the document -- mortgage, bank account or otherwise, and you kick off, the other individual has full authority immediately. This system has worked successfully in several states that I have been involved in. It gives the family plenty of time to get the final bills and clean up accomplished easily and without any heartburn. But, run it by your men to make sure your state doesn't have hidden trip wires.

      As a note, one of my buddy's dad purchased a coffin at Costco when it was on deep discount sale. My buddy started to lift off for the moon when visiting his dad as they started working in the garage where the box was stored and it couldn't be missed. His dad put it into perspective: He would be buried in the same plot as his wife. The funeral costs were already paid for. The casket was inexpensive and there would be minimal cost to the family. Of course, they were pilots.

      Mandatory probate states are problematic because the government wants a big bite of the pie and the family has to jump through hoops like a circus animal.

      Keeping the will secret is also a big problem reliever as it cuts down on lots of trouble. Such as: "That's not what, Mom, Dad insert another name, told me that I was supposed to get when they passed away. There are no big problems when the will is openly known. Along those lines, if kids or grand kids or friends like something in particular, tape a note on the back or bottom of the object with their name and the date it was promised. This also solves problems without any muss or fuss.

      All the best,

    3. Dave,
      Thanks, Again, quite a bit of good info and suggestions. The "hidden trip wires" sentence is the reason I still wanted to talk it over with the pro's. I don't know what I don't know.

      That having been said...That last paragraph, are we missing a "Not" in the first sentence? It seems that the first sentence and third are contradictory. No, I'm not an English teacher grading a written composition, just making sure I understand what you're advising.

    4. Yes Juvat. Insert Not before Keeping or scratch secret and insert open. If any grammer Nazis are available, feel free to chime in.

      Before you talk with the attorneys, take the time to read your state's laws on kicking off along with wills both dead dead and living dead. Stop by the bank to ask the banker about banking laws in your state and that bank's rules for when someone on an account dies and the same with the mortgage broker.

      Living wills get complicated quickly and some states will not accept a living will from another state. It helps to let the family know if or when you want the plug pulled. One old guy I knew had Do Not Resuscitate inked on his chest and wrists. It didn't work and he asked the paramedics later why they didn't let him die. They said in their state they had to do everything possible till they got to the hospital.

      I hope this is helpful and in good order as I am thumbing it on a beat up tablet.

    5. Dave,
      No worries, you've provided a lot of good info and ideas. Wanted to make sure I understood what you were suggesting.
      Thanks, it IS very helpful.

  10. Ok, so it was me last week with the end of life planning stuff. Not sure why sometimes I come up as anonymous, and other times as me...computers are NOT one of my superhero skills. I know enough to turn it off, wait a minute or two and then turn it back on before yelling swear words at it, and then calling IT help...but that's about it.

    Glad THE TALK was well received. Guessing that having been made new parents with a baby that had medical issues may have smoothed that path a bit. Just saying. Plus, in my experience, military folks are more receptive and less...freaked out for lack of a better term...than others.

    And, I'm wondering if you are psychic?? I was digging through old posts on Saturday looking to see what Mrs J's Christmas present was...I knew juvet had written about it, but, did I miss it?? The holidays, family stuff, and just plain run off my feet with work made my computer browsing time a bit limited from mid December until the week after New Year's. Couldn't find anything, so I was gonna bug you about it...and now I don't have to. It looks beautiful!!!!

    Hope LJ had a good flight and arrived safe and sound. At least he can zoom, or whatever call...which is a lot better than 40+ years ago when those at home were waiting on a phone call or a letter.


    1. Suz,
      I suspected as much, you've got a distinct writing style so...As I said, good info and we're taking it under advisement.
      As to anonymous. My go to browser is Brave. It's default setting is anonymous. I use Firefox for posting and publishing here and only here. That browser has my credentials attached. Similar situation?
      Re:Military people. I hadn't been at Pilot Training more than a couple of weeks when one of the Senior Class attempted a Double split S. Started about 45K', rolled the jet inverted and started a pull. Got the jet back to level at about 25K' (that's a complete split S). Immediately rolled it inverted again and began the second half of his soon to be famous maneuver. As he pulled through 90 degrees nose low, the jet went supersonic. The Sonic Shock wave disrupted the airflow over the elevators (the flight controls that control up and down. There wasn't enough airpressure on them (or altitude remaining) to recover the jet to level flight. He impacted the ground at about 750K. Suffice it to say there wasn't much left of him.
      The entire Student Squadron was required to visit the hangar where the recovered wreckage was stored during the accident investigation. Sobering is an extremely mild description of that visit.
      I think most of us have somewhat similar (if not as stupid) incidents to prompt us to take care of things.
      LJD's release from the hospital was wonderful, however, I had no idea how much care is still required. With the RTB of Little J, we're pretty much two up, one down for a nap. Progress is visibly happening in her development, but...
      Also, since it was very highly polished, I need only fine grit sandpaper to redo the finish where it got screwed up. The USPS has promised it by 9PM tonight. (It being MLK day and they're Fed Employees, I think they're lying through their teeth, but am hopeful.). So the combination of the two made my workshop time few and far between. Hope to rectify that soon.
      LJ is still in route. His arrival time is Wednesday HK time. Tuesday ours. See what I mean about cheap?

  11. RE: Table. For those following at home, please use lots and lots and lots of PPE when futzing with resin. I knew too many surfboard makers who were permanently baked mentally from the fumes. Not like fighter pilots have too many brain cells to begin with....

    As to 15 swear words, is there a limit on gestures?

    1. Beans,
      Concur with the PPE. Ventilation in the shop is also a good Idea.
      Re: Fighter Pilots. If you had a lot of brain cells to think with, would you fly at 100' and 600K (AKA .166...NM/second). However, the adrenaline surge is awe-inspiring.
      Re: Gestures. No, but the influx of persons from other states with their different cultures makes gesturing "problematic". Jinking to avoid gunshots is best reserved for Air to Air training.

  12. Good news all around, well, other than the BS trip to HK... That table is looking GOOD!


Just be polite... that's all I ask. (For Buck)
Can't be nice, go somewhere else...

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