Posted by: nativeiowan | November 4, 2015


Glorious GIZO…

Posted by: nativeiowan | November 4, 2015

Mike’s Bikes… Island Time Boogie

Doing the island time boogie with a big assed grin on my face.

Spent the last two nights with Hans at San Bis resort. Very nice, very nice.

Shot over to Liapari yesterday, saw Uncle Noel n Rosey… very, very good…

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Posted by: nativeiowan | October 28, 2015

Mike’s Bikes… do’n a tropical dance on the deck…

About 5pm. Wednesday afternoon. Guess I have been here a solid 2 weeks. It has been good.

Honiara is a funkadelic place. Soooo mucchhhh of the yinggggg, n sooooo muchhhh of the yanggggg…

My neighbours are burning trash. the air is poisoned by plastics being converted by heat into deadly gasses. Of course, the parts per million are not enough to kill but my sensitive smellfactory senses don’t care for it at all. Met up with the prerequisite passive-aggressive drunk while buying some lava lavas at the market. I walked up and he inserted himself in the situation. I dealt with the lady doing the selling, all smiles and was polite to the drunk and lost my hearing when he started getting too involved.

I had a bit of a crazy white-dude come up and try to remember who I was. I musta met him years ago, maybe at the yacht club. He looked rather run down when I saw him. I was deaf to him as well.

I got one of those amazingly poetic and fun “island stories” from a guy who worked for me years ago. I always liked, Jerry. He was a good, solid man. Dependable and humble and intelligent. He quit working to go home and care for his parents as they aged. I learned that Mommy and died but Daddy hem olo too much, but strong lil’bit. I got a long, long story about his business… He has a “Hilux” he runs on the road to Auki. Buta truck hem go long mechanic. And staka repairs. Cost bloo hem ten thousand dollars…

Here we go, I think. When I saw Jerry I thought, I’ll give him some cash and tell him to say hello to his family for me. So I was in for something, but 10k… eeeeeee….

So, me garem nine thousand dollar nomoa. Me look outem, look outem, buta…

This is when I smile with relief, I have cash on me, I hand Jerry the grand he needs. Get a great smile in return.

Note well though, the good story was indeed worth a grand in solo-bucks.

Rain has come. The sky is clear. Could see San George Island this morn.

My shoulder is coming back very nicely. Paul’s wharf looks great. I’m cooking bbq chicken for supper n it smells tasty.

Bonnie Raitt says that she’s working on a love letter, with her radio on…

Posted by: nativeiowan | October 26, 2015

Mike’s Bikes… Ending a long weekend

Tuesday on this side of the Planet.

Yesterday was day 4 of the therapy. Ruatau is packing to catch his plane. Peter will hang with me a while longer and continue working on my shoulder. I am shattered.

For some reason Peter and I sat up and drank, and told stories until 3am. We told old, fun and laughable tales, in pidgin. It was a fun magical session. I feel like death warmed over.

I crawled out of bed at 9am, Peter had Ruatau on the table and was giving him goodbye beating.

It has been an amazing 5 days. mobility in my chassis is much, much better. I am standing taller, straighter and I am stronger.

And life is good, even if I do feel sick.

Posted by: nativeiowan | October 25, 2015

Mike’s Bikes… Babies, Wasabi, and Shrimp Tails for supper

Day three of “therapeutic” massage complete. It has been a full-on day…

I slept late, got up, n was down to “the house” about 9am. Found Peter and Ruatau munching a tin of tuna/taiyo, onions and biscuits for breakfast. I love a good “island” breakfast.

After coffee and water I got ready for my first session on the table with Peter. My injured shoulder is coming back nicely. Mobility is very good. The poking, prodding, and pulling has indeed inflamed areas, bruised tissue, and made me very sore. But my shoulder is moving very well. It is amazing but I am indeed being BEATEN back into shape. And it fucking hurts. Two more days to go. I smile like a fool.

And this is my second time to go through such an experience. Sure, call me “Intelligent”.

Through the day Peter was massaged by Ruatau, Ruatau was massaged by Peter, and Peter gave Paul a good, friendly beating.

We had a nice, tropical fruit filled lunch, then watched a replay of the last half of the Rugby World Cup match between NZ and SA.

We are indeed NZ/ All Black supporters. We did not watch the game live and knew the outcome, but it was a good game watch.

Once over, Ruatau took me for an interesting journey…

The beginning of the process was very good. Familiar. The process/ techniques employed by both Peter and Ruatau rely on a certain amount of manipulation of the human frame. They have a 1, 2, 3 process which lulls you into false security. You actually relax. Give into their knowing hands… then they drop a ton of bricks on you.

