Preface: When Andi asked me to be a guest blogger, I will admit to being a bit apprehensive. I never fancied myself a writer. Perhaps more to the point, I’d no idea what a “blog” really was. I’d scarcely read a blog before so how can I be trusted to write one? What do I call it? My First Blog? It just didn’t feel right. Then I realized that a blog isn’t just self-indulgent drivel, but an opportunity to voice a concept that you wish to get across to the reader. In my case, I consider it ranting. That I can do! I come from a long line of proficient ranters. So I give you: My First Rant (forgive the self-indulgent drivel)

Several weeks ago I was given the once-in-a-lifetime opportunity to ride on my sister’s coattails and tag along on her business trip to Hawai’i. The concept is astonishing: hike, run & explore an entire tropical island on someone else’s dime. Even more astonishing is the fact that this was the second chance in my lifetime to do this. Sometimes our existence isn’t always as bad as it seems. When life gives you lemons, add papaya and mango to taste.

It was on this trip that I came to a realization that has been years in the making but I never realized it before. Just outside the airport terminal we managed to score a shiny new Jeep Wrangler 4-door with a soft-top. While the 2-door is my preference, it seems that no American can be bothered to make do with less than the Central Plains between themselves and the rear window, so the 4-door is all they (Mr. Hertz & his merry men) will import to the islands any more. I buckled down, lowered my standards, and decided that yes, I can live with this. Joy of joy! A convertible 4×4 that is quite capable off-road is mine to get me deep into places I have no business going and surely have no chance of ever returning from. It was even red–the color of pain (though black & blue might have something to say about that). So off I went!

Or tried to go. You see, I couldn’t help but notice during the pre-blame damage inspection that the previous renter had not properly fastened the rear side windows, and they were now free to move about on their own accord, if given enough wind. After several minutes and creative words, I decided that it was simply a poor design, and they were secure enough for the short trip to our rental cottage. That, and it was dark. And a busload of sweaty Germans had just arrived.

So, the luggage was loaded, the form was signed, and I turned the key. But the mighty steed didn’t start. After a couple more attempts, I began to realize that it was a result of operator error (“You’re an idiot”), and if I simply held the key in the start position, then the starter could eventually be coerced into engaging, but only after the nagging of a relay buried deep in the bowels of the dashboard. This split-second of wait was troubling to me as someone with a bit of mechanical background who tends to think that electricity should travel at the speed of light and produce instant, predictable results. Regardless, the engine finally fired to life and we passed through the gate and out onto Route 50, ready to take on anything this lovely island had in store for us. With the side windows flapping about like the straps to a mad-bomber’s woolen hat.

Stay tuned next week to continue the saga of the Jeep that would not be tamed. And if you like Jansen as much as I have for the past almost twenty years that I’ve known him, maybe you’ll see him tooling around the eastern US in his REAL CAR an ’87 BMW, and on a winter’s day (please let those be past us for this year) you might spot him off-roading in his Landrover Nigel (and yes, he picked the name). Oh, and by the way, Jansen wanted me to start his run of Friday posts on April Fool’s Day . . .I’m not even sure what that means.

The aforementioned Jeep

The Jeep in question.