Slipper Shopping at the Beach

A Tour by Mark Kneubuhl –

(July 12, 2012) I’ve spent most of my adult life in American Samoa, a small group of islands located in the Southern Hemisphere, roughly in-between Hawaii and Australia. For the past four months I’ve been busy with this website,

The first story from this website to be re-published in our local paper, the Samoa News, quoted the source as, “Byrdnews.” So much for branding!

This website is generally about our environment. Our tagline is: News and Information About a Planet Under Pressure. I got that terribly original idea while listening to David Bowie’s 1970s hit song, “Under Pressure.” Or was that from the 80s?

I also write a bit about politics when it involves the environment, but have found that just about everything we do in life -including politics, has something to do with our underlying theme.

Presently there are an estimated 600 million active websites on the internet. By the time I finish this piece another umpteen sites will be added. Operating your own website is like being the God of your own little parallel universe.

plastic pollutionEach morning I wake up and I can choose whatever I want to write about. Or, as a real human in a real world I can choose to do something else, like I did a couple of days ago. I went to the beach with my grandchildren.

The beach we visited is called Utumea, named after of the village located about five miles west of my village of Leone. It’s a pristine little settlement with no more than a couple dozen residents. Unfortunately, their coastline faces south-east, in the direction of the wind and ocean currents; the two elements responsible for the terms “Flotsam” and “Jetsam”. On any given day, one can find a lot of stuff on the beach at Utumea.

Today, in my own little parallel universe, I feel like being a tour guide:The above photo is of a piece of driftwood with some real marine life on it!

There are lots of individual beach chairs that conveniently face east, which makes long-hair, vain people more comfortable.plastic pollution

And bench seats that may hold propane gas in case your portable barbecue runs out and the hot dogs are half-cooked.plastic pollution

And lots of slippers…

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And more slippers with a terrestrial being in the background donning what some call a non-threatening “smoo-face.”  This expression is believed to have been caused by it grabbing an innocent shell, when the shell’s angry inhabitant crawled out and pinched him.

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Even the tour operator got a new pair of shoes…  and mine matched!

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And last, a short video clip of our excursion to the beach. Not sure if this link works… it’s the first time I’ve uploaded a video clip from my desktop.  You’ll have to press it to find out!  Tour of Flotsam and Jetsam

Note from the tour guide: I’m fully convinced that none of this flotsam and jetsam came from the village of Utumea. This village is spotless, irrespective of the relentless winds and currents that bring other people’s trash to their beautiful beach.


Posted by at July 12, 2012
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