The techniques employed hurts like nothing I have experienced. Peter’s fingers, and thumb can find points; small points, in-between ligaments, that are out-of-place. He pushes deeper, finds the culprit, spends an eternity petting n pushing an prodding. If/ when the piece goes back into place, usually with an audible “pop”, a sigh of relief is heard between the screams. But if it don’t, we try again tomorrow.  A lot of “try-again-tomorrows” come into place today.

I can now, pretty much concentrate and breath though the pain and the healing. My shoulder is gaining mobility. Old, arthritic, calcified structures are getting broke down, mobility is coming back. I feel much, much stronger. Techniques that were honestly making me break out in an intense swear, and cry like a baby; two days ago, are kinda OK now. I still moan n make sad noises, but I’ve got control of my breathing and can power through the initial shock of pain. That initial burst of arch-light-pain in the cerebellum.

Side story: Yesterday Ruatau asked me for a stone to assist with his massage. I have a large number of stone-aged artefacts, collected over my years in these islands,all  laid out in my “yard”. Very much a Tambu site. I do not to keep the artefacts inside. They belong out in the weather where they are alive.

I chose a couple of stones for inspection. A long slender “river rock”, turned into an adze by some ancient fore-bearer, was the first “test-piece”. Ruatau used it on Peter and was pleased.

He uses it in many fashions.

So I am under Ruatau’s hands. And it is good. After a lot of pressing and manipulating, I turn onto my back. We are almost done of the day. The worse is over.

He used the stone to press into my pectoral muscles.Like Peter uses his fingers n thumb, Ruatau presses the stone deep, between tissue, alongside bone… Deep… did I say deep? DEEP?

I could not, not laugh. It tickled so much. And I was not laughing, I was hysterical. Blinded by pain and responding to the “tickle” response I was hysterical. And it felt good. My tears flowed. I was soaked in sweat, from a shot of adrenaline.

Ruatau, I think, got  a bit annoyed. He suggested we do the other chest, I said I was OK, it just tickled. So he continued and I continued. For a long-assed while. And I laughed uncontrollably. Ruatau said to me, “Doesn’t it hurt?”. Laughing like an idiot, I relied “yes it fucking hurts!”. And laughed more.

I know the body holds memories, emotion, unhappiness… the lot. I can only assume that Ruatau and his stone hit some memory button on me that was indeed happy. I am flying like a kite.

After the laughing massage session; Paul, his ladies, us lads, we all went down to the Mandana for some raw fish.It was very good. Three species of raw fish: Maori Rass, Bonito, and Snapper. And heaps of it.

It was a fun gathering. Betsy is a good Matron. Paul is always good company. Electra and Tolia are quiet and shy.

They eat like Tongan Rugby Players.

Lucky 13 was in good form. She and I are good buddies. We sit pretty every afternoon, between sessions, on the mat with the dogs. We play mandolin, and eat ants, and french kiss the puppies. It is good fun.

While I was “shopping” in the Tambu site for Ruatau’s stone (I have named the stone “Laughing Lady”) I found some ol’ Jiku for Lucky… look closely you’ll see them on her arms. Small shell rings of an unknown age…They look real good… Lucky 13, custom Girlie straight….

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Posted by: nativeiowan | October 24, 2015

Mike’s Bikes… Tradewinds, Massage, and howling dawgs…

The Sou’easterly blows dry. I think I was dyslexic before and said, “Sou’Westerly”.

A few days from full moon. Lets check… Looks like the 28th is full moon. Perfect for All Saints Day.

So two intense session on the torture, uhh, massage table. It has been good. Lots of mobility back in the injured joint. This morning we had fun… Peter whaled the daylights outta me, then he did Ruatau.

2015-10-24 11.36.38

After, Ruatau worked on Peter. We all have chronic shoulder injuries. Mine is my left. Ruatau’s is his right. Peter carries two damaged shoulders. It’ll be a long few days as we all manage our processes of healing.

By far I am the noisiest. Ruatau breaths deeply when it gets tough. I don’t think I heard a sound from Peter. I adhere to the “Howling Dawg” school of pain management.

This morning Peter had me in a real lather. I could feel a bit of shock creeping in; a touch of nausea, a twinge in my bowels, as he stretched my arm joint loose and reassembled it.

It is a good gig. I am fortunate to be able to commit/ dedicate intensive time with such gifted healers.

Charles Mingus says “Better Get it into your Soul”…

Posted by: nativeiowan | October 23, 2015

Mike’s Bikes… Motorcycle+Madness=Massage V1.1

Day two about to begin. Ruatau and Peter are in the big house having breakfast. Last thing I want is food in my system as I get beat to death. Or, Near death.

