Published March 1st, 2007 by

African Friends and Money MattersIf you ever decide to take a trip to Africa, you need to buy and read this book! If you hope to make friends you will keep in touch with, it’s an absolute necessity. In the West, the minute a friend asks for money, things get weird and the friendship probably won’t last long. In Africa, if there is no exchange of money or resources involved, things will get weird and the friendship probably won’t last long. East is east and west is west and there will be no meeting of the minds on the issue of money (and a lot of other customs) without help from someone like David Maranz, a linguist working in Africa since 1975.… Read the rest “African Friends and Money Matters by David Maranz”

Published October 10th, 2005 by

The girls and I were returning from our drive in the country, flying down NC Hwy 421, loaded down with apples and keeping our eyes peeled for barbecue joints (down by the lake? T Bone Burnett, anyone?) A sign caught my eye: “Books 75% Off.” It was hoisted prominently over the 421 Flea Market.
This flea market (or “swap meet” in southern California vernacular) was deceptively ginormous. There were tables and pickup trucks laid out over a large field, selling used treasures from clothes to martial arts weapons and country home décor to GUNS! What appeared to be storage or industrial buildings at the rear of the property housed the actual flea market!… Read the rest “421 Flea Market”

Published September 14th, 2005 by

Now, here’s something you don’t often find. But, our friend, (we’ll call her “Jay” to protect her identity from blog trolls and design stalkers), is always showering us with bits of thoughtful vintage technology. This is a rare 1958 prototype of the device, which would iterate and reiterate into the modern PalmPilot. Most people are unaware that personal digital assistants or PDAs (as those of us in the industry refer to them) have been around for some time. Originally, “personal” referred to the fact that you could keep them in a purse or pocket and “digital” denoted the method of searching through the tiny contact cards with your fingers or “digits.” Later, when the miniaturization of transistors and digital (as in 1s and 0s) consumer electronics really took off, makers of these handy gadgets were thrilled to be able to retain the original “digital” label for the “mobile Rolodex.” The interface moved over time from contacts being hand written on durable card stock, to information recorded on interactive touch screen LCDs.… Read the rest “Vintage 1958 Palm PDA”

Published July 6th, 2005 by

I am so grateful to live in a community, where we enjoy state of the art medicine. I turned 50 this year and went in for my very first colonoscopy. I’m feeling fine, but it’s a good idea for men my age to be examined for colorectal cancer or other disease. Here we are in the year 2005 and I find it hard to believe that most people undergoing this test will still be subjected to the barbaric colonscope, a long flexible tubular instrument inserted into the rectum and poked around the colon, while the doctor watches on a remote video device.… Read the rest “Fantastic Voyage”

Published March 9th, 2005 by

kabulteeTeeing Off at the Kabul Golf Course

Regardless of your opinion of Bush’s War on Terror, I think everyone can agree that these freedom fighters have earned the respect of the world. Many groups suffered under the tyranny of the Taliban, but at least two members of the Kabul Gulf (Golf) Club have paid dearly for love of the game, going all the way back to the Soviet occupation in the 80’s.

“During the war against the Russians we were forced to close down,” said Mohammad Afzal Abdul, the 46-year-old club professional, who was a young boy when the course was built.… Read the rest “Dedication to the Game”
Published February 27th, 2005 by

Moving to downeast Maine in 1993 was, in many ways, similar to the 60’s TV comedy, Green Acres. Like Lisa and Oliver Douglas, the Salisbury family struck out on an adventure to discover a little piece of rural America in Sedgwick ME. We made a splash, rolling into town with our 5 ton Ryder truck and ’67 Chevy Bel Air. Fortunately, we were from California and were looked upon as more of a curiosity, than a complete nuisance like other people from away (New York, Massachusetts, New Jersey, etc.)

marygraceSo, imagine our surprise to find that we had moved into the same town as Ralph Monroe, the eccentric carpenter from Green Acres.… Read the rest “More Accidental Providence”