Monday, December 28, 2009

On The Road To Aticama

Good Morning Readers,

I am sitting in the waiting room of my good friends medical office, Doctor Eladio, with my good friend Jorge of Ms. Tioga fame! Seems I have had a little relapse - the lungs problem.

I just wanted to tell all you lovely readers that I will be catching up on my blogs soon so please keep tuning in. I have just spent 4 days in the sack and this is the first chance I have had to pop onto the internet. Today is an exciting day - our pal Sepraiano will be repairing our road if all goes well and we will be in our home soon!!

Too Cool.


Wednesday, December 23, 2009

On The Road To Aticama, Wengs Laptop Is Toast

Afternoon Road Fans,

Live and direct from Vips coffee shop in C. Obregon, about 700 miles north of Aticama. Good coffee, slow service. 55mph a lot of the time, less velocity more often due to major weather issues..... fog in California, Big Rain in Arizona, Long lines to get the car permit, Really Really cold rain in northern Mexico!! Slow going but attitude is excellent. Hope to reach Aticama mid day tomorrow.... we are deciding now - used laptop for Weng or new gas range/oven for the BirdHouse...... hmmmm.... fresh baked bread every day vs. struggle with ancient apple computer..... what would you do? Plan on making interesting postings in next few days... Be patient with Weng - she is stubborn about her old 'puter but will post soon!!



Tuesday, December 22, 2009

The Road To Aticama, Adios Dulce Simbob Delux

Hello Again Mid-Day Readers,

We are preparing to blastoff from the SimBob Delux in a couple of hours. Weng and I braved the masses of travelers waiting in line this early am at the Mexican Councelate. Sucess. Now, of course, no doubt because we are from Oregon, the rains have come to non-sunny Arizona. But its warm, at least to us. The stay has been fun for most. Poor Bob has the Christmas Flu. These guys have been great to us and now it is time to saddle up. No idea when we will write next.
an ocean of fog in so. cal.
Francis and I blogging on my bday
Thomas John and Kawena cleaning up dog turds as SimBob Delux
Sick Bob
Chilly weather leaving Oregon


Monday, December 21, 2009

The Road To Aticama, Life After Liftoff

Dear Road Enthrawled Readers,

We have landed in Phoenix at Simbob Delux and are taking a breather for my 57th Birthday. Red Wine and good company. Francis chatting with pals around the globe whilst listening to some real and vintage Hawaiian Music. The trip has been viberant and fun and rough and non-mechanically challanged so far. It is midnight and Weng and I will be going to the Mexican Councellate in 4 hours to stand in line to get the vehicle permit. Yikes! Did not figure in the giant reverse border tourist rush at Christmas. No doubt my recent exposure to a nasty new form of 'Gomer Ray' in Northern California is responsible.

Or maybe it was the 'solo-in-the -Simbob Courtyard-at-10am-birthday-beer-this-morning-lingering-internal-fog' sindrome.

Before we go any further, keep in mind that the rest of the english speaking world pronounces the letter 'Z' as 'Zed'.... go figure but now it's time for the emerging generation to speak up and that is 'GenZed' - Francis's peers .... hmm, its time to ask them what they want.

UPdates and ramblings will be posted at road time oppertunities...



Barely 38 hours ago I spoke, while on the road via my cell phone, to Simona in Phoenix, that the combination SagBirthday party was cancelled due to the flu dropping hubby Bob like a fly. Rats, no need now to set a land speed record to Aticama. Now flash back a full 49 hours and you will see our little family in our friends home for a tiny blastoff celebration. At that time we were only 5 hours behind. Hugs and seriously good food and candles with names and as real as it gets communication about really important things amoung really good friends. Rainy in PTown and chilly but we were hellbent on leaving on the 18th. And we did. For 2 solid days we sorted and packed and tied up loose ends and headed up the hill at 7:30pm. My time - never to early, never to late! The first 2 miles headed to NW Portland from our place are around 8percent curvy road. No Worries Mate! Up and over I knew that 'La Chiba' was bound for personal blogging glory.....

see photo above of La Chiba taken only hours before accidentally passing through the dreaded Gomer Ray!

yikes! no spell check function on this machine!
Francis speaks to the 'Gomer Ray' not to be missed and found at his current posting under 'Read Francis'

Friday, December 18, 2009


Dear Late Night Reader,

Cold Tai Food..... Waiting on the kettle to boil for mint tea......1:15 am and about half through the loading..... gruesome......blastoff in 28 hours.....zombie load in.....

something for us all:

Life is not measured by the number of breaths we take, but by the moments that take our breath away.

