Fixing The Brakes

The brakes on our van have been shuddering, so I took it to Valley Tire and Brake. I was in town and had to wait, so I took a walk. Not far from VT&B there’s a lovely section of tree-shaded creek. It’s in the city, so it has concrete sidewalls, but it’s peaceful and pretty…

Tunes Played On A Tropical Piano

After I wrote my last piece about my trip to Fiji, things have just been moving too fast to write. I’ll just take up where I left off, at Janice’s Skinny Bean Cafe in Pacific Harbour. It’s in a large complex of shops and apartments called “Arts Village”. I used to live in one of…

F1J1

This year I skipped Easter. I boarded my plane on Not-So-Good Saturday, the day before Easter, flew across the International Dateline and landed in Fiji on the Monday after Easter. Go figure. I got off the plane, cleared customs, rented a car, and started down the Coral Coast. Stopped at Natadola, but they’ve changed the…

Surfing, Not The Web

“We’re waxing down our surfboards, We can’t wait for June.” SOURCE: The Beach Boys, “Surfin’ USA” I’ve been getting my gear ready to go surf Frigates Passage in Fiji. Ten years ago I swore to surf Frigates at 70, so now I gotta go do it. Hate it when that happens. Frigates is a natural…

Skin In The Game

Due to a complex series of misunderstandings and coincidences, I once found myself spending a long time in a small boat on the ocean in bad weather. I was forced to do it because the people on shore responsible for arranging the paperwork and landing details couldn’t be bothered. I learned a very important rule…

Islamics, Islamists, and Scotsmen

Maajid Nawaz is an interesting guy trying to make sense out of his own religion, Islam. Wikipedia notes that he was imprisoned for five years for being a member of Hib ut-Tahrir, a violent Egyptian Muslim group. During that time he had a change of heart, and he renounced his violent and divisive past. As…

Letters From Mexico To My Future Ex-Fiancee

I met the woman I refer to as my gorgeous ex-fiancee on a Friday afternoon in Mexico in 1978. We were both there for a few days with a group of doctors and nurses and translators doing volunteer medical work. She was a nurse, I was a translator. Over the next two days we spent…