I woke today sore. Fucking sore. my left shoulder/ side has been very much abused… 1st by myself over some 58 years, and 2nd by my dear, sadistic Polynesian pals.

Peter has just arrived. A big assed smile on his white ringed face.

Gotta go, gonna be so much fun…

Posted by: nativeiowan | October 23, 2015

Mike’s Bikes… Motrocycle+Madness=Massage

Not a formula normally thought rational. But then, when am I rational?

I am paying the price for my hubris and good fortune. In July I had a very positive near-miss at 80mph…

I was well shaken, monstrously invigorated, and have been sore since. My back and neck took a good bang, a minor compression resulted. Recovery was as to be expected. But my old shoulder injury got worse. Much worse. The price I pay.

So I sit in Honiara. A lovely, warm, humid, tropical night. My luck still runs, I have Ruatau and Peter here for the weekend. Both are Polynesian Healers.

Peter has been a part of my life/ my family for a solid 15 years. He beat my sciatica into place in 2000. 10 days, twice a day, he prescribed. My back is strong.

But my shoulder sucks the wazzilly. It’s effecting everything. Hell, I even went to the doctor, got an X-ray.

This time its 5 days, three times a day. I puss’d out this eve and did some boxing and weights. The process of laying still for more than two hours and letting a strong, anatomically-savy, experienced Healer beat the beans outta’ you is tiresome. And they have beat n battered, n pulled n prodded n torn, twisted n tweeted my darn shoulder so much, I am gun-shy as hell.

So I trained rather than lay back on the table.

It was to be Peter’s turn this eve. His 80 year old fingers produce not only stars, but tweeting birds, at the same time. It is a toe curling, teeth gnashing, sphincter puckering experience. Tomorrow morn Ruatau can start off. I shall not sleep anticipating the “fun”.

Ruatau is a Miri Miri Healer. Part of the Arts Elemental “collective”/ family.

And I am one lucky fool.

I am confident I’ll get my shoulder back. And the discussion and tales and laughter and energy in between the pain and gnashing is pretty cool, too.

And I smile.

And I dance.

More later

Posted by: nativeiowan | October 17, 2015

Mike’s Bikes… island time, V1.0

Views, vistas, and visitations… a tale of daring-doo in the wilds of Solomon Islands

ft vlg copy floating village, set up n ready to go logging…

Friday, 16 October 2015, Hang’n in Honiara once again. The wind blows a cheerful tune. A dry Sou’Westerly blows. I have been gone so long I have forgotten the seasons, the patterns. As one old comrade, W.E., would say; “there are two seasons in these islands, the wet season, and the wetter season.”. But it is dry for Honiara, and throughout the islands.

A talcum powder haze covers the “city” like a cotton-wool blanket. The air is thick.

Incessant road works haul in loads of coral based aggregate. The huge, old, upraised reefs that are the ridges of Honiara are easy to utilise. When used as “fill” and rolled and beaten and whomped into the road, the dust is as fine as talcum powder.

There must be a chronic bronchitis that effects everyone. I see a lot of snotty, weepy looking kids. I feel it. But I see a lot of healthy looking people. Gorgeous young people. Of course, as always, I think of the little ones. The babies here are something special. And, I hear you, babies everywhere are something special. That miracle of life sorta thing. Then they grow up and become little shits.

Reminds me of an old bit of prose:

Moved my view from my “house” to the “Big House” where I am cooking supper. I’m cooking a big ass’d pot of old-fashioned beans.

Bought some dried red beans yesterday and put them in water overnight. Granddaughter, Electra, asked why I was soaking them. My answer was because they were dry.

A big pot of meat sews on the stove here. Onions n garlic with the soy n vinegar it marinated in. A couple nice hot peppers. Cook till soft n nice.

A bigger pot of beans is on as well. Soaked n washed n now going through the first boil. Once soft I’ll drain n mix it all with the meat. A bit of fresh tomatoes, green peppers, more chillies… serve with rice.

Louis Graham is coming through town this eve. Lou was a CUSO in Gizo from late 80s into early 90s. Married Connie Whickam, they moved back to Calgary and raised a big family. Lou n Connie have a house in Gizo and Lou was just back for a short visit.

So, in classic SI fashion I try to track him down. I knew he was in Gizo. I sent emails but he sure as shit ain’t on line. Either by choice or by design of the gods of Gizo internet, who knows? But email ain’t happening. So, of course, I call Roland at Gizo Solair.