.george carlin

Thursday, December 17, 2009

The Road To Aticama, 31 Hours Until Blastoff, Ah, More Or Less

Hello Again Readers,

So much to do in such a little amount of time!! We are busy....
will tell all about it when we hit the road..

fingers crossed...

Obama in Denmark tomorrow - good luck man, you are gonna need it!


Tuesday, December 15, 2009

Happy Birthday Mom, Or, Goodnight Mrs. Kalabash, Wherever You Are

Good Morning,

Today is the day my mother was born. The daughter of a school principal she loved to live a very ordered life. To that end she never really traveled much and never did much of anything exciting except drive.

The woman could drive a car. My fondest memories of her were with her dark red hair flying behind the wheel of her big ol Pontiac. Freedom from us 5 hellions, freedom from a world that was changing far to fast for her - and that was back when things were slow by todays standards. I never really knew her, what she really loved or what she wanted. She worked and I knew our nanny more than my parents. Mom died at age 48. I never had an adult conversation with her so we died relative strangers to each other.

Interestingly enough she was born on the same day in the same year that the Ejdio of Aticama was founded. I would like to think her soul passes by there now and again.


Monday, December 14, 2009

The Road To Aticama, Fiesta 2009

Hello Again Readers,

Well, tonight our friend Juana was crowned the Princess Of Aticama! Jorge was there and took photos. Credit for this great photo is all Jorge. We had hoped to make it there this year but not in the cards - weather and money. Tomorrow is the annual Aticama Fiesta. Next year we will be there!. We are scheduled to leave on Friday night and attend my joint birthday party with Simona, Bob and Kawena in Phoenix but now it is looking grim. Dang. (strong language). I am laying a tile floor but it is taking a real long time to dry. Might take a few extra days. I have never had a birthday party in my life. Uggg...

Off to bed, tomorrow calls.


Sunday, December 13, 2009

PDX Dodges The Ice Bullet, For Now.....

Good Evening De-Frosting Friends,

Well, the big ice storm fizzled out just south of Portland so we missed a royal mess. Suits me just fine, the weather is getting warmer and that sweet 'ol cold Oregon Winter Rain is back. Just give us one more week of non-freezo evento and we just might be able to pull off the Blast Off in some sort of reasonable time.

Jorge may reach Aticama tomorrow!


Friday, December 11, 2009

The Road To Aticama, Ice Storm Coming!

Good Morning Frigid Readers, (and warm ones also)

History is trying to repeat itself! Last year, on December 14, we got socked in with nasty winter weather - rain, ice, snow - Portland shut down for two weeks delaying our blastoff. Now it is threatening again. Tonight a big ice storm is headed our way. Yikes! Will it delay us again? It might. Because I have been working so much away from home there is a load things to do to prepare 'La Chiba' for the big trip. Well, you might ask, "will a day or two make a big difference?". The answer is - Simona (nice photo, hey?) is having a big birthday party in Phoenix on the 19th and we would love to make it in person instead of just in spirit.....

Got to run....


Thursday, December 10, 2009

Missing The Point

Good Early Morning,

The politics of division. It makes me sad and ill. Current Point in case - global warming. There is so much confusion, money, and disagreement about the cause but most everyone agrees that we must do something!!

It really doesn't matter what is causing this life changing and planet condition but if we don't do anything but point fingers and fall apart as people we shall surely condemn a bright future for our children. I, for the life of me, don't understand why every living soul on earth does not support the Global Warming Conference.

There has never been a greater challenge for the human race. Please call your elected Representative and ask him to put aside their differences and just fix the problem. We have the ability to do it, we lack only the will! Do something yourself easy - put on an extra layer and turn down the thermostat. Love your family. If we continue to pretend this problem does not exist we surely condemn this beautiful planet to waste.


Tuesday, December 8, 2009

Breaking News!

Good Evening Readers,

After a long hard day at work I arrived home to get some exciting news! Weng took Kawena to the dollar store and she got a new purple hat! (how can they sell things sooo cheap anyway?) Then, more good news - Francis received his first report card from the 7th grade. His school is an 'International Baccalaureate' learning institution so grades are important. Of a possible 4.0 top score he
finished 4.0 in
all categories!!

Job Well Done Son!! Now the pressure is on to help Thomas John and take a little pressure off of mom.


ps. this old 'puter is acting up again, that's why the text is all goofy.

