Category Archives: Panama Journal


Well, the election is over and you would think people would start moving on with their lives.

However, we are seeing “paid for” disruption of the democratic process that has made the US the model democracy in the world. People like George Soros are funding vast protests to cast doubt on the legitimacy on Trump’s presidency. Trump has been elected the President of the US. Those who want to say, “He is not my president” should pack their bags and leave. Many of them are already in Panama.

It has happened before, but once again you start hearing that Hillary won the popular vote and should be president. Luckily the founding fathers of the US Constitution saw that popular votes could disenfranchise a large portion of the nation and created the Electoral College.

Many people don’t understand the reason for the Electoral College. Following is a very good presentation of the rational for its creation and its benefits.

When Obama ran for president, I voted against him. He won and I said, fine, lets see what happens. I felt he was a good speaker and might be what the nation needed. I didn’t get upset because my choice lost. Disappointment should only motivate people to be more involved the next election.

In fact the transition from George Bush to Obama was the model that should be followed. Following the transition, Bush backed out of the public spotlight and let Obama do his thing without any comments from Bush.

I hope Obama can do that with Trump, but I don’t expect it to happen. It is not in his best interest.

This time my candidate was Trump. I think he deserves a chance, the same way I thought Obama deserved a chance. If he doesn’t perform to everyone’s expectations or desires, you have your opportunity to vote him out next time.

Now it is time to stop pouting and start enjoying our time on this planet. I know I have fewer days in front of me than behind me and intend to enjoy them independent of who is in office.

What’s Up With Chiriquí Chatter

I had a few comments come in asking the question “What’s Up With Chiriquí Chatter?”. I’m still here. I hadn’t realized how much not having a good cell phone would affect the blog, but it definitely does.

It had become my main source of taking photos and the backup phone I purchased doesn’t have enough memory not does it take good photos.

I Hate borrowing Lilliam’s phone, so I am biding my time until my new phone ships and once again have a good camera with me all the time.

Another reason is that I have posted so much about the holiday parades in the past that I just don’t want to fight the crowds and take my SLR. Been there and done that.

Plus, from now until the end of the year, I would rather just stay in front of the TV and away from the shopping areas. Lilliam and I are still taking our morning walks, but I have no desire to go to the malls now and it is only going to get worse.

Plaza Terronal is already starting to become a nightmare on weekends. Parking is going to become impossible and cars will line the streets. People get impatient, crime increases, Don’t want to be a part of it..

I have A post on the front of the blog for Tom McCormack’s Foundation. Continue to vote. If Tom and Rubi win, it will be a large sum of money that Tom will reinvest in the needy of Chiriquí.

In closing, my phone is supposed to ship in about 2 to 3 weeks. Then I will feel human again and more posts will appear. Until then, I will remain lazy.

The Battle Of The Giants

Having just watched the technology giants (Microsoft and Apple) announce their new products, it sure looks like Microsoft is the new Apple. While both of these announcements contained polished presentations, only Microsoft had a personality that showed real passion in what was being presented.

Maybe he wasn’t up to Steve Job’s level, but non the less, he was charismatic and enthusiastic. I was much more impressed with Microsofts products than Apple’s.

However, I should give credit where credit is due and Apple’s manufacturing success has forced both Microsoft and Google to realign their directions and place a high priority on the manufacturing of their own branded hardware,

If we look at the past, Microsoft and Google have historically been software companies. Microsoft dabbled in hardware making keyboards and mice and then into the xbox and finally into mobile phones. Until recently, it has left the laptop and desktop to other companies to provide the product to run its software.

Microsoft was too late to save their phone game, but their laptops are looking strong and the build quality looks equal to Apple’s.

But lets back up and look at all of the recent announcements. Continue reading The Battle Of The Giants

A Worthwhile Read


I am going to post a Go Fund Me post for a friend of mine that has always been an inspiration to me. If you feel moved by his story, feel free to contribute. While he has reached his small goal, you will see that he can use more.

If you don’t feel like contributing, then you might be willing to buy one of his books (Rolling Uphill). I gave each of my grandkids a copy last year for Christmas.

Joe and I worked together in EDS in the 70’s. I never saw him without a smile on his face.

Thank You Richard

I have worked on one Embassy case for over two years. It is closed now only because of Richard Kongable and the hard work by the Embassy personnel.

The individual has returned to the US after two years of not finding the paradise he had hoped for and expected.

He started off obtaining a lawyer that took $1,500 to provide a pensionado card and then disappeared. He suffered a stroke and while living in a rented house had the house broken into and was beaten by the thieves.

While unable to take care of himself, his landlady basically threw him out in the street. Lucky for him, the neighbor across the street took him in and cared for him. Continue reading Thank You Richard

Be Of Good Cheer – But Be Careful

While going to the ARROCHA Pharmacy the other day, I noticed that ARROCHA has a Christmas tree up and also Halloween decorations out. That is a sign that the holiday season is upon us.

Perhaps it is a good time to remind everyone that this time of year brings an uptick in crime. Soon the Plaza Terronal parking lot will be full with people wanting to do their holiday shopping before the last minute and up to the last minute.

You should make a note that you need to be more observant and careful this time of year.

