Monthly Archives: June 2016

Never underestimate an underachiever. We’re capable of less than you think.

Nvidia Shield K1 Update

I mentioned in a past post that I had purchased the Nvidia K1 as my first Android tablet. It came delivered with the Android 5.1. While the Android 6.0 system was available for upgrade immediately, I elected to hold off.

I had read the Nvidia forums and had seen that those that had taken the upgrade, were having terrible problems to the point that many returned the device for refund.

Recently, the forums have changed, after over 6 months of bitter complaining, to saying the new updates were working well.

After watching for a week, I decided to upgrade. It four hours to install the two updates. It went smoothly and is operating well. None of the problems, previously mentioned, are present.

I still feel that the Nvidia Shield K1 is a good tablet and certainly much cheaper than the similar sized iPad minis.

This post was written on the Nvidia Shield K1.

I can’t be the only person who’s noticed that only flat animals cross the road

Tom McCormack’s Container #17 – Arrives June 30

I just received the following message from Tom McCormack. His latest container should unload Thursday (June 30) around 8AM. Here is a link to a previous container unloading.

Hi Don,
Last news. The driver of the mula is in line waiting to be loaded first thing in the morning.

So you can announce that the loading will start 8AM at the bodaga beside IFARU on Thursday. Any changes will be announced.
Thanks Don Spent all day today with a film crew from TVN.They are waiting to film the unloading.

Message for U.S. Citizens: Voting in 2016 U.S. Elections

Following is the latest ACS message:

July 4th Voting Message

Celebrate democracy this 4th of July by taking the necessary steps to vote in the 2016 U.S. elections!

In order to vote in the November 2016 elections, all overseas U.S. citizens need to have completed a Federal Post Card Application (FPCA) in 2016. Whether you are a first-time voter or have already received ballots and voted absentee in past elections, you must complete an FPCA each year to participate in elections as an overseas absentee voter.

You can always get voting assistance from the embassy/consulate or drop off your completed voting forms and ballots, addressed to your local election officials, during the following hours:

The American Citizen Service (ACS) unit at Embassy Panama will accept ballots during regular business hours Monday thru Thursday from 8:00 AM to 3:00 PM and Fridays from 8:00 AM to 11:00 AM. Citizens do not need an appointment to drop off their ballots.

Embassy Panama will also accept ballots to be mailed to our offices at the address listed below:

Embajada de los Estados Unidos

ATTN: Voting Officer

Edificio 783, Ave. Demetrio B. Lakas

Clayton, Panama City, Rep. de Panama

Please note that mail service delivery time within Panama varies and that mail sent from the Embassy typically takes approximately two weeks to arrive at a U.S. destination. Please plan accordingly in order for your ballot to be received at its final destination by any state mandated deadline. Lastly, the American Citizen Services Unit is closed for all U.S. and Panamanian holidays.

If it’s more convenient, you can also return your FPCA or ballot to your local election officials via international mail or professional courier service at your own expense.

If you have never voted while overseas before, the process is easy ­– just follow these steps:

1. Request Your Ballot: Complete a new Federal Post Card Application (FPCA). You must complete a new FPCA after January 1, 2016 to ensure you receive your ballot for the 2016 elections. The completion of the FPCA allows you to request absentee ballots for all elections for federal offices (President, U.S. Senate, and U.S. House of Representatives) including primaries and special elections during the calendar year in which it is submitted. The FPCA is accepted by all local election officials in all U.S. states and territories.

You can complete the FPCA online at FVAP.gov. The online voting assistant will ask you questions specific to your state. We encourage you to ask your local election officials to deliver your blank ballots to you electronically (by email, internet download, or fax, depending on your state). Include your email address on your FPCA to take advantage of the electronic ballot delivery option. Return the FPCA per the instructions on the website. FVAP.gov will tell you if your state allows the FPCA to be returned electronically or if you must submit a paper copy with original signature. If you must return a paper version, please see below for mailing options.

2. Receive and Complete Your Ballot: States are required to send out ballots 45 days before a regular election for federal office and states generally send out ballots at least 30 days before primary elections. For most states, you can confirm your registration and ballot delivery online.

3. Return Your Completed Ballot: Some states allow you to return your completed ballot electronically and others do not. If your state requires you to return paper voting forms or ballots to local election officials, you can do so free of charge at the nearest U.S. embassy or consulate. Place your ballots in postage paid return envelopes or in envelopes bearing sufficient domestic U.S. postage, and address them to the relevant local election officials.

Researching the Candidates and Issues: Online Resources. Check out the FVAP links page for helpful resources that will aid your research of candidates and issues. Non-partisan information about candidates, their voting records, and their positions on issues are widely available and easy to obtain on-line. You can also read national and hometown newspapers on-line, or search the internet to locate articles and information. For information about election dates and deadlines, subscribe to FVAP’s Voting Alerts (vote@fvap.gov). FVAP also shares Voting Alerts via Facebook and Twitter.