John Lennon Rest In Peace

Dear Warm Hearted Readers,

It was 29 years ago that John Lennon was murdered in front of his home. His words have touched every living human on this earth - young and old, of every color, political persuasion and religious belief. His ghost and the ghosts of every other great man of peace, art and community weep tears of "how did the world come to this place?" for all of us alive in these times. Not a perfect man, not always one to practice what he preached, he none the less set an example of what we could be. There are those among us who remember when he remarked that the Beatles were more well known than Jesus. He was only somewhat correct - his words and the way they move us are the zenith of collective soul.


Rest In Peace John Lennon

Monday, December 7, 2009

Below Freezing

Good Morning Monday Readers,

The news today:

Here in Portland Oregon - very cold! Good thing I am working indoors most of the day! My thoughts are warm with visions of familiar roadmarks on the way to Aticama. I am hoping that the frigid weather here will not delay our blastoff. Our ducks are not all yet in a row but they are in the pond.

Tiger Woods. Dude! Well, it is not surprising really. Must be a real drag to be at the top of your game, be super rich, be handsome and healthy, have it all, and have to deal with the constant temptation of zillions of vivacious women throwing themselves at you! Very few of us will ever understand what that is like......I don't know what to think about it.....

Meanwhile, over in Europe, world leaders are meeting to do something about global warming. No doubt the biggest issue to ever face the human race. If only it could get the same coverage as Tiger.....

Thomas John and Kawena got their report cards. Weng will no doubt post about that soon! My island girl wife, like the tropical creature she is, has entered into the hibernation mode. Too little sun, to much cold weather.......

Working on the little trailer - it will tow the 'Big Red' atv behind 'La Chiba' to Mexico. 26 years old, this little atv is a champ and will shuttle us around Aticama. At 40 mpg, she will give the old Dodge a welcome rest after a warp speed trip from Portland south. Yep, we are planning on a non-stop, relay driver, 60 miles per hour sprint!!

Off to work.....

Be warm.


Friday, December 4, 2009

Good News From Aticama

Good Evening Readers,

Yesterday Weng spoke with Juana In Aticama. Juana is one really fine human being. Now 28 or so, she has been a friend of the family for many years and was present the night Kawena was born in Tepic. She has one of the most golden hearts I have ever had the privilege of knowing. Single, Master Massage Instructor, Strong and resourceful, She also is very civic minded. She holds our daughters property in a Mexican Trust until 'V' turns 21. We in return have helped her become an 'Ejidotarian' - member of the local governing body. She is now studying constitutional law, preparing to run for elected 4 person council next election! This is
terrific news because she has the spiritual health of the pueblo in her soul.


She was elected La Reina de Aticama (The Princess) for the upcoming Annual Founding of the pueblo Gran Fiesta on Dec. 15!!

Congrats Juana - good on you!!



PS Check out todays "ReadFrancis" blog. Really funny.

It's Cold

Chilly Readers,

Today we woke up and it was 28deg. outside! Hard to get out of bed. Ducks win the War Of The Roses and now must play the mighty Ohio Buckeyes. Obama Partygate. Tiger Woods. Seems like so much attention on the Tempests In The Teapot. Wonder what is going on underground?

Mexico is waiting, I'm off to work.


Wednesday, December 2, 2009

Obama, War, 911 And What It All Means

"You Can Run But You Cannot Hide"

Powerful, scorching words of truth. No one really wants to think about it. One year ago America elected a man of the people to change America. Wall after Wall was thrown up. Every imaginable pressure and force and mind persuasion was thrown in his path. Now, this man must make a terrible decision that no one should ever really have to make. War. Lives. Effects on other lives.

Damn. And what do we, joe six pack, do to help? Little if anything. Complain about the cost of everything (who wrecked the economy anyway? and where is g. bush now?), pretend the world is ok (really, really think about that one), or just be too damn tired to do anything about it....

Blame Obama. Easy, right? If we dont stand with him then we let our enemies, home and abroad, send us to our own damnation. Harsh? Perhaps. Be honest with yourself - is what is going on in the world the best thing we can do?

I say, tell your friends to get off of their butts, search out the truth amongst the media b.s. and make a few phone calls to people who make decisions for us. Stop throwing away your leftovers and give them to the local shelters if they will take them and pull your kid off of the video kill games. And I could say more.


ps. BE SURE to check out the new ThinkMusic posting - the song 'Imagine' at the big benefit for 9/11 nearly ten years ago.....

