Showing posts from January 20, 2013

Vietnam -2 (and a Mennonite Bank's trust)

1.My adventure will begin on Saturday 26th at 12:30 pm., when my friend Diego Cabral will drive me to Tampa Airport for my flight to Los Angeles via Houston.

2.I’ll stay overnight in L.A. with my pal Derrick Jones before taking flights from L.A. via Tokyo to Bangkok, and thence to Hanoi.

3.I’ll arrive in Hanoi on Monday 28th and begin the tour the next day.

4.I am becoming impressed with the services of the Vietnamese Tour Company. Yesterday they sent me an up-dated itinerary which included details of where and when they would meet me at the Hanoi Airport, and when they would take me to Saigon’s Airport (on my way home). They also included the paper work I will need for an internal flight in Vietnam from Da Nang to Ho Chi Min City (Saigon).

5.This Tour Company specializes in environmentally sound tours, and also in the tours which bring U.S.A. Vietnam War veterans back to Vietnam for the work of post-war reconciliation.

6.I am brewing a cold.  Oh no.  Yes, I am brewing a cold. “This t…



I was at my favorite local Supermarket yesterday afternoon.  It was all very sad.  The market is closing, and the shelves are being stripped bare.

Next to no meat.  Very little produce.  Deli counter closed.  Fish counter closed.  Bakery closed.  It reminded me of one of those pictures of a Russian supermarket in Soviet days.

I said my adieus.  To Liz and to Maribel, check out clerks who have been unfailingly friendly and helpful. To the store manager, out on his ear after 32 years of service.

It's all in the nature of capitalism.

"Sweetbay"  is closing many stores in Florida.  That chain is a minnow in the Florida market where the leviathan  "Publix" commands an overwhelming 60% of the market.

Competition is fierce and is being  exacerbated by the success of some of the newer and more "up-scale" vendors: "Whole Food", "Fresh Market" and "Trader Joe's".

I will miss my local "Sweetbay" where the prices…

The limit of technology? The blessings of local businesses.

Boeing is to be commended for its vision for the 787/Dreamliner: a plane designed to be more comfortable for passengers; more fuel efficient; and “better for the environment”.

But maybe in this case “man’s reach has not exceeded his grasp”(c.f Robert Browning).

Maybe, just maybe, Boeing’s “reach” towards a great use of lithium batteries (which seem to be one of the problems for the 787) has exceeded the ability of those batteries to “grasp” their tasks.

I thought about this increasing reliance on technology/computerisation when I was at my local bank today.

My task was simple:  I wanted to add my friend John as a signatory to access my locked box.  (My lawyer suggested this in the event of my incapacity).

The Bank clerk was sweet, kind and friendly.  But the task took 50 minutes, as he accessed and printed various computer records, and got all manner of information from John.

“Honest to goodness”, when I worked in a bank those many years ago, in a bank without a single computer,  tha…

A cat speaks about humans.

I live in a very restricted space with a humanoid who calls me “Adelaide”.

Of course I’d rather be outside – exploring, wandering and hunting.

But I make the best of my confinement.  The humanoid feeds me and caresses me: - and that ain’t bad.

He also made a perch for me.  From that perch I can see the birds, the ducks, and the anoles.

It’s better than nothing, and the loo/bathroom is so handily nearby.

This time next week.

“Lord willing, and if the crick don’t rise” .....

.......this time next week I’ll be on a United Airlines flight from LA to Bangkok, via Tokyo.

Then I’ll have an overnight stay at the Novotel Hotel at Bangkok (BKK) airport (Jan 28/29)

On Jan 29th I’ll fly from Bangkok to Hanoi.

 My adventure will begin in Hanoi with a local company known as  (cut and paste this URL if necessary)

I especially like their commitment to sustainable tourism.

As part of the tour I/we will trek to the village of Sapa, and stay overnight with a local family.

See: (cut and paste this URL if necessary)

Since I know and believe that my host Vietnamese villagers will also be interested in my family I will take some of my ‘photos to shew to them.