1. On Friday 11th January 2013 at about 4:15 p.m. I was sitting on my Lanai when I saw a huge cloud of thick black smoke arising from a street across the pond. This was followed by a few wee explosions.
Then the Fire Trucks arrived with a great hullaballoo, and soon the smoke was replaced with steam.
I investigated the scene this morning.
All I could see was a lot of mud, and some shards of broken glass in the middle of a street. There were no signs of damage to any of the condominium units.
Best guess is that a car had caught on fire.
2. Our local “Goodwill” store (charity shop in the U.K.) was utterly mobbed when I went there this afternoon. It was hard to find a parking space, and once inside the store I encountered long lines at the check-outs. The “big box” stores would have been envious.
Some of this may have to do with the economic recession which has scarcely improved since 2008. And some of it may be because folks of all classes know that they can find bargains at Goodwill.
Sebastian is one of my Hispanic friends. He grew up in a very financially poor home. He told me that when he was a child he thought that the “Goodwill” store was the Mall.
3. In two weeks from now I will, God willing, fly from Los Angeles to Tokyo en route to Japan. My United Airlines flight well be on a new Boeing “Dreamliner” . That’ll give me enough to fret and worry about in the next 14 days!
4. Diego is another Hispanic-American friend. He is working at a low wage in a local supermarket to pay his way through college.
We've gotten to know each other via our cheerful banter at the checkout.
I once made him burst into laughter when I commended his proficiency in the Spanish language and then asked, “Did you have to go to school to learn Spanish? (He got my tongue in cheek humour)
He is so very cheerful and efficient that I made sure to seek out the store manager and sing out his praises.
Diego met my brother Martyn, together with Sam and Toby when they were here last September. He always asks about them.
I asked Diego if he would like to earn a few extra bucks by taking me (with his girl friend) to the airport in Tampa when I leave en route to Vietnam, and to meet me there when I get back (at 10:13 p.m.!)
After Diego had checked his shifts, he told me today that he would be more than happy to be my chauffeur on those two days.
I thanked him profusely for this great favour.
He replied “nothing I can do is a favour for you Michael”.
“What goes around comes around”. Be good to those who wait on you in retail stores!