The Road To Aticama, Current Blast Off...

Good Evening Readers,

Life is compressing madly as we approach Blast Off To Aticama.... A million zillion things yet to do and time is short! We are never sure of the exact details of 'for sure 'this long' or ' how to make this happen' or ' jee, dear looks like this amount of time now...' I have been blessed with friends who need home repair and I am now working like crazyman to make the necessary pesos to power us to the warmth and work of Aticama!! It is possible that many of you out there may think that we travel south to vacation...

well, that aint the way it is!! Between home schooling for Thomas, ('V' and Francis attend mexican public school), garden work, home repair, social commitments, tweaking the solar system, railroading in the new access road, helping the neighbors, and working the fruit orchards we are very, very busy!!.

It is interesting to live 10 feet from the ocean and have time to take a dip only once a week.....hmmm...

Not to mention friends who visit..... for 20 years I begged my pals to visit... to no avail... the stock " i cant because _______________________ (you fill in the blank)" or 'it's too dangerous" or " you are nuts" and on and on and on.. WELL, now, its "NICE!!!" or " can we stop by.....?"

You get the picture. My guitar and I will steal precious moments I assure you....


ps. the map is one I made 15 years ago.... at that time the Hotel Delfin was still in existance (for all of you 'Road To Aticama' followers - my room was on the top floor in the foreground)....YOU CAN CLIK ON THE PHOTO TO MAKE IT LARGER

Tuesday, December 1, 2009

The Oregon Civil War

Good Morning Travel Readers,

In a couple of days the Oregon Beavers & The Oregon Ducks will battle it out in the annual Football Civil War. The winner goes to the Rose Bowl!! I have not watched an entire football game in the USA for more than a decade. Hmm.....

Jorge of Tioga Fame has had a bad case of the 'Mechanical Going Back To Mexico Blues'. I am among the many good will wishers. I am sure that if he can beat cancer he can sure heal his trusty rig!!. Some have suggested that Ms. Tioga is too old for a reliable life but I say that is pure bunk. It makes little difference how old something (or someone) is - it all depends on how well maintained. Myself and my little family are proof positive of that!

Got to run, the money thing calls......


Sunday, November 29, 2009

A Beautiful Day In Portland Oregon

Good Sunday Morning,

Today the family is loading up in 'La Chiba', our trusty old Dodge Van, and heading to friend Steve's house for a day of visiting and trip planning. Steve is a retired Postman who has been going to Aticama for years and generally our paths cross there. He is an interesting person and I am pleased that we have been friends for 25 years! You can see his photo on Weng's Thanksgiving Day blog. (photos are somewhat of a challenge for my old beater Apple but I hope to deal with that soon.....)


Saturday, November 28, 2009

Home Depot & Black Friday

Good Morning Saturday Readers,

Want vs. Need. Yikes! What happens when the two converge? Well, yesterday that happened to me. While picking up supplies for work at my local Home Depot I got bushwacked! The battery in my trusty Dewalt Screwgun has died recently and a new one was almost $70.00. Ugh. This is a tool I use a lot. And, as fate would have it I had just got paid when, there before me, gleaming like a yellow and black sun, was a display of Dewalt Screwguns. $100.00 for a brand new one with TWO batteries! I had to think fast because they were literally flying of the shelf by crazed construction workers. I had just bought two tires and said goodbye to the possibility a new $200.00 laptop, now I was saying goodbye to a new pair of badly need workboots and hello to a tube of shoegoop...... I say my hand stretch out in front of me and grab one of the few left.......the deed was done!

Later, on the job, I opened my hard earned treasure, squeezed the trigger and........ click, click, click - defective high speed gears!! My heart sank but I kept my composure. Later, after work, I returned to my local Home Depot to exchange the tool but, alas!, all gone! No notion when a new shipment would arrive my face and attitude fell like a brick into the bay. Thats when one of the 'associates' asked if I would consider a substitute - same company but slightly different model of the same value. No worries.

Alls well that ends well.


Friday, November 27, 2009

Black Friday

Good Morning Day After Turkey People,

I hope that you all had enough to eat!! I know that we did. Weng was a champ, a kitchen diva with the attitude of Mother Teresa. The kids were great and well behaved as we enjoyed our meal with friends. We arrived home around 7 pm and went straight to bed, slept 12 yours and now it is morning.

