After the introductions, it's nice to just "hang with friends" and say hi without always starting a new discussion group. 

  • Maybe you saw something funny (church sign, comic, movie, TV show), discovered something new (Website, article, podcast,book), are bummed about the news or an injustice, are going on a trip, got a new job, just retired, need some non-theistic advice or support, just want to chat,  whatever....
  • JUST THROW IT ON THE TABLE and SHARE IT.   Others can respond or not.
  • If and when a conversation starts to take off beyond a couple of responses, those who are in the core of the discussion may wish to move it to separate discussion relevant to that topic.
Sound good?  Okay!  Keep it going!



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Friday, June 10, 2011 - Some cultural perspective.


It's really nice to have a place to chat without feeling that you are offending someone.  Even on our blog, I am somewhat circumspect because I know that our new devout Christian friends in Fiji might be offended by our reactions to some of their religious and cultural customs.  I know some of them will be looking at our blog.  While we didn't profess to be atheists in their presence, they are sure to see my out of the closet billboard at the bottom of our blog.  Oh well.  I wonder if they had known whether it would have made a difference.  


Almost everyone asks us if we are scared when we are in big seas.  Yes, we usually tell them.  That's a part of sailing.  "Do you ask God for help?" When our reply is No, we depend on each other, the conversation switches directions.


We've learned to sit quietly through grace at meals, but it is difficult for me to eat at a table where I am the only woman because the women and children retire to the background at least when there are guests and eat after the guests and men have eaten.  Only after dinner when we gathered on the floor for tea, did everyone participate.  And then as "old" people, we were instructed to lay down by the Patriarch who was younger than we were to lay on our stomachs.  I think this has something to do with keeping our feet from the table, and it is harder to sit cross legged than it used to be, but it isn't easy drinking tea while on your stomach.  I'll have to practice the cobra position more.


When asked if we had children, we were asked the name of our first born child.  From that point on I was not called by my own name, but by TiaGaryn.  Women are known by their children.  Not to be totally sexist, Russ was also called Father of Garyn.


In the village we visited, everyone attends a 4:00 a.m. church service on Tuesdays to prevent hurricanes in the Yasawas.  They are convinced it is their praying that has spared their village a direct hit.  Anyway, I wanted to share some of these observations with my non-theist friends before I forgot them.


Sounds like some ancient ritual turned christain.   Some surviving ancient rituals are fun - like Halloween, but getting up at 4 am to pray the water god won't send a hurricane, sounds like misery.
So I discovered that slicing the artichoke in half and scrapping the fuzzy guts out *before* cooking is a lot more efficient than steaming them whole, like everyone else I know does. The whole fighting to get the hairy stuff off the edible parts, followed by fussing the junk off my fork, was such a pain. Plus with my amazing (lack of) coordination, the process always took 20-30 minutes to complete.

In the kitchen, my critical thinking failed miserably.

I guess it's good I found out in my 30s vs in my 60s. I'd be a lot more bitter about the whole deal if that were the case.

Rob van Senten wrote:

By the way, being a bit stoned I chuckled a lot about "small things and the people that you do it with" and of course "cracks".

You don't have to be stoned. I have a sweetie who's consistently an Incorrigible Punster ("please do not incorrige") and an Invertebrate Punster ("spinelessly unable to resist a pun"). This button, which I picked up at Balticon last month, was also appropriate:

Secular HumoristNancy Lebovitz, of, creates these beautiful calligraphic buttons, including the punster ones I mentioned, and a few especially suited to nontheists. (The website doesn't do justice to her calligraphy, and hasn't been updated in a while... Nancy IS alive and well and making buttons and selling them at various SF cons.)Blasphemy is a victimless crime. -and- Books. Cats. Life is good.

If you find God hates the same people you do, you may have created Him in your own image. Everyone is entitled to their own opinions, but not their own facts.

Various buttons, including 'Relish today. Ketchup tomorrow.' and 'The school day should start with a moment of science.'Nancy Lebovitz of at work


Monday, June 13, 2011 - It's going to be a busy week.  We returned to Fiji mainland and are prepping the boat for our passage to Vanuatu (laundry, provisioning, downloading podcasts, audio books, filling water, propane, diesel, gas tanks, etc.).  We've been waiting for a full or near full moon.  Looks like we will leave Thursday or Friday providing the weather still looks great.


Made a great chicken sausage and breadfruit curry last night for dinner. I love cooking with the island produce.

I love curry.  That sounds absolutely delicious. 

Again, it sounds like you have had an awesome trip so far.  I have never sailed, and because of you all, now I want to...thanks for taking us on your journey!!

Glad to have you aboard, Rhonda!  Fiji is a great place to buy curry and Indian seasons as half the population is Indian.  


Have you ever had breadfruit?  It's a huge melon like fruit that grows on a tree and when green acts and tastes like a potato.  When ripe it gets gooey and can be used as a paste to make salmon and fish patties.  You don't want to be under the tree when one drops.  It's like a cannon ball that will either bounce when green or splat when ripe.

can't say I have ever had breadfruit.  I do like salmon and fish patties. 

I have always wanted to travel, but so far, the only place out of the US I have been is to Florence, Italy.  That was fun, and I want to travel more. 

Florence is lovely.  Our son got married in Vicchio, a small town, northeast of Florence.  He and his bride rented a small villa and 28 of us made it to the wedding. We had a wonderful time.  

I looked at your photos on your homepage.  They bring back a lot of memories.

Glad you enjoy the pictures.  I would love to go back there, or some other places.  A week wasn't long enough to really see as much as I would have liked.

June 15, 2011

I just read the Constitution Party's Platform and am really distraught.  Think I'll start a discussion based just on this.  


I am a firm believer of the constitution and this is such a cherry picked interpretation of our non-theistic constitution and bill of rights that it is frightening.  You can see where these people are headed, and it's not where I want to go.   I don't disagree with everything, but at least 90%. 


Fuck me sideways! God, The Family and the Panama Canal as the main pillars of the U.S. This is a Nationalist agenda (yes, with a capital N) Le Front National, British National party and the like will be big supporters.




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