Here are some things to be aware of.

  • Large withdrawals of money in banks may be observed by someone in the bank who will notify an accomplice outside.
  • ATM withdrawals are also watched.
  • Be aware of who is watching as you enter your code in the ATM and cover the keypad area.
  • Do not count your cash as you walk away from the ATM.
  • You will be approached by people, this time of year, for money. It may be a person saying he is a policeman and needs money to travel to Panama City to see his mother who was just taken to the hospital. I have even had them show me their ID.
  • Be careful flashing an expensive cell phone of wearing expensive jewelry.
  • When you park in any parking lot, take care and lock the car as you stand by it. Thieves have a technique to be around the back doors so they can open them as you walk away prior to clicking the lock on your remote.
  • When you put packages in your car, make sure they are not visible, if you intend to continue shopping.
  • When returning home, pay attention in case a strange car is following you.

You may think these suggestions are not needed, however, each of the above suggestions would have stopped problems in previous holiday seasons.

This is not my favorite time of year. In December, you will see the entire Plaza Terronal parking areas full and cars parking along the street. I try to get out as little as possible in December.

Yesterday Was a Great Day

Hello 74! Click HERE to see how I felt yesterday!

It was a full day, but a great day. It started off with a visitation for an Embassy case that I hope will have a successful conclusion soon.

Then Lilliam visited Robert and took him some cake along with some supplies he needed. Lilliam managed to visit most of the other residents that live in Hogar Santa Catalina in the same area as Robert. She left a little sad because of a lady she talked to was down and feeling alone.

Next we had lunch with our close friend Carol, and overdid ourselves stuffing our stomachs at Entrepan. I had the October Special, which was Philly Steak.

Continue reading Yesterday Was a Great Day

Boquete Optical SETI Observatory

On a recent Embassy case, I had several items I needed to dispose of for the family of the deceased US citizen.

Some items were sold and the proceeds sent to the family. Some items were shipped back. Some items were donated to needy families and organizations.

One item that couldn’t be sold, because of its condition, was a large telescope. It was missing some parts and needed professional help to be of use.

Last year I had discovered that Boquete had its own SETI Observatory. I contacted Marlin Schuetz and told him about the telescope I had and asked if he might be able to restore it to a usable condition. He said he could and he would find it a good home.

I appreciated Marlin’s help. Lilliam really appreciated his help because the telescope was taking up a lot of room in our house.

When he came by to pick up the telescope, i told him I would be happy to put in a guest post on his observatory and he sent me the following.

Boquete Optical SETI Observatory October 7, 2016


Marlin (Ben) and Joan Schuetz retired in 1997 and subsequently cruised the Caribbean for nearly 10 years in their trawler. In 2006 they found and settled in Boquete. With a degree in physics, Ben’s career included engineering, physics and management, but he always maintained a lingering interest in astronomy.

In 2008 he constructed the Boquete Optical SETI Observatory which has since been in a constant state of development. The observatory’s objective is to search for pulsed laser signals originating from worlds that may be deliberately targeting earth.

The telescope’s 20” aperture in combination with a unique detector system provides the sensitivity for these signals rivaling that of larger telescopes.


Recent observations have received attention through a scientific paper and other press releases. The Boquete Observatory is associated with METI International, a San Francisco based organization that is leading the way in developing strategies for actively messaging other worlds and creating a worldwide network of optical SETI observatories.

By today’s standards of extremely large institutional telescopes, the Boquete instrument, (although the largest in Panama), is quite small. However, calculations show there is little to be gained by using larger telescopes for this activity i.e., small telescopes are quite capable in this regard. The observatory is located on Volcancito Road a few hundred meters from La Estancia.

Ben maintains an extensive website at:

Visits to the observatory can be arranged by email. The address is:


I rarely post political thoughts on my blog or on Facebook. However, I will make an exception and invite all who violently disagree to feel free to unfriend me from FaceBook or stop reading this blog.

As I have watched this political season, I have watched with a growing fear. After 8 years of the worst president in my lifetime, I feel we are on the brink of putting a much more worse president into office (that being Hillary Clinton).

I have watched the political career’s of the Clintons. The Clinton’s are two liars that were meant for each other. Both say what they feel the immediate audience wants to hear and what they feel will advance their cause.

What is best for the US has never been at the front of their minds. They have advanced immense financial fortunes as a result of their corruption.

Under Obama, we have seen more lines get drawn than ribs on a washboard. Because of Obama’s weak stance in the international front, our friends don’t trust us and our enemy’s don’t fear us.

We now see Russia considering moving a base back into Cuba. Hillary can say you don’t want the wrong person being able to push the button. However, we have seen what happens when our enemy’s know that a button will never be pushed.

For a president that could have advanced race relations, Obama has done more to promote division than any president in my life time.

He has established an environment where all police are afraid to do their job. And no, I am not defending the police that act wrongly, but I think that is a very small percentage.

I know many say I would not vote for either Trump or Hillary. However, like it or not, the only two possible winners of the up coming election is either Trump or Clinton.

If you don’t vote for Trump, then by default, you are voting for Clinton. While Trump was not my original choice, I see him now as my only choice.

God help us.

Sometimes an expression says more than words.