All across America it is Black Friday and people are out shopping. I am sure that it is all with the best intention and I wish them all the best of luck in getting what they want. I am off to work with a quick stop at the bank. So, what is it that we are going to buy today? Just water, $42.00 to the pay this months water bill. And we are thankful for that!

Hey, Kawena May just entered the room. My current nick name for her is 'Corn Flake'. No reason really, she doesn't eat corn flakes (she likes Oat-o'-Meal), but she does like nick names!


ps. Happy Birthday Jorge of Ms.Tioga & Crew Fame!! Living proof that youth is timeless.

Thursday, November 26, 2009

What I Am Thankful For

Good Thanksgiving Morning Eaters,

I am quite sure that there are millions of people out there blogging away about how thankful they are for their friends, family, health and stuffed bird on the table and so am I. All for good reason and all known and appreciated by all. While I was in the shower a little while ago I was thinking about it all - what am I really thankful for?

The answer? The little things. I am thankful for the smell and the first taste of my morning coffee. The miracle of hot water, soap and a sharp razor for my face. Weng's 30 year old beater washing machine. That Kawena left half of the towel dry for me to use. Thankful that the human soul inspires art and music and how that moves my moment. That the digital medium provides me a forum to share my wacky ramblings and the roof over my head where the rain falls hard and soft.

The greatest thing in my life however that I am thankful for is simple. The Freedom of Choice.

I am always aware of this gift of choice. Perhaps it is because of my life with Weng and her background, my life among the 'poor' in Mexico or the work I have done with the homeless here in America where often the only choice one has is whether to live or die.

In a few hours we will take the turkey Weng has roasted all night and share it with our friends Augustine and Maria and their children, under the roof of their old mobile home in Wood Village, near the Columbia Gorge. Thanksgiving, in my eyes, is the best holiday in the country and we should all be proud of it!


Wednesday, November 25, 2009

Something For Everyone

Good Morning,

Yesterday I mentioned 'Black Friday'. So, a few minutes ago, while checking the news on the local tv station, I see an ad for Best Buy - new HP laptops for $197.00! BLAMO! Straight to the core of my current need. Ouch. My laptop is still in the 'home hospital', waiting for some miracle of time and money to save it.

So, do I think they will have a laptop for everyone that wants to buy one? Hmmmmm.....


Tuesday, November 24, 2009

Changing Seasons

Good Morning, Morning People

It is always a mixed feeling for me as we approach the holidays. A week after Halloween the stores began selling Christmas things, setting up a strange type of tension that works below the surface of my mind. Months of anticipation that will culminate in a single day. In a couple of days we will have a national event called 'Black Friday' when a zillion frantic shoppers will go nuts for 10 or 12 hours. A single day that may make or break the mighty economy of the United States. The lead in to a time when 'want' trumps 'need'. I am not saying that it is a good thing or a bad thing but it is a strange testimony to the strange, weird and wonderful times we we find ourselves in here in 'the year of our lord, 2009'.

For me the 'bottom line' thought is this, (if I honestly ask myself and answer the question), is: "What would Jesus buy on the day after Thanksgiving?"


Sunday, November 22, 2009

The Family Goes To The Movies

Good Evening Readers,

I am writing to you this night from the keyboard of my trusty old Apple computer. Slow and inefficient it non the less never suffers from the horrible slashings of online virus's! In front of me sits my shiny Dell 'Pepe'- it has served me well for almost 5 years now but something nasty has given it a 'frontal lobotomy' and I am performing emergency surgery even as we speak. The Sunday paper tempts me with visions of a new laptop but the financial timing is all wrong. I will not rest until Pepe is healed or buried in the cold wet ground (and I mean that!)

On a more pleasant note - The Family went to see Harry Potter and the Half-blood Prince today at the Valley Theatre. Very Entertaining but I had to have Francis explain a lot of the plot details to me! We munched on Halloween candy and donuts. this is a rare occasion as I am REAL tough on the sugar intake with the children. After the movie I put in a half a days work for a great client on a beautiful Sunday afternoon.


Clicksor Is Gone!!

Good Morning Readers,

I received an email from Jorge this morning letting me know that he received a malware alert when he brought up my blog this morning. I took action at once and deleted my Clicksor account. This time it is for good. I do appreciate their great service but not at the expense of my Readers peace of mind. Again, I am sorry if any of you has been affected with this problem.



Saturday, November 21, 2009

Giving Clicksor Another Try & Trying To Work Out The Blog Bugs!

