On the Road Again

I’m hardly an analytic-type person, and my tendency is to deliberately place numbers outside of the boxes. But when I first started traveling in the 1970s I thought it would be cool to keep tabs on my airline miles (before any frequent flyer program existed). I began with a small book and now have it on my computer. Returning from Fiji a couple of days ago, I reached the quite reliable number of 3,780,000 miles. I’ve also kept track of the …


Fiji Time

Fiji is a very calming place. It’s similar to Bali in many ways, though the beaches are nicer and it’s far less crowded—about 800,000 people. As in Bali, and Bora Bora (one of my top spots in the world), people live indoors and outdoors, and the resorts have amenities such as a second shower, outside, huge verandas, and so on. But the really outstanding feature of Fiji is that income is quite low and people are quite happy. I was …


Fiji

We arrived at 7am in Fiji, 11.5 hours out of LAX. Our bags took ten minutes, the driver had us to the Shangri-La in an hour where our beach-front villa was ready for us. At 10 we attended Catholic services about 20 minutes away. (Fiji has about 800,000 people and is overwhelmingly Christian, mostly Methodist. The Catholic population is about 20%. The church was packed, including people sitting on the floor, standing against the walls and sitting outside the building. …


Iceland the Myth

Trigger Warning to those in Ivy League schools: This might mess with your preconceptions of things you’ve never experienced. There are about 330,000 people in Iceland (Rhode Island, by comparison, has a million), and almost three million sheep, about 10 per person, give or take. There is also a plethora of horses. They look really happy, but then I found them on dinner menus. The tourist trade is by far the major industry and the country’s strong economy right now …


Iceland

The geomorphology of this country is fascinating. The earth seems to erupt without warning all around you. There are geysers and volcanoes, crashing waterfalls, geothermal wonders. Ice covers lava flows. Water percolating through the layers takes 100 years to reach the surface. It reminds me in some ways of Ireland, where there are great features of beauty separated by miles and miles of nothing—scrub and rocks of unfaltering shapes with the occasional sheep and horse (there are about 10 sheep …


Scenes from Iceland

Scenes from Iceland. Not the salmon ladder up the falls, the “bees in a box” which come and go to pollinate indoor tomato plants grown with geothermally heated water, and walking thought the rift between the tectonic plates of Europe and North America.


Trying Not to Lose Is Not the Same As Trying to Win

Here’s what happens when you try not to lose: • You readily make concessions. • You are not bold or provocative. • You become highly conservative. • You accept unfair treatment and conditions. • You become nervous and therefore that much more ineffective. Here’s what happens when you try to win: • You are assertive and take prudent risk. • You state your position and support it. • You will make reasonable but not unfair compromise. • You will stress …



Back to My Roots

Point Pleasant, New Jersey, broad sand beaches, great breakers, nice boardwalk and attractions for the kids. And we stopped for a breakfast sandwich of a hard roll, pork roll, bacon, cheese, and eggs. Neither broad sand beaches nor pork roll is available in Rhode Island. 


The Slow Train

We had to catch an early Sunday train to New York and the only option was the Amtrak local, no Acelas until after noon. We had a “business class” car, which essentially meant a little extra leg room. The train stops everywhere—like a Greyhound Bus, you can wave it down in your driveway or backyard. But it’s clean, has a decent café car, and the staff is quite courteous. We departed from Providence two minutes late. Here are my observations: …