Learn more at the Federal Voting Assistance Program’s (FVAP) website, FVAP.gov. If you have any questions about registering to vote overseas, please contact Panama’s Voting Assistance Officer at (+507)317-5000, or at VotePANAMA@state.gov.

Remember, your vote counts!

Message for U.S. Citizens: Outreach Event in David-July 20, 2016

Following is the latest ACS message.


The American Citizen Services (ACS) Unit at the U.S. Embassy in Panama would like to inform U.S. citizens in Western Panama that we will be visiting David, Chiriquí on Wednesday, July 20, 2016 to provide consular services to U.S. citizens.

We will be at the Hotel Ciudad de David in David, Chiriquí from 10:00 a.m. to 3:00 p.m. on Wednesday, July 20, 2016. We will offer the following services:

Passports and Notarial Services

– Passport Renewal (adults and minors). Please note that most adult passport renewals can by processed by mail/DHL and do not require personal appearance at the Embassy or outreach event. See this page for more information on passport renewals by mail.

Lost or Stolen Passports

Notarizations

– Abandonment of Lawful Permanent Resident Status (please bring from I-407 and Permanent Resident Card)

– Voting information and acceptance of voter registration forms. Information and registration forms for overseas voters can be found here.

IMPORTANT NOTICE

1. Please bring legible photocopies of all documents to be submitted.

· If you are requesting the notarization of your driver’s license, please bring a photocopy of the front and back page of your license, as well as your license. If you are requesting notarization of benefits documents, please bring the original and a copy of the document(s) showing the amount of benefits you receive monthly or annually.

· For adult passport renewals, please bring your passport and a copy of the photo page of your passport. For minor passport renewals, please bring a copy of the photo page of the minor’s passport, a copy of both parent’s passports or cedulas, and a copy of the minor’s birth certificate, in addition to the original birth certificate and passports or cedulas.

2. The Embassy will only accept payment by local banker’s cashier check (also known in Spanish as “Cheque Certificado”) in U.S. dollars only made payable to the “US Embassy Panama” (Banker’s Drafts must have been issued within the last five months). The Embassy will not accept cash payments for any services. The notarial fee is $50.00 for each signature of the Consular Officer. A list of passport fees can be found here.

3. Please bring completed forms. Please access the following link for information on fees, and forms you need to download, complete and bring: http://panama.usembassy.gov/service.html

Federal Benefits Services

– Medicare enrollment/cancellation (copy of current passport or cedula will be required)

– Application for SS replacement cards (copy of current US Passport)

– Application for new SS card for children under age 12 (copy of US Passport for one of the parents, the child’s copia integra and passport)

– Change of address/residence (copy of current passport or cedula will be required)

– General inquiries

A representative from our Regional Security Office will be on hand to answer security questions.

IMPORTANT NOTICE

· To apply for a new or replacement Social Security card, please bring the completed form. You may download and print the form for the Social Security card at the following link: https://www.ssa.gov/forms/ss-5fs.pdf

Please note: No visa services will be provided. Services will be provided on first come – first serve basis.

Thank you for your assistance. We look forward to seeing you.

Sincerely,

American Citizen Services

U.S. Embassy Panama

My life is an open book. But it’s very poorly written and I die in the end.

A GREAT DAY YESTERDAY

I hope all turned on the TV and watched the opening of the new canal inauguration. It was a site to see. The immense size of the new container ships is amazing.

Lilliam and I were invited to attend the Embassy’s Independence Day celebration on June 25. They had scheduled it the day prior to the opening of the canal celebration. While we would have liked to attend, we just couldn’t justify the $500+ we would have had to travel to Panama City and spend the night. Still, I appreciate being invited.Invitacion para el Senor Don Ray Wi lliams y Sra. para la celebración del día de Independencia de los Estados Unidos, 25 de junio de 2016After church yesterday, we ate with a good friend and spent about two hours talking. It was the first leisurely time the have had together since returning from the US.

Yesterday afternoon, we took supplies to Robert and, prior to going, we stopped at Gelarti’s Ice Cream shop to take him a scoop of ice cream. I chose Oreo and he loved it.

Having a smart phone with Internet connection combined with Magic Jack is almost a necessity if you want to communicate with people or companies or government agencies in the US or Canada. I couldn’t do without it.

I used Magic Jack on and we were able to call Robert’s sister in California and he was able to talk to her for about 20 minutes. Lilliam was certain he had tears in his eyes, so the chat must have been a good one.

I always enjoy watching Lilliam make her rounds talking to all of the residents in Hogar Santa Catalina. She stops and talked to almost every one of Robert’s neighbors. I am lucky to have such a giving person by my side. It wasn’t always that way and I appreciate it.

All in all it was a fantastic day. Watched the canal inauguration. Attended church. Dined and chatted with a great friend. And visited Robert and made his day with Oreo ice Cream.

It just doesn’t get better than this.