Good Morning Friends,

I am sitting in the 'Waves Of Grain' coffee and pastry shop here in Cannon Beach Oregon enjoying a real tasty cup 'o joe.
The folks at Clicksor have been very responsive to my concerns regarding the problems I encountered with their ad service so I have decided to give them another try in supplimenting our family income! Let me know if you have any bad things come of this and I will deal with it right away. As of this writing I still have not heard back from the AdSense Support Team as to when they will reinstate my account but I imagine that they are very busy and will get around to getting in touch as soon as they can. I heard a story the other day on National Public Radio about Google and its history and its place in the world. Amazing! Astonishing really how such a thing came to be and how it touches our life in so many ways. Like billions of other people on earth I have found their services to be handy, efficient and all without cost! I hope to visit their headquarters some day and marvel at what the mind of man can do when challenged to move in creative direction.

I am off now to visit the 'Hokey Pokey Place'. Some 23 years ago I bought an acre of ocean cliffside land along the beautiful Oregon coast in the small town of Bay City. At the time it was considered worthless but I saw a beauty in it's rugged steep forest. It has 4 or 5 old growth trees on it, including one of the largest and oldest Sitka Spruce Trees left on this planet. Really. Well, it is 40 scenic miles down highway 101 so I'd better get moving.


Friday, November 20, 2009

The Road To Aticama, Part 15, No Easy Decision

Good Morning Readers,

Well, my time here alone in Cannon Beach has come to a close for now. Last night I rented a couple of movies, 'Iron Man' and ' Forgetting Sarah Marshall'. Robert Downy Jr. is, in my opinion, one really talented actor! I went to sleep with mixed feelings - mental holdovers from the movies blended with my own memories of adventures and people who have touched my life. Michelle was a loving, caring woman who shared my life for 7 years. We traveled and worked and made the best of the times. It will soon be 20 years since we parted ways, and, to this day, she remains one of the most understanding, selfless and compassionate people I have ever known. When we were together we had our own good reasons for not having children and that is all I have to say about it.

It is enough to know that the events in Vera Cruz so long ago set me upon a different path, one that would take me across many miles and emotional terrain that I had little experience with - the search for the mother of my children. It is a story that I am telling in bits and pieces as time permits, random and from the gut, raw and honest as I can be with strangers and myself. But enough of this for now, I am anxious to get back to the events that put my feet in my own promised land, Aticama.

Returning to my time at the Hotel Delphin........


The Road To Aticama, Part 14, Cont.

Good Evening Readers,

It has taken a few weeks to find the time to return to my tale of
adventure. Seems like life has a way of demanding heaps of your time
and energy to just get by for most folks, or

as John Lennon once said "Life is what happens while you are busy
making other plans."

I am writing from Cannon Beach on the Oregon coast where I am doing a
small repair job on my extended families beach home. It is a very stormy and
windy night. The ocean is boiling, loud and magnificent! As different
as one could imagine from that day long ago and far away in the sunny,
sunny warm and lazy days of the Plaza at Vera Cruz Mexico.

I guess that I have always been an emotional person. I choke up at
corny scenes in movies. Some music makes me cry. At times emotion
rolls over me like roller waves for no reason at all, triggered by a
word, a sound, a long gone smell or a movement not expected. When I
left my story last I was having such a moment. This old brown man
sitting next to me in an old Mexican park had touched something that I
had locked away deep inside of me with chains of fear, sorrow,
disappointment and denial. A burning image of a different life I had
lived a decade earlier, the tearing sound of the ambulance siren
moving my young pregnant wife to a hospital ER through streets torn
and broken by the force of a mighty tornado. Smells of natural gas
clinging to the damp early evening air, escaping through pipes broken
by giant tree roots upended along the sidewalks. People crying
everywhere and buildings cracking noise in the dying wind. The look on
Terry’s face as she was rolled so fast through the crowded hall of
suffering people, the ugly bruise left on her middle from the slamming
impact of the jeep’s rollbar hours earlier when we were tossed off the
road by the monster wind. I remember cursing God and the world as I
walked circles in the hallway, pleading to trade my life for that of a
tiny baby’s who yet to take a single breath. But it was over.
Everything changed. The bathroom mirror in the hospital where I was
born decades before showed a lost dream with long crazy hair, bloody
broken teeth and swollen broken right side of my face, permanent storm
brandings. Who was I? I only knew then that the Angel in my heart was
now locked tightly, deeply away.