I knew Roland as a kid. A nephew of Charlie Panakera’s, Ro waited tables and tended bar at the Gizo hotel in the middle ages. He eventually got picked up by solair, was a flight steward, got married and chose to stop flying and take a job in admin. He has always been a hard working, smart, willing guy, and he did well. Ages ago he got posted to Gizo as Manager there.

So I call Ro and say, “Ro, Mi look outem tamboo blo iu from Canada”. He laughs and says in is very pleasing way, “Mike, long time me no hearem voice blo iu”… so he took my number, gave it to a runner who got it to Uncle Louie, on the hill. Lou rang me shortly there after.

It was a fun, magical island experience.

So beans n beef on the stove, Paul is at Ranadi So he’ll pick Lou up. I get to sit n write n manage my stove.

Paul has amazingly good basil here. Strong plants with heaps of green leaf to pick use. My hands smell like basil.

There was an era in the 90s when we learned to take a mess of garlic, a pile of basil, and a cup of ngali nuts. Run them through the crank-driven food processor and you had pesto. Presto-pesto. Add pasta and smile.

I drove through town to just have a look around. I wanted to write but I needed to go have a look first. I got in on Tuesday but have not been out much. Busy with Paul and settling back into the islands. I am here for a month.

It takes more slowing down than I remember. I feel like I should be in a hurry but no one gives a shit. I try to figger out why I am in a hurry and find no answer. So, today is Friday, it took two-full days to get my governor regulated to “island speed”.

I drove from Rove to Henderson. The town traffic is always slow. W.E. said he took the driving in Honiara as a dancing lesson from the gods. Patience is required.

But once I slow down I smile and see more. I’m not really going anywhere so the pressure should not exist.

A good looking new hotel-casino is being built on the shore side, across from Rove, but a couple blocks down. It’s not a good thing, a casino, but there is a positive economic impact somewhere in there… the guys building the place, etc. They appear to be doing a very good job.

Not like the concrete monstrosity that now sits on town ground. What a mess! It’s terrible. An eye sore. A health risk.

From the Post Office and the PM’s offices down into Point Cruz there is little changed. The new hotel and high-rise office block that used to be the GG’s residence has been around long enough to be old now. Behind the Mendana Hotel, what used to be the cenotaph, got sold and is now a dive shop, adventure sports place. A boutique hotel and a nice restaurant can be found on the shore side.

Traffic from Point Cruz to Henderson moves at one speed, slow. It appears as though traffic around the market hits a 40kph/ 30mph and sticks to that speed. Its interesting at such a speed. If you would be in a hurry, you’d be screwed. Both lanes meandering down the road at the same speed. At some places it becomes an arbitrary 3 lane road. Basically busses on the left, cars on the right n taxis in the middle, n all over.

I believe the speed is due to the bad roads and the fact that most cars, more than 3 years old, have no suspension.

By the old college (which is now the SI National University) I saw a bus load of shiny new white folks… I remember when I first arrived. I must have looked similar. All eyes n cameras n smiles and oos n ahhhs… nowadays the busses are much bigger and air-conditioned.

The dust is horrendous. Did I mention the dust? Paul rides a bike. I asked him how he does it? He said you gotta get used to it. When he goes away he comes back to being congested n ill, then he’s OK. I used to smear the inside of my nostrils with Carmex. Then honk out huge dark looggies… doesn’t everyone look at their snot?

So, where were we… Hangn in Honiara. Drivn through town to waste some time n search for a story…

There are heaps n heaps of shiny new vehicles. Mostly bigger in size… Toyotas, Hyundai’s, Kias. Saw one Hummer. Mostly are 4×4 type buggies. SUVs or big trucks. The taxis are by and large Toyota wagons.

One thought I had, as I saw a line of flags at the SINU, I hope they are educating the population. Without it there shall be trouble. And maybe with education trouble comes too… There is a palatable tension in the air.

You can see a lot of mid-class families in vehicles doing their doings… A sign of an emerging middle class? Business a usual? A positive sign for the future?  I think so. Mom n dad both work, they’re urbanites. Honiara is home. I know many families who are well into the second and third generation of Honiara bred islanders.

So, beans are bubbln away. Lucky 13 is outside with Nancy.

Nancy is a family tradition. Tho not a blood relative (she is from Santa Cruz) She’s been in and out of the family for ages… a housekeeper, a nanny n surrogate mother to Mendozza. She makes bread just like I luv it n does tropical fruit juice (paw paw n cucumber) like no one else. Recently, as Paul tells me, one of the newer housekeepers companied to him… “Nancy olsame boss lo house, ia”. Paul told the new gal, “Nancy is the boss”.