As the years moved along I found solace in the fact that the World was
busy over breeding itself to a slow death. It became easy to justify
my childless life by saying that I would not be a part of this death
by bringing in “…..another mouth to feed…”

Now, a few random words in another language in a different time and
world had freed this little Angels passion in my soul and it burst out
of me in a flood of tears that shook me hard. This stranger on a park
bench had undone me.

Hearing my crying he spoke to me, words that I can never forget. “Look
around you, you see, this is a very poor country, not rich like yours.
Everywhere things are moving and the people do not have enough to eat
or nice clothes to put on their children but they are happy. Look at
yourself - You are like a rock in the stream. Only watching while all
of this life moves by you. You are afraid to have children because you
say it is wrong to bring into this world another mouth to feed. But I
tell you that a man like you can provide this poor world with a mouth
that feeds!”.

These few, simple words changed my life. Changed in ways that my
friends did not understand. Ways that made everything brighter with
colors I had lost. I don’t remember leaving or saying goodbye to this
blind guy. I do remember walking for miles and miles in the blur of
emotion and loss of my glasses. I knew that I had something that I had
to do and that it would not be easy. My destination was now clear, my
path cloudy and curious. My glasses – well, when I finally arrived
back at camp my glasses were there waiting for me. After I had failed
to return to the sidewalk fish restaurant Michelle, Josh and Jess went
off looking for me, stopping at the eye doctor’s and picking up my
glasses. Things came again into focus as I put them on but now
everything looked different somehow. Michelle looked worried and could
see that I had changed, maybe the look of my new glasses. I was a
coward and did not have the heart to tell her that it was my outlook
on life that had changed. Not yet, but soon she would know.


ps. the photo is of the block in Xenia Ohio that I grew up on, taken right after the 1974 Tornado.

Tuesday, November 17, 2009

Impressive Service!!

Morning Friends,

Only a minute but I wanted to thank, again, the support team at Clicksor! I was delighted to open my email and see another message from them regarding the 'pop up fake virus alert' - they asked for pertainte info to deal with the issue, and thanks to Reader 'tibbar', I was able to send them what they needed right away. I may be easily impressed but they do seem sincere and have made my concerns their own. I look forward to using their service in my little blog.


Monday, November 16, 2009

Good News!

Evening Friends,

Well, Leslie of Clicksor Company, got in touch with me today via email to address the concerns I had regarding the content of their advertising business. Mostly. She fixed it so that there would not be any more 'porn' (read adult) ads but did not have anything to say yet about the 'fake virus' business so I will wait to reinstall the service. What was nice though was that she included a direct phone number to get in touch with her about my concerns!! I have to admit that that is good service!! I have tried, in vain now for almost two weeks to find a way to reach the folks at AdSense and I have yet to hear a word from them about reinstating my account or for how to fix the problem with my blog ad placement multi error messages that have been an issue for 3 or 4 weeks now (I lose track)- hmmm..... (I am not prepared to pass judgment yet however as my research into the matter indicates that dis-connection of AdSense accounts seems to be happening to a lot of people for some reason and it surely must take a lot of time to get back to all of the folks affected. I am a very patient person in my 'older years')

More good news - I have not heard back from any readers about the pop up fake virus alert yet so I am hoping that it is now taken care of. I will however, give Leslie a call tomorrow about the virus pop up thingie to make sure.

And that is it for now, so, good night, sleep well and stay as warm as you want to be.


Sunday, November 15, 2009

Fake Virus Alert!


Hello Friends,

Thanks to a reader I found out that it is possible that a Fake Virus Alert may have been attached to my blog earlier today. While waiting for Google to re-instate my Adsense listings I have tried several other web based ad publishing companies to help supplement our income. Around noon, Pacific Time, I installed 'Clicksor'. They seem like a good company but then, around 6pm I received a comment from a reader that, as soon as he brought up my blog, a pop up ad appeared telling him that his computer was infected and that by clicking the ad the problem could be fixed. I checked it out and found out that it was a cheap scam designed to make you think that a virus/other nastiness had invaded your machine. I pulled the posting and deleted the ad code from my blog. I then notified the 'Clicksor' people about the problem and suspended my account! I feel as though we have been victims of this nonsense and I would not wish it on anyone so, if you looked at my blog between noon and 7pm on Sunday November 15th, and you get some sort of 'virus' notification please let me know and I will forward it to the people at 'Clicksor' at once! I am very, very sorry for any problems this may have caused anyone.


World Music

Good Evening Readers,

A day of rest has been good for the body and I found some more music on youtube that is good for the soul! It is called 'Chanda Mama' and you can find it on my ThinkMusic column in its new location - just scroll down below my posting and you will find it. Real fine music from some great but little known artists all around the world singing the same song and then mixed together to produce something unique. I hope you enjoy it as much as I do.


A Big Thank You To All Of My Readers

Good Sleepy Morning All,

Hope that you are all doing well! I have spent 5 of the last 10 days sick with the flu and I would not wish it on anyone for any reason! I am pleased to report that I things are better after going through no less than 4 box's of tissue and 3 'so-so' movies. Having been blessed with one of those iron clad immune systems for most of my life I must confess that this last year has been a real challenge. As I look back upon my short blog time I realize that the bulk of it has been 'under the weather' and my postings certainly reflect it!

I would like to take a moment to thank all of you, my readers, again for taking precious time with a grain of salt to consider my ramblings. I wish I could tell you that our life is one magic minute following another and that adventure was on our heels at every corner. I cannot tell you that. Adventure comes and goes and mostly you have to work really hard to prepare for it. I have found that one of the greatest adventures is when I am surprised by Francois's current school project (this one on Global Warming - to be found in his blog) or Thomas's construction of a 'lizard ramp' or Kawena's proud beaming face as she shows me her completed kindergarten homework. Or last yesterday afternoon while miserable with the flue and Weng shoving a big spoonful of 'Dirt' (local bee pollen) in my direction and commanding me to "eat it Sweetie".

The Point? Well, it is easy at times to let the world and the gloom of illness paint your life grey and small. But, through this wonderful new medium of the digital age I can draw comfort from knowing that readers like you out there can relate. Our little family is preparing for another grand adventure soon and it feels the world to me like we are sitting in the station while the locomotive is building up steam for the trip. I expect our postings may be a little light over the next few weeks as time is short and we 'gather our potatoes.


Friday, November 13, 2009

Photos On A Rainy Day

A Rainy Hello,

Just a moment..... thought I'd share a few warm and sunny photos....


Thursday, November 12, 2009

Word From Aticama

Good Morning Friends,

A couple of days ago we spoke with our friend Juana who lives in Aticama. A family friend of many years she has the reputation for being the tallest woman in the village and of having the biggest heart! Well, everything is going just fine in Aticama - slow, not much work and the tourism is almost non existent. Ok with us. The world of the USA is a fast and all consuming race in which money is the blood of everyday life. The world of Aticama is much more, well, human. I wish all of Americans could visit there for a while, maybe a lesson could be learned about the value of enjoying the moment.....


Wednesday, November 11, 2009

Tough Weng

Good Mid-Morning Readers,

Tommy John returned from the doctor yesterday, and, his cold has developed into a nasty sinus infection. While Kawena and Francis seem to be on the mend I seem to have joined Tom in the land of nasal agony. A hot shower and lots of liquid and I am blinking and grousing about the weather as I gather tools for todays work in Portland. I am enjoying crafting together a fine basement bathroom in a nice hillside neighborhood and I consider myself lucky to have the work in these troubled economic times. Weng seems to be nearly invincible to the flu - she is the rock of the family and without her love and kindness we would all be in freefall.

The photos are of Francis as a toddler. With Weng on a boat off the island of Camiguin and styling in San Francisco


Tuesday, November 10, 2009

Tommy John Has Fever So I'm Home Early

An Unexpected Hello Readers,

As you may know, like a zillion other children this year, our kids have been sick with the flue. Well, they have been bouncing back and today all went to school. Mid-day Weng got a call from the school nurse. Tommy had a fever. Off Weng went to get him, I arrive home to watch over him because today is Tuesday and Weng volunteers with the 4th grade today and they need all of the help they can get!! Well, I will use the time to work around the place. First day without rain in over a week so I guess I will fix the roof.


Provence-Alps-Cote d`Azur

Just A Moment More.....

Off to work when I thought I'd check out the old 'Sitemeter' on my blog. A cool little tool that tells me, literally, where in the world my viewers are viewing from! While it doesn't tell me who they are it is soo much fun to wonder about their lives and the world they live in. I have noticed that, from time to time, some romantic soul living in France (everyone there is a Romantic, right?), takes the time to read my ramblings. A place called Provence-Alps-Cote d'Azur. Looks like a lovely place and maybe someday we will visit.

So, a big hello to you, friends from France! Thanks!