Where am I? … I built this compound 5 years ago. 7 dwelling on 2 lots. 3 levels, on high stilts, and plenty of deck space. Total of 14 “bed rooms’, 11 baths and 11 kitchens/ galleys/ small kitchens. Big decks between all. A pool on the lower deck. We’re up on “Tasahe” ridge. I can see from Cape Esperance to Lunga. Huge views.

I have “my house”. Paul and his tribe of damsels have one of the Big 3 bedroom houses. The other Big house is communal kitchen transient lodging and TV room. Two of the dwellings are “studio apts”. One duplex is office space and one is laundry/ storage. 2 dwellings are nice, one room homes. Connie has one and Terry the other.

I am cooking for my invited guest, Lou Graham; son, Paul, daughter in law, Betsy, their adoptive daughters, Tolia, and Electra; baby Lucky, and most likely, Nancy. Nancy tends to stay late, help with supper and the baby. She covers the bases for the young parents.

Part of it is the training of a new mother… Betsy is young, this is her first, and though she has been a good care giver of many children, this is her real-life training. And Nancy is a pro. A perfect teacher.

In residence we have our pack of Ridgebacks… Bean, Iowa, Lauru, Rhett and Scarlet. There are two rottie cross pups as well. I don’t know their names but they are keepers. Paul n Betsy got them from friends. They fit in well.

I do not know the names of the other housekeepers or the security guys. Shame on me! But I been gone a lot. I am just a visitor.

The sea and sky are the same colour. The dry weather has to break. The sky is hazy, the air is thick, the seas are dead calm. It has to break.

Listening to Los Lobos… nice dance music. Lovely Ballads. Good music.

Los Lobos leads to Lou Reed… What a perfect day…

Posted by: nativeiowan | September 25, 2015

Mike’s Bikes… Time Travels never end

I am sitting in the departure lounge at LAX. It has been a couple interesting days.

Part of what makes things interesting is I have not managed to keep very good track of the days lately. Knowing what DAY it is, let alone the DATE, well, really. Its common, isn’t it? To simply not know what day or date it is. Well, in my retired life It has become common for me not to know what DAY it is, and often I have no clue what the DATE is. I got stung by my own inability to manage time this past week…

I started the week thinking my flight was on Tuesday. The date is/ was meaningless. The 24th is the date but all I had in my head was that I flew on Tuesday. And when it wasn’t Tuesday it, in my mind, became Wednesday. I was lucky that it was indeed Thursday… not sure if I could have managed so many fallow days fudged through inattentiveness.

So, it is Thursday the 24th of September and I am heading back down south. After a couple false starts I am heading back to the land of Oz.

Been on the road a bit over 3 weeks. It has all been good…


The long miles through this glorious landscape. The hotels and diners and roadside stops. All good for a story and helpful for a wandering soul.

Drove through Washington and Oregon. My first time to tour both. Each worth the time and energy. I need to decide what states I have not been to. Need to make an effort to get east, east of the Mississippi… Of the lower 48 US states I have never been to Florida, North or South Carolina, New York – state or city, Massachusetts, Pennsylvania, New Hampshire, New Jersey, Vermont, Maine, Delaware, Connecticut, Rhode Island… Been to Virginia but not West Virginia. And I don’t think I have been through Mississippi or Alabama. Guess next spring has a plan forming…

As the past weeks flashed past I thought of many topical comments worth my words and my readers’ time. The Pope’s past few days here in the land of the Free has been interesting. He is charismatic. Let see if his influence is indeed influential.

I like the idea he turned down much with the US Congress, instead he went to a soup kitchen. No doubt there is much better company in a soup kitchen than in the US Congress.

I see a lot of waste where ever I go. Not just the USofA, but most everywhere I travel I see too much waste. One thing I see wasted too often is time and energy… Our society(s) spend far too much time playing up n dancing around issues of import but not of Priority. Makes me think we are afraid of some of our more pressing issues, afraid to confront or inspect or discuss many issues… so we make a big deal out of matter of a lower priority… The Race-card, the gender-chip, the sexual bias or the PC-based concepts of what is acceptable… I get confused… The likes of Al Sharpton can be a racist-shit but you can’t call him one. Black lives matter, but white lives are not PC so can’t be sloganeered. Calling Pigs, PIGS is not new. But targeting them is unacceptable. But a white cop shooting a black is news. A Black cop shooting either a black or white kid is less than news. And a black citizen shooting another black citizen is so common place it is no longer news at all.

We want and need more so we can waste more… the US spends heaps more than any country, per capita, for medical care. But offers so much less, much less than one would expect for the money invested. And I simply do not get it.

But that’s OK, I don’t get a lot of things… like what day or date it is… Call me Retarded… er, Retired…

More later

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